By Tom Quiner
Karl Marx famously and mellifluously described the wonders of communism:
“from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
David Mamet, the great playwright and liberal-turned-conservative, punctured Marx’s deceit with this great quote:
For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called “The State,” and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read “The State will take from each according to his ability: the State will give to each according to his needs.” “Needs and abilities” are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to “the State shall take, the State shall give.”
What happens when the state determines needs? As Marx states, first they have to determine “abilities,” with predictable consequences, says Mamet:
As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.
Monstrous. That pretty much describes the bureaucratic nightmare known as our federal government.
David Mamet has written a string of amazing plays and movies, including Glengarry Glen Ross, House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner.
His film, Homicide, was a startling take on anti-semitism (Mr. Mamet is Jewish).
Love him or hate him, he will never, ever bore you. Take a few minutes and read his take on the gun control issue in his essay (“Gun laws and the fools of Chelm”) in Newsweek. Suffice it to say, he is not on the same page as our president.