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L. Neil Smith's
Number 762, March 16, 2014

Socialism kills—not just individuals but whole civilizations.

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Warning: Ben Carson Could Be Hazardous to Your Health
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson is a 62-year-old retired pediatric neurosurgeon being proposed as a conservative Republican candidate for President. In the medical profession, he is probably best known for his unprecedented successful separation of twins conjoined at the head.

As my regular readers may have noticed, I am not a neurosurgeon. I have often regretted not having gone into medicine. I know a lot about science, and as a machinist, enjoy doing fine handwork through heavy magnifying glasses. But I would never presume to attempt the kind of heroic medicine that requires decades of education and practice to perfect.

I am, however, an ethical and political philosopher, with over half a century in grade, thirty-odd books to my credit, and hundreds of essays, articles, and columns that touch, in one way or another, on those subjects. This is a field of endeavor that history—especially recent history—clearly demonstrtes is not a bit less critical than surgical medicine to the continued survival and wellbeing of the human species.

It usually makes me feel happy when honest individuals who have not specialized for fifty-something years in ethical and political philosophy, struggle to reach conclusions that are logical, consistent with natural law, and justified by history and human nature. I correct them when they appear to need it—which is not to say that I never need correction myself; ethics and politics being lifelong studies in praxeology (look it up), not science—and encourage them whenever I can.

On the other hand, when an individual with an especially high soapbox in one field of endeavor starts blathering about issues in an entirely different field, unconnected with the reason he is famous, it is important to respond, especially if he is being touted for the Presidency.

And even more especially when a lot of what he says is idiotic.

Dr. Carson is a good example. The man's medical achievements are admirable and astonishing. They do not, however, give him the moral authority or the fundmental knowledge that he clearly lacks to make broad public pronouncements on Second Amendment and other issues. Some of the utter lunacies he's quoted as having uttered (I discovered most of them on Wikipedia) are among the dumbest things I've ever had to read.

The man is an embarrassment.

What first brought Carson to my attention was his advocacy of a ban on semi-automatic weapons in large cities. He doesn't appear to understand that the need for adequate firepower if far more crucial in our crime-ridden cities—although he was born and raised in Detroit, of all places—than in the country. Also, not only does he foolishly imply that America's cities are somehow less likely to be taken over by an oppressive machine like the Obama regime, but that it doesn't matter much if we Flyover Country bumpkins hose the Thulies down with lead.

So that's Strike One. Maybe Strike One and a half.

Speaking out of the other side of his surgical mask, he then says, "There's a reason for the Second Amendment; people do have the right to have weapons." Except that they apparently have to be weapons he approves.

This isn't the only problem that would-be President Carson has. Last year, he made a speech to a conservative voters' group in which he correctly compared Obamacare to slavery, and identified it as part of a Marxist-Leninist conspiracy to gain control over everybody's life. Four days later, after a bashing by liberal critics, he wrote a letter to the Washington Post denying he'd ever compared Obamacre to slavery.

No guts, no consistency.

Strike Two.

Like a dismayingly growing number of self-made ignoramuses today, Carson doesn't "believe" in Evolution by Natural Selection. Worse, the reasons this "man of science" offers for his lack of acceptance are epistemological garbage. "I simply don't have enough faith to believe that something as complex as our ability to rationalize, think, and plan, and have a moral sense of what's right and wrong, just appeared."

I wonder if he believes the world sprang into existence in 4004 B.C.

I have long said (since high school in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in fact, when I had a biology teacher who was a butt-stupid evolution denier) that the failure to recognize the truth in this matter arises from an intellectual incapacity to comprehend the vast gulfs of time involved. Of course the ability to rationalize, think, and plan, and have a moral sense didn't "just appear", it is the product of a four billion year long process with which faith has absolutely nothing to do.

"By believing we are the product of random acts," according to a man educated enough to know better, "we eliminate morality and the basis of ethical behavior." We've heard this before from Limbaugh among others, but that doesn't make it true. Then, in a turnaround starting to look typical of him, he later proclaimed, "People who believe in survival of the fittest might have more difficulty deriving where their ethics come from. A lot of evolutionists are very ethical people."

Assumption: evolutionists are automatically atheists. I am both, but I know many who are not. Assumption: evolution is a random process. It is not: it begins with random mutations, but they are winnowed—filtered—by the exigencies of survival in a very linear and stringent manner. Assumption: it is somehow better to blindly accept the philosophical pronouncements of a handful of Neolithic sheep-herders who were abysmally ignorant about everything else in the Known Universe, than to work out what's right and what's wrong for yourself.

With a little help from Ayn Rand.

And, by the way, Darwin never said "survival of the fittest", he said "survival of the fit" which is a very different proposition, indeed.

Strike Three.

Carson is a conservative Republican, so he has certain predictable little twitches. He's also a Republican politician, and you can get whiplash listening to him too closely: "I certainly believe gay people should have all the rights anyone else has," he informs us, but then he adds, " ... as far as marriage [is] concerned, it has traditionally been between a man and a woman and no one should be able to change that."

He has compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality.

My view, of course, is that gay individuals were forced to pay for the courthouse exactly like the rest of us, and therefore they have an equal right to its services. Moreover, I have yet to receive an answer to my question, "In what way, by what palpable method, does two guys or two gals getting hitched affect the quality of my marriage to my wife?"

Being a conservative, Carson is opposed to abortion, and proudly tells a story about how he talked a woman into bringing a crippled baby into the world so that she, and it, could endure two lifetimes of misery.

If there's anything that can prevent the general freedom movement from taking America back from the Marxists who control it, it is this fetus fetishism they trumpet, and the womb-slavery they're so willing—even eager—to impose on women. My wife and daughter would never vote for this guy—my daughter would have refused to vote for Ron Paul. The way she sees it, she is a free individual, not a national resource.

This could go on, but what's the point?

I'm sure that someone who thinks Ben is peachy will accuse me of being a racist. Carson is black, but it didn't seem relevant to mention it until now. Anyone who knows me or my work will tell you I'm not a racist—right off the top of my keyboard, I can think of three black men I'd rather see in the White House than Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or Mike Lee: Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Richard Boddie (look him up)—although I suspect that some of Carson's supporters may be racists, in the sense that they can hardly wait to spring a black Republican on a world hideously warped and damaged by supporters of a Democrat who would let him do anything he wants to humanity and history.

Because he's black.

I have a question: would Ben Carson's supporters put up with this kind of blithering nincompoopery on the issues of the day from a white guy?

If they wouldn't, they're no better than Obama's people.

L. Neil Smith is Publisher and Senior Columnist for this online magazine.

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