Copyright © 2009 CREdmunds
Mr. Spock, with his pointy ears and his dispassionate logic, said that "the good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the one" at the end of Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. A noble thought indeed, but putting it into practice necessitates having a clear idea of what the “good of the many” actually is.
In the USA, the good of the many is based on the rights of the individual. That is, the “many” is a collection of individuals, the rights of each collectively protected by the Constitution.
Currently in this noble country of ours, we have a situation that threatens our Constitution and our American way of life, and it is based on a warping of the notion of the “the many” to mean a homogenous group of like-thinking people. This new point of view is promoted by special interest groups - in my opinion the most dangerous threat we have to this country today.
What are special interest groups? They would be the well-funded, powerful groups that want each of us to think and act like they want us to - like zombies instead of independently thinking individuals - so that their decision makers (you know, CEOs and such) can afford to live in the lifestyles they have become accustomed to. (Check out my article Global Warming Zombies from November, 2008.) These groups don’t care what damage they do to the rest of the country - or the world - to achieve their ends.
How can you identify a special interest group? Let me count the ways.
First, special interest groups are just that - their interests are unique, and narrow-based interests rather than the interests of the many. Their point of view does not represent the truth for all (and in my opinion may not represent the truth in any shape or form).
Second, special interest groups use fear tactics to achieve their goals. While they say they are working for the betterment of all - which should be enough motivation for people if that was really true - they use the whip of predictions of disastrous results if they aren't supported or don't succeed in their work.
Third, special interest groups put a lot of money into spreading their own version of the truth and dire predictions of disaster. Since most people will not act unless they are personally involved, generally the public just believes the propaganda they read and hear, and pretty soon it's "universal truth". Then the special interest groups get to do whatever they want.
Fourth, special interest groups will file lawsuits at the drop of a hat - even if they don't plan on following through. Since most people avoid lawyers and courts, people figure that if a group is willing to sue, they must be right.
Fifth, special interest groups also seek to implement legislation, usually legislation that involves other people losing their personal and property rights.
Sixth, special interest groups generally don't do any actual on-the-ground work themselves in the field they are supposedly improving.
Finally, and perhaps most tellingly, special interest groups put out that they are working for the betterment of all, but almost always their "truth" requires that other people give up something or change in a fundamental way. In the movie, Mr. Spock was telling Kirk why it was right that he, Spock, should sacrifice himself “for the good of the many”. Special interest groups don’t give up anything for their cause. The sacrifices always come from others.
Isn’t it time that we all used Vulcan logic to look more closely at what special interest groups are doing to - not for - the people of this country, and to our Constitution? Isn’t it time that we all started defending our rights as individuals, a fight that would truly protect the good of the many? I’m pretty sure if we don’t, to paraphrase Spock in Amok Time, that we, the people, may discover that the freedom we are having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as the freedom we are wanting.