Last week, Jeremy Corbyn called for the government to “requisition” housing (by which he means empty luxury apartments) owned by wealthy residents of London’s South Kensington borough so that those left homeless by the Grenfell tower fire may be re-housed locally. For those of you who don’t speak fluent Politician, ‘requisition’ is a weasel word for: take control of by threat of legal force. It means pointing government guns at innocent people’s heads.
Expropriating housing to such ends probably couldn’t be done under current UK law and new legislation would need to be passed, but Corbyn’s call for the government to have such utterly illiberal powers reveals his inner dictator and exposes the perverse morality of the socialist mentality he possesses. Both of which have been hiding in plain sight since Corbyn became the leader of the Labour party.
This is the type of power he believes people in government should have; these are the powers he wants. These are the powers desired and required by a dictator in denial who believes helping some by harming others qualifies as doing good.
According to the BBC, Corbyn’s spokesman was asked about the legality of government housing requisitioning in peacetime and said: “We would find a way to do this if necessary – we are looking into the ways in which it could be done depending on circumstances.”
This was an indirect way of asking whether it was moral to use legal force in this way. The answer was a roundabout way of saying we are lawmakers, so we will simply write new laws that allow us to do what ‘the people’ want us to.
Where there’s a will among lawmakers, there’s a legal way to do whatever it is they want to. The will among Corbyn and his fellow socialists to enable the government to steal housing from wealthy London residents is strong indeed. They are enthusiastic about acquiring this power because they believe exercising it is a moral imperative and because they are driven by an unjustifiable hatred of people with much wealth.
No social good can come from political action motivated by hate and envy. Social progress is when everyone is raised up, not when some are beaten up and dragged down by a mob of intellectuals using the law as a blunt instrument.
Corbyn’s call for the government to have such illiberal and despotic powers was egregious and should have outraged the public and the media, but it didn’t. This is a sign of our times. In the midst of a decade of economic stagnation and several years of (slightly) arrested government spending, the socialist mentality is having a resurgence and Corbyn is the catalyst.
Think about it. If parents raised their children according to the morality implied by Corbyn’s call, they would teach them that using force is okay as long as it’s for a good cause. Far from reprimanding their sons and daughters for using violence and forcing another person to do something against their will – e.g. forcing kids with richer parents to hand over their lunch money to kids with poorer ones – parents would praise and/or reward them for it.
“That was a very kind thing you did. Well done for thinking of others,” said Harry’s parents as they picked him up from school. Glancing over at the boy with rich parents whom Harry robbed of his lunch money, they see that he is crying and add “don’t worry about him, he’s just being selfish.”
In the Book of Corbyn, ‘thou shalt not steal’ becomes ‘thou shalt steal whenever others are in need’. But there will always be people in need and so this means ‘thou shalt always steal’.
Theft and violence as good, not as evil. Morality turned on its head. Hate becomes love. Envy becomes compassion. But hating and envying the rich isn’t loving the poor and showing them compassion, as most who unthinkingly adopt the socialist mentality believe. Nor does stealing more and more from the rich help the poor escape poverty.
We need only look at the humanitarian crisis and widespread social unrest that is currently unfolding in Venezuela to see what happens when people elected into government continuously expand their own powers and govern according to this principle. What happens is capitalism (the spontaneous order through which people feed themselves) is paralysed and poverty engulfs all but the very wealthiest. People miss meals. Families can’t feed their children. People get angry and desperate. People start stealing to survive, society breaks down.
Socialism, democratic or otherwise, and its slow-acting variant, interventionism, is a man-made destroyer of peace, freedom and prosperity everywhere. It always has been and it always will be. Corbyn is, apparently, a man living in flat denial of the inhumanity of state socialism.
It’s a sign of how debased British political thought has become when the man most likely to become the next Prime Minister advocates government action so grossly illiberal that such government powers have only been considered necessary during wars and that one would expect of the despotic socialist/communist governments in Venezuela and North Korea.
Corbyn’s behaviour in the wake of the Grenfell fire tragedy is sickening from the perspective of human freedom, but not surprising. In recent years he has openly praised socialist despots like the former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chaves, and the now deceased Fidel Castro. That Corbyn, even to some degree, identifies with these sociopaths is truly disturbing and indicative of how enamoured with the socialist mentality he really is.
A few days after I began writing this piece the BBC reported that Corbyn had reiterated his demand for the government to seize property.
“In an interview…Mr Corbyn said the flats could by requisitioned by the government or bought using compulsory purchase orders.
“Occupy it, compulsory purchase it, requisition it – there’s a lot of things you can do. In an emergency, you have to bring all assets to the table in order to deal with that crisis and that’s what I think we should be doing in this case.”
What he appears to be saying is this. In events defined by the government as emergencies, the people in government should be able to take control of anyone’s private property and do what they want with it. In other words, the government should have the power to effectively nullify any number of people’s basic human rights (i.e. property rights) after any event defined as an emergency.
According to Corbyn’s perverse moral reasoning, owning a luxury flat but not living in it (i.e. owning something but not ‘needing’ it) is immoral – a social injustice. Thus forcing the owners to hand over their property at government gunpoint is not immoral, but actually virtuous – it is righting a wrong. Furthermore, using government force in this way is also justified by the greater need of others (in this case, the tower fire victims).
Even if Corbyn never becomes Prime Minister and doesn’t get the chance to seize the property of wealthy Londoners himself, his calling for the current government to do so is leading his increasing number of supporters to a conclusion that is not just wrong but the opposite of the truth. Which is that the Grenfell tower residents weren’t victims of the stupid and dangerous socialist principle of putting decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong (known as social housing), but victims of capitalism, wealth inequality and uncaring Tories.
In the last general election, the voting British public came perilously close to electing a principled socialist as the nation’s leader. A man who holds individual liberty in the lowest esteem, despite it being the essential foundation of our society of abundance and its rapid technological progress. A man who doesn’t merely lack faith in human freedom, like Theresa May, but actually harbours a deep-seated loathing of it. Let’s hope that, next time, the British people don’t go one step further and take a giant leap of totally mistaken faith into the cesspit that is Corbyn’s socialist mentality. If they do, then the only beneficiary will be his ego.