At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland delegate, followed Benjamin Franklin from Independence Hall. He recorded a question asked by a lady, directed at Dr. Franklin.

The lady asked, "Well Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic," replied Dr. Franklin, "if you can keep it."


"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Housing - Landscape for the Soul

I take a keen interest in what my neighbors do to their homes, because their improvements and the look of the area reflects on me personally, as does my home. When you walk into my house, the decor reflects my personality, my preferences, and that of my family. I don't look up to those with more means and a better home with a better view, or down on those who have less than I do. I grew up as one of those people with less, but my lawn was always mowed and the house looked bright and fresh. My home as a child and my home as an adult were/are the results of personal achievement.

But what about public housing projects? Are they a solution to the problems that they purport to cure? I find the evidence less than encouraging. Most of them turn into slums, sinkholes of human misery where the problems that people had when they moved in are only magnified. Politicians see housing not as the consequence of lifestyle choices but as the cause of lifestyle. They have the equation skewed beyond recognition and the result was public policy making housing available to everyone irrespective of their ability to pay -- and it bankrupt the planet.

The architectural terrain is a mere reflection of human terrain. Buildings are an expression of the economic, social and cultural conditions of the human beings they enclose. They are like the Picture of Dorian Gray, they show the soul within the man. The place to start isn’t by giving a man a house; it is by giving him an opportunity. Socialists and communists are convinced that the soul can be altered by a change of clothes. After all, politicians do it all the time. And public housing is popular with the construction industry and only costs the taxpayers a few dollars more.

Whether we're speaking of bloated fools like Al Gore or other "social engineers" developing grandiose plans to save the environment from humans, or building the next housing project for the poor, they all miss the point. The internal landscape of the soul of any human being at any moment in time will be externalized and reflected in that human's behavior; or, how he presents himself to the world. Character and one's state of mind will find expression in the environment the human creates around himself and in which he chooses to live. It can also be found by examining those with whom he chooses to associate.

Poverty does not have to translate chaos, crime, or ugliness--but sadly, it often does because those realities lurk inside the soul of many poor persons. They are nurtured within a culture of victimhood--a culture in which they are taught early that there are only two options in life: being a victim, or victimizing others.

Handouts and programs that are created with the "best" of intentions, including all those wonderful public housing programs for the poor--fail to take all this into account. All those do-gooders with the grandiose plans for the poor probably don't deliberately intend to make people feel like losers; but that is what is reinforced by all those government programs.

The Democratic Party has been the party which has enabled that victimization philosophy through their concept of keeping black people on the 'plantation' where they will remain poor and dependent on hand-outs. It's a way to keep them voting Democrat at the expense of their own souls. Freedom means making choices about your own life - not having those choices made for you.


The Conservative Lady said...

Excellent post, LL. I grew up in Philadelphia, and the projects were a disaster. When a person has no investment in something, they don't care if it turns into a slum.
The black community can also thank the likes of Sharpton and Jackson, along with the Democrat Party, for keeping them in the culture of "victimhood".
I'm linking your post over at TCL FB.

Euripides said...

Brilliant example of misguided welfare statism. Public housing is a metaphor for the failed policies of socialism we've tried to introduce into the US. Unfortunately, socialism is very seductive and doesn't allow for any dissent to its all-inclusive doctrine.

WoFat said...

I think the projects have been a disaster just about everywhere. New Orleans is a case in point. There are some very nice people/families living in housing projects, but all live in fear of the gangsters among them.

LL said...

The "entitled" who live in the projects are the victims. Now made fearful toward people who want to reduce their sinecure, they vote Democrat.

It's classism and usually racism at its very worst.

GM Roper said...

Woooooofffff - Growwwwwlllll!

Well Said, damn well said.

Krystal said...

When things are GIVEN instead of EARNED, there is no personal investment and therefor they just don't care.

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