April 29, 2010

Evolving Principles?

I recently came across an article on businessweek.com concerning the health care debate. This has been a very controversial subject but this writer, Ralph de la Torre, is not focusing on the health care bill exclusively. He is using the topic of universal healthcare in the context of a larger assertion. He believes that our founding principles as a nation are “evolving”. The idea of a universal health care system is only an example of the change that is taking place in American ideals. He argues that the founding father’s principle of individual rights first, is going to become a thing of the past. This is a sign of “national maturity” he argues. He writes:

“But our founding principles are evolving. As nations mature and develop a common identity, they become more cohesive. People begin seeing themselves not as a society of individuals, but as individual members of a society. The trend is anthropological, not partisan, and it's gaining momentum. When our sense of group identity is fully entrenched, health-care reform will become widely popular.”

The idea that humans will suddenly start caring about the benefit of society first and neglect their own personal benefit seems like a radical idea. To act in order to benefit ourselves is part of our human nature. I, unlike Ralph, do not believe that human nature is something that can be changed so easily. I would guess that those in favor of the health care reform are those who expect to benefit from it personally. They are not concerned with benefiting society but more concerned with benefiting themselves, even if it is at the cost of society.

1 comment:

Larry Eubanks said...

If principles have evolved so that new principles have evolved, then it seems to me we should be concerned that the Constitution is inconsistent with those new principles. After all, the Constitution was written, then, the express a different view of government and a different view of the legitimate use of force in our lives. As such, those who believe in such an evolution should want to hold a Constitutional convention so that we can amend the Constitution to be based upon a different conceptual view of government. Well, unless of course, those who assert the evolution do not want to say that we have a constitutional republican form of government.