Certainly, everyone has someone to thank for helping them get to where they are. As Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” However, we still give Newton credit for his work. Certainly, others laid the foundation that Newton built off of, but he still pushed mathematics and physics to, at the time, unimaginable heights. Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and Richard Feynman can claim similar distinctions. For that, we recognize them as geniuses.
We can apply this sentiment to other fields of science as well- Linus Pauling won the Nobel Prize (twice- once in Chemistry, and once in Peace) for his contributions. We don’t offer the Nobel Prize to the people who started the project- we offer it to the person who found the answer and finished it. That’s why Watson and Crick were so excited when they beat Pauling to the finish in elucidating the structure of DNA.
And this sentiment extends to the business world. We give patents and the accompanying profits to the person who actually develops something useful for us, not to the people who tried, but didn’t get quite far enough. We can extend this concept to every human endeavor: People deserve credit for what they offer to society. This is a fundamental aspect of morality, and is the defining feature of Capitalism.
And yet, not everyone agrees. Notably, just last night, President Obama said, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” He’s taking a page out of the Communist Manifesto by declaring that Society deserves credit for all of your accomplishments, and you don’t. This is consistent with his previous statements that, despite the weak economy, “The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government.” This also matches the sentiments expressed when he said, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”
These statements should offend anyone who believes that individuals deserve credit for their own accomplishments. Barack Obama’s rhetoric speaks towards a complete rejection of Capitalism altogether. He will continue to lie and pay lip service to Capitalism when it’s demanded of him. But it’s clear that his view of individual accomplishment is purely a Communist one.