One of the most salient characteristics of the Left is that it is peculiarly incapable of learning. In my lifetime, it has been ridiculously wrong about virtually everything, but it is as if facts and reality don’t matter. The same people who were trying to convince us of manmade global cooling in the 1970’s are now trying to convince us of manmade global warming. The same people who argued for our unilateral nuclear disarmament in the 1970’s and 1980’s are now telling us that it didn't matter that Saddam would have undoubtedly acquired nukes or that Iran and other terrorists are on the brink of doing so. The same people who successfully curtailed nuclear power plants in America are now insisting that we must be “energy independent” and that we are only in Iraq for the oil. The same people who argued that Reagan’s tax breaks would destroy the economy have, like everyone else, enjoyed the unprecedented economic growth of the past 25 years, and yet, still want to raise taxes. The same Democratic party that accommodated southern racists for decades continues to argue that race is all-important and that government should be engaged in the task of dividing people by race and gender and giving special privileges to some. And of course, the Democratic part is now the main repository and champion of mankind’s most ancient and vile prejudice, anti-Semitism.
Hmmmmmm.... Seems as if I just went over the topic of the Left's inability to see their mistakes.
Also over at Cold Fury, Al Mavia has written a damn fine piece of work.
Yeah, it’s cute to sign a pledge to repudiate God and all, but that sort of thing is kind of old. It’s also funny to see what appear to be libertarians heading up efforts like that. It reminds me that Milton Friedman used to think of the Rothbardians as free-riders. You can only enjoy near-absolute liberty in a society where many, many other people sacrifice their own liberty to pay for yours. It takes soldiers and cops to make you safe, people who give up long hours of their time working at tough jobs to make sure you have a bustling economy that provides plenty of goods and services for you, as well as personal wealth for you to buy all that luxury, or even the luxury of idleness if you wish.
The sad fact is most of the good stuff we have is grounded in a lot of passe values - old fashioned Judeo-Christian morality, a calvinist work ethic, a Jeffersonian notion of liberty as a fruit of hard work and self-sacrifice, and a lot of other things that are basically incompatible with the porno&pot wing of libertarian thought. Most dillettantes fooling around with the Kabbala or celebrity Buddhism or radical chic politics or living a truly dissolute life can only do so because thousands of other people pay the price for it, live by the rules, and run a world that creates enough surplus to allow for fantastic numbers of idlers.
At some point, however, the idlers outnumber the workers, or reach a significant enough number that there isn’t really enough surplus to go around. At that point, your civilization starts to have some trouble. Western Europe provides a good example. There, enough people have sought luxury, that population levels (at least among the non-immigrant community) are crashing. No mind; they can console themselves that it is more beneficial to the environment if pre-literate immigrants start to run the joint. Who needs millions of epicures with degrees from the Sorbonne? No, what civilization needs is tens of millions of violent immigrants to tear down some of those oppressive western cultural edifices. Yes, the destruction of the West will serve us all. Meanwhile, forget the labor of having kids, titheing and church going, being tied to all these smelly people around me in a thousand different ways. I am independent, man as a single atom rather than a link in the great chain of being, and this man wants some MTV, a BMW coupe, and another bottle of Chateaux Margeaux, preferably the ‘61.
If you sometimes wonder why there are so many people to only take, never give, and you wonder why the whole damn system doesn't fall apart, it's because there are people out there working their ass off to make sure the system holds together. My question is, what would happen if those people working their ass off all took a day to say "Yannow what? Screw you freeloaders!"
I would both love and hate to see that day.