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Why the Working Class Rejected Marx

from Sarah Hoyt, Poor Darlings:

So the bright men and women who embraced Marxism for all things, particularly as a cure-all to the “greed” and “hatred” that had led to world war one were destined to be disappointed.  The working class they counted on to destroy the system were by and large sane people, with their heads on tight.  They knew that, harsh as the industrial revolution jobs were, they were better than looking at the South end of a Northbound mule or the other “earthy” jobs available back on the farm.  And they knew that things were getting better, already.  And they had ambitions, which didn’t involve giving jumped up intellectuals the right to dictate their lives.

HKO

Great post, read the whole piece.

Addicted to the Devil

from Thomas Donlan at Barron’s, What Went Wrong in Kansas

Americans want government like they want services generally: “faster, better, and cheaper.” But economists know there’s a problem: The optimistic ones say, “Pick any two”; the pessimists say, “Choose one.”

Too many Democrats, however, pick all three and say they will squeeze more taxes out of the rich to pay for it. Sorry, even in this new gilded age, there aren’t enough rich people to pay for national health care, let alone the rest of the party’s wish list—bridges, roads, rail lines, broad band internet, and most recently, a national drive to cure opioid drug addiction.

Meanwhile, too many Republicans pick all three and say they will pay for it with economic growth. Sorry, Americans have enjoyed more economic growth in the past 228 years than any other big nation on Earth; there’s little that any government can do to push it along against the power of the law of diminishing returns. The results of even the best imaginable policies will come too slowly to satisfy most Americans.

Tax cuts can work to stimulate growth, but not everywhere, not every time. Kansas had and has a lot more problems than its tax cuts.

Letters to the editor on that article the following week:

Growing up in the 1980s, I felt that President Ronald Reagan’s policies were the great impetus for the ensuing growth. I still feel that freedom and low taxes are the root of growth, especially when that growth has been fettered by regulation and discouraged by high taxes for a long period. But I now think that the great growth we saw was as much a result of the baby boomers working through the system as the policies and tax cuts.

The baby boomers were starting to come into their own in the ’80s and making their mark on the economy, creating that tremendous growth. And I think that easily carried into the 1990s. Now, as time marches on and we’re nearing eight years of slower growth, I partially attribute that to slower population growth, as much as to the stifling effects of higher taxes and greater regulation.

So can we count on growth to save us? I don’t think so, and that means we have to do the hard work of cutting government expenses, because the money simply won’t be there to pay for larger and larger government in the future. The rich don’t have enough money to pay the bill, even if you taxed them at 100%, so either you start taxing the poor more or cut expenses.

HKO

The left is in a quandary.  Without generating growth the welfare state must shrink.  This growth may come from a business friendly environment or population growth, both of which are contrary to the policies of the left.  They have demonized the main source of support for the welfare state and now they are addicted to the devil.

Government and Society

from The Georgia Public Policy Foundation Friday Facts 7/7/17

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.” – Frederic Bastiat (1850)

Paglia on Trump Pt. I

from The Weekly Standard,  Camille Paglia: On Trump, Democrats, Transgenderism, and Islamist Terror by Jonathan Last

After Trump’s victory (for which there were abundant signs in the preceding months), both the Democratic party and the big-city media urgently needed to do a scathingly honest self-analysis, because the election results plainly demonstrated that Trump was speaking to vital concerns (jobs, immigration, and terrorism among them) for which the Democrats had few concrete solutions. Indeed, throughout the campaign, too many leading Democratic politicians were preoccupied with domestic issues and acted strangely uninterested in international affairs. Among the electorate, the most fervid Hillary acolytes (especially young and middle-aged women and assorted show biz celebs) seemed obtusely indifferent to her tepid performance as Secretary of State, during which she doggedly piled up air miles while accomplishing virtually nothing except the destabilization of North Africa.

 

Enlightened Tyranny

from the FEE, Foundation for Economic Education, Be Wary of the Orwellian “Enlightened” Classby Robin Koerner

Scientism is science stripped of its epistemological core, which is the knowledge that we don’t know. Those who practice it think they are “being scientific” because they accept scientific knowledge. But they are being anything but scientific because they are committed to those claims in an altogether wrong way – as knowledge that is both certain and static.

They turn a theory, which by definition, must always be tested against data that are sought to refute it, into an orthodoxy, which prevents the data that could refute it from even being perceived.

This is the nature of Orwell’s orthodoxy that 1984 was written to warn us about.

Science is the honest examination of physical objects and their relationships to understand our world and improve our experience in it, and scientism is its dogmatic bastardization that causes us to hold fast to wrong conclusions while a) “knowing” that we are right and b) being unable to perceive evidence to the contrary.

Political science is the honest examination of people and their relationships to understand our society and improve our experience in it, and political scientism is its dogmatic bastardization that causes us to hold fast to wrong behaviors while a) “knowing” that we are doing good and b) being unable to act on evidence to the contrary.

Regardless of your scientific theory, scientism destroys human knowledge and makes you stupid.  Regardless of your political ideology, political scientism destroys human life and makes you dangerous.

The preservation of liberty is more about the way we hold our beliefs than the beliefs that we hold. Tyranny is less a political failure than it is an epistemological one. 

So don’t just open your mind to win arguments for liberty – although that is a critical reason to do so. Do it also because if you don’t, you may start believing you’re one of the enlightened ones.

And then you’ll be surprised at just how aggressive the peace and how oppressive the liberty you’ll be willing to accept.