Friday, January 8, 2016

Fundamentalism and Denialism on the Left

Today there are three pieces at National Review that show us the problems on the left. There's a piece by veteran David Horowitz about the way the left always blames America.

First the left extolled the Soviet Union against America. Then they advocated against the cold war. Now they advocate for illegal immigrants and enact nullification of immigration law in their lefty "sanctuary cities." Then there are the Muslims.
Exploiting the myth of Muslim persecution, progressives oppose scrutiny of the Muslim community, including terror-promoting imams and mosques. They immediately denounce proposals to screen Muslim immigrants as religious bigotry, and thus close off any rational discussion of the problem. 
 You know, don't you, that in America, "60 percent of religious hate crimes are directed at Jews, with a small minority directed at Muslims."

Then there is the faith in government action. Kevin D. Williamson critiques the Chinese attempt to curb a market collapse with "circuit breakers." He goes on to critique US measures to prevent the US housing market from finding a bottom.
Chinese authorities thought they knew how much shares on the Chinese stock market should fluctuate on any given day, too. Their counterparts in Washington believe that they know in which direction housing prices and gasoline should be headed on any given Friday morning in January — and what interest rates on credit cards should be, how much an hour of unskilled labor is worth in Muleshoe, Texas, how many people should be majoring in engineering vs. history — and how the renminbi should be valued, too, if you ask them[.]
Of course this is nothing new. Humans have always resorted to the magic of politics and religion when practical methods fail to produce the desired effect.

Then there is the tragi-comical situation of the New Years Eve violence against women in Europe by young Muslim males, and the efforts of the usual suspects to muddy the issue. As John O'Sullivan reports, the officials and media started out with silence, and only acknowledged the problem after it seeped out on social media. Then we had a woman mayor of Cologne telling women to travel in groups and wear modest clothing. This kind of avuncular advice to women used to be called blaming the victim.

But all this makes complete sense to me. First of all leftism is a religion. It understands the world as a regime of oppression and exploitation of marginalized peoples. The world would be a paradise of social justice if only we could stop the exploitation and oppression. This religion was famously invented by Marx and Engels and given a patina of science in Marx's Capital. This religion has provided a comforting view of the world, always providing a victim class du jour for whom to advocate. Right now, the left is invested in the plight of Muslims and eager to advocate for Muslims against the peoples and the governments of the west. Next year it will be something else.

Then there is the conceit of the liberal ruling class that political regulation of the market economy can limit the market's excesses and keep it within safe channels. Of course the political elite is always tempted to believe this; otherwise the political elite is merely an adjunct to the real action, the day to day reality of making and buying and selling and pricing.

It's easy to get discouraged by these knaves and fools, the fundamentalists on the left that still cleave to the old-time religion of Marxism and can't bring themselves to acknowledge post 1850 economics, the denialists in the ruling class that studiously avoid admitting the settle science of Hayek that bureaucrats can't outperform the market, not by a country mile.

But think how much worse things were in the 1930s. Back then they had a real Great Depression that kept millions out of work for a decade, and Hitler leading into a world war the Germans, the best soldiers in the world. Today we have a bunch of dawn-raiders in the Middle East doing what young men do naturally, and a bunch of Muslim immigrants in the West trying to look tough, just like immigrants to the city have been doing for the last 150 years.

I've been reading Norman Podhoretz's My Love Affair with America in recent days. He teaches us an important lesson about immigration. His grandparents were all four immigrants, observant Jews from the shtetl in Galicia in Central Europe just like Fiddler on the Roof. They never learned English and never even began to adapt to America. His parents, the offspring of immigrants, didn't really adapt very well to America either. But his generation were completely Americanized and his mother and her friends all played one-up with each other about which children had become doctors and lawyers. Dentists were definitely failed doctors and intellectuals like Podhoretz were an embarrassment.

Let us never forget that the stunning world of the exchange economy and personal freedom is bellowing at the immigrants of every generation at every moment. For the immigrants themselves it is utterly confusing and disorienting. For the children and the grandchildren of the immigrants the siren call of the modern era must become impossible to resist. Because in the end, who wants to wall themselves off from the great global dance in some ethnic holding cell and admit to being a failure?

The thing to remember is that workers or women or gays or Muslims that madly jump into the deep end of the pool of modern life are no use at all to lefties or liberals or activists or imams. Political leaders need subordinate sheep in order to strut their stuff across the stage, and they will use all their black arts to keep their followers in their political army.

Get those imams off welfare; put those immigrants to work. The great global job market teaches one great lesson: the consumer is king. And that is a lesson that has grown per-capita income by 3,000 percent in 200 years despite all the efforts of the lefty fundamentalists and the liberal ruling class.

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