Monday, July 11, 2016

Politicians are Stupid

President Obama says that we cannot know the motive of the shooter that ranted racist catchphrases at Dallas police negotiators. So we are faced with deciding whether liberals are evil or stupid.

I vote for stupid. I'm reading a book on the German hyperinflation of 1913-1923, When Money Dies by Adam Fergusson, and it gave me a new appreciation of political stupidity.

It's all there, back in Weimar Germany. The crass political opportunists spinning lies. The false predictions that it can't get much worse. But above all, it seems to me, there is the fundamental inability of any government to take tough action in a crisis.

That's because usually it is the government's supporters that are the problem. They demand the rewards for their support of the government, and they refuse to permit a reduction in their benefits. Because they earned them.

My point is that when the government's finances get into a mess, governments will do anything rather than cut spending. Think Greece. The only reason that Greece has cut spending in the past few years is because the Germans held a gun to their head.

Venezuela? Their problem is simple. When oil prices were high they put all the oil revenues into Bolivarian socialist free stuff. Well, now that the price of oil has been cut in half there is no more money. But does the government say, Look, chaps, we screwed up. There Is No More Money, so you are all going to have to get jobs? Not a bit of it. They proceed to wreck the economy printing money and still fail to deliver the benefits to their supporters. Think about it. Who suffers most from the collapse of the Venezuelan economy in hyperinflation? The poor. Yet why does the ruling class not Do Something to fix the problem? Because it is afraid of the poor. It is afraid to cut spending on its supporters.

All governments are all afraid of cutting spending on their supporters. And that is why governments, time after time, get into a jam and don't do anything until they are forced to devalue or forced to restart the monetary system after a complete collapse. The reason the Germans are so rigid about money is that they have had two monetary collapses in the last century: after World War I and World War II. They know that you don't want to do that, not ever again. You may say that when a nation has lost a war it has an excuse to lose its monetary system, whereas a Venezuela has an excuse, given the difficulty of persuading its supporters to accept "cuts" or "austerity" absent a military defeat. But I think the opposite is true. After a military defeat, it stands to reason that the people are going to suffer, as in enemy soldiers occupying the country. So they are likely to accept that they must give up their goodies to save the nation.

So I don't think that our liberal friends with their corrosive identity politics and their divisive "peaceful protest" politics are evil. I think that they are like any faithful religious believers, sincerely repeating the rubrics of their faith. I was listening to NPR this morning faithfully repeating the liberal memes about racism and gun violence to their faithful listeners after the Dallas police shootings. I give them credit for believing in their faith, and their faith goes all the way back to the noble days of the Sixties when young liberals were risking life and limb as Freedom Riders in the Jim Crow South.

And I think the same applies to President Obama and Hillary Clinton. They didn't imbibe the dreadful doctrines of Saul Alinsky and his street protest à outrance out of cynicism, but out of faith that protest was the way to fight injustice and bend the arc of history towards justice. They really believe this stuff.

And they are stupid. They are stupid because they refuse to see that their politics of protest brings misery and hate wherever it is tried. That's because politics is violence and government is injustice. The less politics and the less government the more that people will be able to live in amity.

And the bourgeoisie is basically good, because the bourgeoisie is not that interested in power. Yes. The first thing to be said is that the prophecy of Marx was wrong, as wrong as any second-rate millennial preacher prophesying the end of the world. The bourgeoisie did not inaugurate a second feudal era, because unlike the feudal barons whose trade was war and power, the bourgeoisie was interested in products and services, producing and trading and trusting and serving. Not fighting and exploiting.

The proof, as I like to say, is that the great "robber barons" anathematized by Matthew Josephson in The Robber Barons were men that were interested in business, not in power. Even the most famous titan of all, J.P. Morgan, was a banker, expert in railroad bankruptcies, of which there were a lot in the 19th century. And when they were finished with business, these robber barons invented modern philanthropy. Compare with the Clintons, whose Clinton foundation is merely a vehicle to fund their political operation.

President Obama and his movement are the residual legatees of the Educated Youth of 1848, when young chaps like Karl Marx, son of the top lawyer in Trier, Germany, looked at the misery of the Crash of 1847, when the working class didn't have the vote, and decreed revolution. Back then, it made sense. But as soon as the working class got the vote the political system started responding to their agenda. So they didn't need to riot in the streets.

But 2016 is not 1848. Let's look at the race problem today. We have pro-black government programs, we have pro-black government officials, we have Democratic politicians running all the major cities in America where the poor live. Just what is going to be achieved by protesting in the streets? Because cops are killing blacks? What about blacks killing blacks?

The fact is that we are coming to the end of the era of peaceful protest, the politics of "it's always 1848, always 1968." That's because politics ain't gonna solve the problems of African Americans. Politics ain't gonna solve the problems of women. Nor gays and trans and the rest. In fact, I dare to say, politics is the problem.

But liberals are going to be the last to know. That's because their world view, their faith, is that politics can be used to empower the marginalized, liberate the exploited, free the oppressed. Sure, they can, up to a point. Governments, all governments, are in the business of rewarding their supporters by marginalizing their opponents. For the last 50 years, in America, the ruling class has been marginalizing the white working class in order to empower and liberate and free various groups that they judged had been marginalized, exploited, and oppressed in the past. But all government is injustice, so by getting in the middle of things to help their little darlings they have just exchanged one set of injustices with another.

And now they are going to reap the whirlwind. Because they are stupid.

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