Monday, July 28, 2014

The Seeds of Destruction

For conservatives there is much in Obama's America that doesn't make sense.  Why is Obama so terminally divisive? Why would gays, on the cusp of winning their "marriage equality" want to rub out a techie like Brendan Eich?  Why would feminists, after a half century of feminist progress, now be subjecting college boys to the witch hunt of the "rape culture?"  Don't these people understand that they've won?

Jim Goad describes what is going on here.
Howard Bloom’s book The Lucifer Principle goes into great detail describing how social movements that initially claim to merely seek “equality” morph into insatiably power-hungry predatory super-organisms once their alleged oppressors are willing to grant them equal treatment. While those making the concessions may think they’re doing so in the name of “fairness,” groups who are on the ascent tend to smell blood instead. Once even a semblance of “equality” is achieved, the mask falls off and it becomes a naked drive for power. They never seem sated by equality and keep moving the goalposts, ultimately becoming every bit as oppressive and intolerant as their former masters.
The point is that any political movement is about politics.  It starts, no doubt, with a sharp experience of injustice.  That is not hard to do because all government dispense injustice, because they write their laws based on their ruling-class interpretation of justice. Others find their so-called justice the acme of injustice.

Very well. But politics is politics, and involves mobilizing people into a political army that is trained and inspired to fight, whatever the cost, for truth and justice.

What happens to the political army once it has achieved its goal?  Nothing.  So it looks for new fields to conquer, and that is the moment that the political movement transforms itself from a movement for justice into a cruel agent of injustice.  We've seen that happen to the civil-rights movement, to the environmental movement, to the feminist movement, and now the gay movement.

But why is Barack Obama so insistent on dividing America?

I've been reading a piece by Harry Stein on his father, Joseph Stein, who wrote the book for Fiddler on the Roof.  Joe was a lefty-liberal all his life, and couldn't understand his son's journey to the right.
My father simply couldn’t fathom how any thinking person, let alone someone who’d imbibed politics at his knee, could have ended up a . . . well, he never actually used the word, at least not directly. 
The word, of course, is Fascist.

The point is that Barack Obama has lived his entire life in a left-liberal bubble.  He is part of a political movement that is dedicated to "fundamentally transforming" America.  The point about such a political movement is that, by its nature, it doesn't know when to stop.

Back in the 2000s I was worried by books like The Emerging Democratic Majority by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira.  They projected that a new majority of blacks, Latinos, women, the educated, and the young would form a new majority that would rule for decades.

But the problem is that Obama has rained hardship on this new majority. Blacks have lost the homes that the real-estate bubble got them into, and are devastated that the the new dawn promised by the election of a black president has turned into a mirage.  Hispanics want jobs and they don't see them. The educated are confused, and the young are totally screwed.  College educated youth is buried in student debt, and the rest of the youth are buried in the slow recovery.

The most telling thing is that inequality has got worse on Obama's watch.

Yeah, well, say conservatives and libertarians.  What do you expect when you boost welfare and food stamps, and you implement Keynesian cheap money?

The point is that Obama and his acolytes in the liberal bubble don't get it.  They think that cheap money "stimulates" the economy.  They think that their programs to help the poor alleviate inequality.  But somehow it's all gone wrong.  That's why they are looking for scapegoats and reckon that some dastardly Republican plot masterminded by the Koch Brothers has destroyed the president's agenda. They are like Harry Stein's father. They can't wrap their brains around the notion that they could be wrong, and that it is the president's policies that have caused the present malaise.

That brings us to the good news.  The polls say that the American people are coming to the notion that we need different policies to attack America's problems.  There's wisdom in that poll question and in the response of the voters.  Americans don't know the first thing about economics and how to promote prosperity.  In fact they believe a bunch of contradictory things about the economy.  Think of their ideas as a muddy precipitate of all the sound bites that are flung at them every day.

There's one thing that the voters can decide for us.  When they sense that things are on the wrong track, they can vote for a change.  That's what happened in 1980 when voters repudiated the McGovernite Sixties generation.  It took nearly a generation after the debacle of the Sixties New Left before Americans could vote for an unapologetic leftist, and even then the media hid Obama's leftism from the voters.

But now the voters sense that things aren't working.  Probably they'll surprise us in November with a wave election that unseats a couple of Democratic senators that nobody thought were in trouble.  And then it will be on to 2016 when Republicans will have at least three bright and energetic young candidates -- Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Ryan: your list is as good as mine -- that will be telling the American people that it is time for a change.

Oh yeah.  The Democrats will be flogging their base with wars on women and gays and finding racism in every living room, board room, locker room, and classroom.  But there comes a moment in flogging a cart horse when the light goes out of its eyes.  It just doesn't have the strength or the will to shove its weight against the harness.  It just stands there, under a rain of blows, and does nothing.

Because politics is about power, government is about force, and human society is about something better than power games and brute force.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing is clearer in history than the adoption by successful rebels of the methods they were accustomed to condemn in the forces they deposed. -- Will Durant