Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What About the Victims of Politics?

Conservative scholar Thomas Sowell has a three part piece on The Left and the Masses, essentially arguing that the Left never stops to wonder whether their ideas really do benefit the masses.
[T]he left is so invested in the idea that they are helping the disadvantaged that they seldom bother to check the actual consequences of what they are doing...

Surely the intelligentsia of the left have access to empirical evidence and the wit to understand such evidence. But the real question is whether they have the stomach to face the prospect that their crusades have hurt the very people they claim to be helping.

Examining hard evidence would mean gambling a whole vision of the world -- and of their own role in that world -- on a single throw of the dice, which is what looking at hard evidence amounts to. The path of least resistance is to continue going through life feeling good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake.
Of course, this is not remarkable. All humans embark on projects without serious thought about the consequences, and when they fail, and ruin other peoples' lives in the process, they rarely stop and think about how cruel and thoughtless they were to spread ruin and disaster in their wake.

It is obvious why this is so. The show must go on, and so, like sharks, humans must always be going forwards, and so the losers get trapped in the undertow.

But it is the conceit of the left that it is uniquely concerned with advocating for the poor, and morally empowered thereby to force its saving political agenda upon an oppressive and exploitative world.

Now you would think that those that make special claims, as the left does, should be subject to special review, in the same way that the government regulates the way that promoters of financial securities should follow detailed regulatory requirements in the official statements about their projections.

But political projectors are not subject to regulatory review. The only review is history, the record of the victims of political leaders left to rot by the wayside of time.

I have made a special point of "little darlings" abandoned by politicians when the mood takes them in the modern era, going all the way back to the European peasants that were kicked off the land when the nation state disarmed the private armies of the nobles. But then there are the other people that got blindsided by history, that were never the favorites of the politicians, and disappeared, never to rise again. We know all about the indigenous tribes and civilizations murdered by western capitalism and imperialism over the last 500 years, because the left never lets us forget them. But what about the rest: victims of wars, victims of local feuds, or just some group that took a wrong turn?

Who cares about the kulaks eliminated by Joe Stalin, and who cares about the millions that died in Mao's Great Leap Forward?

The temptation for modern man is to believe the promises of the politician and believe that he cares about you. But the truth is that the politician only cares for people that can serve his power project, and only so long as they prove to be useful.

Nobody should think that a pension from the state is any good. There is no substitute for the ability to survive when the state gets into a jam and the promises of the politicians melt into air. 

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