It Is Not the Economy, Stupid
Watching the Republican debates, listening to the droning of our dreary presidential flop, reading what wise pundits on the right as well as the left say, one might assume that economics was the standard of all policy and politics. Twenty years ago, when Bill Clinton ran for president, his mantra was clear: "It's the economy, stupid!"
I pray that we do not surrender to the damnable vice of utter materialism. If we do, nothing can save us. America is a rich nation which is being drained and hobbled by those who hate it with unbridled venom. "God damn America!" Obama's preacher screeched. All over the world and all over our nation, grotesque little monsters frown and sneer at our country.
They hate us, but they do not hate our wealth, nor do they particularly hate how wealth is divided in our nation (every nation, without exception, has its "upper ten percent," its "super-rich" and its "very poor.") We think that the attack on America is based upon economics because those who hate us spout class warfare all the time. But that is simply another lie told by those who think lying is fine.
Modern life, particularly in America and modern industrialized societies, is pure luxury compared with any other era of human history. Our biggest health problem is obesity, yet because the left cannot discard the hopelessly silly notion of rampant hunger in America, one is likely to find in the same leftist screed a condemnation of our heartless indifference to childhood hunger and a call for fat poor kids to exercise more.
Look at the object of consumer consumption today. Software, particularly computer gaming, takes up a huge chunk of discretionary spending. Cable television is stuffed like a pig with venal, vaporous, and vicious programming. The coronation of all forms of celebrity leads us into countless cul-de-sacs of despair as Casey Anthony is vetted for a career in pornography.
There are places where real need is desperate, particularly in Africa, but the cause of hardship is not economic. Rather, it is political. Leaders cannot have their subjects affluent. These wretches must, instead, be forced into corrals of poverty. All the trillions of dollars of aid which America and Europe have given to these nations have not helped the poor.
Why would anyone want his own people poor? Why do leftists here create phantasms like global warming and demand holy altars to worship dirt? Why do they ignore the ghastly deconstruction of wholesome youth, which is the sole aim of state-controlled education and culture? It has nothing to do with money or with markets or with any other aspect of conventional economics.
Reach back to Orwell and to C.S. Lewis, writing more than sixty years ago, and grasp what these prescient men saw then. In 1984, there was grinding poverty for nearly all, but a modicum of affluence for members of the Inner Party. Orwell leaves no doubt that the societal poverty is a central policy of the Inner Party. Obsessed with simple survival, the slaves of Oceania have no room for any greater existence. If manna fell from Heaven, the Inner Party would gather it all up and burn it. Orwell describes a secular Hell.
C.S. Lewis describes a spiritual Hell. In The Great Divorce, Lewis shows us a society in which anyone can create anything he wishes just by wishing. Although the reader can see their utterly hopeless and accursed existence, these subjects of godless afterlife do not know that they are in Hell.
Stuff cannot give us purpose or peace. Any society which focuses on "stuff" will end up, whether as rich as Beverly Hills or as poor as Havana, worshipping false gods and living horrible lives. When Republicans say that "jobs" is the only real issue, when Republicans seem to believe that prenatal infanticide, snickering defamation of Judeo-Christian faith, or flaying of family in the torture chambers of leftism is a distraction, let us hope that they do not mean it.
Obama and his orcs view life as a soulless struggle for stuff without a Great Watchman who judges those who lie and steal and bully in pursuit of some invented "noble" goal. This is entirely and eternally wrong: life is the pursuit of truth, of love, of honor, and of liberty. America was created not for purposes of comfort or money. It was created so that each of us could seek, unmolested by public needs, a private path to what is right.
It is the left which rewrote our history to make the Founding Fathers ciphers in some vast battle between capitalism and socialism. In 1938, Dorothy Thompson, the first journalist to be expelled from Nazi Germany, wrote a small book which explains how history professors were teaching students to interpret history from the standpoint of materialism, as if the Constitution should be read wholly in the life of the economic status of the men who framed it, with the presumption that they were incapable of disinterested thinking. Thompson warns that this will shrink human life to sterile economic analysis of life1.
The war we fight involves jobs, money, taxes, and other elements of economics -- and it is perfectly proper to make arguments in favor of ordered liberty -- but the heart of our battle to defend our way of life would not end if next year we found a way to synthetically create all we might want without any effort beyond our wishing for it. Peel back the thin and translucent layer of stuff and find a vastly deeper and more vital conflict between men who would be gods or druids to empty nature-worship and people who have immortal souls and know the infinite importance of that truth. It is not the economy, stupid.
1Dorothy Thompson's Political Guide, Thompson, p. 49.