Liberals: The Necessary Delusion
Normally, I can't get interested in the daily liberal partisan output, but when I saw RealClearPolitics' link to Andy Kroll of Mother Jones on "Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics" I decided to make an exception.
Nancy Pelosi has been promising to take back the House in 2014: maybe the lefties at Mother Jones knew something I didn't know.
The "massive new liberal plan" turned out to be a meeting of all the usual suspects to commit resources and staff to a three-point plan. The plan calls for:
- 1. getting big money out of politics,
- 2. expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and
- 3. rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation.
Nothing new, in other words, just the usual liberal push to marginalize and demonize anyone and anything that isn't liberal.
Kroll is full of the usual rubbish about "wringing our hands over the Koch brothers" and the "40-plus-year strategy by the Scaifes, Exxons, Coors, and Kochs of the world...to take over the country."
Now I like to say that there are only five things wrong with liberal thought and politics: its cruelty, its corruption, its injustice, its waste, and its delusion. The delusion bit begins with the need for lefty-liberals like Kroll to insist that those awful Kochs and Scaifes and Exxons are trying to take over the world, so they can demonize them.
Let's stipulate that Karl Marx had a point when he worried about capitalists replacing the landed warrior class as the overlords and oppressors of the modern era. Way back then, who could tell how the power contest of the industrial era would turn out?
But the answer eventually became clear, at the very latest when the US government broke up Standard Oil a century ago. If the capitalists were really running things, why would they let the politicians smash up their capitalist corporations?
In our own time we have the recent evidence of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. When President Obama told BP to fork out $20 billion -- before any regulatory finding or legislative action, just on his say-so -- BP merely asked whether to pay with their usual eftps.gov account. If you are not living a delusion that act has to tell you something.
This week we have the Boeing Dreamliner problem. Does Boeing tell the FAA and the flying public to go take a hike? They wouldn't dare.
The left needs the idea of vast corporate power to populate its tableau of oppression. It needs oppression to justify its lust for government power. And it needs to divide employers and employees to maintain its power.
However, advanced lefties realize that the old tableau of capitalists vs. proletarians needs freshening up. So Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their Empire-Multitude-Commonwealth trilogy declare that the capitalists are now merely surplus. In the new economy of "biopolitical production" the capitalists just get in the way of the spontaneous exchanges of the multitude, the "labor of the head and heart, including forms of service work, affective labor, and cognitive labor." Hardt and Negri call for an end of the power of both capitalists and the welfare state in favor of the spontaneity and self-governance of the multitude. But first we need a "global initiative to provide the basic means of life to all:" income, health care, and education.
Isn't it odd that a book advertising the wonders of spontaneous order among millions of "singularities" in the multitude wouldn't have one, not even one index entry for F.A. Hayek, who wrote the book on the subject.
Hardt and Negri call for revolution (of course!) to purge the "common" of its "corrupt form." They mean "the family, the corporation, and the nation."
One is reminded of Winston Churchill line that democracy was the worst form of government "except all the others that have been tried."
One day in the glorious future the history of the last century will be written as the repeated and delusional attempt by people like Andy Kroll and Hardt and Negri to force on us a society stripped of the most stunning and most beneficial forms of social cooperation ever established by settled science: the nuclear family to organize generation, the limited liability corporation to organize production and service, and the nation state to create a society based on the tie of common language rather than common blood.
It's this combination of the common in its corrupt form that got us from $1-3 to $120 per person per day in 200 years.
There will come a day when people will ask of us, as we wonder about the Romans, how could we end up so stupid, so deluded?
Christopher Chantrill (mailto:email@example.com) is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us. At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.