Tax the rich,
Feed the poor,
‘Til there are no
Rich no more.
- "I'd Love to Change the World"
Ten Years After (1971)
Over the Columbus Day weekend, my wife and I traveled to Brooklyn, N.Y. to visit our daughter and her boyfriend. I was strictly admonished by my wife not to talk politics during the visit, since my daughter's boyfriend is a radical leftist. He, being a well-educated social science buff, and I, being who I am (a well-educated "right-wing nut job"), we had created many spectacular fireworks during past political debate sessions.
Things went well up until Sunday afternoon, when we were both seated on the couch benignly watching a football game on his 60" television screen. During a commercial break, there was a news announcement concerning another New York City tax increase. Before I could catch myself, I blurted out the Ten Years After lyric at the top of this article.
It was as though I had hit his "ON" button. He immediately jumped off the couch and started screaming, "That's RIGHT! That's EXACTLY RIGHT!"
I replied, "But shouldn't the lyric be "Til there are no poor no more'? Isn't that true social justice?"
He stated with utmost certainty (from his standpoint, no rational debate was possible) that the wealthy in this country are wholly responsible for the world's misery and must be utterly destroyed by the most horrible means possible.
"Then you want everyone to live in poverty?" I queried.
"Absolutely," he replied.
Sometimes I think I have heard it all, but this left me stunned. Before we could go on, my wife and daughter swooped in and broke up the mêlée.
But the incident left me with the thought that perhaps his viewpoint is not unique. Is a blind hatred of the "rich" driving much of the left's apparently self-destructive behavior? In a previous AT article, I concluded that the goals of the left are "abortion and eugenic elimination of the ‘undesirables', the euthanasia of the old and infirm, and the genocide of those who disagree." But what was missing from this evaluation is the ultimate motivation for these travesties. Is it all driven by obsessive rage and hate?
I don't think it is quite that simple. There appears to be an abundance of negative emotion in the leftist mind, but that is only part of the equation. Almost everyone, including the leftist, believes that they are basically good and decent human beings. This is true among the religious and atheists, and even thieves and murderers. I believe that in order to emotionally reconcile inherently "evil" feelings of hatred toward others, the leftist embraces "social justice" as a pious compensation.
The original concept of social justice was envisioned as a virtuous governmental function, protecting the downtrodden and disadvantaged from a heartless society. As a form of coerced charity through taxation, the government decides what is just and provides for the "common welfare."
In Friedrich August Hayek's book, Law, Legislation, and Liberty: The Mirage of Social Justice, he states:
It is one of the axioms of the tradition of freedom that coercion of individuals is permissible only where it is necessary in the service of the general welfare or the public good. Yet...the vagueness of the different terms which have been employed has made it possible to declare almost any interest a general interest and to make large numbers serve purposes in which they are not in the least interested. The common welfare or the public good has to the present time remained a concept most recalcitrant to any precise definition and therefore capable of being given almost any content suggested by interests of the ruling group.
As a result of this vagueness of definition, the foundation of hatred within the leftist mind has perverted the original intent of social justice. Babies must be aborted, grandma must be killed, and the infirm must be euthanized, all for the "common welfare." How does this reconcile with the concept of using the wealth of society to champion the poor and helpless? "Justice" is no longer part of the equation. It has devolved into social engineering and tinkering without a heart and soul. Through the twisted filter of hatred, social justice has become a force for evil. So why do the wealthy and powerful on the left (the "poweratti") embrace this philosophy? Because they believe they will not be touched by it personally, and they can use it to garner additional political and/or social power. Taking the health care issue as an example, those currently in Congress have chosen to follow the refrain, "Government-run health care for thee, but not for me". Other wealthy and politically-connected poweratti obviously believe they will be able to obtain quality health care from other sources, either overseas or in a domestic black market of private physicians and hospitals exclusively for the wealthy.
By enflaming hatred of the wealthy (and by extension, capitalism), the poweratti can brandish social justice as a weapon to seize complete control of government and essentially enslave the populace. How ironic that this hatred should result in extending their power and privilege!
In the leftist utopia of social justice, wealth is no longer created. The capitalist goose that laid the golden eggs is spread like pâté. Income and property are confiscated, housing and employment are assigned, as in Cuba and Venezuela. Scientific advancement and medical breakthroughs are ground to a halt, as in the old Soviet Union where technology was frozen in the 1950s. Entrepreneurship, personal advancement, and wealth creation are violently quashed, as in the Chinese Cultural Revolution under Mao Tse Tung. Hunger, disease, and death become familiar houseguests, as in all repressive regimes.
The end game of the leftist poweratti is to rule the nation and eventually the world by bringing us down to the lowest social common denominator through the manipulation of those who obsessively despise wealth.