Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Redistributionism: Class Warfare by other means. Forward!

"Unbelievable" This is a word that used to be so handy, so useful, but now... events have caused it to be repeated, and repeated so often, that it's lost it's oomph and respectability... sort of like the sad fate of 'Awesome'. I mean, when what is unbelievable, becomes a common occurrence... can you really use the word "Unbelievable" anymore to describe it? For some time I've been searching for a replacement word, but so far, no luck.
"War is the continuation of politics by other means", Carl von Clausewitz

The latest issue that requires the word that can no longer be used, is that of President Obama’s adviser on his 'Financial Stability Oversight Council', who, in taking exception to Tucker Carlson's charge that the Obama Administration is engaging in Class Warfare, writes a blog post in which he reinforces his 'argument' with statements about the inevitability and rightness of Class Warfare... complete with an admiring quote from the father of class warfare, Karl Marx... while at the same time ridiculing the idea that the Obama administration engages in class warfare.
I read through this fellow's blog, Richard Bookstaber, his blog post which prompted this article from the Blaze, and a couple others of his... this is a guy who contradicts himself two or three times in every one of his posts... and this is an economic adviser to the President. This is the sort of "on the one hand... and on the other hand..." fellow, that you just know President Truman had in mind when he said "What I need is a one-handed economist!". He blatantly plays his cutesy games of 'trying to have' having it both ways, such as his opening criticism of Carlson for identifying the Obama administration as waging Class Warfare,
"There is little that matches the artfulness in waving off criticism of the widening income gap as “class warfare”. And there is little that matches the gullibility of those who follow along."
, and then follows it up two sentences later with,
"I am not picking sides in this, but I believe such a "war" can be justified, and indeed ultimately is inevitable."
No, no, not picking sides there at all, huh-uh, nope, nosiree. Neither Logic nor Consistency, let alone Integrity, are held in much esteem by these Forward! thinkers. He goes on to explain that class warfare is unavoidable:
"There is class warfare because the social and economic pie has to be split, and there is no objective way to do so."
, while concluding his post with a huffy little objection to those who found his textual gyrations... to be unbelievable, saying,
"I have received a number of comments that are diatribes and I will not be publishing them. Some are offended by this post and view it as being "communist propaganda" because it includes a quote from Marx."
I mean, seriously. What word is left to describe that, but 'Unbelievable'? But how can you use that word when everything that comes out of this administration, is equally unbelievable? It's right there, in your face, how can you not believe it?

Unb... (sigh) [argh].

Here's the central portion of his post and his quote of Marx,
"But regimentation and a dependable workforce became necessary once there was machinery to run and capital invested, and so with industrialization came an enforced workday. So it is not surprising that Marx stated the central battle of class warfare at the time in terms of the working day:
"The capitalist maintains his rights as a purchaser when he tries to make the working-day as long as possible, and to make, whenever possible, two working-days out of one. On the other hand...the laborer maintains his right as seller when he wishes to reduce the working-day to one of definite normal duration. There is here, therefore, an antinomy, right against right, both equally bearing the seal of the law of exchanges. Between equal rights force decides. Hence is it that in the history of capitalist production, the determination of what is a working-day, presents itself as the result of a struggle, a struggle between collective capital, i.e., the class of capitalists, and collective labour, i.e., the working-class. – Marx, Das Kapital"
Marx begins with an acknowledgement of the perception of rights on the part of both the capitalist and the laborer, but then argues that the question of the length of the working day cannot be solved by an appeal to rights, but only through class struggle, wherein “force” decides between “equal rights”. (Force can mean physical force, but can also mean the force of the political process)."
Richard. It's not your usage of a quote by Marx that has set people off, I use him all the time, especially this one:
"In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. "
, but your agreement and affirmation of all the underlying assumptions which Marx held... and which fueled his diatribes for Communism!

Bookstaber's assumptions include the notion that the world is a fixed pie, a zero sum gain, that Reason is impotent to bring people into agreement and instead Force, Social Warfare is inevitable, and justifiable. And then, very Alinsky like, he turns and accuses anyone who takes note of that, of unfairly calling him what he himself described himself as being! This fellow is a perfect peep-hole into glimpsing the modern proregressive leftist's disdain for Reality, Reason, and even Truth itself, preferring the New York Times approved method of 'Reason as a weapon, rather than as a tool to discover Truth'.

With Marx, he believes that
"Between equal rights force decides"
, or as he puts it,
"cannot be solved by an appeal to rights, but only through class struggle, wherein “force” decides between “equal rights”
For most civilized people, politics is scene as the forum where people agree to resolve their differences without resorting to force, through persuasion, voting and the rule of law... but for the proregressive leftist, that is too much work, to slow, too 'confining', or as Union Thugocrat Andy Stern put it, "If we can't win by the force of persuasion, we'll win through the persuasion of force."
What else do you think he is saying here with this,
"There seems to be agreement all around that action to change the situation, for the poor to improve their lot at the expense of the rich, is an affront to civil society. I am not picking sides in this, but I believe such a "war" can be justified, and indeed ultimately is inevitable. There seems to be agreement all around that action to change the situation, for the poor to improve their lot at the expense of the rich, is an affront to civil society."
Despite his little 'passive/agressive' shtick (" I am not picking sides in this, but I believe"), what he is saying, and says very clearly in his other posts, that some undefined elites must be 'empowered' to, as he quotes Rawls, wealth and rights and status are simply 'things' to be scooped up off the ground and parcelled out 'fairly' to all.

These people have stagnated at a pre-conceptual stage, rejecting thoughtfulness for ideology, principles for positions,as they morally preen themselves by basking in the glow of their own self-righteousness. They don't bother to think of what accounts for the wealth of the world today, even looted as we have been, our nation in particular, and the world in general, are immeasurably wealthier than 250 years ago... how? Why? Like Marx, they aren't interested in discovering what works, but only in taking what (magically) is, and redistributing it as they see fit.

  • The reality of what was, and is, required to produce that wealth, they don't care about.
  • The Rights which all people must be recognized to possess, and be respected, in order for such 'miracles' to come about, are of no interest to them,
  • The confining of Power to a government of Laws, not men, are seen as obstacles to them.
The desire to seem generous, even at the expense of destroying all that has made such a world possible, and available for them to loot, is all they care about. In rejecting Reason, they are blind to the fact that production creates values which weren't there before such orderly mindfulness was employed, instead, they cling to the infantile assumption that there is only a fixed amount of wealth and the only question is how to seize the power to divide other peoples share of it in a manner that is pleasing to them and their assumptions.

Being an anti natural rights, fixed pie 'thinker' (aka socialist (Shhh!)), Bookstaber winds up his post with this gem:
"There is only so much to go around, and the efforts of one group or the other to assert a claim to a larger share can be called class warfare. It can be a war waged through changes in the taxes, in a restructuring of incentives and pay scales, an increase in the benefits given to the poor, or revolt. The first three are legitimate means in our society, and it is really taking a good joke to far to suggest it is damaging to the body politic for members of society to look at the differences in income and take action to redistribute in their direction."
In the eyes of the Forward!-thinking Proregressive Left, it appears that Redistribution is simply 'class warfare' by other means.

In his closing comment, Bookstaber had this to say, miffed that people should take exception to his comments:
"... It is natural to refer to Marx when speaking of the industrial revolution. Marx was a notable, even preeminent, social philosopher of that time."
But he does have a small point here that we can learn from, don't be trapped into calling them Marxists - they will simply say "No I'm not! I'm a registered _____". Words and truth have no meaning or obligation for them, remember the NYT, Reason is simply a weapon for them to win arguments and lies and fallacies are simply useful tools in that effort. Don't bother with calling them Socialists or Marxists or Communists, learn what is essential to each, identify them promoting those essentials, and hang them on their own petard.

How to conduct Class Warfare by other means
What are the essentials of their beliefs? As I noted above, one of their essentials is what Marx himself identified as being critical,
"In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. "
The other is the ridiculing of, and elimination of, the understanding of the idea that our Rights are derived from our nature as human beings, Natural Rights. Jeremy Bentham summed their position on the concept, and of our Bill of Rights, being
"nonsense on stilts"
, which is pretty much the response you receive to this day when you try to tell an alphabet agency that they have no right to violate your rights and 'spread your wealth around'.

And then also the Wilsonian declaration that Constitutions and Laws were outmoded ideas, written for a slower, less advanced people, and that today we need to free government of its constitutional restraints so that those who know best can "Get things done for the American people!", or as a follower of Wilson put it, Professor Edward S. Corwin, nailed their fervent desire to transform our Constitution into
"a living statute, palpitating with the purpose of the hour."
Nearly every policy of the Proregressive Left in general, and the Obama administration in particular, boils down to these three, essentially Anti-American ideals, and there is a reason why 'Marxists' gravitate towards regulatory agencies, or agitate for more regulations - regulatory law is the covert means of implementing Marx's fundamental goal - the abolition of private property.

In a very real sense, regulatory law is the institutional method for the denial of individual rights, and property rights in particular - it is Class Warfare by other means.

Of Thee I sing...
The American Ideals are different.
Our Founders were true Liberals (don't mistake the leftist tyrants in sheep's clothing who pose under that term today). To be a Liberal in their day, was to be one who believes that Man's Rights are derived from the nature of man, not the decrees of men, and it understood that Individual Rights, Property Rights, and the fierce defense of them, was the political root and requirement of Liberty and the Free Market, without which, their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness would not be possible.

John Adams said of the right to Private Property
"This idea, indeed, implies liberty; because property cannot be secure unless the man be at liberty to acquire, use, or part with it, at his discretion, and unless he have his personal liberty of life and limb, motion and rest, for that purpose. It implies, moreover, that the property and liberty of all men, not merely of a majority, should be safe;"
And that to retain Liberty, we must be a people who,
"... define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men..."
Those ideas are central to what it means to be an American.

On the other hand....
To be a Socialist, Marxist, Communist, Proregressivist, Fascist or whateverist, is to fundamentally accept Marx's opposition to, and denial of, private property, as well as his, Rousseau's, Bentham's (and every modernist philosopher since), denial of Natural Rights, and no matter whichever particular ism they take cover under, they denote little more that their preferred style and degree of governing and how far and fast, they are comfortable in getting away with formally abolishing private property, Individual Rights, and the Rule of Law.

To state your desire to 'Spread the wealth around', and to implement legislation to accomplish that, declares and establishes your opposition to Natural Rights and the Right, and Principle, of Private Property, and indeed to the Rule of Law.

No matter the name they claim, they are in essentials and intents, Anti-American, to the core.

But all of this, which Bookstaber is constitutionally incapable of grasping, was put well by a commenter on his post, Abe, who said in part,
"Let me put it to you in simpler terms: You can't separate the man's political philosophy from the actions that flowed from it. It's the same as saying you look to Mein Kampf as a masterpiece of political philosophy but don't support Hitler's actions. I rest my case. "
Well said Abe.

For all their passive aggressive ploys, these are violent, though cowardly, and despicable people. Whether or not they are nice to their neighbors and cats I really don't care about, I care about the ideas they are attempting to subject us to, and make us subjects of. They are not people who can, or should, be trusted with the reins of the most powerful government on the face of the earth.

That We The People have allowed such people to rise to respectable positions in our society, to be teachers of our children, that we have voted them in to positions of power in our lives, over our lives, is nothing less than shameful. If History is any judge, if the results of such votes as these do not spread death and destruction across our own land and around the world, it will be nothing less than a miracle.

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