Monthly Archives: March 2016

Splitting Marxist Hairs; Why I Don’t Do It

When I speak of Socialism, Fascism, or even Communism, I don’t really make distinctions. I know they’re there. But to me, it’s all varying applications of Marxist social and economic engineering.

This is a really apt metaphor, but it’s a real one that goes back to my childhood. At some point, my brothers and I noticed that strawberry, cherry, and raspberry Kool-Aid all tasted pretty much the same (this was all quite independent from politics – it was just a mutual observation). None of them really tasted like the fruit they were supposed to mimic. They all tasted “red”. So we rarely made distinctions between different flavors of “red” Kool-Aid after that. The fact that it was Kool-Aid just makes the analogy better.  And the fact that it happens to be various red Kool-Aids….

Yes, there is a whole spectrum of socialism, and it’s all in the spectrum of Marxism (just like the AM band lies within the shortwave radio spectrum.) But they all suffer from the same fatal flaws, which lie in its very premises — that the haves have only at the expense of the have-nots, and that it is eminently fair to forcibly take from the haves and give to the have-nots … because they are haves and have-nots. It is neither true, nor does this worldview encourage a healthy society. And this is because they are incompatible with human nature.

In its purest form, it discourages working very hard, because the return on your work investment is very small. And it encourages sloth because people know they’re going to be “taken care of” no matter what they do … or don’t do. This, in turn, lowers total wealth, discourages innovation, lowers living standards. All to varying degrees, of course, depending on how much of the poison your society decides to take. Or decides to give you … another way to look at it.

It is certainly moral to take care of those who can’t, and to help those who need it and don’t abuse that help. But those are moral issues for individuals that the worldview that the haves can only have at the expense of the have-nots cannot address.

Truthfully, only religion encourages healthy societies. And some do it better than others.

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Who decides who is a conservative?

This question was asked on Facebook by a friend in “the movement”.

I gave it a little thought.  And this is how I answered:

Ultimately, if you’re a conservative, it implies there is something you want to conserve. I consider myself a conservationist. But that oddly isn’t generally considered (these days) “conservative”.

Conservative depends on the context in which the word is used as well. There are Constitutional Conservatives, there are fiscal conservatives, and there are social conservatives. Often people fall into two or three of these categories. If you fall into two of them you’re probably going to be considered a conservative by most progressives, and you probably consider yourself a conservative. Most other conservatives will consider you a conservative as well — until you disagree with them on something that puts them in one of the categories.

And it’s not like a “belief system” that one subscribes to. People have sets of beliefs, and those beliefs fall into certain categories — some of them may fall quite outside of the category the person ends up being classified as.

Incidentally, the same kind of thing goes for liberal/progressives. And there’s no H8 like intra-family H8.

Who gets to decide who is a conservative? Well … each of us do. It’s a subjective term. But it’s not meaningless.  Still, you just can’t make assumptions about any individual who gets considered a conservative without risking being very, very wrong a lot of the time.

 

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