January 27, 2019

I admit a strong bias against old unworkable ideas

I have spent a significant part of my life studying history. My love affair with the past started in Mrs. Walters' 3rd grade class with the film and novel Johnny Tremain.  I have since not only earned a degree in history, but immersed myself in various historical subjects in the intervening years. I'm not a historian. I'm a semi-devoted amateur. I'm fascinated by the similarities of the American Revolution and the French Revolution -- right up to the point the French took a sharp left turn in the name of reason and then "equality".

While I have spent far less time on the rise of the Bolsheviks in Russia, their path was similar to the French. Later, Castro and Che followed the inequality = change = "only I can accomplish what we need" dictator model established by leftist revolutionaries throughout history. Kevin Williamson has an article on just this subject in National Review.

That is why I look at the current rhetoric from the left with a jaundiced eye. The soak punish the rich mentality that is currently in vogue has a very French, Russian, Venezuelan feel to it. It is easy to consider billionaires and millionaires and think "they don't need all of that money". Envy is a powerful political tool.

The problem comes when we try to define "need". Who gets to decide? If we went all French Revolution extreme and guillotined the economic "nobles" in the National Mall we might eliminate the One Percenters only to elevate another crop of heads to be harvested as the new One Percent. As long as someone has more than you or me, they are the economic enemy. Where does it stop?

In Revolutionary France that meant you resorted to wearing the filthy rags as the poorest street dweller so as not too appear unequal. In Soviet Russia the newly politically powerful (not all pigs are equal) just covered their hypocrisy by building their Dachas out of town and creating special stores for the elites where there was no need to stand in line for bread and toilet paper with the now "equal" masses. You know, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" as The Who so aptly described things.

So for those Lefty types touting their enthusiasm for equality and anti-wealth positions I suggest you at least adopt the policies of the original egalitarians, the Levelers. Practice what you preach. Renounce your Government salary. If the median wage in this country is $50,000 annually, you should refuse any income beyond that. There is no earthly reason why a politician should earn three times the average Joe. After all, HE is paying your salary.

Instead, just like most leftists when it comes to money, it is all about someone else's bank account.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes you can not see the forest for the trees. Not being a history major, I can see not events turn per past examples. The current political problems are not the wealth but the attitude to those not of wealthalso their legislating to give themselves more at the cost of others and the world around them. Our current commerce secretary is a perfect example of their let them eat cake. Usually what I observe in history is the poor are poor and take their lot in life until the rich become so obnoxious that is what turns the tide. When empathy and respect becomes so alien to others lessons will ensue. Being a history major I'm surprised you have not commented on the similar behavioral characteristics of Mussolini and trump.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

That could be because the only such behavioral characteristics they have in common exist only in your addled, ahistorical brain, Anon.

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