The Essence of Leftism: “More”

By | August 7, 2017 | 1 Comments

Many political movements have a definite goal. In the UK, Brexit activists want to leave the European Union. This appears to be happening. Scottish independence supporters want to leave the UK. This appears not to be happening. But what do leftists want?

Leftism is not goal-oriented. Leftists don’t say, “We want to achieve (a) and (b), and then we’ll be satisfied. Leftism is process-oriented. They want to get more and more control over people’s lives. Yes, they mention “fairness” and other subjectively defined goals. But the goals are always vague. What is “fairness,” anyway? And how will we know when we have achieved enough of it? The process is always open-ended. The goal line keeps moving. In reality, the goal is always “more.”

As Maggie Thatcher famously remarked, socialists always run out of other people’s money to spend. If you doubt this, look at Europe. Look at Cuba. Look at the Soviet Union − oh wait, it imploded after 74 years of “building socialism.” And increasingly, look around you. Leftist states like California are, in effect, broke. Why should we imitate failure?

Clearly, the affluent pay the great majority of federal income taxes, and they pay a great deal more than the less affluent. Only the truly ignorant don’t know that. So why, I wondered, do highly educated, intelligent leftists believe the rich should pay more? And then I realized that the question hinged on the definition of “more.”

No, this is not like Bill Clinton’s self-serving quibbling over the definition of “is.” On the contrary, this is a revelatory moment. Once we understand what leftists mean by “more,” we can decide whether they are making a reasonable request, or an unreasonable demand that may be impossible to meet.

When leftists demand “more,” we must ask ourselves why. What they are aiming to do? Not what they say they are aiming for, but what they are actually trying to achieve. Will they ever reach their end point and stop asking for more? Or is their demand open-ended?

To answer these questions, ask another: What are leftists doing now? Are they succeeding? At what?

● At stimulating economic recovery with colossal amounts of “stimulus”? No. At increasing government control over the economy, and saddling our grandchildren with massive debt? Yes.

● At making America better loved in the world by means of an apologetic foreign policy? No. At weakening America as a world power, both militarily and politically? Yes.

● At making Medicare and Medicaid more efficient by means of ObamaCare? No. At putting the government in charge of everyone’s life-and-death decisions? Yes, unless ObamaCare is repealed or defunded ‒ or collapses on its own.

● At making students fluent in two languages by means of bilingual education? No. At leaving graduates semi-literate in two languages, thereby creating a pool of cheap labor and Democratic voters? Yes.

● At keeping families intact by means of welfare programs? No. At keeping single mothers and their children dependent on government aid, and keeping themselves in power? Yes.

● At making the streets safer by means of strict gun-control laws? No. At disarming law-abiding citizens, leaving them defenseless against criminals and subservient to the government ‒ as witness Chicago? Yes.

● At building genuine self-esteem and a sense of being the heir to a proud heritage by means of education? No. At teaching narcissism and contempt for American and Judeo-Christian values? Yes.

When these and similar programs fail, which they usually do, leftists demand more of them. More taxes. More “stimulus.” More government control of business. More government control of health care. More taxes. More government control of light bulbs and toilets. More government control of education. More taxes. More government control of child care. More welfare programs. More taxes. Always “more.” But never an explanation of how much would be enough. Just “more.”

Undoubtedly, many leftists are sincere in pursuit of their stated goals. But in view of the repeated failure of many of these programs, we have a right to ask whether the underlying motive is not that these programs will work, but that they will not work, so the government can seize control of even “more” of our daily lives.

Henry Waxman, the congressman who represented my district for 40 years, was asked by Dennis Prager how high tax rates can go before economic activity would be stifled. He replied that he could not give a number. He could not admit that even a 100% tax rate would crush economic activity. If you need an illustration of the meaning of “more,” this is it.

Recall President Obama’s pronouncement: “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” But who decides what is “enough” for you? The leftist elite, who always want “more” of your money for their own purposes. If you want an illustration of a losing proposition, this surely is it.

When we think of greed, we have been conditioned to think of voracious capitalists like John D. Rockefeller or crooked financiers like Bernie Madoff. But what about those who are greedy for power over other people’s lives? What about Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim, Castro, Chavez, and Maduro? What about those Americans who want to regulate everything from salt shakers and sodas to toilets and light bulbs?

In the end, greed for power may be even more dangerous than greed for wealth. Greed for wealth is obvious. Greed for power often hides under the cloak of “helping the poor” or “fairness” or “saving the planet.” But the result is always the same ‒ more. More power for the ruling elite, less freedom for all the rest of us.

Small children routinely demand “more,” without any thought of what “more” will cost, or what the harmful effects might be. But we are adults. Or at least we claim to be. Someone remarked that the first word his young child said was “Mama,” the second was “Dada,” and the third was “More.”

Narcissism and never-ending demands are normal in young children. They are considerably less appealing, and more destructive, in so-called adults. Narcissistic people, and narcissistic ideas like leftism, constantly demand “more.” Like a black hole, unlimited amounts go in, leaving no trace, but there is always room for “more.”

Leftism evokes anger, or perhaps angry people tend to become leftists ‒ or both. The disruptions at university campuses and political meetings rarely come from conservatives, nor do vicious “jokes” ‒ like President Trump being beheaded or having sex with his daughter or Putin. Leftists have a virtual monopoly on this form of “humor.”

Yes, there is a great deal of anger. But there is no gratitude ‒ no gratitude for the freedoms provided by our Constitution, no gratitude for the abundance provided by our free-enterprise system, no gratitude for the safety provided by our military and police, and surely no gratitude for the value system provided by our Judeo-Christian tradition.

How could there be gratitude? If you feel entitled to “more,” why would you be grateful for “some”? It’s never enough.

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