Friday, August 01, 2008

Because it's not just about gay people and embryos

Christian Worldview Network is a treasure of wiggy articles wrintten with a flimsy premise and a startlingly antiquated agenda, and I'm glad I found it. From articles on GAY SEX to the confusing, disjointed and pothead-like ramblings of Ray Comfort, to freakouts about the communist agenda, there's always something good going down with Brannon Howse and his stable of spastic jesus-freaks.

Here's a good one. It's pretty long, though, so I'll curtail it. The original, if you want to subject yourself to the whole thing, can be found here. It begins with an elegy to the philosopher Bastiat, which is odd in itself, because the religious right isn't a fan of the French. If you'll recall, one of the criticisms of John Kerry was that he "looked French", whatever the hell that means, and as if it has any bearing on whether or not he'd make a good president. The current one "looks simian", and clearly that hasn't helped him.

It’s been more than 150 years since Frederic Bastiat wrote his treatise, The Law, a small work, challenging the ravages of failing socialism thrust upon France as a result of the French revolution.

In that unique pamphlet, Bastiat points out that when the law of any country supports the moral belief systems of a people, defends the rights of said people and their property, the law is perceived as being moral; a defense against evil and those who flaunt it as being immoral. Payment of taxes and civic obligations are perceived as a virtue and those who flout this as criminals.

However, when the law becomes a source of plunder or pits itself in opposition to the morals of the people, the people perceive the law to be immoral and widely despise it. Indeed, in those times, flouting the law is extolled as virtue...
I'm not sure that private property is the be-all and end-all of society, but hey, I just work here. Interesting, though, that the society that is supposed to be the great protector of private property is concentrating it in the hands of a few people as possible, and the government is doing what it can to concentrate that wealth as quickly as possible. If there was ever any doubt that the US had a "ruling class", a sensible look at the current economic and political situation should clarify things.

...In essence, when a government goes from being a protector of private property to
a plunderer of it, it places itself on a course of chaos, economic ruin and its own ultimate self-destruction...
In a way, Bastiat is right here. If private property is a right of the people, then the transfer of wealth from the people to the government is clearly a violation of that principle. However, there is still something called the "public commons", and there are perfectly good reasons for any government to interfere with property rights. Think about it for a second, and I'm sure you'll come up with one or two.
...Socialism is the mechanism which transforms government from its noble role as a protector into a predator and, since the citizens of our fine country seem determined to plow through socialism to its bitter end, we should examine the territory through which these three sad steps lead. The core result of socialism is the destruction of private property and wealth...
This makes no fucking sense. Socialism is a system that involves collective ownership and administration. There are a lot of "socialist"things that we accept, even expect: education, military, infrastructure, police, firefighting, and in radical hotbeds of commies like Canada and the UK, health care. And as I've said before, there are few countries less in danger of becoming socialist than the US. In fact, since Mussolini is supposed to have said that fascism is corporate government (I'm paraphrasing), then the US is far closer to that end of the political spectrum than the other.

...One of the great dangers of any government by the people is that sooner or later their politicians discover they can vote largess from the public trust. Their first experiment at this bold new adventure invariably revolves around social programs enacted in the name of morality and the public good or even solving some current crisis. Who could oppose that? “After all,” it will be argued, “don’t you care about people, or the welfare of the country, or the environment?”

The lure of this argument has been absolutely irresistible from the Roman Empire to the French and Bolshevik revolutions to Socialist Parties (D) and (R) in the USA today...
The premise that Democrats and Republicans are socialists is simply laughable.

...The moral argument that we can finally solve poverty, pain, sickness, and hunger with “free” money seems just to good to be true. It usually is but it sells to the public. To fund these allegedly moral programs, the assets of the gentle citizens must be quietly taxed in the name of the public good.

Only a few wise and isolated voices warn that this baby dragon they have just hatched will grow up to be a fire-breathing monster. But not to fear, the wise voices are generally shouted down by the gentle politicians, who fiercely demonize protestors as selfish “whabbledygots” blocking the road to the perfect society. After all, how could something so noble do anything bad to the country?...
Three different kinds of nonsense, here. The first is that anyone actually believes that simply funding social programs will solve all our problems. The second is that hideous metaphor which only gets worse as the article continues. And finally, the word "whabbledygots". What the fuck is a whabbledygot?

In addition, the transparently inflammatory language and deceptively simple depiction of the "road to socialism" are insulting.

...At first the rich are the only ones asked to pay more of their “fair share.”...
Clearly, it is the rich who are bearing the brunt of the tax structure in the US. Those poor guys.

...At some point, the unwashed masses suspect their politicians aren’t really gentle any more much less benevolent. This is where a silent war between government and people erupts. It’s a blurry transition through never-never land when the politicians still claim to be gentle but the people sense that they have gone from being protectors of the public good and private property to a plunderers of it; from morality to immorality.

The “Bastiat” transition doesn’t take place all at once but, one by one, members of the working class realize they’re toiling like mad and getting no where. What they do make is confiscated in taxes or destroyed in inflation. They have little left over and their life’s savings are being destroyed while the politicians tell them all is just fine, creating cognitive dissonance between the hardship workers experience and the good times the politicians promise...
I don't understand how anyone can honestly believe that the working class is the one that gets screwed first in a socialist system. In fact, it's been socialistic movements that have protected the middle and working class for as long as they have: unions, minimum wages, collective bargaining and labour laws have all bee part of "socialist movements". Socialism gave us the weekend, for fuck's sake!

...The war is not without casualties. As it becomes ever more difficult for small businesses to function in the poisoned atmosphere of taxes, fees, fines, regulations and prosecutions, more of the middle class throws up its hands and goes elsewhere or becomes part of the the dependent poor. Small business goes out of business or operates illegally. As inflation devours life savings, people are wiped out. Retirees have a difficult time getting on as their lifetime achievements are destroyed. Most of the middle class slides inexorably down the slope into poverty...
The natural culmination of the capitalist system is monopoly. That's what kills small business. You think it't rampant taxation that's killing Main Street, USA? It's Wal-Mart, you numb fuck, a decidedly unsocialist entity, smiley face notwithstanding. In fact, Wal-Mart has started trying to influence the votes of its employees, because Obama wants to enact legislation that will allow unions in all workplaces.

The delusions and oversimplifications in the rest of this article prove that rational blindspots are not limited to science when it comes to the Bible-bashing crowd. A pathological hatred and fear of collective action seems also to motivate them.

No country trapped in socialism goes through all the events described above, which is a composite of past histories.
In fact, none of the countries that Loeffler has in mind as examples have gone through this. They tend to become socialist dictatorships through violent revolution (unless he's counting Chavez, and while he's not perfect, he's no Stalin, and he's nothing like this). My knowledge of history is far from perfect, but I know the difference between fascists and socialists.

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