Left-Wing Economy: The Stuff of Dreams
The crusader for social justice perceives it as his specially appointed role in life to remedy the injustices of life, springing from an existential angst at the “unfairness of it all.” The leftist doesn’t seem to recognize that though we are all born into the world in different circumstances of wealth and health, we are also born helpless; the person we ultimately turn out to be depends on our own volition, and our own doing.
As such, the conservative wants all men to become as great as they can possibly become, namely, through individual drive and voluntary association. This attitude belies that most men are capable of becoming great, as measured against their own diverse capabilities.
But the leftist, through seemingly good intentions to “help” others using the state, commits a treble injury. First, he injures those productive members of society made less capable of their productivity through confiscation. Indeed, those goods and services they produce are made more expensive in the process, hurting all, including the poor. Second, the poor are prevented from striving to better themselves, and are made more comfortable in their poverty. Third, he exalts himself above the poor, assuming his virtue of helping “the little guy” makes himself superior, entrenching his place in society while keeping the poor comfortably below him. Leftism is thus a crypto-aristocratic ethic.
This argument seem to contradict the left’s presumed ideological economic basis, viz., socialism. But it is hardly an accident of history that control of the economy by “the workers” actually never materializes in practice. The elite planners who endorse and effect socialism never relinquish control to those who supposedly know less than them how to “run the economy.” That the economy is infinitely complex, as it is made up of an infinite number of personal valuations and interpersonal transactions, is beyond their narcissistic imaginations, since it deflates their arrogant self-evaluations.
Thus, a socialist can never tell you how in practice a socialist economy would be controlled by workers on a voluntaristic basis. This is because it would not be run by the workers at all. The void in explication is filled up by dreams, well-wishes, good feelings, and hope – all based on the transcendental and ethereal ethic of “equality.” This ethic of “equality,” of means, or alternatively, results, is extremely destructive when put into practice. While the leftist thinks he is combating “hierarchy” in society through wealth redistribution, he is actually penalizing creativity and productivity.
The leftist through his actions thus ignores human nature, which is fine with him, for he hates human nature as it is. In his view, humanity has been a failure since the dawn of history, and thus must be radically transformed to keep the world from destroying itself; through war, environmental destruction, disease, and so forth.
But necessarily the left’s big dreams of saving the world from itself involves entrusting it in the hands of some elite planners. And this is where one source of his self-deception lies. While the leftist thinks that he is making humanity “peace-loving” and harmonious by eroding the concept of right and wrong- thus removing objects of contention – he is actually making people docile and passive, and ripe for exploitation by a corrupt, power-seeking oligarchy.
This inability to contemplate and apprehend the danger of entrusting relative power in the hands of an elite, due largely to his preoccupation with supposed “good intentions,” is why the leftist outside of the inner power elites is considered by conservatives to be extremely naive and gullible. With no respect for history, and with no clear conceptual basis by which to evaluate ideas, the leftist’s mind is thus colonized by power-hungry manipulators and turned against humanity itself. For in the leftist’s mind, destruction must precede creation, immorality must lead to superior morality, and the problem with civilization is civilization itself. The leftist is thus a great leveller; that is to say, a great destroyer.
But yet the leftist’s imagination is filled with hopes and dreams of an infinitely brighter future, and that light shines over all shadows of reality in his way. But if all it took were hopes and dreams to improve the world, wouldn’t it be a utopia by now? If all it took were hopes and dreams to run an economy, wouldn’t the most impoverished peoples on the planet would be the most prosperous? For who hopes and dreams more than the poor, nourishing their minds on flights of fancy, instead of their bellies with food they have been afforded the opportunity to work for?
The conservative therefore is inherently different in thought process than the leftist, as the former focuses on promoting what works, and shunning what is destructive. The latter, in turn, perceives this attitude as excusing the unacceptable status quo.
The leftist errs in ascribing callousness to the conservative, for the former does not understand that the latter has actually personalized and internalized his cares, instead of outsourcing them to government. The conservative takes personal responsibility for helping others, as he believes the person or situation merits. This is because the conservative is cognizant of the risks of accumulating power in one political body; which, through its necessarily coercive acts, has only the power to destroy in an economy and in society.