Leftism, Political Correctness, and Other Lunacies

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Leftism, Political Correctness, and Other Lunacies

Excerpts:

Preface

This is a retired blogger’s version of John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua. It may seem immodest of me to suggest intellectual kinship with Cardinal Newman, but bloggers aren’t modest. If they were, they wouldn’t expose their innermost thoughts to the world.

It’s true that many bloggers choose to remain anonymous. But that doesn’t diminish their immodesty — or their credibility. Ideas should be judged on their own merits, not by their author’s reputation or rank.

If Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay chose to remain anonymous (to all but a few keen observers) when they wrote as Publius to urge ratification of the Constitution, why can’t a blogger emulate them in urging policies that would restore constitutional governance (as I do in many of my posts)?…

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Goodbye, Mr. Pitts

Politics & Prosperity, August 30, 2009

When I lived in the D.C. area and subscribed to The Washington Post, I occasionally read a column by Leonard Pitts Jr. This masochistic practice served two purposes. First, it exercised my cardiovascular system (i.e., raised my heart rate and blood pressure). Second, it helped me to keep up with what passes for wisdom among the race-card-playing set.

Mr. Pitts, who is a syndicated columnist operating out of The Miami Herald, comes by his race-card-playing naturally, as a black and — given his age (about 50) — a likely beneficiary of reverse discrimination (a.k.a. affirmative action). I should note that Pitts plays the race-card game clumsily, probably because his mental warehouse is stocked with gross generalizations and logical fallacies.

I was provoked to write this post by a recent Pitts column, to which I will come, where (in passing) he defends the socialization of medicine because other things also have been socialized. By that logic, Pitts would excuse the murder of his wife because millions of murders already have been committed….

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Our Miss Brooks

Politics & Prosperity, October 1, 2010

Some time back, Tom Smith of The Right Coast referred to the NYT columnist and pseudo-conservative David Brooks as “prissy little Miss Brooks.” Smith’s recycling of the appellation has not diminished its satirical effect — or its substantive accuracy.

Miss Brooks recently cringed when she contemplated an America without government, in the aftermath of a victorious Tea Party movement. Miss Brooks, it seems, is besotted with the manliness of limited-but-energetic governments

that used aggressive [emphasis added] federal power to promote growth and social mobility. George Washington used industrial policy, trade policy and federal research dollars to build a manufacturing economy alongside the agricultural one….

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Intellectuals and Society: A Review

Politics & Prosperity, December 8, 2010

Thomas Sowell‘s Intellectuals and Society is a rewarding and annoying book.

The book is rewarding because it adds to the thick catalog of left-wing sins that Sowell has compiled and explicated in his long career as a public intellectual. When Sowell criticizes the anti-gun, soft-on-crime, peace-at-any-price, tax-spend-and-regulate crowd, he does it by rubbing their noses in the facts and figures about the messes that have been created by the policies they have promoted….

The left’s essential agenda is the repudiation of ordered liberty of the kind that arises from evolved social norms, and the replacement of that liberty by sugar-coated oppression. The bread and circuses of imperial Rome have nothing on Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Obamacare, and the many other forms of personal and corporate welfare that are draining America of its wealth and élan. All of that “welfare” has been bought at the price of economic and social liberty, which are indivisible.

Leftists like to say that there is a difference between opposition and disloyalty. But, in the case of the left, opposition arises from a fundamental kind of disloyalty. For, at bottom, the left pursues its agenda because it hates the idea of what America used to stand for: liberty with responsibility, strength against foreign and domestic enemies.

Most leftists are simply shallow-minded trend-followers, who believe in the power of government to do things that are “good,” “fair,” or “compassionate,” with no regard for the costs and consequences of those things. Shallow leftists know not what they do. But they do it. And their shallowness does not excuse them for having been accessories to the diminution of America. A rabid dog may not know that it is rabid, but its bite is no less lethal for that.

The leaders of the left — the office-holders, pundits, and intelligentsia — usually pay lip-service to “goodness,” “fairness,” and “compassion.” But their lip-service fails to conceal their brutal betrayal of liberty. Their subtle and not-so-subtle treason is despicable almost beyond words. But not quite….

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Social Justice

Politics & Prosperity, February 12, 2011

The proximate cause of this post is a column by Nicholas Kristof, “Equality, a True Soul Food“ (The New York Times, January 1, 2011 ), in which Kristof pleads for less income inequality in the United States. His plea is based, in part, on the premise that persons of low status suffer because they envy persons of higher status (an assertion that’s based on research about monkeys)….

There is no theoretical or factual argument for income redistribution that cannot be met by a superior theoretical or factual argument against it. In the end, the case for (somehow) reducing income inequality turns on an emotional appeal for “social justice,” that is, for reshaping the world in a way that pleases the pleader. As if the pleader — in his or her pure, misguided arrogance — has superior wisdom about how the world should be shaped….

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In Defense of Wal-Mart

Politics & Prosperity, June 24, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court’s finding for Wal-Mart in the case of Wal-Mart v. Dukes predictably set off a storm of criticism by Wal-Mart’s critics, who are legion. Those critics, predictably, are mainly upper-middle class professionals who do not shop at Wal-Mart, would not work at Wal-Mart, and fastidiously scorn the politics and religion of those who do shop and work at Wal-Mart….

I have news for Yuppies and other critics of Wal-Mart. There are no goon squads dragging unwilling people in from the streets to work in Wal-Mart stores. There are no Wal-Mart employees caged in their work areas. There are no secret prisons in Arkansas where they send Wal-Mart employees who elect to move on to more highly compensated jobs at other companies….

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The Culture War

Politics & Prosperity, November 26, 2013

“Culture war” is a familiar term, but one that I hadn’t thought deeply about until a few days ago. I read something about abortion in which “culture war” occurred. The fog lifted, and I grasped what should have been obvious to me all along: The “culture war” isn’t about “culture,” it’s about morality and liberty….

“Thanks” to the signals sent by the state — many of them in the form of legislative, executive, and judicial dictates — we now have not just easy divorce, subsidized illegitimacy, and legions of non-mothering mothers, but also abortion, concerted (and deluded ) efforts to defeminize females and to neuter or feminize males, forced association (with accompanying destruction of property and employment rights), suppression of religion, absolution of pornography, and the encouragement of “alternative lifestyles” that feature disease, promiscuity, and familial instability….

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Defending the Offensive

Politics & Prosperity, August 4, 2015

An image of the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia is displayed prominently in the sidebar of my blog. I do not display the flag to defend it, as one reader suggests. As I say in the text that accompanies the image of the flag, I display it to symbolize my hope for deliverance from an oppressive national government (the present one) and to signify my opposition to political correctness (of the kind that can’t tolerate the display of the flag for any purpose).

I certainly do not display the flag to defend the Confederacy’s central cause: the preservation of slavery…. But I do defend the legality of secession, as a constitutional right of States. Nor does the display signify racism on my part, because I am not racist. Clicking on the flag takes the reader to my “moral profile,” where the last entry strongly supports my claim of race-neutrality….

A lot of people just want to be offended, and they look for ways of achieving their aim. Take the controversies about the use of “niggardly.”…

Symbols of the Confederacy are the new “niggardly,” but on a grander scale. As suddenly and pervasively as the hula-hoop craze of the 1950s — and mainly because of a single act of violence in Charleston — it has become de rigeur to condemn persons, places, and things associated with the Confederacy. This is nothing but hysterical nonsense….

Clearly, the culture war has entered a new and dangerous phase, reminiscent of China’s Cultural Revolution under Mao.