I had a conversation with a fellow this past week that went like this –
He is in his 30’s, professional, accomplished and works for a well-known corporation. He told me that he is leaning toward socialism.
I ask him why and he responded that capitalism is immoral and undercutting people.
I responded that we have not had capitalism in this country in a very long time if you define capitalism as free markets, i.e. transactions and prices are voluntary and no one can prevent or force you to buy something or set the price at which you must purchase something.
He said that he had to agree.
I further added that what we have is corporatism, cronyism – that each of these laws, taxes and regulations are intended to work to the favor of the corporations in that they snuff out choice and raise the bar in order to eliminate or prevent competition.
He thought about it and again said that he had to agree.
I finished my point by stating the obvious – socialism is simply more laws, taxes and regulations that snuff out choice and competition and, no matter how much you tax the corporations, socialism simply guarantees the corporations a market and a profit – which the corporations are all for.
Again he agreed.
He then thanked me for having the conversation and told me he had never thought of it in the terms I explained.
One person at a time.
Those who wish for government to solve problems – economic, social, educational, transportation, poverty, et al. – all have a fundamental core belief: that private human beings are corrupt, greedy and not to be trusted but that a government consisting of these same corrupt, greedy and not to be trusted individuals will not be corrupt or greedy and can be fully trusted.
The virtue signaling dynamic is beyond fascinating.
Just a few weeks ago we had the Charlottesville episode where those who define their moral superiority via virtue signaling unanimously sided with Antifa. Major politicians and the major media sided with Antifa. President Trump caught absolute hell for saying the Nazi’s and Antifa were equally responsible and implying equally as evil. People resigned from the administration due to Trump saying that.
The press, the Washington establishment, the virtue signalers of all stripes went absolutely nuts.
Now just a little while later the WashPo and other outlets explicitly say that Antifa is every bit as evil as the Nazi’s and the virtue signalers are now signaling how evil Antifa is! In other words – they now agree with Trump while they continue to castigate him for saying what they also say.
Yes, the virtue signalers are that shallow and easily manipulated.
It is becoming ever more obvious that virtue signaling is identical to shouting “I have no core values, I have no principles, I simply do anything I think will let me remain a part of the group! Let me stay in the group, please please!” Virtue signalers are no different than a leaf that falls in the river and they will go whereever that river takes them. They have apparently forsaken their volition in exchange for being popular with all of these others who have also forsaken their volition to remain popular – wash rinse repeat.
It is truly fascinating. In the wake of Charlottesville the virtue signalers were all apparently compelled to tweet and post that they ‘Opposed the White Supremacist and stood with those who opposed them’ along with the required ‘I am not a racist’ posts. We all saw them – endlessly and meaninglessly. It was simply a requirement to remain in the group – it had zero meaning beyond that and no positive effect what so ever in fighting racism.
What passes for ‘news’ organizations in this country have been nothing but virtue signalers for a long time now – the New York Times and Washington Post and CNN and MSNBC and on and on and on. They do not actually provide news and information but rather tell people what they believe is virtuous and what is not while providing just enough information to substantiate the signal while omitting everything that would destroy their position – and the bleating sheep follow mindlessly and proudly.
The flip side of virtue signaling is the shaming. When people depart from the program, engage their own brain, decide that they indeed own and are accountable for their own morals – the virtue signalers endlessly publicly shame them. It truly is a cult. People are so tremendously insecure and unwilling to think – anyone who does decide to think must be made to pay!
Everyday I hear or read people arguing for
Their speech to be limited
Their property rights to be limited
Their choices in healthcare to be limited
Their choices in employment to be limited
Their choices in lifestyle to be limited
Their choices in what they are allowed to believe without being punished by government to be limited
Yes, we have reached this level of absurdity.
Why anyone would want their speech, property rights, healthcare, employment, lifestyle and beliefs to be limited or chosen for them by Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell I have no clue.
These folks respond with “Ahhhh! I don’t want it controlled by Trump and McConnell, I want it controlled by people who agree with ME!”
This is how delusional we have become as a society – people are arguing for government to take away their rights – but not ‘those guys’ but ‘their guys’ to unilaterally decide what is what! As though they would have a choice in the matter and as though even if it were ‘their guys’ it would somehow be any different than ’the other guys’. These people all have the delusion that only ‘those other people’ would be controlled and punished for what they think or believe or do – they would not be controlled and punished at all.
These folks have an endless litany for why ‘those other guys’ rights should be taken away – climate change, racism, ‘fairness’, ‘whiteness’, ‘blackness’, privilege, ‘toxic masculinity’ – the list goes on and on.
These folks are not limited to Leftist, a number of Trump people are perfectly willing to deny fundamental rights to the people that they disagree with.
A major component of this argument to deny basic rights to people (including themselves!) is to mischaracterize liberty and freedom. I hear and read these mischaracterizations everyday as well. Absurdities such as “If you drive on roads you are a socialist” are common – which if true would mean that Caligula and Tsar Nicholas I were socialist as well? Yeah, it is that dumb. The difficult part is that no matter how logically and morally ridiculous their argument is these people believe it. To be observant – not disparaging – these people cannot even begin to explain how the current system works let alone how their fantasy future system of denying fundamental rights would work. What they know is propaganda and propaganda that if followed through on inevitably enriches and empowers the few at the expense of the many.
“If socialist understood economics they wouldn’t be socialist” is as close as we will ever come to a universally true statement.
Let me be clear – liberty and freedom is
The right to say what you want
The right to do as you wish with your property
The right to choose the healthcare you prefer
The right to do what you choose to make a living
The right to live your life as you wish
The right to believe what you choose to believe instead of what is chosen for you
I could add about a hundred thousand other items to this list – but you get the point.
Our division is not between Republicans and Democrats – the division is between those who want to make their own choices about their own life and those who maintain that society can only function if the government or some other entity makes those choices for you.
Let us talk about the reality that no one wants to talk about anymore – your economic and social outcome in life, as well as your general happiness, contentment and ability to behave as a human, has more to do with the family you grew up in that any other single factor. In fact – no other factor is even close. It has very little to nothing to do with your skin color, your last name, your immigration status, or your gender.
This is kryptonite to the Social Justice Warriors because it is true. Tear down all of the statues you want, you will not improve the economic and social outcomes in life, as well as the general happiness, contentment and ability to behave as a human unless you fix the family. It is well documented, researched and established as to the family models, behaviors and habits that will constantly produce the happiest, most content and most successful human beings. Unfortunately to a significant degree the Social Justice Warriors are intent on destroying that model – in fact many Leftist believe that evading every aspect of that model is virtue signaling their superiority.
Now just because there is a well documented, researched and established family model, behaviors and habits that will constantly produce the happiest, most content and most successful human beings does not mean it is always the case that it will produce the most successful human. It means it is overwhelmingly more successful than other models in accomplishing that. Great families can produce terrible adults and children who grow up in terrible circumstances can become great human beings. No one doubts or argues that.
There was a study some years ago that determined that if you avoided having babies before marriage, being convicted of a crime, finished high school, spent at least one year in your first job, and got married and stayed married then your chances – statistically speaking – of dying in poverty were about the same as getting struck by lightening. This seems like a fairly straightforward formula to follow in order to avoid poverty and it is not at all dependent on your skin color, your last name, your immigration status, or your gender. If this is the solution to poverty we might rationally ask what family structure and values best produces this outcome?
If you guessed two parents that did all of the above themselves then you would be correct!
This is not rocket science despite what the Ph.D.’s may want you to believe. Deviate from these things – have babies before you are married, be convicted of a crime, drop out of school, get divorced, stay single all your life, start job-hopping or just quit working at a young age – and you will not be doomed to misery but you will greatly enhance the chances that your life – and your children’s lives – will consist of poverty, social isolation, unhappiness, discontentment and dysfunction.
Just the truth.