“Politics is downstream from culture” – Andrew Breitbart
I concur with that assessment completely. Our culture is arguably destitute. Nowhere is this more evident than in the violent opposition to knowledge. The culture has arrived at a place where millions upon millions of people scream and stomp their feet and sometimes engage in much more destructive activities all oriented toward proclaiming “Capitalism is evil, free markets are evil!” without any individual knowledge of what capitalism and free markets are, how they operate or the history of success or failure with capitalism and free markets. None.
What they do have is a great deal of individual knowledge of campaign propaganda. They can repeat that endlessly. They can also repeat what some Marxist college professor told them endlessly. When ask if they have ever read Adam Smith, Friedrich August von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises et al. the answer is of course not! To be fair very few of them have ever read Marx.
Marx brings us to one of the constant refrains we hear from these people – “We are not Marxist!” Of course once you ask them fundamental questions about monetary policy, creation of credit, ownership of the means of production, and so on and so forth – questions they inevitably cannot answer – you follow it up by asking “If you do not know the answer to those questions then how do you know if you are a Marxist or not?” to which the reply always boils down to “Someone told me we were not.” That is how ludicrous this whole thing has become.
The remarkable thing here is that these people are in violent opposition to something they know nothing about, have never made the effort to learn about, and are violently opposed to anyone else learning about while at the same time proclaiming they are NOT something even though they cannot provide a working definition of what that ‘something’ is and cannot tell you what they actually believe – just that someone told them they are not. If that is not the working definition of ‘culturally destitute’ then what is?
This is straight out of ‘Animal Farm’ – another great work these people are in violent opposition to, have never made the effort to read, and are violently opposed to anyone else reading.
Most of us understand that these folks have ceded their conscience, responsibility and accountability to a group. They no longer have an interest in acquiring knowledge – particularly when that knowledge is unapproved by or goes against the group- they are only interested in being a part of the group and repeating what they believe the group approves.
There is power in the group and many of these people undoubtedly feel empowered by being an echo of the group. Individualism is to be eschewed and most particularly the individual conscience and accountability for actions. For these people agreement of the group supersedes truth.
If these folks had bothered to read Hayek, they would have read this:
“We must face the fact that the preservation of individual freedom is incompatible with a full satisfaction of our views of distributive justice.” – Friedrich August von Hayek
We are truly living in Orwellian times.