|Pundits Worry About Conservatism. Again||Liberals Say It's the End of an Era|
by Christopher Chantrill
October 16, 2012 at 12:00 am
IVE ALWAYS had a stick up my butt about Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman, the 1951 play about the emptiness of the success culture. Whats the point about success, says lefty Miller, when Willy Lomans life as a salesman ends in failure? And whats the point of high-school athletics, when athletes like Willys son Biff end up as thieves and drifters?
You have to hand it to Arthur Miller. He got his play in under the wire just before the golden age of sales, when salesmen spent half a century happily selling Chevrolets so Americans could see the USA. Who could have foreseen in 1951 the golden age dawning for high-school and college and professional ath-e-letes? And dont get me started on selling real estate.
But liberals have been trotting out to endless revivals of Millers play in the 60-odd years since Deaths debut. What a grand old time they have had shaking their heads at the emptiness and the superficiality of profits and business success.
Imagine my shock when I got to see Joe Biden channeling Willy Loman on TV last Thursday! Was he auditioning for a part in Death of a Liberal? No, wait. Its obvious that the new Willy Loman character is a composite, with Joe Biden trying out for the manic side--Attention must be paid to the middle class!--and President Obama playing the depressive, just churning out the progressive patter because thats all he knows how to do.
You need the composite character because the moribund liberalism of todays educated ruling class features two stock characters. There is the old-style machine pol, the class warrior still ranting away about good jobs at good wages to his union hall buddies, or his modern race warrior variant frightening blacks with nightmares of a return to Jim Crow. Then there is the stock urban liberal smoothly imagining well-run administrative programs that will deliver affordable something or other: housing, health care, education, day-care, contraception.
So here we are in the fall of 2012 with these stereotypes ranting or muttering away with their tired clichés while the nation gets flushed down the toilet.
Death of a Salesman told us about the cynicism of liberals that wanted us to abandon the stupid optimism of the American Dream for a life of government dependency.
Death of a Liberal is telling us about the terminal pessimism of todays liberal elite. Just like Willy Loman, liberals are about to go out and crash the national car in the hope that the insurance will pay out to the survivors.
But really, there is a path for liberals other than suicide, and it starts with fixing the central liberal mistake of the last half century. Liberals have insisted on explaining away, rather than trying to understand, the meaning of Ronald Reagan and the 25 years of economic boom that began in 1983 when Reagans tax cuts and his spending cuts fully took effect.
No it wasnt really a boom, liberals have insisted, it was all an illusion. No, the average person didnt really benefit: real wage rates peaked in 1973. No, supply-side economics doesnt really work: remember the high growth in the 1950s and its high taxes. All they have ended up proving after 30 years of denial is the truth of Poor Richards maxim: Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.
Where shall I go? What shall I do? Thats what liberals will be whimpering in the weeks after the election. Only we conservatives do give a damn, because we want liberals to get straight on things, get past their anger and denial and come to acceptance that their governing philosophy and praxis absolutely stinks. Its because we care.
Isnt it helpful that the 21st century edition of George Gilders Wealth and Poverty is coming out? Heres where to go, liberals: click over to Amazon. Cheapskates can take the cycle lane down to HalfPriceBooks. Heres what to do: read, learn, and inwardly digest Wealth and Poverty. Liberals that just cant wait can start with the Gilder Uncommon Knowledge interview on NRO.
Here is a Gilder quote to get you all started.
Capitalism is the supreme expression of human creativity and freedom, an economy of mind overcoming the constraints of material power.
Theres a sentiment to mix with your granola in the morning. Want some more?
All economic growth comes from human creativity, that always comes as a surprise to us. Its the ideas in peoples heads that makes the economy thrive.
Lets move on from the empty idea of a wise and beneficent educated elite guiding us all on our way. Hayek showed half a century ago that it couldnt work.
Please, liberals. Get a clue before its too late!
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300â€“301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
Paul Dirac: When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated
by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that
I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion.
However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and
inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he
suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.
John Farrell, The Creation Myth
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization