|The Four Freedoms: 75 Years of Liberal Betrayal||What IS Going On With Jobs?|
by Christopher Chantrill
January 07, 2014 at 12:00 am
IT WAS ON DECEMBER 4, 2013 that President Obama opened the Year of Inequality with his speech on economic mobility. A month later liberal hounds are baying for extended unemployment benefits and higher minimum wage, and conservatives are drawing up lists of what liberals know that ain’t so.
Here is John Hawkins’enumeration of how liberal inequality politics hurts the poor.
And here is John C. Goodman exposing “Five Myths about Inequality.”
We know what is going on here. Right now liberals aren’t going to win votes by airy promises of Hope and Change. That dog won’t hunt, not with Obamacare hammering ordinary Americans in the pocket-book. They have to turn the clock back to basic tribal instinct: vote for the Dems and we will give you loot. So 2014 must be the Year of Inequality. Democrats will extend long-term unemployment benefits even though science says that any period of unemployment is damaging to basic job skills. They will raise the minimum wage even though it will make it harder for your kid to get a job. And anyone that disagrees wants to starve little children.
We could go all Heideggerian here and sneer that the liberals are “falling” into the “inauthentic” “they-self” of “idle talk” at MSNBC and NPR. But we won’t.
No, let’s do something useful instead, and get back to science, the science of cooperation. Many of us have heard how game theorists use the Prisoners’Dilemma to investigate the phenomenon of human cooperation, and we’ve even heard about Robert Axelrod. He is the guy that ran a Prisoners’Dilemma tournament back in the 1970s and found that the best strategy for successful cooperation was TIT FOR TAT. Check out Wikipedia for details. I recently read the book, Robert Axelrod’s The Evolution of Cooperation. He boils it down to this, what we might call the Four Steps to Successful Social Cooperation:
Ever cracked The Evolution of Cooperation, Mr. President, in between “Game of Thrones” and Rules for Radicals? Ever thought how your new inequality policy goes against the settled science of cooperation?
First, you like to encourage envy in your supporters with your class and race policy. Then your permanent campaign means that you believe in a philosophy of non-cooperation, hitting your opponents twice as hard. And, finally, you and the other Axelrod, David, think that clever tactics will always win the game.
The error that political activists make — even on the right — is to reduce all life to politics. But politics, I like to say, is civil war by other means, and every political action is therefore like a chess move, designed to inflict maximum harm on the opposition.
If you reduce life in society to civil-war-by-other-means you create a social and economic wasteland, so wise politicians typically put the chess game aside after the election. They try to dial down the triumphalism in their own supporters and the resentment in the opposition with calls to unity; they often work with the opposition to pass legislation that commands bipartisan support.
The new generation of progressives doesn’t get this. Thus President Obama snubbed Republican congressional leaders after the 2008 election with “we won.” The de Blasio folks went out of their way to insult out-going Mayor Bloomberg at Mayor de Blasio’s inauguration as New York City mayor. Don’t be nice, be nasty, and teach those racist, sexist bigots a lesson.
But human society, any society, is the group of people who are nice to each other, trust rather than suspect, that friend rather than un-friend. In the iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma tournament, it was the “nice” cooperative strategies that won the tournament.
You want to help the poor? You want to make a more prosperous society? Then do everything you can to increase the payoff from cooperation.
Apparently our liberal friends are too clever to figure this out.
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 300–301, 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