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by Christopher Chantrill
December 09, 2014 at 12:00 am
WHAT IS THE single thread that winds through Ferguson, Staten Island, and the UVA “rape” case? I will tell you. It is not police racial profiling or police brutality. It is not a “rape culture.” It is liberals.
Now, I am not proposing that there is a conspiracy of liberals out to do us in. Nothing like that. I am just drawing attention to the fact that liberals, starting in the Progressive Era a century ago, are the ruling class in America. Liberals rule the culture; it is a liberal cultural world that you encounter when you turn on your TV or go to the movies, or go to school. Liberals rule our politics. I do not mean that Republicans never get into office. It’s just that when Republicans do gain the presidency they don’t get to rule; they just get to run the government for a while. And liberals mostly rule the economy; the rules that govern the workplace and the marketplace were fashioned by liberals.
With all that power, you’d expect that liberals would have abused it. With all that power for over a century, you’d expect that liberals would have abused their power damnably. It’s not that liberals are worse than any other ruling class; it’s just that government is force. When you’ve dominated government for a century then you will have imposed your world view by force in dozens of different ways, and many people will experience your world view as nothing less than oppression and injustice. Just like today.
Let us look at the world that has been illuminated for us by the killing of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Why was a young black holding up a convenience store 50 years after the Civil Rights Act? Why did Officer Wilson believe that the area where he encountered Mike Brown was a dangerous area with crime and gang activity? How come that African Americans hadn’t left all that behind as they moved from inner St. Louis to the suburb of Ferguson?
And what about Eric Garner? Why was Garner selling “loosies” on the street? Why was he working “in the shadows” of the informal economy? Why didn’t he have a proper job?
The answer, of course, is: liberals. It’s liberals that have boxed in the African American community so that the only life they know is gangs and Swisher Sweets and working for chump change in the informal economy.
The first liberal oppression is welfare. “Why do I need a job; I already got a check,” says the African American woman in the ads that keeping turning up on my browser.
The definitive story about welfare was told 30 years ago by George Gilder in Visible Man. Disabled marine gets home from Vietnam, knocks up a girl and they live together with the baby while he works at entry level jobs. But as soon as she gets to be 16 she dumps the father of her child and goes on welfare.
The second liberal oppression is the taxes and regulations on work. I wrote about this a couple of years ago. Given the payroll taxes and the unemployment taxes and the workers comp. and disability premiums it’s really not worth employing unskilled workers in the formal economy. And if you are getting welfare benefits then you can’t work in the formal sector without losing your benefits and/or paying a marginal tax rate over 50 percent. I wrote about that too.
Then we get to Rolling Stone and its rape story about “Jackie” at the University of Virginia. It’s hard to know the truth behind the story, but I’m prepared to put my nickel on this. At some point “Jackie” got treated like a piece of meat, and she got angry, as women do when they have been mistreated, and she told her friends. But the story she told couldn’t be merely about an upperclassman bullying her into sex and then dumping her; hey, that happens all the time, get over it kid. It had to be gang rape in a frat house with glass tables. So here there’s a double liberal oppression. First there were the feminists and liberals bullying us into the sexual revolution on the absurd idea that women could experience sex like men; it gave us the campus hook-up culture. Now, two generations later, liberals are bullying us into “teaching men not to rape.” Can we just rewind to 1960 and start over, without the liberals in charge?
Why do we put up with this oppression that’s tearing our nation apart, America?
German sociologist Georg Simmel wrote that all oppression, except the most violent physical coercion, is voluntary. If we put up with it, we tell the world that for us, right now, the price of freedom is too high.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[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.
[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
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[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
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
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
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
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel