Friday, December 7, 2012

The Shadow of Marx Blankets the "Fiscal Cliff" Fight

Polls show strong support for President Obama's adamant insistence on raising taxes on the "the rich"-- which, in its current manifestation, means the "top 2%" of earners.

It would be easy to tag most of those poll respondents as hypocrites who favor tax hikes, but only on the other guy. While there is undoubtedly an element of truth in that, it would be simplistic to primarily blame hypocrisy for that majority sentiment. The reason so many people support Obama on this, in contradiction to Americans' traditional unenvious respect for personal achievement, is expressed in this statement by a poll respondent:

"If you are fortunate and have some extra, you need to help those who don't," said Robin Keck, 49, of Golden Valley, Minn., who owns a framing business and supports ending tax cuts for the rich. "I believe people who have more money generally find more uses for it than putting other people to work."

If you thought I was exaggerating in my TOS Blog post The Left's Egalitarian Trap when I said that if you accept discriminatory tax hikes on the top 2%, you have "no defense against tax hikes on anyone and everyone who earns more than anyone else," you have proof from the other side that I was not.

Keck's moral view, altruism, is held--though not consistently adhered to--by most people. It saturates the culture. If you have "more money," you need to help those who have less. Need to, as in moral duty. What constitutes "extra?" Anything that you can afford but the next guy can't.

I also said that the logical consequence of this line of thinking is "a society in which everyone is equally poor."  An exaggeration? On the Left's--and Keck's--premises, if it is right to tax people making over $250,000 for the sake of those making under $250,000, then it is right to tax people making $249,000 for the sake of people making $100,000; and to tax people making $50,000 for the sake of people making $25,000; and to tax people making $25,000 for the sake of people making $10,000. "There are people who aren't broke," said  Atlas Shrugged’s Orin Boyle, "You boys have no excuse for permitting all that need and misery to spread through the country—so long as there are people who aren't broke."

This is the moral view that underpins Karl Marx's "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." We know the horrors that the implementation of that slogan brought mankind, and most people are explicitly opposed to Marxism. But, implicitly, most people adhere to Marx's political philosophy through their acceptance of altruism--the moral underpinning of Marx's infamous slogan.

As long as the ethics of altruism dominates the culture, and more of us on the Right don't challenge it with the alternative moral code of rational self-interest, America will continue to buckle under the weight of a growing omnipotent government. The endgame of this trend, if not reversed, will be ugly.

Related Reading:

The Left's Egalitarian Trap

Understanding Obama: It's Not the Economy, Stupid!

The Creed of Sacrifice vs. the Land of Liberty, by Craig Biddle

FREE MARKET REVOLUTION: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government, by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins


Mike Kevitt said...

Maybe the reason some people still think Communism works is, if everybody works there'll be enough production to give everybody their fair share, which will be more than enough for subsistence. The only reason it might not work is there're too many jackheads who won't go along with it and want to go their own way, or just don't wanna work.

So, we have to MAKE everybody go along with it and work. When everybody then begins to see that it works, and they see how beneficial it is, they'll all work voluntarily and eagerly, no more force needed. So, the state will wither away. That'll be the worker's paradice.

I don't think it'll work, and I think it's wrong. I'd rather go my own way and not go along with it. I'd have to be forced. I'm a jackhead.

Mike LaFerrara said...

The reason that communism, or any manifestation of collectivism, does not and can never work is that it contradicts the laws of nature, including human nature. The very best concretization of the evil of Marxism is the bum’s description of how that “ideal” worked at the Twenthieth Century Motor Company, in Atlas Shrugged (pp660-672). Rand exposes the three types of people who can ever benefit from Marxism; the material parasite, the spiritual parasite, and the power-luster, as depicted by Gerald, Eric, and Ivy Starnes.

As the bum tells Dagny, “God help us, Ma’am! Do you see what we saw? We saw that we’d been given a law to live by, a moral law, they called it, which punished those who observed it, for observing it. The more you tried to live up to it, the more you suffered; the more you cheated it, the bigger reward you got…. The honest ones paid, the dishonest collected. The honest lost, the dishonest won. How long could men stay good under this sort of a law of goodness?... Not that it encouraged a few bastards, but that it turned decent people into bastards, and there was nothing else that it could do—and it was called a moral ideal!”

Mike Kevitt said...

Well yeah, I know that. I guess the way I worded my comment made it read like I thought the reason I gave for people thinking it works was an actual reason, except for my indication that some people don't wanna work.

I meant that some people think that if everybody DOES work and does go along with it, it'll work. But some will cheat, then more will, then everybody will. So, under 'gvt.' enforced communism, like in the U.S.S.R., they enforced another slogan that said that who doesn't work, won't eat.

I'm no expert on the history, but that must mean they MADE everybody work. Even if they did, it still didn't work, not in the U.S.S.R. or anywhere else. Even if everybody accepts it and everybody works, it won't work, because it assumes omnicience about changes in people and in everything else, and about how to deal with changes. But aside from that, some, then everybody, will cheat and the 'authorities' will have to whip everybody. As that makes thinking impossible, it also makes any productive physical work impossible.

The cheaters benefit only so long as there are enough workers, not cheating yet, to benefit them. When there are too many cheaters to benefit, the bullwhips appear, or, in a pvt. corp., they shut down, close shop and go out into the field and forage.

There are many blanks to fill in, here, and more ideas to add, but, well, later.