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Grow Up: The Vision of The Left.


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#1    libertyworld

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 03:24 PM

By Thomas Sowell
9/9/08

Conservatives, as well as liberals, would undoubtedly be happier living in the kind of world envisioned by the Left.

Very few people have either a vested interest or an ideological preference for a world in which there are many inequalities.
Even fewer would prefer a world in which vast sums of money have to be devoted to military defense, when so much benefit could be produced if those resources were directed into medical research instead.

It is hardly surprising that young people prefer the political Left. The only reason for rejecting the Left’s vision is that the real world in which we live is very different from the world that the Left perceives today or envisions for tomorrow.

Most of us learn that from experience — but experience is precisely what the young are lacking.

“Experience” is often just a fancy word for the mistakes that we belatedly realized we were making, only after the realities of the world made us pay a painful price for being wrong.

Those who are insulated from that pain — whether by being born into affluence or wealth, or shielded by the welfare state, or insulated by tenure in academia or in the federal judiciary — can remain in a state of perpetual immaturity.

Individuals can refuse to grow up, especially when surrounded in their work and in their social life by similarly situated and like-minded people.

Even people born into normal lives, but who have been able through talent or luck to escape into a world of celebrity and wealth, can likewise find themselves in the enviable position of being able to choose whether to grow up or not.

Those of us who can recall what it was like to be an adolescent must know that growing up can be a painful transition from the sheltered world of childhood.

No matter how much we may have wanted adult freedom, there was seldom the same enthusiasm for taking on the burdens of adult responsibilities and having to weigh painful trade-offs in a world that hemmed us in on all sides, long after we were liberated from parental restrictions.

Should we be surprised that the strongest supporters of the political Left are found among the young, academics, limousine liberals with trust funds, media celebrities, and federal judges?

These are hardly Karl Marx’s proletarians, who were supposed to bring on the revolution. The working class are in fact today among those most skeptical about the visions of the Left.

Ordinary working-class people did not lead the stampede to Barack Obama, even before his disdain for them slipped out in unguarded moments.

The agenda of the Left is fine for the world that they envision as existing today and the world they want to create tomorrow.

That is a world not hemmed in on all sides by inherent constraints and the painful trade-offs that these constraints imply. Theirs is a world where there are attractive, win-win “solutions” in place of those ugly trade-offs in the world that the rest of us live in.

Theirs is a world where we can just talk to opposing nations and work things out, instead of having to pour tons of money into military equipment to keep them at bay. The Left calls this “change” but in fact it is a set of notions that were tried out by the Western democracies in the 1930s — and which led to the most catastrophic war in history.

For those who bother to study history, it was precisely the opposite policies in the 1980s — pouring tons of money into military equipment — which brought the Cold War and its threat of nuclear annihilation to an end.

The Left fought bitterly against that “arms race” which in fact lifted the burden of the Soviet threat, instead of leading to war as the elites claimed.

Personally, I wish Ronald Reagan could have talked the Soviets into being nicer, instead of having to spend all that money. Only experience makes me skeptical about that “kinder and gentler” approach and the vision behind it.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmU1O...TZkM2VkMzNiMDE=


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#2    Guardsman Bass

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:16 PM

Quote

That is a world not hemmed in on all sides by inherent constraints and the painful trade-offs that these constraints imply. Theirs is a world where there are attractive, win-win “solutions” in place of those ugly trade-offs in the world that the rest of us live in.


Since when? Although we don't tend to reject them out of hand as much as conservatives do, it is worth pointing out that we generally have a much more realistic view on things like poverty and environmentalism (as opposed to the usually simplistic nonsense that conservatives have on these issues).

Quote

Theirs is a world where we can just talk to opposing nations and work things out, instead of having to pour tons of money into military equipment to keep them at bay. The Left calls this “change” but in fact it is a set of notions that were tried out by the Western democracies in the 1930s — and which led to the most catastrophic war in history.


You'd be surprised how often negotiation actually works. The British fought the IRA for more than 30 years, but the most violent part of it was ended as a result of those reviled negotiations.

Quote

For those who bother to study history, it was precisely the opposite policies in the 1980s — pouring tons of money into military equipment — which brought the Cold War and its threat of nuclear annihilation to an end.


Plus the fact that the Soviet Union was an economic mess from years of giving first priority to military development and production, and from the constraints of the economy they were running. Reagan did force the Soviet Union into a situation that it probably would not have faced otherwise, but he was hardly doing it ex nihilo, and it wasn't entirely a matter of building more weapons - Carter, for example, had started the aid program to the mujahideen in Afghanistan that helped bleed the Soviet Union white and encourage soldier disgruntlement, and Robert Gates (the current Defense Secretary) has said in his book From The Shadows that human-rights rhetoric and support like that that Carter provided was of enormous help in starting up many of the dissident movements in the Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union that led to groups like Solidarity in Poland.

I don't begrudge Thomas Sowell his gains; he worked his way up from poverty into intellectual fame and comfort. The problem is, though, is that he ironically seems to have picked up a rather naive view of how reality intruded on the desires of the black population to prosper - I remember reading an editorial from him where he argued that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn't really do anything for the equality of black people.



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#3    InHuman

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 01:49 AM

Again, all I see is someone lashing out because they are scared..

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#4    Guardsman Bass

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 03:02 AM

Are you talking about me, or libertyworld?

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." -Sir Charles Napier

"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted."  — D.H. Lawrence




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