We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Ferguson’s whole piece is worth reading; I’ll confine myself to two bits. Responding to what Ferguson says about Obama’s notorious “You didn’t build that” speech, one critic says: “It’s bizarre that Ferguson thinks government policies didn’t help create America’s middle class. America was the first country to make high school compulsory.” Ferguson:
Fact checked and — oh no! I really did get that wrong. It was the government that created the middle class, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge! Remind me to tell Karl Marx about this. It will come as news to him that, contrary to his life’s work, the superstructure in fact created the base. (Come to think of it, this is going to come as shock to a lot of American liberals too. Imagine! The state actually created the bourgeoisie! Who knew?)
No, not at all. Tell me what's the point of this response. What does it mean? I haven't a clue. The rest of what Ferguson wrote is pretty darn good, but this one paragraph goes right over my head. Snide? Definitely. A hard-hitting rebuttal? Only if you think his point is clear...which I don't. As far as I can tell, Ferguson's critic, Matthew O'Brien, never mentioned Marx, so why did Ferguson drag that bearded old revolutionary into the fight? What's Marx got to do with it? Is there a backstory we need to know? Since Ferguson didn't link to O'Brien's article, I haven't a clue. Probably neither does Roger Kimball. On the other hand, had Ferguson chosen to ridicule O"Brien's assertion that compulsory education imposed by government made the middle class, well that is laughable in the extreme.