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.
In Ian McEwan’s novel ‘Saturday’, the protagonist Henry Perowne watches as demonstrators gather for the massive anti-war march of February 2003. He is struck, and slightly disturbed, by the levity of the crowd. ‘Everyone is thrilled to be out together on the streets – people are hugging themselves, it seems, as well as each other.’ The protestors may be right, Perowne muses: leaving Saddam’s sanguinary dictatorship in place might, just, be preferable to aerial bombing and invasion. But they ought to be ‘sombre’ in this view – it’s a dreadful moral calculus, after all, that weighs summary execution and ‘occasional genocide’ against the hazards of regime change.
The marchers’ placards and slogans catch Perowne’s eye too. Some belong to the Islamist group that helped to organise the march, an outfit, Perowne remembers, which believes that ‘apostasy from Islam was an offence punishable by death.’ Others bear the legend ‘Not in My Name’, a phrase whose ‘cloying self-regard suggests a bright new world of protest, with the fussy consumers of shampoos and soft drinks demanding to feel good, or nice.’
It is not novel to say that socialism is dead. My argument is that its failure has brought a dark liberation to people who consider themselves to be on the liberal left. It has freed them to go along with any movement however far to the right it may be, as long as it is against the status quo in general and, specifically, America. I hate to repeat the overused quote that 'when a man stops believing in God he doesn't then believe in nothing, he believes anything', but there is no escaping it. Because it is very hard to imagine a radical leftwing alternative, or even mildly radical alternative, intellectuals in particular are ready to excuse the movements of the far right as long as they are anti-Western.
Let's pray that this book from this well-known recovering Left-Liberal, pink-diaper baby will have an impact on the UK.
It is often said that the cardinal conundrum is that:
AN OPTIMIST BELIEVES WE LIVE IN THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS. A PESSIMIST FEARS THIS IS TRUE.
Socialism has a cardinal conundrum too, and that is that capitalism (last seen in the pages of Adams Smith's tome,"An Inquiry into the Cause and Effects of the Wealth of Nations") has supported socialism for the past one hundred plus years.
I personally do not believe capitalism will ever uncouple itself from socialism.
Yesterday I mentioned Herbert Spenser and his coining of the phrase "survival of the fittest" two years prior to Charles Darwin. Spencer would have uncoupled them.
Our Christian charity will not allow capitalism to work Adam Smith's Invisible Hand. Like Carlo Collodi's Blue Fairy in Pinocchio, capitalism misguided Christian charity saves socialism from Pinocchino's original fate of death. Collodi's Blue Fairy affords her wayward beneficiary every opportunity to do the "Right Thing" on his own with no particular coercion or threat applied on her part. She allows him to wander by his own free will back into his own world of error again and again, relying on his own memory of her goodness toward him even while suffering in the throes of his own self-induced difficulties. Thus is capitalisms support of socialism and our adoption of Marxian dictum of "From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs..our governemnts raison d'etre.
So our elected Geppetto's continue to carve a beautiful capitalist system into a hedious Pinocchino