In terms of newsworthiness, it might be a clever idea to have, say, Brad Pitt and Anne Hathaway stage a naked protest in Harry Reid’s office, demanding action to reduce out-of-control federal spending. On the other hand, it’s hard to see the logic of sending out a bunch of ugly freaks to harass John Boehner about their pet boondoggle...Yes, ugly freaks. Very ugly, and f-king depraved. But there's more:
Exactly why the federal government has a program to provide housing for AIDS sufferers but not, say, people with herpes or chlyamida, can only be explained in terms of identity politics. Over the past 30 years, clever organizers have succeeded in making AIDS a propaganda sledgehammer with which to bludgeon politicians. “AIDS funding” includes a vast category of government spending, of which HOPWA is a classic example, that is considered sacrosanct because anyone who doesn’t support it will be slammed as a heartless homophobe.Now that's where you're gonna get Rachel Maddow all lathered. Anything to expand the role of government over the individual, using tactics so depraved to make one vomit, and Maddow is totally down with it. She is the perfect representative of how far to the left the so-called establishment has shifted in recent years. Progressives want nothing less than the destruction of traditional values and the respectful nature of the individual, the decent, respectful nature of the individual. It must be destroyed to make way for far-left cultural values and the secular state enforcer.
For more on this check out Sheldon Richman's essay at Reason, "Rachel Maddow's Blind Deference to Government Power." I don't think the essay is introduced as well as it should be --- for example, the key quotation at the piece does not coincide with the video to which it links. But the fundamental argument is a good one: that Rachel Maddow is totally in the service of the expansion of government power over the individual. Indeed, Richman's offering a theory of Maddow's philosophy of the general will, in which the atomized individual is meaningless except to the extent that it fuels the social mass subservient to state power. Here's the key section:
Echoing President Obama and Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, Maddow apparently believes that no private accomplishment is possible without government support through spending on infrastructure, education, and research. But that is wrong. All of those things can be and have been provided in the private market. Government has a way of crowding out private efforts and then asserting its own importance because of the lack of private alternatives. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy!Right.
Government doesn't just crowd out private-sector activities; it also substitutes inferior ones in their place. No one is pleased with education—which has been under government control for close to 200 years. If the infrastructure is in disrepair, who's to blame for that? Politicians don't think about fixing things until they need a rationalization for "stimulus" spending. Why does it take a recession to make them think about the roads and bridges? American history is rife with examples of private roads and bridges, whose owners didn't wait for an economic crisis to fix them. Their incomes—their businesses—depended on satisfying customers. That goes for education and research too....
Maddow needs to be reminded that we live in a world of scarcity. That doesn't mean great things can't be accomplished, but it does mean that if politicians and bureaucrats decide what is to be built, the scarce labor and resources used in those projects will be unavailable for other projects—particularly those that private entrepreneurs are willing to take risks on. It's Bastiat's broken-window fallacy again. We readily see a government project being built. (Don't worry, the politicians will make sure of that.) What we don't see are all the things not being built because government preempted free enterprise.
But we must ask: Who is better qualified to determine how scarce labor and resources should be invested, politicians or private individuals? Politicians operate under a perverse set of incentives and lack critical information. They aim to please electoral constituencies and special-interest donors, while having no market feedback to guide them in choosing among the many alternative projects; they risk no capital of their own and acquire resources by force—taxation. Why would we expect them to make good decisions? They may call what they do "investment," but in economic terms, it is consumption not investment.
On the other hand, entrepreneurs—at least when government provides no safety net of bailouts, guarantees, subsidies, cheap credit, and the like—do risk their own capital or must raise it from investors who are free to say no. (Try saying that as a taxpayer.) It's not an infallible process, but if consumers are ultimately unhappy with what is produced, they are free to withhold their dollars and send the misguided entrepreneur into bankruptcy, a process that will transfer resources to more able hands. That's a kind of clout which political subjects can only wish they had....
Maybe that's why Maddow prefers government "greatness" to private "smallness." She doesn't want plain people calling the shots, which ultimately they would do in a freed market. She seems more at home with the governing elite and their court intellectuals, who promise to take care of the rest of us rather than let us look after ourselves through the vast mutual-aid society known as the free market.
Maddow wants the state bureaucrats and socialist political hacks to rule over all the private social and economic space of the individual and the family. It's totalitarian, for there is no end to what the left would like to do. Again, you have to get the context of Richman's essay, which isn't as well devoloped as it should be. The link at the post goes to one of those MSNBC "Lean Forward" promotional spots the network's been running for a year or so now. Maddow stands out in front of the Hoover Dam in one of the more classic ones, extolling the virtues of the gargantuan New Deal infrastructure projects put in place during the Franklin Roosevelt-era of progressive socialist government. Maddow pines for a revamped, steroid-fueled homosexualized New Deal. She and her cohorts at MSNBC ---- self-declared socialists like Lawrence O'Donnell --- are hell bent on eviscerating private initiative in the name of state power and secular values. I'm blown aways sometimes watching those shows, for example, Ed Schultz's recent Blitzkrieg broadcasting assault on Walmart.
These are bad people. They are, by definition, un-American, for what they propose for our governing future is the European model of an ever-enveloping state sector, with crushing bureaucratic power, economic stagnation, and a growing entitlement state with double-digit employment a permanent feature of economic life. Recall from yesterday, "Professor Harvey Mansfield: Obama Voters 'Are Voting for Dependency, for Lack of Ambition, for Insolvency...'"
This is the new reality. Polls are showing an even greater tendency toward socialism and socialist organization in the American polity. The voters ratified this vision of government when they reelected President Obama. But as I've been saying, nothing is permanent in politics. At some point the left's entitlement goody bag becomes so stuffed that even the most productive people in the world aren't able to fill it. We're seeing it happen in California, as the bills are coming due in this once great state. It's only a matter of time nationally. The left is preparing the grave for its own catastrophic fall from indulgent, decadent power.