Santa and Socialism

Saturday, December 3, AD 2016

socialistsanta-600x450

Hattip to Instapundit.

The differences between Santa and  socialism.

  1.  Santa gives away his own stuff.
  2.  Santa is only a red due to his choice in clothing.
  3.  Santa gives things away rather than taking things from others.
  4.  Santa knows the State isn’t Santa.
  5. Santa understands the difference between naughty and nice.
  6. Santa operates an unregulated business.
  7. Santa has better music.
  8. Santa doesn’t spy on people as he enters their homes.
  9. Santa’s elves don’t belong to a union.
  10. Santa isn’t a grinch like many socialists.
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14 Responses to Santa and Socialism

  • Santa uses local elf labor and doesn’t get his toys from China or Mexico. One has to ignore the rumor that Rudolph is an undocumented reindeer though.

  • Santa gives things away rather than taking things from others. This is quite a contrast to Capitalism who take plenty of money from comsumers. Santa doesn’t spy on people as he enters their homes, that’s already been done by the state and many workers don’t belong to a union.

  • In Capitalism James people exchange money for goods and services. In Socialism the State pretends to give “free” goods and services to some by robbing from others.

  • The link provided, a sad commentary by Steve Coleman, does epitomize Grinch..and then some. The socialist utopia is hell on earth, yet they never own their history. Amazing bottom feeders, and Steve Coleman is one of the best.

    I love Santa and Mrs. Claus. No gender identity problems at the North Pole. Male Elves are male and female elves are female.
    Simply because nature is found in God’s handiwork, and it’s respected.

  • Wow. I imagine that if Scrooge and Old Man Potter could procreate together, the result would be Steve Coleman. You can’t help but feel sorry for someone like that.

  • The Grinch had a change of heart, or do we all forget that part? 50 years later and I still love to hear Boris Karloff sing about what a rotten soul the Grinch is. “A toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce. “

  • @ penguins fan.

    🙂

    Of course were speaking of pre-conversion Grinch. Potter, Grinch and pre-conversion Scrooge….now that makes for a colemanoscopy.. 🙁

  • I couldn’t read the entire Coleman article. The first two sentences were so mean spirited, I had to quit before I spoiled my whole day!

  • In Capitalism James people exchange money for goods and services. In Socialism the State pretends to give “free” goods and services to some by robbing from others.

    In ‘capitalism’, production, management, distribution, and finance are commonly distinct functions performed by different parties (not that they cannot be jumbled, just that in the enterprises which have the largest output, they are not). Voluntary exchange is a characteristic of market economies, whose producers need not be ‘capitalists’.

    As for ‘socialism’, in the form of a command economy, the state owns the productive enterprise and the real estate; the state allocates capital according to plans drawn up by public agency; the state conducts foreign trade through monopsonies; and all wages, prices, and rents are administered values determined by public agencies, with rationing achieved by queues or by connections. In western Europe ca. 1965, it meant different things in different countries. Austria and Britain had large inventories of industry, Sweden did not. Rent control and large inventories of municipal housing were the norm (with concessionary rents). Provision of medical services through public agency was to be found in Britain. Other countries had insurance schemes. Actuarially unsound pension programs have been the mode (especially in France).

    You wouldn’t say ‘robbing from others’ unless you were an Ayn Rand acolyte or were seeking to be inflammatory. Public schools, state asylums, state sanitoriums, state workhouses, and city hospitals all existed in Calvin Coolidge’s Massachusetts. They weren’t financed with voluntary donations.

  • There is not a Socialist party on Earth Art that has renounced the ideas of taking over businesses to be run by the State or extortionate taxes. That the State does it makes it no less theft.
    Winston Churchill helped set up the Welfare State in Britain but he always made it very clear why he was not a Socialist:

    “Ah, gentlemen, I don’t want to embark on bitter or harsh controversy, but I think the exalted ideal of the Socialists – a universal brotherhood, owning all things in common – is not always supported by the evidence of their practice. [Laughter.] They put before us a creed of universal self-sacrifice. They preach it in the language of spite and envy, of hatred, and all uncharitableness. [Cheers.] They tell us that we should dwell together in unity and comradeship. They are themselves split into twenty obscure factions, who hate and abuse each other more than they hate and abuse us. [Hear, hear, and laughter.] They wish to reconstruct the world. They begin by leaving out human nature. [Laughter.] Consider how barren a philosophy is the creed of absolute Collectivism. Equality of reward, irrespective of service rendered! It is expressed in other ways. You know the phrase – “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” [Laughter.] How nice that sounds. Let me put it another way – “You shall work according to your fancy; you shall be paid according to your appetite.” [Cheers.]

    Although I have tried my very best to understand these propositions, I have never been able to imagine the mechanical heart in the Socialist world which is to replace the ordinary human heart that palpitates in our breasts. What motive is to induce the men, not for a day, or an hour, or a year, but for all their lives, to make a supreme sacrifice of their individuality? What motive is to induce the Scotsmen who spread all over the world and make their way by various paths to eminence and power in every land and climate to make the great and supreme sacrifice of their individuality? I have heard of loyalty to a Sovereign. We have heard of love of country. Ah, but it is to be a great cosmopolitan, republic. We have heard of love of family and wives and children. These are the mere weaknesses of the bad era in which we live. We have heard of faith in a world beyond this when all its transitory pleasures and perils shall have passed away, a hope that carries serene consolation to the heart of men. Ah, but they deny its existence. [Laughter.] And what then are we to make this sacrifice for? It is for the sake of society.

    And what is society? I will tell you what society is. Translated into concrete terms, Socialistic “society” is a set of disagreeable individuals who obtained a majority for their caucus at some recent election, and whose officials in consequence would look on humanity through innumerable grills and pigeon-holes and across innumerable counters, and say to them, “Tickets, please.” [Laughter.] Truly this grey old world has never seen so grim a joke. [Applause.] Now, ladies and gentlemen, no man can be either a collectivist or an individualist. He must be both; everybody must be both a collectivist and an individualist. For certain of our affairs we must have our arrangements in common. Others we must have sacredly individual and to ourselves. [Cheers.]We have many good things in common. You have the police, the army, the navy, and officials – why, a President of the Board of Trade you have in common. [Applause.] But we don’t eat in common; we eat individually. [Laughter.] And we don’t ask the ladies to marry us in common. [Laughter.]

    And you will find the truth lies in these matters, as it always lies in difficult matters, midway between extreme formulae. It is in the nice adjustment of the respective ideas of collectivism and individualism that the problem of the world and the solution of that problem lie in the years to come. [Applause.] But I have no hesitation in saying that I am on the side of those who think that a greater collective element should be introduced into the State and municipalities. I should like to see the State undertaking new functions, particularly stepping forward into those spheres of activity which are governed by an element of monopoly. [Applause.] Your tramways and so on; your great public works, which are of a monopolistic and privileged character there I see a wide field for State enterprise to embark upon. But when we are told to exalt and admire a philosophy which destroys individualism and seeks to replace it by collectivism, I say that is a monstrous and imbecile conception which can find no real foothold in the brains and hearts – and the hearts are as trustworthy as the brains – in the hearts of sensible people.” [Loud cheers.]

    http://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1901-1914-rising-star/liberalism-and-socialism

  • Santa has better music than socialism – but Bruce Springsteen wants them both to come to town.

  • Could it be Santa likes distributionism.

  • Santa is a socialist ,at least a liberal, because everything he gives you, he covers up so that (in Pelosi-speak) you have to open it first to see what is really in it.

  • There is not a Socialist party on Earth Art that has renounced the ideas of taking over businesses to be run by the State or extortionate taxes. That the State does it makes it no less theft.

    I’m not keeping track of European party platforms. As far as I can recall, no Labour ministry in Britain in the last 50 years has extended the ambo of state enterprise or sought to reacquire enterprises sold off during the Thatcher and Major ministries. During the Kinnock years, the Labour Party had a line in their manifesto about ‘social ownership by a variety of means’. Jeremy Corbyn may want something along those lines, but it’s difficult to believe he’ll ever be Prime Minister or that he’ll have good discipline in his caucus; they don’t respect him because he’s dopey. The French Socialists had plans 40 years ago to nationalize 200-odd enterprises and did take over some in 1981-82. I’m not sure anything along those lines has been done since. The two places I can think of where there was a program of re-nationalization would be Russia and White Russia. The comparative size of the private sector is still larger by many multiples than it was in 1988. The big problem in France is too much re-distribution, hopelessly sclerotic labor markets, and huge inventories of public housing.

    The problem with complaints about ‘extortionate taxation’ is that it fails to address the primary concern. The proper level of taxation is that which delivers the revenue to pay for your projects. The question at hand is, what are the projects? I got into a back and forth like this about 6 years ago with a retired political science professor. He gives me a list of dozens of ‘wasteful’ programs, and I’d agree with him on the substantive point that they were nearly all things outside the ken of the central government, not merely here but even in places two small to have a level of regional government. The thing is, they were all small programs. The National Endowment for the Arts is a bad agency; it’s also an agency with a nine-digit budget. You can wipe out dozens of free-standing federal agencies which were the pet project of some long departed member of Congress. It’ll likely safe you about $15 bn. That’s not bad, but it won’t reduce your tax bill by an appreciable amount.

    You have large expenditures in the federal budget on the military, Social Security, debt service, a miscellany of means-tested benefits, unemployment compensation, subventions to important sectoral interests (e.g. higher education and agriculture), and public medical insurance. You cannot welsh on debt service if you know what’s good for you, The military cannot be devolved (and military expenditure is sensitive to external circumstances).

    You can see Margaret Chase Smith’s remarks on Social Security here. (http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964). The advent of social insurance schemes in Germany (to take one example) dates from the Bismarck ministries and antedated any Social Democratic ministry by more than 30 years; Friedrich Hayek was at home with this sort of social insurance (of which unemployment compensation would be another example) because it did not contravene certain core principles. You also have various sectoral subsidy programs (for groceries, housing, and utility bills) you might unload which incorporate the perverse incentives you see in means tested programs. These sorts of means-tested subsidies to mundane expenditure may be unsalutary. Their addition to your tax bill (around 1.6% of discoverable personal income) are not extortionate if imprudent. Milton Friedman suggested long ago that they be replaced with something he called a ‘negative income tax.’ You could go full George-Barton-Cutten with regard to all these programs. I wouldn’t recommend it myself. Cutten wasn’t the most capable rhetorician (and neither are people who trade in homilies featuring Davy Crockett).

    Taking higher education and agriculture off the dole (and that’s about $150 bn a year or thereabouts) sounds like a great idea. The impediment, with regard to the latter is a status quo bias on the part of the public that can be easily exploited by demagogues. The problem regarding the former was manifest in the Iowa caucuses this year, wherein if I”m not mistaken, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz were the only candidates to advocate ending ethanol subsidies. Rick Santorum, usually pretty square, was even plumping for the ExIm Bank, which has a much smaller clientele (though one AM McConnell was happy to kow tow to). I think ‘crony capitalism’ is a more precisely descriptive term than ‘socialism’ to describe this sort of thing.

    Restructuring the finance of medical care and long-term care is a vexed question; maybe there’s some wonk at Heritage or AEI who has come up with a plan which might address certain problems (which replacing Medicare with vouchers does not), maybe there isn’t. Yes, I’m aware there are rude libertarians (the one in mind is a lawyer in Los Angeles) who fancy you can treat medical care and long-term care like an ordinary consumer item; I’m sure there are also people who want cheap air fares achieved by the suspension of gravity. You’re not going to have a plan that’s cheap, whatever you do. Medical care in our time simply isn’t.

The Pilgrims and Socialism

Thursday, November 24, AD 2016

From  Of Plymouth Plantation, by Governor William Bradford:

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

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5 Responses to The Pilgrims and Socialism

  • I’ve always found that argument extremely weak. I heard Limbaugh retelling the same tale on Wednesday. He made one statement, during his ‘story’, about how their initial ‘socialist’ model left those with the talents and abilities without motivation to work hard. Now, maybe it’s me, but I think they had plenty of motivation, called survival. With so many who would die, and knowing their plight, they had a motivation beyond any conceivable economic theory. Their problem was that they didn’t know how to survive in a radically different environment than they were used to. Their plans had gone wrong, they landed where they weren’t planning, they came late in the season with harsh weather and no clear knowledge of how to survive. That they survived at all was a miracle. That they happened into an area where different native tribes would be willing to consider new allies in their own struggles, helped. But trying to make this a Capitalist/Socialist morality play is, to me, along the same lines as making it all about imperialist invaders and beautiful and noble natives who only want to give peace a chance.

  • Socialism has a poor economic record Dave. The Pilgrim example is just one page of a very long book. I also think that William Bradford, who was there, has a better insight into what happened than either of us. I do agree that the Pilgrims were quite ill-prepared to be successful settlers beyond the common ownership system they initially saddled themselves with.

    Jamestown had a similar experience, but there the problem was crony capitalism with all profits and land owned by the Virginia Company. The colony flourished once a private property system for the colonists was instituted

    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/early-settlements/essays/jamestown-and-founding-english-america

  • Socialism does have a poor record, but I don’t think we can equate the trials that the pilgrims experienced as the result. Like I said, when I heard Limbaugh say that the problem they encountered that first year was a lack of motivation, I had to think that survival was likely a good motivator. And it was. Their plight was rather the result of poor planning and a series of circumstances that dropped them into an area for which they were not prepared. Again, this does not in any way mean Socialism is good, it’s just I don’t think this is one of the better examples, especially when pointing to their first winter.

  • Dave, if survival is a proper motivator (and hey, I won’t knock it), then the question becomes: how did anyone starve ye ‘olde Communist countries?

    Probably for the same reason people don’t lose weight nowadays even though doing so would be in the interest of their survival. Because growing crops (likes exercise) means being more concerned about the survival far down the road, whereas we have right now. And I don’t wanna.

    That’s always the catch. By the time survival happens and suddenly the people are motivated to grow, it’s a bit too late for the crops to come.

  • The motivation issue here quoted from Bradford has some sameness with issues in
    Obamacare (young healthy people not signing on) and other shared responsibility schemes including Social Security (being used for current needs) etc

    ” For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labours and victuals, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. “

Another Triumph For Socialism

Monday, May 16, AD 2016

 

 

Venezuela continues to demonstrate that the further down the path of Socialism a nation treads, the closer it also comes to economic collapse:

Here in the Caribbean port town of Barcelona, two premature infants died recently on the way to the main public clinic because the ambulance had no oxygen tanks. The hospital has no fully functioning X-ray or kidney dialysis machines because they broke long ago. And because there are no open beds, some patients lie on the floor in pools of their blood.

It is a battlefield clinic in a country where there is no war.

“Some come here healthy, and they leave dead,” Dr. Leandro Pérez said, standing in the emergency room of Luis Razetti Hospital, which serves the town.

This nation has the largest oil reserves in the world, yet the government saved little money for hard times when oil prices were high. Now that prices have collapsed — they are around a third what they were in 2014 the consequences are casting a destructive shadow across the country. Lines for food, long a feature of life in Venezuela, now erupt into looting. The bolívar, the country’s currency, is nearly worthless.

The crisis is aggravated by a political feud between Venezuela’s leftists, who control the presidency, and their rivals in congress. The president’s opponents declared a humanitarian crisis in January, and this month passed a law that would allow Venezuela to accept international aid to prop up the health care system.

“This is criminal that we can sit in a country with this much oil, and people are dying for lack of antibiotics,” says Oneida Guaipe, a lawmaker and former hospital union leader.

But Mr. Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chávez, went on television and rejected the effort, describing the move as a bid to undermine him and privatize the hospital system.

“I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,” Mr. Maduro said.

Late last fall, the aging pumps that supplied water to the University of the Andes Hospital exploded. They were not repaired for months.

So without water, gloves, soap or antibiotics, a group of surgeons prepared to remove an appendix that was about to burst, even though the operating room was still covered in another patient’s blood.

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11 Responses to Another Triumph For Socialism

  • I’m not sure I can say what I’d like to say without me being banned from ever posting again on this website.
    .
    Suffice it to say, the times I have argued with my spouse–really, me screaming at him, since he isn’t the type to fight back (and I think he quietly agrees with me anyway)–have been over the corrupt/socialist leanings our the RCC’s hierarchy.
    .
    This scares the heck out of me, since we Americans are not immune to this kind of thing.

  • I am glad that TAC is giving attention to this disaster in Venezuela. As many know, on Friday (5/13/16), massive and undeniably large riots broke out, again, in one particular case about 5000 people mobbing a government supermarket, desperate for food.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/10780264/In-pictures-Renewed-rioting-in-Venezuelan-capital.html

    Some people were beaten, observers saw at least one man killed, and mayhem exploded all over.

    Our dear leader made it a point back in Apr. 2009 to proudly meet with Nicolas Maduro’s predecessor, Chavez, and announced the “re-start” of US-Venezuelan relations at that time. GW-Bush-Haters and communists can always quickly find common ground.

    Back in 2006, PBXVI met with Chavez, but also issued afterwards a statement of concern for the (even-then) growing impoverishment of the Venezuelan people. In a fit of anger,Chavez announced imperiously “Christ needs no ambassador”, but lives in the poor: a position very close to that of a certain Argentine pope:
    ..
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/venezuelan-president-slams-pope-benedict-xvi/

    Of course the aforementioned Argentine pontiff met with Maduro in June 2013. I know of no followup statements then of concern. But during the past 3 years of downward spiraling conditions, of course the Argentine blistered Donald Trump sharply, but had the most indirect, meek statements (PF wrote a carefully couched letter May 2nd, asking for action regarding the Venezuelan catastrophe,

    http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/05/02/pope_francis_writes_letter_to_venezuelan_president_maduro/1227014

    … but no specific actions, and certainly has never denounced Maduro and his band of merry thieves, specifically Maduro however, “the man of the people”, who has made himself a multi-millionaire during this time, and had carried on the certifiably anti-Semitic practices of his predecessor. Strange.

    Meanwhile, the situation in Venezuela—a nation that under Maduro has even more stringently tightened gun controls, and we know why— grows terribly worse each day.

  • What has happened in Venezuela is an atrocity, not a tragedy. My missus is from neighboring Colombia. The countries have similar cultures (not identical) and were at one time a single nation – first, Nueva Granada, then, after Liberation, Gran Colombia.
    Venezuela has had the worst of it with caudillos. The Church in Venezuela has not been as strong as the Church in Colombia, either.
    Chavez was a socialist punk and a Castro suckup. He used Venezuelan oil, which due to its high sulfur vcontent can be refined only in the US, to prop up Castro’s feeble economy. Chavez stole land and factories from foreign investors, all in the name of “Bolivarism” his own version of Marxism.

    Chavez purged the Army of anyone who would not suck up to him. Chavez provided aid and comfort to the FARC and Colombia caught him doing it. Chavez helped get Cortes elected in Ecuador and Evo in Bolivia.

    You will never hear this Pontiff confront the megalomaniac Maduro. They are in many ways kindred spirits.

    Pray for the Venezuelan people. They deserve better.

  • I wonder if Venezuela has a 2nd Amendment. Probably not. Socialism and Communism don’t like armed citizens. Come to think of it, neither do Democrats.

  • “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

    Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

    After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria [Government limo] sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked.

    The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!”

    –Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The GULAG Archipelago

    “The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history. It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease. The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.”

    Thomas Cooley, Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)

  • Correa, not Cortes, in Ecuador. Stupid phone auto correct. Colombia found one of the FARC leaders in Ecuador not long ago, with his laptop that incriminate a bunch of others. Rather than be embarrassed, Correa went off in a tirade against Colombia.

    Chavez looked up to Castro, who has been the Latin American cancer for over 50 years. The US should have taken him out long ago.

  • A case can be made to prove that the Obama regime did to the US military officer corps the same as Stalin and Chavez did to theirs.
    .
    Mac, Your comment above identifies the left’s motivation for (incrementally) confiscating guns. If they cared about children’s lives, they would not murder 1,500,000 unborn each year.
    .
    The left doesn’t have the stones to follow through. Case in point, CT and NY in knee-jerks after the December 2013 elementary school massacre banned all so-called assault rifles. About 400,000 ”assault rifles” remain in hands of CT and NY citizens’ and the states can’t do anything. Maybe that’s why the NY thug/governor and the idiots he has legislating NY wrote in the law a prohibition against assessing the law’s effectiveness. In NY, almost all county sheriffs refuse to enforce. Come and take them.
    .
    They say you won’t deport 11.,000,000 illegals. Some 80,000,000 Americans say they can’t take their weapons.

  • A month ago on you tube I was watching a clip from wearechange.org; 11:55sec. The gang violence has escalated to the point that you do not go out at night. The “gun free zones,” are set ups. The thugs rule.

    The empty promises.
    The empty shelves.

    This is the future Bernie Sanders has in mind for America.

  • Yes, Philip. closely related, in fact a necessary component of communist regimes, is the hysterical gun control arguments at the same time as the destruction of the police forces,(blaming them for “institutional racism” is the common chant here; Lenin and Trotsky assailed them as Tsarist oppressors), what Rahm Emmanuel has called “the police going into fetal position.” (And he is surprised at this?) In Venezuela, the police have mostly fled the streets from the angry mobs: but sooner or later, an arsenal is going to be broken into (just as the arsenal at Paris was breached in 1789, or the SS Peter and Paul Fortress at St Petersburg in 1917, and hell will break loose in Venezuela.

    So, what here in the US, on our march to Gomorrah, has now become a huge liability for the left? “The Ferguson Effect”:

    https://pjmedia.com/blog/chicago-pd-ferguson-effect/

    Heather MacDonald of the LA Times does fair justice to the obvious effect of seven and half years of Obama, Sharpton, and BLM (“Black Lives Matter”) blaming the police for “acting stupidly”:

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mac-donald-ferguson-effect-in-los-angeles-20160113-story.html

    However most of the left at the LA Times, Baltimore Sun, NY Times and Wash Post are in overdrive, defending against placing the Ferguson Effect blame squarely on our fair dictators here at home.

    So, each week as Chicago approaches summer and the typically worst time of year for homicides and violent crime, already in May multiple numbers of Chicagoans are dying, not because of racism of course but due to a neutered police force, as Obama and Rahm have desired, Both in Venezuela and in US major cities, more gun control “to control crime”—what Hillary has already said she would do when elected Tsarina.

    So, on the highway to Venezuelan collapse, the other chess pieces here at home are being martialed into position.

  • About a year ago, I, in my naïve foolishness, thought I could quickly “zip in” and see the recently restored Rockefeller Chapel and surrounding architecture at the Univ of Chicago campus.

    I knew from others that it was in a nasty part of town, crime-wise:
    But as I zipped up Michigan Avenue in the rental car, even at 9am on a Sunday AM (I thought, based on Phoenix and LA, all or most of the crack addicts and druggies would still be zonked out), the walking dead and zombies crowding around every stop light and many of the stopped cars (the lights are not timed so you can “zip”) told me this was an extremely bad idea, even at this hour. As most familiar with this area know, all the street corners are controlled by the patchwork of drug gangs, and their lookouts with their cell phones and their associates are visibly everywhere.

    I quickly “zipped” north instead to Lakeshore Drive, abandoning the idea of visiting U of Chicago, and got our little clan out of there. About a week later a woman and her children were assaulted—she as dragged out of her car— in broad daylight at the U of Chicago campus. How unsurprised was I. [My only advantage was that everyone always says I look like a cop (Is that an advantage any longer?) and the stock rental car could have helped to add to the momentary hesitation, as people pile into the street next to your car and aggressively panhandle. ]
    ….
    And I, because I was travelling, had no gun. All of them (discerning the bulges in their pants pockets) obviously did, in this most gun-controlled, Communist-leaning city. Ahhh,, no police anywhere of course.

    Expect the gangs and the BLM crowd to be unleashed this election summer, when they get their orders from on high on their Obama-phones.

Quick, Someone Tell Bernie Sanders

Monday, March 7, AD 2016

churchill-heavenhell7

The socialist economy has become so strong, so vigorous that from the summits we have reached we can issue an open challenge of peaceful economic competition to the most powerful capitalist country—the United States of America.

Nikita Khrushchev, October 27, 1961-Concluding speech 22 Congress Communist Party of the Soviet Union

 

Future historians will have a field day explaining the popularity of socialism, perhaps especially in its democratic variants:

Since Sweden is held up as a sort of promised land by American socialists, let’s compare it first. We find that, if it were to join the US as a state, Sweden would be poorer than all but 12 states, with a median income of $27,167. 
 
Median residents in states like Colorado ($35,830), Massachusetts ($37,626), Virginia ($39,291), Washington ($36,343), and Utah ($36,036) have considerably higher incomes than Sweden.
 
With the exception of Luxembourg ($38,502), Norway ($35,528), and Switzerland ($35,083), all countries shown would fail to rank as high-income states were they to become part of the United States. In fact, most would fare worse than Mississippi, the poorest state.
 
For example, Mississippi has a higher median income ($23,017) than 18 countries measured here. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom all have median income levels below $23,000 and are thus below every single US state. Not surprisingly, the poorest OECD members (Chile, Mexico, and Turkey) have median incomes far below Mississippi.
 
Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, has a median income ($25,528) level below all but 9 US states. Finland ranks with Germany in this regard ($25,730), and France’s median income ($24,233) is lower than both Germany and Finland. Denmark fares better and has a median income ($27,304) below all but  13 US states. 
 
On the other hand, were Australia ($29,875), Austria ($28,735), and Canada (28,288) to join the US, they would be regarded as “middle-income states” with incomes similar to the US median of $30,616.
 
We Should Adjust for Purchasing-Power Differences Among States 
 
But, I’m really being too conservative with the US numbers here. I’m comparing OECD countries to US states based on a single nation-wide purchasing power number for the US. We’ve already accounted for cost of living at the national level (using PPP data), but the US is so much larger than all  other countries compared here, we really need to consider the regional cost of living in the United States. Were we to calculate real incomes based on the cost of living in each state, we’d find that real purchasing power is even higher in many of the lower-income states than we see above. 
***********************
Once purchasing power among the US states is taken into account, we find that Sweden’s median income ($27,167) is higher than only six states: Arkansas ($26,804), Louisiana ($25,643), Mississippi ($26,517), New Mexico ($26,762), New York ($26,152) and North Carolina ($26,819). 
 
We find something similar when we look at Germany, but in Germany’s case, every single US state shows a higher median income than Germany. Germany’s median income is $25,528. Things look even worse for the United Kingdom which has a median income of $21,033, compared to $26,517 in Mississippi. 
 
Meanwhile, Colorado ($35,059) has a median income nearly identical to Switzerland ($35,083), and ten states (Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Washington State) show higher median incomes than Switzerland. Luxembourg ($38,502), on the other hand, shows a median income higher than every state except New Hampshire ($39,034).
 
None of this analysis should really surprise us. According to the OECD’s own numbers (which take into account taxes and social benefits, the US has higher median disposable income than all but three OECD countries. Sweden ranks below the US in this regard, as does Finland and Denmark. 
 
The fact that the median level in the US is above most OECD countries thus makes it no surprise that most of these countries then rank below most US states. The US states that have income level above the median US level will, not surprisingly, outpace many OECD countries by a considerable margin. 
 

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21 Responses to Quick, Someone Tell Bernie Sanders

  • But income is not the whole picture. What does it buy in Sweden versus the US? Their mortgage interest is 46% lower than in the US over a lifetime and that is huuuuge…to quote the Donald. Taxis are more in Sweden…potatoes and onions and oranges cost half. Their murder rate is .7 per 100,000 people….we are 4.7 per 100,000 nationwide and 32 in our ghettoes….4 per 100,000 in our prisons. It depends on category but mortgage interest for the middle class is huge and very distortive of simple income figures.

    http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=Sweden

  • But income is not the whole picture. What does it buy in Sweden versus the US?

    Bill, did you even read a damn thing?

    From the section Donald QUOTED:
    Were we to calculate real incomes based on the cost of living in each state, we’d find that real purchasing power is even higher in many of the lower-income states than we see above.

    “What does it buy” is EXACTLY what it’s answering and addressing and calculating out to a median income.

  • Swedes can vote in the right or the left. For decades that was the left but housing problems have led to recent victories for the right. Here is a concise history:

    For 6 of the 7 decades since the Great Depression, Swedish politics was dominated by the Swedish Social Democratic Party. It won between 40%-55% of the votes in all elections between 1930 and 1990.

    But a centre-right government led by the aristocrat Carl Bildt was elected in 1991-1994, after weak economic growth during the 1970s and 1980s tarnished the image of the social democrats.

    It was with a changed psychology and a commitment to budget cuts that the Swedish Social Democratic Party returned to power under Ingvar Carlsson (1994-1996) and then under Göran Persson (1996-2006).

    In September 2006 the economic pain inflicted by Perrson´s government caused the victory of right-wing Moderate Party. Its leader Fredrik Reinfeldt and the conservatives held power from 2006 to 2014.

    In October 2014, the Swedish Social Democratic Party under Stevan Löfven again returned to power in a coalition with the Green Party, albeit in a hung parliament, having won only 31% of the popular vote.
    ………….
    Right of center adjustments had to be made in the housing areas where rents are much lower than the US but controlled and thus demotivate home building.

  • Nate,
    You trust the authors way more than I. They should be explicitly mentioning housing factors and medical which former are unavoidable large percents of all citizens…and latter medical impacts the elderly ( met this month an elderly black man who drove a bus for twenty years and is now broke and on medicaid due to cancer co pays ).

  • You trust the authors way more than I.

    That doesn’t make any sense. What does “trust” have to do with anything when they flat out state their methods and showed their work?

    They should be explicitly mentioning housing factors and medical which former are unavoidable large percents of all citizens…and latter medical impacts the elderly ( met this month an elderly black man who drove a bus for twenty years and is now broke and on medicaid due to cancer co pays ).

    And had he been in sweden, there is a greater chance he would have died – and Sweden is the top in Europe while still behind the USA. (but let’s be fair, medical care is a lot cheaper for dead people) Why do you want more people to die, Bill? (see? that’s why you don’t bring out cheap rhetoric, because it’s easy to hang yourself by it)
    .
    With medicine as in all things: you get what you pay for.

  • Nate,
    Here’s a link to the happiest countries. It’s 172 pages and very nuanced. It involves complexity way beyond money but the US fares better than I thought but Scandinavia better….and better than money connotes.

    http://worldhappiness.report/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/04/WHR15.pdf

  • Ah yes, the “happiness reports” which always place Denmark so high, no matter how false it might be.
    .
    See, Bill, the benefit of money is that its objective, people can’t really lie about it.
    .
    Of course given that Sweden is also the least religious country in the West, maybe Jesus’ words should be updated to, “what does it profit a man to have all the socialism, health care, and happiness in the world, yet lose his soul?”

  • Nate,
    Your link gives similar rates of survival for the US and Sweden five years after a diagnosis of cancer. It specifes the US: 63% women, 66% males then he omits to specify Sweden but says it’s above 60% for both males and females.

  • Yeah, if you do a search, it’s around 63%.
    .
    So the question is: if your life is on the line, how much is it worth to you to increase your chance of surviving by 3%?
    .
    Well in america you get to decide. In sweden the choice is made for you. Good for them being happy in their slavery.

  • Nate,
    In America, you get to decide if you live near the best doctors not if you are in the heartland. My wife had brain artery surgery at Columbia Presbyterian by a New York doctor who was on Sixty Minutes for his expertise in same. I had surgery by a N.J. top fifty doctor that turned out perfect. I’m hearing very different stories from rural P.A. through a relative. That’s why US figures can be distorted by the doctors who opt for the most expensive cities.

  • So you believe that if we adopt universal care the USA is going to magically shrink to 1/16th it’s size? (or however much, sweden’s roughly about the size of kansas, nebraska & the dakotas put together)
    .
    Man, I knew socialists believed that they could alter the laws of economics by legislation but this is the first I’ve seen one claim they can alter physics!

  • The post about Donald Trump and Mark Shea right after this one talks about how we have become downright nasty towards those against whom we disagree. I confess that with respect to supporters of Bernie Sanders I am exactly like that. I am a sinful man.
    .
    🙁

  • No…I believe that neither the US nor the UK have found the golden answer. And in the US, it is partly a lawsuit problem as a hidden cost of treatment and a regulatory problem as to some not all medicines being astronomical in price. Necessities need regulation. Soda and potato chips don’t. Charge $100,000 a year for potato chips…but not for medicine. Chip companies need the excess to develop better potato chips through expensive research.

  • No…I believe that neither the US nor the UK have found the golden answer.

    That would be… relevant if someone brought up the UK (and just increases my evidence that you’re not reading anything – or are just a crude response program in the process of failing its turning test).

    And in the US, it is partly a lawsuit problem as a hidden cost of treatment and a regulatory problem as to some not all medicines being astronomical in price.

    Yes, lawsuits are a problem, almost nobody disagrees with that, and it’s usually the right who brings up a reduction in medicine regulation.

    Charge $100,000 a year for potato chips…but not for medicine.

    What does this even mean? The USA as a whole spends over $7 billion a year for chips so we’re kind of beating out your 100k babble.
    .
    And, again, you’re missing the entire point: trade offs. How much is your life worth and how does one pick when resources is limited? Doesn’t matter how you feel, all the feelings in the world won’t produce one more doctor with skills or conjure an additional pill to help you.

  • Nate,
    Adios. Print out our debate and show it to a monk and ask him which of us…you or I…needs snark therapy.

  • I never said anything about anyone needing snark therapy. Mostly just demanded what planet you were coming from so some context could be figured out from your seemingly at random statements.

  • My friend’s Russian born wife will inform you in no uncertain terms that there are no communists just socialists. One was a non-existent pretension. The other, a stark reality of Russian experience. Bernie is what he says he is, even though he may not realize what that is. Hillary is a variant of the same reality. And at the end, what does it matter if one is eaten by a lion or a tiger?

  • “Cost of living” is explicitly housing and medical. Those are living costs.

  • I do financial reporting for a living. There is an old joke, with an element of truth to it, that an accountant can make one plus one be anything you want it to be.

    Socialism sucks. Cuba is the end result of socialism. Per Louis Kelso, the author of The Capitalist Manifesto, there are five types of capitalism. Communism is State Capitalism, whereby the State controls the means of production and manipulates the means of production to benefit those who control the means of production. Namely, the people who control the State.

    This reasoning is beyond the mental capacity of Bernie Sanders supporters. To put it charitably, they are economically as dumb as a box of dog poop. Sanders has done nothing but get elected. Sanders knows one thing. Promising to rob Peter to pay Paul means one can always count on the support of Paul. In the end, what does he care? He is 74. He will be dead when the bills come due and it won’t be his problem.

  • I love comparing the melting pot of the United States with a homogeneous country like Sweden. There is no comparison. Sweden is failing spectacularly at integrating muslims. It is now the rape capitol of Europe. Wait a generation or two and see whether the new arrivals are still on welfare. So, to achieve the economic success we have here with a country that is constantly taking in migrants(an estimate I read recently put the number at 65 million) is actually astounding. Sweden wouldn’t come close to our results, as it is currently proving.

  • From an antii-Clinton article in Salon:

    “On core labor issues like global trade and a living wage, he is steadfast while she is anything but. Still, unions representing 70percent of all members backed her, often without members’ consent.”

    O the irony! It Berns.

The Pilgrims and Socialism

Thursday, November 27, AD 2014

 

 

 

From  Of Plymouth Plantation, by Governor William Bradford:

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

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9 Responses to The Pilgrims and Socialism

  • The history of “property rights” ought and must be repeated again and again…ad infinitum.

  • Socialism will work this time. My socialism professor said so.

  • “And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance)”

    This recalls a distinction drawn in Scots law between the “dominium utile” or ownership of the use and the “dominium directum” or ownership of the land itself.

    Feus were originally granted for life only, which explains the casulty of relief, payable by the heir or singular successor, when he was entered with the superior, for originally he had no right to the feu, unless the superior granted it to him of new.

  • The will to survive in the sovereign person enables him to work miracles, In the Soviet Union when state collective farms were established production fell to a point where the farmers could not feed themselves. The Soviet Union allowed the farmers to own the produce of seven feet around their house foundation. 70% of the farm produce was grown on their seven feet of earth. It exemplifies that acknowledging the freedom of the human person will result in success of whatever job they assume.
    .
    Working for another without recompense or as a nameless cog in the engine of another’s prosperity is doomed to failure unless the individual wills to give the other his initiative.
    .
    Communism is doomed to failure because communism rejects the individual human person in favor of the group, the communist party. A group, a communist party cannot be sovereign unless the party counts the sovereignty of every member.

  • T. Shaw: “Socialism will work this time. My socialism professor said so.”
    .
    I cannot go over Cooch’s Bridge without remembering that you told me about it.T. Shaw. Today, I went over the bridge three times. It would have been four but someone had flattened a polecat on Rt. 72.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: ““And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance)””
    .
    Today, we have, in America, the Homestead Act. To build or improve any parcel of public land within five years will allow the person who improved the land to purchase the land for a miniscule amount of money like $5 per acre.

  • “Communism is doomed to failure because communism rejects the individual human person in favor of the group, the communist party. A group, a communist party cannot be sovereign unless the party counts the sovereignty of every member.”
    .
    The God Who gave the sovereign individual personhood can and does give the party, the group sovereignty as well, but only under the same laws as govern the sovereignty of the individual and through the sovereignty of the individual. The state is constituted as a group by citizens to serve the individual as stated in the Preamble of our Constitution.

  • The will to survive, the human will to live becomes the state guarded right to life. Man’s natural will to survive is the natural human right to life.
    .
    The atheist through atheism refuses to accept, that is, to believe in the reality of the human soul. Atheism refuses to acknowledge “their Creator” of The Declaration of Independence. Atheism denies the immortality of the immortal human soul, the endowed gifts of free will, intellect, sovereign personhood and the promise of eternal life. What else is there for the atheist to believe in except turning his neighbor into a beast of burden to be treated with scorn for having belief in life, free will and freedom?
    .
    Every newly begotten soul, a new posterity, brings with his immortal human soul the promise of eternal life. A promise atheism rejects and refuses to honor among men.
    .
    The will to survive begets the will to have the neighbor survive. Man’s will to have the neighbor survive constitutes the state.

  • Mary de Voe wrote, “Today, we have, in America, the Homestead Act. To build or improve any parcel of public land within five years will allow the person who improved the land to purchase the land for a miniscule amount of money like $5 per acre.”
    An excellent system.
    In ancient Rome, a similar system – the Lex Sempronia Agraria – was proposed by the Tribune, Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BC. He proposed any landless citizen could acquire 30 jugera (about 300 acres) of the public land in this way, which would have provided many of the urban masses with a livelihood, increased corn production and also rendered them liable to military service. Many scholars believe that, if adopted, it would have saved the Republic.
    One of his supporters was the jurist, Scævola, many of whose opinions can be found in the Digest of Justinian, from which they have passed into most modern Civil Codes.

End of Summer, Feed Is Working Again, and The French Revolution

Monday, September 1, AD 2014

It’s the unofficial end of Summer and it’s my annual gratuitous post of myself day.  The pic below was taken in mid-July, but I waited to fix the feed to The American Catholic in order celebrate the Summer.  Needless to say, it’s fixed and the Summer is almost over.

During the Summer I asked my fellow blogger Don for some book recommendations for the French Revolution.  Of the few he did mentioned, I picked up Simon Schama’s ‘Citizen’.  The reading is in-depth, interesting, and balanced.  I’m a bit over halfway finished of the 948 pages and am so far impressed.  Considering that we are in the post-Cold War era, I wanted to know a bit more on the French Revolution since their errors have already engulfed Europe and has almost metastasizing here in the United States.  The book is good and if there is any criticism of Simon Schama’s work it’s that he views Christianity, in particular the Catholic Church, through a materialistic lens.

My opinion on the subject is that the French Revolution is the confluence of anti-Christian ideas emanating from the so-called era of enlightenment.  These very same ideas unleashed the short-term devastation of the rape of nuns, the execution of priests, and the degradation of houses of worship.  The long-term affects have furthered the cause of eliminating God from all aspects of life blossoming further in the Communist Revolution in Russia and continued to bear the fruit of death in World Wars I & II.  From this compost grew what we now call modern liberalism & democratic socialism.

End of Summer Tito Edwards Simon Schama Citizens 500x625Happy Labor Day!

 

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36 Responses to End of Summer, Feed Is Working Again, and The French Revolution

  • The best histories of the French Revolution probably remains those of two Catholic historians, Hilaire Belloc and Lord Acton.
    Belloc brings out the central rôle of Carnot, the War Minister and effective head of the Committee of Public Safety and gives full credit to the “generation of genius,” Kléber, Moreau, Reynier, Marceau, and Ney commanding the army of Sambre et Meuse, Hoche, Desaix, and St. Cyr on the Rhine and, above all, Bonaparte and Masséna in the Appenine campaign.
    Acton rightly divined the underlying political motive. “The hatred of royalty was less than the hatred of aristocracy; privileges were more detested than tyranny; and the king perished because of the origin of his authority rather than because of its abuse. Monarchy unconnected with aristocracy became popular in France, even when most uncontrolled; whilst the attempt to reconstitute the throne, and to limit and fence it with its peers, broke down, because the old Teutonic elements on which it relied – hereditary nobility, primogeniture, and privilege — were no longer tolerated. The substance of the ideas of 1789 is not the limitation of the sovereign power, but the abrogation of intermediate powers.”
    The love of equality, the hatred of nobility and the tolerance of despotism naturally go together, for, If the central power is weak, the secondary powers will run riot and oppress The Empire was the consummation of the Revolution, not its reversal and Napoléon’s armies gave a code of laws and the principle of equal citizenship to a continent.

  • Thanks Michael!

    Those recommendations are going on my Reading List for next Summer, awesome!

  • Simon Schama’s ‘Citizens’ was published for the bicentenary of the French Revolution. It is regarded as the best work on the subject in the 20th century. The French hated it, calling it ‘Thatcherite history’. Its main thesis, that the violence of the Revolution was inherent, particularly upset them.

    In particular, Schama makes the point that pre-Revolutionary France was not an ossified feudal society but one that was obsessed with modernity. He also stresses that when the revolutionaries destroyed the Church they destroyed the social welfare system with drastic results in the 1790s.

    People tend to mythologize their revolutions. Englishmen did so regarding 1688; Americans still do over theirs (even though many of the mythologizers are well-educated) and the French are no exception.

  • Odd that Michael Peterson-Seymour (who sounds as if his ancestors fought at Waterloo) should be an unreconstructed Bonapartist. All the more so since one assumes that he is a Catholic.

  • I find a 948 page book to be daunting.

    I am eagerly awaiting the shortest book in history: subject what Obama did right.

  • I want to clarify that the criticism of Simon Schama’s book, Citizen, is my own. He refers to nuns and monks and unfulfilled citizens, it, not meeting any of their potential because they are cloistered. I am not sure if he was be sarcastic, which would be fine, or serious, which would explain my criticism.

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  • My complete recommendations to Tito:

    “In regard to the French Revolution a good starting point is Citizens by Simon Schama:

    http://www.amazon.com/Citizens-A-Chronicle-French-Revolution/dp/0679726101

    Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France still cannot be beat as an analysis of the early Revolution and is eerily prophetic. Carlyle’s History of the French Revolution is quite dated, and written in his usual odd style, but has valuable insights overlooked by many modern commenters.

    The late Henri Lefebvre, although a Marxist, did valuable work on both the French Revolution and Napoleon and I recommend his tomes. His style is dry as dust, but his research is impeccable.”

  • Um, what beach was that?

  • Tito Edwards: I expected you would look more like Padre Pio. You look happy.

  • Tamsin,

    An undisclosed location on the gulf coast of Florida.

    Mary De Voe,

    LOL. Very happy, my wife was there with me, but she had to take the picture. 🙂

  • My brother Mike lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Say “Hi” to him for me.

  • Thank you for fixing the feed!

  • Tito, I share your view of the French Revolution. It lives on in the Social Radicalism that permeates so much of our politics. Social Radicalism is a phenomenon that bears close scrutiny. It transcends the individual with a mindset all its own. If not scrutinized and moderated the mindset morphs into moral chaos. This can happen in slow creeping fashion or with the rapidity of revolution. The French Revolution is a signal example. It started with the whole nation seeking to justly address a financial crisis but rapidly resolved into open rebellion and uncontrollable rage. Carlyle describes it thus: “On a sudden, the Earth yawns asunder, and amid Tartarean smoke, and glare of fierce brightness, rises SANSCULOTTISM, many-headed, fire-breathing, and asks; What think ye of me?” Do I engage in hyperbole when I compare the presentable, well-clothed and well-intended modern social radical with the maddened mob of Paris? Yes but to make a point. I cross a Robespierre and risk the guillotine, the loss of my life. The modern well-dressed social-radical only asks that I risk my soul. Who does me less violence?

  • John Nolan wrote, “Odd that Michael Peterson-Seymour (who sounds as if his ancestors fought at Waterloo) should be an unreconstructed Bonapartist. All the more so since one assumes that he is a Catholic.”
    Another Catholic, G K Chesterton described the tragedy of England:
    “A war that we understood not came over the world and woke
    Americans, Frenchmen, Irish; but we knew not the things they spoke.
    They talked about rights and nature and peace and the people’s reign:
    And the squires, our masters, bade us fight; and scorned us never again.
    Weak if we be for ever, could none condemn us then;
    Men called us serfs and drudges; men knew that we were men.
    In foam and flame at Trafalgar, on Albuera plains,
    We did and died like lions, to keep ourselves in chains,
    We lay in living ruins; firing and fearing not
    The strange fierce face of the Frenchmen who knew for what they fought,
    And the man who seemed to be more than a man we strained against and broke;
    And we broke our own rights with him. And still we never spoke.”
    Hilaire Belloc, too, another Catholic, whose grandfather served in the armies of Napoléon, declared, “Those who ask how it was that a group of men sustaining all the weight of civil conflict within and of universal war without, yet made time enough in twenty years to frame the codes which govern modern Europe, to lay down the foundations of universal education, of a strictly impersonal scheme of administration, and even in detail to remodel the material face of society—in a word, to make modern Europe—must be content for their reply to learn that the Republican Energy had for its flame and excitant this vision: a sense almost physical of the equality of man.”

  • William P Walsh wrote, “It started with the whole nation seeking to justly address a financial crisis but rapidly resolved into open rebellion and uncontrollable rage.”
    Certainly, it did start with a bankrupt government, but here is the curiosity: this bankrupt nation found itself able to sustain twenty years of war against the whole of Europe and to raise and maintain an army to fight it. For most of that period it had 700,000 men in the field. As for “open rebellion,” it crushed it wherever it showed itself, in Brittany, in Lyons, in the Vendée. It takes something rather more than “uncontrollable rage” to do that.

  • “It takes something rather more than “uncontrollable rage” to do that.”

    1. Mass murder against opponents.
    2. Mass repudiation of the debts of the Old Regime.
    3. The military genius of Napoleon and some of the other generals and marshals that rose to the fore as a result of the Revolution.
    4. Total War-no longer was war the sport of kings but rather the preocupation of peoples.

  • Donald R McClarey

    “3. The military genius of Napoleon and some of the other generals and marshals”

    I would certainly agree with that. There is a sense in which Napoléon, Dumoriez (despite his later defection), Kellerman, Hoche and Kléber were the French Revolution – It is their legacy.

    “4. Total War-no longer was war the sport of kings but rather the preoccupation of peoples.”

    The levée en masse and all that it entailed was the achievement of Carnot, but we sometimes forget what an astonishing achievement it was. The army was increased from 645,000 in mid-1793 to 1,500,000 in September 1794. The unbroken succession of victories, from Fleurus in June 1794 to Marengo in June 1800 were all, in a sense, his. He was ably seconded by Lindet, in effect, minister of food, munitions and manufacture.

    The political will and administrative skills needed to raise, equip, train, discipline and provision armies on that scale was enormous and quite without precedent. Much of the credit must go to the Committee of Public Safety, which was, in effect, the War Cabinet and to the brilliant innovation of seconding the “Deputies on Mission” from the National Assembly, as political commissioners to the armies.

  • Michael points out my inattention to the economic situation in France. I admit to a lack of formal study of that dismal science. I have yet in mind the diabolical ingredient of revolution. The first revolution starts with Lucifer’s “Non Serviam” and every revolution carries that sentiment in its bloodstream. The laws of economics are swept away when everything can be stolen from rightful owners. The State can be most efficient when it can murder the opposition. “If God does not exist, all things are permitted”. The Social Radical who looks so benign in his well-tailored clothing can do great injustice with a pen-stroke. If the end justifies the employment of any means, we are living in a state of moral chaos. We are then lunatics pulling down our house upon us. But I sing to the choir, as I sort out my thoughts.

  • I can assure Tito that Schama when referring to cloistered religious is not giving us his own opinion, but that of the revolutionaries whose construct of what constitutes a ‘citizen’ is an important theme of the book.

    I am an admirer of Belloc but he was fundamentally wrong on two counts – all his life he believed a) that the French Revolution was a ‘good thing’ and b) Dreyfus was guilty.

  • John Nolan
    I think both Belloc (and Chesterton, too) wrote a great deal in reaction to the way the Revolution and Napoléon were portrayed in England.

    There is a print, which can still be seen in the bar parlours of some country inns, of the handshake of Wellington and Blucher after Waterloo. They must have been produced by the million

    http://tinyurl.com/m42zlof

    Chesterton summed up the whole business pretty well.

    “Our middle classes did well to adorn their parlours with the picture of the “Meeting of Wellington and Blucher.” They should have hung up a companion piece of Pilate and Herod shaking hands. Then, after that meeting amid the ashes of Hougomont, where they dreamed they had trodden out the embers of all democracy, the Prussians rode on before, doing after their kind. After them went that ironical aristocrat out of embittered Ireland, with what thoughts we know; and Blucher, with what thoughts we care not; and his soldiers entered Paris, and stole the sword of Joan of Arc.”

    To both Belloc and Chesterton, the fall of Paris to the Allies could only be compared to the sack of Rome by the Goths.

  • An interesting summary of an enormous matter,re. the French Revolution: “It started with the whole nation seeking to justly address a financial crisis but rapidly resolved into open rebellion and uncontrollable rage.” – William P. Walsh
    However, from whence came the bitterly murderous hatred of the Catholic Faith and its individual servants, only the abyss could cough up that demon.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    Chesterton wrote ‘The Crimes of England’ in 1916. It’s a polemic, brilliant in parts, but it ain’t history. The author’s unreasoning ‘Teutonophobia’, his withering scorn for Pitt, Castlereagh and Peel (in contrast with his hero-worship of Charles James Fox) and his take on the French Revolution and Bonaparte simply parade his prejudices. Comparing the Allied occupation of Paris in 1814 with the sack of Rome by the Goths takes hyperbole to new heights, especially since French armies had looted and plundered their way across Europe for the previous twenty years. Historical method requires conclusions to be based on evidence. Both Belloc and Chesterton were counter-historical, if not positively anti-historical. They rightly challenged the consensus of the Whig historians, but what they put in its place was too intuitive and subjective. Since it did not rely on evidence it could be sometimes right, but more often wrong.

    Simon Schama’s book is revisionist, not least in that he uses the narrative approach which was unfashionable in 1989 (Orlando Figes does the same in his study of the Russian Revolution ‘A People’s Tragedy’). But both men are historians; Belloc and Chesterton, for all their brilliance, were not.

  • The errors of the french revolution came from somewhere!
    The protestant reformation shaped Europe and the world in ways we are still discerning. That “reformation” preceded the Enlightenment, which came to the “spirit” of revoltion of the 18 and 19 centuries everything from the very un- “reason”able reign of terror to marx to the culture kampf– and what follows in russia and mexico and china and on and on and on

  • John Nolan wrote, “Comparing the Allied occupation of Paris in 1814 with the sack of Rome by the Goths takes hyperbole to new heights…”
    Hardly. In both cases, the capital of civilisation fell to the barbarians from beyond the Rhine.
    Belloc’s evaluation of the Revolution is not all that different from the great French historian of the Revolution, Louis Blanc. Blanc, one recalls, during his exile in London (he had fought on the barricades during les journées de juin 1848), had access to Croker’s unrivalled collection of manuscripts and pamphlets.
    Acton summarises Blanc’s principle: ”He desires government to be so constituted that it may do everything for the people, not so restricted that it can do no injury to minorities. The masses have more to suffer from abuse of wealth than from abuse of power, and need protection by the State, not against it. Power, in the proper hands, acting for the whole, must not be restrained in the interest of a part.” That was also the view of the great Dominican, Lacordaire, “Between the weak and the strong, between the rich and the poor, between the master and the servant, it is freedom which oppresses and the law which sets free.”
    This was a principle Belloc and Chesterton would have heartily endorsed. It is the negation of Liberalism and its doctrine of laissez-faire.

  • “In both cases, the capital of civilisation fell to the barbarians from beyond the Rhine.”

    Please. Even as hyperbole that is over the circus top. The French Revolution was a complex historical event, but by the time Napoleon fell it had devolved into one of the first military dictatorships in modern times, one with delusions of grandeur. It was a very good thing for the peace of Europe that Napoleon fell in 1814 and that he was soundly thrashed in 1815 at Waterloo which brought an end to his “Golden Oldies” attempt at a Bonaparte revival.

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “[B]y the time Napoleon fell it had devolved into one of the first military dictatorships in modern times.”
    That is to misunderstand the nature, both of the Republic and the Empire. Napoléon was no more a military dictator than Augustus or Charlemagne. As Chesterton said, “French democracy became more democratic, not less, when it turned all France into one constituency which elected one member.”
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Swinburn’s “Sea-Eagle of English feather”) understood:
    “And kings crept out again to feel the sun.
    The kings crept out — the peoples sat at home.
    And finding the long-invocated peace
    (A pall embroidered with worn images
    Of rights divine) too scant to cover doom
    Such as they suffered, cursed the corn that grew
    Rankly, to bitter bread, on Waterloo.”

    Those “carrion kings, unsheeted and unmasked,” described by Michelet, the great historian of the Revolution.

  • “That is to misunderstand the nature, both of the Republic and the Empire. Napoléon was no more a military dictator than Augustus or Charlemagne”

    Augustus was a military dictator, the last man standing of the ambitious warlords/politicians who murdered the dying Republic. Charlemagne was not a military dictator but the scion of a family that had been running the chief of the Frankish states for some time. Napoleon owed his position to his military brilliance and his willingness to use military force against civilian rule and nothing more.

    “French democracy became more democratic, not less, when it turned all France into one constituency which elected one member.”

    That quote always had my vote for the dumbest thing written by Chesterton.

  • M P-S, the ‘barbarians from beyond the Rhine’ produced Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, to name but a few. I’m sure those German citizens, living in their peaceful towns and villages, often in the shadow of old-established monasteries on which the local economy depended and which were soon to be destroyed, were overjoyed at the arrival of Revolutionary French armies with their portable guillotines. Germany in the eighteenth century was civilized in the real sense that the local ‘civitas’ enforced its own laws for the benefit of the citizens. It is telling that the incidence of capital punishment in the German states was far lower than in France or England.

    Michael, get off your hobby-horse and face facts. Bonaparte has a good record when it comes to establishing (or more correctly re-establishing, since the Revolution had destroyed much) institutions in France; but he also erected a police state. His hubristic lust for conquest led (as in the case of Hitler, with whom he has much in common) to eventual nemesis. And France only recovered its 1789 levels of foreign trade in the 1830s by which time Britain had far outstripped it.

  • “I can assure Tito that Schama when referring to cloistered religious is not giving us his own opinion, but that of the revolutionaries whose construct of what constitutes a ‘citizen’ is an important theme of the book.”
    .
    The sovereign personhood of the newly begotten human being (His body and his soul) constitutes the nation from the very first moment of existence. His absolute moral and legal innocence are the standard of Justice and the compelling interest of the state in its duty to deliver Justice and in protecting the newly begotten human being. Francisco Suarez says that: “Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights.”
    .
    The newly begotten human being who constitutes the state from the very first moment of his existence and through his sovereign personhood endowed by “their Creator” is the citizen. At birth the new citizen is given documents to prove his citizenship and a tax bill.
    .
    The French Revolution must have been dealing with the loss and denial of citizenship by the state as in “persona non grata”. Religious persons, priests and nuns, do not forfeit or surrender their God-given sovereign personhood and/or citizenship by answering their vocation. A higher calling, in fact, purifies their citizenship and brings “the Blessings of Liberty”.
    .
    It is nothing less than communism, oppression, for another individual or the state to tell a person who is a citizen that he is not a citizen without indictment for a capital offense, treason. It appears that being a religious person in France during the French Revolution was treason, the absolute reversal of the truth.
    .
    This same separation of citizenship and soul is happening here in America, where having a soul has become treason, treason in the land of atheism.

  • Donald R McCleary wrote, “’ French democracy became more democratic, not less, when it turned all France into one constituency which elected one member.’ – That quote always had my vote for the dumbest thing written by Chesterton.”

    And yet it was, in effect, endorsed by Walter Bagehot, a man politically poles apart from Chesterton. Writing of the nephew, that shrewd cynic observed, “The nature of a constitution, the action of an assembly, the play of parties, the unseen formation of a guiding opinion, are complex facts, difficult to know and easy to mistake. But the action of a single will, the fiat of a single mind, are easy ideas: anybody can make them out, and no one can ever forget them. When you put before the mass of mankind the question, ‘Will you be governed by a king, or will you be governed by a constitution?’ the inquiry comes out thus—’Will you be governed in a way you understand, or will you be governed in a way you do not understand?’ The issue was put to the French people; they were asked, ‘Will you be governed by Louis Napoleon, or will you be governed by an assembly?’ The French people said, ‘We will be governed by the one man we can imagine, and not by the many people we cannot imagine.'”

  • “The French people said, ‘We will be governed by the one man we can imagine, and not by the many people we cannot imagine.’”

    Preposterous. The plebiscite of 1851 was instituted only after wannabe Napoleon had instituted repression. It had as much validity as one of Stalin’s show trials in the thirties. Like his much greater uncle, wannabe Napoleon owed his imitation imperial title, eventually granted him officially through another plebiscite with an unimaginative 97% yes vote, to the bayonets he controlled rather than the ballots he manufactured in pretend plebiscites.

  • Donald R McClarey
    Louis Napoléon may not have been supported by a numerical majority of the nation, that’s as may be; but there is no doubt that he had the support of a determinant current of opinion—determinant in intensity and in weight, that is, as well as in numbers. That was true of his uncle also and it needed no plebiscite to establish this obvious truth.

  • “but there is no doubt that he had the support of a determinant current of opinion”

    Nope, like his uncle he had control of the military and crushed all opposition. Speculations about his “true” popularity among the people or the elite are meaningless when he made certain that his opposition had no voice.

  • Mary De Voe’s, “It is nothing less than communism, oppression, for another individual or the state to tell a person who is a citizen that he is not a citizen without indictment for a capital offense, treason. It appears that being a religious person in France during the French Revolution was treason, the absolute reversal of the truth. . This same separation of citizenship and soul is happening here in America, where having a soul has become treason, treason in the land of atheism.”, nails it.
    In America today, the newly begotten human being is no longer protected, the person who is religious, a veteran, a supporter of Constitutional rights is a potential domestic terrorist. Remember Andrew Cuomo’s saying that a supporter of the Second Amendment has no place in New York State. If he becomes President, that may apply to the whole country.

  • I started to watch Simon Schamas tv program about judiasm since i enjoyed his shows about England. I caught an episode in the middle and what amazed me was that the program seemed more of a rant against the injustices perpetrated upon the Jews by Christians than a true unbiased history of Judaism.
    I was a bit shocked but it may explain this “book is good and if there is any criticism of Simon Schama’s work it’s that he views Christianity, in particular the Catholic Church, through a materialistic lens “

Give Them That Old Time Religion: Socialism

Wednesday, June 18, AD 2014

 

“In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of state, the so-called ‘Welfare State.’ This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoke very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the ‘Social Assistance State.’ Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good. “By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending, In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them who act as neighbors to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need.”

Saint John Paul II, Centissimus Annus

 

 

 

 

Timothy Cardinal Dolan wrote a mainstream defense of the free market which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on May 22.  Go here to read it.  His word set off some “Catholic theologians” who believe that the current Pope will allow the Church to go full frontal socialist.  Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report gives us the details:

A number of theologians took aim at Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s defense of free markets and his warning about the dangers of collectivism’s inherent violation of human rights.

Cdl. Dolan wrote, “the answer to problems with the free market is not to reject economic liberty in favor of government control. The church has consistently rejected coercive systems of socialism and collectivism, because they violate inherent human rights to economic freedom and private property. When properly regulated, a free market can certainly foster greater productivity and prosperity.”

Charles J. Reid, Jr., Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas responded in the Huffington Post that Cardinal Timothy Dolan “misunderstands Church teaching on both economics and the role of the state.”

Reid labeled the free market a “sociopathic economy” and said that only “a reinvigorated state would bring to bear in the regulation of the marketplace a set of humane values” and “rebalance the marketplace so as to fairly serve the interests not of capital alone, but of all employees and all interested human beings. “

Joseph A. McCartin, director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University reportedly criticized Cdl. Dolan, saying “It is a shame that the Cardinal seems more interested in making Pope Francis’ statements seem less threatening to free-market-celebrating Americans than he is in applying the Pope’s critique to the American scene as it really exists.”

In the same piece in the National Catholic Reporter, Fr. Drew Christiansen S.J., professor of ethics and global human development at Georgetown University, also had some pointed remarks aimed at Cdl. Dolan. “Cardinal Dolan misses what Pope Francis sees so clearly,” he reportedly said. “The growth of inequality everywhere including the U.S. is a result of American-style capitalism and the financialization of the economy.”

He added pointedly that he believed, “too many well-to-do Catholics prefer getting their economic ethics from the Acton Institute rather than the Vatican.”

John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, reportedly said Dolan’s arguments “provide moral cover to free-market fundamentalists and anti-government zealots who preach a gospel of radical individualism that Catholic teaching rejects. Furthermore, he said “the cardinal veers close to echoing GOP talking points.”

Professor Mark Allman, chair of Religious & Theological Studies Department at Merrimack College, reportedly said Dolan’s piece “reflects a heavily individualistic understanding of morality.” He bemoaned that “there’s no mention of the need for structural change.”

And you wonder why so many kids come out of Catholic colleges as progressives.

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15 Responses to Give Them That Old Time Religion: Socialism

  • Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical, Quod Apostolici Muneris of 1878, still applies:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_28121878_quod-apostolici-muneris_en.html

    PS, whatever happened to that blog post on the bishops and sex abuse? I was about to read it and then it was gone.

  • Reid’s distinct idea is to double the minimum wage and promote the sort of trade unionism which has made General Motors what it is today.
    __
    Christiansen fancies that ‘no holes barred American Capitalism’ nearly took down the world economy. But the most salient problems concerned the decay of underwriting standards at mortgage lenders (promoted by regulators and by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), the hypertrophy of the secondary mortgage market and the escalating market share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (who benefit from a regulatory matrix they influence through contacts in Congress and in the Democratic Party generally), the merger of deposits-and-loans banking with the capital markets (a phenomenon common in Europe, most notably in Germany’s ‘social-market economy’), thin capital cushions at American banks and securities firms (again, Europe’s were worse), and the failure of the regulatory apparatus to keep pace with technics of finance (notably with regard to the advent of credit-default swaps).
    __
    The firms responsible were, again, deeply implicated in the political favor bank (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), part and parcel of our most intensely regulated economic sector (American International Group), highly responsive to the social goals of Democratic administrations (Countrywide, Washington Mutual, Freddie Mac), or persuaded the government would rescue them (Lehman Brothers).
    __
    Among perpetrator enterprises, the best examples of no-holes-barred American capitalism would be Wachovia, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns. All four are in very regulated sub-sectors. Standard procedures and extant institutions were adequate to finesse the problems which Wachovia (and Washington Mutual) posed and some minimal brokering was sufficient in the case of Bear, Stearns. Much of the trouble with processing a bankruptcy of Citigroup was that it was not an example of ‘American capitalism’ but a global firm with interests in the United States; two-thirds of its deposits were domiciled abroad.

    It does not seem to occur to Christiansen that there might be systemic dysfunctions which limit the capacity of the regulatory state to contain disasters.
    =
    The rest of them just appear to be tossing about verbiage.

  • Art Deco: “The rest of them just appear to be tossing about verbiage”.
    .
    Absolutely anyone can call themselves a ‘Catholic theologian’ these
    days. Our bishops have abdicated any sort of oversight, and the mandatum
    required by Canon Law is routinely ignored. The old practice of issuing an
    imprimatur and a nihil obstat has been largely abandoned, even
    in the instance of theology textbooks, which Canon Law still demands.
    .
    The Church our so-called ‘theologians’ are supposed to serve has no part in the
    credentialing industry. Rather, it is the gatekeepers of the graduate programs
    at our increasingly un-Catholic universities, the tenure committees at the
    same, and the publishers and editors of theology texts and journals. Those
    are now the people who determine who is a “Catholic theologian”. (Note that
    none of those people need necessarily be Catholic themselves). Bishops are
    not part of the equation.
    .
    Ask yourself this– could I find a “Catholic theologian” who could argue for
    the virtues of abortion, “gay marriage”, pedophilia, eugenics, communism,
    indifferentism, or modernism? Yes, of course! It’s child’s play to find someone
    calling themselves a “Catholic theologian” who will deny the very divinity of
    Christ. Theology used to be called the “Queen of Sciences”, but these days
    she’s just a laughingstock.

  • Art,

    Regarding FNMA/FHLMC political graft:

    9/18/2008: GWBush signed the housing and Fannie Mae bailout bill, after the Senate passed it with 72 votes. An underreported story is that Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to allow a vote on Republican Jim DeMint’s amendment to bar political donations and lobbying by FNM and FRE.

    1980-2007 FNM cash recipients (partial list):
    Brookings institute = $3,906,000
    ACORN = $797,000
    Rainbow Coalition = $660,000
    Center for Policy Alternatives = $635,000
    Congressional Black Caucus = $608,000
    Congressional Hispanic Caucus = $28,000
    Barrack Obama – $104,000

    Jesse Jackson’s Citizenship Education Fund, an offshoot of his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, has received more than $500,000 from Fannie and Freddie since 1996. A decade ago Mr. Jackson accused Fannie and Freddie of discriminatory lending practices. Those charges of racism went away once the graft money started flowing. Groups on the left complain about “corporate welfare” all the time, but curiously nary a one has opposed the Fannie and Freddie bailout — which amounts to one of the biggest corporate welfare gifts in U.S. history.

    Fannie gave $10,000 to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, $10,000 to third-ranking House Democrat Rahm Emanuel, $5,000 to Barney Frank, $10,000 to Republican House whip Roy Blunt, $8,500 to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and $7,500 to Minority Leader John Boehner and . . . you get the picture.

    A year (2007) before the crisis, Freddie Mac’s foundation handed out $25 million to political groups, think tanks and other Beltway outfits, more than any other foundation in the country, according to the Washington Business Journal. Guess which foundation ranked number two? Fannie Mae gave out $21 million.

    Pacem, Art, “systemic dysfunctions which limit the capacity of the regulatory state to contain disasters.” Said “system dysfunction” is endemic to the administrative economy (not a free market) which exponentially magnified the disaster, if it were not the casue of the disater.

    Bankers, lobbyists and politicians blew up the economy. Then, they bailed out each other. Then, they created even more laws/policies/regulations impeding economic growth and further misallocating capital. The Fed, FDIC, FHA, FHLMC, FNMA, HMDA, HUD, SEC, UST, et al created “administrative” (e.g., housing, but also equities, bonds) markets with prices affected by government policies, not free market forces. Then, the lying rats blamed the “market.”

  • Clintion,

    I aplogize in advance.

    My definition of theology: Making up stuff about God. Philosophy is making up stuff about stuff.

    I’ll stop now.

  • The contradiction at the heart of liberalism (including classical liberalism) lies in its simultaneous assertion of popular sovereignty and universal human rights.

    Rousseau saw this very well. “Each man alienates, I admit, by the social compact, only such part of his powers, goods and liberty as it is important for the community to control; but it must also be granted that the Sovereign [the People] is sole judge of what is important,” for “ if the individuals retained certain rights, as there would be no common superior to decide between them and the public, each, being on one point his own judge, would ask to be so on all; the state of nature would thus continue, and the association would necessarily become inoperative or tyrannical.”

    As Theodore Roosevelt put it in 1910, “Every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.” Unlike Rousseau, Roosevelt did not enter into the all-important question of who decides.

  • “The contradiction at the heart of liberalism (including classical liberalism) lies in its simultaneous assertion of popular sovereignty and universal human rights.”

    MPS, that’s just a tension, not a contradiction. The tension is reduced by adherence to limited government. Only people temped by majoritarian tyranny see a contradiction. And yes, near the end of his otherwise fine career Teddy Roosevelt was tempted by such.

  • The Treasury department was in the summer of 2008 approached by an outside expert with a plan to re-capitalize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through a debt-for-equity swap. They rejected it in favor of financing the deficits of the firms for years on end. Not to keep flogging this, but large slices of the public do not realize that bank holding companies have paid back over 95% of the money they were loaned through the Capital Purchase Program and paid dividends on the preferred stock in the interim. The losses to the Treasury were on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the auto industry components, and AIG; less than a 10th of those losses are attributable to AIG (the only money pit that was not a Democratic Party client).

  • I don’t buy into the Clinton campaign’s dictum: “It’s the economy, stupid.” Cardinal Dolan may get the economy nearer right, but he wanders away on other issues. Those other Catholic thinkers listed here are misfiring probably at least partly because they (and we) have been misled by bishops and priests as to justice.

  • I commented on this subject ages ago lol. There are two traditions within Catholic Social Teaching. Both condemn Marxism and statism. Both take Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII as foundational. However one emphasizes the need for the society ( I don’t want to localize this to the State) to intervene to assist ” the poor”,etc and build on this principle. this tradition received new life with Paul VI’s Populorum Progression ( Progress of People) and even by, a surprise for conservatives, Pope Benedict VI’s Caritas in Veritatis Those in this tradition question, sometimes vehemently, such phenomenon as ” lasses-faire capitalism”

    The other tradition however, focuses on Leo XIII’s pointed call for respect for private property, emphasize Pius XI’s principle of subsidiarity found in Quadragessimo Anno (On the Fortieth Year of Rerum Novarum), and St John Paul’s Centissimus Annus (on the One Hundreth Year of Rerum Novarum) which recognizes the dignity of the person, his/her freedom etc the dangers of over control etc. of economic forces-with the understanding that each person and the whole culture work in economic issues recognizing, dignity of persons, the common good, solidarity etc. in short there is no economy tha t does not serve people and does not work within moral principles based on human ecology/ natural law

    I see the two traditions merging in the future, however it will take some time. Both bear the truths of Catholicism, emphasizing certain for the time being, different elements.

  • TomD said: “The tension is reduced by adherence to limited government. Only people temped by majoritarian tyranny see a contradiction. And yes, near the end of his otherwise fine career Teddy Roosevelt was tempted by such.”

    Mr. TomD,

    Here, here!

  • Botolph

    Mgr Ronald Knox argued that “traditional Christianity is a balance of doctrines, and not merely of doctrines but of emphases. You must not exaggerate in either direction, or the balance is disturbed.”

    He offers some examples (less controversial, perhaps than Catholic Social Teaching, but illustrating your thesis), “An excellent thing to abandon yourself, without reserve, into God’s hands; … but, teach on principle that it is an infidelity to wonder whether you are saved or lost, and you have overweighted your whole devotional structure… Conversely, it is a holy thing to trust in the redeeming merits of Christ. But, put it about that such confidence is the indispensable sign of being in God’s favour, that, unless and until he is experimentally aware of it, a man is lost, and the balance has been disturbed at the opposite end;”

  • In sum, the economy is too important to be left to the experts.

    Economics is politics: Economic arguments are used as often justification for whatever politicians want.

    The economists/experts did not foresee the financial crisis and have changed anything. The latest financial crisis tells us that we cannot leave the general welfare to central bank heads, economists and assorted ‘technocrats.’

    “Socialism must always remain a portent to the historians of Opinion — how a doctrine so illogical and so dull can have exercised so powerful and enduring an influence over the minds of men, and, through them, the events of history.” – John Maynard Keynes
    “. . . an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world . . .” – John Maynard Keynes on Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital”
    “I can be influenced by what seems to me to be justice and good sense; but the class war will find me on the side of the educated bourgeoisie.” – John Maynard Keynes

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  • You first problem was reading ANYTHING posted at the National Catholic Reporter. It is a rag that neither represents good Catholicism or good journalism. It is unworthy of lining the bottom of bird cages.
    The priests who work there should better spend their time hearing confessions and yeah that’s about it…

Venezuela Rations Drinking Water

Sunday, June 8, AD 2014

8 Responses to Venezuela Rations Drinking Water

  • Venezuela has been a basket case ever since Chavez took power. Chavez led this nation down the path to self destruction. Only a completely irrational person would look at Castro and see an example to follow.

    My wife is from Colombia, Venezuela’s neighbor to the west. The Venezuelan government has been caught by Colombia giving aid, comfort and sanctuary to the FARC. Colombian commandos found a high ranking FARC member in Caracas and kidnapped him to return him to Colombia.

    I can go on and on about Latin America. I don’t follow events there as closely as I used to, but there is a good explanation for the typical basket case those nations tend to find themselves in.

  • What Penguins Fan said. Thankfully, while Colombia is not out of the woods yet, they’ve made lots of headway repudiating the dead philosophies of Chavez and the FARC and have managed to slash drug production and violence significantly.

    Check out a book, Out of Captivity, Surviving 1967 Days in the Colombian Jungle by Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes

  • These unnecessary Hells happen everywhere they try it.

    Three cheers for
    CST!
    Liberation Theology!
    Baloney!

  • Read “The Mystery Of Capital” by Herman De Soto to understand why Central and South America is in such an economic mess.

  • From Instapundit, “Meanwhile, ‘friend of the poor’ Hugo Chavez left an estate worth two billion dollars.”

  • T. Shaw, your comment puts me in mind of Ebenezer Elliott’s
    poem “On Communism”:
    .
    “What is a Communist? One who has yearnings
    For equal division of unequal earnings;
    Idler or bungler, or both, he is willing
    To fork out his penny and pocket your shilling.”
    .
    Since Mr. Elliott died in 1849, it’s safe to say that it’s been apparent
    from communism’s earliest days just what sort of people it attracts…

  • Venezuela, it appears is run by the most inept kind of socialists – the ones who cannot deliver anything but rhetoric. Now if these were East German Communists, they would have been able to secure the water and electricity supplies.

In Memoriam: Tiananmen Square

Thursday, June 5, AD 2014

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”

Thucydides

 

Yesterday, June 4, was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the brutal suppression of the pro-Democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  Over 3000 of the protestors were murdered by the Communist government of China.  Tyranny won that round, but I have absolutely no doubt that Democracy will ultimately prevail in the Middle Kingdom.  When it does, the heroes and heroines of Tiananmen Square will be remembered and their murderers forgotten.

 

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2 Responses to In Memoriam: Tiananmen Square

Socialism Never Works: Venezuela Edition

Saturday, February 15, AD 2014

 

 

It is painful to see a venerable superstition dying a hard death.  I am of course referring to the superstition of socialism.  Since the 19th century socialism has had an iron hold of  the mentalities of many elites, and would be elites, in most nations around the globe.  Wherever it has been tried it has proved damaging to economies and where its attempts have been extreme enough the socialist economies prove to be productive only in producing mass poverty.  The latest example of this is in Venezuela, currently undergoing riots, as Maduro, Chavez’s successor, oversees an economy in free fall and desperate protestors take to the streets at the risk of murderous repression at the hands of Maduro’s thugs.  Richard Fernandez at PJ Media tells us how bad the economy has become in Venezuela:

 

The suddenness of Venezuela’s collapse should have come as no surprise because downfalls are inherently abrupt. Collapse is a phase change. One moment something is sailing along fat, dumb and happy and the next moment it is sinking beneath the waves. The change from two to one is a loss of 50%; but the change from one to zero is binary.

So it was in Venezuela. Imagine waiting two years to buy a car and finding just when you thought you finally buy one that there are no cars for sale at all.

Leonardo Hernandez had hoped to buy a new car this year, ending nearly two years of waiting on various lists at different dealerships throughout the country.

Those hopes were dashed last week when Toyota Motor Co. said it would shut down its assembly operations in Venezuela due to the government’s foreign exchange controls that have crippled imports and made it impossible to bring in parts needed to build its vehicles.

The country’s other car manufacturers, including General Motors and Ford, haven’t even started operations this year, while waiting for needed parts to arrive.

Think of not being able to buy soap, rice or toilet paper or order a cup of coffee, where even the rich are feeling poor. “In the serene private clubs of Caracas, there is no milk, and the hiss of the cappuccino machine has fallen silent. In the slums, the lights go out every few days, or the water stops running. In the grocery stores, both state-run shops and expensive delicatessens, customers barter information: I saw soap here, that store has rice today. The oil engineers have emigrated to Calgary, the soap opera stars fled to Mexico and Colombia. And in the beauty parlours of this nation obsessed with elaborate grooming, women both rich and poor have cut back to just one blow-dry or manicure each week.”

Imagine there’s no money to keep up the sovereign bond payments, the only source of money to keep power plants going.

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6 Responses to Socialism Never Works: Venezuela Edition

Thanksgiving Day Lesson: Socialism Never Works

Thursday, November 28, AD 2013

 

 

 

From  Of Plymouth Plantation, by Governor William Bradford:

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

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6 Responses to Thanksgiving Day Lesson: Socialism Never Works

  • Every human relationship without God breeds contempt. The individual forms the community; the community must provide for the individual. Unless the community provides for the individual, the community will become a prison. The acknowledgement of property rights was and is a public acknowledgement of fundamental human rights.

  • Someone seems to have conveniently forgotten that the central tenet of Jesus’s teachings were socialistic.

  • Someone seems to be unable to read the Gospels without red colored specs. They have about as much to do with socialism as they do with interior design. Holding goods in common was a stupidity that some of the early Christians came up with on their own and abandoned, outside of monasteries, quite quickly because it didn’t work, as it always does not work. Saint Paul and his admonition that those who do not work should not eat is an indication just how quickly the experiment in common goods came to a screeching end.

    Pope Leo XIII in his great encyclical against socialism put paid to the attempt by socialists to appropriate Christ for their cause:

    “For, indeed, although the socialists, stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary, have been accustomed to distort it so as to suit their own purposes, nevertheless so great is the difference between their depraved teachings and the most pure doctrine of Christ that none greater could exist: “for what participation hath justice with injustice or what fellowship hath light with darkness?”7 Their habit, as we have intimated, is always to maintain that nature has made all men equal, and that, therefore, neither honor nor respect is due to majesty, nor obedience to laws, unless, perhaps, to those sanctioned by their own good pleasure. But, on the contrary, in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel, the equality of men consists in this: that all, having inherited the same nature, are called to the same most high dignity of the sons of God, and that, as one and the same end is set before all, each one is to be judged by the same law and will receive punishment or reward according to his deserts. The inequality of rights and of power proceeds from the very Author of nature, “from whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named.”8 But the minds of princes and their subjects are, according to Catholic doctrine and precepts, bound up one with the other in such a manner, by mutual duties and rights, that the thirst for power is restrained and the rational ground of obedience made easy, firm, and noble.”

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13APOST.HTM

  • Socialism cannot work. Socialism abandons the dignity of the human person who constitutes government and worships the herd, the group, the government. Government so distorted cannot function as servant of the people as it imposes its own agenda to survive without its constituents.

  • “Someone seems to be unable to read the Gospels without red colored specs. They have about as much to do with socialism as they do with interior design.”
    The dignity of the person invokes the virtue of charity. Involuntary charity, that virtue defined by someone else, denies free will, the dignity of the sovereign person and is extortion.

  • No! I am Spartacus!

How the Left Still Hates Maggie Thatcher

Thursday, April 11, AD 2013

His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.  He recalls with appreciation the Christian values which underpinned her commitment to public service and to the promotion of freedom among the family of nations.  Entrusting her soul to the mercy of God, and assuring her family and the British people of a remembrance in his prayers, the Holy Father invokes upon all whose lives she touched God’s abundant blessings.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State

The gracelessness and blind hatred that governs much of the Left was put on full display with the death of Margaret Thatcher, the greatest prime minister Britain has had since World War 2, with organized street demonstrations “celebrating” her passing.

Thatcher, who personified the phrase “true grit”, I think would have welcomed their hate as the finest tribute to her work.  She opposed the Left and its goal of an ever expanding state with all the wit, courage and eloquence she could muster, and she had a considerable store of all three qualities.  This accolade from Milton Friedman in 1979 explains just what an extraordinary politician Thatcher was:

We have become so accustomed to politicians making extravagant campaign promises and then  forgetting about them once elected that the first major act of Margaret Thatcher’s government— the budget unveiled on June 12—was a surprise. It did precisely what she had promised to do.

Margaret Thatcher campaigned on a platform of reversing the trend toward an ever more  intrusive government—a trend that had carried government spending in Great Britain to  somewhere between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the nation’s income. Ever since the end of  World War II, both Labor and Tory governments have added to government-provided social  services as well as to government-owned and -operated industry. Foreign-exchange transactions  have been rigidly controlled. Taxes have been punitive, yet have not yielded enough to meet  costs. Excessive money created to finance deficits sparked an inflation that hit a rate of over 30  per cent a year in mid-1975. Only recently was inflation brought down to the neighborhood of 10  per cent, and it is once again on the rise.

Most important of all, the persistent move to a centralized and collectivist economy produced  economic stagnation. Before World War II, the British citizen enjoyed a real income that  averaged close to twice that of the Frenchman or German. Today, the ratio is nearly reversed.  The Frenchman or German enjoys a real income close to twice that of the ordinary Briton.

Margaret Thatcher declared in no uncertain terms that the long British experiment was a failure.  She urged greater reliance on private enterprise and on market incentives. She promised to  reduce the fraction of the people’s income that government spends on their behalf, and to cut  sharply government control over the lives of British citizens. Her government’s budget is a major first step. It reduces the top marginal tax rate on so-called  “earned” income from 83 per cent to 60 per cent, on “unearned” income from a confiscatory 98  per cent to 75 per cent. At the same time, it raises the level of income exempt from income tax  and cuts the bottom rate from 33 per cent to 30 per cent. It proposes to cut government spending  significantly, to sell some of the government’s industrial holdings and to promote the sale of  government-owned housing units to their occupants. It loosens foreign-exchange controls  substantially as a first step toward their elimination.

One retrograde step, in my opinion, is an increase in indirect taxes—the British general sales  taxes, or VAT. This increase, which partly offsets the decrease in direct taxes, combined with  lower spending will reduce government borrowing, facilitating a restrained monetary policy and  releasing funds for private investment. The purpose is admirable. However, once taxes are  imposed, it is hard to cut them. From the long-run point of view, it seems to me preferable to  resort to a temporarily higher level of borrowing rather than to a possibly permanently higher level of indirect taxes.

I would also have preferred to see exchange controls eliminated completely rather than by  degrees. The controls serve no constructive purpose. Eliminating them gradually only prolongs  the harm and preserves a mischievous bureaucracy.

But these are quibbles. I salute Margaret Thatcher and her government for their courage and  wisdom in moving firmly and promptly to cut Britain’s bureaucratic straitjacket. Britain has  enormous latent strength—in human capacities, industrial traditions, financial institutions, social  stability. If these can be released from bondage, if incentive can be restored, Britain could once  again become a vibrant, dynamic, increasingly productive economy.

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50 Responses to How the Left Still Hates Maggie Thatcher

  • There’s only one thing that explain the left’s irrational hatred for Margaret Thatcher, given that the left seems to have made peace (at least outwardly) with the legacies of her contemporary co-partners, John Paul II and Ronald Reagan.

    Thatcher is the subject of the left’s undying hatred because she was a woman who didn’t believe and behave like the left’s version of a woman should believe and behave. See, e.g., Sarah Palin. See also Justice Thomas for this phenomenon in the area of race.

  • Jay A. answered my question: “Why?”

    Do they want to drag her body through the streets?

    Replace pride with humility
    Replace greed with generosity
    Replace envy with love
    Replace anger with kindness
    Replace lust with self-control
    Replace gluttony with temperance
    Replace sloth with zeal for the Glory of God

  • Jay Anderson from what I understand Thatcher’s economic reforms were a much more dramatic shift than Reagan’s, in terms of the impact on mining/industrial areas. of course reforms are necessary sometimes but if certain people are dislocated/not trained for anything else you can’t expect ’em to love their situation

  • I don’t recall where I read this, but someone commented recently about Thatcher that her opponents can accept losing an election or two, but they can’t accept losing the debate. Thatcher’s opponents lost the debate, thoroughly. With Reagan, they could always say he was the Great Communicator, a former actor who knew how to sell his charm. Thatcher was more Buckley than Reagan; by the time she was through with you, you were beaten.

  • When Johnny Lydon (the former Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) says you’re out of line–you’re out of line.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2307183/Margaret-Thatcher-dead-Sex-Pistol-Johnny-Rotten-says-hate-mobs-loathsome–calls-respect.html

  • Yes, Margaret Thatcher was a lovely lady. She spoke the truth and stood her ground with style. She will be missed!

  • The Political Left brokers no debate and tolerates nobody who opposes them. They hate Thatcher because Thatcher was right.

  • I can’t believe that I can read Catholics praising Margaret Thatcher. The woman did not posses an ounce of Christian love. She destroyed working communities across Britain. I grew up in a catholic community in Northern England that was decimated by her policies. She created such hardship and took such pleasure from doing so. She promoted the values of greed and declared that there was no such thing as society. To pretend that the outpouring of hatred towards her is the work of the far left is not accurate. Many normal working people all over the UK are still living with the consequences of her disastrous and politically motivated attacks on poor communities.

    I will not rejoice at anyone’s death but I understand perfectly where the bitterness comes from.

  • I can easily believe that a Catholic can spout the type of bilge you are spouting Chris, since it is all too common on left wing Catholic sites. Not a word you said is true about Thatcher and her policies. Socialism has wreaked havoc in Britain and it is appalling how many of the victims of the welfare state fail to see it.

  • Pope Francis has reason to be grateful to Margaret Thatcher, since British victory in the Falklands led directly to the fall of the military junta in Argentina and the restoration of democracy, which has survived for thirty years now.

    In Budapest in 1994 I shared a drink with some Poles who, when they discovered I was a Brit, raised their glasses to “Margaret Thatcher!” Other than that, they spoke no English. The Stalinist leader of the all-powerful National Union of Mineworkers, Arthur Scargill, had attacked Lech Walesa and Solidarity for being anti-Communist. When Maggie visited Poland she was treated as a heroine.

    In 1979 the union barons were perceived by most people to be the real rulers of Britain. The most prominent of these, Jack Jones was later revealed to have been a Soviet agent. Ten years later this was emphatically not the case.

    When Mrs T said “there is no such thing as society” she was in fact attacking the corporate state and extolling individual liberty. I voted for her in three elections, along with many other Catholics.

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  • what a woman,,what a woman…God rest her soul…now we just need another Maggie Thatcher and we be all set…

  • You speak with great authority for someone who didn’t actually live through it. Socialism did great evil as well, I am not a socialist. The left in Britain was insane during the 1980’s I’m not defending the failed socialism of the far left in Britain. Just because socialism was not working does not mean that what she did was successful.

    She attacked the values of community and trust. She destroyed Britain’s industrial base and replaced it with the failed service economy we see today. The south grew at the norths expense. She introduced medieval tax laws that resulted in mass riots.

    There is a reason why there is such wide spread celebration at her death and it is not because there are so many socialists in the UK. The welfare culture was in part created by Thatcherism. Her monetarist policies traded low inflation for high unemployment. She closed down industries in areas that had been industrial for centuries and offered no alternative plan for entire regions. It did not matter as those regions did not vote for her.

    She will be remembered as strong on foreign policy and she played a part in the fall of communism. As for the Falklands it was her defence cuts that lost them in the first place. She branded Nelson Mandela a terrorist and cooperated with a racist government in south Africa and lets not forget her involvement with the Khmer rouge. Her role in extending and inflaming the troubles in northern Ireland is also well documented.

    This one sided hagiography of her greatness is completely at odds with reality.

  • Margaret Thatcher’s great achievement was that she demonstrated the fallacy of the “ratchet effect.”

    Fabian Socialists (and most of the British Left were Fabians, rather than revolutionaries) believed that slow, incremental changes in the direction of social democracy were irreversible. Conservative administrations might retard their progress, but could not undo past gains.

    Her policies of privatisation and deregulation proved them wrong.

    And, yes, Chris, she closed down industries, because she recognised what she called “the enemy within,” and destroyed their power base, notably the National Union of Mine Workers. That is why she won three elections.

  • Chris, there is no ‘failed service economy’, nor did any Thatcher ministry ‘destroy Britain’s industrial base’. Britain today is more affluent than it was in 1978 both absolutely and relative to the United States. Any advanced economy has a mix of agriculture, extractive industries, construction, manufacturing, purchased services, and government. The mix varies over time and place. Economic advancement in the occidental world has tended to be manifested in the development of production in non-tradeable services as it has grown economical to produce manufactures in Latin America and the Far East. Manufacturing in advanced countries has taken on the character of high value added specialty production which employs relatively few people. There is nothing pathological about this. It would be pathological (and was pathological) to put domestic industries on perpetual government life support (through financing the deficits of creaky state enterprises and protective tariffs on manufactures).

    There is regional variation in incomes in Britain, but you see that most any place. Per capita value added in the Midlands is about 15% below the national mean, in the North of England about 20% below the national mean, and in Wales and Ulster about 25% below the national mean. So, you have more regional variation than you do in the United States. However, none of these areas are, by any serious standard of measure, poor in comparison to the general run of countries in this world or to the Britain of 1978. They are the somewhat less affluent portions of an affluent country, and compare satisfactorily to Mediterranean Europe.

  • Chris – It’s tough to assess another country’s policy. Over here, taxes were too high; Reagan cut them and we were better-off for it. For that he was branded cruel. So when Americans read about Thatcher cruelly changing the tax code in a way that harmed society, we immediately fill in the blanks with our own story and assume that you’re on the far left.

    So let’s be specific: what did Thatcher do to the tax code? Did she really shut down industries? Our president wouldn’t be able to do that. She might have ceased to protect industries, and that can have a lot of direct, bad consequences, but also a lot of indirect good ones.

  • They hate her because her truth is “marching on.”

  • “and lets not forget her involvement with the Khmer rouge”

    This is false, the rebels against the Vietnamese-inserted government did not solely consist of Khmer Rouge, you had the republican and Sihanouk-loyal groups

    actually your whole para on her foreign policy looks like you’re just throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks

  • Uhm…Ireland?

  • Chris, were you around in the 1970s? In 1974 the incoming Labour government rewarded the miners with a basic pay (excluding overtime) of £5200 a year. In the same year my salary as a qualified teacher with a good Honours degree was raised to £2400. Remember the days lost through strikes and the deliberate attempts to destroy the motor industry by politically motivated agitators like ‘Red Robbo’? Remember the ralwaymen turning down a 28% pay rise and going on strike? Remember Britain as the ‘sick man of Europe’ and Chancellor Denis Healey going cap in hand to the IMF, which was designed to bail out third-world countries? Remember PM James Callaghan humiliated by Idi Amin? It wasn’t the far Left but the soft Left which let the country down, with its taking the line of least resistance and continuing to subsidise unprofitable industries whether through sentimental attachment or fear of the unions.

    If Margaret Thatcher’s reforms were so bad, why did Labour do nothing to reverse them despite being in power for thirteen years?

  • JDP British SAS soldiers have confirmed publicly that they trained allies of Khmer rouge in Cambodia and in neighbouring Thailand during Thatchers time in office. These allies where under the command of a coalition lead by the Khmer rouge and the British were aware of that as the Khmere rouge were not controlled by Moscow. I can back up every other statement made about her foreign policy.

    Pinky she literally shut down industries as they were state owned. It was not only those industries that were effected though, the other people in these regions, the business owners that catered for the workers also lost everything. It was the total disregard for the human lives she was destroying that has caused the lasting bitterness. In these regions all that was left was massive unemployment and no investment in anything else.

    Michael, the idea of ‘the enemy within’ sums up exactly why she is hated. She treated people in communities with differing political views to her as enemy forces who must be crushed. I don’t deny that there where some crazy union leaders. But to spitefully destroy entire communities because they were viewed as a political threat is the action of a tyrant. You are correct in regard to the ratchet effect she ratcheted the centre ground to the right and it has stayed there ever since.

    Art Deco, the entire EU is richer in relative terms than it was in 1979 this proves nothing about the success of her policies. Other countries have managed to maintain there industrial capacity such as Germany.

    For the record I am not suggesting that every economic reform she made was bad. It is the lack of care for the consequences and in some regard relishing the effect this would have in places and people she despised.

    Something that should not be overlooked in the economic recovery of the UK was the discovery and exploitation of ever larger fields of North Sea oil. This roughly corresponds with Thatchers time in office.

    The fact that several generations after she has left office northern areas are 20% poorer then the south (according to your figures) speaks volumes about the destruction she wrought. Other governments have continued some of her reforms but they have attempted to assist the creation of private industry in depressed areas.

    Thank you all for the reasoned and reasonable debate.

  • Art Deco, the entire EU is richer in relative terms than it was in 1979 this proves nothing about the success of her policies. Other countries have managed to maintain there industrial capacity such as Germany.

    It is called ‘comparative advantage’. Affluent countries vary in their commercial and industrial mix. Nothing troubling about that.

    In 1979, per capita income in Britain was:

    66% that of the United States
    68% that of France
    69% that of a weighted average of the Germanies
    85% that of Japan
    80% that of Australia

    As of 2010, Britain’s per capita income was

    77% that of the United States
    89% that of France
    90% that of Germany
    85% that of Japan
    65% that of Australia

    Which is to say they have improved their position against most of the rest of the world’s affluent countries.

    Current unemployment rates in Britain are around 7.8% of the workforce. The EU mean is 10.7%. Germany’s is currently lower at 5.4%, but the British and French political economy have a long-term advantage over Germany’s: adequate fertility. Germany is facing incipient demographic implosion and has had persistent subreplacement fertility (~1.4 tfr) for a generation. Britain and France currently are reproducing near replacement levels (~2.0 tfr). Public sector borrowing in Britain is currently running at 4.3% of domestic product per annum, a figure I doubt we shall see in the States until the capital markets tell the U.S. Government to get stuffed. Ultimately, a succession of British governments had the sense to keep clear of the vampire Euro currency. The place is just the least wrecked large economy in Europe.

  • Chris you referred to a coalition which is my point. The other two parts of that coalition aligned with the Khmer Rouge for fighting purposes but had no ideological love for them.

    framing it as though Thatcher and Reagan wanted to bring the Khmer Rouge back to power is again, not accurate.

  • As far as South Africa that was a Cold War convenience alliance cuz of the civil wars in neighboring countries. we can talk about the morality of such alliances but the implication of ’80s arguments from the left seems to be that while apartheid was evil Communism was just flawed. anti-anti-Communism and all that.

  • Chris, this north-south divide is exaggerated. Leeds and Newcastle, which epitomised decline in the 1970s are completely transformed. I suppose if you lived in a pit village in Co. Durham you might feel a bit miffed, but let’s face it, most of the pits were hopelessly uneconomic, miners were always complaining about what a rotten job it was, and environmentally-driven European policies would have shut the industry down anyway.

    To suggest that she was motivated by spite or was indifferent to the plight of millions of her fellow-countrymen is a convenient left-wing myth which has been kicking around since the 1980s. Most of the people celebrating her death with tasteless street parties weren’t even born in 1979. And talk about destroying human lives is tosh, and uncharitable and unCatholic tosh at that.

  • John Nolan I have said before that I am not a socialist. I have seen first had what a combination of militant left wing local politicians combined with a hard right-wing government can do to a place. I agree that some reforms were needed. That does not mean that her set of reforms were the correct ones. Many of her policies have been reversed by successive labour governments. You are correct in suggesting that no one has questioned the idea of liberal economics though. In that regard she really did win. Our current economic crisis stems from that victory.

    Red Robbo et al were crazy but other countries in Europe have had strong unions and still managed to retain their automotive industries. There are no major British car companies now, the few cars we make are for other countries companies.

    The Left in the UK is largely to blame for Thatcher. Had they been more reasonable and less extreme then she would not of had such a mandate. (This is something the right in America should learn I would draw parallels with the “militant tenancy” and “the tea part”y ) I have acknowledged that she ratcheted the centre ground right.

    The point I have already made was that she collectively punished regions for the intransigence of the few. The tough medicine was never handed out in conservative southern England. It was political punishment for not cooperating and it was gleefully dished out.

    There is a reason why the conservatives have not won a general election since 1992, it is not because of John Major (they didn’t win the last one and had to form a coalition when facing the lame duck that was Gordon Brown). There is a reason why she is still hated by many in the UK, it is not a collective fantasy and it is not a minority view.

    In many ways the Labour party should thank Thatcher. The hatred of her policies gave them a win at all costs mentality that they did not have before.

    I shall leave it at that. My intention was not to argue with everyone over the detail but to challenge the idea that it is a minority left wing point of view to hate Thatcher. If any of you have ever been north of Watford in the UK you will realise that it is a widely held point of view by many people with no particular political affiliation.

  • Cael Schmitt wrote that every realm of human endeavour is structured by an irreducible duality. Morality is concerned with good and evil, aesthetics with the beautiful and the ugly, and economics with the profitable and the unprofitable. In politics, the core distinction is between friend and enemy.

    That is what makes politics different from everything else. ’States arise as a means of continuing, organizing and channelling political struggle. It is political struggle, which gives rise to political order. Any entity involved in friend-enemy relations is by definition political, whatever its origin or the origin of the differences leading to enmity: “a religious community which wages wars against members of others religious communities or engages in other wars is already more than a religious communality”

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  • Is this the same Marget Thatcher who supported South African apartheid, the murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet responsible for the assassination and torture of tens of thousands of Chileans, and who made life for prosperous for the rich and worse for the poor? It was Friedman’s neoliberal economic policies that have put us in the mess we are in today. I think the outrage expressed by many in the UK was thoroughly justified. I am quite shocked by the essay and the comments.

  • Thatcher did not support apartheid or Pinochet. Pinochet supported Britain in the Falkland’s War and the British government sold to Pinochet some obsolete Hawker-Hunter bomber fighters in return. Pinochet’s economic policies made Chile vastly more prosperous to the benefit of all Chileans, after the Marxist government of Allende had done its very worst to wreck the Chilean economy. The policy recommendations of Milton Friedman have absolutely nothing to do with our current economic travails that are the result of polices directly contrary to those proposed by Friedman.

  • Is this the same Marget Thatcher who supported South African apartheid, the murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet responsible for the assassination and torture of tens of thousands of Chileans, and who made life for prosperous for the rich and worse for the poor? It was Friedman’s neoliberal economic policies that have put us in the mess we are in today. I think the outrage expressed by many in the UK was thoroughly justified. I am quite shocked by the essay and the comments.

    While it is hard to tell if you’re particularly serious, I will take the bait.

    1. Carrying on ordinary diplomatic and trade relations with foreign governments does not render you responsible for much of anything done in the course of public policy there.

    2. In terms of magnitude, neither the government of Chile nor the government of South Africa were exceptionally abusive.

    3. Even the insipid characters at Amnesty International never accused Augusto Pinochet’s government of killing ‘tens of thousands’ of individuals. (The correct number is about 3,000, nearly all prior to 1978).

    and who made life for prosperous for the rich and worse for the poor?

    Come up with the income distribution figures or shut your mouth.

    It was Friedman’s neoliberal economic policies that have put us in the mess we are in today.

    Can you give us a reference to remarks by Dr. Friedman where he advocated:

    1. Erecting government-sponsored crony-capitalist enterprises (run by Democratic Party hacks) to trade in the secondary mortgage market.

    2. Adopting a mix of policies which provided for such enterprises to dominate the secondary mortgage market.

    3. Harried such enterprises (as well as mortgage originators) to slash their underwriting standards.

    4. Blocking efforts sponsored by George W. Bush, Gregory Mankiw, Richard Shelby, and John McCain to require such enterprises to improve their accounting practices and bulk up their capital cushions.

    ???

  • The left still hates Mrs. Thatcher like the devil hates Holy Water.

    PS; Peter M:

    Splain how Mrs. Thatcher supported apartheid, swammie.

    Pinochet saved his country. You have a list of the people he killed? Chile is the most prosperous nation in Latin America: thanks to Pinochet and Chilean economists that studied under Dr. Friedman. Chile could become the most prosperous nation in the Western Hemisphere, as the USA implodes.

    If only the US (including both Presidents Bush) had followed Friedman’s economics we would not have suffered the current Long Recession, and we would not be facing econodammerung.

    Your problem isn’t what you don’t know. It is that you “know” isn’t true. Ergo, you voted Obama.

    Shocking!

  • Swammie? I think that should be Swami, unless you are using the urban dictionary, and are referring to me as a firearm. If you are going to try to insult me, please get the spelling correct. Well, where should I begin? The disavowals punctuating the intinerary of responses to my queries are symptomatic of a willful social amnesia; perhaps they constitute ‘opinons’ spawned by a cabal of Fox News journalists, designed to keep the regime in tact (no, not the Democrats or Republicans but the regime of capital). There appears to be a studied refusal to engage with reality evidenced by several of the responses. Shoddy ideological platitudes won’t do, and only enfeeble the positions already put forward. Ask economists of various political stripes and you will learn that Friedman is the best known exponent of economic neoliberalism–his consequentialist libertarianism put him at odds with classical neoliberalism. His monetarism and laissez-faire absolutism was disastrous. Not even mainstream economists are monetarists anymore. And let’s get some ontological clarity on Thatcher. Thatcher labelled Mandela a “terrorist” and even Prime Minister Cameron has acknowledged they got it wrong on Mandela, that he was “one of the greatest men alive.” She refused sanctions on South Africa during the most bloody years of apartheid rule, tantamount to a rule of state terror, and only went against sanctions after 1986, following the US lead. Thatcher visited Pinochet who was under house arrest in London, to thank him for all he did for the UK, ignoring Pinochet’s bloody rule of terror. Yes, the ‘official’ death toll was 3,200, but that is not including the 400,000 victims of torture and the tens of thousands who were disappeared. Remember, Thatcher and Reagan supported the dead squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina, figuring that it was better to support murderous fascists than let communism take hold of Las Americas. Thatcher was as egregious a leader as Ronald Reagan, whose support of the Contras was an abomination since they murdered unarmed women, children and school teachers. If you were part of the ruling elite under Reagan or Thatcher, you likely prospered under his policies but in is incontestable that they created a wider gap between the rich and the poor. In fact, the US ranks among the most unequal countries in the world. I assume that all of us here are in favor of justice, and equality and freedom and democracy–participatory democracy.

  • perhaps they constitute ‘opinons’ spawned by a cabal of Fox News journalists

    followed by

    Shoddy ideological platitudes won’t do,

    Equals skipping to the next comment.

  • Which exactly makes my case about social amnesia and a studied refusal to engage with reality. thank you.

  • Which exactly makes my case about social amnesia and a studied refusal to engage with reality. thank you.

    You come onto a blog, write a long wall of text, blithely ignore most of the points made by your interlocuters, and then proceed to accuse them of talking in cliches seconds after spouting one of the most hackneyed cliches in all of politics. So I gave you and your response all of the attention it merited.

  • Which points did I ignore, and I am happy to address them. I came on to the blog astonished at the support of Thatcher. As a Catholic who is deeply influenced by liberation theology I put forth my own position, having spent the last 25 years visiting and working in Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. I am neither a Republican nor am I now a Democrat. Thank you for your time. Remain in your comfort zone. goodbye.

  • “perhaps they constitute ‘opinons’ spawned by a cabal of Fox News journalists, designed to keep the regime in tact”

    Paranoid rantings do not constitute an argument.

    “There appears to be a studied refusal to engage with reality evidenced by several of the responses.”

    Only if you live in a different reality from what the rest of us inhabit.

    “Ask economists of various political stripes and you will learn that Friedman is the best known exponent of economic neoliberalism–his consequentialist libertarianism put him at odds with classical neoliberalism. His monetarism and laissez-faire absolutism was disastrous.”

    Ex Cathedra statements only hold water on this blog when issued by a Pope.

    “And let’s get some ontological clarity on Thatcher.”

    You really should not use words when you obviously do not know what they mean.

    “Thatcher labelled Mandela a “terrorist” and even Prime Minister Cameron has acknowledged they got it wrong on Mandela, that he was “one of the greatest men alive.””

    Thatcher pressed Botha to give up apartheid and urged him to free Mandela.

    “She refused sanctions on South Africa during the most bloody years of apartheid rule, tantamount to a rule of state terror, and only went against sanctions after 1986, following the US lead.”

    Thatcher believed that sanctions would only hurt poor blacks in South Africa, as they did, and that trade would act against apartheid, as it did.

    “Thatcher visited Pinochet who was under house arrest in London, to thank him for all he did for the UK, ignoring Pinochet’s bloody rule of terror.”

    She thanked him for the Chilean assistance to the UK during the Falklands and for his role in the transition of Chile to democracy.

    “Yes, the ‘official’ death toll was 3,200”

    The real death toll in other words as opposed to the fevered imaginings of Leftists who long for the glory days of Allende.

    “Remember, Thatcher and Reagan supported the dead squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina,”

    Completely untrue, but don’t let facts stand in your way.

    “Thatcher was as egregious a leader as Ronald Reagan, whose support of the Contras was an abomination since they murdered unarmed women, children and school teachers.”

    Actually the Contra policy led to the election of 1990 which tossed the Sandanistas out of power, the Nicaraguan people prefering the opposition to the Sandanistas. The Sandanistas of course violated human rights routinely during their time in power.

    http://www.cmpage.org/betrayal/chapt7.html

    “If you were part of the ruling elite under Reagan or Thatcher, you likely prospered under his policies but in is incontestable that they created a wider gap between the rich and the poor.”

    Reagan and Thatcher left their countries far more prosperous than they found them. Would that the current leadership in both their nations had the wisdom to follow their policies.

  • McLaren: If you had extant functional gray matter, I’d provide you with the comprehensive answer my son’s (advanced degree engineers) Argentine friends gave me to my question, “Why is Argentina, a nation with vast natural resources and a highly educated population, an economic “basket case”?

    “Don’t bogart that joint, my friend. Pass it over to me . . . “

  • “perhaps they constitute ‘opinons’ spawned by a cabal of Fox News journalists, designed to keep the regime in tact”

    Paranoid rantings do not constitute an argument.

    ASSERTIONS SUCH AS YOURS FAIL TO CONSTITUTE AN ARGUMENT.

    “There appears to be a studied refusal to engage with reality evidenced by several of the responses.”

    Only if you live in a different reality from what the rest of us inhabit.

    APPARENTLY I DO. AND I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT.

    “Ask economists of various political stripes and you will learn that Friedman is the best known exponent of economic neoliberalism–his consequentialist libertarianism put him at odds with classical neoliberalism. His monetarism and laissez-faire absolutism was disastrous.”

    Ex Cathedra statements only hold water on this blog when issued by a Pope.

    OR IF APPROVED BY OPUS DEI, NO DOUBT.

    “And let’s get some ontological clarity on Thatcher.”

    You really should not use words when you obviously do not know what they mean.

    THAT’S USUALLY WHAT MY BOOK CRITICS TELL ME WHEN THEY ARE TOO LAZY TO REACH FOR A DICTIONARY.

    “Thatcher labelled Mandela a “terrorist” and even Prime Minister Cameron has acknowledged they got it wrong on Mandela, that he was “one of the greatest men alive.””

    Thatcher pressed Botha to give up apartheid and urged him to free Mandela.

    YES, MAGGIE COME-LATELY. WASN’T THAT AFTER THE US CONGRESS PASSED THE 1986 ANTI-APARTHEID ACT?

    “She refused sanctions on South Africa during the most bloody years of apartheid rule, tantamount to a rule of state terror, and only went against sanctions after 1986, following the US lead.”

    Thatcher believed that sanctions would only hurt poor blacks in South Africa, as they did, and that trade would act against apartheid, as it did.

    WHAT ACTED AGAINST APARTHEID WERE SANCTIONS.

    “Thatcher visited Pinochet who was under house arrest in London, to thank him for all he did for the UK, ignoring Pinochet’s bloody rule of terror.”

    She thanked him for the Chilean assistance to the UK during the Falklands and for his role in the transition of Chile to democracy.

    DEMOCRACY? YES, THAT’S INTERESTING, HE TOPPLED A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT IN ORDER TO CREATE ‘DEMOCRACY.’ YES, I SUPPOSE THAT MAKES SENSE IN YOUR WORLD.
    THATCHER ALSO APPROVED COVERT ARMS FOR IRAQI DICTATOR SADDAM HUSSEIN–AS DID REAGAN, WHILE SADDAM HUSSEIN USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

    “Yes, the ‘official’ death toll was 3,200”

    The real death toll in other words as opposed to the fevered imaginings of Leftists who long for the glory days of Allende.

    ALLENDE WAS A RELATIVELY MODERATE LEFTIST. MUCH PREFERABLE TO PINOCHET, WHO MURDERED ALLENDE. REMEMBER WHEN ARGENTINA WAS THE POSTER CHILD FOR NEOLIBERAL ECONOMICS? LOOK WHAT HAPPENED. THANK GOODNESS THEY REFUSED TO PAY BACK THE IMF.

    “Remember, Thatcher and Reagan supported the dead squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina,”

    Completely untrue, but don’t let facts stand in your way.

    CORRECTION, YES, MORE SPECIFICALLY IT WAS US ADMINISTRATIONS, DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN. DONT LET THE FACTS STAND IN THE WAY OF WHAT US SUPPORT FOR THE SALVADOREAN JUNTA, UNDER CARTER, DID TO ARCHBISHOP ROMERO. BY THE WAY, ISNT HE A PROSPECT FOR SAINTHOOD? DO YOU REMEMBER THE JESUITS KILLED IN EL SALVADOR?

    “Thatcher was as egregious a leader as Ronald Reagan, whose support of the Contras was an abomination since they murdered unarmed women, children and school teachers.”

    Actually the Contra policy led to the election of 1990 which tossed the Sandanistas out of power, the Nicaraguan people prefering the opposition to the Sandanistas. The Sandanistas of course violated human rights routinely during their time in power.

    I WAS NEVER A FAN OF ORTEGA, PREFERRING ERNESTO CARDINAL. BUT YOU COULD HARDLY COMPARE THE SANDINISTAS TO THE CONTRAS. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY CRAZY. IF YOU WERE A FAN OF THE TORTUROUS SOMOZA REGIME, THEN PERHAPS YOU MIGHT WANT TO MOVE TO FLORIDA, IF YOU DONT ALREADY LIVE THERE. THERE ARE PLENTY MEMBERS OF HIS MURDEROUS REGIME ENJOYING THE BEACHFRONT LIFE.

    “If you were part of the ruling elite under Reagan or Thatcher, you likely prospered under his policies but in is incontestable that they created a wider gap between the rich and the poor.”

    Reagan and Thatcher left their countries far more prosperous than they found them. Would that the current leadership in both their nations had the wisdom to follow their policies.

    INDEED, THERE WAS AN ECONOMIC boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen. A recession was inevitable under Voodoo economic policy.

    According to Paul Krugman, nobel prize winner in economics (sorry, I’m not quoting the Pope so I hope I’m not wasting my time):

    I understand why conservatives want to rewrite history and pretend that these good things happened while a Republican was in office — or claim, implausibly, that the 1981 Reagan tax cut somehow deserves credit for positive economic developments that didn’t happen until 14 or more years had passed. (Does Richard Nixon get credit for “Morning in America”?)
    Like Ronald Reagan, President Bush began his term in office with big tax cuts for the rich and promises that the benefits would trickle down to the middle class. Like Reagan, he also began his term with an economic slump, then claimed that the recovery from that slump proved the success of his policies.

    And like Reaganomics — but more quickly — Bushonomics has ended in grief. The public mood today is as grim as it was in 1992. Wages are lagging behind inflation. Employment growth in the Bush years has been pathetic compared with job creation in the Clinton era. Even if we don’t have a formal recession — and the odds now are that we will — the optimism of the 1990s has evaporated.

    This is, in short, a time when progressives ought to be driving home the idea that the right’s ideas don’t work, and never have.

    I REST MY CASE., AGAIN

    More Articles in Opinion »

  • “Pinochet saved his country. You have a list of the people he killed”

    OK I am all for putting things in context (including dictatorships of whatever ideological stripe) but come on. stuff’s well-documented.

    “Remember, Thatcher and Reagan supported the dead squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina, figuring that it was better to support murderous fascists than let communism take hold of Las America”

    no they didn’t support “dead squads.” The government in El Salvador at the time for example was centrist. It’s true that there were far-right groups operating/there were Contra atrocities but these facts do not = we should have been indifferent to Communist governments/insurgencies in the region.

  • I AM SURE YOUR SON’S ARGENTINE FRIENDS WITH THEIR ADVANCED DEGREES ARE GOOD PEOPLE, AND I ASSUME YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON. I GENERALLY MAKE THAT ASSUMPTION ABOUT PEOPLE. HOWEVER, I VISIT ARGENTINA REGULARLY, AND HAVE PLENTY OF ACCESS TO LEARNED OPINIONS ON THE ECONOMIC SITUATION THERE. AND I HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT IT EXTENSIVELY. WHICH ISN’T TO SAY I CAN’T BE WRONG. BUT THANKS FOR THE OFFER.

  • YOU PREFER THE AFGHAN CIVIL WAR/TALIBAN TO THE PROGRESSIVE SOVIET REGIME??? YOU PREFER A BROKEN, HIGH-UNEMPLOYMENT RUSSIA TO THE USSR???

    see you can do this for a lot of things and it doesn’t make it convincing.

  • Hmm, this might be a helpful primer to people having keyboard issues tonight.
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060929164844AAtIlfH

  • MIGHT I MAKE A SUGGESTION. THERE IS AN EXCELLENT MOVIE PRODUCED BY THE PAULIST FATHERS, STARRING THE LATE RAUL JULIA. IT IS CALLED “ROMERO” AND EXPLORES MUCH OF THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN EL SALVADOR, PRIOR TO ARCHBISHOP ROMERO’S ASSASSINATION. SALVADOREANOS WHO HAVE DISCUSSED THIS WITH ME HAVE BEEN SURPRISED BY ITS ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF EVENTS AS THEY RECALLED THEM. YOU CAN WATCH THE FILM FREE ON YOUTUBE.

  • GREAT ADVICE PAUL. BUT ISN’T YOUR WEBSITE ADVICE A CALL TO ELIMINATE YOUR OWN VOICE? SEEMS LIKE PRETTY SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ADVICE.
    OF COURSE, SARCASM ASIDE, IT’S NOT UNCOMMON FOR IDEOLOGUES TO CALL SOMEONE WHO DISAGREES WITH THEM CRAZY. DIDNT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY THAT ABOUT GALILEO? WELL, I THOUGHT I WOULD END MY SOJOURN HERE BY RECOMMENDING A GOOD FILM PRODUCED BY THE PAULIST FATHERS. AND THE RESPONSE FROM A BOGGER IN A CATHOLIC PUBLICATION IS–THAT’S CRAZY. THAT SAYS IT ALL. I TAKE MY LEAVE OF YOU, WISHING ALL OF YOU GOD SPEED.

  • PS, IF YOU CAN REFRAIN FROM A RESPONSE, I WON’T BOTHER TO REPLY. BEST WISHES.

  • Peter,

    I think it’s time to say goodbye to you as well. Cheers.

    BTW, though you’re gone now and it doesn’t matter much, I will note that the Galileo dig reveals much more about your Catholicity than you intended.

  • You’re an ideologue if you don’t think any and all structural problems in Latin America warrant a don’t-call-it-socialist cure mayn. k.

Least Surprising Stats of the Day

Thursday, November 29, AD 2012

After their abysmal recent performance in the Presidential election I don’t know how much credence to give a Gallup poll, but these findings have the ring of truth.  53% of the Dems have a positive view of the term “Socialism” and 75% of Dems have a positive view of the Federal government.  Under Obama is there much difference in practice?  The Democrats are on a rapid path to morphing into a European style socialist party.

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6 Responses to Least Surprising Stats of the Day

  • In that age demographic, it’s good news that it’s not higher. That means less than half (if just barely) of the “brainless youth” of America believe in Socialism. I wonder how that would compare with our generation 30-35 years ago. As well, it would be interesting to see how steeply that percentage drops off once the demographic strides solidly into the age bracket of taxpayers and parents – things that are happening later in life.

  • This is no surprise. We are becoming what the USSR once was.

  • Socialism is a dull and illogical economic theory that always has been a disaster wherever it was imposed. N.B. “IMPOSED.”

    Socialism may be summarized in three words: “Plunder the Prosperous!”

    This is our “vail of tears.” The Gospels teach us that the Kingdom is not in, or of, the here and now; and that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom. Obama is trying to save souls??

    With one or two interruptions, e.g., 8 years of President Reagan; Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Clinton, and now Obama (accelerating the destruction of the evil, unjust private sector) have steadily decimated the ranks of the producers.

  • “Obama is trying to save souls??”

    I don’t know about that. I’ve always thought he was a materialist of the Marxist variety.

    No, the ones I fear are trying to do this are our fellow Christians who in one way or another have sought the elimination of inequality and the perfection of society through a false sense of social justice. They are the ones seeking a Kingdom of God on Earth.

    They won’t get it.

  • Doubtless they will get the reverse. When Man sets out to create Heaven on Earth he tends to devise a fair copy of the lowest eternal abode.

  • The rapid path is over, we are already there.

Thanksgiving Day Lesson: Socialism Never Works

Thursday, November 22, AD 2012

 

 

 

From  Of Plymouth Plantation, by Governor William Bradford:

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

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2 Responses to Thanksgiving Day Lesson: Socialism Never Works

Quelle Surprise!

Tuesday, November 20, AD 2012

7 Responses to Quelle Surprise!

  • And reality has that annoying habit of eventually asserting itself.

  • It’s a race to the bottom between Hollande and Obama!

  • Don,

    I have something I would like to ask a faithful Catholic attorney regarding the possible civil ramifications of procedures within a current, ongoing Catholic annulment proceeding? This is NOT involving my own, present, case but another I am aware of.

    Is it possible to email you, off line?

    Karl

  • I have never been involved in a Church annulment proceeding Karl. It really wouldn’t be my area of the law and so my opinion would be of little value.

  • Ok, thank you. Before I wrote my inquiry to you, I had advised someone in
    a nullity process to contact a civil attorney regarding things that were transpiring in his nullity case. I just wanted to see what a Catholic attorney would say. I forgot that my best friend from high school is an attorney in California, but a marginal Catholic. I’ll write to him.

    Sorry to be a bother.

  • Notes from the idiocracy:

    They wore out “unexpectedly” and replaced it with “Surprise!”

    Surprise! UMich expectations/confidence plunged 2.2 to 84.9, the worst “miss” in 4 years.

    Surprise! For the second consecutive week, Initial Unemployment Claims were over 400,000 at about 410,000, “down” from last week’s upward (naturally!) revised 451,000 (previously 439,000,000).

A Perfect Description of Modern Socialism

Sunday, September 30, AD 2012

Hattip to Neo-neo Con who suggested the connection to me with this post.  Dostoevsky in his The Brothers Karamazov has a striking tale of the Grand Inquisitor.  In that tale Christ comes back to earth in Sixteenth Century Seville and is arrested by the Inquisition.  The Grand Inquisitor explains to Christ why He is going to be burned the next day.  At first glance this all appears to be a fairly psychotic anti-Catholic diatribe, but I think it aptly describes not the Church, but modern socialism.  We see it most clearly in this passage:

“‘Receiving bread from us, they will see clearly that we take the bread made by their hands from them, to give it to them, without any miracle. They will see that we do not change the stones to bread, but in truth they will be more thankful for taking it from our hands than for the bread itself! For they will remember only too well that in old days, without our help, even the bread they made turned to stones in their hands, while since they have come back to us, the very stones have turned to bread in their hands. Too, too well will they know the value of complete submission! And until men know that, they will be unhappy. Who is most to blame for their not knowing it?-speak! Who scattered the flock and sent it astray on unknown paths? But the flock will come together again and will submit once more, and then it will be once for all. Then we shall give them the quiet humble happiness of weak creatures such as they are by nature. Oh, we shall persuade them at last not to be proud, for Thou didst lift them up and thereby taught them to be proud. We shall show them that they are weak, that they are only pitiful children, but that childlike happiness is the sweetest of all. They will become timid and will look to us and huddle close to us in fear, as chicks to the hen. They will marvel at us and will be awe-stricken before us, and will be proud at our being so powerful and clever that we have been able to subdue such a turbulent flock of thousands of millions. They will tremble impotently before our wrath, their minds will grow fearful, they will be quick to shed tears like women and children, but they will be just as ready at a sign from us to pass to laughter and rejoicing, to happy mirth and childish song. Yes, we shall set them to work, but in their leisure hours we shall make their life-like a child’s game, with children’s songs and innocent dance. Oh, we shall allow them even sin, they are weak and helpless, and they will love us like children because we allow them to sin. We shall tell them that every sin will be expiated, if it is done with our permission, that we allow them to sin because we love them, and the punishment for these sins we take upon ourselves. And we shall take it upon ourselves, and they will adore us as their saviours who have taken on themselves their sins before God. And they will have no secrets from us. We shall allow or forbid them to live with their wives and mistresses, to have or not to have children according to whether they have been obedient or disobedient- and they will submit to us gladly and cheerfully. The most painful secrets of their conscience, all, all they will bring to us, and we shall have an answer for all. And they will be glad to believe our answer, for it will save them from the great anxiety and terrible agony they endure at present in making a free decision for themselves. And all will be happy, all the millions of creatures except the hundred thousand who rule over them. For only we, we who guard the mystery, shall be unhappy. There will be thousands of millions of happy babes, and a hundred thousand sufferers who have taken upon themselves the curse of the knowledge of good and evil. Peacefully they will die, peacefully they will expire in Thy name, and beyond the grave they will find nothing but death. But we shall keep the secret, and for their happiness we shall allure them with the reward of heaven and eternity. Though if there were anything in the other world, it certainly would not be for such as they.”

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8 Responses to A Perfect Description of Modern Socialism

  • This is a good time to remind everyone what is the clear Catholic position on socialism In given in encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris by Pope Leo XIII:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_28121878_quod-apostolici-muneris_en.html

    Thank you, Donald.

  • The regime will tax the Churches, and everything else. That means, for the 40% that pay income taxes and itemize deductions, you will not be able to deduct charitable donations.

    They also plan to end your mortgage interest deduction.

    You see, the government owns everything. It decides how much you will get to feed your family.

    Live free or cry.

  • Q: How many examples do we have of nations moving to socialism?
    A: Many.

    Q: How many of those examples ended up providing an improved standard of living for the nation, eliminating poverty, or increasing productivity and innovation?
    A: None.

  • John, A++!!!

    Here are statistics for two recent socialist dreams: Venezuela and Nicaragua.

    Venezuela Chavez rings in 2010 by state rationing of electricity.

    Chávez appears to have huge support from the poor: The Venezuelan poor seem to love Chávez’s nanny state, and his extremely succesful public relations gimmicks. Fidel Castro is Chávez mentor in many ways, and Castro’s pupil is exceeding his master. Sadly, as Revista Veja shows, things are a lot worse since Chávez took power:

    ——————————— -Before Chávez— Now
    People below poverty level——-43%————54%
    Unemployment———————11%————16%
    Income per capita—————-$4,650——–$4,190
    Number of industries————11,000———5,000
    Foreign investment————$2 billion——$1 billion
    Inflation—————————–11%————17%
    Public debt——————$27.5 billion—$44.8 billion

    The (Nicaragua devolution into marxism) economic figures are depressing. From 1950-1975 under the dictator Somoza (whose departure was the one good thing the Sandinistas helped achieve) economic growth was the highest in Latin America: 6.8% per year. Per capita GNP in 1977, just before the Communists took over, was $2500 per person. In 1990, when the Sandinista regime fell, per capita GNP was $500 per person. That was the great achievement of liberation theology in Nicaragua.

    Zimbabwe is even more tragic.

    And, this regime’s record: 42 months of 8.2%+ unemployment; reduced labor force participation rate; median household income down 8.2% – about $4,000 less a year; Food and Gasoline prices sky rocketed – from $1.88 to (I paid) $4.21 last week; more people below the poverty level; millions more on food stamps; etc.

    PhD statistics soar: The numbers of PhD working as janitors and waiters soar by 80% and 85%, respectively.

  • Thank you, Donald. That is surely an eye opener if I ever needed one to confirm my belief that Obama is BAD, BAD NEWS….. for America ……for the World….but worst of all FOR CHRIST’S BRIDE.

  • Thank you so much for this post. “..that we allow them to sin because we love them.”

    Amazing! Maybe all we really need is LOVE?
    Agape Love.
    Selfish love.
    Dostoevski is closing in on 2012 thought. Scary.

  • Read “The Dictator’s Learning Curve” by William Dobson for examples of how modern socialist countries, including Venezuela, have turned into tyrannies.

  • Hugo Chavez can be described as obnoxious and abusive and having done severe damage to Venezuela’s already-dysfunctional political economy. Cleaning up the mess he has made will require talents Venezuela’s elites have never manifested. He has damaged what was once one of Latin America’s most durable (if corrupt and incompetant) constitutional orders. However, the man is not Mussolini. There is ample, vigorous, and organized opposition. The regime is neo-Peronist, not neo-Communist or neo-Fascist. Same deal with Morales, Correa, Ortega, and the rest of Latin America’s rogue populist regimes.

Socialism in Art and Life

Friday, March 23, AD 2012

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Winston Churchill

Those of us of a certain vintage may recall Rocky IV where Rocky fought a Soviet Superman, Captain Ivan Drago, portrayed with robotic efficiency and inhumanity by Dolph Lundgren.  I therefore found it interesting to come across the interview below in which Dolph Lundgren relates why his father advised him to come to America:

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2 Responses to Socialism in Art and Life

  • Didn’t Jesus believe in socialism?

    Something along the lines of “what you do for the least of mine” or feeding the masses with fish and bread…

  • You can read the Scriptures from now until eternity clinicalresearcher and you will never find a hint that Christ called upon the power of Caesar for anything. Christ’s admonition was much more radical than that. He placed upon each of us a personal responsibility to help others, and this duty cannot be fobbed off upon the state, especially when Caesar does a pretty poor job of it in any case.