Analysis of Liberal Oppression I
Socialism, big govt, war on middle class and religion
To paraphrase Marx,
it is high time that the ordinary middle class sets forth an indictment of the current ruling class, and enumerate the vile oppressions and dominations and injustices it has created during its rule of about 100 years.
Why do I say this? Because, quite simply, government is force, and the current ruling class thinks that everything from saving for retirement to health care to the education of children should be determined by government: in other words, by force.
Thus I say that there is no such thing as justice, only injustice.
What? Go figure: If you are railing about justice, you are really complaining about the real or perceived injustice that you experience at the hands of the ruling class. But suppose that, as a result of your activism and peaceful protests that you actually acquire political power. I guarantee you that many people will experience your beneficial legislation to bend the arc of history towards justice as the very opposite, as injustice, straight up.
Now our liberal friends have been telling themselves for over a century that they are an insurgent movement from below that is nobly and sacrificially bending the arc of history towards justice by the use of political power, reversing the injustices of the ages. For instance the notion of Allyship experiences itself as Allies fighting with the Oppressed Peoples against the White Oppressors. Would those Allies be members of the Anointed educated class, by any chance? And if not, how would they have got the power to fight the White Oppressors?
I believe the opposite is true. I believe that the progressive movement, the left, has been a top-down tyranny, using the excuse of injustice to impose an unjust order upon the people of the western world, to replace the partial tyranny of feudalism and the apparent tyranny of industrialism with a quasi-military mobilization of society into an administrative hierarchy that is tyrannous, totalitarian, oppressive, exploitative, and ultimately ruinous.
The left’s idea has been that the industrial era has thrown new and frightening monstrosities upon a hapless people, that the left are the chosen ones to fight these monsters and protect us all from their evil spawn. And the means appropriate is politics and government and administrative system.
Unfortunately, as I insist, government is force; politics is the art of unifying "Us" to fight against the dangerous "Them"; and system, administrative system, is domination. So you would expect that no good would come of the left's efforts. Let us demonstrate that in detail.
Socialism, the ownership of the means of production and distribution in common. This notion is a nostalgic dream to return humans to the alleged community of the tribe, where nothing is owned and everything is shared. And indeed you can see the survival advantage of sharing food in the hunter-gatherer band. But in today's world of cities far from the production of food, socialism does not work because there is no survival advantage in sharing food with the neighbors. And there is the little problem that socialism cannot work because it cannot compute prices. So what? Well, the purpose of prices is to tell people what to do next, in other words, change their behavior in accordance with the scarcity of goods and services. That is the point of the market economy: every moment people are adapting their contributions to the economy based upon their experience of prices. And the point of government is to prevent change, particularly the kind of change introduced at the point of a spear by rapers and pillagers. The problem with socialism is that when prices and individual ownership are forbidden then there is no way to adjust production in response to developing problems; the socialist managers at the top of the administrative hierarchy are not going to see developing problems until they have become disasters. So socialism at the scale of the nation state is not a survival advantage but a road to ruin. Hello Venezuela. But the bigger problem with socialism is that it can only operate by force. The natural thing for humans to do is to barter and trade, and then produce a little on the side, and then improve the product and then borrow from a neighbor and then expand production and then start selling to folks in the next village. All this is forbidden because it trespasses on the power of the government's socialist managers. And that is unjust.
The Neo-Slavery of Big Government. All across the west, governments spend about 30 to 50 percent of GDP. This means that about half of the economy is directed not by market forces but by government force. This is unjust, for it forces every individual to fund his master's political project, which has ever been to tax the people to reward his supporters. In effect, people are forced to support a vast political project as the price of earning a living. But it gets worse. It is clear that every government is eager to invent new spending to reward new supporters, but every government quails before the prospect of ever reducing spending. Indeed the only way that governments tend to reduce spending is through the trickery of inflation and devaluation of the currency. If slavery is unjust, then Big Government is unjust.
The War on Middle-Class Culture. It seems likely that the bourgeois culture, of companionate marriage, of the nuclear family with married parents living with their children, of distance from the extended family, is a recent phenomenon. It is founded on the notion of individual responsibility and it is hard, because young men move out from under their father's domination (and experience), and young women are free of the influence of their mother-in-law. It means, to a great extent, that young people starting out a family are on their own. It is obviously harder to make a success of this when government is getting you into debt for college and sequestering up to 50 percent of your income. More than that it is clear that the sexual revolution, that stigmatizes female modesty and normalizes abortion, that empowers male sexual appetite and non-binary genders, that makes a zoo out of sexuality, all combine to confuse and demoralize ordinary middle-class people. That is the whole idea of war, to confuse and disorient the adversary.
You can read that this war on the middle class is a Jewish conspiracy, or the natural program of the ruling class to make the people dependent. But I rather prefer the verdict of my Three Peoples theory. Our ruling class, the People of the Creative Self, believes in creativity à outrance. That's French for creativity to the max. So you get existentialists like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir advertising a life of creativity in everything, including sexuality. They seem to believe in complete personal reinvention without any credit for tradition or the way it used to be. The only problem is that if you try that you will probably ruin your life as, arguably, Sartre and Beauvoir ruined theirs. Indeed, the whole story of the universe is that it does not wipe the slate clean with every generation, but it builds upon itself. It may break out in a new direction, but almost always it will build on previous knowledge (encoded in DNA) and practice (encoded in culture). Anyway, it is cruel and unjust to make war upon a people's culture, whether the culture is hunter-gatherer or 20th century bourgeois.
The War on Religion. The reason that "God is Dead" is that the People of the Creative Self do not believe in the God of the People of the Responsible Self. They believe instead in... well I would say that the People of the Creative Self have not yet really found a new God, beyond a faith in their own creativity. But they know that the God of Christianity is sick and wrong. And bigoted, and superstitious, and racist and sexist and homophobic. So it must be driven out of the public square. And that is unjust. As I develop in my book The Road to the Middle Class, the Axial Age religions are an irreducible part of the journey from rural idiocy to urban competence. The point is made clearly by a minister from back in the days of the Great Awakening in the 1700s:
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
See what I mean? When people make the journey from countryside to cityscape they discover that they need a new religion. And the religion they seem to choose is the local derivative of the Axial Age religions, with creator Gods that set up an understandable world book-ended by divine law that calls humans to be responsible.
So when liberals make war on Christianity they are building roadblocks and barricades on the Road to the Middle Class. And that is unjust. But that is the way of the world. We humans are pretty good at figuring out what we want and need. But we are a lot less competent at figuring out what other people want and need. And that is the beginning of injustice.
Next Up: Education, Welfare, and Pensions.