Now I feel dirty. Last week I was playing devil’s advocate with Joe, making the left’s arguments the best I could, seeing what he’d come up with in response. I think it’s important to have the ability to argue the points of the other side at least as well as those True Believers (useful idiots) that the power brokers rely on to maintain the rank and file. It is my thesis that once you can do a good job making the left’s case, you’ll have a better understanding of the fundamental differences in world views, and can then focus on those differences and bring them to light efficiently.
I wrote this last week, but hesitated to post it. Well here it is anyway;
Joe; Secondary or even tertiary point: Everyone can express an opinion. But until you express it in numbers which actually represent
the benefits and costs you haven’t proved anything beyond that you can string words together and form sentences.
Me; You want to limit the manner in which I may speak. People are not numbers, nor are they statistics. The starving people of the
world, the hopeless and the desperate, do not need statistics to know that they are hungry, and neither numbers nor your fake intellectual arguments for “freedom” will feed them.
Joe; Primary point: Government is force. At the most basic level it is the power to kill people that oppose it. Who granted and where
and when did government get this power to compel the whole of society to work for the “common good” instead of protecting the individual ability to make their own decisions and chart their own course in life?
Me; Yes; government is force, and you are as willing as anyone else to see that force used, so long as it is used to further your
ideals at the expense of other’s ideals.
Who granted, and where did you get the power to decide that people should NOT work for the common good, that they should instead be concerned only with themselves at the expense of everyone else, at the expense of the entire planet, and at the expense of everyone in the future? You are ignoring the grave and destructive consequences of that which you advocate.
Joe; It is immoral to force another to do their bidding for the good of another when their previous actions harmed no one. Your
“greater good” argument is nothing but a weak justification for slavery by another name. Advocates of such a society deserve all the scorn, revulsion, ostracizing, and political as well as physical resistance due any other slaver.
Me: You free-marketers use some form of this argument frequently, but is a false and blatantly hypocritical argument. First; who gave you and your cronies the exclusive power to define for everyone else what is and is not “moral”? It seems you are manipulating that definition to suit your own selfishness and convenience. You often use your “morality” as a weapon against people you wish to suppress, causing them harm.
You are perfectly willing to use force to protect your property and your comfortable way of life, even to the point of owning guns yourself and training to kill people, and yet you complain when government uses force, in a democratic republic which you claim to advocate and which is merely doing the will of the People? Could there BE a higher, more virulent form of hypocrisy? No, Sir; don’t tell me you’re against using force while you simultaneously brag about walking around with a loaded gun. “Disgraceful” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
An don’t speak to me about capitalism having “harmed no one”. The “free market system” (a disgusting term) of greed and opulence for the few is in fact, to put it in your own words, “forcing some to do the bidding of others” as people trapped in poverty are forced to work as wage-slaves for the people with the money and property. Further, when a more powerful corporation puts a smaller one out of business (because they never understand when enough is enough and they always want more more more) they have harmed that smaller business and everyone who depended on it for their sustenance. They’ve been put out onto the streets, and you claim “no harm”? The extent of your denial is fascinating, and very telling. Explain that to the family that’s in bankruptcy court because the parents lost their jobs due to “free market competition” from a Big Box store chain. Capitalism is constantly harming other people, and in many, many ways, and yet you blindly hold it up and cling to it as though it were the greatest thing ever.
Yet I can forgive you– You’ve been conditioned all your life to believe this gunk, and it’s extremely difficult to overcome one’s life-long programming without some kind of shock to initiate the process of waking up from one’s materialist fever. Well I have news for you. I’ll have the courage to say it if no one else will; you had better start waking up because your time is running out– You represent the past whereas We the Citizens of the World represent the future.
I think that pretty well represents the mind of the useful idiot. I could go on and on of course, and adding more layers of complexity, more erroneous assertions and accusations, and appeals to envy, anger, victim mentality and other emotion is all part of the game, but that’s a good sample. Those at the top of the political power food chain benefit greatly from this kind of thinking and its proliferation, but they don’t believe any of it for a second. It’s a tool. A big part of the game lies in putting the freedom advocate off his game with endless accusations and insults, never allowing any issue to come to resolution. The crazier the assertions, sometimes, the better– Whatever it takes to hijack someone’s emotions thus throwing them off balance, while taking advantage of any self doubt or insecurity, with the oft used grand finale of putting the capitalist into a pathetic minority, opposed to a glorious and energetic majority. It works extremely well on young people of course, and so they have been a perennial target. We usually fall for it too. Republicans (the ones who may not actually be Progressives) fall for it practically 100% of the time.
Where we often fail is in forgetting that the ideal of freedom appeals to people’s strengths and potential, whereas the leftist tactics appeal to our weaknesses, our emotions of envy, insecurity, fear, anger and so on.
Therefore it’s an entirely different argument with an entirely different set of appeals, with virtually no overlap. What works for the Dark Side cannot, will not, work for human freedom.