Left Blog

Today’s left ideology made here.

Lefties’ intellectual ammunition

No matter your age,  nor how many years of school, you haven’t completed your left right-of-passage until you’ve read two ancient essays by Jean-Jaques Rousseau. One is The Social Contract, another is Discourse on Inequality. They were penned in the mid-1700s, and inspired the French Revolution. They are available  in a paperback books. And these days since nobody wants to read anything longer than a few paragraphs (pop culture), you will be miles ahead when you finish.

More left ideology is contained in a modern treatise by John Rawls,  A Theory of Justice, which is a big, thick book. So again, most people don’t even try. But if you get through the first 100 pages, you’ll be able to dominate dinner-table arguments, astonishing people. You will be able to turn off the tv, stand up, and explain why there is a higher priority than liberty (freedom), and what happens in a totally free society when capitalism comes along with no conscience attached.

Rawls: what’s prior to freedom is justice. Justice is equity (so it is close to equality.) Justice is fairness.

The basic problem is that freedom and equality are always opposed. The more of one, the less of the other. Free market economics has no morality, it is just differences in strength and survival-of-the fittest, and makes produces precipitious inequalities in wealth: which means no possibilities of justice-for-all. Rawls’s book explains the best way to preserve freedom while promoting more equity in a forward-moving society.

The next source  is protected by pay-to-read, so any way you can get hold of Robert Sapolsky’s article in Scientific American December 2005, p. 92, “Sick of Poverty.”  After a decade of meticulous public health research, they’ve found that communities, states, nations with more social inequality have shorter life expectancies for all. That’s it. And which of the developed nations has the most social inequality? You guessed it, the USA.  A puzzle is, why isn’t this scientific fact making headline news, in our culture  that’s obsessed with health issues? Well, because it is diametrically opposed to the free market system: free markets always create inequality as they go. There’s a whole edifice of market ideology which tries to tell us that the free market is good for all. Sapolsky’s thin, eight-page article walks up and kicks the struts out from under that.

10 Comments »

  1. You say:The Left thinks that being morally good should be enough to prevail.
    Who on the left is “morally good” Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, The Clintons???? What an oxymoron this one is…
    (We have a ‘criminal cartel’ that call themselves our government…tax evaders, america haters, theives, non of them are “moral”)
    By the way, we are NOT an Democracy….We are a Republic. (recite the pledge of allegience, if you know it) Huge difference!!!! History shows us that everytime there is a democracy that dictatorship soon follows…lets try to reclaim the Republic that America is supposed to be and squelch democracy before it destroys us.

    Comment by Faith | April 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Faith, really? Do you really think reciting a bunch of Faux News talking points is a substitute for original thought in a discourse of such import?
      Start with the basics. Read the Constitution of the United States of America. I’ll be here if you need help with the big words but the pocket sized version is only 19 pages long, and throw in another 10 for the Bill of Rights and the rest of the amendments and even a television educated patriot such as yourself can get throught it before the next big American Idol vote.
      ——–
      Woah, woah, woah, venta. Careful with those absolutes. Absolute freedom would mean no society. We are all interdependant. You can not be free of society and survive. The group/clan/tribe can only survive with the cooperation of its members. This is not opinion but anthropological fact. So, if you want to live in a society, you owe a debt to that society for your very existance. Try it alone on a desert island for a few years and see if you like it. Not a lot of folks doing that volunteraly. You can not have absolute freedom as long as you are in debt. And not one of us will ever repay the debt we owe to society. I don’t care how much you make (or think you earn or deserve), you didn’t invent the damn thing so you owe someone else. And, even if you are not honest enought to admit it even to yourself (pay attention, Faith), you take more than you give. And that’s a fact, Jack!

      Comment by weedninja | June 1, 2009 | Reply

  2. Are you mad? There should be no higher priority for society than freedom. Absolute freedom is a very possible societal condition. The only thing freedom is opposed to is slavery. Your assertion that freedom and equality are opposed is ridiculous. Instead of reading Rousseau, try Bastiat.

    What kind of equality do you want? Equality is such a broad concept, but it has nothing to do with justice. Justice is not equity, equality, or fairness. Justice is enforced law that protects life and property.

    Your last paragraph is insanity. Using the logic from you and your article, if we have the most social inequality in America, then we should also have the shortest lifespans. Well that’s just not the case, is it? You even have the audacity to call it a ‘scientific fact.’ There is nothing scientific about what you believe, you only care about dominating dinner-table conversations.

    Comment by venta | April 13, 2009 | Reply

  3. Equality isn’t a broad concept, it’s equality, i.e., everyone getting the same chance to succeed, and winning off their own merits. Unlike Libertarian and Objectivity forms of equality, Socialist equality understands that people as of now aren’t equal, those who have more now will always have more, and will always be ahead, unless society defends itself. Also that the desires of one person can never be allowed to derail the needs of millions. The individual is willing to rape society for personal benefit, and destroy the very thing that built them.

    Defend property? Who’s property? The property of the farmer and worker who gets up every morning working and slaves away, only in the end to lose it to some capitalist pig who wants to fill their personal Roman bath with pudding and 13 year-old Thai hookers, or the property of the capitalist who earns their profits by, guess what, the work that the rest of society puts into their “property”? The justice system is a sham that favors those who have over everyone else, just look at rock star and CEO trials.

    You want freedom? How about the freedom to get ahead in life and choose how you want to live your own life without your family living on barely livable wages. Property is a fucking lie told so that you’ll freely run into chains presented to you to protect your “property.”

    Comment by Glau Montgomery | April 21, 2009 | Reply

    • Glau do you really believe that one or multiple people’s needs represent a rightful claim on another? If so, you would advocate forcing someone to fill the need of someone else involuntarily. You are demanding that one person involuntarily serve someone else. Involuntary servitude is another way of saying slavery. Congratulations, you just advocated slavery.

      And your little anecdote about the farmer who ‘slaves away’ and somehow loses his farm to a capitalist is ridiculous. Ridiculous, and sad. How exactly does one lose a farm? Is it taken by force? Is he swindled in some way? Probably not. He probably signed a contract saying that if he doesn’t fill some requirement, then he loses his farm. That isn’t immoral, he probably had no business being a farmer.

      Oh and property isn’t a lie. Property is everything you own. And freedom is when all that property is fully protected. It’s such a simple concept. So simple that you will never understand it.

      Comment by venta | June 15, 2009 | Reply

      • To venta,

        Farmers lose their property due to debt.

        due to the mechanization of the farm, most farmers are “slaves” due to the fact that they must take out hundreds of thousands (the average dairy farm debt standing at $1.85m) in loans in order to keep up with demands from big corporations that have ever-changing standards for products.

        If a farmer does not adhere to new protocol the farmer is not able to sell their produce at that market.

        If a company drops a farmer, there is a large chance they will lose their farm and their house. This is an example of how strait capitalism often disadvantages the hard working. (Btw, hardworking dairy farmers are only able to make it due to HUGE government subsidies.)

        Anyway, the argument can still stand if you replace farmer with “hard working, low paying job” of your choice.

        Furthermore, the people who are making the most money are often investors, who can only invest because they already have lots of money, the rich get richer.

        Could Wal-Mart make huge profits if society didn’t build roads? No. therefore, Wal-Mart is indebted to society.

        Try to justify the millions of dollars that some make, with a nationwide unemployment rate at 10%. The disparity gap is staggering.

        Lastly, venta, no one “advocated slavery.” just the idea that the richest 10% owe something to society because society makes their profit possible.

        In light of this, I would say that it is a crime for such large disparities to exist, especially because in most cases, the income does not reflect the value that is added to society.

        Comment by guess who | December 25, 2009

  4. Sadly you cannot cure poverty with socialism on the contrary the more you tax the less the people will have to spend. Its true that the justice system is corrupt and that government favors the rich and powerful thats why anyone with logic would be in favor of LESS GOVERNMENT not more!

    The world is better off with less government since it is large totalitarian governments that wage those massive wars and create empires.

    Why do leftists talk of morals? Why do they speak of justice? Economic justice is when the guy who works hard gets to keep what he earned! And just where do you derive your morals from anyways? The Communist manifesto?!

    Comment by WN | June 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Your jab at the communist manifesto is hilarious. Its just so…. typical. Taxation empowers the nation to funnel far greater funds into things me and you use, need and want. Dont kid yourself. .

      A group of mega-corporations would NEVER fund any sort of nation wide program. The most business’ usually give in terms of a combination of public goods is some sort of weak appeasment strategy designed to make their business look really good while not having to fork too much cash over. Diminishing taxation only diminishes the things we need.

      Economic INjustice is when some executive makes millions of dollars per year (from a minimal personal labour input through using “money-to-make-money” investment techniques) and complains he has to forgoe buying that fourth yacht or that third tropical island because the big bad government is taxing him to pay for the education of a child of a single mother.

      Comment by James | June 15, 2009 | Reply

      • James taxation empowers a nation? EMPOWERS? Did you know that for every dollar the state takes from its citizens, 25 cents of it immediately disappears. Gone, just like that, in a sea of bureaucracy.

        Then what do they do with the other 75%? Well according to you, they use it to fund things we use, need, and want. Like what? Roads, schools, and defense? Our roads are extremely dangerous (40000+ deaths per year), our public schools are a joke, and our national defense is little more than warmongering.

        Oh and economic injustice would be forcing the executive to pay for the education of a child of a single mother. That is injustice, whether you like it or not.

        Comment by venta | June 15, 2009

  5. Ah!!! at last I found what I was looking for. Somtimes it takes so much effort to find even tiny useful piece of information.
    Nice post. Thanks

    Comment by Car Insurance Guy | November 10, 2009 | Reply


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