Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Prager on the Left's Misplaced Concern

You cannot understand the Left if you do not understand that leftism is a religion. It is not God-based (some left-wing Christians’ and Jews’ claims notwithstanding), but otherwise it has every characteristic of a religion. The most blatant of those characteristics is dogma. People who believe in leftism have as many dogmas as the most fundamentalist Christian.
One of them is material equality as the preeminent moral goal. Another is the villainy of corporations. The bigger the corporation, the greater the villainy. Thus, instead of the devil, the Left has Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Oil, the “military-industrial complex,” and the like. Meanwhile, Big Labor, Big Trial Lawyers, and — of course — Big Government are left-wing angels.
And why is that? Why, to be specific, does the Left fear big corporations but not big government?


VR: My view is that anyone with too much power can be very effective in doing evil. But, more to the point, what happens when Big Business in the a position to buy Big Government through its control of campaign financing?
I must say I don't understand why many conservatives oppose campaign finance reform and rejoice at Citizens United. If the goal is to get government to stay out of our economic lives, this can never be accomplished so long as corporations can determine the results of elections through campaign donations. Sure, you might get less of one kind of socialism (social programs for the poor and middle class), but money-driven politics is invariably going to result in the government picking winners and losers in the marketplace, upholding position of those with existing money. Rather than allowing free competition to determine how things go in the marketplace, entrenched interests will continue to use the power of government to keep themselves on top, all the while claiming to be conservatives. If corporations can buy big government, then the can do all the evil of big government.

8 comments:

Ilíon said...

"But, more to the point, what happens when Big Business in the a position to buy Big Government through its control of campaign financing?"

More-er to the point, why is Big Government's hand in every pot, and in every wallet, in the first place, such that it profits something called 'Big Business' to try to sway, or even to bribe, the public faces of the faceless Permanent Government?

When did 'Big Business' ever hold a gun to your head and force you to buy its products?

"I must say I don't understand why many conservatives oppose campaign finance reform and rejoice at Citizens United. If the goal is to get government to stay out of our economic lives, this can never be accomplished so long as corporations can determine the results of elections through campaign donations."

Is it corporations such as Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the AFL-CIO, the AARP, etc that have in mind silencing? Or only corporations that actually generate wealth, instead of merely consuming and destroying wealth?

"I must say I don't understand why many conservatives oppose campaign finance reform ..."

Because the whole scheme is dishonest, hypocritical, unConstitutional, contrary to the natural law. Because it *is* a scheme.

Morrison said...

When did Big Business ever hold a gun to your head?

When the Military Industrial complex drafted by cousins during the Vietnam War.

And in our own time where there is a back door draft that forces soldiers to serve tour after tour while there is no way out except by death of dismemberment.

unkleE said...

"leftism is a religion. It is not God-based (some left-wing Christians’ and Jews’ claims notwithstanding)"

I have a different view. I grew up with some fairly (for Australia) right wing views (e.g. I originally supported the Vietnam war because it opposed godless communism). But after I became interested in a more historically-based understanding of Jesus, I felt his teachings, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, pointed towards a more socialistic approach to human relations. James' teachings on the rich (1:9-11, 2:1-7, 5:1-6), the practices of the early church reported in Acts 2:43-47, 4:32-5:11, and the actions of the christians in the first three centuries all reinforced this conclusion for me.

I recognise this isn't the only way to look at it, but the person you quote should recognise his/her view isn't the only way to look at it either.

"material equality as the preeminent moral goal"

I don't see this either. The Bible makes clear that wealth is nowhere near a goal of life, so neither can material equality be an ultimate goal. People are more and more recognising that measuring progress or goals in monetary terms is very incomplete - we are more interested in human wellbeing.

That is one reason why big business should be questioned - because it tends to measure progress by profit rather than human wellbeing.

Victor Reppert said...

Ilion:

So, you're happy with the best congress money can buy? Further, with no campaign finance controls, the money doesn't have to be from America. I find it curious that someone could be deeply concerned about the "invasion" of illegal immigrants into America, but be unconcerned about billions of dollars crossing the border into our country and determining the outcome of our elections.

Ilíon said...

^ Leave it to a "liberal" to turn "The very thing you're ostensibly decrying is the natural, inevitable, inescapable consequence of the only "solution" your faulty politics allows you even to see" into "[I am] happy with the best congress money can buy?"

VR: "I find it curious that someone could be deeply concerned about the "invasion" of illegal immigrants into America, but be unconcerned about billions of dollars crossing the border into our country and determining the outcome of our elections."

Now, *that* is funny ... considering the funding sources of one BHO, and to a lesser extent, one AlGore and his mentor, Bubba.

whatthecrap? said...

Whenever Citizen's United is talked about, it is always in the realm of the philosophical arena: Should or should not corporate money be allowed to influence politics.

However, what is NEVER discussed are the actual facts of the specific case and the real threat that the court felt it posed to "chilling free speech" for everyone, not just corporations.

Corporations can be just a few people gathering together to accomplish something that one person cannot. The problem was that Campaign Finance Reform was so poorly written that it could have been applied to just two people who were incorporated to say, make and air a film about Hillary Clinton, as CU did.

But for some reason nobody talks about the actual details of the case, (In particual, the current President of the United States) rather deferring to the "corporations should or should not have the same speech rights as people" argument which is kind of a tangential non sequitur.

Do I believe there are problem with money in politics - of course. But the CU case was far more nuanced than the mascot-like punching-bag that most people set it up to be.
The question was asked: Could this law have a chilling effect on the first amendment? If yes, it would and should be unconstitutional as the majority of the court felt.

Perhaps a better law should be written, but again - that is a diversionary question, and not about the specific real case. Either president Obama doesn't/didn't understand this point, or diverted to the 'corporation = human' tangent intentionally for other reasons.

Victor Reppert said...

If this is the case, why didn't John McCain say "back to the drawing board, we've got to rewrite this law." It seems that if this is so, the decision is narrower in scope than it is typically interpreted to be by both sides.

The reaction to it seems to be rather like the reaction to Roe; it is thought hopeless to write a successor to McCain-Feingold, in much the way that it is thought hopeless to write an abortion-banning law after Roe, unless that is aimed at overturning that decision.

Victor Reppert said...

The interesting thing is that now you have left-wingers like Thom Hartmann criticizing the very idea of judicial review; exactly the position taken by some conservatives who want to deny the legitimacy of Roe.

Which, if I recall correctly, means that Thom Hartmann and Ilion agree on something.