Your Curmudgeon once again asks your forgiveness as we digress into politics — American politics. There’s not much else in the news these days — except for stories about the Ark in Kentucky, so we’re going off-topic for this one post, and then we’ll return to our usual subject matter.
As you know — and as many of you find incomprehensible — your Curmudgeon is an old-style conservative, concerned with limited government, low taxes, and free enterprise. Such conservatives were typical Republicans before the “social conservatives” invaded and pretty much took over the party with their bizarre obsessions about sex and religion. Many of those social conservatives had been Southern Democrats. Their departure from the Democrat party left it free to became increasingly devoted to left-wing economic ideas, and to seek increased government control of the economy.
The result has been that today’s two party system often presents no sane candidates, although some are crazier and more dangerous than others. We discussed that in Creationism or Socialism: Which is Dumber?, which is one of our favorite (but most controversial) posts.
We all know that creationism is wrong. It’s not only wrong, it’s crazy. But why do so many people — including some very bright ones who understand science — have so much difficulty grasping how wrong left-wing politicians are? Let’s think about it.
We easily detect the madness when creationists claim that their view of things is the only source of morality and ethics, while those hell-bound evolutionists are dedicated to animalistic Darwinian behavior in a world where survival is based on a lawless tooth and claw struggle. We recognize that the creationists are theocrats who want to control the government, the schools, and us, and we know what a nightmare world that would be.
But why is is so difficult to recognize that the political left is promoting what amounts to a theocracy of their own, in which they would control the government, the economy, and us?
We think it’s because for the last couple of generations, they have successfully promoted propaganda claiming that the free enterprise system is every bit as lawless and cruel as the creationists say evolution is. Yes, dear reader, they both use the same style of propaganda. They are the moral ones, and their enemies are lawless beasts. But unlike creationists, the leftists have been successful — at least so far.
Whenever anyone says anything to suggest that he favors the free enterprise system, the responses are swift and predictable. The critics assume that free enterprise means lawless behavior, where the rich ruthlessly exploit the poor. But no advocate of free enterprise ever suggests, or even thinks, that there should be no laws. We need laws to protect freedom and individual rights — but not to restrict them. And of course we need to defend the country. When we have more government than that bare minimum, bad things inevitably happen, because power attracts bad people.
The demonizing of free enterprise is the result of a generations-long process of teaching economics in the same way the creationists want to teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution, by which they mean ignoring the strengths and emphasizing what they claim are its weaknesses, to the point where people who study the subject end up thinking that evolution is nonsense.
The same technique has been used regarding the free-enterprise system. Over time, as the economy is regulated, subsidized, and distorted, people forget that there ever were any advantages to free enterprise. People coming out of schools these days literally think that there are no benefits to free enterprise, and it means granny starving in the street while Bernie Madoff steals everyone’s money. That’s the way creationists want evolution to be taught, and no one seems to realize that it’s also the way economics has been taught for generations.
And then one day you’re shocked to encounter a Curmudgeon who tells you that they’re teaching economics all wrong. Free enterprise is really a great system, not merely because it’s far more productive and inventive than the alternatives, and offers consumers more choices and more jobs, but because it consists entirely of voluntary transactions. It neither requires nor should ever receive subsidies from taxpayers. It demands nothing from government except courts to resolve disputes, police to deal with the occasional crooks, and protection of property rights.
In case you’re one of those who actually believes there are no benefits to free enterprise, we have a post about that — see Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Barack Obama.
Because the Left has been so successful in their campaign to demonize free enterprise, while claiming to hold the moral high ground, it seems to us that whether they’re aware of it or not, the creationists have been copying their techniques. That is why creationists claim that they — and they alone — teach a system of true morality, while their wicked adversaries, the evolutionists and science in general, are the advocates of evil. Or maybe there’s no deliberate copying going on. They’re just doing what seems to work — for their purposes.
Intellectual freedom and economic freedom are linked. We benefit from both. Creationists and leftists oppose freedom. They’re both after the same thing: control of the government and control of you. We find it difficult to see how anyone can be in favor of one but not the other. (And no, we don’t mean “freedom” to include creationism in science classes — except in religious schools.)
Okay, dear reader. That’s our rant. This humble blog will now return to The Controversy between evolution and creationism — but you’ll be aware that we regard it as only one part of the larger struggle between freedom and tyranny. Go ahead and express your shock and revulsion. We’re used to it.
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