Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dream and reality

Some things are so good that they bear repeating, and an example is this post from the felicitous Doc Zero, entitled "Awakening from the Collective Dream". The start is a bit slow -- I'm more agnostic about gun rights than many Americans, but then I'm Canadian -- but it picks up steam in the middle, and the by the end it gets the contrast between the simplistic imaginings of the left and the simple realities of experience clear, sharp, and exactly right:
The alternative to ambition and commerce is not “social justice,” but widespread poverty. The absence of growth brings collapse, not sustainability. The Constitutional rights of free people cannot exist alongside “positive rights” provided through redistribution. Abandoning the security of our borders does not produce a melting pot of happy immigrants. The government cannot repeal the laws of supply and demand. The freedom to vote does not render all other freedoms inconsequential. Prosperity for millions cannot be designed by a central committee. Social justice cannot be created by administering controlled viral doses of injustice.
Ironically, this is reminiscent of the words Marx used over a century and a half ago to describe the effect of capitalism: "... man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind." (and see this too):
Waking up from these dreams is not easy. ... The collectivist fantasy can end in a relatively controlled manner, with a widespread rediscovery of how freedom and prosperity are inextricably linked… or it can end with the bloody violence of Greece, as angry dependents strip the last measure of their unsustainable benefits from the hide of the middle class. One way or the other, it is ending. Twilight falls upon the empty dream of the twentieth century: to sanctify a brilliant elite through the sacred ritual of the vote, and be ruled wisely.

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