Friday, February 4, 2011

On so-called Social Justice.

Once again our leftist friends fail to understand the differences between the success of the American Revolution and the failure of the French Revolution and how it pertains to the current (dis)order of things. It comes down to the fundamental fact that in order for the seeds of individual liberty to grow into a healthy tree of sovereign self-government it requires the fertile soil of personal responsibility.

The American Revolution and the system of government that grew out of it was successful because we already had a long history of self-government that evolved from the conditions of the 18th century wherein the distance to Europe was great and communications were slow. These conditions necessitated the creation of systems of self-government. They flourished and grew in spite of the economic restrictions placed upon the colonies that we solely in place for the advantage of the financial and royal elites of Britain. When the restrictions became more onerous and disadvantageous to the colonists the seeds of rebellion began to grow. Our Revolution, like all revolutions, grew more out of economic conditions than social ones. The Founders recognized that our economic success grew from individual liberty not some vague notion of social equality.

By contrast the French Revolution was a failure, not because of any lack of inspiration created by the American success, but because it quickly devolved into these vague notions of social equality rather than individual liberty and personal responsibility. Quite simply, what the French lacked was any history of self-government. So among the seeds of the tree of liberty were sown the the weeds of egalitarianism. Unfortunately these weeds flourished on the wonton bloodlust of the Jacobins. They produced the pretty but inedible flowers of emotionally appealing rhetoric but not the delicious fruits of a sustainable political economy. In the end, after all the chaos and carnage all they were left with was another tyrant who mouthed the words of liberty and made of himself an Emperor and an empire that resulted in nearly two decades of war and uncounted deaths. Then after Napoleon was gone, and the continent had been bleed of money and lives, the very same institutions and families that the revolution had sought to over throw were back in power. The great hopes of Goethe, Schiller, Von Humboldt and Beethoven for a German Constitutional Republic based on the American model were crushed at the Congress of Vienna and Russia was the dominant power on the European Continent.

Egalitarianism, such is the breeding ground of tyranny and the demagogue, be they 18th century Jacobins, 20th century fascists or our 21st century advocates of “social justice” and jihadists. The notion that the chaos in Egypt can be channeled into the emergence of secular populist state is dubious at best. Like the French, the Egyptians, and the entire Arab world lacks any historical foundations of self-government. Why then should we expect anything but the seeds of tyranny to grow? “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” I am not saying that there is not an underlying desire for human freedom, just that the initiating factor is economic, in this case rising food prices. When you have large segments of any society surviving on a minimal income and food prices start to go up at double digit rates every month it’s not reasonable to expect anything else but chaos.

The pundits that would have us believe that the unfolding events across North Africa were unforeseen and unpredictable are lying through their teeth. They are the natural outgrowth of Keynesian economic policy. So a hearty thanks to Helicopter Ben and the Federal Reserve Bank. Their policy of unlimited printing and unlimited sovereign debt has revived the DJIA in the short term. Only problem is that now our greatest export is inflation. Yes we might complain at the gas pump or the grocery store, but then we’re not trying to live and eat on the equivalent of two or three dollars a day now are we? Well not yet at least.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are of course welcome. Please stay on topic. Comments with links to commercial sites unrelated to the post or the general theme of this blog will be deleted as spam.