I Know, Let’s Follow These People
The Intellectual’s Temptation

Elsewhere (62)

Daniel Hannan on a bloated state and the legacy of Gordon Brown: 

The lugubrious Fifer inherited a Chancellor’s dream scenario: falling expenditure, rising revenues, strong growth and low inflation. For two years, as promised in Labour’s 1997 manifesto, he stuck to Conservative spending plans, and debt was paid off. Then, purposefully and methodically, he started blowing everything away… All subsequent politics have been dominated by that central, dismal fact. […] The national debt now stands at £1,023 billion (66 per cent of GDP), up from £905 billion (60 per cent) twelve months ago. Total public spending, contrary to almost universal belief, has risen over the past year from £605 billion to £617 billion. […] It cannot be repeated too often that ‘the cuts’ are a figment of the BBC’s imagination. Net public expenditure is higher today than it was under the Broon. The government is spending nearly half our GDP. Whatever is causing the downturn, it plainly isn’t some imaginary shrinkage of the state.

Zombie on the Cloward-Piven strategy:

Voters in both France and Greece, two countries ruinously addicted to government entitlements, rejected the “austerity” model of debt-reduction and instead doubled down on unsustainable spending sprees. France elected Socialist François Hollande as president, and in his acceptance speech he promised to increase government benefits and amp up “stimulus” spending programs - the exact things that got France into a metaphorical debtors’ prison in the first place. But exactly as Cloward and Piven surmised, once you get 50+% of the population hooked on “free” government money, there’s no turning back - they will vote for socialists every time.

And – as Sam notes in the comments – then the money runs out.

Roger Kimball on France’s descent into socialism: *

Here’s a question I would like to ask François Hollande: just where does he think money comes from? […] Socialists tend to believe that money comes from “the rich.” Need some dough for your social program? Simple, take it from “the rich” (however you define that elastic category) and give it to someone else via a government bureaucracy you have set up. But what happens when the rich cease to be rich? What then? […] For the capitalist, the purpose of economic activity is the production of wealth; for the socialist, the purpose of economic activity is the redistribution of wealth: how the wealth gets generated is for the socialist a secondary question, a detail.

Heather Mac Donald on race, riots and Rodney King:  

Unlike most of the public, the jury that decided the excessive-force charges against the officers saw the full video. They acquitted the officers. By then, the media had disseminated the relentless message that the biggest threat facing blacks in L.A. was the cops, not the hundreds of gangs that murdered blacks every week with zero protest from racial advocates.

And David Boaz on the best way to be a socialist

Feel free to add your own. [*Added, via Anna.] 

Comments

Sam

once you get 50+% of the population hooked on “free” government money, there’s no turning back - they will vote for socialists every time.

And then the money runs out.

David

Sam,

“And then the money runs out.”

Well, yes. But by then socialists will have power and escape will be rather difficult. That’s what matters, at least to many socialists. As a recipe for utopia, or even for social improvement, Cloward-Piven is risible. But as a formula for deliberate economic vandalism and the seizure of power, which is what it really is, it’s quite bold. And for some, being kings of a ruin will do.

carbon based lifeform

"There are all kinds of reasons why one might fear a François Hollande presidency, especially if you are a prosperous French person. The 57-year-old Socialist has openly admitted that he "does not like the rich" and declared that "my real enemy is the world of finance". This means taxing the wealthy by up to 75 per cent, curtailing the activities of Paris as a centre for financial dealing, and ploughing millions into creating more civil service jobs… but the caricature of an untrustworthy leftist is wide of the mark."

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/nabila-ramdani-franois-hollande-will-strike-fear-into-the-hearts-of-the-rich-7718666.html

God help the French.

AC1

Hate the rich? Well with 75% tax you can send them all away...

75% of zero buys how much in benefits?

the wolf

And then the money runs out.

And then they'll blame capitalism.

sk60

God help the French.

"I suppose there could be a surer way to impoverish your country than to declare war on the flow of capital, but I can't think of one offhand."

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/05/is-europe-doomed.php

Anna

French socialists voted to give themselves more of Germany's money.

David

Thomas Sowell on Occupy and its enablers:

The unwillingness of authorities to put a stop to their organised disruptions of other people’s lives, their trespassing, vandalism and violence is a de facto suspension, if not repeal, of the 14th Amendment’s requirement that the government provide “equal protection of the laws” to all its citizens. How did the Occupy movement acquire such immunity from the laws that the rest of us are expected to obey? Simply by shouting politically correct slogans and calling themselves representatives of the 99% against the 1%. But just when did the 99% elect them as their representatives? If in fact 99% of the people in the country were like these Occupy mobs, we would not have a country. We would have anarchy… If the Occupy movement, or any other mob, actually represents a majority, then they already have the votes to accomplish legally whatever they are trying to accomplish by illegal means.

That being the big if that betrays one of the Occupiers’ most fundamental lies.

When trespassers blocking other people at the University of California, Davis refused to disperse, and locked their arms with one another to prevent the police from being able to physically remove them, the police finally resorted to pepper spray to break up this human logjam. The result? The police have been strongly criticised for enforcing the law. Apparently pepper spray is unpleasant, and people who break the law are not supposed to have unpleasant things done to them. Which is to say, we need to take the “enforcement” out of “law enforcement.” Everybody is not given these exemptions from paying the consequences of their own illegal acts. Only people who are currently in vogue with the elites of the left — in the media, in politics and in academia.

The whole thing.

paul

More comedy gold

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/may/07/occupy-liberation-from-liberalism?commentpage=3#start-of-comments

David

Paul,

“More comedy gold.”

That would be the same David Graeber whose areas of scholarly expertise include “anthropology and anarchism” and “magic as a tool of politics,” who lists “smashing capitalism” among his long-term goals, and who thrills to “physical intervention” in the service of that end. That he’s also a fantasist and bullshitter doesn’t surprise me.

Bart

Paul,

I love the photo at the top of the article with the "We refuse to work like dogs" placard.

Now there's an Occupy related photo that's just begging for a caption.

I'm just not sure if it should be

"Yeah, we'd kinda noticed."

Or

"But we will poop in the streets like them."

David

Graeber seems to think we should be thrilled that some members of the SEIU support Occupy’s coercive methods and delusional blathering – “a new alliance of activists and union members… a historic moment of anti-capitalist struggle.” But the SEIU has long been a nest for quite a few totalitarian wannabees and obnoxious little pricks. And the involvement of people like this is unlikely to enthuse the wider population. Unless “destabilising the country” and mass insolvency – all in the name of a communist coup - is something the bulk of voters actually want. Maybe I should nip down the road and ask that nice Mrs Wilson whether she’s up for a “vision of revolution inspired by anarchism.”

rjmadden

Maybe I should nip down the road and ask that nice Mrs Wilson whether she’s up for a “vision of revolution inspired by anarchism.”

LOL. Something tells me David Graeber doesn't get out much.

David

“Something tells me David Graeber doesn’t get out much.”

There may be something in that. I mean, when you hear this kind of bollocks coming from a grown man, the odds are pretty good that he’s employed in academia, most likely to teach a disreputable subject. And like so many academic revolutionaries, Graeber must spend much of his time surrounded by impressionable teenagers and likeminded fantasists who in turn spend much of their time surrounded by impressionable teenagers. Which may help explain his disinterest in – and disregard for – the actual electorate.

Unless of course I’ve seriously misjudged Mrs Wilson.

Henry

"Everybody is not given these exemptions from paying the consequences of their own illegal acts. Only people who are currently in vogue with the elites of the left — in the media, in politics and in academia"

This seems of a piece with the moral vagueness of those who campaign so fervently against racism and sexism, yet suddenly go very quiet when the victims are not of a designated 'victim group'.

To these people the law, indeed any social rules or conventions, and any fine words about 'equality', are little more than tools to achieve a political end, to be ignored when no longer needed. To point out to them that, for example, white people can be the targets of racism, is seen as a variety of bad manners.

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