Economics and morality

A week or so ago, I did a post about the movie Maria Full of Grace, and what I thought were that movie’s larger implications. I couldn’t get the subject out of my head, and expanded it into a longer article, which you can read here.

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  • Marguerite

    I recently had a chance to see how the brave new situational morality works. A liberal friend told me that we didn’t have to worry about disagreeing – moral behavoir depends on the society in which we live – – ‘you have your truth’ and ‘I have my truth’. I asked her if that was TRUE, then were the Aztecs moral to throw infants into sacrificial fires to appease their gods, since that was acceptable in that society and it was ‘their truth’. She felt I was trying to trick her.

    I find that with people I know on the left, they increasingly accept morally deviant behavior rather than appear judgmental, which is the chiefest sin when toleration has become the chiefest virtue. They may then bask in FEELING broadminded and tolerant – having handily redefined the once patient ‘toleration’ into a wimpy characture of itself.

  • straightaway

    Sadly though, self-righteous ignorant people, such as yourself, support torture, the suspension of habeas corpus and the prohibition of certain adult sexual activities. Your certainty of the moral ground is only dirt deep.

  • straightaway

    Sadly though, self-righteous ignorant people, such as yourself, support torture, the suspension of habeas corpus and the prohibition of certain adult sexual activities. Your possession of the moral ground is only dirt deep.

  • jg

    Thanks for your comments from the local asylum, straightaway. You unhappily illustrate BW’s points.

    Well said, Bookworm. I’m glad you enlarged the original post; the essay benefitted from elaboration.

    Benedict has indicated in some of his recent essays that he feels Marxism to be a chief threat in today’s West. The political system is gone, of course, but its evil ideas, and/or feelings, persist.

    With the ‘collapse’ of much after WWI, I conjecture that many people also abandoned their moral homes. They became easy prey for charlatans: Soviet or Nazi, for instance.
    Art in particular was affected. I don’t really like much 20c painting, or music, so my opinion is not well grounded.
    But, art, like the Communists or Nazis, in essence lost its humanity.
    And has never really re discovered its soul.

    The degradation you picture is all too familiar in art; but in the 21c, the young are rarely shown for their promise of their lives. It’s as if art can no longer see good. Women particularly suffer. Surely a mirror to this shame is needed, which you provide. That’s the job of criticism. Of which we need a great deal more. I hope you will return to this subject.

  • Al

    I began reading your piece in The American Thinker this morning (after realizing I had an extra hour to indulge myself) and recognized your voice by the second line.
    It is an excellent illumination. Marxism is the tool which has allowed many power hungry entities to obtain that power.
    It provides the technical framework and the moral cloak to smash poorly defended nationalities.
    If you have not done so already, read Nancy Coppock’s piece.
    It immediately follows yours in the American Thinker. It completes the moral/political circle you began.

  • Ymarsakar

    Sadly though, self-righteous ignorant people, such as yourself, support torture, the suspension of habeas corpus and the prohibition of certain adult sexual activities. Your certainty of the moral ground is only dirt deep.

    Comment by straightaway | October 28, 2006

    If anyone is going to be supporting torture, it is me. Bookworm cannot support torture, she is not allowed to.

    They may then bask in FEELING broadminded and tolerant – having handily redefined the once patient ‘toleration’ into a wimpy characture of itself.

    Comment by Marguerite | October 28, 2006

    Indeed. They don’t torture. They are morally superior, that is why they deserve accolades, and you do not. You are dirty, you immerse yourself within this “pragmatic reality”, instead of the moral high ground where all enlightened folks belong. Look at the comment attacking Bookworm here, for supporting torture. You get the sense that anyone who supports torture is morally dirty, irregardless of any extenuating circumstances. The female adulterer has sinned and will only be purified by ice cold winter waters for 5 hours, sort of thing. There is no excuse, there is no extenuating circumstances, there is no mercy. To the Left, once you have stained your soul with the dark side, you are gone baby, you are part of the problem now, to be depleted when convenient.

    Puritan, as Puritan can be. Without the hard working ethics.

    Your certainty of the moral ground is only dirt deep.

    I may not have the moral high ground, but I have the firepower and the will, which is enough to dig any hole of any size or depth. I may not be able to dig my way up to heaven, but I will surely punch through hell on the way.

    In the Leftist moral view, however, just as all workers are exploited and should be praised for taking the initiative by engaging in utterly immoral, illegal activity, so too are all underdogs virtuous.

    Well, Bookworm, you should already know that the Left, Hollywood especially, are filled with noblesse oblige. They view things from that perspective. Therefore they hold the “savage” with a certain nobility. You’ve seen it before in Britain, you know, with those romance novels most assuredly. This comes out of a guilt, and out of a need to feel good about their riches and other people’s sucky lives. Anyone that doesn’t have a private jet, to Hollywood, of course has a sucky life.

    If you’re in charge, you’re bad; if you’re struggling to overthrow those in charge, you’re good.

    Except Hollywood, the rich, and the socialists are already in charge. Wouldn’t they be struggling to overthrow themselves? Yes, if you see Iran/Cuba. But they like to fool themselves into thinking that they will be the new world order once the revolution is over. Look at Stalin and the communist. They get parties and glitz, everyone else starves. Good deal for the masters behind the Bolshevik revolution, eh.

    It doesn’t seem to occur to Leftist moralists to examine the motives of those involved in any given struggle.

    As you’ve already noticed Bookworm, it is about feeling good, noble, and righteous. Not about what is ethically correct or incorrect based upon any principle.

    It’s simply that they operate in a Marxist moral universe that gives a pre-emptive pass to anyone in the one-down position, regardless of that person’s beliefs or conduct.

    There is another layer. That layer is selfishness. Everything about their morality is based upon what benefits themselves, personally. Do they sacrifice and bleed for the pour? No. They use their money to pay someone else to do it. Using money to make themselves feel better about having and spending money others do not have. Nice con operation. Taking a weakness and using it to strengthen against the weak spot, hah.

    Other people, like in the military and in the honor cultures of Japan, believe in something greater than themselves. The Left do not believe in anything greater than themselves, so they have to create people that they can support, and they do this by just categorizing anyone that is less power than they as deserving of their patronage.

    It has been said before, but when you have risen above your base instinctual need for self-preservation, you are able to accomplish tasks with a clarity of mind and a speed of reaction unrivaled by other humans. The instincts are still in us, instilled by evolution. Guilt, greed, ambition, pain, fear, pleasure. These are instincts and stimuli that have been hardwired into us. A person who believes in something greater than himself, like duty, or liberty, or king and country, is able to supercede their human limitations. Reaching beyond their genkai, into another realm of power.

    The Left and the fake liberals composing the Left, care only about themselves, how much power they can accrue, and how much money they can get for themselves. Thus their morality and ethics, would follow from that basic premise. They matter because they have the power and the position, to rule as God intended it, over the noble savages. To help the noble savage, living in filth, is the highest Calling of God. God being, themselves, of course. It is the highest calling because it makes them feel good and benefits them the most, not the Christian God, not the liberal God of human rights, and not the military god of discipline or duty. Their god is themselves, and anything is allowed to you, when you are a god. They have the supreme moral high ground, above all others. Would not a good god make use of that moral high ground to help the downtrodden, and being a god, would not anyone of weaker stature be part of the downtrodden?

    So why would they oppose classical liberals? Because classical liberals seek to break the chains holding the noble savage, we seek to break the savage in them and raise the nobility. We seek to make humans into nobles, peasants into kings, and mortals into demi-god like figures of inspiration. The Left cannot tolerate this. For without followers and peasants, what need we for gods? What need we for them?

  • Ymarsakar

    Understanding this allows you to appreciate why the Left will always be there for Islamist insurgents (Third World soldiers fighting America’s military might), the Stanley “Tookie” Williams of this world (economically oppressed products of American racism), and American and British Muslim who, despite all evidence to the contrary, have had the insight to position themselves as victims. I don’t know how you feel about all this, but I can assure you that Big Brother would be proud of this morally inverse world.

    But what it doesn’t explain is why the Left doesn’t support women’s rights in Mid East, and why the Left doesn’t support the Iraqis innocents being blown up by those that overpower them, and so forth.

    If their primary principle was that anyone on the down was good, and on the up was bad, how do they get out the inconsistency for Darfur and what not? The extra layer I wrote about, does attempt to factor in an explanation, which is that Darfur and women’s rights in Saudi Arabia does not make them feel better about themselves. It doesn’t give them more power, in fact it would free people, and free people do not like to be patronized by the Left. Free the people from New Orleans and they might not want to come back, then where would your job as Mayor be?

    BB would be proud of political correctness. A great way to brainwash kids and psychologically torture, and still appear pure and pristine on the moral high ground.

    At least the 1984 world made no pretentions about the glory of the Faithful. Today’s pseudo paladins and fake liberals are nauseating.

  • Lulu


    I haven’t seen the film but after reading your essay I couldn’t help but notice one other obvious moral problem. Maria is carrying baggies of drugs in her body while pregnant. What about the risk she also inflicts on her unborn child? And what are her responsibilities to this child?

  • Dave in VA

    Dear Bookworm,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your critique of the movie “Maria Full of Grace” (Economic Flexible Morality). As Hollywood grasps for the reasons why 50% of the US public refuses to go to the movies anymore maybe they should simply read your observations instead. They may glean some insight into the fact that Americans are bored with movies created using a leftist, moraly barren template.

    In honor of the Halloween season, I submit to you and your readers the following critique of the liberal horror movie “Land of the Dead”:

    Recently I was flipping through the cable channels when I happened upon a little gem of a movie called “Land of the Dead”. This 2005 film was the fourth installment in director George A. Romero’s graphic zombie horror series. The reason that I’m writing to you about this is that as I watched this bloodbath, I realized that the director’s intention was to make a symbolic political protest statement against George Bush and ignorant red state Americans. In attempting to do so, the film inadvertently tipped the progressive left’s hand as to how they perceive violent threats to America and how they would respond to them. The movie clearly underscores the Left’s utter lack of interest in defending America from any threat no matter how violent or evil it is.

    In the movie, cannibalistic zombies driven by hunger, seek out living humans to kill and partially consume (though not necessarily in that order). The freshly killed victims then transmogrified into zombies themselves and joined in on the noble quest to feed on the tasty entrails of the living. Apparently genocidal, wholesale murder was their forte because as the film portrayed, the fiends had succeeded in wiping out 95% of all humanity and forcibly converting them into the ranks of the walking dead.

    One would assume that the evil protagonists in the film would be the millions of blood thirsty cannibals, right? Wrong. In Land of the Dead, the “real” evil was the corporate boss who had built a protected area to keep the zombies out. This capitalist oppressor even had the audacity to provide food, electricity, security, and other essential services to the masses for a fee! Apparently the capitalist’s crime of unequal distribution of wealth was more egregious than the zombie’s egalitarian distribution of death.

    As the zombies launch an all out offensive against the last human inhabited city, an elite group of human “heroes” presses their attack against city’s leader. Let me reiterate that scenario again. Zombies are at the gates with a murderous intent to violently kill every living person in the city and an elite group of soldiers choose to attack the one man responsible for the city’s protection.

    If you are scratching your head and asking why would they take such a self destructive action, then welcome to the Left’s reaction to the current global war on terror. Today we face an evil enemy whose only goal is the violent death of all who disagree with their nihilistic vision. And rather than address this real and growing threat, the Left chooses to ignore it and focus their martial efforts upon President Bush instead. If this course of action makes no sense as a plot line in a grade B horror flick, then just how crazy does this make those who follow it now as America faces real monsters at her gates?

    In another eerie parallel with the global war on terror, the film tries to justify the cannibal’s final assault on the city as an understandable response to several raids conducted by humans on the un-dead’s recently acquired “homeland”. Trivial facts such as who had started the conflict and that hundreds of millions of humans had been previously murdered were conveniently never considered. The zombies did not kill in response to the humiliating treatment they had historically endured at the hands of the living. The zombies killed because that’s what zombies do.

    The climactic scene in Land of the Dead shows the corporate building sacked and the evil capitalist boss deservingly burned alive (yippee!). With the city’s defenses destroyed, the zombies are finally allowed to enjoy their justified revenge on the remaining humans. Apparently the un-dead had never read the famous quotation about “revenge being a dish best served and eaten cold”.

    As the elites bask in the bringing down of the city’s corporate boss, (along with food and water distribution, electricity, security, and other essential services) they spot a group of zombies crossing a bridge nearby. When one member of the team raises her weapon at them and prepares to fire she is stopped by the leader who stoically opines “They are just looking for a place to go”. Ah, moral relativism at its best! I think the line should have read “They are just looking for a place to go digest”. I wonder, where do you think the zombies are going to go when they get hungry again in a few hours?

    The film ends with the elite team driving off to Canada oblivious to the fact that they were abandoning the people they had just rendered defenseless and without basic services. In the classical liberal tradition, elites formulated a solution to a problem that affected others but not themselves. Invariably, the impact of the “cure” became worse than the underlying “disease”.

    It is obvious that there are limits to the parallels that can be drawn between how the left reacts to fictional film characters and how they react to real world threats. But consider that the movie Land of the Dead was a serious dramatic effort. To the screenwriter the storyline made sense. To the director the scenes made sense. To the Hollywood Left the film made sense because the themes portrayed mirrored their own political and social views. The bottom line is that if it seems reasonable that powerful right leaning political leaders are viewed as greater threats than cannibalistic zombies, then it is reasonable to view those leaders as greater threats than mere human jihadists.

    Dave in VA

  • Ymarsakar

    That movie sounds eerily familiar for some reason. But I haven’t seen it, if it is 2005.

  • Bookworm

    Dave, your instincts are right on the money. I remember from the original 2005 review that the New Yorker was quite excited about the film’s politics. I can no longer get hold of the full review, but the snippet tells the story:

    The godfather of zombie movies does his fourth dance with the dead in this take-no-prisoners horror opus. The setting is pure urban jungle—the poor live on the streets, the rich live in gleaming high-rises, and an electrified fence surrounding the city keeps the zombies at bay. It all goes to hell, of course, as it has many times before, but Romero’s wit and gross outrageousness are still unequalled. There’s a surprisingly strong class-warfare subtext at work here that’s sweepingly entertaining, and Romero wisely guides his actors (Dennis Hopper and Asia Argento among them) through the bloody muck and mire with revolutionary enthusiasm.

  • jg

    “through the bloody muck and mire with revolutionary enthusiasm” !!

    (Worth quoting again.)

  • Ymarsakar

    Vive le Revolution!!!!

  • Dave in VA

    To the Liberal, class-warfare is the only consideration. All liberal policy, regardless of stated aims is class-warfare by other means. Global warming is not about the environment, it is about keeping rich economies in check. Education is not about teaching critical thinking, it is about indoctrination in class-warfare. The United Nations is not about conflict resolution, it is about containing the US and her allies.
    Under the liberal class-warfare model the US and President Bush are the ultimate symbols of “haves” power. As such they must be blindly resisted. Facts, history, and argument are completely irrelevant.

  • Marguerite

    Yessss!! I am cheered and I’m going to run downstairs right now and not wait ’til 5:00 to raise a goblet of Cabernet to Bookworm and Dave in VA – you get it! And you both put it so elgantly that there’s nothing left to say but Cheers!