“Logic! Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?” — C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Neither Data nor Mr. Spock, two relentlessly logical creations, could ever be liberals or Democrats or Progressives, or whatever the Hell else they’re calling themselves nowadays. (For convenience, I’ll just lump them all together under the “Statist” title). As I realized over the 20 plus years of my political journey from knee-jerk Statist to thinking Individualist, the single greatest difference between the two ideologies is that the former lives in a logic-free world.
Sure, as Statists will always shrilly point out, more Individualists than Statists subscribe to traditional religion — and the belief in God definitely requires a leap of faith — but that’s just about the only leap of faith in their lives. Their political positions are almost always driven by a solid understanding, not only of human nature, but also of the realities of cause and effect. Liberals, on the other hand, even as they pride themselves on the logic of their abandoning God (never mind that they cannot satisfactorily prove God’s nonexistence), apply magical thinking to just about everything else.
Here, in no particular order, is a laundry list of illogical policies espoused by Statists (with the understanding that modern statism is driven by identity politics and self-loathing):
Statists believe that America’s out-of-control illegal immigration has nothing to do with the fact that, when illegal immigrants sneak across the border, we provide them with education, health care, welfare, food stamps, and the promise that they will be allowed to remain in the country regardless of their unlawful status. These same Statists, blind to the laws of cause and effect, are always shocked when temporary crackdowns result in a corollary (and, equally temporary) diminution in the number of illegal aliens.
Statists are wedded to the idea that government creates wealth. To this end, they are bound and determined to use taxes to consolidate as much money as possible in government hands so that the government can go about its magical wealth creation business. The fact that those countries that have all or most of their wealth concentrated in government hands have collapsed economically (Eastern Europe, Cuba) or are in the process of collapsing (Western Europe) doesn’t impinge on this belief. As even my 10 year old and 12 year old understand, the government’s ability to print money is not the same as an ability to create wealth. The best way for a government to create wealth is to ensure a level playing field with honestly enforced rules — and then to get out of the way.
Statists believe that no-strings-attached welfare has nothing to do with the creation of a welfare culture. My father, the ex-Communist, figured this one out: “If you’re going to pay women to have babies (meaning constantly increasing welfare benefits), they’re going to have babies.” In 1994, a Republican Congress forced Clinton to change “welfare as we know it.” To the Statists’ chagrin, all their dire predictions about weening Americans off the government teat proved false. Poor people are not stupid people. If they’re getting paid to do nothing, they’ll do nothing. If that money vanishes, they’ll work. By the way, I’m not arguing here against charity for those who cannot care for themselves. I’m only railing against a political system that encourages whole classes of people to abandon employment. This subject is relevant now, in 2010, because there is no doubt but that, Rahm-like, Democrats are using the current economic situation as a backdoor to increase welfare benefits to pre-1994 standards.
During the run-up to the ObamaCare vote, Statists adamantly contended that, even if employers would find it far cheaper to pay fines than to provide insurance coverage for their employees, they would still provide coverage. Likewise, they refused to acknowledge that, if insurers could no longer refuse coverage for preexisting conditions, and if individual fines were cheaper than insurance, savvy consumers would jettison insurance and wait until they were actively ill before knocking on the insurer’s door. In both cases, the Statists’ illogical beliefs about human nature and economics were proven absolutely and conclusively wrong. (Info and examples are here, here and here.)
For decades, Statists have contended that if we can just get guns out of citizens’ hands crime will go away. To the Statists, the problem isn’t one of culture and policing, it’s that the guns themselves cause crime. What’s fascinating is that they continue in this belief despite manifest evidence that it is untrue. The NRA was right all along: If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
Statists firmly believe that Individualists (a group that includes Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and other “bitter” Americans), are an angry mob, primed and ready to explode against all non-white, non-straight, non-Christians. They do so despite hard evidence that angry mobs, as opposed to scattered angry individuals, reside solely on the Left, anti-American side of the political spectrum.
Statist gays, who feel obligated to be Leftists because of identity politics, throw their wholehearted support behind Palestinians, whom they see as the beleaguered victims of evil Israeli imperialism. They hold to this view despite the fact that Palestinians kills gays, and Palestinian gays regularly try to immigrate to the safe haven of Israel. In the same way, Statist gays, hewing to their solid Leftist credentials, side with Iran against America, despite the fact that Iran is able to boast about the absence of homosexuals only because it routinely kills them.
Statist blacks, who feel obligated to be Leftists because of identity politics, are deeply hostile to the police. While there is absolutely no doubt that, in the past, police routinely harassed, arrested, and killed black people just for being black, we’re not living in the past anymore. In modern America, the person most likely to kill a black person is another black person. Blacks need police more than I do, sitting in my comfortable safe, suburbia — yet it’s here, in white suburbia, that our police force, which is largely decorative, is appreciated and admired.
American Statists believe that, if you placate a bully, he will see the error of his ways and become nice. It didn’t work for Chamberlain in 1938, and I’m pretty damned sure it won’t work for us, whether the bully is Iran, Venezuela, China, Russia or any other totalitarian government intent upon expanding its power beyond its own borders. I’m not advocating unbridled aggression our part. That would mean we’re no better than the bullies arrayed against us. I’m more of a Teddy Roosevelt, in that I’ll allow us to speak softly, as long as we carry a big stick. Self-defense is not aggression — and sometimes you have to fight to defend a principle, a person, or a nation.
Statist women are silent, absolutely silent, about the condition of women across most of the Muslim world. I think I’ll rename them “sadist” women, not “statist” women.
Statists tout as a quality Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, who violated American law to bar the military from her campus because of Clinton’s don’t ask/don’t tell policy, but who cheerfully accepted millions of dollars and a chair from the same Saudis who murder homosexuals and treat women like 32nd class citizens. There’s logic for you.
I opened this post with a quotation from C.S. Lewis regarding the absence of logic in education. We can see the profoundly dangerous effect that lack of logic has on real world policies. I’ll end with Tweedledee and Tweedledum opining on logic in a way that only a Statist could appreciate and understand:
“I know what you’re thinking about,” said Tweedledum: “but it isn’t so, nohow.”
“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”