I’ve been having a very interesting email exchange with FP, a friend who sent me the Peter Schiff video that’s now making the rounds:
As you can see, Schiff makes logical points grounded in reality, and the protesters come back with mere protest tactics, rather than making any attempt whatsoever at argument. Strangely enough, despite the dreariness of watching idiocy in action, both FP and I found cause for cheer in the video.
My optimistic take is twofold. First, I have to believe that people like Schiff, and and like FP, and like those of us at the Bookworm Room, people who have knowledge, analytical abilities, and intelligence, will be the ones who eventually make intellectual contact with those who are not using tactics, but who are actually struggling to understand real issues. Everything we write, and read, and think is another arrow in our quiver. We are educating ourselves for real arguments, with people who actually want to listen.
Second, I’m optimistic about the fact that so much of this manifest idiocy emanates from those who have paid the most for their so-called educations. (Here’s a great photoshop summing up that particular type of insanity.) Perhaps these protests, which highlight higher education’s absurd costs and manifest failures, will break the stranglehold that the PC education establishment has over Americans. Parents of teens and tweens may figure out that they are not getting their money’s worth when they ship their children off to pricey schools. I think about this a lot, as Mr. Bookworm is invested in the Ivy Leagues, and thinks they’re worth $200,000. My son, bless his heart, promises me that he’s going to Annapolis!
FP is also optimistic, and I’ll quote him directly, ’cause I think he’s right:
I’m going to sound a bit Hegelian here (not in the dialectical sense…for once…more in the ‘catapulted through history evolutionary’ sense) but I’m coming, more and more, to see the conservative worldview as the inevitable end to liberal ideology — once the individual has had some sort of practical interaction with the world and/or really stretches the liberal ideology to it’s inevitable conclusion. You and I (and my wife and mother) and most of the best, most vocal proponents of modern conservative thought (Mike Adams, Thomas Sowell, and even Andrew Klavan and yes, in my opinion, the very articulate and clever Sunny Berman) are all ‘converts’ to the church of conservatism. We’ve all been exposed to liberal ideology from a very early age but heard the voice on the road to Damascus and decided to stop kicking against the pricks. There are two paths that I’ve seen that lead to the road:
1. Pragmatic need — i.e: having to pay bills, working hard, and realizing that others are not but want to take what you have. This is an incredibly effective catalyst but more difficult to explain in the purely metaphysical realm of college coffee shops and poetry slams (and the like). A lot of my hardworking blue collar friends have reached conservatism through this path (I can’t help but believe that most of the blue collar union workers that voted Reagan into office the first time came to their political beliefs, at least during that election, through this path).
2. The ‘intellectual’ path — following liberal ideas to their natural conclusions
As I examine some of the basic tenets of liberalism — at least those things that the more effective sophists blather on and on about in the local coffee shops — I keep seeing places where the ideology collapses in on itself. It either leads to Marxism (which history has shown — again and again and again — does not work. Anyone with more than the most glancing view of history accepts this as axiomatic truth. The argument FOR Marxism — which usually whines that we just haven’t done it RIGHT yet — reminds me of Paul Krugman’s ‘Keynsianism-works-we-just-haven’t-put-enough-money-into-it’ b.s. It’s ridiculous. No one’s done it right because THERE’S NO WAY TO DO IT RIGHT) or folds in on itself (like a black hole). Here’s what I mean by that:
The liberal meme that calls for people to ‘coexist’ is silly — people already coexist. If they didn’t then you wouldn’t have anything to put on a bumper sticker because no one exists. The liberal meme that calls for us to ‘tolerate’ sounds great — but then you have to ‘tolerate’ the rich as well because, well, we wouldn’t want to JUDGE, now would we?The liberal meme that calls for ‘peace’ sounds great — until you experience 9/11 and realize that ‘peace’ would mean accepting that sort of treatment from those who disagree with you. The liberal meme that calls for a utopian ‘one world’ sounds great — until you realize how the rest of the world lives and what that would mean for us — the top 1% OF THE WORLD (imagine the rest of the world decided to ‘occupy America’ to go after us — after all — we ARE the 1% as far as quality of life!)
In other words, right about now, a whole lot of liberals are getting mugged by reality.
It’s in this same vein that the flyer I published in the previous post is relevant. Zombie told me that it’s been floating around in the internet since April 2010, but that fact is that it has real resonance now. In America, the difference between “us” and “them” isn’t inherited wealth or a class system, it’s that some work and some don’t. Now that the fat of the land has vanished, it’s ants versus grasshoppers, or little red hens versus lazy animals. In this world, with ants and hens on the one side and grasshoppers and slugs on the other side, the ants and hens, merely by virtue of energy and initiative, will prevail.