Over the last week I've been exchanging emails with a man that identifies himself as an "ex-Goldwater Republican." He rages about the corporate oligarchy and thousands of corporate lobbyists, and generally emits left-wing political memes. In other words, this chap is a Democrat. But he's a disappointed man: at 66 he is earning half what he did ten years ago.
When I asked him what he would do about the "corporate oligarchy" he responded thus:
You either, from the ground roots, elect dedicated people that will over time rewrite laws, enlist oversight and regulations and turn this around OR as a 64 year old female client said yesterday, wonder what the reaction would be to 3 or 4 million armed people , converging on the Capital or Wall Street? There is your answer. 1790 France.
I suppose that makes sense. If you believe that corporations are stiffing the American people, rather than being the cause of raising income from $3 per day to $120 per day since 1800; if you believe that the financial system is a crock, that the wealthy should give up their wealth in redistribution, and if all the left-wing economic ideas of the last 150 years have failed, then political or revolutionary action is the only remaining option.
The problem is that government is force, politics is power, and we humans are social animals not soldier ants. Neither government or politics grow a single corn plant or produce a single stick of lumber to build a house.
I've been wondering over the last year or so about the incessant corporate exposé journalism of the left. Every left-wing magazine, almost every month, will feature an exposé of some corporate malfeasance.
I've decided that the endless attack on corporations is a necessary prop to the left-wing belief system that justifies government force. If there weren't outrageous crimes from the corporate CEOs then you couldn't justify government regulation and supervision of the private sector. You would say: well, there are bad apples, but still...
Alas, our lefty friends have trapped themselves in a closed system in which government force is always the answer. Because everything that goes wrong is an economic crime, and every crime must be met with a new law to stop it. The result is a spiral dive into economic madness, as every detail of economic life becomes dominated by government and politics instead of by the demand of the consumers.
How do you talk to such a person? How can you break the spell of the closed world of ideas? Who knows? I just try to stay polite and return insults with friendly replies.