By Bruce Walker
Leftism is not an ideology. No sane person thinks "soaking the rich" or "investing tax dollars" achieves any particular objective. The creation of predefined bogeymen is an ancient and unsavory strategy for seizing and then holding power -- the Jewish people can testify to that grim fact -- and there is nothing more to it than that. Leftist leaders today are simply the barbarian warlords of centuries ago who promised to steal and to share the spoils of what others have worked to produce.
Marxism is only one of several contemporary mantras dreamed up to let party bosses rob and loot. The Nazis, too, denounced capitalism and claimed that they were victims of oppression. The similarity between these two malign modern barbarians was such that many commentators of the time saw them as not just similar, but practically identical. The conjuring up of eternal victims and eternal victimizers was at the heart of this black magic.
Because the purpose of these sorts of systems is not the achievement of professed goals, but rather permanent justification for holding power, Obama pretends that some shadowy plutocrat has been running the federal government for the last four years and acts like his old failures can be transformed into credible hope by changing the tone of his voice or the alliteration of his delivery. It is all, to leftists, make-believe anyway.
Leftism is at its heart the enemy of all empiricism. It grips fiercely the banner of idealism as if there were any special virtue in idealism. Medieval physicians used idealism instead of practical sense, and they murdered patients. Flagellants idealistically battled the plague. When men willing to be governed by experience studied pathology, the science of medicine began. Results, not theories, are the core of healing arts.
Conservatives derive theories from results, and not the other way around. This means that conservatives are at the forefront of real experiments while leftists squat down around a midnight campfire with medicine bones. We are guided by what works. Once, conservatives supported higher taxes to fight deficits because we thought skyrocketing federal debt created a burden which would eventually crush us and that higher taxes brought higher revenue. Arthur Laffer thirty years ago proposed his curve, which showed the maximum tax rate for optimizing tax revenues. Reagan tested his theory. It worked; we adopted it as proven.
Once, conservatives supported the food stamp program as a sensible way to reduce hunger in America. Farmers, among the hardest-working and productive of us, often had surpluses pushing down prices while our poorest countrymen did not have enough to eat. Give the poor food vouchers, which could not be used like welfare payments for any purpose, and this would increase farm income and actually feed the poor. When fraud and abuse make a mockery of these intentions, conservatives stop supporting the program; it doesn't work as planned.
Conservatives and other normal people follow the lamp of experience. This allows us to drink the whole universe of human thought rather than to skim along the tiny shining surface of "now" and "ideas." Wisdom, prudence, patience, honor and practicality are the heart of our system of thought and values. Out of these come everything interesting and engaging in life.
What does leftism offer? It aspires to steal from honest producers, to savage happy families, and to reduce its wretched camp followers to abject dependence. As Orwell so clearly saw in his dissection of an Inner Party member, leftism also forces its priesthood to actually persuade itself that the nonsense and contradictions it spouts are true. The end of this is nausea, tedium, and emptiness which infest and corrupt every crevice of thought and feeling.
Like other varieties of damnation, one of the most awful torments of leftism is its utter vacuity. The Inferno of Dante was a place of infinite tedium. Is this not what we see in leftism in our world? So leftists honestly worship at the shrine of that profoundly silly and angry charlatan, Karl Marx. No utter failure of predictive power, no hundred million human souls broken in his vile omelet, no revelation of his personal meanness and bigotry -- nothing at all can shake the left's faith in Marxism.
So for more than one hundred and fifty years, the dull pedantry of his toxic religion is recited as if it could inspire any free mind or unchained soul to anything but yawns. It is not just that Obama, Kerry, and the rest at the Democrat Convention were saying the same things over and over and trying to feign novelty; it is rather that leftism itself is unbearably tedious.