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The Attractions of Paradise

Back in the 1930s intellectuals sometimes advised each other: don't give to beggars, you'll delay the revolution.  Socialism has been described as a method of loving humanity so that you can be indifferent to your actual neighbor.  The idea has been around a long time. The 1960s musical Hair caught the notion in these lyrics:

How can people have no feelings?

How can they ignore their friends?

Easy to be proud, easy to say no

And especially people who care about strangers

Who care about evil and social injustice

Do you only care about the bleeding crowd?

How about a needing friend?

The bleeding crowd is easy to love from afar.  The problem with a friend is you have to let him come close enough to see his warts. The reason we want the state to fix things is so we don't have to deal with things like warts.

One of the most interesting aspects of the now-famous confrontation between Robert F Kennedy Jr and PJTV's Michelle Fields is his argument that you can be a conservationist without being one.  RFK Jr said we should lobby for government to economize on energy so we as individuals don't have to.  Asked whether he would give up his car and gadgets, Kennedy retorted to Fields: "one of the biggest canards that the press if falling for is blaming individuals for their own choices. That's not the issue, the issue is what's happening on Capitol Hill and that's the thing you guys aren't paying attention to."

He went on to say that the reason government should restrict energy usage was so that people didn't have to change their lifestyles.  Once the government saved energy there would be plenty for all. That was the real nub of the problem. All that the giving up of yachts, limousines and private jets by the Kennedys and DiCaprios will accomplish is delay the Revolution., which beggars like Michelle Fields fail to see.

One of the attractions of millennial ideologies is the promise of a new world that will make everything right, and more importantly, allow us to continue doing everything we preach is wrong. It implicitly transfers every individual failing and disappointment to the system. Change the system so that we don't have to change.  And do it by establishing a Dictatorship of the Proletariat who will safeguard our freedom.

It's a very powerful idea.  Nothing is your fault.  It's all because of racism, or the Koch Brothers or the government not mandating strict fuel economy regulations.  Everything that is wrong with you has been caused by the System.  Just give your preferred (always Democratic) candidate enough power and you can still be a drunk, addict or wastrel, but somehow it won't matter any more.

RFK Jr can therefore say with a straight face that if only the government mandates cars which consume X miles to the gallon then we won't have to fight wars for oil any more and/or stain the earth with unsavory drilling. What the limits of engineering might be and where the still necessary amounts of fuel will come from he does not say. But it will come from "somewhere", in the same manner than wind farms will be placed "somewhere" so long as they are not located near the Kennedy beach front, where it might ruin the view.

Those are niggling details best left to peons like Michelle Fields who were born to attend to the tiresome particulars. Despite their pretensions to proletarianism, socialist leaders are really aristocrats at heart. They ordain an outcome and it is the problem of the hired help to make it happen, even if it means violating the laws of energy conservation.  If their wishes can't be fulfilled it's only because the help are too stupid. Fire them and get some courtiers who can provide everyone with cake.

The theme of something-for-nothing is at the heart of redistributive socialism.  The idea is that you can hand out phones and health cards and green cards without giving the slightest thought to who will pay for it. If pressed a socialist will say, "from the government", which in turn will get the money from "other people", where those other people are never you.

The resources will come the same entity that mandates 100mpg cars. It's driven by the same mentality that allows people to assume they can win wars without even fighting wars. Why not? After all you can reduce the carbon footprint while taking your Learjet and limo, because can't you?


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