Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Liberals – Social Justice and Faith 103

Social Justice requires the government to use progressive taxation, income redistribution and potentially property redistribution to effect a more egalitarian society.

We know from the fight in Vienna in 1927 that the left is divided over whether to effect these changes through government institutions or through force and the threat of overthrowing governments and their institutions.

One might think that the failure of the use of force to achieve redistribution, as evidenced by the failure of German socialism under Hitler and Soviet socialism under Stalin would have moved the left toward working within the existing governmental systems. And it is western European socialism that has survived to this day. But this empirical approach has no part in the perceived need to redistribute.

We can say that redistribution is a central article of faith among modern liberalism. It is more important that government redistribute resources than reduce crime, protect property, victoriously prosecute necessary wars or embrace technology. The redistribution will be performed through the enormous power of the leader, a benevolent dictator. If the plan fails or leads to corruption or to needless war, the plan and standard of redistribution are not to blame, the problem lies in the failure to select a benevolent enough dictator.

This has been true among a strain of philosophers ever since Plato announced the standard of the benevolent dictator. There is an inability to consider the notion that utopia is unobtainable. The purpose of public life is social perfection. And so another fundamental element of liberal faith falls out: man is perfectible through his institutions.

This perfectibility is based on the assumption that all human beings are born as blank slates that can be adjusted or honed or perfected by the input received. There is something infinitely plastic and divinely equal about babyhood.

Any inquiries that question these precepts and assumptions must be corrupt and indifferent to human progress and somehow repugnant. Therefore criticism is justly subject to a response of invalidation.

If the revolutionary approach is correct, then civility and a willingness to live in an imperfect society are themselves despicable emotions of a corrupt bourgeoisie unworthy of serious consideration nor respect. There can be no compromises on redistribution, no questioning of the superiority of pursuing social justice.

The mere pursuit of redistribution and social justice makes an adherent blameless, even if the society becomes poorer or more stratified, even if ethnic tensions grow rather than decrease, even if the progressive institutions themselves are inhumane or incompetent. All opposition to progressivism is counter-revolutionary propaganda! Progressivism is an historic inevitability, coexisting with a victorious class struggle.

The chaos about a liberal government, the ineffectualness of the institutions, are simply the side effects of work in progress but not complete. Egalitarianism looks like chaos until the human objective has been obtained. Until that is realized, less is more, ugly is beautiful, and life is eternal struggle against the smug and inhumane addicts of the status quo.

Because this system never works, never reaches stasis and never attains governmental stability, the on-going belief system is necessarily one not based on facts and not responsive to contradictions. So these statements in today's blog post represent an unchanging yet heartfelt faith.

Redistribution is a moral necessity
Great power should always be placed in authority.  If that approach fails, it is due to a lack of
     adequate benevolence in the character of the particular leader, not in an unworkable matrix
Humans are born with a mental blank slate that is infinitely plastic
A critic of these truths should be snubbed or belittled through invalidation
Civil middle class persons who are  unmoved by this agenda are themselves inherently corrupt
An imperfect progressive institution is merely one in transition;  it is still above criticism
Progressivism is an historic inevitability
Chaotic progress is a sign of actual progress, not a weakness of progressive structures
Belittle and defeat any rhetorician who dares suggest the status quo is superior to redistribution

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