Skip to comments.
Death by Liberalism
American Thinker ^
| January 18, 2011
| J.R. Dunn
Posted on 01/18/2011 1:15:11 AM PST by neverdem
Many AT readers are aware that I have been working on a book project for the past several years. I have mentioned it occasionally on this site, more often in the past few weeks as publication drew nearer. Now zero hour has arrived: Death by Liberalism. The Fatal Outcome of Well-Meaning Liberal Policies is available as of today. (Buy it here.) It's the first publication from Broadside Books, renowned editor Adam Bellow's new conservative imprint.
Simply put, DbL deals with the appalling and overlooked fact that liberalism kills. This is no metaphor, no exaggeration, and no mistake. Liberal policies put in place by liberal politicians to achieve liberal goals kill thousands of Americans each year. In the past half-century, liberalism may have killed up to 500,000 American citizens (and this is not even counting DDT or ethanol, which are responsible for a death rate orders of magnitude larger in the international sphere). We have known for years that liberalism is corrupt, wasteful, and futile. Now we know that it is even worse. Liberalism is lethal.
How does this work? Is it some sort of grand Sorosian conspiracy to assure limitless political power? An environmentalist Green scheme to cut the population on behalf of Mother Gaia? Not at all. The soft lethality of liberalism is a result of that saddest of English phrases: "unintended consequences." Liberal politicians, academics, and operatives want to do good. They want to benefit Americans and the country as a whole. They want to do it their way, through large-scale governmental policy. They know exactly how it is to be done, and they will brook no interference. So they set out on their grand schemes, and it ends, always and without exception, in disaster. Some of those disasters go over the line into something resembling mass negligent homicide: the legal procedural revolution, the DDT ban, CAFE fuel standards, federalized child protection, deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, and gun-free zones, to mention only a few.
Let's take federal child protection as an example. Shortly before becoming vice president under Jimmy Carter, Senator Walter Mondale sponsored a bill aimed at the reform of child protection services. Established to assist and rescue children from abusive and neglectful adults, these services had been operating for a century with good results, many of them privately run and associated with churches and other charities. Mondale wished to transform them all into state agencies, funded by government, staffed by trained professionals, with operating standards set by federal bureaucrats.
The result was exactly what any student of Hayek, Parkinson, or Sowell could have predicted. The government-run agencies became typical bureaucracies, marked by incompetence, callousness, and endless paperwork. Across the country, children under the care of such agencies began dying. For thirty years and more, scarcely a week has gone by without yet another newspaper report of a child murdered while under the "protection" of one of these agencies. The numbers may well mount into the thousands. We can't be sure, since the bureaucrats in charge often hide behind privacy laws to stifle investigations and outside oversight. (This doesn't always work -- in Philadelphia last year, no fewer than nine social service social workers were found guilty of complicity in the starvation death
of Danieal Kelly).
Did Walter Mondale intend any such thing? Not at all -- he meant well. He went for the customary big-government solution; he was intent on fixing something that wasn't broken. The result was suffering on a massive scale. To his credit, Mondale is on record as regarding the bill as an action he regrets. Most liberal politicians responsible for similar policies would admit to no such thing.
They would remain silent because liberals do not look upon their ideology as a political doctrine to be judged by the same standards as all others. No -- liberalism is viewed as a religion -- a religion of the purely millennial type, promising its believers a new, pure, utterly transformed world. Its leaders are the saints and heroes -- Oldsmobile Teddy Kennedy, Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd, and Charlie "what taxes?" Rangel -- who will lead us into this new world. But with DbL, this illusion has come to an end. No longer can liberals shield themselves from their actions. No longer can they present themselves as messianic figures magically and unerringly healing a fallen world.
They are not happy about this. The first reviews of DbL
have been marked by a sense of shock coupled with outrage. The common response is that the book is "illogical"--- it's like being criticized by an army of Mr. Spocks. None have actually critiqued that logic -- which consists of simple empiricism, the contention that effects must have a cause -- in any detail. Several reviewers have outright lied about the book, one
claiming that I'm referring to people "dying of heart attacks from working too hard to pay taxes." Another
states that I claim that liberals will soon be hunting us down "with their guns." (What kind of liberals does she know, I wonder?) And this is only the beginning. I'm scheduled to appear on Lawrence O'Donnell's "Last Word" this Thursday, and I doubt that he intends to congratulate me on the excellence of my research.
Such a reaction is understandable. All that liberalism has left is its patina of virtue -- the claim that liberals are always right, that they know all the answers, that they alone embody the good in the political sphere. This is fading fast, as liberalism becomes the ideology that abuses Down infants, that supports and excuses terrorists, that attempts to exploit mass murders. I hope that DbL represents yet another step in this process.
I've been writing for AT for a little over five years now. In that time, I've gotten much in the way of encouragement and useful criticism. It was an AT reader who inspired DbL in the first place, with a question as to whether "there was anything like a black book of liberalism." I know I've come a long way as a writer, a thinker, and a conservative in that time. I'm sure we all have. We have a long road ahead, and we are now moving into a new phase, a new level of activity and influence. I hope you are all looking forward to it as much as I am.
J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker and will edit the forthcoming Military Thinker.
TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: death; liberalism; pages
posted on 01/18/2011 1:15:15 AM PST
The illusion of knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance. The most lethal phrase in the English language is probably, " I know what I'm doing"
posted on 01/18/2011 2:27:55 AM PST
( "We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him." -Samuel)
Bernie Schwartz, professor emeritus of health physics at the University of Pittsburgh, in his book on need for nuclear power makes that point that nuclear power plants clearly save lives. He makes the point that foregoing nuclear power meant using coal, which has far worse health consequences. He further argues that foregoing power generation was even worse than burning coal, in its effect on longevity. The mechanisms of causation are not clear, nor easy to explain, but economic well being and use of electricity strongly, independently and positively correlate with longevity.
posted on 01/18/2011 2:30:28 AM PST
by Lonesome in Massachussets
(Socialists are to economics what circle squarers are to math; undaunted by reason or derision.)
posted on 01/18/2011 3:17:28 AM PST
(The pump dont workCause the vandals took the handles. Quoth Bob Dylan.)
Wrong. It’s “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help”.
posted on 01/18/2011 4:16:39 AM PST
We've been utterly unsuccessful in convincing the masses that liberalism impoverishes, could it be that convincing them that liberlism kills will be easier?
JR Dunn may have something here. Presenting them with evidence they're indirectly killing people will certainly knock them off their high moral perch, no?
No longer can liberals shield themselves from their actions. No longer can they present themselves as messianic figures magically and unerringly healing a fallen world.
My experience with liberals tells me that no matter how many times one rebuts their ridiculous ideas, or how logical and factual the rebuttals, they will simply come up with a new angle with which to cling to their fallacious beliefs. You don't rebut them with the idea that you're eventually going to make them see the light (although it can happen). You rebut them with the intent of informing rational people of which side the truth and facts are on. That's because otherwise rational people can fall for the emotionalism of liberalism, especially when it's disguised as caring. They just need to be shown the whole picture.
posted on 01/18/2011 5:28:21 AM PST
(Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
What many analysts leave out is the proven false theory of tabula rasa or the blank slate theory. Liberals propagated this lie for decades before it was thoroughly debunked. The theory held that man was a blank slate unto which anything could be projected or inculcated. This led liberal people in the criminology area to believe anyone could be rehabilitated under the right conditions. That is why you got violent criminals being put in halfway houses where they escaped and killed again. Or violent parolees murdering again. The anti-gun mentality has also cost many women their lives.
posted on 01/18/2011 7:24:23 AM PST
(For long-term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
Never thought of liberals this way but there may be something here.
Recent example: Light bulbs.
Ban the old and bring on the new, which just so happens to contain mercury which in turn, is certain to get into the ground water.
posted on 01/18/2011 9:26:20 AM PST
To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; ColdOne; ...
posted on 01/19/2011 3:43:32 AM PST
(The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
posted on 01/20/2011 2:52:34 PM PST
(quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson