Skip to comments.Millennial Communists
Posted on 01/08/2014 2:19:58 AM PST by markomalley
In America, Oscar Wilde quipped, the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience. And they often do it in the pages of Rolling Stone.
Last week, the magazine posted a mini-manifesto titled Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For. After confirming that it wasnt a parody, conservative critics launched a brutal assault on its author, Jesse A. Myerson.
Myersons essay captures nearly everything the unconverted despise about left-wing youth culture, starting with the assumption that being authentically young requires being theatrically left-wing.
Writing with unearned familiarity and embarrassingly glib confidence in the rightness of his positions, Myerson prattles on about how unemployment blows and therefore we need guaranteed work for everybody. He proceeds to report that jobs blow too, so we need guaranteed universal income. He has the same disdain for landlords, who dont really do anything to earn their money. Which is why, Myerson writes, we need communal ownership of land, or something.
0One wonders why he bothered to single out landlords, since he calls for the state appropriation of, well, everything. Why? Because hoarders blow, and he doesnt mean folks who refuse to throw away their Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets and old Sharper Image catalogs. He means successful people who hoard the wealth that rightly belongs to all of us.
Apparently blowing is an open warrant to undo the entire constitutional order. If only someone had told the Founders.
In the ensuing kerfuffle, Myerson, whose Twitter hashtag is #FULLCOMMUNISM, seemed shocked that any of his ideas sounded Soviet to his critics. Andrew McCoy, a conservative blogger, offered the specific citations for Myersons proposals in the Soviet constitution. I suspect this was news to Myerson, but even if not, I bet he doesnt care. It is a permanent trope of the Left that its ideas failed because we didnt try hard enough. This time is always different.
Obviously, this is the sort of fleeting controversy that pops up daily on the Internet like fireflies on a summer night. But thats what I find so interesting about it.
Sometimes it is hard for people to accept that there really arent many new ideas. Sure, there are new policy innovations and new possibilities created by technology. But the really big ideas about how we should organize society vary between being merely antique and downright ancient. Plato argued for collective ownership of property on the grounds that it would erase social divisions. Aristotle disagreed, insisting that, when everyone has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because everyone will be attending to his own business.
Interestingly, there were times when private-property rights were distinctly leftish (populist is probably the better label) because they were seen as a bulwark against tyranny. Even the French revolutionaries included it in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789). What really changes is our concept of freedom.
One of the wonderful things about America is that both the Left and Right are champions of freedom. The difference lies in what we mean by freedom. The Left emphasizes freedom as a material good, and the Right sees freedom as primarily a right rooted in individual sovereignty. For the Left, freedom means freedom from want. If you dont have money, health care, homes, cars, etc., youre not free. Or as FDR put it when pitching his failed Economic Bill of Rights: Necessitous men are not free men.
The relevance of the Soviets effort to provide every goody imaginable isnt to suggest they came up with the idea; its to demonstrate that when such ideas are put into practice and allowed to run their course, they fail and often crush both kinds of freedom in the process.
Regardless, the failure of Communism didnt put the debate to rest because the debate is eternal. Like those summer fireflies, it is a permanent fixture of the human condition, particularly among the affluent and fashionably rebellious young who are always eager to explain why this time is different.
Perhaps the author learned something in the process of trotting out his vision of utopia. It’s a lead pipe cinch his ideas were never challenged in academia.
I’d like to volunteer to feed the needy.... I’d like to start by supplying one Jesse A. Myerson with a lifetime supply of knuckle sandwiches.
Full communism is where ‘the government’ gives you a hovel in which to live and they give you a ‘job’.
They pretend to pay you, and you pretend to work.
Nothing gets done, nothing gets made, everybody suffers except those government politicos who are safely tucked away in their lush apartments and summer dachas.
Never challenged in academia? That's where this useful idiot learned them!
Any political system that has to enslave (lock in the citizens) can not be good. It destroys human nature.
The USSR finally collapsed, much to the strong words of the great Ronaldo Magnus.
It was a great thrill for me to spend 10 year in post Communist central Europe.
>> One of the wonderful things about America is that both the Left and Right are champions of freedom.
The power of positive thinking...
Another incorrect pillar of the Lefts philosophy is that a man free from want is a virtuous man.
A corollary of this is that poverty breeds crime.
Both notions demonstrably incorrect.
Keep in mind the old saying, “when you are 20 and is not a liberal you have no heart. When you are 40 and is not a conservative, you have no brain.”.
The ideas he presented in the article were never challenged. He never heard the argument for capitalism. He never heard the argument for individual liberty. He never heard the argument for personal responsibility. I could go on but hopefully you get the idea.
I definitely understand, and I believe we agree. This big dummy was probably actively encouraged by professors which is the flip side of the coin you presented.
What makes the American left contemptible is that the “eternal debate” is settled by the Declaration and the Constitution and the clear meaning of our founfing writings yet they procede like it’s an open question. Our founding was ideological with a well defined understanding of liberty that is the exact opposite of the left’s. But the left doesn’t care. They march forward in flagrant intellectual dishonesty pretending that their ideas are legitimate within our framework.
Free is when you don't have to pay for nothing or do nothing. The problem with Jonah's piece is that he is attacking teenagers and Frank Zappa already took care of that. He needs to focus on the real problem which is the anti-American left which is a well funded and worldwide group of people with no particular connection other than to destroy America. They take advantage of Amercan teenagers of course, but more importantly also low information voters in inner city plantations, drug-addled suburban housewives, angsty aging boomers, etc. Obama is just one of their tools, they have hundreds more including so-called Republicans.
My advice to Jonah to to focus on the target instead of attacking a generation of teenagers or post-teenagers.
This bothers me:
“The relevance of the Soviets effort to provide every goody imaginable isnt to suggest they came up with the idea; its to demonstrate that when such ideas are put into practice and allowed to run their course, they fail and often crush both kinds of freedom in the process.”
It ascribes a kind of nobility, #1, to a falsehood - that they want to provide every goodie.
They may want to TAKE every goodie - to themselves, but Soviets, commies, and the left DO NOT PROVIDE. They TAKE.
He never heard the argument for capitalism. He never heard the argument for individual liberty. He never heard the argument for personal responsibility
Because he lives in a bubble, an echo chamber. Lefties live in their own little universe, convinced that if they wish hard enough, it will be so (well, that’s what their New Age gurus like Werner Erhard have taught them). Back when Nixon beat McGovern, one New York socialite/limousine liberal pouted “How can that be? I don’t know anyone who voted for Nixon!”
Any kind of re-distribution is an easy sell to people with as limited opportunities as our young people; every day they watch TV commericals hawking things they can’t buy, using families they can’t afford.
What other outcome could there be? There simply aren’t enough decent jobs for these people.
“...the Soviets effort to provide every goody imaginable...”
I like this piece, but I must quibble with this one phrase (quibbling with one phrase, that’s why they invented the internet, no?)
To me this is very sloppy writing, the Commies don’t want to give you goodies, like some cruise or vacation spot might, they want to provide a bare existence for all. Communism has nothing to do with “goodies”. Let us give the Devil his due.
One of his Tweets makes a glib apology for Communism killing 100 million people but says Climate Change will do more than that in just a few years. This shows 1) that he is fine with genocide so long as he is the one deciding who dies and 2) that he is also well aware "Climate Change" is merely a political means to enrich himself on the way back to point #1.
There simply arent enough decent jobs for these people.
It’s simple...the government (with the help of the spoiled young voters of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s) produced enough rules and regulations to strangle every business (from large to small) so that they were not free to flourish and grow.
Yep! With each strangling tentacle that the government grew to help the environment and the green movement, a choking regulation or law was passed to take away individual freedoms. As freedoms were lost so was morality.
Now, Obama and his flock of lemmings believe that a college education is required of everyone to even have the chance to flip hamburgers while trade schools and military technical training is not even considered. In fact, working with one’s hands to actually perform a needed trade is frowned upon by today’s young generation.
What happened to the jobs? Most are still there but unfilled simply due to legal exposure, compliance to government regulations and a society that is now considered an adult at 26 according to Obama’s insurance dictate.
To the young generation of today...don’t whine...vote and actually attempt to do something for yourself like reversing the leftist burden you have created.
Typical teenager, wants everything they believe an adult has with none of the responsibilities.
Let’s do an experiment on the differences between free markets and communism. Divide a country in half. Let one half have a free market and the other be communist and see what happens. We can call it KOREA!
That was Pauline Kaehl, the movie critic for the Washington (com)Post.
Need I say more?
The reality is that most of the wealth is the world has been created from what wasn't there before. It is created by digging mines, planting crops, manufacturing goods, assembling systems, and establishing intellectual property. It is created when a business owner hires a worker to perform a job that results in something that is worth more than the sum of all the cost that went into producing it. When that wealth is taken from the owner, through taxation, regulation, distribution, or even outright confiscation, the net wealth in the world decreases, and certainly stops increasing.
If government took all of the wealth in the world, and distributed it equally, it would not only cease to increase, it would fall precipitously.
He complains that landlords do not earn their money while calling for guaranteed minimum income.
And he doesn’t seen the hypocrisy in that either.
I was always a conservative, ever since I was old enough to figure out what an abortion was.
When Churchill said this, the Liberal (Whig) Party had been libertarian and the Conservative Party was the party of tradition.
“the government ... produced enough rules and regulations to strangle every business”
Even without government interference, this was a question of cheap labor.
“Now, Obama and his flock of lemmings believe that a college education is required of everyone to even have the chance to flip hamburgers while trade schools and military technical training is not even considered. In fact, working with ones hands to actually perform a needed trade is frowned upon by todays young generation.”
In the private sector much of that work (carpentry, masonry, roofing) has gone to illegals; Americans aren’t even considered. Companies won’t hire young Americans while they are ditching older Americans from the workplace.
As far as military technical training, only some of it transfers into civilian life. In wars where they need drivers for convoys more than tech-savvy people (some are needed, but not nearly as many), the military probably couldn’t make good on many of its promises in that area. Nowadays, the military is being scaled back anyway.
Just depends on how you define “freedom” I guess...
leftists DO believe in the “freedom” from having to provide for yourself.
I'd say they believe in central statist planning and redistribution according to their Godless ideology. The state is god, and they are the state. Rules for thee and not for me. My tagline sums it up their world view pretty well.
Ahh, false ingenuousness. How refreshing. Not.
Moonbats seem to think everything was invented ten minutes ago -- sex, lying, false seeming, Robert Redford double-takes.
Just another weary demonstration of the old saw, "red-and-yellow kill a fellow", repurposed from herpetology to politica.
Which is the real point of Communism. It isn't to provide "equality" or any such. It is to provide wealth and status to people whose main skill is political intrigue.