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Millennial Communists
National Review ^ | 1/8/2014 | Jonah Goldberg

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 wasn’t a parody, conservative critics launched a brutal assault on its author, Jesse A. Myerson.

Myerson’s 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 “don’t 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 doesn’t 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 Myerson’s proposals in the Soviet constitution. I suspect this was news to Myerson, but even if not, I bet he doesn’t care. It is a permanent trope of the Left that its ideas failed because we didn’t 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 that’s what I find so interesting about it.

Sometimes it is hard for people to accept that there really aren’t 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 don’t have money, health care, homes, cars, etc., you’re 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 isn’t to suggest they came up with the idea; it’s 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 didn’t 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.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: communists; jonahgoldberg; millennials; rollingstone

1 posted on 01/08/2014 2:19:58 AM PST by markomalley
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To: markomalley

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.


2 posted on 01/08/2014 2:27:05 AM PST by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: markomalley

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.


3 posted on 01/08/2014 2:30:52 AM PST by Bullish (America should yank Obama like a rotten tooth before he poisons the entire body)
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To: markomalley

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.


4 posted on 01/08/2014 2:31:46 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: saganite
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.

Never challenged in academia? That's where this useful idiot learned them!

5 posted on 01/08/2014 2:36:53 AM PST by Squeako (The radicals are the wolves. The moderates are the wolves in sheep's clothing.)
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To: markomalley

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.


6 posted on 01/08/2014 2:41:42 AM PST by AlexW
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>> One of the wonderful things about America is that both the Left and Right are champions of freedom.

The power of positive thinking...


7 posted on 01/08/2014 2:45:22 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: markomalley
For the Left, freedom means “freedom from want.” If you don’t have money, health care, homes, cars, etc., you’re not free. Or as FDR put it when pitching his failed “Economic Bill of Rights”: “Necessitous men are not free men.”

Another incorrect pillar of the Left’s 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.

8 posted on 01/08/2014 2:52:05 AM PST by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: markomalley

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.”.


9 posted on 01/08/2014 2:54:28 AM PST by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Squeako

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.


10 posted on 01/08/2014 2:54:51 AM PST by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: saganite

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.


11 posted on 01/08/2014 3:07:57 AM PST by Squeako (The radicals are the wolves. The moderates are the wolves in sheep's clothing.)
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To: markomalley

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.


12 posted on 01/08/2014 3:13:28 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: markomalley
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 don't have money, health care, homes, cars, etc., you're not free. Or as FDR put it when pitching his failed "Economic Bill of Rights": "Necessitous men are not free men."

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.

13 posted on 01/08/2014 3:13:54 AM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: markomalley

This bothers me:
“The relevance of the Soviets’ effort to provide every goody imaginable isn’t to suggest they came up with the idea; it’s 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.


14 posted on 01/08/2014 3:14:58 AM PST by spankalib ("I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.")
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To: saganite

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!”


15 posted on 01/08/2014 3:59:50 AM PST by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is now the operational arm of the CPUSA)
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To: markomalley

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.


16 posted on 01/08/2014 4:10:05 AM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: markomalley

“...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.


17 posted on 01/08/2014 4:11:33 AM PST by jocon307
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To: markomalley
I have been looking around the web and if this is the guy that I saw on Hannity's TV show during the whole Occupy Wall Street rabble rousing, then this is not some uneducated, misguided youth but a smart and devious sociopath and that makes him very, very dangerous.

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.

18 posted on 01/08/2014 4:26:05 AM PST by Squeako (The radicals are the wolves. The moderates are the wolves in sheep's clothing.)
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To: kearnyirish2

There simply aren’t enough decent jobs for these people.


Those jobs were there in the 50’s and 60’s. What happened?

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.


19 posted on 01/08/2014 4:44:05 AM PST by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: markomalley

Typical teenager, wants everything they believe an adult has with none of the responsibilities.


20 posted on 01/08/2014 5:03:42 AM PST by jughandle
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To: markomalley

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!


21 posted on 01/08/2014 5:15:04 AM PST by Petrosius
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To: Fred Hayek

That was Pauline Kaehl, the movie critic for the Washington (com)Post.

Need I say more?


22 posted on 01/08/2014 5:33:17 AM PST by IronJack
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To: markomalley
A common blindness in those of the left, and in particular, the youth of the left, lies in misunderstanding of how wealth is CREATED. The general feeling is that there is only a certain quantity of wealth in the world, and that all would be better off if it were to be distributed equally. They view the wealthy as Scrooge McDuck, the rich uncle who spends all of his time pushing his gold around in his large vault with bulldozers.

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.

23 posted on 01/08/2014 5:50:05 AM PST by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: GeronL

Ping.


24 posted on 01/08/2014 10:50:23 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: markomalley

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.


25 posted on 01/08/2014 11:41:38 AM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Biggirl

I was always a conservative, ever since I was old enough to figure out what an abortion was.


26 posted on 01/08/2014 11:43:35 AM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Biggirl
Weasel words from Winnie as he crossed the aisle.
27 posted on 01/08/2014 11:49:14 AM PST by Little Bill
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To: Biggirl

When Churchill said this, the Liberal (Whig) Party had been libertarian and the Conservative Party was the party of tradition.


28 posted on 01/08/2014 1:12:16 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: DH

“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 one’s hands to actually perform a needed trade is frowned upon by today’s 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.


29 posted on 01/08/2014 1:38:43 PM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Gene Eric

Just depends on how you define “freedom” I guess...

leftists DO believe in the “freedom” from having to provide for yourself.


30 posted on 01/08/2014 1:42:20 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: spankalib
"but Soviets, commies, and the left DO NOT PROVIDE. They TAKE."

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.

31 posted on 01/08/2014 2:29:19 PM PST by uncommonsense (Liberals see what they believe; Conservatives believe what they see.)
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To: markomalley
[Art.] "In the ensuing kerfuffle, Myerson, whose Twitter hashtag is “#FULLCOMMUNISM,” seemed shocked that any of his ideas sounded Soviet to his critics."

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.

32 posted on 01/08/2014 2:36:12 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Gaffer
Nothing gets done, nothing gets made, everybody suffers except those government politicos who are safely tucked away in their lush apartments and summer dachas.

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.

33 posted on 01/08/2014 4:39:37 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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