“For millennia -- until quite recently -- human beings struggled to rise above subsistence because of a stubborn inability to recognize how wealth is created. Certainly into the late 18th century, people mistakenly believed that there was simply a fixed amount of wealth in the world, and that it was left to individuals and governments to fight over their share. Not until Adam Smith was it recognized that wealth can grow without limits, but obviously even now people have a hard time wrapping their minds around this idea.”
Then segues to a discussion of envy and its role in human evolution and group behavior, commenting:
The further back in history you travel, the less individual neurosis you see. Instead, the whole group is nuts. But from the standpoint of the group, the “nut” is the one who will not or cannot conform to the crazy group -- like that decent Muslim who was kicked out of his mosque in Tulsa last week for writing an editorial that was critical of Islam. To us, he is “sane,” but to his primitive co-religionists he is “crazy” or “evil.” You see similar phenomena in other primitive groups such as the progressive nutroots vis-à-vis their treatment of Joe Lieberman. Here was a fellow who had a near perfect liberal voting record, but he took one step outside the closed circle of the group mind, so he was banished.
Progressives, he argues, operate under an economic model that is more genetic as opposed to cognitive. They are still functioning with the herd mentality and have yet to embrace modern civilizization or individualism, preferring instead to function on an instictual, rather than a rational level. This is why they find capitalism and market economics so repugnant.
He then quotes from a recent article by Andrew Cassel: "In other words, to have an intuitive grasp of economics, you might just need to take a step or two up the evolutionary ladder."
Finally, it all makes sense!
The economic primitivism that is unceasingly promoted by the political left is a remnant of the cave-dwelling days of mankind; an idyllic era of history to which the left desperately yearns to return. The word "Progressive" is thus a simple rhetorical manipulation to diguise the essential backwardness of the left's economc thinking.
It also might explain the sense of solidarity that many leftists feel with the various primitive cultures still existing in the 21st century. Try as they might, they just can't hide their admiration for cave-dwellers like Osama; or the egalitarianism of the most backward societies on the planet.
Thomas Sowell can't help but notice that one of the ways this primitivism is conveyed culturally is in the relentlessly anti-business movies churned out by Hollywood:
Although these movies tap a certain envy and resentment of corporate wealth, that large corporate wealth comes from far more modest individual amounts of money from about half the population of the United States, which owns stocks and bonds — either directly or because money paid into pension funds or other financial intermediaries are used to buy stocks and bonds.
The irony is that the average Hollywood star who is making anti-business movies is far wealthier than the average owners of those businesses, who are half the population of the country.
The Los Angeles Times refers to documentary “films” that are “critical of corporate power.” But just what does this vague word “power” mean when it comes to businesses?
Wal-Mart is the big bugaboo these days but what “power” does Wal-Mart have? I lived three quarters of a century without ever setting foot in a Wal-Mart store and there is not a thing they can do about it...
One of the morally indignant “films” (more high-toned than “movies”) coming out of Hollywood makes the same complaint against Starbucks, depicting poverty-stricken Ethiopian coffee growers providing beans for the big-bucks coffee-store chain.
Are the Ethiopian coffee growers worse off now that Starbucks is buying their beans? Supply and demand would suggest otherwise. But moral crusaders seldom have time for economics.
He concludes by saying that what the world needs is more multinational corporations, not less; and I would go further and specify that what the world needs is more capitalism and business, and less progressive nonsense. As I have noted multiple times, poverty has a cure. There is an undeniable link between economic freedom and the elimination of human poverty and misery.
Such a link, however, is studiously ignored by the leftist elites, who prefer to idealize the primitivism and egalatarianism they observe in backwards societies. They have in fact elevated that primitivism and pronounced it superior to the materialism of the West.
The truth is that for all the lip service the Left pays to "fighting poverty" and "achieving social justice"--which makes them feel just oh so good about themselves--that not one single government program they have supported in the endless bureaucratic quagmire they refer to as the "war on poverty" has done more than those evil corporate bastards at WalMart to actually help the poor.
Instead, the programs they support nationally and internationally inevitably reinforce their own latent envy, racism, and sociopathic selflessness.
So, many times in politics, programs that originate with the "best of intentions" end up doing exactly the opposite of what was intended. Yet, the political left is so ideologically committed to the utopian ideal of egalitarianism which, in the real world simply makes everyone equally poor and miserable (except for the lucky elites who control the social system) that they reflexly keep pouring money into programs that can be shown to actively harm the people they are meant to help; and reinforce the stereotypes they are meant to end.
The politically correct left heaps scorn on business, capitalism, free trade, and globalization; and instead glorify and praise the most primitive and barbaric of cultures and cultural practices. As Bob suggests, they come for the egalitarianism, but stay for the bestiality and tyranny they unleash with their "progressive" ways.
If they really cared about helping the poor; if they really cared about social "justice"--then they would shut the hell up and get out of the way of those evil, greedy capitalistic bastards, who, while pursuing their own selfish, profit-making agendas, in the long run effortlessly manage to increase the standard of living and improve the lives of everyone around them.