Tuesday, December 28, 2010

At Christmastime, thoughts about moral authority (Part II).

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

--Benjamin Franklin (1789)

We need government, and we probably even need big government. But the current Federal government is too large and inefficient for our own good (proof: record sustained high unemployment under total Democratic rule, 2009-10). Yet Democrats continue to defend big government. It’s impossible in fact to tell where Democrats end and government begins. They are a virtual identity.

The goodness, the moral virtue, within which government wrapped itself in the Great Depression has frayed over time. Government is now the establishment, supported by the Democratic Party, the media, academia, arts and entertainment, the non-profit sector, liberal churches, and much of big business. Becoming increasingly brittle in their effort to hang on, and acting increasingly out of fear, our elite sincerely hold to their moral authority, which makes dislodging them from power even more difficult.

At base, the elite believe some elite has to be in charge, and that our American meritocracy is the last, best hope for a good elite. They reject rule by money, opposing the capitalists who flourish when government is absent from the picture. You can say government exists to tax; to redirect resources from money through government to the worthy and needy (government of course retains money for itself as the funds pass through it—see kleptocracy).

One may wonder why our wealthy elite denounce America’s concentration of wealth, and why they favor progressive taxation. One answer: doing so underpins their moral authority to rule, and doing so offsets their guilt at having so much. But also, doing so may reflect genuine revulsion at others who inherit or acquire wealth without earning it, yet seemingly fight to keep it all. Such persons are the elite’s inferiors—by another name, Republicans.

The elite’s ideology, their moral authority, rests on three additional principles:

Knowledge is power. Government and its people must defer to superior knowledge, to expertise, to brains. It’s “what you know.” Remember “who you are” is based on “what you know.” New facts displace old facts; speed wins.

2. ACT. Rule based on science. We must honor our modern versions of the Greek gods, superior humans who act on our behalf, and who practice “relativism”—breaking the rules—based on science that always moves forward. Scientific rule inevitably overrides fixed moral values tied to ancient, outdated texts.

3. LOVE. Helping victims. That means feeding the major components of the Democratic coalition—those benefiting from government transfer payments, as well as blacks, other minorities, and unmarried women. Love your core supporters as well—government workers and other union members, liberals, and young people. All together, the elite and their victims make up a potential majority of voters.

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