Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (6)

North Korea Edition

The promised Progressive future is (NOT) bright!

IMG_0040

This is not satire, it’s making a serious point.  Progressives, please try to think about it.

It’s almost impossible to believe, but Representative Ocasio-Cortez is celebrating the loss of 25,000 direct Amazon jobs and all of the ancillary jobs that its headquarter would have created.  Note: “worker exploitation” to a Democratic Socialist is defined as a “private sector job.”

9829254-6705629-Newly_elected_Congresswoman_Alexandria_Ocasio_Cortez_was_estatic-a-40_1550224328528

The following was almost inevitable.

IMG_0041

O.K., I’m willing to still call this satire.  It’s not quite dead yet!

 

Advertisements

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (5)

Green-Deal-Great-Leap

This in meant as satire, but is it really?

Environmental Death Cult meets Satire Killed by Reality meets Questions for Socialists meets Intentions vs. Results in the Green New Deal

Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez_official_high-resolution

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

This an embarrassing, pathetic and dangerous time for our republic.  We have reached the point at which a 29 year-old know-nothing/wrongthing can be elected to Congress who believes that her ideological purity literally enables the fundamental physical transformation of the United States from fossil fuel based to green energy based within 12 years.  The Green New Deal document, released and then pulled yesterday, was pre-supported by most of the Democrat presidential candidates.

Others have provided the necessary assessment of this dingbattery. Following are comments on just a few of the too many cringe-inducing ideas in this document.

  • Ban cars. To be fair, under the GND, everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling. The authors state that the GND would like to replace every “combustion-engine vehicle” — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.
  • Gut and rebuild every building in America. Markey and Cortez want to “retrofit every building in America” with “state of the art energy efficiency.” I repeat, “every building in America.” That includes every home, factory, and apartment building, which will all need, for starters, to have their entire working heating and cooling systems ripped out and replaced with…well, with whatever technology Democrats are going invent in their committee hearings, I guess.
  • Eliminate air travel. GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever. Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?

My personal favorite for absurdity is this (emphasis added):

We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.

Strassel-Green-DealBur for sheer infuriation this item may be the tops (emphasis added).

  • Build on FDR’s second bill of rights by guaranteeing: …
    • Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work

The fact that this bizarre screed was received with almost universal mockery and disbelief gives me cold comfort.  Yes, I understand that the Green New Deal has exactly zero chance to become law.  However, the following facts bode ill for our future.

  1. Our educational system has delivered people who are simultaneously so ignorant and so confident.
  2. There were enough people in a Congressional district to elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  3. As stated in the Los Angeles Times: “Equally notable, however, was the list of who signed on — most of the major Democratic presidential candidates in the race so far.”  Thus the supposedly most seasoned and serious Democrat politicians, either by cowardly submission or true-belief, supported this proposal.
  4. Ocasio-Cortez and company wrote and released this document based on their ideological fantasies that by simply believing so completely and having such good intentions they were sure to be right in all that was contained therein.

mazie_hirono_hawaii_aoc_green_new_deal_2_7-19-1-800x489They must have been shocked by the response.  Even a natural ally like Senator Mazie Hirono couldn’t help but point out an obvious logical flaw.  For these reasons Representative Ocasio-Cortez took down the web page that had previously held the Green New Deal FAQ document.

So how do I justify my title?  Here’s how.

Environmental Death Cult

While I’m absolutely sure that it isn’t intended (see below), were the Green New Deal ever actually implemented it would make the Ukrainian Famine caused by the Russian Communists look like a minor event.  Who can doubt that, as reliable, plentiful and affordable fossil fuels are ripped away and “replaced” by unreliable, scarce and prohibitively expensive “green energy,” tens, even hundreds of millions of Americans would die from cold/heat, starvation and social  chaos as the nation’s economy collapsed?

Satire Killed by Reality

I may have to give this topic up.  I simply don’t see how anything else could occur in reality that is so far beyond what could be imagined by the greatest satirical minds (oh please let this be true).  Progressivism has now surely killed satire.

Questions for Socialists

In my series of this name I attempted to force our Socialists to address obvious but unasked questions.  In order to implement the Green New Deal the United States would have to succumb to totalitarian Socialism.  So, here’s my question based on the Green New Deal:

How is it that a political movement that claims to be the vanguard of intellectual and moral thought could generate such an absurd proposal that is so widely supported within the Progressive movement?

Intentions vs. Results

The Green New Deal is a pinnacle of “good intentions” replacing “good results” (see all of the above).  This is the end result of the “participation trophy,” “self-esteem,” and “education by ideology” culture that we have allowed to grow over the past thirty years.  Yes, I blame those among us who have successfully pushed these ideas into our educational system and mass media.

However those of us who knew better but chose to remain silent and passive in the face of this onslaught must also accept responsibility for this situation.  The day is growing late, we must decide if it’s more important to ruffle the feathers of people pushing destructive ideas or protect our nation from the chaos that they would cause.

be-back2

A political movement that knows nothing and forgets nothing is highly unlikely to be deterred by an abject failure.  They are true believers in their intellectual and moral superiority, so they can’t ultimately be proven wrong by actual events (e.g., most recently, Socialism in Venezuela).

Looking Back on 2018 and a Preview of Early 2019

Past-Future

Looking Back on 2018

As 2018 winds down so too will my blogging output.  This year I have focused on a fair number of topics, including:

Clearly 2018 was a year in which I strayed further from the core theological and denominational topics that dominated previous years.

A Preview of Early 2019

In a recent discussion with a friend he pointed out that religion, politics and economics are inextricably linked together.  While I definitely agree with this point, I also have grave concerns given the experience of Postmodern Christianity, Progressive politics and Socialist economics in the PCUSA.  Some readers may assume that I seek a combination of orthodox Reformed Christianity, Conservative politics and Capitalist economics as the preferred alternative.

Not so, for Christianity does not exist as an adjunct to any political or economic ideology. Nor is Christianity the justification for human sourced ideologies.  No, Christianity is about the saving of our sinful souls by he Triune God.  That eternal purpose transcends all human thought or action.  However, it also informs human thought and action in this fallen world.

I have come to believe that Western Christianity has failed in its attempt to mix the sacred and profane into a new theology that is better suited to the modern (or postmodern) world.  Perhaps this will be a fruitful area of discussion in the new year.

I’m also concerned that our civic discussion has veered way too far in the direction of emotion and intentions at the expense of logic and data.  I’m also thinking about this issue as we move into the new year.

Of course there is no way to predict what events or ideas will bubble to the surface in 2019 that will drive the direction of this blog.  These are dangerous, fraught times through which we are passing. We must keep our eyes fixed on Christ and our trust in God’s providential care if we hope to pass through with our faith intact.

It’s my prayer that this blog will in some small way bring blessing and hope to a dark world by proclaiming that Christ is Lord while seeking to understand how this eternal salvation translates into our brief lives here.

Questions for Socialists (3)

VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ-REMAINSQ: Why did you Democratic Socialists hail socialism in Venezuela but then fall silent when the terrible consequences became undeniable?

A: Because your primary goal is power over, not the well-being of other humans.

A Thought Experiment

Let’s imagine that there is a group of people who self-identify as protectors of the world’s poor and oppressed.  Members of this group continually boast about their good intentions for and practical expertise in improving the lot of humanity.  However, as a practical matter, we all know that what is said is not always what is actually in the heart.  Therefore, there is need for a means by which to determine if these people really care first and foremost about improving the lot of the poor and oppressed.

Let’s assume that in a specific nation the ideology and associated means by which these people propose to improve the world are embraced and implemented.  And, that the leadership of this group publicly and forcefully voice their support.

But something goes terribly wrong, and rather than the expected advance towards utopia the country descends into poverty, chaos, violence and starvation.  The fact of this utter failure is unavoidable and undeniable.  Thus, the leaders of this group must decide how to respond.

Response #1

It turns out that these leaders do indeed care first and foremost about the plight of the poor and oppressed.  Therefore, they enter into a state of public repentance followed by a ground-up reassessment of their ideology to determine what went wrong.  Although they may not (or may) throw out all of their ideology, they do honestly look into where it has led to the policies that resulted in such terrible human suffering.  After this process they reengage in the public debate, admitting their failures and seeking to advance updated solutions that they honestly believe will lead to improved human well-being.

Response #2

It turns out that these leaders didn’t really care about the plight of the poor and oppressed.  What they were really doing was to use their pretense of virtue to obtain the power by which to arbitrarily and capriciously rule over others.  Therefore, they fall silent for a time and then begin making up excuses for this humanitarian catastrophe.  These excuses place the blame everywhere but on the ideology and policies that they use in their advance towards worldly power.  They never acknowledge that they had previously supported this practical application of their ideology in a specific country, hoping that it will all be forgotten.

They also, over time, have built a predictable track record of support followed by silence followed by excuses as their ideology repeatedly fails miserably to deliver the promised results.  And yet they continue pretending to be the morally superior elite whom we should follow with unquestioning obedience.

From Thought to Reality: Venezuela

Prior to the arrival of socialism Venezuela was the most prosperous country in South America.  In 1999 Hugo Chávez was elected President of Venezuela and reigned until his death in 2013.  He instituted an ambitious set of socialist “reforms” that were “intended” to help the poor.  He funded these schemes by the looting of Venezuela’s private property.  And, as is admitted by Margaret Thatcher, there is a time in the socialist program before they have “run out of other people’s money.”  During that brief period — between when people have property and money to seize and when the economy collapses because no-one has an incentive to be productive — the two most prominent political supporters of socialism in the english speaking world, Bernie Sanders (U.S.) and Jeremy Corbyn (U.K.),  were vocal in their praise.

Corbyn-Sanders-Chavez

Socialism “works” only as long at there’s money and property to loot, so make the most of it while you can!

But, as always happens when socialism becomes the dominant governing ideology (as opposed to a mixed political economy like in the United States), societal collapse ensued.  Here is one description of Venezuela’s situation.

vz-crop

Venezuela: From one of the world’s most prosperous countries to poverty and hopelessness.

Venezuela’s economy is in freefall. It’s probably the worst in the world — literally. The country tops Bloomberg‘s “Economic Misery Index,” which looks at measures including inflation and unemployment to find the economy where things are worst for regular people.

Here is another description of the chaos and suffering in Venezuela.

digging-through-trash-for-food-venezuela-ap-640x480

Venezuela: Digging through trash in search of food.

Venezuela is a woeful reminder that no country is so rich that it can’t be driven into the ground by revolutionary socialism.

People are now literally starving — about three-quarters of the population lost weight last year — in what once was the fourth-richest country in the world on a per capita basis. A country that has more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia is suffering shortages of basic supplies. Venezuela now totters on the brink of bankruptcy and civil war, in the national catastrophe known as the Bolivarian Revolution.

Or from even the New York Times.

chaos-venezuela

Chaos and violence in Venezuela

Venezuela was once one of Latin America’s economic powerhouses…A growing number of Venezuelans are going hungry in a food shortage and dying from treatable ailments in squalid, ill-equipped hospitals…Until political prisoners are released, the prospects for a restoration of democratic rule are very dim…Inflation has soared to an estimated 700 percent, while people in this oil-rich nation are left digging through piles of trash for scraps of food.

So, have our brave, morally-superior socialist leaders behaved more like the description of Response #1 or #2 above?  They have behaved like #2.  There has been no soul-searching, no public repentance, no reexamination of their ideology.  No, they all have run for the tall grass, hunkered down and then pretended that nothing has happened.  And, their allies in the media have issued a fog of bottom-covering stories that places the blame for Venezuela’s suffering everywhere but at the feet of socialism.

So, how can we but conclude that Sanders, Corbyn, et al. don’t actually care a whit about the actual plight of the poor, or flesh and blood humans of any kind.  What they actually care about is using the ideology of socialism to gain wealth and power for themselves and their fellow looters without having to contribute anything of real value to their society.

The daughter of Hugo Chavez, the former president who once declared ‘being rich is bad,’ may be the wealthiest woman in Venezuela, according to evidence reportedly in the hands of Venezuelan media outlets.

Maria Gabriela Chavez, 35, the late president’s second-oldest daughter, holds assets in American and Andorran banks totaling almost $4.2billion, Diario las Americas reports.

So, let’s summarize by reviewing the three stages of socialism.

3-Stages-of-Socialism-Sanders

By the way, you will find the same pattern of support followed by denial for genocidal socialist regimes throughout history (e.g., the Ukrainian genocide-famine and the Cambodian genocide, among many others).  Yes, we can “make fun” of the Progressive Left’s love of socialism.  But we must never forget that this is in the end a deadly serious issue of life and death.

Questions for Socialists (2)

Q: Which political-economic system has been the most brutally murderous towards its own citizens since the beginning of the twentieth century?

A: Socialism, no other system even comes close.

The Data

R. J. Rummel (1932 – 2014) devoted his academic career to the study of what he called “democide,” which is defined as “the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command.”  This definition covers a wide range of deaths, including:

  • forced labor and concentration camp victims
  • extrajudicial summary executions
  • governmental acts of criminal omission and neglect
  • deliberate famines
  • killings by de facto governments, i.e. civil war killings.

Dr. Rummel taught at the Indiana University, Yale University, and University of Hawaii.  He left behind a large body of scholarly work and data on violence by governments.

Note that democide includes genocide but excludes deaths caused by wars that are not civil wars.  Thus, the Chinese civil war (1928 – 1949) is included but World Wars I and II (among others) are excluded.  This data thus allows us to examine murderous government actions outside the scope of warfare.  However, we will return to the issue of warfare in due course.

The following figure summarizes this democide data.  I have added color coding to the table’s rows to indicate the political-economic nature of the regimes.

Democide-Figure

Democide data by political-economic regime type.

Based on this assessment I have generated the total number of killings for each regime type in the following figure.

Democide-Totals

Democide total killings by regime type

Note that socialist governments murdered almost four-times more people than did fascist regimes (the second most brutal regime type) and over 133 times more than capitalist governments.  The conclusion is thus clear.  Socialist governments are the most brutally murderous by far.

However, it’s worse than that.  Dr. Rummel also studied death caused by warfare.  He then compared death by warfare and democide on an annual basis, resulting in the following figure (note that the same color coding as above is used to identify the regime type).

Democide-vs-War

Annual deaths by warfare vs. democide.  Note that it is socialist governments (red shaded) who were primarily responsible for the mass-murder of their own citizens.

The result is stunning.  Note that from 1920 to 1984 the annual rate of death by the hands of a government (i.e., democide) dwarfs those caused by warfare (even though this period includes WWII).  And, note further that it is primarily socialist governments (with a powerful contribution by fascists between 1940 and 1945) who were murdering their own citizens at rates of 5 to 20+ times greater that of warfare.

Discussion

The actual results of socialism range from economic stagnation to societal collapse to democidal totalitarianism.  The specific and undeniable examples of this last result are sickeningly numerous, including the Soviet Union, Communist China, Cambodia, Vietnam and North Korea (to name only the worst, see above for more).  Progressives may say that, well, socialism doesn’t always lead to democide.  While that’s true, doesn’t it reveal something profound when a supposedly “morally superior” ideology is by far the leading cause of governmental mass-murder?

Progressives will also say that “real socialism hasn’t been tried yet.”  But, doesn’t it reveal something profound about their actual morality when they are eager to foist a system upon humanity that has so often led to terrible consequences?  If socialism is so hard to “get right” maybe it’s because it’s an utterly evil, corrupt, idiotic idea that shouldn’t be tried anymore.

Given this track record of massive democide, why do Progressives yet embrace and recommend socialism?  In large part it may be utter ignorance about the actual results.  It still must be judged as morally irresponsible to demand that we embrace socialism while living in purposeful ignorance of its consequences.

However, I’m afraid that in too many cases Progressives support socialism while clearly knowing what has happened in the past.  For example, the editors of the New York Times shamelessly published an article that minimized and justified these unprecedented crimes against humanity (emphasis added) in order to press their demand for socialism.

We can get to this Finland Station only with the support of a majority; that’s one reason that socialists are such energetic advocates of democracy and pluralism. But we can’t ignore socialism’s loss of innocence over the past century. We may reject the version of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as crazed demons and choose to see them as well-intentioned people trying to build a better world out of a crisis, but we must work out how to avoid their failures…

What possible conclusion can be drawn other than that unless socialism literally brings Hell up to earth the Progressive Left will always ignore, excuse, whitewash and deceive in order to maintain the viability of their bloody socialist ideology?

For many others the fantasy utopia supposedly sought by socialism overwhelms all rational thought or human regard.  We err greatly by underestimating the power of idealistic, utopian thought to obfuscate hard reality.  In explaining this dynamic I simply cannot improve on this final paragraph from The Black Book of Communism’s Forward.

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-6-28-36-am

However, to embrace evil in order to pursue a fantasized but impossible end is not humanitarianism.

Finally, we must face up to the fact that many in the Progressive Movement lust after the absolute power that socialism can deliver.  As has been recently pointed out, there is a disturbing thread that ties the vile totalitarians of practiced socialism to the yearnings and behavior of many on today’s Progressive Left (emphasis added).

While the vast majority suffer under socialism, such suffering is by no means universal. Any number of commissars, Stasi informants, Cuban snitches, petty apparatchiks with dachas, etc., have parlayed their sadistic tendencies into good livings and what they want most, power over others. If you follow Twitter, or generally pay attention to the American Left, you see an army of would-be commissars who yearn for the day when they can accuse a neighbor of wrongthink and have him sent to an American Gulag. In the meantime, they settle for mob action, “doxxing,” and so on.
In spite of all this, Socialists pose as our moral betters; of being altruistic light bearers to humanity.  They do bear fire.  It is a fire that has lit funeral pyres made up from millions of state-murdered human beings.  And, in spite of this vile history, they demand that we once again place our lives and those of our children into their ideology’s blood stained hands.

Questions for Socialists (1)

Q: Why doesn’t anyone ever say “Real Capitalism has never been tried”?

A: Because even a small dose of economic freedom significantly increases the well-being of the great majority of a nation’s people, and, well-being tends to increase with more economic freedom.

China-Pre-Post-GDP

The results for a small dose of economic freedom.

With the possible exception of the U.S.S.R., (the first or second most murderous Socialist government, depending on whose statistics are used) no country has tried harder to make Socialism work.  However, the utter failure of Socialism in China over a bloody span of over four decades finally convinced its Communist leaders to allow a small but significant increase in economic freedom.  The result has been that around 800 million human beings have been lifted out of poverty.  While attempting to implement Socialism the government of China murdered between 40 and 80 million of its citizens and impoverished all (i.e., well over one-billion) but the most powerful government officials.

China has a long way to go before it’s people enjoy the freedoms that we have in our Capitalist Democratic Republic of the United States.  The Chinese Communist government maintains total political power and is still willing to murder and imprison thousands to maintain their position.  China is a bad actor in the world economy, for example by massive theft of intellectual property from the West.  Its human rights record remains atrocious and there are significant problems such as pollution and corruption, among many others.

Bur these considerations only buttress my main point.  That being, even a small dose of economic freedom significantly increases the well-being of the great majority of a nation’s people.