Written by Daniel Greenfield
Ideologies can be roughly divided into the moral and the economic. Moral ideologies seek to guide people in their individual behavior as they seek resources. Economic ideologies are concerned with collective control over how resources are gained and employed. Revolutionary movements are often linked with economic ideologies because resource redistribution is a primary motivator for political upheavals.
The left is both a revolutionary movement and an economic ideology, using the pretext of inequities to seize power in order to engage in economic redistribution. However the modern left's actual agenda goes well beyond only seizing and redistributing material goods and financial holdings. Its goal is to completely control all human interactions in every form through political, cultural, social and economic tools.
The modern left seeks to seize control of all the competitive forces at the root of all human interactions. Since competition is at the root of human status and achievement, from the economic to the social, from the political to the sexual, to capture and control the competitive forces that drive human beings-- is to control humanity. The left promises a "fairer" world in which competition is somehow also made fair. But who defines fair and just what does fair mean? As with all ideologies, it means a system that caters to the leaders of the ideology and their supporters. The ideological propaganda justifies this hijacking as the "fair" thing to do, creating the circular hypocrisy typical of those who steal in their own name.
Since human beings compete for most resources, the ability to capture and control those competitive forces is the ability to rig the game and to control all resources, not only the material ones, but nearly everything that people value in life. Since economic ideologies exist in order to compete for resources, this is the ultimate power play. It is power rendered absolute. Complete control over competition is also complete resource hegemony, which gives them hydraulic despotism, a "water empire" which grants the people who control the tap, ultimate power over all those who need what flows from the tap.
Anyone who is allowed to control competition in order to make resource redistribution "fairer" will eventually openly engage in resource redistribution, unless there is a compelling system of oversight governing his behavior. Since most such systems are either bureaucratic or become so, and since bureaucracies are undemocratic and will expand to the limits of the resources available to them, they are wholly and completely corruptible. Those who redistribute a resource are bound to become corrupted by that resource. The more valuable the resource, the more pervasive the corruption. Because corruption emanates from sources of power. Those who control power become corrupted by it. And those whose power comes from resource redistribution, are corrupted by that very resource.
Resource redistribution however does more than just take "a cut off the top". While initially it only introduces a middleman into the equation, which raises costs and drives more exchanges into the extralegal "Shadow Economy", such grander schemes as the left's are not merely designed to take their cut, but to alter the ground rules under which such exchanges may take place. They aim not merely to profit from the exchange, not only to define the nature of a permissible exchange, which all governments do to some extent, but to control every aspect of a transaction and the relative positions of those engaged in a transaction. The left's economic ideology demands complete and total control.
An economy has a light and a shadow side. The light side of an economy consists of legal transactions. The shadow side consists of illegal transactions. The more rules are imposed on a transaction, the more likely it is to move from the light to the shadow side of the economy in order to avoid those rules. A system that imposes total control over all transactions will see a dramatic expansion of the shadow side of the economy, until most transactions take place in the shadow side of the economy which transforms that country into a total den of criminality. That phenomenon took place in the USSR under Communism. It is common under Third World dictatorships. Because as free enterprise is suppressed, it flees the light for the darkness. And the Shadow Economy grows.
This has disastrous economic consequences. Because the more rules a system has, the likelier it is to have a larger government. Since larger governments require more resources, they also depend on a larger tax base. The more governments impose taxes and regulations however, the more resource transactions move from the light side and into the Shadow Economy, making it more difficult for governments to take their cut, without themselves becoming involved in the black market. As increased taxation and regulation shrinks the revenue base, governments begin squeezing the shrinking businesses and citizens even harder. This further inflates the Shadow Economy. As those governments attempt to crack down on and control the Shadow Economy, they only make it more profitable, and those profits are used to entangle and corrupt the government officials who are supposed to regulate them. As a result, free enterprise is destroyed and replaced by the black market. The light side of the economy dies and an entire country becomes a Shadow Economy.
The left has ridden this same economic bomb down into the crater many times already. It has never actually learned from those mistakes, because it is unable to concede the destructive consequences of its monopolization of power, the individual choices that will inevitably forestall any of its central planning schemes and its own corruptibility. Worst of all it is unable to realize that it is the problem. That it is the worm in the apple, not the thorn on the rose. That over and over again it destroys everything it touches, that the revolution fails, and the cycle repeats itself again.
Leftist political movements pretend to be symbiotic, but in fact they are parasitic/predatory. They transition from the parasitic (taking a cut) to the predatory (control of all resources) stage by convincing those they prey upon that they are actually symbiotic, that their oversight and regulation will benefit them. Predators and parasites both exist within a self-regulating ecosystem. If they overhunt their prey, they will experience a Dieback.
Imagine that we have a dozen wolves preying on a hundred sheep. As the number of sheep keeps dropping, the number of wolves keeps increasing. If the wolves don't control their numbers, they will overhunt the sheep. And the wolves will starve to death. Eventually the numbers of the sheep will be restored, unless the wolves wipe them out, in which case both wolves and sheep will die out. This form of resource competition on the animal level, is reflected in resource competitions among human societies as well.
In the human economic ecosystem, a government cannot outgrow the resources it feeds off. If it does, eventually there will be a Dieback, and the government will discover that it does not have enough sheep to feed off. If it continues feeding anyway, it will be destroyed and it will destroy the country it rules over. However this form of recognition requires adaptability. And there are two aspects of liberal rule that are incompatible with adaptability. Bureaucracy and ideology.
Liberals function as ideological aristocrats, exchanging natural human institutions for unnatural ideological institutions as part of their revolutionary reconstruction. Such institutions routinely devolve into bureaucracies as bureaucracy covers up for the failure of their policies, and their own corruptibility and hypocrisy under the guise of objective procedures. And bureaucrats are notoriously resistant to change.
Bureaucracies are both inefficient and endlessly greedy, consuming as many resources as possible. Think of wolves with the brains of sheep. And they cannot be removed democratically. Ideology meanwhile blinds people to the destructive consequences of their own actions, as the central article of faith for nearly every ideology is that nothing bad can come of following its ideas. Combine the two, and you have the formula for armageddon, as ideology reinforces bureaucracy, leading to the end of democracy and the beginning of tyranny.
An ideological bureaucracy is invulnerable to change, except through confrontation. And the ideological component helps fortify it against even democratic attempts at political change. Bureaucracies fulfill the organizational imperative of maximizing power while minimizing accountability by constantly expanding in order to increase the scope of their power, while decentralizing their individual accountability. The result is a giant maw consuming everything in its path, all the while piously certain of its rightness in doing so.
Even as it ushers in an economic armageddon. But the situation is even worse than that.
As I have already stated. leftist political movements within a democratic transition from the parasitic to the predatory through a false symbiosis. Mimicking symbiosis requires giving the populace something that resembles mutual benefits. However in reality, what the left does is addict the populace to entitlements. Using these entitlements as bait, the left seizes control of competitive forces within a society. These entitlements are then redistributed, creating a further appetite for more of the same.
Once in power, the left replaces authentic competition with its own rigged game. Since controlling competition means that it also controls the resources that are being competed for, it has an unlimited ability to draw on those resources for its own needs-- without itself being subject to competitive forces. This is the equivalent of a blank check drawn on the entire economy. Now since support for its rule depends on maintaining entitlements, and since it has only been corrupted by that "blank check", and since it perceives resources from an ideological rather than an objective economic perspective-- given a chance the left will squander resources at an uncontrollable and unlimited pace.
In the meantime, it has redefined the economic understanding of a society to view competition as a political, rather than economic activity. Such a society is still able to compete, but it no longer competes for achievement, but for entitlements. It can no longer work for a living, but has come to think purely in terms of cheating or entitlements. And it thinks of cheating and entitlements as legitimate, and hard work as illegitimate. Because its values of competition have been redefined, and it views the intercession of authority as the defining variable that separates legitimate competition, from illegitimate competition. And cheating is the Shadow Economy, the glue that fills in what the entitlements leave out, and is considered legitimate because "it's coming to me anyway".
A people who reach this miserable state are thoroughly ruined. They worship authority and live in misery. They cannot work, only look for shortcuts. Any economy they will have can only be built on fraud and government intervention. They are addicts. They have become addicted to entitlements. And those entitlements have thoroughly corrupted both those who distribute the resources and those who receive them. As healthy competition invigorates a society, entitlements corrupt society from the top on down.
The mechanism of addiction requires two things from the pusher. That he never sample his product and that he always find new customers. The left has had trouble with the former, because their own resource redistributions corrupts them from the start. And as to the latter, the left is constantly knocking on every global door, looking for new customers to replace the ones they have already destroyed. Like a perverse Diogenes, they go from country to country, seeking an honest economy, only so they can destroy it.
The left promises fair competition, what it really offers is the tyranny of addiction. And like all addictions, it destroys both the user and the pusher in the long run. Its economic model corrupts the competitive instinct of a society, even as it bankrupts its economy and destroys its democracy. Its false symbiosis quickly reveals as predation, and it sets into place bureaucratic structures to maintain that predation through total control. When it is done, the sun sets on a Free Economy, replacing it with a Shadow Economy. And in the place of a free people, are a nation of slaves looking for a handout or something to steal
From NY to Jerusalem , Daniel Greenfield Covers the Stories Behind the News. Daniel Greenfield is a blogger, author and columnists covering international affairs, the rising threat of terrorism and the growing problems of socialism. His daily blog can be viewed at Sultan Knish.