Bastiat vs Marx

John Bolton recently wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal calling England’s new warmonger Prime Minister the best for America. Alan Blinder is a professor at Princeton and writes articles in the Wall Street Journal about how the government can guide the economy better than an aggregate of peoples’ free choice. In other words, theft should be the prime mover of civilized society. I wrote a letter to The Journal proposing a new political party, “The Money Grows On Trees Party.”

We pretty much form opinions based on inputs. The Fox News people, the MSNBC people. They recite. It helps us avoid thinking.

Basics are clouded by details. I think it’s wonderful that southern border states are sending migrants to the cities up north. Those people (Ha, now there’s a loaded phrase.). If only each and every one of us bore the brunt of our actions and “those people” were simply those people. Come to think of it, what a fantastic world if that were the case. The voters who have no affection for the federal border law breakers who they enable are the lowest form of hypocrite.

Thanks to the internet we’ve become familiar with Billy Strings. His real last name is Apostol. Think about that. The guy is a reincarnation of the Grateful Dead. Bluegrass guitar in another dimension. Forty-five minute jams. We never think to ask, “Is it almost over?”

In case you wondered, I dig Apostol. Get it? Even those nincompoops that spent too much time in school dig Billy. They have a paper to prove it. (There’s a riddle here and I welcome guesses.)

Anyway, I got on a list and all of a sudden I was gonna get a chance to be Apostol digger like them. Unfortunately my bum leg and Dawn’s cold eliminated us from selling ice cream sandwiches at the festival. My sister’s boyfriend went and he’s even more feeble than me. The music was great but this old man was to stand or sit on the ground the whole time because they didn’t allow lawn chairs?

I asked my way hipper friend in Seattle what gives here? “They use them for weapons,” he said. Which brings me, of course, to Frederic Bastiat, French philosopher.

Every regular reader of this column has read Bastiat’s The Law, which simply spells out the purpose of laws. This book was published two years after Marx’s Communist Manifesto. In this country, now routinely called a democracy, where voting is heralded as a sacred right, reading these two books should be a prerequisite to voting.

The argument that a music festival should ban lawn chairs because someone might use one as a weapon perfectly illustrates the cause of the decline of this great republic. The Law draws a line between central planning and individual choice. In Bastiat’s lawfull society the consequences of weaponizing a lawn chair would deny freedom to the perpetrator. The Marxist position would set a precedent where everyone’s freedom is denied because of one individual.

Principles in The Law are now so broadly violated that we can only throw up our hands and ride it out, knowing that our grandchildren will likely live a dull and drab regulated exsistence with little reward for excellence. Innovation will grind to a halt, so as problems crop up the Marxian masses will seek nonexistent experts for answers and settle for boring survival. The lack of enforcement of laws and punishment exemplify this.

“The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.”

– Marcus Aurelius


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