No Cows Were Harmed
Your typical leftist, a person conditioned for shameless abasement to every social issue that can be blamed on his distant ancestor who allegedly once shot an indian, eats his bowl of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with the same gusto he usually reserves for giving other people’s money away in the name of social justice. Ben and Jerry’s, as anyone who has taken the tour-cum-political-indoctrination-session of their environmentally friendly facility in Vermont knows, makes ice cream with a social conscience (sort of Cirque du Soleil meets Baskin-Robbins) and there is no hint of filthy lucre or consumerism allowed in this happy, shiny place, even the kind that paradoxically allows people who would otherwise deny to the very gender-neutral and non-denominational heavens their involvement with materialism to spend five bucks for a high quality confection that is the very essence of unfettered materialism. It’s like paying four dollars for a coffee at Starbucks while writing poetry about lynching Dick Cheney and other evil capitalistic tools. There’s kind of a disconnect. But you see, Ben and Jerry’s is materialism with an alibi. You can feel good eating it knowing that the cows making the milk not only were given no growth hormones but also had full access to all of their reproductive options.
In a similar manner, Social Justice is just welfare with an alibi and is a concept to which the left has cleaved because “welfare,” itself at one time a noble sounding word, has so many justifiably negative connotations that to but breathe your support of it will lose you an election faster than a fat kid can inhale a cupcake. The very word itself carries with it the image of a great mass of freeloaders, relieved from the responsibility of providing for themselves, deciding to trade the struggle for a possibly higher standard of living for a lower one but one which requires no productive effort on their part. An unfair generalization of the poor, but true enough in many particulars for anyone who understands human nature and the destructive effects of a large dependency class on both the the intangible moral fiber of the nation as well as the on the economic growth required to pay the tab for multiplying entitlements. The number one problem, after all, of all the Western Democracies is paying for the freebies that were rashly promised in the deceptive times before people discovered that being non-productive was a viable option.
Without belaboring the obvious (although maybe not so obvious as economics seems to be little taught nowadays in the propaganda mills that pass for universities) a government has three choices open to it to pay for its obligations; things like Medicare, for example, which is an obligation because it promises, by law, to pay for the medical care of the elderly even if and when expenditures outpace the tax revenue required to meet the obligation. Your elected representatives can either borrow money from the private sector and do nothing (always a popular choice) in the hopes that the system will only crash and burn after they are out of office; they can print or otherwise create funny money to throw at the problem resulting in inflation and a comensurate devaluation of the currency; or they can raise taxes, a strategy with tremendous appeal to the purveyors of class envy but which has disasterous consequences on the production of goods and services, stifling as it does the incentive for individuals to be productive and increase the wealth of the nation. This wealth is the sum total of all the goods and services produced and what is required to to serve as collateral for the mortgage we sign when give every American the right to have as many babies as they want on somebody else’s dime or take no responsibility at all for any aspect of their medical care.
And we’re going to justify this kind of thing by invoking Social Justice, a nebulous phrase that is so ghost-like nobody can really define what it means except that by God, somebody’s giving out free money! To some, social justice means equality although it’s a crazy kind of equality. If everybody is equal and medical care is a right, are people who pay for better medical care violating somebody else’s rights? This would make the entire ruling classes of Canada and Europe, people who can and do avail themselves of medical treatment not available to the proles, the biggest violators of human rights on the planet. They need to be arrested. But why stop at medical care? Housing is more important to most people. You’ll die in an hour or two here in the frozen part of Yankeeland without shelter. Your high blood pressure? Hell, that’ll kill you at a leisurely pace. Does the right to housing guarantee a yurt? A crappy apartment in some crime-infested project? A split-level ranch in the suburbs? A mansion? Why the disparity? It is a right after all. My freedom of speech is not better than anybody else’s, why is the right to housing any different?
Some leftists, driven by self-loathing for their privileged upbringing and their hatred for their nation, define Social Justice as payback, extortion to be paid to the poor because once upon a time, some African tribal king sold a distant ancestor of the underserved to a Muslim slave trader who ended up, after being processed in a Portugese baracoon, in the Virgina colonies. The only equitable thing thing to do then, if you go in for this kind of nonsense, is to give everybody who still feels the psychic pangs of the suffering of their distant ancestors a bunch of freebies, paid for by people whose ancestors may have had nothing to do with the distant crimes and in fact, as is the case of my own Greek ancestors, had their own problems at the time. In the name of equality and Social Justice, we’re going to assign collective guilt to people based on nothing but their ability to pay protection money to their leftist masters, a strange notion of justice more in keeping with some third-world kleptocracy than a country built on the principles of individual freedom and inalienable rights.
Throw then, oh you who long for social justice, a general blanket of oppression over everybody who is poor and insist that it is The Man keeping them down despite the fact that a constant stream of immigrants, arriving from countries were oppression truly exists, have somehow managed to pull themselves out of poverty and run circles around the children of the big, bad oppressors, those rough beasts, their hour gone, shuffling towards the trailer parks. It will have to be a general kind of blanket, a big, wet, suffocating blanket because unless you plan on convening a Council of Wizards to divine the complicated mileu of each life-perhaps deciding that a Greek who only suffered a little at the hands of his ancestral oppressors is only equivalent to three-fifths of a real, oppressed man in good standing-there is no way to equitably distribute anything at all. To even try is to exacerbate what isn’t even a problem except that we gotta’ have our alibi.