Marianne Williamson, running for the Democratic presidential nomination, told The New Yorker earlier this week that she was unaware that the political left is “so mean.” One wonders how it’s possible she had not noticed this before.
“I know this sounds naïve,” she said in an interview with the magazine’s executive editor, but “I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.”
The politics of the left are animated by those who want to manage, control, and bully. All require a certain level of malice. Decent people, kind folks, don’t want to run other people’s lives. They have no need to call those they disagree with racists, bigots, and white supremacists. Neither do they feel compelled to force society to conform to their schemes.
We’re not talking about the nastiness of Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont telling a baby to keep quiet at a town hall. It’s much more than that.
Legendary Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek warned us 75 years ago about what we’re seeing in front of us today. In chapter 10 of the “The Road To Serfdom,” Hayek clearly explained Why the Worst Get on Top.
“Bad men,” said Hayek, have no inhibitions about running peoples’ lives. Good men, however, are not interested in doing so. They are willing to allow others to live their lives without interference as long they’re not harming anyone.
It is “the unscrupulous and uninhibited” — mean people — he wrote, who “are likely to be more successful in a society tending toward totalitarianism.” We’re not a totalitarian society. But as Hayek says, there is a “ruthlessness required” to install socialism, even the “democratic socialism” that the Democrats say they prefer. It has to be fed by forcefully taking other peoples’ money, and it functions only when its “leaders” demand and receive obedience from the subjected population.
Maybe the best contemporary commentary on the matter is from comedian Evan Sayet, who once acted as a man of the left. He wrote last month in Facebook that:
“One reason conservatives are so happy and Leftists are so miserable is that capitalists need friends,” he said.
Capitalists have to have good relationships with “business partners and investors, trading partners and customers so satisfied they come back again and again.” At the same time, “the socialist needs enemies. There must be people who hate him and oppress him. If he’s not hated and oppressed then socialism doesn’t exist.”
Of course all that imagined hate and oppression is bound to make one mean.
The left is angry, as well. Today’s Democrats rage, sulk, scold, and in general behave as if they and those they claim to speak for are casualties of American freedom and prosperity. This is a group that could use some intense anger-management sessions.
That won’t fix their meanness, though. That would require a much more extended intervention.
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