Bringing harm to others is socialism’s primary goal

A comment on a thread at Powerline on Liberalism is just resentment and envy sanctified where the video showed up as well. After eight years of PDT, even if the astounding success of his first year as President continues for the following seven, you will hear exactly the same. That is what this post is about:

I recall a recent twitter conversation that I engaged in. Basically it was a discussion on the outcome of a social experiment where people were given a choice between two alternative income distribution models.

The first one, choice A, had the highest level of income capped at say 100,000, had a fairly tight distribution across the quartiles, with the lowest being something like 10.

The second one, choice B, allowed for a very small number of individuals to earn 1,000,000 followed by a much wider distribution of quartiles, with the lowest being something like 100.

People were asked to choose which distribution they preferred, and I think they chose option A over option B by more than 2 to 1. This was the case even though it was clear (and perhaps emphasized) that everyone in option B had more money, with the poorest having effectively 10 times the purchasing power over option A.

While that result is astounding in and of itself, the replies on the twitter thread were even more interesting because there were so many people who offered strained and painful rationalizations as to why choice A was better. One I recall insisted that choice B was worse because the purchasing power would be reduced back to A levels since the economy would just reset to the higher levels of wealth due to inflation or something.

My comment ultimately was that all the rationalizations were just thin cover, and that the real reason for the choice was plain old envy of the top. Now I’d have to go back and find the thread to be sure, but I seem to recall the gentleman who started the thread insisting that the authors of the experiment made it clear that the 100 to 10 ratio at the bottom levels really did imply B had 10 times the buying power of A, but that it clearly didn’t matter to the outcome.

I find this result to be a fascinating insight into the irrationality of human economic/moral intuition, and how jealousy and envy play such an outsized role in shaping it.

Socialism has never done anyone any good, other than the handful of leaders who eventually climb to the top of the pyramid. But the envy that drives it will never go away, which is why the socialist impulse will also never go away. For the rest of us, what is crucial to remember is that the motivation behind the rhetoric is in no sense benevolent, but as malevolent as the human heart can be.

Some thoughts on Las Vegas

Watching the dismal story coming out of Las Vegas does bring many thoughts to mind, not least because we had just been there in July. In no particular order:

Whether or not they are responsible, ISIS is happy to say it was their doing. Ethical rules of war are not exactly their longest suit. They are just murderous swine whose only war aims, if we could can use the term, are essentially unknown. Psychopathic killers with no discernible outcome in mind other than to become modern versions of Tamerlaine and create their own piles of skulls.

The first item of news we heard about the killer is that he was someone who had lost a tonne of money at the casinos and had perhaps gone round the bend. But we have now heard he had just sent $100,000 to the Philippines the day before. Not exactly bankrupt, was he? Where did the money come from? There is a story there but will we ever find out?

Most importantly, was he really a one-man show, able to get such a complex logistical process exactly right on his very first attempt with no outside help? It’s possible, but so are alternative versions of how it happened.

He cannot have been a registered Republican because if he were we would have known already, and then some. We shall see whether this can be attached to the right, and then we will never hear the end of it, or attached to the left – like the shooting of Steve Scalise (who?) – and it will disappear into the mists of time like everything else of its kind.

Donald Trump’s response was on a human level, describing these killings as evil. Hillary, along with the left in general, responded on a political level – not willing to let any crisis go to waste – immediately associating these deaths with the need for gun control.

Tribalism is the darkest most unrelenting province of the left. On the right we actually like the idea of an open society where anyone can come live among us by following the rules: tolerance, hard work, self-direction, independence. The left are filled with envy and hatreds that only every so often come to the surface in a way that normal people on this side of the fence can recognise for themselves. The left’s chosen enemy is the Judeo-Christian culture of the West. We are barely able to understand how truly foreign their views are because we don’t think that way at all.