Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Bundle of Contradictions

In the wake of the accumulating wreckage of the Obamacare rollout and millions of cancelled insurance policies, with millions more still to come, a number of political prognosticators are forecasting the implosion of modern liberal statism.

We'll see if that actually comes to pass, but I'm reminded that Marxists used to assure us that it was capitalism that would soon collapse under the weight of its own contradictions. This assurance is amusing given that if anything is groaning under the weight of contradiction and paradox today it's modern liberalism, particularly the secular variety. Consider some of the odd beliefs to which secular liberals cling:
  • They believe that it's absurd to think, as some religious folks do, that we all bear the guilt of our primeval ancestors' sin, but while they scoff at this idea they themselves insist that it's almost self-evident that if you're white you bear guilt for the sin of slavery committed by other whites (and some blacks) 200 years ago.
  • They believe that capital punishment is immoral, that executing a heinous murderer is wrong, that it dehumanizes us as a people, and that society should proscribe it. At the same time they believe that the grisly execution of an innocent child in its mother's womb is not a moral matter and is certainly not any of society's business.
  • They declaim that those who believe in a supernatural creator are uneducated, superstitious bumpkins who believe in things without much evidence. But at the same time they believe, despite the complete dearth of evidence, that life arose by sheer accident from non-life, that consciousness evolved from brute unconscious matter, and that there are innumerable other universes, a multiverse, beyond our own.
  • They scoff at the "blind faith" of those who place their trust in the words of men who lived 2000 years ago, while at the same time placing total confidence in politicians who voted for a 2000 page health care reform law without ever having read it and who insouciantly urged their colleagues to pass the thing so they could find out what's in it.
  • They mock those who appeal to faith as a justification for belief, but they themselves place complete faith in the pronouncements of scientists who prophesy that the earth is headed for eco-catastrophe because of global warming, even though the average global temperature has remained inexplicably static for 16 years.
  • Liberals believe that a 16 year-old girl is the best judge of whether she should have an abortion while at the same time they tell adults that they're simply not competent to decide for themselves how much soda they should drink and what kind of health insurance they should have, or even if they should have any at all. On these matters the government must dictate, but terminating a life in the womb should be a personal choice.
  • The liberal chortles at the mere mention of "trickle down" or "voodoo" economic theories that teach that lower taxes actually increase revenues. Yet at the same time he believes that raising the minimum wage and thereby increasing an employer's costs will perversely motivate him to actually hire more workers. Liberals also believe with all their heart that we can extend insurance coverage to everyone, including people with costly preconditions, and that the cost to the average family will nevertheless shrink by $2500.
  • The liberal believes society can change the definition of marriage from one man and one (biologically unrelated) woman by removing the restriction on the gender of the participants while still retaining restrictions on the number of participants and their biological kinship. They can't say why they're so certain that one part of the definition can be changed while keeping the rest of it intact, except that they just know no one would want to be involved in a group marriage or marry his sister.
It's not just that to be a liberal one must believe impossible things, but rather that while believing impossible things one must also reject common sense.