Friday, March 22, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I was surfing around looking at anti-Sirico stuff after reading this jab by The Grumpy Mailman Blog when I came across this recent review by Elias Crim over at the American (cough) Conservative (cough, cough). Excerpt:
Culturally speaking, Fr. Sirico gradually became an adherent of the Reagan revolution, a movement that seemed to find its vindication in 1989, only to ossify intellectually in the years following. Even without an Evil Empire, the Reaganites seemed only able to think in a binary fashion: capitalism vs. socialism (or anything else). Even as supply-side economics became a matter of Republican institutional dogma, the historical record showed a growing government and increasing income inequality. Reagan’s vision of widespread employee ownership went unfulfilled, and for most members of the American middle class, the unintended consequence of economically neoliberal policies was a road to serfdom that by 2008 felt more like a superhighway. Wage slavery, with no path to ownership, or welfare: take your pick.
The author asserts that Reaganites are being "binary" when they point out that you either have some sort system based on economic freedom (like capitalism) or some sort of system based on central control (like socialism). But he goes on to state that Reaganism leads to either "Wage slavery, with no path to ownership, or welfare: take your pick." That sounds thoroughly binary to me, although I prefer to use the term false dichotomy to describe this particular fallacious view of reality. Sorry, but I'm not a "wage slave", whatever that is precisely, and I'm not on welfare, thank you very much. I left my job as an IT Professional (not a slave) and started an incorporated consultancy.
Furthermore, I have many friends who are neither slaves nor freeloaders. Sure, I know people who dislike their job. But most of them are able to change employers--and often do--and the ones who can't are most often constrained by external factors, not by whip-cracking capitalist villains in larger offices.
Finally, I'm not sure whether or not Mr. Crim considers those who pay him to write copy as his "slave-masters", but I'm pretty sure he is not a welfare case. The tag at the end of his review states that he "is at work on a new web zine to be called Solidarity Hall." I have to say that makes him sound very much like someone taking advantage of the freedom we have in our country to be an entrepreneur.
So his own existence itself is evidence against his own assertion, ironically. The more these people attempt to promote an imaginary Third Way, the more they just become dogmatists touting their own contrarian ideology.
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