Every parent knows the difficulty in determining a fair distribution of a limited supply of candy, ice cream, cakes, and other assorted treats. Wise parents generally allow one child to cut the cake and the other to choose which of the two pieces to take. However, even such meticulous attention to fairness is not enough to insure that one child or the other won't from time to time whine that "it's not fair." Children with siblings are forever concerned about getting their fair share. Love, and its material incorporations, can never be completely fairly divided to the satisfaction of all. Some children need more attention and others deserve more attention, a formulation which is suspiciously like another epigrammatic formulation: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Because life is not fair, communism and its derivatives, socialism and liberalism, will never go away. This is a source of great frustration for conservatives.
Dr. Sanity, in a post that is part of the process of discussing the moral core of capitalism and the chronic failures of communalism, points out that communism has failed miserably wherever it has been tried, causing millions of deaths in the process:
The truth about communism was exposed in the last century; and even with all the millions of lives it destroyed and the economic misery that it instituted wherever it had been forced on humans there are few movies that have come out of Hollywood that depict it as villainous or evil.
In the minds of all the neo-Marxists, dead-end communist stooges and anti-war idiots who participate regularly in anti-American and anti-capitalist protests, cosmic megalomaniacs and dedicated communists like Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Hönecker, Ceaucescu, Kim, and Castro are simply misguided humanitarians whose atrocities are not worth mentioning--especially compared to the crimes against humanity perpetrated by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (and, of course now by John McCain and his evil sidekick Palin).
Communism purports to ensure fairness. Liberalism is all about fairness. Consider Barack Obama's answer to the plumber who complained about his taxes going up under an Obama administration:
"Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" the plumber asked, complaining that he was being taxed "more and more for fulfilling the American dream."
"It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too," Obama responded. "My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
This is similar to his response to Charlie Gibson when Gibson pointed out that raising the capital gains tax would cost money rather than gain money:
OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
Envy is one of the primary motivating affects in human relationships. The ancients created a whole range of superstitions and rituals to ward off the envious "evil eye." A prohibition against envy is one of the five out of ten Commandments dealing with human relations. Managing envy is one of the greatest difficulties of the capitalist system. After all, by definition, half of any population is going to have less than the other half. In a culture defined by conspicuous consumption, almost everyone will have myriad opportunities to see people who flaunt their wealth evoking resentment and anger. The masters of the universe at Lehman Brothers and AIG make perfect targets for evoking envy and rage since they were compensated so much more lavishly than most of us would feel is fair as their companies and their workers and share holders (the little people) were being wiped out financially. For most of us, It's Not Fair!
At the same time, all of the excesses of modern intolerant liberalism are easily ignored or minimized because modern liberalism is all about fairness. Just as in the 1930s so many American leftists were perfectly willing to overlook Stalin's murderous behavior (and "courageously" granted a Pulitzer Prize to one of their own who shared complicity in covering up Stalin's atrocities) because it was merely collateral damage in the struggle for Utopian fairness, so today, our left leaning MSM does not see the violence being done to our freedoms by those who support the one they imagine will make the world a more fair and better place. Squelching the free speech of opponents, stuffing the ballot boxes, vicious hatred of the opponents, all these are merely incidentals, collateral damage, on the way to a more fair world where wealth is equally distributed (by a vanguard of those who are selected and elected to determine fairness.)
In response, Nightelf noted:
My personal acquaintances, who I refer to as liberals, call themselves liberals and they seem to be highly susceptible to leftist rubbish. Liberal friends have told me that anybody who is against racial preferences is a racist. Look at liberal websites like Daily Kos and Move On, you'll find all kinds of vicious, hateful, often anti-semitic attacks on conservatives, stuff you won't find on Power Line of LGF. Boy were they gleeful when Tony Snow died. Liberals have got renounce the crazies on the left or they're going to be lumped with them. I'm happy you've made clear where you stand in relation to that. Thank you. [Empahis mine-SW]
At one time the right was overly comfortable with racists and anti-Semites. This was shameful and there is little evidence that all but the most fringe on the right continue to consort with such evil and such groups are not a part of the Republican party. They have rightly been drummed out of the party. (This is notwithstanding the efforts of the MSM to depict relatively mainstream Republicans as radicals and fascists. The MSM labeling people extremist's because they support prayer in schools or oppose gay marriage or abortion on demand does not make them extremists.)
Now the far left has found a home at the center of the Democratic party. I doubt most liberals know how noxious are some of the people who have surrounded Barack Obama and found in him a kindred spirit through the years. Worse, it isi far too easy for liberals to ignore the danger form the left since all speak the same language of "fairness" and equality. The problem for liberalism is that life is not fair. We are not all born with an equal endowment of gifts nor are we all fortunate enough to be born into stable, living families; we do not start life with equal abilities and we do not achieve equal outcomes. The only way to achieve equality of outcome is to effectively force the more successful to share with the less successful. Fairness and freedom are in perpetual conflict. Most Americans accept the wisdom of a system that enforces some reasonable redistribution (ie, limits on their freedoms) so that the most unfortunate do not suffer needlessly in a country which has been blessed with such great personal and material gifts.
The last 25 years has shown that good old capitalism, despite its tendency to increase inequality, is the single best system ever devised for creating wealth, wealth that makes even the poorest and most unfortunate Americans richer than all but the most powerful Kings of the 19th century (and wealthier than Kings if we include the bounty of technology and health which were unavailable to Kings.) If we accede to the most powerful impulses to ensure fairness, we will all grow poorer than need be, our economy will grow more slowly than necessary, and many will suffer for it, though few recognize opportunity costs when they calculate fairness. The plaintive cry that "It's Not Fair" will be with us as long as people are people and the struggle between fairness and freedom will be with us for a very long time to come.