The pillars supporting the ideology of the Left have been eroding for years. The failure of Socialism to improve the lives of their subjects everywhere it has been tried, has led to a new Left "Rearguard" (née Vanguard) fighting a holding action in order to maintain their class privileges and slipping power. New York City, for so long the liberal Nirvana, complete with cradle to grave care and maximum diversity, has long been able to avoid reality (with the exception of that little bankruptcy problem back in the 1970's) because of the out-sized success of its financial industry. Mammoth Wall Street bonuses trickled down to the people on Medicaid, Disability, and Welfare, while the Middle Class was marginalized. Paradoxically (at least to any liberal who might give it any thought) the quasi-socialism of New York has not led to a rising tide lifting all boats but to massive increases in inequality:
Income gaps in New York are greater than those of any other big American city, and have been trending higher for decades, says a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
One percent of New York City residents earned nearly 45 percent of the city's income in 2007. Nationally, the top 1 percent of earners took about 23.5 percent of all income, the study says.
New York's top 1 percent -- about 90,000 households -- had average incomes of $3.7 million in 2007, said James Parrot, a Fiscal Policy Institute economist.
That works out to an income of about $10,000 a day -- about what the city's poorest 1 million households earn in a year, Parrot said.
"New York City has always had extremes of rich and poor," said Parrot. "But we haven't had the extremes we have today.
"It's been getting more extreme all the time. It's more extreme now than what it was 10 years ago, or 15 years ago."
Unhappily for the Left, this is difficult to blame on the Bush tax cuts since the wealthy have always managed to minimize their tax exposure. Wall Street bonuses are usually treated very kindly by the IRS, taxed at lower rates than earned income. Attempts to change this have always failed because, in reality, the very wealthy only have to pay what they want to pay and can always find ways to hide the rest. People smart enough to earn millions in finance can hire lawyers smart enough to charge $750 an hour and they then run rings around the regulators (when those regulators are not themselves products of the Wall Street-Washington axis.)
One of the most under-reported stories of the early third millennium concerns a second pillar of Leftist ideology, the healing power of "diversity." Diversity is placed in quotes because for the Left diversity refers to shades of skin color rather than diversity in thinking. Multi-culturalism is dying; it is yet another failed ideology. Recent sociological research showing that increased diversity is accompanied by decreased trust is a fatal blow against the dominant liberal ideology that diversity is an unalloyed good in all circumstances. The diversity meme and the immense industry that has grown up around it has always been counter-intuitive but the chickens are coming home to roost (as the perfect epitome of Multi-culturalism, a faux Native American, née Indian, might say.)
[Quick, name one country other than America and Canada (which came close to falling apart over the issue) that has been stable and contains more than one similar sized dominant language and/or ethnic/tribal group. Note that America and Canada are countries explicitly based on ideas rather than ethnicity; Multi-culturalism overtly seeks to subvert this by enabling a salad bowl rather than a melting pot.]
Robin Shepherd warns that, once again, Israel and the Jews are the canaries in the West's coal mines:
At first sight, it may not appear as the sexiest story in the world. But Gideon Levy’s deeply flawed analysis today of the effective collapse of the Israeli Labor Party following HUD Barak’s departure to create the Atzmaut party, is symptomatic of wider misunderstandings of key political dynamics in both Israel and western Europe. Writing in Haretz, where he is a regular columnist and something of a superstar figure for the old Israeli left, Levy laments Barak’s alleged treachery in the following terms:
“[Barak] officially turned Israel into the only state in the West, not counting the United States, that lacks a Labor party, a Socio-Democrat party or a left wing. All European countries have such parties… we are now more like the third world ¬ we are a state that has about one and a half parties. Almost all there is in Israel is an ultra-nationalist right, comprised of parties that have various names: Likud, Kadima, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, National Union; yesterday, Atzmaut (Independence) joined them”.
But Levy spectacularly misses the point. The reason for the collapse of the Israeli left is that the multi-culturalist, third-worldist assumptions that sustained it have taken a 10 year beating from which they were never going to recover. [Emphasis mine-SW] Ever since Barak’s peace offers, brokered by Bill Clinton in 2000 and 2001, were flatly rejected by the “moderate” Palestinian leadership in favour of violence and rejectionsim the core argument of the Israeli left that the Palestinian cause was based on legitimate grievances that could be addressed via the “land for peace” formula simply lacked credibility inside the Israeli electorate. And given that social populism — another facet of left-wing parties — is now almost as much a feature of several other parties in Israel, the Labor Party simply found itself with nothing to offer. Its implosion was thus inevitable.
Melanie Phillips summarizes:
Israel’s politics are not ‘moving to the right’ – they are merely moving towards Planet Reality, where most ordinary people are living. The Israeli Left collapsed because its fantasy that Arabs committed to the extermination of Israel actually wanted to live in peace alongside Israel turned out to be a murderous mistake that cost thousands of lives.
Unfortunately, the political and intellectual elites of Britain, Europe and America have still not understood this blindingly obvious point. They have been colonised by a world-view which has succeeded in hijacking language to shift the centre of political gravity to the left -- from where all opposition is demonised as 'the right' and thus beyond the moral pale altogether. So anyone who upholds realism and reason is turned into a pariah: a world turned upside down.
The vision of the left is based on ideology which denies reality, truth and reason. It still has Europe firmly in its lethal, civilisation-busting grip.
The failures of the Left to provide for their subjects whenever they have had the opportunity means that they have lost the battle of ideas. All they have left is the struggle to hold onto their power. They now must resort to controlling what people are allowed to say in an effort to control what people are allowed to think; this is a sure sign of desperation. Richard Fernandez has the last word:
CNN is now apologizing for the use of the word “crosshairs” in general political speech, as shown in the video after the “Read More” jump. The implication is that word itself has been used to facilitate a hate crime. That is untrue as former New York City Mayor Ed Koch observes. But maybe the belief is that if a lie is repeated for long enough then it eventually becomes true. Then power follows. “Real power is the ability to define what the fight is about.” The entire discussion moves into a rigged casino. Control words and you control truth. George Orwell understood this so well that he believed one of the first things every totalitarian ideology does is redefine the words in a language, purposefully, forcefully and relentlessly. In his novel 1984, he called this artificial language of totalitarianism Newspeak.
Orwell knew that,as someone once said, “you will not prevail just because you are right. If you know something but cannot communicate it, it’s as though you don’t know it”. Take away the words and you take away the power to express a contrary thought. And the best way to do this is to torture words until they meant what the narrative said they should say; by changing meanings until only the allowable meanings were left.
...Perhaps the reason why the Left is almost incandescently furious at Sarah Palin is because she refuses to play their little game. Since she doesn’t use their dictionary she is pilloried as illiterate. By using Oldspeak words she ipso facto gives offense. It is this stiff-necked refusal to get with the word program that may paradoxically give her the political strength. Those who’ve accepted the vocabulary of politesse, aka Newspeak, have unwittingly surrendered. Pre-surrendered, in fact, for the dubious honor of acceptance into quality society. Maybe being from Alaska, Palin never knew enough politesse to forget a very important principle. “You don’t know what is possible before you try. And if you negotiate with yourself before you negotiate with others, you will never know what was possible.”
Perhaps the real long-term significance of the Loughner affair is that people are finally beginning to realize how insidious these word-games are. I think CNN would do well to outlaw one word in the dictionary per day. When they finally get to zero they may find there are still words they want to get rid of.
Read the whole thing.