If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words…

As a non-aligned Libertarian / backsliding Objectivist, I reject both the Democrat’s “give us your money and we’ll let you live any way you want” policies as well as the “you can keep all your money as long as we get to tell you how to live” policies of the Republicans.

And yet, despite everything I’ve said against both sides on this blog, I know that any attempt on my part to defend the principles of Capitalism (or even dare to mention the name of Ayn Rand), my words will always face an uphill battle to get past disturbing (yet oddly amusing) mental images like this:

That image was included in Dan Michell’s Powerful – but Deeply Flawed – Leftist Imagery post, where he gives due credit to the left for coming up with such a clear and visually powerful message. However, he went on to say this as well:

Even the small touches are clever, including Bush and the Pope on the TV, as well as the IMF sticker on the IV pole (though I’m surprised, given the bureaucracy’s statist track record, that the left thinks the IMF is the enemy).

But I’m not sharing this image out of pure appreciation for effective imagery. I also think it reveals two themes of left-wing thought, one foolish and the other legitimate.

1. The foolish theme is that rich nations are rich because poor nations are poor. This is the same mentality that you find among leftists such as Obama, who assume that rich people in America are rich because they somehow deprived the poor.

2. The accurate theme is that bigwigs sometimes use the coercive power of government to obtain unearned wealth. And in some cases, that unearned wealth comes from corrupt deals with politicians from third-world governments.

I address both of these points in this interview, pointing out that true capitalism generates an expanding economy so that the rich and poor both benefit, but that cronyism enables the politically well-connected to rip off taxpayers and/or consumers.

With one small exception, I agree with everything Mr. Mitchell said in his post, at least from a purely philosophical perspective. The exception derives from the fact that, having been a subscriber to his blog for some time, I’m pretty sure that his assertion that President Obama assumes “that rich people in America are rich because they somehow deprived the poor” comes out of what I perceive to be a less-than-Libertarian lean towards the Republicans in the upcoming election.

I have seen no indication whatsoever that President Obama holds any such view, and the fact is that most of the legislation his administration has put forth had been originally proposed by the Republicans themselves. To deny that reality is just as big a distortion of the truth as the image at the top is.

If anything, the fact that the Obama administration’s policies are rooted in proposals first made by the opposition confirms my own assertion that both parties are merely the two faces of the same ugly coin.

BTW, there are two reasons why I find the image at the top “oddly amusing.” The first is because it’s so much better than the usual “climbing to the top over piles of dead bodies” image of Capitalism I think most people have in their head. The second, even funnier reason, is that I can’t help wondering which presidential candidate is better suited to play the “nurse” that hangs those “human IV bags!” What do you think?

Finally, in my never ending hope that we can actually become a kinder, more gentle, more rational nation, I’ll close with the song that inspired the title for this post:

I want ice water.

See more of my Major Rants

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22 thoughts on “If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words…

  1. I reject point number 1 relative to Obama; there is no evidence for it. Nevertheless, this post is very good poetry. My brain is one that has great difficulty discerning song lyrics when sung, but I judge the video to be, in itself, great poetry. IMHO.

    • Thanks Jim. I really hate all the Obama bashing, and I hate even more what I suspect may be behind a lot of it! :???:

      As for the song, I’ve been a Bread fan since I was in Junior High school. Oddly enough, David Gates did get political once, in a very funny way. I searched for a video for it, but the best I could find was a lyrics site with a built-in song player: THIS ISN’T WHAT THE GOVERNMEANT lyrics – BREAD :D

  2. P.S. As chance would have it the networks today announced a reminder that the earth’s rotation is in fact slowing and the clocks that track celestial motions were delayed a single leap-second. QED.

  3. This is off topic, but that song has some bittersweet memories for me. Although it was written and performed long before the early ’80s, it reminds me of a girl named Cathy Marlow whom I loved and lost at a church youth retreat during that time.

    • I ABSOLUTELY know how you feel Scott. I first became a Bread fan when I was about 15 or so, when I’d just about given up on finding a way into my future wife’s heart. The song I used in this post brought back so many memories that I just spent the better part of 2 hours listening to every bread song I could find. Hell, I may just post a playlist of the videos I found! :D

    • You pounded the nail all the way home PT. I’d still like to see Obama and Romney in those “nurse” outfits though… After all, it’s not as if they had reputations to worry about! :lol:

  4. Being a huge fan of mediaeval history has it’s perks. It’s taught me that cronyism is and ever shall be a fact of life. No one has learned anything practical from history or if they have, they haven’t applied it. They’ve just come up with more sophisticated avenues to keep the status quo. Distract the populace with the trappings of leisure (techn gadgets made oh so attainable courtesy of even more curruptly governed nations than ours) whilst the big dogs tweak the stock market to their advantage and fool everyone into giving them their shillings to play with, promising them a life of ease once they stop breaking their backs at age 72. But hey, here I am, using my amazing phone to post this reply, punching that clock, and hoping that 401(k) is still there when I turn into a prune.

    but a believer in that some altruistic semblance still resides

    • My amazing phone messed up my reply. It thinks i spout too much bullshit! Taking hint from phone and shutting the hell up!

    • Oh MZ, I think you do our modern world a cruel injustice when you imply we haven’t learned from history. It was the invention of altruism, gradually perfected over time by the Catholic Church, that has allowed us to live in a world where behavioral coercion comes by way of the “guilt trip” rather than the much bloodier “do what we say or we’ll kill you” approach used previously. Of course the “guilt trip” approach does require more than a “neandertal” degree of thought, and we still have “holdouts” who think the “old ways” – where “unrepentant blood” literally flowed in the streets – were much more symbolically satisfying to “Gawd” (i.e., “their monstrously inflated egos”). The difference is why more “enlightened” cultures like ours refer to “Original Gangstas” like that as having a “Dark Age” mentality.

      Helping people whom we, as individuals, think are worthy of our help is what a free and rationally thinking person sees as being in his best interests. Without that all important foundation of free choice, altruism is nothing more than slavery. :???:

      • The Catholic church most assuredly knew what it was doing. It rolled with the punches of the Renaissance and rolled away from the passe notion of heresy=death and came up with the “perpetual life as sinner” campaign to enslave the masses with pyschological warfare and the rest of the wannabes jumped on the bandwagon, using JC as the ultimate weapon. Altruism is inate, it can’t be beaten into you by the Power of Jesus and is quite separate from duty, which is what most indiviudals feel after hearing a sermon and plunk the change into the offering basket. And a truly enlightened individual doesn’t have a notion of worth or worthiness. (I will never be that individual, i’m too selfish.) Free choice, I think, still involves a judgement. Altruism is inherently free of choice and worth and is the antithesis of slavery. Duty, however, is a yoke of guilt and is a form of slavery but at least it keeps the wheels of civilization greased. Be it bodies or minds, without it, we’d still be in a cave. Not a bad place to be sometimes.
        Gawd, am I full of baloney sometimes. My inner philosopher needs a doobie. Take me to the river:

        • OMG, I LOVE that song MZ! The Doobie Brothers are on of my all-time favorites. It’s a shame that I’ve never posted them on here. And in the context of this discussion, what lyrics could be more appropriate than:

          What a fool believes he sees
          No wise man has the power to reason away
          What seems to be
          Is always better than nothing
          And nothing at all

          And believe me, I’ve wondered many, MANY times why I didn’t heed those words myself – especially with regards to my marriage! :oops:

          • Man, gotta love The Doobies!
            Regarding marriage and love….IM, I am on my 4th husband. I am a serial spouse. I’ve kicked three men to the curb in the last 13 years. I am as big a fool for love as you are, or rather, in my case, the idea of love. I married people completely wrong for me, number 4 being no exception. He’s got more baggage than a harem and the closets aren’t big enough. Good thing I have a garage. It fits mine and his. :)
            I’m still a fool and always will be. Let the lyricists wax poetic about the power of love. Hindsight is 20/20. Now that’s a fact, jack:

            • Uh jeez MZ, I’ve come up so short of the expectations I had for myself that I find it almost impossible to reject others based on the flaws I see in them. And that’s where all the trouble starts… Paraphrasing Ayn Rand:

              “In the world where real people live, it’s not ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ that applies, but rather ‘judge and prepare to be judged.'”

              As much as I wish for this to be that ideal, “judgement free” world I was taught to hope for, I know that’s it’s not. My problem is that I’m not “hard core” enough to live accordingly. Which is why I just stay away. :???:

              I love that “Stripes” clip, and it’s taken it’s rightful place in my “snappy comeback” collection! :D

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