Who are 'they'? It's a point that comes up in almost every conversation I have with one of my liberal friends. 'They' do this and that, 'they' would gobble up all the stuff for everyone else if 'we' let them. And that's why 'we' need an unregulated government, to stop 'them'. Who exactly are 'they'?
The rich. The elite. The have's.
As near as I can tell, this is as far as the thought goes. And verily, to a liberal, it is self-explanatory. Abrogation of personal responsibility, and the inequity that brings, is the core of the philosophy. This is why, despite the conservative plea for an explanation or rational discourse, it will never come.
Most capitalists WANT to help people; that's why they are capitalists. By helping ourselves, we can help our families, and our community, and we do that through innovation and competition. That is why freedom, absolute freedom, is essential (I use absolute here in the sense of irrevocability, not in the anarchy sense, since anarchy isn't freedom).
There are a few fundamental questions that never get answered by the dialectic thinkers, and they will make circles in any discussions where they are asked. I will now present them as I typically experience them.
Firstly, who is 'they', specifically?
“You know, the rich. The people who own tons of property, or really big powerful businesses.”
Who exactly counts as 'rich'? How is that quality measured? Without a doubt, liberals believe in their heart of hearts that people with money are somehow denying the rest of us of something.
“If we didn't have all the regulations, businesses could really take advantage of people.”
My favorite; if the government simply punished evil, rather than trying to regulate moral behavior, how could 'they' take over? I don't think I have ever had this actually answered. If the government penalized a company or person for doing something wrong, and made them restore one, two, three, or fourfold what they took improperly, how could evil businesses 'control' everything?
“They'd just force all competition out of business.”
How? If we punish unfair business practices, and protect the right of a person to start a competing company without fear of harassment, how can 'they' force everyone else out?
“Well, they have all the resources, they can just make it so nobody can compete.”
“They'd just never allow it. The rich don't like competition.”
Ok, let me try this another way. You work for Super Big Company X. I want to start a small competing business because I think I can do something in the field you can't. How are you gonna force me out of business without resorting to unfair practices like breaking windows, which are crimes and punished under this system?
“I'd use my money to make it impossible for you to do business.”
How? Are you going to block my parking lot? You broke the law, and have to pay me fines. Put someone outside my store to swing a bat at potential customers? You pay me fines. Break my stuff? Bribe government officials against me? What can you do to FORCE me out of the picture without breaking a law?
“Well, with enough money laws don't mean anything, so I could bribe enough people to let me do whatever.”
If that's true, then how is the current system any safer for small businesses?
“Well, now we have regulations to prevent that from happening.”
And what was wrong with the laws under my system, that the regulations under yours fix? Either way, people can get bribed and I can't start a business, so how is less freedom under yours better than more freedom under mine, if I can't start a business either way?
“The rich would never allow it.”
And thus we come full circle.
The problem is, people with no understanding of something cannot command it. We are in this mess because people who do not believe in the laws of commerce are trying to force commerce to work the way they want. They seem to think that by passing laws like “Pay your employees more” you can fix wage issues, and that money coming into a business is just going straight into the pockets of the bigwigs. In truth, very little of the money made from sales actually goes to anyone in management, most being consumed in material costs, operating costs, and salaries.
Another rule the dialectics don't understand is the law of consequences; no wonder, since they deny any such thing even exists. If you tax more, the company still must have an equilibrium point from the sale, and so the price goes up. If you demand companies pay more, the company must still recover the amount spent on acquiring the item sold AND the employee salary, and prices go up. So if you forcibly increase employee salaries, and prices go up, and then punish the companies for raising prices with new taxes, prices will go up MORE than the wage increase, if the company can do business at all.
Dialectic thinkers operate on the belief that if they want something bad enough, it will magically exist. They believe the world of business runs on this model as well, so the fact that everyone doesn't have a hover-house is simply because nobody is forcing the greedy capitalists to make it, and they think if we levy enough penalties it will somehow force them to make economics work the way they want.
The reasoning goes something like this; People are evil, bad, greedy, therefore they cannot be trusted, therefore we MUST have big government control, for only the government is powerful enough to stop 'them', and we must bear the weight of government corruption, because without the government's checking force 'they' would take over. But despite name changes, 'they' is never defined and de facto cannot be properly defined for this to work.
We begin our journey at the foundation of liberalism; dialectic thinking. Dialectic is the absolute of inabsolutes; that is to say, it is a philosophy of rigidly and purposefully adhering to contradictory viewpoints and religiously avoiding anything that could be construed as a fact. Lying, deception, violence, ridicule, refusal to examine, all are acceptable alternatives to admitting that there may only be one right answer. Two and two equal banana. This is in contrast to didactic thinking, which is examining the argument and the evidence from tests or history, and arriving at a conclusion.
We then move to the core ideal; abrogation of personal responsibility. Accepting the fact that we are beholden to forces well beyond our ability to control, and if we have one, we will suffer; but if we have the other, we will suffer also, but we cannot choose to not have either, because that would require we be responsible for our own well-being. That is anathema, because we cannot be responsible for ourselves, because there's no right or wrong, therefore we can't know what is good for us, and therefore we need someone else to tell us what is good, and enforce it. The fact that, if they are right, the government cannot know what is good either is a non-issue; part of dialectic thinking is adhering to mutually exclusive truths without thinking about them too hard.
Part of the deal, however, is that 'we' have to force EVERYONE to buy in. If only the dialectic-minded people lived this way, they would soon die, and they know that; they require the input of stable, didactic thinkers to make this work, but under no circumstances must those people, people who can add two and two and get four, be allowed to keep what they make. They must not be allowed to demonstrate to the poor, helpless people that hard work and ignoring the dialectics will make you prosperous without fail; the people must remain dependent on the dialectics for their substance, and the dialectics must retain control of the 'profit' of the businesses to make that happen.
In the area of control, the dialectics have a big home field advantage. They play to the very core evil of a man; the idea that someone else has something that they do not deserve, and that the dialectics have a right to the substance of someone else without working for it as a result. And once you play into that ideal, the rest of dialectic philosophy follows easily. In this way liberals are not unlike zombies; it starts with a handout, and then the dots are connected to the source of 'free stuff', and from the flesh of a normal, productive person a new dialectic thinker is born.
So, since nobody can take care of themselves, those who have much had to get it through some horrible method, and that means it belongs to the dialectic by default, just by virtue that they do not already possess it. To a dialectic, the only way to acquire something is to take it from someone else, therefore anyone who has something took it from someone else.
Since evil 'capitalists' and 'rich' have stuff, and don't want to just give it away, dialectics need a way to take it. But they know if they simply walk up and take it, they'll get shot. There are only two ways into a businessman's goods that he won't immediately shoot at; the government and social pressure.
Since the government has the power to just take stuff from people and won't get shot at, that is the preferred line of entry. However, the government has limits; there are rules against just taking stuff, there has to be a reason, a reason rooted in logic. That won't do, since everyone is just entitled to the stuff of 'rich', so they have to get rid of those rules. They do this through social pressure; convince as many people that 'rich' is taking their stuff as possible, and get into the government by promising to take stuff from 'rich' and give it to 'poor'. Once in, simply make up definitions for words in the laws (like 'enumerated powers' or 'commerce clause') that allow you to make up whatever you want and call it a law. When the people complain about being hurt by these made-up laws, promise them the big payoff will be worth it, cause even though 'poor' are having their lives destroyed by the made-up laws, it's really the fault of 'rich' for not just giving everyone their stuff they took. Pass more made-up laws to take away any freedom to use resources without government fiat.
It is at this point that society collapses under it's own weight, and the dialectics, never willing to take accountability for the mess they created by BEING in charge without accountability, will blame 'rich' for not making more money, for moving overseas, and for lowering wages and benefits.
The entire problem is that the dialectics believe that nobody can be responsible for themselves, but demand that those who can be responsible do so by their rules. They do not want to learn how to run a business, but they demand the businesses run the way they think they should, to be 'fair'. They deny the rules of reality, and demand reality play by their rules, which change depending on how they feel.