Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pigs and Humans

A friend and I have been discussing the relevance of George Orwell's Animal Farm. It has lessons for both Conservatives and Progressives. The basic lesson is that, uncontrolled, "the pigs always become human."

For example, the Conservative President Bush has presided over the biggest extension of entitlements in 30 years, and the previous expander was Nixon (and before that Eisenhower [with the Inter-state System]).

George Orwell was a socialist of course, but a DEMOCRATIC socialist - i.e. like me, with a strong libertarian streak; and unlike modern American progressives (including Bush,who seem to think the state should make people better, or make people happy).

My goals are much more limited (socialist yet conservative): I think the state should redistribute a limited amount of the wealth produced by market capitalism to ensure the basic participatory level of income for all. After that, people have to cope with their own happiness, though art, religion, sex, drugs, or rock 'n' roll (all are equal in taking you away from reality).

And the approach works: Sweden; Germany; The Netherlands; France. France is the best example: you can make the French well-housed, well-educated, well-dressed, and well-fed. There is no way to make the French "happy". Alors!

To do this you need a strong progressive income tax; a strong death tax; and a requirement that the goals of companies encompass not just the interests of shareholders, but also workers, consumers, and the communities in which they function.

It's simple really

[At UNF, it goes under the name BANNERIUM]

No comments: