I’m fairly sure it was sometime in per-history and lost to us that the first human (or proto-human) realized he could get power by riding on the backs of someone who had none.
It’s a neat trick, mind, and one that logically shouldn’t work, but does. Again, probably the first use was Ogg who pointed out under the leadership of his predecessor Grog, the women and children were starving to death because only the warriors go meat. In the name of championing the women, he hit Grog over the head and the other warriors didn’t kill him, because, well, he had a point. Look how many kids had starved last winter, and they weren’t even fat enough to be good eating.
One example of this is the French Revolution, where the ascendant middle class used the true plight of the poor (some of whom were starving) to destroy the monarchy and install a regime more favorable to them.
Not going to defend the ancien regime, but seriously, the rivers of blood in the revolution were because some lawyers and clerks felt themselves locked out of the upper classes by birth. But they used the fury of the true dispossessed (and even for them things were going better, but helping us in the revolution meant yeah, some were starving.)
Because it’s hard to argue with starving children, or miserable old people, or the truly helpless. Dave Freer tells me that the idea of fairness is in the human brain from the monkeys. In the band there is an idea of “equal” or at least equitable distribution, and no one likes the monkey who boggarts the bananas. (Yeah, I know,not bananas. Never mind.) So it’s easy to turn that sense of fairness against humans.
In the twentieth century, this is what the Communists and Fascists both did. It always started with “but look at the people starving” before proposing a solution in which you killed more people than would have starved.
You’ll say this is used on both sides in the US, and you won’t be exactly wrong. Sure, Trump used the “jobs being sent elsewhere” to get to power, but you know what, his solution is not “let’s give the middle classes of these states money.” That’s the other side’s solution because they presume a lot of people are too stupid to take part in our present economy. Trump assumes they can work if we halt globalization. He’s half right. The shipping of work abroad WITH INTENT AND MALICE will hurt those countries in which the lifestyle is more expensive/better. Because while the great equalization is taking place, it will hurt us, materially. Also, given the regimes in those other countries, I’m not sure it will ever bring them up to our level. It might just be a matter of having serfs in third world countries forever do the work, so that people in the US can be given welfare checks and kept in doped-out submission. Globalization is one of those ideas that only makes sense if you presume the rest of the world are Americans by culture, an idea that even RAH forsook once he had a world tour. So, much as it hurts my open borders Libertarian self from 16 years ago to say it, he might not be wrong on that. What he is is incomplete. We need to reduce regulations as much as possible, and make it easier to start businesses. What businesses could these people start, you say? I don’t know, and neither do you, but I bet you they would if it weren’t so maddeningly difficult to start a business, particularly a food or service related business. I have a friend who just started a food business and who is being pecked to death by ducks. His product is good, people love it, but the regulations and pointless hoop-jumping take more time than the actual business.
I know, someone is going to tell me without the FDA we’d all be served tainted food. There’s a stupid leftist meme running around about Paul Ryan, Rand Paul and Ayn Rand going into a bar and being served tainted alcohol, because there’s no FDA and they all die.
This is a part of the “and before government stuck its head in, we all died” version of history the left loves. It isn’t true, it was never true. People who want customers don’t poison them, and in the rare cases of real harm, there was still the remedy of the courts. Shakespeare’s son in law had to run off to the States when he served tainted wine in his tavern, and if there was an FDA in Elizabethan England, they’ve kept it remarkably hidden.
This is the same school of thought that thinks that if murder were legal for a day, no one would be left alive. Or who does old west or medieval shows where everyone kills everyone for profit, or whatever. I don’t understand how these people’s heads work, unless they themselves are stupid enough to do all these things if there weren’t a piece of paper holding them back.
Thus endeth digression.
The point is, when the big chief Ogg takes over after deposing the iniquitous regime of Grog, mostly what happens is that the vast majority of meat changes hands from Grog’s cronies to Ogg’s cronies. The women and children continue to starve.
Actually in the case of communism they starve harder and faster, because the economic theories of communism are so startlingly bad that there is less meat to go around.
In the case of socialism, well…. it depends on how close to Communism it is. Venezuela’s is very very close to communism.
In Europe, as they’re trying to do it, they just think that the vast majority of people are too stupid for the elites to make ANY use of, and so it consists of having a vast underclass who are treated like children, and whose only escape is drugs. And then you can use that vast underclass to say “what would they do if we stopped giving them their monthly ration of chocolate. You must see they’re helpless.”
It’s a neat trick. We know for a fact, because we have seen it in action, that the best way of getting rid of the vast underclass is not to pay them to remain an underclass, but to remove the obstacles to their developing their own business and bourgeois virtues that allow them to become productive members of society. But that of course would not suit those who want to use them for power.
Oh, I think I just encapsulated most of the history of Africa in the last hundred years too.
And this is without counting the true crazies who then view the underclass problems as GENETIC and propose solutions indistinguishable from Hitler.
This movie has been on repeat loop since pre-history. It’s time to shed the habits of thought that think we’re very smart, but others are poor things that we need to take care of (if we just put Ogg in power.)
Remove the trammels that keep people down, and people will rise. Yes, even the “underclass.” Humans are humans and we’re all clever monkeys. And IQ measure, btw, not only is notoriously difficult to pin down, but take it from someone who has known a VAST number of true geniuses, it is not a measure of how useful or even functional you are in society. Most geniuses I know have trouble staying out of the homeless shelter. The difference between the “elites” and the underclass is opportunity, training and culture. (The culture being the good old virtues of self-control and deferring gratification, i.e. planning, and a certain go-gettism I’d call ambition, only not in the sense of more money or whatever, but of “I could do this.”)
I was struck recently, while discussing citizen of the Galaxy with friends by their saying “Torby would have done well in any circumstances.” Yep, he would. It’s the hardware in the head, not where you start. And not how much money you’re handed. Or even, honestly, how smart you are.
Let’s start giving people the right hardware and removing obstacles to their inventiveness and industry.
You get what you buy more of. We’ve bought sloth and passivity long enough. Let’s start buying industry, thrift and invention.
Yes, I know you’ll say “won’t think of the children?”
I am. I don’t want them to grow up in a world where they’re so bored and feel so useless, the only thing they can do is shoot up drugs.
Say no to the oldest ploy in the world. Be a true champion of the underclass. Demand they pull themselves up by their bootstraps.