By Alan Caruba
Have you noticed how liberal intellectuals are drawn to various dictators? Largely unknown to most Americans is the history of many intellectuals who expressed their disdain for “the masses”, all those millions who work in manufacturing, have small businesses, and hold onto the American dream of success, having a home of their own, and other elements of a good life based on hard work.
Those ordinary Americans don’t worry about “income inequality” because there has always been income inequality and because America provides income mobility. You can earn more if you want to. You can change jobs. You can open a business. You can acquire wealth. There were 53,000 new millionaires in America last year. We have a President who criticized “millionaires and billionaires” throughout his first term.
In his book, “The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class” by Fred Seigel (Encounter Books), he provides a history of liberalism that dates back to the early years of the last century and the rise of communism; particularly in the Soviet Union that collapsed in 1991 from its implementation.
You may be surprised to learn that authors like H.G. Wells (1866-1946), the famed science fiction writer, were early advocates of socialism—communism-light. “Liberals thought themselves smarter than other people because they had seen through the supposed Victorian verities to a future not yet born,” says Seigel, noting that one of his books, “Anticipations”, was described by Wells “was designed to undermine and destroy…monogamy, faith in God, and respectability, all under the guise of a speculation about motor cars and electrical heating.”
The “success” of liberalism has given us a nation where a million unborn are killed every year, where marriage is subject to a 50% divorce rate, where same-sex marriage is now law in several states, the middle class is heavily taxed, and—not surprisingly—an increasing number of Americans regard Big Government as the biggest threat to their liberty and freedom.
It is also a nation that has twice elected a Marxist named Barack Hussein Obama who is now openly equating any criticism of his failed policies as a form of racism.
The early liberals “looked to a new elite, a separate caste with the wisdom to lead society to social salvation by breaking with the conventions of middle-class Victorian morality.” It was an early liberal, the literary critic Van Wyck Brooks, who coined the terms “highbrow” and “middlebrow” to demarcate the levels of taste in American life. America’s entry into World War I put the liberals into high gear as they regarded the war years as revealing “American society and democracy (as) agents of repression.”
Seigel writes of liberals that “They had no doubt that the American masses were culturally diseased people, playthings in the hands of America’s philistine plutocrats. For the critics of mass culture, World War I had discredited not the Kaiser and German militarism, but democracy.” Those attitudes from the 1920s persist today.
So now we have a President who daily reveals his contempt for the Constitution and wants to rule by executive order rather than work with the Congress. We have a President who disdains the U.S. military, has been engaged in a purge of many top generals and admirals, and whose view that America is not an exceptional nation, has triggered and supported a growing disrespect of America, contributing to its declining influence on global events and trends.
By the 1940s and 50s, liberals—often Soviet agents—had infiltrated the U.S. government to such an extent that many Americans became concerned, but Sen. Joseph McCarthy who tried to expose them was attacked by liberals who have turned “McCarthyism” into a term for anyone who seeks to expose them.
The intellectuals who led liberalism had a deep disdain for the masses and the egalitarianism of American democracy which they regarded as a degraded form of government that in one’s description discouraged “respect or esteem for superior individuals.” That, too, remains a major theme among the current generation of intellectuals. Obama’s administration is filled with people who never ran a business or worked in one. Government for them is the ultimate means to control Americans, not serve them.
Over the course of the 1960s, “national income had doubled. The poverty rate was cut in half as unemployment dropped to only 3.5 percent and inflation-adjusted personal income grew by nearly 40 percent. Home ownership reached record highs that have been difficult to surpass.” Yet it was the 1960s in which Lyndon Johnson launched his “War on Poverty” saying that the “days of the dole in this country are numbered.”
Under Obama, the most liberal President ever to hold the office, unemployment is estimated to be over 13 percent and millions are on some form of government dole. Liberals still do not make a connection between liberal policies and actual outcomes. Facts do not concern them.
The 1960s also marked the takeover the American system of education and what we are witnessing today has much to do with the indoctrination of socialist values in the generations that attended schools and universities since then.
The 1960s also saw the beginning of the environmental movement. Now don’t get me wrong. America needs clean air and clean water, but it does not need an out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency whose real agenda is to undermine the provision of energy and the entire economy. It is environmentalism that led the government to ban incandescent light bulbs, to mandate a reduction in the amount of water in your toilet seat, and generates countless other idiotic regulations whose real purpose is to control all aspects of your life.
In 1962, a baseless screed against the pesticides that protect human health and property against the onslaught of many pest insect species was published. It was Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.” The establishment of Earth Day followed in 1970 and ever since liberals have corrupted science to claim that humans were destroying the Earth and to advance the greatest hoax of the modern era, global warming.
The liberal disdain for humanity—the masses—was reflected in Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb”, published in 1968, that claimed that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over.” Like environmentalism, it was a fear-mongering theme designed to influence public policies. Liberals not only disliked humanity, they disliked the industrial societies that gave them the opportunity to live better lives with innovative technologies.
As Seigel notes, “Before the 1960s, government regulation was aimed at specific industries. But with the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1964) the Environmental Protection Agency (1970), the Consumer Products Safety Commission (1972)m and the vast expansion of the Federal Trade Commission, government asserted its influence over the entire economy.”
Now the nation is sharply divided between liberals and conservatives. The problems encountered in the decades since the 1960s have not had any impact on the views of liberals. As Seigel says, “Liberal interests never examined their assumptions, even when faced with social and political failure.” They turned to the courts to achieve their goals and have been successful in transforming the nation through them.
The greatest transformation is the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—that has seized one sixth of the nation’s economy while depriving millions of Americans of their personal health plans, forcing many to give up their personal physicians, and is negatively affecting the entire economy. The fact that it is such a disaster is the only good thing that can be said for it because it will likely force many who favor such liberal programs to rethink their views. It will likely have a major political backlash toward more conservative candidates.
The lesson is clear. It is liberals who have been working very hard to undermine the U.S. Constitution, our democracy, and our freedoms.
© Alan Caruba, 2014