Upside-Down World

The likely Republican presidential nominee is well to the left of the last Democratic president on economic issues.  And George McGovern sounds Laissez Faire:

Under the guise of protecting us from ourselves, the
right and the left are becoming ever more aggressive in regulating
behavior. Much paternalist scrutiny has recently centered on personal
economics...

Since leaving office I've written about public
policy from a new perspective: outside looking in. I've come to realize
that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to
maintaining a healthy civil society.

Why do we think we are
helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don't take
away cars because we don't like some people speeding. We allow state
lotteries despite knowing some people are betting their grocery money.
Everyone is exposed to economic risks of some kind. But we don't
operate mindlessly in trying to smooth out every theoretical wrinkle in
life.

The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will
misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We
should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for
everyone else.

Really, its that George McGovern.

And David Mamet questions the power of government:

And I began to question my hatred for "the Corporations" - the
hatred of which, I found, was but the flip side of my hunger for those
goods and services they provide and without which we could not live.

And I began to question my distrust of the "Bad, Bad Military"
of my youth, which, I saw, was then and is now made up of those men and
women who actually risk their lives to protect the rest of us from a
very hostile world"¦

But if the government is not to intervene, how will we, mere human beings, work it all out?

I wondered and read, and it occurred to me that I knew the
answer, and here it is: We just seem to. How do I know? From
experience"¦

Strand unacquainted bus travelers in the middle of the night,
and what do you get? A lot of bad drama, and a shake-and-bake Mayflower
Compact. Each, instantly, adds what he or she can to the solution. Why?
Each wants, and in fact needs, to contribute - to throw into the pot
what gifts each has in order to achieve the overall goal, as well as
status in the new-formed community. And so they work it out.

And so I, like many of the liberal congregation, began, teeth
grinding, to attempt to do so. And in doing so, I recognized that I
held those two views of America (politics, government, corporations,
the military). One was of a state where everything was magically wrong
and must be immediately corrected at any cost; and the other - the
world in which I actually functioned day to day - was made up of
people, most of whom were reasonably trying to maximize their comfort
by getting along with each other (in the workplace, the marketplace,
the jury room, on the freeway, even at the school-board meeting).

And I realized that the time had come for me to avow my
participation in that America in which I chose to live, and that that
country was not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace"¦

  • mith

    I was reading commentary on Bill Buckley yesterday that said despite all of the glowing eulogies from supposed conservatives, Buckley's only real accomplishment consisted of moving conservatives to the left, abandoning the "Old Right" to the wilderness, and prompting the left to move even farther left into full-blown Socialism.

    This is further evidence of that shift.

  • I feel the same in Oz...
    Kevin Rudd (Prime minister, and from the left wing labour party) was planning on stopping welfare payments to carers and elderly, and Brendan Nelson (the leader of the opposition from the right wing liberal party) was calling him out over it....
    so the left try to reduce welfare and the right wants to keep it high???

    My head hurts

  • MJ

    I don't know...I think Mamet is still a little naive about the military.

  • Neal Phenes

    The Mamet piece was a well-written version of my own intellectual Odyssey though mine took place at a younger age. I was astounded how his personal views had changed after reading Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman and others (with the glaring omissions of Do Boudreaux and Coyote Blog). Mr Sowell has done wonders in altering dunderheaded outlooks of lifelong liberals towards a more libertarian view that recognizes there really are alternatives to decisions and their costs always must be assessed.