Elizabeth Warren has become a true “rock star” among American Progressives, and especially among the hard-left wing of the Democratic Party, which would love for her to run for President of the United States as a candidate to the left of Hillary Clinton. As the economy continues to languish and whatever economic gains exist seem to go to the so-called One Percent, Warren’s message of statism seems to reverberate among people who are desperate for something, Something to change.
In a recent speech of which Politico claims absolutely energized the Democratic left, Warren laid out her so-called 11 Commandments of Progressivism. Before I look at each of her “commandments,” however, there are a few points that need to be made not only about Warren, but also her predecessors, and then write frankly about the unhappy outcomes to which the “share the wealth” philosophy leads (if I can dignify Warren’s thoughts as “philosophy”).
While Warren seems to be a mild-mannered person, her political philosophy is fascist. That’s right, Warren is a fascist. No, she does not have a funny brush moustache, nor does she goose step, shout “Sieg Heil!” or call for the extermination of Jews and unpopular minorities. In fact, Warren preaches “inclusiveness,” which would seem to be the opposite of fascism.
Yet, fascism at its heart is a philosophy of corporatism, the welding of the interests of governments and large business corporations, in which people with lots of supposed knowledge – we call them “experts” – gain the authority to force others to act in ways that fit the worldview of the “experts.” The State knows best, and those favored by the State – business firms that are politically-connected – are empowered to act in ways that benefit State agents. To make things worse, this corporatism is wrapped in a covering of so-called Populism, which is a fancy way of appealing to the resentments of others. Just as Adoph Hitler appealed to Germany’s poor and marginalized by sounding a Populist message and then creating a corporatist order, so does Elizabeth Warren.
What I have written sounds sinister and it is, yet it also is at the heart of what Warren and her followers wish to impose on the rest of us. Warren would deny all of this – Inclusiveness!! – but there is no way for the State to impose her vision upon others without resorting to violence, and I mean violence of the killing and imprisoning type.
In the following section, I will first give Warren’s “commandment,” and then explain how this so-called commandment cannot be implemented without official State violence. I emphasize that I am not going to use hyperbole or paint Warren in a false light. (I’m sure she is a nice person when one meets her. My point is not that Warren is nice or nasty, but rather that she espouses a political economy that only can be implemented through violence.)
The 11 Commandments
In this section, I first will present Warren’s self-described “commandments,” and then give my own critique and interpretation. As readers can see, every “commandment” is about giving the central government even more powers to determine outcomes, to arrest people Warren does not like, and to harass and destroy people who do not fit into her mold.
“We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”
For all of the financial misconduct that we have seen from Wall Street, the problem isn’t a lack of regulation or a dearth of enforcement. No, the problem is that Wall Street is linked at the hip to the federal government and to the Federal Reserve System, which then uses Wall Street as a mechanism to pump cheap money into the system. At the same time, the State then protects Wall Street firms from the consequences that occur when investments in the financial bubbles the Fed creates fail.
Fascists (or Progressive Populists, as they like to be called these days) like Warren abhor the tax-funded bailouts, but they don’t object to the inflationary actions of the Fed, nor do they call for a halt to the symbiotic relationship between Wall Street and K Street. Yes, they might complain about the relationship, but at no time has Warren or any of her ilk ever called for a severing of the ties between Washington and Wall Street.
What Warren actually is saying is this: We want the State to have even a greater hand at directing investments and determining the outcomes, and when the outcomes invariably fail – as we can expect central planning to do – then we demand ever more of the same. The results may be economically disastrous, but they provide marvelous political theater, and that is ultimately what fascists like Warren most enjoy.
Warren never will endorse free markets on Wall Street – and neither will Wall Street, which I believe to be instructive. Nothing would provide better discipline for the markets than free markets, but Warren is not interested in market discipline; she is interested in the markets being forced to provide outcomes that violate outright economic laws, and then throwing fits when the natural results occur.
“We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”
Warren obviously is referring to the fact that not all scientists believe we are in the middle of catastrophic global warming – and that makes her mad. In fact, it makes Warren so angry that she wants the State to intimidate scientists that don’t go along with Washington’s pre-determined “scientific” outcomes.
One does not “believe in” or “not believe in” science. Science is – or should not be – a deity. Science is about using certain consistent methods to ascertain and test various theories about the natural world. It also is about determining probabilities for certain, repeatable events and it should never be hijacked by politicians for their own uses.
If Warren truly did believe in science, then she would have no objection to scientists like Roy Spencer and Judith Curry explain in public forums – without harassment – why they believe the current fears that Warren promotes about “climate change” are overblown. You see, in real science, the “discussion” never is over. Skepticism is the very heart of the scientific method, something that the “discussion-is-over” people like Warren refuse to hear.
What Warren means is that governments should fund scientific research, and that the research should reflect what politicians like Warren want it to mirror. I am not joking. America’s current obesity crisis is linked directly to government bullying of scientists almost 40 years ago, forcing them to accept the government’s “new” nutrition standards, including the government’s “war on fat,” that have been disastrous. No doubt, Warren would defend the government’s actions even as the bodies pile up. After all, the promoter of the new standards, Carol Tucker Foreman, was an “expert,” and Progressives like Warrant believe that “experts” should rule.
“We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.”
I am no expert on “net neutrality,” but given that her political party controls the White House, which supposedly controls the National Security Agency and the CIA, I don’t think that Warren is much interested in protecting the interests and rights of ordinary individuals who use the Internet. Why do I say that? The huge amount of illegal spying done by the CIA and NSA, spying does absolutely nothing to protect this country, yet Warren seems strangely silent about this outrage. When Elizabeth Warren’s federal government uses the Internet to abuse innocent people, then any argument about a U.S. Government-controlled “net neutrality” seems to be almost irrelevant to me.
“We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”
Translation: If you are willing to work for pay that is below what the government demands you be given, then you are breaking the law. And what about those people whose productivity does not match what Warren believes the minimum wage should be? They are out of luck.
What Warren does not say is that the original purpose for imposing the minimum wage was never about getting people out of poverty. Instead, Progressives wanted to ensure that certain groups of people, blacks and Eastern Europeans living in the USA, would be priced out of the labor market. Given the unemployment rate for black teenagers in this country is at an all-time-high, one just might think that the Progressive strategy has worked very well.
People like Warren see business owners as little more than dirt, and it is those business owners that Warren so despises that would have to foot the bill, and if they could not, then the business closes, not that Warren would lose a dime. Lest one thinks she has any respect for entrepreneurs and people who have invested, worked, and risked their own finances in order to start and maintain businesses, Warren has this to say, according to Progressive columnist E.J. Dionne:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” she said. “Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.” It was all part of “the underlying social contract,” she said, a phrase politicians don’t typically use.
The translation? Entrepreneurs, in Warren-speak, are social and economic parasites that should get no credit at all for anything. They just take advantage of government services and business success comes almost automatically and then extract wealth from the community via profits. (If this sounds familiar to Barack Obama’s infamous “You didn’t build that” declaration, that because it is familiar. Both Obama and Warren despise anyone who has had business success that did not involve one being politically connected.)
“We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”
When I was 15 years old, I worked at a tourist attraction near Chattanooga called Rock City. No one – including the politicians – believed that I should have been making enough to live on my own. Likewise, the vast majority of fast food workers are not people trying to live independently; they are earning money to help pay for their expenses, save for college, make car payments, and the like.
First, Warren does not even understand what we mean by jobs and wages. A “job” is the application of labor to the creation of either a producer’s good or a consumer’s good. A wage is the payment given to the owner of the labor services for that particular service. It is nothing more than that.
Second, by insisting wrongly that employment is essentially a welfare scheme, Warren disconnects labor from production. To use a Marxian term, she endorses alienation as a labor doctrine in which the worker is alienated from any realities regarding his or her job. According to Warren, the job is nothing more than an income stream to the worker, with the stream having no connection at all with the value of what the worker produces.
If we were to take the reality – based upon laws of economics – of Warren’s statement, we get this: “If you are willing to work for what the State declares to be a ‘living wage,’ you will not be permitted to work at all, and should you seek employment without permission from the State, we will treat you like a criminal.” Unfortunately, in Warren’s new order, there would be lots of labor criminals, people working off-the-books and ultimately marginalized people turning toward the fringe occupations that the State declares to be illegal.
“We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.”
Student loan burdens are becoming greater, but perhaps we need to ask why that is so instead of telling students that someone else – usually someone not privileged to have had a college education – will foot their bills. If pushed hard enough, I suspect that Warren would agree with fellow leftists that college should be both tuition-free and relatively open-accessed. Furthermore, in their minds, that should be no problem. (I have spoken to enough faculty members where I teach to know that a lot of leftist Democrats believe that colleges should not charge tuition or anything else, period.)
At the very least, it would seem, Warren believes that individuals that rack up large education debts should not fully have to pay those debts, with the payments, instead, falling to the taxpayers. As one who has had to pay back a lot in student loans, I certainly would love the prospect of a “sugar daddy” coming in and writing a check to cover my loan payments, but I also know that such things are not going to happen.
Warren, however, wants the taxpayers to be that “sugar daddy,” even though it is quite clear that the personal “profits” from a college education tend to be privatized. Like the Wall Street firms and other Crony Capitalist outfits, Warren now wants an entire country in which individuals (and firms) find their profits privatized, but their losses socialized.[amazon asin=162914603X&template=*lrc ad (right)]
“We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”
Interestingly, while shilling for increases in these things (which, as always, are covered fully by taxpayers who will be forced to supply the “dignity” to others), Warren is not willing to afford to “dignity” to entrepreneurs who saved, took big risks, and took chances with their lives to provide goods and services for the benefit of consumers.
No, those people are nothing but parasites, according to the Good Senator from Taxachusetts. After a lifetime of their work, they need to have their assets confiscated by state authorities, for these people did nothing for anyone else.
“We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.”
Warren is not speaking of payment for men and women who do the same job in a market setting. In fact, there is a lot of evidence that shows that single women tend to outearn single men. Still, one assumes that both men and women are perfectly capable of working out their own pay scales with employers.
No, Warren is speaking of a term called “comparable worth,” in which government authorities determine the “equality” of jobs. Such a process is utterly politicized, so what Warren really means is that the State will determine the so-called worth of a job.
“We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”
If Warren meant getting the State out of the marriage business, I would support her point here. However, judging from all of her rhetoric, what she means is that everyone else should be forced to accept her definition of marriage, and anyone who does not will be fine or even arrested for holding onto dissenting views.
Warren constantly agitates for a thoroughly politicized society in which the State decides what is valuable, what is “legitimate,” and what kind of thinking should be permitted. When former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich this year was forced out because he had contributed some money to a “man-and-woman” marriage initiative in California in 2008, it sent an clear and chilling message to workplaces everywhere in the USA: the only thing that matters is politics.
It didn’t matter that Eich was a major player in helping develop the Internet and his skills will be sorely missed. No, the Elizabeth Warrens of this world care only about a person’s political views. (Maybe that is one reason Warren has expressed such hatred of successful entrepreneurs: they succeed outside of political ideology.)
In the former U.S.S.R., those whose Marxist-Leninist positions were not seen as enthusiastic enough were shut out of lines of work that by themselves were not political in nature. However, because the political system controlled all areas of work, the Soviet government made it clear that aptitude had no place in the system, only political attitudes. That is exactly what Warren wants to impose in this country, except the chosen ideology is not necessarily Marxist-Leninism, but rather the Sexual Revolution.
In a free society, the State would not control marriage. Instead, marriage would be a private affair or regulated by religious bodies unto whom married people would voluntarily submit. Warren demands something quite different; it is that one must accept her view of “marriage equality” or face serious consequences.
“We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”
Because the current immigration situation is a hot-button item that I would prefer not to touch, given I can see arguments on both sides, I only will say that Warren’s vision of unlimited immigration into an absolute welfare state would be a disaster. Warren has shown no proclivity to putting any limits on welfarism, and given our political outlooks, I believe she sees new immigrants as a source of both massive welfare benefits and future Democratic Party votes.
“And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”
Please understand what Warren is saying: the owners of Hobby Lobby have no rights. They are not people; only Elizabeth Warren and those proclaiming fealty to the Sexual Revolution are people and only those people have rights.
The Hobby Lobby decision was quite limited, and the implications of the decision certainly did not call for the totally unhinged reaction Warren and others had. The U.S. Supreme Court did not prevent anyone from receiving birth control devices or anything else. All it said was that there were four kinds of devices or chemical compounds which abortion opponents call abortifacts that certain employers could be exempt from providing free of charge for employees.
It does not prohibit Hobby Lobby employees from purchasing those particular chemicals or devices; the decision only says that Hobby Lobby does not have to pay for them, given the religious nature of the company’s owners and the fact that it is a tightly-held corporation.
Yet, to people like Warren, anything that does not force employers to fully accept every tenet of the Sexual Revolution is a form of violence against women. Furthermore, I am sure that Warren is going to do everything she can to destroy Hobby Lobby and any other entity that does not fully accept everything sexual as does she.
As I wrote earlier, Warren is a tried and true fascist. She is a corporatist at heart, she hates productive people and especially hates entrepreneurs, and she sees people who have worked hard to build a business in the face of tremendous odds as nothing more than parasites and cash cows to be milked for everything they have in order to fund the Crony Capitalist scheme that come from Washington.
While some may call Warren a populist, I call her destructive. Here is a politician who stirs up hatred and envy, and claims that she is doing it out of concern for American society. While Henry Hazlitt wrote the following about Marxism, he just as well could have been describing the so-called populism of Elizabeth Warren and her followers:
The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects – his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.