Re: European [and Australian] "Socialists"

Damien Broderick (
Sat, 14 Nov 1998 23:47:38 +0000

At 09:27 AM 11/13/98 -0700, wrote:

>> Amazing! You have just reinvented Keynes, which is a step forward over
>> some of the gung-ho I've-got-mine-fuck-you-Jack rhetoric on this list.

>Damien, can you quote an example of such rhetoric? I don't recall any.

I don't even need to search back beyond today's postings. Regard this:

< We should immediatley eliminate any
government spending in education and reduce taxes - possibly selling off all government education related resources and refunding the money to tax payers.

I'm sure the guy who posted that suggestion is a generous and lovable person with the best intentions, whose proposal is grounded in a theory of economics rather than a simple distaste for helping provision the commonweal. So `fuck you, Jack' might sound like a very unfair and offensive way to sum up what he's written. But in practice, I think that's what it amounts to.

The technological basis for our wealthy western societies certainly derives from the basic universal education which the community insists upon (however clumsily it's implemented) and which we all share in paying for. So does the minimal open-mindedness and tolerance for diversity that keeps us all from maiming each other. Any system can be skimmed or abused, but literally eliminating state schooling would impose the most dire consequences on the children of the poor and feckless, and then a few years later on all of us as we grow an ignorant and resentful underclass.

>you can't imagine how anyone could honorably differ with you on the issue

It's true that I lack empathy for the economic doctrines often assumed here, which appear to wish out of existence the long, brutal and bloody stand-over history of owners against workers that created the substructure for present hierarchies of wealth. If anyone finds this hard to believe, let alone to square with the bizarre mythology of Ayn Rand, I diffidently suggest a glance at some history books along the lines of THE COMMON PEOPLE, by G. D. H. Cole and Raymond Postgate.

For every brilliant innovator who multiplied humanity's common wealth, and maybe got richer doing it, there was at least one ruthless extorter backed by thugs with sticks or guns who kept in line the people doing the productive work in farms or factories, quite often with the connivance or armed support of law and government. (But this sort of discussion is already in breach of the rules of this list, so I'll retire.)

Damien Broderick