I normally wouldn’t do this, but – in this case – I thought I would make an exception. The following is a post on commenter “Crazycrawfish’s” blog:
HOWEVER, before you read it, I would like to caution you: it is full of fallacious and irrational reasoning. Some examples are:
Liberal is a badge honor, not a swear word and not something to shy away from or to be ashamed of. Gandhi was a liberal. Jesus was a Liberal. Mother Teresa was a liberal. Martin Luther King was a liberal. Abraham Lincoln was a liberal. Thomas Jefferson was a liberal. Even George Washington was a liberal. You can be in no better company than in the company of a liberal.
Crazycrawfish starts his blog by stating that conservatives do not know what the concepts of socialism mean. He then equates socialism and liberalism through an indirect inference (a fallacy) and – rightly – lists a number of people who really were liberals in hopes that the unwary reader will assume this means they were also socialists. THEY WERE NOT – at least, not in the sense crawfish is trying to imply. What he does here is commit a fallacy of equivocation. This happens when you use the same word to describe two different ideas, but you treat those two ideas as the same because people use the same word to discuss them. You can think of it as an intellectual form of bait-and-switch. The truth is, Christ, Jefferson, Dr. King and Mother Teresa were ALL ‘classic liberals’ because they believed in the individual, and that is the opposite of socialism.
Here is another example of the jumbled thinking you will find in this blog post:
These are people who fought for our freedom and the freedom of mankind. They fought the status quo, the establishment. They believed in the power of freedom and that so long as any of us are oppressed by tyranny and tyrants none of us can truly be free. Capitalism, in its current form, has become tyrannical an unyielding. Conservative is the curse word. Conservatives are the oppressors. Conservatives want to conserve freedom for themselves and enslavement for you. They don’t even see that by sponsoring legislation and actions that limit the freedoms of others, those same laws will be used against them when the tides change and pendulum swings back – as it always does.
Here again, crawfish mixes ideas. But the central implication given the context of his post is that socialism implies freedom and individualism implies slavery. In reality, this is the opposite of the truth. There has never been a socialist system that did not force the individual to conform with the social norm, or where that norm was not set by a small elite or dictator.
This is the last section I will address before leaving you to decide whether or not you want to read the whole post:
Pure, unregulated capitalism is unhealthy to society. Without social constraints the wealthy and powerful become ever more so. The very nature of capitalism is to seek the maximum personal or corporate reward, regardless of the community, environmental or societal costs. This is not a fault of capitalism, but of those who tell you the answer to everything is to allow it to run amuck. Capitalism is a soulless economic construct. It cares not if you or your children live or die, if roads get built, if sewers get cleaned, if schools get built, if books get written, the hungry get fed, or the sick get cared for. In fact, a pure capitalist society, without any checks or balances, would actively seek to starve or slay anyone that doesn’t add one more penny to your bottom line.
Where to start? OK, first, notice that crawfish is treating ‘capitalism’ as though it is a single entity. This is a fallacy, it is called anthropomorphism. It is actually very revealing of the collectivist mindset. They simply cannot or they refuse to treat people as individuals. They see everything in terms of groups or living entities, then they treat everyone within the group they have defined as equally guilty or equally virtuous based on whatever ficticious notions they have ascribed to the group. They do this same thing with their silly dreams of social utopia: because THEY have designed ‘the right course,’ and because THEY are ‘good,’ then that social utopia is the ONLY ‘right and good’ thing for ALL people to do – even if they have to force it on them (this also gives them a sense of moral superiority, and the idea that, since they seek the better good for all people, there is no immoral act in achieving their goal. They truly believe the ends justifies the means).
Another problem with this last quote is that it is pure straw man. This is a fictitious description of capitalism, designed solely for the purpose of making capitalism appear to be bad. It relies on the reader accepting everything crawfish says without any critical questioning of his unsupported assertions. In reality, crawfish makes several self-contradicting claims in this section of his post. If we accept that capitalism just wants to make as much money as it can, then we have to assume it needs people to buy them. So, what reasonable sense would it make to then assume that crawfish is correct in claiming capitalism wants to kill those customers? Or destroy the resources it uses to make its products to sell to them? When one really stops to think about what crawfish is saying, it makes no sense.
HOWEVER, let’s assume that everything he says about capitalism IS true: this would then make EVERY socialist EQUALLY as guilty as the capitalist. Why? Because the socialist is ONLY concerned with material things (.e. group greed) and ALWAYS has to force his ideas on others (i.e. enslave/coerce them). Furthermore, the socialist just assumes the supposed ‘greedy capitalist’ will just continue to produce the same amount of wealth under his social utopian scheme so that it can then be more ‘equitably’ distributed. This belies the socialist’s break in his understanding of fundamental human nature. Even if the socialist enslaves the wealth producer, there will be nothing to distribute because that producer will do the bare minimum to get by. The net result – and history testifies to this – is that socialism leads to mass poverty with the few very wealthy elite at the top who run things constantly blaming some made-up boogeyman for their constant failures.
So, keep these things in mind if/when you read crawfish’s blog post. And try to remember you are dealing with a disturbed, irrational, self-centered thought process which is governed by greed, sloth and the compulsive need to control others for personal gain.