There’s always something to howl about

Why do Liberals and Progressives in America deny their beliefs?

While reading Jeff’s post asking about how people can justify theft from others in the name of government, I was most stricken by the absolute denial from those who defended more and more taxation have over their own beliefs.  Even though they clearly support socialism, and can put forward tales of great woe over why they believe socialism is needed, nowhere would they agree that what they espouse is socialism.

Sure, socialism has been demonized by conservatives over the years.  But does that surprise you?  Socialism is the opposite of what many conservatives profess to be.  Yet, socialists, most of whom prefer to be called liberals, just can’t admit that they support theft by government force.  None of the liberals who commented would admit they believed “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  They just don’t go there.

People are full of these contradictions.  Warren Buffet was mentioned as an example in the comments of Jeff’s post, about his supposed concern about paying less in taxes than his secretary.  Yet, this same Warren Buffet has been fighting against paying taxes he legally owes for years!  What is that all about if he supports more taxation so much?

In the video above, Bill Maher, calls out Americans on what he calls their secret love of socialism.  In the video Bill Maher says “It’s time to stop fighting it and just come out of the closet, and the group I’m talking about is the American public and the love they’re denying is their love of socialism. Now I know that there are few words in America more toxic than socialist, and these days big government spending is about as popular as Casey Anthony at a Chucky Cheese. Yes, Americans say they hate socialism but when it comes to Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, corporate welfare, bailouts, and farm subsidies, what we really say to socialism is I can’t quit you.”

He goes on from there.  In this case, I agree with Bill Maher.

Certainly there is a disconnect between what many Americans say versus what they actually support.  Liberals seem happy to point out that they want to use money confiscated through taxes to pay to take care of the poor, the elderly and for education.  They are happy to point out that these socialistic programs pay for medical care, environmental regulation, and protection to make sure consumers have protections from their own decisions.  So, if these socialist programs are so great, why can’t folks just admit, what they support is socialism?  It should be a badge of pride if you believe it is really morally correct to confiscate money from some for the benefit of others.  The story is really Robin Hood, right?  The difference is the people that the money is being stolen from may not be evil rulers, they just might be your hardworking neighbors.  But what difference does that really make?  Liberals, including those who now prefer to be called progressives, are really just socialists, so why can’t they just admit it?


13 Comments so far

  1. Reba Saxon October 31st, 2011 2:20 pm

    Please unsubscribe me from your blog. I thought you wrote about real estate.

  2. Greg Swann October 31st, 2011 2:24 pm

    > Please unsubscribe me from your blog. I thought you wrote about real estate.

    Done. Good luck finding what you’re looking for.

  3. Greg Swann October 31st, 2011 2:42 pm

    A note to Al Lorenz and the other contributors: Do not trim your sails. This is the one place in the universe where real estate professionals can speak their minds without kissing ass. The purpose of all art, including the rhetorical arts, is to elicit a response. A public display of petulance is not a criticism, it is praise written backwards.

  4. Rob Chipman October 31st, 2011 4:59 pm

    Why do left wingers own the name “progressive”? Talk about defining your opposition in a negative light.

    While I’m at it, how are collective rights advocates “liberals”?

  5. Jim Klein October 31st, 2011 5:43 pm

    Al, that’s a great, great question. It’s a decent litmus test too. Those who speak the truth spend their time trying to make it clearer and clearer, and ever more precise. Those who don’t spend more and more words trying to cover up the BS.

  6. Al Lorenz November 1st, 2011 11:35 am

    @Jim, In Europe, political parties happily adopt socialism in their names, and are successful with it. I have no doubt that most of these folks have these beliefs because the believe they are caring and well meaning.

    Places like Sweden call themselves socialist and they are held up as examples of what many in this country aspire to from a caring government.

    Governments call their services social services all the time, at the state and federal level, that provide for relief from hunger, unemployment, welfare, etc.

    In Jeff’s earlier post, he kept commenting on what he saw as the answer but did not seem to get any agreement that government social services are socialistic. It is virtually definitional, but also appears to be a very sensitive issue. I still don’t understand why folks feel a love of socialism must be kept secret. But, I do accept that is the way it is.

  7. Jeff Brown November 1st, 2011 4:01 pm

    How does one tell the unadulterated truth when their ‘good intentions’ are only accomplished through plundering what others have wrought?

    When we play the ‘ends justify the means’ game, the downhill slide is swift and harsh.

  8. Michael Cook November 4th, 2011 7:50 am


    I dont think its that simple. Pure socialism is rather unattractive, but the mix of capitalism and socialism in the US seems to strike a balance for the majority here.

    I dont think people want the government taking every dime they make, but I think most dont mind them taking a portion. Most socialist here in the US would be considered quite conservative in Europe and even more so in Cuba, etc. And even those places are moving towards some form of capitalism.

    I think a 100% capitalist world would be an absolute disaster. Not because people wouldnt continue to give to social causes, but because of the simple fact that people dont appreciate the breadth and depth of the services the government and chartiable organizations founded by the government provide.

    Despite what the many armchair economists here would claim, things like vacinations, the US highway systems and other major things we take for granted would not be possible without the socialist bend in the US. Its all conjecture, of course, as we will never see a 100% free market any where.

    All that said, I would love to be a socialist, but I think that would be advocating for a 100% tax on my labor and yours. I would never be ok with either of those positions, but I dont object to 35%. If that makes me a socialist so be it. But if thats your definition, I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who isnt to some degree.

  9. Jim Klein November 5th, 2011 7:54 am

    “All that said, I would love to be a socialist…”

    No you wouldn’t; you would hate it. That’s why you have to use your brainpower to convince yourself otherwise, redefining concepts like “entitlement.” You can say that you don’t realize what a waste this is, but your memory storage functions don’t go along.

    This has been Greg’s point all along. You would love to be Michael Cook, with the knowledge that you’re the best you can be. You don’t really believe that Might Makes Right, and you don’t really believe that you’re entitled to what’s mine. The cognitive dissonance will eat you away, for ultimately we’re nothing but our minds.

    Here’s some economics. Whatever you’re getting in return for playing along, simply isn’t worth it.

  10. Michael Cook November 7th, 2011 7:42 am


    I agree with you 100%, but I wouldnt want to be a full fledged capitalist either. I dont think any of us would like that world. I do wonder why if that world is so great we have no examples of it to point to.

    People have tried socialism, in fact, it was the early basic way of life. You have to wonder why no one has gone off to their own little island and started a pure capitalist society. Any thoughts on that?

    Good debates require intelligent arguments on both sides. And might makes right is intellecutually honest, while morally questionable.

  11. Jim Klein November 7th, 2011 8:53 am

    “And might makes right is intellecutually honest, while morally questionable.”

    Pick your position. If it’s right, then it’s moral. “Might makes Right” MEANS that Might is moral; that’s what “right” means.

    You’ve been asserting (wildly, IMO) that having power creates both entitlement and right. I don’t see either of those and I’ve been asking why you do. Now you say you don’t because it’s “morally questionable.”

    Good debates also require meaningful assertions.

  12. Michael Cook November 8th, 2011 8:04 am


    I think we disagree on the moral point. I think morally right is relative and not absolute. Perhaps its worth discussing, but I do think everyone has a different opinion of morally right. Whats morally right to you could be morally wrong to me. This is my only point.

    Looking at might makes right from the “mighty” perspective, I am sure they feel morally right. People on welfare feel no moral issues with taking handouts from you via the government. If you ask them the question, as you have, they will certainly object, but there actions will say otherwise. If you truly morally object to something, you would do everything in your power to avoid it.

    I morally object to killing people, so I dont kill one person a month just to get a few hundred dollars.

    “And might makes right is intellecutually honest, while morally questionable.”

    This statement was intended to mean morally questionable TO ME. Note, I certainly didnt say morally wrong. After all, its a rather capitalist statement. If I have a monopoly, I can charge whatever I want and you have to pay it if you need my services. Just another version of might makes right.

    I am sure it is not morally questionable to everyone. Heck, it may not even be morally questionable to most, as there are millions of people unabashedly on welfare, in some way or another (oil companies, farmers, realtors, etc.) Lets not even talk about oil company execs. railing on government spending, only to cash their subsidy checks in addition to the billions of profits, also morally questionable, I might add.

    “Good debates also require meaningful assertions”

    Ouch. I think looking at the way the world actually works vs. the way that it should opitimally work is far more meaningful. People are both very logical and illogical. To address both of these items, which I think I do above, is meaningful.

    The original discussion was why do people act in a socialist manner, but then object to being called socialist? You could rephrase this to say, why do people, who finding stealing to be morally reprehensible, steal regularly from you and I.

    The answer, they dont find stealing morally reprehensible. People say what other people want to hear, but their actions are their true beliefs.

  13. Jim Klein November 10th, 2011 1:05 pm

    “I morally object to killing people, so I dont kill one person a month just to get a few hundred dollars.”

    We covered this already. “My house is for sale but I’m not really selling it because an agent has the listing. He’s selling the house, not me.”

    “The answer, they dont find stealing morally reprehensible. People say what other people want to hear, but their actions are their true beliefs.”

    You seem highly resistant to the fact that most people don’t understand that they’re stealing by going along with the party line. I can understand that, I guess, since you’d like to think they agree with you that Might makes Right. They’re not being dishonest when they say they don’t believe that; they really don’t understand. IOW they are NOT like you…only the ones engaging the thuggery and know that this is what they’re doing, agree with you that Might makes Right.

    That’s no argument against your position–I’m not sure what an argument against thuggery means anyway–but it is a fair recognition of exactly who agrees with you and who doesn’t.