Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thomas Sowell Shreds Frances Piven in 1980

Statist Frances Fox Piven, much in the news lately for recent foolish remarks drawn straight out of Marxist revolutionary anno 1968, is given her comeuppance by the incomparable Thomas Sowell.

Having watched the clip, though, I'm reminded once again how useless it is to debate Progressives. There might be some value in the discussion, since it might help tip others to one side or the other. But Progressives, in my view, are simply beyond redemption. When you are as committed to egalitarianism, Comtean altruism, and statism as is this creature, there's just no reaching her.

The clip is interesting for another reason. See how many of the standard Progressive cliches, countless times disproved, you can count. Some examples as hints (paraphrasing slightly): "Capitalism enslaves the poor," "Capitalists use government force to rob them," "We must use government to guarantee minimum sustenance and services or equality of opportunity becomes a sham..." and so forth.

When you're counting, keep in mind this was 1980. Progressives had already learned well by then how to use the language of capitalism to destroy it.

I keep wondering when those who defend capitalism are going to learn to use morality to defend capitalism. I wonder if they'll ever come out and say, unapologetically: "Individual freedom is a sacred value no matter what happens to the old, the sick, the poor, or any other favored Progressive needy group du jour." In other words, defending freedom chiefly on utilitarian grounds is a losing proposition.


kelleyn said...

That debate reminded me of a number of fruitless conversations I have had. I'll point out to someone why I think they're mistaken, back it up point by point with evidence, and they'll just give me a blank stare and repeat the mistaken assertion. They'll do this even when rejecting the assertion is in their best interest. When someone doesn't want to think logically, there's nothing you can do.

Jeff Perren said...

Your comment reminds me of a post I wrote some time ago:

The Progressive's Handbook of Argument.

I hope it gives you a laugh. :)

kelleyn said...

Bookmarkable, thanks!