I have given the left credit many times for clever humor, even when their satiric efforts target libertarians.
- A video portraying Somalia as a libertarian paradise.
- Two cartoons, one on libertarian ice fishing and the other showing libertarian lifeguards.
- A montage showing 24 types of libertarians.
- Six different perceptions of libertarians.
Well, it’s time to give the left credit again. I don’t know whether to call this satire, humor, or if I should just lump it in the catch-all category of social commentary, but it is effective. It’s visually powerful and leaves a clear message.
Even the small touches are clever, including Bush and the Pope on the TV, as well as the IMF sticker on the IV pole (though I’m surprised, given the bureaucracy’s statist track record, that the left thinks the IMF is the enemy).
But I’m not sharing this image out of pure appreciation for effective imagery. I also think it reveals two themes of left-wing thought, one foolish and the other legitimate.
1. The foolish theme is that rich nations are rich because poor nations are poor. This is the same mentality that you find among leftists such as Obama, who assume that rich people in America are rich because they somehow deprived the poor.
2. The accurate theme is that bigwigs sometimes use the coercive power of government to obtain unearned wealth. And in some cases, that unearned wealth comes from corrupt deals with politicians from third-world governments.
I address both of these points in this interview, pointing out that true capitalism generates an expanding economy so that the rich and poor both benefit, but that cronyism enables the politically well-connected to rip off taxpayers and/or consumers.
If we want to promote liberty, it would help to enlist the help of those leftists who legitimately want to make the world a better place (as opposed to the union thugs, political hacks, grievance mongers, and others who use statism as a racket to achieve wealth and power).
We need to educate the honest left about why they’re wrong about the first theme and why we’re on their side regarding the second theme.
The challenge is to teach them that good intentions sometimes don’t lead to good results, so that we can fix the mentality displayed in this cartoon.