So, how would you describe your political beliefs?
I’m a communist.
You mean, you’re a Marxist, you subscribe to his theory of economic history.
No, no, I don’t really believe in that. Not as such.
You mean you’re a state socialist?
No, not a Stalinist.
You’re a Maoist, Trotskyist, what?
No, I’m not a Stalinist, Trotskyist, Maoist, or even much of a Leninist. I’m not even a proper Marxist.
So what kind of “communist” are you?
I’m a Milton Friedman commnunist.
Do you begin to get it now? I live in a country where I’m called a Leninist for supporting a progressive income tax, where I’m called a Nazi for believing in socialized medicine! Where if I say, like Harry Truman, that poor voters should vote their interests, because the rich bitches certainly are–
Now, now, watch your language. Don’t get so excited. It’s all right.
–if I say you should vote your interests, I’m told, “Son, you just don’t understand.” And what is supposed to be wrong with being upset about all this anyway? Are you on drugs?
Are you doped up right now? Why are you so insistently calm? Why* are* you calm as they rob the small landholder in this country? Are they giving you your cut?
If I speak out against the fleecing of America by corrupt politicians and the special interests who fund them, I’m called anti-American. I believe with Milton goddamn Friedman that instead of just giving people food stamps and free schools, we should give them money. Money to be able to buy in, to own land, to raise themselves up, to become the equal of their “betters.” And for that, I’m not called a communist, nor a Nazi, no, I’m called crazy. So fine, I’m a crazy Nazi Commie. That’s my political affiliation. That’s what a Harry Truman Democrat is in today’s America.
We’ve made such a religion out of *laissez-faire *free market economics, that it’s not enough to be free-marketers by our parents’ standards! No, that would be the sin of moderation! No, we have to keep moving further and further into the right, past the right and into the crazy! Shut down the government agency that pays my salary! Why not! Rob the poor to give kickbacks to the rich! Abandon every useful state institution built by liberal and conservative alike, and by implication call your own grandparents Communists, foreign to “America,” and traitors!
Wait, I don’t understand. Is that what you’re advocating, or–?
Idiot! It is the false religion of nouveau right-wingism, ersatz conservatism, that destroys the petit-bourgeois, the small landholder, in this country.
Well. A lot of people’s grandparents really did believe in conservatism, and hate the government. People kept moving west to get away from the government where they were. It’s a libertarian country.
Poppycock! They were trying to get to where they could own land, trying to get away from local private elites. Sure, a few cranks hated all authority, but they were freaks! They didn’t build this country, or establish its institutions: its state colleges, its research institutes for agriculture and medicine, its public schools, all the things that made us a rich, powerful country! Did Wall Street build those? Did Wall Street even build the military and police that protect it now?
Well, as creators of wealth…
Wall Street creates wealth.
No it doesn’t. It invests in things so that money can be funneled off to investors. It doesn’t do the real work of technological development, and the funding it actually provides to the actual inventors and manufacturers and service industries could be extracted from the wealthy in taxes and paid as grants to people who want to start businesses. Less wealth would flow to the upper crust, and that would be good for building a broader “ownership society” and a broader base of demand. Private investment would still exist, but alongside redistribution. And eventually beneficiaries of redistribution could invest themselves.
I don’t know. I don’t see how that works.
Pfft! Anyway, yes, some of your grandparents would have considered themselves conservative, and some more would be somewhat socially conservative now. But that doesn’t mean they would sign on to the economic program of radical laissez-faire!
You really like those foreign words.
You speak English. Are you in England?
Just because someone would oppose transgender equality today doesn’t mean they weren’t economically progressive in their own time! You want to be a social traditionalist? Fine! But don’t let that be an excuse for supporting people who are trying to rob you of opportunity!
Anyway, yeah, I’m a Harry Truman Democrat. But these days, you can call me…
THE MILTON FRIEDMAN COMMUNIST.