Ah, MSNBC…just when you think they can’t get more demonstrable moronic, they prove you wrong. This time it’s the less-than-canny Krystal Ball who informs us that George Orwell’s excellent parable against Stalin, and communism in general — Animal Farm — is actually about income inequality while piling more progressive laurels on the French “economist” Thomas Piketty. Piketty has written a typically Gallic screed against capitalism called Capital in the Twenty-First Century. The long-winded book can be distilled into the following bumper sticker: Capitalism is unfair and we need a global tax.
For those, like Ball, who haven’t read Animal Farm (a better book, in my opinion, than 1984) it’s a “children’s tale” parable about a farm where the animals overthrow the human farmer and set up a commune where all animals get the same amount of food and participate in decision-making. In an excellent example of the political class, the pigs at the farm start inserting themselves into every decision-making process and use coersion to get the productive animals to work for the betterment of the community, while reaping the benefits. Eventually, the pigs are indistinguishable from the displaced farmer, and the farm charter is amended with the infamous
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others…
The statement is a terse, but terribly true, view into the mindset of not just the communist or Progressive, but the politician and reformist at large. It is the subtext of every edict the current administration has forced down the throats of Americans, and in the behavior and speech of every member of the vampiric political class. This desire to control and benefit from the labor and lives of others was central to the anti-monarchal movements of the 18th and 19th Centuries, where liberals — real liberals, not the Progressives that hide behind that moniker — came up with the revolutionary idea that a person had self-ownership, and was not the property of a king or state; that you had the right to the fruits of your labor; the right to your beliefs and thoughts; or the right to be secure from capricious legal whims of the state. Piketty might understand this, were he not part of the academic class — a group which hide in their sinecure of academic collegiality, guaranteed job security, and reverend sloth.
Capitalism — and more specifically the ability to trade goods, services, and ideas freely, to profit from your efforts, and the importance of property rights (starting with your own self) — as it was called by Karl Marx, is central to freedom. The inequality that Piketty rails against is not a bug, but a feature — those that work smarter, harder, or have ideas of value to others prosper; sloth and stupidity are only rewarded when a person can worm their way into the political class…or the sycophantic collection of hangers-on and courtiers that surround them (like, say, news reporters.)