The irreconcilable difference between the Classical Liberalism of the Tea Party movement [Don’t Tread on Me] and the Progressivism of the Occupy Movement [Tread On Us All]. Based on Richard A. Epstein’s new book from Broadside, this video outlines the differences between the classical liberalism of the Tea Parties and the progressive agenda advanced by the OWS movement, and reveals that the painful performance of the American economy in the past decade is not a function of bad luck, but the product of flawed institutional design.
We are reaping the harvest of efforts to reinvigorate the progressive programs of the New Deal that stress high progressive taxes, large transfer payments, strong labor laws, and major barriers to free trade. This combination of public finance and market regulation has proved a potent force for disaster.
British writer James Delingpole is definitely of the Tea Party stripe but finds himself agreeing with the idea that America is divided between a ruling class of elites and everybody else. The OWS mantra of the 1% versus the 99% touches on the same concept. So why is Mr. Delingpole so ridiculed by OWS?
Simple. Because though my analysis of the problem may be quite similar to the Occupy crowd’s, my solution couldn’t be more different. This is why – as the above video explains – Tea Party types like me are unlikely ever to find common cause with Occupy. We’re classical liberals who believe in low taxes, limited government, property rights and equality of opportunity, whereas they are progressives who believe in greater government control and wealth redistribution in order to create equality of outcome.
It’s a shame, really it is, because in these terrifying economic times it really would be nice to harness some of that commitment, zeal and self-righteous rage you find among the Occupy crowd and channel it towards a useful purpose. Problem is, we’re dealing here with the victims of two or three generations’ worth of ingrained cultural Marxism. Thanks to the Gramsciite* capture of the media and the seats of academe, a lot of these kids simply lack the knowledge base or intellectual wherewithal to appreciate that instead of championing freedom what they’re actually defending is economic stagnation, higher unemployment, more stifling regulation, more entrenched social division and a moribund status quo in which an ever-growing political elite leeches off the backs of us wage-slave Untermenschen**.
*refers to Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), founder of the Communist Party of Italy. Gramsci advocated political hegemony, the dominance of one social group, led by devoted Marxists, over all others. Thus, Delingpole uses the term “Gramsciite” to describe the American media and the professorship of academia. Seems right, they do all think alike and they see themselves as above the rest of us.
**plural of ubermensch, German for under man, sub-man, sub-human.
The vicious nastiness of the Occupy Movement sets it so far apart from the Tea Party movement I refuse to credit anything good to it. See this video of Occupy DC for absolute confirmation.