Sunday, May 10, 2015

Free Enterprise, Free Speech

Kevin Williamson explains (yet again, it can't be repeated often enough) the reason that private enterprise is to public bureaucracies (i.e. government) as the iPhone is to two cans connected by string.

CGI, the web-design firm in which one of Michelle Obama’s college cronies is a senior executive, was lambasted for the debacle that was the Obamacare rollout, and eventually fired — or as “fired” as the politically connected get in Washington; some months after having its Obamacare contract terminated, CGI was awarded a multimillion-dollar IRS contract to manage . . . Obamacare issues. Mrs. Obama’s friend in the firm, Toni Townes-Whitley, was promoted from senior vice president to chief operating officer.

...One of the rarely appreciated aspects of the capitalist model of innovation is that the wealthy subsidize the development of products for everybody else: The mobile phone is a case study in that process, as is the electric car, as indeed were ordinary cars.

...Technological and economic evolution is like biological evolution in one important aspect: Death is the instrument of life, and the process of innovation is inseparably linked to the process of extinction.
...Non-performing federal agencies do not go bankrupt, federal bureaucracies do not see their shares tank when they do poorly, and government entities do not have their assets acquired by more effective competitors.

Also, Jonah Goldberg writes about the left's free speech double standard. Opinions, positions and art it finds offensive are to be prohibited while those it agrees with warrant government subsidies.
Back in the ’80s and ’90s, the whole point of subsidizing art was to pay for stuff that offended, shocked, and stretched the boundaries (and, occasionally, sphincters) of society. As is almost always the case, what this actually meant was that it must shock the right kinds of people: bourgeois fuddy-duddies and fusspots, squares, and scriveners, men in gray flannel suits and bible-thumpers of all sorts.

Many on the left still like doing that, of course. But there’s a problem. It turns out that there are lots of people who are even more shockable than white, Christian men and the women who love them. After so many years of the Left focusing on making Uptighty-Whitey blush, social conservatives have grown a pretty thick skin about such mockery. Meanwhile the same feminists who clapped with glee as Karen Finley rubbed chocolate-qua-feces over her body to symbolize the way women are treated — and rushed to her defense when she sued the federal government to pay her to do it — don’t much like it when anybody else says things they don’t like. And unlike conservatives, mainstream liberals have rice-paper thin skin about such things...
(When Finley and the “NEA Four” lost their lawsuit at the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia wrote: “Avant-garde artistes such as respondents remain entirely free to épater les bourgeois; they are merely deprived of the additional satisfaction of having the bourgeoisie taxed to pay for it.” This proved yet again that Scalia is a hoss.)

Great line by Scalia, isn't it?
Jonah continues --

The notion that certain anointed people have a right not to be offended has spread with the ineluctable logic of a cancer cell. One need only look at the reception Christina Hoff Sommers gets on college campuses to appreciate how times have changed. She gets bodyguards to protect her from physical attacks while the delicate little flowers get “safe spaces” where they are protected from words — facts, actually — they do not like.

This is all of a piece with the canard that liberals are in any meaningful sense libertarian. They are for freedoms that align with their preferred cultural and social norms — and fads — and they are for coercion or scorn for everything else. Right-wing means non-compliance and non-compliance is “hate,” and no one has the right to hate. Épater la bourgeoisie is so great it must be funded. But épater les féministes or épater les grifters raciales or — heaven forbid — épater les musulmans radicaux not only must not be funded, it must be banned outright. It’s free speech for me and “shut up, racist” for thee.

Jonah also notes anti-semite George Galloway's defeat in the recent British parliamentary elections with the following --

If I may reprise an old joke — one better spoken than written, I should note — and slightly updated: “Who’s responsible for killing Nicole Brown Simpson and George Galloway’s political career? The Juiiiiice.”

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