Thursday, April 19, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Over at Town Hall, Charles Payne quotes a Great Book:
Final Paragraphs of Candide
Voltaire

The little society, one and all, entered into this laudable design and set themselves to exert their different talents. The little piece of ground yielded them a plentiful crop. Cunegund indeed was very ugly, but she became an excellent hand at pastrywork: Pacquette embroidered; the old woman had the care of the linen. There was none, down to Brother Giroflee, but did some service; he was a very good carpenter, and became an honest man. Pangloss used to, now and then, say to Candide:

"There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible worlds; for, in short, had you not been kicked out of a fine castle for the love of Miss Cunegund; had you not been put into the Inquisition; had you not traveled over America on foot; had you not run the Baron through the body; and had you not lost all your sheep, which you brought from the good country of El Dorado, you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts."

"Excellently observed," answered Candide; "but let us cultivate our garden."
Here is what he gathers from Candide:
After a rip roaring adventure that saw love and heartbreak, war and death, and wealth beyond imagination, the characters in Candide decided life was so much sweeter in a commune existence where everyone pulled together their strengths to live the perfect life.
And here is how this is applied to the present-day situation:
I get a lot of grief for bringing up Voltaire or more obscure figures from the European Enlightenment movement like Robert Owens and Malthus, but there is no doubt we are being ushered into an existence that was crafted by these dreamers of a modern day utopia.

They espoused the shared sacrifice and collectivism theme that is being sold to the American public.

Yes, this will be the most important election in our lifetime, because it could usher in an experiment that can only end in disaster. The masses may cheer the notion of wealth redistribution and the comeuppance of the rich (and not so rich) until they live in a world where jobs fade, incomes atrophy, and quality of life deteriorates.
Pictured below, a hippie.

Super-Duper Hippie Voltaire

19 comments:

vacuumslayer said...

Until?

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The masses may cheer the notion of wealth redistribution and the comeuppance of the rich (and not so rich) until they live in a world where jobs fade, incomes atrophy, and quality of life deteriorates.

Taxing moneybags Mitt another five percent will lead to this? Cracker, puh-leeze!

el Manquécito said...

He seems unsure of the meaning of "panglossian".

tigris said...

Sheesh, you think he'd embrace "but let us cultivate our garden" as a conservative call to labor to better one's lot, bootstrap-wise, especially in the face of the silly philosophizing of the ivory tower academic.

wiley said...

Eisenhower was a dirty hippy.

Substance McGravitas said...

There's even dumber shit in the column: he thinks cities are a leftist plot. I was so impressed that I left a link in the Atrios comments.

tigris said...

Oh cities are TOTALLY a leftist plot, as are all modern methods of communication, so he should give all these things up to maintain the purity of his conservatism. A cave and a charred stick were good enough for our forefathers, anything more recent smacks of PROGRESSIVISM.

el Manquécito said...

he thinks cities are a leftist plot

This would be news to Regis deBray, whose hagiographic account of the Cuban revolution riffed on the idea that cities were sinks of capitalist depravity and only in the purity of the mountains could true revolutionaries find the clarity of purpose to triumph.

Smut Clyde said...

Malthus? A "dreamer of a modern day utopia"?? MALTHUS??

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

"Malthusian Paradise"

P.S. I think the fella's name was Robert Owen.
~

Malacylpse said...

Malthus? A "dreamer of a modern day utopia"?? MALTHUS??

A world beset on all sides by famine, plagues, and unrestrained warfare is indeed a conservative utopia. This is why their ideal government is modeled after Somalia.

Anonymous said...

I really do think their dream is "In Time."


Small correction: all the hippies wore tie-dye jabots.

Substance McGravitas said...

In Time?

mikey said...

So they're attempting to convince the great unwashed American Idol watching Americans that a set of Center-Right Economic and Fiscal policies including a complete capitulation on the growth of publicly funded services or even a return to the income tax rates prevalent during the '90s economic boom, when the US last balanced the budget, represents a complete breakdown of capitalism, and even more, a socialist wealth redistribution scheme that will result in a dystopian horror not seen since East Germany.

Good luck with that, boyz.

ProTip: They're not paying attention! Of course, this can also function as the argument that explains why they'll be successful.

It's actually kind of interesting in light of the fact that the entire economic agenda of the American Political Right is UPWARD wealth redistribution.

fish said...

The masses may cheer the notion of wealth redistribution and the comeuppance of the rich (and not so rich) until they live in a world where jobs fade, incomes atrophy, and quality of life deteriorates

Yes, this is truly the best of all possible worlds.

vacuumslayer said...

In Time?


I wish.

M. Krebs said...

Jesus, Joseph, and Mary. Are all these assholes home schooled?

Substance McGravitas said...

It was a RIP-ROARING home-school education.

Kordo said...

"Ah, Candide, that perfect thing, which will be read as long as men can read." -Goethe, if I'm not mistaken.

Thank you, Mr. Payne, for not bothering to read one of my favorite books, then twisting the meaning of the last 2-3 graphs, all so's you could write yet another bit of wingnut-bait for that ridiculous monkey house you call a website. I'm looking forward to your upcoming article using Frank Herbert's "Dune" as an excuse to shut down the EPA, and drill for oil on Waikiki Beach. You are a fuckwit, and your parents are ashamed of you.

Kordo

ps - As an encore, why not fly to England, steal the original manuscript of McCaulay's Defense of Machiavelli, then wipe your ass with it on YouTube. I promise it won't lower my opinion of you, because that would be impossible.