- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Equally foolish

“Egalitarians believe that inequality is unjust and justice requires a society to move steadily toward greater equality. This is the aim and the justification of proportional taxation, affirmative action, equal opportunity programs, and of the whole panoply of anti-poverty policies that bring us ever closer to the socialist dream of a welfare state. These policies cost money. The egalitarian approach to getting it is to tax those who have more in order to benefit those who have less. The absurdity of this is that egalitarians suppose that justice requires ignoring whether people deserve what they have and whether they are responsible for what they lack. They suppose it just to ignore the requirements of justice. …

“[T]he relentless egalitarian propaganda eagerly parroted by the media would have us believe that our society is guilty of dooming people to a life of poverty. What this ignores is the unprecedented success of our society in having less than 13 percent of the population live below a very generously defined poverty level and 87 percent above it. The typical ratio in past societies is closer to the reverse. It is a cause for celebration, not condemnation, that for the first time in history a very large segment of the population has escaped poverty. If egalitarians had a historical perspective, they would be in favor of the political and economic system that has made this possible, rather than advocating absurd policies that undermine it.”

John Kekes, writing on “The Absurdity of Egalitarianism,” Monday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

‘The horror’

“Increasingly, the horror of America’s culture is becoming frighteningly clear, both for its evil intent and for its devastating effect on the nation’s children. …

“In the early ‘60s, the Beatles were singing ‘I want to hold your hand.’ Only a few years later it was ‘Why don’t we do it in the road?’ … Fast-forward to today’s America, and you have a scene right out of the popular and pointed science-fiction film ‘The Matrix,’ … about a futuristic world where ‘reality’ is an addictive computer program from which people must break free and find true reality. The film was a huge hit, partly because young people instinctively understood the bottom line: America has become a fantasy-addicted, highly commercialized population, ‘wired in’ to practically every media source anyone can imagine. …

“The culture has almost become an independent living organism with a mind of its own, which increasingly victimizes everyone from corporations to consumers to little children. Who can say stop?”

Bob Just, writing on “Killer Culture,” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Enlightening us

“Sunday night’s 61st Annual Golden Globes showcased a number of fine movies and series. … Unfortunately, the ceremony also showcased what has become a mainstay in the world of entertainment: Performers using acceptance-speech time for political pontificating. …

“While accepting the award for best actress in a miniseries or TV movie for her role in [HBO’s ‘Angels in America’], Meryl Streep was, for the most part, eloquent and sincere. But she couldn’t leave it at that: She ended her speech with a swipe at the president’s State of the Union address. … It was neither the time nor the place. …

“Of course, left-wing rants are commonplace at such events. Plenty of actors, singers, and other assorted ‘artists’ choose award ceremonies — a time to celebrate artistic accomplishments — as the time to mount a soapbox and enlighten the benighted masses about their political views.”

Jane Jolis, writing on “Silence Is Golden,” Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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