- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Perfectly wrong

“Communism was not the crazy fantasy of a few fanatics, nor the result of human stupidity and baseness; it was a real, very real part of the history of the 20th century, and we cannot understand this history of ours without understanding communism. …

“Notwithstanding its pretensions to ‘science’ … Marxism has proven to be completely barren as an instrument of social understanding or prediction. —

All of Marx’s major predictions have turned out to be wrong. He said that societies based on a market economy would suffer spiraling class polarization and the disappearance of the middle class. Every society lucky enough to enjoy the fruits of a market economy shows that Marx was wrong about that. He predicted the growing immiseration and impoverishment of the working class in capitalist societies. … The opposite has happened. …

“Marx said that in a capitalist economy, untrammeled competition would inevitably squeeze profit margins: eventually … the economy would grind to a halt and capitalism would collapse. Take a look at capitalist economies in the 150 years since Marx wrote: Have profit margins evaporated? Marx thought that capitalist economies would hamper technical progress: The opposite is true.

“No, Marxism has been as wrong as it is possible for a theory to be wrong.”

—Roger Kimball, writing on “The Anatomy of Totalitarianism,” in the June issue of the New Criterion

Liberal playhouse

“PBS is the privileged playhouse of a liberal nomenklatura that will claw any conservative who dares touch or even question it. How quickly the high-brow mask of PBS partisans drops to reveal the rancid face of liberal fascism. …

“The pretensions of PBS’s partisans are beyond parody. To puncture their we-possess-the-serene-maturity-to-save-the-Republic conceit, all you have to do is say (a) obvious liberal bias exists on PBS, and (b) taxpayers shouldn’t have to finance it. That’s enough to make them come unglued. Their posture of maturity and rationality will immediately give way to the primitive posture of 1960s radicalism — a wild, essentially speechless, fascistic form of protest that throws light on liberalism’s basic hostility to reason and morality.

“PBS, as a decaying monument to LBJ’s Great Society from which it came, is one of the left’s last redoubts, and they will not surrender taxpayer money without a savage fight.”

—George Neumayr, writing on “Monopoly-Busting,” Friday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Pop art grows up

“Pop art is not what it used to be. What began with Andy Warhol in New York and Ed Ruscha in Los Angeles has grown up over the last 45 years, maturing into a style as sophisticated, refined and elegant as the best of Abstract Expressionism. …

“Pop got its start by making fun of the platitudes that second- and third-generation Abstract Expressionism had settled into, mocking the increasingly popular movement’s increasingly shrill insistence on gestural spontaneity, existential anxiety and psychological authenticity. …

“Because of its egalitarian ethos, Pop had a problem with opulence. In the ‘60s, opulence seemed old-fashioned and conservative. Pop concentrated on expanding the franchise of art, broadening the parameters of aesthetics by getting art out of the institutions in which it had been ghettoized.”

—David Pagel, writing on “A critique of stinginess,” June 19 in the Los Angeles Times

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