Left vs. Right vs. Capitalism

[The following letter was sent in response to a writer who expressed confusion as to why the Democrats, who “are the ones who stand up for the little guy” would, in a recent Supreme Court decision, vote away the little guy’s rights to keep their own homes whenever a private company can allegedly demonstrate that seizing their land for its own use would better serve “the public interest.”]

The essence of the political left is not that they “stand up for the little guy.” Modern liberalism is built on the philosophic foundation of altruism, the moral principle that the individual should sacrifice his values to others, and collectivism, the social and political principle that the group, not the individual, is the standard of value. In other words, the left believes in a moral and political imperative to sacrifice of the rights of the individual to the interests of any group, whether ethnic, national, sexual, or, in this case, economic.

The antidote to the political left is not the modern political right per se—as most modern conservatives are also exponents of altruism and collectivism—but rather, the doctrines of rational egoism and individualism, as espoused by novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand, and their political corollary, the original American doctrine of individual rights, including property rights.

Pity vs. Productivity

The Times article about the visual obstruction caused by Donald Trump’s new Riverside South apartment complex, “A Lament by the Hudson, as Trump Eclipses the Moon,” speaks volumes about the intellectual state of the political Left today, as represented by the author and the people he interviewed.

Years ago, it was claimed by the Left that Capitalist entrepreneurs had caused the impoverishment, and would soon cause the “literal starvation,” of the so-called “workers” by means of “exploitation.” A century later, after the Capitalist elements of the world’s economy have created more human prosperity than had ever been dreamed of in any previous age (and after more than a hundred million corpses have been manufactured and buried under Socialist regimes), it seems that all that remains for the Left to whine about is the fact that the creation of new physical wealth, in this case new apartment buildings, physically obstructs one’s view of whatever is behind it.

Such unimaginable human suffering! Let’s ignore, as does the Times, the obvious fact that every building in Manhattan obstructs somebody’s view of the island’s surroundings. Let’s further ignore, as does the Times, that these new apartments represent a massive addition to the wealth and prosperity of the city, that thousands of new people are being given the opportunity to live in New York, that more rental property means lower rents, or even that as many, or even more, people will be able to enjoy a view of the Hudson River as before! None of this, according to the Times, is real, or at least real enough to bear mentioning. What is real, according to the Times, is the front-page “news” that an evil Capitalist, motivated by “greed and power,” can be allowed to “take away your beauty for money.”

When pity, rather than productivity, is one’s guiding virtue (as it is for the Left), then “suffering” must be manufactured when it can’t be found, and success and happiness must either be ignored, or better yet, eliminated.