Politics column brings up Orwell comparisons

December 19, 2017

There was one good thing and one bad thing in Geary Foertsch's recent column (Dec. 5).

The good thing was his use of the phrase "...point of view..." near the end of what he wrote. It implies that he might accept that points of view different from his own might have some validity. The bad thing is his idea that "...administering hate crimes..." generates a bias (presumably against the perpetrator) "...that should convince us to abolish the concept [of hate crime]."

"Abolishing the concept of hate crime" reminds me of George Orwell's novel "1984" which was about a frightening totalitarian dystopia. In that world there existed a Ministry of Truth and a Ministry of Information and the invention of "newspeak." Newspeak vocabulary was controlled in a way that constantly reduced its size. The purpose of this was to: 1) reduce the temptation to think, and 2) to eventually make speech originate just from the larynx and without involving higher, deeper, broader thinking in the brain.

An interesting but simple extention of this line of thinking can be found in Orwell's other novel, "Animal Farm," where one of the laws states "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." Being that we are now in a post-modernist, post-industrial, post-truth society, I wonder if Geary Foertsch has future plans to help everyone be more happy by virtue of re-defining woe as happiness and decriminalizing a lot of what we identify today as crime. Just think, a homeless unemployed-unemployable bum could be happy as can be behind a dumpster.

Otherwise, I would like to hear from targets of hate crime about how they feel about abolishing the concept of hate crime.

The note at the ends of all of Mr. Foertsch's columns says he advocates Libertarian (i.e. small government) politics. I would like to report that the two most virulent libertarian essays I ever read would zero out all of our government except the military and, for one author, "maybe" a police force. Foertsch also advocates for a free market economy. But much reference material can be found on the internet that says free market economies really almost don't exist and don't work. Many decades ago, our Western society extensively bashed socialist countries where the economy amounted to one big government-run company (in the last two decades our business with totalitarian China has grown but the anti-socialist rhetoric has been dialed down quite a bit).

In an ultimately maximized libertarian economy I see nothing to prevent many small companies from being acquired or merged into monopolies that merge again ultimately and finally into one big private monopoly corporation that represses the bottom 99 percent of the people economically and politically, at least as much as any one big socialist government. Historically, there is one example of a libertarian economy that failed miserably and one example of a stable socialist economy that lasted hundreds of years.

Arthur E. Sowers

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