Category Archives: envy (appeal to)

Populist hypocrisy

Dalrymple writes that

hatred of the rich, or even of the merely prosperous, is a common, if discreditable, emotion.

He notes that Pablo Iglesias Turrión, leader of Podemos, the Spanish left-populist party with the Barackian name,

has fallen foul of the very emotion upon which his movement depends and which he has done so much to foment.

Iglesias has bought a villa with a swimming pool in a well-to-do enclave not far from Madrid for $700,000, well beyond the means of most of the electorate to which he has appealed by excoriating the privileged or exploiting class that he calls la casta. Not long ago, he attacked the finance minister, saying, ‘One cannot direct the economic policy of a country from the terrace of a flat worth $700,000.’

Dalrymple comments that Podemos presents itself

as being against the whole economic system.

To maintain that the money made by Iglesias was made legally and honestly

is, in effect, to admit the legitimacy of the economic system, whatever its deformations—and, in turn, to admit that Podemos is founded on nothing but demagoguery and encouragement of a base emotion, envy.

Corbyn: cause for alarm

A damned fool — and dangerous

Dalrymple points out that the populist-Leftist leader of the opposition in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn, is

an admirer of the Hugo Chávez school of solution to poverty and social problems.

Corbyn’s thought,

if such it can be called, is stuck in a primitive, almost pre-Bastiat stage.

This lifelong Castro devotee thinks that

expropriation and redistribution according to his view of what is right is the route to justice and prosperity. One might have hoped that the world had had sufficient experience of such notions to extinguish them from the human mind forever, but foolishness springs eternal.

In order to appeal

to the sentimentality of the electorate and to the xenophobic resentment of rich foreigners who can afford to speculate in London property, Corbyn is prepared to destroy his country’s reputation for probity and predictability in its laws of private property, a reputation that can be destroyed in a week but not restored in a decade, and which is vital to its prospects.

Corbyn

is dazzled by his virtuous vision, his mirage or hallucination of social justice.

There is, says Dalrymple,

no totalitarian as dangerous as he who does not realise he is one.

Oxfam is as economically illiterate as it is morally purblind

We know a little — and it is not very edifying — of Oxfam’s ethics. What of its economics? The ‘charity’ states in its propaganda that the eight richest men in the world own as much as the poorer half of the whole of humanity combined:

As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society – especially the poorest – suffers. The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point. 

Dalrymple examines this incitement to envy — incitement of the type also practised, of course, by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn — in the 2017 essay The Wealth Gap, animated and read for us here by Weg Zorn:

On Weg Zorn’s YouTube channel: Dalrymple’s exposition of how Oxfam’s propaganda is an incitement to envy

The Leftist populist Mélenchon’s appeal to envy and hatred

Dalrymple reports that Jean-Luc Mélenchon recently spoke to a crowd demonstrating against Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to labour laws, and

recited the fact (if it was a fact) that France had more millionaires than any other country in Europe.

This was, Dalrymple points out,

an appeal to envy and hatred—the kind of envy and hatred that has provoked at least as much mass murder as racial hatred.

Indeed, Dalrymple notes,

the two have often been closely associated, for what anti-Semite ever fails to draw attention to the economic success of Jews?

The word ‘millionaire’ as Mélenchon — himself a millionaire, of course — uttered it was intended to evoke,

by a Pavlovian reflex, an exploitative, parasitic, fat, lazy, cynical, privileged, dishonest, heartless and undeservedly lucky person, possibly still wearing a black tail coat and silk top hat, with a cigar stuck firmly between his fat and sybaritic lips.

The populist appeal to envy, spite, and resentment

Dalrymple reports that

Mr McDonnell, deputy leader of the Labour party, which for the time being is in opposition, recently objected to the presence of hereditary peers in the upper house, using the crude and vulgar language typical of populist politicians anxious to demonstrate their identity with the people or the masses.

It is strange, Dalrymple adds,

how rarely Leftists who are in favour of confiscatory economic policies are condemned as populist.