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Location: San Diego, California, United States

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

God Bless David Mamet!

"David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'", a column in the Village Voice today, is a must read for all of my left leaning friends.

One of your own who has come to his senses! Here is a taste of his current thoughts, but do read the whole column as it is very well written - which you would expect from one of our great writers - and gives all much food for thought.

"And I realized that the time had come for me to avow my participation in that America in which I chose to live, and that that country was not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace.

"Aha," you will say, and you are right. I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism." (emphasis mine)

Read about David Mamet in Wikipedia.



Blogger Curt said...

Here's the bit I found most interesting:

"I found not only that I didn't trust the current government (that, to me, was no surprise), but that an impartial review revealed that the faults of this president—whom I, a good liberal, considered a monster—were little different from those of a president whom I revered.

"Bush got us into Iraq, JFK into Vietnam. Bush stole the election in Florida; Kennedy stole his in Chicago. Bush outed a CIA agent; Kennedy left hundreds of them to die in the surf at the Bay of Pigs. Bush lied about his military service; Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for a book written by Ted Sorenson. Bush was in bed with the Saudis, Kennedy with the Mafia. Oh."

This makes me think about a few points:
1. Often our political preferences are based on simple 'tribal' identification rather than examination of actual deeds.
2. The demand and temptation for any politician to 'do something' is almost irresistable, and often has many uncontrollable and unintended consequences (see your earlier post from George Will, among oh so many other examples!).
3. There are some things the market does very well, some that the government must do, and a some that require a combination. The trick is finding what works and sticking to it.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Because of 1. and 2., your true statement in 3. must always analyze and try the market - before yielding to the new "standard" answer that "the government must do" it!

Government must be much more limited than our policies dictate today, or we will go down the same path of all previous great powers!

"Great Power" always means "Great Rewards" for the government bureaucracy and that will only be stopped in a republican organization by the people limiting government!

What did you think about the following:

our country is "not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace."

It seems to me this is a concise criticism of the left policies!

8:52 AM  
Blogger Curt said...

In terms of the government vs market, of course there are all sorts of interesting events happening at the moment; the Bear Stearns 'deal' brokered by the Fed, and the ongoing talk of some 'relief' in the subprime housing arena. (I'm not commenting either way on whether these are good ideas or not, but I have seen a number of very market-oriented commentators profess to approving of the Bear Stearns move).

About the 'schoolroom vs. marketplace' line, to be honest the more I think about it the less clear it becomes to me. These are such broad terms that I can read all sorts of shadings into it.

While clearly the U.S. is a market-oriented society (in relative terms), don't we also feel that there are certain American values? Don't we expect newcomers to adopt many of those values?

Almost no one protests the fact that certain luxury, decadent goods are for sale; we say that those who want to buy them can go about their business. But people do protest according to their values (regardless of the legal standing), whether it's abortion clinics or fur stores (animal treatment issues).

And I'd say that both the left and the right are willing to fight for and use the political process to impose 'values' on the rest of the population.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

"schoolroom teaching values": I interpret Mamets meaning as "government intervention [like a schoolteacher] to solve a problem [or teach their version of values] by dictate. He has concluded that the market does a better job, as I have.


1. Social Security (we can't let any of our elders suffer - even though near 100% of them will be cared for by their family or the community). This effects our societies values.

2. Unemployment Insurance: (we can't let the economy hurt any employees - even though it is a small percentage of the work force and most will plan for the possibility by saving or get help from family or the community). This efffects our societies values.

3. The new pander - Universal Health Care: (we have to guarantee every person healthcare, even though no one in the United States goes without needed emergency care today and most people will save for appropriate preventitive requirements and non-emergency requirements as they mature). This effects our societies values.

Our society would be in better shape today if none of these programs existed - don't think this a harsh statement, the problems would have been fixed by other methods - and the government would be much less powerful without these "pandering for votes" programs!

Mamet has seen the light! Look at my post today on a Daniel Henninger column that asks if he is perhaps a bellwether.

8:39 AM  

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