Redistribution of Wealth. What, Whose, Why, and How?

Jami Duvall.  M. A.Starred Page By Jami Duvall. M. A., 2nd Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Economics

We can stand, stupidly, and watch as our civilization ends, to be replaced by a godless redistribution machine, or we must must articulate a more powerful vision, one that sweeps theirs, however well intentioned, back into the global warming Hell from whence it came. But we must do more. We must find a new vision. This positive vision of work and art is of greater value than a few dollars spread around, and would integrate on a market basis in what at present appears to be a chaotic world.

Redistribution of Wealth.

What, Whose, Why, and How? An Essay on Economic Policy in a Changing Climate.

James Duvall, M. A.
Nec ossa solum, sed etiam sanguinem.
Big Bone University
Rabbit Hash, Kentucky

"What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be." Franz Fanon. 1961.

Climate Change as a Political Religion.

Climate change is now considered as a primary means of Redistribution of Wealth. No wonder they protect their god so religiously. They can tolerate no atheism, climatologically speaking, no impartial critique, from the rest of us. Climate, an evolutionary god of constant change, presides over the ever-warming environment, to the detriment of Conservatives, and the benefit of Liberals. (How different is this from the Christian view of Heaven and Hell?) It is their ticket to power and revolution, its goal is termed liberation, apparently of Everything!

Naomi Klein, columnist for The Nation, wrote a book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. This was excerpted in that magazine. She quotes Franz Fanon, a revolutionary guru from the sixties of the past century (see the epigraph above), and states: "Climate change — precisely because it demands so much public investment and planning — is our chance to right those festering wrongs at last: the unfinished business of liberation." A People's Shock for The Republic. 6 Oct 2014. 17.

She adds: "Winning will certainly require the convergence of diverse constituencies on a scale previously unknown." In other words, huge concentrations of coercive power. However, she notes, all of this will be fruitless if we don't reinvent the idea of the collective, the communal, the commons, and the civic, that is reinvent Socialism into something more like it was in the Soviet era: "what is overwhelming about the climate challenge is that it requires breaking so many rules at once — ".

There it's out. They are willing to break the rules to further the wishes of their created idol, the great unspeaking god Climate. Klein says that the demand for a global minimum income might be a better policy battle than, say, a minimal carbon tax on emissions: This is so workers have the option just say no to "dirty energy jobs" — or perhaps holding no job at all? — but also because it opens debate about values. Just what kind of values are relevant to the debate on income inequality. We hear about Picketty, and a lot of other theorists.

Ted Cruz Proposes to Debate Income Inequality.

“Over the last six-and-a-half years, the rich have gotten richer and hard-working men and women across America have seen their lives get harder and harder,” Cruz said during an exclusive interview with The Federalist on his campaign bus. “The people who have been hurt the most are the most vulnerable. Young people, Hispanics, African-Americans, single moms.” Cruz said: “We’ve seen for two terms now the big government policies you and Barack Obama advocate don’t work.” Here is the question he would ask Hillary. “Why should anyone believe a third term of the same failed policies would produce anything different?” The fundamental difference in the way these two candidates would address the question of income inequality concerns their values. We do not need Klein and Clinton to use wealth distribution to open the debate. We need to have the debate first.

This Question Will Not Go Away.

Klein says of Income Distribution: “It opens debate about values.” The question is: Whose values? Where do these values to come from?

C. S. Lewis once reminded us that man can no more create a new value, than create a new primary colour. The values Klein is speaking of can only be values derived from the socialist agenda of people like herself. Many of these, it is true, are derivated from Christian values, like helping your neighbor, or promoting justice; but for people like her, rationalists, they have been dehydrated, and made to conform to an unchristian background of Liberalism. They must have value, but they choose certain values to promote over what may be more important values in the long run. In terms of Christianity: They want the steam without the engine that produced it. They often take a value, like love or fairness, can be used to trump a value such as truth, or respect for human life. Often such juggling of values is used to propagate hate in the name of a false justice.
All such talk about economic fairness takes no account of the fact that any minimal income is inherently unfair: The minimal income would either have to be the same or different all over the world. If it were different in dollar amounts, it could always be argued to be unfair. The minimal income on which a U.S. citizen would nearly starve would provide upper class status in the villages of India. It costs more to live in New York (where the Naomi Kleins live) than at Big Bone (where I live with a wife and nine children). I don't have her income, but neither do I have her expenses. Any attempt to ration this rationally is irrationality itself. That is why we leave this function to the market; no one person is fair enough, or omniscient enough, to make the allocations. We mitigate the results by giving alms to the poorest, a concept socialists hate, partly because most of us don't do it very well. So whose fault is that?

Climate Control as Smokescreen for Distribution.

The actual reason they focus on income distribution rather than goals that would seem to be closer to climate and other environmental problems is that some of our ecological problems are completely intractable under the current system. Nothing they do in that regard is going to make enough difference to justify the money and efforts spent. It is much easier to do things with inflatable paper and plastic money, than to change any part of the physical structure of the world — especially if climate change is not the problem they say it is. The reason to focus on income is that redistribution of wealth is the real goal in the first place: to engineer the world into a socialist dream of perfection, regardless of any input from the inhabitants of the real world. This destruction of incentives to produce wealth would be the greatest impoverishment to society that such a system could enforce.
Economic systems allocate goods, including the necessities of life, according to economic considerations. No economic system can make basic political decisions. Economic systems are never automatic, nor can we even be certain that the best decision is made. An infallible and automatic system would be simply a tyranny. Bureaucracy is but tyranny without the tyrant.

Bureaucracy — that is, an international bureaucracy, probably under the United Nations — would be the only way to administer the distribution to be made in the name of the new god Climate. The bureaucrats would be the primary beneficiaries, and this could easily become a benefit to corporate socialism. The losers would be the people of the world, who would lose their freedom and incentives, along with a pittance for food.

Thomas Sowell has pointed out "Politics allows people to vote for the impossible." Basic Economics. 2007. 520. It is unlikely that the issue of redistribution would ever come to a vote, our socio-fascistic liberal élite would never allow that. Rather the whole scheme would be foisted on from above. In politics the question is not what is desirable: that is utopia. The real question is which of several alternatives is best, and that means what is best for this society, now. In America that means, or has meant in the past, making major policy changes based on the input of the people through their elected representatives. Also, there is the problem what to do about really bad decisions that have already been made?

The pattern of human relation that has grown up around the corporation is the tendency to treat everyone as an economic good. That is a huge problem. But it is in the best traditions of the liberal mindset of solving social problems with money. They always think money rather than wealth creation. Corporations as business entities do not see the need for individuals to have any other status or function in society that that of economics. I do not deny that this is a problem; I think it is generally glossed over by liberals and conservatives alike. We need to stop looking at the world in terms of money and law, and look at it in human terms. We need to start thinking in terms of religion, history, and a truely democratic political process. People do not need us to give them money unless they are actually starving. They do not need us to tell them how to think. What they truly want and need is love, respect and understanding.

Understand People rather than Control them.

We are in a transition period in the West. We are not transitioning, as so many people seem to think, to technology, that is like saying the steam-engine created the industrial revolution. People create revolutions. They use technology to help them do it. We are transitioning to a society that is based on history more than it is on science and technology. What is the use of computers if you don't understand the input of the person on the other end? Societies in the past have turned on the idea of either controlling people, or (for various reasons) of philanthropy — of doing them good, but giving them something we think they need, or that we want to give them. Historical society would turn on the notion of trying to understand other people as individuals and in groups.

Without understanding the world must be full of hate. Any poverty program is going to increase ill-will on every side. The only ones to benefit will be the administrators who care neither for understanding or justice, only control.

The solution to treating people as an economic good can only be a massive reorientation to the idea of money, the root of all evil. Nothing in the nature of a political solution can change that. It is a religious question. A question of values. The proposed “philanthropic” solution only assumes money is the major value of all mankind, and proceeds accordingly. It promotes a society of "Haves" as against the "Have-nots". This denies basic justice, based on both status and function, to the majority of people in society. It does not approach the identities they as individuals and groups have created for themselves. The solutions proposed are really a form of economic terrorism.

To grant a guaranteed income for everyone leaves no place in the system for work. It assumes work is a problem people want to get rid of, which is a belittling of the values of the working people of the world. There are already various forms of distribution in place, and we see no noticible wish by the priviledged to change their form of income.

For example, distribution can be on the basis of status, as when we pay CEOs and Presidents millions of dollars, regardless of the work they do. Or it can be on the basis of function, as when we pay miners more than waiters. It can also be on the basis of intellectual work, always remembering that people never get paid by what they are worth, but by what they can negotiate. Work and worth are both subjective in this sense. What one person calls leisure, or a waste of time, is work for many others.

A program of redistribution of wealth that does not base it on work and the inherent value of human life is bound to create havoc. As Northup Frye, a Canadian literary critic, remarked: "The efficient cause of civilization is work, and poetry in its social aspect has the function of expressing, as a verbal hypothesis, a vision of the goal of work and the forms of desire." The Anatomy of Criticism, Princeton University Press. 1957. 106. In the Liberal view of the universe there is no vision of work. The vision is religious, one way or the other. They want to destroy our vision of what we are working for, to promote their vision of immediate gratification, in the name of "fairness", followed by a socialist protection system.

We must understand what is at stake. We cannot fight what we don't understand, but it is getting so clear now that it is pretty obvious what must be done. When we begin to treat money as so much dung that merely fertilizes wealth; until we begin to consider it an accounting process that produces nothing, but distributes wealth without the interference of bureaucratic values; and until we are determined to modify the worst effects of it, not through mandated socialist programs, but through direct action, then we will be on our way to a solution.

Direct action is to cast your bread on the waters, an act of faith. The socialists cannot accept this because their faith is in a system, not in God. Charity is not philanthropy, it is the ultimate Christian value. It is treating money as nothing but the means of enhancing human value rather than destroying it. Nothing the government can do can replace this kind of love.

There is a lot at stake. We can stand, stupidly, and watch as our civilization ends, to be replaced by a godless redistribution machine, or we must must articulate a more powerful vision, one that sweeps theirs, however well intentioned, back into the global warming Hell from whence it came. But we must do more. We must find a grass-roots way to implement the vision. This positive vision of work and art is worth thinking about and living out. It it is a value worth working for. The vision itself would be of greater wealth than the few dollars our opponents propose to spread around, and as a vision would integrate on a market basis in what at present appears to be a chaotic world.

How this vision is to be accomplished is, of course, an open question. I do not here answer the question asked in my subtitle: What, Whose, Why, and How? These are, in my opinion unanswerable questions, and any attempt to do so is necessarily arbitrary. Tyrants to not distribute their own wealth, it is always that of others, whether the corporations, the middle class, or through inflation. The real issue is not climate change, it is any emergency that faces us as a civilization. It is my contention that their solutions would leave us in a worse position, both as individuals, and as a civilization, to deal with future problems that will arise.

Conclusion. Which may be a new Beginning.

The kind of leadership we need now was represented in the past by the Romantic movement. Theirs was not a quest for knowledge and value based on a single discipline. C. S. Lewis reminds us: "Theology teaches us what ends are desirable and what means are lawful. Politics teaches us what means are effective." C. S. Lewis. Christian Apologetics. God in the Dock. 1945. Effectiveness is not the only criterion of action; the others are at least as important. The penchant of the socialists for “breaking so many rules at once” is as self-justifying as it is disturbing.

The Romantic movement held that life was risk and adventure, and that heroism made life worthwhile. This included life both individually and collectively. But there was another aim as well: to gain salvation, that includes the search for the infinite reality that underlies man's desire. It was an attempt to reach the heart of our values. The individual in this view is of infinite worth, it is the legacy of Christianity, but so is the pursuit of the infinite, and the doctrine of serving one's fellow man. This goal, to be pursued in any economic climate, must be political, artistic, and religious at the same time.

A few Bibliographical Items to consider:

Jacques Barzun. Classic, Romantic, and Modern. Phoenix Books. 1975.

Hernando de Soto. The Mystery Of Capital Why Capitalism Succeeds In The West and Fails Everywhere Else. 2000.

Northup Frye. The Anatomy of Criticism. Princeton University Press. 1957.
Naomi Klein. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. 2015.

C. S. Lewis. Christian Apologetics. God in the Dock. 1945.

Thomas Piketty and Arthur Goldhammer. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. 2014.

Link to the Federalist Papers:


Climate, Economics, Environment, Political Theory, Wealth

Meet the author

author avatar Jami Duvall. M. A.
Independent Researcher and Archive Consultant. History. Philosophy. Religion. Politics. All the stuff people get mad about, but shouldn't, because they are so important.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
5th Oct 2015 (#)

Right wing drivel.

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author avatar Jami Duvall. M. A.
6th Oct 2015 (#)

Thank you for reading.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
6th Oct 2015 (#)

When one is willing to work hard the rewards should be clear and automatic than what the majority is able to earn now - mostly a subsistence living. Those who have health and other issues and not able to put in much effort should be able to live with dignity than depend on charity.

Our political and economic systems should be refined so that the wealthy are not able to leverage on their wealth and contacts to become richer at the cost of the poor.

Religion and moral issues should not interfere with the justice of basic reward for work put in. One should not be beholden to another and should be able to find justice within the system.

Democracy and freedom have not meant much change in terms of rewards as the boss (greed) remains the same whoever is elected to power! siva

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author avatar Jami Duvall. M. A.
6th Oct 2015 (#)

I agree with your basic premise, but your remark "Religion and moral issues should not interfere with the justice of basic reward for work put in." is incorrect. Religion and morality is the only basis of justice. If we are not beholden to each other we have no basis for a system of justice or of economics. Democracy and freedom is the only reason we are even talking about this. It is only because our system is relatively successful that we can improve it, we don't know what we would get with any other possible system.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
6th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks for your response, Jami.

Basics of justice we all know irrespective of our religious affiliations. My point was fanatics do get carried away with a take - my way or the highway! In fact, religious diktats were not that democratic or brooked questioning especially during earlier times.

Rewards for work should ensure basic dignity and I have lived in places where many had to work on virtually empty stomachs. Democracy and freedom are a recent phenomenon and slavery was taken as par for the course even when religion held sway.

Religion and morality can play their part too but should not be inbuilt within the basic reward system - siva

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