The Logic of Leftists Will Keep Us All Children Forever

The Logic of Leftists Will Keep Us All Children Forever. By Dan Gelernter.

Leftists have always had trouble with symbolism. …

They think that by getting rid of bad grades, they can get rid of what the bad grades represent — failure, ignorance, and laziness, on the part of students and teachers both.

Just as they think that by getting rid of terms like “fat,” they can make people healthier and more “body-positive.” Or that by replacing “fireman” and “policeman” with “firefighter” and “police officer” they can end male dominance in these dangerous professions. Or that they can make a man into a woman just by changing what he calls himself — and that it’s a triumph when one of these “women” joins a girl’s swim team and smashes all previous records by a gigantic margin.

This fundamental flaw in leftist thinking goes all the way back to its French revolutionary origins. The revolutionary council, finding that bread shortages did not disappear after the collapse of the monarchy but instead got dramatically worse, came upon a brilliant solution: They would simply decree that bread should be less expensive. Why didn’t the king think of that? With all the economic sophistication of a group of spoiled children, they announced “le maximum,” a stated maximum price that bakers were permitted to charge for a loaf. This had the effect of closing down most of the bakers in Paris and unleashing inflation on a scale never before seen in the history of government-issued money — and not to be seen again until the Soviet Revolution.

But the French revolutionaries had confused the concept of money with what money represents: value. They didn’t realize that, whether you charge one franc or 10 kopeks or 1,000 zlotys, the value represented by the loaf of bread — the cost of ingredients, the difficulty in obtaining them, plus the labor of the baker — is unaffected.

Identical thinking drives leftist demand to raise the minimum wage. They fail to realize that you can’t make someone’s labor more valuable by decree. You can only make it more expensive.

Saying it doesn’t make it so. It is a childish mistake they keep making over and over, even when it is pointed out to them.