Thursday, December 09, 2004

Back in law school, I worked in a Legal Services clinic that was, not to put too fine a point on it, quite left-wing. In our first seminar, we were treated to the "two theories" (the only two, mind) of why welfare is distributed: Either it's a way to help the poor or, to take the Marxist view, a way to keep them under control. No mention of the idea that it's a misguided way to help the poor, let alone the more cynical view that it's a way to preserve them as a voting bloc.

As I consider it, though, I'm starting to ponder the Marxist idea more. Every time a liberal's (not every liberal, to be sure- certainly not the feminists) argument about abortion, for example, boils down (or begins with) a point about unwanted children filling welfare rolls and prisons, I consider it. Of course, that may just be an extreme argument they reserve for those opposed, either from a "how are you going to raise them" angle or a "this is how fascists like you think" one. Or it may be Marxist thinking they've heard bubbling out. But I wonder nonetheless how much of liberals' "care" for the lower classes is just so much paternalism and/or fear.

Two links:

A good piece- but my God, it's bad up north.

Squandered opportunities, the biggest tragedy. I agree wholeheartedly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

preserving a voting block is similiar to keeping them under control.