Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Salve on Heller's Attack

This week the Olive Press, our local penny saver, carried a story  about the newsletter I mailed concerning the Town of Olive Republican Committee's meeting at the Shokan American Legion Hall on September 23 at 7:00.  Also, there were two letters about me again, one defending me from Gus Murphy's (I assume humorous) threat to punch me in the nose (or something like that) and another from a guy named Murray Heller calling me a simpleton.  I wrote a response to Mr. Heller's letter. Hopefully this will stir up the pot a little more.  Also, note the reference to Leo Strauss at the end.

Dear Editor:

In 2007 The Business Council rated economic growth in the New York counties.  Growth that matched the nation's average growth in five categories: jobs, average wages, total personal income, per-capita personal income and population received an A+. Those that lagged the nation's average in all five areas received an F.   About half of New York's county's, including Ulster and Warren, received an F.  There are many people satisfied with poverty. They vote for Democrats. Others are Democratic activists eager to accrue benefits to themselves but to impoverish others.  Congressman Maurice Hinchey is in this latter category.  He has produced "pork" for himself and his political cronies but given trichinosis to Ulster County's economy. Nationally, employment growth has been about 20 percent since Hinchey's election.  Here in trichinosis-, or should I write Hincheynosis-, afflicted Ulster County, job growth since 1990 has been about zero.  The same is true of Warrensburg, Murray Heller's Hinchitopia where on any winter morning the unemployed congregate in the local diner.    

I appreciate Murray Heller's candor.  Congressman Hinchey has generally attempted to paint himself as a moderate. Heller makes clear that he would like to see Hinchey do here what he has done to the Adirondacks.  Heller also seems to imply that regulations on your eating habits are fair game for the Democratic Party's "moderates."  Here in Ulster County Hinchey has broken up extended families because children cannot find jobs.  Heller, writing from one of his two residences, makes clear that Hincheynosis has been good to him because he can enjoy beautiful views, free of pesky, lower class peasants who disagree with his progressive, Democratic Party religion and might run power saws that disturb him. As well, Heller considers me a simplistic "true believer" because I disagree.  For Hinchey and Heller, politics is a religion and all who disagree must be damned.  

In Natural Right and History (p. 184) Leo Strauss adumbrates the origin of the left's religious commitment to the state.  It arises from the foundation of liberalism. Hobbes built on Machiavelli and converted the biblical notion of a state of pure nature and the fall with a possibility of grace to the Enlightenment notion of a state of nature characterized by natural right and the liberal equivalent of grace, a natural rights-based civil society.  Building on Strauss's interpretation of Hobbes, the left's religious faith in the state travels through Hegel's providential laws of history to Marx's teleological messianism. The Bismarckian welfare state that was based on the socialization of Christianity and preceded Nazism by 40 years came to America through institutionalists (today called progressives) like Richard T. Ely and John R. Commons.  Progressivism integrated the social Gospel with German historicism and American Populism, and when combined with Marx's atheism produced a new religion of state worship. This religion that Mr. Heller advocates suggests that any human activity is immoral and that nature must be preserved for the elite, of which he considers himself a member. Heller adduces proof of his elite status: his friendship with the publisher of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

The eviction of the average person from his home in order to provide aesthetically pleasing environments for the affluent and the super-rich has been part of the left's catechsim ever since the residents of Olive were evicted from the Ashokan and then the New York Times supported Robert Moses's eviction of one sixteenth of New York City residents. Today New York City reflects the flowering of this value system.  Only the super rich, of whom Mr. Heller approves because they agree with him about Hinchey, can afford to live in Manhattan after eleven decades of taking advice from the Ochs Sulzbergers, who undoubtedly would also call my views simplistic. 

Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.

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