15 March 2011

Unintended consequences?

Soothscribe Thomas Sowell once again skewers sanctimonious "progressive" hypocrisy in NRO:
At one time, housing prices in San Francisco were much like housing prices elsewhere in the country. But the building restrictions - and outright bans - resulting from the political crusades of environmentalist zealots sent housing prices skyrocketing in San Francisco, San Jose, and most of the communities in between. Housing prices in these communities soared to about three times the national average.

The black population in three adjacent counties on the San Francisco peninsula is just under 3 percent of the total population in the 39 communities in those counties.
It so happens that these are counties where voters and the officials they elect are virtually all liberal Democrats. You might be hard pressed to find similarly one-sided conservative Republican communities where blacks are such small percentages of the population.

Certainly that would be hard to find in states with a substantial total population of blacks. In California, a substantial black population has simply been forced by economics to vacate many communities near the coast and move farther inland, where the environmental zealots are not yet as strong politically, and where housing prices are therefore not yet as unaffordable.
I will cut some initial slack to the authors of do-gooding legislation that turns out to be a nightmare for whatever group supposedly favoured by it. In particular (hate-filled garbage like Aneurin Bevan aside), that dispensation covers most of the New Jerusalemites of the post-World War II Labour administration in Britain.

But when you persist in programmes that have manifestly not only failed to achieve the betterment originally conceived, but have also created additional problems, then you are quite simply evil. That is what has happened to the "progressives", who are now the most viciously reactionary segment of society, united by a fanatical determination to prevent any change that might threaten their interests, heavily vested in all those once high-sounding redistributive programmes.

Of them all, the mutation of environmentalism from a commitment to clean air, clean water and proper husbandry of resources to a covert determination to keep the poor down, domestically and internationally, has been the most rapid and the most nauseating.

But then the common denominator of all the "progressive" crusades of our times has been that they originate and are sustained by the lower middle class (petit bourgeosie), historically the most retrograde section of society and as such excoriated by, most notably, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.


  1. If one dimly discerns the cash-laden hand of the friendly housing developer reaching out to 'envelope' that of the local community leader can one really be fantasizing? What a righteous marriage of those who love Mother Gaia with their obedient servants in the Real Estate field who only desire to be rewarded well for the many services they offer.

  2. I've commented previously on what I believe to be the psychological mechanism. Step 1: I have spent my life trying to help the poor and disadvantaged. Step 2: the bastards are unappreciative. Step 3: I deserve some reward for all my unappreciated self-sacrifice. Step 4: Fuck 'em all and gimme the money.