July 12, 2006

Sandalistas and Three Propositions

SandalismoMarc Cooper is a committed lefty, but doesn't just mouth conventional poppycock.

Today he has a post on the death of one Herty Lewites, apparently a dissident Sandinista who was running for President of Nicaragua against the corrupt right and Sandinista Daniel Ortega, who Cooper says has degenerated into a Nicaraguan version of the old Mexican PRI--that is, a corrupt politician who gives lip-service to left populism.

I know nothing about Lewites beyond what Marc says, but the whole thing put me in mind of the "sandalistas," the leftist and hippy pilgrims from the US and Europe who flocked to Nicaragua to see and help the revolution. This moved me to a comment, which I thought I'd recycle here, in slightly altered form:
Ah, the sandalistas–people who relish their perceived moral superiority to their own country and keep searching for the foreign model that never fails to disappoint.

I remember a lefty–now a Democratic elected official in California–who used to prattle about how wonderful Hoxha’s Albania, of all places, was.

The starry-eyed revolutionary intellectuals of the sort who have now deserted the corrupt Sr. Ortega always end up disillusioned (if they are lucky), coopted, or shot by their own movement.

The reasons are many, but I offer three.
  1. Socialism does not work. Never has, never will.

  2. Politicizing the economy is a recipe for corruption: “absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely”.

  3. “The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21) Human beings suffer from an innate illness that leads them to egotism, violence, and corruption. This will infect every human enterprise. Try to remake society all at once according to some blueprint and you remove whatever checks have evolved, and you give free rein to these tendencies, unchecked by law, tradition, or evolved institutions.
PS. This last tendency is not unique to the left. For every Ortega there is an Abramoff. For every Beria there is a Himmler. Our founders were wise to fear both unfettered autocracy and unfettered democracy.
James Madison--be like him.

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