The Moral Relativism of Socialism

The riots in Britain are spreading, the bobbies are fighting to restore the order, and political and social analysts from both left and right are giving their versions of what is happening and why it is happening. Naturally, since the riots are a unified, general event, the analyses will inevitably tend to generalize in order to find the ultimate causes for it. That’s the very job of an analyst: Observe an event to find out the unified reason for its existence, and then give advice for action.

But, no, says Mehdi Hasan of The New Statesman, we shouldn’t do that. We should not “generalize.” There is no general explanation for the riots, neither is there a general description of the average looter. Every looter has his own personal description, and every looter has his own personal reasons to loot, and we can’t find the connection between the many individual looters and their motives. See, for example, there is a millionaire’s daughter among the looters. Therefore, please, stop generalizing.

Strange, given the fact that this is the same Mehdi Hasan who freely generalized a week ago about Standard & Poor’s, calling for “downgrading the downgraders.” He inveighed against “these unelected, unregulated, politicised private firms, with horrific track records and excessive power over democratic governments.” When it’s Hasan, generalizing is OK; when it’s someone else, please stop generalizing. Double standard, anyone?

This puzzle of Hasan’s radical change of mind concerning generalizations is solved when we count the fact that The New Statesman is the flagship of the Fabian Socialism in Britain, founded by no less prominent members of the Fabian Society that Sidney and Beatrice Webb themselves, and devoted to “radical politics.” Yes, that same Fabian Society that has as its emblem a wolf in sheep’s clothing; brazenly declaring to the world that the tactics of the Society is promoting socialism through deception and lies. Established in the late 1800s in England where the population was still predominantly Christian, the Fabian Society’s preferred tactics from the beginning was to twist the meaning of the Biblical social ethics and make it support socialism and totalitarian government. Since socialism is always morally relativistic, there was no problem for the Fabian socialists – all of them atheists – to go use the Bible in their discourses and preach socialism from its pages. Wolf in sheep’s clothing par excellence.

The problem always was that there would be Christians smart enough to point to the moral issues involved; and that the moral principles of the Bible can not agree with socialism, no matter how the Fabians may twist them. In that case Sidney Webb developed the tactics of burying the opponents under a mountain of details, nuances, and useless numerical data. Through the London School of Economics founded by him and his wife, Webb perfected the tactics and taught a generation of scholars and economists to hide the ethical inconsistencies of socialism under a mass of specifics and detailed but worthless data. The expectation was that the opponents will tire of having to sort through all the details and will leave the debate without defending their position. It did work.

The riots these days have a very solid, morally sound explanation; it was expressed by Max Hastings in his brilliant analysis, “Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters.” No other explanation will suffice. The explanations on the left, that the riots are cause by the cuts in government services and welfare, only reinforces Hastings’s analysis; if cuts in government handouts are really the reason for the riots, then Hastings is completely right, that same liberal dogma of government welfare has indeed spawned a generation of amoral and welfare dependent youngsters who refuse to live except on hand-outs. And this very moral issue speaks mightily against the policies and the philosophy of Fabian Socialism whose faithful proponent Mehdi Hasan is.

So Hasan has no chance but to resort to details and nuances. Let’s not generalize. Let’s look at every looter for himself. They can’t have a common, general motive, can they. We need to examine the personal motive of everyone, we can’t try to find a unifying principle. Hasan is simply trying to use the tactics given to the Fabians by their founder to grind the debate about moral issues to a halt, and then muddle it enough so that no moral lessons are learned from it. Moral relativism to Fabians is like water to a fish; when placed in a world of solid, stable, absolute moral values, socialists can’t breathe.

No wonder our own Communist Obama administration uses the same tactics, refusing to accept the moral responsibility for the destruction of the American economy, blaming all either on the opponents, or on the previous administrations, or on individual events in the world economy: the Euro, the tzunami, and what not. Socialism just can’t win if there are absolute moral standards, and if these moral standards are used to both assess and prescribe government policies. Socialists, British and American, know this truth very well.

Contrary to Hasan and Obama, however, there are moral reasons behind both the riots in Britain and the economic collapse in America. And these moral reasons have everything to do with the immorality of socialism – the immorality of confiscatory taxes, of government regulations, of welfare handouts, of government education, etc. While the socialists would always like to drown the ethical debate under a flood of details and nuances, common sense requires that we stick to the moral standards we have inherited from our Christian fathers. Only by sticking to them we can know what exactly is happening and why it is happening. And only then we will know what to do to not let the same happen in the lifetime of our children. The moral relativism of Hasan and his socialist buddies must be thrown in the dustbin of history.