Class struggle. Racially-charged rhetoric. Anti-capitalist diatribes. Sounds like the lineup to a “Fantasy Diversity” team from a sociology professor at Wellesley College, right?
Alas, I’m merely referring to the controversy surrounding ex-Miami Dolphins players Jonathan Martin (black) and Richie Incognito (white). For those who haven’t been paying attention – and thank your lucky stars that you haven’t – Martin left the team for personal reasons and his fellow offensive lineman Incognito was released by the Dolphins for allegedly being the bully who broke the spirit of the younger Martin.
I’m not here interested in solving the intra-team dynamics of a professional football team (comprised of giant men who willingly smash into each other for a living), but instead wanted to share with you a very telling quote from the media’s coverage of this story.
It comes from a sports “journalist” (term used loosely) named Jason Whitlock who works for ESPN. Mr. Whitlock is no stranger to controversy or inflammatory remarks, having made many of his own through the years via his columns and various radio shows. On Tuesday’s episode of The Tony Kornheiser Show on ESPN 980 (out of Washington D.C.), Whitlock was asked by Kornheiser to explain why the Dolphins players would want to harass and “cannibalize” a promising young player like Martin when they need all the help they can get on the actual football field.
“Because that’s what we do in America. That’s what capitalism does. It’s preys upon the weak.”
Interesting leap there for a sub-genre of journalist who, as Matt K. Lewis of The Daily Caller points out today, is supposedly covering a-political stuff. When asked about bullying in a locker room of grown men, Comrade Whitlock jumps right to class struggle, economic exploitation, and the evils of free enterprise. Almost as if he’d be indoctrinated at an impressionable age with Marxist-infused ideology that is designed to be the lenses through which its adherents observe and understand the world around them…
And here, where you least expect it, attacks against free market capitalism – based squarely on flawed understandings of everything from economics to human behavior – leave their indelible mark on the psyche of unsuspecting Americans. But ain’t that the way it always is?
I’ve never been a big believer in conspiracy theories that put scheming progressives in a Dr. Strangelove-like war room, deciding to change the world. Sure, there may be some of that here and there, but the problem those of us who cherish economic freedom and limited government face is more insidious than that. We’re “battling” (term used loosely) people who have been raised in environments where cultural Marxism is the air that they breathe. They reach ages like 46 – Whitlock’s age – and have never been confronted with clear articulations of the other side’s worldview.
And so they grow deeper in love with the self-satisfied, emotions-based responses about class, race and gender that explain everything for someone on the Left.
We need to introduce an intoxicating intellectual mistress into their midst. We need to reinvigorate the primal, instinctual cravings of Creator-endowed sub-creators. The love affair with progressivism clouds the decision-making ability of millions of Americans in a million different daily scenarios that have nothing to do with the arenas of politics and economics that we typically think they exclusively reside.
A boring discussion on the merits of lower marginal tax rates can’t be our best line of defense against something that potent.
“We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage.” -F.A. Hayek