Bill Ayers’ recent speech at the University of Oregon lit up the Internet as though he were a world-renowned statesman, igniting predictable responses from both the right and the left.
After reading as much as I could find about Ayers’ speech on the Internet, and listening to the brief video clip that most everyone has viewed by now, my reaction might surprise some readers. Brace yourself: I believe that a majority of what Bill Ayers said is true. It is his solutions with which I take issue.
It is not uncommon for someone to be right in identifying a problem but wrong in the solution he proposes. We see it in all facets of life. In the business world, someone may accurately assess that there is a void in the market, then be completely wrong in creating or marketing a widget that he believes fills that void.
As many as 1,000 auto manufacturers preceded Henry Ford’s entry into the industry, but he became the Steve Jobs of his time, not only because of his correct perception of the demand for a reliable, low-priced automobile, but with his innovation in designing and marketing it. His creation of the auto assembly line, doubling his workers’ wages and designing the very affordable Model T Ford vaulted Ford Motor Company into the forefront of the auto industry in 1908.
Correctly perceiving a problem, a need, or a situation and knowing what to do about it are two entirely different matters. For example, if someone says to me that life isn’t fair, I would, of course, agree with him. However, I might totally disagree with him as to what, if anything, should be done about the unfairness of life.
Which brings me back to Bill Ayers and his speech at the University of Oregon …
At one point in his talk, Ayers said, “I don’t think there’s any question, and I don’t think any of you would question, that the American Empire is in decline – that economically and politically and in some ways culturally, that we are in decline.” I agree with this entire statement, though talk about America’s decline drives patriotic statists berserk.
Forget that real unemployment is well above 10 percent; forget that Congress, the executive branch and the Supreme Court ignore the Constitution with impunity; forget that the U.S. is the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world; forget that half of America’s population depends on government’s redistribution-of-wealth policies for its survival; forget that America has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.
That’s right, people should just ignore the facts and delude themselves into believing that everything is fine with the American Empire. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but everything is not fine. Far from it. America has been in an accelerating decline – politically, economically and, above all, morally – since at least the 1960s and, in many ways, since the early 1900s.
We live in an age of lost wars … $15 trillion national debts … the celebration of alternative lifestyles … cultural relativism … a government that has declared war on religion … a Department of Justice that not only refuses to uphold the law, but aggressively tries to prevent individual states from doing so.
This is not the America I grew up in. It’s an America that is on the ropes and struggling to keep its wobbly legs from giving out. Sorry, but Bill Ayers is right about America’s decline.
Further, Ayers believes he knows what’s at the heart of the decline. At an Occupy Union Square rally in New York City, he told the crowd, “I get up every morning and think, today I’m going to make a difference. Today I’m going to end capitalism.”
So, even though Ayers is right when he says that America is in decline, he’s wrong when he points to capitalism as the cause, and even more wrong when he says that “social justice” is the solution, which he has written and spoken about on many occasions.
What, exactly, is this social justice Ayers and hate-mongers on the far left believe is the solution to America’s decline? The website of the National Association of Social Workers defines social justice as “the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities.”
How does a halfway intelligent person have a rational discussion with people who talk in such nonsensical, abstract terms? The answer is, he can’t.
It’s not surprising that all attempts to implement social justice have failed the middle and lower classes 100 percent of the time. Instead of producing equal results, social justice creates an elite circle of radicals who dictate people’s lives down to the last detail – what they do for a living, how much they make, what they eat, how many children they have, and so on. Put another way, it produces equal misery for the masses.
Which gets us back to capitalism. Capitalism is not the problem; capitalism is the solution. The more capitalism, the more wealth a society can create and the more wealth there will be to “spread around” – not by force, but as a natural result of people striving to better their own existence through free-market forces. Call it trickle-down economics, if you will – but it does work. The historical facts are indisputable.
Again, Ayers is right when he says that America is in decline. But it is social justice, not capitalism, that is the cause. And it is capitalism, not social justice, that is the solution.
Ayers may not know that, but Barack Obama does – which is why his war against capitalism has been so intense.