Monday, December 27, 2010

The Case for Ebeneezer

S-C-R-O-O-G-E ! Though I hope that you are sophisticated enough to resist such an apparent ad hominem attack against people of wealth, such has not been the response of most men and women. Like Ayn Rand’s sniveling bureaucrat, Wesley Mouch, the name "Ebeneezer Scrooge" is designed to evoke prejudice and animosity in the mind of the reader, so that people will be predisposed to support any case against the man, no matter how ill-founded.

You are now able to see the fundamental contrast of characters presented to us by Charles Dickens. Scrooge – the only person in the novel exhibiting any creative intelligence, and the only one who produces anything – is the villain because he has not given an unearned portion of his wealth over to Bob Cratchett – a man presented to us as a victim incapable of producing much of anything! In this brief synopsis, you see the thoroughly dispirited nature of socialism, a philosophy for losers, that feeds upon, and requires the continuing nourishment of, the mindset of victimology.

At some point, we need to show some appropriate respect for the forces of natural selection that have long directed the life process. We ought to learn from the rest of nature: either we make ourselves capable of adapting to an ever-changing world – by improving the skills or other learning with which we act upon the world – or we prepare to die. Dickens’ approach, like the underlying methodology of the welfare state, does nothing to provide long-term help for the Cratchetts of the world. Scrooge’s unearned generosity will not only increase his costs of doing business – thus increasing the likelihood of his own business failure – but, upon his bankruptcy or eventual death, will leave Cratchett in the position of having to find a new host upon which to attach himself for the remainder of his parasitic life.

The claim against my client is without substance, and should be dismissed with prejudice. It is the industrial revolution’s version of a scapegoating action, grounded more in bigotry than in fact or reason. In the end, I can offer no better answer to such charges than those provided by my client himself: "bah, humbug!"

The defense rests.