The Other McCain

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Liberals Hate Books They Don’t Read

Posted on | February 15, 2014 | 14 Comments

Eugene Volokh:

Last week, E.J. Dionne Jr. penned a column in the Washington Post that blamed adherence to the tenets of the Austrian school of economics for gridlock in Washington. Well, sort of. He seemed to say that Austrian economics simultaneously was an obscure set of ideas of which no one has heard (except Ron Paul) and is yet powerful enough to provide the rallying cry for the Republican Party in Washington. More important, he says that Austrian economics is troublesome as a practical matter by blocking activist-government Keynesian-style interventions and deficit spending that would spur the economy and bring about greater wealth redistribution, but [also that] Austrian economics is wrong as a theoretical and historical matter.

Volokh observes that Dionne presumes to attack Hayek’s 1944 book The Road to Serfdom, although “it isn’t evident from the column that Dionne has actually read The Road to Serfdom itself, as opposed to just reading commentators on the book who have also fundamentally misunderstood the book.” Margaret Thatcher famously remarked that the problem with socialism is that, “sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money”. However, we might add, liberals never run out of bad arguments for failed policies.

(Hat-tip: Instapundit.)



14 Responses to “Liberals Hate Books They Don’t Read”

  1. ariyadesai01
    February 15th, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Liberals Hate Books They Don’t Read #TCOT

  2. Silver Whistle
    February 15th, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

    It wasn’t Volokh’s post – it was by Todd Zywicki.

  3. johncunningham
    February 15th, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

    that’s why lefties rely so much on hatred and slimy rhetoric, the supply is infinite, and their store of logic and reason is so limited,

  4. Dana
    February 15th, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

    It’s simple: if the liberals actually read — and understood — economics, they wouldn’t be liberals anymore.

    My intellectual respect for Mr Dionne has never been particularly high.

  5. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    February 15th, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

    This was my comment over at the Blogfather about this:

    Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Come on Glenn, Coco the sign language using gorilla would out match E.J. Dionne in a debate of issues.

    40 minutes ago Reply Like (4) Report Abuse Link To Comment

  6. DaveO
    February 15th, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

    Had a professor who discouraged the use of Cliff’s Notes and the use of criticisms of criticisms of literature because of error. Most Prognazis will tell you the Bible is inaccurate because of this principle (written so many years + different writer-introduced error), but will tell you the blog they read that discussed the news article that stated a Democract congresscritter said Hayek is wrong during a conversation with the children of ACORN is absolutely the gospel truth.
    Dionne knows his audience has never Hayek, or Keynes.

  7. richard mcenroe
    February 15th, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

    EJ Dionne is an intellectual pedophile. He touches your brain in bad ways.

  8. Daniel O'Brien
    February 15th, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

    Oops. Stacy needs more coffee…

  9. Bob Belvedere
    February 15th, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

    And Richard wins this thread.

  10. Adjoran
    February 15th, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

    Dionne is the ideal columnist for the leftists: he sounds intellectual without ever actually thinking. He brings their standard talking points to every single issue, nicely arranged as if by a florist, but consisting entirely of dead, wilted ideas.

    In his cocktail-circuit world, there is virtually no danger he would run into anyone who had read and understood even a chapter of Hayek. But he probably can’t turn from one tray of canapés to the next without being congratulated on his “critique” of conservative economics.

  11. From Around the Blogroll | The First Street Journal.
    February 15th, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

    […] Robert Stacey Stacy McCain noted an article by Todd Zywicki criticizing E J Dionne’s article criticizing a book that he had obviously never read. Your Editor has never had much intellectual respect for Mr Dionne, who claims to be a Catholic and who writes for the lay Catholic journal Commonweal, which is about as Catholic as Nancy Pelosi and Andrew Cuomo and John Kerry, which is to say, not in the slightest. Mr Dionne is just terribly distraught that the “Austrian” school is blocking the use of Keynesian economics to fix our terrible economic problems, without understanding that Keynesian economics does not work! We tried a Keynesian approach to the recession, and it failed miserably. […]

  12. Matt_SE
    February 15th, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

    “He [Dionnne] seemed to say that Austrian economics simultaneously was an obscure
    set of ideas of which no one has heard (except Ron Paul) and is yet
    powerful enough to provide the rallying cry for the Republican Party in

    This would be an amusing snapshot of liberal illogic, except for what it shows about them. They really have internalized the maxim “the personal is political.” Everything is political, nothing has meaning independent of that.

    This paragraph could be duplicated for innumerable topics, all commented upon by liberals. The approach is the same: denigrate the badthink (because it’s so dangerous), but deny it legitimacy by implying it is unimportant.
    It’s a sort of open whispering campaign.

  13. Adjoran
    February 16th, 2014 @ 2:58 am

    Personally, while I agree some of the True Believers and many of the Unwashed Masses who follow them are so deluded as to believe these inconsistent arguments, I do think most of the leftists don’t even fool themselves. They understand they are lying. They just view lying as an acceptable tool to win.

    This is the mindset which informs things like Ezra Klein’s Journ-O-List, the email association of practicing leftist writers which endeavors to “manage” the news by deciding how to present and “explain” news issues so the journalists have a united message and the public doesn’t get all “confused” by “raw facts,” and which Klein has more or less admitted never really went away. They seek to twist and color and spin stories to make them more favorable for Obama and leftist ideology, with no regard for truth – or their readers – whatsoever.

  14. FMJRA 2.0: Washington’s Birthday Hangover Edition : The Other McCain
    February 23rd, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

    […] Liberals Hate Books They Don’t Read […]