Lies are not “civil”, however genteel the telling may be, and “civil discourse” is useless when confrontation is needed.

Just One Minute quotes Krugman:

One side of American politics considers the modern welfare state — a private-enterprise economy, but one in which society’s winners are taxed to pay for a social safety net — morally superior to the capitalism red in tooth and claw we had before the New Deal. It’s only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate.

The blogger (I’m ashamed to say I’ve forgotten his name) goes on to mention the simultaneous release of another Krugman piece describing the downfall of European Social Democracy, and snarks about “two Krugmans for the price of one”. I, and I think he, would be happier with no Krugmans, even if they were free. Their quality is not improved by a quantity discount.

Unfortunately his response is ‘way too “civil”. The correct comeback to Dear Paul is That’s a fucking lie and you’re a fucking liar, and the same is appropriate for anyone who trots out that particular smug, self-righteous shibboleth of Teh Narrative.

It’s a lie by omission and implication, which makes it easy for the liars to make wide innocent Calvin-eyes at the accusation: nothing I’ve said isn’t literally true, and you are being rude and confrontational. This faux disingenuousness is a well-worn tactic. It’s still a fucking lie, and if I’m rude, confrontational, and “uncivil” for saying so, tough shit. I intend to continue, and to urge others to do so as well.

It’s only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate. That implies that the “other side” — whoever that might be — does not believe that “the affluent” should help the “less fortunate”, and that’s a fucking lie. Charity — aid for the impoverished by those with more assets — is and has been an ideal of Western society since there has been such a thing as “Western society”, and to the ends of the Earth and back into the mists of time. Beggars are a feature of every society I’ve ever heard of above the level of the small tribe, and they couldn’t exist without an impulse of generosity on the part of the people who give to them. It’s true that many of the means employed in history to “help the poor” have been less than gentle, but I know of no society anywhere, any time — including that of modern conservatives — that lacks the concept, or does not consider such aid to be morally praiseworthy, at least in some ways.

The statement contains another, more subtle, lie by implication: pairing “the affluent” with “the less fortunate”. This simultaneously implies that “affluence” is a matter of luck, thus eliminating even the possibility that someone with assets might have made efforts that resulted in affluence, and that poor people never, never, ever have any behaviors that might result in their poverty — they are merely “less fortunate”. Both of those implications are flat fucking lies, and both are necessary setups for the Big Lie embedded in the statement, which is one of omission.

It’s only right for the affluent to help the less fortunate. But that’s not what they demand!

What they are actually demanding is that they be empowered to “help the less fortunate” by sending gangs of goons (euphemized as “police” or “tax collectors”) to collect the wherewithal. This is not “the rich should help the poor”, a proposition everywhere accepted. It is a call for wholesale robbery of anyone who has something that might “help the less fortunate”, with themselves as receivers of the swag. They promise to pass it on — with, of course, modest deductions to support themselves and the ones actually doing the robbing.

There are large practical objections to that program — what will you feed the poor when there are no rich no more? — but it is useless to argue them so long as the mealy-mouthed, lying assumption of moral superiority is in place. Being “civil” in the argumentation simply perpetuates that assumption, and it’s time to stop it. They’re a bunch of fucking liars with the ambition to rule a robber gang, and that needs to be said early, often, and forcefully, instead of equally mealy-mouthed attempts at “civil discourse”.

Repeat after me: That’s a [optional epithet] lie, and you’re a [repeat epithet] liar. Use as appropriate, which is almost always.