COLLECTIVIST MIND-SET. A million years ago, in another lifetime, I drove a cab for a living. One of the guys on my shift had as his claim to fame that he had Seen the Elephant. He had been to Detroit and Worked the Line — Makin’ Thunderbirds as the Bob Seger song goes. He was, it might should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, a Democrat. A big union guy. Years later, he was probably a Reagan Democrat, but right then, Nixon was still in the White House, and Things Were Different.
He was, as I say, a big union man. Me, I’d heard chapter and verse about how unions actually screw the worker in exchange for power, how Samuel Gompers was a one man Marxist front, and the rest of the John Birch paranoia. But I hadn’t yet developed my libertarian view that unions are at bottom evil and do no good for anybody. I was, as a matter of fact, a Teamster myself.
The cab company being a closed shop, you see.
One day, we were sitting in his car in the local Big Boy. It was after our shift and I was catching a ride home with him. He was slurping the last of a large soft drink of some kind — lots of ice in a coated paper cup, just like they still serve today. He determined that there was no more virtue in the thing, and he opened his door and dropped it on the ground, explaining as he did so, “I’m a big union guy. There’s a guy whose job it is to clean this lot, and I’m in solidarity with him. If I don’t litter, he loses his job.”
Even then, as naive as I was, that rang a bit hollow. I had been raised by old school conservationists — long before the watermelons even dreamed of Earth Day — NEVER to litter under any circumstances. If there wasn’t a garbage can around, you held onto your litter, sticking it in your pocket if necessary, rather than drop it on the ground. Litterbugs were next to Satan in my book. The union solidarity dodge had/would never occur to me. But the guy was giving me a ride home, so I held my tongue.
But every time I hear of a leftist mob leaving mountains of trash behind — especially when contrasted with a crowd In the Right of a larger size, but better behavior — I think about my co-worker back in the day. No concern for the externalities of their supposed solidarity with their fellow man. It’s all just bullshit, a dodge so they can get away with trashing the planet with a clear conscience.
But they’re really lying to themselves.
Well, yes, Dolly. They are. Isn’t most leftism founded in self-deceit?