NYU history professor Greg Grandin, writing in The Nation, concludes: “In all his goodness and badness, Castro was a full man of the Enlightenment.” (Earlier in the essay, Grandin suggests that Fidel Castro was a better man than Donald Trump. Now as readers of this blog know, I’m emphatically no fan of Trump. But to suggest that Trump is a worse human being, and will be a worse “leader,” than Castro is absurd. What Pres. Trump might do remains to be seen; what El Presidente Castro did do is a matter of historical record.)
Admittedly, Grandin is extreme. But even many pundits in the mainstream media treat Castro as if his trumpeted good intentions (that is, expressed intentions that warm the hearts of “Progressives”) and fake ‘achievements’ (such as the imaginary creation of a world-class health-care system for the Cuban people) render Castro something other than the murderous monster that he was.
For socialists and “Progressives,” a business person who lobbies against carbon taxes, or who employs workers at wages lower than the socialists and “Progressives” think “fair,” or who offers for sale fat-filled fast food, is an anti-social beast who deserves unmitigated derision. Acting always peacefully, and without attempting to dupe the gullible with grandiose lies about ‘remaking society,’ such a business person gets no respect from what Deirdre McCloskey calls “the clerisy.” Such a business person is believed by the clerisy to profit dishonestly, and often cruelly, at the expense of others. Such a business person is held by the clerisy in contempt for his or her alleged small-mindedness, philistinism, and greed.
And yet these same clerisy who see nothing but venality and “social injustice” when they cast their eyes on peaceful market activities see in the violent regimes of fiends such as Castro allegedly good reasons, if not always to fully excuse these fiends of the blood, anguish, and destitution that they cause, at least to ‘weigh’ against these unfortunate realities the alleged “accomplishments” of these dictators.
It is a perverted code of ethics that causes those who fondly remember the “accomplishments” of blood-thirsty brutes such as Fidel Castro to burst into paroxysms of anger over the alleged evil of off-shoring the production of automobile tires or of accumulating unusually large sums of financial wealth by making entrepreneurial advances in retailing.
The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek.