Jared Polis really likes property
Here’s a surprise! My local Democratic congressman Jared Polis, the fifth most propertied person in Congress, tweeted his followers the other day that he really likes the right to property. Here’s his tweet:
Now I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to substitute “liberté, égalité, fraternité” but isn´t it revealing that this modern day baron with disclosed property of at least $143 million rejected Jefferson’s “pursuit of happiness” and feels so comfortable publicly identifying instead with the conservative Lockean tradition?
In the real world of capitalism, property and liberty go pretty much hand in hand. Those without financial means have little real liberty; they’re wage slaves, 21st century serfs perpetually at the mercy of global dynamics, the “boss”, and the sack. They have little or no retirement funds and they’ll be required to work till old age. If they’re lucky they get two weeks’ vacation, a few sick days, and they’re possibly able to see a doctor without going bankrupt.
We live in a brutally unequal society with the bottom 80% having just 7% of financial wealth. So we must interpret Polis’s deep liking of property as actually a great fondness for the inequality it necessarily entails. Polis seems to be a “libertarian” although the term itself is Orwellian. To glorify the unbridled accumulation of property in a world where the vast majority has none is to promote the exact opposite of liberty. It’s an undemocratic, oppressive creed that is better called Propertarianism or something down those lines.
There’s no particular reason I post so often on Polis other than that he happens to be my local rep. He’s a great illustration, though, of the truly revolting nature of our politics today. Money rules, the population is kept largely in the dark, and the oligarchy continues on. The society of greed that Polis so likes is clearly unsustainable and I think the time isn’t too far off that a politician uttering such praises of property will rightly be seen in the same light as the aristocratic dinosaurs of the 18th and 19th centuries.