Conservatives make a big mistake when they get all lathered about the redistribution of income.
In the left/right culture war that has dominated civilization for these last centuries, the "redistribution-of-wealth" is nothing more than a slogan. It is an empty promise made by politicians in the quest for power.
To move beyond the culture war, people need to look past the slogan to strategy. The strategy behind the slogan of redistributed wealth is the ancient technique of pitting the ends against the middle. The technique of pitting the ends against the middle was precisely the technique used by Caesar in the destruction of the Republic of ancient Rome and has been used numerous times by groups seeking to rise to political power.
Emperor Napoleon pitted the ends against the middle in his moments of fame.
Using the dialectical methods of Hegel, Karl Marx penned a compelling philosophy around the strategy that has hypnotized more than one academician.
The Marxist tradition formed an alliance of the intelligentsia and the proletariat in a class struggle against the bourgeoisie. The term "intelligentsia" refers to the political and academic world. "Proletariat" refers to workers and the lower class, and "bourgeoisie" refers to the middle class.
Marxism is a class struggle that pits the ends (the ruling class and under classes) against the middle class.
The ruling class uses the promise of redistributed wealth in the class struggle. However, the redistribution of income rarely happens.
The promised redistributed income is actually paradoxical. Were the process to redistribute income as promised, it would simply create a new middle that one would feel compelled to struggle against again.
The form of the revolution in both ancient and modern times is that the ruling class will promise a redistribution of income to unite the ends against the middle. The ruling class says that if you give us unbridled power, we will use that power toward the end of social justice.
Inevitably, the consolidation of power becomes the means unto itself and the promise of redistributed justice devolves into an overall impoverishment of both the middle and lower classes.
We see that the modern revolutions that pit the ends against the middle have resulted in a series of epic atrocities with hundreds of millions perishing in famine and war.
The process of uniting the ends against the middle is paradoxical and flawed.
Unfortunately, the public debate gets dominated by people like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck who get caught up in arguing against the slogan and fail to understand that it is the strategy behind the slogan (not the slogan itself) that leads a society to ruin.
Attempts to argue against the slogan of redistributed wealth allow agitators of the left the opportunity to employ the most effective tool in their arsenal: Wealth Envy.
To win the debate, defenders of freedom must talk about substance and not slogans. After all, there really is nothing wrong with a redistribution of wealth.
For that matter, the great irony of the modern debate is that the free market, when properly implemented, has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms for equitably redistributing wealth, while the consolidation of political power (favored by the left) tends to lead to a concentration of wealth.
When one understands the strategy behind the leftist slogan of "redistributed wealth," one realizes that the problems we face lie not with the worthy end of an equitable society, but with the fact that the strategy of pitting the ends against the middle will not result in an equitable society.
People often call the more equitable distribution of wealth in the American system social mobility. It is common for Americans who apply themselves to experience different levels of income in their lives.
Sadly, the cries for redistributed wealth usually end with the consolidation of power in an entrenched ruling class and overall impoverishment of society.
The better approach would be for people to realize that growing disparity in wealth that we see in America today is not the result of the free market, but the result of the ongoing consolidation of political and economic power. The growing disparity in income seems to coincide with the growth of government.
In conclusion, the solution for our economic frustrations is not a bigger government with the power to forcibly redistribute income. The solution is to find ways to restore the free market system that was first envisioned by the founders of the United States.