Statism: Obama’s theory of government

February 21, 2012

Peter Wehner had a good post in Commentary last week that, while talking about Obama’s latest risible budget proposal, neatly encapsulates the statist, progressive view of the relationship between the citizen and the State, Obama’s theory of government:

These numbers are important, but they need to be understood above all as a manifestation of a particular philosophy, which some have called reactionary liberalism. Barack Obama has an almost undiluted attachment for and belief in the wondrous powers of the federal government. He believes the role of the state is to redistribute wealth and level out differences. He would trade off greater prosperity in all classes and income brackets in order to narrow the gap in income inequality, which he considers to be a moral offense. Obama wants to punish wealth creators, empower unelected bureaucrats, undermine private enterprise and centralize power.

Beyond even that, Obama wants government to weaken, and eventually replace, civil society, create greater dependency, and expand the state’s reach into every nook and cranny of life, including into the internal life of the church. And at a time when Medicare in particular is driving us toward a Greece-like crisis, the president opposes any modernization of our entitlement state and savages those who are offering up reforms.

More than any president in our lifetime, Barack Obama identifies the state with society and wants society absorbed by the state.

(Emphasis added)

Wehner calls it “reactionary liberalism,” (1) but I think Goldberg (channeling H. G. Wells) names it best: “Liberal Fascism.” The State becomes the arbiter of a vague “Will of the People” (or “Spirit of the Nation,” or whatever), speaking for the collective and knowing better than the individual what the individual needs, for the good of the whole. Forget the goosestepping images of Nazis or Mussolini’s Blackshirts, and put side the insane racial nonsense the National Socialists added to Fascism; reactionary liberalism/liberal fascism can come with a warm smile and a motherly embrace, promising all sorts of wonderful things, if only you’ll be good and let Nanny State make the choices for you.

It is the infantilization of the individual citizen.

And it would be so easy to say “yes,” which is why, in 2012, we have to say “no.”

RELATED: In a later post, Wehner cites another example, that of Nancy Pelosi’s opinion on the HHS mandate and the proper response of religious organizations: “Shut up and obey.

Footnote:
(1) Although, really, the most reactionary people I’ve ever met have been supposedly broadminded liberals. Mildly challenge even one of their dearly held dogmas (such as the success of the New Deal or the desirability of abortion on demand), and many go into full frothing-and-shrieking mode. It’s almost Pavlovian.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A video guide to those evil Republicans

December 16, 2011

In this latest installment of Firewall, Bill Whittle shows how it is that Republicans, whose party favors limited government and free markets, and was founded in opposition to slavery, can yet be the party of greed, fascism, and racism.

The answer is simple: because the Democrats say so.

Bill’s longer answer, however, is much more entertaining:

To go into more depth about the issues Bill raises, let me recommend two great books:

On the Democrats’ real history regarding race, there’s Bruce Bartlett’s meticulously documented “Wrong on Race: the Democratic Party’s buried past.”

On Fascism being a form of Socialism and both coming from the leftist, statist end of the political spectrum, Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change” is essential reading.

Meanwhile, I have to get back to being evil.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


But don’t you dare call them “Socialists”

May 6, 2011

Okay, when you have an administration appointee writing about how the greatest danger to labor is the fact that capital is free to move where it can best be used, one wonders if, in the internal memos, they don’t spell it “Kapital.”

In this case, we’re talking about Craig Becker, a recess appointee to the National Labor Relations Board, who was turned down by the Democratic-controlled Senate, and who now sits on the board that is persecuting Boeing for daring to open a plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, because of the lost production and revenue due to frequent strikes at their Washington State factories. The Daily Caller has the story:

Old law review articles obtained by The Daily Caller that were authored by Becker further inflame the already heated debate. “The right to engage in concerted activity that is enshrined in the Wagner Act – even when construed in strictly contractual terms – implicitly entails legal restraint of the freedom of capital,” he wrote in the January 1987 edition of the Harvard Law Review. “What threatens to eviscerate labor’s collective legal rights, therefore, is less the common law principle of individual liberty than the mobility of capital, which courts have held immune from popular control.”

“If you cut through all the academic speak here, in effect, what he’s saying is collective bargaining and the Wagner Act doesn’t set up a system of collective bargaining. It sets up a guaranteed outcome,” explained Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson. “What he’s saying here is labor unions can’t possibly succeed unless you guarantee their success. In his reading of the law, any notion of workers who choose to collectively bargain sitting down with their employer and working out a deal is gone.”

Emphasis added.

In other words, Becker wants a Big Government-Big Labor partnership to ensure Labor wins. Shouldn’t this raise serious questions about the impartiality and the politics of the NLRB?

One can argue where on the Leftist scale the Obama administration falls –Social Democrat, Progressive, Corporatist, Fabian Socialist, or Liberal Fascist– but it’s clear they are big-time statists hostile to the free-market capitalism on which this nation was built.

While one roots for Boeing and South Carolina in this fight, perhaps the next administration (assuming, I hope, Obama is not reelected) should consider eliminating the NLRB as an obsolete but dangerous relic of a bygone age.

via Jazz Shaw


Dear Mr. President: Don’t mess with Nikki Haley

April 29, 2011

Because you don’t stand a chance.


Pelosi: “Elections shouldn’t matter”

April 13, 2011

Well, at least she gets points for being honest about her elitist, anti-democratic, nigh-on fascist* values. While speaking to students at Tufts University last week, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives**, the woman who not too long ago was second in line to be President of the United States, had this to say:

To my Republican friends: take back your party. So that it doesn’t matter so much who wins the election, because we have shared values about the education of our children, the growth of our economy, how we defend our country, our security and civil liberties, how we respect our seniors. Because there are so many things at risk right now — perhaps in another question I’ll go into them, if you want. But the fact is that elections shouldn’t matter as much as they do…But when it comes to a place where there doesn’t seem to be shared values then that can be problematic for the country, as I think you can see right now.

“Elections shouldn’t matter.” We’ve seen this time and again since last November: at the national level, the President and the Democratic leadership regularly act as if they hadn’t suffered a total repudiation at the polls, still pushing an agenda the nation clearly rejected. And at the state level, they’ve brought out their allies in Wisconsin, Ohio, Washington, New Jersey, Idaho, and soon in Sacramento to intimidate the elected representatives of the people and overturn the results of a democratic election. Tells you all one needs to know about the leadership of the Democratic Party — and why they should never, ever win another election in our lifetimes.

via Lance

LINKS: Real Clear Politics has the video. Historian Steven Hayward analyzes this and shows how it represents a continuity in Progressive thought from its foundations to the present.

*Trust me, I’m not exaggerating — Read Goldberg’s book. This appeal to “shared values,” a unity that rises above politics, a “third way” — it’s all straight out of the Progressive/liberal fascist manual and has a history stretching back more than 100 years.

**You know, the chamber often called “The People’s House,” whose frequent elections are supposed to better reflect popular will. But, if elections “shouldn’t matter as much as they do,” then who are they representing?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Guardian goes “full Orwell”

January 14, 2011

I realize the UK’s Guardian is pretty far down toward the Left end of the scale, but does Commissar Simon Jenkins realize just how… dumb this headline and summary sounds?

Free speech can’t exist unchained. US politics needs the tonic of order

If America is to speak in a way that heals, as Obama wishes, it needs the curbs and regulations that make freedom of expression real

Didn’t guys named “Benito” and “Adolph” say much the same thing in the last century?

Really, read the whole thing. Not only does this condescending tool push the “evil Right-wing rhetoric drove a deranged man over the edge” meme (A deranged man, who, according to friends, paid no attention to politics and never even watched TV. What did Palin use, Simon? Mind-control rays?), but then he tells this leftist Alice-in-Wonderland version of the opposition to ObamaCare, in which Americans against socialized medicine are ignorant, racist homophobes. Therefore, of course, we need “reasonable regulation” (including the Fairness Doctrine, with terms set by wise men such as Jenkins) of free speech in order to save free speech, because we can’t handle free speech.

And black is white.

And down is up.

And all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Just amazing.

RELATED: Maybe Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-Statist) should get his own column with The Guardian. He’d fit right in.

UPDATE: Thanks for the link, Ed!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Big Green and the enviro-statist agenda, part 2

October 6, 2010

Last week, PJTV presented the first in its three-part series on the politics of the environmental movement, presenting an overview of its goals and its relationship with government, particularly the Democratic Party and the administrative state.

This week, Joe Hicks and his guests take a closer look at the origins of the movement in the 1960s left-wing counterculture,  the large sums of money they have to spend, and their alliance with big business* to push harmful measures such as cap-and-trade:

*(Don’t be surprised. As Goldberg pointed out in Liberal Fascism, there’s a natural urge in big corporations to ally with statists if if means guaranteed profits and restrictions on smaller competitors. Think of the utilities under FDR, or the deals the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies almost cut with the administration over ObamaCare. The cooperation between Big Green and Big Business highlighted in this video is just another example.)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


This just in: Dissent is no longer patriotic

August 18, 2010

I’m beginning to think Jonah Goldberg will have to add a new chapter or two to the next edition of his brilliant Liberal Fascism, just to cover Nancy Pelosi. In the wake of increasing opposition to the construction of a mega-mosque at Ground Zero, La Nancita has suggested that opponents should be placed under federal investigation!

“The freedom of religion is a Constitutional right.  Where a place of worship is located is a local decision.

“I support the statement made by the Interfaith Alliance that ‘We agree with the ADL that there is a need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center.  At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.’

Wait a gosh-darned minute, here! Critics of the mosque are getting funded? Where’s my check? Jeez… Waiting

And does that mean you want to investigate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to find out who’s funding him, Madame Speaker of the House?

Shall the Congress also investigate the two-thirds of New York City residents who also oppose the mosque? Or the nearly 70% of the nation?

Nothing like threatening a federal investigation of those making use of their right to free speech to reveal your inner statist, eh, Nancy?

Joe McCarthy would be proud.

LINKS: Power Line says the Speaker has forgotten how to listen.

UPDATE: Say, Madame Speaker: Since we’re in an investigating mood, how about we investigate that little land deal you and San Francisco Mayor Newsom have got going for Treasure Island? Should be real interesting…


Greenpeace reveals its inner fascist thug

April 4, 2010

One sign of a fanatic is that he can’t handle serious disagreement: rather than continue with a rational argument, he threatens violence to intimidate his opponents into silence. You know, fanatics like Greenpeace members:

Emerging battle-bruised from the disaster zone of Copenhagen, but ever-hopeful, a rider on horseback brought news of darkness and light: “The politicians have failed. Now it’s up to us. We must break the law to make the laws we need: laws that are supposed to protect society, and protect our future. Until our laws do that, screw being climate lobbyists. Screw being climate activists. It’s not working. We need an army of climate outlaws.”

The proper channels have failed. It’s time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism.

If you’re one of those who believe that this is not just necessary but also possible, speak to us. Let’s talk about what that mass civil disobedience is going to look like.

If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

And we be many, but you be few.

(Emphasis added)

Unable to deal with empirical evidence that contradicts his precious faith, willfully blind to the inability of his sacred computer models to predict anything or even account for the past, holding his hands to his ears and screaming NONONONONONO!!! when confronted with indisputable proof of, at least, sloppy science or, at worst, out and out corruption in the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming, all “Gene from Greenpeace” can do is threaten physical violence.

This isn’t science and it’s not a quest for truth or even what’s best for all. No, it’s an arrogance and hubris born of a belief that a tiny group knows the collective good, even if the individuals of that “collective” disagree. If they continue to disagree, then those recalcitrant “deniers” have to be silenced by threats or even direct action. It’s a common trait among “progressive activists.”

In a word, it’s fascism.

Greenpeace needs to cut ties with all its “Genes,” now, if it wants to retain any respectability. If it doesn’t, then remember that the next time they come asking for money.

(via James Delingpole)


Democracy must stand aside to fight global warming!

March 30, 2010

So says British scientist James Lovelock (Wikipedia bio), who thinks we’re all too stupid to deal with a (nonexistent) problem that only Supreme Geniuses(tm) are smart enough to recognize. The only hope of the sheep Mankind is to institute a dictatorship of the really smart!

Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades. This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory.

It follows a tumultuous few months in which public opinion on efforts to tackle climate change has been undermined by events such as the climate scientists’ emails leaked from the University of East Anglia (UEA)and the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit.

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

Here we have fascist elitism at its most exposed: “You fools can’t understand vast complexities, and so must be lead like children or animals, guided by your betters. You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy….”

What garbage. I’m not denying there are stupid people in the world (hint: Joe Biden), but what really bothers elitists such as Lovelock is that people lacking the proper degrees have the temerity to question and even disagree with him and his brethren. In this modern information age, people can seek their own sources independent of the Lovelocks of the world, whether on the Web or between the covers of a good book. And if they’re more than a bit skeptical of what “their betters” are telling them, perhaps it’s because they’ve been pandered and lied to.

And that’s the real problem people like Lovelock and other statists have with democracy: all those smelly people get in the way of the Truly Enlightened. (All bow.)

It’s not an attitude limited to Lovelock and a few others, nor is it new by any means. Woodrow Wilson, a US president, thought the Constitution was obsolete, that limited, participatory government got in the way of progress. Erudite men such as H.G. Wells, who advocated a form of fascism, and George Bernard Shaw, a supporter of eugenics, felt that Man simply couldn’t be left to govern himself, that he had to be lead by an elite. Their intellectual descendants sit in the White House and run Congress today.

(I can’t let this moment go by without again shilling for Goldberg’s brilliant book, Liberal Fascism, which surveys the history of the fascist idea from the French Revolution to the modern day, though I think he needs to add a chapter for the Green Statists of the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming.)

Anyway, back to Dr. Lovelock and his annoyance with democracy. If you ever needed a reason to fight the global warming fraud besides the bad science behind it, there you have it. It’s not nearly so much about “saving the planet” as it is about controlling it.

And us.

(via Ace)

LINKS: More from Sister Toldjah and Hot Air. James Delingpole struggles to reconcile the call for dictatorship with the othwerwise sensible things Lovelock says.


Obama’s fascist SOTU speech

February 8, 2010

When modern Americans think of fascism, in our mind’s eye we picture it in its most brutal, almost cartoonish form: jackbooted Nazis in black uniforms crushing all before them, or Mussolini haranguing his fascisti:

"I promise to lead us into total disaster!"

But fascism is more than just cool uniforms (You have to admit, the Nazis did have a sense of evil sartorial style.) and a boot to the throat, though thuggishness is in its nature. It’s also a philosophy that claims to get “beyond politics” by bringing everyone together in unity behind a leader who personifies the nation and knows its will better than the average man or woman. It promises to care for the individual from cradle to grave, in the process transforming a free citizen into a dependent, and the individual with rights into part of a group that has rights superseding the individual’s. If all of this rings a bell, it should: the brutal European fascisms we fought against in the middle of the last century (and their related communist totalitarianisms) share intellectual roots with American progressivism, what is called in today’s US politics “liberalism.” (More correctly, “conservatives” in America are largely classical liberals, and “liberals” are progressives.)  Jonah Goldberg has written a brilliant, eye-opening book on the topic, Liberal Fascism, that I can’t recommend highly enough.

To come round to President Obama’s State of the Union address, Ben Shapiro (who has some strange ideas about overrated directors) penned an article for Human Events that looks at the speech as something squarely in the tradition of liberal fascism – Obama’s Philosophically Fascist State of the Union Address:

There sure is something different about President Obama. Usually, the State of the Union address is a laundry list of proposals spiced with sycophantic applause and dipped in an admixture of boredom and bravado. It is rarely a statement of basic philosophy.

Not for President Obama.

President Obama’s State of the Union address was the greatest American rhetorical embrace of fascist trope since the days of Woodrow Wilson. I am not suggesting Obama is a Nazi; he isn’t. I am not suggesting that he is a jackbooted thug; he isn’t (even if we could be forgiven for mistaking Rahm Emanuel for one).

President Obama is, however, a man who embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader, right down to the arrogant chin-up head tilt he utilizes when waiting for applause. He sees democracy as a filthy process that can be cured only by the centralized power of bureaucrats. He sees his presidency as a Hegelian synthesis marking the end of political conflict. He sees himself as embodiment of the collective will. No president should speak in these terms — not in a representative republic. Obama does it habitually.

Click through for the rest. The author’s occasional snark aside, I think he pretty much nails it.

(via neo-neocon)


Christmas for the insurance companies

December 27, 2009

Nate Beeler on the corporatist deal cut on the Senate version of health care reform:

I’d have put Harry Reid in Obama’s place, but the point is well-taken: Big Business sells out to support Big Government’s policies in return for guaranteed profits, in this case the individual mandate that requires persons to buy a private insurance policy whether they want it or not. They’re not owned by the government, but they are an arm of it, nonetheless.  It’s the fascist bargain.

And, no, I’m not calling Obama or Reid jackbooted fascists. But the progressive policies they’re pursuing are part of an ideological continuum on the Left that runs from a relatively mild Progressivism through Fascist and Communist totalitarianism, all of which subordinates the individual to the State and assumes that the State is the arbiter of the public good. Theirs is a fascism with a smile and a warm hug, not goosesteps and truncheons. In short, it’s a liberal fascism.

You can follow Nate Beeler’s cartoons at The Washington Examiner.


Brief candle?

October 6, 2009

When the electorate gave control of Congress to the Democrats in 2006 and then the White House in 2008, everyone from the most elite talking head on TV to the local bus driver had their reasons: dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq; Republican corruption; a sense (among their base) that the Republicans had forgotten why they were elected; and even just not liking Dubya much anymore. Whatever the truth, the fact is that the voters were tired of the Rs and wanted to give the car keys to the Ds.

The Democrats seem to have interpreted this as a fundamental shift of the electorate away from free-market capitalism toward a desire for much greater involvement by the state in the economy and everyday lives, a willingness to accept European-style social democracy. Thus the push for a state takeover of large sectors of the economy (two major auto companies, health care), massive Keynesian stimulus spending funded by public debt and (likely) massive taxation, corporatist-style interweaving of government, big business, and labor, and extensive regulatory control over anything that might have to do with the environment (cap and trade).

They likely guessed wrong.

Byron York reports on a Gallup survey that shows Americans by a large margin want government to promote traditional values over “no values:”

Gallup’s question was simple: “Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?” In the new poll, taken in the first days of September, 53 percent of respondents say they want the government to promote traditional values, while 42 percent say they do not want the government to favor any particular set of values. Five percent do not have an opinion.
The results are a significant change from recent years. For most of the last two decades, a majority of people have been in favor of the government promoting traditional values. But that number began to decline in 2005, and the number of people who believe the government should not favor any particular set of values began to rise. Last September, when Gallup asked the same question, the public was split down the middle on the issue, 48 percent to 48 percent. Now, opinion has rather abruptly gone back to the old position, and there’s an 11-point gap between the two, in favor of traditional values.

Gallup’s question was simple: “Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?” In the new poll, taken in the first days of September, 53 percent of respondents say they want the government to promote traditional values, while 42 percent say they do not want the government to favor any particular set of values. Five percent do not have an opinion.

The results are a significant change from recent years. For most of the last two decades, a majority of people have been in favor of the government promoting traditional values. But that number began to decline in 2005, and the number of people who believe the government should not favor any particular set of values began to rise. Last September, when Gallup asked the same question, the public was split down the middle on the issue, 48 percent to 48 percent. Now, opinion has rather abruptly gone back to the old position, and there’s an 11-point gap between the two, in favor of traditional values.

The question the survey doesn’t answer, of course, is what are those “traditional values.” According to Gallup, however, the pattern of responses “…suggest(s) that respondents understand traditional values to be those generally favored by the Republican party.”

That’s one more indicator that the Democrats are heading for a very bad fall in the 2010 elections, because the survey shows a huge shift among self-described independents and moderates:

But it is the turnaround among independents — Gallup also found similar numbers among people who called themselves moderates — that put a screeching halt to the shift that had been taking place in the last few years. “Americans’ views of the proper government role in promoting traditional values had moved in a more liberal direction since 2005, to the point that last year, as many said the government should not promote traditional values as said it should,” Gallup writes. “If that trend had continued, 2009 would have marked the first time Gallup found more Americans preferring that the government refrain from actively promoting traditional values. Instead, Americans’ attitudes reverted to a more conservative point of view on the matter. Now, Americans favor the government’s promoting traditional values by an 11-point margin, similar to the double-digit margins favoring that view through much of the prior two decades.”

To me, this shows that the Democrats badly misread their mandate from 2006 and, especially, 2008. Recall the situation in late August, 2008,  before the financial crack up and panic of September: McCain had come out of the Republican convention with what looked like a solid 3-5% lead, based on the popularity of his selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate and the Obama campaign’s summer ego-trip that turned many voters off. Then came the financial crisis, and the American public did what it often does in such times: it voted the current bums out of office, replacing them with the other bums and giving the new crowd one mission – make us prosperous again. It was not a mandate to subvert individual liberty and remake society into a European social democracy.

Hence the shifting numbers as voters realize they aren’t getting what they voted for. (In fact, they’re getting everything but, including a “stimulus” program that’s been a huge, debt-accumulating failure.) And thus, too, we see the Democrats’ unseemly haste to ram through all these bills before they can be read and analyzed (or even written) before the public puts on the brakes. They know they misunderstood their mandate and that their time is very limited; they need their long-cherished program passed soon, so that the inertia will be against undoing it.

If this poll is correct, their fears seem justified. By November, 2010, this progressive moment could well turn out to have the lifespan of a candle left out in a hurricane.


Meet Thomas Friedman, Liberal Fascist

September 9, 2009

Years ago, I used to enjoy Thomas Friedman‘s columns in the New York Times. Back then, he struck me as a thoughtful observer of foreign affairs. Then he became a self-important windbag spouting banal thoughts, and I stopped reading him. But now he’s outed himself as a loathsome admirer of fascism.

Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

You will find no clearer statement of the liberal fascist ideal than that quote from Friedman. “Enlightened?” The same Chinese leaders who massacred pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square? Who have draconian childbirth and forced abortion policies? Who are conducting a slow-motion genocide of the Tibetan people? Who starved to death at least 30,000,000 people in an induced famine for… “critically important policies?” Wind power is more important that individual political liberty? This garbage from a man who grew wealthy thanks to the same liberal, free-market capitalist, democratic society he now sneers at?

Wow. Just… wow.  Surprise

(via Jonah Goldberg and Mark Steyn)

RELATED: I’m now convinced that Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism isn’t just good political history, it’s positively prescient.

LINKS: Victor Davis Hanson shakes his head. Power Line gives Friedman a good jolt. More from Ed Morrissey and Sister Toldjah.


The end of liberal fascism

August 25, 2009

The blog, that is, not the trend in our current politics. Jonah Goldberg is putting a close to his blog at National Review Online, mostly from lack of time to keep it updated. Sadly, these days, it needs a lot of updating.

As always, Jonah’s post is full of useful things to think about: he recounts the progressive/corporatist/fascist tendencies and acts of the Obama administration in its first six months, providing a summary of disturbing things we may have missed or forgotten, since they’ve come so fast, one after the other: the growth of state capitalism, the marriage of union and government, and indeed the resurgence of the concept of the State as the agent of God:

Indeed, our own messianic president, who insists that we can create a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, also apparently believes that “we are God’s partners in matters of life and death” and that religious organizations that are true to their calling should rally behind a united front to expand the scope and role of government.  When the head of state says such things, it is hard not to be reminded of the Progressive concept of the God State, a major theme of Liberal Fascism. The “State is the actually existing,  realized moral life . . . The divine idea as it exists on earth,” Hegel declared in The Philosophy of History. The State, according to Hegel, was the “march of God on earth.” The progressives agreed.  Richard Ely, the founding father of progressive economics, proclaimed “God works through the State in carrying out His purposes more universally than through any other institution.”

But Goldberg has another message that’s just as important: if we’re to recognize and fight the fascist tendencies in our own politics, we must guard against facile comparisons to Hitler and even Mussolini (something I’ve done in my more irritated moments). The danger we face isn’t from jackbooted thugs marching on Washington the way Mussolini’s Blackshirts marched on Rome, but the totalitarian nanny-state of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World:

As I make clear in Liberal Fascism, the obvious and pressing threat is not from a Hitlerite-Orwellian dictatorship but from a Huxleyan namby-pamby mommy state. That sort of system could seduce Americans into becoming chestless subjects of the State in exchange for bottomless self-gratification and liberation from the necessity of adult decision-making. Yes, there’s a danger that such a society could then be susceptible to some darker vision that lionizes the lost manhood of a half-forgotten past. But, by that point, this would be America in name only, if even that (“U.N. District 12” has a nice ring to it).

I’ll disagree with Jonah a bit to point out that we have seen flashes of the jackboot under Nanny’s skirts: the beating of a town-hall attendee by purple-shirted SEIU thugs earlier this month, and the Missouri truth squads of last year’s campaign. But, overall he’s right: the greater threat to our liberties comes from the Democrats’ desire to regulate more and more aspects of our lives and, through “social justice programs” such as the proposed health care reform bills, make us dependents and wards of the government, which the Left believes is the only impartial distributor of resources and the only guarantor of our rights – as defined by government. It’s a feminine, maternal fascism as dangerous to free society as anything Benito cooked up.

Goldberg’s blog may be ending, but he’ll still be writing articles and posting observations at The Corner. Meanwhile, though I’ve pimped and promoted Liberal Fascism so often that some readers must be sick of it, I seriously recommend you buy the book or borrow it, but read it, regardless. No intelligent discussion of modern US politics is possible otherwise.


No prisoners!

August 19, 2009

jollyroger

With the administration and congressional Democrats in retreat and perhaps on the verge of a rout over health care, The Telegraph’s Gerald Warner hoists the Jolly Roger and declares “This will be a one-term presidency:”

President Pantywaist in retreat: Barack Obama hoists the white flag over Stalinist health care proposals

The white flag is flying over Camp Obama, which makes a pleasant change from the red flag that, metaphorically speaking, has been flying there since January 20. Barack Obama’s plan for socialised health care on the Stalinist model across the United States is now in full retreat. Not only will it not play in Peoria, it will not play anywhere.

Politicians returning to Washington after scrubbing off the tar and feathers acquired at town-hall meetings are bringing with them a blast of reality that has been absent from Obama’s dreamland regime since his inauguration. For months Obama had been trumpeting the indispensable nature of his “public option” in a new health care system. Suddenly, it is no big deal. Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary, is now telling Americans that taxpayer-funded insurance was “not the essential element”.

So, President Pantywaist is in full retreat….

And when the foe is in retreat, you do not give him any respite, any chance to regroup to hold his position or counterattack. No, instead you press the attack until the whole statist edifice of this “reform” bill crashes like the burning walls of a conquered fortress, not just the most egregious parts such as the public option. If the bill passes the House, as it may yet, then the Senate minority should filibuster it to death. And if the Democrats should invoke reconciliation, make them pay the price. And before then, opponents should keep the pressure on their congressmen and senators: phone calls, emails, letters, speaking at town halls (if the congresscritter isn’t afraid to host one) – any polite but firm way to get across that this dog’s breakfast of a plan will not do, that the whole thing has to go. Remind them that, before anything else, this is a liberty issue.

And then, on the first Tuesday in November, 2012, let’s make Mr. Warner’s prediction come true.

Take no prisoners. Devil


Nanny is watching…

August 2, 2009

Almost all of us have experienced neighbors with dysfunctional families and their out-of-control kids, and we’ve wished someone would do something about it. Well, in Great Britain, someone is: the government plans to install 24-hour CCTV cameras in 20,000 homes to monitor families that can’t behave.

THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

That’s right. Not only will the government be spying on the families in their own homes, but they’ll send guards around to check on them. Should mother now fear a knock at the door if she gives her child a Twinkie? And just how many rooms of the house are under surveillance? Are the bedrooms off-limits? The bathrooms?

There’s no doubt that there are a lot of families that need help and counseling, but to be placed under the all-seeing eye of government is an appalling step toward the Brave New World or Orwell’s Oceania, as are the Anti-Social Behavior Orders,the Food Police, the arrest of a Member of Parliament for daring to keep the public informed, or local councils paying people to dig through their neighbors’ trash bins in a “waste audit.”

It used to be a feature of English Common Law that a man’s home is his castle, that his (or her) privacy could not be subjected to unreasonable invasions. (See, for example, the discussion of the origin of the fourth amendment search and seizure provisions in Levy’s Origins of the Bill of Rights) If that principle isn’t altogether dead in Britain, they’ve at least scrubbed any meaning from the word “reasonable.”

And I don’t think it unreasonable to worry this may a vision of the future here if Obama and the progressives have their way. Worried


Patriotic Americans know when to die

July 26, 2009

The Anchoress presents a poster the satirizes both the Orwellian nature of the Obama administration’s health-care “reform” plan and the Socialist Realist art it seems so fond of.


More on ObamaCare and individual insurance

July 23, 2009

I wrote earlier about what looked like a provision in the proposed health care reform bill to kill the private medical insurance market by banning the sale of new policies after the government plan comes into effect.  This was based on a  reading of the bill by the staff at Investor’s Business Daily. Others disagreed somewhat.

Philip Klein at American Spectator has taken a closer look at the bill and seems to have figured what’s really intended: it’s not that ObamaCare will ban new private insurance, it just bans the private market in insurance:

IBD followed up with a bit more nuanced editorial explaining that private insurers would still be able to offer individual insurance, but only through a new government-run exchange that would impose heavy regulations on participating insurers. At the prompting of our dilligent intern Molly O’Connor, I looked a bit further into the issue. This morning, I was able to independently confirm the IBD editorial with several Republican staffers on the Ways and Means committee. And if that doesn’t convince you, especially telling is a video clip (see below), in which Rep. Paul Ryan poses the question of individual private insurance to Cybele Bjorklund, who is the Democrats’ staff director on the Health Subcommittee that helped author the bill. While existing plans would be grandfathered in, Bjorklund responds that insurers “cannot create new policies outside of that window, outside of the exchange, but they can choose to operate in the exchange.”

In other words, private insurance may only be offered via a government-controlled market. And if the government provides the only market, it can also control the price and the breadth of offerings. It doesn’t have to own the insurance industry outright as long as that industry serves government ends, the essence of liberal fascist or corporatist economic policy.

It amazes me that the administration and the progressives in Congress insist on statist solutions straight out of the mid-20th century, which have been shown not to work as well as a free or mostly free market, when the tide of the world is still moving against collectivism.

Commanding the uncontrollable didn’t work for King Canute, either.