Updates added at bottom
Kevin Baker of Smallest Minority blog emailed today to point out this observation:
A coup d’état took place in this country during the past two weeks. If you didn’t notice, perhaps you were distracted by the Dolphins whipping the Chargers, or Tina Fey’s grotesque parodies of Sarah Palin, or perhaps you were immersed in blogs trying to prove that Barak Obama is a domestic terrorist. Regardless of the distraction, while our attention was diverted, a revolution took place. No shots were fired, but plenty of blood was shed. The United States ceased to be a capitalist economy and became a managed socialist state. - Syd from Front Sight, Press, The Suicide of Capitalism.
Kevin also referred to my December 2003 post, Bush Republicanism = Roosevelt Democratism? In it, I concluded thus:
I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free.Here we are, five years after that post, and Kevin inquires whether my outlook has changed. Yes, most definitely it has. The demise of freedom in this country has accelerated even faster than I imagined back in 2003. With the unconstitutional power grab embodied in the "bailout" bill that passed last week, the federal government now controls the core of the American economy, the credit and investment markets. This is not one step short of a controlled economy, it is a controlled economy. The
Surely no one is so naive as to think this power will be used only rarely and delicately as time goes on. Rather, the socio-economic engineering urges of future kommissars will be ever less restrained. Remember Steven den Beste's dictum: "The job of bureaucrats is to regulate, and left to their own devices, they will try to regulate everything they can." No one seeks or accepts high, powerful, federal office in order to do little.
I wrote in my 2003 post, ands it is still true today, only worse:
Because the present-day Republicans and Democrats are both big-government activists, they have a foundational philosophy that is the same:Mark it well: next month we will go to the polls only to elect which politician gets the chance to be the first American proto-despot. The only difference between the outcomes of McCain's or Obama's presidency is how quickly they will accelerate the robbery of the people's rights, not whether they will.
America is a problem to be fixed, and Americans are a people to be managed.
So how slowly does the American electorate wish to commit hari-kiri? We'll know Nov. 5.
Update, Oct. 9: Michhelle Malkin points out the socialist Bush Treasury Department.
Read today’s headline, people: U.S. May Take Ownership Stake in Banks:And there's this confirming view from Britain:
Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials.
My view is that Washington has done what is needed to prevent the collapse of the US economy. It has taken over the entire credit system, after all, surpassing Roosevelt's New Deal. ...Update 2: Eric Posner adds,
... The US government has become a bank. Yes, this is US socialism. What is the alternative?
As the financial system collapses, the banks are increasingly becoming ventriloquist’s dummies for the government. They remain as shells but the government calls the shots. In the case of the commercial paper market, the fiction is not even being maintained: firms borrow directly from the government. People call this process “restoring confidence” in the financial system; but it really just replaces one financial system (a more-or-less private one) with another (a government-run system). It’s as if a hurricane hit a city and the national guard took over food distribution. We don’t say that the government is restoring confidence in the private food distribution system; we say that it is operating the food distribution system, and will do so until the private system recovers on its own.Except with the government running the financial sectors, the private system will never recover on its own. The government won't let it recover. George Washington warned us: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."