Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The dawn of the end of freedom

By Donald Sensing

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 secretary kommissar of the treasury now has the permanent mandate to intervene and indeed take control of the markets in any way he sees fit, anytime he desires.

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:
America is a problem to be fixed, and Americans are a people to be managed.
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.

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:
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.
And there's this confirming view from Britain:
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. ...
... The US government has become a bank. Yes, this is US socialism. What is the alternative?
Update 2: Eric Posner adds,
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."


Scott Ott said...

So...what now?

Anonymous said...

This Naomi Wolf video recorded 3 days ago is going viral...please watch it immediately and share. Naomi's right. She doesn't get though that Obama is one of them.

Anonymous said...

A one-way ratchet rule is in effect. Democrats take charge and we move rapidly down the road to socialism. Republicans take charge and we move down the same road, not quite as rapidly. (Well, in theory anyway. Recent Republicans have advanced the socialistic cause at a rapid gallop.)

Ronald Reagan, blessed be his name, was only able to slow the leviathan's growth. Four years later, G.H.W. Bush had restored the status quo ante in terms of Federal Register pages, to take but one example.

The only way government is going to be rolled back is through a set of nasty circumstances. Economic collapse perhaps being the most likely. I can't say that I'm looking forward to living our version of the fall of the Soviet Union, or, worse yet, Zimbabwe.

Unfortunately, the most likely outcome of a circumstances sufficient to cause a rethinking of our economic and political structure is going to be more government intervention and more regulation.

The best outcome would be along the lines of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, restructuring the US into a half a dozen countries with more homogeneous populations. Not racially or ethnically homogeneous, but politically and philosophical.

When the best outcome one can see is so drastic, it indicates the degree of pessimism I'm feeling.


Anonymous said...

ric says: When Sen. Shmuck started the run on the banks I was sure it was the first salvo in a coup d’état. But I can't even spell coup d’état, so I was clearly unable to articulate it if I couldn't even spell it. You did a good job with exception of the McCain evaluation. Very soon he will realize that politics is not the art of compromise and he will "surge" to defeat the insurgents, as soon as he realizes that failing to do so will result in the Viet Nam era people who demoralized the country leading us rather than permanently behind us. John is not one to lose a war, but he must realize we are in one before he can win it.

pdxr13 said...

Jack is an optimist. "civilization" in The Former Rhodesia or South Africa of 2009 will look desirable compared to what the lows the Former USA will reach.

The Leviathan will end itself with inflation. Worthless money will decrease legitimacy so much that the sheep will wake briefly. When the fridge gets warm and there is no more beer, rioting will ensue until the breweries produce again.

Peasants need feudalism, because that means food and beer, and a Noble to serve. High-tech Feudalism will provide cold beer.