Rep. Paul Ryan ( R — 1 WI), in his 2 minute House speech captured in this 1:53 video, correctly observes that the democrat’s health care bill is not about reforming the system or lowering costs. It’s about ideology.
What side of history do democrats want to be on? Not the side of Washington and Jefferson.
John Cassidy, in the New Yorker, identifies whose side they are on.
In extending our health-care system, all we are doing is catching up with Otto Von Bismarckâ€™s Germany, which recognized a hundred and twenty-five years ago that universal health and disability coverage, along with old age pensions and a system of public education, were essential elements of a modern society.
Otto von Bismarck
Der Staatssozialismus paukt sich durch. (State Socialism will forcibly move forward.)
— Otto von Bismark.
Democrats want to replace the Liberal American ideals of limited government, personal freedom, and individual responsibility with Mitteleuropean statism, socialism, and collectivism. Their “modern society” is, just like Bismark’s, centralized, bureaucratized, and dirigiste.
Socialism, statism, collectivism are all actually terribly old-fashioned ideas, representing nothing other than a variety of negative responses to the Liberal Enlightenment ideals of individual liberty and the restraint of state power in favor of voluntary and organic order. The would-be rulers of mankind simply ceased appealing to claims of Divine Right and hereditary superiority and began attempting to gain power by flattering and bribing the masses, while arousing their passions with fraudulent claims of injury and entitlement.
Human appetite for power is unlimited and the possession of power is always addictive. The Central European monarchies, Germany, Austria, Russia, which pioneered centralizing statism with unprecedentedly expansive regimes of taxation, regulation, and conscription, inevitably turned their power against one another, and destroyed themselves with the war they launched in 1914.
From its grand dynastic monarchies, the tradition of Continental European collectivism passed in 1917 to populist rule by cafe intellectuals, bringing within a generation an even greater war and murderous barbarism producing atrocities and deaths on a scale unprecedented in European civilization.
European exhaustion and the demoralization of the traditional leadership classes, after WWII, produced generally more benign socialist rule, but the European welfare state politics American liberals yearn to share produced nothing but European stagnation and decline. Britain was still rationing food as it had in wartime in 1954.
America surged dramatically ahead of Europe, economically and culturally, and (until the late 1960s) enjoyed decidedly less divisive and destructive politics.
Europe only began catching up to the United States in material prosperity, after many long years, when deference to market considerations on the basis of the American example significantly began to influence European economic policies.
Yet, despite the manifest superiority of the American political tradition and the American ideals of Liberty and Individualism, our domestic community of fashion continues to yearn to replace those with European-style statism. They seem to feel instinctively that, because French cheese, German cars, and Scandinavian design are such effective markers of class superiority that Europeans must also possess a more chic and desirable kind of politics. They are dead wrong.
Our liberals are like the Bourbons, and the Fall of Communism (whose anniversary, with respect to the opening of the Berlin Wall, we begin to celebrate tomorrow) is like the French Revolution, a historical watershed producing some definitive judgments on the Past. Like the Bourbons, American liberals have learned nothing about economics. And like the Bourbons, they refuse to relinquish their illusions and their ancient animosities.