08 Nov 2009

“What Side of History Do You Want To Be On?”

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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 Bismarck’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.

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3 Feedbacks on "“What Side of History Do You Want To Be On?”"

Grant

Did you ever get that right, JDZ!
A significant part of modern American Liberalism that is not hereditary is prestige-seeking. When illuminati from Dan Rather to Cher to George Clooney to Roseann all enthusiastically endorse something, why, we all just want to get on board.



hillclimber

In spite of all of history as a example, we have chosen a significant number of radical leftist leaders that are determined to “level the global playing field” by restructuring our entire economic model. And our voices are ignored by these elected officials. Term limits now. retroactive



Baculus

Even though this comment is long after your blog article was posted, I believe you have misunderstood Bismarck’s quote. Bismarck opposed socialism, and he feared that state socialism will eventually come into existence if it was not headed off by some measures. His health and social policies were meant to draw the working class away from the socialists, not to create a state socialist society. After all, Bismarck was a conservative, and a pragmatic (and sometimes obstinate) one at that. And not only that, but he wanted to crush the socialists (and after anti-socialist laws were passed in Germany).

Of course, to him, state power lied in the monarchy. If anything, Germany needed to be liberalized in the second half of the 19th century.

As far as the American Democrat’s are concerned, their reforms are capitalist in nature. They’re nothing like, say, the Canadian or U.K. systems. The Democrat’s reform does not socialized the American health care industry, nor does it establish a single-payer system. It really has some pretty modest measures, and considering your claims that these health reform measures will lead to some collectivist entity, the reforms aren’t too popular on the left. Go to any (REAL) left-wing site, and aren’t thrilled at all.

(By the way, I don’t think most American right-wingers actually knows what a real radical left-winger, as opposite to a left-of-center moderate, looks or sounds like.)

And seeing how your politics appear to lie on the political right, it’s strange to hear you talk about liberalism, especially since American conservatives have done their best to demonize this ideology which lies at the roots of America. Conservatives draw no distinction between social and economic liberals. No, that isn’t enough. ALL liberals are evil, as pronounced by the Right, even if American conservatives have glommed onto some Age of Enlighten liberal ideals. (And without fully understanding them, in my opinion.)

Anyway, if you have made it this far, thanks for listening!



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