Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Fascism we're moving to, not Socialism

For a progressive, subordinating your will to the will of the state is the second-noblest goal to which you can aspire. Becoming part of the thin circle of thoughtful, expert, progressive men or women of action, rightfully ready to represent the public, is the noblest goal.

That public's consent of your good governance doesn't matter. Your credentials attest to that. If the public could govern themselves there would not have been need for your ascendance. You may then assess matters and, representing the nation, dictate the best course of action. One that will produce to your highly educated and comprehensive judgement, the greatest good for the greatest number. Social justice.

Many of you will endure some pain. In the eyes of those people of just action who represent you, this is unavoidable and necessary to provide for those whom are judged more worthy. You wouldn't have been able to help yourselves anyway, for you haven't been ordained with the wisdom and intellect for the just application of power which those who represent you can claim. Subordinate your will to the state. The state can expertly judge your worth, and thus weighed, care for you as that worth deems appropriate. Thus, ensuring a fair and just distribution of limited resources to those who are most deserving, in the sole judgment of the progressive elite, and preventing inefficient waste on individual desires.

Critics of the policies and politics of the present administration, and opponents of progressivism more generally, often comment that we appear to be on the road to socialism or Marxism.

I beg to differ a bit. It's more unsettling to me than this. You might be simply looking around and seeing a diminished importance and role of private enterprise and free (unfettered) markets in our economy, and calling that socialism. Socialism as the opposite of a private, free market approach.

But we need to be more clear. While socialism prescribes a state-run economy, the state owns the factors of production, and dictates their use. All workers work for government owned and managed concerns, for the benefit of their fellows and themselves.

We (probably) won't ever have that in America, I believe. What we're getting now is a gradient into fascism. Fascism prescribes a state-run economy, as does socialism, but under fascism, the factors of production remain in private hands. The government doesn't own the factors of production per-se (Obama's said he doesn't want to be in the car business), but it does dictate to the owners how they will run their companies, invest their capital, market their products. Bureaucracies and departments will take in economic data, operate on it according to their desired objectives, and generate a compulsory program to be taken up by the owners of firms to direct production and attempt to satisfy the wants of the economy as those wants come to be expressed by the progressive policymakers (not by individual buyers).

It is and will remain General Motors after all, not Government Motors. But, it is now obliged to acquiesce to the will of the state and produce those sorts of cars which the state desires, in volumes the state determines appropriate, and pay the wages the state shall determine though its "pay czar".

This is done not to satisfy the desires of the consumer, but for the good of the state. Whatever the state's objectives might be (low-cost models for increased car ownership by the poor, or better environmental friendliness, perhaps even lower utility to encourage use of public transport alternatives, etc. and whatever).

Suppression of individual will and desires for the good of the state. "We have determined, it's for your own good." "It's for the good of the nation, by our decree." "You must buy a private health insurance package from one of these two government sanctioned private providers, because it's for your own good, and for the good of all Americans." That would not be socialism, that would be fascism.

In the end, I believe this is the destination of all progressive ideology, whether supporters of such ideas and policy understand it or not. One need only look to 20th century history. During the golden-era of progressivism, American progressives were supremely enamored of the action and efficiency which seemed to embody the fascist personalities and governments of the 20s, 30s, and 40s. To them, people like Mussolini were take-charge kinds of folks who imposed their will and got things done. Because such action was in their view in the best interests of the state. It wasn't a dirty word then, and many progressives openly expressed their support for fascists and lobbied for fascist-inspired policy here in America.

How is this so different from the Obama administration and its pantheon of extra-Constitutional czars? Or the Bush administration's Hank Paulson, crafting the TARP program and dictating its compulsory acceptance and program features to major banks?

The individual? Who cares about him? He must make is desires subservient to the needs of his nation. He must learn to give up a little for the good of his country, so that others may instead benefit. It's what JFK extolled. We must act to save the whole economy! It's for the good of the nation! (And by extension, you.)


Nick said...

That seems to be the trend. It feels like the individual is just a cash cow for the state. Something to be milked until its dry.

I had a friend once tell me that they would gladly pay 70% of their income in taxes for government run health care and other government services. What they failed to understand was that even though *they* wanted to pay for all those services *I* didn't and I didn't feel she had any right to force me to pay for what she wanted.

I find it odd that people are complaining about the money the CEOs are making. They surely would find it repugnant if the Government started decreeing that they made too much and had too many perks. Yet they want the Government to do that to others making more than they are.

Fascism will come to America and Americans will cheer it on.

Andrew said...

Nick, I love that anecdote! It's so much Wm. G. Sumner: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. Only it seems your A is happy to also be a C as well.

"Yes we can," and so will you!

A lot of our actions can be tied to our education in all forms it may come. That a slight majority appears to be gladly cheering on this trend, such a situation could reverse once enough of the new reality sets in following Fascism's happy purchase. If thinkers like ourselves are right about the consequences, while we will suffer pain, those giddy investors in the New Plan for America™ will feel real remorse. That'll open their minds to new ideas, and help them to take our message seriously.

In the end our nation might turn back toward its founding principles. Or those merely altruistic A's and B's out there pledging their help to the D's could find themselves left free to do just that. While the C's repudiate the plan which never had their consent with another tax revolt like the one declared on July 4, 1776.