16 February, 2009
But it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Saudi Arabia has just had its own St. Valentine’s Day Massacre — a bloodless one that brings hope of much-needed reform. On February 14, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah carried out a sweeping shake up of his cabinet and government. He replaced several of the government’s top Wahhabi ideologues with others thought to be more religiously tolerant, reform-minded, and with close working ties to the king.
Anything that puts fewer Wahhabi in charge of anything – or which just makes for fewer Wahhabi – is a good thing.
Obama is not a Marxist. Even though everything he said during the campaign and in his voting record was completely consistent with being one, Marxism is not what’s happening now.
Instead, it’s a different flavor of tyranny.
But that’s not socialism. Socialism rests on a firm theoretical bedrock: the abolition of private property. I haven’t heard anyone this side of Barney Frank calling for any such thing. What is happening now–and Newsweek is honest enough to say so down in the body of the article–is an expansion of the state’s role, an increase in public/private joint ventures and partnerships, and much more state regulation of business. Yes, it’s very “European,” and some of the Europeans even call it “social democracy,” but it isn’t.
It’s fascism. Nobody calls it by its proper name, for two basic reasons: first, because “fascism” has long since lost its actual, historical, content; it’s been a pure epithet for many decades. Lots of the people writing about current events like what Obama et. al. are doing, and wouldn’t want to stigmatize it with that “f” epithet.
Let’s see if the Messiah can make the planes run on time.
Update: (and bumped)
Ledeen has posted Part II: American Tyranny
The economics of the current expansion of state power in America are, as I said, “fascist,” but the politics are not. We are not witnessing “American Fascism on the march.” Fascism was a war ideology and grew out of the terrible slaughter of the First World War. Fascism hailed the men who fought and prevailed on the battlefield, and wrapped itself in the well-established rhetoric of European nationalism, which does not exist in America and never has. Our liberties are indeed threatened, but by a tyranny of a very different sort.
Most of us imagine the transformation of a free society to a tyrannical state in Hollywood terms, as a melodramatic act of violence like a military coup or an armed insurrection. Tocqueville knows better. He foresees a slow death of freedom. The power of the centralized government will gradually expand, meddling in every area of our lives until, like a lobster in a slowly heated pot, we are cooked without ever realizing what has happened. The ultimate horror of Tocqueville’s vision is that we will welcome it, and even convince ourselves that we control it.
There is no single dramatic event in Tocqueville’s scenario, no storming of the Bastille, no assault on the Winter Palace, no March on Rome, no Kristallnacht. We are to be immobilized, Gulliver-like, by myriad rules and regulations, annoying little restrictions that become more and more binding until they eventually paralyze us.
The dimwits at Too Stupid for Arby’s are trying to act on a rule pushed out the door by the lame-duck Bush administration which would screw up general aviation based on someone’s fevered imagination of something that might happen.
The AOPA has set up a Member Action Center to explain what’s wrong and link to ways to send feedback to the TSA.
Update (and bumped):
In Alaska the rule could paralyze the state and turn DC3′s into scrap metal.
A tidbit from today’s Patriot Post:
As friend of The Patriot, Matthew Spaulding, a Heritage Foundation scholar, reminds: “Although it was celebrated as early as 1778, and by the early 19th Century was second only to the Fourth of July as a patriotic holiday, Congress did not officially recognize Washington’s Birthday as a national holiday until 1870. The Monday Holiday Law in 1968 — applied to executive branch departments and agencies by Richard Nixon’s Executive Order 11582 in 1971 — moved the holiday from February 22 to the third Monday in February. Section 6103 of Title 5, United States Code, currently designates that legal federal holiday as ‘Washington’s Birthday.’ Contrary to popular opinion, no action by Congress or order by any President has changed ‘Washington’s Birthday’ to ‘Presidents’ Day’.”
Another myth busted, by George!