Buttle's World

16 February, 2009

I Stand Corrected

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 15:00

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.

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