Monday, June 28, 2010

A Socialist Government is One that Distrusts its Citizens

The definition of a socialist government is one that distrusts its citizens. It may distrust them in a "benevolent way", that is its leaders believe that the people are insufficiently competent to look after themselves, or it may distrust them in a "paranoid way", in that its leaders believe that the people are dangerous and must be rigidly controlled for the state and society to function along their guidelines. The practical difference between these two lies primarily in their viewpoints and attitudes, in how ruthless and undemocratic the advocates of socialism are willing to be when they don't get their way.

To be a socialist is to assume that the people cannot care for themselves, that they cannot work or run businesses properly, that they cannot eat properly or shop for anything on their own, that they cannot care for their children or teach them, that they cannot choose their own beliefs in a marketplace of ideas or decide what their government should do. That they cannot decide which system of measurements to use, how to open a can of soda or throw a lawn dart on their own. That they cannot go to a doctor on their own or leave their driveway or raise a barn or so much as sneeze, without the enlightened instruction and overlordship of the nanny state.

And that is why we call it a nanny state. Adults do not need nannies, children or the incompetent do. A nanny state is a declaration by the rulers that the people cannot look after their own interests or make their own decisions. A people that willingly and enthusiastically accept the provisions of a nanny state are declaring their own unfitness to be citizens and manage their own affairs. A nanny state is a velvet gloved tyranny, the disenfranchisement of the people for their own supposed benefit.

Socialism reverses the political gains made against royalism and tyranny. It puts the people back in the box, tucks them in and then slams the cage door shut. Where revolutions were once fought to give the franchise to the people from a ruling elite, socialism reverses democracy in favor of an "enlightened" oligarchy. Where the growth of democracy that the people do not need a chosen few to rule over every aspect of their lives, socialism pats the foolish people on the head and promises to take care of them, if they promise to behave themselves and not make any trouble.

By prioritizing social benefits as an absolute moral good, socialists effectively displace freedom and democracy as the moral arbiters of a free society. If free health care is more important than the right to vote, it follows logically that a country with free health care is better off than one that has the right to vote. Every time liberals defend Cuba and tout its health care system, they are explicitly making this exact argument. The problem is that all too few people are willing to call them on it. Because that is exactly the undemocratic and totalitarian premise at the heart of socialism-- that government services are more important and more moral a thing, than democracy or freedom.

Small wonder that Obama and the Democratic party in the United States firmly refuse to hear the American people saying a loud and clear, "No" to their health care plans. Because you can't say "No" to a socialist. To do so is to brand yourself as either ignorant, extremist or greedy-- these are the only legitimate motives that the left will accept for opposing its policies. This is why socialists disenfranchise the public, because agreement with them is a redundant show of support, while opposition to them is counter-revolutionary activity instigated by rich white men who want to keep their grip on the country-- and is therefore illegitimate. Much like the Muslim Caliph Omar, who on capturing Alexandria, commanded that the Library of Alexandria be burned since if the contents of its books were to be found in the Koran they were redundant, and if not they were heretical.

This is a typically extreme worldview held by those who cannot tolerate the notion of people making choices that they disagree with. And that rigidity in a nutshell defines socialism, which insists that only its leaders and bureaucrats are capable of making the people's choices for them. Democracy is a redundant intrusion into a process which is held to be inherently correct because, like the Koran, it is based on the absolutely right philosophy. (And if you think this is an exaggeration, the left regularly purges its own ranks over philosophical differences, though generally not with firing squads as in the USSR.) Of course if your philosophy is absolutely right, your approach can't help but be absolutely correct. And when it fails, someone has to be blamed. Which is when the purges of the enemies of the state begin.

The inability to tolerate dissent is of course one of the more obvious signs of tyranny. Which translates easily into the need to impose your way by force. And the easiest way to do so is by becoming the government. The secular theology of socialism battles perpetually to create a perfect society against the fallen state of the people and the forces of right wing reaction. Naturally the only way to overcome both obstacles is through the use or threat of force.

Since socialism already assumes preemptively that the people are incapable of managing their own affairs or participating in the process, unless their choices are reduced so narrowly that they cannot help but make the right decision-- naturally there are times when the mob will have to be brought into line. And the counter-revolutionaries, who unlike the saintly revolutionaries, want nothing more than to greedily control everyone and stuff their faces with sugarplums, must of course be suppressed as well. Piously the socialists intone that one day such measures will no longer be needed, when every child for numberless generations has been processed through the maw of their cradle to grave propaganda system, and brainwashed to within an inch of his, her or it's life. But for now, it's oppress or be oppressed, in the black and white view of the country that they use to justify every lie, every dirty trick and every act of corruption.

To shield themselves against accusations that socialism is essentially a totalitarian and undemocratic system, its proponents maintain that government imposed controls are necessary in order to end the oppressive economic and social controls of the "elite", often defined by American liberals as "Rich White Men". The obvious absurdity is of course that the average liberal is himself a rich white man. But the left routinely fails to see the hypocrisy in this as its revolutions were traditionally run by the scions of the upper and upper middle class. Lenin's father was a member of the Russian nobility. Fidel Castro came from a wealthy family that owned its own sugar cane plantations and was connected to the Cuban government. Bill Ayers is the son of a man who sat on the boards of the biggest corporations in America.

But the socialist argument that we need them to protect us from the "elites" who would otherwise oppress us and deprive us of opportunities fails to hold water, especially as the people oppressing us and rationing our opportunities through oppressive taxation and quotas are in fact the socialists themselves. Stripped of its pretensions then, the socialist argument is essentially this. Give us power and we'll protect you from the other elites because our rule will be more favorable to you than theirs would. This sort of approach might have marginally held water in 19th century Europe, but completely falls flat today as liberals engage in a never-ending search for new "persecuted groups" they can adopt and protect, whether they have to import them through immigration or manufacture them through political correctness, for the sole reason of maintaining their monopoly on power.

Socialists have to define themselves as anti-elitists, precisely because they are elitists. They have to shout loudly that they are fighting for our rights, precisely because they are fighting to take away our rights. They have to claim that they are the only ones who will actually represent us, precisely because they are the least likely to represent us. In reality, the socialist cause is totalitarian and elitist, it does not credit the people with any rights except those granted to them in the name of social utility. They do not believe in bottom up democracy, unless they have already created and nurtured it from the top down with training and grant money to do exactly what they want. That is because the one thing socialists can never do is trust the people.


Holger Awakens said...

I don't think i've ever met anyone who advocated for a Socialist system of government in America that actually wanted to be one of the workers.

2sloe said...

"Socialists have to define themselves as anti-elitists, precisely because they are elitists." = Evidenced by cramming a health care mandate down our throats, while EXEMPTING themselves FROM it!
I especially resent & fear the inevitable: that private insurers will be unable to survive, especially on any affordable level. My health care options should remain between the Drs I choose, and myself.
We will have no rights under obamacare.

Tracy W said...

Socialism, as well as other isms such as envirnomentalism, should not always be dirty words.

What prompted the birth of socialism was human suffering caused by greed and tyranny. Socialism and Communism rallied those opposed to oppressive, abusive and undemocratic regimes.

Batista's Cuba was awash in corruption. Fidel Castro came to power promising justice and democracy while denying he was a Marxist. It was only after he took power that he declared he had been a Marxist-Leninist all his life. By then, it was too late.

We cannot put democracy and socialism at opposite ends of the spectrum.

I would put democracy and tyranny as opposites.

Aspiring tyrants will use any philosophy they find convenient to suit their purposes: Communism, Socialism, Nazism, Fascism and the all-encompasing Anti-Communism (Chile's Pinochet).

Socialism is not in itself BAD. There are excellent socialist (yes, paternalistic too) policies that work.

Canada, for example, has a very good health care system. It's being ruined deliberately by both Liberal and Conservative governments by starving it for funds. They want to facilitate private health care systems. In Canada people choose their own doctors. There is a Pharmacare program. The government buys pharmaceuticals in bulk so it's affordable for the consumer. It's a really good system.

Americans battle Obama's health care in principle, partly because the US government is too big and too much in the pockets of corporations, so they don't trust it. Now that Obama is at the helm, they are justifiably spooked by his hidden and not-so-hidden agendas.

But a little bit of socialim is not a bad thing in itself. Take state-owned utilities. They work. Once they are privatized, all hell breaks loose. Rates go up. Quality goes down. The environment suffers.

And a little bit of state control is not bad either. Watchdogs, when they do their jobs properly, protect consumers. We can't ask every individual to investigate the safety of food, air, water, the workplace and consumer items.

Laissez Faire capitalism results in disaster for the environment and for the well being of the majority of people. The government must regulate and keep a watch over things. And there's nothing wrong with minimum wage, unemployment insurance, or public pensions.

Daniel, there is too much disparity in the amount of power between the rich and the rest of us. It's not only children and the incompetent who are helpless to challenge those with power. Government's role is also to protect the individual.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone be more distrustful and disdainful of 'the people' than Conservatives? They want nothing for the people, unless someone can get rich off of it - libraries, police and fire departments, the military, schools, street repair etc. They have opposed everything to benefit the people from child labor laws to the right to bargain for one's labor to mine safety laws. Everything! But they've never have seen a corporate welfare payment or land mine that cost too much.

The most advanced countries in the world with the most egalitarian democracies and fairest distribution of wealth are the Democratic Socialist countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark et al.

The US can't hold a candle to their quality of life. All the US can show is the highest child and maternal death rates outside of the 3d world, high crime and violence, a crumbling infrastructure, dying middle class, growing poverty, the world's biggest taxpayer funded military bully conquering the world for Big Business and private enterprise, and even the Conservative CIA ranks the US below Cameroon in equality of wealth distribution - a real Banana Corporate-owned Republic.

And those 'terrible' Socialist countries of Northern Europe also have better economies because they still regulated their greedy banks, whereas Conservatives think the incompetent thieves of the Corporations and Banks are so good of heart they'll regulate themselves!

Check out the rankings of countries on the personal happiness scale. The Scandinavian countries are at the top, as they are in all positive rankings, while the US can't even make it into the top 20. More proof of the failure of US-style unregulated corporate Capitalism, lack of social programs and neo-colonial militarism - the world's biggest exporter of terror. A land where most people live lives of quiet desperation. I left it for Europe and wouldn't go back to visit let alone live.

The more Conservative the country or state, the more backward it is and the greater the gap there is between the rich Robber Barons and War Profiteers and the people who actually do the work and produce the wealth. Just look at the Red States! Half of them would be classed as developing countries if they were independent. All of them the most backward and intolerant in the US.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Don't sell yourself short. The left isn't for anything that they can't turn into a lifetime sinecure for their bureaucrats, a plantation vote and a handbook of regulations.

Helping people? That's a laugh. Your kind doesn't help anybody, unless they can build a bureaucracy on their heads and then use that bureaucracy to create a 1000 laws and keep those same people down. And then maybe find a way for their Wall Street pals to make money reselling that misery. And pass all that on in more taxes to the middle and working class so the only people left are government bureaucrats and the welfare dole.

Europe is collapsing you moron. You want their economic system, go move to Greece.

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