Monday, August 6, 2012

Liberal fascism: the new normal?

Yuval Levin, at NRO, has written a sharply-focused, highly perceptive piece on Obama’s views concerning the proper relationship between the citizen and the state. In a nutshell, when Obama said he wanted to be a “transformative” president, he wasn’t kidding.
Again and again, the administration has sought to hollow out the space between the individual and the state. Its approach to the private economy has involved pursuing consolidation in key industries — privileging a few major players that are to be treated essentially as public utilities, while locking out competition from smaller or newer firms. This both ensures the cooperation of the large players and makes the economy more manageable and orderly. And it leaves no one pursuing ends that are not the government’s ends. This has been the essence of the administration’s policies toward automakers, health insurers, banks, hospitals, and many others.

It is an attitude that takes the wealth-creation capacity of our economy for granted, treats the chaotic churning and endless combat of competing firms (which in fact is the source of that capacity) as a dangerous distraction from essential public goals, and considers the business world to be parasitic on society — benefiting from the infrastructure and resources provided by the genuine common action of the state. Of course, the state’s benevolence is made possible precisely by the nation’s wealthiest citizens, but the president seems to see that as simply an appropriate degree of “giving something back.” His words and his administration’s actions imply that he views the government as the only genuine tribune of public desires, and therefore seeks to harness the private economy to the purposes and goals of those in power [my emphasis – Paco].
There is, in all of this, a chilling echo of a worldview which we like to delude ourselves into thinking perished many decades ago: All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.


RebeccaH said...

Exactly. Which is why we simply cannot give this Marxist another four years in office.

Marica said...

The other day something unrelated to Obama reminded me of Ayn Rand's novella *Anthem,* in which a member of the collective state discovers individual identity.

It's available in its entirety (pretty short) here:

"We strive to be like all our brother men, for all men must be alike. Over the portals of the Palace of the World Council, there are words cut in the marble, which we repeat to ourselves whenever we are tempted:

"We are one in all and all in one.
There are no men but only the great WE,
One, indivisible and forever."

We repeat this to ourselves, but it helps us not."

(Thoughts 'Julia' will never think.)

Let us not just hope but do everything in our power to wake up the Equality 7-2521s of the country NOW.

Michael Lonie said...

Obama's program seems to be not so much Marxist as Peronist. Crony capitalism, corporatism, lavish payoffs to union bosses and a bit trickling down to the members (if they are willing to act as goons), this is the sort of fascism practiced for a long time in South America, especially Argentina. It is one of the reasons Argentina, which was approaching what we'd now call First World status a century ago, is a pigsty today. We can see a vision of our future there.

kc said...

That's IT! It's South American, not Soviet! I knew there was something different about it, thank you, Michael.

Why would ANYONE believe that such evil perished? Those who promote this agenda are patient...and their brothers in media, unions and education have taught their lessons well...

Michael Lonie said...

I suppose The Iwon considers himself a socialist. After all, he was a member of the socialist New Party back home in Chi, and apparently he majored in the Marxist Claptrap Department in college (as far as we can tell in the absence of transcripts). It's just that his MO in office is more fascist than "nationalize the means of production" socialist. Admittedly, he's done some of that (cf Government Motors) and is trying to get the entire camel into the tent on Nationalized Health Care, but most of his schtick seems to be of the fascistic, corporatist style.

Minicapt said...

Peronism was a version of Socialism where the internal 'intellectual rigour' is replaced by the 'strong leader' who decides on the basis of personal wishing.