"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
-Samuel Adams

the Misanthropic Humanist:


18 November 2008

A socialist?

Patriot Girl links to an article here by Donald J. Boudreaux that asks the question "Is Barack Obama really a Socialist?" It was a worthwhile article about the dangers of "Socialist-lite", but he's wrong when he answers his own question:
  • No. At least not in the classic sense of the term. "Socialism" originally meant government ownership of the major means of production and finance, such as land, coal mines, steel mills, automobile factories, and banks. ... A principal promise of socialism was to replace the alleged uncertainty of markets with the comforting certainty of a central economic plan.

The author's first point is wrong for two reasons. First, while there may be a scholastic definition of socialism that fits the one he presents, I'm unconvinced that it has such a narrow and specific meaning. Socialism can be what he says, but it can also refer to the entire left wing of the political spectrum. In my understanding, Marxism, Chinese Communism, Socialism (with a capital S) and Social-Democracies all fall under the broader category of socialist since they are based on a concept of wealth distribution and equality of results rather than equality before the law. The second reason I think he's wrong is that even if I give him the first point - that socialism is based on government ownership of the means of production - I still think Obama qualifies. When the Government gets an "Ownership Stake" in the private market, it does own and control the means of production. I've heard this argument before, and it sounds pretty lame. Just because Obama isn't quoting directly from Marx and Engels (currently) it doesn't mean that he - and most of congress for that matter - isn't advocating socialism.

Now let's take on his second point, that socialism tries to "replace the alleged uncertainty of markets with the comforting certainty of a central economic plan." Trying to replace market uncertainty with central economic planning is exactly what our loving leaders in Washington are doing with the economic bailouts. What else could it possibly be? They've stated as much publicly. They're trying to get the market to settle down by heading off the failure of business that by all rights should fail. You say you gave bad loans to people that you knew couldn't pay them back? No worries, Uncle Sugar-daddy will guarantee them. Mortgaged your future profit margins by promising unrealistic pensions and health care? (albeit while being blackmailed by unions) No worries, we'll spend $25 Billion covering up the problem for a bit without doing anything to fix the systemic problems.

Sorry, but from where I sit, Obama is not only a socialist, he's just a 5-year plan away from Communist.

05 November 2008

The source of my anger

I'm truly angry about the outcome of this election, but until now I've had trouble pinning down why. I've said that I'm angry about the stupidity of the general electorate, but that doesn't quite explain it. I know that stupidity simply exists, it's not a thing to be angry about but rather simply a fact to deal with. It occurred to me that it might be the cheating. I hate cheaters, and I hate feeling that I've been cheated, especially when it's something that matters as significantly as an election. (No, I'm not conspiratorial, but it does bother me that every election brings more and more stories of dead voters registering 15 times in Ohio and I can't stand that it could continue to exist). But I don't think there were enough of those votes to sway this election, so I'm not really mad about that, either. I hate that an election about ideology, truth, and governing philosophy is daily diminished to a racial landmark in the media. But again, that's not enough to explain the depths of what I'm feeling.

These questions aren't new. I've been distraught for a while at the liberal direction that my country has been taking. I've been bothered since Reagan by the lack of truly visionary leadership on the right. But tonight I realized the source.

I can't leave. I have no options, and the frustration is killing me. Every election year we here a bunch of liberals claiming that if the Republican wins, they'll leave the country, but the cowards never do. You never hear a conservative say that. It's because we have nowhere else to go. As bad as it's gotten since the 80's we're still the most free country in the world. That sounds like a compliment, but it's not. It's a lament. If I found somewhere with more freedom and better protections of my liberty, I'd leave in a heartbeat, because America is an idea, not a land. But I don't have the option. Liberals do.

And THAT is the source of my anger: If you like socialized health care, redistribution of wealth, public transportation and high taxes, more power to you. Go to Sweden. Go to England. Go anywhere in Europe. But don't ruin my America because it's all I've got. If I ruin your America, there's always France.

04 November 2008

It's not all OK

The results of this election are not easy to face. I listened to McCain's concessions speech in abject anger at him. He spoke the way that he did during the campaign, and it showed exactly why he lost. He had the attitude and the disposition of a loser. Since the moment he was nominated, it was obvious that if McCain won, it would not be of his own doing. He was always the wrong man; his only redeeming quality is that he is not Barack Obama.

So I turned to the political blogs that I have followed so closely to see their reactions, and I'm even sad at their conciliatory tone. I understand the patriotic intent behind it. But Glenn Reynolds, Jonah Goldberg, and others who seemingly understand the depth of our current danger are still congratulating Obama. They recommend an attitude of "he's still my president". I get it, but this time I cannot agree.

A patriotic rallying behind the man elected to the office of president makes sense if you believe doing so is in the interest of the country. If, by the patriotic good intentions of the remaining conservatives Obama's presidency manages to only be a minor disaster rather than a major one, it will only make the resulting depression deeper and longer. If he is not opposed vehemently and at every turn, we will only lose further ideological ground to those who are already succeeding in pushing us socialist. To congratulate him as a historical candidate and a "good man" (in McCain's words) is to give credence to the the lie that his race matters or that his ideas are not evil when I believe that they are.

I don't know where this is going. In every way that I can, I will now push to go "John Galt" at the same time that I espouse the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal liberty. I will teach my son right from wrong and the honor of making his own way, while doing my best to bleed the social services system of any money that I can. The more quickly and spectacularly it fails, the easier it will be to teach a new generation of individualists. Socialism, redistribution of wealth, internationalism, and cowardice in the face of our enemies are not what America is. I will not support it in the name if equananimity.

I don't think the country is going to fall apart tomorrow. I realize that this isn't apocalyptic. But it isn't good.

To support the constitutional process of electing a president while ignoring the damage such a president (and congress) will do to the constitution is very short sighted. The American People deserve the government that they elect. It doesn't mean that I do.

First thoughts

The most immediate effects of these election results are this:

1. I think I may have trouble sleeping tonight.
2. I owe somebody a case of beer.