Lessons from the data: Those peoples that trust their government, tend to have more economic liberty, which generally keeps gov’t size and power in check.
Fascism’s distinguishing characteristic is a “mixed economy.” Unlike socialists and communists who seek to abolish private business, fascists are content to let business remain in private hands. Instead, fascists use regulations, mandates, and taxes to control business and run (and ruin) the economy. A fascist system, then, is one where private businesses serve politicians and bureaucrats instead of consumers. Does the modern American economy not fit the definition of fascism?
Obamacare is an example of fascism that is often mislabeled as socialism. Obamacare did not create a government-run “single payer” system as would exist under socialism. Instead, Obamacare extended government control over health care via mandates, regulations, and subsidies. The most infamous part of Obamacare – the individual mandate – forces individuals to purchase a product from a private industry.
The true path to real free markets, peace, and individual liberty starts with rejecting the bipartisan authoritarianism in favor of the non-aggression principle.
If Obama gave the State of the Union address I’d like to hear, he’d say this:
I heard you, voters, in November when you took control of the Senate away from my party. I get it. I overreached. I was arrogant. I imposed Obamacare on a nation that was deeply divided about it. I ruled through executive orders instead of legislation. I threw money at “green” nonsense. I’ll give up the payments to the “green energy” industry if the Republicans stop coddling defense contractors.
The more I think about it, the more Congress and I could transform America for the better just by getting out of America’s way. The state of our union will be truly strong if the state — by which I mean government — is strictly limited.
Read More at: Restate of the Union – John Stossel – Page full.
…Our country’s posture and policy toward Cuba has been a miserable failure for the past half-century that has done nothing to loosen the grip of an autocratic despotic regime over its own people. And it has accomplished nothing good for Americans, either, even those who were forced to seek refuge on our shores. America’s Cuba policy is the very definition of government failure, something you’d think conservatives, who are always quick to talk about how government screws everything up, would recognize.
…American policy toward Cuba for the past 50-plus years was a victory for oppression, so complete that it allowed the odious Raul Castro to succeed his godawful brother as a maximum leader. Get it: American policy was so rotten it allowed for a hereditary transfer of power in the autocratic country under sanction. The only other places that have managed that trick are other targets of U.S. diplomatic isolation Syria and North Korea. As John McCain, who pushed to open up relations with communist Vietnam years ago but denounced Obama’s actions toward Cuba, could tell you, America has no problem dealing with all sorts of morally despicable governments.
There’s no question that Cuba is poor and miserable and unfree because of the Castros and the despotic regime they oversee. Cuba is free to trade with every country in the world except for the United States. The country’s failure to flourish is because of the ruling junta, period. Anyone who suggests otherwise is denying basic reality.
…Yet it’s equally true that people who insist that America’s Cuba policy is defensible or in any way successful are equally deluded and should be called out on such patent b.s. When I was in college back in the 1980s, “disinvestment” from South Africa was a big deal. Right-thinking people of the time—by which I mean left-leaning people—said it was morally unconscionable to do business with the apartheid regime even as they called for a lifting of the trade embargo with Cuba. Regular Cubans were suffering from our actions they said. If we allowed trade and travel, the humanitarian lefties would explain, we might spread wealth and democratic values by our presence and contact. Right-wingers defended staying in South Africa as a way of spreading American influence there while also defending the Cuban embargo as a way of punishing autocrats.
To put it bluntly, each side in that debate was full of crap. For a variety of political affiliations and exigencies, they were willing to consign the oppressed and the voiceless to deprivation and persecution in the name of selective moral outrage. Economic and diplomatic sanctions by the U.S. didn’t help end apartheid and the same sort of policies haven’t made Cuba become an open society.
Locally and nationally, we live under governments that prefer to rule rather than to serve, that choose not to tell us the truth but to keep it from us, and that have enacted laws that purport to make their behavior legal.In 1949, when he wrote “1984,” Orwell predicted all this, including the secret torture, the perpetual warfare, the continuous spying and the fear of the government. His predictions were right on the mark — he was only mistaken by 30 years.
The government has argued that when it engages in all this spying, it is looking for a needle in a haystack. It claims it can only keep us safe if it knows all and sees all. Yet, such an argument cannot be made with intellectual honesty by anyone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution.The Constitution was written to keep the government off of the people’s backs. The Constitution protects the right to be left alone and the right to be different. The Constitution presupposes the existence of natural rights and areas of human endeavor that are insulated from government knowledge and immune to government regulation, except in the most carefully prescribed circumstances. Those circumstances require that probable cause of crime be possessed by the government about identifiable persons and demonstrated to a neutral judge before the government may engage in any surveillance of that person — and all those NSA conspirators and all their judicial facilitators know this.
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” — Ecclesiastes 1:9
This is true even in politics. Maybe especially in politics, where the recycling of bad and good decisions reflects the recycling, according to democratic practice, of bad and good leaders.
As the Russians push their imperial agenda in the Ukraine, and Western leaders wring their hands, the ’70s come painfully to mind.
I bring up the ’70s — of god-awful memory — as much to nourish hope as to enlarge perspective on current events in the world and the nation along with it.
As the hearing-aid set — of which your servant is a certificate-holding member — will recall, the ’70s began with the U.S. in decline, at home and abroad. Inflation and fast-rising energy costs looked uncontrollable. The Nixon administration’s response was wage-price controls — an expedient never successful anywhere. A long, bloody, divisive and essentially futile war in Southeast Asia was winding down. It remained only to negotiate our exit costs.
In this environment of American weakness and confusion, enemies pounced. The Iranians seized our embassy in Tehran. The Russians invaded Afghanistan.
The cycle of decline and fall was arrested, and then reversed, in the ’80s. Having seen what didn’t work in foreign policy — American guilt, American disengagement — America, during the Reagan presidency, re-engaged. And, having done so, won the Cold War. In economic terms, the government stepped back, cut tax rates, eased various regulations and returned to the free marketplace some of its old-time flexibility. Things began working again.
They worked, that is, until “the thing that hath been” cruised back by the crime scene to test the shortness of our memories. Sure enough, around the year 2008, circumstances found the U.S. largely immobilized by the experience of war and the mistakes that seem to go with freedom and prosperity.
Under the guiding hand of Barack Obama, the old policies came back — guilt, disengagement from responsibilities, pessimism as to American ideals and capabilities, resentment of economic success; a variety of mannerisms and anxieties that predict bad decision-making at the top.