(Cover art by Daria Giovanni)
Socialism’s Prime Imperative
In comparing the difficulties Frederich von Hayek had in publishing his Road to Serfdom in America, with its publication in England, editor Bruce Caldwell noted, with some surprise, at how vitriolic the American “intellectual” left’s response was against Hayek. British socialists simply accepted his book as another point of view.
That was the year of my birth, 1945, and to date I don’t think the scholars of the Right have made any sort of inquiry into why the American Left were so knee-jerk and vicious.
I’m not a scholar, just an observer, but I have alluded to this phenomenon many times, even before I knew Hayek’s story. Over the years I’ve analyzed struggle from several perspectives; inside the Soviet Bloc and Asia, and America, from factory floor to the councils of top management in Fortune 500 corporations.
I’ve been lucky to have had front row seats in all of these battle zones.
And it’s always seemed clear to me that this angry response to Road to Serfdom in America was due to the simple math of socialism, namely that in America freedom predated the hierarchical system they hoped to implant. The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness got in line first. We didn’t have to elbow our way in, as do all the other private sectors of the world.
Therefore, in 1945, Von Hayek highlighted a reality that was seen as a far more imminent threat than it was in Europe.
No wonder the Left screeched. Hayek was like a priest trying to invite himself into a witch’s coven, his crucifix held high.
Because of that damned Constitution, America was a veritable breeding ground for entrepreneurship, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, and it had gotten at least a 100-year jump on socialism on these virgin shores. In America there was no ancient, preexisting order of class distinctions that prohibited men from dreaming and building just about anything their hearts desired, while in Europe, the state class had roots going all the back into the Middle Ages, so had always been able to keep the citizenry limited in how wide they could spread their wings. This is still true today.
So, in America, Hayek’s new book gave academic credence to the system FDR and his cronies had been trying to dismantle and what had never really been allowed to stand alone in Europe. Consequently, his book was being read from an entirely different vantage point, and by an entirely different set of people. It was wildly popular among people here Hayek never believed would read a book such as his. It was even condensed into a Reader’s Digest version. Such things were never done in Europe.
And all this was at the time of the GI Bill, (1944-1956) which destroyed the economic and ideological precepts of Marx and socialism. Under the GI Bill, America disproved socialism as a system that could work economically. (It remains to be seen if will disprove Marxism as an authoritarian system. That’s the ‘wahr in which we are now engaged.) The GI Bill helped create a managerial middle class which “added value” and created not just wealth, but more importantly, new money. All because millions of returning servicemen, instead of heading back to the farm, the third shift at Ford, or the soda fountain at Woolworth’s, would instead go onto college and become engineers, manufacturing supervisors, builders, MBA’s, managers, creating an entrepreneurial sector so large that they would became a new market niche all by themselves. New products, from Oldsmobiles to Motorola TV’s, to Maytags and Hotpoints, and to servicing all of them, were designed just for this new class.
The consumer middle class arose from this sector, a class they created, and which continued unabated until 2009.
I only mention this to give you some idea of just how ancient is the root of Obama’s socialism. It despises any private sector middle class – for a strong one deprives the Left of its reason for being. The state class must always be the middle class in their world view. It can suffer no competition, especially one that can out-excel it in every economic endeavor. Again, as the America private sector has proved.
So, destroying this class was not only an attempt to (re)claim a status that is rightfully theirs, in the Marxist sense, but a deep, personal and elitist need to reaffirm to themselves that the choices they made as college freshmen were justified, when they chose the tougher disciplines of Sociology and Communications over crip courses in engineering, math and physics.
Their life’s mission, their anthem, their marches de guerre, has been to prove the common man really isn’t capable of doing what he in fact has already done. They couldn’t stand to see high school drop-outs at their class reunion driving Lexus’ while they pulled up in Sonatas. There had to be some other explanation for this reversal in Nature, and entire wings of universities have been opened up to explore this one proposition.
Barack Obama is just the last in a line of people who have come along to try to (re)assert this Marxist ideal of intellectual privilege. And by last, I mean last, for either he will be defeated totally, or he will win totally.
The Obama Plan, and the 20% Solution
With this notion in mind, it should be easier now to understand the Obama Plan (I doubt he’s the architect, but the name has a certain ring to it) for transforming America, and how all the pieces are supposed to fit.
Just understand the simplest of math, that by lopping off 20% of the American small business and work force in his first term, and now lopping off 20% of the survivors’ disposable income with Obamacare, then the state class, after 80 years of hard work, can finally emerge as the preeminent American middle class, and the rest of the surviving private sector will finally revert to petit bourgeoies haberdashers, florists and street corner pencil sellers.
Now you can see where Obama wants to take America.
The Out-of-Workforce now stands at 91.3 million. In other words, the size of the American workforce is less than is was in 1978, when America had almost as many fewer people living here. If you want a statistic for these out-of-work men and women, search the Food Stamps and Medicaid roles, which have sky-rocketed, for these once-proud people have been forced to accept state aid they still don’t know is meant to be permanent. The jobs they lost are no longer there, and there is no intention, under this government, to ever bring them back. The fact that we now know the government has been lying all along about “jobs” in this country, from the very beginning, tells us they feel relatively secure in writing this 20% segment off their books entirely, except as wards of the state, left to increase their government stipends by working odd-jobs in the underground, under-the-table, economy, or selling at flea markets, or possibly straying into petty crime.
To the extent their jobs at the low end of the economic strata will be refilled, it’s planned that they will be filled by even lower-cost immigrants, which Obama’s Immigration Bill is designed to secure. That was the purpose of the Immigration Bill all along, and why so many big corporations and GOP donors have signed onto it, prostituting half the Republican Party along the way. They represent profit in the truest of the 19th century-capitalist sense of the word, which the GI Bill and Reagan tax cuts were supposed to have put an end to. Most of these Republicans haven’t had a patriotic sentiment since Nelson Rockefeller threw out the first pitch at a Mets’ game in ’73. (I made that up, but you get the point.).
Which brings us to Obamacare, and as we’ve already seen, the result, and also its purpose, was to take anywhere from $200-$600 a month away from the disposable income of the remaining American middle class. For about 20% of them, that will be ALL their disposable income, which means no more soccer team, no piano lessons, family night out at The Olive Garden, Saturday kids’ matinees at the Cineplex, or the trip to grandpa and grandma’s in Georgia every Thanksgiving.
Also, the trickle-down of $2500-$7500 a year, per household, taken away from the entertainment, hospitality, restaurant and leisure sectors, will be just as significant, measured in more lost jobs and closures in many places. Even more than in 2009. Only the state class will be able to go to the beach.
Just wait for it.
During Obama’s Phase One in 2009, I asked several of my friends, “Just how many people do you know who have been effected by the Obama recession?” Not many. The losers almost all came off the bottom of the employment barrel, so we rarely knew or saw them, or noticed the small business closings in strip malls and office buildings. But I’ve seen all the small businesses in my office complex downsize by almost half, and those kids they had to lay off, who knows where they are? I have the only occupied office left on my floor.
But in this Obamacare Phase Two it will touch us all, although $200-$600 a month will not be as devastating for some as it will be for others. Most of you will survive with just a little penny-pinching. But this time you will know people who’ve had to turn their lives entirely around. As I said, they’ll suddenly quit the soccer team, or not volunteer at school functions. People with families will be most affected because they can’t justify in their own minds not to protect their children and will have to buy the insurance, having to choose between two devastating choices,
This is not a consequence of Obamacare. This is its purpose.
The remaining private sector, both small and big, and which will always be made to hover steadily at the 7% range of unemployment, will exist solely at the sufferance of the state class. It will select the winners and losers in small business. From the people who make your automobiles, to selling them, to performing the annual termite inspection on your house, all will be part of the same vertical syndicate, eventually answering to someone inside city hall, who will answer to someone at state capital, all the way up the Federal Commissioner of Bug Repellants in the Department of Agriculture. Kissing up will replace meritocracy everywhere.
The potential for this sort of fascism is why von Hayek wrote Road to Serfdom in the first place, to point out that socialism by any other name and fascism by any other name are essentially the same. (Marxists hate having that thrown in their faces.) Their hatred for one another is found in other things, such as which “holy book” the state class will be required to commit to memory. But that’s about all. To free people they are all the same.
If you can find an honest and genuinely curious one, offer this explanation to Republican conservatives, especially one who may be running for Congress next year.
This is about all the aid I can render.