Janet Daley at The Telegraph has an outstanding essay on the Western worlds acknowledgment that socialist government programs and democracy do not mix:
[T]here is now a broad understanding that the social democratic project itself is unsustainable: that it has grown wildly beyond the principles of its inception and that the consequences of this are not only unaffordable, but positively damaging to national life and character.
The US, bizarrely, is running at least 10 years behind in this process, having elected a government which chose to embark on the social democratic experiment at precisely the moment when its Western European inventors were despairing of it, and desperately trying to find politically palatable ways of winding it down.
The American people – being made of rather different stuff and having historical roots which incline them to be distrustful of government in any form – immediately rejected the whole idea. But in Britain, too, among real people (as opposed to ideological androids) there is a general sense that governments – even when they are elected by a mass franchise – become out of touch and out of control, and that something essential to human dignity and potential is under threat from their overweening interference.
So a generation after the collapse of totalitarian socialism, its democratic form is finally crumbling as well. And, oddly enough, the latter may take longer than the former to unravel. The one virtue of totalitarian governments is that they can be swept away in a single blow, either through violent overthrow or – as in the case of Soviet communism – by their populations simply walking out from under them. But social democracy has the supposed legitimacy of the consent of an electorate which has exercised a free political choice.
The Czar is especially appreciative of Ms. Daleys observation that totalitarian socialism is easier to disassemble than democratic socialism. The irony is rich, but sadly truethe point remains that we really do not know to shut down welfare programs or curtailing spending programs without hurting many people in a very real and tangible way. Gentle cuts would be best, no?
The problem is that we should have made gentle cuts a decade or so ago. Now, we have to make drastic cuts or we will collapse waiting for results. No matter what course we take, people are going to be unhappy. Unfortunately, the grim fact is this: although there is plenty of blame to spread around, liberals more so than any other group set it up so that the people who will be hurt most and first are those who lived off the reckless spending.
So will get hurt? Those who pay little-to-nothing in taxes. A cold-hearted cynic might shrug and say You dont want to get hurt? You shouldnt have bought into these welfare scams in the first place. But this is a falsity: there were no national referendums, no votes, no public opinions gathered. Progressives do not seek these things, because the people are stupid (even the President repeated on his 60 Minutes interview that he needs to make his communications simpler). People did not elect FDR because he was going to start Social Security and swell government: they elected him to end the depression. However, FDR took it upon himself to jam in these programs. LBJ was not formally elected in 1964 so that he could ramrod through Medicaid and Medicare and massive welfare programs. He pushed through once elected. BHO was elected under a fantasy of transforming government into something that worked for the people; they were unaware of what was coming in terms of stimulus payments, bailouts of private industry, healthcare and attempts at Cap and Trade. As we know, these were things our elected representatives conspired to force into law.
The American people did not vote on these programs. But all thought-out Progressive programs work the same way: they promise something unattainable from the government, are written to legislate many other, unrelated pet causes that live off taxpayer dollars, and are set up to make cancellation or removal almost impossible once begun.
We now know, as Ms. Daley writes, this no longer works. The Progressive days must end: Democratic socialism is, like all other forms of socialism, impossible due to the Thatcher maxim about running out of other peoples money. In addition to social benefaction, there are many things governments should not do: hurting innocent people is one of them. But the failure to stop these financial sinkholes before means we might have to do just thatbut, if we do it right, it will be for the last time as we say farewell to Progressive utopianism.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.