Thursday, October 25, 2012

Austerity Measures and Decline

Europe is trying to throw off its economic slump through austerity measures, and the plan simply is not working.

The failure of the austerity measures is not surprising.

In a socialist society, the government is the engine of growth. When one tries to impose austerity measures on a socialist society, all one gets is more economic decline.

The United States seems doomed to follow the same path. Conservatives have convinced themselves that our economic decline is the result of losing our "conservative values."

Rather than nominating a candidate interested in restoring a free market system, Republicans nominated the progressive Mitt Romney who has vowed to impose health exchanges at the state level and is dedicated to kicking down all talk of free market health care reform.

Groups like the Sutherland Institute are absolutely punch drunk with the idea that they will be able to use State run health exchanges regulated by an unelected Health Compact.

Rather than discussing ways to restore free market health care, the severely conservative right is set on the course of actively suppressing debate while drooling over the concentration of wealth and power that will take place with the Health Compact and socialized Health Exchanges.

The combination of "conservative values" and socialism pushed by Sutherland is a very ugly thing.

Let's look at the ugly: Conservatives love to point out that Nazism and Fascism were socialist economies.Such conservatives fail to acknowledge that fascism is a socialist state run by social conservatives.

Yes, I know, there are some "conservatives" who want to conserve the principles of the US Founders. But the term "conservatism" is not a synonym for the socio-economic system of the founders. The term "conservative" means a person set on preserving the current social order.

When social conservatives get their hands on a overbearing state, their native impulse is to use that overbearing state to impose their values. This is why the right is almost as bad as the left at expanding government power.

Conservatives wave images of the Founders when they are out of power, but then work to centralized and consolidate the nation when they are in power.

Conservatives are not the founders of this nation, they are people who use the images of the founders to grub power.

The Founders of the United States had a liberal arts education. They applied classical logic to the question of liberty (which they saw as self-rule). They fought a revolution to liberate themselves from the crown and drafted a Constitution in an attempt to preserve the freedom they gained.

The Founders were driven by ideas about liberty. These guys were classical liberals. They were not conservatives.

The conservatives of 1776 were called "Tories." Tories were royalists who fought against the founders and who wanted to restore the social order of the ancient regime after the revolution.

Conservative slave owners in the south wanted to conserve the peculiar institution of slavery and spewed forth with complex arguments (rife with logical fallacies) in favor of slavery. This will come as a complete shock to many, but conservative slave owners will not all that keen on the liberal talk about liberty.

Conservatives of 1776 wanted to preserve the ancient regime.

The ancient regime (feudalism) was a society built on social order. The kings ruled through a network of local Lords and Ladies who imposed local control through  a tight political hierarchy.

Feudalism was a system with a centralized king and order imposed locally (Feudalism is exactly the ideal of the Sutherland Institute).

The Lords did not own the land. They gained their position by ruling over the serfs. The serfs owned nothing and depended on the bounty of their local lords for their benefits.

Supporters of the ancient regime were not without reason. They claimed the order was endowed through an ancient covenant stretching back to Israel. The king saw himself as a grand patriarch who showered the benefits of the state down upon the undeserving peasantry.

The people of the ancient regime were flowing with "conservative values" but the serfs lived pathetic lives in abject poverty.

Classical Liberals (including the US Founders) began toying with the concept of widespread ownership. Adam Smith argued that owners seeking to maximize the return from the stuff they owned would increase the wealth of the nation.

The Kings of England were German and sponsored German Universities. After the US and French Revolution, German Universities set to the task of reframing the ideals of the ancient regime. It was clear that the serfs suffered under the yoke of feudalism. But, imagine a feudalism in which the lords and ladies kept to their promise and showered the people with benefits.

The arch-conservative Hegel created a new modern logic in which he pulled every fallacy and paradox in an attempt to rework the ideals of feudalism in a favorable light. Hegel was clearly right wing. The Young Hegelians (eg Karl Marx) framed the who set up as revolutionary left.

Communism was born of this radical effort to reframe feudalism as progressive. The key difference was that socialism de-emphasized the social order and promised to actually shower people with benefits.

Don't you see? Socialism was born of an effort to attack the liberal notion of a society built on ownership and revive the ideals of the ancient regime which was a society based on power and social order.

Socialism is an idealized version of feudalism in which the government keeps its promise of showering benefit on the people. The ideal was born of a conservative philosophy. Hayek called this process the Road to Serfdom. The Left uses revolutionary rhetoric on a path that will achieve the conservative goal of restoring the feudal social order.

Socialists use heavy taxes and debt spending in attempts to build their fantasy of a feudalism that works. They soon exhaust the treasury and swamp the engines of commerce.

When conservatives step into impose austerity and conservative values on the top-down socialist state, they complete the circle and force us back into a feudal order. It is not surprising that fantasies about an idealized feudal order in up back in the oppressive state of a real feudal order.

The left puts us on the Road to Serfdom with the promise of a socialist state which showers entitlements onto the people who own nothing. Conservatives stand in the wing ready to put the shackles back on mankind after the socialists squander the treasury and force the imposition of austerity measures.

Sadly, the only way out of the trap is to reject both the left and right and to campaign for the classical liberalism based on an ownership society. This is a difficult game opposed by both left and right.


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