Slouching Towards Socialism



“Bully for Bush. The president has achieved another milestone in his mission to bridge the philosophical gap between conservatism and left-liberalism. ‘The Decider’ recently endorsed the socialist concept of a wealth gap, and promised to do his level best to level the playing field through the familiar distribution schemes…””A more meaningful measure of economic health is the ability to afford basic necessities: food, housing, clothing, hygiene, health care, telephone and transportation, to use the Fraser Institute’s gauge. More crucially, the freer a society, the less likely government is to placate the envious by taking from those they envy. In unfree societies, that’s precisely what governments do: pacify the multitudes by mulcting the few…”

“Whether he is addressing the ‘wealth gap,’ galvanizing government to ‘create jobs’; capitulating to climate-change crazies or rabbiting on about renewable energy —Bush just cannot tell his left from his right.”The excerpts are from my new column, “Slouching Toward Socialism.” It leads the Commentary Page on WorldNetDaily today. Discuss.

10 thoughts on “Slouching Towards Socialism

  1. Charles Jobagy

    Canada is farther down the toilet of socialism and I’ve noticed the divide and conquer tactics for decades. It’s not envy of wealth; socialists believe that wealth distribution must be controlled by the state. If they become the state they have no problem diverting wealth into their pockets.

  2. Dan Maguire

    Envy…in my life I’ve felt more than my fair share, less so in recent years, thankfully. Mr. Browne is correct – it is a decidely miserable vice. When I find myself in its clutches I do my best to rid myself of it.

    In addition to the poison of envy, I’ve also tried to rid myself of positions I hold that do not survive critical analysis. In spite of my best efforts, I find that I retain some illiberal tendencies. For instance, as I’ve written here before, I continue to support access to education for all children, in spite of the fact that the public schools in this country tend to leave a lot to be desired. I also favor continued access to education until at least the age of 16 or so, for no other reason than that my dad was a late bloomer who did not do well academically until about that age.

    In addition, I confess envy of those who inherit large sums of wealth. Now, I understand that in a free society those who accrue large wealth have almost always done so as a result of being productive (the fictional bootlegger Jay Gatsby was productive insofar as he provided a product for which there was demand). It is their right to leave this wealth to their children if they damn well please. I understand that. Still, the Paris Hiltons of the world piss me off. And President Bush…how many really believe that he’d have become president without the name and wealth of his family? How many believe that he has the talent to have become president without this, well, advantage?

    But there’s the rub. My envy does not survive critical analysis. President Bush is president because he wanted it and enough people freely chose to vote for him. Paris Hilton is a public figure because people choose to pay attention to her. Sigh.

    Finally, I am envious of people like Ilana who make it into their forties without accruing an ounce of neck flab. That really makes me mad! [LOL; that’s funny. No chin flab, yet. Ann Coulter has none, but she doesn’t eat.]

  3. James Anderson Merritt

    I had a most excellent laugh, thinking about Ilana’s suggestion that the logic of wealth transfer implies that the congenitally ugly be provided with plastic surgery at the expense of the winners of life’s genetic lottery, sort of the flip side of the “Harrison Bergeron” idea, and just one twist beyond the idea of the Twilight Zone’s “Number 12 Looks Just Like You.” Perhaps, in the future, equality will be enforced not only by handicapping the lucky, gifted, and talented to drag them down toward the norm, but also by taxing those of above-average endowments, so that the rest can receive appropriate therapy and prostheses, in order to haul them up. You may think it’s an absurd, satirical notion now, but think back to the many satires you laughed at in previous decades, which have become a routine part of life today.

    It could definitely happen.

  4. james huggins

    “mulcting the few”? My long standing suspicions are confirmed. Mercer is a major stock holder in Funk and Wagnell. If she ever quit writing articles dictionary sales would reach an all time low.

    I must say that this drive to socialism is not new and has always mystified me. It has never worked anywhere in the world, that I know of. Why are Americans so in love with a system that is obviously inferior and stands against everything this country has meant since its inception. Could it be that Americans don’t know what this country stood for back in the day? Could it be that Americans don’t have the education that develops inquisitive minds that would look at all the obvious holes in the soccialist theories? Could it be that our entire culture has conditioned Americans to accept socialism or at least anti-American attitudes and not look too deeply. The American system requires a population with an education, a backbone and at least some moral training. As a country we sadly lack all three.

  5. Phineas Worthington

    Envy was a defining characteristic of the people of the former Soviet Union when I went there in 1993. They said it of themselves in parables. One such parable said that if your neighbor had two cows and you had one, you would plot to kill one of your neighbor’s cows instead of trying to acquire two.
    Seems we have come to that point ourselves in many ways.

    I am still trying to figure out the fundamental difference of the political left and right. Both seem to deplore individual rights. Both adore government largess and legal theft as a means to achieve their ends.

    As always your work is an intellectually stimulating departure from the normal socialistic dreck.

  6. John Mattingly

    “Bush just cannot tell his left from his right.”

    In one succinct sentence you’ve explained why Dubya isn’t fit to run a lemonade stand, let alone preside over the Federal Executive office.

    The GOP is in desperate need of a George W. douche.

  7. Richard

    I do remember the bad ol’ 60’s when the first anti-establishment movement in recent times really had a major effect on American society. It seemed so unlikely that we’d end up wanting to throw away all that had been built for 190+ years.

    Since then, I’ve seen the Left insidiously invade the educational system at all levels, the media and, sequentially, the politics and the business areas of our society. I’ve wondered for a long time, why this couldn’t have been seen by conservatives decades ago, and discuss the need to battle them in those trenches, as well as that of ideas.

  8. Robert Glisson

    Mr. James Huggins asks why, if we all know that socialism don’t work, our government keeps moving in that direction. The basic answer in my opinion is- Neither the Republicians or Democrats have any intention of developing socialism in the U.S. To do so would require them knowing political theory and the differences between political theories , then planning, and endeavor, step by step to the goal of establishing “The State.” No, our politicians have no concept of “a Democacy” or “a Republic” and if cornered defend themselves self righteously that they are the most “democratic or republican” defenders in office today. They do not think past their election promise. “When I get into office, I will run the government as I think best for you.” Most persons who enter politics are products of the U.S. Public School system where classes in sociology are a joke. Even if it were a private school, liberal belief is such that they would not get a good education in sociology anyway. Most of us had to learn sociology from sources outside of school. Which accounts for the small number of Libertarians in society today. Socialistic methods of governing is the ignorant person’s easiest way to manage government, so they follow the path of least resistance thinking it is demoracy at work.

  9. Brandon

    I’m envious of Ilana’s husband. 😉
    It is one of those great ironies of life that people feel like they are gaining power by getting politicians to steal wealth from those who peacefully acquire it when they are really just submitting to the will of politicians. Not to mention the fact that they are ultimately shooting themselves in the foot economically.

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