Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Lesson from Chairman Mao

In his little red book, Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong, Mao said “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

That’s the voice of the French revolution speaking.

In America we followed a different path. We believe that all men receive inalienable rights because God has given those rights to us.

In America political power was not intended to be unlimited and all encompassing. The Founding Fathers envisioned a society where people controlled most of their own lives and the governments role was minimal.

In the American view people are adults who can, in the vast majority of cases, regulate their own lives and their interactions with their fellow citizens. Not children who need a constantly watching nanny state to ensure that they don’t hurt themselves.

But since the rise of fascism and communism in the last century a growing segment of the West’s population have become entranced by the siren call of governmental power.

Initially many are seduced by the concept of the all powerful government because they believe that it is the only way to care for the poor and the helpless. The state is so big and so wealthy that only it can possibly care for those in need.

It sounds reasonable but history has shown it to be wrong.

Governments might help some but always at a terrible price in freedom. Moreover government help rarely brings people back into mainstream society. Rather since the power of government is a function of the peoples dependency government help generally works against returning people to independence.

Once hooked on the concept of government as savior the next step on the path to Mao is the belief that the masses are stupid and need to be controlled, not convinced. At this stage one believes that one has all the answers and if only the mechanisms of government weren’t so slow; so held back by reactionaries we could achieve a heaven on earth.

An example of this type of thinking is Obama saying it would be easier to run China and wishing that he could just do what he knows is right for the country without having to deal with those who deny the validity of his vision. 

Having accepted government as their personal savior people look to politics to solve all problems. But since they have accepted the concept of government control of every aspect of their lives that means they cannot accept losing any political struggle.

The protests we see in Wisconsin by unions are their reaction to the fact that they lost a political struggle. When your livelihood depends on the largesse of government rather than your own hard work political defeats hit you where it hurts.

Like welfare addicts in England, Greece, and Spain the unions know that losing the political fight has immediate and significant financial repercussions.

Unlike people who actually make their own way in the world modern government addicts are aware that their whole way of life is at risk every time there is an election. That’s because while the non-addicted know that the typical liberal might raise taxes a bit it will be a small thing and they’ll be able to cope. To them a bad government is a nuisance not a disaster.

To the government addicted politics is life. By ceding their independence to the government they have become dependent on the outcome of the political process.

That’s why the government addicted liberals are so single minded in their efforts to ensure their candidates win. That’s why all of the vote fraud is on the left. That’s why Al Gore dragged the country through a crisis even though there was no vote fraud while Richard Nixon accepted the results in 1960 and ignored the vote fraud that cost him the election.

Till now the majority of Americans have accepted the increase in government size because it didn’t seem to impact them directly. Few realize how much the government takes in taxes because the cash disappears before we ever see it. And in the main areas of our lives, such as health care, the adverse impacts of the government did not immediately show up. More importantly most Americans could live a lifestyle that was reasonably correlated with how hard they worked.

But now with Obamacare, the failure of the government to help with the recession, and the fact that it’s harder to make up for the money the government takes the non-government addicted have begun to react.

The productive Americans have begun to realize that America is at the limit of government power and control that can exist without degrading their lives. Americans are kind and generous. They accept that a big chunk of their effort goes to help others.

That does not mean however that they will allow their own lives to go down the tubes. Productive Americans, the ones who pay taxes and work for a living, generally like their health care. They feel that they are taxed enough and they fear for their jobs. 

They worried about the massive debt increase and the huge spending bills that the government addicted advocated but they trusted the government when they were told that those huge expenses would restart the economy.

Now they know better. Now they are saying enough is enough.

Where I live the first sign of a break in the monolithic left was a very liberal newspaper complaining about how much city workers were paid. Something I’d never expected to see. Perhaps it was related to the fact that many workers at that paper had been let go because of the economy while the unions defended the huge, and unaffordable, retirement packages the government gave city workers.

Since then across the nation there has been an upswelling of feeling that we’ve drifted too far from what productive Americans want and too close to the sort of government that Mao would endorse. The Tea Party is not just about specific economic policies but about the general concept that the government is too big, too powerful, and too generous with other peoples money.

If your income depends on the government and the people who pay the bills, via their taxes, have said no more what do you do?

Up until now in America the fanaticism of liberal government addicts has been enough to keep them from suffering cuts. Sure those on welfare were impacted by the changes to welfare the Republican Congress forced down Bill Clintons craw but they tend to not vote. In any case the economy was doing well so they could live with the cuts.

But now the number of Americans getting significant money from the government has gone up and the government unions are suddenly feeling the heat as well. It looks like merely being committed will not be enough to keep their entitlements flowing.

What do you do if you’re government addict? You turn to a giant in the field of governmental worship. You turn to Mao, or any number of other all government all the time people, and you embrace the use of force, or the threat of force, to get your way.

After all in the minds of liberals laws only exist to further the good of those who worship at the feet of government so when laws do not work in the favor of the government addicts they should be ignored. Similarly civility is a one way street since in the mind of the government addicted the other side is intrinsically selfish and evil.

Wisconsin made minor changes to the economic outlook of workers who made significantly more than their private sector counterparts. Yet those workers felt entitled to lay siege to Madison, skip out of work, and try to physically intimidate politicians they didn’t agree with.

We should not be surprised at this violence. It’s the natural result of the modern liberal philosophy that politics is all. If the scope of the government is such that its decisions are life and death then no one can accept a compromise.

Right now only a minority of Americans are so dependent on the government that they cannot survive changes without having to accept personal responsibility for their lives. But that minority is large enough that it can cause a great deal of trouble.

We need to prepare to stand strong against violence on the left. To give in to their terrorism, true terrorism not the made up version ascribed to those who would limit the scope of government, is to ensure our children will suffer what the Greeks are currently going through.