Skip to comments.The Obamanation of Defenestration II: Serf's Up, or, A Donkey to Pass through the Eye of a Needle
Posted on 06/21/2009 5:51:16 AM PDT by grey_whiskers
In a recent thread I wrote of the systematic assault upon the American institutions, culture, and ideals, by the Obama administration and its myrmidons. Examples were given of attacks upon the financial system, heavy industry, the health care system, the free election process, and the judiciary. One reason given as to *why* this was being done was a reference to a cartoon version of Hayek's classic The Road to Serfdom. In this piece, I look at why the current wave of assaults which are necessary to bring us to the brink of serfdom, and compare the elements of the work to what is going on around us every day. As we shall see, the United States doesn't exactly follow the script, for a number of reasons.
In Hayek's work, the road to serfdom begins with a transition from war to peace. In the United States, we are fighting in several countries: but neither technically at war (not declared), nor does the war impact our daily lives to such an extent that we need regimented planning.
Enter the Cloward-Piven strategy. This is a method for undermining freedom, described by a pair of Marxist Ivy League professors (but I repeat myself) in the 1960's. The idea is to foment a crisis, and strain the institution charged with handling the situation deliberately, to force a crisis of confidence. Hence the chilling words of Rahm Ballerina Emmanuel, "never let a crisis go to waste." And suddenly, the necessity of the banking bailout (caused by the withdrawal or attempted withdrawal, in a single day, last fall, of almost 1 TRILLION dollars from our banking institutions), becomes clear. Those who wanted to take over, *needed* a crisis.
And so we arrive, by an alternative route, at stage 3: The Planners promise Utopias. Remember Obama's Democrat National Convention acceptance speech "we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal" -- that Utopia.
Now it's time for another couple of detours from Hayek's script. The reason is, the Marxists have attempted to take over our society by suasion in the past, and failed. But elements of their infrastructure are already in place, and are being used to help along each successive push, as time goes on. So there will be several steps of Hayek's Road out of order, or taking place simultaneously, which are strictly sequential in his work. In addition, since the Obama-ites are trying to plan a number of different areas of our lives, the progression to serfdom in different areas is somewhat spotty.
Right now, according to the script, we should be at step 4: The Planners Can't Agree. And this is indeed going on, watching the Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the budget battles in Minnesota and California, and elsewhere. And there remains significant opposition to the National Health Care plan, and to the takeover of the judiciary by usurpation, or implantation of ideologically "pure" candidates, while the destruction and subduction of the auto industry is well on its way.(*) And Obama, never having had to wait for anything, is jumping the gun on some of the steps. Hence, the talk of regulating salaries in the banking industry, even as some of the companies repay their TARP money.
So in different industries, we are in different fronts. But is it not clear that in most of the industries, we are somewhere between making plans (steps 4-6), and selling them (steps 7-8)? But remember what I said on jumping the gun. Look ahead to steps 9-12. These are "Confidence In Planners Fades", "The Strong Man is Given Power", "The Party Takes Over the Country", "A Negative Aim Wields Party Unity". In Health Care, we don't all have confidence in planners; in the Auto Industry, it is fading; in the Economy it is fading. And so a strong man needs to be given power. Obama himself is not yet godlike enough to be given this power on his own personality: particularly with the Internet, Fox News, and talk radio. So he is taking Dictatorship by Committe: he is appointing unelected, unconfirmed, answerable-only-to-the-One czars to run things. The next steps on the program are "The Party Takes over the Country" and "A Negative Aim Wields Party Unity". The Party does have control of the White House, and in number, the Congress -- as described next. And "A Negative Aim" is found in the infamous Homeland Security report naming veterans, pro-lifers, gun owners, and the like, as potential extremists. (What are these people smoking, anyway?)
We are not yet at these last two steps, though efforts are underway. There are a number of reasons for this.
First, Rahm Emmanuel is actually a victim of his own success. If you look back to when he was being awarded the Chief of Staff position to Obama, you can find puff pieces praising his relentless focus, and his own goal to become Speaker of the House. Part of his "brilliance" was shown by describing his strategy to take over the House of Representatives from Republicans, by running what were in effect DINOs -- those people who were close enough to the mainstream of the country, particularly in contested blue-collar districts, that they could get elected, and wrest control of the chamber from the GOP. But there are two little problems with this. First, these so-called "blue dog democrats" really AREN'T doctrinaire leftists: so they are balking at destroying the foundations of the country -- and all the more as they get an earful from their constituents. Secondly, Obama is cutting his timing a little close, and is over-estimating his personal charm and oratory skill. "This is the moment the oceans began to heel" plays very well during the fervor of a campaign among hand-picked party faithful, but it is mighty thin gruel for a lifelong factory worker without other skills who has just been laid off so that your party's elitist Calfiornia base can persue its green wet dreams.
The other reason Emmanuel is in trouble, is that the United States is not dead yet. Despite the counter-culture, and the generation-long *explicit* assault on our values, there is a plurality of traditionalists in the United States, and a long cultural memory -- if not always shared tradition -- of freedom, self-reliance, and telling the government where to stick it. Backed up by memories of two hundred years of free elections, and widespread gun ownership. The reason the citizens in the original Road to Serfdom were willing to surrender freedoms, was that they had already done so originally, as part of a war. For those in the United States, who as recently as last year remember 4.5% unemployment, large cars, and large homes, asking them to lay everything they love aside, to accomodate the megalomania of a community organizer, is not likely to happen. It is harder for a donkey to pass through the eye of a needle than for mainstream America to lay down its freedoms.
The only way Obama will be able to get people to lay down their freedoms will be to induce despair: and this being America, if he tries that, he will be out on his ear (or the Dem party as a whole), before he knows it.
As with Jimmy Carter, Obama will set the stage for another Reagan. We must all work together to bring this about, and to restore America to her former pre-eminence.
(*) Just a thought here. Given the push to make a multi-polar world, with BRIC, or maybe just China, as a global counterweight to the US; and given the push towards "Green" Cars and the like -- what are the odds that the US automakers had to be eliminated, to transfer their market share to China, or to force them to produce money-wasting "chic" small cars such as the new LeMerde or the Citron?
Bump for later. :)
Excellent piece, grey_whiskers! Well done.
Thanks for the ping!
Excellent analysis and insights, dear grey_whiskers! Thank you!!!
“It’s in there!”
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