Orwell’s 1984 Is Happening

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I normally discount most of the ranting of the WorldNetDaily/Alex Jones/Lew Rockwell set because I’ve always thought that they were the right’s version of the boy who cried wolf but this post at lewrockwell.com by Gordon T. Long hits uncomfortably close to the mark:

In The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek showed how governments, supported by a collectivist mindset, always tend towards totalitarianism. Even the most libertarian government thus far created, the government of the United States, has slipped incrementally towards totalitarianism over the past two centuries. This is because it is an inherent trait of a government.

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The degree of socialism in the United States increased substantially after the establishment of the Federal Reserve System (1913) and the measures taken during the Great Depression (1929-46) which it created. Ever since the early 1900’s the United States has had a two-party system dominated by ‘socialists’. The Republican Party has always advocated conservative socialism. The Democratic Party, which in the 19th century favored libertarianism, advocates social-democratic socialism. So long as people are divided by Left and Right, Democratic and Republican, the US is prone to being influenced by factions who transcend party politics and from behind the scenes could possible exert strong control over the United States. They could do this by maintaining power over public opinion and hence over the course of government. Steadily, the United States has been travelling down the road to totalitarianism, and many people have not noticed, possibly because they are only looking at the position on the Left-Right paradigm.

Upon further analysis, it is clear that Left, Right and Centre, are all forms of socialism. In particular, we may call them “social-democratic socialism” (the Left) and “conservative socialism” (the Right). They are both socialism because they both share the principle that the government should “run” and “mold” society, by using legal force and intervention to transfer property and personal wealth as part of the political scientists’ process of ‘redistribution of wealth’.

The differences are only in the particular ways the government should run society – the methods it should use, and who, exactly, should be the recipients of government wealth transfers and who should pay. In particular:

  • Social democrats tend to prefer heavy taxation, large wealth transfers to the poor, and nationalized industries, and oppose price controls, regulations and behavioral controls.

  • Conservatives tend to prefer lower taxation, a smaller welfare state, regulated (cartelized) industries, price controls, product and behavioral controls.

Since these are points that have a rational basis and are gaining popular support – and almost all contributors here have made or validated – I have to consider the possibility that the wolf is at the door.

10 thoughts on “Orwell’s 1984 Is Happening

  1. Excellent and on the spot, Sir. And the US is still even not too bad (yet!).
    In Germany, i.e. today Karl Marx would be labelled a right-wing radical!!!! There is no more home for conservative values.
    Take care.

  2. I take issue with something here, Boss. 0% government does NOT = 100% freedom, it equals 0% freedom, just as 100% government does. With 0% government, we ARE in Hobbes’ version of the state of nature. The whole purpose of society is to protect us from the tyranny of anarchy.

    Don’t you think?

    • I think the term “government” as used in the chart is an unfortunate choice. Perhaps “control” or “government control” would have been a better choice. It is hard to define freedom in such a prescriptive way. Does “freedom” mean “freedom of action” or “freedom of thought” – I would argue that there is never 0% freedom because no government can control thoughts…at least not yet.

      The takeaway for me is this: more government means more laws means more control – less government means fewer laws means less control.

      But how much and who decides?

      Therein lies the root of every argument we have here.

      • Sir:
        I have a question on the “Price controls”

        In my little marxist heaven of Maryland, the Dems are always calling for price control,
        and we conservatives are always fighting them on this.

        Could you elaborate on how price control (other than market forces) are a tenant of conservatism?

        Much obliged,

      • One could make the argument that, yes, government can control thought. Not directly (yet) but through the media (majority controlled by the left) indoctrination of our school children, and indoctrination in universities across the country. Oh yes, the government can’t directly control our thoughts, but they’ve done an amazing job at shaping and directing it to their (government’s) will.

  3. I disagree with the application of ‘technophobic’ and ‘technophillic’. I can’t offer an alternative other than I don’t think it can be applied in this way.

  4. Utah,
    I can’t say that I fully share your sentiments about WND, and particularly about Jones. There is one factor I think that needs to be included into this equation; the collapse of the journalistic stalwart image that Cronkite, and Huntley and Brinkley brought into everyone’s home. Back then, we were all fed the same pablum; we didn’t have much choice in the matter. People were far more apt to trust what they were being told back then, than today, and today, since we can no longer trust the networks as we once thought we could, different people have branched out with many individual journalistic strategies, trying to reach as many people as possible, and STILL not always with the best of intentions. Who knew that even Cronkite was feeding us the party drivel? I didn’t; not then anyway. He came across as a professional, and most likely, like the majority of successful journalists, probably had a high degree of integrity back during his early career.

    As far as Jones, look where he was coming from 15 years ago. Look at how much of what he was trying to report has actually come to fruition. So, what is he guilty of? What he lacks in polish, he makes up for in heart. Personally, I can’t ell you how many times I’d recommend that people try tuning him in, they’d listen to him and then I’d never hear from these people again. No surprise there; his seething, salivating rants were just too much for people to take. I guess if people were going to get informed that doomsday was coming, they wanted another olive with their martini.

    Long’s material may be accurate, but it certainly isn’t anything new (no offense). He is adept at repackaging an argument so that it has clarity to others; certainly among those with a chart fetish.

    Personally, I think the problem we have is one of integrity, or the loss of it. Somewhere along the line, mankind seems to lost his moral compass in this ever increasingly secular world and all those revelationesque biblical arguments now suddenly seem to have merit. As people are being more frequently confronted with making the right choice; the moral choice, unfortunately, they seem to be making more choices that are right for them, alone, and leaving their fellow man by the roadside. Were these cosmic patterns that recognizable by wise sages thousands of years ago. It appears so. The Hindus, it seems, were plugged into their environment enough to conceptualize their “Kalpa” period of time being roughly equal to the age of the Earth, and their Great Kalpa being 1.28 trillion years. My point concerns how a culture/religion going back possibly 7,000 years were in touch enough to conceptualize time so well.

    My two cents.

    • Right on about the moral compass. It really does have to do with that. John Adams was right — the American system was designed for a moral people. In the absence of morals, we’re in trouble politically.

      What to do about that? If the modern church could only back to Antioch and figure out what they had that attracted so many people so quickly … unfortunately, we do have it — or a lot of it. Paul’s New Testament writings, the Book of Hebrews which was probably written by either Barnabas or Apollos (or both together) — but somehow we don’t seem to be able to transmit our beliefs to a reluctant culture.

      What to do about that?

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