In “The Necessary Enemy,” one of the first posts I wrote for Hot Air over a year ago, I made this point about the violent and desperate nature of socialism:
Increasing levels of coercion are necessary to expand the socialist system, and keep wealth producers trapped within it. To maintain popular support, the socialist needs voters to stay angry at designated class enemies. The Obama style of total government control over private businesses tends to turn feral with frightening speed, because it attempts to preserve the illusion of private enterprise, even as the “entrepreneurs” are enslaved to the total state.The SEIU thugs laying siege to the home of a Bank of America executive are a demonstration of this principle. So are the rioters in Greece, who have degenerated to murdering bank employees, instead of merely terrorizing them.
You might object that the SEIU goons weren’t representatives of the State, while the Greek rioters are supposedly an “anti-government” mob. The truth is that American labor unions, and angry Greek pensioners, have become de facto arms of the State. They are the feral vanguard of a collapsing system, using violence and intimidation to make it clear those not favorably connected to the political power structure will be sacrificed to preserve it, for as long as possible. As Mark Steyn says about those “anti-government” rioters in Athens:
They were not an “anti-government” mob, but a government mob, a mob comprised largely of civil servants. That they are highly uncivil and disinclined to serve should come as no surprise: they’re paid more and they retire earlier, and that’s how they want to keep it. So they’re objecting to austerity measures that would end, for example, the tradition of 14 monthly paycheques per annum. You read that right: the Greek public sector cannot be bound by anything so humdrum as temporal reality. So, when it was mooted that the “workers” might henceforth receive a mere 12 monthly paycheques per annum, they rioted. Their hapless victims—a man and two women—were a trio of clerks trapped in a bank when the mob set it alight and then obstructed emergency crews attempting to rescue them.Remember Barack Obama’s infamous conversation with Joe the Plumber, in which he said, “It’s not that I want to punish your success; I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they’ve got a chance to success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody?” This was not merely a watery expression of Marxist principles. It was a damnable lie. Obama has no intention of spreading wealth around for the good of everybody. His objective is to transfer your wealth to the SEIU and other powerful collective organizations, to fund their lavish benefits. He even bought a car company as a gift to the United Auto Workers. The American taxpayer has pumped over $17 billion into GMAC, so it can continue to provide the UAW with wages and benefits far beyond anything those taxpayers enjoy… a wealth transfer hidden behind shell games and media manipulation.
This system has nothing to do with the people “behind you.” It’s all about satisfying people who already have gold-plated retirement plans and Cadillac health care, in exchange for their political support. Some of the most ridiculous benefit plans belong to government employee unions, which means the government is taxing the hell out of the private sector to pay itself to vote for itself. Vast sums are also plowed into subsidies for well-connected businesses, and welfare programs which have dangerously eroded the human capital we prize as our most precious resource.
Virtually every subsidy is an expensive attempt to reverse market forces, and undo the will of the American consumer. A nation which pours its gross domestic product into entitlements and subsidies is essentially trying to short-circuit itself. It will eventually succeed.
It’s imperative for the American people to understand this is the inevitableresult of collectivist economics. Political control of the marketplace always degenerates into the political class robbing independent citizens and unpopular industries, to maintain the support of indentured constituents. Packaged votes and bundled political donations, from loyal and motivated groups, are a far easier route to power than somehow keeping the majority of the country happy – a goal that always eludes socialism, because compulsion and ideology make poor substitutes for ambition and innovation.
That explains why socialism is miserable. It turns feral because it always makes promises it cannot keep, and the primary skill of a successful politician is the ability to avoid responsibility. As of this writing, it remains the official position of the Democrat Party that not a single one of its members bears any responsibility for the subprime mortgage crisis. Dodd, Frank, and Obama swam in millions of dollars of campaign donations and graft. They blocked audits of Fannie Mae, and gave speeches assuring the country that it was completely solvent. They greeted any suggestion of reform or oversight with furious accusations of greed and racism. None of them have been punished. In fact, they all enjoy more power than ever today, although Dodd’s time is running out.
When these politicians insist they bear no responsibility for the disasters they have engineered, or the failure of their policies, their loyal supporters believe them. The hunt for the “true” villains predictably follows. The authors of the deficit time bomb will never admit they made impossible promises, or knowingly sold out future generations to acquire immediate power. They knew ObamaCare was a ridiculous fraud – their house organ, theNew York Times, recently told Greece it should privatize health care to bring down costs. The socialists will never accept responsibility for the system beginning to crash down around them… not while they can designate fall guys for their supporters to hate.
Desperation ignites hatred into violence. The American middle class holds the power to write a different ending than the fiery death spiral twisting through the streets of Athens. That fate is only inevitable if we listen to the people who tell us we don’t have any other choices. We are a nation blessed with millions of clever minds, willing hands, and radiant hearts. There’s no problem we cannot solve, once we dismantle the failed State telling us it’s illegal to try. We can work together as free men and women, or depend on the State to loot individuals for the benefit of the collective, until they have nothing worth stealing. There are no other choices. There never were.