13 October 2008

Democratic totalitarianism

My anonymous European friend returns to take me to task for my hatred of government and preference for a slave in a “Christian slave”, among things, responding to this posting. So, I want to offer a brief explanation of how his “democracy” is actually the prelude to a “democratic slave” state.

The interventionist view of government into economic affairs goes by the pseudonym “social democracy”, but let’s fact the facts here. The powers needed by a social democratic government must be unlimited in order to make good on its myriad of promises. (And this is the case even if these governments do not actually access these unlimited powers.)

These “democratic” states are totalitarian, no less for their being democracies:

We should understand totalitarianism to refer not the severity of the regime, its propensity to use such tools as terror and concentration camps, but rather the scope of its purview. A totalitarian regime is one that seeks to control every aspect of communal life, and to bring as much of private life as possible into the sphere of the communal.


[…]

Social democracy cannot be distinguished formally from totalitarianism, since it does not recognize in principle any limit to the purview of state supervision. Before Mussolini allied himself with Hitler, both Franklin Roosevelt and Gunnar Myrdal were admirers of what he was accomplishing in Italy. New York University economist Melvyn Krauss has analyzed the National Industrial Recovery Act, declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1935 [opinion of the Court here], and found its provisions to be practically indistinguishable from those of the fascist state. In Sweden, the national census requires considerable personal information, not for a data base, but for inclusion in government computers by name. If a person is unemployed, he is required to tell why. A central file on all citizens is kept for the use of financial institutions, police, and government bureaus.

[…]

When they appear in the social democracies, policies of state supremacy are justified as being for the good of society and contrasted with individualism. That is, the state is confused with society. When society is said to require something, we find that the state is thereby given the right to accomplish it. – Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, 222-23.

Think about the real power needed by a government which is going to provide healthcare to each and every citizen. This move alone will require a great deal of money, tax money. So there must be people paying taxes. This further requires people engaging in one of two acts: working for someone who has a business or being the person who has a business.

So far it’s all very plausible. There are people who have businesses; and there are people who work for people who have businesses.


But remember, healthcare is a right. Surely if healthcare is a right, then food is a right. If a right is something that government must provide to all, then it must provide even to those who do not work. I cannot be required to work in order to be a recipient of healthcare. Will I be free not to work? If I don’t work, then the government loses some revenue. (Clearly, it must be my patriotic duty to work. Otherwise I risk being called selfish. On the other hand, this would mean that only those who work actually possess rights. Maybe.)

Let’s say I don’t work. I just don’t want to, so I don’t. Now, I’m still going to get my rights, which must include, in addition to healthcare, food, clothing and shelter – at no cost to me. These are rights.

What will the government do if you decide not to work, also? Keep in mind, with you and I both not working, the government is out those revenues. I suppose with it being just you and I, no one will be too concerned. But these things are rights; we are entitled to them even if we do not work.

But these rights are provided at tax-payer expense. There must be tax-payers. At some point it stands to reason that the government will at least try to make us work. After all, if everyone decided that, since our basic needs are in fact rights, we don’t have to work for our needs then there would be no tax revenues. (Not only that, but since, “everyone” includes people who work in healthcare, there won’t be any doctors and nurses to provide the care in the first place!)

Since some of the revenues for this healthcare will be coming from business taxes, it may be that some businesses will decide that the ever-increasing tax rate is just high and move to some place like Ireland, where business taxes are lower. Now, clearly the government cannot allow too many businesses to relocate. First, there will be the loss of those business tax revenues. Second, those who are laid off when these unpatriotic businesses relocate, being unemployed, won’t be providing the needed revenues. This cannot be allowed.

Now, let’s get back to those doctors and nurses. Presently, doctoring and nursing can be very lucrative career fields, especially for the good ones. Government employees, by comparison, don’t make as much as their counterparts in the private sector. What if people who might otherwise have made a career choice for one of the healthcare professions, decide to pursue some other career field, a field which pays better?

The government has two choices. On the one hand, it can just – for the special case of healthcare providers – keep paying those excellent salaries. And those salaries better keep abreast of inflation, at least – if not ahead of it. Maybe the government will be able to do that. If the government can’t go that route, then it will have to institute a draft, requiring that all college students register for and take the MCAT, and further requiring that those who perform well enough go on to become doctors. Furthermore, and to ensure the requisite number of nurses, all entering college freshman will have to take an aptitude test to determine which students will be required to become nurses.

It doesn’t get better for the rest of us, the ones who will go ahead and work and operate businesses to pay those patriotic taxes, even though we really don’t have to in order to get our rights. Remember that we’re talking about healthcare. It’s a right. We shouldn’t have to work for it.

Do you like tobacco products? Too bad. The government may decide that it can’t afford the costs associated providing care to tobacco users, and, therefore, outlaw tobacco products.

Do you like fried foods? Those may have to be limited as well, for obvious reasons.

Do you engage in risky sexual behavior? That may have to end. The spread of STDs is out of control and getting as expensive to treat as smoking-related illnesses. Sorry. But given that this healthcare is at public expense, it's your patriotic duty to begin practicing sexual chastity. Sad, I know; but there it is. Can't be helped. (And if you can't control yourselves, you men may have to be chemically castrated.)

I said above that in order to keep tax revenues paying for healthcare (and everything else the unfederal government is paying for) businesses will be prevented from relocating. How might that happen? Sounds rather unbelievable, doesn’t it?

It will happen quite simply. A President will order unfederal troops to seize these businesses, keeping them safely and securely within our borders. It will be a matter of national security. These departing companies will pose a clear and present danger to the United States. This cannot be allowed. Besides, really, all these businesses really belong to the people: eminent domain.

Think that’s unlikely? Think of business relocation as a form of tax evasion. Now, ask yourself about the powers of the IRS regarding your property rights if you don’t pay your taxes. Think of democracy as the simple will of the people, the will of the simple majority. A simple majority votes itself a portion of your property, or votes itself a living at your expense.


Ah, democracy. Yes, so superior to being a slave in Christian state

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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