IT'S easy to say that the problem with Greece is socialism. Or that the problem with President Obama is Alinskyism.
But look, socialism is just another apology for big government, and every ruling class has an ideology like that. In socialism the idea is that the working class is the biggest class and so they ought to rule -- through their evolved and educated leaders, of course. This is no different than kings talking about Divine Right or landed aristocrats talking about the rule of the best people.
The fact is that governments get into power by offering their supporters loot and plunder. It doesn't matter whether you are talking about Charlemagne looting and plundering eastward from Trier into the German lands, or whether you are offering the workers a bite of corporate profits. It still amounts to a promise of loot and plunder in return for support.
The problem is that loot and plunder eventually results in a wasteland. If people are licensed to go around stealing stuff, then less stuff will be produced, and there will be less stuff to go around. So every society must rail against thieves and robbers or go out of business.
Now the truth is that all governments, from a band of insurgent guerrillas to a mighty nation state, occupy territory, defend it with a armed force, and tax the inhabitants for the right to go about their daily business of producing and consuming. The question is: How much? How much expropriation of peoples' livelihood is enough? The answer is simple. A government will stop taking more to give to its supporters when: a) it runs out of money, or b) it provokes a head of rebellion.
That is the way to understand the Greek situation. Governments in Greece have bought the support of ordinary voters for decades with the promise of free stuff. But now the money is running out. Under pressure from other European governments the Greek government has implemented a policy of "austerity," meaning it has eased off on some of the free stuff. But austerity is very unpopular with the government's supporters and so a new party, Syriza, has arisen and obtained the support of the voters by asserting that all the cutbacks are unnecessary and a cruel trick of the Germans.
No doubt. But here is what a McKinsey report had to say in 2012.
Large scale business operations had been discouraged by hostile regulations. The generally small scale of businesses that remained, combined with over regulation, complex and restrictive licensing, and a highly volatile tax framework, has deprived the Country of an industrial base sufficient to support its spending.Apart from the "widespread tax evasion" you could say the same thing about the US economy, unless you count the widespread use of illegal alien labor and general off-the-books work, condoned by our liberal masters, as "widespread tax evasion."
The public sector had become too expensive and offered low quality output.
A framework of collective, inflexible, and binding labor agreements had led to a disconnection between education and the job market, which led to reduced innovation and under representation of women and young adults in the workforce.
A cumbersome legal and judicial system led to an over abundance of vague and sometimes conflicting laws, which discouraged economic activity.
Widespread tax evasion, which had become endemic in Greek culture, had led to substantial wealth creation outside the formal economy, and had led to a seemingly permanent fiscal shortfall.
HERE'S a new and brilliant idea. Governments start out as lawless rebels; then they change the rules to suit themselves. Finally, they find that the rules they set up don't work any more, so they start to break their own rules. Stage One: Outraged citizens decide they can't take it any more and combine to form a head of rebellion. Stage Two: Victorious revolutionaries rewrite the law to make ...
LINKED today on RealClearPolitics.com is Russ Smith, once "Mugger," on Scott Walker and the Republican candidates for president. He writes that not a single candidate has articulated a coherent strategy to resuscitate the United States once Barack Obama’s tenure mercifully ends. Then he notes that Scott Walker is pretty light on foreign policy. I think that's baloney. I think that it's pretty ...
JOHN Fund writes that George Soros and the Ford Foundation have spent about $196 million funding the "net neutrality" campaign. And the long-term goal is control of internet content -- and funding public news organizations. And now they have got what they wanted, with the Federal Communications Commission decision to regulate the internet as a public utility. The price of moving data across ...
Download latest e-book draft here.
A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elitethe spectre of conservatism.
The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasnt supposed to be like this.
Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.
Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.
Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.
The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.
A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.
The Paradox of Individualism
Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?
From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.
The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.
The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.
Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.
The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state
The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?
The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?
From Freeloaders to Free Givers
The path to the future lies through moral movements.
The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the last best hope of man on earth.
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.
But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?
With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.
In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.
Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.
I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.
Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State
Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures
The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since
1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and
philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West
Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its
characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then,
once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
mysql close 0