Mar 16 2012

The Demise Of Progressive Socialism

I think one of the deep nagging problems with this election cycle is how we are experiencing the demise of big-government intervention as we collectively realize there are no easy (or cheap) answers to be found in the mythical magic of government as our savior. Government has a role to play, but as been shown as human society transitioned through a series of violent historic evolutions, this role has been settling towards an optimum balance that we have yet to reach. We are closer, but we could drift off into the ditch easily.

In the barbaric past humanity was basically operating within the constructs of Anarchy.

Anarchy, has more than one definition. In the United States, the term “anarchy” typically is meant to refer to a society without a publicly enforced government or violently enforced political authority.

Anarchistic social structures are open to misuse and abuse, as they are built upon the rule of the fittest, strongest or (too often) cruelest. We can see the vestiges of humanity’s anarchist roots in the cruelty of ancient civilizations ranging from Egypt to Greece to Rome. Anarchy is one end of the social spectrum most modern society’s know to avoid at all costs. Even a slight tilt in that direction get’s you a beat up, dirty, violent result (see NY City prior to Rudy Giuliani and his application of the broken window rule).

As we evolved toward orderly society the pendulum swung around to the other extreme – the dictatorial rule of the individual and their close band of thugs. This model ran under various themes from Egypt and her Pharaohs, through Rome and her Emperors, through Europe and their Kings, through China and more Emperors, Russia and Czars, , etc. The rule of the strongman individual culminated in its violent peak in the early 19th century when we had World Wars I and II – initiated by the strongmen of the time and legendary purveyors of death and destruction. This is the era of Hitler and the Holocaust, Stalin and his Purges and Hirohito and his War Crimes. Remnants lived on in isolated areas, but they are slowly dying off (see Pol Pot in Combodia, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, various war lords of Africa, and he despots of North Korea).

The nation that stood tall to end this madman government model was the United States of America, allied with other countries that had switched to (or were switching to) a model were government was minimal, had numerous checks and balances to thwart madman government, and relied on the wisdom and INDIVIDUAL efforts of its people. World War II saw the ascendency of the “We The People” model.

This decentralized government model, where people exploited their freedom of choice to create a positive direction for the whole society out of literally millions of individual ‘good’ decisions each day by the masses, was the best solution to the two extremes (Anarchy and Violent Dictatorial Rule). It produced a balance that protected the individual and their freedom, established boundaries of behavior that protected those freedoms from others, and allowed the masses to drive  the direction forward.

But somewhere after WWII and during the Cold War the minimal government model began to fall apart as a new, more screwed up model came into fashion. And that model is the progressive socialism out of control bureaucracy.

Call it the Mindless Bureaucracy. Whatever it is,  it is also a headless economic cancer. This model sinks back into the central control model of the madman leader – except the scope the madman can exert is limited to just a small piece of society – not all of it. So now we have a DC madman and his group of merry thugs running around inspecting school lunches. Another mad person running around measuring carbon foot prints. Another mad person running around checking fence heights and mailbox colors. Some mad council somewhere is determining when a toy in the hands of a fool causes injury, it is the toy’s fault. Or that the idiot with hot coffee between her legs while driving is the victim of the drive-through restaurant she ordered from.

Update: This news just hit Drudge. Basically it says pools have been temporarily saved from massive closures to avoid law suits. Liberals at work. – end update.

Or worse. Now we get the mad council of know-it alls determining who should get what medical treatments. Note how individual responsibility for their freedom of choice has been eroded to result in remove of freedom of choice by the government – who is out to protect us from our own freedom of choice. That is the cancer we are swimming in.

This mindless centralized government may actually be orchestrated and protected by a small group of wealthy political power players who endlessly fight over which side version of mad we will operate under: the juvenile delinquent and lazy mad of the left or the prudish and paranoid mad of the right. But it matters not. The headless big government model is failing.

What Americans want is the old US of A back. They want to live their lives and do what they know is right. And right now neither political party nor any of the presidential candidate has caught up with this new reality. But before I dive into where the people are versus the Political Industrial Complex (now falling behind the times), let me finish proving we are at the beginning of the end of mindless big government (i.e., progressive socialism). The signs are all about us.

First and close to home – and proving beyond a doubt neither left nor right leaning political professionals understand where we are – was the 2010 election. Obama, Reid and Pelosi had no idea they actually had to produce results to win support in the next election. They had no idea that their naive economic theories were so stupid and childish in the face of a very complex, very modern and very dynamic world. The community organizer has changed politics forever through his long laundry list of failures. That is why his party received the biggest electoral shellackings in living memory in 2010. He ushered in the end of progressive socialism.

But then the GOP in 2011 took that huge mandate and frittered it away in the budget battles. They kept raising the size of government with empty promises of future cuts. They were indistinguishable from Obama and his promise of economic success through crushing deficits, high unemployment, sky rocketing energy costs and higher taxes. The House GOP silenced and hand cuffed their 2010 insurgent members – and is now seen as being as much of the problem as the left. That is the straw that ended the enchantment with any form of big government here in the US.

Greece, Spain and Europe’s general economic woes are eye-watering evidence that bloated bureaucracies focused on minutiae and promising endless ‘free’ handouts is unsustainable and will lead, unavoidably, to financial ruin.

Right near the top of the pile is Spain, where the economy is once again back in recession, the unemployment rate is a staggering 23%, house prices are collapsing and the government is set to implement even further austerity this year.

The wasteful, useless and naive spending is starting to inflict massive pain on the people. In the EU the myth of ‘renewable energy’ is going the way of ‘shovel ready jobs’ here in the US. Watch for many more stories  like this in the coming months and years:

WIND power – more accurately wind impotence, since turbines operate at just 24 per cent of capacity – is the curse of Scotland. One of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe has been brutally ravaged, families have been driven into fuel poverty, pensioners have been presented with the lethal dilemma “heat or eat” – all to appease the neurotic prejudices of global warming fanatics.

Last week, the punitive costs of this lunacy were exposed in a report by Professor Gordon Hughes, professor of economics at Edinburgh University. He has calculated that the bill for wind energy by 2020 will cost consumers £120 billion. Yet generating the same amount of electricity from efficient gas-powered stations would cost only £13bn.

And now we see the same financial implosion on the Health Care front here in the USA:

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office hands critics of the health reform law a great new talking point: Under a worst-case scenario, the law could lead to 20 million people losing their employer-sponsored insurance in 2019.

Combined with the 6 million more not working due to Obama’s failed economic policies it will be more than 20 million without employer supplied health care in the near future. In tandem with the now rising cost of Obamacare, the result will be a total and painful mess.

So how could the GOP misstep on this clear opening? Simple – they stuck with big government solutions – just their versions.

Humanity has evolved from anarchy and survived to bury the idea of strongman/madman rule. It had for a brief time enjoyed the freedom of individual choice and responsibility, but then slipped into the doomed era of mindless big government run amok. The people are ready to dismantle the nanny state and retire her. The nag is going to the field to chew her cud sooner or later. Sooner is preferable.

To win elections today simply means to go back to America’s roots and realize taht when individual decisions rule the day, the worst damage that can be done by a bad decisions is to the individual (and sadly some around them). But when that individual is empowered as a bureaucrat in a life-long job, then those bad decision can ripple out to hurt all of us. The power behind the 2010 voting was the libertarian mindset to dismantle government and take the risk of bad individual decisions and recapture the success of millions of daily good decisions that made this country what it was in its prime.

If there is only  a choice between which big government madness will prevail (the ‘feel good’ message of the left or the ‘be proper’ message of the right) the GOP loses. Every damn time – they lose.

Why the GOP is seen as the worse of 2 evils is complex. For example, the right’s homophobic image and  promise to wage a war on porn (but of course, what is porn?) can sound good to some, but most people see just another stripe of busy-body madness in DC. In the end, the fight on sexual morals can only be waged in the home. There is no one size fits all for sex, religion and color preferences.

Do we really have to chose between the lunch police or the condom police?

Why can’t we just get back to the neighborhood police? And then live our lives the way we wish?

39 responses so far

39 Responses to “The Demise Of Progressive Socialism”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    Excellent points well stated. The only problem is the solution requires a rational society. That is now in some doubt.

  2. AJStrata says:


    I have to disagree. The 2010 election proved beyond my wildest expectations the society is rationale. I also think they were duped by the media and Obama – and definitely not going to be duped again.

    The mistake the right keeps making is the one you just repeated – you have to have faith they will make the right choice. In other words, empower them, let them learn through the school of hard knocks and false starts (the way we did) and sit back and watch the magic happen.

  3. dbostan says:

    Let’s see if we hadn’t reach the point of no return.
    Let’s pray and work day and night to avoid the catastrophe…

  4. Layman1 says:

    Someone several years ago made the point: If the Democrats retain power we will be a full fledged socialist country by 2020. If the Republicans take power we will be a full fledged socialist country by 2040.

    At the same time I noted that 45 percent of the people were paying no Federal Income taxes and as soon as that number reached 50.1% our country was finished. We’re up to about 48% now and I don’t see it going the other way. People want goodies for free from the Government, as long as someone else pays, and politicians of either party are all too happy to oblidge. Unfortunately, it is going to bankrupt us.

    You may disagree with me, but that is the one reason I like Romney. He knows that you have to balance the books to avoid disaster. Yes, he may want to raise fees. Yes, he may compromise with the Rinos and Dems on a few items here and there. Yes, he is not a pure conservative. But he also knows that no amount of revenue can balance the books with our current spending profile. It has to be changed, significantly.

    Santorum and Gingrich are both big government conservatives, with years in the Federal Government – looking to government to find big solutions to the problem. Romney used the federal government as a resource when he was at the state level. He knows that once you step up to that federal level there is no higher government to go to in order to fix your problem. It has to be fixed from within. So like I said, of the three, I think he has the best chance to solve the problem.

  5. A_Nonny_Mouse says:

    “From your lips to God’s ear,” AJ.

    Yes, most of the people *I* know (and feel free to discuss politics with) have seen the light and are wishing-hoping-praying for a Small-Government movement to catch fire.

    But from what I can see of the Established Political Class (and the Propaganda Arm of the Progressive-Elitist Party — aka our mainstream media), they just believe nobody’s done the Central-Planning-Thing the right way, or with enough zeal. Or maybe it’s just a matter of having the right people managing things (because, obviously, the Stalins and the Maos and the Hitlers didn’t have THIS superlative crop of well-credentialed bureaucrats who are all fired up and ready to Fix Everything and/or ensure that Life is Fair).

  6. oneal lane says:

    Interesting points about the History and trends of Goverment, however I have to disagree with the main thesis.

    The Era of Big Government is not over, “you aint seen nothin yet!” The Democrat/dependency “voting blocks” of minority populations are growing faster than all other segments. With the addition of millions of illegal aliens to our voter rolls the “critical mass” of dependency has been or is about to be realized. Unless African Americans and and Hispanics learn to love life off the Democrat Plantation, the future of liberty and small government in America does not look promising.

    Additionally, on another point, Centuries of Western moral cultural heritage and understanding have most recently been swept aside. Through a onslaught of popular media, dare I call it mind control, (mostly television) and now through rabid leftist political groups, sexual mores that for generations have served us are now being castigated as old fashioned and narrow minded. When traditionally minded folks get tired of the being pushed aside and fight back we are scoffed at all the more. When the left stops “pushing” their “new standards”, pushing in the media, pushing in schools, pushing in churches, pushing politically, perhaps those of us on the “Cultural Right” will not have to push back.

    If some folks want to live a certain way, well let them go off and live that way, be happy and SHUT UP, and may God have mercy, but stop teaching my kids in school that perversion is normal and I am suspect for resisting. Stop using the Federal government, State Government and Teachers Unions and my tax dollars to teach your Leftist version of morality.


  7. ivehadit says:

    I say, chose Romney. He is neither the lunch police or the condom police.

  8. WWS says:

    test, been having connectivity trouble.

  9. WWS says:

    It seems that the left, sensing that the end is at hand, has under this administration decided to go all out and try to get everything they can while they have the power to do it. Chief among their ambitions is the desire to shred the Constitution once and for all, and to institute a kind of faux-imperial government which will never be truly subject to elections again. They can’t win in the long run, but they CAN guarantee that this country is destroyed. Which is what they prefer, if they can’t have their way.

  10. lurker9876 says:

    So, WWS, ya think that Obama and the Democrats will do something like, “I will do what I can and without Congress.” like the recess appointments?

    Looks like AJ is finally understanding what conservatism really mean.

  11. WWS says:

    I very much enjoy AJ’s philosophical posts; so few people today care to delve into waters this deep.

    It calls to mind Aristotle’s book IV, where he defined the 3 principle forms of government and their 3 perversions. This is important, because our founding fathers knew their Aristotle well and designed a government that they thought could avoid the pitfalls Aristotle foresaw over 2 millenia ago.

    Aristotle felt that monarchy, the rule by a single noble, intelligent, and gifted ruler who was focused only on the good of his people was the highest form of government. But he also felt that this would necessarily degrade into the perversion of tyranny, where a single ruler uses ultimate power for his own good only and oppresses the people, which he held was the worst possible form of government.

    The next form of government was aristocracy, where a group of high minded, gifted men ruled on behalf of all – and its perversion is Oligarchy, where a group of men conspire to control all for their own personal profit. (personally, I think we are closer to oligarchy than anything else right now).

    the third good form of government was a Constitutional Government, in which all citizens combine together to make decisions for the good of all. The perversion of this is pure Democracy, where a simple majority uses its power to oppress the minority in order to steal what they own.

    Our founders reasoned that the most stable form of government would combine all 3 good forms of government, and set them all against each other in a form of checks and balances where no particular piece would be allowed to decay into it’s perversion.

    The Plan: The Presidency was to be a form of Monarchy, which would not be allowed to decay into Tyranny; the Senate was to be a form of Aristocracy, which would not be allowed to decay into Oligarchy; and the House was to be the Constitutional arm which would not be allowed to decay into pure (destructive) Democracy.

    what a wonderful plan – it worked for over 200 years. And now it isn’t the plan that has failed, it is rather us, its heirs who have failed.
    We have a House that is an exercise in pure Democracy, failing as all previous pure Democracies have failed. We have a Senate which has become an Oligarchy, interested only in enriching itself. And we have a Presidency which has become pure Tyranny. Each branch which was supposed to be a check on the others is instead in league with the others to enslave the people they were meant to serve. And instead of the best of all possible governments, we are now saddled with the worst.

    We are failing, as all the ancient philosophers had predicted that we we would.

    In 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

    “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.

    A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.

    “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    From bondage to spiritual faith;
    From spiritual faith to great courage;
    From courage to liberty;
    From liberty to abundance;
    From abundance to complacency;
    From complacency to apathy;
    From apathy to dependence;
    From dependence back into bondage.

    sic transit gloria.

  12. Layman1 says:



    The only way to turn things around will be to convince a sizeable percentage of the population to put the good of all (the country) above their own selfish interests – which runs counter to human nature. It will take great leadership, nobility, and courage.

    We’re screwed.

  13. jan says:

    Haven’t had time, until now, to read the thread or essays that followed. Beautifully done, AJ, augmented by WWS’s piece.

    I especially like the part of a million people making their own choices, for better or worse — the outcome of said choices basically effecting only themselves and a few around them. This is versus the government making choices which will effect everyone.

    WWS’s closing sequence also made a point too. IMO we are at the second to last stage of that sequence — “from apathy to dependence.” My question is, “How does one turn the masses around at this late stage?” Because, the bigger the problem becomes, the more difficult it is to implement a solution. Just look at the various European nanny states and the vehement opposition to austerity programs being imposed as a way to turn their failing economics around.

  14. crosspatch says:

    Do we really have to chose between the lunch police or the condom police?

    And this is the crux of why I can’t support Santorum. He has said very clearly that he believes that the federal government has an OBLIGATION to enforce morality. He has also said that the notion that the states have all powers except those prohibited by the constitution is “wrong”. He has come out to say that not only the federal funding of contraceptives is wrong, but their very availability AT ALL even for people who are willing to buy them with their own money is wrong.

    I see him as a right-wing “statist” who will use the federal government to force social policy down people’s throats. Using the federal government to force social policy, whether that is leftist or rightist social policy, is beyond the scope of the role of the federal government, in my opinion.

    I have no problem whatsoever with Santorum’s religious convictions. What I have a problem with is Santorum’s view that he has an obligation to enforce his moral values on other people. Being a conservative is not a problem. Attempting to FORCE America to have one culture or another is a major part of the problem in American politics at the federal level.

    I have no problem with cutting off federal funding for things he doesn’t agree with. If the population of a state wants it, they can fund it themselves. But Santorum says even THAT is “wrong”; that states can’t just pass any laws they want to.

    The fundamental problem I have with Santorum is that his view of the federal government is just as tyrannical as Obama’s only his direction is opposite Obama’s. It is the same problem. Obama wants to make American a Liberal country by enforcing liberal social values across the country and Santorum wants to do the same thing with conservative values.

  15. Redteam says:

    CP. “why I can’t support Santorum. He has said very clearly that he believes that the federal government has an OBLIGATION to enforce morality. ”

    Clearly your problem with Santorum is , you don’t have a clue as to what he believes if you believe the crap you wrote above.

    Give us a ‘direct quote’ from Santorum, not from anyone else, where he said exactly what you stated above that he ‘believes’. It’s just not true.

    I think you are seriously mis interpreting what he said about enforcing pornography laws, (for example) He stated that he would have the government enforce the morality laws ‘on the books’ He didn’t propose any new laws, only existing ones, especially ones that he didn’t even have any part (before his time) in passing.

    His belief that a state has the right to pass any law they want to as long as it does not conflict with the US Constitution is correct. If an activity is not specifically included in the Constitution then it is left to the states to have what ever laws they desire.
    This issue is one of the serious problems we have with the Dimocrats that seem to think the constitution has no place in America.

    If you are no better informed as to a major candidates beliefs than to state what you did about Santorum, then perhaps you shouldn’t be participating the the election process.

    Is there something wrong with using truthful statements about candidates? Do people have to misrepresent what a candidate thinks about an issue to sway voters for or against.

    So if you think I’m wrong on this. Just provide a clear quote from Santorum in the correct context to prove what you stated above.

  16. Redteam says:

    here is a quote from Santorum ““The state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right, the state has the right to pass whatever statues they have.”

    that sure doesn’t seem to say that he believes that a state ‘does not’ have the right to pass a law. does it?

  17. WGIRL says:

    Depressing but BRILLIANT, WWS !!

    Always impressed with your posts and wisdom !!

  18. Redteam says:

    WWS, good comment. Must have let you stay out last night. but I agree that our presidency has deteriorated to an absolute tyranny.

    As with our Congress, it seems to be a matter of personal enrichment for the members with just enough free goodies to the masses to keep them voting for them in the hopes that they won’t have to work and can have just enough freebies to be totally dependent on the slave owners (Congress? the government?)

    There are those that would say that slavery was abolished in the US, I say only the form of slavery was changed.
    One thing that the constitution provided for was a judicial system that was supposed to keep the others honest. It has turned out to only be a select brotherhood that has totally ignored truth and honesty and only promotes politics, status quo. Some citizens honestly seem to believe in the constitution but none of the politicians seem to believe in it at all. They only use it if it supports their tyranny.
    I don’t see the US as deteriorating to a complete dictatorship, I see the tyranny moderating just enough to keep the masses bowing to their owners for what handouts they can get. Just depends on how much Obama wants it if he is re-elected. Direction will only change mildly(slightly rightward) if Gingrich, Santorum, or Romney is elected. (I don’t speculate on Paul, he’s not going anywhere)
    I guess (from my perspective) the greatest error in the US government has been allowing Senators and Representatives to set their own employment conditions. Every single item concerning benefits of every government employee should have to be passed by the same system that the president is elected (i.e., each state should have to approve them independently then a majority of the states should have to approve.)

  19. Layman1 says:

    Hi RT:

    Nice to see that you came out to play! Surprised you didn’t comment on my previous post commenting on Santorum’s great victory last Tuesday.

    If you can’t see that Santorum is a big Government conservative then you need to be the one who takes a deep breath, cools down, and checks out the facts. Not just what he is saying on the trail now (as you love to point out about Romney) but what his overall record says about his philosophy.

    He definitely believes that the Government should play a role in numerous items that most conservatives think the government should stay out of.

    No way can you claim he is a minimalist who has always advocated for smaller government. But I’ll make you a deal – I’ll buy his conversion if you’ll do the same for Romney. 🙂

  20. WGIRL says:

    Well, AJ —

    If the Republicans can’t UNITE to defeat the MADMAN then there is NO

    “Demise Of Progressive Socialism”

    You only have to read —

    “Department of Injustice” – WSJ – March 17, 2012

    “Guilty verdicts against the Republican Stevens arrived less than two weeks before Election Day in 2008, causing the previously popular Senator to lose a close race to Democrat Mark Begich. Mr. Begich would go on to provide the 60th Senate vote to pass ObamaCare in 2009. ”

    AJ, I know you are “disappointed’ and “blame” the Republicans “equally” every chance you get, for our present state of affairs. But I don’t think the Republican Party could have pulled off an event like the prosecution of an innocent Senator and the fraud and corruption involved in cheating Sen Coleman out of his seat. (Just 2 examples from 2008).

    Politics is Dirty but the “Progressives” are Pros and the “Conservatives” are pure amateurs. Term limits can clean up the GOP side …..but never the other side.

    I think you expected too much from the 2011 House Republicans and your disappointment has been unreasonable. They have done much which has gone no where because of Harry Reid and his majority. Could we win WWIII with only the Air Force or do you think we would need the Marines and the Army too ??

    So, as much as, you are in a funk over “RINO” Romney and the establishment GOP. I would ask you, who is worse ” the RINO” or the MADMAN and his band of merry bandits ?? Do you really think Santorum and Gingrich could defeat the Madman ?? Did you really think Cain could have ?? Independents are a must !! Do your guys have the Organization and the Smart Money Backing ?? Let me ask, which one did you vote for in the VA Primary ?? Awwhhhhh, OK , they weren’t even on the ballot !! Didn’t that tell you something ??

    To quote WWS many many posts back “you go to war with the army you have not the army you wish you had” !!

    AJ, the time is now, certain death by the MADMAN or a chance to slowly turning it around. We need a UNITED REPUBLICAN PARTY and the sooner the better !!

    You have made a difference in the past. I can only hope that passion still exists and that you have not let the MADMAN defeat your spirit. Better late than sorry !! For the sake of your kids, stop belly aching and recharge your batteries. The election of “lifetime” will soon be here. It is all out WAR to save this Nation. We need every Tea Party, Conservative, RINO, Independent, Libertarian, Conservative Democrate to see the “Demise Of Progressive Socialism” …..once in for all.

    The 2010 Tea Party Revolution was NOT perfect but it was a start …let’s not QUIT before the job is done !!

    Time to UNITE everyone ….and time is growing short !!

    For Anyone interested — Eric Holder & his DOJ at it’s best —