(From my January 25, 2011 Blog post)
Last night Mark Levin was spending some time calling people “socialists,” making references to ObamaCare and playing tapes of Ronald Reagan referring to the socialism of government medical care and “compulsory health insurance.” It really is something to hear these guys — and Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity as well — referring to “socialists” and “socialism,” when they themselves are socialists and advocate socialism. Conservatives not only are advocates of socialism, but tend to get huffy toward any questioning or challenging of the socialism they love so dearly, with suggestions that their anti-socialism opponents are “unpatriotic,” or as though questioning government’s socialist control over the conservatives’ beloved programs, especially immigration and defense, is an attempt to “dismantle America,” and so on. Well, I don’t want to dismantle America, only the government. Unfortunately, some people are unable to distinguish between our country, America, and our government, the U.S. government. One is good (America), and one is very bad (the government), I’m afraid.
One of the conservatives’ beloved socialist programs, of course, is the federal government’s control over immigration. I’ve addressed that issue here:
In my opinion, as the Declaration (of Independence) states, each individual has a right to one’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness… Some people have this misguided notion that such a statement is referring to “only Americans.” Nope. Everyone.
And everyone has a right of free association and a right to participate in voluntary exchange with anyone else one wants, as long as it is mutually agreeable and voluntary, and no one has a right to interfere with that. No one. Especially not the State. The private contract that two people establish between one another (or three, four people, etc.) is their own business, and no one else’s business.
Therefore, if a businessman in Laredo, Texas or Phoenix is hiring people at his business, he has a right to hire whomever he wants, and no one has any moral authority or right to judge or interfere with that…
And if a Mexican sees a job advertised and wants to seek employment there, no one has any moral right or authority to interfere with that, either. Any community or government interference with those private, voluntary, peaceful relationships is immoral, because it violates the rights of people to voluntary contract and trade, and their inherent right to life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness.
The socialist, central planning interference with those private matters is of collectivism. Collectivism is the main force behind all that threatens individual liberty, private property and voluntary exchange. Collectivism has been at the root of civilization’s decline, especially since the mid-19th Century. While their Declaration of Independence recognized those aforementioned rights to liberty, as soon as the Founders wrote and ratified that Constitution, which was the basis of the centralized State in Washington, that spelled the end of individual liberty and private property in America.
And it was the collectivist immigration restrictionists who prevented Jews from entering the U.S. in the first half of the 20th Century, who were trying to escape the pogroms of Russia and Poland, and trying to escape the Nazis and Stalin.
I just don’t understand how anyone who claims to believe in the original intent of the Founders could support giving the armed police the power to stop and search people and ask them for their papers, unless you want the USA to be a totalitarian society. (That’s what they do in totalitarian societies — demand to see your papers.) There used to be something called freedom of movement, and something called presumption of innocence and the right to be left alone. But I guess while the socialist central planners and police staters are well intended, perhaps they don’t know their history…
The problem with the immigration issue has been the welfare state that America has become, in which for the past several decades many immigrants come to the U.S. not as much for the opportunity to live and prosper and be productive Americans (which is more and more difficult because of all the totalitarian restrictions on trade and productivity imposed by the vultures of government), but are attracted to the U.S. by the free government hand-outs. This has reinforced and strengthened the (mostly conservatives’) anti-immigrant racism or ethnicism that has been behind the promotion of the police state socialism that Levin and other conservatives want — for example, in Arizona (“Your papers, please.”).
There have been varying definitions of the word, “socialism,” but I tend to believe that socialism is public ownership (via the State, more accurately) of wealth, property, and the means of production. When one believes that the State should have the power to dictate to an individual businessman whom he may or may not employ – even by imposing just some particular restrictions — then one is saying that it really is the State that possesses that business’s ownership, and not really that businessman. Or, the collective, one’s “community,” is seizing ownership over the business by using the power of the State to order the employer to hire or not hire the employee or applicant.
And Levin, Limbaugh et al. are also strong supporters of the federal government’s socialism in “national defense,” in which this centralized socialist bureaucracy has monopolistic control over the territorial protection of 300 million people over hundreds of thousands of square miles of land, whose “defense” services said 300 million people are compelled by law to use while forbidden by law to use any form of competing private protection firms. This military socialism that the conservatives especially love has encouraged U.S. leaders from Wilson and FDR to Bush and BHO to use their power of monopoly and compulsion to provoke foreigners abroad, to radicalize those abroad already tending toward extremism, and have made Americans less safe and more vulnerable. That is what socialism does: It worsens already difficult situations.
The Washington Post series last July (here, here, and here) on the out-of-control centralized national security Leviathan exposed the counter-productive nature of the federal government’s socialist control over territorial security, and it especially exposed how the State really exists for the sake of redistributing wealth and property from the producers and workers over to the private contractors. As economic historian Robert Higgs noted, regarding the revelations from the Post‘s series:
The whole business is akin to sending a blind person to find a needle inside a maze buried somewhere in a hillside. That the massive effort is utterly uncoordinated and scarcely able to communicate one part’s “findings” to another only strengthens the conclusion that the goal is not stopping terrorism, but getting the taxpayers’ money and putting it into privileged pockets….
It’s a rip-off, plain and simple…
But the problem with so many people, not just conservatives, is this blind faith some seem to have in this military socialism, this authoritarian State control over our security, despite how fiscally wasteful and parasitic such a system has been, despite how much of a mess such U.S. government foreign policy of aggression overseas has caused in Iraq and Afghanistan, and despite the immoral destruction of life and property that our own government has committed against foreign peoples. It is a blind, religious faith in government as a god, and any questioning of it is to be forbidden and suppressed. But for some reason, the conservatives find it perfectly acceptable to question domestic government policies such as ObamaCare and approve of any disclosures of those domestic socialist policies’ failures or violations of our liberty, but the conservatives won’t tolerate any kind of exposing of the government’s or military’s ineptness or outright crimes — or, you’ll be labeled “traitor.”
This brings me to the past several months of WikiLeaks disclosures and Bradley Manning, the Army private that I heard Levin refer to as a “piece of crap” several weeks ago, and who has been held in solitary confinement for months and has been suffering from deliberate sleep deprivation and other means of trying to weaken him so he’ll succumb to pressure to confess to “conspiring” with WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange “against America,” treatment toward suspects that only sick degenerates commit against others, as I mentioned here. And, Manning is being held in solitary confinement based on certain chat logs between him and Adrian Lamo, whose own credibility is in doubt given Lamo’s being a convicted felon and having been involuntarily committed in a psychiatric hospital. And, from the information I’ve read, the chat logs are the only “evidence” the military has against Manning, and just this week the military has admitted they can’t link Manning to Assange. And, as Marcy Wheeler pointed out in this post, those chat logs are themselves questionable. (i.e. the logs may have been altered by Lamo.)
But if it is true that Manning is the one who leaked the thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, and if the chat logs between Manning and Adrian Lamo, the one who turned him in, are true, then Manning was a soldier who saw wrong-doing in the military and felt it would be immoral to look the other way, or engage in a cover-up of acts that he believed were crimes. To authoritarians such as Levin and other conservatives, such actions by Manning are seen as “treasonous.” They believe that the citizens should just be sheep and not protest their government’s abuse of power.
Socialists believe that we must allow agents of the State to be above the law. Such a blind faith in the State for protection through its powers of compulsion and monopoly is what gives the agents of the State carte blanche ability to act like marauders and murderers, as the U.S. military has done in Iraq and Afghanistan, and such sheepish faith and authoritarianism is what promotes the outright persecution of one soldier to punish him for uncovering the State’s crimes. This is an inevitable consequence of compulsory military protection socialism, and would not happen were territorial protection provided by private firms, as explained by Morris and Linda Tannehill, in their book, Market for Liberty, and in this excerpted chapter from the book,
Those who doubt that “the private sector” of the economy could sustain the expense of a free enterprise defense system would do well to consider two facts. First, “the public sector” gets its money from the same source as does “the private sector” – the wealth produced by individuals. The difference is that “the public sector” takes this wealth by force (which is legal robbery) – but it does not thereby have access to a larger pool of resources. On the contrary, by draining the economy by taxation and hobbling it with restrictions, the government actually diminishes the total supply of available resources.
Second, government, because of what it is, makes defense far more expensive than it ought to be. The gross inefficiency and waste common to a coercive monopoly, which gathers its revenues by force and fears no competition, skyrocket costs. Furthermore, the insatiable desire of politicians and bureaucrats to exercise power in every remote corner of the world multiplies expensive armies, whose main effect is to commit aggressions and provoke wars. The question is not whether “the private sector” can afford the cost of defending individuals but how much longer individuals can afford the fearsome and dangerous cost of coerced governmental “defense” (which is, in reality, defense of the government, for the government…by the citizens).
But as we have been seeing just this week from the treatment of Manning’s visitors which indicates to me some sort of new cover-up of Manning’s deteriorated condition as a result of the sick treatment of him by U.S. military, crime begets crime in my opinion, and socialism begets criminality, because socialism by its very nature requires the violation of Liberty and requires that agents of the State to commit acts of aggression against others in enforcing the central bureaucracy’s control over various activities of daily life, in this case, control over the protection of 300 million Americans.
But the conservatives love their military socialism.