Ed Driscoll

Dreams of their Great-Grandfathers

Inside Hot Air’s Green Room, with a healthy assist from Dr. Thomas Sowell, “Doctor Zero” explores “Awakening From The Collective Dream,” a century-old mindset that’s reached the end of the line. It’s been tested dramatically by reality in the last year and a half and proven to have not measured up. Or as Bloomberg noted last week, “Merkel Tells Obama Spending Cuts to Boost Economy, Not Put Brake on Growth,” putting a whole new spin on the concept of “America Alone.”

Or as Dr. Z writes:

The mythology of wise and compassionate government is drowning in a mixture of oil bubbling up from the Gulf of Mexico, and sleaze pouring out of Washington.  The government has many vital duties to perform, but as it grows in size, it becomes less interested in performing them.  Its own ambitions take priority over its responsibilities to a private sector it increasingly comes to view as an adversary since the State must both demonize the private sector to conceal its own failures, and use compulsive force to extract resources from workers and businesses.  No one should harbor any further misconceptions about maintaining the transparency of the State as it swells in size.

All of collectivism’s dreams are crumbling to dust before the eyes of people who spent their whole lives clinging to them out of desperation, or arrogance.  The alternative to ambition and commerce is not “social justice,” but widespread poverty.  The absence of growth brings collapse, not sustainability.  The Constitutional rights of free people cannot exist alongside “positive rights” provided through redistribution.  Abandoning the security of our borders does not produce a melting pot of happy immigrants.  The government cannot repeal the laws of supply and demand.  The freedom to vote does not render all other freedoms inconsequential.  Prosperity for millions cannot be designed by a central committee. Social justice cannot be created by administering controlled viral doses of injustice.

Waking up from these dreams is not easy.  Every conservative must have the patience and humor of a good teacher.  I believe Big Government is fundamentally immoral, but as Dr. Sowell pointed out, the simple fact that it doesn’t work cannot be overstated.  The collectivist fantasy can end in a relatively controlled manner, with a widespread rediscovery of how freedom and prosperity are inextricably linked… or it can end with the bloody violence of Greece, as angry dependents strip the last measure of their unsustainable benefits from the hide of the middle class.  One way or the other, it is ending.  Twilight falls upon the empty dream of the twentieth century: to sanctify a brilliant elite through the sacred ritual of the vote, and be ruled wisely.

Roger L. Simon adds:

By now we are used to the most adamant supporters of Barack Obama expressing distress with their onetime demigod.  Today even the NYT’s ultra-liberal Bob Herbert – whose knee jerks left so consistently it’s as if his patella were being perpetually hit by a personal southpaw hammer – expresses dismay about the president’s lack of job creation.

Of course, this dyspepsia spins off in many directions – such as this mythical job creation – because these supporters, just like their leader, are unable to face the obvious: Keynesian economics is over and the welfare state, as an idea and in practice, is over with it.  This is what the Europeans were trying to tell Obama in Tornoto. We tried it.  We know. It’s Greece, stupid. We’re in a global Ponzi scheme with an aging population. There’s no way out without stopping. This deficit spending dog-ma don’t hunt.

The Euros even forced the president to listen to some degree, not that he wanted to. Why would he? He is a lifetime beneficiary of government largesse. Only the largesse seems to have run out for everyone but him and a few friends in their deficit Alamo.

Rick Santelli once again has stated the obvious – “Stop spending, stop spending, stop spending”. But these supposed liberals remain trapped together in an ideological Catch-22. The only longterm solution to economic woe is free markets, but if they admit it, their values and lives disintegrate.   It’s as if they’re bees trapped in a hive, someone (reality) has prodded it and now they are all buzzing off in opposite directions unsure who or what to blame.

They sting each other.  They sting their opponents. Who knows what next?  What will happen if the November debacle is actually as predicted?

Byron York has a sneak preview of how that could play out in the short-term. If so, expect politics from the left to get even more shrill and ugly, if that’s possible — and it is — between now and November.

(You’ll know you’re over the target when you start recieving JournoList-level coordinated flak.)

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