|The Difference Between Them and Us||Thatcher's Victory: Then and Now|
by Christopher Chantrill
May 02, 2009 at 2:52 pm
IF YOU ATTENDED a Tea Party recently you were sure to have heard speakers talk about limited government and liberty. But what does it mean? When does government cease to be limited?
We could look at the numbers. If you go to usgovernmentspending.com and its new home page, you could take a look at one of the pie charts that helpfully show the division of the economy between private and public sector. Right now, in 2009, we are looking at 45 percent of the economy run by the government, as the chart shows.
Its a daunting number, but still, we still have our liberties, or, as our liberal friends say, our rights. But if you select the year 1909 in the convenient usgovernmentspending.com dropdown control you get this:
That is a horse of a different color. Imagine that! A government sector so small that you cant even squeeze the label into the pie chart! The number, for those of you without fighter-pilot eyes, is 7.8 percent. To us, living in the era of big government and CNN reporterettes shilling for the liberals, it seems incomprehensible. How could America survive on such a small public sector?
No doubt the Americans of 1909 would ask a different question. How can America possibly thrive when it has to support such a large government sector?
The massive increases in government sector planned by the Obama administration are all part of a grand strategy, writes Charles Krauthammer this week.
In the service of his ultimate mission the leveling of social inequalities President Obama offers a tripartite social democratic agenda: nationalized health care, federalized education (ultimately guaranteed through college) and a cash-cow carbon tax (or its equivalent) to subsidize the other two.
Its tempting to think of the Obamunists as fiendishly clever, executing on a grand plan to take over the world. But I dont believe that politicians and their advisors think that way. The Obama agenda simply aggregates the demands of the various powerful interests in the Democratic Party.
Nationalized health care? Most Democrats simply believe in health care as a right; its one of the articles of the liberal faith.
Federalized education? Merely Democratic interests at work. The college professors want more money for colleges; the teachers want more money for schools; and the feminists want their pre-school children off their hands.
Carbon taxes? Every liberal believes that we are destroying the planet and that you and I must live simply so that others may simply live.
The problem is that each of these efforts reduce Americans more and more to the status of subjects. When the government runs health care the government will decide what health care you will get. The Obamanoids understand this, according to Krauthammer:
Why do you think the stimulus package pours $1.1 billion into medical "comparative effectiveness research"? It is the perfect setup for rationing. Once you establish what is "best practice" for expensive operations, medical tests and aggressive therapies, youve laid the premise for funding some and denying others.
And certainly the most obvious best practice is to deny funding for expensive procedures for the elderly who are going to die anyway. If theres a grand strategy it is right there.
Grand strategy or not, the liberal giant will lumber along, burping up bossy new ideas to spend our money and control us, until we decide to stop it.
It can be done. You can see them doing it in Walter Isaacsons Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.
Benjamin Franklin spent almost 20 years in Britain during the 1750s and 1760s trying to tell the Brits that Americans were getting more and more annoyed at their subject status. And the Brits, Lord This and Lord That, got angrier and angrier at the presumption of the colonials. Nobody in Britland had the least idea that the bloody colonials would rise up and rebel.
What Americans wanted in those days was the right to govern themselves. They couldnt, because the bossy Brits knew better and wouldnt let them.
Today were oppressed by bossy liberals who also deny us the right to govern ourselves and who have plans to boss us even more.
There is a simple answer to the bossiness of Brits and the bossiness of liberals. Limited Government. Heres how it might look, one day, on usgovernmentspending.com:
That 25 percent in 2020 is not just hot air. When asked, Americans tell pollsters that their taxes shouldnt exceed 25 percent of income.
Do you think that we have the cojones to insist upon it?
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America