Quote of the Day

The only universal medicine (Marxists) have for social evils—State ownership of the means of production—is not only perfectly compatible with all the disasters of the capitalist world—with exploitation, imperialism, pollution, misery, economic waste, national hatred and national oppression, but it adds to them a series of disasters of its own: inefficiency, lack of economic incentives and above all the unrestricted rule of the omnipresent bureaucracy, a concentration of power never before known in human history.

Leszek Kolakowski

(Apply it to the current “healthcare debate”, which I put in quotes since one side is desperate to avoid a debate. The shoe fits.)

3 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. Dan, history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.

    Kolakowski was talking about different people in a different time and place. But the direction they want to go is the same, and the critique he offered has the same force.

    I think your post is insightful.

    I would go further. The “Chinese model” appeals to American statists for a lot of reasons. As China rises, its model will carry more prestige. The idea that an oligarchy of experts and self-selected managers should run things without too much concern about the subjects of their ministrations is very much what we see in both the EU and China. American politicians and intellectuals lust to have that same kind of power and influence. Mr. Obama has politely suggested that everyone who disagrees with him should shut up. Mrs. Pelosi has said that people who disagree with her carry swastika signs, that only she can see, but which must be there.

  2. Actually, the Obama wing of statists strikes me as being very reminiscent of Huey Long’s populist corporatism from the 1930’s, although with a much more urbane style.

    But the quotation does point out one of the foundational myths of the progressive self-delusion—that their response to events and problems is nuanced and sophisticated.

    In fact, the progressive/collectivist/statist block is invariably drawn to the only response they ever actually propose: a big, new government program. They’re about as nuanced as a sledgehammer.

    Economy booming? We need these new atate programs. Economy tanking? We need these new state programs. Health care? Transportation? Industry? Finance? The climate? Agriculture? Guess what we absolutely, positively must have.

    Give up? Here’s a clue—it involves lots of tax money, lots of new bureaucrats, and lots of new rules and regulations.

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