11/18/2013 - PKT, Los Angeles, CA writes ...
The Progressive Degradation of Freedom
Balderdash, an archaic but still pertinent word to express my feelings toward this article. Somehow the author is conflating North Korea's failed state and the non-socialized medicine of Obamacare to paint a picture of "progressives" marching blindly to totalitarianism with hardly a stop along the way. He not only misreads the human condition but human history.
First, there will always be a "left" and a "right" or "conservative" and "liberal/progressive." The political dichotomy is hardwired in our brains as recent studies have shown. The conservative mind thinks one way the liberal another. Different world views, different mindsets, different approaches to society different everything in a Venus vs. Mars never ending rivalry. The mindset stays the same but causes changes. Hence it was the "liberal/progressive" Republicans in the 19th century who opposed slavery while the "conservative" Southern Democrats fought to keep the status quo. Causes shifted, society shifted and by the end of the 19th century progressives like William Jennings Bryan led the Democrats while Republicans became the defenders of the status quo fighting populist reforms. Teddy Roosevelt broke the mold but by the time Harding was elected the Republicans once again became the party of the status quo.
While Marx was wrong in many ways his dialectical view of society reaching certain plateaus and evolving, usually through revolution or violent upheaval, to a new societal norm is valid. Hence tribal chieftain based societies evolved to monarchies which evolved to republics and then as Marx hoped communist based utopias. That didn't happen but the evolving society/upheaval/new society is valid for much of history and has more to do with the conservative/progressive split than the convoluted self-preservation idea put forth here. Progressive wants to change society and conservatives what it to stay the same. In Communist China and many communist leaning countries the "liberals" are the free market capitalists. In America and Western Europe the "conservatives" are the free market capitalists in league with social conservatives opposed to changes in the social dynamic. Different cultures, different histories, different everything which is why the old conservative saw of "this (fill in the blank) socialist program will lead to us becoming (fill in the blank with name of evil country du jour)" is nonsense.
A socialist and/or communist regime in the US is impossible. Why? Well there is our check and balance system of government to begin with. But even more importantly the military and law enforcement are overwhelmingly conservative. If by some miracle a true socialist or communist was ever elected and somehow managed to circumvent our Constitutional government and tried to impose some form of police state it wouldn't work because there would be no support from the military or police. You can't enforce totalitarianism without a policing structure. And finally US history and culture tends toward not supporting radicals of either stripe so the chances of a Lenin/Hitler/Castro etc. winning at the ballot box is impossible. Armed revolution is another story but for the same reasons listed above that too is a near impossibility.
Finally, this article is just one more example of the hyperventilating and nonsense about Obamacare being "socialized medicine." There is nothing socialized about it. If the government ran health care completely there wouldn't be problems we have now because they could rule by fiat and say do this and do that but they can't because we have a three-part government with checks and balances. Obamacare is based on private insurance, private doctors, private health plans, free market pricing and so on. All the program does is a) set minimum standards; b) expand Medicaid coverage with subsidies; c) require everyone be insured either through employers or self-pay; and d) create insurance exchanges which again are based on private insurance. The program is flawed, it may not work but it's not the first step on the road to America becoming North Korea or even Canada. The only socialist thing about it is in the eyes of diehard conservatives who see the smiling face of Stalin behind every program that uses tax dollars be it for new roads, disaster relief or health care.
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