I should like to begin by granting one point to Godwin. We need to analyze the rise of sheer despotism in Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and the like.
I read the Nazi’s 25 point plan this week and what struck me as odd is that there was seldom a point that wasn’t campaigned upon by either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump (although for Trump, you must replace the term Jew with the term Muslim in order for my axiom to be correct).
What began in Greece, and was then imported to Rome, then spiritualized in Christianity, was individualism.
In spite of my high view of the Middle Ages, the concept of the individual was diminished somewhat before it re-emerged in the Renaissance and moved westward from Venice, to London, to Washington – but never quite to Ottawa.
This was Hayek’s point. There is a historical tension between individualism and tribalism, or liberty and socialism. There’s a dialectical battle between living for oneself or one’s state. It’s the concept of recognizing one’s right to be a Muslim, or a Jew, or a capitalist millionaire (or billionaire), and not despotically overruling that with the lie of social well-being.
It’s not for the social well-being that the state decides Jews are unruly or that capitalists are producing too much of things individuals wish to buy.
This view may see different sides to the tension. A Trump supporter might argue with a Sanders supporter. Hayek might be at odds with Mises on the rare occasion, or Friedman would absolutely be at odds with Rothbard on many occasions. But the true conflict is liberty as opposed to socialism.
Ultimately the underlying assumption of state intervention in the name of progress, or liberty in the name of prosperity, are seldom questioned they are merely postulated; but they are the true dichotomies.
In every case of state solutions, Marxism and fascism, the end result is horrific.
Even Sanders’ supporters refuse to endorse the despotism of applied Marxism. Even Trump supporters now refuse to endorse the religious test for immigration (though shockingly, during the campaign, they ignored that same level of fascism).
The disturbing thought however is that once state intervention in the name of progress is assumed it cannot be undone. Education, political commentators, media, they will all operate under this assumption. They will continually reinforce this assumption.
The state will continue to expand its power as more individuals will turn to it for problems caused by the state. The state will continue to expand until it reaches a maximum level of despotism or fascism and it collapses, or some heroic individuals will fight a losing battle and intervene to shrink the state, but only a removal the state-intervention assumption will suffice to avoid ultimate despotism or fascism.
Trump and Sanders are simply two sides of the same coin – a central bank endorsed coin. Liberty is the gold-standard for political governance – let freedom ring!
Trump hardly represents the emancipation from statism, he recommends surrounding oneself with border guards, the lack of Muslims, police raids against drugs, and now he represents foreigners being decimated (he campaigned so well against neoconservatism too). Sanders represents the destruction of individual responsibility and the mistrust of individual accomplishment. The world deserves better, the world deserves liberty.
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