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Occupy: History Repeats as Reality Show "Liberal History" from Osawatomie Bam

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Andy Stern: Authoritarian

by Christopher Chantrill
December 27, 2011 at 12:05 am

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YOU HAVE to wonder what kind of cheese the Wall Street Journal used to bait the mousetrap for Andy Stern, late head of the Service Employees International Union and friend of Obama.

We need to abandon our fundamentalist capitalist ways, wrote the learned Andrew on the Journal’s op-ed page, and copy the Chinese and their Five Year Plans.

The conservative-preferred, free-market fundamentalist, shareholder-only model--so successful in the 20th century--is being thrown onto the trash heap of history in the 21st century. In an era when countries need to become economic teams, Team USA’s results--a jobless decade, 30 years of flat median wages, a trade deficit, a shrinking middle class and phenomenal gains in wealth but only for the top 1%--are pathetic.

You mean free-market fundamentalist model has brought us from $3 per day to $100 per day over the last two centuries? All played out?

Fortunately, the Journal’s edit page team was able to restrain their guffaws long enough to slide out an analysis of China’s coming “hard landing” a couple of days later.

There is no easy way to avoid the bust that is coming. The silver lining is that China’s increasingly state-led growth model will be discredited, and a debate will begin on restarting the reforms that stalled in the mid-2000s. A financial sector that allocates credit based on politics rather than price signals led China into this mess.

This would all be enormous fun, if it weren’t so serious. The whole idea that politicians, the guys that know how to buy the voters, or professors, or planners, or union leaders, or an educated elite can run the economy ought, to use Andy Stern’s handy metaphor, to have been “thrown onto the trash heap of history” decades ago. The science was settled, way back in the 1920s.

Oh, never mind the science. Let’s review the history and the cost in tens of millions of human lives.

It should have been pretty obvious after the Bolsheviks abandoned their “war communism” in the early 1920s that a state-dominated economy was a bad idea. But Stalin decided to repeat the experiment with his Five Year Plans that deliberately starved the Ukraine to pay for industrialization. But he did build a lot of tanks in World War II. Pity the Five Year Plans didn’t figure out that those tanks would need radios for communication and trucks for support. The planless US had to provide that.

Then there were the 30 million dead from starvation from Mao’s Great Leap Forward in China, and the 50 wasted years of India’s Fabian-Society-inspired “license Raj.”

And now the whole world is trembling at the brink of a European meltdown. Why? Because the Euro-elite decided years ago that they couldn’t trust ordinary Europeans to run their lives; they had to be supervised by their betters. Otherwise the Europeans would descend into nationalist hell. Now, of course, the Europeans are at each others’ throats like street fighters, because their undemocratic elite has led them to disaster and stabbed them in the back. Gee, that’s so 1920s déjà vu.

Here is the key mistake our masters have made. They insist on believing that the economy must be run like a war. For Marx, it’s all about exploitation, so government must make war on the capitalists. For the Progressives, the problem is the Darwinian mayhem of robber barons, so rational administrators must wage war on chaos. For philosopher William James, the end of war means that we must conduct domestic politics as “The Moral Equivalent of War.” And of course, for union leader Andy Stern, the only way for workers to get a break is by intimidating everyone in sight, from employers, to scabs, and even their fellow workers.

How come these numpties keep coming up with the wrong answer? Jonah Goldberg knows; he wrote the book on it. It is because, like H.G. Wells, advocate of “liberal fascism,” they are all authoritarians. As Nicholas Wade writes, “Men like power, and will seize it if they can.”

These educated elitists just don’t get it. The secret of modern prosperity is the limitation of authority. It is is founded on the invisible hand of people freed from the intimidation of the Andy Stark’s union thugs, the reckless unfunded mandates of the welfare state, the corrupt science of the climate scientists, the numbing stupidity of the Plan, the wasteful subsidies of crony capitalism. Limited government, separation of powers, the bonfire of the government-sponsored enterprises: what is so hard about that?

Andy Stark is a kind of poster boy for authoritarians, for Andy wrote the book on intimidating employers: the SEIUs intimidation manual. And what is government but union thuggery played by the big boys with a printing press at their command?

Stephen Pinker says that The Better Angels of Our Nature have caused violence to decline. Fuggetaboutit, says Andy Stark, let’s bring back intimidation and authoritarianism, Chinese-style, and drive the American idea into the ditch.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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