I’m sure economics lecturers have struggled with communicating the titanic struggle between free and command economies to younger folks for years.While the edgier students may roll their eyes at this, the latter half picks up pretty well and it really does an excellent job of explaining the philosophical differences between the Twentieth Century’s most important economic rivals.
A little over a year ago ABC News’ 20/20 produced a remarkable 1-hour special on the realities of our current system in comparison to socialized healthcare models like those in Canada and Great Britain. During the report ABC News discussed the facts about quality of care and the rebellion of Canada’s medical profession against their own system.
Most remarkable is the fact that this 20/20 special also covered innovations by major employers that have proven to be effective in confronting the unique challenges of our healthcare dillemma with purely free-market solutions.
And that employer was WHOLE FOODS, a bastion of progressivism. Remember this report was played on national TV in 2007, a year before the election and TWO YEARS before the fiery end-run to demolish the healthcare insurance industry that we are seeing today:
Governor Sanford has enriched our language with a new euphemism: “Hiking The Appallachian” which henceforth will evoke steamy Argentine dreams and the feckless fools who abandon reason to pursue them.
Most people are justifiably eager to see Sanford resign from office but some folks don’t mind if he stays. Neither party is relevant.
Sanford ditched his formidable security detail, hoodwinked his staff, flew to Argentina and rocked out for a week. While it may provoke all kinds of indignation from people there’s one fundamental truth to all this: ANYONE who is capable of contemplating then carrying out a plan of action like that couldn’t give less of a shit what you or I or anyone else thinks.
Even as we all gape in horror as girls’ schools and secularism is destroyed in Pakistan’s Sudetenland, I think it’s important to contemplate the consequences of preemptive American military intervention in the middle east. Just so we can compare public floggings and forcing women to remain illiterate with modern jurisprudence and a representative democracy:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
On his return to Britain after securing “Peace in Our Time” Neville Chamberlain was confronted by a furious Winston Churchill who was at the lowest point of political favor in his career. Whereas the press and parliament cheered Chamberlain’s deft diplomacy Churchill delivered his stunningly prophetic denunciation:
“You had to choose between Dishonor and War. You chose dishonor. You will have war.”
After six years of war the liberal forces in our society remain determined to deprive our armed forces the triumphant honors they deserve for transforming the hellish nightmare of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq into a vital polyglot democracy, and now they ask us all to remain silent while weak and opportunistic regimes who are sympathetic to liberal realpolitik surrender territories and lives to islamic fascism.
UPDATE: Freeman withdraws from consideration. Blames jews.
While conservatives are mobilizing to do something about Obama’s appointment of Charles Freeman, a career “Realist” (in the moral/cultural relativist sense) to the NIC chair, I’ve noticed that most of the objections to him are based around his close ties with Wahhabbist autocrats in Saudi Arabia, his overt anti-Israel stance and his unsympathetic view of American interventionism.
This is troubling because although the situation in the Middle East is certainly precarious, it distracts us from the fact that this man SUPPORTED the brutal suppression of a democratic populist movement at the very moment when Communism was failing all over the world:
“[T]he truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than — as would have been both wise and efficacious — to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo’s response to the mob scene at ‘Tian’anmen’ stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action. . . .
This summer marks the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen square massacre. It’s important that we all understand that the ruthlessness and brutality of Chas Freeman’s “overly cautious” communist regime hasn’t improved, but in fact has gotten far far worse.
A couple years ago, PBS’s Frontline program produced an excellent documentary on one of the most heartrending expressions of individual defiance against totalitarianism called “The Tank Man”. It’s a refresher on the sort of behavior that Chas Freeman felt the Communist Party should’ve “nipped in the bud”:
A lot of folks can dismiss Tiananmen Square as “history”. As something distant and irrelevant in the past that no longer affects the lives of Chinese or Americans today. But they’re wrong. The inhuman regime that murdered thousands of democratic protestors in 1989 hasn’t diminished or even relaxed, it is committing an atrocity against the principles of liberty and democracy every day:
Here is the “punchline” to that Frontline documentary. THIS is what happens to truth under socialism:
Obama wants to put this guy in a position where he will be influencing how America responds to emerging democratic and free-market movements all over the world? What happens if some Russians finally get their heads out of their asses to remove Putin? Is he gonna recommend we tip off Vlad with some of his quality advice?
As often as conservatives seem to lament the encroachment of socialism, we still do little to nothing about explaining why it’s so bad. If we’re gonna go around trying to remind folks who are fretting about their mortgages that the free market is the more sensible, logical and HUMANE answer, we’d better be prepared to explain how that is so.
People are afraid. Emergency service personel are taught that people in a burning building will follow the person that is LEAST panicked, and right now, it’s looking like the only thing the Republicans are leading is the terrified stampede.
As conservatives we need to be able articulate how socialist policies have brought these conditions about, how socialist policies have brought nothing but RUIN to nations that attempted them, and how the introduction of exuberant and unhindered free markets have liberated billions of human beings over the last four decades:
That PBS series is based on Pulitzer-prize winning author Daniel Yergin’s The Commanding Heights. That was the second episode, the first and third, both also excellent are below: