Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Adolescent Ruling Class

"Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred. "
James Madison, Federalist 20

In the late 1920's Benito Mussolini was a popular figure around the world. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine and the intellectuals loved him. You remember the intellectuals--those who think a great deal about a great many things and are experts though they have never actually done anything. Well they loved the guy, just as they were enamored of the Soviet Union.

They had missed the adventure of the great frontier of the American west; the hard work of taming the wild west was complete. They needed a new frontier to become vital. They needed a problem in the need of change. Hope for the farmer and the American worker. Change. Hope. Hope and Change.

Sounds vaguely familiar.

They were an educated class and had a way with words. They even had their own criminal celeb: Alexander Berman, who shot the American industrialist, Henry Frick three times and and stabbed him twice over his "treatment" of his workers. Because they knew better. They knew best what was right and wrong for the average American, for the country. They were adolescents, feeling the strength of their growing power, raw power bottled up by youth--optimistic, and deluded by phony altruism--power unloaded by education. Change for change sake was the ticket.

They believed that the Soviet Union had it right. They traveled to Stalin's Russia to learn from the collective society he was creating. Amity Shlaes details the intellectual pilgrimage in The Forgotten Man, "Joseph Stalin had two reasons to host the guests. The first involved winning over American labor. ...The second motive was more immediate. The Soviet revolution was failing. Communism needed Western cash to survive. (50) ...Stalin, like the czars before him, had a flair for developing show projects that drew attention away from economic flaws. (51)

Though in its infancy, communism was already flirting with bankruptcy. As is often the case with intellectual exercises, the reality didn't pencil out quite like the theory.

So, we have the best health care system in the world. Bar none. But it is not good enough for the intellectuals. Under the mantle of hope and change we ignore the facts. We ignore history. We push ahead on the basis of a theory. No, that's not right. We push ahead because Nancy and Barack and Rahm and Harry told us to. They know better. Because they are very, very smart. They went to some of our country's best schools. So we should trust them. And as Nancy so articulately phrased it, ""But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it."


The Founder's anticipated the intellectual need to tinker and change when advocating a firm Constitution . Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 26, "...we may travel from one chimerical project to another; we may try change after change; but we shall never be likely to make any material change for the better."

So, I'll say it again. And I'll speak loudly and slow enough so the intellectuals can hear me and understand my words: "Nancy, Barack, Harry, and you too, Rahm, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY HEALTH CARE."

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