Kurt Schlichter is always entertaining, often perceptive, and understands that business-as-usual will drive us quickly into a reincarnation of the miseries of the Soviet Union or the current horrors of Venezuela or Cuba or China. Even better than that is his combative and unapologetic tone with regard to the left, both the squishy, no-nothing fools and the hardened monsters of the true left.
Here he suggests an alternative to a full-throated defense of free markets, freedom, liberty and most of all, freedom from overweening government.
I’ll give you the short answer now…he’s wrong.
It’s a cynical strategy, but this is a cynical time. There is a school of thought that says that the way to win the kind of macro-societal conflict we are in is to allow the enemy to crash and burn, to so thoroughly fail to perform adequately by any metric that they will discredit themselves for a generation – but only for a generation, since as long as there are stupid college students and stupider academics, there will be communists. This is like a conservative version of the Cloward-Piven strategy, where the left would burden the welfare state so heavily with deadbeats, bums, and shiftless losers that the only possible response would be a massive expansion of the welfare state ending, they hope, in full socialism. We win by letting them lose and lose and lose, despite the pain we’ll feel while they do it, until they are utterly spent. If it works, okay, but if it doesn’t, would we even have an America to save?
I understand the temptation to allow the blossoming of every leftist pipe dream, every crazy socialist five-year plan, every intrusive anti-family idea, and every economy-killing idiocy like the Green New Deal.
But along with those things come a degree of government oversight and control that was impossible just a generation ago. The amount of personal data that the government can collect from every American is shocking, especially since they can and will use that data to control us. Social Credit scores are just the beginning. Tracking every key stroke, every purchase, every car trip, every phone call, every visit to other Americans is not only possible, it is being done already. Couple that with the explosion of public surveillance in the form of cameras and automobile tracking (electronic toll payments and automobile internet connectivity is not benign!), access to security card swipes at work, and dozens of other things, and we have a comprehensive police state that knows literally everything about everyone.
What we must combat once the collapse that Schlichter predicts occurs is not simply the destruction of the comprehensive social support system on which the evils of socialism is based, we will have to deal with the foundation of the state — its surveillance and enforcement apparatus — and that will not collapse. Our rulers will be careful to make sure that its enforcement arm…the jack-booted thugs of government…are well paid and well treated. And they will be unleashed against anyone who has the temerity to suggest an alternative to the comprehensive police state that was created alongside the welfare state.
But unlike the failed socialist regimes of the past, it will know everything, be everywhere, and worst of all it will be able to intimidate or marginalize or disappear any of its enemies far more easily than even the Stasi or the KGB.
So my advice to Kurt Schlichter is: Be careful what you wish for…you just might get it. Good and hard!