Useful Idiots

Discussion in 'Politics' started by wjk, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. wjk


    Excellent read.

    Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

    When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

    Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

    "Useful idiots" was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

    Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

    In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

    The president's poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

    Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

    And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP's oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated.

    But our government is supposed to be "a government of laws and not of men."

    If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion — or $50 billion or $100 billion — then so be it.

    But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without "due process of law."

    Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.

    With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

    If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don't believe in constitutional government.

    And, without constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a "crisis" — which, as the president's chief of staff has said, cannot be allowed to "go to waste" as an opportunity to expand the government's power.

    That power will of course not be confined to BP or to the particular period of crisis that gave rise to the use of that power, much less to the particular issues.

    When Franklin D. Roosevelt arbitrarily took the United States off the gold standard, he cited a law passed during the First World War to prevent trading with the country's wartime enemies. But there was no war when FDR ended the gold standard's restrictions on the printing of money.

    At about the same time, during the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law "for the relief of the German people."

    That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people — indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.

    If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.

    The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP's money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed "czars" controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.

    Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power — vs. the rule of law and the preservation of freedom — are the "useful idiots" of our time. But useful to whom?
  2. JamesL


    Somewhat of a different tangent, but remember when GWB and the WH promised lower Manhattan 20B to help it rebuild after 9/11?

    Well, NYT got Liberty Bonds to build their new headquarters in Times Square and Goldman Sachs used Liberty Bonds to build their new headquarters after they extracted over 300M in tax breaks from the city after threatening to move to Jersey City and take all those workers with them (even tho most of the traders refused to cross the river). Meanwhile, probably the most visible "casualty" of the terrorist attacks in NYC is fighting to get financing to rebuild properties that he is still paying rent on. Something that the Liberty Bonds were originally intended.

    Same shit is going to happen here. That 20B from BP is going to become a slush fund and you all know it. Barton was right.
  3. Some people are so naive... The agreement with BP was not a "shakedown" it is in BP's interest to do it. BP is staring into the abyss of liability and by giving VERY desperate people some cash and securing release of liability it is minimizing claims. This agreement also makes Obama look good by "scaring" BP into submission.

    That kenneth feinberg dude did the very same thing with claims after 9/11: you take money, you can't sue.
  4. cstfx


    The BP fund does not relieve them of any future liability.
  5. I will concede that Thomas Sowell is an idiot. However, I remain unconvinced about the "useful" part.
  6. You are a racist.
  7. In Obama's case, black and Hispanic voters.
  8. If that were true, then I'd be on a first name basis with you.
  9. I've got a great idea!

    Will you post the racist things I've said?
  10. Lucrum


    :D For him that's easy. It's anything and everything that you've posted that Gabby disagrees with.
    #10     Jun 22, 2010