NeoCon Economics: We Need More Communism!
Lost in the daily enjoyment of ridiculing Liberal hacks like Paul Krugman and his little sister Brad DeLong, I almost forgot that there is far more evil source of economic illiteracy: The Neo-Conservative.
David Brooks is one of the most influential peddlers of Neo-Con ideas. Brooks fully supported the invasion of Iraq. His circle is the Karl Rove, Dick Cheney circle of treasonous murderers. Yes, in the next life, like them, he will burn in Hell. Unfortunately, in this life he wants to show us what it looks like.
In his latest column, David has identified America's primary source of economic and societal collapse.
I know you wait with breathless anticipation for his Holiness Mr. Brooks to enlighten you with his superior and lofty academic insight.
Is it out of control spending? Special interests? The Corporate-State alliance? Loose monetary policy?
Why no! It's Libertarians. You know, that group of people that makes up 1-2% of the population, has held practically no political power in a century, has not supported any major legislation from Washington in at least that long, opposed every policy that caused the economic crises, and saw it all coming a mile away.
"This confluence of crises has produced a surge in vehement libertarianism. People are disgusted with Washington. The Tea Party movement rallies against big government, big business and the ruling class in general. Even beyond their ranks, there is a corrosive cynicism about public action."
It's their fault!
Obviously, since Mr. Brooks is writing for the New York Times, the most profitable media center in America he must be someone worth listening to. (What's that? They're bleeding cash and employees like it's 1937? Oh, nevermind.)
So like a good Neo-Con operative, Mr. Shill... er Brooks, reaches deep into his policy playbook, channeling William Buckley. (I'd say that Buckly is keeping a seat warm for Brooks in the afterlife, but you now....) We must become the Total State to defeat the Total State.
But there is another way to respond to these problems that is more communitarian and less libertarian. This alternative has been explored most fully by the British writer Phillip Blond.
Well, he has a solution that somebody else thought of for him (that worked out great with Iraq too.)
Economically, Blond lays out three big areas of reform: remoralize the market, relocalize the economy and recapitalize the poor. This would mean passing zoning legislation to give small shopkeepers a shot against the retail giants, reducing barriers to entry for new businesses, revitalizing local banks, encouraging employee share ownership, setting up local capital funds so community associations could invest in local enterprises, rewarding savings, cutting regulations that socialize risk and privatize profit, and reducing the subsidies that flow from big government and big business.
To create a civil state, Blond would reduce the power of senior government officials and widen the discretion of front-line civil servants, the people actually working in neighborhoods. He would decentralize power, giving more budget authority to the smallest units of government. He would funnel more services through charities. He would increase investments in infrastructure, so that more places could be vibrant economic hubs. He would rebuild the “village college” so that universities would be more intertwined with the towns around them.
Remoralize the market. Well, it's kind of hard for government, the least moral institution in America, to remoralize anything. You know, the same government that murders foreigners on a daily basis.
And of course, giving more power to civil servants, the most overpaid people in America, is a great idea. They are already make more money than the private sector, while performing completely worthless tasks. But no, the problem is simply one of power. They just need more power!
Sounds like good old fashioned communism to me. I guess that's the new direction of the Republican Party leadership. More communism to defeat communism, which already defeated itself. That makes a great slogan. I expect Michael Steele to be repeating it any day now.
But you know what ticks me off the most about this column. Brooks has the gall to lay the problems of America at everyone else's feet but his own.
No mention of the economic or societal devastation that his Neocon wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused. No mention of the trillions of dollars wasted by the Military Industrial Complex. No mention of the human cost of war - the lives that could have been, the ideas, inventions and innovations that will never be. No mention of the billions (trillions?) borrowed from the Chinese, confiscated in taxes, or printed out of thin air to pay for the wars. No mention of how the wars divided our nation and polarized political debate. No mention of how his bankrupt economic theory translated into: "Bomb, enslave, and exploit anyone who has resources we want, nevermind the cost."
Nope. It's Libertarians are bad and there's not enough Communism.
David in Qatar