For a while now various prominent British comedians, writers and broadcasters have howled on social media about the supposed stupidity of Brexit. Now they and their American peers are pontificating on how Trump is like Hitler and expressing their disbelief at how dumb so many Americans are for supporting such an obviously evil man.
I’m sure they think they’re displaying their moral and intellectual superiority as modern liberals, but in reality, they’re mostly just making asses of themselves.
Firstly, Brexit hasn’t knocked the UK off the path to continued prosperity or Europe off the course to peace. The UK has been steadily veering off the prosperity course for several decades as a result of expanding interventionism – from both the political left and right- and the EU’s own interventionist powers have become one of the largest obstacles to economic growth throughout Europe. Also, the EU’s desire to centrally manage the migrant/refugee crisis will likely become a serious obstacle to political peace in Europe in the near future.
Secondly, aside from being an extreme racist, Hitler was one of the 20th century’s most zealous, principled and proactive socialists. And that wasn’t a coincidence. He was a socialist for a reason. It was the only economic and social system that could enable the Nazis to achieve their illiberal and immoral economic and social ends.
Hitler may or may not have been born evil, but state socialism can only produce human misery. These celebrity so-called liberals, who are currently morally condemning Trump and his supporters by comparing him to Hitler, are also condemning their own political stance. For almost all of them unthinkingly support numerous socialist government policies (particularly economic ones) and liberals in the UK have developed a virtually religious reverence for the socialist institutions of the European Union.
For totalitarianism of the fascist or socialist kind to come into being, a few conditions are necessary. A supportive intellectual class is required, which the US and the UK has. A people who fear some external threat and who are dissatisfied with their standard of living, which I would suggest Britons and Americans generally are. And a people who generally accept that the more troubled the economic and social times, the more power must be granted to the government.
Although the opposite is true, governments should be granted less power the more troubled the times, the elitist leftists in the UK have already demonstrated their urge to grant more power to rulers in what they believe are now desperately troubled times, by attempting to make Brexit the choice of a few lawmakers and not of the people whose will they are supposed to enact.
Now American liberals and progressives are doing the same by protesting Trump’s election victory. Which presumably, they hope will lead to a re-election or simply to inserting Clinton as President without being elected. Or else to Obama arbitrarily and indefinitely remaining in Office. These are all outcomes that would violate the principles of democratic government, of course, but it seems modern liberals and progressives have decided that democracy must be abandoned for the greater good.
The political Left in the US and the UK shares the same blind faith in the virtue of state power and cannot conceive of a society that isn’t coercively controlled and planned by state rulers; they cannot imagine human social/economic interactions free of government decrees enforced at gunpoint. Believing total economic and social freedom for peaceful individuals an impossible and undesirable reality, they seek to expand state power, which must come at the expense of human liberty. The same is true of the political Right.
The reality we have to face is this. Both the political Left and the Right in the western world have reached a point where they seek to establish ‘democratic’ dictatorships that will use the brute force of state power to plan everyone’s lives according to one single vision of the ideal society. Whether it be in the form of a Donald Trump or a European super state.
This is the treacherous political landscape that western civilisation must find a way through to avoid disintegration, decay and collapse. The great democratic civilisations of the past were eventually crushed by totalitarian rule that destroyed most of the wealth they were built upon and the freedom that created it. But there are a few reasons why western civilisation has a better chance of survival.
Firstly, the masses today in the west are the wealthiest people in human history and the system creating that wealth, capitalism, is so well-established that even the most despotic governments are unlikely to completely paralyse its functioning. Secondly, much of that trade is conducted through the means of the Internet, which is highly robust and almost impossible for governments to control.
Thirdly, new money is emerging (cryptocurrencies) that governments cannot control the supply or value of and which enables anonymous exchange and banking. (Potentially, that could see the end of taxation and thus the end of the spectre of wars started by statists wielding state power whose armies are funded with taxes).
This is where hope of survival and then even continued progress lies. In the amazing and abundant world that the masses have built in the unprecedented period of economic freedom that was the last few centuries – from the industrial revolution to now. That freedom was granted by permission of the state and much of it is now being revoked.
But that doesn’t matter so much because we’ve created our own freedom, which isn’t permission based and comes by virtue of the technology we have created. Freedom which no coercive Authority can take from us – unless we let them; unless we believe our world isn’t worth saving.
The calls from the political Left and Right for totalitarian/despotic government grow louder by the day, but the only source of prosperity, peace and progress lies precisely where governments cannot reach.