Monday, September 27, 2010

Shortcut to Serfdom

This piece does a good job of the real and tangible threats to liberty that are out there right now. Many started under "W" but have been continued and in some cases escalated under Obama. Mr. Friedersdorf points out:
Seven decades have passed since The Road to Serfdom was published. Social democracy hasn’t yet led Europe or any of its diverse countries into serfdom. On the contrary, they’re are among the most free and prosperous countries in the history of human civilization. I prefer the American system. It’s better, all things considered. In order to make the case for it, we need not pretend that the people of Europe are in chains.

There are real threats to liberty, but they have less to do with Obamacare, bailouts, or taxes. Which does the conservative Friedersdorf prefer?
Forced to choose, I’d rather live in the ACLU’s idea of the perfect America than a country where we repeal Obamacare, eliminate earmarks, and persist in chipping away at civil liberties to fight drugs and terrorists. The former may be a “road to serfdom.” The latter is a shortcut to the same place.

I recommend the whole piece, but I do disagree with the statement, "The last two presidents have asserted authority unprecedented in American history." Sadly, the current circumstances are not particularly unprecedented or even extraordinary. We had the internment camps during World War II, McCarthyism, J. Edgar Hoover's domestic spying, Watergate, Iran Contra... There is a seemingly endless list of landmark historical instances where our government acted in contradiction to the liberties proscribed in the constitution. On the broader issue, however (that we need to guard our civil liberties much more than we need to worry about some perceived injustice stemming from our personal disagreements with a particular economic policy, the author hits it right on the head.

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