While some leftists strain to deny a "convergence" toward collectivization between the U.S. and European models (and some are consumed by denialism altogether), others on the left are openly embracing an identifcation with genuine socialilsm. Michelle Goldberg, at The American Prospect, wrote a detailed piece the other day arguing that the declining birthrates in Western democracies are less problematic in states with aggressive social welfare regimes. The key? Progressive social programs supportive of working mothers that in effect engender fecund family-level reproductive patterns. So, don't worry about falling birthrates! Big government will take care of it! And here's the clincher:
In other words, the threat of population decline is one of the best arguments yet for socialized day care, family leave, and other dreamy Scandinavian-style policies. It’s a discussion we should welcome.Put aside the idiocy of Goldberg's argument for now. I'm simply fascinated by the growing acceptability of the state-socialist model among those on the left.
Moreover, Rasmussen has a new poll out today on this, "Just 53% Say Capitalism Better Than Socialism." According to the survey:
Republicans - by an 11-to-1 margin - favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism.I don't take too much away from these findings, actually. Those on the extreme left of the spectrum, including many in Congress, are committed to some version of a revolutionary socialist doctrine. Most Democrats are more likely disenchanted with the free enterprise system, and they likely equate "capitalism" with greed and corruption.
Nevetheless, it's extremely telling that a bare majority prefers capitalism to socialism. Of course, no other system in human history has been developed to provide greater prosperity and encourage greater human potential than the capitalist mode of market organization. Hendrik Hertzberg may think that Americans are warming up to a "nice" cushy progressive social welfare state, but folks need to read Mark Levin's, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, for a powerful argument that statism does nothing but destroy freedom. It's that simple. Growing support for a European-style socialist welfare state is a shift toward tyranny. It's un-American through and through, and one can only hope that we're in a passing phase of deviation from America's historical norm of liberal exceptionalism.