Dispatches From the Moderate Left

Friday, August 05, 2005

Quote of the Week

The march of Big-Government Conservatism continues. This time it's a proposed federal law (proposed by Santorum at the request of a company from his home state, AccuWeather) prohibiting the US National Weather Service (NWS) from providing any services which are or could be provided by the private sector:
If big government really is as inherently dopey and inefficient as he maintains, then AccuWeather has nothing to worry about. But if AccuWeather is in a desperate fight for its life merely because the NWS wants to release weather information in consumer-friendly form, that would seem to suggest that the NWS does its job at least as well as AccuWeather ever will. An orthodox belief in big government's inefficiency cannot coexist with an orthodox belief in private industry's inability to compete with big government.

How do you resolve this riddle? Perhaps by concluding that the common denominator to contemporary conservative thought isn't ideology at all, but rather, the crude imperative for big government to shovel as many special privileges as possible to big corporations. Adam Smith would be appalled. (Slate)

5 Comments:

  • Isn't it about time someone said it -- this administration does not practice conservatism. The correct term is fascism.

    By Blogger Charles Watkins, at 4:03 PM  

  • I think that statement is an example of the problem identified here.

    By Blogger Jeremy, at 3:22 PM  

  • That guy's got it wrong. Fascism has nothing to do with conservatism or liberalism. Fascism is the concentration of government power to the benefit of the few, often corporations or military. The USSR was a liberal fascist regime. Get it?

    By Blogger Charles Watkins, at 3:41 PM  

  • Ah, we have a definitional disagreement rather than a substantive disagreement then. My conception of fascism is much more in line with that guy than with your definition. He describes it as the extreme manifestation of a preference to order.

    To me, what you describe is not a system of government or a coherent idology (which is what I see fascism as), but a symptom of bad governmnet - corruption, cronyism, nepotism etc. Bad government can happen on either side of the spectrum.

    By Blogger Jeremy, at 3:55 PM  

  • M-W dictionary:

    a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

    Not corruption, not bad government, just oppression. We're not there yet, but it's the road we are on.

    By Blogger Charles Watkins, at 4:15 PM  

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