The Democrats are delirious at the idea that we’ve gone back to the future–a return to the 1930s. I’m not sure their joy is shared by many of those who actually lived through that era, but from the Dems’ perspective the unprecedented transfer of wealth and power from the American people to their government that is now in prospect is all that matters.
Are we, though, about to recreate the 1930s? One basic difference is that in that era, there really was popular enthusiasm for turning power over to government. There are two kinds of socialism: national socialism (often called fascism) and Marxian socialism (communism). Of the two, it was national socialism that made more waves, intellectually, during the 1930s. It heavily influenced Roosevelt’s New Deal; in particular, the National Recovery Act was a classic piece of national socialist legislation.
These days, popular enthusiasm for government is at a much lower ebb. No one is pinning medals on his chest and marching for national socialism here in America–well, some reporters and editors, maybe, but no one else. Bitter experience has shown that when people turn ridiculous amounts of power and money over to government, the results tend to be regrettable. That lesson has been absorbed, especially, here in the U.S.
Hence this poll result: 59 percent of Americans agree with the proposition that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” That is consistent with a lot of other recent poll data. My sense is that a great many Americans are rather sullen as they watch the government gleefully plotting to expropriate more of their wealth and take ever greater control over their lives. What the Democrats are doing is fundamentally unAmerican. That may not have been obvious in 1932, but it is pretty clear now.
So if the Democrats think they can recreate 1932 through 1939–I assume that’s where they would prefer to stop–I believe, and hope, that they are mistaken.
To comment on this post, go here.