The Democratic Party has finally made its credo explicit: We all belong to the state.
Larry, you belong to the government. The Democratic Party has now made that clear. The particularities that you are always talking about only separate us. But we all belong to the government, which unites us.
Here is the Democratic Party’s statement, from a video that played at the convention:
“Government is the only thing that we all belong to. We have different churches, different clubs, but we’re together as a part of our city, or our county, or our state, and our nation.”
Note that when the video says we are together as part of our city, country, nation, etc., it specifically means, as made clear in the first sentence of the statement, that we’re together as part of the government. It is the government, and only the government, that unites us, because the government is the only entity to which we all belong. And therefore the government is the supreme power, displacing all other authorities and loyalties, bringing all of society, all of life, under the power of the state.
I don’t think that the Democrats have ever gone this far before. They are now an explicitly totalitarian party. If you know any Democrats who still insist that the Democratic Party is really moderate, just read him this quote.
While there are several sides to the statement that are worth explicating, as I did above, all that is needed to make the main point are the words, We belong to the government. That in itself is a totalitarian statement. Has such a thing ever been said before in American politics?
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That statement in itself makes the principle of the Democratic Party indistinguishable from the principle of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Man belongs to the state. The state has all power over us. (Of course Mussolini and Hitler said the same.)
I’ve been saying over the last year (most recently six days ago) that I no longer believe it’s impossible that the U.S. could turn into a Soviet-style tyranny. And now the Democratic Party has adopted the principle of Soviet-style tyranny.
Aaron S. writes:
“I don’t think that the Democrats have ever gone this far before. They are now, in principle, an explicitly totalitarian party.”
Yes, and the notable thing about this statement about “belonging to the government” is that it contains a great deal of truth. Why? Because it is no longer clear that the majority of people in the U.S. are really Americans in any meaningful sense. The Democrats (with ample assistance from the GOP) have killed us as a people, and the fact that they can say these things openly at a convention is just so much dancing on the grave. They are saying, in celebratory fashion, “America is dead, and it is we who have killed her.”
Jim Kalb writes:
This isn’t just a debater’s point based on an unfortunate choice of words (“belong to” instead of “have in common” or whatever). No matter how you word it, the basic idea is that we don’t have beliefs, loyalties, memories, heroes, habits, understandings, goals, or anything else in common, we just have the government. But if we don’t have any of those things in common, then our common connection to government can only be common subjection to its power simply as raw physical power. National unity growing out of the barrel of a gun is what makes us Americans.
September 7, 11:18 p.m.
Their god is Molech, and they love death, and they hate us. They will enjoy filling the streets with our blood.
Kathlene M. writes:
If we all belong to the state, doesn’t it follow that our property also belongs to the state? If Obama gets reelected and the financial system collapses, what’s to stop Obama from issuing an executive order to nationalize private pensions as was done in Argentina? The left has already quietly discussed and written about this possibility. When I mentioned this to my husband, his colleague, and my father-in-law, they all scoffed at me and said I was being paranoid. But then, who would have thought that the Democratic Party would be espousing Soviet-style slogans that would appeal to half the populace? I am frankly quite worried about a second Obama presidential term.
Kathlene’s remark should be repeated:
If we all belong to the state, doesn’t it follow that our property also belongs to the state?
Now that the Democratic Party has announced that we belong to the state, which means that our property belongs to the state, the meaning of Elizabeth Warren’s famous diatribe about how entrepreneurs benefit by the existence of society’s infrastructure and owe something back, and Obama’s gloss on Warren’s diatribe, “You didn’t build that,” become crystal clear. The Democrats’ argument that Warren was merely speaking of a social contract that has always existed in America is exposed as false. What Warren and Obama meant was not that entrepreneurs owe something back to society; what they meant was that the state owns the entrepreneurs, that the state owns all of us, along with our property and our very selves.
Except, of course, when it comes to such things as sexual activity, sex change surgery, tattoos, scarification, and public obscenity. In those areas of self-expression, we are absolutely free.
I heard that the video in which the announcement appeared was the “welcome” video for the whole convention. So this was not some side item. This was the Democratic Party declaring what it stands for.
Danny B. writes:
The “proposition nation” people have been saying for years that we aren’t bound together by race and ethnicity; we aren’t bound together by a common religion; we aren’t bound together by a common language; we aren’t bound together by a common history; we aren’t bound together by living on the same soil, even. We are bound together by our faith in liberty. And in the Democratic philosophy, the way we are guaranteed our liberty is by a large and ever-expanding federal government. Thus the statement that “government is the only thing we belong to” is simply the liberal version of two plus two: we’re bound together exclusively by our faith in freedom, plus our freedom is guaranteed by the State, so we’re bound together by the State.
Yes. And let’s take a recent concrete example, discussed at VFR this past March, which shows the validity of your analysis. In the name of freedom, which means equal freedom for all, it is determined that women (in order to have equal freedom with men regarding whether they become pregnant) have an absolute, unquestionable right to free birth control, to be paid for by the taxpayer. Plus, it is the government which announces this brand-new freedom, it is the government which will secure this freedom, and it is the government which will impose the taxes and punish those who don’t pay them. So we’re all under the absolute power of the state, we all belong to the state. Two plus two equals four.
What the government did with the birth control mandate provides a complete and sufficient paradigm of totalitarian rule in America. All the government has to do is keep applying the same paradigm to new issues. The government declares who, in the name of equal freedom, has a right to what, no matter how absurd that right may be, and the government declares who must pay for that right. It could be anything. The government could declare that everyone has the equal right to live in a nice home, and that, in order to secure this right, every family that owns a home over a certain size must allow those who lack such a home to move in with them. Communist Russia did that in the 1920s; they did it to Ayn Rand’s family. Communist Czechoslovakia was still doing it in the 1980s. I know a woman who escaped Czechoslovakia for that reason.
I repeat: there is no limit to the totalitarian paradigm I have laid out. Think of anything that is not possessed “equally.” Under (1) the ideology of equality and equal freedom, and (2) the principle that we all belong to the government, the government could declare that the people who do not possess their “equal share” of that thing have the right to equal possession of it, and that those who have “more than their fair share” of that thing must provide the needy with that fair share.
Kathlene M. writes:
This article from Canada Free Press was written in August 2009. The first paragraph copied below echoes the same reaction I received when I mentioned the possibility of our government nationalizing private pensions.
And yet, when one mentions the idea of this government seizing your IRA and/or 401k and rolling it over into the bankrupt Social Security Administration, the usual reaction—even after all the evidence of the last six months—is scoffing. “They wouldn’t dare,” I heard from one individual. “There would be a revolt,” said another. Still someone else commented, “If you think there was outrage over this health care bill, let them try that!”
Well, maybe, but given the arrogance of these Statists, that is a natural next step. It is one that has been floated before, and don’t think that it has gone away. Consider that individual retirement accounts, be they private or corporate, have been accumulated tax free. In the eyes of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al, that translates into you getting away with something. Somehow you got “free” money. We’re talking about accounts totaling hundreds of billions (possibly trillions) of dollars! Believe me, they’re salivating.
Never mind that you earned it. Never mind that you faithfully put it away for your retirement, or that your employer may have diligently matched a portion of if for you as part of your compensation package. None of that matters to these people. In their world, you took money and stashed it away without them being able to tax it. That makes you suspect, especially if you have been successful and a long-term investor, which makes you one of the evil rich. How dare you want to keep so much for yourself when others have nothing?
After what we have witnessed so far this year, anything is possible today in America. And even if they don’t actually do it, imagine how much windfall revenue would accrue to the federal government if the American people only thought they were going to do it. An executive for a large Midwestern company told me: “I would pull every dime out of my 401k, pay the taxes and penalties and stick the cash in my mattress before I would let those (expletive deleted) have it!”
Could that be the plan?
D. Edwards writes:
You wrote: “I don’t think that the Democrats have ever gone this far before.”
From Ronald Reagan’s speech at the 1964 Republican convention:
You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the “Great Society,” or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a greater government activity in the affairs of the people. But they’ve been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves; and all of the things I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say, “The cold war will end through our acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism.” Another voice says, “The profit motive has become outmoded. It must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state.” Or, “Our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century.” Senator Fulbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the President as “our moral teacher and our leader,” and he says he is “hobbled in his task by the restrictions of power imposed on him by this antiquated document.” He must “be freed,” so that he “can do for us” what he knows “is best.” And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as “meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government.”
Well, I, for one, resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me, the free men and women of this country, as “the masses.” This is a term we haven’t applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, “the full power of centralized government”—this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don’t control things. A government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.
Yes, of course, the big government agenda has been in existence a long time. But, as far as we know, the Democratic Party never said before September 2012 that we all belong to the government. And we can be absolutely sure that they never said it before 1964, because, if they had, Reagan would surely have included it in his list of horribles.
I thank Clark Coleman so much for sending me the article and video we’ve been discussing in this entry. Without the items readers send to me, we wouldn’t be nearly as on top of things as we are, and VFR would not be what it is.
Andrew E. writes:
You might enjoy this youtube clip put together by Peter Schiff while attending the Democratic convention. Schiff, a stock broker and a quasi-media personality, is a down-the-line libertarian so he isn’t very useful in the big picture, but he does a great job of picking apart the Democrats on economic issues. In this video he poses as a liberal asking various delegates what they think of a a ban on corporate profits. I recall that he said on his radio show that of everyone he spoke with, about 25 percent thought he was going too far, 25 to 30 percent agreed completely, and the rest were very sympathetic.
Peter F. writes:
Concerning “The Democratic Party has finally made its credo explicit: We all belong to the state,” let us not mince words—this is fascism.
This is not fascism of the Hitler and Nazis in jackboots variety—at least not yet. Rather, it is fascism as originally defined by Benito Mussolini. Il Duce once stated,
“Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
Mussolini once said that he wished he’d called the fascist movement corporatism instead, for it better-reflected the perfect fusion of the state and the corporation. Therefore, it is also correct to speak of the Mussolini variant of fascism as corporatism. This begs the question: is Obama a communist or a fascist, both or something else entirely? The answer is somewhat complex, but it is certainly safe to conclude that Obama is both a neo-Communist/Marxist and a neo-fascist.
Terry Morris writes (September 8):
Truth be known, the various churches and clubs referred to in the video that many of us “belong to,” meaning that we’re members of, are all ultimately controlled by the government too.
Take the Boy Scouts. It is a private organization, yet the Supremes presume to allow it to continue to discriminate against homosexuals for the time being. What does the Supreme Court have to do with the internal policies of a privately funded organization like the Boy Scouts? Why did it hear the case? Where is the federal government’s jurisdiction in the matter? And what is preventing the Court from reversing itself later, now that it has assumed jurisdiction?
Truth is we’re not under constitutional law, but rather contract law. When not-for-profit organizations like churches sell their souls to the government for the paltry savings to their pockets they receive in return, they tend to believe they’re doing so with no strings attached. But this is far from the truth. Once you enter into contract with the government, the government owns you, pure and simple. When the government owns you it controls you. Whatever “freedom” and “independency” you retain is only temporary and by the government’s good graces. And not one of us has managed to avoid saddling himself with multitudes of contract agreements between ourselves and the State.
Buck sends this, published in the Daily News
, November 4, 1949:
Mr. Truman’s St. Paul, Minn., pie-for-everybody speech last night reminded us that, at the tail-end of the recent session of Congress, Representative Clarence J. Brown (R-Ohio) jammed into the Congressional Record the following poem, describing its author only as “a prominent Democrat of the State of Georgia”:
Father, must I got to work?
No, my lucky son.
We’re living now on Easy Street
On dough from Washington.
We’ve left it up to Uncle Sam,
So don’t get exercised.
Nobody has to give a damn—
We’ve all been subsidized.
But if Sam treats us all so well
And feeds us milk and honey,
Please, daddy, tell me what the hell
He’s going to use for money.
Don’t worry, bub, there’s not a hitch
In this here noble plan—
He simply soaks the filthy rich
And helps the common man.
But, father, won’t there come a time
When they run out of cash
And we have left them not a dime
When things will go to smash?
My faith in you is shrinking, son,
You nosy little brat;
You do too damn much thinking, son,
To be a Democrat.
David J. writes:
Allow me to play Democrats’ advocate for a spell.
The narrator sloppily stated:
We are committed to all people. We do believe you can use government in a good way. Government is the only thing we all belong to. We’re in different churches [and] different clubs, but we’re together as a part of our city or our county or our state and our nation. [Italics are mine.]
I don’t think he meant that government owns and controls us in a totalitarian manner. Rather, of the many governing bodies in modern society, political government stands as the common factor and is under the influence of all the electorate in a given area. Let’s focus on Charlotte, North Carolina as an example.
In religious matters, Catholic residents are under the auspice of a diocese, many Baptists “belong to” (i.e., are parts of) the Southern Baptist Convention, Presbyterians are governed by the Presbytery of Charlotte, and so forth. On the residential side, sundry homeowner associations regulate the activities of, provide services for, and receive officer nominations from their particular members. In the educational respect, Charlotte’s alumni donate to and root for their local high schools and universities, and, dependent upon financial involvement and personal clout, can wield administrative power. The same can be said for members of Charlotte’s many book clubs, country clubs, and professional organizations, each of which has its own executive body, bylaws, and elective process and receives some degree of allegiance and devotion from its members.
Notwithstanding the numerous types of associations to which a Charlottean may “belong,” all Queen City voters have their city government in common. They vote for its officers, follow its regulations, pay taxes that it levies, and petition for grievances. On a higher level, the state government is shared by all North Carolinians and serves a similar role. At the highest political echelon, all American voters, regardless of state, city, neighborhood, and church, can claim the national United States government
Perhaps Occam’s Razor suffices to explain the narrator’s meaning.
The first problem with David’s interpretation is that homeowners’ assocations and book clubs do not have power over their members’ lives and property; the government does. So there is no equivalence between “belonging to” a book club” and “belonging to” the government.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 07, 2012 05:30 PM | Send
So our common membership in government both transcends all other memberships and affiliations, because it’s the only membership we all have in common, and the membership in government really means that the government has power over all of us.
It’s worth repeating here Jim Kalb’s comment earlier in this thread:
No matter how you word it, the basic idea is that we don’t have beliefs, loyalties, memories, heroes, habits, understandings, goals, or anything else in common, we just have the government. But if we don’t have any of those things in common, then our common connection to government can only be common subjection to its power simply as raw physical power. National unity growing out of the barrel of a gun is what makes us Americans.