At the end of George Orwell’s famous novel Animal Farm, which was a metaphor for Stalinist Russia, the animals look through the window to see the pigs and the human playing cards and have a hard time telling the difference between the two. What was once a dream of an animal paradise had devolved into a despotic regime that closely resembled that of the humans they had ousted from power. Some great thinkers (though I can’t remember exactly who at this moment…might have been Orwell himself) took Orwell’s message a step further and predicted that this was the future of the USA and USSR. Someday, the two super powers would look at each other and see a mirror image. That was not to say that one idea, capitalism or communism, would triumph over the other, but rather each would move in the others direction until the similarities overshadowed the differences ten-fold.
I think this theory is sound and very close to becoming reality. The greatest trick history played on the United States was the fall of the Soviet Union. Foolishly (and I’m no different) we thought we had won. Freedom and liberty had triumphed over oppression, we stated with whimsy forgetting that while human beings still factored into the equation, ideas never die, they rise from the ashes like a phoenix wearing a cheap Mardi Gras mask. And we play the fools each and every time.
The one instance of such a prediction I can find was by a man named Dwayne O. Andreas, a crony-capitalist who headed Archer Daniels Midland Company for forever-and-a-day, who stated in 1989 that in about 30 years, the United States and the Soviet Union “won’t look that much different,” and both would look more like (then) West Germany: a semi-socialist state. (More details lie behind a Chicago Sun-Times pay-wall that I’m not jumping over unless someone starts paying me to write this crap.)
Whatever his reasoning, I think he’s spot on and despite the “fall of communism,” the theory is becoming reality and thanks to Obama and Putin might just meet his timeline.
In my mind, one of the most significant moves made by Putin during his never-ending presidency was the elimination of elected governors of the Russia’s federal districts. According to Wikipedia:
In July 2000, according to a law proposed by him and approved by the Federal Assembly of Russia, Putin gained the right to dismiss heads of the federal subjects. In 2004, the direct election of governors by popular vote was ended. This was seen by Putin as a necessary move to stop separatist tendencies and get rid of those governors who were connected with organised crime.
The last thing Putin wanted was a Russian federal districts taking a page out of Latvia’s playbook, but it also allowed Putin to tighten his control over the bureaucracy of the country and prevent any free-thinking governors from challenging his rule (Anybody remember Alexander Lebed?). Granted, this law was overturned in 2012 and while I’m no expert of Russian politics, I would wager a paycheck the “freely elected” governors aren’t much for making waves.
The reason I bring this is up is to draw parallels to the American situation. We now have a federal bureaucracy the likes of which Calvin Coolidge could have never imagined, but Americans do have some escape routes: they’re called Red States.
While we can never fully escape the hand of the Washington, D.C. and the federal taxes and regulations that come from it, it is still possible to live in well-run, prosperous regions of the United States. If you’ve had enough with high-taxes in California, you can move to Texas. If your business is being destroyed by state regulations in New York, you can move to Florida, or Idaho, or Nebraska. If you’re sick of crime in Chicago and not having the right to defend yourself there with firearms, you can move to Arizona.
Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry has embraced the role of a shadow president in the shadow country of Texas. Everything the feds or blue states like Illinois and New York do wrong, Texas does right. Americans don’t have to leave their country for a change of domestic conditions the way someone in the UK or France must. Gerard Depardieu’s frustration with his taxes couldn’t be solved by leaving Paris and going to Lyon or Nice, he had to leave France altogether. And where did Depardieu chose to exile himself? Russia. (Someone left the irony on.)
So while Putin makes Russia attractive to rich actors, Obama makes Americans hate anyone who prospers. Thus, each super power steps a little closer to the other.
What may be America’s best hope is what I discussed earlier: States’ Rights. Now for liberals, this is a dog-whistle for slavery. The South fought in the name of states’ rights in the Civil War but their argument is forever tainted due to the fact that slavery was a part of that struggle. Those of us in reality know that when we talk about states’ rights we are not looking for a return to black slavery but a refuge from a (to put it mildly) heavy-handed central government.
This is the next step for the fifth columnists in the country. It probably won’t come to fruition in an Obama presidency or even Hillary Clinton’s inevitable presidency, but little by little, they will chip away at the 10th Amendment and eventually eliminate the possibility of places like Texas electing Rick Perry as their governor, or Indiana electing Mike Pence, and so on. It’ll happen slowly, subtly, so that people hardly notice.
This is why so many of us cry, “Let it burn!” As a close friend of mine said to me recently: “We want a FAST decline, not a new normal. The bums can’t endure a fast decline. Only winners can.”
It sounds harsh, but the alternative is the road to serfdom. Which path do you chose?