At a time when the Obama administration is endorsing one horrendous Bush policy after another, from targeted killings to state secrets to indefinite detention to endless war, it is time to recognize how the “conventional wisdom” has led Americans to the political slaughterhouse time and again. Pervasive confusion over the nature of government and freedom has opened the gates to perhaps the most sweeping increase in political power in history. Changing the name of the president is almost pointless unless Americans radically change their attitude toward government.
The State has been the largest recipient of intellectual charity during the past hundred years. The issue of government coercion has been taken off the radar screen of politically correct thought. The more government power has grown, the more unfashionable it becomes to discuss or recognize government abuses- as if it were bad form to count the dead brought about by government interventions. There seems to be a gentleman’s agreement among some contemporary political philosophers to pretend that government is something loftier than it actually is - to practice noblesse oblige and to wear white gloves when discussing the nature of the State.
The great political issue of our time is not liberalism versus conservatism, or capitalism versus socialism, but Statism - the belief that government is inherently superior to the citizenry