Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hillary, Stalinist?

Tibor R. Machan

Ok, so you think I am way over the top claiming that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Stalinist. Well, then what do you make of the fact that on March 27th, in a speech she gave in North Carolina, she said as plainly and clearly as one can say such a thing that what America needs is “a commander-in-chief of the economy.”

Now what is the economy? It is people going about doing business, engaging in commerce, earning a living, selling and buying and so forth. To recommend that such a massive sphere of human activities requires a commander-in-chief is scandalous, especially in what is supposed to be a free country.

Can you imagine a commander-in-chief of the arts? The sciences? Of sports? Of religion? Clearly those would amount to offices for which only an out and out dictatorship has any legitimate room. Yet one of the most likely aspirants to the American presidency is advocating just such an office, one she herself wants to hold.

Does this woman not think about what she says? Does she not consider the implications of the words she uses? Everyone keeps saying how smart she is, how well she did in school. Well, so much for what passes for smart these days and what our schools consider doing well.

What else is there to say? Only, perhaps, that word needs to get out immediately, before it is too late, about what kind of political economic ideas this candidate for the American presidency embraces. A commander-in-chief is the top officer in the military, an organization that must act is a fully coordinated, disciplined fashion, with very specific objectives, such as winning battles and wars.

That is not what economics is about. Economics is about people choosing, freely, spontaneously, to interact, on their own initiative and on terms they set among themselves and not ones dictated to them by some tsar!

Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to have absolutely no clue about this, judging by this absurd idea she permitted herself to give voice to in her North Carolina campaign speech. She has no notion, apparently, that a successful human economic system has no room of a Stalin at the helm, a commander-in-chief ordering everyone about. Not even a deity could accomplish such a feat and countries that have tried, such as Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Third Reich, and Stalin’s Soviet Union paid a very dear price for doing so.

If this remark by Mrs. Clinton does not receive extensive scrutiny from all the pundits and commentators in the media, I don’t know what to conclude about this country. Will she get a pass for advocating a command economy? Not even John Maynard Keynes, the architect of 20th century welfare statism, advocating such a thing. Actually, come to think of it, not even Karl Marx did since his idea was that socialism would emerge spontaneously from the revolution by workers.

Nor do contemporary socialists advocate the command economic system, having learned, finally, that it destroys economies everywhere. Instead, contemporary socialists advocate what they dub "market socialism," a system in which most economic activities are left to the choices of the economic agents and just a few political matters are kept as the province of the state.

Just look at Communist China, what with its extensive free market that is the wise, though by no means trouble free, preference of its rulers! The Chinese commies have learned what our American presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn’t managed to learn. So have the rulers of Dubai and Singapore and other regions where there is exists oppressive political rule. Leave the economy alone because if you don’t, there will be havoc.

But Mrs. Clinton hasn’t even acquired the elementary economic knowledge that today’s socialists and communists have. She is still in the fantasy land where some omniscient, omnipotent ruler can direct the affairs of an entire economy, to everyone’s great benefit. What a scandal. What must those in foreign lands who know so much better where such a system leads think of this woman and all the millions of Americans who want her to be president.

It is a truly obscene spectacle.

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