Control without Responsibility

This piece by Victor Davis Hanson is acceptable, but it messes Obama’s political timing, and so ends up sounding over the top. Obama is not some enemy from 2,500 years ago dedicated to class warfare. Rather, he is a smart politician who wants control and desires to avoid the responsibility that comes from it. This is not simply a selfish stance, but rather an honest belief that government is best done by politically-minded experts who are not accountable to the public.

The economy revolution we are experiencing in the United States is without parrallel, except for China under Deng Xiaoping. Just as Deng was, economically, the first post-Chinese leader of China, Obama may be the first post-American leader of America. From automobiles to banking to insurance to health care, the government under Obama acts as both regulator and competitor, allowing it to influence the marketplace without any particular government minister fearing the bad consequences of his actions.

Like Deng, Obama also faces unsustainable social spending. In China, Deng introduced the Family Responsibility System which freed the central government from having to care for millions of Chinese. In the United States, Barack Obama will introduce “death panels ” that will free the central government from having to care for millions of elderly Americans. Here again is the theme of control without responsibility. Obama, like Deng, will consign millions of poor and elderly Americans to earlier deaths, while avoiding responsibility by blaming the family (if they really wanted grandma alive, they could fork over the thousand-a-day themselves…).

7 thoughts on “Control without Responsibility”

  1. Saw the link from brother Lex at CB:

    “Rather, he is a smart politician who wants control and desires to avoid the responsibility that comes from it. This is not simply a selfish stance, but rather an honest belief that government is best done by politically-minded experts who are not accountable to the public.”

    Yes.

    Obama’s utopia is a gradualist, technocratic oligarchy with a human face ( his own, and then followed, I speculate, by Michelle, much like the Kirchners and Perons of Argentina).

    “Obama may be the first post-American leader of America.”

    Brilliant turn of phrase. That may be how he sees it as a diplomatic style if not a substantive exercise of power on issues that matter to him. I don’t think much in foreign affairs captivates Obama so much as he views it as due diligence to avoid energizing public support for the GOP. However whether Obama will really be post-American in outcome depends as much on how badly other leaders of great powers mismanage their own states.

  2. I am unaware of any sustained Chinese push, before Deng, to monetize the Chinese economy.

    I am unaware of any sustained American push, before Deng, to establish Deng’s competitor & regulate framework of control before Obama.

    Of all the possible convergences, this strikes me as the least likely — or at least the most historically contingent.

  3. Augustus was the first -post republican- leader of (imperial) Rome.

    Perhaps Julius might have been, but he was never given as much time as Sulla so we can never know.

  4. JF,

    Economically, Augustus was unremarkable. Rome was and remained a conquest-and-agriculture based economy. Likewise, Mao was unremarkable. It is Deng and China — and perhaps Obama here — who made history.

    ThomasD,

    What a Sull-en chapter of history!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *