Saturday, July 11, 2009

KUHNER: The Peron pattern

A bit somber, but needs to be read.



KUHNER: The Peron pattern

Jeffrey T. Kuhner
Sunday, February 15, 2009

America is heading down the road to socialism - and ruin. Numerous proposals have been enacted to reverse the economic downturn. First, in the spring of 2008 came the $180 billion stimulus program. Then, the 2008 summer $345 billion housing bailout. This was followed by the 2008 fall $700 billion bailout of Wall Street.

Now, the House and Senate have passed a nearly $800 billion stimulus package. Hence, more than $2 trillion will have been spent in a futile attempt to revive the economy.

We are imposing upon our children and grandchildren the burdensome costs of our addiction to big government. And this doesn't even take into account Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's plan for the taxpayer to absorb another $2 trillion to $4 trillion in debt to clean up the financial system. In other words, America is being buried under a mountain of debt - a debt that will trigger soaring inflation, crushing taxes and high interest rates. This is a recipe for economic disaster.

President Obama is playing Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush's Herbert Hoover. In the 1930s, it was FDR who expanded his New Deal liberalism from the activist policies of Hoover. Mr. Obama is building upon the massive budget deficits and reckless government spending of the Bush administration. Unlike Mr. Bush, however, Mr. Obama is shrewdly erecting an enduring majority electoral coalition - just as FDR did.

The stimulus plan has something for every important Democratic special interest group - labor, the teachers unions, big-city bosses, environmentalists, Hispanics, and African-Americans. Key constituencies will benefit from school construction, infrastructure projects, public works, retooling federal buildings with green technologies, expanding Medicaid and unemployment insurance, and more money for strapped states and localities. The plan is primarily designed not to stimulate the economy, but the size and scope of government. More citizens will be dependent upon government largesse. This empowers the Democratic Party and its liberal elite.

As National Review's Jonah Goldberg has rightly noted, modern American liberalism is a form of fascism - otherwise known as national socialism. Its goal is to establish a centralized corporatist state, in which a ruling class manages to transfer power from the private to the public sector.

Liberalism champions huge entitlements, expensive social programs and the regimentation of nearly every aspect of people's lives - from smoking bans and university admissions policies, to prayer in schools and how much right-wing talk-radio one can listen to. It seeks to dominate not only politics and the economy, but culture and the arts as well.

Liberalism fuses statism with class-based populism. It is perpetually at war against some perceived national enemy, whether it be the "rich," conservative Republicans or traditional Christians. It designates an entire group of people - in America, it is unborn babies - as being less than fully human and lacking basic rights. It believes that politics, not religion, is the salvation of humanity. It constructs mass movements based on charismatic, messianic leaders, such as Woodrow Wilson, FDR, John F. Kennedy and Mr. Obama, bestowing upon them almost divine, saintly qualities. It is obsessed with using activist government in the service of social engineering. Since liberalism is consumed with power, it contains the seeds of its own destruction; it is the ideology of national suicide.

The disastrous path on which America is currently embarked was tried in another country - in the Western Hemisphere: Juan Peron's Argentina. During the 1940s until a 1955 coup ousted him from power, Peron presided over a fascist state.

What is not commonly known about Argentina is that prior to World War II, it was an economic powerhouse. Beginning in the 1880s and continuing through the 1920s and 1930s, it was regarded as one of the most prosperous and advanced nations in the world.

Argentina had a strong industrial base, thriving agricultural exports and a broad and expanding middle class. Like America, it served as a magnet for immigrants from all over the world, especially Italians. Within 15 years, however, Argentina went from being one of the richest to one of the poorest countries.

This was due largely to Peronist policies. Upon coming to office, Peron, along with his popular wife, Eva, established a corporatist state characterized by lavish social spending, elaborate welfare programs, protectionism, confiscatory taxation and runaway deficits.

Peron used strident class warfare rhetoric, attacking big business, the banks, corporations and the propertied class. He greatly strengthened labor unions, making them pivotal allies of his regime.

Peronism transformed the Argentine state. The bloated bureaucracy and massive government intervention fostered widespread corruption. Central economic planning destroyed productivity and growth. Investment capital fled. Inflation and interest rates soared. The middle class was wiped out. The independent judiciary was undermined and eventually smashed. The fawning media class became co-opted by Peron's allies. His -and Eva's - cult of personality fostered a climate of violence and political persecution of the regime's enemies. Argentina degenerated into the Latin American basket case that it is today.

The failure of Peronism should serve as a warning: Socialism and a sky-rocketing national debt can permanently impoverish even the wealthiest nations. America is not immune from the laws of economics. Prosperous republics - ancient Rome, the Italian city-states, Argentina - have seen their wealth squandered, never to recover.

Mr. Obama is taking the first dangerous steps toward an American version of Peronism. His followers see him as a political messiah, a revolutionary change agent who will foster national cohesion and unity. He and the Democrats are plundering the state, using it as a vehicle to reward supporters (and punish foes). He is our Dear Leader, whose image is everywhere from magazine covers to T-shirts to baseball caps. His wife, Michelle, is the Eva Peron of our time - glamorous, chic, a fashion trend-setter who is beloved by the media.

Most ominously, Mr. Obama is repeating the statist populism that didn't work in Argentina, and will not work in America. Professor Philip Jenkins wryly observes that the United States of America risks becoming "the United States of Argentina." He is right. Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and the president of the Edmund Burke Institute, Washington think tank.


Eeeks said...

''Liberalism champions huge entitlements, expensive social programs and the regimentation of nearly every aspect of people's lives - from smoking bans and university admissions policies, to prayer in schools and how much right-wing talk-radio one can listen to. It seeks to dominate not only politics and the economy, but culture and the arts as well. ''

This description of the USA is merely a neocon's wet-dream. Take the smoking example: there are few who favor an outright ban on tobacco products. The no-smoking movement is undeniably libertarian in its opposition to *your* smoke getting into *my* lungs. And that's pretty much the entire smoking story here in Reality, U.S.A.

The hoary old "liberal media" joke doesn't hold up either. Are Rush, Hannity, et al still on the radio? Is Rupert Murdoch's global media conglomeration still bribing English phone company stooges for a license to "go fishing" in government's voice mail system? Okay, then listen all you want. Near as I can tell, the only right-winger to be taken off the air recently is Hal Turner and that because of his urging people to kill specific government officials. There's no history lesson since incitement to murder is a crime now and was a crime in the 1930s.

Religion in government schools? Sure. Which religions did you have in mind? Oh, just one? Sorry, that doesn't fit with the Constitution. Thanks for playing, though.

The author is carrying water for the segregationists nearly a half-century after George Wallace stood on the front steps to prevent "black" people from entering the front door of the University of Alabama. Nice. That's a class act we can all still enjoy.

And the war entitlement? All good conservatives tend to gloss over the fact that on average their U.S. Congressman has about 1.5 Billion U.S. dollars to spend in his district, building war toys. Of course it's not distributed evenly throughout the 435 districts but as near as I can tell there isn't a single congressional district that does *not* have at least one "defense" contractor. Isn't it odd that of the top three slices of the U.S. Budget pie chart, the author whines about smaller two and ignores the largest one?

Ferfal, you can read whomever you want and espouse pretty much anything you think is worthy but please, don't take this author's bitter ramblings as anything remotely related to reality in these United States. The sad fact is that there are a lot of two-dimensional, racist ideologues here in the U.S., who are having a hard time adjusting to the fact that they are a minority at best, and come the next election cycle, face the possibility of contracting even smaller into the lunatic fringe.

Unknown said...

Ferfal, the issue is not the government taking over, it's Wall Street, and especially Goldman Sachs, taking control of the economy. Read Matt Taibbi at http://www.scribd.com/doc/16752803/The-Great-American-Bubble-Machine.

The Washington Times is owned by the Moonies I believe.

Thanks for your great blog.

Anonymous said...

Eeks, get a grip. Your party is a bunch of fascists. For example "There are a few who favor an outright ban on tobacco products", wrong and prove it. The lib's can't get rid of it so they will try to tax it away. The rest of your comments are wrong and sophmoric at best.


Anonymous said...


If the comments are wrong, say why. This isn't Fox News -- you gotta provide facts and logic here.

Anonymous said...

The Washington Times is an extremely biased Republican propaganda machine and is owned by a fringe religious cult to boot.

I understand the Peron comparison, I understand (and agree) that the massive deficit and overspending is dangerous, but I can't get on board with this editorial. I agree with Eeeks--it's heavyhanded, over-the-top, and plays entirely too much off of neocon FEAR. And if it was published in the Washington Times, then the underlying assumption is that the Republican, neocon platform is somehow superior to what the Democrats and Obama have to offer. It's not. The Republicans are just as corrupt, fascist, and spendthrift as the Democrats that they criticize.

Anonymous said...

Eeks and your ilk,

Go find another Marxist blog to spout off. Your diatribes aren't worth of further comment. You're not welcome here.

Unknown said...

Even though the article has some interesting observations in it, it largely biased and trying to further the two-party system illusion.

The truth is, both Democrats AND Republicans are pretty much the same party, with the exception of their campaign slogans. Did the Republicans reduce the size of the government during the last 8 years? HAHAHAH! Of course not! George Bush has grown the intrusiveness and size of the gov't many times. No wonder Obama has such a great framework to work with. Who started the bailouts? "Patriot" Act? Expanding "Homeland Security" (read: GESTAPO), TSA, FEMA and others?

Get real, people. Most of you are worshiping some sort of a fascist party whether it's Socialist Democrats (Communists) or Fascist Republicans (Warmongers).

How about another choice? How about freedom?

Bones said...

You liberals live in a dream world. What about the media feeding frenzy about Sarah Palin? Never in my life have I seen someone subject to as much criticism and abuse by the mainstream news media - excepted ONLY by Fox and a few radio shows. NPR is just government funded democratic propaganda. Lipstick on a pig? So much for equal rights for women if it doesn't support the democrats!

The biggest budget item by far and away is entitlements, not military spending - get a clue folks, the welfare state is king!

Yes this editorial is a bit heavy handed but being conservative does not equal being a racist. You don't have to agree with all of the implications while agreeing with the core assertion: that the current ruling party & administration is using it's power to create an huge increase in government to benefit political supporters.

You have to be blind not to see that the current "stimulus" spending is a naked political payoff on unprecedented scale - literally the difference between billions and trillions of dollars - larger by several orders of magnitude.

As ACORN and company become entrenched in the political landscape the national democratic party regime tightens it's grip like the Peronists. Once they finish grinding the economy to dust the entire nation will become vassals of government largess. The comparison is so accurate it's frightening.

Remember, government debt is a gift that keeps on giving. It's ironic that Obama is chiding African nations for waste and corruption while his own policies set the course for the US to become a 3rd world nation.

Please take the time to think about current events and TRY to learn from history. I am no more enamored of republican policies when they increase government surveillance and spending as with Bush. We desperately need a party that not only reduces spending and the size of government but also guarantees our constitutional rights and limits governmental power.

Anonymous said...

It is National Socialism that is blooming in America. It didn't begin with this administration, but it sure is accelerating with this adminstration.

We will not go silently into the night however.

Unknown said...

Both parties play the game of spending money they don't have, impoverishing future generations (which might just be us btw). Entitlements in the US are mathematically impossible to make good on. Even so, defense (much of which is NOT funded by DOD) eats up trillions of dollars, including the cost of the fraudulent war in Iraq. And remember, the state sector expanded hugely under Reagan.

Democrats and Republicans differ very little. They are both running a massive Ponzi scheme called Uncle Sam, and it's been going on for decades.

Anonymous said...

Eeeks Is a Jackass, how's that for a ad homnim attack. get real Eeeks, your diatribe is one straw man
or half truth after another. and no I'm not a "good conservative" I am a
libertarian, I do not worship Jackasses or elephants. p.s. [shameless plug] go to http://lewrockwell.com/ for more on the libertarian position

Anonymous said...

All rants aside, the American ruling class since practically LBJ in the 1960s, under presidents from both parties, has seen America as a big fat money machine to be pillaged, much as Peron saw Argentina.

The core of both Peronism and American liberalism is redistribution, the robbing of the rich to give to the poor. Or in America's case, the robbing of the middle class to give to the rich. When the money is all gone, the only way out is to create economic bubbles as Reagan (and those after him) in the US and Menem in Argentina did. Once the bubble pops, it's all over.

Obama apparently wants to do a final looting of America, a final taking of every last cent the populace has, and give it to his rich buddies in banking. Once that bubble is finished, America will likely be as backward as Afghanistan. The idea of drastically raising taxes and running up the debt is what bankers call stripping equity, where a profitable business is loaded up with debt to get the equity out of it and then forced into bankruptcy while the bankers walk away with piles of cash.

American bankers are bent on so drastically impoverishing America that there might not be anything resembling civilization left over. One is reminded of a science fiction novel that's currently popular here called Dies The Fire in which technology is rendered useless, forcing America to descend into medieval feudalism. The climate taxes will make energy so expensive that nobody will be able to afford fuel or electricity. Without energy, civilization collapses.

parabarbarian said...

Don't worry about the naysayers. They are like the tale of the sorcerer who kept casting the same youth spells until he died of old age.

I see the parallels to Peron too. Exactly when the trend started I'll let historians fight about later. When it became obvious enough I could no longer find reasonable alternate outcomes was about a third of the way through the Bush II administration. Obama is just building on that foundation and accelerating the change.

Dragon1776 said...

"It is National Socialism that is blooming in America. It didn't begin with this administration, but it sure is accelerating with this adminstration.

We will not go silently into the night however."

I have to agree that National Socialism is where we are headed. But there is a slight difference between the German version of the '30s as well as under Peron. This is America and we will synthesize a different version from the old NAZI model. That doesn't mean it will be 'better', just a bit different and possibly more palatable to a broader segment of Americans. There are a lot of commonalities. However instead of the American socialist's going after the same 'enemies' as the German Reich it will be a mirror image in America; and won't be initiated for awhile. And the persecution of those counter to the Socialist march may not necessarily manifest itself in the same way, at least in a physical sense at the start. All 'persecutions' will take on the the Color of Law as opposed to the Rule of Law. The 'storm troopers' will not necessarily beat people in the streets or carry out a Kristallnacht event. However it will have the same end result, the demonization of a group or individuals and their political nullification.

Enemies of the State

Germany Model

Gays & Lesbians

American Model


The structure for 'observing' (read spying) on the citizens of America has been put in place as did Germany (or other socialist/fascist states). This was done by Clinton and Bush. Both parties have leadership that are and have been pushing the same flavor of Socialism with only window dressing to disguise the true nature of their political philosophies.

Does this mean that America is "doomed" to a Socialist state? Not at all. However to move back into a Republic form of government is going to take time, energy, more citizens actually working and studying the political landscape. And yes, Heaven Forbid, the change will involve overlooking the spoken word of political officials and actually thinking about what is actually occurring in the political arena. As Sun Tzu said in his treatise, The Art of War, "Once a kingdom has fallen, it can never again come to be..." If American citizens, who truly understand the foundations of the country, do not stop the destruction of the whole cloth of the political system America will never again have the form of government that was laid out by the incredible combined genius of the Founding Fathers. We will pass on to our children and grandchildren a sham of what America should be. And one can be assured that those who do understand the foundations, will not sit by and be victimized by a foreign form of government. Know this: we are now and have been engaged in a war for years. It is not a 'shooting war' now. But we are on 'battlefields' which are political, and social. The 'weapons' are economic, passing of un-Constitutional laws, judicial activism, coerced redistribution of wealth from one group of people to another, socio-political alienation of peoples among a host of others. We have already Balkanized at many levels, and even are just beginning to do so at a physical level. There is a real danger that at some point in the future America actually splits into groups of nation states as a result of continued violations of state's rights as well as individual rights.

It is totally possible that once the socio-poitical landscape has been morphed into the socialist model, complete with a heavy handed leadership, the elimination of any and all 'enemies of the state' will slowly and quietly begin, just as it did with other socialist states who had a 'troublesome' population. One can not rule out the darker side of Human Nature. Governments have killed their own citizens in the past and will continue to do so, even here under the right circumstances.

Rocky Jones said...

@Eeeks: "The no-smoking movement is undeniably libertarian in its opposition to *your* smoke getting into *my* lungs."

You are clearly not a libertarian. Libertarian sensibilities would say that I can choose to allow smoking in MY bar, and YOU can choose to not patronize my bar.

"The hoary old "liberal media" joke doesn't hold up either."

The Censorship, er, "Fairness" Doctrine is no joke (especially since it is aimed ONLY at talk radio, the home base of right-wing media). "Local content" rules are no joke. The McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act that penalizes political speech, and the FEC's attempt to classify blog postings as 'political contributions' under the act are not jokes.

Is there variety in the media, ranging from left to right wing? Yes, absolutely. You can tune into whatever point of view you want. But the desire to control media is definitely there. Both sides do it.

"The author is carrying water for the segregationists"

So opposing massive deficits and government spending, and pointing out historical examples of its spectacular failure, makes someone a racist? A lot of your comment was misguided, but this single ad hominem attack basically discredits your entire post.

Anonymous said...

Eeeks is too, too funny. Everything he denies about the National Socialism of Obama(Nazism) and the garbage he supports is true. Wonder how much Dear Leader Obumbler paid him to post here?

Thanks so much for your blog!! Will be pointing others here. Note to the fascists like Eeeks: We're here, we're not queer, and we're NOT going away, NOR are you fascists going to steal this country away from the constitution, no matter how much Goebbelian propaganda permeates the airwaves

Anonymous said...

More bad news for fascists of the left, like Eeeks:

G.B. Shaw, who was a Fabian socialist:

“Mussolini practices more positive socialism than many of his adversaries whose names are inscribed in the party role.”

Italian fascism was collectivist in nature, and the fascists were “well aware of the fact that Communism springs from the same collectivist stem as their own system.”

Ludwig von Mises on socialism and Nazis (N.B.: von Mises fled from the Nazis to Switz n 1934, and then to the US in 1940). His Ph.D was from U. of Vienna, and he taught as several US universities.

“… Mussolini, the outstanding man in Italian socialism, chose at first the orthodox Marxian position. Nobody could surpass Mussolini in Marxian zeal… the programme of the Fascist, as drafted in 1919, was vehemently anticapitalistic… fascism was not… an original product of the Italian mind. It began as a split within the ranks of Marxian socialism.” (p. 525f, The Socialist Revolution).

“The philosophy of the Nazis, the German National Socialist Labour Party, is the purest and most consistent manifestation of the anticapitalistic and socialist spirit of our age.” Von Mises, p. 528f

From Richard Vetterli and Willam Fort’s book, The Socialist Revolution:

“The collectivist systems of Communism and Fascism belong not on the opposite extremes … their characteristics demand that they share a position side by side on the left” and that Nazism and Communism, in their totalitarianism and collectivism, share “close proximity.” (p.2 - 3)