The bankruptcy of the welfare states in Europe, America, and elsewhere was proved inevitable over twenty years ago with the bankruptcy of the communist states. The economic failures of the Soviet Union, of communist China, of North Korea, of the Latin American dictatorships, all of them, proved that state monopoly to print legal tender and incur sovereign debt does not enable collectivist states to escape the laws of economics. But the bankruptcy has been more than fiscal and economic. Unexpectedly, it has become social and cultural bankruptcy, too. The welfare state was predicated on notion, reinforced by postmodern multi-culturalism, that unequal possession of income and wealth was the underlying basic source of social division and conflict. Economics was presumed to trump values. Collectivism trumped individualism. Economic comfort trumped personal liberty. State solidarity trumped religion and family.
But it's not true, any of it. It was all just fallacious philosophy based on the greatest intellectual fraud and failure of the modern era: Marxism. Marxism was grounded in philosophical misunderstanding of Hegel, on misconceptions of human nature, ignorance of economics and capitalism, a fallacious labor theory of economic value, on inappreciation of the role of social values, on rejection of two thousand years of the written history of human yearning for liberty, on rejection of the value of individual life, on obstinate rejection of empirical evidence in conflict with its presumptions. Marxism has been the biggest aggregation of empirical error, philosophical boondoggle, and willful foolishness in Western thought in centuries. Now material fact has risen, volubly and violently, historically, to reject Marxist nonsense.
The working class neighborhoods of London are burning. The banlieue of Paris have been burning for years. The streets of Athens are afire. The Tea Party in America arises to tear apart American welfare politics. The Arab Spring cracks the concrete of the Middle East dictatorships. Collectivism is rejected in the demand for genuine social freedom and economic opportunity. Collectivism narrows and closes economies. The regulatory state erects obstacles to individual investment and economic entry. Welfare engenders dependency and depresses labor class morale. State aggrandisement is a closed, empty spiritual world. Esprit and optimism in the working classes are based on opportunity for individual and family advancement up the socio-economic ladder. A welfare dollar today is less important than income earned in liberty tomorrow. Freedom is inspiration. Materialist determinism is despair.
Hear that phone ringing, President Obama? It's 3:00 in the morning and history is calling. The caller says, all your shallow bumper-sticker philosophy culled from the 1960s has failed. Wha' ja goin' to do? Wha' ja going to do? You don't have a clue.