I admit, I am obsessed by an eagerness to warn my American friends that - in terms of political values and practices - the Old World is in the driver's seat. Yes, in the United States. In the upcoming presidential election, you are voting for European politicians, though they have American passports. Here is Obama's European lineage:
As the German Empire's Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck told the Reichstag in the 1880s, he was instituting the world's first welfare state in order to gain total control over the German people. Those who are dependent upon the political state for their benefits, he observed, can be herded like cattle. [...]
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's utopian fantasizing led him to believe that humans, in the original State of Nature
, had been harmoniously benevolent, sharing freely with each other the abundance of nature. This idyllic state was shattered, not by Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, but by the invention of private property, whence come greed, aggression, crime, and war.
Thus the liberal-progressive-socialist plan for returning to the State of Nature is to socialize, that is to confiscate, private property and employ the coercive power of the political state to redistribute property and income as equally as possible, without regard to merit or hard work. [...]
Unfortunately, as all experience with liberal-progressive-socialism has shown since the first two decades of the 19th century, in no society do people willingly give up their hard earned savings for the benefit of an abstraction called "humanity." Some degree of political compulsion always is necessary.
Karl Marx believed that the crucible of a bloody workers' revolution would itself literally transform human nature. The English Fabian socialists and their 20th and 21st century American followers, including Senator Obama, have been willing to play the role of boa constrictor: squeezing society with unremitting small changes until the life's breath of political liberty has departed.