Promoting Statism

Republican John Kasich is suggesting that the United States may be witnessing the end of the two-party system.

I hope not but he may be right.

The key issue in politics is the relationship between the individual and the state. Fundamentally the individual is primary. The state or government is an institution created by man.

Some disagree, at least by inference. Their mistaken ideas and actions suggest so. Examples include the great tyrants of the twentieth century: Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Mussolini, Pol Pot and Stalin.

The marvel of the US two-party system is that it allows the contrasting views to be placed clearly before the citizen electorate. At one extreme is the argument for individual rights, freedom and capitalism. At the other is the argument for collectivism, central planning and statism.

Unfortunately the US has been following the path of statism for about a century with many advocates for its various forms: socialism, fascism, welfare-statism, mercantilism and the modern “mixed economy”.

Aside from the more obvious forms of dictatorship, socialism and fascism, most forms of statism in the modern era represent compromises between individualism and collectivism.

The trouble with compromise is when it is on fundamental principles. When that happens the most consistent advocate prevails. The Democrats have prevailed because they have been more consistent. Most Democrats agree in principle with the tenets of the Left; egalitarianism, government-provided healthcare, minimum wage laws and other centrally planned regulations governing the economy, even though they may disagree on the extent of such practices.

On the other hand, Republicans for decades have been the party of capitulation to the political and economic initiatives of Democrats. Republicans compromise on the fundamental of the relationship between the individual and the state on nearly every major issue.

It’s an issue of morality whether to defend the individual or the collective. Both parties have emerged as defenders of the collective, disagreeing perhaps only on matters of degree or form. This yields constant conflict on thousands of concrete issues.¬†Naturally, more conflict means more political parties are likely to arise.

What is needed is a political party that staunchly and morally defends the individual against the state. The Republicans need to revamp the party on a moral foundation or give way to continuing conflict, the rise of more parties and ultimately some form of dictatorship.

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