And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

“Anarchist” Idiocy resulting from the Nanny State weaning the dependent citizenry

Posted on: May 15, 2011

“Anarchist” Idiocy | Cato @ Liberty.

I have been watching Europe closely the past few years as the governments try to wean their pampered people off of welfare.  A welfare the governments actually rather forced on the people in  the beginning  in the politicians avid search for power and more power.  Now the “spreading of the wealth around” (Obama) has had it’s ultimate end: the end of all wealth, or NOTHING left to spread around!  Or, as Margaret Thatcher the former Prime Minister of Great Britain once warmed : “The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”!  The citizens of these European countries of course gave up their  souls for these safety net social programs and now have little left within themselves to again take control of their own lives.  They need Nanny State to think and act for them from cradle to grave.  The irony is the citizens are now fighting against the very hand that has fed them all these decades. The people who have become dependent on “other people’s money” are now morally and emotionally lacking the will to rely upon themselves for their livelihoods.  They also find themselves lacking a  morally acceptable argument for continuing to steal from other people’s labor so they have become  mobs rioting in the streets.  It reminds me of stories my mother tells of weaning me.  It was the habit of some in the dark ages to nurse their children well into the child’s second year of life so I was not weaned until I was 18 months old.  Naturally since I had become so dependent on “mother’s milk” long past the time when  I was able to survive well on my own  I protested long and hard and very loud against having the easy food supply removed.  If my mother had stopped nursing me when I was able to  survive well on nourishment taken from the regular food supplied me then the trauma would not have been nearly as violent to me or her when she did finally stop nursing me.  So this is the  case with the “children ” of Europe today.   Will it be Americans a couple generations from now after the Democrats and Obama have sucked up our souls for power and depleted our ability to survive well on our own?   I pray not. BB

Anarchist” Idiocy

Posted by David Boaz

The Washington Post splashes a story about “anarchists” in Greece across the front page today. The print headline is “Into the arms of anarchy,” and a photo-essay online is titled “In Greece, austerity kindles the flames of anarchy.” And what do these anarchists demand? Well, reporter Anthony Faiola doesn’t find out much about what they’re for, but they seem to be against, you know, what the establishment is doing, man:

The protests are an emblem of social discontent spreading across Europe in response to a new age of austerity. At a time when the United States is just beginning to consider deep spending cuts, countries such as Greece are coping with a fallout that has extended well beyond ordinary civil disobedience.

Perhaps most alarming, analysts here say, has been the resurgence of an anarchist movement, one with a long history in Europe. While militants have been disrupting life in Greece for years, authorities say that anger against the government has now given rise to dozens of new “amateur anarchist” groups.

Faiola does acknowledge that the term is used pretty loosely:

The anarchist movement in Europe has a long, storied past, embracing an anti-establishment universe influenced by a broad range of thinkers from French politician and philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to Karl Marx to Oscar Wilde.

So that’s, let’s see, a self-styled anarchist who was anti-state and anti-private property, the father of totalitarianism, and a witty playwright jailed for his homosexuality.

Defined narrowly, the movement includes groups of urban guerillas, radical youths and militant unionists. More broadly, it encompasses everything from punk rock to WikiLeaks.

And what are these various disgruntled groups opposed to?

The rolling back of social safety nets in Europe began more than a year ago, as countries from Britain to France to Greece moved to cut social benefits and slash public payrolls, to address mounting public debt. At least in the short term, the cuts have held back economic growth and job creation, exacerbating the social pain.

And Greece is not the only place in which segments of society are pushing back.

So these “anarchists” object that the state might cut back on its income transfers and payrolls. That is, they object to the state reducing its size, scope, and power. Odd anarchists, as George Will told the crowd at the 2010 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty dinner:

It leads to the streets of Athens, where we had what the media described as “anti-government mobs.” Anti-government mobs composed almost entirely of government employees going berserk about threats to their entitlements!

Lots of talk in the Post article about anarchists:

“They are taking everything away from us,” [19-year-old law student Nikolas] Ganiaris said. “What will happen when I finish law school? Will I only find a job making copies in a shop? Will I then need to work until I’m 70 before I retire? Will I only get a few hundred euros as pension? What future have I got now?”  (I see this argument for keeping his dole from “other people’s” work and effort as pathetic!  I sincerely hope you do too.  BB)

A radical minority is energizing the anarchist movement, a loose network of anti-establishment groups….

Since then, experts say, the economic crisis has helped the movement thrive, with anarchists positioning themselves as society’s new avengers. Long a den of anarchists, the graffiti-blanketed Exarchia neighborhood is alive anew with dissent. Nihilist youths are patrolling the local park, preventing police from entering and blocking authorities from building a parking lot on the site. On one evening at a local cafe, an anarchist group was broadcasting anti-government messages via a clandestine radio station using a laptop and a few young recruits.

The last vignette in the story is about 20-year-old Nikos Galanos, who has joined the anarchist movement in anger over his mother’s losing her government job and his father’s being the victim of a 15 percent salary cut in his own government job.

“I don’t support violence for violence’s sake, but violence is a response to the violence the government is committing against society,” Galanos said. He later added, “It is now hard for any of us to see a future here. I feel it’s my duty to fight against the system.”  (People who are on the dole never seem to understand the simple fact:  there is NO MORE MONEY.  Have you noticed this?  In fact they don’t even allow the thought of just where the money comes from to support them.  Remember the flap over “Obama money”  where the mobs were lining up for their share?  BB)

In fact, the government has been committing violence against society for decades, by taxing people, overregulating business, and spending money it didn’t have. No wonder youth unemployment is 35 percent. And what is the actual “system” that Mr. Galanos wants to fight? Greek journalist Takis Michas described it at a Cato Forum:

In Greece, the fundamental principle that has been dictating economic and political development since the creation of the Greek state in the 19th century is political clientelism.

This is a system in which political support is provided in exchange for benefits.

In this situation, rent-seeking — the attempt by various groups and individuals to influence the location of political benefits — becomes paramount. The origins of political clientelism can be traced back to the origins of the Greek state in the 1830s. As a left-wing political historian puts it, “The fundamental structure of Greece has never been civil society. Ever since the middle of the 19th century, nothing could be done in Greece without its necessarily passing through the machinery of the state.”…

The largest part of public expenditure was directed, not to public works or infrastructure, but to the wages of public service workers and civil servants….

What makes the case of Greece interesting is that Greece can be said, in a certain sense, to provide the perfect realization of the left’s vision of putting people above markets.

Greek politicians have always placed people (their clients) above markets, with results we can all see today.

Real anarchists, of either the anarcho-capitalist or mutualist variety,  might have something useful to say to Greeks in their current predicament. But disgruntled young people, lashing out at the end of an unsustainable welfare state, are not anarchists in any serious sense. They’re just angry children not ready to deal with reality. But reality has a way of happening whether you’re ready to deal with it or not.

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2 Responses to "“Anarchist” Idiocy resulting from the Nanny State weaning the dependent citizenry"

the problem now for the weened off will be to convince their Government to allow them to access , create and prosper from their own self reliance without Taxation and Regulation that greets them at every step and still extracts their Life’s earning to the Point of Oppression …….

Amen to that. I really don’t see the governments changing or giving up any of their power to control the people even if the government can not any longer support them. The people are going to have to fight another battle for independence once they see that there is no more money and their current battle is futile. BB

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