Is liberty the next stop in human political evolution? Let’s hope so. From Jeffrey Tucker at aier.org:
Anyone paying close attention at the turn of the 21st century could foresee the impending failure of the social-democratic consensus throughout the developed world.
The exalted experts who rose to power in the postwar period built gigantic state-based systems of social management and control and took over vast swaths of private society, imposing planning schemes across many sectors of economic life. They imagined themselves to be permanent fixtures of the socio-economic system. After all, this approach won the war (so they said), so why couldn’t it win the peace?
But there was a problem: over time nothing worked as it was supposed to. There were massive internal contradictions within the model, as Amity Shlaes shows in her new book on the Great Society. The new systems relied on bureaucratic command, not market signals. There was another problem: they were hugely imposing on people’s lives and property, and people don’t like that. Or rather: they will put up with it so long as they perceive that the benefits exceed or at least match the costs.
Building that apparatus – the efforts really began about a century ago, extended through the New Deal, but became a full model of social control in the postwar period – depended fundamentally on its successful sales pitch: these were programs built by workers for the sake of social justice, for the poor, for the marginalized, against plutocratic elites.