"Just here to help...Where were your
huddled masses, again?"
A recent article in Salon by Gary Weiss claims that Ron Paul is a "fraudulent populist, friend of the oligarchy, sworn enemy of every social program since Theodore Roosevelt." This claim that "social programs" are populist- and, therefore, helpful to the poor is a common cry we hear from so-called progressives. But let's think this position through.
Reading through the article, one notices that Weiss uses, as Tom Woods puts it, "one sentence arguments- 'Hey, he wants to get rid of this...Hey! He wants to get rid of that.'" Weiss never actually defends these government programs- it is just presumed (with the depth of thought analogous to a puddle) that all these organizations are crucial to common folk. Of course, the effect of all of these programs has been to the extreme detriment of the working class- or in contemporary terms, the 99%. To gain a full understanding of how this is so, one has to delve just slightly beyond the name of the agency- something that Weiss is unwilling to do.
Moreover, Weiss treats Paul's opposition to the warfare state and the Federal Reserve as if these positions are just cutesy-patootsy- just no big deal. These cliques are perhaps the most crucial threats to the poor and middle class that progressives so often claim they are trying to ameliorate! Who else "since Roosevelt" has had the courage to make a stand on these issues? To ignore this is an extreme disservice to progressives. Giving these positions more than just a dismissal could, perhaps, persuade progressives towards Paul- who clearly is a friend of the common man.
However, Weiss commits what is either a sin of omission, or perhaps just a transgression of ignorance. By blindly supporting these agencies of the executive (HUD, Commerce, Interior, Education, and Energy) he reveals himself as a fascist. As Lew Rockwell has recently said "There isn't anyone around who is willing to stand around today and say, 'I'm a fascist. I think fascism is a great economic and political system.' But I submit if they were really honest, the vast majority of politicians, intellectuals, and political activists would have to say just that. Fascism is the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police state as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive state the unlimited master of society." Perhaps this is his "coming out"- although browsing through his page on Slate makes me think it is not so.
What is most insidious about the "logic" Weiss applies in this article is that common people are so easily persuaded by this siren song. Who wouldn't want to get preferential treatment by the government? After all, it is the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, this agency is about as beneficial to common urban folk as the Patriot Act is to true patriots- you know, the sort of folk who might speak out about the Police State- only to be "disappeared" in the name of national security. The true beneficiaries of these programs is the oligarchy that Weiss so vehemently opposes.
Tom Woods has put together a resource page with links to studies confirming that these agencies are nothing more than an institutionalization of subsidies (at our expense) to well-connected people and organizations. The amount of money handed over in the name of "progress" is staggering. Just looking at the corruption in HUD is conclusive that these agencies are solely designed to perpetuate the nexus between those in government power, and their comrades in the (so-called) private sector.
As Rockwell points out, these executive agencies seem so innocuous because we have come to expect fascism as the normal order of business: "This describes mainstream politics in America today...In fact, it's so much a part of the mainstream, it's hardly noticed anymore." Indeed- either Weiss hasn't noticed, or is simply disguising his fascist tenancies as "progressive." What a box to find one's self in- he is either ignorant, and not a true "intellectual," or there is something far more Machiavellian going on here.