The American founding fathers viewed individual freedom as the cornerstone of the new American state. At the same time, they understood freedom within the framework of the relationship between a state and a man (by analogy with the fact that religion is the relationship between God and man). This human-state paradigm formed the basis of the new state (although the founding fathers did not use this term).
They correctly noticed that the higher the state’s role in a person’s life, the less individual freedom a person has, and vice versa: the smaller the state’s role in a person’s life, the higher the individual freedom. This postulate of the classical liberalism of the eighteenth century in the twenty-first century began to be called conservatism, and for some unimaginable reason, neo-Marxism began to be called liberalism even though it has nothing to do with liberalism.
By the 20th century, this idea was formalized, and the level of taxation became one of the tools in the assessment of the state system. This (formal) approach allows us to compare the state structures of even different eras. At the same time, we are talking about total taxes in all their manifestations (taxes, fines, administrative fees, “voluntary” donations, confiscations, bribes, racketeering, etc.) – that is, everything that is one way or another withdrawn from citizens by the state.
Countries with low taxes are countries with a small government apparatus and, as a result, with great individual freedom. These are right-wing countries to which most of the developed capitalist countries belonged at a certain stage of their development.
Countries with high taxes are countries with a low level of individual freedom – left-wing countries. These are countries with a vast and omnipotent state apparatus, which, unlike right-wing countries, have a strong predisposition toward totalitarianism and tyranny. Therefore, without exception, all countries that have chosen the left (socialist) path of development ultimately fall into one or another form of totalitarianism. Examples are the Third Reich (the nominal level of taxation exceeded 90%) and the USSR (the level of taxes is estimated at 90-95%).
Every rule has its exceptions. For example, Fascist Italy had a relatively low (for the leftist country) level of taxes, but Mussolini found another, equally effective mechanism of total state control: syndicalism (also known as Italian corporatism). The owners of enterprises, workers, and their trade unions of each separate industry forcibly united into syndicates, which became the main administrative unit of the state under the total control of the latter. Mussolini’s methods found their followers in America – the economic policy of Franklin Roosevelt (the National Recovery Administration was the American version of Italian corporatism) and Barack Obama’s attempts at leftist reforms (General Motors reorganization and implementation of Obamacare) were based on the syndicalist idea.
The idea of the superiority of individual freedom and individual good over the public good is the mechanism that led to the transformation of the backward colonies of North America into the mighty United States of America. At the same time, the dynamics of the development of political parties in our country is much more complicated, and the one-dimensional scale of the man-state does not sufficiently correspond to modern realities. However, if we take not one, but two variables into consideration – not only the level of taxes, but also the size of the federal government – then a two-dimensional political matrix of Washington will appear. This matrix consists of four cells:
In the upper left corner is the Democratic Party of the USA – the left-wing party, which advocates high taxes and a massive government (that is, a large state budget relative to the country’s economy). Their opposite (in the lower right corner) is conservatives, whose political position is based on low taxes and a small government.
Only these two ideologies of the four presented in the matrix are internally consistent. The internal logic of these ideologies is clear: a big government requires massive taxes (Democrats), and lower taxes are needed to maintain a small government (conservatives).
The other two ideologies carry internal contradictions that do not allow these ideologies to hope for any long-term existence. One of these parties – the party of high taxes and a small government – never came to power in America, and, as far as it is known, such a party never has come to power anywhere in the world. High taxes and a small government are incompatible with each other. Such a party does not even have a name (indicated by a question mark in the matrix). The party that comes to power on this platform will not be able to avoid the temptation and will necessarily move to the left (to the place now occupied by the Democratic Party).
Another party with contradictory ideology is the Republican Party. Its official ideology is also nonsense. The desire to set low taxes is incompatible with the desire of a large government. A big government needs a lot of money, so Republican ideology is made possible primarily by borrowing money from future generations of Americans.
In this, the Republican Party is in the same positions as the Democratic Party. As a result, over the past eight years (when the Republicans had a majority in the House of Representatives), the U.S. national debt increased by almost 8 trillion dollars. Of these, $6 trillion in debt was acquired under Obama and $2 trillion under Trump. In other words, $1 trillion dollars a year (that is, a little less than $2 million per minute) is the price of supporting the incoherent Republican ideology.
The Democratic Party of the USA is also a full-fledged accomplice of the Republicans in withdrawing money from future generations of Americans. That is why there are rumors that these two parties, alternately coming to power in America, are actually factions of the same party – a Uniparty. This is not the case, but the above matrix shows on what grounds the rumors about the Uniparty are based.
If the Democratic Party is almost monolithic in its ideology (disagreements within the party can be based only on varying degrees of leftism – from moderate left to left radicals), then the Republican Party consists of several factions. One of them is the conservatives (represented by the Freedom Caucus). There are also other, less formal factions we know, such as the “moderate Republicans” faction and the “Republicans in name only” (RINO) faction. The last faction represents the left wing of the party, which is a source of major internal contradictions, since, by the above matrix, it is indistinguishable from the Democrats.
The 2018 midterm elections were held under the banner of “purge the moderates.” Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have practically gotten rid of them. The Democrats noticeably moved to the left, and the Republicans noticeably moved to the right. The process of the hijacking of the Democratic Party by neo-Marxists, which lasted more than 100 years, had been fully completed, but the parallel process of taking over its Republican Party host by conservatives has not yet reached its end point. The current level of political polarization does not allow us to hope for any compromises. The struggle for the country’s sovereignty (meaning the political confrontation over the wall on the border with Mexico) and the putsch of the American intelligence community against Trump are only the beginning episodes in the life of an “uncompromising” Washington.
If the history of the USSR, Fascist Italy, National Socialist Germany, Cuba, Venezuela, and other leftist countries teaches us anything, it is that these regimes are viable for just one or two, maximum three generations. We know that the Utopian left’s ideology, however attractive it may be, is a losing ideology.
The fact that Trump became president of the United States is part of the process of promoting conservatives for leadership within the Republican Party. Trump is the leading indicator of the creative destruction of the contradictory Republican political structure.
[Originally published at American Thinker]