In his great classic, Socialism, Ludwig von Mises observed that socialists always employed the dual strategy of 1) nationalizing as much industry and property as possible; and 2) “destructionism,” defined as “destroying the social order which is based on private ownership.” Destructionism can be achieved through the welfare state, progressive taxation, onerous taxation, and regulation and regimentation of private industry. It is a form of economic sabotage.
There is also a third necessity in order for socialists to achieve their goal of a government “planned” society: the centralization of power and the elimination of all possible exits. As Mises wrote in another of his classics, Omnipotent Government, “[T]he adversaries of the trend toward more government control describe their opposition as a fight against . . . centralization. It is conceived as a contest of states’ rights versus the central power.” This, of course, is what the “Brexit” vote in Great Britain was all about.
The proponents of totalitarian government control, whether they call themselves socialists or something else, have always attacked decentralization, states’ rights, federalism, and all other means of the devolution of power in society. Adolf Hitler bemoaned “the struggle between federalism and states rights” in Mein Kampf and promised that the “National Socialists [i.e. , Nazis] would totally eliminate states’ rights altogether” (Mein Kampf, 1998 Houghton Mifflin edition, p. 565).
American history has been one long march toward more and more centralized governmental power and less and less freedom as a consequence. It began with Alexander Hamilton’s proposal at the constitutional convention for a “permanent president” who would appoint all state governors who would have veto power over all state legislation. His plan failed after being tarred by the Jeffersonians as essentially the British empire without Great Britain.
The “Civil War” created a great centralization of political power and effectively turned all states, North, and South, into mere appendages of Washington, D.C. This trend was perpetually strengthened by all subsequent wars as war is always and everywhere the health of the state.
Franklin D. Roosevelt even proposed effectively abolishing the states altogether as political entities as a means of eliminating all opposition to his grandiose, socialistic plans for America. As described by Frank Chodorov in The Income Tax: Root of All Evil (page 82).
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