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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Attack of the Obama Technocrats



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I have a piece out in the Weekly Standard that I think nails the Obama agenda of "fundamental transformation."  From, "Power Grab:"

To paraphrase Freud: Liberals, what do they really want? Not the communism or socialism of the right’s fever dreams. They know that didn’t work. Today’s liberal agenda is more akin to the corporatist vision of the 1920s and ’30s—an economy in which the state directs the activities of the private sector to achieve ideologically desired ends. But even that description doesn’t quite get to the nub of it. Liberals today seek to create a stable, and what they perceive to be a socially just, society via rule by experts—in which most of the activities of society are micromanaged by technocrats for the economic and social benefit of the whole. In other words, social democracy without the messiness of democracy, like the European Union’s rule-by-bureaucrats-in-Brussels. This is the “fundamental transformation” that President Obama seeks to implement in this country.

I mention how left wing technocrats prefer to issue direct orders to the private sector (Pelosi, Bloomberg) and right wing technocrats try to fashion fancy incentives to persuade the private sector to take desired action (Gingrich).  The point is to protect us from ourselves and create equality of result, which works out nice for job security because that means a technocrat's work is never done since the goal can never be attained. Obamacare broke ground "for a full bore EU-style bureaucratic state," with the Independent Payment Advisory Board leading the charge. I get into the details of the fast track authority, which allows IPAB's word to literally become law. I point out that the current relatively limited powers of IPAB are likely to expand--that means rationing, baby!--with appropriate quotes as evidence. I then get into an even deeper point:

Technocracy is ultimately not about expertise but about determining the common moral values of society. It does not countenance competing centers of moral authority. It is no surprise that the first major regulation promulgated under the ACA by the Obama administration directly attacked freedom of religion by requiring sectarian institutions and private businesses to provide their employees free birth control and sterilization surgeries even if it violates their religious consciences. Obamacare is also a splendid vehicle for imposing liberal social values that technocrats favor. Thus, the next time the Democrats enjoy one-party rule, expect them to amend the ACA first to permit, then to mandate, abortion coverage. Indeed, Obamacare could easily become the vehicle for enacting many profoundly culture-changing policies, such as requiring employers to cover free in-vitro fertilization, not to mention sex reassignment surgery, and eventually assisted suicide.

I conclude:

In this sense, the current election is about far more than policy issues such as taxation, spending, and terrorism. More profoundly, we will find out whether the voters are ready to allow a second term President Obama to transform Washington, D.C., into Brussels on the Potomac.

Yes, the stakes are that high.



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