Sunday, October 7, 2018

Trump's Role in the Advance of Socialism

There seems to be some serious confusion on the part of Trump fanboys as to what is going on in America. Trump did not start the current move toward socialism, but he has acted as an accelerant and killed most opposition to big government.

Consider these comments left here at TL under the post POLL: Nearly Half of Millennial Democrats Identify as Socialist or Democratic Socialist (my responses are in blue)

One commenter left this:

I really am not surprised by this. It has been a long time coming, and maybe Trump has added fuel to the fire, but this certainly isn't a new trend. Who do you think teaches your children? Successful business owners? Hard working people fleeing socialist countries? Or lazy do nothings who picked the easiest major and job they could find while complaining how little they get paid? 
 Who said this is a new trend? The problem to a large degree post-Trump victory is that there is little in the way of Trump opposition. The "successful business owners" have been co-opted by Trump. So all the kids see in opposition to socialism is "successful business owners" who cheer on the crude buffoon who keeps the crony economy running. 

There is near zero support for liberty. This is the problem. It is a mistake to think that becasue the move toward socialism started before Trump that he has not played an influential in its advancement and the lack of serious anti-state opposition. 

With Hillary we would have been half way towards a socialist nation already.
Oh please, how do you think things would be seriously different under Hillary? The only point of significant difference would have been a welcome serious opposition to expanding government under Hillary because of the large part of the masses that are obsessed with Hillary and hate her. Under Trump, we get an expanding state and no one cares. Do I need to remind anyone that the new Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh, nominated by Trump, was instrumental in the creation of the Patriot Act?

You are delusional if you think Trump is the anti-Hillary.

I’m no Trump fan boy, but let’s not lay the blame for this lunacy on his doorstep. The truth is that neither these idiots nor the vast majority of Trumpistas can make a cogent distinction between socialism and the free market. These folks would be touting this banner, or something like it even if Trotsky - er, I mean Sanders had somehow secured the Dem nomination without a case of the Arkansas flu and gone on to the White House. The Kochs’ name would be on that banner instead, or maybe Rand Paul’s. Trump has not doomed us, nor will he save us. The die was cast long ago; keep your powder dry.
"Keep your powder dry"?

What the hell does this mean? Are you expecting some kind of libertarian revolution and we should wait until we see the whites of their eyes? 

Again, the point is that Trump has silenced opposition to the expanding state. The Fed is not ended. It is as establishment as ever and Trump has nominated an individual for the Fed who is in favor of magnetic strips in money and negative interest rates.

Relations with China, Russia and Iran are all worse now than the day Trump became President.

Where is the non-stop libertarian opposition to Trump? There is hardly any.

How are the kids going to learn about opposition to Trump that is not socialist when few attack Trump from the libertarian side?

Anyway, people grow up, they change. I certainly was not born or raised with an understanding of Austrian Economics. You wrote that it'll be difficult to turn this crowd towards liberty. The noisy ones, yes. But there are a lot of sane ones who are also silent.
I repeat, the problem is that few are attacking Trump when he is a perfect foil for libertarians to use in explaining libertarian objections to socialism and the crony capitalism that Trump represents.  

How are they going to grow up and adopt libertarianism if few are using the current opportunity to aggressively attack the socialists and Trump?

I would say at least 30% of current libertarians became so because of the heroic presidential run of Ron Paul who stuck to libertarian principles and America got to see that.

"This is what Trump has brought and it is going to be very difficult to turn this crowd toward liberty, very difficult"

If you honestly believe that these kids were turned socialist in less than two years because Trump was elected, then their minds should be pliable enough for your airtight arguments for a PPS. Assuming they'll spend the shekels to buy your book, of course.
Well, I see that you have a reading comprehension problem if you read my book. I explain in Chapter 15 of the book the process by which intellectual movements change and how it is nearly impossible for such a radical book such as mine to take an immediate foothold.  

Indeed, I start off the Chapter 15 this way:
I really don't expect a full Private Property Society to emerge any time soon. If you think it is going to occur in the near future, you are fooling yourself.
You appear to be very confused about the role Trump has played in the advancement of socialism versus the current form of the movement that can be traced back to the Frankfurt School of the interwar years.

Bottom line: The point is that at this current key point in history, when cultural Marxists and Postmodernist seeds have developed and taken root, under Trump the support for hardcore liberty is nearly non-existent. It is not that Trump started the movement toward socialism, he did not. But his appearance on the scene has killed the fever for liberty, He has tricked the anti-socialist masses into thinking that he is the opposition to a Hillery-style power grab when he is just a different type of power grabber. It\s perfect feeding ground for statists of all types, with the kids leaning socialist.



  1. I mean keep your powder dry literally, but as a course of promoting immediate survival, not for awaiting any “libertarian” revolutuon. Massive social unrest is coming. The population has been dumbed down; they can’t even grasp the arguments of Hazlitt and Block, you’d better forget about them picking up Mises and being converted. They run on emotion, on grievance. Mr. Wenzel, you live in the Bay Area. As an upper middle class white man, you are going to be in existential danger should the leftists and urban primitives in your neck woods boil over. The local polizei may not have your back, in fact they may prove to be the biggest danger. This is a situation that has been brewing for decades, as great of a carnival barking clown as Trump is, this barbaric socialist moment is not his doing. I love your websites and have much respect for your efforts - so I do hope you keep your powder dry!

    1. When the (borrowed) money runs out and the dollar is no longer the reserve currency... Then!

    2. Then, move to Fairbanks... plenty of room for you here Robert, should the commie Bay Area become dangerous. Well, more dangerous.

  2. Robert, were you making these same points when Bush Jr. got elected instead of Al Gore? Did you think then that this killed the opposition to big government? Were you disappointed in libertarian opposition to Bush Jr.? Given that both Bush and Trump are big-government, crony-capitalist GOPers (is there any other kind?), I'm trying to understand if your point is that there is something unique about Trump, or if you would make these same points any time a GOP president is elected.

    1. thats true but they weren't 22 trillion bucks in the hole then.
      My bet is they think that having two camps fighting each other over irrelevancies, will be great for them and their special interests

  3. Mr. Wenzel - you've had a very interesting analysis of the Trump phenomenon and were very prescient in predicting how Trump's rise would snuff out the remains of Ron Paul's movement shortly after Trump announced his candidacy in 2015. One interesting anecdote I'd like to share - in 2008 when Ron Paul was running his presidential campaign, I often spoke excitedly about him to my millennial friends and so many of them had the same response, which is that they liked a lot of what he said but he's 'kooky' on wars & foreign policy or rolling back the welfare state. This came from conservatives and liberals alike. Now libertarians understand that these two areas are the most important, so if the masses can't even grasp a basic idea like that after a nationally covered presidential campaign, we are in for a rough ride.

  4. its crystal why you are venting your spleen on this RW ... I really is. What flabbergasts me about this shift is no one ever discusses the clear trend of public education being solely culpable for the dumbing down of the current young generation and the seed planting of socialism.

    The fact that no one yells for heads of these false educators is the biggest mystery of my boomer generation! Its not politicians that are the great evil of the world its teachers that teach kids wrong.

  5. While I generally agree with RW on this, I don’t think you have to invoke any kind of strategic justification for why Trump is problematic for liberty. Rather, the much more immediate and serious problem is that he’s bad for liberty because he advocates for and implements big-government, statist policies.

    It’s probably true that Trump is turning some towards socialism, but there are also some silver linings. He’s destroying the GOP’s credibility as opponents of big government. Previously, republicans at least gave lip service to individual liberty and economic freedom, but in the wake of Trump, these claims will ring more hollow than ever. People who are interested in promoting liberty will be less likely to waste their time with republicans.

    1. Yeah, he is destroying GOP credibility but by chasing kids into the arms of the socialists.

      Where have you seen any opposition to Trump being a big government guy? Not happening.

  6. You say under Hillary there would have been opposition to expanding government...where would that opposition have come from, your imagination? Voting for Trump was a roll of the dice, that is all. Trump said things that were anti-establishment which was better than Hillary's rant. I think most knew that Trump had no solid base. He was all over the place philosophically from the get-go, and unfortunately he continued to be so. To believe Hillary as President would have begun an opposition to government is wishful thinking.

    1. But you overlook a key component of modern lolbertarianism, which is Eutopia. If you can't have an end to the state all at once then you are supporting evil because reasons.

  7. Trump is imperfect but this as good as its going to get. If the gets elected for another four years, that might hold the country together. Trump did roll back a lot of Obama era crap that was strangling business. Trump is doing some questionable things with the tariff issue and NAFTA issue. Trump has made some notable pardons. He has been great for trolling the leftist and letting them show themselves for what they are which is violent lunatics that need to be physically removed from society.

    1. It’s fun watching Trump troll the leftists but “good as it’s going to get,” Really? Trump is complaining about Powell’s Fed interest rate increases like he doesn’t know how the system works. He looks silly when the bankers ignore his tweets about the stock market and show him who’s in charge.