My Take on What Statism Is
I think that in the above statism meme, the Atlas Society does a good job of answering the “What is statism?” question.
Statism isn’t the belief that some form of government is a good thing. Most everyone believes that. For example, no reasonable libertarian today would call the Founding Fathers statists.
Yet, they, after the American Revolution, developed the US Constitution and federal form of government. Then, some of them went on to write about why that form of government is a good thing in The Federalist Papers!
So, that’s what statism isn’t. You can still be a libertarian or libertarian-leaning conservative and believe that some form of government is a good thing. But, in America, that belief has traditionally assumed that we’re talking about small government, not Big Government. Big Government is equivalent to statism, which is evil.
Statism is the belief that government can solve all of the ills facing society.
In my opinion, statism in America began during the Gilded Age. When I read The Republic for Which It Stands, I was amazed by the Big Government solutions thrown at problems during that time period.
Rather than letting the wage market sort itself out naturally, the government began introducing minimum wage laws. Instead of letting consumers find and buy the best product, alphabet-soup agencies were created by the bakers’ dozen to regulate every area of life and business. Now we’re living in a highly regulated country.
That’s not what America was meant to be, as I wrote about in my analysis of Ayn Rand’s quote on rule by brute force. No, America is supposed to have a representative form of government that rarely, if ever, intrudes on your life. That’s what the Founding Fathers intended and is the proper role of government.
America has traditionally been the “good guy” internationally, as Dinesh D’Souza wrote about in America: Imagine a World Without Her. That justness of our cause has been in part due to our small government. While colonial, Big Government European countries squabble or third-world militias massacre civilians, America fights for freedom.
But now the liberals want to do away with all of that. To combat climate change, they want a big government that will solve everything. Nevermind that the free market will solve pollution-related issues, as Milton Friedman explained in Capitalism and Freedom, the left wants Big Government now!
Or they’re worried about wealth inequality and want a big government to step in and fix it. It doesn’t matter to them that wage inequality arguments are ridiculous because there’s no indication that wealth inequality is a bad thing, they want it gone now!
What is statism? That is. The belief that government can solve any issue, real or imaginary.
By: Gen Z Conservative