02.28.2010 0

The Anti-Rebellion

  • On: 03/24/2010 09:49:05
  • In: Fiscal Responsibility
  • By Trevor Sides

    If Western Civilization is on its physical and philosophical deathbed – having been infected by cradle-to-grave welfare mononucleosis, multicultural whooping cough, green fever, and demographic sclerosis – then the riots in Greece aptly, ironically, sum up this death.

    And what a slow, government-subsidized, mostly-painless death it’s been.

    What’s happening in Greece is an anti-rebellion: the people are protesting in the streets not in an effort to get the state off their back, but to keep the state firmly on top of them. Clearly, we’ve come a long way from city-state democracy.

    The Greeks have spent and borrowed their way into a financial crisis far deeper than our own pit of deficit despair. A lack of baby-making Greeks (the country’s fertility rate is hovering around 1.3 – the “lowest low”) have created an untenable situation for a full-blown welfare state: not enough workers to support the entitlement nanny state. And because those selfish, pragmatic Germans won’t bail them out, the Greek government is now cutting the umbilical cord of entitlements just to keep the country afloat.

    German tabloid Bild poured a healthy serving of salt on the Greek wound in an open letter to Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou. “Here, people work until they are 67 and there is no 14-month salary for civil servants. . . . Germany also has high debts but we can settle them. That’s because we get up early and work all day.”

    Oh, snap.

    But like a teenager who never separated emotionally from his mother, the Greek citizenry is rioting in the streets, bawling for their government-run everything back.

    Having been suckled and swaddled from the day of their birth to now, the babes of Greece are throwing a hall of fame hissy because Mommy took their toys away. This might be the first time a society has revolted against its government because it is minimizing its role in the lives of her citizens.

    The birthplace of democracy and Western Civilization burns in fits of government-reliant rage. The smoke from the tear gas and Molotov cocktails rises over the ruins that once served to celebrate individual responsibility and representative forms of government.

    Across the Atlantic, America – the last tower of anything resembling the ethos of Western Civilization – is also nearing the boiling point. But it’s a different kind of boiling point.

    With Obamacare all but codified into law, the horrifying specter of socialized, government-operated health care looms more certain than ever before. If Obama, Pelosi & Co. get this through – by whatever means, including “deem and pass” – it cements European bureaucracized nannyism on American soil.

    The Obama Administration hasn’t, and won’t stop at just socialized medicine, though. Cap-and-trade legislation is rearing its ugly head. Under Obama, we’ve seen the banks, the financial industry and the auto industry (just to name a few) acquiesce to the omnipotence of a State that is far from its roots of 1776.

    So the votes (or lack thereof) draw near for Obamacare, the immovable stake of socialism, intended to be driven deep into the heart of the American spirit and Western heritage. What are we going to do if it passes?

    Are we going to riot like the Greeks? Are the Tea Partiers going to rush the streets in libertarian rage? Do we even have the justification for such a response?

    Or are we, as in previous years, going to extract our revenge at the ballot box? What if ballot-box vindication isn’t enough? What if the GOP takes ownership of Washington and fails to remove the stake?

    What then? What now? Our ancestors in democracy are rioting for more government. Should we be prepared to riot for less government?

    Trevor Sides, former editor of the Akron News-Reporter, is a Liberty Features Syndicate writer for Americans for Limited Government.

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