Weekend 193.1

To put this in plain terms, Americans and their institutions have tended to choose the self-interest and individualism of the free market over the nationalized model more prevalent in postwar Europe. The faith once put in planning now seems so remote, even obscure, that its historical retrieval faces decades of cavalier indifference or ideological antagonism, a form of silencing fueled by Cold War anxiety, bull market profits, as well as the failures of American attempts at creating a public safety net. — Andrew M. Shanken

(1) If we are to survive the looming catastrophe, we need to face the truth

This was the heaven on earth for which liberal democracy had been striving: a system of wealth redistribution that was merciful but not Marxist, and a guarantee of lifelong economic and social security for everyone that did not involve totalitarian government. This was the ideal the European Union was designed to entrench. It was the dream of Blairism, which adopted it as a replacement for the state socialism of Old Labour. And it is the aspiration of President Obama and his liberal Democrats, who want the United States to become a European-style social democracy.

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