Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bureaucracy as an Ideal

Sen Clinton is promising to return to an old issue:
"We're going to have universal health care when I'm president — there's no doubt about that. We're going to get it done," the New York senator and front-runner for the 2008 nomination said.
Her efforts would not make the Cato institute happy:
Under the Clinton plan, the government would have taken control of nearly one-seventh of the U.S. economy. It would have established the world's largest government program -- dwarfing even Social Security -- created a huge new bureaucracy and required massive tax increases. The entire idea behind the Clinton health care plan was that government knew best -- better than businesses, better than doctors, and better than patients. The Clinton plan would have required every business in America to provide health care coverage to its employees, regardless of cost. The mandate would have devastated small businesses and cost thousands of jobs.
Why would Democrats want to trust their health care, their lives really, to a government bureaucracy? Because they expect a lot from a bureaucracy. Consider, for perspective, a 1911 publication, "Socialism and Religion," claiming how, when the socialists run government, the government will become perfectly intelligent and reasonable:
[The modern class-dominated state] still leaves room for religion, because it maintains ignorance and confusion by its structure and contradictions and because religion is fostered as a handmaiden of class rule. .... [Socialism will provide] an intelligently organised society. The matter has been put in a nutshell by Marx in the chapter on "Commodities" in Capital, volume 1:
"The religious reflex of the real world can, in any case, only then finally vanish, when the practical relations of everyday life offer to man none but perfectly intelligible and reasonable relations with regard to his fellow men and to nature.

"The life process of society, which is based on the process of material production, does not strip off its mystical veil until it is treated as production by freely associated men, and is consciously regulated by them in accordance with a settled plan.

"This, however, demands for society a certain material groundwork or set of conditions of existence which in their turn are the spontaneous product of a long and painful process of development."

It is, therefore, a profound truth that Socialism is the natural enemy of religion. Through Socialism alone will the relations between men in society, and their relations to Nature, become reasonable, orderly, and completely intelligible, leaving no nook or cranny for superstition. The entry of Socialism is, consequently, the exodus of religion. [emphasis added]
Like Sen Clinton and the Democrats of today, the socialists of 1911 believed that a government bureaucracy would be "intelligent" and " reasonable," at least if run by the right people, that is, respectively, Democrats or socialists. The idea that a humans can make a perfect bureaucracy seems so against history and experience that the belief itself would appear to be a religion.

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