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Old 01-24-2008, 04:04 AM   #8
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It's not an either/or thing, as if the only two alternatives out there are the former Soviet system and pure, unalloyed Social Darwinism.

Otto von Bismarck tried to tell the Kaiser that, urging him to adopt what by present standards would be considered a very modest social safety net. The Kaiser didn't take Bismarck's advice - and when World War I broke out, the German working class didn't exactly get behind the war effort 100 per cent - which was a major contributing issue in Germany's defeat in that war (in his famous testimony before the Reichstag after the war, Paul von Hindenburg blamed the "socialists, trade unionists, and Jews" for Germany losing the war).

Now fast-forward this scenario about a century, and transfer it across the Atlantic. Who can blame lower-income people in this country for opposing the war in Iraq, and in fact the War on Islam generally? And if things get really out of hand, they may very well end up doing what the Irish did in 1916 or the Ukranians did in 1941.

That's the thing about Social Darwinism: It has an uncanny knack for getting itself replaced by its diametrical opposite; and the replacement process has a strong tendency to be horribly violent - see France circa 1790 and Russia circa 1920.

Bismarck understood this. America's contemporary conservative leadership does not.
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