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We Are All Socialists Now

Once upon a time, a little chicken named Chicken Little was sitting under a tree when an acorn fell on her head. In a panic, she ran around telling everybody who would listen that the sky was falling. At first nobody believed her, but finally one particularly silly and vulnerable little creature panicked with her. Then that silly little creatures silly mother believed her out of sentiment, which drew in her father out of family loyalty.

Pretty soon Chicken Little ran into a little mouse who doubted that the sky was falling. “Look at all these others who know it is,” cried Chicken Little, that little chicken. How could little mouse deny it. Of course, all these other creatures couldn’t be wrong. So the little mouse joined the little Chicken Little gang. It wasn’t long before most of the little creatures in the animal kingdom had become chickens, unable to argue against the sagacity of the group.

Then they approached Fox Hart.

It didn’t take Fox Hart but a second to realize what was going on because he could smell fear from a mile away. “Yes, clearly the sky is falling,” he said, “But what has Chicken Little done to help you?” In no time at all the creatures had turned on Chicken Little and plucked her feathers. “Tell us what to do,” they cried anxiously to Fox Hart.

Now the first thing Fox Hart did was to ensure that anybody who denied that the sky was falling would lose his position. The entire Flammulated Owl family lost their nesting rights. In fact, of all the owl clans, only the Screech Owls maintained their manorial claims. And to do so they had to screech twice as often as normal. Any Professor that didn’t provide evidence that the sky was falling was denied tenure.

A great drain was established on the edge of Fox Hart’s dominions where creatures’ brains were released from the bondage of their owners’ heads.

At last every creature in the great kingdom of Fox Hart was drawn into a vast corral and, one by one, Fox ate them. Usually because they owed him so much they could never pay him back, so they let him cook them for dinner. They thought he was quite clever and helpful while they boiled.

And they all deserved exactly what they got, which is precisely the point of the true Chicken Little story.

Virtually every change that has occured in our nation’s approach to politics over the last century is rooted in our fear of self-governance. We have abandoned our patrimony because we did not trust our ability to make decisons or our capacity to endure hardship, so we handed our decisions to the government. Now, as Newsweek’s cover article said last week, “we are all socialists.”

We have long had socialist schools. We have seen our federal governmennt expand its control over the banks. In the stimulus package it has established agencies to meddle deeply in health care and to politicize the inspectors general (who investigate charges of fraud and corruption).

We have, because we are afraid, granted unbelievable powers to our federal government, abandoning any pretence of self-governance in the process. Is it worth mentioning all the powers we have handed over to the unelected bureaucracy at the United Nations?

Because every time an acorn hits our head we cry out with Chicken Little, “The Sky is Falling!”

God have mercy on our children. Perhaps we will end up calling it down on ourselves in the end. But let us not believe for a moment that there are not fear-smelling foxes seeking whom they may devour.

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