I used to think that John Paul II’s jihad against the church working for the poor, going so far as to expel priests who were causing right wing despots grief, which pretty much repudiated 1800 years of church history was an anomaly.
JP2 clearly hated the Soviets, he hated communism, and it left him with an antipathy to anti-poverty action by the Roman Catholic Church.
I had kind of hoped that other folks who objected to the excesses of Communism, and those excesses are legion, had found perspective if they had remained in leadership positions.
Now, in the middle of the greatest economic crisis in 3 generations, we are seeing leaders who grew up in former communist nations trying to turn to Hoovernomics, because they have a visceral revulsion to anything that remotely looks like economic management by the state.
It doesn’t matter if the most successful model in fixing this has been the Swedish model, state capitalization and take over followed by sale when the conference is over, it’s just too pink for them.
In the first case, we have Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who appears to be trying his level best to destroy any coherent EU response to the economic crisis:
Klaus, an admirer of Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher, says “excessive state intervention” and “irresponsible increases of state expenditures” are behind the global financial crisis, according to an October commentary he wrote for Mlada Fronta Dnes newspaper.
Hoovernomics as driven by what are now archaic anti-Soviet and anti-Communists.
And let us not forget Angela Merkel, who is content to (mis)manage the largest economy in the EU, and also continues to go the Hoovernomics route:
With battle lines sharpening, the German government appears determined to resist calls to spend an additional €40 billion to fight its way out of the recession, according to officials attending a meeting in the Chancellery in the past week.
It appears that in the case of Merkel, there has been extensive lobbying from what amounts to the German Chamber of Commerce to lower taxes, but that is were she wanted to be in the first place, until other EU members dope slapped some sense into her.
I’m wondering how true this is of a generation that lived through a revolution.
If the US founding fathers were the exception, we were very, very lucky.