Return of the "Third Way"
The wolf sports a brand new suit of sheep's clothing called the "Third Way." It has been tailored by prime minister Tony Blair of Britain, and by President and Mrs. Clinton in America. The newly-elected chancellor of Germany and the prime minister of France have hastened to add their affirmative vote. Approval from Italy is a forgone conclusion.
"Third Way, Better Way" writes Tony Blair (Washington Post, 9/27). Better than what? There is only confusion as he recalls a profusion of agendas from the recent past. He carefully avoids any mention of political philosophies, let alone principles. He knows why.
We are already drowning in labels forced upon us as much by muddled thinking as by specific agendas. We have accepted as rational that opposite economic, social and "cultural" attitudes may reside within one and the same bosom. Now we are instructed that opposites are bad altogether, that we must all agree to meet "in the center" (the Germans call it "The New Middle"). Thus we shall enter Paradise led by men who have at last liberated themselves from all guiding principles and believe in nothing whatsoever. Nothing to vote for, nothing to vote against.
Of course we could salivate over the massive savings that will result. Imagine: no more electioneering! Now there is campaign finance reform for you. As the years go by, we would simply publish that our leaders have received 93 per cent of the vote. That's how they did it in the Soviet Empire, which included Hungary where I grew up. It was never 92 or 94 - always the same number, just like President Clinton's job approval.
Come to think, it was back there also that I first heard about the "Third Way." Hard to believe, but the Russian revolution of 1917 was hailed by many European intellectuals as the "Third Way." No lesser authority than Georg Lukacs, doyen of communist thinkers in this century, welcomed it thus. Yet his was just one of countless instances over many centuries when third-way rhetoric and labels were deployed to conceal true intent.
Unless a thorough clean-up of all deceptive rhetoric and labels is undertaken, we will be swallowed whole by the wolf. And once America has been swallowed, there will be no one left to cut us out of its stomach.
First, "right" and "left." By designating the Third Reich as "right," Soviet propaganda in the 1930's revived use of this dichotomy to conceal the fact that Hitler's Germany was a socialist state, just like Stalin's Russia. Today, socialists use the same deception to insinuate "Nazi" overtones in the thinking of anyone who believes in America's founding principles, in God, or in America as a nation.
Thus the use of "right" and "left" inadvertently promotes the socialist agenda.
Next, "conservative" and "liberal." What, we must ask ourselves, was conservative about America's founders, to this day the most forward-looking men in history? Why do we accept the preposterous notion that Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin were more "progressive" - unless progressive equals "socialist"? And why do we countenance expropriation of the word "liberal" by socialists, as they had done with "liberty" (the official salute of the Bolshevik Party), or "peace" (the battle-cry of communists)?
The use of "conservative" and "liberal" helps to conceal the socialist agenda.
Finally, "capitalism" and "socialism." Capitalism, as this column has noted repeatedly, was the brainchild of Karl Marx, something to demean and to attack. Serious publications, like the Encyclopaedia Britannica, did not even print such an entry until recent times. In any event, capitalism as defined by Marx simply has not been applicable to American conditions. Our free-enterprise economy is the exact opposite of a rigid class system.
Describing the American way as "capitalism" perpetuates the hoax.
On the other hand, we ought to use "socialism" and "socialist" where appropriate. And it is entirely appropriate to say that the "Third Way" is the new sheep's clothing for that old wolf. Cats have nine lives, but the wolf in our midst has as many lives as it can invent disguises. And its ability to dress up in the attire most suited to the place and time explains its continuing attraction, despite its history of failure upon failure. If expedient, it will validate man's most violent impulses (as in Russia, Germany, China), and just as deftly feign an appeal to the best in us, as in America today.
The proponents of a "Third Way" are Europe's socialists and communists (actually known as such over there), and America's presidential couple, long-time admirers of the European socialist model. And Tony Blair - Mr. Third Way himself - has just given us a practical demonstration. By arresting Chile's General Augusto Pinochet, he has thrown overboard 783 years of British legal tradition, sole secular source of our liberties.
But above all, the perpetual search for a third way confirms that, for the time-being, we have only two. Check your local library. The same two have been defined and redefined countless times. Underneath a profusion of labels, they all derive from the European socialist model on the one side, and its only true opposite: the principles of America's founding on the other.
Please bear that in mind as you prepare to cast your vote on November 3.