Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination was easily the most overt display of authoritarian fear-mongering I can remember seeing in American politics. The entire speech was dark and dystopian, painting America as a dismal, dangerous place beset by violent outsiders. In response to the nation’s problems, Trump had only one solution: Donald Trump, the strongman who would take America back, by force if necessary.
Nearly ten years ago Sheldon Richman warned of the dangers of economic nationalism. A slice (link added):
It is only when the ideology of nationalism — often a cover for special labor and industrial interests — is permitted to muddy clear economic thinking that common sense is tossed to the wind and obvious truths are traded for rank fallacies. As Bastiat taught, Robinson Crusoe would never shove a useful plank that has washed ashore back out to sea because the free good robs him of work. He doesn’t have enough time to make all the things he wants, so the freed-up time represented by the plank is a windfall. Yet at the national level, people fall for that one all the time. For some folks, nothing could be worse than dumping.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Charles Koch correctly explains that political responses to people’s pessimism about the future will make the future one about which pessimism is justified. A slice:
The state often claims to keep its citizens safe, when it is actually inhibiting increased individual well-being. See, for example, the FDA’s astronomically expensive and time-consuming drug-approval process, which University of Chicago professor Sam Peltzman argues has caused “more sickness and death than it prevented.” These kinds of harmful barriers to life-enhancing advances exist at every level of government.