An important article by William Voegli. Excerpt:
The case against Swedenization, then, is that it threatens a soft and insidious despotism. Unlike the totalitarianism of the USSR, where the evil flowed from the top down, engulfing every aspect of society, the danger posed by social democracy is of social, political, and economic debilitations’ compounding one another. Progressivism began as, and remains, “an alliance of experts and victims,” according to Harvey Mansfield, a professor of government at Harvard. It gains strength as the experts assert their expertise more confidently and the victims accept their helplessness more compliantly. The kind of robust mediating structures Tocqueville thought essential to the success of democracy in America will not prevail against that alliance. If the experts determine that employer-provided health insurance must include contraception, the objections of religious organizations opposed to some or all forms of contraception are immaterial. The possibility that the republic’s free citizens could initiate financial or employment arrangements to secure contraceptives, rather than relying completely on government directives to their employers, is also ruled out of order.
To which I add:
The aim of the Left is to weaken the once robust "mediating structures" of civil society that serve as a buffer between individual and state. Among these are the family, private charities, voluntary service organizations, private associations and clubs of all kinds, churches and parochial schools, and the private economy. Indeed, the aim is to weaken the mediating structures to the point where the space between individual and state is hollowed out.
The Left is totalitarian, which is why it will brook no competitors such as religion and family.
Companion post: Subsidiarity and the Left's Assault on Civil Society