For the purest distillation of perilous socialist decadence look to today’s Spain, not Greece. Athens is grabbing headlines due to its explosive riots, but Spaniards are suffering from the most advanced strain of leftist mass-delusion we’ve seen since the end of the Cold War.
Greeks wants an end to the austerity measures that are their only shot at solvency. In truth, that’s just a more dramatic version of the eccentric syndrome animating today’s Democrat lawmakers in the U.S. But Spain’s anti-government protest movement, according to the New York Times, “has no leadership, no party affiliation and so far no detailed objectives.” It is a straightforward temper tantrum, an expression of political impotence and its necessary twin: entitlement. Once you’ve ceded all power to the government all you can do is petition it to give you the things you can no longer get on your own. Like spoiled cranky children, Spaniards have literally splayed out on the streets and refused to move. “The demonstrators have transformed Sol into a bustling tent town at the heart of Spain’s capital,” spins the Times’s Raphael Minder. Spain’s inarticulate public is squatting in protest.
The Spanish protestors’ incorrigible behavior is the end result of years of overindulgence. In 2004, Spain took a celebratory leap leftward. Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero took office and promised the usual catalogue of confections: Spain would pull out of Iraq, sanction gay marriages, and erase gender lines wherever they existed.
The socialist government saw to all the really important challenges that face a modern European nation. In 2008, for example, the Spanish Parliament granted human rights to apes. “This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity,” Pedro Pozas, the Spanish director of the Great Apes Project, said at the time.
Today, Spain could learn a thing or two from their “evolutionary comrades.” Apes are big on social hierarchy; it’s how they survive. Our Spanish protestors? Not so much: The protest movement, Minder writes, “has to keep a completely horizontal structure.”
I somehow think they’ll manage that. There seems little evidence of leadership in the crowd. Spain’s socialists have thoroughly infantilized the population. The economy is a wreck. Unemployment is at 21 percent, and what passes for “employment” looks more like the occasional tasks one assigns oneself in order to breakup an otherwise lazy vacation.
The one thing that could potentially turn this dystopian vacationland back into a viable country is the one thing Spaniards will never countenance: less government. Either that, or the newly empowered apes whip their fellow citizens into shape.