The reaction to Margaret Thatcher’s death is painfully predictable.
The right is honoring her service in standing up to socialism and communism at home and abroad, while the left is vilifying her for standing up to socialism and communism at home and abroad.
The haters are hating. Others like Glenn Greenwald are picking at her policies without giving due weight to the sweep of her history and the history in which she lived, while Democratic political consultants deny Thatcher’s place in history.
The best analysis of Thatcher’s greatness comes from Andrew Sullivan, in a monumental tribute — not without some criticism — to Thatcher’s liberation of Britain from the death grip of unions and a moribund political bureaucracy. Thatcher destroyed what needed to be destroyed.
Sullivan’s exposition demonstrates the bleak future to which we are heading, although I don’t think he intended it to be so.
Read the whole thing. Thatcher, Liberator:
… The Britain I grew up with was, in this specific sense, profoundly leftist in the worst sense. It was cheap and greedy and yet hostile to anyone with initiative, self-esteem, and the ability to make money.
The clip below captures the left-liberal sentiment of the time perfectly. Yes: the British left would prefer to keep everyone poorer if it meant preventing a few getting richer. And the massively powerful trade union movement worked every day to ensure that mediocrity was protected, individual achievement erased, and that all decisions were made collectively, i.e. with their veto….
To put it bluntly: The Britain I grew up in was insane. The government owned almost all major manufacturing, from coal to steel to automobiles. Owned. It employed almost every doctor and owned almost every hospital. Almost every university and elementary and high school was government-run. And in the 1970s, you could not help but realize as a young Brit, that you were living in a decaying museum – some horrifying mixture of Eastern European grimness surrounded by the sculptured bric-a-brac of statues and buildings and edifices that spoke of an empire on which the sun had once never set. Now, in contrast, we lived on the dark side of the moon and it was made up of damp, slowly degrading concrete….
Perhaps in future years, her legacy might be better seen as a last, sane defense of the nation-state as the least worst political unit in human civilization. Her deep suspicion of the European project was rooted in memories of the Blitz, but it was also prescient and wise. Without her, it is doubtful the British would have kept their currency and their independence. They would have German financiers going over the budget in Whitehall by now, as they are in Greece and Portugal and Cyprus. She did not therefore only resuscitate economic freedom in Britain, she kept Britain itself free as an independent nation. Neither achievement was inevitable; in fact, each was a function of a single woman’s will-power. To have achieved both makes her easily the greatest 20th century prime minister after Churchill.
He saved Britain from darkness; she finally saw the lights come back on….
Those who would send us to the stale socialist economic coffin to which we are heading hate Margaret Thatcher with a passion because she showed the way out. Thatcher prevailed over seemingly insurmountable odds, so must we.DONATE
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