Pursuant that reality and now that this particular variant of a deeply ruinous welfare state is coming out of the closet, I’ll freely admit that it’s becoming much harder to find a way to present the argument than it is to define its factors: What do you call such tyranny? Tyranny? Does a program that’s grown beyond a simple socialist bent still warrant the label? Do we trot out and dust off that old standby, Communism? What we’re finding, objectively, has many of the hallmarks of a nice deep shade of collectivist reality, after all (my emphasis).
J. Howard also quotes extensively from the writing of Stephen Baskerville at an Ayn Rand site. Like Howard, Baskerville uses the topic of family law to marshall a lot of conservative words.
it is not called the welfare “state” for nothing. For unnoticed by reformers has been a startling development that is far more serious than even the devastating economic effects. This is the quiet metamorphosis of welfare from a simple system of public assistance into nothing less than a miniature penal apparatus, replete with its own system of courts, prosecutors, police, and jails: juvenile and “family” courts, “matrimonial” lawyers, child protective services, domestic violence units, child support enforcement agents, and more. This kafkaesque machinery operates by its own rules, largely outside the constitutional order, and represents the fulfillment of Friedrich von Hayek’s prophecy that socialism would eventually take us down a “road to serfdom.”
Baskerville's Ph.D. must be in name-calling because that's most of what he does as he performs a kind of operant conditioning on conservatives. It's a pretty simple technique. J. Howard and Baskerville write terms like "deeply ruinous welfare state," "tyranny," and "communism" and conservatives that trigger the conservative group loyalties like identifying something they loathe. Then watch their right-wing audience salivate. Trigger the right-wing group loyalties of their readers with other words like "kafkaesque machinery," "bureaucratic tyranny," and "the state," and they'll salivate even more.
Of course, all of this ignores the realities of the millions of people wanting divorces (hence divorce lawyers), the acrimony involved in a lot of those divorces, deadbeat dads like my father and my brother (hence government involvement in collecting support payments), abusive families, hopelessly addicted parents, and the like. But J. Howard and Baskerville don't care any more about that than Dick Cheney cares about democracy in Iraq. The trick is to formulate right-wing jargon in a way that triggers the sense of group loyalty among conservatives. Once that's accomplished, the particularities of the subject matter aren't very important.
This focus on words can have disadvantages in dealing with the nitty gritty of public. Witness the Bush administration's incompetence in dealing with Iraq and Katrina. However, the words are much more important to almost any conservative than policy success. This kind of word fetishism is a very effective technique when group loyalty is the highest priority of the people involved. And in the case of conservatives, group loyality is at the top of their list.
Call it the socialist dimension of American conservatism.