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Posts from the ‘Political Philosophy’ Category

19
Jan

Facing the Abyss: Man’s Search for Meaning in an Immoral World

Man’s ascension from the primordial swamp was a supreme act of faith. Into the void, unknowing of the bright, acrid climes, he crawled onto the pristine shores. The ocean lapped at his back, beckoning him to return to the chill comfort of the murky depths. An awakened spirit pressed him onward, emboldening his brave essence to plunge into the daunting nightmare to grapple the hazy light images and foreboding shadows.

What became man: a pre-possessed creature struggling to make sense of a world beyond innate recognition; here was a realm sweeping in scope, stringent in demands, both fantastical and dangerous. Leaving the blissfully ignorant schools of submarine existence, the essence of man struck out alone, into a baffling admixture of furious noise and scorching heat.

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9
Jan

Mises Exposes the Absolutism of the Utopians

Ludwig von MisesHuman Action contains innumerable insights into the fallacies that mark the modern intellectual’s imagination. An exposition of the utopian bent of the most revered left-wing ideologues shows their elaborate theories rest on the sands of cloud-castles:

After the philosophers had abandoned the search for the absolute, the utopians took it up. They weave dreams about the perfect state. They do not realize that the state, the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion, is an institution to cope with human imperfection and that its essential function is to inflict punishment upon minorities in order to protect majorities against the detrimental consequences of certain actions.

With “perfect” men there would not be any need for compulsion and coercion. But utopians do not pay heed to human nature and the inalterable conditions of human life. Godwin thought that man might become immortal after the abolition of private property. Charles Fourier babbled about the ocean containing lemonade instead of salt water. Marx’s economic system blithely ignored the fact of the scarcity of material factors of production. Trotsky revealed that in the proletarian paradise “the average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.”

Today’s disciple of environmentalism shows such a fantastical bent, when, for example, Barack Obama claims that he would lower the sea levels after his election, like King Canute of medieval English lore. But the broader point is that such utopianism cannot be refuted with real-world facts; the imperfections of the world, and even the harm caused by left-wing ideologues’ policies, are simply a call to arms to join the fray renewed, and with redoubled strength.

See also the NYT magazine article, “Still Sailing the Lemonade Sea” for a taste of the disillusion regarding and inability to accept the demise of official Soviet communism.

9
Jan

Nietzsche Predicts the Sheeple’s Taste for Willing Slavery

In Nietzsche‘s Beyond Good and Evil there is a great passage, among many, that predicts the future Europeans’ taste for willful slavery, or more bluntly, socialism:

The same new conditions under which on an average a levelling and mediocrising of man will take place–a useful, industrious, variously serviceable, and clever gregarious man–are in the highest degree suitable to give rise to exceptional men of the most dangerous and attractive qualities. For, while the capacity for adaptation, which is every day trying changing conditions, and begins a new work with every generation, almost with every decade, makes the POWERFULNESS of the type impossible; while the collective impression of such future Europeans will probably be that of numerous, talkative, weak-willed, and very handy workmen who REQUIRE a master, a commander, as they require their daily bread; while, therefore, the democratising of Europe will tend to the production of a type prepared for SLAVERY in the most subtle sense of the term: the STRONG man will necessarily in individual and exceptional cases, become stronger and richer than he has perhaps ever been before–owing to the unprejudicedness of his schooling, owing to the immense variety of practice, art, and disguise. I meant to say that the democratising of Europe is at the same time an involuntary arrangement for the rearing of TYRANTS–taking the word in all its meanings, even in its most spiritual sense.

The same fate of the Eurosheep is impending for Americans who continue to ignore the warnings of the past, the reality of the present, and the foreboding future. All would do well to know the evolution of arguments both for and against collectivism since the founding. I agree with Professor Allan Bloom, who in The Closing of the American Mind, argued Nietszche to be a much more formidable mind for the American conservative (or classical liberal) to argue against than Marx.

6
Jan

The Clash of Values: Cracks in the World’s Psyches Fuel Extremism and Conflict

Radical and even violent extremism is being fueled by the social tensions arising between mutually incompatible worldviews; ideology being the psychological interpreter and motivator for men to take action in a complex environment. At his base level, man is an animal displaying instincts conducive to supplying needs, such as finding food, shelter, and a desirable mate. Yet in society, man relies on heuristics in order to make sense of others’ motives, and to act in one’s perceived self-interest in an environment of uncertainty.

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3
Jan

Nietszche Explains America’s Post-Cold War Moral Implosion

A passage from Nietszche’s Beyond Good and Evil, an eminently enjoyable work, if not wholly wrong on the baselessness of morals, explains America’s moral implosion following the formal ending of the Cold War:

After all, “love to our neighbour” is always a secondary matter, partly conventional and arbitrarily manifested in relation to our FEAR OF OUR NEIGHBOUR. After the fabric of society seems on the whole established and secured against external dangers, it is this fear of our neighbour which again creates new perspectives of moral valuation. Certain strong and dangerous instincts, such as the love of enterprise, foolhardiness, revengefulness, astuteness, rapacity, and love of power, which up till then had not only to be honoured from the point of view of general utility–under other names, of course, than those here given–but had to be fostered and cultivated (because they were perpetually required in the common danger against the common enemies), are now felt in their dangerousness to be doubly strong–when the outlets for them are lacking–and are gradually branded as immoral and given over to calumny. The contrary instincts and inclinations now attain to moral honour, the gregarious instinct gradually draws its conclusions. How much or how little dangerousness to the community or to equality is contained in an opinion, a condition, an emotion, a disposition, or an endowment– that is now the moral perspective, here again fear is the mother of morals. It is by the loftiest and strongest instincts, when they break out passionately and carry the individual far above and beyond the average, and the low level of the gregarious conscience, that the self-reliance of the community is destroyed, its belief in itself, its backbone, as it were, breaks, consequently these very instincts will be most branded and defamed. The lofty independent spirituality, the will to stand alone, and even the cogent reason, are felt to be dangers, everything that elevates the individual above the herd, and is a source of fear to the neighbour, is henceforth called EVIL, the tolerant, unassuming, self-adapting, self-equalizing disposition, the MEDIOCRITY of desires, attains to moral distinction and honour. Finally, under very peaceful circumstances, there is always less opportunity and necessity for training the feelings to severity and rigour, and now every form of severity, even in justice, begins to disturb the conscience, a lofty and rigorous nobleness and self-responsibility almost offends, and awakens distrust, “the lamb,” and still more “the sheep,” wins respect. There is a point of diseased mellowness and effeminacy in the history of society, at which society itself takes the part of him who injures it, the part of the CRIMINAL, and does so, in fact, seriously and honestly. To punish, appears to it to be somehow unfair–it is certain that the idea of “punishment” and “the obligation to punish” are then painful and alarming to people. “Is it not sufficient if the criminal be rendered HARMLESS? Why should we still punish? Punishment itself is terrible!”–with these questions gregarious morality, the morality of fear, draws its ultimate conclusion. If one could at all do away with danger, the cause of fear, one would have done away with this morality at the same time, it would no longer be necessary, it WOULD NOT CONSIDER ITSELF any longer necessary!–Whoever examines the conscience of the present-day European, will always elicit the same imperative from its thousand moral folds and hidden recesses, the imperative of the timidity of the herd “we wish that some time or other there may be NOTHING MORE TO FEAR!” Some time or other–the will and the way THERETO is nowadays called “progress” all over Europe.

Though I agree with Rand that morals are grounded in Objective reality, as a matter of practicality, a useful way to think of the reception of morals is whom and what do they constrain?

During the Cold War, morality constrained the spread of communism through the U.S.’ self-proclaimed championing of freedom (as hollow in practice as that may have been at home). Socialist morality restrained the ability of individuals to labor freely, to trade, and to profit. After the end of the Cold War, America adopted much of the socialist morality, that is to say, the elites in government have sought to restrain the individual and perceive freedom as a threat to their power.

29
Dec

Dialogue on How the Left’s Value of Equality Leads to Tyranny

What reason compels the strong to obey the laws protecting the weak?

Fear of the majority.

If the strong sought to use government to serve their own self-interest and not the interests of the majority, what must they do?

Convince the weak that it was in their own self-interest to serve the interests of the strong.

In order to so persuade the weaker majority, what must the stronger do?

Capture and utilize such institutions that can reinforce those beliefs that lead the weaker majority to willfully serve the strong.

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29
Dec

Tocqueville Presages the Mass Stupidity of Political Correctness

In this exquisite passage from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, the French statesman not only presages political correctness, but the shallowness of American intellectual life, and the ideological war between anti-intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals.

When the ranks of society are unequal, and men unlike each other in condition, there are some individuals invested with all the power of superior intelligence, learning, and enlightenment, whilst the multitude is sunk in ignorance and prejudice. Men living at these aristocratic periods are therefore naturally induced to shape their opinions by the superior standard of a person or a class of persons, whilst they are averse to recognize the infallibility of the mass of the people.

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22
Dec

Two Visions for Opposing the State: Proudhon vs. Tocqueville

The contemporary nineteenth century French political philosophers Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Alexis de Tocqueville represent two distinct traditions of opposing the state: the anarcho-socialist and the democratic republican.

Proudhon believed that “property is theft,” reinforcing the Marxian conclusion that the state would ‘wither away’ if property were to be abolished.

Tocqueville saw socialism as tantamount to slavery, and instead sought to constrain tyranny through institutional innovations and through channeling the energies of the state in a benevolent, if not benign direction.

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9
Dec

Comparative Politics: Republic vs. Democracy


Excellent video covering a lot of ground. I approve of virtually all the narrator’s framing.

7
Dec

Reality Check for the Central Planners: Hayek’s Nobel Speech “The Pretense of Knowledge”

The central planners are scrambling to hedge their once braggadocious claims that their massive intervention into the free market economy would bring about renewed prosperity and fuller employment. Meanwhile President Obama is revisioning history as one where it has been generally acknowledged the private sector is the main engine of economic and job growth, but even more government intervention is needed to ease the disruption and move America forward.

The problem with this phony narrative is that the only “sector” of the economy that has grown of late is the government. And the strongest sector of the economy before the Obama presidency, healthcare, has been seized, causing even more uncertainty as to what the central planners will confiscate next.

What men like Obama lack in results they more than make up for in hubris. Confident that the allied media will rehash their ready-made memes without critical opposition, either in the media or by the so-called opposition party, the most brazen bromides and warped narratives can be dispensed, only to be lapped up by the hoof-clapping sheeple.

A dose of reality is needed to counter-balance the arrogance of today’s micro-managing economists, who simply cannot leave the economy alone. It is not only counter-intuitive but profane to allow people to adjust their behavior in response to economic stress, and thus for the market to rebalance. The economy’s influence upon not only the public, but upon the careers of the central planners themselves is sacrosanct.

An excerpt from the full text of F.A. Hayek’s Nobel laureate speech will demonstrate both a humble and learned approach to the subject of economics, a field that has been utterly debauched by Keynesianism in recent decades. It has gone from a social science where one studies the effects of economic phenomena, to one where central planners attempt to direct the phenomena and determine the outcomes. The result, unsurprisingly, is a perpetual state of disorder and uncertainty.

From Hayek’s “The Pretense of Knowledge”:

In fact, in the case discussed, the very measures which the dominant “macroeconomic” theory has recommended as a remedy for unemployment — namely, the increase of aggregate demand — have become a cause of a very extensive misallocation of resources which is likely to make later large-scale unemployment inevitable. The continuous injection of additional amounts of money at points of the economic system where it creates a temporary demand which must cease when the increase of the quantity of money stops or slows down, together with the expectation of a continuing rise of prices, draws labor and other resources into employments which can last only so long as the increase of the quantity of money continues at the same rate — or perhaps even only so long as it continues to accelerate at a given rate. What this policy has produced is not so much a level of employment that could not have been brought about in other ways, as a distribution of employment which cannot be indefinitely maintained and which after some time can be maintained only by a rate of inflation which would rapidly lead to a disorganization of all economic activity. The fact is that by a mistaken theoretical view we have been led into a precarious position in which we cannot prevent substantial unemployment from reappearing; not because, as this view is sometimes misrepresented, this unemployment is deliberately brought about as a means to combat inflation, but because it is now bound to occur as a deeply regrettable but inescapable consequence of the mistaken policies of the past as soon as inflation ceases to accelerate. […]

Yet the danger of which I want to warn is precisely the belief that in order to have a claim to be accepted as scientific it is necessary to achieve more. This way lies charlatanism and worse. To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm. In the physical sciences there may be little objection to trying to do the impossible; one might even feel that one ought not to discourage the overconfident because their experiments may after all produce some new insights. But in the social field, the erroneous belief that the exercise of some power would have beneficial consequences is likely to lead to a new power to coerce other men being conferred on some authority. Even if such power is not in itself bad, its exercise is likely to impede the functioning of those spontaneous-ordering forces by which, without understanding them, man is in fact so largely assisted in the pursuit of his aims. We are only beginning to understand on how subtle a communication system the functioning of an advanced industrial society is based — a communications system which we call the market and which turns out to be a more efficient mechanism for digesting dispersed information than any that man has deliberately designed.

Not the easiest read, but well worth taking in on a conceptual and philosophical level.

20
Nov

Socialism is Failure V: On Capitalism, Anti-capitalism, and Socialism

The modern ideology of socialism in undiluted form is essentially the belief that the government can be abolished if its function of protecting private property is done away with. This would be accomplished through both the abolition of private property, and its representation, capital.  Anti-capitalism thus becomes a supposed program of liberation. Socialism itself is the imagined post-capitalist world, where the economy meets everyone’s needs, people get along in harmony as “citizens of the world,” and they share with one another without question.

Obviously, not all that involves property and capital is capitalism; just as not everything that involves anti-capitalism is socialism. There are certain principles acknowledged by capitalists as indispensable to maintaining a functioning market system; namely, private property, sound currency, and enforced contracts.

By extension, in the capitalist system if private property is violated through wealth distribution, it destroys the positive reinforcement mechanism of wealth generation; it also severs the negative reinforcement mechanism of poverty for idleness. If sound currency is violated through depreciation, it destroys savings and long-term investment, leading to a live-for-the-day mentality, economic shortsightedness, and speculative folly. If contracts are not honored, then social trust is undermined, since a man’s word is his bond.

But as was claimed earlier, not all that presently falls under the heading of “capitalism” jibes with even the fundamentals. Private property is massively redistributed through the progressive income tax, to the point that the lower 50% pay no federal taxes, and the upper 20% pay over half of these taxes. One’s property can be seized by the state in the name of eminent domain, an egregious and direct affront to private property. And of course, there are the innumerable regulations that go along with the government telling the individual how to run his business, whom to employ or not to employ, and in some cases, requiring the individual to pay the state merely for the privilege of living his own life and supporting it through his labor.

While capitalism is thus smeared as any system where there is some private property and some currency, socialism can be denied to have ever existed in practice because the lofty standards socialists set have never been fulfilled. Of course, everything tending towards socialism, by virtue of its own theoretical construct, is anti-capitalism; which essentially means the destruction of the free market system by various means, including, but not limited to: statist domination, over-regulation, progressive taxation, certification hurdles, exorbitant compliance costs, and arbitrary intervention, such as subsidies, bailouts, and stimulus.

But socialism in pure practice is said to be the never-existing nirvana that is supposed to arise after the capitalist system is laid to waste; but in reality, it is the North Korean hell-state that is supposed to have “withered away.” So obviously there is a disparity between the claims of socialists and the reality of socialism as practiced.

Therefore we can see the constant obfuscation by leftists that such-and-such is not socialism and so-and-so is not a socialist. These are just word games. What conservatives are talking about are the erosion of capitalist principles and the tendency towards the totalitarian system of socialism. A socialist would not act any different than an anti-capitalist, simply because the teleology of the socialist leads to paradise, while an anti-capitalist qua anti-capitalist is merely a nihilistic anarchist. By extension, a fascist is one who destroys the market economy through the principle of unity in the state, and whose tactics almost irreducibly seem to be the same as the anti-capitalist or socialist in practice.  Yet the purpose of the fascist’s destruction of market economy is to consolidate economic control; the socialist’s supposed aim is to yield such economic control to the workers. But pray tell me, socialists, when this has ever happened? Where is this beloved worker’s state, or a shred of its manifestation, even in embryonic state?

Thus when it comes to fascism, socialism, and anarchism we are reduced in our analysis to a guessing game over who intends what. But we might say that a fascist is a socialist who doesn’t believe in the stateless utopia; while the socialist persists in his belief in such a place, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

The beauty of Marxian dialectics in the Fabian socialist mode is that the result is a mixed economy where the leftist believes capitalism is the problem, and the moderate believes that the self-contradictory workings of the economy are either the fault of incompetent technocrats or of the messy, democratic process itself, which necessarily requires endless compromise (of those with principles to those without principles).

But one without the ability to see things in the historical view is like the child riding in a car going 80 miles per hour; he sees the blur of trees, the rails of the bridge, and the fields of grain, but he doesn’t know he has crossed over the bridge from one state to the next. But hopefully this brief tour of socialist history demonstrates that we are indeed on a map, and not just floating around in the solipsistic world of leftist imagination. It is the trend that matters, and the immoral tactics and failing policies that supposedly achieve the socialist utopian end cannot be excused, merely because those who carry out such actions believe they will result in paradise.

File option for complete Socialism is Failure series: PDF

20
Nov

Socialism is Failure IV: On True Believers and Moderates

The modern leftist’s essentially socialist worldview leads the true believer to exhibit two glaring flaws in his thinking: the inability to see historical patterns or to grasp the underlying principles in play unless garbed in the sophistry of political correctness. Thus to the ideology’s adherents, every new “experiment” in socialism could possibly work, progress is associated with the inevitable trend away from individual rights towards statism, and a peaceful and harmonious world is one without opposition to socialism.

Admittedly, not everyone influenced by socialist ideology is a true believer. There are many self-styled intellectuals who equate sober analysis with the inability to take a position on any matter or to take sides in a political struggle. Rationality, in the eyes of these finger-wagging moralizers, is the refusal to dogmatically adhere to any one ideology, and tolerance for a diversity of ideas is the hallmark of a civilized person in a free society.

Whether such a scold is more than the historical residue of a transitional stage from a mixed economy, meaning part capitalism and part socialism, always trending more toward the latter, towards an authoritarian centrally planned economy is a bit of a question.

So regardless of if we are talking about the socialist ideologue or the faux-sophisticated moderate who is willing to accept the supposed proscriptions of socialism to balance out the inherent extremes of cold, individualistic capitalism, it is crucial to show that socialism itself is not a balancer of anything; rather, socialism is an intrinsically unstable system that is more a check on civilizational progress than a path towards progress itself. Socialism is nothing more than a critique of capitalism; and indeed, it is theoretically and materially parasitical upon it.

And indeed, the desire to slow or halt technological progress may be the underlying emotional impetus for many to seek refuge in socialism, whether in its liberal, “progressive,” utopian, or environmentalist modes. The traumas of the modern world, the catastrophic wars and numerous natural and manmade disasters, made all too immediate by mass media technology have led to great fear, inspiring many intelligent and sensitive people to seek understanding in the halls of academia. Those who have become our elites now believe it is necessary to reject the dangerous messiness of the liberal democratic state, and to take all power into their hands to micro-manage a stable and safe political order.

Inevitably, the contrived order the elites have come up with involves wealth redistribution, a socialistic measure that supposedly salves humanity’s lynchpin grievance of material deprivation. Such policies have been pursued in concert with the continual reinforcement in the culture of collectivist messages, which attend to the inner craving to return to a more close-knit life among a sharing and caring community, a primitive instinct that leads too often to infantalization and the desire to be cared for by the state. The perception of social entropy feeds the conditioned person’s longing for security, material and existential, which can only be sated by the worship and empowerment of the state, the imagined omnipotent proxy for the deposed god.

With such a state of mind there is a tendency towards blanket denial that the past has any bearing on the present, and that the state itself, when magnified beyond the most limited of bounds, should be considered a threat.  There is a constant tendency for both the true believer and the self-styled moderate to throw out the nightmarish socialist regimes of the twentieth century as outliers, and to point to the actually crumbling, deeply indebted, socially rifted, demographically declining, national security free-riding European social welfare states as models for the future.  Otherwise, true believers simply deny that nominal socialist or communist regimes were what they said they were, thus taking all theorizing about the causes of socialism’s failures off the table. Both types of mentalities extrude the past from relevance, either in specific regard to socialist regimes, or by taking for granted capitalism’s contributions to progress in the modern era.

Contrary to the claims of true believers and moderates, the history of socialism is one of unmitigated failure. On some level, all people understand this. That is why leftists commonly try to disavow their socialist heritage in public, while overtly acknowledging it with such coined terms as “neomarxism” among their compatriots.  Publicly, socialists have commandeered the term “liberal” to signal to others their left-leaning tendencies, and after that got flushed out, they switched to “progressive.” But such gradations of affinity for socialism will not deter us from the point: socialism in any form or in any potency, when adopted by any political community, is a recipe for failure.

20
Nov

Socialism is Failure III: Against Progress, Against Civilization

The crux of what socialism is all about in the modern era is the forced unionization of all labor in a state-run economy.  Essentially, socialism in practice turns the entire state into a giant factory managed by central planners, and citizens become the drones who are to do what they are told and take what the state gives them and to be grateful. Just as the difference between communism and fascism in practice is one of scale, the former being a worldwide and the latter a nationwide collectivist enterprise, the difference between communism and socialism is one of degree.

But the reason that socialism is not halted at a certain “acceptable” level in Western economies is because it is fundamentally corrosive; it is an unsustainable element of an economy, when recombined with liberal democracy, it eats away at individual rights protections and checks on  state economic intervention.

Socialism preys upon a weakness in human nature, to avoid work and to profit without effort, and socialist parties can build power while undermining capitalism’s success. While communist countries have done this suddenly and violently, today’s socialistic countries are merely doing it slowly and invisibly, as represented by their massive levels of debt, until the economic system collapses and there is rioting in the streets. Thus becomes the perfect occasion for the state to seize complete power.

The greatest mind trick the socialists played on the people is to lead them to conflate the rise of capitalism with that of colonialism, imperialism, and catastrophic war. Vladimir Lenin, in his thesis “Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism,” explicitly makes this charge. But colonialism and imperialism have been around since the history of man, and have been driven as much by religious fervor as by lust for filthy lucre. Not only the ancient empires of Akkadia, Persia, Babylon, Egypt, and the Seleucids confirm this claim, but also the spread of Islamic rule in the 7th century, as well as the ascendancy of the Ottoman Empire.

In the long view, we see that capitalism allowed the West to be successful; it led to improved birth and childhood survival rates, better cultivation of land and agricultural output per acre; greater technological improvements, in transportation, communication, and weaponry; and a much-improved standard of living for the majority of mankind who lived and labored under the system.

This is most likely the tacit reason for many people’s support of socialism; it is seen as a constraint on the inherently aggressive West, which supposedly exploits foreign peoples if only by trading with them and engaging in economic activities in their countries. Socialism is thought to be a way of making things “fair,” either by distributing wealth from the necessarily exploitative rich to the necessarily victimized poor, or by hamstringing strong and assertive nations like America with moral and cultural relativism. But the point is belied, liberals do not believe in the moral authority of the United States, they are not interested in success or “progress,” per se, except in their own equivocating terms, and they see America as the world’s central problem. Power disparity is a sign that America must have cheated, and if it wants to be fair, it has to be equal and join the club of the mediocre and failing others.

Socialism, as can be gleamed from even a cursory view of history, is a failure at any level. That is why socialists don’t generally ask people if they want to take part in yet another failed experiment; they attempt to seize the machinery of the state, and one way or another, create a community by force.  It is an ideology of failure, as the Soviets and Maoists came to realize, and both Russia and China have introduced a modicum of reforms into their state-planned economies to foster an element of success, if just so the regimes can skim off some more of the supposed excess. Far from leading to equality between the people, socialism creates even more heightened disparities between the ruling class and the ruled. It is the use of coercion for elites to garner profits, rather than wages. Whether the perquisites come in the form of capital or luxury, the social hierarchy never disappears.

We should not be surprised, therefore, that after a hundred years of Fabian or incremental socialism, beginning with the institutionalization of the Federal Reserve and the Progressive Income Tax, that America is becoming more pyramidized. When the “creative destruction” of the market is not allowed to take place, undeserving firms are sheltered, assisted, or bailed out by the state. The human cost in this scheme is the sacrifice of the individual’s welfare for that of the state and its allies. Socialism does not prevent such sacrifice from taking place, it merely disarms the people in terms of weaponry and property, and gathers them into a herd for mass sacrifice.

Such analogies are not out of place, particularly given the stark anti-civilizational ideology of radical environmentalism. The central idea of this ideology is that man is no better than animals, and in fact, is quite inferior; while man has a moral compass, he chooses not to use it, and instead commits grave affronts to nature. Man should be called upon to sacrifice on nature’s behalf, and by virtue of simply living and breathing, should be considered a threat to the planet itself. At the very least, he should be asked to give up the accoutrements of industrial civilization, all the while allowing the science that makes technological progress possible to be debauched by the state’s big lies, which are funded to the order of hundreds of billion dollars.

The socialistic philosophy of radical environmentalism has hopefully been laid bare; if one refuses to take ideology seriously and instead conflates all warnings with hysteria, one should question if he would be right at home in a Soviet Russia, or a Cuba, or a North Korea before socialism was upon him, and the time for resistance had already passed. It is crucial for those with some instinct of self-preservation to see the essence of ideologies in their barest exposition, without sophistry or attenuation; and hopefully, socialism in all of its forms can be seen clearly for the menace that it is.

20
Nov

Socialism is Failure II: Revolutionary Fervor and Mass Murder

Revolutionary Fervor and Mass Murder

The French revolutionary phrase Liberté, égalité, fraternité is as well known as the bloody Jacobin terror that followed it. It soon became understood in the revolutionary period that among the three components of the tripartite motto, liberté was the most dispensable. While liberté and égalité were considered commensurate at first, due to the influence of Rousseau to name one source, égalité was redefined under the Jacobin regime to mean something akin to “equality of results,” as one can see in the writings of Babeuf, for example. The author Bardot made this point explicitly when he pointed out that the French temperament inclined more to equality than to liberty.

The French revolution would sweep away the Ancien Regime; but it would also clear the way for the tyrant Napoleon. Such is the record of extreme and rapid democratization since the days of Aristotle.

Though the 1848 revolutions would burst into flames across Europe, they were for the most part stamped out.  Stale regimes like the Habsburgs and the Romanovs would survive for the imminent threat, in some part due to concessions and tributary reforms. The largely socialist uprisings had failed, for the time being.

The first instance of what Marx considered to be a seizure of power by ‘the workers’ was the Paris Commune, the French city’s provisional government that lasted a whole ten days in 1871. In some ways, it would become seen as an extension of the failed 1848 revolutions that Marx had participated in. Basically, the dysfunctional Parisian government operated much like the way Occupy Wall Street would run New York if it happened to take over the city government today. Though the Paris Commune’s temporary seizure of power is heralded in socialist paeans, the rift between Marxists and anarchists emerged quickly. The Paris Commune fell into disorder and became an anecdote in socialist lore.

Overseas in late nineteenth century America, the development of large trusts, formed quickly due to transportation innovations and mass marketing, lead to disquiet among the working class. Though people relied on the cheap and useful products produced by the trusts, and their lives were being much improved overall in terms of standard of living, they resented the disparity of wealth between themselves and the wealthy magnates. Since the United States was largely unexplored and competition was limited, working conditions were tough. The rule of law protecting persons and property was relatively weak, as immigrants were fairly unorganized and uninformed about how to defend themselves in court. Unions picked up the slack for people who could not always fight the cronyism of local politicians and judges allied with bug businesses. But a voluntary union of workers is a much different proposition than socialism or public unions extorting taxpayers by abusing the state. Socialism in some part was made less attractive due to the ability for workers to voluntarily associate in unions. Yet the kernel of labor collectivism remained a low level threat to capitalism that stuck around for years to come.

Such were the forces that gave rise to the Progressive Era, a time when dissatisfaction with aspects of the capitalist economy led to increased receptivity to socialist ideals. But the primitive ideology of socialism was infused with a new scientific luster. According to some readings of the political economy of Marx, the socialist state could be scientifically administered; but according to other readings, the socialist state would lead to more spontaneity, creativity, and freedom.  It was unclear how such a paradoxical worker’s paradise would come about. If there was to be a spontaneous worldwide worker’s revolution, would they then demand to be scientifically managed by elites? Would everyone live and work as he or she desired, but with a raised level of community conscientiousness? How then would people’s wants and needs be met? A thorough research of Marxist literature will turn one away empty-handed. Marx did not bother to spend much time describing the perfect worker’s paradise; he was much more involved making sure the capitalist system was destroyed.

The author of “all that exists deserves to perish” made several other theoretically fatal errors. While he predicted the formation of worker solidarity, which would prevent another widespread war like the Napoleonic Wars, nonetheless, World War I came and went. Though he predicted that socialist revolutions would be spontaneous, they were indeed all led “from above” by intellectual elites.  And when he theorized they would occur first in the most capitalistic and advanced industrial economies, like England, in accordance with his teleological view of history, he was completely wrong; it was industrially backwards Russia that saw the first “successful” socialist revolution (if one can even call it that; I prefer the term putsch to signify its narrow base of support).

This is not to mention the theoretical flaws in his economic critique itself. Marx’s adaptation of Ricardo’s Labor Theory of Value failed to accurately quantify the prices of scarce goods and goods that were abundant but difficult to extract without technical equipment. In addition, firms need land and capital for production, not just labor. These must be taken into account when prices are determined. Marx’s Labor Theory of Value, a crucial foundation of his economic critique, has thus been nearly completely discredited and replaced with the marginal utility theory of value. In addition, Marx’s usage of the Iron Law of Wages, which claimed that as the capitalist economy advances, wages ineluctably decline towards subsistence was proven false; Marx failed to adequately account for the increase in standard of living resulting from mass production, and to acknowledge labor market competition’s effect on buoying prices, particularly important as an economy develops through specialization.

Marxism thus being proven in the early twentieth century to be the failed theory that it is, two innovations were developed to salvage Marx’s powerful worldview and to implement it politically. The first was Marxist-Leninism, and its peasant agrarian variant Maoism; the second was Cultural Marxism, which attempts to gloss over socialist and Marxist economic failings by switching to a cultural-aesthetic mode of capitalist critique, without ever acknowledging how socialism would specifically function better than capitalism in practice.

The horrific results of socialist revolutions is well-covered terrain and need not be expanded upon much here. Suffice to say, an estimate of 100 million dead, from war, manmade famine, and state “demicide” cannot be far awry; especially if we include the French Revolution, 1848 revolutions, Russian Civil War, and Chinese Civil War, along with Stalinist measures under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the despicable acts of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (NaZis), the massacres and petty atrocities that took place behind the Iron Curtain. the Chinese Great Leap Forward, not to mention the socialist terrorism of Latin and South America, the economic disaster caused by communists in African countries like Ethiopia, southeast Asian nightmares like Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge – a checkered past indeed, and one socialists are quick to deny. Their usual defense is to exaggerate the relative horror of the NaZi Germany regime compared to other socialist and communist experiences (about 1/10 killed under communism, in any event), and to broadbrush the NaZis actions as “right-wing” without acknowledging the socialist and undeniably collectivist elements and the verifiable anti-capitalist bent of the party. One example of a lie about the NaZis is that they were anti-union; in fact, the party forced all citizens to be a part of the German Labour Front.

The sum of socialism in its purest forms is misery and mass murder; while the track record of capitalism in its true form is space provided for the individual to improve his own life, and the technological and economic progress that has resulted therefrom. While capitalism is a means to the individual’s end, socialism is a means for the collective’s end; and since the collective’s end is defined by the political and cultural elites, that often requires sacrifice of the many for the benefit of the few.

20
Nov

Socialism is Failure I: Not New, Not Progressive

As Aristotle once wrote, “He who thus considers things in their first growth and origins…will obtain the clearest view of them.”

In that spirit, this the first in a series of blog posts that will set out to make a simple but counter-intuitive point: Socialism is a primitive ideology that is supported not because it is successful, but because it is a failure. It is seen by elites as a way of hamstringing the ascendant West, limiting the powerful message of liberty, and making things “fair” by taking from the successful to give to the unsuccessful. Socialism in any guise is an unmitigated disaster, not corrective of capitalism, but deleterious to any society that adopts it in any form. It spreads like a cancer, eating away at liberal democracy, and leading inevitably to tumult and state domination.

Socialism has a long heritage, and it is not limited to Marxism. In contradistinction to what many people believe about socialism, that it is an ideology that arose from the excesses and purported contradictions of the modern capitalism system (rather than human nature itself), it is essentially a primitive ideology. Socialists are guided by a tribal instinct to condemn material disproportion as inherently “unfair,” and since all human beings are to be considered inherently equal, the leap in logic is that all those who have more must have attained it by dishonest means.

Within an ancient, hunter-gatherer setting, this makes some intuitive sense; such an economy is unavoidably cooperative, and social stability is thought to depend on an implicit contract among the members of the community that those who achieve success should share their spoils with the tribe, in order to even out the irregularities of nature and circumstance. If one is able to succeed in procuring food, or fire, or shelter, then one may fail tomorrow; so throwing in lot together is a way of mitigating odds and improving what has been referred to as ‘group fitness’ (so the modern line of reasoning goes).

But the development of agriculture brought with it different societal pressures, leading to very different societal structures. Though the techniques of living off the land gave man the ability to become self-sufficient, cooperation and organization was still needed so that irrigation would dispense water evenly and predictably among the fields being cultivated. Mutual protection was needed to prevent raids from nomadic hunter-gatherers. Such pressures gave rise to stratified societies, with warrior classes, civil administrators, adjudicators, law enforcement (to prevent theft), and due to the limitations of climate and available resources, merchants for regional and long distance trade, leading to the development of capital, banks, and modern economy.

Also intermixed within these castes was the priestly class, a relic of the shamanic order present in many tribes. Agriculture is a practice beset with uncertainty; without rationality and scientific understanding, it would be easy to fall prey to superstitions regarding the appeasement of natural gods. Priests led rituals and dealt with superstition; he was a powerful influence among the minds of the people, and a natural ally for the chief enforcer and protector of the social order. This alliance of the sword and the cloth led to the temptation for the upper strata to justify ever greater extractions of wealth, and the development of armies to both entrench their privileged places in society, and to prepare for raids on the border lands to claim or reclaim booty. Highly developed societies eventually built large enough standing armies to seek conquest abroad, leading to colonialism and imperialism in the ancient world.

Thus it was not capitalism that led to the origination of imperialism, but rather the power-lust and rapaciousness of ancient rulers like Sargon I of Akkad and Darius I of Persia, when built upon an economic base of agriculture and trade as such, and certain innovations in technology, for example, the chariot, the stirrup, and bronze weaponry. This is an important point, because it is often alleged that capitalism is an inherently imperialistic economic system, when rather it is a means to an indeterminate moral end. Capitalism can be used for both moral and immoral purposes, much like science. But true capitalism must revolve around individual decision-making and freedom of labor, and this is where the system’s conflict with the state and with certain elements in society come in.

Aristotle was one of the first trenchant critics of socialism, and he directed at Plato his reflections on the inability of communism to lead to a harmonious society. As the Second Book of Politics states:

Next let us consider what should be our arrangements about property: should the citizens of the perfect state have their possessions in common or not? […]

If they do not share equally enjoyments and toils, those who labor much and get little will necessarily complain of those who labor little and receive or consume much. But indeed there is always a difficulty in men living together and having all human relations in common, but especially in their having common property. The partnerships of fellow-travelers are an example to the point; for they generally fall out over everyday matters and quarrel about any trifle which turns up. So with servants: we are most able to take offense at those with whom we most we most frequently come into contact in daily life.

These are only some of the disadvantages which attend the community of property; the present arrangement, if improved as it might be by good customs and laws, would be far better, and would have the advantages of both systems. Property should be in a certain sense common, but, as a general rule, private; for, when everyone has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because every one will be attending to his own business.

Aristotle aptly foresaw the decline of productivity and lack of social harmony in communist states. His criticism fell on deaf ears throughout the Dark Ages and Middle Ages, as various sects and cults attempted to implement socialistic policies. Igor Shaferevich describes some of these sects and cults in The Socialist Phenomenon, including the Cathars, Free Spirits, Anabaptists, Taborites, and aptly-named Levellers. Among their maladaptive positions were an aversion or hostility to private property and disavowal of the material world.

One of the more damning texts against the wisdom of socialism comes from the diary of William Bradford, a settler of Plymouth Plantation, whose 1623 diary cannot be said to be the work of right-wing reactionaries attempting to confound the presumably glorious socialist movement through propaganda. Bradford arrives at much the same conclusion through experience as Aristotle arrived through his voluminous knowledge and rigorous philosophizing:

The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; and that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort…Let none object this is men’s corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.

Thereupon we find that socialism has deep roots in human history, and indeed, a record of failure; the continual appearance and complete disappearance of communist societies shows that the model is far from one indicating ultimate success, as the pre-ordained conclusion of some Marxian historical dialectical process. Furthermore, we find the failure of socialism in early America with several experimental utopian communities.

The Rappites, for example, settled a communitarian society north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1804, and in short order were moved to relocated to Harmony, Indiana in 1814. In just a decade, the entire settlement in Harmony was sold to Scottish industrialist Robert Owen for $150,000, who founded his own non-religious utopian community there. The “Harmonites”resettled in Economy, Pennsylvania, where they would enjoy a brief period of unimpeded growth, due mainly to their attraction of outsiders, because their practice of celibacy meant a new generation was not being raised up to replace an older generation. Economy, ironically enough, would decline because of massive debts and insolvency, a sign of a community’s inability to live in the real world. As for the next world, the Harmonites prepared their souls without headmarkers upon their graves; that was an individualistic and unnecessary practice, they believed.

Robert Owen, above-named industrialist, refounded his purchased Harmony and renamed it New Harmony. Despite European tours on how the industrialist planned to manage his worker’s paradise, and his proclamation of a New Age, in seven months, the community was running red ink and had to be subsidized out of Owens’ own stash. In 1826, Owens issued a “Declaration of Mental Independence,” which condemned private property, marriage, and religion. This led to a schism between the members, and New Harmony broke apart, with several members resettling elsewhere, and much of what had been established up for sale.

Later in the 19th century, influential preacher John Noyes would leave New Haven, Vermont to form a community in Putney in 1841. After five years, the community decided to have all things in common, including wives. In 1847, the citizens of Putney expelled Noyes and his followers, who subsequently set up communities in Oneida, NY and branches in other states. The community eventually turned to eugenics with a system of parenting authorization Noyes termed as “stripiculture,” but the community’s plans to develop a perfect human race would come to naught. As their system of horticulture collapsed, they were compelled to turn to manufactures, and finally, their community became incorporated as a joint stock company!

As such, we see several communities going through the primitive arrangements of socialism before adopting the more advanced system of capitalism; a turning of Marxism on its head.

12
Nov

AWOL Civilization: American Conservatives, We Are At War

AWOL Civilization has been providing some real intellectual firepower to the right-wing (more accurately, anti left-wing) blogosphere, and we would all do well to grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and think along with him what it really means to be at war with the left. (Don’t get me wrong, the article is “concise” and to “hard-hitting,” as another reader put it.)

AWOL Civilization provides some excellent references and thoughts on how to strategize much more deeply than many of us have been. The following is an excerpt:

Think back to the election of Obama. Here we have the opposite case: a complete mastery of the strategic configuration of power. Obama did not launch the fundamental transformation of America; rather, America already was transformed, resulting in the desecration of the Oval Office that occurred in January, 2009. All the pieces were in place; the opposition had been neutralized before the first “shot” of the election had been fired. Sun-tzu may not have been pleased by the event, but he certainly would agree that the collectivists were following his advice to the letter.

Before the battle began, the outcome was decided. The script had been written; everyone played their part. Democrats confidently sallied forth, going for the jugular, employing every means at their disposal to win the battle. Republicans hesitated, vacillated, and equivocated.

As Sun-tzu explains,

Those that the ancients referred to as excelling at warfare conquered those who were easy to conquer. Thus the victories of those that excelled in warfare were … free from errors. One who is free from errors directs his measures toward [certain] victory, conquering those who are already defeated. [emphasis mine]

And further on,

The victorious army first realizes the conditions for victory, and then seeks to engage in battle. The vanquished army fights first, and then seeks victory.

Try spending a few hours watching the BBC or reading back issues of Newsweek. Block out your instinctive revulsion and put on your analysis hat. The people producing this material are very smart. Sit at the dust of their feet and learn how warfare is conducted. See how an entire civilization was brought to its knees without the use of a single gun.

How will we know that the art of war has been mastered by our own forces, by the anti-collectivist camp? I can think of at least one indication. We will know it when every day, every single day, we hear a Republican member of Congress, and a former cabinet official, and a presidential candidate, and a governor, declare without equivocation that the goal of the Obama regime, and of the Democratic Party, is to destroy America as we know it.

When that day comes, the compulsion to speak in this manner will be as strong (and natural) as the current impetus to surrender.

We must fight back against political correctness, and its guiding set of rules, Critical Theory. For one example on theorizing, see The Occupy Crowd’s Vague Goals and Marxist Critical Theory, and for how to counterattack it, see Shattering the Left: A Radical Critique of Critical Theory.

9
Nov

The Political Correctness Media Complex


Bill Whittle should become a household name. At PJTV, he gives exactly the kind of systematic, well-thought-out, strategically oriented articles and presentations conservatives need to defeat the left.

We conservatives have to stop running around like chickens with our heads cut off every time the left launches an attack on one of us. But without a theoretical understanding of the left’s strategy and motivation, we’re doomed to keep chasing shadows.

There is a reason our country keeps moving inexorably left, regardless of who gets elected. And it’s not just because Democrats put up 100% liberal candidates, and Republicans put up 50% liberal candidates, as Ben Shapiro pointed out. It’s because the culture, Americans’ ideology, keeps drifting left.

Unanchored by anything except a superficial reading of The Constitution, with their wishful ideas of what it actually means superimposed upon it, Americans continue in the conservative majority, while voting in a powerful non-conservative minority.

If we are going to survive as a country, Americans who do not really get what the left is all about will need to get with the program. Bill Whittle is an excellent point man who can bring you up to speed.

H/T The Right Scoop.

8
Nov

Occupy Chicago Activists Attend Communist Manifesto Reading


Why aren’t more conservatives discrediting Karl Marx or other left-wing philosophers? We need to go to the core of the enemy’s philosophy (whether they know it is or not), expose it, systematically tear it apart, and leave it in tatters at their feet.

4
Nov

The Twilight Years of the Republic

German philosopher Georg W.F. Hegel wrote, “The owl of Minerva flies at dusk.” Americans are on the path to attaining such wisdom, which will indeed come much too late.

We’re in the twilight years of our nation’s spiritual transformation from liberty into tyranny, when people still live and enjoy the freedoms of the Constitutional system instituted by our Founders, meanwhile condemning that self-same system both in word and deed.

Let’s see how much people hate capitalism when there’s no malls to go to at the weekend, you have to stand in breadlines waiting for government food with “regime loyalty” vouchers in hand, you have no choice over where you work and it matters not how hard you work, and the only form of entertainment is that deemed state-friendly by the government-monopoly media.

Absence may make the heart grow fonder, as the old saying goes, but with the American public, absence makes the brain grow dumber. Most of our citizens have no clue of the kind of material deprivation, social insignificance, and political disenfranchisement that goes on in most countries. And they are mentally unable to associate other countries’ meager state of affairs with corrupt, overreaching, arbitrary, domineering government.

Even in impoverished states where government is inefficient and feckless, it is still brutal and heavy-handed on the issues that matter most to it. The Nigerian government may give you all the “liberty” you want, as the left defines it, but interfere with its oil production in even legal ways and see what happens.

But the left keeps repeating the same tired cliches about how limited government advocates wish we were Somalia. No, we wish the U.S. government would fulfill its promised role of obeying and uphold The Constitution. Expecting as much nowadays somehow makes one an “extremist.”

The obsession with wealth disparity is corroding our ability to appreciate the benefits of free market capitalism. The political left decries the billions at the disposal of the upper crust, and bemoans the impoverished around the world. They do not seem to recognize that the earth’s poor predominate in politically and thus economically unfree societies, while American citizens are almost universally rich by world standards. The explanation that Americans “stole” their wealth does not quite equate when one considers our country was once the productive engine of the world. Those days when we were the global supplier are but a faint memory under successive progressive regimes.

The effete intellectuals who esteem themselves peculiarly insightful because they are able to systematically conflate government coercion with free market economy, which is by definition the voluntary exchange of goods, services, and labor, are intellectually undoing the gains of Western Civilization, and particularly, The Enlightenment. With all their irrational, counter-intuitive, categorical imperative-driven theories, they are actually re-primitivizing human understanding. Perhaps this is what Hegel meant when he offered up his observation on the garnering of wisdom, which comes after fatal judgment is exercised. But that would seemingly contradict his teleological view of history as driven inexorably towards Freedom.

Contrary to the vision of Hegel we are not moving towards Freedom, but rather towards Unfreedom. The same statist appetites lie in the heart of men, only now empowered by the mechanisms of frightening military hardware combined with advanced lightning-speed intelligence. Never in the history of man was there a greater need for philosophical enlightenment to set our ethics aright. Never before was there a need for Minerva to take flight before the sun sets on our great republic.

25
Oct

Imperial Washington: How the United States Were Re-Colonized by Central Government

The United States was formed from the colonial rabble who defied a British Empire and established their own government, justified by reason and founded to defend their inalienable God-given rights.  A little more than two centuries later, the Union is but a justification for the sundry governments to exploit their citizenry, and for the central government to exploit the states.

What remains of the philosophy that guided our founders remains embedded in the breasts of the patriotic, and all pretense to sharing the views of the broader electorate has been abandoned by our nominal representatives within the bounds of that swamp that became Washington D.C.. Throughout rebellions, wars, and depressions, Americans tended to hold fast to the view that government is best when it governs least. The observation that centralized government is necessarily a danger always requiring a watchful master animated local and state public discussions.

Though early stirrings of abusive national authority can be found in the cases of the draconian Alien and Sedition Acts and the chartering of the First Bank of the United States and the Second Bank of the United States, the sentiment of liberty was so strong in the American mind that oppressive measures and institutions could not persist long.

But one cannot overlook the long-term view of such an undeniable statist as Alexander Hamilton, who made glowing reference to “empire” in The Federalist Papers, and whose proposal for a central bank was rebuked at the Constitutional Convention, given that the colonial experience of such institutions was remarkably bad.

A haunting scene from the series John Adams illustrates well Alexander Hamilton’s plans to draw the republic ever closer together under the dominant authority of the federal government.

Hamilton’s vision has come true in many respects. We have incurred a colossal national debt through a central bank of sorts, and states are indeed closely bound to the national government. Federal grants to the states and state obligations due to federal mandates have reached monumental and indeed, unsustainable proportions. Due to such malignant institutions as the Federal Reserve Bank, a Hamiltonian throwback, the United States has debauched its currency and is monetizing the debts of the federal government, and thereby, through federal grants and spending, the debt of the states.

Regardless of what one might speculate about the reasons the federal government is dominating the political life of the country, the truth remains that Washington has acquired almost imperial control over the states of the country, effecting through red ink what it did not need to effect through red blood. When we have a monetary system itself based on public and private debt, instead of money as a “store of value,” as Mises defined it, then perhaps such a state of affairs is inevitable. Fiat currency, or money unbacked by wealth, after all, is money the government can produce and direct at will, knowing the citizens’ labor will follow it. When the control of money is taken out of the people’s hands, then the control of the economy will necessarily follow.

The real problem is that many Americans have retreated from that healthy skepticism of centralized authority so vital to retaining a free country. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” is a true dictum. We men also must acknowledge that the government itself is not comprised of angels, and assume politicians do not have our best interest at heart until they prove otherwise. Even if one group of politicians holding power in our stead is well-meaning, those who follow them in office may not be. Accumulation of power is a continual call for abuse by unprincipled politicians and an open invitation to corruption. If our politicians are incapable of restraining themselves while in government, we citizens must be more vigorous and vigilant checking the government for them.

This leads me to revisit the warnings of the Anti-Federalists, whose admonitions of the danger of a centralized government are clear, even if their political theory was occasionally less sound than most of our Founders.’ The words of George Mason are particularly stunning. From his “Objections to the Constitution“:

Under their own construction of the general clause at the end of the enumerated powers, the Congress may grant monopolies in trade and commerce, constitute new crimes, inflict unusual and severe punishments, and extend their power as far as they shall think proper; so that the state legislatures have no security for the powers now presumed to remain to them, or the people for their rights. There is no declaration of any kind for preserving the liberty of the press, the trial by jury in civil cases, nor against the danger of standing armies in time of peace.

The state legislatures are restrained from laying export duties on their own produce; the general legislature is restrained from prohibiting the further importation of slaves for twenty-odd years, though such importations render the United States weaker, more vulnerable, and less capable of defence. Both the general legislature and the state legislatures are expressly prohibited making ex post facto laws, though there never was, nor can be, a legislature but must and will make such laws, when necessity and the public safety require them, which will hereafter be a breach of all the constitutions in the Union, and afford precedents for other innovations.

This government will commence in a moderate aristocracy: it is at present impossible to foresee whether it will, in its operation, produce a monarchy or a corrupt oppressive aristocracy; it will most probably vibrate some years between the two, and then terminate in the one or the other.”

Let Mason’s words sound the alarm: Our nation is being usurped by a centralized authority, and the only solution is for the people and the several states to rise up and push back.

As posted on Political Crush.

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