It’s that time of year again, tax time. The April weekend when millions of Americans struggle over filing federal income tax returns. ...MORE
Insurance is a concept where lots of people pay a little so a few can get a lot, while government is a system where lots of people get a little while a few pay a lot. Mix it up, and you get a train wreck. ...MORE
I wonder if it’s time to update Charles Krauthammer’s catchphrase about liberals and conservatives. Conservatives think liberals are stupid; liberals think conservatives are evil, says Dr. K.
Because if you are stupid enough to believe that your political opponents are “evil”, then you are stupid enough to wander into the paths of evil. Like right now.
If you are stupid enough to think that the practice of politics is exhausted by the politics of the community organizer, and that the only thing you need to do is to rally your troops with racist, sexist, classist catchphrases, then you really don’t deserve to govern in America.
I have my own catchphrases, and one of them is that “politics is division.”
There is, or at least I hope there is, a warning in that catchphrase. If you want to have a society in which people are doing something more than fighting each other over loot and plunder then you’ll have to make your politics extend to something a little bigger than mere division of the nation into “us” -- the good, the evolved, the educated -- and “them.”
And we know that liberals know this because they keep blathering on about the “other.” Except that if you are a sophisticated liberal that knows your German philosophy you will talk on a slightly higher plane about “ego” and “alter” of course.
When liberals reduce their politics, as the president seems to be doing this season, to efforts to rile up the race base, with speeches at the convention of the racist National Action Network, or rile up the feminist base with lawyers’ protection bills like the Paycheck Fairness Act that makes employers guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent, or with class appeals like the president’s minimum wage policy, when liberals do that then conservatives have every reason to wonder if liberals are something worse than stupid.
Because you are basically saying that there is no compromise with the other side. They must be destroyed.
How are you going to be able to work with people across the aisle after such a season of naked race, sex, and class baiting?
Now we have the IRS scandal, which seems to be escalating beyond mere efforts to embarrass conservatives trying to organize for political action into efforts to trick conservatives into criminal acts.
In the opinion of J. Christian Adams these efforts of the liberals stem from the thinking and the doing of their left-wing activist base. He goes into a lot of detail showing how these groups have persuaded themselves that right-wing speech is illegitimate and should be censored. They even have University of California at Irvine Law Professor Rick Hasen with a blog to bring all the speech regulators together.
We all make a joke about this, and chuckle about the inanities of “political correctness.” But think about this. Liberals, the ones that lecture us about the “other,” seem not to understand the danger to themselves of censoring the “other’” speech.
What do I mean by this? I mean this: Does it not occur to liberals that when you censor other peoples’ speech it makes them really angry? Does it not occur to liberals that one of the reasons we have the First Amendment is to provide people with a safety valve? They may not get what they want from the political process but at least they have the right to peaceably assemble and present their grievances. If people present their ideas and then get defeated in a fair election, they they are likely to go home and feel that they have at least had a chance to make their case.
The only way this regulation of other peoples' speech works in the long term is if you are prepared to go Full Monty totalitarian and put your opponents in the gulag. I presume that liberals are not planning to do that. Not yet.
So why don’t liberals have the common courtesy of letting their opponents organize politically without harassment? How come that they are stupid enough to harass their opponents enough to make them really angry?
Well we know how all this comes about. It comes about because politics for liberals is a kind of religion. It is not just a practical thing about repressing violent foreign powers and violent domestic criminals. Politics is also about right and wrong, good and evil. It is also about saving society from injustice.
It is very easy, when your politics is to you religious, to make the next logical step, and try to suppress the Evil One. Nobody needs to ask Satan how he feels about things; you just stick it to him.
This is why I think that liberals are in for the worst times they can imagine. Ordinary, decent people are going to be shocked and indignant as they slowly get the picture on the corruptions and the repressions of the Obama administration -- let alone angry that they can’t keep their doctor and can’t keep their health plan.
Of all people, liberals should know this. They were beside themselves during the Bush administration, absolutely outraged by Christian conservatives in positions of government power. Can they not therefore see that conservatives might be absolutely outraged by what they experience as liberal abuse of power?
Answer: no they can’t. They can’t see it. It’s comical, in a way, because liberals have built a huge edifice of developmental psychology to account for the fact that most people can’t see other peoples’ point of view, starting with people that cannot even experience the possibility of other points of view. Only at the upper reaches of developmental psychological systems are there people that can put themselves in the place of the “other” and can understand the fact of other people, other ideas, other world views as perfectly natural and physical. Yet the liberal psychologists are about the worst when it comes to political intolerance.
And because liberals live in a bubble and have a way of forbidding anyone from uttering a discouraging word, they won’t know what’s hit them until it’s hit them.
THE US Senate is presently putting together what reads like Obamacare for Mortgages, a fiendishly complicated bill that will privatize, yet super-regulate home mortgages -- with a ton of special subsidy programs to queer the whole thing into a nightmare. At least that's what the Wall Street Journal reports. So the political elite hasn't learned from the Great Crash of 2008. And no wonder. ...
YOU can't be serious. That is perhaps what conservatives feel as each new Obama era folly hits the headlines. This week we saw Democrats in the House claiming that the Republican pursuit of Lois Lerner was McCarthyism. We heard of the Dallas office of the IRS brimming with pro-Obama election fever. We saw liberal students and faculty getting Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born woman who has ...
THE defenestration of Brendan Eich last week electrified the conservative world. Imagine! A guy contributes money to an initiative campaign in 2008 and that disqualifies him from running Mozilla, the non-profit foundation that makes Firefox. So the gay rights movement has progressed from hiding in the shadows to forcing its opponents into the shadows. That is what you call progress. But we ...
IN the third night of Wagner's monumental Der Ring des Nibelungen the broken Wotan, king of the gods, is reduced in Siegfried to "Der Wanderer," wandering the earth, his dreams of power shattered.
But Mime the dwarf still has a power project. He wants to reforge Nothung, Siegmund's shattered sword so he can kill Fafner the dragon and recover the Nibelungs' golden hoard.
Ask me three questions, says the Wanderer, but Mime is too stupid to ask the right ones. Instead he asks who lives on the earth, below the earth and above the earth.
But here in America as the Obama years dissolve into disappointment and rage, we need to know who lives where. We need to understand the different kinds of Americans and "where they live" so that, we may hope, we can pick up the pieces after Obamadämmerung, heal our divisions, and get back on our American journey.
Who lives below the earth? The Nibelungs, said the Wanderer, and Nibelheim is their land. But in our world the Nibelungs are the folks camping out in our dysfunctional cities, living a stunted life on welfare and disability and single-parenthood, reduced to sending their kids to dreadful schools. I call them the "people of the victim self." They are people that do not believe in agency, in the ability of the individual to make a difference in her life. They look to a powerful leader to support them with the crumbs from his table. Their faith is the faith of the rank and file in the charismatic leader.
Who lives on the earth? The giants, die Riesen, said the Wanderer, and Riesenheim is their land. But in our world the plodding construction firm of Fasolt and Fafner, builders of Valhalla, are the broad middle class, the people that follow the rules, go to work, obey the law, and pay their taxes. I call them the "people of the responsible self." These are people that believe it is up to each one to get an education, get a job, and find a way of contributing to society. Their faith is the faith that each individual can make a difference.
Who lives above the earth? The gods, of course, the "Lichtalben" or lightbringers, said the Wanderer, and Valhalla is their estate. With his spear, Wotan rules the world. In our world, of course, the gods are the liberals, and they rule the world with their education, their large-mindedness, and their control of the culture. I call them the "people of the creative self." These are people that believe the simple life of responsibility is shameful, because creative people are called to something higher, to make or enact some new creation of the mind. But liberals have warped this noble idea. They do not say: here's a good idea; they say pass this bill so we can see what's in it. Liberals can never leave anything alone. Everything must be a creation of liberal minds and liberal power, and no others need apply. Health care cannot be allowed to develop on its own; liberals must positively shape and order it. The normal life of growth, marriage and children is a kind of serfdom, a subjection to a culture of patriarchy. Thus to differentiate oneself, liberals must "challenge the system" in activism, in gender-bending, in a life as a creative artist.
You can see that each of these peoples is social in the full human sense of the word. The people of the victim self belong by subordinating themselves to a leader as a way to get along by going along. The people of the responsible self belong by surrendering their ego to the will of the market, and law, and work, and family in the faith that the market and the law will reciprocate their surrender. The people of the creative self belong by contributing their intelligence, their education, their creativity, in the faith that the world can only progress through the power of an enlightened elite.
So now we know who the America People are. Let us now ask what went wrong.
Something has gone wrong, and we know what it is. The people of the creative self have not used their power for good. They have used it to worship themselves instead of serve society. They have used force where they should have used persuasion; they have divided where they ought to have unified. So the progressives, the lightbringers, have not brought sweetness and light, but injustice and darkness. Like all ruling classes, they have not ruled for the benefit for the least among us, but to continue their own power.
What matters in this world is not the cunning of the underclass, not the rule-following of the middle class, not the power of the over class. What matters in the end is the power of women's love. And before that the cunning of the Nibelungs, the rules written on Wotan's spear, and the power of the ruling class will melt away in yet another Götterdämmerung.
Every ruling class gets seduced by earthly power, and ends up in a maelstrom of cruel injustice as it seeks to hang on to power by grasping at straws, and so our liberal creative class will rattle in the tumbrils to the guillotine asking plaintively: what did we do wrong?
And the answer always is: we told you, but you refused to listen.
WHAT happens when government takes over health care? You get dozens of bureaucratic horrors like the "two midnight" rule for Medicare. What is the two midnight rule? It is rule CMS 1599-F. This new, Obamacare-forced rule specified that a hospital stay can only be paid for by Medicare insurance if that stay “(1) expects the beneficiary to require a stay that crosses at least two midnights and...
EVERYONE says that Republicans should reach out to minorities, especially Hispanics and blacks. But, Thomas Sowell writes, Too many Republicans seem to think that the way to "reach out" is to offer blacks and other minorities what the Democrats are offering them. Some have even suggested that the channels to use are organizations like the NAACP and black "leaders" like Jesse Jackson -- that is...
WHAT should the US and its allies do about a revanchist Russia? Or Iran? Or Venezuela? Leaving aside the question of Ukraine, we learned recently that Russia was setting up agreements for naval port facilities in eight countries. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday the military was engaged in talks with Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Algeria, Cyprus, the Seychelles, Vietnam and ...
THE notion of the "Cathedral" was invented by Mencius Moldbug, Curtis Yarvin, in his blog. The idea is simple. Today's ruling class is a kind of secular church, for it combines its politics and its secular religion much like an established church. The lead role in the Cathedral is taken by the professors. They are the chaps with the progressive ideas. The media and the entertainment ...
PROBABLY EVERYONE to the right of President Obama’s liberal billionaire contributors has seen the pathetic local news video from WTAE Pittsburgh, the one showing the white working class getting the bad news on Obamacare.
Yep, ordinary blue-collar workers are getting hammered by Obamacare, because the small manufacturing and service businesses they work for are not ...
OK, I admit it. ...
THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM among western cultural elites is that God is dead and we are well rid of him.... more
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
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