WE conservatives have been waiting for this: the moment when liberal pundits would view the failed Obama presidency and sigh that the job was just too big for one man. Déjà vu Jimmy Carter all over again.
So here comes liberal worthy Chris Cillizza telling us that "It's virtually impossible to be a successful modern president." No!
For you young 'uns, a bit of history. Back in the 1970s when the liberals ruined the economy with Keynesianism and big government and Jimmy Carter had his head handed to him by the Soviets, the best and the brightest all opined that, gosh, the job was just too big for one man. Maybe we needed a committee of presidents instead of one man.
Earth to liberals: The problem isn't the man. The problem is the system, the whole unjust system of administrative bureaucracy by the best and brightest that you call "liberal" and "progressive."
Oh and don't forget to add in the secular liberal Puritanism that stigmatizes and shames and shuns anyone that doesn't salute when the identity-politics parade goes by. What I want to know is who will write The Pink Letter for our age in which a conservative young woman gets shamed and shunned and forced to wear a pink "B" because she didn't want to make a wedding cake for a pair of sue-happy gays with contacts at the local Human Rights Commission?
But of course liberalism is not merely unjust. It studiously ignores, as any pony-tailed lefty fundamentalist would do, a century of settled social science.
Correction. It would be settled science if more than 2 1/2 liberals had actually read it and if more than a couple of liberal professors had actually got their students to study it.
Let's review the settled science.
Settled Science Part One. It was nearly a century ago that the Austrian Jew Ludwig von Mises wrote that socialism couldn't work because it couldn't compute prices. For about 20 years lefty writers tried to refute Mises. Then they gave up and pushed him down the memory hole.
Settled Science Part Two. Mises' student, F.A. Hayek extended his teacher's argument. He said that administrative government couldn't work, for two reasons. Reason one was that the administrative bureaucrat could never know enough to run a large program when compared against millions of consumers and producers interacting via the price system. Reason two was that you could never write a law that covered all the contingencies of a large government program, so bureaucrats would have to write regulations on the fly. But wait a minute! I thought that writing laws was the job of Congress, not the president and his assignees. Hello Injustice. Hello Obamacare!
Settled Science Part Three. All legislating involves the springtime of the special interests and the buying of votes to force the legislation down the throats of the minority. This settled science is called "public choice" theory. The go-to guys are James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock in The Calculus of Consent. Interestingly, if you are interested in justice, the only voting system that does not involve raping and pillaging the minority is the voting system of unanimous consent. That way the majority has to buy the votes of the entire minority; in other words the majority will have to compensate the minority for its costs. Notice the gravamen of this settled science. All legislation is unjust except unanimous consent, because all majority voting amounts to two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for breakfast.
The answer to the injustice of liberal politics is simple, Chris Cillizza. Read, learn, and inwardly digest the settled science and stop this culture of denial. Cut government down to size, so that it is within the span of control of a single man.
Actually there is a bigger question here, and it issues from my apothegm that "government is force."
If government is force then everything that government does has the character of a war: a war on terror or a war on big banks. (Har Har. I notice that progressive darling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is perfectly happy with the crony capitalist Ex-Im Bank).
Then there are the wars on drugs, on poverty, on bigotry, on ignorance. They go on forever.
And that's the problem. You can see it from the failed presidency of George W. Bush. He realized that he could only fight one war, the war in Iraq. So he let everything else slide, including the housing bubble that was the consequence of a war for affordable housing and a war against redlining.
Here's my point. The president is really nothing more than the commander-in-chief. He is there in case the United States needs to go to war. If the United States is engaged in a bunch of stupid local liberal wars like the war on poverty and the war on bigotry then the president isn't going to have enough bandwidth to do his job when a real war comes along. He's going to be distracted by all the liberal activists showing up to insist that he nullify the immigration laws, etc.
So, Chris Cillizza and all you big-government believers: here's the bottom line. If you want the president to be successful, then stop the expansion of government. Don't have the government in charge of social services and turn everything social into a war against something. Put the people in charge of helping the poor and educating the children. Because justice. Don't have the government regulating business: it won't work. Public choice theory says that the regulators will end up being "captured" by the businesses they regulate. Don't regulate business. Because justice.
There's really a simple reason why we should cut the size of government. We humans are social animals that thrive by communication and cooperation. We are not Newtonian mechanical monsters that move by force. Big business and big government are systems, and systems are there to dominate. Even German neo-Marxists like Jürgen Habermas can figure that out.
A big hinge-point in my adult life from 1968 to now is the Turn of 1998. That's when nice kindly women voters decided that since the federal budget was in surplus it was time for government to "do" stuff again. No! No! No! That's what I wanted to bellow to the soccer moms back then. Everything government does is a mess; everything it does is a waste, from the Pentagon down to midnight ...
WE'VE been looking at business and government, and noting their huge power to dominate in the modern age. But which is worst? If you ask the politician or the activist they would say it's no contest. The only thing saving the worker from a fate worse than death is the social legislation and regulation that the modern state has enacted over the last century to curb the power of business and ...
IN the last post we looked at the two remaining mega-fauna on Earth: big government and big business. Both are monstrous systems and the purpose of systems, the German neo-Marxists tell us, is domination. But business seems to be something more, because in the last two centuries, the age of business, the per-capita income of humans within the boundaries of capitalism has gone up by 20 times. ...
THE two Big Problems of human society, in my view, are Freeloaders and Freebooters. I have a whole chapter about it in "Freebooters and Freeloaders." Who are they?
The Freebooters are the common criminals that prey on the poor. That's what we have police forces for. That's just the domestic freebooters. The foreign freebooters are the neighboring state, the expansionist empire, the marauders and the pirates. That's what we have armies for.
But what about the freeloaders? They are the people looking for free stuff. And it's a curious thing that the government that defends us from freebooters, common criminals and dreaded foreign powers, is the agency that tends and feeds the freeloaders. Why does it do that? Because that is how all governments maintain their power. They originate as rebel or conquering armies that distribute baronies to the captains in their armies. They continue by buying the loyalty of their supporters with government spending and privileges.
So we could say that governments exist to protect the people from the predators. But they do it at the cost of encouraging the freeloaders. Two steps forward and one step backward.
What do we do about the freeloader problem? That's what we have religion for, and specifically the post-Axial Age religions that advance an individual relationship with God. Put it this way. The only way you can deal with a common criminal is by arresting him and locking him up. But freeloaders are different. They are people that don't actively break the law. They are just sneaking around looking for handouts. It's obviously a universal human trait or we wouldn't have supermarket specials and coupons and airline frequent flier programs.
The way you deal with freeloaders is you make them ashamed of their idleness. You shame them into getting a job. That's what religion does.
Back when Jane Austen was writing novels it was nothing for the rich to be idle. And the worst of the worst were the young heirs that wasted their youths on gambling and dissipation. I am thinking in particular of young Tom Bertram in Mansfield Park.
Not any more. The liberal trustafarians of our own time all present themselves as busy as bees running their family foundations and funding social justice projects. High class women don't sit around embroidering and making calls. They all have college educations and have careers. Rich people don't have social cachet these days unless they are doing something.
So much for the rich. But at the other end of the spectrum the modern welfare state actually encourages the poor in their idleness. It makes a virtue out of freeloading! And this is coded into the very design of the authoritarian welfare state and its over-under governing coalition. The "over" part gets the jobs, the money, the power and the love of beautiful women. The "under" part gets to freeload with a share of the loot, a payoff for voting the "overs" into power.
Now I maintain that the secular liberal political movement is actually a secular religion. It is not just a governing party but a way of life. So here we have a religion that actually promotes freeloading!
If you ask me, something's gotta give.
Here's my idea for a better America. Keep the government focused on fighting the freebooters and the predators. Government is force, and the only thing it can do is wage war on someone.
But we need a new religion to shame the freeloaders. Religion is all about the meaning of life and what it takes to live a good life. And the way that religion works on people is by shaming and shunning the backsliders: "social control" as our liberal friends put it.
But first we've got to chase the present liberal priesthood out of the temple, because their religion is a false religion. If a religion does not shame its believers away from freeloading then it is worth nothing at all.
THERE'S a big flap going on in SF quarters right now about rape. Conservative SF writer Larry Correia in his blog affirmed the advice of Miss Nevada that women should take self-defense classes to protect themselves from rapists. Apparently this is all wrong. The current liberal narrative is that there is a "rape culture" in the US and that instead of teaching women to defend themselves we ...
YESTERDAY talk-show host Rush Limbaugh riffed off a piece in Redstate.com about crony capitalism. Big business, you see, doesn't like Dave Brat and his populist anti-corporatism. They are afraid that Tea Party populism could upset their relationship with their "strongest champions on Capitol Hill." Look, I understand how business feels about this. It's all very well for a Tea Party candidate...
WHAT makes humans different? In our modern era our opinion leaders have been moving closer and closer to the Folger's TV commercial insistence that there's "no difference." People can't tell the difference between Folger's mass-market coffee and the other kind -- at least not after a satisfying restaurant meal. Nor is there any difference between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. We...
ONE of my favorite themes is that our liberal friends are a little to quick to suggest that the kind of government they advance is really just the benign program of a bunch of kindly librarians. This allows them to forget, as they crunch down ruthlessly on anyone that disagrees with them, that government is force. Now David Brat, economics professor and giant slayer, has dared to write that ...
EVERYONE who is anyone agrees that the Tea Party is a dangerous bunch of extremists. That's when they aren't agreeing that the Tea Party is a bunch of clueless Sharron Angles and Christine O'Donnells. But I find myself wondering: could anything like the Tea Party happen to the Democrats? Let's look back. The last time that the Democrats had agitation in the ranks was the Occupy movement in ...
WHEN I VOTED for Barack Obama in 2008 along with all the kiddies that swarmed into my polling place, I did not do it because I had any confidence in him. I voted for Obama because I wanted Democrats to be in charge of US foreign policy so that they could get beyond the inanity of Bush Lied, People Died and deal with global reality rather than talking-point reality.
What I did not appreciate was that Democrats had, in the 2000s, diligently unlearned the economic lessons of the Reagan Revolution.
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For conservatives and Republicans, President Obama’s insouciant approach to government, that he can do anything he wants using his phone and his pen, is maddening. ...
THE GREAT EVENT of the second millennium was the rise of the world-historical middle class.... 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, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
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
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[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
[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.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[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
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