|Break the Chains, says Joe||"Mittens" or Monster?|
by Christopher Chantrill
August 28, 2012 at 12:00 am
THERE WERE two big takeaways for me on 2016: Obamas America. One was the united front that Barry and his mom formed against step-father Lolo Soeteros capitalist career working for an evil oil company in Indonesia. The other was Dinesh DSouzas interview with one of Barack Seniors old anti-colonialist buddies back in Kenya. The old guy is still spouting the anti-colonial bunkum about the Brits looting the colonies and its modern refrain, that the US is in the Middle East to grab the oil. Oh, and the Arabs are victims of the Israelis.
Dineshs movie reminds us that our 2012 presidential candidates are unapologetic representatives of two great 19th century belief systems. Barack Obama believes in the Exploitation narrative, invented by Marx and extended by Lenin. To Obama and his lefty mom, oil companies might as well be 19th century textile sweatshops, and the highest calling in the world is to advocate for the poor against the capitalist exploiters.
Mitt Romney is a horse of a different color. He belongs to a church founded in Americas Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century. He practices the modern capitalism of the 21st century. You take money from where it is to where it is wanted, helping start new companies or trying to save old ones. You hire the best people and train them up, and give them all the responsibility they can handle. When you see a problem, he writes, you run toward it or it will only get worse. No leading from behind for Mitt.
The Exploitation narrative is obviously attractive to people looking for a political career. It says that some helpless group, the workers, for example, are suffering from injustice or oppression. They are not getting their just deserts. So the radical suit or community organizer organizes them to fight for a political solution to their problem, and take what is rightfully theirs. Barack Obama did that for a couple of years, organizing the laid-off steelworkers in South Chicago.
The Second Great Awakening was quintessentially American. It was an upwelling of religious enthusiasm among the common people, and it was particularly strong in the burned over district in western New York where the Smiths, a close and loving family greatly given to religious discussion and experimentation, lived just outside Palmyra. A new religion typically starts as a family affair, according to sociologist Rodney Stark, and so it was with family of Joseph Smith.
The difference between the Exploitation narrative and the religious Awakening narrative is that, under Exploitation, the people believe that the rich have to change. Under the Awakening narrative it is we the people that have to change, one soul at a time.
One problem with the Exploitation narrative is what happens after the people have, under the leadership of their community organizers, won power and the right to make the guilty pay. Over and over again, we have seen the community organizers attempt to organize the whole nation as though it were a political army. Thus the Soviets, the Chinese and the Tanzanians organized the peasants into central-controlled collective farms according to a grand plan that utterly failed. In the 1930s the New Dealers organized everyone into a central-controlled pension plan. In the 2010 President Obama organized everyone into a central-controlled health care plan.
In the LDS narrative it is the church members, not the community organizer cadres, that get enrolled into running things. Even the lordly Mitt Romney must take his turn to serve as an ordinary ward bishop or stake president. Then he finds himself called away from creating jobs at Bain Capital to run the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In other words, the Mormon church is a civil society association in which all are called in turn to serve and to lead. Its the American Way, as Alexis de Tocqueville observed in the 1830s.
Roger Scruton, in his new How to Think Seriously About the Planet nails the difference between the Exploitation and the American way of doing things. Writing about environmental policy, he says that a regulation should never confiscate the problem from those who have the job of solving it.
Thats the whole thing in a nutshell. In Obamas America, liberals want to confiscate problems from those who should have the job--and the satisfaction--of doing it. Why? Because liberals want that satisfaction for themselves. Educating your children? Much better to confiscate it from ordinary people and let liberal experts do it. Health care? Obama-Reid-Pelosi have confiscated it and given it to 15 liberal bureaucrats at the IPAB. You didnt build that. Only liberals are allowed the satisfaction of building things in Obamas America.
In Romneys America the ordinary people get together in their little platoons to solve their problems and build it--on their own.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[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
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America