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by Christopher Chantrill
January 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm
NORMALLY, I can’t get interested in the daily liberal partisan output, but when I saw RealClearPolitics’ link to Andy Kroll of Mother Jones on “Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics” I decided to make an exception.
Nancy Pelosi has been promising to take back the House in 2014: maybe the lefties at Mother Jones knew something I didn’t know.
The “massive new liberal plan” turned out to be a meeting of all the usual suspects to commit resources and staff to a three-point plan. The plan calls for:
1. getting big money out of politics,
2. expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and
3. rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation.
Nothing new, in other words, just the usual liberal push to marginalize and demonize anyone and anything that isn’t liberal.
Kroll is full of the usual rubbish about “wringing our hands over the Koch brothers” and the “40-plus-year strategy by the Scaifes, Exxons, Coors, and Kochs of the world... to take over the country.”
Now I like to say that there are only five things wrong with liberal thought and politics: its cruelty, its corruption, its injustice, its waste, and its delusion. The delusion bit begins with the need for lefty-liberals like Kroll to insist that those awful Kochs and Scaifes and Exxons are trying to take over the world, so they can demonize them.
Let’s stipulate that Karl Marx had a point when he worried about capitalists replacing the landed warrior class as the overlords and oppressors of the modern era. Way back then, who could tell how the power contest of the industrial era would turn out?
But the answer eventually became clear, at the very latest when the US government broke up Standard Oil a century ago. If the capitalists were really running things, why would they let the politicians smash up their capitalist corporations?
In our own time we have the recent evidence of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. When President Obama told BP to fork out $20 billion--before any regulatory finding or legislative action, just on his say-so--BP merely asked whether to pay with their usual eftps.gov account. If you are not living a delusion that act has to tell you something.
This week we have the Boeing Dreamliner problem. Does Boeing tell the FAA and the flying public to go take a hike? They wouldn’t dare.
The left needs the idea of vast corporate power to populate its tableau of oppression. It needs oppression to justify its lust for government power. And it needs to divide employers and employees to maintain its power.
However, advanced lefties realize that the old tableau of capitalists vs. proletarians needs freshening up. So Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their Empire-Multitude-Commonwealth trilogy declare that the capitalists are now merely surplus. In the new economy of “biopolitical production” the capitalists just get in the way of the spontaneous exchanges of the multitude, the “labor of the head and heart, including forms of service work, affective labor, and cognitive labor.” Hardt and Negri call for an end of the power of both capitalists and the welfare state in favor of the spontaneity and self-governance of the multitude. But first we need a “global initiative to provide the basic means of life to all:” income, health care, and education.
Isn’t it odd that a book advertising the wonders of spontaneous order among millions of “singularities” in the multitude wouldn’t have one, not even one index entry for F.A. Hayek, who wrote the book on it.
Hardt and Negri call for revolution (of course!) to purge the “common” of its “corrupt form.” They mean “the family, the corporation, and the nation.”
One is reminded of Winston Churchill line that democracy was the worst form of government “except all the others that have been tried.”
One day in the glorious future the history of the last century will be written as the repeated and delusional attempt by people like Andy Kroll and Hardt and Negri to force on us a society stripped of the most stunning and most beneficial forms of social cooperation ever established by settled science: the nuclear family to organize generation, the limited liability corporation to organize production and service, and the nation state to create a society based on the tie of common language rather than common blood.
It’s this combination of the common in its corrupt form that got us from $1-3 to $120 per person per day in 200 years.
There will come a day when people will ask of us, as we wonder about the Romans, how could we end up so stupid, so deluded?
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