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  An American Manifesto
Saturday September 20, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

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Why Liberals Hate Inequality Dr. Ben Carson and the Responsible Self

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The Liberal Bubble of Self-Deceit

by Christopher Chantrill
February 12, 2013 at 11:56 am

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BACK IN 2008 I decided to vote for Barack Obama because I wanted the Democrats in charge of foreign policy. I never thought that they would do a good job, but I felt they needed to own US foreign policy for a while. For eight years they had been ragging on President Bush as the stupidest, most warmongering president in history, who was flushing civil liberties down the toilet with his Patriot Act. But now, Andrew McCarthy writes:

After four years of watching Obama enthusiastically adopt what he once condemned, we now know Bush detractors were animated by politics, not conviction. We now know that, across a broad spectrum of Obama progressives and national-security conservatives, there is consensus about an aggressive counterterrorism model.

OK, so the liberals finally signed onto the war on terror, kinda, sorta, but don’t tell anyone. Now, McCarthy urges, we need the president to push for a “national security court to deal with the unique legal challenges of a war against transnational terrorists.”

President Obama could do it — he could deliver plenty of Democrats. Together with the strong Republican support that is guaranteed, we could very quickly have an enduring, constitutionally sound counterterrorism framework. We could craft legislation that provides broad executive discretion but avoids the dangerous excesses of the Justice Department white paper.

Only President Obama won’t lead. He just had the Attorney General produce a secret white paper that authorizes him to kill Americans that act as enemy combatants. But forget about formalizing his policy in legislation.

You can see why. The president and his fellow Democrats are afraid to lead their progressive base back onto the reservation. They spent the entire decade of the 2000s raging about Bush the mad bomber and human-rights violator, and now they can’t face their base and break the bubble of deceit.

It’s the same with domestic policy. Democrats won’t touch entitlement reform. Instead they keep driving their voters towards the buffalo jump that will send grannie’s Medicare over the cliff.

And so on, with welfare, global warming, mortgage mayhem. Arthur Laffer has a piece in the Wall Street Journal about how a woman on welfare with two kids usually faces a marginal tax rate of about 100 percent if she starts to work. No wonder the president wants to increase the marginal tax rate on the rich—just to make it fair.

What do Democrats really think is right for the country? Never mind. If it doesn’t keep the Democratic majority steadily emerging they are not interested.

So liberals have to deceive themselves. It all started right after the Great Society legislation. According to Charles Murray in Losing Ground liberals had instrumented their new programs with lots of reporting so they could measure and trumpet their success to the world. When the programs didn’t work out, and the reports showed it, liberals sent the reports straight to the stacks. It’s been that way ever since.

Here’s some reality for you. Mr. Skinflint here has finally sprung for a copy of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics at Half Price Books. At $9.99, why not?

Dr. Sowell sensibly starts out his book with “The Role of Prices.” Really, everyone should read Sowell on prices once a year. You need to do that in order to flush out all the mainstream media misdirection, not to mention the special-interest ifs, ands and buts, that endlessly muddy your brain.

Sowell writes about price controls, especially rent controls. The science is in on rent controls: has been for decades. They reduce the supply of housing, they result in housing decay and abandonment. And the rich benefit while the poor get screwed. Still, even the black Sowell family got to benefit from the rent control in New York City in World War II and actually contributed to the housing shortage. But they didn’t have a clue what was wrong. Sowell admits the shameful truth:

My own family, which occupied a two-bedroom apartment in 1939, before the war, occupied two apartments with a total of four bedrooms in 1944, and of course two kitchens and two bathrooms. Yet we were as baffled as everyone else as to why there was a housing shortage.

It’s not too hard to understand how liberals manage to live in denial about rent control. Maybe they have a friend with a rent-controlled apartment. Maybe grannie is panicking at giving up the apartment she’s had for 50 years. And of course, if you were the New York Times, you wouldn’t want to rile up your liberal readers with unpleasant truths about basic economics.

I suppose that’s the reason we have speech codes, and the mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about the lefty politics of the LA police killer. Liberals need to stay safe in their bubble of self-deceit.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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 TAGS


Responsible Self

[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.


Taking Responsibility

[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


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[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


Liberal Coercion

[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


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

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


US Life in 1842

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


Society and State

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


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


Never Trust Experts

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, “Letter to Lord Lytton”


Conservatism's Holy Grail

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


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


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