Jordan 179 on Political Culture

Today’s must-read article on the nature and pacing of political change: http://jordan179.livejournal.com/255430.html

…. the State is now doing something which, decades ago, would have led to protest and possibly violent rebellion, which is now just accepted as “the way things are,” which is to say the change has become part of the political culture.  These changes may be good, or bad from our POV.  (Personally, while I’m not happy that the States are no longer semi-independent, I’m very happy that Lincoln liberated the slaves).  This is irrelevant.  The important point is that the changes are no longer controversial.

This is what Obama wants to do, in his lifetime.  He wants to secure the regulatory expansion of the 1970′s and go a bit beyond it, and have these changes be ratified by his successors so that, by 2030 or so (when he’ll have long since retired from politics) Americans just accept this growth in Federal purview as normal, and only a few extremists still regard them as controversial.

Think this couldn’t happen?  Imagine the position of a man in 1800 who believed that America should still be under British rule.  Or a man in 1890 who thought that states should be able to nullify Federal laws.  Or a man in 1960 who argued that it was malfeasance for the Federal government to deliberately inflate the currency.

Let me quote the concluding paragraph:

… the French conservatives were utterly-ineffectual in their opposition to socialism in France, and now it may be too late for France.  Generations have grown up now who simply accept socialism as “the way things are,” and regard any attempt to turn it back as unrealistic at best, insane at worst.  It has become part of the French political culture.

Let us on the American Right, both conservative and libertarian, unite to prevent the ratification of Obama’s socialism before it simply becomes part of the political culture.  I’ve already argued to the Religious Right that stopping Obama and his socialist successors is more important than opposing homosexuality; now I’m agruing to the Libertarian Right that stopping Obama and his socialist successors is more important than opposing religiousity or even crony capitalism.

Because if we fail, that’s it for the American Experiment.  America herself will endure, probably grow stronger by shifting from economic predominance to military domination over key resources.  But America will endure as an Empire, not as a Republic.

Honestly, if someone has to be the “Roman Empire” of the Western Civilization, I’d rather it be America than, say, China or even France.  But I’d much rather see the Republic live on.

Wouldn’t you?

Read the whole thing here.

37 Comments

  1. Comment by Sean Michael:

    Dear Mr. Wright:

    Frankly, I have my doubts the US can or will become a “Roman Empire” dominating or unifying the West. Largely because the insane follies of socialism and endless government meddling with free enterprise has made the US too BROKE and bankrupt to rule North and South America and Europe. I think we are far more likely to have another and far worse Great Depression, what I call the “Great Crash.” I even fear our weakened military will tempt pirates to raid our coasts!

    As of now, I can’t see any power, good or bad, the US, China, Russia, etc., dominating the world in the foreseeable future. A new jihadist caliphate might try, but is likely to bloodily fail. And good riddance to jihadist Islam!

    I think something like the scenario speculated about in Poul Anderson’s Technic Civilization stories is more likely. That is, mankind finally gets off this wretched rock into space, settling first the Solar System and then reaching the stars. Politically, we might see on Earth the rise of a Solar Commowealth (a world federation of the old nations of Earth), independent extra solar colonized worlds, interstellar trade and commerce organized under a Polesotechnic League. Then there might come a Time of Troubles in which this system collapses and interstellar order is restored by a Terran Empire. And of course the Terran Empire will face trouble and danger from hostile rivals!

    Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

  2. Comment by Jordan179:

    Thank you for referencing my article :)

    The last link is however broken. This is the one you want:

    http://jordan179.livejournal.com/255430.html

    Sean, you’re forgetting just how low things got for the Roman Republic before Julius Caesar and Augustus created the Empire. There were several civil wars, barbarian incursions, and pirates raiding Roman shipping all over the Mediterranean. The chaos, violence and waste of the Late Republic was precisely why, when Augustus “restored” the Republic into the Empire, most Romans were ok with this.

    Nobody starts out with a republic functioning as well as does ours most of the time and wants an empire. They won’t trade their own political freedom for nothing. It’s when things are so chaotic and dangerous that people feel personally threatened by it that they are willing to trade their freedom for a little order and safety. Which is exactly what happened to Rome, and could happen to us.

    As for the economic problem, I’m wondering when we’ll remember the Roman solution: make war pay for itself by exploiting one’s conquests. The combination of Muslim oil wealth with Muslim hostility, for instance, creates a huge temptation: the more so because the oil wealth can rather easily be exploited without the consent of the native population. The same thing goes to a lesser degree for African mineral wealth. As for Europe, the Europeans should be warned away from policies of military cuts and social spending by what the Roman governors did to Greek cities in the Late Republic. But Europe is in the process of forgetting all that, since they feel Classical education is no longer “relevant.”

    • Comment by Joseph M (was Ishmael Alighieri):

      Nice essay. Question: one striking characteristic of out current state is the creation, manipulation and leveraging of crises. So far, it’s the unreality or disproportion of the crisis versus the steps taken to allegedly address them that is shocking. We have the best health care in the world, but some people – a relatively small percentage of the population – can’t get it for a variety of reasons, mostly economic. The solution – socialize 1/6th of the economy – seems very disproportionate, to say the least. 3,000 Americans are brutally murdered on 9/11. The solution includes a gigantic Department of Homeland Security (which sounds a lot like what an earlier age would have expected from its army) and the surrender of many of what used to be considered precious rights, in addition to the military action one would reasonably expect.

      Rather than being threatened from the outside like Roman Republic actually was, it sure seems like we are merely being played for fools, with only trumped up or imaginary problems.

      Is this right, or were the Roman Republicans equally played?

      I suppose in the longer run, it’s moot, as our decay (principally moral, but also economic and military) will ultimately invite very real problems of a magnitude we’re only pretending to have now.

      I feel like a lobster in a pot of cold water, only I know the burner just ignited.

    • Comment by Sean Michael:

      Hi, Jordan179:

      Many thanks for your comments. I agree that it was the steadily increasing chaos and violence of the Late Roman Republic which made the Principate Augustus founded something the Romans gratefully accepted. Then I have to amend my previous statements to point out we have not yet gotten to analogous state of chaos of the kind that would force drastic change in the form of the state. And I don’t know when we will.

      As for making our wars pay for themselves by collecting tribute from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, etc., that is a possibility, I admit. And might come when Americans start demanding that the people we “protect” pay for that protection. But that does not change the fact the US is BANKRUPT not because of the costs of wars but because of our ruinous “social welfare” spending.

      Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

  3. Comment by Joseph M (was Ishmael Alighieri):

    Dear Mr. Wright,

    You and Mr. 179 are falling into a heresy against modern dogmatism – the principle by which we are to evaluate all events is Progress, because progress, as every right-thinking individual from at least Hegel on has assured us, is what’s really happening.* What constitutes Progress is, by its very nature, unknown until we get there – we have to make progress *first*, only then can we tell what it is. Progress is both undefined and undefinable, as well as crystal-clearly whatever happens to happen, unless what happens is that we ‘turn back the clock’.

    By looking to the past for guidance, you are attempting to turn back the clock. Progress means that things are different now, so the past is no guide. You assert things will get bad only because, in similar points in the past, they always have. America is like Wesley and Buttercup in the Fire Swamp – you’re just saying we can’t make it only because no one else ever has. But life IS a fairytale – Wesley and Buttercup DO make it through the Fire Swamp because of True Love; we will make it a brave new world because of our true faith in Progress.

    At least, that how I understand it. The only problem with the above analysis is that it’s far too clear. Progressives are rarely even that clear about what they’re up to. My Obama-supporting friends are crowing over what a bullet we dodged by reelecting The One. They stuck it to The Man by reelecting The Man. Since a sense of irony depends on a sense of truth, it seems irony is dead, too.

    *That’s the basis on which Hegel throws out Aristotelian logic – it can’t be valid because it hadn’t made any progress since, well, Aristotle. Basic math is unimportant for the same reason. What a time-saver!

  4. Comment by joeclark77:

    “Let us on the American Right, both conservative and libertarian, unite to prevent the ratification of Obama’s socialism before it simply becomes part of the political culture. I’ve already argued to the Religious Right that stopping Obama and his socialist successors is more important than opposing homosexuality”

    Stop right there. “Homosexuality” is a red herring. Jordan179 means ABORTION. We should stop opposing ABORTION in order to focus on what’s really important… uh… getting rid of Obama? I resent first, the red herring intended to paint “social issues” voters as concerned with trivialities, and second, the obsession with Obama the man, as if getting rid of him would end “socialism” in America.

    I hope you don’t mind my pointing out that we will never in our lifetimes see an end to “socialism” in America except through national bankruptcy, the collapse of the dollar and resulting nullification of all dollar debts, and the reconstruction from scratch of some new currency and economy. I am not talking about political infeasibility but mathematical impossibility. It is mathematically impossible that we can ever pay our debts and fund our liabilities the old-fashioned, honest way.

    By contrast, however, it is possible however improbably that we could end abortion in this country. It could be done in one fell swoop by act of Congress or an out-of-the-blue Supreme Court decision. Or even perhaps by some mass movement of civil disobedience. Logic seems to indicate that our political efforts should be focused on this issue, where we could make a difference. This is the one we should label “most important”… even if you think “socialism” is a more important problem, it makes no sense to make your highest priority an impossibility.

    • Comment by robertjwizard:

      The polite thing would be to ask him, this would have saved you from asserting unknowables and predicting what cannot come to pass. Abortion is a much more viable target than homosexuality in the realm of social issues. He is calling homosexuality a losing proposition in the realm of social issues in a way that abortion is not.

      You assert that we will never see the end of socialism in our lifetimes, we should at least wait for it to really start before we assert its permanence. You assert that we can never pay off our debt. It is not mathematically impossible. It is painful, but not impossible.

      Out-of-the-blue Supreme Court decisions? Pure fantasy.

      I also note the spectacle of people claiming abortion is the only issue – and they are willing to see even more die to prove it! Our collapse would be that cause.

      I note the spectacle last summer, ’11, of the Catholic clergy stance against entitlement reduction – 2011 against Boehner and 2012 against Ryan. Neither man sought a reduction let alone a slashing of these programs, but a reduction in the projected future growth of these programs.

      So I ask – what, outside of banning abortion (which many Catholics practice) does a Catholic stand for politically? Because traditionally they are Democrat, fascist New Dealers.

      Let’s say one of your fantasy projections came true tomorrow – let’s say it is a double whammy, no abortion, no contraception. What then? Is it a Catholic doctrine or general belief (I am assuming you are) that this will cure all ills? And if not, qua Catholic, would have you to say of the other ills, or do you just go back to New Dealing?

      Your fear of a socialist/leftist/(and let’s not leave of environmentalist) future should be forced abortion or contraception in the name of smaller footprints, Mother Earth and the snail darter.

      • Comment by joeclark77:

        I did a search on his article, the word “abortion” does not occur. He is whining about “socialism” which he defines primarily as Barack Obama the man (as if there is any other Democrat or even Republican who would question the basic assumptions of our big government laws today) and derides anyone interested in other issues. His phrase about “the Religious Right” wanting to “oppose homosexuality” is deliberately intended to trivialize the issue of abortion. Now, I did not say that ending abortion is likely or is easy, only that it is possible given the current options available to us. There is NO way to end over-regulation, simplify the tax code, or eliminate the debt. NO political party is even offering that as an option. There is no political route to do it.

        I apologize if I gave you the impression that I only care about one issue. My opinion is that ending abortion and restoring free enterprise to the United States are two important planks of the platform. Jordan179, on the other hand, is suggesting a one-plank platform in which the abortion plank is jettisoned so that we can do… what exactly? Get rid of Obama the man. He doesn’t even have a serious plan for addressing the “socialism” he writes of… he’s actually just fixated on Obama the man, as if replacing him with another big-government liberal would satisfy him.

        I am arguing against jordan179′s position, and also rejecting his contemptuous dismissal of the “religious” right.

        • Comment by robertjwizard:

          Sorry, but merely asserting Jordan179′s intention again does nothing.

          Obama is merely represents the first, explicit step to a fundamental change to our country. The other steps, the future leaders, will tread more surely, with far less resistance, and with less reserve, until we reverse or the ultimate conclusion is borne – outright dictatorship.

          Or the whole thing will collapse into anarchy and random violence and new barbarian invasions (take your pick on this last).

          Maybe you should hope for this collapse (won’t be the first time I heard a Christian say it), it would be a lot harder to obtain an abortion in the ruins of a fallen America. At least an “official” abortion through a board certified physician. Women will use other means and avenues of course, and those may be illegal depending who rules the street she lives on.

          There are many things we can do if people would only do them. Educate, educate, educate. Contradict. Write your congressman, debate, letters to the editor. Or, if you are pressed for time, pay someone to do it as I do. I give to the Ayn Rand Institute every month. They do a wonderful, if small, job of disseminating correct policy even monthly Congressional briefings to the House and staff, and, hopefully, to the Senate next year among other things.

          The colleges also need to be taken over. There is a little time left to do this, but not as much as there used to be. There is no censorship yet (not forced by the government yet anyway).

          If you are Catholic, it might do well to try to educate your own clergy on economics and politics in general. They are clueless.

          • Comment by joeclark77:

            Obama is not the first step toward anything. He is a symptom, not the disease. Obsession with Obama the man is unhealthy.

            As for the collapse, it is mathematically inevitable. The US banks are leveraged to the tune of hundreds if not thousands of trillions of dollars, and all of their business models depend on perpetual access to money at zero interest. When interest rates inevitably rise (due to the riskiness of the economy) even to 1 or 2 percent, it’s game over. Every financial institution in the world will fall apart overnight. So much money will be printed that it will be worthless overnight. This is way bigger than the 17 trillion national debt (which is mostly a legal fiction). There is no way our economies can deleverage. Ann Barnhardt recently produced a 2.5 hour lecture on the “math” problem (barnhardt.biz, scroll down to 11/9) with plenty of references to the research of (libertarian) Karl Denninger (market-ticker.org). The collapse of the currency (at the very least) is guaranteed. We just have to hope that the dollar doesn’t take the rest of civilization with it.

            I honestly can’t figure out what your argument is. You seem to be denouncing as slander the suggestion that jordan179 would mock religious conservatives and dismiss abortion as a triviality, while simultaneously mocking religious conservatives and dismissing abortion as a triviality.

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              Obama is not the first step toward anything. He is a symptom, not the disease. Obsession with Obama the man is unhealthy.

              Hear, hear. The man himself is nothing. We fight powers and principalities, that is, it is the culture, the spirit of the times, which must be changed.

            • Comment by robertjwizard:

              Obama is not the first step toward anything.

              Agreed, badly formulated on my part.

              I honestly can’t figure out what your argument is. You seem to be denouncing as slander the suggestion that jordan179 would mock religious conservatives and dismiss abortion as a triviality,

              Why would I care if Jordan179 mocked religious conservatives? I’m an atheist. I am opposing that he dismissed abortion as a triviality. This is the third time you have asserted it. Do it one more time, maybe that will make it true! Note: it may be true, but it is merely conjecture on your part. The man is not dead, he can be consulted for clarification.

              while simultaneously mocking religious conservatives and dismissing abortion as a triviality.

              I am doing both. But, let me be absolutely clear, I am only arguing against (not mocking – that’s your false descriptor) those that think it is everything to the exclusion of anything else.

          • Comment by robertjwizard:

            I give to the Ayn Rand Institute every month.

            And we now control the Cato Institute.

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        Let’s say one of your fantasy projections came true tomorrow – let’s say it is a double whammy, no abortion, no contraception. What then? Is it a Catholic doctrine or general belief (I am assuming you are) that this will cure all ills?

        Let me step in to say this is a silly question. Christians believe nothing cures all ills, save Christ alone. Not only are we not utopians, the Catholic Church condemns utopianism as a heresy. You cannot believe in that progress will produce heaven on earth and be a Catholic in good stead.

        “So I ask – what, outside of banning abortion (which many Catholics practice) does a Catholic stand for politically?”

        Technically, in a narrow sense, no ‘Catholics’ practice abortion on the grounds that the moment you procure or practice an abortion, you are excommunicated, without any official action on the part of your bishop, and if you take the Host thereafter, you desecrate the sacrament. However, in the broader and non-technical way of speaking, yes, the Church is scandalized and shamed before the world by having such Pharisees and vipers nursing at the bosom of the Mother Church.

        But you ask a wider question which is very interesting, and which requires a bit of an essay to answer. See here–http://www.scifiwright.com/2012/11/on-ecumenical-partisanship/

        • Comment by Nate Winchester:

          Let me step in to say this is a silly question. Christians believe nothing cures all ills, save Christ alone. Not only are we not utopians, the Catholic Church condemns utopianism as a heresy. You cannot believe in that progress will produce heaven on earth and be a Catholic in good stead.

          All I’m going to say is that I’ve run across quite a few catholic commentors that seem utopian. Heck, a lot of their policy ideas seem to have a subtext of “first, we’ll get everyone to be good Catholics”.

          But then it’s not just them (there’s plenty of wretched protestants doing it too). It’s just… weird. I seem to run into two types. The first, seem to have reasoned that since our holy writ has warned us that it’s all losing battles, no victory is permissible unless accomplished under the most exacting standards (in short, assuring no victory is possible). The second seem to have convinced themselves that since Jesus wins in the end, any day now His followers are going to find that just perfect set up/combination that will make all right with the world.

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            Well, if we still had an inquisition, you could report those commentators to their bishops for disciplining and correction. The first thing I found out when I entered communion with the Catholic Church is that, like an immigrant who actually has to read and pass the test about the Constitution, the natives don’t know their own rules that well.

        • Comment by Darrell:

          Unless matters are very different between Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, excommunication does not make you an ex-Catholic or an ex-Orthodox.

          Within Orthodox Christianity, excommunication is intended to help the recipient and is, for lack of a better term, therapeutic or, perhaps, remedial. Being anathematized, on the other hand, would be being expelled from the Church.

          • Comment by joeclark77:

            These are just two definitions of Catholic. The least demanding definition is that all baptized persons (possibly including Protestants, Orthodox, etc) are members of the Church through baptism. A more demanding definition is that one is Catholic who believes what the Catholic Church teaches, and tries as hard as he can to submit to those teachings. No contradiction… it just points to the need for better terms.

            • Comment by Darrell:

              I, of course, think that Orthodox Christians (who think of themselves as Catholics) are members of the Church as I am an Orthodox Christian. Of the others I don’t know as I simply can say where the Church is, not where it is not.

              I’m not certain how Roman Catholics are defined. For Orthodox Christians it is by baptism into the Church. A member would stay an Orthodox Christian unless they were anathematized though many might no longer self-identify as such. I honestly thought that the same held true of the Roman Catholic Church. I didn’t realize that there were ‘levels’, for a lack of a better term, of Roman Catholicism.

              • Comment by John C Wright:

                There are no levels. Technically, one who is baptized is always a Catholic. However, someone excommunicate from the Church is “not a Catholic” in that he is out of communion, and it is informally correct to call him not a Catholic. Technically, an expatriate in exile, outlawed from his native land, is an American, but he is “not an American” in that he no longer lives in America, or obeys her laws, or defends her. It is informally correct to call him not an American any longer.

                Words have more than one meaning.

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            Yes, I am aware the technical meaning and the true purpose of Excommunication, thank you. That is why I defined my terms as I did.

            • Comment by Darrell:

              I apologize. I misunderstood what you meant by, “Technically, in a narrow sense, no ‘Catholics’ practice abortion…the moment you procure an abortion…you are excommunicated.”

              It didn’t seem correct from a technical or non-technical standpoint in regards to what excommunication means but rather highlighted the popular misconception of what excommunication means (i.e. you are no longer in the Church).

              My understanding of Roman Catholicism, however, is not extremely broad and I always try to stay alert to how it both differs and conforms to Orthodox Christianity.

              • Comment by John C Wright:

                A catholic who is not in communion with the church is a Catholic in name only. He is not practicing everything the Church teaches; he is not a representative nor exemplar of the church. Technically, he is still a member of the Church. In the real sense, the spiritual sense, he clearly is not.

                You simply interpreted my comment as if I were speaking technically when I said I was speaking not technically. There is nothing more I can do if I define my terms to clarify an ambiguity, and decide to interpret the word according to another meaning which, while perfectly correct, is not what I meant.

                It is as if you are trying not to understand what I mean. Lawyers do this all the time, which is why we speak surrounded by qualifiers and phrases etiolated of all meaning. That is not the way I mean to speak or editorialize.

                • Comment by Darrell:

                  To be clear, I actually am attempting to understand what you write and I assume the failing must be mine and not yours.

                  This is the second time in recent days I’ve become confused by your meaning and when I try to draw your attention to why I think that I’ve become confused you seem to miss my point entirely. In this instance you specifically said “technically” and then you respond by saying that, “you simply interpreted my comment as if I were speaking technically when I said I was not.”

                  You appear to regard my comments as petty combativeness rather than dialog so I will exercise restraint in making any further comment to your blog.

                  An edit to my post. I’ve retread what I wrote as well as your comments and I am struggling to read them charitably. What you wrote comes across to me as if you are questioning my honesty in my responses which I find more than a little insulting as I’ve expressly attempted to remain charitable and sincere in everything that I’ve written. For someone with as delicate a sense of honor as you often express it is more than a little irritating for you to call into question mine.

                  • Comment by John C Wright:

                    You appear to regard my comments as petty combativeness rather than dialog so I will exercise restraint in making any further comment to your blog.

                    The appearance is an unfortunate illusion, a misunderstanding. I am astonished at this. Once again, I apologize for how I must be coming across. You seem to think I am angry or argumentative. All that has happened, both times, is that I was unclear, you asked for clarification, and when I clarified, it led to additional confusion. I assume the fault is mine. I did not mean to wound your feelings.

                    I am flabbergasted and embarrassed that you are reading my comment as if I am questioning your honesty!

                    My dear sir, have you seen how I talk to Dr Andreassen, who actually is dishonest? I call him a liar. If I thought you were lying, I would say so in no uncertain terms. But your comments have always had a particular ring of truth to them, an honest attempt to understand when I am unclear. I am, at worst, mildly frustrated that my attempts at clarification don’t have any effect. I cannot analyze where the difficulty lies.

                    I did not call your honor into question. I apologize a third time for saying anything which created that impression. It was not my intent.

                    I humble myself to you, I apologize, I beg your forgiveness.

                    • Comment by Darrell:

                      Mr. Wright

                      Thank you sir and please allow me to beg your forgiveness as well. I was uncharitable and have been ill tempered this week as my wife miscarried several months ago and this week was when we had expected our second child. I have been left ill tempered and I should not take it out on others.

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      My wife miscarried about a decade ago. Believe you me, I understand the pain. In any case, I accept your apology and apologize in return, and promise to find some gentler way to word things in the future. One would think a professional writer would know how to pick words that don’t have unpleasant nuances.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I got to this point in the essay “…any within the “light libertarian” Tea Party ranks have no sympathy for an open immigration policy and, depending on who you believe, carry deep hostilities toward minority groups as a whole…” and realized I was reading a typical Lefty hack, whose idea of in-depth political analysis is to accuse his betters of racism.

      After I have heard myself, my Jewish wife, my Chinese daughter, my Negro best man, my Hispanic godmother, my African bride’s maid, and the father of my half-Japanese godson all get called “racists” I took a vow never to listen again to any one who leveled this accusation. The moment I come across the first intimation of it, the conversation is over, and the other party is invited to shut up.

      There may be a few, a very few, real racists out there in the world. In my life, I have met one. One. On the other hand, I have heard everyone I know or have ever heard of, both real and imaginary, be accused of racism dozens and hundreds and thousands of times over.

      That boy has cried wolf too often. I hope the wolves eat him.

      • Comment by modestinus:

        Mr. Wright,

        I may be a hack, but I am about as far from the conventional Left as you can probably find.

        My point was not to say categorically that the Tea Partiers are racists. As you can note, I qualified the statement with “depending on who you believe.” Personally, if I were going to use a term to describe some quadrants of the Tea Party (and even some quadrants of more orthodox libertarianism), I would probably substitute “xenophobic” for “racist.” “Nationalist” might also work too, though that seems to bring too ready to mind thoughts of Nazis and facists. I certainly don’t want to go that route.

        It matters little to me that you disagree with my position. In fact, I invite disagreement. However, I would respectfully ask that you provide a fair reading of what I have put down on my blog before assailing me with invective which neither you nor anybody else can reasonably support.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          Your comment is entirely fair, if I had criticized the piece. I didn’t. What I said was that anyone calling the Tea Party, which means me, a “racist” has stepped so far beyond the pale of polite discourse as to forfeit a hearing. I even specified the exact line where I stopped reading.

          A vow is a vow. I don’t read anyone who calls me or anyone on the Right a racist.

          Calling me a “xenophobe” is likewise, simply an indirect way of calling me a racist.

          If you are not of the Left, why do you adopt their mannerisms of speech, ad hominem bullshit and a smug yet whining tone, sneering attitude, and adopt their philosophical assumptions?

          The philosophical assumption I have in mind is that the Tea Party is not concerned with Constitutional limits of government nor with fiscal responsibility, as we say we are; but instead, as a mind reader, you and yours are able to search our hearts and find that our true and driving concern, unknown even to us, is a psychopathological fear of strangers, xenophobia. Leftism is build upon the idea that all opposition to Leftism is psychopathological, and that no one honestly wants or deserves limited Constitutional forms of government.

          If you are not aware that you have adopted their mannerisms of speech and philosophical assumptions, my reaction should serve as a wake up call.

          If on the other hand, you are a Leftist, one would expect you to deny being a Leftist. Unfortunately for anyone who talks like a Lefty but is not one, the Leftists adopt the same protective coloration and camouflage as you, making such mistakes inevitable. If I have misjudged you, in that particular regard, I apologize.

          Let us be clear. The moment you call me a racist, yours is an insult not to be tolerated. That you would dare speak to me without your first words being an apology speaks poorly of your character. The only thing you deserve from me is the back of my hand.

          Pretending that someone else said it fools no one, and is pathetic.

          • Comment by modestinus:

            Once again, I will stress my original point: I did not call the Tea Party (or libertarians) “racists.” If you can find where I did, I’d be happy to retract the statement.

            I have no doubt that many libertarians and Tea Partiers consider themselves to be strict constitutionalists (though that position is vague), though there are certainly some libertarian theorists out there (Randy Barnett, for instance) who recognize that the Constitution, as it stands, is not a libertarian document. Richard Epstein also recognizes this fact, and he’s intelligent enough to discard originalism in favor of a more dynamic common-law (one might even say “Roman law”) reading of the text to reach what are ultimately very libertarian results with respect to most constitutional issues. That’s fine. I have no doubt that their self-understanding is their self-understanding; I don’t impute psychological motives to people’s work unless it’s overwhelmingly evident (call it my “Straussian bias”). Whether that’s true of libertarianism writ large, or even Tea Partiers writ large, is a matter I’m agnostic on. You can’t judge an entire movement’s animating ideology by the outliers. On the other hand, I will stand by the general assumption that there are quadrants of the Tea Party movement which are “xenophobic” (or, if you prefer, “nationalistic”). While I can’t say I have any deep sympathies for either posture, the motives of such quadrants is less important to me than the positions those motivations support. And keep in mind, my post had to do with the future relevancy of libertarianism in American politics, not the intellectual, moral, or ideological import of libertarianism per se.

            Anyway…

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              Neither did you say that those who call the Tea Party racists were slanderers. You merely archly said they that ‘others’ said the Tea Party were racist, and, upon questioning, you used a substitute term for the same idea.

              Accusations of racism and xenophobia are the Left’s one, only and single weapon to use against us. They use it the way you do, by innuendo, in a way where it can be plausibly denied. Even now, even now, you have not apologized, and have not said the Tea Party, meaning me, are not racist. Now the word you use is “nationalist.” But you do not use an honest word like “Patriot.”

              In case this is merely negligence on your part, I thought it best to bring it to your attention. If, on the other hand, you are doing it deliberately, then it is deception, and then there is no chance of a reasonable conservation between us. Witches don’t talk with witchhunters.

  5. Comment by ErisGuy:

    Hear this final prophecy America: only one man can kill the Republic, and it isn’t Barack Obama. The one man who will kill your Republic is the one man who will last give up and renounce it. — Dissident Frogman, as quoted by Jordan179

    Too late.

    In the 1960s, when I realized the major players (but not yet the majority) in the student movement (the PFLP among others) and its auxiliaries were Communists (the Fondas, for example) who openly advocated a Communist victory over AmeriKKKa, people asked me, “what should be done?” I said the consequences of Communism were obvious to all, and the only solution, I answered, was: “These people are in the minority, kill them before it’s too late.”

    I think my questioners wanted a less drastic solution. But the less drastic solution: a purge, called now “lustration,” had already been tried. That was McCarthyism, which Hollywood and academia taught was the ultimate evil.

    As the decades passed and fresh outrages against humanity, liberty, and America were announced, codified, and enforced (e.g. judges running state prison systems and unilaterally raising taxes against the clear and open vote of the people), each time was I asked, “what to do?” And my reply was always the same: “can we please rise up now and slaughter these people?” I was an extremist to be mocked and not to be heard.

    Now Castroists run Hollywood, Chavists run academia, and Maoists occupy the White House, chosen and voted in by a majority of the American people.

    It’s too late.

    That last man surrendered America fifty years ago, too timid to call American Communism by its right and proper name, too timid to shun evil, too timid to ostracize American’s enemies because he was afraid of being called “McCarthyist,” then too afraid of being called “racist,” then too afraid of being called “sexist,” then too afraid of being called “homophobe.” As long as any opposition to the Left can be slandered by waving the bloody shirt of “ist”and “phobe,” America will continue on its journey to pure Communism.

    It is too late for civil war, too late for armed rebellion against laws and regulations which have erected a multitude of Czars, and sent swarms of officers to harass our people; too late for armed rebellion against armies of drones which slaughter without the consent of our legislatures; too late to rebel against a government which subjects us to foreign jurisdictions and grants power to the pretended legislation of the U.N. and other “international” bodies, etc. etc.

    Does anyone considering rebellion hold the delusion that America’s feministed, Islamicized, and homosexualized military would uphold the Constitution of their fantasies? America’s military would side with government and its duly elected and rightful leader, Obama.

    Does anyone considering rebellion hold the delusion that American people will do anything other than vote in yet another Obama? Occasionally candidates have promised to roll back Socialism, but no promise of importance was ever fulfilled.

    For eighty years now the American people have chosen the path of Communism. FDR’s brain trust were mostly Communists, outright, or fellow travelers or sympathizers. The Republican Eisenhower conserved the New Deal, which LBJ furthered with more bureaucracies and more regulation, and which the Republican Nixon conserved and extended. Carter invented whole new bureaucracies, and the Republican Reagan won votes by promising to abolish them, but instead–as expected–conserved and extended them. And so it has always been: every Conservative and every Liberal Republican has furthered the aims and policies of his Democrat (which is to say, Communist) predecessors.

    Romney, founder of ObamaRomneycare, would have and could have done no differently than Reagan. At best.

    Those suffering under the delusional spell of Libertarianism know this: Libertarianism is barely distinguishable from the Fascism of Salo Republic. Every Libertarian who favors homosexual marriage without simultaneous repeal of anti-discrimination laws favors requiring the state to punish those who refuse to recognize homosexual “marriage:” every photographer who says “I won’t photograph homosexual weddings,” will be punished; every orphanage who says “I wouldn’t let homosexual couples adopt from my orphanage,” will be punished; every church which says, “Our chapel won’t be used for homosexual services” will be punished. How is the legislation of morality and the intrusion of government officers to compel our physical obedience to its morality anything but Fascism?

    The Last Man has come. He seeks only comfort in Abercrombie and Fitch and social security.

    The final prophecy addressed to him has been heard, and like most prophecies it resounds because its moment has passed.

    The Last Man has voted for Obama openly, nakedly, willingly. No words will dissuade him from his course.

    His successors will be depraved pagans, unable and unwilling to achieve the civilization of their forebears, until….

    * * *

    Enough oracular text.

    One small story: I worked in the library in 1981 and was attending night school at a nearby university. In the days after Hinkley shot Reagan, most of the people I knew jested and wished that Hinkley should have finished the job even while the sick hatred that propelled Hinkley to his act made them physically ill. These same people, during various social gatherings, would spew venom at Reagan, who in their imaginations might halt the rise of Socialism in America. How wrong they were. All Reagan cost these people was one of their many utopias. The path of America was unchanged.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      To late for arms, but not to late for hands clasped in prayer. Miracles have saved this nation before: what we face is a smaller problem that what Washington, Adams, and Jefferson faced. Nor could they have prevailed without divine help.

      • Comment by joeclark77:

        Prayer is the best strategy, yes. I would dispute the point that we have a smaller problem than our forefathers had. King George would never have dreamed of imposing on us to the degree our government does now. Imagine redcoats being dispatched to old New York to confiscate foods with too much salt or drinks with too much sugar! We have imposed on ourselves far greater tyranny than England ever would have. And then, abortion.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          Sadly, your words bite deep.

          Let us say then that we face a tyrant more intrusive than King George, who cannot be fought off by something so straightforward as musket and cannon and cutlass.

          The problem is philosophical, or, if you prefer, spiritual.

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