Category Archives: Things I Wish Liberals Understood

Who knows? Maybe this’ll help.

The Hard Truths

Since I just don’t have the time to put together a Friday Book Club — sorry — maybe we can all kick in on this: A list of the hard truths.

I don’t mean stuff like “Blacks commit way disproportionately more crime” or “the 19th Amendment was a big mistake.”  While those are true enough, they’re also common knowledge — why do you think the PTB go to such great lengths to suppress any mention of them?  For “hard truths” I mean things that we ourselves — the students of History, the “conservatives,” the saturnine — have a hard time looking at straight on, and indeed try very hard to forget.  Stuff like this:

Humans can’t handle abundance.  One of my favorite “jokes” is that I’m the only guy I know who really believes in evolution.  By which I mean: If you grant that we humans are, in fact, great apes — that we share 96% of our DNA with chimps — then 96% of our behavior follows.  Any group of humans will invariably behave like an equivalent-sized group of monkeys, because we are monkeys.

Monkeys, like all lower animals, are hardwired for life on the ragged edge of survival.  Malthus got it right, back in the 18th century – a given population will always expand to the limits of its food supply, and that explains the behavior of both the population and its individual members.  Dogs, for example, will breed any time there’s a female in heat, the males fighting it out among themselves for access.  Dogs will eat until they vomit, then go back and eat the vomit.

Humans work the same way.  But there’s one crucial difference — while every other population has hard limits on its food supply, ours is effectively limitless.  Ask any overweight person (these days, that’s pretty much all of us) who has ever seriously tried a calorie reduction diet.  It’s almost impossible, and not just because our foods are packed with high-calorie, glucose-spiking artificial crap like corn syrup.  Even if you go all natural, you find yourself overeating, because we have 24/7/365 access to all kinds of perfectly natural products that don’t suit us, and screw us up.  Yeah yeah, it’s “healthy,” “natural” food… but do you know how much sugar is in a cup of strawberries?

This isn’t some kind of Paleo diet manifesto.  I don’t care what you eat (and I myself am not the paragon of optimized nutrition).  I’m trying to point out that abundance is pathological in itself.  Because we’re just monkeys, our systems follow a kind of nutritional Say’s Law — supply creates its own demand, such that we give ourselves diabetes eating nothing but “natural” fruits from climates we’re not genetically adapted to.

And it’s not just our food.  Our environment, too, is far too secure for our firmware.  We’re wired for threat detection.  So wired, in fact, that city dwellers who go camping often freak themselves out in the quiet of the forest — did that bush just move?!?  Your threat-detection hardware can’t be shut off, so when you take away the constant barrage of stimulus in the city, you actually start to hallucinate threats.

In other words, the abundance of our environment has screwed up our eustress.  “Eustress” is beneficial stress, the kind that makes you stronger, and it applies to everything in your body.  Lifting weights is eustress on your muscles; solving math problems is eustress for your mind.  Everything about our biological life is designed around maximizing eustress — change your material conditions, and your body (and mind!) will adapt.  Humans are amazingly hard to kill — even in concentration camps, the numerical majority of those not killed outright by the guards survived to tell the tale.

That adaptability, too, is hardwired.  We can’t shut off our eustress-maximization mechanism — “life force,” “will to power,” whatever you choose to call it — any more than we can consciously, voluntarily shut off our hearts.  If there’s no stress available in our environment to eustress against, we’ll make some…

…and that’s modern life right there.  Again, look at the Kavanaugh circus.  The only thing wrong with those people is that they’re bored.  Feminism didn’t exist in the 19th century, simply — and it really is this simple — because sex often resulted in conception, and conception opened up the very real risk of painful death.  Add infant mortality to the mix — a 1 in 2 chance your child will die before the age of five concentrates the mind wonderfully — and you’ve got all the stress, eu- and the other kind, that anyone could ever need.  Only barren spinsters from rich families could afford to worry about politics back then; now we’re all barren spinsters.

The comments are open.

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The Prerogative State

Ernst Fraenkel, a lawyer in pre-Hitler Germany, called the Nazi regime a “dual state.*”  There were actually two sets of laws operating simultaneously, he said: The normative, which is your standard black-letter law, and the prerogative, which is the law of the Party apparatus.  The second, of course, always outranks the first.  It was possible to get real, objective justice in the 3rd Reich — the legendarily efficient German civil service carried on after the Nazi seizure of power just as it did before (this is one of the key supports in the “they all condoned the Holocaust” school of historiography — if principled bureaucrats didn’t resign after Hitler took power, then there were no principled bureaucrats).  But if your “justice” crossed any of the Party’s political or cultural imperatives, you’d find yourself on the business end of a visit from the men in the leather trench coats.

America has been in the same boat for a long time.  We all know who our real rulers are: The SJWs, and their enablers in government and the judiciary.  For a recent example, see here:

[Portland bakery owner, John] Blomgren’s chronology matches and corroborates [his employees’] version of events. However, having established that his staff had done nothing wrong did not alter Blomgren’s decision to fire them. “In this situation it doesn’t really matter that the two staff members working are not themselves racist because the call they made to deny [student and activist, Lillian Green] service caused her to feel like she had been discriminated against,” his statement explained. “Sometimes impact outweighs intent and when that happens people do need to be held accountable.” The bakery has since deleted this statement and denies firing the employees to “save face or to appease anyone.”

Which is baloney — of course they fired people to appease the SJW lynch mob.  The whole thing is clearly and obviously a racket:  “Nice business ya got here, would be a shame if anyone accused you of racism:”

“I think he’s actually a sociopath,” speculates ‘Alex,’ a Portland-based social justice activist who has worked extensively with Whitten and witnessed his strategic use of baseless accusations of racism to take down opponents and manipulate allies. Fearful of retribution given Whitten’s growing influence, Alex spoke to me on condition of anonymity but provided evidence of their relationship. “He’s created a chilling effect in Portland. People are scared of him and no one knows how to intervene.” Alex expressed sympathy for Blomgren and said Whitten selects his targets carefully — mainly white progressives who are likely to trip over themselves when accused of racism. Some of them offer him money or career opportunities.

That’s the prerogative kicking in.  Blomgren’s employees did absolutely nothing wrong; an objective judge would throw any suit against him out of court.  But there are no objective judges in Portland.  Nor, apparently, are the police willing to do anything about this Cameron Whitten guy.  Justice? Fughettaboudit.  The Left can violate normative law with impunity, because they have the prerogative.

Another great example: The Masterpiece Cake Shop decision.  The decision was not based on whether or not the Constitutionally-guaranteed right of free association applies to private businesses.  Rather, the Court ruled that Colorado’s “civil rights commission” showed undue bias toward the bakers.  The normative law is pretty clear: If you don’t have the right to turn away customers, you’re not really running a business — every former business in America is now a “public accommodation;” the former business owners are, in effect, just employees of the state.  I’m pretty sure a junior high debate club could’ve ruled on this one.

But the Court, obviously, wanted to preserve the Left’s prerogative.  Had they made their decision on normative law, badthinkers from sea to shining sea would have legal cover to spread their badthoughts, in the form of carrying on their daily business activities.

And we can’t be having that.  So the Court made the most ambiguous possible ruling, to make sure it could never be cited as a precedent.

Which brings us to the question the Z Man posed today: What happens when the majority of us wake up to the fact that we’re ruled by midgets?  As Hobbes said, “The power of the mighty hath no foundation but in the opinion and belief of the people.”  What happens when the “opinion and belief” of the people is that we’re really ruled by a few dreadlocked blue-haired nose-ringers and their black-robed peg boys?  A king whose knights refuse to ride to battle on his behalf is just a weirdo in fancy clothes.  There’s even less majesty to a GS-7 down at the courthouse.

It’s really not going to end well… and Our Betters are doing everything they can to hasten the end.

 

*The Dual State is what I call, for lack of a better term, a “skimmer.”  It’s full of irrelevant-to-us detail from 1941, so it’s easy to get lost in that stuff and miss the point.  It’s actually far better to read (as I did) a review, to get the main point.  We really need a better word for this than “skimmer.”  Suggestions?

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The Psuedo-Intellectual Myopia of a Trump-Derangement-Syndrome Victim

Our friend and co-blogger Morgan threw out a Matt Walsh quote,

“Tolerance is not a virtue. Diversity is not a goal.”

This makes lefties’ heads explode.

Morgan went on to bring up Chesterton’s Fence, which he instructed us to read up on Ace’s blog.

Left leaning dude chimes in that Morgan must be using Chesterton’s fence to defend Trump’s fence.

Swing and a miss, strike one!  and boy we could feel the breeze from that one in the upper deck behind the third base line.

He said he was struggling with its relevance to … I guess the Matt Walsh quote.

This got me to thinking, and I posted a response that I am posting here … mainly because I think it’s a train of thought worth posting.  So here it is:

If you’re looking for something that has something to do with Trump’s fence, which does not exist, then I would suggest you take a few steps back and shake off your myopia. You are looking too closely.

It has much more to do with the Michael Walsh quote Morgan posted.

I will risk trying to spell something out to somebody who either can’t or won’t see it …

Chesterton’s fence has nothing to do with damned fence. This is a thought exercise where the fence is merely a placeholder. Chesterton’s fence is something that exists that someone who doesn’t know why it exists and doesn’t like it wants to get rid of.

If you don’t know why something that somebody built exists, you MIGHT want to ponder why that somebody or those sombodies built it in the first place in the course of assessing its value.

Of course, when a modern progressive sees a post that questions diversity as a sacred value, they immediately see racists — because that’s what they’ve been taught to see by their clergy.

In this case, the thing that exists is intolerance. Why is there intolerance? What purpose does it serve? If you haven’t thought about this, you have no business instructing us not to tolerate intolerance.   (Never mind that it’s fundamentally hypocritical – an that’s also a clue that might actually get you to start thinking about the purpose it serves).

Diversity is such a catch phrase. If you haven’t considered why every culture has a characteristic realm of relative homogeneity, you don’t understand culture. So you certainly don’t understand its value. And you don’t understand that the whole concept of a “multiculture” is an oxymoron.

Diversity of race is a symptom of a great culture. It is not a cause. Further, the left has conflated (ironically) race with culture, and insist that particular cultures are inherent in particular races, and to reject elements of such a culture is to reject the race. This is an extremely racist worldview. It is dangerous. It is destructive.

Which is why the left embraces it. Postmodernism is about deconstruction, which is a method of destruction. It seeks to destroy what has been built, for it does not see the utility of what has been built. It employs diversion and obfuscation to direct hate at order. “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go!” You can get hundreds or thousands chanting that in a couple of minutes at ANY big leftist rally. They have been taught that mindless destruction is a virtue — and they don’t even realize that is at the core of their worldview.

This is key to fomenting revolution, which is ultimately what the bigwigs behind the left want.

They lemmings don’t learn. They ended up with Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Guevara, Moussilini, Castro, Pol Pot and the like.

Do not destroy what you do not understand. The minions do not understand what it is they are helping destroy. The leaders do … in the case of western civilization, they are destroying obstacles to absolute power for themselves.

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Fake Intellectuals

Further to a post at Z Man’s, there is exactly one political principle that doesn’t lead directly to totalitarianism: Equality before the law.  This principle cannot be amended, modified, nuanced, gray area-d, penumbra-d, folded, spindled, or mutilated.  Equality before the law, and let the chips fall where they may.

This will of course entail some outcomes that are not socially just.  Equally applied, the anti-crime laws will disproportionately affect blacks, as they commit disproportionate amounts of crime.  Equally applied, the patent laws will disproportionately favor Jews and East Asians, as they have higher average IQs.  And yes, equally applied, the laws pretty much guarantee that some people are going to get screwed, even up to, sigh, children starving in the streets.

lovejoy-think-of-the-children-16nov131

Life ain’t fair, and this notion that it’s somehow the government’s job to make life fair — thus abandoning the principle of Equality Before the Law — leads directly to tyranny:

  • There is no objective definition of “fair;”
  • Therefore, someone must be empowered to judge individual cases;
  • Anyone granted such power will abuse it;

And pretty soon we’re reduced to arguing whether that FEMA camp is a gulag, a workhouse, a concentration camp, or a thought reform center.

That’s really all there is to it.  People are what they are.  We can make up fancy theories about why this can’t happen, or that it’s actually fair, or how that guy really deserved his rubber hose time in a secret police dungeon, but at bottom there is only Reality.

Stop intellectualizing.  Stop over-thinking.  Stop rationalizing.  There is Reality, and there is Theory, and when the two conflict, Theory must yield to Reality.  You’ll find that’s true even in the gulag (thought reform center, whatever).  The way things are going, I’ll be in the next bunk over.

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I Made Jim Give at the Office

So this meme post comes across my timeline when a friend commented on it.

I’ve seen it before.  But man.  It is so demonstrably untrue, this time I had to say something.

As with a lot of these things, there’s a lot missing. Of course conservatives care. They just don’t think they should be able to use the force of government to force anyone else to act like they care, and in what ways they must act like they care. Conservatives don’t typically have a need to be seen caring. They just do it.

To which one woman replied:

“Sorry. Cutting aid to starving children doesn’t seem like caring about anything but your own pocketbook.”

So I went on:

You talk as if aid is this thing that is just there in nature – like air, that everyone has a right to, and someone is taking it away.

It’s a matter of perspective. Aid should be given freely, not taken. When government is in charge of it, the only “taking” is done from the people who had it to begin with.

As if it is only aid if it came from the government. Well nothing comes from the government. Everything it has came from someone else (or will come from someone else, since it borrows heavily from our childrens’ and grandchildrens’ futures to pay for this aid in this generation).

And it is demonstrably untrue that conservatives don’t care and don’t give to charity. Conservatives give more to charity than liberals … here, a link from the definitively NOT conservative NYT on a study that surprised even the researcher. (note this is on TOP of what they are required to “give” through the government).

Political liberals are all about telling people how much of other people’s money people should get, but it apparently stops with supporting the mandates, not giving freely themselves.

“I’ll pass, I made Jim give at the office.”

Get this … here’s a real response I got.

Why are all of these trolls suddenly showing up on a Liberal FB page?? All of you need to leave us alone.

So you can be free to echo the hate you have based on demonstrably false premises without being challenged?  And we’re responsible for the divisiveness?

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National Purpose

Over at Vox Day’s, we see this:

So Reagan is dead, so is Reaganism. The only question is what can we do to improve the lot of regular Americans, materially, and what can we do to generate some kind of purpose for our people and our nation.

Yep.  As I have repeatedly said, and guess I’m OCD-compelled to go on saying until every one of our Four Readers gives up in disgust, this is the entire point of the (((SexyFunTime))) system of government.  It gives men a reason to be men again — a large, encompassing purpose, a challenge worth taking because there really are Maidens Faire at the other end who appreciate the effort.  It guarantees a minimum standard of material comfort and safety, and above all, it gives a certain demographic — which has been shat upon from all quarters for going on 70 years now — a feeling of national community.*

It’s inevitable.  It seems we’re trying the Trump clown show version first — and thank God for that! — but if the circus act doesn’t work, get ready for the very serious steely-eyed fanatic with the passion for Parties.

 

*N.b. to aspies: Whether it can actually deliver what it promises are two separate questions.  We’re talking about the appeal, not the results.

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Political Philosophy in 5 Minutes

Y’all know I love Thomas Hobbes, though more for his method than his conclusions — like Confucius, he thought that all misunderstandings boiled down to bad definitions.  He wanted all arguments to proceed like geometry proofs.  Whether that’s workable or not is above my pay grade (and note that Hobbes wasn’t a very good mathematician), but there’s no question that bad definitions are at the heart of most, if not all, political misunderstandings these days.  To wit:

Machiavelli said that nobles long to oppress the people, while the people only want to avoid being oppressed.  Which is true of any hominid hierarchy.  If you really believe in evolution, you know that humans are advanced software running on kludgy monkey hardware.  What’s true for the baboon troop is true for us, and that’s what we see in human societies — alphas at the top, with his lieutenants, ruling over the great mass of ordinary monkeys, with a few despised omegas lingering at the group’s edges.

Society, then, is a conglomeration of baboon troops, and government is the conglomerate’s internal organization.  The classical social contract theorists had it wrong.  It’s not individuals, each as sovereign as his physical power can make him, doing the contracting.  Rather, the “contract” preexists, in the form of monkey troops – we’re born into a troop, and like all monkeys we’re able to break off and form our own troops if we’re strong enough, but there’s no such thing as a pure individual in the State of Nature (which also doesn’t exist in the way Hobbes et al implied).  Society, then, is a fractal pyramid, and government likewise: all the little monkey troops banded together into one big troop.

BBookSTriangleMonkey troops have one purpose, and one purpose only: the flourishing of the troop.  And that’s where the problems start — as humans are mega-monkeys, we’re able to assign all kinds of different meanings and shades of nuance to “flourishing.”  How far does that extend?  Who gets to decide if the troop is flourishing or not, and what happens when the majority decides the troop isn’t flourishing?

That was Machiavelli’s simple, irrefutable point — the nobility must assure the peasantry that their interests move in tandem.  Nobles want to fight wars and sponsor art and live high on the hog because they’re alpha chimps, and that’s what alpha chimps do.  But nobles can’t do all that stuff without the active participation of the peasants, as they’re the ones who staff the armies, make the art, grow the food, etc.

In return, though, the nobles have to provide some basic returns — a share of the spoils of war if you’re on offense, and physical protection if you’re on defense.  That’s the real social contract, and if it’s broken, the macro-troop that is Government collapses back into micro-troops at the local level.  As humans, we have some limited degree of choice in what micro-troop we want to join when the macro-troop breaks down– this is the “State of Nature” — but joining one isn’t optional.

So here’s the homework that every aspiring noble used to do as a matter of course:

  1. define “flourish;”
  2. define “protection;” and
  3. define how you’ll provide for both.

Pretty simple, no? Problem is, none of our supposed “leaders” have any inkling that they’re supposed to be doing this.  Cf. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush — get them drunk (from what I’ve heard, that shouldn’t be tough) and make them answer a simple question: “Why do you want to be President?”  And we all know the answer: “Because it’s my turn!!!!”

Which means that this particular iteration of the macro-troop is kaput.  Most of us who reside here in the USA in this, the Current Year, have a decent instinctive idea of what “flourish” and “protection” mean, and though we may not be able to articulate it like 17th century Oxford dons, we know that our so-called “leaders” aren’t providing either.  Back when, this used to be called a “crisis of legitimacy,” and pretty much everyone — yep, Hobbes included — thought that an illegitimate government is no government at all, and nobody is obliged to obey its decrees.

And it’s illegitimate all the way down the line.  The closer you get to an answer to the Three Questions, from an ideologue of any side, the more you realize that they not only haven’t thought this stuff through, they have no idea they were even supposed to. Government is just kind of a thing that sorta happens, dude…. but it’s super-important that it happens my way, or else ur a h8r.

Which is, as the kids these days say, problematic.  I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you what happens to an alpha chimp when he can’t protect the troop.  It’s the same thing that happens to failed leaders in all times and places: lamppost, rope, some assembly required.

It doesn’t have to end that way, but it’s increasingly likely that it’s going to…. because it’s our turn, I guess.

 

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Splitting Marxist Hairs; Why I Don’t Do It

When I speak of Socialism, Fascism, or even Communism, I don’t really make distinctions. I know they’re there. But to me, it’s all varying applications of Marxist social and economic engineering.

This is a really apt metaphor, but it’s a real one that goes back to my childhood. At some point, my brothers and I noticed that strawberry, cherry, and raspberry Kool-Aid all tasted pretty much the same (this was all quite independent from politics – it was just a mutual observation). None of them really tasted like the fruit they were supposed to mimic. They all tasted “red”. So we rarely made distinctions between different flavors of “red” Kool-Aid after that. The fact that it was Kool-Aid just makes the analogy better.  And the fact that it happens to be various red Kool-Aids….

Yes, there is a whole spectrum of socialism, and it’s all in the spectrum of Marxism (just like the AM band lies within the shortwave radio spectrum.) But they all suffer from the same fatal flaws, which lie in its very premises — that the haves have only at the expense of the have-nots, and that it is eminently fair to forcibly take from the haves and give to the have-nots … because they are haves and have-nots. It is neither true, nor does this worldview encourage a healthy society. And this is because they are incompatible with human nature.

In its purest form, it discourages working very hard, because the return on your work investment is very small. And it encourages sloth because people know they’re going to be “taken care of” no matter what they do … or don’t do. This, in turn, lowers total wealth, discourages innovation, lowers living standards. All to varying degrees, of course, depending on how much of the poison your society decides to take. Or decides to give you … another way to look at it.

It is certainly moral to take care of those who can’t, and to help those who need it and don’t abuse that help. But those are moral issues for individuals that the worldview that the haves can only have at the expense of the have-nots cannot address.

Truthfully, only religion encourages healthy societies. And some do it better than others.

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Who decides who is a conservative?

This question was asked on Facebook by a friend in “the movement”.

I gave it a little thought.  And this is how I answered:

Ultimately, if you’re a conservative, it implies there is something you want to conserve. I consider myself a conservationist. But that oddly isn’t generally considered (these days) “conservative”.

Conservative depends on the context in which the word is used as well. There are Constitutional Conservatives, there are fiscal conservatives, and there are social conservatives. Often people fall into two or three of these categories. If you fall into two of them you’re probably going to be considered a conservative by most progressives, and you probably consider yourself a conservative. Most other conservatives will consider you a conservative as well — until you disagree with them on something that puts them in one of the categories.

And it’s not like a “belief system” that one subscribes to. People have sets of beliefs, and those beliefs fall into certain categories — some of them may fall quite outside of the category the person ends up being classified as.

Incidentally, the same kind of thing goes for liberal/progressives. And there’s no H8 like intra-family H8.

Who gets to decide who is a conservative? Well … each of us do. It’s a subjective term. But it’s not meaningless.  Still, you just can’t make assumptions about any individual who gets considered a conservative without risking being very, very wrong a lot of the time.

 

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Church, State, Socialism, Society, and Laws

“Hey, I’m Good With Socialism”

This came from a Democrat co-worker who was unaware that anyone other than Hillary Clinton is running for the Democratic Party nomination.  When I told him that there was the Socialist pretending she’s not really a socialist, and the Socialist who at least admits he’s a socialist – he asked who the second one was, and I told him Bernie Sanders.  This is the same person who years ago asked me point blank, “Well, what’s wrong with Socialism?” (which I’ve feebly addressed before here and here.)

I gave him a one line answer which I’m sure he did not understand, and it was this: “It is incompatible with human nature.”

I am alarmed at the number of Bernie Sanders bumper stickers I see around this town.

But I was listening to Bill Whittle on one of his Stratosphere Lounge episodes this morning, and Bill did what we should be doing more of… he gave us an example everyone can understand.  And then my mind, as it tends to do, took that stick and ran with it

“The first lie of Communism is that if it’s a cold night out and we’re in the plains of North Dakota, and it’s thirty-five degrees below zero, and we hear bleating out in the barn, and it turns out that one of our cows is sick — [] that one of us will go out there at four o’clock in the morning in thirty degree below zero to take care of a cow that doesn’t belong to us. That we would, in fact, all pitch in and work for the collective as hard as we would work for ourselves. And it just ain’t so.” – Bill Whittle

Socialism is basically Communism Lite.

The idea of socialism is that if one of us does go out in the thirty degree below weather to take care of the farmer’s cow for a fee that the State gets to say how much of that fee that man gets to keep because somebody else didn’t get as big a fee for something he did for someone else, or because somebody else gets no fees for anything because he essentially does nothing — because it’s somehow not fair that they have less.

Capitalism is the idea that the man who goes out in the thirty below weather to take care of the farmer’s cow at 4:00 am will be paid a price he feels is worth his time and trouble — the caveat being that if the farmer is not willing to pay his price, the man does not get paid at all (nor does he have to go through the trouble). This encourages a negotiation — often unseen — where the farmer has incentive to pay what the vet would consider a fair price while the vet has an incentive to charge a price closer to what most farmers would consider fair.

In other words … it’s what people do naturally.

People also steal and maim and kill naturally. And these things are, of course, wrong. People are also naturally lazy and would like it of other people would just do the things they want done. Forcing people to do that is also wrong. And people love and empathize and help each other, and these things are, of course, right. And right and wrong are the concern of morality.

So what is morality, in general? C.S. Lewis broke it down like this:

“Morality, then, seems to be concerned with three things. Firstly, with fair play and harmony between individuals. Secondly, with what might be called tidying up or harmonising the things inside each individual. Thirdly, with the general purpose of human life as a whole: what man was made for: what course the whole fleet ought to be on: what tune the conductor of the band wants it to play.”

The first one is is that which we are concerned with enough that we institute Governments to enforce in a free society. The others are the realm of psychology and religious philosophy and practice — not that the first is not a concern of religion, it’s just the one that falls to the realm of the state.

But we need all three to make a society work, and the other two will necessarily inform some decisions in the realm of the first.

Harmonizing the things inside ones’ self is highly subjective, and the idea of what man was made for is also relatively subjective.  What the man taking care of the cow in thirty below weather does to make things right in himself — he may choose to do it for free if he feels that helping this man out is the right thing to do …. maybe to tidy and harmonize things within himself because he believes it is what he was made for. So who gets to decide these things? The simple answer is that it will either be the individual (or voluntary clusters of individuals) … or the state.  Leaving it to the individual is what we call “religious freedom”.

It is not the realm of the state to guide the soul. And while it is necessary for souls to guide the state in a free society, the soul, must in turn, be guided by something else. This is why, in the Preamble to our Constitution we have the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights” .  By their creator.  Not by themselves.  Not by any human being.  And not by the state.  And it lays out the three basic rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness [a paraphrase of Adam Smith’s “Property”]

And it is why John Adams wrote to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

The state needs guided souls.

But isn’t Socialism or Communism doing what Jesus said to do?

Well, no.  He would say to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’ s; and to God, the things that are God’ s. And Paul would say that we might give ourselves a pattern unto you, to imitate us.For also when we were with you, this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat.

But when the state takes control of this guidance, it imposes its will on the individual conscience – and rights and duties are thus defined by the state. This is totalitarianism.

When the individual (or groups of voluntary individuals — which is still up to each individual in the end) does it, we have the closest thing to a free society we can have. The freest society we could have, where everyone just does whatever they want, however, is anarchy – where might and deception ultimately trump all else. This is why we institute the state – to help ensure that people play nice.

This kind of society, a free society, can only work, however — when there is a sufficient measure of homogeneity of moral opinion among the population. And the best proven practices to foster a homogeneity in moral opinion would be religious institutions. And a society can have multiple religious institutions and remain a cohesive society depending on the degree to which those religious institutions are similar – including the degree to which those who do not necessarily formally subscribe to any of those institutions have similar moral outlooks. And this is because you necessarily need a large concensus on the things which the state is tasked to enforce in order for them to be viewed as just and moral among the general population.

When these moral ideas are hashed out by individuals with relatively homogeneous moral guides, you can have a relatively free society. If any those institutions are given authority over the laws of the state, you have a religious theocracy. It is no different if the state becomes the arbitor of morality. In effect, the state will have become The Church, and your separation is out the window.

Laws (in a free society) are expressions of a society’s shared morals. They express things that will and won’t be allowed and what we will do with people who people who do things that are expressly not allowed – what is considered bad behavior.

Now the more laws a society has, the less free it is. This does not mean we should have no laws. But it does mean, if we value liberty, that we should be judicious about creating new ones.

Good religious institutions will in general foster a more well behaved population insofar as the population makes use of them. But it is of course no guarantee that any individual, church-goer or not, will live up to that institution’s standards, much less that of the society in which it exists. There will always be bad actors.

This idea that outlawing bad behavior gets rid of it — this is the root of the constant clamoring for new laws.

Laws give us a legal framework for confronting bad actors. It doesn’t, in general, stop bad actors from acting. Knowing there are consequences — the confrontation — that’s a deterrent. And deterrents are good. But even they don’t stop it. What stops it is a person who is willing and able to stop it — and it helps a lot if he has the law behind him to support his actions.

Multiculturalism is a lie.

Diversity is not a virtue in and of itself. A certain amount of diversity is a symptom of a free and just society. But it is not the cause. People want to come live in a place where there is a free and just society. Where there is tyranny, people must be forced to stay. “Which way are the boats headed?” is a good indicator. But when a free and just society begins to adjust its rules more to accommodate anyone who comes than the people coming adjust their worldview to that of the society they have come to, that society is not long for this world. It will be taken advantage of by bad actors from both within and outside of that society, and both its freeness and justness will erode either toward anarchy, which leads to totalitarianism by the brutish, or to totalitarianism by the demagogues who will be brutish in their pride.

The various flavors of Marxism are the prideful theories of people who believe they know what’s is best for everyone. Not everyone agrees on what’s best for everyone, which is why it must always be applied at the point of a gun. In addition, their are very often used by demagogues to gain power for whatever reason they choose. They are seductive ideas on the surface. But as Bill’s example of the farmer’s cow on a cold North Dakota night, it is wholly incompatible with the reality of human nature.

nature /ˈnāCHər/ 2. the basic or inherent features of something, especially when seen as characteristic of it.

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