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.


In Defense of Fascism

Before we begin (1): This is one of those long, MEGO political philosophy posts.

Before we begin (2): Read this.

It’s a piece from a wonderful site called The Last Psychiatrist, whose archives are just filled with goodness (though TLP himself seems to have passed on).  It begins with the story of Keisha, a 27 year old woman who considers herself “retired” because she’s On Disability.  Most of the rest of the post details our — society’s — complicity in this farce:

The economy was a Ferrari and now it’s only a Honda, but either way, not much time for absences and no time at all for Keisha’s learning curve.  Keisha isn’t just unemployed, she is completely unemployable.   We can argue whether auto plants should pay $20/hr or $50/hr, but for certain there is no market for unskilled labor at all….The jobs employers would be willing to take a gamble on are jobs that pay too little for it to be worth her showing up at all.  Hence SSI [=”being On Disability”].


For fun, let me point that that another 10% of the unemployed in America are relabeled as “incarcerated”, so total you have a real rate of 15-20% unemployment, and this does not include the unemployable who have been relabeled as “military personnel” thanks to two endless wars, or those who manage ten hours a week at the Buy-n-Large who are relabeled as employed and thus are of no consequence;  all of which is good because if the unemployment rate printed higher than “9%” the credit rating of the US would have to fall to C-.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the main problems Fascism is designed to solve.

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Fascists accept Marx’s fundamental premise, that society is composed of three mutually hostile classes.  That’s why “Nazi” is short for “National Socialism.”  The difference is, while Marx thought this class antagonism would inexorably lead to international proletarian revolution, Mussolini et al thought it could be channeled — and eventually eliminated — by restructuring the institutions of one particular society.  Hence, National Socialism.

To the Marxist, our labor is all any of us really has.  Which is why Marxism became Marxism-Leninism after the Russian Revolution.  Lenin had a civil war to win and a country to run, and soon enough he realized that the Keishas of the world will never be generals or surgeons or factory managers.  It took him a little longer to realize that intellectuals make poor factory hands — early post-revolutionary Russia is filled with morbid stories of university faculties turned out as “shock workers” — but he eventually did.  And in typical commie fashion, he churned out a zillion pages of “theory” justifying why Communism looks just like Capitalism when you actually put it into practice, except nobody gets paid and nothing works.

Fascism skips all the squid ink and accepts the fundamental reality that people are different.  This is one of the main sources of Fascism’s appeal.  Unlike Marxists, who believe that the Proletariat is capable of all things (under the leadership of Marxists, of course), Fascists realize that there’s generally a reason for people falling where they do on the socioeconomic spectrum.  No amount of community college classes on Dialectical Materialism is ever going to make Keisha employable in a modern economy.  Keisha will always be “unskilled labor,” because she is [pick one: genetically, historically, congenitally] incapable of ever acquiring an economically useful skill.

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Fascism also recognizes that Keisha is always with us.  Liberals and/or schoolchildren please take note: This is why George W. Bush wasn’t a Fascist.  Unlike Bush, Fascists realize that it’s mathematically impossible for everyone to be above average.  No matter how exotic and specialized the economy gets, there will always be someone who can’t keep up.  Something must be done for Keisha.

A truly capitalist society, like the one Rachel Maddow fans think America is, would simply let Keisha starve in the gutter.  On the other hand, there’s plenty of work at a living wage for her in People’s Heavy Tractor Manufactory #202 in Krasnoyarsk… and all she has to do is give up her land, her family, her people, and her traditions.  Become a faceless prole, interchangeable with all the others all over the globe, or starve — those are Keisha’s options.

And who’s to say that they won’t be your options someday soon, if the Communist revolution succeeds, or the Capitalists find someone to do your job cheaper?

National Socialism solves all that.  Keisha gets a decent job at a decent wage.  She gets the pride of working for a living, not a soul-crushing handout.  Meanwhile, her employer gets a willing employee.  True, his profits won’t be quite as large, but he, too, has his pride. He’s contributing to national success in a direct, highly visible way, since most jobs that could employ a Keisha — McDonald’s, let’s say, to stick with TLP’s example — are locally owned.  Indeed, the only people we harm by stopping outsourcing, offshoring, and automation are the very biggest Capitalists, i.e. the very same bastards who brought us here in the first place.

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If you accept Marx’s view of life, then — if life is, at bottom, just economics — then Fascism is not only a viable alternative, it’s the best alternative.  For Fascists, State, Economy, Society, and Culture are synonyms — they’re three different descriptions of the same thing.  As Man is an economic animal, Society is the economic organization of human groups.  Culture is the expression of that economic organization, and the State provides its security.  Thus, the Fascist will preserve Culture by rejiggering Society and the Economy via the State.  The vast numbers of poor are helped, only a few of the super-rich are harmed… and they’re all internationalist parasites anyway.

Look closer

These aren’t my personal views, of course.  Fascism terrifies me.  But… can you find the flaws in this post?  Because a whole lot of people would be nodding along with every single word… and that number is growing by leaps and bounds, every day.  If you want have have any hope of heading American Fascism off, you’d better start digging.

Was Pharaoh Left Wing?

Mulling over Morgan’s piece of the same title, which recaps a conversation several of us were having about the terms “Left” and “Right.”  Morgan offers up three criteria for telling the difference between them:

Cultural Drive: The Right Wing seeks to drive our culture in one direction, where the Left Wing seeks to drive our culture in the opposite direction. We could pose to each side, or to an opinionated-person of unknown orientation, the following question: Is work just for suckers?

Relationship Between People and Government: Is there such a thing as Natural Law? This leads up to a question that has been asked, for ages, by Americans who couldn’t be bothered to read the Declaration of Independence: Do our rights come from government? And that leads to: What is a “right,” anyway? Is a right a right, if someone else has to pay for you to have it?

Foreign Policy: Liberals don’t define “peace” the way normal people define it. They seem to understand that for a peace to endure, someone has to do some compromising; but they don’t want to be the ones doing it. So if there is peace, but they’re not getting everything they want, then there can’t be any peace. Somehow, this means every military conflict that comes along is the fault of their opposition.

Good stuff, and I agree with all of it.  But there’s a fourth dimension, and that’s where the heart of our friendly disagreement lies.

The more we look into it, the more we return to that pivot-point, like a homing pigeon, which is the difference in consequence. The Right Wing has to work with it, the Left Wing does not. It’s almost as if…I would say, exactly as if…the Left Wing formed its relationship to reality, when it got busted by its mom for taking cookies out of the jar, and pulled a fast one on her with a bit of nonsense about “Actually, I was putting it back.” And that worked, either because the small-em mom wasn’t into confronting them about the obvious falsehood, or she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer.

Whereas the right-winger, in the same situation, ended up having to carve his own switch.

Truth, therefore, to a left-winger is whatever successfully sells the pitch. Belief is a dedication to whatever that “truth” is. It is only the right-winger — and, true, genuine centrists — who see truth as truth, something that is inextricably fastened to consequences. This brings us back to the analogy of “Did I put the lug nuts on the wheel the right way?” It inspires a whole different way of thinking, a whole different direction of thinking.

Again, I agree with this.  But: I think this emphasis on consequences invalidates the idea that Pharaoh — or any but a tiny handful of governments — could be called “Left Wing.”

As Morgan says, folks who don’t adequately address the relationship of facts to consequences is doomed to fail.  Which explains the brief, and usually spectacularly bloody, lifetimes of left-wing regimes.  Consider the Soviet Union.  Life expectancy wasn’t as long in the USSR for obvious reasons, but still, there must have been very many people who saw the red flag go up over St. Petersburg in 1917, and lived to see it come down in 1991.  It wasn’t lack of political will that doomed the Soviet Union — guys like Lenin and Stalin were willing, indeed eager, to inflict every kind of barbarity upon their subjects.  And it wasn’t lack of resources, since Russia was the other superpower.  It failed because facts and consequences didn’t match up.

And that’s the best-case scenario for a fully left wing regime.  With the most indomitable will, and all the resources of a space-faring superpower, you can keep buggering on in the face of reality for…. 74 years.  Three generations (two of them, let us note, fully Sovietized, in case anyone wants to make the argument that “saboteurs” and “wreckers” from the old world caused the USSR’s downfall).  A lifetime’s worth of hell for those poor souls caught in it, but a single human lifespan nonetheless.  The lifespans of other communist regimes were even shorter — without massive subsidies from the USSR, pretty much every communist government worldwide collapsed within a decade (and the ones that didn’t either found a new sugar daddy, as North Korea did with the Chinese, or exist in enforced geographical isolation*).

But that’s not the case with Pharaoh, or any of the other old-timey “dictatorships” under Morgan’s rules.  Egypt, for instance, was conquered a few times before succumbing for good to Alexander the Great, and our records of the very earliest times are pretty spotty, but that still gives us three thousand years or so of Pharaoh’s rule.  The Western Roman Empire hung on for half a millennium, and the Eastern for a thousand years after that.  If you consider the style of rule, as opposed to the names of the rulers, you could make a pretty good argument that the Chinese emperors ruled for about 99% of recorded human history.

Which is not to say that all Roman emperors or Egyptian pharaohs were even competent rulers, let alone good ones.  But such history as we know of those regimes seems to indicate that the reality-averse ones were removed fairly quickly.  Claudius might’ve been every inch the dictator that Caligula was, but he wasn’t crazy.  Reality, in other words, made an impression on him, in a way it simply didn’t on his nephew.  If you want to call Caligula a left-winger, be my guest (he and President Obama certainly seem to have similar opinions of themselves).  But it’s hard to shove the shrewd, practical Claudius into the same boat.

Morgan’s rules do apply to the 20th century, though, and to the French Revolution, i.e. the one previous attempt to put Utopian daydreams into practice.

In brief, I’d say the distinction is more like what Thomas Sowell says in The Vision of the Anointed.  Left-wingers believe there is nothing but this life.  Therefore, all is possible in the here-and-now, and because there’s no supernatural constraints on behavior there are no Natural ones either.  Right-wingers, by contrast, believe in the “Constrained Vision” — we’re bound by Natural Law or, failing that, at least by the laws of basic math.


*That’s why I’m ok with Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba, by the way.  Oh, I know he did it for all the wrong reasons — as with everything He does, it was just another chance to stick his finger in America’s eye.  But the US Navy’s enforced isolation of  Cuba is the only thing that kept Castro in power.  After 1991, he have needed to move to Miami to find Cubans to rule, or doing his best pinata impersonation from the nearest lamppost.

A Reply to John C. Wright

At the risk of this becoming nothing but the Fascism-and-Historical-Jesus Blog (Morgan, Philmon, Texan99… y’all want to weigh in here?), I found this question at John C. Wright’s Journal pretty interesting, but I can’t seem to log in to post a reply (perhaps the hacker issues are ongoing).

The question is:

I would like someone to volunteer to show me, in simple steps, how to get from statement (a) there is nothing of eternal meaning to statement (c) there is nothing of meaning. What is the missing statement (b) that links the two sentences?

My stab at an answer is:

Statement a) begs the question.

Wright writes:

Again, if the universe is merely natural, then the laws of nature, the laws of logic, and other properties that are not material doe not arise from the matter of the universe, but are part of the form of the universe.

I agree, and that’s why I think statement a) — “there is nothing of eternal meaning” — is question-begging.  If the universe is only this — quarks and atoms, gravity and van der Waal’s force — then “meanings” must be provisional, and therefore temporal.

In effect, it’s my answer to the problem of theodicy.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Because humans ascribe temporary meaning to their temporary situations.  If there’s no Good — because there’s no God — then there’s no Evil, either.  Whatever “bad” happens to you is nothing more than a confluence of circumstances, filtered through your conscious, voluntary perception.

[The Stoics would call this something like an “un-preferred indifferent.”  Stoicism holds the only Virtue is Good; all other things are indifferent.  But since Stoics have to live in the world like the rest of us, they have a pretty good yardstick for situational ethics — “preference.”  Though food is itself indifferent — it is not in itself Virtuous — it’s better to be well fed than hungry, so, all things being equal, a Stoic will eat when he’s hungry if there’s food available.  But if all things are not equal — say, he can’t eat without stealing food — he will “select” or “prefer” hunger, or “de-select” or “un-prefer” food].

Now, I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with this argument — it’s not called The Problem of Theodicy for nothing, and I can hardly expect to have out-thought all the people who have meditated on it lo these past 5,000 years.  But I can’t see where I went wrong.  Any thoughts?

The Rectification of Names IV

To (hopefully) make it crystal clear what I’m talking about when I talk about contemporary Fascism, let me make the case for Fascism as briefly as I can.  Like George Orwell’s chapter against socialism in The Road to Wigan Pier, I’m playing devil’s advocate here.  I’m playacting the role of a member of the “Dark Enlightenment,” as I believe a significant fraction call themselves.  This is not my manifesto; these are not my personal views.

untitledYou, the American middle class, are getting fucked, and, like Jenna Jameson’s finest work, you’re getting it from two ends simultaneously.  Take illegal immigration.  The Left loves illegal immigrants because they hate you (the Left hates you, I mean, but the illegals do too.  That’s a bonus).  This also gives the Left increased electoral power in the short term, and that’s a bonus, too, but mostly they want to see their dear Uncle Karl’s crackpot theories work — and for that, they need to import a new proletariat.

BUT: The so-called Right also loves illegal immigration.  Do you think the daily truckloads of Mexicans coming over the border are all finding work as housekeepers in faculty ghettoes?  To get an American citizen to pick fruit and pack meat, agribusinesses would need to pay more than 50 cents per hour, and alas, you can’t offshore cornfields.

And this is true all the way down the line.  Pick any Social Justice nonsense — the Left is pushing it because they hate you, but the Right is pushing it, too.  You’ll notice, for instance, that National Review is forever on its fainting couch about this stuff, but the politicians they pimp as our saviors always somehow, someway, manage to cave in to the Left across the board.  This is because National Review, like the rest of the establishment Right, thinks you’re stupid, and won’t notice this stuff.  Given how you keep returning these clowns to Washington, they’re correct (in case you hadn’t figured out what the GOP gets out of the deal).

Politics as usual won’t fix it.

So what’s to be done?  Shoot every egghead in the faculty lounge?  That’d be a start, and it’d earn you a beej from any one of the three chicks who read Free Republic, but some fucking Aztec will still have your job tomorrow.  Shoot up a shareholder’s meeting?  Ditto, and ditto from one of the nation’s three heterosexual Wymyn’s Studies major, but ditto.

It’s simple, really: Hit ’em where they live.  Close the borders, get serious about what can be expected from a -1SD IQ, and eliminate imports. Neither bankster nor bolshevik can live long with their oxygen cut off.  How?  Three words: William fuckin’ McKinley.  The Dingley Tariff was the highest protectionist tax ever passed, and the American worker has never had it better.  Throw in the National Origins Quota Act, and any US citizen with a pulse can name his price on the production line.

And say goodbye to racism while you’re at it.  Turns out even -2SD IQs can turn screwdrivers, and since there’s no such thing as an import car anymore, Government Motors is paying $100 an hour.  And since anyone with at least one hand is now employed, we can scrap the giant welfare apparatus; since nobody needs a college degree to “prove” he’s a “qualified” screwdriver-turner, we can trash Affirmative Action, too, and the giant student loan scam. College can go back to being a four-year daycare for rich kids in Greek letter sweaters, and professors can finally meet their beloved Working Class up close and personal out there on the shop floor.

Kumbayah, bitches.  Oh, and since we’re no longer invading people to protect Exxon’s profits, we can bring the army home, too.  Sucks to be Israel, I guess, but there you have it.  Meanwhile, no lefties have to fret about all the freedom and democracy our troops are spreading to distant brown people, and no righties have to fret about their kids coming home in body bags from same.

It won’t be painless, I’ll admit.  Since we’re paying auto workers $100 an hour now, most of the cars they build will be unaffordable for a while.  But hey, that’s what price controls are for!  And let’s not forget that it’s high time this country got serious about its public transportation infrastructure.  That’s a whole bunch more jobs for the low-IQ types, it’s eco-friendly, and a big reduction in personal mobility is a small price to pay for those huge society-wide benefits.

And it’s true that the adjustment period will be a bit rough.  We’re awfully dependent on our cheap Chinese crap.  But remember, the army’s home now, and if it’s one thing those guys are good at, it’s urban area denial.  And, of course, lots of labor will go underground, but again: army.  And those drones will work just as good if the National Labor Relations Board is flying them.  And if we really seal those borders, the DEA will have a lot of highly experienced undercover guys with nothing to do.  I’m seeing a lot of synergy potential here; the NLRB is gonna be huge.

Now, some might object that this’ll never work, because we have a two-party system.  Do we really, though?  I thought the perennial complaint on political blogs both left and right is that there’s really only one party.  And don’t the low-info voters always swear there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between ’em?  Let’s go with that, y’all.  A single Party is the best of both worlds — you get the top-down business efficiency of the Right with the snooping, moralizing busybodying of the Left.  They’ll keep each other in check within the Party.  And since all this is going to require a lot of planning and oversight, it’ll be strictly meritocratic — the best and the brightest will naturally rise to the top.  And best of all, this will reduce competition and class antagonism — no more political candidates sniping at each other, and no more status-striving entrepreneurs outdoing themselves with decadent excess, inflaming the passions of the lower classes.

Why on Earth aren’t we doing this?

The Rectification of Names, III

untitledThis started as a response to Nate Winchester, here, but I think it’s important enough to merit a separate post.

Nate asks:

Is that what you’re saying here? That left/right is now all about borders? Nation vs world?

Sort of, but not really.  Left/right is collectivism/individualism.

The tl;dr of this whole piece is: Many folks in modern America who call themselves of the right are embracing one of the classic tropes of the Fascist left.  If the left gets its way, as we know, we’re all just part of the beautiful rainbow of diversity — we all have different skin colors and sexual orientations, but think exactly the same thoughts.

BUT, this thinking goes, the same thing happens if the “banksters” win — they do what they want, up to and including starting wars with Russia and the Middle East, while we pay for their decadence.
In other words, we’re all part of the global proletariat either way.  The only difference is, do you want to scrub Hillary Clinton’s toilet, or James P. Gorman‘s?  Whether we’re all whistling the Internationale as we march off for a shift in People’s Heavy Tractor Manufactory #202, or bopping along with Taylor Swift at our McJobs, our entire culture is being imposed upon us from the top.

These folks have concluded that the only way to fight collectivism is with collectivism.  We have to band together against them, or we’re proletarianized.

That’s what Fascism does.  Fascists accept Marx’s fundamental dictum that money knows no borders — oligarchs will collude.  They also accept Marx’s dictum that the working classes will eventually band together to resist this state of affairs.  But they view the resulting Marxist utopia with horror — even if it worked exactly the way Marx said it would, we’d all be faceless cogs, the same as we would if the capitalists won.  We’d be better fed, but there’d be no difference at all between a German, an American, a Nigerian, a Japanese, or a Mexican.

At its most basic, Fascists want to give their national proletariat all the benefits of socialism, while maintaining their sense of themselves as Germans (Americans, Nigerians, Japanese, whatever).

[Remember, we’re stipulating that socialism works for this discussion].

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Nate writes:

So I would humbly ask if you could provide us with your standards of measurement here? (and the previous post) By my measurements, this isn’t a sign that fascism is right-wing as much as it is that the traditionally right-leaning are being pulled left by the political center of gravity. It’s rather like… if you try and sell individualism to the voters, and they vote for collectivism – and then do it repeatedly for years on end – it’s not hard to see that some political philosophies will throw up their hands and say, “You want collectivism? Fine, here’s our edition of it!”

Exactly.  I’m not saying that Fascism is of the right.  It’s clearly of the left, by any relevant metric.  It’s culturally collectivist and economically socialist.  In fact, if you want a pretty good description of the autarky to which Fascism aspires, you can’t do much better than Stalin‘s:  “Socialism in one country.”

The problem is that the the old-school, individual-rights, free-market Right — the Lockean Right, for convenience — is just about as dead as disco.  For a government to remain on the Lockean Right, it needs a bare-minimum number of elites — somewhere north of 50%, I imagine — to also be on the Lockean Right.  I don’t see that in America anymore, and a lot of the people I’m describing as Fascist-for-all-intents-and-purposes don’t, either.

That’s what Roissy is getting at, here:

I don’t want to live in a surveillance state; I want to live in a cohesive society with high trust levels that obviates the need for mass surveillance…Press the point that individual rights will wilt without societal norms to scaffold them.

In a word, he’s talking about asabiya, a people’s capacity for collective action.*  When sufficient numbers of the elite, and the people at large, embrace Lockean individualism, we’ll have free government.  We won’t need mass surveillance, because we’ll voluntarily conform to pro-social norms.  We won’t need endless wrangling over the emanations and penumbras of the Bill of Rights, because we won’t face constant attempts to transform 10 simple checks on government power into elaborate statements of positive rights.  Indeed, the Constitution is the best short description of what a high-asabiya society looks like — we can tolerate all kinds of lunacy at the fringes in the name of the First Amendment, because we know those people are, in fact, lunatics; our self-confidence is unshakeable.

Is that kind of society possible now?  Can our asabiya, so successfully degraded by 100+ years of concerted “progressive” effort, be restored?

I hope so.  But the Roissy types say no.  Hence, Fascism.  Those societies have high asabiya, all right.  The easiest way to develop asabiya (maybe the only way; see Turchin) is by having a powerful cultural enemy, a highly organized, effective, and malicious Other on the borders — or within the borders.  The Fascists-in-all-but-name are just saying what we’ve all seen: The internationalist, collectivist Left hates us.  See Sad Puppies, GamerGate, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and all the rest.  Why not tell it like it is?  Do you want your kids to grow up to be this guy?

B-uDP6fWkAE9mr8No?  Then what are you going to do about it?  The Lockean Right has failed, say the FIABN (Fascists-in-all-but-name; really need a better term for this).  Nobody really believes in individual rights anymore, let alone individual responsibilities (don’t believe me?  Propose eliminating Medicare at a Tea Party rally and watch what happens).  If we’re all collectivists now, say the FIABN — and we clearly are — then let’s at least be an American collective.  Better a benign police state that turns out wannabe John Waynes than a malignant one that turns out that…thing….in the picture.

Make sense?  I want to add, for the record — as if it really matters — that I’m not cheerleading for a benign police state.  I find the whole prospect terrifying.  But the idea has a lot of appeal for a lot of people, and we need to understand it.  But first we need to SEE it, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.


*A great explanation of this stuff and its role in the state is Peter Turchin’s fast, wonderfully readable War & Peace & War: The Rise and Fall of Empires.  I use this spelling because that’s how Turchin spells it; Wiki, of course, has tried to transliterate the Arabic.


The Rectification of Names, Part II

untitledConfucius say that we need to talk about the F-word, and why many, many people want it.

First things first: You need to ignore what academic historians and political scientists say.  They will tell you that Fascism is a movement of the right wing.  This is false — Fascists are collectivists to the bone.

There’s a simple reason academics can’t see this.  Remember, in the ivory tower, radicalism is a virtue.  Professional academics consider themselves not just of the left, but on the hardcore fringes of the left.  Karl Marx is their moon and stars, and according to Marx, it’s impossible for a left-wing movement to be nationalist.  For Marx, the international proletariat are forever fighting against international finance capital and their unwitting stooges, the nationalist bourgeoisie.  “National socialism” is a thus contradiction in terms; anything “nationalist” is, by definition, right-wing.

But “national socialism” is not only not contradictory, it’s a concise summary of Fascism’s goal.  Fascists also embrace Marx’s theory of class conflict, with one key twist:  Marx thought that the worldwide proletarian Revolution was inevitable.  Fascists think it’s preventable — by turning the nationalist bourgeoisie from the unwitting stooges of international finance capital to the willing allies of the national proletariat.  International socialism, a.k.a. Marxism, is a worldwide proletarian revolution; National socialism is a nationalist bourgeois one.

Everybody with me?  I hate to keep repeating this, but you simply must put aside your mental pictures of Hitler raving at this point.  Race has nothing to do with Fascism.  In the Nazi version of it, yes, “World Jewry” was identical to both “international finance capital” and “international proletarian socialism.”  How?  Because Hitler was crazy.  Never forget that.  But for Mussolini, and Tojo, and Chiang Kai-Shek, Jews had nothing to do with anything.

For those guys, the nation was the thing.  “The nation” is not identical to “the race.”  There was no Italian version of the Ahnenerbe, digging around Tibet for ancestral Romans.  There was no Japanese RuSHA, making sure only pure Yamato blood joined the armed forces (indeed, the most ardent Japanese militarists were religious believers in Pan-Asianism).  A nation is considerably more than blood and soil, and it’s threatened on both sides — by globalization, a.k.a. international finance capitalism, and by communism, a.k.a. international proletarian socialist revolution.

Thus, the goal was to fuse the nation ever more tightly together:

  • The national proletariat must be protected from competition / revolution from below


  • The national bourgeoisie must be protected from competition / amalgamation from above.

To protect the proletariat, Fascists aimed to level the playing field — national workers will be favored, immigration strictly curtailed, and imports tightly controlled.  Education, health care, etc. will be provided by the state, in order to keep the national proletariat healthy, happy, and contented (remember, Marxism predicts that wages under industrial capitalism will soon drop to, and then below, minimum subsistence levels, at which point the Revolution begins).

To protect the bourgeoisie, Fascists also aimed to level the playing field, by tightly controlling exports, curtailing immigration, and favoring medium-to-large national business enterprises.  Jobs won’t be offshored, and if this means that mom’n’pop operations will necessarily fall victim to economies of scale, they’ll at least remain inside the country — an independent mechanic is now a well-paid employee of IG Farben, with access to all the healthcare, retirement, and other benefits provided to the national proletariat by the state.

Meanwhile, all classes are brought together by military-type institutions.  The army, of course, was massively expanded in all fascist countries, but they spent huge amounts of money and time setting up national institutions in all areas of life.  These were explicitly classless — advancement in the Hitler Youth, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, and the Party itself were officially, ostentatiously meritocratic.  Autarky, meanwhile, eliminates the need to look elsewhere for anything material.  Remember: Like Marx, the Fascists thought class conflict was inevitable.  They just wanted the conflict to happen within the state, where it could be ameliorated — and eventually all but eliminated — by state institutions.

Everybody with me?  Now, flash forward to America, 2014.

Section break!

Section break!

Our Progressives, obviously, are old-school Marxists.  Lenin et al thought capitalism itself would take care of sparking the Revolution, as evil fatcats would reduce the wages of the industrial proletariat to, then below, subsistence level.  That didn’t happen, but it did happen with the agricultural proletariat.  This is one of the reasons even the few educated Leftists don’t talk in classical Marxist terms anymore — Marxism became Marxism-Leninism, and every neckbeard with a PhD spent the next 80 years trying to explain how backwards peasant revolutions meant Marx was actually double-secret right all along.  But as always with Our Betters, you have to look at what they do, not what they say.  Illegal immigration and Cloward-Piven are merely attempts to import a new proletariat, since the old one embraced capitalism and turned bourgeois.  Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, meanwhile, simply is old-school commie agitation (Alinksy was born in 1909 and was a living caricature of an old-school Lenin-lovin’, labor-organizin’ leftie, right down to the Russian-immigrant Jewish parents and the ghetto agitation).  You could take any Leninist pamphlet from the Twenties, do a ctrl-H on “Revolution” and “proletariat,” and boom — instant Social Justice Warrior.  Try it sometime — don’t forget to properly de-gender xer pronouns, comrade.

Here’s the twist, though: These days, straight-up, old-school class warfare rhetoric is found almost exclusively on the Right. 

Our modern Left shares the same ideals, goals, and thought processes with the Old Left.  The only difference is, they’ve skipped that whole “Revolution” thing and have gone straight to being the Vanguard of the Proletariat.  They still boss you around for your own good from their McMansions in lily-white gated communities; they just never bothered with all those gun battles in the streets (HBO was having a Girls marathon).  Hillary Clinton is every single Old Left diatribe about parasitic bourgeois intellectuals in a pantsuit, and not only do Our Betters not care, they’re dying to loft her to new heights.

The Right, though….

“Fatcat CEOs.”  “Banksters.”  “Oligarchs.”  “The Government Party.”  You ain’t gonna be seeing those on Daily Kos anytime soon.  Actual conservatives hate the Koch Brothers far more than liberals do.  At any time before about 1994, you could count on NPR and The Nation for a good diatribe about how uncontrolled immigration was screwing over the American worker.  These days, you have to go to Vox Day or Ace of Spades.  It’s the Right that complains about Congressional kabuki, giving Wall Street everything it wants via engineered losses to the Democrats.  Prudential wrote ObamaCare, and Eric Holder just took a fat job at JP Morgan, and the mainstream Left said not a word.  Million-hit blogs on the Right were furious.

See where this is going?  The Vanguard of the Proletariat is perfectly happy in their white, upper-middle-class enclaves.  If you look at what they do, not what they say, they’re the nationalist bourgeoisie, the unwitting dupes of international finance capital.  The Right sees this — they’re the only ones that do — just as they’re the only ones who see the revolutionary potential of the unassimilated, unassimilable proletariat.  Ghetto blacks and imported Aztecs are absolutely screwed in a postindustrial knowledge economy, and the EBT cards won’t work forever.

What, then, is to be done?  I refer y’all once again to this.  I’d be willing to be the average reader of any of the top conservative blogs would vote for this in a heartbeat:

Strip wealthy oligarchs of their power over policy and the composition of the nation’s citizens. Tariffs, big tax increases on the 0.1%, improved government oversight of their backroom dealings, very high minimum wages, and laws designed to limit the ability of the super wealthy to lobby for cheap labor

And that, my friends, is Fascism.  It’s the amelioration of class conflict within state institutions.  Socialism below, nationalism above, autarky throughout. It’s nationalist collectivism, and it’s coming exclusively from the modern cultural Right.

Huh.  So maybe those egghead academics are correct after all….

More on the Left and Autism

As y’all know, I’m a big fan of Anonymous Conservative’s version of r/K selection theory.  Briefly, the amount of free resources in an ecosystem determines the psychology of organisms inside it.  Rabbits — the “r” part — are adapted to unlimited resource availability.  Wolves – the K’s — are designed for highly competitive environments where resources are scarce.

Anonymous Conservative develops this into a theory of liberal behavior based on the amygdala, which seems to work extremely well (I lack the biology background to evaluate the science, but his book lays it all out in detail if you’re interested).  I wonder if this can’t be expanded to cover autism as well.

Yesterday’s post was just a placeholder, so I didn’t bother to spell out my terms.  When I hypothesize that liberals are autistic, I’m obviously not talking about a DSM-V compliant condition than any randomly chosen group of psychiatrists would agree upon.  Autism is a spectrum disorder — there are greater and lesser degrees of impairment — and given the vast differences in people (differential development rates, etc.), you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who conclusively did or didn’t have “autism.”   There’s also the issue of “Heisenberg indeterminacy” (for the pretentious) or “test bias” or what have you — the tests themselves are so odd, and the experience of getting poked and prodded by white lab coats so disorienting, that the testing process itself might cause false positives.

That said, consider this list.  Sound familiar?

Lack of interest in sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people.  Liberals are famously averse to competitionThey’re completely binary about awards — either all the children must receive prizes, or none.  Their favorite sport is soccer, where it’s nearly impossible to tell who’s good, and games frequently end in 0-0 ties.  Their other favorite athletic activity is distance running, where just finishing the race is the prize.  Their interests, of course, must be vigorously policed, lest the wrong kind of fans come around, having the wrong kind of fun.  Just cruise down to the Edits if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing (though you should; Correia has one of the all-time great vituperative styles).

Lack of empathy. People with autism may have difficulty understanding another person’s feelings, such as pain or sorrow.  Self-explanatory.  If you don’t understand the other person’s perspective, you can’t share his feelings.  Liberals demand “trigger warnings” on everything from blog posts to breakfast cereal, but don’t hesitate to sling the vilest, most hateful insults at people they disagree with.  Ask a liberal about Clarence Thomas or Condi Rice, for instance; you’ll get stuff that would make Bull Connor blush.

Difficulty understanding their listener’s perspective. For example, a person with autism may not understand that someone is using humor. They may interpret the communication word for word and fail to catch the implied meaning.  Liberal “communication,” even between liberals, is highly ritualized.  For instance, I’ve noticed the heretofore-baffling tendency of folks in my college town to launch into political diatribes as conversation-starters.  It’s not like they’re trying to convert me; they have no way of knowing I’m an apostate.  The point seems to be a Two Minutes’ Hate, a bonding ritual.  At least, I thought it was a bonding ritual…. but now I think it isn’t.  It’s much more likely that they simply don’t communicate very well.  Normal folks can use standard-issue small talk — hows about that weather? — as a springboard for further communication, because they can read their interlocutor and tailor the conversation accordingly.  To the autistic, a bit of small talk about the weather is… a conversation about weather.  Ranting about politics gives them the semblance of an emotional connection — we both hate George W. Bush! — without actually having to interpret the other person’s behavior.

Stereotyped and repetitive use of language. People with autism often repeat over and over a phrase they have heard previously (echolalia).  We’ve all seen this one over at Morgan’s, but it’s also very common among the Old Left, and in academia.  Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” is great on this.

modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier — even quicker, once you have the habit — to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don’t have to hunt about for the words; you also don’t have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious. When you are composing in a hurry — when you are dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech — it is natural to fall into a pretentious, Latinized style. Tags like a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind or a conclusion to which all of us would readily assent will save many a sentence from coming down with a bump. By using stale metaphors, similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself.

Orwell thinks this is deliberate — “elimination of unreliable elements” is clean and sanitized; by using the phrase, you don’t have to think of people being “imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps,” which is what actually happens.  It might have been deliberate back then — and still is, for Alinsky and the like — but I don’t think it is for the majority of liberals now.  For them, it’s like a computer program — they can’t see the other guy’s perspective, so they really don’t know what this whole “religious freedom” thing could possibly mean.  But they must respond, so they have a canned, focus-grouped phrase ready to parrot back.  Cf. Vox Day’s “Gamma Identifier” — they have to use

“You seem to be saying” or its variants “It appears you are saying” or “So you’re claiming/telling me”

because those are the program’s triggers. They can’t grok what you’re actually saying, so they don’t know which canned response to use.  They’ve got to shoehorn your words into one of their memorized templates (and you can almost hear them beating their heads against their desks in frustration when you don’t say your lines on cue).

Preoccupation with certain topics. For example, older children and adults may be fascinated by video games, trading cards, or license plates.  Goes without saying, but this does explain liberals’ well-known aversion to followup questions.  They’re obsessed to the point of madness with the cause du jour, but once the Hivemind determines the new cause, the old cause will never be mentioned again.  Intimately connected to

A need for sameness and routines. For example, a child with autism may always need to eat bread before salad and insist on driving the same route every day to school.  As we all know, “diversity” really means “superficially different skin colors and sexual orientations, but exactly the same behaviors.”  Connected to

Stereotyped behaviors. These may include body rocking and hand flapping.  Or ironic facial hair, PBR, and the Daily Show.

Now, consider all this from the r/K perspective.  For the rabbit, there is zero cost, and great potential benefit, to a “false positive” threat assessment.  There’s no downside to running away from a false threat — since resources are unlimited — but failing to run from a real threat is death (rabbits, like most r-selectors, are a prey species).  Why, then, should the human rabbit bother learning how to pick up social cues, or play nicely with others?  Either “others” are a threat or they’re not, and either way the response is the same — run!  The rabbit’s one social responsibility (if you can call it that) is to shriek, alerting the rest of the warren to a perceived possible threat.

Wolves, needless to say, work differently.  They’re geared toward low-resource, high-risk environments.  A wolf who runs from a false positive threat assessment doesn’t eat that day, so reading others’ behavior is crucial.  Wolves can’t stray too far from reality, and they can’t abandon their pack (there is no such thing as a “lone wolf” in nature).

Psychologically, this is very similar to Morgan’s “architects vs. medicators” distinction.  Anonymous Conservative’s r/K theory, on the other hand, makes these behaviors biological, not mental.  The more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to see it in biomechanical terms.  Why the huge spike in autism diagnoses these last 50 years?  Part of it is better awareness, the proliferation of psychiatry, etc…. but is it not at least possible that the seemingly unlimited resources available to Americans since the end of World War II has rewired this variant of the species in an r-direction?  The Old Left — that is, the Marx-n-Mao brigades of the 1930s and 40s — had wacky ideas, but they retained at least a basic sense of reality.  Walter Duranty knew he was lying.  Do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know they’re lying?  Do their supporters?

I honestly don’t know.  It seems incredible that Hillary Clinton is still the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in 2016 — she should be in JAIL.  It’s impossible that the vast majority of Americans — including lots of folks who can’t wait to pull the lever for her — don’t know about this.  That’s messed up.  Or is it?  R-selectors don’t care, because hey, resources are plentiful and always will be.  Hillary’s just getting hers; we’d do the same, think the rabbits, if we were in her position.  Stuffing themselves to bursting is what all prey species do in nature, every chance they get.

If r-selection among Americans really has produced a higher number of autistics, lots of otherwise baffling liberal behaviors start to make sense.

Stand Up for Rights, but Also for Decency

Ok, I may piss some people off here, but here goes.

First let me say that it is, and should be, illegal to kill people for exercising free speech. Or to throw them in jail. Or to fine them. That’s pretty much what freedom of speech is. Any time you are tempted to say I’m saying something different than this, please refer back to this and revisit your assessment.  Remember that one of the marks of intelligence is the ability to hold two conflicting concepts in your mind without your head exploding.

Catholic League’s Bill Donohue wrote a piece titled “Muslims are right to be angry” and in it suggested that Charlie Hebro editor Stephane Charbonnier “didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death”.

First (and here’s where people will get pissed at me) … he’s right. Wherever else I may disagree with Donohue, he’s right on this. I saw some of the cartoons. Decent people shouldn’t have published several of those. They were at least as bad “P*ss Christ”.  As much as I agree that Islam is the common denominator in the overwhelming majority of world terrorism and there is probably a cause-effect relationship here – there are nonetheless at least tens of millions of decent people on the planet who profess to be Muslims whether the Islamist hardliners agree or not.

Second, (Donohue is wrong on this) I have no doubt that Stephane Charbonnier, at the moment of his death, understood exactly the role he played in his own tragic death.

Did it take balls to publish the cartoons? Absolutely. Taking balls to do it doesn’t mean it’s cool, though.  Should he have been killed for it? Absolutely not.

Did he do anything wrong?

Well if by wrong you mean “against the law”, obviously — no. But what Donohue was saying is actually something we need to talk about more in this country in the wider context of what are our cultural standards (which are not the same as legal standards). In other words, was there a violation of standards of decency for which we can legitimately criticize them? Sure there are. Though maybe we should wait until the bodies are cold, at least.

There are things that are wrong that are not against the law.  That is a necessary fact in a free society.  That’s because we don’t all agree on everything that is right or wrong.  But we do form a general consensus on some things, and we make laws accordingly, presumably subject to Constitutional constraints.

Charlie Hebro has a proud reputation for pretty much eschewing any decency at all toward any group. To the extent that they don’t appear to avoid offending any one group, in a backhanded way, is certainly more commendable than playing favorites. But I wouldn’t hold the magazine up as any example of how I want people to view Western Civilization. They certainly don’t represent me or my views, and if I don’t lodge my criticism (also my free speech right, and perhaps duty in cases like this), I’m saying “I’m cool with it”. I’m not.  I find that general brand of satire low and disgusting.

Should he have avoided publishing the more offensive cartoons in order to avoid being killed?  No.  He should have avoided it because it was in extremely poor taste.

As I recall, the point of publishing cartoons depicting Allah was in response to the Sharia prohibition against representing Allah in any graphic form. Defiance of this demand would have been served by any graphic depicting Allah from sitting there being quiet to wielding a sword or even depicting him engaging in something consistent with Islam but inconsistent with well accepted standards of Western civilization.

Several of the cartoons went well beyond any of this.

Now … had the magazine stuck to the less outrageous cartoons, would the editors and cartoonists be alive today? Maybe, maybe not. But regardless, if you really wanted to underscore how ridiculous that particular Islamic law/belief is – it would have done a much better job.

So a TV host who I like and respect, but who I think ultimately got Donohue wrong — asked Donohue, “where do you draw the line”?

The answer depends on the context. Since everyone’s lines are somewhat different, we don’t draw a legal line. If we do draw a legal line, it establishes a precedent by which people can use the coercive force of government to suppress ideas it doesn’t like by declaring them obscene.

On the other hand, Donohue’s counterpoint was missed by my TV host friend — and he didn’t seem to be able to articulate it quite well enough to cut through the fog of duality (what should be allowed by government and what we think decent people should or shouldn’t do). They are two different things. It’s really the whole point of the entire First Amendment.

The answer, if you’re looking for one rooted in Christianity, is The Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

“Well they have no respect for our sensibilities!”

That’s not a valid excuse to abandon our standards of decency. If you don’t want P*ss Christ, don’t do An*al Allah. It’s not edgy or cool (I’m sure that Charlie Hebro had no issues with P*ss Christ, either, but if you did, you should also have a problem with An*l Allah). Now of course we defend your RIGHT to publish what you want to – which means we won’t use the coercive force of government to admonish you for it. But it doesn’t put you above criticism from the rest of us, and we are perfectly free to apply whatever (legal) social pressure we like to marginalize you if we don’t like it.

No, you should not be legally required to self-censor. Yes, you should self-censor according to your standards of decency, and you should be prepared to take your verbal and social lumps if they aren’t up to the standards of your community.

Were Christians right to be outraged over P*ss Christ? Absolutely. Are Muslims right to be outraged over An*l Allah? Of course. And for the same reasons.

Would Christians be justified in killing over it? No. Are Muslims justified in killing over it? No there, as well.

That being said, it is perfectly legitimate to criticize religions. Well-known atheist Richard Dawkins put it very succinctly a couple of days ago:

“No, all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent, some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn’t.”

That’s the way to do it. An*l Allah is not. As my wife would say, it’s rude, crude, and socially unacceptable.

And much as I’m not generally a fan of Bill Maher, we do agree on this:

“Condemning attack is not enuf: unless U strongly endorse the right of anyone to make fun of any religion/prophet, U r not a moderate Muslim”

But endorsing your right to do something and criticizing what you did are not mutually exclusive.

Socialism vs Christian Charity (or any other kind for that matter)

“Forced charity isn’t.” – me

This actually comes up a lot.  Somebody picks out a philosophical quote meant to apply on a macro scale and then uses the unaddressed exceptions to pick it and its larger argument apart.

Ran across a post where someone took issue with one of a quote from Dr. Thomas Sowell:

“No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites living off of those who produce” – Dr. Thomas Sowell

Which this person posted with this as [the beginning of his] commentary:

For me the tone of this message is very much a Eugenics one??….One fundamental question…Just who should we consider to be these parasitic elements within society??..The impoverished??…The disabled???…the handicapped??….the elderly??….And for the sake of argument…What solution or remedy dose our dear Mr. Sowell, offer to address the issue at hand I wonder?/…perhaps he favors the re-implementing of the old concept..The final solution???…I ask…How can a society claim to be a free and just one, and advocate the cause of man kind….If in such a society  the value and worth of its citizens are determined solely based upon their monetary worth??….Rather then  the sacred principle that all life rich or poor, disabled or elderly etc. is unquestionably sacred and precious??….

None of which was intended, I am certain (I’ve read a lot of Sowell) by Dr. Sowell.  It’s just a simple statement of fact.  And nowhere in it does Dr. Sowell say anything about the disabled, the elderly, or the “poor”.  Because he’s not really talking about them here.  *(actually Dr. Sowell talks a lot about the poor in his works and points out, using actual data, that most of the poor are only poor temporarily.  This is not to say that there are not some people who are incapable of making their own way – but the fact is, that is a small percentage of the poor)

I pointed this out, along with encouraging him to pick up and read one of Dr. Sowell’s books from start to finish so that his questions might be answered — and they’re not the answers presumed by this guy’s leading questions.

Here’s the kicker… I don’t think this guy is a leftist.  He is apparently a staunch right-to-lifer.  And maybe he’s struggling with these questions and being led astray by idiots like the guy at Young Turks who had the very same take on Sowell’s quote.  He took the quote to mean that anybody who wasn’t in the 1% was a parasite (which … I mean, where does one find that in the quote?  He’s putting words into Sowell’s mouth).

So with that in mind, and the fact that he does seem to be concerned as we should all be about the less fortunate – those who truly cannot pull their own weight, and the fact that he was conflating Sowell’s worldview (based on one single sentence) with (and I kid you not) Bernard Shaw’s and Karl Marx’s worldviews (Sowell would spit his coffee out all over his computer screen), I set about trying to address his followup question:

Only if I may ask one question??…How would you defy a Socialist??..Or should I ask..How would you recognise if a individual is a Socialist or not??…Just curious.

Ahem ….

A socialist endorses something that I don’t believe Christ ever endorsed. Yes, he endorsed caring for those in need, but he never endorsed taking something from someone else to give to the poor. Charity happens when one gives freely of himself to another — not when some gives freely of someone else to another. It is incumbent on us as individuals, voluntarily — whether we do it individually or by forming voluntary groups to pool resources.

In fact, I have no problem with a group of people getting together voluntarily and creating a socialist community, or even a full-blown communist one – as long as nobody is forced to join or coerced into staying.

Of course, when this is done, all the problems of socialism’s incompatibility with human nature come out. When you get what you need without having to lift a finger even though you are perfectly capable of contributing to the community, your incentive to contribute is diminished. Now perhaps some extremely noble people will actually work harder to contribute more, but the more they contribute, the easier it makes it on those who don’t contribute. Eventually you end up with a group of people carrying a vastly disproportionate burden of productivity in such an environment. Unless they’re exceedingly altruistic, they will eventually resent those who are taking it easy and living a life of relative leisure, while those on the net receiving end develop a sense of entitlement — of being owed something they have done nothing to earn. And due to those expectations and the fact that everybody wants a better life — the expectation is that they are also owed that better life and they will likewise resent the ones carrying the bulk of the water.

Now – it is true, and Dr. Sowell would be at the front of the line to agree, that we as human beings have obligations to our fellow man, starting at the family level — our first line of defense, and working up through extended family, community, and on up. Here’s the deal.

Charity begins at home – and the wider the separation in relationship between the givers of charity and the recipients, the less prevalent it should be. The higher up you go in societal structure, the more you should be focusing your efforts on those who have fallen through the cracks at the lower levels. I could argue that in a free society, government has ZERO role in this.

Even if it does, the formula should be the same. The higher up you go, the more narrowly focused the program should be.

This is for a couple of reasons, and one of them is to avoid encouraging the mechanism I described above, by which you have an institutionalized force that rewards sloth and punishes the industrious. The other is that the closer the giver is to the recipient, the better position the giver is in to decide whether the recipient is gaming the system or is actually deserving or in need due to circumstances beyond their control.

Churches, and the accompanying religious — traditionally had a great role in this. Our system was designed for a moral and religious people, as John Adams observed. As America abandons God, it is attempting to create a central government to replace Him.

And it will lead to no good end.


Ok, he’s a trolling leftist:

With all do respect sir…Do you honestly believe for one moment that Socialism is taking from the wealthy and giving it to the poor sir?

‘Nother update:

Dude is completely off his rocker.  In his view, socialism isn’t wealth redistribution.  Because WallStreetNewWorldOrderBankingSystemFundedtheBolsheviks and …. yeah, he completely lost me at that point.