Friday, August 31, 2012

Theodore Dalrymple

I didn't know a thing about Theodore Dalrymple, except that it's a name I vaguely remember coming across now and then.  It sounds like a pseudonym, and, lo and behold, it is.  Anyhow, a commenter over as Steve Sailer's Blog just quoted him as saying:

Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Well, that is well said and clearly true and insightful, and even sounds a bit like C. S. Lewis, had he lived to hear the term "political correctness," or even Solzhenitsyn, so I looked a little deeper and found that the quote is from an interview with Dalrymple at Front Page.  Intrigued, I went on to the Wikipedia article about Dalrymple, and, curiouser and curioser, he's not an old British Tory (tho he adopted the pseudonym so as to sound like one) but in reality

His father was a Communist businessman of Russian ancestry, while his Jewish mother was born in Germany and came to England as a refugee from the Nazi regime.
So I will now read a bit more of Mr. Dalrymple.  I'm suspicious, and rightly so, of ex-communists like David Horowitz, because I wonder just how ex- they are.  In Horowitz's case, I suspect he abandoned the left when the left began to get dubious about Zionism and the neocons embraced it fully, rather than for any actual ideological reasons.  I'm always afraid of that sort of thing from the converted, but I don't know enough to say yet about Dalrymple.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, though.

George Carlin has a Point

Deporting is such sweet sorrow

Rest assured — our Government may not be able to balance the budget or win any wars or go to the Moon any more, but by golly it's always hard at work thinking up new reasons why it can't deport illegal aliens.  In the first place, it would cost too much, and God knows the Government is very reluctant to spend money.  After that, we need illegal aliens so that corporate farmers won't have to pay Americans enough money to pick fruit.  Also, we need them because they make life so exciting, because traditional Americans are boringly law-abiding and financially prudent.  And, we can't deport others because they have kids, and the kids can't be deported because they're Americans.  Not Americans like Tom and Huck, or even Jim, but Americans because their mothers slipped over the border to give birth for free at an American hospital.

We also need the illegals to hold wages down in the construction and meat-packing industries, just to name a couple.

And sometimes we don't need them, but have to keep them here anyway, because they're in danger of something or other in their home countries.  By that logic, we should invite everybody in China and India to come live here.  But, we of course have to let any African women in because their husbands or fathers might insist on mutilating their genitals. Then we have to let their fathers and husbands in because it would be immoral to break up a family.

But the latest new idea is the best of all. We can't deport criminals because back in their home countries, people might discriminate against criminals.  I wish I was kidding.  Steve Sailer has the goods on this HERE.

Smitten Mitt

Well, now we know.  Mitt isn't a conservative, a liberal, or a moderate.  He's a suffragette. First, we have a whole gang of female politicos, plus Mitt's wife, and then Mitt reminds us that his mother ran for the senate, and then Mitt tells us that his wife's job is more important than his (genetically, probably true).  During all this, we're told stories about what a great guy Mitt is from the female point of view.  Now, that's not a bad thing, but see where the emphasis is?  It's all about him "being there" and being compassionate and gentle and sweeping the floor and doing all those good Dagwoody things that mean so much to women and men don't give a damn about.  We don't care if the war chief helps out around the house, or if the magistrate plays ball with his kids.  We want good war chiefing and magistrating, and we don't care if its done by Mr. Wonderful or some cranky old bastard.  As a matter of fact, most males would have preferred to see Romney endorsing Eastwood for President.

The funny thing is, Mitt was shown to be the kind of man women say they respect and admire, when they actually prefer assholes like Bill Clinton and semi-faggots like Obama. Go figure.  But this little female paradox is only a paradox from the point of view of males, who, though we often fail in it ourselves, admire toughness, consistency, patriotism, real leadership qualities, logical thinking, and competence in our leaders.  Women like con men and pretty boys for the most part.

In short, women as a group shouldn't be making political decisions or voting.  It's not what they're good at.  They don't think that way.  Men think in terms of the tribe, women in terms of the family.  Yeah, yeah, I know about Margaret Thatcher and Elizabeth I and so forth.  I said women as a group! Do you think Elizabeth I wanted women in general making political decisions or even thinking about politics? No.  She was too smart and politically astute to think that women in general were smart and politically astute. And she was smart enough to understand the concept of the 'outlier.'

But for now we're stuck with it.  Boy are we stuck with it. We get the kind of candidates we get, in both parties, because of the ditzy dame vote.  Pretty boys like Mitt, bad boys like Bill Clinton, and nice young boys with their hair combed like Rubio.  What we need, what we always need, is some bald-headed fat old son of a bitch who knows what he's doing, like Cleveland, or some sour old bald-headed scrawny old son of a bitch who knows what he's doing, like Coolidge.

That's my incoherent rant on the subject.  If you want a cooler, more nuanced treatment of the feminization of American politics and practically everything else, check out what Vox Day has to say HERE.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Soak the Rich!

"Soak the rich," is one way to say it, though "soak" always sounded strange to me.  More popular is "Share the Wealth," as Huey Long put it.  Obama tweaks that, saying "Spread the Wealth," which makes it sound less like money, and more like manure.  Considering who Obama pals around with, money is rather manure-like.

Thing is the rich aren't a coherent group.  Indeed, the rich don't have anything in common except money.  So any generalization about "the rich" that isn't about their having more money than other people is bound to be inaccurate.  Queen Elizabeth, Carlos Slim, and Mikhail Khodorovsky are all rich.  Can you think of anything true of all three that isn't about them having money?

So when politicians of any party say something about "the rich" and what they do, and what they ought to do, and what they ought to have done to them, at best they're oversimplifying, and at worst they're just plain lying.

John Derbyshire, despite what the idiot scumbag liberals say about him, knows better than to generalize when it's not called for, and understands that the rich/not rich dichotomy needs to be nuanced if it's to mean anything useful.  His piece on the subject, "Eat the Rich," is HERE.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Obama and the Women's Vote

I could write a lot about Obama and the women's vote, but Glenn Foden, as cartoonists often do, has crammed several thousand words into a single drawing.  His website is HERE.

2016 - Still Haven't Seen It

Nope, still haven't seen it, but I'm hearing a little more about it.  I already linked to a couple of good reviews HERE.  Evidently it's flawed, in part, because it has a distinct neocon point of view (which is no surprise, as Dinesh D'Souza is a neocon), and perpetuates the erroneous neoconservative notion that Obama isn't belligerent enough overseas.  He's plenty belligerent, folks.  He's ahead of Bush in the Nobel Prize for Sticking Your Nose (And Troops) In Other People's Business, even having troops in the middle of Africa, for crying out loud.  But, just ignore that part, and indications are that this is a worthwhile movie, basically underscoring the fact that, as I've said before, there's less to Obama than meets the eye.  No, despite being raised as one, he's not a Muslim.  His only religion is the cult of Narcissus. Oh, he has plenty of contempt for Christians, and how they cling to their religion (and their guns), but that doesn't mean he has any real religious convictions of his own.  And he doesn't seem to have any positive political convictions — Just the negative, nihilistic ones of being anti-White, anti-West, and anti-American.  But he's not passionate about any of it. He's just a spoiled narcissist of average intelligence who thinks he's smart, when he's probably the least intelligent President in at least a century.  Being sort of Black, he's held to a much lower standard (if he's held to a standard at all) by liberals, neocons, libertarians, and practically everybody except a handful of realists who don't automatically hand out Affirmative Action points.

All this is pretty much compatible with Steve Sailer's view of Obama, and he's studied him a lot more than I have.  And he's seen the movie.  His review of it is HERE.

Crazy Mullah Ovadia Yosef

Our wise leaders, the liberals and neocons, are well aware that Iran is horribly dangerous — as dangerous as Hitler and Stalin and Mao put together.  Don't be fooled by its comparatively small size and lack of technology and organization.  Oh, and the irrelevant fact that its armed forces wouldn't stand a chance against nearby Russia or China, let alone us.  Like I say, ignore that stuff, because they say they hate us!  Now, the fact that people all over the world are saying the same thing, from North Korea to Uganda to Venezuela, is beside the point.  They don't matter.  Iran does.  If you don't believe they're evil, crazy, and dangerous, and that we must crush them immediately, just take a look at this very influential Iranian Mullah, Ovadia Yosef.  Not content with normal belligerence, he calls for his people to pray for the destruction of Iran's enemies, probably Israel and America.  And the feckless Iranian government doesn't even try to silence this psychotic genocidal warmonger! The story is HERE.  Huh?  Oh?  Dang.  Well, I can't get everything right.  I need an intern or something around here to do some fact checking.  As Emily Litella would say, "Never mind."

Fred on Science and Stuff

Cartoon by BALOO

The convention and the hurricane have pushed the Mars mission out of our consciousness a bit, but Fred Reed hasn't forgotten.  We've gotten rather blasé about this sort of thing, and have forgotten just how close to impossible it all is, and Fred explains it HERE.  And then he says some other stuff.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Joe Biden Performs!

Joe Biden rehearses his act for the Democratic convention:

Stupid Goddam White Liberals Everywhere, Including Canada

Is there anything analogous to White liberals?  That is, does there exist a large percentage of, say, Chinese, who deplore the historical behavior of Chinese people and who actively apologize to any and all other people who might have been harmed or offended by Chinese behavior?  And who advocate that foreigners be invited into China to replace Chinese people, and replace Chinese culture with other, inimical types of culture?  Who genuinely consider their fellow Chinese to be boring and stupid and evil in comparison to other ethnic groups?  No.  Not really.  And if you replace "Chinese" with "Jewish" or "Mexican" or "Black" or "Arab" or "Pakistani" or "Turkish," and you'll get the same "not really" answer.  But there are plenty, nay, heaps of White liberals who are exactly that way.  Most of them you find in Western Europe and in the nations, like the United States, whose population derives from Western Europe.  East Europeans have been through so much crap over the last century that they don't have as much time for stupid notions like liberalism.

Most of the readers of this blog are quite familiar with American White liberals, and, to a lesser extent, British White liberals.  But don't forget America's mullet, Canada.  In a way, Canadian White liberals are even worse than ours, because they seem even more sincere and eager to hate themselves.  I suppose Americans would be more like that if you kept the New England bunch and got rid of the Scotch-Irish, who are much less inclined toward self-loathing.

Anyhow, if you want to know what's happening in Canada, your best bet is Kathy Shaidle.  She is Canadian, and she keeps track of les choses Canadiennes, or at least les choses ridicules. Now, we Americans have never heard of any Canadian politicians except for Garry Trudeau or whoever it is, but Canadians know about them, and they've recently discovered, and deplored, the fact that their first Prime Minister was a bigot, a racist, a blue meanie, and probably a nazi redneck klansman tea partier, which is odd for a Canadian, but what can you do?  Kathy tells us all about it HERE.


Here's Uncle Chuckles falling asleep during an Obama speech.  But it's not just poor old Joe, who might fall asleep during one of his own speeches.  It's anybody, really.  Thing is, the most exciting thing about Obama is his speechmaking, and, frankly, his speechmaking is actually rather boring. It only seems interesting because the rest of Obama is even more boring. And because the talking heads keep telling us what a great speaker he is. Probably the most interesting thing he ever did was mess around with drugs, and that wasn't very rare in his cohort.  As near as I can tell, he's never said, written, or thought anything that anybody could honestly regard as "interesting."  Now, nobody has any problem recognizing the fact that Bush II was pretty boring, and as far as speechmaking goes, so was his dad.  But the Bushes are White, and therefore not immune from criticism.  But, as you know, Obama always gets an extra fifty Affirmative Action points for being Black (Well, Black-ish), so what would be an excruciatingly boring speech from Romney or Ryan attains William Jennings Bryan level when issuing from the mouth of the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers.

There are fascinating facts about Bill Clinton that we don't know about yet, I'm sure, and probably likewise about the Bushes, Reagan, and even ol' Jimmy Carter.  But the thing about Obama is that there's less to him than meets the eye.

And now, appropriately enough, an excruciatingly boring biography of Obama is available.  Steve Sailer reviews it HERE with Menkenesque snarkiness.  And you will find it worthwhile, after you read it, to go to Steve's own site HERE and read the comments section.

New Baloo Bumper Sticker

Baloo has just done a new bumper sticker.  I endorse the sentiments.  Go HERE to buy it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

This Video Be Raciss!

I swiped this video from Nicholas Stix who got it from the Freedom Fighter's Journal.  For any liberals who might read this blog.  This video is actually satire, and is not meant to be a training manual.  But it will probably be used for one anyway.

Some Libertarians Aren't Liberal Enough for Other Libertarians

Frankly, most of the libertarians who we hear about out there are of the "flaky" variety who I describe HERE.  Now, most of them are fine fellows, and hardly any of them give me any trouble, but some of them are, frankly, so committed to the liberal/progressive paradigm of reality (despite their own declared libertarianism) that they've come to regard that paradigm as essential to libertarianism. Well, it's not.  In fact, it's a poor fit.  Actually, if you take it to its logical conclusion, that paradigm is inimical to libertarianism.  To take one example, egalitarianism.  I define egalitarianism as the unfounded belief that all human groups — ethnic, national, racial, religious, cultural — average as equal in intelligence and all other significant capacities.  This is the word of the Zeitgeist and is an essential element of liberalism, progressivism, marxism, and neoconservatism.  And probably any other ism that's at all popular out there.  Well, if you believe in that notion, and you see unequal outcomes out there for these groups, you have to conclude that something unfair is going on, that Whitey or whoever is holding down those groups that don't measure up, and some kind of action against this unfairness is called for.  Liberals and neocons call for government action, and flaky libertarians call for... Well, they don't quite know what to call for, but in the meantime, they want open borders so that all groups can enter the country and sign up for welfare and other goodies.  Yeah, yeah, they say they don't want the latter to happen, but of course they do, unconsciously or otherwise.  They believe, as a result of their multiculturalist egalitarianism, that such immigrants will fit right in, and never mind the thousands of years of acculturation that made us what we are.  Everybody else can do the same with a stroke of the pen. Their ultimate logic, of course, is that if you have any particular esteem for your own nation, ethnic group, or race, you must hate all the others.

Well, I'm evidently not the only one.  It seems that the number one libertarian in the UK, Sean Gabb, has been accused of being (Gasp!) "anti multicluturalism," and therefore, not a worthy libertarian.  Boy, do I know how he feels.  You know, you advocate for the preservation of a nation as the only way to preserve the freedoms that the nation has produced, and a bunch of goddam hippies call you a fascist or whatever the trendy word is.  This is Sean's answer to the charge.  It evidently first appeared on his site and was also reprinted at the Libertarian Enterprise.

“Unmanly and unEnglish”
by Sean Gabb
(August 2012)

Having seen what they can do to others, I generally try to avoid personal disputes. I write this article with some reluctance. But, since I am aware of a directed campaign to blacken my name, I feel that I have no choice but to write it.

I will begin with two attacks on me. The first is from April 2012, and is a FaceBook posting by Ben Lodge, who works for and was posting from the Adam Smith Institute. The second is from August 2012, and is by Paul Marks, and is a comment posted on the Libertarian Alliance blog. I quote from these.

Ben Lodge: DO NOT work with Sean Gabb and the libertarian alliance. I have inside knowledge of why the LA broke up. Sean is a ‘new world order’ type of libertarian, is very anti multiculturalism and is frankly verging on racist and anti semitic….

[T]here’s no need to get advice from new world order nutters. Tim Evans is an anarcho-capitalist who worked for the libertarian alliance, but left due to the aforementioned paleo-libertarianism of sean gabb (ron paul newsletters type stuff, seriously, avoid him). Tim now works with the ASI, which is where I am as I write this.

Paul Marks: You see Sean Gabb OWNS the “Liberartarian Alliance” - he was given it by its Founder (who, like a tragic figure in a Victorian novel, was striken by a terrible illness - and did not clearly see the person who got closest to him for what he really was).

So when Sean Gabb switched sides and started ENABLING people like Kevin Carson rather than FIGHTING them, there was nothing the Board of Libertarian Alliance could do.

A single man owned the majority of the LA - so that was that Most of the board ended up resigning.”

Ben Lodge writes like a fool. Paul Marks is a fool. Their attacks, in themselves, are worthless. But they are not the only attacks. Their only real singularity, widely spaced as they are, and inconsistent in their details, is that they are in writing. They are unauthorised footprints left on the Internet of a campaign that, so far, has been kept to word of mouth. I was made aware of the scale of this campaign in July and August 2012 when speaking with friends in Bratislava, in Vienna, and in Prague. Before then, I had been told that someone in the Brussels office of the UK Independence Party was warning activists to shun me for my “fascist” views. A few months ago, Toby Baxendale, who funds the Cobden Centre, wrote to me with desperate politeness, to ask for all mention of his past donations to be removed from the Libertarian Alliance blog and website. If there is some variation in the campaign, the essentials are the same – that Tim Evans was forced to dissociate himself from me on account of my abhorrent political views.

The problem with allegations of racial hatred – and this is known by those making them – is that no contrary evidence is ever enough to refute them. I could abase myself. I could drool political correctness. I could link to podcasts from all my non-white friends and present and former students. It would be in vain. I will suggest, then, that rather than accept the claims made in telephone calls, or over a dinner table, you should yourself go looking for the positive evidence.

I have, during the past thirty years, published over a million words on politics. These have not been the kind of nuanced pap written by or for ambitious Tory boys. They say exactly what I wanted to say when I wrote them. They were written in haste, and hardly ever revised, and mostly not read over before publishing. They contain statements of opinion that have sometimes caused outrage. Some of them I regret having written, but have been too honest, or perhaps too vain, to suppress. If you believe I am a nazi or a communist, you go through these writings. If you are right, the evidence must be there.

Or there is my fiction. I have so far had seven novels published. These run to another million and a half words. They contain both black and Jewish characters. If I were what Mr Lodge claims I am, you would find some evidence here of racial hatred. Do go and buy them. They are available in all good bookshops.

I do not think you will find anything that would persuade a reasonable man. But, if you do find something, you can write about it on the Libertarian Alliance blog. We do not censor personal attacks on ourselves. Go to our blog, if you like, and search for the graffiti already left there over the years by Paul Marks and Perry de Havilland, among others.

I turn to the claims made by Paul Marks. Save to reject it as false and malicious, and made without knowledge of the relevant facts, I will not discuss the implied claim of undue influence. But the claim that the Libertarian Alliance has published the works of Kevin Carson in defiance of what Chris Tame would have wished is easily disproved.

In September 2005, Chris read or reread Kevin Carson’s Readings in Mutualist Political Economy. I have his approvingly-annotated copy on my shelves. On the 6th January 2006, Chris wrote this to Kevin about his book:

I'm very pleased to see it getting the attention it deserves [in The Journal of Libertarian Studies], although I hope they wont take a totally negative perspective. My own position, and that of Sean, is that in spite of what we consider to be errors in your outlook, the positive content is of preeminent importance. Libertarian/free market analysis must cut itself free of residual apologetics for actually existing “capitalism”, must refocus on issues of class and power in their distortion of real markets, must re-emphasise class analysis as a central part of its social analysis, must become aware of the core damage to the market (and subsequent distortion) of limited liability and the corporate structure.

I could publish many other comments made by Chris on the “left-libertarians.” But this one is a fair statement of his opinions. Compare it with anything I have said about them. Of course, Chris may have been wrong. I may be wrong. But the issue here is entirely one of continuity.

Why, then, did Tim Evans resign as President of the Libertarian Alliance in February 2011? I gave at the time what I thought was a sufficient answer to this question. In 2006, I gave Tim 49 ordinary shares in the Libertarian Alliance Ltd. Nearly five years later, he noticed that these did not add up to half of the issued shares, and that I had 51 per cent. He demanded equality. I refused. After this, his behaviour became increasingly questionable. I will not go over these events again. I narrated them fully in my earlier publication.

What I did not fully discuss in my earlier publication was why Chris wanted Tim to have only a minority shareholding. I thought this would have been too hurtful, and I did hope that some formal reconciliation might be possible. But I will now quote from the Will of Chris Tame:

SAVE THAT if the said SEAN IVOR GABB shall upon execution of this will find himself owning all the shares in the Libertarian Alliance Limited I direct him within a reasonable time after execution of this will to use whatever device seems most convenient upon his taking the appropriate advice to ensure that a forty nine per cent share in the Libertarian Alliance Limited may be transferred to the ownership of TIMOTHY EDWARD CALVAR EVANS currently of [home address omitted]

AND FOR THE AVOIDANCE of ambiguity in the execution of the above direction I intend that the said SEAN IVOR GABB shall own a fifty one per cent share in the Libertarian Alliance Limited and that the said TIMOTHY EDWARD CALVAR EVANS shall own a forty nine per cent share in the Libertarian Alliance Limited the purpose of my direction being to ensure that no difference of opinion among the shareholders shall enda
nger the smooth running of the Libertarian Alliance Limited as a radical and effective campaigning body

I think this shows clearly enough what Chris thought of Tim. He still hoped that Tim would start raising funds for the Libertarian Alliance on the scale that had been promised since 1998, but otherwise distrusted him. He thought some shareholding was appropriate, but was determined that ultimate control of the organisation should rest with someone whose ideological commitment he trusted.

I will not explain the view of Tim Evans that I have formed over a quarter century of close – and closely-recorded – observation. But I will give one further reason why Chris did not want him to have joint control of the Libertarian Alliance.

In the autumn of 2005, it became necessary for Chris to move to London, so he could be close to his cancer hospital. He asked Tim to put him up. “I’ll pay you rent,” he said. The response he expected was: “I wouldn’t hear of charging you rent, Chris. You are one of my dearest and oldest friends. You just take the spare bedroom, and stay there as long as you want.” Instead, Tim announced a rent of £300 a month, and hurried upstairs to his office to prepare a standing order.

Now, you may be one of those libertarians who giggle at the thought of making your children pay for food. If so, you will look up and say: “Oh my God, Sean has become a communist!” Otherwise, you will agree that you do not charge rent to dying friends. You especially do not charge rent when you are yourself in easy circumstances and your friend has not had a regular job for ten years, and is running down his savings in the hope that one of the quacks he is consulting really does have a cure for terminal bone cancer. Chris was shocked and humiliated. For twenty years, he had been introducing Tim to everyone he knew, and giving him unstinting support through various personal crises. His reward, when he had no other friends in London with room to spare, was to be asked to pay the kind of rent that a stranger down the road might have charged. Do you really suppose this merited joint control of the organisation that Chris regarded as the main achievement of his life? Do you now understand why, two years ago, I refused Tim’s demand for an equal shareholding?

When Mr Lodge posted his comments on FaceBook, I complained to Madsen Pirie about the use of his computer systems to promote Tim’s vendetta against me. His indirect and weasely response can only be described as unmanly. This is a word I can extend much wider. Indeed, it covers much of what passes today for the British libertarian movement. There are many reasons why this movement has failed so completely to slow the growth of our corporate police state. I think one of the main reasons, though, has been the average moral quality of those running it. Character matters. You can put on a nice suit. You can learn to sound like a member of the old ruling class. You can even imply, without actually claiming, that you have a military background. But when you display the emotional responses of a spider, and when you conduct your disputes by shuffling about and whispering into the ear of anyone who will listen, while trying to embargo written, and therefore answerable, discussions of the issues in dispute, people do see that on your face. It is unmanly. It is unEnglish. It will, by association, debase an entire body of ideas.

I will close by reminding Tim that he was given his 49 per cent share in the Libertarian Alliance as an incentive to raise funds for the organisation. Now that he has resigned from this function, so far as he ever discharged it, and is willing to allow his friends to spread falsehoods about me, there is no honourable reason why he should retain his holding. I have already asked him in private. I will now ask him in public to return those shares, so they can be allocated to the other officers of the Libertarian Alliance.

The Stupid Franchise

Long ago, when the Founding Fathers roamed the earth, there was a clear awareness on the part of practically everybody that democracy was a dangerous idea.  The idea of people in general voting was scary, because of doubt about the masses' intelligence and motivation.  You see, the Founders thought that voters should be voting for good government. That's the whole idea. They didn't trust the caprices of Kings any more, and that left them with a choice between a republic, a dicatatoship, or an anarchy (which, in their opinion, would develop immediately into a dictatorship — and I think they were right), so they opted for the republic, but with reservations. They tried to restrict the franchise to people intelligent enough to make a good choice, and civic-minded enough to want to make a good choice.  Hence, the franchise was limited, for the most part, to White male property owners above a certain age.  Sure, like anybody else, such people would tend to vote somewhat in their own interests as opposed to the national interest, but probably much less so than other people, because they'd be more intelligent, knowing the limits of what government can do, and because such people would tend, like kings, to be dynasty/family-oriented, and would tend to want to leave a healthy country for their descendants.

Our current system, whereby any warm body aged 18 or more has an equal vote with everybody else is obviously idiotic.

We like to speculate about what kind of government we'd have if indeed the franchise had remained so limited.  I don't have any figures on that, but Jim Goad has gone at it from the I. Q. test angle, and figured out what we'd have if only those with an I. Q. of 101 or greater could vote.  Read it HERE.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2016: Obama's America

I haven't seen 2016: Obama's America yet, nor have I read the book, The Roots of Obama's Rage, which forms the basis for the movie.  I have, however, read Steve Sailer's
America's Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama's Story of Race and Inheritance, which, frankly, told me all I needed to know about how the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers ticks. To summarize Obama: He's a spoiled, pampered brat who would like to be an "Angry Black Man," but who has been given a free ride all his life, and therefore has to feel vicarious anger about his ancestors and a bunch of idealized noble, suffering Blacks.  He sees the world as Whitey rolling in prosperity because he swiped everything from the Black man (other races are inconsequential to him), and Obama's job is to rip off Whitey and give the wealth back to the deserving Black folks. Simple as that, really.  Well, as I say, I haven't seen the movie, but Tom Sowell has, and he writes about it HERE.

And, best of all, DailyKenn has seen it, and I reproduce his review below.  You can see the original HERE.

'2016: Obama's America' review


'2016: Obama's America' pegs Barack Obama as a man with an agenda contrary to that of the nation's Founding Fathers.

The movie features a one-hour and twenty-nine-minute monologue by Dinesh D'Souza, who directed the movie along with John Sullivan. D'Souza, you'll recall, is the immigrant from India who outed writer Sam Francis as the "new spirit of white bigotry." That led to Francis being fired from his position with the The Washington Times.

Although narrated by D'Souza, the movie contains a continuous flow of visual effects that engage the eyes and mind. Even the most devout Obamabots who despise D'Souza will appreciate the movie's stunning cinemantiques* and composition. The trailer provides an example.

D'Souza compares himself with Obama -- they were born the same year and were married the same year -- then wonders why Obama speaks so fondly of his father's influence when, in fact, the two only met briefly when Junior was a child living in Hawaii.

Surprise. Obama's adoptive Indonesian dad, Lolo Soetoro, turns out to be a pro-West good guy. That's why Barack's mom dumped him. D'Souza earlier recalled that Obama's parents met while taking a college-level Russian language class, a tip-off to Mom's enamourization* with Marxism.

The movie smothers the myth that the older Obama was a respected intellectual. Rather, he was a womanizing, polygamous alcoholic; and a bad driver to boot. Obama Sr. was responsible for killing a man in a traffic accident, lost his legs and then, later, was killed in another car crash.

D'Souza goes on to explains that Obama, Jr., was heavily influenced by his nut-case, leftist mother, and a series of men who served as father figures. All adhered to an extreme left-wing agenda.

Obama is portrayed as a man who hates the West for its abuse of third world nations during the age of colonialism. Furthermore, he's seen as embracing an agenda to reverse the trend. A key component to Obama's arsenal is running our nation into debt.

A highlight of the movie is D'Souza's interview with Obama's half-brother, George, who still lives in Kenya. As it turns out, George is not the bum the media portrayed him to be. Rather, he is an articulate and educated man who differs with his president-brother on the influence of colonialism.

George states outright that Kenya would be better off had the Europeans stayed a while longer. He notes that other post-colonial nations, such as Korea and Malaysia, are advancing while Kenya lingers economically. D'Souza figures that Obama has snubbed brother George because of their different world views.

D'Souza envisions a United States of Islam with Israel as its tiny target. Obama, he says, is pressing toward that end. Known for his evangelicalism, one could easily suspect that D'Souza is suggesting that Obama is the anti-Christ who is bringing about Armageddon.

* Kenn's neologisms

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Obama Joke of the Day

Found on the net:

When Obama died, he couldn't understand what was happening to him. He got to Heaven and first George Washington slapped him, then Thomas Jefferson kicked him, then James Madison punched him, then Patrick Henry Tripped him as he walked by... After this abuse and more went on and on Obama finally went to St. Peter to complain.

"This isn't what you promised me," Obama whined to the keeper of the gates of Heaven.

"Sure it is," St. Peter replied. "You don't listen well. I said when you got to Heaven you'd meet 72 Virginians. Of course, I didn't say they'd be happy to see you."

Friday, August 24, 2012


Do you think American military personnel should be allowed to choose and preserve their own symbols, or should they have to ask permission from a bunch of thumb-sucking, draft-dodging, anti-American swine first?  You can kind of tell where I stand on this.  A few months ago, I looked into just who was raising hissy-fits about the Scout/Sniper symbol and wrote about it HERE.  Now, as you know, I was in the Army and I wasn't a Scout/Sniper.  I was an intel analyst.  But I've known Scout/Snipers, and I've known Marines, and I've known Marine Scout/Snipers, and as far as I'm concerned, they can use any symbol they like, all of them, and to Hell with their critics.  If you agree, go to their site HERE and let them know.  Semper Fi!

Who is Hari Seldon?

I didn't know a thing about this, and most likely never would have, except for a delightful post by Vox Day.  So do go read that post HERE right now.  You've seen stories about how Reagan liked Zane Grey and Carter liked C. S. Forester and Kennedy liked Ian Fleming, and now we find out that Paul Krugman is a fan of.... Asimov?  Well, now, I'm a fan of Asimov, for various reasons, but certainly not because I consider him wise in the way of sociology and politics.  In particular, Krugman is a big fan of the "Foundation" series and is evidently going to write an introduction to a reprint of it.  Read all about that HERE.  The foundation books are basically about a psychohistorian, Hari Seldon, who predicts the fate of mankind centuries into the future by using the principles of psychohistory (which are never described, of course), so he's sort of a Spengler/Marx figure.  Anyhow the Foundation of the title is a secret cabal of Seldon's followers who sneak around a help shape the future for a thousand years or so.  And Krugman wants to be one of those guys, as he puts it.  In short, he's an Illuminati wannabee.  All these facts are in contrast to the fact that the anti-Krugman, Paul Ryan, is a fan of "Atlas Shrugged," sort of the opposite of the Foundation series.  (Do read Vox Day's post so you'll know what I'm talking about here.) It praises individual effort, not collectivist action.  The reality, of course, is somewhere in between, but a lot closer to Rand's vision than Asimov's. You picks your Russian-Jewish atheist science-fiction author and you takes your choice.

It's rather scary, actually, that somebody with Krugman's power and influence would take Asimov's stuff as something more meaningful than a fun riff on Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but evidently he does.  Frankly, I think Ryan's attachment to Atlas Shrugged is a lot more healthy and might even lead him somewhat in the right direction.

Anybody know any economists who are Lovecraft fans?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back Alley Boxer

Someday I'll do a post on my own view of abortion, and I guarantee you, it'll annoy both sides of the issue.  Part of my own view is that the pro-abortion bunch, whether I'm on their side or not, cheats by doing everything they can to convince everybody that abortion is some sort of gentle, intrinsically safe, natural procedure somewhere between gargling and ear-piercing in seriousness.  Oh, you get some distortion of the truth from the pro-life side, too, and some downright squirrelliness from Congressman Akin, who, at this point in his political career, ought to be able to say what he means without coining idiotic, ambiguous, terms like "legitimate rape."  Well, speaking of squirrels, we have the latest hallucination from Senator Barbara Boxer.  Here's what DailyKenn has to say about her:

Barb Boxer and back alley abortions

Liberal U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer is back with her leftist agenda and its gross exaggerations.

According to Boxer there was a time when abortions were performed in back alleys. The problem, from the leftist perspective, is that prohibiting one's choice to abort the life of a child prior to birth forces pregnant women to seek the procedure out back of the garage.

I protest.

To my knowledge there has never been one instance of an abortion performed in an alley. Never. Not one.

So why do feminidiots continue to use this sordid analogy?

The absence of sense creates a vacuum that must be filled by something. That something is usually an absurd and silly brain bug intended to disease one's mind with misrepresentation of reality.

The human brain, you'll recall from Psych 101, is really two hemispheres, the right brain and the left brain. The brain's right hemisphere is the site of emotion whereas the left hemisphere is where logic abides. Leftism in all its forms defies the very nature of left-brain activity (ironic, huh?) forcing those who advocate unreasonable positions to appeal to the right brain's emotional center.

In other words, they by-pass the brains logic center to infect one's emotional center with a virus.

The concept of back alley abortions is a classic example.

Think about it.

Prior to the legalization of "abortion," where did women go to destroy their prenatal children?

The answers vary. Suffice it to say, most didn't go anywhere. They chose not to kill their babies.

The few who did choose "abortions" didn't head for the seedy, low-rent side of the town and cruise dark alleys after midnight until they crossed the path of some loser with a stethoscope and a coat hanger. Persons who performed illegal abortions were careful not to damage the mother, lest they be cited for assault and, in severe cases, murder.

The brain's left hemisphere tells us that, while abortions were dangerous (they still are), they were, nonetheless, performed in secret places substantially more convenient and sanitary than a discarded refrigerator box next to a dumpster.

And how often have you heard the phrase, "Barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen?"

Left brain or right brain?


Now, this first appeared on DailyKenn's site HERE.  Go there, by all means, but I do want to reprint here one of the anonymous comments from there, because it is so incisive:

If I really wanted to have a war on women, I mean if I really really wanted to destroy the essence of what women are at their core, I don't think I could do worse than convincing them that it is really OK for them to kill their children while they are in their wombs. And then maybe we could convince them to use birth control so they can really embrace a new role as objects for man's sexual gratification - why limit it to prostitutes, make every wife and daughter believe they need to be sexy..? You could constantly tell them that only thin and large breasted women are beautiful... get them to believe they need to stand up and fight for the right to be treated like that and you will have really damaged a generation of women. Maybe you could convince some to modify their bodies with sterilization procedures or breast implants and lip injections too...

Can you imagine telling women in the 19th and early 20th century that this would be reality? Or if you predicted 53 million 'abortions' would take place in the USA by 2012? Close to a billion worldwide and that doesn't even count abortifacients... its as though more than 1 out of 6 people are just missing from the planet.

Pussy Riot Control

Well, we've all heard about what happened in Russia with the "Pussy Riot" ladies — Surely it's all right to call them sluts, isn't it, Miss Fluke?  Well, they performed some pretty spectacular blasphemies and were convicted of "hooliganism" and got some hefty sentences.  In this country, they'd have gotten academic credits.  I remember when Russia was communist, and therefore beyond criticism no matter how many dissenters they sent to the Gulag, but now that it's a halfway free country, all the bitching little neocons and liberals are indignant about everything Putin does to try to keep order.  Go figure.  Actually, it doesn't take much figuring. Our elite MAG (Media, Academia, Government) has always been pro-communist, so of course whatever Stalin and his successors did was all right, and after the fall of communism, Yeltsin let the MAG swarm in and loot the place, and Putin has largely put a stop to that, therefore he's a sonofabitch who can't do anything right.  See Matt Parrot below.  My general attitude towards Russia is like my attitude towards all countries.  The way it rules itself is none of my business.  I have no right to force them to change the way they do things, provided they leave my country alone.  My specific attitude towards Russia is that it's a great nation that I want to see preserved because it has a lot of things to offer the world, from science to literature.  And if imprisoning some spoiled brats help preserve it, that's fine with me.

Well, I know a bit about Russia, but others know more, especially about the Pussy Riot шлюхи, so I've waited to get input from those wiser than I, and I've assembled these links which I advise you to follow and read:

Russia's Wretched Defilers — Guy Somerset

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Shoeing the Nonexistent Horses of Detroit

From Michigan Capitol Confidential: 

Despite having no horses, the water and sewerage department for the city of Detroit employs a horseshoer.

Yet even with a department so bloated that it has a horseshoer and no horses, the local union president said it is "not possible" to eliminate positions.

Union rules have turned the department into a government jobs program, some critics say.

The horseshoer’s job description is "to shoe horses and to do general blacksmith work … and to perform related work as required." The description was last updated in 1967. (Read the rest HERE.)

Just for fun

L. Neil Smith on Guns and Violence

We are clearly in a state of what the late Sam Francis referred to as "anarcho-tyranny," wherein the population is harassed and threatened with a multitude of petty regulations, while actual criminals are magnanimously given a pass.  Black Panthers are allowed to intimidate White voters, for example, while state efforts to prevent voter fraud are opposed by the Federal Government. L. Neil Smith has been keeping track of some of the manifestations of this Brave New World Order, and had this to say in the Libertarian Enterprise:

Rumors of War 

by L. Neil Smith 

Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Unless you've been doing wall paintings in a Spanish cave, you'll be aware that earlier this year, the federal Department of Homeland Security has ordered 450,000,000 rounds of hollowpoint .40 S&W pistol ammunition. Look at that number again: four hundred fifty million. That's half again the population of the United States. Or, the way these goons usually shoot, almost enough to kill a million peole.

For the non-ballistically minded among my readers, .40 S&W is a lot different from the nine millimeter (9mm) cartridge issued by the military for its Beretta 92F (or M9) and other weapons. It also differs from the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (.45 ACP) cartridge used by the military from 1911, through two world wars, Korea, and Vietnam until the mid-80's when it was replaced by the European cartridge. .45 ACP is far from dead, however; the Marines have just spent $22,500,000 for a new batch of 1911 pistols because the 9mm just doesn't cut the mustard.

But perhaps I have digressed. .40 S&W has become the preferred item for "civilian" police and federal bureaucrats. In the right hands, out of the right pistol, it packs about the same power as a .357 magnum, but there are 15 to 18 cartridges in the gun instead of six. There are also stories floating around about other federal agencies acquiring obscene amounts of pistol ammunition, and one concerning 175,000,000 rounds of .223, which is what the M16 rifle shoots.

One hundred seventy-five million cartridges. Clearly, these people are gettng ready for a big dust-up of some kind. Toward the beginning of his ill-starred term in office, Barack Obama boasted that he was planning to create his own internal security force that would be just as strong as the traditional military. He appears to have kept that promise.

Some individuals have suggested these purchases are intended to soak up the nation's capacity to produce ammunition, in order to keep it off the shelves of gunshops. Trouble is, that's not how economics works. Increasing the demand drives the price up, initially, which acts as an incentive to enter the market, which increases the supply and drives prices back down again. Even Keynes would laugh in Obama's face.

So why are they doing it?

Let's set that question aside for the moment and consider another phenomenon, the so-called "New Black Panther" party. Friday's Breitbart carried a story with two videos. One was of an overweight young black woman threatening attendees of the Republican National Convention in Tampa later this month. The video is gone, now, but its message was simple: an attempt to make Republicans the fringe (frankly, I wish they were) instead of the quaint and silly gang she represents.

The other video was quainter and sillier, consisting of a bearded young man in a shapeless black raincoat and beret—even Will Smith couldn't make an outfit like that look good—exhorting his fellow ... whatever he reckoned his fellows to be, to start skinning white people and killing their babies. You can't be free, he insisted repeatedly until you've skinned some white people and killed their babies.

If a white person said that on YouTube, he's be in jail now.

Through it all, we saw a picture of the fellow brandishing a pair of double-action revolvers of two different barrel lengths. I couldn't tell what caliber they were, but I found myself thinking that if this was about Florida, like that other video, the poor sap is proposing to start trouble with his ridiculous six-guns in a state where every other little old Jewish lady possesses a semiautomatic and knows how to use it.

That was dumb enough, but these two kids, the fat girl and the guy in the Halloween costume, don't seem to understand what their part really is in the game. They know the government won't prosecute them for anything they do. They know the "other" side, the Republicans, are cowardly, stupid, and perhaps even complicit. But what they don't understand is that they're cannon-fodder, meant to start just enough trouble so that somebody shoots them, igniting a riot that the federal government can photogenically put down—with 450,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W and 175,000,000 rounds of .223—while declaring martial law, shutting off the Internet, and ordering everybody across the country to give up their guns (and any gold they may have lying around, as well).

Keep your eye on the Republican Convention. They've certainly tried everything else. They couldn't pass a law—and keep it passed -- that would disarm the Productive Class. The old reliable mass shooting just doesn't seem to work for them anymore, the way it did in the halcyon days of Charles Whitman, Lee Harvey Oswald, Harris and Klebold, and Nadal Malik Hasan. In this most recent round, to inspire new laws, they tried three times, all for nothing. It doesn't matter what they try to do about it now. Americans have obeyed their last gun law.

I wonder if there is a single individual left in this poor, battered country who doesn't understand that these spectacular public shootings are arranged beforehand to advance the cause of victim disarmament.

I wonder if there is a single individual left in this country who doesn't understand that Operation Fast and Furious was contrived to discredit what the anti-freedom side calls the American "gun culture", but what they know perfectly well is actually the Bill of Rights culture.

Stealing people's guns during a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina only brought them another hurricane of legal grief. And so we finally come to this—what's intended to look like a race war, trumped up by white "progressives" using dopey black militants as tools.

Barack Obama thinks he can succeed where Charlie Manson failed. In fact, these ammunition orders need to be quashed by Congress, and any cartridges already delivered distributed equitably among the American public. While they're at it they can override Obama's order to halt the re-importation of those M1 Garands and M1 Carbines from South Korea.

That oughta provide plenty of homeland security.

There are also rumors out there that the military is getting tired of the man and are preparing to keep their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I don't know where these things come from, so don't ask. Just tell me this: what does it say about the condition of our republic when a scenario like this seems plausible, and the best we can hope for is a military coup?

L. Neil Smith is the Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE, as well as the author of 33 freedom-oriented books, the most recent of which is DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis:
[ dead tree]
[ Kindle]
[ dead tree and Nook]
DOWN WITH POWER was selected as the Freedom Book Club Book-of-the-Month for August 2012

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Watchbirds Watching You

Remember the watchbirds that were watching you all the time?  If not, you're probably younger than I am.  Anyhow, they were benign, and just for fun, but now we have watchbirds for real, and they're not all that benign.  But they'll always tell you that if you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about.

Over in Airstrip One, they seem to have surveillance cameras up everywhere, but we're not far behind. Fred Reed has made a list:

The Eye of Sauron

Something New Under the Sun

The pieces come together. Within the last week I have read:

1) New software, associated with Google, will recognize customers in stores so as to offer them discounts; having your photos uploaded to allow this service will (for now) be voluntary.

2) A new surveillance system in New York will store footage from cameras in, for example, the subway, so that when an unattended package is discovered, the police can look back in time to see who left it.

3) TSA is perfecting a laser that will allow detection on travelers of trace amounts of drugs, explosives, and doubtless a wide variety of other things.

4) The government is moving toward mandating black boxes on cars to record information thought to be useful in ascribing blame in crashes.

5) Various police departments are beginning to use “drone” aircraft to monitor the population.

Sikh and Wrong

Most of the reaction to the Sikh shooting has been predictable.  The media was delighted that the perp could safely be called a White supremacist — Earlier attempts at making such killers out to be White supremacists and tea partiers, as in the Aurora and Tuscon shootings, having failed — and that meme has of course dominated the coverage.  But there's another interesting element of all this.  The Sikh connection.  Now, most of what you find in the India/Pakistan part of the world is either Hindu or Muslim.  Try as they might, the media can't really make Muslims out to be peaceful pussycats, because most people know better.  And the Hindu religion, by Western standards, is pretty bizarre, so it's hard to make Hindus out to be pillars of the community.  It's easier with Sikhs.  Well, because they're not Muslims, and don't have any of the obvious zaniness of Hunduism, they can be characterized as pillars of the community relatively easily.  And there's actually a grain of truth in that.  As the religions of India go, Sikhism seems cleaner, more rational, and more given to civic virtue than most of them. But, and it's a big but, Sikhism, despite the lovable girl in Bend it Like Beckham, doesn't fit all that well in the Western world.  Oh, it fits a lot better than Islam, and even better than Hinduism, but it still doesn't fit.  Really, the only good fit is Christianity.  And here and there, it's obvious that it doesn't fit. I'm thinking of Canada in particular.  HERE'S the Sikh experience in Canada according to Kathy Shaidle.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Our Psychotic, Malignant Allies

I've written about the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) before HERE.  They're still around.  They are a feminist/marxist cult, and the neoconservatives love them, including John Bolton, who is bloviating on TV even as I type this.  And they have friends among liberals, too.  I've said it before, but it remains true. We have no friends in the Middle East, because there are no groups there who have any Western values in general or American ones in particular.  Indeed, it's doubtful that anybody there even understands Western values.  Basically, any American politician who has accepted their money, or who even hints that we should be friends with them, should be thrown out of public office immediately and never again entrusted with anything more security-sensitive than flipping burgers.

And that bunch is maybe just the most obviously bizarre of the foreign groups who lobby and bribe our politicians all the time.  And there are more of them than you might think. We all know about the Saudis and the Israelis, who own Congressmen like the rest of us own dogs and cats, but there are a lot more than that.  It's interesting that countries that we send massive foreign aid to has enough money to bribe our government officials, but it's not a paradox at all, if you think about it.  Scott Locklin has a disturbing essay on this phenomenon HERE.

Romney Ahead in Polls

The latest polls show that Romney leads Obama in 48 states, is even with him in two states, and is behind Obama in the other seven.  Pollsters caution that polls are only a snapshot, and that voters' preferences have several weeks to change, but if the election were being held today, it's estimated that Romney would carry 49 states and Obama would carry eight — Illinois, Narnia, Canada, Arkanbraska, Tennohio, Nairobia, Telemundo, and Fredonia. Joe Biden has checked the figures and vouches for their accuracy.

Why conservatives should support Rom Knee

A few days ago I gave you my reasons, why, despite the fact that Mitt Romney will be a disastrous President, I'm going to vote for him, because right now we have a catastrophic President.  I know, I know.  Romney will continue to increase the deficit, and he will continue to ignore the illegal alien problem.  But maybe he won't cheer it on when the Black Panthers intimidate White voters and maybe he'll refrain from arming Mexican drug cartels.  It's like this, folks, the best way to get Obama out of office is to put Romney in, and the only way I can think of to do that is to vote for Romney myself and urge others to do likewise.  DailyKenn is with me on this, but he explains it in a slightly different way, reprinted below.

Why conservatives should support Rom Knee


Imagine you're playing poker, or some other card game.

Your goal, of course, is to win. To that end you have two basic choices: You can hold 'em or you can fold 'em.

Now supposing you adopt this strategy for winning: You decide to only play perfect hands. If you are dealt a handful of cards that are less than perfect, you fold.

I'm no poker expert (I've only played once), but I'm guessing you will lose.

Politics is like a card game. We are almost never dealt a perfect hand.

In 2012 we were dealt a very poor hand. Even if Mitt Romney wins the election in November, we will fare little better than we did under Barack Obama.

What shall we do? Hold or fold?

Sad to say, the feedback I'm receiving from many readers of is to fold 'em. Walk away. "See ya in four years. Maybe then we'll get dealt a better hand."

Here's the problem, folks.

The last time I recall being dealt a 'good hand' was 1964. And we all know how that ended.

Rather than fold, walk away, or run, our strategy should be to stay at the table, play the hand that is dealt us.

We can't win every hand, BUT WE MUST PLAY EVERY HAND if we hope to win the game.

So how do we play this hand?

• First, we take a peek at the opponent's hand.

In political poker looking at the opponents' cards is not only fair, it's essential to win.

The bad guys are holding the following cards: The first black president card, the Joe Biden card, the first retarded House Majority Leader card, the Pelosi card, and the Eric Holder card. In other words, we have a bad hand; their hand is worse.

• Second, consider that small change adds up.

If we win this hand, we won't take the jack pot. At best, we may get a chip or two. But that's how political poker is won; one chip at a time.

Our objective is to affect public policy. We're not going to change the world, but we can help elect a president who will sign legislation introduced by conservatives, nominate no leftist loons to the Supreme Court, and repeal ObamaCare.

• Third, remind the power brokers how they got their jobs.

Mitt Romney can't win the White House without our help. He knows that and he needs to be reminded (constantly) that we know that as well. While Romney may not be one of us, he will be beholden to affect our policies now and again.

Those are chips we can take away from the bad guys.

Supporting Mitt Romney in 2012 is not an endorsement of his policies. It's a strategy to affect public policy.

This strategy is not a matter of compromise; rather it's an abandon of the all-or-none and winner-takes-all mindset that guarantees will lose in the end.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Self-Defeating Libertarian Rhetoric

We libertarians are very aware of the virtue of freedom, especially economic freedom.  But we have an unfortunate tendency to confuse crony capitalism with actual economic freedom, and we all too readily leap to the defense of big business in principle, forgetting that big business is mostly as opposed to real economic freedom as their pals in Government are.  How else to explain massive contributions to Obama from these big money guys? If you doubt this, think of two names: Warren Buffett and George Soros.  When we defend the behavior of that sort, we make ourselves look naive at best, and complicit at worst.

Indeed, the recent history of libertarianism in the US has been that of shooting ourselves in the foot.  From applying the sacredness of economic freedom to prostitution to showing solidarity with those who would make sodomy a sacrament, it seems that we're determined to marginalize ourselves and make neocons and liberals look sensible by contrast.

I find that our friends over in the UK at the Libertarian Alliance are given to posting very clear thinking about such things, and I reprint their latest here:

Libertarian Self-Marginalization

by Kevin Carson

Go to the average mainstream libertarian venue on any given day, and you’re likely to see elaborate apologetics for corporate globalization, Wal-Mart, offshoring, Nike’s sweatshops, rising CO2 levels, income inequality and wealth concentration, CEO salaries, Big Pharma’s profits, and Microsoft’s market share, all based on the principles of “the free market”–coupled with strenuous denials of all of the perceived evils of corporate power because (as Henry Hazlitt explained at some place or other in PDF – Economics in One Lesson) the principles of the “free market” won’t allow it.

The last item is what I call “vulgar libertarianism.” It refers to the inability of some libertarian commentators to remember, from one moment to the next, whether they’re defending free market principles as such, or simply making a cynical apology for the interests of big business and the plutocracy cloaked in phony “free market” rhetoric. The vulgar libertarian comentator will often tip his hat, in principle, to the existence of corporate-state collusion, and admit that the present economy deviates from a free market in many ways that work to the benefit of big business. But shortly after, he will switch gears and proceed to defend the existing size and wealth of big business on the basis of “how our free market system works.” The vulgar libertarian argument depends on taking an equivocal position as to whether or not the existing corporate economy is a free market, and then shifting ground back and forth in a such a way as to make the argument come out in big business’s favor.

A good example of this appeared recently on Mises Blog: “A Marketplace to Loathe.”

I should mention, up front, that the author himself (Christopher Westley) has acknowledged corporate rent-seeking in other posts. He acknowledged in the comment thread that corporations in league with the state could be a menace, and apologized for having possibly not made that clear in his post. He also explained to me, in a very civil email, that the target of his attack was the unquestioned liberal assumption that corporate power is the normal product of a free market, rather than of government intervention in the market. And he reassured me that, unlike many commenters in the discussion thread under the post, he did not regard my objections as nit-picking. So let me be clear that I don’t regard his argument as either malicious or deliberately dishonest (although I have considerable reservations about some of the commenters).

Nevertheless, his original article itself does not include any of the nuances that he stipulated to after the fact. It does not even raise the question of whether or not this is a free market, or treat it as the point at issue between libertarians and liberals. On its face, therefore, his original argument is a vulgar libertarian one.

The subject of his post was a commentary on NPR’s Marketplace program. Here is the bit he quoted:

I have one plea. Could you please do what is necessary to restore our faith in the corporations of business, a faith that has been so damaged in recent years? The tall towers that house our corporations are the new palaces of our day, the places where real power resides, but those towers are full of paradoxes. Made of glass, you can’t see inside. They’re pillars of our democracy, but they are run as totalitarian states. Their names are reduced to a set of initials. Their leaders are unknown to those outside. They are accountable, for the most part, to other institutions that sit in similarly anonymous towers. To the average person, they are foreign entities shrouded in mystery. It is no wonder that we look at them with suspicion, touched with envy.

Westley’s response:

…[E]ven the largest corporation has no power over the individual unless the individual grants it, so… the consumer can thumb his nose at General Motors and GM can do nothing but try harder to please him in the future if it wants his business.

Even though it’s tangential, by the way, I can’t refrain from commenting on Westley’s characterization of Marketplace as a “Marxist business show” and his reference to the commentator–Charles Handy–as “commie-of-the-day.” According to the “Marketplace” homepage, Handy is a “London Business School founder and Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Business Professor…” This leads me to believe that however much Handy may support the interventionist state, he’s not doing so from a Marxist perspective. (Just as the British propertied classes who argued for Enclosure, on the grounds that the laboring classes could only be forced to work harder if they were kicked off their land, probably weren’t Marxists either.) Roy Childs’ observation

that liberal intellectuals have been, historically, the running dogs of Big Business, is probably closer to the mark. I think it’s safe to say that Handy views as normal a society in which large corporations are “the pillars of our democracy,” and simply wants to stabilize that corporate rule. And for all his no doubt sincere belief in his own progressive motivation, most of the “reform” measures he advocates amount in practice to what New Leftist Gabriel Kolko, inThe Triumph of Conservatism, called “political capitalism”:

Political capitalism is the utilization of political outlets to attain conditions of stability, predictability, and security–to attain rationalization–in the economy… [By rationalization] I mean… the organization of the economy and the larger political and social spheres in a manner that will allow corporations to function in a predictable and secure environment permitting reasonable profits over the long run.

I’m sure Handy does see the bad aspects of corporate power as resulting from the unregulated marketplace (as opposed to seeing all corporate power, and the state intervention that causes it, as bad in themselves). But the issue didn’t even show up in Westley’s post. He simply quoted a reference to totalitarian corporate power, and then argued that it can’t exist because that’s not how the “free market” works (that’s works, present indicative, not would work). His later clarifications notwithstanding, his original post simply quoted a reference to corporate power and responded with a counter-assertion that corporate power cannot exist–because the “free market” won’t allow it.

At any rate, that was the gist of my comment under the post:

GM and other corporations can (and DO!) also act in collusion with the state, to erect market barriers and limit the range of competition.

So in fact what you should be saying is not that the largest corporation “has no power,” but that the largest corporation “WOULD have no power in a free market.”

And since this isn’t a free market, but rather (as Rothbard said) a corporate state that subsidizes the accumulation of capital and the operating expenses of big business, the radio commentator was entirely correct about the power exercised in those corporate towers.

You should figure out what your actual purpose is: defending free market principles as such, or just defending the profits and power of big business under the guise of “free market” principles.

Several regular Mises Blog commenters immediately reacted to my criticism, in the same way they’d react to a turd in the punchbowl. One of them came up with this gem:

When are you going to get past this same, tired argument? Must the authors qualify every statement? Is this a scholarly journal or a blog article?

Yes, Kevin, we don’t live in a free market.

Yes, Kevin, many (if not all) corporations do lobby for and accept handouts.

Oh wait, whats that? Its a Wal-Mart article you haven’t chastised for its lack of “this isn’t a free-market” qualifications. Go chase it Fido! Bye.

While I think it’s justifiable to credit Westley for his honesty and good intentions, the commenters are a different matter entirely.

I’m utterly amazed that 1) a commentator can make a reference to corporate power; 2) a critic can dismiss him as a “Marxist” on the grounds that corporate power can’t exist in a “free market”; and 3) the critic’s defenders can dismiss the question of whether a free market in fact exists as a quibble and distraction, and accuse the person raising it of marring the symmetry of the critic’s pretty argument with a bunch of nasty old facts. When Party A refers to the existence of corporate power, and Party B makes the counter-assertion that corporations can’t have (not “couldn’t have”) any power in a free market, the question of whether in fact a free market even exists is not a mere quibble. It is the central point at issue in determining whether Party A’s contention is right or wrong, and whether Party B owes him an apology.

But let’s look at all this in broader terms. Although Handy did not–in the passage quoted by Westley–explictly treat corporate power as the natural outcome of the market, or argue for state intervention as the only way to prevent it, he did strongly imply it in the full commentary from which it was excerpted. But Westley did not make the extent of government’s role in corporate power the subject of his post; he simply denied, flat-out, that corporate power existed, based on the way the market operates.

But what if Handy does, as I think likely, implicitly assume (what I regard as the typically vulgar liberal assumption) that the free market results in corporate power unless the state intervenes to prevent it: what, then is the most effective response, if our goal is to promote libertarian ideas in society at large? Not, as Westley did, to reflexively defend the honor of big business and deny that corporate power exists.

The most effective response would be something like this:

I agree with you that corporate power exists, and share your concern with its evil effects, but I believe you’re mistaken about its causes and remedy. The evil effects of corporate power result, not from government’s failure to restrain big business, but from government propping it up in the first place: this government support includes subsidies to the operating costs of big business, and protection of big business from market competition through market entry barriers, regulatory cartels, and special privileges like so-called “intellectual property.”

A libertarian movement that dismisses the public’s concerns about very real problems, apparent to anyone with eyes in their head, with doctrinaire denials that they exist or can exist, is a libertarian movement doomed to irrelevance.

Here’s what Mises wrote, in Epistemological Problems of Economics, about apparent conflicts of theory with experience:

If a contradiction appears between a theory and experience, we must always assume that a condition pre-supposed by the theory was not present, or else there is some error in our observation. Thedisagreement between the theory and the facts of experience frequently forces us to think through the problems of the theory again. But so long as a rethinking of the theory uncovers no errors in our thinking, we are not entitled to doubt its truth.

The vulgar libertarians, however, question neither their application of Mises’ theory nor their understanding of the facts. Instead they challenge us: “Who’re ya gonna believe: Mises or your lying eyes?”

We all know that corporate power exists. Any libertarian movement that hopes for anything more than self-marginalization must directly address the common sense perception that corporate power exists, and the public concerns that stem from the fact, and explain why the market is the good guy and the state the bad guy on the issue.

The approach I see in all too many mainstream libertarian venues is the moral equivalent of saying to someone whose house is burning down, “Your house can’t be burning down because houses can’t burn down without oxygen, you dirty commie!”–and then dismissing as “quibbling” the question of whether there is in fact oxygen in the air.

We live in a society where the evils of the state-corporate nexus, resulting directly from the corporate size and power it promotes, are the central issues of concern to the average person. Far too large a portion of the current libertarian movement dismisses these concerns as motivated by “economic illiteracy” (although their own pro-corporate apologetics are, if anything, more open to that charge), and then passes on to what it regards as the real problems of injustice crying out for solution: uppity union workers, welfare moms wallowing in luxury on their food stamps, and “trial lawyers.”

For too many mainstream libertarians, the evils of corporate-state collusion are something to tip one’s hat to, and corporate welfare is kinda sorta bad, in principle, I guess, and maybe we oughta do something about it someday…. But welfare that helps the poor, instead of the rich, is Flaming Red Ruin on Wheels!

And as historically illiterate and illogical as some of the commenters at Daily Kos can be, when they make their facile “pot-smoking Republicans” dismissals of libertarianism, when you get right down to it mainstream libertarians have only themselves to blame. Rather than addressing the historical illiteracy and illogic with reasoned arguments along the lines I described above–the role the state has played in the creation and preservation of corporate power, and how the market threatens it–mainstream libertarianism simply denies that corporate power exists at all, and backs up that position with equal historical illiteracy and illogic of its own. If I thought “free markets” and “free trade” really meant what neoliberal talking heads mean by them, I’d hate them too.

Indeed, there is a great deal of mirror-imaging between the vulgar libertarian and vulgar liberal interpretation of history. Both the typical denizen of Mises Blog, and the typical Daily Kos commenter, would agree that the giant corporations of the twentieth century emerged from the “laissez-faire” market of the nineteenth, and that the twentieth century mixed economy emerged as an attempt to restrain big business. Their only area of disagreeement is over whether big business or big government is the “good guy.”