Thursday, November 6, 2008 125 Comments

President Obama, with a little perspective

Congratulations, America! It is accomplished. The One is appointed. Or anointed. Or whatever.

Basically, dear Americans, this disqualifies you from voting ever again. You've been pwned. You're out. As I told the IvyGate blog:
There are - or at least, were - lots of plausible candidates for chief executive who don't have any kind of murky ties to murderous political fanatics. I mean, duh, you know, if history teaches us any lessons, I think one of them is: "don't elect leaders with murky ties to murderous political fanatics."
While no one's life is at present in danger - unless one lives in South Africa, in which case please do pack for Perth - 20th-century Western social democracy cannot be considered "safe" in any sense of the word. I mean, it wasn't anyway, but now the evidence is quite a bit more striking. And it is the task of all men and women of brains, wisdom and good will to try and figure out what the hell to do about it.

(For the paranoid, I want to reiterate that: there is absolutely no short-term danger from an Obama administration. We are not looking at President Camacho, or even President Zuma. In keeping with the general feeling of inverted reality abroad in the world today, the one thing we won't see is "change." Washington will spend the next four years doing almost exactly what it did for the last four. But this does not mitigate your pwnage, Americans: you did indeed vote for "change." You won't get it, but you probably deserve to.)

Most educated people today think of democracy as a sort of impeccable ointment against political evil. We are aware - nay continuously instructed, these days, from crib to coffin - that bad government was the leading cause of death, destruction and general misery around the globe in the last century. But now we have a new century to play with, and we have this bezoar, this philosopher's stone, democracy.

So we don't need to give a shit about murderers with the fist of the State behind them. With the ointment, nothing of the sort could possibly happen ever again. Rather, we can fret ourselves silly about minute changes in global temperature. Ah, democracy.

Note that (a) you have probably never seriously considered the possibility that you're wrong, and the bezoar is actually a quack medicine; (b) you have certainly never seriously considered the possibility that the ointment is indeed the cause of the rash. Unless, of course, you read UR. We're always here to help the literate sleep a little less well at night.

So here was my favorite Internet moment of the great election: this post by Brad DeLong. When it became generally noticed, a few days before the event, that Senator Obama has at least three very non-flimsy personal connections to pure, 200-proof, full-on Holocaust-grade political evil, Professor DeLong, former DAS at Treasury and a plausible candidate for senior office in the Obama administration - enlightened us with the following message:
Run like the wind, Mr. Skittles!
Many UR readers have had the priceless educational privilege of growing up behind the Iron Curtain. These readers will identify Professor DeLong's tone at once: it is the tone of the Soviet humor magazine Krokodil. I will take the liberty of Anglicizing, and call it "crocodile humor." Extremely educated readers may also be familiar with the Nazi variant, as found in Der Stürmer and the like. The material is different, of course, but the tone is unmistakable. We'll hear a good deal more of it in the next four years.

Crocodile humor is the laughter of the powerful at the powerless. It is not intended to be funny. It is intended to intimidate. Those who laugh, as many do, are those who love to submerge themselves in a mob, feel its strength as theirs, chant and shake their spears as one. Professor DeLong and his tribe have certainly backed the strong horse in our little moment of hipparchy, and even those of us who mock the rite must respect its anointed, in the ancient way, as conquerors. A reactionary always respects strength. But the powerless, too, can laugh.

But wait - exactly how is President-elect Obama connected to evil?

Well, first, um, he's, um, how can I put this - a communist. With a small 'c,' as his friend Billy Ayers so nicely puts it.

I'm not even going to start to belabor this point. Arguing that Barack Obama is not a communist is like arguing that Mitt Romney is not a Mormon. Barack Obama is a communist by birth, breeding, education, and profession. His grandparents were communists, his parents were communists, his teachers were communists, his friends are communists, his colleagues are communists, he's a communist. Duh.

In case you hadn't noticed, the current euphemism for "communist" is "progressive." This is not even a new usage. My father's parents always called themselves "progressives," for instance. In fact they were CPUSA members. (Before Grandma fell down the stairs at Juilliard and smashed her frontal lobe, one of the last messages she imparted to me was that Frank Rich writes a really great column.) "Progressive" is also all over the place in my '80s Soviet Life magazines. And La Wik helpfully informs us that the Congressional Progressive Caucus is (a) the largest voting bloc of Democrats in the House, and (b) the affiliation of the Speaker. And now, of course, the President. Summary: the Cold War is over. Communism won.

The small 'c' is well-taken, of course. Obama's faction is the disorganized, SDS, "Maoist," or "New Left" wing of American communism. Ie, not the organized, CPUSA, "Stalinist" or "Old Left" wing - which both my grandparents and Obama's first mentor Frank Marshall Davis were in, whose decline I think was as much cause as effect of the Soviet collapse, and whose remnants were really more for Hillary. And certainly not the defunct Trotskyite wing, whose carcass so weirdly morphed into "neoconservatism."

The New Left once had a catchy name. It called itself the Movement. (Not to be confused with the clique of poets that gave us Philip Larkin and Thom Gunn.) The label is out of style, but perhaps it should be revived. The election of President Obama is the ceremonial culmination of the Movement's march to power, and it's only slightly less surprising than the sunrise. The likes of Billy Ayers were always the elite of their generation. Even as kids, they hardly lost a battle. Now they're in their gray-headed patriarchal prime. Why shouldn't they run the world?

Yes, folks, it's true: we're all communists now. Lawd a mercy. Did I mention that in the lives of those now living, communists murdered something like 100 million people? Now why did I have to mention that? Why is it that Schindler's List got 37 Oscars, but Katyn can't find a distributor?

But put it aside for a minute. Maybe you get a pass on this one, dear American electorate. If everyone's a communist, you can't really be blamed for electing a communist, now, can you? We could argue that you shouldn't have voted, but that's getting really technical.

And communism has a dirty little secret, which not even the most diehard red-baiting Bircher knows: it's as American as apple pie. Communism is not an Old World virus that spread to the New. It's a New World virus that spread to the Old. Europe, Asia and Africa got the worst of it, but that's how it always goes with exotic pests: no immunity, no natural enemies.

Since the 19th century if not the 18th, the Anglo-American world has been the intellectual center of the left. Marx didn't write in the British Library for nothing. While communism is not the only American tradition (Sarah Palin counts, too), as the sole scion of the Puritan intellectual heritage, we would certainly expect it to be socially, economically, and politically dominant. Indeed it has been, since at least 1933. At least.

It's no coincidence, for example, that the ultra-rich were overwhelmingly for Obama. As CPUSA members, my grandparents had a ticket to a social circle at least three rings higher than you'd expect for Yiddish tailors from Brooklyn. Their Party friends (all their friends, as far as I can tell, were Party friends) were film distributors, investment bankers, doctors and lawyers, etc. If you find this surprising, you have a lot to learn about communism. (But I tire of the C-word - let's go back to calling them "progressives.")

So let's get slightly more specific, and look at President Obama's personal associations. (I love this argument that the candidate's past and present colleagues, mentors and employers are a deeply private matter, like whether the One wipes his ass with his left hand or his right, which must not contaminate our consideration of the soaring rhetorical exhalations his producers write for him.)

Thus our second connection: this little matter of Satan, so amusing to Professor DeLong. Barack Obama is an intellectual disciple of Saul Alinsky. Saul Alinsky dedicated his most famous book, Rules for Radicals, the bible for Obama's profession of "community organizer," to Lucifer. Lucifer and Satan are the same person. Satan is evil. At most this is four degrees of separation between Obama and evil, and I feel we could argue it down to two.

And all the connections are pretty strong - because Alinsky's dedication is not the slightest bit whimsical. I wonder if Professor DeLong has read Rules for Radicals? I have. (I suspect that, in an imaginary America in which democracy worked, a candidate running against an Alinskyist would hand out quite a few copies of Rules.)

Rules surely belongs on any list of history's top ten most evil books. I will spare you quotes. The basic message is: as a radical, your enemies rule the world and are completely evil. So if you want to overthrow them, you have to be prepared to be as evil as possible. Lie, cheat and steal, so long as you don't get caught. Alinsky is a particular fan of hypocrisy and dissimulation, which he recommends as all-purpose perfumes for the aspiring "activist."

Less than a mile from my home, in one of the most fashionable - if somewhat dilapidated - shopping districts in the world, sits an "anarchist bookstore," Bound Together Books. Its "activism" is of precisely the same sort as Alinsky's, and of course (the young) Obama's. Note also that there is no racist bookstore, fascist bookstore, or even Christian bookstore across the street from it. The enemy, as befits all dark forces, is invisible.

On Bound Together's side wall is this wonderful revolutionary mural - I apologize for the bad photo, which is theirs not mine:


If you have trouble reading the text, it says:
History remembers 2 kinds of people: those who murder and those who fight back.

Anarchism strives toward a social organization which will establish well-being for all.
History remembers a number of things. One of them is that, over the last four centuries at least, the left tends to win and the right tends to lose. If you're a young, ambitious man or woman, power is what you crave, and scruples are not your thing, history tells you: go as left as possible. Join the SDS, not the JBS. March with Martin Luther King, not Louise Day Hicks. Be a Patriot, not a Loyalist. And so on. Exceptions exist - but they are exceptions.

The essential illusion of the progressive is that he is a rebel. He is "fighting back," at great odds against overwhelming forces which are almost certain to prevail. The revolution is always the underdog. What a surprise, then, to read a little bit of history and find that the revolution tends to win. This, indeed, is "progress" - which is, as we know, inevitable. How curious!

Because if "those who murder and those who fight back" is indeed the creed of the overdog, it conveys a message ever congenial to the ambitious and the powerful: be evil. The corporate Christian racist fascists murder. So you can murder, too, and indeed you must. Otherwise, the Enemy will rule for ever. Germany is once again forced to defend itself from Polish aggression.

And as for the "social organization which strives for the well-being of all," it is recognizable at once as our old friend - Washington. As often as I can stand it, I steel my stomach and do a little browsing at Bound Together. The general gist is either (a) kill the pigs, or (b) something should be done. Anyone may kill, but no points for guessing whom the doer tends to be.

Here at UR we know the Bound Together shopper as a "pro-government activist." A fine foreign analogy is Nashi. (Although, being fascist rather than progressive, Nashi is coordinated rather than spontaneous). And what more perfect name than "anarchism" for pro-government activism? Orwell is alive and well and living on Haight Street.

In the crudest, most Machiavellian terms, "grassroots activism" is easy to explain. When examined, the grass always turns out to be Astroturf. The alliance of underprivileged and ultraprivileged is always initiated by the latter. The organizer brings youth, privilege, often a trust fund, talent, energy and ambition. The organized bring mass, muscle, power. Julius Caesar would recognize the arrangement at once. No points for guessing who tends to profit most from the alliance. And indeed David Axelrod, Obama's producer, is in his spare time a master of Astroturf. Ah, democracy. Ah, "public opinion."

If there's one thing to remember about Alinskyism, or indeed progressivism as a whole, it's that it is the perfect mental framework by which the lordly can do evil, while convincing themselves and/or others that they are small voices sticking up for good. Is it possible for activists to actually do good? It is certainly possible. There is nothing wrong with removing asbestos from public housing. But the temptations by which evil becomes an end in itself are ever-present, and the unscrupulous will always outcompete the pure at heart. And we certainly know a little bit about Barack Obama's scruples.

It is possible for a mound of garbage to be free from rats. Theoretically, one can even contemplate a sterile mound of garbage. But in practice, if you don't want rats, bugs and bacteria in your kitchen, don't leave a mound of garbage in the middle of the floor. Likewise, if you don't want your government to be evil, don't elect anarchists to run it. Again, this just shouldn't be that hard.

While we're on the subject of Satan, I feel a little Carlyle coming on. Is there a more apropos moment in history, dear readers, for us to sample Shooting Niagara? I warn you, friends - the Niagara is dark. Very dark. Don't click that link unless you're spiritually prepared. But perhaps, since it's out of copyright, we can paste an excerpt:
In our own country, too, Swarmery has played a great part for many years past; and especially is now playing, in these very days and months. Our accepted axioms about “Liberty,” Constitutional Government,” “Reform,” and the like objects, are of truly wonderful texture: venerable by antiquity, many of them, and written in all manner of Canonical Books; or else, the newer part of them, celestially clear as perfect unanimity of all tongues, and Vox populi vox Dei, can make them: axioms confessed, or even inspirations and gospel verities, to the general mind of man. To the mind of here and there a man, it begins to be suspected that perhaps they are only conditionally true; that taken unconditionally, or under changed conditions, they are not true, but false and even disastrously and fatally so. Ask yourself about “Liberty,” for example; what you do really mean by it, what in any just and rational soul is that Divine quality of liberty? That a good man be “free,” as we call it, be permitted to unfold himself in works of goodness and nobleness, is surely a blessing to him, immense and indispensable; — to him and to those about him. But that a bad man be “free,” — permitted to unfold himself in his particular way, is contrariwise, the fatallest curse you could inflict on him; curse and nothing else, to him and all his neighbours. Him the very Heavens call upon you to persuade, to urge, induce, compel, into something of well-doing; if you absolutely cannot, if he will continue in ill-doing, — then for him (I can assure you, though you will be shocked to hear it), the one “blessing” left is the speediest gallows you can lead him to. Speediest, that at least his ill-doing may cease quàm primùm. Oh, my friends, whither are you buzzing and swarming, in this extremely absurd manner? Expecting a Millennium from “extension of the suffrage,” laterally, vertically, or in whatever way?

All the Millenniums I ever heard of heretofore were to be preceded by a “chaining of the Devil for a thousand years,” — laying him up, tied neck and heels, and put beyond stirring, as the preliminary. You too have been taking preliminary steps, with more and more ardour, for a thirty years back; but they seem to be all in the opposite direction: a cutting asunder of straps and ties, wherever you might find them; pretty indiscriminate of choice in the matter: a general repeal of old regulations, fetters, and restrictions (restrictions on the Devil originally, I believe, for most part, but now fallen slack and ineffectual), which had become unpleasant to many of you, — with loud shouting from the multitude, as strap after strap was cut, “Glory, glory, another strap is gone!”— this, I think, has mainly been the sublime legislative industry of Parliament since it became “Reform Parliament;” victoriously successful, and thought sublime and beneficent by some. So that now hardly any limb of the Devil has a thrum, or tatter of rope or leather left upon it: — there needs almost superhuman heroism in you to “whip” a Garotter; no Fenian taken with the reddest hand is to be meddled with, under penalties; hardly a murderer, never so detestable and hideous, but you find him “insane,” and board him at the public expense, a very peculiar British Prytaneum of these days! And in fact, THE DEVIL (he, verily, if you will consider the sense of words) is likewise become an Emancipated Gentleman; lithe of limb as in Adam and Eve’s time, and scarcely a toe or finger of him tied any more. And you, my astonishing friends, you are certainly getting into a millennium, such as never was before, — hardly even in the dreams of Bedlam.
Make of that what you will. It is clear as glass to me, and as close a prophecy as ever was. But perhaps I have been reading too much Carlyle. (I really thought he could get through a life of Frederick the Great, even an 8-volume life of Frederick the Great, without deploying the N-word. But I reckoned not with the "sage of Ecclefechan." No wonder Hitler was such a fan.)

And so we come to our third connection: Billy Ayers. (Can I call him Billy? That's the name he used in his golden years, and I don't think he gets to just change it like that. Imagine if Hermann Goering had gotten off on a technicality, started calling himself "Manny," and run for mayor of Stuttgart sometime in the late '50s. Support Manny Goering! He'll bring change!)

In case you doubt that Billy Ayers is evil, I humbly submit this little reminiscence, which is almost brutally symbolic. Is America the trembling coed to be deflowered, under pain of racism, by Billy's black roommate? Or is that a little heavy? It might be a little heavy, but there is also this story. If mass murder isn't evil, I don't know what is. Watch the video - it's very convincing. And finally, you can read Billy's little manifesto, Prairie Fire, which he and his friends so thoughtfully dedicated to Sirhan Sirhan. Prairie Fire practically oozes political murder. Nor, of course, did the man fail to practice what he preached.

And in case you doubt that Barack Obama, Ayers' "neighbor" whose "kids went to the same school" (twenty years apart), is closely connected with Ayers, allow me to point out two things. One is this well-argued case, by a labor lawyer of all people, that Ayers and Obama probably had a mentor-protege relationship.

The other is the indisputable fact, which somehow managed to escape the notice of even Fox News, that Obama worked out of Ayers' office. (To anyone who knows anything about the nonprofit world, the relationship between Obama's Annenberg Challenge and Ayers' Small Schools Workshop is obvious - the AC was a creature of the SSW, which was surely willing to spawn a shell organization for any big grant it reeled in. And for any Obamabots who may still be reading, yes, it was also able to find a token "Republican" or two to decorate the board.)

So: generally, our new president is a lifelong member of the most murderous political religion of the 20th century. Intellectually, he is or has been a student of a thinker whose creed reduces to devious, calculated criminality in the name of the higher good. And professionally, he is or has been a colleague and probable protege of a would-be revolutionary dictator, manipulative rapist, and general genocidal psychopath.

So is it really the case that, as John McCain put it, America has nothing to fear from Barack Obama? "Run like the wind, Mr. Skittles!"

Well, I endorsed Barack Obama. I stand by that endorsement. I wouldn't quite say we have nothing to fear from an Obama administration, but Washington is pretty scary in general. I saw just as many dangers, if not more, in four more years of a Republican White House. And I feel the election of President Obama will provide an exceptional opportunity to create genuine change, which would certainly not be the case if McCain had won.

So why do we have nothing to fear from Barack Obama? We have nothing to fear because progressives are the government. There is no Enemy. There is just the pathetic shell of a sham opposition party, a few thousand lame hacks fleeing the White House in disarray.

If Washington had actually been in the hands of sinister, drawling Texan white supremacists, we could have a revolution. Since it wasn't, we can't. Isn't that nice? I'm sorry if that's the most comforting thought that I can produce at the moment, but I feel it's actually rather important.

Running a close second to Professor DeLong's Krokodil moment as my favorite note of the election was the Obama team's defense on the Ayers matter, which - in the best spirit of the public defender who points out that his client wasn't there, if he was he didn't shoot the victim, and if he did it was in self-defense - told us that Ayers "is now mainstream - an educator with distinguished professor status."

A status he does not share with Eric Rudolph, David Duke, or Buford Furrow. And we can only be thankful for these small mercies. What would it be like to live in a country which treated Billy Ayers and Eric Rudolph the same way? I don't know, but I'd like to find out. Come back, Mitchell Palmer, all is forgiven.

The fact that Billy Ayers has indeed become one of the most successful educators in the United States, without so much as apologizing for his crimes, tells us quite a bit about the terminal malignancy of the American polity. It also tells us quite a bit about how a Barack Obama could be elected: unless he or she grows up in some kind of cloistered uber-Christian cult, it is simply impossible in the present day for an American child to reach voting age without being indoctrinated in Ayers-style, "small c" communism.

The normal American voter, today, is a communist. She is not a revolutionary communist. She is a status-quo communist. She thinks of America as a commune: a big Brook Farm, with Washington as mother and/or father, caring, sharing, providing, educating, punishing and guiding. She has stretched the mental modules which in a traditional human society would apply to her extended family, to cover the entire continent and probably the planet as well. Maybe she wants gays to be able to marry and maybe she doesn't. Maybe she thinks taxes are too low, or too high. But that's about the limit of her political imagination.

There is nothing surprising in this. Always and everywhere, communism is the last stage of democracy. What's surprising is that it took 144 years for the New Deal to happen. This can be attributed to good fortune and bad organization. But happen it did, and it won't un-happen.

Perhaps this is a tragedy. But it has its upside, which is that the US has somehow managed to pass from classical liberalism to sclerotic state socialism without stopping at Stalin. Or at Billy Ayers. The Lord looks after fools, drunkards, and the United States.

And the omission is irreversible. There was no way that Brezhnev, Khrushchev or Gorbachev could have reopened the Gulag, restarted the Revolution, or created a new leather-jacketed Cheka to shoot people at random in the woods. Whether or not its rulers were nice people, even whether or not they (like Khrushchev) were deeply implicated in Stalin's crimes, the late Soviet state did not have the oxygen to return to full-out revolutionary mode, and nor does ours. Emphysema doesn't cure itself.

Don't get me wrong. For me, President Obama's criminal connections render him and the regime he fronts completely unworthy of either trust or respect. The fact that Brezhnev was the successor of Stalin rendered his regime similarly devoid of moral legitimacy. Billy Ayers never had the opportunity to commit Stalin's crimes, but if he had it he would have taken it, and the overseas offences of American progressive foreign policy (bringing both Mao and Ho to power, for example) are surely in the same league. All these people should be at the very least out of a job, and they should probably pay a fine and have to pick up trash on the freeway. I would settle for the former, however.

But Brezhnev's Russia, despite its economic stagnation, was a normal country. You could get in trouble if you said the wrong thing, but you had to try. The same is true here. There is no comparison between the Stalinist and post-Stalinist environments, there was no way for post-Stalinist Russia to become Stalinist again, and there is also no way for American communism to develop into its full-blown, malignant, concentration-camp form. If the SDS ever had a chance, they blew it. And if we have Dick Nixon to thank for that, God bless Dick Nixon.

The Volokh Conspiracy, fresh from breaking the news about BI's SDS ties, gives us an even better Kremlinological glimpse at the real, present-day Barack Obama:
Talking to friends who work as staffers on the Hill, they say there are two basic elements to Obama: (1) he is "really, really liberal," and (2) "he is incredibly indecisive."
Color me extremely unsurprised. Barack Obama, as Steve Sailer first observed, is a Gatsby. He's a fine actor - he plays the chief executive extremely well. I'd cast him as a king in any of the Shakespeare plays. I can see him as Henry V, I can see him as Richard III, I can certainly see him as Hamlet although I suppose he's a little old. But so was Mel Gibson.

It's fortunate, however, that the Presidency is not in any way, shape, or form an executive or managerial position, because obviously President Obama has neither the experience nor the aptitude to manage a large organization. He can at least look and sound good while reading his lines, which puts him well up on the previous occupant. He seems to be very bad at improv, however, which is a real liability. Perhaps he could take some classes.

(As everyone should know but I suspect very few do, the so-called "executive branch," ie the US Government, reports to Congress, not to the "chief executive." I exclude military matters. I'm assuming an Obama administration will bring a fast and inglorious end to America's current sandy adventures. With surrender feelers already appearing in the press, I expect Mullah Omar in Kabul within the year. Iraq will implode or not, depending on the Iraqis. This leaves the Pentagon to do what it did in the Clinton administration, ie, vegetate and burn dollars.)

The White House proper does have a manager. That man is the chief of staff, for which position the name of Rahm Emanuel has already been floated. Emanuel is unlikely to be described as "incredibly indecisive." This dynamic individual has already published The Plan, his plan to make America America again, used copies of which can be obtained for a mere cent. Your penny buys you quite a few wonderfully Bolshevik-sounding ideas framed in wooden ninth-grade prose, such as "universal national service":
Each citizen needs to understand and accept the essence of the American bargain: Each of us has to do his or her part. While the rights of citizenship are explicit in our Constitution, the implicit responsibilities are every bit as crucial.
Lenin at the Finland Station, Rep. Emanuel ain't. Here is his earth-shattering proposal:
It's time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, all Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation, and community service.
Just the thing to energize the youth vote! That'll bring Obama Girl back in 2012, I'm confident. I'm sure UR's Eastern European readers have fun memories of field-stripping Kalashnikovs and helping out with the potato harvest.

Dear reader, if anything like "universal civilian service" happens, I promise to print out the above paragraph and eat it. Frankly, the spectacle would be so hilarious and edifying that I'd be positively tickled to perform the sacrifice. But I don't expect to. Washington is no young town.

This is the great thing about President Obama's "change." What he means by "change" is, of course, "power" - as in the phrase, "change the world." Everyone wants to change the world. That is, they want to exert personal influence on the world. That is, they want power. This will get them laid, or so they think. It's really not all that complicated.

The problem is: Washington is fresh out of power. It already controls everything it can possibly control. It just nationalized the financial system, and no one noticed. Why? Because a US bank in November 2008 has to comply with exactly the same ten-foot-tall stack of regulations that it had to comply with in September 2008. What difference can another love note or two from Barney Frank make?

To illustrate, I give you George Ball. You've almost certainly never heard of George Ball, but in his heyday he had more power than anyone in the US has today. I'm dead serious. For example, if Ball's autobiography is to be believed (and I believe it), in collaboration with Jean Monnet he was largely responsible for the birth of the monster we know and love as the European Union.

Everyone involved with the Obama campaign, the Democratic Party, etc, would like the Obama transition to be as much as possible like the New Deal. We are still in the New Deal, of course, but in 1933 we weren't. So it was possible to create "change." Lots of "change." Here is how Ball describes the vibe of '33, when the Cathedral first stormed and sacked the city on the river. At the time, he has just graduated from law school:
Washington was swarming with young lawyers, economists, bankers, and professors-in-exile, all bent on reorganizing the cosmos, rearranging the stars and planets. Programmed like a computer with bits and tags of literature, I mouthed Wordsworth's famous apostrophe to the early weeks of the French Revolution: "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,/ But to be young was very heaven!"

The times were ebullient, and yeast was in the air. Each morning we awoke to read with excitement of Roosevelt's latest outrageous move. It was épater les bourgeois in political and economic terms or - more precisely for us - it was épater les vieillards, a form of exercise that inevitably lifts the hearts of anyone under thirty. The old order had discredited itself; we would conjure up a new and better one in its place. Certain lines from Wordsworth's Prelude expressed what we thought we were up to, for it did indeed seem to us a time:
In which the meager, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights...
We were, so we thought at the time, not so much interested in smashing pillars and pulling down temples as in designing the shape and form of our New Jerusalem. Discussion might circle for a time - sometimes it seemed to circle for long alcoholic hours - but it invariably settled on the architecture of that refulgent city.

No doubt because the actors in the drama were relatively older - lawyers and young Ph.D's in economics rather than undergraduates - the reaction bore no resemblance to the later disorder of the sixties, when "trashing" seemed an end in itself. Though we had read some history, no one thought himself a young Robespierre. Perhaps also because the New Deal was a fresh experience for America (though not for Europe), with government for the first time giving explicit meaning to the welfare clause, we felt hope in the air. Later, in the sixties, much of the new welfare legislation served the bureaucracy more than the commonweal, but in those days of unlimited expectations our basic credo was simple: Nothing that had been done till then was good enough nor was there anything we could not do if we set our minds to it.

To be sure, I was little more than a spear-carrier with few speaking lines. Unlike many of the leading actors, I had, at that time, not even met Felix Frankfurter, let alone clerked for Holmes or Brandeis. Most of the problems with which the New Deal was grappling were for me matters of first impression; I was, by any rational standard, spectacularly ill-equipped. Although assigned to work on developing credit facilities for farmers, I had never, in spite of my Iowa background, spent a night on a working farm - but then neither had my colleagues, including, I suspect, Henry Morgenthau. That, however, did not deter us. In the atmosphere of New Deal Washington, inexperience was no impediment; one learned fast and improvised boldly. Even professionally, I could not have been more of a neophyte; I had never so much as written a contract to sell a fifty-dollar dog! Yet one of my first professional tasks was to draft and help negotiate a contract for the sale of $75 million worth of Federal Farm Board cotton. It was such a formidable document - seventy or eighty pages in length and replete with intricate internal brokerage arrangements - that, in retrospect, I am amazed that I was not terrified by the assignment. But I took it in stride, as we all did in those days. We were young and nothing was impossible.
I can guarantee UR readers quite definitively that, while the Obama administration may indeed have a few positions for law-school graduates, they will not be rearranging any astronomical bodies, building any New Jerusalems, smashing any pillars, pulling down any temples, or in fact receiving any assignments that strike even the slightest bit of terror into their hearts. (Alcohol, however, remains plentiful.)

The sad fact of the matter is that in 2008, unless you either (a) get to shoot people or (b) are a GS-15 or above, there is no such thing as a fun job working for the US government. Well, okay, I suppose Treasury might be a little exciting at present, at least from the terror perspective. But even there the ratio of terror to New Jerusalem is inordinately high. No one has smashed so much as a sub-sub-pillar for the last ten years, and not even Congress can pull down a temple. (Although it can hang quite a few Christmas-tree ornaments on the temple.) As for Wordsworth, your average civil servant doesn't know him from Woolworth. Progressivism has took its toll.

Even in the '60s, government proper was a tomb. The growth in the '60s, '70s and '80s was all in the external arms: the press, the universities, the foundations and NGOs. These are all part of Washington in its broad sense - they all exist to compose or influence government policy. They are all, of course, progressive organs, aside from a few Republican and libertarian think-tanks. And all of them have reached the level of maximum organizational bloat, on the outer fringes of the red-giant state that is the Beltway. They grow, still, of course, but slowly. You can be an intern if you want. You can probably get laid. You won't be redrawing constellations.

For the red-giant state, the only possible change is the ultimate change. The supernova. The reboot. What happened to the Soviet Union. As I keep saying, there's no change like regime change. This is, of course, the opposite of what you voted for when you elected Obama. But perhaps, dear progressives, you've helped bring that moment a little closer.

As for conservatives and mainstream libertarians: forget it. You've lost. You're in roughly the same position as a Southern segregationist in 1968. History may or may not vindicate your cause, but it has determined your chance of victory, which is zero. If you have a life, go live it. If not, now is probably a good time to get one.

In the era of Barack Obama, Washington is one thing. It is progressive from top to bottom, east to west, and ass to elbow. Everyone with a real role in governing America, whether in the White House or the civil service, in the press or on the Hill, at Harvard or at State, in the Wilderness Society or on the Supreme Court, is a communist. I exaggerate, of course - slightly. But if you have fantasies of reforming this thing, of making it conservative or libertarian or whatever, you're either a fool or a fraud. Now and for the foreseeable future, you are for Washington or you're against it. And if we have Barry Obama to thank for that, God bless Barry Obama.

The entire proposition of post-1945 American democratic conservatism, including its runt cousin libertarianism, was predicated on the lingering cultural memory of a pre-New Deal America. Americans actually did vote to do away with the New Deal, once, sort of, in 1980. But somehow it didn't quite happen. And that was a generation ago.

American voters are now very, very comfortable with communism. It may be possible to detach them. It may not. But flag-waving and glittering generalities certainly won't do it. You're trying to fight an entire educational system with slogans and 30-second TV spots. It's like a salmon trying to jump Boulder Dam.

A dose of Obama may disenchant voters with Obama. It may even persuade them to elect another Republican. But he will be a communist Republican. Want a peek at the future? Google "David Cameron." Want a peek at the rest of the future? Google "Leonid Brezhnev."

You don't like that plan? Okay, here's another plan. Form militant evangelical Christian sects on college campuses. Disrupt classes, hold violent masked rallies, invade the dean's office, crap on the desk. Maybe you can recruit a biker or prison gang or two, like the Mongols or the Aryan Brotherhood, for muscle. Make people fear you. Don't be afraid of a punch-up or two. And make demands: a Christian studies department for every college or university, abolition of ethnic studies and affirmative action, daily prayer and hymn-singing, the sky's the limit. Create some change. Be an activist. Read Alinsky. Kick some ass.

Because you know what, dear conservatives? This - or rather, of course, its equivalent - is exactly what your enemies, the communists, did to take over the American educational system. It was pure, naked, rampant thuggery, using as much violence as necessary and with the promise of more. If guns were needed, they used guns. If fists sufficed, they sufficed. And it worked. And as a result, 40 years and two voter generations later, everyone is as blissed out as a stoned lab rat, because America has finally elected a communist President, and we have "changed." La educación es la revolución. You know the only problem with my Christian-biker plan, dear conservatives? It can't possibly succeed, because your enemies aren't as stupid as you.

So when I read pieces like this one, by the normally sensible, judicious, and militaristic Bill Whittle, I start wondering: am I too old to emigrate to Singapore? Because if the conservative sheepdog is supposed to be protecting my baby from the communist wolf, someone's slipped him a packet of Xanax, and he's face down in a pool of patriotic American drool. The wolf is in the house and sleeping on the kitchen table. He's just eaten half the Thanksgiving turkey. When he wakes up, he'll eat the other half and go to sleep again. And when he wakes up again, he'll wonder what that screaming thing in the crib is, and if it's any good to eat. Will the Xanax have worn off by then? Frankly, I doubt it. Thanks for nothin', Fido.

People, Washington does not work. It never worked. We've just been lucky so far. (Sort of - if you don't count the war.) But the nose is pointed at the ground, the engine is a brick, and the eject lever just came off in our hands. Luckily, we're 35,000 feet in the air, so we have a little time to think.

We cannot rely on the profound, mystical, and deeply American wisdom of the infallible American voter. The infallible American voter just chose, as the leader of the free world, the former gofer of a murderous megalomaniac psychopath. Solely on the basis of his tawny epidermis. Fortunately, Washington is so vast and so broken, so fucked beyond all redemption, that for all its H-bombs, the gofer could indeed be a psychopath himself, and he won't be able to hurt a fly. This is so beyond comedy that it's gone past tragedy and back to funny again.

The only question left is: how do we land the plane? How can we rid ourselves of this ridiculous government, this political tumor from the age of powdered wigs, this city of foam colonnades and cardboard presidents, Washington, without turning North America into a smoking ruin? And what comes next?

125 Comments:

Blogger editor said...

Communism is not "a New World virus that spread to the Old". The French Revolution provided the main inspiration for the New World and for the Russian revolutions (1825, 1905, 1917). The intellectual tradition at the root of Marx's works is German (Hegel), with a little French thrown in - definitely not Anglo-American.

November 6, 2008 at 4:07 AM  
Anonymous nazgulnarsil said...

i think you have it backwards editor. the revolutionary war inspired the french revolution.

November 6, 2008 at 4:32 AM  
Blogger editor said...

nazgulnarsil, yes, sorry. My mind got it mixed up with Jefferson's being inspired by France.

The question about philosophical traditions still stands - if it's a New World virus, you have to explain not only Marx, but also Voltaire/Montesquieu/Rousseau.

November 6, 2008 at 4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of you guys have it ass backward. Strictly speaking many of those philosophers were reactionaries, not revolutionaries. They (the romantics) were a reaction against the enlightenment.

They still are reactionaries in a way. Look at postmodernism's attacks against science ("science studies" and so on). That is reactionary, not progressive.

November 6, 2008 at 5:11 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Honestly, you have to use the divisions MM used most recently -- not progressive and reactionary but antinomian and nomian -- that is against laws and law abiding.

The problem with the distinction, of course, is that the nomians are always dragged down into the abyss. As they reset the laws that they beleive in (as these laws are redefined by the antinomians) their positions drift farther and farther into lawlessness.

That's why MM advocates an entire reset.

Or thought-experiments and entire reset.

I, for one, am still wondering how and why one would happen. I can see a few scenerios for military collapse (especially under Obama's brown-shirts) but few for civilian-lead restoration.

November 6, 2008 at 6:10 AM  
Blogger Aaron Davies said...

If you were serious about emigrating, Singapore's not at all hard to get into, if you can find someone to hire you first. Once you've been here a bit, I think they even have an EU-style "professional's visa" program where you can essentially become a medium-term free agent, avoiding both permanent resident status and a tie to a single employer. What provisions they have for immigrating w/o sponsorship, I have no idea. (And yes, the weather's terrible, especially if you like SF's weather.)

November 6, 2008 at 7:39 AM  
Anonymous P said...

"The New Left once had a catchy name. It called itself the Movement. (Not to be confused with the clique of poets that gave us Philip Larkin and Thom Gunn.)"

That's US and UK, in Oz "the Movement" were right wing trade unionist Catholics...little factoid there.

November 6, 2008 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous raistthemage said...

I believe Mencius stated the only way to real change long before, have a Bircher like organization nurture people to take over the military officer corps (and enough of the NCOs) completely, and launch a coup.

The "long march through the institutions" using reactionary street violence probably won't work for the right. For one thing we can't agree on very much (other then Washington in its current form doesn't work), for the other thing as he mentioned the US does not have the kind of strongly reactionary judiciary the ex monarchies had.

The military coup is the only option unless Washington collapses voluntarily.

November 6, 2008 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous printfaster said...

I am thinking of our future like Argentina's: a morass of crappy leaders that know nothing but grabbing from the many to save the few from the axe.

The 20th century was marked by defiling the all the currencies of the world, an thus robbing any person of any dignity. We are all prisoners if we have no money and work as slaves for those in power.

So much for rich boy Marx and his idealization of urban man.

My wife once commented on the European male (of which O is the epitome) as all walking like nancy boys, as compared to the swagger of Americans. The 20th century in more ways than one is urbanization and feminization of the American male. Look at Ayers and O for hideously feminine men. The 20th century dictators seemed to rise to historic feminine levels.

I for one equate communism and its trends with urbanization and returning to the womb, away from the dangerous frontier, and farm.

November 6, 2008 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While no one's life is at present in danger - unless one lives in South Africa

I would add Israel to that list. They're toast. Get out while you can.

November 6, 2008 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

"Communism" is a word. Communism was evil because it justified mass murder on an unparalleled scale and because it does not work as an economic system.

Whatever you want to LABEL Obama's belief system, even you can see that neither he nor his followers and not even his successors are going to use it to justify mass murder. And you know he's not going to replace capitalism as the fundamental engine of our economy.

There's nothing inherently evil or wrong about progressive taxation or universal health care.

Let me repeat that. There's nothing inherently evil or wrong about progressive taxation or universal health care. You may not like it, and you may vote against it and write against it and speak against it, but it's not ipso facto Evil.

Words have meanings. "Communism" has a meaning. It involves the government owning the means of production. There's no evidence that Obama supports that. There's no evidence that his followers (and I count myself one of them) support that. There's no evidence that progressives in general support that.

Your "analysis" of Obama's communism is exactly as true and as useful as an "analysis" saying that John McCain is a fascist. (He is quite the nationalist, after all. And did you know he associates with such felons and thugs as G. Gordon Liddy?! And warmongers like Henry Kissinger?)

If you want to argue against Obama's policies, fine, but this guilt-by-association or pretending that progressivism is going to lead to mass murder and a ruined economy is preposterous.

November 6, 2008 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

I would add Israel to that list. They're toast. Get out while you can.

I KNOW, right?! Can you believe Obama just picked uber-zionist and Orthodox Jew Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff?? Clearly this is the first step towards death to Israel.

November 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous raistthemage said...

Jewish Athiest communism is a secular religious belief system more then a belief about economics *, or in the case of the worst sociopaths in the "movement" its consciously a way to seize power. and communist economics in practice always involves mass civil slavery.

Obama won't be putting millions of his opponents into labor camps anytime soon, that would provoke a coup (the military most of whos officers and NCOs are republicans is not going to be enthusiastically loyal to a close associate of William Ayers), but he would if he could. He is a believer.

* Though I must admit I dislike Mencius associating this secular religion with the puritans and quakers, who were generally ultracapitalistic (in a way the mercantilist statist high church tories, catholics, and moderate whigs generally speaking were not). The later apostate puritans are another matter (and of course there were the levellers, the communist branch of Puritans suppressed by Cromwell after he won the Civil War).

November 6, 2008 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

raisetheimage:

Jewish Athiest communism is a secular religious belief system

Is it? Can you list the beliefs?

but he would if he could. He is a believer.

You DO NOT know that. You think that, and you hang it on a couple of associations Obama had, but you're pretty much just making a ginormous assumption without much if any evidence.

I mean, WTF? Couldn't I just as easily say McCain won't round up all the Jews and blacks and send them to death camps because it's not feasible politically, but HE WOULD IF HE COULD?

What use is any of this bullshit speculating?

November 6, 2008 at 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Quercus said...

There's nothing inherently evil or wrong about ... universal health care.

In other words, there's nothing inherently evil or wrong about forcing medical professionals (doctors, pharmaceutical manufacturers, etc.) to provide you all the medical goods and services you want, whenever you want them, for as little money as you're willing to pay.

November 6, 2008 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger James said...

Jewish Atheist,

Socialized medicine the idea, on paper, isn't evil, but the devil's in the execution. Long lines, lack of innovation, letting the old ones die. Canadians, who can afford it, get their medical care here in the US. There is a reason for that. Communism is evil. On paper it sounds good, sort of. Of course the execution of Communism was the execution of 100 million people. Jewish Atheist, which BTW makes no sense, like I am a white African-American for the love of God or something change your handle, you are naive. Progressivism has ruined economies and led to mass murder look at history.

November 6, 2008 at 11:38 AM  
Anonymous printfaster said...

JA

I will disagree with the assertion:"There's nothing inherently evil or wrong about progressive taxation or universal health care."

First as an atheist, there can be no evil. Nor can there be any good.

If one uses the ten commandments to define evil, then covetessness is evil. Progressive taxation or income taxation is covetess.

As for universal health care administered by the government is inherently evil because it puts the government into personal decisions about life and death and care decisions. This is no place for government, and forces decisions about when to abort, when to withdraw care and impinges directly on religious freedom.

Of course, no atheist ever wanted to protect religious freedom. After all, religion is evil in the eyes of an atheist.

November 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Leonard said...

"Communism" has a meaning. It involves the government owning the means of production.

No, that would be "socialism". (Specifically, "the state ownership of the means of production".) A word curiously almost absent from MM's screed.

Communism (little-c that is -- "communism") means "a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed". Now, in practice there cannot be communism involving scarce goods which is not socialism. Thus all of the states that called themselves Communist were also socialist. And hence the confusion over the terms.

But at least in terms of abstract ideology, we can distinguish communism and socialism. A communist just wants common ownership, and can be as muddled as he likes about how that might work. A socialist knows exactly how it will work -- the state will own everything, and he will control the state. Thus, communism is a superset of socialism; every socialist is perforce a communist, but not vice-versa.

Both of them are instances of the progressive faith. Both seek levelling as a primary goal. There is certainly room in progressivity to include other varieties, as well. But the heart of progressivism is radical egalitarianism, and it must ever abhor private property.

There must be property (in all things scarce). Property must be private or not; there are no other choices. And the inherent conflict in public property inevitably drives the ownership towards the state. Thus the intellectual progressive is always driven towards the extreme, from liberal to "progressive" to "communist" and finally "socialist".

Ayers, like other intellectual ultraprogressives, is at the extreme: he wants a socialist state, run by him. But other progressives don't necessarily have to go there.

There are several ways out. One is to moderate one's progressivity, to allow for some natural difference in humankind. Of course this places you outside of the church, as I am.

Another is to be inconsistent. This is the vibe I get from the progressives I like the most, people like Cockburn and Ehrenreich. If push came to shove, these people would stand for rights even against a collective, and probably end up dead. They might help bring an Ayers to power, thinking him safely reformed. But they would not support him in imposing an American gulag.

This is the main point I think MM is weak on in this essay. Progressivism as a religion is highly principled, just like the losing sects of Christianity it has replaced. Its principles sometimes oppose each other: for example, it's hard to have "peace" (at least in some senses), if you are at the same time commanded to equalize the situation of all humans. That its principles are contradictory is a problem, both for it, and for us (its subjects). But we cannot deny that they exist, simply because some progressives have resolved the conflict in nasty ways.

November 6, 2008 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems Moldbug has fallen into a hole and can't get up. Like many on the Internets, he's confused a whole set of issues into one big culture war tar pit.

I'm as distressed as anyone to see the wholesale destruction of free markets and freedom in general. But many of these Moldbug-style messiahs see some grand conspiracy when it's simply a case of misguided group-think that needs to correct. Let's hope we see more clear-headed thinkers emerge to point out where we've gone wrong.

November 6, 2008 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

Leonard:

But the heart of progressivism is radical egalitarianism, and it must ever abhor private property.

This is not true. Progressives as a rule don't believe in radical egalitarianism and do believe in private property. Obama is not proposing a 100% tax on income above $X. He's not abolishing private property. He's not even coming close. He's trying to take the tax code back to approximately what it was under Bill Clinton, and he's pushing for universal health care COVERAGE, not government-run health care. Doctors will be paid, hospitals will be paid, etc. Yes, coverage for those who cannot afford it is coming ultimately from tax dollars, so there is some redistribution going on. But "some redistribution" isn't the same as "radical egalitarianism."

I mean a child slapping another child is "violence" and the attacks on 9/11 were "violence" but that doesn't mean that they are morally equivalent... or even that they have anything to do with each other. You can't just attach one label to two completely different entities and then criticize one as if it were the other.

This is my objection to MM's post. He's attempting to use views held by ACTUAL communists to criticize Obama, who is NOT a communist and does NOT hold those views. It makes no sense.

November 6, 2008 at 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

"The corporate Christian racist fascists murder. So you can murder, too, and indeed you must. Otherwise, the Enemy will rule for ever. Germany is once again forced to defend itself from Polish aggression." - moldbug

Dear moldbug, you are still the most enjoyable blogger around, and one of the smartest. The portion I quoted is one of the cruelest and truest exposes on progressive thinking I've seen. Marx-quoting, Luther-aping socialists invade a conservative Catholic country and say they are defending themselves. A bunch of Marx-quoting, non-Luther-aping socialists help them dismember the Catholic regime. Then the latter group of socialists decide that the former group are dangerous "fascists" ... and a bunch of Wilson-aping socialists in America decide to believe them.

Mission to Moscow is forgotten, but Johnny Got His Gun is still standard fare in our left-Prussian mandatory education system. (And people unblushingly describe this book as "anti-war"!)

"But many of these Moldbug-style messiahs see some grand conspiracy when it's simply a case of misguided group-think that needs to correct." - anonymous

You're misreading moldbug here. He doesn't in general do "conspiracy theories" (the Obama/Columbia thing was very much a special case, and a temporary one). He treats progressivism as a meme - BS we unconsciously accept through conditioning (which moldbug regards as often taking a sexual form - something I haven't noticed much myself).

Conspiracies make people shy and furtive. American progressives are bold, proud, and warm. They have an extremely strong grounding in fiction - written, TV, and Hollyweird - to convince them of the corporate, Christian, racist, and/or fascist nature of The Establishment (embodied, of course, in the fact that Republicans win elections sometimes).

November 6, 2008 at 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

"Obama is not proposing a 100% tax on income above $X. He's not abolishing private property."

Admittedly, the definition of private property moldbug and the other intransigent rightists is a bit expansive. It involves the rights to use property in any way that doesn't injure others or initiate force. A regime can restrict those rights in various ways, but if the ways they restrict those rights are no shorter than the Code of Federal Regulations, regulation has gone off the reservation. (I mean, try to comply with the CFR one day. How you know if you WERE in compliance?)

November 6, 2008 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Curve --

You beat me to it -- you don't need a conspiracy when everyone agrees with/is indoctrinated into your goals.

But the heart of progressivism is radical egalitarianism, and it must ever abhor private property.

Sorry Ethnically Jewish Atheist (I assume that's what you mean, since otherwise you're contradicting yourself), but the statement is quite correct.

The support of progressive taxation -- especially when it's coupled not with a progressive taxation of all but the taxation of some and the distribution to others -- a Robin-Hood style redistribution of wealth -- is inherently anti-property.

And the egalitarianism rampant in progressivism speaks for itself. The ideals of No Child Left Behind (the baby of Bush and Kennedy) are as misguided as they are egalitarian.

November 6, 2008 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous elcaballero said...

Game over. As feudalism is the adolescence of an advanced society and classical liberalism its maturity, soft socialism is its sad but inevitable senescence. Lacking the will to produce, reproduce or fight, its territories are seized by more virile cultures - a process well under way in Western Europe. Forget conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, neocameralism. It's over. Aztlan and Eurabia are the future, and there's nowhere left to run.

November 6, 2008 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

I doubt Aztlan will happen -- there's not much vigor there. Eurabia is a likely thing, tho.

I think the US is much more likely to degenerate into territories.

M

November 6, 2008 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Leonard said...

JA, I generally agree with you. I did not mean to suggest that all progressives are radical egalitarians. Rather, I meant that egalitarianism is the kernel of progressivism: to a first approximation, you are progressive to the degree you are egalitarian. If you are a little egalitarian, you're a little progressive.

MM has identified, IIRC, four key tenets of progressive atheology:
http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/06/ultracalvinist-hypothesis-in.html
I won't dispute that, but I will point out that equality in one sense or another underlies at least three of them (peace, equality, and "social justice").

So Obama, and I expect you, are progressive, but only to a degree. Same for anyone who still supports private property. It's certainly not the most inegalitarian idea ever; it can even be egalitarian in a formal sense. (Rich and poor alike may not steal bread.) But private property is fundamentally incompatible with equality of holdings, equality of circumstance, equality of power, and many other kinds of equality that many, if not most, progressives find appealing.

And of course, neither you nor Obama want full private property.

[MM is] attempting to use views held by ACTUAL communists to criticize Obama, who is NOT a communist and does NOT hold those views. It makes no sense.

Well, I agree insofar as Obama is only proven to be a progressive, albeit one evidently well-connected with ultraprogressives aka "communists" (per MM) aka "socialists" (if you ask me). Where socialist is the unforgiveable form of progressivism, whereas anything up through communism (per the dictionary, not MM) is, IMO, misguided but not clearly wrong.

Nonetheless, I think you are not seeing it from MM's perspective. To him, the entire religion is evil -- root, leaf, and branch. That the leaves are washed by the rain of democracy and never touch the soil of genocide, does not make them clean in his mind. The tree is as one. Cut the leaf and plant it in the soil, and a tree grows.

I don't agree with that, at least not for individuals. This is as I posted before -- there are plenty of progressives who I am quite confident would end up eventually breaking with ultraprogressives, if the latter ever actually got power.

Nonetheless, there are two fears here that I take seriously. One is that, as progressives all, y'all don't see certain monstrous tendancies within your movement, until it is too late. And given that the progressivism of the average progressive ratchets ever higher, it seems that eventually the mainstream will not be liberals electing a soft-progressive, but progressives electing a communist, or communists electing a socialist.

The second is that Obama may not be what he seems. You holler that he is NOT a communist, but how radical he really is, is anyone's guess. Especially when you've read Alinsky and you know that Obama has, too. We know that he is good at appearing moderate, and we know that he's a fair-haired boy of the Ayers crime family. Not much to work with. That's why people are left doing desperate things like reading his autobiography and scrutinizing his activities and associations dating from before his political rise.

November 6, 2008 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

leonard:

Thanks for your fair-minded response.

Nonetheless, there are two fears here that I take seriously. One is that, as progressives all, y'all don't see certain monstrous tendancies within your movement, until it is too late.

That might have been true fifty years ago, but I think we're all a lot more mellow now. Just look at who the previous Obama was -- centrist (by American standards) Bill Clinton.

The second is that Obama may not be what he seems. You holler that he is NOT a communist, but how radical he really is, is anyone's guess.

Well, sure, that's true of everyone, and admittedly more so with someone as new to the national scene as Barack Obama. Still, as voters we have to use our best judgment, and mine is that Obama is a temperamentally conservative man who believes things pretty similar to what I do.

I see no evidence that he admires Ayers's despicable actions. To the contrary, I see him emphasizing unity and moderation at every step. I see him seeking advice from wherever it comes, from Saul Alinsky to right-wing members of Congress. The advisers he's picking -- especially on the economy -- are the kind of centrist Democrats who advised Bill Clinton.

I could be wrong, but I just don't see a radical. If I'm wrong and he's truly over-the-bend, I doubt his popularity and effectiveness will last too long. A majority of Americans want universal health care coverage. They do not want socialism or communism. There's really only so much damage a president can do, as even MM points out.

November 6, 2008 at 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

Apropos of moldbug's choice of "communist" in preference to "socialist" - I submit that the distinction he is making is not one of degree. He is not using communist to mean "extreme socialist", and I don't think he would conceive of a "moderate communist" as an ordinary socialist.

It's the anarchism that's key, specifically left-anarchism. (The left-right divide is, IMHO, at its absolute widest within anarchism. Anacaps are not exactly relevant to this, though I'm sure their opinions are interesting.) Communists talk anarchy while practicing socialism. It's very appealing to a group of people raised to be wary of (specifically statist) oppression. American leftists talk anti-state talk just as much (and arguably as persuasively) as do American rightists. European leftists are used to living in monarchies or Romanesque republics, so they don't need anti-statist sweeteners in their statist porridge. Socialism is an A-OK goal among Europeans.

America has its socialists too, and they sometimes get along with its Democrats and its Communists. But not always. When LBJ was alternately supporting and assassinating anti-Communist leaders in Southeast Asia, social democrats supported him. That is to say, self-described socialists and social democrats somehow came out on the right side of THE left-right divide in America, circa 1967 ... McGovern, R. Kennedy, and E. McCarthy were all to their left, and none called themselves socialists.

What I'm getting at here is not another salvo in favor of the idea that Kennedy and the Macs were wild-eyed radicals, just that they were from a Newer, more libertarian flavor of Left. The American left needs anti-statist, or at least anti-establishment, style to get traction with the American voters. No traction, no new statist policies. This is why repealing Prohibition was so important in building the foundations for the New Deal.

The tie-in here is that "anti-state" movements will often wrap around into "use the state" movements. State power is just too damn tempting. One of the least well-known parts of Obama's teensy legislative record is his support for the Patriot Act - it's a position that just DOES NOT COMPUTE for his self-identified pro-freedomite supporters.

He just FEELS like he could never support such a thing. 100% Luke S. and 0% Darth V. And now his Justice Department can subject pretty much whoever it wants to anti-terrorism surveillance. I certainly hope this doesn't turn America into a tyranny, but I'm not so sure.

November 6, 2008 at 3:07 PM  
Anonymous thehorseman said...

Awesome.

November 6, 2008 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger William A. Sigler said...

What’s with all these dainty, quaint Euro words like communism and socialism? This is Amurika, goddummit, we have a little thing called “fear of a black planet” that weaponized those pale, academic theories long ago. It’s not about government—after all, Adam Smith’s whole formulation depending on strong, direct government intervention to work at all. It’s not about egalitarianism—Henry Ford, like most good businessmen, was egalitarian (we could use such good business sense now to realize that printing more money to artificially keep asset prices high will only implode the economy without a corresponding rise in wages to support an actual market economy—but that’s, gasp, socialism, and we mustn’t disturb the patient with such words while we’re nationalizing the global financial system).

I really, really want to get on board with you skeptical libertarians about Obama, but you seem to think someone on the payroll of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, et al. will do something more for the actual people than he has already. When he says “change has come,” he means it. We’ve got a black president – a Democrat to boot. What more do you want, you ungrateful unwashed? The real question is whether the Democratic mobs will get disillusioned, as the Republican mobs so adamantly refused to. I bet no. And things like, say, forced sterilization in Texas through mandatory Gardasil vaccinations will still go on—and any sucker who listened to advertisements, media or doctors will just get another dose of caveat emptor. Ah well, what’s a few lies when nobody really wants to face the truth, that profits are far more important than human lives? I’ve wasted so much time on such niceties as fairness and rationality and human dignity—how can I get on board with the relentless, ineluctable logic of the way the world works?

I know, I know, the conventional wisdom already is that American democracy is amazing because it can turn on a dime from fascism to communism, why waste time in the dank, anarchic communes of the internet with yet another unproductive display of comfortable dissent? But surely there is room, here, for a heart-rending cry to the universe: why, oh why, is every political movement always reactionary? Don’t like starvation under the Czar? Here’s communism! Don’t like starvation under the capitalist system? Here’s the new deal! Don’t like the way the authority of the president was given over to liberal interest groups when the full scope of the military economy’s murderousness was exposed? Here’s Bush’s America, where life, prosperity, the Constitution itself are just things to be thrown on the bonfire in the futile effort to warm the miserable self-regard of the leaders.

The rhetoric of hope always folds back into power, the tools and levers of it, wielded by pathological narcissists who thirst for adulation and blood the way others want food and drink. (I couldn’t help but notice that Obama, like Stalin and Hitler, wrote his autobiography while he was still an unknown).

November 6, 2008 at 5:16 PM  
Anonymous cranky matron said...

You know, the only thing that really rankled me about the election was the commentator who observed, breathless with joy, that "America has a new electorate."

Yes, indeed, it does.

Congratulations, progressives. You got exactly what you wanted!

The only sensible thing to do with a system like that is drop it like an old boyfriend. Stop engaging with it, stop returning its calls, stop lending it money, stop mooning around about how beautiful it used to be and how beautiful it could be again if only the guy would be the same one you loved ten years ago.

And above all, stop worrying about what HE says about YOU. He only runs you down to make himself feel better.

"racist whore!"

Breaking up is hard to do. :(

November 6, 2008 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An acknowledged Alinskyist group, the Southern Manitoba Education Group Management Association (SMEGMA) in Canada says on its website that Obama shares its radical views, and explains how they believe Alinskyite principles will be implemented by Obama in his administration.

www.smegma.ca

November 6, 2008 at 6:08 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Do NOT go to anonymous's link. It's just a bunch of pictures of penises.

November 6, 2008 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous james said...

Just kidding.....

The SMEGMA website makes some valid points.....but I don't think I buy it.

November 6, 2008 at 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing inherently evil or wrong about progressive taxation or universal health care.

Yes there is. They involve taking the property of others under threat of violence (i.e. theft) and systematically exploiting the labor of others (i.e. slavery). Theft and slavery are evil.

November 6, 2008 at 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you believe Obama just picked uber-zionist and Orthodox Jew Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff??

Yeah, I'm sure Ahmedinejad, Assad, Hamas, Fatah, and all the other bad guys in a region full of bad guys just cringe in fear at the thought of Rahm Emanuel. They know that Rahm will stiffen Obama's flabby metrosexual spine if he needs to do something to keep regional aggression in check.

November 6, 2008 at 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Bill Whittle said...

I DEEPLY resent your characterization of offering congratulations to an adversary as "being face down in a pool of patriotic American drool."

Let me explain something to you: offering congratulations -- even and in fact especially to people who do not deserve it -- accomplishes three things, all essential.

First, it denies them any satisfaction from gloating, for gloating makes them appear small and petty. Refusing to become emotional and angry -- as you are -- denies them the satisfaction that have been hoarding for eight years. There is NOTHING more annoying and devastating to emotional and infantile people than someone so far above them that they refuse to stoop to their level.

Second, congratulating an opponent shows both our side and theirs what -- most of us, anyway - really are, and that is better people in every regard: more secure, more reasoned, more civilized and more adult. This is not lost on their side or on ours.

Third, and most importantly, the ability to move beyond a defeat to the point where you can sincerely congratulate a detested opponent is absolutely essential to clear the decks emotionally so that the losing fight is behind you and the winning fight lies ahead. Without being in a position of such calmness and balance you will NEVER be able to coldly and rationally examine why and how you lost so that those mistake are not repeated again.

To congratulate is not to surrender, and your assumption and inference that I intend to do so is an indication not of my unfitness to fight, but of yours. You have not asked me, nor have you any evidence, of what my intentions are. And if you have any integrity whatsoever you will remove my name from your blogroll because I do not wish to be associated in any way with someone so quick to jump away from an ally on the basis of so little evidence.

November 6, 2008 at 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y'all need to chill. These political reversals just take a little time. Those evangelicals have been getting busy.

November 6, 2008 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

When it became generally noticed, a few days before the moment, that Senator Obama has at least three very non-flimsy personal connections to pure, 200-proof, full-on Holocaust-grade political evil...

It's this kind of statement that makes sane people stop reading.

Mostly people who say this kind of shit have no idea what "full-on Holocaust-grade political evil" is. I assume that's not the case with you, so what's your excuse? Casually deploying the Holocaust in political argument is an offense against taste, reason, and the memory of its victims. It is inane when people compare Bush to Hitler and it's inane to try to smear Obama by linking him to Stalin via Bill Ayers. Ayers, who was most definitely an asshole and possibly should have been prosecuted for rape and attempted murder, did not kill millions of people, or even dozens, or even one, as far as I can tell. So that's a little different from "pure, 200-proof, full-on Holocaust-grade political evil".

The McCain campaign flogged the Ayers connection as hard as they could. Nobody cared. There are about a million more important considerations to choosing a president. McCain has his own ties to political terrorists, such as G. Gordon Liddy. That wasn't much of a consideration either.

More fundamentally: both men were competing for the job of being in charge of the most powerful, costly, and far-reaching machine of violence that the world has ever known. Being acquainted with a guy who blew up some buildings and colleagues is supposed to be disqualifying for that position? Presidents get to blow up entire countries. Bill Ayers is the rankest, most incompetent amateur imaginable when it comes to political violence.

November 6, 2008 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Leonard said...

Bill, you say "resent", but I can't help think "resemble".

Look, do you or do you not believe in our democracy? In our system of government?

Moldbug emphatically does not.

Do you think that the Republican party, or any other party, can roll back progressive gains via the electoral process?

Moldbug emphatically does not.

Your candidate, this time, was falling over himself to prove his me-too socialist-lite credentials. He offered not the slightest criticism of any element of the New Deal or the Great Society. Not even "affirmative action". Perhaps we should expect that, those being good progressive ideas now that they're old? Well, neither did McCain run against the recent nationalization of the banking industry. He wanted to socialize the ownership of subprime mortgages. He wanted to and still may amnesty illegal aliens, them being god's chilluns just like us. How progressive does a guy have to be before your Party will reject him?

As for your characterization of Moldbug, well, reasonable men can differ. But I do not see the least bit of anger or emotionality in this piece, or pretty much anything else Moldbug writes.

Further, Moldbug doesn't seem to be on your side right now, being a neofascist hateblogger, and beyond that having endorsed and apparently voted for Mr. Obama. I think he was attempting to symbolically wish us godspeed to the final collapse, but I'm not really sure.

To think that you will manipulate the democratic process via your magnanimity, to conservative ends, is to misunderstand the system. I'll allow that it may slow down the decline, slightly, perhaps by a few minutes. Perhaps widespread conservative good-loserdom will stave off the collapse by a month. But not more.

Finally, as to fighting -- MM envisions real fighting, as far as I can tell, as the decisive form of right-wing political action. He certainly is not leery of the potentially genocidal implications of his ideas. See his para about how to retake the universities? That's what he means by "fight". He means violence. Breaking heads. That's what the radical Left did, and will yet do, as needed, when an otherwise immovable obstacle stood in its path. The "fighting" you are talking about, democratic politics, is a lost battle. It is hopeless. This is his point.

Your attempt to manipulate it, though, shows you are playing the democratic game. This game has two outcomes for us non-proggies: "lose", and "lose big". There is no "win". In short, you are pwned, and don't even know it. Hence the crack about Xanax. It's not that you showed magnanimity. It's that you think it's a winning tactic -- in a rigged game.

I do agree with you on one point, however. MM should unlink you; not only is it polite, you having asked, but I've always thought you an odd duck for him to like so much as to blogroll.

Be aware that Moldbug does not often take part in his comments threads, and may not even read them. So I'd suggest that you email him your request; he does appear to read email, if not answer it.

November 6, 2008 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

pwned
Stop using that word. It's gaytarded.

if history teaches us any lessons, I think one of them is: "don't elect leaders with murky ties to murderous political fanatics."
I'm not sure what you're referring to here historically. Can't be Hitler, his ties weren't murky at all.

So we don't need to give a shit about murderers with the fist of the State behind them
You mean the military and police? ZING!

But now we have a new century to play with, and we have this bezoar, this philosopher's stone, democracy.
It cures famine. But not hunger. So if you've got hunger-free famines, give it a whirl.

"crocodile humor."
That an American professional economist can match a Soviet professional humorist is a telling indictment of the latter's system.

Well, first, um, he's, um, how can I put this - a communist
He seems to strictly be about race. He has no problem letting white hedgefunders rake in millions of dollars, as long as he can grab a slice for designated victims. Warren Buffet will not suffer under him.

In case you hadn't noticed, the current euphemism for "communist" is "progressive."
You're behind the times. I read commie sites on occassion, and they don't use the term (maybe with scare-quotes). I don't see the current crop as terribly different from the 19th century Progressive Republicans (who were generally instigators rather than victims of red scares).

defunct Trotskyite
They aren't gone.

Why is it that Schindler's List got 37 Oscars, but Katyn can't find a distributor?
Spielberg was already a famous director who used Hollywood actors to make a movie in English. Katyn has distributors in Poland and won a best picture award there. In America it's in the foreign film category (where it did get an Oscar nomination). They have the East German fictionalized equivalent of Oscar Schindler in the Lives of Others at my local Blockbuster, but not too many Polish movies.

it's as American as apple pie
Check out A Conservative History of the American Left. It makes a disctinction between the 19th century proto-hippies and the Marxists.

It's no coincidence, for example, that the ultra-rich were overwhelmingly for Obama.
Read Andrew Gelman. The top did not vote in 2008 like it did in 2004.

Barack Obama is an intellectual disciple of Saul Alinsky
I'm dissapointed in you. Obama's entire career since he quit being a community organizer (after failing to accomplish anything) and going to Harvard (especially his campaign) has been a rejection of Alinsky. A more plausible conspiracy theorist claims instead that Obama is the puppet of Zbigniew Bzezinsky and George Soros.

in an imaginary America in which democracy worked, a candidate running against an Alinskyist would hand out quite a few copies of Rules
Conservatives already do because many think it's good Machiavellian advice.

not Louise Day Hicks
Liberals seem to admit bussing was a horrible failure (though I could be confusing Eric Alterman for a larger number of people) and the practice ended. So that's not a very good example.

or on the Supreme Court
What? Scalia and Thomas I think have said Jefferson was right about the commerce clause (although they haven't elected to storm the barricades on that basis), if I recall correctly. That's more reactionary than any McCarthy-style anti-communist.
My own personal guess is this election won't make much of a difference. I'm thinking Bill Clinton, although I expect it to be a deal worse.

Americans actually did vote to do away with the New Deal, once, sort of, in 1980
BULLFUCKINGSHIT! Ronald Reagan was a New Deal Democrat when the New Deal was adopted. He always said "I didn't leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me". So they were voting to return to the New Deal. And Reagan did increase social spending despite what any libtards might tell you.

abolition of ethnic studies and affirmative action
A lot of liberals already favor replacing the latter with a class-based system.

America has finally elected a communist President
You mean FDR? Like I said, I'm thinking Obama will be like Clinton (unfortunately without a hostile Congress).

the normally sensible, judicious, and militaristic Bill Whittle
Like I said before, you're an idiot. Bill Whittle strikes me as the antithesis of everything worthwhile in your writings. Has he ever said anything that wasn't inspidid and moronic? I challenged people to point out anything worthwhile he's written, and while that tactic got results applied to Paul Craig Roberts it hasn't for him. And that's a REALLY LOW STANDARD!

sheepdog
Just when I after I ask the question you respond by linking to the piece that proved his idiotic liberal insanity to me and Sailer. Oh, and Whittle's fucking wrong about Hollywood celebrities and New Orleans. And Hollywood is one of the few things I'd expect him to know!

if you don't count the war
"The" war? Which war!?

Solely on the basis of his tawny epidermis
The candidates aren't nearly as important as the fundamentals. The Democrat was going to beat the Republican, and because the Dems knew it they were free to pick a "progressive".

that for all its H-bombs, the gofer could indeed be a psychopath himself, and he won't be able to hurt a fly
A shitload of dead Iraqis would beg to differ, or at least they would if they weren't dead.


raistthemage:
I believe Mencius stated the only way to real change long before, have a Bircher like organization nurture people to take over the military officer corps (and enough of the NCOs) completely, and launch a coup
He's had a lot of different ideas. His first one was for the right to simply give up so the left quit perceiving them as a threat, cemented its hold on power and formalized it into efficiency. He also had some bit about Vice and the eXile ridiculing Ultra-Calvinism to death.

for the other thing as he mentioned the US does not have the kind of strongly reactionary judiciary the ex monarchies had.
In this context it is liberal universities permitting violence, but the analogy holds.


Jewish Atheist:
There's nothing inherently evil or wrong about progressive taxation or universal health care.
There's nothing inherently evil about ANYTHING. It's all subjective. There's no objective way to show that mass murder is more evil than universal health care, it may be a good deal less.


Leonard:
A socialist knows exactly how it will work -- the state will own everything, and he will control the state. Thus, communism is a superset of socialism; every socialist is perforce a communist, but not vice-versa.
No. The 19th century individualist anarchists (many associated with Benjamin Tucker) were socialists and rejected the existence of any state, the followers of Kropotkin were anarcho-communists (which preceded Bakunin's anarcho-collectivists and the later anarcho-syndicalists). Marxists claimed that capitalism and private property (which "property is theft" Proudhon did not completely reject) must be crushed before the state would wither away and that before then there would be the dictatorship of the proletariat. More common today and closer to Obama are Bernstein's democratic socialists or social democrats (George Orwell was one and claimed all his writings promoted it).


Curve of Freedom:
Note that despite advising people to read Liberty or Equality and As We Go Marchine, MM completely rejects the Old Right take on Nazism. He believes that the "socialism" label was just a charade and that they were really reactionaries like him.

And people unblushingly describe this book as "anti-war"!
The fact that after Barbarossa Trumbo stopped printing more copies and ratted out to the Feds all the fans of the book that wrote to him is evidence to me there must have been some merit to it! That and Metallica's "One".

which moldbug regards as often taking a sexual form
I hadn't noticed that, and I'm unusually on him for ignoring gender issues.

the definition of private property moldbug
I don't recall where he actually gave his definition. As a libertarian, I don't consider the media to be part of Our Enemy the State. It's privately owned and its actions, including biased work, is molded and constrained by the profit motive. I don't see it as existing to influence policy. It's in the entertainment business, which is why we have stories about celebs and sports coverage. Politics is analogous to American idol.


G. M. Palmer:
The support of progressive taxation -- especially when it's coupled not with a progressive taxation of all but the taxation of some and the distribution to others -- a Robin-Hood style redistribution of wealth -- is inherently anti-property.
Both Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman favored a safety net funded with progressive taxation (it was a "negative income tax" for Friedman, which inspired our EITC and helps hold off demand for minimum wage increases). Regulation is more important than taxation when it comes to growth, and as no Republican politician since the days of Teddy Roosevelt has opposed progressive taxation, that's what I'd look out for.

MM has identified, IIRC, four key tenets of progressive atheology
And he said he'd have posts on all of them, but he only did pacifism (and fake pacifism at that, not the Nicholson Baker kind) and Rawlsianism.


Curve of Freedom:
When LBJ was alternately supporting and assassinating anti-Communist leaders
I think it was under Kennedy that notable anti-communists got assassinated.

it's a position that just DOES NOT COMPUTE for his self-identified pro-freedomite supporters
Funny enough, Chuck Baldwin's opposition to it is Lawrence Auster's stated reason for not supporting him. Speaking of which, while I admit to puzzling before over what MM sees in Auster, compared to Whittle he's a goddamn genius.

And now his Justice Department can subject pretty much whoever it wants to anti-terrorism surveillance
Orin Kerr nailed it perfectly.


William A. Sigler:
Adam Smith’s whole formulation depending on strong, direct government intervention to work at all
Edmund Burke, who Adam Smith claimed was closer to his views on economics than anyone else, claimed that the mint was simply a "manufacturer" and reasoned that it was thus shown to be the proper sphere of the private sector which government should have nothing to do with. That's a pretty extreme anti-government attitude by current standards.

Henry Ford, like most good businessmen, was egalitarian
You're an idiot. The whole reason he raised wages was that he had a high turnover rate and it was costing him too much to continually train new workers. The percentage of marginal income his company would receive from extra pay going to his workers (who made up a tiny fraction of his customers and only spent a tiny fraction of their income on cars) would be infinitesimal. Politically, his name has been used by the left to paint Lindbergh with guilt by association.

printing more money to artificially keep asset prices high will only implode the economy without a corresponding rise in wages to support an actual market economy
Inflation does result in corresponding higher wages, the whole rational expectations revolution that overturned Phillips Curve Keynesianism was all about that. The real problem is sticky downward wages.

Don’t like starvation under the Czar? Here’s communism!
I think starvation was actually rare in the period preceding Russian communism.

November 6, 2008 at 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Lawful Neutral said...

"It's this kind of statement that makes sane people stop reading."

Oh, MTraven, don't you know that the sane never start reading UR? This blog is so far outside the usual bounds of political discussion, you have to be at least a little cracked even to give it a try. Check what Metafilter had to say about it if you doubt me.

November 6, 2008 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger AMcGuinn said...

The use of the term "small-c communist" is a little confusing. Normally, that means one who adheres to the beliefs labelled communist (as opposed to big-C organisations named communist).

I gather you mean a continuous tradition that used to be labelled communist, and which survives despite having evolved its beliefs and changed its organisations. That's an interesting way of looking at Obama, but the terminology you use I think is throwing some people.

Also, as JA pointed out, as an attack on Obama it's quite weak. Obama may well be the intellectual descendant of those who did or attempted terrible things, but if he does not intend the same things, because the exact beliefs of that tradition have evolved over time, then so what?

November 6, 2008 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger AMcGuinn said...

On the same note, of course, if you label everyone from FDR to David Cameron as communist, that rather weakens the guilt-by-association-with-Stalin attached to the label

November 6, 2008 at 10:28 PM  
Anonymous zanon said...

amcguinn said...
On the same note, of course, if you label everyone from FDR to David Cameron as communist, that rather weakens the guilt-by-association-with-Stalin attached to the label
---------
No it doesn't! That's MM's point (whether you agree or not). Cold War is over, FDR won.

November 6, 2008 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mtraven and jewish atheist, even though I disagree with you most of the time, I'd like you guys to stick around here, you keep Moldbug intellectually honest.

If we convince Moldbug to get off the hyperbole passenger train at sanity stop, and get him back to the two things he is good at -- brainstorming reactionary political ideologies and writing about obscure history -- then things might get a little interesting again.

November 7, 2008 at 1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Check what Metafilter had to say about it if you doubt me."

I've read metafilter for a long while, they are generally a smart community but it is filled to the brim with progressives, not only that, but they are snarky progressives who are quick to pile on anything that doesn't fit their ideology. Showing them Mencius' blog would make them break a circuit or two.

For example, take a look on the front page today at a post on time travel. There is an article on black professor of physics (a legit guy) who wants to create a time machine.

If you read the article he doesn't sound like a crank at all and has even had his theory published in notable physics journals.

If you read the comments at metafilter it is snarksville. Plus there is one comment from a holier-than-thou progressive who claims that black children are starving in Africa while the physics guy is wasting his time ...

November 7, 2008 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Zimri said...

That was one wonderful meltdown from Cap'n Whittle.

I'll dispense with #1 and #3, because this is so much emotional wind -

"First, it denies them any satisfaction from gloating,"

This article doesn't care if the Obamatrons gloat or not.

"Third, and most importantly, the ability to move beyond a defeat to the point where you can sincerely congratulate a detested opponent is absolutely essential to clear the decks emotionally "

This article doesn't care if the McCainiacs weep or not.

Those two out of the way, I'll deal with #2 (although, again, this article doesn't care) -

"Second, congratulating an opponent shows both our side and theirs what -- most of us, anyway - really are, and that is better people in every regard"

It does no such thing. Maybe this is true in Little League, but we are talking power politics.


Here's Goldstein on who gets to be congratulated and why it matters; he's better at this shit than I am.

But to summarise, when you congratulate an opponent like Obama, who relied on the full force of the media, fraudulent donations, bogus voters, a corrupt educational system and armed Black Panthers at the polls to get his percentage, your opponent knows you don't mean it.

Unless, that is, you DO mean, it in which case said opponent thinks you're a patsy, and you will continue to get mocked by Moldbug and Goldberg. Lemme know when the Xanax wears off.

November 7, 2008 at 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and for anyone interested Metafilter is probably a much better place to get a general 'feel' for where progressivism is heading than places like Daily Kos.

Kos runs that place like LGF, nil dissent. Metafilter is at least an open community with vocal and smart members who debate with the progressives, but it is useful to see the general temperature of the movement there, as many of them are the online equivalent of Hoffer's "Man of words" in his book "The True Believer".

One striking example from the last few months was a thread where they argued that it was impossible to be racist to whites and that whites even deserved to be racist against. There were commentators who argued against this, but for the most part the general 'feel' was one of anti-white fervor (hilarious, considering many of them are white males with black rimmed glasses).

There is no better site for the insanity, and well argued positions, of progressivism than Metafilter.

November 7, 2008 at 1:21 AM  
Anonymous SeaMan said...

http://jmw.typepad.com/political_warfare/2008/10/radical-attorney-supporter-of-terrorists-and-cop-killers-backs-obama.html

November 7, 2008 at 1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Casually deploying the Holocaust in political argument is an offense against taste, reason, and the memory of its victims.

The comparison is not "casual". Ayers wanted to kill 25 million people. That's a holocaust in my book.

More fundamentally: both men were competing for the job of being in charge of the most powerful, costly, and far-reaching machine of violence that the world has ever known. Being acquainted with a guy who blew up some buildings and colleagues is supposed to be disqualifying for that position?

What a stupid and insulting comparison. And are you really saying that acquaintance with any murderer or would-be murderer is fine? You truly believe that acquaintance with Tim McVeigh or Eric Rudolph would not be disqualifying for a presidential candidate? Or is it just some bad guys and not the ones on the Left?

MM envisions real fighting, as far as I can tell, as the decisive form of right-wing political action.

I don't see that. I think he has repeatedly said that right-wing violence would be pointless, and cannot succeed.

He seems to strictly be about race.

So all that "spread the wealth around" stuff only applies to minorities? Even if that's true, it still makes him a socialist.

As a libertarian, I don't consider the media to be part of Our Enemy the State. It's privately owned and its actions, including biased work, is molded and constrained by the profit motive. I don't see it as existing to influence policy.

Amazingly blind. Even the most superficial examination of the actions of the media in past decades could come up with numerous examples of them overtly trying to influence policy.

Obama may well be the intellectual descendant of those who did or attempted terrible things, but if he does not intend the same things, because the exact beliefs of that tradition have evolved over time, then so what?

Firstly, you don't know what he intends, since as MM points out, his entire political career consists of reading prepared scripts, and we know nothing at all about him beyond that. Secondly, if he is a devotee of a murderous and repressive belief system, is it really "so what?" if he believes in the "somewhat nicer" later version of it (which was still repressive and murderous) rather than the more vicious earlier version? Are you happy to vote for neo-Nazis so long as they promise to avoid the actual extermination of other races?

November 7, 2008 at 4:07 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Just an illustrative point about Commies v Nazis.

There's a history teacher here at my school. Over the summer he met with Breshnev's son. He brought pictures. Everyone told him how great that was.

Then yesterday he war a CCCP t-shirt. I suppose he was being ironic (?).

I couldn't imagine stopping by to say, "hey guys, I met with Martin Adolf Bormann over the summer, here's some pics!" and later wearing a Nazi flag shirt.

But no one batted an eye at the commie stuff.

Just damn insane.

November 7, 2008 at 5:56 AM  
Anonymous raistthemage said...

I don't see that. I think he has repeatedly said that right-wing violence would be pointless, and cannot succeed.

He has said that right wing street violence can't succeed, because the institutions don't have any sympathizers in control.

OTOH a military coup could certainly succeed.

November 7, 2008 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger Leonard said...

TGGP: you misunderstand my intent in discussing "socialism", "progressivism", and "communism". I was not attempting to survey all the ways in which people use them, and/or have used them historically. I was attempting to clarify the issue at hand -- a discussion of modern progressivism and its relationship to Barack Obama. To do that, I was staking out particular definitions of those words for this purpose.

Now, as it happens I do claim and would be happy to argue that the particular definitions I use are the best definitions for general purposes of political discussion, and that you should use them too. For clarity. But I don't care that much to convert you in my little definitional crusade for clarity. Converting MM, though, would be a coup. In any case, this is just definitions -- they mean nothing on their own; the point is to make clear argument and actual communication possible.

If it helps, just reread my post substituting the word "l-socialist" whereever I write unquoted "socialist", and "l-communist" for "communist".

As for the specifics of your statements -- I find it really funny when I see a sentence of the form "'Y' is not well defined because, the Xs called themselves Y". If you are using "X" to identify a group, then they are not Y, at least not any more. In this case, "individualist anarchist" seems to be a perfectly apt description of the, um, individualist anarchists. They were not socialists (meaning: they were not l-socialists). They were communists, though, according to my definition.

"Democratic socialist" is a useful term, albeit in a limited way, to oppose say "revolutionary socialist". Very few people are actual revolutionaries any more; part of the blue pill is the idea that the only valid and effective way to solve problems is gradualist, via politics, which in our system means electoral politics. (Exhibit A: Bill Whittle.) Even Bill Ayers has moved beyond his jejune revolutionary socialism to a staid democratic socialism, in terms of practical day-to-day living, if not ideologically.

Any general use of "socialist" should therefore be understood as meaning "democratic socialist". If you want to talk about non-democratic socialism, you ought to make that clear.

November 7, 2008 at 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. The official "Obama Recession" began with the market down 10% in two days - immediately after the election. The day after election, the market was down 5%, which was the HIGHEST recorded loss.
2. He is still President-elect. Not until the inauguration. Maybe he will have the decency (ouch) to resign. :)
3. Next time when anyone mentions Obama's hope, remember the old adage that the "hope days the last." :)
4. Go Obama, go go go and screw what is left of the great U.S.A.

November 7, 2008 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last comment # 3 should be read that the "hope DIES the last."

Sorry for the mistake.

November 7, 2008 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Lawful Neutral said...

There is no better site for the insanity, and well argued positions, of progressivism than Metafilter.

Amen. They truly believe they're the Elect over there, no question. It's well worth a look, and if you have a single bohemian bone in your body, you'll probably find something you like.

Leonard:
Oy, more definitions! And of emotionally loaded, previously-existing words! I think I understand what you mean, but it's a hopeless task. MM usually invents his own jargon, and while that approach has its flaws, at least it's worked in the past.

November 7, 2008 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Leonard said...

LN: I don't think have a set of house definitions is hopeless, within a small domain like UR. Certainly it is hopeless in the world at large, but I have no wish to argue with them.

As for the particular definitions I use, it's not like I am pulling them out of thin air. Rather I am pulling them out of Websters. Of course I am using one particular definition, out of all the many competing definitions that Websters offers. But it's not like I am trying to steal a base here -- I just want precise meanings for some terms so we can talk about stuff.

As for inventing your own jargon, well, I'm OK with that. But I will note that it's very offputting for any casual Moldbug readers. Also, MM himself seems to have moderated on this, inasmuch as he as taken progressives own word for their faith as the word to use for them. Rather than his older, made-up "universalist", "ultracalvinist" or "cryptocalvinist".

One other knock on making up words to replace "socialism" and "communism", is that unless MM himself defines them, its an even more cryptic usage (here) than is just saying socialism and taking your chances. Also, I'm having a very hard time thinking of good made-up replacements for them. The best I can get for "socialism" is "archodictism", w/ "demodictism" for "communism". Both pretty fricking ugly. Not to mention "capitalism" being remapped to "homodictism". You wanna be a homodictist?

November 7, 2008 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

@Anonymous: The comparison is not "casual". Ayers wanted to kill 25 million people. That's a holocaust in my book.
Wanting to is not the same as actually doing it. And expressing that thought in some living room bullshit session is the same as actually wanting to. I idly thought it might be a good idea to drop a tactical nuke on this event in San Diego; that didn't mean that I was going to do it or actually wanted it done.

I am tired of defending Bill Ayers. I don't like him at all. Everybody I know who was active in the antiwary movement back in the 60s/70s thinks he was an egotistical asshole who did enormous damage to the movement. But that doesn't make him Hitler.

There is no objective truth in matters of morality. If you want to collapse Hitler, Bill Ayers, Obama, and the entire progressive side of the political spectrum into the same moral category, feel free. But don't be surprised if other people think you are not worth paying attention to.

November 7, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

Quoth TGGP to little ol' me:
Note that despite advising people to read Liberty or Equality and As We Go Marchine, MM completely rejects the Old Right take on Nazism. He believes that the "socialism" label was just a charade and that they were really reactionaries like him.
I know. He's wrong about that. Poking around in the archives implies he used to be right.

[I trimmed out your comments on Trumbo because I'm still figuring them out.]

"which moldbug regards as often taking a sexual form"
I hadn't noticed that, and I'm unusually on him for ignoring gender issues.
Well, he talks about progressives getting laid all the time. Steve Sailer always talks about them being lonely. Go figure.

"the definition of private property moldbug"
I don't recall where he actually gave his definition.
Well, he did imply that government restrictions on who a company can hire drastically reduce the privateness of private property, as well as hurting the economy. He didn't define it per se, I was just winging it from his implications to the expansive anacap views of things.

As a libertarian, I don't consider the media to be part of Our Enemy the State. It's privately owned and its actions, including biased work, is molded and constrained by the profit motive. I don't see it as existing to influence policy. It's in the entertainment business, which is why we have stories about celebs and sports coverage. Politics is analogous to American idol.
I'm more of an anti-monopolist than an anti-statist per se. I see the sole newspaper in a town as the enemy; competing news sources are neutral. Just as I see state university systems as neutral or good, where the anti-competitive of primary and secondary public education makes them, in theory and practice, lousy. (The monopolistic nature of public ed isn't nearly as bad as the mandatory nature, IMHO.)

November 7, 2008 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger C. Van Carter said...

I'm hoping the Obama-Jugend dress up like little S1W's.

November 7, 2008 at 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the sole newspaper in a town as the enemy; competing news sources are neutral.

If you subscribe to both Pravda and Izvestiya, that will eliminate bias, because they're both competing for your ruble! Yaay, competition!

Just as I see state university systems as neutral or good, where the anti-competitive of primary and secondary public education makes them, in theory and practice, lousy.

Thank God the private universities in this country aren't overrun with big government liberals like the state university systems are.

Wanting to is not the same as actually doing it.

So hey, let's take all those "conspiracy to commit..." laws off the books.

You would be comfortable associating with some neo-nazi nut who didn't have the power to exterminate the minorities of his choice, and all he can do is talk about it? And you'd be comfortable with someone who associated with such a person holding public office?

And expressing that thought in some living room bullshit session is the same as actually wanting to.

Sorry, I think Ayers was a little more serious than that. Anyone who thinks the Weathermen were just "bullshitters" can only be described as deliberately ignorant of their nature and activities (and that would be the flattering way to describe you).

November 7, 2008 at 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mtraven, I've got one "word" for you people: Bushitlerburton. Suck it up.

November 7, 2008 at 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Keith said...

This post has raised fairly standard post-election disasterbation to a splendid art form.

I was in college in the red state south when Clinton was elected. Maybe you don't remember, but Clinton was not just affiliated with murderers. Apparently, he was the Don Vito of the Arkansas political machine. Even still to this day, snopes.com has a page dedicated to his murderous ways.

The tropes are the same, only the names change.

I'm no Obama-man, but I liked you better, when you were writing about the world from your distinctly Moldbugian perspective. Here, and in the last few posts, the only things separating you from a run-of-the-mill partisan are your apt allusions, good writing, and overall wit.

And that makes you indistinuguishable from Doonesbury.

November 7, 2008 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Well, he talks about progressives getting laid all the time. Steve Sailer always talks about them being lonely.

The two are hardly exclusive. The loneliest people I've known were the ones who got laid all the time. Empty sex is muy mal for the soul, mi'jo.

M

November 7, 2008 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Daniel A. Nagy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 7, 2008 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Daniel A. Nagy said...

Déjà vu...

November 7, 2008 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

Obama:

"Let me close by saying that I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead."

The Dictionary:

"enormity, noun: an act of extreme wickedness"

How true, how true.

November 7, 2008 at 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Molyuk said...

If I've learned anything at all from lurking on UR, it's that my supposedly right-wing belief in Wars for Democracy is/was in reality about as right-wing as the graduated income tax.

I always held off commenting because I wanted to digest the archives first. Now that I've done so, I think Moldbug's support of Obama is pretty simple. He thinks the whole edifice of the Democratic Welfare State is about to collapse, and that its greatest proponents should be at the helm while it dies. That seems reasonable to me. Power and responsibility will be united.

Amen to the "I'm not even going to start to belabor this point" paragraph. Obama's entire biography points directly to radical collectivist ideology. It's not Ayers, or Wright, or ACORN, or even his hyper-prog momma & Marxist daddy. It's all of it. Literally everything about the man is far left.

He's not even sworn in yet, and there is still much unknown about him. It's possible he'll be more moderate than his background. Possible, but not terribly likely. Why go centrist? Is he not the transformational figure of a new politics? The moderate progressives Hope Obama will not fundamentally Change their 401K's into IOU's. I think they're kidding themselves. Lombard Street finance is cracking again. McCain, Obama, Clinton... What does it matter? None of them has a clue how wealth is created. None of them really opposes Foggy Bottom's goober theories on how to conduct foreign policy.

November 7, 2008 at 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Randy said...

The Brahmin are all in rampage mode as they sort out their winners and losers. The Vaisya just rise to the alarm clock and set off for another day of work. Are we troubled? Perhaps a bit. All this noise makes us wonder what the hell those idiots will do next. But deep down we know that today will be like yesterday and tomorrow like today. Its a technical life. Absorbed in detail. No time for nonsense.

November 7, 2008 at 5:59 PM  
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November 7, 2008 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

First up, all Anonymous folks grab a handle. It could be even Anonymous2. Just something so we don't confuse people posting with the same name. Second up, get rid of the spam comment.


Anonymous:
Assad
Major-league pussy. Quadaffi-level buckler.

They know that Rahm will stiffen Obama's flabby metrosexual spine if he needs to do something to keep regional aggression in check.
Obama was the one talking about invading Pakistan, which most hawks on the right thought was completely irresponsible (maybe they would have felt differently if McCain had suggested it). Sailer has a post on Rahm here.


Bill Whittle:
I DEEPLY resent
And if we were a bunch of pinks, we might care one or the other about your feelings. And let there be no mistake, a pink is what you are. A real "grey" can be found here.

First, it denies them any satisfaction from gloating, for gloating makes them appear small and petty
And if we were a bunch of pinks, we might care how they feel. They'll be gaining satisfaction anyway because their horse has won and will take power, and your congratulations will not reduce that power one whit. A rationale for not getting worked up may be found in Aurelius or Epicurious, and that's good enough for me, but it has nothing to do with how others feel and everything to do with me, because nothing is more to me than myself.

Anonymous:
Those evangelicals have been getting busy.
The question is, is their rate of increase greater than that of immigrants and their descendants? And I can't even say that I want to live in the Idiocracy/Return of Patriarchy that will result even if the latter does not swamp the former.


Leonard:
But I do not see the least bit of anger or emotionality in this piece, or pretty much anything else Moldbug writes.
Have we been reading the same blog? He's constantly going on about how THEM are evil and cause so much awfulness all over. He gloats over imaginary scenarios in which they get their comeuppance. "Taste the pain!". His earlier incarnation of formalism was more resigned and cold, which partly why I found it so refreshing. He used to talk about the stark decline from Kuehnelt-Leddihn to Coulter, but he's come to resemble her (though that might be unfair to Coulter, I can't recall if she's shown the same gullibility for conspiracy theories).

MM envisions real fighting
Does he even own a gun? And what's he still doing in San Francisco? Shouldn't he be in a bunker in Idaho? He apparently had some money to semi-retire on a little while back, so he could have started on the path toward Cleve Blakemore.


zanon:
Cold War is over, FDR won.
What? F.D.R won before the Cold War even started. He died before the Cold War started. And the West won the Cold War by T.K.O. What we are seeing now, as MM has ably pointed out, are trends that existed in the West long before Marx put pen to paper.


Anonymous:
you keep Moldbug intellectually honest
I'm not sure what the mechanism would be if he doesn't read the comments, although he did actually do so in the previous (sub-par) thread.


Zimri:
Goldstein
Usually righties would rightly have little regard for a semiotician. But if he betrays his natural kin they'll fall over over themselves with the lit-crit tripe they'd usually mock. Now you admiringly link to Goldstein calling on righties to become "outlaws". Aren't we supposed to reject anti-nomianism and leave rebel/criminal chic to the left? As a Stirnerite I can't say I believe in complete obeisance to the law (I'd conceal rather than hand in my guns if they got banned) but defining oneself as an outlaw is another thing.

Obama, who relied
He had a larger margin than in the previous two Presidential elections and it's pretty well explained by things like the peace-bread model. While dirty tricks may have been done in his favor (and I'll let Jim Lindgren make the case for that) I don't think it can be shown that he relied on them.


SeaMan:
This is America. People accused of crimes are given trials and the right to an attorney. Gleen Greenwald defended Matthew Hale, that doesn't make him a neo-nazi. If you don't like it you can go to Cuba, you commie.


Anonymous:
Tim McVeigh
As something of a McVeigh fellow-traveler (though I don't approve of his counter-productive actions) I might actually take more of a liking to such a candidate! But at any rate John McCain killed innocent people himself back in the day, so perhaps he should be compared with Ayers (I concluded that he merits less opprobrium).

Even the most superficial examination of the actions of the media in past decades could come up with numerous examples of them overtly trying to influence policy.
I never denied that. I think many of them earnestly hope to do so and went in to the field for that purpose. But that's not why they exist. The helping professions don't exist to help people either. Ask yourself what policy goals are behind all the Missing White Woman stories. Even the sickeningly smug proggies like Rachel Maddow are more about entertainment than policy, and her self-righteous mentor Olbermann salivates at the thought of Paris & Britney jokes. If you think of it like football (another big topic for the media to cover) you'll be better off than thinking it's about policy.

So all that "spread the wealth around" stuff only applies to minorities?
I don't think he could get away with that, but the whole comment was sparked by middle class tax-cuts, which is bog-standard stuff in Washington. I think it's very unfortunate that Obama is not Ron Paul, but other than that I don't think there's much grounds for considering him a socialist.

his entire political career consists of reading prepared scripts
He's also voted for a whole bunch of things the netroots claim are unforgiveable acts by the Bush administration, though of course they'll forgive him for it.

Are you happy to vote for neo-Nazis so long as they promise to avoid the actual extermination of other races?
I don't vote. But if I had to choose betweeen a Neo-Nazi that would not kill people vs a Non-Nazi who will, ceteris paribus I'll go with the former.


Leonard:
I was attempting to clarify the issue at hand
Using words in a completely non-standard manner hardly makes things clear, it results in Dogg's Hamlet.

They were not socialists
Everyone regards them as socialists (though the status of Spooner and Stirner is sometimes argued), nobody regards them as communists. By virtue of being individualists they rejected communalism, the root of communism. A short piece that lets you in on a little of this is Bob Black's My Anarchism Problem (though Bob himself owes little to the Tuckerites).

Very few people are actual revolutionaries any more[...]Bill Ayers
He seems to think that elections are useful as a Schelling-point, but I still wouldn't categorize him as a democratic socialist.


Anonymous:
Obama Recession
He was heavily predicted to win, and that should have already been priced in. I say it's hard to establish causality or significance.


Curve of Freedom:
Poking around in the archives implies he used to be right.
Be more specific. Link.


Anonymous:
You would be comfortable associating with some neo-nazi nut who didn't have the power to exterminate the minorities of his choice, and all he can do is talk about it?
Yeah, I associate with Robert Lindsay.


Keith:
You're making me nostalgic about Clinton. I absolutely hated him at the time. Then the next President did stuff I hated about Clinton to an even greater extent. I'm glad there was so much hate for Clinton, because the best thing about his Presidency was the hostile Congress and the best thing about Congress was Clinton.

If I've learned anything at all from lurking on UR, it's that my supposedly right-wing belief in Wars for Democracy is/was in reality about as right-wing as the graduated income tax.
Which is why I found MM's respect for Whittle and Michael Totten (who has written for the eeeevil NYT) so odd.


Randy:
The Vaisya just rise to the alarm clock and set off for another day of work
Hey, and Brahmins don't have jobs? I don't think they're in rampage mode right now either, they seem more blissed out. This Onion News report is somewhat along that line.

November 7, 2008 at 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Randy said...

tggp,

"...and Brahmins don't have jobs?"

Not real jobs. Not jobs that produce anything of value to anyone but their fellow members of the political class. If they did they would be Vaisya.

November 8, 2008 at 4:03 AM  
Anonymous Molyuk said...

tggp,

I agree that MM has gotten less detached of late. I was quite surprised at the "Barack didn't really attend Columbia" posts. It could be true, but there's no evidence. O! is already anathema to me as the ultimate progressive candidate, so what does it matter anyway? I expect that MM aims for dispassion, but occasionally falls short. It happens. The link to Whittle seemed like a bit of idealism poking through. Whittle's good people. He's completely deluded about the nature of politics, but anyone who natters on about free peoples and really means it makes for a tolerable neighbor. Whittle would never liberate my grill for the People's Cookout, nor give me concerned lectures about my bad attitude toward the Municipal Recycling Program.

Goldstein really seems to be losing it. I kinda dig his intensity about semiotics, since I consider deconstructionism the height of intellectual masturbation. But Jeff's got the Fear over Obama. It's tough not to if you come from that whole classical liberal Locke/Mill perspective. I think Protein Wisdom is how I found this blog, though I'm not sure. But yeah, I am emphatically not down with the rebel pose. Che chic from anyone even faintly right of center is ridiculous.

I'd be really interested to see further exploration of the link between 18th-century Whiggery and 20th-century Progressivism. I get some of it, but... I don't know. The goals seem so different. I have a hard time believing Disraeli was a better man than Gladstone, or that George Washington leads inexorably to Woodrow Wilson. Thomas Jefferson assuredly does, that much I see. I guess I still haven't completely purged my own inner Quaker either.

Dammit, a Constitutional Republic seemed like a good idea. Singapore doesn't really excite my imagination, but I have a tough time arguing with the results. At least I get to keep my loathing of Socialism.

Was it really impossible for the Constitution to work, if it were actually followed? When I read about guys like Van Buren or even Coolidge and reflect on where they thought the limits of their power lay, I am still tempted to believe none of today's poisonous memes were inevitable.

November 8, 2008 at 8:33 AM  
Anonymous PA said...

And I can't even say that I want to live in the Idiocracy/Return of Patriarchy that will result even if the latter [immigrants] does not swamp the former [evangelicals].

Are you serious or was this just just an overstated form of class and regional snobbery?

To put things in NerdSpeak (since you bring up Idiocracy), the evangelicals are presumably around 100 average IQ with enought of a distribution to produce some really bright folks, and some duller folks who are needed to do menial jobs.

They are also as far as I know of Scotch-Irish stock, with a significant Scandinavian and Germanic admixture.

The immigrants, on the other hand, have their bell curve somehat to the left and are from the Third World, with all of its 'vibrancy.'

So, would you mind clarifying your apparent endorsement of wiping out "Middle America?"

November 8, 2008 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Leonard said...

TGGP: Using words in a completely non-standard manner hardly makes things clear

(1) go to m-w.com
(2) look up "socialism". Definition 1 has an "or", where my usage is one, and l-communism is the other. 2b is also my definition. 2a is also l-communism. 3 is a private meaning within Marxism, which is hypothetical, and I don't care about Marxism's predictions anyway.
(3) look up "communism". My definition is 1a and 1b. The 2a definition is capitalized. 2b is single-party l-socialism. 2c is Marxist. 2d refers to other definitions.

My usage is not only standard, according to m-w.com, it's the most obvious interpretation which gives distinct, but clear definitions to both terms.

In summary, you are flat out wrong, at least wrt Merriam Websters. Perhaps you have your own dictionary you'd prefer? (Who is using non-standard definitions here, then?) Show me any on-line dictionary you want. If it does not have a definition for socialism and/or communism including my usage, well, I'll be very surprised. And I will then, at least, entertain your suggestions as to why your online dictionary ought to be more authoritative than Websters.

November 8, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Leonard said...

Was it really impossible for the Constitution to work, if it was actually followed?

Yes, it was really impossible.

For one thing, the men who subverted it seem to have believed they were actually following it. I take it you disagree -- but who is to judge? Words do not enforce themselves. Just because you and I might agree that it no longer works, doesn't mean much. Most Americans believe that the Constitution is our government's constitution.

And they are happy with it. But consider this. Back before the progressive takeover of the government in the 30s, Americans were much more scrupulous about amending the Constitution in line with the progressive changes they wanted to make. So, the abolition of slavery and black's rights, the income tax, woman suffrage, even the incorporation doctrine are at least arguably following the (amended) Constitution.

Now, say you set up a robotic overlord and handed it the Constitution and the United States Code to run. It scans the stuff, grinds them down via gcc into an internal representation, then announces that most of the Federal Government is illegal and must cease and desist immediately. How long do you think it would take for the American people to amend the Constitution so the the entire New Deal, Great Society, etc. is official? I'd guess a week, maybe two weeks.

November 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Molyuk said...

Leonard,

I've no doubt you're right that a comfortable majority would approve a Constitution amended to include New Deal-era programs. That's not the same as saying the whole project was doomed to failure from the beginning. As you point out, the US was pretty scrupulous about following the text until the 1930's. That's 150 years. I don't see how the modern attitude of "Screw the amendment process, it's too much work" is inevitable.

Seems to me the introduction of mandatory government-run schools was the death knell for limited government. FDR may have been unstoppable, given the condition of the country at the time; but without a state apparatus to teach eternal fidelity to DC, who would believe he was anything but a failure today?

Tocqueville noted Americans seemed deeply engaged in the political issues of the 1830's. Life was far tougher then than now. Free time was much less abundant. Education was haphazard. Yet today's America knows little of its past, and understands almost nothing of its system of government. Apathy may be irreversible at this stage of bureaucratic sclerosis. That doesn't necessarily mean a reboot would follow the same path. Well, given the current state of the citizenry perhaps it does. Still, I've noticed that people are generally as responsible as their conditions require. I don't discount the existence of a permanent underclass. There has been such an underclass throughout US history - in colonial times, their status was enforced by law - yet a limited Republic was the norm for twice as long as the current Leviathan. It may be unlikely, but surely it is possible that dismantling the welfare state would lead to a more self-reliant populace.

The welfare state is doomed. Moral judgments aside, it is economically unsustainable in an era of declining fertility. A reboot has one distinct advantage over a Moldbug-style reactionary takeover: it would be far more palatable to modern progressives. I can envision a scenario in which they abandon profligacy. The collapse of the dollar would leave them no choice. I cannot imagine any future in which they abandon universalism wholesale.

The American Revolution shows clearly that you don't need a majority to impose your political will. Estimates I've read suggest no more than 30% of the public were Patriots. But what percentage of the population would be actively in favor of Reaction? .03%? Progs may enjoy calling evangelicals fascists, but it simply isn't so. I don't see how anyone could install any government with no public support. Even a military coup would rely on a soldiery steeped in those same prog ideals. I bet you could convince the typical officer to support a New Constitutional Convention, at least in theory. But dictatorship?

November 8, 2008 at 5:30 PM  
Anonymous m said...

"As you point out, the US was pretty scrupulous about following the text until the 1930's. That's 150 years."

Are you kidding? A strong argument can be made that the Constitution-as-contract argument went out the window right at the beginning - see the First National Bank controversy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Bank_of_the_United_States#Opposition . At the very least, by the end of the Civil War the Constitution had been decimated, state's rights subsumed to an unchecked and unaccountable federal body.

November 8, 2008 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Leonard: How long do you think it would take for the American people to amend the Constitution so the the entire New Deal, Great Society, etc. is official? I'd guess a week, maybe two weeks.

If that's really true, then what's the problem? The government is implementing the will of the people, just like it's supposed to.

Here's something funny: I mistyped the completion command while entering the URL for Unqualified Reservation and would up here.

November 8, 2008 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Arthur B. said...

Fortunately, Washington is so vast and so broken, so fucked beyond all redemption, that for all its H-bombs, the gofer could indeed be a psychopath himself, and he won't be able to hurt a fly. This is so beyond comedy that it's gone past tragedy and back to funny again.

You wish. Obama is much worse than a psychopath, he is a charismatic leader. I concur that the president has little to no power, but the private interest pressure always need make up on the policies they're pushing. Americans will likely put up with terrible economic policies, whether they are put forth by Obama himself or not, because they will identify such policies with the "hope of change" yada, yada.

Bush didn't personally push for all the restrictions of liberty that followed 9/11, but these restrictions were politically acceptable because so many people stood behind the Chief commander figure. Similarly, Obama will incarnate a new FDR (with a touch of JFK) and will be the best marketing tool for the worst economic policy ever.

November 8, 2008 at 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Molyuk said...

Well, reading your link tells me that Washington had serious reservations about signing the bill. You can certainly argue that the Bank's charter was unconstitutional. Jefferson (and Jackson, while throttling the Second Bank) did. But the Founding Dads were trying. Is anyone in public office worried about such technical niceties re: the recent bailout? Lavishing imaginary tax money on a "private" institution is normal now.

Even Lincoln used the Constitution as justification for the Civil War, arguing that the guarantee to the states of a republican form of government required him to prevent secession. It was a bogus argument, of course; but he felt obligated to try. Does the bureaucracy even pay lip service anymore to respecting the text?

I'm not interested in arguing about exactly what year the whole project derailed. Expecting a new dawn of bipartisan rainbows if we can just find the right words to write on the parchment is utopianism. Let's leave that crap to the progs. My basic point is that the system was deliberately sabotaged precisely because it impeded the growth of the FedGov. Arguing whether the worst offender was Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, or even Washington (gasp! blasphemy!) isn't really relevant to whether things had to turn out this way.

I could be persuaded that this was an unavoidable consequence of not hanging the Levellers & Quakers some 3 centuries earlier. I see the historical connections. I'm just not convinced that anything smelling faintly of Whiggery is ipso facto doomed. I know that's not necessarily your position - your slam at Lincoln sounds libertarian to me - but that is the central conceit of this blog.

November 8, 2008 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Leonard said...

[it would take maybe two weeks for the American people to amend the Constitution so the the entire New Deal, Great Society, etc. was official]

If that's really true, then what's the problem?


You're a long time here, mtraven. So either you are totally not paying attention, which I cannot believe, or you are just playing devil's advocate.

But in case new readers want to get a Moldbuggian view of democracy, let me suggest perhaps this link:

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/07/democracy-as-adaptive-fiction.html

You can read mtraven in the comments. So it's not like he has not been acquainted with a negative view of democracy.

The government is implementing the will of the people, just like it's supposed to.

No, it's not. It is supposed to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to us and our posterity. All of these goals sound pretty good to me, but not the two-wolves-and-a-sheep thing. "The" will of "the" people is a progressive delusion, and a deeply dangerous one.

November 9, 2008 at 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

"I see the sole newspaper in a town as the enemy; competing news sources are neutral."
If you subscribe to both Pravda and Izvestiya, that will eliminate bias, because they're both competing for your ruble! Yaay, competition!
Sure, I left an interpretive loophole in what I wrote. Competing newspapers have to have different masters. A one-party state and a permanent ruling party aren't different masters. "Neutral" doesn't mean "yaay" anyway.

"Just as I see state university systems as neutral or good, where the anti-competitive of primary and secondary public education makes them, in theory and practice, lousy."
Thank God the private universities in this country aren't overrun with big government liberals like the state university systems are.
The 60s leftists were pretty good at taking over most every educational institution. Keynesian economics abound. A lot of people are unaware that the status of black improved most from 1940-1960 and then the improvement stopped with the "Civil Rights Era". Etc. But the US university system still delivers a better product than the primaries and secondaries do, mainly because crummy students drop out of the former while they are required by law to remain at the latter, while also being showered with compliments from pretty much everyone.

I want a new category of students: students who are so strangely unspecial that they cannot thrive in a Special Ed environment. Like, students who already know how to write a sentence and thus have trouble learning from remedial grammar-school language arts classes. We'll call them the "Surprisingly Unspecial Students".

November 9, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

"Poking around in the archives implies he used to be right."

Be more specific. Link.

A fair request, TGGP. The post I am probably thinking of is this one. Comparisons to idealism, environmentalism, etc. He doesn't specifically call Hitlerism "leftist" in that post, so you could fairly regard my point as fairly weak. I just generally get a sense from his early writings that he used to agree more with those European reactionaries (see Marble Cliffs ... Leftism Revisted) who regarded Hitler as way left.

November 9, 2008 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

"Well, he talks about progressives getting laid all the time. Steve Sailer always talks about them being lonely. Go figure."

The two are hardly exclusive. The loneliest people I've known were the ones who got laid all the time. Empty sex is muy mal for the soul, mi'jo. - G. M. Palmer

Looks like I got more going and figuring than I had bargained for.

You're exactly right. When I was an (ultra) lonely (moderate) leftist, I certainly wasn't "getting any", but I'm probably not the norm (or maybe I'm just the norm for grouchy leftists with idiosyncratic politics ... I once had a woman stop dating me not because I owned guns or because I belonged to the NRA, but because I knew too much about guns ... I just lost too many Leftist Points for that).

It seems that abstinence AND family formation are too puritanical for modern lefty tastes. Better to meet a woman at a protest, make eyes at her, have a brief conversation about how conservatives always condone sexual harassment and think women are sex objects, take her home, and forget her. Later on she'll flip a coin. If it comes up heads, she'll write a memoir about how the affair was "empowering" and it how it "annihilated" patriarchal ideas about "nuclear" families. If it comes up tails, she'll write an article for a scholarly journal about how being objectified helped her redouble her commitment to feminism.

But then again I'm just one of those "creepy" non-leftist "males" who doesn't get "it". (And who has just begun a meaningless fling with unnecessary quotation marks, apparently.)

November 9, 2008 at 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Terry North said...

molyuk:

1. A Constitutional government is inherently flawed because it violates the principle "no man should be a judge in his own cause". There are two possibilities - either the judging part is stronger (in a military sense) than the part that is judged in which case it will seek to expand its own power (who judges the judge?), or the judging part is not strong enough to enforce its will in which cause it isn't a limiting force at all.

Both of these have been true at various times in the history of the US.

November 9, 2008 at 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Molyuk said...

terry,

I'm not sure what you're saying. Do you mean that a written constitution provides no meaningful check on government power?

I agree the U.S. version as currently interpreted doesn't. Giving a branch of the government final authority on interpretation was a mistake. On the other hand, what form of government doesn't have this same flaw?

Marbury v. Madison certainly supports your thesis. Given an opportunity to increase their authority, SCOTUS seized it with both hands.

November 9, 2008 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Randy:
Not real jobs. Not jobs that produce anything of value to anyone but their fellow members of the political class. If they did they would be Vaisya.
Office-workers and doctors are now archetypical members of the Dem coalition. Even Hollywood provides value to Vaisya viewers, who otherwise wouldn't be spending their money on it. As a libertarian I object to the licensing and intellectual property laws (and I say that as a programmer!) that serve to enrich many of them and I'm glad that Dean Baker came out against them (I initially thought he was just pulling a tu quoque against the right, but Kevin Carson told me otherwise). At the same time many archetypical Vaisya professions like farmers and military/police are very dependent on the State. So I think it's hard to make a clear producerist case. Murray Rothbard actually attempted to do that on behalf of the hippies regarding the "hard-hat riots".


Molyuk:
Whittle's good people
The path to hell is paved with good intentions.


Woodrow Wilson. Thomas Jefferson assuredly does
Funny enough, the two were chosen as diametrically opposite examples by Walter Russell Mead. Speaking of that though, I wonder about MM's opinion on the Federalists. The reactionary in him should like them, but he'd just too much of a Mises-Rothbard Austrian with a hatred of the Federal Reserve to tolerate Alexander Hamilton.

Singapore doesn't really excite my imagination, but I have a tough time arguing with the results
The most sensible argument in my opinion is that it's a very small and unusual principality that would be difficult to replicate.


PA:
Are you serious or was this just just an overstated form of class and regional snobbery?
You misinterpreted my argument (possibly my fault for not being clear enough), but I should note that like any real righty I am an elitist snob and don't consider accusations of it to be an indictment.

the evangelicals are presumably around 100 average IQ
No. 100 is the average white IQ, these people are below average.

They are also as far as I know of Scotch-Irish stock, with a significant Scandinavian and Germanic admixture.
I'm Scotch-Irish myself and I don't find the former element reassurring. Read Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks & White Liberals.

So, would you mind clarifying your apparent endorsement of wiping out "Middle America?"
I wasn't actually endorsing the Third World Invasion. I wrote "even if" to indicate that I thought that other possibility was even worse. We have a large enough population of them anyway that what we are bound to end up with is a mass of Redblex. In following with the terminology of that link, I greatly prefer Jeurasians.


Molyuk:
without a state apparatus to teach eternal fidelity to DC, who would believe he was anything but a failure today?
His voters didn't think he was a failure, and most people didn't graduate from high-school back then. People are idiots all on their own, they don't require a nefarious figure or group to zap them with a stupid-ray.


mtraven:
The government is implementing the will of the people, just like it's supposed to.
The Founding Fathers didn't think it was supposed to do that. "Democracy" was a bad word to them and they greatly feared the tyranny of the majority. The created a limited government with the Constitution precisely because they thought it wasn't supposed to do what you think it was intended to.


Arthur B.:
Obama is much worse than a psychopath, he is a charismatic leader
Can't one be both?


Molyuk:
Is anyone in public office worried about such technical niceties re: the recent bailout?
Ron Paul actually asked Ben Bernanke under what Constitutional authority he was taking such actions. I forget the exact answer but you can find it on youtube.


Curve of Freedom:
Competing newspapers have to have different masters.
You can see a listing of the masters here.

The post I am probably thinking of is this one.
He does note that there are similarities, but he makes it pretty clear that Racial Idealism is extremely alien to us and a true enemy of Progressive Idealism while Communism was just a weird off-shoot. He may prefer non-idealism above all (but like he says, everyone likes to think they don't really believe in anything), but I don't think the monarchists of old that he likes to associate his ideas with qualify.

It seems that abstinence AND family formation are too puritanical for modern lefty tastes.
On the contrary I think many of them engage in it (even abstinence, as do I) in practice (though they form families at a later age and partly as a result have lower divorce rates) but badmouth it as a bad thing, while evangelicals verbally praise tradition bourgeouis even as they often breach it in practice. Although I guess that's really just social liberals/moderates in general rather than those really to the "left".

November 9, 2008 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Molyuk said...

tggp,

Funny you should mention the Federalists. That exact question and likely answer has occurred to me also.

Singapore is certainly small & unusual. I'm not aware of any factors that would make it impossible to emulate elsewhere - not that I'm any sort of expert. Difficult, no doubt; but if you believe, as I do, that the current system will collapse fairly soon, we face difficult times no matter what path we choose.

FDR's voters obviously loved him. His electoral accomplishments are extremely impressive. But I was referring to today's historians. Their faith in History as Progress will not allow them to recognize that his domestic policies were a steaming pile of Fail. The masses may be stupid, but they think about him precisely the way they were taught to, as the Savior of the American Way. That assumes of course that they think about him at all. Bear in mind the progs were already in ascendance when he took office. The proles might have lost patience if their intellectual betters hadn't assured them what a fine job he was doing. Thirteen years is a long time to wait for a job. Notice too how quickly the rules were amended to insure there could never be another 4-term President.

Shame on me for forgetting Doctor No. I'll have to find that video. I wonder how many people in the room rolled their eyes at the question?

November 10, 2008 at 12:05 AM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

I would suggest that the defining sensibility under Obama is not going to be communism, gangsterism, a racial spoils system, or any of this other nonsense. It will be techno-progressivism. Too much historical consciousness can apparently blind a person to genuine novelties. This is not the 1960s. The United States is about to revive itself and reinvent the world again. That will not be a uniformly happy or ordered process, but it will be the exact opposite of Brezhnevian slumber.

November 10, 2008 at 3:41 AM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

"Competing newspapers have to have different masters."

You can see a listing of the masters here. -TGGP

I am well aware that there are too few corporations (nine seems pretty high, actually) in charge of too many media outlets. I am well aware that their motivation is power and not money. I never said I liked it. I just said I don't like one-paper towns.

The real problem is probably not monopoly or even oligopoly but groupthink. If thirty or a hundred different corporations controlled that fraction of media outlets, they'd still mostly be run by Cathedral-educated blank-slaters who call people "racist" with a straight face and think that the American Nazi Party is more powerful and important than tens of thousands of Marxist English professors. There would be exceptions, but there already are, because of the web.

It may be too late, of course - Prussian blankslater education has probably dumbed us (intellectuals most of all) down to the point where noncathedral thinking is mostly gibberish. But it's nice to hope.

November 10, 2008 at 4:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suggest that the defining sensibility under Obama is not going to be communism, gangsterism, a racial spoils system, or any of this other nonsense. It will be techno-progressivism.

Having read the wiki link, and it seems to me that the prevailing sensibility will not be techno-progressive but its opposite, "bioconservatism" - which is opposed to "genetic modification of food crops, the cloning and genetic engineering of farm and companion animals, and, most prominently, rejection of the genetic, prosthetic, and cognitive modification of human beings to overcome what are broadly perceived as current human biological and cultural limitations".

The O-bots will be progressive. But will they be techno? Maybe, maybe not. Certain biological truths are unacceptable to progressives.

November 10, 2008 at 5:18 AM  
Anonymous raistthemage said...

[i]I'm not sure what you're saying. Do you mean that a written constitution provides no meaningful check on government power?[/i]

Clearly it does not when religious fanatics (secular in this case) and civil service unions completely take over the government, Hobbes and Moldbug both think binding the state against itself with legal papers it itself must intrepret is not a workable solution long term.

The interest of the real rulers have to be aligned with keeping the state small and unobtrusive.

I don't think Moldbug's solution to this (shareholders and a BOD, Boards of Directors often corruptly serve as puppets of the management even when its horribly bad, if you put a whole country under this system it wouldn't get any better)works well either. The best form of government historically is a good old fashioned absolute monarchy.

As for bioconsevatism, one area which Obama will probably improve the government is by replacing Andrew Von Eschenbach as FDA commisioner. I suppose the FDA could get more anal-retentive under his replacement but I doubt it. No science of human biological or scientific improvement will advance (in the US) while he is running the FDA.

November 10, 2008 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Arthur B. said...

@tggp

One can be both, but if Obama both a psychopath and a charismatic leader, I think his psychopathy will have little to no effect on policies while his charisma will have disastrous consequences. Hence, worst.

Obama is the head of the state, if people love Obama, they will love the state. That's the biggest issue right now.

November 10, 2008 at 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Terry North said...

molyuk:

"I'm not sure what you're saying. Do you mean that a written constitution provides no meaningful check on government power?"

In a word, yes. A written constitution can provide friction, but that is all. To actually prevent the degeneration of government you need not friction but a superior opposing force. Looking through history, something approximating Monarchy seems to work out the best.

raistthemage:

"The best form of government historically is a good old fashioned absolute monarchy."

I certainly agree with you. My only caveat is that history may perhaps be misleading simply because the joint stock corporation is so new.

In my mind a monarchy can be considered a special case of the joint stock corporation, where:

1. There is only one shareholder

2. Ownership is management

3. Ownership can only be transferred to the oldest male using a recursive depth first search of the family tree (yes, there are exceptions).

I see the relaxation of all three of these requirements (within limits) to be clearly beneficial.

1. Even in the start-up space, it is a bad sign when there is only one founder. I don't know what the optimal value for the number of shareholders is, but it is pretty clearly higher than 1.

2. Most people are not world class managers. Most people can, however, recognize world class management ex post facto. This seems like a straightforward optimization to me.

3. The ability to treat shares like ordinary property seems to be a straightforward optimization to me as well. Not everyone wants to be in the king business.

November 10, 2008 at 2:35 PM  
Anonymous randy said...

tggp,

"So I think it's hard to make a clear producerist case."

True, but what I'm talking about is how worked up some people get about the political process. The Vaisya may vote, but they don't vote for a living.

P.S. Mencius' classification is great and I've found it clarifying, but I don't really buy the idea of doctors as Brahmin. There's just not much difference between what they actually do and what I actually do. Its a different system and a more complex system, but all systems are complex. Trouble shooting is trouble shooting. Technical is technical.

November 10, 2008 at 4:55 PM  
Anonymous PA said...

You misinterpreted my argument ... but I should note that like any real righty I am an elitist snob

Are you a sophomore in an Honors program or something?

November 10, 2008 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Vito said...

So Sen. McCarthy failed huh. Or was he part of the plot?

November 10, 2008 at 6:27 PM  
Anonymous raistthemage said...

1. There is only one shareholder

2. Ownership is management

3. Ownership can only be transferred to the oldest male using a recursive depth first search of the family tree (yes, there are exceptions).

I see the relaxation of all three of these requirements (within limits) to be clearly beneficial.

1. Even in the start-up space, it is a bad sign when there is only one founder. I don't know what the optimal value for the number of shareholders is, but it is pretty clearly higher than 1.

2. Most people are not world class managers. Most people can, however, recognize world class management ex post facto. This seems like a straightforward optimization to me.

3. The ability to treat shares like ordinary property seems to be a straightforward optimization to me as well. Not everyone wants to be in the king business.


The problem with open succession is it tends to lead to civil wars and popular dictatorship monarchies, the Roman Empire after the fall of the Claudian house is a great example. Gibbon said it all better then I could (I apologize Im a very bad writer) in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The problem with the joint stock governance is A) You'd have shareholders voting themselves commoners money B) The illusion of some kind of pseudo popular mandate would be there while in reality I expect the BOD to be a puppet of the management as often happens even in secondary corporations.

While absolute monarchy has its problems, the best way to solve it is probably some rudimentary safeguards in regard to tbe succession. Im really not sure how to do this, but historically it tends to be the most libertarian system of government. Especially if its not associated with any religion (supernatural or secular, most of Europe's problems with monarchy in the age of absolutism had to do with the monarch's being strongly commited to catholicism).

Now maybe in the age of nuclear weapons there needs to be some other safeguards put in (say if the monarch goes crazy later), but how to do it without alienating the propertarian character of the government too much is the problem.

November 10, 2008 at 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Lawful Neutral said...

From the Wikipedia entry on techno-progressivism:
Although techno-progressivism is the stance which contrasts with bioconservatism in the biopolitical spectrum, both techno-progressivisms and bioconservatisms, in their more moderate expressions, share an opposition to unsafe, unfair, undemocratic forms of technological development, and both recognize that such developmental modes can facilitate unacceptable recklessness and exploitation, exacerbate injustice and incubate dangerous social discontent.

So, they oppose "unsafe, unfair, undemocratic" things. Wow. If only someone had thought of this sooner.

the growth of scientific knowledge or the accumulation of technological powers will not represent the achievement of proper progress unless and until it is accompanied by a just distribution of the costs, risks, and benefits of these new knowledges and capacities.

So, we can have technological progress the day after we achieve utopia. How generous of them.

Anonymous 5:18: I don't see any practical difference between "technoprogessive" and "bioconservative" at all. They're both going to oppose anything remotely risky or transformative. It's just a matter of attitude.

November 10, 2008 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Occasional Anarchist said...

re bioconservatism: it's often occurred to me in the past few years that the single best thing that could happen to the human race would be someone's putting Leon Kass up against a wall.

November 11, 2008 at 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

Vito:

Senator McCarthy (both of them, actually, but I'm just talking about Wisconsin Joe) definitely failed. He failed not because his argument were (or have ever been) refuted, but because he was a poor TV performer.

(As a believer in evolution, I'm often pleased as punch that the greatest surviving apologist for evolution is quite telegenic. If Dawkins had a nasty snub nose, or a bad combover, or a squeaky Ron Paul / Pat Buchanan - type voice, creationism/ID would be more popular, at least among that fraction of the population that watches TV.)

Folks who think Wisconsin Joe was wrong and/or unfair can always try to appeal to people like me, by explaining the US Government's bungled response to the Chiang vs. Mao affair in China. Or how our need to find a "third way" between Communists and reactionaries in all the war-torn countries in our sphere of influence (i.e., the entire world ... how'd that happen?) so often resulted in a permanent Communist opposition, if not outright Communist victory. Or how openly Marxist professors retain tenure at so many not-openly-Marxist universities.

If they want to people unlike me, they can always just write a play about some superstitious violence old Massachusetts. When non-Communists murder 20-25 British subjects in the 17th Century, that is more important than Communists killing 21,000 Polish people in 1940. Fiction is infinitely, incomparably more important in shaping the worldview of a leftist than nonfiction is.

November 11, 2008 at 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

The only question left is: how do we land the plane? How can we rid ourselves of this ridiculous government...? And what comes next?

Hoping I don't sound like a broken record....

I. To land the plane, we need the support of a great number of elites.

II. Many (but not all) of the elites (they are plural for a reason, after all) are currently leftists.

III. To join most (BNA) elites, you need an education (the exceptions are things like running big Washington software monopolies, etc.)

IV. Eductation shapes most (BNA) of a person's political worldview.

V. As predicted by the leftist nature of most (BNA) elites, education pushes people to the left. This is explained by a quick glance at the curricula.

VI. A curriculum oriented to facts would not generally push people to the left. The quick glance above confirms that the politicized parts of our curriculum do not concentrate on facts, but rather the single sort of non-facts that can openly exist in a university setting: fiction.

The constant and extremely repetitive use of slanted fiction gets across the essential message of leftism with few outright lies. (I have heard a few outright lies in my sentence in leftist humanities classes. The one that pops to mind is my brain-dead 10th grade history teacher assuring me that in WWII, Jews would never escape from France through Spain, because the latter was "fascist" and therefore anti-semitic! Instead they would generally escape through Switzerland. When I reminded the teacher that Switzerland was a dead end with a limited capacity for housing millions of refugees, and surely the Jews fleeing for their lives could not just board a space cruiser/DC-10/transporter in the Bern __port and traipse off to Perth or San Salvador, I got the usual Leftist Blank Stare. At this point I did not know about Franco's attitude toward the Sephardim, and to date I have never heard a peep on this subject from any teacher or professor.)

The task for the rightist at this point is simple: displace leftist fiction with plain history.

When they cite Arthur Miller's leftydrama as evidence that McCarthy was wrong, ask them how many people were hanged in the "witch-hunts" of the 1950s. Ask them, Moldbug fashion, how neo-Nazis are treated vis a vis neo-Marxists. Now ask them how many civilians paleo-Marxists killed relative to how many paleo-Nazis killed.

Ask them which side was morally right, or morally less wrong, in the Spanish Civil War, and why. (It can't be because ONE side was supported by murderous foreign socialists.)

Ask them to estimate what portion of doctorates would go to women in the absence of concerted, progressive action to increase this number. Phrase it real lefty-like: "Given the Patriarchal Attitudes about The Roles of Women which existed before the Feminist Movement of the late 60s, back when Discrimination was legal, what proportion of doctorates would have gone to women?" Odds are, their guess will be below 19.1%

"How did Male Capitalists, who we know to be Patriarchal and Authoritarian, regard the Contributions of Women in the 1940s?" Then spring on them Albert Jay Nock's quotations on the Paterson / Rand / Lane trilogy of 1943. (If they haven't heard of Nock, Paterson, or Lane, ask them why they think they know anything about capitalism.)

I do apologize for the length of this post. Srsly.

November 11, 2008 at 10:18 AM  
OpenID lloydmintern said...

It is time for some more poetry from Edward Williams. Copy and paste at:
http://stagepoetrycompany.typepad.com/

November 11, 2008 at 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He failed not because his argument were (or have ever been) refuted, but because he was a poor TV performer.

Uh, he failed because the entire Eastern Establishment (what MM calls the Brahmins) set out to destroy him. It was only a matter of time before they succeeded. Wouldn't matter how pretty he looked on TV, his goose was cooked.

I. To land the plane, we need the support of a great number of elites.

They are the problem, not the solution.

III. To join most (BNA) elites, you need an education (the exceptions are things like running big Washington software monopolies, etc.)

Well gee, that's only because the elites have set it up that way. Education is not actually needed in a practical sense - it is just the credential they require you to have in order to force you to attend their propaganda mills.

November 11, 2008 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Vito said...

Curve of Freedom

Thank you!

Yes, Dawkins is a handsome man.

'...Or how our need to find a "third way" between Communists and reactionaries in all the war-torn countries in our sphere of influence (i.e., the entire world ... how'd that happen?) so often resulted in a permanent Communist opposition, if not outright Communist victory.'

USA was successful at some places and I think people there are grateful of it. But yes, they failed to find a "third way" in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Vietnam, Indonesia and in its immediate "backyard". But did they even try? If so, did they use the right methods (e.g. carpet bombing of civilian targets or collaborating with corrupt Christ democrats and totalitarians)? Did they have legitimate goals (in the eyes of the target populations)?

'Or how openly Marxist professors retain tenure at so many not-openly-Marxist universities.'

Few if any openly Marxist professors defend the crimes committed by Stalin, Mao etc. I'm not sure that they have a lot of influence over policy. Moreover, their influence over policy is rather limited.

But conservatism have not exactly been marginalized during the last thirty or so years -- Neither in international relations nor economics. Kissinger have a high status in certain academic and policy making circles. Negroponte is celebrated by Universities and think tanks. A wide array of (sometimes very bright and sometimes not so bright) right wing scholars have resiliently managed to adapt their theories to ongoing developments. The neo-neo debate still seem to dominate. Robert Kagan admitted at a LSE speech a couple of months ago that the US foreign policy debate is rather narrow and stable and that nobody in the mainstream questions American core values, ideas and interests(e.g. the perceived need of a large military or obligation to intervene). Many people agree that neo-classical economists like those at the Chicago School of Economics have had a lot of influence over economic policy, even though their credibility is questioned today.

November 12, 2008 at 2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

conservatism have not exactly been marginalized during the last thirty or so years -- Neither in international relations nor economics. Kissinger have a high status in certain academic and policy making circles. Negroponte is celebrated by Universities and think tanks.

Kissinger and Negroponte are NOT conservatives. They are liberals - Brahmins - members of the Cathedral.

November 12, 2008 at 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

Few if any openly Marxist professors defend the crimes committed by Stalin, Mao etc. I'm not sure that they have a lot of influence over policy. Moreover, their influence over policy is rather limited. - Vito

Your statement is true, but it only touches on a small part of the problem.

First, the murders committed by Stalin, Mao, etc., aren't defended, nor are they denied. The problem is that their connection to the regimes, and those regimes' connection to their ideologies, are mostly ignored. Needless to say, the same treatment is not given to the right, or the national socialist faux-right. I don't have any direct quotes, since I am dealing from memory, but compare the following paraphrased treatments:

"Extreme-right regimes like Hitler's and Pinochet's killed millions."

"During the Stalin and Mao periods, many people lost their lives in political turmoil."

Does the above sort of thing ring a bell? If not, you have been blessed with a different sort of education than I got at (a) a private high school, (b) a state university, and (c) a private graduate school.

Second, the other crimes of Mao and Stalin are denied and defended. Communist repression of civil liberties was declared "a bugaboo" by my 12th grade Russian lit teacher. Property rights are considered a "construct" of "white male privilege" by Marxists, so the liquidation of family farms is of course not considered a crime. One-party politics, which is considered flagrante delicto evidence that a given right-wing regime is "fascist" (for regimes like Salazar, Schuschnig, Franco), is never criticized when The Party is leftist (e.g., Mexico until some years ago, or Cuba, or Lenin's USSR). The latter is caused by the rabid anti-anti-Communism of the establishment, well-treated by Moldbug.

Third, I believe Marxist professors and high school teachers have tremendous influence over policy, albeit with something of a delay. Everyone I talk to who is my age or younger (or slightly older) has the same leftist lacunae. They believe slavery was an essentially Euro-on-African thing; they've never heard of Algerian corsairs or white slaves in Ottoman armies / brothels. They believe hate crime is an essentially white-on-black thing. They believe the Civil Rights Era is when conditions started improving for American blacks.

And they pretty much vote accordingly. It's never occurred to them that neither race-guilt nor self-congratulation is a good basis for public policy.

November 12, 2008 at 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Curve of Freedom said...

At the risk of sounding like I'm saying, "Hey everybody, pay more attention to me" (which is exactly what I am doing!), I'd like to keep the dialogue going on this.

I don't mean to say that it will be a simple matter for rightists to reassert themselves as a successful political force. I'm just saying a simple act, done frequently, can be an important part of the strategy. Leftists don't just believe random things, they have a (very) few data points which they connect to make a very simplistic caricature of reality. This is why all they can do is splutter "slavery!" when arguing with a rightist.

If rightists reply with a load of much more sophisticated data points about North African Muslims sailing hundreds or thousands of miles to enslave European women, allowing their masters to rape the women repeatedly for the rest of their lives, things may start to change a little. When I have brought this up, most leftists I know have dramatically understimated - by three orders of magnitude - the number of Europeans mistreated in this way. This is perilously close to holocaust denial (people who have don't have a clear idea of the number of Jews killed by National Socialism are usually considered anti-semitic ipso facto ... imagine if this assertion were made about people who think European slaves with African masters numbered only in the tens of thousands!)

A similar case comes up with gun control. As underpinning to their proposed gun bans, most leftists cite the Kellerman studies. Nothing more. They have almost nothing to go on in terms of social science to support gun control.

It is this paucity of "dots to connect" that makes me think some leftists may be redeemable. No one who know much about history can come up with a leftist worldview unless they are both immoral and they are from a narrow group that stands to gain from leftist policies. Many leftists are leftists because they lack certain information.

My girlfriend felt bad about being nervous when a black man made graphic sexual suggestions to her in a parking lot at night. She was quite sure she had nothing to fear from a black man - that's the impression a lifetime of exposure to Spike Lee had given. When I gave La Griffe's statistics, her tone changed.

Maybe I can trust my instincts after all. When backed with complete statistics, yes, you can trust your instincts. Instinctual and factual reasons to reject leftism, when combined, may get some traction.

What say you?

November 12, 2008 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger J said...

Mencius Moldbug is confused. Obama is not communist. The far left has nothing to do with communism. Communists read Hegel, are obsessed with economy, their Bible is ¨The Capital¨. In practice, communist regimes were higly disciplined, with accent on science and technology, and forced industrialization. The US Communist party has been dead for more than half a century. What we have is an anarchic, fractured, anti-industrialization, anti-development, anti-globalization (anti-free-trade), ¨green¨, ecology, artisanal-mode of production movement. That American Jews voted for him en masse means that Obama is no sanguinary revolutionary, on the contrary. In Chicago, some say he is the first Jewish president (HaAretz of this morning).

November 12, 2008 at 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we have is an anarchic, fractured, anti-industrialization, anti-development, anti-globalization (anti-free-trade), ¨green¨, ecology, artisanal-mode of production movement.

Green is the new Red. They know that spouting all the old jargon isn't going to fly, but spouting the new anti-industrial, anti-development, anti-globalization (anti-free-trade), pro-environment jargon will put them in power and will enable them to do what the Communists wanted to do, i.e. control the means of production (for the Planet and for the Children, of course).

That American Jews voted for him en masse means that Obama is no sanguinary revolutionary, on the contrary.

Did Jews play a role in the Bolshevik Revolution, which was very sanguinary indeed? Hmmmm.

November 13, 2008 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger J said...

Sorry, Anonymous, you, too, are confused. How can you compare the Communist party, formed by dedicated professional revolutionaries, with its iron discipline, periodic purges, hierarchic structure, its solid philosophical foundation and definite political program to take over the State, with the feel-good green nonsense? Using recycled paper bags instead of polyetilene bags is a political program?

November 14, 2008 at 11:16 AM  
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December 3, 2008 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Pankaj said...

Well, whoever said the British Empire was peaceful? Just ask the hundreds if not thousands of innocent people killed by the British in their colonies to maintain their evil empire. I am sure they think it was "peaceful". You disappoint me Mencius.

December 6, 2008 at 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

George W. Bush’s secret dislike or hatred of Barack Obama must be made known.

“PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH was accused in a criminal complaint and lawsuit of raping Margie Schoedinger, who later mysteriously committed suicide. Tammy Phillips, a former stripper, claimed she had an affair with Bush that had ended in 1999” (Larbabe. Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/11/11211/3539).

“And George Bush killed/had killed Margie Schoedinger” (Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Alt/alt.sports.baseball.ny-mets/2005-11/msg00613.html).

In the case that George W. Bush hired or caused another to murder Margie Schoedinger for him, the law says that Bush is criminally responsible for the murder of Margie Schoedinger in the way he would be if he had murdered her with his own hands—first degree murder. Maybe not every person would have known that this is the way the law works.

“George W Bush raped Margie Schoedinger, who later committed suicide” (Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://perceptionmanagers.org/2006_09_24_archive.html).

George W. Bush is wicked. Bush is in big trouble. There is no statute of limitations for murder, and thus the government can indict or charge Bush for the murder of Margie Schoedinger at any time if and when it is prepared to prove that Bush committed this gruesome crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

“George Bush needs to go to jail for the murder of Margie Schoedinger” (Rayrayischillin. Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.bossip.com/56978/for-discussion-a-dick-is-indicted/).

Moreover, George W. Bush needs to burn in hell for the murder of Margie Schoedinger.

“Who is Margie Schoedinger? A MUST READ! Woman had a law suit against then, Texas Governor George W Bush for rape and kidnapping. She turned up murdered” (Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.spirituallysmart.com/bush.html).

Everybody should know that Margie Schoedinger was an African-American woman who was murdered by George W. Bush.

“One of those very least were George Bush’s personal complicity in the death (murder to be precise) of my friend Margie Schoedinger in September of 2003. Determining the exact whereabouts and contacts of [then] president-elect George Bush on September 21 thru 22, 2003, should be entirely lacking in difficulty” (Leola McConnell (Nevada Progressive Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010). Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://leolaforussenate.blogspot.com/2008/02/leola-mcconnell-for-us-senate.html).

George W. Bush should come forward and confess that he murdered an African-American woman—Margie Schoedinger.

“Who Killed Margie Schoedinger? . . . The Schoedinger death is just the latest in a string of strange ones surrounding the Bush family - Bush biographer J.H. Hatfield, Sen. Paul Wellstone, Sen. Mel Carnahan, and others that are detailed on various sites” (Ruffhowse. Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x2802130).

George W. Bush must repent relative to his murder of an African-American woman—Margie Schoedinger.

“It has been gnawing at my brain, an unpleasant blight underlying everything, and I am finally compelled to devote some space to the strange, heartbreaking, outrageous, depressing and terrifying story of Margie Schoedinger, literally driven crazy to death (or most likely physically murdered outright) after being robbed of her humanity and right to any kind of meaningful existence by the former governor of Texas, the fraud, the incompetent imperial barbarian who cheated his way into the position of president of the formerly great United States of America, George ‘Waste-product’ Bush . . . Who Killed Margie Schoedinger?” (Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://blatanttruth.org/bushcrimefamily.php).

Of course George W. Bush killed Margie Schoedinger. As described in the quotation above, Bush robbed an African-American woman of her humanity and right to any kind of meaningful existence. Bush must be punished for this.

“The Strange Death of the Woman Who Filed a Rape Lawsuit Against Bush . . . Early one Saturday afternoon in July 2003, I made a simple phone call to Margie Schoedinger, a Texas woman who filed a rape lawsuit against George W. Bush in December 2002. . . . She sounded like someone who wanted the truth to come out. And now she’s dead” (Jackson Thoreau. Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://www.opednews.com/thoreau1103bush_rape_suicide.htm).

She is dead because George W. Bush murdered her. This is, in a way, like the period of slavery in America in that a white person killed a black person, and there is no court, prosecutor, or sheriff around to uphold the rule of law or seriously pursue punishment against the killer. George W. Bush’s murder of an African-American woman is shocking to the conscience. According to the law, Bush should be incarcerated for the rest of his life or executed for this murder.

“When George W. Bush is convicted of having Margie Schoedinger murdered, will he have to share a jail cell?”

“Call me MISTER PRESIDENT” responded: “No, he should be sent to serve in IRAQ until the MISSION is ACCOMPLISHED.”

“Falstaff” responded: “I hope that something is done by the justice department during the next administration.”

Retrieved November 29, 2008, from http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080522105639AAiR4mT

“See Raymond Ponzini’s ‘An American Caligula’ to learn more about Bush’s murder of Margie Schoedinger” (Jim. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/whosarat/vpost?id=1914428).

George W. Bush murdered an African-American woman. Margie Schoedinger is gone forever. George W. Bush must pay for this. I can’t believe Bush murdered an African-American woman within the period of the modern-day democracy of the United States of America and is still getting away with it.

“George W Bush A Rapist? . . . In December 2002, a 38-year-old black woman from Texas filed a civil lawsuit against George W Bush accusing the President of drugging and raping her. Nine months later, she was dead. . . . Maybe this poor woman was deluded and killed herself but the authorities had to admit under duress that Bush did indeed have a relationship with her. It would not be the first time that the Sugar Land Police Department and Harris County Medical Examiner’s office have been involved in a murder covered up as a suicide (former Enron executive John Clifford Baxter for example). . . . I am pretty certain that George Chimpy McSmirker Bush is the sort of individual that would do anything to cover his tracks and certainly holds the power and influence to do so in our world’s most corrupt nation” (Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.slimybastards.com/2007/09/george-w-bush-rapist.html).

“Lawsuit Alleging Bush as a Rapist!? . . . Woman files lawsuit against President . . . Margie Schoedinger of Missouri City, Texas has filed a lawsuit against George W. Bush in Fort Bend County Court. In her suit she is alleging ‘race based harassment and individual sex crimes committed against her and her husband.’ The suit lists numerous offenses and asks for actual damages, punitive damages and judgments against George W. Bush” (Posted by Drizzten. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://drizzten.com/blargchives/000130.html).

George W. Bush is absolute evil.

George W. Bush’s murder of Margie Schoedinger may also constitute criminal retaliation against victim or witness.

“I believe that George W. Bush hates Moslems. All that garbage about freedom, democracy, and the right to vote is a pollution of their culture. I believe that George W. Bush hates immigrants. There were a lot of immigrants working in the World Trade Center and George W. Bush didn’t warn them ahead of time” (Janet M. Stroble. (2006, April 12). Now I Believe. http://www.military.com/. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94064,00.html).

“[In addition to black people, George W. Bush also dislikes] arabs, muslims, asians and pretty much anyone not white” (Allen Bina. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=7231047&blogID=55351762&indicate=1).

It appears that Allen Bina’s statement is, in any case, sufficiently true or accurate or valid. George W. Bush is so mentally ill and requires involuntary psychiatric hospitalization.

“I believe that George W. Bush hates black people. Through secret government machinations, he caused Hurricane Katrina to form and aimed it at New Orleans on purpose, just so he could wipe out lots of poor blacks. I also believe that before the hurricane hit, he snuck into New Orleans and stole the keys to every school bus in the city to make evacuation of poor people impossible” (Janet M. Stroble. (2006, April 12). Now I Believe. http://www.military.com/. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94064,00.html).

George W. Bush’s relentless racial discrimination against black people is tragic.

“I believe George W. Bush stole the 2004 Presidential election. He did it by making it rain in Ohio on election day, then by denying government-funded umbrellas to poor black people waiting in line” (Janet M. Stroble. (2006, April 12). Now I Believe. http://www.military.com/. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94064,00.html).

George W. Bush must change: he must abandon his hatred of black people. Bush has gone off the deep end in his racial discrimination against black people.

“I believe George W. Bush stole the 2000 Presidential election in Florida. He did it by confusing illiterate black people, by declaring thousands of soldiers’ votes invalid, and by promising not to aim any more hurricanes at the state as long as he was President” (Janet M. Stroble. (2006, April 12). Now I Believe. http://www.military.com/. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94064,00.html).

George W. Bush’s vicious hatred of black people will blow you away.

“‘We have a president who was selected rather than elected. He stole the presidency through family ties, arrogance and intimidation, employing Republican operatives to exercise the tactics of voter fraud by disenfranchising thousands of blacks, elderly Jews and other minorities’” (Barbra Streisand at BarbraStreisand.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008, from http://mindprod.com/politics/election.html).

There seems to be no end to the racial prejudices of George W. Bush: he is just about the most disgusting person one can imagine.

“Feds Raid Al Sharpton’s Office . . . This is only happening because he’s a black man living in BusHitler’s America” (Posted by Dirty Harry. Retrieved November 23, 2008, from http://dirtyharrysplace.com/?m=200712).

George W. Bush hates black people.

“I noted before how Galloway invoked Katrina (the Bush Regime’s shocking racism revealed by, the shame of troops in Iraq when they should be in New Orleans, the opulent Bush vacations, tax cuts for the rich instead of money for levees, etc etc etc.), along with almost every other hot button in the campus Left agenda. He also worked himself into a righteous froth over Barbara Bush’s Astrodome remark. The student activist who introduced the event (which you can hear here, about a third of the way in) proudly announced some initiative - which had Galloway’s imprimatur - to send students down to Mississippi to help with Katrina relief. Coordinated with Veterans for Peace, but that’s just a coincidence, right? This is about helping poor black people oppressed by the Bushitler’s racism, not about forcing a connection between Katrina and Iraq, right?” (Yehudit. Retrieved November 23, 2008, from http://www.orglearningblog.com/archives/natural-disasters/).

George W. Bush’s hatred of black people is extremely disturbing.

“So I wonder if they are going to run into folks like these poor oppressed black victims of the Bushitler in the Astrodome. . . .” (Yehudit. Retrieved November 23, 2008, from http://www.orglearningblog.com/archives/natural-disasters/).

Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

Retrieved December 11, 2008, from http://andrewyu-jenwang.blogspot.com/2008/12/andrew-yu-jen-wang-responds-to-stokely.html

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March 2, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
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March 2, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
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March 18, 2009 at 4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Saul Alinsky dedicated his most famous book, Rules for Radicals, the bible for Obama's profession of "community organizer," to Lucifer.

No. It's dedicated "To Irene". Though after that dedication, before the table of contents, there's this:

> "Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins—or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer."

October 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM  

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