Archives for category: Party Push and Pull

When will Republicans do something about so many Americans being shot, wounded and killed by other Americans? Nine killed in Atlanta and then several shot in Colorado in two shootings in the past 24 hours.

…as answered on Quora….

Odd question. Why focus on Republicans? And why mention two much-publicized shooting events and not the overwhelming number of shootings and murders in inner cities (such as Chicago) which is ongoing and dwarfs the body count of spree murders?

Take this seriously, why focus on Republicans? Democrats are in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency — and the cities where most of the routine criminality occurs. And that latter fact is even more important. Why? Crime-fighting is properly a local matter.

It is almost as if the questioner has no real interest in crime reduction but … merely seeks to ply a tired and false agenda for “gun control.”

More entertainingly, when we ask somebody to “do something” about a problem, we ask the somebody with direct connection to the problem, in this case crime. While Republicans are generally thought of as “tough on crime,” Democrats are regarded as weak and lenient — so consider, for a moment, the obvious question of responsibility: Democrats commit most of the violent crime. A supermajority of convicted criminals are registered Democrats, not Republicans.

So, the question should become when are Democrats going to do something about violence in their ranks?

But aha! They won’t. Because violence sure looks like part of a strategy.

The Democracy is now the party of anarcho-tyranny, where the plan is to go easy on violent and property crime, and then criminalize civil matters like environmental issues, business competition, socializing sans masks. The idea here is to make peaceful people the subject of police power and ultra-coercion, while letting the mob (whether antifa or looters) and criminal gangs and habitual criminals thrash about, endangering peaceful people. This ramps up demand for increasing State power and (especially) wealth redistribution, and amounts to engaging in terrorism as a means to consolidate authority behind a cult-backed group of ruthless insiders.

I am not a Republican. I have an instinctive dislike for a party that runs on a sort of inertial piety and extreme tolerance for dumb-assery. But Democrats sure seem to be pushing me into the GOP. Please, no, Democrats. No. Give up on idiotic panaceas like “gun control” and evil practices like anarcho-tyranny.

twv

In the Summer of 2016, I answered a question on Quora that does not look very good in retrospect, “Will we ever see a Libertarian president in the USA?”

Until this crazy year, 2016, I said “no.”

Now, after all these years, it appears that the Johnson-Weld team might pull off something astounding. The intellectual death of the two major parties, instantiated in their terrible candidates for office, Hillary and the Donald, might send desperate voters left and right and center into the LP camp.

The Johnson-Weld team did not pull off something impressive. The vote totals, while better than for any other LP ticket in the party’s now long history, were not all that impressive, considering the terrible candidates of the major parties. Surely they could have done better.

One reason that the team did not do better was obvious from almost the first day. When asked about Hillary Clinton, Bill Weld — apparently leading the team — and Gary Johnson, the ostensible Presidential candidate, said she was a good kid, basically, a good and faithful public servant.

If a Libertarian candidate cannot come out swinging against a statist like Clinton, he (or she) is not even a little libertarian.

This milquetoast anti-provocationism could be seen in 2020, too, where Jorgensen-Cohen spent more energy courting the SJW anti-racist vote than the anti-lockdowner vote. It was almost as if the mask-wearing pair didn’t really believe their alleged ideology.

But the problem with the LP remains. Its membership is too radical to succeed in a big way. Their choice of two marginal-to-the-movement candidates suggest the membership’s recognition that the old PlumbLine stance will get them nowhere.

While in 2016 I wrote, above, that Libertarians are “too radical,” the most obvious problem with the candidates since Harry Browne has been that they are not radical enough.

But mainly, the candidates and their supporters in the party do not seem to understand their place in history. They do not understand what they are up against.

So, in that, they are very much like Donald Trump.

They do not see the American union as highly unstable, constitutionally — having lost most of its original federal character — and dangerously over-stable — being run as a nation-state-cum-empire, fed on sectoral greed and guided by Deep State psy-op.

Libertarians do not seem able to grok the most important fact of contemporary partisan electoral politics: the two parties are driving each other insane, ratcheting up their levels of ridiculousness, as can be seen easiest in the fact that Americans just swapped one allegedly corrupt billionaire of erratic temperament and dubious moral character for a super-corrupt, senescent puppet of DNC/Deep State hacks. Libertarians have no sense of story. They do not seem to understand the roles they are playing.

And before you can succeed, you must first understand what you are doing.

Libertarian Party members do not understand what they are doing. They do not understand why they are losers. In 2016, I at least had a clue:

The even bigger problem is that the party has the stink of death about it. Americans give political upstarts a fairly narrow window to show their mettle. (Because of how votes are counted, only two parties can remain viable for long, simultaneously. See the work of Condorcet; view FairVote.org. This systemic two-party bias nudges voters to accept a challenger parties only when there is immediate hope of displacing one of the current major parties.) The LP lost in 1980, with the Clark campaign, and hasn’t had a significant chance until now. Americans see it as a party of losers. The brief time in the early 1980s, when there were several Libertarian state representatives in the Alaska legislature, has long passed. No significant wins have occurred since. Each presidential outing an irrational hope bubbles up, for one candidate or other. I remember economist Murray N. Rothbard’s insistence that Ron Paul could win over social conservatives for new life for the party, in 1987. The 1988 Paul campaign was an embarrassing bust. My colleagues claimed Harry Browne as the breakout hope several elections later. As good a speaker as he was, he received few votes. Candidates Michael Badnarik and former Rep. Bob Barr likewise fizzled.

I’ve been saying for 28 years: the party should fold, and reorganize as several vital activist groups, none of them running presidential candidates — though running deliberate mockery runs, a là Pat Paulsen, might be worth a shot.

But I underestimated the Libertarians’ predicament, here. Libertarians are not serious. They are merely earnest. No Libertarian candidate challenges Libertarians to actually make a difference. No Libertarian candidate dares take the bull by the horns and acknowledge, as a bedrock truth, the party’s always also-ran status, and therefore cannot overcome the Wasted Vote argument — an easy argument to destroy, logically, but Libertarians haven’t the wit to see that their only hope is to face it head on and rub Americans’ noses in the inherently scammy nature of electoral politics, of pretending that democracy can rule an empire.

In other words, Libertarians are intellectual cowards. They have been staring down the Wasted Vote argument since the beginning. Somehow, it never occurs to them to give a good answer. I say that a good answer is to be found, but running with it would be honest and therefore dangerous.

Libertarians would get further by pushing initiative and referendum measures, lobbying Congress and state houses, protesting bureaucracies, etc.

Some day, forming a less radical, explicitly Libertarian Lite party might make sense, a Liberist Party, or, more entertaining and useful, a Receivership Party to fold a bankrupt federal government and form new unions in its place, might make sense.

The idea of a Receivership Party still makes sense, but a Libertarian Lite party is a bad idea. That is what the Libertarian Party is right now. What Libertarians need is not lite, but enlightenment.

But for now, let us see if Johnson-Weld can at least send the 2016 presidential election into the House of Representatives! (Or win?) Right now the campaign’s strategy is to offend as few people as possible, capitalize on their experience, and create whimsical, light-hearted tugs at our heartstrings, hoping to grab NeverHillary and NeverTrump voters, along with disaffected independents, to really send the system into an epochal change.

Best of luck. It is a long shot. But no one else is worth voting for. So why not vote for them?

Yeah, that was dumb. There was no hope. Not with two former Republican governors.

And while the Libertarians’ pathetic hope for respectability, seen in choosing such candidates, may merely parallel the ratcheting-up of ridiculousness by the major parties — all part of the Law of Nemesis that we should (were we paying attention) understood as well now as our ancestors did in ancient times, when memes were myth — take a breath: something more nefarious may be afoot.

Libertarians should ask themselves: are they being played?

Specifically, by the Deep State.

The CIA and NSA and other behind-the-scenes manipulators of public opinion have had a huge hand in politics from the JFK assassination on. The FBI’s James Comey tried to blackmail Trump, after all, and the hidden hand was in plain sight in trying to remove the outsider prez from office for his first three years. In the last year, we must wonder, did the Deep State go back to being professional, bringing out the Big Guns to take down Trump?

For remember, prior to the pandemic, Trump was set for reëlection, the Democratic presidential candidates being so horrifically unimpressive and all, and the economy doing surprisingly well. But in comes the Wuhan bug, and Trump crumbles. While he resisted going as authoritarian as Democrats demand (and that was funny, I admit) the way he handled Fauci and pushed “vaccination” meant that he was doomed. The Democrats worked mightily both behind the scenes and in plain sight (as Time so niftily explained) to ensure that the pixillated puppet, Joe Biden, got more votes than Trump. It was an astounding thing to watch.

Libertarians should wonder whether they have also been manipulated. By infiltrators into their ranks (like, say, former Libertarian National Committee chairs and former state governors as candidates) and by strategically placed temptations.

We should speculate and inquire: what has the Deep State been thinking about us?

Wonder, especially, what to make of Brennan’s new direction, of placing libertarians under direct investigation — “even libertarians”!

I suspect that libertarians are the group in America that the Deep State most fears — intellectually. Because libertarianism has such a strong connection with the tradition of American independence — the United States began as a secessionist revolution spouting ideas of liberty! — libertarian ideas are potentially the most destabilizing for the Deep State’s mission of managed politics. So, Libertarians have been managed. For a very long time.

But with Brennan’s floated idea of treating libertarians as open enemies of the State, libertarians might want to now rethink their insignificance.

Could we be insignificant by design?

And if we made ourselves significant, by confronting reality as it is, not reality merely theorized and dreamed about, would we survive?

The question then becomes, are libertarians brave enough to take the next steps? So far, bravery has been associated with dunderheaded stupidity, as in the whole Tea Party movement and Trump moment. But for actual libertarians, the bravery will become necessary after the stupidity is foresworn. Do libertarians have the necessary courage?

I doubt it.

As far as I can tell, witlessly pushing the LP rock up Sisyphus’ hill is what libertarians want to do, over and over, forever.

Scant savvy and no courage required for that.

twv

Trump Remains a Former President!

The ‘most bipartisan impeachment verdict in American history’ serves as an important marker for how bipartisan would be the opposition to any fundamental change away from the main drift of American politics. While it was a technical win for the president — in that Trump was ‘acquitted’ — as well as for common sense, the strength of the opposition to him serves as a warning to all who seek to oppose the technocratic/plutocratic advance of the Democratic Party and of a large segment of the Republican political elite.

A majority of senators voted to remove a former president from office. The absurdity of that marks the real significance of the event.

Our political class is ruling scared. They are deathly afraid of opposition. In their panic they have driven themselves crazy.

And so lightly provoked! Were I to get my way, they wouldn’t be ruling scared, they would be running.

twv

Addendum: The inane defiance, during the Trump years, of those American Democrats — the kind of people who would shout “not my president!’ — went witless in this second impeachment. I am reminded of Chevy Chase’s oft-repeated quip, ‘Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.’ Had the House Democrats succeeded in the Senate, Donald John Trump would have remained a former president. Their former president, presumably, so insanely attached to the presidency are these flaccid noodle-brains.

No president is my president. For the United States President is not the People’s — what is presided over is the union of states, not us, the citizenry. If you think of a president as “yours,” I sadly shake my head at your inverted values and political mindset.

The funny thing about Impeachment 2 is that it smacks so strongly of anti-democracy.

I know, I know. Folks are talking about the payoff being the Senate forbidding Trump (if removed) from ever holding office again. Seems a tad personal. Not anti-democratic.

And hey: doing this to Trump after a miserable, humiliating failure of it a year ago is so embarrassingly petty that I shake my head. So the personal animus must be high. Were they humiliated by Trump? I suppose that could be what galls them so.

But I think it is something else.

Of course, I do find it funny how under their skin he got — and it is hilarious to witness Democrats talk about how awful a president he is, but when you probe them they almost always mean BECAUSE HE SAYS ICKY THINGS not because he’s murdered people (like LBJ) or started wars (like Bush and Clinton and Bush and Obama), or even because he WASN’T DICTATORIAL ENOUGH about COVID (my favorite Intellectual Death Knell of the Democracy ploy). But, behind the whole circus, what seems pretty obvious is this: he gave voice to the people Democrats hate most, “the Deplorables.”

Who now number over 70,000,000 strong, and are getting quite fed up with Democrats.

These Deplorables wanted to “Drain the Swamp,” but, until Trump, none of their respectable Republican champions could dare take it seriously. So the Deplorables went “another direction.” And that man fought hard for them. True, he accomplished little swamp-wise — the Swamp’s gotten bigger and nastier — but he did something they didn’t think they needed: he drew out the swamp creatures, into the light beyond Swamp cover, for all to see, and the Deplorables looked at the creatures, red in tooth and communism, and said, “at least we can understand Trump’s problems — these people seem malevolent and dangerous.” They stuck with their man.

And Democrats went bonkers, for five years.

And now a second impeachment! I mean, suppressing nearly half of the electorate because you disapprove of their political attitudes is quite anti-democratic. That is the next worst thing to one-party-statism — that is, fascism/communism/tyranny. And, amusingly, it sure smacks of “voter suppression”: it isn’t against Trump so much as the people he’s given a voice to that Democrats have it in for. Those people must not have power!

But mainly, the left’s hatred for the right isn’t really ideological. It may be the old the-political-is-the-personal. But what is that, though, really? Sexual loathing, class-based revulsion. Add on the racism and sexism against white males, and maybe you can see what I mean. Trump the billionaire personifies what leftists think Deplorables are. Or: Trump is the perfect champion for Deplorables’ deplorableness.

But it is worse: the Democrats are the Swamp! Maybe the reason Democrats hate Deplorables so much is that each side now knows and hates the other for what the other is. Deplorables know Democrats’ secret, that the Democratic Party is a Deep State creature, the ultimate Swamp Thing; and Democrats know the Deplorables’ secret, that they are weak and demoralized without a leader who pushes fantasy above reality.

So I’m trying to get in the spirit of the whole affair to cheer on the divisiveness.

Why applaud rather than leave it at a sneer? Well, I think it would be good for the United States to split up — and the Pentagon be dissolved, above all else. If ideological and partisan division can get the union dissolved on more workable lines, so be it!

Let’s go for it. Go, Democrats! Let’s do Civil War! (You morons.)

twv

P.S. Or it is just the humiliation Trump gave them that sticks in their craw. Why, they’d love Trump’s Deplorables so long as they bowed down to everything they said and be good little . . . well, you know.

The left’s vice has long been known: treason, the defense of outsiders to the point of revolution — the overthrow of the in-group hierarchy and betrayal of the in-group itself.

The left’s virtues are even better known, since leftists never shut up about them. Which has always made them rather ridiculous. And nasty.

Now, the main rhetorical gambit of the left towards the right has been to characterize the right only by its besetting vices (racism, cruel oppression of outsiders) and to dismiss the right’s virtues as non-existent. This is partisan — base rhetoric — and it has provided cover for the extremity of the left’s own vice, especially in the Democratic Party’s compromises regarding China, ongoing for decades and now revealed in recent spy and corruption scandals.

Which CNN somehow downplays.

Two things seem obvious to me: the Democrats are completely compromised, morally, with the leftist vice, and my personal strategy of never identifying myself as either ‘on the left’ or ‘on the right’ is one of the very few good moves I have ever made.

I do not know where this will end up. But the perfidy of the left, along with leftist craziness in current political correctness, socialist rhetoric, and defenses for secret plutocracies, make Democrats look especially bad right now.

To my right-wing friends: your ideas are often quite wrong-headed, but your basic stance of defense of in-group is legitimate, and you now have license to mock the political left without mercy. And perhaps even build a few scaffolds. Though remember, your champions often deserve a forced march up the stairs to stare at the trap-door and rope, too.

twv

Freedom is a contextual concept: freedom of whom from what? Or, for that matter, freedom to what?

That “what” can vary.

That “whom” can vary.

Liberty is a synonym for freedom, derived from a different language group. But it is also often used as a term of art to distinguish one variety of freedom from another. Indeed, I use liberty as the best term for “the freedom that all can possess.” But my usage is not at all widely accepted.

In the American context, the distinctions of meaning can be bracing. Take Langston Hughes’s epigram on the subject:

There are words like Freedom 
Sweet and wonderful to say. 
On my heartstrings freedom sings 
All day everyday. 
There are words like Liberty 
That almost make me cry. 
If you had known what I know 
You would know why.

What is going on here?

Perhaps we can clarify this mystery, at least by a little, by consulting David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed (1989). In that mammoth volume, Fischer considered four sources of American culture in the folkways brought over to North America from four distinct regions of Britain. And among the folkways he considers are the power and liberty traditions. Here is the relevant passage on the Puritans’ concept of liberty:

So this “publick liberty” notion is the freedom of the community from foreign control to govern itself. It was definitely not about the freedom of the individual from control of others to govern him- or herself.

This is Yankee liberty, which is often quite oppressive of dissent, not friendly to renegades within the community. To this day, I catch a whiff of this sort of freedom from modern-day Democrats. When I was young, I thought I sniffed out its redolence in Republicans and conservatives.

If I am not mistaken, this is also intimately tied to the ancient notions of liberty discussed by Benjamin Constant.

To the south, though, another variety of liberty dominated culture:

Here we see the freedom of the superior individual from control by others, but to allow control over “inferiors,” however that may be defined. Langston Hughes probably knew who the inferiors were thought to be, all too well.

Much more congenial to my way of looking at liberty is the Quaker notion:

Here is a more familiar libertarian conception of freedom: of all from each others’ tyrannies and interferences to obey one’s conscience.

Finally, this freedom-from-restraint notion, for individuals, is even more thoroughgoing in the fourth folkway set that Fischer identified:

Here, the reciprocal liberty of the Quakers has the piety shaken free of it, for individuals’ freedom from interference and control is also a freedom to tell your neighbor to buzz off, if necessary, and without the nicety of “conscience.” It is a more muscular freedom, and not so much a spiritual matter as a defiant vulgarity.

The Puritan liberty is the freedom of all corporally, as determined by hierarchies as well as participatory governance; the gentlemen’s liberty, on the other hand, is their freedom, individually as gentlemen and within their class, but definitely not the freedom of all (not for the vulgar and inferior); and in the other two systems, freedom is reciprocal and universal, but with pious duty as a corollary in one system, and “mind your own business” in the other.

As I see it, all four strains are part of our everyday American culture, but the communal tyranny strains and gentlemen’s prerogative strains too dominant. Within the modern American libertarian movement the Quakers are represented by SJW-leaning beltway libs, and the backwoods boys represented by the more vulgar-tongued “right-wing” quasi-paleos.

I see some merit in both camps.

Liberty, as I see it, should be the freedom of all from interference and exploitation and control — from all others, to the preservation of their lives and the pursuit of happiness. How much freedom can actually be achieved? Partisans of the two major political parties think “not very much,” with the Democrats, especially, pushing Yankee busybodyism, but the Republicans still clinging to elements. And the Republicans see the world as far more dangerous than do Democrats, at least from foreign power plays, but under Trump the Dems have embraced an anti-Russian paranoia.

But note that even Benjamin Constant (1819) did not totally reject the political element of individual freedom:

Individual liberty, I repeat, is the true modern liberty. Political liberty is its guarantee; consequently political liberty is indispensable. But to ask the peoples of our day to sacrifice, like those of the past, the whole of their individual liberty to political liberty is the surest means of detaching them from the former and, once this result has been achieved, it would be only too easy to deprive them of the latter.

This lesson is something that libertarians will probably never be able to cease pressing to others. It is a lesson too easy to forget.

Meanwhile, of course, the dominant culture has forgotten everything important. Pierre Lemieux, in his foreword to the Constant edition, above, shows the danger of the ancient/Puritan power conception of liberty, and its continued emphasis in our post-modern times:

I fail to see much at all inspiring in any conception of liberty that is not, itself, understood in large part as incorporating individual freedom and personal responsibility.

In reading Benjamin Constant and David Hackett Fischer, I am moved to no small sadness for our culture, which has so far lost its way from the modern liberal progress, having reverted, instead — in our post-modern manner — to a vile, neo-ancient closed society illiberalism.

twv

Is being a Republican all about maintaining the established hierarchy?

…as answered on Quora….

No.

America’s Republican Party is a coalition of a number of anti-leftist interest groups, or, if you will, “tribes.” Though Republicans lean conservative, and conservatives tend to extol traditional hierarchies more than do progressives, it is worth remembering that almost all elements of American government were transformed in the first half of the 20th century by Progressives, and our institutions, today, are in the main both Progressive and hierarchical.

And it is Democrats (and those on the left in general) who urgently — and with increasing alarm — defend established hierarchies.

Consider a few of these:

  • the supremacy of the federal government over the states
  • the bureaucratic hierarchies of the Administrative State
  • the government of the people by the (now-armed) regulatory bureaucracies
  • the cultural hegemony of major media and Hollywood elites over “rednecks” and “fly-over country”
  • the power of major population centers over more sparsely populated rural areas

Take that last one, for a moment. Since the election of Donald Trump, Democrats have been spinning rationales for getting rid of not only the Electoral College but also the Senate, two hold-overs from the original decentralized federal system. There are not many remnants left of the original constitutional order. The whole of the Administrative state has metastasized far beyond constitutional balance, with the Executive Branch now quite dominant not only in the Imperial Presidency but also in the huge leeway the Legislative Branch has ceded to Executive Branch bureaucracies, to create and enforce and even criminalize its regulatory tasks. And the Democrats, apparently jealous of any non-technocratic hierarchy, increasingly want to rid the system of even the last vestiges of the Founders’ system. It is really quite breathtaking.

At this point, many readers will no doubt be wondering if I am a crazy man. Why, it is the left that is against hierarchies and it is the right that defends them! What kind of nonsense is this?

Well, in defense of my interpretation, I ask you to consider the difference between ideological fantasy and knee-jerk institutional practice. By their socialist-tinged fantasies, progressives (and Democrats) are indeed “egalitarian.” They talk up a good equality game, that’s for sure. But when push comes to shove, the pushers of equality shove hard, and quickly establish and defend the hierarchies that do the shoving. That is why socialism turns so quickly to hierarchical and class-based totalitarianism: because equality does not work in a unitary state, but hierarchies and class do. So allegedly “egalitarian and inclusive” leftists swiftly become tyrants.

And we see this even among our compromising progressives, who are on the whole at least not communists — they still balk at full-blown state socialism. (Though in recent years they have come out of the closet on their emotional allegiances, their commitment to the term itself.) They are now quite defensive and even hysterical about Republican attacks upon their beloved governmental hierarchies.

Another example? Public education advocates. Government k12 schooling has become less local and more state- and federal-controlled in the last half-century. And with it, the hierarchies of bureaucracy and unions and politics have usurped more and more local prerogatives. And just look how Democrats react to decentralizing notions like school vouchers, and to hierarchy-busting alternatives like charter schools!

It is not the Republicans who defend hierarchy in these cases. They seem to be leaning to decentralism.

Democrats, like technocrats, socialists and fascists everywhere, are big proponents of centralization.

And the centralism of a unitary state is of necessity hierarchical.

But is this traditional?

No. Well, not exactly.

Like I asserted above, the Republican Party is not a singular movement. It is a coalition of several major groups. And the different groups are differently conservative, if conservative at all. And though we have come to understand conservatism as being “about,” somehow, the defense of traditional hierarchies, which hierarchies are being defended in which group is open to debate.

Further, please note that the traditional American order is liberal, not traditional — Whig and not Tory, in British terms. That is, the original states of the union were sovereign in their original conception, and the union was federal, not national. Decentralist, in modern terminology — almost a distributed order.

Today’s conservatives, to the extent they hark back to the Founding period, are not talking up hierarchy, they are talking up a decentralized order of competing and balancing hierarchies.

But it gets more complicated, for the Republican Party basically overthrew the constitutional order that had failed before it reached the century mark, failed regarding slavery and the tariff. The new order delivered by Abraham Lincoln was nationalist. The Republican Party’s push for the supremacy of an imperialistic national government was far more hierarchical than the Founders’ order, and that order was not American-traditional, but European-traditional. And then came Teddy Roosevelt and a frankly imperialist Progressivism, which, in the course of both Republican and Democratic governments (the Democratic Party abandoning decentralism and constitutionalism with Woodrow Wilson), proceeded to restructure American government along centralist and hierarchical grounds.

So, while some Republicans may hold the constitutional order up as a sort of liberal/libertarian fantasy, in practice they are thoroughly nationalist rather than federalist, imperialist rather than nationalist, and wholly submerged in the trappings of the patriotic mumbo-jumbo of allegiance to the hierarchies established last century, not by the Founders. (Can there be any greater betrayal of the constitutional order than Republicans’ beloved “one nation indivisible” — written by a socialist?) Most Republicans are “conservative” by being Progressives of a hundred years ago. And Democrats are progressives of the flavor they got addicted to in the Sixties.

A more pathetic pair of bumbling parties could hardly be found. And of course, like most Americans, they were “educated” in America’s propaganda mills, the public schools. Which means, much of what they know ain’t so. Our national faith comes in two disgusting flavors.

Now, I admit: there is still something to the “traditional hierarchy” biz.

The kind of progressive that Republicans tend to be is the kind that pushed for Prohibition, way back when. You know, to “save the family.” Not the overtly technocratic kind, of John Dewey and The New Republic. The fact that their “conservative” variety of Progressivism was perpetrated in the name of the family might seem to indicate the defense of the trad hierarchy of domestic life — but that is illusion as well. Not only did Prohibition subordinate individual liberty to state and federal usurpation and totalitarian control, it was also a de facto rebellion of women against men, for the Dry ranks were largely made up of women and a few ambitious, moralistic male busybodies. The women were rebelling against a culture of male drunkenness. (More than understandable.) So modern social conservatism began with the overthrowal of the central element of a patriarchal hierarchy — quite anti-traditional — and then was roundly rebuked by the complete failure of said “experiment.” But did social conservatives learn? No. As alcohol Prohibition ended, new federal programs prohibiting other drugs grew and grew, and were used with startling cruelty against non-white, non-bourgeois out-groups.

Now is the time for me to try to make some sense of “left vs. right” in modern ideology. The rightward motion is not, I think, to defend “traditional hierarchies.” It is for the defense of some in-group against perceived or real out-group threat. And the left is the Cult of the Other, defending some out-group from exploitation or oppression by an in-group — some in-group “of the right.” Of course.

None of these are stable positions. Both sides defend and attack hierarchies, “depending.” Why? Because the in-group/out-group dimension maps orthogonally to the power/freedom dimension.

So, what to make of all this? Well, hierarchies of competence are good, while hierachies of “power” (if by this word you mean oppression or unjust exploitation) are indeed bad. Individuals and in-groups must be defended from criminals and oppressive powers, and individuals and out-groups must not be oppressed in service to the cause of the aforementioned defense.

What is good about “traditional hierarchies” is that they often defend groups that deserve to thrive or dissipate based on free association. What is bad about them is what is bad about new hierarchies: when they aid in centralizing agendas, oppression, and exploitation by class or by individuals . . . that is when they are evil.

So, to answer the original question — “Is being a Republican all about maintaining the established hierarchy?” — better here at the end than in the beginning: sometimes; depends upon which group and which hierarchy.

As for me, I think it is clear: the Republican Party is an ideological mess, conservatives are confused, and their opponents, the progressives, are even worse.

A pox on both their in-groups.

twv

While I should be writing something for pay, or mowing the lawn, today I wrote a bunch of answers on Quora:

Can authoritarianism come to America?

It’s here. In the platforms, habits, demands and reverenced rhetoric of both major parties.

And it is going to get worse and reach its full flower with the new coronavirus menace, for people of vacuous spirituality demand to be “saved” by the sacrifice of others’ freedoms.

That’s authoritarianism in a very popular form.

It is effrontery first, tyranny second.

twv (5/13/20)

Why is it that people either intensely love Trump or […] intensely hate him?

I do not either intensely hate Trump or love him. You may be surprised to discover that this attitude is actually very common in America.

I do find him funny, though. But his enemies are funnier, if not in a praiseworthy way. He is not the idiot that his detractors incessantly insist he is, for it is obvious that he is smarter than most of his political opponents.

But he really is a different creature in the White House, and he breaks many norms. Since presidents following those norms have led us to war and insolvency, seeing them broken does not offend me much. I laugh at those who are offended, but I also chuckle at his adoring acolytes.

As for what he has done and what he believes or pretends to believe? I dislike Trump’s protectionism, his know-nothing nationalism, his crankish approach to policy, his inelegant and seemingly racist speech, but at least he is not a warmonger, and I would never side with the Deep State that demands his ouster. I am an anti-imperialist and anti-nationalist. Trump’s forays against the empire? I had some hope for him. But we did not see his ideas put into play. We saw reaction. At least now we can see who the real rulers are, for they have come out of hiding by trying to remove Trump from office. I know who freedom’s real enemies are, and they reside in the national security state and in shady global alliances of the hyper-wealthy.

But that does not get to the heart of the love/hate, does it? So let us confront one obvious truth: the main bone of contention is his sexual style. He is a traditional “alpha male.” As such, this offends beta male cultures on the Christian right and the pagan left, as well as modish feminism. But most women are not feminists, and his style does not offend everyone. And the right-leaning Christians have lost so many battles that they have in a sense given up: if God gives them an imperfect defender, they no longer prissily complain.

And the enthusiasm for Trump appears to be enthusiasm for someone who regularly humiliates their persecutors — and if any group is openly scorned in America, it is evangelical Christians . . . by coastal cognitive elites. And Trump makes a mockery of them.

Besides, could it be that Americans are beginning to see an ancient principle at work?

The Law of Nemesis turns pride and hubris inside-out, into some form of destruction. Sometimes this occurs by flaunting a parody of one’s enemies against us, other times by turning ourselves into parodies of our own values.

Bush Era hubris brought the empty and ludicrous sanctimony of the Obama years, while the selection of the ultra-corrupt Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party’s standard bearer fed fuel to the rise of Trump. Part of the comedy here is that Hillary is thought of as a feminist, but she was cruel and unjust in persecuting her husband’s lovers and victims, so a parody of Bill Clinton became her conqueror. And Trump’s most infamous sexual indiscretion? That was his boast how women would fall over themselves for a rich and powerful man, even going so far to allow such men to “grab them by the pussy.” So what do Democrats now promote? A man accused of literally grabbing her accuser by the pussy, but against her will, not, as Trump said, by permission. This is almost a parody of the basic philosophies of right and left: the right produces and entices, the left steals.

All quite hilarious. I laugh at Americans every day. Sometimes I laugh at Trump, but more often I laugh at his enemies. Ridiculous is our descent into madness!

And why?

In times past I would have given reasons out of sociology and political economy — the Thomas Theorem, the Tragedy of the Commons, etc. — but now I suggest we wonder if the gods may not be jesting, playing with us. “The Progressives have had their century, and are a proud tower of folly; now we shall inflict their fall, as we take away their power, dignity, and reason for being.”

Why the love/hate? Because the participants are too entrenched in their own fates, unable to see the principles at work.

Take a step back and laugh with the gods.

twv (5/13/20)

Do you favor libertarian separatism?

I have written about this on my blog. I will summarize.

I support putting the general government of these United States under receivership. I think all the states should secede from the union and form several smaller unions, and those unions, or the departed states, should appoint the Receiver to liquidate the assets of the U.S.A., bring home from abroad all the military and divvy it up, with close attention to major contractors of the military-industrial complex, and pay off what debts can be managed without creating a worse situation than before.

I do not think there is any other way of restoring balance to our political-legal system. Culturally, financially, militarily, monetarily, the United States is a mess.

I liked the idea of the Constitution, I confess. Federalism — as conceived by the true federalists, called “anti-federalists” — is a pretty good idea. But it was a dead letter on accession in the early 1790s, and quickly became a mercantilist national state. The nationalism grew and grew, and morphed into a new form of imperialism.

I oppose nearly everything the United States have become.

So, this all assumes the persistence of large states. It also assumes that we might be able to make an orderly reorganization. This latter is a long shot. But barring this sort of thing, I foresee major chaos, and probably a triumph of totalitarian controls. Our nation of serviles is pushing for that now. Ugh.

What should libertarians do? I do not know. In a time of chaos it might be good to have a sovereign state with a concentrated population of libertarians. But if the totalitarianism comes, then they sure would be easy to round up.

Obviously, I support secession and voluntary, peaceable assembly. But the cult of the total state is getting ugly. And the cult’s acolytes are whipping themselves into a bloodletting frenzy. I know many leftists right now who would be glad to see me carted off to a prison camp.

The biggest problem? There are just so few libertarians. Congregating in one area will mean a slight increase in influence in that area, sure, but also would entail few per cultural checks in the regions abandoned.

If we have time, and if the Q Anon folks are wrong about what is really going on, a slow migration to specific regions might make sense. Perhaps to encourage the idea of restructuring by secession we should encourage the partitioning of a half dozen or so states. New York’s boroughs should be separated from the rest of New York; Chicago’s Cook Country should become a separate state; California needs to split into many pieces, with LA County being itself a separate state, and the much requested “Jefferson” created out of the north of the state snd southern Oregon; eastern Oregon and eastern Washington should become a new state of Adams; King Country, Wsshington, and the counties directly north, should become a separate state as well. The point of all this is to wrest power away from ruling cliques and make manageable states that could actually sport something close to founding era ideas of representation.

I think libertarians would have a better chance to influence politics for the better in any of the more rural new states: Jefferson, Adams, new Illinois, greater New York, etc.

But libertarians would be spread pretty thin. I fear that what will happen will be chaotic, tyrannical, and a horror. Pushing secession as a solution to problems might save the country, though, and, if not, allow for future formal bankruptcy proceedings, as I suggest up top.

I of course think all peaceful people should separate themselves from criminals, if they can. And the biggest criminal is the total state.

twv (5/13/20)

The New Hampshire primary results are fun to look at.

  • Bernie: 76,324 (9 delegates)
  • Pete: 72,457 (9)
  • Amy: 58,796 (6)
  • Donald: 129,696 (22)
  • Bill: 13,787 (0)

Trump blew away Weld: no contest, you might say. But that was arguably a fake race, since Weld’s campaign is one step from Vermin Supreme’s. So what is significant is that Trump, to all extent and purpose running unopposed, blew Bernie out of the water.

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren — the dottering goofball and the shrill harridan — gained no delegates and proved their campaigns basically over.

Now, really what is at stake amongst the many Dems? The radicals vs. the moderates. Though the radicals have passion, theirs is a doomed cause, unless a financial collapse happens. A long shot? (I hope.) I expect to see a McGovern 72 repeat, if Bernie nabs the nomination. Perhaps worse.

Centrist Dems yearn to knock Bernie off the perch, and they now have only three options: Pete, Amy, and . . . Michael Bloomberg, who was not even trying in this primary, but can parlay mucho moolah.

Bloomberg is a nonstarter, though, no? He is a repellent figure, a bossy billionaire with weird racial and civil liberties baggage — in the age of marijuana legalization, he has made news by opposing it; his apology for his beloved stop-and-first gun control program, pathetic because hollow. And he has attacked consumers’ ability to get their Big Gulps. I suppose the food puritans on the left might get on board. But a short, whiny, supercilious Jew can hardly play well outside of a few coastal enclaves of whiny Bluery.

Pete Buttigieg is the best bet for immediate success, but, once again, how wide would his support be? White Americans wanted a Black Messiah, so Barack Obama filled an important ‘social justice’ need. I doubt that many Americans have an equivalent yearning for a gay man in the White House. Besides, the deep background of his support seems awfully CIA/Deep State, and his father was a commie. An Ugh Factor is strong here. Besides, his mayoral background is not impressive, and he has had the temerity to have once been nice to Tea Party folk — so the socialist radicals in the Democracy cannot have that. A Mayor Pete at the head of the ticket would send Bernie Bros into the Green Party.

Amy Klobuchar is a strange case. There is a personal unpleasantness about her, and she has less sex appeal TO HETERO MEN than does Mayor Pete [heh]. She often seems uncomfortable in public. Her ideas meander in a delta of indecision, but she can pull off seeming moderate, which might work for many folks who want an alternative to Trump, but the idea of her holding her own against Trump in a debate seems preposterous. Her biggest pull is the Innocuous Play. And the sexist/anti-sexist Woke Woman Vote. I am not sure she can do it.

Presumably Biden voters will go to . . . Amy and Pete. Warren voters will go to . . . Bernie and Amy. But if Pete and Amy stick to battling each other, it’s Bernie’s to lose.

This is no time to be a Democratic follower. Frustrating, it must be!

Well, welcome to my world, folks: there has never really been a satisfactory presidential candidate for me. Not since Grover Cleveland, and he just barely squeaks in to my approved realm.

Suffer, suffer — in your suffrage.

twv

The Democratic Party presidential race is in such disarray — with the Trump Impeachment about to implode — that I am not surprised to hear talk of late entrants bursting onto the scene and into the running. The funny thing is, the ones I am hearing about would be worse for the Democrats than most of the current batch: Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

I assume that most Democrats would have the sense to reject either ‘candidate.’ Or perhaps I give them too much credit.

After all, the only decent candidates in the D-field are Yang and Gabbard, and they linger at the back of the pack. This despite the almost certainty that the latter could win against Trump even without an economic downturn, while the rest are basically non-starters and would be eaten alive by Trump in any public debate.

Tulsi’s a long shot, sure. But she’s at least a shot.

But the lack of interest in Tulsi Gabbard indicates to me that the Left Wants What the Left Always Wants: free stuff. No interest in stopping wars. Not really.

And the Center-Left wants that sense of security that only (for them) can be found in the gentle embrace of Leviathan. But, for all their hopeless statism. centrists and normal people are spooked by the socialists and woke scold harridans.

So it looks like the Democracy could very well split into two separate parties: the Woke Left/Commies versus the Center-Left/‘neoliberals.’ 

If chicanery happens and Bernie the Commie is robbed of the nomination, I gather a massive exodus to the Green Party happens next. Am I wrong?

Meanwhile, Democrat diehards are praying to Baphomet that the inevitable downturn comes before Election Day in November. So that even their repellent losers can have a chance.

twv

Baphomet in our time.