Monday, May 30, 2005
“Working Together”…On Command
This saccharine kindergarten-like sound-bite is a shoddy euphemism for the left’s delusion that by erecting a powerful coercive state to confiscate and redistribute wealth, they will somehow produce a cute and fuzzy world of spontaneous “cooperation.”
Part of this pathetic argument includes the assumption that a voluntary non-coerced cooperation leads to a “dog eat dog” style of "ruthless competition" – maybe in their world. I’m not sure who these cruel and heartless people are that the left sees everywhere around them in the free world. To be sure, people are a mix of temperaments and motives, but is the human heart in general really as bleak as the average leftist sees it (when it is unbridled by their favored bureau-schemes)?
While “dog eat dog” is the left’s fantasy image of free society, the reality is in fact the very opposite. Free people interact, cooperate, share, and assist regularly and voluntarily.
The libertarian conservative’s perspective is in no way opposed to anyone – voluntarily – working together. In a free society, individuals work together all the time. The socialist’s primary concern here is that nasty word voluntary. Their conception of cooperation is the vapid and contrived image one sees in a Soviet peasant poster – “cooperation” with their projects, in their way, and – most important -- on their command. One can see this mentality in action already in mandatory “community service” requirements that students must fulfill to graduate from some high schools (remember, community "service" was originally used as a punishment).
Working cooperatively with others is a positive thing of course, and it comes to most humans quite naturally. I don’t, however, think that the more solitary or less “team” oriented among us requires coercion or “reeducation” just to fulfill the socialist demand that everyone follow leftland’s drummer of contrived altruism.
Obeying the dictates of bureaucrats or the philosophies of intellectuals is…socialism, and has literally nothing to do with working together, cooperating, or “making a better world.” With all the politicians, lawyers, bureaucrats, and other minions of state currently harassing the average citizen in innumerable ways, the last thing we need is the foolish rants of armchair philosophers cheering them on further.
The demagogues of the left should save their idealistic and dishonest sound-bites for the pathetic school systems they dominate and leave "working together" to the dynamic and diverse actions of autonomous individuals who freely choose their lifestyles and interactions with others.
With all their attempts to conjure a warm and fuzzy picture of communal obedience, the average authoritarian leftist’s world of cooperation is about as warm and fuzzy as those barbed wire fences that typically sprout up like weeds in the prison camp kingdoms they’ve produced through history.
Indeed, the best of all worlds includes fellow humans working together – but not on command. It takes a village…idiot to see otherwise.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Music To My Ears...
Although a very similar theme is addressed in a recent essay by The Tanuki Ramble, The Tanuki and accompanying comments from Miles Hoffman have far surpassed anything I could have ever said on the issue.
If you love music, particularly "classical" music, this is required reading. Some excellent arguments for the cause of beauty, substance, and honesty, in music and in life.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Newsweek Hates America
More and more, I find students here in Japan spouting the anti-U.S. party line (it was typically a given with some of the pampered brats from "the West" who have come here to play).
When I've asked Japanese students how they arrived at their relatively new conclusions, it's always some T.V. program they've seen or some other media propaganda piece that "enlightened" them -- Jacobin journalists, up to the usual leftist nonsense.
The pseudo-celebrities that mold public opinion across the world need to do a reality check and get a clue as to just what is truly bad in the world.
Kids Dying To Prove A Point or,
Kids Dying, …To Prove A Point
Newsweek, The New York Times, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, The BBC, The French, The Germans, The Russians, The Chinese, The UN, college professors, and high school teachers …lied.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Saddam in Undies…“The Horror,…The Horror”
You know what? I kind of don’t care. Sure, the whole thing is unprofessional, you might even call it cheesy, and yeah, I guess it’s illegal in someone’s court but, do I need remind anyone who this guy is? The raw corruption and violence of this man means nothing to the crowd that would sell their own mothers for the opportunity to further chastise the U.S. presence in Iraq.
The guy (Saddam) is actually suing over the issue. We’ve clearly entered a new era, the mother of all nonsense, and there will, of course, be plenty of lawyers ready to jump in to help. (As an aside, it may be worth noting that the list of lawyers or law students among the world’s great tyrants is right up there with artists and philosophers).
Surely there is a relative of Hitler’s somewhere who could claim some sympathy and cash for the bad things we did to that guy. Hell, we ruined his great “thousand year - Reich” idea and eventually drove him to suicide – god, ain’t we mean.
Okay, the latest Saddam issue, it truly is bad P.R. What were the clowns thinking that did it. So, go through the motions. Slap a wrist somewhere for failing to follow protocol. Give Saddam a fair trial, one that results in a choice between firing squad and noose (“lethal injection” would be overkill in kindness).
We should have, of course, expected an “outcry” from certain quarters. I’ve never met a leftist who wasn’t genuinely concerned about the rights of the local rapist, thief, or Marxist dictator du jour. With all the murders, tortures (real torture, not “humiliation”) and assaults that regularly occur around the world, now they’ve got a real poster-boy for “injustice” and wrongdoing – a former dictator and mass murderer displayed publicly in his underwear – “The horror…the horror.”
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Cannes Artists; At It Again
There’s no epic “greatest documentary ever made” from Michael Moore this year, so they’ve got to vent their phony lines of leftist indulgence in regard to other enterprises. It appears that the pompous snobs of Euro-filmland (they don’t do “movies” there) are reading a bit of politics into the latest Star Wars saga – with some support from the movie’s director.
George Lucas himself, another Jacobin infected mouthpiece from the Hollywood crowd, marvels at his own earlier abilities (psychic?) to have predicted on screen how “Democracies can turn into dictatorships.” Are Lucas and like-minded cinema demagogues talking about dictators such as Hitler, Stalin, Castro, or the up and coming Hugo Chavez of Venezuela? Are they making analogies to Islamo-fascism, National Socialism (Nazism), or communism? Well, actually, no. The coincidences and analogies to rising tyranny in Lucas’s last segment of the Star Wars epic are being compared to…, you guessed it, George Bush, the power grasping fascist tyrant of our time (perhaps Laura is an accomplice!). Of course, when suggesting that Bush is the modern day manifestation of Hitler, such sales pitches for leftland’s worldview fail to mention those who voted with Bush for a needed Iraq transformation from dictatorship; Tony Blair and the British Parliament, the U.S. Congress (including Hillary Clinton), and a good portion of the world’s democratic leaders. Oh, I forgot, “the world” (France, Germany, China, and Russia) was clearly opposed. They must be the anti-fascists – a lighter side of the force, if you will. And where could such wisdom come from best but from the homes of Robespierre, Hitler, Mao, and Stalin?
George Lucas cautions us in our own present day move “from democracy to dictatorship” (he apparently hasn’t noticed that’s been going on for at least the past 50 years). He now expresses his concern as to how things are going now under the guy he didn’t vote for. Democrats had ruled congress for forty years and the presidency for a good portion of these years as well. They appointed Supreme Court justices and crammed most of their socialist schemes down the constitutions throat. They’ve passed regulations and restrictions and initiated wars but now, we’re headed for a fascist dictatorship because other voters didn’t agree with entertainers from Hollywood.
The show stopping line from Lucas’s new movie where we’re all supposed to say, “Wow, I get it!,” is when Anakin Skywalker (soon to become Darth Vader) utters, “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.” This is supposed to remind us of when President Bush said, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” George Bush is now Darth Vader as well as Hitler. Now it's all starting to make sense.
Everyone knows that when deciding where to place one’s moral stance, between Islamo-fascism or open and free society, you’re supposed to say;
“Ya know, you both have a point. I think I’m gonna sit this one out. After all, ‘one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’ [or ‘minute man,’ as Michael Moore so eloquently put it].” Indeed, it’s hard to take a side when both sides have such reasonable points to make – Nazi Caliphate or medium mocha latte?
So, there you have it -- again -- Islamo-fascists deliberately targeting civilians in their passionate desire to impose a theocratic police state, and collectivist ideologues across the globe still seeking to chain us into those pre-fab boxes in their heads. And…the dark side of the force is a guy with a ranch in Texas who promoted the removal of a fascist dictator. Bush, the amazing paradoxical boogeyman of the left, half village idiot, half evil genius -- and former owner of a baseball team too. We should have seen it all coming.
Ahhh, the wisdom of artiste’s…
Although it’s pronounced the same, Cannes should be spelled Con, so at least everyone knows what to expect.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
The Prol, The Prince, And The Parasite
Today, one still often hears reference to, “the working class.” This is more so in Europe than America, and certainly more so among pampered intellectual ideologues than those who could actually be considered, “working class.” The phrase, today, actually reflects a rhetorical talking point more than an economic reality.
In the modern capitalist, free-market economy, almost everyone works. I’d seriously question anyone who considered the average factory worker’s effort to be somehow morally superior to the hours put in by the entrepreneurs who energize the economic circumstance of a country.
Ironically, many of those who tend toward Leftist philosophy are typically not “working class” by any definition. They represent, and always have represented, an elite. While a good portion of their type now come from the pampered college-molded middle class, they can hardly be seen as the toiling laborers of past eras, described as “proletarian” in Marxist lingo.
My father, like many in the post WWII era, worked at an automobile factory – for over 30 years. We were hardly “poor” or wanting for basic commodities, but we were probably in a lower tier of the middle class, culturally as well as economically. By the time I reached high school, we had moved to a nicer community but still lived in a simple house and owned a succession of used cars.
The “prols” are supposed to be left wing in their sympathies, or at least, “liberal” Democrats (in their desire to obtain the confiscated wealth of “the rich”). The Left today is still puzzled that such people -- the “working class” -- tend to be conservative or “right-wing” in their outlook. How can this be? The simple, and I think honest, answer is that the Left’s true affinities and sympathies never were for anyone beyond themselves. A conjured class of “oppressed workers” served no greater purpose to them other than being a mere excuse for grasping power. This resentful clique’ of "artists, philosophers, and thinkers,” still demands that society be structured upon their imposed vision. The Left’s entire stance is a coercive and condescending lie fostered upon “the workers” and everyone else. Fortunately, the “prol” knows nonsense when he or she sees it.
In China today, its common for students who are opposed to Communist party rule to refer to the power drunk cadre’s as, “princes,” which is indeed what they are.
The Leftist ideologue, for all their “revolutionary” lip service, desires a return to a type of monarchy – rule by a royal clique' of intellectuals, “artists,” and bureaucrats. The Leftist “thinker” is a prince, believing in his or her deserved role within an Imperial Court.
Socialists, and their mouthpieces in mainstream media and education, would have us believe that conservatism is defined in wealthy oppressive businessmen or simpleton fundamentalist Christians. The same socialist Left tends to see itself as bohemian, independent, revolutionary, and a vanguard of the “poor and oppressed.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
My own initial confrontation with Leftist elitism came while still in school. Schools are always well populated with budding elites, archetypes of nascent Leftist thought. These kids were often from well-off families, they got good grades, were popular, proper, and obedient to authority (while playing lip-service to feigned rebellion). They always had a direct or subtle disdain for the less refined and obedient renegades of the school.
After completing school in the government stockades, people like me got jobs. The refined and cooperative princes went to college to become professional superior humans -- born to rule.
I remember, during high school, walking home one day and daring to discuss the negative attributes of communism in China with one of those young princely scholars. I don’t remember his name, but I remember he was robotic in his icy cold intellectual manner, while he logically described the necessity of killing millions to bring about a better political order. His praises to Mao Zedong were accompanied by the obligatory attack on our own system of government, of course. I mention this encounter because I don’t think it was that unique.
Most of us on the “Right” -- classical liberals -- remember the smug, self-righteous and condescending intellectuals in school. In rough fetal form, they were merely “superior.” Over time, they would develop the academic credentials and group ties, used as adults, to justify their inflated sense of self. I wasn’t impressed with them then, and still recognize them now when I hear or read their thoughts in publications, from their pulpits at universities, or from the power centers of political life.
The Prince is still on an ego trip, and he or she (Princess?) still seeks the grand prize through a phony chant of concern for some conjured victims of our free system.
It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose. One person’s “victim” is often no more than another’s mere parasite.
I attended college later in life. While doing so, for a time, I lived in a house with four other roommates. I performed the reasonable obligations that are expected of one in a group living situation. I paid my bills in a timely manner, contained the volume of music in the evening, and in general, avoided intrusion into my roommate’s affairs.
It was in this setting that I encountered a sort of microcosm of what one may find in the larger social world. Like myself, most of the roommates exhibited the proper dignities of responsibility and decorum. Individual roommates periodically came and left. Occasionally we would have someone rooming with us who I now see as the Left’s poster child – someone irresponsible, intrusive, manipulative, or downright rude; often they were alcoholics. They showed little or no respect for the other roommates or the common areas of the home. In addition to their crude personal manner and hygiene, they often insisted on spreading their debased aesthetic sense about the common area. Their friends often came to the house late, were loud, and drank heavily. Their overall attitude toward their environment was that everything around them was theirs by default. Any polite request to turn their music down during late hours was met with a childish anger and resentment. Sometimes they were belligerent. Although they were often drunk in such circumstances, I didn’t view their alcohol intake to be the cause of their character flaws. A six-pack of beer merely seemed to magnify an innate temperament that was a combination of the infantile, the spoiled, and the domineering. Gracing this unholy trinity of psychopathology was an exaggerated sense of victim hood. They saw themselves as victims of other’s “mean-spirited” views and “materialistic” (successful) lifestyle. It shouldn’t have been surprising to me that these characters would also regularly help themselves to other’s food as a sort of entitlement. They deserved free access to other’s food merely because they wanted it! Expecting them to “ask to barrow” a refrigerator item would be expecting too much. I was amazed at how often such theft was turned around as a testament to my own “selfishness,” -- for not allowing them to freely steal from me.
In such behavior I saw the essence of the entire Socialist / Leftist worldview. (Robin Hood’s “giving to the poor” doesn’t’ change the fact that he’s a thief). These are the people who we are often asked to support and “understand” in the societal realm. Any lack of sympathy we may show for their chosen path in life is chastised as a lack of “compassion” for “society’s victims.” To be sure, there are fellow citizens whose bad choices or genuine misfortune have placed them in lower social strata, but even when such circumstance is not of his or her own fault, these people are not heroes in my eyes. There’s a big difference between pity and outright respect bordering on worship. While such characters may be worthy of pity, they most certainly are not worthy of worship, yet; these are the hero’s of the left. These are the people we are supposed to be excited about. To not show “compassion” for their circumstance, one risks being labeled, “selfish,” “greedy,” or worst of all, “a Republican.”
Obviously, not everyone who is down on his or her luck is a parasite. Before the advent of the Socialist mega-state, a host of private charities and networks offered productive assistance to those in need. In recent decades, the bureaucracy has sought to replace the true compassion of individuals with confiscated funds directed toward an increasingly dependent public. In essence, the prince has asked the Prol for the power to take wealth from “The Rich” (and other prols) for the Parasite, and for doing so, the Prince gets to become King.
In an open system, sound judgment will carry most honest souls to better times eventually (we’ve all seen good and bad times). Few people in a free society lead consistently tragic lives without some degree of willful collaboration in such a fate.
I don’t think one person’s negative circumstance warrants punishment to the majority of other people who lead relatively stable and comfortable lives.
A leftist resents not only most of our successes, achievements, and progress; they resent the very bourgeois decorum and responsible thought that leads to a successful life. To them it is unfair and unjust that everyone is not equally poor, unsuccessful, or unhappy. They stand bewildered and resentful when others think it as unfair and unjust to have their own lives intruded upon and their wealth confiscated for the poster children of contrived victim hood.
A free and open society will always be stratified, diverse, and dynamic. The world the Left continually promises is uniform, conformist (“equal”), and full of sham “compassion” to restrain progress and “distribute” failure (with abridgment of general liberties as a side effect).
Where the Left’s directed scorn is to wealthy, successful, bourgeois living, my own disgust is toward intrusive and disruptive parasites that think everyone owes them compensation for their own pathetic manner and choices. To be sure, those who genuinely feel concern or “compassion” for the reckless, foolish, or none-too-bright, can help in a number of ways. The Left’s method will always involve some kind of punishment toward success, for their real gripe is not with poverty or problems, but with achievement and success.
We can likely tell a lot about one’s values and genuine motivations by what images appear on their symbolic posters of conviction. An incompetent, dependant, domineering, or resentful “victim” of injustice is hardly a worthy poster child for any crusade.
The Parasite can, of course, be pitied. Stuck in an infantile stage of dependency, it merely wishes it’s “needs met” on demand (and doesn’t want to have to expend too much energy or responsibility having them met). It means no harm; it merely wishes to sustain itself on another’s dime, so to speak. In the Left’s worldview, a person is “selfish” for wanting to keep their money and a person is to be pitied for wanting to take it.
The Prol – or what remains of that concept in today’s world – wants to see his or her own efforts pay off in comfortable existence and degrees of improvement for self and family.
The Prince wants to simply have his or her ideals enforced – they want to be in charge, directly or indirectly. The Prince is still arrogant as ever. Daring to continue the charade that he or she actually “cares” about others never met. The Prince demands recognition, homage, and authority. The standard-bearers of Leftist philosophy still look down their noses from their lofty throne in the clouds. Allied with the stern hand of state, they’d enslave us all to prove their greatness. While belittling the Prol’s simple values and tossing crumbs of stolen goods to the Parasites among us, they claw their arrogant path from prince to grander prizes. What’s a little more tyranny, bloodshed, or economic decay when a spoiled monarch has a point to make?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Allow me one of those more fervent and less professional rants.
Excuse this honest but course appraisal; Noam Chomsky is an _ _ _ (appropriately, rhymes with “gas”) – hole. As an exercise in “hate speech” let me clearly state that I despise Chomsky and his pampered band of anti-U.S. socialist intellectual con-artists.
There are certainly information sources that state the same in more diplomatic terms and back their appraisals with facts if one is offended by my more blunt observations.
If one chooses to brand this anti-Chomsky stance as "broad generalizations," they’d be absolutely right, and I might add that broad generalizations are often absolutely right, regardless of coarseness in description or lack of footnotes.
One of Noam Chomsky’s big issues is how wealth and the capitalist media ultimately help to sustain the perceived evil of the market system. Supposedly, if rich guys (like socialist, Ted Turner?) didn’t own media outlets, we’d all “see through the lies” and jump at the opportunity for self-enslavement under socialist bureau-monopoly.
The Chomsky media critique’ of course isn’t some new idea. It’s been said in so many words before by other socialists like Antonio Gramsci, and of course, Marx (every Chomskyite’s real hero). Chomsky supporters often recite lines from their master to bolster their anti-capitalist case. One such introductory con-line is to acknowledge that America is, “the freest society in the world…that said…” Of course, everyone knows the weak debate strategy of first conceding a point before arguing its opposite (such cunning skill in the art of manipulation and evasion must be one of the reasons Chomsky is often described as a “genius” among his cult followers).
I just spent a few days in Tokyo, one of the world’s great cities. Some book stores in Tokyo are huge but not unlike those I‘ve seen in Korea, or the U.S. for that matter. The variety and accessibility of information, views, and ideals is a historical miracle, and none of it is the product of social planning, or phony “we care” leftist mock-altruism. It’s all the end result of free-market capitalism or, what the left calls, “greed” – the “greed” to write, publish, market, and sell ideas and beliefs (what could be more “selfish?").
In one massive bookstore by Tokyo station there’s a huge section of English books. As an aside I must note something that caught my eye when there. Among the many varieties of fact and opinion within the store’s selection (plenty of Chomsky’s own works I might add) was Natan Scharansky’s book, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror. Oddly, above it was not one of those favorable reviews one often sees posted to help sell a book but, instead, a yellowed two month old UN-favorable review from one of Japan’s English newspapers, erected on a metal stand above the books. Apparently, the store’s leftist demagogue in residence had also taken the time to underline parts of the review that scolded G.W. Bush and the book’s author for their “arrogance” in thinking they could spread freedom (the nerve of them!). It should probably be noted that Scharansky is now an Israeli, and anti-Semitism has of late become a staple of socialist thought (in the guise of exaggerated concern for Palestinians).
I doubt if posting the blatant political commentary above the book in question was the act of a Japanese employee of the store. I certainly doubt it was usual store policy to deliberately discourage people from purchasing certain books. I attribute the phenomena to the likelihood that another one of Japan’s resident Jacobin Westerners, working in the store, was busy spreading the party line on the negative value of freedom – a leftist standard. No matter. What annoyed me most was how anyone can be so fervently against the dignity of individual human liberty. This is an issue which has become an all too regular feature of leftist philosophy of late, and certainly isn’t helping them in their cause to win over the less committed. It would have been pathetic enough if such a biased posting had been put up next to a book by New Gingrich, but the leftist rant accompanying this book, and criticizing its writer, was blatantly absurd. Scharansky’s celebration of freedom and hopes that others will share in it is hardly the work of an un-“compassionate conservative.”
It may be seen as hyperbole for me to say so, and I’ve said it before many times; The left does not like freedom! If they dare utter the word at all it is only in context to their bizarre notion that it defines a condition where individual citizens and families are under the firm control of social planners, bureaucrats, or tyrants. Not only do they not like freedom, they don’t even necessarily like “the poor,” whose cause they typically claim to champion. Their sole driving motivation is a hatred of wealth, success, and achievement and the fact that it is others – not themselves -- responsible for the success of modern capitalist, free, and open society. They will tell us they’re “anarchists,” (with a strait face) and at other times stretch the limits of credulity, defending the “need’ for a strong powerful, centralized state. They’ll tell us that they are "not communists" but in all their writings defend the ideology and it’s “leaders” to no end, consistently telling us, or implying, that such systems are better than what we have now in multi-party democratic societies.
We in the advanced and free capitalist societies have access to an incredible variety of information, entertainment, products, services, and even “spiritual” values, (if we choose to glean that non-material market as well).
Noam Chomsky and the left in general are certainly correct to notice that most people will “consent” to such a miracle in human circumstance. The fact that writers, publishers, musicians, movie directors, and car salespersons (as well as that oppressive kid with the lemonade stand) want to make a profit is also correct. I personally don’t care; I hope they all become filthy rich! I’m certainly not convinced that deriding their enterprise and initiative or stealing their wealth will somehow “help the poor.” It may feed the egos of a few intellectual pseudo-rebels for a time and certainly put the breaks on any successful momentum toward future prosperity.
At issue in the “manufactured consent” hypothesis of the left is actually not, that many will be “duped” into supporting free-market open society (e.g. capitalism), but that the leftist worldview will not be freely chosen by most citizens. Free society does not consent to bureau-slavery. Socialism is either violently imposed or sneaked in over time (as has been occurring to various degrees in much of the developed world). Do the Jacobin clowns of left-land actually believe that media and culture planned and directed by politicians and bureaucrats affords a fairer, “better” society? Most of their writings seem to imply this very absurd fantasy. And yet they call those of us who see through such obvious obedience to tyranny, “ill-informed, and ignorant.”
More basic “generalities;” Socialists want power redirected away from an infinite variety of corporations, businesses, religions, unions, media, entertainment, education, families, and individuals (especially individuals) and into the hands of politicians and the state. They sometimes call this attempted power grab a “revolution,” but it’s nothing more than what most of history has found to be the mere act of raw force and coercion. Socialists are little more than thugs with bigger vocabularies.
The “philosophy” (“I want power” isn’t really a “philosophy”) manufactured in the heads of leftists is something no sane person would freely consent to, which is why bookstores and lifestyles of unlimited variety are such a threat to the dogmatic self-absorbed clowns of left-land.
One of the greatest charlatans in the phony cause to manufacture a society of un-consented bondage to socialist ideology is Noam Chomsky – a “genius,” who also happens to be an _ _ _ hole.
Death By Government
I've come across a few very excellent links lately that I must post for those who may not have also come by them. My first hat tip is to The Tanuki Ramble for his links to R.J. Rummel's site and associated links on Democide. The Tanuki's regular troll of socialist annoyance (calling himself, K.B.) has of course taken issue with the facts that Rummel's presents because Rummel's basic claim is that Communist states are bad and kill lots of people -- certainly can't stand for such slander when the real bad guy in his eyes is that dreaded catalyst to Starbucks, McDonald's, and the electric light bulb (America).
Another excellent and very informative essay can be found at FrontPageMagazine.com regarding truths and realities regarding the Vietnam war -- lots of things you may not have known after Hollywood and the Journalist "community" has processed the events of history.
Another important update of facts at Front Page concerns the ever increasing road to communist dictatorship occurring in Venezuela under its ego-maniac, Hugo Chavez (another, "champion of the poor").
One needn't be a "McCarthyite" to notice that Socialist demagogues are not "the good guys."
Sunday, May 15, 2005
The Love That Dare Not Annoy More Conventional Folks
There are a few issues that I’m just not really excited about. The death penalty is one. Another is Gay Marriage.
As a libertarian, by default I believe in everyone’s right to live their life as they choose with the qualification that they not impose their will upon others through force or fraud. Fairness and “justice” should, of course, afford everyone the right to marry who they choose – legally or otherwise. None the less, “gay marriage” is a new concept for most people.
If one believes some talking heads’ analysis of the recent election, then “homophobia” is now progressing to the pogrom stage of hate and tyranny. Contrary to this typical pseudo-rebel overreaction, I’d suggest that the rejection of gay marriage by the voters of the last election was not “turning the clock back.” It was a rejection of adopting a radical new standard whose time may just not have come yet.
I have a few friends passionately devoted to “gay issues,” by and large because it’s just another symbol of political chic for them to espouse. They certainly don’t practice “tolerance” or “acceptance” of several other groups within humanity. Some who preach such tolerance toward politically correct groups are incredibly intolerant, and even hateful, to members of groups they see as too conventional or average. In their predictable rants one finds invective for anyone who is white, male, middle-class, religious, or republican.
I’m going to suggest that a good portion of those who recently voted against gay marriage are not “full of hate.” An easier “sell” of the issue would have probably gone a long way in attaining some incremental success. The left always demands that the world be turned upside down and when some are slow to follow they spew their usual rant about “hate” and “right wing extremists.” No, rejection of radical change in society’s social standards is not akin to a “return to Jim Crow laws.” It’s not a “return” to anything. Advocates are demanding something with rare modern precedents.
I think most people, myself included, really don’t care who gets married to whom. Of course, the issue itself is far more “nuanced,” to use the new popular euphemism of partisan polemics. Legal issues of marriage, divorce, custody, and insurance etc. call for official recognition if “gay unions” are to become fully legitimate. Like other issues in the last election, the Left overstated its case and is currently over reacting to its rejection. Most American’s born and raised on Hollywood proselytizing have certainly come to realize that there are many among us whose lifestyles or social arrangements are not “conventional,” but…
The truth is, -- and gay advocates hate this -- homosexuality is still a marginal value system (or determined tendency). Aside from some much-touted minor and often questionable examples, most cultures throughout human history have, at best, reluctantly accepted it as a deviation from some written or unwritten norm. More typically, homosexuality has been rejected outright, as everything from a bizarre curiosity to perverse “sin” (and no, the Christians aren’t alone on this) -- most places are not Lesbos over two millennia ago. There are always standards of what is “normal, acceptable,” or “socially tolerable.”
Every “nerd” (myself included) has learned to moderate his or her eccentricities somewhat. Deviate too far from the norm and one is bound to experience some negative response, or at least a noticeable lack of favoritism. With the “advocates for social change” though, this issue is always a life or death “struggle.”
Out of a population of 280 million, if a few psychos commit an act of violence against a Muslim or gay, expect to see it touted as an example of a “culture of hatred and violence.”
The advocates of social change would be wise to adopt some of the very “tolerance” they demand of others when perusing radical change. Those who defend the standard of a traditional family unit have their own valid concerns regarding the world they’re raising children in. Such positions on the issue are simply brushed off as “narrow-minded,” “homophobic,” or hateful by many in the social advocacy crowd. Calling more traditionally minded people “fascists” and conjuring fictional nightmare episodes of oppression isn’t going to win adherents to the cause.
If the avant-garde rebels of Hollywood and academia were wiser, they may see some value in tempering their demands on a society that isn’t quite ready for an instant transformation from the social template of millennia.
There are a few countries -- very few – that have adopted liberal laws regarding gay marriage. When America also adopts such laws, as they surely will, it will still be among a minority of nations in the world to do so. It may be surprising to some left wing social advocates, but such an expansion in civil rights is not likely to occur in the Muslim countries that they so vocally side with when deriding our own culture.
America is a radically different country than it was a few decades ago. Its strength has always been an incredible adaptibity to change and ever-greater openness to new ideas and values. The left of course, would deny this and claim that we’re perpetually returning to some 1950’s style “conservatism.” Any honest appraisal, of course, knows this is nonsense.
Contemporary America is one of the most open and diverse societies in human history. The fact that it has failed to fully sanction a contempory fringe interest hardly makes it a gulag, and chastising more conventional values will only slow the progress toward change that some may seek.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Soviet Russia’s Valiant Struggle Against Fascism
It was almost (I stress almost) funny to hear Vladimir Putin and the mainstream media fawn over Russian sacrifices during WWII.
Has everyone forgotten that the war in Europe began with Germany and Russia in alliance in an attack on Poland? While the soldier’s and civilian’s sacrifices were genuine and are now justly mourned, the reality of what occurred at that time seems to be somewhat clouded. The reality of the war's begining was nothing less than an alliance of two sects of socialist ideology against the values of freedom.
Again, the “ignorant” and “unintellectual” George Bush seemed to be the only one on the world scene in recent celebrations to acknowledge the aftermath of the war as well – a continuation of prison camps and tyranny for the socialist cause -- Mother Russia, under the Communist Party was no hero.
In one brief newscast I had seen, it was noted that many now view Joseph Stalin himself a hero for – again – “battling the forces of fascism.” What exactly is so heroic about being stupid enough to succumb to attack from a fellow dictator ("I thought we were friends?")?
Russia has every reason to justly celebrate and mourn over the tragic events brought upon innocent citizens of its own country and Europe as a whole, but their celebration should be tempered by some humility regarding their own foolish support for statist tyranny. Likewise, the international media, academia, Hollywood, and school text books should acknowledge that there were indeed two violent ideologies unleashed upon Europe in the 20th century. Most are well aware of the horror that Nazi Germany represented to the values of liberty but, “Uncle Joe?” He’s just that kindly guy sitting next to Roosevelt and Churchill in photos of the period. Oh yeah…he killed and imprisoned a few million people but, “He struggled against the forces of fascism.” ...when it was no longer convenient to be on the same ruthless side.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Nationalism, Patriotism, Common Sense, and Common Decency
The whole “patriotism” thing is anathema to some. Their straw man caricature is a flag waving lunatic; chauvinistic, aggressive, and ultimately driven by a collectivist’s sense of fervent affiliation to abstract symbolism. Such rare passion should more accurately be called nationalism, which indeed is what it is.
A person can certainly like (many probably do “love”) their country, defend it from criticism, and yet not be aggressive, or desire to subdue or vanquish all those groups which are not one’s country.
The Nazis were clearly nationalistic. China today is beginning to show some signs that it may move into that direction to some degree. On the other hand, it’s been quite some time since Mexico or Canada have had to beef up their military in fear of a U.S. lebensraum maneuver of “imperial aggression.”
“My country right or wrong” may be a stupid statement (especially if one really means, “my government right or wrong”) but, “My free and open society and cherished self-government is better than a one party dictatorship” isn’t quite nationalistic in my view. I’m not even sure if it’s “patriotic.” Belief in the virtues of a free society should be simple common sense, but common sense is a weak quality among some idealists.
It’s always been a badge of honor among some leftists in America to deride their own country (you won’t see this phenomena so much amongst Euro-socialists who tend to think their bureau-states are just grand). They view their stance as one of hyper-sobriety – “seeing through the lies,” but, what exactly is so impressive about rooting for the other side when the other side wills your country’s destruction, especially when the other side is an authoritarian philosophy or regime? Of course the Chomskys and Michael Moores and their flock will tell us that they are not rooting for their own country’s enemies. No, their level of sophistication (and, of course, moral superiority) place them in some magical domain that is above taking a side yet, when choosing to criticize or despise a side in general, their scorn is always directed most to the hand that’s been feeding them (and the American “hand” has fed them plenty).
How long would a Noam Chomsky claim a role as “gadfly” in Castro’s Cuba? Would Michael Moore be making critical (and dishonest) “documentaries” in Saddam Hussein’s regime? Yet, the left reserves a special bitterness and disdain for those of us who look upon our home as…our home.
To be sure, America, like most countries, has a history full of tarnished misdeed and outright horror. But just how horrible are those of us from the current great hegemon? I’ve never owned a slave (there are people in the world today who do own slaves -- not just “low wage earners” -- and the left is relatively quiet about them – “who are we to meddle in their unique cultures”).
Through the eyes of a Michael Moore or Noam Chomsky style perspective,* Pol Pot’s slaughter in Cambodia was not merely equivalent to our own corruptions but was ultimately because of our overwhelmingly evil nature (we’re the Devil, and we made them do it). “Confess your crimes!” – Whether a totalitarian show trial or academic’s command to his or her captive audience, the cry remains the same, anyone who dares side with their own country, defends its constitutional and market system, is a co-conspirator in evil...but Castro? “He’s trying to make a better world” (even though he’s spent over 40 years literally destroying an island civilization).
A new twist in the left’s phony polemic arsenal is to now declare that it is they who are the true “patriots.” Michael Moore calling U.S. citizens the “stupidest in the world” and Ward Churchill telling us that 9/11 was a roosting chicken’s attack on a Nazi-like capitalist evil are just their way of saying how much they really like/love their country.
Attempted caricatures aside, most citizens of the U.S. are not rabid nationalist fanatics. I’d guess a good portion of America’s population likes their country, some may even love it. In a world where such feelings toward one’s own country are pretty much standard, this should hardly be considered problematical or even noteworthy.
For the left, it’s all just another example of their pet demons gone wild, “a new fascist resurgence.”
America is bad, unworthy of support or defense – “confess your crimes! ...Imperialist, capitalist running dog”. …Common sense and common decency was never one of the left’s finer points.
* I’m using these two examples (Moore and Chomsky) repeatedly because they so clearly exemplify the pop and intellectual elite versions of the critics I speak of.
Friday, May 06, 2005
(The following post elaborates upon the issues addressed in an earlier post. Admittedly, it's more emotionally motivated tirade than a practical analysis – in other words, “just bitching.”)
I've always sought to avoid becoming ensnared in one of the many on-line arguments which occur regularly on many web sites, not because I'm particularly docile or well mannered but, more simply, because I’d find it a waste of time.
I'm one of those guys who will occasionally tell the writer of an impressive blog post that they've stated their case well, or in some instances, I’ll write a few general comments of agreement or vent a few of my own passions on a given topic. I’d never consider wasting hours dredging up facts and citations to prove to another individual or a few onlookers that, "I'm right and you’re wrong." Recently, on one blog site, I came close to being pulled into just such a time-consuming and wasteful enterprise.
The leftist I sparred with comments often, in incredibly lengthily diatribes, clearly frazzled that the blog's writer and some other commentators, like me, have dared take a view different from his own. In terms of political views and style, this character's comments are a cliché version of all I've come to know and despise from the Jacobin crowd. In this sense, my on-line encounters with him are perfect examples of what conservatives and libertarians regularly encounter from most "progressives." His approach (when I refer to "him" I stress his significance as a symbol more than a personal polemic nemesis), is classic left in all ways; constant citing of Chomsky, obsessive criticism of anything American, and constant defense of any totalitarian enterprise, so long as it is anti-capitalist. Because his arguments often run pages and pages, it literally indicates that he has massive amounts of free time on his hands or can research, contemplate, and type, at miraculous speeds. At times, the obsessiveness of a stalker has come to mind when scrolling over his comments, which are often longer than the original blog post. His greatest gripe with me, and others of like persuasion, is that we won't specifically respond to his meticulous points. I've made it clear in my own blog on more than a few occasions, that I consider it to be futile arguing fine points with such characters – where does such an investment get either side really? I can surely loose sleep and leisure time over more worthy and productive endeavors. I realize that not responding with my own lengthily lists of scholarly retort implies defeat – oh well. To tell the truth, I can write all I want on my own blogsite and readers can agree or disagree all they want. The real world contains many contending viewpoints and most have some merit in some contexts with some people, so why should any of us go in to court-case mode in the fanciful hope of swaying a true believer (in this case the irony of a true believer in skepticism). I’m not going to surrender my belief in the virtues of free and open society, and the opposition will surly not relinquish allegiance to the socialist worldview – again, oh well.
So…I don’t like the left’s take on things. None the less, I’m more than willing to acknowledge that many spokespersons for their cause are quite bright, often well read and, may on occasion genuinely be motivated by a noble purpose (at least in their own eyes). No such dignity is afforded the libertarian right. Even in the most civil debates with the left, they always manage to imply -- or directly state -- that we conservative / libertarians are intellectual inferiors, unschooled in historical fact, and usually morally corrupt enough to earn the pervasive label, “fascist.” The particular polemic opponent I had dealt with skirts that issue by merely calling, “[my] ideas” fascist – thanks.
Jacobins love a straw man. Somehow appreciation for my countries character, history, and system, or my defense of it from the likes of Michael Moore or Noam Chomsky, is morphed into flag-waving nationalism in the mind of such opposition. This is the only way the left can view anyone who actually likes America, when comparing conservative views to their own excessive dislike for everything the U.S. represents (particularly its free market economic system). To dare like the U.S. (historical warts and all), and to desire limited government and a free economic system can only be judged by them as examples of rabid patriotism, intellectual ignorance, and, of course, “fascism.” Such critics are the same people who will respond to comments regarding the domination of academia by the left with the usual statement that this is because conservatives simply aren’t smart enough to make it into academe -– and they’re completely serious when they say this. They actually believe that intelligence correlates with a specific political philosophy -- theirs (too bad about Winston Churchill and Edmund Burke).
Most of us who are conservative or libertarians are well aware of the tragedies, misdeeds, and acts of horror done by the American government though its history. None the less, we still favor our relatively adaptable and open system, especially when comparing it to the one party dictatorships that the left all too often defends (often denying that they are in fact dictatorships).
The left's obsession with matters of patriotism (the topic of a future post) now regularly produces an increasingly heard retort that they are the "real patriots," that their "criticisms" (i.e. Michael Moore's, "Americans are the dumbest people on the planet”) are made because they care so much about the US. Who could possibly read the average leftist appraisals of America and miss their true sentiments regarding the country? They clearly do despise the US in general (not just its government or selected personalities in power at a given time).
In the left’s fantasy scheme there are conservative flag-waving fools who see no wrong in anything their country has done, and on the other side, themselves, the wise intellectuals, all knowing and unswayed by any doctrine. Such noble self appraisal would hold more credibility if it weren't for these character’s constant defense of communist dictatorships (i.e. China, Cuba, Vietnam). This attribute is so consistent amongst the left that I think it can be accurately said that, to them, the worst is always assumed of the U.S. and the benefit of a doubt always laid at the feet of any authoritarian institution so long as it is left of center.
Another conflict which inevitably colors my own encounters with the socialist crowd involves the different way people appraise ideas and circumstances in general. I don't know if it's a conservative trait specifically, but I personally prefer to deal in "generalities" and the more basic motivating factors that drive particular worldviews. People can debate minutia endlessly regarding the Enron scandal, McDonald’s marketing, or unfair labor practices but, in the end, one’s reasons to side with capitalism or socialism are beyond any such details they may wish to bring to the argument. All too often I find that the left wants to ramble to no end on fine points (and it seems, endlessly increasing points), often completely unrelated to another's simple call for less laws and government regulation. I don't think this particular quirk of character is necessarily a coincidence; in fact I find the leftist concern for detail to be a characteristic trait of what I call bureau-mind and the desire to micro-manage in general. Instead of recognizing that some people prefer to see things in “the big picture” the left often just discounts the value of an entire worldview if one chooses to not respond to their specific prosecution style “questions.” There’s certainly nothing wrong with citing examples to make one’s case but in confronting the left, all too often I find that my mere desire to live under limited constitutional government or favor individualism is deemed invalid unless I can specifically cite scholarly evidence and facts that prove that the Sandinistas were authoritarian, or that the numbers killed by Mao Zedong are completely accurate. To the left, responding to their specifics and details are critical to debate, to me…I couldn’t care less, and I don’t think my preference to view things in generalities somehow disproves my right to be free of the imposed collectivist schemes so cherished by the left. I think it's bad that Communist governments regularly control, coerce, and kill people to establish their vision. Arguing that the actual numbers harmed or persecuted may be exaggerated may make a valid micro-point but hardly contradicts the value of the initial sentiment.
One of the more typical accusations that continually emerges in debates with left-land is their pervasive implication that one is somehow a fascist (nationalist/statist/collectivist/authoritarian) for holding classical liberal views (a definite contradiction to say the least), and that somehow one's intellect and moral character are found weakened by their stance in support of limited government. I don’t believe that those of us who side with individuality, liberty, and self-government as value systems need apologize for our chosen position. We needn't "prove" our values are worthy amongst contending ideas, and we are under no obligation to justify ourselves before the specific micro-interrogations of Chomskyites, Trotskyites, or garden variety socialists. Also, our intellect, morality, or value systems are not somehow weakened by not having read the specific tracts a leftist would demand we read (I really wouldn't expect or demand that they read "our" stuff).
It's amazing how often the demagogues of the left-wing intelligentsia insult America, religion, traditional values, and anyone who fails to follow their demanding drummer. Is this the way they hope to expand their following?
This is admittedly a rather long winded whine motivated more by emotion than the much prided intellectual detachment of our Jacobin betters. I think I can speak for many of us on the libertarian right however, in stating that our beliefs are valid, and worthy of sober consideration. We needn’t feel compelled to respond to polemic micro-points and demands of left-land’s court of bogus accusation ("admit your crimes!"). There are certainly many libertarian / conservative writers who do address fine points and statistics if a leftist is so desperately in need of such.
The leftist polemic defines open-mindedness and inquiry as, consulting their sources and adopting their viewpoint. Is it any wonder that on many college campuses today the very concept of, “diversity and tolerance” is defined, in effect, as eliminating the conservative view altogether.
Of course, it can be said that I’m being general and subjective and that I'm offering no "facts, proof, or citations" as would be demanded from the holier-than-thou high priests of the left -- so...
I'm a free individual who believes in open and free society and limited government -- a fairly simple concept. If someone wishes to counter this value system with lengthily lists “proving” that America is selfish, greedy, and evil and that communist dictatorships are really crusaders for “the poor,” then…go for it. Just don’t assume that everyone who fails to bow down before your secular inquisition is lacking in intelligence, character, or morality…and, oh yeah, get over this “fascist” labeling thing. Fascists believe in one party centralized tyranny, the complete opposite of free-market classical liberalism, and in fact more closely akin to the socialist bureau-state that most on the left favor.
The prosecuting attorneys of the left will continue to state their smug demands that evidence be presented to "prove" -- to their satisfaction -- that a free constitutional republic (The U.S.) is preferable to their own favored systems of bureau-imposed collectivism. But, what exactly have they proved? -- beyond their own capacity to present themselves as arrogant elitists.
We don't want the product you're selling. Now, go back to your commune and leave the rest of us alone.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
The Tanuki's On A Roll -- (and pay no attention to that Leftist gnome behind the curtain)
The Tanuki's style and professionalism places him in a far better league than my own and he's been currently on a roll in this regard. Also, check out this interesting link found by the Tanuki.
At the risk of being a bit "confrontational," I'm going to note the Tanuki's comments section as well. In virtually all of his -- excellent -- posts you will find a certain "K.B." character who is clearly infuriated that the Tanuki and people like me hold the views we do. I point this out since his obsessive concern with "American Crimes" is so characteristic of what we on the libertarian right deal with regularly. In all honesty he, and the cliché type he represents,are smart, well read, and willing to spend bizarre amounts of time posting links and quotes to prove the worthiness of their obsessive anti-U.S. stance.
I'll have a post up soon discussing why I hate tangling with such types. They'd like to think it's simply because they've somehow "won" their argument and we've run off unable to support our, "mean-spirited, greedy, selfish, capitalist, fascist" view in support of smaller and less centralized government. And of course there's the problem (to them) of us liking the US and preferring it to Communist dictatorships.
Enough for now...
A Truly Accurate Political Spectrum Test
Searching for a truly accurate political spectrum test
There are many sites that offer some variation on a "political spectrum test." Most are pretty basic and can probably roughly gauge one's position, right or left. The more Libertarian ones wisely indicate degrees of authoritarianism or dogmatism as well. Some political spectrum "tests" are rather skewed to where any stance right of center is defaulted to the fascist category -- of course, anything left of center is warm and fuzzy and overwhelming in a general character of overall goodness.
I've devised a simpler, and I believe more common sense, approach to the political spectrum idea:
* Do you favor a more powerful, more centralized government authority and more laws and regulations over fellow citizen's lives?
If you answered Yes to the test's only question, you are one of those people who favor a more powerful, more centralized government authority and more laws and regulations over fellow citizen's lives.
Who cares what a "spectrum" says...We know where you stand.