I know we are all supposed to be outraged at Lois Lane, er, Lerner's neat little trick of taking the Fifth right after her self-justificatory statement.
Yeah, what would Clark Kent down at the Daily Planet say about that?
But let's be practical. Lois Lerner is merely telling Congress a simple fact. Hey, pal, you want information, you gonna pay for it. Immunity for Information. Pay for play. That's the First Commandment in the Beltway.
Immunity for Information. That's how things go in the Obamian Culture of Intimidation.
Look. We conservatives finally get to come up for air and have a good laugh. Because liberals did this to themselves. They believe in the chimera of Good Government. Ethical activists and credentialed experts think up beneficial legislation and then the administrative state executes on it.
Settled science alert: Hayek told us half a century ago that the Good Government/Expert/Administrative state model was bound to fail, because the man in Whitehall (he was still in Britland at the time) could never know more than a million consumers.
On top of that liberals believe in a kind of salvific politics. Only elect the right man, the young and vigorous JFK, the charismatic policy wonk Bill Clinton, the intellectual Barack Obama, and the oceans will start to recede.
(Do these people not understand how religious this sort of thing sounds?)
But government is force. Politics is division. Administration is domination. If you don't limit all three you lose society. It turns into an internment camp. Liberals think that because they are virtuous and well intentioned and intellectual that they can design a beneficent society administered by large-minded people like them.
But the philosophy of limited government says that anyone, no matter how virtuous and large-minded, is corrupted by power. It says that the more government you have, the more force you have. The more politics you have the more society will be divided. And the more that you systemize things into administrative bureaucracies the more domination you have.
Well, now, five years after liberals went into a multiple political orgasm over the OMG! First! Black! President! we are starting to see the wages of folly. That wonderful intellectual president has been presiding over an IRS that has specifically targeted grass-roots political organizations for delay and harassment. The wonderful politician who was going to move beyond red and blue has tapped the telephones of AP journalists. Not just right-wing nut-cases at FoxNews, but good liberal AP journalists! And the most transparent administration in history is tangled in a web of lies and obfuscations over the murder of a US Ambassador.
Look liberals. Politicians are merely professional specialists in winning elections. That is all. Activists are activists, narrow, driven people with an agenda. Experts are thinking about their next grant. And bureaucrats are thinking about keeping their noses clean for the next few years until they collect their pensions. That is what you believe in.
There is such a thing as society; it's just not the same thing as the state. Society evokes the idea that humans are social animals; we cooperate and work and play together because that's who we are. But government is force; politics is division. The more government you have, the less freedom you have. the more politics you have, the less unity you have. With more government and more politics, the less society you have, because you have reduced society to an internment camp of force and division, mediated by systematic bureaucratic domination.
I don't think liberals really understand what is coming. They are safe in the soothing NYT-NPR bubble. But people are hurting. They are hurting as they get stripped of their health insurance by Obamacare, as they are stripped of a future by the sluggish economy.
Think of the next three years as Oklahoma in the tornado season. There are black clouds all around, but nobody knows when a line of thunderstorms will touch down into a twister. And nobody can know whose house it will rip apart and whose life it will tear in pieces.
Conservatives and Republicans are notorious for being stupid about politics and messaging and tactics. But when something big is in the air the minutiae of tactics usually don't matter as much as the professionals would like to believe. What matters instead is what the Soviets used to call the "correlation of forces" or the "contradictions" of the existing order.
All we can know for sure is that the lives of millions of Americans are going to be ripped to shreds in the next few years as the tornado of bankrupt government touches down on the ordinary American heartland.
And all the while the job-for-life IRS myrmidons that dutifully ragged on mom-and-pop Tea Parties will be taking the Fifth and bargaining about Immunity for Information.
TODAY'S the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner. He's #3 in Charles Murray's list of classical composers compiled in Human Accomplisment. But he's probably #1 on the list of most-hated composers. That would partly be due to his anti-semitism. And partly due to the fact that he wrecked the good old opera formula of recitative followed by beautiful songs. But really, he upended music as a ...
IT'S lucky that liberals never have to look at themselves in a mirror, and never have to listen to their hate speech. Because what liberals do is an utter betrayal of what they say they believe. They say that everything they do is for the little people. But they don't have a problem siccing the IRS on the little people of the Tea Party. They say that dissent is the highest form of ...
ONE of the underappreciated facts about the Tea Party movement is that women have been in the vanguard. And they started organizing in the fall of 2008. We're supposed to believe that all women are Democrats. But Keli Carender (@LiberTBelle), who started the Tea Party here in the Seattle area, is a graduate of Oxford, a teacher and sometime actor. Doesn't fit the profile. And of course many...
IN a thumb-sucker about the managerial shortcomings of the Obama White House, John Fund surfaces the worries of Democrats, that "chaotic implementation" of Obamacare could "could become the biggest political liability Democrats will face in next year’s midterm elections." Don't set your sights too high, Mr. Fund. How about: the train wreck of Obamacare implementation could result in the ...
SOMETIMES I have to agree with liberals. The writers of the US Constitution were living in another age. They just could not foresee how things would change and make the constitution obsolete.
Take the First Amendment and the Jefferson corollary. The whole idea of preventing an "establishment of religion" and enforcing a separation between church and state is just so 18th century, darling.
Because now the problem is the establishment of secular religion.
There's a British chappie who has penned a conventional-wisdom book about the decline of religion. In God is Dead: secularization in the West, Steve Bruce argues that people are just less interested in religion. He writes:
I expect the proportion of people who are largely indifferent to religious ideas to increase and the seriously religious to become a small minority.Of course, if you define religion narrowly as "believing in a transcendent God" Bruce's attitude might be partly right, although the Islamists would disagree. But if we are talking broadly about ideas and communities and rituals in which people construct a faith about the meaning of life and what to do about it, then Steve Bruce is bound to be completely wrong.
A great irony of our modern era is that at exactly the same time that the Cartesian-Newtonian world-view was emerging the anti-systemic capitalist culture was emerging as well. On the one hand you had the billiard ball determinism of Newtonian mechanics. On the other hand you had the infinite complexity of the market process. So why do we talk about the free-market "system", the price "system...
A while back I took a look at "Marx's Five Big Mistakes," five big things that Karl Marx got wrong. I mean things like the immiseration of the working class, the alienation of workers by the division of labor, the labor theory of value, the idea that bureaucracy would wither away under socialism, and that people would abandon the division of labor under socialism. But then I got to wondering...
IF you are a conservative or Republican, chances are that you are a member in good standing of the People of the Responsible Self. Nothing remarkable here. The Responsible Self was invented during the Axial Age, according to Robert Bellah. The idea developed that humans were not simply the helpless chattels of the gods but individuals, responsible before God for their lives. It's the ...
A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elitethe spectre of conservatism.
The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasnt supposed to be like this.
Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.
Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.
Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.
The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.
A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.
From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.
The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.
The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.
Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.
The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state
The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?
The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?
The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the last best hope of man on earth.
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.
But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?
With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.
In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.
Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.
I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.
Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier.
Gen. Hans von Seeckt, quoted in MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
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