Archive for the ‘Political science’ Category

From The Weekly Standard, Andrew Ferguson has a fascinating piece entitled “The New Phrenology”:

We are entering the age of the psychopundit (we can thank the science writer Will Saletan for this excellent word). Thomas Edsall, for example, is a veteran political reporter widely admired by people who admire political reporters. He has become very excited by social science, as so many widely admired people have. Studies show—as a psychopundit would say—that Edsall is excited because social science has lately become a tool of Democrats who want to reassure themselves that Republicans are heartless and stupid. In embracing Science, the psychopundit believes he is moving from the spongy world of mere opinion to the firmer footing of fact. It is pleasing to him to discover that the two—his opinion and scientific fact—are identical.

That the “rich and powerful” are identical to conservatives and Republicans—Edsall’s assumption—is a hoary idea dear to many Democrats and essential to their self-image as the opponents of privilege. It persists even though many of the plushest and most powerful institutions of American life are in the hands of liberal Democrats: public and private universities, government bureaucra-cies, nonprofit foundations, movie studios, television networks, museums, newspapers and magazines, Silicon Valley .  .  . Among the fabled “1 percent,” according to Gallup, the number of self-identified Republicans is only slightly greater than the number of Democrats. As Christopher Caldwell has pointed out in these pages, political donations from 19 of the 20 richest ZIP codes in the United States go overwhelmingly to Democrats, by a ratio of four to one or more. Democrats are the party of what Democrats used to call the superrich. Only Democrats seem not to realize this.

A lack of self-awareness isn’t peculiar to liberals or Democrats, of course, but to judge by the behavior of psychopundits, we can safely say that they are clueless not only about themselves but about their political opposites. A young psychopundit called Chris Mooney has just published a book entitled The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science—and Reality, which seeks to explain the Republican “assault on reality.” He is a very earnest fellow, and an ambitious one. He glances over an array of conservative political beliefs and sets himself a goal: “to understand how these false claims (and rationalizations) could exist and persist in human minds.”

It’s a really good piece.  Many of these topics we’ve hit on here before, as leftists insist that conservatives=dumb, conservatives are stupid because they don’t trust “science” (“science” being liberal fabrications to justify their own dogma), and how conservatives and opposing points of view must be purged from the science discourse and treated as insane, etc., etc.

Andrew Ferguson at Weekly Standard continues to tear apart the leftist themes, carrying on from the last paragraph:

His list of false claims is instructive. Along with the usual hillbilly denials of evolution and global warming, they include these, to grab a quick sample: that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 will increase the deficit, cut Medicare benefits, and lead to the death panels that Sarah Palin hypothesized; that tax cuts increase revenue and that the president’s stimulus didn’t create jobs; that Congress banned incandescent light bulbs; and that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.”

The list of errors is instructive because they aren’t properly considered errors, though the misattribution is in keeping with the modern ideologue’s custom of pretending that differences of opinion or interpretation are contests between truth and falsehood. It’s perfectly reasonable for conservatives to assume that offering health insurance to 43 million people will cost a lot of money, and thereby increase the deficit; and it’s perfectly reasonable to distrust notoriously mistaken budget forecasters who say it won’t. The act redirects vast sums away from Medicare, which should require cuts in service. Palin’s “death panel” was a bumper-sticker summary of a rational expectation—that the act will transfer the unavoidable rationing of health care from insurance companies, where most of it rests now, to the government, which will be forced to bureaucratically reshuffle the vast sums spent on end-of-life care. Mooney is right that Congress did not ban the incandescent light bulbs that most of us are used to; but it did ban their manufacture—a distinction without a difference. As for the Christian nation: The country was founded by Christians who nevertheless resolutely declined to create a Christian government. Mooney’s conflation of the American government with the American nation is an error that conservatives are less likely to make. Studies show.

It’s a very good piece.

From Chapter 11: The End of Truth

The most effective way of making everybody serve the single system of ends toward which the social plan is directed is to make everybody believe in those ends.  To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential that hte people should come to regard them as their own ends.  Although the beliefs must be chosen for the people and imposed upon them, they must become their beliefs, a generally accepted creed which makes the individuals as far as possible act spontaneously in the way the planner wants.  If the feeling of oppression in totalitarian countries is in general much less acute than most people in liberal countries imagine, this is because the totalitarian governments succeed to a high degree in making people think as they want them to.

This is, of course, brought about by the various forms of propaganda.  Its technique is now so familiar that we need say little about it.

Choice architectureNudge.  A velvet glove on the iron fist.

Hayek elaborates on pg 174:

The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they, or at least the best among them, have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognized before.  The people are made to transfer their allegiance from the old gods to the new under the pretense that the new gods really are what their sound instinct had always told them but what before they had only dimly seen.  And the most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning.  Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of the meaning of the words by which the ideals of the new regime are expressed.

The worst sufferer in this respect is, of course, the word “liberty.”  It is a word used as freely in totalitarian states as elsewhere.  Indeed, it could almost be said – and it should serve as a warning to us to be on our guard against all the tempters who promise us New Liberties for Old – that wherever liberty as we understand it has been destroyed, this has almost always been done in the name of some new freedom promised to the people.  Even among us we have “planners for freedom” who promise us a “collective freedom for the group,” the nature of which may be gathered from the fact that its advocate finds it necessary to assure us that “naturally the advent of all planned freedom does not mean that all [sic] earlier forms of freedom must be abolished.”  Dr. Karl Mannheim, from whose work these sentences are taken, at least warns us that “a conception of freedom modelled on the preceding age is an obstacle to any real understanding of the problem.”  But his use of the word “freedom” is as misleading as it is in the mouth of totalitarian politicians.  Like their freedom, the “collective freedom” he offers us is not the freedom of the members of society but the unlimited freedom of the planner to do with society what he pleases.  It is the confusion of freedom with power carried to the extreme.

A simple example is universal single-payer health care.  It’s to provide freedom from the evil insurance companies.  It provides “freedoms” as quoted here in remarks by a speaker at a press conference by Nancy Pelosi:

The new law has not only given me the freedom to stay covered, but has also freed me and my family from the fear that an insurer could drop me at any moment or limit me to go without treatment.

The “freedom to stay covered” is at the expense of someone else – at the expense of the individuals who make up an insurance company, or at the expense of the individual taxpayer.  Their freedom is traded for this patient’s priviledge.  Being “free” from “fear” that he could be dropped means that the insurer, or taxpayer, is now enslaved to his treatment.  He is now a guaranteed recipient of the labor of individuals, whether those individuals who also purchase insurance from a company, and now face increased premiums because of this government-protected claimant, or he is dependant on the taxpayer to cover his bill.  Ultimately, he is “free” only insomuch as he takes from someone else.

He is not free to choose a less expensive company, or free to go to a non-profit charity that would look out for his special case and would desire to help him – he is “free” by shackling others to his needs.  That is not freedom – that is parasitism enforced by the state.  Person A now must pay for Person B’s medical needs because Person B is “free” from the costs.

Hayek continues on pg 175:

In this particular case the perversion of the meaning of the word has, of course, been well prepared by a long line of German philosophers and, not least, by many of the theoreticians of socialism.  But “freedom” or “liberty” are by no means the only words whose meaning has been changed into their opposites to make them serve as instruments of totalitarian propaganda.  We have already seen how the same happens to “justice” and “law,” “right” and “equality.”  The list could be extended until it includes almost all moral and political terms in general use.

This is a major, major point.  This is why “liberals” today are intolerant, closed-minded people.  Virtually every aspect of who they are is the exact opposite of what they are.  They fight for “social justice” which is just redistribution, they fight for “human rights” that include health care, and even food – which cannot be rights – as they come at the expense of others.  They call themselves progressives, but they don’t progress towards greater liberty for the individual, they progress towards greater power for what the state “must do on your behalf“.  This is regressive, towards the totalitarianism of dictatorships and kings, not towards the greater well-being of the individual.  Liberal in Hayek’s day meant closer to what libertarian or even conservative means today.  Not what libertarian or conservative is demonized as by the political left/progressives, but what they actually are.

It is for this reason that conservative author/radio host Mark Levin refers almost exclusively to the left as statists, as their main function is to expand government to their own ends.  Also note that there are right-wing, or socially traditionalist/conservative statists, who are often simply a different brand of moralist from the leftist statist.  The leftist statist wants you to stop drinking and smoking for your health and because it’s good for you, the rightist statist wants you to stop drinking and smoking because it’s “fiend intemperance”.  The leftist statist will force you to drive a hybrid car because of his Gaia-worship, the rightist statist will force businesses to close on Sunday to keep the Sabbath holy.

A major difference is that a rightward traditionalist in America, a mindset which often goes hand in hand with the moralist, can still be reminded that a reason the country was founded, and indeed the 1st Amendment was written, was to escape state-mandated religion.  The leftist, by contrast, believes that history started last week, and will reject the past as outmoded and obsolete in their own quest for power and The Greater Good.  As Thomas Sowell writes in his book “The Vision of the Anointed”:

“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

Returning to Hayek, pg 175:

If one has not one’s self experienced this process, it is difficult to appreciate the magnitude of this change of the meaning of words, the confusion which it causes, and the barriers to any rational discussion which it creates.  It has to be seen to be understood how, if one of two brothers embraces the new faith, after a short while he appears to speak a different language which makes any real communication between them impossible.  And the confusion becomes worse because this change of meaning of the words describing political ideals is not a single event but a continuous process, a technique employed conciously or unconciously to direct the people.  Gradually, as this process continues, the whole language becomes despoiled, and words become empty shells deprived of any definite meaning, as capable of denoting one thing as its opposite and used solely for the emotional associations which still adhere to them.

To sidetrack a while from the explicitly political, using a pop culture reference as an example, you can see how freedom has changed.  Most of the readers of this blog will know who this is.  On the off chance we have some very young readers or very old readers, this is Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots – the good guy Transformers.

His motto: “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.”

Now consider this online discussion amongst a group of Transformers fans.  Here are a few lines from the discussion, starting off with forum member “Octavius Prime” (hereafter OP) citing a movie review that had this line:

(Movie Review): And when Optimus Prime, the chief good Transformer, declares that “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings,” we know we’re in a Bush-era universe.

(OP): if the reviewers had done maybe 10 minutes of online research (say, on the Teletraan-1 wikia), they’d know that Prime has been spouting his line since before Bush’s dad was president. Moreover, what is so bad about freedom being a basic right? Isn’t that in the hugging Declaration of Independence? What is so quintessentially “Bush” about it?

(SD): Pretty much a case of people shooting words off before doing proper research, and an annoyingly over-liberal mindset. I mean, I don’t care for Bush, to put it lightly, but I also don’t wedge my political views into whatever I type/write.

(S): I can see how that line might be used by the likes of Bush to justify a war like Iraq (the lie that the war is all about human freedom rather than oil).

(PTP): Technically we were in a Regan-era universe when it was written, which isn’t all that much better…

(OP): Maybe, but I still don’t see how the motto that encapsulates democracy would be reduced to represent someone’s biased view of the Bush administration.

(D): I’d be hard pressed to vote for a president who didn’t believe in the basic right of freedom.  I mean there’s liberal, and then there’s blindedly liberal. Gah.

(TNG): I don’t really get why anyone would think that “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings” is a particularly conservative viewpoint. Definitions of exactly what freedom means may differ within the political spectrum but I don’t think you’d find many democrats arguing against freedom as a basic human right.

Liberals=progressives=statists, specifically here, anti-Bush statists, who are competing for the same space as state controllers.  Thus Freedom=Bush talking point.  Freedom=bad, to liberals, who are really progressives, who are really leftist-statists.  Also thus the word liberal, which is supposed to mean accepting of others, is now explicitly anti-freedom (even just in this discussion).  Liberal has gone so far as to also include Reagan and all non-leftist statists, thus even the original quote by Optimus Prime waaay back in about 1984 is rejected as being related to Reagan, Republicans, and therefore to a Liberal is a Bad Thing.

According to the leftist-statist, when Bush says freedom, it means ruthless oppression, even if it is freeing a nation from an actual ruthless oppressor.  Don’t bother them with the facts.  Criticism of a poor operational plan and shoddy intelligence (that leftist-statists agreed on) turned into a rejection of freedom in its entirety.  Leftist rejection of Bush-era domestic policies (that pretty much only targeted terrorists, but that should definitely be questioned in Constitutional interests) including the Patriot Act turned into Bush hates freedom.  This year when the Patriot Act was renewed by Barack Obama, without any of the reforms that were complained about during the Bush-era… well, Obama is still a good-guy to the leftist-statist, because he’s their guy there for The Greater Good.

Liberal is anti-freedom, freedom is oppression, progressive is statist.

Even the notions of left and right are reversed.  In France in 1789, at the French Assembly, the rebels who resisted the state sat on the left, while the supporters of the state sat on the right.  Except the French state was a monarchical state that didn’t represent the people, and had subjects, not citizens.  A rebel to the French state would be resisting tyranny.

The United States, by contrast, were formed by the people, for the people, and of the people.  The government was explicity designed to respond to the citizenry, and to be accountable to the citizenry.  The Constitution itself was a charter document designed to constrain any government to the initial agreement that the citizens had made when they settled on a government.  Consider first that the Declaration of Independence was a rejection of tyranny that called for the people to institute a government from the people, then consider that a government, instituted by the citizenry who choose their government, is how the democratic republic set up by the Constitution was designed.

Thomas Paine explains in concrete terms what a Constitution is:

But it will be first necessary to define what is meant by a Constitution. It is not sufficient that we adopt the word; we must fix also a standard signification to it.

A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established,  the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution, therefore, is to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.

The Constitution is static.  It is what the government is based on, and the laws that the government, in order to remain legitimate and existing upon the consent of the people, must adhere to.  Being on the left in the US and rejecting the established Constitutional order is rejecting a truly classically radical liberal document that enshines the rights and liberties of all citizens.  Being on the left is pushing for statism.  Being a conservative who wishes to conserve Constitutional principles is being a classical liberal, a radical libertarian – one who is opposed to the idea of a controlling state.

Religious liberalism and conservatism became injected into political liberalism and conservatism, as well as social liberalism and conservatism – but there is a wide gulf between what one preaches in one’s private or even public life, and what one inflicts through force of government.  Conservative has come to mean statist-religious, liberal to mean statist-humanist/statist-Gaia-or-Science-worshipper.

In this, the leftist-progressive-statist has changed the entire discussion by changing the meaning of words.  For another example: the religious-statist who would use force of government rather than persuasion has changed the word conservative to also mean moralist authoritarian – a term the leftist-statist is very much willing to embrace, as it drives people into their camp – to accept the “freedom from religion” that then turns into trying to destroy the religions of others – which is explicitly illiberal.  Another example: fascism was a brand of statist totalitarianism wherein the economic means of production were controlled by the state, but not always wholly owned.  Communists attacked fascists, with whom they were competing for the same leftist anti-capitalist statist-totalitarian space on the political spectrum, and accused fascists of being capitalist.  Fascism, descended from national socialism as opposed to communist international socialism, suddenly became its opposite, when the two are nary a hair’s breadth apart.  Yet the modern leftist-statist who favors socialism as an economic means to his Greater Good, will accuse someone who opposes them of being a national socialist.

Paine set up concretely what a Constitution is.  Those who support it, must support it for what it is.  It is a compact between we the citizen and those citizens we choose to serve us.  Words do mean something.  Our Constitution was established as a document that can change through the amendment process, but it is not to be manipulated until freedom means slavery.  But that is precisely what the leftist-statist has embraced (as well as the rightist-statist to a lesser degree).  George Orwell summed much of this up with his coining of the term “Newspeak” in his book “1984″ several years after The Road to Serfdom had been published.  As Orwell says in “1984″:

By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

Sadly, Orwell himself was a democratic socialist, basically a theory of benevolent socialism, but that can be the subject for another tl;dr post.

Lest I forget, the other Hayek:

Eventually I’ll just end up with pictures of chicks from Vienna to represent the Austrian School.

>Friedrich A. Hayek wrote a rather well-known book on economics and the human condition called “The Road To Serfdom” back in the early 1940s. Hayek was an Austrian economist and one of the major contributors to the “Austrian School” of economics. The intro to the edition I’m reading is rather long and any summary of the factors that led to the book would be insufficient in comparison.

He also rather famously remarked: “Conservatism is only as good as what it conserves,” being critical of American conservatism that doesn’t embrace and conserve its libertarian/classic liberal ideals. Note that our motto at The Patriot Perspective has always been the same.

He also won the Nobel Prize for Economics, but won it at the same time as a scandinavian leftist, cuz… y’know… politics.

As I’ve been reading it, some passages are jumping out at me. Here, Hayek points out a major problem with central planning and socialism. It must control everything to create its utopia. And it invariably fails, as everything in existence must then be prioritized by government – not by individuals who govern their own affairs, and whose best interests may even change day to day. Here, he makes the point that there can be no such government because there exists no such set of prioritizing values.

Not only do we not possess such an all-inclusive scale of values: it would be impossible for any mind to comprehend the infinite variety of different needs of different people which compete for the available resources and to attach a definite weight to each. For our problem it is of minor importance whether the ends for which any person cares comprehend only his own individual needs, or whether they include the needs of his closer or even those of his more distant fellows-that is, whether he is egotistic or altruistic in the ordinary sense of these words. The point which is so important is the basic fact that it is impossible for any man to survey more than a limited field, to be aware of the urgency of more than a limited number of needs. Whether his interests center round his own physical needs, or whether he takes a warm interest in the welfare of every human being he knows, the ends about which he can be concerned will always be only an infinitesimal fraction of the needs of all men.

This is the fundamental fact on which the whole philosophy of individualism is based. It does not assume, as is often asserted, that man is egoistic or selfish or ought to be. It merely starts from the indisputable fact that the limits of our powers of imagination make it impossible to include in our scale of values more than a sector of the needs of the whole society…

- Friedrich August von Hayek, The Road To Serfdom (pg 102)

How badass is the Austrian School of Economics? Salma is the THIRD Hayek to come up when you type “Hayek” into Google.

>Egypt’s Real Problem

Posted: February 8, 2011 by ShortTimer in Egypt, Middle East, Political science, Socialism

>I recently found myself rethinking my Egypt post while reading this American Thinker piece here:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/egypts_real_problem_decades_of.html

The fact of the matter is this: Mubarak is a socialist dictator, and his ruling party espouses socialist ideology. The revolution in Egypt is a direct result of the failure of authoritarian socialist ideology and policy. For over fifty years, the ruling political clique in Egypt has espoused a home-grown form of Arab nationalist socialism.

Arab nationalism. And a socialist dictator. Combine ethnic nationalism with socialism and you get the predictable.

It’s still unwise to support anti-Mubarak forces when the predictable replacement is going to be the proto-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, but once there’s some degree of stability, well, stability really is the only reason to support Mubarak anymore.

This reminded me that I have a copy of President Saddam Hussein’s Address on Iraq’s National Day 1983, and President Saddam Hussein’s Speech on the 6th Anniversary of the Day of the Days The Great Victory Day 8 August 1994, and his roughly 50 page treatise “One Trench or Two“. All are drier reads than the country they hail from, but they are about pan-Arab nationalism and the idea of central control/rulership. Basically, arab national socialism.

Sometimes you can judge a dictator book by its cover.

Richard Little at American Thinker points out the specifics with regards to Egypt and how it applies there. Broadly, national socialism and centralized control don’t work anywhere. Even with cultural differences (including the basic lack of a future tense in Arabic), education level differences, and economic developmental differences, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work in Europe – where the wise nations are pulling away from their road to socialism before they implode like Greece; it doesn’t work in the US, where individual states like California are imploding from their own policies. It doesn’t work anywhere it’s tried.

Whether the central control be with a dictator or a committee of bureaucrats, it’s all coercive force that works against the will of the individual – the individual who knows their own needs better than any self-appointed super-genius, tyrant or king.

Kudos to the Egyptian people for trying to shrug it off. Hopefully they don’t end up replacing it with the Muslim Brotherhood – who will do the same, but with the added dictates of sharia law.

>For those unfamiliar with the term Groundhog Day, watch this first:

British MP Daniel Hannan made a point today on the Sean Hannity show. During the Cold War, the US supported dictators who opposed communism. Hannan explained that the argument during the Cold War was “He’s may be a son of a b*tch, but he’s our son of a b*tch. But now the cold war is over, so we can say ‘he may be our son of a b*tch, but he’s a son of a b*tch.”

The first thought is basically why we were supporting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak’s dictatorship provided some degree of stability, especially for US ally Israel. Mubarak’s Egypt provided security for the Suez Canal, through which some 8% of the world’s shipping flows.

The old logic was that the enemy of your enemy is your friend, provided he’s not worse than your actual enemy. Ultimately compromising and supporting a very bad guy against an evil evil empire supported one’s good principles. Makes sense. The new logic is that since the evil empire is gone, it’s time to drop support for the very bad guy. Sorta makes sense.

The only failing is that without a transitional structure, there isn’t just a smooth handoff from “very bad guy” to “good new guy”. The people who almost invariably takeover in these situations are those that are prepared for it and have been working towards it. Very bad guy is replaced with different evil guy. If you don’t want a son of a b*tch, you replace him on your terms to make sure you get a better guy, or you apply pressure to reform him. You don’t go along with a mob that is at least in part incited by the evil guys – because that mob and those evil guys are often only kept in check because your guy is a son of a b*tch.

In the past, there are several examples of the people who take over after a nation collapses. The Leninist victory in Russia was a result of a fractured nation in a period of transition. The interim government of Kerensky may have promised a republic, but it lasted just long enough for Lenin to take over – which was his goal – Lenin was a professional revolutionary. The breakdown of China during WWII led to the Chinese Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek – a US ally, though with many faults – ultimately losing control of China to Mao, who was ready and working towards seizing power. Recently, this is the entire Beckian argument with regards to George Soros and his shadow government.

But it’s Groundhog Day in the very easy, and very apt, comparison of the Shah of Iran to Mubarak. The Iranian Islamic Revolution was the result of a lot of factors, but not the least of which was Jimmy Carter not doing much of anything to shore up US interests in Iran by supporting the Shah.

Probably not the best leader in Iran’s history, but far from the worst.

The loss of the Shah brought us the Iranian Hostage Crisis and a nuclear Iran that seeks out the ability to obliterate its neighbors. The loss of Mubarak is most likely going to bring us the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of Egypt, as they are the most powerful opposition group, and stand the most to gain. The Muslim Brotherhood has been referred to as “Al Qaeda before Al Qaeda was cool”. They’ve also got a bit of history, going back to some other evil guys.

From the Council on Foreign Relations:
http://www.cfr.org/egypt/does-muslim-brotherhood-have-ties-terrorism/p9248

One reason the Brotherhood’s commitment to nonviolence is unclear: The original Egyptian organization has spawned branches in 70 countries. These organizations bear the Brotherhood name, but their connections to the founding group vary and some of them may provide financial, logistical, or other support to terrorist organizations. Some terrorist groups—including Hamas, Jamaat al-Islamiyya, and al-Qaeda—have historic and ideological affiliations with the Egyptian Brotherhood. In addition, some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists were once Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members, including Osama bin Laden’s top deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Zawahiri went more hardcore after Sayyid Qutb was hanged by Egyptian authorities. Who was Qutb? Just the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. And what is Qutbism? Just good old-fashioned infidel-killing Jihad.

From a story on the Muslim Brotherhood in CanadaFreePress, 2006:

Here’s how the story began. In the 1920s there was a young Egyptian named al Bana. And al Bana formed this nationalist group called the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Bana was a devout admirer of Adolph Hitler and wrote to him frequently. So persistent was he in his admiration of the new Nazi Party that in the 1930s, al-Bana and the Muslim Brotherhood became a secret arm of Nazi intelligence.

The Arab Nazis had much in common with the new Nazi doctrines. They hated Jews; they hated democracy; and they hated the Western culture. It became the official policy of the Third Reich to secretly develop the Muslim Brotherhood as the fifth Parliament, an army inside Egypt.

More on Al Banna here:
http://www.mideastweb.org/Middle-East-Encyclopedia/hassan_al-banna.htm
And from Horowitz here:
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1368
Even CNN can’t spin them into a good thing, though they try:
http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2011/02/01/exp.am.intv.cruickshank.brother.cnn.html

Considering Hitler and the Muslim Brotherhood liked each other, making Mubarak into Hitler really makes no sense, other than to support Orwell’s claim that “fascist” just means “anything bad”.

Weak, naiive democrat president with no foreign policy experience or understanding in charge of the US. An islamist group seizing power from a US ally. The US ally is a strongarm leader that the democrat’s touchy-feely side rejects, rather than figure out why we’d ever support the guy – and what the repercussions of not supporting him will be… Yup. It’s GROUNDHOG DAY!

But this time when we drive off the cliff, it’ll be different!

>Bill Whittle’s Part 2 of the explanation of conservative/Tea Party beliefs:

A few minutes to gain valuable insight into the why. It may be a “why” that many of us already intuitively know, but to examine one’s own beliefs is always worthwhile.

Thomas Sowell offers this quote about traditions from his book “The Vision of the Anointed”:
“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

Sowell’s statement, in conjunction with Whittle’s explanations, is much of the reason why social and fiscal conservatism so often find themselves represented by the same individuals. The basis for much of the thinking – that individual experiences have given people decades, centuries, or millenia of good choices – remains the same, and to disregard either social conservatism (traditionalism) or fiscal conservatism without good cause, or because of elitist mandate, is foolish. It assumes that the financial or social engineer (whether to stricter or looser policies of society or finance) alone has a better idea – and the elitist engineer must therefore direct society.

The non-elitist who believes they have a better way puts forth his new ideas as an invention, which is adopted by society if it’s good, and ignored or rejected by society if it is not.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if someone thinks they can do better – they can prove it themselves.

>Evan Sayet tells this parable about the modern liberal:

I call myself a “9/13 Republican”…

I tell a story. It’s not a true story, but I think it kind of clarifies what happened to me.
I say: imagine being in a restaurant with an old friend, and your catching up. And suddenly, he blurts out “I hate my wife.” And you kind of chuckle to yourself because he says it every time you’re together and you know he doesn’t hate his wife. They’ve been together for 35 years. He loves his daughters and they’re just like her. Naw, he doesn’t hate his wife.

You’re having some dinner and you look out the window and you spot his wife out the window. And she’s being beaten up. And you grab your friend and you say: “C’mon, let’s help her! Let’s help your wife!” And he says, “Nah, I’m sure she deserves it.

At that moment it dawns on you that he really does hate his wife.

Well that’s what 9/11 was for me. I would hear my friends from the left say how evil and horrible and racist and imperialistic and oppressive America is and I’d laugh to myself and say “They always say that. They love America.

And then on 9/11 we were beaten up. And I grabbed them by the collar, I said: “C’mon let’s help her! Let’s help America!” And they said: “No, she deserves it.

At that moment I realized they really do hate America.


Evan Sayet tells this parable here at the beginning of “How Modern Liberals Think” – what’s been termed the “Grand Unified Theory Of Liberalism”:

For all the benevolent talk of the 9/12ers – about how we all got along on 9/12, the 12ers do have good intentions, but they forget that liberals really do hate America.

There was a story in the paper on 9/11 in the New York Times that a lot of people missed. They were too busy watching a terrorist attack to read it. It starts with this line:

”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.”

And was originally accompanied by this picture of the terrorist Bill Ayers who bombed the Pentagon, and who helped kill 3 police officers* and planned to bomb an NCO dance at Ft. Dix:

The reason he didn’t go to jail is because his dad owned Com Edison. He’s a super rich boy who wanted to be the king of the commies, and was going to murder 25 million people if he got his way.

Yuri Bezmenov defected to the West and spent a lot of time trying to explain how the KGB would tear down liberal (classical liberal, not leftist) and democratic societies by poisoning them from within. He explains exactly how modern Liberals came to the point that they really do hate America.

*The third policeman.

>Rush Limbaugh frequently comments on his show that the left will tell you who they’re afraid of by who they demonize.

Charles Krauthammer (quoted in the last post), said this:

The last refuge of a liberal

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 27, 2010

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the “bitter” people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging “to guns or religion or” — this part is less remembered — “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

That’s a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

Yesterday, the UK Independent posted this zany piece of tripe:

The threat to American conservatism

Monday, 30 August 2010

It is always tempting to home in on the absurdity of the Republican right in America, the almost comic quality of some of their views and the ludicrous nature of the accusations they hurl at President Barack Obama.

The paranoid and hate-filled world of the “birthers”, the Tea Party people and all the rest is so alien to the British experience as to be incomprehensible. We tend not to take them seriously, or assume that the Republicans’ constant lurch to the right inevitably renders them unelectable. We may be making a mistake. The huge size of the rally held in Washington at the weekend – where several hundred thousand people turned up to hear the Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck announce that America was “turning back to God” – provides further disturbing proof, if any were needed, of the growing popularity of the hard right.

The paranoid, hate-filled world of leftist Hillary supporter Philip Berg? Or is it because Obama brings up the birth certificate issue every time he gets the chance as a way to ridicule people he doesn’t agree with? And what better way to address the birth certificate issue than to pass a law preventing it from being conclusively addressed? It’s a funny soundbite on the surface, but since the long-form certificate has been hidden rather than shown to the public, it’s just another indicator that transparency isn’t valued at all by Obama. (Showing it would be a 5-minute solution to what the left claims is an issue.)

That part about “we don’t control control every branch” sounded kinda ominous. As though he mentally punctuated it with “yet”.

Tea Party hate? Oh, that’s right, Brits do tend to be in favor of high taxes on the colonies. We’ve seen this before.

That means you, you snotty redcoat.

The root of the problem is in the second sentence, though. They “tend not to take seriously“. Why? Because (haughty brit accent) these are peasants from the flyover states! Why should we take seriously the drivel that these know-nothing serfs prattle on about. They should be groveling at our magnificence at our wondrous ability to lead them into a glorious future, rather than resenting the grandeur that we have bequeathed to them. These chattering bucolic simpletons had best mind their manners when addressing their betters.

Whatever haughty Brit or snooty ex-pat wrote this, they don’t have a clue. They revel in their ignorance. Quite literally – they ignore ideas that disagree with them in their ivory towers, and are annoyed when someone disagrees with them.

The reason their ivory towers run the way they do is because the conservative, provincial flyover states feed them, the blue-collar conservative worker builds their houses, and the baby-killer soldier they readily mock defends them. The elitist left exists in an artificial environment – which is why none of the left’s ideas ever stand up to reality. They’re like the stereotype of spoiled teenagers who think their parents fools, but who don’t understand that their parents are the ones insulating them from the world.

The fact that the rally was held on the site where Martin Luther King made his “I have a dream” speech 47 years ago has caused offence among the heirs of King’s civil rights movement, who resent Mr Beck’s assertion that the two causes have much in common. But ructions from that quarter will do Mr Beck and fellow star turn Sarah Palin no harm among their supporters. It is more likely to do the opposite. Overwhelmingly white, conservative, rural and religious, their constant complaint that they “want their country back” is in part a thinly-veiled snipe at Mr Obama’s race.

And Krauthammer is right again. “Overwhelmingly white” and sniping at race. So they’re racists. Well, at least the left is consistently unoriginal.

From the stack labeled “Community Organizer Chest”.

The problem with this is that American conservatives judge people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

This Republican guy made some good points. Maybe the left should listen to them.

American conservative values, as we’ve expounded upon here before, are based in conserving American virtues. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights… Kinda important things that ultimately defuse racism rather than support it.

Now, did it cause offence to the heirs of the civil rights movement? Maybe if you consider people who engineer strife and hatred to keep their race-baiting going. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be out of business if they didn’t keep racial resentments simmering.

Those who weren’t heirs, but were actual movers in the civil rights movement seemed okay with it. MLK’s niece, Alveda King, spoke at the rally.

Here on the other side of the Atlantic, we await two things: for so-called ordinary Americans to recoil from and disavow the right’s toxic, divisive rhetoric; and for moderate Republicans to start re-asserting the very different traditions of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and George Bush senior, for that matter.

Toxic? Divisive? Lower my taxes is toxic? Divisive is “quit taking money from one group to give to another”? Really? Note the Independent has no actual “toxic, divisive” quotes to give. Since there aren’t any.

Moderate republicans? Lincoln? Sure, he preserved the union. He also suspended habeus corpus. I guess that’s sorta like the left. Strong central govt, individual rights don’t matter in the face of “the greater good” and the modern left can use moral equivalents to Lincoln’s actual war against slavery to justify their own abuse of individuals.

Eisenhower wasn’t a moderate. He warned against the military industrial-complex expansion of government, as well as gigantic federal expansion in other sectors of public life. He espoused small-govt principles in his farewell speech. Watch:

And Bush Sr. was not a conservative. New world order, all that jazz.

Neither of those outcomes seems to be materialising. Centrist Republicans have become a marginalised minority in their own party – eclipsed and somehow out of place among people who have come to expect references to God’s will to appear in almost every sentence. Meanwhile, Obama’s fellow Democrats are heading towards mid-term elections in November in a mood of despondency, and expect a drubbing at the hands of their adrenaline-filled opponents.

The gulf from leftist statism to liberty is vast. Centrists are those willing to appease, who have no principles. The left – the international left – wants more centrists to cut down the power and autonomy of the American individual. The expansion of state control by Obama and his Mao-loving, genocidal, communist cohorts is something that the American people reject.

The left rejects religion, because it’s an affront to worshipping the state. The Brit saying “people who have come to expect references to God’s will to appear almost every sentence” is of the class that also says that God is not appropriate for a sacred spot.

The UK Independent sums up with this, praising Obama:
The man they chose as his successor remains what he was on day one; a decent, thoughtful patriot and a builder of bridges who still aspires to lead a country in which race is no longer the defining issue. He has given the country a measure of health reform and begun the process of disengagement from costly and unpopular military entanglements.

A decent, thoughtful, patriot and a builder of bridges who aspires to lead a country in which race is no longer the defining issue. He has given the country a measure of health reform and begun the process of disengagement from costly and unpopular military entanglements.

All true, provided you view evil as good and wrong as right.

Modern liberalism, both domestic and international, is threatened by the Tea Party, is threatened by folks like Glenn Beck and his Restoring Honor rally, and is threatened by people who believe in their own independence.

There’s a socialist/communist anti-capitalist poster that says “the boss needs you, you don’t need the boss”.
This isn’t quite representative of reality, as “the boss” is just an individual (or representative of a group of individuals) who’s amassed enough capital to be able to employ you, the worker, to help him with production. Provided you’re in control of your own sale of labor, you can change jobs if you like, build capital if you like, and potentially become the self-employed worker who exercises his own use of capital and doesn’t need the boss, or be a boss. None of which is bad.

The free market individual who understands this has no reason to fear this propaganda piece, that, while strictly true, isn’t representative of reality.

When applied like this: “the big government bureaucrat ruler needs you, you don’t need the big government bureaucrat ruler” – it becomes a threat to bureaucrats both domestic and international. America was founded on less government – and every time big government is shown to be the failure it is – big government rulers get scared.

Rush is right on this. The left will tell you who they fear. They fear individuals who don’t need them. They are at their wits end, as Krauthammer notes, and have reduced themselves to crying racism. The race card is maxed out. And we don’t need the big government bureaucrat ruler. The left fears that.

>Charles Krauthammer has a good piece at the Washington Post about how modern liberalism (leftism) inevitably fails and seeks to blame those it would rule.

The last refuge of a liberal

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 27, 2010

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the “bitter” people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging “to guns or religion or” — this part is less remembered — “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

That’s a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

It’s an excellent piece, and I recommend reading it all at the link.

I’d planned on blogging about it yesterday, but good things come to those who wait, and now James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal has done a piece expounding on Krauthammer’s column. Taranto explains how the modern liberal (leftist) is an oikophobe. This explains why self-identified liberals are intolerant of the people they profess to stand for, and share more in common with Soviet commissars who would never consider themselves the comrade of the “glorious” coal miner or wheat farmer.

Oikophobia
Why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting.

If you think it’s offensive for a Muslim group to exploit the 9/11 atrocity, you’re an anti-Muslim bigot and un-American to boot. It is a claim so bizarre, so twisted, so utterly at odds with common sense that it’s hard to believe anyone would assert it except as some sort of dark joke. Yet for the past few weeks, it has been put forward, apparently in all seriousness, by those who fancy themselves America’s best and brightest, from the mayor of New York all the way down to Peter Beinart.

What accounts for this madness? Charles Krauthammer notes a pattern:

It’s worth it to go back and read Krauthammer.

What is the nature of this contempt? In part it is the snobbery of the cognitive elite, exemplified by a recent New York Times Web column by Timothy Egan called “Building a Nation of Know-Nothings”–or by the viciousness directed at Sarah Palin, whose folksy demeanor and state-college background seem terribly déclassé not just to liberals but to a good number of conservatives in places like New York City.

In more cerebral moments, the elitists of the left invoke a kind of Marxism Lite to explain away opinions and values that run counter to their own. Thus Barack Obama’s notorious remark to the effect that economic deprivation embitters the proles, so that they cling to guns and religion. (Ironically, Obama recently said through a spokesman that he is Christian.) Here’s Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s labor secretary, explaining “The Anatomy of Intolerance” to readers of TalkingPointsMemo.com:

Many Americans (and politicians who [sic] the polls) don’t want a mosque at Manhattan’s Ground Zero. . . .

Where is all this coming from?

It’s called fear. When people are deeply anxious about holding on to their homes, their jobs, and their savings, they look for someone to blame. And all too often they find it in “the other”–in people who look or act differently, who come from foreign lands, who have what seem to be strange religions, who cross our borders illegally.

So if some Americans are afraid of people “who have what seem to be strange religions,” it must be a totally irrational reaction to “economic insecurity.” It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with an act of mass murder committed in the name of the religion in question.

And Reich doesn’t just fail to see the obvious. He dehumanizes his fellow Americans by treating their values, feelings and opinions as no more than reflexive reactions to material conditions. Americans in fact are a very tolerant people. Even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there was no serious backlash against Muslims. What makes them angry–what makes us angry–is the bigotry of the elites.

It’s also worth it to read the whole thing here at the link.

Now, one more smaller read to tie things in together and that’s it. Reason Online had a column the other day talking about the history of The Big Lie, and how it was not supposed to be a tool for use by fascists, but a tool that had been used against them, as described by Hitler. In modern usage, it’s the concept of The Big Lie that’s important, not so much it’s origin… until someone cites its origin incorrectly. But I digress… the important part is that the leftist founder of DailyKos has released a shitty new book and what it shows about the left.

Roger Ebert, Hypocrisy, and “the Big Lie”
Michael C. Moynihan | August 26, 2010

As I observed on Twitter last night (which you would have known if you were following me), the strangest thing about Markos Moulitsas’s stupid new book American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right is that it is blurbed by David Coverdale, the leather-faced former Whitesnake front man. Quoth Mr. Tawney Kitaen, “American Taliban shines a blinding light on the conservative right’s dark agenda. Anyone who genuinely cares about America should read this book.”

The title of Moulitsas’ book is pretty self-explanatory, but according to the promotional materials provided by the publisher, the DailyKos founder “pulls no punches as he compares how the Republican Party and Islamic radicals maintain similar worldviews and tactics.” To my comrades on the left, congratulations on the acquisition of your very own Dinesh D’Souza. But today I noticed a few other effusive blurb writers praising the Republican-Taliban connection:

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is, I am often told, a paragon of reason on cable news. Indeed, she opined to Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.): “Do you feel like it’s possible to have a constructive debate, even about hot-button issues like abortion, like some of the other things that have attracted some of the most extreme rhetoric? Or do you feel like things have now been so heated, for so long, and there’s been so many exaggerations that the prospects for civil discussion are dim?” Yes, purge the extreme, over-heated rhetoric from the debate…by providing a blurb for a book comparing the Republican Party to the Taliban! Because, as Maddow says, “It isn’t possible to understand American politics now without understanding the worldview and arguments of Markos Moulitsas.”

The book is called American Taliban, and it’s every bit as stupid as you’d expect from Markos “Screw Them” Moulitsas. The bogus polls he cites are from pollsters he’s suing because they manufactured data to suit his book. It’s leftist propaganda. No surprise there.

For reference, he was saying “Screw them” about those two Americans hanging from the bridge.

James Taranto of WSJ (just read the whole thing already) finishes with this:

There is one important difference between the American oik and his European counterpart. American patriotism is not a blood-and-soil nationalism but an allegiance to a country based in an idea of enlightened universalism. Thus our oiks masquerade as–and may even believe themselves to be–superpatriots, more loyal to American principles than the vast majority of Americans, whom they denounce as “un-American” for feeling an attachment to their actual country as opposed to a collection of abstractions.

Yet the oiks’ vision of themselves as an intellectual aristocracy violates the first American principle ever articulated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . .”

This cannot be reconciled with the elitist notion that most men are economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite. Marxism Lite is not only false; it is, according to the American creed, self-evidently false. That is why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting.

This is how modern liberals (again, leftists) can accuse those who aren’t leftists of being like the Taliban, of being closed-minded, of being haters, of being reactionary small-minded bigots. Simultaneously, the liberal can embrace the sharia-supporting Cordoba/Ground Zero Mosque, embracing their own open-mindedness by embracing islam, yet ignore women’s and gay rights that they also claim to support. This is how the modern liberal can accuse everyone but them of being “economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite” – just as Taranto says.

To the educated elite of the left, the Taliban and Islamic terrorists, soccer moms and Nascar dads are all the same, even though they’re opposites. To the educated elite of the left, when they have to decide who the real bad guy is, oikophobia rules, and they tear down the American citizen who rejects the left’s statist rule – be it absurd taxes or the left’s de facto support of the advancement of a global caliphate.

Perhaps one quote by Moulitsas * makes this distinction more clear:
The military is perhaps the ideal society — we worked hard but the Army took care of us in return. All our basic needs were met — housing, food, and medical care.The Army taught me the very values that make us progressives — community, opportunity, and investment in people and the future.

A regimented, structured society with a caste system where everyone wears the same clothing, everyone operates at the same time, where regulations are harshly enforced and grueling work is the norm? Where liberty and freedom are granted only by the grace of those of superior rank? The left does want a harshly statist society. They want to live in 1984. They want the state to rule them “for the greater good”.

His freedom is slavery.
His ignorance is strength.

Moulitsas doesn’t seem to understand that the military is voluntary. There is a great distinction between being conscripted into a socialist state with threat of prison just to be a citizen and voluntarily making one’s personal liberty and even life secondary in order to keep your fellow countrymen safe.

But the left wants to be the ruling class and resent it when the country class tells them no. Anyone who doesn’t submit to their grand scheme of a regimented society for the “greater good” is the problem. Anyone who opposes the country class is someone they ally with.

They are oikophobe bigots and tyrants, who accuse others of being bigoted tyrants if they resist. Projection.

*Of course, given that the left frequenly has liars who claim military service as street cred – like the liar Micah Wright, we’re just assuming that Moulitsas was in the military. 20 mile road march and bleeding feet in boot camp? I find that claim highly dubious.

>http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_3_american-liberalism.html

Progressives Against Progress
The rise of environmentalism poisoned liberals’ historical optimism.
by Fred Siegel

For the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, American liberals distinguished themselves from conservatives by what Lionel Trilling called “a spiritual orthodoxy of belief in progress.” Liberalism placed its hopes in human perfectibility. Regarding human nature as essentially both beneficent and malleable, liberals, like their socialist cousins, argued that with the aid of science and given the proper social and economic conditions, humanity could free itself from its cramped carapace of greed and distrust and enter a realm of true freedom and happiness. Conservatives, by contrast, clung to a tragic sense of man’s inherent limitations. While acknowledging the benefits of science, they argued that it could never fundamentally reform, let alone transcend, the human condition. Most problems don’t have a solution, the conservatives maintained; rather than attempting Promethean feats, man would do best to find a balanced place in the world.

American liberalism has remarkably come to resemble nineteenth-century British Tory Radicalism, an aristocratic sensibility that combined strong support for centralized monarchical power with a paternalistic concern for the poor. Its enemies were the middle classes and the aesthetic ugliness it associated with an industrial economy powered by bourgeois energies.

Like the Tory Radicals, today’s liberal gentry see the untamed middle classes as the true enemy. “Environmentalism offered the extraordinary opportunity to combine the qualities of virtue and selfishness,” wrote William Tucker in a groundbreaking 1977 Harper’s article on the opposition to construction of the Storm King power plant along New York’s Hudson River. Tucker described the extraordinary sight of a fleet of yachts—including one piloted by the old Stalinist singer Pete Seeger—sailing up and down the Hudson in protest. What Tucker tellingly described as the environmentalists’ “aristocratic” vision called for a stratified, terraced society in which the knowing ones would order society for the rest of us. Touring American campuses in the mid-1970s, Norman Macrae of The Economist was shocked “to hear so many supposedly left-wing young Americans who still thought they were expressing an entirely new and progressive philosophy as they mouthed the same prejudices as Trollope’s 19th century Tory squires: attacking any further expansion of industry and commerce as impossibly vulgar, because ecologically unfair to their pheasants and wild ducks.”

Neither the failure of the environmental apocalypse to arrive nor the steady improvement in environmental conditions over the last 40 years has dampened the ardor of those eager to make hair shirts for others to wear. The call for political coercion as a path back to Ruskin’s and Mishan’s small-is-beautiful world is still with us. Radical environmentalists’ Tory disdain for democracy and for the habits of their inferiors remains undiminished. True to its late-1960s origins, political environmentalism in America gravitates toward both bureaucrats and hippies: toward a global, big-brother government that will keep the middle classes in line and toward a back-to-the-earth, peasantlike localism, imposed on others but presenting no threat to the elites’ comfortable lives. How ironic that these gentry liberals—progressives against progress—turn out to resemble nothing so much as nineteenth-century conservatives.

More at City Journal.

This article interested me since it points out the leftist ruling class’ environmental statist ideology. Written by a leaning-lefty, he seems somewhat dismayed by the constant push for statist rule by “liberals”. This ideology quickly summed up:
1. Nature is god (whether the left believes it or it’s just to get to #4 is up to the individual lefty)
2. The masses ruin nature
3. Therefore masses must be controlled (or exterminated)
4. The leaders know best and are exempt from rules for the masses

Fred Siegel’s politics seem to lean left (without doing too much research into the guy), and this is shown in his ending statement.

19th Century British “conservatives” are not the same as US conservatives. Look at the top of the blog here. See where it says ” helping to conserve American libertarian values”? That’s US conservatism.

Conservatism within the US is often viewed as traditionalism – which is associated with religious and family groups, and while often laudible in their non-governmental efforts, conservatism is adherence to the Constitution and adherence to those principles of the Constitution. It’s a document of classic liberalism – as in liberty for all, tolerance for all, and the ability for each man (and woman) to live his live how he chooses free of all but the fewest govt. restrictions.

The US is a nation of free men who came together to establish a nation of free men. They took pride in their traditions, but did not want to impose on one another. The most unifying tradition is that of a reverence for freedom.

Conservatism – as in conservation of one’s original values – in other nations is a different animal. Conservatism in England may represent groups like the British National Party, which has a very pro-Anglo/pro-white/anti-everybody-who’s-not-a-white-Brit bias to them. They are conserving old values of the UK, just values that are rooted in nationalism and white British ethnic supremacy.

Until a 2009 court order, they restricted their membership to “indigenous caucasian”. Presumably to keep any smart-ass Chechens from joining just to fuck with them.

Conservatism in Japan may represent hard nationalist policies that are very pro-Japanese and frequently anti-Korean, anti-Chinese. Conservatism in France or Iran may represent laws that preserve the language against any change or modification, or variations against traditional morality of those nations.

Pictured: elastic loaves.

The United States, unlike most nations in the world, is a collection of different ethnic groups. The US is not represented by one cardinal national group. There is no “American” ethnicity. There is a group of people who are irish, a group who are german, a group who are russian, congolese, brazilian, mexican, japanese, chinese, etc. There is no ethnicity nor ethnic culture to match the United States.

Thus Siegel makes a big mistake in assuming that this leftist enviro-statism has anything to do with actual conservatism. The difference between British monarchists in the 19th century and American conservatives is vast. The left, which are emphatically illiberal and intolerant, despite their nom de jour “liberal”, are far from American conservatism. That they may want to conserve monarchical dictatorial rule is not a surprise to those who’ve seen the effects of disagreeing with a “liberal.” (Liberal-on-liberal violence, especially.)

That some use environmentalism and some use ethnic supremacy are simply different means to the same end: power. Some are naked in their power grab based on what they perceive as an ethnic right, some grab for power by determining that they alone can save the world from an environmental apocalypse – and that all others be damned. Neither is remotely like American conservatism. Both are statism, autocracy, and dictatorship.

American conservatism is entrenched in these words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…