Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Paradox of Progressivism

It is so frustrating arguing with progressives (there are exceptions, so none of my progressive
friends should necessarily think I am aiming this at you, on the other hand, if the shoe fits . . . ).
They complain about the power of big corporations. You point out the marketplace as a solution
and they say pointing out relatively small problems that the market doesn't work or doesn't work
efficiently enough and then proposes even more regulations, the solution to which exacerbated
the problems to begin with.

One of the solutions that the free market offers, in fact the fundamental indispensable one is that
failure in the market place means that the failures go out of business.That not only keeps bad
actors out of that marketplace but also sends the correct signals on what behaviors in the
marketplace are viable and which are not. it is self correcting and self improving. Dare I say it is
progressive. Case in point: the bank bailouts.

What is the progressives response to not bailing out the banks? Oh, can't do that, that will create
a world-wide depression. So their viewpoint becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  They denounce
the free market because it doesn't work and then they don't allow the main tenet of free markets,
consequences in the marketplace, to do its work.

What is the cause of this faulty reasoning? An ignorance in economics? True believers in power?
I tend to believe more of the latter. The paradox of progressivism is the hatred of power that is
not theirs to control. A love of power to force people to behave in the way they see fit.They don't
seem to understand that when power is their main tool, those who have access to power will be
the ones who will wield it, i.e., those evil corporations. Yet, those Charlie Brown progressives
will still keep the faith, and vote for the right people into power, that Lucy will actually hold that
football for them.

Their fear of anything that isn't power related, i.e. the free market machinations of millions of
consumer and producer votes in the marketplace, leads them to a kind of a whining Stockholm
syndrome mentality, a love/hate relationship with their masters. Their Utopian vision of
interventionist protectionism allows for an ever increasing set of problems to which the only
solution they know is to implement more of the same, descending society down a labyrinth of
despair, which sets the stage for the likes of Donald Trump . . . or Hillary Clinton for that matter.
Yet still they cling to that ring. The ring of power is known and maybe someday it will be theirs.
Much better than that unknown quantity called freedom.

And they call libertarians Utopian.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Reflections on a Class Reunion

A forty-fifth high school reunion passes,
My classmates and I, hardly lads or lasses,
Although it was great to renew the bond,
A peculiar feeling I have found,
One of melancholy, a bittersweet taste,
A mortal warning, not pondered in haste,

The passing of a number of age-peered souls,
And most of us, in the autumn of our years,
Yet I still pursue my childhood goals,
Despite the rejections, the blood, sweat and tears.

As father time moves on faster,
Closing in on goals I've yet to master,
Some of us shine in the bask of autumnal bliss,
Laureled, content, rightfully serene,
But for me there is something amiss,
As I yearn for the fruition of an American dream.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Inherent Contradiction of Foreign Policy by Force

Neoconservatives are prone to make the observation that libertarians are naive in their belief in a non-interventionist foreign policy because that is just not how the world works. “Nature abhors a vacuum” and “if we aren’t the policeman of the world then some other country which is much more evil will step in.” And they do have a point, looking back on history, it is replete with examples that foreign policy is akin to the rule of the jungle, i.e., might makes right.

What astounds me though is their complete lack of consistent thinking on this matter. If they took this view of history and employed this reasoning across the board of public policy, you would be hard pressed not to conclude that they really support no rule of law at all. If in foreign policy, why not economics? Why shouldn’t force be the reigning paradigm? Why shouldn’t all activity revert to the law of the caveman–what is mine is mine because I can take it?

No, they say. Society can’t run without the rule of law. We would have chaos. Oh really. And what sort of cognitive dissonance is required to arrive at these independent thoughts? What is so markedly different between the actions of nations and the actions of individuals? Is there something that magically gives dispensation to those who organize by force and maintains that monopoly of force, by force? The hundreds of millions who have died through war by governments over the ages, it occurs to me could be the very definition of chaos.

Yet the neocons insist that force is the method by which to successfully implement foreign policy.

And by that reasoning, slavery would also be the rule of the day.

Soviet style central planning would dictate economics.

Dictatorships would be the preferred form of government.

Deep down they must know that liberty has won the argument when it comes to political and economic organization; that cooperation, contracts and voluntary trade works much better than force. That to the extent liberty has been tried, it has made mankind freer and more prosperous than any other system tried.

Foreign policy by force is the last vestige of caveman mentality. It, too, will go the way of the dinosaur, slavery, and soviet style central planning. It is the regressive remnant of the law of the jungle. Its chaotic results will eventually defer to more peaceful cooperation, voluntary trade and diplomacy. It will do so because peace, prosperity and freedom hold more value for man than murder, prisons, and brute force.

And that day will come sooner rather than later when the neocons recognize the inherent contradiction of their beliefs.

Force or freedom? There really is no other choice.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Would Ghandi-style Resistance Work In America?

I just saw Ghandi again, for like, the sixth time. Every time I watch it, the movie has an even bigger impression on me. I watch the movie, not as an historical depiction, but as a primer on overthrowing oppression.

I’ve had discussions with my friend, Jim Young, on whether or not Ghandi’s approach would work in the U.S. He suggests that the English thought of themselves as a civilized society, in fact the reason for their empire was to civilize the world. Of course, Ghandi’s tactics exposed the British Empire for what it was–just a group of thugs exploiting people for their own benefit. And it was those in control of the British Empire who were exposed as uncivilized, e.g, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, that killed some 1000 or so peaceful, unarmed protestors.

So do Americans consider themselves civilized? You would think that those who believe in the “exceptionalism” of America would include “civilized” as part of that umbrella. Does the oppression of the Indian people by the British Empire compare to the oppression that the ruling establishment foists upon the American people and abroad? My wife says, “no,” that at no time in the U.S. has law enforcement killed 1000 people in a demonstration. And that is true, at least in the U.S. But what about the continual shootings of American citizens by militarized cops almost always with impunity? And the declaration of power to assassinate American citizens? And the claim to power to indefinitely detain American citizens without due process of law? The number of innocent deaths from law enforcement since 911 exceeds 1000. By comparison, law enforcement only shot 85 total bullets in 2011 in Germany. That figure is sometimes exceeded in the killing of one person by law enforcement in the US. Of course, internationally it is even worse as the apologists for American Empire refer to collateral damage in the wholesale killing in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen (just in the recent past).

Ghandi understood that those resisting to oppressors needed a present, alert and active news media in order to succeed in exposing the tyranny for what it was. Today, we have countless new sources of information through the internet. So exposure should not be a problem.

But are Americans willing to look themselves in the mirror to see what has become of this burgeoning police state where we have more citizens in prison per capita than anywhere else in the world–by far? And we have a military budget that is virtually equal to the rest of the world combined. How long can Americans sit back and allow the piecemeal destruction of innocent lives by our “protectors”? How long can Americans sit back and allow the destruction of innocent lives, those who choose to live off the grid; those who choose to self medicate; those who choose to supply vitamins or raw milk in the market place; or grow vegetables on their front lawn; or become an entrepreneur without paying tribute to the government, or those who choose to deal in an alternative currency? How long will Americans tolerate the tyranny imposed on those who choose to live a life of freedom? How many Americans understand what freedom is?

And if a sufficient number of people do come to this realization, would Ghandi-style active non-violent resistance be effective here? Or do Americans, collectively, only answer to violence?

I am only asking these questions. I don’t have an answer. Because I don’t have an answer to why Americans in mass aren’t already demanding an end to tyranny. Haven’t they the ability to think abstractly or do they choose not to? Does the tyranny have to happen to them or their loved ones? Is it that only a small segment of America experiences this tyranny whereas under the British Empire, the Indians were reminded of it every day? Would it matter if every American knew that a 35 year- old mother is undergoing a life sentence without parole, because she told somebody over the phone that she would “Let me see what I can do” when being asked to supply some drugs. Never said, “yes”? Never supplied the drugs?

I was brought up Roman Catholic although I am not one now. But one concept from Jesus has always stuck with me.”Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” I hear Jesus calling to the millions of Christians in America. Are they listening? Are they afraid? Do they care? Do those who believe in an “exceptional” America care? Do we think we are civilized? Does a truly civilized person stick their head in the sand when confronted with news of American tyranny? Are we civilized, are we cowards, or are we thugs?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Beacon of Hope

The hope of a welcoming solstice light,
as it shines in a measured renewal glimmer,
begins to heal the pain of darkness blight,
That tunneled view of venerated power.

Of tasered taunts by uniformed thugs,
Swat-team terror with innocents slaughtered,
militarized mopes with unbridled mugs,
Licensed warriors swapped for freedom, long bartered,
To process terror and drug wars, unchartered.

This cognitive dissonant view of life,
to be free to choose via only permission,
Pervades so many-- this dark- side plight,
a conquered class by prejudiced division.

Forbidden plots on front yard lots,
raw milk supplied, by the authorities denied,
a lemonade stand, summarily banned,
vitamin shops, shuttered by cops,
feeding the poor, no longer du jour,
paper guns rendered, then children suspended.

But now a new media illuminates oppression,
Filtered no longer by puppeteered hacks,
Pandora’s web with lightning propulsion,
Exposes the truth that the Establishment lacks.

This celebrated season of hope, love and peace,
lights up a renaissance, a universal release,
where licensed aggression may one day cease,
burst from the dark clouds which stifled so sleepily,
The beacon of truth shines ever so brightly.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season, and a hopeful, loving, peaceful and freedom- filled new year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"We, the Government?"

“We are the government.” I am amazed that so many progressives still seem to really believe that. They love to use that phrase when justifying transfer payments from private individuals through the government to those in need. In other areas of concern, not so much. Have they really thought all this through?

After hearing the phrase, “We are the government,” ad nauseum from progressive types, I feel compelled finally to respond in a more complete manner than to just shake my head in despair.

Forget, for a moment, the dearth of logic implicit in the Rousseauian social “contract” that supposedly binds us all in a collective bond where individual choice on whether or not to make that contract is no choice at all– a glaring disparity from what is taught in Contract Law 101. According to those supporting the concept, we are born with that contract. I suppose if people believe they can be born with original sin, then it is not too far off the logic meter to fall for the social contract myth, too.

But even buying into the social contract concept requires one to believe that an open and fair democratic process takes place by we, the people, so that we can make our collective decisions on the public policies of the day. Of course, in America that is a farce. To run as an independent or “third party” candidate requires one to jump over huge purposefully high hurdles, put there by the ruling elite to keep themselves the ruling elite. Here in Illinois it takes as much as ten times or more signatures to get on the ballot compared to the ruling elite parties. That, in and of itself, nullifies any validity to the claim that “we are the government.”

But disregarding that trumping point, too, one must still take the following into account. If we are the government, then it follows that we must take responsibility for all the decisions made by government, and for all of the ramifications.

Progressives, are you ready to take full responsibility for:

the pitiful conditions of Indian reservations;
the disgrace that is public housing;
the power we, the government, have given to government to indefinitely detain American citizens;
the act of assassinating American citizens;
the insurmountable debt laid upon our children, grandchildren and posterity;
the swat team raiding of vitamin stores;
the swat team raiding of raw milk producers;
the swat team raiding by the Dept. of Education on those who have defaulted on their student loans;
the illegality of feeding the poor in many municipalities;
the swat team murdering of innocents, slaughtered because mistaken identification, wrong address or wrongful entry;
the unpunished murdering of the mentally ill by today’s militarized cops;
the killing of tens of thousands of innocents in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen via drone attacks;
the half million women and children dead in Iraq because of economic sanctions imposed by the US;
the killing of eagles because of the use of subsidized windmills;
the tasering of children;
the bombing of innocents in Dresden, Viet Nam, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I have merely scratched the surface. If one really believes, in the concept that “we are the government” then it naturally follows that any acts by government are the responsibility of “we, the people.” That is quite a cross to bear. Really, an unbearable one. It would be hard to truly take responsibility for all this. I think I would shoot myself. How could any sane, moral person really stand up to this burden? The reality is, one can’t; one doesn’t. The concept of “we, the people, are the government” is a sham. And I believe progressives deep down in their hearts know it. It is only a rhetorical tool to try to convince others and themselves that the government actions that they support are justified by some magical wave of the wand over-ruling the non-aggression principle–as if actions by government are given a special dispensation to the moral law.

But in reality, there are no dispensations to the moral law. If there were, it wouldn’t be moral.
It would be sophistry. And that is what it is.


I suppose this is late, but here goes anyway.

I am thankful for those who fight for freedom, in every way--

for those scholars who publish reasoned, cogent and persuasive arguments;
for those scholars who educate our future freedom fighters;
for the modern-day Patrick Henrys who are willing to fight in defense of the natural right;
for the organizers who put together action furthering the goal in a practical and effective manner;
for the true journalists who inform us the happenings and the trends–for good and ill;
for the activist who writes, preaches, demonstrates, petitions, and leaflets for the cause;
for the individual who promotes freedom and non-aggression by the virtue of living its principles;
for those who challenge every unjust law at every step at every court appearance;
for those who run for office in order to strengthen the cause;
for those who consciously rebuke the political apparatus in order to not sanction the process of force;
for the novelist who brings these noble ideas to a general audience;
for the film maker who brings those novels to film;
for the film maker who transfers the great wealth of information from scholars and journalists into a documentary form;
for the petition signers;
for those who lend moral support for the cause;
for those who practice civil disobedience to unjust laws;
for those public interest law firms who support those fighting tyranny;
for all of those photographing and filming abuse from government and “law” enforcement;
for those in the information and social media disseminating information here-to-fore unknown but to a few;
for the fundraisers and benefactors to the cause;
for the cartoonists, musicians and other artists promoting the cause;
for all of those spending their time fighting for the cause of freedom, and not wasting their time and ours putting down those who choose a different path than they do.

I am not thankful for those who:

stick their heads in the sand, who would rather be ignorant than informed;
purposefully impose their political and social constructs on others through the use of force;
believe might makes right;
consider themselves arresting officer, judge, jury and executioner all in one–all at the time of arrest;
wish to impose their religious views on others through the use of force;
who think that force is okay as long as it is wielded by “our side”.
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