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 TeasersIlana Mercer Blogview

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The tele-experts assert that to do what he did—kill 10 and maim 13, at Santa Fe High School, in Texas—Dimitrios Pagourtzis had to be insane.

Likewise, Nikolas Cruz—killer of 17 in Parkland, Florida—and many shooters before him: All were victims of mental disorder. Or, so say the experts.

Come to think of it, the structure of argument coming from conservative and progressive corners is the same:

Conservatives blame mental health.

Progressives blame the National Rifle Association.

Both factions see the locus of responsibility for these murder sprees as beyond the reach and bailiwick of the individual and of what were once formative and corrective institutions: the church, for example.

As the language deployed in the culture might suggest, crimes aren’t committed, but are caused. Perpetrators don’t do the crime, but are driven to do their deeds by a confluence of uncontrollable factors.

The paradox at the heart of the disease theory of delinquency is that causal theoretical explanations are invoked only afterbad deeds have been committed. Good deeds, however extravagant, are in no need of extenuation.

The evidence our tele-therapists advance for a killer’s “madness” is … the murder or murders he has committed.

Whatever the logical fallacy the psychiatrists commit—circular reasoning or backward reasoning—thinking people can agree: This is bad logic.

Fact: When they suggest a shooter is sick, they do so based on the fact that he committed murder.

Let’s run with this “logic”: The reductio ad absurdum of what the mental-health mavens are saying is that to kill, an individual must be deranged.

Does that not imply that the default condition of humanity is goodness?

Indeed, evil has been cast as a symptom of illness. It’s certainly so if to judge by the language used by the experts.

This is dangerous, because evil responds to punishment, not to kid gloves, which is what medicalizing misbehavior amounts to.

The more we medicalize dysfunctional conduct, the more of it we will get.

Why? Because the therapist’s couch—the chaise longue sofa in the movies—or his hallucinogens are a lot more pleasant than the hard work involved in reforming conduct and character.

Pleasant is a reward. Reward evil and you’ll get more of it.

That’s where the disease theory of delinquency leads. It rules out evil and brings us closer to marginalizing goodness.

By all means, scan the brains of shooters in search of significant pathology. You’ll find none—not when variables like drug-taking are controlled for, and when the absence of baseline measurements for comparison purposes is factored-in.

Moreover, most individuals classified as mentally ill do not murder.

See, evil is part of the human condition, always has been, always will be. Evil can’t be wished away, treated away, medicated away or legislated away. Evil is here to stay.

Bad people—little Damiens included—do bad things. All the more so when barriers to bad behavior are removed across the board, and when everything goes.

The infamous Nikolas Cruz was a feral boy bereft of family, friends, faith and church affiliation. Cruz was loosely attached to a sprawling, impersonal, school system that taught him and his peers about safe sex, but shielded them from the Ten Commandments.

His example of systemic institutional failure typifies instances of school shootings across America.

Failure of state institutions—FBI, education and social services—and failure of familial and faith-based institutions came together to dreadful effect. The latter, in particular, are no longer there for bad boys in the forceful, firm way they need.

Ultimately, the disease theory of delinquency is as morally fraught as it is logically wrong. You will never solve pervasive problems of character and morality, personal and societal, by medicalizing them.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook,Gab & YouTube

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Guns, Mass Shootings 
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Not a day goes by when the liberal media don’t telegraph to the world that a “Trumpocracy” is destroying American democracy. Conspicuous by its absence is a pesky fact: Ours was never a country conceived as a democracy.

To arrive at a democracy, we Americans destroyed a republic.

One of the ways in which the republic was destroyed was through the slow sundering of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. The 10th was meant to guarantee constitutional devolution of power.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The de facto demise of the 10th has resulted in “constitutional” consolidation.

Fair enough, but is that enough? A perceptive Townhall.com reader was having none of it.

In response to “Whodunit? Who ‘Meddled’ With Our American Democracy” (Part 1), the reader upbraided this writer:

“Anyone who quotes the 10th Amendment, but not the 14th Amendment that supplanted it cannot be taken seriously.”

In other words, to advance the erosion of the 10th in explaining who did our republic in, without mentioning the 14th: this was an omission on the writer’s part.

The reader is admirably correct about Incorporation-Doctrine centralization.

Not even conservative constitutional originalists are willing to concede that the 14th Amendment and the attendant Incorporation Doctrine have obliterated the Constitution’s federal scheme, as expressed in the once-impregnable 10th Amendment.

What does this mean?

You know the drill but are always surprised anew by it. Voters pass a law under which a plurality wishes to live in a locality. Along comes a U.S. district judge and voids the law, citing a violation of the 14th’s Equal Protection Clause.

For example: Voters elect to prohibit local government from sanctioning gay marriage. A U.S. district judge voids voter-approved law for violating the 14th’s Equal Protection Clause.

These periodical contretemps around gay marriage, or the legal duty of private property owners to cater these events, are perfectly proper judicial activism. It flows from the 14th Amendment.

If the Bill of Rights was intended to place strict limits on federal power and protect individual and locality from the national government—the 14th Amendment effectively defeated that purpose by placing the power to enforce the Bill of Rights in federal hands, where it was never intended to be.

Put differently, matters previously subject to state jurisdiction have been pulled into the orbit of a judiciary. Yet not even conservative constitutional originalists are willing to cop to this constitutional fait accompli.

The gist of it: Jeffersonian constitutional thought is no longer in the Constitution; its revival unlikely.

A Court System Centralized

For another example of the endemic usurpation of The People, rendering the original Constitutional scheme obsolete, take the work of the generic jury. With his description of the relationship between jury and people, American scholar of liberty Lysander Spooner conjures evocative imagery.

A jury is akin to the “body of the people.” Trial by jury is the closest thing to a trial by the whole country. Yet courts in the nation’s centralized court system, the Supreme Court included, are in the business of harmonizing law across the nation, rather than allowing communities to live under laws they author, as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

States’ Rights All But Obliterated

Like juries, states had been entrusted with the power to beat back the federal government and void unconstitutional federal laws.

States’ rights are “an essential Americanism,” wrote Old Rightist Frank Chodorov. The Founding Fathers as well as the opponents of the Constitution, the Anti-Federalists, agreed on the principle of divided authority as a safeguard to the rights of the individual.

Duly, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison perfected a certain doctrine in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. “The Virginia Resolutions,” explains historian Thomas E. Woods, Jr., “spoke of the states’ rights to ‘interpose’ between the federal government and the people of the states; the Kentucky Resolutions used the term nullification—the states, they said, could nullify federal laws that they believed to be unconstitutional.”

“Jefferson,” emphasized Woods, “considered states’ rights a much more important and effective safeguard of people’s liberties than the ‘checks and balances’ among the three branches of the federal government.”

And for good reason. While judicial review was intended to curb Congress and restrain the Executive, in reality, the judicial, legislative and executive unholy federal trinity has simply colluded, over time, in an alliance that has helped abolish the 10th Amendment.

Founding Faith Expunged

And how well has First Amendment jurisprudence served constitutionalists?

Establishment-clause cases are a confusing and capricious legal penumbra. Sometimes displays of the Hebraic Decalogue or manger scene are taken to constitute the establishment of a state religion. Other times not.

This body of law forever teeters on conflating the injunction against the establishment of a state religion with an injunction against the expression of faith—especially discriminating against the founding faith in taxpayer-supported spaces.

The end result has been the expulsion of religion from the public square and the suppression therein of freedom of religion.

On the topic of religious freedom, Jefferson was prolific, too. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was a crowning achievement for which he wished to be remembered, along with the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the University of Virginia.

Jefferson interpreted “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof”—as confirms by David N. Meyer, author of Jefferson’s Constitutional Thought—to guarantee both “an absolute free exercise of religion and an absolute prohibition of an establishment of religion.”

Yet somehow, the kind of constitutional thought that carries legal sway today prohibits expressions of faith or displays of a civilizing moral code in government-controlled spheres. Given my libertarian view of government’s immoral modus operandi, I find this amusingly apropos. Still, this is not what Jefferson had in mind for early Americans.

Indeed, why would anyone, bar Nancy Pelosi and her party, object to “thou shall not kill” or “thou shall not commit adultery, steal or covet?” The Ten Commandments can hardly be perceived as an instrument for state proselytization.

Nevertheless, the law often takes displays of the Decalogue or the nativity scene on tax-payer funded property as an establishment of a state religion.

“I consider the government of the U.S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercise,” Jefferson expatiated.

He then gets to the soul of the subject: “This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise of religion but also from the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states [or to the people] the powers not delegated to the U.S.”

So, dear reader, if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that the Russians didn’t deep-six our republic of private property rights and radical decentralization; we did.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Constitutional Theory 
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I recently traveled to Texas to speak about South Africa, at the Free Speech Forum of the Texas A & M University.

To travel from the Pacific Northwest all the way to College Station, Texas, without experiencing more of the “Lone Star State” was not an option.

So, after driving from Austin eastward to College Station (where I was hosted by two exceptional young, Southern gentlemen), I headed south-west to San Antonio. There I lingered long enough to conclude:

The Republic of Texas is a civilization apart.

Ordinary Texans—from my brief travels—tend to be sunny, kind and warmhearted. Not once did I encounter rude on my Texas junket.

On the Pacific Coast, however, kindness and congeniality don’t come naturally. Washington-State statists are generally aloof, opprobrious, insular. And, frankly, dour.

Southern historian Dr. Clyde N. Wilson tells of receiving “a package containing a chamber pot labeled ‘Robert E. Lee’s Soup Tureen.’”

It came from … Portland, Maine.

Unkind cuts are an everyday occurrence around here, where the busybody mentality prevails.

Stand still long enough, and they’ll tell you how to live. They’ll even give chase to deliver that “corrective” sermon. A helmeted cyclist once chased me down along a suburban running trail.

My sin? I had fed the poor juncos in the dead of winter. (Still do. Bite me, you bully.)

Having caught up with me, SS Cyclist got on his soap box and in my face about my unforgivable, rule-bending. Wasn’t I familiar with the laws governing his pristine environmental utopia?

Didn’t I know that only the fittest deserved to survive? That’s the natural world, according to these ruthless, radical progressive puritans.

Yes, mea culpa for having an exceedingly soft spot for God’s plucky little creatures.

When a Washington statist gets wind of your core beliefs—why, even if your use of the English language irks His Highness—he will take it upon himself to fix your “flaws,” try to make you over in his sorry image.

For the distinct cluster of characteristics just described, Dr. Wilson aforementioned uses the term Yankee.

The professor, whose métier is American intellectual history, was described by Eugene Genovese as “an exemplary historian who displays formidable talent.” Another stellar scholar, Thomas Landess, lauded Wilson as “a mind as precise and expansive as an encyclopedia.”

Duly, Dr. Wilson makes the following abundantly clear: By “Yankee,” he does not mean “everybody from north of the Potomac and Ohio.”

“The firemen who died in the World Trade Center on September 11 were Americans. The politicians and TV personalities who stood around telling us what we are to think about it are Yankees.”

“Yankee” as a designation belongs to “a peculiar ethnic group descended from New Englanders, who can be easily recognized by their arrogance, hypocrisy, greed, lack of congeniality, and a penchant for ordering other people around.”

“A perversity of character,” said Thomas Jefferson succinctly of the Yankee character.

Indeed, “Puritans long ago abandoned anything that might be good about their religion but have never given up the notion that they are the chosen saints whose mission is to make America, and the world, into the perfection of their own image.”

The cover of Wilson’s “The Yankee Problem: An American Dilemma” is bedecked with the quintessential Yankee mugs of Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and John Brown, each a murderer in his or her own right. The one butchered with his bare hands. The other two killed by proxy.

The contemporary face of the fanaticism alluded to here is pundit Richard Painter, who is the spitting image of Brown. A Republican until Trump, Painter is now a member of the anti-Trump high-command at MSNBC.

In zealotry, Painter could pass for the terrifying Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens.

A broader truth hit me in the solar plexus during the sojourn from the American Deep North to The South. On hand to better contextualize it is my friend, Clyde Wilson:

“Texas is still a Red State, despite a large number of minorities. That is because Texas, as you observed, Ilana, has a real culture. That means that there is a reality there that minorities can identify with and assimilate to. Unlike, say, Chicago or New Jersey or L.A., where they simply become aggrieved ‘victims,’ clamoring for special benefits, that being the only culture present.”

“The peculiar character of the Yankee was observed by Tocqueville in the 19th century and Solzhenitsyn in the 20th. The first great American novelist, James Fenimore Cooper, wrote a whole series of books about the New England Yankees who spread into and destroyed the unique culture of his home country of Upstate New York.

Plenty of Northerners, like Governor Horatio Seymour of New York and Governor Joel Parker of New Jersey, blamed the War between the States on New Englanders, and not the South, which simply wanted to be let alone.”

“One cannot really grasp American history unless you understand how Yankees have dominated and distorted it since the late 18th century.”

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook,Gab & YouTube

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: The South, Yankees 
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It’s hard to feel sorry for liberals when they reap the results of the policies they force on the rest of us.

A middle-aged woman, who campaigned against the deportation of migrants from her native Sweden, was raped by the very refugees she advocates for.

She met two Afghani teens on the street, outside a bar—no slut-shaming, please—voluntarily accompanied them to their taxpayer-funded pad. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Behind the European obsession with importing tall, dark, Middle-Eastern young men are hordes of horny, menopausal, Social Justice Warriors (SJW).

“Bohemian witches” or “tie-dye hags” is how one risqué, Swedish, YouTube commentator calls this degenerate distaff.

Left-liberal women (like Chancellor Angela Merkel) certainly have a fixation—could it be erotic?—with rescuing dark, handsome, exotic-looking strangers.

Judging from their irrational, histrionic protests against President Trump’s travel ban, we appear destined to live or die by these females’ hormones (or their replaced hormones).

Some men in that part of the world are not much better.

A Norwegian male was raped by a Somali asylum seeker. The last term—Somali asylum seeker—is something of a contradiction like the first (Norwegian man).

The asylum-seeker honorific is given to practically anyone from the Dark Continent or the Middle-East who washes up on Continental Europe’s shores.

The politician, Karsten Nordal Hauken, who says he’s heterosexual, went public with the details of his awful ordeal. “I was raped by a Somalian asylum seeker,” he wrote in a Norwegian newspaper. “My life fell into ruin.”

But it was Nordal Hauken, not his assailant, who proceeded to assault sensibilities with a confession that rivals the crime for reprehensibility. Hyperbole? I don’t think so.

As Hauken, a self-described left-wing feminist, tells it, he has been wracked by guilt because one night of passion had caused his Somali assailant to be returned to sender.

After resting up in a Norwegian prison, the rapist is said to have been deported to Somalia. (I can find no evidence of said rapist’s whereabouts. Maybe he’s en route to America?)

Hauken laments being overcome by “a strong feeling of guilt and responsibility. I was the reason that he would not be in Norway anymore …”

And: “I see [the Somali] mostly as a product of an unfair world, a product of an upbringing marked by war and despair.”

In his perversity, our leftist political powerbroker further mischaracterized the light sentence given to his rapist by the Norwegian State as “the ultimate revenge,” meted out by “an angry father confronting it’s [sic] child’s attacker.”

Mr. Hauken also moans that the rapist, we’ll call him Mr. Priapus, would be “sent to a dark uncertain future in Somalia,” instead of enjoying, presumably, the bright future that awaits a man with his priapic proclivities in welcoming Norway.

Hauken has since come to the conclusion that he might not have been raped after all, but simply subjected to “a cultural difference.”

What a penetrating observation!

A somewhat shallow analysis of this sorry specter was offered up in the British Spectator. It chalks up Hauken’s confession to a simple case of “Stockholm syndrome,’ used to describe hostages who take on the perspectives of their kidnappers.”

“Perhaps the Hauken case,” opines The Spectator’s Douglas Murray, “could be used to coin the term ‘Norway syndrome,’ an affliction that causes rape-victims to feel concern over the prospects of their rapists?”

Tellingly, Mr. Murray collapses the distinction between the reaction of this male heterosexual and that of another rape victim: “a ‘no-borders’ activist on the French-Italian border.”

She “was gang-raped by a group of Sudanese immigrants but was persuaded to keep quiet about her own rape, in case it was used to undermine the open-borders cause.”

The woman is another fool who reaped the results of her folly. As far as we know, however, the raped woman has never publicly expressed a kinship with her gang rapists and is said to have been coaxed into silence.

Good or bad, the Norwegian Nordal Hauken has spoken openly about a reality few straight men would reveal: rape by another man. Hauken, not the female vanquished by the invaders, is the one said to feel for his violator. So far, Hauken has certainly shared his inappropriate feelings more promiscuously than most women would.

Indeed, the liberal program aims to dissolve “the constitution of man” in the service of sexual sameness. It is predicated on the imbecilic belief that biology is incidental, and that men and women are essentially interchangeable.

Egalitarianism, the goal of the Left and the Political Right, rests on the blunting of male-female differences. In the service of egalitarian sameness, the man-vs.-female biological imperatives are rapidly, if reflexively, being dissolved.

Survival, however, has a biological dimension. A submissive, effete civilization, made up of men like Mr. Hauken will not endure.

The repulsive specter of Karsten Nordal Hauken just about turning the other cheek to the man who spread both his cheeks is not an isolated case.

The pale, liberal patriarchy is a pioneer in forever scrutinizing itself for signs of racism and deficits in empathy toward “The Other,” while readily accusing others of the same.

It’s as though liberal men derive erotic pleasure from prostrating themselves to assailants and ceding to racial claims-making.

Could it be that liberal men are driven by a powerful homo-erotic impulsive?

Who knows, but as the example of Nordal Hauken shows, this specimen is queering at a rapid pace.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook,Gab & YouTube

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: EU, Immigration, Rape 
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An “aging white population [is] speeding [up] diversity,” blared a headline in The Hill.

Could this be a case of confusing cause-and-effect? Are the two trends—whites dying-out and minorities thriving—really spontaneous and strictly parallel?

The reverse is likely true. Corrected, The Hill headline should have read:

Could speeding up diversity contribute to a decline in the white population?

We learn that “there are growing signs that the rate of change is increasing.” Well of course. America welcomes well over 1 million, mostly non-white, immigrants a year.

If white lives mattered at all to the liberal establishment, an inquiry would ensue:

Is it possibility that an enormous influx of legal and illegal migrants over decades is playing a role in the decline of America’s founding population? (A similar, sad fate was visited on their predecessors, the Amerindians.)

On the one hand, we have the drastic, ongoing decline of America’s white population; on the other, a massive, incessant inpouring of minority immigrants, since 1965. A correlation between the two is not impossible.

A large, well-controlled national survey conducted by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, in 2006, found that diversity immiserates and that the historic population is most affected.

Perhaps protracted misery associated with loss of community hastens death?

The logic posits a zero-sum game. The native population has been swamped over time. Resources are scarce—especially when allocated by a wastrel, white-hating Administrative State. In hating on whites, civil society’s institutions are as culpable.

Is it not highly plausible, then, that immigration social engineering, compounded by state policies that privilege non-white newcomers, could contribute to a population decline in white America?

Picture the following scene, set somewhere in what was Trump country, say West Virginia:

A pale patriarch must help his bright son choose a career.

What about pursuing the law?

That’s inadvisable (unless you become an immigration attorney). Law schools routinely reject working-class white males, in favor of students who can show they’ve overcome the right kind of hardship.

Berkeley and others already make unusual hardships and life experience a crucial consideration in admissions. “Unusual hardship” is a racial cue card for things like having been shot or quitting a gang. As commentator Steve Sailer once noted wryly, “The kind of hardships” that’ll be given extra credit are “largely peculiar to preferred minorities.”
What about a degree in engineering? Inadvisable. Forget a knack for invention; for designing and fixing gadgets, inherited from Scottish ancestors. Forget your facility with math and physics. Chances are working-class, pigmentally challenged American lads, circa 2018, will be replaced by the 65,000 H-1B Indian visa recipients, imported annually by America’s technocracy.

I guess you could emulate the author of “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” Write a culturally compliant, elitist account of poor, white America. To pass muster with the left literati, “Hillbilly Elegy’s” author generally omits references to the systemic racial demonization and dispossession visited upon poor whites.

Industry magnates and lobbyists are forever countering with studies that employ the “impregnable” science of econometrics to prove that all this globalist activity creates more jobs than it kills. The studies invariably beg the question, as they assume facts not in evidence. In this case, the research assumes the new jobs will be as good as the old (vanished) ones. And that opportunities will be there for all.

To be fruitful and to multiply, people need certain conditions. Good jobs, for one. Prospects for the future, for another.

In the context of migration, consider just how ruthless central planners and their scientists are in “optimizing” and “managing” the natural world.

Liberals have developed a utopian vision of how nature should behave. It must remain in perfect balance. To that end, they’ll exterminate harmless critters that violate the liberal idea of Order; of species correctness. For example, when a delightful flock of gentle conure parrots made San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill its home, radical environmentalists demanded the flock—it has a complex, highly evolved social structure and bonds—be exterminated because it wasn’t indigenous.

While animals may not migrate illegally, or disrupt the preordained “natural” order—liberal central planners encourage non-indigenous peoples to mess with the social habitat of historic, host populations. Provided they’re Caucasian. If you’re a rainforest pygmy, liberals will fight for your survival.

Declining birthrates have long been the excuse advanced by immigration central-planners for sticking with mass immigration policies. The aging white population is not replacing itself, say proponents of dooms-day demographics. Young, Third-World immigrants are essential to shore-up the welfare state.

However, the now-waning West became great not because it was more populated than the rest of the world and outbred it. The West was great because of its human capital—innovation, exploration, science, philosophy; because of superior ideas, and the willingness to defend such a civilization.

America doesn’t need more people; it needs to allow its own people to recover.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook,Gab & YouTube

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Diversity, Political Correctness 
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To say that academic elites don’t like ordinary folks is to state the obvious.

To them, Lanford, Illinois—the fictional, archetypal, working-class town, made famous by Roseanne and Dan Conner—is not to be listened to, but tamed.

A well-functioning democracy depends on it.

Taming Fishtown—Charles Murray’s version of Landford—is the thread that seems to run through a new book, “The People vs. Democracy,” by one Yascha Mounk.

You guessed it. Mr. Mounk is not an American from the prairies; he’s a German academic, ensconced at Harvard, and sitting in judgment of American and European populism.

If only he were capable of advancing a decent argument.

“The number of countries that can plausibly be described as democracies is shrinking,” laments Mounk (“Populism and the Elites,” The Economist, March 17, 2018):

“Strongmen are in power in several countries that once looked as if they were democratizing … The United States—the engine room of democratization for most of the post-war period—has a president who taunted his opponent with chants of ‘lock her up’ and refused to say if he would accept the result of the election if it went against him.”

Elites ensconced in the academy are likely selected into these mummified institutions for a certain kind of ignorance about political theory or philosophy.

Plainly put, a chant, “lock her up,” is speech, nothing more. This Trump-rally chant might be impolite and impolitic, but on the facts, it’s not evidence of a “strongman.”

Notice how, deconstructed, nearly every utterance emitted by the technocratic and academic elites turns out to be empty assertion?

Even the subtitle of the book under discussion is sloppy political theory: “Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It” implies that democracy is the be-all and end-all of liberty. Quite the opposite.

America’s Constitution-makers did everything in their power (except, sadly, heed the Anti-Federalists) to thwart a dispensation wherein everything is up for grabs by government, in the name of the people.

Today,” claims our author, “the popular will is increasingly coming into conflict with individual rights.” To this end, “liberal elites are willing to exclude the people from important decisions, most notably about immigration in the case of the European Union.”

He has excluded Americans from the immigration, decision-making equation. But they, too, have been eliminated from decision-making on these matters. Perhaps the anti-populism tinkerer, for Mounk is no thinker, views the levels of “exclusion” in the US, on this front, as acceptable.

Perhaps he thinks that the flow of up to two million into the US every year—changing it by the day—is done with the right degree of democratic inclusion. (How about a federal referendum on immigration, to test that?)

The popular will is fine—provided it restores the obligations of government to its constituents, not to the world, protects nation-state sovereignty, respects the founding people of Europe and the West; and protects their traditions, safety and identity. For example, by eliminating the weaponization of political concepts against The People. In the context of immigration, constructs that have been weaponized are multiculturalism and diversity.

If anything, populist leaders who want to denuclearize constructs which have been weaponized by the state are authentic leaders. The opposing elites are the interlopers.

Your common, garden-variety academic is selected and elevated in academia precisely because of a pre-existing condition: a globalist, deracinated disposition.

For that matter, humanity does not have a right to immigrate en masse to the United States or to Europe. There is no natural right to venture wherever, whenever—unless, perhaps, migrants can be confined to homesteading frontier territory.

Regrettably, the developed world is running out of frontier territory to homestead. Besides, the only potential immigrants who still have that frontier spirit are South-African farmers. But American and European elites are uninterested in refugees who are ACTUALLY and actively being killed-off.

That would be too much like preserving “white privilege,” which is certainly not what Mounk’s about. He moans, instead, about dangerous populists, and how they’re “willing to dispense with constitutional niceties in the name of ‘the people.’”

Which “constitutional niceties” have populists dispensed with? Repealing, statutory, man-made law the Left, invariably, depicts as fascism, when in fact repealing positive law is often liberating; strengthening the natural rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“Politics,” our author continues, “is defined by a growing battle between illiberal democracy, or democracy without rights, on the one hand, and undemocratic liberalism, or rights without democracy, on the other.

It’s hard to know what to make of such bafflegab, only that the author’s political theory has been through the progressive smelter. Democracy unfettered—social democracy, Third Wayism—adopted by all “free” nations, the US as well, in antithetical to the liberty envisioned by the American Founding Fathers.

Why so? Because in this fetid democracy, every aspect of individual life is up for government control. The very idea that a few hundred clowns in two chambers could represent hundreds of millions of individuals is quintessentially illiberal. And impossible.

The kind of “undemocratic liberalism” the author sneers at is likely the classical liberalism of the 19th century, where the claims the mass of humanity could levy against individuals in a particular territory were severely curtailed, if not non-existent.

Finally, what would an academic be without a brand of demeaning, economic reductionism? The lumpenproletariat are economically distressed. That’s Yascha Mounk’s final diagnosis. That’s why populism is surging.

Tossed in their direction, Chinese-made trinkets will do wonders to improve the mood of this seething, racist, mass of Deplorables. Then Mounk and his friends can move in to make the right decisions for us.

Harvard’s Chosen’s One chalks populism up to “the laws of globalization.” Deal with it or die.

Or, as advocated by Kevin D. Williamson, a NeverTrumper formerly of National Review:

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Academia, Elites, Populism, Working Class 
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Planning for a show-down, a column of 1,500 Central Americans, largely from Honduras, has been beating a path to the Mexican-American border.

Some report that the column has been halted; others dispute that. Interviewed by Reuters in Mexico, a sojourning mother of seven—what are the chances none is an MS13 gangster?—signaled her intention to proceed to the US, if only to teach President Trump a lesson.

Yes, “Make America Great Again” to you, too, Colindres Ortega.

Organizers and participants in this farce aim, very plainly, to publicly demonstrate that the US doesn’t have borders. Led by anti-American agitators, the procession catalyzed the urgency of action to stop an ongoing invasion.

Whether it arrives or not, the caravan is a positive bit of theatre. For one thing, the actors are quite correct. The US doesn’t have borders. For another, the caravan vividly exposes the antagonists in this ongoing tragedy: our overlords in DC. All of them.

To narrow the indictment a tad, note the extent to which the Democrats and their news media have avoided mentioning or covering the caravan. At a time when Democrats are fielding populists like Conor Lamb (who won in Pennsylvania) and former rodeo champion Billie Sutton (he hopes to govern South Dakota)—the mess on the border damns them like nothing else.

It’s these villains who’ve agreed to laws that permit anyone—other than white South Africans—to arrive at that border, do their Les Misérables act, claim to face a “credible fear” back home, get a court date, and bolt like so many rabbits, to be seen again only at the voting booth, the welfare office, the DMV and at DACA demonstrations. They’re the malcontents holding up signs that read “America is racist.”

What all the veiled allusions to “catch-and-release loopholes in American immigration law” imply is this: Ostensibly, there’s no way to turn interlopers away once they plonk themselves on the US border, demand a translator and spin some yarn.

So far, President Trump has “signed a proclamation ordering the deployment of the National Guard to the border with Mexico.” This changes nothing. It remains illegal to defend the border by turning these particular trespassers away.

Other than stare these brazen people down, what will the National Guard do? Change diapers, as they did during the 2014 rush on the border?

Flash back more recently to January of 2016, when candidate Trump began alluding to “President Obama’s irresponsible use of executive orders” having paved the way for him, Trump, to also use them freely if he won the presidential race.

“Amen,” I said at that time—provided Trump uses executive power to repeal lots of laws, not make them.

After all, we live under an administrative “Secret State.” Very many, maybe most, of the laws under which Americans labor need repealing. The only laws that should be naturally inviolable are those upholding life, liberty and property, for those are natural rights.

Candidate Trump had gone on to promisingly proclaim that, “The one thing good about executive orders [is that] the new president, if he comes in – boom, first day, first hour, first minute, you can rescind that.”

All of which speaks to a broader truth: There is nothing sacrosanct about every law imposed by an overweening national government and its unelected agencies. “At the federal level alone,” the number of laws totaled 160,000 pages,” in 2012. By broadcaster John Stossel’s estimation, “Government adds 80,000 pages of rules and regulations every year.” (How long is the Constitution?) According to the Heritage Foundation, “Congress continues to criminalize at an average rate of one new crime for every week of every year.”

America has become a nation of thousands-upon-thousands of arbitrary laws; whose effect is to criminalize naturally licit conduct. Rather than uphold individual rights, most positive law (namely statutory, man-made law) regulates or criminalizes the business of life.

Laws passed in violation of the natural rights of the people, and by altogether skirting the will of the people’s representatives, need to be nullified. Like the laws making it illegal to repel unwanted invaders, who intend to wage welfare on their hosts, and sometimes worse.

Executive orders, President Trump has issued galore. But relatively few pertain to stopping the invasion ongoing. Needed are executive orders that sunder laws dictating that invaders-cum-“refugees” are to be processed rather than expelled.

Let the president suspend the scam that is the United States Refugee Act. Subject to review, yada-yada-yada. Let the president untether the US government from the Trojan Horse and shake-down scheme that is the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Again, subject to blah-blah-blah.

In working on behalf of refugees worldwide, private American charities dwarf the US government. Private non-profits do what they do unobtrusively, ethically, with minimum overheads and personnel. They don’t rely on confiscatory taxes! Most importantly, charities disburse aid and empower refugees without entering into agreements and entanglements with supranational bureaucracies, a thing that serves to indenture and endanger Americans, stateside.

In this post-constitutional era, nullification of unjust laws through executive orders is what’s necessary. It’s inevitable that correctives to the corrosive, self-sustaining, intractable actions of the state take the shape of action and reaction, force and counterforce in the service of liberty.

In this unfortunate but inescapable scheme of things, nullification is justice’s Jaws of Life, properly considered a political power tool to pry the people free of bad laws.

**

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook,Gab & YouTube

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Immigration 
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As individuals, we want the best doctors treating and operating on us, the best pilots flying the airplanes we board, the best engineers designing the bridges we cross, the best scientists inventing and bringing to market the medicines and potions we ingest.

Yet the American Idiocracy is moving to equate merit-based institutions with institutionalized racism.

Tucker Carlson, likely the only merit-based hiree at Fox News, recently divulged that a member of the Trump administration was overheard (by a thought-police plant) expressing a preference for merit-based recruits for his department.

Egad, and what next!

Google, a tool of the Idiocracy, appears to have scrubbed its search of this latest episode in “The Closing of the American Mind.” However, it’s no secret that the education system already excludes the most naturally gifted, independent-minded individuals from fields in which they’d excel.

Race preferences notwithstanding, requirements for social activism of the right kind, for volunteerism and worldviews of the left kind, for working exclusively toward the best grades: These are things girls do better than boys.

In any event, when the best-person-for-the-job ethos gives way to racial and gender window-dressing and to the enforcement of politically pleasing perspectives; things start to fall apart.

A spanking new bridge collapses, new trains on maiden trips derail, Navy ships keep colliding, police and FBI failure and bad faith become endemic, and the protocols put in place by a government “for the people” protect offending public servants who’ve acted against the people.

As in this writer’s birth place of South Africa, the U.S. government has a pyramid of hiring preferences. Guess which variables feature prominently in its considerations? Complexion or competency?

Consider the procurement pyramid that went into destroying the steady supply of coal to South-African electricity companies. Bound by Black Economic Empowerment policies, buyers buy spot coal, first from black women-owned suppliers, then from small black suppliers, next are large, black suppliers, and only after all these options have been exhausted—or darkness descends, whatever comes first—from “other” suppliers.

The result: An expensive and unreliable coal supply and rolling blackouts.

Everywhere, media are congenitally incurious and corrupt. They aren’t digging. But it’s likely that similar considerations will go a long way in explaining the collapse of a Florida university campus pedestrian bridge, under which people were pulverized.

So far, the attitude of those who’re doing this can be summed thus: S-it happens. Deal.

As for the public; it receives no follow-up and learns to demand none. Hence, “The Closing of the American Mind.”

But if American institutions continue to subordinate their raison d’être to politically dictated egalitarianism, reclaiming these institutions, private and public, from the deforming clutches of affirmative action will become impossible.

It might already be impossible.

For example: Former FBI agent and patriot Philip Haney was dismissed by Barack Obama from the Department of Homeland Security and is nowhere to be found in the Trump Administration. This brilliant man’s goal was to do his job: stop Muslim terrorists in the US.

Alas, the intricate program and extensive network of contacts Haney developed were nixed, because political priorities had come to dominate the agency. As a result, innocents died.

Treason? I’d say so. So, where are the purges?

What were once merit-based institutions are being hollowed-out like husks through preferential, non-merit-based hiring, quotas, set-asides, not to mention the policing of thought for political propriety.

No longer beholden to the unifying, overarching value of merit, institutions, moreover, become riven by tribal feuds and factional loyalties—both in government and in business alike, where it is well-known that newly arrived “minorities” hire nepotistically.

Across the American workplace, the importance of “meritocratic criteria” such as test scores or “minimum credentials” has been downplayed, if not downright eliminated as “inherently biased against minorities.”

The U.S. government hasn’t had an entrance test since … 1982. It abandoned both the Federal Civil Service Entrance Examination and the Professional and Administrative Career Examination (PACE) because blacks and Latinos were much less likely to pass either of them.

In academia, law schools have lowered the bar in admissions and on the bar exam. Universities run a “dual admissions system”—“one admissions pool for white applicants and another, far less competitive, pool for minorities.”

The institutionalized American “quota culture” has been imposed by administrative fiat, courtesy of the “The Power Elite”—that engorged “administrative state” under which Americans labor.

For the purposes of conferring affirmative action privileges, American civil servants have compiled over the decades an ever-growing list of protected groups, “as distinct from whites.”

In addition to blacks, the list entails mainly minorities such as Hispanics—Chileans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Mexicans—Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Asian/Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Cambodians (and homosexuals).

If the kind of immigration policies instituted by the über-left American Idiocracy (it includes most Republicans) continue apace, the institutional tipping-point will be reached in no time.

The reason is the “immigration-with-preference paradox,” first noted by Frederick R. Lynch, author of “Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action” (1991).

Once mass immigration became a bipartisan policy, millions of imported non-black minorities were—still are—given preference over native-born American citizens. No sooner do these minorities cross the border, legally or illegally, than they become eligible for affirmative-action privileges.

These preference policies govern both state- and big-business bureaucracies, which seem to have voluntarily (and energetically) embraced them, if only to subdue their white workforce .

It goes without saying that “those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa” did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs.”

There’s a world of difference between compelling minority recruitment to equal the proportion of minorities in the population and enforcing majority recruitment to equal the proportion of the majority in the population.

In South Africa, the majority is targeted for affirmative action: 75 percent of the population! In the U.S., it’s the minority.

South Africa underwent an almost overnight political transformation. One day a white, relatively well-educated minority dominated all institutions; the next, a skills-deficient black majority took over. Nevertheless, South Africa’s hollowed-out establishments are a harbinger of things to come in the U.S., where minorities will soon form a majority.

If American institutions have not yet collapsed entirely under the diversity doxology’s dead weight; it’s because the restructuring of society underway is slower.

Again, this will change once minorities in the US form a majority, as they soon will due to continued, unabated, mass immigration from the Third World.

All citations are in “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” by ilana mercer.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Affirmative Action, Political Correctness 
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“This is just a truly astonishing moment coming from the White House podium,” tweeted MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt. Like the rest of the media pack-animals she hunts with, Ms. Hunt had been fuming over President Trump’s telephone call to Vladimir Putin, congratulating him on winning another term as president.

Reliably opposed to a truce were party heavies on both sides. Sen. John McCain joined the chorus: “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections,” he intoned.

Another Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, told a reporter testily that he “wouldn’t have a conversation with a criminal. I think Putin’s a criminal. What he did in” Iraq, what he did in Libya … Wait a sec? Remind me; was it Putin or our guys who wrecked those countries? So many evil-doers on the world-stage, it’s hard for me to keep track.

“When I look at a Russian election, what I see is a lack of credibility in tallying the results,” sermonized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I’m always reminded of the elections they have in almost every communist country.”

Actually, what the International Election Observation Mission found in Russia’s presidential election of March 18 was far more nuanced. Why, in some ways the Russian elections were very American: In the difficulty dissident candidates have in getting on the ballot, for example.

Ask Ron Paul or all those anonymous, aspiring, independent, third-party candidates about the US’s “restrictive ballot access laws and the other barriers erected” by the duopoly to protect their “de facto monopoly in America,” to paraphrase Forbes.com.

As for jailing journalists, frequently for life: Not Russia, but an American ally, Turkey, is the world’s biggest offender. But hold on. Isn’t Trump turning on the Kurds to pacify the Turks? Maybe it’s something the Saudi’s said. Go figure.

What doesn’t change is the interchangeability—with respect to any peaceful overtures made by President Trump toward Russia—of the Stupid Party (Republicans) and the Evil Party (Democrats). And yet, the same self-interested individuals protest, periodically, that Trump’s recklessness risks plunging the country into war.

The president wants to cooperate with the Russians. International confrontation being their stock-in-trade, the UniParty won’t countenance it. Politicians in both parties have not stopped egging Mr. Trump on, rejecting the détente he seeks with Russia, and urging American aggression against a potential partner. Yet, incongruously, in October of 2017, a Republican Senator, Bob Corker, saw fit to complain that the president was “reckless enough to stumble [sic] the country into a nuclear war.”

To please and curry favor with an establishment that detests him and is vested in the geopolitical status quo—POTUS even signed sanctions into law against Russia.

Cui bono, pray tell? Who benefits from this standoff?

General Barry R. McCaffrey has The Answer. The Trump congratulatory courtesy call to Mr. Putin shows the president’s refusal to protect US interests, tweeted the general.

“US interests” or your interests, sir? Who benefits here? Ordinary Americans, or the media-military-industrial-complex; the swamp organism Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address: “The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – … felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government … [of] an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.”

Not to mention the attendant barnacles who suction onto the ship of state: professional TV talkers, think tank sorts, self-anointed intellectuals (who’re not very intelligent). All are vested in an American-led order, so long as they get to dictate what that (martial) order looks like.

The same political flotsam “argues” against President Trump’s desired détente with Russia using the following logic: If the “master of the political insult,” Donald Trump, “declines to chide Putin,” to quote NBC and CNN standard issue “analysts”—something is off. Ergo, Trump is beholden to Putin and to Russia. The Russians have something on him.

Such a line of “reasoning” fails basic logic, simply because it’s inexhaustive. In other words, there are other, highly plausible explanations as to why the president is not warring with Russia, not least that diplomacy is a good thing; that POTUS ran on a promise of peace with Putin; that he had articulated, as a campaigner, an idea entertained by most Deplorables. Namely that Russians are at odds with Islam and ISIS; that Putin is a Russia First, nationalist, whereas our Anglo-Europeans “allies” are Islam-friendly globalists.

Had POTUS kept pressing the perfectly proper positions he ran on, he might have retarded the Russia political wildfire, now raging out of control. Philosophical consistency would’ve served him well as an antidote to the political opportunism around him.

Instead, President Trump has surrounded himself with appointees who deliver a message discordant to his. What comes out of the White House is an ideological cacophony.

Hiring different perspectives in business could well be a strength. But it’s a weakness when politics and policy are in play. Needed to advance a political agenda is a team that shares the political philosophy underlying the agenda.

MSNBC’s Miss Hunt and her political clones were particularly galled by Sarah Sanders. The White House press secretary was asked whether the Russian election was free and fair. She replied: “We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate.”

What’s outraging our neoconservative-Jacobin establishment is that the White House is practicing, if only fleetingly, what another American president counseled in a bygone Independence-Day speech: detachment and diplomacy in foreign policy.

“[America] goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

The man who’d be casting pearls before swine today was John Quincy Adams. The sixth president of the United States (1825-1829), son of John Adams, spoke truths eternal on that July 4, 1821.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Russia 
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In the turbulent times of Trump, it seems like an eternity, but last week, Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic advisor, resigned from his position. President Trump had asked “Cohn directly” if he could be relied on to help implement tariffs. Cohn said no, by Bloomberg Politics’ telling. Hours later, he was out.

Asked and answered—also in the presence of Mr. Cohn, back in November of 2017—was another important question. At the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, august CEOs, a room full of them, were asked if they’d increase capital investment in American workers, pursuant to Trump’s business-friendly tax plan. A pitiful few raised their hands.

Globalist Gary, as he was known by the near-extinct Bannon faction of the West Wing, remained unperturbed. Formerly chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, the affable Democrat had formed part of the Kushner-Cohn opposing axis, in this fractious White House.

Cohn had helped pass the Trump tax plan, which—judging by the election outcome in Pennsylvania’s Trump friendly, 18th congressional district—might not have been a legislative chart-topper.

For Mr. Cohn, it’s always been big business above all. But Trump’s promise to pass tariffs, the kind Mitt Romney proposed in 2012, and George Bush passed in 2002—Cohn would not tolerate because, as big media keeps mouthing, “he’s a free-trade guy.”

Though it’s true that Cohn’s successor, TV economist Larry Kudlow, similarly bills himself “a free-trade guy”; untrue is the idea that the US, or any country, for that matter, practices the ideal of free trade.

Free trade is an unknown ideal.

What goes for “free trade,” rather, is trade managed by bureaucratic juggernauts—national and international—central planners concerned with regulating, not freeing, trade; whose goal it is to harmonize labor, health, and environmental laws throughout the developed world. The undeveloped and developing worlds generally exploit and pollute as they please.

One of the promises Candidate Trump had made and hasn’t yet violated was to simply make these statist organs and trade agreements work for the American people. To wit, the president believes in reducing trade deficits.

Far be it from me to endorse tariffs as a means of reducing trade deficits. I am only here questioning the totemic attachment free-traders have to trade deficits, given that Americans live under conditions of systemic debt and state-managed trade that is anything but free.

If free trade is an unknown ideal, it is quite appropriate to question the alleged glories of an aggregate, negative balance of trade, in this “rigged system,” as Trump would say.

As to systemic debt: Yes, libertarians ought to oppose tax increases, which is what tariffs are. We hold that voluntary exchanges are by definition advantageous to their participants. Trader Joe’s, my hair stylist and the GTI dealer—all have products or skills I want. Within this voluntary, mutually beneficial relationship, I give up an item I value less, for something I value more: a fee for the desired product or service. My trading partners, whose valuations are in complementary opposition to mine, reciprocate in kind.

Ceteris paribus (all other things being equal), there’s nothing wrong with my running a trade deficit with Trader Joe’s, my hair stylist or my GTI dealer, as I do—just as long as I pay for my purchases.

And there’s the rub: The data demonstrate that we Americans, in general, are not paying for our purchases.

Americans, reports Fortune.com, actually have more debt relative to income earned than Greeks. “Indebted U.S. households carry an average credit card balance of $15,706, according to NerdWallet.”

Corporate America is likewise heavily leveraged.

The Federal government is the definition of debt. The U.S. national debt is over $20 trillion without federal unfunded liabilities. Those exceed $210 trillion, by Forbes’ 2017 estimate. Total public debt as a percent of Gross Domestic Product, announced the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is 104 percent.

Our improvident government’s debts, liabilities and unfunded promises exceed the collective net worth of its wastrel citizens.

Given these historic trends, it seems silly to dismiss the yawning gap between U.S. exports and U.S. imports as an insignificant economic indicator.

Because of decades of credit-fueled, consumption-based living, the defining, current characteristic of our economy is debt—micro and macro; public and private. Unless one is coming from the pro-debt Keynesian perspective, is this not an economically combustive combination?

Non-stop consumption—enabled by government monetary and regulatory policies—has coincided with a transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based one; and from an export- to an import-oriented economy. For some reason, this reality continues to excite the febrile imaginations of Beltway libertarians.

Libertarians at CATO, for instance, love that, historically, America’s annual trade deficit has been rising: “[t]rade deficits do not cost jobs. Rising trade deficits,” they say, “correlate with falling unemployment rates. Far from being a drag on economic growth, the U.S. economy has actually grown faster in years in which the trade deficit has been rising than in years in which the deficit has shrunk.”

Much to CATO’s delight (presumably), the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced, in 2017, that “the goods and services deficit was $53.1 billion in December, up $2.7 billion from $50.4 billion in November, revised. … Year-over-year, the average goods and services deficit increased $6.1 billion from the three months ending in December 2016.”

In arguing their point, trade-deficit deniers point out, correctly, that America ran trade surpluses during the Great Depression. But from the fact that the US had trade surpluses during some very bad times—it does not follow that the nation’s current trade deficit is inconsequential as economic indices go. It could just as well mean that the economic fundamentals today are worse than they were during the Great Depression; since this country has never before been as deeply and systemically in hock as it currently is.

Far from comprising discrete parts, the economy is ineluctably interconnected. The trade deficit belongs to a nation enmeshed in debt.

Contra the Keynesians who control the economy—and whose thinking many free-traders appear to be propping up intellectually, in their indifference to credit-fueled consumption—real wealth is created not by printing paper money and galvanizing the globe’s governments to buy our government’s bonds, but by the production and consumption of products.

Considering that an abundance of goods, not money income, is what makes for an increase in wealth; it’s not unreasonable to want to see a natural shift take place in the U.S., from an economy founded on consumption and credit to one rooted in savings, investment and production.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Donald Trump, Free Trade 
Ilana Mercer
About Ilana Mercer

ILANA Mercer is the author of "The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed," (June, 2016) and “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2011) She has been writing a popular, weekly, paleolibertarian column—begun in Canada—since 1999. Ilana’s online homes are www.IlanaMercer.com & www.BarelyABlog.com. Follow her on https://twitter.com/IlanaMercer.


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