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Taming the Tea Parties
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GOP regulars and their movement conservative drones have been sending signals for some time now that they wish to have the Tea Party be nice. While David Frum and David Brooks have generally followed the Left in condemning these “extremists,” Bill Kristol, George Will, Jonah Goldberg, and Rich Lowry have taken a gentler approach to the problem. Goldberg praises Glenn Beck and those who attended his Washington rally for being inspirational by invoking Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. Never mind, as Al Sharpton correctly noted, that King held social and economic views that were diametrically opposed to those of his effusive admirers Beck and Sarah Palin. For Goldberg and Geraldo Rivera on Fox, the reaching out at the rally to civil rights images was what counted.

Some of this conciliatory talk was followed in National Review by Rich Lowry on September 3, who seemed to be stroking the monster. Lowry characterizes the Tea Party insurgency in the GOP as a “bourgeois revolt.” For the most part its activists wish to go back to the pre-Obama American “dispensation.” They are seeking nothing more cataclysmic than getting the country “back to its typical level (of spending) in recent decades, roughly 20% of GDP.” These mostly good folks wish to return to the “constitutional limits that obtained during most of the country’s history,” and from which we strayed under the present Democratic administration.

All of this is rank nonsense. Federal power has been exploding for decades under Republican as well as Democratic administrations. And it is not at all clear that what George Washington or even Dwight Eisenhower understood as “constitutional limits” on federal power were the ones that still existed under George W. Bush. What Lowry and his crew really want is to neutralize the Tea Party. They wish to see it work for Republican elections and then behave in a “sober” fashion, by allowing the party regulars to take over once the GOP scores big in November. With some luck we may be able to return to that movement conservative-GOP highpoint in human history, the presidency of George W. Bush under the stewardship of Fox-contributor Karl Rove.

Everything will be fine, according to Lowry, if only the “bourgeois” activists understand what is expected of them. But then things could go wrong, as they did when Newt Gingrich allowed “ideological grandeur” to get the better of him after the GOP congressional victories in 1994. Lowry also frets about how the Tea Party “produces political candidates who are exotic and unexpected.” Lest we miss the reference, Rich (if I may be familiar) is sneering for the umpteenth time at such anti-government types as Sharron Angle in Nevada and Rand Paul in Kentucky. Lowry is not even sure of the rabble-rousing Beck. Although Beck is dandy on civil rights and Martin Luther King, he also exhibits a non-sober style: “He’s emotionally extravagant and conspiracy-minded, an intellectual enthusiast and rollicking showman.”

ORDER IT NOW

Now for some background information: Lowry and his companions have achieved fame because of two developments in the American conservative movement. First that movement was taken over during the Reagan years by Cold War liberals, who left the Democratic Party and who then transformed the establishment Right. This takeover helped push the post-World War II conservative movement toward the left on a wide range of socio-economic issues, including civil rights. The same process also pushed the movement toward a militant interventionist foreign policy centered on the Middle East. That transformation is now irrevocable and dissenters from the party line have been periodically ostracized. With few exceptions these dissenters are not allowed to appear on Fox or in movement publications, such as the Wall Street Journal. Then the conservative movement underwent a second, equally momentous change. It merged with the Republican Party, in return for having that party take over a neoconservative foreign policy. With this fateful merger, the movement began to front for the GOP, while Republican presidential candidates endorsed an international crusade for democracy.

The Republican politics that the conservative movement now favors is partisan but also middle-of-the-road, as Lowry’s comments would suggest. Quasi-independent forces can be found in the mix, like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, but as long as these personalities come down on the GOP side in elections and favor an activist foreign policy, the movement will not try to displace them. Above all, Lowry and other movement fixtures fear destabilization, including the kind that the neoconservatives associate with the anti-government Right.

The GOP-neocon powerbrokers are intent on keeping entitlements and federal agencies intact as they embark on new democratic crusades abroad. The Tea Party activists generally support these policies despite their protests against the spendthrift Obama administration. Nonetheless, they occasionally put forth “exotic” candidates. And if even a few of these irregulars enter Congress this November, they may be a divisive force on the center-right. It may therefore be best to warn the potential troublemakers before they get into office.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Republicans, Tea Party 
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  1. An excellent take on the depressing state of affairs.
    As Ron Paul says the Empire will unravel despite all these machinations of the ruling class, it is going broke.

    The Republicrats will go down with the Empire and its ruling class and good riddance.

  2. I’m a Glenn Beck viewer. I agree with his analysis 99% of the time and I’ve actually learned much by watching his program.

    There are, however, some troubling aspects of his show. To wit, he claims to be a libertarian but never says anything about Ron Paul or Paul’s various crusades. His apparent connection to Sarah Palin while slamming mainstream Republicans is unfathomable. He also seems to have standard Neocon convictions when it comes to Israel and foreign policy.

    I often think he’s a mole, put there by FOX to suck in libertarian viewers like myself. Maybe Beck is a subterfuge designed to retrieve disaffected ex-Republicans like myself. Either that, or he limits his own speech so FOX doesn’t dump him.

    Every now and again, Beck lets something slip that indicates he may be holding back on some of his views. He once stated that the principal of God given rights could be deduced by an atheist. One day he even admitted that there were some who had a negative opinion of Abraham Lincoln.

    It is perhaps wishful thinking, but I wonder if Glenn Beck will one day wander off of the reservation and state what is left unspoken. I wonder if he will fully embrace a true “libertarian” position. I doubt he will. I know, however, that I will continue to watch to see if he does.

  3. This is a straw man argument if I have ever seen one. From what I have seen so far, “TEA Party candidates” have been advocating ideas and policies that are not typical of establishment Republicans. Angel, Paul, Toomey, just a few notables, differ in their points of view from the typical vanilla conservatives that usually run for Senate seat as a Republican. This is what is scaring both establishment “conservatives” and liberals in general. Historically, progressives cared little about specific election and concentrated on framing the debate for the long run. They would introduce far left crazy ideas which were on the fringe but were disciplined and would pursue it with fanatical zealously. Eventually, after these ideas had been heard over and over the elusive middle would be moved to the left and establishment conservatives, scared of losing one election, would move with the middle. Now, the TEA Party represents a new movement. It is aimed not at winning 2010 or 2012 election but seeks to recalibrate the debate. This might cost elections here and there, but if TEA Party activism can be sustained, there is a real possibility to move “the middle”, which has been pulled to the left for the past century, closer to the constitutional federalism.
    This scares left because the “progress” which they have achieved since Wilsonian statists hijacked the progressive movement is being threatened; every reaction is at least equal to the original action and possibly greater. It scares vanilla republicans because it threatens entrenched establishment who have been advancing up the party ladder with expectations of carrier political jobs. If the TEA Party “extremists” cost them elections during the cycle when they are hoping to make major gains, for them they are worse than Democrats.
    Lawry and others are trying to soften the image of TEA Party as not to drive coveted independents to the Democrats. They are about as able to tame TEA Party as I am to catch a wind. If the tea party is a genuine movement against the big government, then until the government reverses it course of expansion it will grow. If it is the movement born of economic hardships experienced by the US, then growth of government isn’t going to right the economic crisis which has been building since 1930’s. The only way to tame it, if its genuine, is to show results.
    I don’t get the libertarian argument. Finally, there is a genuine chance to right the ship domestically but all I hear is criticism of the foreign policy. I think if we return the country to the federalism where states control the domestic power, having a sensible and pluralistic argument over the foreign policy would be much easier because the special interests would have lost the power they possess today. The best way to limit the “interventionism” and “activism” in our foreign policy is not to oppose candidates but support candidates who will strip the power of the purse from the federal government and move it back to the states. Without money, they cannot wage wars, can’t sponsor global organizations, etc.
    But I guess that takes pragmatism and cold calculation which is absent in Libertarian ranks. You guys blew the best chance to become the national party when Ross Perrot didn’t offer Bush compromise, such as trading some senate nominations for dropping out of the race. If libertarians had snack through 2-3 Senators, the voices of federalism and small government would be much louder today. Ron Paul is the only one advocating kind of radical reforms we need domestically and look how much interest he generates, imagine if there were 2 US Senators with similar ideas? Then these ideas will be viewed much more as a main stream then when they are put forth by candidates. Unfortunately, politics attracts egos and egos don’t always let the better judgment to carry the day.
    P.S. I find it very interesting that the fundraising gap favors the Democrats. Usually, facing as big of a defeat as they are going to experience in November would swing some of the funds towards Republicans but that isn’t happening. I think there might be a chance that the candidates on the GOP ballots aren’t very palatable for big special interests both on in political and in the business community. That is an encouraging sign. I hope I am right and the candidates are scaring business community which has been entirely to dependant on federal money.

  4. Chris Moore says: • Website

    The Leviathan corrupted Gingrich/contract with America revolution made Bush II possible, and Bush II made Obama possible.

    Leviathan easily corrupts, buys off, incorporates any opposition, or disillusions any principled opposition to the point of resignation and defeatism. Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan are the exceptions that prove the rule.

    When Gottfried writes — “First that movement was taken over during the Reagan years by Cold War liberals, who left the Democratic Party and who then transformed the establishment Right. This takeover helped push the post-World War II conservative movement toward the left on a wide range of socio-economic issues, including civil rights. The same process also pushed the movement toward a militant interventionist foreign policy centered on the Middle East” — we all know exactly who he’s talking about. And these are the ones pulling the strings of Leviathan.

    The only way to save this country is a radical Christian-libertarian revolt that repatriates these corruptors of America; repatriates them spiritually, or physically, or both. America will NEVER recover with foreign-loyalist, ideologically particularistic neocon/neolib pharisees and their corrupt collaborators at the helm. I repeat: NEVER.

    Let’s stop mincing words. They’re literally destroying this country. This is life and death now.

  5. SteveM says:

    Re: Royden Lippincott

    I know that the movie “Network” is receding to long ago and far away for younger people.

    To recap, the principle on-screen character was newscaster Howard Beale who was incoherently against everything. “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” As Beale’s inchoate rants got nuttier and nuttier, the ratings got better and better. The Network loved him.

    Beck is Beale and Fox is the Network…

  6. Don Yarish,

    The Tea Parties are simply ruling class flunkies. Lured by the elites into believing that they share a certain economic outlook, these tools are enabling the very programs the ruling class most hopes for: The privatization of what remain of our public assets. Paul, with a mouth as big as his leadership committment has been meager, has proven himself more concerned with his own – and his family’s – political suvival than any imagined “core principles”. No one need wait, the neo-con filth that a short fifteen years ago managed to turn most Evangelicals into lapdogs already has effectively reached into the knickers of the Tea Parties. Now there will be no getting rid of the ruling class until we get rid of the Tea Parties.

  7. SteveM:

    Believe me, I’m way old enough to remember Howard Beale.

    The cynical side of me thinks you might be correct. I’m never sure of the sincerity of media and/or political figures. I also question the sincerity of the Fox “Network” as it mostly seems to be the propaganda wing for the Republican establishment.

    That being said, however, the things Beck says on his program are not insane. His presentations are factual and there is much to be said for most of his views. His thesis that “progressives” in both parties are responsible for our ills is spot on. Maybe this message can get out and we can eliminate the “party regulars” Mr. Gottfried refers to in his piece. We need to have a government that serves to defend our liberty, not one geared to serving our needs and whims that increases the power of the elites.

    And maybe Howard Beale wasn’t that nutty. Maybe the progressives were the ones who labeled him such

  8. Thomas says:

    Lavrenti ??????????,

    The Tea Party is a mixed bag and the attendees of these gatherings have varied motivations. I think you have true libertarians, Ron Paul-constitutionalists, Alex Jones-conspiracy theorists, Pat Buchanan-conservative nationalists, Christian Rightists, and general reactionaries altogether. They are only united in their opposition to the present course of the country. But in all honesty, many of them were opposed to Bush as well. This is a relatively radicalised segment. If they were standard Republicans, they would not take to the streets.

    One must work with the best of them and the best of the Left, e.g., Nader, who is radical enough to support protests and strikes, but rational enough to seek winning strategies.

  9. Thomas,

    “They are only united in their opposition to the present course of the country.”

    That’s clear, Thomas. But they have allowed themselves to be harnessed to ideological objectives that serve only the broader purposes of the ruling class and in doing so have now become its arms and legs. To facilitate an upward transfer of wealth, for example, that for thirty years has helped fill the wallets and campaign coffers of the political bacteria that shill for the financial, munitions, drug, oil and Middle East foreign policy interests seems to me a disavowal of their espoused aims. Yet this is the contradiction that is the Tea Party: Earnest fools in service of their enemies! For all of their alleged “populism”, they have made no convincing effort to distance themselves from the system, committing themselves to “working within the Republican Party”. And right there, my friend, Thomas, is the unveiling of a rank poseur like Ron Paul. Ask yourself, does Paul’s “working within the Republican Party” sound like “revolution” to you or something much more like naive compliance? We’ll have absolutely no solution to our present woes via parliamentary means. The system is simply too corrupt for that. The “Peoples’ Moment” that will usher in the new era will have no kinship whatsoever to “working within the Republican Party”, believe me.

  10. SteveM says:

    Re: Lavrenti – “Earnest fools in service of their enemies!

    Absolutely! Republican Beltway Reptile Dick Armey is playing Tea Party Chieftan. He’s teamed up with this guy named Matt Kibbe in an non-profit called FreedomWorks.

    It looks like Armey’s and Kibbe’s FreedowWorks is a Beltway parasite feeding off the Tea Party movement. Based on the FreedowWorks IRS 990 2008 filing, Dick Armey was paid \$550,000 for working 23 hours a week, Kibbe was paid \$279,000 for working 22 hours a week. In fact, all nine employees listed make a ton of money working part-time.

    What those guys have done is set up a boutique K Street operation to ostensibly fight the K Street paradigm. Hah! After they “fight” for the little guy, they sashay over to the convenient Caucus Room or Capital Grill for thick steaks and cocktails.

    And here’s the thing. Armey was paid a boatload of money at DLA Piper for his ability to influence legislation and regulation under the table. OK, like it or not, that’s Beltway inside baseball. However, the Tea Party movement is supposed to be outside in, not inside in. If the idea of the Tea Parties is to minimize inside baseball, why should their front men get paid inside baseball salaries? Seems to me the Tea Party coordinating organizations should be set up anyplace but Washington and staff themselves prudently.

    But that’s the way the system works. The little guy is enticed to donate to FreedowWorks which basically means subsidizing Armey’s and Kibbe’s fat and happy K Street lifestyles. And because Armey is inside baseball, the MSM anoints him as an authentic voice of the Tea Party movement.

    Two things really get me. FreedomWorks is a talking head only organization with no P/L or operational responsibility. All Armey and Kibbe have to do is show up and gasbag. Two guys getting over \$800K for that!? And what really gets me is that this shell organization has a “Donate” links on its web pages. I.e., they’re inducing Joe Sixpack to send in his precious beer money in order to subsidize Armey’s champagne and caviar lifestyle. Because of course Joe never sees the 990 filings. Pathetic.

    I happen to think that the Tea Party movement is well intentioned but philosophically inchoate. Nevertheless, the Tea Parties are being co-opted right under their noses in real-time by Beltway Bandits like Armey and Kibbe.

  11. Ron Paul ran once as a Libertarian and has concluded rightly so that the cards are stacked against third parties. He stays in the Republican Party by default.

    Lavrenti you seem to tilt quite left and do not approve of private property and free markets.
    All property is private. A free market with private property is the foundation of social freedom. All socialist economies fail because elites are not nearly smart enough to manage an economy and as Lord Acton reminds us power corrupts. Here in the US the Socialist/Fascist alliance of big government and big business badly managed the economy to benefit only the ruling class and managed it right into the ground as well.

    Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and Andrew Napolitano are the most honest and brightest lights in America today.

  12. Jim Evans says:

    Lavrenti Beria wrote: “But they [Tea Party] have allowed themselves to be harnessed to ideological objectives that serve only the broader purposes of the ruling class and in doing so have now become its arms and legs.”

    This is flat out wrong. Probably just liberal dribble.

    Yes, the Tea Party is a mixed bag with various motivations, but, in general, they are opposed to big government in all its forms.

    In terms of foreign policy, they need to be informed & educated that an activist, military foreign policy will ultimately destroy any hopes of a limited constitutional republic.

    Socialism is the tool the elites use to tie individuals into a position of dependence on a centralized power which the elites can then control.

  13. You guys seem to be under the impression that things can change overnight. That can only happen during a revolution, which will not succeed in the US. The Founding Fathers put enough stop-gap measures into our system to prevent any faction, good or bad, to radically change the system in a short time. That is the bases of our stability which has lasted for over 200 years.
    “I know better than the rest” is an elitist way of thinking. What does that make you?
    The TEA Party activists, maybe not the leaders, have one thing in common; they don’t like the direction of the country because it is taking us away from the principles upon which this country was founded. They were against Bush and didn’t show up to vote in 2006 and 2008. That is the reason why Democrats took over both chambers and the White House. Now they see an alternative. Unfortunately, most of the leaders are either retreads of Republican Party or opportunists. Right now, the minimum to get this country back to the federalist republic is to get 2 senators and couple of representatives to start working alongside with Ron Paul. They won’t achieve much, not with such small numbers, but what they will do is they will frame the debate so that the progressive statists are representing the fringe of the left, and are no longer perceived as the “main stream” or “center-left”. That alone will move the debate to the right. That should be the goal of those who aspire to reduce the federal government’s footprint in the domestic politics and restore the constitutional wall which used to restrict the federal government.

  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Seriously, I would like to know what “constitutional limitations” on federal authority Rich Lowry recognizes. What does that phrase mean to him?

    If you google “Gutzman George Will,” you can find my response to a George Will column criticizing Ron Paul for invoking constitutional limitations on congressional authority straight out of James Madison’s Bonus Bill Veto Message of 1817. When last he was heard from, Will’s idea of conservatism was very similar to Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s. These people are Hamiltonians — advocates of unlimited federal authority — through and through.

  15. The takeover of the GOP by the neo-cons is precisely why I will NOT again be voting republican any time soon.

    There is currently little difference between either of the two major parties, and, if either way, the country is going to have a leftist in office, using one’s vote to protest is the only effective way remaining to use it.

    Conservatives who vote for establishment Republicans, e.g. John McCain, are only throwing their votes away. Better to effectively register a protest by voting for some 3rd party candidate who genuinely supports conservative policies than to throw it away on a republican who, if he wins, will wrongly construe his victory as a mandate for his party’s increasingly leftist agenda.

  16. Although Kevin and I probably don’t disagree about what should be done to curb federal power, unlike him I would never refer to Will, Moynihan and the neocons as “Hamiltonians through and through.” I doubt Hamilton or any of the other founding fathers could have conceived of a constitutional regime as derailed as our global democratic, managerial monstrosity. It was Hamilton, and not his Jacobin-friendly rival Jefferson, who railed against equality. Hamilton would have proposed for the US a monarch and House of Lords to protect us against the excesses of the popular will, an evil we are now witnessing in our government and society.Hamilton was not a precursor of David Frum or Elena Kagan. He was addressing the problems of another age, as a classical conservative. Kevin is showing his ahistorical libertarianism when he tars all “statists” with the same brush. The libertarian attack on all advocates of the state as the same types is as silly as the neocon attempt at finding Hitler and anti-Semites everywhere.

  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Tea Party better get used to the idea of a long haul, at least as much time as the 60s radicals and the neo-cons took to get where they are.

    November 2010 is a beginning only, and as a success it will be heavily qualified. Tea Party must systematically deprive these people of oxygen and other wherewithal, and will have to sustain the effort for decades. In the meantime don’t vote for them, don’t send your children to be educated by them, don’t do business with them, don’t read them, don’t hire or promote them.

  18. Jim Evans,

    “This is flat out wrong. Probably just liberal dribble”

    One wonders why you make such mechanical assertions, to convince yourself or, like Merlin, to cast spells at an imagined adversary?

    “In terms of foreign policy, they need to be informed & educated that an activist, military foreign policy will ultimately destroy any hopes of a limited constitutional republic.”

    My, how perfectly anti-elitist. And one assumes it will be you that will be doing the informing and educating concerning the right way for them to be thinking about these questions. Do they have any idea how fortunate they are?

    “Socialism is the tool the elites use to tie individuals into a position of dependence on a centralized power which the elites can then control.”

    A recitation from the libertarian catechism perhaps, more self-hypnostism or both? Does it ever occur to you that that the elites exercise control over anything at all simply because there is no instrument of government to oppose them that they haven’t already managed to corrupt or put out of existence? And it is precisely here that the self-punitive nature of the Tea Parties is laid bare. To imagine that privatisation and de-regulation – two central tenets of Tea Party/libertarian religion – will somehow bring an end to the criminal exploitation of average working people by these maggots is unimaginably daft. Government isn’t the enemy, son, its the people that own it that are..

  19. Don Yarnish,

    “Ron Paul ran once as a Libertarian and has concluded rightly so that the cards are stacked against third parties. He stays in the Republican Party by default.”

    He was right to conclude that the cards are stacked against third parties. And that, all the more reason for him to have taken the courageous and principled course and to have eschewed Republican allegiance altiogether precisely because of that. But not the self-serving Ron Paul, who, like a kind of toadyish wimp licked the feet of those that were contemptuous of him and who made his and others free exercise of the franchise impossible. Headline: Paul is in it for himself like any other of the slime that populate Washington. Nothing convinces one more of this than the developing family nature of the Paul political enterprise. If Paul were concerned with anything more than his own hide he’d have run as an independent campaign for president in 2008. He had money and substantial backing. What he lacked was character.

    “Here in the US the Socialist/Fascist alliance of big government and big business badly managed the economy to benefit only the ruling class and managed it right into the ground as well.”

    And you imagine that privatisation and de-regulation will make things otherwise? The alliance of government and big business you describe has come about precisely because of privatisation and a crippling of oversight. Yet today the Tea Parties would have us intensify such practices! Personally, I sense that the system has been so utterly corrupted by those that manage and fund it that it is quite beyond reform in any case. The only promise at this point is to be found in mass demonstrations and the general strike. But if you’ll forgive me, I don’t see much impetus in that direction coming from paleo-conservatives or libertarians. In those precincts there is the naive and mind-numbing hope that somehow, in someway, they will highjack and redirect the Republican Party! And that kind of credulity is increasingly pitiable.

  20. SteveM,

    “I happen to think that the Tea Party movement is well intentioned but philosophically inchoate. Nevertheless, the Tea Parties are being co-opted right under their noses in real-time by Beltway Bandits like Armey and Kibbe.”

    Great minds would seem to think alike, SteveM. 🙂

    Frankly, I suspect that we’ll have to go through a disastrous Tea Partyish phase before public consciousness is raised to the inevitability of mass demonstrations and strikes. Then, after an authentic “Peoples’ Moment”, the possibilty of detention and public trial for the criminal ruling class comes into view. For this latter, I would favor a large sports stadium environment, what say? Then we rebuild from the bottom up, not the top down.

  21. “Frankly, I suspect that we’ll have to go through a disastrous Tea Partyish phase before public consciousness is raised to the inevitability of mass demonstrations and strikes. Then, after an authentic “Peoples’ Moment”, the possibilty of detention and public trial for the criminal ruling class comes into view. For this latter, I would favor a large sports stadium environment, what say? Then we rebuild from the bottom up, not the top down.”

    This is an interesting statement. A. It makes perfect sense if it is made by a leftist progressive. B. Makes absolutely no sense what so ever if it is made by a constitutionalist federalist.
    The first possibility is clear, progressives on the left, much like the Leninists, Trotskyites, confused Marxists, etc. advocated and still advocate revolution as the means of a regime change. Some of them call those in power bourgeois, and some call them elites. Either way, they view them as universally bad, powerful, selfish, and oppressive. Unlike Marx, who viewed the systemic transition as a de facto state, a next step of the natural spiral of political evolution of capitalism, these progressives view the change impossible without “encouragement”, aka revolution. The means of the revolution separates Leninists from Trotskyists, neo-Marxists from Fascists. Leninists sought galvanizing of proletariat and peasants to overthrow the bourgeois, Troskyists, viewed the success of the revolution through the “punishment” of the “collaborators”, aka middle class. Neo-Marxists in Latin America chose the way of the terror and guerilla warfare, and finally, Fascists, much like Mr. Beria over here, wanted to seize the day through populism. What brought them all together is their ruthlessness towards the perceived oppressor; the grandeur was the name of the game, where bigger was better and more was just. From this point of view, Mr. Beria fits the mold of the leftist progressive revolutionary, and what he is selling makes sense.
    However, if he is conservative federalist, who respects the constitution, then advocating revolutions would be possible if Jefferson’s words regarding “the tree of liberty” are taken literally. Unlike Jefferson and 13 colonies with the population of 3 million at best, modern day United States has 300 million citizens. One must be a narcissist or delusional to think that the “revolution” will represent the will of the people. We are a republic precisely so that the will of the people is accurately represented by the elected officials, over several electoral cycles. This ensures the stability. When we shortcut this system we disenfranchise some groups who view themselves underrepresented and in their views, new regime become elitist and oppressive. This leads to more violence and more revolutions. James Madison wrote about factions and their negative impact on the long-term interests of the nation in Federalist X. If one has not read federalist and “anti-federalist” papers, I must cast serious doubts about sincerity of their “federalist-constitutionalist” convictions because how can one believe in something they do not know? Even God revealed himself through his prophets and divinely inspired books. Can one be a Christian and never read the Bible or listen to a sermon? If so, they would represent the barren soil Jesus spoke of which is unfit for the seed of righteousness.
    P.S. In so many words, Mr. Beria, GET A CLUE and stop advocating revolutions and mass prosecutions at sporting arenas. Take care of your own bottom instead of trying to rebuild collective one!

  22. Shawn says:

    Boring article but if you think Beck and Rush have same foreign policynideas your another Libertarian know it all.

  23. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Lavrenti,

    Your heart is in the right place, but the problem with your solution – keeping a powerful central government but populating it with right thinking leaders – is that this level of power attracts exactly those sorts whom we don’t want leading us. People who think that they know enough to make decisions for the rest of us. Those afflicted with Hayek’s “Fatal Conceit”.

    Would that the voters only see through the political fog and elect the right pols, then your system would work. But the voters are just people living their lives and by the time they start paying attention to elections, with rare exceptions, TPTB have limited their choices to two establishment candidates both of whom will be more than eager to exercise their power on behalf of their benefactors.

    No, the best we can hope for, given our current evolutionary state, is a popular movement leading to the dispersion of power. Listen to Ron Paul more carefully, and objectively explore the thinking of his intellectual base at mises.org before you condemn the man and the movement.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Lot’s of good opinions expressed here. Whereas I support the Tea Parties and hope for the best, I honestly do not believe they have a chance of success. The political machine or beast is not something that can be easily overcome even with protest. More likely protest would be a catalyst to this beast and its power.

    I consider the system to be so corrupt and broken that it is not repairable any longer. There are just too many rats in the house to feasibly catch them with traps to dispose. I believe it has reached that time where we must accept this and willingly torch the house in order to rid ourselves of the rats (metaphorically).

    The extreme left that now occupies the seat of government wants the same thing because they want to destroy the current system in order to bring in their “new” vision of America. That is why this is so delicate a matter.

    Both the democrats and republicans are just two faces on the same politician. POS number one or POS number two. That has been our only choices. Does anyone really think McCain would have been any better? Having him as the republican choice guaranteed Obama’s win. Just like having Bob Doyle run for office guaranteed Clinton’s win. No choice.

    It is my opinion that the only chance we have to correct the problem is to bring the whole system down and start over. Adding some new faces will not fix it. It is just too far gone.

    It is not a pretty picture and it will definitely be painful in many ways, but it is inevitable.

  25. A.C. says:

    The interesting exchange here between Profs. Gottfried and Gutzman, both of whom I greatly admire, hints at the real problem for a non-neoconservative or non-globalist American Right…mainly, the fact that there is no unity in such a rightist movement. There are Jeffersonian Austrian-school libertarians who, I believe, get the economics right, but many of them either don’t care about social or cultural conservatism, or worse, agree with the Left in its embrace of moral relativism and the sexual revolution, and hold little stock in the importance of the fundamentally Christian character of America. There are culturally conservative folks like the Buchananites who are certainly a hundred times more genuinely conservative and reliable as allies in the fight against the Left than the NR crowd or the George Wills of the world (who’s suddenly “seen the light” on homosexual normalization), yet they are far too accepting of the de facto centralization of the post-1932, never mind the post-1865 American state in a Hamiltonian/Lincolnian sense than any self-respecting genuine libertarian, even a Christian libertarian should be, and many of them refuse to understand the necessity of our being able to compete economically with the rest of the world if we are to remain “Great” as a nation and a people in any quantifiable way. We simply cannot do so long term with Hamiltonian protectionism the way Buchanan would like. There is far too much acceptance of universal abstractionism on both sides, I believe; among the neocon mainstreamers of the simplistic understanding of naked democracy and the idea that cultural inheritance is relatively unimportant to self-government. The uberlibertarians, many of them at least, also rely too much on abstract universalisms, taking them from sovereign state economic law, where they properly reside, and applying them to all of life, falsely believing it is unimportant what values, traditions, mores, etc, “We” as a people, the American people believe in, as they will certainly inevitably be demonstrated in an American public square, an American “family” as it were. The neocon-fueled hysteria over the ground zero mosque is distasteful, to say the least, but I find a lot of naivete in the Rockwellite libertarian position as well that there is simply nothing to worry about with a value system as alien as Islam and the belief that pious Muslims can successfully assimilate into an American culture that is and will remain recognizably American. Of course Muslim Americans should have the same 1st amendment rights and freedoms as Christian Americans; the real question is, is it wise to continue allowing them to immigrate here while assuming the State is always the only enemy to harmonious peace and a good life among all of us and our fellow countrymen?

    And then there are the masses who are inclined to the traditionalist Right. They are not necessarily on board with the insane Kristolian grand schemes of global democracy, but they ARE susceptible to such neocon Machiavellianism precisely because in the Left and the progressives (and more than a few libertarians, particularly the most adamant anti-state paleolibertarians), they see such a reflexive, instinctive, and anti-American sentiment that is always ready to blame ourselves first for our problems. Whether educated in American constitutional history and political philosophy or not, they recognize self-hatred when they see it, and it can be seen in abundance on the Left-hatred of America, of the West, of what’s left of Christendom, all always in the name of tolerance, diversity, and a supposedly enlightened cosmopolitanism, but really just a representation of their own narcissism and eternally adolescent rebellion and rejection of their own roots. The masses of right-leaning Americans know they don’t agree with that pathetic belief system and they see mainstream neoconism as the alternative, unfortunately, because as far as serious exposure is concerned, it IS the alternative.

    Is there a future for a mainstream fusionism of liberty-and-virtue libertarian conservatism in America with the USSR gone, and with the necessity of America accepting its need to stop policing/leading the free world? It’s hard for me to see such a unification happening politically. But it is necessary, desperately necessary to properly oppose the progressive statist Left.

    I agree with Prof. Gottfried though, that it is overly simplistic to rely too much on aligning oneself entirely with either side in the great Hamiltonian/Jeffersonian debate. I certainly consider myself much more of a Jeffersonian than a Hamiltonian, but neither is entirely right or wrong. The decentralism of Jefferson must coexist with the proper rejection of popular egalitarianism in politics, something I think Jefferson did understand of course despite his obsessiveness over hierarchy and monarchy and his getting carried away with enthusiasm of the revolutionary fervor of the French.

  26. chris says:

    “Limited gov’t” is a failed experiment, even constitutionally limited gov’t. and it failed many years ago There is no way to harness a class of people given a “legalized” monopoly on aggression to use against their fellow citizens…and people being people (original sin, Lord Actons axiom, social Darwinism, whatever your excuse for peoples natural inclionations to serve their own interests instead of those they represent) especially when all the “checks and balances” are controlled by that same government class. The best that can be done is to maximize individual liberty and that means the present system would have to go despite fears of “the people” suffering without the “protection” of the very people who are bleeding them dry, dumbing them down, destroying their economy and ignoring their emails and calls. Glenn Beck is a demogoue, establishing “trust” with nascent libertarians in order to control them. Remember his hostility toward Ron Paul and his followers during the election? He does not truly deviate from the system in any way that could derail it. He supports the wars and all of the systems that allowed this monster class to evolve..and that is what is most vital. Minds cannot be allowed to consider options outside the government-state-collective we-the-people mythologies. Don’t look at the man behind the curtain, keep watching and worshipping the Great and Powerful…..

  27. matt says:

    Both the Democrat and Republican parties are run by the ruling elite and run in a manner that creates an illusion of choice where none exists.

    America is a corporate socialist state and has been for decades
    .
    Politics is just a big con trick, a shell game run by liars, fraudsters, big money and corporate power.
    The media is an integral part of this Big Lie

    As soon as any potential threat is recognised, it must be subverted and co-opted by the ruling elite and subsumed into their fake democracy. This is what is happening to the TPM.

    I don’t trust media hacks like Glenn beck one bit. He is after all an employee of News International owned by the corporatist Rupert Murdoch.

    Sheeesh! People are such suckers! But hey! What do you expect? The ruling elite don’t just own most of the wealth in America today, they own the minds of most of the people too.

  28. matt says:

    I enjoyed the references to the movie Network here.

    The highlight of the movie is CCA chairman Arthur Jensen explicating his ‘corporate cosmology’ to the attentive Howard Beale

    The script by Paddy Chayefsky is terrifyingly prophetic

  29. matt says:

    You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it!! Is that clear?! You think you’ve merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, Reichmarks, Yen, Rubles, Pounds, and Shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state — Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality — one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. – Arthur Jensen (Network)

  30. scott says:

    There needs to be education, reflection and understanding that there is not just a FREE MARKET, but THREE MARKETS.

    There is a free market, it has competition and alternatives that limit the power of the provider such that, “the customer is always right.” This is vastly different from the other two parties.

    The professional market, offers no alternative but there is competition in these markets. The customer can’t be right as he’s buying expertise. Ben Franklin famously said, “a country boy between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.”

    Lastly, the monopoly utility market. It’s very well to assert that all property is private or whatever, but that ignores how these markets function. Gov’t guarantees funding for these markets, supports them with easements (so we may have sensible roads, powerline infrastructure, roads that don’t zig-zag needlessly) often gov’t commissions these projects, specifying to the nth degree limits and parameters, finally externalities (pollution) fall upon gov’t. Ignoring this perpetuates an illusion where the consumer is powerless (raped). This is why you often feel like you should’ve brought KY when dealing with banks, electric, gas and phone companies, and the like. The customer is powerless, the pricing power of these industries is nearly unlimited since they are essential. Arguably water/sewage is the best of these utilities and is the most overtly socialized.

    I’m not arguing for big gov’t, but an acknowledgment of these inherent gov’t supports. When we ignore them, we ignore SOCIALIZED costs supports for private gain–this is the worst form of socialism, most wasteful, and most needless. Traditionally, utilities were limited to 10% profit margins as a protection for consumers. Deregulation has only engendered price manipulation, higher rates with no noticeable benefits. Further, ‘deregulation” is often a chimera, the monopoly is insulated while customer service is farmed out to competition.

    This paradigm also offers some guidance for where gov’t should be barred. Our Ag policy creates monopolies where none should exist. Gov’t needs to exercise anti-trust policy, a gov’t power I hear few libertarians argue for but an essential tool to protect free markets. Food stamps are a better program as supply and demand and markets are not perverted as with our support of ADM, Monsanto and Con-Agra.

    Another example is that professional markets should be governed as much as possible by laws of agency. The “shitty deal” of Goldman Sachs would face legal reprisals; where under regulation, loopholes, laws and the the legislative graft that buys such favor pervert justice and sensible policy.

    We can’t argue for “less gov’t” and get it. Just as we can’t pass a flat tax and get it. The elites can too easily game the system. I also think we need to reconsider a 70% tax (the IKE tax rates) on incomes exceeding \$5/yr. Capital investments can off-set this burden for entrepreneurs. It would only affect corporate execs, who pay 16.6% tax rate. They take money out of corporations that should go to stockholders, investment, hiring and other positives. Corporate execs are the only ones without bosses in our economy. Even the Senate declined to take a pay raise, but not Wall Street manipulators, and hedge fund managers (who are taxed at 0%)

  31. Cato says:

    I would advise open minded Beck viewers to compare Beck to Freedom Watch and Judge Napolitano. Then see how “libertarian” Beck looks.

    The Corner at NRO is also pushing the Beck is a libertarian line. Seems the neocons have seen the potential of the Ron Paul Revolution and are taking steps to co-opt it, just as they did the Reagan vision the author speaks of.

  32. omikaberidze,

    Is one best left to laugh or cry at the unmistakeably pompous and not a little presumptuous characterization of what I’d written above?

    So here’s a bulletin for you, chief, lost as you seem to be in your libertarian religiosity: The “constitutional government” you so revere, if ever it existed, is an adolescent’s pipe dream. The regime in place in Washington today is a wholly owned subsidiary of financial, oil, drug, munitions and Middle East foreign policy interests. It is utterly unresponsive to anyone’s interests but its own and it will not be changed by any election or letter that you send to your congressman. The only devices remaining to the American people if their voice is to be heard are mass demonstrations and the general strike. Paul Craig Roberts drew similar conclusions at V-Dare and Counterpunch on August 16th; one supposes you’d be less likely to lecture him, eh:

    http://www.vdare.com/roberts/100816_americans_are_history.htm

    Now, a word about “revolution”, a term I never employed even though Roberts does. I spoke rather of a “Peoples’ Moment”, an unplanned, spontaneous event arising from a peoples’ frustration, one perhaps best modelled by the events in Poland in the early 1980s or those in Ukraine a few years ago. I consider the occurance of such an event to be inevitable given the theft of our democracy by the ruling clique and the trajectory of recent history. What will follow of necessity will be justice for the criminal governing class and, yes, a football stadium would be just a fine venue for the public trial of these vermin. And there will be a new constitution, one not so easily subverted as the present one, and new structures built from the bottom up.

    You can meekly apologize now.

  33. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Lavrenti Beria wrote: “But they [Tea Party] have allowed themselves to be harnessed to ideological objectives that serve only the broader purposes of the ruling class and in doing so have now become its arms and legs.”

    Jim Evans wrote: “This is flat out wrong. Probably just liberal dribble”

    Lavrenti Beria wrote: “One wonders why you make such mechanical assertions, to convince yourself or, like Merlin, to cast spells at an imagined adversary?”

    You, Lavrenti are the one who started with an assertion here. All Jim did was declare yours to be wrong.

    “In terms of foreign policy, they need to be informed & educated that an activist, military foreign policy will ultimately destroy any hopes of a limited constitutional republic.”

    Lavrenti Beria wrote: “My, how perfectly anti-elitist. And one assumes it will be you that will be doing the informing and educating concerning the right way for them to be thinking about these questions. Do they have any idea how fortunate they are?”

    It is perfectly anti-elitist, as war benefits arms manufacturers, mercenary firms, pentagon contractors, those who sell fuel to the military, war investors, especially various large banking and investment firms. Aside from that, it benefits the political elite, as it legitimizes their ability to send young men to their death in an effort to kill strangers from a different country. It certainly does not benefit the poor families, who risk losing sons and daughters, husbands, wives. Nor does it benefit the survivors who sometimes return permanently injured or crippled. War also does not benefit the economy when it deprives it of workers who could be used to produce things or provide creative or helpful service. Therefore, to oppose such profiteering from such a high level of death and destruction is anti-elitist.

    “Socialism is the tool the elites use to tie individuals into a position of dependence on a centralized power which the elites can then control.”

    Lavrenti Beria wrote: “A recitation from the libertarian catechism perhaps, more self-hypnostism or both?”

    My, you took offense at that one. The way someone defends something often points to what the defender believes in. Besides, one can come to this conclusion of socialism from observation and reading of history of what happens everytime socialism is enabled.

    “Does it ever occur to you that that the elites exercise control over anything at all simply because there is no instrument of government to oppose them that they haven’t already managed to corrupt or put out of existence?”

    Considering that no such instrument can exist or ever will exist in any nation in history, why should it?

    “And it is precisely here that the self-punitive nature of the Tea Parties is laid bare. To imagine that privatisation and de-regulation – two central tenets of Tea Party/libertarian religion – will somehow bring an end to the criminal exploitation of average working people by these maggots is unimaginably daft.”

    Privatization is just putting something back in the hands of the average people. Anyone has the chance to work in that field after doing so. That is of course, if the government has not regulated the hell out of it in order to block market entry. Wheras, if the government insists on doing it exclusively, then one has to go through the powers that be within government in order to have the opportunity to work within that field. Oftentimes, deregulation is a good thing if it means letting new market participants in, or helps producers/distrubutors keep costs down or allows them to innovate new ways of doing business. Excess regulation micromanages and makes innovation impossible. Leads to stagnancy. It usually leads to monopoly, because there are fewer new players who want to enter or have the ability to enter.

    By the way, it is not religion, it is facts.

    Lavrenti Beria wrote: “Government isn’t the enemy, son, its the people that own it that are..”

    Which is like saying that the Mafia is not the enemy, just the gangsters in it are.

  34. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Royden:

    If Ron Paul is a libertarian, then what in blazes is he doing in the Gang Of Plunderers?

  35. Jim Evans says:

    Lavrenti Beria:

    Because this is generally an “anti-war” website, it does attract some left of center folks, that’s good. But their false premises and characterizations must be challenged.

    Beria presented Evans’ statement: “In terms of foreign policy, they need to be informed & educated that an activist, military foreign policy will ultimately destroy any hopes of a limited constitutional republic.”

    And, Beria responded: “My, how perfectly anti-elitist. And one assumes it will be you that will be doing the informing and educating concerning the right way for them to be thinking about these questions. Do they have any idea how fortunate they are?”

    A typical response for a leftist to focus on the person.

    This website, The American Conservative, informs & educates regarding “military foreign policy will ultimately destroy any hopes of a limited constitutional republic.”

    And other publications, and individuals, too — talking to their neighbors and friends, calling into talk radio (where a lot of neocon ideas are regularly promoted), and at organized political events.

    At least half (if not considerably more) of Americans are weary of perpetual war — so there is an audience willing to listen & read about the subject — many of these war weary Americans’ ideas are incohate, publications like this one inform & educate to give form & substance to these Americans general attitude.

    Beria presents Evans’ statement: “Socialism is the tool the elites use to tie individuals into a position of dependence on a centralized power which the elites can then control.”

    And, Beria responds: “A recitation from the libertarian catechism perhaps, more self-hypnostism or both? Does it ever occur to you that that the elites exercise control over anything at all simply because there is no instrument of government to oppose them…”

    Apparently, Beria, your bent is to paint with a broad brush and paint everybody else, besides yourself, as an extreme characture. Of course, there is need for reasonable regulation. But many times, regulation favors the powerful who have the wherewithal to shape the regulation, and the powerful don’t shape the regulation to help their competition.

    The Tea Party is the best chance to turn the direction of the country, while not perfect, no movement is, the Tea Party has demonstrated its ability to take on and defeat establishment Republicans, that’s a good start, but just a start.

    Beria, has the Left demonstrated the same ability?

    Obama?

    That’s a joke, Obama is a puppet of the elite — make no mistake, while the Replican party is often controlled by the elite, the Left’s desire for Socialism is exactly as I stated earlier, and brought your wrath:

    “Socialism is the tool the elites use to tie individuals into a position of dependence on a centralized power which the elites can then control.”

    Actually, what probbly steams Beria the most is that the Right has demonstrated some ability at reform via the Tea Party movement, while the Left has demonstrated no such ability at all and, now, feels conned by Obama, the puppet of the elite — Beria, can you spell Goldman Sachs?

  36. T.J. says:

    It seems to me that the Tea Party Movement, at least initially, was a spin-off of the Ron Paul phenomenon of the last presidential election; but now I am wary of the TPM because I believe that it has been hijacked by the neo-cons, the foremost among them being Sarah Palin. The neo-cons are easily spotted by their jingoism. They still want to police the world and meddle in others’ affairs, and they don’t talk about shrinking the empire. They don’t seem to see the connection between empire and bankruptcy. The Palin/Paul split in the TPM can easily be summed up by answering this question: Were Palin to be elected President, what would happen to the Middle East war and our myriad overseas military instalations?

  37. Jim Evans says:

    T.J.:

    I agree with you.

    It is up to us on the Ron Paul side of things to inform & educate folks participating in the Tea Party movement of the issues you rightly raise.

    Giving up is not the answer.

    Reinvigoration of the Ron Paul, non-interventionist, message is the key, and by-and-large, the Tea Party folks are the most receptive audience (remember a significant number are already with us as they were part of the original Ron Paul message).

    A non-interventionist foreign policy and limited government are the most compatible domestic & foreign policy positions.

    It was the base of the Conservative message before the Conservative Movement got hijacked by the neocons — Paleo-Conservatism.

    Pointing out the incompatibility of a militarist, empire, foreign policy and a limited constitutional republic is where the “rubber meets the road” — it’s our best argument and most likely to reach & persuade average Tea Party folks because the most important principle in the average Tea Partier’s mind is the perservation of the U.S. Constitution as a document of limited government and protector of Man’s God given & unalienable rights.

  38. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A point these political-types are ignoring is that some of us “Tea Party” folks despise the Republicans as much as the Democrats. Neither represent the American people and neither even hint at the idea of striving for peace and prosperity.

    We need to heed Washington’s advice to avoid entangling foreign alliances, quit trying to police the world, and adopt a policy similar to Switzerland’s — armed neutrality.

  39. matt says:

    Yup

    It’s Ron Paul for me

    He isn’t perfect. He is still the least worst option by far and America’s impending bankruptcy overwhelm the existing political structure anyway.

    Stopping the ruling elite subverting the TPM for itself is a major problem that needs to be addressed……..quickly.

  40. Kate says:

    If one studies congressional and presidential actions objectively, one should surmise that the Obama administration is indeed GWBs 3rd term.

  41. Chris,

    This was an interesting post. “Limited Government” failed and solution is giving people more individual freedoms? Isn’t that a contradiction or are you advocating complete abolishment of government in favor of anarchist society? Or maybe you meant “Big Government” failed?

    Beria,

    Your comparison to Poland and Ukraine is precisely what scares me. Ukraine and Poland have different system of government from us. Polish popular uprising was possible because of the system communists themselves put in place. They had unicameral legislature with all the members elected at the same time. They also had a bastardized version of the parliamentary republic with a prime minister as a head of the government. Ukraine was slightly different. They had unicameral legislature with a president and the prime minister appointed by president. Both systems afford for a revolution through single election cycle because entire legislature and president are elected in a popular election. Such system was criticized by James Madison. I quote: “When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.” (Madison, Federalist X).
    If you look at both Polish “Solidarity” and Ukraine’s “Oranges” they were intent on destroying the existing system. Polish were against a socialist state which was imposed upon them by the Soviets, and Ukrainians were trying to establish a nationalist state in place for a Russian satellite. The popular election system afforded them this chance. The success of Polish model and relative failure of the Ukrainian model are very examples of what Madison speaks of. Polish were able introduce reforms which were unpopular but were sustained over a period of time and thus reducing the passions in populous. Ukraine, on the other hand, was unable to achieve this goal for various reasons and today they have a regime which is almost complete opposite of the nationalists. This change occurred over the span of 1 election cycle. As you can see, the stability is absent.
    Our system is designed for a slower pace of transformation thus preventing the passions of a faction from adversely affecting the long-term interests of the state and the individual rights. Progressive statist movement is a clear example of this. They had a vision, which has not changed much since the time of President Wilson, and they implemented it over a century through the domination of legislature, executive branch and the judiciary. It was organized and methodical process and the only way we can take it back is through the same methodical and organized struggle. This gives it legitimacy and stability which is absolutely paramount for the welfare of the people.
    Revolutions, on the other hand, attract opportunists because they yield a perfect vehicle for quick gains both in political and economic power. This eventually corrupts the core principles of revolutions and the end result is drastically different from what was intended. Opportunists are reluctant to seek “gains” if the struggle is long term and the results might not be seen in one lifetime. This allows for an ideological transformation to take place with the least amount of unintended results.
    The TEA Party is nothing more than a faction fueled by a communion impulse and passion, and it is nearly impossible to sustain over a long period of time. As it happens, this common impulse and passion is directed at ever expanding government. Such movement cannot be sustained long-term. As such, it has to be seen as a means to an end. That is why I proposed that for those who advocate “federalist-republic” goal minimum has to be to elect 2 Senators like Sharon Angles and Rand Paul. They are not ideal candidates for “the cause” but what they are is a way to change the debate in the country. Today, the right is represented by an ideology which advocates “lower taxes, strong national defense, and small government”. This slogan can be twisted every which way till Sunday. One can look at Sen. McCain and Sen. DeMint and both will fit the mold although they are in many ways opposite. Two new senators will be able to establish a new right. It will be viewed as “radical” by the pundits and media propagandists but it will necessarily move further left ideas which are sold to the public as a centrist left. This will establish new center and opportunists will flock to it. The intent should be not to elect right candidates but to frame the debate so that the opportunists, who work hard to achieve their career goals, use some of the ideas of “federalist-republicanism” in the elections. Much like progressive statists moved the middle further to the left, we will try to move it back to the right. Eventually, the ideas championed by Sharon Angles and Rand Paul will no longer be “radical” and a presidential candidate who identifies one’s self as a Wilsonian Progressive will no longer be seen as a main stream.

  42. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    When thinking Tea Party, my photo can be placed in the center of the target. Working with a tea party organization that formed and decided to stage a major event (discussed in Oct. 2010 Vanity Fair), a number of folks defaulted to the establishment Republican forces when the rubber hit the road. Instead of celebrating a big tent of small government, pro-Constitution, individual voters of all kinds — pro-life, pro-choice, pro-drug legalization (and the “nots”), pro-gay rights (and the “nots”), pro war for democracy (“nots”), pro public school prayer (nots), etc., etc., but ALL UNITED in reducing government — the powers chose to dis-invite Libertarians and move forward without them. An opportunity lost. Oh well.

    Those of us who left the group, or moved to “reserve” status, have decided to strike out on our own without any organization. We met hundreds of folks and are each hosting various in-home activities. For me, next Thursday a 10-week book club begins. We will study Bob Levy and Chip Mellor’s book, The Dirty Dozen (How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom). Since its publication in 2008, two of the dozen have fallen (1st amendment campaign finance, and 2nd amendment right to bear arms). If more folks have a working knowledge of Helvering, Wickard, Whitman v. ATA, etc., the country will benefit. Rome was not built in a day.

    Having survived the Missouri Republican primary after being threatened by the Clay County Republican Chairman that UAW thugs would follow me home and hurt me because of my support for Chuck Purgison, I am left with NO candidate (when I met the Libertarian candidate in April who later won the primary, he told me he had never heard of Ludwig von Mises or read Atlas Shrugged, and seemed to not have a solid intellectual basis for his candidacy – in contrast to Dr. Sissy Spragins who ran against him and lost). The Republican establishment is ecstatic with its sure-winner candidate, Roy Blunt, MR. TARP himself. There is no better example of what this article discusses than the candidacy of Roy Blunt.

    God help us all. In the meantime a this “tea-bagger” will promote freedom one living room-full of citizens at a time. Truth is truth.

  43. Jim says:

    Good article except for a few points. One, Limbaugh is not “independent”, he is a total flack for the GOP and the neocons. Beck seems very inconsistent but is by no means a libertarian. Obviously the only consistent libertarian in office is Ron Paul although he waivers on a few issues like gay rights and immigration. Of course I am speaking as a hard core libertarian, not a paleo con like Mr.Gottfried although I agree with paleocons often and I love TAC.
    It is sadly true the tea party types have mostly been coopted by Palin and the neocons and theocrats, but there are some good libertarian and paleoconservative types in there that are not a lost cause. I think Rand Paul is more libertarian than he is letting on in the election, although only time will tell if he gets elected as to whether he is like his father, so far the signs are not very encouraging on that but of course he is better than the Dems. Sharon Angle just seems like a right winger, but I don’t know much about her views.

  44. How many of you know that the Tea Party is the creation of an oil Billionaire? Do you really think you are a grassroots organization?

    The Tea Party is nothing more than a scam to mobilize good intentioned people to take up causes that will make two rich brothers richer. Sister organizations (organizations funded from the same source or operating in the same offices) to those that support the Tea Party movement are simultaneously supporting contradictory agendas including Obamacare and Financial reform.

    And don’t get me wrong, I am a full blooded Libertarian and fully support the basic principles promoted by the Tea Party. But the manifestation of the Tea Party movement is a fraud ultimately intended to support issues that promote yet another billionaire’s business interests.

    The problem in this country, at the source of the Global Warming scam, financial meltdown, Housing Bubble, and two wars, is that nobody just gets the facts and thinks for themselves. Global Warming was sold to us because most accepted the decrees of Scientific Organizations in place of facts. The financial meltdown occurred because most believed Harvard Economists over sensible value assessments that anyone is capable of. And we sent thousands of our troops to die in a war where victory or defeat will look the same, because we trusted bogus intelligence reports from ‘official agencies’. Piss on it.

    It makes me laugh that people that claim to want to limit bureaucracy need to assemble by the thousands, give themselves a name, write a mission statement, have spokespeople, and prepare talking points in line with the views with those of the spokespeople. The fact is at the end of the day the only thing you can do to change your situation is vote. An act performed individually, alone in private. So the thing that drives change is wholly unaffected by the fact that you go to Tea Party Rallies. Meanwhile ‘being a Tea Partier’ effectively only opens you up to the manipulations of anyone trying to get their agenda in front of a large group. No surprise that this is exactly the fraud that the Tea Party has quickly become.

    Sure the Koch brothers claim to be Libertarians, all for limited government and free speech. But what would you expect from oilmen trying to exist in a political climate featuring threats of carbon taxes, and a stifled debate on the science that supports them. You are a sucker if you don’t get that they arrived at these positions because their billions were at stake, not for the reasons the welder from Kentucky did. Wise up. The problems the Tea Partiers seek to solve exist for precisely the same reasons that they joined the Tea Party. Get the facts, stop trading your sovreignty and conviction for groupthink or the decrees of so called experts. That is the pragmatism that omikaberidze notes is missing in the Libertarian movement (though moreso in the mainstream parties). If you cannot, on your own, decide why liberty is the best choice for you then you are hopelessly doomed to be a victim of Leviathan whether or not he introduces himself to you as such. But for all the vim and vigor against socialism, nothing about the Tea Party movement indicates to me that people want to think and act as sovreign individuals.

    This makes me very sad. Watch me take it out on the Falcons on Sunday…

  45. OP is ill-informed about the TP and it’s collective motives. Hint: Don’t judge it by the very same GOP operatives you yourself note are trying to jump in front of the parade and lead it back to right-statism/neocon/neolib.

    The TP is quite aware that any semblance of Constitutional government has been gone for over a century. This is their very complaint, and it’s what they hope to rectify. Is this too ambitious? Perhaps, but is giving up a better option?

    The GoP might be successful. If this happens the TP dies the death of irrelevant redundancy and nothing much will have been gained.

    The GoP exhorted the TP to work in the system. The TP has. The GoP now is complaining when the TP has some success in this endeavor. The TP will not put up with this indefinitely. The TP _will_ abandon the GoP if it has to.

    Despite the MSM paints them as allies, and they _are_ tactically aligned at the moment, the real battle is _between_ the GoP and the TP, and it is a battle of momentous importance.

  46. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I think that we should be aiming, at least, for the point, which may be sometime in the future, when there are TWO effective “tea parties”, and perhaps even two “GOPs under the guise of one.

    One of those,of course, would be the fake one characteric of representation by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and other neocons.

    The other, hopefully growing group, would be the Tea Party movement, and even the GOPers, who take their lead from Ron Paul, who are commited to Constitutional limitations on Federal power, the right of nullification and secession, Sound money and ENDING THE FED, a balanced Federal budget, and most importantly, an America First foreign policy of “peace and friendly commerce with all nations, entangling alliances with none”

    Having TWO such parties to choose from would indeed offer us a choice, not an echo!

    PEACE AND FREEDOM!!
    David K. Meller

  47. David and faithkills,

    Why not just vote for what you believe in (in my case NO to everything) and do it with out a brand name, a leader, or unseen funding and alliances to sister organizations, or Groupthink. Don’t you think this is why the founding fathers specifically insisted on the private ballot. Be it the Tea Pary, Greenpeace, FriendsofLiberty etc, these are symptoms of the problem of overgrown government. What makes you think that you can continue to have the symptoms yet cure the sickness? Lobbying is about making sure everyone agrees with what you think, and that you agree with what everyone else thinks. In what fantasy world do you think this would ever lead to free, independent and sovreign people, states, and ideals? These concepts are diametrically opposed to the reality you suggest.

    I absolutely 100% agree with you on the fundamental principles that you believe in. But I don’t think the system that killed them is the appropriate vehicle by which to revive them. All of us conscientious objectors need to take ourselves out of the game. Leave the current political circus to the trained circus animals who know no other way. They will bring down the big top in short order, don’t worry. But as long as we remain under the big top, the circus will go on and on…

    Regards

    DD

  48. Carpenter says:

    The ONE thing that is needed is a Right that opposes the wars against Israel’s enemies, the few countries in the Middle East that give financial and diplomatic support to the Palestinian resistance. The Israeli lobby controls U.S. foreign policy. It dooms the United States to slave status, where free money and weapons are sent to Israel, and American lives are spent in never-ending wars.

    There will be a LOT worse things happening in the future than 9/11, and Americans can’t say they don’t deserve it. Not when they keep voting for the empire. A movement that doesn’t address this is going nowhere. Just a little partying, and then back to voting for AIPAC’s bought faces.

  49. Bob says: • Website

    Perhaps it is time for the united States to break apart.

  50. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The “founding fathers” of the second US government were in favor of a more powerful Federal Government as the Confederacy that existed until then nearly destroyed the nation. People do not want to pay for anything but want everything in return. There is a price for society, and being part of one. In as much that monetary policies and valuations are almost entirely subjective, even those based upon gold. Therefore, the money printed, or valued, and the taxes thereof, are only significant to people who are involved and understanding of the rules of the game. In other words, politics is a game of power, with people lining up for reasons of greed and fear. Those burdoned by the subjugation are those most blinded by the fantasy. There is no freedom, only lesser states of imprisonment.

  51. ian says:

    Loons pure and simple. It’s easy to shout and scream but what are the Tea party solutions?

    Health care is tort reform really thats the problem?
    We should lrave the United Nations
    We should introduce tarriffs and leave international treaties
    We should alter the constitution
    Abolish income tax
    Disband depts of Education, EPA etc
    Foreign wars are great

    What is this a recipe for? Tell me if we give billionaires a Tax cut that is truly huge in terms of our internal deficit the logic is that shouldn’t we all pay no taxes and then have our massive and it is truly massive empire of bases and crony allied governments paid for by fresh air. Or do taxes really pay for things?
    Republicans tell us they can’t understand how you’d have to repay a tax cut! In that case none of us should pay tax and well see who pays for their free gold plated health care. Except of course with no EPA I guess we won’t even have that (fresh air).
    Facts mean nothing to Tea partiers and Beck enthusiasts..70,0000 becomes a million then one and a half million and everyone is Hitler. Grow up he says this rubbish for ratings and to sell you his rubbish books. His last one was ghost written by a guy who just rewrote a book he’d written earlier. I’ve a double major business degree and been a director for 16 years … am I expected to believe this born again cocaine addict? Beck is frequently wrong and not even close on his history. Tea partiers are great on government accountablity but awol on Beck and Palin.

    Go on Tea Partiers put your policies down here not your verbiage. Not liking black guys isn’t a real policy btw. Do you really think the GOP will be any different when they get in? Look what a roaring success they were for 8 years and your ideas are back for more of the same. They invaded the wrong country even man just how incompetent can you get! I didn’t stop being a conservative you’ve lost touch with reality.

  52. G says:

    The level of discourse here is very high. It feels like I can learn and get ideas even from the people I may disagree with here. I’ll be bookmarking this place.

    Anyway, my thoughts on Ron Paul are that he is there just to pacify libertarians into feeling that there is one of their own working in the system. My heart wants to trust him but my brain is looking at the dismal results.

    You remember that, just as the Ron Paul Revolution was picking up steam during the last election, he made basically a concession speech. Right there he shot his own Revolution down, dead in the water. I am afraid I see a repeat performance coming this time around as well.

  53. Ian,

    Yet another confused soul who’s head is filled with progressive statist propaganda. Let me try to shed some light on your dark existence:
    1. Health care reform is a bogus. Explain to me how can you add 30 million new subscribers, subsidize another 5 million and end up reducing the deficit? Math just doesn’t add up. All it does is make already dependant individuals even more dependent on those who administer it. To make sure you don’t wake up from your blissful slumber they tell you that you aren’t paying for it, “THE RICH” are. You yawn and go back to sleep. Oh, but there is a rude awakening at the end of your dream, we are in 13 trillion in debt and over 100 trillion unfunded liabilities await us.
    2. The UN is a money pit. It is a do nothing bureaucracy which exists to consume money pumped into it by statists who rob the populous. Has UN prevented any armed conflicts? What about ethnic cleansing? How about occupation and annexation? Let’s try something easier, human trafficking? Child exploitation for sex? Arms proliferation? Exploitation of women? Exploitation of children? That’s right! Answer is no, no, no,no,no,no, no, no!….. Why are we in it again?
    3. I don’t think anyone advocates protectionism, but it is insane to give trade preferences to the countries who subsidize production to artificially reduce the cost (aka China and Japan in 60’s and 70’s), artificially manipulate its currency to reduce the production cost so they can monopolize manufacturing (China), don’t honor the patent laws and to not curb piracy (Russia, China, India, Pakistan, etc.). Not recognizing these things as unfair trade practices has caused us the economic crisis we are in today. We are told we have a free market and capitalism. That is a load of crap. What we have is a corporatist state. You have unions on one hand and corporation on the other picking the winners and losers through federal government’s intervention. When they fook up, government comes in and saves them with the taxpayers money. TORT and automakers’ bailout was the most blatant demonstration of this in history. Yet they have a nerve to tell us that without it the world would come to an end and sheep like you believe them. 1 trillion was spent in 2 years to stimulate economy. That amounts to about 4% of the GDP each year. What was the economic growth? 3% last year and 1.5% this year. WTF? How can you spend 4% and only gain 3% and 1.5% back? But you have rose collored glasses on and do not care about these things. You only care about D and R next to the name. D = good, R = bad. Go back to sleep!
    4. Alter constitution? Alteration started with Progressive statists in 1900s and they have yet to stop. Worse yet, they don’t touch constitution, that would wake people up; they find new “interpretations”. Such as making me buy something that I don’t want to buy simply because my economic inactivity negatively affects the interstate commerce. Are you fricking kidding me? I don’t want to buy a fricking burrito, I am sure that negatively affects all the restaurants and frozen food manufacturers who depend on me and others buying a fricking burrito is the government going to make me buy a burrito as well? How about orange juice? Maybe prius? What about underwear? Socks? Where does it end? Or finding that 2nd amendment was not intended as individual right to own arms, but a collective one? Really? Isn’t collective ownership of arms called a military? I guess the founding fathers wanted to make sure that we knew that it was ok to have an armed citizenry. I guess article 1 section 8 didn’t address it adequately, they had to reiterate for the “stupid”?! Go back to sleep, this is too much for you to comprehend.
    5. What does dep. Of education do anyhow? Can you tell me? Universities and secondary schools are under the state jurisdiction. Private institutions answer to accreditation committees. What does dep of education do? The hire union workers and pay them union pensions and they union members vote for those who promise them more taxpayer money, and vote against those who threaten to stop it?
    6. Foreign wars are great? Who said that? There are some who believe in non-interventionism on this site, there are others, such as myself, who thing we should remove all military installation from around the world and do our business through regional multilateral organizations. I don’t think anyone cheers for wars.
    I have told this to another progressive statist and I will tell you as well. You are dancing to a music which was written in the 19th century (aka Marx and Engels), was in style in the 20th century (aka USSR, Cuba, Latin America, Europe, Indo-China), and has left every one of the dancers on their arses begging for help. How long till you will be right next to them begging for help? Not much longer, 2nd term of Obamer will put you squarely on your behind. I am giving you a heads up, when that happens the same people who promised you 8% unemployment if we spent money borrowed from China on buying Chinese products and helping union workers, they will tell you that the reason why you are on your arse is because “THE RICH” don’t pay their fare share; they will hand you a flag with “Social Justice” written on it and send you to confiscate their property and their assists. You will do it too.
    Instead of talking about adult subject matter go back to sleep and I will wake you up when it’s time to plunder the rich; save energy, and dream of communist nirvana – 5 hour long line to buy a fricking toilet paper!

  54. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Chris said above:

    “The best that can be done is to maximize individual liberty and that means the present system would have to go despite fears of “the people” suffering without the “protection” of the very people who are bleeding them dry, dumbing them down, destroying their economy and ignoring their emails and calls. ”

    What do you think is going to replace the present system? Power abhors a vacuum. Your libertarian utopia is going to look like Mafia-run Russia.

    I always ask libertarians about this and I’ve never gotten an answer that made sense. Sometimes they mumble about “Objective Law”. As for who is going to enforce the Objective Law, more mumbling.

  55. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Tea Parties became necessary because late in the 20th Century the Republican leadership abandoned Reagan conservatism and became the Democrat Light party. After suffering through the Bush years with a Republican president and Congress who didn’t represent them, conservatives finally (politically) snapped when left-wing Republicans began approving Obama’s legislation. The Tea Parties began when RINOs helped pass Obama’s “stimulus” package. When “stimulus” was approved, various small government groups realized that the Republican Party was not representing them, and was ready to rubber-stamp Obama’s socialist agenda, so they realized that their only hope was political action outside the Republican Party in the forms of citizen’s groups.

  56. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Entering this fray here would be utterly pointless.
    I hear only one voice of reason here.
    Kudos to Lavrenti Beria

  57. ian says:

    Seigfried ..how can you be so out of touch. Invading countries deregulating industries to suit your cronies isn’t Dems light in fact it isn’t even Republican. If you want to fix the country the solution is not to burn it down man. Yes they’ve abandoned Regan conservatism alright he wouldn’t even be eligible to join the Tea party. Invoking his name as some sort of talisman is absurd when current GoP/Tea party policy is far far away from Ron. He was not at all interested in starting unwinnable foreign adventures. he did not want to disband the IRS, EPA and the like. Get real in your comparisons. Dometically they are Ron Paulish.. externally Karl Rove/Bolton/Cheney.( they get their foreign policy straight from Fox.-a foreign owned media corp.

    Most western countries have utilised some form of stimulus to get their domestic econmies moving. Why decry that and not the trillions on Irak/Afpak? At least stimulus is spent on Americans.

    I don’t know that theres a significant extra socialised agenda on either party from Bush, but remember the US armed forces are government owned ie socialised, Air traffic control, coast guard national guard CIA, FBI, FDA,disease control the list goes on… are all socially paid for. The founding fathers were dead against large standing armies and foreign adventures. If the T partiers were genuine constitutionalists which they certainly are not, they’d be backing Gearge W up and sacking our high command. Running a sophisticated western nation where everyone has certain expectations means … guess what an element of socialism The Marines … socialist, the air force …socialist. FDA… socialist.

    My solution … fire our armed forces high command … withdraw from significant portions of our empire and mind our own damn business…. build up the US economy and limit import imbalances with countries, legalise the marijuana trade and tax it. ( the reason is to take it out of the control of drug/crime cartels) Golly that sounds just like Ron Paul a true conservative decades before the Tea party.

  58. As enlightening as the discussion has been, there is a time for talk and there is a time for action.

    “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

    The only thing left to determine is what options remain available to you. If a peaceful resolution of our present difficulties still possible? Will those peaceful resolutions ensure greater freedom for all Americans? Are those goals achievable? If not, then you must prepare for open warfare against the government political class which you claim to despise.

    There are no other options. There are no other choices. If you allow the government to continue upon its present course, you will become less than the serfs you are now. You will become slaves. Your choices today set the stage for the lifestyles of your children and grandchildren and for generations to come.

    In the end, you must ask yourself one question, alone: “What price am I willing to pay for the freedom I claim to believe in?”

    If you are unwilling to pay that price, you have nothing to add to any discussion of freedom or of governance. You have already accepted that others, more able and intelligent than yourself, are qualified to lead you into whatever disaster they choose. You have willingly accepted slavery as your lot in life. You have acknowledged your own inability to lead yourself and you have condemned your children to slavery under a political class which you know to be corrupt, inept and diseased.

    A free man, however, has no master.

  59. ian says:

    Nice rant warren where were you for the 8 bush years?

  60. Come, now, Ian. That wasn’t a very good red herring. Surely you can do better? Ian, for over a decade, I’ve been attempting to communicate with such self-professed worthies as yourself.

    Much of the present discussion is founded upon a false premise. During the present conversation, and for the most part, people haven’t been talking about individual and personal freedom and liberty. They’re simply discussing what types of chains they are willing to wear and have been arguing over which master they will allow to whip them into compliance.

    To use a more common reference, they are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    It has been a more polite conversation than most on this topic, but the ad homs have, none-the-less, been thick and furious.

    Re-examine your premises, people. Do you seek freedom or do you seek to impose your own will upon others?

  61. ian says:

    Thats a better answer.

    Both main parties are very similar. Obama is very similar to Bushes second term. All this talk about taking back America and Obama is a socialist. What is more socialist than a huge standing army, lots of secret police, spies, secret prisons, detention without trial, military tribunals, dept of Homeland security, internal snooping of private correspondence, army stoploss program, monitoring of financial transfers. We’ve had these things for years. If your worried about socialism you’ve alot to be worried about with the Tea party. Healthcare is pretty small beer compared to the above.

  62. Andy says:

    “Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and Andrew Napolitano are the most honest and brightest lights in America today.”
    Well said. Despite gov’t interventionist intentions there will be no funding unless we seize foreign oil to pay for it. I don’t rule that out, but it’s unlikely so it seem to me we’ll wind down our foreign involvement no matter who is in charge. I agree with the writer that if it has staying power the libertarian movement spearheaded by Ron Paul will take as much time to gain real power as it took for the 60’s leftists and 80’s neo cons to become mainstream. In the meantime despite the understandable whining and anger displayed here [along with a few off the charts lunatics which contribute some spice/entertainment in a manner Glen Beck I suspect has perfected] I believe that the USA is still a great place to live

  63. @Dennis Dixon re:
    “I absolutely 100% agree with you on the fundamental principles that you believe in. But I don’t think the system that killed them is the appropriate vehicle by which to revive them.”

    At least you, unlike some other MSM-programmed epsilons out there don’t think the TP principles is “Not liking black guys”;)

    But that’s why we’re not working in the system, per se. I don’t see that ignoring the problem is going to help. It may well be we fail, and if we fail it will be because we got co-opted.

    You should not assume we don’t understand the problem.

    We do.

    It may ultimately be futile, and there is quite a bit of ignorant antagonism even from conservatives and libertarians, as we see in this very thread. But do note we have already shifted the debate. People actually talk about the Constitution. People actually talk about economics; Keynes vs Monetarists vs ASE. People actually talk about natural rights. People are waking up to the fact that progressivism is corporatism and the welfare/warfare state.

    You may be right. But it is _vaguely_ possible, given the fact the monopoly on information dispersal is effectively broken via technology that something good can come.

    Now if you’re one of those who wishes for the collapse to happy sooner than later, yeah, we will be at cross purposes. For those people anyone ‘naive’ enough to try to do anything to remediate the problem is the enemy.

  64. destlund says:

    The debate in the comments is fascinating, and I tend to agree with Richard Posner. The right/left arguments here are so indistinguishable from socialist/anarchist “leftist” factional debates as to make me wonder whether right and left are even a good model–in our two-party system, they really just mark sides of the field and colors of the uniforms. Omikaberidze’s [rather tortured] reading of the factions at play in the Bolshevik Revolution reflect my own concerns regarding the radical left (and reactionary right, silly–you don’t think there are teabaggers who want to tear it all down?), but he then proceeds to conflate the American founders’ (rather diverse, BTW) thoughts and decisions with divine revelation, not to be debated or reasoned with. The question of “Reform or Revolution” lingers on, but I often have to wonder just what the right wing thinks the left wing are /for/.

    “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.” The ideals of the ruling class are precisely the ones most consistently violated by the institutions created to maintain the structure of a society. It’s reassurance that the system is Good and Just and Right. What the left wants is equal human rights, an end to unending war, the end of the prison state, and a reprieve from the alienation of global capitalism. No rational people are statists, and there is no such thing as a free market. But the state exists, markets exist, and it is our responsibility as human beings to ensure that institutions bow to serve humanity, not the other way around.

    I seriously doubt anyone on the Right disagrees with this, unless they’re cowed by the false-populist narratives of xenophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, classism, nativism, McCarthyism, etc. that keep rearing their ugly heads at Tea Party rallies. “They’re coming to take your liberty/money/daughter!” is the rallying cry of the conservative, but they always get the “they” wrong.

  65. Patriot says:

    Reject the false left vs right paradigm! http://www.infowars.com

  66. destlund says:

    ALEX JONESED!!!!1!11!!

    Seriously, we liberals are supposed to stock up on water filters and MRE’s too? We’re the ones who live in the cities; we’re the ones who want to /create/ a new world order (but not /that/ one).

  67. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Poor neos to be afraid of the tea party. Seriously, who is losing sleep that the me-too party might not be able to come to our rescue this November? Does anyone truly believe there would be a whoot’s worth of difference between the Democrats and the now “centrist” GOP? For reference check out the Contract With America, RIP.

  68. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    My message to the Repulicans is this: It is not about YOUR party, it is about OUR country. You need us (true conservatives) more than we need you. You cannot survive without us, but we will succeed despite you.

    As far as we’re concerned, November is just the beginning. Any friend of big government, is an enemy of ours.

    When the government fears the people, you have Liberty!

  69. omikaberidze, JohnAl, nurbsoldier, Jim Evans, and any others I’ve unintentionally failed to mention,

    An illness of some intensity over the last several days has made impossible my responding to your posts above. While I’m sure that you have managed quite well without me, so much water has past under the bridge at this point, that attempting to pick up the themes at this point is utter foolishness. Hopefully, I’ll get an opportunity to pick things up with you soon on other threads.

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