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Monday, February 23, 2009

Fear of Power vs Fear of Powerlessness

For most of human history people have been afraid of being powerless, rather than of having power. Being powerless meant having no rights and no defense. It meant being a slave in name, or all but in name.

Today however millions of people in First World countries worry intensely over having too much power. This mindset causes them to abandon the traditional defensive and offensive mechanisms, and instead argue that the solution lies in giving up power, rather than in increasing power.

Where traditionally people were afraid being powerless, today the citizens of the civilized world are taught to be afraid of having power.

The havoc this has wreaked on the ability of civilized countries to defend themselves can be seen everywhere. Traditionally a country defends itself against internal or external attack. Today however a civilized country is the first to be blamed for an attack, and then blamed for defending itself excessively, and finally is blamed for provoking the attack. The only solution offered is appeasement, which never actually deals with the threat, and empowers the enemy.

The core of the problem lies in the intellectual and cultural dominance of liberalism and the various left wing political strains, which have as their common denominator the idea that the country and its social system are oppressive and must be reformed.

As self-identified reformers, liberals identify attempts to conserve the system which they have identified as oppressive, as inherently oppressive. Therefore they identify conservatism with oppression and personally identify far more with "outsiders", including enemies, than with "insiders" who are their fellow citizens.

The monochromatic progressive worldview causes them to presume that power in the hands of someone equally progressive, or more progressive than them, is never being abused, since it is in the hands of a "reformer". While power in the hands of someone more conservative is naturally being abused, because it is in the hands of a "reactionary" which enables the current oppressive system.

Liberals do not define oppression in terms of prison camps, political repression or mass executions. They define it by how far a country is along the Conservative-Progressive axis. The more progressive a country is, to a liberal it is by definition less oppressive. By contrast a more conservative country is by liberal definitions more oppressive.

This explains why liberals can claim that Castro's Cuba is an oasis of freedom, while Bush's America was a brutal tyranny. Liberal definitions of tyranny have nothing to do with freedom of speech or not being put in front of a firing squad for criticizing the government. The only honest liberal barometer of tyranny is how conservative is the government.

Liberals then do not fear power, they fear power in someone else's hands. While liberals preach the gospel of non-violence, and warn against the use of power, they rarely ever mean it. Liberals willingly accept the use and abuse of power by a leader equally or more progressive than themselves.

Democrats did not have a problem with Clinton bombing the hell out of Serbia. The press which went stark raving mad at the Abu Ghaib detainees wearing women's underwear on their heads, had nothing to say when a commuter train and the Chinese Embassy were bombed.

Liberals protested any US action against Nazi Germany, up until the USSR went to war with Nazi Germany. Then the protests turned into denunciations of the US for not joining the fight. Trotskyist labor unions that attempted to go on strike during the war were suppressed in the US by Liberals and Communists.

Of course if it was this simple, then Western countries with liberal governments could defend themselves against Islamic terrorism. But there are complications.

First of all, the left has a virtually infinite amount of gradations, and military action taken by a moderate liberal will still be viciously denounced and campaigned against by those further on the left. Only an extreme left wing tyrant, the likes of Stalin or Castro can enjoy the unqualified support of most liberals and leftists.

Secondly, liberal cultural and intellectual influence throughout the 20th century has traditionally been disproportionate to the actual political power they hold. That tension between a conservative society and a more left wing academic and artistic elite in the West has made their preaching of the ideology of "Fear of Power" into something routine, in turn indoctrinating generation after generation with those same ideas.

While the West has moved to the left, it has never moved far enough and quickly enough to suit them. While the left originally foresaw the rise of worker's and peasant's states in the West, instead socialism has spawned well fed and entitled workers living the good life-- not ideal ingredients for revolutionary outrage. Instead the left under the guidance of the USSR turned to the Third World and came to view the West as "decadent" its prosperity, while the Third World had the potential for revolution.

While one dogmatic Trotskyite did have a habit of beginning his speeches in New York City with the address, "Workers and Peasants", the left has come to view the class struggle geographically, rather than demographically. Their new "Workers and Peasants" are more likely to be Mexicans, Africans, or particularly Muslims, who make up a large number of Europe's imported laborer and engage in such "revolutionary activities" as holding violent protest rallies and blowing up buses.

The effect of this shift is that liberals have gone from fomenting domestic class warfare, to fomenting international class warfare. Liberals still conduct a war against national political, social and economic institutions-- but they no longer do so in the name of their fellow "poor and oppressed" citizens, so much as they do it in the name of foreign criminals and terrorists.

This has made liberal governments, particularly socialist ones, incapable of fighting against Islamic terrorism.

Thirdly, liberals have spent so long preaching "Fear of Power" that it has become a part of their mindset. While these fears tend to fall away with an appropriately progressive leader, such leaders are more becoming difficult to find, and the ideology nevertheless persists, tainting the idea of any kind of national self-defense.

Fourthly, liberals today distrust the military as a conservative institution. Transforming the military into a liberal institution would require taking it apart and putting it back together in ways that would make it mostly ineffective. This has made liberals far less capable of employing military power, and increased the cycle of mistrust of power. Instead liberals prefer to rely on more traditionally liberal institutions of power, such as the diplomatic corps, which thanks to its academic background, allows them to far more effectively leverage intellectual control over it.

These factors have seriously undermined the ability of liberal leaders to oppose Islamic terrorism, while also promoting the liberal support for Islamic terrorism. As the current cycle comes to a close, liberals must choose between maintaining a non-revolutionary liberal society, or allowing Islamic fascism to destroy their liberal societies in the name of a theocratic revolution. And all too few liberals seem to even understand the choice, let alone demonstrate any ability to make it.

9 comments:

Lemon said...

Enemies of strong nations use the bleeding heart approach to make their targets feel guilty. In turn they disarm, lose their guard and end up being taken over internally or externally.

Anonymous said...

This scared me like no other analysis of the liberal mindset has. We are really at risk, physically as well as economically and socially.

Lord, how I wish we could make Alyiah, but cannot prove I am Jewish. . .

Ro

Sultan Knish said...

Israel suffers from the same problems

navyvet48 said...

I am so tired of the Fear doctrine that the liberals preach. I have to admit my real turnabout (since I had come from that liberal bastion of horse pucky Massachusetts) cam from serving in our military. I realized escaping from the Democratic shill that existed in my family was the best thing that happened to me. I am not afraid...and rarely listen to the liberals preach the Fear doctrine...anymore!

I have done some crazy stuff lately like join the Minuteman in Kansas. I attended the Tea Party in Overland Park, KS and I am organizing Friday's protest in Wichita, KS...but I have done all of this because I am not afraid. I live up to my name renaissance lady...I will not be bullied by anyone! It is not in my nature!

Kevin said...

"Liberal" does not mean anything like what is supposed in this article. The Latin root word is "liber" meaning "free".

In the pre-WWI classical era, "liberal" meant "libertarian".
Thomas Jefferson tended toward classical liberalism, and yet still defended America by attacking Islamists on the "shores of Tripoli" and creating the US Navy.

Traditionally, government has been the tool of the wealthy and landed aristocrats. So Liberals sympathized with the "masses" by liberating them from government.

However, starting with the "Progressive" era, those who sympathized with the masses began to see government as a tool for liberating them (instead of as an obstacle). This was a mistaken impression, created by confusion.

The confusion was generated by the failure of classical intellectuals to come up with a coherent philosophy.

Calling yourself "conservative" doesn't solve anything. Besides being intellectually incoherent, "conservative" no longer necessarily means a robust defense against totalitarianism or terrorism. We have the spectacle of self-styled "conservatives" like Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul.

So we must reclaim the term "liberal" from usurpers, not retreat into intellectual/linguistic incoherence.

Sultan Knish said...

That's a valid point, but on the other hand words come to mean what people use them to mean, regardless of their roots

today the common public understanding of liberal equates to radical or progressive

Thomas Jefferson was certainly a good deal more patriotic than the average modern day liberal, because he identified his views with America, something liberals no longer do. But he supported the French Revolution to the hilt fighting a ruthless political war with Adams over it, long past the point where it was defensible. And the French Revolution was that era's Communism.

Keli Ata said...

Fabulous article.

Kevin--I know what you're trying to say but at this point reclaiming the word liberal would just muddy the waters and create confusion.

Most conservatives would not respond well to the terms liberal or liberalism in any positive context. On the other hand, liberty is another matter. That still conjures images of the liberty bell and the statute of liberty.

The word and the images associated with liberty are too powerful and it would be hard to usurp that.

But back to the article, I do believe the liberals are engaging in a class struggle; a dangerous one with Islamofacists and illegal immigrants, whom the probably view as the harmless oppressed.

I see a warning in the lyrics of the 1980s Sting/Police song "Wrapped Around My Finger."

"Then you will find your servant is your master. And you'll be wrapped around my finger."

The docile immigrant with the big brown cow eyes; the Muslim who came to Ellis Island like our forefathers. Very sympathetic images.

But what is behind those gentle cow eyes?


Liberals might think they're the masters of the downtrodden but the dynamics of the relationship can change.

I agree that liberals are afraid of power but is that really enough to overcome their sense of superiority and arrogance? Perhaps that's why they're attracted to help those whom they see as being beneath them.

Kevin said...

"Liberal" still means pro-liberty, in Europe. With a non-liberal audience, I wouldn't use the term "liberal". But neither would I use the term "conservative".

I am radically pro-liberty, and "progessive" because I favor progress.

Don't you see what's happening? Anti-liberty intellectuals keep usurping words that have a positive connotation. Eventually there will be no good words to use when describing liberty, unless we take a stand and use linguistic tactics.

Initially, there was little indication that the French Revolution would become totalitarian. The American Revolution had it's own anti-liberty tendencies, not apparent at first, but later, with the Whiskey Rebellion, this came out. And the flaws of the US Constitution later became apparent. So the differences between the two revolutions is a matter of degree, not kind.

If you must use "liberal" as a perjorative, I recommend putting in quotation marks, so people have some kind of idea what's going on.

Sultan Knish said...

I understand the point you're making but it's rather hard to stand athwart the linguistic barricades and still communicate with a general audience

much like using media in its original sense, rather than its current meaning as synonymous with the press

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