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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So You Want a Revolution...

The lawyer has more in common with the prosecutor than he does with his clients and Republican and Democratic politicians have more in common with each other than they do with the people who come out to support them and vote for them. The hopes of ordinary people for the future, their ability to earn a living and their fears are only a job to the politician.

This doesn't mean that politicians are villains, only that like the police officer and the ER nurse, other people's urgent calls are just another day at work for them. Mediating them and dealing with them day in and day out gives them a different perspective that is detached from the present and rooted in the realities of their profession.

The police officer and the nurse know that everything is an emergency, that everyone has problems all the time and that it's never really the end of the world. Cynicism comes with the job. So does seeing the people they encounter as foolish folk who have trouble taking care of themselves and have to come to them for help. That detachment leaves them with more in common with those who walk on the night side of human events than it does with the people who come to them for help.

Professional politics breeds cynicism more thoroughly than spending your nights answering domestic abuse calls or patching together the victims of drunken brawls. Like them politics is a profession founded on idealism, but the idealism in much harder to sustain because it rarely survives the first practice of professional politics. It's possible to work in the ER or patrol the late nights streets of an urban city without losing the belief that medicine and law enforcement are noble professions, but continuing to believe that politics is a noble profession after a year in congress is all but impossible.

Politics is a profession with a practice that runs completely counter to its ideals. The best politicians believe nothing they say. Whatever commitments they make to the voters are left behind once they enter the white halls of government. Like police officers who are forced to become criminals in order to do their job right, they discover that the practice of their profession requires the comprehensive corruption of their ideals. Only by discarding their principles and commitments can they actually get the things they want to do done.

The successful politician does not believe in absolutes except when he is delivering a speech intended for the ears of the voters, what he knows to be true is that everyone has a price at which a bargain can be made. For all that the image of legislators and executives is of men and women standing against marble backgrounds and taking a stand, the real life version is of a bazaar where everyone is trying to make a deal while doing their best to be outraged by the other side's offer.

"Forty billion dollars for clean energy subsidies? Ridiculous. My family will starve and my children will have to beg in the streets! Forty-two billion? Now that's more reasonable. Make it forty-three and I'll give you that cowboy poetry festival and steel tariff  you wanted."

Think of Washington D.C. and every state capital and every local bunch of elected officials as a Middle Eastern bazaar and you come close to the truth. And while this system works well enough when stocks are limited, when the merchants can dispose of unlimited assets that they don't own and drive their constituents deep into debt to pay for their latest deals, then the real nightmare arrives.

The right has spent a lot of time trying to win elections and sent a lot of horse traders to Washington, and for the most part missed the point of what the left had done. The left does not win elections all that often and even its prize politicians are generally not as left as they pretend to be. What the left did was take over institutions and set the base exchange price in the bazaar that politicians from both sides had to meet. That base price became the "moderate" consensus that everyone has to abide by.

Shifting the exchange price allows the left to control what deals get made. It takes certain products entirely off the table. Mainstream positions from ten years ago become too extreme even for the GOP and completely unacceptable positions that no mainstream Democrat would have run on ten years ago become the consensus. This doesn't happen because anyone takes a vote. Most votes just push through whatever the consensus is.

Politics is based around a consensus. The left does not operate on a consensus, it is a revolutionary movement and it works by subverting the consensus and presenting its revolutionary position as the new consensus. All that is left for the politicians then is to affirm the new consensus. This has happened over and over again in the lifetimes of even the youngest person reading this article and the process has been accelerating lately because it is a revolutionary process.

There are two types of conservative politicians. Gatekeepers and revolutionaries. The gatekeepers are consensus builders, they talk a great deal about traditional values, and are elected to keep change out. This defensive strategy is a dead end because the real changes are happening outside the direct purview of the gatekeepers, who usually lack the imagination and courage to do anything about them. When the left pushes hard enough, the gatekeepers fold and add the new order of things into their panoply of American values.

The gatekeepers will put up a vigorous show of fighting gay marriage and then ten years later they will proclaim gay marriage as the embodiment of our family values. They will make a great show of fighting Global Warming legislation, and then five years later they will say that our courage to confront climate change is the deepest sign of our values of responsibility for the world around us.

Gatekeepers often don't believe anything they say. They believe some of it, but not very vehemently, and they lack the imagination to think of anything else. Expecting them to intelligently counter the left's cultural warfare is absolutely hopeless. At their best they put on a superior smirk and dismiss it as ridiculous, only to concede when the debate has flanked them and the voters are no longer firmly in their traditional corner.

The Republican Party is full of gatekeepers. There are a great many of them who have been defending traditional values and will go on defending traditional values, even though they cannot begin to explain what traditional values are and why they defend them except in circular self-defining terms. Traditional values and American exceptionalism are their goal and as the goal posts keep moving, so do they.

Revolutionaries are rarer. They are dangerous and explosive. Sometimes they are erratic. They are full of ideas, determined and unwilling to compromise. They rarely make good politicians, but sometimes they make very explosive ones. Find the political leader whom the rest of the party hates and can't wait to get rid of for his obstructionism and sabotage of the gatekeeper agenda, and you may have found a revolutionary.

The revolutionaries cannot transform this mess or turn back the clock solely through their elected office, but they can dismantle the power bases of the other side and they can support and help create counterbalancing institutions. But their most valuable contribution is a refusal to accept the consensus, they refuse to do business at the exchange price set for them by the left.

There are few things more powerful and liberating than spitting in the face of authority, tearing down the sacred symbols and violation the taboos of those in power. In a democracy political power is based on a consensus. Defying that consensus, trivializing that consensus and walking all over it gets you called an extremist, but if you do it right then you have weakened the psychological power of the establishments over the minds of men.

Defiance is the fundamental virtue of the revolutionary. The left defied the accepted norms and values of America, and that defiance paved the way for a cultural revolution. The power of the left will never be broken until the right defies their values and norms the same way. Until it publicly destroys, mocks and violates everything that they consider sacred in the spirit of revolution.

Revolutions begin as culture wars against the established order and they connect cultural defiance to political change. The fundamental message of every revolution is a defiance of authority and if the revolution succeeds then those in power are forced to give way and accede to change. It can be done. That populist spirit is out there, it is abroad in the Tea Party, it is there in blogs and social media, and even occasionally on talk radio. But all that goes to waste empowering a political establishment of gatekeepers who sometimes talk like revolutionaries, but don't act like revolutionaries.

In a New York Times book review, Sheri Berman wondered, "Why, in an era of extreme unemployment, rising inequality and social dislocation, is it the right rather than the left that generated a movement like the Tea Party? Why are mass protests railing against tax increases rather than demanding more progressive and activist government?"

The answer is transparently obvious. Because it is the left that is in power. Why bother demanding an activist and progressive government when we already have one of those? At most the left can demand a "more" activist and progressive government, but how enthusiastic can protesters be about calling for more authority and more power for the existing system? That is why OWS was basically incoherent, it was little more than a loincloth for the naked emperor already sitting on his throne and looking for the plebes to cry out for more chains.

The revolution of the left is the stratified revolution of Barack Obamas and Elizabeth Warrens, greedy political activists feeding at the watering hole of government and crying out for more. More power. More laws. More chains. Parse the rhetoric and all you get is the powerful demanding that we give them more power. This revolution of the greedy and corrupt would already be dead if it had not used the momentum of its ideological fervor to embed itself into every institution and seize control of the educational system and the cultural dialogue to program succeeding generations to give it even more power.

The time is ripe for a true cultural and political revolution of the right, but that revolution has been hijacked over and over again by the gatekeepers who warn us that it's time to play nice, that we must think of the long game, that some issues have already been lost and we need to fight only for the core issues that matter to them lest we alienate people. The long march never ends in a last stand, only another tactical withdrawal on issue after issue.

The establishment, which does not care about anything but its very narrow agenda of limited deregulation while protecting some forms of spending that benefit them, will win or lose again, without making too much of a difference. Even if it loses then there will be enough votes in congress to get some of what it wants done and the money will be there to try again with an even more content free candidate who will preach a form of American exceptionalism and traditional values absolutely indistinguishable from the political positions of President Clinton, or by then maybe even Obama.

Every time we bow our heads to the consensus, self-censor ourselves to stay within our prison bars and execute another tactical withdrawal to fight for some last vestige of our program that really matters, the power of the left continues to grow.

The power of the left is not political. Its political power is the least of what it is. It leverages its cultural dominance to enforce a political consensus. It uses its grip on power through government and non-governmental institutions to impose regulations and laws that politicians from both parties end up signing on to. It is an establishment, an incarnation of the power and privilege of a fossilized ideology built to destroy the country, but leveraged to give its leading members and some of its base a taste of the really good life while the whole edifice of civilization slides down the cliff.

It is important to elect conservative politicians, even feeble ones, not because they are good for anything, but because at the least they can serve as sandbags against the tide. The sandbags will not stop the tide, but they might slow it down. It is vitally important to elect revolutionary conservatives who don't just deliver platitudes, but show that they have the fire in their bellies to confront the left. And it is even more important to undermine the values and institutions of the left. It can be difficult to undermine institutions, but anyone can undermine the values of the left by saying the politically incorrect thing.

Revolutions begin with an open contempt for and anger at the existing order. The left knows that. It is why it fears talk radio and populism more than it fears the latest set of dapper gatekeepers we send to the Senate. The contempt and anger are here, the more they go public, the more the power of the left is shaken. And the next step is to expand the cultural war to a specific disrespect and hostility for the values and sacred cows of the left. Then to challenge their institutions and regulations. And then real political change can begin with candidates who are revolutionaries because they believe it, or because they are operating under a new paradigm that is outside the left's manufactured consensus.

Most of the elements are already in place. The consensus establishment is making its last stand, but it is fading. It is now a race between shaping public anger into a vehicle for political change and the speed at which the left is transforming and fragmenting the country to prevent a political revolution of the right from ever coming about. May we be swift for if the left wins the race then it is the end of America.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is without a doubt, the BEST description of where we are, why we are there, and what we must do. I hope every American reads this, and 'gets' it.

lgstarr said...

The only "revolutionary" conservative politician I can think of is Sarah Palin. I've been saying for weeks now that if I could push a button and make anyone the President of the United States, it would be her (and it's who I immediately thought of when you said: "And then real political change can begin with candidates who are revolutionaries...").

dave s said...

Congratulations on a clear piece of writing. In Britain (and England in particular) we are much further into the liberal nightmare world but the signs are that the changes necessary will come from the bottom up not from the politicians or the media/university elites. Which is why the liberal consensus is so scared of fringe organisations like the EDL and they really are scared.

R. Hartman said...

Let’s face it: Ron Paul is the only option for survival, but once he gets enough support to pose a threat he will be neutralized, not just ignored by the media.

The main argument against Ron Paul is his naivety towards islam and Iran, which could possibly pose a threat. But if anybody else becomes POTUS and continues on the current path, America doesn’t need Iran for its demise; it will collapse due to its own ‘leadership’. The collectivists are perfectly capable of destroying what once was a great nation, without any outside help.

Don’t be mislead; this is policy. The UN adopted an anti-industrialism / anti-wealth agenda long ago. The Georgia Guidestones openly advocate the reduction of world population to 500 million people. A population reduction well-supported by the environment-mob, and required for the UN-agenda: without industrialisation there will be a lot less food available.

America will need to return to its roots quickly, or cease to exist, at least as we know it. The same goes for Eurabia, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I second the comment on Ron Paul; but at the very least he is the best "sandbag" we have. Who else even dares to talk about dismantling entire Federal Depts? That goes a step farther, at least in rhetoric, than anyone else.

Edward Cline said...

The American Revolution was an instance of men going on strike against an omnivorous, looting, and abusive government. The ensuing war was a matter of the strikers battling the cops. Americans won that round. The time is approaching again when Americans take a leaf from Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," and go on strike again. That will be the only way politicians and the left and other power-lusters will get the message. Going on strike against the government of course will provoke its vested interests into expanding the police state that already exists, but that will certainly only egg on the strikers, especially if the government imposes censorship, as it must.

R. Hartman said...

@Anonymous
Ron Paul has supported that 'rhetoric' with consistent behavior, over the past 30 years. So while he would likely receive massive opposition, his actions will be aimed at fulfilling his promise, contrary to what's commonly demonstrated by politicians.

This is why I wrote he will likely be eliminated, as has happened to previous contesters of the FED and the fiat currency. Not to mention what his non-intervention policies would mean to the arms industry.

R. Hartman said...

I'm sorry; 'contesters' in the last paragraph should've been 'contenders'.

Keli Ata said...

I don't see any true revolutionaries in the current crop of presidential candidates. I'm not voting Democratic and only Republican by default.

Gingrich turned me off big time with his recent rant about food stamps. Not that I receive them my parents and grandparents did out of true necessity in the Great Depression did.

The Republicans talk a lot about American value but seem to demonize anyone or group in need; leeches on our tax dollars. There's a difference between people who won't work, the illegal immigrants who feel entitled to everything, and the legal immigrants who can only get food stamps or assistance for about three months.

After three months it's sink or swim and the majority swim.

I could rant on but won't other than to say that Newt's comments may have played well to the Right they didn't play well to second or third generations of immigrants who came to the US, needed temporary assistance and then made it on their own.

They forget that the middle class of today and third or second generation children or grandchilder of immigrants.

Frankly, I see that harshness as a major stumbling block for the Republican Party. If an Independent has to choose between a hard sounding Republican and an bleeding heart liberal I think they'll side with the liberal.

I don't agree with that but I see a scenario like that playing out.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Ron Paul has stuck the same pork as all of them into the pile and then made a show of voting against it to protect his image. It's a variation of the same routine that every politician pulls.

Finally he has no actual experience of doing anything but talking and promoting himself to some dubious characters.

Ted Lindblad III said...

Had I not read your mostly prejudicial and willfully uninformed attacks on Ron Paul (standard establishment right-wing fare) I'd have thought an endorsement forthcoming. I find myself in near complete agreement with the assessments made and thus my confusion only grows. How can you not see what is so plainly in view? Put aside the pride and the ego (as we all must eventually) and get behind the only top-down potential solution currently available. Clearly, you do see what is at stake. The man is NOT anti-Israel. He is a Christian with understanding... Genesis 22:15-18

15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

R. Hartman said...

Daniel
Ron Paul is the Great Unknown, and thus deserves the chance to put his money where his mouth is. If he doesn't get killed before that.

There is no alternative whatsoever; all other contenders are liberal democrats or RINO big government addicts with liberal leaning ideas who have no feeling for Constitutional rights and protections.

Your article is spot on in identifying what will flush America down the drain, but offers no solution. The only candidate who stands for radical change towards small government, not set to raise the debt and not print more 'money', is Ron Paul. As a consequence, he's the only viable candidate.

And yet, you seem to dismiss him. In favor of whom, then?

The problem with elections is you get only to choose between the candidates on offer, who normally are establishment-vetted and carry the stamp of approval. Prime reason for not voting; 'crats or rinos cater to the same interests.

Not Ron Paul. The simple fact that even when (or probably more apt: because) he's third or second in primaries he's ignored by the media, TV interviews get canceled because he scores too well, etc., indicates he's an outsider, a threat to the establishment, and not allowed to win the nomination.

That should tell you something.

Ron Paul is the only free market, small government candidate. He even voted against an amendment he had put forward because in the accepting process it had been watered down such that he deemed the final version damaging.

In the end it won't matter; Ron Paul is to far from the mainstream to get 50% of the vote, and Romney is just more of the same, whose only favorable point is that he's not Obama, although sometimes you can't tell the difference (Romneycare).

Big chance is that Obama will win with 42% of the die-hard democratic vote, as the 'Republicans' have no real alternative. And if it threatens to get close, there's always "Americans elect" to devide the non-democrats and hand ObeyMe the win.

R. Hartman said...

@Daniel
"Finally he has no actual experience of doing anything but talking and promoting himself to some dubious characters."
The only experience ObeyMe had was community organizing, leftist activism and elbowing his way into congress, which should've warned people from which cloth he was cut. Yet that didn't stop him from taking the elections home. Paul has 30 years of consistent congressional experience behind him, a proper grasp of the constitution and a sound insight into Austrian economics. So I fail to see an argument here.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Ted, again I didn't mention Israel. The fact that I have to keep repeating this to Ron Paul supporters though is a symptom of the problem.

Hartman, Ron Paul has had the chance, he has had it over and over again. And when he gets on stage, his supporters applaud everything that comes out of his mouth while drivel comes out of his.

Ron Paul's views intersect with conservatives, but he is not a conservative, instead he presents a grab bag of eccentric philosophies which spill into conspiracy theories and pretends to smooth them over in a way that does not hold up in a serious debate. Or even a non-serious one.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Finally while I would never vote for him, if Ron Paul had really been serious about running for president as something beyond a self-promotion gimmick, he would have started with a lower executive office and shown what he can do.

Malcolm said...

Ron paul is a lightweight. Here is a good article about him.


http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/288510/ron-paul-wrong-taliban-andrew-c-mccarthy

R. Hartman said...

@Daniel
You do not address my remark that ObeyMe had no experience, hardly even in Congress. And he knew nothing about the Constitution, about economics, or even about his supposed father. So how the fact that Paul has ot held a lower executive office pleads against Paul eludes me.

Don't get me wrong, I've written articles in Dutch doubting Paul's true sense of Freedom based on his attitude towards the Ground Zero mosque, the Taliban and islam in general. But the Taliban and islam are not an American problem; they only are because they are facilitated by the socialists.

Nobody but Ron Paul has the intention to strip the government, so like it or not, it's Paul or bust.

@Malcolm
Irrelevant, and totally beside he point. Afghans fought with the US based on 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend', until the enemy was gone; then they wanted the US out as well. And rightly so, Afghanistan may be backward, but sovereign.

Keep this up and you will ensure an ObeyMe victory, which will doom America, as planned by his puppeteers. You think the FEMA camps will be filled under Paul? No. But they will be under ObeyMe, staff is already being recruted.

And since the building of those camps started under Bush, it won't stop under Romney. You should be looking at the dire threats inside the US, not at some outside boogeyman, propped up to divert the attention away from what's going on with FEMA and the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Great article. The problem is that since the time of the " Great Society" a significant segment of the American population has been conditioned to expect being subsidized or receiving public support. Obama the Re-Distributor is merely the progression of this trend and reflects the current economic morees of a sort. When a populace has been been conditioned to expect you have an enduring and perhaps irreversable problem.

As for Ron Paul? A resounding meh in my opinion. No truth to power, in terms of being a real reformer. More of an international naif than Obama. Sorry Paulites.

mindRider said...

One essential difference which you seem to forget is the completely changed demography of the USA. It are no longer refugees, coming to this spacious land happy to have escaped oppression in Europe or returning from having liberated Europe after '45 and very willing to work their way up grasp every chance of bettering themselves but spoiled, lazy ignoramuses expecting nothing but government handouts. They not only do not yearn to be free but prefer the slavery of non-responsibility.

dwight said...

Mr. Greenfield,

The unaffected pithiness and unrelenting originality of your analyses continue to stop me in my thoughts. Your voice---and the ear that can hear it---are moving closer to each other in the din of the blogosphere, I think. Keep hammering at your targets---you'll get some help soon. I hope you're calloused to flattery of every kind.

"Anonymous" says: "As for Ron Paul? A resounding meh in my opinion. No truth to power, in terms of being a real reformer. More of an international naif than Obama. Sorry Paulites." Well said. How about a monicker next time?

Just as an aside: From what I've observed in the world of Foundation grants of this sort and that, with respect to Greenfield's post, there's a very strict separation between what's known as "advocacy" and what's known as "programming"---and the smart (grant) money is all about advocating for change (by creating the appearance of a ground swell of societal concern for an issue, and the appearance of a demand for governmental "programs" to address it). If you're given a grant to "advocate for change" concerning a particular issue, heaven help you if you spend any time or money or muscle actually doing anything ("programming") to directly ameliorate the issue.

Give a bureaucracy a tax to eat and that constituency will only have to be fed again. But teach a citizenry how to let the government tax for them (so they don't have to tax themselves in order to eat), and that constituency will eat whatever they're told to eat---whenever and wherever they're told to eat it.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Hartman, this article was not about promoting any candidate and extensive discussions on individual candidates take the stream off the topic.

That said I fail to see how a lack of qualifications by Obama does anything to help Ron Paul's lack of qualifications. To state the obvious Republican candidates can't operate by the same metrics in some areas and get away with it. Witness Palin who was dubbed inexperienced and ignorant despite being a state governor.

Ron Paul is a committed anti-federalist, which is fine as the federal government needs to be trimmed down a lot, but that's the only area of overlap there is. Everything else is insanity.

I have no idea what a man who gives the impression that he believes the world is controlled by vast secret forces would even do if he were elected.

Dadam said...

Your column resonates with me.. In my minds eye I have pictured it as the left continually pulling the line towards the left and the conservatives maintaining that new line as the new status quo. In the judiciary this shows up as decades of legal decisions upholding the values followed by one activist judge declaring a new opinion which oddly establishes precedent as if those decades of previous law did not count. As conservatives in this tug of war we need to bring the line back to the right and your revolutionaries seem up to the task. If only we really could find one...

Greg RN said...

Damn Daniel, perhaps it's time to cull the herd of Leftists, Kill the head so the body dies so to speak. I agree. it's time to step up. What nature those actions might include, one can only surmise. Perhaps a selective simultaneous culling of the most vocal and prominent. Perhaps this would ignite a malestorm of indignation, once others see someone had the stones to take action.

Mel Torme said...

How such enlightening words can come from an imbecile is beyond me. I don't use the word imbecile lightly here.

You talk about revolutionaries, Dan, and the only one we have around in current politics is Dr. Ron Paul. It wasn't until I read the comments from you that I discerned your imbecility (sp?) as you badmouthed him.

I know that you don't like the fact that Ron Paul would not act like the other stooge commanders-in-chief and put American soldiers', sailor's and airmen's lives on the line in defense of Israel. It is not one of the American states, so it is therefore not covered by the lines in the US Constitution prescribing a common defense.

You can come up with all the BS arguments you want about how Ron Paul promotes conspiracy theories, but I have not heard a one out of him (after following him (not in the Deadhead sense in a VW van) for 5 years or so). To paraphrase congressman Wilson of the 2nd district of SC, "you lie, bitch!"

Just read your own writing, Dan. Ron Paul is whom you are describing. None are so blind as those who will not see.

I came to this blog from Western Rifle Shooters, and I'll be damn sure to check the status bar for the URL before I click next time to avoid your garbage.

jlevyellow said...

Let us take, for example, economic support for the poor. From the Leftist perspective, it is a duty of government to extract money from those who have, to be given to those who do not. From the Right's perspective, it is a good deed to maintain the poor, but it is a voluntary act. The consequence: when private charities support poverty projects, the poor are grateful and do not revolt. When the Left supports poverty projects through government, this support becomes an obligation that results in the right of the poor to demand more. The Right's approach produces a negative feedback loop that seeks an equilibrium, while the Left's approach produces a positive feedback loop that produces chaos. We can argue about where the equilibrium point is best located, but we have nothing to say about chaos, because it engulfs without reason everything it touches.

Keli Ata said...

Wow. I had no idea Ron Paul has such a following of supporters. I've only watched him in a couple of debates and I am not impressed at all. I could have sworn he blamed the US for 9/11.

Why is he running as a Republican? I'm not being sarcastic but his views are more consistent with those of the Democratic party.

I didn't care much for his comments tonight about Apple doing business in China.


And I'll be honest--yes, he does rub me the wrong way and I don't like him.

Romney...oh brother. What's the big secrecy about his tax return? And I can't believe he said that he didn't want to release it because it would give the Democratics fuel to attack him. It's true, I've seen it in local politics. I just can't believe he said it publicly. I'm shaking my heads over that one.

I held out a lot of hope for 2012, that someone in the Republican party would have what it takes to tackle the Democratics.

Guess I'll have to wait until 2016:(

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Dadam, that is exactly what's been happening

Greg, political confrontation is a weapon they have no real defense against. They rule by turning their value system into the sacred word we are all supposed to follow.

Mel Torme, again Israel wasn't mentioned here. The fact that Ron Paul supporters keep bringing up Israel when it isn't the topic speaks volumes about them.

Keli Ata said...

**oops head, singular!


"The successful politician does not believe in absolutes except when he is delivering a speech intended for the ears of the voters, what he knows to be true is that everyone has a price at which a bargain can be made."

That paragraph resonates the most with me. I'm not willing to bargain with either side and fluctuate between resignation and a desire to fight for something better.

To paraphrase Ray Bradbury, I hate that Roman named Status Quo.

So far the only candidate I can sort of/kind of relate to is Rick Santorum.

Keli Ata said...

Jlevy--I think we're on the same page, certainly when it comes to dealing with the poor in a constructive and helpful manner:)

R. Hartman said...

@Daniel,
I was aware (in fact, it was impossible to miss) of the fact you do not mention any candidates but just delivered a spot-on analysis of the current state of events.

However, without any hint of a route forward, especially with the elections coming up, it becomes more of a hollow we're doomed monologue than a constructive piece inviting discussion, even brainstorming. The reason I brought up Ron Paul (and not Israel, hehe) is that he's the only candidate who advocates a complete reversal of current policies, a different line from the rest, who will just continue forward on the road to oblivion.

For all fears of Paul as a candidate (just or unjust) he won't be there alone, he'll be surrounded by 'advisers', there will still be Congress and all the other dug-in levels of 'middle management' nationwide; it's not like a dictator is taking over to rule with Iron Fist (like ObeyMe is more and more starting to try, but then he's all surrounded by his cronies). So why not give it a shot? It's not like there's a lot left to lose here.

You do not address any of my arguments on the internal police-state proceedings (FEMA and TSA) that are a much greater and imminent threat to American freedom than any foreign aggressor will be for some time to come. You do not address the "Americans elect" remark. Why is that? Can't refute?

Personally I don't believe that elections will solve anything, and I do not legitimize the system by voting for it. But if you do not advocate for a political solution in your last paragraph, then the only way I can read it is that Americans should wake up and exercise their second-amendment-guaranteed rights, and go to war against their government.

While it may have to come to that (as Edward Cline also sort of suggested) a positive outcome is by no means guaranteed; revolution most often means a strongman will appear gathering the support of the leaderless people, and the net result will be a dictatorship. It's the scenario laid out by Hayek in The Road to Serfdom, and which can be seen throughout history.

What America needs is a return to a free-market economy, to 'evil' Capitalism (not corporatism, which is what we have today and invalidly labeled 'capitalism', guess why), and while the left will not be going there, neither will the right. You are right that Paul should not run as Republican, he should run as independent (or even Libertarian Party), as Jesse Ventura correctly notes.

You conclude your essay with "May we be swift for if the left wins the race then it is the end of America." If you dismiss off-hand the only candidate which would have a remote shot at reforming domestic (and foreign) policy, and hope for We, the People to rise up or even wake up, the result will have to be the end of America. Most Americans still have 'too much to lose' short term personally and the OWS generation is nothing but the pro big government entitlement mob, who has never stopped to think about how production is required to support wealth. So nothing is to be expected there.

So what's the bottom line then? We're doomed?

jlevyellow said...

R Hartman wrote, "So what's the bottom line then? We're doomed?"

Every system fails - Left, Right or Center. It is just how many lives are lost of innocent people in the process and whether those taking the lives justify it as necessary for the sake of the Revolution.

People and their leaders can step gingerly from one system to another without too much upset, but that takes leaders who can think of ways to do that.

Example: We just lost Kodak after more than 100 years of brilliant activity. Its patents will survive, its people will retire with defined pensions and IRAs. Others will find different positions. Some may even start new enterprises. No one lost their life because the system contains multiple possibilities for people to move about. These possibilities are called redundancies. Anyone - ANYONE - who reduces redundancies (multiple possible solutions) needs to have their heads examined or removed.

R. Hartman said...

@jlevyelow
"People and their leaders can step gingerly from one system to another without too much upset, but that takes leaders who can think of ways to do that."
People should control their own lives, not be told by 'leaders' what they can or cannot do, at the whim of whoever happens to be 'in charge' at a certain point in time. 'Leaders' crave power, and act in their own interest, enabled by that power. As a result, 'leaders' generally will not step down voluntarily, and not support changes that reduce their power.

Kodak is a private company. There are a gazillion reasons why any comparison between private enterprise and government is invalid. I'm sure you can think of many of those reasons. A key one is that a private enterprise cannot force consumers to buy its products. It has to compete for the public's preference. There are many more, most of them to do with 'force'. Your example just doesn't hold up.

OldTCS said...

Daniel, I have enjoyed reading your blog since I first linked in to it, likely from WRSA. This article stands out. I don't expect to find answers here (or anywhere else), just thought provoking blogging.
As for all the talk about candidates, I have met with Dr Paul a number of times, and will vote for him. I believe, as he does, in the ideals of the "founders." Whether it is too late to make any difference is another matter, and one that really doesn't have a satisfying answer.

On a different note, there is also a side I find very troubling about this article. Your description of what it would take to defeat the left describes a rather large group that is currently doing the very things you say are necessary: the muslims. How special is that?

jlevyellow said...

R Hartman wrote, "A key one is that a private enterprise cannot force consumers to buy its products."

After a while government cannot force consumers to buy its product either.

Anonymous said...

I think I will come up with a good moniker to use here, but I see Mel Torme is taken. Perhaps Tupac?

For the blithering Paulites, your guy's cluelessness about the world that we live in will get us into the most horrendous wars possible. If you think Putin and the Mullahs have not taken a good measure of Not-Ready-For-PrimeTime Barry, what happens when we elect Mr. Isolationist, and one of our adversaries miscalculates? Say if Iran invades Saudi Arabia? Or perhaps a terrorist attack is decided upon because they percieve there will only be a measured response from us? As an "America Firster" Mel Torme, I would not want to elect Paul accrdingly.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Hartman, this article is not about endorsing a specific candidate, it is about the general futility of expecting any candidate to salvage the system. It is about the fact that if this current state of affairs is going to shift, much of the work will come down to us. Not to a political messiah.

Ron Paul is a poor candidate, even apart from his views. He puts forward controversial ideas and then has trouble defending them. He tries to be all things to all people and relies on supporters who alienate more people than they attract. He panders and then the pandering comes back to bite him in the ass.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

jlevyellow, that's the problem with electing ideologues, they don't tend to have backup plans for when their perfect ideological system doesn't work as well as it's supposed to on paper.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

OldTCS, that's quite true. Of course Muslims are doing it to defeat our civilization in general. And they are not the only ones.

Mob violence + alternative creed + new political system

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Anon, more problematically Paul isn't just clueless, he's sympathetic to the Mullahs and Putin.

That makes sense if you think like him and the problem is a New World Order controlled by Western bankers with assorted elite secret societies.

And the Mullahs and Putin are the victims of their conspiracies. Which is why Ron Paul's thinking on the way to deal with foreign policy and domestic terror is completely dysfunctional, as he doesn't recognize the external sources and motivations of these issues apart from "American foreign policy."

Ted Lindblad III said...

You write... "I have no idea what a man who gives the impression that he believes the world is controlled by vast secret forces would even do if he were elected."

Do you actually believe that obama controls America... or that Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich will? It is those who exert control over US policy from the outside who must be shut down. Are you unaware of Agenda 21?

Understand you did not mention Israel in this piece, you have many times in the past and your feelings were communicated clearly by not inviting RP to speak at the Jewish republican convention. Imagine the direct questions which could have been asked! Perhaps those were answers you would be uncomfortable hearing as they go against some personal foundational beliefs? We all have stumbling stones we must overcome.

Again, the analysis of our situation is spot on. While I was not a Ron Paul supporter in 2008, truth dictates that I must be one now. Seek only truth and please see the RP candidacy for what it is; liberty's last non-violent stand. In today's Amerikan politics, left = right. They are two wings of the same ugly bird. I do not see an RP presidency as an answer to the country's problems, but it is a beginning. The man would make a great monkey wrench :) Take the "conservative" blinders off, there is too much at stake.

You write... "That makes sense if you think like him and the problem is a New World Order controlled by Western bankers with assorted elite secret societies."

And herein lies the depth of the problem in American Conservatism today... you believe what you are told to believe. You trust people you have no business trusting. The New World Order, as poorly understood as it is, IS the most profound issue at hand. The motto: "Order out of chaos" sounds noble until you realize the chaos is orchestrated by those who give the orders. Sympathetic to mullahs...? Sympathetic? Clearly you do believe this and at one point I did as well. It is not too late and I'll say it again... Seek Only Truth and everything else be put aside.

Peace...

Jeannie said...

I agree with most of the Ron Paul comments, however I believe he is unelectable because he is too revolutionary for most people.

RedWulf said...

There are too many people that believe electing a particular candidate will fix things. The rub is, it wont. Doesn't matter who becomes president. No single person, president or otherwise, is capable of doing so.

Does anybody remember how the preamble to the constitution starts?

"We the People"

It is we the people that give authority to the government. So long as everyone is either too chicken or too naive to stand up together, nothing will ever truly change.

Jeannie said...

I don't know if you have noticed but Obummer has quietly been creating agencies to "fix" things without the peoples' input.

Jeannie said...

RedWulf - I don't know if you have noticed that only about 1/3 of the people actually want less government so "We the people" are getting what "we" want.

AJ said...

The only non-establishment candidate is Ron Paul. If not him, then whom?
Romney? He's practically a socialist. Newt is a statist, a proven liar, and proven to be corrupt. We already know what we need to know about Obama.
So, if not RP, then whom?

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is a political savante: great on economics and civil liberty, absolutely blighted in foreign policy. We're facing inevitable war with the middle east; now is not the time to become an isolationist.

Brett said...

So what do we do about the educational establishments, K-Ph.D? They have created a great deal of the trouble while robbing us blind.

cato said...

This was pleasing.
It’s confirmation reading articles that reflect thoughts that I have not succinctly articulated.
Most excellent !

jlevyellow said...

Jeannie states that only one-third of the public wants less government.

Jeannie dear, of the remaining two-thirds some are afraid of losing government benefits, some do not expect government to hurt them, some are interested in being taken care of, some believe that politicians are more benevolent than business people, some believe that governing OF the people is more important than governing BY the people. Most people hold their views without closely examining their implications.

I think it is quite a revelation that one-third of the population is willing to forego some government support in order to attain a couple of degrees of freedom.

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