Intelligent Design

Progressives, Fascism, and the Will to Power

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So-called progressives are feeling pretty cocky nowadays, which is not surprising after they achieved a decisive victory on one of their key policy goals when the United States Supreme Court mandated that every state must adjust its laws to pretend that people of the same sex can marry one another.  Of course, it is the case and will always be the case that a man cannot marry another man any more than he can marry his left shoe.  Marriage is not an infinitely malleable concept; it has an irreducible essence, and that essence is defined by the mutually complementary design of male and female bodies.  Now the Supreme Court tells us we must, insofar as our civil laws are concerned, pretend that relationships that do not partake of that essence in fact do.  Far from tainting the victory, however, the in-the-teeth-of-objective-reality quality of it all serves to emphasize the vast scope of the progressives’ triumph.  They have forced every state in the union to pretend to deny reality itself.  That is an impressive political victory.

Understandably, many progressives must feel their power is ascendant and will remain so, and some are succumbing to the temptation of ascendancy – the temptation to speak and act as if one’s political opponents are powerless and their concerns are therefore irrelevant and need not be acknowledged, far less taken seriously.  Progressives are beginning to drop all pretense that to them the ideals of Enlightenment liberalism such as the right to free speech and freedom of conscious were ever anything but useful tools for accomplishing their goals when classical liberals (who, ironically, are called “conservatives” in the United States) were ascendant.  They have played according to the formula Frank Herbert described in Children of Dune:

When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.

The progressive call for “tolerance” for the “other” we heard for so many years was their way of asking for freedom according to the principles of classical liberals.  But now that progressives are politically ascendant, they are no longer calling for tolerance for the other.  Instead they are determined to quash all dissent and destroy those who refuse to conform, because progressives are fascists at bottom, and arraying the coercive force of government against their political opponents to enforce conformity is according to their fascist principles.  When they were weak, “tolerance and diversity!”  Now that they are strong, “Conform or be crushed under the heel of government.”  See here, here and here as merely the latest examples.

What does this have to do with origins?  Everything of course.  Classical liberalism was based on the premises and conclusions of natural law philosophy, as perhaps most famously articulated in the United States’ Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.  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.

It should be obvious that the superstructure of natural law rested on a theistic, specifically a Christian, foundation.  [Yes, a handful of the founders were Deists; the overwhelming majority of them were orthodox Christians.]  Classical liberals believed in God; they believed in a transcendent morality instituted by God; they believed that rights are not given by men to other men, but each man, as an image bearer of God, is endowed with inalienable rights by God.

These ideas have logical consequences.  Among these consequences are the belief that every human being has inherent dignity as an image bearer of God; that all persons have equal moral standing and thus a right to the twin freedoms of expression and conscience.  On the other side of the ledger, classical liberals had a keen sense of the doctrine of original sin, the fallenness of man, and his propensity for error, all of which led them to tolerate divergent political views and place their trust in the marketplace of ideas instead of a perpetual official political orthodoxy.

Progressives, on the other hand, are overwhelmingly secular and materialist in their outlook.  These ideas also have consequences, including (1) God does not exist; (2) good and evil do not exist as objective transcendent ontological categories; (3) God, who does not exist, cannot endow men with inalienable rights; and (4) men are not image bearers of a non-existent God; they are jumped up hairless apes with delusions of superiority over other animals.

If there is no good and evil and no God-endowed rights, by what standard does the progressive define the eponymous “progress” they claim to want to achieve?  Certainly there is no transcendent standard.  “We have to give up on the idea that there are unconditional, transcultural moral obligations, obligations rooted in an unchanging, ahistorical human nature,” says progressive hero Richard Rorty.

What then?  The answer is that progressives want what that want.  Theirs is a political philosophy bound by nothing and defined by their unbounded will to power.  Of course, none of this is new.  In Book X of The Laws Plato describes them:

In the first place, my dear friend, these people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might, and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions, these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others, and not in legal subjection to them.

Might makes right.  Progressives want what they want, and they will crush those who oppose their will to power.  And it is not enough to achieve their policy objectives.  Dissent is not allowed.  Progressive Tanya Cohen writes:

it’s just common sense that freedom of speech doesn’t give anyone the right to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, vilify, incite hatred or violence, be impolite or uncivil, disrespect, oppose human rights, spread lies or misinformation, argue against the common good, or promote ideas which have no place in society.

And who decides what is the “common good” and “ideas that have no place in society”?  Why Tanya Cohen and her friends of course.

Countless times on these pages Progressives have argued that good and evil do not exist as objective categories.  Instead, they insist that good is defined by the consensus of a society.  Yet even this limit is a dodge.  Every time the people have voted on the “right” to same-sex marriage they have rejected it by fairly wide margins.  It is not the law because there is a societal consensus that it is right.  It is the law because five members of a nine-member committee of lawyers decided they have the power to impose it on the rest of us and by God they are going to use that power.  This is about as anti-democratic as it is possible to be.  Yet progressives celebrate the decision.  Why?  Not because the outcome is “legitimate” even by their own standards of legitimacy (i.e., societal consensus), but because that is what they want, and they don’t care how they get what they want so long as they get it.

What is to be done?  I am not sure.  It seems to me that the clash of worldviews has reached a point where further attempts to reason with one another may be useless.  The two camps no longer speak or even understand the other camp’s moral language.  How can I reason with someone who thinks it is morally acceptable violently to dismember a baby and sell her body parts to the highest bidder?  If that is not self-evidently monstrous and evil, what can I say that would make its monstrousness and evilness apparent?  I have no idea.

When Justice Kennedy says that the conception of marriage that was accepted by everyone everywhere in the history of the world until ten minutes ago is based on nothing but bigotry and prejudice, what can be said to dissuade him from such an absurd idea?  Again, I have no idea.

I do have an idea, however, that perhaps it is time to read more deeply into the Declaration:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of 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 shewn, 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.

309 Replies to “Progressives, Fascism, and the Will to Power

  1. 1
    News says:

    Barry, Canadians know well that progressives are not interested in reasoning with anyone. They enforce whenever they can, with whatever result. That is the fundamental nature of the beliefs of people who do not believe in reason. Occasionally, they fail, but standing up to them requires courage as much as cleverness.

  2. 2
    anthropic says:

    My son is involved with the push for a Constitutional Convention of the States, and I agree with him that this is the last best hope other than insurrection and civil disobedience.

    But I am not at all sure that even if such a process were successful in amending the Constitution that it would make much difference. Constitutions can be made to say anything, as the courts have shown time and again. So long as our education institutions, mass media, and popular culture are in thrall to anti-Christian progressivism, real change will be difficult if not impossible.

    Of course, with men it is impossible, but not with God.

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    AMEN to the thread but its not that bad.
    This can be crushed becaused they have gone too far too quick.
    We just need to demonstrate that God and the people are the ones only to decide what is moral and what is not.
    A Supreme court is under obedience to the the natural, God, laws and the contract of men in how they are governed.
    In both our counties these two things are broken by dictatorship from the courts.
    not wrong decisions but actual, anti-lockean, dictatorship.

    Its the people who are the finale judge over the supreme court ON WHETHER they are obeying the contract.
    they are not.
    They have taken the constitution and used it to overthrow God and the peoples right to rule on these matters.
    God himself is right now rejected by the Supreme court majority as a source for whether homosexuality is moral and if its what he created marriage for.

    Its all about contracts.
    The constitution is not the finale judgement. Remember Dred scott and Lincoln. its the peoples right to say the court is wrong and more thats itds not in obedience to the contract of the people in their form of government.
    Its simple.
    The court says God or the people can not make the marriage laws. So who makes them?
    The court says its the people who made the constitution back in the day.
    Then they could of made the marriage laws.
    Would they allow gay marriage? nO! So how are they the authors of gay marriage?
    The reasoning is wrong somewhere here.
    The court is saying liberity trumps the right of people to stop gay marriage. so liberty stops the people making marriage laws as they see fit. so liberity stops moral opposition to gay marriage. So liberty can’t exist with moral conclusions of the people.
    They are saying liberty trumps the right of the people to obey moral laws, as they see it, and form government as they see it.
    This is the error.
    Liberity bows before God and the peoples right to govern themselves. liberity is restrained and this gay stuff is where it is.
    This decision , others, must be overthrown.
    The judge selection is also evil.
    lots of room here for a judicial revolution criticism.
    is god underr or over the American Supreme court?
    Or do they say he doesn’t exist relative to the constitution?

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    Every time the people have voted on the “right” to same-sex marriage they have rejected it by fairly wide margins.

    Isn’t this factually incorrect? Didn’t Ireland recently vote in favour, and Maine vote in favor in 2012?

  5. 5
    polistra says:

    It isn’t necessary to align permanent morality with God. It’s perfectly possible to read the Old Testament as a lab notebook from a million years of scientific experiments. Because the writers survived, they are entitled to tell us how they survived. They chose to write the story with God as a major character, but the experiments and the resulting laws are exactly the same without God.

    Morality is another name for survival.

    The leftist “morality” is demonstrably not a recipe for survival. It is just a total exhibition of psychopathic arrogance. I get rich, you starve.

    Even Darwinians SHOULD understand that creating maximum poverty and minimum reproduction is not “evolution”.

  6. 6
    mahuna says:

    2 points:

    1. The version of marriage created by the Catholic church as a sacrament has practically no relation to the many varieties of formalized shacking up that humans have used for more centuries than we can count (e.g., we can’t even guess how the deal worked amongst Cro-Magnons). But in general, “marriage” was/is a social contract, as easily cancelled as any other contract, and the contract exists primarily to explain how shared property (including children) gets divided when the parties to the contract break up. The Irish has many different types of marriage contract, including “year marriage”, which ended after 12 months but could be renewed. The key feature of all Irish marriages was that the wife retained ownership of the property (and children) that she brought into the contract. In many societies, it’s perfectly legal to have more than 1 contract open at the same time.

    2. Fascism is one of the many varieties of Socialism, and all Socialism is Left Wing. The Left Wing was originally and remains today about people who desire the central government (originally the king of France) to hold all power while the Right Wing (originally land-owning nobles and the new merchant class) desires laws and traditions that protect ownership of private property and rights of the individual.

    The only difference between Fascism and Communism is that under Fascism individuals (like Mr. Krupp or Willi Messerschmidt) can nominally own businesses, although all production at those businesses is decreed by the “planning commission” for that industry. And of course just like under Communism, all worker unions are run The Party.

    So, drop all the misleading “fascist” nonsense. The struggle is between Socialism (and other forms of Leftism) and democracy (in any of democracy’s many forms). Before Lenin threw him out of the club for being an Italian nationalist instead of a Worker of the World, Mussolini was one of the world’s leading Communists. Benito then started his own club which he called “national socialism”. Hitler, who opposed German communists because everybody knew that ALL communists were run by Moscow, accepted Mussolini’s basic ideas on “socialist nationalism” and so renamed the “German Workers Party” as the “National Socialist German Workers Party (National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei)”.

    Fascism never spread very far. Most Socialists today are simply Communists. It distracts from the continuing struggle against Communism to label anyone a fascist.

  7. 7
    Eugen says:

    When few decide for hundreds of millions we are in totalitarian system. Anti-traditionalists may have won a legal battle but that is not enough, they have to win our minds. That is a big problem they have to solve.

    My experience with communism was that strong family unit backed up by Church was able to preserve traditional values regardless of what system’s laws were. Laws were observed only pro forma, not with our hearts. Communists were not able to win our minds regardless of the brainwashing they used. The question we have today is if the family unit is strong enough to sail through the chaotic storms that are approaching.

    “It Is Very Easy To Defeat Someone, But It Is Very Hard To Win Someone”

    ? A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    BA,

    Sobering.

    Time to wake up and smell the hot sulphurous breath of the awakening explosive volcano and realise what we now face.

    I note, that across our civilisation the secret-vote ballot box [an Aussie innovation BTW] gives us a regular opportunity to hold a solemn assembly and audit of government, and to act together in light of conscience and common good sense to cause reformation and even in extreme cases revolution; when sound candidates stand forth as representatives of the people and good government.

    All done peacefully, in defence of the civil peace of justice.

    Expressing the voice of the people and petition for redress in its ultimate form.

    This is a tremendous blessing of liberty that we must prize, preserve and through solemn recognition of our duties of care, use wisely.

    The first problem is, too many voters have become beclouded and beguiled through educational failure and media manipulation of the popular culture.

    Thus we see that too many have voted for narrow perceived interests, not realising that they have instead set out on a manipulated march of folly. Like the ship’s company at Fair Havens in Ac 27, the money interests, technicos who know who pays their salary, half truths and cleverly packaged absurdities have led “the majority” to put in place a pattern of policies that put us at imminent and objectively unacceptable risk of what the KJV calls euroclydon.

    So, when that deceptively favourable south wind pops up ans seems to suggest an easy reach-sail to a more commodious harbour, Phoenix, let us realise the technicos are not telling us the other half of the story: precursor to a wicked, typhonic noreaster that can instantly put the proverbial ship of state into a sinking condition, headed for the sand bars of Syrte on the Libyan coast, such that the HOPE then is to frap the fatally damaged ship with diagonally crossed ropes to hold it together, toss as much of the burden as one dares, pur over a sea anchor and drag off to the side and shipwreck on a less dangerous shore. (And BTW, government and governor in English derive from the term for the main technico in Ac 27, kubernete, steersman-pilot.)

    Nor, should we forget, that when such a shipwreck is on the cards the same technicos may well try the stunt of abandoning the doomed ship on a ruse, leaving the helpless passengers to die.

    That’s why Julius the Centurion [super Warrant Officer from the messenger corps], acting on Paul’s insight, has his soldiers cut away the boat.

    The technicos who helped get us into trouble by failure to give a materially true and fair view of the situation now are forced to stand with us and use their know-how to at least see us to shore after the wreck.

    I fear, this microcosm of the challenges of democracy in Ac 27 has altogether too much to say to us in the present perils of our civilisation.

    If I had to bet money on a gathering storm, I would point to Iran and the patently foolish nuke deal that has just gone down, apparently with promises of US$ 150 bn [to the no. 1 unrepentant terrorism exporter in the world, under a regime that through “a long train of abuses and usurpations” has made its tyrannical agenda all too plain to anyone willing to heed] and even protection of the nuke facilities against attack.

    Israel is right to feel devastatingly betrayed and the cynical token of a parole for Pollard is nothing but a distractor.

    As, patently, was the polarising fuss and feathers over a battle flag under which 1/4 million men died while fighting in the main honourably albeit for a forever tainted cause. (Was that something like 1/4 of the available manpower of the South? As in, simply as a grave marker, something to be respected. And, a warning on what price a celtic culture will be willing to pay if it feels it faces an existential crisis and must stand and fight . . . don’t overlook the symbolism in that flag of St Andrew’s cross.)

    The United States, as fair comment, is earning a reputation as a cynical, short-sighted, untrustworthy power that will not stay the course in the face of even an existential threat.

    Not a reputation that any serious great power that guards and depends on the world’s ocean trade routes and choke points wants.

    Great Naval powers need to be reliable allies of states in those strategic gateways. The Suez Canal is one, the Persian Gulf and horn of Africa are two more, the straights guarded by Singapore are on the list, The English Channel and GIUK gap, North Cape of Norway, Gibraltar, Panama and the Caribbean’s passages. And a few more.

    But now, any sane small state near such a choke point will be looking elsewhere for a naval power to associate with. Right now, with Britain in continued massive geostrategic retreat, China and Russia are the top names on the list.

    This alone guarantees a wild, likely bloody ride for the peoples of the world in coming decades.

    Can I say it plainly? Global maritime powers are the guardians of global peace and stability as well as prosperity.

    And cynically dishonourable, short sighted conduct with staunch allies has consequences, incalculable consequences. Morality counts with statesmen, Admirals, Generals, armies and nations.

    Now, secondly, the US Supreme Court (and in overwhelmingly most cases with American states prior to this), it was courts based on lawyers indoctrinated into a radical secularist view of the law that imposed the patent absurdity that Adam can “marry” Steve, and Eve, Mary. Soon from now, Adam will want to “marry” Steve, Eve, Mary and maybe Fido into the bargain — destroying the absolute foundation of a stable society . . . and they presume that living in high security gated communities and apartments will shield them from chaos in the streets in coming decades. Once the naturally evident moral law that governs us tossed, we are left in exactly the state Plato highlighted in The Laws Bk X, 360 BC, of the evolutionary materialist, radically relativist progressives imagining that might and manipulation make ‘right.’

    Yes, those old truths from the laws of nature and nature’s God on the implications of our being responsibly and rationally free, moral law governed creatures are indeed seen to be necessarily true on pain of patent absurdity. The natural moral law at the core of the civil peace of justice is indeed self-evident.

    Let me add a clip from Eugen:

    My experience with communism was that strong family unit backed up by Church was able to preserve traditional values regardless of what system’s laws were. Laws were observed only pro forma, not with our hearts. Communists were not able to win our minds regardless of the brainwashing they used. The question we have today is if the family unit is strong enough to sail through the chaotic storms that are approaching.

    “It Is Very Easy To Defeat Someone, But It Is Very Hard To Win Someone”

    In short, there is a reason marriage, sexuality and the family as well as the church are central targets: they are the socio-cultural centres of stability that can resist the power agendas of the manipulators. So, we should not be astonished to see movements that corrupt, undermine, fatally wrench and seek to recreate such in forms that have no foundational substance or strength.

    The atomised and confused, insecure and desperate are most easily manipulated and made to depend on the ever more powerful state, and to look to political messiahs for deliverance.

    But if one insistently clings to absurdities, one will be blind to one’s folly.

    Let Jesus of Nazareth speak to such folly:

    Matt 19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    And, on moral blindness:

    Matt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

    Also, on the dangers of misreading the signs of our times:

    Matt 16:1 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.

    2 He answered them,[a] “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” [cf. here on, he spoke to his resurrection, which Ac 17:16 – 34 makes plain is a sign to the nations in the era of the going forth of the gospel.]

    So he left them and departed.

    I have seen the suggestion of terms for Supreme Court judges, even for elections. That might work, but given the pervasiveness of the problems we are seeing and its entrenchment in the content of higher education, including legal education, I have doubts.

    Deep reform of government backed by the will of the people is needed.

    But, I fear, such will only come after a terrible price is paid. In blood, treasure, sweat, all but hopeless toil and tears.

    Such is our collective folly.

    What about the concern that the people have been overwhelmed with the issues and the confusing debates, so have abandoned politics to the governance, academic and chattering classes?

    I think, instead, that we have been blinded, betrayed and manipulated to a point where our moral confusion and blindness fills us with darkness.

    A good survey of the history of the rise of modern liberty and democracy is eminently feasible as a video course series of a week’s worth of evenings, and there are ever so many who could present it and serve on a panel. I would add to such, as one part, Ac 27, in fact I would want to start with that story and broaden out from there.

    The 2nd paragraph of the US DoI, the Locke-Hooker clip and Blackstone’s famous text are not hard to make acquaintance of, not to mention Plato’s famous passage. Many have learned far more difficult passages by heart.

    In short, sound history gives deep insights bought at the price of blood and tears.

    It is disregard for such which blinds us and leaves us prey to the manipulators and would be unaccountable overlords.

    Similarly, a powerful video survey of our present darkness and the gathering storms, could be very powerful.

    A deeper yet survey on origins and implications could join the list.

    I would also go back to the pivotal clash on Mars Hill in Ac 17.

    (I take it seriously that Paul was apostle to the nations and Luke his historian.)

    Such would be bitterly, cynically, ruthlessly attacked and would not prevail immediately.

    But then, at fair havens it was the lonely stand by the prisoner in chains that set up the credibility to be a good man in a storm.

    It is time to stand and fight.

    KF

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let me clip here the line by line on the 2nd para of the US DoI of 1776 I recently gave in reply to a query on why I included it in a discussion draft for a charter of good governance:

    >>We hold these truths to be self-evident,>>

    1 –> cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15, 13:1 – 10 . . . one we understand what is at stake in our being morally governed beings of equal nature and worth, there is no excuse of ignorance regarding core rights, the attempt to deny such lands instantly in patent absurdity

    >>that all men are created equal,>>

    2 –> The pivot of all else, and on this cf Locke in his 2nd treatise on civil govt ch 2, citing ‘the judicious [Anglican canon Richard] Hooker [in his Ecclesiastical Polity, which onward uses Moshe, Jesus and Paul on the Golden Rule and Aristotle, with echoes of Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis and Blackstone in his Commentaries]”:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]

    3 –> Blackstone on the laws of nature and of nature’s God referenced in the 1st paragraph [of the US DoI] is also well worth the citing:

    Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being . . . consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will. This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws . . . These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly [NB: cf. Exod. 20:15 – 16], should hurt nobody [NB: cf. Rom 13:8 – 10], and should render to every one his due [NB: cf. Rom 13:6 – 7 & Exod. 20:15]; to which three general precepts Justinian[1: a Juris praecepta sunt hace, honeste vivere. alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. Inst, 1. 1. 3] has reduced the whole doctrine of law [and, Corpus Juris, Justinian’s Christianised precis and pruning of perhaps 1,000 years of Roman jurisprudence, in turn is the foundation of law for much of Europe].

    4 –> This then leads into a definition of rights and the state’s purpose as guarding the civil peace of justice through properly balancing rights, freedoms and responsibilities or duties [which brings out how moral government is the key balance to the tendency of democracy to abusive mob rule, the notion that the might of the — typically manipulated and angry — crowd makes ‘right.’]

    >> that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.>>

    5 –> The Creator grounds the right and rights.

    6 –> This reflects that absent resort to dismissing the testimony of our interior life that we are under the government of a law of ought (and thus implying grand delusion so fatally undermining mind and responsible freedom), we face the binding nature of ought especially through the premise that rights imply correlative duties of respect and care.

    7 –> This then leads to the Humean Guillotine and the is-ought gap, thence the only sound answer, there is a world-foundational IS that inherently and adequately
    grounds OUGHT.

    8 –> For such, there is precisely one serious candidate, after centuries of disputes and debates: the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great
    being, the root of reality who is worthy of ultimate respect and loyalty, then of service by doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    9 –> And yes, I know there is a whole world of serious philosophy and linked theology behind that, starting with the modern modal ontological argument and moral arguments multiplied by the argument from transformative experience of encounter with God.

    10 –> That is not our main concern, the national vision that we are a God-fearing society captures the essence.

    11 –> From this we ground a deeper understanding of Law rooted in our nature as responsibly and rationally free morally governed creatures charged with the stewardship of Creation and the principle of neighbour love. Down that road lies a world of thought tied to the Categorical Imperative and the sustainability principle insofar as that is valid. And all of that is relevant too.

    >> –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,>>

    13 –> Govt is established through human collective community action, ideally and by force of ought towards justice, which requires guarding and defence, hence the
    issue of the sword of justice legitimately used in defence of the civil peace of justice.

    14 –> And, I insist on the importance of that understanding of the term, civil peace.

    >> deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,>>

    15 –> Thus, democracy enters, in the context of justice, rights, the right, our created equality and endowments of a common value and dignity that must be respected down to the least individual, and guarded with the sword of justice.

    16 –> And of course, how that consent is expressed is a pivotal issue of good government and governance.

    >> –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,>>

    17 –> The problem of finite, fallible, morally struggling and corruptible, to often foolish or incompetent or abusive people, including in government and its offices of great trust and power.

    18 –> In reply, the people who give consent and legitimate government towards justice, have a collective right to reform and change government

    >> laying its foundation on such principles>>

    19 –> As already given in outline with deep allusions, and this then becomes a classic historically pivotal statement of sound principles in a powerful nutshell well worth learning, memorising and pondering.

    >> and organizing its powers in such form,>>

    20 –> Reformation towards good government

    >> as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.>>

    21 –> The people must be properly and justly educated, trained, habituated, experienced through civil society, supported by transparency and accountability and a free, strong, sound and fair press

    22 –> And yes, modern democracy is not feasible absent literacy on a widespread basis and absent means of publication and dissemination of information

    >> Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.>>

    23 –> This is serious business, not to be taken up on a whim or on an ill informed basis, especially when radical reform is the issue

    >> But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,>>

    24 –> Agendas always have more and more built in, often hidden, the issue is where the direction and trend points, especially as morally evaluated in light of the given principles.

    >> it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . .>>

    25 –> The right of in the end revolution to answer to stubborn destructive power agendas and their champions.

    26 –> here, we see that the general election is an institutionalised solemn assembly and audit of government on a regular basis, with peaceful means of reformation and if necessary revolution.

    27 –> Hence, BTW the references as cited above to referendum to change constitutions.

    Back to the sources!

    (A key Reformation motto.)

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Let me also clip my clause by clause on the 1st Amdt, US Const; added on insistence of ordinary people whose wisdom has been justified by the events of the past 200+ years:

    >>Article the third… [= 1st Amdt US Const] Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;>>

    1 –> Congress resolves and submits to the people for their ratification.

    2 –> There shall be no grand federal landeskirk of the united states, building on the principle of Westphalia 1648 of locality in religion, adjusted to republican circumstances and with better protection of dissenters.

    3 –> at this time of course something like nine of the thirteen states had established local state churches, the free exercise clause specifically protected freikirke.

    4 –> Thus the letter by Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut, is properly to be understood as affirming that Jefferson respected this as setting up a wall of protection for freedom of conscience, worship and religion from interference by the state, especially the state in alliance with a grand landeskirk or some unholy cartel of such at state level.

    5 –> In our time, where evolutionary materialist, scientism based secular humanism and its fellow travellers constitute a de facto anti-church cartel, American Dissenting Christians face precisely that kind of interference that this clause was intended to be a bulwark against.

    >>or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;>>

    6 –> Notice, freedom to speak and to publish through media are protected in exactly the context of freedom of faith and its expression.

    7 –> Yes, the primary sort of speech and publication being protected is just what Carpathian and others of like ilk would trammel, stigmatise, ghettoise and censor in the name of protecting their ears and eyes from being reminded of Him who they are fain to forget and dismiss.

    8 –> The irony of this is itself a rebuke to such a radical secularism.

    >> or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,>>

    9 –> This is of course, again in the direct context of religious expression with application to general expression.

    10 –> Peaceful assembly implies in homes, in houses of worship, in public spaces, on the streets so long as the assembly be not riotous or a mob seeking to threaten.

    11 –> And, again, Carpathian and ilk are found in the lists as enemies of freedom. A sad but not unexpected irony.

    >> and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances>>

    12 –> As in, it was a grievance that the Constitution did not sufficiently and explicitly protect Dissenters from encroachment by potentially hostile establishments that led these to champion a bill of amendments culminating in this one as first in the list.

    13 –> So, again, we find the despised evangelicals helping to build liberty.

    14 –> And, the power to petition challenges the Laodicean, self-satisfied mentality of power elites that tend to lock out unwelcome voices and views. (As in, Jesus at the church door, knocking and asking to be let in . . . instead of simply forcing his way in while posing on his authority as Lord of the church; as strong a statement of Divine respect for human freedom as one can ever find, even freedom to follow a march of folly.)

    Back to the sources.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Anthropic, a constitutional convention i/l/o the balance of forces at work is even more dangerous than it would have been in the time of the framers. They basically warned, don’t do this again. KF

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: An instructive oration in Massachusetts, on the 20th anniversary of the US DoI:

    >>A

    DISCOURSE,

    DELIVERED AT

    ASHBURNHAM,

    JULY 4TH, 1796,

    AT THE

    REQUEST OF THE MILITIA OFFICERS

    IN SAID TOWN;

    WHO, WITH THE INFANTRY UNDER THEIR

    COMMAND, AND A TROOP OF CAVALRY,

    WERE ASSEMBLED UNDER ARMS,

    TO CELEBRATE THE

    ANNIVERSARY

    OF THE

    INDEPENDENCE

    OF THE

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    BY JOHN CUSHING, A. M.
    MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL IN ASHBURNHAM.

    PUBLISHED AT THE DESIRE OF SAID Officers, and others,
    To whom it is humbly inscribed.

    . . . . God dealt with no people as with Israel: but in the history of the United States, particularly New-England, there is as great a similarity, perhaps, in the conduct of Providence to that of the Israelites, as is to be found in the history of any people. Truly God has done wonderful things; his works have been great; and it must afford pleasure to search them out, and to speak of them to one another and to our children—It is what we ought to do, to preserve a sense of gratitude, to encourage us to hope in God in future times of trouble, and to excite us to holy obedience.

    God gave, as a reason for keeping his commandments, his bringing Israel out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage; and surely what he has done for us as a people, is a very powerful reason why we should keep them.

    We may say, in the words of the Psalmist, “We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what works thou didst in their days, in the times of old, how thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people and cast them out, for they got not the land in possession by their sword, neither did their own arm save them; but thy right hand and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favor unto them.”

    Our fathers were few in number and feeble, when they first landed in this American wilderness, and would easily have fallen a prey to the savages, if God had not restrained them. But what led them into this then howling wilderness? To enjoy liberty, civil and religious, the greatest boon of a temporal nature.

    Persecution is a very great evil; yet infinite wisdom brought good out of it; for it proved an occasion of the settling of this part of America.

    Various attempts for lucrative purposes had been made to establish settlements; but all proved abortive.—It seems as if the Almighty reserved this spot of the globe on purpose as an asylum for our persecuted ancestors; and what is very remarkable, but a little time before their arrival, some pestilential disease swept off the natives to such a degree as to make sufficient room.

    Such was the spirit of the high church party which ruled in England, that dissenters could have no quiet dwelling in their own land—They must conform to all the ceremonies of the Episcopal church, or submit to fines and imprisonment. Rather than be deprived of the liberty of worshipping God according to the dictates of their conscience, they chose to sacrifice all the delights of their native land, and cross the wide Atlantic, which at that day, for want of experience, was thought to be a very hazardous voyage.

    And indeed when we think of it, it is a matter of wonder that our ancestors should be so adventurous.

    The march of Israel out of Egypt, and thro’ the wilderness, was ever esteemed a wonderful thing: but they had Moses and Aaron to lead them—they had the cloud to direct their course, and bread from Heaven in plenty.

    Our Fathers had no miracles wrought for them, but they experienced many mercies—in so good a cause as they embarked in, they trusted Providence, and God preserved and fed them. They suffered many hardships, for want of the knowledge of cultivating a wilderness. Had they understood as well how to turn it into a fruitful field, as their descendants at this day, there would not have been left on record such dreary accounts of the barrenness and hardships of a wilderness.

    But worldly interest was not what was uppermost with them; religion was the principal thing they had in view. They requested of their king, James I, leave to transplant themselves into America, where they might enjoy liberty of conscience unmolested, that they might also bring the natives to embrace Christianity, and enlarge his dominions. They obtained their request. Grants of land of such and such extent were made to them. They had a charter which they really thought secured to them those rights, for the sake of which they left their native land.

    In the arbitrary reign of king James II, it was, without sufficient reasons, taken from them:—although it must be confessed that they did things unjustifiable; which were one principal reason of the first charters being vacated, viz, persecuting those who dissented from them in religion. It ill became those who fled from persecution, to become persecutors. But this may be said in extenuation of their conduct; the rights of men and of Christians at that day were not well understood. They believed that they maintained the pure doctrines and discipline of the gospel; and that it was their duty to support them at all events. Toleration and the rights of private judgment for all, were reserved for their descendants. They meant well, but good intentions will not justify wrong actions. They show that they were but men, imperfect men. I take no pleasure in making our ancestors appear to disadvantage. I venerate their memories; for they laid the foundation of this American empire, by the early care and pains they took to diffuse knowledge, by founding a university, and requiring every town to settle a learned minister, and to maintain schools for the diffusion of knowledge among every class of people.

    They could not obtain the restoration of their first charter: but with much difficulty and expense they obtained a second, which on some accounts was preferable to the first. Under it they flourished, and thought themselves safe; for it was said the plighted faith of things might be depended upon; but this was found to be a mistake.

    Our fathers were at the expense of transporting themselves, purchasing the soil of the natives; (for they did not consider the Pope’s grant of the land of Heathens to the king of England, and then his to them, as giving a just title.) They were at the expense of defending themselves against the natives; and they thought it hard [i] to be obliged to help bear the expenses of the mother country.
    They were willing to bear true allegiance to the king of Great Britain, and they submitted to the Navigation Act in the year 1664, [ii] though with reluctance. They looked upon the king as their king and head of civil authority, who ruled here by his governor; but when attempts were made by the Parliament to lay an internal tax, the whole continent was alarmed; and so mighty was the opposition, that the Stamp Act, which was the first experiment, was repealed as inexpedient; at the same time they declared that they had a right to make laws binding upon the colonies in all cases whatever. This declaration contains the essence of despotism. If they had the right, they would use it, when they saw best, and nothing but opposing arms to arms could prevent it.

    This right which the Parliament claimed, they exercised in a few years by laying duties upon a number of articles for raising a revenue. This alarmed the Colonies again, and such opposition was made that at length the duty was taken off of all articles but tea.

    In consequence of a non-importation agreement, and procuring teas from other nations besides the British, the East India Company, who used to supply America with nearly all that were consumed here, were embarrassed by having vast quantities on hand for which they had not a market.

    They applied to Parliament for relief. The Parliament passed an act, taking off the duty that was paid in the colonies, and empowered the company to ship their teas directly to America; appointed commissioners or factors in each Colony to sell it for them. This was monopolizing an important article of commerce, and there was no knowing where it would end. Upon the same principle they might have sent other articles and every article to the ruin of our merchants. As it might be expected, all the Colonies were alarmed, and came to a determination that they Teas should not be landed.

    In some of the Colonies the consignees were prevailed upon to return it—what was sent to Boston you know was all emptied into the sea.

    This Tea Act laid the foundation for the war, which was the occasion of our independence.

    The British government were highly enraged; they viewed this as rebellion;—they soon passed an act to shut up the port of Boston till compensation should be made for the loss.

    By this cruel act the innocent suffered with the guilty—hundreds were thrown out of employment, and were dependent on their fellow citizens for subsistence. They were well supplied—contributions from all parts, and from all the Colonies were made, and sent, to encourage them to endure their sufferings which were considered as in a common cause.

    The British did not stop here—they passed an act which in effect destroyed all our charter rights, and would have reduced us to as abject a state as Ireland was then in; for no town meeting, except the annual march meeting, could be held but by applying to the governor for leave, and every article to be acted upon, was to be specified. This was considered, and justly, as an intolerable grievance.

    By another, passed about the same time, it was ordained, that any person indicted for murder or any other capital crime committed in aiding the magistrates in executing the laws, might be sent by the Governor either to any other Colony or to Great Britain for his trial; or rather, as was justly observed upon it, to be acquitted. So that hundreds of our people been murdered by the British troops, the chance of obtaining justice was small indeed.

    The Judges were made wholly independent of the people, as they were to receive their salaries from the king out of the revenue raised here.

    These acts irritated the people beyond measure. This Commonwealth, then Province, seemed to be aimed at alone, by the last mentioned act. The king and Parliament viewed them as the ringleaders of sedition. The snare was artfully laid—as complete a plan of despotism was contrived as can be conceived; and several regiments of regular troops were sent over to protect the governor and the king’s friends, and to enforce the acts of Parliament.

    But they found a set of men to deal with that would not tamely submit to the acts of a venal Parliament. A love of liberty had descended from Father to Son, and an hereditary aversion to aristocracy prevailed. Here the greater part were freeholders, had property of their own, which they chose to have the disposal of themselves.

    Had the king and Parliament recommended to the colonies to raise certain sums in proportion to their wealth, and left them to have taken their own way, they would at once have done it, and cheerfully have contributed towards the expense the nation had been at in conquering Canada, &c. But they thought if strangers had the liberty to open their purses they would be too free with them. They chose to give and grant in their own way.

    From the time the tea was destroyed, matters became serious. It was greatly feared that the controversy would end in bloodshed and war. It was judged best to make all the preparation in their power against what might be. A congress in 1774 advised to break off all commercial intercourse with Great Britain; hoping that would bring them to terms. People readily complied, and great sacrifices were made—The congress petitioned, but in vain.

    Britain hearing of our warlike preparations, which were only on the defensive, gave orders to their commander in chief to destroy all the military stores he could. On the 19th of April, 1775, he attempted to execute his orders. Then did he “cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.” A dreadful day it was, when we heard the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war. We were pained at the very heart. The thoughts of fighting against the mother country, which we had so long venerated, caused such a struggle in the minds of many, that they did not know what to do; but the great body of the people were determined to stand upon their defense to the last extremity. Although the blows were at first all directed at Massachusetts, all the Colonies made a common cause of it, and came to our help.

    Yet independence of Britain was not aimed at, but by a few. The Congress, even after blood was shed, were determined once more to see what effect petitioning would have. They petitioned for “peace, liberty and safety”—but a deaf ear was turned to the petition; though conceived in terms of loyalty and respect.

    This Colony was not alone in her complaints; the others had just reason to be dissatisfied; but the treatment that Massachusetts met with from the British, was along sufficient to alarm the whole. The union among them was surprising, and an evidence of an overruling Providence.

    It appeared then to the most discerning that the time was come to cast off allegiance and dependence upon the mother country; and it appears now by the event, that it was the design of Providence that we should no longer be subject to Great Britain—Independence was declared.

    Congress in their declaration say, “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; and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new governments, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall appear most likely to affect their safety and happiness.

    Prudence indeed will dictate, that governments long established should not to be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, that to right themselves by abolishing 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 security.” &c. And after enumerating the many grievances which led to the war and to the declaration of Independence, they conclude thus; “We therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united Colonies are, and of a right to be, Free and Independent States: that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connections between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be totally dissolved.” &c.

    Thus was a nation born in a day. We have tried the experiment of a republican government, now about 20 years, and are satisfied—there is no hankering after the leeks and onions of Egypt, i.e. after returning to our dependence upon Great Britain. We have the vanity to think and believe, that we can manage our own concerns, better than people can, who are 3000 miles distant from us.

    We think it every way better to have Governors of our own choosing, and laws of our own making, than to have Governors and laws sent from England. And we have prospered so well under republicanism, that other nations are following the example, and have cast off monarchical governments, and are proceeding upon the same plan. God prosper them, and in his time give all the nations of the earth liberty and good government!

    The revolution in America, in a political view, will prove to be the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which will fill the whole earth.

    These States are convinced of this truth, which Congress said is self evident, that all men are created equal. Is it not strange that nations have not discovered the same truth? How simple is the idea when known! Will not the nations of the earth when they come to see it, be amazed at their former ignorance, and wonder that they so long passively bore the yoke of slavery?

    With a great sum we bought our liberty—Independence has cost much blood and immense treasure. But I hear none murmuring, and wishing they had never opposed Great Britain.

    But when we take a retrospect of our situation at the commencement of the war, we are ready to shudder at the dangers which are passed. The interposition of Providence in our favor was wonderful. The spirit of political enthusiasm, that spread over the continent, seemed at first to supply the place of everything. The people were lead to believe that there was a sufficiency of powder even to act offensively, but the case was quite the reverse.

    But by good providence, warlike stores of every kind were taken from the enemy, which with what were manufactured among ourselves, proved fully adequate to our wants. The time will not admit of much more enlargement; but I cannot but remind you of the kind care and goodness of God in preparing and raising up a General to lead our armies “who united all hearts,” and who was as much beloved, and as readily obeyed, as any one that ever commanded an army. He spared no pains—he shunned no dangers when his country called him—he was thorough proof against bribery and corruption—he served through the war without wages, and God preserved his life and health through the whole.

    Where is there to be found a parallel to General Washington? He is truly a wonderful man. His name alone amount foreign nations gives dignity to the United States. May God raise up successors who shall do as worthily!

    What trying scenes had he to pass through with his armies! At what a low ebb at times were our affairs! You cannot have forgotten, you who were upon the stage, and a number of you are knowing by experience. But he, who began a good work, carried it on, until it was completed in the establishment of independence, and government upon the true principles of liberty.

    And what people before ever had such an opportunity, deliberately to form and establish their constitutions of government? It was a new thing under the sun. But the example has since been followed, by the French first, then the Poles, and lately the Dutch. But the constitution of Poland has been destroyed by that female tyrant the Empress of Russia. May God speedily restore it again.

    From the sketches I have given it is evident that we have much to remember with gratitude, and to acknowledge that god’s works towards us have been wonderful, and they encourage us to set our hope in him. And we should tell them to our children, and give it in charge to them to tell their children; for independence, with the blessings accompanying it, is never to be forgotten; one great good of it is, freedom from European wars; while we were in subjection to Britain, all her enemies were of course our enemies.

    God’s goodness in making us a free people ought to unite our hearts to fear before him, all the days of our life. He has exalted us, and given us a rank among the nations.

    If we would expect he continuance of our liberty and independence, we must keep his commands, for it is righteousness that exalteth a nation.

    Wars will continue as long as the lusts of the men war in their souls.—War is now raging among the nations; but we are happily at a great distance from it. May God preserve us in peace! But we must rejoice, with trembling, and not put off the harness. The lusts of men make it necessary to learn the arts of war; to be in readiness for it, is the best way to prevent it.

    May you, gentlemen officers, and citizen soldiers, acquire honor to yourselves by your officer and soldier like conduct! May you make progress in obtaining the knowledge of all the maneuvers that are necessary! We hope in God that you will never be called to jeopardize your lives in the high places of the field; but should you be, may you willingly offer yourselves, and be of good courage, and play the man for your people and for the cities of your God! But if you always live in peace, forget not that you have spiritual enemies to combat. Then fight the good fight of faith; have on the whole armor of God, that you may conquer all your spiritual adversaries. Remember there is a war in which there is no discharge, I mean the war of death. If you become good soldiers of Jesus Christ, he will give you the victory, and enable you to sing that triumphant song, Oh Death, where is thy Sting; O Grave, where is thy Victory? This is addressed to everyone, as we all have to accomplish this warfare.

    At death the righteous enter into rest and peace, and enjoy the glorious liberties of the sons of God in perfection.

    May we all finally be thus free and happy, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the redeemed in Heaven, where there is no sin, no wars nor fightings, no sorrow nor death.

    “Then let each one march boldly on, press forward to the heavenly gate: there peace and joy eternal reign, and glittering robes for conquerors wait.”
    Finis. >>

    Food for thought.

    KF

  13. 13
    Axel says:

    One big, crucial difference, Mahuna, between Fascism and Socialism is that royalty, aristocracy, industrialists, lawyers, physicians, administrators, in short, the monied classes, have supported, both pro-actively and passively even the ugliest fascist regimes, while becoming almost hysterical in the contumely they express towards Socialism and the left-wing, even when any remote threat of its spreading has receded.

    So, really this distinction you and many others make between the two political philosophies strikes me as being of a very secondary order. Sure, Hitler was chummy with the people, fed and watered them well, as long as they could be used as cannon fodder, but from remarks in Mein Kampf he is quoted as making, he despised them as being easily led – and that by him: a certain ironical appearance of rare self-knowledge.

    One could see his point, were it not for the fact that until his brainwashing had taken hold of the youth, the working-class men apparently could see that it would all end badly, no doubt harbouring memories of WWI. As we know it was the worldly-wise, monied folk who thought they could use Hitler and discard him, once he had served their purposes. Hitler never gained power from a majority vote.

    Anyway my purpose in writing this spiel is not to further class-war (which has already been fought and won, alas, though there will be few tears from here, I fear). But to point out that no left-wing government was ever supported by industrialists and monied folk in any country.

    I should add that I’m well aware of the utter degeneracy of the atheist left, these days, however, already affecting, alas, the right-wing, post Margaret, Baroness Cardboard, i.e since the marginalisation of the old Christian grandees.

    It is perhaps the greatest failure of the pilgrim, institutional Catholic church – to which I feel privileged, nevertheless, to unequivocally subscribe – to have by its own dereliction, enabled the atheist left, indeed, Marx, himself, to use the second commandment and a Judaeo-Christian concern for the whole population, as its political front – needless to say, without the least acknowledgement of its source.

  14. 14
    harry says:

    Barry Arrington,

    First, thank you for raising the questions you raised. They needed to be raised.

    You are right in directing our attention to our Declaration of Independence, which does indeed offer in no small measure the guidance needed to address our current situation in a realistic manner and on a sure moral foundation.

    I would highly recommend the book Heir to the Fathers — John Quincy Adams and the Spirit of Constitutional Government by Gary V. Wood to those who see the day coming when we, by our abandonment to the will of God, and by His power and goodness only, will be in a situation to relaunch the grand experiment in “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” By our reliance on His power a “nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that ‘all men are created equal’,” can be re-established according to “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”

    It will never be any more practical for us to embrace the required abandonment than it was for the Founders, who realized that they, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,” would have to “mutually pledge to each other” their Lives, Fortunes and sacred Honor. The question is whether we are willing to do the same. God honors our free will.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Thots to ponder on responsibilities of voters and citizens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKFnjfm17bo

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, Hitler’s National Socialist German Labour/Workers Party was smart enough to strike an alliance of convenience with moneyed interests secure in the knowledge that the Gestapo and SS trump all. When Lenin spoke of useful idiots or fools, I am sure that he did not just have in mind French saboteurs willing to work with him against the Germans. And of course Mussolini was a major Socialist leader whose refounding of socialism as Fascism was just that. Fascism is statist, socialist, politically messianistic and Nietzschean in character. No wonder it typically ends in manipulating the mob, intimidating the individual, corrupting the police, coopting centres of power, and focussing power on the maximum leader. The solution to all such is to identify the core error: political messianism that subverts the civil peace of justice and leads men to put ideologies, policies, corrupt laws and leaders in the place of The Just One. Unfortunately, too often the beguiled only realise the trap they have fallen into when it is too late and the iron boots of the Gestapo’s goons are crunching down the hallway heading for your apartment at 4:00 am. We really need to read 1984 and Animal Farm again, or at least watch the vids. KF

    PS: I see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhfQexLfW3E

    PPS: Neither do I have much sympathy for right wing authoritarianism and crony capitalism, or absolutist monarchy and scheming nobilities . . . try Kings Richard III, Henry VII and VIII etc for size.

  17. 17
    harry says:

    Axel @13

    It is perhaps the greatest failure of the pilgrim, institutional Catholic church – to which I feel privileged, nevertheless, to unequivocally subscribe – to have by its own dereliction, enabled the atheist left, indeed, Marx, himself, to use the second commandment and a Judaeo-Christian concern for the whole population, as its political front – needless to say, without the least acknowledgement of its source.

    Pius XI, in his 1931 encyclical, On Reconstruction of the Social Order, sums up his condemnation of socialism this way:

    If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.

    On the other hand, he condemns unbridled capitalism or “crony capitalism” as well. His remarks, to a large extent, could be used to describe our contemporary economic situation:

    … it is obvious that not only is wealth concentrated in our times but an immense power and despotic economic dictatorship is consolidated in the hands of a few, who often are not owners but only the trustees and managing directors of invested funds which they administer according to their own arbitrary will and pleasure.

    This dictatorship is being most forcibly exercised by those who, since they hold the money and completely control it, control credit also and rule the lending of money. Hence they regulate the flow, so to speak, of the life-blood whereby the entire economic system lives, and have so firmly in their grasp the soul, as it were, of economic life that no one can breathe against their will.

    This concentration of power and might, the characteristic mark, as it were, of contemporary economic life, is the fruit that the unlimited freedom of struggle among competitors has of its own nature produced, and which lets only the strongest survive; and this is often the same as saying, those who fight the most violently, those who give least heed to their conscience.

    This accumulation of might and of power generates in turn three kinds of conflict. First, there is the struggle for economic supremacy itself; then there is the bitter fight to gain supremacy over the State in order to use in economic struggles its resources and authority; finally there is conflict between States themselves …

    The ultimate consequences of the individualist spirit in economic life are those which you yourselves, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, see and deplore: Free competition has destroyed itself; economic dictatorship has supplanted the free market; unbridled ambition for power has likewise succeeded greed for gain; all economic life has become tragically hard, inexorable, and cruel.

  18. 18

    A small bone of contention, Mr. Arrington. You say

    Yes, a handful of the founders were Deists; the overwhelming majority of them were orthodox Christians.

    I researched this quite a bit when I got into an argument online some years back (under the nickname “Meleagar”). As I said then,

    The founding forefathers, by todays standards, were theocratic fundamentalists that would make Pat Robertson look like a flaming liberal in comparison. Academia and the media have focused on a handful of our founding forefathers, and have focused on certain quotes out of context, in order to perpetrate the idea that they were non-religious “deists”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The only founding forefather “deist” (by today’s use of the word) that I could find was perhaps Thomas Paine, and he was run out of the country and reviled for his views. Although Ben Franklin and others sometimes referred to themselves as Deists, they did not use the term the same way we use it today. Back then, if you were not a Biblical literalist, you might use the word “deist” to describe yourself. The USA was founded by what almost universally amounted to what would be called today devout (even fundamentalist) Christians, period. There was no “handful” of those who could reasonably be called “deists” or “non-christians”.

    As for the will to power you rightfully illustrate as part and parcel of the fascist “progressive” movement, the problem we have is that we are witnessing a multi-media & academic full-court press the likes of which has never before been seen. It penetrates through the internet and media to every person and during every waking second like has never before been possible.

    The left now has the power of instantly generating an angry mob of shamers and haters to bully and beat down opposition. Say the wrong thing even in private and an army of jack-booted social-media thugs will end your career and put your life in jeopardy. And they will do so gleefully, serving no spiritual framework other than politics and personal preference. Even one of the left’s media darlings, Camille Paglia understands the vacuity of the left:

    The real problem is a lack of knowledge of religion as well as a lack of respect for religion. I find it completely hypocritical for people in academe or the media to demand understanding of Muslim beliefs and yet be so derisive and dismissive of the devout Christian beliefs of Southern conservatives.


    Young people have nothing to enlighten them, which is why they’re clinging so much to politicized concepts, which give them a sense of meaning and direction.

    Exactly that! Strip them of meaningful spiritual moorings, and then gin up superficial issues to get them to wage political jihads against “the other”. Get them to do things for the ideal of “fairness” or “equality” without even thinking through the larger picture or consequences.

    Like the $15/hr minimum wage rate in Seattle:

    Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.

    Not to mention that smaller, marginal businesses may be going out of business, or in one case, now depending on donations to pay the higher wages of their employees. Also not to mention that the price of just about everything has gone up as a result of the increased minimum wage.

    The problem is that such social activist issues defy logic. I once had a debate with some people online about oil industry profits and how much big oil CEO’s make. They thought all those profits were going into the pockets of a handful of rich white guys when only a little investigation would have revealed that, in the first place, the actual profit margin was at 1-5%; 2nd, the CEO’ and other top executive’s pay, while a lot, represented a negligible amount of the profits; 3rd, the vast bulk of the profits went to shareholders which were basically all retirement and college investment funds.

    IOW, most of the “evil profits” of the oil companies were funding retirement funds of regular folks and the college savings accounts of their kids all across the USA. Many city worker retirement accounts were funded by big oil profits.

    They seemed to think that the “answer” was to tax the heck out of big oil. I asked them if they realized that whatever tax you put on a company, the company considers that an expense. Expenses are paid for by establishing the price of the product or the service; thus, any new tax on big oil would be paid for by us at the pump. But, they insisted, something had to be done!!

    But none of this matters to a people whose soul yearns for purpose and validity and can only find a pale substitute provided by political operatives manipulating their empathy towards “progressive” ends.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, sobering thoughts. And BTW, at a glance, your clips are very consistent with the May 1776 call to prayer, the 1777 one and others across the founding era. I long ago heard the revolution had a black robed regiment and that it was in key parts preached as a revival but is when I saw those calls I first fully realised Congress itself was calling people to repentance and reformation, often in very explicitly and directly Christian, gospel based terms. And we have not touched the centuries beyond that. KF

    PS: Do people understand unintended consequences of policies, including how a minimum wage can trigger unemployment and contribute to an unemployable underclass not shaped by experience to the habits of getting, keeping and producing in a job? Or, how rent controls can cause deterioration of housing and contribute to emergence of slums? Or, how price controls and state domination or ownership of economy dominating enterprises or sectors can gradually cripple an economy, and more? Likewise for cartelisation and cronyism, typically in cahoots with the state or players in the state? (and in some cases who is in whose back pocket is an open question, sometimes it is two drunks trying to prop one another up, only to fall the harder as two are entangled and going down uncontrollably . . . beware of too big to fail.) What of Hayek’s mal-investment? Etc? He who plays with industrial policy and similar large scale interventions with an economy tickles a dragon’s tail and had better know enough to be afraid.

  20. 20
    harry says:

    kairosfocus @11

    Anthropic, a constitutional convention i/l/o the balance of forces at work is even more dangerous than it would have been in the time of the framers. They basically warned, don’t do this again.

    We are quickly reaching the point, if we aren’t already there, where we have nothing to lose by risking a Constitutional Convention. It is a certainty that America is going to fall and fall hard if measures are not taken that are commensurate with the urgency of our situation. A Constitutional Convention, while risky, has a chance of succeeding. Holding such a convention is non-violent. It is in accord with our Constitution. It is a response that is commensurate with the urgency of the situation.

    There is no chance of success if we just continue on as we have been, which, for the most part, has been doing nothing more than unending analysis of the dangers that we face. The problem is that it stops there. Where is the plan of action? Where is the leadership?

    When in history has a nation fallen while understanding so clearly that it was going to do so if it didn’t respond to that which threatened it in a realistic way? When has a nation understood the dangers that threatened it so far in advance of its fall, but fell anyway due to lack of a plan and leadership?

    We are obliged to first exhaust all peaceful means of correcting the injustices in our society. A Constitutional Convention is one of those peaceful means. We are obliged to try that.

  21. 21
    Roy says:

    I note, that across our civilisation the secret-vote ballot box [an Aussie innovation BTW]

    “Lex Gabinia tabellaria (139 BC) Introduced the secret ballot in the election of magistrates in the popular assemblies”, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law, Berger, 1953.

    Who to believe?

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Roy I stand corrected, my understanding has been that in modern democracies the Australians introduced the secret ballot box. Is there a continuity that you can show from the ancient case to the modern one? I won’t go on to that other Aussie innovation (so far as I know), single transferrable voting. KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    Harry, how are you going to get a convention with enough reasonable people to make a material difference, sent there by today’s electorate? My rather pessimistic estimate is you are looking at the second, post catastrophe, American Republic with a drastically different balance of views in light of why the first failed and the struggle to get to a point of reconstituting a republic. The French IIRC are on no 5 so far. KF

  24. 24
    Roy says:

    Roy I stand corrected, my understanding has been that in modern democracies the Australians introduced the secret ballot box. Is there a continuity that you can show from the ancient case to the modern one?

    Not immediately, although the Roman laws were available for inspection even if they were not followed throughout that time. I’ve no doubt that several institutes used secret ballots during that period, including occasionally the papacy.

    Wikipedia indicates that several modern countries had secret ballots for elections before Australia, of which the earliest was France during La_Révolution_française.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: WJM makes an interesting observation:

    Rebels can just overthrow governments and take over land if they wish – might makes right, so to speak. However, this isn’t satisfactory for religious, law-abiding men with a moral code and a sense of honor. Such men of reason and of law have to provide a moral and lawful rationale for such an act, especially when they are going to commit themselves and their fellows to the horrors of a war for independence against such a power as Britain.

    This is where an understanding of the deeply religious nature of the people is necessary. In order to motivate separate colonies, religious factions, and non-affiliated free frontiersmen to fight such a war, it must in the eyes of the population and in the eyes of potential allies be formal, legal, justifiable, honorable, and righteous. Just issuing a document saying “we the people are tired of paying taxes to Britain and so we’re going to form our own government” isn’t going to cut it, because then we’d be a nation of might makes right and one that simply refuses to pay for its legal obligations.

    In order to supercede the authority of the crown in a righteous, honorable way that would appeal both to the population that would have to fight a war of independence, and give allies confidence that we were a people of honor doing the right thing and that we could be trusted to live up to treaties, there had to be an appeal to a greater authority than the crown – again, otherwise it would just be a bunch of traitorous criminals refusing to pay their legal taxes.

    The people had to be motivated to support and fight the war, and the people had to feel that it was a moral and righteous war, because the people that were going to fight the war were deeply religious with serious convictions about obeying laws, fighting wars, and doing the right thing.

    Thus, the importance of the Declaration of Independence cannot be trivialized. They didn’t have TV and radio propaganda at the time where people could be sold into ideas by attrition, all they had was the printed word and debate. Such printed words, debates, and proclamations or decrees at that time were of much greater significance than they are today in a world flooded with media. That declaration was the foundation for the right – both moral and legal – for our founding fathers to create a righteous, moral, ethical, and legal country that people could be motivated to fight for and trust.

    Gives some fairly significant context on para 1 US DoI:

    When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    In short the dual covenant understanding of nationhood and government under God, of interposition by lower magistrates or legitimate popular representatives, of remonstrance met by intransigence and finally a formal finding of resistance to tyranny are pivotal to the dynamic. They also underscore the significance of the Dutch DoI 1581 as a successful precursor:

    . . . a prince is constituted by God to be ruler of a people, to defend them from oppression and violence as the shepherd his sheep; and whereas God did not create the people slaves to their prince, to obey his commands, whether right or wrong, but rather the prince for the sake of the subjects (without which he could be no prince), to govern them according to equity, to love and support them as a father his children or a shepherd his flock, and even at the hazard of life to defend and preserve them. And when he does not behave thus, but, on the contrary, oppresses them, seeking opportunities to infringe their ancient customs and privileges . . . then he is no longer a prince, but a tyrant, and the subjects are to consider him in no other view . . . This is the only method left for subjects whose humble petitions and remonstrances could never soften their prince or dissuade him from his tyrannical proceedings; and this is what the law of nature dictates for the defense of liberty, which we ought to transmit to posterity, even at the hazard of our lives. . . . . So, having no hope of reconciliation, and finding no other remedy, we have, agreeable to the law of nature in our own defense, and for maintaining the rights, privileges, and liberties of our countrymen, wives, and children, and latest posterity from being enslaved by the Spaniards, been constrained to renounce allegiance to the King of Spain, and pursue such methods as appear to us most likely to secure our ancient liberties and privileges [i.e. essentially, the blessings of liberty].

    This is of course reformation rooted and in the main Calvinist.

    KF

  26. 26

    There is a current good drive going to hold a convention of states. I suggest endorsing/sharing/funding this project. 34 states have already called for a convention, which is the legal requirement. Contact your representative. Here is a list of their proposed amendment ideas.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: Again, WJM provides food for thought on the organic link between the US DoI and the US Constitution:

    The people of the British Colonies had no authority as British Citizens to establish their own independent government. Had they done so, they would have all been criminals. Our forefathers didn’t just throw up some paperwork, get some guns and some soldiers and form an army; they had lawyers and historians that looked for precedent and procedure in order to give the world a formal, meaningful reason to accept the United States as a legal entity.

    Such matters of law, precedent and diplomacy were very important. For the French, or any other country, to have legal recourse to aid the United States, there had to be a declaration of independence that obeyed historical or some meaningful precedent and could establish a good faith case for independence from England.

    Without the Declaration, the Constitution has no authority, because it would simply be the traitorous ramblings of dissatisfied English citizenry. The people that wrote the constitution had no right to, unless the first made a case for their liberation, their independence from, England. This is why there is a Declaration of Independence – it is a formal document that gave grounds and reasons for separation from England.

    The constitution has no authority to generate a government unless a free and independent people and land exists, and so the power and authority of the constitution as a binding, legal document in establishing an entity that other countries can engage in diplomatic relations with requires first the independence of said people and lands from their current owner and liege.

    Therefore, the constitution must be founded upon, and preceded by the declaration; and the declaration describes the rationale behind the separation; it describes what empowers the people to lawfully declare their independence, establish their own government and conduct legal, diplomatic relations with other countries.

    The ultimate source of authority for the people of the united states to assert their independence and thus have the legal right to form their own government was the Creator – a reference that other countries at the time could recognize as a source of authority and law superior to that of any other.

    In short justice comes first, and foremost, thus the basis of justice. Which is and must be moral.

    Thence, we come to the root of OUGHT beyond might and manipulated majority opinion or mobs.

    And, after centuries of debate there is just one serious candidate to be such an IS that grounds OUGHT: the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, the root of reality, worthy of ultimate loyalty and service by doing the good in accordance with our evident nature. Thus, justice is rooted in the laws of nature and of nature’s God who endows us with dignity and quasi-infinite worth so that we have rights and are under moral government as responsibl free, rational creatures who as social beings must seek to sustain the civil peace of justice or else end in chaos and destructive oppression.

    No wonder Locke, in seeking to ground what would find first full fruition in the American Republic, in his 2nd treatise on Civil govt, ch 2 sec 5, cites ‘the judicious [Anglican Canon Richard] Hooker [in his Ecclesiastical Polity]” as he builds on the creation order equality and the linked command of neighbour love, also bringing to bear Aristotle as a witness that this is evident to any thoughtful man:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    By sharpest contrast, evolutionary materialist scientism and secular humanism as well as its fellow travellers in the end reduce to morality and our sense of moral governance being a subjective delusion without objective foundation and so end in injecting both might makes right and in implying that our interior life is so profoundly delusional that even our vaunted rationality must then come under serious question.

    In short, reduction to absurdity.

    KF

  28. 28
    Axel says:

    Thank you, KF at #16. Very ineresting ‘take’. I’ve saved the video to My Favourites, for when I have a bit more time. Though I’ll watch it in segments, as it’s quite long.

    Of course, I’ve heard some of the most famous quotes from the book, but haven’t actually read it.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I hear you. Now, it turns out that several years ago I was involved in addressing the drafting of a new constitution here. What I found was that there were all sorts of problems with egos and agendas, and that power was exerted to in the end push through a resolution and get the draft to the Privy Council, so that it was deeply flawed and actually had in it fifty eight late amendments that were not properly communicated to the people or carefully considered. And, that was four months after an earlier attempt to push it through was halted because an opposition representative went to the people and spoke out in the local media. An extension for consideration by the people was granted, and as already noted, that was not well managed. Indeed, the same representative, now the new Premier, has been elected on a manifesto that has as a plank that a bill of proposed amendments is to be prepared, in consultation with the people and put forward for consideration. For, one of the defects is that there is no actual procedure for amendment, just for requesting discussion of amendment with FCO . . . which was of course misrepresented to the people here as a provision for amendment. There are many other questionable features, even in the bill of rights. Not only for reasons of general thought but on experience like this, I am very leery of constitution drafting or redrafting processes in a day that lacks a foundation for a consensus on justice, a day that is dominated by manipulation tactics, a media of great power but little integrity and ruthless power agendas. I predict that if a convention as you linked is actually called, it will be the subject of a major push to sweep away the sort of amendments being proposed, and will face a very different bill of amendments pushed in by the powerful and ruthless. KF

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, welcome. Animal farm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsU3CdQdhWs in the 1954 animation. It is of course on Stalinism. KF

  31. 31
    groovamos says:

    I’m not as inclined or as talented as you guys to go into all the intricacies of this issue but I am concise.

    About 2 weeks before the supreme court let the supreme get to its head, the Houston Chronicle posted an arrogant editorial proclaiming the opposition to same sex marriage will die out.

    A week later they were fair enough to publish my letter in the Sunday edition which follows here:

    “The writer of the opinion with the title “A shifting tide” assumes that opposition to “gay marriage” will be quashed and that everyone across the planet will acquiesce to this faddish movement. This is naïvete – with subtitle: “Opposition to gay marriage will eventually be a thing of the past.” Quite the hubris here: that the world will see the correctness of progressive western intellectuals and their hip young acolytes, and will correct their cultures correspondingly.
    Consider: (1) matrimony is a universal, ceremonial framework, worked out over millenia, by planet-wide consensus, as a framework for sex, childbirth, and child rearing. And sanctioned by the spiritual traditions at the root of every culture, despite (minority) offshoots from the one man, one woman model. (2): State involvement in the matrimonial institution has always been accommodation to the institutional framework, NEVER (until the last twenty years) vice versa so as to accommodate social experimentation. And that is what history will show this to be. We have decided that our society is the right one to take this dangerous experimental road, deviating from the universal framework.
    Now to head off anticipated criticism of consideration (1) e.g.: “Why should the State license marriages involving sterile partners?” But really, should the State test every person for fertility before granting a license?
    I hope people will see the hubris behind the “gay marriage” movement and wake up to what it is: a modern day experiment likely to fail based on thousands of years of universal practice.

  32. 32
    Axel says:

    Your #17, harry.

    It sounds to me as if my definition of Socialism, based on the record of the Labour Party after WWII, doesn’t accord at all with its definition as held by Pius Xi, who sounds very insightful.

    It was founded by an ex-miner, Protestant lay-preacher, Keir Hardie, who stated that everything he had ever aspired to in politics was based on his reading of the Gospel. Unfortunately, the party, even at the beginning doesn’t seem to have comprised too many other Christians, if any, and it was bound to go down hill with the passage of time; especially with the not-so-crypto fascist backwoodsmen in the Tory party beavering away, while biding their time.

    It was the best possible epoch in the history of the world for the poorer folk. Even with little money in the early years, there was virtually full employment, subsidised canteens in the workplace, paid holidays, NHS, free education up to doctorate level, I believe, and state scholarships.

    I saw a photo in the Guardian of kids of about nine years, in their little winter coats, and thought what fat chance they’d have of being as well and as warmly attired today. In France, they call those first three decades, Les Trente Glorieuses.

    I think what saved the Labour party during the latter part, was ironically the same perverse-seeming dispensation of divine providence that has seen our public schools, those bastions of privilege, also turning out to be one of the last and strongest bastions of Christianity (however ambiguously in economic matters).

    I mean that the Christian ethos the Tories of that day preserved for so long, while in opposition and alternately in office, provided a leavening of the Government’s policies which could have taken an atheist turn much sooner, and managed to put a brake on such as were beginning to be initiated.

    The result was that though church-going was always at a low level, people’s minds and hearts were permeated by the Christian ethos unconsciously, so that what goes on today in science would have been readily recognised as beneath even Frankenstein, Mengele and the Nazis. They still sang, ‘Abide with Me’ at the FA Cup Finals, and my stepfather, who usually seemed at best, agnostic, ofter spoke of it affectionately and with a certain wonder.

    As the puppet-politician rueful murmured on leaving No 10, ‘It’s a funny old world.’

    PS: Thanks, KF.

  33. 33
    Al Hobbin says:

    Barry, correct me if I am wrong, but democracy is not about the will if the majority. I am sure that the majority would agree to get rid if (or greatly reduce) taxes. Democracy is about electing officials who you have give temporary authority to make decisions for you.

    I don’t recall there being a referendum to abolish slavery, give women the vote, give Chinese immigrants the vote, intern Japanese citizens during the war, etc., etc., etc. some government (and court) decisions are good and some are bad. But, unfortunately, it often takes many years to conclude which.

    I don’t understand homosexuality, but I do know that allowing them to marry is not harming me, my family, my marriage, or society. Given that, I would lean in favour of allowing SSM.

  34. 34
    Eugen says:

    Kairos

    Thanks for additional links and comments. We hope our opponents will come out of their shallowness and consider the serious issues.

  35. 35
    Barry Arrington says:

    Al Hobbin @ 33

    Barry, correct me if I am wrong, but democracy is not about the will if the majority.

    OK. You are wrong. That is what the word means “demos” “cracy” people rule. In the US we do not live in a pure democracy. We live in a democratic republic. The law is that the majority rules absolutely except in those narrow areas circumscribed by the constitution. IOW, where the constitution is silent the people rule. The constitution is silent on same sex marriage. Therefore, the will of the people is supreme on that issue. Or would be if the five in the majority had not broken their oath of office to support and uphold the constitution (instead of subverting it).

    I am sure that the majority would agree to get rid if (or greatly reduce) taxes.

    And you are wrong again. Even most pure democracies understand the need for taxes.

    Democracy is about electing officials who you have give temporary authority to make decisions for you.

    That is how our system is supposed to work. Thanks for making my point for me. Democracy is not about having an unelected, unaccountable, life tenured committee of five lawyers ram their policy preferences down your throat under the guise of interpreting the constitution.

    I don’t recall there being a referendum to abolish slavery, give women the vote, give Chinese immigrants the vote, intern Japanese citizens during the war, etc., etc., etc.

    Wrong again. Ever heard of the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments? Japanese internment was the only area you mention where there was no constitutional amendment. There was no need for one. The constitution prohibited it already. Sadly, the Supreme Court failed to uphold the constitution in that case too and told the interns they could rot in the camps. So, that does not make your case either.

    some government (and court) decisions are good and some are bad. But, unfortunately, it often takes many years to conclude which.

    Wrong yet again. We are not taking about whether same-sex marriage is a bad idea. We are talking about the legitimacy of the court lying about having the power to force us to accept it against our will.

    I don’t understand homosexuality, but I do know that allowing them to marry is not harming me, my family, my marriage, or society. Given that, I would lean in favour of allowing SSM.

    Then let’s have a vote, and if your side has more votes we will allow it. That is not what happened.

  36. 36
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Barry writes,

    Might makes right. Progressives want what they want, and they will crush those who oppose their will to power. And it is not enough to achieve their policy objectives. Dissent is not allowed. Progressive Tanya Cohen writes:

    it’s just common sense that freedom of speech doesn’t give anyone the right to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, vilify, incite hatred or violence, be impolite or uncivil, disrespect, oppose human rights, spread lies or misinformation, argue against the common good, or promote ideas which have no place in society.

    And who decides what is the “common good” and “ideas that have no place in society”? Why Tanya Cohen and her friends of course.

    Ah ha hahahaa!! You’ve been punked. The Tanya Cohen piece is satire:

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150106/17571729615/best-satire-about-attack-free-speech-that-you-could-ever-read.shtml

  37. 37
    StephenB says:

    Great post, Barry. The theme is compelling and the analysis is accurate. I was a joy to read.

  38. 38
    StephenB says:

    Nick

    Ah ha hahahaa!! You’ve been punked. The Tanya Cohen piece is satire:

    Nick, you are a regular riot. You have punked yourself. Cohen’s incredibly stupid remarks are meant in earnest. Don’t try to be a literary critic. It isn’t your thing.

    You appear to have little practice at grasping the central theme in a piece of writing. I suspect it is because you ignore the main argument and search out isolated words and phrases to pounce on, as you did here.

  39. 39
    mike1962 says:

    Nick M: You’ve been punked. The Tanya Cohen piece is satire:

    From Tanya Cohen’s rant: “This new human rights law will set up state surveillance of intolerant citizens, including those who voice anti-feminist views and those who voice overt approval of a totalitarian ideology.”

    I must admit, this the clincher. It’s gotta be satire. At least I thought so at first.

    But then…

    Look how many articles she’s written about this:

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/tanya-cohen/

    Plus she’s got a similar rant in the Daily Kos

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....-in-the-US

    Hard to believe the Daily Kos knowingly published this as a satire piece, since the nut jobs at the Daily Kos probably accept most, if not all, of this sputtering drivel.

    According to the bio on the Daily Kos:

    “Tanya Cohen is an Australian-born human rights activist and writer who has worked for Amnesty International, the Human Rights Law Centre, the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, the Human Rights Working Group of the Greens NSW, and the NSW Council for Civil Liberties”

    I think the woman is off her rocker and dead-ass serious. Doesn’t seem like satire at this point.

    Would you like a napkin to wipe that egg off your face, Nick?

  40. 40
    Barry Arrington says:

    Nick @ 36, you are the one who has been punked.

    Here is the original article in its entirety:

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/tany.....n-america/

    Readers can judge for themselves whether it is satire. (Or whether Masnik is in full damage control mode, because a progressive crazy is saying what the rest of you think).

    If it is satire, it is an example of Poe’s Law in action:
    “without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, parodies of extreme views will, to some readers, be indistinguishable from sincere expressions of the parodied views.”

  41. 41
    goodusername says:

    I’m pretty certain that the stuff from Tanya satire. I tried finding any evidence of her existence prior to the article and found nothing – which is odd since she claims to have worked for human rights organizations around the world. And I see that someone else found the same thing:
    http://dylankissane.com/tanya-cohen-is-a-fraud/

    (Or whether Masnik is in full damage control mode, because a progressive crazy is saying what the rest of you think).

    I’m pretty sure that’s satire too (or at least facetiousness). But it’s often hard to tell here. (More Poe’s Law in action.)

  42. 42
    mike1962 says:

    If “Tonya Cohen” can make a monkey out of the Daily Kos, that’s alright by me.

    One commenter said:

    Greg: I knew Tanya online before she changed her name and wiped her old blog. Don’t know why she has become so obsessed with hate speech (which for the record I do think is a problem, but not to the extent she portrays it…) but she definitely misrepresents herself alot now.

    We’ll have to wait and see.

    At any rate, what’s fun about this is that it’s quite difficult to tell the difference between the views of the extreme left and satires of it.

  43. 43
    Al Hobbin says:

    Barry: “Wrong again. Ever heard of the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments? Japanese internment was the only area you mention where there was no constitutional amendment.”

    But my question was about whether they required a referendum of the people. All of the amendments that you listed were not decided by a majority vote of the people, they were enacted as the result of ratification by the state legislatures.

    But my understanding of the court decision (and I admit that as a Canadian, my knowledge of the process is weak) is that it did not involve a redefinition of marriage. Simply that the states had no grounds to prevent SSM.

    As I mentioned, I don’t understand homosexuality, but nobody has provided a logically valid reason why they should not be allowed to marry. Most arguments I have heard were religious, which do not apply to civil marriages, or some lame biological rationale which is just a poor attempt to hide the religious reason behind it.

    But I live in Canada where SSM has been the law of the land for over ten years and I have not seen any of the dire consequences that were predicted. Maybe they will arise over time, but there have been no trends suggesting that they will come about.

  44. 44
    goodusername says:

    mike1962,

    At any rate, what’s fun about this is that it’s quite difficult to tell the difference between the views of the extreme left and satires of it.

    I can’t disagree with that, but it goes for the extremists on both sides.

    Here’s a pretty humorous example from the far right: Here are the editors of Conservapedia struggling with how to tell the difference between satirical articles by liberals and the real thing – and even some of the editors feel it might be hopeless:

    http://www.conservapedia.com/D.....iberals%3F

  45. 45
    bpragmatic says:

    “I can’t disagree with that, but it goes for the extremists on both sides.”

    Both sides of what?

  46. 46
    Dylan says:

    I saw this post pop up in my referrers list and was glad to see that there were some other people not suckered in by Tanya Cohen and her nonsense.

    Cohen has been pretty quiet of recent months. I had her pegged from the start as satire but was enjoying watching her ‘long troll’ unroll. There’s a good chance she is working the left/progressive side and dreaming of landing a post or article on a major site – something a little larger than Thought Catalog or a diary on Kos, anyway – and then revealing herself to be a button-pressing satirist.

    Still, it takes a lot of effort to keep up a troll for that long and I suspect she’s grown tired of the work. From time to time her Twitter fee includes a plea to a journalist or a question like ‘did you get my article?’, but she’s otherwise disappeared right now.

    If anyone is interested, I’ve posted about her background and CV a few times in addition to the link goodusername @ 41 posted above, including this post where I started looking into her background and found that she had invented it – with follow up posts here and here demonstrating she was using the name of prominent organizations to promote her ideas without any principles. My ideas about her playing the long troll are laid out in a little more detail here.

  47. 47
    goodusername says:

    bpragmatic,

    Both sides of what?

    Of the political spectrum – i.e extreme left and extreme right. (Assuming there is such a thing – perhaps “all sides” would be more accurate.)

  48. 48
    Andre says:

    I’ve learnt two fascinating bits of history this week….

    1.) People care more about animals than humans.
    2.) The KKK was formed by democrats.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Polanyi says:

    //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//

    Barry, the interesting thing is, these words are found no where in the Bible. Jefferson was likely quoting Locke here, but he was not getting this from the Bible. Sure, according to the Bible, we are all equal, in the sense that we are all guilty of sin.

    “In his well-known book Christian Faith and Modern Democracy, Robert P. Kraynak argues that Christianity is inherently illiberal and undemocratic. Nowhere does Scripture prescribe democracy or speak of human rights, Kraynak points out, let alone call for a separation of religion and politics. And while the Bible affirms the dignity of every single human being by virtue of her creation in the image of God, the image of God is conceived in primarily spiritual terms, in which obedience to God is more essential than liberty.”

    https://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/is-christianity-inherently-undemocratic-hierarchy-and-predestination/

  51. 51
    Starbuck says:

    Waahhhhhh I don’t get to be a bigot anymore waaaah the government is forcing me to treat people equally wahaahahhhhhh I can’t hate people and blame it on an ancient book written by goat herders waaaah

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    Polanyi,

    The Bible makes it clear that we are equally created in the image of God, derive from one common ancestral chain, and are of equal moral-spiritual worth.

    Here is Paul, speaking to the intellectual elites in Athens c AD 50, and though them to the whole world in what has to be the most striking counter to racism, jingoism and xenophobia on record:

    Ac 17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

    24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

    26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

    29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

    Men, specifically, are made in the image of God and hold a dignity and worth that stems from that.

    In that context, we see also an establishment of a transcending equality in our nature as transformed by God that radically relativises distinctions of class, race or sex:

    Gal 3: 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    So also, in the context of citizenship t5he same apostle teaches:

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Further, here is just one context on freedom by the same:

    1 Cor 7:17 Only let each person lead the life[c] that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant[d] when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants[e] of men. 24 So, brothers,[f] in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

    I suggest that such and much more calls into question your knowledge base to speak so dismissively as you just did.

    Just a bit earlier I dealt with Philemon and onwards to the broader issues of the major Christian contribution to the roots of modern constitutional democracy:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-573909

    . . . with remarks on the broader cultural pattern and trends here a little earlier:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-573898

    Where of course, Locke (who is profoundly influenced by the Judaeo-Christian tradition and its thought) in seeking to ground what would become modern liberty and democracy, grounds it in the law and duties of nature, evident through our sense of what we are owed and what we owe in turn. He does this, by citing, in Ch 2 sect 5 ofhis 2nd treatise of civil govt, “the judicious [Anglican Canon Richard] Hooker [in his Ecclesiastical Polity]” — as last appeared at 27 above:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity, preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    In short, the pivotal issue is the civil peace of justice, which turns on a proper balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities among those who are equals in nature first by Creation and our resulting common ancestry then by the New Creation. Where if you have a right to your life, liberty etc that you may fulfill your proper purpose under God and so find true happiness [and yes, that is the underlying context] it is because we have a duty to respect such. That is, a right, properly is a binding moral expectation to be respected in particular ways rooted in our inherent dignity and worth as human beings. Which through the question of the IS that properly grounds OUGHT, points to the only serious candidate, the inherently good Creator God — a necessary and maximally great being genuinely worthy of loyalty an reasonable service by doing the good in accordance with our evident nature.

    Beyond, I point here for a 101 on the Judaeo-Christian contribution to the roots of modern liberty and democratic self government:

    http://www.angelfire.com/pro/k.....htm#librts

    As for your academic and book author, he is declaiming on a now all too common theme that can only prosper because for generations many people have been increasingly cut off from our civilisation’s roots and history.

    I think it appropriate to here cite the last of the great calvinist statesmen, Abraham Kuyper, in his remarks on the American Revolution etc [IIRC from his 1897 Princeton Stone Lectures on Calvinism]:

    The three great revolutions in the Calvinistic world left untouched the glory of God, nay, they even proceeded from the acknowledgement of His majesty. Every one will admit this of our [Dutch] rebellion against Spain, under William the Silent. Nor has it even been doubted of the “glorious Revolution,” [1688, England] which was crowned by the arrival of William III of Orange and the overthrow of the Stuarts. But it is equally true of your own Revolution. It is expressed in so many words in the Declaration of Independence, by John Hancock [first signer and symbol of the others], that the Americans asserted themselves by virtue –“of the law of nature and of nature’s God”; that they acted –“as endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights”; that they appealed to “the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intention”;3 and that they sent forth their “declaration of Independence” –“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”4 in the “Articles of Confederation” it is confessed in the preamble, –“that it hath pleased the great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the legislators.”5 It is also declared in the preamble of the Constitution of many of the States: –“Grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty, which He has so long permitted us to enjoy and looking unto Him, for a blessing upon our endeavors.”6 God is there honored as “the Sovereign Ruler,”7 and the “Legislator of the Universe”8 and it is there specifically admitted, that from God alone the people received “the right to choose their own form of government.”9 In one of the meetings of the Convention, Franklin proposed, in a moment of supreme anxiety, that they should ask wisdom from God in prayer. And if any one should still doubt whether or not the American revolution was homogeneous with that of Paris, this doubt is fully set at rest by the bitter fight in 1793 between Jefferson and Hamilton. Therefore it remains as the German historian Von Holtz stated it: “Es ware Thorheit zu sagen dass die Rousseauschen Schriften einen Einfluss auf die Entwicklung in America ausgeubt haben.”10 (“Mere madness would it be to say that the American revolution borrowed its impelling energy from Rousseau and his writings.”) Or as Hamilton himself expressed it, that he considered “the French Revolution to be no more akin to the American Revolution than the faithless wife in a French novel is like the Puritan matron in New England.”11

    The French Revolution is in principle distinct from all these national revolutions, which were undertaken with praying lips and with trust in the help of God. The French Revolution ignores God. It opposes God. It refuses to recognize a deeper ground of political life than that which is found in nature, that is, in this instance, in man himself. Here the first article of the confession of the most absolute infidelity is “ni Dieu ni maitre.” The sovereign God is dethroned and man with his free will is placed on the vacant seat. It is the will of man which determines all things. All power, all authority proceeds from man. Thus one comes from the individual man to the many men; and in those many men conceived as the people, there is thus hidden the deepest fountain of all sovereignty . . . It is a sovereignty of the people therefore, which is perfectly identical with atheism. And herein lies its self-abasement. In the sphere of Calvinism, as also in your Declaration, the knee is bowed to God, while over against man the head is proudly lifted up. But here, from the standpoint of the sovereignty of the people, the fist is defiantly clenched against God, while man grovels before his fellowmen, tinseling over this self-abasement by the ludicrous fiction that, thousands of years ago, men, of whom no one has any remembrance, concluded a political contract, or, as they called it, “Contrat Social.” Now, do you ask for the result? Then, let History tell you how the rebellion of the Netherlands, the “glorious Revolution” of England and your own rebellion against the British Crown have brought liberty to honor; and answer for yourself the question: Has the French Revolution resulted in anything else but the shackling of liberty in the irons of State-omnipotence? Indeed, no country in our 19th century has had a sadder State history than France.

    And, much more can be said.

    KF

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    Starbuck,

    Do you actually have something substantial to argue on merits, and can you actually ground equality and rights, addressing the IS-OUGHT gap and the underlying nature of moral government and lawfulness . . . as opposed to might and manipulation making ‘right’ under dubious colour of law?

    Where, it is probably appropriate to here expand Plato’s warning on evolutionary materialism, radical relativism and nihilistic factionalism in The Laws Bk X, 2350 years ago now:

    Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them.

    KF

  54. 54
    Polanyi says:

    Kairos

    I get that God is the creator of all of us, I get that the Bible says we are all created in his image, the crucial question is, of course is what this means.

    The point remains, the words “we are all created equal” simply does not appear in the Bible, anywhere.

    Genesis does not read “in the beginning, God created us all equal”. It is simply not there, progressives are reading things between the texts.

    Also, the American founding fathers (some of whom were probably free masons) were not trying to create a democracy, they founded a republic, in fact, the setup many safeguards in the hope that it would not evolve into a democracy, as they understood, it naturally evolves into tyranny.

    Democracy is not only a bad form of government, it actually had a very negative impact on Christianity, just look at France, 200 years of democracy and Christianity is effectively dead there.

  55. 55
    Zachriel says:

    mahuna: The Left Wing was originally and remains today about people who desire the central government (originally the king of France) to hold all power while the Right Wing (originally land-owning nobles and the new merchant class) desires laws and traditions that protect ownership of private property and rights of the individual.

    That is exactly backwards. Those who supported the Ancien Régime sat to the right, while those who opposed the Ancien Régime sat on the left. Hence, the left is defined as support for greater equality, «Liberté, égalité, fraternité», while the right is defined as support for existing hierarchical institutions.


    edited for brevity

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    Polanyi

    Equality in nature and moral-spiritual worth, owed the same core duties of justice, can be summarised as created equal and endowed with unalienable rights.

    If all you were saying was that the summary phrase in the US DoI does not appear in specifically equivalent phrasing in Hebrew or Koine Greek, that is of no consequence. The obvious issue is there is no substance that accords, especially given your onward citation.

    In short, the Judaeo-Christian scriptural-theological tradition does patently warrant that we are equal in profound ways and stand on the same basis of being owed duties of core justice: thou shalt not steal another’s life, property or innocent reputation etc.

    And yes, the US Founders did not wish to found a “pure” democracy [which often deteriorates into factionalism and mob rule], but a constitutional republic resting on the consent of the governed and pivoting on the duty of the state to uphold the civil peace of justice. In turn, with that justice rooted in the transcendent law of nature and of nature’s God, that is they acknowledged that we are under moral government through law embedded in our interior life, inherent worth as made in God’s image and fundamental equality entailing that the rights tied to justice are universal.

    That is, a republic of democratic character — “We the People . . .” they begin — rooted in ethical theism as carried down in the Judaeo-Christian tradition and expressed in “the blessings of liberty.” This, a covenantal word that is pregnant with context given for instance Congressional proclamations that called the people to penitence, prayer and thanksgiving in a highly specifically Christian, double covenant context: nationhood and government under the judgement and rule of God.

    Justice in government and community is in fact a dominant biblical theme.

    One, in which it is not irrelevant that the death of Messiah is a judicial murder carried out by corrupt ruthless elites complete with rent a crowd, with ordinary decent people powerless to do more than stand by weeping and with the few who tried to stand up for the right among the ruling classes brushed aside or only able to take the symbolic action of requesting the body and laying the dead prophet in their own intended tomb.

    Forever after, every Christian cross on a church spire or hanging around a neck is at once a symbol of God’s redemption: that was Friday, but Sunday was a-coming, and a warning about the depth of entrenched sin and even wickedness in our hearts, especially among power classes.

    As for the ongoing walkaway from God across our civilisation, it is not those factors as just outlined that are pivotal, but the ignoring and suppression for generations. (I suggest you may find here on in context an interesting 101: http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.....ml#u2xfrmn )

    KF

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    insofar as :Left” and “Right” still have meaning, the left is statist-socialist [with fascism a variant just right of Communism], the right on one fork is libertarian-anarchist, and the centre is a tussle between classical liberals now called conservatives as centre-right and welfare state “liberals” as centre-left.

    The older fork (as I said, insofar as this L/R thing has any real use now) would put older Monarchy on the right and liberals to their left.

    What seems to have happened is that old fashioned monarchy died in our civilisation, and the spectrum moved left, so that classical liberals (having more or less won) became the new conservatives. In that context libertarianism is an extension of conservativism, towards minimalist state, which leaves anarchy to be grafted on as the further yet right. And where old fashioned monarchy still exists, one has to fork the spectrum to make a coherent picture.

    That is my best conceptualisation based on how I have found the terms used over the past generation.

    What I really think is, it is outdated terminology that has morphed in meaning in the very strangest ways, e.g. in Stalin’s day he saw everything to his right as right wing, thus the enduring tag of Fascism and the national socialist german worker’s/labour party as “right wing.” Then when the communists re-emerged post USSR collapse they were trying to go back to the old days so were tagged right wing in things I saw.

    I guess we have to live with the utterly confusing terms.

    Progressives seem to be the left of the centre left, and are deeply influenced by the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory reworking of Marxism that issued in X-studies, X ranging across a wide swath of the post-modern academy.

    Monarchy, oddly can crop up anywhere but the anarchist right: North Korea is clearly a Stalinist Monarchy, Italy as a Fascist state was a monarchy, Britain, Australia New Zealand and Canada along with a good slice of the Commonwealth are monarchies, much of W Europe is still monarchical, and there are old fashioned monarchies in other parts of the world.

    KF

  58. 58
    Heartlander says:

    FYI:

    What is Left? What is Right?

    What Is Left? What Is Right? It is extremely unfortunate that the writers on political philosophy today have undertaken to measure various issues in terms of political parties instead of political power. No doubt the American Founding Fathers would have considered this modern measuring stick most objectionable, even meaningless.

    Today, as we mentioned, it is popular in the classroom as well as the press to refer to “Communism on the left,” and “Fascism on the right.” People and parties are often called “Leftist,” or “Rightist.” The public do not really understand what they are talking about.

    These terms actually refer to the manner in which the various parties are seated in the parliaments of Europe. The radical revolutionaries (usually the Communists) occupy the far left and the military dictatorships (such as the Fascists) are on the far right. Other parties are located in between.

    Measuring people and issues in terms of political parties has turned out to be philosophically fallacious if not totally misleading. This is because the platforms or positions of political parties are often superficial and structured on shifting sand. The platform of a political party of one generation can hardly be recognized by the next. Furthermore, Communism and Fascism turned out to be different names for approximately the same thing ~ the police state. They are not opposite extremes but, for all practical purposes, are virtually identical.

    The American Founding Fathers Used a More Accurate Yardstick

    Government is defined in the dictionary as “a system of ruling or controlling,” and therefore the American Founders measured political systems in terms of the amount of coercive power or systematic control which a particular system of government exercises over its people. In other words, the yardstick is not political parties, but political power.

    Using this type of yardstick, the American Founders considered the two extremes to be anarchy on the one hand, and tyranny on the other. At the one extreme of anarchy there is no government, no law, no systematic control and no governmental power, while at the other extreme there is too much control, too much political oppression, too much government. Or, as the Founders called it, “tyranny.”

    The object of the Founders was to discover the “balanced center” between these two extremes. They recognized that under the chaotic confusion of anarchy there is “no law,” whereas at the other extreme the law is totally dominated by the ruling power and is therefore “Ruler’s Law.” What they wanted to establish was a system of “People’s Law,” where the government is kept under the control of the people and political power is maintained at the balanced center with enough government to maintain security, justice, and good order, but not enough government to abuse the people.
    The 5,000 Year LeapW. Cleon Skousen

  59. 59
    StephenB says:

    Dylan

    If anyone is interested, I’ve posted about her background and CV a few times in addition to the link goodusername @ 41 posted above, including this post where I started looking into her background and found that she had invented it – with follow up posts here and here demonstrating she was using the name of prominent organizations to promote her ideas without any principles. My ideas about her playing the long troll are laid out in a little more detail here.

    I am not clear on what you are trying to say. Is it your contention that Tanya Cohen is an enemy of hate crime laws and is using satire to lampoon those who believe in them? That seems like quite a stretch.

    Troll or no troll, prominent or not, identified or unidentified, (she?) is clearly an advocate of wide ranging hate crime laws. It hardly makes sense to suggest that uses irony to make her own ideas look stupid.

    Putting aside her intentions for the moment, she doesn’t have the skill to make “suckers” out of anyone. A good satirical piece is always appreciated for what it is. You don’t have to wonder about it. If more people than not think she is serious, then it more reasonable to assume that she is serious.

    Equally important, it doesn’t make sense to suggest that she would write things she doesn’t really believe in order to gain a moment of fame. What would be the point of taking center stage only to confess that you had not been sincere in your stated convictions?

    I am not buying any of it. Most likely she is simply an inconsequential progressive who supports free speech–for liberals only. The take home point is this: Inside every progressive is a Fascist screaming to get out.

    Progressives cannot win by debating. They win by shutting down debate and by destroying the reasoned standards for debate. Progressivism is anti-intellectual. Progressivism is chaos. Progressivism is Tanya Cohen, whatever kind of thing he/she/it turns out to be.

  60. 60
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: insofar as :Left” and “Right” still have meaning, the left is statist-socialist [with fascism a variant just right of Communism], the right on one fork is libertarian-anarchist, and the centre is a tussle between classical liberals now called conservatives as centre-right and welfare state “liberals” as centre-left.

    Military dictatorships allied with business elites are not libertarian by any means, but are considered right-wing.

    kairosfocus: What seems to have happened is that old fashioned monarchy died in our civilisation, and the spectrum moved left, so that classical liberals (having more or less won) became the new conservatives.

    That’s correct. The center moved. While classical liberals advocated greater equality in their day, opposed to the entrenched interests of the aristocracy, the modern world has moved towards economic equality, such as labor rights, limited workweeks, a minimal social safety net, etc. Hence, classical liberals are to the right of the current middle.

    Indeed, the middle has been moving left since the Renaissance, and certainly since the revolutionary period.

    kairosfocus: In that context libertarianism is an extension of conservativism, towards minimalist state, which leaves anarchy to be grafted on as the further yet right.

    There are libertarians and anarchists on the left and on the right. There are authoritarians on the left and on the right.

    If your use of the term were correct, there would be no such thing as authoritarian governments on the right, which were very prevalent during the Cold War, and still exist today in places, and are often politically active in liberal societies.

    Heartlander: “Communism and Fascism turned out to be different names for approximately the same thing ~ the police state.

    The police state is a means. The dichotomy of left-right is defined by ends. Communists advocated for absolute equality, which meant the destruction of the class structure; hence, “reeducation”. Fascists advocated for absolute inequality, which meant the destruction or enslavement of inferior races. There is no possibility of being reeducated from being a Jew, as it was considered a racial classification.

    Scholars and the public have nearly universally described fascism as a political movement on the right.

  61. 61

    I wrote a short story a few years back that is apropos this OP and many of the comments. A summary of the story is as follows:
    <blockquote "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

    Ronald Reagan

    This is a story of how such a conversation might sound in a dystopian future.
    A dystopia is a community or society that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of a utopia. Such societies appear in many artistic works, particularly in stories set in a future. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. Dystopian societies appear in many sub-genres of fiction and are often used to draw attention to real-world issues regarding society, environment, politics, economics, religion, psychology, ethics, science, and/or technology, which if unaddressed could potentially lead to such a dystopia-like condition.

    Famous depictions of dystopian societies include Nineteen Eighty-Four, which takes place in a totalitarian invasive super state; Brave New World, where the human population is placed under a caste of psychological allocation; Fahrenheit 451, where the state burns books out of fear of what they may incite; A Clockwork Orange, where the state undertakes to reform violent youths, but at what cost?
    </blockquote

    The book can be found at:
    http://www.blurb.com/b/5113602.....rtment-620

  62. 62
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Polanyi

    Also, the American founding fathers (some of whom were probably free masons)

    [edit] A significant percentage of them were. Masonry was a very strong influence in the development of a secular republic-democracy.

  63. 63
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: Military dictatorships allied with business elites are not libertarian by any means, but are considered right-wing.

    That is their confusion. Some of those same jokers call Hitler’s government “right wing” too. Laughable.

    If your use of the term were correct, there would be no such thing as authoritarian governments on the right

    There aren’t. It’s merely incoherent or deliberate semantic confusion.

  64. 64
    Heartlander says:

    Zachriel@60

    Fascists advocated for absolute inequality, which meant the destruction or enslavement of inferior races. There is no possibility of being reeducated from being a Jew, as it was considered a racial classification.

    You are describing Nazism, not fascism – both are forms of socialism but Nazism has the racist element (Aryanism).

    Scholars and the public have nearly universally described fascism as a political movement on the right.

    This is correct for Europe – but socialism/fascism is not advocated by the ‘right’ in America.

  65. 65
    Zachriel says:

    mike1962: That is their confusion.

    Words are defined by usage, and redefinition is not a valid argument. The terms left and right with regards to politics have been relatively consistent over generations.

    Heartlander: socialism/fascism is not advocated by the ‘right’ in America.

    Of course not. Just because someone is on the political right doesn’t mean they are on the extreme right, much less fascist.

  66. 66
    Zachriel says:

    Encyclopedia Britannica: left, In politics, the portion of the political spectrum associated in general with egalitarianism and popular or state control of the major institutions of political and economic life. The term dates from the 1790s, when in the French revolutionary parliament the socialist representatives sat to the presiding officer’s left. Leftists tend to be hostile to the interests of traditional elites, including the wealthy and members of the aristocracy, and to favour the interests of the working class (see proletariat).

    Encyclopedia Britannica: right, portion of the political spectrum associated with conservative political thought. The term derives from the seating arrangement of the French revolutionary parliament (c. 1790s) in which the conservative representatives sat to the presiding officer’s right. In the 19th century the term applied to conservatives who supported authority, tradition, and property. In the 20th century a divergent, radical form developed that was associated with fascism.

  67. 67
    Heartlander says:

    See: Liberal Fascism

    See also (regarding racism): The Democrats Owe Blacks an Apology

  68. 68
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: See: Liberal Fascism

    Historians and political scientists are not impressed. In any case, we understand the right has recently attempted to redefine the terminology.

  69. 69
    Dylan says:

    StephenB,

    Yes – essentially I think the Tanya Cohen persona is someone from the right writing in the exaggerated style of an anti-free speech leftist. The arguments that are mounted, the appeals to popularity (even if those positions aren’t popular outside of a small sub-set of far-left activists), and the consistent and eager attempts to try and find her way into media outlets that are bigger than what she has already managed on Kos and Thought Catalog suggest an enthusiasm that just doesn’t seem real.

    I admit that there is a chance that she could be for real, and that she could really believe every word she is writing. But it all reads a little too exaggerated to me.

    That said, when you write…

    Progressives cannot win by debating. They win by shutting down debate and by destroying the reasoned standards for debate. Progressivism is anti-intellectual. Progressivism is chaos. Progressivism is Tanya Cohen, whatever kind of thing he/she/it turns out to be.

    …I agree. I think we differ only on whether Cohen is sincere in her progressivism or simply taking on that progressive persona.

    Thanks for the response.

  70. 70
    Heartlander says:

    Zachriel@68
    Rand Paul (Libertarian), Scott Walker (anti-union), Ben Carson (anti-socialized medicine) – vs.- Bernie Sanders (Socialist), Hillary Clinton (Progressive)

    This isn’t difficult…

  71. 71
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: This isn’t difficult

    No, it’s not.

    Walker, Carson, Pinochet, Franco; right
    Clinton, Sanders, King, Mao; left

    If you equate, incorrectly, the left with government authority, then you would end up calling Pinochet or Franco leftists, while you would call hippies living in a rural commune right wingers, which is just silly. It means your definition is not consistent with how people use the terms.

  72. 72
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: Words are defined by usage, and redefinition is not a valid argument. The terms left and right with regards to politics have been relatively consistent over generations.

    Stupidly and confusingly.

    You’re free to continue with the stupidity of it if you wish.

  73. 73
    Heartlander says:

    Zachriel@71
    Again, American ‘right/left’ is not fascism vs. communism – it is less government vs. more government.

  74. 74
    Barry Arrington says:

    StephenB @ 59

    Progressives cannot win by debating. They win by shutting down debate

    A point Starbuck helpfully demonstrated @ 51.

    Waahhhhhh I don’t get to be a bigot anymore waaaah the government is forcing me to treat people equally wahaahahhhhhh I can’t hate people and blame it on an ancient book written by goat herders waaaah

    Starbuck, you seem to have found your niche – demonstrating the utter vacuity of progressive ideas. Thank you.

  75. 75
    Zachriel says:

    mike1962: Stupidly and confusingly.

    We’ve provided references above. Handwaving is not an argument.

    Heartlander: Again, American ‘right/left’ is not fascism vs. communism – it is less government vs. more government.

    That is not the case. It was the political right which has defended laws against sodomy, birth control, women’s suffrage, and integration.

  76. 76
    mike1962 says:

    Meanwhile in other news…

    Regarding Cecil the Lion…

    Rumor has it that in the weeks prior to Cecil’s untimely death, he ran down a pregnant gazelle, crippled it’s hind legs, ripped into her belly, and then ate her fetus while she was still alive and bleating. Cecil subsequently claimed he was doing research for Planned Parenthood. –Zimbabwe Zack

  77. 77
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: We’ve provided references above. Handwaving is not an argument.

    Words evolve. EB is behind the times. Or don’t you believe in evolution any more?

    Yawn

  78. 78
    Heartlander says:

    Democrats (the left) started state marriage licenses to stop inter-racial marriages – gun control laws to prevent minorities from owning weapons – Republicans ended slavery. But more importantly and to the point, democrats are socialists / progressives (more government)…

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Zachriel says:

    mike1962: Words evolve.

    Sure, but even a cursory look at newspapers and recent scholarship shows that the current definition is reasonably consistent with historical usage.

    Heartlander: Democrats (the left) started state marriage licenses to stop inter-racial marriages

    You’re conflating left wing with the Democratic Party, which used to be a coalition of northern liberals, labor, and southern conservatives. For example, people like Democratic Governor and arch-segregationist George Wallace hated liberal leftists.

    George Wallace: It is therefore a cruel irony that the President of the United States has only yesterday signed into law the most monstrous piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress {the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed racial discrimination}.

    It is a fraud, a sham, and a hoax. This bill will live in infamy…

    With this assassin’s knife and a blackjack in the hand of the Federal force-cult, the left-wing liberals will try to force us back into bondage.
    http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/docu.....-1964-.php

  81. 81
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: Sure, but even a cursory look at newspapers and recent scholarship shows that the current definition is reasonably consistent with historical usage.

    I disagree.

    But then I don’t read the Daily Worker.

  82. 82
    Barry Arrington says:

    Any system that puts Stalin (left) and Hitler (right) on the opposite ends of a spectrum when they had more in common than not is useless at best and affirmatively misleading at worst.

    In today’s politics, Democrats generally lean socialist on fiscal issues and antinomian on social issues. Republicans generally lean toward free markets and individual enterprise on fiscal issues and toward the Judeo-Christian ethic on social issues. If you want to call the former “left” and the latter “right” I suppose it is a somewhat useful shorthand, but it admits of a lot of exceptions and brushes out any nuance.

  83. 83
    StephenB says:

    Dylan

    I admit that there is a chance that she could be for real, and that she could really believe every word she is writing. But it all reads a little too exaggerated to me.

    Perhaps. The total lack of concession on any front, is, indeed, startling. On the other hand, those two organizations she alludes to seem to be all in for hate crime legislation.

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    I think you know I have said the Left/Right spectrum terminology is in significant ways outdated but persistent.

    The sort of branched spectrum I described is a summary of the different usages I have noticed over about 40 years.

    Let me play a bit with some multi-dimensional visualisation ideas, to see how they may help clarify.

    I think:

    DIM 1: statism — limited govt — libertarianisn-anarchy [and on economics state-/cartel-/cronyist centralisaton vs free-market orientation . . . the two go together] is a more valid pattern as is

    DIM2: anarchy- lawfulness – tyranny, and

    DIM-3: autocratic-democratic – anarchic, yielding a cubical matrix.

    Communism is statist-tyrannical-autocratic.

    Fascism was statist-tyannical-autocratic with political messianism, Nazism is basically fascism plus aryan man myth racism.

    Fascist systems tended to be more cartel-cronyist and communists to be collectivist but both undermined freedom of enterprise and markets.

    I see you emphasised militarism, I suspect police state is far more important and central, and tends to go with militarisation and regimentation of society.

    As a personal note, I recall how many houses, offices etc in Cuba were “Zona militar, no pasa!” Likewise, everywhere there were big sloganeering billboards by Committees for the Defence of the Revolution. And self-censorship and fear were noticeable.

    Mind you I fell in love with the Cuban people and saw why both my grandfathers had loved it, especially the agricultural soil — a lot of that reminded me of rich chocolate cake.

    I wish Cuba and Cubans well.

    We can argue about which was more extreme or right-left but there is not a lot of space between the two and their }spectrum} is squeezed into a corner I think no sane body would want to go.. So I guess we can say of the two, family feuds are the worst.

    I noted that yes there is a tendency to say Fascism is right wing (whatever that means beyond where the party might have sat relative to the conventional Communists and Socialists), all I say is it and communism are in a corner of the space where the obvious answer is to move towards the centre.

    Conversely, any trend in that direction is dangerous.

    I suggest, extreme libertarianism and anarchy are Sci Fi space opera style ideas rather than any serious real world circumstance. And I would suggest to anarchists that absence of a sound state acting in defence of the civil peace of justice is an open invitation to an updated version of the Vikings.

    So, the centre is where we seem to want to be: limited but effective, lawful, democratic gov’t.

    The debates are on how to get and stay there, and on which hand to err.

    Also, we can see that if old fashioned monarchy is seen as a non-starter, the main diagonal forms somewhat of a spectrum that puts anarchy and extreme libertarianism at one end and various forms of statist-tyrannical-autocratic police state regimes on the other. (And police state implies massive bureaucracy.)

    With good government clustering in the middle.

    As I noted, with a clear Stalinist monarchy on the cards in its third generation now, monarchy can pop up anywhere but anarchy, this last by definition.

    I’d suggest that autocratic, statist oppressive monarchies come out as close to fascism, which would fit in with Mussolini’s modelling himself after the Roman emperors.

    Less oppressive but not democratic monarchies come out closer to democracy.

    Where, let us remember not all monarchies have been hereditary.

    KF

  85. 85
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Barry writes,

    Nick @ 36, you are the one who has been punked.

    Here is the original article in its entirety:

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/tany.....n-america/

    Readers can judge for themselves whether it is satire. (Or whether Masnik is in full damage control mode, because a progressive crazy is saying what the rest of you think).

    If the probability of satire is reasonably high, as you seem to admit…then there is no egg on my face. Instead, you’ve cited a fake opinion as if it was real evidence of your opponents’ point of view.

    It looks like a ton of crazy right-wing websites have taken the bait also, but further discussion and links in this thread shows (a) yep, it’s satire, the author’s name and affiliations are fake, and (b) the mainstream media, and even the left media, mostly hasn’t bought it.

    mike1962 writes,

    I think the woman is off her rocker and dead-ass serious. Doesn’t seem like satire at this point.

    Would you like a napkin to wipe that egg off your face, Nick?

    I think it’s double egg on the face if you throw the egg and hit yourself!

  86. 86
    Andre says:

    What’s that Nick? Your proof of macro evolution book almost finished? Can’t wait!

  87. 87
    Andre says:

    Nick

    Lets get something straight, it is liberals that want to give governments more power and to intervene as much as possible, it is liberals that want to take away the voices of individuals, if you think this piece is satire, then you are the punked one.

    You crazy lot are incapable of taking responsibility for your own actions, thus you want someone else that can dictate to you what is good and what is not, it falls completely in line with your idiotic belief that there is no such thing as free will.

    Because of the liberal’s inability to stand on his own two feet and being his own man that we are faced with this crap. You sir are one of those!

    And if you need proof of my statement look no further than you, trying to silence those who disagree with you about Darwinian evolution. You don’t give people a platform, you deny it with ridicule. That makes you a hypocrite of the highest order.

    A reminder if you like!

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/arc.....ets-s.html

    In this case you seem to have taken it upon yourself to be the voice of everyone and anyone that differs from you should be shut-up.

  88. 88
    Zachriel says:

    mike1962: I disagree.

    Radio Free Europe: The far-right National Front party made headlines back in November when it accepted an $11 million loan from Russian creditors.

    Politico: If the opinion polls are correct, the right-wing Law and Justice party will take power in October 25 parliamentary elections, and the most immediate consequences may be felt in Warsaw’s relationships abroad.

    FoxNews: Thousands of right wing extremists rally in Slovak capital against refugees, clash with police

    The Christian Post: Analysis: Republicans Need Christian Right to Reach Blacks, Latinos

    kairosfocus: I think you know I have said the Left/Right spectrum terminology is in significant ways outdated but persistent.

    While any simple dichotomy can’t capture the complex nature of human politics, the terms still have currency today. Defining the left as advocacy of increased government is contradicted by the existence of the authoritarian right.

    kairosfocus: Let me play a bit with some multi-dimensional visualisation ideas

    Too much overlap in your dimensions. The more usual way is egalitarian-hierarchical (left-right) and libertarian-authoritarian.

    Andre: it is liberals that want to give governments more power and to intervene as much as possible

    Many conservatives want the government to intervene in the social sphere.

    Liberals balance liberty and equality, so include people with different ranges of opinion on the amount of government. Generally, liberals in the U.S. advocate more government in the economic sphere, but less in the social sphere.

  89. 89
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel,

    Good for the tuna

  90. 90
    Andre says:

    Zach

    Nice try but wrong as usual.

  91. 91
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: Nice try but wrong as usual.

    Handwaving as usual. In the U.S., it’s those on the right who have defended laws against contraception, integration, and sodomy. Around the world, those on the right support even more intrusive laws, up to and including the authoritarian right.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    the problem with the “authoritarian right” terminology is, what determines right vs left?

    If you simply mean, where parties sat in certain European legislatures probably driven by degree of animosity, that is of but little import.

    What everyone agrees on is the far left: radical socialists and communists, so we start from there and work out by degree of loss of family resemblance.

    That’s why I suggested (as one who routinely analyses with mathematical models and use of ordering or ranking scales and uses visualisation to assist in that process) a cubical lattice on three dimensions [the effective max for simple visualisation], in effect inviting, let us actually think for ourselves:

    DIM 1: statism — limited govt — libertarianisn-anarchy [and on economics state-/cartel-/cronyist centralisaton vs free-market orientation . . . the two go together] is a more valid pattern as is

    DIM2: anarchy- lawfulness – tyranny, and

    DIM-3: autocratic-democratic – anarchic, yielding a cubical matrix.

    Communism is totalitarian ideology driven statist and collectivist, it is a tyrannical police state and in the name of liberating workers it notoriously imposes some of the most bloody autocracies ever.

    By contrast, we can readily recognise as the true centre, democratic, limited government constitutionally lawful states. In such states debates and agendas have to start from that cluster, wherever they ultimately want to end up.

    The polar opposite to Communism and its fellow travellers will be: anarchist — no established civil law and no established civil state, with no established state leaders. Nearby will be extreme libertarianism.

    That looks like opposite ends of a main diagonal and a fuzzy middle cluster tugged towards the opposite poles by various factions.

    Monarchy is irrelevant as they crop up everywhere save brutish state of nature or anarchy. Recall, we have now had a third successive king in North Korea, two by hereditary succession. Kings in all but outright name. Oh, I forget, the ghost of the first is also a god, eternal president.

    And this gives a L/R scale along the diagonal that we can live with.

    Now we come to the case tagged by Stalin as Right Wing, Fascism and Nazism.

    The obvious point is that Stalin saw himself as centre of the political world, and so everything not in his corner was “right wing.”

    Propaganda does not get to control reasoned thought.

    What were Fascism and Nazism like?

    My description:

    Fascism was statist-tyannical-autocratic with political messianism, Nazism is basically fascism plus aryan man myth racism. [Let me add a spelling out: National Socialist German Workers/Labour Party that chose red as a main party colour because they were self-consciously socialist.]

    Fascist systems tended to be more cartel-cronyist and communists to be collectivist but both undermined freedom of enterprise and markets.

    I see you emphasised militarism, I suspect police state [part of tyranny] is far more important and central, and tends to go with militarisation and regimentation of society.

    As a personal note, I recall how many houses, offices etc in Cuba were “Zona militar, no pasa!” Likewise, everywhere there were big sloganeering billboards by Committees for the Defence of the Revolution. And self-censorship and fear were noticeable.

    Mind you I fell in love with the Cuban people and saw why both my grandfathers had loved it, especially the agricultural soil — a lot of that reminded me of rich chocolate cake.

    I wish Cuba and Cubans well.

    We can argue about which [of Communism and Fascism] was more extreme or right-left but there is not a lot of space between the two and their “spectrum” is squeezed into a corner I think no sane body would want to go. So I guess we can say of the two, family feuds are the worst.

    I noted that yes there is a tendency to say Fascism is right wing (whatever that means beyond where the party might have sat relative to the conventional Communists and Socialists), all I say is it and communism are in a corner of the space where the obvious answer is to move towards the centre.

    Yes, this implies that those who tend to characterise militarist autocracies often allied to moneyed or institutional interests as “right wing” are not correct, on the view that fascists are radical socialists who realised that state control backed by secret police etc is de facto ownership, and it is easier to co-opt than to attack and overthrow a power class.

    Autocratic dictatorships like those of Latin America come up as effectively variant fascists, and fascists are in the tyranny corner of the space. Peron fits this almost perfectly, and so does Franco, who actually sent Spanish troops to Russia, the Blue Division.

    Where also we should note that Mussolini compared Fascist Italy directly to imperial Rome. Hence the fasces.

    On this model, we started with largely unrepresentative states that were all more or less oppressive, even Athenian Democracy was elitist, rule of the Hoplite armoured infantry class.

    As democratising forces emerged as the longbow, pike and then the musket returned infantry to decisive strength as the middle ages drew to a close, backed by the press and rising literacy thus a general public, we saw the groundwork for greater freedom, extending the spectrum to the centre. Anarchism is not realistic, it is never feasible on the large scale for any significant period, it is only a threat of chaos that opens the door to tyranny on the promise of safety and order.

    So, once we move beyond where parties sat, we see that the real issue is that today’s conservatives are the direct heirs of the classical liberals who won the day, and now we face agendas that will pull us one way or another but will predictably land us back in the oppressive corner if let loose.

    And one of the most dangerous trends is the rise of evolutionary materialist scientism, with the porn-perversion-easy divorce- sexualisation of society agenda racing neck and neck with it. Likely to trigger atomisation, chaos and anarchy on the streets,inviting an agenda of interventions to bring safety and order that have a very familiar ring about them.

    The third big issue is the idolatry of political messianism, looking to states, politicians and ideologies to save us.

    KF

    PS: Let Plato speak in warning on evo-mat nihilism:

    Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them.

  93. 93
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: the problem with the “authoritarian right” terminology is, what determines right vs left?

    Usage. The left advocates egalitarianism. The right is characterized by adherence to traditional hierarchies.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-wing_politics
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics

    kairosfocus: If you simply mean, where parties sat in certain European legislatures probably driven by degree of animosity, that is of but little import.

    They were divided by ideological differences. Those on the left opposed the Ancien Régime, while those on the right supported the Ancien Régime. Those on the left supported greater equality, and those on the right adhered to traditional hierarchies.

    kairosfocus: That’s why I suggested …

    We already pointed out the problem with your chosen dimensional analysis.

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: But, isn’t fascism a RIGHT-WING problem — as in, Hitler was a rabid Christian, and so we have to be concerned about those dangerous theocratic, Bible-thumping fundamentalists? NOPE. KF

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    the radical left uses the agit-prop of equality, and casts everyone to their “right” a reactionary enemy of progress and ally of the Big Man oppressor. (Don’t ever forget I went to a Marxism-dominated university and I think a Nomenklatura is just as much a dangerously oligarchic nobility as the old fashioned kind.)

    The issue is not rhetoric but the reality of what happens on the ground.

    I reject, for cause, the attempt to define politics on the terms of the radical left.

    Instead, I start with who everyone agrees is the far left and then work out from there.

    A 3-d lattice then allows me to see that Fascism-Nazism is an at-daggers drawn superman-above-law political messiah worshipping kissing cousin of Communism smart enough to use state control backed by secret police instead of blatant seizure of major enterprises and cartels.

    It allows me to see that autocratic monarchy is close to fascism, which in part modelled itself on imperial Rome, apart from its adaptations of Marxism.

    The real liberation on this view happened as democratising forces opened up freedom and self government in the period c 1300 – 1800, with the first large scale successful modern democracy being the USA.

    I can see anarchism as the unstable polar opposite of the totalitarian state, which ironically tends to trigger a snap-back to totalitarianism as people give up “freedom” without lawful protection to gain safety and end chaos.

    I can see the centre blob as where the action now is.

    And I can see that a lot of radical secularism is either anarchistic or directly statist-politically messianistic and tends to be nihilistic, also is very often hostile to the ethical theism that undergirds modern liberty and democracy.

    All of that helps me see more and more why I am so pessimistic about prospects for our civilisation.

    I think I am beginning to like looking at things this way.

    KF

  96. 96
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: But, isn’t fascism a RIGHT-WING problem — as in, Hitler was a rabid Christian

    Fascism certainly garnered a great deal of support from traditional forces on the right, however, Hitler wasn’t a rabid Christian as usually construed. He supported religion as a bulwark of traditional values — at least when it didn’t undermine his authority.

    kairosfocus: the radical left uses the agit-prop of equality, and casts everyone to their “right” a reactionary enemy of progress and ally of the Big Man oppressor.

    It doesn’t matter if you agree with the left, or if you point to extreme leftism to color the entire left. You are supporting the usual definition.

    kairosfocus: It allows me to see that autocratic monarchy is close to fascism

    Which puts fascism on the political right, as the term is usually construed.

  97. 97
    Barry Arrington says:

    Nick @ 85:

    You seem to have conveniently ignored the Poe’s Law angle. When we are talking about the fascist ideas of progressive extremists, it is difficult to tell the difference between parody and the real thing. That it is at all plausible that a progressive would hold the views expressed in the article is the real story here.

    Of course you, of all people, should understand this. I would think that your history of attempting to suppress the publication of a book — a classic fascist tactic — would give you special insight into the fascist impulse behind the progressive movement. BTW, Nick, you never answered the question I posed in this post: Nick Matzke, Book Burner? It has been pending for over two years now.

  98. 98
    Heartlander says:

    Speaking of liberal fascism

  99. 99
    drc466 says:

    Zachriel,

    First, taking your definition of “Left” and “Right” from a liberal/left website is guaranteed to give you bad information. Wikipedia is basically useless for politically-charged topics.

    Second, the definition of “right”, “left”, “liberal”, “conservative”, etc. change radically not just over time, generation to generation, but also from country to country. “Right-Wing” extremists in Eastern Europe, the Middle-East, or even Britain, will not have similar viewpoints as “Right-Wing” extremists in the U.S. After all, the “Liberal” party in Australia is…the conservative party. Additionally, once you add the “Extremist” title, it basically means “not in agreement with the non-extremist mainstream”.

    Third, of your FOUR examples of legislation that you think illustrate right-wing big-government advocacy: two (sodomy and “birth control” (abortion)) are straightforward criminal laws that do NOT expand government control or regulation – abortion legislation is, to the right, basically homicide legislation. The other two (anti-suffrage, anti-integration) are (easily) arguably of the left – for example, Civil Rights legislation was pushed by the Republican Party, and resisted by the Democratic Party (home of the KKK). Similarly, the 19th amendment (women’s suffrage) was put forward by Republican Aaron Sargent. At a guess, you are the product of modern liberal-revisionist History courses.

    Fourth, trying to tar today’s American “Right” with a Fascist brush would be similar to tarring today’s American “Left” with the Communist brush – it just doesn’t translate. Some elements of Nazism would be considered “right” – the “Nationalist” traits of patriotism, pro-big business, American exceptionalism, isolationism/anti-illegal immigration. However, the “Socialist” traits are pure “left” – big government, welfare statism, pro-union, security over freedom, environmental extremism, pro-Darwin survival of the fittest. Most of your attempts to associate the modern American right with the less reputable “right” of history (Franco, Pinochet) comes down to a vague respect for patriotism, the military, and the market.

    If you step away from the misleading and misused labels “right”, left”, “liberal”, “conservative”, “radical”, “reactionary”, etc., and focus on the platforms and beliefs of the American Right vs. the American Left, it is an easy argument to make that when considering the primary concerns of big vs. small government, regulation vs. free enterprise, security vs. individual rights, American-exceptionalism vs. anti-Americanism, pro v. anti-Christian, pro-human vs. pro-environment, and respect for tradition vs. respect for breaking with tradition, the majority of traits associated with tyrannies and failed states (communism, dictatorships, socialism and yes, Fascism) line up more closely with the modern American Left. Barry’s association of “Progressives” (the modern American Left) and the will-to-power is an accurate one.

  100. 100
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    My synthetic summary on fascism in the already linked:

    FASCISM: At heart, it is the notion that in a day of “unprecedented” crisis that targets a large — locally dominant or pivotally influential — perceived victim group or class or religious or racial/national body, a super-man figure emerges to rescue the victims; one who is beyond ordinary human powers and limits (including those of morality and just law). A political messiah who stands as champion for the identity group to save it, defending it from the various scapegoated out-groups who are held to be to blame for the victimisation of the in-group. That super-man political messiah then seizes power and is widely recognised as a man of “destiny.” In an atmosphere of hysteria, slander and propagandistic deception that is usually multiplied by chaos and violence or at least riotous assemblies in the streets baying for blood, the power blocs, political, legal, military, corporate, religious, etc then align with him, giving him effectively unlimited power in the face of a crisis. We have now reached the threshold of tyranny. And because of the perceived unprecedented crisis, that super-man “people’s champion” figure is cheered on and supported in taking extraordinary measures; measures that sacrifice liberty and justice for the sake of the promised utopian order. And so reigns of terror and aggressive wars naturally emerge.

    Thus we have personality cult nihilistic messianistic statism joined to a victimised identity group ideology, backed by a secret police apparatus, typically co-opting existing centres of power up to a critical mass, secure in the knowledge that panicked elites will not think far enough ahead to recognise that ruthless state control backed by secret police is tantamount to de facto ownership.

    Of the whole country.

    The pivotal issue is concentration of state power and breakdown of the vision that as of solemn duty under God, the state defends justice down to the least individual without regard to creed, colour, etc. (And here, I openly say that the bloodguilt of 58 million unborn children slaughtered in the USA since 1973 utterly corrodes, corrupts, benumbs and warps judgement and justice in the USA. And that extends to many, many hundreds of millions more around the world. We live in a day of deepest endarkenment claiming to be enlightenment and progress.)

    Well known scholar, Daniel Pipes has some sobering words that chillingly echo one of Mussolini’s mottoes — “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”:

    Benito Mussolini was a leading Socialist figure who, during World War I, turned away from internationalism in favor of Italian nationalism and called the blend Fascism. Likewise, Adolf Hitler headed the National Socialist German Workers Party.

    These facts jar because they contradict the political spectrum that has shaped our worldview since the late 1930s, the political spectrum which places Communism at the far Left, followed by Socialism, Liberalism in the Center, Conservatism, and then Fascism on the far Right. But this spectrum, Jonah Goldberg points out in his brilliant, profound, and original new book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (Doubleday), reflects Joseph Stalin’s use of the word “Fascist” as an epithet to discredit anyone he wished – Trotsky, Churchill, Russian peasants – and distorts reality. Already in 1946, George Orwell noted that Fascism had degenerated to signify “something not desirable.”

    To understand Fascism in its full expression requires putting aside Stalin’s misrepresentation of the term and also look beyond the Holocaust, and, instead, return to the period Goldberg terms the “Fascist moment,” roughly 1910-1935. A Statist ideology, Fascism uses politics as the tool to transform society from atomized individuals into an organic whole. It does so by exalting the state over the individual, expert knowledge over democracy, enforced consensus over debate, and Socialism over Capitalism. It is totalitarian in Mussolini’s original meaning of the term, of “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” Fascism’s message boils down to “Enough talk, more action!” Its lasting appeal is getting things done.

    Boiling down: Fascism is an irrational — hysterical and brainwashed — cultic political reaction to difficult circumstances, manifested in worship of the state as saviour of the dominant “victim group”, multiplied by blind loyalty to the projected political messiah and usually intensified by the focussing of “legitimised” hate, slander and blame on designated scapegoat groups and individuals.

    I further note that when we look closely in the mirror of these words, we may well find ourselves being reflected.

    KF

  101. 101
    Zachriel says:

    drc466: First, taking your definition of “Left” and “Right” from a liberal/left website is guaranteed to give you bad information.

    We cited Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, Merriam-Webster, primary scholarship, and a variety of media sources.

    drc466: Additionally, once you add the “Extremist” title, it basically means “not in agreement with the non-extremist mainstream”.

    Extremism generally means the belief that the ends justify the means.

    drc466: two (sodomy and “birth control” (abortion)) are straightforward criminal laws that do NOT expand government control or regulation

    Huh? Enforcing laws against sodomy and miscegenation often meant surveillance and raids. Where you been? And in other countries with fewer protections, the right is know for running secret police in order to enforce order and control “communists”, which often included peaceful reformers, or anyone in opposition.

    drc466: The other two (anti-suffrage, anti-integration) are (easily) arguably of the left – for example, Civil Rights legislation was pushed by the Republican Party

    You are conflating left-right with Republican-Democratic. The Republicans used to have a liberal wing, and Democrats used to have a conservative wing.

    drc466: Fourth, trying to tar today’s American “Right” with a Fascist brush would be similar to tarring today’s American “Left” with the Communist brush – it just doesn’t translate.

    That’s right. It would be incorrect to ascribe extremists views to the entire group of people on the right, who may have moderate views, or even liberal views on some issues.

    drc466: Most of your attempts to associate the modern American right with the less reputable “right” of history (Franco, Pinochet) comes down to a vague respect for patriotism, the military, and the market.

    We’ve done no such thing. The extreme right does not represent all of the right. However, the claim was that the right is defined as advocacy of less government, which is directly contradicted by the existence of the authoritarian right.

    drc466: American-exceptionalism vs. anti-Americanism,

    We won’t go through your whole list, but American-exceptionalism and anti-Americanism don’t constitute a valid dichotomy. Nonetheless, exceptionalism implies that some people are better than other people.

    drc466: pro v. anti-Christian

    Another invalid dichotomy. Someone can be not pro-Christian without being anti-Christian. In any case, another example of favoring some groups over other groups.

    drc466: pro-human vs. pro-environment

    Same invalid dichotomy. Someone can be pro-human and pro-environment. Indeed, for most environmentalists, the environment is a concern because humanity is inextricably part of the environment.

    So all of your examples are invalid dichotomies, and in terms of the definition of left-right, show that your own definition of the right implies that some groups are to be preferred; in your case, Americans, but if you were on the Russian right, then it would be Russians.

  102. 102
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Zachriel,

    You address our name, but not our comments.

  103. 103
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    First it seems you are a collective.

    Okay.

    I further pointed out why I have a principled disagreement with the usual political spectra, and gave both historically based and state dynamics reasons why. I include that the pivotal issue is not whether we use terms but the question of maximal concentration of power and control in the state, whether on personal or ideological grounds or traditional ones. At the polar extreme we have an unstable state, anarchy which historically just the threat of is enough to panic people into accepting dictatorship.

    Somewhere in the middle of the cubical lattice are the various variants on responsibly limited, reasonably just government, open to genuine reform. As opposed to marches of folly.

    I remain with my lifelong conviction that we are responsibly free, rational [in the sense of capacity] creatures, who are morally governed and owed duties of justice, i.e. we have core rights that are to be prized and protected. Thus the state emerges as a means of safeguarding the civil peace of justice — duly balancing rights, responsibilites and freedoms; it holds lawful legitimacy based on both commitment to justice and the responsible consent of the governed. Further to this, justice is a moral issue and our being under moral government implies that there is an IS that grounds OUGHT. The only serious candidate to be such is the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of ultimate loyalty and our reasonable responsible service by doing the good in accordance with our nature. Which BTW means that we cannot justly claim a right to act outside of that nature, including in violation of the same nature in our neighbour.

    (All too many modern perversities demanding to be accepted as rights, pivot on being in fact licence and irresponsible destructive behaviour that across time will critically undermine the civil peace of justice from its foundations, if left unchecked. And no the moral equivalent of deciding to call the tail of a sheep a leg and demanding that all men acknowledge that a sheep now has five legs, is not just or reasonable. Hence, my long term pessimism about the trends of our civilisation.)

    Right now you will have to wait in the queue if you want a point by point refutation or correction.

    KF

  104. 104
    drc466 says:

    Zach,

    1) Part of being “small government” means being against increased government surveillance, raids, and secret police. I will gladly stipulate that any member of the modern American right who endorses such, is being hypocritical or doesn’t truly qualify as “right” (e.g. the “moderate” Republicans of the federal gov’t.)
    2) Liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats? Let me guess – any “good” policy (civil rights) was supported by “liberal/left” Republicans, and any “bad” policy (Japanese internment) was supported by “conservative/right” Democrats. How…convenient. Pardon me, but your liberal education is showing…
    3) “authoritarian right” = “not modern American conservative right”. Thus stipulated, I’m more than happy to agree. Excellent support for my previous assertion that the meaning of the word “right” has changed over time and location.
    4) Congratulations – you’ve proven that something I did not claim is not true. At no point did I indicate that the views I presented were mutually exclusive opposites. Just that they represent two incompatible views. For example, “pro-human” and “pro-environment” is merely convenient short-hand for “one side believes that the needs of humans take precedence over the needs of the environment in most cases, but that conservation of the environment, where not presenting significant risk and penalty to humankind, is laudable – the other side believes that the environment takes precedence over human needs, even at significant risk and cost to humanity (e.g. poor people in 3rd-world countries starve)”. In terms of compare-and-contrast generalizations, I believe them to be perfectly valid descriptions of the average progressive v. conservative viewpoint. Were there any descriptions in the list where you felt I was being inaccurate or unfair to either side? Obviously John McCain or Lindsay Graham isn’t going to fit all the descriptions the same way Ted Cruz or Scott Walker might, nor will a Bernie Sanders or Barbara Boxer line up exactly with a Joe Manchin or a Bill Clinton.

    The overriding, primary concern distinguishing between the modern left and modern right in American being, of course, regulatory centralized power of an expansive federal government. The left believes the individual to be too weak and flawed to be entrusted with ruling themselves. The right believes that power corrupts. Of the two viewpoints, the second is better supported by historical evidence, and the former better corresponds to the label “Fascist”.

    P.S. If it makes you feel better, I will admit that the right encompasses a fairly broad range of belief regarding the proper role of centralized federal government, from the “compassionate conservatism” of George Bush to the more Libertarian right of the Tea Party. However, you will have to look VERY hard to find anyone who believes that the Left has any small-government or libertarian tendencies left in them at all. While it is true that they claim to be “for the little guy” and the power and freedom of “multiculturalism”, their idea of promoting “individual freedom” is to use big centralized government to force their ideas of which individuals have freedom and which don’t. Which, again, lines up more neatly with the authoritarian darwinian “some humans have more value than others” Fascist views (see eugenics, master race, etc.).

  105. 105
    Heartlander says:

    Democrats in 1860 vs Democrats today

    BTW, Hillary Clinton accepted the Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award in 2009.

  106. 106
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I further pointed out why I have a principled disagreement with the usual political spectra, and gave both historically based and state dynamics reasons why.

    And we responded as to why your choice of dimensions were flawed, which you then ignored.

    kairosfocus: Right now you will have to wait in the queue if you want a point by point refutation or correction.

    Of course you did.

  107. 107
    Zachriel says:

    drc466: 1) Part of being “small government” means being against increased government surveillance, raids, and secret police.

    Sure.

    drc466: I will gladly stipulate that any member of the modern American right who endorses such, is being hypocritical or doesn’t truly qualify as “right” (e.g. the “moderate” Republicans of the federal gov’t.)

    It’s your understanding of the political right which is in error. The existence of the authoritarian right contradicts your claim that being on the right means being for small government. Some on the right support more intrusive government, some don’t. In the U.S., for instance, the Christian right often advocates for more government intrusion on matters of morals, and others on the right want to round up millions of immigrants and put an army on the border with Mexico.

    drc466: 2) Liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats? Let me guess – any “good” policy (civil rights) was supported by “liberal/left” Republicans, and any “bad” policy (Japanese internment) was supported by “conservative/right” Democrats.

    Are you really unfamiliar with U.S. history? Conservative Democrats included southern segregationists. That’s what they were called then. That’s what they’re called now.

    drc466: 3) “authoritarian right” = “not modern American conservative right”.

    Authoritarians have little direct political influence in the U.S. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    drc466: the other side believes that the environment takes precedence over human needs

    Which is a strawman, and a false dichotomy.

    drc466: However, you will have to look VERY hard to find anyone who believes that the Left has any small-government or libertarian tendencies left in them at all.

    Few that have direct political power. The center of American politics, as it is in most developed countries, is for a mixed system, with robust markets and a strong social safety net. The political question is then a matter of degree. In the U.S., the left generally wants more control of the economy (leading to increased economic equality), but less intrusion in the private sphere (leading to increased individual autonomy); while the right wants less control of the economy (preserving hierarchy), but more intrusion in the private sphere (preserving traditional morality). However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t left libertarians or right authoritarians among society.

    Nor is the U.S. the only country in the world, and when American talk about other countries, they use the terms left and right in the standard sense of the terms.

  108. 108
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: BTW, Hillary Clinton accepted the Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award in 2009.

    That’s interesting. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr won the award in 1966.

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    your assertion is false. I took time to show just why the usual spectrum is flawed, using the particular iconic cases, Mussolini and the National Socialist German Workers Party.

    Both of these are statist-totalitarian, just they were clever enough to co-opt existing power centres, relying on unbridled state power to effect unbridled control, de facto ownership.

    Of the whole country.

    I further highlighted the source of the “Fascism is right wing” notion, i.e. specifically Stalin’s seizing of the notion that he represented the centre of the political universe, multiplied by the idea that the deeply antagonistic must be opposites.

    I also took time to show that the autocracy, totalitarian statism and lawless secret police backed tyrannies both imposed clearly demonstrate strong family resemblance. And, propaganda about standing up for the oppressed poor or working class, whether globally or in one’s particular nation, are utterly belied by the facts demonstrated on the ground.

    By contrast, those who stand for limited lawful government, a democratic polity drawing legitimacy from commitment to justice as well as the express consent of the governed and political leaders who are not effectively laws unto themselves, form a recognisable and distinct though fuzzy cluster.

    Anarchy simply is not stable in any large scale population, and its threat tends to open the door to snapping back into tyranny on the promise to restore order.

    But totalitarian statism and anarchy form clear poles, with the fuzzy more or less democratic centre being just that. Centre-right if you will are the heirs of classic liberals, and centre-left tends to move to social democracy or the like, often calling themselves progressive. Libertarians want even less state than typical limited government supporters.

    A further issue is the deep influence of Frankfurt School Critical Theory and linked New Left thought, and its tendency to polarise society and attack centres of stability. Right now, marriage and the family are under attack by those who in the name of liberation and equality would imagine they can redefine it as though the biology of reproduction and need for family stability for child rearing are irrelevant. (I have similar concerns about the porn plague and the easy divorce and adultery epidemic as well as wider hypersexualisation.)

    I know, I know, the myth of standing up for equality and freedom among progressives and those of “the left” in general is strong.

    That is all fine and good but if there is a tendency towards domineering or totalitarian statism that is what is critical. Especially, when we see moves to marginalise, ostracise, scapegoat, ghettoise and penalise those who dare differ. Which recent trends at UD abundantly exemplify, not to mention other patterns across our civilisation.

    Bullyboyism is a red flag issue.

    The 1828 Webster Dictionary on liberty is instructive:

    1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.

    2. Natural liberty consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.

    3. Civil liberty is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty

    The liberty of one depends not so much on the removal of all restraint from him, as on the due restraint upon the liberty of others.

    In this sentence, the latter word liberty denotes natural liberty

    4. Political liberty is sometimes used as synonymous with civil liberty But it more properly designates the liberty of a nation, the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgment of its rights and independence by another nation. Hence we often speak of the political liberties of Europe, or the nations of Europe.

    5. Religious liberty is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control.

    6. liberty in metaphysics, as opposed to necessity, is the power of an agent to do or forbear any particular action, according to the determination or thought of the mind, by which either is preferred to the other.

    Freedom of the will; exemption from compulsion or restraint in willing or volition.

    Food for thought.

    KF

    PS: Useful reading: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Fascism.html

  110. 110
    Heartlander says:

    Zac @60 you wrongly confused nazism with fascism – furthermore the elements of ‘inferior races’, ‘enslavement’, and ‘reeducation’ would be attributed to the left in America.

    @75 you were wrong to associate both women’s suffrage and integration with republicans in America possibly due to your ‘reeducation’.

    But you are welcome to accept George Wallace’s big stick @80 along with sodomy @75 – who am I to judge?…

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: It is worth giving two clips from the just linked, i/l/o the classic socialist focus on statist takeover of the commanding heights of the economy and necessarily so also society:

    MUSSOLINI, 1928 Autobiography:

    >>The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (Mussolini, Benito. My Autobiography. New York: Scribner’s, 1928., p. 280)>>

    HITLER, per citation:

    >>The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property. (Barkai, Avraham. Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theory, and Policy. Trans. Ruth Hadass-Vashitz. Oxford: Berg Publishers Ltd., 1990., pp. 26–27)>>

    The article comments:

    Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

    Fascism is to be distinguished from interventionism, or the mixed economy. Interventionism seeks to guide the market process, not eliminate it, as fascism did. Minimum-wage and antitrust laws, though they regulate the free market, are a far cry from multiyear plans from the Ministry of Economics.

    Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Planning boards set product lines, production levels, prices, wages, working conditions, and the size of firms. Licensing was ubiquitous; no economic activity could be undertaken without government permission. Levels of consumption were dictated by the state, and “excess” incomes had to be surrendered as taxes or “loans.” The consequent burdening of manufacturers gave advantages to foreign firms wishing to export. But since government policy aimed at autarky, or national self-sufficiency, protectionism was necessary: imports were barred or strictly controlled, leaving foreign conquest as the only avenue for access to resources unavailable domestically. Fascism was thus incompatible with peace and the international division of labor—hallmarks of liberalism.

    Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry rather than on geography. In this, fascism revealed its roots in syndicalism, a form of socialism originating on the left. The government cartelized firms of the same industry, with representatives of labor and management serving on myriad local, regional, and national boards—subject always to the final authority of the dictator’s economic plan. Corporatism was intended to avert unsettling divisions within the nation, such as lockouts and union strikes. The price of such forced “harmony” was the loss of the ability to bargain and move about freely.

    To maintain high employment and minimize popular discontent, fascist governments also undertook massive public-works projects financed by steep taxes, borrowing, and fiat money creation. While many of these projects were domestic—roads, buildings, stadiums—the largest project of all was militarism, with huge armies and arms production.

    The fascist leaders’ antagonism to communism has been misinterpreted as an affinity for capitalism. In fact, fascists’ anticommunism was motivated by a belief that in the collectivist milieu of early-twentieth-century Europe, communism was its closest rival for people’s allegiance. As with communism, under fascism, every citizen was regarded as an employee and tenant of the totalitarian, party-dominated state. Consequently, it was the state’s prerogative to use force, or the threat of it, to suppress even peaceful opposition.

    If a formal architect of fascism can be identified, it is Benito Mussolini, the onetime Marxist editor who, caught up in nationalist fervor, broke with the left as World War I approached and became Italy’s leader in 1922. [Fascism
    by Sheldon Richman in Concise Eng of Econ and Liberty]

    Food for thought.

  112. 112
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: your assertion is false. I took time to show just why the usual spectrum is flawed, using the particular iconic cases, Mussolini and the National Socialist German Workers Party. Both of these are statist-totalitarian, just they were clever enough to co-opt existing power centres, relying on unbridled state power to effect unbridled control, de facto ownership.

    Which doesn’t address the standard left-right spectrum. The claim is that the left advocates for egalitarianism, while the right advocates for hierarchies. Both Mussolini and Hitler advocated for national exceptionalism, power concentrated in a dictator, and everyone subservient to the state, in other words, a strongly hierarchical society.

    kairosfocus: I further highlighted the source of the “Fascism is right wing” notion

    We have supported the standard definition with scholarly references, citations to encyclopedias, and with examples from common usage.

    Heartlander: the elements of ‘inferior races’, ‘enslavement’, and ‘reeducation’ would be attributed to the left in America.

    The left is characterized as resistance to racism, such as during the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s.

    Heartlander: @75 you were wrong to associate both women’s suffrage and integration with republicans in America possibly due to your ‘reeducation’.

    The word “republican” is not found in our comment.

    Heartlander: But you are welcome to accept George Wallace’s big stick @80 along with sodomy @75

    Wallace used the term left-wing in its usual sense, in this case, in reference to those trying to end segregation in the American South.

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    Since when is showing that the usual L/R political spectrum is fatally flawed because it demonstrably misplaces Fascism and the National Socialist German Worker’s Party as at the right end of the spectrum a case of something that “doesn’t address the standard left-right spectrum”?

    –> As in, the issue is not whether it is commonly said, even by the august, but whether it is right, and there is no good reason to think it right, cf 111 just above. Let me clip, some very familiar words when one recalls the classic working definition of socialist systems: state ownership/control tantamount to ownership of the dominant means of production, distribution and exchange in the name of the people:

    MUSSOLINI, 1928 Autobiography:

    >>The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (Mussolini, Benito. My Autobiography. New York: Scribner’s, 1928., p. 280)>>

    HITLER, per citation:

    >>The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property. (Barkai, Avraham. Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theory, and Policy. Trans. Ruth Hadass-Vashitz. Oxford: Berg Publishers Ltd., 1990., pp. 26–27)>>

    –> Let me add: cite and annotate the world socialist movement, just to make things clear:

    Central to the meaning of socialism is common ownership. This means the resources of the world being owned in common by the entire global population. [–> i.e. the state acting on behalf of the people, where sufficient control is tantamount to declared ownership, from this we get to unlimited power and the characteristic problem of abuse and the rise of a nomenklatura]

    But does it really make sense for everybody to own everything in common? Of course, some goods tend to be for personal consumption, rather than to share—clothes, for example. People ‘owning’ certain personal possessions does not contradict the principle of a society based upon common ownership.

    In practice, common ownership will mean everybody having the right to participate in decisions on how global resources will be used. [–> dilution through the vote and the concentration of esp policing power means the state monopoly is effectively unbreakable unless there is a systemic breakdown, the individual is now crushed under the bootheel] It means nobody being able to take personal control of resources, beyond their own personal possessions. [–> Save for those who run the all powerful state]

    Democratic control is therefore also essential to the meaning of socialism. [Democracy only works properly with limited govt, a free independent press and literate public free to think speak and act for themselves which implies freedom of economic action also] Socialism will be a society in which everybody will have the right to participate in the social decisions that affect them. [–> and if the apparatchiks don’t like your contribution . . . ?] These decisions could be on a wide range of issues—one of the most important kinds of decision, for example, would be how to organise the production of goods and services. [–> state control]

    Production under socialism would be directly and solely for use. [–> free market ad entrepreneurship are driven out] With the natural and technical resources of the world held in common and controlled democratically [–> deceptive given 100 y of history] , the sole object of production would be to meet human needs. This would entail an end to buying, selling and money. [–> thus, economic freedom is dead, this also runs into the von Mises info problem, it is impossible to soundly achieve] Instead, we would take freely what we had communally produced. The old slogan of “from each according to ability, to each according to needs” would apply.

    Second, since when does pointing out that the idealism of equality often ends up in imposing excessive, abusive or even tyrannical government — which BTW happens long before we hit outright Communism and other totalitarianisms — not an addressing of the “variable” often used to justify the typical L/R spectrum?

    Third, since when is pointing out that as monarchy and privileged, entrenched ruling classes can and do happen with leftist systems not an addressing of the claim that the right stands for reaction in defence of hierarchy?

    (And particularly, since when is the North Korean de facto dynasty not a clear case in point? The Nomenklatura of the USSR and its echoes all across E Europe? The party dominance in China? The ongoing revelations about Castro in Cuba and his lifestyle on a nominal US$ 38/month salary? Have we so soon forgotten how Christmas was spoiled by awful news when Caecescu and wife were tried, sentenced and shot nigh on a 1/4 century past . . . and then as their lifestyle emerged? Please, I was not born yesterday, myths about the left caring for equality do not impress me, especially when I not only see the tyrannies but how they are responded to by the academics and fashionably lefty folks. I saw Cuba with my own eyes. I spoke up close and personal with a man on Hudson Austin’s death list from Grenada. I spoke with Nicaraguans about what the top Sandinistas were doing. I read Gulag Archipelag as it came out, with a run-up to an undocumented theatre of conflict in the cold war in Jamaica. My life was threatened by radicals in my uni. One of my aunties was murdered in her shop at the top of Mountain View Avenue due to irresponsible agit prop by the Committee of Women for Progress in Jamaica. If I don’t find first and foremost a commitment to the equality of the civil peace of justice, I have every right of prudence to see agitprop about equality as so much manipulation of cannon fodder in the interests of the bureaucratic or sheer raw totalitarian power of those who hope to profit from maximising state power and control. So don’t even try that one on me.}

    Fourth, since when is suggesting that a more reasonable way to spatially view political systems is to put autocratic-totalitarian tyrannies at one pole of a space and outright anarchy at the other, clustering limited government democratic systems in the middle not a reasonable provision of an alternative model that then allows a more reasoned analysis of politics?

    Fifth, is it not reasonable to then review the gradual emergence of democratising forces as setting the stage for the rise of modern democracy?

    Sixth, is it not reasonable to then probe the forces at work on the centre, which is the relevant situation?

    I think you need to do some rethinking.

    KF

  114. 114
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Since when is showing that the usual L/R political spectrum is fatally flawed because it demonstrably misplaces Fascism and the National Socialist German Worker’s Party as at the right end of the spectrum a case of something that “doesn’t address the standard left-right spectrum”?

    You haven’t done so. Instead, you left our response unanswered. Keep in mind that words are defined by usage, in this case, usage over generations by both scholars and the lay public. We have provided a wide variety of citations; primary, secondary, and from common usage.

    The claim is that the left advocates for egalitarianism, while the right advocates for hierarchies. Both Mussolini and Hitler advocated for national exceptionalism, power concentrated in a dictator, and everyone subservient to the state, in other words, a strongly hierarchical society.

    Benito Mussolini: If it is admitted that the nineteenth century has been the century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy, it does not follow that the twentieth must also be the century of Liberalism, Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the “Right,” a Fascist century.

  115. 115
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: since when does pointing out that the idealism of equality often ends up in imposing excessive, abusive or even tyrannical government

    Yes, extreme leftism can lead to tyranny, just as can extreme rightism (ETA: or extremism of any sort, defined as the ends justify the means). They are characterized on the left-right spectrum by their goals, not their means. Marxism asserts that a dictatorship of the proletariat is a steppingstone to an egalitarian utopia; hence Marxism in placed on the left. Nazism asserts ethnic superiority, the right to rule under an all-powerful dictator; hence, Nazism is placed on the right. In a communist society, the class structure is the enemy. Destroy the class structure, and the people will all be equal. In Nazism, inferior races will never be equal, and must be either subordinated or destroyed.

  116. 116
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: since when is suggesting that a more reasonable way to spatially view political systems is to put autocratic-totalitarian tyrannies at one pole of a space and outright anarchy at the other, clustering limited government democratic systems in the middle not a reasonable provision of an alternative model that then allows a more reasoned analysis of politics?

    There’s nothing wrong with pointing out a spectrum based on the amount of government intrusion, but it does not equate to the left-right spectrum; otherwise, there would be no such thing as the authoritarian right.

    The government intrusion spectrum is orthogonal to the left-right spectrum. There are libertarians on the left. There are libertarians on the right. There are authoritarians on the left. There are authoritarians on the right. And many in-betweens.

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    false again.

    It does not make sense trying to go further until that is settled, so I stop here for now.

    Above, I showed just how well Fascism and the National Socialist German Workers Party aligned with their evident ideological roots, socialism and indeed its extreme form, communism.

    Notice, the amplification above on what socialism is about. And the eerily close alignment of Fascism and Nazism with it.

    So the common view — the one I heard growing up — that such were “right wing” and beyond say conservative parties on the other side of a spectrum from Communism is falsified.

    I do note way back reading a remark somewhere as a teen ager on how the typical L/R spectrum bends over in a loop at the ends and comes together so that Nazism and Communism are close. This was closer to right, the evidence I see warrants the conclusion that Communism, Fascism and Nazism are close precisely because they are just that: close.

    So if one — communism — defines the extreme “left” then that is where the others (Fascism and Nazism . . . the last saying “Socialist . . . Worker’s Party” in so many words) belong also.

    Once the dust settles, we can then look at dynamics of state and government and come up with a better approach.

    Totalitarian unlimited statism is one pole, and its logical opposite is anarchy.

    In the middle of the space would fall the cloud taking in various forms of limited democratic government under rule of law.

    KF

  118. 118
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I showed just how well Fascism and the National Socialist German Workers Party aligned with their evident ideological roots, socialism and indeed its extreme form, communism.

    Fascism advocates a strongly hierarchical society. Communism advocates an egalitarian society.

    Notably, you have yet again failed to address our actual comments, much less the multiple sources provided above.

    Try to respond directly to this point: There’s nothing wrong with pointing out a spectrum based on the amount of government intrusion, but it does not equate to the left-right spectrum; otherwise, there would be no such thing as the authoritarian right.

  119. 119
    harry says:

    Zachriel: In Nazism, inferior races will never be equal, and must be either subordinated or destroyed.

    In other discussions on this site, you have refused to admit that there is such a thing as behavior that is objectively wrong. You wouldn’t answer me when I asked you if Nazi genocide was objectively wrong. So does your statement above indicate that you believe there is something wrong with subordinating or destroying those one believes to be inferior? As in killing children in the womb? Gassing Jews? Enslaving Blacks? Do you believe those things are objectively wrong? If so, please explain what principles of the objective morality you believe all must live by are violated when these sorts of things are done.

    If you still refuse to admit that some behavior is objectively wrong, if you still won’t admit that child-killing, Jew gassing and the enslavement of Blacks are objectively wrong, then one must conclude that you don’t want to acknowledge that there is such a thing as an objective morality all should live by, just in case circumstances arise where, in your personal opinion, it is expedient to gas Jews, enslave Blacks or kill an innocent child. You have enough knowledge of good and evil to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. That is not a very original sin.

  120. 120
    Zachriel says:

    harry: In other discussions on this site, you have refused to admit that there is such a thing as behavior that is objectively wrong.

    Right and wrong are subjective, though there are significant commonalities among humans as to what is right and wrong.

    harry: You wouldn’t answer me when I asked you if Nazi genocide was objectively wrong.

    It’s just plain wrong.

    harry: Do you believe those things are objectively wrong?

    It’s just plain wrong.

    harry: If so, please explain what principles of the objective morality you believe all must live by are violated when these sorts of things are done.

    Loaded question.

  121. 121
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    Of course it’s a loaded question. Refusing to answer it enables one to rationalize any behavior as “moral” in the particular circumstances which have arisen, which is exactly the same as denying there is any universally applicable objective morality.

    Using the wildest stretches of your imagination, could it be an extremely remote possibility, that maybe — just maybe — we shouldn’t do to others that which we would consider an injustice if another were to do it to us?

  122. 122
    Zachriel says:

    harry: Refusing to answer it enables one to rationalize any behavior as “moral” in the particular circumstances which have arisen, which is exactly the same as denying there is any universally applicable objective morality.

    Yes, people can rationalize anything. They can even argue an objective moral basis for things that we would probably both agree are wrong.

    harry: Using the wildest stretches of your imagination, could it be an extremely remote possibility, that maybe — just maybe — we shouldn’t do to others that which we would consider an injustice if another were to do it to us?

    Sure. We’ve never said otherwise. In particular, we’re rather fond of the human species.

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel:

    Fascism advocates a strongly hierarchical society. Communism advocates an egalitarian society.

    Let us first note as above, from Mussolini and Hitler — as you have dodged:

    MUSSOLINI, 1928 Autobiography:

    >>The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (Mussolini, Benito. My Autobiography. New York: Scribner’s, 1928., p. 280)>>

    HITLER, per citation:

    >>The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property. (Barkai, Avraham. Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theory, and Policy. Trans. Ruth Hadass-Vashitz. Oxford: Berg Publishers Ltd., 1990., pp. 26–27)>>

    . . . and the world socialism summary as I annotated:

    Central to the meaning of socialism is common ownership. This means the resources of the world being owned in common by the entire global population. [–> i.e. the state acting on behalf of the people, where sufficient control is tantamount to declared ownership, from this we get to unlimited power and the characteristic problem of abuse and the rise of a nomenklatura . . . the new, party elite.]

    But does it really make sense for everybody to own everything in common? Of course, some goods tend to be for personal consumption, rather than to share—clothes, for example. People ‘owning’ certain personal possessions does not contradict the principle of a society based upon common ownership.

    In practice, common ownership will mean everybody having the right to participate in decisions on how global resources will be used. [–> dilution through the vote and the concentration of esp policing power means the state monopoly is effectively unbreakable unless there is a systemic breakdown, the individual is now crushed under the bootheel] It means nobody being able to take personal control of resources, beyond their own personal possessions. [–> Save for those who run the all powerful state]

    Democratic control is therefore also essential to the meaning of socialism. [Democracy only works properly with limited govt, a free independent press and literate public free to think speak and act for themselves which implies freedom of economic action also] Socialism will be a society in which everybody will have the right to participate in the social decisions that affect them. [–> and if the apparatchiks don’t like your contribution . . . ?] These decisions could be on a wide range of issues—one of the most important kinds of decision, for example, would be how to organise the production of goods and services. [–> state control]

    Production under socialism would be directly and solely for use. [–> free market ad entrepreneurship are driven out] With the natural and technical resources of the world held in common and controlled democratically [–> deceptive given 100 y of history] , the sole object of production would be to meet human needs. This would entail an end to buying, selling and money. [–> thus, economic freedom is dead, this also runs into the von Mises info problem, it is impossible to soundly achieve] Instead, we would take freely what we had communally produced. The old slogan of “from each according to ability, to each according to needs” would apply.

    So, colour me distinctly unimpressed with the one liner summary you gave.

    FYI, here is Collins English Dict:

    socialism
    n
    1. (Economics) an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels. Compare capitalism

    2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system

    3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in Leninist theory) a transitional stage after the proletarian revolution in the development of a society from capitalism to communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than need

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    capitalism
    n
    1. (Economics) Also called: free enterprise or private enterprise an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions. Compare socialism1

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    KF

  124. 124
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    Sure. We have never said otherwise.

    Could it be that an appreciation of the self-evident truth that “we shouldn’t do to others that which we would consider an injustice if another were to do it to us,” is the beginning of understanding the universally applicable, objective morality — the natural law — that is accessible to all rational beings? Could we go that far?

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Refresher from 111, Art on Fascism, Concise Enc of Econ and Liberty — studiously ignored as usual:

    Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

    Fascism is to be distinguished from interventionism, or the mixed economy. Interventionism seeks to guide the market process, not eliminate it, as fascism did. Minimum-wage and antitrust laws, though they regulate the free market, are a far cry from multiyear plans from the Ministry of Economics.

    Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Planning boards set product lines, production levels, prices, wages, working conditions, and the size of firms. Licensing was ubiquitous; no economic activity could be undertaken without government permission. Levels of consumption were dictated by the state, and “excess” incomes had to be surrendered as taxes or “loans.” The consequent burdening of manufacturers gave advantages to foreign firms wishing to export. But since government policy aimed at autarky, or national self-sufficiency, protectionism was necessary: imports were barred or strictly controlled, leaving foreign conquest as the only avenue for access to resources unavailable domestically. Fascism was thus incompatible with peace and the international division of labor—hallmarks of liberalism.

    Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry rather than on geography. In this, fascism revealed its roots in syndicalism, a form of socialism originating on the left. The government cartelized firms of the same industry, with representatives of labor and management serving on myriad local, regional, and national boards—subject always to the final authority of the dictator’s economic plan. Corporatism was intended to avert unsettling divisions within the nation, such as lockouts and union strikes. The price of such forced “harmony” was the loss of the ability to bargain and move about freely.

    To maintain high employment and minimize popular discontent, fascist governments also undertook massive public-works projects financed by steep taxes, borrowing, and fiat money creation. While many of these projects were domestic—roads, buildings, stadiums—the largest project of all was militarism, with huge armies and arms production.

    The fascist leaders’ antagonism to communism has been misinterpreted as an affinity for capitalism. In fact, fascists’ anticommunism was motivated by a belief that in the collectivist milieu of early-twentieth-century Europe, communism was its closest rival for people’s allegiance. As with communism, under fascism, every citizen was regarded as an employee and tenant of the totalitarian, party-dominated state. Consequently, it was the state’s prerogative to use force, or the threat of it, to suppress even peaceful opposition.

    If a formal architect of fascism can be identified, it is Benito Mussolini, the onetime Marxist editor who, caught up in nationalist fervor, broke with the left as World War I approached and became Italy’s leader in 1922. [Fascism
    by Sheldon Richman in Concise Enc of Econ and Liberty]

    PPS: The von Mises analysis of Socialism: https://mises.org/library/socialism-economic-and-sociological-analysis

  126. 126
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state.

    Which makes the system inherently hierarchical, unlike communism, which sees dictatorship as only a steppingstone.

    kairosfocus: Let us first note as above

    So, you seem utterly incapable of directly addressing the point.

    There’s nothing wrong with pointing out a spectrum based on the amount of government intrusion, but it does not equate to the left-right spectrum; otherwise, there would be no such thing as the authoritarian right.

  127. 127
    Zachriel says:

    harry: Could it be that an appreciation of the self-evident truth that “we shouldn’t do to others that which we would consider an injustice if another were to do it to us,” is the beginning of understanding the universally applicable, objective morality — the natural law — that is accessible to all rational beings?

    There’s nothing irrational about an alien species treating humans as lunch. It’s a matter of taste.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk01eeKMD_I

    kairosfocus: “Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production

    Socialism is not necessarily totalitarian. In Marxist theory, it’s a steppingstone to the withering away of the state. In democratic societies, it’s can be adopted through legal means, and has been to some extent. Nearly all developed economies are mixed economies.

    Where fascism may have some socialist ideas, it is a hierarchical socialism, with power held by a dictator for the benefit of national exceptionalism.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_socialism

  128. 128
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, the state’s degree of control backed by secret state police is such that it is de facto ownership, especially when tied to the degree of economic control involved. As was stated and clipped. Hierarchy is a fixture of autocratic or oligarchic systems, and the Communist nomenklatura is simply a new ruling class. It has gone to the extreme of a Stalinist monarchy in North Korea, and Romania under the Ceausescu regime was not much different. Talk about equality and common property does not change what actually happens, state control with a new ruling class — the party elites, and typically an autocratic dictator. KF

  129. 129
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    There’s nothing irrational about an alien species treating humans as lunch. It’s a matter of taste.

    Some humans think they are so superior to others that those other inferior humans might as well be aliens:

    Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, [philanthropy] tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant … We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.
    — Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization

    Sanger’s Planned Parenthood doesn’t, so far as we yet know, eat those human beings they consider inferior for lunch. They just kill them and sell their body parts. Is that objectively wrong? Or does your “alien being” exception excuse that?

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, we are not talking about Marx’s imaginary evolutionary sequence of societies whereby Socialism is transferred into the utopian dream of perfect Communism, but the real world cases. And in particular Communist states were dictatorial/tyrannical, with a party elite a nomenklatura or equivalent. Right wing socialism is not a general term with any recohgnised standard meaning. And of course, you still have a certain socialist workers party to reckon with — being explicitly a socialist party is highly unlikely as the characteristic of a monarchist, Nobility or capitalist-based movement. Fascism and Nazism are best understood as kissing cousins of totalitarian radical socialism. KF

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Clips from Nazi Platform’s 25 points:

    >>10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.

    Therefore we demand:

    11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

    12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.

    14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries . . . .

    16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class, the immediate communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople, and the strongest consideration must be given to ensure that small traders shall deliver the supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

    17. We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

    18. We demand that ruthless war be waged against those who work to the injury of the common welfare. Traitors, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished with death, regardless of creed or race.

    19. We demand that Roman law, which serves a materialist ordering of the world, be replaced by German common law.

    20. In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people. The curricula of all educational establishments shall be adapted to practical life. The conception of the State Idea (science of citizenship) must be taught in the schools from the very beginning. We demand that specially talented children of poor parents, whatever their station or occupation, be educated at the expense of the State.

    21. The State has the duty to help raise the standard of national health by providing maternity welfare centers, by prohibiting juvenile labor, by increasing physical fitness through the introduction of compulsory games and gymnastics, and by the greatest possible encouragement of associations concerned with the physical education of the young.

    22. We demand the abolition of the regular army and the creation of a national (folk) army.

    23. We demand that there be a legal campaign against those who propagate deliberate political lies and disseminate them through the press. In order to make possible the creation of a German press, we demand:

    (a) All editors and their assistants on newspapers published in the German language shall be German citizens.

    (b) Non-German newspapers shall only be published with the express permission of the State. They must not be published in the German language.

    (c) All financial interests in or in any way affecting German newspapers shall be forbidden to non-Germans by law, and we demand that the punishment for transgressing this law be the immediate suppression of the newspaper and the expulsion of the non-Germans from the Reich.

    Newspapers transgressing against the common welfare shall be suppressed. We demand legal action against those tendencies in art and literature that have a disruptive influence upon the life of our folk, and that any organizations that offend against the foregoing demands shall be dissolved.

    24. We demand freedom for all religious faiths in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or offend the moral and ethical sense of the Germanic race.

    The party as such represents the point of view of a positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the Jewish materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our folk can only come about from within on the pinciple:

    COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

    25. In order to carry out this program we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the State, the unconditional authority by the political central parliament of the whole State and all its organizations.

    The formation of professional committees and of committees representing the several estates of the realm, to ensure that the laws promulgated by the central authority shall be carried out by the federal states.

    The leaders of the party undertake to promote the execution of the foregoing points at all costs, if necessary at the sacrifice of their own lives.>>

    Hierarchical/ Capitalist/Monarchist Right Wing System?

  132. 132
    Zachriel says:

    harry: Some humans think they are so superior to others that those other inferior humans might as well be aliens

    Sure.

    kairosfocus: we are not talking about Marx’s imaginary evolutionary sequence of societies whereby Socialism is transferred into the utopian dream of perfect Communism, but the real world cases.

    The real-world cases of communism are based on egalitarian principles, even if they woefully fail to achieve it. That’s why the Soviets were called left-wing, while Nazi Germany was called right-wing.

    Notably, you still failed to address the point raised. Let’s simplify it even further. Is there such a thing as right-wing authoritarianism?

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: The Fascist Manifesto, per Vox Day translation — it is not commonly available in English:

    >>The Manifesto of the Fascist Struggle, published in The People of Italy on June 6, 1919.

    Italians! Here is the program of a genuinely Italian movement. It is revolutionary because it is anti-dogmatic, strongly innovative and against prejudice.

    For the political problem: We demand:

    a) Universal suffrage polled on a regional basis, with proportional representation and voting and electoral office eligibility for women.

    b) A minimum age for the voting electorate of 18 years; that for the office holders at 25 years.

    c) The abolition of the Senate.

    d) The convocation of a National Assembly for a three-years duration, for which its primary responsibility will be to form a constitution of the State.

    e) The formation of a National Council of experts for labor, for industy, for transportation, for the public health, for communications, etc. Selections to be made from the collective professionals or of tradesmen with legislative powers, and elected directly to a General Commission with ministerial powers.

    For the social problems: We demand:

    a) The quick enactment of a law of the State that sanctions an eight-hour workday for all workers.

    b) A minimum wage.

    c) The participation of workers’ representatives in the functions of industry commissions.

    d) To show the same confidence in the labor unions (that prove to be technically and morally worthy) as is given to industry executives or public servants.

    e) The rapid and complete systemization of the railways and of all the transport industries.

    f) A necessary modification of the insurance laws to invalidate the minimum retirement age; we propose to lower it from 65 to 55 years of age.

    For the military problem: We demand:

    a) The institution of a national militia with a short period of service for training and exclusively defensive responsibilities.

    b) The nationalization of all the arms and explosives factories.

    c) A national policy intended to peacefully further the Italian national culture in the world.

    For the financial problem: We demand:

    a) A strong progressive tax on capital that will truly expropriate a portion of all wealth.

    b) The seizure of all the possessions of the religious congregations and the abolition of all the bishoprics, which constitute an enormous liability on the Nation and on the privileges of the poor.

    c) The revision of all military contracts and the seizure of 85 percent of the profits therein.>>

    Again, not exactly right wing . . .

  134. 134
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: a) Universal suffrage polled on a regional basis

    Mussolini changed his position, and fascism became a movement centered on a dictator allowing for unified and coordinated national action, which, along with support from traditional rightist allies among business and political elites, is why people then and now consider fascism a movement of the right.

  135. 135
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    the true issue is what, properly is “right wing” if the iconic extreme right wing cases — fascism and Nazism — turn out to be instead variants on socialism? (Note the platforms just put up.)

    That is, the spectrum collapses in confusion.

    As the dust settles we can see that in our civilisation, a reasonable approach is to realise the collapse of the model, and revert to a more properly dynamical framework.

    When we do so, we can characterise a 3-d space, let us adapt from 84 above:

    DIM 1, state power: statism — limited govt — libertarianisn-anarchy [and on economics state-/cartel-/cronyist centralisaton vs free-market orientation . . . the two go together] is a more valid pattern as is

    DIM2, frame of Justice/law: despotism/tyranny/dictatorship – lawfulness/corpus [common, Corpus Juris etc] – constitutional democracy – anarchy, and

    DIM-3, leadership: autocratic – oligarchic – democratic – anarchic, yielding a cubical lattice matrix.

    This readily yields a pattern, as a first rough look:

    Ancient despotism: autocratic-oligarchic leadership, despotism-tyranny in law, statist-totalitarian in state power likely sanctioned by the gods

    State of nature: anarchy, every man does what is right in his own eyes, unstable

    Feudalist systems: oligarchic-hierarchical, lawful (canon or civilis or common) govt limited in practice but not in theory

    Absolutist monarchs: in theory absolute-autocratic, in praxis oligarchical leadership — lawful (civilis or common) — state in practice limited by want of capacity/stability and by what the oligarchy (leadership of the three estates) would tolerate

    Cromwell: de facto king with powers checked by what parliament as a whole would tolerate, common law [and a sort of constitution, Humble Petition and Advice: http://bcw-project.org/church-.....and-advice cf: http://www.constitution.org/eng/conpur102.htm ]

    William and Mary: oligarchic partnership with parliament. 1689 bill of rights was a breakthrough, building on Magna Carta: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17t.....ngland.asp

    Modern Constitutional Democracy: elected democratic leadership, constitution based law (can be “unwritten”/ de facto across multiple documents, e.g. Erskine May and acts at that level etc), limited govt

    Communism: autocratic-oligarchic, at best lawful [with some awful laws] and with an ineffective or seriously defective or even cleverly malevolent constitution bill of rights, statist-tyrannical backed by secret police.

    Fascism: autocratic political messianism, perhaps coopting existing elites in uneasy alliance with the new party elite, at best lawful but with secret police with few limitations, statist-tyrannical.

    Nazism: as with fascism save for injection of aryan man evolutionary racial elite myth that implies others not of this race are subhuman and without legal protection.

    Latin American autocrats: similar to Fascism, sometimes nominally socialist, maybe with some elements of democracy, often under pressure [Chavezism]. The Castros are arguably more Fascist in this context than properly classically communist.

    Revolutionary Iran: oligarchic-statist Islamic theocratic, lawful but with grave defects [Islamic law locks in C7 Arabian thought and culture, e.g. girls responsible at 9 yo leading to child executions], statist-tyrannical

    China: oligarchic-Communist Party, lawful but with serious defects, statist but with policy to cultivate markets, trending to democratisation.

    The logic of this is one sadly stable pole, oppression and tyranny in various forms, a sort of vortex of political systems that has to be resisted actively and vigilantly.

    The opposite pole, anarchy is unstable, a foil or threat of chaos in most cases, closest thing being state of nature or a disorganised population in a region. Even families and clans move away from this naturally.

    Tends to repel populations to the tyranny vortex.

    In the middle lies a fuzzy cloud only accessible once the printing press, widespread elementary education and literacy backed up by the longbow and pike then the musket democratised populations, first in NW Europe.

    In this cloud modern constitutional democracies live, always being tugged back to the vortex of tyranny (often disguised as liberation and greater equality for the marginalised) and with a fringe wanting minimal government.

    Genuine reform and liberty are possible in this zone.

    In cases of collapsing ideologies, a reconstruction process will be required to ground stable democracy. At least if the post Nazi and post 1989 periods are anything to go by.

    Russia seems to be lapsing back into strongmanism under a former KGB Colonel.

    I am pessimistic about our civilisation as a whole on many levels.

    KF

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    the old fashioned L/R spectrun is dead, killed by confusions and blunders like the assigning of Fascism and Nazism (this last actually confessedly socialist in name!) to the right wing instead of the statist-totalitarian socialist but also nationalist (not internationalist) left.

    I’d reckon that Mussolini’s game co-opted existing elites, panicky in the face of chaos and kept them happy as the marshes were drained and the trains ran on time. Military failure led to his collapse.

    But the coercive power of the totalitarian state and secret police power points to state domination.

    KF

  137. 137
    harry says:

    kairosfocus,

    The fundamental problem is fallen human nature. Some forms of government are intrinsically evil from the beginning; others are not intrinsically evil from the start, but are just based on stupid ideas; and still others actually start out quite good, being based as they are upon the truths of the natural law. No matter how a government starts, due to the fallen nature of humanity, it will eventually, if it didn’t start out that way, experience the rise of a self-serving ruling class that does not feel obliged to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” They instead use the coercive power of government as the means by which they protect and serve their own interests. Or, to put it more concisely, they have no regard for the common good or the intrinsic rights of any and every human being.

    This basic injustice can and does occur under communism, socialism, capitalism, and in democracies like that in the U.S. where the majority rules when its wishes coincide with those of the ruling class, and is overruled by judges when it doesn’t.

    Fallen human nature, without availing itself of grace, is self-serving. Lord Acton’s remark, while it is admittedly a cliché, is nonetheless true: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Absolute corruption of the ruling class always ends in the deification of the state, where Caesar insists that humanity render unto him authority that belongs to God alone, as in the state claiming for itself the authority to sanction the killing of innocent human beings as a matter of social policy.

    They only way to mitigate this tendency of all governments to become corrupt is the popular recognition of a few basic truths:

    1) Humanity precedes the state and brings it into existence. The state therefore exists for humanity, not humanity for the state.

    2) It is humanity that bestows and withdraws the state’s right to exist, not the state that bestows and withdraws innocent humanity’s right to exist, as in Caesar pretending to have the authority to sanction the killing of innocent humanity as a matter of social policy.

    3) The more concentrated power is, the more quickly it becomes corrupt. This is why the American Founders insisted that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” And knowing that the corruption of the government they established would eventually come about, also insisted that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The inevitable corruption caused by concentrations of power is why Catholic Social Teaching insists on the diffusion of governmental power, or “subsidiarity,” which is the principle, as it relates to good government, that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. Political decisions should be taken at a local level if possible, rather than by a central authority.

    As a Catholic and one who has great admiration for the wisdom of America’s Founders, I can’t help but think that the Church and the Founders have it right. I also believe that those who have no conception of humanity’s fallen nature will never understand these things, and in confusing license with liberty, are doomed to end up being oppressed by a totalitarian state, and in their ignorance doom their children and grandchildren to the same.

    For the sake of our children and grandchildren, it is time to knock Caesar off his high horse and put him back in his place as one who the people have delegated to exercise the legitimate authority of government that comes from God alone.

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    Harry, I think we fundamentally agree. My underlying theme is that the sound lessons of history are written in blood and tears, so those who ignore, dismiss, twist or corrupt them doom themselves to learn them again at much the same price. Hence, for polities, the deadly vortex model now under construction by way of response to the abusive rhetoric of the right wing theocratic anti-science, anti-progress anti-equality threat that seems to be a key motivator for ever so many evolutionary materialist scientistic secular humanists and their fellow travelers. It probably is relevant that, live, I am working on a charter of good government initiative. KF

  139. 139
    Axel says:

    KF: You know that Mussolini described fascism as ‘corporatism, don’t you?

    Government by the multinationals (rather more blandly labelled, ‘corporations’ or ‘large corporations’) which, notoriously, of course, owe allegiance to no country, appears to have been usurping the governance of the US.

  140. 140
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I am clipping von Mises’ introductory remarks from the book downloadable here https://mises.org/library/socialism-economic-and-sociological-analysis as this will give us relevant context . . . where in effect all are in principle socialist, the spectrum of politics is a socialist-centric one, which should immediately throw much light on how the chattering classes speak about progressivism, sustainability [a major UN vote comes up next month on SD goals to take over from Millennium Development Goals] and “social justice” and “equality” etc in our day:
    ________________

    >>Socialism is the watchword and the catchword of our day.
    The socialist idea dominates the modern spirit. The masses
    approve of it, it expresses the thoughts and feelings of all; it has set its seal upon our time. When history comes to tell our story it will write above the chapter ‘The Epoch of Socialism’.

    As yet, it is true, Socialism has not created a society which can be said to represent its ideal. But for more than a generation [c. 1951] the policies of civilized nations have been directed towards nothing less than a gradual realization of Socialism.‘ In recent years the move-ment has grown noticeably in vigour and tenacity. Some nations have sought to achieve Socialism, in its fullest sense, at a single stroke. Before our eyes Russian Bolshevism has already accomplished something which, whatever we believe to be its significance, must by the very magnitude of its design be regarded as one of the most remarkable achievements known to world history. Elsewhere no one has yet achieved so much. But with other peoples only the inner contradictions of Socialism itself and the fact that it cannot be com-pletely realized have frustrated socialist triumph. They also have gone as far as they could under the given circumstances.

    Opposition in principle to Socialism there is none. To-day no in?uential party would dare openly to advocate Private Property in the Means of Production. The word ‘Capitalism’ expresses, for our age, the sum of all evil. Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas. In seeking to combat Socialism from the standpoint of their special class interest these opponents — the parties which par-ticularly call themselves ‘bourgeois’ or ‘peasant’ — admit indirectly the validity of all the essentials of socialist thought.

    For if it is only possible to argue against the socialist programme that it endangers the particular interests of one part of humanity, one has really affirmed Socialism. If one complains that the system of economic and social organization which is based on private property in the means of production does not sufficiently consider the interests of the community, that it serves only the purposes of single strata, and that it limits productivity; and if therefore one demands with the sup-porters of the various ‘social-political’ and ‘social-reform’ movements, state interference in all ?elds of economic life, then one has funda-mentally accepted the principle of the socialist programme. Or again, if one can only argue against Socialism that the imperfections of human nature make its realization impossible, or that it is in-expedient under existing economic conditions to proceed at once to socialization, then one merely confesses that one has capitulated to socialist ideas.

    The nationalist, too, affirms Socialism, and objects only to its Internationalism. He wishes to combine Socialism with the ideas of Imperialism and the struggle against foreign nations. He is a national, not an international socialist; but he, also, approves of the essential principles of Socialism.

    The supporters of Socialism therefore are not confined to the Bolshevists and their friends outside Russia or to the members of the numerous socialist parties: all are socialists who consider the socialistic order of society economically and ethically superior to that based on private ownership of the means of production, even though they may try for one reason or another to make a tem-porary or permanent compromise between their socialistic ideal and the particular interests which they believe themselves to represent. If we define Socialism as broadly as this we see that the great majority of people are with Socialism today [c. 1951] . . . >>
    _________________

    (The shift in the world of thought is that post the 1980’s Marxist-Leninist Communism collapsed in ignominy.)

    KF

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel,

    observe the manifesto and the actual programme, and particularly what corporatism meant and where it came from.

    Let me clip more from Richman as seen at 125:
    _______________

    >>As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power: a tied bundle of rods with a protruding ax. In its day (the 1920s and 1930s), fascism was seen as the happy medium between boom-and-bust-prone liberal capitalism, with its alleged class conflict, wasteful competition, and profit-oriented egoism, and revolutionary Marxism, with its violent and socially divisive persecution of the bourgeoisie. Fascism substituted the particularity of nationalism and racialism—“blood and soil”—for the internationalism of both classical liberalism and Marxism.

    Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

    Fascism is to be distinguished from interventionism, or the mixed economy. Interventionism seeks to guide the market process, not eliminate it, as fascism did. Minimum-wage and antitrust laws, though they regulate the free market, are a far cry from multiyear plans from the Ministry of Economics.

    Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Planning boards set product lines, production levels, prices, wages, working conditions, and the size of firms. Licensing was ubiquitous; no economic activity could be undertaken without government permission. Levels of consumption were dictated by the state, and “excess” incomes had to be surrendered as taxes or “loans.” The consequent burdening of manufacturers gave advantages to foreign firms wishing to export. But since government policy aimed at autarky, or national self-sufficiency, protectionism was necessary: imports were barred or strictly controlled, leaving foreign conquest as the only avenue for access to resources unavailable domestically. Fascism was thus incompatible with peace and the international division of labor—hallmarks of liberalism.

    Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry rather than on geography. In this, fascism revealed its roots in syndicalism, a form of socialism originating on the left. The government cartelized firms of the same industry, with representatives of labor and management serving on myriad local, regional, and national boards—subject always to the final authority of the dictator’s economic plan. Corporatism was intended to avert unsettling divisions within the nation, such as lockouts and union strikes. The price of such forced “harmony” was the loss of the ability to bargain and move about freely.

    To maintain high employment and minimize popular discontent, fascist governments also undertook massive public-works projects financed by steep taxes, borrowing, and fiat money creation. While many of these projects were domestic—roads, buildings, stadiums—the largest project of all was militarism, with huge armies and arms production.

    The fascist leaders’ antagonism to communism has been misinterpreted as an affinity for capitalism. In fact, fascists’ anticommunism was motivated by a belief that in the collectivist milieu of early-twentieth-century Europe, communism was its closest rival for people’s allegiance. As with communism, under fascism, every citizen was regarded as an employee and tenant of the totalitarian, party-dominated state. Consequently, it was the state’s prerogative to use force, or the threat of it, to suppress even peaceful opposition.

    If a formal architect of fascism can be identified, it is Benito Mussolini, the onetime Marxist editor who, caught up in nationalist fervor, broke with the left as World War I approached and became Italy’s leader in 1922. Mussolini distinguished fascism from liberal capitalism in his 1928 autobiography:

    The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (p. 280)

    Before his foray into imperialism in 1935, Mussolini was often praised by prominent Americans and Britons, including Winston Churchill, for his economic program.

    Similarly, Adolf Hitler, whose National Socialist (Nazi) Party adapted fascism to Germany beginning in 1933, said:

    The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property. (Barkai 1990, pp. 26–27)

    Both nations exhibited elaborate planning schemes for their economies in order to carry out the state’s objectives. Mussolini’s corporate state “consider[ed] private initiative in production the most effective instrument to protect national interests” (Basch 1937, p. 97). But the meaning of “initiative” differed significantly from its meaning in a market economy. Labor and management were organized into twenty-two industry and trade “corporations,” each with Fascist Party members as senior participants. The corporations were consolidated into a National Council of Corporations; however, the real decisions were made by state agencies such as the Instituto per la Ricosstruzione Industriale, which held shares in industrial, agricultural, and real estate enterprises, and the Instituto Mobiliare, which controlled the nation’s credit.

    Hitler’s regime eliminated small corporations and made membership in cartels mandatory.1 The Reich Economic Chamber was at the top of a complicated bureaucracy comprising nearly two hundred organizations organized along industry, commercial, and craft lines, as well as several national councils. The Labor Front, an extension of the Nazi Party, directed all labor matters, including wages and assignment of workers to particular jobs. Labor conscription was inaugurated in 1938. Two years earlier, Hitler had imposed a four-year plan to shift the nation’s economy to a war footing. In Europe during this era, Spain, Portugal, and Greece also instituted fascist economies.

    In the United States, beginning in 1933, the constellation of government interventions known as the New Deal had features suggestive of the corporate state. The National Industrial Recovery Act created code authorities and codes of practice that governed all aspects of manufacturing and commerce. The National Labor Relations Act made the federal government the final arbiter in labor issues. The Agricultural Adjustment Act introduced central planning to farming. The object was to reduce competition and output in order to keep prices and incomes of particular groups from falling during the Great Depression.

    It is a matter of controversy whether President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was directly influenced by fascist economic policies. Mussolini praised the New Deal as “boldly . . . interventionist in the field of economics,” and Roosevelt complimented Mussolini for his “honest purpose of restoring Italy” and acknowledged that he kept “in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman.” Also, Hugh Johnson, head of the National Recovery Administration, was known to carry a copy of Raffaello Viglione’s pro-Mussolini book, The Corporate State, with him, presented a copy to Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and, on retirement, paid tribute to the Italian dictator.
    About the Author

    Sheldon Richman is the editor of The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty at the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvingtonon-Hudson, N.Y.
    Further Reading
    Barkai, Avraham. Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theory, and Policy. Trans. Ruth Hadass-Vashitz. Oxford: Berg Publishers Ltd., 1990.
    Basch, Ernst. The Fascist: His State and His Mind. New York: Morrow, 1937.
    Diggins, John P. Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972.
    Flynn, John T. As We Go Marching. 1944. Reprint. New York: Free Life Editions, 1973.
    Flynn, John T. The Roosevelt Myth. New York: Devin-Adair, 1948.
    Laqueur, Walter, ed. Fascism: A Reader’s Guide. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976.
    Mises, Ludwig von. Omnipotent Government. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1944.
    Mussolini, Benito. Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions. Firenze: Vallecchi, 1935.
    Mussolini, Benito. My Autobiography. New York: Scribner’s, 1928.
    Pitigliani, Fauto. The Italian Corporative State. New York: Macmillan, 1934.
    Powell, Jim. FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression. New York: Crown Forum, 2003.
    Shirer, William L. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960.
    Twight, Charlotte. America’s Emerging Fascist Economy. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1975.
    Footnotes
    1.

    “Laws decreed in October 1937 simply dissolved all corporations with a capital under $40,000 and forbade the establishment of new ones with a capital less than $20,000” (Shirer 1959, p. 262).>>
    __________________

    In short, state control through and through of capital and labour etc.

    KF

  142. 142
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@108“That’s interesting. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr won the award in 1966.”

    “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” – Margaret Sanger

    Zac@112“The left is characterized as resistance to racism, such as during the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s.”

    The first black members of the US House and Senate were Republicans. The first civil rights legislation came from Republicans. Democrats gave us the KKK, Jim Crow, lynchings, poll taxes, literacy tests, and failed policies like the “Great Society.”

    Republican President Eisenhower ordered troops to enforce school desegregation. Republican Senator Everett Dirksen enabled the 1964 civil rights legislation to pass, in opposition to Democrat Senators Robert Byrd (KKK Grand Wizard) and Al Gore, Sr. –Allen West

    “I’ll have those n!@@rs voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” –Lyndon Baines Johnson about the Great Society plan.

  143. 143
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

    Makes you wonder why Dr. King would accept such an award. Don’t suppose you fell for an old quote-mine, do you?

    Heartlander: The first black members of the US House and Senate were Republicans. The first civil rights legislation came from Republicans.

    That’s right! Of course, you’re still conflating the left-right dichotomy with Democratic-Republican. You do realize that the Democratic Party fractured between its liberal and conservative wings? Have you ever heard of the Dixiecrats? George Wallace?

  144. 144
    kairosfocus says:

    Pardon, English translation 1951 fr 1932 2nd German edn, first is 1922.

  145. 145
    Axel says:

    Thanks for that, too, Kairosfocus. It seems far more complex than I had realised; though I’m not sure fascism’s net effects were any the less malign for that.

    Russian Communism was hijacked by Stalin, it has plausibly been said, but atheistically-inpired as it was, it was never a credible ideology in a Christian or post-Christian European society, and always likely to be oppressively totalitarian; particularly, since it was always going to be under siege by their equally-corrupt capitalist counterparts.

    There should be no problem with a Christian socialism, however, so I can only assume Pius XI view socialism as inevitably atheistic and totalitarian. The countries of Scandinavia, surprisingly well-disposed towards Christian churches, have been an example to the whole world, imhpo.

  146. 146
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, ironically, I am currently advocating that we should have an organised publicly accountable advisory community forum attached to our unicameral legislature that captures district level representation and civil society bodies. KF

  147. 147
    Axel says:

    … mixed economy and all….

  148. 148
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@143“Don’t suppose you fell for an old quote-mine, do you?”

    It is from Margaret Sanger’s December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts. Look it up…

    Zac@143“You do realize that the Democratic Party fractured between its liberal and conservative wings? Have you ever heard of the Dixiecrats?”

    Ah yes Dixiecrats… Let’s take a look at how many Dixiecrat segregationalists remained Democrats, and how many switched parties:

    Dixiecrats who remained Democrats after 1964:

    Orval Fabus
    Benjamin Travis Laney
    John Stennis
    James Eastland
    Allen Ellender
    Russell Long
    John Sparkman
    John McClellan
    Richard Russell
    Herman Talmadge
    George Wallace
    Lester Maddox
    John Rarick
    Robert Byrd
    Al Gore, Sr.
    Bull Connor

    Dixiecrats who became Republicans after 1964:

    Strom Thurmond
    Miles Godwin

  149. 149
    harry says:

    Axel @145,

    There should be no problem with a Christian socialism, however, so I can only assume Pius XI view socialism as inevitably atheistic and totalitarian.

    For whatever it is worth, here is another excerpt from Pius XI’s On Reconstruction of the Social Order that explains his belief that socialism and Christianity cannot be reconciled:

    117. But what if Socialism has really been so tempered and modified as to the class struggle and private ownership that there is in it no longer anything to be censured on these points? Has it thereby renounced its contradictory nature to the Christian religion? This is the question that holds many minds in suspense. And numerous are the Catholics who, although they clearly understand that Christian principles can never be abandoned or diminished seem to turn their eyes to the Holy See and earnestly beseech Us to decide whether this form of Socialism has so far recovered from false doctrines that it can be accepted without the sacrifice of any Christian principle and in a certain sense be baptized. That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth.

    118. For, according to Christian teaching, man, endowed with a social nature, is placed on this earth so that by leading a life in society and under an authority ordained of God he may fully cultivate and develop all his faculties unto the praise and glory of his Creator; and that by faithfully fulfilling the duties of his craft or other calling he may obtain for himself temporal and at the same time eternal happiness. Socialism, on the other hand, wholly ignoring and indifferent to this sublime end of both man and society, affirms that human association has been instituted for the sake of material advantage alone.

    119. Because of the fact that goods are produced more efficiently by a suitable division of labor than by the scattered efforts of individuals, socialists infer that economic activity, only the material ends of which enter into their thinking, ought of necessity to be carried on socially. Because of this necessity, they hold that men are obliged, with respect to the producing of goods, to surrender and subject themselves entirely to society. Indeed, possession of the greatest possible supply of things that serve the advantages of this life is considered of such great importance that the higher goods of man, liberty not excepted, must take a secondary place and even be sacrificed to the demands of the most efficient production of goods. This damage to human dignity, undergone in the “socialized” process of production, will be easily offset, they say, by the abundance of socially produced goods which will pour out in profusion to individuals to be used freely at their pleasure for comforts and cultural development. Society, therefore, as Socialism conceives it, can on the one hand neither exist nor be thought of without an obviously excessive use of force; on the other hand, it fosters a liberty no less false, since there is no place in it for true social authority, which rests not on temporal and material advantages but descends from God alone, the Creator and last end of all things.

  150. 150
    Heartlander says:

    On a side note, a little history about Fred Phelps and Al Gore.

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    The fascists speak: http://www.worldfuturefund.org.....solini.htm note the very strong statism and anti-individualism and the rejection of majority vote, down to state creates nation. KF

  152. 152
    jerry says:

    Kairosfocus,

    A someewhat related link from today

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/211706/

    This is my other favorite topic beside evolution. This isn’t the place to discuss it since the typical responses from the statism side here are so inane. It is not worth it. Often the jousting over evolution isn’t worth it either since there is no serious discussion from the anti-ID side.

    It seems funny, pro statism and pro natualistic evolution are fellow travelers. Not all but a high correlation.

    I have copied this thread to my IPad to read on my vacation next week.

    Socialism can never work because the is no pricing mechanism to tell the economy how much to produce. Profit is essential to a working economy because like prices it is a signal as to what the economy finds desirable. These two elements are communication devices that do not exist in socialism or a statism approach and thus will inevitably lead to dysfunction and the requirement for oppression to maintain stability.

  153. 153
    goodusername says:

    Heartlander,

    I’m not sure what the point of your posts are, but you do realize that a century ago, most liberals voted Republican and most conservatives voted Dem, right? New England and California were pretty solidly Republican, and states from Texas to Georgia were solidly Democrat, the then states-rights party.

    A couple of national events essentially switched the memberships of the two parties from what they were a century ago. The first was infighting within the Republican party that started as the Progressive Era heated up. During this time, the Republicans not only dominated the northern liberal vote, but also had a good chunk of the northern conservative vote. And being that there were more “Northern” states than “Southern” states, the Republicans dominated national politics. But eventually, as one might imagine, tensions arose between the progressives and conservatives in the party. Teddy Roosevelt was the leading progressive politician of the era, and also the leader of the Republican party. As the infighting got worse (particularly between him and Taft) he eventually left the party to form the “Progressive” or “Bull-Moose” party and ran as a third party candidate in 1912. The Democrats, sensing a weakness in the Republican party and a chance to pull away some of the progressive vote, nominated Woodrow Wilson.

    The Democrats, with the bulk of the conservative vote, and having some success at courting progressives, easily won with 435 electoral votes.
    Teddy and the Progressive party, after taking away most of the progressive vote from the Republican party, came in second with 88 electoral votes.
    The Republicans with – well, not much left – some northern and western conservatives – came in a distant third with 8 electoral votes.

    Most of the progressives rejoined the Republican party after the 1912 election, but the Democrats continued the strategy of courting them away from the GOP for the next couple decades, finally winning most of them over during the Great Depression when they voted for FDR.

    Now it was the Dems turn to dominate national politics. They held the bulk of the liberal vote in the North – where most voters were liberal – and owned the conservative vote in the South – where most voters were conservative! They dominated like no party ever has. It might seem like an unstable situation but remember that this is still a time when the maxim “politics is local” was actually true. A liberal Boston Dem wasn’t asked to explain or apologize for what a Dem in Alabama said in support of lynching, and vice versa. And so the arrangement actually worked (at least for the most part – there were a couple hiccups, like Thurmond running as a Dixiecrat in 1948) – and would continue to work as long as there wasn’t a political controversy pitting liberals against conservatives on a national scale. Of course, that happened with the Civil Rights era.

    The one time a Republican won the presidency during this period was Eisenhower in 1856, and that’s because he was a national hero . But even Eisenhower – in the Republican landslide victory – couldn’t win states like Mississipi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, which shows how solidly Dem they were. Suddenly, just 8 years later – 1964 – they were 4 of only 6 states that the Republicans managed to win in a landslide loss! It shows how many southern voters had suddenly switched parties.

    Just as Dems once took advantage of an opportunity to steal away liberal voters from the Republicans, the Republicans now saw an opportunity to steal away unhappy Southern conservatives from the Dem party. Goldwater in 64 and then Nixon in 68 won the South with the infamous “Southern strategy” of winning over the “Negrophobe whites” of the South.
    (George Wallace threw a wrench in Nixon’s strategy in 68 by running as a third party conservative candidate in 1968 and taking many of the southern states himself away from Nixon. But Nixon managed just enough Southern states to squeak out a victory in what should have been an easy landslide.)

    The list of “Dixiecrats who remained Democrats after 1964” is a bit misleading.
    Orval Fabus, fed up with his party, left politics in 1966. George Wallace did remain a dem – for a while – he left to form a new conservative party in 68 and ran for president, causing headaches for Nixon. (That alone shows how things have changed. Just a few years earlier, if George Wallace had run as a third party candidate, it would have stolen votes away from the Democrats. But now, despite running on the same platform, he was stealing votes away from the Republicans.)

    Others on the list changed their view (or at least their platforms) – this includes Byrd, Gore Sr, Stennis, and Eastland.

    There were some die-hards that stayed dem and managed to hold on to their office, as they were very popular in their states, but they were the last of their breed. Almost all of their replacements would be Republicans.
    Also, although they were registered as Democrats, many of them didn’t see themselves as part of the national Democrat Party. As George Wallace would put it: “I am an Alabama Democrat, not a national Democrat. I’m not kin to those folks. The difference between a national Democrat and an Alabama Democrat is like the difference between a Communist and a non-Communist.”

    But the point is that a large majority of Southern voters switched parties during this time (as can be seen by looking at just about any election during this period. Several southern states would have their first GOP governor since the Reconstruction period.) And it wasn’t because Southerners suddenly switched from being liberal to conservative.

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry:

    I hear you, and that’s a great link.

    I shudder to have to ask this: has statist political messianism working as fascism ultimately won (though obviously not under that name)?

    Jonah Goldberg, HT Ed Driscoll at Instapundit, in his Liberal Fascism or more precisely a 2009 i/view on it:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....-interview

    You know, when I first started pondering the book, I thought it might be all about economics. About ten years ago I went on a junket to Switzerland and attended a talk with the CEO of Nestlé. Listening to him, it became very clear to me that he had little to no interest in free markets or capitalism properly understood. He saw his corporation as a “partner” with governments, NGOs, the U.N., and other massive multinationals. The profit motive was good for efficiency and rewarding talent, but beyond that, he wanted order and predictability and as much planning as he could get. I think that mindset informs the entire class of transnational progressives, the shock troops of what H. G. Wells hoped would lead to his liberal-fascist “world brain.”

    If you look at how most liberals think about economics, they want big corporations and big government working in tandem with labor, universities (think industrial policy), and progressive organizations to come up with “inclusive” policies set at the national or international level. That’s not necessarily socialism — it’s corporatism. When you listen to how Obama is making economic policy with “everyone at the table,” he’s describing corporatism, the economic philosophy of fascism. Government is the senior partner, but all of the other institutions are on board — so long as they agree with the government’s agenda. The people left out of this coordinated effort — the Nazis called it the Gleichschaltung — are the small businessmen, the entrepreneurs, the ideological, social, or economic mavericks who don’t want to play along. When you listen to Obama demonize Chrysler’s bondholders simply because they want their contracts enforced and the rule of law sustained, you get a sense of what I’m talking about.

    I don’t think Obama wants a brutal tyranny any more than Hillary Clinton does (which is to say I don’t think he wants anything of the sort). But I do think they honestly believe that progress is best served if everyone falls in line with a national agenda, a unifying purpose, a “village” mentality expanded to include all of society. That sentiment drips from almost every liberal exhortation about everything from global warming to national service. But to point it out earns you the label of crank. As I said a minute ago about that “We’re All Fascists Now” chapter, I think people fail to understand that tyrannies — including soft, Huxleyan tyrannies — aren’t born from criminal conspiracies by evil men; they’re born by progressive groupthink.

    In short the tug to look to ever increased state power and control to rescue us from the perceived or actual instability or chaos is always there.

    And, it seems oh so reasonable that enough people from the right Schools now in boardrooms, Parliaments & co, with just the right salting from the tool-room through some bright union boys etc, can do it. All so progressive, so clinically neat, so cleverly phrased, so sustainable.

    von Mises blows it all apart — and BTW in the same book I have linked and clipped above: https://mises.org/library/socialism-economic-and-sociological-analysis

    I remember quite a few years ago, as I wound up affairs in my homeland, heading to where I now live, I took up a series of 600 word letters to the editor of the main newspaper as I saw some worrying issues. Successful, until I wrote one on von Mises’ point.

    The second key issue with understanding the power of market exchanges in a community, is that they solve an huge information and control problem: how to allocate a vast number of units of goods and services across a wide area, among competing possible uses, without chaos, confusion, undue delay (think perishables such as fruit here) and horrific waste and want?

    The first key?

    We often fail to understand that the economic exchange is a mutual benefit. I prefer the loaf of bread, the baker, my cash. Even, when I would wish the bread were cheaper. And as bread is very perishable, the baker can see readily if price and quantity are out of whack. Where also, as cost to enter/exit is low enough the market is contestable.

    So now, how do we solve the information and co-ordination problem?

    What I wrote way back, was that this is a computer architecture problem in disguise: centralised processing (next door to where I wrote was the then overawing Vax 11/786 — I forget specifics, I think this was it — computer centre with a whole gig of live ram . . . ) vs coupled, distributed but individually far less capable processors. That is, economies are always planned, the issue is the balance of centralised vs distributed planning.

    What von Mises saw was that centralisation as utterly dominant cannot work, for multiple reasons, it is just not technically feasible to focus and process the required information to co-ordinate. Not least, it is intrinsically local, personal, often intuitive, and highly perishable. So excessive centralisation and linked power over-concentration (tempting to pols, bureaucrats, wonks, uni grads and the like) will be far more wasteful, chaotic and incompetent than the collective of households, firms and the like in an economy as a whole.

    A classic story on this is, the lesson that no one person truly knows how to make a modern industrially produced pencil.

    Also, a mesh network is far more failure and error tolerant than a concentrated star.

    (So it makes sense to provide some sort of cushion than to try to eliminate failure.)

    And so, we see that excessive economic centralisation will fail. Not just in private hands but in public hands or those of the soviets of the economy under Gov’t “sponsorship.”

    Soviets?

    Yes, cf Wikipedia, inadvertently speaking against progressivist interest:

    “Soviet” is derived from a Russian word signifying council, assembly, advice, harmony, concord,[trans 1] ultimately deriving from the Proto-Slavic verbal stem of *vetiti “to talk, speak”. The word “sovietnik” means councillor.[1]

    A number of organizations in Russian history were called “council” (Russian: sov[i]et ). For example, in Imperial Russia, the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905.[1] . . . .

    According to the official historiography of the Soviet Union, the first worker’s council (soviet) was formed in May 1905 in Ivanovo (north-east of Moscow) during the 1905 Russian Revolution (Ivanovsky Soviet). However in his memoirs, the Russian Anarchist Volin claims that he witnessed the beginnings of the St Petersburg Soviet in January 1905. The Russian workers were largely organized at the turn of the 20th century, leading to a government-sponsored trade union leadership. In 1905, as the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) increased the strain on Russian industrial production, the workers began to strike and rebel. The soviets represented an autonomous workers’ movement, one that broke free from the government’s oversight of workers’ unions. Soviets sprang up throughout the industrial centers of Russia, usually organized at the factory level. The soviets disappeared after the Revolution of 1905, but re-emerged under socialist leadership during the revolutions of 1917.

    In short, the idea of state guided councils is well known.

    And if one is sliding into the deadly vortex of ruthless political power, the idea becomes yet another means of centralised tyrannical control, implicitly backed up by the secret state police and the infamous hobnail boots crunching down the corridor to an apartment at 4 am.

    So, the issue is to escape the vortex and move to the centre based on understanding the dynamics of limited government, economic and political freedom under the civil peace of justice defended by the legitimate state under Him who sponsors justice as the source of moral government, and with the consent of the governed.

    But, increasingly, we would not have Him to rule over us, nor do we wish to acknowledge that we owe him any loyalty or reasonable service by doing the good in accord with our evident nature, in a proper balance of rights, responsibilities and freedoms.

    That odd whirling sucking noise you hear in the background is our civilisation beginning to swirl out of control down into the deadly vortex of oppressive domineering ever growing state power.

    A march of folly in the name of people power: http://kairosfocus.blogspot.co.....-year.html

    And no, the “real” pressing problem is not the foil we so commonly hear: “right wing fundy theocratic terrorism, micro aggression and ultimate Christo-fascist dictatorship.”

    That is a strawman, scapegoat, polarising distraction.

    We need to recognise what is happening in light of recognising a growing “train of abuses and usurpations,” and find a way to swim against the swirling vortex to make our way back to the inherently unstable but with vigilance sustainable balance point at the centre of our space, aptly described in the US DoI of 1776:

    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, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of 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 shewn, 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 . . . .

    KF

  155. 155
    jerry says:

    Kairosfocus,

    Yes, I forgot to attribute my comments to Mises, the man who destroyed socialism as a viable concept. A lot of the prevalence of socialism in the modern world is due incredibly bad academic thinking but also hate. See this interesting video on political correctness and the Frankfurt School.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6c_dinY3fM

    There are a couple links at the end of the video to more on the Frankfurt School and communism.

    Socialism is built on not just bad ideas but hate. A hate for those who succeed. But the only moral way to distribute goods is through free markets. This allows each individual to succeed if they can. Obviously not all do. I was a failure for most of my business career but found a way by starting a small business with my wife.

    People lump all the forms of capitalism together as if it were one monolithic movement and then attribute all the wrongs to what may be particular to one or the other versions of it. Interesting perversion of logic and reason that leads one to the various forms of statism.

    Off to my vacation with my wife and cousins but will check on this thread if there is time. Will see what kind of perversions the defenders of statism come up with.

  156. 156
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: It is from Margaret Sanger’s December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts. Look it up…

    You apparently don’t know what constitutes a quote-mine. Look it up…

    Heartlander: Ah yes Dixiecrats… Let’s take a look at how many Dixiecrat segregationalists remained Democrats,

    Of course. Most southern conservatives remained Democrats because for a century southern political power was organized through the Democratic Party. It took more than a generation for white southerners to switch to Republicans.

    You’re still conflating the left-right dichotomy with Democratic-Republican. Southern Democrats at the time were conservative Democrats.

  157. 157
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: The fascists speak: http://www.worldfuturefund.org.....solini.htm note the very strong statism and anti-individualism and the rejection of majority vote, down to state creates nation.

    Yes, stringent anti-egalitarianism, which is why fascism is considered a movement of the extreme political right. Or to quote from your linked article:

    Benito Mussolini: Granted that the XIXth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the XXth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the “right”, a Fascist century.

  158. 158
    jerry says:

    But the point is that a large majority of Southern voters switched parties during this time

    Your analysis misses a lot of key points. It is generally correct but the Democratic Party of the early 20th century was a mixture of the solid South and the Catholic north. They hated each other but were attracted to the Democratic Party because they both hated Republicans. Catholics were then at best, working class and took over the local politics of northern cities. Their logical affiliation was anti-Republican which put them in league with people who hated them.

    The Republicans were the transformation of the Whigs of the 1820’s started by Henry Clay as a reaction to the debacle of the War of 1812, They elected two presidents but disappeared in the 1850’s to be replaced by the Republicans. Lincoln was originally a Whig. They differed from the Democrats of Jefferson in the sense that they were middle class and business oriented while the Democrats were agrarian and supported slavery as their God given right to freedom to own slaves. The Whigs like the Federalists looked very favorably on government support of national projects. For example, Lincoln was a major proponent of building railroads and instituted the Homestead Act.

    After the Civil War, the Democratic party was entrenched in the South as a reaction to control by the Republicans and voted straight Democrat for over 100 years.

    But a lot changed in the 1960’s as the North became atheistic and drifted to the Democratic party while the religious South was appalled by Roe vs Wade and switched to the more moral of the two parties, the Republicans. By this time, sexual freedom and all its ramifications became part of the Democratic Party which led the intellectual North to it.

    Blacks switched to the Democratic Party under Roosevelt and have been part of it since. Without the blacks, the Democrats would have trouble electing dog catchers anywhere.

    If one wants to see the transition of the Democratic Party ideologically in the last 50 years read the book “Can a Catholic be a Democrat.” It is not necessary to be a Catholic to see how a large percentage of the electorate views Democrat politicians as essentially immoral.

    http://www.amazon.com/Can-Cath.....1933184191

    It is a devastating analysis of the Democratic Party by a Catholic who lived and breathed the party for most of his life.

    There are other forces behind modern success by the Democratic Party, and these involve around identity politics, women, Hispanic, homosexuality and the power of government unions in some areas especially California.

    The Democratic party of the 1960’s was fiercely anti communist and pro military. It is anything but today.

  159. 159
    Zachriel says:

    jerry: But a lot changed in the 1960’s as the North became atheistic and drifted to the Democratic party while the religious South was appalled by Roe vs Wade and switched to the more moral of the two parties, the Republicans. By this time, sexual freedom and all its ramifications became part of the Democratic Party which led the intellectual North to it.

    Sure, that and outside “agitators” forcing the South to abandon Jim Crow.

    Lee Atwater, American political consultant and Republican party strategist, advisor of 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan, campaign manager for 41st U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Chairman of the Republican National Committee: You start out in 1954 by saying, “Ni&&er, ni&&er, ni&&er.” By 1968 you can’t say “ni&&er” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites.

  160. 160
    Zachriel says:

    jerry: The Democratic party of the 1960’s was fiercely anti communist and pro military.

    The Democratic Party had a staunch conservative wing, especially among southern whites. That anti-communist, pro-military fierceness led to disaster in Southeast Asia.

  161. 161
    Virgil Cain says:

    That anti-communist, pro-military fierceness led to disaster in Southeast Asia.

    That is incorrect as it was the lack of purpose and inability to invade the North that led to disaster.

  162. 162
    Silver Asiatic says:

    jerry @ 158

    That was an excellent, concise overview on a complex situation – thank you. Interesting reference also.

  163. 163
    goodusername says:

    jerry,

    The Republicans were the transformation of the Whigs of the 1820’s started by Henry Clay as a reaction to the debacle of the War of 1812,

    The Whigs formed in the 1830s as a reaction to the policies of Jackson (such as his dismantling of the National Bank and removal of the Cherokee Indians). They felt he was being tyrannical and so took the name “Whigs” in honor of the Whigs who supported independence from England in the 18th century.

    But a lot changed in the 1960’s as the North became atheistic and drifted to the Democratic party while the religious South was appalled by Roe vs Wade and switched to the more moral of the two parties, the Republicans.

    Atheists never numbered enough, anywhere, to be relevant as to why a certain part of the country supported either party.

    And it’s anachronistic to attribute Roe v. Wade as the reason the South switched to the Republican party in the early 1960s. Roe v. Wade was 1973.
    The reason the South switched to the “more moral” of the two parties, the Republicans, was due to their opposition to the Civil Rights legislation.
    That’s what the whole “Southern strategy” that the Republicans used (very succussfully) to win over the South (long prior to Roe v. Wade) was based on. As the architect of Nixon’s Southern strategy put it:
    “From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are.”

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    The first thing you still have to answer for, is the very name National Socialist German Worker’s Party.

    This, in a time and place where as von Mises testified, even the liberals and conservatives by and large believed that ultimately socialism would prevail.

    Then, you still need to account for the specific nature of socialism as a socio-economic system that stood up in opposition to enterprise-based market systems in the general context of emerging industrial capitalism.

    Where, the issue of “equality” is not the sole defining construct of Socialism [nor can you legitimately taint all who disagree with the left as you conceive it with supporting either a continuation of feudal oligarchy or cronyist kleptocracy capitalism or the like], and indeed a pro free enterprise limited government democratic view would hold that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights that it is a prime function of the state to bear the sword of justice in defence of.

    Where also, the clearest most dominant socialist bloc saw the consistent emergence of a nomenklatura Party based ruling elite that held power in so direct a way that party bosses sat at the shoulders of even Generals. And today, in North Korea, we are in the third generation of what is clearly a socialist absolutist monarchy.

    All of this points back to the definition of Socialism, something you have also studiously avoided.

    So, again, as I have repeatedly cited and annotated from the world socialists (a current iteration it seems):

    Central to the meaning of socialism is common ownership. This means the resources of the world being owned in common by the entire global population. [–> i.e. the state acting on behalf of the people, where sufficient control is tantamount to declared ownership, from this we get to unlimited power and the characteristic problem of abuse and the rise of a nomenklatura . . . the new, party elite.]

    But does it really make sense for everybody to own everything in common? Of course, some goods tend to be for personal consumption, rather than to share—clothes, for example. People ‘owning’ certain personal possessions does not contradict the principle of a society based upon common ownership.

    In practice, common ownership will mean everybody having the right to participate in decisions on how global resources will be used. [–> dilution through the vote and the concentration of esp policing power means the state monopoly is effectively unbreakable unless there is a systemic breakdown, the individual is now crushed under the bootheel] It means nobody being able to take personal control of resources, beyond their own personal possessions. [–> Save for those who run the all powerful state]

    Democratic control is therefore also essential to the meaning of socialism. [Democracy only works properly with limited govt, a free independent press and literate public free to think speak and act for themselves which implies freedom of economic action also] Socialism will be a society in which everybody will have the right to participate in the social decisions that affect them. [–> and if the apparatchiks don’t like your contribution . . . ?] These decisions could be on a wide range of issues—one of the most important kinds of decision, for example, would be how to organise the production of goods and services. [–> state control]

    Production under socialism would be directly and solely for use. [–> free market ad entrepreneurship are driven out] With the natural and technical resources of the world held in common and controlled democratically [–> deceptive given 100 y of history] , the sole object of production would be to meet human needs. This would entail an end to buying, selling and money. [–> thus, economic freedom is dead, this also runs into the von Mises info problem, it is impossible to soundly achieve] Instead, we would take freely what we had communally produced. The old slogan of “from each according to ability, to each according to needs” would apply.

    State domination of economy and society in the name of the people, generally expressed through a “vanguard” Party, whose elite become the de facto new ruling class and whose leaders become the new oligarchs. Seizure of property in the name of the people, to place it under state control. Associated domination of the individual, as a rule backed up by the secret state police and draconian laws to enforce the state domination. Loss of liberty, and massive violation of core human rights.

    In the Fascist and Nazi cases, the particular means of state economic takeover were slightly subtler than in Stalin’s Russia, formation of guilds and cartels under state/party domination, where nominal owners were agents of the totalitarian state and were not free to act outside of that diktat. Backed up of course by the Secret Police.

    Let’s just say that the rage of the Junkers family over how the highly innovative Professor Junkers was hounded to his grave was iconic.

    In that context, I again draw attention to Mussolini and Hitler:

    MUSSOLINI, 1928 Autobiography:

    >>The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (Mussolini, Benito. My Autobiography. New York: Scribner’s, 1928., p. 280)>>

    HITLER, per citation:

    >>The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property. (Barkai, Avraham. Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theory, and Policy. Trans. Ruth Hadass-Vashitz. Oxford: Berg Publishers Ltd., 1990., pp. 26–27)>>

    Shipman, in the concise enc of Econ and Liberty sums up — and again, this was studiously avoided:

    Both nations exhibited elaborate planning schemes for their economies in order to carry out the state’s objectives. Mussolini’s corporate state “consider[ed] private initiative in production the most effective instrument to protect national interests” (Basch 1937, p. 97). But the meaning of “initiative” differed significantly from its meaning in a market economy. Labor and management were organized into twenty-two industry and trade “corporations,” each with Fascist Party members as senior participants. The corporations were consolidated into a National Council of Corporations; however, the real decisions were made by state agencies such as the Instituto per la Ricosstruzione Industriale, which held shares in industrial, agricultural, and real estate enterprises, and the Instituto Mobiliare, which controlled the nation’s credit.

    Hitler’s regime eliminated small corporations and made membership in cartels mandatory.1 The Reich Economic Chamber was at the top of a complicated bureaucracy comprising nearly two hundred organizations organized along industry, commercial, and craft lines, as well as several national councils. The Labor Front, an extension of the Nazi Party, directed all labor matters, including wages and assignment of workers to particular jobs. Labor conscription was inaugurated in 1938. Two years earlier, Hitler had imposed a four-year plan to shift the nation’s economy to a war footing. In Europe during this era, Spain, Portugal, and Greece also instituted fascist economies.

    In short, Fascism and Nazism were plainly variants of the socialist scheme, and as totalitarian systems were recognisably very close to Bolshevism.

    The commonly presented spectrum with Communists and socialists on the left and Fascists or Nazis on the right, is ill founded.

    It therefor makes sense to think in fresh terms, that address the problem of the deadly vortex of autocratic or oligarchic oppressive government and the need to sustain a limited government, constitutional democracy with a due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities as a much superior alternative but one that is always in danger of being destabilised and drawn into the vortex.

    KF

  165. 165
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: The first thing you still have to answer for, is the very name National Socialist German Worker’s Party.

    Is that same as answering for the People’s Republic of China?

    kairosfocus: The commonly presented spectrum with Communists and socialists on the left and Fascists or Nazis on the right, is ill founded.

    So you keep claiming, while ignoring the standard definitions of the political terms, left and right. Instead, you keep insisting on your own interpretation based on degree of government intrusion, even though that usage is inconsistent with how people actually use the terms.

    We’ll simplify it for you. Is there such a thing as right-wing authoritarianism?

  166. 166
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    People’s Republic is commonly noted to denote a Communist state, and Republic is also commonly used for oligarchic polities. Notice, in referring to constitutional, limited govt democracies I have consistently used specific terms.

    The National Socialist German Workers/Labour Party specifically self identified as socialist in name and party platform then set out to effect a totalitarian state with effectively unlimited control over the economy, enterprises, labour etc tantamount to ownership. Nominal owners were specifically identified as agents of the state and subjected to its decisions.

    I have pointed out similarly for the Fascists.

    Therefore there is good reason to conclude that the Fascists and Nazis were a variant form of totalitarian oligarchic or autocratic, totalitarian party based socialism. Which, contrary to the common assertions, is clearly of the left.

    As for the rhetoric over equality, it is demonstrable that limited government constitutional democracies are committed to equality before the law reflecting equality of people. But such are not committed to state control of the economy as per socialists, instead promoting more or less free markets and enterprise. and likewise the party elites, the nomenklatura are in fact an oligarchic self-perpetuating elite who dominate all sectors of significance.

    And the classic definitions of socialism focus on common ownership by the society of the dominant economic entities which in praxis reduces to state domination and control.

    FYI, here is Collins English Dict:

    socialism
    n
    1. (Economics) an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels. Compare capitalism

    2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system

    3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in Leninist theory) a transitional stage after the proletarian revolution in the development of a society from capitalism to communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than need

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    capitalism
    n
    1. (Economics) Also called: free enterprise or private enterprise an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions. Compare socialism1

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    In short, there is good re4ason to conclude that the presentation of Fascism as right wing is ill founded.

    The only context in which R/L makes some current sense is to discuss debates over the limits of government in a general context of constitutional democracy.

    A dynamical look at states will find that governments labelled R and L by many show strong features of state domination, autocratic or oligarchic rule and arbitrary abusive and unjust frames of law. The only contrast that makes sense between such is constitutional, limited government democracy. Instead of confused, ill-founded labels, I will go straight to the actual deadly vortex of abusive, oppressive misgovernment.

    For instance the Nazis and Fascists were called Right wing, but turn out to be very close to Bolshevism.

    Bolshevism, Stalinism and Maoism etc all are sadly iconic examples of destructive, murderous misgovernment.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is much the same, with a religiously motivated sanction.

    Various Juntas of Latin America were much like that.

    The answer to all of them is to move to the real opposite, constitutional democracy, though there may well need to be a transition proces to build up the basis.

    KF

  167. 167
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    Is there such a thing as right-wing authoritarianism?

    There is certainly such a thing as illegitimate authoritarianism which pretends to have the authority to violate the intrinsic rights of humanity. It makes little difference to its victims whether it touts the merits of socialism, communism, capitalism, fascism, democracy or monarchism while it brutally violates their human dignity and human rights.

    As one who still hasn’t admitted there is such a thing as behavior that is objectively wrong, you have no basis for objecting to any kind of illegitimate authoritarianism other than that it isn’t your personal preference. You can make no rational argument against these things because you will admit to no objective morality the principles of which could be used as the basis for such an argument. Zachriel doesn’t like what he calls “right-wing authoritarianism.” So what? That means nothing. That is lame. Tell us what principles are violated by “right-wing authoritarianism” or, for that matter, are violated by any kind of illegitimate authoritarianism.

  168. 168
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: We’ll simplify it for you. Is there such a thing as right-wing authoritarianism?

    kairosfocus: {snip}

    Did you answer somewhere?

    Zachriel: Is there such a thing as right-wing authoritarianism?

    harry: There is certainly such a thing as illegitimate authoritarianism which pretends to have the authority to violate the intrinsic rights of humanity.

    Not an answer either. We were discussing the characteristics of the political left-right dichotomy. Kairosfocus claims it has to do with the amount of government intrusion, the political left generally advocating more government. However, this is contradicted by the existence of what people call the authoritarian right, not to mention the libertarian left, and all sorts of other shades of political position. That means his understanding of the terms is in error.

    harry: As one who still hasn’t admitted there is such a thing as behavior that is objectively wrong, you have no basis for objecting to any kind of illegitimate authoritarianism other than that it isn’t your personal preference.

    As we are rather fond of humans, and as they seem to do better when they have liberty, we are a friend of liberty.

  169. 169
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    As we are rather fond of humans, and as they seem to do better when they have liberty, we are a friend of liberty.

    Do humans have an intrinsic right to life, so they can exercise the liberty you prefer that they have? Your preferences mean absolutely nothing. Does innocent humanity have an intrinsic right to life and liberty that government has no authority to deny them?

  170. 170
    Zachriel says:

    harry: Do humans have an intrinsic right to life, so they can exercise the liberty you prefer that they have?

    We already answered. We’re rather fond of humans, so we support their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  171. 171
    harry says:

    What you merely support is just your personal preference. Again, does innocent humanity have an intrinsic right to life and liberty that government has no authority to deny them, regardless of your personal preferences?

  172. 172
    Zachriel says:

    harry: What you merely support is just your personal preference.

    Well, if we weren’t fond of humans, we probably wouldn’t care about their welfare — despite any personal notions of objective morality. Ethics without love, like reason without passion, is empty.


    edited for clarity

  173. 173
    mike1962 says:

    Of course, Zachriel dances around the question

  174. 174
    harry says:

    If there is an objective morality, it remains whether we admit to it or not. You are so committed to not admitting to it that you can’t even bring yourself to say explicitly that Nazi genocide was objectively wrong, and then explain the principles that were violated which made it objectively wrong.

    I will assume here that you are familiar with the famous Amistad case, where John Quincy Adams defended before the Supreme Court the Africans who had mutinied and taken control of a Spanish slave-trader ship, the schooner La Amistad, which ended up in American waters and was then commandeered by U.S. authorities. Justice Joseph Story, in rendering the decision of the court that the Africans should be set free, stated that the case had been “decided upon the eternal principles of justice.” Do you have any idea what he was talking about?

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, I have already taken time enough to show why Fascism and Nazism belong in the general class of socialist totalitarian systems. As the usual schemes would assign them to right wing authoritarianism, this shows that the scheme is flawed and questionable, indeed of no credibility. I cannot reasonably answer to “why does the gostak distim the doshes” but I can show that there are authoritarian or totalitarian oppressive regimes that fall all along the map of what is called right and left. Constitutional Democracies, too, are always flawed and in need of genuine reform — as opposed to pulling them into chaos and then the deadly vortex of lawless abusive power and oppression. KF

  176. 176
    Seversky says:

    harry @ 174

    If there is an objective morality, it remains whether we admit to it or not.

    Moral imperatives are all directed towards regulating human behavior, mostly towards one another.

    If one man kills another without sufficient justification we consider that to be immoral – as well as being a crime. But if the unfortunate victim is instead struck down by a bolt of lightning we may think it tragic but we do not normally consider it immoral. Moral codes are held to apply to people not lightning.

    Now suppose the entire human race is annihilated by an asteroid hitting the Earth. Is that immoral? And if the human race no longer exists, what happens to its morality? Does it continue to exist and, if so, in what form and where?

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky:

    If one man kills another without sufficient justification we consider that to be immoral

    Justification in this context begs the question of OUGHT, i.e. it too is not foundational.

    The use of “we consider” is in effect an appeal to personal or community views, and without further foundation suggests or outright implies the nihilist credo, might or manipulation makes ‘right.’ As Plato long since warned in The Laws Bk X on the amorality and radical relativism implicit in evolutionary materialism.

    The issue Harry aptly put on the table is to address and resolve the IS-OUGHT gap, grounding OUGHT in a world-root IS that adequately grounds OUGHT, and particularly justice, i.e. the due balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities in a community that constitutes a proper civil peace.

    This shows the central importance of the origins debates and linked worldviews questions to government, governance and society, especially the utterly important civil peace of justice in the teeth of the deadly vortex of abusive and unjust government that threatens or can engulf any polity.

    You at least understand that unlike mechanical creation, we are — as Charles Grandison Finney (a lawyer, BTW) was fond of summing up — we are under moral government, where our is is subject to the active consideration of OUGHT that to be what is?

    So, the issue is on the table: what is the world-root IS that can ground OUGHT?

    After several centuries, there is just one serious answer, the one written into the US DoI of 1776 and implicit in its predecessor, the Dutch DoI of 1581. That is, we here deal with the foundations of just government and of nationhood that enjoys the blessings of liberty and of the linked civil peace of justice.

    Namely: the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, root of reality, worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in accordance with our evident nature.

    That nature is then manifest in moral government under the self-evident principles and truths at the core of the laws of nature and of nature’s God.

    And so also, as a necessary being is inherently eternal and connected to the rooting of any actual or possible world, so long as a world exists, the laws of nature and of God will also. Laws that will govern any responsibly free and rational creature. Starting with the same point Locke used in his 2nd treatise on civil govt Ch 2 when he set out to ground what would become modern constitutional democracy through a citation from Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity of 1594+:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . [Eccl. Polity, preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]

    KF

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Note the difference in focus, I seek a dynamical framework that reasonably and objectively lays out how, why different poities are more or lest just and stable, others seem to be wanting to emphasise commonly used perceptions and selling propositions such as we emphasise equality, you are about protecting power elites we don’t like. Especially note the persistent failure to address the consistent emergence of a party elite ruling class in radical socialist totalitarian systems — the new governance class that runs the state that is unaccountable controller and de facto owner of essentially the whole economy, backed up by secret police power and show trial politicised people’s kangaroo courts that are anything but lawful in their dealings. Note too, how the fact of at least one Stalinist monarchy in North Korea, now in its third generation, has also been studiously ignored. The case of brother succession in Cuba similarly at least suggests that continuismo — tendency to stretch presidency into life tenure in an autocratic or oligarchic state — tends to monarchy and inheritance of ownership rights. Where, the whole country becomes a domain of the de facto crown. KF

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: Just in case you think the above is the easily brushed aside and ignored idiosyncratic view of some right wing fundy in some silly combox on the web, I clip:

    __________

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n.....scent-why/

    (BTW, follow the link, the posters are utterly revealing.)

    >>Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism

    By Daniel Hannan Politics Last updated: February 25th, 2014

    On 16 June 1941, as Hitler readied his forces for Operation Barbarossa, Josef Goebbels looked forward to the new order that the Nazis would impose on a conquered Russia. There would be no come-back, he wrote, for capitalists nor priests nor Tsars. Rather, in the place of debased, Jewish Bolshevism, the Wehrmacht would deliver “der echte Sozialismus”: real socialism.

    Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He understood Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that propagated by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations, it would operate within the unit of the Volk.

    So total is the cultural victory of the modern Left that the merely to recount this fact is jarring. But few at the time would have found it especially contentious. As George Watson put it in The Lost Literature of Socialism:

    It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too.

    The clue is in the name. Subsequent generations of Leftists have tried to explain away the awkward nomenclature of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as either a cynical PR stunt or an embarrassing coincidence. In fact, the name meant what it said.

    Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, a Prussian who briefly worked for the Nazis before rejecting them and fleeing the country, that he had admired much of the thinking of the revolutionaries he had known as a young man; but he felt that they had been talkers, not doers. “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun,” he boasted, adding that “the whole of National Socialism” was “based on Marx”.

    Marx’s error, Hitler believed, had been to foster class war instead of national unity – to set workers against industrialists instead of conscripting both groups into a corporatist order. His aim, he told his economic adviser, Otto Wagener, was to “convert the German Volk to socialism without simply killing off the old individualists” – by which he meant the bankers and factory owners who could, he thought, serve socialism better by generating revenue for the state. “What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish,” he told Wagener, “we shall be in a position to achieve.” . . . .

    The idea that Nazism is a more extreme form of conservatism has insinuated its way into popular culture. You hear it, not only when spotty students yell “fascist” at Tories, but when pundits talk of revolutionary anti-capitalist parties, such as the BNP and Golden Dawn, as “far Right”.

    What is it based on, this connection? Little beyond a jejune sense that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists are nasty. When written down like that, the notion sounds idiotic, but think of the groups around the world that the BBC, for example, calls “Right-wing”: the Taliban, who want communal ownership of goods; the Iranian revolutionaries, who abolished the monarchy, seized industries and destroyed the middle class; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who pined for Stalinism. The “Nazis-were-far-Right” shtick is a symptom of the wider notion that “Right-wing” is a synonym for “baddie”.

    One of my constituents once complained to the Beeb about a report on the repression of Mexico’s indigenous peoples, in which the government was labelled Right-wing. The governing party, he pointed out, was a member of the Socialist International and, again, the give-away was in its name: Institutional Revolutionary Party. The BBC’s response was priceless. Yes, it accepted that the party was socialist, “but what our correspondent was trying to get across was that it is authoritarian”.

    In fact, authoritarianism was the common feature of socialists of both National and Leninist varieties, who rushed to stick each other in prison camps or before firing squads. Each faction loathed the other as heretical, but both scorned free-market individualists as beyond redemption. Their battle was all the fiercer, as Hayek pointed out in 1944, because it was a battle between brothers.

    Authoritarianism – or, to give it a less loaded name, the belief that state compulsion is justified in pursuit of a higher goal, such as scientific progress or greater equality – was traditionally a characteristic of the social democrats as much as of the revolutionaries . . . .

    There are idiots who discredit every cause, of course, but most people on the Left are sincere in their stated commitment to human rights, personal dignity and pluralism.

    My beef with many (not all) Leftists is a simpler one. By refusing to return the compliment, by assuming a moral superiority, they make political dialogue almost impossible. Using the soubriquet “Right-wing” to mean “something undesirable” is a small but important example.

    Next time you hear Leftists use the word fascist as a general insult, gently point out the difference between what they like to imagine the NSDAP stood for and what it actually proclaimed. >>
    ___________

    Food for thought.

    KF

    PS: Don’t forget, click the link and look at the actual oosters. Read the translations. Eye-opening.

  180. 180
    harry says:

    Seversky @176

    Now suppose the entire human race is annihilated by an asteroid hitting the Earth. Is that immoral?

    No.

    And if the human race no longer exists, what happens to its morality? Does it continue to exist and, if so, in what form and where?

    There would still be an objective morality that would apply to any life in the Universe capable of rationality and possessing a free will. So then the question becomes, “If the Universe no longer existed, what happens to morality?” And the answer is “There would still be objective morality that would apply to any “incorporeal” or “non-material” creatures capable of rationality and possessing a free will.”

    As is suggested by your assertion that, “Moral codes are held to apply to people not lightning,” adherence to objective morality is the price of rationality and free will. Of course, we truly possess a free will, so we can decide to ignore objective morality. We are free to do that for now, but we will, in this life or the next, experience the consequences of our decisions.

    And if there is a life after this one, we will eventually enter into it whether or not we now believe in it.

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N3: Time Magazine on man of the yr 1938, turning to the most cruel joke of the year (HT, American Thinker):

    __________

    >>Most cruel joke of all, however, has been played by Hitler & Co. on those German capitalists and small businessmen who once backed National Socialism as a means of saving Germany’s bourgeois economic structure from radicalism. [–> and the great depression] The Nazi credo that the individual belongs to the state also applies to business. Some businesses have been confiscated outright, on other what amounts to a capital tax has been levied. Profits have been strictly controlled. Some idea of the increasing Governmental control and interference in business could be deduced from the fact that 80% of all building and 50% of all industrial orders in Germany originated last year with the Government. Hard-pressed for food- stuffs as well as funds, the Nazi regime has taken over large estates and in many instances collectivized agriculture, a procedure fundamentally similar to Russian Communism. >>
    __________

    More food for thought, on contemporary testimony.

    KF

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N4: Sowell’s view — I am doing a web search based clipping exercise to bring out further, the reasons why the L/R spectrum is seriously flawed and should be replaced for actual thinking with some assessment of [1] state control vs individual autonomy, [2] frame of laws, [3] power concentration in state leaders:

    ____________

    >>Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book “Liberal Fascism” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

    Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

    It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot — and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

    What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

    The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. [–> as in, so much for the ever so persuasive rhetoric of how equality and progress are hallmarks of the left, and elitist hierarchy and protection of the big man are hallmarks of the right . . . ] In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People…”

    That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

    The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences . . . >>
    ____________

    I am taking time to tear the heart out of the left vs right, fascists and those theocratic fundy creationists are right wing fanatics and threats to scientific, social and political progress talking points, as it is obviously a big part of the atmosphere poisoning and polarising that is going on.

    Don;t forget, a crucial — but often latent — part of this is the Hitler was a Christian smear: cf. http://kairosfocus.blogspot.co.....osing.html

    Some serious atmosphere clearing has to be done, if we are going to be able to think straight and act prudently and soundly in the face of the sort of nihilistic factionalism that is now on the prowl and is feeling its oats now that radical secularism has just consigned the marriage-family foundation of society to the dustbin; forgetting that the ruin of the family is the ruin of society and civilisation. (Cf my remarks long since, here.)

    KF

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    Harry, I add that non-being (the real nothing) can have no causal powers so if utter nothing ever was, such would forever obtain. So there was always a necessary being, which cannot not be, as root of reality. Such will forever obtain, by virtue of that necessity of being and so some world shall always be. In context, finding ourselves under moral government, the only credible explanation is that that IS is the root of OUGHT, a necessary, maximally great inherently good Creator-God. And so, morality is an inextricable part of the core fabric of reality. KF

  184. 184
    harry says:

    kairosfocus @183,

    Well said. If the world would only grasp that and then become intrigued by the most profoundly interesting, thought-provoking, riveting event that has ever occurred in human history: That eternal, necessary being, Who brought the Universe and humanity into existence, became one of us and walked among us, teaching and performing good works that only the very source of reality could accomplish. It turns out that the ultimate, primary reality is a “Who,” not a “what.” Amazing.

    It is apparent that many of the atheists that comment on this forum, in spite of their darkened minds, have great intellectual capacity. If only they would apply that intellectual capacity to the depths of the meaning of that profound event. It takes all eternity to plumb those depths, but they, I am sure, would have unique insights that are only theirs to share with the world, and the world will never receive the light those insights would provide it. At least it won’t if those atheists continue to refuse to come out of the darkness and enter into the light of Christ, reflecting it in a way that no other can, or has, or ever will.

  185. 185
    Silver Asiatic says:

    harry 184

    It is apparent that many of the atheists that comment on this forum, in spite of their darkened minds, have great intellectual capacity. If only they would apply that intellectual capacity to the depths of the meaning of that profound event. It takes all eternity to plumb those depths, but they, I am sure, would have unique insights that are only theirs to share with the world, and the world will never receive the light those insights would provide it. At least it won’t if those atheists continue to refuse to come out of the darkness and enter into the light of Christ, reflecting it in a way that no other can, or has, or ever will.

    Interesting thoughts.

    There are a number of reasons why otherwise very intelligent atheists miss or avoid or ignore the obvious.

    I think one of the biggest issues is some kind of latent fear. That just creates an obstacle in the mind which blocks them from being open to the abundant evidence supporting theism. So, it’s not just intellect. There’s an important emotional element to the exploration and possible move from non-belief to faith.

    One of the great things about ID is that it can offer a gentle pathway for people to get beyond that fear. I can certainly understand anyone who doesn’t like the image of God as a merely a harsh, judgemental, dictator. That’s a distorted view. But since ID just looks at the scientific evidence, it can point only to a designing intelligence.

    That could be a lot better starting point for who are afflicted (rightly or wrongly) with fear about what a Designer of the universe might actually mean for them.

  186. 186
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@156 ”You apparently don’t know what constitutes a quote-mine.”

    Specifically, what did I say in my response that led you to believe I don’t know what quote-mining means? I gave you the info from where the quote came from so you could read it in its entirety and decide for yourself. Once again – you are wrong.

  187. 187
    Zachriel says:

    harry: You are so committed to not admitting to it that you can’t even bring yourself to say explicitly that Nazi genocide was objectively wrong, and then explain the principles that were violated which made it objectively wrong.

    Nazi genocide was wrong.

    harry: Do you have any idea what he was talking about?

    Indeed we do.

    kairosfocus: I can show that there are authoritarian or totalitarian oppressive regimes that fall all along the map of what is called right and left.

    Good. Then the answer is yes, there is an authoritarian right.

    In a few words, define how you are using the terms for political left and right.

    Heartlander: I gave you the info from where the quote came from so you could read it in its entirety and decide for yourself.

    Thanks you. In context, it’s clear she doesn’t want the misimpression to be propagated that birth control is meant to “exterminate the Negro population.” As you were replying to Dr. King winning the Sanger award, you must have clearly meant it as affirmation of Sanger’s mission to provide access to birth control to the black population. Kudos!

  188. 188
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@187 “As you were replying to Dr. King winning the Sanger award, you must have clearly meant it as affirmation of Sanger’s mission to provide access to birth control to the black population.”

    …and once again – wrong – with a twist of stupid…

  189. 189
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: …and once again – wrong

    You said to read the context and decide for ourselves, which we did. What you quoted was the usual quote-mine. It’s clear from context that Sanger didn’t want to create the misimpression that birth control was meant to harm the black community.

    As pointed out, Dr. King accepted the Sanger award. He certainly wouldn’t have done so if Sanger’s intent was to wipe out black people using birth control. Gee whiz.

    Martin Luther King Jr: Words are inadequate for me to say how honored I was to be the recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award. This award will remain among my most cherished possessions.

  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, you seem to have missed my basic point. The right left spectrum has been emptied of credibility. Its original motivation defined politics relative to absolutist monarchy, which is dead. Once classical liberalism was left as the status quo, the relabelling of such as conservativism and placing of clearly socialist statist totalitarian systems as the new far right simply created propagandistic confusion. A new approach on state power, lawfulness and leadership vs domination by especially political messianism is what is needed to build a more coherent and dynamic understanding. Show me a state with an absolute monarch like in the Middle East and the old spectrum has some sense to it, and in some cases we can argue that some Latin American Dictatorships or Adm Horthy’s regency or the like in 1930’s or so Europe would be a continuation — the clue there lies in “regency.” But even then it has little utility in assessing dynamics of good/bad govt. I am seeing that even my roughed up model above gives a lot of insights that span thousands of years of history. It does so by asking about dynamics and patterns at work rather than seating plans of European legislatures of 100 years past. DV, I will show my thinking in a day or so. KF

  191. 191
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: The right left spectrum has been emptied of credibility.

    The problem with that assertion is that the term is still widely used, not just commonly, but among scholars.

    kairosfocus: Once classical liberalism was left as the status quo, the relabelling of such as conservativism and placing of clearly socialist statist totalitarian systems as the new far right simply created propagandistic confusion.

    It’s only confusing if you don’t understand the terms. The left is associated with egalitarianism, while the right is associated with hierarchies. Classical liberalism used to be on the left, because free markets were in opposition to special privileges granted to the aristocracy. Today, the left has moved to include advocacy for social safety nets, leaving classical liberalism to the right. As for fascism, they advocated absolute inequality, based on nationalism, and a strong central government under a powerful leader.

    This usage is consistent with how the terms are used commonly, by media, and by scholars.

    kairosfocus: A new approach on state power, lawfulness and leadership vs domination by especially political messianism is what is needed to build a more coherent and dynamic understanding.

    Word-salad.

  192. 192
    harry says:

    Heartlander, Zachriel,

    Is birth control abortion? Definitely not. An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it. Birth control merely postpones the beginning of life.
    — 1963 Planned Parenthood pamphlet, Is Birth Control Abortion?

    If the attitude towards abortion and birth control this PP pamphlet expressed is all that King knew about PP, and not knowing Sanger was an egomaniacal sociopath, a racist and a eugenics and euthanasia advocate who had had, prior to WWII, Nazis write articles for her Birth Control Review, then sure, he might have accepted the Margaret Sanger award from PP.

    King obviously didn’t know Sanger had spoken at KKK rallies, or about Sanger’s true motives, which, if they have not already been cited, were, in her own words:

    The mass of Negroes, particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more than among Whites, is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit. …

    The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the Minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

  193. 193
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    there is a large enough number of similarly loaded terms and concepts that it is best to avoid as hopelessly muddied and/or loaded, and such are likely to lead to confusion.

    In that context, use by scholars is of no great help — ours is a day where scholarship is at a steep discount for cause.

    A very good pair of examples is “fundamentalist” and “Capitalist.” I have seen these terms outrageously abused by educated people in leadership positions and by scholars. Creationist is a similarly widely abused term.

    The L/R discussion, especially the quite clear tainting projection that people who support limited govt constitutional democracy and reasonably free markets and who may hold that the root of moral government is the God of ethical theism are next door to fascists and support oppressive elitism is without responsible grounds. Not least, fascism is clearly a variant form of socialism with significant marxist influence.

    A much more useful approach is to focus on dynamics and the implications for moving to and sustaining good gov’t. Which is where I am taking my stance, and dismissive sneering is of no help.

    FYI,

    [a] degree of state power over the individual,

    [b] the balance between domineering arbitrariness and state of nature that we term lawfulness, as well as

    [c] the question of autocratic or oligarchic rulers vs lawful and reasonable leadership vs every man does what is right in his own eyes chaos

    . . . are three very important issues for government and society.

    And if you are ignorant of the significance, you need to do some serious history reading.

    KF

  194. 194
    harry says:

    harry: You are so committed to not admitting to it [objective morality] that you can’t even bring yourself to say explicitly that Nazi genocide was objectively wrong, and then explain the principles that were violated which made it objectively wrong.

    Zachriel: Nazi genocide was wrong.

    Do you really think no one notices that you still haven’t admitted it was objectively wrong? How can normal, moral, rational people take seriously the opinion of one who won’t even admit that Nazi genocide was objectively wrong? One who appears to be incapable of articulating any principles of objective morality that Nazi genocide violated? Who defends Margaret Sanger, her Planned Parenthood and its “Joseph Mengele” style of the practice of medicine and its Nazi-like harvesting of the bodies of its victims?

    All you accomplish is letting civilization-loving people know the barbarous, irrational nature of those who seek to destroy it.

  195. 195
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@189

    In 1939 Sanger created the above-mentioned “Negro Project,” which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control. Through the Birth Control Federation, she hired black ministers (including the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr.), doctors, and other leaders to help pare down the supposedly surplus black population. The project’s racist intent is beyond doubt. “The mass of significant Negroes,” read the project’s report, “still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes…is [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Sanger’s intent is shocking today, but she recognized its extreme radicalism even then. “We do not want word to go out,” she wrote to a colleague, “that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    …forget about intent: Look at results. Abortion ends more black lives than heart disease, cancer, accidents, AIDS, and violent crime combined. African Americans constitute little more than 12 percent of the population but have more than a third (37 percent) of abortions. That rate has held relatively constant, though in some regions the numbers are much starker; in Mississippi, black women receive some 72 percent of all abortions, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nationwide, 512 out of every 1,000 black pregnancies end in an abortion. Revealingly enough, roughly 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion centers are in or near minority communities.
    A Dark Past

    See also – Dr. Alveda King: ‘Planned Parenthood, Stop Using and Lying to My Family’

  196. 196
    Zachriel says:

    harry: If the attitude towards abortion and birth control this PP pamphlet expressed is all that King knew about PP …

    Actually, he was apparently aware of Sanger’s history.

    King’s acceptance speech (delivered by Coretta King): There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts. She, like we, saw the horrifying conditions of ghetto life. Like we, she knew that all of society is poisoned by cancerous slums. Like we, she was a direct actionist – a nonviolent resister. She was willing to accept scorn and abuse until the truth she saw was revealed to the millions. At the turn of the century she went into the slums and set up a birth control clinic, and for this deed she went to jail because she was violating an unjust law. Yet the years have justified her actions.

  197. 197
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: there is a large enough number of similarly loaded terms and concepts that it is best to avoid as hopelessly muddied and/or loaded, and such are likely to lead to confusion.

    We provided clear definitions consistent with general and scholarly usage.

    harry: Do you really think no one notices that you still haven’t admitted it was objectively wrong?

    Actually, we’ve already responded several times. You just don’t like the answer. Right and wrong are not objective values.

  198. 198
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    That remark offers no evidence that King had any knowledge of the sick ideology that Sanger personified.

    “Right and wrong are not objective values,” said one who wants to be able to rationalize, as needed, the legitimacy of any behavior whatsoever.

  199. 199
    Zachriel says:

    harry: That remark offers no evidence that King had any knowledge of the sick ideology that Sanger personified.

    It’s evidence that King was aware of Sanger’s history, including her vilification, which continues.

    harry: “Right and wrong are not objective values,” said one who wants to be able to rationalize, as needed, the legitimacy of any behavior whatsoever.

    Where did you ever get that idea? We don’t rationalize “any behavior whatsoever”.

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, the R/L spectrum is busted, plain and simple. The cluster of evidence puts fascism as a form of socialism but the usual usage wants to assign it to the far right — to often, the better to taint those who do not go along with secularist “big gov’t” progressivism. The self-serving claim that leftism is about equality and the right elitism, fails the test of actual cases: communist systems have nomenklaturas, in one case ending as monarchy. Totalitarian systems will have dominant elites who fight for their privilege, as we see with the history of the socialist bloc. Constitutional democracy and its “conservative” [= classical liberal] proponents stand on the premise that humans hold equality by nature and are owed duties of justice due to that nature. Further to this, equality of outcomes on wealth/ownership administered by the state can only be achieved by destruction of civil liberty, which points straight to the domineering elite in charge of the state and its secret police, i.e. the radical socialist ideal is unworkable and ends in creation of a new oppressor class. I have not touched on its effects of undermining entrepreneurship in a high tech world. KF

  201. 201
    Zachriel says:

    You have great difficulty responding directly to points.

    kairosfocus: the R/L spectrum is busted, plain and simple.

    We explained why that is not the case, and why the terms are still commonly used.

    kairosfocus: The cluster of evidence puts fascism as a form of socialism but the usual usage wants to assign it to the far right — to often, the better to taint those who do not go along with secularist “big gov’t” progressivism.

    No. Fascism is put on the right because it advocates a hierarchical society.

    kairosfocus: The self-serving claim that leftism is about equality and the right elitism, fails the test of actual cases: communist systems have nomenklaturas, in one case ending as monarchy.

    Communist ideology is egalitarian, even if the results fail to meet that goal.

    kairosfocus: Further to this, equality of outcomes on wealth/ownership administered by the state can only be achieved by destruction of civil liberty, which points straight to the domineering elite in charge of the state and its secret police

    That’s the consequence of extremism, the belief that the ends justify the means. The left-right dichotomy is defined by the goals. You conflate that with means or unintended results. Marxism isn’t put on the left because it resulted in authoritarianism, but because Marxism puts forth a plan for an egalitarian utopia.

  202. 202
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    We don’t rationalize “any behavior whatsoever”.

    When “legal” child-killing and the eugenics-driven agenda of Planned Parenthood are eventually looked upon by everybody with the horror with which we now look upon Nazi genocide and American slavery, people like you will “see the light.” In the meantime, politically correct, lethal bigotry that has not yet been dispelled from the minds of the masses will be supported by your ilk, who can admit to no objective morality, because any rational morality condemns what you support and perpetuate.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, facts were put on the table to back my concerns. And no, when I see a question is rhetorically loaded — as the assignment of say the national socialist german workers party to the far right wing patently is; I will respond to the root issue instead. As, will any reasonable person: Have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no? The true answer is to highlight the loaded question and point out that it is those who make grave accusations (you elitist-oppressor supporting next to Nazi Christofascist . . . ) who have a burden of warrant beyond reasonable doubt.G’day. KF

  204. 204
    Heartlander says:

    Because progressivism embraces the ideal of nationalism and touts the so-called “Third Way” between capitalism and communism, its pedigree is closer to fascism than to communism. Progressivism and fascism share the totalitarian belief that with the proper amount of tinkering, social engineers will be able to realize the utopian dream of establishing a nation where perfect equality reigns. This mindset accounts for the support that the early progressives gave to eugenics, whose ultimate aim was the creation of a pure race, a “New Man” – not unlike the Nazi “Aryan” ideal. Such a project, of course, could only be overseen and carried out by a wise and omniscient leadership, an intellectual elite endowed with judgment superior to that of the unwashed masses.
    Progressive Support For Italian and German Fascism

  205. 205
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, BTW, if the elitism/equality criterion fails the test of the real outcome of claimed equality . . . creation of an oppressive party elite, that shows that the criterion fails. Likewise, end justifies means amorality raises the same issue of grounding OUGHT that still stands unanswered from your side after so long. KF

  206. 206
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: facts were put on the table to back my concerns.

    No simple dichotomy can encapsulate the wide variety of political positions people hold; nonetheless, the terms are still in wide currency, and the definitions provided are consistent with standard usage, both ordinary and scholarly. Nor does some ambiguity render the terms incoherent. Rather, it is your understanding of the terms that leads you to object to why the vast majority of scholars place fascism on the political right.

    Heartlander: Progressivism and fascism share the totalitarian belief that with the proper amount of tinkering, social engineers will be able to realize the utopian dream of establishing a nation where perfect equality reigns.

    While many progressives consider government an important mechanism of effecting social change, most progressives work through the democratic system. And while progressives generally have egalitarian aims, most are not extremists in terms of equality. Speaking out for safe work environments is hardly totalitarian.

    kairosfocus: Likewise, end justifies means amorality raises the same issue of grounding OUGHT that still stands unanswered from your side after so long.

    “Side”?

    The ends don’t justify the means because the means largely determine the ends.

  207. 207
    kairosfocus says:

    Z,

    Again, the decisive issue is the facts.

    As you seem to have not read it, let me again clip an article from 179 above — and do click the link and read the posters and their translation into English; as just one relevant case:

    _____________

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n.....scent-why/

    >>Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism

    By Daniel Hannan Politics Last updated: February 25th, 2014

    On 16 June 1941, as Hitler readied his forces for Operation Barbarossa, Josef Goebbels looked forward to the new order that the Nazis would impose on a conquered Russia. There would be no come-back, he wrote, for capitalists nor priests nor Tsars. Rather, in the place of debased, Jewish Bolshevism, the Wehrmacht would deliver “der echte Sozialismus”: real socialism.

    Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He understood Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that propagated by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations, it would operate within the unit of the Volk.

    So total is the cultural victory of the modern Left that the merely to recount this fact is jarring. But few at the time would have found it especially contentious. As George Watson put it in The Lost Literature of Socialism:

    It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too.

    The clue is in the name. Subsequent generations of Leftists have tried to explain away the awkward nomenclature of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as either a cynical PR stunt or an embarrassing coincidence. In fact, the name meant what it said.

    Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, a Prussian who briefly worked for the Nazis before rejecting them and fleeing the country, that he had admired much of the thinking of the revolutionaries he had known as a young man; but he felt that they had been talkers, not doers. “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun,” he boasted, adding that “the whole of National Socialism” was “based on Marx”.

    Marx’s error, Hitler believed, had been to foster class war instead of national unity – to set workers against industrialists instead of conscripting both groups into a corporatist order. His aim, he told his economic adviser, Otto Wagener, was to “convert the German Volk to socialism without simply killing off the old individualists” – by which he meant the bankers and factory owners who could, he thought, serve socialism better by generating revenue for the state. “What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish,” he told Wagener, “we shall be in a position to achieve.” . . . .

    The idea that Nazism is a more extreme form of conservatism has insinuated its way into popular culture. You hear it, not only when spotty students yell “fascist” at Tories, but when pundits talk of revolutionary anti-capitalist parties, such as the BNP and Golden Dawn, as “far Right”.

    What is it based on, this connection? Little beyond a jejune sense that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists are nasty. When written down like that, the notion sounds idiotic, but think of the groups around the world that the BBC, for example, calls “Right-wing”: the Taliban, who want communal ownership of goods; the Iranian revolutionaries, who abolished the monarchy, seized industries and destroyed the middle class; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who pined for Stalinism. The “Nazis-were-far-Right” shtick is a symptom of the wider notion that “Right-wing” is a synonym for “baddie”.

    One of my constituents once complained to the Beeb about a report on the repression of Mexico’s indigenous peoples, in which the government was labelled Right-wing. The governing party, he pointed out, was a member of the Socialist International and, again, the give-away was in its name: Institutional Revolutionary Party. The BBC’s response was priceless. Yes, it accepted that the party was socialist, “but what our correspondent was trying to get across was that it is authoritarian”.

    In fact, authoritarianism was the common feature of socialists of both National and Leninist varieties, who rushed to stick each other in prison camps or before firing squads. Each faction loathed the other as heretical, but both scorned free-market individualists as beyond redemption. Their battle was all the fiercer, as Hayek pointed out in 1944, because it was a battle between brothers.

    Authoritarianism – or, to give it a less loaded name, the belief that state compulsion is justified in pursuit of a higher goal, such as scientific progress or greater equality – was traditionally a characteristic of the social democrats as much as of the revolutionaries . . . .

    There are idiots who discredit every cause, of course, but most people on the Left are sincere in their stated commitment to human rights, personal dignity and pluralism.

    My beef with many (not all) Leftists is a simpler one. By refusing to return the compliment, by assuming a moral superiority, they make political dialogue almost impossible. Using the soubriquet “Right-wing” to mean “something undesirable” is a small but important example.

    Next time you hear Leftists use the word fascist as a general insult, gently point out the difference between what they like to imagine the NSDAP stood for and what it actually proclaimed.>>
    _____________

    In short, I am not exactly speaking without reasons.

    Again, start with the name of the Nazi party spelled out and its implications.

    KF

  208. 208
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@206
    Does this sound totalitarian in any way?:

    A Plan for Peace
    by MARGARET SANGER

    First, put into action President Wilson’s fourteen points, upon which terms Germany and Austria surrendered to the Allies in 1918.

    Second, have Congress set up a special department for the study of population problems and appoint a Parliament of Population, the directors representing the various branches of science: this body to direct and control the population through birth rates and immigration, and to direct its distribution over the country according to national needs consistent with taste, fitness and interest of individuals.
    The main objects of the Population Congress would be:

    a. to raise the level and increase the general intelligence of population.

    b. to increase the population slowly by keeping the birth rate at its present level of fifteen per thousand, decreasing the death rate below its present mark of 11 per thousand.

    c. to keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.

    d. to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

    e. to insure the country against future burdens of maintenance for numerous offspring as may be born of feebleminded parents, by pensioning all persons with transmissible disease who voluntarily consent to sterilization.

    f. to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.

    g. to apportion farm lands and homesteads for these segregated persons where they would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.

    The first step would thus be to control the intake and output of morons, mental defectives, epileptics.

    The second step would be to take an inventory of the secondary group such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection, and segregate them on farms and open spaces as long as necessary for the strengthening and development of moral conduct.

    Having corralled this enormous part of our population and placed it on a basis of health instead of punishment, it is safe to say that fifteen or twenty millions of our population would then be organized into soldiers of defense—defending the unborn against their own disabilities.

    The third step would be to give special attention to the mothers’ health, to see that women who are suffering from tuberculosis, heart or kidney disease, toxic goitre, gonorrhea, or any disease where the condition of pregnancy disturbs their health are placed under public health nurses to instruct them in practical, scientific methods of contraception in order to safeguard their lives—thus reducing maternal mortality.

    The above steps may seem to place emphasis on a health program instead of on tariffs, moratoriums and debts, but I believe that national health is the first essential factor in any program for universal peace.

    With the future citizen safeguarded from hereditary taints, with five million mental and moral degenerates segregated, with ten million women and ten million children receiving adequate care, we could then turn our attention to the basic needs for international peace.

    There would then be a definite effort to make population increase slowly and at a specified rate, in order to accommodate and adjust increasing numbers to the best social and economic system.

    In the meantime we should organize and join an International League of Low Birth Rate Nations to secure and maintain World Peace.

    The following (A Plan for Peace, Margaret Sanger) was published in Birth Control Review April 1932, pp. 107-108.

  209. 209
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: “So total is the cultural victory of the modern Left …

    Per your own previous statements, you consider the left-right dichotomy to be “busted, plain and simple”, so presumably, your cut-and-paste job is incoherent nonsense.

    Fascism did incorporate some aspects of socialism, but their goals were hierarchical, hence, they are on the political right. We’ve provided citations from primary sources, secondary sources, and commonplace sources, then and now. As the terms are in wide currency, and have a reasonably consistent meaning, it is your understanding that is clearly in error.

  210. 210
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: Does this sound totalitarian in any way?

    f. to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.

    Forced segregation or sterilization is beyond reasonable government authority — even for those who are profoundly mentally disabled. Sanger did advocate full autonomy for the able-minded, and objected to both euthanasia and abortion.

    While Sanger expressed racist views, she didn’t tolerate racial bigotry. She worked to provide birth control in African American communities, and her work with minorities won the approval of W. E. B. Du Bois, and later, Martin Luther King Jr.

  211. 211
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@210 “While Sanger expressed racist views, she didn’t tolerate racial bigotry.”

    You really are a special kind of stupid – the kind that Sanger would obviously sterilize out of the kindness of her heart…

  212. 212
    kairosfocus says:

    Z,

    The self-identification of the Left is what is being described; that has very little to do with the substantial issue as to what the NSDAP were. Did you take time to look at the posters, could you please enlighten us about them i/l/o the full expansion of NSDAP?

    So far you acknowledge that socialist elements were involved in the platform and actions of NSDAP.

    A beginning.

    And, it seems to me that hierarchy is not the heart of the definition of socialism.

    Collins Dictionary has a good summary definition as was given above:

    socialism
    n
    1. (Economics) an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels. Compare capitalism

    2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system

    3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in Leninist theory) a transitional stage after the proletarian revolution in the development of a society from capitalism to communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than need

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    capitalism
    n
    1. (Economics) Also called: free enterprise or private enterprise an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions. Compare socialism1

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    Economic statism, in the name of the people but in the hands of the state controlled by the party. Back that up with secret police and iron control, and de facto, state ownership under the party elite.

    Precisely what Fascism did under both Hitler and Mussolini as already indicated.

    Hannan gives a good summmary on the difference with Lenin and Stalin, as was already cited:

    Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, a Prussian who briefly worked for the Nazis before rejecting them and fleeing the country, that he had admired much of the thinking of the revolutionaries he had known as a young man; but he felt that they had been talkers, not doers. “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun,” he boasted, adding that “the whole of National Socialism” was “based on Marx”.

    Marx’s error, Hitler believed, had been to foster class war instead of national unity – to set workers against industrialists instead of conscripting both groups into a corporatist order. His aim, he told his economic adviser, Otto Wagener, was to “convert the German Volk to socialism without simply killing off the old individualists” – by which he meant the bankers and factory owners who could, he thought, serve socialism better by generating revenue for the state. “What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish,” he told Wagener, “we shall be in a position to achieve.”

    There is more above, which I do not think you have noted and responded to.

    Indeed, von Mises’ summary is that in effect socialism dominated the intellectual climate in the first half of C20, especially in Europe. Even the Conservatives were implicitly socialist in their views on where things wee headed.

    That too is a part of the picture.

    KF

  213. 213
    Mung says:

    The Left and the Right do not meet at the Center, rather they both meet at Tyranny.

  214. 214
    Mung says:

    Started reading Copleston’s A History of Philosophy. He almost immediately begins with the Greek’s recognition of the Will to Power.

  215. 215
    Andre says:

    I see freedom of speech hypocrite Nick Matzke has failed to answer the questions posed to him or defend himself from the accusation levied at him. I guess his silence validates the truth?

  216. 216
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    You truly are an entertainer, a misguided one but entertaining none the less…

    P.S. It takes a special kind of stupid to defend Margaret Sanger. Really it does, perhaps think about your saying “I like humans” and consider how many have been murdered because of her. Perhaps its time to either change your view or come to the realization that you don’t really like people very much if you endorse their butchering.

  217. 217
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: it seems to me that hierarchy is not the heart of the definition of socialism.

    The socialism of the fascists was based on national solidarity and paternalism, not egalitarian principles. Under fascism, national exceptionalism and dictatorship were the rule.

    Andre: It takes a special kind of stupid to defend Margaret Sanger.

    Martin Luther King Jr: There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts. She, like we, saw the horrifying conditions of ghetto life. Like we, she knew that all of society is poisoned by cancerous slums. Like we, she was a direct actionist – a nonviolent resister. She was willing to accept scorn and abuse until the truth she saw was revealed to the millions. At the turn of the century she went into the slums and set up a birth control clinic, and for this deed she went to jail because she was violating an unjust law. Yet the years have justified her actions.

    Andre: Really it does, perhaps think about your saying “I like humans” and consider how many have been murdered because of her.

    You do realize that Sanger was against abortion?

  218. 218
    Silver Asiatic says:

    A striking kinship between Margaret Sanger’s mission and certain activities …

    King lived a double life. During the day, he would speak to large crowds, quoting Scripture and invoking God’s will, and at night he frequently had sex with women from the audience. “King’s habits of sexual adventure had been well established by the time he was married,” says Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown University, a King admirer. He notes that King often “told lewd jokes,” “shared women with friends,” and was “sexually reckless.” According to King biographer Taylor Branch, during a long party on the night of January 6 and 7, 1964, an FBI bugging device recorded King’s “distinctive voice ring out above others with pulsating abandon, saying, “˜I’m f***ing for God!’”

    Sex with single and married women continued after King married, and on the night before his death, King had two adulterous trysts. His first rendezvous was at a woman’s house, the second in a hotel room. The source for this was his best friend and second-in-command, Ralph Abernathy, who noted that the second woman was “a member of the Kentucky legislature,” now known to be Georgia Davis Powers.

    There’s a lot more to this — and I’m sorry for the vulgarity from the minister (moderators, feel free to edit).

  219. 219
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: King lived a double life.

    Great argument!!

  220. 220
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Glad you liked it, Zach.

    The linkage between sex addiction and wider use of birth control shouldn’t be hard to understand.

    A Sanger biographer, David M. Kennedy, said her primary goal was to “increase the quantity and quality of sexual relationships.” The birth control movement, she said, freed the mind from “sexual prejudice and taboo, by demanding the frankest and most unflinching re-examination of sex in its relation to human nature and the basis of human society.

  221. 221
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Wikipedia

    “As part of her efforts to promote birth control, Sanger found common cause with proponents of eugenics, believing that they both sought to “assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.”[94] Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, which aims to improve human hereditary traits through social intervention by reducing the reproduction of those who were considered unfit.”

    Eugenics. I see why she is praised by certain people.

    Andre’s summary stands:

    Andre: It takes a special kind of stupid to defend Margaret Sanger.

  222. 222
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: Glad you liked it

    Yes, best stay away from that King fellow, and his so-called “civil” “rights” “movement”. Nothing good can come of it.
    http://ww1.hdnux.com/photos/34.....15;350.jpg

  223. 223
    velikovskys says:

    SA:
    ” A Sanger biographer, David M. Kennedy, said her primary goal was to “increase the quantity and quality of sexual relationships.” The birth control movement, she said, freed the mind from “sexual prejudice and taboo, by demanding the frankest and most unflinching re-examination of sex in its relation to human nature and the basis of human society”.

    You have a problem with this?

  224. 224
    Silver Asiatic says:

    King

    Yes, best stay away from that King fellow

    He was your choice for an authority on sexual liberation.

  225. 225
    Silver Asiatic says:

    V

    “increase the quantity … of sexual relationships”

    You have a problem with this?

    I believe in monogamy within the context of marriage. I guess you don’t.

  226. 226
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: He was your choice for an authority on sexual liberation.

    That’s odd. Didn’t know King was an authority on sexual liberation. He’s usually known for his work on civil rights. Rather, we cited King as approving of Sanger’s work providing contraceptive services to minority communities in the face of constant vilification by conservatives.

  227. 227
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: I believe in monogamy within the context of marriage.

    That’s not inconsistent with increasing the quantity and quality of sexual relations, as in Edward Carpenter’s declaration, “a more complete soul-union.”


    Edited for clarity.

  228. 228
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zach

    That’s not inconsistent with increasing the quantity and quality of sex.

    But your statement is inconsistent with what was said. “increase the quantity … of sexual relationships” It gives a good insight on how you respond.

  229. 229
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I see you quickly tried to cover your tracks.

  230. 230
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sanger saw contraception as a means of sexual liberation. You cited King’s support for this and his own “increased quantity of sexual relationships” indicates a reason for his support.

  231. 231
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: You cited King’s support for this and his own “increased quantity of sexual relationships” indicates a reason for his support.

    Please don’t misrepresent our views. King’s support concerned increasing access to contraception, which was considered immoral by many, even illegal in many areas of the country.

  232. 232
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: A Sanger biographer, David M. Kennedy …

    The biographer also points out that abstinence to prevent pregnancy in married women led to unhappiness for the woman and the marriage.

  233. 233
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zach

    King’s support concerned increasing access to contraception, which was considered immoral by many, even illegal in many areas of the country.

    Lots of people still consider racism and eugenics immoral. But the fact that Margaret Sanger was guilty of both hasn’t prevented you from defending her. MLK’s support is basically irrelevant since there are many African American leaders today who believe Sanger’s project was aimed at reducing the black population.

    “The mass of ignorant Negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among whites, is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly.”

  234. 234
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@210 “Forced segregation or sterilization is beyond reasonable government authority — even for those who are profoundly mentally disabled.”

    Sanger was a major player in the eugenics movement – a movement that caused the compulsory sterilization laws in 30 U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of disabled people – some considered “feeble-minded,” “idiots” and “morons.” Fortunately these laws are no longer in place and you are safe – for now

  235. 235
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: But the fact that Margaret Sanger was guilty of both hasn’t prevented you from defending her.

    We don’t defend Sanger when she was wrong, but we reject unmerited “scorn and abuse”.

  236. 236
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Z

    We don’t defend Sanger when she was wrong, but we reject unmerited “scorn and abuse”.

    That is admirable but it didn’t come across that way — given she deserves quite a lot of scorn.

  237. 237
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: Sanger was a major player in the eugenics movement

    Yes, Sanger was on the wrong side of that issue, as were many people of the time. While she supported autonomy for the able-minded, the idea was that people with diminished capacity couldn’t make responsible reproductive decisions. However, the actual process was subject to widespread abuse, including racial discrimination. Nowadays, if an individual is not responsible, then it is up to their guardian to make such decisions, taking it out of the hands of the government.

  238. 238
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: That is admirable but it didn’t come across that way — given she deserves quite a lot of scorn.

    Criticizing her for her failures is reasonable. Taking quotes out of context to misrepresent her views is not.

  239. 239
    Heartlander says:

    Zac@237 ”Yes, Sanger was on the wrong side of that issue, as were many people of the time.”

    You have stated that Sanger was against abortion – was she on the wrong side of the abortion issue?

  240. 240
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: You have stated that Sanger was against abortion – was she on the wrong side of the abortion issue?

    She was right that contraception was the most practical way to prevent abortion. She did allow for abortion as a last resort. See Baker, Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion, 2011.

  241. 241
    kairosfocus says:

    Cf: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ic-threat/

    PS: Mung that’s a great point on extremes meeting not in the centre but in tyranny

  242. 242
    Heartlander says:

    Let’s try that again… You have no problem stating that Sanger was on the wrong side of the eugenics movement. You have stated that Sanger was against abortion – was she on the wrong side of the abortion issue?

  243. 243
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: You have stated that Sanger was against abortion – was she on the wrong side of the abortion issue?

    Sanger was right that contraception was the most practical way to prevent abortion. She was right to allow for abortion as a last resort.

  244. 244
    Heartlander says:

    Was she wrong to oppose abortion as performed by Planned Parenthood – not just a last resort?

  245. 245
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: Was she wrong to oppose abortion as performed by Planned Parenthood

    Nowadays, it’s easier to avoid unwanted pregnancy, and there are more options for mothers who don’t want children, at least in the West. Abortion is nearly always a bad choice, but sometimes a least bad choice. The other question, of course, is who is to make the decision.

  246. 246
    Zachriel says:

    Z: Nowadays, it’s easier to avoid unwanted pregnancy *

    * Thanks, in part, to the efforts of Margaret Sanger.

  247. 247
    Heartlander says:

    Nowadays, it’s easier for Germans to drive around their country*

    *Thanks, in part, to the efforts of Adolf Hitler.**

    **Who shared common interests in eugenics with Margaret Sanger.

  248. 248
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: Hitler.

    Because Sanger killed millions of people when she provided women access to birth control.

  249. 249
  250. 250
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: Hitler

    Heartlander: They just shared common interests…

    Sure, and Eisenhower built the American autobahn. Same thing. Hitler.

  251. 251
    Heartlander says:

    Ummm – no… Eisenhower helped to defeat Hilter and did not share a common interest in eugenics like Sanger did…

  252. 252
    velikovskys says:

    SA :
    I believe in monogamy within the context of marriage. I guess you don’t.

    You guess wrong ,amigo.

  253. 253
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: Eisenhower helped to defeat Hilter and did not share a common interest in eugenics like Sanger did…

    Eisenhower and Hitler shared in an interest in highway transportation. Same thing.

    As for eugenics, Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller, George Bernard Shaw, and Winston Churchill, supported eugenics. Sanger supported free reproductive choices (except those unable to make their own decisions). That’s somewhat different than Hitler.

    Heartlander: Hitler. Hitler. Hitler.

    Hard to argue with that!

    Do you understand the difference between killing millions of people and providing birth control to women?

  254. 254
    Heartlander says:

    Look, eugenic scientists from nazi Germany wrote articles for Sanger’s Birth Control Review – Sanger’s American Birth Control League sat in on sessions of nazi Germany’s Supreme Eugenics Court and happily reported how their sterilization laws were “weeding out the worst strains in Germanic stock”. They shared common interests in eugenics – it’s not a big secret.

  255. 255
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zachriel @ 253:

    Do you understand the difference between killing millions of people and providing birth control to women?

    Yes, I do. And killing 55 million unborn children is not “providing birth control to women.”

    Z, abortion stops a beating heart. Do you understand the genus and species of the organism whose heart is stopped?

  256. 256
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel:

    Sure, and Eisenhower built the American autobahn. Same thing. Hitler.

    I don’t think you realise the import of what you just said.

    Building a public highway system is a good, of benefit to a nation, not something inherently freighted with the moral weight of taking a life. Even, looked at from a military perspective, both systems were conceived as being of logistics significance.

    But the taking of a single innocent human life is enormously freighted with moral significance.

    The taking of 57 or 58 millions in the US alone since 1973 and apparently a horrifically larger number globally is apallingly morally freighted.

    To casually write as though the two are the same betrays either an awful want of responsibility, or else it speaks to the collective behind the “we” of Zachriel (on recent talk of “we”) having become utterly amoral.

    All I will say is that money can be very corrupting, but blood guilt and enabling blood guilt goes far, far beyond that. How far can be measured by the Dominical saying that for one to gain the world but lose his soul is a net loss.

    I suggest to you as a collective, that the time has more than come for soul searching.

    KF

  257. 257
    anthropic says:

    Andre 216
    To Z: “Perhaps its time to either change your view or come to the realization that you don’t really like people very much if you endorse their butchering.”

    Unfair, Andre. Z does not endorse butchering people in general, just those who can neither object nor defend themselves.

  258. 258
    Andre says:

    Zach

    So building the highways have aided in the killing of children by getting them to the abortion clinics faster?

    Evil roads!

  259. 259
    harry says:

    Zachriel has a closed mind. There is no light in it and he won’t open it to let any in. He will always have a rebuttal. He reminds one of Chesterton’s madman in Orthodoxy:

    Every one who has had the misfortune to talk with people in the heart or on the edge of mental disorder, knows that their most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail; a connecting of one thing with another in a map more elaborate than a maze. If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.

    The basic “good judgment,” “sane affections” and “charity” of ordinary people have been lost by Zachriel and his ilk. These qualities bring ordinary people to immediately realize that things have gone terribly wrong when overwhelming, horrifying evidence makes it indisputable that children who are visibly just that — children — are being routinely and viciously dismembered by the millions. Zachriel and the godless social engineers who “reason” just like him are madmen who have lost their very souls and everything else, except, as Chesterton points out, the ability to “reason.”

    That such madmen currently have a firm grip on the reins of power should inspire all ordinary people — no, obliges all ordinary people — to use the rapidly diminishing freedom we still have to take action, to do much more than just have the opinion that things have gone terribly wrong. You see, if we don’t do this, if we rationalize away our obligation, then we, too, are reasoning without good judgment, sane affections and charity. We either resist this evil or become it.

  260. 260
    mike1962 says:

    Men without chests

    “It is an outrage that they should be commonly spoken of as Intellectuals. This gives them the chance to say that he who attacks them attacks Intelligence. It is not so. They are not distinguished from other men by an unusual skill in finding truth nor any virginal ardour to produce her… It is not excess of thought but defect of fertile and generous emotion that marks them out. Their heads are no bigger than the ordinary: it is the atrophy of the chest beneath that makes them seem so.”

    C.S. Lewis, “The Abolition of Man”

  261. 261
    Zachriel says:

    Heartlander: They shared common interests in eugenics – it’s not a big secret.

    No, it’s not a secret, as we already noted above. Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill shared that common interest. They were wrong.

    Barry Arrington: And killing 55 million unborn children is not “providing birth control to women.”

    Sanger saw contraception as the surest means of preventing abortion. She was right, and her efforts changed the landscape of reproductive rights for women.

    kairosfocus: Building a public highway system is a good, of benefit to a nation, not something inherently freighted with the moral weight of taking a life.

    Actually, Eisenhower justified the superhighway system for military purposes.

    ETA: The legal name of the U.S. interstate highway system is “The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.”
    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/inters.....rstate.cfm

  262. 262
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry at 255:

    Z, abortion stops a beating heart. Do you understand the genus and species of the organism whose heart is stopped?

    Zachriel responds at 261: [crickets]

    Z, you are nothing if not predictable.

  263. 263
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Do you understand the genus and species of the organism whose heart is stopped?

    Homo sapiens. The heart starts to beat about 3-4 weeks after fertilization.

    Abortion is nearly always a bad choice, but sometimes a least bad choice. Sanger saw contraception as the surest means of preventing abortion. She was right, and her efforts changed the landscape of reproductive rights for women.

  264. 264
    Barry Arrington says:

    Z @ 263.

    Well, at least you admit you are in favor of killing people. That’s honest if also barbaric.

    Sanger saw contraception as the surest means of preventing abortion. She was right

    No, she was wrong. The best way to prevent an abortion is to not kill that baby. Your statement is refuted by simple math: The number of abortions rose as access to cheap, plentiful and easy to obtain contraceptives rose. The latter did not reduce the former.

    The surest means of reducing abortions is to resolve as a society not to kill unborn babies.

  265. 265
    Heartlander says:

    Zac, when I got a puppy – part of the potty training when it crapped in the house was to rub its nose in it – say “Bad!” – and put it outside. Although this may sound harsh, puppies are smart and quickly learn not to crap in the house.

    That being said… You praise Sanger for providing contraception to women – OK, but why did she do it? Her intentions were to stop the disabled, poor, feeble-minded, and the diseased from reproducing – ie eugenics.

    Birth control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks— those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization. – Margaret Sanger

    She was a major player in the eugenics movement – a movement that caused the compulsory sterilization laws in 30 U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of disabled – the people Sanger deemed “weeds”. Sterilization was one of her methods of ‘weed’ prevention – ie birth control. She laid out a plan “to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization”.

    This is your champion of “of reproductive rights for women”? Well that’s a bunch of crap! You may argue her methods were more compassionate than Hitler’s but the results would still be the same – deciding who is fit and eliminating who is not.

    So rub your nose in that – and go outside with your crap! Bad Zac!

    I can only hope you at least have the intelligence of a puppy so this will end soon…

  266. 266
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: The best way to prevent an abortion is to not kill that baby.

    That only applies to you having an abortion. It doesn’t prevent others from having abortions. You can outlaw it, but that was never very effective.

    Barry Arrington: Your statement is refuted by simple math: The number of abortions rose as access to cheap, plentiful and easy to obtain contraceptives rose.

    No. Abortions have been quite common throughout history. For instance, in the 1850s U.S., abortifacients were advertised in magazines, and the abortion rate was about one in every five or six births.

    Meanwhile, in modern times, maternal deaths dropped immediately whenever abortion was legalized.

    Barry Arrington: The surest means of reducing abortions is to resolve as a society not to kill unborn babies.

    Presumably, you would criminalize women who seek abortions. Would you make exceptions for incest or rape? In any case, women will still seek abortions depending on their situation, and you won’t have achieved your goal.

    Heartlander: – a movement that caused the compulsory sterilization laws

    We addressed that above. Are you capable of reading, or just venting?

    Z: Forced segregation or sterilization is beyond reasonable government authority — even for those who are profoundly mentally disabled. Sanger did advocate full autonomy for the able-minded. While Sanger expressed racist views, she didn’t tolerate racial bigotry. She worked to provide birth control in African American communities, and her work with minorities won the approval of W. E. B. Du Bois, and later, Martin Luther King Jr.

    You started out by trying to create the impression that Sanger wanted to exterminate the black population, which is completely contrary to her view. You never corrected that misimpression, even when your own arguments show that wasn’t the case.

    Heartlander: Her intentions were to stop the disabled, poor, feeble-minded, and the diseased from reproducing – ie eugenics.

    Anyone familiar with Sanger, rather than just reading polemics, would realize that her primary aim was to provide family planning and autonomy for women, including minority women, which is why her work was praised by King, among others.

    Heartlander: She was a major player in the eugenics movement

    Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill also supported eugenics. They were flawed in their thinking. We admire them for what they got right, while not forgetting what they got wrong.

  267. 267
    Barry Arrington says:

    Z thinks the answer is to make up statistics about how abortions were just as common before the practice was legal as they are now. He must think we are all idiots.

    “Rape and Incest” Is it just me, or does it strike anyone else as odd that people in favor of the “right” to kill little babies always want to talk about the fraction of one percent rather than the over 99%. Telling, all too telling.

  268. 268
    Mung says:

    Pro Abortion and Anti Death Penalty.

    Where’s the logic in that?

    Why don’t we just kill everyone for what they might or might not do? Why pick on the defenseless?

  269. 269
    Heartlander says:

    Bad Zac!

  270. 270
    harry says:

    Mung @268

    Pro Abortion and Anti Death Penalty. Where’s the logic in that?

    They are not anti death penalty if the one executed is an innocent, helpless baby.

  271. 271
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: make up statistics about how abortions were just as common before the practice was legal as they are now.

    See Mohr, Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy, Oxford University Press 1979; or for something contemporaneous, see Storer et al., 1859 American Medical Association Report on Criminal Abortion, which found that hundreds-of-thousands of abortions occurred annually. The evidence is indirect, but the fact that there was a lively trade in abortifiants and abortion services supports that it was quite common.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the.....ients.html

    The frequency of abortion was one impetus to the passage of stringent anti-abortion laws.

    Barry Arrington: Is it just me, or does it strike anyone else as odd that people in favor of the “right” to kill little babies always want to talk about the fraction of one percent rather than the over 99%.

    Is it just us, or did Barry sidestep answering a straightforward question? Presumably, you would criminalize women who seek an abortion regardless of the reason. Is that correct?

  272. 272
    harry says:

    Barry Arrington @267

    “Rape and Incest” Is it just me, or does it strike anyone else as odd that people in favor of the “right” to kill little babies always want to talk about the fraction of one percent rather than the over 99%. Telling, all too telling.

    Right.

    Failing to restore the protection of law to children in the womb based on the “hard cases” is like opposing the abolition of slavery because some little old ladies in the South just couldn’t get along without their slaves, and their slaves just loved them and were quite happy taking care of Grandma. Today’s advocates of child-killing, if they had lived back then, would be loudly proclaiming that those who opposed slavery were waging a “war on grandmas.”

    There could be no exceptions in the abolition of slavery. We had to find other ways to take care of Grandma. So it is with child-killing. There can be no exceptions. There are other ways to deal with the extremely rare “hard cases” besides butchering babies.

  273. 273
    Zachriel says:

    harry: There can be no exceptions.

    Thank you harry for your direct answer. You would criminalize women who seek abortions, regardless of the reason, and force them to carry the baby to term. Not sure why it was so difficult for the other commenter.

  274. 274
    Seversky says:

    You will not stop abortions by outlawing them. You will simply drive them back to the back streets again with all that will likely entail.

    The only way to stop abortions is to end the demand for them. That means convincing people that the child has as much of a right to life before birth as after, that to kill one before birth is as immoral as killing one after. It also means offering better alternatives. For example, explaining to a woman who wants to end her pregnancy that the child she doesn’t want might be perfect for a childless couple desperate for one of their own.

    Only when you have convinced enough people that abortion is immoral, will it end, just as slavery only ended in Europe and North America when enough people became convinced that the practice was immoral.

  275. 275
    anthropic says:

    S 274 “You will not stop abortions by outlawing them.”

    “Only when you have convinced enough people that abortion is immoral, will it end, just as slavery only ended in Europe and North America when enough people became convinced that the practice was immoral.”
    ——————————————————–

    A non-sequitur. The majority of Americans are convinced that abortion after five months pregnancy is immoral and that it should be outlawed. It remains legal, however. Merely convincing the majority is not enough, as the Civil War demonstrated.

    And the idea that we shouldn’t pass a law because it won’t totally stop bad behavior is ludicrous. We have laws against murder, against child molestation, against rape, and against theft. All of these bad things still happen sometimes, but no sane person believes that means the laws shouldn’t be on the books.

  276. 276
    Virgil Cain says:

    We did not stop murder by outlawing it. So I guess it’s OK to murder?

    Only when you have convinced enough people that abortion is immoral, will it end, just as slavery only ended in Europe and North America when enough people became convinced that the practice was immoral.

    How many is “enough”?

    1.2 million+ abortions in the USA a year. Can you imagine the outcry if gun violence reached that level (in a non-war scenario)?

  277. 277
    harry says:

    Zachriel

    You would criminalize women who seek abortions, regardless of the reason, and force them to carry the baby to term.

    Not that this will make any difference to you, since what I am about to explain requires a belief in objective morality, and you will acknowledge no such thing, so that you can always rationalize any behavior you want because, according to you, the particular circumstances justify whatever it is you want to do, or want to allow others to do.

    What there can be no exceptions to is the prohibition against deliberately taking the life of an innocent human being; this includes any action the intent of which is to take the life of an innocent human being. This is why abortion procedures, the intent of which is to take the life of the baby, and are considered to have failed if the baby survives, are intrinsically wrong.

    On “life of the mother” exceptions: There are times when surgery must be performed or the pregnant women will die and her unborn child’s death will follow. Sometimes such a surgery will have the unintended consequence of bringing about the demise of the unborn child. But that is not the intent of the surgery, and if the physician knew how to save both mother and child that would be done. Nothing is done the intent of which is to kill the unborn child. The morality of such a surgery is based on a principle called “double effect,” and no thinking person denies the morality of saving the mother’s life in such circumstances. Most often though, any woman who is told by her doctor she is going to die if she carries her baby to term needs to find another doctor, because hers is obviously not staying current with the advances of modern medicine.

    On the incest exception: Nothing has contributed more to incest than the pretended “legalization” of taking the life of the child in the womb. Dad can take his teenage daughter he repeatedly impregnates back to the abortion clinic again and again, announcing to the abortionist that “the little slut got herself pregnant again.” If you think abortionists bother to ask who the father of the child is when a minor is brought in pregnant, or report cases of incest or statutory rape like they are supposed to do, you are even more willfully ignorant than we thought. If one is opposed to incest then one is opposed to “legal” abortion, which only increases instances of incest because it has been made so easy to get away with. Of course, nothing is intrinsically wrong according to you, so I don’t suppose this makes any difference to you.

    On the rape exception: If transplanting the unborn child from the body of a rape victim to the body of a woman who wanted to adopt the child were feasible, would you still insist on the death of the unborn child instead? If so, you are even sicker than we thought. If not, why not? Because we are talking about the life of an innocent human being? Yes, that is exactly what we are talking about. And why should an innocent child get the death penalty for the crime of its father? Is that one of those things those with no objective morality have to insist upon: that innocent children get the death penalty for the crimes of their fathers?

    All kinds of bad things happen to people all the time. The solution to their difficulties is never to murder an innocent human being.

  278. 278
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zachriel repeated this a couple of times (as he does) …

    Abortion is nearly always a bad choice

    What’s bad about it?

  279. 279
    Zachriel says:

    anthropic: The majority of Americans are convinced that abortion after five months pregnancy is immoral and that it should be outlawed.

    Except when done to save the life or health of the mother, or in cases of incest or rape. Only 1% of abortions in the U.S. occur after 21 weeks.

    anthropic: And the idea that we shouldn’t pass a law because it won’t totally stop bad behavior is ludicrous.

    No, but there are more effective ways to reduce abortion than forcing women to carry to term. Abortion is an ancient practice, and easily done, so enforcement will necessarily be arbitrary, often only when the woman has already suffered severe health effects and has to seek help. Suppose you can lock them up in a nunnery.

    harry: Sometimes such a surgery will have the unintended consequence of bringing about the demise of the unborn child.

    Sometimes saving the mother will require an abortion, plain and simple.

    harry: Most often though, any woman who is told by her doctor she is going to die if she carries her baby to term needs to find another doctor, because hers is obviously not staying current with the advances of modern medicine.

    Fetuses get sick and die, harry. The dying process can be very dangerous to the mother, so an abortion is often the best choice rather than carrying to term.

    harry: Dad can take his teenage daughter he repeatedly impregnates back to the abortion clinic again and again, announcing to the abortionist that “the little slut got herself pregnant again.”

    Sure. Another common situation is she comes into the clinic for an abortion because if he finds out, she’ll be severely beaten, or worse.

    Silver Asiatic: What’s bad about it?

    For a variety of reasons. While safe, it’s not as safe as prevention. And for many women, such as those with health problems, it’s felt as the loss of a potential child.

  280. 280
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Z

    While safe, it’s not as safe as prevention.

    When it’s performed safely then, no problem, right? Have you researched deaths and harm due to birth control by way of comparison?

    And for many women, such as those with health problems, it’s felt as the loss of a potential child.

    The negative effect of abortion is that it might make some people feel bad.

    Other than that, from your view, it’s a perfectly good choice and not “nearly always a bad choice”.

  281. 281
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: Have you researched deaths and harm due to birth control by way of comparison?

    Yes, many birth control methods can have side-effects, but often have positive impacts, as well. See Hannaford, Mortality among contraceptive pill users: cohort evidence from Royal College of General Practitioners’ Oral Contraception Study, BMJ 2010: “Oral contraception was not associated with an increased long term risk of death in this large UK cohort; indeed, a net benefit was apparent.”

    Silver Asiatic: Other than that, from your view, it’s a perfectly good choice and not “nearly always a bad choice”.

    As there are nearly always better alternatives, that means it’s “nearly always a bad choice;” however, sometimes it’s the least bad choice.

  282. 282
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    Sometimes saving the mother will require an abortion, plain and simple.

    Occasionally there are tragic situations where we can’t save everybody that is endangered. To deal with those situations in a moral manner, we must do the best we can to save everyone we can. In the process of doing so, it remains evil to take actions the intent of which is to kill one of the people involved, actions that are considered to have failed if the intended victim survives.

    The advances in modern medicine have made the case where a woman’s life is really threatened if she continues her pregnancy extremely rare. And in those cases all that can be done to save the life of both mother and child must be done. To use those rare situations as an excuse to continue with the brutal dismemberment of children by the millions reveals more than a refusal to admit to an objective morality; it reveals a real commitment to evil, or a bigotry so profound that it makes the most vile, most bigoted, racist, slaveholding plantation owners of the Old South look like saints. Have you ever asked yourself why the life of the child in the womb had the protection of law before the egomaniacal, sociopathic buffoons that made up a majority of the Supreme Court in the Roe decision abruptly withdrew it? Why was that the case? Why did Justice White, in his dissent, assert that

    At the heart of the controversy in these cases are those recurring pregnancies that pose no danger whatsoever to the life or health of the mother but are, nevertheless, unwanted for any one or more of a variety of reasons – convenience, family planning, economics, dislike of children, the embarrassment of illegitimacy, etc. The common claim before us is that, for any one of such reasons, or for no reason at all, and without asserting or claiming any threat to life or health, any woman is entitled to an abortion at her request if she is able to find a medical advisor willing to undertake the procedure. …

    I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally dissentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus … As an exercise of raw judicial power … its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review …

    I can in no event join the Court’s judgment because I find no constitutional warrant for imposing such an order of priorities on the people and legislatures of the States. … This issue, for the most part, should be left with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs.

    Before government of the people, by the people and for the people was overthrown by Roe, the issue had been “left with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs.” They had decided that all humanity deserved the protection of law. It is no accident that the movement to update the laws of the states such that they would reflect the fact that taking the life of the child in the womb always had been and would remain intrinsically illegal, began in the period in which the abolition of slavery took place. The people had decided that all humanity had inalienable, God-given rights — a fact that is lost on atheists, which is what makes them so dangerous, as modern history demonstrates with its record of the mass murder that is always perpetrated on innocent humanity by regimes hostile to theism.

  283. 283
    Carpathian says:

    harry:

    The people had decided that all humanity had inalienable, God-given rights — a fact that is lost on atheists, which is what makes them so dangerous, as modern history demonstrates with its record of the mass murder that is always perpetrated on innocent humanity by regimes hostile to theism.

    It is not atheists that are dangerous any more than it is theists that are dangerous.

    I could blame theists for the second world war since most leaders were religious.

    That would be very simplistic though and would serve no purpose except to try and make a certain group of people scapegoats in a much more complex issue.

    It is not religion or atheism that is dangerous but rather fundamentalism.

  284. 284
    Zachriel says:

    harry: The advances in modern medicine have made the case where a woman’s life is really threatened if she continues her pregnancy extremely rare.

    Whenever the fetus is dying, then abortion is a reasonable option. So you would allow abortion to save the life of the mother then? Otherwise, you would use the power of the government to force her to carry to the child to term? Abortion is an ancient practice, and easily done, so enforcement will necessarily be arbitrary, often only when the woman has already suffered severe health effects and has to seek help. Suppose you can lock them up in a nunnery.

    harry: Have you ever asked yourself why the life of the child in the womb had the protection of law before the egomaniacal, sociopathic buffoons that made up a majority of the Supreme Court in the Roe decision abruptly withdrew it?

    Abortion before quickening was not illegal under common law. Laws against early abortion came about during the 19th century, coincident with male domination of female reproductive medicine.

  285. 285
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    Whenever the fetus is dying, then abortion is a reasonable option.

    If the child is dying you still want to immediately take action and kill it yourself before it dies naturally? You just can’t pass up the chance to kill an innocent human being, can you? Bloodlust. Normal people just have a D&C performed after a miscarriage if that is necessary to avoid any chance of peritonitis.

    Abortion before quickening was not illegal under common law. Laws against early abortion came about during the 19th century, coincident with male domination of female reproductive medicine.

    That is absurd. Before people knew that life began an conception, they assumed it began at quickening. So before quickening they assumed a human life was not being taken. Physicians of the 19th century knew life began at conception, and were not involved in a plot to establish “male domination of female reproductive medicine.” Even if that were the case, do you think that somehow justifies murdering millions of children older and more viable than patients routinely cared for in modern newborn intensive car units? Is there any restriction at all on abortion that you would favor? Or are you out to kill as many children as you possibly can?

  286. 286
    Zachriel says:

    harry: So before quickening they assumed a human life was not being taken.

    Um, harry, before quickening, the fetus can be as large as 3-4 inches long and look like this:
    http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/li....._weeks.jpg

    harry: If the child is dying you still want to immediately take action and kill it yourself before it dies naturally?

    A dying fetus is very dangerous to the mother.

  287. 287
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    This takes the cake:

    It is not atheists that are dangerous any more than it is theists that are dangerous.

    I think the evidence of the past century shows the dangers of atheistical nihilists in power sufficiently for any reasonable person to think twice.

    And, Plato’s warning 2350 years since takes on ever more force as one reflects on the history of the past 100 years:

    Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them.

    Yes, extremism of any form is dangerous.

    That is what makes any ideology that undermines moral government dangerous. But that then instantly puts evolutionary materialism on the list.

    KF

  288. 288
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    I get the strong feeling that you are utterly unfamiliar with the central moral teaching of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, presented in the epochal Sermon on the Mount by its principal teacher. Accordingly, I draw your attention:

    _____________

    >> Matthew 5-7English Standard Version (ESV)
    The Sermon on the Mount

    5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
    The Beatitudes

    2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

    5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

    6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

    7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

    8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

    9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

    10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
    Salt and Light

    13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

    14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
    Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
    Anger

    21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[c] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[d] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[e] of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.[f]
    Lust

    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
    Divorce

    31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
    Oaths

    33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.[g]
    Retaliation

    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[h] let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
    Love Your Enemies

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    Giving to the Needy

    6 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

    2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
    The Lord’s Prayer

    5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

    “Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name.[j]
    10
    Your kingdom come,
    your will be done,[k]
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    11
    Give us this day our daily bread,[l]
    12
    and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    13
    And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.[m]

    14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
    Fasting

    16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
    Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

    19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[n] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

    24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.[o]
    Do Not Be Anxious

    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[p] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
    Judging Others

    7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

    6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
    Ask, and It Will Be Given

    7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
    The Golden Rule

    12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[q] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
    A Tree and Its Fruit

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
    I Never Knew You

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
    Build Your House on the Rock

    24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
    The Authority of Jesus

    28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
    Footnotes:

    Matthew 5:9 Greek huioi; see Preface
    Matthew 5:16 Or house. 16Let your light so shine before others that
    Matthew 5:22 Some manuscripts insert without cause
    Matthew 5:22 Greek says Raca to (a term of abuse)
    Matthew 5:22 Greek Gehenna; also verses 29, 30
    Matthew 5:26 Greek kodrantes, Roman copper coin (Latin quadrans) worth about 1/64 of a denarius (which was a day’s wage for a laborer)
    Matthew 5:37 Or the evil one
    Matthew 5:40 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
    Matthew 5:47 Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
    Matthew 6:9 Or Let your name be kept holy, or Let your name be treated with reverence
    Matthew 6:10 Or Let your kingdom come, let your will be done
    Matthew 6:11 Or our bread for tomorrow
    Matthew 6:13 Or the evil one; some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen
    Matthew 6:19 Or worm; also verse 20
    Matthew 6:24 Greek mammon, a Semitic word for money or possessions
    Matthew 6:27 Or a single cubit to his stature; a cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
    Matthew 7:13 Some manuscripts For the way is wide and easy>>
    _____________

    I suggest a rethink, balanced by a more fair minded survey of the history of our civilisation.

    On that the counsel of the great — and Jewish BTW — scholar, Bernard Lewis, in his noted essay, The Roots of Muslim Rage, has some wise words:

    . . . The accusations are familiar. We of the West are accused of sexism, racism, and imperialism, institutionalized in patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation. To these charges, and to others as heinous, we have no option but to plead guilty — not as Americans, nor yet as Westerners, but simply as human beings, as members of the human race. In none of these sins are we the only sinners, and in some of them we are very far from being the worst. The treatment of women in the Western world, and more generally in Christendom, has always been unequal and often oppressive, but even at its worst it was rather better than the rule of polygamy and concubinage that has otherwise been the almost universal lot of womankind on this planet . . . .

    In having practiced sexism, racism, and imperialism, the West was merely following the common practice of mankind through the millennia of recorded history. Where it is distinct from all other civilizations is in having recognized, named, and tried, not entirely without success, to remedy these historic diseases. And that is surely a matter for congratulation, not condemnation. We do not hold Western medical science in general, or Dr. Parkinson and Dr. Alzheimer in particular, responsible for the diseases they diagnosed and to which they gave their names.

    Food for thought.

    KF

  289. 289
    harry says:

    Zachriel

    harry: So before quickening they assumed a human life was not being taken.

    Zachriel: Um, harry, before quickening, the fetus can be as large as 3-4 inches long …

    People used to think the fetus wasn’t alive until quickening when the mother could feel it moving. They thought the body was then animated with life. A distinction was made about the morality of abortion before and after quickening. They didn’t know life began at conception.

    You didn’t answer my question. Are there any restrictions at all on abortion you would favor?

  290. 290
    Zachriel says:

    harry: A distinction was made about the morality of abortion before and after quickening. They didn’t know life began at conception.

    The fetus was alive in the biological sense, but whether it was ensouled as a human being was a separate matter. It was considered a personal concern of the woman until that point, and women could easily induce abortion through various common herbs.

    Even today, few accord the same moral value to a blastocyst in vitro, as to a late-term fetus or living baby.

    harry: Are there any restrictions at all on abortion you would favor?

    Sure. The current compromise seems about right. Elective abortions should not be available after viability, except in extreme circumstances. Keep in mind that abortion is an ancient practice, and criminalization will not stop women from getting abortions. It’s like euthanasia. People are against it, but practice it regularly.

  291. 291
    Zachriel says:

    harry: If the child is dying you still want to immediately take action and kill it yourself before it dies naturally?

    A dying fetus is very dangerous to the mother.

    For Praveen Halappanavar the last two weeks have been, in his own understated words, difficult.

    Nearly every day, he sat at the back of Galway court house and listened to the details of his wife’s last days, and her miscarriage of their 17-week-old female foetus, a much-longed for child.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22204377

    Would you make exceptions for a non-viable fetus? Or would you force the mother to continue to carry the fetus until one or the both of them were dead?

  292. 292
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    Again:

    In response to the Nazi assault on the Hippocratic Oath, the Declaration of Geneva, also known as the Geneva Code was enacted in Geneva Switzerland in 1948 by the World Medical Association. Its updated version of the medical oath taken by physicians to “First do no harm” states in part:

    Now being admitted to the profession of medicine, I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity … I will practice medicine with conscience and dignity. The health and life of my patient will be my first consideration … I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of its conception … Even under threat I will not use my knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.

    Before Roe and after California’s highly controversial “legalization” of abortion (that which is clearly contrary to the “laws of humanity” referred to by the Geneva Code one can only pretend is legal), pro-abortion Dr. Malcolm Watts wrote an editorial that appeared in the September, 1970 edition of California Medicine. His audience was not that of the local mass media in California — that audience consisted of many who could be easily propagandized. No, his audience was to consist of educated medical professionals who had taken some version of the “First, do no harm” medical oath and knew quite well the earth-shaking nature of the “legalization” of taking the life of the child in the womb. Dr. Watts was forced into intellectual honesty in his editorial entitled A new ethic for medicine and society. Here are some excerpts from his editorial. An intellectually honest defense of the indefensible is quite interesting:

    THE TRADITIONAL Western ethic has always placed great emphasis on the intrinsic worth and equal value of every human life regardless of its stage or condition. This ethic has had the blessing of the Judeo-Christian heritage and has been the basis for most of our laws and much of our social policy. The reverence for each and every human life has also been a keystone of Western medicine and is the ethic which has caused physicians to try to preserve, protect, repair, prolong and enhance every human life which comes under their surveillance. This traditional ethic is still clearly dominant, but there is much to suggest that it is being eroded at its core and may eventually even be abandoned. This of course will produce profound changes in Western medicine and in Western society. …
    What is not yet so clearly perceived is that in order to bring this about hard choices will have to be made with respect to what is to be preserved and strengthened and what is not, and that this will of necessity violate and ultimately destroy the traditional Western ethic with all that this portends. It will become necessary and acceptable to place relative rather than absolute values on such things as human lives, the use of scarce resources and the various elements which are to make up the quality of life or of living which is to be sought. This is quite distinctly at variance with the Judeo-Christian ethic and carries serious philosophical, social, economic and political implications for Western society and perhaps for world society.

    The process of eroding the old ethic and substituting the new has already begun. It may be seen most clearly in changing attitudes toward human abortion. In defiance of the long held Western ethic of intrinsic and equal value for every human life regardless of its stage, condition or status, abortion is becoming accepted by society as moral, right and even necessary. It is worth noting that this shift in public attitude has affected the churches, the laws and public policy rather than the reverse. Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices. It is suggested that this schizophrenic sort of subterfuge is necessary because while a new ethic is being accepted the old one has not yet been rejected.

    He goes on to assert that the “new ethic of relative rather than of absolute and equal values will ultimately prevail…” His “new ethic” isn’t new at all. It had been tried by the Nazis and was condemned by the whole world because it violated the “laws of humanity.”

    Physicians are to “preserve, protect, repair, prolong and enhance every human life which comes under their surveillance.” It isn’t possible to always save every human life that comes under the physician’s surveillance. Physicians are only human. But, saving every human life is still the goal, and to deliberately kill an innocent child is never legitimate. As I explained before, procedures can be used, which are moral according to the principle of “double effect,” that will have the intended consequence of saving the mother, but also have the unintended consequence of bringing about the demise of the child. Such procedures, of course, do not include any action the intent of which is to kill the child, and is considered to have failed if the child survives. That is where you go wrong, You want to use procedures the intent of which is to kill the child. You want to kill children.

  293. 293
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    It’s like euthanasia. People are against it, but practice it regularly.

    Yes euthanasia in America is the elephant in the living room nobody wants to talk about. Dr. Henry Friedlander, in his book, The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution, makes clear just how dangerous our complacency in this regard really is.

  294. 294
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    kairosfocus: This takes the cake:

    Carpathian: It is not atheists that are dangerous any more than it is theists that are dangerous.

    kairosfocus: I think the evidence of the past century shows the dangers of atheistical nihilists in power sufficiently for any reasonable person to think twice.

    Neither atheists nor theists are the danger but rather politicians.

    They will cross the floor and switch to another political party, or another religion, or a different philosophical position, or a different economic model, etc.

    In short they will do anything to get and retain power.

    This includes lying to the people about why they do things.

    People tend to accept whatever their leaders tell them up to a point.

    That point was reached in the Soviet Union when the people simply said no.

    No gun battles, no rebels, no government crackdowns, simply a no.

    Every “atheist” evil-doer could have been stopped the same way.

    WWII could have been stopped if the religious that believed in the “right to life” had simply said no.

    Again, if you don’t believe that possible, explain the fall of the Soviet Union.

  295. 295
    Zachriel says:

    harry: Zachriel, Again:

    You’re simply stating opinions; in this case, one of utmost respect for the unborn. But notice that it is not a prohibition against abortion in certain situations. In addition, the Declaration of Geneva has been amended several times.

    One can’t argue values, but one can show the implications of an unbending ideology. You didn’t respond to the question. Would you make exceptions for a non-viable fetus? Or would you force the mother to continue to carry the fetus until one or the both of them were dead?

  296. 296
    harry says:

    You didn’t respond to the question. Would you make exceptions for a non-viable fetus? Or would you force the mother to continue to carry the fetus until one or the both of them were dead?

    I did respond. Let me put it another way: Physicians should do all they can to save both mother and child without committing murder in the process.

    You’re simply stating opinions

    I have the opinion that the earth is round and not flat. I suspect we share that opinion. I also have the opinion that murder is wrong. We obviously don’t share that opinion.

    the Declaration of Geneva has been amended several times….

    So what?

    You desperately avoid addressing the big picture, because the huge, glaring facts of the big picture are indefensible: Over a billion innocent human beings have been brutally murdered around the world. You realize this, which is why you must retreat into discussion of minutiae to distract everyone from the big picture.

    Your arguments are like opposing shutting down the Jew-gassing operations at Auschwitz by focusing attention on a sweet little old man who sweeps the offices of the Nazi officials running the place everyday and empties their trash cans. “Why do you want to leave that poor old guy unemployed?” completely avoids the big picture. All your arguments are desperate attempts to avoid the glaring fact that the mass murder of innocent human beings by the millions is what must be addressed.

  297. 297
    Zachriel says:

    harry: Physicians should do all they can to save both mother and child without committing murder in the process.

    As you didn’t answer directly, we assume that means you think an abortion should be criminal for a woman carrying a dying fetus, that you would force the woman to continue the pregnancy until either she or the fetus died.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22204377

    As we said, one can’t argue fundamental values, but one can show the implications of a rigid ideology.

    harry: I have the opinion that the earth is round and not flat.

    There’s a difference between an opinion about an empirical fact, which is subject to objective verification, and an opinion of value you place of something or someone, which can be shared, but is not something that can be objectively verified.

  298. 298
    Zachriel says:

    harry: All your arguments are desperate attempts to avoid the glaring fact that the mass murder of innocent human beings by the millions is what must be addressed.

    Few accord the same moral value to a blastocyst, as to a late-term fetus or an infant. Few would shut down fertility clinics because they endanger fertilized eggs. Most people understand that there are shades of gray, and that there is a tradeoff between the value they place on the autonomy and safety of women and the value they place on the developing fetus.

  299. 299
    harry says:

    we assume …

    You have already demonstrated that your assumptions are preposterous and evil. Evil is always shown to be irrational in the final analysis, so it is no surprise that your assumptions are preposterous. Continue vomiting forth your evil absurdities. The more you do, the more you display the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of your position. You might also want to look for a good exorcist.

  300. 300
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: we assume that means you think an abortion should be criminal for a woman carrying a dying fetus, that you would force the woman to continue the pregnancy until either she or the fetus died.

    harry: You have already demonstrated that your assumptions are preposterous …

    Okay, then. You don’t think it should be criminal for a woman to have an abortion to end a pregnancy when the fetus is dying.

  301. 301
    harry says:

    To any who have been following this discussion: It is always a good thing to interject a little reality into the process of forming one’s opinion. In order to accomplish that, please consider using Google images to search for “aborted babies.” You will find that the slow Nazification process that has gone on for so long in our country has reached the point where what is obviously the results of the brutal murder of innocent children is shamelessly available for all to see. If you have not been Nazified yet, you will be very disturbed at what you see. Thank God for that.

    If you find yourself thinking “so what?” as you look at those photographs, pray to God about that. He can heal even Nazification.

    One final thought: If you have been involved in some way with abortion, know that God is anxious to forgive you and heal you. He loves you.

    He understands. Consider a young woman who was brought up to trust her doctor as one who is so honorable that if necessary, she can be disrobed in his presence if that is required for him to attend to her medical needs. She was brought up to be a good American and honor and obey the decisions of the Supreme Court. She was taught that she had civic responsibilities and that that required staying up on current events, and that she could find out what she needed to know in order to make informed decisions from the news media.

    Then she finds herself in an unexpected and unplanned situation: she is pregnant. What should she do about that? Well, she thinks she should trust all the institutions she has been taught to trust. The Supreme Court said obtaining an abortion was her constitutional right. The honorable doctors are more than happy to perform an abortion. The news media have been telling her that it is only a handful of extremist, religious wackos who object to abortion. It should surprise no one if she chooses abortion, since it is just the removal of a “mass of tissue.” She was lied to. She is a victim, too, in the truest sense of the word.

    God understands. God forgives. Forgive yourself. And become part of the resistance to this holocaust of innocent human life.

  302. 302
    kairosfocus says:

    Harry, sobering words, and I understand (I have not the heart or appetite to look but someone close to me described a little hand from a victim next to a coin) the images are shocking. I fear, blood-guilt blinds eyes, en-darkens hearts and benumbs consciences. But the apostle Paul himself is proof of the forgiveness of even blood-guilt. KF

  303. 303
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, there is just One who has the pay-grade to put a value-tag on a human being from conception to natural death. And the value he assigns is patently transfinite: what is a man profited if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul? The answer almost does not need to be said, but for those who need it: the net loss is still infinite. A word to the wise. KF

    PS: And an appropriate post number for such a comment.

  304. 304
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: there is just One who has the pay-grade to put a value-tag on a human being from conception to natural death.

    So you would save the vat of blastocysts before the child.

  305. 305
    harry says:

    Hello kairosfocus,

    Yes, it is important to point out that Paul was forgiven of blood-guilt. He went on to become the Apostle of the gentiles, and one who was so completely forgiven and so filled with the love of Christ that he was able to proclaim “It is not I who live but Christ Who lives in me.”

    And yes, the pictures of a little hand next to a coin are shocking. Unfortunately, I have seen a photograph of a large trash can filled with dead babies larger than many newborns I have held in my arms. I don’t know if it has been purged from the net or not. … I checked and didn’t find the famous photograph of one day’s worth of late abortions at a teaching hospital. That photograph was a bombshell that became a significant factor in launching the Pro-Life movement in the U.S.

  306. 306
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, one of the evils of so-called values clarification is to try to teach “values” by trying to create dilemmas and contradictions. The choice of the least of evils is an evil and is no good standard of the value of any human being from conception to natural death; the true lesson is that in some cases you can only do what you can and cry out to God for mercy. A sound approach to virtue as with any other serious subject starts from the simple and straightforward ABCs then builds up knowledge and experience to handle difficult cases. That professional educators tolerate an approach that creates confusion and loss of insight in this field strongly shows the breakdown of moral fabric in our civilisation, tied to the rise of amoral worldviews dressed up in lab coats. Worldviews that undermine even the self aware, responsibly free rational person, and if unchecked lead to predictably destructive marches of folly. KF

  307. 307
    kairosfocus says:

    Harry, awful. Their blood cries up from the ground against our civilisation. KF

  308. 308
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: The choice of the least of evils is an evil and is no good standard

    Thought the lesson of history was that unbending ideology was the danger.

  309. 309
    Heartlander says:

    STAND, a group of black ministers headed by Bishop E.W. Jackson, has sent a lettter to the Smithsonian Institution demanding that a bust of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, be removed from an exhibit. It reads, in part:

    We are writing to ask that Margaret Sanger’s likeness be removed from all National Portrait Gallery exhibits. Her bust should not be part of the Gallery’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, which honors “great achievements…striking down long-standing segregationist practices and discrimination in American society.” Ms. Sanger may have been a lot of things, but a “champion of justice” she definitely was not.

    Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies; an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as “the feeble minded;” speaking at rallies of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers. Also, the notorious “Negro Project” which sought to limit, if not eliminate, black births, was her brainchild. Despite these well- documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice. The obvious incongruity is staggering!

    Perhaps your institution is a victim of propaganda advanced by those who support abortion. Nevertheless, a prestigious institution like the National Portrait Gallery should have higher standards and subject its honorees to higher scrutiny.

    HT: American Thinker

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