Tuesday, January 05, 2010

To be a house slave... or to be an American - That is the question

I've been prodding leftists for a while now with a question that I've yet to receive any worthy response to... nothing other than confusion or anger. I posed it again in the comments at One Cosmos, and again receiving no worthwhile reply, one of the regulars commenter's there, Hoarhey, suggested I make it a permanent post, which I agree, it is about high time to do so.

What prompted me to ask it again, was an anonymous anninymouse comment, stating that essentially we conservatives were just being hysterical, that we should all just relax and let Obama, Pelosi & Reid do their thing because "The nation is fine. We have a good nation. We have a bright future. We have happy people. Can you not accept these things?"

Can I accept these things... with their definitions? Accept the rapidly increasing instances of reduced or lost rights to property, life, liberty and right to pursue our own idea of happiness... can I 'just accept' that these infringements are just harmless and meaningless trifles?

Hell no!

So here's the question I posed to the aninnymouse, and I offer it up to any leftist out there as well, hey, you could be the first leftist to answer this question... it's not a difficult one, it is not as if I'm asking for a leftist to actually define what Rights are, or anything like that... I'm just going to pose the following scenario and ask you to answer me one simple question... ready?

The Question
Here's the scenario - let's suppose there's a place nearby where people are actually enslaved, enslaved in the good old fashioned pre-civil war sense, and you, a righteous leftie, working in association with an underground railroad, have a chance for a brief private moment alone with a pampered well kept house slave, one of those cared-for-like-one-of-the-family house slaves (perhaps the sort ya'll used to accuse Condi Rice of being?)... how would you interest this house slave in escaping with you, to make a break and escape to the sort of 'freedom' you propose for us... how would you induce them them to make a break to live in a land where 'all is fine, good, bright futures and happy people' such as the left, offers us today..?

Hmm?

  • Would you tell them that they'd be able to live their life as they chose (as long as that meant buying govt defined healthcontrol or risk fines and imprisonment)?
  • Would you tell them they'd be able to keep their own money and plan their own future (as long as those plans included forking over 20%-80% of their earnings for 'necessary' services(don't worry what those might be, governocrats will decide) and the 'social security' of having govt plan their retirements)?
  • Would you tell them they could own their own property (as long as govt didn't see a better use for it... as they did for Susette Kelo's home... it's such a nice vacant lot now, isn't it?)?
  • Would you tell them they could perhaps build up a family business and pass it down to their kids (unless it were something that the govt decided to 'rescue', like a car dealership)?
  • Would you tell them that they'd be able to raise their kids and give them a good education (as long as that meant in govt approved schools with govt approved teaching certificates and with an Obama govt safe school czar curriculum)?
Would you tell them... well... what would you tell them to make them want to leave their cushy house slave status, to make them consider leaving a comfortable house slave position where they're on such good and personable terms with there masters... what would you tell them to make them risk that cushy spot ... in order to exchange it for your leftie house slave status... where they'd have a nice DMV like relationship with their bureaucrat masters?

What would you tell them?

Do tell.

The American Answer
I know what I'd tell them, assuming I lived in a free nation, one with constitutionally protected liberties and secure property rights... I'd tell them 'Come with me if you want to live!'

But given that such a country, a free nation, with constitutionally protected liberties and secure property rights, no longer exists in the world today, there is only one thing to be said... there is no where to escape to... it is up to us, all of us, now, to restore that freedom and liberty and their security through Property Rights, to this nation, here and now! It's not such a hard fight, the foundation for it, our Constitution, already exists, we only have to remind those we've put in it's offices, of what it says, and what it means, and more importantly, and more urgently, we have to remind the citizens of this great nation, of what it says, of what it means, and why it is important to them and their children, why being a house slave, no matte how cushy the position, is nothing in comparison to living your own life, with liberty to pursue what you see as your own happiness.

Luckily for us we don't have to come up with all of the ideas and arguments for a nation based upon laws, rather than the whims of men - some folks already did a very thorough job of considering such issues before us. In fact, centuries worth of consideration upon such issues has already resulted in a thorough examination of the concepts of Individual Rights, of fixed and objective Law rooted in Natural Law, as opposed to the whims of Leviathan... and a revolution was already fought for them - and won. And even after our Founding Fathers initial attempt at a government based opon those theories alone proved to be ineffective, some of the greatest men in history got together at a convention in Philadelphia, and wrote the Constitution of the United States of America.

A Framework For Governing And Upholding Our Rights
But as fine a document as the Constitution was, after the entire nation debated that framework for governing and of how to implement them, they found it to be wanting... and they insisted that there be added to that constitution, a Bill of Rights, and after much further consideration, eventually settling on 10 amendments, in order to make it inconceivable that a Tyranny could ever arise in this land... at least not while that Bill of Rights stood firm and kept our government in check, by protecting:
1. Our Right to Free Speech and Freedom of Religion, and the Right to Petition our government and to Free Assembly,
2. Our Right to Bear Arms,
3. The Right to be secure from government intrusion in your home, and "that a man's house shall be his own castle",
4. That the "...right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."
5. The Right to due process of law, and that no private property will be taken for public use, without just compensation
6. The Right to a fair and speedy trial
7. The Right to trial by jury
8. The Right to be held without excessive bail or cruel or unusual punishment
Those people back then, people just like us, but much more aware of how a once loved government can quickly turn into Tyranny, they felt secure enough in these Rights, these 'parchment barriers', only because the vital concepts of Natural Law were enshrined in the Constitution through both the presence of
9. The Ninth Amendment, which was there to prevent those in power within the government from abusing or reducing the Rights of the people: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people",
10. and because it was doubly secured through the Tenth Amendment, which made it crystal clear, 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."
Read your Rights as stated in these links, but more importantly, read through the material linked to beneath those amendments, they explain what those ideas meant, the arguments for and against them - understand what they mean! It is really not rocket science! Read the constitution, read how it was so carefully structured in order to be able to balance such issues of the Rights of the people against the needs of the state, how it was intended to balance the lust for power (which they knew to fear even in those they admired) of those in one branch of government, against the lust for power of those in the other branches of government, for as George Washington said, "Government is not reason, nor eloquence. It is force. And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master." IOW, for those of you who think 'all is well'... Don't turn your back on it!

Read the reasoning behind the debates on each clause of the Constitution, here, start with the Preamble... scroll down, familiarize yourself with the ideas that went to it, before blindly dismissing what some of the finest minds in history had to say on the same issues, in principle, which we face today, do that, and you may help spare us from becoming House Slaves.

Now What?
Assuming you understand its importance, and wish to protect it - what can you do about it?

Plenty. If you speak up, speak up in private, speak up in public, whenever someone snickers, as Pelosi did, at the idea the the Constitution should have any restraint upon their desire to wield power over us, if like her, they as "Are you serious?!" - answer Yes, and be able to explain why.

Get involved locally, not just for U.S. Congressional and Senate races, but even more importantly, in your State and Local races, and in your Party politics. Here's a spot on posting from our St. Louis Tea Party coalition , Name the Problem We CAN Fix, but DO SOMETHING!

NOW!

22 comments:

jwm said...

Good one, Van. I can't wait to hear all those clamoring for govt. healthcare begin to squeal when their free healthcare includes mandatory drug testing for an office call, and mandatory rehab for a positive read. Blood test for nicotine? Mandatory smoking reduction classes? It's just around the corner.

JWM

Van said...

"It's just around the corner."

Yep... they're all expecting a house slave position... the overseer is standing in the shadows grinning at them and oiling his whip.

lance said...

I appreciate what you are doing here Van, I went to the tea party site you linked and read that one. I guess maybe I am being a little to cynical and correct me if I am wrong. Not that you need my permission to correct me. :) But even if there is a wholesale change in Congress and we as a country go completely back in the opposite direction with a conservative President and a conservative Congress. I do not think things are going to change. Regan grew government, Carter did the same, Bush and Clinton and Bush Jr and now Obama is following tradition. While it is possible we may duck the issue of national health care isn't that just a symptom of the sickness infecting government today. I am just feeling pretty small and insignificant today when it comes to the man and the people in charge.

Van said...

Lance said "...But even if there is a wholesale change in Congress and we as a country go completely back in the opposite direction with a conservative President and a conservative Congress. I do not think things are going to change."

Well... I don't think I need to correct you, so much as maybe remind you, that I've said the same over and over and over again... "There is no po-lit-I-cal so-lution"(sorry Sting). At best, politics will enable us to halt, for a time, a short time, the statist's progress, but nothing less than the people becoming educated again, will 'fix' or meaningfully change things.

If we, today, somehow managed to pass sweeping de-legislation and managed to wipe out nearly all of the 20th century's legislation, the entire proregressive agenda would be right back on the ballots the next day... and those who tried to point out it was unconstitutional, would get the same reaction from the populace as Nancy Pelosi gave to the reporter who asked her where she found authorization in the constitution (nowhere) to do what they're doing today - laughter.

"... While it is possible we may duck the issue of national health care isn't that just a symptom of the sickness infecting government today. I am just feeling pretty small and insignificant today when it comes to the man and the people in charge. "

For instance, as I said in Their Ends Are Their Means!,
"This example of Obama's "Safe School Czar" is no an anomaly, it is not a slip up, it is just a very graphic example of what they have been teaching all along.

Their ends are their means.

We must arm ourselves with the only weapon that can have any lasting effect - Education, education in the vein of what those who founded this country knew it to be.

We don't have much time left, but I tell you, there is No progress possible as long as they have hold of our schools. And don't think your private school is an escape, for their teachers all come certified from the same leftist 'Teachers Schools' which were their first beachhead in our world.

We MUST Educate ourselves, and defeat them!"


... and in this, Reboot revisited: To Think or Not to Think - That is the Term Limit Question,

"The real point, is that a republic requires a carefully structured and delimited government rooted in and bound by a written constitution, representative of and answerable to, a moral, principled, people, who are not only willing to pay attention to the issues and carefully elect their representatives, but who understand that it is their duty as citizens, to do so.

Arguing that we are no longer that people, and so we must consume more and more poison, is an insane plan to restore the health of the Republic.

We must educate ourselves; we must encourage our neighbors to become educated as well. We must seek to remove the responsibility of educating our children, from those who are teaching them the exact opposite of what they need to know – the pragmatism (ala John Dewey, the founder of modern diseducation) – and return the responsibility of educating children to parents who will seek an education for them that is rooted in the principles our Founders understood, and which enabled them to write our Constitution.

That process cannot be shortened, the burden cannot be reduced, by legislating short cuts.

Think... or be prepared to be told what to think. "


(annoying blogger break)

Van said...

(cont)
And I want to emphasize that this can't be any sort of "WWFD" (What Would the Founders Do) sort of parroting what the founders said in similar situations. We MUST understand the concepts they used to write the constitution, the understanding of which was why they wrote it - anything short of that would amount to the most temporary of 'victories', and lead to an even deeper plunge.

... and... Lance... pardon me as I do a double-take here... but did you really just say,
"...just a symptom of the sickness infecting government today..."

Are you... edging away from the left side of the tennis court?
(take deep breath and waits on reply...)

"I am just feeling pretty small and insignificant today when it comes to the man and the people in charge. "

While I certainly understand the feeling, and am feeling it myself, I'm also for the first time in twenty years, feeling hopeful, and the Tea Parties are a Big reason for that... not just the demonstrations... that'd be of no more worth than day old news... but because of the strong, strong interest I receive from people at them, and talking about them, in finding out just what the heck the constitution DOES say, and more importantly, why. For every quote spouter out there, there's immediately several people that turn their heads, walk over, and ask "What does that mean?".

Seriously. I'm a Looooooooooooooooong way from feeling optimistic, but they are giving me hope. That, and also this article (Terrence O. Moore is always worth reading - he also edited one of the only surviving Classical Liberal treatises on Education) reinforces and confirms what I've gathered from my kids and their friends... they still don't much want to listen to me rattling off history & other Dad stuff... but they do not buy what is shoved down their throats in school, and they do not respect the 'teachers' doing the shoving. They have developed a sense that Liberty, Freedom, Law, is more important and GOOD, than victimhood, pandering, and demanding others provide for their needs and thrills - it more than vaguely disgusts them, and what is most heartening of all, it makes them laugh at those pushing it.

That. Is. Huge.

Ironically, especially for me, who was THE anti-videogamer in the 90's... I think the games they play, the Halo's, the Fable's, and many more - even the ones I still hate - they provide experiences, they provide the need to be aware of their surroundings and goals, the need to plan and execute well or 'die'... that is vital to my ideas being able to take root, and anathema to core leftist garbage accumulating in the space where their thoughts should be.

I've got to cut my windedness short (!)... storms a coming, gotta get some firewood & food & water!

lance said...

Van Said: "... and... Lance... pardon me as I do a double-take here... but did you really just say,
"...just a symptom of the sickness infecting government today..."

Are you... edging away from the left side of the tennis court?
(take deep breath and waits on reply...)"

I do not know if I am edging away as much as bringing myself perhaps back toward the center. I was very unhappy with Bush as President, I guess not more unhappy with Bush then Clinton perhaps the same level of unhappy. But I think my level of unhappy comes from me not really seeing a difference between the two parties that run Americas two party system.

My frustration at our system is what led to my desire for Oregons secession from the union. I realize now that is never going to happen mainly because so much of my state is owned by the feds but also we are so dependent on them for jobs and security. So I am not really sure what direction all of this is taking me. I know the way of Bush was incorrect and I know the way of Obama is incorrect as well. I do not see a way out of the forest. Corporations and special interests seem to be the ones pulling all the strings and short of tearing it all down there seems to be no way out.

Van said...

"My frustration at our system is what led to my desire for Oregons secession from the union. I realize now that is never going to happen mainly because so much of my state is owned by the feds but also we are so dependent on them for jobs and security."

Well... if anything, the fact that the feds own so much of the western states is a factor driving them apart, not keeping them together. But. Assuming that one state, then another, and another, did manage to secede without provoking war, we would soon find ourselves in the very same situation the founders were desperately trying to ditch the articles of confederation over and urged the Constitutional convention because of. They knew the history of the ancient Greeks, and with things like fierce tensions along the states of the Potomac river and Chesapeake bay, even between New Jersey and New York, Madison, Hamilton and other seriously feared war between the states. They sought union in order to avert what, as Hamilton put it,

"It is impossible to read the history of the petty Republics of Greece and Italy, without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions, by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration, between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy. "

If anyone thinks that we, today, would somehow be able to avoid that in spades... because... why,... because we are so much more refined and civilized today? Gimme a break, one state would be at war with another in a flash.

"So I am not really sure what direction all of this is taking me. I know the way of Bush was incorrect and I know the way of Obama is incorrect as well. I do not see a way out of the forest."

Yes Bush was incorrect and Obama is certainly incorrect, but I'd still say that the forest is fine, it just needs a few weeds and diseased trees to be removed... keeping in mind what was said about Education above, remove the deadwood of the 20th century, and we'd be a long way towards recovery.

"Corporations and special interests seem to be the ones pulling all the strings and short of tearing it all down there seems to be no way out."

Yes, they are, and they have been since they discovered the proregressive idea of having govt endorse associations and regulate 'proper business practices', contrary popular opinion, it has been corporate businessmen from the beginning who urged government intervention in the market place, because they assumed they'd be able to influence congress to pass laws and regulations to control competition, to make it difficult for new companies to enter the market. A new startup company may figure out how to build better light bulbs or motors than GE, but while a corp like GE can afford environmental impact statements and reams of other compliances... it's nearly impossible for a new startup to afford those non-business costs.

(break)

Van said...

(cont)

The last people who will promote competition and capitalism, are big banks and big business... or most any business really, competition isn't something they enjoy, it's just a fact of life in a free market... unless you can get your congressmen to 'give you an edge' that is.

Regulation, far from keeping things honest, is the engine of corruption.

Clear laws, vigorous investigation and prosecution, against any form of negligence, fraud, endangerment of the public or threats of physical intimidation to competitors, etc, is all the law enforcement and 'regulation' that is needed. Ax the FDA, EPA, SEC, etc, and you get business and govt out of each others pockets, and true 'transparency' in government.

Lance, the Founding Fathers did not champion property rights as a way of flattering fat cats, they did so because they knew and understood them to be vital to every Individual Right, every freedom and liberty, that you and I hold dear. You're at a point of clearly questioning what's what... don't let cynicism poison your soul... there are bad people out there, like frickin' zombies, but they really are weak and at a disadvantage, whenever they come up against the truth.

As gloomy and tough as things may seem, we've got an incomparable advantage over any other people in any other time who ever found themselves going up against a corrupt society. We've already got the Constitution they could only dream about - we only need to clean it off and get rid of the damn zombies.

Examine the issues yourself, you know my links. Look at what they wrote, and ask yourself why you think they wrote it, and see if you can back it up - and be willing to revise your conclusions - as I certainly had to do - as their reasoning begins to become more clear to you.

The weak, the poor, the environment, these are NOT helped by bureaucrats seeking power to hand out favors and push across a few goodies that are 'seen' at the expense of the greater evils done but unseen, as a result of their process.

There is a way out, and there are more and more people waking up to the fact. Take another look at the what the Founders had to say, not because some fool revere's them because they were goodie goodie and their portraits look dignified (eh... read what Sam Adams said and did... that'll dispel that notion pretty damn quick), but because they, as a direct result of the type of education they were among the last to receive, truly understood what was right and true and worthy of pledging "to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

Yabu (EOTIS) said...

Fine post sir, and great comment work.

xlbrl said...

It seems to me we have two problems to address.

1)Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other--
John Adams

2)The very purpose of the Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy--
Justice Robert H Jackson
The Constitution is an anti-trust act for government--
Joseph Sobran

We are less a moral and religious people now, although perhaps not so much as automatically assumed. I am sure we overlook the extent to which the Founders looked at a substantial part of the population in that era with some horror, as John Adams' diary reveals in 1775. But many a wise observer has seen that it is the ideas of intellectuals which will eventually become the governing force in a society. As it is our intellectual who has completly changed, we might better address what is the moral and religious state of the intellectual, who is doing his best to corrupt the citizen.

Since every subject has now been thrown to the visissitudes of political controversy, and our intellectuals are corrupt, we are left playing a political game not of the Founders design in which an occasional winning hand can be fasioned while always losing to the house. As Garrett decribed so brilliantly,the New Deal entered the old form and devoured its meaning from within. The revolutionaries were inside; the defenders were outside. A government that had been supported by the people and so controlled by the people became one that supported the people and so controlled them.

What could possibly be done to do more than win a hand? A program, a platform, with the greatness of the Federalist Papers but more succinct by far, that would raise great enthusiasm and hope within the conservative public--so at odds with it's own polititians--to provide courage, and expectations, for conservative intellectuals and politicians.


To mean more than a turn or two at the helm of State, our message has to have great inertia. To merely conserve is to be not in motion, to be idle, to wither. Yet the edifice of big government is a tremendously target-rich environment. You have noted that the government consumed 3% of GDP under Calvin Coolidge. Warren Buffett, before he lost his mind, pointed out that a capitalist society increases wealth six hundred percent a century. So since Calvin's time, we are four times more wealthy, yet our wealth goes to pay for poverty. We are getting alll the poverty we can afford.

Justice Jackson again--It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.

Van said...

Thanks Yabu... keep an eye on the comments...

Van said...

Xlbrl, I should probably turn this into a post, but somehow I thing it is better suited to the comments… but hold on, it’s gonna be a windy one.

"I am sure we overlook the extent to which the Founders looked at a substantial part of the population in that era with some horror, as John Adams' diary reveals in 1775."

Heh, oh definitely. They were more literate than any other people, but... there was an abundance of degeneracy to go around. I don't remember where I first came across it, but Gordon Wood touched on it in a talk he gave on his new book, Empire of Liberty, that the period was rife with, what we are told are 'new' incidents, Parents killing their families, students taking guns to their schools and using them on faculty & student alike. Human Nature is what it is, the differences are what are held to be the proper norms of acceptable and unacceptable, behavior.

They had high standards, not often met, but widely held and striven for... we've got low standards... widely held, striven for and often attained… seemingly at least.

Van said...

"But many a wise observer has seen that it is the ideas of intellectuals which will eventually become the governing force in a society."

Yesss... but they are continually confounded by coming up against the much more entrenched and unassailable ideas of the poets... and this is something I think has tripped up the left over and again.

Allow me a brief (as if) diversion into related grounds that I think are important, then I'll come back to your points.

The intellectual content of the West has been widely degraded or lost. But... for instance, Religious ideals... I think there's a lot of (wishful) misreporting on the issue, are widespread, though they are certainly different today than in the Founders time, But... but I think that neither the Ivory Tower, nor the Church Spire, are the real transmitter of the culture, our stories and pastimes are.

For all the proregressives attempts to wipe visible morality from the arena, especially in early T.V. , after some success in the 60's, I think they've mostly failed. I don't mean in the Billy Graham sort, but that of The Untouchables, Paladin, Combat... Good Guys violently stomping Bad Guys, being disgusted at weak snivelers and saving the damsel in distress... they have persisted in other forms, movies, comic books, video games, and despite Socrates's thought that Virtue can be taught in a dialectic lesson, it has no legs if it's positions have no emotional and poetic oomph or habitual reinforcement.

I don't know about you, but I've personally seen leftist lessons in relativism and virtual dhimitude, undermined and in some case wiped out, with the unwitting complicity of rogue Hollywood producers... one "Star Wars" can obliterate semesters worth of textbooks and multiple incarnations of rudderless anti-heroes as in The Graduate. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Braveheart, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Batman, The 300... have, IMHO, the power to obliterate decades worth of classroom lessons and leftist moralistic preening.

And as I mentioned above with Lance, much to my surprise, Video Games, far from being the cultural death knell I assumed they'd be... may be the root of a resurgence of reality based thinking, which those children of the 60's & 70's were almost utterly separated from. I think they've gone beyond even the traditional arts power... to affect kids minds, at the unconscious, habitual, sense of life level, in ways no wackademic could ever hope to.

I've no hard facts or studies to back this up, only my sense from watching my boys, and their friends, not meeting or demonstrating my dismal expectations of videogameitis... follow me on this.

Aristotle pointed out that a Virtuous person was the result of a habitual mode of thinking and doing the right thing. Video Games may seem a far cry from anything having to do with reality, but the fact is, they've got rules, unyielding, iron bound rules (even the 'game cheats' reinforce this, rather than contradict it) that must be followed and skills that must be developed, and if done feebly, leads not only to losing the game, but embarrassment in front of friends.
(windy break)

Van said...

(cont)

These games, especially the more in depth ones like Halo, Fable & others, involve learning not only the layout of vast geographical maps, but hierarchical levels of characters, good and bad, their strengths and weaknesses, and relative worth and value of various artifacts and powers, and in order to advance to the next level, they must be mastered. To get to the highest levels, especially in multi-player games, the players need to not only plan several steps ahead, while paying close attention and awareness to surroundings, but to coordinate their actions with those they're playing with.

Often the people they're playing with, they've never met in person, but through their playing of the games, their back and forth banter, they learn to judge the person they're playing with, who may live on the next street or literally the other side of the world, on the content of their character (ahem... excuse me), on their demonstrated abilities and dependability.

These games develop and transmit not only ingrained habits of mind and astounding feats of memory and recal, but a desire to defeat the bad guy (even in the cases of their being in the villains shoes, mythically, poetically, it is the same), to master skills, plan ahead, respect 'reality', learn to associate with others based on their abilities and personalities - not nationalities or appearances... they habituate, at the most fundamental level, a respect for reality that is, if not Virtues per se, the necessary grounds for them; and more importantly, they equip them with B.S. detectors extraordinaire - when they are presented with 'facts' and alleged 'virtues' that don't add up, they know it, and they scoff at them.

If this were the mushy headed world of the 70's, we'd, out of desperate necessity, have a military draft right now - the reality is completely the opposite. Saying nothing about the wisdom of any recent foreign policy, kids are growing up hungering to do what is right and to defend what they take as being right... and a disdain for mushy headed, relativistic weakness.

I'm not saying that this modern state of mind isn't also ripe for being used towards horrible consequences, or somehow immune from intellectual swindle, but I am saying that I think that the left, and the world in general, has no idea what's coming their way, no idea of what this rising generation is not only capable of, but demanding of.

Add to this, the features and possibilities - not from a technological standpoint, but from one of a 'intellectual' and habit of personal interaction standpoint - of the internet, text messaging, twitter, facebook... we've no idea what is readying to be unleashed upon us, and from the thinly optimistic view, I think it is far more likely to be prejudiced towards a reality based stance, than opposed to it, and that spells trouble for the leftist.

Van said...

Xlbrl said "Since every subject has now been thrown to the visissitudes of political controversy, and our intellectuals are corrupt, we are left playing a political game not of the Founders design in which an occasional winning hand can be fasioned while always losing to the house."

Yes, agreed. No, NO political victories, if not backed up with a fundamental reunderstanding of what the philosophical principles of our nation presume and require, will be of any lasting value, and will be more likely to slingshot us around to flying even further off course than we presently are.

For all I just said above about the coming generation being disposed towards reality, if their minds are not given the matching content, all will be for naught.

"What could possibly be done to do more than win a hand? A program, a platform, with the greatness of the Federalist Papers but more succinct by far, that would raise great enthusiasm and hope within the conservative public--so at odds with it's own polititians--to provide courage, and expectations, for conservative intellectuals and politicians."
I think that is happening today, under the radar of the popular intellectuals and media - which is somewhat surprising, given the long running bestseller status of 'conservative' books on the NY Times own bestseller lists - in the blogosphere and the Tea Party communities.

Go to any Tea Party hub, and you'll find yourself a link or two away from the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and even more importantly, discussions of their meaning and application. I know of in my area, several actual recurring classroom presentations of video seminars on the meaning of the Constitution... I'm, frustratingly slowly, developing one of my own, which I hope to get into the mix as well.

There IS something happening, that hasn't happened ever before in history, forgotten knowledge, shunned by the ruling elites - left and right - is being recovered by the population on the ground, disseminated, discussed, understood and challenged, and is beginning to spread and rise back up the social landscape.

England's 'Glorious Revolution', and our own, were preceded by decades of, then new, coffee houses, pamphleteers and Belles Letters being circulated among the middle class and elites, and were crucial in preparing the ground for those events.


The internet, for all it's pits and perils, is that on Steroids... I repeat... we've no real conception of what is headed our way, and probably in the very near future.

Intellectual knowledge has historically been a mostly top-down market structure... we're seeing that traditional structure and centralize dissemination structure, being dissolved today. Not only dissolved, but overwhelmed, by a more bottom up, free market knowledge structure... and I think it has the potential to do for the Intellectual 'market place' what free market economics did for the economic market place.

"Justice Jackson again--It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

Yes, and again, those who for so many decades, were disgusted by the elites, by the political activists, and shrugged and decided to turn away and mind their own business, I think have finally realized the perilous error that was, and they are beginning, more than beginning, to come together, to make themselves heard, and to actually act to put an end to the mess they've allowed to come about.

It's anybodies guess whether or not they'll succeed... but there's a fighting chance for it that just a few years ago I'd nearly despaired of ever seeing in my lifetime.

We'll see... and of course, we'll see better, if each of us gets out there and does something about it.

Van said...

There’s a quote from Spalding’s We Still Hold These Truths (much better than Mark Levins's book, IMHO), that I really like, and darn, I can’t find it right now, but he notes an interviewer talking with a then aged America revolutionary, and asks him why it was he took up arms against the British, the greatest military power in the world,
‘Was it because of the ideas of Locke?”
“Never read him”
“Montesquie?’
“Never heard of him”
“Was it to defend Natural Law and Individual Rights?”
“’Fraid I don’t know much‘bout such ideas”
“Well… why did you do it?”
“Simple. We’d always lived our own lives and governed ourselves. They didn’t mean that we should continue to.”

Our Middle class can be said to be analogous to that old Minuteman, they don’t have a lot of intellectual knowledge or understanding of Freedom, Rights, or any philosophical underpinnings for them, but they’re used to living their own lives, and though they’ve been annoyed at govt intervention in the world about them, they never really felt it in their own lives before, never felt physically threatened by it before.

Now they do. They don’t like it.

Our modern day armories aren't the same sort as was to be found at Lexington and Concord, ours are intellectual weapons as are to be found in books like Spaldings, and at sites like The Founders Constitution, and unless the govt goes full tilt totalitarian (Net Nutrality and much more), they've no chance of seizing our weapons.

We’ll see what happens next... but if it hasn't already happened, I'm sure we're about to soon hear about the new 'shot heard around the world'.

xlbrl said...

Yes, your hope is my hope, a bottom-up transfer of understanding and courage (made possible by the internet). But I am also reminded of Balzac's observation that a generation is a drama of four or five thousand players. Whatever the actual numbers, I believe that understanding makes sense, and it will be necessary that this bottom-up model formed by citizens creates and informs those in that drama within the traditions you describe, and replaces those who have infected civilization with regressivism.

I saw that you were working on a model of some kind. As clear as the great men and understandings are, it is suprisingly difficult to do.

Jim - PRS said...

Yabu sent me.

Well done. Well done, indeed.

lance said...

"England's 'Glorious Revolution', and our own, were preceded by decades of, then new, coffee houses, pamphleteers and Belles Letters being circulated among the middle class and elites, and were crucial in preparing the ground for those events.


The internet, for all it's pits and perils, is that on Steroids... I repeat... we've no real conception of what is headed our way, and probably in the very near future."

Right on the money with that Van. That is one of the things I love about the internet. I love being able to dialogue with people that were it not for the internet I never would have met. Even if that dialogue gets angry now and then.

Van said...

Jim PRS, thanks, and please give my regards to Yabu!

Van said...

Lance said "Even if that dialogue gets angry now and then."

Whatever could you mean by that?

;-)

Van said...

Xlbrl said "But I am also reminded of Balzac's observation that a generation is a drama of four or five thousand players."

Yeah... there's some truth to it of course, four or five thousand 'on screen' players, but I think that's as true as thinking that a movie involves only a few stars and some number of character actors and extras, usually made by people who don't sit through the 10 minutes of credits encompassing hundreds, even thousands of crew that made their performance possible.

In normal times, Balzac's comment probably applies, but in extraordinary moments, the cast of supporting actors magnifies greatly, and I think that's becoming true today. With the exception of short, unique moments in the past, the performances have been mostly top down and the key players could set the tone and get their way. But what once might have faded away with the emotion of the moment, today is able to be sustained and fed through easy communication and accessibility of information, and that has enabled the number of 'angry' people, and worse for congress, people who are angry AND informed, to continue growing and intensifying.

"Whatever the actual numbers, I believe that understanding makes sense, and it will be necessary that this bottom-up model formed by citizens creates and informs those in that drama within the traditions you describe, and replaces those who have infected civilization with regressivism."

Another way of looking at this might be to consider what would have happened if Sam Adams had these same tools available in his day, and I'm thinking of the Bob Basso "Tom Paine" videos which I think sparked, or at least brought attention to, the current revolt, but who is now largely unremarked upon. Sure Sam Adams probably could have done much more with our tools, but I think it's possible he might have become less famous as a result, not because the revolutionary fire would have been diminished, but because there would have been oodles more patriots replicating his efforts, intensifying and spreading the flames wider and deeper... and that would have been something to see... and perhaps to be seen again!

I think what is being missed by most in the media, is that the current citizen unrest is for the most part, leaderless... it is springing from the bottom up, and while initially emotional, as a result of the internet, the outrage is easily sustaining itself and transforming that emotion, with the aid of information, into ideas, loose spontaneous associations - easily triggered and reformed for an event - and becoming more deeply rooted and spread through that understanding being communicated and further spreading the emotional reaction, repeat, rinse.

The, now year long, Tea Party, initially dismissed as a flash in the pan, is still brewing, which this weekend Sen. Feingold's townhall's demonstrated (there's another video with larger and angrier crowds which I saw this morning on tv, but can't find on the web yet), shows that people are not willing to yield the stage to the main actors, and when that occurs, they've got to comply or be yanked from the stage altogether.

I've got my hook ready.

;- )

"I saw that you were working on a model of some kind. As clear as the great men and understandings are, it is suprisingly difficult to do."

It's taking a lot more than expected, but I think the structure is traceable and presentable... I'm working on it!