Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The State of the Union: The Force of ideas vs. the idea of Force

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' - Ronald Reagan
If the quote above doesn't strike fear into your heart, you haven't given the ideas behind it much thought. The left wants to help you with your healthcare, with your home loans, with your education, with your job hunting, even with your drainage.

Many people ask what could be wrong with that? Sounds like nice and neighborly things to do, don't they? Why shouldn’t Govt be empowered to help? Why is govt action worse than that of individual choices and the free market?

One word: Power. Govt has it, and it has it by taking it from you. Taking from you your personal power and freedom to make your own choice, as well as the freedom of anyone else to make their own choices.


The Huffington Post recently ran a headline they thought outlandish "Michele Bachmann: Obama Health Care Reform 'The Crown Jewel Of Socialism'", along with a telling comment 'Where did she go to college'. The better question would be how did she go to college and still retain the ability to say such a thing?


But in light of all of our new emphasis on using nicey-nice words, I'd like to make a proposal, lets stop calling the leaders of the opposition mean names, and stop suspecting them of nefarious intentions. Maybe we could do so with just a bit more effort than the Dem's recent efforts. But aside from that tweak, I don't say this lightly. If you hide from reality in any way, you invite in falsehood and endanger yourself and all you value.

The vast majority of those looking to improve our world through the govt are not intending to harm you or take your freedoms, they are sincerely trying to help you... and that should inspire far more fear than a simple villain out to do harm. They seek to do good, they feel in their hearts that they are doing what they can to help you, and feel morally empowered in doing so... with your best interests in mind... it's the sort of self-righteousness that can prompt someone to say "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it", and "I don't worry about the constitution", they are simply intending to do for you what you don't have the sense to do for yourself.

That's all.

There is nothing more dangerous than someone having power over you in order to do good for you. They are not restrained by the Constitution, they are not restrained by law (though they expect you to be restrained by those laws they favor), they are not restrained by your choice to go another way, to try a different solution - or none at all - they feel that your choices are misguided, shortsighted, wrong. And because they know what's best for you, they are going to 'prevent' you from such harmful behavior - for your own good.

They feel they are in the 'right'.

But what is that right? What does it rest upon? This is the question which the proponents of the Ideas of Force, are peculiarly weak willed in examining.

I’ve had a couple discussions lately, some on The Federalist Papers facebook site, some on mine, and some by email or in person, that just cause the head to swirl in disbelief. In response to my pointing out that no one has a right to force others to give them what they feel they are entitled to, one responded:
“Where’s this “use of force” I’m advocating? “Force” means an object acting against the will of a subject. In a democratic system such as ours, the public will is defined as the preferences of a majority. Force means a minority acting against the will of a majority (simple or super).”
Despite being college educated (or rather, because of it), this person actually stated, and not as an off the cuff typo, but something often repeated, that "Force means a minority acting against the will of a majority (simple or super)", the concept of a tyranny of a majority apparently never crossing his mind. Sooo... what 'Democracy' decides is good, is good? I know what college he went to - a modern one. And it is a notion that is held by many today, the counter arguments to it, the Force of Ideas hinted at in the quotes in the sidebar of this post, are simply not being taught.

So let's have a quick look, I assure you it is exceedingly important. By these all too common leftist Ideas of Force, 'Democracy' simply serves the will of the majority of the people, and what the majority of the people choose is what is right... which was the same one used by the Athenian people, when they expressed their preference to put Socrates to death for expressing his ideas... does that mean they were not advocating Force? Conversely, does that mean that Socrates’ apology was advocating the use of force against the majority by his desire to be left free to continue his questioning of them?

You might look to the left's condemnation of conservative speech for a clue to their answer to that.

Now most leftist's will balk at that, and say “We’re not talking about putting someone to death here!”, but based upon their argument, it does not matter what the issue is, it is only by an argument whose standard is rooted in Natural Law, in peoples’ self-evident Natural Right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ that anyone could possibly have any disagreement with the Athenians preference to put Socrates to death for his public philosophizing... or to imprison people for wishing to handle their own healthcare. A 'morality' or 'standard' that is based upon the power of the majority to do what it wishes, contains nothing that will prevent, or even discourage, it from doing what it has the power to do. The inevitable consequences of unleashing such powers, will be the formation of things such as the much derided 'Death Panels', but Sarah Palin's apt term has stubbornly resurfaced again, which Reboot congress is shocked, shocked I say and "I'm still shocked" to say that the reality of death panels

are noted in an op-ed in the Boston Globe:"

"But... Palin is right. Death panels are an inevitable consequence of socialized medicine. The law of scarcity demands them."
But more accurately, the law of unrestrained power demands that the choices of individuals will be forced aside. When the Ends justify the Means, and are allowed unrestrained power to accomplish their goals, then the Ends will not blink at the means used to accomplish them. Force, raw and brutal, is the inevitable result of dispensing with the responsibility of living and governing outside of a constitution which upholds respect for Individual Rights, as understood through Natural Law.

Here's another example from Dana Loesch at Big Journalism, of what such ideas lead to, even from those who decry the use of words such as 'Crosshairs"... from the other side of the aisle, that is,
"“I have considerable respect for nonviolence but I don’t treat it as inevitably a necessary rule …
“It’s partly a problem almost strategy and propaganda, it’s a violent country, it’s a violent government, it’s killing people, and they’re going to call us violent if we break a window, but they will do that. Unless you have good reason for breaking the window, probably you shouldn’t do that, unless it’s,m you know, a big part of your strategy.”"
Francis Fox Piven, who is now claiming 'little old widow' status, would like everyone to not notice that she has publicly, and consistently over the course of decades, directly called for violent revolution, for destroying property... as long as it's in support of a good thing.

In other words, if you don't respect Natural Law & Property Rights and abide by laws which uphold them, then you are left with no standard but your personal desires and the power to impose them on others, and there is nothing you will not condone if it serves your purposes as a "a big part of your strategy".

The fact that Power is used with the intention to 'do good', changes nothing for the better or for the good. It ensures that the choices of individuals will not be respected, and that ultimately ends, time and time again, in death and destruction. For those who point to Europe's "Social Democracies" and say "It's working there!", well, have you heard the joke about the optimist plunging from the top of the skyscraper? He's heard to say as he plumets by each floor "So far so good!" - ultimately, that doesn't end so well.

In a comment to my last post by someone who wants the Ideas of Force to prevail, was annoyed that I'd noted it's modern source, Marxism, as being behind Political Correctness, better termed 'Cultural Marxism', he wished to paint it as being simply a benign system for doing good unto our fellow man (you), as if that’s just swell nice stuff, purely well intentioned ideas which we should all be able to get behind.

Well no, sorry, these ideas are fundamentally no different than thugs mugging you in the street, the fact that they use words and ideas rather than clubs, knives or guns (at the moment) is only a measure of their current proregress. I absolutely do not grant any civility to such ideas. I do, of course, grant civility to people who have unwittingly accepted the PC PR boilerplate assertions about how all Marxism really means is just a desire for sunshine and lollipops, but that’s granted (temporarily) to people, not their ideas… their ideas I put in the crosshairs of as destructive a philosophical bullet as I can find - and, IMHO, those people lose their immunity to such condemnation, as their familiarity with their own ideas increases.

What proponents of 'Democracy', like my commentator, and others proposing full popular vote in all elections and even on legislation, like to say,
“I am for majority rule on ALL issues: a supermajority on a certain things (e.g. civil liberties); a simple majority on everything else.”
They want majority rules on all issues. Period. See if you can find the wiggle room between such ideas of Democracy, and Europes 'Social Democracy, and the fact that only one political system in the history of the world, has led to the massive death tolls, 100 to 150 million lives, ‘achieved’ by the ideas of Marxism and Communism. The fact is that they are a direct result of what Marx summarized all of his ideas as being (ideas which fully followed from Rousseau’s ideas, btw), Chapter Two of his Communist Manifesto:
"In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. "
Those who've followed more than a few of my posts, know the annoying regularity with which I repeat that ALL political support for our Individual Rights is based upon a respect for Property Rights, and that dispensing with Property Rights inevitably dispenses with all Rights and all liberty and is, in fact, Anti American. This is why. You may not like that or agree that that is what you are after, you might think it unfair of me to point the fact out that hundreds of millions of lives have been lost or destroyed due to your ideas, however that IS what your ideas are based upon, and what THEY (the ideas you follow) are after.

In the same chapter, Marx lays out his 10 point plan for achieving his ideal... see if anything here seems familiar to you today:
"These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.
Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.


  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c."
You can claim all you want that you don't intend death and destruction; you just want to make things more fair. I'll grant you that. I'll even (with much trepidation) grant you that maybe Marx didn't want that either, or Lenin, or Stalin, or Mao or Pol Pot, etc, I would not be surprised at all to learn that they all only wanted to make things more fair for the average person. But fewer things are more true than the truism that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

You may not intend to destroy America by your policies – but your intentions really don’t matter. You may not intend to hurt yourself when jumping off of a cliff, but the fact is that the principle of gravity doesn't care about your good intentions; certain results follow from certain actions because of the basic principles and laws which they have no choice but to adhere to. Chief among political and social principles is that if you diminish, disregard or discard a lawful respect of Property Rights, destruction and death will eventually follow. It matters not one whit whether or not the majority or even a super majority of people agree to it. What goes up, must come down, and when the idea goes up that the foundation of Property Rights are to be removed from the basis of that civilization, what will come down is that civilization.

Your intentions to the contrary, you can only take the property of another which you have no right to, through the use of force, real or implied. You cannot forbid the preferred actions of another, without the use of force, real or implied. You cannot demand that a businessmen not compete to the best of his ability, without the use of force, real or implied. You cannot mandate that I, and everyone else in this nation, ‘participate’ in Govt’s health control plan, without the use of force, real or implied.

Intellectual Warfare
You cannot fight ideas and principles with legislation alone. At best, you can temporarily thwart or slow the progress of your good intentioned enemies with legislation. They have not made their successes through legislation, but through mis-education. They've won over the 'hearts and minds' of large swaths of America, primarily the college educated, or uneducated, but leaving few who are not at least touched with sympathy for these anti-American views.

The battleground of an intellectual war, is in the minds of those we oppose, and the proper tanks, rifles and bullets are principles, concepts and words - the left knows now, and always has known this. With that in mind, we must remember that 'winning' a negotiation over something like lower taxes, which concedes that Govt has the right to tax us in order to force us to comply with its 'doing good' to us, is no victory at all.

Conservatives repeatedly make the mistake of abandoning the field of battle to the left, with the ludicrous idea that they've 'won'. For example, they will often say something true, such as "Entitlements are wrong!", but then unknowingly capitulate when the left replies with 'Our Entitlements at $N trillion dollars would be very affordable if we cut defense!". The left knows that the conservatives response will be to pragmatically (taking action without reference to principles) begin bargaining over the details of percentages of the budget for this and that to be cut here and there. What the conservative doesn't see is that this is nearly complete victory for the left in every way but the speed of their desired proregress.

Pssst! Conservatives! Hey, yes I'm talking to you, 'when you discard Principles, you discard the only thing you have that are worth conserving, your principles!'.

We must realize that when engaging in such negotiations without making your position clear, we’ve conceded the argument and all moral authority to the left.

The State of the Union today is one based on the Ideas of Force - A nation not of laws, but of men
 No doubt President Obama will attempt to portray his Ideas of Force in his State of the Union Address, as if they had the Force of Ideas, but the fact is that, legislatively, we already have conceded our constitutional principles as Americans.

That is indisputable. The Constitution stands today, in word only - look to your, and your neighbors understanding of it, for proof. But look at this quote from John Adams
John Adams, Novanglus essays (1774 - 1775)
“ Obsta principiis, nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society..”
we have been in this situation before, and we recovered our Rights and Liberty then, and we can do so again, now. While the last time required real warfare, today's battle can and will be won peacefully on the battlefield of ideas alone - if we - you and your neighbor - stand up for, and commit to them.

We have everything our Founding Fathers lacked - we have our own nation, our own government, we have the incredible power of our Constitution - we only have to remember that its power resides in us - we are now in a situaiton where we realize that we have let slip its meaning and allowed our representatives to forget it and us, but realizing that, we can, and must, work hard to get from where we are, back to a position where our constitutional principles are again seen as the law of the land, and to do that we must, step by painful step, politically, legally, educationally and properly, reverse the situation we find ourselves in.

In that context, of course reducing spending is important for us to do, and I’ll say that in those situation where that is all we can credibly accomplish at the moment, well ok, that’s a good start, and it's good to give credit and a thank you to Sen. DeMint and friends when they target $2.5 Trillion in spending cuts.

But it is only a ‘good start’, not a success. And it is only a good start if we refuse to ignore that their good intentions are fundamentally opposed to the American understanding of liberty. If you can't quite imagine regarding your convincing a poisoner to cut the amount of arsenic he puts in your food, from a dose that’ll kill you in a month, to a dose that’ll kill you in a year… as being a victory… then don't fool yourself about reducing taxes and spending either. Nevertheless, from the position we find ourselves in, it is also hard not to call such measures, improvements, and ones that should be encouraged - just don't forget the fact that our ultimate goal is to get the poisoner out of the kitchen and far from being able to do further harm, ASAP. As long as We The People don’t mistake this for being anything other than a good start, and don’t let them forget that we haven’t forgotten it, well then, I think we oughta give those Senators and Representatives who are proposing such cuts, an 'atta boy'.

"Atta Boy!"

Now get back to work, Repeal, Replace, Restore, but most importantly of all, stand up for your principles, and proclaim them!

Note: To learn where the Founding Fathers got their ideas for sound government and how a return to these ideas can solve our nation’s problems today. This DVD-based study on the book "The Five Thousand Year Leap" will be offered on Wednesday evenings beginning February 9. This study will cover the “Twenty-Eight Principles of Liberty--Ideas that Changed the World.” You can pay for and pick up your book ($6) on February 9.

To register or for more information, contact Van at: Blogodidact@gmail.com.

6 comments:

julie said...

lets stop calling the leaders of the opposition mean names, and stop suspecting them of nefarious intentions.

Oy. If we're talking about the average Joe, who hasn't thought through the ramifications and really does genuinely think that whatever his favorite leftist cause is (the warmal globening, healthcare, "choice," etc.,), it's fair to say that their intentions are good and they really do want to see the world made better, somehow or other, and think it's best done from the top down.

However.

There are plenty of others out there who are absolutely frothing with murderous hatred; who see the fruits of their programs, the poverty and destruction directly caused, and smile in anticipation of more; who are in high places of authority and known criminals, with only the barest smile, wink and nod toward decency when their crimes are brought to light. Let's not mince words - they know what they want, and they don't give a damn who has to die for them to get it. And I really don't think I'm being hyperbolic here; they may not want the blood on their own hands, except for the abortion doctors, but they'll bounce up and down and cry ulululululu with unabashed glee when one of their favorite enemies bites the dust. If the victim is an innocent, they won't shed any tears, they'll just shrug and look the other way, or try to turn the suffering to political advantage. The news cycles of the past few weeks have demonstrated this all too well.

Any reasonable person, upon viewing the fruits of their labors and their eagerness to continue, can only rightly ascribe a nefarious intent, no matter how nicely and euphemistically it is portrayed.

Don't paint the purveyors of the lie with an honor - that of good intent, which after all probably does count for something, no matter how swiftly it sends one to hell - which they clearly have not earned. Have, in many cases, outright rejected.

That's not to say that we should paint them all with the same type of bad intent, either - simply that we see them for who and what they truly are, and for who and what they truly represent. Providing them the mask of goodness of heart only serves their purposes all the more, and gives them cover to do worse than they might otherwise.

Van said...

Julie said "There are plenty of others out there who are absolutely frothing with murderous hatred; who see the fruits of their programs, the poverty and destruction directly caused, and smile in anticipation of more; who are in high places of authority and known criminals, with only the barest smile, wink and nod toward decency when their crimes are brought to light..."

I see you had the same knee-jerk response to reading it that I had to writing it!

;-)

"Don't paint the purveyors of the lie with an honor - that of good intent, which after all probably does count for something, no matter how swiftly it sends one to hell - which they clearly have not earned. Have, in many cases, outright rejected."

I see some of my sarcasm fonts didn't carry across in the HTML, but pay special attention to a few lines down though, where I said "...Well no, sorry, these ideas are fundamentally no different than thugs mugging you in the street, the fact that they use words and ideas rather than clubs, knives or guns (at the moment) is only a measure of their current proregress. I absolutely do not grant any civility to such ideas. I do, of course, grant civility to people who have unwittingly accepted the PC PR boilerplate assertions about how all Marxism really means is just a desire for sunshine and lollipops, but that’s granted (temporarily) to people, not their ideas… their ideas I put in the crosshairs of as destructive a philosophical bullet as I can find - and, IMHO, those people lose their immunity to such condemnation, as their familiarity with their own ideas increases."

When someone makes any mention of how swell something like obamacare is, I nail them on it, on what that means to Rights, Liberty and Lives - whether at work, home or with friends. I grant them, to begin with, the status of well meaning fool... but that begins diminishing immediately as our discussions advance.

The more someone knows of their own ideas (and the more they should know about them when purposefully advocating for them), the less slack I'll cut them, and at some point the pure Evil they are advancing cannot, and should not, be overlooked.

"Any reasonable person, upon viewing the fruits of their labors and their eagerness to continue, can only rightly ascribe a nefarious intent, no matter how nicely and euphemistically it is portrayed."

I hope you know me well enough to know that painting "the purveyors of the lie with an honor" is, to say the least, not in my M.O.

Even so though, the human mind is a curious thing, and just because it contains ideas doesn't mean that they are used as ideas - some people collect their positions like wall hangings and draperies, they are simply there, and the only meaning they attach to them is "kind, generous, tolerant", and it doesn't matter how clearly you spell out for them the pure evil and destruction which must follow from them... your arguments are gone as fast as the breath you used to speak them... and their decorations and draperies remain up, and they continue to think they brighten up the place.

In most ways, they remain good people. That won't excuse them if their ideas remain long enough to come to full fruition... but there you go.

As the proverb says "God says take what you want... and pay for it".

Identify and nail their ideas as the evil they are, and let them continue to claim, and identify themselves with them if they wish.

At some point, they will become indistinguishable from them.

julie said...

Sorry, Van - I got to that part and went "Whaaaa? Is this Van, playing the 'nice' card?" And started typing before I finished reading...

Mea culpa...

:)

Van said...

The other side to this, which maybe I didn't make clear enough, is that for those who don't give their ideas much thought, when we light into their favorite leftie leader, they have the same dismissive reaction that most conservatives have to the slurs cast upon Sarah Palin, and the damned ideas being peddled get off scot free.

I Hate That!

I want the damned things, the ideas, nailed up with nowhere left to hide, with no possible means of escape in the dimples or curves of their purveyor. Hunt the ideas down and brand them as the evil that they are... those who want to continue associating themselves with them... will then identify themselves more clearly in the eyes of their casual followers, than we ever could have by naming them.

BTW, I hope it doesn't need to be said, but the asinine "No Labels" movement from recent CINO's & RINO's... I in no way support. I don't want to give euphemisms and other cover to evil... I want to identify it and nail it to the wall.

Van said...

Julie said "And started typing before I finished reading..."

;-)

Like I said, I had the same reaction to writing it... I just knew what I would be following it up with.

mushroom said...

That's an excellent piece of writing, Van. American Idol democracy. Maybe if we explained to them that majority voting is what kept Bristol Palin on DWTS* and only the rule by the judges that you actually had to be able to dance kept her from winning then they might get it.

*Disclaimer: I have never watched as much as five minutes of any reality show, so I don't know if Ms. Palin can dance or not.