What’s at Stake in the 2020 Election? (3)

binary-choice

This is the stark, binary choice that has been presented to us by the Progressive Left in the 2020 election.

The Binary Choice

The choice being presented to the citizens of the United States is simple and stark:

  1. Vote in the Democrat Presidential Candidate and he/she/whatever will view their victory as a mandate to implement the Republic destroying ideas that they campaigned on.
  2. Vote in Donald Trump for a second term and, while the civility of our political discourse will continue to suffer, we will still likely have a Republic in 2024.

Back in 2016 I was deeply concerned that Donald Trump was simply a mirror image of the Progressive political corruption that exploded under Barack Obama’s presidency.  He has rather, in spite of withering, unrelenting resistance by the Democrats (and many Republicans as well), pursued the very Conservative economic and social policies that the “conservative” political establishment (now the “Never-Trumpers”) claimed they supported.  He is also seeking to extract the United States from the seemingly unending, un-winnable wars that have sapped our nation’s morale and strength.  He has kept his campaign promises to a degree that shames most recent politicians, Democrat and Republican alike.  Perhaps that’s another reason that they hate him so.

Make no mistake, if the Democrats win in 2020 under their proto-totalitarian platform, there will likely be little holding back this time.  Expect:

  • a Progressive packed Supreme Court, with 11, 13, however many justices are required to ensure uniform Progressive decisions (or they may simply remove and replace President Trump’s appointees);
  • the Justice Department (including the FBI) and Intelligence Services to become politicized to a far greater degree than they were under President Obama and thus a far greater threat to our civil liberties;
  • by unConstitutional means, for the Electoral College, the First and Second Amendments and the Senate to come under withering attack;
  • our nation’s boarders to be erased, resulting in massive migration from any country by anyone who for whatever reason wants to get in, and, once in, supported by the U.S. taxpayers;
  • an economy devastated by the aggressive deployment of Socialist policies and environmental regulations;
  • the media, social and mainstream, to become even more aggressive and cruel in their assault on any and all people who disagree, or even don’t agree with sufficient fervor;
  • the vicious, murderous physical attacks on and intimidation of non-Progressives by the Progressive proto-Fascist shock troops (i.e., Antifa) and random mobs/individuals will dramatically increase.

One other point.  For all his crudity and bombast, Donald Trump must be one of the most honest men to have attained the Presidency.  The entire apparatus of the Federal Government, Democrat Party and Mainstream Media have been out to find something (anything!) by which to destroy him since at least 2015.  All they have been able to come up with are bogus Dossiers and Whistleblower complaints.  They continue hyper-Ahab-like pursuing their Great White Wale.

The Progressive elite have revealed themselves to be utterly corrupt, incompetent, infantile, narcissistic, self-serving and deceitful.  No self respecting free person should want to be ruled by this cohort of self-lobotomized collectivist ideologues.  And now, for better or worse, it has fallen on Donald Trump to stand between us and their desired proto-totalitarian goals.

As things stand now I will vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Thoughts About “Questions for Socialists” (2)

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg speaking at the United Nations

I’m happy to report that there is at least one adult alive who dares to correct Greta Thunberg’s ignorant presumption.  Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago.  In an open letter to Greta Thunberg he provides a scathing rebuke to this girl and to her enablers.  The following short excerpt provides a sampling of his position.

You proclaim that we need to live within the planetary boundaries, to focus on equity and “take a few steps back” for the sake of all living species. You resent the hierarchical distinctions between human and animals and entertain no qualitative distinction between a monkey, a malaria-infested mosquito and a snarling hyena. You mouth slogans such as: “We have set in motion an irreversible chain reaction beyond control,” and you advocate for universal veganism on the Ellen DeGeneres show. You do not buy new clothes, and you don’t want the rest of us to either. You want us all to stop flying in jet planes without giving us an alternative as to how we would re-transform our financial and trading systems—to say nothing of our personal enjoyment of the world—without regression to a primeval era. Few can afford to cross the Atlantic in a $6M zero carbon yacht financed by rich people who made their wealth by the very means you condemn as loathsome.

There are a few things that we, the rational adults of the world who are not bowing to you like guilt-ridden obsequious Babbitts need to say to you, Greta.

First, we did not rob you of your childhood or of your dreams. You are the legatee of a magnificent technological civilization which my generation and the one before it and several others preceding it all the way to the Industrial Revolution and the Renaissance, bequeathed to you. 

I contend that this response is not only appropriate, but also absolutely necessary.  For it is by our willingness to silently suffer fools that the ideology of fools is legitimized and advanced.  Were I to meet a young person spouting the opinions of Greta in normal life I would not respond in the scathing manned of Dr. Hill.  However, I would politely but firmly make it clear that I disagree and explain the reasons why.  And, if they responded with angry attacks on my character for having accosted the fragile feelings of a youngster I would explain that they’s better grow thicker skin if they hope to succeed in this world.

On the other hand, when the United Nations gives an international platform to a young child from which she spews contempt and idiotic bromides we are operating at another level entirely.  Here the consequences of gentleness or even embarrassed silence are great.  For Greta at the U.N. assaulted the very foundations of civilization.  What young person observing adult cowardice in the face of this assault did not respond with increased contempt for their elders?  What obsequious Socialist wouldn’t interpret our craven silence as an admission of guilt?  And what power hungry Progressive wouldn’t conclude that we don’t have the courage to oppose their project of power accumulation by any means necessary?

So, regardless of who is pushing Socialist ideas it is long past time that we respond appropriately; sometimes with gentle but firm disagreement and others with the aggressive questions and answers necessary to turn back this latest assault by a wicked, stupid and failed ideology.

Thoughts About “Questions for Socialists” (1)

churchell-socialism

One of the great mysteries of life is why the supporters of Socialism continue to be afforded the presumption of moral and intellectual superiority while supporters of Fascism are uniformly condemned as carriers of utter evil.  While the latter conclusion is certainly true and just, the former is a great and wicked lie.

This question has become increasingly relevant as we observe the Millennial Generation embracing Socialism as a means of social advancement, and the Democrat Party increasingly presenting itself as the vehicle by which this end can be accomplished.  It is therefore long past time that a few pointed questions be posed to these people who pose as our betters.

Once we pierce the wafer-thin, fragile shell of presumption that protects Socialists from objective scrutiny it’s shocking to discover how pathetically weak are their claims.  As my previous four posts on this topic demonstrate it is only by the force-field of presumed moral and intellectual superiority that these ignoramuses (and far worse) avoid the fate of the few remaining Fascists.  That is, they are enabled by the power of intimidation through use of social power due to Progressive domination of most of our key institutions.

But there is also a secondary though still potent defense against criticism, that being pity and/or good manners.  Here I have in mind the sweet aged church lady or the earnest young man who spouts Socialist ideas in obvious and embarrassing ignorance.  It would certainly be cruel for those of us who know better to publicly accost such people with the purpose of causing them embarrassment.  And yet it also would be cruel to allow their ignorance to continue by false affirmation or studied silence.

This situation could be reasonably designated the “Greta Thunberg Effect.”  You likely already know that she is the young Swedish girl (born in 2003) who became a famous activist on climate change.  In 2019 she crossed the Atlantic Ocean (from Plymouth, U.K., to New York, U.S.) in a 60 foot racing yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines, thus making it “zero carbon emissions.”  Once in the United States she addressed the United Nations in a scathing speech.  This young girl presumed to be the final judge of all living adults and all human civilizations, and, the font of ultimate wisdom by which the planet could be saved.  And, in spite of her appalling ignorance and presumption most adults  shirked any responsibility to push back.  For to do so would embarrass her and open the criticizer to accusations of child cruelty.

However an unavoidable consequence of this silence is the assumption that we accept the legitimacy of this little girl’s moral and intellectual claims.  Thus we become complicit in the advance of ideas with which we don’t agree and, if implemented, would drive us back to the stone age where human life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

I’ll complete my commentary on this situation in the next post.

Our Bloody-Minded Betters (4)

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Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue

Drawing Conclusions

I contend that the behavior of the Obama ex-officials and the current Democrat leadership is bloody-minded because they all have shown shameless willingness to tear this nation apart.  Their monomaniacal drive to overturn the 2016 Presidential election by extra-Constitutional/democratic means has set into motion a cold civil war with the potential to become hot.  Had they rather focused their energies on building support for a winning 2020 Presidential election our nation would not now be in a state of polarized hatred.

There are likely hidden agendas behind this abhorrent behavior that may come to light when the Justice Department Inspector General’s report and results of the Barr/Durham investigation become public.

I refer, of course, to the imminent exposure — at least we hope it is coming — of the predicates of the Russia probe, easily the most despicable and seditious attempt to unseat a president in American history. This attempt to impeach or, at that point, to interdict began on or not long after June 16, 2015, the day Donald Trump announced his candidacy.

What is happening now is merely a continuation of a process that started then.

Until then we are left to speculate on more philosophical aspects of their motivations.  In what follows I will discuss two end-points that likely encompass the reality behind this behavior, one being the more benign and the other the more sinister.

A More Benign Explanation

A more benign explanation can be found in the Quillette article titled “From Homophobia to Anti-Bigotry: How Did Christians Become the New Pariahs?” by Douglas Murray.  This excerpted passage is generalizable to the issue at hand.

Do you allow arguments that worked for you to work for others? Are reciprocity and tolerance principles or fig-leaves?

And that would be to trample all over one of the bases of political tolerance. It would be to award yourself the right not just to come to your own conclusions about people, but to attribute motives to others that you cannot see but which you suspect. Which leads to a question that everybody in genuinely diverse and pluralistic societies must at some point ask: “Do we take other people at face value, or do we try to read behind their words and actions, claim to see into their hearts and there divine the true motives which their speech and actions have not yet revealed?”

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The President viewed through the Progressive “They Live” sunglasses.

This could be a compelling explanation for the bizarre fantasy-behaviors that have been previously discussed.  In particular, it could be that these ex-officials and current politicians actually believe that they can “see” behind events and statements by President Trump, his administration and his supporters to their “real” motives.  In this case when they accuse the President of “treason” that can’t be found by the Mueller investigative team or “demands for dirt” that aren’t in the actual transcript, they are saying with Joe Biden that “We choose truth over facts.

 

A More Sinister Explanation

A more sinister explanation can be found in The New Criterion article titled “Leninthink” by Gary Saul Morson.  In this case these ex-officials and current politicians are acting from within the anti-morality of the (perhaps neo) Marxist ideology, which is directly related to its most influential practitioner, Vladimir Lenin.  The following excerpts describe both the Leninist moral framework and the author’s contention that this mindset is at work in contemporary politics.

Vladimir Lenin

“When we are reproached with cruelty, we wonder how people can forget the most elementary Marxism.”
—Lenin

Lenin regarded all interactions as zero-sum. To use the phrase he made famous, the fundamental question is always “Who Whom?”—who dominates whom, who does what to whom, ultimately who annihilates whom. To the extent that we gain, you lose. …

Basic books on negotiation teach that you can often do better than split the difference, since people have different concerns. Both sides can come out ahead—but not for the Soviets, whose negotiating stance John F. Kennedy once paraphrased as: what’s mine is mine; and what’s yours is negotiable. For us, the word “politics” means a process of give and take, but for Lenin it’s we take, and you give. From this it follows that one must take maximum advantage of one’s position. If the enemy is weak enough to be destroyed, and one stops simply at one’s initial demands, one is objectively helping the enemy, which makes one a traitor.

When I detect Leninist ways of thinking today, people respond: surely you don’t think all those social justice warriors are Leninists! Of course not. The whole point of Leninism is that only a few people must understand what is going on. That was the key insight of his tract What Is to Be Done? When Leninism is significant, there will always be a spectrum going from those who really understand, to those who just practice the appropriate responses, to those who are entirely innocent. The real questions are: Is there such a spectrum now, and how do we locate people on it? And if there is such a spectrum, what do we do about it?

Although all of these bloody-minded players are clearly card-carrying Progressives, the extent (if any) of their adherence to (neo) Marxism can only be speculated upon.  Except, that is, for John Brennan, who by his own admission voted for the Communist Presidential candidate in 1976.  This was at the height of the Cold War when the Communist U.S.S.R. was credibly threatening to destroy Western Civilization!  We also must admit that the Democrat Party is currently dominated by those calling themselves Democratic Socialists, but whose proposals have a familiar totalitarian ring.

Closing Thoughts

To believe that these high ex-Obama Administration officials and current high Democrat politicians are simply insane as described by the more benign explanation is incredible.  No, regardless of if they are operating under explicit (neo) Marxism or not, their behavior is clearly within the Leninthink model.  That is, they are pursuing raw, unaccountable power without the limitations of moral decency as understood by the history of our Republic.  In this they have richly earned the contempt of tens-of-millions of their fellow citizens.  The only question remaining is will they succeed or fail at fundamentally transforming our Republic from an experiment in human freedom and dignity into a nation of serfs and masters.

leninthinkers

And therefore our bloody-minded “betters”

The Arc of (Neo) Marxist Morality

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Why does Marxism, neo or otherwise, necessarily bend towards evil?  After all, due to the Fall we are all bound to sin and thus do evil.  What differentiates Marxism from any other ideological system for the worse?

I’ll freely admit that other equally terrible or even worse human ideologies are possible.  It’s just that to this point in time nothing except Fascism has demonstrated such an overwhelming compulsion towards conscienceless evil than has Marxism.

skulls-USSRThe best place that I’ve found to illuminate this terror is through the perspective of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago.  This issue was recently explored by Gary Saul Morson in a New Criterion article titled “How the Great Truth Dawned.”

Well into this article, after a fascinating meditation on the nature of moral truth, Mr. Morson gets to the core issue.

Compared to Soviet interrogators, Solzhenitsyn observes, the villains of Shakespeare, Schiller, and Dickens seem “somewhat farcical and clumsy to our contemporary perception.” The problem is, these villains recognize themselves as evil, and say to themselves, I cannot live unless I do evil. But that is not at all the way things are, Solzhenitsyn explains: “To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. . . . it is in the nature of a human being to seek a justification for his actions.”

Why is it, Solzhenitsyn asks, that Macbeth, Iago, and other Shakespearean evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses, while Lenin and Stalin did in millions? The answer is that Macbeth and Iago “had no ideology.” Ideology makes the killer and torturer an agent of good, “so that he won’t hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors.” Ideology never achieved such power and scale before the twentieth century.

Anyone can succumb to ideology. All it takes is a sense of one’s own moral superiority for being on the right side; a theory that purports to explain everything; and—this is crucial—a principled refusal to see things from the point of view of one’s opponents or victims, lest one be tainted by their evil viewpoint.

If we remember that totalitarians and terrorists think of themselves as warriors for justice, we can appreciate how good people can join them.

The last quoted sentence should make your blood run cold.  For while only an infinitesimal percentage of Americans are “warriors for justice” in the sense experienced by Solzhenitsyn, a significant percentage of Progressives consider themselves to be “social justice warriors.”  In fact there are enough of these people with sufficient influence to warp the Democrat Party towards neo-Marxist ideas and policy prescriptions.

If you think I’m being overdramatic here, consider this passage from later in the article.

The contrary view, held by ideologues and justice warriors generally, is that our group is good, and theirs is evil. “Evil people committing evil deeds”: this is the sort of thinking behind notions like class conflict or the international Zionist conspiracy. It is the opposite of the idea that makes tolerance and democracy possible: the idea that there is legitimate difference of opinion and we must not act as if God or History had blessed our side as always right. If you think that way, there is no reason not to have a one-party state.

Can anyone seriously contend given the statements and behavior of the Progressive Left, up to and including their Presidential candidates, that they are perceptibly moving in this direction?  It is they who have been weaponizing government agencies against their political opponents, they who are encouraging lawlessness rather than working to change our laws, they who are demanding fundamental change to our republic without reference to the legitimate Constitutional means for obtaining that change.  No, this is not totalitarianism, but it is movement in that direction.  And in that direction is such great evil that no-one should dare to move so much as an inch towards it.  Continuing the article’s excerpts.

Bolshevik ethics explicitly began and ended with atheism. Only someone who rejected all religious or quasi-religious morals could be a Bolshevik because, as Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and other Bolshevik leaders insisted, the only standard of right and wrong was success for the Party. The bourgeoisie falsely claim we have no ethics, Lenin explained in a 1920 speech. But what we reject is any ethics based on God’s commandments or anything resembling them, such as abstract principles, timeless values, universal human rights, or any tenet of philosophical idealism. For a true materialist, Lenin maintained, there can be no Kantian categorical imperative to regard others only as ends, not as means. By the same token, the materialist does not acknowledge the supposed sanctity of human life. All such notions, Lenin insisted, are “based on extra human and extra class concepts” and so are simply religion in disguise. “That is why we say that to us there is no such thing as a morality that stands outside human society; that is a fraud. To us morality is subordinated to the interests of the proletariat’s class struggle,” which means to the Party. Aron Solts, known as “the conscience of the Party,” explained: “We . . . can say openly and frankly: yes, we hold in prison those who interfere with the establishment of our order, and we do not stop before other such actions because we do not believe in the existence of abstractly unethical actions.”

Only someone lobotomized by ideology can fail to see in this description of Marxist “morality” shades of “by any means necessary” Progressivism.  As was explained in a previous post:

LiberalFascism4Neo-marxists divide all demographics (white, black, asian, male, female, gay, straight, etc) and place them in a hierarchy of oppression as determined by how successful that demographic is.

Thus, if we simply replace “class” with “race/identity” we move from classical Marxism to the neo-Marxism that drives contemporary Progressivism.  It should (but doesn’t) shake Progressives to the core that this is the almost exact substitution that differentiates the internationalist socialism of Marxist Communism from national socialism of Nazi Fascism.

Questions for Socialists (4)

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It’s gotten so bad in the Socialist paradise of Venezuela that even the Socialist-friendly New York Times has to take notice in order to protect its last shred of journalistic credibility.

Q: Why do you constantly condemn the monetary greed of Capitalism but never condemn the brutal, murderous political greed of Socialism?

A: Because brutalizing and murdering a population under their control is the only way to lift them up to their Socialist moral perfection!

Corbyn-Sanders-Chavez

Two of my favorite sanctimonious Progressive scolds

I’ve had more than enough of these sanctimonious Progressive scolds who condemn the monetary greed associated with Capitalism but remain silent about the far worse political (and monetary) greed associated with Socialism.  Make no mistake, both are sinful, but the human consequences of the former pale in comparison with those of the latter.  If you doubt this statement I suggest that you review the previous posts from this series (see the first, second and third).

And yet those of us who know better have generally allowed this scandalous hypocrisy to go on unopposed.  The reasons why vary from lack of confidence in knowledge to conflict avoidance to fear of the social and personal consequences.  The fear exists because within this self-proclaimed morally superior movement is a cohort that will resort to almost any vile tactic to destroy visible opposition including: cowardly whispering campaigns that impugn our morals and motives, open vicious verbal abuse and in extreme but highly visible cases public destruction of our character and livelihood through social media mob action.

The existence of this power to demean and destroy human beings holding opposing opinions has led to a situation in which not only do most people remain silent, but many choose to parrot whatever Progressive talking points are currently in vogue in order to protect themselves.  This dynamic was brilliantly summed up by the French author Charles Péguy* (see the note at the end of this post):

“It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.”

The idea that these people — who purposefully ignore the impoverishment, murder and enslavement of whole populations in order to advance their own narcissistic, misanthropic desire for political power over their fellow citizens — should be above criticism has become untenable.

Yes, the sins of Capitalism must be identified and dealt with.  In fact many of them have been though a myriad of laws and regulations.  Do we pay anywhere near the attention to the sins of governmental bureaucrats who use their powers to silence and destroy citizens and businesses with whom they disagree (see the IRS, Justice Department, FBI, Intelligence Agencies, EPA, etc.)?  Do we call it “greed” when Progressive politicians grow incredibly wealthy while “serving” in public office while constantly preaching against greed in the private sector?

At least people and businesses in a liberal capitalist democracy who grow wealthy generally do so by providing goods and services that other free people choose to buy.  And, when these companies cease to provide useful products (or can no longer do so as efficiently as their competition) they generally go out of business.  Thus there is a powerful incentive to identify and provide what their customers want.  Yes, they want things with which others disagree.  But at least they tend to not want to be impoverished and brutalized.

But the “product” of Socialism is impoverishment and brutalization of a country’s population in pursuit of an elite’s self-serving vision of utopia.  In the process the Socialist leaders and bureaucrats prosper while the general population descends into a hellish state of hunger, fear, poverty and hopelessness.

Make no mistake, with release and support of the “Green New Deal” the Progressive movement has shown that they are contemplating a totalitarian path.  The fact that it is idiotic (e.g., a tiny sampling: ban air travel and cow farts) will not deter them any more than did the idiocy of the “Great Leap Forward” in Communist China, the collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union or the the creation of a “New Man” in Cambodia.  The point isn’t the wisdom (or lack thereof) of their policy proposals.  The real point is the pretext for narcissistic, ideology-blinded, highly-credentialed know-nothings to seize ever more power over our lives.

Yes, I understand that the chances of something like this happening in the United States is currently near zero.  However, it is also true that the younger generations have been so propagandized and miseducated that they are flirting with the desirability of a Socialist future.  There are armies of educators, journalists, governmental bureaucrats, professional organizations, church leaders, non-profits and NGOs who are selling this vile product.

Here’s how the  New York Times (!) article cited above concluded (emphasis added).

Baby portraits of the children, one of their few cherished belongings, hang prominently on the wall. The only food in the entire house is half a bag of salt, and one lime.

“This is a nightmare,” said Ms. Merchán’s sister, Andreína del Valle Merchán, 25, describing how the children start to vomit, sweat and become sluggish after days of not eating. Her own 5-year-old daughter had lost 11 pounds this year and now weighed only 17 pounds, she said.

The suffering of Venezuelan families is expected to worsen next year. Beyond the I.M.F.’s warning that inflation could surpass 2,300 percent, observers worry that the leftist government will continue to refuse international aid for political reasons.

“If they accept the help, they accept that there is a humanitarian crisis here, and officially recognize that their population is vulnerable, and just how much their policies failed them,” said Susana Raffalli, a specialist on food emergencies who consults for Caritas in Venezuela.

The Venezuelan government has used food to keep the Socialists in power, critics say. Before recent elections, people living in government housing projects said they were visited by representatives of their local Socialist community councils — the government-aligned groups that organize the delivery of boxes of cheap food — and threatened with being cut off if they did not vote for the government.

Kenyerber’s relatives do not expect the economic crisis to improve anytime soon. They fear that another child in the family may die as well.

“I worry about it day and night,” said his aunt, Andreína.

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Rep. Omar (D.) supports the Socialist Venezuelan government.

So, things are so obviously terrible in Socialist Venezuela that the New York Times feels compelled to publish this story.   And yet the New York Times remains generally supportive of the Socialist political project!

How dare you Progressive Socialists proclaim that your’s is a superior morality!  You should be ashamed of yourselves.  But you have demonstrated that “the children” only matter as props for your virtue signaling protests.  Actual children dying from the ravages of actual Socialism are apparently just the price to be paid in pursuit of your ideological holy war.

The least that we can do is to speak up against this evil, bloody ideology whenever and wherever it dares to claim its morality and utility as a means of social organization.

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Another heart-rending photograph from the Socialist-friendly New York Times article.  The  caption is: “Kenyerber’s mother, María Carolina Merchán, right, weighs just 66 pounds. Her daughter follows her for hours, begging for food.”



*Note:

Ironically, Charles Péguy was a Christian, Socialist and French patriot (1873-1914).  Thus he died well before the genocidal consequences of the first practical application of Socialism in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the U.S.S.R., formed after the 1917 Russian Revolution) occurred.  Had he lived to see this tragedy, other of his famous quotes would have been put to the test.

Tyranny is always better organised than freedom

He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.

 

The Progressive Compulsion for Cruelty (5)

angry-democrats

Democrat presidential candidates sliding along the arc of neo-Marxist morality

Fury and Hatred Unbound

Background

Have you noticed how angry are many of the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates?  Senator Elizabeth Warren often appears to literally quiver with fury as she speaks about the nation’s many evils.  Senator Bernie Sanders gesticulates wildly while yelling about the need for Socialist policies.  Beto O’Rourke seethes with hatred as he blames President Trump and his supporters for the El Paso mass shooting.  And Senator Kamala Harris speaks (and laughs) with cold-blooded viciousness about Constitutional limitations on her power.

There has always been strong emotion associated with political candidates.  They want to show that they care, and exaggerated emotional posturing is just par for the course.  However, something is troublingly different this time around.  In the past, candidates understood that, if they win, their success partially depends on earning consent from those who didn’t vote for them.  For these and other Democratic candidates it appears that they consider citizens who don’t support their policies to be enemies.  And, as enemies, they should expect to be purposefully, intentionally punished if these politicians obtain sufficient power.

In a past post I’ve commented on the root cause of this change, that being:

The ultimate root cause of this self-righteous madness is the abandonment of the Christian religion (which is based on transcendent revelation) in favor of a secular religion based on Progressive human ideology.

But that phrase, Progressive human ideology, although it’s a start, isn’t sufficient to convey my point.  In particular, to just what specific ideology am I referring?  After all, Progressivism has been a powerful political force in the United States for more than a century.  And, isn’t all ideology human made, regardless of its particular details?  Yes.

Becoming Specific

I am indeed pointing to a specific ideology whose ascendency in Progressive circles has made its adherents and leaders far less tolerant, far more aggressive and hateful and therefore far more dangerous.  That ideology is neo-Marxism and is defined in the Urban Dictionary as follows.

Neo-marxism is an offshoot of marxism, in which it is believed that all societal ills come from the divide between the rich (who are claimed to be undeserving of their wealth) and the poor (who are claimed to be oppressed). Marxists believe that all personal failings are of a direct result of someone else oppressing you, and that another person cannot be successful without oppressing another.

Neo-marxism differs from marxism by abandoning the dichotomy of rich vs poor and instead adopt identity politics. Instead of the dichotomy being between wealthy and poor, it is between successful and unsuccessful demographics. Neo-marxists divide all demographics (white, black, asian, male, female, gay, straight, etc) and place them in a hierarchy of oppression as determined by how successful that demographic is. White and Asian men are at the bottom of this hierarchy, whereas blacks and females are near the top (although the exact order is not widely accepted).

If you seek even more specificity, the New York Times’ 1619 Project is a concrete example of neo-Marxism in action.  Here’s how Andrew Sullivan explains this issue within context of the 1619 Project (emphasis added).

If you don’t believe in a liberal view of the world, if you hold the doctrines of critical race theory, and believe that “all of the systems in the country” whatever they may be, are defined by a belief in the sub-humanity of black Americans, why isn’t every issue covered that way? Baquet had no answer to this contradiction, except to say that the 1619 Project was a good start: “One reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that.” In other words, the objective was to get liberal readers to think a little bit more like neo-Marxists.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that view deserves to be heard. The idea that the core truth of human society is that it is composed of invisible systems of oppression based on race (sex, gender, etc.), and that liberal democracy is merely a mask to conceal this core truth, and that a liberal society must therefore be dismantled in order to secure racial/social justice is a legitimate worldview. (That view that “systems” determine human history and that the individual is a mere cog in those systems is what makes it neo-Marxist and anti-liberal.) But I sure don’t think it deserves to be incarnated as the only way to understand our collective history, let alone be presented as the authoritative truth, in a newspaper people rely on for some gesture toward objectivity.

Implications

Neo-Marxism is clearly derived from and organically connected to Marxism.  And Marxism has been shown by history to be one of the most vicious, intolerant, idiotic and murderous human ideologies of all time.  The one word that sums this all up is totalitarian.  I’m not saying that these Democratic presidential candidates are Marxist totalitarians.  However, if contemporary Progressives can quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who was likely quoting Theodore Parker) that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” then I will say that “the arc of Marxist morality bends towards totalitarianism.”

I see this “bending” as the Democrats demand fundamental changes to our republic (e.g., removing the Electoral College and the Senate, revoking the First and Second Amendments from the Bill of Rights, etc.) without acknowledging the Constitutional means of so doing.  For example:

Kamala Harris thinks the Constitution is a joke.

At least, that’s what you’d think from some of her answers at Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate. At the ABC event in Houston, moderators pressed the California Democrat on her promises to ban assault weapons via executive action, not legislation, and whether that would be really constitutional. Fellow candidate Joe Biden jumped in to challenge Harris on the constitutionality of her plans.

She laughed.

Yes, literally: Harris’s first response was to laugh away the question, and said “Hey Joe, yes we can,” making a joke using a play on words with an old slogan from the Obama campaign.

And it isn’t limited to Kamala Harris.

One of the more shocking aspects of last week’s Democratic debate was the cavalier manner in which the Constitution was treated. Beto O’Rourke said he intends to confiscate guns that were legally purchased by law-abiding Americans, and put out a t-shirt to that effect immediately after the debate. Kamala Harris said the same thing, and when Joe Biden pointed out that the government lacks power to do what she proposed, she laughed at him.

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A long way along the arc of Marxist morality

If these Democrats achieve sufficient political power no-one should be surprised if they seek to impose “fundamental change” by extra-Constitutional means.  At that point I suspect that many citizens, members of law enforcement or military and elected officials will begin to concretely assess their responsibility (or explicit oath) to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Why I’m a Conservative (1)

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Introduction

It may or may not interest my readers that I’m the only Conservative (in the explicit ideological sense) in my immediate or extended family.  For my first 21 or so years I accepted Progressivism as my natural political home.  Recently a family member suggested that I write some blog posts that explain this transition.  While I’m doubtful that biographical posts will be of interest to my readers, there may be a few incidents along this path that shed general light.  So, I’m calling this the first post on “Why Im a Conservative.”

Besting a Marxist University Professor

The Incident

I married my childhood sweetheart in 1979 and we immediately moved to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  My wife had already graduated from college but I hadn’t due to uncertainty about what I wanted to do with my life (boy was she taking a big risk with me!).  So she worked full time while I finished my education (eventually Electrical Engineering) and worked part-time.

My wife befriended a coworker whose husband was a professor at one of the area colleges.  We were invited over to their house for a social visit, likely in the Summer of 1981 or 1982.  When we arrived there was another guest who turned out to be one of the professor’s students.

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It’s Marxism all the way down comrade!

Soon after arrival it became clear that this wouldn’t be a social event but rather an intense indoctrination session.  For the professor was a hard-core Marxist who only was interested in proclaiming that ideology’s propaganda.  He utterly dominated the conversation and appeared to be taking pleasure at our discomfort and his student’s approval.

Although my family was what would now be called Progressive, they were by no means Marxist.  On the other hand, we weren’t close-minded to hearing out Marxists and many other left of center ideological positions.  However, this guy was so aggressive and monomaniacal that he quickly became annoying.

As time dragged on he turned to the subject of World War II.  He couldn’t have known that despite my youth I had deep knowledge there due to a long-term interest in history in general and that conflict in particular.

He launched into a denunciation of the Western Democracy’s intentions and actions prior to the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.  His point was that they had intentionally pursued a strategy to encourage war between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.  He also said that the Western Democracies intended to eventually split the spoils of victory over the Soviet Union with Germany.

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Stalin and Ribbentrop shaking hands after signing the Pact on August 23, 1939.

Having endured at this point hours of one-sided, unrelenting propaganda I gladly took this opportunity to strike back.  I pointed out that the professor had it completely backwards.  It was the Soviet Union that made the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (officially the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) whereby Hitler was freed to attack the Western Democracies without fear of a Soviet attack on his Eastern front.  I also pointed out that the initial cooperative act of this Pact was the joint invasion of Poland in which Germany and the Soviet Union split the spoils of victory!

I will not soon forget the look of stunned amazement on the student’s face and the combination of fear and anger in the professor’s eyes as I dressed him down on this crucial point of historic accuracy.  Within seconds after my rejoinder finished the professor declared that the visit was over.  He then ushered my wife and me out of the house and drove us home (we couldn’t then afford a car).  The ride home was silent but tension-filled.  We were never again invited over to their house.

The Consequences

This experience became a key pivot point in my conversion from Progressivism to

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Democide: “the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command.”   Note that socialist governments murdered almost four-times more people than did fascist regimes (the second most brutal regime type) and over 133 times more than capitalist governments. The conclusion is thus clear. Socialist governments are the most brutally murderous by far.

Conservatism.  It’s not that I was ignorant about the genocidal crimes of Communism in the Soviet Union.  Nor was I unaware of the moral hypocrisy of the Progressive Left in the United States (particularly regarding the consequences to Indochina in the U.S. abandonment of South Vietnam, a topic for another post).  These things were known and already troubling to me.

No, this event was influential because I saw this combination of dishonesty, evil and cowardice in a living human being.  Prior to this my knowledge about the dark side of Progressivism had been theoretical.  That is, no one in my family had ever made such an openly deceitful argument against the West.  Yes, they were often critical, but their points generally were limited to policy areas.

Now I had experienced up close and personal something that seemed to be strangely evil, but also sadly pathetic.  For here was a man who knowingly lied, making the most terrible defamatory statements against the West while purposefully hiding the fact that Communism in the Soviet Union had done that very thing!  And, he was arguing for the moral superiority of a system that had committed genocide against its own population!

I didn’t know it then, but this man was an instance of the ideological deformity described by Hilton Kramer.

It is in the nature of Stalinism for its adherents to make a certain kind of lying – and not only to others, but first of all to themselves – a fundamental part of their lives.  It is always a mistake to assume that Stalinists do not know the truth about the political reality they espouse. If they don’t know the truth (or all of it) one day, they know it the next, and it makes absolutely no difference to them politically.  For their loyalty is to something other than the truth.  And no historical enormity is so great, no personal humiliation or betrayal so extreme, no crime so heinous that it cannot be assimilated into the ‘ideals’ that govern the true Stalinist mind, which is impervious alike to documentary evidence and moral discrimination.

Although this experience didn’t cause me to immediately break with Progressivism it did begin to undermine its credibility.  For while I knew that most Progressives weren’t Marxists, I also knew that there would be general agreement between many of them and this professor about the West’s evils.  I also knew that Progressives often considered Marxists to be “on their side.”

I didn’t know exactly which way to run, but I wanted to run as far away from this evil as fast as I could.

The New York Times’ 1619 Project (3)

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American Capitalism and Slavery

There are times when an institution has been so hollowed out, so blinded by ideological hatred that it literally becomes idiotic.  This is one of those times.  There are so many layers of vile stupidity here that it’s difficult to know just where to start.

Slavery Predates Capitalism by at Least 3,300 Years

The Britannica web site’s article on Capitalism dates the start of this economic system to the 16th century A.D.  Therefore, once capitalism arrived on the scene in Europe the institution of slavery had already been in existence since at least the 18th century B.C. and surely far earlier than our historical record documents.  Therefore, it’s impossible for there to have been a complete separation of slavery and any economic system that started while slavery existed.

And yet, the NYT’s headline attempts to tie this evil institution uniquely to American capitalism.  For this attempted linkage to be deemed credible it would have to be shown that capitalism in America was based on slavery and that the more capitalist is a state / colony the more it supported slavery.

The exact opposite is true in both cases.

Slavery was Eradicated in the Capitalist Northern States Long Before the Civil War

Although the 13 British American Colonies (and eventually States) shared a common heritage their dominant economic systems differed between the Northern and Southern regions.  Here’s a good summary of the economic situation in the United States just prior to the Civil War.

While factories were built all over the North and South, the vast majority of industrial manufacturing was taking place in the North. The South had almost 25% of the country’s free population, but only 10% of the country’s capital in 1860. The North had five times the number of factories as the South, and over ten times the number of factory workers. In addition, 90% of the nation’s skilled workers were in the North.

Thus it is in the North that capitalism as enabled by the industrial revolution dominated.  While there certainly were outposts of industrial revolution capitalism in the South, it was dominated by a more primitive agrarian economy dependent on the plantation system which required slavery for its survival.

These economic differences led to entirely different outcomes with regard to the institution of slavery.  While the agrarian South was utterly committed to slavery’s continuance the industrial North progressively eradicated this evil system.  This excerpt from the Federalist summarizes this point.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the territory that would become the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. In 1794, Congress barred American ships from engaging in the slave trade. Additional legislation in 1780 banned Americans from employment or investment in the international slave trade. Finally, the U.S. Congress officially banned the importation of slaves beginning on January 1, 1808, the earliest date allowed under the deal made to ratify the Constitution.

Far from the bastion of racism, hate and pro-slavery sentiment that the 1619 Project portrays, much of the United States was ahead of the world in ending the horror of slavery. Shortly after the signing of the Declaration, northern states took the lead. By 1804, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had passed laws that immediately or gradually abolished slavery.

Clearly it was the far more capitalist dominated Northern states that aggressively opposed and abolished slavery.  This historic fact demolishes the NYT’s narrative about “American capitalism.”  But there’s so much more.

The Capitalist United States is a Anti-Slavery World Leader

Do you know that slavery is still an ongoing institution in the 21st century?  It is.  So, since the NYT thinks that capitalism is the most supportive economic system for slavery it stands to reason that it would be most prevalent in “capitalist” countries.  And, since the United States is the epicenter of world capitalism it must be the worst here.  But, of course, you would be pathetically wrong.

The Walk Free foundation published a Global Slavery Index that has been used by Progressive media organizations such as the Washington Post.  Here are two key figures from the 2018 report.

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Note that it is the “capitalist” countries that have the lowest prevalence of slavery in 2018.

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Note that the United States is the second highest in the world with regard to legal protection against slavery.

Given these results, the question must be asked: Why is the NYT holding the United States up as a cesspit of slavery when it clearly is a world leader in opposing slavery?  The answer is obvious to anyone not blinded by Progressive ideology.

The NYT Hides True Economic Brutality

Finally, it must be noted that the NYT has been an enthusiastic supporter of the most truly brutal ideology in world history, and one that has enslaved and murdered at a level unheard of before its existence — that being Socialism.

The NYT lied to the world about the Ukrainian Famine in the 1930s Soviet Union (and still accepts a Pulitzer Prize for their lies). Walter Duranty was then the NYT’s reporter in the Soviet Union.

In the years 1932 and 1933, a catastrophic famine swept across the Soviet Union. It began in the chaos of collectivization, when millions of peasants were forced off their land and made to join state farms. … At least 5 million people perished of hunger all across the Soviet Union. Among them were nearly 4 million Ukrainians who died not because of neglect or crop failure, but because they had been deliberately deprived of food.

Duranty continued, using an expression that later became notorious: “To put it brutally—you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” He went on to explain that he had made “exhaustive inquiries” and concluded that “conditions are bad, but there is no famine.”

Indignant, Jones wrote a letter to the editor of the Times, patiently listing his sources—a huge range of interviewees, including more than 20 consuls and diplomats—and attacking the Moscow press corps:

Censorship has turned them into masters of euphemism and understatement.  Hence they give “famine” the polite name of “food shortage” and “starving to death” is softened down to read as “widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition…

“Russians Hungry But not Starving” became the accepted wisdom.

The NYT has never ceased being a cheerleader of and apologist for Socialism.

The nostalgia for Communism is never far beneath the surface in the Progressive Left, as was recently reemphasized in a New York Times oped (emphasis added).  There could be no better confirmation of my recent condemnation of the Progressive Left’s whitewash of Communist genocide (see below figure from this post) than the statements from this oped.  Here’s how the lie looks today.

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New York Times Oped:

We can get to this Finland Station only with the support of a majority; that’s one reason that socialists are such energetic advocates of democracy and pluralism. But we can’t ignore socialism’s loss of innocence over the past century. We may reject the version of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as crazed demons and choose to see them as well-intentioned people trying to build a better world out of a crisis, but we must work out how to avoid their failures…

The New York Times is the last place one should look for accurate historic information or moral instruction.