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The will to power, exemplified

Stanley Fish, writing in the New York Times today, offers a refreshingly honest view of "slutgate", moral equivalency, and double standards. It is, in fact, a bold statement of what we’ve always imagined the Progressive view is, though they have, in the past, been ever so careful not to admit it. It is, frankly, nice to see such honesty. As Mr. Fish explains:

Schultz and Maher are the good guys; they are on the side of truth and justice. Limbaugh is the bad guy; he is on the side of every nefarious force that threatens our democracy. Why should he get an even break?

There is no answer to that question once you step outside of the liberal calculus in which all persons, no matter what their moral status as you see it, are weighed in an equal balance. Rather than relaxing or soft-pedaling your convictions about what is right and wrong, stay with them, and treat people you see as morally different differently. Condemn Limbaugh and say that Schultz and Maher may have gone a bit too far but that they’re basically O.K. If you do that you will not be displaying a double standard; you will be affirming a single standard, and moreover it will be a moral one because you will be going with what you think is good rather than what you think is fair. “Fair” is a weak virtue; it is not even a virtue at all because it insists on a withdrawal from moral judgment.

I know the objections to what I have said here. It amounts to an apology for identity politics. It elevates tribal obligations over the universal obligations we owe to each other as citizens. It licenses differential and discriminatory treatment on the basis of contested points of view. It substitutes for the rule “don’t do it to them if you don’t want it done to you” the rule “be sure to do it to them first and more effectively.” It implies finally that might makes right. I can live with that.

There you have it. Conservatives are evil, progressives are good. It follows, therefore, that because progressives are good, then what they do in  combating conservatives is right.  Conservatives, being evil, deserve no respect and no attempts at courteous disagreement. They deserve nothing more than to be driven from the public sphere by any necessary means. Progressives are good, and if they commit what would otherwise be questionable acts, it is only the depravity of their political opponents that drives them to it.

Make no mistake: If the Stanley Fishes of this country could imprison you for holding contrary political beliefs, they’d do it in a second.  After all, you are "on the side of every nefarious force that threatens our democracy". This is, of course, justification for a tyranny of the very worst sort. As C.S. Lewis pointed out:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Progressivism, for all its puffing about equality and justice, is nothing more than totalitarianism cloaked in modern, politically-correct pieties.

It’s nice to see a progressive honestly admit it.

The thing is, it is not possible to have a sustainable, self-governing polity when a substantial portion of the electorate denies the fundamental morality or legitimacy of their opponents. The ultimate outcome of such a belief in a society has historically been an inevitable slide to civil unrest, resulting in either totalitarian repression, civil war, or dissolution into competing states.

I am increasingly beginning to wonder which of those three outcomes is most likely in our case.

~
Dale Franks
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The problem with “Progressivism”

Stanley Fish lays it out pretty well:

If we think about the Rush Limbaugh dust-up from the non-liberal — that is, non-formal — perspective, the similarity between what he did and what [Ed] Schultz and [Bill] Maher did disappears. Schultz and Maher are the good guys; they are on the side of truth and justice. Limbaugh is the bad guy; he is on the side of every nefarious force that threatens our democracy. Why should he get an even break?

There is no answer to that question once you step outside of the liberal calculus in which all persons, no matter what their moral status as you see it, are weighed in an equal balance. Rather than relaxing or soft-pedaling your convictions about what is right and wrong, stay with them, and treat people you see as morally different differently. Condemn Limbaugh and say that Schultz and Maher may have gone a bit too far but that they’re basically O.K. If you do that you will not be displaying a double standard; you will be affirming a single standard, and moreover it will be a moral one because you will be going with what you think is good rather than what you think is fair. “Fair” is a weak virtue; it is not even a virtue at all because it insists on a withdrawal from moral judgment.

I know the objections to what I have said here. It amounts to an apology for identity politics. It elevates tribal obligations over the universal obligations we owe to each other as citizens. It licenses differential and discriminatory treatment on the basis of contested points of view. It substitutes for the rule “don’t do it to them if you don’t want it done to you” the rule “be sure to do it to them first and more effectively.” It implies finally that might makes right. I can live with that.

Rand Simberg illustrates:

It should be shocking, by the conventional narrative, that the White House of a “liberal” president would be a hostile work environment for women, but it is not at all a surprise to anyone familiar with the history of the Democrats and the Left, going back at least to the 1960s, when a prominent Democrat politician got a pass from the media for abandoning a young woman (possibly pregnant by him) to drown in his car. The same man went on to later fame as the top slice of bread in a “waitress sandwich,” and yet was so lionized by the Left that not that long ago, at the time of his death, a woman(!) wrote that Mary Jo Kopechne might have been happy to undergo the terror as her lungs filled with the brackish water of Martha’s Vineyard had she only known what a great legislator he would turn out to be.

To see similar hypocritical Leftist misogyny, we need only go back to the last time a Democrat was in the White House. Whenever a woman came forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by Bill Clinton, the response of the Clinton defenders, both in and out of the media, was to attack her credibility, character, and virtue. Advisor James Carville famously said of Paula Jones (the young Arkansas state employee whom Clinton as governor had his state police guard procure to his hotel room for the purpose of orally pleasuring him), “Drag $100 bills through trailer parks, there’s no telling what you’ll find.” Evan Thomas of Newsweek dutifully complemented the slander by declaring her on national television “just some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer parks,” though he later was compelled to apologize in print. (One wonders how residents of trailer parks felt about that, but I guess empathy for them is for the little people.) When Kathleen Willey accused the president of groping her in the White House, and was physically threatened for her trouble, feminist icon and (former) scourge of sexual harassers Gloria Steinem said that it was no problem — he was entitled to a freebie, after which Cathy Young of Reason magazine reported on “the death of sexual harassment.”

It got worse.

And it has.  Just take a look at what Simberg said and then take a look at this so-called “war on women” the left has ginned up recently.

Jeff G. at Protein Wisdom explains:

Fish’s single standard, distilled and properly understood, is that liberals are (they’ll claim) morally superior by virtue of their very belief in their own political identities — which identity is tied to an ideology that, manifested politically, privileges governmental theft, sanctioned inequality as a function of tribal identity, and a giant foundational question beg: namely, that moral superiority comes from being on the left, so therefore being on the left means you can really do no fundamental moral wrong. Progressivism (that is, the leftist political home to philosophical anti-foundationalism), as Fish sees it, is the “non-formal” — that is, I suppose, situationally free-floating — antidote to restrictive “conservative” or classically liberal universalism*. That that restrictive conservative/classical liberal universalism is, as we know from the Declaration and Constitution, the foundation upon which this country was imagined and later framed, well, that’s irrelevant. Those documents are hoary totems, and their impulses Enlightenment fantasies. And we can “fundamentally transform” the country simply by denying it its institutionalized powers by force of will.

Or, progressivism (don’t let them continue to coopt the word “liberal”) leads to tyranny because it isn’t based in any moral principles but instead based in power.  Its goal isn’t a better or more moral world,  modern progressivism is based on doing whatever is necessary, by whatever means they can get away with,  to gather and wield power.  Progressivism uses the same tactics and means that every tyranny the world has ever seen used to gain control of the political system.

Victor David Hanson points out that the right has handcuffed itself (or allowed itself to be handcuffed) by the left:

Conservatives are put into awkward positions of critiquing liberal ideas on grounds that they are impractical, unworkable, or counterproductive. Yet rarely, at least outside the religious sphere, do they identify the progressive as often immoral. And the unfortunate result is that they have often ceded moral claims to supposedly dreamy, utopian, and well-meaning progressives, when in fact the latter increasingly have little moral ground to stand upon.

Morality isn’t just something based in religion.  Essentially “moral” means a concern with the principles of good and bad behavior as applied to everything.

What progressives have tried to do for decades is tie the word to religion even as they denigrated religion unmercifully (specifically Christianity). They’ve made “morality” a bad word, one that causes the public to shy away from those talking about it.   We’ve also been indoctrinated by them to believe that intolerance is one of the worst of secular sins (although they’d never use such language) and we have no right to be intolerant.  Well, unless we’re a progressive.

Add in moral equivalency (used whenever it is useful to the left) tied to their multicultural riff and their tendency to redefine key words to their own advantage, and the goals of progressivism start to become clear.

Back to Protein Wisdom:

To the progressive, your social and political worth — in fact, your very claim to morality — comes from your various identity politics alliances. That is, your morality is a function not so much of what you do, but rather of where you claim to stand, and with whom.

Progressivism cares not about fairness or equality in the sense those words are used under a political paradigm that adheres to classical liberalism; instead, it seeks to redefine “fairness” and “equality” (and “tolerance”) as based on the outcomes it desires, a deconstructive procedure it then justifies by tying those outcomes to its own self-serving descriptions of what comes to count as moral. It is circular reasoning made perfect. Might makes right. The ends justify the means.

The progressive movement is a tyrannical movement aimed at completely remaking America and taking it away from its foundational philosophy of individualism, equal rights and freedom.  Principles that work and made this the most prosperous and free nation on earth.

What the right and libertarians identify as “hypocrisy” on the left is simply what you see described above at work – a principle free attempt to take power by any means necessary.  There are no foundational principles at work for them in reality … anything is “OK” as long as it advances the cause.  Although they’ll claim they are driven by principles (but their “hypocritical” actions in the wake of those declarations always show them to be false principles), they’re essentially malleable talking points used to take in and gain the support of the gullible.  However, as Saul Alinsky taught them, they will use the other side’s principles against them at every opportunity (see the Rush Limbaugh kerfuffle).

What we had, what our founders created, what it stands for, is rejected by this bunch:

“Hopefully, more and more people will begin to feel their story is somehow part of this larger story of how we’re going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous,” Obama said.

This is the real problem we face in America.  Jeff G. calls it “un-American”.  In the strictest sense of the word and given the fact that it rejects everything our founders believed in – I agree.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Cambodia: Remembering the Killing Fields and the Communist drive for “equality”

Douglas Levene takes a look back at what happened in Cambodia under Communist leader Pol Pot.  He makes the point that although some would like to label it “genocide”, it simply doesn’t fit the definition.  Cambodia is 95% Khmer and what happened was “Khmer on Khmer” violence.  It wasn’t genocide:

Rather, what happened in Cambodia is what happened in the French Revolution, and in Stalin’s purges and mass collectivization campaigns, and in Mao’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, only on a proportionately larger scale. It was mass murder in the name of equality. It wasn’t “genocide”; it was Communist utopianism carried to its logical extreme. The Khmer Rouge, who called themselves Maoists, believed that the most important social and political value was equality and that in order to create their new, classless society in which everyone was equal, it was necessary to exterminate anyone who might be smarter, or better educated, or wealthier, or more talented than anyone else. Thus, they killed the educated, the bourgeoisie, the middle classes, and the rich; movie stars, pop singers, authors, urban residents, and workers for the former government; and anyone who protested — as well as the families of all the above. Towards the end, they also killed cadres who were thought to be a political threat. Whatever their crimes were, the Khmer Rouge do not seem to have been motivated by racial, ethnic, or religious hatred.

The standard leftist cause these days is “equality”.  We’re seeing it play out right here in this country today with the demonization of the rich, corporations and other capitalists entities.  And while it is easy to attempt to wave away what happened in Cambodia as an extremist example carried out by a splinter Communist group, in fact Stalin’s and Mao’s purges were driven by much the same goal.   All were striving for a “communist utopia” and they murdered extensively in its name.  Certainly there were other reasons, such as Stalin’s paranoia, but the murder regime had already been established and was functioning when those victims were added to the collective total.

Given that, Levene wonders why the world insists then on claiming “genocide” as the reason for Cambodia’s Killing Fields:

However, I suspect that the most important reason for the usage worldwide is that many people in the international media, international agencies, and international NGOs (not to mention academia) are reluctant to face up to the crimes committed by Communism in the name of equality. To do so might call into question the weight attached by them to equality as the most important social value and undermine the multicultural faith that evil is predominantly the product of inequality, racism, ethnic hatred, or religious fanaticism. That cannot be permitted, so such crimes must be either ignored or mislabeled. And, of course, the remaining Communist regimes in the world are only too happy to cooperate in characterizing the killing fields as the products of irrational paranoia on the part of Pol Pot and his gang rather than the perfectly rational result of the quest for perfect equality.

While there certainly are examples of “evil” driven by “racism, ethnic hatred or religious fanaticism”, few match the scale of the evil perpetrated by Communist regimes.  Marx called for it in his “Communist Manifesto”:

‘The violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.’

And they simply carried out his instructions:

‘What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.’

Cambodia unfortunately saw a communist group take Marx at his word:

‘The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.’ … ‘When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. It loses its class character.’

The Khmer Rouge attempted to impose these dicta in the quickest and most basic of ways – through murder of all those who represented the hated “bourgeoisie” in an attempt to make society “equal”.  As Leven says, they carried out the “perfectly rational” pursuit of Marx’s utopia.  A violent overthrow of the existing culture, the murder of those who weren’t politically and ideologically pure or were members of the bourgeoisie class and the abolition of private property in favor of common property in order to equalize society.  And, of course, it yielded the horror that became Kampuchea, with its killing fields, mass graves and torture rooms.

While certainly not on the obvious scale of the Khmer Rouge, the left continues the same sort of pursuit here.  Equality has become its ideological banner, and it constantly touts it as its cultural goal in the West.  Stealth Marxism – not really so stealthy to those who have bothered to look. 

Ironically, it is as much a religion to those who believe in it as any featuring a deity.  It requires an abiding faith that at its base the Marxist principles are sound and will someday be “properly” implemented despite the numerous examples of the horror and death it has consistently brought.  As much as they deride the faith of Christians and their belief in “heaven”, Marxists and Maoists and all the assorted different communists still pursue their “heaven” on earth and as a result continue to fill the mass graves its pursuit requires.

Cambodia was not genocide.  Cambodia was just the timeline of Communism (and all the other Marxist “isms”) in other countries speeded up for the convenience of the self-declared proletariat. 

All in the name of “equality”.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Politics has become a “reality show” of diversion

Over at United Liberty, Louis DeBroux articulates something that has been driving me crazy:

It truly is almost unbelievable. Our national debt is at $16 trillion and rising, with annual deficits of more than $1.5 trillion. Our national debt is now greater than our GDP, and at a level greater than what Greece was at when its economy collapsed. Our lauded entitlement programs are bankrupt, yet our politicians seek to expand them. Unemployment is still well above 8%, the longest such period of sustained unemployment at that level since the Great Depression. We’re barely past Valentine’s Day and gas is more than $3.50 per gallon, and expected to rise above $4, and possibly as high as $5/gallon, by summer. Iran appears the be rapidly closing in on getting a functional nuclear weapon, and has been threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil supply flows. We have a president hell bent on destroying the fossil fuel industry, much like his signature achievement, ObamaCare, is crippling the health care industry.

Our own government has been selling assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels, and is now directly responsible for the deaths of dozens of Mexicans and Americans, yet they act as if it were of no more import than having incorrectly filled out some government form (actually, they’d probably find that a much more grievous sin). The dollar is weak and the economy anemic, despite the trillions spent on the stimulus, auto union and Wall Street bailouts, and slush funds for the politically connected.

Yet with all of this, what stories are dominating the headlines? That would be the religious beliefs of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum regarding birth control, and now the furor over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about a college “coed” called to testify before Congress on the topic of birth control.

It is enough to make you tear your hair out.  There is so much that should be at the forefront of the news and we’re talking about what?  Go look at Memeorandum for the past few weeks.  It’s appalling.

And who benefits by these diversionary and divisive discussions? 

Well certainly not the nation.  In the case of the current diversion of the day, we see the usual hypocrisy from both sides as Rush Limbaugh is crucified for calling a woman a “slut” while one of Obama’s major donors is given a free pass by the same people for calling Sarah Palin a far worse name (and worse, won’t condemn the use of the word).  After all, he’s one of theirs. 

It is a cycle of wash, rise, repeat.  On just about any given week you can find someone on one side or the other saying something outrageous and the other side whipping themselves into a frenzy of outrage and condemning it while demanding the other side condemn it too.   Tit for tat politics.  Juvenile nonsense.

Why any of this is seen as major news can only be understood in a “reality show” culture.  We’ve become a nation of voyeurs who like scandal and enjoy watching the lives of “celebrities” whose only claim to fame is their screwed up life.  And that apparently now translates to our politics. 

Instead of paying attention to the important things about our political world, most are more interested in the “he said, she said” stupidity of situations like that of the Limbaugh debacle.  Apparently politics has become just another reality show where we prefer to be entertained by the unimportant but controversial instead of doing the hard but boring work of understanding our real problems and looking for solutions.

Unemployment, economics, energy, government … boring!

Limbaugh calls someone a slut.  That’s the ticket.

And, naturally, aiding and abetting all of this is the “if it bleeds it leads” media who have decided that sensationalism trumps substance. 

We’re 16 trillion dollars in debt folks and that number is going to go higher if we don’t do something.

B..b…but Limbaugh called someone a “slut”!

Oh.

Never mind.

Turn up the volume and get the popcorn.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Chanting “USA, USA, USA” at a high school game between two American high school teams is now a “racial slur”?

See if you can make sense out of this story … I can’t.

Seems the “right" not to be offended has surfaced again with the usual absurd results.  Unless the “minority students” mentioned weren’t Americans.

And since when has “USA” been a “race”?  Were the “minority students”  Hispanic?  That’s not a race either.

See if you can sort it out. These type stories give me a headache.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Concession prices too high at theaters? Then don’t buy them

But suing to make the theaters reduce the price?  Really?

Joshua Thompson loves the movies.

But he hates the prices theaters charge for concessions like pop and candy.

This week, the 20-something security technician from Livonia decided to do something about it: He filed a class action in Wayne County Circuit Court against his local AMC theater in hopes of forcing theaters statewide to dial down snack prices.

"He got tired of being taken advantage of," said Thompson’s lawyer, Kerry Morgan of Wyandotte. "It’s hard to justify prices that are three- and four-times higher than anywhere else."

I usually don’t go to movies. Believe it or not, since I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to get motion sickness in a theater if there is a lot of action on the screen.  It’s weird but that happens to me (also happens with first person shooter games). 

But, when I did go, I never went to the concession stand.  I agree with Thompson, prices are too high and I’m not willing to pay them.  However, I’m also not willing to use the force of government to “force” prices down, for heaven sake.

The way consumers make this point is to quit buying the stuff.  Yeah, it takes will.  It takes perseverance.  It takes a collective action over time.  But what it should never take is bringing government in to it.

The suit accused AMC theaters of violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act by charging grossly excessive prices for snacks.

The suit seeks refunds for customers who were overcharged, a civil penalty against the theater chain and any other relief Judge Kathleen Macdonald might grant.

So who gets to decide what is a fair price?  A judge?  Or the consumer?   How does the consumer decide what a “fair price” is?  By not paying what he or she considers to be an unfair price.  That’s how.  Not by going to the state and attempting to use its power to force a lower price.

No one forces anyone to go to a movie, pay what they’re asking or eat their snacks.  Everyone of those is an individual decision and choice. Just as we decide not to buy other products we can’t afford or think are priced too high, it is up to us to make the same sort of decision at a theater concession stand.   If enough refuse to buy, it will eventually come to the attention of the theater chains.  That’s how pricing is set by markets (you know, all that talk about pricing signals and such?).  And the state has no business being involved in that system whatsoever, either legislatively or judicially (and the law suit probably won’t go anywhere, I understand that, but I’m addressing the mindset).

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


When is it OK to use homophobia? When the target is a right-winger

The Daily Caller spots another example of leftist hypocrisy in action.  

Talking about Andrew Breitbart’s death, a poster at the Daily Kos decides it would be cool to send him off with a nice little protest from the homophobic bigots at Westboro Baptist Church.  You see, Breitbart was a friend to gay right-wing groups such as GOProud.  Instead of celebrating that, the true bigotry of at least this leftist shows through in his (or her) little scheme:

A post dated March 1 by “dragon82a,” titled “Let’s Help Andrew Breitbart go out In Style..Get Westboro Baptist Church to Protest Him” encourages readers to post on the Westboro Baptist Church’s Facebook page calling for the group to protest Andrew Breitbart’s funeral:

Here is the Facebook of the WestBoro Baptist Church:

Send them a message anything will do, about how much publicity they would get by Protecting [sic] Andrew.

http://www.facebook.com/…

Lets give back to Andrew what he has so generously given to us all these years.

We could call this “Operation Sendaway”

Because you see, using homophobic fundies (who’s leader is a Democrat activist by the way) in their cause is okay, but utter one word that could even sound like it might be anti-gay and they’ll be on you with all the false righteous indignation they can muster in a heartbeat.

Of course, don’t bother pointing this out to them … they simply won’t get it.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


China makes reincarnation without government permission illegal

No, really, you read it right.  The Chinese government has banned reincarnation without government permission.

In one of history’s more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."

Actually, despite the article’s claim (and as the article eventually points out), it really isn’t as an absurd of an act as it may seem, even though it is certainly representative of totalitarianism.

In fact, it is all about China’s war with the Dalai Lama.

At 72, the Dalai Lama, who  has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it’s under Chinese control. Assuming he’s able to master the feat of controlling his rebirth, as Dalai Lamas supposedly have for the last 600 years, the situation is shaping up in which there could be two Dalai Lamas: one picked by the Chinese government, the other by Buddhist monks.

We can all figure out how that will work. 

The Chinese communists surface very visibly every now and then as if to remind everyone that China is far from a free country.  And, in such a totalitarian country, no detail is too small for the government to ignore … even something in which it likely doesn’t even believe.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


PETA: People Exterminating Thousands of Animals

peta-2

You have to just shake your head at these hypocrites:

Documents published online this month show that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization known for its uncompromising animal-rights positions, killed more than 95 percent of the pets in its care in 2011.

The documents, obtained from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, were published online by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a non-profit organization that runs online campaigns targeting groups that antagonize food producers.

It is amazing to me how they suck in all these gullible celebrities to do their publicity stunts for them and in the meantime they’re slaughtering animals right and left.

Consider this:

Fifteen years’ worth of similar records show that since 1998 PETA has killed more than 27,000 animals at its headquarters in Norfolk, VA.

In a February 16 statement, the Center said PETA killed 1,911 cats and dogs last year, finding homes for only 24 pets.

Really?  24?  That’s it?  They could only find homes for 24 animals out of 1,935?  A .01% success rate.

Yet they have the chutzpa to go after others about the “ethical” treatment of animals?

Next time you see a group of these yahoos, ask them about the slaughter house they maintain in Norfolk, VA.  Ask them about the thousands of animals they kill each year.

Don’t expect a coherent or rational reply in return.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Don’t ever call Buzz Aldrin a “liar and a coward”

Buzz Aldrin is 72 years old.  He’s also a national hero.

Watch this this  moon landing denying D-bag harass Aldrin (and tell me that jerk doesn’t remind you of a cleaned up Michael Moore).  Watch him get in Aldrin’s face and call him a “liar” and a “coward”.

Finally, watch the result:

 

Consider it your "feel good" vid of the day.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO