Gary North: Politics as Self-Esteem

Very good essay here by Gary North. Excerpt:

Democrats and Republicans think of Presidential candidates as “their men.” They think that these men represent them. In what way? Not their ideas, surely, which Presidential candidates share only randomly with hard-core party members, which is why they invariably ignore their party’s platform once they are in office. The platform is never mentioned again. The faithful party member nevertheless thinks, “he’s my man.”

The suggestion is ludicrous. He is the Council on Foreign Relations’ man. He represents either CFR Team A or CFR Team B. This year, he is also Skull & Bones’ man. This is a first for Bones. In the past, Bones has been content merely to represent half of the voters, always Republicans: William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush. This year, Bones cannot lose. When you think about this, it is amazing. An oath-bound Yale University secret society that inducts only 15 people a year has picked off both candidates. Isn’t democracy grand? It is the voice of the people.

Voters are confused about political cause and effect. They think of a Presidential candidate as their man. In fact, they are his people. They exist so as to get his branch of the CFR elected. Fanatically loyal party voters are the party’s hip pocket voters. The party can safely pay no attention to them. The party must court voters who are not committed to the ideals of its core supporters, who in turn overlook the fact that their man will sell them out on every major issue that did not have support from the CFR. Most of them have never heard of the CFR.

Voters today see politics as a game: “them vs. us.” Clinton was a two-timer, so he remains beloved by Democrats. Why? Because he let Democrats feel good about themselves. He cut Federal welfare. No problem. He pushed through NAFTA. No problem. He produced not one major domestic political victory. No problem. His tax hike barely sprinkled the rich, let alone soaked them. No problem. He lied repeatedly and got caught. No problem. He had sex with that woman. No problem. Why was there never a problem? For the same reason that a loud-mouthed felon running back on a Super Bowl-winning team has no problem with fans. “He’s ours!”

This is politics as the voter’s personal self-image. Politics has almost nothing to do with ideological issues. It has everything to do with the voters’ quest for self-esteem. “He kept them out. I therefore feel better about myself. I’m on the winning team.” That Ronald Reagan starred in a movie called The Winning Team was appropriate.

Republican anti-abortionists and fiscal conservatives suffer the same fate. Nobody in the Republican Party takes them seriously. Toss one bone to them per term — no stem cell research, or a one-shot tax cut — and that satisfies them. Like lap dogs, they come when they are called.


All the Old Blogposts

A lot of the content recently (and over the next few days) on this new blog of mine will be many of the short, more quotable, pieces I’ve written over the years. I have a decent amount of essays but the shorter quick thoughts get lost over time. Since this blog is mainly for those, and associated with my new FB page (please “like” it), I am trying to get them onto this site so they are all in one place.

This blog is more broad and general than my other main sites (AL and RL)– I was working so hard to choose audience carefully when I posted political and even religious thoughts on my personal Facebook profile so I decided to just have a separate public page (as opposed to profile) that people could like and follow if they were into that kind go thing. Mostly these are quotes (from my reading or from my longer essays) and quick thoughts on economics, current events, business, and culture that are more personal and “from the hip” in nature than in accordance with the more doctrinaire statements I want at the main site.

In any case, I’m trying to gather lost content from various places so bear with me.


Crime is in Terms of the Individual

Crimes are those actions which have as their victims actual individual human beings. There is no abstract “crime against society” as the Progressives want you to think; nor is there a “crime against the state” as fascists want you to think. Rather, a crime is something which actually aggresses the person or property of one’s neighbor.

In this way, actual justice has to do with crimes and there is no such thing as “social justice,” much to the disdain of the socialist or liberal Christian. Any crime which aggresses hundreds of people is a “crime against many individuals,” not a “social crime.” Society has no rights, for society is not a thing in itself.


Why People Love Socialism

If every time the government intervenes (known as economic interventionism) into the broader economy there is an eventual wave of resulting economic pain, and if the political and academic classes continue to describe our system as free market or capitalistic, then the entirely predictable result is a mass embrace of socialism as the solution to said economic pain.

The adoration of socialism by the younger generation is not merely a result of their natural ignorance on these matters; though because they are products of a highly bureaucratized and pro-government system, this is obviously the case. Rather, the espousal is a result of what they have been taught via schools, news, entertainment, political speeches, and other sources of intellectual influence. They have been taught both that we live in a free market, and that government is always the remedy.

Because the narrative is that we live in a free market, the benefit to the political class is twofold. 1) people can blame capitalism instead of government for economic pains; 2) Solutions must always come in the form of new government activity, since that has yet to be tried.
Thus, the masses currently clamor for the utopias of socialism to free them from the evils of capitalism, all while living under the rotten system of interventionism.


Democracy is a Scourge

We are told above that democracy is about ordinary people ruling themselves– but this is the opposite of the case. Democracy is stripping the decision making power from individuals and placing it in the hands of the mob, which uses the via media of the state as its weapon of enforcement. Far from being able to rule ourselves, democracy is a system in which the majority of the people are able gang up on those who dissent, from those who wish to live in peace, safe from the schemes and shenanigans of those that seek to determine the lifestyle of others.

It is not democracy, but libertarianism that truly and by definition allows all people, especially the ordinary, to live as they desire, which is the meaning of ruling one’s life. Democracy, to the extent that it undermines and wages war on the right of the property owner to do as he pleases with his own property, is the antithesis of ordinary people ruling themselves.

Democracy introduces politics, and the clashes of group interests that come with it, into an otherwise relatively peaceful existence. Democracy and the means of its expression, politics, exacerbate social tensions and pit people groups against each other. Democracy is one of the major causes of social unrest in our modern world and to expand democracy in pursuit of democratic socialism is to continue farther along this path.


Anti-Nationalist Internationalists

Political leaders and their lapdogs in the media and higher education speak of nationalism as if it merely consists of neo-fascist efforts to purge the world on behalf of a specific nation-state over against the other alternative of a globally unified body that governs the world.

But these nationalist movements (including Trump’s) are actually just efforts to localize political representation. The national is preferable to the international. And the local is preferable to the national. And so on such that every comparison prefers decentralization to centralization.

In other words, nationalism is smeared today and placed in the most egregious of contexts whenever it is spoken of by the global elite (Macron in France for instance). But they smear it because more nationalism means less control for them at an international level.
Nationalism is merely the idea that there is a culture, a people connected by language and customs, that is more important than giving all that up for some vague idealistic internationalist vision. Of course, the left (which has also destroyed the once conservative parties in the US), has done a great job of destroying the culture such that there no longer is much of a “nation” at a federal level— which means secession and nullification and even more localization is called for. But compared to internationalization, nationalist movements around the world (Brexit and the dissenting and agitating separatist grassroots spirit that elected Trump) are healthy and needed.

More thoughts on nationalism posted in comments.


Politics is the Enemy of Civilization

Politics is the means by which interpersonal conflict is systematized and class struggle is born.

Politics takes the natural disagreements we may have as individual human beings and places them on a pedestal as the only things worth talking about.

Politics is the rejection of self-determination and the handing over of individual decision making to a corrupt and treacherous body of scoundrels to set the path forward for an entire people.


Epater le Bourgeois!

Epater le Bourgeois is, as Charles Burris phrases it, “the revolutionary rallying cry of the left.” It is French and it is translated to mean “shock the bourgeoisie.” To make it more applicable to our setting, the strategy can be slightly altered to be “shock the middle classes.” The Oxford Reference site expands on this to translate it as: “to shock the (respectable) middle-class citizens.”

This phrase underscores the a foundational technique employed by leftist cultural elites (think Hollywood and Big-money financiers such as George Soros) in their attempt to undermine the peaceful social fabric.

In my article on on Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, I mentioned the broadening and shifting emphasis of so-called “marxism.”

Here we have the foundations of what has recently been referred to as a sort of cultural marxism— wherein, because Marxism as an economic doctrine has been unable to withstand the arguments made against it by free-marketers, the emphasis has shifted from economic class warfare to other forms of identitarian class warfare, primarily focused on sexual preference, gender, and race.

Whether or not “cultural marxism” is acceptable as a meaningful label, the fact of the matter is that there exists a clear cultural emphasis from the left on sabotaging social institutions, hierarchies, and social norms. One of the tools that is leveraged is a constant stream of grotesque and morally appalling themes intended simply to disturb the sensibilities of the main street citizen. These themes, often demonstrated in striking visuals, but also in writing and audio format, are intended merely unsettle and fluster the middle class— not to persuade, but to cause the cultural compromise to be somewhere between the shock and awe of the outlandish displays of counter-culturalism and where the middle class was culturally ten years ago.

By desensitizing the middle class, arguably the social bedrock of the western social structure (the class which needs to be appealed to by both the elites and the self-considered proletariat), the cultural revolutionaries are able to push the ball further down the road away from traditional western social norms. By undermining western culture, which contains components such as individualism, personal responsibility, self-reliance, and distrust of state power, political control comes more easily.

If the young embrace the new waves of the loudest and most prominently featured cultural expressions (the communication of which is much more blatant with social media), revolt against capitalism, limited government, private property, and individual responsibility are swiftly rejected as well.

This fact explains why elitists choose epater le Bourgeois as a strategy. But at a deeper level, it is fascinating that both the self-considered proletariate and the cultural elite despise the middle class, albeit for different reasons. Ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution and the creation of the middle class itself (which was a product of capitalism and free markets), private property has been a bulwark against an agitating socialistic parasitic class. Socialistic tendencies are held both by the most powerful, as a means toward greater domination, and also by the “have-nots,” those that lack the leisures and luxuries of the upper middle class and therefore jealously aspire to transfer the wealth to their own possession.

Because of the institution of private property and the social stability that it provides to this middle class, both the elitist and the member of the proletariate (clearly unaware that free markets are a means by which any member of society can raise his own standard of living) are unable to simply wage direct war against this bourgeois in order to acquire their wants. The revolutionary proletariate class member therefore expresses his distaste for the stability and bourgeoise culture of the middle class by finding pleasure in offending their cultured and refined, often religious and orderly, mannerisms and habits. The elites, aware of the political benefits of exasperating tensions between the classes and a breakdown of the middle class culture, encourage this lust to shock the middle class.

Thus, there exists in Hollywood, in the media outlets, in the heavily planned and prepared “national conversations” themes which are intended to torment the sensibilities of the bourgeois and therein shift the spectrum of what was once considered socially unacceptable. This can be seen in everything from LGBT parades, to the promotion of provocative displays of homosexuality, and, more recently, defenses of pedophilia (prediction: this will become a major theme in the next 18 months). In fact, in the links provided by Charles Burris in the link at the top of this article, there seems to be a heavy weight placed on the role of sexual issues in the “shock the middle class” strategy for social change.

If the phrase “soak the rich” is an economic phrase that seeks to take advantage of the wealthy’s financial position in society, then “shock the middle class” is a socio-cultural phrase that seeks to undermine the social preferences of the middle class in order to uproot the social order. Everywhere we look, the bourgeois cultural tendencies are mocked and disparaged as prude, racist, sexist, backwards thinking, non-inclusive, and so on. There is a mental war at play here: invest in an undermining of the “old way of thinking” and the political future will turn in the direction of the seekers of domination and control.


Against UBI

Besides the incentive problem, the major systemic problem with UBI is that it shifts savings from their ability to invest in factors of production to immediate consumption. It is true that there is a temporary and fleeting situation of difficulty-alleviation. But the more that capital accumulation is disallowed, the less wealth there will be in the years to come. If during the industrial revolution guaranteed income was set in motion rather than investment, our entire generation would be vastly poorer and less populated than we are.

Everything around us is the product of capital investment. And our children and grandchildren will have a standard of living that reflects our ability to save and invest in the present. Alleviation of impoverishment in the years to come depend on investment today. UBI is a revolt against rising standards of living.