“Soft” Tyranny Is Still Tyranny

The “soft tyranny” of which I speak has and is being played out right before our eyes and has been for as long as we have had “progressives” in our government. Anyone who believes in a government over the people and not of the people is in this camp…and there are many of them. This is not a Republican versus Democrat issue; it is an issue of statists and statolatry (a combination sometimes referred to as “progressivism”, Marxism or communism) versus independence and individual freedom.

There are three steps common to this tyrannical process:

  1. Pick an individual liberty to focus on, preferably one that can be sold as a “threat” to good societal order and demonize it
  2. Offer a “common sense” solution – restrict that liberty through force of law, regulation or executive fiat
  3. Selectively enforce that law along ideological or arbitrary guidelines

The “gun control” debate offers two examples of how this tyranny is created.

First, we have the demonization of the right to bear arms, a right explicitly protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution:

… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Yet, look at any major newspaper or any news or cable network (except Fox News and the conservative blogworld) and you will see things like this:

“I say to you – forget the extremists. It’s simple — no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer and too many people have died already,” Cuomo said…

“End the madness now. Pass safe, reasonable gun control in the State of New York. Make this state safer. Save lives. Set an example for the rest of the nation. Let them look at New York and say this is what you can do. This is what you should do,” Cuomo said.

Pick it and demonize it: Extremists. Nobody needs it. “Assault” rifle.Too many have died already. End the madness. The possession of guns is dangerous and immoral.

Restrict it via a “common sense” solution: Pass safe and reasonable laws. Save lives. Set an example.

Then you get things like this from Washington D.C., a city where the mere possession of a 30 round magazine is already a crime:

It’s been more than a week since police in Washington, D.C., opened an investigation into NBC’s David Gregory’s possession of a “high-capacity magazine” that’s prohibited in the District on on national TV. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier’s spokesman refused Monday to respond to whether Mr. Gregory had even been interviewed yet. This is a rather curious departure for a city that has been ruthless in enforcing this particular firearms statute against law-abiding citizens who made an honest mistake.

In July, The Washington Times highlighted the plight of former Army Spc. Adam Meckler, who was arrested and jailed for having a few long-forgotten rounds of ordinary ammunition — but no gun — in his backpack in Washington. Mr. Meckler, a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, says he had no idea it was illegal to possess unregistered ammunition in the city. He violated the same section of D.C. law as Mr. Gregory allegedly did, and both offenses carry the same maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.

Selectively enforce that law along ideological or arbitrary guidelines: Charge an Iraq vet but not a news “personality”.

Saul Alinsky would be so proud.

Folks, it is happening right before our eyes. This has to be stopped. When Republicans are in power, and try to strictly enforce laws, we get called heartless and evil – so eventually our elected officials do the DC two-step and dance to the same tyrannical tune. We simply cannot agree to it just because it fits our ideological predisposition if we actually value and support the Constitution, limited government and individual freedoms.

I hate to keep repeating this – but Ayn Rand illustrated this perfectly in Atlas Shrugged, something that we have noted several times in the past. Again, I will remind the readers of an exchange in that book between Hank Rearden and Dr. Floyd Ferris, Ph.D., the Associate Director of the State Science Institute.

Hank Rearden is the sole owner of Rearden Steel. He had developed a new steel formulation – Rearden Metal – that was cheaper, lighter and stronger than any other formulation. Needless to say, the market saw the value of this material and his business was growing by leaps and bounds. The government didn’t like it and created legislation to “protect” ore producers and other steel companies from Rearden’s success. They required by law that all steel producers had to receive an equal share of ore, thereby restricting Rearden’s ability to produce.

Rearden would not accept that restriction and broke the law by cutting deals with less reputable mine owners to keep supplying him the ore to meet his demand – eventually, one of the mine owners needed a governmental favor and in payment for that favor, turned Rearden in, leading to this exchange between Rearden and Dr. Ferris:

“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against—then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it.

You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of law-breakers—and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

For me, the most relevant points in this exchange are these:

  • There is no way to rule innocent men.
  • Governments can declare so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws and they can pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted.
  • Create a nation of law-breakers—and then you cash in on guilt.
  • We’re after power and we mean it.

Again repeating another quote, the truth and wisdom of Alexis de Tocqueville:

If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event may be attributed to the omnipotence of the majority, which may at some future time urge the minorities to desperation and oblige them to have recourse to physical force. Anarchy will then be the result, but it will have been brought about by despotism.

This is the reason that Jefferson said that government that governs best, governs least. He knew that the temptations of men to power over others through government will eventually turn to tyranny to control the populace. It was true in his time and it remains true today.

UPDATE: Bill Quick comments on Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s successful lawsuit against the EPA:

Everywhere you look in America today, there are two sorts of law: First, the sort the Ruling Class reserves to itself, to enforce or ignore at its preference. Second, the vast, Leviathan law enforced in toto against all the rest of us, a monstrous edifice that makes us all criminals at the whim of the enforcers.

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45 thoughts on ““Soft” Tyranny Is Still Tyranny

  1. Pingback: Tyranny | Sasquatch The Yeti

  2. New Commemorative Pistol

    Ruger is coming out with a new pistol in honor of
    the United States Senate and the House of Representatives.

    It will be named the “Congressman”.

    It doesn’t work and you can’t fire it.

  3. And here is the final answer from the OAG of DC… H/T TheBlaze

    “[The office of the attorney general] has determined to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to decline to bring criminal charges against Mr. Gregory, who has no criminal record, or any other NBC employee based on the events associated with the December 23, 2012 broadcast,” D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan wrote in a letter to NBC attorney Lee Levine provided to TheBlaze.

    “OAG has made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust,” the letter stated.

    Mollis est tyrannidis adhuc tyrannidem. Utah has it right.

  4. “This is not a Republican versus Democrat issue; it is an issue of statists and statolatry (a combination sometimes referred to as “progressivism”, Marxism or communism) versus independence and individual freedom.”
    This sounds fine and dandy, but then what to make of so many examples of excellent government, public trust and high levels of individual and economic freedom, like Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden etc? They haven’t created nations of law-breakers, they enjoy very high living standards, nobody is accusing their governments of “cashing in on guilt”, they don’t see their governments as enemies of the people, on the contrary, as necessary structures for the benefit of all. What’s wrong with these types of societies?

    • Except for Germany, these are very small, culturally monolithic countries where values have a high degree of commonality and less of a tradition of individual freedom than America. They may be “well run” but the populace sacrifices a lot to get that endpoint – and that is their choice, if they don’t like it, they move to the US. Germany is the exception but is currently struggling as well with the same issues as the US is. It is all about how much a people are willing to trade off to get a “well run” state. That’s the issue here – America was not designed for the collective, it was designed for the individual.

  5. Well, you say ‘very small’ for countries of millions of people? Your general conclusions are supposed to be true everywhere, right? Are you saying now that they are supposed to be true only in ‘big & designed for the individual’ places i.e. only in America? In that case you have to reinvent the wheel and you have to create political theory from scratch, so you cannot refer to past examples of ‘tyranny’ to defend your point. Anything referring to other countries becomes moot by definition. So where does your fear come from?

    • Z., I can assure you that M. has no fear. He is however making a pertinent point seeing as to how Germany is grabbing back all of its gold. Were the US to drop out of the UN you must admit that they would be screwed.

    • Not at all. What I am saying is that communism and socialism is not scalable beyond a certain point, that cultural, racial and historical uniformity produces a tolerance of conformity in these places you noted that simply does not exist in the US. America was designed to be a refuge from those places for the hordes of tired and poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

      Have a look here to see what I mean: http://therionorteline.com/2012/11/25/the-last-option/.

      And Kells is right, I’m not afraid of anything. I have seen the destruction that socialism brings. I have traveled to over 80 countries and lived in the UK for the past two years and I still kiss the ground every single time I land in America.

  6. Utah, I’m sorry but your argument is all over the place. When you say “socialism is not scalable beyond a certain point, that cultural, racial and historical uniformity produces a tolerance of conformity” you are making a statement devoid of meaning. Why? Because: 1. no meaningful definition of said ‘certain point’ is given, and 2. nobody is advocating ‘socialism’ in America. My assumption here is that you call ‘socialism’ the former government systems of USSR & Eastern Europe. But nobody is advocating here any kind of ‘collective property of the means of production’ which is the salient feature of that kind of ‘socialism’. So your argument is misplaced, or you are fighting the windmills, like that brave Don Quixote. If on the contrary, you call ‘socialism’ any kind of regulation/intervention by the government in the economy, I got news for you: there has never been a country on the face of the Earth where the government has abstained from any kind of said ‘regulation/intervention’.
    Then you further muddy the argument when you mention communism and socialism in the same sentence with ‘America was designed to be a refuge from those places for the hordes of tired and poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free’. You cannot not know that communism and socialism didn’t exist at the time of America’s founding. As a place/government based on individual liberty yes, but refuge from socialism/communism? Come on now! Then a little bit further you call post WW I Germany a socialist/communist state? Whoa!
    It’s true Nazism was voted in via the democratic process, but if you bother to do some research you would find that Germany was at that time in very exceptional circumstances, which would be almost impossible to replicate. And also that the German voters deliberately voted to give the power to a Party that had not hidden its totalitarian & antiSemite ideology at all. Are you saying the Democrats or Liberals here have the same ideology?

    • And I reject your premise that “nobody is advocating socialism” because they certainly are, they just aren’t calling it that. What is being pushed now is a combination of socialism and fascism that I have called “checkbook socialism”, Sasquatch called it “economic fascism”. A government doesn’t have to exist via ‘collective property of the means of production’ to be socialist, it only needs to control the means by which that property and production is executed through cronyism, unequal application of law or direct financial involvement as with GM, Chrysler or AIG…and that is an attribute of fascism. There is a reason that the Nazi party was called the National Socialist party.

      You are trapped, like many on the left and right are by trying to force what both the “progressive” Republicans and Democrats have been doing over the past 100 years into a strict, textbook definition of a particular “ism”. You can’t, I can’t…no one can – because what people call “liberalism” isn’t liberal at all, it is “progressivism”, which is nothing more than a modern term for communism…and a critical point – I never accused “liberals” of being Nazis or fascists…I have actually stated that Democrats haven’t reached that point but it is an absolute truth that tyranny can be voted in via a majority as was explained by Alexis de Tocqueville in his book(s) Democracy in America, so in that sense, yes, I guess while I am saying that Democrats are similar in PROCESS to the Nazi’s, I am not saying that they share ideology.

      Democrats have always been a coalition of disparate groups with contrasting beliefs – what unifies them is the belief that government is the answer to the implementation to all of them – never mind that it is impossible to reconcile them all successfully. The expansion of the centrally planned federal state started under Wilson and went on steriods under Teddy Roosevelt and later under FDR.

      I never said that there wasn’t intervention – it is the degree of intervention that I am arguing. The need for government is succinctly set forth in the Declaration of Independence:

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

      American government was created to secure natural rights, not to create them from whole cloth as is happening today.

      Every country in every time period has “unique circumstances that are impossible to replicate” – it is called history. It isn’t about the circumstances, it is about how those circumstances are reacted to that defines history…And the assertion that I cannot know that communism didn’t exist is patently false – I do know it existed in the ideas of Hobbes, Sir Thomas More and even back to Plato’s Republic. It was only called “communism” after Marx and Engels defined it as such.

    • Zalo,

      Ah, first, MANY people are advocating socialism in this nation. In fact, they are openly calling it that. Get your head out of the sand.

      Second, Germany in and leading up to WW II is a bit of an expertise of mine, which is why I chuckled at the ignorance of your statements. If you knew half as much as you seem to think you do, you wouldn’t have said the circumstances in 1930′s Germany are that difficult to repeat — because this nation is traveling that same path now. You just don’t want to see it, so you don’t. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to remind blind and ignorant just to keep you company — and we won’t.

      Oh, and one more thing: Democrats and Liberals DO have a similar ideology to the NAZI’s. The political ideologies are kissing cousins, if not actually siblings. Remember, Wilson praised and pined for Communism in America, and FDR openly admired and envied Mussolini and Hitler — before they started WW II, that is.

  7. Well, ‘tyranny can be voted in via a majority as was explained by Alexis de Tocqueville’, does this mean you only have Tocqueville’s explanations and conjectures for that, or even Moore’s or Plato’s? And those written conjectures make it ‘an absolute truth’? Are there any examples in modern times of people actually doing it? If so, pray tell, just give one single example when tyranny was the result of a gradual process of growing the government, which is the most popular scarecrow among conservatives here.
    But then again, you just stated America is special, so why you keep going back to Fascism & Communism when they originated in places that, according to you, have nothing similar to us? Why it’s OK to compare to Europe when it suits you, to show all the bad they have done, but it’s not OK for me to point out the good things those same Europeans have done?
    Maybe, just maybe, all this increased role of the government in the West had something to do with the fact that the market by itself was not able to secure ‘liberty and pursuit of happiness’ for all. So people said let’s tame it a little bit, and so the modern Western government systems came to be. Why it’s so hard for us to consider the government not as our enemy, why not consider it as us (meaning the expression of our national interest), as a necessary structure in the interest of all of us? Is that because of that irrational fear towards anything ‘collective’ coming from our rugged individualism? I say irrational because in our modern economies we are all beneficiaries of public services. How many Americans would want to go back to 1900 now?

    • “But then again, you just stated America is special, so why you keep going back to Fascism & Communism when they originated in places that, according to you, have nothing similar to us?”

      Socialism & Communism has one common thing between them, “totalitarianism”. So if you are more comfortable with that, then that’s the term we’ll use moving forward. And to the second part of your statement, let’s not forget a few key points:

      * Progressive admiration for Mussolini’ socialistic fascism in the 1920’s
      * it was then radical liberal David Horowitz, one of the New-Left’s activist leaders in the 1960’s who claimed that pure communists in 1950’s America always called themselves “progressives”.
      * following the exposure of the neo-european agenda of liberals by Reagan in the 1980s, it was Hillary Clinton who once again recast the movement’s title as “Progressives” once again.
      * the very agenda you support towards that totalitarianism you liberals support is seen in our contemporary public policy, social norms, and political extremism of the left

      So now that we understand how the ‘progressives’ recast their ideology into some new mold by calling it new names… modifying it, softening it, making it acceptable, let’s just admit that their proto-Marixist love for European socialism is clearly apparent, and downwardly destructive in it’s trajectory … and move on.

      “but it’s not OK for me to point out the good things those same Europeans have done?”

      It’s perfectly fine for you to point out the good things those same Europeans have done, but do you not think that for your own personal moral high-ground that you acknowledge the negative trajectory that is happening all across the Euro-zone? We can get in to that if you’d like (hell, it’s all over the news on a damn near daily basis), but I presuppose that if we take the course of discussion, you might lose your position as the victim here leaving you in a indefensible position.

      Rather an uncomfortable position for a proto-Marxist.

      “Maybe, just maybe, all this increased role of the government in the West had something to do with the fact that the market by itself was not able to secure ‘liberty and pursuit of happiness’ for all.”

      Well now does that not point out the inherent rot of the liberal movement? Nevermind it was folks like Obama (who sued the banks to force (keyword: force) private banks to make substandard loans to unqualified borrowers who could never repay the interest on the loan, much less the principle). That my little proto-Marxist friend, is but one example of the torpedoing of the American economic system as well as capitalism at large that you, and the other proto-Marxist sycophants have done over the past century, but then again … you are the victims.

      Victims, aren’t we all?

      “Why it’s so hard for us to consider the government not as our enemy, why not consider it as us (meaning the expression of our national interest), as a necessary structure in the interest of all of us? “

      Do you really have to ask this? That statement alone supports everything I said about about titles, and how they stick. The truth of the matter is that it is very hard for us to consider the government as our enemy when that “benevolent” government would ram legislation down our throats because “we have a majority mandate” … as if the US Constitution was set up as a “mob rules” document. But let’s skip over the obvious (Obamacare), and move forward to the latest hyperventilation, and opportunistic liberal movement … “gun control” ….

      It would outwardly appear that the liberals, erm … “progressives” (maybe we should call them regressives) never bothered to read Federalist 46 which defines the intent of the 2nd Amendment. Oh no, they would rather ask me questions like:

      “Why do you need a 30 round magazine?”
      My answer: “Because f**k you, that’s why. Rights aren’t subject to your perception of my need.”

      So you tell me Zalo, why do I need to speak out in public like that? Because I have a right to free speech, and to petition my government for redress of grievances, and also because f**k you.

      In all honesty, I grow ever increasing weary and tired of justifying myself to progressive idiots who have read none of our founding documents, and don’t understand the basis of rights.

      Edit note: Just for laughs ….

      • Augger, for the life of me I don’t see why you have to be so upset and to start talking whatever. But no offense taken, let me recapitulate the argument: my whole point in discussing Utah’s post was that he was referring to European countries as ‘Europe’ when it’s a fact that they are all very different from each other. So when I gave some examples of successful European economies, Utah dismissed them because supposedly they are small and culturally compact countries and because America is different from them all. My counterpoint was to call him on this absolutization of exceptionalism, because otherwise we have to reinvent a special political theory for America alone, in which case all the references to Tocqueville, Hitler, Marx, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Thatcher, Mother Theresa, Greta Garbo, Napoleon, Charles Dickens etc etc become moot by definition, as all those wretched creatures were not Americans. So I stated that if we want to use Fascism/Communism as bad references, by the same token we should use the successful European examples as good references and that’s what got you pissed off and brought about your misplaced intervention. So now let’s look at your points:
        1.”Socialism & Communism has one common thing between them, “totalitarianism”. So if you are more comfortable with that, then that’s the term we’ll use moving forward”.
        You see you got off the wrong foot at the outset. My point was not the fact that those ideologies are totalitarian, for all I care we can call them “FUBARism’, my point was what I just said, that if America is absolutely special, then we cannot meaningfully refer to anything non-American, like Fascism/Communism, which were not American-born ideologies. That’s all I had to say, and I asked if Utah, or anybody else, was aware of any cases when tyranny had been a ‘gradual thing’ brought about by a government that keeps expanding as is the fear of most people here. No such examples exist in the modern world, so I simply would like to know where all this fear from the government comes from. Nobody has provided any examples so far, and all you could do was to list some instances of progressives’ sympathy for totalitarian ideologies. So I ask for specific examples of tyranny, you give me a list of sympathies. And you call that an answer my friend? That would have disqualified you on the spot at your high school debate team.
        2. “but do you not think that for your own personal moral high-ground that you acknowledge the negative trajectory that is happening all across the Euro-zone? We can get in to that if you’d like (hell, it’s all over the news on a damn near daily basis)”. Hell no, my friend, it’s not happening ‘all across’ the Euro zone, it’s not happening in Germany, and in no one of the countries I took as examples on my first post. I don’t get what kind of news you watch so go figure what are you talking about…wait, is it because you still cannot break from your misconception (a typical American one at that) of considering all Europe the same? So again you are wrong. By the way, The Economist magazine, no friend of Marx or Castro, had a special report today on the Nordic countries:
        (http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21570840-nordic-countries-are-reinventing-their-model-capitalism-says-adrian)
        3. “Well now does that not point out the inherent rot of the liberal movement? Nevermind it was folks like Obama (who sued the banks to force (keyword: force) private banks to make substandard loans to unqualified borrowers who could never repay”. From here on, your argument goes down the drain; you keep taking recent examples from American politics, subprime loans, guns….what the heck? Why everything we discuss about ideological differences between Liberals and Conservatives has to be illustrated by American examples of the last 4 years? Come on now! Liberalism and Conservatism have been around since 1700s, how is Obama or Obamacare meaningful in any way in our debate? What have guns to do here? Then you degrade yourself to calling me names…and for what? Only because I had the temerity to point out some facts, and not to you, for that matter, but to Utah….Well, all can say to you is to try and inform yourself a little bit more, starting with The Economist report.
        Peace.

        • “Augger, for the life of me I don’t see why you have to be so upset and to start talking whatever. But no offense taken, let me recapitulate the argument: my whole point in discussing Utah’s post was that he was referring to European countries as ‘Europe’ when it’s a fact that they are all very different from each other”

          I did not need to read anything further than this chunk of your post to know that you are full of false syllogisms Zalo. Maybe one day, I will be able to stomach what likely came next in your post … but not today. I’ve had about all the nausea I can take in this short response …

          1. I am not upset. Do not presuppose to think any different (unless you would like to claim clairvoyance as well). In fact, the exact words I used were “weary, and tired”. We clear on that point?

          2. Europe is a continent, and just like other continents with multiple countries, we can sum them up in terms such as “African Countries”, “South American Countries” and “Middle Eastern Countries”. What bonds the “European countries” even closer than the others I mentioned is the common currency shared by them. So go sell your false syllogisms elsewhere my friend. That BS does not fly here.

          Have a good evening. I’ll toss a Scotch in your name. :)

          • I said ‘upset’ because of the general tone of your post & calling names, not bcs you specifically used the word. But OK, anyway. And your example with the common currency is still a very recent one, compared to the long history of Lib & Con ideologies. So I’m just curious: does your problem with common currency comes, in any way, shape or form, from the prophecies in the book of Revelation?
            Cheers!

            • “I said ‘upset’ because of the general tone of your post & calling names,”

              I’m sorry. I did not realize that a digital font carried a phone. Calling names? Your liberal friends already recast that to “titles”. Do you practice a double-standard perhaps?

              “And your example with the common currency is still a very recent one, compared to the long history of Lib & Con ideologies.”

              Would you prefer discuss their histories of dictators, monarchs, and other forms of the totalitarian European governments? We can certainly do that.

              “So I’m just curious: does your problem with common currency comes, in any way, shape or form, from the prophecies in the book of Revelation?”

              No actually, it does not. However, the events of the prolific economic crises amongst the near expanse of the Euro-zone does carry some weight with “my problem” with their common currency, and because, f**k you! lol (that was for Kells)

              Cheers matey. :)

              • Sure thing. I’m all for discussing ‘histories of dictators, monarchs, and other forms of the totalitarian European governments’, which, I assume, would be arguments in favor of your conviction that Liberalism brings about totalitarianism (this is contradiction in terms, but anyway). Please provide examples, if possible from modern times, as we both can agree that tyrant Pisistratus in Ancient Athens would not do. On a side note, did you get a chance to read The Economist report?
                Cheers!

                • “Sure thing. I’m all for discussing ‘histories of dictators, monarchs, and other forms of the totalitarian European governments’, which, I assume, would be arguments in favor of your conviction that Liberalism brings about totalitarianism (this is contradiction in terms, but anyway).”

                  I think this is a good point to bring back a statement I once made before you graced us with your presence.

                  On liberalism …Let’s take a moment to discuss the history of communists, socialists, leftist, and liberals to show exactly how the various titles “stick”….

                  The history of communists and socialists and leftists and liberals is never to take ownership of their past. If one remembers, the Democrat Party is the party of slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism. They are very diligently always trying to rework the unworkable and trying to recast their ideology into some new mold by calling it new names… modifying it, softening it, making it acceptable. Whether it was Progressives’ love for Woodrow Wilson (who segregated the military) or Progressive admiration for Mussolini’ fascism in the 1920’s, these are all indicators of the inherent rot of the movement.

                  David Horowitz, one of the New-Left’s activist leaders in the 1960’s claims that pure communists in 1950’s America always called themselves “progressives”.

                  So progressives then recast themselves in the forties and fifties as liberals because of the negative connotations. But they were forced to change names back again to “Progressives” after the 1980’s, because Reagan exposed them as socialists trying to make socialism acceptable by calling themselves liberal. Following that exposure by Reagan, Hilary Clinton then admitted to preferring the name Progressive.

                  In any case the liberal trajectory is always downward and destructive. You see this in public policy, social norms, and political extremism of the left. The Democrat Party as you have always envisioned it no longer exists. Much like a hermit crab that assumes the shell of another, the Democratic party has been taken over by the hard left over the years.

                  In all honesty, the movement really should be named “regressivism”.

                  Now that we have addressed “Liberalism”, let’s be clear … the contemporary liberalism of today in no way compares to the ‘liberalism’ of our Founding Fathers.

                  I have not read your report.

                  Totalitarian leaders in Europe are not hard to find, nor to source. Start with King Charles III, move on to Napoleon, and if you are really interested in pursuit of the topic, we certainly cannot leave out Mussolini, Lenin, Hitler … just to name a few. :)

                • Augger, I thought our argument was going to be if liberalism brings about totalitarianism,(in practice and history, mind you,not just in the realm of ideas), you arguing for the positive, me for the negative. Nothing, however, in your post, speaks to that correlation, it’s just a list of assertions about some sympathies of people on the Left, and also of some European bad guys with no connection to liberalism as such. Well, it’s not an argument, unless, that is, you assume just mentioning the name ‘David Horowitz’ and whatever he said about some guys in the 50s constitutes the most blockbuster argument of them all! That’s pitiful, but cheers anyway!

    • You seem to want to invent “truth” as if it was a relative term. Therein lies the root of your lack comprehension.There are truths that are universal that have been expressed by many people over history. When statements like de Tocqueville’s are based on observations of historical reality, then yes, I would say that they can be termed “absolute”. If you actually read Plato’s Republic, you will see that he recognizes that the very ideal of his ordered society is impossible to attain due to human nature, something that later philosophers came to understand as immutable laws they termed “natural laws”.

      That does not mean that conditions humans in society create for themselves are unavoidable. In none of my assertions is a denial that government cannot be a positive force but I go back to your comments and the quote from the Preamble of the Constitution that use the words “secure the Blessings of Liberty” – it does not say “procure the Blessings of Liberty”. The universal truth of any form of collectivism is the equality of outcomes, not the equality of opportunity. Taking from one to give to another is not justice, it is tyranny and is defined as such. Just as the Constitution says that government is to “promote the general Welfare” and not to provide general welfare, government is instituted among men to assure that each receive equal treatment through the rule of law and not that they should receive equal shares of prosperity doled out by an arbitrary sovereign.

      Nobody wants to “go back to the 1900′s”. Why is it better that a government builds a bridge with tax money from people who will never use it than to have a private company build it and charge a toll to the users of the bridge? Is the utility of the bridge inherently greater simply because it was built by a government?

      No, it is not. Both get you from point “A” to point “B” without getting wet.

      Why is it fair that taxpayers in rural Montana pay for repair of potholes in New York? This was never the design of a federalist America, yet because FDR usurped the Constitution to create socialist programs (programs that actually prolonged the Great Depression and in the tradition of “progressivism”, led to even more programs), we have always been this way. You do know that private contractors build many of FDR’s great accomplishments, not the government? The Hoover Dam was built by private companies. Unrelated but similar is the Brooklyn Bridge – built by a private company after being granted the right to charge tolls to pay for it and make a profit. As a matter of fact, most of the advances you speak of have been achieved by the private sector, not the public.

      Like augger, I find this rehashing very tiresome. We have beat this dead horse over and over with posts like this, this and this.

      • “Like augger, I find this rehashing very tiresome. We have beat this dead horse over and over with posts like this, this and this.”

        Side Bar: Utah, how do you find the old content so quickly?

        • Use the search bar about 2/3′s the way down the right hand side, just under the RSS feeds. I can remember snippets of what was written and I use it. It only searches content for this site…pretty handy when you can’t remember crap more than 5 minutes like me…

          • “you can’t remember crap more than 5 minutes like me…”

            Yeah, that’s my issue as well. I end up saving worthy stuff to notepad for regurgitation as we always end up coming back to these same topics with the little proto-Marxists.

            I was hoping we could search by Author, Title, etc.

      • “You seem to want to invent “truth” as if it was a relative term. Therein lies the root of your lack comprehension.There are truths that are universal that have been expressed by many people over history. ” Well I didn’t say anything about truth, but now that you mention it, please provide some examples of ‘absolute truth’ and their sources if you can. As for the bridges, governments have a role in promoting their constructions, promoting research etc. But you still didn’t provide any definition of how big is big, in other words at what point a beloved government morphs into its opposite and becomes tyrannical. at 22 % of GDP? 50%? And as for Montana taxpayers, it would be the same reason for which the husband repairs his wife’s car or the wife repairs her husband’s clothes, or for which all members of the family have to stick to family’s budget.
        But I think The Economist piece would be very helpful to you as well: (http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21570840-nordic-countries-are-reinventing-their-model-capitalism-says-adrian)
        Peace.

  8. Perfection Utah. And maybe as a supporting post, this repost of an early thread will resonate. You should remember it well. :)

    Recently the Obama campaign has attempted to reconstruct his meaning over his controversial “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”[1]

    Echoing a cry from his liberal base, Obama is now accusing conservatives and Romney for taking his quote out of context missing his original point that business owners did not build roads or bridges (implying of course that the Federal Government had done so). But was Obama talking about businesses, or roads and bridges? Let’s give Barry the point for the purposes of discussion, and examine his point.

    Business owners did not build roads, or bridges. Question is, did they? Let’s begin with arguably the most famous bridge in America, The Golden Gate Bridge.

    Credit for the idea of The Golden Gate Bridge is given to James Wilkins who conceived the idea (that ultimately became the G.G.B.), but for a railroad bridge across the Bering Strait. Joseph Strauss along with Irving Marrow designed the Golden Gate, and ultimately it was built by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Co.

    Next up to bat, we have the Brooklyn Bridge. Connecting the wonderful boroughs of Manhattan, and Brooklyn, this iconic bridge was initially designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling who died following an accident and wound infection. Washington Roebling and wife Emily picked up the project, and saw it through completion designing and supervising local craftsmen until it’s completion in 1883.

    We’ll conclude our bridges example by heading south, completing our triangularity of honor to this great nation by visiting upon the ultra-sleek, and ultra-modern Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge spanning Tampa Bay, Florida. This luxurious cable-stayed design is the brainchild of the Figg & Muller Engineering Group (who designed the mega popular Seven Mile Bridge), and construction performed by the American Bridge Company (a privately healed civil engineering firm hailing from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania).

    For an example of American roads, one does not have to look much further than the iconic “Route 66″. Championed by Tulsa, Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery in 1926, used the “Bunion Derby” in the promotion of the paving garnering the assistance of private citizen Will Rogers who shook hands with the racers in the event. But the story of Route 66 (the called The Santa Fe Trail” began some 100 years earlier by the trails of the immigrant wagon trains of the mountain me, and the gold rush. The “Route 66″ as we know it today came about by the efforts of small businessmen such as Mr. Cyrus, and others who kept businesses along the “trail” after the advent of the automobile, ultimately succeeding in obtaining donated money, state funds, and federal grants to hire local construction workers to pave the trail.

    So yes Mr. President. In that context, somebody did invest in our roads and bridges, and you sir were not the man who did, nor did your “Federal Government”. We, the American people … the private sector engineers, the private sector small business owners, and the private sector blue collar workers. We sir designed this great nation, and yes … We build just exactly that!

    Including your office by the way.

    [1] “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.” – Barack Obama

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