Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inadequacies of the classical liberal theory of government.

Schmitt's The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy was first published in 1923.* In this work, Schmitt described the dysfunctional workings of the Weimar parliamentary system. He regarded this dysfunction as symptomatic of the inadequacies of the classical liberal theory of government. According to this theory as Schmitt interpreted it, the affairs of states are to be conducted on the basis of open discussion between proponents of competing ideas as a kind of empirical process. Schmitt contrasted this idealized view of parliamentarianism with the realities of its actual practice, such as cynical appeals by politicians to narrow self-interests on the part of constituents, bickering among narrow partisan forces, the use of propaganda and symbolism rather than rational discourse as a means of influencing public opinion, the binding of parliamentarians by party discipline, decisions made by means of backroom deals, rule by committee and so forth.[1]
As an example of our failure – one among countless others, as you well know – consider how in the last election the candidate of a major political party failed to raise the issues of Obama's constitutional eligibility for the office of president and the obvious forgery of Obama's birth certificate. These are important issues and susceptible of discussion in a straightforward manner using concepts that are easily understood.

For example, are "citizen" and "natural born Citizen" synonymous? What did "natural born citizen" mean to the drafters and ratifiers of the Constitution? Do we wish to be bound by a government of laws or of men who can change the meaning of terms in the Constitution when it is convenient for them to do so, when whim calls for change, or when narrow, selfish interest calls for change? Would the concept of "natural born citizen" have prevented what we have now – a usurper with a parent who was a polygamist, a communist, a Muslim, and someone who can't be bothered to salute when the national anthem is being played?

Similarly, it's a simple question to ask if (1) there are what are called "layers" in the document purporting to be a truthful record of Obama’s birth and connection to Hawaii that was posted on the internet by Obama and (2) there are lines drawn in that document that could only have been done in a computer graphics program that happens not to have been in existence at the time of Obama’s year of birth?

So we see that fundamental questions vital to the health of this country -- that likes to think of itself as blessed by American "exceptionalism" and as the epitome of classical liberal government – were ignored. Completely.

Who decides what we are worthy to hear during our elections? And what is left of the magnificent experiment started in Philadelphia? I know. If anything has gone wrong, it must have been perverted by fundamentalist Christians, gun nuts, racists, greedy corporations, drooling haters, and rich people.

Now that we know this, can't we please get back to the serious business of politicians pissing away the wealth of the people and stealing their liberties?

[1] "Carl Schmitt (Part II). The Concept of the Political." By Keith Preston, Alternative Right, 8/31/10 (emphasis added).

1 comment:

Roger U said...

The issue of Obama's eligibility has been ridiculed so thoroughly in the media that it is nearly impossible to get anybody who hopes for a political future to touch it. This, in my opinion, is the biggest issue; the almost total control of public opinion and, by extension, policy by a relative handful of "media tycoons".