Thursday, November 14, 2013

Not Enough Part 3: The Triumph Of The Iron Triangles

Once in a while, I stumble over an essay that reminds me of my own writings...of thirty years ago.

There's no need for me to excerpt the cited article. Any Gentle Reader of Liberty's Torch will be familiar with all the sentiments expressed therein. It does contain a scattering of useful quotes from major figures in American history, but that's about as far as its utility goes.

Why, you ask, am I so dismissive of an article that could have come from my own fingers at an earlier age? It's not that I disagree with the thesis. It's not that I consider it poorly reasoned or written. It's not even that it's all been said before, though that is surely the case.

It's because it's irrelevant to the problem we face.

The American political tableau has been immunized against the importunings of reason. If it surprises you to hear that from one of the Web's foremost apostles of reason, imagine how it pains me to say it.

The heart of the problem, which is also the reason I find the cited article a sad reminder of my own earlier days as a "manifestist," is that the ongoing operation of the welfare-warfare dynamic has made reason and evidence politically irrelevant. Those who applaud the principles the article expresses are now outnumbered and outgunned by:

  • Those who operate The System;
  • Those who sell to The System;
  • Those who receive direct transfers of wealth and privileges from The System.

In sociopolitical jargon, the above combination of boosters, when we speak of a single government program, is called an iron triangle. Such triangles are fantastically resilient against attempts by "outsiders" to eliminate or reduce their demesne. Collectively, they now come to so great a mass that, in combination with the less numerous but equally firmly committed ideological Left, they constitute an indefeasible majority of the American electorate. They are the force that returned Barack Hussein Obama to the White House in the election of November 2012.

You cannot reason with such persons. Reason is irrelevant to their personal interests in sustaining and enlarging their triangle. Their time horizons are too short for arguments over long-term gains to influence their thinking. They want their pockets filled now. For a goodly number of them, their survival depends on the perpetuation of The System.

We warned for many years of the addictive powers of government redistribution and special-interest subventions. The logic was sound and easily comprehensible by anyone capable of understanding the words we spoke. Yet the triangles multiplied and grew. All our nightmares have come to fruition. The monster's fangs are embedded too deeply in our necks to be removed. It's too late to regain the upper hand by rational or electoral means.

What remains are flight and violent revolution.

There's nowhere on the surface of the Earth to flee. The entire land area of this planet has been parceled out to nation-states, every one of which suffers the same "triangle infection" as the United States. More, those nation-states are inherently and implacably hostile to competition; they tolerate one another only out of their inability to "correct the problem." They would do whatever is necessary to snuff out any free society that might spring up within their reach. I wrote of this in the prologue of Which Art In Hope, a passage that strikes me today as more prophecy than fiction.

Sadly, there's nowhere off the surface of the Earth to flee, either. The space sciences are not yet advanced enough for freedom lovers to establish habitats for human life in space or on any other body in the Solar System. Whether that will change any time soon, no one can say. Myself, I doubt it; Earth-based life is much more delicate than most of us are aware.

But revolution is no solution. The steady separation of the agencies of force from loyalty to the rights of the common citizen, coupled to the aforementioned transfer of allegiance from any principle of freedom to the lure of "free stuff," has made a successful armed uprising next to impossible. Consider the well-documented shift in the attitudes of the police toward those they "protect." Consider the careerism that has come to dominate the armed forces. Consider especially the steady arming of the bureaucrats, such that an ever larger percentage of federal and state employees go about their day armed and are pre-indemnified for the use of force in the performance of their jobs. And remember that all of those persons are members of an iron triangle of their own.

What, then, must we do?

I have no solution. My natural optimism is waning rapidly. It might be possible for some to "go Galt:" to remove their sliver of support from The System and, more important, to remove themselves from its baleful gaze. I doubt that there are many who would find that form of "interior escape" possible, let alone palatable -- and as I've already said, the other possibilities have been foreclosed.

Disconnected individuals and small groups have a chance of evading the smothering grip of the Omnipotent State. For the rest of us, the future looks grim.

There is no salvation in elections. From this point forward, no genuinely principled, freedom-loving figure will be permitted to rise to national prominence. A few will be permitted to linger in the legislature, where they'll be called "the conscience of the Senate," or some such, while being thwarted in any initiative they undertake. If they ever become threatening to the System, the System will simply shake them off.

There is no salvation in the law or the courts. When Obama recently said "We are remaking the courts," he was speaking of a process that's already near to completion. Judges high and low already openly dismiss arguments founded in the Bill of Rights.

There is no salvation in the Constitution. That venerable document has been made a dead letter by decades of dismissal and neglect. Even its supposed defenders aren't willing to abide strictly by its terms.

What can we do, other than hunker down and pray that we'll be permitted to die in peace? Someone please give me a reason to hope!


Anonymous said...

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.

BabyHuey said...

Well, if it's any help I was in the confessional recently for some things related to this whole problem and my rage and sorrow at what I see, and was reminded that "He turns all things to good for those who love Him". It's a grim time, but we will be cared for.

That's all we really have to remember; remain faithful and love our Creator. All this will pass, even if it takes us with it, for there is another life to come.

Even though it's a children's book, The Last Battle (Lewis, natch) has always had a special place in my heart when things like this come up, as a guide and beacon of hope for the time when we will be against the rock or flung through the stable door. Excelsior!

Anonymous said...

We are in the early stages of the collapse of the system. The Cloward-Piven strategy is working. But the unaware and those in flyover country who are too busy to pay attention are now getting slapped in the face by the reality of the let wing coup in process. It didn't seem so bad when the nice man with the nice smile was reading from the teleprompter that only the rich would be taxed or that you could keep your plan if you wanted to. But now that we are all trapped in this whirlpool in a cesspool it is beginning to dawn on us that the unthinkable is happening. That those crazy nuts who shut down the government to stop this massive takeover were not crazy after all. Is it to late to turn this around? It isn't too late BUT given how politics work they effort to turn it around wil not be expended but instead that energy will be directed on placing blame, denying the truth, and attacking the messenger. So while Rome burns our intrepid lawmakers will be slinging mud and trying to save their butts for one more election. We live in interesting times.

Anonymous said...

I write in journals for my two young sons, ages 6yrs & 3yrs so that one day they will know that dad did what he could to stop the Evil settling on our Nation.
I have such a journal my own late father left me. One he started as a request from me while I was serving overseas.
I am a different man than I was then, but I am still capable of things I would rather forget.
The Evil ones will garner no quarter from me when the time comes. May my God & my sons forgive me.

Pleistarchos said...

I would that many like-minded people are in a state of mental paralysis regarding the societal and political trends that we face. In time, the only option left will be a modern-day Volkeranderung of people who want no part of the soon-to-come and full-blown Socialist state. The hard part is finding a place to go; other Western nations are also ruled by the same types who will restrict any immigration by people who will oppose what they are doing.

Unknown said...

There is hope, it's called the 3d printer, and the fact that the American population is the most heavily armed entity on earth. Not even the afghans, Somalis, and Yemenis come close. Include the fact that the federal deficit is larger than the GDP and that there is 120T $ in liabilities means that it will become harder and harder for the Cathedral to pay its state security forces, at the same time that people will be able to print out devices that they want, on Earth as well as off world.