Saturday, March 7, 2015

Politically Insoluble

There’s a prerequisite for this tirade: go to Sarah Hoyt’s place and read this article. It’s long but worth it: not because I agree with her sentiments, but because without realizing it she’s made the best possible argument for mine.

What sentiments of mine do I mean? Go read Sarah’s piece and come back loaded for bear.

Sarah points out, quite accurately, that to allow the Left to proceed unhindered (i.e., by abandoning the faithless, spineless Republican Party for its treacheries) would produce unpredictable deterioration, even chaos, and not merely in the U.S. but worldwide; that revolutions are an extremely chancy business; that the rest of the world would not content itself with watching politely while we “let it burn;” that not all of “our” Congressional representatives should be condemned; and that on several fronts we appear to have made notable progress. In refuting the “go third party” advocates she makes, en passant, the point at the foundation of my own convictions:

But let’s suppose by a miracle the country holds together twenty years while the new hope emerges.

And then let’s say you manage to send your bright shining boys and girls to DC. What do you think will happen? I’ll tell you what will happen. What happens to republicans. Their offices will be penetrated, their information corrupted and they’ll become – at best – like the republicans. (At best, because remember what I said above about Libertarians who are with OWSers and the Tea Party and see no contradiction. They could flip on you.) More so because the dems will have taken over ALL the bureaucracy.

So, how is that different from the GOP?

The underlying truth is so important that it deserves to be stated in large type:

The dynamic of power operates wherever and whenever there is power to be had.

Beneath that truth lies another:

Power will always fall into the hands of persons who worship it and will sacrifice all else to get it.

And beneath that truth lies something the political elite would rather not have you think about:

Politics is the pursuit of power over others.

That should be enough large type for the moment. Ponder it while I fetch more coffee.

Have you read this article?
How about this one?
Perhaps you recall this one?

If they seem repetitive, it’s because they focus on one of the most virulent of our sociopolitical infections: militant feminism. But beneath that focus lies a single, unvarying theme: the political perniciousness of collectivism, regardless of the motivation for it. “Don’t Be A Joiner!” I screamed, once again in large type.

Regardless of the aim of any political group, it is inherently collectivist. It subjects its members to a power structure, whether its decisions are made by consensus or by some subgroup of officials. Politics is the purest form of collectivism: the instance in which coercive force is made most overt. A political organization – i.e., one whose reason for being is to influence politics and government – is only infinitesimally less overt about its coercions.

Political parties are just as subject to the dynamic of power as any other sort of group. Indeed, the incentives are almost as strong as in government itself. Given time, they will fall into the hands of the very worst of their members: those who worship power and will do anything to get, keep, and enlarge it.

Such persons are completely indifferent to moral and ethical considerations. Need I elaborate on what follows from that?

Time was, it took a while – decades, at least – to thoroughly corrupt a political party. It happens much faster today, because of the far greater skill of contemporary propagandists and the far more powerful mechanisms at hand for the dissemination of propaganda. Robert A. Heinlein put it best in his novella “Gulf:”

Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men. The little man has no way to judge and the shoddy lies are packaged more attractively. There is no way to offer color to a colorblind man, nor is there any way for us to give the man of imperfect brain the canny skill to distinguish a lie from a truth.

Once you have committed yourself to a party, you have subordinated your goals and efforts to this dynamic. You could be sharp as a tack and relentless about informing yourself – indeed, you could be a Certified Galactic Intellect with a huge private library, unlimited time to read and research, and the eloquence of Demosthenes, Lincoln, Disraeli, and Churchill combined – and you would still find the dynamic to be more powerful than you.

One of the greatest tragedies of our time is that this truth, so fundamental and inexorable, has been absorbed by so few persons. It accounts for the waste of a terrible quantity of time, money, and effort by men of good will: a waste that increases with every passing day.

My point is simple: If there is a solution to our politically generated problems, it lies outside politics.

The pseudonymous “John Galt” put it well in his book Dreams Come Due: Government and Economics As If Freedom Mattered:

  1. Do not look to an entity that can grow only through greater immorality as a source of morality.
  2. Do not look to an entity that can grow only through greater violence and plunder as a source of protection.
  3. Do not look to an entity that can grow only by destroying liberty as a source of freedom.

You cannot internalize that wisdom without first shedding your preconception that political engagement will provide the solution to politically generated tyranny. Granted that this can be difficult, as such preconceptions are powerfully encouraged by our enveloping culture and coupled to many prevalent habits and institutions, it is both possible and utterly necessary. The penalty for not doing so is continued failure – failure that’s accompanied by ever-intensifying tyranny and suffering. (“People are usually willing to give up their preconceptions after they’ve had them tattooed on their heads with a blunt instrument.” -- Jame Retief)

You must get off the Mishnory road if you really want to be free.

Start today.


Malatrope said...

Francis, it sounds as though you are as much of an individualist as I am (I have only been reading you for a year, so I don't know you as well as many others here probably do). A head nod and a lifted finger to the hat brim to you, across the width of this continent, as is sufficient for those such as we.

You cannot lead a collection (no, that's about a "set"?) of individualists by pushing them into a shape. That is as useful as herding cats with a cattle prod. What you can do, however, is get out in front and lead by example. Members of the "set" will each choose his own way to emulate you.

I humbly submit that what we have lacked is a clear statement of a few, no more than three or four, basic principles, and a leader with a clear voice who espouses those principles at the top of his lungs in every motion, every nuance, and every facial twitch on live TV.

It has been done before, it can be done again. We have to get our faces out of the weeds, where every piece of gravel and stunted weed draws our defensive weaponry, and fly above the cloud level where we can see the shape of the world.

Here's a hint: it is spherical, and it has great circle paths, whether you are a socon, a neocon, a fiscon, a Paulian, or Bushbot.

Anonymous said...

In my own simplistic way, I've been thinking about this as well. As individualists, we are forced to choose representatives to further our disparate, individualistic goals. (mostly the Golden Rule, and the leave-me-alone mentality) This is as opposed to statist collectivists, who very naturally line up like sheep behind someone making loud noises with which they agree.

Thankfully, our disparate individualistic goals can be summed up fairly neatly. Don't murder the innocent. Don't steal. And let me do whatever I want including defending myself and others, as long as I'm not murdering or stealing. (for those sheep who might stumble on this, murder is murder, killing per-se is not murder. Abortion is murder, self-defense and capital punishment are NOT murder. The Bible makes this very clear, even if you don't believe in God.)

This means that people with a collectivist mindset have a much easier time, both as leaders and followers, when applying politics. Individualists are naturally repulsed by collectivism, and so politics is awkward at best.

This is oversimplified. I'm in a great deal of pain and the medication is causing cloudiness, but even in this temporary state, I think I'm making sense. Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks for me.

Manu said...

The previous comments sum it up quite well, but I would like to add the following:

Leftists are not a new phenomenon. We tend to think of them as having originated with Marx, or perhaps the French Revolution. But they have always been with us.

They are attracted to complex organizations, like government bureaucracies or industry representation associations (think the SFWA) because within such, they may plot and scheme to gain the power that has been denied them elsewhere. When you or I join a group, it is because we wish for the group to represent us in some fashion. When a Leftist joins a group, it is because he wishes to represent the group.

The Republican party has a great many Leftists in it, as we know. But the fact is, any replacement party will also. The model for us, moving forward, is that espoused by the #GamerGate community.

If you are unfamiliar with #GamerGate, it is a leaderless, almost anarchistic, loose group of people who are opposed to Leftist notions of Social Justice in video games. Their strength is in the fact that there are no leaders, no bureaucracy, no official organizational structures for Leftists to latch on to. The parasites have thus far failed to infiltrate it. You should see them howl and rave, while #GamerGate shrugs and ridicules them with impunity.

Organizational models for us have to be very grassroots, devoid of bureaucratic structure and exceptionally loose. In other words all participants must be forced to live in the *real* world. That is enough to expunge any Leftist influence, all by itself.

Anonymous said...

"..When you or I join a group, it is because we wish for the group to represent us in some fashion. When a Leftist joins a group, it is because he wishes to represent the group."

That is getting appropriated (stolen, err ... redistributed )


Dumb Plumber said...

Far be it from me to identify with the well informed, collegial folks that posted before me. I am but a humble Dumbplumber. Therefore, my comments will lack the poetic flare of the above.

The first and foremost Law is that of survival. Therefore, it follows that continuing to vote our way out of this mess is an exercise in futility.

First we must punish those that place us in jeopardy. Second, we must punish those who violate the greatest governing document ever written, the United States Constitution. Third, we must punish those who have pledged allegiance then violated the Oath of Office...EVERYONE.

And lastly we must punish those that provide aid and comfort to those above.

Perhaps it would be easier and more efficient to begin with the last then move our way up, because A) The last have little or no personal security and B)it won't take long for those in charge to figure out what is happening to those that support them.

There, my job is done now. Go forth and save America the old fashion A$$hole at a time.

Linda Fox said...

I remember near the end of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the narrator is reflecting on the changes since their liberation from the Earth.
One that stuck with me is that the rules, laws, and regulations were changing the culture of the Moon. The desire of men/women to be 'in charge' of others is probably innate in the species. The only thing that stops them is refusal, backed up by force, to go along with the grab for power.