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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:52 am 
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http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Introduction--democratic-despostism-comes-of-age-4356

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=35118&page=6&viewID=1272303

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:31 am 
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Brently, regarding the first article, I can echo its concerns with my own. I also find it deeply disconcerting to watch our country with its historic liberties, "drifting toward the shoals of enslavement."

Quote:
Democratic despotism, Tocqueville points out, is unlike despotisms of old. It prefers the carrot to the stick. The goal of the operation is the same—the achievement of conformity and the consolidation of power—but the means of choice is not terror but dependence. Accordingly, Tocqueville writes, democratic despotism is despotic at one remove. It does not, unless stymied, terrorize. Rather, it “hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.”

For decades, the United States has been drifting towards the shoals of that enslavement. With the ascension of our current President and his plans to inspan us all in his “spread-the-wealth-around” socialism, we are nearing the point of shipwreck. “The devilish genius of this form of tyranny,” as the commentator Michael Ledeen has pointed out, “is that it looks and even acts democratic. We still elect our representatives, and they still ask us for our support… . Freedom is smothered without touching the institutions of political democracy. We act out democratic skits while submitting to an oppressive central power that we ourselves have chosen.” The element of seduction that is so central to this sort of managerial despotism is one of the things that makes it so hard to resist. Its power, Tocquville noted,

is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

I mentioned Hayek a moment ago. In The Road to Serfdom (1943), Hayek reminds us that the upsurge of socialism in a society has an internal as well as an external aspect. Socialism is not only something that the state does to individuals. It is also something that individuals do to themselves when they decide that freedom is too expensive to fight for and that the consolations of dependency are worth the tax on individual liberty.

The really depressing thing about the renewed calls for increased government intervention, more onerous and insinuating regulation, and bailouts for all is what it portends for the future of freedom. In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek quoted David Hume’s observation that “It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” The biggest challenge we face now is not to our stock portfolios or 401K accounts (renamed “201K accounts” by one wag) but rather the psychological conditions for political liberty, among which a spirit of individual initiative, i.e., taking responsibility for oneself and one’s family, figures prominently.


It is devilish genius, this form of slavery. Because we have elected the officials in charge of our demise, Americans seem particularly helpless to stop it. Because we have been led astray that there is a so-called right to spread the wealth by taking from the successful and giving it to the unsuccessful, and of having government take care of the needy, rather than families and church (and so many families are in chaos), we have been coerced to give up our freedom to keep our earnings.

We lose our freedoms when government has increasing power over what we buy, sell, and own, and over who can produce what in what way. As to how to turn this disaster for freedom around, I feel a sense of doom. We have given away so much in one year under this administration. We conservatives seem to be floundering. Why did we not choose Huckabee? Certainly, those who elected Obama to send a message may have made an irreparable mistake. I would guess they had no idea how much damage could be done in such a short time.

If the health care reform bill is finalized and passed, and then if it is followed by the Cap and Tax Bill and the Immigration Reform that the liberals have proposed, our federal government will own over 60% of the nation's wealth. That compares with about 20% at the beginning of the Obama administration.

Which is the greater threat to our country? Terrorism from without or enslavement from within?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:02 pm 
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You are absolutely right about your concerns. This quote from the first of those two articles certainly bears repeating again and again this year:

"This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them for ourselves." ~ Ronald Reagan, 1964

I know I've been talking about this since Reagan was president in the 80's. More recently while the Bush administration was so focused (rightly) on fighting terror abroad so we wouldn't have to fight them here, and then (arguably less rightly) on 'nation building', and then (foolishly imo) spending like a fiscal socialist, he really weakened the country. By straying from conservative principles (especially economically), he neglected the necessary conditions at home that are needed to support and sustain his efforts to protect and defend America.

He also neglected the growing influence and threat of the radical left right here in America. Meanwhile as they had the opportunity, they set about systematically undermining everything that makes us strong internally as well as in the eyes of the world. By both his careless actions and inaction GW Bush effectively set the stage for the Democrats to win in 2008, and the subsequent socialist takeover we're experiencing now. Basically he was so focused (or distracted) outwardly that he let down the guard domestically, here at home and we aren't really safer for it we're more vulnerable than ever.

The greater danger is always the enemy from within. This has always been true, Michael Savage has been warning about this for a while he even has a great book by that title. The terrorists in my view could never defeat us - unless we handed them the victory, by defeating ourselves first. The more insidious and dangerous threat to America is not overt but covert, it is coming and has been coming from within and among us. That is not to say that it is not engineered or facilitated or encouraged somehow by other external enemies, the Marxists started the progressive movement a long time ago.

While Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II, each did their part to stand up to and challenge the USSR, the Soviets ultimately crumbled from within. And although they discovered it too late to prevent the collapse of the USSR, they discovered it quickly enough to create and exploit our own weaknesses internally over time.

I personally do not subscribe to the more extreme "birther" or manchurian candidate theories about Obama, but I do believe it's obvious that president Obama, like too many of the Democrats in Washington, are a product of those progressive (marxist) strategies and efforts propagated by the likes of Alinsky, Ayers, Wright, Soros, ACORN and so on. And, make no mistake about it, their goal - just like the communists - is to completely do away with capitalism and replace it with socialism. It absolutely requires the the removal of individual liberty and the dismantling or destruction of America as we know it

The European Socialists, along with Putin, the Chicoms, and other despots of the world are none to pleased with the direction we are headed. What is terribly dangerous is that they for the most part are at once using And getting played by the Islamic fanatics. If you subscribe to the notion of a NWO or movement towards global governance, then it's clear that Obama is playing right into their hands and advancing their agenda.

(But even if you don't buy that) He is disappointing our allies and encouraging our enemies by facilitating the continued downward trajectory of America and by stripping away our freedoms, undermining our free-enterprise economy and our Constitutional rule of law, giving away our sovereignty, and generally diminishing American greatness in every way imaginable.

Frank Gaffney Jr wrote a fantastic article in the Washington Times a while back that described the Obama Doctrine in nine words:

"Undermine our allies, embolden our enemies, and diminish America".

I challenge anyone to name any important policy, executive action, actual or proposed legislation from 2009 by the Obama administration or the Democrats that is not in keeping with the above stated doctrine. That is exactly what he and the Democrats are doing systematically and consistently. For us it amounts to self-destruction or national suicide. For our enemies, it amounts to what looks like an inevitable victory over America, the last world superpower and single greatest obstacle to tyranny, either a global, socialist NWO or global Islamic domination, take your pick.

The question I have is: How do we distinguish the Obama administration and the Democrats then from our enemies? Hmm?

The original Bush doctrine on the other hand was: "We will not distinguish between those that support or harbor terrorists and the terrorists themselves. You are either with us or against us". While to his credit he managed to keep us safe for the last 8 years, neither he nor his administration or Congress systematically or consistently applied the doctrine. Nor did our supposed European or Russian allies who are all capitulating on some level to Islamic interests, appeasing their own growing Muslim populations, and according them increasing influence or dealing directly with the terrorist regimes and mullahs themselves.

Likewise today, much of the GOP establishment and leadership is not clearly engaging the Democrats (or our own resident Islamists for that matter) as an enemy to be defeated.

The conservative base and tea party elements are clamoring for more focused, principled and courageous leadership to oppose the socialist agenda, and what we're seeing instead is a lot of competing egos and explanations. We're seeing hesitation, tentativeness, and half-hearted talk of getting back to principles but very little passionate articulation of them. And while there are few exceptions, we could sure use a lot more bold, principle-based leadership of the Reagan kind that would galvanize the GOP party base, the tea party movements and the rest of the country as a whole.

Fundamentally we must attack the progressive-liberal idea or notion that as individuals at the local level, we are incapable of governing and taking care of ourselves, and the even more preposterous idea that the Gov't, or more accurately the bureaucracies and elite politicians of the Gov't are somehow more capable than we are and more trustworthy than God is.

What has the GOP leadership done to save our Republic from this Social-Democratic revolution? What have they done to demolish and destroy the premise that the gov't somehow knows better than we do how to spend our money and how to run our lives, our businesses and organizations?

There are still too many people who blindly believe in the false prophets, gods and messiahs of socialism. What is our side doing to defeat the totally false ideas and unsuccessful policies of the left? And in the process undermine and diminish them?!? What are our leaders doing to embolden us to rise up once again and tear down the big gov't walls of deceit and tyranny that are keeping us from exercising our freedom and reaching our true God-given potential? Who is really boldly re-affirming the constitutional principles that made America great?

We could argue that it's the conservative base, or Huck's Army or various other PAC's, talk radio, the tea parties, the grassroots, the constitutional and libertarian movements who are defending America and calling for the Republican party to live up to it's own platform. Those principles and values were meant to limit the powers of Gov't and protect individual liberty and thus promote opportunity and prevent enslavement. But those disparate personalities and groups are not really unified, organized, or coordinated in their activites, nor are they all consistent in their application of the principles they espouse. We've got plenty of would-be leaders but there is still a leadership vacuum waiting to be filled. Which also begs the question what are as individuals doing to encourage and embolden our leaders?

If we as Republicans or Conservatives abandon or neglect those principles, AND/OR OTHERWISE FAIL TO ORGANIZE AND ACT APPROPRIATELY UPON THEM at this critical moment in our history, WE WILL ALL CONTINUE DOWN THE ROAD TO PROGRESSIVE SOCIALISM and we will find ourselves subject to increasing terrorism and/or appeasement which will result in either the expanding influence of Islam and Sharia Law, or an oppressive police state. All of which in the end, amounts to nothing other than neo-serfdom or enslavement to the prevailing system or powers that be.

Sun Tzu the master Chinese strategist said we have to know ourselves and we have to know the enemy in order to have any certain advantage in battle. In Japanese martial arts there is also a saying: "Masakatsu Agatsu" which means: "true victory is self-victory" or victory over oneself. If you know yourself and you know your enemy, but you fail to organize and coordinate your efforts effectively and efficiently - then you lose your advantage at the outset. Even if you don't defeat yourself entirely, you still present a weakness for the enemy to exploit, and you're limited in what you can do, therefore you give them the means to defeat you. The result either way is self-defeating.

On the other hand, if you know yourself and your enemy well, and you organize and coordinate your efforts appropriately, then you maintain the powerful advantage of having personal integrity (self-victory), a unified posture without internal weakness and autonomy or freedom of movement that your opponents will find increasingly difficult to deal with. True victory results from first taking care of yourself, so that you do not give an advantage to the enemy. To be faster, more powerful, and more efficient you have to coordinate your efforts so that internally your actions (or lack thereof) are not working against your external actions or impeding your overall effectiveness, there has to be clear communication, rules, discipline, and strategic organization and coordination to accomplish one's objectives with integrity.

George Washington knew and understood this well, because one of his first actions as general of the Continental Army was to order his officers to take care of necessary matters of waste and hygiene to insure the health of his troops. America in the 1700's did not have plumbing, so sanitation obviously was a matter of vital importance to the internal integrity (health) of the army and it's ability to fight with it's full potential. Many an army had defeated itself because of failure to sweat the small stuff.

For more leadership principles and lessons by the way, I strongly recommend the book "George Washington on Leadership" by Richard Brookhiser. I think the 'Seven Lessons from the Father of Our Country' in that book are especially relevant to the kinds of struggles and situations we're facing today, and everyone should read it from the highest party and movement leaders to the lowest grassroots activists or concerned citizens.

http://www.amazon.com/George-Washington-Leadership-Richard-Brookhiser/dp/0465003036/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263072561&sr=8-1

Another great book I came across recently is "Master Leaders: Revealing Conversations with 30 Leadership Greats" by George Barna and Bill Dallas.
This one also includes insight from none other than Gov Huckabee!

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Leaders-Revealing-Conversations-Leadership/dp/1414326246/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263072602&sr=1-1

Even if you are not in a position of leadership, do not underestimate your ability to influence others. And where-ever you are and whoever you are it makes a lot of sense to learn more about leadership, to be able to seek out, recognize, support and emulate great leadership.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:01 pm 
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Thank you, also, for the second article, Brently. This one I found quite stimulating in regard to the type of government we have and hope to sustain. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=35118&page=6&viewID=1272303

A few months back, a friend and I developed a chart of how governments devolve into chaos. We used it for our Republican Party Porkulous Picnic. On it, we placed democracy near the bottom, just above political anarchy and dictatorship. Why?

People in America wrongly suppose that what our Constitution granted was a democracy. Democracy, simply defined, is "the rule of the majority." This can be good or bad, but as Buchanan points out in his article, democracy alone fails to protect the governed from chaos, mistreatment, and repression from a sort of tribal warfare. In a real democracy, the powerful party or majority may trample every right of the minority party.

Our country was designed to be a Republic, which is a very important distinction. Even in how the two parties operate today, we can see a difference in the basic concept of governance. Today's Democrat Party is more aligned to the idea of America being a "democracy." It has become the champion of "every man." They want equality to be expressed, not by opportunity, but by equalized wealth.

Republicans tend to believe equality is provided through opportunity and the preservation of the many civil (or personal) rights as expressed in the Bill of Rights. This is why the Republican Party originally took on the cause of freeing the slaves and providing equal rights for all.

The push to give amnesty to illegal immigrants is fueled by the belief of liberals and Democrats that everyone should be able to vote, regardless of their preparation or allegiance. They fail to consider what happens when the vote sets in place foreign influences that may topple our freedom and form of government. It is not what our Founders intended! And yet, they would accuse the conservative of not caring for the poor or the alien. Of course, this is not true. We want to preserve the Constitution and protect the citizen of America. There are orderly ways of gradually incorporating law-abiding foreigners who value freedom and our form of government. Mass amnesty is not needed or useful but is a way to weaken our nation. It rewards illegal behavior and causes further erosion of the citizen's rights, including the right to work.

Our Constitution wisely provided for many checks and balances to preserve freedom. Our Founders chose a representative government, which is a much more thoughtful and conservative way to govern. Representatives are hopefully chosen from among the more thoughtful, responsible, experienced, and wise among us--cool-headed citizens who understand freedom and what it cost to buy and what it will require to maintain.

Voter's rights have traditionally not been given to all people. Children are excluded from voting, because they have not the life experience or knowledge to make the best decisions. Women were, I believe, wrongly excluded for the first part of our nation's existence; however, when nearly all marriages were intact, the wife was considered to be represented by the husband. Thieves and felons have been, I believe, properly excluded from voting.

Because the majority may be unwise and wrong (as Pat Buchanan illustrates with examples of countries where supposedly free elections are yielding socialists or Islamic terror groups in charge) a democratic election may deliver results that take the freedoms from the minorities and, eventually, all the people. We need a representative form of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Not just some of, by, and for the “politically correct” people. “Political correctness” is the child of a more democratic than representative way of thinking. Elitists of both parties may be guilty of pushing us farther from the ideal of our Founders--truly a unique Constitution that provided the most humane form of government in the world.

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