Sunday, October 12, 2008
Why is it that generation upon generation of people yearn to revolt in the name of socialism in spite of the chaos, stagnation, poverty, and tyranny that results and no one revolts in the name of capitalism when it breeds wealth, luxury, and the best of mankind?
Why is there no generation of young people willing to revolt in the name of reason and liberty? In the name of capitalism? In the name of all that is great and just and glorious?
I can only imagine that it is because no coherent moral vision of a capitalist revolution exists. In spite of being entirely wrong and morally repugnant, such a clear vision does exists for socialism and the power of such should be self-evident.
A compelling and inspiring vision for a just revolution exists for socialism and in spite of near a century of appalling failure, it still converts millions of young men and women seeking a cause "greater than themselves."
Capitalism is nothing more or less than mankind free and rational. It isn't exploitative, racist, or destructive. In order for mankind to flourish we must act within the boundary of our nature and it is our nature to be free. Capitalism is the political expression of mankind at its best and it is in desperate need of defenders.
Ayn Rand attempted to write a moral defense of capitalism and in that she partially succeeded but no one has followed up with a moral defense for revolution and that is what is needed now.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
It must not be forgotten that the worst and most destructive policies of the last eight years have, for the most part, been supported by both major political parties.
It strikes me that if the American people are anything other than sheep, they must seriously consider the viability of the libertarian party.
Bush is the worst president in American history.
Of course both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress have enabled him and deserve much of the responsibility for his failures, and as a result the U.S. is in for a very, very rough future.
Let's take a look at a few of his biggest mistakes:
1. The election of George W. Bush was as slim as slim gets and a reasonable man would have governed with some humility but instead he tried to use his slim margin to ram home his agenda which of course failed but did succeed in enraging the American left.
2. Post 9/11 management included bureaucratic nightmares such as the Department of Homeland security, affronts to liberty such as the patriot act, and an ill-conceived and undeclared war with ambiguous goals against an amorphous enemy.
3. The medicare prescription drug plan which was designed solely to ensure reelection and has since predictably proven to be anti-competition, wildly expensive, and a subsidy to the pharmaceutical companies that simply insured prices would continue to rise.
4. The Iraq war. This was a poorly managed, poorly planned, undeclared, ill-conceived, unnecessary, and wildly expensive war. Congress has supported this farce of foreign policy every step of the way illustrating not only their complicity in this nonsense but their cynicism and duplicity (in immediately condemning it and doing nothing to fix or stop it) as well. The consequence of this has been to completely ruin our international reputation, weaken our already shaky economic situation, and potentially radicalize another generation of muslims.
5. Nearly doubling the national debt in just over eight years. The potential effects of which include a downgrading of the U.S. credit rating and the potential for massive inflation.
6. The mortgage crisis and the bailouts. This has been in the works mostly since Clinton, who bears much of the responsibility due his changes to the community reinvestment act, but it was the bailouts that truly made this a disaster. Our inept Congress gave away its constitutional obligation of financial oversight and allowed the treasury department unlimited, and unaccountable financial authority which it used to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars in bailouts thus effectively nationalizing our entire mortgage industry. The inevitable consequence of this is likely catastrophe... Why Congress would continue to give more and more power to someone who has shown such utter incompetence in using it shows quite clearly that they are simply biding their time until they can wield that same power - they care little for the success, security, freedom, or happiness of the American people when compared to wielding more and more power.
George W. Bush has not only destroyed the Republican party, of which McCain is its death throes, but he may have entrenched authoritarianism, imperialism, and socialism forever as natural elements of America's modern political and cultural identity. The U.S. is no longer a nation of reason, capitalism, and liberty. It is no longer the political expression of the philosophical enlightenment. It is no longer unique. It is no longer exceptional. It is no longer great.
Our demise has been in the works since Wilson involved us in World War 1 but we have had numerous opportunities to right the ship, but not anymore. The life narrative of the United States of America has run its course and its original brilliance and potential have degraded into a shameful and irrational tragedy.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Reuters is reporting that there is some legitimate pressure on our perfect AAA S&P rating.
Gee, with the U.S. government subsidizing incompetent and noncompetitive businesses, being excessively loose with monetary policy, racking up trillions in debt, and tens of trillions in future obligations, and then bailing out the financial sector to tune of a trillion dollars and mortgage market for five trillion, all while the airlines and auto industries clamor for bailouts as well, who would have thought that maybe our credit rating might take a hit?
Even our government can run out of money and fail if the U.S. bond market collapses when it become obvious that we can't pay our debts without using inflation to do so... and if I thought that it would teach people a lesson about capitalism I would encourage it to happen but it won't...
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Here is a quote from an article by Vanessa Grigoriadis that has received a bit of attention from the Vdare crowd for illustrating the implicit foolish sensitivity that any frank discussion of race brings:
"As I began to finish the reporting for this article, I mentioned to an Obama aide that I was interested in the different ways that Obama presents himself to black and white audiences. The aide hit the roof over this comment, which he claimed was racially divisive, and soon I received a call from Obama’s “African-American outreach coordinator,” who apparently clarifies race issues for reporters when they are perceived to have strayed. “I appreciate what you’re saying,” said Corey Ealons, “but I think it’s dangerous, quite frankly.”I'll leave the obvious discussion to Steve Sailer and instead ask this questions:
Does Senator Obama's campaign strike anyone else as humorless and compulsively controlling? Recall how out of sorts he was for the first week after Gov. Palin was announced by the McCain campaign...
Radley Balko over at Reason's Hit&Run posted this Orwellian blurb.
The gist? The TSA changed the name of Virginia hub from transportation security operations center to the "Freedom Center."
The U.S. is supposedly the home of the freedom and liberty yet we have, of late, taken to being rather pushy about declaring it even in the face of the absurd. It strikes me as suspicious because if we are so damn free, why do we have to constantly remind everyone of it? Shouldn't it be obvious?
Perhaps nothing of late indicates that we are a little past our freedom loving prime than this.
I'm a strident capitalist. I absolutely endorese individual rights, reason, the protection of private property, and the laissez-faire system that naturally extends. It would seem that I am one Dagny Taggart reference away from an Ayn Rand wet-dream except I'm not.
Don't get me wrong, I think that Ayn Rand was a brilliant thinker who did wonders articulating something this country desperately needed... a moral defense for capitalism. The problem was that she was also something of a paranoid polemicist with borderline delusions of grandeur and a penchant for scape-goating. This resulted in her late life banishment from the intellectual mainstream that has maintained to this day by her cultish followers because of their utter inability to admit that her philosophy isn't a closed, i.e. perfect system.
The crux of the problem for her is that her philosophy gives too much control of human values to our will and rational mind when in truth, our genetic make-up accounts for much of it. This accounts for her utter inability to explain and deal with children. Humans have a genetic nature and built into it is the occasional bit of tribal altruism. This is why the question of abortion is so tricky.
I think that most reasonable human would agree that a third-trimester abortion is pretty repugnant because you have to perform an explicit act not only to remove the fetus from the womb but to kill it. That second act separates late-term abortions from first and second trimester ones. Outlawing this procedure seems only reasonable and just.
The remaining six months of pregnancy are less clear morally but beside the point. Abortion is the premiere moral and legal wedge issue (but nowhere near its most important) in America today and it may very well be tearing this country apart.
Political parties have essentially realigned along pro-choice and pro-life factions and what's been lost in the mix is political principles. The champions of reason and individual liberty are incapable of leaving abortion to discussion simply because Ayn Rand didn't and were all suffering as a consequence.
Jay Nordlinger from the corner at the NRO has said exactly what I've been thinking this last week about Sarah Palin.
She isn't being attacked for the legitimate weaknesses she has but is instead being destroyed personally and publicly. It is a sickening spectacle to watch the jackals in action...
In 1977 Jimmy Carter signed into law the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) which forced banks away from market oriented, conservative lending into high-risk loans to unqualified customers in order to improve home-ownership rate in minority neighborhoods. He signed the CRA largely due to political pressure from left-wing activist groups and against the overwhelming opposition from the mainstream banking community.
The CRA was a poorly enforced, moderately harmful, albeit well-intended bill and it stayed that way until, in 1995, president Clinton turned it into the monster that it is today. Turning the subjective regulations into statistical mandates, Clinton essentially forced the banking industry to maintain a large percentage of their business in high-risk, low-income minority neighborhoods. The result was that the percentage of loans that qualified as CRA approved increased at more than double the rate of normal loans. Essentially, the government forced banks to put more and more of their resources into increasingly insecure, albeit politically correct investments.
It gets worse though when you look at so-called community groups like ACORN and how they use the CRA to extort millions of dollars from banks. An additional Clinton era regulation was the increased severity to a banks rating not only if they didn't fulfill enough CRA loans but also if one of dozens of activist groups complained - a simple complaint could cost the bank their rating. These so-called community groups are not blind to the power they wield and neither are the banks. There is a semi-silent but mutual agreement that if these groups don't make complaints then the banks will not only give out the required loans to unqualified minorities but that they will also give millions of dollars directly to the activist group itself. ACORN (as well as it's many, many other seedy and criminal aspects) is one of the worst extortionists of this kind and has long-standing ties to Barack Obama.
Sen. Obama has not only briefly worked for ACORN but he has also doled out millions of dollars to them by way of his work as a board of director on the Woods fund of Chicago as well as his time as an Illinois state senator. A housing bill currently in the senate, supported by Obama and ACORN would set aside millions of dollars in tax-payer money for these "community groups."
The overall effect is that banks are forced into irresponsible practices by a coalition of powerful lobbyist/activist groups, indebted or corrupt politicians, and the coercive laws that they put in place leading inevitably to financial ruin, leaving the taxpayers footing the bill for tens of billions in losses while lining the pockets of racist opportunists to the tune of millions.
Will Senator Obama likely continue the Clinton-era interventionism that helped create this economic crisis by pandering to groups like ACORN? Given his explicit support of the group up to this point, it seems likely...
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I would like to take this moment to list some more people that I would like to see unemployed as quickly as possible:
1. Rachel Maddow - this woman reminds me of an old philosophy professor of mine. She is not a political leftist so much as she is a philosophical leftist. What I mean by that is that she is absolutely familiar with the underlying foundations of her political beliefs and she stills believes them, which makes her all the more repugnant. That being said, she has moved from the purgatory that is Air America to the near-purgatory that is MSNBC bringing her utterly conventional (if you've spent any time on a college campus of late that is) leftist ramblings. This is the type of woman who believes every charge against a conservative not because she is gullible but because the truth is an irrelevant concept to her - it's all about social justice.
2. Josh Howard - this guys a real tosser. His most recent stupidity? Declaring that the he doesn't pay respect to this country and its national anthem because he's black and thus implicitly not part of the greater American history and culture. Okay asshole...
3. George W. Bush - do you have to ask why? This time my reason is that he made no effort to put a stop to this absurd bailout of AIG and he was entirely on board for the bailout of Bear Sterns. Damn it man! Can't you do ANYTHING like an actual conservative? If I'd wanted a 1960's democrat then I would have invented a time machine, gone back in time, and voted for LBJ. Of course I didn't but it sure the fuck feels like I did.
In a just and decent world these people would be begging for change on a street corner but instead they are all in the public eye making me vaguely empathetic with Vladmir Putin and his tendency to imprison anyone that irritates him.
As the 2008 presidential election inevitably (yes, that's right, I said inevitably) tightened up, it was equally inevitable that chant of racism would be begin.
The left adores Barack Obama more so than any Democratic candidate in history but also despises the current Republicans enough to heighten their emotional investment - "he must win or the country is doomed."
Barack Obama is, for many Democrats, a Goldwater figure. He is the candidate that they've always wanted, not the compromise of a Rockefeller or a Clinton. They can't emotionally handle the idea of him losing and know that if he does, his ideas will essentially be abandoned as were Goldwaters. Thus, the cry of racism.
So here comes the anger, hysteria, and unseemly nastiness that have characterized the far-left of the Democratic party for the last forty years. Enjoy, because I sure won't.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
As we rapidly approach the Nov. election I would like to take this opportunity to remind the people that your vote, like all political actions, is not so much an intellectual choice or civic duty but rather it is a moral decision.
Who will you enslave for that social program you are fond of? Who's freedoms are you willing to curtail for your own comfort? Do your fellow men owe you their property? Their time? Their lives?