Sunday, May 15, 2016

SO YOU THINK SOCIALISM IS ABOUT BEING NICE?























This essay was authored by Patric Kerouac. Mr. Kerouac writes for Molon Labe Media at http://www.molonlabemedia.com/author/kerouac/



Do you have a friend who claims to be a socialist? In the 20th century there have been numerous political systems, but in the latter half of the century there were only two survivors, Socialism and Capitalism. So we have at this time in the Western world, which for all practical purposes controls the world, two opposing political systems. (I have already previously stated that there is no basic difference between socialists and communists. There are, however, some very important factors relating to socialism of which you should be aware. Socialism will not work in a free market economy and, as a consequence it invariably deteriorates into a totalitarian state. Anyone wishing to argue that point is asked to point to one single instance where this was not the result).

It therefore behooves us to remember who the worst despotic governments of this century were: Nazis in Germany, Fascists in Italy, Communists in the USSR, [Romania, East Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Cuba, North Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.] and China – each and every one of them a paragon of socialist endeavor. Their leaders; Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin [Ceausescu, Tito, Pol Pot, etc.] and Mao Tse Tung. The outstanding legacy of these individuals is that they each tried to out-do the others in the total number of their own citizens which they murdered. It is a fact that each of these men killed more of their own civilian citizens than they lost in military conflict.

The reason for this is inherent to socialism. It promises things that it cannot possibly deliver. When socialist politicians in power come to the realization that it is impossible to deliver on their promises and political unrest develops, they have two options if they plan to stay in power. First, they must locate a scapegoat on whom they can blame their inability to deliver. Any Jew can tell you who that was for the Germans and the Russians. The second is to develop, and rapidly so, a state security apparatus to keep them in office – the SS, the KGB, [Securitate, Stasi] etc.

The basic tenets of socialism are:
1. Seduce the populace into accepting the government as the arbitrator of all problems; government from cradle-to-grave
2. Begin delivering on those services to make the citizens dependent
3. Take away the citizens’ guns
4. Increase taxes on all services while destroying any free market alternative services
5. Blame the chosen scapegoat for the inability to meet demand for services
6. Have the centralized national police force round up any dissidents

Socialism cannot work because the cost of services must be collected in the form of taxes, and this is not a sustainable possibility. The reason is that since government pays for all services, neither the producer nor the consumer cares about the cost, and hence there is an uncontrolled spiral of inflation (today’s medical costs are a case in point and healthcare is not yet totally socialized). Furthermore, the government has no funds or assets. It only has the funds it confiscated from its citizens. The total inefficiency of a centralized bureaucracy does not help either.

Once citizens are weaned on this cradle-to-grave concept and are no longer self-reliant, they become wards of the state and will not accept any reduction of services. The government subsequently has no option but to reduce services, and as popular resistance develops State repression begins. This is the socialist cycle. It has been found to occur in every socialist state in existence to date.

The current most outrageous examples of this are North Korea and Cuba. These two societies share much in common – both are socialist, both are totalitarian, both have more political prisoners then any nation close to their size, both have non-working universal health care, in both the citizens suffer malnutrition, and both have food and fuel rationing. Their leaders and party members, in the meantime, eat caviar and drink champagne.

Socialism can never work in any environment. It violates human nature and logic.

The capitalist economic system differs greatly from its socialist adversary in numerous ways. While the socialist system is a top down centralized arrangement, the capitalist system, which can only exist in a free market economy that recognizes the right of private property, is totally controlled by the market itself. Interestingly, personal freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can also only thrive in free market economies.

Capitalism is a sort of volatile and confusing situation where the capital markets dictate demand, price, and methods of distribution. The reason that the left is so very successful in criticizing capitalism is because it is not regulated and therefore difficult to explain. The reason capitalism works so well is that demand dictates production as well as price, thus avoiding market inequities and shortages.

Socialism’s principal theorem is centralization of markets under government control. This has never worked and there is not one single instance in world history where centralized governmental market manipulation has been successful. This, however, does not deter the Robert Reichs (America’s socialist Secretary of Labor who said, “Greedy corporations are screwing their employees, squeezing down wages while increasing profits.” This statement, from an economic illiterate who has never in his entire life worked for, or in, a business that made a profit. Corporate downsizing, mergers, and staff reductions has a great deal to do with international trade policies, NAFTA, EC, WTO, etc. and very little to do with greed) of this world, who continuously make every effort to centralize economic as well as social and political power for themselves and their Satori masters (the ruling elite).

George Washington said it best: “Government, like fire, is a good servant, but a fearful master.” All capitalist functions are directed at free market concepts. A free market is one that serves society with little government interference. This concept is unpopular with the Satori because in order to attain more and more power they require centralization of all economic, social, and political functions. Because of their poor performance in the political frame they have altered their modus operandi and are now implementing their schemes through judicial activism. These judicial incursions, which by the way, in the United States are in violation of constitutional law, have been sold to the public based on the false misnomer that greedy capitalists don’t care about the people, their welfare, safety, or health, but that politicians do.

This, without doubt, is a ludicrous statement. The capitalist must perform to market standards. Competition will put him out of business if he provides an inferior product or service. He is furthermore constrained by his customers, stockholders, board of directors, lending institutions, as well as numerous laws, and, if all else fails, product liability statutes. In addition there is a veritable alphabet soup of governmental agencies which oversee his product, conduct with employees, public safety, product safety, environmental compliance, and financial performance.

In fact capitalists are over-regulated, which causes a considerable burden to be put on the public in the form of increased prices. A noteworthy fact is: the most egregious acts against the consumer, the environment, and the public in general, have all been made by socialist states.


Monday, May 2, 2016

CONSERVATISM AND THE REAL PROBLEMS OF INCOME INEQUALITY

















This essay is authored by Patrick M. Garry. It is reprinted in its entirety by permission from  ModernAge and can be found in its Winter 2016 issue.


Since the recession that began in 2008, the issue of income inequality has been a central tool of political strategizing. Progressives have used the issue as a sword against conservatives, accusing the latter not only of indifference toward the plight of working Americans but of actually welcoming the widening gulf between rich and poor, as if conservatives want nothing more than to see the wealthy become wealthier, even if it is at the expense of the poor. At the same time, however, conservatives have shied away from the issue, perhaps afraid of how the issue might feed the big-government agenda of liberalism.

Even though they have had a sympathetic ear in the White House for fifteen of the past twenty-three years, progressives have used the inequality issue to put conservatives on the defensive, blaming them for the failure of the middle and working classes to match the progress made by the upper income groups. This assault against conservatives has been deceptive and distorted, but at the same time conservatives have often retreated by trying to dismiss the extent of the widening income gap.

The inequality issue is not the simple problem the left makes it out to be. The left argues that inequality is the cause of all other economic woes, specifically a diminishing upward mobility. But in reality, it is just the other way around. Inequality is less a cause than a symptom of our economic woes. The widening income disparity is a result of diminishing upward mobility, which in turn is the result of various technological, globalization, and governmental policy factors. For progressives to ignore these factors and focus only on taxing the rich is to disregard all the obstacles facing upward mobility, including the left’s own misguided policies.

Monday, April 4, 2016

LINCOLN AND CONSERVING THE CONSTITUTION














The American Civil War spawned a vigorous debate on a plethora of concerns surrounding adherence to the Constitution. Many, if not all, of these controversial issues endure to the present day. Chief among them are the scope and scale of powers afforded to the President during a direct threat to the nation’s sovereignty and safety. Throughout the Great Rebellion the mandate of President Abraham Lincoln, America’s first Republican President, was to preserve the nation’s sovereignty and safety, and he interpreted his Executive war powers to be broad and sweeping. But he also applied them with the precision of a surgeon’s laser. Lincoln’s goal was to utilize his war powers only to the extent they would cause the warring rebels great hardship, and to end the rebellion as swiftly as possible.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

MAKING PEOPLE SUPERFLUOUS: HANNAH ARENDT ON IDEOLOGY AND TOTALITARIANISM
















This essay is authored by Dr. Patrick Lawrence Keeney. It is reprinted in its entirety by permission from THE INTERCOLLEGIATE REVIEW, a publication of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.
—Hannah Arendt


The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between true and false no longer exists.
—Hannah Arendt


Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was a thinker of the first order but one who defies easy categorization. She fits uneasily into a category such as liberal, conservative, libertarian, or radical. And while she humbly eschewed the title philosopher, few would doubt that her writings, in all their manifest variety, provide a continuous source of insight into the human condition and, in particular, further our understanding of the political realm.

Monday, February 29, 2016

THIS IS THE PURPOSE OF THE LIBERAL ARTS



Russell Kirk (1918–1994)









The following is excerpted from Redeeming the Time by Russell Kirk. It is reprinted  in its entirety by permission from THE INTERCOLLEGIATE REVIEW, a publication of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.



Our term "liberal education" is far older than the use of the word "liberal" as a term of politics. What we now call "liberal studies" go back to classical times; while political liberalism commences only in the first decade of the nineteenth century. By "liberal education" we mean an ordering and integrating of knowledge for the benefit of the free person—as contrasted with technical or professional schooling, now somewhat vaingloriously called "career education."

The idea of a liberal education is suggested by two passages I am about to quote to you. The first of these is extracted from Sir William Hamilton's Metaphysics

"Now the perfection of man as an end and the perfection of man as a mean or instrument are not only not the same, they are in reality generally opposed. And as these two perfections are different, so the training requisite for their acquisition is not identical, and has accordingly been distinguished by different names. The one is styled liberal, the other professional education—the branches of knowledge cultivated for these purposese being called respectively liberal and professional, or liberal and lucrative, sciences."

Monday, February 8, 2016

THE COLLEGIATE MARXIST: DECEPTIVELY ATTRACTIVE, COGNITIVELY DISSONANT

















This essay is authored by Blake Kristopher Kraussel. It is reprinted  in its entirety by permission from THE INTERCOLLEGIATE REVIEW, a publication of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute    


Everyone knows that the American university is dominated by leftist ideologies, but the most potent is Marxist thought, which is undoubtedly making a comeback in popularity. But to advocate for Marxism to is to fully embrace cognitive dissonance. You would have to ignore the millions of lives that were lost under Marxist regimes, the incomprehensible poverty that Marxist policies created, and the lack of freedom that individuals in Marxist societies experienced.

Marxism, popularized by the German political philosopher Karl Marx, calls for class warfare, the eradication of inequality, an end to capitalism, and the eventual shift to communism. To an intellectually mature adult, each of the goals of Marxism are terrifying given the real-world consequences that have transpired following their implementation. So why are my fellow collegiates drawn to this destructive ideology? The answer is simple: idealism, groupthink, and current societal conditions.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

HAVE YOU READ “THE FEDERALIST PAPERS OF AMERICAN CONSERVATISM”?
















This essay is adapted from Jonah Goldberg’s foreword to the new edition of the classic book What Is Conservatism?.  It is reprinted in its entirety by permission from THE INTERCOLLEGIATE REVIEW, a publication of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.


What Is Conservatism? is one of my favorite books, despite being what you might call a successful failure. I don’t mean commercially. Frankly, I have no idea how well this book sold, but going by the history of philosophical anthologies, I think it’s safe to assume that it never threatened to hit the bestseller lists. On the other hand, more than a half century later it remains an oft-cited and significant book in its field. Given that most anthologies aren’t read even by their contributors, you could argue that it’s a giant of the genre.

But what I mean by success and failure is something different altogether. First, it succeeds because it is a wonderful book. More important, it served a high purpose. It is The Federalist Papers of American conservatism. Like the patriots who convened in Philadelphia to hammer out a new charter for a new nation, the contributors to this book laid out a new consensus for a new movement. That effort was led intellectually by Frank Meyer and politically by my old boss William F. Buckley Jr. (whose intellectual contributions to the effort were prodigious as well).

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ONLY HALF IN FUN: WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY’S NYC MAYORAL CAMPAIGN, 50 YEARS LATER











This essay is authored by Thomas E. Lynch  and is reprinted  in its entirety by permission from THE INTERCOLLEGIATE REVIEW, a publication of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.  This essay also appears in the Fall 2015 issue of Modern Age.


Clare Boothe Luce, with only a tinge of hyperbole, referred to the 1965 version of New York City as “the biggest urban mess on earth.” In that same year, the American conservative movement’s condition could not have been considered much better. The Republican Party’s right-wing presidential candidate had just suffered a defeat of stunning magnitude, its northeastern liberal wing was in rebellion, and the party’s governing philosophy was up for grabs. With Barry Goldwater routed, the center of gravity in the Republican Party was moving sharply left and toward the East; the two men vying for the party’s leadership, Richard Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller, lived in the same Manhattan apartment building separated by a mere six floors.

In the spring of 1965, the plight of the Republican Party weighed heavily on William F. Buckley Jr.’s mind. At the time, the thirty-nine-year-old Buckley was spending some weekdays in his Park Avenue apartment, commuting to the midtown National Review offices by day and jousting with New York’s highbrow society by night. The city outside his part-time residence was in full-scale decline. The crime rate was high, deficits higher; a drought had made water scarce; traffic was slow; municipal employee strikes were prevalent; the previous summer’s race riots in Harlem were fresh in people’s minds. Over the past decade, nearly a million members of the white middle class had left the city.