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    The Will to Create

    Entries in new right (6)


    Demonizing the Right -- just random thoughts

    Despite attempts by some progressives/liberals to obscure the issue by referring to themselves as Left-Libertarians, the only semblance of a home for liberty today resides on the Right, and hopefully a New Right is emerging much like the Old Right of the mid-twentieth century. If the Left truly wants to present liberty in the 21st century, then they'll gave to end the group-think and statist power-mongering. As much as it's tempting to eradicate Left-Right, it would only serve the purposes of the Left since they are more politically adept and would surreptiously take control of the political process. The Left is much better at politics than the Right, thus, the Right is constantly demonized in media, in Universities, in Hollywood and in big cities across the country. The Right is defined in the political realm by its absolute worst flaws. The fanatical Religious Right which wanted to gain moral control of America years back is hardly a factor at all going into 2012, but the Left has framed the Right as anti-women, anti-birth-control and so on. Media sharks needle someone like Rick Santorum constantly and then when he responds and tries to anser their questions, they accuse him of obsessing over social issues. Santorum brings much on himself, and if he continues to draw only from social conservatives, he doesn't stand a chance. The Right is no more hawkish than the Left but every pronouncement by Lindsay Graham and John McCain is prominently reported as if these two dinosaurs represent the Right. 

    What should the New Right represent which will counter the political influence of the Left? Well, the Right has to remain in politics as long as the possibility of gaining coercive power is a reality, and it is a reality, and the Left is winning. No, the Left has not gotten its way on many of their agenda items, like Cap and Trade, but, through regulatory back-channels, they are gaining more and more power.

    The New Right is at least sceptical of our overseas interventions such as the Afghanistan War. The New Right is cognizant of the problems created by government intervention in the economy. The New Right understands that social issues are best handled in the markeplace of ideas, not through legislation. The New Right understands that embracing a free market is primarily about the concept of economic liberty and a free enevironment, and it's not about particular industries or companies which support Republican causes. Cronyism should be anathema to the New Right. All corporate welfare should be eradicated before a single welfare program for the poor is even considered. The New Right should make it clear that concern for the environment is a number one priority, and, as such, national conversations regarding innovations to reduce pollution should be inspirational and transformative. As we all realize our common relationship with our environment, we can stop the silly notion that a faction of the American population wants dirty water and lung-destroying air.

    The New Right should end the game against the Left and become a true opposition force to deceit, propaganda and statist power-grabbing. If there's a true disagreement about the best way to enhance human flourishing, then have the debate, but quit pretending that one side is righteous and the other evil. From my perspective as a proponent of a New Right -- I beleive the Left is just flat wrong about economics and interventionist government. We all want basically the same Big Things, and those who are deceitful and only want something for nothing will have no influence -- this can no longer continue. America has to make serious systemic changes regarding governance. Outside of government, I have very few problems with liberals, but when it comes to government and the economy, I have huge problems, and as the Left goes along with the Democratic Party's foreign interventions, I have problems with the Progressive hawks. It need not be personal -- ideas are important enough.


    Looking for a new label for the New Right

    Labels are necessary to make distinctions, although labels don't completely define each individual who might fall under a label. There are liberals who lean more toward the progressive worldview, and there are liberals who lean more toward a libertarian worldview. The same goes for conservatives. Then there is disagreement regarding broader categories such as Left and Right which bear little resemblance to the orginal Left/Right divisions. It's perhaps time to reassess Left and Right, since the differences within each political group can be significant. Awhile back I wrote an article stating that a distinction between statism and anti-statism probably makes more sense in today's environment.

    Statism is embraced by both Left and Right, so statism transcends the old Left/Right division, although there are distinct differences in what each political group wants out of a powerful State which basically controls the economy. The Left, broadly speaking, might want the State to redistribute wealth, while the Right, broadly speaking, might want the State to maintain predictability in the economy and to prevent a dynamic society from destroying certain traditions which serve a hierarchical order. 

    Then there's an emerging movement which has revived many of the values and ideas of classical liberalism, and although I've called this the New Right, I think the label is misleading and too restrictive. This movement leans toward libertarian thought, but I'm reluctant to use that label, because it's also misleading and too restrictive. In a broad sense, the movement is anti-statist, but not necessarily anti-government. Andrew McCarthy wrote an article at NRO describing some of the problems, as he sees them, with this movement. For now, let's call the movement AS for anti-statist. McCarthy embraces most of the tenets of the AS movement, or revival, although McCarthy is a terrorist hawk who believes the non-interventionist/libertarian part of the AS revival is extreme. McCarthy calls Rand Paul a libertarian extremist. It's true that national defense is a legitimate role of government, but when a military/industrial complex is built to protect overwhelming State power, I don't know how this is balanced with a limited government/free maket world view.

    National defense, foreign military interventions and welfare/entitlements -- the welfare/warfare state --seem to be the sticking points which prevent a large coalition of libertarians and limited government conservatives which could transcend this set of labels and create a new political force in America. I think the most important issue facing Americans today is the role of government going forward. Government muscle which protects a large and powerful State machine has infiltrated into the lives of every American in one way or another. In many ways Americans have become dependent on government even when they'd rather be independent. There are issues regarding the government safety net and entitlements which complicate the matter of dependence and independence, especially for anyone over 40. The welfare state has set up a system which pulls us in from the beginning with or without our consent, so when the subject of limiting government power comes up, there's concern over retirement, healthcare and protection from foreign threats for those who aren't wealthy and aren't getting any younger and who feel insecure in a dnagerous world. Many people who are anti-statist in most matters of government still expect government to honor SS, Medicare and national security, but these government expenditures are unsustainable at the present rate of growth.

    The problem with the AS revival is taking the next steps, and McCarthy's article is an example. McCarthy says yes to limited government and a free market, but McCarthy still wants America to eradicate terrorism wherever it might exist, and he probably draws the anti-statist line at curbing the cost Medicare and SS rather than an innovative private sector replacement of these programs. McCarthy agrees that defense spending is out of control and needs to be brought under rational, prudent control, but McCarthy cannot embrace non-interventionism, which he calls isolationism. And McCarthy has no problem giving the State practically unlimited power to deal with enemy combatants, because the Constitution allows greater powers in times of war. The question is whether the threat McCarthy perceives is as great as he and our government say it is, and whether our government's continued responses to terrorism are warranted.

    The welfare/warfare state has created divisions in American society, and the AS movement is conflicted. If we allow the State to expand its powers regarding welfare/entitlements and foreign interventions in the name of fighting terrorism, will the AS movement be reduced to winning a few economic battles but losing the battle for limited government and a free market? The question is whether the AS movement can innovate and create new paradigms (I know, it's a trite expression) for the 21st century regarding retirement, the safety net, healthcare and national defense. I believe we can, but it will be difficult, because statism has become so ingrained in our lives and ways of thinking. I believe even liberals who aren't lost to progressivism can become a part of this AS revival and help develope new ways of dealing with social problems and national defense. I'm not sure how anyone can look at our relationships with Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and say that continued involvement is wise. If we bring our troops home, this is not defeat and isolationism -- it's completion and reassessment. It's moving from one way of dealing with foreign threats to another way. We can learn from our successes and and failures, then create a much better plan for national defense -- one that hopefully doesn't allow crony defense contractors and power-hungry politicians to have their way with tax-payer dollars. The same goes for welfare and entitlements -- we need a new plan that utilizes what we learned regarding successes and failures, but not another top-down government plan from a handful of technocrats.

    Until the AS movement can coalesce around dynamic views which will empower the private sector and limit government power, the State will continue its march to central control and command. I'm inspired that different political groups are beginning to acknowledge the failures of statism, but there's a long way to go to create a true opposition to statism. Anti-statist is not a good label, but it dos clarify some fundamental problems.  


    Change from without -- Change from within

    Herman Cain announced the suspension on his campaign. Cain is going to Plan B -- change from without. I recommended this awhile back regarding New Right voices who are destroyed when they enter the political realm. We still need representatives to rollback statist policies which have killed the economy and placed our military in mideast quagmires, but all we need to create change within is convince representatives that they either limit government and allow a free market or they're fired. High exposure voices on the New Right will do better changing from without through New Media. First, Americans need to hear and understand the ideas of liberty and individual rights as an alternative to the MSM and State propaganda, then perhaps we can demand the necessary systemic changes to stop progressivism before we fall completely apart.


    The case for a New Right

    I wrote a post several days ago about the emergence of a New Right. I have no idea how many on the Right fall into this category, but I do believe there are many on the Right who could become part of the New Right if a more people take a courageous lead. For decades the Right has been attacked in the media, universities and Hollywood, and many on the Right have acted in ways which justify the attacks, and many have faltered on principles for political reasons. The Right has a difficult time creating a message and putting together a set of ideas which address our most critical political and social issues.

    The Right has been good at slogans, but it hasn't been good at articulating a vision and following through with action. Many of the politicians on the Right are simply status quo statists, just like the moderates and the left-of-center in the Democrat Party. But the Right as a movement of change is something aside from modern politics and the Republican Party. The Right entails journalists, opinion makers, professors, pundits, intellectuals, writers of all sorts, including bloggers, and others who have influence in political, economic and social matters.

    For the last month I've critiqued the MSNBC program Morning Joe, because they have as guests many on the Left who frame the Right in the modern popular narrative. I'm giving up on further viewing and posting on each episode, because it's just too biased and I have limited time and energy to write, so now I'll write about what I've observed and leave the Morning Joe crew to their delusions. It's clear that the Left is on a determined campaign of politics to smear the Right and marginalize the ideas of limited government and a free market. Any proposed cuts in spending will be demagogued as attacks on the elderly, children, women and the poor. The Left is stuck in an old political game which many who come on Morning Joe praise as skillful, as do the hosts, but the politics of old cannot survive the Information Age.

    The New Right has made a small beginning in reacting to the need for authenticity and honesty which the public craves, and they've taken a hit in the media, but they must continue along this path if we expect to survive financially and as a free country. There's no longer any value in the games of denial and pretension that government is a basically a compassionate defense against the "jungle" of the market -- this lie is no longer believable, so all that's left are games for the statists.

    The New Right can transcend the political games and maintain a path of principled resistance to statism, and I believe the public will respond once they know it's authentic and honest -- but it has to really be authentic and honest. Several new representatives in congress are leading the way -- Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Mike Lee, Allen West -- but they have a long way to go. The New Right will be challenged to come to terms with US military operations such as the War on Terror and our interventions in the Middle East. This miltaristic aspect of the establishment Right, among hawks like Lindsay Graham and John McCain, has to be faced and dealt with -- a doctrine regarding intervention would be helpful to clarify a vision of the future as it relates to America's role in the world. Ron Paul has a non-interventionist doctrine which I agree with, but among many of the New Right who are breaking away from the establishment Right there is still ambiguity.

    The New Right has done a fair job of making the case for fiscal responsibility, but they have to go further to address fundamental problems -- some have, but most are still vague when it comes to articulating the principles of limited government and a free market. The Left is fond of obscurantism, and this is why Obama can act like a hardcore Progressive and a Centrist in one speech and receive accolades from admirers who love Machiavellian politics, but the problems we face as a nation and as individuals call for honesty and clarity -- we can no longer afford political obscurantism, and the public will not ignore manipulation as they have in the past.

    For the most part, I gave up on our two party statist system years ago, but now we're facing a crisis and the only hope immediatey is for one of the parties, or both, to stand up and act heroically, because government has been given so much power, protests in the private sector will not change the fundamental problems. It's going to take elected representatives dismantling statism from within, and this is a tall order that requires a herculean effort. On the other hand, it can't be left entirely to representatives -- intellectuals need to clarify the principles, pundits need to ariticulate the ideas and the fundamental problems, businesses have to soul-search and recognize how far we've drifted from a free market and fair competition, and every individual has to decide if he or she wants to take on the responsibility of protecting our natural rights.

    It will do little good to tweak the system which has run up a 14 trillion dollar debt and instituted myriad regulations -- no, it will require the elimination of corporate welfare and limits on the powers of government which make corporate welfare possible, a restructuring of the tax code, an end to the ponzi schemes of entitlements, a foreign policy of non-intervention and strong defense, confidence in the private sector to deal with safety net issues and charity, separation of State and economy, reliance on courts/rule of law and the private sector to regulate industry, persistence in protecting individual rights, free trade, ending our association with the UN and all international institutions which control the global economy, end the Fed, end Fannie  and Freddie, cease all attempts to legislate morality and political correctness -- it will take a national psychic change that embraces diversity and dynamism, the resolution of social problems in the market of ideas, the enforcement of Contitutional limits and the critical use of creativity and innovation to make progress in radical freedom protected by the rule of law.

    The question might be -- "Can you give me specifics on how to make this type of world work?" Yes, I can, but so can millions of others, and that is the point. We can either coordinate, co-operate, compete and self-govern with limited government simply protecting our freedom according to the rule of law and the Constitution, or admit we're incapable of self-governing and must be managed and controlled by technocrats in government. The silly argument regarding the meaning of the Constitution and whether the State was intended to manage the economy, or whether individuals were intended to self-govern in freedom as long as they aren't violating anyone's rights, is an old and tired argument, but we must decide which side we come down on and what type of government we want -- statism or a limited government and a free market -- we can't have a little of all the above, because it has not worked. As long as the State doesn't have strict limits placed on power, the State will take more and more power -- it's an anti-social process that feeds on itself, and the more people who become dependent on State power, the harder it is to limit that power. Let's just hope it's not too late.


    The New Right

    Because "neo" has been damaged with terms like neo-conservative and neo-liberal, I'll use New Right to describe what I see as a redemption of the Right. In some ways, the New Right is similar to the Old Right of Frank Chodorov, Murray Rothbard and Roy Childs Jr., just not as libertarian, individualistic and non-interventionist. Rand Paul is representative of this New Right. I'm not too familiar with Mike Lee and Allen West, but both appear to be players outside the Big Government Republican status quo. The Tea Party is responsible for the rise of the New Right, at least the faction that pushes limited government and a free market.

    The New Right doesn't lead with social issues, although I'm sure that pro-life and law-and-order are still personally important to most of them. It remains to be seen if this group can form a consistent set of values as they relate to governance, the economy and foreign relations. I hope Rand Paul is not an anamoly, and that the other representatives coming on board who are espousing libertarian ideas are not secret statists with their own list of plans to control and guide society and shape the destiny of other countries.

    Many in the status quo political realm, like Harry Reid in congress and Chris Matthews in the media, associate this New Right with the caricature of the Tea Party as naive rubes who have no idea how sophisticated and complex and crucially important the American State has become. Reid believes they'll fade, and even old Republican guards like Trent Lott think they can be co-opted and managed.

    During the budget debate the New Right took the brunt of the media's scorn, and they were accused of recklessly driving the government toward shut-down, regardless of the fact that the Democrats should have passed a budget last year. It's also a reality that most Americans want government to cut spending, and if not for the New Right, even the small, insignificant cuts wouldn't have happened. Paul Ryan still has to prove he's a part of the New Right, and his budget at least addresses issues no one else is addressing, except Rand Paul. Now, we'll see if Ryan can be as brave as Paul and call for major dismantling of statism.

    Michelle Bachmann is also a question mark when it comes to libertarian values. Bachmann is saying a lot of the right things, but her tendency to bring religious dogma into politics is bothersome. If the New Right is real, it will stick to the serious business of limiting government, creating a free market, and getting us out of the Mid-East. There are plenty of forums in the private sector for the expression of religious values, and the private sector is where it needs to happen, just like the private sector is the place for economic activity and expression. We need economic freedom, spiritual freedom and freedom from overseas entanglements. If the New Right can lead the way, something wonderful can happen in America.