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    The Will to Create

    Entries in progressivism (69)

    Tuesday
    Feb042014

    Liberalism disguises itself once again

    Liberals are confused. They don't know whether to move closer to libertarianism or progressivism. The anger liberals express toward libertarians is based mainly on being cornered. Liberals know that State interventionism is harming the country, but they still hold onto the jusitification that soon things will get better with less inequality and more social justice -- however, their stubborn support of Obama, progressives and the Democratic Party is quickly degenerating from hope and change to pathological denial. Some liberals accept that the progressive movement has led them into a dark alley, but they don't know where to go to escape. 

    Progressivism has been the problem, while liberalism could be seen as misguided confidence in the State to make life better, yet if liberals continue to support the progressive agenda, directly or indirectly, aggressively or passive-aggressively, then they become a part of the problem. Liberalism's history is filled with achievements, emancipation, innovation, creativity and real progress, but now liberalism is in a state of pitiful atrophy.

    Obama even shied away from the liberal label, not even accepting anything close to progressive to describe his vision, yet when we look at what Obama wants to do and would do if he had the solitary power to do it, we see that he leads a progressive movement that's killing the nation economically and bogging us down in insane interventions and sovereignty-losing international agreements overseas.

    So liberals do as they've done before when their policies fail -- they rely on obscurantism to avoid judgement or responsibility for their actions. Now, though, in the Information Age, at a time when the accumulation of government interventions over decades has brought us to a crisis point, it's too important which way liberals go to let them off the hook with good intentions gone awry. They know now that the statist system they helped create has failed and is pushing the country toward disaster.

    Liberals have to make a decision. Will they admit that they've been wrong and join libertarians and limited government conservatives to limit government power, or will they allow pride and political correctness to keep them on a destructive, interventionist path?

     

    Tuesday
    Feb042014

    Bill O'Reilly vs Barack Obama

    Did the producers really poll this pre-Super Bowl political discussion? I can't find one person who thinks it was a good idea. Everyone I talked to said they don't want to listen to politics on Super Bowl Day. Surely the American people are tired of listening to Obama, and I can't possibly imagine a big demand for O'Reilly as a pre-Super Bowl event.

    This just shows how the State and media, even Fox, attempt to politicize America. Even some of the Super Bowl commericals were political. Aside from this, though, what really disgusted me was O'Reilly's reaction to his Obama interview. O'Reilly said Obama is a true believer, that Obama doesn't mean any harm. O'Reilly said Obama really believes what he's doing will help the nation. O'Reilly is trying to find some moderate ground, because he doesn't want to look like a radical rightwinger out to destroy Obama. O'Reilly really tries to have it both ways, so he can broaden his viewership, but it's dishonest, and O'Reilly prides himself in telling it like it is. Most Republicans or self-described conservatives who take the moderate route, who "tell it like it is", like O'Reilly and the maverick John McCain and the bluster-buffoon Peter King, don't really tell it like it is -- they play it safe politically because they think the nation doesn't support libertarians or Tea Partiers or Constitutional Conservatives of any stripe.

    All these fair and balanced truth-tellers will criticize Obama when the criticism is safe and backed by popular opinion, but when O'Reilly says that Obama thinks what he's doing helps the country, he's ignoring the obvious harm done by Obama's policies. Obama is not ignorant -- he knows what his policies have created, and he knows his campaign against the remnants of capitalism is hurting the country. Obama doesn't care that his agenda hurts the country, because he's working for transformation of America, not widespread prosperity and good job growth. Obama can't afford to give credit to capitalism, and moving toward a capitalist free market is the only way to "help" the country. Removing the many regulations his administration has put in place will "help" the country. Repealing Obamacare and allowing a free market approach in healthcare would "help" the country. Removing federal obstacles to energy production would "help" the nation. Repealing Dodd-Frank would "help" the nation. Eliminating all corporate welfare would "help" the nation. Lowering or eliminating capital gains would "help" the nation. The people Obama wants to help are partisan or dependent, and all he and the Democratic Party need is a majority. To Obama, this about political control, not helping the nation. Obama is young and he sees for himself a long political career influencing the direction of America. The direction is toward State control, redistribution and a lower standard of living for the top-earning Americans. This will harm all Americans, except the politically connected.

    Yes, O'Reilly, Obama is a true believer, but you fail to articulate what exactly he believes and his disregard for any harm caused as a consequence of his beliefs.

    Tuesday
    Jan282014

    Can government make our lives better? Part 3

    Libertarianism is misunderstood through ignorance and through a disinformation campaign. In 2008, when  media first started recognizing a growth in libertarian ideas in the political realm, I predicted it wouldn't be long before the political establishment started a war against libertarianism. It didn't take long for the disinformation campaign to distort libertarian views.

    The ignorance of libertarian thought can be blamed on State-run education. Public schools obviously dislike any viewpoints that're critical of a powerful State and call for strict limits on power. The disinformation campaign can be blamed on statist reactionaries who're afraid of losing power and control. I've come to believe that progressives aren't concerned with the advancement of the poor and middle class, as most of us understand advancement, so much as they're interested in controlling the poor and middle class for political purposes. Now, I'm not saying progressives are concerned only with power and control for the sake of power and control -- they surely have Big Picture ideas for the betterment of the earth and the people who populate the earth, and they want power and control so they can protect the powerless from capitalist predators -- but progressives are willing to sacrifice immediate economic advancements among the poor and middle class in order to bring down the current capitalist system and replace it with something more akin to Social Democracy. Progressives want to provide the poor and middle class with what they need to get by until the transformation is complete, and even then government will play a large role in subsidizing people so that they aren't victims forced into a capitalist market that works them to death so that a relatively few Corporate Masters can become wealthy.

    We're in the transformation stage now, so government is going deep into debt supporting the poor and middle class who can't find good jobs in this stalled economy. Progressives are in the process of dismantling the last remnants of capitalism. Capitalism proper has likely never existed, but the principles of capitalism operated more fully before the turn of the 20th century -- now, we're at the end of the capitalist phase moving into American style Social Democracy, for lack of a better term. Calling what we have a mixed economy is not helpful, because the heavy mix of interventionism with dwindling capitalist elements is not regulated capitalism, which is an oxymoron -- it's not a mix. Our economy is a fascist system if anything, if we adhere to the strict definition of fascism. But let's not antagonize modern thinkers with ideology. Let's just describe the interventionism and lack of economic freedom.

    So, before I go any further, we have to explain our muddled thinking regarding libertarianism so that it's clear what we're dealing with. When President Obama says that free enterprise is good, but it must be regulated, he's diverting attention from the long history of interventionism in the US and the current consequences. Have you ever wondered why an Obama speech in 2007 that promises laser-like focus on the economy and jobs calls for some of the same things that he nows calls for in speeches, yet he hasn't done much at all to improve the economy or the job situation? In fact, what Obama has pushed through, the several stimulus efforts and ACA and Dodd/Frank and the many EPA regulations, have hurt the economy and caused higher real unemployment. This is because Obama and the progressives are not interested in economy growth and full employment. Progressives aren't concerned with educating young men and women so that they're fully prepared for a bright, properous future in a capitalist system. It's not that the progressive doesn't want any given individual to succeed -- it's that the collective action necessary to bury the remnants of capitalism and establish a new order doesn't allow for diverse education offerings, or full employment and prosperity that would strengthen capitalism right when the progressives are putting dirt in the grave.

    Libertarianism is an effort to stop progressivism, limit the power of government to intervene and do all the things our current government is doing, roll back all the regulations and obstacles to economic growth, stop corporate cronyism and corporate welfare, allow a free market, and, thus, allow superior, diversified education, opportunity, innovation and pursuit of happiness. And more, and more -- later.

    Sunday
    Jan052014

    State diversions

    On the Sunday morning shows, pundits are talking about unemployment benefits, minimum wage and the rebirth of Progressivism. Desperation. Media sources that are biased toward the Democratic Party are hammering Republicans for their heartlessness regarding unemployment benefits that have ended during the holiday season, although the Democratic controlled Senate did nothing to extend the benefits. This is all political theater, and it appears that Americans are sick of political theater. Politicians in DC don't know what else to do.

    We're at the end of a long statist run in government, and consequences have accrued to the point that the economy has stalled out. The political realm doesn't know what to do next but battle over control by any means necessary. Except for a few Republicans, like Ted Cruz, Justin Amash, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, the GOP doesn't know what to do next either. Obama and company are managing statist decline, and they're even managing the decline poorly. The Left's biggest ideas to help the economy are to extend unemployment benefits and create a minimum wage of up to $15. All that government's doing now is delaying the inevitable crash. The longer government diverts and delays dealing with serious problems the worse the crash will be.

    Hardly anyone from either party talks about elimination of taxes and regulations. The GOP talks about trimming spending, but our systemic failure is so great that tweaking spending is a diversion. There was once an argument that government spending to stimulate the economy wasn't the same as new wealth, because government had to take money from some people in order to give it to others or to spend on infrastructure projects, but now the money is simply printed or borrowed with no realistic way to pay it all back. This printing and borrowing gives the impression that it's endless -- that we can print more money when we need it. I guess this is true as long as no one stops us, but at some point other countries are going to stop trusting our economy, especially if we aren't producing and just taking what we need.

    Government isn't presently taking from one pocket to put a little in other pockets after taking what it needs -- no, government's stealing from future generations with no vision of what problems are being caused for future generations. Our statist system is so myopic and self-centered it's shameful and pathetic. America was once filled with people who, although imperfect as all people are, envisioned great things, aspired to great things, invented great things, built great things. There are still Americans who create and build, but they're dwindling each year. 90 million or so America workers have dropped out of the labor market -- this is a major crisis, yet politicians are fighting over extension of unemployment benefits as if this "stimulus" will keep us going. We're spiralling downward and government is enabling the fall.

    All the petty political squabbling is a diversion. We have serious problems that call for systemic changes. If the American people can stay focused and resist the diversionary tactics of the State machine, we can elect representatives who'll start the process of systemic change -- then we might have a chance, and future generations will have a chance. 

    Thursday
    Dec192013

    So, show us what you've got

    There's been a lot of talk lately about the split between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party faction. I hate the label Tea Party faction, because the Tea Party movement is diverse, but it's recognizable so I'll use it. The real split is between establishment-types in the GOP who still seem to see a vital interventionist role for government to play in our lives and Constitutional conservatives and libertarians who are fighting for strict limits to government power. The GOP establishment types talk as if they're coming from a superior position. You often hear a professional politician in the Republican Party, or seasoned spokespersons, like Mike Murphy or Michael Steel, say they know how to win -- they understand the nuances of DC, compromise and political wrangling.

    The idea that's circulated by the GOP establishment is that politics is an art, and compromise is necessary in order to move things forward. Much of what the establishment types are saying about their differences with the TP faction revolves around vague ideas of governing wisely and understanding the right tactics to get what you want. Now, the establishment types have to state clearly what it is they want. Most of these Republicans who are angry at the TP say they're conservative too. They say government is spending too much. They say the welfare state is becoming too big and unwieldly. The difference is, according to them, is that they don't allow ideological purity to prevent deal-making. They want to make a better welfare state that is more responsible, and so forth. The problem is that when the GOP has had power in the past, they've expanded the power of government and increased spending, and the waste, fraud and abuse grows and grows.

    The Tea Party arose in part because of Bush's spending and interventionist actions when the housing bubble blew up. Bush said something like he had to violate free market principles in order to save the free market. It's double talk and statist actions like these that have frustrated many Americans who have expected the GOP to be an opposition party to modern liberalism and progressivism. There are many Americans, the ones inspired by Ronald Reagan, who would vote for Republicans in big numbers if they weren't disillusioned. Not only do these disillusioned Americans want an opposition party to progressivism, they want a party that abides by our Constitution and doesn't attempt to control every aspect of our lives.

    So, if the GOP establishment wants to win over the base and independents, then they have to come up with a set of ideas that will inspire voters to come out in large numbers -- otherwise, those who would vote Republican will likely sit it out if they think there's not much difference between the two parties. Lately there was a poll showing 72% of Americans who believe Big Government interventionism is our biggest problem. Although the GOP establishment types say they can win, they haven't lately. Personally, I don't think the GOP establishment is prepared to present strong opposition to progressivism, because, if they fight for limited government and a free market, it means they are accepting that government must give up power, and they don't want to give up power -- they want to gain power or share power through compromise.

    The GOP establishment wants to tweak spending and show long term savings that will waste away as future congresses kill any deals made by a previous congress. The GOP establishment has so far, over the years, postured and made deals, but these deals have led us to a stagnant economy, high unemployment, a mideast bog down, rising poverty by today's standard of living,  unfunded liabilities in the tens of trilions of dollars, an imploding healthcare system and political corruption that rivals the worst our country has suffered.

    The GOP has failed to become a party that protects individual rights, diligently insists on Constitutional limits to power, articulates the principles of economy and personal liberty, respects our military and doesn't risk the lives of young men and women in politically motivated foreign interventions. If the establishment wants to lead and show Republicans and independents how to win and govern in a manner that prevents Big Government power-mongering while empowering the private sector, thus creating economic growth and good jobs, then lay it out to the American people. Take the reigns and lead -- but it requires more than belittling the Tea Party and whining about mean, wacko-bird, Ted Cruz.