Sunday, July 29, 2007

Where Have You Gone, Michael Lind?

Changed the template of the blog for more cheerful colors, I guess, though there isn't much to be gleeful over concerning the subject matters that 'Left-Federalist' hammers at times redundantly. Also uploaded at 'Blogs &Websites' is a link to the liberal think-tank, Economic Policy Institute, founded by Bob Kuttner. Currently in the middle of reading one of his books - "The End of Laissez-Faire" -where the author adopts an economic nationalist/protectionist viewpoint, but demonstrates as well that this has to be international, and protectionism has to be the international order in today's world.
My thoughts exactly and always were.

In the process of uploading the 'Economic Policy Institute', I decided to purge, if you will, 'The New America Foundation' from said Blogs&Websites. The reason being is that this think-tank is dull, and does not take a stance that I like on globalization - the folks there are wishy-washy and seem to try to pose as such enlightened, intelligent folks that they are opaque in their policies. Though I still like Michael Lind, one of the founders of the above think-tank, I believe that he has become lukewarm on his Hamiltonian, 'Radical Centrist', civic nationalism that was his zeal in his writings in the late 1990s. And I don't gel with Lind's foreign policy very well, and his latest books on it were not well researched unlike his earlier texts such as his one on Abraham Lincoln. Lind has accepted the 'reality' of NAFTA, which is something that is a antithesis that cannot be reconciled into a synthesis with his civic nationalism: no one can label themselves a 'nationalist' and be for Free Trade or be an apologist of entangling trade blocs that are inimical to the national interest and the national economy. I'm cannot have laissez-faire and protect the Republic too; extreme laissez-faire - as designed by Ricardo, Say and Cobden - is by design hostile to a soveriegn nation/state. Adam Smith himself is not the boogeyman: Smith was actually a moderate capitalist who believed that when Free Trade was detrimental to a country, retaliatory tariffs should be imposed to correct the problem; Smith wrote that government had a dirgist duty to step in on public education, aid to the poor, and also maintain high wages with the laboring sector. Smith himself was not totally sold on his own 'hidden-hand of the Market", but I have digressed here(imagine that).

The problem with Lind is that he has changed his political stance so much in his life that he has yet to experience a political-animal wholeness , a Ground, maybe. Nevertheless, his excellent - "Hamilton's Republic: Readings in the American democratic-nationalist Tradition" remains one of my 'bibles', essential to my own political worldview, as expounded here at this little blog. Though I've always been partial to Alexander Hamilton as my favorite thinker of the triumvirate of the Founding Fathers, Lind reconfirmed my own Hamiltonianism, gave me a substantial amount of idealistic vigor. The earlier Michael Lind, at least, remains in place though I've deleted his think-tank from my recommended links at Left-Federalist.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

If I Were Voting for a GOPer Presidential Candidate.....

Mitt Romney: 1/2 Billionaire, Cult Member ....Free Traitor -

Old Mitt took his plastic-looking self down to South Florida to woo voters of Latino descent. To the Americans of Cuban ancestry, he vowed on a Banana Republic never to meet that demon Fidel Castro, and neither will he meet with his brother Raul if the American people totally lapse into full blown insanity and elect him come November 2008(well, they already did so by electing BushII at least once). Mitt cheerfully chatted up the Venezuelan Americans and proclaimed that Free Trade is the solution to all of South American ills, and blamed protectionist Democrats for stalling on further trade sell-offs. Mitt's speechwriters forgot to inform him that nobody in Latin America except the plutocratic Hildagos wants Yanqui lassiez-faire, especially after what they seen NAFTA do to Mexico. What we are getting in Romney is a handsomer,more polished version of the Shrub. Mitt, by his affiliation with the now acceptable cult, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, will have two Bibles to beat instead of Bush's one - The Book of Mormon ( I'm certain that Governor Romney assures Southern Baptists that both of his Bibles are in the King James Version). Because he's a Latter-Day Saint, Romney is a teetotaler like Bush is, and he doesn't even drink coffee.Romney's wife is already a 'babe', so we do not have fret him scoring a knob -job in the Oval Office from an overweight intern. What a real moral guy to take the country down into the North American Union and annul the Constitution! Joseph Smith is looking down from a UFO somewhere and is mighty proud...

No, the prospect of electing a Mormon President does not compare to the 1960 controversy of electing a Roman Catholic one(everyone knows now, and knew somewhat then, that the Kennedys weren't particularly pious RC's anyway and could care less what the Man in the Funny Hat in the Vatican said; the true Kennedy Religion is Birds&Booze).Not even close. But, I would not like Romney even if he had a Jeffersonian view of religion(one of the few things that I dig about Marse Tom):he's a flip-flopper beyond what John Kerry flipped on, he's an avowed Economic Predator(Mitt promises to do to Washington what he did to the corporations that he previously served as CEO of: downsizing the labor force, bust any hint of 'union', and maximize profits for himself and his rich!) and of course, he's a Free Trader globalist BarfBag. Yet, throwing Mormon into his make-up, he kind of scares me.

I hope that Romney stays in the race a long time, since he is such good fodder to poke fun of. It would be great if he loses his fortune in his quest to wrest the GOP nomination and comes up empty,also. More seriously now, I do think that his religion should be an issue: would Americans feel safe and secure having a Scientologist, Jehovah's Witness or a Moonie on the nuclear button? How about a Hari Krishna? To me, Mormons aren't all that much out of step with the panache of these other named cults. In synopsis, they're annoying and friggin' nuts! The prospect of being trapped in a crowded elevator with Islamic fundamentalists isn't so bad if my only other choice were a group of Mormon missionaries; at least the Islamic ones would probably put me out of my misery by someone ultimately blowing themselves up in the elevator(joke). Listening to a Mormon missionary is like having the hands tied with Rap playing on headphones non-stop....if I were in combat and captured by the Enemy, they wouldn't have to resort to physical torture to get me spilling the beans: within 10 minutes of listening to a Mormon with his conversion con - I'd be telling the interrogators things that the CIA, Edgar Casey and Nostradamus never dreamed of.

Kansas's very own, Senator Sam Brownback, doesn't seem like too much of a bad deal when Romney is in focus. And that's BAD. Real bad. However, unlike Kennedy, Brownback is a convert RC and has all the zeal of Opus Dei; don't be surprised if Brownback announces that Mel Gibson would be his running mate if he gets the Religious Right on his bandwagon in the GOP primaries. The only good thing about President Brownback would be that we could get him out of Kansas, but I wouldn't wish that on my fellow Americans in the other 49 states. If Brownback is more Catholic than the Ave Maria prayer itself, at least he could adopt the Distributist economics in his platform that many traditionalist RCs have instead of the standard gaga on laissez-faire capitalism that he spews - I might vote for him as DogCatcher if he did...

Rudy Giuliani - he says that Democrats are 'stupid', and previously thought that he could pick an issues fight with Dr. Ron Paul(who's 'stupid' now?). I keep waiting for Rudy to get a new comb-over and start mealy-mouthin' about the GOP's favorite theme of Family Values - when he has been married and divorced more times than Zsa Zsa Gabor and Frank Sinatra combined. Watch Rudy make a play for the Religious Right by picking Ted Haggard as his Vice-President...

Tom Tancredo - "I'm against illegal immigration!!!"(we know, Tom...we know...anything else??)

Duncan Hunter - I rather like Duncan because he is against NAFTA and tries to make protectionism a theme with the GOP contenders, but to no avail. He needs to tone-down his John Wayne act and stop mentioning 'Reagan' in every sentence, however.....

Mike Huckabee - I can't take a man seriously with a surname like that.

Thompson - he' a poorer actor than Reagan was. Get out of here!

Ron Paul - confess that I warm a bit more to his campaign daily. It is refreshing to hear an avowed Libertarian warn the country about the "corporate fascism" of globalism. Paul seems to be a constitutionalist first and a Libertarian second ; maybe he is dropping a cue that he can be 'turned' to the economic -nationalist cause?? He is definitely the most intelligent out of the GOP contenders, and seems to be a man of integrity and honesty with minimum spin - rare in a public servant these days. Paul puts America over the Free Market theology it seems, and this is what the Republic direly needs. However, I don't like his starry-eyed cadre that trolls around message boards with their 'VOTE RON PAUL!' tags. Ron needs to dress them down on this personality cult that they've created....

John McCain - *The Mummy*. The Mummy had his best shot in 2000 but he made the mistake of telling the Bible Beating theocrats that they were 'intolerant'. The truth did not put the Mummy into the White House, let alone set him free. The Mummy needs to retire to his tomb and sleep another 2000 years or so, and maybe the GOP will like him then....

The Verdict: Ron Paul or Duncan Hunter. Hunter or Paul...Paul Hunter..Hunting Paul....... and I am not at all enthusiastic on any of these two guys, but they are the best that the GOP has at the moment. One may ask why pick Ron Paul when he is a disciple of predator-economics? Well, except for maybe Hunter, all the other GOPers are as well, and Paul has demonstrated himself to be flexible and thoughtful - he has his own mind. Again, Paul is a man of dignity & can work with the other side of the aisle, and he cares more for the Republic than he does ideology. Though he himself is religious and is against abortion, Dr. Paul believes in the 'wall of seperation between church/state. That's the constitiutional American Way.

The fact is that I am not at all crazy about the Democrat's front runners, Hillary and Obama;though the Democrats have moved closer to protectionism than the GOP has, their contenders for the Top Job leaves a lot to be desired as well. One thing that we do not need is another Clinton in the White House of any gender, and Obama is all show, no substance, thus far. I think that he's an airhead who thinks that he can get by just because he is handsome and has charisma. Hillary has adopted a centrist line and occasionally drops remarks about the plight of the Blue Collar Joe as well as the Middle Class, Obama has yet to be heard,and I trust neither one of those two. Hillary shouldn't be dragging her hubby around since Bill is the biggest Free Traitor President of the 20th Century.
John Edward's imitation of Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 campaign is getting beyond annoying; him trying to garner the sympathy vote because his Better Half has breast cancer is bottom-feeder politics as is befitting the Ambulance Chaser that he is. I like the Midget - Kucinich - but he is not on the radar even with the Far Left of the DLC.... I wish that the Dems adopt his economic and trade platform however.

What I'm afraid of is that I will be forced to throw a 'protest ballot' in November of '08 as I did in the previous two Presidential elections(Nader, both times). Before I expire my mortal coif, I would like to witness a Presidential election that both the GOPer and the Democrat are competent and both reflect my core issues more. Some say that we haven't had an election like that, with two outstanding candidates from both the Big Two, since '68 or even as far back as ' maybe that is a pipedream of mine.

Feeling Caulfieldesque today...

If you are but a semi-illiterate biped dwelling in a place called the USA presently, you can saunter out your front door and not be smacked in the face by Harry Potter. Harry Potter this, Harry Potter that; Copernicus had it all wrong: the sun of our solar system personally revolves around what that Brit, RK Rowling, has burning -off on her printer.
Witness the lines at bookstores last weekend: it put me in mind of the cattle waiting at the trough for grandpa to fill on the old farm. One may protest - "well, at least they're reading." Looked into a Harry Potter book once and it's just another ersatz Tolkien/Fantasy genre written primarily for children. A goddamn kid's book. It's the adults that are getting all gaga on it. Harry Potter is a classic example on books that shouldn't be read. Just another recycled empty, pseudo-medieval magical stuff one can get just as easily by reading the one before it. I thought CS Lewis and Tolkien had already done this; just as it has been stated that Western Philosophy is mere footnotes to Plato, same can be said without much debate for the Fantasy genre about those two guys above. The Great Consumer American, following the herd buying- practices of the Joneses, of course couldn't wait for someone else to buy the book then borrow the text after they got finished with the tripe to see if it is worth a dollar, couldn't have patience to wait for it to appear on the shelves of a used book store, let alone wait for the paperback. Devotion to the Mall God required that they stand in line wherever and get Harry Potter for some $34, I think. It is sad that Americans won't stand in lines to purchase any books that are useful, that extends self-education. And Yanks wonder why some other people on the Blue Dot think that they are shallow, uncultivated and dumber than shit as a collective whole. But I bet they stood in line for Harry Potter in Copenhagen too, or whenever it is printed in Danish....

....and how much does anyone want to wager that this Rowling dame will bring Harry Potter out of retirement in a few years when her royalty checks start decreasing in amount?? I'd like to see the Vegas odds on that.
The Bush Administration has finally done something that I agree with(I haven't been able to write this in a long, long, time): said Administration is thus far not buckling under to Brazil's threats of retaliation through the WTO concerning American cotton subsidies. This could be the starting point of dismantling this globalist edifice if the cards are played correctly. Firstly, it is not another country's business on how another nation subsidizes or does not subsidize their internal agricultural or industrial base. The contradiction of the Bush Administration is that it has as policy that the USA does not need a 'permission slip' to defend America's interests and sovereignty, yet pursued further trade liberalization via the globalist edifice. Read: okay to place American troops in Iraq without UN authorization, but not kosher to protect the economic infrastructure of the United States.' And Bush probably wonders why people think that he is rather, uh, daft.

It is my hope that Brazil aggressively pursues penalties via the World Trade Organization, as threatened, and this Administration stands its ground. This could spell a zeal to pull out of this entangling trade organization , or rather, the WTO can do us all a favor here in Middle America and kick us out of it.
No, not all agricultural subsidies are good - especially those that benefit chiefly the big AgriBiz sector at the expense of the small family farmer, who is rapidly approaching extinction. Currently, with this *BioFuels*(or 'fools') rage, it is this side of retarded to subsidize the corn crop. The argument can be presented that it is further shooting ourselves in the foot by subsidizing domestic cotton when the USA has few textile industries left - cotton remains chiefly an export. But on the other hand, subsidizing cotton smooths out the costs of any tariffs imposed on American cotton. Subsidies are an internal matter, a domestic fight, and not Brazil's, Ethiopia's, or any other nation's business, to sum it all up. Neither is it any of the USA's business what another nation does with their internal agricultural and industrial sector. THAT is Fair Trade; respecting another country's national economy is the cornerstone of amicable international relations. Economic nationalism is international, albeit not global. For instance, the USA has never been a closed autarky or isolationist even in the days when it had high tariff walls. Washington in his wisdom made it quite clear that the USA would trade with any nation in the spirit of fairness early on, and he was opposed to special relationships that favored another country in trade at the expense of another. 'Left-Federalist' is firmly committed to this tradition in trade. Even if the USA could be a 100% total economic autarky with benevolent results, I'd rather have this current laissez-faire instead(if a gun was held to my head for an either/or choice in the matter, that is). We do not want to become like North Korea or the former Albania either. However, using autarky in times of global conflict has its merits, as President Jefferson employed during the Napoleonic Wars between France and Great Britain; if Woodrow Wilson would had banned all trade and financial loans, public and private, to the waring parties in the Great War of 1914, the world conflict probably wouldn't had lasted more than a year. Wilson was such a peace-lovin' man, yet he allowed the Wall Street faction of his Democratic Party dominate his views. By 1915, the Entente Powers were broke and were dependent on the financial apparatus of the City of New York to keep them in the war. If Wilson was that serious about world peace, and America being a leading role in this aspect, one would think that he would had put his foot down early on and summarily informed both the Entente and Central Powers, that was turning Europe into a big graveyard of trenches : "..the pinch is off! Not one more Yankee dollar, not one kilo of wheat, and certainly not any weapon of warfare and the ammunition to go with it - will cross the Pond until you guys sit down and discuss a just armistice." ?? Wilson could had practically dictated peace terms, if he so elected, without sending a single American soldier to France. Some 57,000 + American lives wouldn't had been snuffed -out in the prime of their young lives in Flanders Fields, and millions of lives of our European cousins would had been saved undoubtedly.

Though I have the luxury of hindsight here, I seriously believe that the Great War of 1914-18, the length thereof, could had been averted if Woodrow Wilson would has closed American ports, banned exports to Europe, and had told the JP Morgans and Co. on Wall Street that they are not to extend loans to anyone outside of the United States - and they would go to the gaol if they do. Such would had temporarily harmed the US economy, these measures, but back in those days we were a second-to-none industrial power,quite self-sufficient domestically(unlike today) and could had weathered the hardship without serious calamity.Those were the days when we followed the National System of economics to varying degrees(though Wilson himself was a Free Trader by design). Presently, because of *Free Market&Trade Bolshevism* we Americans are dependent on others.
I do not think that is a flame-o phrase to create antagonism - 'Free Market Bolshevism'. Rather it is an apt and fitting description of the Libertarian purists, and some members of the GOP. Just as the Marxist- Bolshevik faction in Russia believed that only they had the answers and only they are fitting to lead just talk to a Vienna School devotee at one of their corporate funded think tanks and one will hear the same noise and hubris. Neither the Marxist or Free Market Bolsheviks are about democracy and really do not care for adoption of the populists, and they are not welcome in their ranks anyway. Lenin thought that only his Bolsheviks had the correct idea of socialism , though they were far outnumbered in Russia by other socialist factions and parties. Same applies to libertarianism in the USA: no other people have the correct line on capitalistic economics than - them. The 'People' aren't in for their spiel, so they have contempt for the commoners quite like the Marxist intellectuals have. It is not surprising that some ex-Trotskyites often evolve into libertarians, like PJ O'Rourke. To both Free Market and the former communist Bolsheviks - ideology is everything and trumps all. If the Galt's Gulch capitalist Utopia was ever granted the opportunity to employ their measures, labor camps for *Individualist Re-Education* for the "altruistic-collectivist-mystics and Enemies of Capitalism" would be the likely result. Whittaker Chambers had Ayn Rand and the broad Libertarian movement dead to center in his famous piece at National Review - "Big Sister is Watching You". Chambers, being a repentant Communist and Soviet agent, recognized his erstwhile fellow travelers when he seen them - even when they're under the slogans of liberty, individualism, 'Free Markets'.....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dean Baker at Beat the Press thinks that newspaper columnists in the USA should open up their jobs for foreign competition - journalists who could do their job for less money and perhaps write even better, and I agree, naturally. Newspapers need to keep prices low especially since they have been hit hard from other information centers such as the Net where it is often free. These champions of the China Syndrome, the peculiar notion that cheap imports somehow helps out America's poor, need to put their own jobs on the global auction block since they are so concerned about the buying power of the underclass. This I've written ad nauseam before, and I can't help but playing the same side of the record over and over again. Frankly, I feel like a slacker because I haven't spinned it enough.....
Dean also takes America's physicians to task: I guess that doctors just can't make it on an average of $200,000 per annum(after malpractice insurance), and some of them are putting themselves in the same work boots as a steel worker. The doctors in the USA, via the AMA, are a protected caste and still they whine about ambulance chasing lawyers, and the cost of malpractice insurance. The reality is, is that they do not feel that they should be held accountable, period. Physicians, lawyers and educators are like the old medieval guild systems and the government gives them protection that it does not believe should apply to anyone else in any other field. Lawyers and doctors have very powerful lobby edifices as well(since most public servants are lawyers by trade - and increasing numbers are physicians - they got it made in the first place ). The American Medical Association, the various Bar Associations have no competition in the global economy and they fight tooth and nail if they believe that their monopoly is threatened. High time that these hallowed Guilds gets busted up in the same spirit of Anti-Trust Laws. But this is a pipe dream given that, again, most politicians are attorneys, and some physicians; the cause should be to bust the Trusts that public servants and the Fourth sphere of government - lobbyists - have over the people of the United States. The contradiction is that a lobby would have to be formed to shed the power of lobbyists and the protected guilds of the professional class...and so on. Next time that I meet a doctor, lawyer or educator who sings odes to the virtue of the Free Market and the global economy...well, never mind. I don't want to go jail;-)

At least the professional class should be partisans of all fields and careers in the job market should have their protected guilds that they enjoy. That waxes like some Distributist(I am not one) but at least Distributists have an alternative to the present state of affairs in the economy; they want everyone to have their own guild and would be an alternative to labor unions. Most Distributists are traditionalist Roman Catholics who reject the predatory, usurious aspects of capitalism and the leveling of Marxism simultaneously. The morale is that 'third ways' do exist and always have. The National System of economics is also an alternative, and to me is the alternative for the United States. It was the system that we had in various forms until recently in our history. It wasn't perfect, but it worked better. Distributists can be brought into the coalition, if ever one gets going to arrest TINA(There Is No Alternative) and get her off the streets.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Uploaded is another website I have found while surfing - "The American Protectionist Society" (see left column) dedicated to annihilating Free Trade. Cheers all around. Interesting enough, this American Protectionist Society seems also partial to Vienna School avatar, Ludwig von Mises; such economic folks and their followers are one of the prime reasons we are in this trade morass in the first place. Usually protectionism is that bane for such Free Market Bolsheviks(yes, they are) but the APS seems to be broad minded and enlightened people and apparently doesn't hang on every word that von Mises and Hayek wrote.

Here I am supposed to be a man of the Left,and most of the people at 'Blogs&Websites' that I have listed are conservatives or libertarian oriented in economics. The situation is that most of the anti-globalist Left are only so because laissez-faire harms the developing world and Free Trade is ecologically detrimental. Plus, the said left -of-center anti-globalist movement is just perennially hostile to any form of private enterprise it appears. The difference between them and wittle ol' me at 'Left-Federalist' is that I look at the situation from a national political economic base. The anti-globalist Left remains dedicated, by and large, to a fuzzy-wuzzy internationalism regardless of their hostility to Free Trade. And many do not dare utter the 'T' word in their program given that tariffs are designed to protect the economic infrastructure of the nation/state. The anti-globalist Left is still ate up with utopian anarchism, and I am quite the unapologetic statist(to put it in RandSpeak). Except for market-socialists like David Schweikart, it is difficult for me to find fitting fellow-travelers in economic protectionism from the Left, so this is why at the moment that *Blogs&Websites* has largely centrists and right of center hominids. The anti-globalist Left needs to get over their own hang-ups and realize that people like Buchanan are opposed to the same core thing that they are. There are many things about Pat that I still don't like, just as there are things about Nader that is unappealing to me. But if I can set my own prejudices aside about right-wingers - so can they.

Ergo, I mainly ally with the 'Free Market in One Country' people who are firmly in the trenches against globalism and give a hoot about the national economy and the people in it, though we may differ radically on the internal details.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Alternative History : Jefferson and Hamilton at the Potomac

Point of Divergence: George Washington does not die from pneumonia in 1799 (rather he was bled to death by doctors) in Real Time. Thus, with Washington still the de facto supreme commander of the Army assembled to fight France in lieu of the 'XYZ Affair', President Adams does not send his 'peace mission' to France and the field commander, Major General Alexander Hamilton, marches as planned on New Orleans in early 1800 and summarily defeats the Spanish garrison there and then turns the Army around and meets the French Expeditionary Force in West Florida and annihilates it in a stunning victory. Hamilton then wrestles an armistice from the surviving French commander that gives all French claimed for -territory in North America to the United States. The victory gives John Adams his re-election in 1800, but the President is not happy: he believes Hamilton to be a 'Caesar' and orders him to disband the Army and then de-commissions him without approval of the Senate. Hamilton disregards the order and then marches his Army through the Carolinas and into Virginia. President Adams then orders the Virginia Militia to confront the Federal Army as it nears the new capital, Washington City. Civil War seems to be at hand....

Appomattox Court House, May 12, 1801

"Major General Hamilton, Vice-President Jefferson has arrived and seeks your consultation, sir."

Hamilton shifted through the papers on his desk and quietly sighed. He knew that this meeting would come, but wondered why it had to happen now, this late. 'Just like Tom Jefferson to wait for the dramatic moment.' Hamilton rose and returned the salute to his aide-de-camp and ordered him to see the Vice President to his quarters with the extra command that they were not to be disturbed....

" I do say, Hamilton, that you have aged greatly since we last met," was Jefferson's opening statement to his old nemesis as he entered the room, after a pause.

"I do feel older than I may look to you, Mr. Vice President. And that is 'Major General Hamilton' to you."

"Oh have been de-commissioned and courts martial proceedings have already been implemented."

"This de-commission", Hamilton tartly replied, "is quite illegal and so is the courts martial. Also is illegal is President Adams's arrest of Thomas Pickering, other Senators, and those who raised objections to his dismissal of the Army and myself. If there is anyone making a replay of Rubicon, as Mr. Adams insists - I wager, in a highly emotional venue - it is not Major General Hamilton who is the antagonist. This Army has been fired on by Virginia State Militia already without provocation and I seek to put an end to this dilemma once in for all, Mr. Vice President. That Adams has waited until His Excellency George Washington met an untimely death last year to make this vindictive move...I'm not astounded."

Jefferson sat in a chair across from Hamilton, took a sip of offered tea from a servant and sized up his adversary - "You were always a verbose wight, Hamilton. You go on and on in whatever rattles in your brain as if the gods themselves bend an ear to hear what expires from your mouth regardless of the time duration. This is a mission that I have taken on myself , and I will be brief and direct: if you march on Washington City - the capital that you helped create - this republican government, this idea, is finished. This is what the European monarchists want to see transpire, and your action will prove to me what I have always thought you of. I'm certain that you won't have that? You may not think much of state militias organized by the people, but they are dug in in the Federal District and they aim to fight to the death. I will personally be at the lead of their column if you do make your Potomac crossing, and I will have my eyes peeled for your physical presence when the time comes with a loaded musket. So, I beg you ,Major General, to disband your Army now, and you return home to your cacophonous metropolis of New York where you belong."

Hamilton laughed derisively - "Disband you say? If I do so now your state militia will dispatch me before I get into Maryland proper. And let me remind you that my Army is disciplined, battle hardened, and more than a bit perturbed that they can't go home now because of the shenanigans of your mad, quite mad, President. No ragtag militias can defeat this Army after it made quick work of the professionals of Spain and France - regardless who is at the helm of their column - and no mind if I meet my own death. This ,they discovered near Richmond the other day when they launched an attack like sneak-thieves in the night at my camp. Mr. Jefferson, you don't stand a chance and you know this. But this 'crossing' I seek to avoid as well, for similar reasons as yours. I've already sent President Adams four different dispatches offering my terms, and they have been unanswered. It is the President of the United States who wants this 'Civil War' that he rants on about as if Cato's disembodied spirit has possessed him. Those terms are still on the table, but not for long."

"Need I remind you, Hamilton, that President Adams is constitutionally Commander-in-Chief of the Army and militias - not you. He has ordered you to disband, and you march north to where he resides nevertheless. What else is he to think of you? What am I to discern from your rash actions? To me you are a clear and present danger to the Republic as long as you are head of a numerous army, this close to the capital."

"John Adams has suspended habeus corpus and arrested many men without provocation. So do not throw the Constitution in my face after I expended copious energy for its ratification - more than Adams, Madison and you. You always struck me as being somewhat detrimental to the Constitution, the plan, anyway, sir. And if you think for a moment that I want to see Washington City turned into blood, you are quite mistaken. I am not the glory hunter as you think, and I have no aspirations for a dictatorship. The window for peace is still open, if Mr. Adams takes it by the offered branch."

Jefferson shook his head, rose and paced the room -"Ah! I had you so wrong, Hamilton! Always have I believed that history has always stooped to you, and now you have shown to have met it, and now you play the director."

"A situation that your druthers would have you in , Thomas? Regardless of the role, one can't be a director without a producer in a play. By you being here without the sanction of the President, you aim to be the protagonist. You can't be one without me, no matter how it pains you," Hamilton intoned.

"What mischief do you spill, man?"

"What I always knew about you, Mr. Jefferson, is that I could sweeten deals with you. You resented this. You never thought me your equal and still do not. Just because I was not born on a plantation like you were in the Americas, your genius could not accept me. Ergo, you always thought I was about 'mischief'. Very good.... There is no time now for your personal animosity to try to out fox me. The ultimatum is clear: if I do not have terms that are just to disband my Army, it will march in the next handfull days."

"Your terms, pray tell?,"Jefferson asked.

"You as the producer of this Rubicon play, will convince John Adams to resign the office of Presidency. Tom Pickering and all arrested public officials will be released and pardoned. The men of my army will be given guaranteed full pensions. Then, at an appointed place, the Federal Army and the militias of Virginia and Maryland will meet and lay down all arms and be released from active duty."

"You're daft, man! Adams will never sanction that and neither do I! I will not become President because of a bargain with you!"

"This will save our young Republic, something that we both want. And don't tell me that you didn't eye General Washington and especially the fat rump of Adams sitting in the Presidential chair and thinking all the while that you could do a better job of it than they. I watched you, and I knew. You're not just a producer, Jefferson, you are quite the actor: always feigning that you didn't much jibe with public life and only wanted to be a monk at your Monticello, studying insects, collecting books, gathering correspondence from the Enlightened Ones of America and Europa. I knew better. For all of your anti-federalism ,you,want to be the head Federalist of the Republic. This, is yours to have."

"You are Satan, Hamilton! Satan! And what will you do, if all of these terms are met? How do you know that I won't arrest you too if I am President? That I do think that Adams is rash and would have done things different - truth. Washington...he always lent his ear to you, and diregarded Virginia, but an able man ...I can't be President under these conditions - especially with you the loose cannon that you are and knowing that I owe the chair to you. I could never look my fellow Republicans in the eye therafter...."

"Jefferson, my only desire is to accept this de-commission and retire to private practice in the City of New York where you said that I belong. I've neglected Betsy and the children and they deserve better. My public service is at its end, this I know. Because of the Reynolds thing - that you were behind - my political career was over long ago. I want peace, Jefferson, both publicly and privately. Enough blood has been shed. If that means that you are the President, I have accepted this and you have to as well. You're a demagogue democrat and I think that you are a rank hypocrite. But you are a better man than Adams."

"I never was behind the Reynolds expose...think what you will."

"Oh no? You financed Callender and that other rogue. You couldn't find any corruption at the Treasury and the Bank, so you resorted to digging up the sins of my private life and very nearly ruined my entire family in the process. Have you no shame, sir? It nearly kills you that I am not the corrupt man that you thought me as, and you can't believe that I love this Nation more than you, though I've sacrificed about everything for this country including my family!"

"Hamilton! You can't know what an American is fully...but maybe in the past I was a bit hasty in my judgment and let our clamors get the best of my reason..."

"You will be President and will then hold all the cards. You can do with me what you wish. But I ask as a gentleman that you let me and my family dwell in peace."

"You will not pick up your poisoned quill and write your diatribes against me to the Federalist press? I find that hard to believe, Hamilton. You are a brilliant man, Major General, but you don't know when to desist!"

"Jefferson," Hamilton sighed, "if you will do but one thing as President, you will never again read a single word from me on your democratic policies under any pseudonym."

"And that would be?"

"President Jefferson will introduce to Congress a constitutional amendment prescribing manumission."

"What war will do to warlords! Now you have become a fanatical abolitionist. Did a cannon-ball graze your head in New Orleans, Hamilton?"

"Unfortunately for you and Adams, the ball was off target. During the long march here, I traveled the length of the South naturally ,and the journey brought me back to my youth in the West Indies. Whatever you think about the African race - slavery is evil , sir! I would not have even the demons in Hades enslaved. I personally do not think that I fought in the Revolution, then later on led men to defeat the French and Spaniards for the freedom of our Republic, to keep a large portion of our residents in bondage. You had similar views as a young man, but you have forgotten them. You need to remember the Young Tom, as I have recalled the Young Alex recently."

"Very well. What will you do if I don't set your precious Negroes free?"

" There's nothing that I can do, Mr. Jefferson. I will be a private lawyer by 1802, hopefully. But a future generation will rise and do something about that peculiar institution if you do not act."

"You are being presumptuous, Hamilton. I haven't agreed to any of your terms. I still think that you are Caesar, and are offering what you call 'terms' that is beyond me or anyone else to sanction - so you march anyway."

"That I will do, Tom, if Adams is not in a carriage on his way back to Braintree within a week."

"You will destroy the Republic."

"Adams already made the the first move in that can say that my terms are yours, if you feel the need. I really don't care. The terms on anyone's shoulders are quite liberal. This will avoid bloodshed and disunion.It is up to you at this point. You said that you will be brief, and I concur - this interview is at its end. Think on it on your way back to President Adams, and may God go with you....."

Following much heated discussion and tantrums, Vice President Jefferson and the Cabinet convinces President Adams to resign the office of Presidency because of "ill health". Major General Hamilton disbands his army as agreed upon and vetoes President Jefferson's proposal for a Victory Parade in Washington City. Hamilton retires to private life in New York City and three years later is killed in a duel by his nemesis, Aaron Burr. Unlike in Real Time, Jefferson is shocked and grieved at Hamilton's death and remembers the conversation in Appomattox Court House during the 'Rubicon Situation': President Jefferson introduces a Constitutional Amendment for the Abolition of Slavery which passes after much tribulation. By 1825, no man or woman is held in bondage to another man and woman in the United States of America...

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Defense of Gaius Julius Caesar

Just completed Tom Holland's - 'Rubicon - The Last Years of the Roman Republic' and found it a tantalizing read, well-researched and entertaining in many places. Holland follows the the norm of most Roman historians, that Julius Caesar ended the Republic by crossing the Rubicon with his legions returning from conquest in Gaul. Yet, he takes the reader through a narrative of the other personalities involving Rome in its last Republican days, and he is not convincing in his own words that we can heap the whole demise on Caesar himself; one can read between the lines that the author of said book himself has his doubts that Rubicon was the epicenter of the Roman Republic's omega.

Unlike most antiquarian, Classical historians, Holland portrays Cicero for what he really was -
a two-faced,synchophant, class-climbing, oppurtunist, and not personally a very brave citizen no matter how many speeches he delivered in the Senate extolling Stoic and manly Roman virtutes. Cicero wasn't spawned from an 'old' Roman family, so he planned his career in kissing the reactionary optimates' arses, and they ultimately rewarded him with power and wealth. When Cicero talked up the 'Republic', he was speaking for the slaveocracy, the slum-owners, the patrician grifting class, and the Optimates' death squads that were occasionally employed in the late Roman Republic. Often Cicero the man is skirted over in Classical departments at universities and he remains a hero to this day with some of these scholars. In modern day comparisons, Cicero puts me in mind of a cross between William F. Buckley Jr and Rush Limbaugh: silver tongued, verbose and educated as is Buckley, a mealy-mouthed demagogue for the corporate Overclass as is Limbaugh.Because that's his meal-ticket. Cicero would had been a populares if he thought the silver spoon with all the power to go with it could had been attained sooner.

Cato the Younger enjoys Tom Holland's greater esteem; Cato was a Republican purist who pined for the golden age of the Roman Republic that didn't exist (except in his own mind). Cato can be respected, but not at all liked: he was a filthy rich brat from an impeccable Roman aristocratic family but he purposely dressed in a dusty black toga, often forgot to wear shoes in the Forum, and talked- up living the spartan existence as an essential Roman virtue.One is reminded of the chic, wealthy bipeds we witness today who go slumming in their attire. You know, the crowd that wears used flannel shirts with a John Deere ballcap to top off their uniform and purposely rips holes in their Jeans...and all the males have perennially a three-day beard no matter what day you see them. Cato was like the person that you read about in Weird News who lived (when not homeless )in a trailer-park, drove a dilipadated that '70's' station wagon and drank ghetto wine & beer but died in a Salvation Army Shelter with millions in the bank and in stocks and bonds(via inheritence, mostly); it was discovered post mortem that he had a degree from Harvard who snagged his Ph.D from there writing apologetics for Social Darwinism and Ricardo economics... But Cato was a True Believer, unlike Cicero. He could afford to. Cato could look like a DirtBall and preach on stoicism. Julius Caesar never could sit smug and he was born with a major strike against him.

The Julius family were old Roman patricans, but had become impoverished by the time that Gaius made his appearance on the tragic Earth crying from his mother's womb. The homestead of said Julius family was set right adjaecent to the plebian ghetto of Rome and heard, smelled and maybe felt their pain, per diem. For a talented and ambitious Roman patrician without wealth, the only ticket to sucess was political and military power.Yet Caesar did have some principles that he abided by and didn't let oppurtunism trample them(unlike Cicero). His family were from the populares faction that more or less sided with the reformer Marius - who met a gruesome end at the reactionary coup led by a patrician warlord named Sulla - the first Roman who broke the law by sending his legion into the Rome. The Sullan coup was the pre-Rubicon and in my estimation was when Rome as a Republic ceased to exist but in name only. Sulla could be compared to Augusto Pinochet: he soon sent out his death squads throughout Rome and it was reported that some three-thousand Romans, plebians and patricians alike, were dispatched to the afterlife - mostly populares partisans and Sulla's personal enemies. In late life, Sulla wrote that he regretted not assigning Julius Caesar a similar fate when he had the power to do so. In fact, he offered the young Caesar a Faustian bargain: join the optimates faction and power and glory would be his. Caesar bravely declined and remained with the populares and he always was one. This is proof that Caesar was not a single-minded oppurtunist as many historians try to paint him as.

Sulla was granted the title of dictator by the Senate to "restore the Republic". His and the Senate's idea of restoration was to undo all of the Marius economic reforms and they did so in fine fashion(like Pincochet implemented "free-market reforms" that primarily benefited the Chilean wealthy elite). The restoration was quite un-republican and Sulla ruled by his goon squads that would knife opponents, or suspected ones on Roman crossroads w/o trial. Not a peep in protest was heard from Cicero, the Great Orator of republican virtues and order . Cato did occassionally take issue with Sulla, but again, being who he was, he was untouchable and could afford to dissent. Yet, Cato handled Sulla with kid gloves in comparison to his screeching diatribes against Caesar later on.The reason was that Sulla was no threat to the patrician's monopoly on the Roman economic infrastructure; Caesar attempted to put checks on it and spread out the interests involved.

That Sulla later on voluntarily walked away and ended his dictatorship is lauded by some Classical historians that Sulla was a true republican and was earnest in its restoration. The author of Rubicon begs to differ:Sulla had a strong hedonistic streak and was quite fond of wine and had an open prediliction for drag queens. After killing off most of his opponents, accumulating great wealth for himself and his already wealthy friends, Sulla decided to retire in his opulent villa and fully steep himself in his vices, write his memories. His shadow remained over the Senate, however, and his Death Squads were always at the ready if need be. Even later when he died from cirrosis of the liver in the arms of his transvestite lover, the fear of Sulla was like a fog over the citizens of Rome that never abated.

Many people do not realize to full effect that Rome was quite already an Empire before Ceasar formed his legions and marched into Gaul at age 40, and he had solidly established himself as a politician from the populares;he was the third link in the triumvirate and fought in the Senate for the plebians, the free lower class Romans. His later reforms as dictator was not entirely a power move to get the 'mob' firmly on his side. Though Caesar was not a humanist by any wild stretch of the imagination, and probably didn't personally give a bleep about the plight of the Roman working stiff, he did think that he had an obligation being the populares that he was, and Caesar delivered. He talked the talk and also walked the walk. True, many patricians would side with the plebians only to garner useful idiots in their quest for personal power and throw them off when their objectives were realized, Gaius Julius Caesar did indeed have virtue in his political worldview. Because Caesar was true to his word to his plebian allies, this is the main reason that he was feared by the optimates like Cato and Cicero.

Tom Holland doesn't go into detail why Caesar sent his legions across the Rubicon. By then, the centrist Pompey had been turned by the optimates following the death of his beloved wife - Julius Caesar's daughter. Plus, Pompey had become jealous of Caesar's military conquests when he had always egotistically thought himself as the Alpha Male and believed Caesar as a mere protoge, not exactly his equal. Pompey had previously formed a legion of his own in the quise of putting down mob gang warfare in Rome itself which was already a violation of Senate law. Caesar was given an ultimatum when he had crossed the Alps to return to Rome: 'disband your legion now, and return to Rome in your own person.' Caesar was quite aware of history what had happened to populares reformers like Marius and summarily retorted that he would gladly comply with the Senate's ruling if Pompey would disband his own legion that was already stationed within the city limits of Rome - so would he, his legions. Besides, Sulla had crossed the line before, and so had Pompey. The Senate rudely rejected Caesar's reasonable proposal, and the die was cast.

We know the rest of the story - the Civil War the that followed the Crossing of the Rubicon and Caesar's triumph over Pompey and his optimates minions; Caesar being awarded the title of dictator by the Senate(which was in the Roman constitution, btw). He was a legal dictator, but unlike Sulla, Julius Caesar was not a tyrant. Caesar, known for his occasional cruelty on the battlefied against barbarian enemies, was overly magnanimous to his vanquished fellow Romans. He had pardoned many of his key opponents in the Civil War - including Brutus and Cicero - and was reported to have wept crocodile tears when Pompey's head was delivered to him by treacherous Egyptians that took it upon themselves to execute him(Caesar subsequently had Pompey's assasins meet the same fate). During his reign as dictator, Caesar tried to form a coalition, a harmony of interests, if you will. He tried to work chiefly with the Senate initially, but when they rebuffed him on his proposed social and economic reforms, he then installed more power to the plebian Tribal Council to do so. Certainly, there was rigged elections, corruption,bribery but Caesar didn't resort to organized Death Squads as what was the norm in the Sullan dictatorship, and he could had done so if he wished. Caesar tried to reform the Senate in putting 'new men' who got there based on their merit & loyalty, not because of their family name. The die that was cast is that the Roman patrician oligarchy was going to have checks on their power.

I concur with Parenti(though I really hate to admit it): if Caesar would had never reformed the economic plutocracy of the Optimates, they probably would had sang moonshine and roses about Julius Caesar and held him up to be the archetype of a Roman Republican. Instead, Caesar pushed through rent controls in the Roman slums( even gave a one year moratorium on rents), installed a system of public works for the idle plebians, rewarded his long suffering and loyal legionaires their own land plots in Italy. Caesar knew that the people could not live by Bread n'Circuses alone. The final nail in Caesar's coffin was when he had pushed through the Tribal Council a bill that would require the rich plantation owners to hire 15% free labor. That was a threat to the slavocracy - and the economic oligarchs acted accordingly by murdering the man who was the closest thing to a democrat that Rome had at the time. Following the Optimates propoganda campaign that Caesar was going to bring back the monarchy, they ultimately got monarchy with Ceasar's nephew Octavian/Augustus: Augustus became Emperor but kept the Senate intact nevertheless and he restored the economic oligarchy of the patrician class, undid all of his uncle's reforms. No protest from the reactionary Senators was heard then, no cries for a restoration of republican virtues and government...

Caesar didn't end the Republic - it was gone before he was even born.Most did not know so at the time. Rubicon is just a power word, a weasel phrase, and it is historically unjust by putting the blame on Caesar for the Republic's demise, just as it is for blaming Herbert Hoover for the Great Depression, Kaiser Bill for the Great War 1914-18, LBJ for the Vietnam War, and so on.
Comparions can be odious at times. Many like to compare the USA to the trials and tribulations of the Roman Republic. If they are fitting, we have to be on-guard against our own patrician rulling class & their mouthpieces today who talk about "restoration of the Republic". This is why I don't quite trust such aspiring political power personalities such as Ron Paul, though I find myself in agreement with a portion of his spiel. If the USA goes to full-blown Imperium, it will be under the blanket of republican virtues and it will be when the American Overclass feels that their monopoly on economic interest are threatened. The Night Watchman of the Republic can't afford to catch sleep during the Day, either.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Searching around the blogsphere I realized that I missed somethings a week ago on Independence Day: Howard Zinn had his own anti-patriotic celebration pleading with people to root out nationalism in all forms from flags to songs. Him and the old Marxian international Left believes that the very existence of independent nation/ states is evil in itself and civil/liberal nationalism is just as bad as militarist, nativist,chauvenistic, illiberal nationalism.This is fairly much the stance of hard-core libertarian ideologues.
Zinn and Michael Parenti are the Poster Children of what is wrong with the hard Left in the United States. Zinn is famous for The People's History of the United States which he leaves out anything good about the USA's history and employs embellishments and shoddy research on everything that he believes is malignant - which is everything, according to Zinn. As for Parenti, Professor at Berekely(where else?), though I thought that his Assassination of Julius Caesar was an excellent and accurate narrative delving into the real reason why Ceasar was killed by the reactionary Roman Senators( Julius assaulted the slavocracy and implemented land and other economic reforms), Parenti sounds like a lunatic on about everything else that is a big issue with him. For instance, Dr. Parenti doesn't like his far-leftist brothers and sisters picking on Joseph Stalin;he dresses down Noam Chomsky every chance he gets for doing so and all but accuses Chomsky of being a closet right-winger. Just as the Far Right lunatics have their Holocaust Denial, Parenti engages in Gulag Denial: according to Parenti, just a few thousand died in Siberian labor camps instead of the millions that is widely accepted by everyone today, including the Russians themselves. And it wasn't 'all that bad'. Parenti blames the West for Stalin's purges and collectivization of agriculture and claims that everyone who was shot by NKVD thugs were as guilty as sin and deserved their fate('and it wasn't all that bad'). Parenti is also an opponent of nationalism in all forms, though he contradictory praises Marshal Tito's Yugoslavia - who was also a nemesis of Parenti's hero, poor, misunderstood Stalin. Tito organized Yugoslavia on the lines of a national-economy and allowed private enterprise and he was not a communist in the Leninist-Stalinist mode at all, which is something that Parenti seems to bemoan that has evaporated and wants to bring back the good ol' days of the Cheka, gnostic Command Economies with its monolithic, over-centralized, corrupt Big ,Big Bureaucracy....

I got sidetracked here, as usual. I have no stake in the matter, or really care, to save the looney-bird Far Left from themselves anymore than I seek redemption for the Right wing nuts. In fact it is good that they all exist to provide entertainment and point the lucid people of the realm of what not to believe in. But there does exist some benevolent figures in the American Left on certain things. Noted is David Schweikart's Market Socialism; Schweikart not only is a chronic revisionist Marxist for endorsing the 'Market' in the first place, unlike most Marxists he believes that market-socialism requires a protectionist national economy and there is not much any of this fuzzy internationalism about his plan. Reading his work, I about spilled my coffee mug when I read that he believes in the necessity of tariffs even between comparable market-socialist states. Though I doubt that market-socialism could ever take root in the United States - and there are good reasons why it should not - and I do not endorse Schweikart's economics, he remains refreshing to read after previously getting a fill of Zinn's and Parenti's gooblygoop....
On the 'Christian Nation' controversy, I beg to differ with the secularist side that holds up Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, and the fact that 'God' does not make an appearance in the writing of the Constitution, as the smoking guns that we are not a Christian nation per se. The real meat can be found, or not found, in the Federalist Papers - the argument for ratification of said Constitution. One would think that if Jay, Madison and Hamilton wanted to create a Christian Nation and that their Constitution was based on Biblical principles, that they would provide Scriptural quotes and writings of the Church Fathers on government to present their case. Thumbing through my own copy the other day, I couldn't find any of their arguments presented from a Judea-Christian base. Instead, their references were pagan Greece and Rome, the Swiss Cantons, the British constitution, etc...

....and the Founding Fathers didn't base the Constitution on that of the Iroquois Nations, either.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Demise of Working Class Culture

It was intended to finish the second part of the 'Ancients and Moderns' entry, but drafts aren't up to even my chaotic and dilettante standards for publishing as yet.Luckily I got diverted the other day on a new tangent while surfing the web....

Gabor Steingart had an excerpt from his book written at Der Spiegel Online - 'White Trash, Fast Food' nearly a year ago narrating the once proud German working-class slide into Jerry Springerdom in the 21st Century. In the Wilhelmian era, the working-class lived in hovels, were often hungry, but they had unity within the SPD;the 'proletarian' knew who was their friend, and who was their enemy. Special party schools existed not just for political indoctrination into socialism, but various self-education in numerous fields were open to them and they readily took advantage . What was interesting was that the working-class in the 19th Century gravitated to the German Classics and didn't pay much attention to the modernist avante-garde; plays of Schiller and Goethe etc., were commonly put on at Socialist Clubs. The proletarian could hold their own with the buegerlich on cultural literacy. Now the working class in Germany and the West in general has never had it better with living standards, but many spend their time watching TV, drinking, munching fatty food. If they have political views at all, they resort to protest vote of the extreme Left or Right parties and they often switch from election to election....

In America there has been a similar transformation with the industrial worker, the HardHat. Most of the Caucasian working class no longer votes at all; those with political views often merely ape what Rush Limbaugh and O'Reilly says -otherwise politics is generally a no-no to talk about on the job. Sex, comments on Larry the Cable Guy's allegedly humorous antedotes; the latest Sports score and plans after they win the Lottery are often the focal point of conversation besides subjects related to 'work' itself. Though occasional remarks about "rich punks" can be heard, there is no element of Class Warfare involved; often the Blue Collar Joe just wants the toys that the rich boss has and yearns to be a rich punk himself. As for 'educational endeavours', the best way to get oneself ostracized and ridiculed by fellow employees is to show up on the job site with a book(once, a fellow co-worker actually got angry at me for committing this unwritten infraction). Newspapers are kosher as long as one just reads the Sports section - Front pages are for geeks: a nuclear bomb may detonate somewhere on the globe, but what matters is that Barry Bonds got caught again shooting up steroids, for discussion in the breakroom.

The American working class was more aware of world events in the days when there were strong Labor Unions, perhaps. Others point to the nihilism of our general culture in the past decades, the great leap forward in CEO pay/income discrepancy; the more numerous Bread n'Circuses available to tune out the brain to for the Jerry Springerization of the white working class. Class Warfare didn't take the hue here as it did in Bismarck's Germany , but at one time the industrial worker had points of reference besides general pop culture and quenching their own desires , and there was no pride in being a total general dumb ass as it is today.

This is not clarion call for the working class to become socialists to recapture their own sense of sub-culture - just at one time it did have value, gave them a better sense of purpose other than making a buck. It is doubtful that it can be recovered. Jerry Springer, Howard Stern, World Federated Wrestling and NASCAR has got their souls in an iron-tight bag. ( however,some get uppity and parvenu and take up Golf; not a few has confessed to me that they even spend a Sunday afternoon watching Golf on television). A few think that they have their own souls intact the old-fashioned way of fundamentalist protestantism and distribute Jack Chick publications throughout the plant, construction site, etc. But that's okay since since it is not a book and in cartoon format...

Further insights along this line can be read in Charles Bukowski's short stories(who was both White Trash and literary) and Jim Goad's excellent The Redneck Manifesto that takes the reader on a humorous sociological trip regarding the Caucasian American underclass....

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ancients&Moderns (Part I)

It's been said that the USA was the 1st Modern Nation and this is absolutely on the money. If one believes that ideas matter and carry long-term effects on the socio-political realm, we can see the spectre of John Locke planted on the American flag from the onset. Locke, following Hobbes, coined the 'Natural Rights' idea; we are all equal in the sense to act within our own motivations and interests and overthrow the State when these a priori rights are transgressed. This philosophy is stamped on The Declaration of Independence quite distinctly.

I will not go into much whether *natural rights/laws* are actually natural though this is a highly debatable point with the argument's upperhand pointing to the negative: it can be said that 'Natural' rights and laws are one of the noble lies/political truths that we automatically assume to be 'self-evident', yet the whole unvarnished truth it is not. The crux of this entry is to punch at the seams of this Moderns vs. Ancients debate, and how our FF's may have been too modern.

There are many things admirable about Locke's social contract theory, but one has the feeling with his resolve to toss the notion of the divine right of kings, Locke purged the tub with the dirty water and some of the Founders of the Republic, especially Jefferson, followed accordingly. One good thing about the medieval political system, perhaps the sole good, was the axiom of noblesse oblique. This largely explains later on in the 19th Century, monarchical, more authoritarian regimes in Europe adopted a sufficient Welfare State, whilst the republican/democratic United States was a johnny-come-lately to it, and very reluctantly. Even Great Britain, the home of Enlightenment liberalism and corresponding classical economics, adopted the Welfare State before America did and 'socialism' didn't carry quite the Dracula reaction with Brits as it did(still does) with Yanks, even with some Tories. Europeans blended in synthesis modern-Enlightenment ideas and still retained their old spirit of noblesse oblique. Also, the USA was born a middle-class society with land seemingly infinite to privately own;even in 1787 when the USA's territory was merely the Atlantic seaboard, America was geographically the largest nation in the West and sparsely populated. Europe is simultaneously both 'old' and 'new', whilst America was 'new' but many thought they were continuing the 'old'.

The contradiction with the Founding Fathers is that they revered old Classical Rome and Greece, but took the new nation on the modernist path, excepting retaining the institution of slavery. Hamilton and his allies in the Federalist Party appears to be the most cautious moderns of them all; the National Bank and proposal to partially publicly fund via the BUS internal improvements and jump-start industrialization was in a sense a retention of the old European noblesse oblique. This among other things opened Hamilton up to accusations that he was a closet monarchist, though he was not. Unlike the Lockeans, Hamilton wasn't into leveling everything connected with the ancient regime, and wanted to give the bathtup a new cleaning in republican fashion.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Alan Tonelson at American Economic Alert really hammered liberal TINA pimp, David Broder, and I will join in in the slam fest a bit here. Broder hand-rings about Bush's loss of Fast Sell-Out Authority and he's in lock step with the apocalyptic forecasts of Kommissar Schwab. Free Trade is good for the world, according to Broder, because "95% of the consumers live outside the United States". Out of all the apologetics for laissez-faire, this is one of the most dense. Namely, no other nation on the planet has our consumer oriented market culture and neither the buying power. Other nations, such as in the western EU ones, may have a higher standard of living, yet they still retain their savings panache and have less household debt, etc. The fact exists that the nation is losing a gold-mine because of our consumer/post-industrial economic and trade structure;implementation of tariffs would be a check on our American Consumer Religion, and also would provide the federal government with revenue, and lots of it. Feature that many of these free-traders also want to keep taxes low and decry deficit spending; liberal globalists want money for programs such as health care and the general social safety net. Okay, why not have China and others indirectly pay for them?

Broder is wishy-washy, like most globalist liberals, and believes that "labor and environmental standards" in free-trade agreements is enough to offset shortcomings. History lesson, Mr. Broder: Clinton slipped them in with NAFTA and look at the result. They're empty symbolism. Even if they were abided by, the de-industrialization of the USA is continuing, real wages have not experienced significant growth with GNP since 1973, and our once second-to-none manufacturing base has transcended into McJob, service-oriented crappy positions. Jobs that free-traders like Broder and his Wall Street Journal fellow-travelers haven't found a way to outsource elsewhere. If they could, they would.

As I've stated before, I yearn that these professionals will someday feel the pinch of their own globalist outsourcing agenda:

'First globalism came for the factory workers;
I wasn't a factory worker, so I didn't speak out..

'Then it came for the software industry,
I didn't work in the field, so it meant nothing to me....

'...then globalism came for my job.
But there was none left to speak out for me.'

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Free Trade Kommissar, Susan Schwab, laments that the Doha Round - geared for the further sell-out of the economic infrastructure of the Republic - is breaking down. I reckon that Brazil and India doesn't like the Bush Administration's Marxian trade policy and they're balking. Kommissar Schwab says that if nothing is done in 2007, Free Trade could be in limbo for "years".

Good God... I hope that she is on par in her assessment and not just engaging in typical free-trader alarmist, fear mongering...

Let's hope that '07 spells the year of the death of laissez-faire and it doesn't have a revival. It has been a disaster for the country and the world in general and it is high time that it is buried. There have been signs that globalism is cracking and the roll-back may be nigh. Let the powers that be not pussy-foot around about it: the solution is not to induce other nations to adopt free-trade(we're supposed to be 'good neighbors'), or set quotas and beggar thy neighbor and manipulate the currency - that's all been tried before. As stated in a previous comment in response to a poster, we've got to kick the living guts out of globalism, and the steel-toed boot to do it with is called tariffs. It is proven in economic trade history and it works. Devil may care if it sets off a 'tariff-trade war': look at our trade deficit and then ponder what other region on the planet has the consumer buying power of the United States of America?

Speaking of consumerism....if purist Free Market coupled with Free Trade is supposed to magnify "freedom to choose" at the Mall, how come one cannot purchase socks and underwear and most electronics that has the *Made in USA* label on it? As an economic patriot, most goods that I buy with Federal Reserve Notes I want them manufactured by American workers in the United States. This 'freedom' is taken away from me as a consumer to buy American. Instead, I can only get goods made in sweatshops in the so-called developing world. I may have 117 boxes of breakfast cereal to choose from at the supermarket, but if I insisted on 'Buying American' always, I'd have to walk about nude and not have a television or boom box and could not drive my GM truck(many parts are manufactured in Mexico). Instead of freedom, patriot consumers have no choice in the matter - we live under a tyranny of foreign goods on the shelves. True-blue economic patriots are naked and Luddite today. I'm a fraud since in public I am always dressed for the occassion.

Even if a flat tariff spiked inflation(Free Trade has hardly been a spectre of deflation either; look at the costs in Year One of FT, 1973, and compare to today) long term,that may spawn a private wave to have domestic goods manufactured cheaper than all the kitsch that we have to buy from China and other places. The tariff would protect infant industries; or should I state, jump-start re-industrialization.We would have "choice" with domestic goods and services competing with foreign ones. If some product is made better than the American one and roughly cheaper, the market will bear, right? That's competition. That's capitalism. That's choice in the marketplace.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Mr. Bush: Accept Putin's Offer!

If Bush has any grain of intellect in his being, he will go along with Russia's offer to have the useless MDS deployed in southern Russia instead of the planned placement in Poland, the Czech Republic. Yes, I don't doubt for a single moment that Putin has ulterior motives(as we would in his shoes), but this NeoCon Administration has made the USA - once the beacon of light on the free world - a pariah state with most of the population of the dark Earth. Bush is no longer answerable to the electorate - but he is answerable to history.

The NeoCon lobby will use Cold War metaphors that Putin's proposal is appeasement if accepted. Actually, it is on the surface Realpolitik good-sense. If Bush is honest that the MDS is only to counteract radical Islamic regimes like Iran when they attain nuclear weapons capability, deploying them on Russian soil will be an act of good-will and perhaps will lead to more amicable Moscow-Washington relations in the near future. We direly need at least one of the two, Russia or China, in better, warmer dialogue. Ideally, I'd prefer a loose USA-EU-Russia triad partnership in international relations; a concert of powers if you will. Besides, if or when the next Administration gets a pair and levies import tariffs, we in the United States will need other nations in our corner when China and the other Asian tigers raise protest at the imposition of said tariffs. We need allies that matter on the macro world scene; having smaller nations like the Czech Republic and Poland, romanticizing unduly this UK-USA 'special relationship' is not cutting it.

If Bush rebuffs this offer from Mr. Putin, the GOP members of our federal legislature need to find a pair and impeach, then remove this man along with Vice President Dick Cheney. Enough is enough! This Administration should had been impeached long, long ago. Bush has not provided for the general welfare of the nation - he has put us in further peril. Besides, politically they do not want to be linked to Bush in '08 anyway.

Deploy the MDS in southern Russia, or do what is really right and scrap then entire program. Deployment of this system in Eastern Europe will be the re-start of the Cold War and this time we won't have a Stalin to blame for it, but a Bush.

Ramblings on nationalism, religion....

The idea of the autonomous nation/state is something that is rather unique and new in the long history of the Western Mind, or Faustian Man, if you will. Old medieval feudalism was hostile to the very notion of nationalism in any form. The object was always a pining for, a romanticism for the ancient Roman Empire's revival with many political thinkers of auld Europa. Medieval thinkers entrenched in their status quo were the reactionaries of their day; the assertion of some that nationalism has it's roots in the 'left' is not at all unfounded. Rightists have traditionally thought of political organization within the grounds of empire and kingdom until the 18th and 19th centuries when the feudalist system had its great unravelling. The birth of the United States of America was the catalyst.

Concur with some conservative thinkers that democracy per se is not what republics, sovereign nation/states are supposed to be about. Democracy, democratic elements in our own Republic came later, we evolved into it. Our Bill of Rights is based on liberty of citizens;checks and balances in our governmental structure. Our Constitution is geared to check the power of both the Few and the Many so that tyranny does not result from either side. As a liberal - a National Liberal - I firmly believe based on observable phenomena that this harmony is way out of balance,the economic elites in particular. Naturally, I am not anti-democracy but often it is not a cure-all for whatever plaques us within our Republic. Economic democracy, however, can be utilized to check the power of the economic elite. Another thing is to ban ALL lobbyists from Capitol Hill - even lobbyism that I agree with. Our Congresspeople are there to represent us, the Voter, not some high flung special interest group that uses the threat of electoral funding to buy our public servants to vote on laws that specifically benefits them. But we economic and civic nationalists have to resort to this lobbying ourselves in the meantime if things are going to be turned around. If they are not, start waving bye-bye to the Republic. There are signs that our side is gaining some ground, but the edifice of globalism from both the Right and Left is hardly beaten;they're wounded. Hopefully, we are analogous to Muhammed Ali vs. Foreman in the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle and we're roping the dope? That is my most optimistic angle at this moment, and that might wax of romanticism.

Yea, the general Left's hostility to nationalism is quite in error given that civic nationalism, at least, has it's roots there. The American nationalist tradition was from the onset peaceful to other nations and there not a bit of militarism in it. Perhaps the most nationalist President of the 19th Century was John Quincy Adams and he smacked the knuckles of those that wanted to go abroad and seek dragons to slay. His Secretary of State, Henry Clay, tried to form a consensus with the newly independent Latin American republics, a forerunner to FDR's "Good Neighbor" policy. John Quincy Adams was said to be the most intelligent man to sit in the Oval Office, and he was well-traveled on top of being well-read. Ironically, Quincy Adams was one of the most *Hamiltonian* President of them all, and his own dear old dad thought Alexander Hamilton to be the Antichrist to the end of his days.

What the Republic direly needs is a revival of this civic nationalism as companion to economic nationalism. This nationalism is the transmission fluid of the Republic. We're inhabitants of the planet Earth, but citizens of our respective Republic, a sovereign nation/state wishing good-will to all the global nations and not demanding that they adopt our 'way of life'. It's actually none of our business what kind of internal political- economic system another nation has as long as they do not directly attack American interests, sovereignty. Neither is it another nation's business what our internal structure has. Isn't this a good policy for all nations to have in international relations? It's not even all that idealistic, but solid pragmatism I always thought.

Said civic-economic nationalism can marginalize as requisite the natural enemies of the sovereign Republic - NeoCon imperialism, globalist laissez-faire and purist *free-market* reverse- Marxists. On the Left, there are the multicultural ideologues from the generation of 1968 steeped in their Frankfurter morass who have not the Republic at heart by any means, either.On the illegal immigration crises, as we all know, this cultural-bolshevist left is on par with the editorial staff of the Wall Street Journal. As a National Liberal, both camps are my sworn enemies. The hard left calls people like me "social-fascists"; the Dittohead-RightRantRadio lobby quite assures me that I am a envious leftist in the Leninist mode who wants to shoot every kulak/businessman in the country and confiscate everyone's wife, girlfriend, house, car and toothbrush in the name of levelling egalitarianism. News to me.

Why the hell would I want Bill Gates's toothbrush?? And I wouldn't trade my Chevy pick-up truck for any limo that is out there.

Then you got the Religious Right. As an unbeliever in evangelical/fundy Christianity, and since I think that biological evolution is a fact, folks like Pat Robertson thinks that I am behind a Manichean satanic plot to turn the youth of America into gays and lesbians, atheist practitioners of witchcraft, anti-American Trotskyites who want to kill their parents and make every female get a coerced abortion of their fetus....okie dok.

Well, some of my best friends have been orthodox Christians, and I used to be one myself. I'm just as annoyed with some evangelical atheists like Chris Hitchens and Richard Dawkins who insist on atheism to make a human to be a full human being. If religion is indeed a *Mind Virus* not all its properties are all malignant, though it has caused and is now a lot of calamities in the world. There is often none so dogmatic and wrapped in religious thinking than a zealous anti-religionist. Both camps of opposing Fundys detest agnostics like me as well, I've noticed.

A Republic we have if we can keep it.......

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Birthday, Uncle Sam

'Tis true that the Founding Fathers didn't settle on a Republic until after the War of Independence was won. But the events in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 was the mother shot heard around the world;the significance thereof was the solid end of Western feudalism and the bloody legacy of the 'divine right' of kings, titled nobility. Ironically, we had the aid and comfort of absolutist monarchs of France and Prussia to attain the dream of driving the aristocratic-oligarchs from our shore. Alas, in those times there were few republics and /or democracies to choose from to aid the Revolutionary cause; as Americans we should be eternally grateful as republicans to Louis of France and Friedrich II of Prussia. Let's not forget the brave men of Europe who fought and died for the American cause - some were aristocrats themselves who couldn't abide their own societies and wanted to make something better in the nominal 'New World'.

The 2nd President of the United States, John Adams, always felt that he was shortchanged on his contributions to the Revolution. Both his contemporaries and history would have been more kind to him if he would had wrote the Declaration of Independence himself, instead of twisting Tom Jefferson's writing arm to do the deed. Perhaps Jefferson wouldn't had become the shining star that he did. But, even I, an open Jefferson hater, gets a bit misty- eyed at times reading the famous opening paragraph of the Declaration, and I will not poo-poo it just because Jefferson wrote it. It is sanctified to me as an American, and as a liberty lovin' republican. This document also signifies the major turning point of both Western and world history. Rebellions were quite common beforehand, but now the world was given a philosophical and moral foundation for it in a little courthouse in Phili, on a hot day in July, 1776. It came at a time when the revolutionary cause looked hopeless, but all these men risked all and put their necks into the noose by signing it, this Declaration of Independence. In collegial terms what it stated is that the British Empire could take their Kings and Queens, Barons and Dukes and duchesses, colonial governors and shove them all up their tea-drinking, fox-hunting pompous arses.

This heralded the birth of nationalism. Liberal nationalism, that is. In these days and times too many think that nationalism is another 'N-word' and something that should not be said. Even those with political, economic nationalist programs. This is a grand fallacy. Nationalism can take many forms, and the original nationalism(s) was republican, anti-monarchical and based on liberty. Illiberal nationalism came later on in various parts of the globe. It is an error to associate the N-word with goose-stepping hysterical patriots in fancy uniforms wanting to conquer the globe; neither is nationalism as a rule associated with isolation, chauvinism,autarky,jingoism,fascism and dictatorship.Will anyone sanely accuse George Washington of these things? Nope. George Washington was the Greatest American, the archetype of an American nationalist. Not a philosopher-king by any means, he wasn't, but a huge portion of the men who followed him in the office of the Presidency were not fit to dust his dinner jacket(especially the current one in the White House).

The USA is still young and yearling in comparison to other realms on this Blue Dot. Some think that we are done for as a Republic and Caesar already has crossed the Potomac as a thief in the night; in dark nights of my political soul, I find this above axiom difficult to argue against at times. At least we are in troubled times fraught with doubt and at times nihilistic tribulation from certain sectors. But the optimistic side of my being always whispers that we are still young, we have growing pains, and it is something that we are capable of flushing out for a modicum of renewal, republican renaissance, if you will. Nevertheless, ye American republicans, heed the words of the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas -

"Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night:
Rage! Rage! At the coming of the light!"

As a parting glass for this blog posting, every year about this time I re-watch the movie Gettysburg. My favorite part of the whole long movie was the Battle of Little Round Top sequence. When ammo was out, and everything looked like it spelled 'retreat', Col. Joshua Chamberlain ordered his 20th Maine Regiment to "Fix Bayonets!" and charge. We republicans, liberals and conservatives ,who give a bleep about the Spirit of 1776 may find ourselves in Chamberlain's situation, if not already. Globalism is the #1 Enemy to our Republic - to any republic - so we should all be vigilant as the 20th Maine Regiment was, back in 1863.

Enjoy the Fourth, all readers. Remember why you are setting off fireworks, spending quality time with family and friends, this great day:-)