The US Department of State released 2,800 emails involving Hillary aid Huma Abedin that were found on Anthony Weiner’s hard drive last year, Judicial Watch reports. You can read all the emails here: FOIA Abedin Emails In a statement, Judicial Watch, which forced the release through lawsuits, said this: This is a major victory. After […]
Not often does a person or an event fit every definition of a single word. But Hillary Clinton’s life after the election fits perfectly all three definitions of graceless. Graceless. Graceless Hillary. Why didn’t Donald Trump think of that one during the campaign. “Graceless Hillary…” Not a single rational being could challenge the accuracy of […]
This is the same woman who let four people die in Benghazi. She lied about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire. She lied about the […]
Reading Time: 2 minutesYou might have heard that President-elect Trump has said he doesn’t want to waste time and attention on Hillary’s email server. You also might have heard that some people are upset about that. I’m not one of them. Months ago I was telling people Trump should announce that, if elected, he will pardon Hillary Clinton […]
In the spirit of the upcoming (Christian) holidays let’s just extend the gratitude (and gloating) one more day and take a slight, momentary detour from […]
Jonathan Pie, a British reporter, is the alter ego of actor Tom Walker. His character, who clearly leans left, was created as an outlet to express […]
The Vote is upon us – Please be sure that your grandchildren’s lives fit within the context of your vote
So. Where do you start your consideration of how to vote from? I’ve posted time and time again over the last decade, on how easily being ‘Principled!‘ in voting, can cease to be principled… such as When acting ‘on principle’ is unprincipled behavior – part 1, and Part 2 here, or It’s time to vote – Why?, and numerous other times over the years – if you’d like a more in-depth treatment, of the matter, look there.
But for the moment now, this will have to do.
Painful as it is for me to say, the only principled choice in this election, is the GOP Nominee, which happens to be Donald J. Trump. If you wish to make a principled decision, then cast your ballot for Donald J. Trump, as the only effective electoral means of defeating the greater threat to liberty and the rule of law, Hillary Clinton. Period.
Some of you might be taken aback by that. I suggest that you examine your principles, before once again consulting them.
What are they derived from?
As I’ve often said, Principles are a guide to thinking, not a substitute for it. Are you using your ‘principles’ to think, or to evade that?
Principles are derived from an hierarchical view of reality, from what is understood to be true within a given context, and by applying timeless truths to the moment within time, to determine what are the most moral and the most practical actions to take – if you assume the two are contradictory, you need to give your mind an acid wash and cleanse it of the muck of modernity (clues here)!
If your principles do not adjust to significant changes in the context of a situation, then they are no longer principles, they are merely positions, and to confuse the two is both unprincipled, and deadly dangerous.
To re-purpose an old Buddhist phrase:
“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!.’
For you coders out there, what this means is that you’ve taken the intellectual equivalent of an abstract class for managing reality (a principle), and hard-coded some fixed parameters within it, hopelessly tying it to one narrow particular situation. For the rest of you: Don’t litter your generalities with specifics – you only transform them into rigid rules that are irrelevant and useless.
IOW if your ‘Principles‘ do not direct you to adjust your actions, when the context of the situation has significantly changed, then they are no longer functioning principles; you’ve corrupted and zombiefied them, likely by emotionally attaching them to particulars of the moment.
For instance, for me, as my relevant ‘principles’ are derived from an understanding of the meaning of America, the candidate that I actively endorse and support needs to be someone who demonstrates an understanding of, and respect for, our Constitution and the Individual Rights it was designed to uphold and protect, through the Rule of Law and limited to that purpose. Those principles led me to choose Sen. Cruz over Trump in the primaries, because Cruz’s experience demonstrated an understanding of, and his polices were compatible with, my principled understanding (rooted in Individual Rights, Property Rights, under Constitutionally limited govt) of what the President of the United States of America is supposed to be the Chief Executive of. On the other hand, Trump… I’d no idea what he stood for,let alone what his principles were, beyond some managerial skills and popular charisma aligned with a vaguely ‘pro-Americana-ish’ sensibility.
But Ted Cruz lost the primary, and the primaries are over. Which meant that key, significant aspects of the context of my vote and the election, had radically changed.
My principles towards who I can support and endorse have not changed, but the new phase of the election is not about my choice for who would be the best candidate to run for POTUS. Instead, the election in question is now about selecting a candidate from those options which the electoral process of the nation – of which I am a citizen of – has placed on the ballot, and from which one WILL be selected by the voters as POTUS.
If your principles did not enable you to adjust with that context, if your ‘Principles!‘ have instead urged you to ignore the actual potential outcomes of the election, and have instead led you towards some form of personal self-gratification in the voting-booth, then what you are following are positions, not principles.
The fact is, that the context has changed, and you must choose anew from the available options. While Trump is still an unknown and flamboyant player, he is one of the two leading candidates from which the winner will be chosen. If the two front-runners shared fundamental principles of mine, then I’d choose from the best able to further them. However, they don’t. Neither one matches up with what I consider important. However, one will be elected, so the next question to be asked is not how can I wash my hands of this choice, but does one of them pose a greater threat to that which I value, and which is the purpose of this election: the nation, our system of gov, and all of the people living under it?
For the answer to that, see my previous posts, especially “Perverting Progress into Poison – the Doppelganger Strikes Back – The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress pt.9b“, and “Progressively Doing away with Truth – How Pro-Regressives see Regress as Progress pt 9c“, is yes, the Pro-Regressive ‘Progressive’ Leftist candidate is by far, the greater threat. While I still can’t endorse Trump or offer my support for his unknown qualifications, I can, and must, oppose that greater threat, with the most effective means electoral means available, which, from those options available to select from, as provided by the nations electoral process, of which we are citizen participants in, that is the GOP nominee, who happens to be: Donald J. Trump.
If you grasp the context, the principles involved, and the threats to them, then there is little reason to quibble, and no room for any of the ‘adult’ whining about it that I’ve been painful witness of. The only viable option, is Trump. Done. Grow up, cast your vote and move on.
Hopefully you’ll join me, beginning the day after he is elected (fingers crossed), in working to educate the electorate as to what ideas, principles and considerations they should have a more solid understanding of, but until then, we go to vote with the ballots we have.
Would I prefer to have a candidate that I could feel confident would understand, support and defend the Constitution? Absolutely. Sadly, tragically, that is not the option, IMHO, that the American people have left us with. The reality is that we do not have anyone available, conceptually and electorally, who I can see fits the bill, not in the two major parties, or, even if they were electorally viable, in any of the third party candidates. Still, there will be an election – Tuesday – and one candidate Will win it. If this were a cycle with generally pro-American candidates, whose main differences were simply policy, then we’d have an election with someone to vote For, and without having to be too concerned with if they lost (again, sadly, we haven’t seen an election like that in over a century).
But that is not the reality we’re facing.
We have a front runner for the Left who is possessed of an anti-American philosophy, and if you need a reminder, these are just a few of the founding ideals of the ‘American Progressives’ that Hillary identifies herself as being:
- “Each year the child is coming to belong more to the State and less and less to the parent.”
- “The tradition of respect for individual liberty, Gladden preached, was “a radical defect in the thinking of the average American.”
- “…Individuals, Ross maintained, were but “plastic lumps of human dough,” to be formed on the great “social kneading board.
Those are the fundamentals which guide here in the laws and policies that she will implement.
If elected, she will have not only enjoy the support of the bulk of Congress behind her in her efforts, but the wide landscape of the judiciary, to which she will deliberately add more equally anti-American judges to the Supreme Court, not to mention the entire bureaucracy of all the administrative agencies, such as EPA, FDA, IRS, etc, that will be behind her as well.
Outside of govt proper, she will also enjoy the full support of academia, the educational bureaucracy, the media, Hollywood, etc. In 8 yrs, Obama has transformed the bulwark of our Constitution, into little more than something of a fundraising talking point for a few of those ‘on the right’… and that’s about it. And the culture of our nation has slid at least as far down and to the Left. That is where a Hillary Clinton presidency will be starting from. She will Not stop at the level of economic policies, she will do everything in her power to extend govt power past what we can do, and into what we will be allowed to think and hope of doing.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I see the Left gaining power at this point in time, as an Evil, and a far greater one than is posed by Trump, no matter how foolish or corrupt he might be.
The Left Must be slowed. Period. And the most effective means of doing that, sickeningly, is with the GOP nominee.
I don’t like it one bit. I’ve disliked Trump since the 1980’s, but this isn’t about my preferences or sensibilities, but about attempting to keep the greater evil from gaining power.
Once again, I in No way am a supporter of Trump – I’m an opposer of the pro-regressive ‘Progressive’ Left. I have no basis in reasoned experience to believe that Trump will succeed in accomplishing anything good, I have reams of information and understanding that the Pro-Regressive ‘Progressive’ Leftist candidate, is the most vicious believer and operator the Left has fielded in a century.
I am not supporting Trump, I’m opposing the Left’s Hillary Clinton.
To treat this election as if it is simply a choice between policy options, is ignorant, and borderline insanity, and the habit of treating the left as just another policy choice, is what has had a great deal to do with the Right’s failure over the last many decades; failing – refusing – to confront the meaning of their policies, and I’m speaking of those who think in terms of defining their ‘principles’, which Are anti-American, has been a futile, foolish policy of ‘competitive appeasement’.
By anti-American, I don’t mean they are bad people who kick puppies and are mean to all – I’ve far too many friends and family who are leftists, who I know to be wonderful, kind, generous people, to give that a moments consideration. But then I don’t define America by is boundaries or ‘baseball, hot dogs, apple pie…’, but by the ideas that first made it possible, and which our founding documents embody. That means ideas that recognize and uphold individual rights, property, and a rule of Law that recognizes their being upheld, as its purpose. To deliberately infringe upon, or negate those principles, Is to advance ideas and positions that are, necessarily, anti-American.
And by evil, I mean that the driving philosophy behind the Left, is opposed to even recognizing that reality can be known (see Kant), is deliberately intent upon imposing their will over and against what is real and true, and because they prefer their wishes to reality, they feel justified in having ‘experts’ and legislators ‘force us to be free‘, which goes back to Rousseau, and as this quote indicates, has persisted from then, to Joseph Stalin, and has certainly not been denounced in our day,
“…We will mercilessly destroy anyone who, by his deeds or his thoughts—yes, his thoughts!—threatens the unity of the socialist state…”
as well as every PC re-education program anyone had ever been sentenced to, is alive and kicking in the left.
Finally, it is the intent and deep desire of the Left, to not allow people to live their own lives, but to use govt power to live their lives for them, and I most definitely do see that as being evil.
Tomorrow, don’t react,; think, before you vote, vote as if your grand children’s lives depend upon it..
Reading Time: 1 minutesYesterday I speculated that Barack Obama had grown sick of Hillary’s corruption, lies, and criminal disregard for the rule of law. A lot of people thought I was nuts, that I was reading too much into the White House statement that discredited Hillary’s primary talking point about James Comey. But today the Gateway Pundit reports that […]
Perverting Progress into Poison – the Doppelganger Strikes Back – The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress pt.9b
For most Americans, even today, their natural reaction when they see an error, or a falsehood, or some other wrong, their impulse is to try and correct it. While the belief that they can correct it, is cause for us to hope, the fact that their corrections are so full of obvious errors is cause for despair. But even so, the belief that they can correct it, that comes from our recognition that there are facts and that we can know them, and that because we understand that we can know the facts, and that paying attention to what is, and is not so, will help us to understand what is True, we then presume that we can put ourselves on the path towards understanding what we ought to do, because of what we know to be true.
Which all seems so very obvious, reasonable and commonsensical. Right? And once upon a time in The West, not only would it be thought possible and normal to distinguish between a ‘fact’ and a ‘lie’, there would have been no dispute about the wisdom of correcting it with what was Right and True.
But that sort of sense is no longer acknowledged by those in places of intellectual power over the world we are living in. Most such folks will deny that there is any connection between what IS, and what Ought to be done about it (and that definitely depends upon what you think the meaning of ‘is’ is). To be sure, these ‘thought leaders’ are exceedingly quick to tell you what is right for you to do, but they will, often in the same breath, also tell you that there is no way to know what is True or Right.
This progressive reversal of perceptions and moral fortunes has been turning the Western world upside down, and has been brought upon us by those who have the nerve to call themselves ‘Progressives‘, and the effects of it reach far beneath those appearances which they prefer to stay above. From academics to policy wonks to media gadflies and political activists, they feel the zeal to tell others what they should do, while also saying that no one can know what is true, and somehow they have the effrontery to call this position ‘Progress!‘.
The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress
- pt 9b: Perverting Progress into Poison – the Doppelganger Strikes Back
- pt 9c: Perverting Progress into Poison – How Pro-Regressives see Regress as Progress
Now for the first time since nearly as far back as Woodrow Wilson, We The People have on the ballot for our President, a self professed ‘American Progressive’ in the person of Hillary Clinton, who’s also supported by numerous others who more than fit the same bill, wouldn’t it be wise before choosing whether to cast your vote for Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump – or to avoid the choice through a ‘third party’ alternative – wouldn’t it be wise to try and understand what it is that they, and she, mean by ‘Progressive!‘?
Because I’ve gotta tell you, especially for those of you who do have a negative view of ‘Progressives’, if you think that their ideology is somehow equivalent to being a corrupt bureaucrat, or a corrupt businessmen, or a crook, or even if you believe that it’s equivalent to being an authoritarian ‘Statist’, or even a flat out ‘Tyrant’, you are not only greatly mistaken, but your mistake is aiding and abetting that same pro-regressive ‘Progressive’ agenda that you have such a negative view of, in much the same way a cold blooded murderer would benefit from being treated no more seriously than you would a swindler.
One thing which this series of posts on ‘Progress and Regress and the Rule of Law‘, has been illustrating, is that simple abuse of power, and abuse of the law for political power, is what we’ve had with us throughout all of human history – but abusive, tyrannical government is not how you identify
a Progressive. Neither can you properly identify them by the policies they support, policies that have been with us since the closing days of the Roman Republic, and on through its emperors such as Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Diocletian and more, or the totalitarian monarchy of France’s King Louis XIV, or even our own former King George V, they all supported policies which we now associate with Progressives today, from economic price controls, to The Dole to gain political popularity, participated and fostered graft and corruption, mandated state sponsored monopolies and mercantilism and so much more… and yet… they were not Progressives, and they weren’t able to measure down to the worst that Pro-Regressive Progressives are easily capable of descending to.
To be sure, the old style tyrants oppressed people, ruined lives and racked up body counts beyond our imagination, but they were not Progressives, they were merely tyrants – and I am most definitely using the word ‘merely‘, advisedly.
What I mean by that, is that prior to the bright side of Modernity, mankind was mostly ignorant of individual rights, property and the Rule of Law, and those who were tyrants prior to that understanding, they should not and cannot be, properly equated with those on the dark side of Modernity who do have that knowledge, and yet deliberately evade, deny, reject and set out to eliminate all understanding of it. To a certain extent, we need to view the tyrants of the past, and even some of those who’d engage in such tyrannical behavior today, as we would view similar behavior from a pre-modern medical doctor, and a modern medical doctor.
A doctor who neither understood or knew of modern medicine, that bled their patients to death, or poisoned them by administering mercury to them through doses of pills and enemas, in tragically ignorant efforts to heal them, must be regarded very differently from a doctor who, with full knowledge of modern medicine, deliberately bleeds their patients, poisons them with doses of mercury pills and enemas, and intentionally destroys the health of their patient ‘for their own good‘. However much wrong both such medical doctors might bring about, the actions of the later are infinitely more dangerous and horrifying than those of the former.
It is not only from the actions that you identify a Pro-Regressive Progressive, but from those ideas and beliefs which drive them to take those actions. If you are observing and determining and calling a politician a ‘Progressive!‘ simply because they associate themselves with such policies and behaviors… you are missing the essential, defining, fundamentals, of what Progressives are, and why I call them Pro-Regressives.
Tyrants have been with us since the dawn of time, but Progressivism was only recently introduced upon the world stage with the coming of Modernity at the end of the Age of Enlightenment, and along with all of the dazzling technological progress that modernity has brought with it (and remember, correlation is not causation), it also brought about new philosophical aims and techniques – it brought a very new way of observing and thinking about the world – which induces those followers that we can identify as ‘Progressives’, to go not just beyond the old lines of bad and unethical behavior, but to plunge through and deep beneath those old boundaries, while loudly proclaiming that they do so ‘for the greater good!‘. That new view, when coupled with the power of a nation state and The Law, is what brought about the 100+ million dead of the 20th Century, from the hands of the various flavors and faces of Pro-Regressivism, in Socialism, Marxism, Communism, Fascism.
In previous posts (see inset links), I’ve gone into where real civil progress in the Rule of Law began, how it developed, and those fundamentals that began to give it true shape and the ability to defend all the people; how true progress was unLocked by the clarification of Individual Rights, and of the vital importance that Property Rights has in anchoring all of our Individual Rights into the reality of our everyday lives. In the last post, I pointed out how the Rule of Law, is being transformed into its evil twin, the Doppelganger’s Rule of Rules, which through the more popular ideas of modernity, we have been severing ourselves from that anchor in the law which property provides for our individual rights. Today our best and brightest are being taught to confuse the dangerous state of drift which we are being swept away on, with navigational progress.
In this post, I’ll do my best to point out as briefly as I’m able to (ahem), some key landmarks which Progressives have been using as the intellectual equivalents of optical illusions, making it possible to think of a wrong turn, as being a right one, that have made it possible for people today who think of themselves as being ‘educated’, to mistake that dangerous intellectual drifting upon the moment with purposive navigation. These are the landmarks that we’ve been travelling by, and whose crowning achievement has been to bring our society to the point of affirming and believing that a man can identify as having changed his gender to being a female, while using the law to force you to accept such men as women, in even the most uncomfortable and vulnerable of situations.
Note: This has nothing to do with those who’re afflicted with being transgendered; I’m not interested in troubling the mentally ill person who is truly afflicted with confusion over whether or not they’re a man or a woman, or to lock them away for having such views. What I am interested in here, is the healthy sicko who is willing to not only reinforce the delusions of the mentally ill, but will use them to gain the political power to force you and your children into participating in those delusions, and to behave as if such contradictions between perceptions and physical facts, can and should be believed and accepted as facts as you see them.
I’m interested in drawing attention to those who would demand that you, as George Orwell put it, must “…really and truly believe that 2+2=5“, because there are consequences to such things being believed and accepted, and none of them are good.
Perspective – Seeing yourself as ‘Progessives’ see you
I made some note a few years back of some early pro-regressive ‘Progressives‘, such as a fellow named Ellwood P. Cubberly, someone you probably think little of, but who has a great deal to do with how and what you do think, as his ideas greatly aided in forming the structure of our modern educational system, in some ways even moreso than John Dewey. One of his swell statements, back in the ‘good ol’ days’ of 1909, was his positively delighted boast that,
“Each year the child is coming to belong more to the State and less and less to the parent.”
If you’re like most people, who assumed that our schools started going bad in the 1960’s, that date is a little surprising – and it should be, but only because even by 1909, that process had been well underway for several decades. The early 1900’s was the high time of the ‘Progressive’ era, and it was marked by lots of smart folk who were deeply impressed with their own smarts, such as another fellow from the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, whom you’ve probably also never heard of, Lester Ward, who also had quite a lot to do with what you think, as he – at the time called ‘the American Aristotle’ (!) – had a great deal to do with decisively moving Education away from a system that helped humans become more humane, to one that trained you peoples to become as useful to society as some few experts could imagine them being – and preferably no more so. I’d noted that Lester Ward had,
“…carefully went about redefining the word ‘Education’ in his book “Dynamic sociology”, though he didn’t hide how he intended to use his newly redefined word:
“…if the word can be made to embrace the notion of imparting a knowledge of the materials and forces of nature to all the members of society, there can be no objection to the employment of this word education as the embodiment of all that is progressive.
Education thus defined is the available means of setting progressive wheels of society in motion; it is, as it were, the lever to which the power must be applied.”
The lever to which the power must be applied. Can you say ‘Nudge’?…”
And how did they want to leverage that power to nudge us? By getting us to rethink what was worth thinking about, and individual liberty was what these ‘progressive’ minded people most wanted us to think the least about and the less of. As Thomas Leonard notes in his new book “Illiberal Reformers“, early Progressive thought leaders, such as Washington Gladden, thought and taught about our American ideas of Liberty, that
“The tradition of respect for individual liberty, Gladden preached, was “a radical defect in the thinking of the average American.”
Why? Because they thought liberty to be an old, outdated idea, and worse, our attraction to liberty made it more difficult for them to do to us, what they thought that their ideas of ‘Progress’ required to be done. As another Progressive maven, Edward A. Ross, taught that the concept of social control,
“…Individuals, Ross maintained, were but “plastic lumps of human dough,” to be formed on the great “social kneading board.
Ross was not merely touting bigger government. He was asserting that the autonomous, self-reliant individual, a figure in both the liberal and republican traditions, was now a fiction in the age of industrialization…..” [emphasis mine]
And make no mistake, the Pro-Regressive to this day still sees you as the clay, and they see themselves as the ‘experts’ whose duty is to sculpt you into that which will adorn their superior vision, to remake reality according to their visions, a vision they see as also giving them the power to discard those sub-standard lumps of human clay which they deem to be not so useful to their purposes (See the SCOTUS case ‘Buck vs. Bell‘, which I earlier noted in this post). Self described ‘Progressives’ pursued the prevention of marriage between races; they publicly and high-mindedly sought to eliminate the ‘botched’; they even deceptively experimented on unsuspecting patients (as with Tuskegee Syphilis Study), even poisoned and killed thousands of Americans in the name of Prohibition (“…the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people…”), because they saw such actions as being pragmatic means for addressing those problems which they desired to ‘cure’ society of. As Leonard notes,
“…Progressives embraced holism, drawn by a powerful confluence of postbellum intellectual currents: the German Historical School’s view that a nation was an organism, something greater than the sum of the individuals it comprised, Darwinian evolution’s implication that the individuals inalienable natural rights were only a pleasant fiction, the Protestant social gospel’s move from individual salvation to a collective project of redeeming America (indeed, the world), and the liberating effects of philosophical Pragmatism, which seemed to license most any departure from previous absolutes, provided it proved useful. …”[emphasis mine]
Because they are working so hard to get us to rethink and unthink what ‘s worth thinking about, you might want to think a bit more carefully about who you think that you are; do you think of yourself as being an American? Why do you think that? What do you mean by that? It can’t be ethnicity or race – Americans are mongrels mixed from the world’s ‘pure-breds’ and always have been, being an American can’t be defined by only where you’re from, without cheapening and disrespecting the one thing that being an American actually means.
If being an American has any meaning at all, it means a person dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal – not in the sense of physical characteristics and abilities, but in the sense that by the nature of being human, all men have been endowed by their creator (and in this narrow sense, whether you think that creator is the Deity, or Biology, the point is unchanged) with certain inalienable rights – which means respecting and upholding the ability to take those actions which are essential to the nature of being human: to live, speak, act, associate, produce, preserve and protect, etc., and that no person could be said to be living a fully human life, if they are being forcibly prevented from taking those actions which they thought were the best decisions for them; it means believing that such individuals who respect the rights of their fellows to do the same, are capable of, and ought to engage in, the art of self governance, under a system of laws designed to limit the power of their government to the purpose of defending those rights. It is that spirit and understanding of America which has enabled Americans to enjoy living in liberty in society with their fellows, and the spectacular explosion of wealth that followed from a nation being dedicated to putting such ideas into practise.
One implication of that idea of what America means, is that those who deliberately define themselves as ‘Progressives‘ were, and are, in that sense decidedly, vocally, anti-American, and proudly so. If you snicker at my saying that, you do so out of ignorance – yours (I suggest you read through the links above, and these obvious ones here: Teddy Roosevelt’s 1st Address to Congress & his New Nationalism, and his Who is a Progressive?, Woodrow Wilson’s Constitutionalism, his What is Progress?, and the links still to come – then get back to me). Such ‘Progressive’ feelings might justifiably be described as patriotic anti-Americanism, and it was and is their view, that that same system of laws by which Americans secured Liberty for ourselves, is the very same means by which they have for so long intended to rid us of that same liberty.
Or do you somehow suppose that Washington Gladden’s assertion that,
“The tradition of respect for individual liberty, was “a radical defect in the thinking of the average American.”
, has some other meaning? What other meaning could it have?
The image of The Law as Right Reason, forced through a mirror darkly
Real societal Progress is enabled, among other things, with rightful Laws, and societal Regress follows from the misuse, abuse or absence of, such rightful laws, and real regress will follow, no matter how good or different your intentions might have been, for those ‘Change!‘s you brought about.
Those rules which are worthy of being legitimately thought of as Law, are developed from observing how people coexist over time, how they interact with each other, socialize, trade, argue, etc, which enable us to look through the passing fashions and passions of the day, to discern both timeless truths and common fallacies, from people’s actions and their justifications for them. Laws which positively contribute to the Rule of Law are derived from the reality of that real nature of our being human beings who’re attempting to rise above our baser, natural, natures; who’re attempting, in Cicero’s words, to order their actions by “Right Reason in agreement with nature“, to define reasonable rules which enable a people’s interactions to continue, insofar as they are honestly directed, while punishing those who’d negligently or deliberately abuse their fellows.
Laws lose their legitimacy as they abandon that foundation, and become only Rules posing as ‘Law’, rules seeking to force compliance from people, rather than to facilitate their consent, and usually for the benefit of those who have no other right in such matters, than the favor of those who have power over them all. Such ‘Rules’ as those are the dark mirror image of laws and the Rule of Law, what I’ve called its Doppelganger, and its darkened mirror image strains to take us in the opposite direction, appealing to our baser natures in order to entice, revel in, and live down to, that baser nature, for a time being parasitic on a just system of Law until it becomes strong enough to replace it, controlling or prohibiting a peoples rightful actions and behaviors.
That is not me making derisive comments about Progressives, but me describing the books and essays and speeches that they’ve written and acted upon.
What actually is rightful in ideas and Laws, tends to follow from a bottom up view of the reality of human nature, which, not surprisingly, is not where Pro-Regressive ideas spring from.
The Pro-Regressive ‘Progressive’ does do not start reasoning from tangibles such as land, possessions, contracts, a respect for social arrangements or other facts of how people actually live their lives, towards those abstractions which enable people to think more clearly about them. Instead the Progressive begins by rationalizing how things ‘could be’ best conceived of, with which one person or group of like-minded persons, who, confident in their more impressive intelligence, believe their own expertise could be used to improve upon how you deal with mundane tangibles in your life, for you; they like to think about what you should think, and do, and believe, delighting in imagining how much better your life would be, if only they had the power to live it for you. Confident that they know your mind and interests better than you do, they intend to use the power of government to ‘lead’ you into having to do what they believe is best for you, as Teddy Roosevelt put it:
“I do not represent public opinion,” he wrote to the journalist Ray Stannard Baker. “I represent the public. There is a wide difference between the two, between the real interests of the public and the public’s opinion of these interests.” He spoke of the common good as if such a unitary thing were not hard to identify, at least for him. ….”
, and as Woodrow Wilson said, in noting the similarities between Democracy and Socialism (he nominally preferred the former, but was more than ok with the later),
“…Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals. Limits of wisdom and convenience to the public control there may be: limits of principle there are, upon strict analysis, none….”
The Pro-Regressive ‘Progressive’ means to do good to you, as they see fit for you – no matter how you might feel about it.
One of the most irritating things that I often hear, is when Pro-Regressive Leftists are referred to as being “Liberals”. Yes, they refer to themselves as being ‘Liberals’, but that term itself refers to the belief that men can and should live in liberty, and Leftists believe no such thing – they are not Liberal, they are Illiberal. Pro-Regressive Progressives, and the Leftists who carry on their ideas, used to openly deride the Liberal ideas of our Founders era, and they only retreated into that label after their own term ‘Progressive’ was given such a bad name after the likes of T.R., Wilson and Hoover. It is only now, when that too recent history has been nearly forgotten, that they openly dare to return to their original name, of ‘Progressive’.
In an interview with Thomas C. Leonard, author of Illiberal Reformers, he notes:
“…The progressives disparaged 19th-century liberalism as laissez-faire and led a crusade to dismantle it, remaking American economic life with a new instrument of reform they blueprinted and built, the regulatory welfare state. The progressives were reformers, to be sure, but they were no liberals. Indeed, they disdained individual liberties—not least those enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights—as archaic impediments to their reform project of improving American society’s health, welfare, and morals. Woodrow Wilson, among many others, dismissed talk of individual rights against the state as “nonsense.”
There is an additional sense in which in the progressives were illiberal. Before “liberal” entered the political lexicon, it described a person who was open-minded, tolerant, and free from prejudice or bigotry. As Illiberal Reformers painstakingly documents, a shockingly high percentage of the progressive economists were close-minded, intolerant, and bigoted. Indeed, they campaigned to exclude the disabled, immigrants, women, and other maligned groups from the U.S. workforce, on the grounds that the economic competition of hereditary inferiors threatened the American working man and Anglo-Saxon race integrity….”…”
They had no extensive reflections to justify that, they, as did the college students in those videos from the last post, have only the most shallow of appearances with which to base a snap judgment upon – and they are eager to do it. They will rush in with something such as:
“… I feel like sometimes, people use the ‘Constitution’ as an excuse to not… think…”
and then follow that up with such thoughtless thoughts, as,
‘When it was written, we were considering things that absolutely don’t apply today’
, as if concerns about how to, and how much power, to place in the hands of a human’s nature, is no longer a matter for concern to us today.
The Progressive looks upon reality and is frustrated that it isn’t as efficient as they’d like it to be, as it no doubt would be, if only they had the unrestricted power to remake the world in their own image. They want answers without trying to understand the questions, they despise the deep structure of questions and answers which Western Civilization has developed from over the course of three thousand years, because of the limitations which that understanding requires them to respect; they don’t want Truth, they don’t want Wisdom, they don’t even really want Results, but only the expectation of what they want to result, from a world made to conform to their desires for it. IOW, they want to be Pragmatic.
At root, the Pro-Regressive ‘Progressivism’ is an ideology of easy answers, easily luring the follower into feeling as if they are ‘helping’ improve their fellows lives, building one good intention upon another, creating a foundation so shot full of unforeseen errors and falsehoods, that it easily ruins all that it comes into contact with.
And as they have – and approve of – little or no contact with reality, that seems just fine to them, after all, its your life they’re experimenting with, not theirs, and they don’t really want to have anything to do with you… beyond living your life for you.
And when you come down to it, that IS what they most oppose – the possibility of you living your own life, and they rebel against is anything which thwarts their good intentions for you. The desire to ‘do good for others’, justifies their good intentions for you – their ends justify their means.
And as discovered in the previous post, they discovered they could accomplish that, by breaching the integrity of Rights, Property and Law, and by nudging people into tolerating what is not true (and not even true), nudging them into permitting any well intentioned’ lie (“… a video cause the Benghazi riots… if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor…”), as justifying their means… almost in a sort of secularized version of the Islamic ‘Taqya’, where all lies are permitted, so long as they further the faith. That, together with an eagerness to mock what is right and true, is by such means by which external power, rather than your own personal responsibility to what is true, becomes dominant in your relations with your fellows, and with your own self, and it is through that mental and spiritual breach that the Doppelganger rushes in.
And in that rush, with power no longer bound by laws respecting individual rights or a people who have respect for them, that is the type of world where the ‘little guy’ no longer stands as tall in court as the wealthy ‘elite’, where no longer does the state ‘have their back‘ so that ‘every man’s house is his castle‘ – when the Doppelganger rules over you by rules rather than laws, it doesn’t ‘have your back‘, it holds a gun to it – for your own good – reducing all of your property to merely those physical possessions that are held onto by the strongest (or by those who’ve curried their favor).
We tend to not realize just how much we miss when we overlook the fact that our regard for the truth is what enables us to gauge the brutality of an action, and without that, any brutality is easily reduced to, and induced to being seen as, simply a useful means to a more efficient end.
Pro-Regressives, however, add something more and something new, to the mere quest for power over others, where the old fashioned tyrant knew that they were behaving as brutes, and didn’t care, knew that they were doing wrong, but did so anyway, the pro-regressive actually feels justified in doing evil, because he feels that because ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few‘, then what they see as being the greater good, justifies their doing any lesser evil, so long as he feels that their intentions are lofty enough to justify them. And with no serious convictions about what is true or false, right or wrong… how would they not feel so?
Those who feel unrestrained by either our Constitution or the ideas it was derived from, will willingly use power to take life altering positions and judgments, upon such a shallow basis as pragmatic snap-judgments about ‘what will work for the moment’, are not the sort of people who’ll be content to let their ideas stop at installing warning labels, stop signs or moderating penal codes. The policies formulated in academia and popularized in popular culture and the media, seek after using the force of law to realize their dreams for you. They fully and eagerly intend to enter that most private of property, that hitherto undiscovered country – your mind – in order to plunder, pillage and colonize it with their own notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, despite their having little or no real relation to reality, and everything to do with their precious theories of remaking the word in their own image.
It is in that way that any who tamper with or infringe upon the inviolable right of property, pose a threat to the entire community. Such rationalizations as those of the ‘Progressives’ ideology, are only made possible by removing the links between thought and action.
The strategy which the Pro-Regressive follows, whether Socialist, Fascist or Communist, is the one which Marx defined as being the key to unlimited power: the abolition of Private Property, and the modern American Administrative State – the signal creation of 19th Century pro-regressive ‘Progressives’ – has proved to be the most amazingly effective means of progressively achieving their goals of living our lives for us, right out in the open, slowly usurping increasing amounts of power and control from our lives, for all to see and ignore, through those regulations of administrative agencies which deprive individuals of their property in their property, replacing them with the bureaucratic controls of Govt power.
By whatever name you call it – regulation, appropriation, communal property, oversight – the cell door which the Rule of Law had imprisoned the Doppelganger with, was picked all the same, freeing it to take from each according to his ability, and to redistribute it to each according to their needs (as determined by our Doppelgangers), abandoning every individual to the age old primitive contest of who has enough muscle, will, guile and power, to take what they want from the weaker, whenever they feel a desire to – for their own good.
I’ll ask again, what I asked in an earlier post,
“What ‘Right’ of yours can you expect to be respected, from people who don’t believe in Rights?”
To which I’ll add another question:
“How can you expect to get the truth or be treated justly by, people do do not believe that truth exists, or that ‘justice’ is anything other than what they say it is?”
The spooky Trick or Treats of Halloween have nothing on that.
In tomorrow’s post, how the ‘Progressive’ sees Regress as Progress
Reading Time: 7 minutesYour life is in danger. At this moment, a Chinese nuclear warhead sits in a missile silo. Its guidance, if launched, instructs the warhead to detonate a mile or two above your home. And this was all made possible by extortion, murder, and illegal campaign contributions to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Remember Ron Brown? Brown was …
Mutating Justice into injustice: the far reaching properties of Property – The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress pt.8
Mutating Justice into injustice
You’d probably not be surprised to know that I was highly aggravated that the FBI didn’t recommend Hillary Clinton’s prosecution for the crimes related to her email server – but for me, that wasn’t the most disturbing part. There was of course plenty to be outraged over, with the FBI stating that her actions had violated the law, that she was extremely careless with classified materials, that she was not truthful about her handling of them, and yet in the face of all of that, the FBI would not recommend that she be prosecuted for those violations of the law (and gave much of her staff immunity from prosecution). They didn’t dispute that she’d done what she should not have done, only whether she should be prosecuted for the violations that they’d determined she had made.
What was even more disturbing than all of that, for me, was that Director Comey made a point to say that his conclusions should in no way lead other (meaning someone less important?) govt functionaries (oh … such as a sailor, for instance, gotcha) to think that the laws won’t be applied to them, if, someone else, in a position of power, feels like they should be applied, in their case.
That, my friends, is a demonstration of the Rule of Men, being raised above the Rule of Law. BTW, on a related (by marriage) point, the reason why a person of influence, such as Bill Clinton, tries to get away with questioning what the meaning of ‘is’, is, is to encourage, exacerbate and exploit this very inversion. When men in positions of power can arbitrarily rule over the application of those laws that rule over all of the rest of us, based upon the power and influential relations of those who are involved in or have an interest in, themselves, that is Might Makes Right, and with little or no effort to conceal it. That is the reign of the Doppelganger (the evil twin of the Rule of Law), which is the default societal baseline that civilizations only become respectable civilizations by fruitfully struggling to progress away from… and yet here we are, busily progressing ‘forward!’ in the wrong direction, at breakneck speed.
Seeing all of this, many people have naturally asked:
“What is the point of having laws if those who break them at the top never face consequences?”
, and although I get the sentiment, surely they must realize that the question contains its own answer, right? Once upholding and defending Individual Rights for all is no longer the purpose of your laws, then as surely as night follows day, defending the wealthy, powerful and influential few, has already become the point of those rules by default, no matter how persistently we continue in calling such rules ‘laws’ (‘LINO’?).
For those wondering how and why this has happened, it’s worth considering a few questions which, IMHO, help explain how and why we are where we are today:
- Can you tell me what it is that connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it… why)?
- Do you know what anchors the Law into protecting everyone’s Individual Rights?
- What is it that enables those in power to turn any and all of the laws against whoever they wish, as they wish?
These three are tied together, each dependent upon the other, and if unanswered, result in extra-legal situations such as those we’re seeing here, so let’s work our way through them from the bottom up, taking it from the present into the past, and so get a glimpse of our future. In considering the last question first, a better question to understand it here and now, would not be ‘How does this happen?!‘, but how could it not happen? And a question that’ll help provide the answer to #3 above,
- How much can what is Right and True matter to people, when Lies are acceptable to them?
How we got to where we weren’t going to
Have you forgotten about Gruber admitting that Obama’s entire ‘If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor’ line was a lie they’d consciously concocted and told in order to pass ObamaCare over
the heads of all of you ‘stupid people’? Have you forgotten the slew of other Politically Correct sacred cows (“hands up don’t shoot”, ‘those rioters are peaceful protesters!’, ‘Men can identify as women!’, ‘No one has a right to insensitive speech!’, etc., etc., etc.) that despite being known misrepresentations, falsehoods and outright lies, are still embraced and repeated by media, academia and other political figures without the least bit of embarrassment, and worse, with the popular approval of We The People?
When deception is openly embraced, how could things not fall apart, how could events not be occurring, as they are? For those surprised about what has been happening, take a look around at the people being fined and abused by govt for things like not baking a cake, or paying non-ransom ransom to terrorist states, or that our DOJ that permits sanctuary cities to violate the law for causes the administration prefers – do you think these and other incidents like them, express a regard for what is right and true, or a desire to use power to bring about what those in power see as a preferred outcome? Our Department of Justice is complicit in, and in some cases even instigating, these processes? Hello?
So… how’d we get to the point where the institutions which were designed to equally uphold and defend our Individual Rights under the Rule of Law, without respect to their persons, has instead been turned into a tool of convenience for a favored few, by those who use those institutions to enforce their power and privilege over the rest of us? It wasn’t accomplished by overthrowing the law from the outside, but by gutting it of its meaning from within, transforming the meaning of what has long been understood as defining true Law, into lengthy lists of rules that we’re expected to accept as ‘identifying’ as ‘laws’.
Of course this is all just another part of the story we’ve been pursuing across these, and other series of posts, and while they all need to be pursued further, for our purposes in this post there’s one thing that needs our attention now, and that is how the Rule of Law was made to mutate into its anti-thesis, the Doppelganger’s Rule of Rules, even while the Rule of Law was firmly in place, active and fully in effect.
The issues that brought about our current state of affairs spring from the full range of philosophical, educational, and (of course) political issues that are too many to number or take in at once, but the formal cause for it was the appearance of a flaw – not an actual flaw, mind you, but something easily spun to ‘identify as’ a flaw – which pragmatically opened a chink in the intellectual armor of the West.
To appreciate the importance of this, you need to recall that what makes The West exceptional, is that it is primarily a culture of ideas, and that it is a culture of traditions only in so far as they serve to implement those ideas. ‘The West’ is a worldview that transcends geography and ethnicity and can’t be reduced to it – if someone moves to the West, or is born into it, but doesn’t adopt its ideas, they are foreigners in all but name only. OTOH, this ideational feature of Western Culture is what makes it possible for anyone to become a Westerner, simply by adopting those Western ideas. Not because the ideas are Western, but because they’re true, that and the willingness to continually question what is understood to be true, to see that our understanding of them is as true as they can be – that’s all it takes. That is what makes The West in general, and America in particular, truly exceptional. Our greatest strengths come not from romanticizing and glamorizing our soil or our blood, but from our understanding of the world and our place – mind, body and soul – within it.
That critical place of ideas in Western Culture should tip you off to how important it is that its fundamental ideas be understood and embraced – again, not because these ‘Big Ideas’ are Western, but because they are true, such as those of:
- the value of every individual life,
- individual rights,
- property rights,
- governments limited to protecting them,
- the Rule of Law,
- Justice for all,
Having misunderstandings and errors introduced into our understanding of those ideas and our relation to them, is a devastating threat to the Western way of life – porous borders have nothing on porous minds! Which is particularly true of our civil society’s greatest strengths – the Law and the nature of Property Rights – the deliberate errors and falsehoods that have been introduced into popular thought in regards to them, are the cancer growing in the Western soul, and central to that, is the issue of Property: what it is, what it entails and why, which we so desperately need to understand again.
These ‘Big Ideas’ of The West are the bead crumbs, or the golden thread that leads us out of, or returns us from, the darkness, and truly I don’t see how we can possibly even know which way to turn in order to turn away from the Doppelganger, without accidentally rushing into its embrace – not without first understanding and reclaiming these birthrights, which should be recognized and respected by all mankind.
Property in Progress – Individual Rights, Equal standing before the Law and Justice for all.
The recognition of the principle of Individual Rights and Property was a gigantic step forward, one of a handful of instances that made truly historic progress away from the ancient and universally barbarous practice of Might Makes Right. Few things made that clearer than the phrase which Property Rights implicitly made not only possible, but necessary:
For that phrase to have meaning, what it was that we thought Property to be, could not remain in such a primitive state of thought as of it being a bauble of strength – possessions of those privileged with the power and influence to keep possession of it – an understanding that even Rome had progressed past, as John Adams noted of their relation between Property and Republic,
“…signified public, common, belonging to the people; res publica, therefore, was publica res, the wealth, riches, or property of the people. Res populi, and the original meaning of the word republic could be no other than a government in which the property of the people predominated and governed; and it had more relation to property than liberty…”
, and even after the Republic had fallen, the empire’s Emperor Marcus Aurelius would speak of receiving such ideals from his ‘brother’ Severus:
“…from him I received the idea of a polity in which there is the same law for all, a polity administered with regard to equal rights and equal freedom of speech, and the idea of a kingly government which respects most of all the freedom of the governed…”
, but even as historic a development as the Romans had achieved, without the rest, it descended into historic corruption and eventually collapsed under its own weight.
Our understanding of Property and Law and Rights, in order to be a measure of real and true Progress beyond what had gone before, had to develop and progress to the point of being able to see Property not as things that were possessed, but as a concept, a Right that is common to all, rather than either ‘resources’ which all possess in common. or as luxuries possessed by a favored few. When the community becomes committed to defending the importance of everyone else’s property, in, for, and by, that community, that alchemy implicitly joins Property together with The Law and with Individual Rights, and in the process every man’s home – whether it be a shack or a palace – becomes not only as secure as that of a well defended castle, but, with the community’s laws forming his battlements, even more secure than lone castles could ever be.
It is necessary to consider what that involves. To even pursue that goal – and fully achieving it is probably never attained – people must have a respect for reality and paying attention to facts; they must care about what is True, they must develop an eye for context, as opposed to a literal minded parroting of appearances. For instance, to be capable of Justice, that society needs to be able to see the difference between surface appearances of
“This sword I borrowed is his and must be returned to him without question!” , vs. the conceptual depth of
“Yes, the sword is his, but he’s feverish and hallucinating, it wouldn’t be proper to return it to him until he’d recovered.“
, such a people are able to rise above appearances, and only such a people are able to raise Justice and Truth over their personal preferences, and only such people would refrain from even the appearance of placing their preferences and gain, in conflict with propriety. For those that think fine laws written upon paper, and not upon the hearts of the people living under them, will bring justice to their people… you’re expecting depth where there is none – but for those who do see past the surface, they have already come to be self-governing people, and they will write laws worthy of themselves and who they justly desire to be.
That is a huge and massive shift in the orientation of a community, and each person within it, making Truth, and civil respect for their fellows lives, into civic virtues, and through that sort of common conceptual understanding, the institution of government – that institution that has a monopoly on the use of force in society – can come to be seen as defining its purpose and mission as justly upholding the Law as a force from reasoning that applies equally to all, that is a crowning achievement of the ‘The Big Ideas’ of The West.
As Property Rights became respected by the Laws, and the administration of justice forbade anyone from placing themselves as judges in their own causes, more than any other time in history, the rich and powerful found that they had a shared interest with their less wealthy and impoverished fellows. They found a shared interest in insisting upon the importance and integrity of every person’s property – that Property as such, must be respected and upheld, for the good of all – not because they suddenly cared about them, but because that mutual interest freed them all – it freed the rich from the fear of a mercurial monarch’s mood swings, it freed the ruler and the wealthy alike from fear of ‘the people’ demanding some part of that which didn’t belong to them, and it freed each man to be civil to another. This revolutionary understanding effectively bound Power to the laws and a government of them, with Justice presiding over their government’s use of power, and that was the moment when Liberty truly became possible.
The revolutionary nature of this cannot be overstated, as the concept is the anti-thesis of the Hobbessian ‘red in tooth and claw’ thesis that had been in place since the dawn of time. This concept is a mortal threat to the Doppelganger, whose means of maintaining the reins of power had always depended upon those with wealth and influence being able to place themselves as judges in their own causes – just ask Hillary. The Doppelganger’s view requires a cynical expectation of dishonesty and conflicting pursuits of personal advantage, over public expectations and trust. That is the life blood of tyranny. It is a vital necessity to the tyrant that the laws be little more than rules for ruling over their fellows by, and with that comes the endless turmoil of vying and struggling for the favor of the ruler (a feature, not a bug of Doppelgangers and other community organizers), of keeping your rivals in check, down or dead.
Concepts such as having a right to the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, The Right to bear arms in your defense, are ultimately meaningless without the means to put them into action and form in the world – if you are forcibly prevented from speaking or publishing what your think, if you forcibly prevented from operating or attending the Church of your religious convictions, if you cannot own arms to bear in your defense, be they clubs, knives or guns, then your ‘Rights’ are but Soviet-like word games, Rights In Name Only. The answer to Question #2 above, is that what binds your Individual Rights to The Law, is having Property In some substance of reality, only then can the Law respect and uphold that relationship, and only then does Justice have a clear path to follow, finally having the means for Laws to bind Power upon that narrow path. Property is what anchors your individual rights to the Laws of the land – they are inseparable, and if separated, Justice and Liberty are lost. For to abandon Property Rights, necessarily means no longer having a tangible connection between reality and your rights, and so the powerful are enabled to do what they feel as if they have the power to do and get away with, and the laws become nothing more than rules for ruling over your fellows by.
The significance of the questions posed at the top of this post should be becoming clearer:
- Can you tell me what it is that connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it… why)?
- Do you know what binds the Law into protecting everyone’s Individual Rights? Property.
- Do you at least know what enables those in power to turn any and all of the laws against whoever they wish, as they wish? The acceptability of Lies, or the inability or unwillingness to identify what is True.
The remaining question to be answered is a bit trickier, and is key to our current problems: What is it that connects a person to their property? What is it that gives you a right to that property?
That’s not an idyll or academic question, it concerns you and your life very seriously, because that is the question which those who crave power over others, have long understood that they had to control the answers to – one answer seats Lady Justice firmly upon her throne, while the others give men the power to shove her aside and usurp her authority.
Property Locked and Un-Locked
Our #1 Question, how are you connected to your property is the key to holding together, or breaking apart, the trinity of Individual Rights, Property Rights and the Rule of Law, whose integrity provides society the strength to stand as titans against even the greatest concentrations of wealth, power, and expertise in the land – or, by ignorance or abandonment, lets the dogs loose. The Doppelganger sought desperately to breach, to misrepresent its meaning, to obfuscate and equivocate upon, and otherwise spin people’s perception of Property and a person’s connection to it, in order to transform it, in their minds, into something else entirely.
Many who had been raised in and benefited from the big ideas of The West, weren’t all that pleased with them, and they chipped away at them, regressively reducing high concepts to trivial factoids, reducing and materializing them, and dividing people over them – sort of an Enlightenment Era anticipation of Alinsky’s “Freeze it, Personalize it, Polarize it“, in such ways as reducing the prominent Ciceronian understanding of Law from “True law is right reason in agreement with nature“, down to being a mere utilitarian tool, as the likes of Rousseau & Bentham saw it, for those who ‘knew best‘ to calculatingly re-form society and impose rules to alter the mass of mens lives ‘for the greater good‘, which was how they ‘justified’ their intentions to ‘force them to be free‘.
That process was slow going however, until a little something that had been brewing since the 16th century, began to ferment into an ‘answer’ that promised to pick the lock and break the trinity, if not in fact, then at least in peoples’ beliefs about it, and which, thanks to the Modernists new ‘Philosophy’, being just as good as being ‘real’, was no less real than what actually is real (more on the details of that later).
How we answer our #1 Question, can provide the benefits of the best of modernity, or the progressive destruction of the worst of modernity, but the means to do either can both be found in how you approach a point which Locke made regarding the source of property, which now is typically called the ‘labor theory’ of property, but in Locke’s time, before the Industrial Age, it was more commonly understood and applied as, in effect:
‘if you built that, it’s yours’
From the dazzling economic prosperity which The West’s respect for Property had unleashed, there also followed confusion, and there was a denser, though at the same time less personal aspect, to people’s social relations. So many new abstractions were introduced into society through the dawning industrial age – with the coming of larger businesses, came a need for new layers of management, financial instruments, an interchangeability of employees and a new uniformity in the products that those workers produced – it was very new and very confusing and there were very few people who understood these changes or where they came from or what they all depended upon.
While some such as Adam Smith, and more so with John Baptiste Say, began to see the shape of things yet to come, those shapes remained indistinct, foggy, and amidst so much change and confusion, that societal fog provided fertile ground for the Doppelganger to re-enter the scene under the cover of the general nature of Locke’s thoughts, which were so easily spun into the appearance of something else entirely. A something else that would have monstrous effects upon entire communities, economies and families, bringing with them a body count and destruction of lives on a scale unmatched in preceding history.
These monsters of course wore masks, then as now they posed as defenders of ‘the little guy’, and if we’re to be able to tell the two apart, we need to have a closer look at what it was that the true monsters were so afraid of.
To get a clear picture of this, its especially worth noting what Locke did, and did not, do, or say. For instance, John Locke did not invent Property Rights, it’s not an idea that was dreamed up ‘think-tank’ like, as an efficiently cunning policy solution in search of a convenient problem, and he wasn’t the first to discover them either. As noted in previous posts, Coke’s ‘every man’s home is his castle‘ preceded Locke by half a century, and colonists in America established compacts for self government decades before Locke turned his own mind to the issue. Individual Rights and Property Rights were clarified through an arduous pursuit of truth and wisdom in the face of an often painful reality, but the basis for its understanding, like electricity, was always there waiting to be explored. But what Locke did do, was to explicitly put into words what was already implicitly in the English understanding of society and its laws ( the ideas weren’t originated by the English (St. Thomas Aquinas and Hugo Grotius are proof enough of that), but they were the first to consistently put them into formal practice), and as that reality preceded his understanding of it, he also contributed the indispensable spark that helped spread its light and influence throughout the Western World.
The passage from Locke which so much hinges upon, is this rather unassuming observation :
” 28. Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something  that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.”
For Locke, in his time, ‘mixed his labor with‘, was his evocative way of putting into words, what is difficult to put into words, or as one professor of law, Adam Mossof, puts it in this paper,
“… In other words, the phrase “mixing labor” is a term of art for Locke. It is his metaphor for productive activities…”.
, or in other, other words, it was Locke describing the process that was occurring when a man took it into his mind to accomplish something, and through his thoughts combined with actions, did. This becomes a little clearer in Locke’s next paragraph,
“… Thus the grass my horse has bit; the turfs my servant has cut; and the ore I have digged in any place, where I have a right to them in common with others, become my property, without the assignation or consent of any body. The labour that was mine, removing them out of that common state they were in, hath fixed my property in them….”
The fruits of that labor, perhaps better thought of as the results of those efforts that were his to direct, transformed mere materials into becoming something that he had property in. And note, Property IN, is critical to understanding the nature of Property as distinct from possessions. Whether that was done through his own physical actions or those of someone whose time he’d contracted for (which is what Locke meant by ‘servant’), that property – which is the effects of those actions he employed some portion of his life in bringing into being – is what he has property in, making that Property rightfully his.
The Rights you have in your Property, not only connects you to your property, but provides the means for the fact of them to become the ‘stubborn things’ of Justice – a recognition that anchors your individual rights into the justice system through what you have property in, also enables and requires society to treat each person justly.
So Property Rights follow from Individual Rights, and Property Rights secure your rights to justice under the Rule of Law… but what about our #1 Question ‘…what connects you to your Property? ‘? How do you establish that you actually do have a Right in the Property that you claim to? How are we to be able to ‘see’ your right in any property? Is it all just semantical word games that simply blur over possessions by force? Does it all come down to power after all? With that in mind, recall that it was Karl Marx, whose view of economics and politics rested upon the literal ‘Labor Theory’ of Property, it was he himself who realized and stated that the entirety of his Communist system, came down to, and could be summed up in, a single line:
It is necessary to consider what the elimination of Private Property really means, consider James Madison’s summing up of the importance of Property as being first and foremost that you have property in your life. Consider also that it is the simplest of things to stir emotions and revolution with that single sentence, but it is not possible to effectively answer why it is the horror show that it is, in a single sentence, because combating it requires knowledge and understanding. However, if you can’t see differences between the ideas of Marx and Madison, surely you can see the difference that their differences made to the 90+ million corpses of the 20th Century that followed directly from Marx’s single summary line.
Securely Lockeing up the Labor of the Mind – Answering Question #1
Ok, let’s start putting this all together, labor of course is the means of producing property, but it is not the source of it, and mistaking it for being so, undermines and threatens all of the progress that property promises to bestow upon an industrious society – this is key not only to law, but to economics and even civility; it is not too much to say that real progress in Western Society depends upon that being understood and upheld.
To understand the importance of property, requires, much to Marx’s dismay, looking beyond the paper thin appearances of labor being the root of property, and when you do, what becomes apparent is that it is not the potter’s labor that causes a product to come into being – but unless you look for it, you won’t find that out. For example, consider the situation of a Potter – when in business making pots for himself, he indisputably owns those pots he labors to produce, but when he’s employed in another’s business to produce pottery, exerting the same effort and labor to produce those same pots, he does not own the pottery which he labors equally to produce – Why?
Marx would say ‘exploitation’, but is it?
This is an incredibly important question that is relevant to the lives of every person in America, right now: Who has property in what, and why?
A ‘Why‘ like that should lead to a number of questions to consider, for instance, why is the employee there? By his own cause, or another’s? If the actions that he’s performing are identical, how is the result not the same, for the relation of the potter to his pots when self employed, and when employed by a business to produce them? There is a significant difference in the context of the situations.
When a business employs a potter to produce pots, those pots are in no way the potters property, because although the labor and skills used to produce them are his own, the originating idea and the material means (such as the place and materials for their manufacture) that are put into action for producing them are the true and formal cause for the origin of that property, and they came from the business owner who hired the potter to make them, and so the potter has no property claim on the pottery he physically produced. Why? Because the thought, direction, and order for producing it, did not come from himself – he (the efficient cause) is simply the willing means of production, the owner’s virtual muscles, secured by a promise of compensation.
Does that mean that the owner owns everything? No, it doesn’t, the Potter is not without property in this relationship, it’s just not in the pottery being produced, or the labor of producing it, and it is the nature of the potter’s own thoughts and actions, that determines what it is that he has property in. Does the Potter enter the factory to labor in producing pottery, or does he enter the factory for the prospect and promise of something else?
What the Potter does have property in, is first and foremost in himself and the skills his own mind directs which is the value he trades the employer for what is his primary property in their relationship, the compensation negotiated between himself and the business owner, for employing his time and skills to bring the pot into existence.
If there is exploitation going on, who is doing the exploiting? If you didn’t answer ‘both’ you’re not giving it much thought. Does the worker go to that business to get what he could get more easily elsewhere, or does it make it possible for him to get more for himself and family, from less time, effort and risk on his part? Does the employer hire him to do what he could do himself for less cost? On both counts: No. Both are trying to get the most from their time and effort as possible.
Assuming of course that there is no violence or the threat of it in their employment agreement, or any breach of contract by either, then there is no exploitation of the worker by the business owner in the employer/employee relationship, or vice-versa; it is a contractual relationship that is agreed upon as being a benefit to both, by both. The owner has property in the pottery which the potter produces for him, just as the potter employed by him has property in his compensation (and the fulfillment of any other conditions of his employment), and both are every bit as much bound to respect every aspect of their agreement and the respective property which both have in it.
But you must look even closer still: even the potter’s labor is not simply physical labor; the skills he’s developed and puts into action, are under the direction of his thoughts; his muscles alone can produce nothing, not even with the skills he’s developed – there is no producing the pottery without the potter’s mind behind his muscles directing his efforts towards bringing the pottery into being.
That may seem obvious to you, but it is an obviousness that the Marxist will work furiously to get you to pass over and ignore, because that is the key to the answer of our remaining question #1,
- Can you tell me what it is that connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it… why)? Property is the effect which results from legitimate thought and action within a given context.
The intellectual activity of thought, is the root cause of all Property and it must come first; physical activity (labor) is simply the proof that a thought had existed to direct it. What person originated that thought in that context, when living in the society of others, is a question that can’t be answered on the basis of appearances alone, but it is a question that is easily answered. What is often more difficult, is remembering that the question about its origin needs to be asked, rather than simply be assumed, or passed on by.
There is no ‘Little Guy’ in a society that respects individual rights, property and law; no matter how wealthy the business owner might be, the worker has the power of the entire community, through the institution of the state, behind him to enforce his legitimate claims. The community ‘has his back’, as it were, and to do so, they must also care about what is True. A community’s willingness to tolerate or engage in lies, is a threat to the fundamental fabric of your society – to tolerate some, is to doom all. Laws aren’t the basis of Law – the community’s commitment to truth and justice, which the laws only serve to help organize and apply, is. When that falters, all else does as well.
Say goodbye, or say hello
Real Progress came to the world in terms of an explosion of wealth, literacy and well being through Western Civilization’s understanding of the integrated nature of Rights, Property and Law, it is what put an end to the master/serf arrangement.
Far from Property being the first plague, as Rousseau would have it (“…Beware of listening to this impostor…“), a community’s recognition of the nature of Property Rights is what enables people to live sociably and in close quarters with those they know little or nothing about, without worry, because of the presumed mutual understanding that each person would respect the other’s rights and property – civility and manners flourish under the just laws of that society. Property, and all that goes with it, strengthens the law and each person’s prosperity and mobility within that society, and only in such a society can the people have and express a fundamental desire for what is True, Good and Beautiful, or have any expectation of achieving and retaining the fruits of them. When a people turn away from that, when they reject that, when they willingly seek to ‘abolish private property‘, they have already ceased to be self-governing people, and become worthy only of being ruled over, for the shallowest of appearances.
Can you not see that all around us today?
What we as Americans must not only learn again, but must understand better than we ever had before, is that the thoughts & actions that a person legitimately takes, secures to them the property resulting from those actions, establishing not only an inviolable legal claim to it, but an anchor for all of their rights, and everyone elses rights as well. You have property in your thoughts through the action of speaking and recording them on paper, tape, etc. You gain property in your land by establishing and recording its boundaries and other improvements to that land, whether you are the first to do so on a ‘new’ continent, or just the latest to exchange some consideration in payment for it.
Understand also, that the material substance which we claim Property in, land and gold and so forth, has no more to do with the true substance of what we’re talking about when we say ‘Property’, than the Apple has to do with the substance of Gravity – the fact that the Apple fell upon Newton’s head, simply illustrates gravity at work, just as establishing land and trading gold, illustrates what results from the context of respecting thought and action: Property Rights. Denying that reality, desiring prosperity and liberty without property, is rejecting reality in favor of what you wish was real, every bit as much as someone who denies the laws of gravity because they wish they could flap their arms and fly. They can deny the laws of gravity, but they are going to fall anyway. Similarly, a society can deny property rights, they can say that they’ve ‘abolished private property!‘, but that society puts itself into free fall when it does, and while they might enjoy the thrill of ‘flight’ for a time (see what they wished it to be, Venezuella circa 2012), they will eventually hit the ground (see Venezuella circa now, with newborn babies kept in boxes).
These principles of Individual Rights and Property Rights are derived from the very nature of being human – what with our necessity as human beings to observe and act in the world, in concert with others, in a manner that respects what is real and true – and these principles apply universally.
That once common American understanding, is what we are Pro-Regressing away from at such great speed; that deeper understanding of the reinforcing nature and identity of Property, Individual Rights and the Rule of Law. When we recognized that it was necessary for governments to recognize Individual Rights and Property Rights, it meant that it would no longer be possible to use the state as the means of giving special favoritism to some because they imagined themselves to be better than others and had the muscle to force them to comply – whether as Royalty, Aristocrat, Bureaucrat or pet mob – as doing so for a few, compromises the Individual Rights of all.
How best to go about structuring the limits and uses of power, is what our Constitution was and still is all about imagining, and implementing. These principles which animated the drafting of our Constitution, declared an end to the old prerogatives of those in positions of power, and put an end to those who thought that their positions and titles gave them the power to abuse those they desired to abuse; it was only with society’s recognition of each person’s property in their actions, speech, associations and the other effects, that all of society was finally able to come together and limit the ability of the powerful, to abuse the powerless.
But as any fan of horror movies knows all too well, the monster is never really dead, it’s just waiting… waiting for someone to say the word, to kick the rock down the well, or to pull the stake out of its coffin. Which brings us back around to Hillary. How? What do you think it signifies when a powerful politician like Hillary Clinton can escape prosecution for crimes that have been publicly stated to have been committed, while the Director of the FBI warns lesser mortals that they shouldn’t expect the same leniency?
Look at our three questions we opened with, and the answers to them, and this time we’ll take them in historical order, from our past to our present.
1. Can you tell me what connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it… why)? Property Rights are a society’s recognition and affirmation of that which results from those thoughts and actions legitimately taken within the context of a person’s life.
When you deny, or ‘abolish’ Property Rights, that divorces thought & action from reality within a community – a separation which not only permits, but invites the powerful to remake your world in their own image, to assert that reality is what they say it is, and you will be left with no means of saying otherwise. Property Rights are historically the only means of putting the little guy on a level playing field with the wealthy and powerful, and without them, people are no longer able to trust in the communal defense of what is rightfully theirs, as they are left to become as little and inconsequential as those with wealth and power desire them to be.
2. Do you know what anchors the Law into protecting everyone’s Individual Rights? Property. Guess what happens to the Laws of the land, when Property is no longer respected? As Property is the prime means of connecting your immaterial political rights, to physical facts by way of your property in the various aspects of your life, through laws written to defend them – when that observable link is no longer acknowledged, then those who have the power to use the power of the state to compel you to do, or to accept, whatever they want you to, will do just that. They can even turn mighty rivers into glowing chemical waste, in direct violation of the very laws that they agitated for to protect that same environment for their own benefit and without consequence to themselves, and you are left powerless to do anything about it.
- 3. What enables those in power to turn any and all of the laws against whoever they wish, as they wish? The acceptability of Lies, or the inability or unwillingness to identify what is True.
When you stop respecting Property, you no longer have the physical means of linking rights to the protections and enforcement of laws, then you have not only authorized, but provided the means for the powerful, to covet and impose a plagiarized reality upon all, the influential lie becomes the ground of your culture and your laws will be reduced to being no more than rules for carrying out the lies of those with the power to tell them and impose them, and, owing to the false notions, and the efforts of the ignorantly ‘well intentioned‘, justice will ever more frequently be forced aside in favor of the untrue ‘for the greater good‘. I’ve often mentioned, what began with the Charles River Bridge v. Proprietors of Warren Bridge case, where Justice Taney discarded a rightful contract and income from a toll bridge, in favor of promoting ‘the greater good’. Not surprisingly, matters in the nation soon progressed to the point where that same judge, this time in the Dred Scott case, used our Supreme Court to pronounce that some men had no rights (which really means that no men have any rights) and could be owned as possessions, which he had the gall to call ‘property’. It is that constant lure of ‘pleasing ends which justify the means‘, that corrodes people’s regard for Truth, and enhances their toleration for what is unreal, dulls their detection of what is false, and inclines them to exchange one easy lie for another.
If you balk at that, tell me, what is it that you think is accomplished when you permit those in power to question ‘what the meaning of ‘IS’ is‘? When you either tolerate or accept that, no matter what your best intentions might have been, you have cast aside the scaffolding of truth and integrity, and in doing so, forfeit the protections of justice. When what is Right must yield to what is merely useful, when Lies are not denounced, you’ve withdrawn the stake from the monster’s heart and invited the Doppelganger in.
Do people really not understand what the liar will do when permitted to lie? A writer wrote a very short book not too long ago, asking a similar question:
“Q: How do you kill 11 million people?
A: By lying to them.”
The Liar, when given power, will do whatever they want, especially where they feel that their good intentions for you, justifies their doing ‘what needs to be done‘ to you, and they will tell you all the lies that you so long to hear, so that you can try to hide from the guest that you’ve invited in.
But we can’t hide from what we’ve invited into our lives.
In light of that, permit me to rephrase Director Comey’s comments into the words he avoided using:
‘Should Hillary be prosecuted? Oh, seriously, I don’t think any prosecutor would take this case, because she is far more powerful than they are. I’m sorry, did you just ask me ‘what about the proof?’ Proof? Ha! How quaint, as if reality was knowable or something, or that we’d even acknowledge it if it were! We’re not going forward with this case, because we don’t feel like it would be best for us to do so. End of story. Oh, and don’t you go getting any ideas, if you’re not one of us, you’re nothing, we’ll squash you like a bug.’
And you think you’re going to prosper under a government such as that? That your lives are going to matter? Under the rule of men such as that, rather than of Law? How cute.
In breaching the integrity of Rights, Property and Law, by tolerating and permitting lies to go unquestioned, then power, not responsibility to what is true (Responsibility: Able to respond by identifying the connection between thought and action), becomes dominant in your relations with your fellows, and through that breach the Doppelganger rushes in, and when it rules over you, the state no longer “has your back”, it holds a gun to it. You and your Property are reduced to those possessions able to be held onto by the strongest (or by those favored by them), as your Laws become Rules to Rule over you by, and Lies become the means of negotiating a reality that’s preferable to those with the power to do so, at the expense of everyone else.
It is much more than a slippery slope. It is slippery, though not in a fallacious way, but in a necessary progression, as one lie requires another to support and excuse the other, and then as good intentions must soon yield to ever more envious ones, more and more of what is true, must be ignored or denied in order to make ever more unbelievable pretenses of ‘justice!‘.
The goal of the Pro-Regressive, whether Socialist, Fascist or Communist, is the Marxist goal of abolishing Private Property.
The modern American Administrative State is the means of achieving that goal, right out in the open, for all to see and ignore, through regulations which deprive individuals of their property in their property, replacing their rights with the controls of Govt power which supersede them. By whatever name you call it – regulation, appropriation, communal property, oversight – you’ve picked the Locke on the door of the Doppelganger’s cell, freeing it to take from each according to his ability, and to redistribute them to each according to those needs of theirs which the Doppelganger approves of. Such power soon enough abandons every individual to the age old primitive contest of who has enough muscle, will, guile and power, to take what they want from the weaker, whenever they desire it, and with whatever pretense they spout as justification for ‘the greater good‘.
But there is a twist to this: The Pro-Regressive goes beyond the mere thuggery of forcing you to comply with what you both know is wrong. While your mind is of no particular interest to mere thugs who just want your stuff, that’s not the case with the Pro-Regressive, they will not be satisfied so long as you believe they are wrong, they will not be satisfied until they’ve plundered and colonized that ‘undiscovered country’ as well.
What we as Americans must realize, now, today, is that unless we affirm that your thoughts & legitimate actions secure to you your property in your life, then all you have will be transformed from property, into possessions, to be held only by force and favors – and at the low, low price of divorcing your soul from its roots in reality.
~ If you have no property in your thoughts, you will be made to speak and write and endorse those thoughts which those in power wish to force upon you.
~ If you have no property in your religious convictions, you will be forced to believe – or not believe – what the Doppelganger demands.
~ What you now assume is yours, is only what the Doppelganger hasn’t found another use for – yet.
Because its imperatives are fundamentally opposed to the very nature of being human (respecting what is real and true and acting in accordance to them), then the greatest discovery of Western Civilization – Humanity – will be targeted, violated and eliminated. Society will experience pro-regression at an ever increasing velocity, as every protection once afforded to every individual, will be abandoned to the age old contest of who has enough muscle, will, guile and power, to take what they want from the weaker, whenever they desire to, and to that we can add the one new goal of the Pro-Regressive: The Mind – a hitherto unexplored land to be dominated, cultivated, and improved as they see fit.
The trail of Why’s which that leads to, will have to wait until the next and last post in this series, but for now be aware – the Pro-Regressivism is about denying, and repealing Individual Rights and their legal & political anchor in Property Rights, so that those in power can use the power of Govt to live other people’s lives for them. No matter how many good intentions might be motivating them, nothing but evil follows from that, or can.
It has been the Pro-Regressive’s undoing of the nature of Rights, Property and Law in the ‘modern’ educated mind, that is bringing the master/serf arrangement back into vogue in new and improved fashions, as the Doppleganger progressively takes charge with a vengeance. The rejection of the Rule of Law for the Rule of Rules, coupled with a self-justifying resentment of its fundamental principles, is what first introduced the world to its greatest regressive leap backwards in history, through the many faces of Fascism, which we’ll look at in the next post.
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