Politics

Plato’s Dual Morality

In the first volume of  Contra Mundum (1955) one of the authors refers to the dual morality of Plato who wrote in The Republic, Book III:

Then if anyone at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the State should be the persons; and they, in else should meddle with anything of the kind. . .their dealings either with enemies or their own citizens, may be allowed to lie for the public good. But nobody else should meddle with anything of the kind. . .

It looks like the modern state has mastered Plato.

Peter Lillback on Glenn Beck

When was the last time you heard Machen’s name on the national media?

Ann Coulter on Justice Stevens’ Sanity/Insanity

Two observations about retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens are about to become established fact by sheer repetition. The first — that Stevens is the last Protestant on the court — is not true in any meaningful sense. The second — that Stevens didn’t move left, the court moved right — is madness…Read the entire article.

Rand Paul on the New York Times

This type of interview is quite revealing. The questioner cannot fathom a country where people are free to make their own decisions within constitutional boundaries. He also seems to think there is a parallel between the necessary rules and regulations in the home and the rules and regulations of the state. Rand responds:

The kind of funny thing is that there’s a difference between the government and a family.

Yes. Of course, there is a difference.

Extremely Faithful

Goldwater’s running mate, Rep. Bill Miller, spoke at Notre Dame during the 1964 campaign. At a press conference afterwards, a reporter asked Miller why Goldwater was so “extreme.”

Miller asked the reporter, “Are you married?”

“Yes.”

“Would your wife rather you be moderately faithful to her, or extremely faithful?”

End of press conference.

{HT:Chris Manion}

Justin Raimondo on Palin

David Brooks said on George Stephanapoulos’ Sunday program that he considers Sarah Palin “a joke.” What he didn’t say is that she was and is a joke played by the neoconservatives on the Republican party.

The Washington Post asks: “Is there something that could be called ‘Palinism,’ defining a political philosophy that could help her party win elections and turn her into a viable national candidate?”

Short answer: No.

Slightly longer answer: Where and when has Palin ever articulated a coherent alternative to the orthodox Republican doctrines of supply-side economics and endless war? She isn’t about to do it in her “book,” and she isn’t capable of it. What is especially irksome, however, is that there is indeed a populist champion of the Tea Party grassroots, someone with the knowledge, the organization, the proven fundraising ability, and the principles to lead the GOP out of its ideological and political morass: Ron Paul.

“Palinism” is a hairstyle. Paulism is a bona fide movement. The first has no future — no, she won’t be a major contender, come the presidential sweepstakes, as George Will predicted on the Stephanopoulos program. The second IS the future, if the GOP is to have a future.

{HT: Steven Wedgeworth}

To War or not to War?

This is Obama’s question. David Brook’s op-ed piece in the New York Times questions Obama’s fundamental commitment to the Afghanistan war. He poses at one point that Obama accepted the premise of the Afghan war in order to sound hawkish, thus gaining the reputation of a tough president. Whether this is true or not, Bill Maher was right when he said that Obama needs a little more of George W. Bush.

My own perspective is that Obama was hawkish from day one of his presidency. He may not have the tenacity of the former president, but he has neo-conservatism running through his blood. As Brooks writes:

So I guess the president’s most important meeting is not the one with the Joint Chiefs and the cabinet secretaries. It’s the one with the mirror, in which he looks for some firm conviction about whether Afghanistan is worthy of his full and unshakable commitment.

Luke Russert from MSNBC said on Morning Joe that progressives have no interest in the Afghan war. They are tired of the similarities to the Iraq war. They fear blood on their hands, as the Republicans had in Iraq. While 2010 seems ripe for a Republican take-over, the Democrats are scrambling to find a suitable message to the American people. They know they need bi-partisan support, but their sophisticated constitutional scholar commander-in-chief  is losing his charm. As David Gregory said: “The yes we can is becoming maybe.”

Government and Hubris

David Brook’s Op-Ed piece in the New York Times is quite insightful. He argues that “humans are overconfident creatures.” They tend to assume that they are smarter than they really are. But it seems that this human overconfidence has been transferred to Washington. Brooks writes:

…the bonfire of overconfidence has shifted to Washington. Since the masters of finance have been exposed as idiots, the masters of government have concluded (somewhat illogically) that they must be really smart.

Government has attempted to regulate executive pay assuming that it is the central problem of the market. Brooks observes: “The Federal Reserve…has decided to police banks and veto pay deals that lead to excessive risk. Those experts must have absolutely gigantic brains if they can define excessive risk years before investments pay off.” This type of hubris is prevalent in Washington, because in the spirit of humility, thinking that regulating everything and everyone is the “wise” solution, they have become political asses. Even if they know nothing concerning a particular industry, yet their supposed wisdom tells them that they do. Brooks concludes brilliantly:

Sometimes we seem to have a government with no sense of those limits, no sense that perhaps government officials don’t know how to restructure General Motors, pick the most promising battery technology, re-engineer the health care system from the top, or fine-tune the complex system of executive pay.

Government’s conceit is their own destruction. The wisdom that gives them temporary power is the wisdom that will eventually bring the entire system down.

The False Health Care Debate

Note: I thought I add some thoughts to this discussion from a Christian Libertarian perspective in the tradition of R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North.–UTB

ObamaHealthCare“We are all socialists now,” declared Newsweek.[1] Newsweek is a few decades too late. We have been a socialist country for quite some time. Recently, stand-in host Laurence O’Donnell interviewed Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.).  O’Donnell, an unmistakable socialist, had another good laugh by humiliating an inconsistent Republican.  He wanted Rep. Culberson to admit that Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are Socialistic programs, and since they are, why do Republicans object to government-run healthcare; it’s just more of the same. O’Donnell is absolutely right. He is trying to live consistently with his own worldview, and he is demanding that Republicans live consistently with theirs. Though O’Donnell is a bully, Culberson did not want to answer that question directly. The political ramifications would be disastrous. After all, to accuse Medicare of being socialistic is to destroy the Republican’s case against government run health care. As O’Donnell rightly observed, the origin of all these programs are socialistic. Otto von Bismarck proposed them, and Adolf Hitler and Franklin Roosevelt patterned their social programs after his.[2] This history is too overwhelming for a Republican congressman.

This debate is not so much a debate against health care as it is a debate against the Obama administration. The only few consistent voices out there (Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and others) know that this current administration is acting wrongly, but they also know that the Bush administration acted horrendously as well. Bush was the first president since John Quincy Adams not to veto a single bill in his first term. In Bush’s first term alone, government spending had gone up 30%. Add to that the Iraq War and you have the biggest spender in US presidential history. One wonders why Obama was so inspired to bail out big companies. He followed the example of his predecessor; a faithful protectionist. As a Keynesian, Bush believed strongly in government intervention and redistribution of wealth. Bush had no interest in recovering a free-market economy. Capitalism was a word that was forced to be uttered in the presence of certain crowds. It is true that he sought social security reform. But this was far from a genuine, capitalistic reform. As Lew Rockwell observed:

Genuine privatization would be a grand idea. But that is not what the Bush administration proposes. Not anywhere close. They are proposing to partially convert the existing tax and spend system into a forced savings program. This is not choice, but rather a species of socialism. The forced investments would be fed to approved funds with approved companies and be guaranteed a rate of return.

So in the end, Bush-style privatization would partially socialize the most important sector of the American capital markets, and we aren’t talking about small change. And how would this transition be funded? Bush has suggested that he would be willing to lift the FICA cap, which would mean the worst tax increase in U.S. history. Debt, taxes, inflation take your pick. The costs are in the trillions.”[3]

This debate is nothing more than an anti-democratic obsession. The raucous and chaotic Town hall meetings are a great illustration of what should be taking place. Republicans should be furious over the takeover of heath care. They should raise hell over these crooks. Liberals are calling for a legitimate debate over these matters. The reality is, on this matter there is no debate! As Keynesian economist, Paul Krugman learned recently after asking a group of Canadians if they liked their national health care, the answer was a resounding No! But because this issue is not up for debate does not mean that Republicans are the paragon of morality and righteousness. On the contrary, Republicans—with few exceptions—are the ones who accentuate this socialist regime. Where were all these protestors during the Bush Administration? Where were the spirited questions from concerned citizens over their future? It simply did not exist. Bush had convinced them that the war was a necessary evil, and the socialists programs were just necessary for the well-being of the nation. Some presidents are economic liberals when it comes to spending domestically, but conservative when it comes to spending abroad. Bush disproved that dichotomy and gave future presidents an example to follow.

The heath care debate is a rather silly one. Republicans will probably win the day. They have the majority of the nation on their side. As the Huffington Post reports, the White House is sending out mixed messages over the public option. Some are now saying that the public option is not as significant. Even President Obama is beginning to downplay the significance of the public option calling it “just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.” [4] Of course, when the battle is lost, then the important things are not as important. Republicans have done well. Their voices have been heard and it will reflect the 2010 elections. It is even possible that the Republicans may take a majority again.[5] But what will happen when the GOP is in control again? Will they learn to be consistent free-marketers as O’Donnell is a consistent socialist? Or will they behave as party loyalists who do the bidding of their king, even if it means compromising principle?


[1] http://www.newsweek.com/id/183663[2] Gary Demar’s excellent article deals with this interview and the historical data: http://www.americanvision.org/article/republicans-are-socialists-too/

[3] http://dailyreckoning.com/bushs-top-ten-economic-errors/

[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/16/white-houses-mixed-messag_n_260733.html

[5] Peter Schiff and Dr. Rand Paul are both running for Senate in the Republican Party.

The Apologus Show: Palin’s Resignation

ALeqM5gM8ZS8617oZ5Oq2GT6yIxIKiUD9wOn today’s show, I focused mostly on Sarah Palin’s resignation and the influence of neo-conservatism in destroying the Republican Party.

SHOW AUDIO. Leave a comment.