Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Straw Man And The Magician

Sorry for the delay, but I've had the flu and then bronchitis.

I wanted to post this a while ago, and usually such stories are timely, but here goes. Lately we have ben bombarded with populist drivel in an effort to create straw men that keep us from dealing with the real issues and real culprits. Much has been made about the management at AIG getting bonuses, but what has been lost in the miasma is that Senator Dodd was the one that put in the bonus structure in TARP which allowed the AIG management to take bonuses. Wether or not you believe that they deserve it is irrelevant because they did something that was legal, and our congress and senate passed, and the president signed. While I think it is ill-advised for them to take the bonuses, they are legally entitled to them. Too add to the drama, some politicians want to haul the AIG head before congress, but wait, he was appointed by congress to run AIG...

Right now, Paul Shanklin was prescient with his rendition of "Barack the Magic Negro". I am not endorsing the song per se, but Barack is a magician. He has managed to distract with one hand while deceiving with the other. The demonization of wealth, success, and capitalism go beyond just a plain vanilla socialist agenda. It's about creating a constituency of voters that will keep Barack in power, by any means necessary. If you look at his election, he did not go the normal route that politicians take: Country Club republicans or Limousine Liberals. He took smaller donations from a much larger base. While the wealthy have contributed to political endeavors, their numbers are small and when it comes to actual votes, their voice is also small. When You look at the past, look at Napoleon, Lenin, and Hitler (lets throw in Castro as well), in this context. They used economic populism as a straw man to galvanize people to a common goal, that in the end was detrimental to their freedom, well being and safety. With the exception of Hitler, their policies in praxis actually set their countries back technologically, and financially on the outset and in some cases down the road as well.

Make no mistake, it is not a mistake in anything Obama does policywise and strategically. Tactically, he makes mistakes, but the press covers up for him. With the latest GM debacle, having Wagoner step down was an effort to one, show who was in charge, and two, to create a straw man to blame for the auto industries problems. The auto industries problems are come in a few flavors. One, they have taken on too much debt with the unions, particularly as with the benefits and pensions with retirees, and non-competitive wages. Toyota and Honda clean the big three's clock over this issues alone. They kept feeding the dragon instead of killing it. Two, there is too much government regulation which has had a negative impact on the vehicles they build. having to put more money into research to meet ever tightening emissions standards is a waste of time. You could argue the japanese car makers did it, and that is true, but they do not have to eat that all by themselves. Lastly, for a long time, they made cars no one wanted to buy and by the time they did, the perception was that they still couldn't make a car like that. Too Little too late.

Back to Barry. God is my judge, you will see Detroit, at least in the form of GM and Chrysler, be dictated to on what to build by the government (Right now, Go bless Ford). In that context, I think Obama wants the bailout to fail for GM et al and anything else (Can you say Chapter 11?). If the bailouts succeed initially, the government may not have the control that Obama envisions. Obama needs to create a dependent society for his agenda to succeed. That is the key. The society must look to government for solutions to all its problems. To this extent, Obama will even denigrate and subjugate the United States to the will of other countries. His success depends on destroying the idea of American Exceptionalism, of destroying our very truths, and our values in order to substitute his own. Marx called for the destruction of the whole social order and a call to destroy traditions. This is in contrast to the president we had at the turn of the last two centuries: Thomas Jefferson did not bow before royalty, but insisted on a hand shake, as did Theodore Roosevelt, whose presidency established the United States as a first class world power. This president sees us less that we are in the context of the world at large.

Obama is the first president since FDR to want power at any price. Whereas I am not convinced that FDR was a socialist, at least initially, he came to crave and keep the power even if it meant keeping the country down in the face of rational alternatives. Obama is much more ideologically centered than FDR. Obama wants the power all right, but he also has a dream that most of us would not want, but like FDR will create, foment and promulgate conditions for the attainment of both. Obama is both gangster and crusader, whereas FDR was pure gangster.

What comes next, you ask? Expect more diversionary tactics from the Obamessiah Time is of the essence and I bet he will not wait for the midterm elections to enact things such as nationalized healthcare, forced volunteer service, carbon credit climate plan, nationalized banks, wage control, nationalized auto manufacturers, and the The Free Choice Act, to name only a few. More straw men will be created, and if necessary, his henchmen will be thrown under the bus (Imagine Geitner's prospects in a year) for the purpose of pushing his socialist agenda on the citizens of the United States, putting us in such debt that we will never be able to get out of it and in the process curtailing our freedoms. It will be indentured servitude for the ages, and unwanted obligations that will destroy innovation, ambition and expectations of generations of Americans to come. While the prospect of becoming a quasi-socialist country like Denmark, Sweden or the UK (at best) may be appealing to some of you, I think that you really have lost the perspective of what it means to be a US citizen and what the US stands for. This loss is due to the fact that what is not earned is not appreciated. Read Eric Hoffer if you want a translation, specifically True Believer.

What can we do? Remain vigilant, vote for candidates that are not simpatico with Obama, and Think Freedom. Don't be fooled by the straw men that politicians will use to sway you and beware of mass movements in general. Your most powerful asset is your vote and it is your only voice. Also beware of movements that offer symbolism rather than real change. Symbolism is but a vent of your frustrations, whereas real change (and not Obamas type of change) requires personal responsibility, and action. Without action we are just playing with ourselves in the corner. No offense to Glenn Beck and his "We Surround Them" non-sense, but that is just an outlet that has no bite and only serves to peacefully quell the masses. The same with these bullshit tea parties. The signers of the Declaration of Independence did so at their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. They had no intentions of symbolism, especially as it exists today. They were men of action. They were successful. Can you say the same, or is your Playstation and HD TV more important?

Thank you for reading this blog.


Anonymous said...

Hey Right Guy. I hope you're feeling better and have now recovered from your bronchitis and flu. Did you take an antibiotic? Perhaps erythromycin? Also Tamiflu within 24 hours often mitigates flu symptoms. Did OTC meds help?

BTW, the very meds you took are regulated by the federal government. Yes, those regulations are in place to protect consumers from unscrupulous drug makers. But I suppose you see those regulations as roadblocks to freedom and "pursuit of property".

If that's your ideal of freedom, then I don't want any part of it. I guess that makes me a socialist in your eyes, eh?

Markus Maximus

The Right Guy said...

One, this was a long time ago. Two, I do not use OTC meds in general, and only prescription meds if I absolutely have to. Flu and bronchitis in my case were viral, so there's nothing to be done. Just get over it.

Public safety with medication is one thing, paying medical and prescription bills are another. As a general rule, the more government involvement in my life, the less freedom I have and responsibility too. I do not want to be treated or become a farm animal. While I think basic rules are a good thing, I think what people in countries like Canada, England etc live as farm animals and while they may smoke their pot and get abortions on demand, they are not as free as me and neither of us is as free as we should be.

So, are you a socialist? You tell me. Drug makers are no more or less unscrupulous than the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Farm animals? Are you for real? I urge you to step outside of your myopic prism and see the asininity of your arguments.

You mock and vilify Obama and other progressives for simply wanting a healthy balance between central government and corporate forces as advocations of egalitarinism. You then justify your deridations with "unconstitutional" and "loss of freedom" rhetoric. I'm well aware of the 10th Ammendment arguments and... news flash... they're meritless. And exactly which freedoms are being eroded? Life? Not so much. Liberty? Don't see it. Pursuit of happiness? Ahh, the smoking gun. You're not happy with the ideology of a pregressive government, so you oppose everything this government tries to accomplish under the guise of loss of freedom.

It stands to reason then that holding such extremist oppositional views must be an endorsement of a contrasting extreme view. You must therefore advocate either a government-free feudal state or a theocracy. You don't stike me a a religous fanatic so I'll drop the theocracy argument, but your libertarian views are self-evident.

That's great, provided you're one of the lucky "haves" who control the peasant "have-nots". You should understand that laissez-faire capitalism will result in essentially a feudal state. And to that extent, I agree with Marx that societal strife will be the end result. I wonder how the 13th century European peasants felt...
you guessed it, like farm animals. What were their freedoms?

I see you've been influenced by Rand. Growing up in a communist-occupied Russia, Rand had every reason to be disrustful of government. You don't have that excuse.

I do agree with your point that "Drug makers are no more or less unscrupulous than the rest of us." After all, unscrupolous corporations are simply extensions of unscrupolpus people, but with one important difference. The unscrupolous secretary to the CEO gets fired. The unscrupolous CEO bilks thousands of shareholders out of millions of dollars with exaggerated, inflated or downright fabricated earnings reports. An unscrupulous coal miner gets fired. An unscrupolous coal mining CEO gets 29 miners killed due despite hundreds of safety violations. I think you see my point.

And yes, I realize government is not immune to unethical politicians - these people are often power-hungry - but in a democracy, one unscrupolous legislator will do less damage than an unethical corporate CEO. So while I have a healthy distrust of both, I am less distrustful of a democratic government than corporations.

When I perused your blog, I was hoping to find a well-reasoned argument for your views. A history of well-established democracies that percipitously evolved into egalitarian states, for example, would lend merit to your position. Instead I find inflammatory rhetoric under the guise of an articulate prose. These are the same views that others act out in violance.

As for me, I'm not a socialist. I'm a proud progressive who remains an advocate of a healthy balance between a central government and market forces. I'm proud to share these views with a man named Obama.

Peace to you.

Markus Maximus

The Right Guy said...

I guess you prefer the yoke. There is nothing balanced about progressivism, and there is no way to opt out. At least in my religion, RC, my "gifts" are free will. The religion of the state does not have free will giving, only taking.

Your arguments have the tinge of economic populism. The haves and have nots. It's an argument that has no basis in equality. In a truly equal society, everyone has the right to be in the race, but outcomes are not guaranteed. In your world, the government should step in and make things equal on an economic level. If I were a religious man, this type of mentality and action violates two commandments: Coveting your neighbor's property and stealing it. Without the government as an authority to take what belongs rightfully from people to give to others, progressivism and socialism cannot work. Still, envy and theft are central here, no matter the religion involved.

If you want to argue against corporatism, I might find some common ground, as I am a small c capitalist, but there are no good ways to limit large companies without impacting all companies, and on an ethical level, who gets what favors? Remember too big to fail? Just as there is a separation of church and state, there should be a separation of economy and state. had those banks, GM and Chrysler been allow to fail, a natural corrective influence would have ensued.

My views aren't extreme. People that would be in agreement with me would be people such as Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine to some extent, George Mason, Ben Franklin, etc. Such people are extremists? They would be horrified, yet not surprised at what this country has become and definitely by your views.

I don't need to have lived in communist Russia to know what is right and wrong. Ayn Rand's views are universal. As far as you being a progressive, look up fabian socialist. That's much more fitting.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Chuck said...

Gee, what a condescending little prick. My guess is that this little fellow is a freshman in college....maybe even a sophomore even!

"I urge you to step outside of your myopic prism and see the asininity of your arguments."

Indeed! Let us step outside.

"You mock and vilify Brakabama and other progressives for simply wanting a healthy balance between central government and corporate forces as advocations of egalitarinism.

Corporations have no "force" in their arsenal, my little, ignorant pup. They have influence. Government has a monopoly on force. The car wash down the street is owned by a corporation, but they can't force me to wash my car. What's hilariously sad about your retarded fucking premise is that the ONLY time corporations have any "force" is when it's been granted them by a corrupt government. There has never been one more corrupt than the one you anonymously defend. So far , I don't consider you a gutless coward. You are simply someone who doesn't know any better. 20 years ago, I was 20 years younger than I am now. I actually supported Jesse Jackson for president back then. It wasn't because I was a bad person. It was just that I was really young and dumb and ...worst of all...good. I wanted to be a good person. My "goodness" was externally imposed, though.

I can continue, but I see no reason to. Smart people are crippled by intelligence.

Pride is a bitch.

The Right Guy said...

Blaming corporations is economic populism, and underscores the idea that somehow people are entitled to wealth by the virtue of their existence. Outcomes should never be guaranteed, only being able to get in the game. The rest is up to you. Companies aren't in business first to employ people: It's to make a profit. Employing competent people that further that is a wonderful benefit for all involved, but the business comes first.

Honestly Chuck, I don't understand this sense of entitlement. It's as if some people believe that freedom comes from getting things unearned and/or through political means of who is the victim group of the day. It's easy to ask those that do it on their own to sacrifice when they are not willing to put it on the line themselves. It's infantile. A child thinks like this and believes they are free, when in fact they are dependent on their parents for everything. I guess it's a step up from Farm Animals, but the result in the same. Fecklessness.

Chuck, thanks for commenting.

Chuck said...

I'm incorporated.

Men like me make the world we live in. I'm not a bystander. I don't watch. I create.

What I do needs no "balance" from force-based fucks who pay no price for incompetence.

Them who worship the little crowd that calls itself government, however, can't imagine their little gang of demigods being anything other than benevolent.

Limit government? Fuck a duck!! That's akin to wanting to limit Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Who but a heartless fuck would wish to limit something so infinitely beautiful as the miracle of government?

Chuck said...

Q: Why did you want to invent this new thing that saves time and energy for every person who buys what you spent most of your life creating?

A: So I could pay somebody every Friday. It was always about giving people money.

The Right Guy said...

I don't know Chuck. I don't think you create primarily to give anyone money. In a sense, you procreate in another way. Most people can do this, but a lot would rather have their hand out or grab their socks.

Chuck said...

Uhhh. That was a joke.

The Right Guy said...

I guess I was a dry yesterday.

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