In The Name Of The Collective

This post was started several times before I actually got a hold of what I wanted to say. Yes, that’s my excuse for being late.

Lately alarm bells have been ringing at the back of my head.

I have to tell you, I’ve been through the whole progressive experiment before. In Portugal they called it what it really is “Socialism” though they called it “on the way to socialism.” Never spoken of because even in Portugal it had a bad taste was that socialism itself is “on the way to communism.” Or as people put it, “Communists are socialists with guns.”

Yes, I know this will cause howls of protest and we might even get in a “progressive” eager to dissect the fine points of each system and show how they’re not at all like the other, you know, because No True Scotsman. But in more innocent times it was more open and, you know, all the communist countries called themselves alternately socialist or democratic. (At this point the entire statist project seems much like a cheap Chinese restaurant that changes its name every week, possibly because like the cheap Chinese restaurant both are potentially sick-making and created from unwholesome ingredients. Of course, even though there have been cases in the news of bottom line Chinese restaurants dumpster diving for ingredients, nothing, but nothing can compare to the rank noxiousness of Marxism. Nor has even half-spoiled fish ever caused near as many deaths. I refuse to insult botulism – or the black plague – by comparing it to the rank ideas of Karl Marx.)

However, well, we’re Americans and we’re nothing if not innovative. The new twist Americans are putting on the whole “progressive” experiment (another part of their creative naming effort like “deutsche democratische republic” or “Pravda.” They’re named in an act of post modern linguistic effort that garantees nothing in the name is contained in the thing named. Very avant-garde, I’m sure, and by avant-garde I mean of course an old and musty movement that should no longer fool anyone with its pretended smarts) is jaw-droppingly daring and mind-boggling.

The latest, best efforts of progressivism to get around the bullwork of the constitution is … well… the idea of the “collective” rights.

Okay, so this shouldn’t surprise me. After all they’ve been, for years, and against all linguistic knowledge trying to convince us that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” means that armed forces are allowed to bear arms.

Now Justice Breyer is just taking a stick to the other amendments and beating them into the same shape. He thinks the first amendment is there to secure COLLECTIVE speech rights. That is you only have free speech in things that might influence government action. (For a more complete dissection, see here.)

Yes, this man is a justice in the supreme court of the United States. Lean back and think on this for a moment.

And now there’s a lot more talk about “collective” rights. It appears all these years, all of us, even the Progressive Project (which is like a bad rock band, but not nearly as harmless) have been interpreting the bill of rights wrong. Your right to not having a state religion foisted on you, for instance. Oh, you poor saps. It’s only a right so long as the state doesn’t wish to impinge upon your religion with demands that are against your beliefs. At that point, of course, it becomes a matter of collective interest and after all who are the Little Sisters Of The Poor not to provide abortifacients to the their nuns? Because, war on women, and also culture of rape. Collective rights trump individual ones.

Then there’s assembly. It turns out your right to assembly depends on your not pissing off the people in power too much. Sure, you can assemble but you must do it quietly and in the designated places.

At which point I, who am no constitutional scholar, sit back and think “Why would some very smart men, like our founders, take the time to make sure that COLLECTIVE rights are secured?”

Collective rights are always and everywhere secured, at least if they’re rights that can “influence government.” Of course, if they’re not, if they’re just the rabble grousing or malcontents, or “fringe groups” then there is nothing to be said about it, right?

So, for instance, in Elizabethan England, you had full right of speech about how the state religion should be conducted, unless you were one of those icky Catholics, who were fringe and influenced by foreigners, in which case you should just be burned. (Yes, I know, turn about was fairplay. There’s nothing to choose in that time. But you know, you were in or you were out.) And in the various totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century (shut up, my first awareness of politics was under one. I know of what I speak.) you could of course speak and contribute to the discourse in the manner of a loyal opposition. Your collective right to speak – unless you were one of those crackpots who thought crony capitalism with overtones of mercantilism was keeping the people poor – was not to be infringed. And if your message was “exactly but” you might even get minor adjustments in government. I’m sure justice Breyer would approve.

The point is there has never been and there never will be a government that denies collective speech rights. This is because collectives can be controlled. (It has long been my observation that all you need is a communist in any group or association and everything that group or association does becomes communist.) First of all, of course, are which collectives are recognized (and note Beyer’s idea of USEFUL collective speech.) Second because collectives are as everything else prone to be influenced by a particularly vocal person. (See, communists in a group or association. Much like a drop of sewage in a barrel of wine.)

In the Soviet Union they had freedom of collective speech. They do in Cuba.

Do you notice any difference between them and us? Or any reason why a group of men who knew history (if not the tragically colossal errors of the twentieth century, but those were forecast in the past) would feel the need to write down any of those “rights” if they were collective?

You will not find any reason for the founders to do that, unless, of course, they liked writing down a lot of things to no purpose. (And they didn’t.)

And you will find plenty of difference between societies with collective rights and with individual ones.

Look, people, we, as humans are creatures of a group. We’re social creatures. (Which the idiots who answer to this type of posts routinely interpret to mean we should be socialist.) By this I mean that if you drop a human baby into wild, even if he survives, he won’t be fully human. He won’t have language, or culture (because unlike the Progressive Project illusions, culture is NOT hereditary genetically.) He’ll be a sort of hairless ape, maybe a little smarter than the median ape, but not human.

As humans, we are creatures of culture, and we need to define and identify ourselves through our culture. In other words, we want to fit in. We, all of us, at some level, want to be the cool kids.

What this means is that humans tend to “opinion match.” Particularly when those opinions must be expressed in a group and by consensus.

This is why you see societies go through most jaw-dropping attacks of idiocy that EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW WOULD END IN TEARS. The black tulip mania; Nazism; Stalinism; Hope and Change; a sudden decision that fat is bad for you; anything from the tragic to the comic (Hope and change, we’ll all die laughing) that is clearly and obviously stupid but which takes a population (and sometimes the whole world) by storm… All of it comes from the individual’s desire to fit in, to be in tune with the crowd.

If that was all there was to Humanity, I doubt we’d have got where we are now. But it isn’t. Humanity produces a certain number of outliers. Odds we call them. Sometimes these people are smarter than average, but often they just have some other characteristic that causes them not to quite fit in.

Because we don’t fit in (in my case, would you believe my first set back at fitting in was the inability to play the elastic jumping game all Portuguese school girls played?) we usually give up being “one of the cool kids” at an early age. And this leaves us free to see the insanity of the groups from outside.

I submit to you that to the extent a society succeeds or fails it’s the measure to which they allow individual action to their cranks, outliers and “nuts.”

Take a society that represses them utterly and you have China, which has been caught in an iterative madness that is the historical equivalent of Fifty First Dates. (How many emperors burned books and banned folk tales?) Maybe they’ve broken out of it now as their madness looks more western from the outside, but I wouldn’t put my hands in the fire. They’ve gone through these periods before, too.

Take a society in which outliers are allowed to talk and express themselves, and present their crazy ideas to everyone and you have… the US. Which is why over our existence we’ve been the most innovative, creative nation ever. Because sometimes the cranks and the crazies JUST have a point. It might take them a good long while of being the voice that cries in the desert, but eventually they get through. Or some of them do. And the result is a better life for everyone.

Which is what our founders meant.

And those seeking to curtail my individual rights in favor of the collective can gaze upon my very individual middle finger. They can take a hike. They and the horse they rode in on.

It’s a bloodied mule, who has brought nothing but death and poverty wherever it was allowed to ride.

To protect us from this, we have the bill of rights, which secures the states (and individual) rights AGAINST government. To protect this we have our government assigned ENUMERATED powers they’re not meant to exceed.

Even the best government in the world will oppress its people given time, because it is the way of the bureaucrat and the intellectual to think he knows what’s best for all people.

Notice this nonsense only came up when they think the Progressive Project is almost complete, and that therefore the government is the best and most benevolent it could be. This is why they came up with nonsense like “We all belong to the government” – spit.

The thing is, if they wished to be slaves, we’d let them be. There are many places in the world where they can find themselves happily enslaved. They could depart from us, without rancor.

The fact that they’re not seeking one of those places means that’s not what they want. They want US to be slaves, and them our masters.

In the land of the free, the name for that is “treason.” Let not the pretty words and the intellectual fog distract you. It is treason they propose under their soft pleading.

We must shout it loud and clear whenever we hear this nonsense. Or we’ll lose our right to shout.

244 responses to “In The Name Of The Collective

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    But Sarah! Every body knows that “Freedom Of Religion” exists to protect the State from those evil religious people. [Sarcasm]

    Oh, did you know that the Soviet Union had a “Freedom of Religion” clause in their constitution?

    Of course, that meant as much to the Soviets as what our constitution actually says means to the “American” Progressives. [Sad Smile]

    • yes, of course I knew that. And all the priests were “State employees.” (GAG)

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Sadly nothing new there. IIRC the French Revolution tried that stunt as well. [Frown]

      • Except the ones who were not, and were jailed / internally exiled / slaughtered when and where found… (hmmm, my sources for part of that can’t be independently verified, as to the best of my knowledge they are dead)

        • yes. Lots of martyrs, some on the way to becoming saints, at least on the Catholic side.

          • marycatelli

            The Blessed Ceferino Jimenez Malla was the first gypsy ever to be beautified — martyred during the Spanish Civil War.

          • There were a lot on the Orthodox side too.

            When the Soviets took over the Metropolitan sent out a whole slew of letters of autonomy to as many branches of the church as he could mail them to, with a note not to trust anything he said afterwards.

            I gather they still occasionally run into some Russian Old Calendarist groups, who headed out into the hinterlands and disappeared when the Soviets came.

            The only reason they even let the MP exist in any form, was because the Russian peasants thought the Nazis were liberators, and the Soviets needed something to get them back.

            You have to be doing pretty bad for the Nazis seem like an improvement.

            • Rob Crawford

              Well, the Holodomor only fails to receive the attention of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust because the left’s Heroes of the People were the ones committing the slaughter.

              • To be fair, the only reason the Holocaust got covered as thoroughly as it did was because allied troops with cameras occupied the camps. The western media and establishment did it’s level best to ignore it.

      • When my father was involved in some medical work in Ukraine and Belarus in the aftermath of Chernobyl, everyone steered clear of the Metropolitans, and especially the Metropolitan of Moscow, because they were KGB. (Dad said that the Metropolitan of Minsk looked just like Father Christmas.) Things eased up a bit for non-Orthodox in the mid 1990s, then slammed shut again once Lukashenko became president of Belarus. Churches with ties to the West (Protestant, Roman Catholic, Uniate) were/are, according to the government, unpatriotic. And then people wonder why people in the former Soviet Union have such mixed emotions about the Eastern Orthodox churches.

      • They still are.

    • Paul, you just need to be open to the modern interpretation of that hoary old document. What they really meant by “Freedom of Religion” was “Freedom from Christianity.” Muslim? No problem, go right ahead with Sharia and honor killings. Wiccan? Dance skyclad in the streets. Green? Eat your tofu and spike a tree to kill a logger. But Christians are icky. They keep going on and on about responsibility and respect for their fellow men. Where’s the fun in that?
      [Need I add a resounding SARC to this?]

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        For your comment, Nope. Unfortunately, IMO you are describing the “mind-set” of too many Progressives (which is what you intended). [Sad Smile]

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        I have no problem with comely young ladies going skyclad in the streets. However, not all Wiccans are comely young ladies.

        • Dawn Dreams

          Cough, cough, snort, gurgle, chuckle, clean up tea.

        • Too true. If we’re being honest, I find the thought of streets full of skyclad attractive young ladies to be… interesting. Perhaps we should try that experiment at some point.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Chuckle Chuckle

            I’m reminded of Jack Chalker’s River of Dancing Gods series. One “rule” in that world was that beautiful women had to wear very little clothing. In a later book, it was commented that most women followed that rule because if they didn’t they’d have to admit they weren’t beautiful. Of course, some of the women should have worn more clothing. [Evil Grin]

        • As a rule, nudists are never people you actually want to see naked. That’s why you have porn. Those folks are professional naked people

        • Hell, comely young people of either gender are a minority in just about any group. And, yes, I do include groups exclusively consisting of teenyboppers.

      • Dancing skyclad under trees is so old fashioned.
        That and it’s called ticks, chiggers, poison ivy, poison oak, etc…
        You know how hard it is to two step it when someone forgets to mow to the field day before AND clean up the cuttings?

  2. Jordan S. Bassior

    Notice this nonsense only came up when they think the Progressive Project is almost complete, and that therefore the government is the best and most benevolent it could be. This is why they came up with nonsense like “We all belong to the government” – spit.

    The thing is, if they wished to be slaves, we’d let them be. There are many places in the world where they can find themselves happily enslaved. They could depart from us, without rancor.

    The fact that they’re not seeking one of those places means that’s not what they want. They want US to be slaves, and them our masters.

    Very well put. They want to be the ones in charge — and even in that, there is betrayal, for the Progressives consist of many factions, and levels within each faction, and only the topmost leadership of the most successful faction will really be in charge, should they triumph. How happy will the LGBT’s be if the Third Worlders win, or vice versa? — to take the most obvious example.

    • ANYONE ODD like LGBT progressives will be against the wall first. I know this, and so should they, from studying history. In societies that prize the collective being odd is death. They are being used. “Useful idiots” if you will. How free were gays in the Soviet Union?

      • The Other Sean

        But studying history is so passe these days. And that assumes anybody is teaching it, and teaching it accurately.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        They’re too busy studying herstory to care about history. ;-)

      • Hell, the history of Communism strongly suggests that any intellectuals – of whatever stripe – will be up against the wall as soon as the thugs who will inevitably take over have the time.

      • But they’ll get it right this time! Unlike the dozens of other times last century! And they’ll be at the top and thus unharmable… just like Robespierre!

        Er… wait…

        The Holocaust Denial problem in Rialto, California, has been mentioned in a few places. And over at Instapundit, someone mentioned Ike’s reaction when he learned of it. He made certain that reporters had access to it, that large numbers of Allied troops saw the camps, and that film crews got proper tours. He wanted the whole thing documented from top to bottom because he knew that people would deny it. The advantage of the really way out there ideas, like the organized slaughter of millions of Jews and others, is that ordinary people have a tendency to say, “There’s no way that’s real.” (Which, incidentally, was my reaction when I learned that the Interim Superintendent of Rialto’s school district is named Mohammed Z. Islam. Yes, that really is his name.) But sadly, it all too often is very real. It’s far too easy for people to slide over into the Abyss. Even large groups of people can be quickly carried over. And everyone who slides rationalizes it by assuming that they’re doing the work of angels.

        • I’m looking at that Rialto incident right now, and from what I can see, the evidence here is really spotty.

          OK, sure… Maybe they were trying to convince the kiddies that the Holocaust never happened. But, the few materials that they’ve made public make this look a lot more like “OK, here’s an example of a real-world case where you need to decide whether Holocaust denial is real, or not…”. If the rest of the package surrounding this thing is consonant with what I’ve been able to see so far, I’m not really sure this is the hill to die on vis-a-vis Common Core. To me, this is starting to smell of one of those situations where the hue-and-cry is being spun up over little or no evidence.

          I actually would applaud it if this was a lesson plan intended to demonstrate the flaws and BS of Holocaust denial via the old technique of “Examine their evidence and arguments, and decide if they’re worth a damn…”. From the evidence published so far, however, I can’t tell.

          Sometimes these people get things right, sometimes they don’t. I suggest taking a more balanced view, and wait for the evidence to come out. If it turns out we have an Irving clone at work, crucify him. If this is someone who’s actually trying to teach a lesson on real critical thinking, and the Usual Suspects ™ have got it wrong, let’s not. I’d rather the kids learned how to actually examine things, and make their own arguments for or against.

          • The verdict is already out– the kids (even without this new common core) are uneducated and are telling the adults that the holocaust didn’t happen. History is not being taught and neither is civics. I can conclude that the Usual Suspects (TM) are using this for another agenda and I would be right.

            • Like I said–I don’t see enough evidence to form a conclusion from. And, based on past experience with the media and the other “controversies” I see them gin up out of nothing, I refuse to make a call until I see the evidence. I could just see myself as a history teacher trying to make a point, and having that point fly right over the heads of some of the parents and students.

              The media and the rest can’t get it right in areas I know a lot about, so I flatly refuse to follow their lead into these things unless I can see the actual evidence this incident is based on. It’s delicious, and I’d love to believe in it, but I just can’t bring myself to trust the sorry bastards. We’ve been lied to too many times in the past.

              I had a really excellent high school history teacher. I mean, really, really good–He should have been teaching at the college level, not some podunk high school. One of the things he did was bring in the actual weapons from the time period we were covering, and demonstrate what went into making them work. So, during the Revolutionary War part of the US history class, he’d bring in a flintlock long rifle, a Brown Bess, and a French Charlieville musket for us to handle and then gave a demonstration of what went into the manual of arms. (Yeah. Imagine that scene today…). Well, one year he did that, and during the classroom discussion, someone asked about the long rifle not having a bayonet attached to it. Someone else made a flippant remark about the Yankees not having the gonads to use a bayonet, and what got back to one young lady’s parents was that the teacher had called the American soldiers during the Revolutionary War cowards… Which had the predictable effect, and hey, presto, everyone was up in arms and complaining to the district superintendent. Based on exactly no real information, and on something that the teacher never himself said. No doubt, in today’s climate, this would be national news.

              That was the last year he did that little added bit for his classes, and he retired not so long after. Replaced by a real idiot they hired because he had a winning record as a baseball coach…

              Yeah, I don’t trust ‘em when they start up this pitchfork-and-torch routine. Not at all.

              • Yep– I don’t trust anything they say– and even if it looks like on the up and up– there is a catch there somewhere. Sounds like a great history teacher– too bad about how he was railroaded.

          • masgramondou

            Lots of detail here

            http://patterico.com/2014/05/06/wait-until-you-see-what-the-l-a-times-thinks-multiple-credible-sources-are/

            I think the answer is that this appears to have been an attempt to teach critical thining and research that didn’t work well

            • Rob Crawford

              I find the “we’re teaching critical thinking” line to be the thinnest BS imaginable. There are hundreds of other topics you can use to teach critical thinking, topics that don’t require kids to be sent to sources they’d be punished for looking at in the library. NO ONE teaching grade school reaches for Holocaust denial as their PREFERRED route to teach “critical thinking”.

          • Birthday girl

            Was this material intended for something like a debate class? Because I can’t imagine where else in an honest curriculum one would put it … just wondering … ??

          • I wouldn’t call it a Common Core failure. From what I can tell, this particular idea originated with the locals and not higher up.

            But it’s still a really bad idea for at least a couple of different reasons.

            1.) Coverage of World War 2 in history classes is spotty at best. I know my own history classes never got to the end of the text book. We always ran out of time before the end of the school year. It’s up for debate how much coverage of the 20th Century these kids have had. And as a result, it’s entirely possible that some of them have never even heard of the Holocaust. This excercise takes such a kid and essentially introduces him or her to the Holocaust with, “Here are two sides to the debate regarding one of the biggest genocides of the 20th Century, a genocide that has an entire cottage industry of denial. Why might people be making the whole thing up?”

            2.) There’s lots of real propaganda out there to evaluate for the excercise. I’ve seen people elsewhere suggest that Rialto should have used examples of real propaganda. For instance, Communist posters. Or posters by the Nazis purporting to display how horrible the Jews were. The excercise claims to be intended to help students tell the difference between propaganda and real claims. If so, then examples of actual propaganda probably would have worked a lot better.

            • marycatelli

              Communist propaganda would give too many people in this country heart failure, at the thought of its being analyzed, for it to be used. Alas.

              • Rob Crawford

                Too many people would object to seeing Communist propaganda debunked. Their livelihoods depend on it.

            • Rob Crawford

              I think I mentioned over at Insty that I remember covering propaganda techniques in grade school — 5th, 6th grade? — and we didn’t have to reach for Nazi material for examples. Advertising and political campaigns worked just fine.

              And learning to spot propaganda techniques in the *RELATIVELY* subtle US political scene makes the Soviet and Nazi stuff stand out like a tire fire in an eclipse.

              • Jeff Gauch

                Americans start learning to spot propaganda after their fifth or sixth Christmas, when that new toy doesn’t do all the cool stuff they saw on TV. No wonder vileprogs decry consumer culture and advertising.

          • http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/218047.php

            Jawa has some pictures of the assignment.

            While I like the IDEA of actually doing research– the sheer level of stupid involved in having 13 year olds argue for or against the Holocaust is mind numbing.

            Some individual young teens could do it, sure; I probably could’ve, I researched similar things just because the teacher was wrong, but if you’re going to use it at all you should use Holocaust denial as the thing you illustrate the technique with, a gold standard of “thing that definitely happened but people say it didn’t.”

            If you grab kids by the nose and try to lead them like that, a sizable group will argue that it is a hoax just to piss you off.

        • Ike was absolutely right to do what he did. Look what happened to this documentary, buried in the vaults:

          Some things, no matter how terrible should never be “denied” or forgotten.

      • marycatelli

        Perhaps more usefully, how were the artists treated under the Soviet Union? Because the artists had overtly flocked to the Communist banner.

        Some of that, I grant you, was that those who did ugly and foolish art deluded themselves into thinking that since society did not accept their art as great, a radical change in society would also change the view of their artwork. However, the degree to which they were pressed in propaganda work and “socialist realism” was astounding.

        (Fun fact: I have actually read people describing the “Mundane SF” movement as SF socialist realism. Now you have even more reason to dislike it!)

        • Mundane SF? What is this?

        • I always knew that’s what it was.

        • In one of my college classes, I was one of a small group of students assigned to do a project on the Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (other groups were assigned other individuals – who weren’t Soviet). He was considered one of the premiere Soviet poets during the period shortly after the Revolution. He also wrote a couple of satirical plays. I’ve read one of them, “The Bedbug”, and it’s worth reading. The lead character is a corrupt member of the Communist party who accidentally ends up in cryogenic stasis for a century. Unfortunately, Mayakovsky also had a bad habit of playing Russian Roulette. And his luck finally ran out in 1930.

          Those last two sentences suggest someone who had issues. And he was considered one of the premiere Soviet poets of the time.

          • marycatelli

            I recommend The Captive Mind by Czesław Miłosz. The Mind Of Man Under Communism, with particular emphasis on the writers.

    • masgramondou

      Very well put. They want to be the ones in charge — and even in that, there is betrayal, for the Progressives consist of many factions, and levels within each faction, and only the topmost leadership of the most successful faction will really be in charge, should they triumph.

      I’m not sure that is totally true. It seems to me a lot of them want someone else to take responsibility and tell them what to do. They actually like having rules to obey (and yet they mock people who try to live by rules written down a couple of thousand years ago). It’s another sign of their failure to grow up.

      In fact many of them (even pretty high up ones) subscribe to the idea of infitinely wise, omniscient rulers (Plato’s philosopher prince) guiding their subjects to some nirvana.

      The thing the racists say about slaves that they were happier when someone else was their owner, really does seem to apply to these collectivist sheep. And they get really concerned when us non-collectivists stafrt asking awkward questions and doing non-approved activities because they can just tell that this will irritate the nice rulers and they’ll instigate some collective punishment that affects them too. Just like Teacher used to do when the nasty boys misbehaved in class so everyone had to stay in for 30 minutes detention.

      • Well, a lot of them definitely want someone else (Government, actually) to take responsibility, so they don’t have to take any.

        • marycatelli

          They want a Patron/Client system like in ancient Rome, minus the way that the Patron called the shots.

      • It seems to me a lot of them want someone else to take responsibility and tell them what to do. They actually like having rules to obey (and yet they mock people who try to live by rules written down a couple of thousand years ago). It’s another sign of their failure to grow up.
        —————————

        Except, of course, that they only want to be told to do what they were already inclined to do. They refuse to consider the idea that, for instance, their utopian government might arrange heterosexual marriages for all of them, and mandate that they all have three kids.

        • marycatelli

          Of course. The idea of maintaining the population is too much responsibility.

          One notes that in Laws, Plato has his characters discussing how every law should have an explanatory preamble, and draws up an example:

          We may illustrate our proposal by an example. The laws relating to marriage naturally come first, and therefore we may begin with them. The simple law would be as follows:—A man shall marry between the ages of thirty and thirty-five; if he do not, he shall be fined or deprived of certain privileges. The double law would add the reason why: Forasmuch as man desires immortality, which he attains by the procreation of children, no one should deprive himself of his share in this good. He who obeys the law is blameless, but he who disobeys must not be a gainer by his celibacy; and therefore he shall pay a yearly fine, and shall not be allowed to receive honour from the young.

      • It’s odd… I do, in a very real way, desperately want someone to tell me what to do, to be Responsible and Wise, and to in general be warm and benevolent guidance. (And, y’know, bedroom games, ’cause those are fun, too.) ‘Cause in general, while I’m extremely good at a few things, when I try to be a generalist and manage my whole life… well, the term “tits up” comes to mind.

        And yet, I’ll be goddamned if I don’t similarly want to be able to choose this person, to gauge their appropriateness for my life, and to maintain the ability to end the agreement at any moment I choose.

        I get how someone would want to be a servant in some limited capacity; there is comfort in acting without deciding, to know that performance is all that’s needed and not judgment.

        I have no idea how they can think so little of themselves as to believe any Tom, Dick and Harry their neighbors chose is worth their dedication. -_-;

        The responsibility to gauge who is worthy of your effort is probably the most important responsibility of anyone who would submit themselves to another. I don’t understand why so many people seem to want that to be the first to go.

        • Oh yes, I THINK To get to the point where I am, where anyone claiming authority over me gets the double middle finger, you need to be twisted early and disappointed often. OTOH who knows? A lot of my ancestor/esse/s seemed to have the same attitude, so maybe it’s genetic.
          I wouldn’t mind having an “organizer” but not in authority over me — someone who works for me and whom I can fire. Other than that the easiest way to get me to do something is to forbid it. Younger son — sigh — is the same. Karma, she is a female dog.

          • Claiming authority without my consent… gets less a double middle-finger as a badger-in-a-corner panic response from me. >_> For,what I suspect are not wholly different reasons.

            It’s … really strange that what I want most and what I fear most are so braided together. But I think that’s not wholly out there either. >_>

            Eh, I dunno. Getting fairly personal. But I think your way is a definitely excellent way to handle it, and I’m… glad that I’ve found a blog where the thoughts on Marx-quoting movements which would declare themselves benevolent masters mirror my own. I’d started feeling like a crazy conspiracy theorist, y’know?

            …and, uh, thanks for writing. (And thanks to the Drow for pointing me here, a few weeks ago.)

            • I don’t think you are “out there.” I’ve met two people IRL, both close acquaintances, who expressed similar desires. They are great followers, and are very comfortable in a secondary position as advisers and (in one case) researchers, but prefer to have someone else handling the top-level organization of the household. But only in a fully consensual, respectful relationship, where their spouse consults with them. If someone were to try and impose “followership” on them against their will, I know one would fight tooth and claw. The other belongs to a pacifist tradition, but I suspect she’d get out of the situation as fast as she could. She’s not the kind to wait around when her “danger, danger” warnings start to go off.

      • It seems to me a lot of them want someone else to take responsibility and tell them what to do.

        I’m trying to punch out a thingie…. basically, this is a major part of the trouble with modern relationships.

        There are a LOT of folks who want to make the choices, but want someone else to take the responsibility.

        This only hit me when my husband kinda lost his temper and told me that I had to stop taking responsibility for stuff that I never made a choice in; the fourth or fifth time, it took root.

        Rob Long over at ricochet danced around it a bit with a piece about “why do women only propose in a fraction of cases”– from my view, women ADORE taking responsibility for stuff. The more prone you are to it, the more likely you are to be hungry for someone else to at least gesture at authority….and only the most extreme of cases are going to eternally tie themselves to someone who can’t even be bothered to buy ring that costs two weeks’ worth of groceries and go “Hey, pretty lady, stay with me?”

        I have always tried to take care of everyone. Only when my then future husband started kicking in did I realize how much of my life force did it eat.

      • Okay third post here, figure i better say hi, i’m new, and my introduction to humor was watching “the holy grail” with my mother, who is of Finnish decent.

        Dry does is not a type of wit, it just is.

        Okay the intro part outta da way, here we go.

        I wrote an amazing, well reasoned, logical, and detailed study of why maybe our need to have leaders and followers as humans may be something more than social ques. I argued it could be genetics and based it on years of research, personal observation and hard Science

        In this essay i also told several charming and witty stories of my youth, and then expertly tied them in with my overall argument and led us to the inescapable conclusion i was right.

        I did this all in my head of course, then i set about to type the awe inspiring work in my head into this reply comment.

        When I hit 900 words, realized i was a third of the way through it, and saw nothing even close to what was actually floating in my brain, i decided that i’ll just stay awesome in my own mind and protect that fragile self image i hold so close :)

        However deleting the whole thing seemed a bit to abrupt so i figured I’d share with you fine folks an excerpt from the most awesome thing ever written.

        “I mean just because I have the ability to sit around and drive myself crazy pondering the fundamental what if’s and how the’s of the universe somehow makes me superior to a common dog?

        An animal, by the way, who has managed to get free food, it’s species preserved, and shelter just by looking cute, on occasion biting or barking at things for us, and let us not forget they are also cuddly. They became natures perfect mooch… by SNUGGLING!!!

        Really, and I’m the superior one/ Riiiiiiiight…”

        P.S. Thanks in advance for putting up with me. Trying to learn how to write again, and commenting is far more fun than just posting my own mental ramblings to me.

        • commenting is far more fun than just posting my own mental ramblings to me.

          There are several of the regulars who spend more time here than on our own blogs (mine hasn’t been updated in about a year), and quite a few who post here and nowhere else. You’re in good company in that regard. :)

    • “only the topmost leadership of the most successful faction will really be in charge, should they triumph.”

      Likely not even them. The usual result is that the revolutionaries get murdered or sent to the camps on the first train and the real thugs take over.

      • FlyingMike

        This. The first people sent to the reeducation camps in South Vietnam after the North Vietnamese invasion succeeded in 1975 were the captured ranking ARVN military, civil government, and business folks who couldn’t get out. The second set were the (very few at that point) surviving South Vietnamese revolutionaries – the classical Viet Cong.

        Once you have competed the revolution, trained and experienced revolutionaries are the last thing you want hanong around. Why, they moght take exception to how the proper authorities are implementing the local Socialist Paradise and use their skillset. It’s best to just round them up and get them out of the way.

        • FlyingMike

          Wow, one day autocorrect goes nuts, the next it leaves typos all over the place.

          I love technology.

          • Robin Munn

            Well, my brain first read “hanong” as “Hanoi-ing” and thought it was a great pun, so I guess I should say “thanks for the amusement, autocorrect”.

        • The former revolutionaries also had to display a great deal of initiative in surviving essentially behind enemy lines for a long period of time. And the last thing that totalitarian states want is citizens who are used to displaying initiative.

      • “Likely not even them. The usual result is that the revolutionaries get murdered or sent to the camps on the first train and the real thugs take over.”

        To elaborate, the general run of things is that the idealistic revolutionaries generally aren’t very good at running things, or getting things done, so they co-opt those who can, and who were not part of the old structure. Who are generally criminals and thugs. Any other competent people are usually a part of the existing structure, and as such, are subject of suspicions even if they “turn”. They’ll fit quite nicely into the renamed organs of social control and repression, but will never be entrusted with actual power.

        Which is how people like Stalin happen, along with Dzerzhinsky. They’re not actually true believers, or the theorists: They’re just the people who “get things done.” As such, the theorists like William Ayers wind up in the way, and then they get liquidated along with the rest of the former power structure.

        What’s such good humor for the rest of us is that we get to witness the outrage, the anger, the angst as the former anointed ones join us in the gulag/concentration camps. Where they generally have very short lives, among those who they earlier put there…

        Frankly, when the tipping point comes, and society has gone quite mad, the best thing to do in order to survive is probably join the new regime as a camp guard. The other option? Take as many of the rat bastards with you as you can, if only to discourage the others.

        Solzhenitsyn had it right: The regime would not exist, or be able to do what it does unless the majority were cowed into submission, and did not resist. Had the agents of the Okrana/NKVD/KGB known that a bullet behind the ear in a dark alley on the way home waited for them, the gulags would have been empty. As it was, everyone simply looked away when they came for their neighbors.

  3. Mother nature must love we odds for she made so many of us.
    It does strike me that the American experiment does closely mimic the true natural order of things. Nature is constantly spinning off sports and mutations with new and unique features and talents, and 99 plus percent of those fail miserably. The few that succeed better than the stock they sprung from soon take over and a new improved species comes to be. From our inception that’s been the American meme, take whatever crazy wild assed idea you come up with and run with it. Fail and you fade into history. Succeed and you are rewarded beyond all dreams of avarice. At which point you fall into a life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and your kids squander whatever’s left. But that’s another story.

  4. I believe your dissection link got messed up in the posting, here’s the link with only the url

    http://joshblackman.com/blog/2014/04/03/breyers-first-amendment-right-to-collective-speech-in-mccutcheon/

    I’m still reading through your post and the posted link but I like what you’ve said up to that point.

  5. Randy Wilde

    Nitpick… it’s Justice Breyer, not Beyer.

  6. Leftism fails because the ideology fails to take into account the fact that no one will work as hard for the state as themselves.

    Conservatism fails because at least half of even the best of populations will fail to act honorably when it counts.

    Libertarianism will fail because it doesn’t take into account that at least half, if not most, people will chose to be taken care of (or even the illusion of being taken care of) over the long, hard work necessary to achieve and maintain freedom.

    None of this works. Let it burn.

    • Define “works.” if you think that the biggest gun is your best friend, there’s thousands of acres of Africa where you could go and enjoy life. Hint: Don’t grow old. The society that fails is the society that DECIDES to fail.

      • To be sure, some systems last longer than others. But I’m coming to think this whole democracy thing isn’t all it’s chalked up to be. The right to vote should be earned. Honorable discharge for military service, or at least be able to pass the same test we require of new perspective citizens might do it. In fact, that wouldn’t be a bad idea for the scum who run for office.

        • marycatelli

          How about passing a basic statistics course?

        • “Honorable discharge for military service.”

          Hmm. No. Just emphatically “no”.

          Heinlein was postulating an extreme, for effect. And, even he wasn’t willing to restrict suffrage to the military veteran–If you read the fine print in Starship Troopers, most didn’t even get the vote from military service. The majority got it from a form of national service, i.e., doing unpleasant non-military things for the nation.

          Frankly, it’s my opinion as a 25-year enlisted veteran of the Army that we should take a rather jaundiced view of this idea. I’ve seen way too many selfish, self-centered, benefit-seeking parasites come out of the Army for me to ever be able to fantasize that such people are selfless saints. To be honest, and from a different angle, I could make just as good a case that anyone on active federal service ought to have their right to vote ‘effing cancelled while they are on active duty. Just like lawyers shouldn’t be the ones making the laws, military types shouldn’t be getting a say in whether or not we go to war, either. Too many special interests, too many corrupting influences. For examples, see all the cute little jobs the senior generals and sergeant majors just happen to fall into when they retire…

          Here’s what I would propose, in opposition: No payee taxes, no gettee vote. Do work for the government? No vote. No kids? No vote, once you’re out of your child-bearing years. Becoming a lawyer, and gaining the right to practice the law? You ought to be treated like you’re taking monastic orders, and lose the right to make law, administer it, or adjudicate it. All you get to do is argue it, and perhaps have an advisory role to the Congress in making it.

          In short, if you’re a social parasite, you lose the right to vote on matters pertaining to the body politic, and its future. Don’t pay taxes? No vote. Did you contribute to the future, by having kids? You get to vote on issues that will have an effect in their lives.

          One other thing I’d do is establish a system, based on lifespan. Everybody who attains legal majority in between say, 1990 and 2000 becomes members of an administrative group we could term a class, or a generation. That group gets tracked, as far as productivity and contributions go, and they must have either paid forward enough to cover their expenses as a group when they’re elderly, or they are on their own when it comes to aid from the younger generations. This bullshit where the so-called “Greatest Generation” and the “Baby Boomers” ran up all these monstrous bills, and pawned them off on the poor grandkids? That shit needs to flat-out stop. Inter-generational wealth transfers need to have an end put to them. This bullshit where they inflated the cost of an education past the point of all reason, and then committed all of this wealth to paying old-age pensions to the elders, while anyone with a lick of actuarial sense and/or accounting knowledge knows damn good and well that none of the kids we’re bleeding today to pay for Social Security are ever going to see a dime of those benefits for themselves? That should ‘effing stop. I say we start accounting for this BS, and tell these idiots that it’s up to them to do their own thing–You want Social Security, grandpa? Well, you’d better fully fund that BS while you’re in your working years, because once the money your generation put away is gone, it’s gone, gone, gone–You’re not getting a red cent more. If you wind up serving as a salutary lesson the younger generations, so be it. You’re not going to leech the lifeblood out of their youth, paying for your excesses.

          You shouldn’t be allowed to vote for things that benefit you, and only you. A lot of the problems we have here in this country today stem from that–Nobody cares about passing debts on to the next generation or five. I’d personally like to see that stopped, and stopped permanently. You want to run up the bills, you’d better plan on paying them. Because, if you don’t? Well, get ready for a shitty set of elder years.

          • Rob Crawford

            “No kids? No vote, once you’re out of your child-bearing years. ”

            Thankfully, as a male, that never happens.

            • Well – I didn’t get married until my early thirties– so I didn’t have children either. However, I served my country etc., etc., etc. I think when you make absolute requirements like that you find there are exceptions for every requirement. The requirement should be first you are a citizen. Second that you are alive. and Third you are mentally and physically able to vote. At the very least I would accept an alive citizen over the age of 18. We don’t even see that anymore–

          • marycatelli

            Some of us don’t have kids because we never found an appropriate father. Would you rather we have grabbed any random male? That’s a problem nowadays, actually.

          • Here’s what I would propose, in opposition: No payee taxes, no gettee vote. Do work for the government? No vote. No kids? No vote, once you’re out of your child-bearing years. Becoming a lawyer, and gaining the right to practice the law? You ought to be treated like you’re taking monastic orders, and lose the right to make law, administer it, or adjudicate it. All you get to do is argue it, and perhaps have an advisory role to the Congress in making it.

            I’d suggest explicitly allowing adoption– for at least a decade before they reach majority– for the “having kids” thing, with a sort of godparent thing.

            Gov’t work, needs some serious work. If there’s union, for, if not, against.

            The lawyer thing seems unworkable from the current state.

            Also, military should NOT count as gov’t work, but officers should earn no more than double of the E version of their O rank as base pay, and have exactly the same benefits.

            So, if you’re an O-4 with ten years, you’re getting less than 5k a month just like an E-5, and the exact same housing allowance.

          • Not disagreeing on any particular point, merely the overall direction of your indictments. Since I started my working life (at age 14 in 1968, when I got my permission slip from the nanny state to be a child laborer), I’ve been importuned by statist thieves promising me the moon and stealing 1/3 of my income at gunpoint to finance their campaigns and wealth-building exercises. I have inveighed against the practice, worked on opposition campaigns, and voted against he bastards trying to bribe me with my own (stolen) money. I have understood all along the criminal unsustainability of the practice, and burned (in the words of Solzenietzin) for some means to bring the rogue curs to heel. Now, at age 60, in my dotage I come to the conclusion that the Second Amendment — the insistence that the population be armed — is the most wise and prescient piece of law ever written, and that we — the People — ought to give it teeth.

            H. Beam Piper proposed a system in Lone Star Planet in which “He needed killing, Judge.” would be an affirmative defense to a charge of politicide. I agree. As a Baby Boomer, I do not own any of this farrago. It existed before I did and has resisted my every attempt to bring it down. Blame somebody else.

            M

        • The problem is, the second you set the precedent to deny this group or that group the right to vote, you lay the ground work for even more exclusionary practices to be put into place.

          Do you want a self interested government deciding who gets the vote?

          How about Progressives?

          Think through exclusionary votes very carefully. This was tried before with literacy tests, remember.

          As much as it galls me that some people can vote, i will still die defending their right to do it simply because there is no way to insure that using a selective voting system will never be misused.

          Don’t believe me, look at gun control and all the damage the National Firearms Act caused. On the surface it was intended to help people by keeping scary people(the mob) from owning scary guns(The Thompson). at least that’s what they sold it as.

          Look at the crap we are still dealing with because of that foundation. NY SAFE act anyone?

          • I mostly agree with you (although I would like to see those on the dole be eneligible to vote, I’m also afraid of the consequences of such an act) but I do think that proving you are a citizen should be a requirement of voting. I just don’t think that is too onerous.

            • I my with you completely on proving citizenship a sa requirement.

              Voting in the US about US matters Should involve US citizens. I don’t go to Canada and vote on their issues :)

          • Agreed. But, I’ll point out that we’re dealing with the opposite problem here-and-now. When you can vote self-interest, too many do.

            I threw those ideas out as possible solutions to that issue. I really don’t think you ought to be excluded from the vote for trivial reasons, but we need to do something about the tendency we’ve established to rape the next generations, some of whom aren’t even born yet. The fact that people who haven’t even bothered to raise their own set of kids to replace themselves at the millstone just grates on me like you wouldn’t believe–We’re beggaring the young to pay for the old, quite a few of whom did not bother to expend the resources to raise their own kids. You should not be able to vote other people’s kids into servitude, and that’s the situation we have going right now. It’s also only going to get worse, as time goes on.

            Some mechanism of accountability needs to be set into place, whether it’s taking the vote away from the elderly, or some sort of generational accounting scheme. Anything else is just going to lead to a disaster, as demographics catch up with us. The gods of math will not be bought off…

            • I can see the point you make. And i agree, making X group take care of Y group without really allowing for x groups input is wrong

              But then i ask is it?

              IF x group is wrong, then does not x group have the same right, duty i might even say, to make their voice heard and vote for the things that best serve them.

              And if they refuse to participate when entity z is making legislation that forces group x to help group y, then can i really feel bad that group x is now getting bent over?

              If group x does not engage, by voting or debating, then can i honestly feel bad when group x gets the shaft?

              I find I cannot.

              Do i like Obama care because (among many reasons) it forces me to pay for old peoples healthcare? Absolutely not. Are there others out there like me? Absolutely yes. Did the majority of us affected by this actually get off our collective asses and fight it, i mean really fight it? Or did we just bitch, grumble and then go back to life without actually doing anything about it?

              Sad truth is we did the latter. There were some very vocal opposition to it, as well as a lot of cleverly written pieces and insightful commentary. Even some amusing political Shinanigans to stall it But we, as a group not as individuals, failed to muster enough momentum to affect the outcome. And the sad thing was i still chock up the loss to apathy. Most people just couldn’t be bothered to do something about it.

              We still have access to a representative democracy. We can still vote out bad politicians. We can still attack laws through litigation to see them thrown out if we feel that they are unconstitutional or unjust.

              Admitidly that grows harder with each generation, but it is still there.

              I feel the best course of action is not more legislation, but perhaps finding better ways to motivate people to participate. Get group x into the polls and have them vote against helping group y against their will.

              That to me this is the direction the answer lies.

              Now if only i knew how… :)

              • The problem comes when group x is 6 years old, and group y went ahead and voted themselves the product of group x’s future labors anyway.

                • All right. Forgive me for on second as an aside and allow me to state up front, I completely agree with you.

                  That being said, arguing a point through, or playing devil’s advocate are 2 ways I force myself to learn and explore different viewpoints. Allow me a moments indulgence while i see if I can actually win my original case :)

                  ahem

                  In the case of group x being 6 year olds, i have to ask, where are the parents? Adoptions, and orphans aside, the vast majority of children in the US have at least one advocate who’s job description includes the words “ensure the best possible future for my child”.

                  Now i freely admit that there are a significant portion of parents who think their job is as along the lines of raising a puppy, or even a burden on their lives. I’ll leave my opinions of THOSE parents for another time.

                  But suffice to say, i seriously doubt over half of parents out there feel that way towards their children. These means at least half of all the kids should have have at least one good advocate. And some of those kids will have 2, maybe more representatives depending on how close the family is.

                  My point is, isn’t it on the parents to insure there kids rights are protected, as much as it is on me to insure my rights are protected? Because last time i checked, there were way more parents out there then non parents such as myself.

                  P.S. I can do some statistics research for more specifics, lot of supposition here. but if it is wanted, i’ll do the math, so to speak.

                  • Oh, absolutely. I fear a number of those parents went along with voting group y the spoils of group x’s future labors both on the belief they’d get some of the spoils (dupes) and the mistaken belief that it wouldn’t fall to their children (dupes).

                    I think your argument is valid. I’m just in the position of sympathy for group x, because they’ve been failed.

    • marycatelli

      Work? Are you looking for something that works like a technique that will reliably come up with the answer in the back of the math book? Humans don’t work like that. And “out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made,” and so there is no point in “dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.”

      The question is whether we can kludge up a system that will let us muddle along. Which system will be different over the eras because of the conditions it is in.

  7. Unfortunately Sarah we are in dark times and just shouting in stamping of feet to get back to our founding tenants will not do the trick. I’ve never been one to wish for conflict of violence but I am a student of history and I’m a pragmatist. Sooner or later and I submit we do it on our terms were going to have to fight these collectivist bastards that’s what’s going to come down to want to live by the U.S. Constitution again. Just thinking like a Gen. Patton would agree one way or the other blood and a lot of blood is going to have to be shed over this thing. A restoration needs to happen and they will not let go of the reins of power willingly. Like I said, I’m not wishing for this thing I’m just being realistic here. These Collectivists will not stop. Ever.

  8. Reblogged this on Cold Dead Hands Days and commented:
    It takes a little while to get to the point but it is a good point. Sooner or later there will be blood it’s the only way to get out from underneath the shackles of collectivism that have crept into our American experiment.

  9. It’s odd the cycles their actions take, and the — coordination?

    I read somewhere, trying to dig it up, that among the talk of an Article V convention to propose amendments (or repeals), was a push to ‘adjust’ the 1st.

    Speech is dangerous, particularly to those seeking power, that’s why it was protected. For the INDIVIDUAL.

    These guys…

  10. I have recently come to the position that one of the things we need to do is attack the notion that the Progressives are in any way new, or unusual, in human history. There have ALWAYS been people who were devoutly certain that they were placed upon Earth by Divine Providence to tell the rest of us what to do. Such swine have ALWAYS had all kinds of swell sounding reasons why any previously emplaced limits to power didn’t apply to THEM.

    The history of the progress of civilization can be traced by the degree to which the common man could tell such parasites to go climb a tree, and make it stick. This is as true of the Progressives as it was of the Planter Aristocracy (whose political party they took over), or the Caesars. They aren’t new. They aren’t innovative. They don’t have any better excuses for their will-to-power than the Tokugawa Shoguns. Their political theories are claptrap, their ideals are lies, their concern for others a cloak for their monumental self-absorption.

    We have a number of huge advantages in out fights with these pests. Unlike the European Aristocracy, they don’t control the military, or understand it, or command its respect. They haven’t made much headway in disarming the peasantry, and they are losing ground on that steadily. Their efforts to control political debate would strike, say, George III as puerile. Many of their allies hate them poisonously (what on Earth possessed them to shack up with Islamic Fundamentalism?).

    But we really need to strip away the illusion they maintain that they are different from the previous lots. Do that and their posturing collapses into farce. And the one thing that no self-selected elite can withstand is ridicule.

    There is no difference between the 19th Century Busybodies who wanted to enforce “Christianity” (for certain values of “Christian”) on everybody and the 20th and 21st Century busybodies who want to enforce “Tolerance”.

    None.

    They are all Guillotine bait.

    All. Of. Them.

  11. Individuals have rights, not groups. “Group rights” are nothing more nor less than an expression of the rights of the individuals that make up that group.

    I remember being puzzled by a bit in the old movie “Sergeant York.” Cooper’s character (York) applies to be a Conscientious Objector when drafted. This application is denied because the church of which he was a member did not have an official doctrine opposed to members fighting in war. My puzzlement centered on “but . . . that was his belief.”

    It was then that I had my epiphany about the First Amendment. Freedom of Speech protected what I, or you, or any individual might say. Freedom of Religion, what I, or you, or any individual might believe and how we might act on that belief. Freedom of the Press, what I, or you, or any individual might write. Peaceable Assembly allowed getting together with other like-minded individuals to join forces in expressing that individual right.

    It wasn’t a matter of what some recognized church has as doctrine, but what you or I or any other individual believes. It wasn’t what “journalists” from recognized institutions might writer or print but what any individual might choose to write.

    Each person, whether as an individual or as a member of a group working with others, that’s what the rights applied to.

    And the Second guaranteed our right to the means to fight those who would take away those rights.

    • ^Yes.^

    • marycatelli

      Well, he said it was his belief. The legal requirement was that you had to belong to a church that professed pacifism and had done so before the war. It was to sort out the liars, I believe.

      • Yes, Mary, that was the requirement as I understand it — and the requirement was/is ultimately unConstitutional, in that it denied individual freedom of expression made in accord with the cited Amendments.

        • Exactly, that requirement was wrong on several levels (just not on the level of “illegal”).

          But then, I’m opposed to slave armies anyway.

          • Jeff Gauch

            Conscript armies are bad, terrible, no good things. One of the reasons the US military is without peer is because it’s an all-volunteer force.

            That being said, given the choice between conscription and losing a war I choose conscription. Every single time. There are conditions where preserving individual liberty requires abrogating the liberty of individuals.

            • marycatelli

              “For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

            • That being said, given the choice between conscription and losing a war I choose conscription.

              Think about that in the context of your first paragraph to see why that’s a false dilemma.

              Lazarus Long was asked to define a “gentleman”. He hemmed and hawed (difficult question) and said that a gentleman was supposed to prefer being a dead lion to a live jackal but that he found being a live lion preferable and generally easier.

              A nation of patriots that doesn’t need conscription to defend itself is preferable to either conscription or losing and as for using conscription to survive, a lot of nations that did use conscription didn’t survive anyway.

              If you think you might need conscription to survive, then maybe you need to take a look at why you don’t have people willing to fight for your national survival.

              • Jeff Gauch

                All well and good in a fantasy world. In the real world there’s the whole free rider problem. No army is going to require 100% of the military eligible population. Why should I have to volunteer to risk death when there are plenty of other people to do so? Of course, when everyone says this nobody volunteers. Even in the real-world case where there are volunteers, the number may be insufficient. We have, bar none, the highest quality military in the world. But quantity has a quality all its own. If there aren’t enough trigger pullers in the army, we can lose to a sufficiently numerous foe. See: Korea.

                • If you’re claiming we lost in Korea I’m calling BS. We did not lose in Korea and anybody who claims we did is a raving idiot who doesn’t know history. We went into Korea in order to protect South Korea from the communists, that was over 60 years ago. Last I checked South Korea is still an independent country not run by communists. How do you consider achieving exactly what you claimed was your goal to be a loss?

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    IIRC when the Korean war started, the US military was not ready for a new conflict in terms of numbers and otherwise. IMO that’s what Jeff is talking about.

                  • Jeff Gauch

                    We certainly lost everything much north of the 38th parallel. My point in referencing Korea was that nearly untrained rabble in sufficient numbers is enough to stymie and drive back the most advanced armies of the day.

                    • We certainly lost everything much north of the 38th parallel.

                      1) How can we lose what we never had?
                      2) Our goal was never the unification of Korea or the “liberation” of the North from Communist rule. It was a return to more or less that staus quo ante and stop the Communist takeover of the entire peninsula. A goal which we achieved. (Yes, I know Macarthur was willing to go all-in, but that was his goal, not the US goal.)

                      This “nearly untrained rabble (i.e. a conscript army) was faced with another “nearly untrained rabble”. Two conscript armies fighting. As for Advanced, as just one example you might want to compare the Mig15 against the F86. In many ways the Mig was a superior aircraft. It was the quality of our pilots that gave us a 10:1 or better “kill ratio.”

                      On the ground, both sides were fighting with essentially WWII weaponry. So as far as “advanced” is concerned there really wasn’t as big a difference as you might think.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      OK, you need to go read up on the Korean War. Most everything you’ve written there is wrong.

                    • Most everything you’ve written there is wrong.

                      When did we have complete control of the Korean peninsula?
                      Please compare the MIG15 and the F86 and show how the Mig is not “in many ways a superior aircraft.”
                      How much training time for the average US conscript given before being sent into combat?
                      Can you point to anywhere where Truman, his SecDef, or even the CJCS said “our goal is to unify Korea” or words to that effect?
                      Please show me where in here here we find the technical superiority to justify the “most advanced military” statement:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Korean_War_weapons

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      You’ve heard of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir? Get a map and find it.

                      You are either totally ignorant of military history, or – more likely – twisting facts to support your fantasy.

                    • You’ve heard of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir?

                      And this answers my questions exactly how?

                      Here, let me repeat them.

                      When did we have complete control of the Korean peninsula?
                      Please compare the MIG15 and the F86 and show how the Mig is not “in many ways a superior aircraft.”
                      How much training time for the average US conscript given before being sent into combat?
                      Can you point to anywhere where Truman, his SecDef, or even the CJCS said “our goal is to unify Korea” or words to that effect?
                      Please show me where in here here we find the technical superiority to justify the “most advanced military” statement:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Korean_War_weapons

                      Oh, look. Your response doesn’t address any of them.

                      Instead you refer to a battle. Wow. A battle. Is it your contention that with conscription no battles will be lost? I presume not since that would be utterly absurd.

                      Money quote from the wikipedia article on that battle:
                      “Although Chinese troops managed to surround and outnumber the UN forces, the UN forces broke out of the encirclement while inflicting crippling losses on the Chinese.”

                      So what, pray tell, is that supposed to prove?

                      You might want to consider Dupuy’s “Understanding Defeat” ( http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Defeat-Recover-Battle-Victory/dp/1557780994/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399488997&sr=8-1&keywords=understanding+defeat ) to see how losing the occasional battle is not the end of the world. It’s not even the end of the war, or need not be.

                      Really, throwing out insult and invective is not the same as making your case about the necessity of conscription for survival.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      Since your ability to read a map is apparently equal to your ability to read military history and think rationally I’ll spell it out for you.

                      Chosin reservoir is well north of where the Korean peninsula merges into the Asian continent. So, since we fought a battle there, we obviously controlled all of the Korean peninsula before that. We hadn’t completely conquered North Korea, but we were close – and the South Koreans were within 50 miles of the border to China. We absolutely weren’t interested in stopping the South Koreans from unifying the peninsula.

                      My original point was that we were well beyond the 38th parallel and that we were thrown back because of the superior numbers in the PLA – certainly not by their equipment. Thus, quantity has a quality all its own. Absent conscription, there is no way for a free state to ensure the maximum numbers available for its defense. Indeed, basic economics and an understanding of human nature guarantees that the number of volunteers will fall significantly below the total number available.

                    • We hadn’t completely conquered North Korea, but we were close

                      Ah, that was your point. Of course, MacArthur was lauded for that, right? Truman said “Great! You’ve just about unified the Korean peninsula!”

                      Oh, wait.

                      Nevertheless, let’s suppose that unification was the goal rather than an overreach by an ambitious general with neither the mandate nor the forces for doing so.

                      Consider:
                      After WWII, the attitude of many in power was that conventional military power was largely obsolete. Wars would be fought with nukes rendering large conventional forces irrelevant. Korea was a bit of a wake-up call in that case (which, unfortunately, we hit the snooze alarm on it and got repeated wake up calls in Vietnam and elsewhere). This was a bad choice, stipulated, and maybe conscription was required as a result. But

                      About 1.7 million Americans served in Korea total. Note that while we conscripted about 1.5 million for the war, another 1.3 million volunteered. Now, obviously, a lot of those people went elsewhere (1.1 million more new recruits than actually served in Korea) but did they really need to? If they had a total of 2.8 million new recruits, then why didn’t they send them all to where the warfighting was going on? I mean if sheer numbers is the deciding factor….

                      Also, look again at the list of weapons used I linked to uptopic. See all that stuff going back to WWI vintage? One of the problems with creating a conscript army is that you end up having to equip them with old, surplus stuff and you eventually reach the point where you don’t even have that. I recall reading about people training with wooden sticks in WWI because they didn’t have guns to arm them with. Perhaps that explains why they didn’t use all those new recruits to fight the war.

                      A combat effective soldier on the battlefield is more than just a warm body. It’s training, equipment, support, many other things. Without those you don’t have a combat effective, you have an ablative meat shield, or a pop-up mine detector, single use. And those other things don’t appear in an instant. You might be able to conscript up a huge number of bodies, but where’s the equipment going to come from? How long does it take to turn out a really competent infantryman? How many half-trained conscripts does it take to equal the combat effectiveness of one professional infantryman? American warfare relies a lot on high mobility and shock. Is that half-trained conscript going to fit into that doctrine? A lot of folk warn of the dangers of “converging columns” but that seems to be something we do a lot to great effect (saw an interesting analysis which I unfortunately can’t find now, which called it the American Way of War). Doing it well requires precision, timing, and a great deal of skill all the way down to the individual soldier level. How are your half-trained conscripts going to fit in that? Are we going to have to throw out our whole combat doctrine in order to accommodate those half-trained conscripts? What effect is that going to have on our net warfighting capability.

                      I say again, conscription or ultimate defeat is a false dilemma, the fallacy of insufficient options. Choices are rarely binary like that.

                      But, we’ve both had our say. I’m done. If you want last word, feel free.

                • Why should I have to volunteer to risk death when there are plenty of other people to do so?

                  Your call. Lots of people do. And, with that approach, we have the most powerful military on the planet.

                  Your arguments run aground on that simple fact.

                  In my experience, patriots don’t make the decision to serve or not base on whether other people stay home.

                  Volunteering, so that others can stay home, is an old, old tradition.

                  Consider:
                  Then out spake brave Horatius,
                  The Captain of the gate:
                  “To every man upon this earth
                  Death cometh soon or late.
                  And how can man die better
                  Than facing fearful odds
                  For the ashes of his fathers
                  And the temples of his gods

                  He didn’t say “I’m not going out there unless you get everyone out there, or at least draw lots for a force.” Nope, he said “I’ll go.” And his companions did the same.

                  Now, the events of that poem were probably not historical, but they were part of the psyche of the Roman Republic, and, by extension, ours.

                  That you, or anyone else, might stay home matters little to me. The people I know who served join for complex reasons, but they are their reasons and “free riders” are not much, if any, consideration.

                  • I generally have a lot of respect for those who join the military, but I would not say that “free riders” are not a concern. I have personally known several who joined, generally the National Guard, in order to get the military to pay their tuition etc. who didn’t expect to ever be called on to actually have to serve and do what they promised to. So after 9/11 when they get called to go to the Middle East, they try and find any excuse they can to not have to go (usually medical, bad back is a favorite, although mental is also used fairly commonly). As both someone who was raised to always honor their word, and someone who attempted to join the military repeatedly and was turned down, I have no respect for such “free riders.”

                    • who join the military, but I would not say that “free riders” are not a concern. I have personally known several who joined, generally the National Guard, in order to get the military to pay their tuition etc. who didn’t expect to ever be called on to actually have to serve and do what they promised to.

                      I went into boot camp about a month before 9/11, and can remember the news stories about folks who sued to get out because they’d joined for an education , a chance to be athletes, etc, and were horrified that the military WOULD FIGHT IN A WAR.
                      (My mom kinda went off on some…. clean up the language, bitches…who walked up to her in the store and suggested I’d joined with an eye to NEVER needing to fight. Uuuh….. Navy, military, we fight you ignorant female slurs.)

                    • For the love of Doughnuts… IT’S YOUR DAMN JOB DESCRIPTION in the military.

                      You kill people, or support those who do. That’s the damn job.

                      And don’t act like you didn’t know. It’s not like you joined a social club and then 2 years after attending the meetings you found out they were cannibals.

                      The military pretty much tells you right up front that killing people may be required. Not only that killing could be required, but they teach you how to do it, the rules on doing it, and provide chaplains and counselors to talk to after you did it so you can try to get right with yourself.

                      To sue because you didn’t know your job involved killing… Wow.

                    • Just read that and realized it sounds like an accusation, sorry, was meant as an agreement.

                    • marycatelli

                      There was the case where the woman claimed that her plan to have her mother look after her son had fallen through, to avoid deployment.

                      Oddly enough, once she was arrested, her mother was available to look after the son while she was in jail.

                  • Jeff Gauch

                    The only reason Horatius was successful was because he was standing at the head of a bridge. On an open field he would have been surrounded and killed. In fact, the only reason he was AT that bridge was because the Roman army (including Horatius) had fled the field.

                    The fact that our all-volunteer military is the best in the world doesn’t undermine my argument, because you don’t understand my argument. Yes, 99% of the time an all volunteer military is going to be superior. But people who volunteer for the military are economically irrational in a specific way. The number of such people is limited in any society. Limiting oneself to an all-volunteer army is going to put a hard cap on the number of bodies you can muster on the field. It’s that 1% of the time when you need to be in more places with more strength than your volunteers can manage that you either conscript or lose. I’m not saying conscription should be common, or that it should be used for political purposes, but it needs to be an option.

                    • The only reason Horatius was successful was because he was standing at the head of a bridge.

                      Wait a minute. He carefully chose where to meet the enemy? That’s called “strategy” and part of what makes a successful military.

                      And, again, the elephant in the room is that we, with an all volunteer force, have the most powerful military in the world. And for sheer numbers? The only nation with larger numbers of active duty is the Peoples Republic of China and that’s less than a 2:1 advantage, not the overwhelming number of trigger pullers you’re postulating. If you count total reserves as well, we’re ninth and the numeric advantage of the leader (North Korea, as it happens) is less than 5:1. PRC is just over 3:1.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel

                      So where are these enormous, huge numbers that can’t be stopped without conscription? Can they concentrate those numbers on a portion of our existing forces and overwhelm them? Probably. Almost certainly. But. conscription. won’t. help. with. that. By the time you can conscript a large force and train it, that kind of opening move would all be over.

                      So, again, your “conscript or lose” is a false dilemma.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      Answer me this: What happens when China starts conscripting? (Hint: China has nearly as many military age WOMEN as there are PEOPLE in the US)

                    • It’s kind of disingenuous of you to be asking me questions when you haven’t answered any of mine. Nevertheless…

                      China has nearly as many military age WOMEN as there are PEOPLE in the US

                      Which defeats your argument. If it’s numbers of conscripts that’s the key element of victory, then we can’t beat China. It can’t be done. There’s simply no way we can match their numbers. So, I guess, we might as well throw in the towel, right?

                      OTOH, those numbers don’t do them much good if the transports carrying them are sunk, or the air transports are shot down. While the oceans between us and Europe and Asia aren’t the barriers they were in the past, they are still pretty significant barriers to moving the kind of troops that “China starts conscripting” implies–the more so when that movement is opposed by the USN and USAF.

                      We can’t match them on numbers. The solution, then, is not to meet them there.

                • Oh, yeah, people love to use this:

                  But quantity has a quality all its own.

                  Without understanding either the tactical or the strategic situation of the time and how it actually played out.

                  And why would you use Korea as an argument against an all-volunteer force when Korea was fought with conscripts?

                  As for “number of trigger pullers”, as counter example I give you Rorke’s Drift (outnumbered on the order of 30 to 1 the British pulled a victory). Now, admittedly, Isandlwana would appear to support your thesis but it was far more than just relative numbers that caused that loss.

                  We have the most powerful military in the world as an all volunteer force and that without a clear existential threat to drive up “my country needs me” sentiment. That remains the elephant in the room.

                  • Quantity has a quality all its own.

                    Russia-WWII, the best example of that axiom there is. If you want a more specific example than an entire front; Stalingrad.

                    • You might want to look closer at the order of battle. At things like “Lend Lease” providing a great deal of logistics support. At things like theT-34 tank, and the Katyusha rocket platform, and the Shturmovik aircraft.

                      The Soviets had a whole lot more than just numbers going for them.

            • That’s the reason often given here for having draft: Finland is so small that we would not be able to have any chance for working defense if we had a fully volunteer army. With draft a big portion of our adult males know at least the basics needed to make some sort of functional soldiers.

              Now if we could also start to work towards more sensible gun laws… (ours are starting to inch close to your liberals’ wet dreams, I’m afraid). Lots of well armed and well practiced civilians might add nicely to the argument against coming here.

              • Jeff Gauch

                It certainly works for Switzerland. You guys don’t have the inherent terrain advantages the Swiss enjoy, but depending on the time of year doing anything arduous that far north can be hard.

      • It was also because Wilson, that sonofabitch, knew that getting us involved in that war wasn’t nearly as popular as he might like. Kaiser Wilhelm also has much to answer for (not the Lusitania, but that fairly clumsy attempt to stir up Mexico, and one or two other ham-handed schemes), but Wilson was no more in favor of letting the Little People express their opinions than any other Progressive. He had to allow SOME objectors, but he wasn’t going to make it easy. After all HE Knew Best.

        • marycatelli

          Liberal Fascism.

          He had, after all, just been re-elected on the slogan, “He kept us out of the war.”

      • You had to be a member of one of the official Peace Churches: Quaker, Dunkard/German Brethren/Church of the Brethren, Mennonite/Amish (and Shaker, but so few of them existed of draft age it was moot). If you had proof from clergy and others that your congregation had been truly pacifist prior to 1900, you could (after 1918 IIRC) get a waiver. Otherwise the assumption was that you were a political pacifist or a shirker.

    • THIS. Oh, so *very* much THIS.

  12. I submit to you that to the extent a society succeeds or fails it’s the measure to which they allow individual action to their cranks, outliers and “nuts.”

    Got to feel safe to let people be weird, which means the culture has to be unified from an end-user perspective. The stuff folks think matters has to be shared with the “good people” around them, and they have to trust it will be defended.
    Basic example: I believe my little girls not being molested is very important. I can trust that everyone around me agrees, and if some unspeakable does harm them that way, I know that the only delay will be in verifying that it happened, not in defending the action. (Hollywood culture is as realistic as Hollywood movies.)

    There’s going to be a lot more to it, but that is a requirement.

  13. Apropos of nothing and completely off topic.

    http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/05/instapundit-and-the-world-crime-league/#more-10722

    You’re looking good Sarah. Still needing any minions?

  14. Hmm…

    All of this makes sense, but it’s the first time I’ve really taken the time to examine the enemy and realize it, but they are an awful lot like the Borg. I had heard of collective farming and collective thinking, but I guess I never really broke it down to the point of thinking of them as not being collective, but being _A_ Collective. A lot makes sense now that didn’t before.

    These jackasses don’t want to supress my rights and enforce their own, theywilling to give theirs up as well. They really are that stupid. Un-freaking-believable. Good luck assimilating me and Bertha guys. I’ve got an attitude problem and she spits lead. This could get ugly.

    • The issue with most of these idiots isn’t that they want to give up their rights, necessarily. It’s that they don’t see the rights that they want to give up as being at all important, or even necessary.

      They’re also convinced that if they do manage to make the changes they want, that they’ll wind up running things–All evidence to the contrary. It’s a power grab, and one that they justify to themselves with the happy thought that they’ll be benevolent dictators, not like those other nasty people from the history books. It’s all so very reasonable, to them.

      There’s another facet, one we haven’t seen exhibited for awhile, but is becoming more prevalent: That of the despairing “if you can’t beat them, join them…” types. They used to think that the Socialist/Communist triumph was just a matter of time, and that if they got in on the ground floor, so to speak, they’d have it good. You also see some of that starting up around Islam. These dumbasses actually think that if they just rub the right blue mud into their navels, and help enable the destruction of their home culture/country, they’ll be able to take part in the New Order ™.

      You also see the same thing with a lot of the ethnic/racial group apologists. They feel guilty for being on the winning side (so far, at least) in history, and that translates into a feeling of ultimate doom, because “the bill must come due…”. So, they talk down the accomplishments of their ancestors, denigrate their own culture and adopt that of the “others” they feel were wronged, and try to assimilate into those cultures. You see this sort of thing a lot in inner-city majority black areas, where the so-called “wigger” is wont to roam: Young whites who’ve adopted, wholesale, the trappings and culture of the local majority culture, that of the black “street”.

      The funny thing is, they never comprehend that by doing so, they don’t gain anything whatsoever–The ethnic minorities they ape don’t respect them for doing that, and actually find them ridiculous. You really don’t want to hear the general opinion the black guys who these idiots are copying have of them, either–One of the guys who worked for me in the Army was a reformed gang banger who’d gotten himself out of that life, and the amount of profanity emanating from him whenever he heard street rap blaring from the cars or barracks rooms of the white kids or middle-class blacks… Hooo-boy. I thought I knew how to sling invective and profanity. He reduced multiple “tough-guy” wannabes, black and white, to literal tears. The man hated that shit, deeply.

      With some of these idiots, you get the feeling that they’re trying to build up a portfolio they can hand the guards on the trains taking them to the camps, so that they get better quarters or treatment. It’s a mental condition, I’m telling you: Call it “anti-identification disorder”, or something like that. What it amounts to is that at some point, someone stood in front of them in a classroom, and managed to convince them that they and their ancestors were the bad guys–And, they were never smart enough or suspicious enough to identify that they were being bullshitted.

      • Birthday girl

        What’s the name of that mental illness in which the sufferer thinks parts of his body don’t belong … “this arm isn’t mine and I want to have it amputated” kind of thing … you mean like that?

        • BIID, or Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Described by the Wikipedia as “Symptoms of BIID sufferers are often keenly felt. The sufferer feels incomplete with four limbs but is confident amputation will fix this. The sufferer knows exactly what part of which limb should be amputated to relieve the suffering. The sufferer has intense feelings of envy toward amputees. They often pretend, both in private and in public, that they are an amputee. The sufferer recognizes the above symptoms as being strange and unnatural. They feel alone in having these thoughts and don’t believe anyone could ever understand their urges. They may try to injure themselves to require the amputation of that limb. They generally are ashamed of their thoughts and try to hide them from others, including therapists and health care professionals.”

          And, that’s exactly what these people have going on, on the cultural/identity level. They don’t want to be what they are, so they project themselves onto other cultures, thinking that they can become something besides what they are. The rich irony of it all is that they’re stuck, because the majority of those other cultures are not at all accepting when it comes to being “joined”, so the result is that they tear down and destroy their home culture, and discover that they’re not ever going to be considered as members in the other. For examples, see most academics who imagine that “things would be better, under the Communists…”.

          I grew up with a bunch of unreconstructed left-wing honest-to-God communists as influences. What used to crack me up was listening to them talk, after meeting some earnest young college-age idiot, at how they were going to end up “after the revolution”. Since these guys were kinda the Yugoslav equivalent to Trotskyites, they had a rather dark and realistic view of what would happen to most of the college-age idiots they ran into. It was kinda funny, from my perspective–These guys would keep talking down the United States, at the height of the Cold War. When I asked them why they were living here still, if things were so bad, they’d hem, they’d haw, and then grudgingly admit that life was exponentially better here, and that if they went home, odds are that they’d still be facing firing squads. To be honest, I’m not sure that was really the case, at all–It was all just as much posing as the average American college student was doing, with his Maoist Little Red Book and Che Guevara T-shirt.

      • The issue with most of these idiots isn’t that they want to give up their rights, necessarily. It’s that they don’t see the rights that they want to give up as being at all important, or even necessary.

        They’re also convinced that if they do manage to make the changes they want, that they’ll wind up running things–All evidence to the contrary.

        I think it’s more that they want everyone to be allowed to choose to do exactly what they want. They don’t want to manage things, they want things to just happen the way they want.

        • And if that sounds familiar to anybody, it’s sort of like how the Catholic Church explains what God requires for getting into heaven, which is “being with God forever.

          Difference is, this philosophy doesn’t allow any “separated from God” option.

        • Oh, no… You’re completely wrong, Fox. They don’t want a “live-and-let-live, do-as-you-would-be-done-by” world. If they did, they wouldn’t mind the idea of you possessing the arms to defend yourself, because they’d never have the intent to force you to do anything. Because the number-one item on any of their programs is generally disarming the rest of us, you can ascertain where their true desires end.

          I’ve met maybe one or two real “mind-your-own-business-and-I’ll-mind-mine” types on the left. The rest? They want control, they want power, and they really, really want to tell you how to run each and every facet of your life. Despite the fact that the vast majority of them are abject failures at running their own lives.

          One reason I gravitate towards the right is that I run into very, very few of these sorts, over there–Aside from the odd “Moral Majority” type, most right-wingers are content to mind their own damn business in most ways that matter to me.

          • I think you misunderstand what I am saying; think along the lines of “you can pick your model T in any color you want, as long as it is black” type “choice.”

            I tried to fiddle the “you”s and “they”s and such around for several minutes before realizing it was just making it more annoying.

            • Oh, OK… That makes more sense than what I was parsing out of what you were saying. For a minute there, I was kinda wondering “Who is this, and what the hell did they do with Foxfier…”.

              It’s not exactly an accident that the philosophy these types espouse is so hard to discuss–It’s not exactly congruent to the reality that most of us here would describe as ours. Orthogonal? Maybe.

              • Oh, good! I know I, to steal a quote, think in shorthand and then smudge it…..

                This is going to sound like some kind of nastiness, but I’m serious; since having kids, I understand liberal thought a lot more. If you imagine a world view formed around having been raised by a fairly benevolent dictator whose favor you can curry and where “long term consequences” are the end of the quarter, or for REALLY extreme stuff the end of the year….

                Everything is off of desired outcome, and a lot of the outcome is emotion-based.

          • Kind of like that “libertarian” we had here about half a year back, who wanted people to be able to choose to enter into any private agreement they wanted…unless it was an agreement that the visitor didn’t approve of, in which case it should be able to be violated at will.

            Absolute rule of law, unless they didn’t want it.

            Sadly, that is not the only place I’ve seen such arguments…. (apparently some Rational Anarchists have it as a major point, in order to preserve the system)

            • Preserve Anarchy? *scratches head*

              • If I understand it right- a questionable statement– it’s just an extreme for of libertarian, and the “rational” part makes them hard to tell from any hard core philosophical libertarian, other than being more open about “all human life” being “humans I recognize.” (I know some, like Bonchamps of TheAmericanCatholic, who actually argue out the “all HUMANS have a right to life” thing and recognize some implied contracts, such as biological facts to the effect of “have sex, may make kids, they have rights to my efforts” effect.)

                On this, I’m a cynic who can’t help noticing how every option boils down to “you are allowed and encouraged to do exactly what i want to force you to do.”

                • From my understanding (limited) Rational Anarchists and big L Libertarians are fairly synonymous. Except most of either persuasion would vehemently deny that they were at all similar to those of the other persuasion.

                  I just found “preserve anarchy” to be, not exactly an oxymoron, but a similar term for a contradictory statement that escapes my mind at the moment.

                  • An amusing juxtaposition? Kind of like “Jumbo Shrimp”? (I know that’s usually called an oxymoron, but just like preserving a “system” of mostly anarchy, it actually makes sense.)

                    I still kind of wish I could join the International Order of Anarchists, just for the card.

                    • The T-shirt, I want a T-shirt that says, “supporting member of the International Order of Anarchists.”

                    • Major reason I don’t is because my husband has a clearance, and I’ve got…whatever you call a clearance that hasn’t been investigated lately, and some other relatives have them too.

        • Don’t kid yourself. There may be some followers who just want to live in their little cultural bubble writ large, but most of the politically active ones want to feel morally superior and to tell other people what to do “for their own good”.

          The only bright side if they ever do manage to cause a Communist Revolution is that every single one of them will be sent to the camps, or outright shot. They are obvious troublemakers, from the point of view of the thugs and psychotics who will end up running things.

          • In reality, they would wither without someone to bully or shame for how they’re not being as perfect as the bully.

            Doesn’t mean they know that.

  15. I’m wondering what happens when “the collective” is so out of touch with reality that we see things like this:

    http://blog.ushanka.us/2014/04/be-careful-what-you-wish-for.html

  16. Yes!

    Why is it always the law professors leading the charge to destroy the Constitution? One of my neighbors is a con law professor who thinks property rights just get in the way of helping Mother Gaia. I’ve always wondered if he’d say that if I sowed his yard with native grasses and declared it a wildlife habitat.

    If the Constitution means nothing, their jobs mean nothing. Law becomes a matter of the loudest voices. Professors and judges become nothing but legal Baghdad Bobs, mouthpieces for the dictators. PR hacks to condescend to us peons who don’t understand the dictator’s subtlety and superior right to rule. No, not Baghdad Bob, who I always considered a professional, doing his job to the end. They want to be the priests of the new order, quoting scripture when it serves the king.

    My apologies to any con law professors who read this blog. I know there are those out there who understand the concept of enumerated rights and limited government. They just don’t live in my neighborhood. ;)

    And the whole argument of “collective rights” frightens the heck out of me. I’m staying in a household of women writers right now, we’re old friends, been doing this for years, and I love them all individually. But I also know that for a week, I’m obliged to shut up and smooth over my rough edges (and I have a lot), for the benefit of social cohesion. Still, their warmth and acceptance is a comfort. For a short time.

    I love them all, but when I go back home, I breathe the smallest sigh of relief. And the thought of living like that with never any escape would be *hell*

  17. “How many emperors burned books and banned folk tales?”

    Short answer from my understanding of Chinese history: all of them, including, especially, Emperor Mao Zedong (don’t kid yourself, even if he spurned the title he was just as much “Ruler of All Under Heaven” as any who wore the imperial yellow.

  18. Congratulations on joining The Collective! As part of your membership you will enjoy the privilege of denouncing others for not belonging! You will receive the benefit of wiser and more empathetic heads doing your thinking for you, issuing official positions which you will be able to adopt in order to remain a member in good standing, saving you the hassle and inconvenience of thinking for yourself. No longer will you have to bear the burden of examining issues individually in order to determine what is in your best interest because the collective will do that for you, freeing you from tedious individuality.

    And on those rare occasions when you have to act against your personal interest you will do so secure in the knowledge that it is done in order to advance the collective interest.

    Other benefits include collective justice, a sense of entitlement, many opportunities for resentment of those who impede the collective and various forms of collective privilege regardless of what your individual circumstance may be (in fact, you can just stop thinking of yourself as an individual and instead proudly identify as an icon of your assigned group within the collective — won’t that be nice!)

    Depending on your assigned tribe within the collective you may gain immunity against all sorts of life’s more onerous burdens! These include group rewards (often provided at your expense to selected leading tribal representatives; unavailable — except vicariously — to most members; see “ceilings, glass”), differential relaxed expected behavioural standards and the right to demand members of targeted tribes atone for their “sins” against your group without regard to whether or not they are actually responsible for those complaints.

    • FlyingMike

      Does The Collective have cookies, like the Dark Side does?

      I’m just trying to make my rational choice here, so I need all the information…

      • The collective only has cookies if YOU have them, at which point you won’t have them any more, but the collective may distribute unto you, a crumb.

  19. Because socialism promises us more and more goodies if we put in less and less effort, it will forever be one of those disastrously sexy concepts that plagues the human race until we either a) evolve a superior attachment to actual wisdom, as opposed to ideas which merely sound good, or b) Christ comes again. Since we cannot predict the latter, and the former doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon either, we’re kind of fucked.

    Because not only does socialism promise us more for less, it also offers something human beings find irresistible beyond measure: the excuse to be morally-superior blowhards.

    Give a man a chance to stare down his nose at and piously lecture his unwashed brother, and that man will take it in an instant. Socialism promises moral certitude and faux superior values at cheap prices, because you can be endlessly generous with what you find in your neighbor’s pocket.

    And if your neighbor dares to complain? Fuck him, he’s just a greedy right-winger anyway. Power to the people!

  20. Rob Crawford

    “It has long been my observation that all you need is a communist in any group or association and everything that group or association does becomes communist.”

    So communists are like sewage — a cup of wine in a barrel of sewage leaves you with a barrel of sewage, and a cup of sewage in a barrel of wine also leaves you with a barrel of sewage.

    • It’s that freaking smug superiority. “I deserve to be heard because I *care*, unlike you.” And the rest of us, being normal, have to ask ourselves if our first reaction is really the nice, caring one or if it is truly selfish. The smug egotist will always have the advantage in a social interaction.

      Now that I’ve written this, I’ve just realized the antidote–for me, at least. That saintly smugness is a form of verbal aggression. I should go back and re-read The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense.

      • Aaaand another book added to my To Read pile. I’m not sure whether to thank you or glare at you, so I’m going to do both. Thanks! *scowls fiercely*

      • Rob Crawford

        “The smug egotist will always have the advantage in a social interaction.”

        This is why I’m anti-social.

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