*I promise unless something serious and unforeseen happens, this will be the last guest post for the week. I think I’m almost back to thinking in words. For those not otherwise linked to me — facebook, MGC — a friend who is part of our extended family went into ICU unexpectedly on Saturday. I haven’t exactly been busy with this — save for visits — in fact, it would be much easier if I had been busy, i.e. if there was anything I could do. And it’s not exactly totally unexpected; our friend has been ill. BUT it was out of the blue, and it left me feeling — partly because I couldn’t do anything — like someone took a cheese grater to my soul. He is much better and out of ICU, though still very ill, and my brain is pivoting away from fruitless panic. Tomorrow I should have words again. For now, my friend Bill, who doesn’t do guest posts for me normally unless I beg a lot, has sent me one in all on his own. So, here it is.*
by BILL READER
I have been generous with my parentheticals in this post. I am normally a man sadly afflicted with footnotes, but they don’t work well in blogs, so you get parentheses instead. You can read past them if you’d prefer I focus on the point “like a laser”. But I did not come to cut, I came to bludgeon, and I have left in my deviations from the path accordingly.
Sarah tells me she’s had quite a lot of heat from the left. I’m very happy for her. If the enemy isn’t screaming, you aren’t fighting properly. Besides, I know the Huns and Hoydens love their chew toys and get downright rambunctious without them. That includes me, really. So while we have your attention, you teacher’s pets out of the Frankfurt School, let’s have a little chat about the cool kids in your class.
See, it’s often said that the head of a company defines its culture. The leader is the person people associate with that organization, especially the employees. Whether the leader causes the organization to imitate them, or alternatively, imitates organizational ideals to rise to power, varies. In many ways, this chicken-and-egg problem is not important, because either way, the leader would still be indicative of how the organization is arranged. But it occurs to me that, when you get right down it, political parties are basically large corporations. One wonders naturally, therefore, who are the leaders that pattern your organization, leftists? (And I anticipate naturally that you will object to being associated with a corporation. But it’s true regardless, so none of that prissy proletarian pap out of you, Democrats, Socialists, and Communists. You, and your big shiny DNC, are the people who put Mr. Billion-Dollar-Campaign in office, remember? You’ve got just as many expensive donors… George Soros, for one, who is about as grassroots as a bromeliad (and not nearly as pretty). Or how about the laundry list of high-rollers Obama was busy partying with during campaign season… the multi-thousand-per-plate dinners, you remember those? You ought to. One of those parties in Las Vegas was more important to Obama than deploying forces already in the area of Benghazi to stop our ambassador from being raped and killed. Ah, but I forget… you are “compassionate”, and so by your own definition no longer need to worry about the mere unnecessary loss of human life. Not if there’s money to be fed into your machine on the line. But I digress.)
Actually, one doesn’t really have to wonder about your heroes. You are up front about them. One might only be left to wonder WHY they are your heroes.
For example, you like Marx. You bleat that Marxism is a legitimate method for analyzing the world, and excuse or ignore that every time it’s actually been applied to the running of the world, it has resulted in massive death. To anyone but you true believers that would be a sign that Marx had fundamentally misapprehended the nature of both humans and their social systems. A friend of mine, analyzing the “Communist Manifesto”, concluded that Marx was an incoherent malcontent who had apparently sacrificed internal consistency in the piece in return for making it more inflammatory towards the “Bourgeoisie”. Me, I always thought Marx was just an idiot theoretician who forcibly hammered the square peg of history into the circular hole of his ideas and never had to atone for how much horror that little intellectual cheat would wreak on the world. Either way, it fits many of you well. It is no secret you like to be inflammatory. Like Stalin, life under your regimes is always the endless “revolution from above”. You are always jumping on some new enemy, always busy being offended at something or pretending to save the Earth, because “campaign” for you is not an event but a way of life. And you often sacrifice your internal coherence for being more inflammatory… that’s why you complain about the worsening global warming when the measurements of your own agencies show the Earth isn’t getting hotter. It’s also why you like to say that NSA isn’t really spying on people when it’s known to have subpoenaed enormous amounts of phone metadata sufficient to construct models of what lifestyles the phone owners have and what social networks they’re in. And to have been associated with a program called PRISM that had buy-in from several major tech companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, which strongly suggests that reconstruction of social networks was the exact goal. And to be mediated in all this by secret and voter-proof FISA courts and to have abused its power in illegal ways already (Let it not be said that I’m unfair or overgeneral… David Sirota of Salon has noticed that Obama’s lying about the NSA not conducting domestic spying). And yet, many of your fundamental mistakes are motivated, as the perceptive commentator Bill Whittle pointed out in “The Train Set”, by a love of theory. You like Obama’s Keynesian stimulus of the economy because you like the theory that you can spend and print unfathomable amounts of money and somehow create value rather than just creating money. After-inflation costs of everything go up proportionally because the official inflation rate is being held down, of course. But you refuse to put two and two together because you have been taught that economics is whatever you tell it to be. You like “smart diplomacy” in the Middle East, because there’s a theory in your heads that says the world will work better if the US is less “imperialistic” and “aggressive”, even though Obama’s indecision, followed by much ill-decision in Egypt, has caused the country to devolve into a mess. I’m not sure if even Obama knows whether we’re on the side of the radical Islamists who want us dead or not. (And I don’t even know how I’d classify the “Al Queda is on the run” followed by serial embassy closures, or the scapegoating of a film producer for an attack we were warned about in advance, to the point where Stevens had repeatedly requested beefed-up security. It crosses the line from being “less imperialistic” to being “more brain-damaged”. If Jihadists celebrated Christmas, I imagine the ones who hoisted the black flag of Al Qaeda over the Benghazi embassy would have thought it’d come early.)
Of course, you have other heroes. Some of you leftists are probably wearing the face of one of them right now, knowing you. And lord, how I love to see those Che Guevara tees, because they remind me that sometimes the bad guys will self-identify. Che is less cut-and-dried than Marx. Marx you know everything about, because he is a neat, self-contained microcosm of illogic floating separate from the rest of reality. But you don’t really know Che. Well, one hopes you don’t really know Che, anyway, which is kind of the central problem with you wearing his visage.
I have a book with me leftists are never going to read anyway, so whoever of you happen to still be hanging on or… more likely… skimming the article looking for a typo to build an ad hominem attack around, are going to get a few quotes and paraphrases out of it instead. The book is called “Exposing the Real Che Guevara” by Humberto Fontova, and it’s an interesting read… a kind of cross between George Forrest and H.P. Lovecraft, the latter being because of the depravity of the individual being examined. Some details stick in the mind. Like, for example, the fact that you who are so fond of thinking of conservatives as metaphorical puppy-strangling maniacs, are wearing the face of a man who ordered an actual puppy strangled, and then wrote about it in his memoirs. Maybe that’s not a shock, though, since your president does eat dog. So here’s a choice selection from the chapter “Fidel’s Favorite Executioner”, among the more blood-soaked chapters in a book fairly dripping. A fourteen-year-old boy who was, by his own admission, taken in because he’d tried to defend his father from the people who took him to the firing squad, was watched by the other prisoners as he was dragged to the stake, by Che personally, to be shot. This boy was so eloquent in pleading his innocence that only one of the men in the firing line actually had the gumption to fire a shot at him. Che’s personal friend, a marine deserter and ex-con named Marks, went up and shot the boy twice at point blank range. Then, and remember, all of this is under Che’s watchful eye, the entire firing squad, including the one who had fired, was arrested for disobeying orders. There are stories from poor Cubans who had their house raided, and family members stolen, and then were ordered not to mourn them (page 108). There is more ghoulish stuff… Che’s friend Marks liked to bring his dog in to drink the blood of people who had been shot (what of it was left… one of the things Che ordered done to boost the Cuban economy was the extraction of blood from prisoners, for sale on the black market (page 77)). And considering that Che specifically ordered the wall of his office that faced the firing squad removed so he could watch the bloody executions at leisure, it’s safe to say he approved. From that window he watched, by some accounts, as many as 400 executions in a week (page 74). Appropriate, one supposes. The chapter opens with a quote from Che’s diaries: “Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood.” (page 66). I cannot list all the “enemies” that fell in Che’s hands, since an enemy was anyone he wanted it to be and the trials described, transcribed, and recorded in the book are pure theater that reduced the death toll exactly none. This is your “secular saint”, leftists: A murderous coward whose victims’ blood you see fit to steep yourselves in as you go about your quests for “awareness” and “compassion”. To conservatives, I recommend the book extensively, along with Elie Wiesel’s “Night” and “The Black Book of Communism”, as part of a comprehensive understanding of leftist atrocities (and an additional note to the leftists… yes, for the thousandth time, the National Socialists, who nationalized all major industries, engaged in massive public works, and instituted strict economic and, infamously, social control, were also leftists. That they were opposed to communists in theory is neither here nor there. They were also theoretically opposed to fascists after the falling-out with Mussolini, and yet they had almost indistinguishable economic ideas about what makes a country successful… namely, the same ideas you Keynsians and Statists have.).
Now we come to the difficult question, leftists. Why do you wear the face of a communist regime’s chief executioner? To be counter-cultural? Congratulations, mission accomplished. Possibly you have even overshot into being counter-civilizational, and you’re approaching counter-human.
At the very least, I like to delude myself into thinking that you are motivated solely by ignorance. I imagine that if you’ve even bothered reading the “Motorcycle Diaries”, you’ve obscured any signs that Che Guevara is a kill-crazy psychopath with the tall roadside grass of denial. In that case it is broadly metaphorical of your selective perception. Your current highest official, the president, is a man who grew up with very little affinity for the ideals of the US, raised by grandparents who had moved across the country to put his mother in a school notorious for its communist teaching regimen. And then apparently they were supposed to have become as American as apple pie in between. Oh, make that until Obama needed to throw his own grandmother under the bus. He chaired the law review without reviewing any laws, and guest-lectured about the Constitution on the basis of no-one-is-entirely-sure-what-experience, given his bafflement at it only laying out… ahem… “negative liberties”. Despite all this evidence to the contrary, you never once question the idea that he has the best interests of the US in mind and the competence to protect them? (Side note: while one of Obama’s less publicized nuggets, “negative liberties” is undoubtedly one the most troubling. It frames the defense of the people from various governmental encroachments with the ultimate in negative words… the literal word “negative”. Much like the Orwellian reversal of “tax breaks” into the term “tax expenditures”, it spins everything from the perspective of the state… that is, from the state’s perspective, the constitution says what it can’t do. At the same time, it shows remarkable incomprehension of economics. It conflates not promising to give people certain services and commodities with failure on the part of a government. By that logic, all forms of success are necessarily some flavor of redistributionist. And that analysis, which was also done at the time Obama made that statement, has only been proven more and more prophetic, as Obama routinely tests the limits of the public patience on items in the Bill of Rights and exercises an increasingly disastrous economic program.)
The theory I don’t wish to believe is that some of you know full well what kind of monster you’ve got there. I wonder if, like Che, you long to go beyond this petty government harassment as executed by the IRS and really get into the thick of it… create your own dungeons, build your own prison camps, execute your own thousands and kill men, women, and children alike for yourselves. Some of you, like Che, enjoy sending other armed people to do your dirty work while you watch from afar, as the disgusting tactic of S.W.A.T.ing has shown. On the other hand, some of you attempted to hold actual riots in 2008, and it was deeply satisfying watching you have panic attacks while the Denver police corralled you. Maybe that’s not far off Che, either, who was eventually captured while trying to “liberate” Bolivia… by which I mean he was knocking around the jungle ineffectually and in a drunken stupor.
But how does one tell if the left in general has the same desire to oppress? There is history, on one hand. Statists almost everywhere else have already racked up long and bloody records. And while it’s no guarantee, it makes sense. The prioritization of the state above individuals means that sooner or later, if individuals are perceived to threaten the state, the state lashes out. And the bigger the state, the smaller an action constitutes a “threat”.
Ours is fairly big already. I can tell because Republicans are demonized for the most trivial things, like allowing an automatic reduction in the rate at which government spending increases, also known as the “sequester”. The statists are upset, not over reducing government, not even over stopping government growth, but over slowing down the rate at which money is shoveled into its maw. Does that mean anything? I suppose first we’d have to ask if they’re even aware of that fact. After all, I can understand how someone who is under-informed could see government agencies furloughing people, so they can still have the money for the expansions they had already planned for, and incorrectly conclude that some kind of cut occurred. Obama has done his best to feed the myth, by stopping White House tours and complaining about the sequester around the country… if he has time to talk about how broke we are between the massive, expensive vacations, anyway. It’s a plausible out, at least for that case in point. Maybe leftists haven’t come as a whole to the place that they’ll defend the state above all. Merely being ignorant and easily misdirected is enough.
And if so, well, it’s fitting, because it circles back to Obama. Obama is an undeniable leftist idol, and of all the ones on this list, by far the most recent. Don’t even dream of denying it, guys… you don’t merely tolerate him, you venerate him. This is reward on investment, since he puts immense amounts of money into being symbolic of the left. And while all my conservative readers probably know a great deal about Obama’s past, that’s merely the framework built around what Obama is. Remember that first and foremost, as a third generation communist, Obama is an ideologue. He does not rise to the level of a theoretician, unlike Marx… he has no new ideas, he has dogma, handed down to him from his communist grandparents. He is ignorance personified, because not only does he have no comprehension of reality, he’s filled the place that might have been filled with comprehension with utter nonsense. But because his worldview leads him to believe in the ultimate superiority of all other countries in the world, it also makes him remarkably easy to mislead. That’s one reason why Putin has played Obama like a fiddle. It’s also why Obama’s little rainbow tour, filled with hugging despots, bowing to tyrants, and “reset button” antics, was so forehead-slappingly dumb. Like Dennis Rodman, it takes Obama about three minutes talking to a foreign dictator to decide they’re really not all that bad, because Obama is unspeakably gullible.
But, whether it is because they imitate him or because Obama comes from among them, Democrats have many of those traits from their leader. Like him, many of their avid practitioners are now either weathervaning bobble-heads, or people whose parents and grandparents got steeped in agitprop and never broke free. And they will believe the most preposterous things, in contravention of all evidence offered to them, in the face of even their own observations, if their leaders tell them it is so.
And so, at last, we come to the bottom of this ideology. Leftists can clearly be seen to reflect their idols, in myriad ways. They have, all of them, traits of Marx, Che, and Obama. Sometimes, arguably, there is that chicken and egg question, especially with Obama, being by far the most passive “leader” they have. But regardless, it is undeniable that among leftists, people with traits they reflect, as a group, have risen to high prominence and general recognition. As I said at the beginning, an organization’s culture is often defined by its leader, and think there’s a strong case to be made that Democrats are no exception.
One final point which we might reflect on, however, is that these demigods of the left are not merely flawed men, but men defined by their flaws. Marx could not have pursued the blinkered ideology that made him famous if he had had the courage to let reality supersede his theories. Che, given how questionably competent he was, would not have carved out nearly as much of a niche in pop culture had he not been bloodthirsty and power-hungry as well. It is the motive force that allowed him to rise to such prominence among people as repressive as his friends. And Obama may seem like he’s gone a long way for a man in blinders, but the fact that he cannot perceive a reality beyond what he was taught is also probably exactly why Democrats like him. When they hear him, he’s talking to them in the language of their textbooks, repeating the reassuring lies they love. And the wonderful thing about Obama is they know they can count on him never to break form, because there is nothing else in his whole mental world but their lies.
Therefore, a comment on the cool kids, leftists. Opponents of individualism and avatars of the collective like to justify the immense power they want the state to have by saying it will be wielded by good and decent individuals. Leftists often live lives that are moral by their own definition, supporting their party above all, practicing the religion of environmentalism and in general considering themselves superior to conservatives on the basis of their own delusions. But leftists, that self-deception, that you are somehow better because you call everyone and their brother an “-ist” of some kind, and worry constantly about perils that have shaky support or no support while ignoring clear and present dangers, and evangelize about received knowledge from your leaders, is exactly why you make such terrible leaders. You think that acting counter-intuitively makes you seem smarter, when in reality, it makes you fundamentally anti-empirical and puts you at odds with reality about 95% of the time. And the delusion is itself necessary to being a statist, since if you have no claim to superiority, then why should I be subordinated to you? That the claim to superiority comes through self-delusion is likewise no surprise, since self-delusion is always easier than achievement, especially when the society encourages it. Hence, we see a pattern emerge over and over… that the will to power is more often the result of narcissism than genuine superiority. Leftists are like the arch-statists they admire because they emerge from the same well… and the real lesson we learn from examining the “cool kids” is that even among those who would build a top-down state, they cannot escape the overwhelming effects of the individual. That mass of people who want to control others work together only because all their members are seriously broken in that same way. Thus, being set apart is still an individual endeavor. To be remembered among leftists, have an especially perverse desire to control others, be especially well indoctrinated… be especially broken. They may have twisted the standards of individual success in an attempt to supersede individuals, but they cannot remove success from the equation entirely. On the other hand, as they are conceived, they also cannot help but try.
This is why, in the end, we will win, and they will lose, because we are (as we have ever been), aligned with the laws that govern reality, and they are aligned with how they wish reality worked.