caroljane

Libertarian Populism - a sellable repackage?

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Just wondering.

The population of those desiring the welfare state hand outs seems to be growing much more rapidly than the libertarian base IMO.

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But the Populism part could attract a lot of Undecided apoliticals and other fringe types...could be a lot of votes there. Anyone who is against crony capitalism or Big anything, or Obama or city hall.. not impossible.

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But the Populism part could attract a lot of Undecided apoliticals and other fringe types...could be a lot of votes there. Anyone who is against crony capitalism or Big anything, or Obama or city hall.. not impossible.

I don't think I'll see effective change in my lifetime.

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Just wondering.

A silly repackage. If we are honest about humanity, we have to admit it is more the intellectual and character failings of the masses than those of their masters who are to blame for the sad state of civilization. The politicians are at least a bit less naive and impulsive in their political thinking, even if they are gangsters. The lumpenproletariat's evolutionary psychology is the main problem, and their willingness to herd-up and indulge in Five Minutes of Hate are what keep Leviathan fat and strong. Christopher Cieter's Nietzschean Libertarianism makes more sense to me, as does the misanthropic libertarianism of Albert Jay Nock or H.L. Mencken. We're really going to have to give up the tribal-ape 'activism' paradigm where we pretend that individuals can exert some sort of rationalistic influence on the masses. They hear what they want to hear; they're flexible but they're also stubborn about their cannibalistic self-esteem. I'm not sure what the answer is, but converting everyone to Objectivism or selling any consistent laissez-faire package (i.e., one that does not rely on apologizing for profit) is probably not going to happen for a very long time. Selling a populist, apologetical form is going to be rejected because of broken moral heuristics like 'fairness' and expectations of egalitarian tribal structures; doing so would be self-defeating in the long run, anyway.

Please keep in mind I am not subscribing to crude instinctualism, I am describing the biases most people have in thinking and how they compound when tribal jungle animals are thrown into a modern industrial environment that does not have the psychological cues they are used to seeking for self-esteem and belonging.

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If lying to the masses could somehow be disincentivized...

With better information I believe the "masses" would make better decisions. I do believe in free markets, and not because I believe people in general are stupid or irrational.

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If lying to the masses could somehow be disincentivized...

With better information I believe the "masses" would make better decisions. I do believe in free markets, and not because I believe people in general are stupid or irrational.

Why have terrible ideas been so consistently popular? Why are popular versions of good ideas (atheism, physical sciences) always baldurized into irrational nonsense when the public becomes aware of them? I support capitalism partly because the general public are stupid and (in the Objectivist sense) irrational. I'd like to avoid them having any levers of power over me, and to be able to make what use I can of their economic talents. I am pro-human in a qualified sense. I think man is something to be overcome.

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Why have terrible ideas been so consistently popular? Why are popular versions of good ideas (atheism, physical sciences) always baldurized into irrational nonsense when the public becomes aware of them? I support capitalism partly because the general public are stupid and (in the Objectivist sense) irrational. I'd like to avoid them having any levers of power over me, and to be able to make what use I can of their economic talents. I am pro-human in a qualified sense. I think man is something to be overcome.

I have a sort of simplistic view not being an academic. I believe the answer to your question is meme's, cultural "ideas" passed from person to person but mainly from person to child. Children, before the age of reason, have no defense from absorbing bad ideas. After reaching the age of reason there is a sort of Stockholm syndrome in play preventing reason from overcoming these bad memes. The purpose of philosophy is to repair bad memes. Most people are not stupid, far from it. They are programmed wrongly. The advance of civilization is slowly to discard bad memes and replace them with better ones.

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But the Populism part could attract a lot of Undecided apoliticals and other fringe types...could be a lot of votes there. Anyone who is against crony capitalism or Big anything, or Obama or city hall.. not impossible.

Define "populism" please.

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I fear that push has come to shove and there is precious little time to persuade anyone.

Objectivism can be appealing to a youngster in college who is open to listening to reason, even if he or she has been encouraged to accept contrary ideas in the realms of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. But I am unaware of an explicit movement which attempts to openiy propagate Objectivism. As important as such basic ideas are they appear to be hidden in the background while the idea of individual liberty is the focus of appeal regardless of one's ideology.

But time is running out in any case. I try to be optimistic because theoretically everyone has free will regarding the choice to think or not to think on the conceptual level but most people do not seek such enlightenment although I may be wrong about that as people do go to the theater with a hope to find intellectual stimulation there.

Of course Ayn Rand's books do provide such explicit discussion or dramatization or presentation and millions of her books have been sold. I think there needs to be a deliberate bombardment of incessant dramatization of Rand's ideas on stage and screen. Trouble is who is going to create all this fresh material with new heroes in timely roles relevant to the crises of our day?

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I do still think that Baldric would be the perfect spokesman for libertarian populism, medieval style, proudly presented as "the worst servant in England"

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Populism is goddamn dangerous. When the masses get rowdy there is bound to be trouble.

Amen and Selah. Hitler was a populist as was Il Duce.

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Populism is goddamn dangerous. When the masses get rowdy there is bound to be trouble.

Amen and Selah. Hitler was a populist as was Il Duce.

Though surprisingly they're other totalitarian cousins, the communists and radical state socialists, didn't resort to populism. They pushed their way into the top themselves.

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Why have terrible ideas been so consistently popular? Why are popular versions of good ideas (atheism, physical sciences) always baldurized into irrational nonsense when the public becomes aware of them? I support capitalism partly because the general public are stupid and (in the Objectivist sense) irrational. I'd like to avoid them having any levers of power over me, and to be able to make what use I can of their economic talents. I am pro-human in a qualified sense. I think man is something to be overcome.

I have a sort of simplistic view not being an academic. I believe the answer to your question is meme's, cultural "ideas" passed from person to person but mainly from person to child. Children, before the age of reason, have no defense from absorbing bad ideas. After reaching the age of reason there is a sort of Stockholm syndrome in play preventing reason from overcoming these bad memes. The purpose of philosophy is to repair bad memes. Most people are not stupid, far from it. They are programmed wrongly. The advance of civilization is slowly to discard bad memes and replace them with better ones.

For sure; childhood is when we are effectively 'socialized.' It's when we accept, as an absolute absolute, the concreteness of a singular concept "S"ociety and later, based on that concrete, the abosolute reality of a singular myth 'the' Economy.

That particular meme has meandered modernity into its current going nowhere cul de sac.

But the 'social' disease is not irreversible.

We are now 'celebrating' the fifth year of the 2008 financial 'crisis.' Obama has had five years of 'running the economy' from DC with his chutes and ladders fatfingering of winners/losers, funded via the effort of a secretary printing 0s on paper bonds. The value-proxy balance sheets of the banks have been restored; the value producing engines of prosperity are still flatlined.. The high priests of value-proxy Keynsianism look at the sick results with disbelief and conclude, as suspected, that the reason the volcano Gods are still angry is becuase of the impurity of the last set of sacrifices. Time for more of the same. Time Magazine's latest spin is that capitalism swindled us all again; the last five years of leaning socialist just didn't lean hard enough.

Tribal leaders cannot get away with such abject undeniable public failure without an electorate that has been effectively and thoroughly 'socialized.'

We got that stuttering fool Barny Frank lamenting "If only Congress had listened to him." And "The CRA had nothing to with anything." ... and 'We just need to fix Fanny and Freddie." Sure thing...those bastions of free market capitalism.

And few just ... laugh at him?

Stop worrying about the nation going down the tubes; it's been a done deal for decades, wreck on rails. Apparent -- even to those in Congress -- since at least the 70s. Moynihan, on the floor of the Senate: "God help us when they(some future generation in America) realize what we did to them."

No, libertarian ideas will never be popular in this nation, certainily not in time to pull its chesnuts from its funeral pyre. Maybe the next one, but even that is a crap shoot.

So what is second best? Well, choose wisely what you decide to support with your blood and treasure-- with your life. And get out of the way of the rest of it, failing on its own. Don't support tribal failure with your one and only life.

A nation that can send 55,000 of its best into a meat grinder and then end the conflict with "Never mind, America really didn't mean it, what were we thinking?" as its excuse to stroke IKE's MIC for ten years safely from the Bistro's in Georgetown is no longer a nation worth defending, and hasnt been for decades. The heart of this nation gave its body and soul when asked, while an effete, elite crust huddled around the crabspread in DC and cut deals. If it was acceptable to end Vietnam on those lawyerly terms-- self losing a war after asking those at the pointy end of the stick to win every battle in it, then it was acceptable to have never entered the conflict to begin with, and the US has been governed by the same weak assed nervous propitiation, endlessly apologizing for and self attacking American freedom, as opposed to defending it, for decades. Screw that sick nation with a chainsaw, I barely recognize it compared to an America that once was.

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Never apologize, never explain?

Are you suggesting there is nothing to learn from history and that we should just repeat it?

What is it you claim this nation learned from Vietnam? Apologize to who?

The South Vietnamese who we left swing in the wind of eventual 're-education' camps?

The millions of victims of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia?

The 55,000 who were left in a meatgrinder, who were part of an armed force that won every battle in the conflict, but watched its weak assed leadership lose the war? If it was acceptable to end that conflict with "Never mind, we really didn't mean it" then it was acceptable to have never entered the conflct to begin with. But... learn from history? What are you smoking? Is that what anybody did from Vietnam?

Should we apologize to the Rwandans for expensively deploying UN troops halfway around the world, encumbered with the mission 'you may defend only yourselves, rudely, in front of folks desperate for justice from over the horizon, being slaughtered by thehundreds of thousands by government armed easily cowed teens wielding ... machetes. Logic screams out, if that is the mission of UN/Western justice-- defend only itself when in harms way-- that the best, most efficient, most polite place to accomplish that is in the parking lot on East 44th street.

Perhaps the Somalians in the headily named 'Project Restore Hope" when once again, we didn't mean what we said?

Apologize to the thousands of Kurd fighters who were rolled up in 1996 by Saddam's ground forces while we patrolled the skies in 30 million dollar fighter planes doign nothing but take pictures-- after operatives on the ground encouraged the Kurds to rebel against Saddam's regime with the promise "America's got your back?" "No Fly Zones" translated: we don't care what you do to innocents as long as you don't bnesmirch the good names of Orville and Wilbur and use fixed wing aircraft while doing so, other than that, flail away. Even on folks who believed AMerica when we told them we'd have their back, just like Bay of Pigs in Cuba.

Looking at the scorecard for unilaterally declared gesture megapolitcs, I'm guessing that's what you mean by "should we just repeat it?"

Way too much nuanced third-way sensibilities endlessly screwing the pooch. It has turned the olive branch on the UN shield into a fig leaf; it is modenrity's official symbol of doing everything possible short of actually doing anything.

Credibility: mean what you say, say what you mean. Don't say it if you don't mean it. If you ever utter the words 'must' as an American POTUS, then don't do so lightly, because if you do so and then don't follow through, you've just invited the well earned and deserved contenpt of every two bit thug in the world. who is not impressed by our unilateral declarations of third way 'limited actions' and imminently weatherable gesture bombings and hollow weak-assed declarations of 'The US Military does not do pinpricks" coming out of the mouth of Time Magazine's 'Reluctant Warrior."

The US Military does exactly what is demanded of it by politicos in DC worried about their PR and optics and campaigns and resumes and soft landings in IKE's MIC.

Learning from history: WWII. We win, they lose, with terrible consequences worldwide. Or...don't do it at all. Not even a little bit. No nuance.

For about six months, the world thought that America had returned. The results of credible action in Iraq? Qadaafi coughing up his CBN in Libya without a shot being fired. See 2004 IAEA report about what was found in Libya.

And then came the endless signs of hand wringing propitiation and apology and internal political complete nonsense, and the world was reassured that the Third Way was fully back, and they were right about the West all along.

And now, we're digging up those same weapons in Syria and pretending the actions of Assad's Ba'ath Socialists are unrelated to the actions of his former neighbor Saddam's Ba'ath Socialists...

Seriously...repeat history? Not us.

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In Rwanda, it was a Canadian general -- Dallaire -- who valiantly told Kofi/UN/US/West to go to Hell,and who did what he could with what he had to save those he could. Nobel Peace Prize Winning Kofi/UN/US/West was telling Dallaire on the ground in Rwanda to do nothing but defend themselves(?!?!?!?!)

Dallaire had little in terms of resources except for some lightly armed Belgian troops and even more lightly armed Senagelese, Bangladeshi, Gwanaian, Pakistani troops, and a Canadian officer detachment. The Belgians cut and ran as soon as they were bloodied in an deliberate attack designed to demonstrate that was exactly what the West would do in these contexts, and that is exactly what the West did. As soon as the Belgians were bloodied, they ran screaming out of Rwanda and left Dallaire with next to nothing. The US, which claimed it didn't have force in the region and couldn't aid the forces in Rwanda(so soon after Somalia with Clinton's Third Way finger in the wind and accurately reading the not so stiff breeze wafting on from the capuccino sipping crowd tst-tst-tsking over the news from abroad at Starbucks,, suddenly had all the force it needed to oversee our own cut and run out of Rwanda.

As the UN/West cut and ran in the face of easily cowed teenagers wielding machetes, Dallaire came up with the brilliant tactic of rounding up citizens into the soccer stadiums, so he could focus his limited troops on the entrances to the stadia. A troop with a sidearm sitting on a folding chair sternly saying "No! These people are under UN protection." was all that was required.

And , the West of LockHeed Martin and Boeing and FMC fame could do nothing to help save 800,000 people from being slowly hacked to death by easily cowed teenagers wielding machetes, armed and directed by their own government..while Dallaire ;ed a bunch of bravee third worlders with little more than sidearms and saved those who he could..

Apparently, not enough money to be made making hovels in those jungles bounce.

What did we learn? Nothing. That is America/the West today.

WHat we should have learned:

Read David Reiff's "A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis."

Read Dallaire's "Shake Hands with the Devil." The poor bastard blames himself ... for being hung out to dry by the entire world.

And. especially, read about Captain Mbaye Diagne, a Senaglese Muslim.

We learned that modern America doesn't have the sense that father's once taught children about when to lift and when to not lift an arm in anger.

The terminus of all this spinelessness is the following: what we are unable to facedown in Baghdad and Syria, etc. we will ultimately be unable to facedown in Baltimore.

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Well written.

I have some small differences with some of your statements in # 22.

However, these sad, stumbling efforts to effectively subdue certain African populations have eventually failed purely due a lack of will.

The Dutch, and for a time, the French, had the will. No longer.

The Mahdi story/theme works quie well in the Dark Continent.

A...

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Dallaire to me epitomizes what the UN ought always to do; and being a patriot, what the Canadian military always does if it is allowed. It is a bitter proud role, soon to end in Afghanistan, that graveyard of Western hope.

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Dallaire to me epitomizes what the UN ought always to do; and being a patriot, what the Canadian military always does if it is allowed. It is a bitter proud role, soon to end in Afghanistan, that graveyard of Western hope.

Rudyad Kippling wrote the following pertaining to Afghanistan: When you lie wounded on Afghanistan's plains and the women come out to cut up the remains, role onto your gun and blow out your brains and go to your God like a soldier.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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