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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

3/31/2009

Barack Obama: Pied Piper of the Plethos


Ignorance, illiteracy, stupidity always have been relevant social factors. This has been the case in any historical human social organization one cares to name — from clan to nation-state.

In every civilization, there is a very thin upper stratum of the people who are concerned with questions of truth, justice, the good — in other words, with the life of reason, or of the human spirit if you prefer. Historically, such people have tended to believe these ultimate values have a claim on every man in terms of the constitution of the good order of his soul, and on the direction of his actions as they translate into the social sphere.

Such people are surrounded by a vastly larger mass of “stupid people” who simply do not see the world that way, generally because they are ignorant, thus personally disordered/disorderly, thus irresponsible — and (thus) ever needy. This mass of “stupid people” has been called: “slaves by nature.”

In Aristotle, we find the distinction between the mass of the people, the plethos — who basically function on the “stupid level” — and the spoudaioi — the prudent, virtuous, public-minded “mature men.” It is the latter class that actually maintains the civilization.

Nowadays, however, progressive educrats like Barack Obama’s old friend, Bill Ayers, teaches teachers to teach their pupils that these spoudaios characters are really nothing but a reactionary, usually male, usually white gang of fascist thugs who are selfishly trying to preserve their own interests against the just claims of disadvantaged people, who are usually either women or “people of color.” The spoudaioi are oppressors you see.

Regarding our present era, Eric Voëgelin had a warning for us:

If the establishment of the spoudaioi is disrupted by external events, then the civilization breaks down very rapidly within a generation. And that is the problem we have to deal with…. When certain disruptive events occur, civilization breaks down, and the plethos in the classical sense — the mass of passionately directed people who are more or less illiterate and who do not know what they are doing — come to predominate. (1)

In the American experience, an excellent example of the spoudaioi class would be the Founders and Framers themselves. The foundation of our rule of law was laid by these brilliant, classically-educated Christian men. Their magnificent legacy, especially the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, has been conveyed to us over the generations by other spoudaioi, including certain great presidents, jurists, and representatives of the people, as well as public-minded private people. That legacy is what created and sustained the freest, most just and prosperous nation in the history of mankind. The problem is, that line of genius is obviously running out.

For the fact is, America has become “a government of the plethos, by the plethos, and for the plethos.” Certainly, this was not what the great spoudaios Abraham Lincoln had in mind.

Case in point: Barack Obama is President of the Plethos of the United States, not of the whole People of the United States. For there is still a substantial majority of the people who, while not necessarily spoudaioi themselves, are well content to live by rules that promote liberty, personal autonomy, initiative, self-reliance, thrift, production, creativity, risk-taking — provided they aren’t being systematically looted by the State. We’ll just call this group “the middle class.”

The State’s interest in the matter, however, is to claim as much of the fruits of the labor and genius of the productive members of society as it can get away with, and then to transfer the loot to the unproductive, ever expanding politically-dependable (and dependent) plethos — to grease political “friends” that help it (1) gain power; (2) stay in power; and (3) expand its powers.

The Framers were very clear about this: Individual liberty (the person’s power over himself) vs. State power is truly a zero-sum game, in which one side can increase its power only by decreasing the power of the other. The very people who demand an increase in government benefits (i.e., expansion of the State) of one kind or another seem blissfully unaware of these dynamics. They do not realize they are “on the road to serfdom.”

It is quite clear that Barack Obama on his record is a socialist of the most progressive stripe. I gather he believes his great presidential mission is to “organize” the American “community.” But then, what would you expect of a man, whose résumé lists “community organizer” as his main professional experience?

Now, to organize the American community the way Obama wants it organized is going to cost a whole lot of money — so much that, if the entire U.S. productive economy were put up for sale tomorrow, the proceeds likely would not cover the projected costs of “organizing” America into the type and scale of healthcare, energy, education, cradle-to-grave income-maintenance, and God-knows-what-else policies that Obama says we Americans “deserve.”

Now Obama’s not going to hold a fire-sale of U.S. productive assets any time soon, for a very simple reason: He wants the entire productive base of the economy to be “nationalized” — that is transferred to State ownership — so he and his cronies can run the whole shebang as they see fit. So the strategy is to expropriate the wealth held in the hands of productive people. To do this, you have to hide the expropriation behind a screen of well-sounding words, which conceals the enormity of the extraordinarily opaque financial restructuring of the national economy, using the banking system as leverage, being transacted behind it. Yet smooth words of reassurance — or alternatively, the frequent calls to hit the panic button — cannot disguise the fact that a good deal of the net worth of many Americans — mainly the middle class — has melted away since Obama was elected.

One thing that community organizers get the hang of pretty quickly is how to mobilize the plethos as shake-down artists. ACORN specializes in this sort of thing, and Obama is an expert at it. He’s out there ginning up demand for government programs, which your average plethos person believes will come to him at little or no personal cost. Meanwhile, he’s being relieved of his personal responsibilities; increasingly it is the State that looks after his needs. He’s been “educated” that this is a proper function of the State; indeed, that it is his right to have all his needs and wants supplied without any trouble to himself. And not only that, but to think as he is told to think, to have no opinions that have not been blessed by his political “benefactors.” In thus rejecting his own humanity — which he probably doesn’t miss too much — he reveals he is “a slave by nature.”

And just plain dumb as a box of rocks, ignorant of American history and heritage — about which he evidently cares not a fig:

    José: What a crazy world! The rich, who could pay cash, buy on credit. The poor, who have no money, must pay cash. Wouldn’t Marx say it should be the other way around? The poor should be allowed to buy on credit, and the rich should pay cash.
    Manuel: But the storeowners who give credit to the poor would soon become poor themselves!
    José: All the better! Then they could buy on credit too! (2)
Lest anyone claim the above dialog is “racist,” may I point out that, while “José” is obviously a card-carrying member of the Plethos Union, “Manuel” is not. Possibly “Manuel” is a storeowner himself. If so, regardless of his apparent Hispanic heritage, as a small businessman, Obama would fleece him just as badly as any White or Black or Asian proprietor.

It appears that President Obama is no friend of small business, the backbone of the economy and the engine of the middle class — which is the strength and genius of the American system.

Wealth has a tendency to accumulate in an even smaller number of hands of the ruling class; the number of independent proprietors, the mainstay of liberty, will decrease; and the end is an economic despotism of a small minority that rules the people for its private interest. (3)

“Manuel” has the common sense to understand how the world actually works. Unless someone is creating wealth through productive activities, there is no basis for credit formation. Wealth usually sits in banks, forming the bank reserves that must be there to back up the issuance of credit. When storeowners and other people who create value in the economy become poor themselves, there is no wealth generation, no bank reserves, and lending dries up. Not to mention that wealth-creating productive activity dries up as credit becomes unavailable. It’s a vicious cycle.

Marxism assumes that one can still get golden eggs from a dead goose. It just never explains how this is actually to be done in the real world.

But Obama and Geithner have got it all figured out: The government issues more taxpayer-obligated debt and gives it to the banks to secure their capital base/reserves. But now we are issuing public debt that taxpayers must repay as the basis for private (so far) bank lending. Considering that taxpayers are not only responsible for financing the bank bailout-out, but are also responsible for financing the trillion-dollar-a-year deficits in Obama’s federal budget, plus the trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities in the Social Security/Medicare system, in what way is the “Geithner plan” effectively different from a Ponzi scheme? One that’s likely to come crashing down on our children and grandchildren? After having impoverished this generation, the Obama policies will impoverish our progeny as well, and for generations to come.

Meanwhile, Obama plays Pied Piper to the growing mass of the plethos. They see no danger in following him, thinking only to receive “free” goodies from the State. They rarely pay income taxes themselves these days. They think all the other taxpayers are going to be “good for it.” Always. Forever. Even while the Obama administration seems to be doing everything in its power to ensure that they won’t be: You can’t get blood out of a stone.

In the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, whatever or whoever followed the Pied Piper met with doom — whether it was the rats, which he drowned in the river, or the children that were forever lost to their families when the Piper “disappeared” them after they followed him out of town. The point is, both the rats and the children were utterly unsuspecting that the Pied Piper deliberately meant to harm them. After all, he wore “a coat of many-colored, bright cloth,” and played delightfully on a small fife. He was there to impress, delight, and to charm….

After absconding with the children of Hameln, the Pied Piper was never seen again. Alas, but the same cannot be said of Obama who is still very much with us, evidently doing everything in his power to transform the greatest nation on earth into a Third-World banana republic, with himself as its Dear Leader, by any means fair or foul.

And on the record so far, it appears he prefers the foul.

Citations:

(1) Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein, Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy through Jokes, New York: Penguin Books, 2008, p. 162f.

(2) Eric Voëgelin, “Autobiographical Statement at Age 82,” in The Drama of Humanity, Vol. 33 of The Collected Works of Eric Voëgelin, Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2004, p. 437.

(3) Eric Voëgelin, History of Political Ideas, Volume 26 of The Collected Works of Eric Voëgelin, Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1999, p. 78.

by Jean F. Drew
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

©2009 Jean F. Drew

3/04/2009

Strangers in a Strange Land

Cheshire Cat.jpg

Thanks to many faithful readers for e-mailing and asking about the dearth of essays here on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. I have no answer as to why the scarcity, other than the fact that I have had no desire to write about the state of our republic.

The main reasons being ...

(1) A sense of hopelessness and futility, even as regards the pen and the ballot box, to make a difference in the direction in which our republic is being steamrolled. Rampant ignorance and apathy brought us to the brink, and evil men in leadership positions are gleefully providing the final push.

(2) Where to begin even attempting to bring about activist solutions anymore? We daily awaken to new and incomprehensible affronts to our intellect and our sense of belonging. We are beginning to feel like strangers in a strange land. I have no use for my fellow Americans who voted for ‘change’ that was beautifully gift wrapped, but about whose contents they knew nothing. Nor do I anymore grant credence to those well-meaning but delusional patriots who are chanting ‘Sarah in 2012!’ and the like. They are living in a dream world in which they believe they can still work within a system whose foundations have putrefied, and whose rule-makers are corrupt to the bone

Not only those two segments of our society, but also the remnant of rational American patriots, are being led down the road to oblivion by a man whose qualifications to lead at all, and whose genuine accomplishments, are no more impressive than those we might read on the resumé of someone applying for a job as a junior executive. This junior executive wannabe, in office for fewer than six weeks, is ruling with an iron hand, steamrolling over, and demonizing, anyone who attempts to stand in his way.

Talk about surreal. The Cheshire Cat would envy our predicament.

And what are this junior executive’s qualifications for doing this to a nation that has prospered unlike any other in the history of mankind? A complete disregard for the United States Constitution and the American people, a puppet/puppet master relationship with the mainstream media, the support of powerful international moneymen and special interest groups, and a terrifying anti-American background that evolved through intimate association with mentors who despise the foundations of our republic.

This junior executive wannabe has allied himself with movers and shakers in Chicago, D.C., and God only knows what other anti-American enemies of liberty outside of America’s borders. He has implemented as his ultimate goals: (1) the destruction of (what remains of) America’s capitalist system, (2) the implementation of Marxist rule whereby (3) incrementally more ‘Americans’ (in name only) will seek and accept dependence on a nanny state for the necessities of life, and (4) the bastardizing of the concept of what it means to be an American.

In what now claims to be ‘leadership’ in Washington, all of what passes for governing in the best interest of the people of America now boils down to a carefully-studied mastering of the art of deceit, courtesy of the likes of Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky.

Our ‘leadership’ claims to be concerned about the average American’s pocketbook, the average American’s peace of mind and economic well-being, the average American’s quality of life, and the average American’s ability to wake up in a country in which he feels secure and free.

Yet virtually everything that our ‘leadership’ is doing – and at record speed since January 20th – not only flies in the face of that pseudo-concern, but bespeaks quite the opposite.

Spending our republic into literal oblivion, on the pretext that not doing so, and not doing so immediately, would result in instant economic/societal catastrophe for us all … is a LIE.

We are spending ourselves into literal oblivion simply because the majority of the requisite spending is focused on the implementation of a Marxist agenda, and that the realization of that agenda will simply serve to accelerate our demise as a world economic power is of no concern to those at the helm. Not coincidentally, our current course will result in an enormous increase in the number of American citizens who must rely on the government for their very existence. And so enormous will that increase be that the opportunity to turn back the tide will vanish forever.

An American president and congress that are sincerely determined to cure what ails us would be hyper-focusing on those fiscal and monetary cancers that are eating away at our economic foundation, to the exclusion of other politically correct issues. The fact that they are not doing so, while still feigning concern about the economic cataclysm lurking over the horizon, renders their concern about America’s future a convenient masquerade.

Rather than muster all of their resources to confront the problem of our ailing economy, they are instead using that illness as an excuse to impose all manner of Marxist dictates – most of which will simply hasten our demise, and none of which will derail it. Their concern is bogus. Their duplicity is frighteningly real. They are like an adult child, having administered small doses of arsenic to his mother over a period of time, sitting by her bedside in the hospital, shoving a myriad of papers at her as she lay dying, and demanding that she sign over everything she owns to him, so that he can find her a better doctor.

There is no rational connection between environmental extremism (i.e., ‘global warming/climate change’), the ‘need’ for universal healthcare, or the ‘need’ to nationalize private industry, and a cure for what ails us economically – other than the fact that the shackles that will unavoidably be placed on every American’s liberties as a result of the implementation of all three agendas will create additional and completely unnecessary economic hardship that will make today’s nightmare seem like a walk in the park. At the core of fascist doctrine is an economic model in which the state shackles what is left of private enterprise with monstrous bureaucratic handcuffs, and orders the utilization of privately held assets to realize public policy agendas.

Voilà!

Precisely when our president and his minions in congress should be spending every waking hour attempting to solve the looming economic catastrophe, they are instead choosing to arbitrarily throw money at it, so as to appear to be doing something, while simultaneously crafting all manner of tyrannical legislation aimed at suppressing our freedoms, redistributing wealth, destroying our economy, erasing our borders, and amassing unprecedented power for themselves.

Oh to be a fly on the wall in one of those smoke-filled rooms.

There are many things about the demise of America that speak to an evil so insidious as to be incomprehensible to most of us.

(1) The spark for the economic, and soon to be societal, destruction of America began decades ago, but it was purposefully fanned into a flame by the American left (see the Community Reinvestment Act and the Cloward Piven Strategy of Orchestrated Crisis). The bursting of the home mortgage bubble, which served as the major catalyst for what we are enduring today, and which will eventually prove to have tentacles far beyond anything we imagine, is simply a carefully-manufactured crisis. It is a manufactured crisis that scoffs at and derides America’s work ethic and America’s concept of personal responsibility, and has succeeded in confiscating a good portion of the life savings of every hard-working American, as well as condemning the quality of life of his children and grandchildren to third world status.

None of those three considerations (work ethic, personal responsibility, thrift) are of any significance to our current leadership in Washington. And the value of all three is being premeditatedly eradicated in order to increase the power of the state and foster dependence on state largesse.

Yet our president, and his minions in congress, daily wring their hands and claim to feel our pain – while, behind the scenes, they are authoring all manner of Marxist legislation that will further trample on our liberties, increasingly rob us of the fruits of our labor, and incrementally install a brand of government tyranny that will have our children and grandchildren gratefully accepting the fact that they must ask government permission, and pay a tax, in order to breathe in and out, and put one foot in front of the other.

(2) The people who are purposefully crafting the demise of the most moral and most prosperous civilization in the history of mankind are actually the most base among us. They are bottom feeders.

I, and I believe most conservatives, believe that the measure of a man is his character, and that yardstick is especially important in our leadership.

Picture yourself in a foxhole somewhere in a war zone, or stranded on a deserted island. Who would you rather have in that foxhole, or on that island, with you in order to ensure your survival and obtain some peace of mind in a harrowing situation -- your neighbor across the street, or Barack Obama/Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid?

One of the things that so maddens me about the through-the-looking-glass nature of this travesty is the fact that the people whom the Marxists in the highest positions in our government choose to demonize, demoralize, and criminalize are the same people who are willing and able to do the kinds of work that these Marxists are truly incapable of doing. Our 'leadership' is meticulously following Saul Alinsky's credo that, in order to seize increasing power, one must 'frame a villain'. In the eyes of our 'leadership' in Washington, the 'villain' of their creation is anyone who seeks to make a profit, anyone who seeks to benefit from the sweat of his own brow, anyone who believes that one is responsible for one's own actions, and anyone who wants to be free to determine the focus of his own charitable giving rather than sharing his wealth with those who choose not to create their own.

Faith, duty, honesty, industry, personal responsibility, and ingenuity made America what she was in her finest hour. Most real Americans still possess those traits. Our 'leadership' possesses none of them. They are simply schemers with connections – unqualified to shine the shoes of those they demean and degrade, and yet somehow delusional enough to believe that they are a part of a chosen elite whose destiny it is to dictate how, and whether, the rest of us should live -- and powerful enough to make that delusion a reality.

(3) Hundreds of thousands of Americans, from the last part of the eighteenth century through the first part of the twenty-first, have voluntarily laid down their lives in the name of liberty. I daresay that all of those hundreds of thousands of Americans placed more value on allegiance and duty than any of those now in leadership in Washington.

We know almost none of their names, and yet they purchased with their lives the freedoms that ensured that we transform, with a sense of historically unprecedented conviction, thirteen beleaguered colonies into Ronald Reagan’s shining city on a hill.

And now, fewer than six hundred self-serving scoundrels, incapable of comprehending the powerful measure of love and devotion that wells up within the heart of an American patriot, have succeeded in stealing that precious, hard-won inheritance and turning it into something black, dimensionless, and without a soul. And they are seeing to it that there will be no turning back. Expanding their base. Answering mightily to their special interests. Demonizing, even silencing, their opposition.

And we have no one but the American citizen to blame. His apathy. Ignorance. Self-centeredness. Ingratitude. Hedonism. The fewer than six hundred were placed into power by a band of adoring mental adolescents, who simply want to be allowed to go to the mall, download music/noise, and worship celebrity.

Mark my word: The mall/noise/celebrity fountain will continue to pour forth, while the nuts and bolts of a free society, the sanctity of individual liberty, the concept of personal responsibility, and the belief in reward for thrift, ingenuity and hard work, are breathing their last breaths.

So who is to blame for our current crisis, scheduled to transform into a full-blown global cataclysm?

(1) leftist politicians who bullied/extorted banks into making loans that the banks knew full well were bad business,

(2) Fannie and Freddie criminals who contributed mightily to those same leftist politicians and then cavalierly sucked tens of millions from the engine before the wreck occurred, and

(3) bankers who were too lazy to take a close enough look at the sub-prime-backed securities they bought up.

The above three groups, perhaps the most powerful forces in the history of our republic, combined greed, incompetence and ignorance all into one neat package that has destroyed the savings of tens of millions of the people they claim to represent, and that threatens to bring America to her knees, as our ideological enemies wait in the wings to wrest the ‘super power’ banner from our hands. When that final insult occurs, this planet will prove uninhabitable for moral, honest people.

Avarice and ambition would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other ... A Constitution of government, once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever ... John Adams

The Patriotic Resistance

God bless you all. It has been a genuine privilege to cross paths with so many modern American patriots!

~ joanie