Derbyshire in the latest TAC:

[H]ere are the Tea Partiers vowing to “take back America.” Is there any real prospect of their doing so? If the “time left for us to do so” was short in 1998, how much shorter is it now? Why did those Middle American Radicals of 30 years ago—Donald Warren actually coined the phrase in 1976—not fulfill the hopes Sam Francis invested in them? Are the Meatheads now immovably entrenched as a ruling class, the Archies condemned to a permanent impotence relieved only by occasional spasms of semi-organized resistance, easily quashed or co-opted? Is the Tea Party movement merely one of those fits? Will elitism always vanquish populism? …

The MAR phenomenon had emerged from the crash of liberalism in the late 1970s. The busing and ERA wars, stagflation, the gas crises, and the Tehran hostage debacle left liberals chastened and the political Right fired up with indignation. Conservative intellectuals like Sam Francis had good reason to think that with its leadership demoralized, the overclass-underclass alliance might be brought down by concerted action on the part of disgruntled heartland populists.

They failed to appreciate the degree to which ruling-class values, already long dominant in the media and universities, had seeped into Middle America’s soul. … Our intellectuals also overestimated the economic radicalism of the MARs, projecting their own cherished abstractions onto citizens who, however aggrieved they might feel about government’s grosser impositions, had no wish to let go of their Social Security, Medicare, public-school and state-college establishments, or the patriotic satisfactions of having the world’s largest and best-equipped military. …

I see no sign that the liberal establishment is seriously concerned by [the Tea Partiers]. Everyone understands that the Obama administration was reckless, turning up the heat too high under that pot in which the proverbial frog is being boiled. The fire will be turned down so that the boiling can continue at its former barely perceptible pace. The Tea Partiers will be marginalized by appeals to political correctness, a thing easily done as practically all of them are white. The less committed will drift away; the minority that remain will be folded into the Republican Party, after first being subjected to a brief, painless operation to remove the “R” from “MAR.” Peace will descend, and all will be as it was, the elite secure in its power, the underclass secure with its dole, the middle classes back on the treadmill to pay the bills run up by the elites and their clients. Our rulers will say what imperial Chinese generals used to say after laying waste some rebellious prefecture: harmony has been restored. …

Perhaps it is just as simple as this: a meritocratic elite is, by definition, smarter than the rest of us. It can always “control the discourse,” planting shame and doubt in the minds of those who seek to challenge it, manipulating their sensibilities, feeding them a steady diet of soma through media and educational outlets, bewildering and outfoxing them with bogus appeals to the higher emotions. Perhaps it is all an unequal contest.

I largely agree with this, and previously addressed the problems here:

[P]ostwar American conservatives are heirs to the Jeffersonian, anti-Federalist and populist arguments of the 18th and 19th centuries. These decentralists, state’s-righters and agrarian champions presumed a basic level of democratic and economic sturdiness and self-sufficiency in the common man. Left to his own devices, it was thought that the common and working classes – the Minutemen of the Revolution, the pioneers of the West – would not willingly don the yoke of servitude, but would prefer to be free, despite the sacrifices and hardship such a life might entail.

These traditional conservatives would not have seen the rise of a giant, dominant retailer like Wal-Mart as an advance in “consumer sovereignty,” but rather as forced dependence on faraway manufacturers, cultures, money and decision-makers – and with it, a diminishment of political and economic freedom.

In contemporary America, this presumption toward freedom may no longer be valid, as Mr. Will makes clear. The lower middle classes and nearly everyone else, for that matter, really do love Wal-Mart and are quite happy to sell their American birthright of independence and self-sufficiency for a bowl of processed – but cheap! – soup. This is the challenge facing the new populists of the right: how to advocate and promote the free and sturdy democratic qualities of the common man – qualities that made America great – when the common man has apparently turned his back on those virtues?

39 COMMENTS

  1. “forced dependence” on WalMart ?

    My plumber trades with WalMart because he judges their overalls the best value for his hard-earned dollars. Unlike his dealings with the government, there’s no apparent coercion.

  2. The thing is, We are all part of the eliete, we are far to rich to do any real complaining, and the so called “tea party” has been hijacked by the repugs and Palin…..laughable really how the masses can be controlled and steered.

    The eliete usually win, normally win, have been winning for a very long time. The first 100 years of These United States of America, were the exception, not the norm.

    If the 60’s couldnt win, what makes you think this “tea party” will win anything…….

    Good luck getting that back…..not gonna happen.

    Long live Allie Fox! I’m suprized RP has not been assasinated yet…..

    -Junker

  3. “My plumber trades with WalMart because he judges their overalls the best value for his hard-earned dollars. Unlike his dealings with the government, there’s no apparent coercion.”

    Government (federal, state & local) greases the skids for the monopsonic WalMart, enabling them to sell those overalls so cheaply. And the current tax structure forces the small business owner to buy as cheap as possible by eating his disposable income.

  4. WalMart couldn’t exist without its subsidies–on both sides of the Pacific. It begins with the artificially low Chinese currency. And their horribly inefficient distribution system (relying on the longest rather than the shortest supply lines) would dry up and blow away if there were weight/distance tolls on the “free”ways. And at many stores, their sales tax rebates are their entire operating margin, monies paid for the destruction of local businesses. It’s bad enough that the big corporations should be an extension of the gov’t (or vice-versa), but it’s worse when they are an extension of the Chinese gov’t.

  5. And even worse the Chinese government knows that its plan of keeping the American dollar inflated by buying United States government Treasury securities is undermining the American economy. When bank stock prices are cheap enough they’ll buy them and own the credit creation process and he who owns the purse strings controls the nation. No nation can fight a war without the credit to do so. A study of American history will teach you that. So much for Republican and Democratic party patriotism. Sold for a mess of pottage or plumber’s overalls!

  6. When Civics is reduced to the idea of simply having the cheapest place to buy something within a system that is heavily debt dependent and loaded with “external costs” , it is nearly a fait accompli that the large institutional and commercial interests will supplant “community” with consumerism, a kind of walking dream state.

    People watch the media and television commercials and think they are actually involved in an Agora depicted by the flickering screen rather than simply being seduced by a Vicarious Agora, our Fiat Culture with high production values.

    When the calculus of trade and interaction at many levels with one’s neighbors is subsumed by remote organizations, people ultimately stop engaging in that basic calculus of community, at any meaningful level and so community is replaced by a kind of glossily packaged and thoroughly quixotic Commercial Anarchy. What’s worse, this is not even any kind of authentic anarchy because the participants have no real common bond beyond their shallow commercial interests that are totalitarian in scope.

    To a degree, the great Cold War against Institutionalized Marxism distracted us from the real foe, that of totalitarian trends across the spectrum of economic organization. In fact, global technological commercialism is a match made in heaven with totalitarianism because combining totalitarian political theater with the allure of consumer marketing habituates the citizenry to an addictive show that thrives on maintaining a variety of wants at a dangerous level. The Tea Party Movement is a reaction to the totalitarianism afoot but I do not believe they have recognized the real foe in their battle beyond a fairly crude caricature of “gummint”. Hence the ease with which supposed “anti-government” partisans, who are deeply enmeshed within the Commercial totalitarianism superstructure (the dominant provider of motivating symbols within modernity) and grab leadership or spokesperson roles in the movement, easily directing Tea Party Rhetoric to partisan goals that do not address the real challenge. The real malevolent beauty of the system is that there is no dark conspiracy at the root of it…it is but another turning of the gears inherent to the basic system.

    Simply put, we have become what we once opposed , we’ve created an interesting and very powerful hybrid within the historic totalitarian movement inaugurated by the marriage of the Nation State and Industrialization. The Social and Political Animal has seen their plows, anvils and charming ledger books of neighborly transactions beat into guns , credit cards and supercomputers to an extent that we are becoming less human while still retaining a totalitarian uniform that tells the cog they are still an “individual”. Ho ho ho.

    The totalitarian edifice provides shiny targets of “socialism” and “communism” and “the free market” and “conservatism” for the various tribes to squabble over (even totalitarianism cannot subsume the tribal impulse) while further entrenching itself in the manner of the Cancer Cell…and like the cancer cell, it is not evil, it is simply powerful and consumptive to the point of …and this is the real good part, killing the host. It aint even a good pathogen.

    Everyone can keep talking about creeping socialism and the Global Market and Conservative family values against the State but the real enemy is a Totalitarianism that hybridized in the last century and did it in a manner that could not be clearly recognized. As ole Ed sed, we may be the most pampered serfs in all history but we’re serfs all the same. The pampering part is coming to a close. Get ready for the pistol whipping.

    But, fear not, Totalitarianism always puts on a good show with stylish uniforms.

  7. Me thinks the TPers recognize a commie-dem trying his best to screw up the country and they’ve reacted.
    These people aren’t philosophers or political scientists but they are hard working Americans and not members of the parasitic community. By and large they don’t steal or cheat or commit adultery and they are shocked by what, under the commie dems, they’ve seen.
    Now, I don’t think they want to return to the days of the beloved and mad John Randolph but they want Social Security and Medicare “fixed.” Whatever that means! And, they want entitlement programs stopped.
    They intend to hold the GOP’s feet to the fire because they are appalled by the baby-killin’ commie-dems and they will place third party candidates on the ballot and support these candidates should the country clubbers neglect their wishes.
    I like these people, they’re acting in the American tradition that they’d very much like to save from the consolidators, Obamacons, and other n’er do wells.
    I have no idea if they will be successful or to what degree. And, I suppose it’s possible that this little rebellion may drift over into gun fire and house burnings. Hey, who knows! We got traditions you know.
    But I do know this: if our nearly documented president gets his commie health care it’s game, set, match.

  8. Mr. Sabin,

    Yours is an acute diagnosis of modern America. Many Americans have the same utopian vision of unlimited growth and inexhaustible abundance that die-hard Communists once had.

    And your judgment of the Tea Party movement is exactly right. The Tea Partiers have a good impulse, but they do not understand just what it is they are rebelling against. And if they actually understood, perhaps they would no longer rebel, since many of them buy into that typically American utopia: if only the government would butt out…

    “The growing number of people who consider the modern world ‘unacceptable’ would comfort us, if we did not know that they are captives of the same convictions that made the modern world unacceptable.”

  9. If the Tea-Baggers could provide some reasoned answers as to why there is government debt, who benefits most and least from this debt and why the Tea-Party happened in the first place because of debt then they might be worth listening to. As it currently stands they would appear to be the progeny and dupes of the individuals who most stand to benefit from government debt. Should they start to provide some reasoned answers they will be on their way not to abolish capitalism but to democratize it and facilitate stewardship with regard to planetary resources.

  10. The real tea party people are people like this lady at 2:19…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6xWGvdRQ9Q

    The REAL humans in America are under such and extreme cloak and makeover they really have no idea of truth. They may catch it for a glimpse, but it is eventually whitewashed over by Sarah Palin and various media outlets, they grab the reigns of an honest movement and steer it in a safer direction. People are not controlled by “pistol whipping”, the are controlled by events and perceptions. The tea party people, or “tea baggers” as they are known by haters, are just real Americans who are “mad as hell”, and are weighing how much of the American luxury machine they are willing to sacrifice in order to “not take it anymore”. Those are the real tea party people. Everyday folks who are pissed up to their eyeballs about bankers, politicos and corporatists raping and pillaging their landscape. Everyday folks who live in the richest land filled with the richest poor people the world has ever scene. Everyday folks who actually have much to risk. It’s a lot easier to start shooting when you take a shit in a bucket and dig through your overlord’s garbage to feed your kids.

    The republican co-opting bastards and fox news assholes are the real “tea baggers”. Unscrupulous conniving thieves who have zero morals and all the intelligence and ambition in the world. These people are really walking hand in hand with their democrat friends.

    Bob, you call the democrats baby killers, but the republicans are worse, in my humble opinion. They are every bit the baby killers, but they preach a pro-life agenda just to get elected. I ask you, how many babies have the republicans actually saved? How many republicans voted for HR 1094 and HR 2597? They play these games just like the democrats, it is divide and conquer. Do you really think the majority of republicans want abortion eliminated? Who the hell would vote for them if it was? No one! They would all be voting for real conservatives! I find it laughable some republicans are standing against unemployment benefits (which I am against) because it will “add to the deficit”…..never mind the trillions they burn in the middle east and the birthright they signed over to the bankers for a bowl of soup. Laughable, but the fresh coat of white paint makes it all seem not so bad. As long as the democrats are the ones we are told are evil, we must be the good….right? But we forgot, evil forces battle one another all the time, just because your “against” wrong, doesn’t make you right…….it is a great deception, all the while the puppet masters and drinking beer and smoking fat ones as they laugh and jerk the strings…….

    The majority of these folks are soulless beasts.

    Be kind to one another, protect yourself, your community and your friends, teach your children to do likewise. Because there are no changes coming, the demon is far too powerful, and the real tea party movement has already died….all that remains is Joe Stack and the onslaught of arm chair politically correct quarterbacks.

    The American dream died along time ago. Don’t let people fool you into thinking it is alive and well. It is no more alive than the idea that soldiers in Iraq and AFG are actually fighting for my freedoms.

    Throw your TV out the window, go outside and enjoy the day God made. Frack the establishment, it is you and yours only, don’t forget that.

    -Junker

  11. Smith,
    Wondering why the Tea Party started is wondering why the sunny day is hot in July. They are a logical outcome of a deteriorating polity that is on the one hand ,trending centrist on many issues and on the other, fragmenting into partisan gridlock. Calling them “dupes” is premature as well. Some that I’ve met spend time in the cold protesting and agitating the public about our dysfunctional government and are informed about the situation at hand. What we do not know yet is whether they will be seduced by the blandishments of the political insiders who use discontent and then throw it away when they get what they want.

  12. Saying that they are called “tea-baggers” only by those who hate them is not true; it was their original intent. They were going to gather one million tea-bags to “tea-bag the White House.” The “tea parties” were to gather up the tea-bags and forward them to Obama. It is possible that the leaders did not know of the dirty joke associated with the term (I certainly did not), or that they knew it, but intended the joke to be directed at the White House rather than themselves.

  13. Junker, dude :”Bob, you call the democrats baby killers, but the republicans are worse, in my humble opinion.”
    I don’t think you’ve ever read anything I’ve written that was in praise of the RINO or Neocon faction of the GOP. As far as me identifying commie-dems as “baby killers” I do admit that it’s “strong” language. It’s also the truth.
    However, I do agree with much of what you’ve written!

  14. Bob,

    Perhaps I was assuming since you called the dems baby killers you were insinuating the repubs were not baby killers…..you know what they say about assumptions……my mistake, sorry.

    -Junker

  15. Junker, I don’t wanna drag this out but let me clarify.
    I refer to our commie-dem friends as “baby killers” because the dem party placed a plank in their party platform of ’72 (I believe) in support of abortion. The GOP with all its flaws has done no such thing e.g. the GOP has not made slaughtering infants a foundational principle of their political philosophy as the commie-dems have.
    Because the commie-dems support slaughtering infants, I can not in good conscience vote for any commie-dem, at any time, under any conditions.
    I vote either for the GOP candidate or an Independent. Trust me, there are no shortage of candidates.
    In other words, the Democratic Party, is much like the NAZI Party and the Communist Party e.g. these are examples of political organizations grounded in the principle that human life is not sacred.

  16. I agree about the dems, I agree. My point was how the repubs are wolves in sheeps clothing…….My point is that many/most repubs also support the killing of babies, but they claim they actually try to help the babies, so as to get votes……really, most politicos, dem or rep, are devils in arms…..

    The thing about politicos and the whole political area, is that it attracts the most abitious people. Power and money. A babies life is just a stepping stone, whether you are claiming to be willing to kill it or save it….whichever it may be, it gets a vote.

    -Junker

  17. Inviting Palm Reader Sarah to give them direction at $120,000 (whatever) a session and she having no analysis of how to tackle the problems does not incline me to take them seriously. Blow-hards will say she did but where is the media excitement about her ideas?

  18. So if I get a bunch of cash together and invite Jimmy Hoffa and that dead Corey from license to drive to host a tea party convention….does that make me the leader of the tea party movement??

    Thats my point, its a co-opted movement……the people who charged $500 a plate to go to that tea party dinner don’s know crap about the real tea party……which is already dead, as i said earlier…..

    -Junker

  19. I think it was astro-turfed and then co-opted. The frustration in society is real enough though.

  20. Stephen,
    Thanks for the link to the aphorisms of Don Colacho, some great stuff I’ll have to explore more of.

  21. “The GOP with all its flaws has done no such thing e.g. the GOP has not made slaughtering infants a foundational principle of their political philosophy…”

    That’s right, Bob. It’s slaughtering foreigners that is central to the GOP’s politics.

  22. Callahan,
    Actually, thats the one bipartisan area that seems to stand the test of time in this age of Drones and Credit Card Militarism.

    In fact, the Democrats and Republicans both use the act of kicking the Wogs about as one of their principle fundraising venues and it seems to work like a charm. Even when one of em claims they are not going to do it get elected and continue to do it, the most you hear is the kind of faint grumbling heard when one over-eats.

  23. Yes, Sabin, but it’s similar to abortion, I think — the Democrats make abortion a plank in their platform, while the Republicans talk as if they were going to stop it but don’t really do anything in that direction. Similarly, the GOP makes perpetual war a selling point, while the Dems talk as if they were going to be more peaceful.

  24. Much though I detest abortion hasn’t this issue been decided? This is a secular country. Going to the polls takes precedence over going to God. Or does it? 80% of the voters don’t agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to give free speech to corporations but they went ahead and did it anyway. Pack the Supreme Court with anti-abortionists and have them vote for a ban on abortion. But does that make it morally right for them to have done so? I think not. So what point does this get you to? History teaches that you can’t rely on the Republicans or the Democrat politicians to sort it out justly, they are all bought by the rich who only care about money and not people. Looks as though you need a new party in power pledged to sort out corruption of the electoral process and pledged to use referenda to establish the people’s wishes on abortion. Same with killing people by starting wars. If its not an emergency let the people choose. We live in the electronic age. If the Swiss can use the Internet to decide not to allow minarets surely the Americans can use it to decide more serious matters.

  25. Hey, Callahan and SAbin, I’m in charge of hyperbolic comments here!
    You guys can criticize Bush the Lessor’s going to war with Saddam Hussein but, as I previously asked with only the erudite Prof. Willson responding, what would you guys have done?
    With that said, the Mujahadeen massacred 3,000 or so Americans. As a result we must consider that we are dealing, as the West does from time to time, with Islam rising. And, if we follow the past practices of our ancestors we knock these desert dwellers back to the 7th century…as in it’s the only thing “these people” understand. I, for one, am not comfortable with Islam being allowed to exist in the USA, since it is a “religion” of war and hatred. There are three types of Muslims:
    1. The Mujahadeen
    2. Those that support, in one way or another, the Mujahadeen.
    3. Those that are considering supporting the Mujahadeen.

    Islam is a religion of death and the West must act as if it’s very existence is threatened. If it doesn’t our children or grandchildren will be living under Sharia Law.

  26. Are 3,000 lives worth the trillions, the thousands of americans lives, the however many dead foriegers, military or civilian and the ten years in a total quagmire?

    There are better ways…….

    Never mind the arguement of cause and effect…… with the effects of the US agenda beaing the cause of their motivations……

    -J

  27. Cheeks,
    You’ve left me speechless with that one.Well, nearly speechless.

    One of the complicated beauties of this nation has been that it is not all one thing. Usually, when it has gone seriously tilt it is because it has gone all one way against an enemy it says is monolithic….unless, as in the case of the Totalitarian Nazis and Japanese, they actually were a monolithic force of terrifying potential.

    We are on a course for a New World Battle of Tours and we need a Martel ehhh? You open a fresh Victor Davis Hansen votive this weekend? Methinks you have the relative and potential strengths of the protagonists exactly reversed. The Caliphate of Andalusia was a hell of a lot stronger than even the combined….if ever they could combine…a dubious possibility as they seem to enjoy cannibalism as much as terrorism…..forces of modern Islam. Excepting, of course, our ongoing efforts to take Charle’s Hammer and plant it right between our own eyes, thus providing the most effective recruitment program for your third listed category .

  28. Sabin,

    This war has been percolating since the Moors struck into Spain and found Europe to their liking..it’s that World-Caliphate thing!
    I was, of course, amused by Bubba the Invincible’s response to the recent unpleasantness with the Muslim bros back in the 90’s….if you recall he supplied them with money and weapons as they fought the Serbs who had the temerity to try to defend their homeland.
    So we might ask, how many Americans have to die? Ten here, four there…when does it end?
    Bush the Lessor’s great error was passing on the opportunity to knock our desert dwelling friends back to the 7th century. Alas, we have been undermined by political correctness, social justice, diversity and the ever popular multi-culturalism to the point that we can not recognize our enemies and worse than that we do not remember how to deal with them. Perhaps, that is the way of empire.
    I see you don’t agree with my differentiation of the Muslim. Please feel free to correct whatever mistakes you think I’ve made, but before you do allow me to suggest you read the Koran.
    BTW, the Muslim is much more “monolithic” than either the German or the Japanese; theirs was a derailed ideology, the Muslim’s perversion is predicated on religion.

  29. Cheeks, you need to go further back than the 90’s and Clinton….we were equipping and training bin Laden’s Jihadis to fight the Soviets during Reagan’s years as I recall. I believe President Reagan had some complimentary remarks about the Wahabi Madrassas…something along the lines of their similarity to the Founding Fathers in their zeal for liberty. Hatching future enemies to kill us is a bipartisan effort.

    One supposes you can go all the way back to Churchill giving King Ibn Saud a Rolls Royce with a drivers seat on the” wrong side”. As detailed in Yergin’s Book “the Prize “, Churchill and FDR were all over the Bedouin King and his oil. Our Corporations had been over there for some time after we cleaned the German’s out of north Africa, driving their Buicks around the desert and once in a while squiring the good King on a scenic road trip. So when the Brits gave him a Rolls and its drivers seat was on the Brit side where the King normally sat serenely (Kings do not drive, they are squired about), he took offense. FDR apparently heard about it and had a Destroyer steam up to host the King….who was amply impressed. Ho Ho Ho.

    Sure , Islam stormed across the Levant and north Africa into Spain (again, the factions at war with one another as much as they were with the west) and their religion contains words like Jihad and Intifada but I know the adherents are human and like we in the west, they are not monolithic. Their leadership does a fine job of enforcing more monolithic behavior than we do in the West but you should know that there are no small number of them who believe Osama does not represent either their religion or their conception of the world and the word of God. I’ve met some, you should too. There is some real poetry in the history of Islam, the noesis you speak of and the kind of search for truth that saw them collect and save the documents of classic antiquity and run libraries and universities while the West was bludgeoning one another over their own jihadi impulses.

    Will their history of Jihad over-rule their poetic side and launch them into a complete death march of ideology as with the Nazis? Who knows but they are not there yet, despite the assertions of the Pipes, Perles and Kristols of the world. Our various actions responding to the neo-con rhetoric are a principle recruitment tool. 9/11 was the most spectacularly successful Rope-A-Dope of all time. Had we paid attention to the theater of war we should have, we might not have the flirtation with chaos we now own and will own well into the foreseeable future according to our government.

    Political Correctness has it’s equally dysfunctional antipode. Liberty is never easy nor does it have an exclusive on the truth but right now, we send a Vice President over to Israel and the day he visits, they announce new settlements . Meanwhile, the Jordanian Government that has hosted exiled Palestinians and granted them passports now revoke them with asserted best intentions, claiming to want to insure the exiles right of return. So, as we speak about the issue of whether or not Islam is all black and all bloodthirsty, some of its members, peacefully living members, exiles…they are people without a country, without liberty, without a voice beyond that of the pawn in a realpolitik game of brinksmanship. That perversions of faith would arise out of such tragedy is old hat.

    The Prism of Liberty, like Faith is not one dimensional. Hate is often focused into a light that burns and I cannot believe that a man who espouses faith and liberty so strongly as you do would suggest that Islam be outlawed in a nation founded upon the right of freedom from religious persecution. Denounce the hate attendant to perversions of any faith but to surrender to the libido dominandi of the morbis animi is to insure that one’s own faith has embarked upon a via dolorosa that bodes ill.

  30. Oh Lord, save us from the analysis of another student of Voegelin!
    Actually, DW it’s rather good; allow me to point out a number of flaws.

    My earlier analysis of the Muslim condition stands as stated, although I should clarify that the time for a proper and effective response to the massacre of 911, is unfortunately passed. An opportunity wasted because the USA could possibly have settled the question for at least another 100 years with the determined, unrelenting, and justifiable use of force. And, I blame George the Lessor for that. There is absolutely no reason of Dear Leader to allow combat troops in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

    What we must understand, and what you adamantly refuse to consider, is that Islam is our enemy, and to their credit they have told us, repeatedly, what their intention is! As a nation we are permitted to defend ourselves. We are not required to allow the enemy to live among us. Not even the derailed Roosevelt did that. The first order of gummint is to protect and defend the nation. In the instance of the Muslim we are confronted by an obvious gnostic disorder, that is further disordered by their current, pervasive “dogmatomachy”, e.g. we are confronted by an invidious evil predicated, uniquely, not on a world-immanent paradigm rather on a world-transcendent faith moving in tension toward an existential certainty that pretty much defines the radical and inevitably results in the abattoir. And, here’s the kicker; the Muslim seeks the Metastatic apocalypse, and in so doing describes the greatest threat to peace on earth.

    The obvious and immediate problem is that we Americans are infected by the disorder Herr Doctor labeled as the “climate of opinion.” We lack consensus, we are divided, and ruled by a fallaciously immanentizing,incoherent, statist regime.

    Re: Muslim history allow me to remind you that was several hundred years ago and a number of events have occurred that deflected that trajectory. Voegelin urges us to diagnose our own troubled times so that we might find order in our disordered age. And, I’m very much impressed with your initial efforts at a Voegelinian analysis!

    I should think you might want to take on the current “health care” debate!

  31. Health care “debate”? What debate? Last I looked, these dopes couldn’t even keep their own troops in a proper line of battle and so characterizing anything about it as a debate debases that word to the level of farce. This also assumes that the GOP retains any level of debating skills, a dubious prospect at best.

    No matter what happens, health care will get more onerous and costly. They shall do what the airlines have managed to do even without government assistance. In fact, we just as well might Nationalize Everything and re-name the place “Entropy On The Half Shell”.

    As to “the enemy”. While there is no doubt that a certain renegade force of Islam is on a campaign of mayhem against the West, as well as against her own people as collateral damage, I am not convinced it is monolithic and where it isn’t, inchoate American Actions are attempting to provide the accelerant to make it monolithic.

    This asymmetric warfare stuff really is more fun for the smaller party. Just look at the florid paranoia about the American blonde in Ireland and the supremely witless shoe-bomber and the hapless undie-dud. Osama plays his games with economy while the “Lone Superpower” goes into hock and a scared spitting pallor. He directs his minions in actions that kill thousands of his own co-religionists and then scatters to watch the “Lone Superpower” storm in and take the rap. If the Commanche and Plains Indians would have had access to the media that Osama works like a master (in the manner of a parasite and its benevolent , even admiring host), our western border would still likely be the Mississippi River. After all, Osama is in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, graveyard of empires. He watched the Russians and their Marxist sense of exceptionalism come and go in tatters and now he is using American Exceptionalism, our favorite aspernatio rationis to insure that we hitch our wagons to the old egophanic revolt we’ve been building in the basement and charter it to an end called nosos.

    Voegelin also advised that we not bog ourselves down in the disordered “reality” of the present and so I’m more interested in pondering the kinesis and its relationship with hypostasis.

    The monster is launched Cheeks. I used to be just pointless, now I can be pointless and impenetrable.
    But, in deference to Herr Farmer Stegall Esq., I’ll retreat to get more up to speed before sputtering about the place like I’m riding a new scooter. It may take some time, but perhaps a Voegelin analysis of the Tea Party Phenom might actually turn up something interesting. Then again…..

  32. You can’t have a debate without keeping the troops in a proper line of battle? That sounds more like organized warfare than debate.

    BTW, could we make it a rule that people can’t make prognostications about the future of the tea party movement without also telling us how many tea partiers they actually know? And by “know”, how about knowing them well enough to be able to tell us their names and being able to pick them out of a police lineup. Not that they should actually do that, but they should assert their credentials before prognosticating.

    FTR, I don’t know any tea partiers myself. I am also not going to tell you where the tea party movement is going.

  33. I have sharpened the quills and am in anticipation of a Voegelinian analysis of the TPers. To the barricades!

  34. Gorentz,

    Well, when in the current political atmosphere of frequent and poorly-aimed friendly fire, observing the basic prudence of a battle line might just save one’s ass. The phrase, obviously, aint an accident. This bit of reasoning coming from a rat that fires at will in all directions might sound hilariously counter-intuitive but so be it. a point or two for consistency of inconsistency might be worth something.

    Divulging the locations and particularly the identities of any Tea Partier would result in my having to turn in my Gadsden Flag and I likes it. I know not many of em but the ones I do know, I could pick out of a police line-up but they are not the type to wind up there, in a traditional sense, in the first place. Unless, of course, they are criminalized by our beloved protectress, the State.

  35. I hate this language of “Take America back.” The people who use it seem to believe that they have ownership rights to this country which their fellow Americans, disagreeing with them about this or that matter of policy, do not. It is the language of civil war and that is the last flame any sane, patriotic person should fan.
    Here’s a thought: politics doesn’t matter enough to get upset about it. We should participate in it of course because we have a duty to, but we should never treat it as a “needful thing”, something of ultimate value. In the truly long run it will not mean anything at all.

  36. “Now, I don’t think they want to return to the days of the beloved and mad John Randolph but they want Social Security and Medicare “fixed.” Whatever that means! And, they want entitlement programs stopped.”

    Except for their own…

  37. “…they want Social Security and Medicare “fixed.” Whatever that means! And, they want entitlement programs stopped. Except for their own…”

    Sounds a lot like ObamaLogic.

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