October 24, 2014

>Collectivist Republicans Losing Their Fight

>For eight years, the only reasonable commentary on government policy came from the left. While George W. Bush was president, supporters of the Democratic Party correctly protested the evil war of aggression in Iraq, the abominable use of torture by our military and intelligence agencies, and the sinister aspect of our own government listening to our phone calls, reading our e-mails, and infiltrating our peaceful clubs and organizations as part of the tyrannical War on Terror. Regardless of their motivation, all of these criticisms from the left were valid. The Bush administration, especially while enjoying the support of a Republican majority in Congress, was one of the most damaging administrations to our liberty of any in recent memory.

Of course, these persistent attacks by the Democrats were not really motivated out of a love of liberty. They simply represented a rival gang appealing to the American public’s dissatisfaction with the Bush administration for their own political ends. If anyone doubts this, simply put your ear to the ground and listen for a moment. While the Obama administration marches forward in expanding the War on Terror, fights in court to solidify the government’s right to spy on its own citizens, and has actually confirmed the government’s right to torture under the guise of prohibiting it (as long as said torture is called by another name), all protests from the left against these abominable practices have stopped (kudos to Rachel Maddow and Glen Greenwald who are both notable exceptions).

Since it is apparent that the Democrats are not going to reverse any of these Bush-era incursions against liberty, we can see what President Obama really meant by “change.” While breaking every promise he made to his supporters regarding war, torture, and domestic spying, he has launched an all-out assault on what is left in America of the individual rights to property and free enterprise. His American Recovery and Reinvestment Act handout to existing welfare programs instead of to the “shovel-ready projects” that he claimed the bill would fund, his health care “reform” initiative that will merely attempt to implement programs that have already failed in Europe and Canada, and his destruction of contract law in stiffing secured creditors in the GM bankruptcy are only the beginning.

While all of this might seem gloomy, it should at least represent a political opportunity for the Republicans. Finally, the Republicans have a chance to start making sense and appealing to the natural sense of justice inside each American that was the reason for their political demise in the first place. However, while it might appear on the surface that they are taking advantage of this opportunity, they are not. While railing against what they call Obama’s socialism, they fail to recognize the reason that they will fail in opposing him: their arguments are as collectivist as Obama’s.

Consider their arguments against “Obamacare.” They argue that a government-run program would be inefficient, would eliminate competition through artificially low prices subsidized by tax revenues, and would result in lower quality care and rationing. All of these things are true.

Regarding the government’s takeover of the automobile industry, they argue that the government doesn’t know how to make cars, that forcing the American manufacturers to try to make “greener cars” will only raise their costs and make them less competitive, and that without eliminating the labor union contracts that brought down the American automakers in the first place, they can never compete with foreign automakers, not even those operating in the United States. All of this is true as well.

As just one more example, the Republicans criticize President Obama’s call to expand public works projects, including adding 275,000 jobs under Americorps. They argue that these are not “real jobs,” that once the projects are completed the jobs will go away, and that government cannot create real, sustainable economic growth. Only the private sector can create jobs that last. Again, all true.

While all of these arguments are valid, they are share the same flaw: they are all made based upon what they believe will achieve the best aggregate economic results. Their arguments amount to “the beehive will make more money under our system than theirs.” Like the Democrats, their positions all proceed from the belief that the “needs of society” or the “greater good” outweigh the rights of the individual. If anyone doubts this, then they should take a few moments to read a transcript of John McCain’s acceptance speech upon receiving the Republican nomination for president last year.

The correct argument against all of President Obama’s programs is that they violate the individual rights that government is supposed to protect. Government is an institution of justice, not economics. It exists solely to protect the life, liberty, and property of its constituents. The minute that government attempts to achieve anything beyond this, it must necessarily destroy those rights in the process. As Thomas Jefferson said,

To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association–’the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”[1]

When government protects life, liberty, and property, enforces the sanctity of contracts, and punishes only violence or fraud, the “free market” that results does produce higher economic productivity and a more equitable distribution of wealth. The beehive does in fact make more honey when the individual rights of the bees are respected. However, when those rights are violated in an attempt to manage the results, the wealth-generating mechanism is destroyed. There is no conflict between individual rights and the needs of society. Securing the rights of every member of society is society’s greatest need.

These are supposed to be the central principles of the Republican Party. Their name itself should be an enormous public relations advantage for them over the Democrats, as our Constitution guarantees us a republican form of government – not a democratic one. Yet what word did we hear from George Bush to describe our nation and its philosophy for all eight years of his presidency? “Democracy.” There is a good reason for that.

Despite their talk about free markets, capitalism, and smaller government, the Republicans have rarely practiced these principles over the past century. The closest they came to fielding a presidential candidate that intended to govern by them was Barry Goldwater, and we the people handed him the most one-sided defeat in American history. After that, Republicans have decided to “talk like libertarians but govern like European social democrats,” as Thomas Dilorenzo so eloquently put it.

After giving the greatest inaugural address of the 20th century (and yes, I am counting John Kennedy’s), Ronald Reagan went on to save Social Security. He had his chance to make a stand and point out that nothing with the word “social” in it was likely to work, besides it being abhorrent to liberty, yet he contradicted everything he said in that wonderful first speech and raised taxes to perpetuate American socialism for another generation. He also ran deficits that exploded the national debt, started the Rex 84 program (the dreaded FEMA camps), and launched the War on Drugs. So much for the “Goldwater Republican.”

George Bush similarly came into office talking about “smaller government,” and “free markets (not to mention his “humble foreign policy”), yet he expanded federal entitlements more than any president since LBJ and cheered on Clinton’s “ownership society,” whereby people who couldn’t afford houses got loans for them anyway because they got to use other people’s money as collateral. Like so many of his Republican predecessors, George Bush’s idea of “free markets” was merely that his friends on Wall Street and in corporate America made as much money as possible, regardless of the fact that they did so because of artificial market conditions created by the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, and the spider web of regulations that are now written by the very corporations that they are supposed to govern. All of these institutions represent government interference with the free market, fundamentally violating property rights and insulating government-favored corporations from competition. If that is “capitalism,” then Stalin and Mussolini were history’s greatest capitalists.

That brings us to newcomer Sarah Palin. Somehow, she seems to have acquired immunity from criticism of her economic policies despite being the most overt Republican socialist alive. As governor, she put a windfall tax on oil companies operating in Alaska and redistributed their profits to Alaskan citizens. She says that the oil in the ground under Alaska belongs to “the people of Alaska,” instead of to those who risk and spend their own capital to drill for it. When Hugo Chavez did that, it was socialism. When a Republican governor did it, it was “standing up to big oil.”

So, the Republicans are out for now and the Democrats are presently in a position of unchecked power. The minute that they gained the advantage, they began proposing monstrous programs that could truly destroy the last vestiges of our republic. As a result, it is tempting for many to think that the Republicans can be “reformed” or “infiltrated.” Perhaps their decisive defeat has “scared them straight” and will force them to adhere to their supposed principles. One might say to oneself, “At least their rhetoric invokes some of our founding principles. If only we could redirect them while they are rudderless, perhaps we could use their political infrastructure to champion liberty.”

The Democrats have never tried to hide what they are about, least of all during this past election cycle. They sold us socialism and they are going to deliver. We may have to learn the hard way how evil and destructive that system is.

On the other hand, the Republicans have continually sold us free markets, smaller government, individual liberty, and then delivered…socialism. One could make a compelling argument that the misconception that capitalism causes the problems in our mixed economy while socialism provides the solutions is due in large part to people mistaking the economic policies of the Republican Party as “capitalism.” It is not. It is corporatism at best, and fascism at worst – if indeed there is a difference between the two. They combine that with at least as much support for the mammoth entitlement programs as the Democrats. Reagan said that FDR was the U.S. president that he admired most. That really says it all.

The prospect of the present Democratic regime left unchallenged should horrify every sane person with any desire at all to live his own life and have any control over his future. For over a century, our conditioned response in times like these has been to run from one gang of thieves to the other. The Republicans are now on deck, warming up with the familiar big government program of military deficit spending, “compassionate conservative” welfarism, and their hypocritical pandering to the “Chrisitan Coalition.” Four years of misery under the Democrats may be just enough to allow 51 percent of Americans to forget how bad the Bush years really were.

What if this time it were different? Instead of doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result, what if we let the Republicans die? They are gasping for air now, without a viable candidate for president and without a prayer of making up ground in the Congress. Their demise would be nothing unprecedented – political parties have come and gone in America for most of our history. The Federalists, the Whigs, the Democratic-Republicans – all of these put presidents into office but eventually went away. The demise of a political party in the United States is long overdue. Imagine if the libertarian wing of the Republican Party abandoned it, making it impossible for them to gain either the White House or a majority in Congress for the foreseeable future? That would spell the beginning of the end of the bipartisan tyranny that we have lived under for the past century.

There is no danger of an indefinite Democratic reign within our government. President Obama and his Democrats are not just going to fail. They are going to fail spectacularly. Hopefully that will be apparent by the next presidential election. If not, then certainly by 2014 or 2016 it will be obvious to the whole world that Obama’s brand of socialism not only should not continue, but cannot continue. Socialism is unsustainable and America has practiced it for far too long. Its inevitable self-destruction is at hand. The present Democratic platform merely steps on the gas pedal as the vehicle approaches the cliff. We are going over the edge sooner than most people think.

When that happens, there is going to be a political backlash against the Democrats that will make the last Republican defeat look like a split decision. What if at that time there was no Republican Party left to bring in more of the same? Imagine the coalition that might be formed to fill that void. Libertarian Republicans, disenfranchised Democrats who truly supported Obama’s anti-war, anti-torture, anti-spying head fake, and all of those independents that presently vote for the “lesser of two evils” could come together. Who knows who else might come out of the woodwork and vote if there truly were something different on the table?

Only when at least one of these criminal gangs is dismembered will there ever be any “change” in Washington. With the Republicans out of the way and the Democrats completely discredited, the chance for a true revolution in Washington couldn’t be better. You may say I’m a dreamer, but life without Republicans should at least be considered. With the taste of Bush and Cheney fresh on our tongues, what do we have to lose?

[1] Jefferson, Thomas Letter to Joseph Milligan April 6, 1816 (regarding Destutt de Tracy‘s Treatise on Political Economy) from The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 14 edited by Albert Ellery Bergh and Andrew A. Lipscomb The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association 1904 pg. 466

Check out Tom Mullen’s new book, A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America. Right Here!

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Comments

  1. Steve Curtis says:

    >Well reasoned as usual. The question is what party to get behind. The Libertarians say most of the right things but have been unable to organize and recruit enough voters to be credible. The Constitution party seems to be even more disorganized. Maybe the GOOOH Party?

    It's clear to anyone who understands the issues that business as usual is a recipe for disaster, ant that it is likely too late to prevent a catastrophe. It seems to me that NOW is the time to explore the best way to pick up the pieces, as Tom has again eloquently presented.

  2. Tom Mullen says:

    >THanks for reading and commenting, Steve. What about this: No party?

    Let the Republicans die away and let's have an election with the Democrats on one side and ALL who oppose them on the other. That should take care of the other half of our problem rather quickly, I would think. It is probably risky, but like I said, what do we have to lose?

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Tom,I would suggest that you begin to actualy research what dozens of leftists are saying about Obama.For instance google ''Taking-Aim radio'' and Dr. Michael Parenti, just for starters.

    There are nut cases on the left just as there are on the right,in fact I think it is rather nutty to devide people and their philosophies concerning pressing issues into silly left- right devisions when in fact each issue must be dealt with on its own merit.

    I consider myself somewhat of a liberal,but one who realizes that only a truly represenitive government ,''unlike the one we have had for much of our history''can be trusted to help solve our problems.On the other hand,the liberal in me understands that behind every corrupt over bearing government lies a corrupt and over bearing private sector which has either formed or hijacked that government in order to acomplish its own devious ends.

    It seems far to many liberals and conservitives alike are unwilling to deal with reality in regards to the issues.The liberals,''most of them''are willing to give up way to much freedom in order to gain a small amount of freedom while conservitives confuse commercialism with liberty and seem to favor economic growth over the growth of human liberty and dignity.Need I remind you that people longed for freedom long before the advent of market economics ? We do not buy things because we are free,in fact in a state of perfect freedom there would be no need to purchase any thing.Speaking of purchasing things,I did some elk hunting on national forest land last year and was only required to purchase a liscence and pay a two dollar a day parking fee.The year before last I did my hunting on a private reserve which charged me five hundred dollars just for the use of the property.Now Tom surely you can understand the value of collectivly held assests !? The fact is that the more of our natural resources which are privately owned the more it is going to cost us to live,while collective ownership actualy promotes freedom,''that is as long as the public demands the proper management of what is collectivly owned''.Just imagine Tom if someone were to claim private ownership over the sun or perhaps the air we breath ! That may sound far fetched but as I speak there are conservitives who are working to have even the oceans privitised,claiming that privitisation leads to freedom.Again we do not purchase nessecities because we are free ! We purchase nessecities generaly because we have no other choice.

    Tom the idea of getting back to common sense values just does not hold water.''Common sense'' in fact changes from generation to generation.There once was a time when anyone with common sense knew that women should not be allowed to vote or hold office ! There also was a time when everyone with ''common sense'' knew the nations economy would collapse without the use of slave labor.So called common sense is often nothing more than mass ignorance,something we need less of,not more of.

    Well Tom I would like to leave you with a question to ponder.There is no need to actualy respond with an awnswer,but just ponder this scenario.Imagine a fox caught in a steel trap,The only way the fox can escape the trap is by chewing its foot off.Is the fox in reality free because of the fact that it can choose to chew its foot off ? So long Tom and do not forget that the purpose of life is life itself.

    Your freind James.

  4. Tom Mullen says:

    >James,

    Your comments are articulately stated, but there are several flaws in the reasoning.

    First, I agree with you that the left/right paradigm is divisive. I suggest killing the right while it is weak and then aligning all principled people against the left. My end game is to get rid of the whole rotten left/right scam.

    However, you go on to say that "in fact in a state of perfect freedom there would be no need to purchase any thing." This is a contradiction.

    Everything we consume (including food, clothing, services (including hunting on land we do not own) has to be produced by someone. There are only two ways to obtain something that is produced by someone else: 1. with their consent. 2. without their consent. Obtaining the product of another's labor without their consent is the antithesis of "a state of perfect freedom." It is the definition of "a state of perfect slavery." That is what slavery is – obtaining the labor or its fruits of others without their consent.

    Your example of the hunting land relates directly. You asked someone if you could hunt on their land and they asked for $500 in return. You had a choice to pay it and use their services, or to decline. Their price may or may not have been too high, but they are free to set the price for their services and you are free to decline. You are also free to look for land owned by other people who may offer it at a better price.

    On the other hand, the "collectively-owned asset" you allude to only charged you a nominal fee for the license and parking. However, the cost of maintaining the land, the cost of liabiltiy for people hunting on it, etc. are not lower just because government owns the land. They simply spread that cost out among taxpayers, including me, who do not use that land. This money is taken from me without my consent to provide cheaper hunting for you. That is an act of aggression and I object to it.

    In the case of the privately owned land, the people who want to use it bear the cost of paying for its maintenance, including whatever profits the owners wish to make. The buyers are free to pay or to decide not to purchase those services.
    (continued in next comment)

  5. Tom Mullen says:

    >However, I had no choice in paying for your hunting trip on government-owned land. That money was taken from me without my consent for your benefit at my expense.

    At this point, there is usually the spurious argument that I am against all taxes. I am not. We all have a natural right to life, liberty, and to keep the fruits of our labor. We have a natural right to defend those rights against aggression by others, including resorting to violence, if necessary, in order to protect ourselves and our property. We have a right to delegate that authority of self defense to government. Providing that self defense costs money, which we have a responsibility to pay in return for the servcies of the people that provide the defense. That is where the legitimate authority of the government to tax begins and ends.

    We have no right to use force or the threat of force to obtain another's property without their consent. THerefore, we have no right to delegate that authority to any government, which merely amounts to us using the force of greater numbers to steal from someone else. It is in direct contradiction to government's core purpose: to protect us from other people doing this very thing.

    You say that "people longed for freedom long before the advent of market economics?" Wrong. There has never been a moment in human history where market economics have not existed. Humans can only sustain their existence through their labor, and unless you produce everything you need and want yourself, then you are participating in "market economics." The only question is, "how will you obtain the labor or fruits of labor of others?"

    In a free market, it will be with their consent – whether through a gift or a trade.

    In your scenario, someone is forced to give up their labor or its fruits for the benefit of someone else.

    I dealt with this more in the previous article, Life Liberty and PRoperty are Inseparable. http://thomasmullen.blogspot.com/2009/06/life-liberty-and-property-are.html.

    I do appreciate the attention to my overly long article and the debate – I hope you take my rebuttal in the good-natured spirit in which it is intended.

  6. A Conservative Teacher says:

    >It's a two party system. Communists had the courage and audacity to hope to take over the Democrat Party, and they were successful. It's a shame conservatives and libertarians are too busy whining and pissing about things, because if they would join the Republican party, they could win it over too. Parties are just empty things to be filled up- perhaps instead of pissing into the wind on here you should join the Republican Party and be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

  7. Tom Mullen says:

    >Conservative Teacher,

    Where in the Constitution does it say "it's a two party system?" It is a two party system because the two parties have trained people to think it has to be that way.

    However, assuming that there is some reason that there will always be two parties (and it is an ancient phenomenon – Rome had two parties VERY similar to ours – the Populares and the Optimates), then why did the Republicans form a party in the first place? Why did all of those people leave the Whigs, instead of just taking them over?

    The answer is that the WHigs had lost their relevance, credibility, and ability to build winning coalitions, like the present Republicans.

    You say that "libertarians and conservatives" should join the Republican party. Most of them are members. The constituencies that vote Libertarian Party or Constitution Party, or Conservative Party make up about 4 percent of the vote on a good day. The great majority of people with those ideologies belong to the Republican Party, because it tells them just enough of what they want to hear to keep them around (and because the Democrats are so horrid). Then, the Republicans betray them every time.

    The neo-con Republican ideology comes from the same monied interests as the communist Democratic ideology. The parties are ruled by powerful minorities that keep large factions in their respective parties by partially convincing them that they are supporting their principles and partially because those factions just can't see an alternative.

    I suggest that if the Republican Party were allowed to die, all of those "libertarians and conservatives" within it would form a new party, and could attract huge constituencies from the Democrats, because most of the rank and file are not communists either.

    Read your history. Our republic is at the same point as Rome's was when Julius Caesar came to power. Remember that he became as popular as he did by promising the people other people's property – even before he went off to loot Gaul his first act as consul was a redistribution program that Plutarch said would be more expected from a revolutionary than the member of a respected Roman family.

    Rome had had it's "Reagan revolution" a generation earlier under Sulla, and it failed for the same reasons that Reagan's did – because it didn't attempt to establish justice, just tilt the playing field back toward the Senate (the conservatives) and away from the ravenous Populares (Rome's Democrats). The neo-conservative Republican revolution is over. Let it die. If you truly want liberty, let the lesser of two evils go away and let's mobilize against greater evil – after we take half their people from them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    >Tom,

    I enjoy reading your articles and agree with most of what you have to say but I believe there is an additional step you could take in your thinking.

    While I think you did a great job of pointing out the contradictions in James' comment, I believe there is also a contradiction in your reply.

    You said:

    At this point, there is usually the spurious argument that I am against all taxes. I am not. We all have a natural right to life, liberty, and to keep the fruits of our labor. We have a natural right to defend those rights against aggression by others, including resorting to violence, if necessary, in order to protect ourselves and our property. We have a right to delegate that authority of self defense to government. Providing that self defense costs money, which we have a responsibility to pay in return for the servcies of the people that provide the defense. That is where the legitimate authority of the government to tax begins and ends.

    Maybe you should be against all taxes. It is impossible to truly believe we all have a natural right to life, liberty, and to keep the fruits of our labor AND to believe that taxation is never a violation of those rights.

    I would agree that we have a right to delegate self-defense to another person or persons, but not to somebody who will just turn around and violate our rights in order to do it. Therefore, I would suggest that we do NOT have a right to delegate that right to "government". We only have a right to contract freely with others in the free market to help us defend ourselves. Perhaps a truly free market would work better than even you imagine.

    I would suggest your reading the classic book The Market For Liberty by Morris and Linda Tannehill.

    Kind regards,

    Robert

  9. Anonymous says:

    >I made a mis-statement in my previous comment. What I meant to say was:

    It is impossible to truly believe we all have a natural right to life, liberty, and to keep the fruits of our labor AND to believe that a tax exists that doesn't violate those rights.

    Sorry about that.

    Robert

  10. Buttercup says:

    >Wow! What a DELIGHTFULLY refreshing blog!!!! Even the comments from various points of view are all thought provoking and interesting.

    Well done!

  11. Bill Bulgier says:

    >I have daid that I am tired of Parties Winning, it is time for the American people to win. I like the idea of no party,just those of us who oppose what has been happening to this country over the last 100 years. Of course the acceleration into tyranny has been shifted to overdrive in the last couple of administrations

  12. United Citizens Council says:

    >Tom, I certainly wish I could write like that!

  13. Don Lee says:

    >You are saying what I have being saying for quite some time. Thanks. Your observation about Palin is true. Alaska also has the highest port tax in the world for cruise ships, which I beleive she instituted. She is an unabashed supporter of her husbands affiliations with Unions as well. I definitely can't vote for her and still have a conscious left intact. The only choice is too be affilated with a so-called "radical" Liberatarian Party, simply because the two other parties are too left of center. While I was studying the Italian Renaissance in Europe, I came to a startling realization that those early pioneers in Capitalism had taught the world a valubale lesson. Freedom had come with freedom in banking and markets first and what followed was science, reason, pragmaticism, rational thinking and objective thought. To undermind our free markets,we slowly or rapidly, depends on the actions, reverse it all and return to Feudalism prior to the Renaissance. I'm sure our framers knew this, or they would NOT have given us a Constitution from the people, instead it would have come the Govt. Keep up the Good work Tom. Republican collectivism or Democrat collectivism, the issue is still the same, we lose our freedoms in the feel good nature of "security."