Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Fifth American Republic

Barack Obama is a communist.  That's a low schoolyard insult, even though it's true, but it doesn't matter.  You see, Mitt Romney is also a commie.  No, this isn't yet another Mitt Romney rant.  All of our political establishment are commies, and have been for a long time.  Buckle up, because this is an uberpost.

I often hear the expression "we're not going to vote ourselves out of this."  The older I get it seems, the longer the pelt of my Wookie Suit becomes, and so I can sympathize with people who think we've lost something, something that we won't be getting back easily.

Some ideas which had been stewing in my subconscious since August (!) coalesced when I read a post by Kevin Baker, quoting a John Ringo novel:
(The party) leadership recognizes that in return for supporting a seemingly populist agenda, they can obtain all the votes they require to remain in power. Even the most cursory analysis of their actions and attitudes, however, indicates that they are not populists but, in fact, are strong antipopulists who actively despise their voting base. proven by their efforts to reduce public educational systems to a level most grade-school children (in other countries) have surpassed, with the excuse that this curriculum is all that the students can handle. They have made the inner-city population base totally dependent on the government, which they control.
Well yeah.  Our elites are contemptible - everyone agrees with this, and by "everyone" I mean everyone.  But the issue isn't whether we can restore a lost past of Ordered Liberty.  The question is whether, like Plato's mistaken idealization of Sparta, we yearn for a past that never really was:
Bertrand Russell wrote of this in his A History of Western Philosophy (Allen and Unwin, 1946, p. 114):
To understand Plato, and indeed many later philosophers, it is necessary to know something of Sparta.  Sparta had a double effect on Greek thought: through the reality, and through the myth.  Each is important.  The reality enabled the Spartans to defeat Athens in war; the myth influenced Plato's political theory, and that of countless writers.
And so to our Republic.  What is the reality, and what is the myth?  It's here we go down Moldbug's rabbit hole, but a marvelous rabbit hole it is:

A few things must be dispensed with. The more obvious is that the US is governed by the principles of the Scottish Enlightenment as encoded in the US Constitution. We are in fact governed by the Puritan concept of ordered liberty, and all the revolution, liberty, freedom, representation blah blah blah crap was only used to transfer power from the British aristocracy to the Puritan merchant and banker elite, and to keep it firmly there. They are assisted by various hunchbacked toadies, notably the Quaker/Methodist/other pacifist Christian bourgeoisie and the Jewish merchants and bankers, but these people should not be mistaken as having any executive function.


The PQJs [Puritans/Quakers/Jews - Borepatch] nonetheless thought communism was an excellent form of social organization for the rest of the world- Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America- and the preferred replacement for older authoritarian social systems. Representative democracy could too easily be hijacked by the old elites, as was the constant danger in the West.
And Moldbug suggests that it's not just Eastern Europe, either:
First, I believe anti-Americanism is best described as an epiphenomenon of Universalism. The single most significant fact about the world today is that sixty-two years ago it was conquered by a military alliance whose leader was the United States, and whose creed of battle was this nontheistic adaptation of New England mainline Protestantism. I don't think it's a coincidence that the European ruling class holds essentially the same perspectives that were held at Harvard in 1945. The US Army did not shoot all the professors in Europe and replace them with Yankee carpetbaggers, but the prestige of conquest is such that it might as well have.


In the 1940s, America invaded Europe, rather than the other way around. Therefore, we would expect to see more political diversity in America than in Europe, for much the same reason there are more dialects of English in Britain than in the US. The Englishmen who came to the US were by no means uniformly distributed across England, Scotland and Wales, and the randomizing process of migration tended to homogenize their speech and create a lingua franca. Just as the English of Appalachia retains Elizabethan tropes which have long since disappeared in the home country, the Universalism of Europe has a kind of New Deal purity which the fray of American politics has long since diluted.
The idea is that what we're seeing today with elitist government goes back very, very far.  The Cold War was not a Kabuki dance between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.  It was a Kabuki dance between Western traditions in the United States, the elitists vs. the Populists:
Recent American history is plagued by dishonesty. One of my guiding principles when thinking about recent American history is to assume that every prominent American from the mid-20s to the mid-50s found a way to make himself acceptable to the communists. If an American during this period was unable to find a way to make himself acceptable to the communists, he wouldn’t have been prominent. [Sarah Palin could not be reached for comment. - Borepatch]


I assumed – last week – that Eisenhower would have similar connections.

So, in response to Ike’s defenders, I planned to dig through Ike’s connections and see what turned up.

Fortunately, Moldbug chimed in to the comments to point out that Ike chose Joseph Fels Barnes to ghostwrite his memoirs. I guess he couldn’t find any non-CPUSA members to write his book. Moldbug also adds, "Eisenhower did not keep Acheson as Secretary of State, but he kept the Acheson-Hiss State Department – and indeed collaborated quite enthusiastically in purging its enemies. This was not an accident or a mistake." Indeed, what could be more complicit with communism than not purging the State Department post-Hiss?


The Birchers believe that Ike stopped short while the USA was defeating the Germans so that the Soviets could capture more territory. I have no idea if this is true. It probably doesn’t matter anyway, since the Acheson-Hiss State Department was going to make sure the Soviets got more than their fair share.
Moldbug amplifies this battle, and then we'll get to the meat of the argument here:
It is not that the American left was the tool of Moscow. In fact, it was the other way around. From day one, the Soviet Union was the pet experiment of the bien-pensants. It was Looking Backward in Cyrillic. It was the client state to end all client states.


The theory of Russia as a client state of the American left helps us understand the behavior of the great Communist spies of the 1940s, Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White. Essentially all significant institutions of today's transnational world community - the UN, the IMF, the World Bank - were designed by one of these gentlemen, whose role in passing American documents to Soviet military intelligence is now beyond dispute. John Stormer was right.

Or was he? The thing is that while, technically, Hiss and White were certainly Soviet agents, they hardly fit the profile of a traitor like Aldrich Ames. Hiss and White were at the top of their professions, respected and admired by everyone they knew. What motivation could they possibly have for treason? Why would men like these betray their country?

The obvious answer, in my opinion, is that they didn't see themselves as betraying their country. The idea that they were Russian tools would never have occurred to them. When you see a dog, a leash, and a man, your interpretation is that the man is walking the dog, even if the latter appears to be towing the former.

Hiss and White, in my opinion, believed - like many of their social and cultural background - that the US had nothing to fear from the Soviet Union. They saw themselves as using the Soviets, not the other way around, helping to induce the understandably paranoid Russian leadership to integrate themselves into the new global order.
So a Puritan drive towards the perfectibility of mankind drives the entire political establishment - including Presidents like Eisenhower and George H. W. Bush - to support what on the face would be far left wing policy positions.

They're all dirty commies, ever one of them.  Objectively speaking, of course.  Think I'm joking?

The Cold War continues, as Moldbug relates:
Anti-Americanism, in this interpretation, is the organizing ideology of an empire. Call it the Blue Empire. The Blue Empire is an American empire, and its headquarters are in Foggy Bottom and Cambridge and Times Square. Anti-Americanists have no idea that they are in fact serving the needs and wishes of the Blue Empire. But then again, why would they?

The Blue Empire's bitter enemy is the Red Empire, whose headquarters is in Arlington and (for the moment [Written in 2007 - Borepatch]) Pennsylvania Avenue. The Red Empire is currently defending itself in Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan and Colombia - former clients such as Chile, Spain, Portugal, South Vietnam and South Africa having fallen to the Blue side. (The Red Empire still has strong clients in Asia, though, such as Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia.)

If we were going to vote ourselves out of this, we would have done it 60 years ago.  But even then, it wasn't really America.  Moldbug yet again:
By my count, Anglophone North America ex Canada is on its fifth legal regime. The First Republic was the Congressional regime, which illegally abolished the British colonial governments. The Second Republic was the Constitutional regime, which illegally abolished the Articles of Confederation. The Third Republic was the Unionist regime, which illegally abolished the principle of federalism. The Fourth Republic is the New Deal regime, which illegally abolished the principle of limited government.

Of course, all these coups are confirmed by the principle of adverse possession. Otherwise we would find ourselves looking for the rightful heirs of Metacom, or Edward the Confessor, or whoever. Nor is there any automatic reason to treat any of these five regimes as better or worse than any of the others. If, like me, you're tired of the Fourth Republic and would like to see it abolished, all we know about its successor is that it will be the Fifth Republic. It has no need to resemble the Third, the Second or the First.
We snicker at the French, always rewriting their Constitution.  We gloss over that our Constitution has been a "living document" at least since the time of James Polk.  At least the French had the decency to write their changes down in public.

Archaeologists unearth layers of detritus, reconstructing ancient living patterns from the cast off, scattered rubble.  Similarly, we can observe the layers of parasitic attachment to the Res Publica.  RTWT, all of the links.

And so Obama is a commie, as it Mitt Romney, George Bush major, and Eisenhower.  Non-commies (Sarah Palin) are fiercely excluded from the political Great Game.  What's different is that information flow now is possible outside of the political and intellectual elite.  The perceived legitimacy of this class is now at a historic low.  How will it end?

Who can tell?  But one thing is clear - it cannot continue as it is, with the Elite papering over the cracks with increasingly low caliber drivel.  The Republic waits, expectantly.  Maybe it will just be a higher caliber drivel.

The Fifth American Republic does not have to look at all like what has come before.


Southern Belle said...

Wow....... just simply...... wow!

TJIC said...

Amazing post.

I like Mencious, but I think I like Mencious digested and edited by Borepatch even better!

Borepatch said...

Thanks, guys. Sometimes I queue up a transmission from Planet Borepatch and think that it's too strange and esoteric for people. I keep finding that you're all as strange and esoteric as I am.


Matt said...

Thanks, Borepatch! this ties in nicely with a recent post I did regarding George Soros where he said,

“To stabilize and regulate a truly global economy, we need some global system of political decision-making.”
“In short, we need a global society to support our global economy,” Soros said. “The sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.”

I wish everyone saw this NWO for what is really is.

ASM826 said...

Into the details; if Ike stopped short (a real possibility, I think), it was more likely that the Russians were making headway, and taking the causalities. Every decision to attack, to move forward, to commit troops, meant the deaths of more young American soldiers, and if Ike was human, he was feeling those losses very keenly. With victory and the end of combat in sight he may have eased up a little, thinking that more live, uninjured 19 and 20 year old men to send home was a good thing.

The rest of this post, and the attached links, will have to wait till I get home. You got all deep and wordy and I need to try to follow along.

Boat Guy said...

Interesting, but Moldbug lost me with the whole "Puritan/Quaker/Jew Conspiracy" thing...which does seem to have some congruence with some of the things the crowd at Zamboni Park is sayin...
I'll pass, my hat ain't all black yet.

Anonymous said...

Hey, so it's nice to see someone who is this side of the apparent 'totally batshit crazy' fence reading Moldbug. Also nice to see his views without all the self-designed terminology (I lost about a month to catching up on him). He's either brilliant or delusional (or I suppose both).

Just be glad that you have anti-communists in the USA. Canada has institutionalized communism and I'm pretty sure that speaking against that sweet ideology is actually illegal. I think I just broke a law.

Anonymous said...

ASM826 if I understand my WW2 history correctly, Ike did not see Berlin as a military objective worth the casualties especially when it was going to be in the agreed Russian zone of occupation. He had been fed incorrectly information that the Germans were going to build a Bavarian redoubt of loyal Nazi's and theoretically because of the terrain a dedicated group of Nazi partisans could hold out for years. So he swung Patton South to stop it from happening.
Churchill was extremely disappointed by all this because he saw that politically it would have been better to capture Berlin for the western allies and he would have been right as the Germans were more likely to surrender to them than the Russians. As it was only Montgomery's dash on the North German plain and Patton in the South was more territory saved from Russian occupation.

Ken said...

Well, you make Moldbug palatable, and I didn't think that was possible.

To Matt's point, Soros's "global society" unwittingly or otherwise echoes a point made early in Chodorov's The Decline and Fall of Society, into which I haven't gotten far yet, about the deliberate conflation of society and the state.

To the broader point, now that we know (for given values of knowing) all that, we ought to be thinking about what we're going to do.

DaddyBear said...

Ken makes a good point. We know things are wrong. We know that we want them to change to something that is more right. What do we want that to be?

Totally agree with your assertion that we tend to idolize the past when looking for solutions to problems in the present. But I think one of our strengths is the ability to look to the past for what works while still being honest as to what didn't work or what was deplorable.

And I'll bet you came up with this while on a long drive. I call it 'Zen in the Art of Long Distance Driving'.

Windy Wilson said...

I smiled reading this article because once when the neighbor woman across the street was ranting about conservatives and how Obama would save us all and Chavez only was trying to protect his people, I tired of the rant and told her, "of course the US system of government is fascist."
She is so politically ignorant she did not ask what I meant, so I did not have to tell her that the National Socialist German Worker's party platform from 1920 has been completely implemented here in the US and anyone who speaks of Fiscal Policy is advocating the "third way" that is fascism (you theoretically own property and the means of production, but the government has so regulated things that contract no longer controls what you can or can't do with your property.

ps. I can't recall reading Moldbug before, so I can't say if he is as sensible as you imply or if you just picked the sensible things he said out of the dross.

wolfwalker said...

I confess to being highly confused, Borepatch. Are you saying that Moldbug has it right, or are you discrediting him by letting his absurdity speak for itself?

Because what you quoted is absurd, just about every word, besides being anti-West in general and anti-semitic in particular. I'll give just one example:

It is not that the American left was the tool of Moscow. In fact, it was the other way around. From day one, the Soviet Union was the pet experiment of the bien-pensants. It was Looking Backward in Cyrillic. It was the client state to end all client states.

This is nonsense, pure and simple. Only someone who knows nothing of European history could believe it. The Soviet Union started as an experiment in Communism -- a concept invented by the European Karl Marx -- and rapidly devolved into the first modern big-government-socialist state, as led first by Vladimir Lenin and then by Josef Stalin. The idea that Stalin was anybody's tool is risible.

Meanwhile, the political movement that we today know as the American Left didn't even exist prior to the early 1970s, when the civil rights movement merged with Progressivism to form a perversion of the American Way in which ethnic identity was the only way to judge people, the Intellectuals were the only ones suited to rule, and government's job was to enforce equality of result rather than equality of opportunity.

Well, okay, two examples.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the European ruling class holds essentially the same perspectives that were held at Harvard in 1945. The US Army did not shoot all the professors in Europe and replace them with Yankee carpetbaggers, but the prestige of conquest is such that it might as well have.

Also nonsense. The United States Army had no lasting effect on postwar European government. The European ruling class does hold many of the same ideas that were in vogue at Harvard in 1945, but that's because Harvard in 1945 was a New World colony of European political thought, not the other way round. Europe went socialist in the postwar years because the two World Wars had destroyed the credibility of all other political factions, and because the Socialists promised that under them, there would not be a third war.

Six said...

I need to chew on this one for a bit. I wonder though, if I follow this train of thought correctly, does this mean that we should be supporting Ron Paul?

Borepatch said...

According to this analysis, Six, Ron Paul is NOT a commie. He's not made himself *at* *all* acceptable to the dirty commie establishment.

Of course, this is just theory. Probably he's a dirty commie, too.


Anonymous said...

Moldbug makes many cogent observations and speaks many a hard and politically incorrect truth in his semi-anonymous blog.

That having been said, I find most of his analysis to be amusing but facile and intellectually lazy. Perhaps worse, surprisingly, for such an opinionated and verbose fellow, he has nothing to say about what folk ought to do if they feel he is right or at least share his goals. Perhaps part of this is that these days conservative or even pseudo-conservative dissidents who make strongly worded statements and speak to their followers of concrete plans are at grave risk of getting a 2am visit from Vaterlandgesicherheitsdienst. Nonetheless, he offers analysis piled on analysis piled on analysis, abstract theory upon abstract--but offers no plans, no ideas, nothing concrete to anyone.

Moldbug: "This ship is sinking."
Readers: "Well, yes. What shall we do about it?"
Moldbug: "I dno, lol. Here's a four thousand word blank verse poem I wrote about the Roman minor god Heliogabalas."

Borepatch said...

Anon, LOL. But hey, who doesn't admire blank verse about Heliogabalas?

Kevin said...

I'm proud to have freed your Muse!

PRCalDude said...

Puritans did not believe in the perfectability of man - quite the opposite. Maybe he means, "Enlightenment thinkers who were descended from the original Puritans."

2011 said...

"Also nonsense. The United States Army had no lasting effect on postwar European government."

Moldbug tends to see the US State Department as the driving factor in reorganizing Western Europe.

A defender of his would argue that the Allies' denazification programs cleared out right-wingers from French and German leadership, hence the dominance of left-wing thought there today.

Since there was no total denazification program in the US, the U.S. supposedly has more remnants of past right-wing sentiment and thus a greater diversity of thought on that side of the political spectrum.

sconzey said...

blargh. Wolfwalker unwittingly steps on my main problem with Moldbug -- all his criticisms of the man ones I myself once shared, and are addressed multiple times in his copious verbiage...

The problem is just that: you have to have the patience and/or the wierd-ass neural wiring to wade through aforementioned verbiage before discovering the nugget of intellectual cartilage which holds it all together. (Full disclosure: I'm impatient)

So yes, whilst he's not short on pithy quotability; you can't really sum up formalism and all it's supporting arguments, evidence, etc. in less than four thousand words.

Sailer on Pinker is relevant:
the topic of violence is gigantic and Pinker's book is remarkably thorough. So, don't assume that Pinker hasn't considered, at length, the various counter-arguments. My galley copy is festooned with my notes to myself in the margin like: "A-ha! P. is ignoring X. That undermines his whole argument." But then, 400 pages later, Pinker writes something like, "You have probably noticed that so far I haven't mentioned X, which might seem to undermine my whole argument. But, I have seven responses to X."

Nevertheless, I'll attempt to pithily summarise what Moldbug cannot:

"Communism -- a concept invented by the European Karl Marx"
Moldbug argues that Communism did not spring fully-formed from the mind of Marx, and traces an intellectual heritage back into the Protestant Reformation and the life and works of John Calvin.

"the political movement that we today know as the American Left didn't even exist prior to the early 1970s"
Again, Moldbug traces an intellectual heritage of modern leftism. He argues that the true distinction between Left and Right is that Left is mankind's natural rebellious spirit against any form of order, heirachy, law or other restraint on total license. Right, by extension, is any attempt to impose order, heirachy, law or other restraint.

"The United States Army had no lasting effect on postwar European government."
"the two World Wars had destroyed the credibility of [right wing] political factions"
Absolutely. The United States Army had totally no effect on the outcome of either war. ;)

selsey.steve said...

I consider that the so-called United Nations io at the root of all of this "World Government" rubbish.
From Geneva the UN issues "recommendations" which in a month or two become EU edicts. All nations within the EU, including what was once known as Great Britain, have immediately make into Law these "recommendations". Everything from criminal law to car construction.
It is the UN which is destroying what we once knew as Western Civilisation and Democracy.

Terrapod said...

@ PRCallDude - Eh? Denazification eliminated the right wingers? How are National Socialists linked to a right wing? Please explain.

France is a poor choice, they have been populists in the extreme since their revolution and the destruction of war, probably brewing since Napoleonic times, led them to try a deeper form of socialism post "I am France" Charles DeGaul.