Sunday, September 25, 2005



Modern liberals, however, embrace a different view of human nature. They hold that we are basically moved by impersonal forces and have no capacity to initiate any improvements in our lives. Any such improvement has to come from the outside, and government, with its concentrated and massive coercive power, is the most promising candidate to bring about such improvement. This is, in fact, the intellectual source of the switch from the American Founders' original idea of individual rights to the idea of positive rights or entitlements that was the substance of Franklin Roosevelt's "Second Bill of Rights". Of course, many other factors influenced the change, including various special interests parading as the public interest, but all rested, fundamentally, on the switch from understanding people as self-starters to seeing them as passive participants within a society. The central issue is really about human nature-are we at heart self-governing, living entities, or are we being moved about by impersonal forces and in constant need of help from government?

Yet, as should be evident, the modern liberal's approach to advancing the lot of human beings is paradoxical. While denying that individuals can help themselves if left to their own resources and to voluntary cooperation, they affirm that governments-which are, after all, composed of individuals-can take the initiative and effectuate adequate solutions to human problems. How is this possible? Either we are helpless, in which case so is the government, or we can help ourselves, in which case it is best, in most cases, to leave us free to find our own solution to problems. Moreover, if we can take the initiative, then those who know the problems they face, who have access to what has come to be called local knowledge-which is where solutions most often lie-are in a far better position to address challenges facing them than far off agencies of governments.

The modern liberal, in point of fact, is a reactionary, one who still clings to the old idea that people in the main are inept and require some supreme ruler to run their lives, to take care of them. That is the foundational idea behind feudalism and monarchy, with tsars, Caesars, kings, queens, pharaohs, and other chiefs ruling the realm with the rest of us relegated to the position of subjects required to follow the leaders' will.



A good article here on what is needed to get American immigration reform underway. One excerpt: "The only people whose interests would be harmed by a slowdown in immigration are not the immigrants already here-they would clearly benefit- but the ethnic activists who purport to speak for them and the employers who want a large, desperate pool of workers willing to toil for sub-American wage rates".

French academic Olivier Roy has a very reasonable article about Muslim terrorist motivations . One excerpt: "The Western-based Islamic terrorists are not the militant vanguard of the Muslim community; they are a lost generation, unmoored from traditional societies and cultures, frustrated by a Western society that does not meet their expectations"

Steve Forbes on how to use free enterprise to rebuild New Orleans: "Washington is appropriating tens of billions of dollars to rebuild New Orleans and the devastated Gulf Coast region. But one measure that would cost little and quickly spur an inspiring revival of this impacted area would be making the region a true free-enterprise zone. Residents and local businesses would be free from both federal and state capital gains levies. Parents would have genuine school choice: If they wanted to move their children to another school, they'd get a voucher or coupon equivalent to the amount spent per pupil in their current school. Pre-Katrina property tax rates would be slashed. Give people who currently live in the region or who move to it an income tax holiday: no taxes owed to Uncle Sam or state capitals for, say, ten years. With those kinds of incentives small businesses would flourish--a handful might even become tomorrow's Microsoft or Intel or Apple or Oracle. Job opportunities would proliferate. So would good schools...."

France to pay cash for more middle-class babies: "Middle-class mothers in France could be paid up to1,000 Euros (675 pounds) a month - almost the minimum wage - to stop work for a year and have a third child under a government scheme to boost the birthrate, already among the highest in Europe. Despite female employment statistics that are the envy of the continent, the government remains worried about the reluctance of better-educated women to have babies. A plan to be unveiled by the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, today is expected to double an existing cash incentive for big families."

Those Who Deny The Terrorist Threat....: "In the 1930's Adolph Hitler made no attempt to conceal his ambitions. Mein Kampf spelled out a dark strategic vision. Yet the West chose to either avert its gaze or deny reality. The prospect of fighting a major war so soon after the horror of World War I catalyzed the rationalizers. Some said Hitler was engaged in mere bravado; others said, he was a reflection of German national sentiment, not imperial ambition. Whatever the rationalizers said, they stood tremulous in the face of Hitler's goals. Now the West is engaged in its latest act of denial vis-.-vis radial Islam. The civil libertarians contend any modification of our laws in order to hunt down and destroy these shadowy killers in our midst represents a threat to the nature of our government and the Constitution. Therefore fighting an all-out war only damages our side.... Last, are the subversives from within who detest America so much they would prefer to see Osama bin Laden as president rather than George Bush. One might assume these people aren't taken seriously; alas they shouldn't be taken seriously, but in some circles they have influence. So filled with hate is this group that they do not even respect the laws that offer their freedom to resist".

Paul Mirengoff & Scott Johnson point out that the "living constitution" ideas of America's Left-leaning Supreme Court judges go back via Woodrow Wilson to Hegel, the same 19th century German philosopher who inspired Karl Marx. You can find some interesting quotations from both Hegel and Wilson in the Appendices here.

Since the Carnival of Cordite (roundup of gun blogs) has just given my GUN WATCH blog a good plug, I hope everybody with an interest in guns will read it.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. And on Social Security see Dick McDonald


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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