Saturday, October 11, 2008

A few days ago I did a partial fisking of a currently very common set of Leftist ideas on the net: That America has just had some great collapse relative to the rest of the world and that it's all the fault of capitalism and conservatism. I am not in the mood to keep fisking such rubbish so I reproduce initially below the introduction to a VERY extensive fisking of such ideas (if you can call them that). I then give an excerpt from an article that probably gives a good idea of German thinking on the matter. Its statements are however so sweeping (in good Hegelian style) that I will leave it uncommented. The comments on the website where the article appears make a good start on bringing it back down to earth, however.

The basic downfall of these Leftist rants is their usual inability to see any reality that they do not like: In this case they fail to note that in all sorts of ways America still compares favourably with declining Europe -- and that Europe has had to take even more desperate measures to deal with the financial crisis than America has. I don't think America has nationalized a single retail bank yet but in Europe governments are taking over financial institutions wholesale. And China's banks have been on a knife-edge for YEARS! Capitalism is still doing better! And it would do even better if it were not so hog-tied by a tangle of Democrat-inspired regulations

Did you realize that we conservatives got all we wanted and that's what screwed up just about everything, from hurricanes and Iraq to the global financial meltdown? That's a rapidly-developing propaganda theme being disseminated in the Big Media. Case in point: Thomas Frank (What's the Matter with Kansas?) in the Wall Street Journal.
"Over many years of ascendancy, conservative Republicans have filled government agencies with conservative Republicans and proceeded to enact the conservative Republican policy wish list -- tax cuts, deregulation, privatization, outsourcing federal work, and so on.

"And as a consequence of these policies our conservative Republican government has bungled most of the big tasks that have fallen to it. The rescue and recovery of the Gulf Coast was a disaster. The reconstruction of Iraq was a disaster. The regulatory agencies became so dumb they didn't even see the disasters they were set up to prevent. And each disaster was attributable to the conservative philosophy of government."

If Mr. Frank really believes this, then one of us is crazy. But I don't think he believes it. I think he's in the tank for Barack Obama and wants to use the megaphone of the WSJ to put some meat on Obama's bones of "the last eight years." You can read his whole article, and you'll find no shred of evidence to support any of his claims. His logic is simple -- and flawed. It goes like this.
Republicans are conservative. (Flawed premise number one.)

Republicans have ruled in recent years. (Flawed premise number two.)

Everything wrong in that time is therefore due to conservatism. (The good old post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, even if based on good premises.)

We conservatives wish Republicans governed with any conservatism. There were some tax rate cuts in 2001, but that's about the sum total of the conservative "wish list" that was enacted under George W. Bush.

Much more here


How can the land of victories and optimism come to terms with a life after the imperial moment?

Learning to decline - is it doable? Can a world power that no longer presumes to dominate the world find a new role, without depression or biting fear, is there life after the imperial moment? That is the question that the United States faces and that will define the term of the next American President starting 20 January 2009. Managing getting weaker, revising the political self-image, if not the national identity is at least as great a challenge as tangible dangers; from the results of the financial crisis to competition from Russia and China to terrorism. Anyone who heard Barack Obama and John McCain at the end of the last week during their first debate had to have had doubts as to whether they (and their country) have clearly made out the entire dimension of the fall of America or whether they have found the courage to speak the truth.

It feels like a mocking punishment of the Gods that George W. Bush, the onetime embodiment of American Hubris, has to preside over the economic humiliation of his nation after the political and moral crises that had already openly broken out. America is simultaneously paying the price of power and powerlessness. The global image of the United States has not recovered since the days of the dominance rush, when the Bush government made its land hated in the world with the Iraq War and the excesses of Abu Ghraib. At the same time, however, the superior power position against which the anti-American resentment is still pointed, has long begun to crumble.

The economic and political dynamic has shifted to Asia at the outset of the 21st century - a secular process that has only entered the world consciousness with true drama in the last three of four years. A resurgent Russia can militarily force Georgia, the US client, to its knees without penalty. The fall of Saddam Hussein did not bring the democratic transformation of the Islamic world, but instead the end of the American era in the Middle East - from the Iranian atomic danger to the oil production quotas of Saudi Arabia to the power games of Pakistani domestic politics - control has slipped away from Washington.

This is all happening with breathtaking speed. Even in January 2005, at the beginning of his second term, George W. Bush announced perhaps the most ambitious historic program that has ever been proclaimed by a modern democratic statesman: The spread of the "fire of freedom" that, like a prairie fire, would grip the far corners of the world. It is difficult to imagine that Bush's successor, whether Democrat or Republican, will again act and speak in this manner...

Preachers of calm, who fight against the downfall thesis, point to earlier periods of American weakness, that soon thereafter were over with: At the end of the 1980s, the future seemed to belong to Japan, and during the Cold War there were even experts that gave the destitute and strictly disciplined Soviet Union better chances of winning and surviving than the opulent and softened down United States.

But it isn't always all as it once was - today's American loss of power it is not. The Communist eastern bloc was in truth only capable of competing militarily and hopefully inferior in all other areas, as was immediately shown after 1989 during the complete industrial collapse from East Berlin to Vladivostok. And Japan is a small country handicapped as the historic aggressor in the Second World War when compared to self-confident giants like China or India. The entire history of the United States to date was the story of its rise to the pinnacle of a world dominated by the West; but exactly this world, however, is no longer self-evident.

More here



British bureaucrats are STILL losing data: "A computer hard drive with the private details of 700,000 Armed Forces personnel and potential applicants is missing, The Ministry of Defence said today. The portable drive contains the names, addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth and driving licence details of around 100,000 serving personnel across the Army, Royal Navy and RAF, plus their next-of-kin details. It also has data on 600,000 potential services applicants and the names of their referees. Officials are 'not ruling out' the risk that bank account details of personnel were held on the drive, which belonged to its IT contractor EDS. The department said it learned of the loss on Wednesday and MoD Police were investigating. The missing drive is the latest information security breach to hit the MoD"

Stopping ACORN: "ACORN is rapidly becoming a major issue, with the Republican base outraged over the voter registration fraud investigations in ten states. An online petition has been created to demand an investigation of it and that the government take steps to stop its continued violations of election law. While there, take a look at the website of this new organization,"


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The market crash was what Global Warming smoke-masked and helped to create (a promise of 90% of energy cut off in only a few years!). Look at this though a microcosm of my small world, my small Isle of Man called Manhattan, Ayn Rand's utopia embodied, with the tallest building in the world being erected during the last Depression, when a totalitarian state hosted the Olympics too. That depression was cured by WWII, and there will be a WWIII thus, against totalitarian Islam *and* against the idiocy of Big Headline News.

What filled the news, day after day, week after week before our guiding gilded leaders ignored 911 attack warnings? Do you even remember? It was all about some congressman's young intern who was randomly murdered while jogging in a local park in the highest crime city in the USA called Washington.

It's called being outflanked, namely having your leaders declare war on alcohol then drugs or guns or a falling sky all the while a pressure cooker is being prepared to blow at the right time.

Bush publicly vowed to veto every bill the Left sent for signing, but he signed it all any way. What the voters of my prostitution (Spitzer) and frigidity (Clinton) prone state, along with, not so coincidentally stock market computer kit inventor Bloomberg, our Mayor, share with the Romans when they finally smashed real democracy is decadence, by which I mean the comfortable or crazy feeling of a loss of pride in self. It's shame wrought large, to bite the hand that feeds you. The Barbarians were at the gates since 2001 when the dot com bubble burst and the ugly towers fell on my city.

Markets are anticipatory, and just as WWII wiped out the Depression, this bigger than life crisis will bring Western Civilization back together again, not tear it apart. No nukes this time. Millions will die of starvation, yes, and a few riots as bread runs out may happen too, but no more Zulu, non-Spartan, or even Iranian will dare say a word now, for scapegoats are few and this time cannot be merely a Jew or people of low IQ, for suddenly the West is ANGRY and I mean very much so. Despite the loss of Greenspan we will still make you Australians proud. This shakeup creates an even playing field. Suddenly Al Gore isn't Caligula any more and nuclear power (energy being the ecological source of all economy on our planet) will suddenly have the biggest boost...ever.

We live in interesting times, namely times in which hydrogen and neutron bombs stopped large wars, but we now live in a world in which every kid with a chemistry set will soon have access to "The Red Button" of designer bio weapon viruses and maybe that's why we don't get signals from ET, for intelligence is a mere peacock effect, and suddenly, the advances of a last century or two are moot to effect solutions to faster evolving entities than culture. The era in which mosquitoes feed instead of dread DDT has arrived, but much worse than that. It was an Ice Age that made use human. This is a trial in disguise, meant to make us humble again before many instead of just one god, the alien invasion the blows up every city in the first minute, but in the end is defeated, and unlike other planets, humans will not destroy their houses of luxury but trip forward into a better future.

Since we fought junk science so well, they had to use first-strike economic nukes, but that's too obviously cheating to swing votes towards Gore and Co.

"Roger, TwankTranquility, we copy you on the ground. You've got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again." - Charlie Duke to an astronaut named Buzz (21 July 1969)