Friday, January 17, 2014
Prevalence of psychopathy in politics
As I have pointed out at length elsewhere, there are many reasons why people can have hate in their hearts for the society around them. But those who have that hate are the Left. And it is that hate which makes them want to change us all.
The anger and hate is sometimes so strong that it is visible -- Mrs Clinton with TWO clenched fists. Even the Communist salute requires only one. The fist is the emblem of the Left. It tells you what they want to do.
But a major reason for the hate is ego. The hater thinks highly of himself and resents that the world does not give him the praise and rewards that he thinks are his due.
It is hard to know for certain how much Leftism is driven in that way. It is very evident in Leftist leaders but is it widespread among the voters? When people are questioned immediately after voting in Presidential elections, the reasons that Democrat-voters give for their vote seem to be founded mainly on profound ignorance of the facts and issues. Democrat candidates are blamed for what Republicans do and vice versa.
For all that, however, many ordinary people who favour the Left often do express the same resentment of the world that we see in Leftist leaders. I can warrant that from the many social attitude surveys I did in my social science research career.
As I also set out at length elsewhere, however, many Leftist leaders are not only egotists but are in fact the ultimate egotists -- psychopaths, people who have no real concern for other people at all -- people to whom only their own self-interest is visible. Though their psychopathy is "sub-clinical", i.e. it is subdued enough to keep them out of trouble with law enforcement and the mental health system.
So when both the leadership of the Left and a substantial part of their supporters are psychopathic, we clearly have one half of the political spectrum that is substantially insane. Beneath their superficial charm lies a serious mental defect.
That such a pathology has engulfed half of politics is of course extremely disturbing. My comment (during my research career) that psychopathy is often successful in various ways appears to have been confirmed in spades. It even appears in fact to have been reproductively successful, which is very alarming. We now have a substantially psychopathic population around us.
That psychopathy has been reproductively successful for many years now is not hard to fathom. As I have pointed out psychopaths seem to have a magic way with women. The women eventually get disillusioned but pregnancies often occur in the interim. And these days the children of such pregnancies will normally survive to adulthood. So there has been a gradual but steady drip of psychopathy into the population. And the "soft" penal practices of the current era have greatly facilitated that. Criminals are now rarely executed but are released back into the population to continue their mayhem. And a substantial number of those criminals are psychopaths.
No wonder our Leftist political opponents often seem to be off the planet -- JR
Conservatives and libertarians can learn from one-another
In January 1990, Lew Rockwell wrote in the magazine ‘Liberty’ on ‘The Case for Paleolibertarianism’. In this manifesto, he argued that while libertarians are often correct in their criticisms of conservatives, conservatives are often right in their criticisms of libertarians. He cites people like Russell Kirk and Robert Nisbet, with the latter claiming that libertarians were drifting so far from conservatism that they were coming to view the “coercions of the family, church, local community and school” as almost as corrosive of liberty as that of the state.
In this paleolibertarian manifesto, Rockwell states that if libertarianism is to make any real progress, then it must do away with its “defective cultural framework”, stating that Western civilisation is worthy of praise and that social or ‘natural’ authority – like the authority of the family, the church, the local community and the school – is essential to a free society. Libertarianism’s cultural framework had become a blend of moral relativism, egalitarianism, modernism and libertinism with the modal libertarian often conflating legality with morality. In addition to the error of assuming that because X must be legal, X must also be moral, the modal libertarian had conflated freedom from aggression with freedom from social authority, tradition, and bourgeois morality.
With the rise in popularity of the Republican politician Patrick Buchannan, Rockwell sought to both put the neolibertarians right and to forge an alliance with the paleoconservative movement. The paleoconservatives were those conservatives in America who questioned the welfare-warfare state (with the Cold War over, many no longer saw the need for such a bloated state department) and saw their intellectual roots in the Old Right, a broad church of intellectuals, journalists, politicians and others who opposed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Old Right included libertarians such as HL Mencken, Albert Jay Nock, and Frank Chodorov and so unsurprisingly, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell and the ‘paleolibertarians’ saw their chance to reach out to a brand new group.
While the paleoconservatives distinguished themselves from the big-government conservatives, the paleolibertarians distinguished themselves from what Rothbard called ‘big-government libertarians’. For instance, Rothbard warned libertarians against the North American Free Trade Agreement, which the neoconservatives and neolibertarians enthusiastically supported. Why would Rothbard, Mr Libertarian, not support a free trade agreement? He “opposed Nafta because it was a phony free-trade measure, and because it piled numerous new government restrictions upon trade, including socialistic labor and environmental controls.” In addition to this, he criticised Republicans who self-labelled themselves ‘libertarians’ only to further increase the size of the state. One such example was that of Governor William Weld, who was seen as a potential ‘libertarian’ presidential candidate for his “fiscal conservatism” and commitment to “gay rights”. On Weld’s “fiscal conservatism”, Rothbard commented “William Weld’s gesture in cutting his first year’s budget by less than 2 percent has been more than made up by his raising the budget in the last two years by 17 percent.” The typical neolibertarian was more than happy to support people like this, who claim to be ‘libertarians’ and then give evidence to the contrary. The neolibertarian was also content with the Nafta, presumably out of ignorance or stupidity.
Yet another unifying feature of both paleoconservatives with paleolibertarians and neoconservatives with neolibertarians lies within the cultural sphere. As Lew Rockwell pointed out in his Case for Paleolibertarianism, the modal libertarian or ‘neolibertarian’ was clueless on culture. This might suggest that there is a ‘libertarian position’ on culture, which there isn’t. Even so, while Rothbard made it clear that “libertarianism is logically consistent with almost any attitude toward culture, society, religion, or moral principle”, he argued that “psychologically, sociologically, and in practice, it simply doesn’t work that way.” Even though libertarian political philosophy does not prohibit the promotion of moral relativism, the paleolibertarians recognised the need for “bourgeois morality”. The anarcho-capitalist philosopher and economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe expressed this eloquently:
“This Establishment Libertarianism was not only theoretically in error, with its commitment to the impossible goal of limited government (and centralized government at that): it was also sociologically flawed, with its anti-bourgeois—indeed, adolescent—so-called ‘cosmopolitan’ cultural message: of multiculturalism and egalitarianism, of ‘respect no authority’, of ‘live-and-let-live’, of hedonism and libertinism.”
As the paleolibertarian John Kersey has said, the neoconservatives too “have created a yawning chasm where their cultural values should be” and yet there is no vacuum as “the chasm has been very ably filled by the Left”. And so there we have it; the two main unifying features of neoconservatism and neolibertarianism are a lazy attitude to opposing state aggression in the political sphere and an even lazier ‘anything goes’ attitude in the cultural sphere. Conversely, this must mean that both paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism are united behind an opposition to statism and an at best sceptical treatment of the modern cancers of feminism, moral relativism, and egalitarianism.
Now, then, from the above one would assume that the neo versus paleo distinction is only applicable to the United States. I think not. This distinction – between big government libertarians/conservatives and radical libertarians/conservatives and between egalitarian libertarians/conservatives and anti-egalitarian realist libertarians/conservatives – definitely, definitely, definitely does apply in this country [Britain]. In the neo corner, you have the Conservative Party and its various affiliate think-tanks and research groups, both unapologetic apologists for varying degrees of statism and egalitarianism, and in the paleo corner you have the Libertarian Alliance and the Traditional Britain Group, both committed to a defence of truth, life and property, and civilisation itself.
‘How can a libertarian be a reactionary, a conservative, or a traditionalist?’ This is the question which the modal libertarian cannot bring himself to answer. The simplest answer is that England has a very long history of libertarianism and to defend that tradition is to defend libertarianism itself. In defence of the term ‘reactionary’ for libertarians, I would like to say that there is a sense in which no true libertarian is a radical. What we want established in Britain is not something fundamentally radical, but instead something which is natural. We want to return, rather, to a pre-state society, a society where all relations were voluntary and not exploitative, all authority was natural and not artificial, and where all power was economic and not political. This natural order has existed in our past and it only could exist in those times when the “coercions” of the family, church, community, etc. were at their strongest.
And so, the reactionary libertarians and radical conservatives, the paleos of both kinds, have broadly the same aims. Furthermore, the paleolibertarians need the paleoconservatives and the paleoconservatives need the paleolibertarians. A conservative society cannot exist under an oppressive state just as much as a libertarian society cannot exist in a cultural and moral vacuum.
The Fair Tax
It was disclosed in the last year that the IRS harassed conservative groups and disclosed the confidential information of individuals. It strikes me that this is the perfect opportunity to change the entire way we fund the government. It is time to say goodbye to the IRS.
We should take this opportunity to abolish the IRS and begin to collect the necessary funds to run the government by taxing consumption instead of income.
There are two approaches to taxing income. The value added tax is used by many nations. It taxes each addition of value to a product in its manufacturing. Milton Friedman once said that it was the most efficient way to raise taxes and the easiest way to increase the size of government.
The second consumption tax is the retail sales tax that is used by 45 states to fund their governments. I am a supporter of the sales tax. I was the original sponsor of the FairTax in 1999 as a Member of Congress from Georgia. Today it is the most extensively researched and broadly supported tax reform measure before the Congress. It is an entire paradigm shift from how we have been funding our government for the last 100 years.
The FairTax repeals all taxes on income: no more income taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains or death taxes. If you make $52,000 a year your weekly check will be $1,000. Since the average income tax today is 15% and the employee’s portion of the payroll tax is 7.65%, the average take-home pay will increase by 29%.
The tax on income will be replaced by a tax on the purchase of new goods and services. The rate will be 23% of what you pay for at the check out counter. That is not 23% on top of the marked price, but 23% included in the price. If the item you buy is priced at $100, the merchant will keep $77 and send $23 to the government.
There has been some confusion about this method of calculation since states calculate their sales tax as a tax on top of what you buy. However, since we are replacing a tax that is calculated “inclusive” of what you earn rather than on top of what you earn we concluded that to use an “inclusive” rate would be more honest. Both the state and the retailer would be paid for collecting the tax.
To lessen the burden on those who spend all of their income on necessities, we untax necessities by providing a cash distribution to every family, based on the size of the family.
Obama regime charges Wal-Mart with labor violations: "Federal officials filed a formal complaint Wednesday charging that Wal-Mart violated the rights of workers who took part in protests and strikes against the company. The National Labor Relations Board says Wal-Mart illegally fired, disciplined or threatened more than 60 employees in 14 states for participating in legally protected activities to complain about wages and working conditions at the nation's largest retailer. The labor board's general counsel first laid out similar charges in November, but held off on filing a complaint while trying to work out a settlement with Wal-Mart. Those discussions were not successful, government officials said in a statement. The company has insisted its actions were legal and justified."
Airlines applaud as spending bill drops travel tax: "Air travelers will avoid new taxes this year after Congress dropped the plans in its final budget bill, a move the industry cheered Tuesday as a victory for passengers. Congressional negotiators earned the ire of US airlines last month when they unveiled a deal that would end billions of dollars in crippling [sic] automatic spending cuts, but chose to raise air travel fees to help pay for it. That deal would have jacked up the '9/11 Aviation Security Fee' from $2.50 per flight segment to $5.60, and doubled the fee for a return trip to $10.00, generating some $13 billion over the next decade."
OK: Federal judge thwarts the will of the people: "A Federal judge in Tulsa struck down Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday but suspended his decision while it's appealed to higher courts. The ruling is the latest in a series of legal victories for same-sex marriage proponents around the country. U.S. District Judge Terence Kern's ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed in 2004, the same year Oklahoma passed its constitutional amendment with 76% of voters in favor of banning same-sex marriage."
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Posted by JR at 1:35 AM