Thursday, August 21, 2014

Authoritarianism and the Leftist mental bubble

Nothing could be more obvious than the fact that Leftism is authoritarian.  Wanting to "change society" in some way is definitional of Leftism. That wish, in various forms, is what makes you a Leftist.  Conservatives want change too but generally in the direction of unwinding Leftist changes.  But, as Margaret Thatcher memorably said, there is no such thing as society.  There are only people.  So the Leftist wants to change what people do.   And that is the essence and goal of the authoritarian.  And once they gain untrammelled power, socialists such as Robespierre, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot etc show how very authoritarian they in fact are.

But no Leftist seems to be able to see that.  They are in fact so heavily defended against reality that they believe it is conservatives who are the authoritarians.  I have on my bookshelf a book by Robert Altemeyer which is titled: "Enemies of freedom".  Any conservative would immediately identify the Left as the enemies of freedom but to Altemeyer the enemy is a type of conservative.  Like most Leftist psychologists, Altemeyer has obviously read nothing of what conservatives actually advocate.  Leftists need their cloak of self-righteousness so badly that they have to stay within a mental bubble formed by fellow Leftists -- a bubble into which uncomfortable thoughts must not intrude.

And that malarkey has been going on for a long time.  The ball really got rolling with the publication of "The authoritarian personality" under the lead authorship of Marxist theoretician Theodor Adorno (born Theodor Wiesengrund) in 1950.  And Altemeyer's writings are just an update on that.  Adorno identified conservatives as the authoritarians.

In my days doing psychological research, I had over 100 papers published pointing to the holes in the Adorno theory but the  papers had nil effect.  My findings could not be allowed to penetrate the little mental bubble that enabled Leftists to tar conservatives with what were in fact the traits of Leftists.

Occasionally, however, some courageous person pokes his head above the parapet and endeavours to question the demonization of conservatives.  I have commented previously on the work of Yancey, who points out that the flood of hate directed at Christians by Leftists makes claims of "hate" among conservatives look ludicrous.  Just to disagree with Leftists allegedly makes you a "hater".  To see what real hate looks like you have to see what Leftists say.

And I have just become aware of the work of Jarret T. Crawford, who is at least even-handed in finding fault on both the Left and the Right.  It is rather a wonder that he gets away with it, but, like Yancey, he appears to have some African ancestry.  So he is at that rate a member of a protected class and can say what he likes.  For anybody with social science interests a list of some of his writings is here.

Another reason for the acceptance of his work is that he operates within conventional Leftist parameters -- accepting Leftist measuring instruments such as the RWA and SDO scales at face value.  That is rather a pity as both instruments are abortions.  Although allegedly a measure of "Right-wing authoritarianism", the RWA scale offers no useful prediction of vote at election time!  Not very right-wing, is it?  In psychometric terms the scale lacks predictive validity.  And the SDO scale is an even bigger joke -- as I pointed out some years ago.

I look forward to Crawford discovering psychometrics.  With better measuring instruments there is no telling what he might find.  My paper on  SDO does offer some alternatives.


Anti-Capitalist Administration Makes for Tough Economic Sledding

The true scope of the damage that the Great Recession inflicted on the American economy, along with the Obama administration’s poor management of the crisis and its regular bent against the free market, is put in stark relief by some recent economic reports.

One study by Kansas City Federal Reserve economist Andrew Foerster calculates that continued economic uncertainty has cost the U.S. one million jobs since 2010, the year after the recession was officially declared “over.” Foerster maintains that high uncertainty in the economic recovery was generated by three separate incidents – the May 2010 European sovereign debt crisis, the 2011 U.S. debt ceiling debacle, and mixed signals over the Federal Reserve Bank’s June 2013 plan to wind down its bond buying program. The result was muted employment in the U.S. job market, about 16,000 fewer jobs per month between 2010 and 2013.

The current job market is also experiencing a sharp decline in male participation. Men have been leaving the workforce steadily since the late 1940s, but the trend has risen sharply in recent years. After World War II, 87% of adult men held jobs or were actively seeking employment. As of last month, that number dropped to just over 69%. The male participation rate has dropped three points since 2009 alone. In the cohort of men ages 25-54, there are 1.85 million “missing workers,” able-bodied males who have given up looking for jobs due to weak opportunities.

There are a number of factors at play behind this sharp decline of male workers. Manufacturing, a male-dominated profession, once accounted for one-quarter of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product but has fallen to around 11%. Education, social services and other service jobs traditionally held by women, have been on the rise, now claiming a large share of GDP. Women have entered the work force in greater numbers since the 1960s, and the female participation rate is at 57%. Women are also earning more college degrees these days, making them better suited overall for a more skilled workforce. There are some men who have made a lifestyle choice to stay at home and let their spouses be the breadwinner, but that’s a small portion of the total. The drop in labor is due largely to lack of opportunities.

Are there any signs of relief in the job market? That depends on who you listen to. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez insists that talk of the recovery consisting only of low-wage jobs is “categorically inaccurate,” adding, “This recovery is creating a lot of good jobs.” According to The Washington Post, nearly 40% of the jobs created in the last six months have been in high-wage industries such as construction and professional services. However, a recent U.S. Conference of Mayors and HIS Global Insights report reveals there is still a 23% wage gap in sectors hardest hit by the recession such as construction and manufacturing. Low-wage industries have seen the bulk (41%) of job growth in the last year. Mid-wage and high-wage industries have seen 26% and 33% growth, respectively, but there are still 1.2 million fewer jobs in those industries than prior to the recession.

Five years after the end of the recession, the Obama “recovery” can still be categorized as anemic, and without a doubt that’s due to the Obama administration’s policies. The high tax burden on investors and businesses has reduced capital investment and the incentive to put money into growing companies and hiring more workers. ObamaCare has also kept a number of small and mid-size businesses from growing at all, but especially beyond 49 employees, as they seek to remain below the law’s costly regulatory threshold for mandatory insurance coverage.

There is also a marked anti-capitalist flavor to the rhetoric continually coming out of the administration and its choir on Capitol Hill. We have listened to six years of incessant calls for making the rich “pay their fair share,” sparking class warfare and inspiring jealousy and disdain of success. The president told entrepreneurs they don’t deserve the fruits of their labor because they “didn’t build that,” in reference to the infrastructure that made their success possible. It’s no wonder so much intellectual and monetary capital is sitting on the sidelines or drifting overseas through corporate inversions, which Obama slams as a lack of “economic patriotism.” Eight years is a long economic malaise, so we must work to make sure 2017 brings a free-market oriented administration willing to allow the American economy to reach its full potential.



The President's True Colors Finally Revealed

When I first glanced at the headline on today's Jerusalem Online and reports in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers, I thought they must have been a satire: "Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will grantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed." But it was not a satire. The was deadly serious, confirmed by other Israeli newspapers and sources in Cairo.

The US offering to Hamas to "guarantee" Israeli commitments to any agreement signed? As if anyone needed proof of the Obama Administration's antipathy to Israel, here it was in black and white. If anyone party needed a commitment to enforce its agreements in any deal, it would have been Hamas, that has been known to break every commitment it ever made. To pick just a few at random:

Hamas recently violated 9 cease fire agreements, including two of its own

Hamas illegally siphoned thousands of tons of cement and steel shipments it received from international donors and Israel that it had committed to use the build the civilian infrastructure in Gaza for hospitals, schools and apartment buildings; instead it spent upwards of $500 million of these humanitarian shipments to covertly build numerous tunnels buried deep underground into Israel in order to carry out murderous raids on Israeli civilian communities intended to kill tens of thousands of Israelis

Hamas violated the 2012 Cease Fire negotiated by then State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton together with then Egyptian Muslim President Mohammed Morsi in which Hamas committed to stop smuggling weapons and missiles into Israel, of which nearly 4000 were recently launched into 80% of Israel's population centers

Hamas violated the commitment to the Palestinian Authority that it would never launch a coup d'état against the PA after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. But in 2007, Hamas did exactly that in a bloody takeover of Gaza, kicking out and killing PA officials.

Hamas violated a publicly solemn commitment to its own civilians that it would uphold the rule of law (yea, right) when it took over Gaza only to subsequently execute hundreds of dissident Gazans, torture and imprison thousands of political opponents, violently persecute the minority of Christians still living in Gaza and imprison and prosecute suspected gay Gazans.

Violating a commitment it made in the Clinton negotiated 2012 truce that it would cease its missile attacks on Israel.

And at the same time, it should be noted that President Obama personally signed an official letter at the time of the 2012 negotiated cease fire to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the US would provide Israel with the technology to defeat and stop Hamas smuggling of weapons. But subsequent to that empty promise, Hamas soon received in massive quantities from Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. That promise was never carried out.

Israel on the other hand meticulously fulfilled its part of the bargain by severely relaxing the blockade on Gaza, allowing tons of previously restricted cement and steel into Gaza, increasing the number of daily truckloads of food, medical stuff and building equipment through the two Israeli checkpoints into Gaza by more than 250 truckloads a day (a commitment is still upheld during the Hamas war against Israel, a fact mostly ignored by the mainstream media blindly committed to the Hamas narrative that Israel was the aggressor).

Remember when Obama spoke to the annual AIPAC conference a few years back and ceremoniously declared, "I got your back." This is the same President who, as the Wall Street Journal disclosed last week, personally held up the Israeli request for additional Hellfire missiles that it had depleted in its war with Hamas.

As far back as 1967, the United States had made a firm promise to Israel that it would never allow the Egyptians to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, considered the lifeline of Israel. But when the Egyptians blockaded the Straights of Hormuz in May 1967, what did the US do? Nothing.

And in the current round of negotiations being held in Cairo now, according to leaked details in Egyptian newspapers reported by today's Jerusalem Online, Israel agreed to make the following astonishing concessions:

"Israel will stop its attacks in Gaza - in land, sea and air. No ground operations will be conducted."

Israel has agreed to the "opening of crossings between Israel and Gaza [in which] Movement of people and merchandise will be allowed, to rebuild Gaza."

"Eliminating the buffer zone in the North and East of Gaza and deployment of Palestinian military forces starting from January 1, 2015"

"Freedom of fishing and action in the territorial waters of the Palestinians in Gaza to a range of 6 miles. The range will gradually be increased, to no less than 12 miles..."

"Israeli authorities will assist the Palestinian Authority to restore the foundations in Gaza, as well as help provide the necessary living needs for those who were forced to leave their homes due to the battles. Also, Israel will provide emergency medical attention to the wounded and will supply humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza as soon as possible."

It should be noted that even during the recent murderous war waged by Gaza, Israel had opened up its borders to treat wounded Gaza civilians in Israeli hospitals and continued to supply daily more than 500 tons daily of humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza even as the Hamas launched thousands of rockets and attempted mass murder of Israeli civilians by attempts, fortunately thwarted by Israel, to infiltrate dozens of fully armed Hamas terrorists into Israel via the tunnels dug by Hamas.

And what did the Hamas commit to?

"All Palestinian factions in Gaza will stop the attacks against Israel, in the land, the sea and the air; also, building tunnels from Gaza to Israeli territory will be stopped."

That was it. Virtually the same identical commitments it agreed to in December 2012. Quite interestingly, Hamas insisted-which Israel did not agree to-to the immediate opening of a Gaza seaport and airport. But the party that suggested to Hamas that they insist on these demands was none other than the Qataris, the country-which is the top financial patron in the world today to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and many of its terrorist offshoots-curiously selected personally by Obama to be the official diplomatic interlocutor in the Cairo talks.

The role that Qatar was supposed to play was to convince the group to make concessions. But curiously the opposite happened. Qatar, the country to which that the US just sold $11 billion worth of military weapons, actually sabotaged the negotiations. So far, the President has been studiously silent on this betrayal.

In light of the fact that Hamas has manifestly never upheld any of the commitments it has ever made, the salient question that has to be asked is why Obama did feel compelled to assuage Hamas with an assurance that the US would "guarantee" that Israeli upheld its commitments? The word "guarantee" has a rather expansive and vague latitude for definition. The most recent demonstration of an American guarantee that Israel would halt its defensive war against Hamas was the suspension of critical military deliveries to Israel during the height of the conflagration instigated by Hamas.

Indeed, for all the public affirmations made last week-after the WSJ expose-- by the Obama Administration that the US was "totally committed to the security of Israel," Obama suddenly decides to make a promise to Hamas-whose covenant differs not one bit from the fascist radical Islamic doctrine adopted by ISIL-that it would enforce the commitments made by Israel, which in fact have historically been studiously upheld by Israel.

If Obama was truly sincere in his now obviously contrived promises to "watch [Israel's] back", he would have offered to guarantee Hamas commitments, a terrorist group that has repeatedly violated its commitments in previous agreements. But with his statement that he would "guarantee" Israeli commitments and not those made by Hamas, the President has revealed his true colors for everyone to see.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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1 comment:

Uno Hu said...

I am neither an uncritical lover nor a hater of Israel. With the exception of the Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, for which I thought we should have extracted a painful retribution, I have been a general supporter of Israel because they are a (small) bunch of tough SOB's, who seem to have the 'nads to do what is necessary in their own defense.

For their own good, I hope they continue to have this national personality trait, because if they are so foolish as to rely upon the U.S.A. under the current administration as a guarantor of their freedom or even their continued existence, they will truly be SOL, and they will have made a mistake from which they may well never be able (allowed) to recover.