Thursday, January 21, 2010

Does Scott Brown Matter?

Jim Crum sent me an e-mail about David Horowitz's analysis of the Obama administration, which I enjoyed and copied below. The piece makes great points. But it ignores some history that might help us consider where we ought to be going. The Republicans need to develop a coherent game plan. I am celebrating the victory in Massachusetts like everyone else, but I did not hear anyone ask exactly what it is that Scott Brown believes other than his position on the current health care bill. It seems to me that the century-old Republican approach of voting for anyone who will keep the Democrats out is still in force. Look where it got us. Does Scott Brown believe in freedom, or is he a Progressive?

The missing link in the analysis below is the economic underpinning of the thrust toward socialism and centralization of power. It is not just because of the left. The left is a tool and an ally of more powerful advocates of centralization, the Wall Street-Military-Industrial Complex.

It is in fact the Republican Party that introduced big government. This was done by Theodore Roosevelt between 1901 (the year McKinley was shot) and 1908. The Federal Trade Commission Act was a cornerstone of Roosevelt's attempt to socialize big business. He was supported in this by a significant component of Wall Street and big business, notably JP Morgan's famous associate George Perkins, president of International Harvester. TR backed William Howard Taft in 1908, and Taft betrayed him, preferring to regulate trusts through the Sherman Anti-trust Act (itself an earlier boondoggle). This enraged Roosevelt. He ran against Taft in 1912 as a third party candidate, forcing the election of Woodrow Wilson. Wilson established the federal income tax and the Fed in 1913. The Fed was largely the result of pressure from the money center banks following JP Morgan's death in 1913. There was no public outcry or crisis resulting in its passage, and the law was passed during Christmas week in 1913.

Until Wilson the Democrats had offered the counterpoint to Republican centralization. In the 18th and 19th centuries the centralizers were the party of the rich--the Federalists, Whigs and Republicans. The Republicans were the big government party from Lincoln on. You will notice the real reason for the Civil War--retaining the federal governmental structure. The Democrats (preceded by the Democratic-Republicans) were the party of decentralization and laissez-faire.

In the post civil war era the Republicans adopted the laissez-faire philosophy but with a twist. In the pre civil war Jacksonian era, the Democrats preached the gold standard and laissez-faire as policies that benefit the common man. That was President Andrew Jackson's philosophy. In contrast, in the post Civil War era the Republicans associated laissez faire with the Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer. This fit their claim that the big businesses that were coming into existence in that era reflected a natural process. As well, the early Republican pushes toward centralization besides the Civil War included: the greenbacks used to pay for it; the legal tender law that paved the way for the Fed; the Morrill and Homestead Acts; the National Banking Act; the Pendleton Act, creating the foundation of a civil service; and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which aimed to establish common law remedies against unfair monopolies at the federal level.

It is debatable how natural the growth of big business was. First, virtually all of the railroads were subsidized, as was the Standard Oil Company through a wide range of corrupt deals with state governments (small change in comparison with the corruption associated with Obama and the Fed nowadays). Second, government heavily protected business through very high tariffs, well above the amount needed to entirely fund the federal government. Third, although the Sherman anti-trust Act claimed to limit unfair competition it actually encouraged big business. For a period of about 15 years, the Supreme Court held that all combinations (all big businesses) were illegal. Then, in 1911, the Court abolished Standard Oil but said that big businesses were legal as long as they behaved in a reasonable manner (that they were "good trusts"). But the Sherman Anti-trust Act is unequivocal in saying that agreements between smaller firms are illegal, it is legal for them to combine to form a single company but not legal for them to reach agreements or "collude". Hence, the past 150 years have seen unending centralization and excessively large corporations. Previously, smaller firms engaged in unstable agreements not to raise prices. The Sherman Anti-trust Act illegalized these agreements but made it legal for them to merge.

Martin J. Sklar traces this history very carefully in a monumental book, Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism.

The upshot of my long winded discussion is that big business was institutionalized by the Sherman Anti-trust Act, the Fed, and by the impetus to centralize business and government. The New Deal also played a significant role, as did the explosion of regulation in the 1960s and 1970s. By institution of complex regulatory requirements and other legal barriers to entry in fields like banking, insurance, health care and education (note: all failed industries) competition was limited across increasing swathes of the American economy. If you add those four fields to government you probably have between seventy and eighty percent of the economy. And that leaves out numerous other pockets of socialized business in fields like human resource management, employee benefits, pharmaceuticals and food.

The result has been a 40-year-long stagnation in the real wage and increasing income inequality. As well, the widespread, fundamental innovation of the 19th century has drawn to a close, as manufacturing executives think of financial gimmicks and plant relocation as central to their business plans.

The Republican Party not only played a role in the trend toward centralization and socialization--through TR it was the leading impetus that was only supplanted in the 1930s by FDR's even more socialistic plans. The close links between the centrally planned big business core and the Republican Party make it unlikely that the GOP will favor freedom, free markets and decentralization unless there is some kind of radical change.

The role the left has played in this is that it has been allied with the interests of the Wall Street-Military-Industrial Complex. From the beginning, both left-wing socialists and big business Progressives had parallel goals. The Progressives wanted centralization so that economies of scale could be achieved, control rationalized, competition and innovation eliminated (what David Ames Wells called "overproduction" in his 1889 Recent Economic Changes). The left-wing socialist favored socialization because they believed that public control was desirable. Both advocated innovation-stifling, reactionary ideas that in practice were the same.

The good cop/bad cop routine has been quite effective. I do not hear many Republicans considering the possibility that their policies have neatly paralleled those of left-wing socialists. Rather, there is endless chimerical competition and hatred between the "left", which claims to be altruistic and favors centralization for altruistic reasons, and the "right" which claims to favor efficiency and favors centralization for supposedly productive reasons. The two sing the same song with slightly different tunes. Which side, the left represented by Obama or the right represented by Bill Kristol opposed the bail out and TARP? Shall we say both sang the same song? When it came down to giving trillions to the Street, Paul Krugman and George Bush gave each other a nice deep kiss.

The article is right about the media. Despite decades of P/progessive domination of the news media and left-wing control of education the American people retain elements of their Lockean heritage. But the news media has done much to confuse them. They are not asking the questions that they need to. For instance:

Will Scott Brown turn out to be a fighter for freedom, or is he a Roosevelt Progressive? If the latter, does his victory really make a difference?

>Important information for conservative thinkers. I would title this piece “Digest This And Decide For Yourself What To Do”
In the past few days, watching the fiasco for the left that revealed itself in Massachusetts, and realizing that conservatives not only have an opportunity to be heard, they have an opportunity to remake their vision of the fight for the country, I finally watched the Horowitz-produced links sent by a friend (actually a number of friends sent me the same link). Watching the speakers, including Horowitz and Pat Caddell, I realized that Caddell, a “classical Democrat” has a lot to say to conservative independents like me. This is not an "opinion piece." It is a call to action. Let me say first that the Republican Party, as currently organized and in its behavior, is not the avenue to salvation. For whatever reason, Republicans are totally unconscious of the dangers currently revealing themselves from the Congress and the White House. You can't "play nice" with progressive radicals. They don't understand "dialogue." They only understand their own goals. If you don't believe it, take the time to dissect the speeches of Barack Obama, from the campaign trail through his first year as president. They are a web of lies, woven skillfully together, but lies just the same. This is why many laughingly say that any promise by Obama should come with an expiration date. But it's more than that. He believes he can say anything to advance his agenda, and his speech at the Massachusetts campaign the other night makes it clear that he doesn't always stick to either his agenda or his oratory. The "truck" comments that made it to national TV are more revealing than most would think. He has contempt for anyone who is not on his agenda track. Yes, contempt. Revealing also was how little he said about the Democrat candidate for TV, in contrast to how much he said about her opponent. I'm surprised he even got her name right. Obviously, the people of Massachusetts noted it as well.
In the past months, during which for at least nine weeks I was absent, a number of factors are becoming clear. First, the Democrat Party has been “occupied” by radical leftists and their fellow travelling “useful idiots,” who actually believe that George Soros, Barack Obama and all the “czars” are a production of American politics (they aren’t), and second, the American people (independents and Democrats who feel betrayed, mostly) are waking up. A political tsunami may well be building in the heartland against the people who today dominate Washington politics. Thanks to Republican brain-dead policies and actions in the past decade, the real fighters in American politics, the Democrats, have been subsumed by a group of sinister destroyers, operating pretty much as the Capone mob ruled Chicago. The thing to remember is that those behind this movement are deadly serious, and willing to do anything, and I mean anything to achieve their aims, which are to remake American society, economics and culture in the image of Communism. The activists are indefensible and unabashed radicals, following the Rules for Radicals concepts of Saul Alinsky. They openly and publicly admit both their source of strategy and their aims. Americans are finally listening, but it is debatable how much damage can yet be done before these radicals are actually recognized for what their objectives are.
One observation should set the tone: David Horowitz observed in a recent presentation titled “What We Are Up Against” (see link below—I urge everyone who can to watch—it is important), that Alinsky 1) learned his organizing strategies by apprenticing with Frank Nitty, the Capone mob “czar” who ran the operations while Capone went to prison, and 2) Alinsky’s book “Rules For Radicals” was Originally titled “Rules For Revolution.” The book is a Communist/crime syndicate “how-to” book that is currently in use in the White House. This transfer of Chicago-style mob-influenced politics has been carried to a national level right from the streets of Chicago to the White House.
Horowitz, a very concerned and savvy analyst of radical tactics, strategy and agendas, points out that the reason these movement members are so influential today against the rest of the “sleeping nation” is that Democrats in general and radicals especially are fighters. Conservatives, he says, are “builders,” while the radical left are “destroyers.” This explains why the radical left, funded by numerous foundations, billionaires like George Soros, et al, are holding sway. They own big media by virtue of either being influential or by being physical owners of the resource. So, the major media and major educational operations, including a lot of national education policy, are dominated by those who have fabulous sums of money to throw at them. Conservatives, on the other hand, including the Founders of our nation, were and are uncomfortable with political power. It is not for nothing that Ronald Reagan, possibly the most influential conservative of modern times, quipped that “Those who have the most to lose have done the least to prevent its happening.” Another fact that bears on the current situation is that for the most part, it is citizens, born Americans, who are bringing on this movement for change that may (God forbid) actually bring on a civil war of some kind. One quote struck me as appropriate to describe the modus operandi of current leftist progressive members of our government, including the President: “We believe in the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work, we also believe in the persuasion of power.” This quote was attributed to Andy Stern, founder of the Weather Underground, current Obama Advisor, and friend of Bill Ayers, who also was a founding member of the Weather Underground and who is an unrepentant sixties terrorist bomber and currently is an influential educator, and who has received more than fifty million dollars from the hard-left Annenburg legacy to promote his radical agendas in education. This is the same Bill Ayers who Obama at first denied knowing “except to recognize in the neighborhood,” but who hosted a fundraising event at his home for Obama’s senatorial campaign. Additionally, John Holdren, an Obama “czar” has echoed George Soros’ words in saying, publicly, that “we have to deconstruct capitalism.” In the context of what is being done in the Congress and from the White House by presidential order, this makes clear that exploitation of energy resources, advancing American exceptionalism in any way, or even considering that Americans have to have time to “digest” some of the radical and rushed steps being taken by a radical dominated Congress and White House, are not in the cards. These people are not going to give up easily. In view of the Massachusetts election last night, where Ted Kennedy’s seat was, literally, returned to the people of Massachusetts, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, announced that she was not concerned about it. I believe her words were “We are going to have health care, regardless.” She is probably right. The structure for forcing the immensely unpopular bill, which is getting every day more unpopular, is still intact, whether there is a sixtieth senate vote for it or not. By parliamentary procedure, it can still pass. Remember this: They don’t think they can fail. They are willing to go the whole nine yards to pass this, and other bills like cap-and-tax, and other revenue producing penalizations of the American taxpayer for the advancement of elite political agendas, whether they retain the Congress in November or not. This is the dedication of radical progressive Democrats. We the citizens of the United States have to understand the stakes. They don’t believe we do.
Let me be clear here: Were it not for Glenn Beck’s use of Horowitz’ site listed below , Van Jones would still be the “green jobs czar” with access to the White House. [An aside here: Those of us who have worked in government know about security clearances and access to classified information. During the “What We Are Up Against” broadcast, this question came up, and the answer seems to be that the FBI background checks that have been for years mandatory to have a White House Pass were summarily suspended by the Obama team. That means that all these radicals, who are advisors to the President currently in the White House, have access to both the White House and the President without ever having had their access scrutinized by any type of security procedure. Given the access from the White House to extremely classified information, we have to deduce that the Obama Team, including Barack Obama himself, has what can only be called a cavalier attitude towards both White House and national security. I consider this a grave oversight on the part of the government.] And all I can say is “Thank God for Glenn Beck. He has been a voice crying in the wilderness, but he just passed his first anniversary at Fox News, and continues his crusade on talk radio. And he’s “just an ordinary guy.” But he’s a patriot and a concerned American.
During the program, Democrat analyst and former presidential advisor Pat Caddell, who has been featured prominently on Glenn Beck’s recent analysis of the “czar” program, pointed out that the Apollo Alliance, and all “green jobs” militancy in the current administration, as well as ACORN and SEIU are a cover for radical operations. The green jobs hype is being used as a patronage system for Communists, in and out of government.
In the resources offered below, I have cited a couple of things that might help folks who read this brief attempt at warning to understand the gravity of our nation’s situation. This is not a game. These people are at war with our way of life and our economic system. They want to replace it with something else, and that something has already failed endlessly around the world in the last century. They hate American exceptionalism. Barack Obama is the first president in American history who does not believe that the United States is an exceptional occurrence in world history. He thinks we should all be part of a global “whole.” This is the Communist International talking. He is their mouthpiece—in the highest office in the land. This, to the ComIntern, is the opening campaign of a war of global conquest. They’ve been waiting for it since Stalin blew them off taking power in the USSR. It is the ideology of totalitarian communitarianism.
Conclusion: If we are going to save our country from this debacle, and if we are going to preserve any semblance of our way of life for those who come after, it now seems to me that we are going to have to get “engaged” in the process like never before. From the local to the national, concerned citizens of all parties are going to have to unite against this sinister attempt to subvert our entire nation and re-direct the largest economy in history off the precipice.
I can’t say it any stronger.
Bob B

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