Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Punditry

Consider this your alternative to the talking featherheads of fake news at ABCNNBCBS.

I've been trying not to write this, because of a natural aversion to herding cats and sorting out the furball catfights that are inevitable, but the question simply won't go away.

Some people seem bound and determined to wreck everything and burn it all down, because, in their view, there's no way what most of us call the United States can go on.

And they think, because reasons, and the Underpants Gnome, that whatever happy little tribe they'll come up with will fare better than the original idea.

So ignoring the heads-banging-against-the-wall-at-the-Retard-Academy arrogance of presuming you have or are a group of benevolent geniuses equal or superior to the likes of Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Madison, and all the rest, let's say you get a chance.

The United States dissolves into a hellish balkanization of competing interests and regions.
(And make no mistake, such a turn would rival the Dark Ages or monkeys at the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey for pure animal destructiveness). So you, and whatever clan, tribe, or polity you can concoct and aggregate are going to have to figure out a system of governance; else get your asses kicked and your carcasses stripped to the bone by someone else who does. And they won't be observing any rules but "Winning" or waiting for a starter's gun to kick off festivities. Assume they'll be hip-deep in your ass from the get-go.

So, what are you going to come up with that isn't vastly worse than what you would so casually cast aside? (And handily documented by everyone from Caesar to Genghis Khan to Napoleon to Hitler to Stalin to Mao to Hugo Chavez to Nancy Pelosi?)

BLUF, you aren't going to improve on the original concept, banged out by renaissance-pinnacle geniuses and hard-headed practical successes of a type far beyond the high-water mark of any twenty universities today, who made it work in a rougher time, with a stupider national mean, and with more adversity (in a Darwin Award-winning way) than a truly benevolent deity should have allowed to block their path. Wail and gnash your teeth as you see fit, but that's just the way it is.

There is absolutely nothing you can think of they didn't have to consider, and then ended up discarding. Today we have a panoply of means to communicate ideas instantly, a cornucopia of Internet resources to reference, and lack the handicap of actual slavery as a built-in punisher to sabotage any notional new scheme. And despite literal man-decades of political thought since then, nothing better has been proposed with so much as a snowball's chance in hell of being adopted and actually working, let alone better than the original.

Froth and fume in comments (and show your work), but facts are stubborn things.
And if you can't reference Hammurabi, Moses, Plato, Augustine, Calvin, Hobbes (that would be John and Thomas, respectively, not a cartoon child and his stuffed tiger, though the latter may serve at some points), and Locke, along with six millennia of recorded human history in your arguments, you probably aren't tall enough for this ride.

For the brighter and/or lazier who consider this problem, you might want to put forth more effort towards restoration along the lines of Founder's Intent, than into destruction for its own sake. (Despite not as fun, but far more profitable in the long run.)
Just saying.

Founding philosophy workbook bullet points:
Government, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a cruel master.
That government governs best which governs least.


Anonymous said...

When we get done fucking ourselves up, it wont be a question of how we chose to govern ourselves. Might has always made right, who has the gold always makes the rules, and the window dressings we apply to these concepts are only necessary when there is a large class of people who have enough to eat.
In order to find a more perfect balance, it would take an understanding that wanting more than you need is a mental illness. We have successfully destroyed any race that practiced this, as the concept doesn't allow anything larger than the tribe/clan to develop.
So replace with anything you want, it's still based on a biologically unsuitable overlarge collective. Man is not meant to exist in groups larger than tribes.

Anonymous said...

Despite the wishes of the folks you reference, I suspect if it all gets burned down it won't be our side, but the other that does so.

Let me explain (and it's too much to summarize, so I'll stick with explaining).

The mark of the Left is envy, and at a destructive level. They envy the wealthy man, and they'd be perfectly happy to take a wealthy man's money and burn it, doing no good for anyone, just for the pleasure of denying it to the hated wealthy man. They run their mouths a lot about taxing the wealthy for the public good, but there are plenty of wealth-taxes that actually cost more to administer than they take in as revenue, and the Left is perfectly fine with the rest of the tax payers paying to deny money to people they deem have too much.

So come the day when the US starts getting back to Constitutional principles, they'd be more than happy to burn the whole thing down and embark upon a new Dark Ages that'll make the one after the fall of Rome look like a minor blip caused by a rough winter. Part of them believes it'll be OK FOR THEM because of course they'll be the ones who will end up in charge, but the rest believe it'll be for the best if we all end up living in huts and burning sh*t to keep warm.

Examples? "Environmentalists" who say we need to reduce the human population of the world by 75% for the good of the planet. People who think the Americas were better off under the original inhabitants, who'd not managed to invent the WHEEL but did rather well in things like tribal warfare and human sacrifice, rather than those nasty Europeans who brought civilization here. Black activists (who "represent" what, 13% of the US population?) who advocate a race war (hint, when 13% goes to war with 87%, the 13% doesn't fare too well. Oh, locally, like where I'm sitting right now in Brooklyn, NY things might get sporty, which is one reason I make sure I tell my wife I love her every day when I leave for work.)

Mark D

No One You Know said...

Ganz gerecht.

Figuring a "new and improved" means of governance isn't likely.

Go back to the original documents: The Declaration, the Articles of Confederacy, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Sort out the contradictions (such as slavery) and work from there, always keeping in mind that freedom and minarchism are among the highest values. Bring your epistemologic and philosophical "A game" from Zeno to Rand and be exceptionally wary of the postmodernists. Accept that you won't get it right either, but if you're exceedingly diligent, you might come up with something nearly as good and enduring.

Technology changes, but human nature has been static over the millenia and there's literally nothing one can think of that hasn't been considered and tried with whatever degree of success or failure inherent in the proposition. There are no "new ideas" (Progressives take note) and every step of the way is fraught with peril.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

Yeah, pay attention to that line.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 9:04
Sir, you're speaking fluent nonsense, for which there are no supporting facts in evidence.
"Wanting more than you need is a mental illness."??
Total horseshit. And three lies for the price of one.
Everything on the planet wants. It's one of the4 defining characteristics of living things.
"Need"?? As determined by WHOM?
"Mental illness"? Same question.

The number of people allegedly or nominally on our side of the eqation who have and do express a devout wish to "burn it all down" are legion even if they be fewer than the genocidal anarcho-terrorists.
Some monkeys can be tamed, and the rest should simply be shot out of hand to minimize the cacophony and feces-throwing.

The point I'm making is that all sorts of people have skipped straight to "happily ever after" once everything is torn asunder, and when you go back to "and how do you get from devastation, chaos, and life in a state of nature, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, to your fairytale ending?" their reply in 110% of cases involves recourse to the Underpants Gnome.

Anonymous said...

"The number of people allegedly or nominally on our side of the eqation who have and do express a devout wish to "burn it all down" are legion even if they be fewer than the genocidal anarcho-terrorists.
Some monkeys can be tamed, and the rest should simply be shot out of hand to minimize the cacophony and feces-throwing."

Oh, no doubt. I think the difference is that those on our side at least have the WISH to burn it down so that it can be returned to the Constitutional Republic that it was intended to be (even if they lack a clue as to how that would be done). And if some smart person came along and showed how it COULD be done they'd be all for it. I suspect, except in the case of the most extreme wackjobs, if someone came along with a plan to ratchet our government back to what the Founders envisioned they'd stop discussing burning it down. I further suspect they advocate burning it down out of despair because they don't see any way to fix it.

The left, OTOH (where I have different fingers) would be perfectly happy to leave it in a state that would shock Hobbes if THEY can't be in charge. They personally of course expect to live a life of comfort, chaos is for the little people. Just like the people who advocate killing off 80% of humanity expect they and theirs will be among the 20% because the world couldn't get by without their enlightened leadership.

Mark D

Anonymous said...

New to your blog and love it!! h/t to Woodpile Report.

I have long maintained, and suggested to others that a good start to restoring the Federal Republic as founded would be to repeal the 16th and 17th amendments and enforce the 10th. From there we can work on restoring the 1st, 2nd, etc.

GenEarly said...

Ink on parchment never guaranteed anything without the actual application of those principles with the realization that perfection is unobtainable and that preservation of the workable is the most that can be expected.

The need to prune the present USSA's Feral Gov. back to the Original is. obviously to me, pro survival. How to accomplish that with the current retarded populace, vested interests, and treasonous bureaucracy is the conundrum of Empires immemorial.

MrGarabaldi said...

I don't know if we can get the USA back to the original intent, that would require a populace that has a different set of morals than is evident today, also a sense of self sufficiency that is lacking also. We have people that 200 years ago would never made it out of infancy or early childhood but now they have the power of voting and other levers of government. Things are cyclic and unfortunately we are on a downward spiral. I equate it to the Israilites wandering the desert for 40 years until all the people that were slaves in Egypt initially were gone and the people that were there were raised in Freedom.

Jesse James said...

Excellent post and question presented.

I disagree there was a stupider national mean. Perhaps in an academic sense, there were fewer pieces of paper that guaranteed the holder could sit through 4 years of high school level drivel and pass a few tests. In a real sense of knowledge, they were far more connected to reality that we are today. People were capable of living without massive government oversight, and the government was not the nanny of the nation. The people who were educated, were far and away more knowledgeable about things like philosophy and history than those with a B.S./B.A. today. You can have a master's degree and not live a week without a grocery store or heat. In terms of Maslow's hierarchy of needs they were far higher on the pyramid than most of the population today. Perhaps we are talking past each other here though.

"There is absolutely nothing you can think of they didn't have to consider, and then ended up discarding." I think this is patently false. The presupposition is that those men considered every possible scenario, every future scenario and possessed a command of every fact within the known world, ever. The founders were not infallible, they were men. To avoid being verbose, I'll assume you're familiar with the Theory of Forms and Plato's chair/Ideal Form. Apply that here to see what I'm driving at, the Con./DOI are not the Ideal Form because it's derived from man. Practically speaking, this is true. In an absolute sense, I disagree.

Assuming there is a from of Balkanization, how does one apply the Constitution to a small group of people <100? Most of the proscriptions in there don't apply at a local level. Particularly things like an executive and legislative branches. Sure, some of the natural rights discussed, but I'm not sure I see a whole lot that wasn't derived from common law and other places that can be applied at a local level. Perhaps I'm missing something, but what that is unique to the Constitution, is necessary for a free and just local society of people?

The idea of a return to some sanity is a nice thought, but I am not sure there exists a populace to support it. I wrote a post awhile ago about the inability of the US population to sustain a constitutional republic, and I think I am correct in that estimation. We don't last long enough to reverse the demographic inertia we have created by raising several consecutive generations of people unable to govern themselves. A system of governance for a tribal group of uneducated people that actually makes survival a possibility will likely look like what his has for the last several millennia of tribal politics. I don't like it, but I see it as by far the most likely solution people will arrive at.

I can't speak for others, but the Madison v. Marbury case illustrates one of my chief problems with how the judiciary was settled. The check on legislation has not worked for decades at this point and things like the tortured interpretation of interstate commerce have led to many of the statist idiocy we see today. Governments are an extension of their population and we allowed that to slip away, so I don't blame the Constitution and the founders for everything. I don't purport to be smarter, but I do have the benefit of 200+ years of hindsight that they didn't. I simply cannot see a way in which there is restoration, in anything but an extremely limited sense without an entirely new government being started. This isn't to say I want to burn it all down just for kicks, but creative destruction is a relevant thought here. We cannot have a rational discussion until people are connected to reality again and that does not happen under this current government can no longer disassociate people from cause and effect (the welfare state, regulation, 90% of case law ect.). I'm open to suggestions.

Anonymous said...

+1 on that. Oh, if were only so easy to recognize the value of common sense and keep some handy for a time in the future. Yes, while I agree doing any and all things to keep the framework intact is the best option and then rebuilding with the right-minded people in hopes that the wrong-minded people are either gone or so low in number that the risk associated with their continued existence is minimal, the root issue is not the recognition of how the framework is superior and that we shouldn't burn it to the ground. However and most unfortunate is that when the wolves are at the door, common sense, temperance, wisdom and discernment will be non-existent. There will be no desire to be reasonable, there will only be the desire to survive and feel guilty later. To quote a movie, "A person is smart, people are dumb. And you know it."

@Jesse James below, respectfully, you've answered your own question. The framework was made as good as it could be given man's innate flaws and sinful nature. There is nothing new under the sun. The question really is and has always been how do we minimize the fallout and get back to normal in the shortest time with the lowest low of life and property. I don't know, but it has to start locally.

Jim said...

Levin addressed this very issue in his book "The Liberty Amendments" taking advantage of 200 years of hindsight available to us as mentioned above. Love Levin or hate him the work is well thought out (based on that hindsight advantage) and makes sense. Retains the original genius with improvements required by the changing nature of our population, also as mentioned above.

I have some small quibble with some of it but it's a damn good start.

ShadowDweller said...

A nation is a reflection of its population. The constitutional republic as originally founded arose from the character of the founding population. Today's population in no significant way resembles the character of the founding population and as such it is unlikely we could go back to that any time soon.
In some ways we are asking the question in reverse. We keep asking, how can we change the government to get back to that "happy place". The answer is you don't, the people who give rise to the nature of a nation must change and the nature of the government shall follow that. A nations / governments character follows the character of the people, it is a "dependent variable" if you will. If this hypothesis is even somewhat accurate then the path forwards requires that the resolution of the divide among the population will give rise to whatever government follows.
In many ways it is a fundamental struggle between the base emotional aspect of human nature favored by the left end of the political spectrum and the logical / rational aspects of human nature often favored by the right end of the spectrum (grossly simplified). The USA is not unique, this fundamental struggle has driven the cyclic rise and fall of human empires throughout history. I would suggest that to date the best that our species has achieved is a temporary victory of reason over emotion in a handful of empires.
To yearn for the past is to look back instead of forward, no constitutional republic can survive an emotionally driven people, such a government is suitable only for rational principled men. The question now before us is what do we build as the republic of our past passes into the annals of history. De we learn from the giants that have come before us and mature as a people or do we continue to damn ourselves through our astounding hubris that we always know more those who came before us?

Tucanae Services said...

"The mark of the Left is envy, and at a destructive level. They envy the wealthy man, and they'd be perfectly happy to take a wealthy man's money and burn it, doing no good for anyone, just for the pleasure of denying it to the hated wealthy man. They run their mouths a lot about taxing the wealthy for the public good, but there are plenty of wealth-taxes that actually cost more to administer than they take in as revenue, and the Left is perfectly fine with the rest of the tax payers paying to deny money to people they deem have too much.

Actually the Left LOVES wealth, but yes are envious only because they are not like a Kerry and have it for themselves. Observe how they act, they cozy up to the wealthy for the money they can acquire by doing so. It is not wealth perse that they hate, but that they lack it or the means to create it.

VonZorch said...

But this time put some harsh enforcement clauses in. Such as immediate hanging from the Capitol portico any politician who proposes an unconstitutional law. And expanding the definition of treason to include breaking the oath of office by any government officer whether elected or appointed. That oath to include the line from the military oath, not the weasel wording "to the best of my ability".

Paul Bonneau said...

Restoration to the Articles of Confederation? Maybe. But to just go back to the coup of 1787? What would be the point? Already, nobody is paying any attention to the very same constitution. Chances are, after another revolution, they still won't.

The Founders (the real ones like Sam Adams and Patrick "I smelt a Rat" Henry) were no doubt some very smart guys, but we don't need any more Hamiltons, thank you. The bankers are already over-represented in today's society. And I don't buy the line that there is simply nothing new that could have been learned in the last 240 years. After all democracy was kinda untried and new back then, while we now know the end-state of it.

Aesop said...

1) We're not a democracy, and never were.
Most of the troubles we have currently come from ignoring and/or deliberately undermining that exact fact.

{As originally written, nota bene that in 1800, any given voter cast a direct ballot for precisely one member of their federal government: their congressman. The guy who was specifically chosen from amongst them to represent them directly, and the most answerable to the people in his own district.
That's it, from top to bottom: one guy you or anyone else should have any direct say in electing, ever. You should also notice that were we to repeal the seventeenth amendment tomorrow, the Senate would be composed of at least 64 (R) senators, and Trump could have nominated Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, or Attila the Hun to the Supreme Court, and the (D)s couldn't even have gotten a word in edgewise. The confirmation process would have taken about an hour for Trump's entire cabinet, and every federal judgeship vacancy in the country would have been over on Tuesday, Jan. 24th. The Ninth Circus would be composed of judges to the right of Scalia by next year, and the Leftist ones currently in office in every circuit could and would have found their offices defunded and their courts shuttered.
Tell me how long our current problems would last under those conditions. Personally, I'm betting that abandoned military bases would be full of more illegals awaiting getting pushed through the border wall than dogs have fleas, some weeks ago, and the Leftists plotting sedition would be in federal court under charges. Just for openers.}
2) The current state isn't the end state, it's the hijacked state, which has been precisely the problem for a century or so.
3) If, despite those glaring problems with your analysis, you have a better idea for how to do things, bring it out.

Zorost said...

The USC/BOR needs a few minor tweaks, mainly clearing up the original meaning. It only needs 1 major change though:

Amendment 0 :"Non-citizens have no rights including the right to life. Anyone publicly advocating for non-white immigration, cultural marxism, or feminism will have their citizenship revoked after a 1 week period to allow flight from the country."

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly no expert on the Constitution, history, and classic literature, but I think it would be more robust if it read: Life, Liberty, and Property rather than "pursuit of happiness".
Might add in term limits, punishment for undermining Constitutional limits on government, a return to the original 13th Amendment, etc.
The original documents are outstanding (in a class of their own), but 200+ years have shown some weaknesses that could stand some fine-tuning to prevent what we are seeing today.