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Friday, May 14, 2010

They Have Nothing To Fear, But Fear Itself

It must be scary to be who they are.

One day, we are totalitarian control freaks who want to post police at every ice cream shop to check for papers.

The next day, we are pseudo-anarchists who want no government at all.

Today, apparently, we are anarchists in their scary world (emphasis mine):
Now an angry group of Americans wants to be freer still—free from government agencies that protect their health, wealth, and well-being; free from problems and policies too difficult to understand; free from parties and coalitions; free from experts who think they know better than they do; free from politicians who don’t talk or look like they do (and Barack Obama certainly doesn’t). They want to say what they have to say without fear of contradiction, and then hear someone on television tell them they’re right. They don’t want the rule of the people, though that’s what they say. They want to be people without rules—and, who knows, they may succeed. This is America, where wishes come true. And where no one remembers the adage “Beware what you wish for.”
This passage, from an article by Mark Lilla, “The Tea Party Jacobins,” in the New York Review of Books, is quite the favorite nowadays among those who not long ago were calling Tea Partiers totalitarians and Nazis.

Which extreme are we supposed to be, or are we everything to them, the sum of all their fears?

The argument by extreme reflects left-wing epistemic closure, an inability to engage in meaningful discussion of the failures of big government, resulting in a series of strawman arguments and extensive hyperbole meant to marginalize those who disagree.

We have seen this time and again. It seems to be all they know.

I really want to take these people seriously, but it is hard. But then again, what do I know, I am the mob.

Update: Right on queue, Politico (with healthy publicity via Reuters) runs this intellectual trash by a professor at San Francisco State University, Tea party: Dark side of conservatism:
When the tea partiers say they are true conservatives, there is no reason to doubt them. They stand in the conservative tradition of the radical right — a movement of the haves and the well-protected who, since the time of FDR, have feared that their freedom will be lost if the government extends a hand to the have-nots and the unprotected.

What is it with these people: Clinical Law Profs Don't Even Count As 3/5ths Of A Person

Related Posts:
"Limited Federal Government = No Government" (or something like that)
Saturday Night Card Game (When The Race Card Met Godwin)
Tea Parties Are Sooo Scaaary

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  1. Professor, thanks for the work you do by shinning a light on the left wing idiocy out there today. While I am very excited about the elections in Nov. and so far the results of the primaries that have taken place, I have a concern that all these principaled folks that we send to Washington will drift into the incumbancy syndrome and get swallowed up by the permanent government. I am reminded of Porter Goss who was sent to the CIA to tackle the establishment and was driven out. Also I believe William Bennett was supposed to dismantle the Dept. of Education during the Reagan administration. Is the bureaucracy too entrenched already in our government for anyone to have an impact?

  2. These guys really have no brains - they keep doing what Alinsky says, believing that eventually it will work! Throw as much mud at the enemy as you can - some(thing) will eventually stick. Demonize. Every name in the book - no holding back. Who cares if one name contradicts another - so long as it is relentless. Eventually the meme will leave a sick impression, a wariness which will eventually result in the enemy's downfall.

    They keep it up with Sarah Palin, Tea Partiers, Conservatives - equal opportunity haters: any and all enemies treated the same. Straight out of Rules for Radicals.

    But - we've got your number. The emperor has no clothes.

    Fail. Epic.

  3. The problem with the leftists is that the labels they are trying to pin on the Tea Party just don't stick because they are false. So they grope at whatever metaphor they can think of but it all fails. They are a sorry lot that has no political will of their won. The way you win an argument is to discuss your purpose not to deride your opponent. The truth of the matter is, is that if they had a cogent argument or salient theories then that is all they would need. But the socialist world is imploding globally and they do not know what to do. SO instead of fixing their own theories and purpose they attack others for theirs. It's like the person who gets caught stealing red-handed...its wasn't the fact that they broke the law that got them in trouble it was the fact that the police were right outside the store and waiting for them. No responsibiliyt for the mess they created and no redirection of their reality either. Sad really, they do have my pity as long as they learn to get out of the way.

  4. He's right when he says I don't want the "rule of the people". Mob rule doesn't protect our liberties; I want the Constitution back.

  5. What gets lost in all of these kinds of discussions is that behind all of the political labels, the underlying reality that the establishment fears is that citizens across the spectrum are fed up.

    If we are serious as voters about changing the narrative into bringing it more in line with our daily realities, we need to vote out as many incumbents as we can. The chattering nabobs can continue with their own elitist narrative at the foot of that November 2010 cliff.

    We need to start thinking, talking and acting like Americans again starting today and forcing our government officials and cultural elites to do the same. If nothing else, it will restore the market for intelligent dialogue in our movies rather than spectacular special effects that need no explanation.

  6. It's stunning how little self-reflection leftists (like Mark Lilla) have. Is it really that difficult to understand that people would have legitimate doubts that the "experts" really do not know what they are doing, or that our wealth, health, safety is really not being protected?

    The "experts" gave us the Fannie/Freddie debacle that contributed heavily to the market crash, and turned a blind eye to the phony accounting tricks those entities used. The "experts" told us that 800 billion of stimulus would bring down the unemployment rate; instead unemployment increased. And on and on.

    Start packing up the bags central planners...

  7. I don't think it's being pedantic to point out that the Jacobins, far from being some sort of "anarchists" or as Lilla asserts, radical libertarians, were the ultimate statists -- one might even go so far as to say the earliest European totalitarians.

    The Jacobins ruled through the 12-member Committee on Public Safety led by Robespierre. In practice, Robespierre was a dictator as powerful as Hitler although gratefully for a shorter period of time. The Jacobins radically centralized France's government, wiping out the historic and traditional provincial and local powers and even outlawing minority languages of which there were many (one can almost hear Robespierre calling for the French version of "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer"). Robespierre and the Committee effectively abolished the judiciary, creating in its stead the Revolutionary Tribunal which was cop, prosecutor, judge and jury rolled into one and before which tens of thousands were summarily condemned to death (The Terror). They centralized and expanded the police powers of the state. They seized control of much of the French economy and placed it under the central state through price and wage controls and oppressive taxes, not to mention expropriation of the property of the condemned "enemies of the Revolution." And much much more that has forever stamped the Jacobin period as one of Europe's harshest tyrannies (and for 200 years, "Jacobinism" has almost always been a charge made against left-wing extremists). Some libertarians!

    The sharp contrasts between the American and French Revolutions became so apparent, even before the Jacobins seized power and launched The Terror, that nearly all the Jeffersonians who initially sympathized with the French recoiled in horror.

  8. Ouch.

    Wild Bill Jacobson in the red tights, does a flying from the corners with a folding chair smack down!

  9. DINORightMarie said...

    "They keep it up with Sarah Palin, Tea Partiers, Conservatives - equal opportunity haters: any and all enemies treated the same. Straight out of Rules for Radicals."
    That and I sort of like the outsider contrarian image. :-) You can play it a lot of ways… from riding a motorcycle to the Tom Wolfe dandy-esq rebel… keep it up lefties… your making conservative cool by claiming we’re dangerous.

    The lefties are just old boorish tools... and everyone knows it...

  10. Show a picture of Andy Stern and ask if he is one of the have-nots.

  11. The only disconnect they understand is in their paycheck. The more they or their industry depends on government contracts, the tighter their "epistemic closure" aperture becomes.

    Everything else they say is window-dressing.

  12. I blame the abuse of marijuana by the Left for their psychosis and projection...

  13. I believe it was first said by Prof. Reynolds at Instapundit: those libertarians want to take over the government and leave you alone!

  14. I'm past caring what they think, write or say. I just want to mow 'em down (metaphorically speaking, of course).

  15. National debt on a course for 100% of GDP. The EU falling apart. Major currencies tanking. Gold reaching new highs every week. Unfunded entitlement liabilities to reach 100 trillion in few years.

    And I'm the crazy to join the tea partiers. Right.

  16. TO: William A. Jacobson, et al.
    RE: I'm Reminded of....

    ....Aesop's fable of the Wolf and the Lamb. The upshot being that they'll use any justification to hate US. And they're casting around to see which one works best for them.


    [Any excuse will do for a tyrant. -- Aesop, the Wolf and the Lamb]

  17. I find it interesting that the left thinks we should appreciate the "protections" they have forced upon us. They think we should trust them. In spite of their clever slogans, it is time to look the gift horse in the mouth.