There’s nothing liberal about it

This is a follow-up to my post on the desecration of the word “liberal,” starting with excerpts from the papers of a President who served only one term. A national calamity laid him low: Like Cassandra, some people get punishment they don’t deserve.

I could have emphasized a lot of it, but I’m pretty sure you will do that in your head:

“…Bureaucracy does not tolerate the spirit of independence; it spreads the spirit of submission into our daily life and penetrates the temper of our people not with the habit of powerful resistance to wrong but with the habit of timid acceptance of irresistible might.

Bureaucracy is ever desirous of spreading its influence and its power. You cannot extend the mastery of the government over the daily working life of a people without at the same time making it the master of the people’s souls and thoughts. Every expansion of government in business means that government in order to protect itself from the political consequences of its errors and wrongs is driven irresistibly without peace to greater and greater control of the nations’ press and platform. Free speech does not live many hours after free industry and free commerce die.

It is a false liberalism that interprets itself into the Government operation of commercial business. Every step of bureaucratizing of the business of our country poisons the very roots of liberalism – that is, political equality, free speech, free assembly, free press, and equality of opportunity. It is the road not to more liberty, but to less liberty. Liberalism should be found not striving to spread bureaucracy but striving to set bounds to it. True liberalism seeks all legitimate freedom first in the confident belief that without such freedom the pursuit of all other blessings and benefits is vain. That belief is the foundation of all American progress, political as well as economic.

Liberalism is a force truly of the spirit, a force proceeding from the deep realization that economic freedom cannot be sacrificed if political freedom is to be preserved. Even if governmental conduct of business could give us more efficiency instead of less efficiency, the fundamental objection to it would remain unaltered and unabated. It would destroy political equality. It would increase rather than decrease abuse and corruption. It would stifle initiative and invention. It would undermine the development of leadership. It would cramp and cripple the mental and spiritual energies of our people. It would extinguish equality and opportunity. It would dry up the spirit of liberty and progress…

The American people from bitter experience have a rightful fear that great business units might be used to dominate our industrial life and by illegal and unethical practices destroy equality of opportunity…

One of the great problems of government is to determine to what extent the Government shall regulate and control commerce and industry and how much it shall leave it alone. No system is perfect. We have had many abuses in the private conduct of business. That every good citizen resents. It is just as important that business keep out of government as that government keep out of business.”

The President was Herbert Hoover.

He was successor to Presidents Harding and Coolidge, and continued their defense of liberalism (he didn’t have to say “classical liberalism” to be understood circa 1928) against Al Smith and Franklin Roosevelt – advocates of Benito Mussolini’s approach to public policy.

The 1929 calamity was compounded immediately, as Hoover predicted, when Roosevelt’s statism deepened and prolonged the Great Depression. Worse, WWII cemented national industrial policy and government intervention in individual lives as “liberal.” American voters accepted this false definition, leading to many of our present discontents.

So. Today, rich and powerful social media companies -information barons- maneuver a willing government into undoing the 1st Amendment through ‘approved’ regulation of speech. Facebook and Twitter, et. al., seek government sanction for their private censorship.

Free enterprise capitalism is being overwhelmed by creeping corporatism: The merger of woke government with the rent-seekers. This is most obvious in the greenspace of pipeline cancellation, anti-fracking, plastic straw bans, anti-nuclear power cognitive dissonance, etc., by corporations who thrive on government subsidies.

The predations of bureaucracy are ubiquitous, but nowhere are these sanctions on liberty more obvious than in the enlistment of public health poobahs to bludgeon American citizens. Our teacher’s union owned public educational cartel is a close second, but to that we’re inured.

Freedom of conscience is targeted by the petty fascisti in academia, government, media, and the viciously tribal special-victims groups they empower. This is possible because equality of opportunity is now called racist and sexist.

Equal opportunity is replaced with demands for equality of outcome (“equity”). I seriously doubt FDR’s good intentions contemplated that outcome. Or the world that these totalitarian wannabes desire.

All because we don’t know what “liberal” means.

Areo pagitica?

I am a fan of Areo magazine, and subscribe to their emailings. Today, I received the peculiar email above.

Peculiar, because the link takes you to a 404, ‘no such page.’ Similarly,
Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://areomagazine.com/2021/03/08/in-defense-of-the-mercator-projection-the-non-racism-of-maps/” does not work.

OK, I thought, somebody fat fingered the URL, though it typically would be populated into the email automatically.

I search for ‘Mercator’ on Areo’s site. There is one hit, but it isn’t J. Edward Britton’s piece.

Indexes do get screwed up, so I’ll check the author’s page on Aero. Well, that author is there, but his Mercator post is not referenced. J. Edward Britton is said to have only made a single post at Areo. There it is. And it’s not the one about Mercator.

It’s not on the Wayback Machine, indicating it didn’t exist long enough to be preserved. This is getting more than a little peculiar.

Ok, let me try Duck Duck Go, et. al..

There’s no mention of words in the post title segments of the URL, or author’s mname in searches including the obvious 2 through 5 word combinations.

J. Edward Britton appears to be a legitimate person. Maybe someone posing as Mr. Britton momentarily bypassed the Aero editorial process with something truly vile?

IAC, fat fingering does not appear to be the explanation for the 404.

For some reason, an Aero advertised a post was buried. To further inform my current positive opinion of Areo, I need to read the advertised article, and I need an explanation of why I can’t at the moment.

Liberal

The ruination of the word in the U.S. arguably started around 1913 with a President openly hostile to a Constitutional Republic. A dedicated racist who RE-segregated the Federal civil service, and an oligarch who bypassed the Bill of Rights with the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918; Woodrow Wilson.

His ideas picked up steam in 1932. That’s when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was nudging the Enlightenment political definition of Liberal, “a belief in individual liberty,” toward a phrase made popular by another collectivist snollygoster: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

FDR admired the man who uttered it: “‘I don’t mind telling you in confidence,’ FDR remarked to a White House correspondent, ‘that I am keeping in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman’
Henry Wallace, New Frontiers, p. 31.

That admirable gentleman was Benito Mussolini, and it’s no wonder FDR was interested. Benito put the principles of the New Deal more plainly than FDR dared:

“The … State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organised in their respective associations, circulate within the State.”
-Benito Mussolini, 1935, The Doctrine of Fascism, Firenze: Vallecchi Editore. p 41.

The corporate State considers that private enterprise in the sphere of production is the most effective and useful instrument in the interest of the nation. In view of the fact that private organisation of production is a function of national concern, the organiser of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction given to production.

State intervention in economic production arises only when private initiative is lacking or insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. This intervention may take the form of control, assistance or direct management.
-Benito Mussolini, 1935, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, Rome: ‘Ardita’ Publishers pp. 135-136

Do you detect any similar policy tendencies in current American Maim Scream Media™ headlines, or in Biden executive orders?

Il Duce’s characterizations are authoritative. So, China, among many others, is clearly a fascist state. It may not surprise you that Mussolini was a socialist before he took up the fascist cause, and you may be forgiven if you wonder whether fascism was just a way to avoid the word “nationalization.”

By the time FDR took office there were many Americans who had good things to say about Benito Mussolini’s fascism. Here’s a link to the Leftist WaPo, a site your Progressive frenemies cannot easily dismiss. It manages to bash Trump, always a Progressive treat, and lists many prominent American Mussolini enthusiasts. The author manages to get through the whole thing while never mentioning FDR, and includes this hilarity:

Mussolini’s powerful handlers tapped into widespread misgivings about the domestic cost of Wilson-style democracy and growing anxieties about gender equality by pitching Mussolini as a strong male leader with a nationalistic brand of effective governance.

‘Handlers’? Ha. You want handlers? Look up Edith Wilson in the context of Woodrow’s stroke, and think about Jill Biden. The 25th Amendment had to wait until 1967 to be added to the Constitution, and until 2020 to be part of Democrat election strategy.

‘Wilson-style democracy’? Wilson was an oligarchist.

‘Misgivings’? Ha, ha. While our Democrats were making Henry Wallace FDR’s Veep?

Implied misogyny’? Ha, ha, ha. The Italians were worried their leader didn’t respect women, while FDR was … well, not worried about it:

“Franklin deserved a good time,” Alice Longworth, a confidante of FDR, once said. “He was married to Eleanor.”

‘Gender equality’? A construct beyond the imagination of Italians or Americans of the time. In 1932 “gender” was rightly regarded as a feature of some Romance languages, not a social justice crusade necessitating a redefinition of “sex.”

The Great Depression helped FDR get away with the New Deal, and when WWII came along to actually end the Depression (FDR had prolonged it), it only reinforced FDR’s power to shift the country to acceptance of the “dollar a year man” authoritarian bureaucracy. It’s not so cheap anymore.

We still see this autocratic urge expressed through redefinition today. The word “science” used to mean “falsifiable,” for example. Now it means whatever the consensus of government dependent boffins come up with. From “climate change” to lockdowns and mask mandates. From denials of biological sex to outcome equality. For example:
Translating Social Justice Newspeak – Law & Liberty
Liberals Redefine Words

Worth reading, but both neglect some important redefinitions. “Democracy,” for example.

I don’t know when that started, but the false premise is that the United States is a Democracy rather than a Constitutional Republic (Thanks, Woodrow.). Now Democracy “belongs” to Democrats, and you aren’t part of that if you object to voting without regard to legality, dislike open borders, believe sex is binary, think the Second Amendment applies to individuals, or get grumpy when someone calls you a murderer for not wearing 2 masks. Here’s a 4 minute video worth watching for how the Democrats view “Our” Democracy.
WSJ Opinion: The Progressive Push to Redefine ‘Our Democracy’

Another important word that’s been redefined is “Capitalism.” It’s depressing how many people describe China’s economic system as capitalist. If you look at Mussolini’s definitions, China is fascist. In America, it’s fashionable for Progressives to blame “free market failures” for botched government interventions. American corporatism pays homage to the blustering Italian, and is familial with the Chinese Communists.

What words mean matters. Those who make the changing of meaning their tactic for gaining political advantage are characters in 1984.

Farming Detroit

I was reminded by this story today, BUSTED: Democrats Snuck $1 BILLION For ‘Racial Justice’ In Farming Section Of COVID Bill …of an email I wrote to the Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources in September, 2020, about a seminar series titled Race, Food, & Land.

One suspects the CANR seminar owes something to this 2014 WKAR (MSU’s PBS station) short video on food security and sovereignty. WKAR’s presentation is very unassuming, including none of the Critical Theory espoused by, shall we say, more activist websites.

This link to the CANR seminar announcement is from the Wayback Machine, so it might load slowly. In any case, I have reproduced the relevant section at the end of this post.

The Race, Food, & Land seminar is an example of what oozes out of our Universities to become billion dollar CCP virus porkulus. Seems more in line with the Reparations demands than anything to do with the pandemic. But, never miss a chance to feign virtue for votes using other people’s money.

Anyway, here’s the letter:

RE: Race, Food, & Land Series- September 24th

The description of this seminar is confusing.

The idea that “Across the United States black farmers and black communities face major barriers related to farmland acquisition and achieving food sovereignty” may well be true, but “food sovereignty” here seems to be the idea that black people should only depend on other black people, in Michigan, so as to eat.

It occurred to me that I was misinterpreting the term “food sovereignty.” So, I looked it up. What I discovered is typified by complaints about colonialism, anti-capitalist screeds, appeals to climate change (a intersectionalist irrelevancy), and anti-GMO hysteria. Altogether, it seems to intend to promote the tragedy of the commons via a splintered collectivism.

I’m all for people making their own decisions, and being left to live with the consequences. This means, (contra ‘food sovereignty’) that eating is not a “right.” Eating without working has been proposed, even tried, but it does not seem to work out.

To be sure, colonialism was problematic. Certainly, neither the United States nor capitalism are perfect.

Still, emphasizing the past and complaining about the country and economic system that have raised more people into immense wealth relative to the days of the Raj is utopian folly.

Food sovereigntists blame both starvation and obesity on market based free trade, but I found no explanation, policy suggestion, or description of how their proposals solve this.

Food sovereignty may be well intentioned, but the implementation would prove far more oppressive than the current, hard won economic conditions we experience, while hurting the supposed present day “colonized” the most. “Food deserts” are to be converted into boycotts of non-POC farmers?

I’m unsure how the acquisition of farmland relates to the (emphasis mine) “past, present, and future projections of race relations in Detroit.” That is, I’m wondering what Detroit acreage “Black/African-American farmers in Detroit,” are unable to acquire. And how many of them have tried to purchase what I would have supposed to be non-existent for practical purposes.

I couldn’t help but think about the result for farming, and eating, in South Africa and Zimbabwe as a blacks only food sovereignty experiment your seminar may wish to examine.

Maybe a seminar on turning blocks and blocks of blighted Detroit real estate into arable land could be a topic for a future seminar series? That would at least make your current seminar relevant to its description.

As a supply chain issue, I get why local resources are important, though clearly we all also benefit greatly from global food supply. Leaving aside the fact that no Michiganders of whatever surface melanin content have local food sovereignty in the purchase of bananas or pineapples, I still can’t understand the racial focus this series advertises.

Why is it that a white man growing peaches near South Haven, or a brown man growing tomatoes in Florida, or a yellow man growing rice in California, can no longer be trusted as much as a black man growing apples near Benton Harbor to supply foodstuff to people whose color none of the trading partners know, or care, about?

Such a contention is just as racist as if I insisted that all watermelon and fried chicken eaten by blacks in Detroit be produced within 50 miles of the 8 Mile corridor. By black farmers.

——————————

Seminar description from CANR:

Race, Food, & Land Series- September 24th
September 24, 2020 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Zoom Webinar

Contact: For more information, please contact —- —— at ——-@msu.edu or 517-nnn-nnnn.

Across the United States black farmers and black communities face major barriers related to farmland acquisition and achieving food sovereignty. These issues often go unseen and need to be discussed. MSU Extension and MSU Tollgate Farm will be facilitating a three-part lecture series to highlight the past, present, and future projections of race relations in Detroit and how race has impacted land acquisition and food sovereignty. Each session will consist of a team of MSU Extension facilitators joined by panelists from across the Detroit food systems landscape to share their lived and learned experiences. Registration fees, minus the cost of stipends for the panelists, will go toward initiatives that support the needs of Black/African-American farmers in Detroit…

September 24th, Envisioning the Future of Food and Farming in Detroit:

Articulate action items that can support the work of grassroots organizations within Detroit tackling the issues of food, land, and racial equity.

Envision what needs to change, grow, or “be weeded out” to bring forth food sovereignty in Detroit.

Remember the power flow?

It’s downstream from Washington.

Yesterday, I wrote of Texas power woes:

Central planners knew reserve dispatchable (on demand) electricity provision was a weakness for renewables’ case, even as renewables raise the importance of dispatchable power. If planners wanted more renewable energy they had to raise electricity prices to fund building the standby generators and securing the fuel supplies they might not use, or take bigger risks across the board.

Wind and solar were not to be dinged for the increased costs they impose on the grid to ensure reliable generating capacity during extreme weather events. Mustn’t have anyone question whether windmills or solar panels are doing the job you hired them for if you still have to have natural gas plants idling in case of bad weather.

Unsuprisingly, wind proponents would prefer the raise rates solution, now that they can act like they’re not responsible for the lobbying that contributed to it. The WSJ notes: “The wind lobby says Texas should have required thermal (nuclear, gas, coal) plants to be weatherized to withstand single-digit temperatures.

I wouldn’t have phrased it as if the costs might be borne by the conventional power companies. Consumers would pay. And I wouldn’t have accepted the wind lobby’s implication that the thermal power companies were the culprits, since the wind lobby persuaded the regulators to avoid price increases attributable to wind power in favor of higher risk. How do you think the new power transmission lines for windmills and solar are paid for? See also.

When wind lobbyists ask politicians to “require our competition to” it’s just another sign Texas is not a free market in electricity.

Then there are Federal regs.

In this case it seems as if they were used to give Texas a little slap. On Feb 12th, Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked the President to declare a major disaster for Texas’ 254 counties. The President approved it for 77 counties. Grants are now available for temporary housing, home repairs, and low-cost loans for most Texans. That means large population centers like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin…

You can supply your own theory about why rural Texans are considered to have been less damaged.

By Feb 14th ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) was urging everyone to minimize electricity consumption, and had asked the Department of Energy for permission to exceed Federal restrictions (running fossil fuel plants at only about 60% capacity). The DoE approved this request with the proviso, first suggested by ERCOT, that the power would be sold at no less than $1,500 per megawatt hour, compared to $18.20 per megawatt hour in February 2020.

Note: the $1,500 figure, contrary to some reports, was SUGGESTED BY ERCOT. This doesn’t change anything regarding regulatory conditions, it simply means ERCOT knew what they had to do to get approval. DoE may not have initiated the price floor, but they still imposed it.

The letter later referred to this pricing as “a separate mechanism to help ensure this capacity is deployed only when absolutely necessary.”

Webber, the professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said that cost was a “minimum price” that would ensure plants permitted to bypass environmental restrictions were not given an unfair advantage.

“Emissions controls cost money,” he said. “It would be unfair to let some power plants turn off their emissions controls, which lowers their operational costs, and then to use that lower cost to underbid other generators who responsibly left their controls in place.”

Ted Kury, director of energy studies for the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida, said “when wholesale prices get high, the market operator is actually hoping that this sends a signal to folks to stop using electricity.” That works for, say, large companies — but it often ends up being punitive for residential customers.

Yes, prices are signals, but I think in this case Texans had already got the conserve power message. Soon enough they couldn’t buy it at any price. No “unfair advantage” there. And we can’t think of any way to have tiered pricing without sophisticated computer systems. And we don’t have that. Right?

Still, we must be absolutely sure that hoarders, wreckers, exploiters, and saboteurs – like some Aluminum smelter somewhere in Texas – didn’t use any of that power. They might have achieved 2 or 3 days production at the same electricity cost they’d have a week later. They might have forced their employees to drive to work under disaster conditions, and then made them sign NDAs to prevent anyone from ever finding out what evil businessmen do when old people are freezing to death. Or, some Bitcoin miner might have done the same thing, because they are really evil and they’d have comparatively few employees. Yeah, THOSE guys could get away with it.

Well, at least until the digital meter monitor reported their electricity usage.