Emperors undressed

The Rise of the Ungovernables

2019 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Francis Fukuyama’s seminal essay for the National Interest “The End of History?” Its central hypothesis was that we were witnessing “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” That looked plausible in 1989, particularly when the Berlin Wall fell just months after the essay’s release. Thirty years later—not so much.

To be fair to Fukuyama, he never suggested that the world had seen the end of geopolitical conflict or that democracies would experience no more of Macmillan’s “events.” Today, he continues to view liberal democracy as the best form of government, but he is less optimistic about its robustness. It’s hard to disagree with him. The Brexit chaos, the Trump presidency, the collapse of support for centrist parties across Europe, and the pervasive rise of populism and nationalism, all point to the growing fragility of liberal democracy.

Why is this happening now? The usual response is to blame it all on the politicians. Leaders like Orban and Trump are subverting the institutions at the heart of liberal democracy. Political parties like Alternative für Deutschland and the National Rally are promoting illiberal and xenophobic policies. If only we had better leaders, democracy would flourish—so goes the argument.

That last sentence is exactly the same excuse Socialists and Communists use for state failures in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, Cambodia, North Korea, et. al.. A majority of voters in this country agree with it, even as they are split on policy.

That last sentence describes the danger of the Imperial Presidency – something that connects Obama and Trump (they’re hardly alone, but it became an art form under their tender care).

That last sentence describes voters’ aspirations.  It explains Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and Donald Trump.  Not that they all share policy ideas, but that a sufficient number of voters see them as saviors.  This is a terrible way to think about public employees.

The Obamaists and the Trumpists both revere the Man, not the Law.  Their Emperor’s ideas are fully clothed in their own narcissism.

Read the whole article, it presents some good ideas about cultural changes contributing to the problem and the related role of social media.

Which clueless totalitarian are you?

We need a Facebook quiz to find out which Atlas Shrugged character Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is like.

There might not be a match. Ayn Rand’s fiction has been criticized for unidimensional characterization, but even she would find AOC unbelievable.

Here Are The Most Shocking Proposals From Ocasio-Cortez’ “Green New Deal”

Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t provide any insight into how the trillions of dollars in spending will be paid for other than claiming, “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit”. But as Ocasio-Cortez says, “the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity”.

Provide free, mandatory classes for every citizen in speaking ‘Venezuelan?’

(Update, 12:48PM here‘s one estimate of the cost.)

Here’s a snippet from an FAQ document, published by proponents, describing the wonders of the ‘Green New Deal:’

Yes, we are calling for a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases. Anyone who has read the resolution sees that we spell this out through a plan that calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy. Simply banning fossil fuels immediately won’t build the new economy to replace it – this is the plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically. We do this through a huge mobilization to create the renewable energy economy as fast as possible. We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.

Maybe “our new shared prosperity” will pay for little solar-powered methane suction devices attached to the rear of every cow.  “Methane Disposal,” you ask?  Well, we just inject it into the natural gas supply lines…  Oh wait, natural gas will be banned.

OK.  More likely, the cow problem solves itself when meat and milk are banned.

This manifesto attracted so much ridicule that they tried to disappear it from the internet. They forgot the internet is forever. It is humorous reading.

This great leap forward is on top of universal free college education and medicare for all. So, they desperately need the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, King Midas, and the Pope (for divine intervention).

What they’ve got is Modern Monetary Theory:

MMT Sounds Great In Theory, But…

If you haven’t heard about Modern Monetary Theory your IQ is higher than it would have been if you had. It is really neither modern, nor a theory (it’s not actually testable*); and it misapprehends the meaning of the word ‘monetary.’ However, it could be in your future as a general government policy.

This theory of infinite currency printing does not admit to being limited by inflation. Any excess currency is simply taxed back. Inflation is something that cannot happen with a proper implementation of MMT.

Proper. Implementation. By the ‘best and brightest.’ Like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

MMT has an obvious attraction for politicians. We’ve been playing at the edges of it for quite some time.

Let’s close with a last word from Ocasio-Cortez on the “Green New Deal”:

“I think one way that the right does try to mischaracterize what we’re doing as though it’s like some kind of massive government takeover. Obviously it’s not that because what we’re trying to do is release the investments from the federal government to mobilize those resources across the country.”

Obviously! Release! Investments! Mobilize! That explains the whole thing: She’s hired a fluent Newspeak expert. ‘Obviously’ means, “If you don’t understand, it’s because you’re stupid.” ‘Release’ means, oh, I don’t know, “the vast Federal budget surplus being held hostage by Trump’s wall proposal?” ‘Investments’ means, “Impossible government spending.” ‘Mobilize’ means, “At gunpoint.”

*Proponents will say, “It is testable, but it’s never been tried.” Well, that’s what they say about Communism, too. But, let’s even ignore the actual workings of an economy and admit that MMT depends on the refined judgment of virtuous politicians zealously balancing currency flow. And if you imagine that can be accomplished, you run into an even bigger problem: To do their job, these paragons also have to possess instant, encyclopedic, perfectly accurate information about every aspect of that economy.

Looking into the maw of the beast

MSNBC political analyst Elise Jordan:

“And I think it’s unfortunate that we are designing — that we are designing public policy in a way that, you know, comes down to how you voted in an election,”

I think it’s unfortunate that we live in a democratic Republic where “those people” can vote.

There, fixed that for her.

Right or Left? Wrong question.

RTWT
Socialist Academics Contributed to the Rise of the Third Reich

Indeed they did.

Can anyone offer a single consequential difference between Fascism/Nazism and Communism/Socialism/Marxism?

Specifically, please explain the claim that Nazis are right wing, but Communists are left wing. If you really want to assist me, tell me how Antifa can possibly be anti-Fascist.

Seems to me those various labels just cover minor squabbles among the Totalitarianists. Cosmetic distinctions.

Rapist credits

The real-world judicial system impinges upon the Jared Polis plan.

Representative Polis (D-CO) says that because we can reasonably assume that of 10 accused campus rapists 2 are actually guilty, we should force-transfer all 10 to other universities. One obvious consequence is that the receiving institutions would be enrolling 2 real rapists whose crimes go unpunished. Another is that no one could be sure if they got a real rapist, so they’d have to act as if all 10 had actually committed rape. I’m not sure what that would mean, but I wonder about the legal liability for any university which accepts someone who is subsequently accused of committing a(nother) rape. Surveillance 24/7?

Another result of Mr. Polis’ plan is that 8 accused rapists would be in a position to sue the originating institution. In fact, to preserve what little of their reputation they would have left, all 10 would be incentivized to file suit. Nobody knows which 2 are guilty, so the odds are good for all of them.

Polis does not explain why any university would want to enroll accused rapists. Perhaps we would need to supply an incentive: Maybe something analogous to carbon credits. Think of accused rapists as coal-fired power plants and complainants as newly planted trees. Why not establish a credit system for the transfer of complainants?

Math is hard, but if 1 in 5 campus men accused of rape is guilty, then 4 of 5 of accusations are false. For every 5 complainants transferred into your institution you could avoid accepting 1 accused rapist. That increases your tuition base. Further, transferring all complainants would address a larger proportion of the problem (4 liars become somebody else’s problem), while simultaneously endangering fewer women on the new campus than the transfer of a single rapist.

It does put a whole new group of men at higher risk of false accusations, but who cares?

It also doesn’t put the real rapists behind bars. But that isn’t the point, is it?

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first – verdict afterwards.’

With Representative Jared Polis (D – Boulder, CO) and soon to be former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton (D – Carpetbag, AR) channeling Iracebeth of Crims, I am reminded not just of Lewis Carroll, but also Joseph Heller and Franz Kafka.

The trial of the Knave in Alice in Wonderland, Clevinger’s Court Martial in Catch-22 and Joeseph K.’s year imprisoned in The Trial have much in common with the kangaroo court system Jared and Hillary want to establish.

Carroll:

“If there’s no meaning in it,” said the King, “that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to find any.”

Heller:

Clevinger was guilty, of course, or he would not have been accused, and since the only way to prove it was to find him guilty, it was their patriotic duty to do so.

Kafka:

“[I]t is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.”

Polis:

I mean, if there’s 10 people that have been accused and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, [it] seems better to get rid of all 10 people. We’re not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we’re talking about their transfer to another university.

Yep. They’re at liberty to apply to the University of Accused Rapists.

Hillary:

To every survivor of sexual assault… You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed. We’re with you.

The ‘right’ of the accuser to be believed eliminates the rights of the guilty and innocent alike. Who has the “right to be believed?” Well, in Hillary’s case, we know who doesn’t: Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Monica Lewinsky.

Always good intent they have

Actually, that’s not true, as Representative Jared Polis, D-CO and the people who applaud him are demonstrating.

Here’s what TITLE IX OF THE EDUCATION AMENDMENTS OF 1972 states:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

That is called the “intent,” which for our Chief Justice of the Supreme Court should be sufficient to uphold the law even as it is transformed into Representative Polis’ desired result:

“Every male person enrolled in any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance in the United States shall be subject to summary expulsion from that program or activity if anyone, no matter how wildly specious their complaint, makes an accusation of “untoward” behavior as defined by unelected, judicially untrained administrators acting outside the Justice system and without reference to Constitutional protections. The parameters shall apply retroactively and be recodified contemporaneously with each and any accusation to reflect the suggestions of the three (3) most junior female-identifying clerks at the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights who possess a minimum Body Mass Index of 35.”

Despite talking points, the IRS did NOT target Progressive groups

Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the “Progressives” identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012…

The inappropriate criteria used to select potential political cases for review did not include the term “Progressives.”

From,
J. Russell George
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
June 26, 2013

Full letter here.

The Democrats’ attempt to make the IRS corruption appear apolitical is worse than the original crime, “We know they did it, but we don’t care.”

More IRS protest coverage

Meanwhile, Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, will take the 5th in her non-testimony to Congress.

It’s curious that a high-level IRS official would have to invoke non-self-incrimination in a situation where she apologized for low-level people who were solely responsible. Since when does “bad customer service” require that?

No telling, really, when these people will decide to respect Constitutional Law.