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.

Doing what they do

The electrons had barely come to rest before my prediction yesterday was fulfilled: Biden Says Rioters Who Stormed Capitol Were Domestic Terrorists

Mr. Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them.

We already have such laws of course, probably more than we need given TSA, but we refused to apply them all last summer. People were fired at the New York Times when they unaccountably published an Op-Ed by Tom Cotton pointing it out.

We went all summer acquiescing to extended occupation of US territory by declared insurrectionists who – across the country – committed massive property destruction, murder, extensive arson, and pervasive looting of government. And, opportunistically, against private citizens and businesses having no connection to the grievances. We were told it was a “A summer of love” and “People will do what they do.”

This Wednesday we had a bit of property destruction and a little looting directed at government in a single city. And maybe an unjustified police shooting. After which everyone went home. But it was the wrong property, the wrong lootees, and an unarmed white female. This time it’s different.

I hit the “publish” button yesterday mere hours before Joe Biden’s knee-jerk “DO Something” reaction was to threaten revival of uber-progressive racist Woodrow Wilson’s Sedition Act of 1918:

The Sedition Act of 1918 curtailed the free speech rights of U.S. citizens during time of war.

Passed on May 16, 1918, as an amendment to Title I of the Espionage Act of 1917, the act provided for further and expanded limitations on speech. Ultimately, its passage came to be viewed as an instance of government overstepping the bounds of First Amendment freedoms.

President Woodrow Wilson, in conjunction with congressional leaders and the influential newspapers of the era, urged passage of the Sedition Act in the midst of U.S. involvement in World War I…

…The provisions of the act prohibited certain types of speech as it related to the war or the military [and what wouldn’t?]. Under the act, it was illegal to incite disloyalty within the military; use in speech or written form any language that was disloyal to the government, the Constitution, the military, or the flag; advocate strikes on labor production; promote principles that were in violation of the act; or support countries at war with the United States.

In regard to speech, proto-President Biden has already benefitted from the interventions of Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Apple, Instagram, Snapchat, and a growing list of corporate adjuncts of the “Democratic” Party whose inconsistent judgment is substituted for the 1st Amendment.

They’re telling us President Trump incited insurrection with his pre-‘Stop the Steal’ rally. Well, Ann Althouse has done a wonderful thing by fact checking this claim, providing examples from the address. This is short and a must read: The 7 most violence-inciting statements in Donald Trump’s speech to the crowd on January 6th. Sadly, it’s a Google blog, and I’d rather not send them the traffic. But Althouse nails it, so I’ll view it as subversive to Google.

The state of social media alternatives to Twitter, as an example, is not encouraging. Parler is in the news because its app has already been kicked off Google’s store and has been threatened by Apple with delisting unless they (Parler) start repressing speech according to the Progressive narrative. On that news I opened a Parler account.

I have had a Pro account at Gab since 2016 to support them monetarily. It is difficult to donate to Gab, since no payment processor (Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, etc.) will allow it. Gab is the wild, wild west. They’ve achieved pariah status. You have to send a check or Bitcoin.

If Parler doesn’t accept a de facto form of Twitter moderation rules – and their terms of service could easily be bent that way without change – the same fate may await them, and I can’t see a way to donate to Parler. I’ve asked them about it.

If they stand up for their principles, they’re going to need it. They’ve been trying to thread the needle between Twitter and Gab. So long as any small group can effortlessly impose their sense of being offended, that needle is imaginary.

Gab has already suffered a concerted effort to destroy it. It hangs on, but monetization has been made so difficult that I wonder about how long that will last. I don’t login to Gab much at all, and I don’t read the stuff on Gab I don’t like, and there’s lots of it. Possibly this will be true as I check Parler, too. The fact that Gab can offend me, and Parler may possibly offend me, is exactly the point.

Supporting such platforms is a speech action (whether the Dems get Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission overturned or not) individuals can take to reduce the stranglehold of Big Tech on free speech.

Publishers are rolling over to cancel publication of books to which the Cancelists object. GoFundMe and Kickstarter, as examples, are erasing funding campaigns at the hint of pressure from the SJW/Antifa/BLM/
Progressive axis. People are losing their jobs over having peacefully assembled. Alinsky’s advice:

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

… has been highly refined.

I already miss 2020.

Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.
-Eric Hoffer

Doktor Biden

Is Mrs. Biden’s insistence on the honorific “Dr.” pretentious. Yes.

Should she cease demanding it? Yes.

Are Democrats calling anyone who suggests these things sexist pigs? That’s rhetorical.

Did Mrs. Biden’s Ed.D dissertation, STUDENT RETENTION AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: MEETING STUDENTS’ NEEDS, meet student needs? Yes, if she’s referring to herself in the plural. Yes, if she’s complaining about class sizes over 100%, and no, if she’s excluding Asians and non-resident aliens entirely:
Three quarters of the class will be Caucasian; one quarter of the class will be African American…the remaining seats will be filled with students of Asian descent or non-resident aliens.

The remaining seats are in the hallway.

And also no; if she’s trying to argue for more funding based on the percent of enrollment increase, which is ‘approximately’ double her calculation:
By 1963, public and private two year headcount enrollment stood at 850,361. By 1980, enrollment had grown to 4,526,287… approximately a 230 percent increase in student attendance.

Keep her well away from budget discussions.

On the patriarchy contention, a counterexample: President Woodrow Wilson was a PoliSci Ph.D, President of Princeton, and he won a Nobel Prize. He assumed his academic credentials gave him the knowledge and insight to ignore the Constitution and decide how the riff-raff should conduct their lives.

Jill Biden certainly may share those characteristics. One characteristic she does not share with President Wilson is an insistence on being addressed as “Dr.”

Perhaps her insecurity will be assuaged by “FLOTUS?”

Update: 2:40PM
It occurs to me that some people won’t know how Jill Biden’s predilection became an issue, and that the guy who’s been partially cancelled over it could benefit from a plug.

The issue:
Cancel Culture Fights for ‘Dr.’ Jill Biden

Some books:
The author of the now infamous piece is 84, and probably doesn’t much care. Still, here, and here are a couple of his books you could buy to stuff a little capitalism in the cancel crowd’s apertures.

P.S. I bought this one because of the one negative review.

Pointless-headed intellectuals

Howard Dean, among others, has suggested that Scott Walker is unfit to be president because his lack of a college degree renders him “unknowledgeable.” It does occur to me that not having a college degree is also true of most voters.

When I think of academically certified intellectual capacity and high office, my first thought is of the Academius Prime of American politics: Woodrow Wilson was a PoliSci PhD and President of Princeton. He won a Nobel Prize. He wore his academic credentials as a badge of honor.

He was also a racist of the first water: To quote Wilson himself on this subject, “[S]elf-preservation [forced whites] to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant negroes.” He was a eugenicist, because he wanted fewer of those “ignorant negroes” imposing an “intolerable burden” on the right-thinking government overclass. We had to wait for Lyndon Johnson until the Progressives “solved” this problem to their satisfaction.

Wilson presided over the re-segregation of the federal Civil Service. He told blacks, to their faces, that segregation was good for them.

Wilson was the driving force behind the trial balloon – The League of Nations – that eventually birthed the UN. He oversaw creation of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Income Tax/IRS and the Selective Service. He took an academically contrived, idealistic and completely unrealistic “14 points” to Versailles and then signed, and heavily promoted, the treaty that led directly to WWII.

He thought the Declaration of Independence was irrelevant and that the Constitution merely impeded progress. This bit of intellectual hubris was to re-surface when FDR attempted to pack the Supreme Court.

Wilson’s academic credentials drove his belief that he knew, better than anyone, how everyone ought to live. He is the prototype of American Progressivism. He was an elitist who credited himself with having good intentions.

In passing, I’ll note that Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates might disagree about the relationship of a college degree to intelligence, and more especially, to competence. None had such a degree.

This sort of attack on those of demonstrated competence means the attackers are afraid and don’t have real arguments. It echoes the laughter from MIT professor of economics Jonathan Gruber when he discusses “the stupidity of the American voter.” We’re all “ignorant negroes” to Progressives.

It encapsulates Barry Sotero’s disdain for the flyover country types “clinging to their guns and religion.” It’s like laughing at Walker’s lack of diversity because he’s not 1/32 Cherokee.

Next up: Carly Fiorina. We’ll hear them laughing that she’s not a real woman because she opposes dismemberment of intact dead babies to extract contractually specified parts. The intellectually correct thing, of course, is to ridicule such beliefs; as Elizabeth Warren does in that link.

It’s worth noting that the bill to defund PP was sponsored by LtCol and US Senator Joni Ernst. A mother and grandmother: A woman Senator Warren implies is orchestrating this particular battle in the #WaronWomen.

P.S.
Oh, and in revisiting Ms. Warren’s speech I’m reminded of Progressive economic ignorance. She repeats the canard that none of the Federal money paid to PP goes toward abortion. Apparently, the educational opportunities at Harvard do not include a vocabulary list containing the word “fungible.”