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Austerity: Krugman's False Message Riots and Liberals

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Liberal Barnacles Show How Not To Do It

by Christopher Chantrill
May 21, 2013 at 12:00 am

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WITH THE IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal and the AP scandal, it is almost time for educated, intelligent people to start wondering just what President Obama meant when he promised in 2008 to heal the nation’s partisan divide.

Everybody knows that conservatives are haters and homophobes. But still, healers don’t use the IRS to intimidate Tea Party ladies trying to enter into the public square.

We are talking about an administration with a Culture of Intimidation, according to senior Republican officeholders — and presumably the folks in their focus groups agree.

But why be surprised that the IRS is targeting conservative groups for harassment and intimidation, asks Mike Adams? Today’s government functionaries are just practicing what their liberal professors taught them. He cites the case of a gay activist at the University of North Carolina that started his career of intimidation by trying to force the Muslim Students Association to be more “inclusive.” Then he moved on to the intimidation of the college Christian groups and the College Republicans.

At Swarthmore College recently, student activists “forcibly seized control of an open Board of Managers meeting, issued demands and ejected conservative students, while Swarthmore’s president Rebecca Chopp stood by and did nothing.”

Speaking truth to power? More like the little darlings of the ruling class getting their basic training in class-race-gender warfare.

The whole idea of a liberal education is to prepare talented young people for lives of political leadership and government service. But when you throw out the Platos and Aristotles and substitute a training in identity politics and encourage the bullying of ruling-class opponents, you get what you asked for. You get the Obama administration and its political apparatus mobilized not for transforming the nation but merely to win the next election with the help of the IRS.

This IRS scandal is nothing new. The use of the tax bureaucracy as a weapon of repression takes us back to the place where we moderns came in a few centuries ago. It takes us back to the days of the absolute monarchs, who invented the tax bureaucracy as a way of breaking through the old medieval corporate bodies, the guilds and confraternities, so that they could strip away the protection of those mediating structures and touch the individual citizen and tax him to pay for their armies.

That’s why conservatives believe in strengthening the mediating structures: family, church, and association. Conservatives think it’s the best way to protect ordinary people from the intimidation of Big Government, Big Unions, Big Business and Big Tax.

You see, liberals, it’s one thing to go to a peaceful protest and anathematize all conservatives as racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobes. Perfectly harmless and good clean fun for young heads full of mush. But it takes on rather a different color when actual government officials, the Barnacles and the Stiltstockings at the IRS Circumlocution Office, get the idea that it’s their job to rid the world of book-burning conservative extremists.

Remember, the motto of Charles Dickens’ original Circumlocution Office was “How Not To Do It.”

The IRS fiasco points up a significant weakness in the philosophy of Alinsky-style politics and beyond that to progressive politics as a whole. It’s one thing to pose as an activist “speaking truth to power” and make the rulers obey their own rules by going “after people and not institutions [as] people hurt faster than institutions.”

But when you are the ruler or his functionary then that rather changes things. Because anything you do as a government official after the Alinsky manner amounts to a simple and egregious abuse of power: in a word, injustice. You lift the veil of political illusion from Hope and Change and reveal the truth that government is force, and politics is division.

Pretty soon anyone with half a brain will see that the Alinsky-trained government functionaries are nothing but thugs beating up on ordinary people to force them to kow-tow to a callous Son of Heaven shut up in his Forbidden City with his cruel and unjust Mandarin ruling class.

Conservatives don’t advocate for limited government just because it’s the right thing to do. We do it also because it’s the only thing that works in the long run. If you raise up your youngsters to be political bullies and base your politics on political intimidation your party may flourish in the short run. But in the end you end up teaching people to hate injustice; you raise a head of rebellion against your ruling class.

The tawdry use of IRS functionaries to intimidate mom-and-pop Tea Party types sends a message to the American people. It’s not a message that will transform Obama’s four point win in 2012 into a permanent Democratic majority.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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