|"As President, I Will Defend Americans Against the Moral Bullies"||Ferguson: Life in the Promised Land|
by Christopher Chantrill
August 19, 2014 at 12:00 am
EVERYONE THAT has half a brain understands that the foundations are shaking. Richard Fernandez is wondering what comes next. Can the nation state survive today’s modern identity politics where supposed Brits and Norwegians go to the Middle East to fight for ISIS?
Then you read Michael A. Cohen, a good liberal from the Century Foundation, who blithely writes this about the upcoming midterms:
In an election cycle in which Republicans are seemingly immersed in full-scale intra-party civil war, Democrats are keeping their powder dry. A party that used to be divided over the most primal issues in American politics — race, war, labor vs. business — is more unified than at any other time in recent history.
Who knows? RealClearPolitics election maven Sean Trende has looked at the Washington State primary and determined that the midterm looks about average: bad for the president’s party but not too bad.
But let’s think Fernandez and his worry about the nation state. There’s a reason why the nation state is in trouble: liberals. They don’t like it.
Liberals have two problems with the nation state. Their first beef is that the nation state encourages aggressive “nationalism.” Look at the wars of the 20th century, they say. If it weren’t for nationalism, no wars. Their second problem is that the nation state and its idea that we are all Americans spoils their identity politics. They want their helpless victims hived off from the mass of citizens. Their politics just doesn’t work if everyone in the US is a happy Yank. That’s why liberals have to hyphenate everyone.
Of course nationalism can go horribly wrong, as in World War I. I’d say that the problem was this: the average political bear in 1914 had no clue just what a staggeringly brutal war modern industrial states were capable of sustaining. By 1919 or, at the latest, 1945 he did.
Pity that after World War II the great and the good decided that we the people just couldn’t be trusted to elect the right leaders so educated transnational elites would have to supervise the great unwashed in the nation states. But why would today’s average elite bear be any wiser than 100 years ago?
OK, I get that there is a problem with the nation state. The way you unify the nation is with an external enemy. Doesn’t matter who it is. It can be the Mexicans in 1848, the Kaiser in 1917, the Nazis and the Japanese in 1941, the Commies, and now the Islamofascists.
But there is something worse. The evil genius of liberals is to conjure up internal enemies. First they picked on the rich and the robber barons when they were leading the working class, and now they pick on racists, sexists, homophobes when they are leading African Americans, upper-class women, and upper-class gays. They think they are smart, and can control the enmities they spawn, but what if they aren’t as smart as they think?
If the liberals end up by destroying the nation state, what will take its place? That is what Richard Fernandez is trying to figure out.
I’d rather not think about that. I am a middle-class American and I want to fight for the nation state, for I reckon that a world without the nation state won’t work for people like me.
You see, a nation state with limited government permits ordinary people to go about their business, finding jobs, creating businesses, sending their kids to college, and saving for their retirement – as responsible individuals. But liberals like President Obama don’t like that. They want a world with fairness and equality, defined and ruled by people like them.
Obamacare, green energy, amnesty for illegal immigrants, taxes, regulations and debt. Obama’s policies are helping the super-rich, the corporate elite, and the poor. But those same policies are murdering middle class opportunity and mobility, raising costs, and destroying the livelihoods of middle class Americans.
Karl Marx wrote that people form a class when they organize for political struggle around an idea that they are oppressed and exploited by some other group. Let’s see: In America there are three classes: the ruling class of liberals and crony capitalists, the middle class of wage-earners and small business owners, and the underclass of entitlement beneficiaries. I know which side I am on, and you do too.
What will come after the nation state? Perhaps the liberals will fold it into their supranational utopia, or perhaps it will collapse in a war of the identities.
Here is my strategy for our middle-class fight for the nation state: We win and they lose.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society
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
Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures
The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since
1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and
philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West
Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its
characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then,
once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities
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.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
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
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
[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
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
The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital