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Why is the Democratic Party So Disciplined? I Want a President Born on the Fourth of July

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It Isn't Roberts' Problem: It's Ours

by Christopher Chantrill
June 30, 2015 at 12:00 am

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WHEN CHIEF Justice Roberts voted in Obamacare in 2012 I wrote that:

[T]he only way to make liberals accept a repeal of ObamaCare is by the brute force of political power, the mandate of the voters expressed at the ballot box.

Now Roberts has pushed aside the little matter of the Obamis’ deliberate attempt to intimidate states into building their own health care exchanges in King v. Burwell. Justice Kennedy has rubber-stamped gay marriage, and hey, what’s the matter with a little disparate impact among friends?

What is going on here? It’s all explained in Angelo Codevilla’s 2010 American Spectator epic, “America’s Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution.” The money quote is (in reference to little Timmy Geithner):

Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America’s ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats.

As in programs and regulations and policy analysis.

The culture of bureaucracy began in America with the rise of the Progressives in the late 19th century as they determined to bring America out of its embarrassing spoils-system Dark Age with rationalism and expertise. First they built a culture that worshiped at the altar of the rational educated expert. They they remade politics and government in its image.

That’s the reason for Chief Justice Roberts’ capitulation. It’s Breitbart’s First Law: Politics is downstream from culture. We can’t roll back the administrative welfare state with a stroke of the legal pen because we haven’t won the battle for the culture.

Oh sure, we want to maintain a conservative majority on the court to stop the lefty mind-numbed robots from rubber stamping every stupid liberal idea that comes into the policy-analyst mind of a Jonathan Gruber. But that majority can only stand astride Liberal Fascism shouting Stop.

In short, we conservatives cannot “fundamentally transform” the administrative welfare state until every Pajama Boy and Mattress Girl in America confidently knows that entitlements and the regulatory state are rubbish. To do that means to change the culture, and then grow a ruling class rooted in that culture.

That kind of ruling class wouldn’t have written a cruel law like Obamacare, wouldn’t impose gay marriage from on high, because why would anyone, even the dullest scion of a political family such as, oh, a Chelsea Clinton, want to do anything so unjust, so stupid as that?

Now, I have done some humble work on the question of changing the culture. In fact I think about nothing else. Not surprisingly, I’ve come up with an idea or two which might help to change the political culture, such as:

Government is force. Imagine an America in which every twentysomething dressed in artistical black is tweeting in response to the latest liberal free-stuff proposal: Doofus #GovIsForce. See here.

Capitalism invented plantation slavery, But then it changed its mind, because slaves don’t create wealth like free, responsible workers. Capitalism has increased per capita income from $3 per day to $100 per day in 200 years. There has been nothing like that, ever. Stalin, Mao, and the Castro brothers double-checked the math, just to be sure. See here.

Also, Everyone gets involved. We are talking about civil society, baby, and the culture of involvement for things like education, relief of the poor and elderly, driven by “an inherent element of peaceableness, good-naturedness, and generosity” as lefty Theodor Adorno (I kid you not!) put it in Critical Models. See here.

I think that’s enough for now. It’s a start. There’s lots more over at An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.

There’s one little problem with this glorious new culture that, one fine day, will flow downstream into our politics. It is that every government on this planet is an armed minority ruling over some territory, and it maintains the consent of the governed by handing out free stuff to its freeloading supporters.

So the glorious new culture would be fighting against one of the oldest of human instincts: to freeload off the work of others.

And it would be fighting against all liberals and Democrats who think you can’t have enough people of the subordinate self that vote for more free stuff and keep dull scions of political families in the chips.

But if the glorious new culture wins the war, then the Supreme Court wouldn’t matter so much, because it would just go along the new ruling-class ideology, just like today’s court tends to go along with today’s ruling class.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


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


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


Never Trust Experts

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, “Letter to Lord Lytton”


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


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”


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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