Monday, June 3, 2013

Where Will This Corruption End?

Anyone that isn't a dyed-in-the-wool liberal must see that the Obama administration is the most corrupt administration in our lifetimes.  We are not just talking about the IRS, the Holder Justice Department, the Benghazi scandal.  Or even the latest news from Jeff Jacoby that welfare is rotten to the core.

Not even financial corruption that is the problem, although you can tell there is plenty of that.

It is the ideological blinders, the fact that liberals give themselves a pass to do whatever it takes to rid the world of evil: that is the problem.

Of course, back in the Watergate era, liberals were making similar jabs at the Nixon administration people.  They forget, of course, that Nixon was governing in the aftermath of the Sixties and there really were people planning revolution.  Eh, Bill Ayers?  Nixon almost had an excuse.  And just like the baby boom that came of age in the 1840s, the Sixties radicals were the children of the well-to-do.

The problem is what we generally call political correctness.  It is the corruption of the Frankfurt School's attempt to reform Marxism.  Postmodernism and the Frankfurt School have developed some transcendent ideas.  But in the hands of dull adepts and routine thinkers the tradition has developed into a secular religion that simply says progressives good, conservatives bad.  And progressives have licensed themselves to do anything needful to advance their agenda.  Of course they have.  Good must be made to triumph over evil.

The problem, of course, is that as progressives have defined their task as the fight of good over evil they have made themselves into a secular religion.  And because their politics is identical to their religion they have collapsed the separation between religion and state that is encoded in the First Amendment.

That is because progressives are too stupid, or too dishonest, to realize that what they think of as progressive politics is really a secular religion with a moral agenda, not just an ordinary political program.

In the modern secular religions politics and religion get collapsed into a totalitarian state.  That is what it means when you collapse the barriers and the separations between the three main power sectors in the culture, between religion and government and the economy.  You get all the power structures collapsed and added up into a single total.

And let's face it, our liberal friends really don't understand the meaning of any limits on their power.  Their ideas are necessary, their cause is right, and their opponents are racists, sexists, and homophobes.  Also anti-choice fascists.

Back in the days of Nixon liberals had a point that the presidency was turning into an "imperial presidency."  But now the liberals are turning the whole nation into a liberal mandarinate.

Because the idea is that liberals should be in charge and liberals should set the rules, and liberals should be exempt from the rules if needed to advance the liberal agenda of all that is progressive and diverse.

The problem is that the rules about the First Amendment are not just there to protect liberal journalists against Richard Nixon's myrmidons.  We like to think that the rules and the limits are there to protect the people.  But the rulers are always the rulers and the governed are always the governed.

Really, the whole apparatus that limits government power is there to protect the powerful from themselves.  It is to stop them from imagining that they are anything other than mere temporary custodians of the public trust.  And to stop them from thinking that some Big Push of government will do anything to improve society.

The way I look at it makes the complex understandable.  Humans are social animals, but government is force.  Thus the problem with government is to stop it and its forces from stamping out the living beating heart of society, the social cooperations and interactions, with its overweening force.

Think of it this way.  When you take a drug for chemotherapy you are ingesting a poison that you hope will kill the nasties without killing the rest of you.  It's a very tricky business, and is slowly getting better as scientists develop better drugs that target specific cells in the body while leaving others alone.

But government can never get that smart.  Government is just a blunt force that squelches everything in its path.  For over a century liberals have believed in a chimera that, with the help of large-minded people and intelligent experts, they can make government into a responsive, precision instrument.

We are about two-thirds of the way into the process at the end of which even liberals will come to realize that you can't do that.  Government is government; force is force.

The trick with government is the opposite of what liberals think.  It is to figure out new ways to replace government's blunt force with ingenious new ways of social cooperation.  We are talking about things like individualism, the market, credit, and the extension of trust beyond family and tribe.

Liberals don't get that, and they will pay for it.  Unfortunately, the rest of us are going to pay even more.

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