Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Conservatism and The Establishment

A "conservative," by definition, is a person who prefers the established over the innovative.

It's puzzling to watch conservative commentators make hay about a supposed conflict between conservatives and the establishment.

This conflict, of course, is due to the inherent duplicity of conservatism.

Modern Conservatism is a partisan ideology that uses freedom rhetoric to gain power. Once in power conservatives use their power to reward friends, punish enemies and promote economic centralization at the cost of the general welfare.

The base ideology of conservatism is an ugly thing that traces to Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Burke, Hegel, Leo Strauss, etc. If you are looking for a good read on the foundations of Conservatism, you might like Machiavelli's Virtue by the esteemed conservative scholar Harvey Mansfield.

(BTW, if you prefer writers such as Hayek, Adam Smith, the US Founders, ..., you aren't a conservative, you are actually a classical liberal).

Machiavelli taught the prince that he must strive to appear religious without actually being religious.

Translated into modern times, a conservative must appear to be for free market reform while actually being for economic and political centralization.

Since conservatism is duplicitous by nature, pundits in the conservative movement must periodically come up with excuses to explain away the chasm between what conservatives say to get office and what they actually do once in office.

In some ways, I believe that this current talk about a civil war between conservatives and the establishment is just such an excuse.

Come on guys! A conservative, by the very definition of conservative, favors the consolidation of power into the hands of an elite establishment. Claiming that there is a conflict between conservatism and ultimate desires of conservatism is absurd.

There is a huge conflict between what many people believe conservatism to be and what conservatism really is.

Since conservatism is inherently duplicitous there is no way to resolve this conflict.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Party of Truth!?

Many members of the GOP hold truth in esteem, while it is fashion for Democrats to declare truth relative.

There is a temptation to take this assumption and make the bold declaration that the GOP is the Party of Truth while the Democratic Party is the Party of Moral Relativism or outright lies.

While the declaration that the GOP is the Party of Truth might appeal to some conservatives. The declaration itself is quite absurd.

The classical western view is that there is a truth, but that humans lack the intellectual capacity or perspective to see this truth in its entirety. We hold truth in esteem but recognize our perspective is limited.

Political parties are the creation of man. Parties are just subject to the limits of man. As the flawed creation of man, parties tend to magnify human errors.

The "collective conscious" of a political party is not a superior being. The "collective conscious" of a political party is an accumulation of all the misperceptions held by the members of the party.

A party is not some sort of superior conscious. Political parties are ever changing political constructs that fluctuate with the political winds. Personally, I would never place faith in a party because parties are fickle and change through a process of action/reaction.

Modern conservatism is a partisan ideology that coevolved with modern progressivism. Conservatism and progressivism transform through action and reaction.

Quite often parties end up swapping positions in the never ending grub for political power. A few generations ago, Conservatives were the ones arguing for conservation and civil rights. Progressives captured these issues. Today, conservatives argue for moderation on civil rights and the environment.

Partisan ideology is a product of a political process and changes with the ebb and flow of political fortune.

While individual conservatives might hold truth in high esteem, conservatism itself does not. Nor can it.

The US Founders had a classical liberal arts education. Classical liberal arts was founded on the Trivium. The three legs of the trivium are grammar, logic and rhetoric. Logic refers to the classical analytic logic of the Aristotelian tradition.

This tradition holds truth in high esteem. I suspect that many of the founders not only believed that there was a truth, but that through the process of reason they could find a way to create a better form of governance.

Interestingly, the founders appear to be troubled by the partisanship of Europe, and although their own experiment in governance quickly broke down into partisanship, I suspect that few believe that truth evolves through a partisan process.

Personally, I suspect that the founders would reject the view that Conservatism was the Party of Truth and Progressivism was the Party of Lies.

While I admire those who believe there is a truth, partisanship is the least likely source for discovering truth.

The Left/Right partisan divide took root in the generations after the founders. Both the Left and Right adopted forms of modern logic, modern dialectics.

If we are to ever restore the American Experiment in self-rule, we need to realize that our partisan ideologies are inherently flawed. A nation cannot find truth through partisanship, but by looking beyond partisanship.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Conservatism v. Classical Liberalism

In theory, the GOP includes an alliance between "classical liberals" and "conservatives." In practice, the GOP uses classical liberal rhetoric to gain power. When in power, conservatives drive the classical liberals out of the party.

To define terms. The US Founders had a liberal arts education steeped in classical logic and the Western Christian Tradition. The founders applied this education to the question of liberty. The US Founders created a federation of states with a constitutionally limited government.

Classical liberals tend to have a deep appreciation for free market economics as was described by classical liberals such as Adam Smith, Frederick Heyak and von Mises.

Conservatism is a partisan ideology that evolved from the Right wing of European Parliaments.

In the French Revolution the Radical Left sought radical social change while the Reactionary Right sought to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime.

Conservatism is a partisan ideology seeking to preserve the class structure of feudalism.

Like modern liberals, modern conservatives adopted the dialectical methods of Hegel. These methods are often called "modern logic."

Modern dialectics came about as a conservative reaction to the French and American Revolution.

To understand this, one needs to understand a strange detail of history.

The Hanoverian Kings of England (George I, II, III, etc.) were German. The Kings of England funded the Germany University System.
After The US Revolution, The Hanoverian Kings of England tasked the Germany University System to come up with ways to frame the monarchy as progressive.

The reason that modern logic from the German University System had such an immediate effect is because it was funded for and promoted by the monarchy of United Kingdom.

This ideology is typified by Hegel.

Hegel realized that the best way to win an argument is to define the conflict. The intellectual who defines the conflict has the ability define the position on both sides of the conflict and is often in a position to choose the winner of the conflict.

Hegel created a fantastical Philosophy of History in which nation states were actors on the world stage competing for hegemony. Hegel created a modern logic which rejected the basic laws of reason accepted by classical logic. Hegel promoted an idea called "sublation" in which words take on their opposite meaning.

Hegel presented numerous word games that framed freedom as slavery and slavery freedom.

Hegelians creates a bizarre modern liberalism in which people seek servitude to a totalitarian state believing that such subservience is a higher level of freedom.

That said, the best example of Hegelian thought in action today is a little thing called "Fox News." Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly presents news as conflict with the goal of choosing the winner.

Both Modern Liberalism and Modern Conservatism use the same basic methodology of discourse.

This modern left/right split is a false dichotomy. Both sides and the middle of a false dichotomy are false. The game itself was designed so that, regardless of which side wins, the dichotomy will restrict liberty and result in political and economic centralization.

Modern Dialectics was developed by the monarchy as a tool to divide, conquer and impose centralized political rule.

The Progressive Left seeks to frame the centralized state as the source of progress in society. The Reactionary Right seeks to restore the centralized class structure of feudalism. Both the Left and Right lead society on a path to freedom.

The two sides of the coin are made of the same metal.

The Radical Left reached its ultimate expression with Stalin. The Reactionary Right reached its ultimate expression with Hitler. The two extremes of this false dichotomy led the people to ruin.

Another prime example of Modern Dialectics in action can be seen in the writings of Karl Marx.

Marx was an avid follower of Hegel. His goal was to bring about revolution by creating conflict.

The primary work of Marx was a tome called "Das Kapital." Das Kapital describes in detail a dystopia in which business warlords use a corrupt financial system to gain economic and political hegemony. Marx then wrote a short manifesto calling people to rise up against the corrupt order he described in Das Kaptial.

Don't you see the irony?

Karl Marx is the father of Modern Capitalism.

Conservatives jumped on the band wagon and support every word in Marx's capitalism as if Marx's capitalism were the ideal society.

 Marx's goal in writing "Das Kapital" was to create a corrupt top-heavy socio-economic system that was destined to fall.

Conservatives read "Das Kapital," discovered how a captured and corrupt financial system can create a class society.

Conservative then support the corrupt financial system described by Marx because it creates the class society that conservatives so cherish.

Marx called his program Material Dialectics. Marx created this ugly situation in which conservatives argue for controlling society with a corrupt financial system while the radical left argues for rebellion against the corrupt financial system.

The classical liberal view, of course is that, in order to enjoy a free society; one has to stand against the corrupt financial systems.

The supposed alliance between classical liberals and conservatives has muted the classical liberal stance against corrupt finances as conservatives belief that corrupt finances can help keep the lower classes in check.

I stare in disbelief as conservatives wave about Karl Marx's Das Kapital as if Marx had unwittingly uncovered the path to nirvana in this poisonous tome.

I believe that, if we want to restore the American ideals of freedom, people need to stand against Marx's Capitalism and support free market economic reform.

Sadly, anyone who challenges the false assumptions written by Marx in Das Kapital is heaped upon with scorn by rabid Conservative pundits.

This brings me back to the supposed alliance between conservatives and classical liberals.

In theory, the GOP is an alliance between conservatives and classical liberals. I define Classical Liberal as the application of classical logic and Judeo-Christian ethics to the question of liberty. This tradition includes thinkers such as Addison, the US Founders, Adam Smith, Hayek and Von Mises.

Conservatism is a reactionary philosophy arising from the Left/Right split of the French Revolution. Modern conservatives often trace their beliefs to Plato, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, Hegel, Leo Strauss, etc.. Conservatives have a strange fondness of Marx's Das Kapital. Conservative routinely argue that Marx's Capitalism should be the foundation of a new class society.

I admire the US Founders and the Classical Liberal Tradition and have concluded that the supposed alliance between classical liberalism and conservatism has been bad for this nation.

Classical Liberalism includes many of the most beautiful ideas in Western History. Conservatism is a bunch of ugly thoughts about class society.

The alliance allows conservatives to play on the positives of the classical liberal tradition while allowing the left to project all of the negatives of conservatism onto the classical liberal tradition.

The alliance between classical liberals and conservatives has not led our society in a positive direction. 

In the post Pendulum Swing, I noted that both the GOP and Democrats have internal pendulum swings.

The GOP will encourage classical liberal rhetoric when the GOP is in the minority. The GOP clamps down on classical conservatives when the GOP rises to power.

Democrats have the same pendulum swing. They encourage libertine society when they are falling out of favor and progressive centralization when they rise into power.

The two parties have created a dynamic in which we a systematic lessening of individual liberty (a classical liberal ideal) and an imposition of a top heavy state (a progressive state) and corrupt capital system (a conservative ideal).

This pendulum can be seen in the rise and fall of the Tea Party. The GOP encouraged the Tea Party with classical liberal rhetoric. As the GOP ascends back into power, the GOP actively seeks to drive out people expressing classical liberal ideals.

The GOP is currently in the process of driving classical liberal thinkers from its ranks. But, I beg any conservative who reads this rant to take a moment and think. If you removed all the classical liberal thought from the GOP, what do you have?

Classical liberalism is the application of classical logic to thoughts on liberty. The tradition includes the US Founders, Adam Smith, Hayke, Von Mises, etc..

Conservatives, for some odd reason, prefer the likes of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Burke, Hegel. Conservatives wave about Marx's Das Kapital is if the dystopia of Marx's Capitalism was the ideal class society.

Conservatives have declared an unqualified hatred of all things liberal and seek to drive out the liberal ideals of the US Founders. I beg conservatives to consider: When you drive out the classical liberal ideas of the US Founders, Adam Smith, Hayek, von Mises, etc., what do you have left?

You are left with the corruption of Machiavelli, the Leviathan of Hobbes, the duplicity of Burke, the irrationality of Hegel and the insanity of Marx's Capitalism. Modern Conservatism is as much a Road to Serfdom as is modern progressivism.

The Left/Right split is a false dichotomy. Both sides of a false dichotomy are false. When a coin is stamped from manure both sides of the coin stink.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Another Interesting Excommunication

Here is another interesting excommunication:

Helmuth Hübener (1925-1942) was from an LDS family living in Hamburg, Germany. Despite warnings from the LDS President Heber Grant to keep a low political profile during the war the young Hübener listened to BBC and distributed anti-fascist pamphlets.

Helmuth Hübener was arrested on February 5, 1942. Ten days later he was excommunicated from The LDS Church. Hübener was executed in August, 1942.