Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Left/Right Split Leads to Culture War, Riots and Destruction

The freedom movement needs to win the war of ideas and not the partisan grub for power.

Progessivism is a bankrupt ideology. If there were people in the opposition willing to discuss and develop ideas; the opposition could make hay of the Left at the moment.

I was watching videos of both Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama trying to distance themselves by the violence that is created by their style of politics. These leaders are a truly pathetic lot.

The Right is unable to offer a coherent alternative to the divisive rule of Barrack Obama because the Machiavellian Right has nothing to offer but its own version of division.

I have to drum the point. The Left/Right Split was created by a reactionary movement in Europe. Neither side of this split reflects the ideals of the founders.

The Conservative Party, and "conservatism" was created from the scattered remains of Toryism in 1831 by Sir Robert Peel who was appointed Prime Minister by King William IV. It is an inherently Machiavellian ideology that consolidates power by voicing support for reform without enacting reform.

The stated goal of Conservatism was to conserve the class structure of the monarchy.

The US Founders were not fighting to conserve the class structure of the monarchy. They weren't even Tories. The Tories were the people who aimed their muskets and canonade at the founders.

When Nathan Hale stoically proclaimed, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country," the Conservative Tories were the people who wrapped a noose around Mr. Hale's neck and took that one life.

Adherence to a Machiavellian ideology created by the Tories in reaction the US Revolution cannot restore the ideals of the US Founders.

The progressive left is an ideology that evolved from the "enlightened absolutism" of King Frederick the Great of Prussia and developed through Hegel and Marx.

The Left/Right split gives us a false dichotomy. The reactionary right wants to use the consolidated power of the state to advance a class structure. The left wants to use the consolidated power of the state to advance social change.

Both sides of this false dichotomy seek economic and political consolidation. They simply disagree on the purpose of the consolidation creating a intense culture war which systematically diminishes liberty.

The Left/Right split creates an echo chamber which amplifies division.

This Left/Right split Europe apart and finally resulted in genocide.

While I was watching images of the riot in Baltimore, I was taken with the thought: "What would be happening right now in Mitt Romney won the last election?"

If Romney were true to Conservatism, which holds the consolidation of power over over advancing liberty, we would see a detached Congress passing unpopular legislation to reward GOP partisans.

In all likelihood, there would have been incidences with black men dying at the hands of the local police.

The nation would not be looking at Clinton and Obama tyring to distance themselves from the Democratic progressive base. What would happen is that the press and nation at large would be pinning frustrations on the GOP.

The riots would be worse and the result of the riots would be to move our nation even further left.

I found myself thankful that Obama won the election as it helps the world see that the frustrations of the nation are the result of his failed leadership and not the failure of the American ideals in liberty.

As for the GOP. I find myself staring in horror that the Right is continuing to force culture war and the Machiavellian ideology of the Tories (ie conservatism) down our gullet and wishing that I could somehow convince the shrill conservative voices on the right to look at the mote in their own eye and research the origins of their own failed ideology.

Conservatism did not come from the Founding Fathers. It is a Machiavellian ideology created by the Tories. Conservatism is not the original ideology of the GOP. Conservatism was used as a marketing ploy to draw the Dixiecrats into the GOP.

People who scream on the radio that "conservatism" is the answer are essentially screaming the ideology of King George modified to appease racist rejection of Civil Rights.

If the GOP continues to pursue its path of culture war and Machiavellian Conservatism instead of the beautiful ideals of the US Founders; the GOP is likely to create a political dynamic in which radical progressives tear our nation apart with riots that make Baltimore and Ferguson look tame.

Unfortunately, the only way to ever break out of this cycle would be for people to discuss ways to solve our nation's problems by advancing liberty. Unfortunately, conservatives will stop any and all conversations about advancing the ideals of our founders in their manacle pursuit of power.

I watch the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore and shutter thinking that our nation's future is bleak as long as the GOP turns its back on the ideals of the Founders in favor of the Conservative fascination with Machiavelli and the class society favored by the Dixiecrats.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

No Feedback on the Kickstarter Campaign

Not surprisingly my Kickstarter Campaign has received no feedback.

The primary reason that I started the campaign was to get feedback. I had just spent seven years trying to hold a meeting about free market health care reform. In seven years, I had been unable to find anyone in Utah willing to talk about health care reform.

I admit that starting a Kickstarter project just to get feedback is pathetic. I live in a state where people simply do not talk to each other.

I came up with the idea for the project back in the 1980s as a thought experiment. I filed the idea away simply as a topic of conversation if ever I met a person interested in discussing public policy. I look back and realize that I've gone three decades without finding anyone interested in talking about an interesting topic.

I decided at the beginning of year that I wanted to self-publish a few of the ideas that I had worked on as books. My heart was set on using Outskirts Press. But they charge a minimum of $700 per book. I'd have to sell 100 books to cover the cost of publishing. iUniverse has similar.

I thought I'd try Kickstarter to raise $800, which would cover the set up fees and a fee for submitting the book for an LCCN number.

This idea has failed. Since I am working on this and a few other books, I thought I might publish through Amazon Kindle.

To my delight, I discovered that Amazon had acquired a print on demand publisher named Create Space. If I understand their contract correctly I can publish the book and order printed copies of the book for the print-on-demand price for the book. The free service includes an ISBN and I can submit the book for a Library of Congress Number for just $25.

Apparently, has also switched to the Print on Demand model. Unfortunately, only takes works written in Microsoft Word. I am scribing the book in Notepad++. I have a big text file with basic SGML mark up.

Anyway, by going the Create Space route, I no longer need to come up with an upfront publishing fee eliminating the need to try to presell copies of the book.

Unfortunately, my inability to get any feedback brings up the horrible truth that I am sitting here writing a book that is unlikely to be read by another human. I am also brooding on the fact that I am stuck in a state full of closed minded dullards.

This is not what America should be. In America, it should be possible to find people willing to discuss important issues of the day. This book on tax-reform is a dull topic. Health Care is a more important topic. Why is it that Utah Republicans and dead set against public discussion of free market health care reform?

The reason that Republicans are adamantly opposed to discussing free market health care reform is an ideology imported from England in the 1950s called "Conservatism."

Conservatism is an ideology that came from the Tories. The goal of conservatism was to preserve the class structure of the English Monarchy.

American Conservatism was crafted by the GOP in the 1950s and 1960s to attract Southerners disaffected by the Civil Rights Movement. The American Conservative Movement was based on the Conservative coalition crafted by Sir Winston Churchill.

To understand Churchill's coalition, one has to understand English partisan history.

Conservatism was created in the 1830s as an effort to rebrand the Tory Party as moderates. The Liberal Party, like the US Founders and the Republican Party, was created in the 1850s from the Whig Party. The Liberal Party supported free trade and freedom of religion. The Liberal Party fell apart when people realized that, if given the right to vote, Irish Catholics would vote for independence and would expel their British overlords.

The Liberal Party fell apart in the early 1900s and was displaced by the Labour Party which promoted socialism. Conservatives took to calling socialism "liberal."

Winston Churchill was a classical liberal. He and other classical liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives to oppose the social liberal policies of Lloyd George.

Stepping forward in time. Chamberlain, the guy who appeased Hitler, was a traditional conservative.

As a classical liberal, Churchill understood that one needed to defend freedom. Churchill formed a coalition with anyone he could against Hitler.

William F Buckley sought to form a coalition with classical liberals and conservatives. Barry Goldwater tried running on this platform. His platform pulled in the Dixiecrats, but Establishment Republicans balked and Goldwater failed miserably.

Nixon formed a coalition between social conservatives and The Republican Establishment, Nixon won spectacularly.

The GOP fell into crisis after Watergate. Reagan managed to scrape together a broad-based coalition and won.

George Bush the First and George Bush the Second revived the Nixon coalition between social conservatives and the establishment. The first Bush started one war, then lost to Bill Clinton. The second Bush campaigned on "compassionate conservative." He started two wars, engaged in unprecedented deficit spending and pursued economic policies that threw our nation into a tail spin.

The Tea Party started with the promise of reviving the Goldwater coalition between social conservatives and classical liberals.

Shrill conservatives systematically drove everyone out of the Tea Party and it floundered; so we are now back the GOP being a closed party dominated by the establishment and social conservatives. The party has become intolerant toward the classical liberal ideas.

This whole thing is so depressing.

The fact that I am a pariah really doesn't matter. That the GOP appears to have returned to the path of slamming the door on free market ideas is troubling.

Conservatism is the ideology of the Tories. It was imported by the GOP for the dubious goal of drawing the Dixiecrats into the Republican Party. The Tories were against the US Founders. The Dixiecrats are racists who rejected the Civil Rights Movement. The Republican Party traded its beautiful legacy as a party of liberty for the garbage ideals of conservatism.

I am thinking that if I self published several books, I could hit the road and maybe find a place where classical liberal discussion is appreciated. But, quite frankly, I see myself writing stuff that I know no-one will read.

Since there has been no response, and I don't anticipate any, I am going to let the Kickstarter campaign run its course, but I will stop promoting it.

The way I see it, people have to try hundreds of different things. Most paths lead nowhere.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Should the GOP use PPI Tests to Assure Ideological Purity of Candidates?

I need to emphasize that, like most Americans, I am not a member of the Republican Party.

Since American politics is dominated by two parties, people who want to actively participate in their governance have to find ways to sneak past the party apparatus.

Conservatives have a particular problem with Libertarians and Classical Liberals* who try to sneak into the Republican Party.

In recent interviews, Utah GOP Chairman James Evans suggested that the GOP use PPI-style litmus test to assure ideological purity of Utah Republican Candidates.

PPI refers to the "Personal Priesthood Interviews" that young Mormon men endure to prove their fealty to the LDS political hierarchy. In his interviews, Mr. Evans suggests the PPI litmus test be used specifically to weed out Libertarians who routinely try to sneak on to the Republican side of the ballot.

The events leading up to this suggestion are rather interesting.

Utah has a caucus system. Conservatives have been adept at using the caucus system to control candidates.

The caucus system involves a large number of small meetings to elect delegates. Poorly funded groups can get a slot on the primary if the group is well organized.

Specifically, during the Tea Party, Tea Party radicals were able to get Jason Chaffetz and Mike Lee on the ballot. Even worse, Senator Lee displaced the establishment candidate Senator Bob Bennett.

Upset that Tea Party radicals were able to use the caucus system to displace an establishment candidate, the Utah establishment began a campaign to replace the caucus system with a primary system.

The primary system selects candidates by mass ballots. The primary system allows well funded establishment candidates and big media to control who appears on the ballot.

Above all, a primary system could help prevent radical groups like the Tea Party from infiltrating the Republican Party and penetrating it with radical ideals (like those of the US Founders).

Personally, I like the fact that the Tea Party was able to get candidates on the ballot. I delight in the rare occasion when an outsider group is able to take down an incumbent of the establishment.

As for my opinion:

I consider myself a Classical Liberal (which is a close kin to Libertarian). I hate the idea of closed parties that employ litmus tests and ideological filters to assure party purity.

Ironically, the Party of Lincoln was once a classical liberal party. The party was formed from the Whig Party in the 1850s to oppose the Kansas/Nebraska Act which threatened to expand slavery into the Western US. The GOP sought to emancipate the slaves and supported Civil Rights up unto the 1950s.

Classical liberals, who held sway in the GOP during its formation, opposed Jim Crow Laws, poll taxes and literacy tests which were designed to disenfranchise blacks and immigrants.

But that was a long time ago.

The Conservative Movement captured the Republican Party in reaction to Civil Rights Movement.

(Conservatism, as I am sure you all know, was created in 1834 by King William IV and Sir Robert Peel in an attempt to modernize and rebrand the Tory Party as a moderate. Tories were the people who fought against the US Revolution.)

As Conservatism is essentially Toryism rebranded, it does not surprise me to see Conservative Leaders talking about applying ideological filters to lock out free market radicals.

The funny thing is that the PPI ideology filter proposed by James Evans would probably filter out both the US Founders along with Fremont, Lincoln, and the founders of the GOP.

But Conservatives captured the GOP fair and square. It's their party now. If Conservatives want to impose PPI-style filter to lock out Tea Party types ... that's their decision.

Who knows, if Conservatives lock enough people out, we might see the formation of a new party that actually supports the ideals of freedom instead of the laughably corrupt GOP.

Influence of the LDS Church on Utah's GOP

Utah Policy had Dan Jones ran a survey about LDS Church influence in Utah politics.

Predictably, Mormons tended to approve of the influence their church had on state politics. Non-Mormons disapproved.

The telling information in this survey is that the responses from people who identified themselves as GOP were in line with the Mormon response. Here are two of the results:

"Among Republican Utahns: 15 percent said too much; 67 said about the right amount of influence in the Legislature; 13 percent said too little; 6 percent didn’t know."

67% + 13% = 80% in favor.

"Among Protestants: 84 percent said too much influence; 16 percent said about right; 0 percent said too little influence, and 0 percent didn’t know ... Among Catholics: 79 percent said too much influence; 18 percent said about right; 0 percent said too little influence; 3 percent didn’t know."

80% of Republicans favor the strong influence the LDS Church has on Utah politics while 84% of Protestants and 79% of Catholics disprove of this strong influence.

This survey shows a huge gap between the views of Protestants and Catholics and the Republican Party.

Living in Utah these last several decades, I've come to see the Utah GOP as simply a political arm of the LDS Church. Non-Mormons are basically locked out of the Utah Republican Party.

Now, I need to state openly and clearly that, like most Americans, I am not a member of the Republican Party.

But, I would like to challenge members of the GOP to question if this domination of the Utah GOP by the LDS Church is healthy for their party?

Is this what you want: A party that is dominated by a single political hierarchy with everyone else (Catholics, Protestants, etc.) simply locked out?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Role of Information in Our Society

Pundits tell us that we live in the information age.

Since we live in the information age, it seems to me that people occasionally talk about the role information plays in our society. This discussion should include debate about the distribution of information.

Most of the data that affects our lives was collected by big government agencies and big businesses to serve big government and business.

I question if this is a healthy trend.

If there were other people on this planet who considered the centralization of data an unhealthy trend; then people should talk about ways to break apart the centralized databases.

My current kickstarter campaign is to produce a book about a tax reform plan called "The Object Tax." It is named after Object Oriented Programming.

From an information perspective, the goal of the reform is to break apart the centralized database held by the IRS into Massively Distributed Database which is hosted by independent application service providers.

The Object Tax replaces payroll withholding with a thing called A Tax Aware Account. These accounts would be hosted by third party providers. Workers will pay their taxes when they withdraw money.

Economists would note that the reform just transformed the tax system from a production tax to a consumption.

I am hoping that computer programs and system engineers would notice that the reform just transitioned the tax collection system from being a centralized database into a massively decentralized object database.

Personally, I think we can look at the form of databases in our society to see if our nation is on track.

If our society is dominated by centralized database, then we are on track to creating a highly centralized class society. If the databases are highly distributed, then we are retaining a free society. IMHO, replacing a centralized database with massively distributed database is a good thing. The hard part of my job is convincing people that this type of thing matters.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kickstarting an Object

Big news. I just launched a kickstarter project to raise funds for a book to be called "The Object Tax." The goal is to pre-sell 40 books at $20 a piece. I will blog about this project on the URL:

If this Kickstarter project is a success, I will consider self publishing other works about topics mentioned in this blog.

The Object Tax is quite interesting. The proposal is for Congress to launch an Open Source Project to create a system of Tax Aware Accounts as an alternative to the current tax withholding system. It is named after Object Oriented Programming.

In computer speak, the Tax Aware Account is an object that wraps around a bank account. When you withdraw money, the program would calculate and pay your taxes. So, if you deposited $1000 and your progressive tax rate was 20%. When you withdraw the funds, the account would send $200 to the government and give you $800.

I am hoping the project appeals to people who are interested in advancing open source programming as well as to people looking for innovative approaches to tax reform.

As you see, the object design metholodogy encourages people to think about a topic from an abstract design perspective. Approaching tax reform from a design perspective gives people unique insights on the flow of money through the economy and the effects of taxation at different levels.

The Object Tax simply states: Let's approach tax reform as if it were a computer project. Approaching taxation from this perspective gives additional insight. The way I see it, the more insight we have on the effects of different tax proposals, the better.

This Kickstarter project is my first stab at self publishing a book.

I had considered self publishing works in the past. I decided against the idea because I worried that I would not be able to make enough sales to cover the cost of publishing the work.

I live in Utah. Utahans are a tad hostile to creative thought. Years ago, I tried helping my next door neighbor, Ryan Hiller, sell an album he had recorded when he was 17. In three years, I managed to sell one CD for one penny. Fortunately, Ryan was smart enough to move to San Diego where people support independent musicians.

I set my Kickstarter goal at selling 40 books for $20 a pop. This would raise $800 minus Kickstarter fees. My $800 goal isn't quite enough to pay all of the publishing printing that I will face in self publishing the work, but I think 40 copies is a reasonable target.

The Kickstarter campaign ends on May 13, 2015; so, I will be spending this next month nervously watching the funding bar to see if I get any pledges for the project. I will post the chapters of the book on the blog as I finish editing them.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Conservatives and the Established Religion

It is sad to watch the GOP burn the political capital built during the campaigns against the excesses of the Obama Administration on conservative culture war issues. The big news of the day are efforts by religious groups to promote discrimination along with a little culture war battle by Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen who advocates making church attendance on Sunday mandatory: (see video)

I suspect that Ms Allen was simply trying to make a thought provoking comment. The proposal came during a debate about gun control legislation. Gun control is a culture war battleground. It is an area where people on both the left and right are prone to inject their their religious beliefs.

The video jumped out at me as I watched it shortly after reading the "The Tamworth Manifesto."

The Tamworth Manifesto was written by Sir Robert Peel in 1834. Sir Robert Peel, a member of the Tory Party, was appointed Prime Minister by King William IV to lead Parliament through the radical changes brought on by "The Representation of the People Act of 1832." The reform act redistributed the boroughs to reflect demographic changes of the Industrial Age. The act extended suffrage to the upper middle class and ended the tradition of the king appointing the Prime Minister.

The Reform Act destroyed the political base of the Tory Party which depended on "rotten boroughs." The rotten boroughs were sparsely populated districts where the Burgess was appointed by powerful families.

The Tory Party had burnt the last of its political capital in its stand against representative democracy which Tories saw as tantamount to mob rule.

The goal of the Tamworth Manifesto was to lay the foundation of a new moderate party that would conserve the existing class structure of Great Britain while conceding to those popular reforms that Sir Robert Peel felt were based on "real grievances."

The new party was called "The Conservative Party." The Tamworth Manifesto is foundational document of "Conservatism."

Interestingly, a main thrust of the Tamworth Manifesto was to conserve the supremacy of the established religion. Here is Sir Robert Peel in his own words:

Then, as to the great question of Church Reform. On that head I have no new professions to make. I cannot give my consent to the alienating of Church property, in any part of the United Kingdom, from strictly ecclesiastical purposes. But I repeat now the opinions that I have already expressed in parliament in regard to the church Establishment in Ireland - that if, by an improved distribution of the revenues of the Church, its just influence can be extended, and the true interests of the Established religion promoted, all other considerations should be made subordinate to the advancement of objects of such paramount importance.

To understand the manifesto, it is important to remember that the King is the titular head of The Church of England. Anglican Bishops took an oath to the King. The "Established Church" refers to The Church of England. Church property refers to churches owned by the church/state complex. The Church Establishment in Ireland is referring to Anglican Churches built in Catholic communities. Irish Catholics saw these state owned churches as a form of oppression.

The phrase that jumps out at me is the statement: "all other considerations should be made subordinate to the advancement of objects of such paramount importance [i.e., the established church]."

The foundation of Conservatism is a belief that all issues must be made subordinate to the advancement of the established church.

In contrast, the US Founders tended to be members of the Whig Party or people with Whiggish sentiments.

Curiously, the framers of the US Constitution had used the term "establishment of religion" in the First Amendment which reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The conservatism being established by Sir Robert Peel seems to be fundamentally at odds with the ideals of the US Founders.

The Conservative Party has been a dominate party of England for 180 years. Conservatism was imported to the United States by the likes of William Buckley (who went to high school in England and college at Yale). Conservatism became a favored ideology by the opponents of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Conservatism is simply Toryism rebranded.

The GOP was formed in 1854 by members of the Whig Party who were opposed to the expansion of slavery.

The idea that the state should advance the established religion is fundamental to conservatism, but it is antithetical to the ideals of the founders of the United States and Lincoln's Republican Party. While it is tempting to dismiss Sylvia Allen's proposal of mandated church attendance as flippant musings of a culture warrior, I fear that the proposal is yet further indication that this thing the right calls "conservatism" really is British conservatism imported.

Anyway, it is really sad watching the GOP disintegrate over culture war issues.

Of course, like most Americans, I am neither a member of the Republican Party nor welcome in its rank. I am just one of the millions of independent Americans ruing the fact that both the Left and Right have abandoned the ideals that made America exceptional.