Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The power of state and tank has paled

You know you're really winning when your opponent says so.

David Brooks is your typical big-government, national-greatness "conservative." He boosted the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as bold experiments in exporting Western-style democracy. He has since come to regret those "experiments."

These days, Brooks notes, Americans no longer believe in interventionism. And it's not just a reaction to the failed Neocon Wars he cheered on (from a safe distance), but a deeper reaction against the interventionist megastate. He doesn't like it, but he can't deny this new attitude is sweeping America and the rest of the world:

The Cold War was a competition between clearly defined nation-states.

Commanding American leaders created a liberal international order. They preserved that order with fleets that roamed the seas, armies stationed around the world and diplomatic skill.

Over the ensuing decades, that faith in big units has eroded — in all spheres of life. Management hierarchies have been flattened. Today people are more likely to believe that history is driven by people gathering in the squares and not from the top down. The liberal order is not a single system organized and defended by American military strength; it’s a spontaneous network of direct people-to-people contacts, flowing along the arteries of the Internet.

The real power in the world is not military or political. It is the power of individuals to withdraw their consent. In an age of global markets and global media, the power of the state and the tank, it is thought, can pale before the power of the swarms of individuals.
Small is not only now seen as beautiful, but as more efficient, prosperous, and peaceful than the oversized, over-centralized welfare-warfare state of the 19th and 20th centuries. All over the world, large nations are collapsing, and reconfiguring themselves into smaller, culture-based political units.

Know hope, my friends.

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12 Comments

12 Comments:

At March 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The internet is KILLING the statists and they know it. They are frantically trying to bring it under their control, but it is like a greased pig on steroids. Expect draconian measures in the coming months from them. Consider: If they can somehow bring it under their control, not only can they eliminate those pesky dissenting opinions, they can dictate the content such that all you will see is their propaganda. Already there is a significant percentage of the population who buy the full party line of propaganda.
Of course, there will always be those of us who will NEVER believe the official story line. That is because they have a 100% consistent track record lying. I've been around for over 60 years. I could not cite you a single instance in which the government told us the entire, unadulterated truth about ANYTHING.

Keep in mind, friends, that the "best" lies are those that have a thread of truth running through them.
- Dutchy

 
At March 12, 2014 at 6:47 PM , Blogger Chris Mallory said...

Brooks is also the guy who said the problem wasn't our "leaders", but that Americans made poor followers. We were too individualistic and don't listen to our "betters" like we should. Pfffffft! to that.

 
At March 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Weaver said...

Elites run the world. We simply need smaller, more local elites who are like us to rule us.

Part of the Anglo-Saxon weakness I think is the tendency to downplay the importance of cultural elites, to be so obsessed with "freedom" that we refuse any ordered structure whatsoever. And this leaves us open and vulnerable to external enemies. Leaderless individuals just get eaten.

I'm not saying I'm all knowing on this.

 
At March 13, 2014 at 3:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weaver said: "Leaderless individuals just get eaten."


Tell that to the Grizzly Bear or the Mountain Lion. Leaders don't put you at the top of the food chain, they just organize you into a line that they can stand behind, so YOU get eaten first! YOU are the only one who should EVER take care of YOU! Never trust "elites" to have your best interests at heart; they will ALWAYS feed themselves FIRST and you LAST.

 
At March 13, 2014 at 7:26 PM , Anonymous Weaver said...

Anon,

man is a social being who should be pious to God and ancestors. Aristotle rightly labeled the family as the smallest unit. The ideal for him was the smallest polity that could efficiently provide man with the good life.

The divide is not individualism vs. globalism.

The divide is rightly small groups vs. globalism.

If you read Marx, he wants individualism (withering away of the state to allow man to live freely guided by reason alone). If you listen to Satanists, they want individualism, man to do whatever he wants, unbeholden to piety towards anything else.

It's good to read these people and realise:

Individualism is death!

It's not bad because it's preached by "Leftists". It's bad because of the end result these Leftists bring. It's enlightening to learn briefly from such groups to see clearly what purified individualism does.

---

Historic Scots weren't individualists. They were tribal. And they had chiefs. Picts and Irish had customs, hierarchy, and beliefs too. They were not individuals.

Historic Americans weren't pure individuals. They had English customs and Christian faith.

 
At March 13, 2014 at 7:32 PM , Anonymous Weaver said...

It's a standard Satanist/Mason/Marxist - whatever (they all have near identical values) to portray all elites as purely self-serving, who act fully in their own self-interests, believing in nothing more than power.

If you read Aristotle and Plato, you get the sense that good government is about finding good leaders to rule, leaders who act for the whole.

Elites existed in the past, exist today, and will exist tomorrow. They're a reality of life.

The proper goal is to develop a superior order to the one we live under today, not to embrace chaos!

And as I've said before if there's a political class, it should be kept poor. Greed shouldn't tempt it.

 
At March 13, 2014 at 7:35 PM , Anonymous Weaver said...

I believe those of us with good heritage, who are part of something greater than ourselves, are inclined towards wanting order.

Those in America who have no sense of identity are inclined towards individualism.

Faith could save them, but faith is undermined in our society.

 
At March 14, 2014 at 3:18 AM , Anonymous Weaver said...

I appreciate, btw, that this blog tolerates my ramblings.

At some point, it's hoped, I'll figure just what it is I'm wanting to argue in favour of.

I'm inclined to tolerate an order that's less than ideal, but I'm certain opposing anarchy and other forms of impiety and chaos is right.

 
At March 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tribe is the largest natural, and therefore the largest effective and fully functional, unit of human association. The reason for this is quite simple: you cannot really get to know, what’s more come to any terms of trust, with more than one or two hundred people. In fact, most tribal associations are much smaller than one hundred.

I knew you were tribal, mate! - Crocodile Dundee

BE TRIBAL! - Dutchy

 
At March 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weaver,

You live in a fantasy of philosophy and dreams. "If there is a political class, it should be kept poor. Greed shouldn't tempt it?" This is a phrase only a naive dreamer would put forward as a suggestion for use in the real world. I believe it was Lord Acton who said, "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." Can you name one political class, from the beginning of recorded time to the present, that has been "kept poor" and that greed hasn't thoroughly corrupted? Also, you speak of "ordered structure" and " Scottish clan Chiefs" and "elites" and "families" in the same breath, as though they were the same thing. It is bald conflation to attempt to make these groups seem similar. the Scottish Clan and the family unit are examples of organic units, naturally formed of blood and culture, but "ordered structure" and chosen "elite" leaders are not organic, they are not the essential, primordial unit that comes from shared blood and shared experience. They are planned, artificial, non-organic propositional constructs that have no tie that binds them together. What you have with your "elite" dream government are people you are not kin to, whom you have artificially placed in a position of power over you and yours, who will inevitably be corrupted by the very power you have placed in their hands, and with that power, will commence to eating out your substance; and to facilitate their ability to steal your wealth and labor, they will begin to bind you down with artificial rules and regulations that are foreign to your clan and damaging to your family, all because you couldn't seem to exist without an "elite" leader to give you your
"superior order" that is taking the food out of your families mouths and replacing their freedom,yes, freedom, with the inevitable weight of chains and slavery.
All governments, headed by your great "elites," always begin with grandiose ideas of "superior order," yet they always end, ALWAYS, in the subjugation of the very people, clans and families who gave them their power.
What you dream of and philosophize about is not possible; not on this side of eternity. The only "Elite" (and he is the only true Elite) who is capable of governing man without corruption waits in heaven.

 
At March 17, 2014 at 5:25 AM , Anonymous Weaver said...

Anon,

It's amusing that we're arguing for essentially the same thing.

I want this: "organic units, naturally formed of blood and culture".

And I've been trying to figure in detail how such might be possible for years. Details matter.

---

There've been good leaders, good systems of government. Switzerland, Venice, Sparta tend to be some of the ones praised.

"Can you name one political class, from the beginning of recorded time to the present, that has been "kept poor" and that greed hasn't thoroughly corrupted?"

Likely only Sparta, which had only ~10K citizens (plus slaves) all of the same ethnicity. Aristotle argues that aristocracy is a rare form of government.

Monasteries might be another example. I'd love to hear whether you've found anything you like, which is to say I'd like to hear details.

---

What polities did Lord Acton approve of? I have a reply for him: Iron Law of Oligarchy.

If we're going to be ruled by someone, I'd rather his profession not be a merchant or investor, which seems like Lord Acton's ideal. I'm done with Wall Street rulers.

If we're going to highlight that I don't know what I'm arguing for, let's bring forth Lord Acton's or another's ideal. No one has an alternative that makes much sense. I'm open about my imperfect views - most hide their ignorance with rhetoric.

---

Anon, the Scots somewhat had classes I assume. The Irish had *hereditary* positions, and the Scots were Irish originally.

If you read Machiavelli, he argues that man is naturally fallen and that a balance of power is the best way to prevent one group from abusing others.

Aristotle argues that a ruling class should be of the same blood as those ruled. A monarch should be of the same and so forth. These thinkers are *ours*. They support nationalism.

 
At March 17, 2014 at 7:50 AM , Anonymous Weaver said...

Anon,

I don't know when my previous comment will be approved, but in case I miss follow-ups I'd like to say that:

it would be positive if more in our movement studied politics further. Rhetoric wins debates, but it doesn't solve problems. Nationslism as ideal yes, but what form? Organic customs yes, but which customs and if we develop new ones, who will do the developing?

We just seem uneducated and otherwise adrift, and no I'm not any better. If the goal is good leaders who yes are our own leaders (or leaders who are balanced by other leaders so none can abuse power easily), how do we reach that goal? If greed kills polities, how do we limit greed?

Every polity and nation dies, but I think durability is a positive aspiration.

 

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