Is the state the only threat to liberty?

Libertarians usually emphasis ‘the state’ as the main threat to ‘liberty’, and no doubt an overbearing, overpowerful state is inimical to freedom and liberty. But what about private businesses which exercise inordinate power over people’s lives and freedoms?

Today we are hearing about banks and other financial instititutions cancelling the accounts of those with ‘wrong’ political views; of other businesses (lodgings, etc.) banning people for similar reasons. And then there is the de-platforming of those ‘badthinking’ individuals who have politically incorrect opinions and ideas which they expressed on social media. And because of the apparent ambiguity of laws on issues like this (and I don’t pretend to be a lawyer) it seems they are getting away with it. It seems as if the social media giants have more power than the very state itself.

I confess I don’t seek out libertarian views, (although I can agree with more ‘maverick’ libertarians like Hans Hermann Hoppe or the great Albert Jay Nock). So I have no idea really how the mass of libertarian-leaning people address this apparent power of unscrupulous Business as corrosive of liberty and freedom. Are they really able only to see a threat from Statism?

Is there any checking this power of private business to interfere in people’s lives? How can it be squared with our personal freedoms and our constitutional rights? Or are they a dead letter now, as so many pessimists say?

Going, going, gone?

Maybe my choice of a name for this blog, back in 2006 or so, was prescient. Here in 2019, the politically correct commissars at Berkeley (CA) City Council — and Colorado State University are looking to eliminate the word ‘America’ or ‘American’ from their official vocabulary. The term ‘American’ is not inclusive, so therefore it should be eliminated, so they decree. The CSU language guide says that calling our country ‘America’ is taboo because it ‘erases other cultures‘ and makes our country appear to be the dominant one.

Every time one of these articles appears, chronicling the latest over-the-top edicts of the far left, I think it couldn’t possibly go much further, but sad to say, that is not true. Looking back over how political correctness has grown ever more restrictive and censorious, and noting how somehow most people seem to passively accept and adjust to the nonstop demands of PC, it seems we are getting deeper and deeper down this bottomless pit.

Read more of the list at the links.

But will people stand for having our country’s name changed, because of arbitrary rules made by people with no real authority over us ? Do we still have an actual first amendment? Or will the name of this blog be more fitting than I ever imagined?

Who said “America: love it or…”

What with all the furor over the President’s comments — suggesting that those who ‘hate’ our country might like to leave — those of us who were around in the 1970s likely remember the saying ‘America: love it or leave it.’

That phrase seems to be along the same line as what the President said, but somehow I don’t remember that older phrase stirring up such a hornets’ nest of anger and invective. It seems we’ve changed since those relatively peaceful days of the 1970s. I seem to remember that later, during the Reagan years, the phrase ‘love it or leave it‘ enjoyed a certain popularity, though the usual legions of the disgruntled may have muttered and grumbled about ‘jingoism’ or something.

People back then, even the leftists, hadn’t yet developed the habit of throwing the ‘r’-word around with such profligacy. It’s hard to imagine it was ever like that in America.

Incidentally, it seems that the phrase ‘America: love it or leave it‘ was coined by old-time radio reporter Walter Winchell, back in 1940, before Pearl Harbor and our entry into World War II.

The slogan persisted and was revived during the Vietnam War era, as a response to the far-left’s constant agitprop.

It may be that the President’s words were a little more incendiary than the Winchell slogan, but it seems that he has some ‘Wormtongues” close to him who are trying to induce him to recant what he said. I think that would be a mistake and it wouldn’t appease those who say they are offended. Apologies in cases like these appear as weakness.

And if any of us were resident in a foreign country whose people and whose policies we harshly criticized, I think we’d expect to be given a rough reception by the leaders and citizens of said country. And in the first place, why would anybody want to move to a country which they saw as ‘racist’ and oppressive? That’s the height of irrationality, or sheer perversity. Yet it seems that many of our new ‘neighbors’ and newly elected officials don’t like us very much, despite their determination to settle down amongst us deplorable people. I find that really odd, yet nobody ever asks the obvious question ‘why’? I suppose it would be too politically incorrect. Truth and frankness are dangerous these days.

Again?

Once again, administration spokesmen are saying that “1 million illegal immigrants” are scheduled to be sent home when the order is given. It seems we’ve heard something like this before, and not too long ago. And it seems that the person who announced similar plans before is accused by some of having leaked the plans. As some blogger (I don’t remember who it was) said at the time, why does the man in question still have a job?

Now I am having doubts as to whether the accused man was guilty of ‘sabotaging’ the deportation plan, because the administration again seems to be purposely giving a sort of general heads-up to let interested parties know what the plans are. Or are we being led up the garden path? Is there even a plan for sending anyone home, or is this all just theatre?

While we’re at it, what about that ‘1 million’ number: there must be at least 40 or 50 million here, given that they’ve been arriving for decades now, year round, (not just during ‘picking season as they did when they were officially just ‘migrant workers) and given that all 50 states, yes, including Alaska and Hawaii, have a population of the groups in question. Some parts of the Northwest have towns with all-Spanish-speaking town councils. Even New England, which many seem to think is populated by WASP yankees still, has burgeoning communities of immigrants. They can’t all be legal, as we supposedly admit only (“only”?) 1 million a year.

Ten or more years ago it was said by some group that maybe 30-40 million illegals were here. Just going by stolen Social Security number statistics, 40 million is possible.

But if there is an actual plan to give these people tickets home, and wish them godspeed, then doing is more important than talking about it. Talk is cheap, and a lot of credibility is being squandered by all the talk.

America, 2019

Another Independence Day gone by, and with it a lot of hand-wringing or lamenting from the right — because many think there’s no reason to celebrate our independence. Why celebrate our non-existent (as many see it) independence or even our existence as a nation, since July 4, 1776?

Along with the usual Fourth picnic and cookout fare, it seems a lot of rightists dined yesterday on sour grapes; our country, according to them, was a fraud or a misbegotten notion from the get-go. Our Founders, so they say, were all atheists/freemasons, frauds who had no intention of giving their progeny a free republic. And so on.

Since we can never know the inmost thoughts of our Founding Fathers or our own ancestors, why choose to view them in the most negative and cynical light? We can be generous and give the benefit of the doubt to those people, many of whom left a body of writings that seems to show them as honest, God-fearing men, and men of principles and integrity, traits which are much rarer in our era.

The ideas of our founding forebears were sound. The problem is with human nature. If anything, that was the Founding Fathers’ weakness: excessive idealism. But they did tell us that the government they gave us was meant only for ‘a moral and religious people‘ — in other words, it is not suited to 21st-century homo sapiens, not even Americans, with our vaunted love of liberty.

And if human nature is the ultimate cause of our current situation, the ‘fundamental transformation’ of our country, then there’s little sense or usefulness in carping about the mistakes of our distant ancestors — or our closer ancestors, our grandparents and parents. They did the best they could, and our country had a good run until the slow-motion corruption that was working beneath the surface became obvious, and by then it was almost too late.

And is patriotism on our national birthday something to shun, because of the distress our country is now experiencing? And what is patriotism, really? As an ethnopatriot I say that the people are the nation; our loyalty should be shown towards our folk, our kinsmen. That’s what patriotism originally meant, not loyalty to a set of propositions or ideals. Not loyalty or sentiment towards the Emma Lazarus ersatz patriotism, getting misty-eyed over mass immigration, and the huddled masses.

Just as normal people love their families, warts and all, we have to learn to accept and bond with one another, to show solidarity and loyalty to our own. We can still have a country even though it is no longer the country we once knew. Tomorrow is another day. The future may look bleak but without the motivation of a bond shared with our kinsmen, it’s easy to become utterly resigned and pessimistic. Nothing good ever comes of that mindset, and I have to remind myself of that; it happens to most of us at times.

But surmounting the tendency to blame our own, and the divisiveness that plagues even the right is a real challenge; it does seem that blaming others amongst our own is a popular thing, and it seems to fill a need for some people.

It isn’t easy but we must get over the divisiveness and pledge our allegiance not to the ‘changeling’ country we see, but to the America that is us.

Another Founding Father falls prey to the usual suspects

You’ve no doubt read the stories of how the ‘city fathers’ (is that sexist?) of Charlottesville, Virginia have dropped their Thomas Jefferson holiday. Why? Need we ask?

This was bound to happen, given that even George Washington has been declared unfit to be honored, as he once was, as the Father of our Country.

So on Unz.com, there is a discussion thread about the Thomas Jefferson situation, and predictably several people are repeating the slanders about Sally Hemings, treating the allegations as established fact. This riles me. Is it wrong to object to one’s ancestors being slandered in this way? It seems to me that the smears are a blot on the whole family line, not to say on Thomas Jefferson himself. Up until a certain impeached president resurrected the scurrilous allegations (back in the 1990s) few people even knew of the rumors — which originated with some of Thomas Jefferson’s political enemies, who happened to be unprincipled and lewd-minded men.

I’ve begun to be cynical enough to believe that anybody who repeats those rumors and calumnies now is also guilty of being lewd-minded, getting some kind of leg-tingle from imagining the scenario. Some people have read too many of the old-fashioned pulp novels about such liaisons, or seen too many sleazy Hollywood films about miscegeny. Otherwise why are they so eager to believe accusations with no proof? I hope those people never sit on juries; we like to think, perhaps too optimistically, that in our country people are reasonable and objective in their judgments, but I wonder.

From all I’ve read of Thomas Jefferson, the supposed relationship between him and Sally would have been greatly out of character for him. I suspect the people who believe him guilty have never learned much about him, never read any of his correspondence and other writings, never read a biography by an old-fashioned, objective historian. Of course he was not a saint but neither was he an exploiter, a liar, or a man of excessive carnal appetites. But in today’s world, everyone is assumed to be lecherous and lewd because that’s the nature of the society we live in, sadly. People today can’t comprehend that it was not always so, that there were once people of integrity, who lived by standards and morals.

It seems I am one of the last to defend his name, at least online, and I like to think I’d do so even were I not connected to him by blood. There was an older gentleman, also a descendant, who used to speak up in Jefferson’s defense on the Internet, but I think he’s no longer with us, so it seems Jefferson has fewer and fewer defenders these days. It’s sad, because it’s also an indication of how traditional America, along with our old standards, our old culture and its symbols, our heroes, and our history, all are under attack if not destroyed. The young like to label anyone who tries to defend the ‘old America’ as a ‘patriotard’ or (depending on age) as a ‘boomertard’ but someone has to speak up, or just passively watch it all crumble before our eyes.

One of the worst losses of the war on old America is the loss of our free speech, the loss of the right to speak our minds freely, even to criticize the powerful. Of course it’s always politically correct to slander our Founding Fathers and our ancestors generally, or to criticize those who are now society’s underdogs, not quite outnumbered yet, but already all but silenced. Thomas Jefferson was a great champion of free speech, and I think he would be greatly grieved to see the America that has replaced the one he and his contemporaries created for us.

Just to let you know

I’m having major posting troubles; it took me ages to get the post below this one to publish; every step of the way I seemed to be blocked. I don’t know if I am officially persona non grata here on WordPress or if it’s just a case of lots of technical glitches. Anyway, if I ‘vanish’ again it will most likely be due to my difficulties in posting. I wonder if anyone else is having technical problems?

And one more thing: I appreciate the comments, even though I haven’t been able to respond much. The comments here are thoughtful and articulate. I also appreciate the loyalty of those who still show up here to read and comment. Bless you all. 🙂

Frey on American demographics

Demographer William Frey, in an article from five years ago, writes about the changing demographics of the U.S. Interestingly he notes the generational differences on that issue, and interestingly he contradicts the current popular ”wisdom” about the generations.

“Although baby boomers have been interested in righting domestic wrongs, such as racial discrimination, and bursting glass ceilings, they are now joining seniors in voicing sharp resistance to America’s new racial change. A 2011 Pew Research Center poll shows that only 23 percent of baby boomers and seniors regard the country’s growing population of immigrants as a change for the better and that 42 percent see it as a change for the worse. More than one-half of white baby boomers and seniors said that the growing number of newcomers from other countries represents a threat to traditional U.S. values and customs.”

This is not the story that is being told on just about all ‘right-wing’ blogs and forums. Increasingly it seems false narratives are not restricted to left-wing sites; everybody seems to be going by ‘feelings’ or a scripted narrative rather than facts. Anyway, back to Frey’s article:

Yet the baby boomers also came of age at a moment when the United States was becoming more insular than it had been before. Between 1946 and 1964, the years of the baby boom, the immigrant share of the U.S. population shrank to an all-time low (under 5 percent), and the immigrants who did arrive were largely white Europeans. Growing up in mostly white, segregated suburbs, white baby boomers did not have much interaction with people unlike them. Although baby boomers have been interested in righting domestic wrongs, such as racial discrimination, and bursting glass ceilings, they are now joining seniors in voicing sharp resistance to America’s new racial change. A 2011 Pew Research Center poll shows that only 23 percent of baby boomers and seniors regard the country’s growing population of immigrants as a change for the better and that 42 percent see it as a change for the worse. More than one-half of white baby boomers and seniors said that the growing number of newcomers from other countries represents a threat to traditional U.S. values and customs. The Pew survey found marked differences between baby boomers and millennials—who are known for their racial inclusiveness—with regard to agreement that the following are changes for the better: that more people of different races are marrying each other (36 percent versus 60 percent), that the population of Hispanics is growing (21 percent versus 33 percent), and that the population of Asians is growing (24 percentversus 43 percent).”

So who is responsible for these popular tropes about the generations? It only started a few years ago, to my knowledge, and I’ve sought to find out where and when this divisive and nasty rhetoric got started. Someone in a comment named a certain ‘alt-right’ blogger who has also been called a ”shill” or a disinfo agent. I don’t know for certain who started the trope but it caught on and it’s becoming more and more common. Who is served by the divisiveness and animus? Not us as a whole — but then increasingly it seems there is no ”us” on the right; there is no sense of solidarity or mutual concern. Then there is the women-vs.-men issue and the regional differences — the latter of which at least is a natural and long-existing rift, unlike the generational hostility which is ginned up by someone, or some group, deliberately.

I don’t see any end to it, unless it’s when the older generations — the post-war generation and the so-called ‘Silent Generation’ — are dead and gone, and even then I doubt it will stop. It’s convenient to have someone to blame so it will persist, even though it’s divisive at a time when we cannot afford to be divided and resentful.

Facts about our country

From Isegoria, a very good post which points out some often-overlooked facts about our country. It’s very easy to get caught up in a web of pessimism about our future (and the situation does look very bleak) but we might be prone to forget some of our strengths.

A quote from Jared Diamond is the basis for the post, and it calls forth some good comments from the blog’s readers. Let me say first of all I haven’t been a fan of Diamond and his idea that environment, not genetics, influences the development of peoples and nations, but in his book Upheaval (no link to Amazon, sorry) he addresses how we and others are responding to the ‘civilizational crisis’ we are facing. Are we mindful of the assets we do have, what with the grim news stories that are staring us in the face every day? Diamond points out, among other things, that we have a resource-rich country, with ‘excellent real estate’, in the temperate zone.

He says we are “self-sufficient in food and most raw materials.” Are we? I’ve had this conversation with friends, and it seems that we have made ourselves dependent on other nations, such as Mexico and China, in that we seem to import much of what we need from them, such as foods, while we export our best produce, meat, etc. elsewhere, it seems.  We can’t get locally grown produce, having to import it. It makes no sense. And of course it’s well-known that we no longer manufacture much of anything, having to make do with shoddy (and sometimes toxic) goods from our ‘friends’ on the other side of the world.

Will we ever return to being relatively self-sufficient? We are vulnerable to the extent that we rely on others for a great percentage of our consumer goods. But then this was the idea: to make the whole world ‘interdependent’ so that we would be ‘one world,’and theoretically less likely to war against each other. Right.

A commenter on the Isegoria blog offers an apposite quote about another strength we seem to have overlooked: the little fact that this country was, originally, meant to be a united country, composed of people with a common ancestry, religion, and customs. ‘A band of brothers’ as John Jay wrote in Federalist No. 2.

The right in America seems lost in cynicism and sour grapes about the America that once was, or that should be now. As the consensus seems to be that we cannot retrieve or preserve anything of that America, then all is lost, so says this line of thought, and it’s actually for the best anyway as the original America was flawed and corrupt from the get-go. I don’t see any value in adopting that attitude; it can only foster more bitterness and fatalism.

It seems much of the right, bizarrely, shares the left’s attitude that our country should just be written off, and replaced with something ‘better’ – but then we are entering into the Left’s territory if we think we can do better than our ancestors — who, it appears, were far wiser than we are today.

It may be that all is lost, but we can’t know the future, so why proceed as though our situation is beyond repair?

 

Censorship continues

Even Pinterest is eager to get in on the action: Project Veritas reports that
Pinterest has been censoring pro-life and pro-conservative commentary. This is really no surprise, given that all the social media platforms seem to exist only to promote certain ‘lifestyles’ and points-of-view, as we can observe from the monolithic popular culture around us.

Some while back Pinterest was banning anything pro-Confederate or even pro-Southern. Now it appears that they are increasing their censorship to include pro-life items posted there, classifying it with porn. This is absurd.

They are also according the article, blocking the word ”Christian” from the auto-complete. Christians are being intentionally marginalized and restricted; we are made unwelcome, regarded as offensive, while all things outrageous, crude, and deviant are allowed as ‘freedom of expression.’

With all this outright hostility to anything vaguely ‘right-wing’, it’s hard to understand why more people are not dropping out of ‘social media’ and boycotting businesses who are participating in this aggressive trend.

I had a Pinterest account, posting mainly images related to my personal interests, mostly apolitical in nature — except for my board about the South, which included some pictures or quotes that ‘offended’ someone, so my board was made to disappear. So even though I had been inactive on Pinterest, I did close my account officially. That’s the extent of my career in ‘social media’.

It seems most people are pretty sanguine about this censorship spree, though it appears to be accelerating, and that’s bad. Where does it lead? Where will it end? Amazon is purging items that don’t conform to the leftist code, whatever that may be on any given day. Local libraries have purged most old books, to make way for trashy ‘fad’-type books  that will likely be forgotten five years from now. It’s almost as if these PC commissars are trying to completely shape and control our thoughts and ideas.

Or is that last statement a ”conspiracy theory”? Our moral betters have decreed that ‘conspiracy theories’ fall under their rubric of ‘fake news’ and must therefore be suppressed. And where was that decision cooked up? Behind closed doors, not in public in an open discussion, just as Pinterest’s decisions involved a small group of ‘insiders’, and kept from public view until whistle-blowers obtained documents.

And everyone knows about Facebook, Twitter, et al, and their arbitrary bans and shadow-bans.

Right-wing ideas and opinions are also unwelcome on certain blogging platforms and the slow-motion purge of non-PC bloggers seems to roll on. Who will be next? And will anybody in a position of power ever speak up against this censorship trend, or champion our ever-dwindling free speech?