Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On Liberty and Tyranny

I wrote yesterday that I had a couple errands to go run, which is why the first post of the day was short, sweet, and to the point. Unfortunately it became the only post of the day, and that was due to the fact that I went out and picked up Mark Levin's new book "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto." (For those that getting through a political book a daunting task, this one is a snap. It's 205 pages long, and I had it finished in about three hours yesterday. I'm rereading it today, this time with a highlighter.) In his book, in the chapter entitled "On Prudence and Progress" Mr. Levin wrote the following, and it's worth noting and sharing with readers of this site. Why? Because you'll understand where we come from, and why we dislike, distrust, and condemn liberals so much. Of Course, Mr. Levin has a much better descriptor of them than merely "liberal":

It is observed that the Statist is dissatisfied with the condition of his own existence. He condemns his fellow man, surroundings, and society itself for denying him the fulfillment, success, and adulation he believes he deserves. He is angry, resentful, petulant, and jealous. He is incapable of honest self-assessment and rejects the honest assessment by others of himself, thereby evading responsibility for his own miserable condition, The Statist searches for significance and even glory in a utopian fiction of his mind's making, the earthly attainment of which, he believes, is frustrated by those who do not share it. Therefore he must destroy the civil society, piece by piece.

For the Statist, liberty is not a blessing but the enemy. It is not possible to achieve Utopia if individuals are free to go their own way. The individual must be dehumanized and his nature delegitimized. Through persuasion, deception, and coercion, the individual must be subordinated to the state. He must abandon his own ambitions for the ambitions of the state. He must become reliant on and fearful of the state. His first duty must be to the state -- not family, community, and faith, all of which have the potential of threatening the state. Once dispirited, the individual can be molded by the state.

The Statist's Utopia can take many forms, and has throughout human history, including monarchism, feudalism, militarism, fascism, communism, national socialism, and economic socialism. They are all of the same species -- tyranny. The primary principle around which the Statist organizes can be summed up in a single word -- equality.

Equality, as understood by the Founders, is the natural right of every individual to live freely under self-government, to acquire and retain the property he creates through his own labor, and to be treated impartially before a just law. Moreover, equality should not be confused with perfection, for man is also imperfect, making his application of equality, even in the most just society, imperfect. Otherwise, inequality is the natural state of man in the sense that each individual is born unique in all his human characteristics. Therefore, equality and inequality, properly comprehended, are both engines of liberty.

The Statist, however, misuses equality to pursue uniform economic and social outcomes. He must continuously enhance his power at the expense of self-government and violate the individual's property rights at the expense of individual liberty, for he believes that through persuasion, deception, and coercion he can tame man's natural state and man's perfection can, therefore, be achieved in Utopia. The Statist must claim the power to make that which is unequal equal and that which is imperfect perfect. This is the only hope the Statist offers, if only the individual surrenders himself to the all-powerful state. Only then can the impossible be made possible. ...

For the Statist, the international community and international organizations serve as useful sources for importing disaffection with the civil society. The Statist urges Americans to view themselves through the lenses of those who resent and even hate them. He needs Americans to become less confident, to doubt their institutions, and to accept the status assigned to them by outsiders -- as isolationists, invaders, occupiers, oppressors, and exploiters. The Statist wants Americans to see themselves as backward, foolishly holding to their quaint notions of individual liberty, private property, family, and faith, long diminished or jettisoned in other countries. They need to listen to the voices of condemnation from world capitals, and self-appointing global watchdogs hostile to America's superior standard of living. America is said to be out of step and regressive, justifying the surrendering of his sovereignty through treaties and other arrangements that benefit the greater "humanity." And it would not hurt if America admitted it's past transgressions, made reparations, and accepted its fate as just another aging nation -- one among many.

The Statist must also rely on legions of academics to serve as his missionaries. After a short period of training and observation, academics receive a sinecure -- a personal stake in the state via lifetime employment through a system of tenure. The classroom is to shape the beliefs and attitudes of successive generations of malcontents and incubate the quiet revolution against the civil society. Academics help identify the enemies of the state, whom their students learn to distrust or even detest through distortion and repetition -- corporations as polluters, the Founding Fathers as slave owners, the military as imperialists, etc.

As Glenn Reynolds says "Read the whole thing." Hell, it's been out one day and already number one on Amazon, and Dan Riehl and Thomas Lifson have both written their reviews of the book. Consider this a third review.

I chose the above to cite from his book for two reasons. First, as someone who debates the Left regularly, this is exactly what I see from them; this is their mindset when it comes to dealing with conservatives. They wants us cowed and broken -- literally just another cog in the great Statist machine. Second, this is exactly the sort of plans put in place by the degenerates from the 60's cultural revolution, and those kids are now running the show. Look at what they have done in a short amount of time.

The 111th Congress came into session in January, and immediately started crafting legislation to seize not only more money from the individual and private industry (we WILL be paying this off for generations, if we survive it) but to create the greatest, largest expanse of federal power unseen since the days of FDR's New Deal.

"The bigger a state becomes the more liberty diminishes." -- Jean Jacques Rousseau

Remember that because it's true. We don't think of it because we don't really see it, but the truth is that as the government grows in the hands of the Statist the less we will see of our own liberties. And recall, if you will, that it was Ben Franklin who said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." For decades the Statists have worked themselves into the government in an attempt to destroy the republic that was created almost 233 years ago. They are tearing it down because it is a threat to the very Utopian vision they have. And this shows their own imperfection for a Utopia can never be achieved so long as man has free will; the ability to decide what he will and won't do.

Mr. Levin's book is a fine work, and one that the reader can tell he put a great deal of effort into. This is not a slipshod work. This is carefully researched, properly footnoted, and above all it is a treatise on what it means to be a conservative. He does an excellent job of taking a conservative and a Statist, and wiping away the grey areas that the Statist uses constantly to blur the lines and confuse the individual. Reread that last paragraph I cite above, and ask yourself about what kids are taught today in school. Better yet, ask yourself what kids AREN'T being taught in school today. The answer to the latter is quite simple: They are not taught about true American history, and they are not taught about the Constitution. Why? Because both are a threat to the state.

True American history, not the revised BS they teach in schools today, threatens to tear down the Statist's overall goals because the history of the United States is one of freedom, liberty, rugged individualism, and entrepreneurship. This is how the nation was founded, and that's how it grew to be the greatest, freest nation on the face of the planet. The constitution threatens the Utopian vision of the Statist by informing people of their God-given liberties that so much precious blood has been spilled in it's defense.

When you take away the moral relativism and grey areas in ideology, the differences between conservatives and Statists are quite clear. One believes in the individual, while the other believes in a totalitarian state -- peace and security under the boot-heel of an all-encompassing, all-too-invasive government that treats it's citizens like children rather than free men. And they will tarnish, crush, or destroy anything that threatens their vision. this is why our history is under assault, why our religions are under constant attack, and why our liberties are disdained as some outmoded, outdated idea which time has come and gone. Imagine the Constitution today if it were written the way it has been interpreted over the last fifty years.

"The Court must be living in another world. Day by day, case by case, it is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize." -- Justice Antonin Scalia, (Board of County Commissioners, Wabaunsee County, Kansas v. Umbehr, 1996)

The quote is prescient because that is what we have. Mr. Levin brings this up in a later chapter entitled "On the Constitution":

The Statist is not interested in what the Framers said or intended. He is interested only in what he says and he intends. Consider the judiciary, which has seized for itself the most dominant role in interpreting the Constitution. When asked by a law clerk to explain his judicial philosophy, the late Associate Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall responded, "You do what you think is right and let the law catch up." The late Associate justice Arthur Goldberg's answer was no better. A law clerk recounts Goldberg telling him that his approach was to determine "what is the just result." Still others are persuaded by the Statist's semantic distortions, arguing that the judge's job is to spread democracy or liberty.

The Statist is a formidable, ideological foe, and won't be easily defeated. This fight has been going on for decades, and at this point in history it seems as though all is lost. Mr. Levin's lesson is a simple one -- don't get dispirited, and don't lose faith. The moment we lose either, the Statist knows he has an in; he knows you are on the ropes, and he knows that all it takes is a little push to knock you over the edge. Thomas Jefferson once said "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God" and he was right. We are witnessing the soft tyranny of the current government. But the rebellion I see isn't one using guns. I see us using what we use best, which is our minds, our intellect, and our general intelligence. The old conservative axiom that we win the war of ideas is true. All the Statist has to offer are the same failed ideas that history is replete with.

That's the point of Mr. Levin's book, and it's one he repeats often. Conservatives, this is the book you need to read if for nothing else than to remind yourselves what your responsibility to the nation, your family, and yourselves is. We have no responsibility to the government. We pledge allegiance to the United States, not to the federal government. Look at the oaths taken by those in the military, or those serving federal office. the oath is not to the government. It is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We owe no loyalty to the state, especially when that state, and it's willing and able minions, demand absolute loyalty; security in exchange for liberty.

To them I say I think not. I bow to know one, save God. I adhere to no man, save the Founders and Framers who created this nation, and enshrined our liberties in the most brilliant document ever produced by man. Marcie and I side with Mr. Levin. We are conservatives, and by God we will resist the Statist's overreaching goals of destroying this nation.

I encourage conservatives to get Mark Levin's book. You will find yourself nodding your head in agreement, not only on his observations about what conservatism is, but also what the Statist is, and his misguided -- dare I see nefarious -- ideals. As a matter of fact, buy a couple copies, and give them to friends, especially those that seem dispirited at the direction this country is going. I can guarantee you that when they read it, they will rediscover their ideals, and toss aside the funk they're in. This is not over yet. We aren't beaten. The ideological battle continues, and we sure as Hell need as many minds in the fight as we can muster.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Welcome Instapundit readers. Feel free to look around and comment. (I'll answer comments tomorrow.)

Publius II

ADDENDUM II: HT to SubManDave in the comments for pointing out I got the Franklin quote reversed. Fixed now, Thanks!

Publius II

17 Comments:

Anonymous wolfwalker said...

But the rebellion I see isn't one using guns. I see us using what we use best, which is our minds, our intellect, and our general intelligence. The old conservative axiom that we win the war of ideas is true. All the Statist has to offer are the same failed ideas that history is replete with.

The problem is, the intended audience doesn't know the Statist's ideas are failures, because the Statists who control the educational system have spent years telling them that the Statist's ideas are the only way to success.

I see no peaceful way for the truth to win when it's faced by such a Brobdignagian wall of lies.

March 24, 2009 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous gs said...

And recall, if you will, that it was Ben Franklin who said "Those who trade security for liberty deserve neither."

Backwards, no?

March 24, 2009 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Quilly Mammoth said...

Not yet, Wolfwalker, not yet. So long as there is a means to speak to the People the Truth still has a chance to prevail. Do not think your fellow countrymen as stoopid, rather as under the ether.

And they are coming up out of it.

March 24, 2009 at 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Paul Gable said...

Truth always wins. Just takes patience and persistence. There are cracks in the wall of lies. Read 'There's Something Happening Here...' at www.brushfires-of-freedom.com/dots.html

March 24, 2009 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger paul a'barge said...

You will find yourself nodding your head in agreement

and that's the problem. We already agree with each other.

We already agree with each other and with John McCain representing us we got our clocks cleaned.

It's not enough to be correct or to be clever about making correct arguments. What has to happen is that people who do not think like we do and people who just don't think very much have to swing themselves around such that they instinctively come from where we come.

I have no idea how that is accomplished but it certainly is not by our reading Levin's book and agreeing with it.

And on top of that, I give you Senator Richard Shelby, one of the Republicans responsible for 40% of the earmarks in Obama's budget of terror. I give you Congressman Cantor who voted in favor of a bill of attainder to tax at a 90% punitive rate the bonuses of AIG executives. I give you President GWB who signed McCain-Feingold and the great Medicare drug benefit.

Do you reckon that the folks who need to vote with us got a tingle up their leg when they witness these folks? Or do you think they see "us" and "them" as the same weak, unprincipled group of government thugs?

March 24, 2009 at 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only effective way to oppose the Statists is by political means. Unfortunately, there IS NO LOYAL OPPOSITION party. Fercryin out loud, 80-odd Republicans (Pun intended) voted for the 90% tax increase on the AIG bonuses.

We spend too much time bitchin' about the statists, and not enough time cleaning up our side of the aisle. Talk radio personalities, God bless em, can't do this without help. The GOP is foundering. Hell, Cantor voted to screw over the AIG people, and even the squish George Will has finally figured out the Yahoo's are ruining Congress.

Don't have tea parties. Let's bring pitchforks, tar, feathers and rope to DC.

March 24, 2009 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Clutch said...

During our own Revolutionary War of 1776-1783, to throw off the tyranny of the King, our country was quite divided. There were many Tories who sided with the King. There were many who didn't side with either, but just wanted to be left alone---to intellectually lazy to become advocates for a cause.

No difference in these times.

The Righteousness of Liberty and Justice prevail because they are the true Rights of Man, inalienable and enduring. But Liberty and Justice must always (forever) fight against the clutches of Collectivism and State Tyranny which arise when people organize in nation-states that also rests in the heart of Man.

The wisdom of our Founders who understood these competing forces resulted in the brilliance of our Constitution. And that is why our government officials and military take an oath to preserve, protect and defend it, and not to any political party or individual.

We must fight, as Loyalists to the Constitution, to keep our freedoms and turnback the rising tide of statism.

March 25, 2009 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger Atomic Lib Smasher said...

I ordered mine 2 weeks ago on Amazon because I knew they'd be selling like hotcakes. Can't wait to get it in the next few days.


Thanks for the review and snippet of the book.

March 25, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Shane said...

Excellent review of a book that I believe will become part of the ammunition stuffed into our belts as we take on the battle against the left in earnest. Right now it is only us nerds (those of us who take as our hobby blogging and studying culture and politics) that are standing up outraged, but as the Tea Parties are showing, the average American is starting to sense something is wrong. Once they come to understand the enthymeme that drives the movement, expect opposition to these statist policies to blossom into a nation wide revolt.

Americans fighting for their freedom may no longer be a fantasy - it may be the legacy of Barack Obama...

March 25, 2009 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Shane said...

Excellent review of a book that I believe will become part of the ammunition stuffed into our belts as we take on the battle against the left in earnest. Right now it is only us nerds (those of us who take as our hobby blogging and studying culture and politics) that are standing up outraged, but as the Tea Parties are showing, the average American is starting to sense something is wrong. Once they come to understand the enthymeme that drives the movement, expect opposition to these statist policies to blossom into a nation wide revolt.

Americans fighting for their freedom may no longer be a fantasy - it may be the legacy of Barack Obama...

March 25, 2009 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger submandave said...

I believe you have the Franklin quote backwards. It should read "Those who would trade liberty for security ..."

March 25, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger mike said...

"One believes in the individual, while the other believes in a totalitarian state -- peace and security under the boot-heel of an all-encompassing, all-too-invasive government that treats it's citizens like children rather than free men."

Liberals are the defenders of the individual, we are united against the rightwing nutjobs that want fascism. Liberals don't need to know what is inside a woman's womb and have the State be the owner of its contents. Rightwing nutjobs are the most dangernous statists there are, they cannot run away from their desire for the State to be all knowing, all discerning, all powerful, and all controlling.

Liberals want less government, less intrusion, more freedom, and more guarantees of individual human rights. We are the standard bearers and knuckledheader rightwing manifestos will not change these truths that are self evident.

March 27, 2009 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Syd And Vaughn said...

Mike,

Now, now. President Barry is a liberal, and to that there is no argument. In fact, he actually fits into Mr. Levin's definition of a Statist. And what we are witnessing is the greatest expansion of the federal government, or federal power, and the direct confiscation of wealth that we have ever witnessed.

Try those talking points where they're welcome, and might actually have some credence within your echo chamber on the KosKiddie's website.

Publius II

March 27, 2009 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger R. Jeremy said...

This cut and paste history on the level of ungrad writing. It lumps together the Declaration of Ind, which is essentially a break-up document written to justify a political act and the Constitution which is sort a pre-nup. I don't see anything about the first government of the US, more in line with conservative thinking - The Articles of Confederation -which failed. Quotes about the American Revolution are applied to the Constitution, and don't forget, Jefferson wasn't even at the Constitutional Convention, and where are the references to Hamilton, the proponent of a strong central government which was the whole idea of the CC. He used to be the conservative icon. To all you conservatives who think you're getting a history lesson, sorry - this is propaganda.

April 10, 2009 at 4:11 AM  
Anonymous Eric M. said...

"This cut and paste history on the level of ungrad writing. It lumps together the Declaration of Ind, which is essentially a break-up document written to justify a political act and the Constitution which is sort a pre-nup. I don't see anything about the first government of the US, more in line with conservative thinking - The Articles of Confederation -which failed. Quotes about the American Revolution are applied to the Constitution, and don't forget, Jefferson wasn't even at the Constitutional Convention, and where are the references to Hamilton, the proponent of a strong central government which was the whole idea of the CC. He used to be the conservative icon. To all you conservatives who think you're getting a history lesson, sorry - this is propaganda."

The major propaganda machines of the modern age are the leftist media outlets that spout their Obama-Statist love throughout the world and censor just about anything related to our beloved conservatism, unless it involves taking pot shots at it from their elitist stations.

The problem with the Articles of Confederation was the fact that it had little power whatsoever to do what it had been tasked to do. This is why it was trashed and why the Constitution was created! The Statists of today have gone far beyond what the Founders intended for the federal government to be, far beyond the enumerated powers set forth in the Constitution.

True Conservatives are originalists to the Constitution and hold our founding document close at heart.

June 5, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous TheBaron said...

Just out of curiosity, Mister RedHunter, do you agree with Levin's statement that what makes us superior to animals is property (which if you have owned more than one of any type of animals of the same species you can say is inherently false), the fact that between 1/4th and 1/3rd of his citations are from editorials and blogs, or his rants where he accuses Hispanic people of all being criminals, sexual deviants who get pregnant at the drop of a hat, and bring all manner of disease into this country?

Also, how do you respond to his assertion that America was founded by Christians? Last time I checked, Thomas Paine (infamous for writing Common Sense) wrote not one, but *TWO* papers blasting the church. In addition, to his final pamplet called "Agrarian Justice" where he advocated an inheritance tax, a social security system, and an amount of money to be paid out to everyone upon reaching maturity (Don't believe me? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrarian_Justice).

Also, Thomas Jefferson infamously said that "Religion retreats before Science like witches at daylight" and he, along with Madison, both went on an escapade to cut off all public funding to churches in Virginia.

Then there's the infamous Treaty of Tripolee, signed by George Washington and approved by all the Founding Fathers alive at the time, that states in its very beginnings "America is not a Christian Nation".

On top of that, can you reconcile Levin's erronous statements in regards to "Christians being the most tolerant people of them all" only to go on and demonize atheists and Muslims?

In addition to that, what about his speech on how the consititution must be obeyed completely and totally, followed by his trumpeting of states opposing the constitution in the matter of slavery?

As for his opinions on FDR and claiming that "rapid industrialization ended the depression", then I am to presume that all those tanks, planes, missiles, bullets, etc et al that the government bought during that time didn't have anything to do with it? Also, might I point out that most of his citations were from the Hoover Institute who, surprise surprise, says that it was FDR who prolonged the depression and attempts to exonerate Herbert Hoover? (If tables were turned and there was someone quoting some kind of Roosevelt Institute saying that FDR saved us from the depression and Hoover deepend/caused it, would you be apt to believe them?)

Then there are the statistics he shows, which has unemployment during Roosevelt's presidency steadily decreasing, along with the statement that "Every government job created destroyed half a private sector job" (Might I point out by simple mathematics that's not at all a bad situation?)

Also, how about his statement that "Science is a dead end", while not recongizing the fact that if it wasn't for science things like the radio, the printing press, etc. would not be around, meaning he couldn't spread his message?

Or how about his criticism of Obama's speech about how in a globalized society, events all over the world affect us, while at the same time he trumpets George Bush's invasion of Iraq as a stroke of brilliance?

Then there is his terminology, re-labeling liberals statists, proudly proclaiming Republicans as Federalists, then going on in a few chapters later to bash Federalists of America's beginnings.

And, forgive me for making this statement because I know it will offend you greatly, but judging by your support of the Free Market I presume you very much approve of the drug trade going on throughout the world then and would not like it to be stomped out? After all, the drug trade is the only truly free market out there. Laissez-faire specifically states for there to be no rules and there are certainly no rules in that.

September 15, 2009 at 2:35 PM  
Anonymous TheBaron said...

Also, after reading this book, I was both surprised and extremely, unbelievably sickened to see that Levin opposed the Rights of the Child and the Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. So he's all for child labor/prostitution? He's also for rape, enslavement, gang rape, and the general brutalization of women as well? There are some things so sickening that the idea of banning them in the harshest terms in writing should not even be given a second thought. Of course, he's ignoring the fact that they're *CONVENTIONS* as opposed to *INTERNATIONL LAWS* (unfortunantely). And then there's his false statement that we've agreed to the Kyoto Protocols (they have yet to be signed).

How do you also reconcile his comment that he felt President Regan's General Amnesty of illegal immigrants to be a good idea, yet he feels the need for their immediate expulsion?

And what about his statement urging people to indoctrinate their children and grandchildren? If he is such a proponent of free choice, then would he really want that to happen? After all, you're not giving children much of a choice there. In fact, it's being downright oppressive and tyrannical I would say.

September 15, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

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