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Liberals with Nowhere to Go

RIGHT now I am thinking about what comes next. I take it as given that the Enlightenment mechanical world-view and its notion of a final paradise on Earth, whether of the right's market equality or the left's political equality, is a dead end.

In particular I react against the notion that we are all alike and all want the same thing, or should be forced to.

That's because the billions of humans on this Earth all want different things.

However, that is much too complicated. We need to simplify. And what humans do when thing are too complicated is we simplify things down to a Rule of Three: Past, Present, and Future. Garden of Eden, The Fall, and Heaven.

That is why I have come up with my reductive Three Peoples theory, reducing all the billions of world views down to three. I know, what presumption!

But I think it makes sense. Creative people want a chance to create a new world; Responsible people want a chance to make work the existing world, the world they are given; Subordinate people just want to be able to hang on to some powerful patron and shelter from the storm till the next check arrives.

Now, a couple days ago I commented in the American Thinker on a John Gray piece in The New Statesman in which he told the cultural wokies that in the wake of Boris Johnson's "stonking" victory their world view had "melted down into a heap of trash."

But then I stumbled over another couple John Gray pieces in In first he tells the greenies that, even given that their scientific analysis is correct about climate change -- and he thinks it is -- their strategy for dealing with it won't work. We should be adapting to the changes we have created, not curling up in the face of "unstoppable climate change."

But in 'Liberalism: the other God that failed" Gray goes further and argues that all the Enlightenment ideologies are finished. In the old days, people could import their Christian values into Enlightment equality, and ex-Communists in the late 1940s could return from the Communist ideology and its revolutionary forced march to the perfect future to ordinary liberalism, left or right, and its gradualist walk to the perfect future. Not any more.

When ex-communists became liberals, they shifted from one secular faith to another. Troubled liberals today have no such option. Fearful of the alternatives, they hang on desperately to a faith in which they no longer believe. Liberalism may be the other God that failed, but for liberals themselves their vision of the future is a deus absconditus, mocking and tormenting them as the old freedoms disappear from the world.
Actually this is not surprising, at least not to me. Because I moved on from the mechanical Enlightenment world and its logic and reason view years ago. We are not moving along an arc of history, not towards justice, and not towards universal prosperity. We are living things struggling to live in a changing world, adapting it if we can, and adapting to it if we must. We do not know the correct strategy for survival. Never did, never will. What we will do, what we have always done, is stumble along day to day, and hope that we didn't make a fatal blunder. Some people don't make it, sometimes a lot of people don't make it. But the world goes on.

Actually, the whole history of the last 200 years and its Great Enrichment on the economic front tell us what is happening. From time to time there are world-changing economic revolutions, started by some nobodies, that change everything. Machine textiles, steam power, world transportation, wood to coal to oil to electricity to nuclear, personal powered transportation, computers, internet, smart phones. Each of these has been an astonishing transformation, and yet we are all still here. Do you see how remarkable this is? We have had economic revolution after economic revolution, and yet almost everyone has kept up. More than that, the left-behinds, in China, India, and Africa, are catching up, even as the developed West keeps reinventing the economy. What is going on?

What is going on is humans analyzing the situation, coming up with 101 different plans to Do Something about it, and then letting the chips fall where they may, so that the two or three chaps with plans that actually work get to be billionaires and own the future. For a season.

And that is where my reductive Three Peoples theory comes in. The Creatives are the people that are going to be coming up with the 101 plans for the future. Good for them. Let them experiment with their own money and money that investors and speculators give them, and let the rest of us sit in the bleachers and see who wins the race. The Responsibles are the people that just live their lives as best they may and hope to adapt in a competent way to whatever the Creatives come up with. The Subordinates just sit there and shelter from the storm in the retinue of some great lord or big government.

The problem with the current situation is that the Creatives, the educated gentry, are forever coming up with plans that they want to force the rest of us to pay for and submit to. Because they are special.

They get to create the plans. We get to pay for it. They get the credit if it goes well, and robber barons take the blame if it blows up. Thanks very much.

Obviously, they "literally know nothing" because modern psychology, Jung version, has rediscovered that the way to the future is the Sacrificial Hero living and exploring on the border between order and chaos, and giving up his life so that others may live. The Sacrificial Hero is not the proud activist that gets to create a totalitarian regime that sacrifices everyone else's life so that the proud activist and his minions can live the life of Riley. Not at all.

We will know when our liberal friends come up with a good plan. Because it will be a plan to recognize that the highest and best thing to be is a Sacrifical Hero, and not a revolutionary activist or carping moralist. The plan will make it clear that it will be the Creatives that will do the sacrificing, not the average Commoner or the average Subordinate.

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Who Deals with the Freeloaders and Predators?

THE two Big Problems of human society, in my view, are Freeloaders and Freebooters.  I have a whole chapter about it in "Freebooters and Freeloaders." Who are they?

The Freebooters are the common criminals that prey on the poor.  That's what we have police forces for.  That's just the domestic freebooters.  The foreign freebooters are the neighboring state, the expansionist empire, the marauders and the pirates.  That's what we have armies for.

But what about the freeloaders?  They are the people looking for free stuff.  And it's a curious thing that the government that defends us from freebooters, common criminals and dreaded foreign powers, is the agency that tends and feeds the freeloaders.  Why does it do that?  Because that is how all governments maintain their power.  They originate as rebel or conquering armies that distribute baronies to the captains in their armies.  They continue by buying the loyalty of their supporters with government spending and privileges.

So we could say that governments exist to protect the people from the predators.  But they do it at the cost of encouraging the freeloaders.  Two steps forward and one step backward.

What do we do about the freeloader problem?  That's what we have religion for, and specifically the post-Axial Age religions that advance an individual relationship with God.  Put it this way.  The only way you can deal with a common criminal is by arresting him and locking him up.  But freeloaders are different.  They are people that don't actively break the law.  They are just sneaking around looking for handouts.  It's obviously a universal human trait or we wouldn't have supermarket specials and coupons and airline frequent flier programs.

The way you deal with freeloaders is you make them ashamed of their idleness. You shame them into getting a job.  That's what religion does.

Back when Jane Austen was writing novels it was nothing for the rich to be idle.  And the worst of the worst were the young heirs that wasted their youths on gambling and dissipation.  I am thinking in particular of young Tom Bertram in Mansfield Park.

Not any more.  The liberal trustafarians of our own time all present themselves as busy as bees running their family foundations and funding social justice projects.  High class women don't sit around embroidering and making calls. They all have college educations and have careers.  Rich people don't have social cachet these days unless they are doing something.

So much for the rich.  But at the other end of the spectrum the modern welfare state actually encourages the poor in their idleness.  It makes a virtue out of freeloading!  And this is coded into the very design of the authoritarian welfare state and its over-under governing coalition.  The "over" part gets the jobs, the money, the power and the love of beautiful women.  The "under" part gets to freeload with a share of the loot, a payoff for voting the "overs" into power.

Now I maintain that the secular liberal political movement is actually a secular religion.  It is not just a governing party but a way of life.  So here we have a religion that actually promotes freeloading!

If you ask me, something's gotta give.

Here's my idea for a better America.  Keep the government focused on fighting the freebooters and the predators.  Government is force, and the only thing it can do is wage war on someone.

But we need a new religion to shame the freeloaders.  Religion is all about the meaning of life and what it takes to live a good life.  And the way that religion works on people is by shaming and shunning the backsliders: "social control" as our liberal friends put it.

But first we've got to chase the present liberal priesthood out of the temple, because their religion is a false religion.  If a religion does not shame its believers away from freeloading then it is worth nothing at all.

perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/20/14 10:22 am ET

How to Teach Rapists Not to Rape

THERE'S a big flap going on in SF quarters right now about rape.  Conservative SF writer Larry Correia in his blog affirmed the advice of Miss Nevada that women should take self-defense classes to protect themselves from rapists. Apparently this is all wrong.  The current liberal narrative is that there is a "rape culture" in the US and that instead of teaching women to defend themselves we ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/19/14 10:33 am ET

It's not the Corporations, It's the Government

YESTERDAY talk-show host Rush Limbaugh riffed off a piece in about crony capitalism.  Big business, you see, doesn't like Dave Brat and his populist anti-corporatism.  They are afraid that Tea Party populism could upset their relationship with their "strongest champions on Capitol Hill." Look, I understand how business feels about this.  It's all very well for a Tea Party candidate...

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perm | comment(1) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/18/14 10:51 am ET

Matt Ridley's "Rational Optimist:" It Takes a Collective Brain

WHAT makes humans different?  In our modern era our opinion leaders have been moving closer and closer to the Folger's TV commercial insistence that there's "no difference."  People can't tell the difference between Folger's mass-market coffee and the other kind -- at least not after a satisfying restaurant meal.  Nor is there any difference between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.  We...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/17/14 2:30 pm ET

Liberals, Shocked, Shocked that Government is Force

ONE of my favorite themes is that our liberal friends are a little to quick to suggest that the kind of government they advance is really just the benign program of a bunch of kindly librarians.  This allows them to forget, as they crunch down ruthlessly on anyone that disagrees with them, that government is force. Now David Brat, economics professor and giant slayer, has dared to write that ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/13/14 9:20 am ET

Could a Democrat Get Cantored?

EVERYONE who is anyone agrees that the Tea Party is a dangerous bunch of extremists.  That's when they aren't agreeing that the Tea Party is a bunch of clueless Sharron Angles and Christine O'Donnells. But I find myself wondering: could anything like the Tea Party happen to the Democrats? Let's look back.  The last time that the Democrats had agitation in the ranks was the Occupy movement in ...

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perm | comment(1) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/12/14 8:09 am ET

Post Cantor: Why are Dems So Negative About Tea Party?

EVER since the Tea Party showed its ugly mug five years ago, our Democratic friends can't seem to decide whether it's a nothingburger or a frightful threat to everything we know and love -- a KKKish assembly of racist sexist homophobic gun-toting extremists. Moments after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) got primaried by Tea Party-ish economics professor Dave Brat, DNC head Debbie ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/11/14 11:21 am ET

Anti-Piketty: He Even Gets "Père Goriot" Wrong

THE liberal sensation of the spring has been Thomas Piketty's Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century in which the good French professor brandishes Jane Austen and Honoré de Balzac at us in order to prove that r > g and the rich will go on getting richer and the poor poorer unless. Unless we set up a cadaster of global wealth to make every rich person completely transparent, set up confiscatory ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/09/14 9:44 am ET

The Party of the Ruling Class

HOW do we deal with the meme that sank Mitt Romney, the idea that he was an unfeeling rich man that didn't care about "people like me."  Mona Charen makes the point directly.

Many Republicans now recognize that they must propose reforms that speak to middle- and working-class voters, and shed their image as the party of the rich.
But what is it that makes the Republican Party the "party of the rich?"  Is it that the rich Koch Brothers push the Republican line?  Or that Mitt Romney laid off a union steelworker? Perhaps it's because the Republican Party does not rush in with a new program when people are hurting.

But it was George W. Bush who said: "when people are hurting, the government's gotta move."  And this was the guy that didn't care about New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina.

OK, so the Democratic Party is the Mommy Party that believes that you must rescue little Johnny from everyone of his escapades.  The Republican Party is the Daddy Party that believes that when Johnny goes off to college it's time for helicopter parents to fly back to the pad and let Johnny figure things out on his own.

But the Democrats still get a lot of mileage out of the "party of the rich" meme even though you and I know that most rich people -- especially 2nd generation liberal trustafarians, and certainly the ones living in the richest zip codes -- vote Democratic.  Of course they do.  Their mothers get them into selective colleges by hook or by crook and they come out as good conforming members of the ruling class.

William Tucker just went to a class reunion at his top-ranked New England college, and he was just about the only Republican voice there in a class that includes one Nobel prizewinner and one on the way. "All of my classmates have prospered to a degree that none of us would have anticipated when we were swilling beer and pulling all-nighters back in the day."
There’s a predictably high portion of doctors, lawyers, research scientists, and college professors, but also an uncommon number who seem to have stumbled into finance, almost inadvertently.
And they are all liberals.  Tucker attends breakout sessions where everyone agrees with the liberal agenda except him.
When I arrived around 9 a.m. an earnest group of about 50 classmates and their wives was already deeply engrossed in the question of how to save the nation’s spirit. This time the discussion was more unguarded. “We’ve got to make this non-partisan,” said one panelist. “We’ve got to get Republicans involved.” “Of course Republicans are wrong about everything but we’ve still got to make them feel like they’re a part of it,” said another. After another hour of this I stood up and said once again I disagreed with every word but didn’t want to take up people’s time. “No, tell us what you think,” they insisted. So I let loose.
Talk about a meeting of the ruling class!  You can't make this up.  Tucker tells the group to "several gasps of disapproval from wives in the audience" about "a small museum in Colorado" that spent two years getting regulatory approval to divert a stream to build a generator. I mean, you can't just let people run around diverting streams in Idaho, darling!

And they call the Republican Party the "party of the rich."

Now there's no doubt that if you called Tucker's classmates and their wives "the rich" to their faces they would be insulted and the wives would gasp.  They know they can't be the rich because they are Democrats and the Republican Party is the "party of the rich."

So what's the strategic thing to do?  It probably won't work to counterattack with "so's your father" stuff.  It doesn't matter that the Democratic Party is the party of the rich and the crony capitalists.  Frontal attacks tend to be very costly and end up achieving nothing.  See: World War I.

No, I suggest creating the meme that the Democratic Party is the "party of the ruling class," the people that won't let you alone, that want to boss you around about everything from stupid light bulbs to baking wedding cakes.

The point about the "party of the rich" meme is that liberals want ordinary people to think that Republicans are callous moneybags swilling martinis up at the country club that just "don't care about people like me."

The point about the "party of the ruling class" meme is that conservatives want ordinary people to think that liberals are bossy meddlers swilling Chardonnay up at the faculty lounge that won't leave you alone and insist on telling you how to live your life.  Everybody knows some stuck-up little academic Hitler that uses their teaching or administrative position to make life miserable for everyone around them.

I know.  Just one little meme isn't going to change the world.  But it's a start.

perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/06/14 9:31 am ET

Bergdahl: Obamis Just Don't Understand Honor

MANY conservatives are puzzling over why, just why, the Obama administration would get itself into such a mess over the Bergdahl prisoner exchange.  How could anyone treat Bergdahl's likely desertion as just a matter of missing a class on Monday? The answer is simple.  It is honor.  Lefties don't understand honor, male or female.  And especially they don't understand military honor. The whole ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/05/14 10:48 am ET

It will take Religion to end political polarization

LIBERALS always like to mourn the Republicans of yesteryear: the ones that could work with Democrats to solve problems.  Liberals just hate all the extremism and hate on the right. But William A. Galston writes in the Wall Street Journal that the polarization works both ways. Using data from a study by Alan Abramowitz from Emory University he shows that Democrats have been getting more socially...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/04/14 10:44 am ET

We Need a Religion of Limited Government

YOUNG Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz has taken a look at the new ideas in YGNetwork's "Room to Grow" proposals, and wonders what's the point.  Forget the "new" ideas.  How about some good "old" ideas? Here’s a old/new idea: get government out of the way. cut off the spigot. end the subsidies. cut the regulations. help the middle class by allowing the market to work for them. Cathy quotes ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/03/14 9:46 am ET

Critiquing Obama from the Enlightened Left

EVERY time we hear of a new incident of Obama administration lawlessness, we have to wonder.  Do liberals really not see this as a problem? We know what is going on.  The news media and the cultural czars reckon that Obama and the liberal activists and the Democratic Party have their heart in the right place and so the corner-cutting on Obamacare, the bogus wait-list scam at the VA, the ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/02/14 12:54 pm ET

Liberals Don't Know Better

HERE'S a nice little piece from the Wall Street Journal.  Guess what: the Obamis at the Census Bureau don't like the way racial classifications are going with the Hispanic community.  You see, according to Amitai Etzioni, [M]ore that two million Hispanics changed their racial classification to "white" in the 2010 census from "some other race" in 2000.  Overall, according to official data, 53% ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 05/30/14 9:10 am ET

Moral Dilemmas in "The Secret Life of Violet Grant" | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 05/29/14 10:22 am ET
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Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) is a writer and conservative.

He runs, the go-to resource for government finance data, and is a frequent contributor to the American Thinker. He lives in Seattle, Washington. Click for more.

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