Capitalism? Socialism? Try “privilegism”

December 16, 2010 § 1 Comment

My recent contribution to a heated political and economic debate between Democrats and Republicans in the Rants ‘n Raves forum on the Chicago Craigslist.
Democratic Hottie said the rich should be paying more in taxes.
I agree, to a degree.
Someone else said:


The Democrats want to tax the earnings, take as much as they can, skim as much off the top to support a bloated government bureaucracy, and dole the remaining pennies to those who don’t contribute to the success of themselves, us or the country! That money is used to pay off political cronies, voting blocks and re-election of the politicians themselves. When enough is not available from tax money they borrow more to meet their needs for rewards. No big deal, just kick the can down the road. Let the next generation pay it back.

To a degree, I agree with that too.

Original poster said we are not a capitalistic country, so what are we?

I said we have neither capitalism nor socialism, but “privilegism.” « Read the rest of this entry »

‘No Labels Movement’: Smells like more weak ‘coffee’ to me

December 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

SO THIS “NO LABELS” outfit recently held its first confab. When I heard a spokeslady touting the organization on WVON’s Matt & Perri Show this morning,  I was thrilled, for a few seconds at least: in name, it sounds a lot like my idea for a “Non-Party.” (Also reminds me of Naomi Klein’s No Logo.)

And the motto on the No Labels website — Not left. Not right. Forward — well, just look at Just Liberty’s motto above.

However, as the spokeswoman described it, it sounds disappointingly like another attempt at the fizzled Coffee Party campaign from earlier this year, which was supposed to have been the liberal nice antidote to the Tea Party “meanness” and “hate” in today’s politics.

Turns out this edgy-as-NPR, “grassroots,” “bottom-up” (her words) effort is very well-funded: According to its Wikipedia page, as of late November it had raised $1 million. They’ve also got plenty of well-to-do folks volunteering time and effort.

“Major backers include” Andrew Tisch, co-chairman of Loews Corporation, former tobacco executive, and Democratic campaign donor; Ron Shaich, founder of Panera Bread; and Dave Morin, former executive at Facebook. (But no George Soros, at least. Whew!)

Founders including veteran Democratic fundraiser Nancy Jacobson and former Dubya/McLame strategist Mark McKinnon bolster this group’s claims to represent “both sides.” Yeah, both sides of K Street.

Also mixed up in this are David Gergen, eminence grise and triple threat (Bohemian Grove, Bilderberg and Trilateral), and David Frum, arch-neocon and former Bush speechwriter. Wow, now those guys are grassroots! And then they’ve got recently fired ex-Florida governor Charlie Crist, billionaire Michael Bloomberg,  “National Greatness” – obsessed neocon David Brooks … Good grief, what blockhead cooked all this?

The No Labels spokesgal on with Matt and Perri talked sweetly about our need to dialogue, to “work with the other side,” to eliminate personal attacks, etc. — all the hand-wringing “civility” and “tone” rhetoric we’ve heard before when conservatives won big in Congress.

These schoolmarmish attempts to nice-ify politics are either so naive they deserve pity, or so disingenuous as to merit nothing but scorn. Here’s a bulletin hot off the wire for ya, No Labelers: Politics is not tiddlywinks, Sunday School, or a knitting bee. And needless to say, the original Boston Tea Party did not involve crumpets, fine china, pink lace doilies, or blue-haired ladies sipping from tiny cups with pinkies extended. Politics is a contact sport — as it ought to be.

There’s a reason why folks in politics maneuver, machinate, vilify, and falsify – and why even the good guys necessarily must possess the testicles or ovaries to expose and oppose the maneuverers, machinators, vilifiers, and falsifiers. That’s because massive spoils in money, power, and/or ego gratification are at stake with every bill, every bailout, every contract, every earmark, every taxpayer-funded monument, every regulation written by unelected bureaucrats, every special-interest loophole, every new “constitutional” power the courts discover on behalf of government.

Government is an organization to which we grant a limited monopoly on force; at best, as Washington said, it is like fire: a dangerous servant and “a fearful master.”

When well-tailored, bright-smiling, clean and articulate people of the lie are working weekends figuring out how to further tax, restrain, constrain, and force us to abide by thousands of new laws, orders, administrative regulations, and rulings per year, and giving ever greater powers to a burgeoning number of police agencies and officers to enforce their decrees by means involving seizure of our property, violation of our persons, imprisonment, or infliction of pain and death, best believe it’s serious business. No business, in fact, for Casper Milquetoasts, Nervous Nellies, namby-pambys, fraidy-cats, cream puffs, weak sisters, mollycoddles, pantywaists, or any of their numerous, and timorous, variants.

Truth, freedom and justice are big enough to fight over. And if you’re not battle-ready, what are you doing on a battlefield?

To folks who’d like to see more civility in politics, here’s a clue: Start a movement with the goal of massively shrinking and decentralizing government’s power to grant special favors to any party, and to take people’s liberty, property, and very lives. (I.e., what the Tea Party ostensibly was about, before it got absorbed into the GOP.) When you have accomplished that goal, there will be little or nothing left to squabble over. The guaranteed path to civility in society is to clear the way for civil society (that is, the noncoercive sector of society) to operate. When the No Label Movement decides to move in that direction, I’ll be right beside them.

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