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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    11 Nov '09 18:56
    http://www.tnr.com/article/anti-statism-america

    Anti-Statism in America

    Why Americans hate to love government


    -snip-

    Americans have supported, or have come to support, specific governmental remedies, such as Social Security, the minimum wage, and environmental and consumer protections. But, when a new program that expands government is proposed, they have displayed a general ideological predisposition against the power of government. As Obama tries to get his reform agenda through Congress, this predisposition is already proving to be a formidable obstacle.

    Americans’ skepticism about government dates at least from the Revolution. In The Liberal Tradition in America, published in 1955, political scientist Louis Hartz described the Americans of 1776 as “Lockean liberals.” He was using the term “liberal” in its classic connotation--more like today’s free-market conservative or libertarian. Americans, he perceived, envisaged the state as strictly limited to protecting property relations among equal producers. They saw strong government--which they identified with the British crown--as a threat to economic and political freedom. Government, in Thomas Paine’s words, was a “necessary evil.”

    -snip-


    Come on, Whodey, tell us the truth, is your real name John B. Judis?
  2. 12 Nov '09 13:00 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.tnr.com/article/anti-statism-america

    [b]Anti-Statism in America

    Why Americans hate to love government


    -snip-

    Americans have supported, or have come to support, specific governmental remedies, such as Social Security, the minimum wage, and environmental and consumer protections. But, when a new program that expands government is pro ...[text shortened]... vil.”

    -snip-


    Come on, Whodey, tell us the truth, is your real name John B. Judis? [/b]
    Actually, the man who introduced me to the term was (The Great One) Mark Levine in his book Liberty and Tyranny. The term statist I believe goes back to the 1700''s coined by a French philosopher who's name eludes me currently.

    For the purpose of clarity, the term statist should be the rallying cry for the conservative. Using terms like conservative and liberal are in large part meaningless today considering both parties have within them elements of each. The focus should be denouncing statism no matter which party you claim to affiliate yourself with.

    Thanks for the article though!! It looks as though the movement is growing. It is much needed after about a century or so of the unchallenged "progressive" movement otherwise known as the statists movement.

    Edit: Would you like me to send you a copy of the book? It is simply awesome!!
  3. 12 Nov '09 13:47 / 1 edit
    if you're going to build a movement to attack "statism", you need to distingush what constitutes the "tyrannical state" from that which is considered "acceptable governance"

    For example, if you were to define the "tyrannical state" as including the public schools, and you started a movement to eliminate the entire public school system, you'd likely find a very large percentage of tea-party people saying "but I send my kid to a public school and he's doing well there - I don't want to change it" -- or even "I send my kid to a great private school - what'll happen if they have to admit the riffraff currently going to public schools?"

    So just looking at this particular case -- what part of the public school system is "statism" and what part of it is "acceptable governance"? What aspects should tea-party people be focusing their protests on, and what parts should they be willing to accept?
  4. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    12 Nov '09 13:50
    Originally posted by whodey
    Actually, the man who introduced me to the term was (The Great One) Mark Levine in his book Liberty and Tyranny. The term statist I believe goes back to the 1700''s coined by a French philosopher who's name eludes me currently.

    For the purpose of clarity, the term statist should be the rallying cry for the conservative. Using terms like conservative and ...[text shortened]... nt.

    Edit: Would you like me to send you a copy of the book? It is simply awesome!!
    If we had a socialist system, the state could (and should) be dispensed with. This would be libertarian socialism (anarchism).

    BUT...

    If you're going to have a capitalist economy, then the state is an indispensable check on unbridled corporate avarice and power. The state is necessary to make sure that wealth is more broadly distributed and that it doesn't all end up in the hands of corporate gangsters. The proper struggle, whodey, is keep corporate interests from undermining government effectiveness, and not simply in abolishing government.
  5. 12 Nov '09 16:01
    Originally posted by rwingett
    BUT...

    The state is necessary to make sure that wealth is more broadly distributed and that it doesn't all end up in the hands of corporate gangsters.
    Seems to be working well, eh Rwingett? Where did all that TARP money go? Has Geithner payed his taxes yet? LOL.

    So how about you? WIll you purchase government health insurance, no matter what they may price it at, or be fined or imprisoned/

    Yep, freedom is just around the corner gang!!
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Nov '09 16:20
    Originally posted by whodey
    Actually, the man who introduced me to the term was (The Great One) Mark Levine in his book Liberty and Tyranny. The term statist I believe goes back to the 1700''s coined by a French philosopher who's name eludes me currently.

    For the purpose of clarity, the term statist should be the rallying cry for the conservative. Using terms like conservative and ...[text shortened]... nt.

    Edit: Would you like me to send you a copy of the book? It is simply awesome!!
    The problem with Mark Levin is that reading his books makes my ears hurt. Every time I read a word of his, I involuntarily imagine that he's shouting at me in that strange voice he uses in the radio.

    In any case, thanks for the offer, but maybe I'll just look for it at the library. I actually read a few random pages of it at a Barnes and Noble a few months ago. Who knows? If it gets really cheap on Amazon, maybe I'll order it and put it right next to Chris Matthews' book so that they can fight it out on the shelf. I hope there won't be too much blood on the shelf.
  7. 12 Nov '09 16:33 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    if you're going to build a movement to attack "statism", you need to distingush what constitutes the "tyrannical state" from that which is considered "acceptable governance"

    For example, if you were to define the "tyrannical state" as including the public schools, and you started a movement to eliminate the entire public school system, you'd likely fin ocusing their protests on, and what parts should they be willing to accept?
    The Founders understood that the greatest threat to liberty is an all powerful central government, where the few dictate to the many. THerefore, the very first acts were to restrict the power of the government. For example, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution come to mind. The Founders believed in the dignity of the individual that are born with the right to live freely and pursue that which motivates us, not because man or some government says so, but because these are God-given natural rights. This is a reflection of the Declration of Independence. In terms of the Constitution, the bill of rights come to mind. It protects the individual from an imposing government by restricting the government from such things as preventing the average Joe from having property or owning fire arms. In contrast, the statist came up with a second bill of rights under FDR which says that we should have the right to health care and a retirement and a "fair" wage etc etc. The difference between the two are evident. The first bill of rights restricts government as where the second bill of rights empowers government to the point that you will be fined if you don't participate in a soon to be implimented nattional health care policy. Not only are these things a right, they are mandatory and will have the state micromanage it all to insure they are accomplished at ANY price. I just can't figure out why one of the rights was not peace in the world. After all, whats wrong with that? Just a few more countries to invade and we should have it licked!!

    In addition, federalism was established dividing the power between state and federal government that has slowly been usurped over the ages. We have a myriad of examples of this. In addition, we have checks and balances within government to further restrict the abuse of power, however, this too has been usurped in large part over the years with a myriad of examples. In fact, Woodrow Wilson, one of the fathers of the progressive movement, held upon disdain for these checks and balances on the grounds that it made government function inefficient.

    Now in terms of public education, the US was unique in that the repsonsibility for this fell upon the states and not a centralized government. In fact, many of the Founders promoted a free education and it was not until the mid 19th century that education became mandatory. Then in the 20th century in comes the federal government creating the department of education and more recently education czars. Of course, the respoinsibility lie with the states according to the Consittution, but as we see this is slowly being usurped.

    To sum up, my beef is not that the state has power, rather, it is the view that the state has superceeded its power under the laws created by the Founders to restrict government power. As we surrender more and more power, tyranny at first is a soft tyranny in that we relinquish power to others to take care of us. It is akin to you giving me all your money to take care of you. Of course, so long as I have your best interest at heart you should by in large be OK even though there would inevitably be things you don't agree with me doing. However, a hard tyranny is that much closer if at any point and for any reason I decide not to have your best interests at heart.
  8. 12 Nov '09 17:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    The Founders understood that the greatest threat to liberty is an all powerful central government, where the few dictate to the many. THerefore, the very first acts were to restrict the power of the government. For example, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution come to mind. The Founders believed in the dignity of the individual that are born wi loser if at any point and for any reason I decide not to have your best interests at heart.
    But was FDR ever able to add any of his new Bill of Rights to the Constitution? No - because the checks and balances in the system make it almost impossible to add new ammendments. There needs to be a huge level of popular support for anything like that to happen.

    On the other hand, regardless of what FDR wanted, a large share of the American people do believe that all people have a right to a certain level of healthcare. This is the reason behind the current legislation.

    The founding fathers surely expected that over time, the people would want to change and-or expand the way government did things. If the founding fathers had wanted to guarantee that nothing would change, they would've put in a rule requiring, say 80%, of both chambers to approve legislation before it could become law. But they didn't. The wanted to ensure that change took place relatively slowly, not that it didn't take place at all.

    The current healthcare legislation is an example. This stuff was first proposed about 40 years ago, and it's taken a very long time to reach the point we're at now. And the current effort has taken almost a full year and it still has a ways to go. There has been plenty of time for everyone to debate every detail of every possible plan. If after all of this, something is able to pass, it will most likely reflect the general will of the people. (If for some reason it doesn't, new laws can always be passed to undo the old ones).

    None of this means that you or me or any specific person are necessarily going to love the results. But the founding fathers did create a very good system and it's been working extremely well. Even today with all of the "statist" apparatus, the great great majority of Americans would never think of wanting to live anywhere else. And the immigration issue attests to the waves of non-Americans who want to live here as well.
  9. 12 Nov '09 20:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    [b]But was FDR ever able to add any of his new Bill of Rights to the Constitution? No - because the checks and balances in the system make it almost impossible to add new ammendments. There needs to be a huge level of popular support for anything like that to happen.
    Was FDR successful? He was successful in that he stated these goals and started the US down this road with the New Deal. Even Obama says that the US has waited since the days of FDR for universal health care. I like what Mark Levine said about the affair in his book Liberty and Tyranny.

    "For in the 1930's, during the Great Depression, the Statits successfully launched a counterrevolution that radically and fundamentally altered the nature of American society. FDR and an overwhelmingly Democratic congress, through an array of federal projects, entitlements, taxes, and regulations known as the New Deal, breached the Constitution's firewalls. At first, the Supreme Court fought back, striking down New Deal programs as exceeding the limits of federal constitutional authority, violating state soveriegnty, and trampling on private property rights. But rather than seek an expansion of federal power through the amendment process, which would likely have blunted FDR's ambitions, he threatened the very makeup of the Court by proposing to pack it with sympathetic justices who would go along with his counterrevolution. Although FDR's plan failed, the justices had been effectively intimidated. And the new justices, who shared FDR's statism, began replacing older justices on the Court. It was not long before the Court became little more than a rubber stamp for FDR's policies."

    In short, the statist knows that he cannot change the government overnight. Instead, they proceed in increments. They move a little here and a little there and as they progress they don't take any steps backward. For example, Clinton petitioned for what is going on now, but the support simply was not there. It took another "crisis" like the Great Depression to start another counterrevolution. Therefore, all the statist needs to do is sit back and wait for an oppurtunity, preferably another crisis of some kind even if it is manufactured. THen when their entitlement policies etc are in place they are then cast in stone for all eternity. I would simply love for just one of these sacred cow entitlements to be thrown out the window, of course, this would be deemed heresy and villified as a step backward apart from their "progressive" movement.

    As far as popular support for NHC, however, where is it? The majority of Americans are happy with what they have now and oppose this change yet they proceed anyhow.
  10. 12 Nov '09 20:52
    Originally posted by sh76
    The problem with Mark Levin is that reading his books makes my ears hurt. Every time I read a word of his, I involuntarily imagine that he's shouting at me in that strange voice he uses in the radio.

    In any case, thanks for the offer, but maybe I'll just look for it at the library. I actually read a few random pages of it at a Barnes and Noble a few months a ...[text shortened]... t they can fight it out on the shelf. I hope there won't be too much blood on the shelf.
    I have to admit, his appoach on his radio is an acquired taste. Having said that, reading his books is a much different experience.

    Read it along side Chris Matthews, just so long as you promise me you will read it!! My guess is that Mr. Matthews will go to the mat without so much as a whimper if you do.
  11. 12 Nov '09 22:47 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    Was FDR successful? He was successful in that he stated these goals and started the US down this road with the New Deal. Even Obama says that the US has waited since the days of FDR for universal health care. I like what Mark Levine said about the affair in his book Liberty and Tyranny.

    "For in the 1930's, during the Great Depression, the Statits succes s are happy with what they have now and oppose this change yet they proceed anyhow.
    Healthcare reform was going to happen regardless of the economy. It's been a major item on the Democrats' "to-do" list. It was a major part of the Obama campaign. People voting for them knew (or should have known) that healthcare legislation was going to a major topic for this year.

    The economic situation actually has complicated things because the stimulus plan that was needed to address the economy has made the budget a much bigger issue than it would otherwise have been. As a result, there's been a major scramble to ensure that healthcare reform won't add very much to the deficit.

    But maybe you're right. Maybe people are so happy with the current healthcare situation that they'll be quick to demand that any healthcare reform be reversed. On the other hand, those same people have been pretty happy with Social Security and Medicare and various other goodies the persist from the New Deal and related "statist" agendas. So perhaps FDR's ideas weren't as bad as you make them out to be.
  12. 13 Nov '09 01:14 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    But maybe you're right. Maybe people are so happy with the current healthcare situation that they'll be quick to demand that any healthcare reform be reversed. On the other hand, those same people have been pretty happy with Social Security and Medicare and various other goodies the persist from the New Deal and related "statist" agendas. So perhaps FDR's ideas weren't as bad as you make them out to be.[/b]
    There is always need for reform, but to turn things over to government entirely is the issue. This does not need to be done. Of course, everything that is turned over to government stays that way whether people like it or not. That is the frightening thing about turning this over to them. Our lives will depend upon it as well as our economic future.

    As for social security, sure everyone likes "free" money when the retire just like everyone liked living in houses they could not afford and selling toxic assets filled with these bad debt that was so confusing no one really knew what was in them. Of course, there was an end game to all this living beyond our means thus the credit crisis was born. When the ponzi scheme social security goes belly up it will make the credit crisis seem like a walk in the park. After all, who is going to blow the whistle? Is it the voter who is recieving social security? Is it the government who is taking the money that is SUPPOSE to go to the fund and using it for other things? Neither is going to blow the whistle just like no one blew the whistle on the toxic mortgages. Too many people are making money right now to blow the whistle. I find that greed is often petty and short sided in nature, don't you agree?