Category Archives: Philosophy

The Failure of Libertarianism, by Francis Marion

There are many people, including libertarians, who are so strident, cocksure, and unwilling to listen, that they’re basically insufferable and hurt rather than help their cause. From Francis Marion of Highcountryblog.com, via theburningplatform.com:

I wrote this piece back in 2003. 

I’d change a lot of it now if I were writing it again but the core idea, that libertarianism, by and large, lacks a degree of common sense, remains intact. Today I am less optimistic (as in: have completely given up) in regards to converting anyone on the left as the liberal movement itself has moved even further to the other end of the political spectrum. Truthfully, I am convinced, now more than ever, that we cannot save the forest that is western civilization from the raging inferno that lies ahead.

I still hold the same principles near and dear; free markets, freedom of association and speech etc but have realized that we are a corrupted species living in an imperfect world and as such libertarianism is of little use beyond a few policy objectives politically. It will never be a successful movement because it believes too deeply in utopianism and has gone so far down the academic theory hole that, other than as a catalog of some of its core philosophical beliefs, it has little practical use to the world.

At any rate, although this piece is almost 15 years old and a lot has changed for me since I will let it stand on its own. Let the shit flinging commence.

As the crowd milled about the log hall I slipped quietly out the side door to catch a breath of fresh air. A close friend and I had made the long journey that day from the BC Peace River district to the busy streets of Edmonton to hear a handful of men speak on the importance of the fourth of July to Canadians. All the right names were there. Ezra Lavant, Vyn Suprynowicz, and others. My friend and I sat through the series of speeches and listened closely to what everyone had to say.

Of course, they said all the right things about liberty. What it is, why we don’t have it and why we should get it back. The crowd applauded, the speakers took their bow and other important people were thanked for coming to the event. Even my name was mentioned. I was very flattered. Such things are good feed for the human ego. At last, I was important.

To continue reading: The Failure of Libertarianism

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The Power of Theocracy, by the Zman

If you set the moral terms of a debate before it begins, and the other side accepts your terms, you’ve won and there’s no reason to even hold the debate. From the Zman on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Living in a Progressive theocracy means the framework of civic debate is always going to be a Progressive framework. The Prog mullahs establish the premises, set the rules and dictate what is and what is not permitted. They police the debate to make sure no one is coloring outside the lines or questioning the official orthodoxy. In Iran, they allow debate until it bumps into heresy, then they start shooting people. In America, the Progs will ruin a few careers to send a message to the others that may have heretical thoughts.

It should be noted that the two most successful Middle Eastern countries, in terms of stability and world influence, are both theocracies, Iran and Saudi Arabia. If you throw in Israel, which is a Western implementation of Levantine theocracy, the three most successful Middle Eastern societies are theocratic. You’ll also note that the machinations of these three countries are at the center of great power politics. Russia, China, Europe and the US Empire are fixated on the Middle East. Theorcracy is not without its merits.

Anyway, the Prog theocracy of America is a hybrid creation that evolved over the last century into something that relies on the tools of an official religion to exploit the institutions of a modern social democracy. Progressives control the normal public debate that occurs within a social democracy by declaring a wide range of topics off-limits on moral grounds. This narrows the range of possible answers, funneling the public debate into the cattle chute of their choosing, thus resulting in a policy the Prog mullahs prefer.

To continue reading: The Power of Theocracy

He Said That? 5/2/17

From Eric Hoffer (1902–1983), American writer on social and political philosophy, The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955):

The weakness of a soul is proportionate to the number of truths that must be kept from it.

He Said That? 4/30/17

From Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed, The Future of Architecture (1953):

  • A free America, democratic in the sense that our forefathers intended it to be, means just this: individual freedom for all, rich or poor, or else this system of government we call ‘democracy’ is only an expedient to enslave man to the machine and make him like it.
    • The Future of Architecture (1953), p. 174

The Wright Women: “Loving Frank”, an Architect of Modernity, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

This is a long but very interesting article about Frank Lloyd Wright, Ayn Rand, Nancy Horan, and Martha “Mamah” Borthwick-Cheney, who had an affair with Wright. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

 

Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore it if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

 

For sometimes glimpses on my sight

Through present wrong the eternal right

And step by step since time began

We see the steady gain of man

 –  Welsh hymn, from the poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier

In a search for the quintessential American pioneer and archetype of twentieth-century capitalism, it would be hard to find a better representation than Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 – 1959).  An architect and builder par excellence, Wright designed more than 1,100 buildings during his lifetime, of which 532 were completed.  He was acclaimed as “the world’s greatest living architect” by the American historian and architectural critic, Lewis Mumford; and after Wright’s death; Mumford declared him as “the Fujiyama of American architecture, at once a lofty mountain and a national shrine.”

At an early age, Wright entered into a seven year apprenticeship with the innovative American architect Louis Henry Sullivan, who is known today as the “father of modernism” and the “father of skyscrapers”.  Sullivan entirely rejected the muddled embellishment of European architectural design including the opulent ornamentation of Gothic Revival, French Empire, and Italianate designs which permeated the streets of America’s nineteenth-century cities.  Instead, Sullivan favored cleaner engineering more in line with the maxim he personally coined:  “form follows function”.

Although Frank Lloyd Wright later founded his own firm in the Chicago area in 1893, his tallest building was a mere nineteen-story construction in Oklahoma. Instead of soaring urban towers, Wright consummated his own uniquely American classification of architecture known as the Prairie School, a type of organic design marked by horizontal lines reconciled in harmonic integration with the landscape surrounding his structures.   Wright’s buildings were the result of a philosophy he designated as “Organic Architecture” and it is said the name “Usonian” was developed by Wright while on a trip to Europe, whereby he envisioned a new landscape for the United States to include urban planning combined with avant-garde architectural configurations.

To continue reading: The Wright Women: “Loving Frank”, an Architect of Modernity

She Said That? 4/26/17

From Mei Fong (born 1972), Malaysian-Chinese-American journalist, staff reporter for the China bureau for The Wall Street Journal. In April 2007, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting as part of the bureau’s “sharply edged reports on the adverse impact of China’s booming capitalism on conditions ranging from inequality to pollution,”[ One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment (2016):

For Americans, the car is the American way. Jay Gatsby roars through capitalism, individual freedom, and the good life. For China, the train is the metaphor. Everyone’s on board, there’s no chance to steer, and it’s clickety-clack to collectivism’s dreams.

The Left’s Descent to Fascism, by Charles Hugh Smith

Charles Hugh Smith treats the Left’s descent into fascism as a fairly recent development, but it’s not. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were fascists by most definitions of the word, including Smith’s. From Smith at oftwominds.com:

The Left is morally and fiscally bankrupt, devoid of coherent solutions, and corrupted by its embrace of the Corporatocracy.

History often surprises us with unexpected ironies. For the past century, the slide to fascism could be found on the Right (conservative, populist, nationalist political parties).

But now it’s the Left that’s descending into fascism, and few seem to even notice this remarkable development. By Left I mean socialist-leaning, progressive, internationalist/globalist political parties.

What is fascism? There is no one tidy definition, but it has three essential elements:

1) State and corporate elites govern society and the economy as one unified class.

2) This status quo (i.e. The Establishment) seeks to impose a conformity of values and opinion that support the dominant narratives of the status quo via the mass (corporate) media and the state-controlled educational system.

3) Dissent from any quarter is suppressed via mass-media ridicule, the judicial crushing and silencing of whistleblowers, and all the other powers of the central state: rendition, extra-legal imprisonment, political gulags (in our era, disguised as drug-war gulags), character assassination, murder by drone, impoverishing dissenters via firings and blacklists, and on and on.

The Left is now the political wing of the corporatocracy. As Phillipe Poutou, a Ford factory mechanic from Bordeaux who is the sole working-class candidate in France’s presidential election, so deliciously pointed out, the Left and Right status quo candidates are indistinguishable in terms of their self-serving corruption and elitism:Mechanic-Candidate Bursts French Political Elite’s Bubble (NY Times)

Here in the U.S., the self-serving Democratic Party elites operate within the Corporatocracy structure, in which the state protects and funds private-sector cartels; the two intertwined and self-reinforcing elites manifest and enforce state policies.

To continue reading: The Left’s Descent to Fascism