Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tooth Fairy, Propaganda, Graft & Election Reform = Conservative on Target

"How many times have we heard “free tuition,” “free health care,” and free you-name-it? If a particular good or service is truly free, we can have as much of it as we want without the sacrifice of other goods or services. Take a “free” library; is it really free? The answer is no. Had the library not been built, that $50 million could have purchased something else. That something else sacrificed is the cost of the library. While users of the library might pay a zero price, zero price and free are not one and the same. So when politicians talk about providing something free, ask them to identify the beneficent Santa Claus or tooth fairy." - Walter Williams

How Democracies Perish, Deathbed Edition:
   This is the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of How Democracies Perish, an analysis of the spread of world communism by Jean-François Revel, one of freedom's most serious French defenders since Tocqueville. At the heart of this work, Revel details "The Tools of Communist Expansion," among which the most relevant for understanding our current situation comes in Chapter 16, "Ideological Warfare and Disinformation." The profound simplicity of Revel's nuts and bolts account of totalitarianism's Cold War advance, far from being obsolete, actually sheds light on a defining feature of today's progressive ascension: the perverting of the free press into a propaganda ministry.
   Revel's trenchancy is proven in the fact that the mechanics of Soviet cultural infiltration he identified may now be seen at work again, this time undermining the West not from without, but from within. The war Revel described thirty years ago has progressed to its natural final stage: the West, having weakened before communist propaganda even as the communist nations themselves were crumbling, has now taken to propagandizing itself into rejecting its victorious heritage in favor of the "ideal" of complete state control. Marxist disinformation is now homegrown...

"Do you wish to know when that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by Compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.-- Ayn Rand

The Real Threat from Comprehensive Immigration Reform
   Everything the Democrats do is to increase voter participation -- participation by kids, felons, old folks, folks in comas, illegal aliens, whatever, just vote Democrat.  The integrity of elections is of no concern to them; all they worry about is locking in a permanent majority.  And now, with comprehensive immigration reform, they are attempting to import an electorate.
   Under Harry Reid, the U.S. Senate is the worst ever.  Decent GOP senators shouldn't vote for anything pushed by Reid and his ilk unless it is exactly right.  In other words: without comprehensive election reform, comprehensive immigration reform should be summarily rejected.  Unless it can be demonstrated that there will be safeguards that prevent the newly legalized from voting, the Senate immigration bill should die a dog's death.
   Regarding election integrity, America is a banana republic, and always has been.  And there is no excuse for it in this high-tech age.  Americans should join together and say to the U.S. Senate: you're grounded.

"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." -- Edward H. Crane