Two factions, one party

Strange Semantics runs into cognitive dissonance: I began to wonder, why is it that so many conservatives and liberals think that there are biases stemming from the opposite end of the political spectrum in every aspect of society? Can they both be right? Is the United States government, including the courts, education system, and probably even the waste water folks, composed entirely of people who are both flaming commie pinkos and rightwing fascist authoritarians? And the media! Clearly they’re out to get Bush, and clearly they were out to get Clinton, but they are out to get Bush more than they were out to get Clinton, and they were out to get Clinton more than they are out to get Bush. They can’t both be right. Please, stop the insanity!

SS begins to see the light, for both sides are right. What the idiot Left doesn’t understand, and the idiot not-Right (that thinks they are) refuses to recognize, is that commie pinkos and rightwing fascist authoritarians are very closely related. They both worship government and the collective, and believe that an elite has a right and a responsibility to rule over the masses using any means necessary. Both hate individual freedom – the libertinism of the Left is only a temporary waystation, see the prudishness of Nazi, Soviet and PRC culture by way of example – both require all-encompassing power on the part of the state. What is the difference? Define the difference… if you can. It’s impossible; the only difference is that Nazi thinking was both more sophisticated and more bizarre than the crude Communist thinking that postulated a class consciousness that not only never existed historically but has been a major disappointment to Marxians as it has totally failed to manifest itself.

One of Hitler’s great concerns was to figure out how to enact totalitarian rule while simultaneously harnessing the individual genius required for entrepeneurialism and economic growth for the benefit of the State. In doing so, he hoped to avoid what he correctly identified as a major flaw in Marxist thinking. The crippled and static nature of the Soviet Union and other socialist and communist economies was predicted long in advance of the world learning just how bad it truly was. Hitler never found the answer for which he was searching, but he was looking in the right place. History has shown that our Keynesian leadership came up with a better and far more humane solution, but as they are learning to their dismay, the long run does eventually arrive if you rule long enough. They may hit their own crisis of socialism yet, although I truly hope they can find a way to extricate themselves – and us – from it intact. We do not live in freedom, but even comfortable modern serfdom is better than many alternatives.

The fact that the two Keynesian factions fight tooth-and-nail should neither be a surprise nor seen as a proof that they are polar opposites. Nazis and communists battled in Berlin just as Mensheviks and Bolsheviks battled in Moscow. The internecine wars are always the most bitter.

The campaign of the quasi-clones

Jonah Goldberg writes in NRO’s Corner: I really didn’t like Al Gore and I’ve disliked Kerry for not particularly dissimilar reasons. Gore was a panderer, he was arrogant, aloof, he saw government as a solution to any problem etc etc. I think you can make a very similar case about Kerry, though I understand there are differences too, particularly on foreign policy.

But wasn’t it George Delano who said that anytime anyone is hurting, the government must be there to help them? Methinks the similarities run a little broader than Mr. Goldberg would like to admit.

Reader blogroll

Jamie was wondering if the Reader blogroll is some sort of best of the best or something. It isn’t. There are only two requirements for the blogroll. One is asking to be added to it. The second is having a link to my column archive on WND and one to Vox Popoli. Do both and I’ll be pleased to add your blog to it. I’m aware that there are readers out there with blogs not on the blogroll, but as they haven’t asked to be added, I presumed they did not wish it.

He wants to rewrite ours in like manner

WND reports: Iraq’s new interim constitution sounds many of the same themes as the U.S. Constitution in guaranteeing freedom of the people – with one stark difference: There is no right to keep and bear arms in the new charter. As Secretary of State Colin Powell hailed Monday’s signing of the document, which lays out the time line for Iraqi self-government, he encouraged his audience to read the new constitution. “Read this administrative law, and read what the Governing Council has written for the people of Iraq,” he said in a speech commemorating International Women’s Day Monday. “Read what it says about the rights of all Iraqis, the rights of women. Read what it says about a free judiciary. Read what it says about the military firmly being under control of the civilian authority.”

Powell next talked positively about arms control in a new Iraq, followed by mention of “rights” and “liberty.” “Read what it says about arms not being allowed within the society except under the control of civilian authorities,” he said. “Read what it says about democracy, rights, liberty, and what the new Iraq will look like. …”

Isn’t that fabulous! Now, when the next Hussein comes along, the Iraqi people will still be helpless! Wonderful! And I don’t know why anyone should bother reading Iraq’s new constitution, when our political leadership and judiciary clearly don’t read ours.

So, what did you do to celebrate International Women’s Day?

I am the Toesucker

Dick Morris agrees with my thinking: Should Kerry be re-elected in 2008, his vice president likely will become the party’s nominee in 2012, like Al Gore was in 2000. If that person wins the 2012 nomination, as history suggests, Morris writes, “that means that Hillary would be out in the cold until at least 2016 and, if the Democrat won and was re-elected, until 2020. She’ll be 73 by then.” If Kerry were to lose re-election in 2008, his vice president would be the favorite for the top spot in 2012.

I argued that she would likely go for VP a while ago. Failure costs her nothing – in this case it would be Jean Francois’ fault – and would position her nicely for the next go-round. While America’s favorite gigolo does have a chance to win, I don’t think that he will win at the end of the day since there are enough War and Gay Marriage Bush Democrats to make up for the many libertarians and disenchanted ex-Republican conservatives who will be voting third party.

Toss the stale marshmallows

Rod Dreher writes: Brooks, who is Jewish, does not defend Gibson’s film, but he does say that the narcissism and spiritual sloth that characterizes popular religion in America today corrodes public virtue. I wanted to shout, “Hallelujah!” when I finished that column. I was raised Methodist, and have passed through the Southern Baptist church and the Episcopal Church before I finally ended up in the Roman Catholic church 11 years ago. With the possible exception of the Southern Baptist church, I don’t recall ever having heard any kind of Christianity preached that wasn’t essentially a spiritualized gloss on Dr. Phil-ism. The happy exceptions are so rare I’d sooner expect to find rashers of bacon in the Riyadh IHOP than hear something substantive and challenging.

For me, “The Passion of the Christ” acted as a head-clearer from all the bourgeois kultursmog one gets in church these days, where one is challenged to do little more than be nice to others and accept that God affirms us in our Okayness. When I went to mass on Ash Wednesday, I was still reeling from the searing grandeur of the film, and thinking very much about my own sins, and the role I played in Christ’s suffering. The priest began his homily by saying, “I was going to preach a fire-and-brimstone homily, but that’s not my style.” This was supposed to be a joke, as his homilies all sound as intelligent and modulated as an extended NPR commentary, minus the edge (an Ira Glass monologue is “Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God” by comparison). And you know, I wanted to scream. I’m so sick of this Jesus-is-our-Buddy stuff. Our Lord in Dockers. Who needs it, ya know?

I am not only a Southern Baptist, but one heavily influenced by Greg Boyd’s warfare theology. Why does Jesus Christ matter? Because the world is ruled by a sadistic supernatural serial killer, against whom only the power of the Son of Man can stand. People like to think of Jesus as the Lamb, but they forget that he is also the Lion.

If the world doesn’t hate you, then you’re doing something wrong. And if you’ve got a pastor who teaches Dr. Phil instead of Jesus Christ, you might as well stay home and watch football.