Thursday, January 23, 2014

Obama: The Three They've Been Waiting For

A few more thoughts on The Betrayal of the Masses before we return to whatever it was we were talking about.

One thing that occurs to me is that there must be a sort of political deep structure that shapes people's outward beliefs. In other words, politics can only be thought about in so many ways, so the same patterns recur from antiquity to the present. I know, Big Whoop, since no reader of Aristotle's Politics will be surprised to discover this truth.

I noticed the same thing in a book I recently read on The Rise of American Democracy from the time of the founding until Lincoln. Jefferson, for example, hated the Federalists, based upon his belief that they were just trying to create a new aristocracy.

Thus, like the liberals of today, Jefferson engaged in (small-d) democratic demagoguery in order to attain power. But once in power, he had little use for true democracy. Rather, he just wanted a new kind of aristocracy: his kind. The dispute between Washington/Hamilton and Jefferson/Madison was between elites, not the rubes, for no one believes 2+2=5 just because the mob says it is. But an aristocracy of men is quite different from an aristocracy of truth.

The bottom line is that aristocracy is a permanent temptation for the human being. As is its mirror image, democracy, AKA mob rule. Since these represent permanent possibilities, the founders built them into the system, with the executive branch being an expression of royalist tendencies, the senate for the contemplative and slow-to-change aristocratic trend, and the house for the hotheaded and mercurial rabble.

None of these, it should go without saying, is the locus of "political truth." Rather, they are only centers of power, and power is at a right angle to truth. Therefore, a man without truth on his side may appeal to the demos. Conversely, if he doesn't have the demos on his side, then he may appeal to royal decree. We see how Obama engages in both, depending upon the needs of the day.

(Obama reminds me of what Carson Wells said about Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men: "No no. No. You don't understand. You can't make a deal with him. Even if you gave him the money he'd still kill you. He's a peculiar man. You could even say that he has principles. Principles that transcend money or drugs or anything like that. He's not like you. He's not even like me.")

Or, as Siegel points out, the history of liberalism shows that liberals are principled, loudmouthed authoritarians, or principled, loudmouthed anti-authoritarians, depending upon who is in charge. When it was Bush, they were reactionary anti-authoritarians. Now they are reactionary authoritarians (with a few principled exceptions).

This janus-faced attitude toward state power should not be surprising for a doctrine that rejects truth a priori, as does Obama i.e., "we hold this truth to be self-evident, that our nation is founded upon a rejection of absolute truth." In this context the adjective "absolute" is just an evasion, since truth is by definition absolute (or a reflection of the Absolute).

But leftists just want to tar truth with "absolutism," to imply that anyone who affirms it is some sort of extremist. Such extremists do exist, of course, but the problem is that they insist upon absolute lies, on things that cannot possibly be true. And leftism revolves around a number of such "impossible truths" such as multiculturalism, moral relativism, homosexual marriage, and all the rest.

Allied with this is the left's insistence upon equality unless equal treatment results in inequality, in which case they are all for unequal treatment. Not enough female firemen or marines? Okay, let 'em take the test. Oops! Even a strapping hulk like Michelle Obama can't pass it. Therefore, the law must treat men and women differently. Likewise, not enough blacks in law school? Easy. Just systematically treat them as inferiors.

The point is, just as the left is authoritarian or rebellious, depending upon whether they are in or out of power, they are egalitarian or discriminatory, depending upon how it effects one of their client groups, i.e., how it redounds to their power. Which is why they have no concerns about under-representation of groups that do not contribute to their power, say, Asians or Cubans or Raccoons.

Again, at the time the Constitution was written, the founders were mindful of the different ways of ordering power, i.e., royalty, aristocracy, and democracy. For the most part, the story of the left is the story of a new aristocracy/priesthood pretending to be an expression of the demos. This aristocracy is composed of groups that didn't exist at the time of the founding, i.e., Big Media, Big Government (especially the cancerous public sector unions), and Big Stupid (i.e., academia).

This is the iron triangle of the left, replacing the triangle intended by the framers. Looked at in this way, academia is the priesthood/church, the state is royalty, and old media is the elite/aristocracy.

Which is why Obama was so tough to defeat, what with (to paraphrase Siegel) his TV looks, his radio voice, his phony preacher's cadences, and his pseudo-intellectualism. He is the total package, three frauds in One. Thus, he is the three they've been waiting for since JFK, who also had the media looks, the royalist glow, and the superfical, liberal-approved intellectualism.


Magister said...

Nicely done.

political deep structure that shapes people's outward beliefs

Speaking of deep structures, I'm nearly done with Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit (a Christmas gift) and find it pretty absorbing after an underwhelming first chapter. Recommended.

mushroom said...

Oops! Even a strapping hulk like Michelle Obama can't pass it.

But she can make awesome gorilla cookies.

Well, obviously, the reason that so many females failed the three-pullup-minimum Marine Corps test is because it is bias. The patriarchy wants males soldiers so it skews the test toward those with superior upper body strength.

Are they really that stupid? Is the fallacy in that kind of thinking not painfully obvious?

I guess it won't make any difference when all the Marines are wearing powered exoskeletons. Solar-powered, no doubt.

Magister said...

GI Joe: Dammit, could you give me a hand here? That RPG blast caused this girder to fall on my leg and there are more hajji's coming this way!

GI Jane: (struggling) This isn't fair! It isn't fair!

GI Joe: Push harder! They're coming!

GI Jane: I know! Don't make me feel bad! I'm calling for support!

GI Joe: @#$*( the phone! PUSH!

GI Jane: You know, if you hadn't stayed up so late at the PX last night, you'd have more energy for this. Company command is sending a drone.

GI Joe: There's one. Gimme that @#$(* gun!

GI Jane: (hands him a rifle) You're welcome.

mushroom said...

Nice one, Magister. The "you're welcome" is wickedly perfect.

julie said...

Magister - It would be a lot funnier if it weren't a real possibility. Oy.

Speaking of extremist untruths and feminist tropes, you know that claim that goes around about how one in four college women are sexually assaulted? It might be a wee bit exaggerated.

To play the devil's advocate just slightly, I seem to recall hearing that statistic pertaining to women over the course of their lifetimes (i.e. "one in four women will be sexually assaulted at some point in her life"), and sadly I think that's not stretching the truth nearly so much.

julie said...

Though in fairness, I think things have also changed such that it's much less likely to happen to this generation than it did to generations past.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Big Stupid...ha ha ha! Perfect!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mushroom: three pull-ups? Man, they really lowered the standards a lot. We had a minimum of 20 pull-ups when I was in and I thought even that was a bit too low.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Magister: Good example. It's not that women can't be effective fighters, but the lack of upper body strength on the battlefield, or in emergencies (everyone really needs to be capable of picking up an injured ship mate and running) is extremely detrimental to combat readiness.

The enemy knows this even if our PC leaders do not.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The Iron Triangle. The axis of dohmestic evil.