“Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!” 2

The left pretends that the Benghazi disaster has been sufficiently inquired into, and that all the necessary answers have been been given.

But here Trey Gowdy, who is to chair the Select Committee set up by the House of Representatives to make the full inquiry that has not in fact been made, asks the press some questions it cannot answer.

The Democrats and their media toadies are very afraid of a proper inquiry into the attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, on 9/11/12, when the US Ambassador  and three other Americans were killed.

They are trying to wreck Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee that will investigate the tragic event. They speak of boycotting it. Nancy Pelosi complains that (if they don’t) it will have a majority of Republicans sitting on it.(It will have a Republican majority of one. When Pelosi was Speaker of the House she never minded if a committee had a majority of Democrats – the more the better.)

Nancy Pelosi says: “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. Why aren’t we talking about something else?”

A great many cartoons are appearing in which people and animals and unidentifiable shapes blurt out “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi”. They are supposed to be mocking those of us who are appalled by what happened and want to know why it was allowed to happen. (We recently had an outbreak of such cartoons being posted on our Facebook to shout down our support for the new inquiry.)

Here is an example:

0505toon_luckovich

 

They are supposed to be very “yaboo!” in that puerile way that characterizes the left.

But actually, such cartoons are useful. They can help the cause of pursuing the truth about the lethal mishandling of the tragedy.

Up until recently, the left media have studiously avoided the subject of Benghazi. Now they are shouting its name from the rooftops, and in the valleys and on the mountains and the plains, day in and day out.

Their intended taunt of “BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI!” is at last spreading public awareness that “Benghazi” is the name of an immensely important issue.  

They are doing it in a spirit of fierce aggression and spite, arising from a deep frustration that they cannot after all keep the issue out of public attention; hoping to intimidate those who will not let the scandal be forgotten. But, with the gratifying justice that unintended consequences can sometimes bring, they are being punished by their own campaign. It is rebounding in their faces.

They have chosen a self-defeating tactic.

Let’s shout with them (for once);

“BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI ….!”

Posted under Africa, Arab States, Commentary, Defense, Islam, jihad, Libya, Muslims, Terrorism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tagged with , ,

This post has 2 comments.

Permalink

America’s Red Guard 12

We often quote Daniel Greenfield because we often like what he says and how he says it.

Here he is writing about America’s Red Guard (we quote his article in part):

As the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution approaches some of the former students who participated in its Red Guard terror have been trying to make amends to their victims. If China’s former leftist fanatics feel some remorse for the atrocities they participated in, the same can’t be said of their American counterparts.

Even as the Cultural Revolution was dying down in China, it flared up in the United States. The Weather Underground drew inspiration from China’s Red Terror. Their founding manifesto cited the Red Guard as a model for a “mass revolutionary movement.”

Bill Ayers, among others, had signed a letter, “Long live People’s China. Long live Comrade Mao.”

The American counterparts of China’s Red Guard remain largely unrepentant because here the  Cultural Revolution never ended. Instead it went mainstream. Its members were never disavowed and their acts of terror continue to be celebrated, minimized and whitewashed by a left that finds them alternately embarrassing and thrilling.

The terrorists became celebrities and the radicals became part of the system and set the rules. There was less violence, but more authoritarianism. Instead of carrying on a futile campaign of bombings and bank robberies, the radicals used the vast wealth and power of the system to train the next generation of the Red Guard. And that next generation did the same thing.

Each wave of the Cultural Revolution in the United States has eroded civil rights and illiberally undermined a liberal society. Though the Red Guards have chosen to work within the system, they are animated by an unmistakeable contempt and hatred for the country and its institutions. Their endgame has not changed. Only their tactics have.

Barack Obama, a child of the Cultural Revolution, is the very model of a modern Red Guard. The mark of a successful revolution is that the revolutionaries no longer need extreme rhetoric since they can do anything they want. The Weather Underground engaged in extreme rhetoric and actions. Obama dispenses with the extreme rhetoric and gets right down to the extreme actions. He is calculating enough to avoid the verbal vindictiveness of an Ayers or a Wright, but he still chose them as his mentors. …

The virtue of the creative individual was displaced by the Red Guard’s virtue of outrage. Its members mistake the thrill of abusing others for the rightness of a moral crusade. They celebrate the elimination of all restrictions that prevent them from punishing their victims as a revolutionary act.

This form of crowdsourced political terror by elites and their pet mobs isn’t new. It’s only new to the United States.

Political outrage is the supreme virtue of both the American and Chinese Red Guard. The denunciations leading from that outrage show off their revolutionary commitment to everyone.

The lines of scapegoats paraded through the media for some petty crime against political correctness are a modern digital version of the Red Guard’s denunciations and humiliations. The politics and the poisoned power motives are the same. The only difference is that the Red Guard lacks the license to commit real violence, as of now, and must instead settle for economic and social violence.

The virtue of outrage leads to a state of authoritarian lawlessness. Legislatures and laws are replaced with an alliance between the executive authority of Barack Obama and the Red Guard activists. The activists demand, the media manufactures outrage and Obama uses executive orders to deliver. …

When outrage displaces the process of the law, what remains is either authoritarianism or anarchy. And despite the occasional Circle-A embroidered on a pricey jacket, the progressive Red Guard are not anarchists. What they are after is not less authority, but more of it. Not more freedom, but less of it. Their rhetoric about banks and corporations disguises what they intend for the rest of us.

They are not fighting against power. They are fighting for power.

The Red Guard, whether it’s the Occupiers or Barack Obama, abide by no rules except those of their own ideology. The United States Constitution and the rule of law mean nothing to them. The rules of their ideology are expressed formally in private, but publicly as outrage or empathy.  …

The momentum of emotion has no room for argument or dissent. There is no possibility of negotiation or compromise. Everything exists in black and white. Reason is not even a factor. There is nothing to debate. Either you agree or you are the enemy.

Under the rule of the Red Guard … freedom of speech and thought are only provided to those who say and think the right things. The same is true for all else. There are no rights, as we know them anymore.  Only a binding mandate of social justice. The right to speak your mind or donate to a political cause is valid only if it serves that mandate. …

“Social justice” of course means injustice. It means government using its monopoly of force to take wealth away from those who have earned it and give it to those who haven’t.

Justice [to the left] is not blind. She’s a community organizer coming out on the side of the social justice faction against the greedy and ignorant majority. The entire system, political, cultural and legal, is a means of enforcing the mandate. Its administrators are an elitist faction whose contempt for the people leads them to believe that tyranny is the only way to equality. …

The artificial and extraordinary force of the Red Guard is a perverse parody of mob rule. Our Red Guard, like many in China’s Red Guard, are the sons and daughters of the elites. Their violence is a ferocious assault of the top against the middle in the name of the low.

They manufacture an elitist populism in order to call for despotism.

In New York City, the sons and daughters of the elite stopped shaving, set up camping tents opposite Wall Street and clamored for the radical change that their parents were already busy implementing.

Occupy Wall Street, like every modern manifestation of the Red Guard in the United States, and like the original Red Guard, was a cynical power move by a ruling elite. The fake populism of 1 percenter brats shrieking about income inequality while campaigning to destroy the middle class and what’s left of the working class was true despotism.

The new Cultural Revolution is aimed at shrinking the already narrow power and prosperity of the majority for the sake of the minority. Not the minority of racial or ethnic minorities, but the minority of elites that is determined to get its way by any means necessary.

The 50th anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution will coincide with a national election in the United States that will serve in part as a final referendum on the Red Guard reign of the previous eight years. Like the Chinese, Americans will be forced to confront the ruin of their institutions, the polarization of their society and the victims of the Red Guard’s political inquisitions.  

50 years from now, will the students eagerly tearing down a liberal society and replacing it with outraged denunciations and media purges also regret their role in the new Cultural Revolution?

We doubt they will. Bill Ayers never matured sufficiently to regret his acts of terrorism, or his admiration for the atrocious regime of Mao Zedong. He comes from the wealthy middle class. He owes all he has, including his comfortable living, his freedom and his celebrity to the open system of capitalist America. A softly-reared child of privilege,  prosperity, and tolerance (extended to extreme indulgence in his case), he wouldn’t last long under actual communism as enforced by Mao or Stalin or Castro.

Unless Americans of his sort are brought to want, hunger, physical wretchedness and real political oppression, they will never comprehend the true nature of communist totalitarianism. And their reduction to those conditions is unlikely to happen despite all their blind efforts to bring about the system that would guarantee them. Capitalism will go on looking after its aberrant children for decades yet, even though the Red establishment will do all it can to hinder it and demonize it. As Daniel Greenfield says, the Red Guards in power are of Bill Ayers sort. Barack Obama himself belongs to the “1%” he and his minions denigrate. So does Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and the Clintons.

As we have often done before, we quote Joseph Conrad on the sort of people they are. He is writing here specifically about women. What he says perfectly describes Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Bill Ayers’s wife Bernadine Dohrn, and Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. (See our post Daisyville, April 22, 2013).

For all their assumption of independence, girls of that class are used to the feeling of being specially protected, as, in fact, they are. This feeling accounts for nine tenths of their audacious gestures. …

She had acquired all the appropriate gestures of revolutionary convictions – the gestures of pity, of anger, of indignation against the anti-humanitarian vices of the social class to which she belonged herself. … 

She was displaying very strikingly the usual signs of severe enthusiasm, and had already written many sentimental articles with ferocious conclusions.” 

– Joseph Conrad (The Informer)

Conrad’s scornful portrait of privileged women playing with revolutionary ideas applies equally well to the male of the species.

“The worst evil ever devised by man” 9

Are some Europeans waking up to the fact that their countries are slowly but steadily being colonized and subjugated by a barbarian horde out of the Dark Ages?

Are they ready to die opposing it?

Lars Hedegaard, the intrepid Danish historian and journalist, who was nearly assassinated last year by a jihadist, gave an impassioned speech on May 4, Denmark’s Day of Liberation from the World War II-era Nazi occupation.

He spoke at Copenhagen’s Grove of Commemoration for the patriots who gave their lives as members of the Danish Resistance against the Nazi occupation 1940-1945.

We quote from Dr. Andrew Bostom’s report of what he said:

The prophet’s followers certainly do not lack for passion or singleness of purpose. How about the rest of us?

Remember our glorious forebears – and reflect. … Thousands were willing to risk their lives [in the Second World War] to defend the inalienable gift that is Denmark and the freedom without which nothing matters. Today hardly anybody talks about Denmark as our common home and even fewer can imagine being part of a freedom front. That is very strange, for the enemies of freedom who have entered our country and gained powerful allies among our ruling elites certainly do not lack for determination. They know what they want – which is to replace our man-made laws and democratic order that are the results of a thousand-year history with a law they claim has been handed down by a god and therefore cannot be changed.

It is a god who says that the entire world belongs to him and that it is the duty of every believer to engage in holy war until there is not a single human being who has not accepted his tyranny. This god’s prophet has created an ideology that has left a trail of blood through 1400 years of history and compared to which Nazism and Communism were like ripples on history’s surface.A few decades ago this ideology – and the project of conquest for which it stands – gained a foothold in our country. And here it will have the same consequences as in any other place to which it has spread. There is no reason to enumerate these consequences. Anyone with eyes to see will notice them or can read about them.

Nonetheless we are told that this ideology of conquest is an enrichment and if something is an enrichment, you cannot get enough of it. Consequently our political and spiritual masters see to it that Islam’s influence grows by the day and fall over each other to comply with every demand raised by the prophet’s strongmen. While doing this, our masters accuse everyone who refuses to toe the line of being racists and Fascists. Why don’t we – all of us common people – turn our backs on political parties, politicians, intellectual icons, journalists and priests who endeavor to destroy our country? So far we are not in a situation similar to the one faced by our comrades in the anti-Nazi Resistance. We can still speak our minds. We don’t have to vote for parties that open a door to evil and thus hand over their compatriots to foreign oppressors. We can stop buying newspapers that fill us with lies and propaganda. And if our priest agitates for an ideology he has promised to oppose, we can attend another church. We can refuse to give money to the erection of our enemies’ barracks and command and control centers.

Some of us will lose our lives because we refuse to submit. It cannot be otherwise. We must be realists. And if we are realists, we acknowledge that we must eventually die no matter how we have chosen to live our lives. And we will realize that if we remain silent when faced with the worst evil ever devised by man, we are already dead anyway. It takes a measure of courage to stand up to our country’s enemies and their Danish collaborators and facilitators. But we must consider how much more courage it will take in 10 or 20 years when the enemy has become more numerous and well entrenched. And consider what courage we demand from our children the day they stand with their backs against the wall and have to choose between freedom and submission.

If we do not act now when we still have the option of fighting for our liberty and constitutional order with peaceful and democratic means, what will our descendants think of us? Surely there will be no monuments in our honor. We will have monuments of infamy: ”Here lie the sorry remains of a generation that failed in the fight against evil. Damn their memory!” So far there are few signs that we have realized what we are up against and even fewer that the majority are prepared to accept the consequences of such realization.

People think they can tame the beast by speaking nicely to it. They think they can save their skin by bowing their heads, singing the praise of multiculturalism, showing obeisance to barbarians – and delivering their countrymen to persecution. That may succeed for a time – until the day we realize that the Danish lion has been shot and its skin sold and that we shall never get our country or our freedom back.

Look at what has happened wherever the prophet’s ideology has gained the upper hand. And ask the obvious question: What makes us believe that it will be different here?

The evil ideology’s spokesmen and champions have not a second’s doubt that they are following Allah’s command and will get their reward for our oppression in Paradise. They laugh in their beards at our stupidity and cowardly attempts to please them. But of course they are happy that Danes make their power grab all that easier. …

We are gathered here surrounded by the bodies of those whose conviction was strong enough that they risked their lives in the battle for Denmark’s freedom.

Please observe a minute of silence – for them and for us.

He is right that the Danes – as all Europeans – must choose now between freedom and slavery.

“The worst evil ever devised by man” is the ideology that is intolerant, cruel, murderous, intent on world conquest, and totalitarian in its tyranny. It  goes by various names: Nazism, Marxism, Communism, Bolshevism, Islam.

In October, 1938, when the threat of bellicose Nazism hung over Europe, Winston Churchill made a speech in the House of Commons in which he said:

This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.

Lars Hedegaard’s speech is admirably brave. He  has been prosecuted for saying less. (See our posts, Speaking freely for freedom, February 9, 2013, and The new heresy trials, February 12, 2013.) A jihadist has tried to kill him. And still he speaks out loud and clear against the evil of Islam. But  there are not many like him in Denmark or anywhere in Europe.

We see no signs that Britons, Danes, or any indigenous Europeans, in any effective numbers, are ready to take their stand for freedom “as in the olden time”.

Milton Friedman versus God 4

The economy is in the doldrums primarily because of the socialist wealth-redistribution agenda of the Obama administration. Socialism kills prosperity.

The Pope, who is directly informed by an omniscient god so that what he utters is infallibly right, recently demanded world-wide redistribution.

Milton Friedman argues brilliantly against the idea (rotten whether invented by mortals or divinity) of redistribution in general.

And against 100% inheritance tax in particular:

 

Posted under Economics, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tagged with

This post has 4 comments.

Permalink

Now in left-fascist America 8

This happened in New Hampshire:

The story:

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult is a pornographic book that 14-year-olds are being compelled to read at a school in New Hampshire.

Some passages from it can be seen on the video. They are obscene. We could think of  better books to educate and entertain 14-year-olds – but perhaps they have all been burnt as the racist, sexist outpourings of privileged dead white men.

William Baer, an attorney and the  father of one of the 14-year-olds, complained to the school board at one of its regular meetings that his consent had not been sought for his daughter to be assigned this educational text. So the board had him jailed. 

The excuse given by the chairwoman of the meeting for calling a policeman to arrest him was that he had gone some seconds over his allotted time for speaking.

Is it unheard of that speakers sometimes exceed their allotted time? Is it a crime to do so?

Mr Baer went quietly. He had to ask the arresting officer what he was being charged with, and was told “disorderly conduct”. And he was was driven off to be locked away in the slammer where he could no longer threaten society.

At least one other parent made the same complaint as Mr Baer, and others present at the meeting applauded her.

Eventually this official statement was issued in response to the complaints:

The School District policies … refer to the procedures for the use of novels containing controversial material. The district will take immediate action to revise these policies to include notification that requires parents to accept controversial materials rather than to opt out.

So in future the parents will be forewarned – not that there is “controversial material” in a book their children have to read on which they might have their say, but that they are “required to accept” it. (Or do they mean the parent will be asked to “opt in” rather than “opt out”? The school board needs a little schooling in how to express itself clearly.)

Doug Hagmann, who knows William Baer personally, writes at Canada Free Press:

Mr. Baer … first contacted the high school principal, who declined to formally meet with him in order to find a suitable remedy to this issue. After being effectively deferred and deflected at every turn, Mr. Baer was left with attempting to remedy the situation by attending the school board meeting to publicly address this issue. …

The Gilford,New Hampshire, school board was alerted in advance to Mr. Baer’s intention to raise this issue at their normal Monday meeting. In anticipation of Mr. Baer’s attendance, they did a number of things they have not done in the past.

First, they stationed a Gilford municipal police officer inside the meeting venue “to keep order”. 

Then, they limited all public comments to two minutes only, and refused to answer any questions of the attendees. Ostensibly, this was done because of the multitudes of those present to speak out against the book, yet not more than a few dozen people were actually present. Also, the number who actually wished to speak remained in the single digits, including Mr. Baer. Accordingly, any sensible person would question the rationale behind such an arbitrary policy instituted for this particular meeting.

The critical back-story, then, indicates that the school board not just anticipated Mr. Baer’s attendance, but took very precise steps to make certain that his objections would be muted and otherwise dealt with in a manner that has been inconsistent with previous public meetings. It would appear that dissent about the book as an assignment in a ninth grade honors class was not merely expected, but the response to such dissent was decided in advance.

When attendees were called to speak, Sue Allen, the board chairwoman, could be heard asking at least twice if anyone cared to speak before Mr. Baer was recognized. When he was permitted …  his two minutes, he first noted that there was an unusual “default setting” to the parental authorization that would permit the children to be exposed to this material. Normally, a parent must “opt-in” to allow the book to be read by their child, [just as] parental authorization is given for a field trip. In this case, however, it was only if the parent had an objection to the book that they would need to “opt-out.”

Secondly, Mr. Baer asked the principal present to read page 313 of the book to give those in attendance the reasons for which he was voicing his objections. After all, not everyone there was aware of the contents of the book. The principal refused as did every other board member, calling it “inappropriate”.  Mr. Baer attempted to compel the board members to answer legitimate questions about the class assignment and methods, but they refused, asserting they would only allow the attendees two minutes worth of comments to be put on record. As the video shows, it was an exasperating exercise in futility for Mr. Baer to seek redress …

Mr. Baer ultimately exceeded his two minutes by 18 seconds … [The chairwoman warned] Mr. Baer that his time was up and [said] they would have no part in addressing his concerns, [so] he dutifully sat down.

At this point, a man positioned behind Mr. Baer spoke up and glowingly described how the book actually prompted a frank family discussion about the subject matter of the book, taking a tone that seemed to paint Mr. Baer as an advocate of censorship and book banning, which is far from the truth or Mr. Baer’s intent. In response to this false accusation and mischaracterization, Mr. Baer verbally dissented. He calmly defended himself against these public accusations, attempting to set the public record straight.

It was as a result of this egregious offense, one that caused Mr. Baer to add another 30 seconds or so onto his unauthorized 18 seconds beyond the allotted 2 minutes that caused the school board to react – and react with prejudice.

At a signal from the chairwoman, the municipal police officer …

… responded by walking to a stunned Mr. Baer, who was now seated, [and escorting] him from the meeting. Mr. Baer asked if he was being asked to leave, if he was being arrested …

He went quietly. The arresting office handcuffed his hands behind his back. It was then that Mr Baer asked what he was being charged with, and the officer replied “disorderly conduct”.

When they reached the police car, Mr Baer told the officer that he had a neck injury which made it particularly awkward for him to have his hands cuffed behind his back. The officer said that this amounted to “resisting arrest” – but he  did have the kindness to re-cuff Mr Baer with his hands held in front.

William Baer will be brought to trial to answer for his disorderly conduct on June 17th, 2014.

Posted under Commentary, education, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tagged with , , , , ,

This post has 8 comments.

Permalink

That charming oracle speaks … 2

Plundered from PowerLine:

Posted under cartoons, Health, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tagged with

This post has 2 comments.

Permalink

The Muslim Brother in the Benghazi conspiracy 7

We mentioned in a footnote to our post The Benghazi conspiracy, May 1, 2014, that a person named Mehdi K. Alhassani was among the recipients of the Ben Rhodes email that has blown the Benghazi cover-up wide open.

We thought he may be an adviser to Obama.

Here’s more about him, by Daniel Greenfield:

The ‘smoking gun’ email that reveals who instructed Susan Rice to blame the Benghazi attack on a video also exposes a recipient named Mehdi K. Alhassani.

Alhassani was the leader of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), a Muslim Brotherhood front group, and attended the sister mosque of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) mosque attended by the Boston Marathon bombers.

It is a mystery how Alhassani slipped through the cracks to become a Special Assistant to the Office of the Chief of Staff, National Security Council Staff, and Executive Office of the President. It is unknown why a few hours before the Benghazi attack, Alhassani met in the White House with Samir Mayekar, a George Soros ‘fellow’ for an unscheduled visit.

But is it a mystery? Hasn’t Obama made it glaringly obvious that he favors the Muslim Brotherhood, seeks its advice, and promotes it in the Middle East – all against the interests of America? And doesn’t George Soros do all he can to harm America?

It’s certainly interesting that Ben Rhodes was sending out a memo pushing the video over policy argument and that one of the men in the loop was part of an organization that had ties to the attackers.

The people on the list were generally high up on the communications ladder. It’s debatable whether Mehdi K. Alhassani should have been on it, but he clearly was and that raises all sorts of unanswered questions about the links between Obama’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood policies and the September 11 attacks.

A birthday to celebrate 9

Today is the anniversary of the birth of the great Austrian economist and political philosopher, F.A.Hayek.

This tribute to him comes from Investor’s Business Daily, by Gerald P. O’Driscoll Jr., senior fellow at the Cato Institute:

Hayek’s work, whether on economics, politics or law, focused on the ineluctable problems of uncertainty and incomplete information. In economics articles going back to the 1930s, he analyzed the price system as a mechanism for communicating information to buyers and sellers about the intensity of preferences for goods and their relative scarcity. He concluded that the information does not exist anywhere in its entirety and could not be centralized. … Socialist (really communist) societies relying on centralized planning would be characterized by gross economic inefficiencies.

Hayek was vindicated by subsequent events. The power of this argument is lost today on policymakers engaged in “planning lite,” attempts to allocate credit to favored industries and pick winners.

The Great Recession was in large part the consequence of such a policy. The Fed’s balance sheet is loaded up with housing finance paper. In “Ben Bernanke Versus Milton Friedman,” historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel argues that the Fed has evolved from monetary authority to a credit allocator.

Hayek first began evolving his information argument in his monetary analysis. In 1932, he questioned whether deliberate monetary management could avoid economic fluctuations.

Friedman later developed the argument against discretionary monetary policy in a series of articles that detailed the information problems confronting a central bank. His argument later became encapsulated as the “lags” in monetary policy — i.e., the unpredictability of when the effects of monetary policy actions will be felt. Monetary policymakers give lip service to Friedman’s arguments, but ignore them in practice.

Hayek deftly summed up his argument on information in his 1988 book, The Fatal Conceit:

The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.

A market economy is a complex order, the outcome of societal evolution that confounds efforts to redesign it. The central tenet of classical liberalism was summed up by George Smith in his brilliant book, The System of Liberty:

Laissez faire in all spheres, personal, social and economic, was the fundamental presumption of liberalism — its default setting, so to speak — and all deviations from this norm stood in need of justification.

In America, by linguistic legerdemain, progressives transformed the meaning of liberalism into nearly the opposite of what it originally meant. Progressives became liberals, and true liberals lost their identity. Hence, we have the peculiar use of conservative to denote in America what had once been liberal thought.

So when Hayek wrote a famous essay on “Why I Am Not a Conservative,” he confabulated some American conservatives. He was not attacking American conservatism. Instead, he was combating the transplantation to America of a “European type of conservatism, which (is) alien to the American tradition.” That European conservatism upheld tradition and status over liberty and innovation.

Hayek argued there, and elsewhere, that liberalism must be the political philosophy of principles. Its central principle is individual liberty.

Hayek provided a much-needed program for American conservatives today. They must stand for free markets and free people. Free markets and free trade must be seen as the economic core of an opportunity society that provides hope for all. …

Hayek was born in Vienna at the high point of the global liberal economic order comprising free markets, free trade and capital movements, and the classical gold standard. That glorious edifice ended with World War I. So for decades he was arguing against the tide of history. Yet he lived long enough to be vindicated. His words, written over the course of much of the 20th century, constitute a message for today.

On the centenary of Hayek’s birth, May 8, 1999, Barun S. Mitra wrote a tribute to him, published by the Liberty Institute, India.

We quote from it:

Today, a wide range of people has acknowledged his contribution all over the world. From philosophers like Karl Popper, Robert Nozick … to political leaders like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Vaclav Klaus, to Nobel laureate economists like Milton Friedman, James Buchanan … and countless others. As the iron curtain was being built in the aftermath of World War II, Ludwig Erhard, the finance minister of West Germany turned to Hayekian ideas to rebuild his country. Half a century later when the iron curtain collapsed, leaders in many countries in Eastern Europe again turned to Hayek in their attempt to rebuild their societies. And Hayek is reportedly available on the bookshelf of even the Chinese Prime Minister.

If today, the world is witnessing a perceptible change in thinking, it is in no small amount due to the legacy of Hayek. …

No wonder commemorative events are being organised in London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, D.C., Montreal, Eastern Europe, and Central America. The Adam Smith Institute in the United Kingdom has named him the man of the century. …

Hayek was more than a Nobel Prize winning academic. He was an intellectual giant, who was also a gentleman to the core. The man, who went on to become one of the greatest champions of liberty, had begun his life as a young soldier in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and sent to the Italian front in 1917. An academic, whose “controversial ideas” were eventually recognised by the Nobel committee in 1974, Hayek was also an activist who was among the founders of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1948. This was an organisation dedicated to pursuing the intellectual battle against all forms of authoritarianism and tyranny at a time when it was fashionable to call oneself socialist. Today, it has hundreds of members, including many Nobel laureates, spread across all the continents. He inspired many to take up intellectual activism like the late Sir Anthony Fisher, the British businessman who founded the Institute of Economic Affairs in London in 1955. Over the years, IEA, an independent think tank, has produced countless policy papers and books on contemporary issues, and is recognised to have contributed to changing the popular perception that made the Thatcher revolution possible in Britain in the 1980s

Hayek was born in Vienna, Austria, on May 8, 1899, to August Edler von Hayek & Felicitas von Hayek. Even as a teenager, he was interested in philosophy, economics and ethics. But his studies were interrupted as he was called for military duty in 1917, and saw action on the Italian front. On his return from service he went back to college. In the 1920s Hayek was part of that heady circle in post-war Vienna, a group which featured some of the greatest minds of the century. He earned two doctorates, one in law and another in political science. He studied economics under Ludwig von Mises, one of the greatest exponents of the Austrian School. He left for England in 1931 worried about the rise of the Nazis in Germany. Hayek mainly taught at the London School of Economics, but had short spells at universities around world including, Cambridge, Chicago, Stanford, Tokyo, and Freiburg.

Hayek was one of those few fortunate people who lived to see the tumultuous events that shook the socialist empire, and be vindicated. In a letter written in 1989, he noted, “the ultimate victory of our side in the long dispute of the principles of the free market.” He must have been saddened at the enormous cost, both human and material, that was paid in pursuit of a doomed experiment.

Hayek died in  Freiburg on 23 March 1992.

Dispersed knowledge

In the 1930s, Hayek was the principal opponent Keynes. In various scholarly publications – Monetary Theory of Trade Cycle (1933), The Pure Theory of Capital (1941) – he had pointed out that business cycles are caused by monetary mismanagement in [government]. This contribution of Hayek was noted by the Nobel committee. Subsequent events have completely vindicated Hayek. Concerned about the stability of value, he wrote a radical essay in the 1976, “The Denationalisation of Money”, where he argued that it was a serious mistake to allow governments to monopolise the legal tender. He called for the freedom of the individuals to trade in whatever media of exchange they thought best.

Hayek emphasized that division of labour and division of knowledge were complimentary. Every individual possessed some specialized and local knowledge that was particular to his situation and preferences. Yet, the market, through the competitive price system, successfully coordinated all these bits of knowledge. Prices provide the incentive to invest in certain areas, and the information regarding the possible opportunities. Hayek explained, “We must look at the price system as such a mechanism for communicating information if we want to understand its real function… … The most significant fact about this system is the economy of knowledge with which it operates, or how little the individual participants need to know in order to be able to take the right action.” …

Spontaneous order

Hayek also developed the idea of “spontaneous order” to describe the progress of civilizations. Language, customs, traditions, rules of conduct, have all evolved without any conscious design, and without that freedom societies may not have evolved beyond primitive levels, he held. Advancement of society was dependent upon no one overall “plan” being imposed over the actions and plans of the individuals making up the society. Building on Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”, Hayek showed that planning need not necessarily lead to order and lack of a guiding hand need not degenerate in to chaos.

[Hayek wrote:]

It is largely because civilization enables us constantly to profit from knowledge which we individually do not possess, and because each individual’s use of his particular knowledge may serve to assist others unknown to him in achieving their ends, that men as members of civilized society can pursue their individual ends so much more successfully than they could alone.

This characteristic of the market where order seemed to develop quite spontaneously, along with dispersed nature of knowledge, raises one of the most fundamental questions on the utility of government intervention in the economy to achieve a particular end. The institutions created by government decree to provide direction to such intervention would under the best of circumstances simply be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of knowledge that they will need to process.

In contrast, the market routinely brings to order millions of evaluations undertaken by each individual participant. Hayek showed that progress arises from a continuous process of “discovery” wherein a variety of producers and consumers experiment with a wide range of possible opportunities to make profit. Most such experiments fail in the marketplace, and the innovators bear the cost taking the risk. But some succeed, and the benefits are enjoyed by all. That is the reason why in a free market, voluntary trade creates a win-win situation for all participants. …

The Road to Freedom

Hayek also published works more accessible to a wider public, which included books such as The Road to Serfdom (1944) and The Constitution of Liberty. The former has been nominated by journals like London’s Time Literary Supplement as one the noteworthy books of this century. Dozens of unauthorised editions of it were known to be in circulation among the underground activists in the Eastern block during the cold war. This book has now been published in many languages across the world. …

Then Mitra, looking at Hayek’s ideas from an Indian perspective, points out that India would have done well to have learnt what he taught:

We are concerned that after fifty years of independence, poverty is so wide spread, and as a measure to speed up the process of redistribution of wealth, we thought it prudent to abolish right to property as a fundamental right. Hayek had cautioned all those years ago that “The system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.”

We want “social justice”, while Hayek warned that “There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal”, and to attempt otherwise would only contribute to social collision. “Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict which each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time”, wrote Hayek.

The world has had a bitter experience in the 20th Century. The dreams of a socialist-collectivist utopia were shattered by economic collapse and degenerated into tyrannical police states. According to historian Thomas Sowell, if one was to mark the time when the intellectual tide began to turn against the ideal of socialism then it was with Hayek’s [The Road toSerfdom. …

While the world is marking his centenary now, the next century could well belong to him. And ideas do change the world. Let us hope that the intellectual tide in favour of Hayek will become a tidal wave in the next millenium. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom may actually help pave the road to freedom for all of us.

If only!

Why Benghazi matters 7

Benghazi matters because it was and is a matter of national honor. And the men and women currently in charge in Washington have no honor.

We quote from an article at PJ Media, by Michael Walsh:

Honorable people do not let American diplomats twist slowly in the wind while they attend “debate prep” and rest up for a shakedown meeting with the One Percent. Honorable people do not suddenly go AWOL while American soil is under attack. Honorable people do not fail to mobilize the formidable resources of the American military, even if it might not be possible for them to get there in time. Honorable people, under questioning by Congress, do not lose their temper and start shouting. Honorable people do not look the bereaved in the eye and lie about who and what killed their loved ones.

Further: honorable people do not go before the public on the Sunday talk shows and knowingly transmit a bald-faced lie. Honorable people do not continue to lie about what took place. Honorable people do not say “We are Americans; we hold our head high,” and then hang their heads in shame as they cut and run at the first sign of trouble. Honorable people do not continue to reward the dishonorable with ever-higher posts. Honorable people resign.

And until honorable people are restored to Washington — not credentialed Ivy League lawyers with high name recognition steeped in cheap Marxism and fashionable anti-American contempt, but genuine patriots who understand that something has gone terribly wrong with America and needs to be redressed — there will be no justice for the victims of Benghazi.

And Andrew C. McCarthy writes at the National Review Online:

Dereliction of duty and fraud on the nation are not just serious matters; they are impeachable offenses, and I’ve argued for many months that the president and his underlings are guilty of both. …

Benghazi is not an ordinary scandal — it involves an act of war in which our ambassador, the representative of the United States in Libya, was murdered (along with three other Americans) under circumstances where security was appallingly inadequate for political reasons, and where the administration did not just lie about what happened but actually trumped up a prosecution that violated the First Amendment in order to bolster the lie. …

The reason for pursuing Benghazi is not to remind people of Mrs. Clinton’s disgraceful performance; it is to establish how and why our people were killed in order to reverse the government policies that led to the empowerment of Islamic supremacists; it is to hold accountable the government officials who designed those policies and then abused their power in covering up the foreseeable results.

Let’s hope it will also serve to remind people of Mrs. Clinton’s disgraceful performance.

Posted under Commentary, Islam, jihad, Libya, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 7 comments.

Permalink

Blame Homer, not Assad, for the Syrian civil war 2

The Arabs and Islam in general are insulted and humiliated by modernity. The modern world created by the West is a conspiracy against the eternal truths of Muhammad’s perfect revelation. Night and day, year in year out, diligent researchers probe deep into Western culture to dig out the evidence. They found this 2001 episode of The Simpsons, and showed it triumphantly on Egyptian TV, with an explanation that blows wide open the American plot to force the uprising in Syria which evolved into the ongoing civil war.

Why haven’t Obama and Hillary Clinton had the makers of The Simpsons arrested and jailed? And shouldn’t they apologize to Assad?

Posted under Arab States, cartoons, Egypt, satire, Syria, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tagged with , ,

This post has 2 comments.

Permalink
« Newer Posts - Older Posts »