Thursday, September 26, 2013

Eric Liu & Nick Hanauer Are the New Fascists (part 2)

We left off with a masterful musical stunt by the Dead Boys and a lingering thought that pests us like a wasp, stabbing us in our waking sleep, outside by the pool. With our eyes closed, catching some rays of sunlight as the summer draws to a close (if you live in the southwest, summer can last till the middle of October) calm and pleasant reveries of joy begin to fade, being displaced by the distinct pangs of something so close, yet, so out of view, and seemingly so far away: the nightmare sting of reality.

Many vulgar libertarians under the noxious persuasion of mainstream politics will never fail to remind the rest of us that we are just two hops away from becoming a full-blown fascist society, a totalitarian police-state, an authoritarian shit-hole from which there is no escape besides suicide or absconding into the internal dark halls of delusion, denial and living death, a la Sam Lowry's fate in Brazil. I should know, as I used to be a vulgar libertarian myself for, I'd say, most of my young adult life, at least until I was 27, before attending a speech by Patri Friedman in 2009, who didn't convince me as much as confirmed a deep suspicion long boiling in the pit of my soul, that, somehow, this--this "land of liberty" and all the rest of the American mythos I had believed in--spelled nothing less than fairytales for spoiled children, useful idiots and true believers. I was all three.

Patri began his speech with these words: "Let's face it. The Constitution failed." And that was the end of it for me, like coming off a hard drug whose addiction had lasted nearly a decade, the effects of which were liberating and sobering and terrifying all at once. Since then, in hindsight, of course, I can reflect on what I was: vulgar.

Vulgar libertarians who willingly work with or support the Republican Party employ a tactic used in common by all mainstream politicians--fear. Sometimes this fear is a legitimate concern, other times, not so much. For example, I make great efforts to increase my carbon footprint every year, either by driving to more exotic destinations I need not visit, simply for my own personal enjoyment, smoking cigarettes, starting camp fires or, my favorite, just pushing out an extra fart or two when I eat red meat.

In contrast to the threat of climate change, the threat of totalitarianism has real data we can point to that validate our concerns regarding the powers of contemporary nation-states. Just count the number of dead bodies bestowed to us by nation-states in the 20th century. If that's not enough for you to wince inwardly at the horrors of powerful governments, then consider how many human beings have been falsely imprisoned or prosecuted for victimless crimes by nation-states in the last century. And if you're still not troubled by these statistics, well, then you are, my friend, all ready dead.

An example of vulgar libertarianism includes this piece here by Matt Kibbe of Freedomworks. He argues that the winnable future of the Republican Party lies with so-called "big-tent libertarianism":

New polling shows that policymakers with an authentic commitment to personal freedom and non-intrusive government will thrive in the Republican Party's growing "big-tent libertarian" base, while the big-government Old Guard will follow its own trend and disappear into political obscurity.

In other words: hey, all you disgruntled libs frustrated with this pathetic state of affairs currently called "America," fear not! There's a home for you in the Republican Party! Come join us! We'll take back our country!

The more subtle message tempting all naive friends of abolitionism, however, is the implied logic of the article: if you don't join us, the Democrats and RINOS will win in perpetuity and freedom will be lost forever! Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Well, sure, the future indeed looks grim. It's getting worse day by day. But here's the reality. Or, if you like, here's your red pill (for you Matrix fans out there): Freedom is all ready lost. And America all ready is a fascist country. As Morpheus says--You Are A Slave.

Let me repeat that: America is a fascist country. There's a New Fascism in town, folks. And it's here to kick ass and take names later. Maybe it's "soft fascism". Maybe not. We could call it "squishy totalitarianism". Don't believe me? Just google this question: How many SWAT raids occur per day in America? These people really do shoot first--even if it's just blinding tear gas or lethal tasers--and ask questions later. Think "democracy" stands as a glorious historical temple towering over such absurd assertions? So did Germany. So did Italy. Most progressives argue that socialism is democratic. Chairman Mao would agree. So would most darlings of former Soviet Russia. Hence, as any good, obedient, lawful, healthy, carbon-conscious, tax-paying progressive would remind you, we need to "democratize" healthcare...and everything else. Especially culture, which they've been doing for some time now. (More on this below.)

We have a democratic state, and if you worship democracy, you worship the state. Again, the Germans thought they were free, too. So please don't be offended if you think I'm claiming that you've been duped. You have been. But you're not the first, not in a long shot. I thought I was free once as a naive youngster, full of optimism and pride of our glorious Constitution and Bill of Rights. Then at age 18, since I couldn't vote for Harry Brown in my state, I voted for G-Dub. Four years later, I voted for him again, hoping beyond hope that things would be better the next time around. (And, as a Prole, I just loved the guy, that is, fell for his cult of personality.) By '06, I was very happy to see the Republicans get a serious ass-whooping in Congress, not for any love of the Democrats. But because I knew there was a very serious problem (to summarize: when in power, those "freedom-loving" Republicans magically mutated into Democrats). I was still lying outside, soaking in the gold rays of the sun, trying to ignore that distant but incessant burning sensation, a pinpoint of heat on my body flooding the infected area with poison. I wanted my dreams. My eyes resisted the light. But the pain of reality slowly began to pry them open.

If one were to allow herself to be co-opted by the likes of Matt Kibbe and Freedomworks, in no way will America become more free. The Constitution will never be "restored". You will, however, become a sucker. Okay, so perhaps too much cynicism spoils the party. But the fact is this: not even Ron Paul could stop the inevitable progress of history. That's not to say that Ron Paul wouldn't have been preferable to BHO-John McCain-Mitt Romeny or G-Dub's fourth term in office. Likewise, Barry Goldwater would have been very preferable to that other war criminal from Texas. I'm glad both Paul and Goldwater lost their elections because, being a misanthropic sonuvabitch, I bet each of them would have been corrupted by the system itself in one way or another. William Taft and Calvin Coolidge couldn't stop the progress initiated by Wilson, so why would Goldwater or Paul be able to halt the march of history either?

Oh, and just to let y'all know--those of you closet-libs ignoring the wasp sting in your Republican Party fantasy, praying for the 2016 salvation by Senator Rand Paul--the prince inheritor of the "tea party" claimed that you're just going to have to suck it up on Obamacare. How's that for a shaker in the freedom movement, baby! Despite his noble filibuster of Obama's mass-murdering toy robots, he's also flipped on domestic drone strikes. Oh, yeah, and while capitulating to old-school prehistoric progressives (i.e., Christian fundamentalists), he's also openly defended the war on drugs.

And revealed here--how could they help themselves?--are the true feelings of those freedom-loving Republicans at Freedomworks:

This big-tent libertarian constituency isn't a small camp of eccentrics who discuss the merits and pitfalls of Objectivism while wearing Von Mises T-shirts. These are Americans of all ages, races and creeds who politically self-identify in a number of different ways, but share a common guiding philosophy.

Translation: Ayn Rand, Ron Paul or Austrian economics fans need not apply (or anyone else with a mind of his own). (But all "ages, races and creeds" welcome!--gotta love the  progressive doublethink.) God forbid there would be any "eccentrics". No, we all need to think the same, you see? Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer would be pleased. Why? Because they make the exact same goddamn argument. After you allow the New Fascists to manipulate you into supporting Freedomworks, the Progressive Republican spirit of Teddy Roosevelt can lead the way from there. It will be a new way, a middle-of-the-road way, the Third Way. Wouldn't want to be a labeled a radical extremist, extremist, extremist, would you? Can't you be sensible? Reasonable? Don't you understand how the democratic process works? Come on. Give a little. Compromise. Can't you at least drive a fuel-efficient SUV instead of your gas-guzzlng truck? Do you really believe ALL drugs should be legal? Do you really think kids under 18 should be able to buy alcohol or tobacco? Wait, are you a smoker? You're not homophobe, are you? Are you a conspiracy theorist? Are you a sexist? How many guns do you own? Are you, or have you ever been...a racist?

If you don't feel that sting yet, maybe you never will. If that's the case, I would suggest you go get yourself arrested for some harmless "crimes". Quick. It's a liberating experience. It was for me, at least, when I was cited a number of times in my teens for the horrible "crime" against "society"(the State, our God)--drinking "under age"! Most people are smarter than I am, so hopefully you'll be arrested fewer times than I was to realize that the American mythos does not, in any way whatsoever, accord with American reality. I would suggest selling lemonade for 10 cents a cup without a business license.

Or, make a joke openly in the office about, I don't know, whores. Say something openly you're not supposed to say according to our current cultural zeitgeist of political correctness. You might not be arrested for it...yet. But I dare you to resist the peer pressure and act otherwise. See how successful your career will last if you dare to blaspheme in public against particular protected classes. Good luck to you and your future prospects as a cultural heretic.

Or, don't. Become a sucker. Allow yourself to be peer pressured into being a member of the crowd. It's the democratic way. It's the American way. Don't be selfish. Majority rules, remember? And pat yourself on the back for being on the right side of history as it progresses into the glorious future; where everyone will "celebrate diversity" together, and pledge allegiance to their government flag together, as you lose all semblance of your individuality and your soul--realizing you're so much better off, like the rest of "the land of the free"--without one.

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