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A Disguised Dictator

from Carpe Diem

…. are from Ludwig von Mises, writing in Human Action.

1. A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.

2. Every socialist is a disguised dictator.

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The Statesman and the Political Opportunist

hkoisrael

by Henry Oliner

I have often heard the voters’ frustration with politics voiced as a call for statesmanship,  but what do we expect from a statesman?  Perhaps we can clarify by examining its opposite.   The opposite of the Statesman is the Political Opportunist.

The Statesman thinks of the next decade and the next century.

The Political Opportunist thinks of the next election.

The Statesman acts from principles gained from careful and thoughtful consideration and study.

The Political Opportunist acts from pragmatism- only what works NOW is important.

The Statesman is attuned to the morality of his actions and decisions.

For the Political Opportunist the ends justify the means.

The Statesman carefully nurtures allies, strengthening relationships even when they are not urgently needed.

For the Political Opportunist allies are commodities that serve or do not serve the situation at hand.

The Statesman understands that a strong nation cannot be built on a society of weak individuals.

The Political Opportunist will subvert individual liberty for the power of the moment.

The Statesman understands that we should not sacrifice a good solution for an unproven perfect solution.

The Political Opportunist is willing to sacrifice an unperfected solution for what often becomes a worse solution or no solution at all.

The Statesman understands coalitions to govern require understanding and recognition of political opposition.

The Political Opportunist will use demonization and populism to ignite a righteous rage against stereotypical straw men, and will subvert rational arguments in their pursuit of power.

 

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Straw Men

scarecrow

From American Thinker, Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist by Danusha V. Goska:

Excerpt:

It astounds me now to reflect on it, but never, in all my years of leftist activism, did I ever hear anyone articulate accurately the position of anyone to our right. In fact, I did not even know those positions when I was a leftist.

“Truth is that which serves the party.” The capital-R revolution was such a good, it could eliminate all that was bad, that manipulating facts was not even a venial sin; it was a good. If you want to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs. One of those eggs was objective truth.

Ron Kuby is a left-wing radio talk show host on New York’s WABC. He plays the straw man card hourly. If someone phones in to question affirmative action – shouldn’t such programs benefit recipients by income, rather than by skin color? – Kuby opens the fire hydrant. He is shrill. He is bombastic. He accuses the caller of being a member of the KKK. He paints graphic word pictures of the horrors of lynching and the death of Emmett Till and asks, “And you support that?”

Well of course THE CALLER did not support that, but it is easier to orchestrate a mob in a familiar rendition of righteous rage against a sensationalized straw man than it is to produce a reasoned argument against a reasonable opponent.

HKO

Populism on the left requires demons more than either accuracy, facts or reality.  Modern accusation of racism are a clear sign that reality and intelligence have become optional.

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Television Justice

From Thomas Sowell, Random Thoughts at National Review:

I don’t know why we are spending our hard-earned money paying taxes to support a criminal justice system, when issues of guilt and innocence are being determined on television — and even punishment is being meted out by CNN’s showing the home and address of the policeman accused in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.

 

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A Product of Victimhood

Roger Simon writes in Pajamas Media, The Real Villain of Ferguson.

excerpt:

The Great Society.  There, I’ve said it.  The Great Society, which I voted for and supported from the bottom of my heart, is the villain behind Ferguson.  Ferguson is the Great Society writ large because the Great Society convinced, and then reassured, black people that they were victims, taught them that being a victim and playing a victim was the way to go always and forever.  And then it repeated the point ad infinitum from its debut in 1964 until now — a conveniently easy to compute fifty years — as it all became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Great Society and similar policies screwed black people to the wall. It was racist to the core without knowing it.  Nobody used the N-word.  In fact, it was forbidden, unless you were Dr. Dre or somebody.  But it did its job without the word and did it better for being in disguise.  Those misbegotten kids running around Ferguson high on reefer and wasting their lives screaming at cops are the product of all this.  Stop it already.  No one has said this better than Jason Riley, author of Please Stop Helping Us.  Listen to Jason if you want to end Fergusons.