The Thinking 

Big Government and its Pending Downfall

October 6, 2012


EXPANDING on his point that Romney has no plan to cut entitlement programs, Terry Morris writes:

Genuine, big-C Conservatism recognizes this for what it is, and seeks to destroy it before it destroys us. But for all intents and purposes it already has destroyed us, and we’re living on borrowed time. But a principled conservative approach to it will not admit of just “going along” regardless. We may be forced to watch it unfold, but we don’t have to be party to it.

—- Comments —-

John Purdy writes:

No, I’m sorry. Too much ‘gloom ‘n’ doom’ on the right. We’ll never get back to the 1950’s let alone 1900 but we can fall back and stabilise a new line. It can be done and it’s the right thing to do. I choose to go down fighting. No surrender.

 Laura writes:

Mr. Morris also believes we should not surrender.

Jeff W. writes:

Conservatives and traditionalists need to come to grips with the enormous power of the evil they are trying to confront. Not only are they trying to oppose big government, with all its vote-buying strength, a government that according to Mitt Romney provides financial support to 47% of the voters, they are also trying to oppose the money printers and the big banks who make billions of dollars by financing that welfare state. Conservatives not only have millions of voters opposed to them, there are also billions in profits involved.

In the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve created $16 trillion and loaned it to beneficiaries of its choice. That is the kind of financial power conservatives are up against. No Congress, no administrative bureaucracy, no judiciary and no president can stand up against that kind of financial power. That power is easily capable of bribing its way into getting whatever it wants. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin recently confirmed this by saying that the big banks are “the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill, and they frankly own the place.”

Millions of voters who benefit from the welfare state, plus trillions of fiat paper dollars, printed and yet to be printed, are arrayed against those who oppose the welfare state. It is a formidable combination. I too say that we should never surrender. But we must be fully aware of the enemy’s overwhelming strength.

Mr. Purdy writes:

I was not intending to accuse Mr. Morris specifically, a stalwart man, of advocating surrender. I was thinking more about the impending collapse meme that is prevalent on the right. White America is still the most productive and innovative country in the world. There are a variety of new technologies coming on line, including oil fracking, that can help dig us out of the economic hole we’re in. So long as there are jobs and business opportunities it will be possible for astute Americans to maintain a decent quality of life.

There are those on the right who seem to relish the idea of a U.S. collapse both as payback for the left and as a means of forcing a return to more traditional ways of life. I believe that’s an extremely high price for our children and grandchildren to pay for our anger. Prosperity still offers a better chance for a healthy and traditional way of life than poverty and chaos. There is nothing inherently anti-traditional about prosperity. As a whole, the traditional America is gone but individuals and communities can still thrive even in the bleak culture of the future that seems inevitable. Remember that even after Rome fell there were still successful cities in the Mediterranean and that may have to be our goal.

James P. writes:

If Romney had a plan to cut entitlements, then he would be very stupid to announce even its existence, let alone its details, before the election. The nomination of Ryan for VP is a significant straw in the wind. In any event, we can be very certain that Romney is more likely to cut entitlements than Obama.

Laura writes:

In response to Mr. Purdy, I don’t know anyone who relishes the idea of economic collapse or who is so angry that they want to see it. I’m not saying such people don’t exist, but I don’t know of anyone who fits in that category. And when he says, “I believe that’s an extremely high price for our children and grandchildren to pay for our anger,” he is suggesting that there is a conservative force working to bring about economic collapse purely out of vindictiveness. That is a serious charge and I would ask what particular evidence he has of such a thing or if he has specific conservatives in mind.

Mr. Purdy writes:

Come to think of it, Lew Rockwell and his gang might be examples of more influential people who hold such views. But they’re not conservatives, exactly.

Steve Kogan writes:

In response to John Purdy’s “I choose to go down fighting. No surrender,” you write that “Mr. Morris also believes we should not surrender.” From what he says in his additional point, I cannot tell how you arrived at your conclusion, since he states that, “for all intents and purposes,” the avalanche of entitlements “already has destroyed us, and we’re living on borrowed time.” If he means what he says, then the question of surrender is moot. One can even accept what he calls “genuine” conservativism and avoid being “party” to the entitlement process all one wants, but, here too, “for all intents and purposes” it no longer matters, since the great beast is already having its way with us. I may be missing something, but preserving “a principled conservative approach” while “we may be forced to watch” the catastrophe “unfold” is hardly the stuff of “We shall never surrender.”

Mr. Morris writes:

It is interesting that Mr. Purdy should mention the successful Mediterranian cities that existed after the fall of Rome as a model for traditionalists to possibly follow because that is precisely my goal, and has been my stated goal for at least two years – focusing on the success of my family and local community at the expense of worrying myself any longer about America’s fate as she rushes headlong into cultural and economic suicide. It is why I strongly advocate a return to balanced, Constitutional government, whereby States and local communities, and the People themselves, would become more self-governing. Beyond that all I can do is to practice what I preach.

To Mr. Purdy’s point that it’s a high price to pay for our children and grandchildren to suffer through the aftermath of societal and economic collapse, this is precisely MY point. But I fail to see how it would be more disastrous or spirit-crushing to them than the eventuality of their coming into the world and into adulthood only to find that we and generations preceding us had saddled them with a huge amount of debt they won’t possibly be able to pay during the course of their adult lifetimes, and thus will be forced to pass on to their unborn posterity, assuming the former will survive it and the just causes of war it will finally initiate.

As I’ve said many times before, our normal procedure is to effectively borrow and print money on “the good faith and credit of the United States” a hundred and fifty years in the future. What gives us the right to jeopardize the lives, liberties and happiness of entire generations of Americans yet unborn based on a concern for our immediate well being? Isn’t that being just a little bit selfish? Are these the “American values” we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren?

I certainly agree that there’s nothing inherently wrong with prosperity from a traditionalist point of view, but would argue that it flies in the face of traditionalism for a generation to prosper and live in peace at the expense of securing these blessings to our posterity. Or, of giving them a fighting chance at enjoying the blessings of liberty and prosperity we claim to hold so dear.

But in any event, the issue, for me, is that I’m not willing to be party to it any longer. And the outstanding example of our founding generation is my inspiration.

I thank Mr. Purdy for his kind words. His “No Surrender!” attitude speaks the same of him.

Laura writes:

I thought the most inspiring moment of the presidential debate was when Romney said the huge deficit is immoral.

Buck writes: [Note: This comment came in before Mr. Morris’s comments above.]

Mr. Morris accurately explains that the bigger our government (the more of our money it seizes), the bigger the distribution of entitlements. But, he says “We may be forced to watch it unfold, but we don’t have to be party to it.” Mr Purdy says that “we can fall back and stabilize a new line” and that he “chooses to go down fighting. No surrender.”

I have no idea what any of that means. “Surrender” or die?

These are very vague points about which to rally. What is “it”? If “it” is modern liberalism, which it must be, then how is anyone who lives in society not a party to it? If this is only one particular “it” and means just entitlement programs, how does one not participate in our economy? Nearly fifty percent of our taxes go to entitlements. It’s as unavoidable as the air that we breath. How does one hold his breath until we can figure out a way to end entitlements or to end our own unending participation in the funding of entitlements? If you earn a living or, if you don’t earn a living, you either fund entitlements or you receive them. No one alive is not a party to our entitlement state. If we’re talking about more than simply entitlements, then we’re talking about all of modern liberalism’s schemes and it’s ruling authority over nearly every aspect of our lives. How is anyone living in society not a party to modern liberalism? If they are alive and have living relatives and are not in prison…no, that’s not true, just living. Prison is now a modern liberal institution. Only the unconscious or mentally deficient could claim, if we could make make them aware, that they were not a party to it.

Mr. Purdy, like me, is still alive. Neither of us has yet to “go down fighting.” We submit, as most men do, every day to the dictates of modern liberal authority. We have no choice but to submit, if we wish to remain free and alive. Each day that we remain alive and free to move about, means that we are continuing to submit or surrender. What’s the alternative? That we actually fight back? Fight who? The government, the police, our neighbors? We’re all effectively on the other team. There’s no longer a middle ground. It’s either open rebellion and the sacrifice of our personal well-being, or we’re in compliance. If we pay taxes, have children in public schools, avoid confrontation, stay among “our own”, and abide by the law of the land, we are on the other team. Maybe on the bench and not first team starters, but same team.

Doing nothing, really, other than chronicling our demise, is what we are doing when we keep the peace and follow the rules. The rules are theirs, not ours. They don’t follow our rules. We follow theirs. What kind of warped game are we playing? Either we enforce our rules on them, or we submit and follow theirs. That’s exactly what we are doing.

How would things be different if we all “surrendered”? Would modern liberalism rule society? Would our military celebrate open homosexuality in its ranks? Would minorities be growing rapidly while the white population shrinks? Would black on white crime be raging unabated in all of our major cities? Would our public education system be failing miserably? And finally, would, as everyone seems to be so focused on, our economy – economic “America” – be in the tank? What would be so different? Is everything that ails us a direct result of entitlements?

If all welfare was ended, would homosexuals go back into closet and abandon their quest for equality in marriage, would our military suddenly fight to win, would students suddenly know and embrace our founding principles, would minorities disperse and melt into “America,” would all pregnancies be full term, would Islam reject the Koran? On and on. We’re not going to end Social Security or Medicare or outlaw unions or the IRS. Stopping farm subsidies and section eight housing and food stamps would do little to revive a dead America.

There is little evidence anywhere that indicates that any subset of our population has not submitted or surrendered already, except in the squishy realm of ideas. The problem is that men have no idea how to act to stop any of it.

Mr. Purdy writes:

If I may respond to Buck. My comment was admittedly much more of a cheerleading exercise than an attempt at a reasoned argument. It reflects a couple of diverse points. My personal circumstances are pretty grim: sick, unemployed, isolated, and I admit it weighs on my emotional tenor at times but no, I don’t expect to be assassinated any time soon. I have often been tempted to throw my hands up and say, “why bother?”

When I say “no surrender” I mean I intend to continue defending traditional ideas in public, to continue getting the message out that there is an alternative to the current liberal way of thinking about life. I have chosen to post under my real name at selected sites where I feel the risk is not too high (yeah, still a bit of a coward.) I write letters to the editor on a regular basis, despite taking some heat now and again. This may come to naught but it may change some minds, maybe even among those with more power to effect change than I possess. But I also mean that the economic collapse of the United States can still be avoided (thus my reference to the productivity and innovative capacity of the American people) and that this should be done even though it means preserving the liberal order. This should be done because it is still better than the alternative of widespread collapse. Even in socialist Canada life is not bad at all. If the system does collapse it will not be because I was not trying.

That’s what I mean by “no surrender.”

Laura writes:

To reiterate Mr. Morris’s point, if avoiding economic collapse means passing on crippling debt to future generations then it is an entirely immoral option.

Mr. Purdy writes:

Just to be clear, I believe the U.S. can still get out from under its debt. It may not but it’s still possible.

Mr.  Morris writes:

A few points:

(1) Thank you, Laura. The moral issue surrounding the national debt is a hard one to get around. And it isn’t $16 Trillion. It’s more like $32 Trillion (or around a cool million dollars a piece for every man, woman and child currently residing in the U.S..). But that’s another story.

(2) “It” means the entire anti-American liberal apparatus, to satisfy Buck’s specious curiosity.

(3) Speaking for myself, the concept of “surrender in order to remain free” is a contradiction in terms (see Buck’s comments). Does Buck mean “free” in the sense that most other Western peoples are free to move about in their own countries? Because I fail to see what distinguishes our “freedom” from anyone else’s “freedom” if that piece of paper we call the U.S. Constitution is not strictly applied as was intended.

And finally,

(4) while I can’t get into the finer details of how to avoid being”party to it” to the fullest extent possible, I can reveal certain broader details, to wit:

Let’s just say that for all of her in-your-face defiance of the liberal order seeking to destroy every remaining vestige of traditional American exceptionalism left, Ann Barnhardt is certainly not alone in her quest, and is a relative newcomer.

But Buck is right about one thing. One cannot avoid paying taxes altogether if one is alive, and “free,” meaning not in jail, and actively making a living for his family.

While I can see how one could interpret my meaning as absolute withdrawal if one is so disposed, that is not the case at all. Taxes, as most of us who frequent sites like this one probably know, are woven into the very fabric of our existences here in the good ol’ U.S. of A..

(Pardon me momentarily as I drape myself in Old Glory and enjoy a Lee Greenwood moment.) Okay I’m back…

As I explained to a clerk at a retail auto parts store, who had countered my complaint about the price of an item I was purchasing with “Yes, the price is such and such, and when we add Uncle Sam’s part it is so-and-so.,” — “that isn’t Uncle Sam’s part, it is this city’s part. Uncle Sam’s part, to use your term, which is a lot more than the relatively paltry nine percent you just added, is hidden in the price of the item you just sold me. What you just added is called sales tax, which is not the same thing as ‘Uncle Sam’s part.'”

But anyway, I don’t have a job, I have a business. My children do not attend public schools, and never have. And so on and so forth. But in this regard Buck has helped to make my point for me, so I thank him for that.

I would only add that I think Mr. Romney’s 47% number is a mite low. But you must understand that our perspectives are different on the subject of “pubic assistance,” and the persons who receive it. Some people just want a job, and they only care what kind of job as it relates to “benefits,” which I won’t enumerate. But the best benefits are found in government jobs, which I categorize more broadly than most folks do too. My point is that when one adds to Romney’s number those persons who occupy positions in government work – many of which would not exist if the welfare state did not exist – that are not essential to America’s welfare, but ironically work to destroy her actual welfare, the number is significantly higher. (By “a mite higher” I was being facetious. Ha, ha.)

Mr. Morris adds:

I should address the issue, originally raised by Mr. Purdy, of actively seeking America’s destruction out of anger or vengeance.

First, I believe in the biblical idea that “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. I will repay.” I tend more to pity liberals than to be angry at them for trying to destroy the foundations of my beloved country. I pity them because I know what they do not know – that, in Washington’s words, “over time and the course of things, these will become potent engines, destroying the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” Likewise, whatever anger I have because of this is more directed at self-described “conservatives” than towards their leftier counterparts. But “anger” isn’t really a proper descriptive for what I feel in any event, though I admit to feeling angry at times since it’s normal human emotion.

Second, I wish to see the liberal order destroyed, and the sooner the better in my opinion, as I’ve clearly stated, but I do not believe hat this can be equated to wishing to see my country’s destruction. Quite the contrary.

My position on these matters can be summed up in Mr. Jefferson’s famous quote: “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

Third, I hold that it is counter-intuitive to speak of paying down the debt while simultaneously maintaining the current liberal order, or something very close to it.

Otherwise I forgot to mention, in my previous comment, the highly ineffective nature of writing letters to the editor due to the constraints most newspapers impose on their commenters.

Some of the most important issues we face, such as immigration, are very complex issues that 250 words or less at thirty day intervals will not begin to properly explicate. My suggestion to Mr. Purdy as an alternative, if he is open to it, is to write lengthier letters addressed to a specific editor and intended for non-publication, whereby the depth of a given subject might be covered in more detail.

Contrary to certain opinions on the matter, editors do actually read such letters IF they’re respectfully written and contain relevant information about the subject at hand. And rather than merely “preaching to the choir,” as is generally the case with published letters to the editor, the alternative letters I speak of usually hit on points the editor has not been confronted with before, and his curiosity will lead him to investigate it further.

While you won’t get any credit (why would you want credit?) for the change in rhetoric you’ll sometimes see in certain op-ed pieces covering such divisive subjects as immigration, Islam and so forth, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you made at least some difference through your efforts. Whereas published letters to the editor aren’t particularly efficient instruments for getting or seeing results.

But anyway I’m out of time, so I’ll leave it at that for now. Have a good day!

 Buck writes:

It seems that Mr. Morris has taken umbrage at my questions. The six “it”s in the opening paragraph of this entry are vague and ambiguous, or too broad to be meaningful. I took his comments as an invitation for a discussion, as I assume all posted comments are. Am I wrong? “Specious curiosity”? Superficial and misleading? A simple explanation rather than a condescending lecture, would be appreciated. I would still like to understand what Mr. Morris is trying to say.

 You can call me confused, if you wish. I am confused by much of what Mr. Morris said. The quick series of six “it”s and his “specious” difficulty with my contextual use of the term “free” is also confusing.

 Mrs. Wood began this entry by writing that Mr. Morris is “expanding on his point that Romney has no plan to cut entitlement programs.” Mr. Morris says that real conservatism “seeks to destroy it before it destroys us.” I guess that he means entitlement programs, but that would be “them” wouldn’t it ? Or does it mean our government? Or does Mr. Morris mean “all current liberal programs”? Are all liberal programs entitlement programs? If “it already has destroyed us”, which it; the government, the entitlement programs, all liberal programs, or modern liberalism itself? I’m still not “satisfied”. What it are we talking about; all of modern liberalism or just entitlement programs? Redistribution or our declining civilization?

 How, other than paying no taxes, which means spending nor earning not one penny outside of a black market or underground economy, which still can’t escape taxes; or accepting no entitlement in any form, is Mr. Morris or anyone not a “party to it.”? One cannot simply “watch” and be in society, much less still participate in it. There’s no escape for the living, is there? Disagreement is not action.

 I admit that I don’t know what he means by “a principled conservative approach to it will not admit of just ‘going along’ regardless.” Does that mean that we should not admit that we are going along with it regardless of whether or not we are actually going along with it? We must go along, but we must not admit that we are going along? We say we’re not going along, although we are? Watching what?

 Please share the “finer details” of how to avoid being a “party to it”. The details are necessary if I am to understand how to accomplish what you admit that you have not. Ann Barnhardt, like many others before her who have attempted to refuse to be a “party to it” will submit or she will no longer be “free”, meaning she will not be “free” to move about and participate in society.

I believe that my comments about “surrender” were in response to Mr. Purdy, to which he has replied.

Laura writes:

When Mr. Morris said, “a principled conservative approach to it will not admit of just ‘going along’ regardless,” he was referring to how principled politicians, if they existed and if they could exist, would approach government spending. I do not believe he was talking about the individual citizen in his everyday life.

I’m not sure what Mr. Morris meant when he referred to Buck’s “specious curiosity.” Perhaps he can explain.

Buck writes:

Thank you for your explanation.

I don’t, however, see that as anything more than a distinction without a difference. When our pathetic elected officials represent us in law, it is we who are spending our money, not them. We, the people, willingly submit, or surrender, to the very government apparatus that we authorize them to operate. We give them the power and authority that they wield over us. We are them. It’s not us against them, it’s us against us.

Laura writes:

Well, no, we don’t necessarily give them that power. It is us against them. We have not given the Supreme Court the power to overturn the Constitution to permit Obamacare. The court has taken it, and there is little we can do. As for surrendering, we don’t necessarily do that either. Submitting to unlawful rule is not surrender when we don’t have the power to overturn it. Think of it as internal exile or submission, but not surrender.

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