Thursday, June 03, 2010

Dueling Weltanschauungs.

It's a tag team cage match!

In this corner, wearing guarded optimism and faint hope, The Comeback Kids!

The only conclusion we can reach is that the Long March Through The Institutions has effectively destroyed the Institutions.
Gramsci was wrong, at least for America. We don't care about Intellectualism, and never have. All the dreaming and wishing that America "becomes more like Europe" is empty. Not happening, at least on this side of the Atlantic.

...and LabRat:
It’s the usual collection of Republican fauna, but I HAVE noticed one very interesting thing, which is that they are all alike in very distinct fashion: they are doing their damndest to court the Tea Partiers, or at least going well out of their way to not piss them off. There’s even a distinctly… dare I use the word… libertarian flavor to their campaigning, up to and including calling each other out for their respective establishment backgrounds. They’re practically shoving each other out of the way to be the one to say most loudly “government is based in the consent of the governed” and similar such things.

Meanwhile, in this corner, wearing cynicism and bitter experience, the Won't Get Fooled Agains!

My thought was:

“None of this is going to end well.”

Not a bit of it. The economies, the governments, the factions of people and beliefs. It’s beginning to feel as inevitable as gravity, decay or entropy and I find it aggravating and disturbing…it seems to be moving at a disturbingly increasing rate and there are still a lot of people who seem to think that some magical pixie is going to show up, wave a enchanted wand and make it all better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for magical pixies, most especially the ones you see after consuming a good deal of vodka. However, I don’t believe that one is actually doing to show up and wave away a thirteen trillion dollar national debt or swat Kim Jong Illin’, Ahmadinejad or Bin Laden off to Neverland.

...and Billy Beck:
There are many alive today who satisfy themselves as "Americans" even as they remain ignorant of things that were being lost before they were born -- "free spirits" who were tattooed with federal numbers on traditional paperwork and who have never worked a day in their lives without accounting their very existence in dollars to the law. Their grandfathers could build houses if and where they wanted to once they had accrued the moral authority (that's "money", kids) to do it: these people can barely un-flatpack a bookshelf, but at least they wouldn't have to beg zoning permits for that.

All four are wicked smart, some of the best writers I've found on the tubes, and each of those four posts is worth reading in its entirety.

You should do so.


Borepatch said...

All I can say is that if it's to be a Cage Match, I want Lab Rat on my side.


Quite an interesting juxtaposition of posts, Tam.

theirritablearchitect said...

That, "unflat-pack a bookshelf," comment from Beck, well, just you wait and see about that permit bit.

Tam said...


I've had all but LabRat's open in tabs for several days, mulling things over in my head.

When she put that up the other day, it completed the foursome and I knew what to do. :D

Billy Beck said...

Tam -- did you see McP's hit on mine?

I think we can score him with the hopefuls for now, but I will claim his mind for the doomists, or go down trying.

Billy Beck said...

I went and read the other posts.

I would only say it again:

We will not be voting our way out of this.

Tam said...

Yeah, that's my feeling, too.

Still... ;)

fast richard said...

Count me as still clinging to hope. But, at the same time I am starting to wonder what is the best way to weather the storm of that collapse that Billy Beck, and others see coming.

It sometimes feels like we're all trapped in a plane in a nosedive with unresponsive controls. I'm beginning to wonder if we have enough altitude to pull out of the dive, even if the controls do start working again.

Bubblehead Les said...

Hmm. 6.8 Billion+ people, 200 or so nation states, tens of thousands of multinational corporations not beholding to anyone, hundreds of trillions of dollars in world-wide debt (derivatives), politicians who ignore the will of the people to support the will of the sheeple, I'm going with LabRat.

mdrewrankin said...

Thanks for the roundup!

Billy Beck said...

I know, Tam. I know.

Sometimes, I resent what I can only conclude as fact: that there is no god. And then I understand why the species thought it up. It's a visceral plea for a righteous hammer of justice heavier than we can wield when it really counts.

Might as well hang with the commies, all dreamin' about big rock candy mountains & shit.

It is what it is. And history is a list of consequences.

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to give the November election a chance, if the marxist scumbags in D.C. don't suffer a major setback in that election, then I will no longer care. I'm already fed up with and tired of all the tongue and lip waggin' BS coming from DC and around the web which is designed to "divide and conquer": White against color; legal vs illegal, "social justice" vs "equal justice", Capitalism vs Socialism, Demoncrap vs Republicrap, ad infinitum. Let's just cut to the "Operation Consequence" part if the November election has ANY SUSPICION OF 'funny stuff." (Read, "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross for explanation).

The Progressive cancer MUST be cut out of the gene pool or it will continue to grow, fester and infect.

While I do not WANT the chaos, bloodshed, misery and suffering such would entail, I just don't see avoidance possible if the "Republic" is to be preserved -- especially if election "tampering" remains in the mix.


LabRat said...

Heh. "Optimistic" would be going too far. Maybe just "not blackly cynical".

I do think one's reading of both history and current events is colored as much by temperament as rational conclusion. It seems to me based on said history that humanity has been on the verge of total collapse of civilization since the invention of civilization, and most anyone smart enough to read and write gave their opinion as to the imminence of the collapse of their own on a more or less weekly basis. It seems for the entirety of recorded history we've had mostly the same cast of characters of the ignorant, avaricious, foolish, smart-but-deluded, and otherwise wastrel. It's a wonder we ever managed to collectively pass on the arcane secret of shoelace-tying.

Of course, at varying times civilization actually did collapse.... but the batting record on successfully predicting it has always been all over the map.

Jenny said...

LR - I've thought the same thing, albeit on a more limited scale - that at any given time, the nation is only a couple years of bad decisions from another civil war.

Big-C Civilization and the big-C Collapse? Hadn't thought of it in those terms, but at first it sounds reasonable. Harder to get there though I think.

.... gosh we sure have been making a lot of bad decisions lately though.

Jay G said...

Why do I feel the sudden urge to buy another couple thousand rounds of .223 and .308?

Billy Beck said...

"...and most anyone smart enough to read and write gave their opinion as to the imminence of the collapse of their own on a more or less weekly basis."

Even accounting for the hyperbole: every once in a while, they were right.

LabRat said...

Billy: It's almost as if I said as much in the last line.

Tam said...


I do think Billy has a point in that America qua America, the fruition of the Enlightenment emphasizing the individual as sovereign, has truly flowered and gone.

It's not the end of the world: civilization goes on but Civilization is on her deathbed; parochial as it may seem, god help me, it is my gut feeling too.

Tam said...

To Add...

I wrote the above before Jenny's of 1637 or Billy's of 1947. Damn me for going for a beer and a phone call before hitting "submit"; now I sound a copycat! :D

og said...

Mweh. I've never trusted anything but my own hands and wits anyway. I assume everything around me is going to go to shit, and it almost invariably does, and as often as not there is good employment in putting it right again. So long as you have some useful skill, you can get by. Frankly, the self destruction of the republic, while not enjoyable, will be at least interesting to watch. In the meantime, decent people can help make one another's lives more tolerable.

Joel said...

I'm willing to give the November election a chance, if the marxist scumbags in D.C. don't suffer a major setback in that election, then I will no longer care.

Um. Were you alive during the Bush administration? Because nothing the marxist scumbags have done to this economy in the past year+ is anything but a continuation of what the fascist scumbags started. How much disappointment are you prepared to absorb before you wake up to the clear fact that the left wing and the right wing are both attached to the same stinking carrion government?

Billy Beck's depressing, but he's right: We're not voting our way out of this.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
George said...

Man! What a depressing buncha negatory folks! I'm not a religious type, but, seems to me that preparing for the worst, but
having faith strikes a good balance.
I keep picturing the portrait of General Washington, kneeling by his horse, in my mind.
The phrase 'after the next election'. Seems to me it took a few years longer than ONE ELECTION
for the collectivist bastards to do as they have done. It's going to take us more than one or two to
get our country back. And, when we have lost all strength, we ask for more! Let's not impatiently vote from the rooftops, before we ask for help, together, on our knees. (or in whatever manner trips your trigger)

DirtCrashr said...

I was alive during the Fabian Left's Carter Administration. I remember the pure, unadulterated insanity of the 55mph National Speed Limit.
We no longer have that rotisserie anymore, but other ecoweenie attempts continue as they invade the structures of power like mad kudzu -- and not for a lack of bureaucrats trying to keep it and their own power.
Some states chose to ignore the mandate - Montana was a place you could drive past a cop at 80 and not get waived-over. People started moving up there, choosing and recognizing something about Freedom. Ohio displayed deep authoritarian characteristics (which continue today). The Ohio Highway Patrol would give you a ticket at 56mph and prowled the Interstate for out-of-state tags and easy revenue. People started buying CB radios to warn each other. There was resistance and disobedience, even if the clothing we wore was butt-ugly and stupid. People bought guns too.

Tam said...

"I was alive during the Fabian Left's Carter Administration. I remember the pure, unadulterated insanity of the 55mph National Speed Limit."

Yeah, me too.

I even had several vehicles whose speedos only read to the federally-mandated 85 mph (including a 327 cid Monza that would better than double that.)

But this goes back before Barack or Bush or even Carter. This goes back before Roosevelt or Wilson. The roots of our demise, the idea that mankind is an imperfect creature needing rescue by Daddy State, go at least back to the Less-Bad Roosevelt, at the very least.

LabRat said...

Tam: I won't disagree. But then, I also come from a perspective whose entire worldview is that nothing stays the same, everything adapts and evolves, and any system that can't survive human nature is inherently failed.

So yes, America as it was is dead. Where the disagreement springs seems to be if we're on an absolutely inevitable slide toward some combination of collectivism and totalitarianism, or just something... other, and maybe not so dystopian if still as imperfect as anything ever was.

Not that I'm particularly interested in debating such in this thread, just stating where I think the actual disagreement lies.

monkeyfan said...

Bite the hand, disrupt, and disobey.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
commoncents said...


I really like your blog - keep up the great work!

Common Cents

ps. Link Exchange?

Will said...


the problem is that if it takes more than one election to make a fairly dramatic turn in our course, it will probably be too little, too late. It won't be politically salvageable if it doesn't happen quickly. And, that's what the Left is banking on.

Borepatch said...

The comments here are simply outstanding.

I think there's more grounds for optimism than many think. There's a fragmentation of power going on right now, as the Progressive order is seen as increasingly bankrupt. It's hard to spin up a Collectivist movement when everyone thinks that the Elites are clueless.

I'm Brandi. Fly^H^H^HFollow Me!

Good luck with that. You're already seeing Governors telling the Fed.Gov to get bent. As more of the Progressive Vision collapses (Medicare, Social Security, etc), expect more power to be exercised by the States at the expense of Washington.

I have another 40,000 words or so in a post tomorrow on this. The evening was overly busy, so I'm even wordier than usual. :-(

Bubblehead Les said...

Actually, I think the problem started with the Populist/Progressive Movement of the 1890's. The Dems sorta/kinda merged with them when they got William Jennings Bryant to come over in 1896. But I agree that the first Prog President was T.R. But one thing I could never figure out is why all these rich, white people like the Roosevelts and the Kennedys and their cronies keep wanting to make US give up our hard earned cash in the name of "Social Justice". As for November, I'm very concerned with what a lame duck Congress will pass if Harry and Nancy lose power. Gun Control? "Comprehensive Immigration Reform"? "Net Neutrality"? Cap and Tax? Don't forget they have enough RINO's on the Hill to help them. P.S.: I not only had to drive 55, but that idiot Carter was my Commander-in-Chief! Ever spent two extra days in port because your Gooberment wouldn't put enough money in your ships budget to buy toilet paper?

Tam said...

"But one thing I could never figure out is why all these rich, white people like the Roosevelts and the Kennedys and their cronies keep wanting to make US give up our hard earned cash in the name of "Social Justice"."

There's a reason it's an "income tax" and not a "wealth tax". ;)

Billy Beck said...

A reading:

"One day Henry Luce called me up and asked me to come to supper.

There were three of us. The second guest was a nimble, witty European whom I shall call Smetana. At supper, most of the talk was between Luce and Smetana. I was rather a silent guest. I was fresh from the shadows; bright conversation hurt my mind. In fact, I had left behind the world of Time and those who lived within it. It was only the friendliest of fictions that I still belonged to it.

No one mentioned Communism or the Hiss Case until we sat over our coffee in the living room. Mrs. Philip Jessup had just used her personal good offices to try to get me off Time. Luce was baffled by the implacable clamor of the most enlightened people against me. 'By any Marxian pattern of how classes behave,' he said, 'the upper class should be for you and the lower classes should be against you. But it is the upper class that is most violent against you. How do you explain that?'

'You don't understand the class structure of American society,' said Smetana 'or you would not ask such a question. In the United States, the working class are Democrats. The middle class are Republicans. The upper class are Communists.' "

(Whittaker Chambers -- "Witness", 1952, p. 616)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Turk Turon said...

Who was it who said, "Democracy will last until 51% of the people realize that they can vote themselves largesse from the federal treasury at the expense of the other 49 percent."

Mencken? Buckley? Will Rogers?

wv: ducomari - underwater glue

Greg Hunt said...

"...history is a list of consequences."

This is the best definition of history I have ever encountered.