There’s a prerequisite for this tirade: go to Sarah Hoyt’s place and read this article. It’s long but worth it: not because I agree with her sentiments, but because without realizing it she’s made the best possible argument for mine.
What sentiments of mine do I mean? Go read Sarah’s piece and come back loaded for bear.
Sarah points out, quite accurately, that to allow the Left to proceed unhindered (i.e., by abandoning the faithless, spineless Republican Party for its treacheries) would produce unpredictable deterioration, even chaos, and not merely in the U.S. but worldwide; that revolutions are an extremely chancy business; that the rest of the world would not content itself with watching politely while we “let it burn;” that not all of “our” Congressional representatives should be condemned; and that on several fronts we appear to have made notable progress. In refuting the “go third party” advocates she makes, en passant, the point at the foundation of my own convictions:
But let’s suppose by a miracle the country holds together twenty years while the new hope emerges.
And then let’s say you manage to send your bright shining boys and girls to DC. What do you think will happen? I’ll tell you what will happen. What happens to republicans. Their offices will be penetrated, their information corrupted and they’ll become – at best – like the republicans. (At best, because remember what I said above about Libertarians who are with OWSers and the Tea Party and see no contradiction. They could flip on you.) More so because the dems will have taken over ALL the bureaucracy.
So, how is that different from the GOP?
The underlying truth is so important that it deserves to be stated in large type:
Beneath that truth lies another:
And beneath that truth lies something the political elite would rather not have you think about:
That should be enough large type for the moment. Ponder it while I fetch more coffee.
If they seem repetitive, it’s because they focus on one of the most virulent of our sociopolitical infections: militant feminism. But beneath that focus lies a single, unvarying theme: the political perniciousness of collectivism, regardless of the motivation for it. “Don’t Be A Joiner!” I screamed, once again in large type.
Regardless of the aim of any political group, it is inherently collectivist. It subjects its members to a power structure, whether its decisions are made by consensus or by some subgroup of officials. Politics is the purest form of collectivism: the instance in which coercive force is made most overt. A political organization – i.e., one whose reason for being is to influence politics and government – is only infinitesimally less overt about its coercions.
Political parties are just as subject to the dynamic of power as any other sort of group. Indeed, the incentives are almost as strong as in government itself. Given time, they will fall into the hands of the very worst of their members: those who worship power and will do anything to get, keep, and enlarge it.
Such persons are completely indifferent to moral and ethical considerations. Need I elaborate on what follows from that?
Time was, it took a while – decades, at least – to thoroughly corrupt a political party. It happens much faster today, because of the far greater skill of contemporary propagandists and the far more powerful mechanisms at hand for the dissemination of propaganda. Robert A. Heinlein put it best in his novella “Gulf:”
Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men. The little man has no way to judge and the shoddy lies are packaged more attractively. There is no way to offer color to a colorblind man, nor is there any way for us to give the man of imperfect brain the canny skill to distinguish a lie from a truth.
Once you have committed yourself to a party, you have subordinated your goals and efforts to this dynamic. You could be sharp as a tack and relentless about informing yourself – indeed, you could be a Certified Galactic Intellect with a huge private library, unlimited time to read and research, and the eloquence of Demosthenes, Lincoln, Disraeli, and Churchill combined – and you would still find the dynamic to be more powerful than you.
One of the greatest tragedies of our time is that this truth, so fundamental and inexorable, has been absorbed by so few persons. It accounts for the waste of a terrible quantity of time, money, and effort by men of good will: a waste that increases with every passing day.
My point is simple: If there is a solution to our politically generated problems, it lies outside politics.
The pseudonymous “John Galt” put it well in his book Dreams Come Due: Government and Economics As If Freedom Mattered:
- Do not look to an entity that can grow only through greater immorality as a source of morality.
- Do not look to an entity that can grow only through greater violence and plunder as a source of protection.
- Do not look to an entity that can grow only by destroying liberty as a source of freedom.
You cannot internalize that wisdom without first shedding your preconception that political engagement will provide the solution to politically generated tyranny. Granted that this can be difficult, as such preconceptions are powerfully encouraged by our enveloping culture and coupled to many prevalent habits and institutions, it is both possible and utterly necessary. The penalty for not doing so is continued failure – failure that’s accompanied by ever-intensifying tyranny and suffering. (“People are usually willing to give up their preconceptions after they’ve had them tattooed on their heads with a blunt instrument.” -- Jame Retief)
You must get off the Mishnory road if you really want to be free.