Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I had to laugh when I turned on the TV to see Obama giving his victory speech. People waved signs that read, "Stand for Change" as Obama said something to the effect that they need to ensure that people get their social security today, tomorrow and forever. Obama was saying the opposite of what his signs read; he stands for the welfare state status quo, which must not be changed, not today, tomorrow or ever.

The liberals have spent over a century, going back to the Progressive Era, erecting the welfare state, law by law, regulation by regulation. When is the last time they had a new idea? They are, to use Mises' word, interventionists; they always have been, always will be. Their overriding task now is to preserve their creation, big government. They will fight to the death to keep every plank, every brick of the state they have built over the last century intact. The core of liberal judicial philosophy is now stare decisis. Let the decision stand. And don't let those Republican bastards touch a hair of it.

If our political parties had names that meant anything, the liberals would be the Conservative Party. Their task to is conserve the way things are, to protect big government and to expand it if possible.

What we call conservatives today should be called the Christian Welfare State Party. They want the welfare state of the liberals, but they want to add religion. Religion is growing in America. The liberals are fighting a rearguard battle, hoping to conserve the secular welfare state against the conservatives.

There is no Capitalist Party -- it's too early yet. The Libertarian Party should be called the Anarchist Party or the Subjectivist/Moral Relativist Party. Their attempt to take Ayn Rand's politics without the underlying metaphysics, epistemology and ethics dooms them to be Anarchists by the logic of their premises.

As Mises teaches us, the liberal project of preserving the status quo must eventually fail. The welfare state is unstable. Interventions will create crises that lead to further interventions until finally we will have "socialism on the German plan."

So when Obama says "change," he cannot mean it in anything but the most superficial sense. We will have change from a Republican to a Democrat President -- and the welfare state will muddle along from one crisis to another.

The biggest change Obama might effect is withdrawing our troops from Iraq. I don't think he has the courage to do it, regardless of what his moonbat base wants. I don't think Clinton or Obama want to be blamed for the chaos and violence that would happen in the power vacuum if we left. They might do something cosmetic to appease their base, but that's it. Once the war becomes a Democrat war, the base will shut up anyway. Right now the fervor among Democrats is partisan politics and hatred of Republicans more than anything.

We've been in Germany and Korea and other places since WWII, longer than I've been alive. I expect that 50 years from now we'll still be in Iraq, unless the world order changes greatly through catastrophe and war. Remember, the military in our mixed economy is now a pressure group, one that neither party wants to alienate. Base closings are resisted by the military. And I don't want to sound like a leftist wacko or President Eisenhower warning of the "military-industrial complex," but a little war now and then is good for this pressure group. It increases the budget, and what bureaucrat doesn't want that?

When significant change comes to America, it won't have anything to do with happy partisans waving signs at political rallies. It will come in a time of crisis and catastrophe, with terrified citizens screaming, "Won't somebody take over and stop the madness?! Someone give us order!" Yes, then we'll see what change can bring. Change can be a bitch.


Anonymous said...

This is all unfolding like some updated version of Atlas Shrugged. America and the West are slowly killing themselves as the result of their deepest premises. They are voluntarily marching into an abyss with absolutely no knowledge of their pending doom. If I were to focus on this too greatly it would depress the hell out of me. I really don't think Ayn Rand can save America. She will be the foundation of the next great civilization to rise after the dust settles whenever and wherever that may be.

John Kim

Myrhaf said...

That really is depressing, John! Of course, neither of us will likely see that, so there's little use worrying.

pwbeatty (Sark) said...

You two can be almost as depressing as I can some times.. it is truly scary :)

johnnycwest said...

I am an optimist, but there is no doubt that we are in for tough times. I am happy to see people at least advocating change even though they are presenting and supporting anything but.

As Objectivists, we know that few people understand the underlying issues involved in our political morass. At least many recognize that change is what we need - beyond that they have no clue. Lets hope it is a start - a very slow start towards real change, which may very well require a crisis to lead to the changes we so desperately need.

In the meantime, we have to work to explain and spread Objectivism. Myrhaf - thank you so much for the work you do in this regard. Hopefully the voices in the wilderness will multiply.

And John KIm, you are right - Ayn Rand cannot save us, but we can save us.

As an aside - is it not ironic that blogger flags Objectivism and Objectivist as misspellings and suggests subjectivity and collectivism in their stead?

Myrhaf said...

I haven't noticed those flags from blogger, but I have noticed that Microsoft Word flags statist as wrong.

EdMcGon said...

Don't worry. The Mayan prophecy of the end of the world in 2012 will take care of it all. ;)

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

We can't expect anything else than that coming generations of Americans move to European statism. Our kids have been brainwashed by socialists for 40 years. Your capitalist/Objectivist Utopia will have to wait for a while. I don't dislike your ideals but I live in an imperfect world and right now it suits me to be a Republican.

The GOP will not become the capitalist Party in out lifetimes nor will it become the Onward Christian Soldiers Party as much as the religious loonies want that. It will just muddle on as (the slightly less statist than socialism) party of Lincoln.

McCain may even help to rid the GOP of the religious right and unite all us dumb non-Objectivist middle-class, middle-brow, middle of the road moderate Repubs and Dems who see that the greatest danger facing us for generations to come is the growing population of Muslims and their sick religion, Islamic Fascism, not godlessness, gay marriage and abortion.

Myrhaf said...

But how can you be sure the Republican Party won't become the Onward Christian Soldiers Party? I don't know with certainty what will happen in the future, but I have seen religion grow in America in the last 30 years. In the '70s only one of the seven people closest to me was religious; now 3 are. This is anecdotal evidence, possibly meaningless -- or possibly meaningful.

Voting is a complicated matter. The big question these days is: Which candidate will do the least harm? We'll have much more to say about this in the coming months.

Jim May said...

"Godlessness"? Oh please. Someone hand that man a history book of the Dark and Middle Ages.

"Godfullness" has a nearly 1:1 correspondence with historical immorality and tyranny, sir, and it would be a perfect 1:1 were Christianity not leashed and brought to heel by the Enlightenment.

We won't be "muddling" along much longer if the Christians notice that the leash is off -- but with feral Islam running around loose in full view, it's just a matter of time.

Jim May said...

I just reread Patrick's comment, and see that he isn't attacking "godlessness", but is dismissing it importance. Please redirect my comment accordingly, and my apologies to Patrick.

Now I'm going to stop commenting and hit the sack ;)