The New Clarion

The New Clarion header image 2

Calling A Spade A Spade

April 12th, 2009 by dismuke · 9 Comments · Culture

I  happened to be walking past the Ayn Rand selections in the fiction section of a bookstore last night and spotted an edition of Anthem that I had not seen before. When I opened it up,  I noticed a passage from Ayn Rand’s introduction to the book’s 1946 edition that I had forgotten about and which struck me as being extremely timely in today’s context:

The greatest guilt today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one’s eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: “But I didn’t mean this!”

Those who want slavery should have the grace to name it by its proper name. They must face the full meaning of that which they are advocating or condoning; the full, exact, specific meaning of collectivism, of its logical implications, of the principles upon which it is based, and of the ultimate consequences to which these principles will lead.

They must face it, then decide whether this is what they want or not.

Isn’t that a perfect description of today’s liberals and self-described moderates?   I say “liberals” as opposed to “Leftists” because Leftists are those who already have decided that slavery is what they want but dare not call it by its proper name lest the people they wish to enslave catch on.  

One positive trend I have noticed recently is that, despite whatever disagreements I might have with them, a number of conservative commentators, especially on talk radio, are beginning to call a spade a spade.    When I first became aware of politics as a teenager, one of the things that frustrated me was the fact that there was, at the time, an almost unspoken rule even among staunch conservatives that to refer to socialism as “socialism” in public was a huge no-no that would immediately place one in the ranks of the kook fringe.    

Today, even New York Times reporters dare utter the word and question the President about it.   Some commentators are  beginning to use terms such as “authoritiarian” and “collectivism” and radio talk show host Mark Levin has been regularly using the term “statist” over the  past several months.   Such terminology is not only accurate, it is very much needed right now. Accurate terminology makes it more difficult for the better sorts of liberals and moderates to continue practicing their evasion and it enables those who usually do not pay all that much attention to politics to more quickly grasp what is going on and what is at stake.  

The only downside is that it does have the effect of further radicalizing and emboldening the Leftists.  People who have no illusions that what they are after is  slavery  and power for the sake of power are far less squeamish when it comes to “breaking a few eggs” in order to make their omlets.  We can only hope that as the Leftists become increasingly bold and thuggish sufficient numbers of liberals, moderates and non-participants still have within them what it takes to wake up and realize what is happening.

9 Comments so far ↓

  • Chuck

    I just saw a clip of Hilary Clinton saying she believes in “individual rights.” A perfect example of what you’re referring to. And Larry Kudlow, the conservative host of a show on CNBC, has an opening that features various statists, like Robert Reich, saying, as if it were true, “I’m a supporter of free market capitalism!” It makes me nauseous.

  • Mike N

    Chuck:

    I would be sick too. There’s no way in hell Hilary Clinton believes in individual rights Mr. Reich believes in free market capitalism. They’ll say anything just to evoke a positive feeling in their audience.

  • pa

    “People who have no illusions that what they are after is slavery and power for the sake of power are far less squeamish when it comes to “breaking a few eggs” in order to make their omlets.”

    Orwell asked a thought-provoking question about the legendary “omelette” the statists keep trying to serve to the rest of us. His essay is included in “In Front of Your Nose, 1945-1950 (Collected Essays Journalism and Letters of George Orwell).”

    He argues against the Soviet apologists, in the early post war period, who say that one must break eggs to make an omelette. Orwell’s question: So where is the omelette?

    What a perfect retort. Can anyone point to any country or community that has flourished under statist rule, where the people enjoy personal liberty and economic prosperity? The USSR? North Korea? Detroit?

  • Joseph Kellard

    New York Times columnist Paul Krugman today addresses in passing the use of “socialist” as a substitute for “liberal,” in a column otherwise ostensibly devoted to those “crazies” who hold and attend tea parties.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/opinion/13krugman.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    Also, I heard Sean Hannity on Fox, a few weeks ago, utter the word “collectivism” as destroying “capitalism,” and how “Atlas is shrugging.” (Unfortunately, we don’t have capitalism today, and the auto industry is not going on strike).

  • Jim May

    We can only hope that as the Leftists become increasingly bold and thuggish sufficient numbers of liberals, moderates and non-participants still have within them what it takes to wake up and realize what is happening.

    Unfortunately, history (Weimar Germany) indicates that as the evil gets bolder, the moderates go “deer in the headlights” and become less and less relevant as ballast.

    This is because guilt is paralyzing; as those who “accept collectivism by defulat” get closer and closer to the end of the road they travel — and as its true destination becomes more and more obvious, they shriek “But I didn’t mean this!” until they realize that it doesn’t matter what they meant. Their guilt disarms them, and they are no longer active participants on the process.

    That’s what happened to that majority of Germans who never “meant” the Third Reich, but at best failed to withdraw sanction — and at worst actively assisted in the omelette process right up until *their* shells were next in line to be scrambled.

  • dismuke

    “I just saw a clip of Hilary Clinton saying she believes in “individual rights.” A perfect example of what you’re referring to. And Larry Kudlow, the conservative host of a show on CNBC, has an opening that features various statists, like Robert Reich, saying, as if it were true, “I’m a supporter of free market capitalism!” It makes me nauseous.”

    Clearly the very LAST thing either of those two are is supporters of individual rights and capitalism – and hearing them say so IS disgusting. But there is one positive aspect to it: apparently both feel the need to pay lip service to and PRETEND that they are supporters of both. That says something not about them but about their reading of the American public. So long as authoritarian statists such as them have to pay lip service to individual rights, we still have a chance. But watch out if it ever gets to the point they no longer feel that is necessary.

    If we ever get to the point where politicians who DO argue for capitalism no longer feel the need to pay homage to altruism, we will know that we are on our way to better times. And when people such as Hillary Clinton and Reich no longer feel the need to pretend to be concerned about freedom and rights , it will probably be too late.

  • dismuke

    “New York Times columnist Paul Krugman today addresses in passing the use of “socialist” as a substitute for “liberal,” in a column otherwise ostensibly devoted to those “crazies” who hold and attend tea parties”

    I just checked that column out. That Krugman is a piece of work.

    He says the tea parties are the subject of “considerable mockery.” By whom? By Leftist bloggers and fellow Walter Duranty media hacks? That is supposed to constitute and argument against the tea parties – that a bunch of Lefties make fun of them? People who are concerned about authoritarianism and taxation are supposed to pull up and fold because of that? I suspect that this is projection on his part. One thing Leftists cannot STAND is being subjected to ridicule and being laughed at.

    Krugman talks about right wing conspiracy theories from the early days of the Clinton administration accusing them of being murders – as if those are somehow LESS bizarre than the conspiracy theories we heard from his pals during the Bush term. And he lies about Limbaugh being part of such theories – I remember very well that the right wing kooks at the time were VERY upset that Limbaugh refused to give publicity to them on his program and considered him a sell out.

    And this little gem beats all: “the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects.” HUH? Even if that were true – which it isn’t – well, pot, kettle, black. That is the Left’s specialty in trade? Exactly what was the entire Cindy Sheehan spectacle of the past few years? Exactly what is ANY Leftist protest or demonstration (which are still given coverage even when Walter Duranty Meida personnel covering the event outnumber actual protesters)?

    Of course, transparent hypocrisy and having “some nerve” is nothing new for Leftist hacks such as Krugman. What else would one expect from the propaganda rag that gave the world Walter Duranty?

    The good news is that New York City’s number three circulation newspaper is having to fight for its very survival and is in a financial downward spiral. Yes – the Times is in THIRD PLACE when it comes to LOCAL circulation, or at least it was according to the latest numbers I was able to find on the web and has been so for awhile. It is the largest paper in New York ONLY when one includes its NATIONAL circulation. Of course, the Times response to that is it might have a smaller circulation but it offers advertisers a more affluent “upscale” audience. Well, they won’t for long after, with the full, enthusiastic support of the Times, the affluent are targeted, punished and made to go away.

  • dismuke

    “Unfortunately, history (Weimar Germany) indicates that as the evil gets bolder, the moderates go “deer in the headlights” and become less and less relevant as ballast.”

    I think that is certainly true once one gets past a certain point. My hope is that we are not yet at that point. And one sign that we might not be is that there ARE people with public voices who, despite whatever flaws they may have, ARE starting to speak up about it. And, of course, we DO have the tea party phenomenon, which I consider to be a good sign that it is still not too late. Did anything even similar exist in Weimar? Didn’t Hitler’s most vocal opposition come from COMMUNISTS – who of course were really no different except for their proposed victims? Was there any significant opposition to Hitler on grounds that he was a statist and an authoritarian?

    Unfortunately, you are probably right when it comes to those who are in the “liberal” camp. Liberals have been an endangered species for a while, having been inbred with the Leftists. But I still hold out hope for at least some among those who consider themselves “moderates” as a result of either not paying attention or because they find it the path of least resistance. Not that people holding political views because they are a path of least resistance is a positive sign. But there are some people who do take that approach on things that they consider of lesser importance but still maintain a certain degree of integrity on the things that matter most to them. Perhaps if such people can be made to understand what is at stake, they will pay more attention and be less inclined to “go with the flow.”

  • CNN Reporter Blanks Out On Camera — The New Clarion

    […] why anybody who grasps at whatever level the connection between big government and tyranny should call a spade a spade as opposed to self-censoring one’s statements  in order to conform to the unspoken […]