Various comments

What follows are some comments that did or did not get posted at various places, including Facebook. I think that they all have sufficiently implied context to make sense standing alone:

The only true and proper forum for American democracy is the marketplace. It is the one true legislature. It is there that individuals freely give value for value received. The market is the people as they are: individual, free, unique, driven to support and sustain their own households. The market is the “more democracy” that is the solution to the problems of democracy. It is in its political form that democracy runs out of control, where it ceaselessly flirts with tyranny. That’s why the Founders created a limited government with limited powers specifically enumerated, and at that still rested their hopes with virtue. When the limits are breached, and some men arrange to vote themselves a living, the game is up. When, for instance, public employee unions learned how to insulate themselves from the market by means of political influence, and how to whipsaw taxpayers by purveying state monopolized services and fixing prices for them, prices paid with compulsory tax funding, they became a distinct class of the state, and as such they are creatures of power and state force. And without the market things neither work properly nor are they priced at their market value. Public schools don’t fail because they are underfunded, they fail because they are public.

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Skipping through the element here that wants to whip up another round of collective guilt for the Germans (which is a pointless exercise even where in some areas it is true) this is not a specifically German phenomenon. It had already happened in a slightly different form in Italy with Mussolini, in Russia with Lenin and Stalin, then with Mao, the “Great Helmsman” of murder, in China, followed by Ho in Vietnam (no hero, a murderer of his people), Castro (a Hollywood favorite), and Pol Pot in Cambodia. Kim Jong Il holds the current title, for the deadliest personality cult, in North Korea. Hugo Chavez has all the ingredients, but he’s just creating a society pre-disposed to murder, not necessarily ordering murder himself, yet. Someone called Chavez the Mussolini of our generation, and I concur. My point is that it didn’t start with Hitler, nor did it end with him. The Nazis just had the highest production values for their film footage. Even in Hussein’s Iraq and current Syria, the Arab nationalist ideology of Ba’athism was concocted by two Arabs from France on the model of Nazism, though Saddam, to show his diversity, was himself also quite fond of Stalin’s methods and was, of course, a Soviet client until that latter outfit fell apart.

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What do you think of Marxism? A mish-mash of bad scholarship, false assumptions, and lies driven forward by the mass energy of men who have ceased to think. It began before Marx, who later became its chief formulator, in the rotten murderous bowels of the French Revolution and can be glimpsed in the equally rotten ideas of Auguste Comte. And, in the “ideas have consequences” department, Marxism led to the greatest state death machines in history, particularly but not exclusively under Lenin, Stalin and Mao, as those fiends tried to force the size ten foot of humanity into the size six shoe of socialism. Marxism is also obviously infectious in the mimetic sense and, at the end of the day, frankly evil. Its “dead virus” forms, Fabianism and social democracy, kill societies more slowly, over generations, and do so at great cost to the character and personhood of individuals. But it seems pretty clear that it can only take root when a great society (a civilization) has already begun to lose, or has already lost, its great vital and creative impulse.

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Since Marxists often try to isolate Nazism and Fascism as the enemy and Marxism’s opposite, it would be wise to point out that Nazism and Fascism were competing forms of socialism and hardly the opposite of Marxism at all. Mussolini was a born and bred socialist, and one of the leading socialist intellectuals in Italy before he founded his fascist enterprise. Hitler was likewise a collectivist and socialist who famously relied on a pagan nationalism that mixed a mythological German past with a populist futurism, and his chief offense to Marxism was his attempt to steal the revolutionary football from it. He actually admired communism for its ruthlessness and German communists were easy converts to Nazism.

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The Ottomans were the ruling household of Near East Islam, the variety at war with the West (as opposed to the variety that conquered the Indian subcontinent), and the Ottoman household was of course Turk (originally a war band from the Eurasian steppes who adopted Islam), but the Ottoman Empire extended through most of what we call the Middle East (aka Near East) and included most of the Arab lands and stretched into southeast Europe where you see some of the remnants in the Balkans and Albania with concentrated native Muslim populations. Modern Turkey, founded from the core ruins of the Ottoman Empire by Kemal Attaturk after WWI as a secular state is now moving in the direction of Islamization (It has an Islamist government). For instance, it has switched from being a supporter of Israel to getting close to being an enemy and at the least no longer a supporter. The current shape of Islamic hostility toward the West is asymmetrical and obviously dangerous and inhabits radical enclaves that stretch across what I call “Pan Islamia” from Morocco to Indonesia with considerable reach into European cities (including Scandanavia) as well as sub-Saharan Africa (e.g., Nigeria). “Our friends the Saudis” fund a great deal of the Wahhabist element that breeds contempt for the West. Asymmetrical warfare is what you get from enemies who cannot fight you on a conventional battlefield, and it can include everything up to nuclear and biological warfare, but there is also a political and propaganda element to it.

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Natural rights. If you get what they are it will not only clear your head up, but probably your sinuses too. Because they will clear the snot out of you really fast. They start with your right to your own life, which extends by direct implication to the rights of others to their own lives. You have in your right to liberty a right to be charitable, but not a right to charity.

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The “knowledge problem” as an economic phenomenon conceptualized by Hayek is probably the best explanation for why you should quite literally mind your own damn business. It explains why Bill Gates or Warren Buffet are absolute geniuses about their enterprises but total morons when it comes to telling other people what to do. That’s the “knowledge problem”: There is simply no way for one person to decode, much less instruct, the buy-sell decisions of another.

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