Monday, January 12, 2009

Is History Repeating Itself?

I have been an amateur student of history all my life and I can’t help but think that there is something of a “perfect storm,” not just on the horizon, but battering at the foundations of our Republic. It’s not just the multiple facets of the present financial crisis; they are but singularities within a much larger disaster that is hurtling our way.

I have had a sense from the very beginning of this election season that it would culminate in events of unforeseen proportions. To me the whole process was weighed down with all the distinctiveness of some very ugly history repeating itself. There has been a perilous historical trend in motion for the last twenty years and its pace has only been accelerated in the last two years, and indeed in the last few months.

We wonder why we struggle to compete in the world economy when for the last twenty-five years we have pursued a policy of de-industrialization, have implemented regulatory and litigation systems that strangle all potential for growth, all in the name of environmental globalism. Add to this mix the ballast of an old and bloated Union bureaucracy more interested in securing its own perks than protecting its member’s jobs and future. It’s akin to having dropped anchor and wondering why we can’t turn into the wind never mind make headway against the storm. I have to ask, to what end, cui bono?

Under President Clinton Congress birthed the Community Reinvestment Act, requiring that financial institutions make mortgage loans to people any reasonable analysis would have shown could never pay them back. These unserviceable loans were then traded in the market like commodities at unjustifiably inflated values, setting the table for the housing disaster and hundreds of billions in deficit spending. Allowing people to buy homes on what were essentially zero margins is little different from the low margin stock trading that precipitated the stock market crash of 1929. Again, to what end, cui bono? What subterfuge, political agenda, is behind this policy that has now brought us to this precipice?

We have turned our schools into not just the bastions of the teachers unions, but shrines to mediocrity that have systematically dumbed down our children. The idea of American exceptionalism, that very engine of American greatness, has been transformed into socialist propaganda piece on how America has “victimized” all we have interacted with. Our founding documents are no longer taught as the manifestations of the human desire for individual liberty and freedom, the very reasons we are exceptional as a nation and a people, but rather as impediments to hedonism and vague notions of “social justice.”

In such an atmosphere students are taught what to think rather than being taught the arts of writing and critical thinking. At the very least they dare not express critical thought for fear of becoming targeted for social condemnation as being “politically incorrect,” or given bad grades that may jeopardize getting into the college of their choice. Small wonder then, that being considered articulate has become an epithet. It has become all too easy for far too many parents to simply turn their children over to the state. Those parents who do become involved and question what and how their children are being taught or enroll their children in private schools are themselves ostracized as “politically incorrect” and or selfish for wanting better for their children than what the state may provide.

That this failure in our educational systems has become generational is at the very root of why we are no longer a people of divergent opinions in pursuit of furthering a common national interest. Instead we have become a people divided into partisan camps, more concerned with demonizing those on the other side than seeking fulfillment of needs critical to the nation as a whole.

This in turn has led us down the path of litigation and street protest every time there is a close election. Leaving the results of elections to the not so tender mercies of unelected judges, judges we already hold in contempt for legislating their own agendas from the bench, can only lead to the kind of corruption we would expect to see in third world nations. Again I ask, to what end is such policy, cui bono?

It was recently revealed that the Federal Reserve, which exists as a abrogation of Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 5 of the Constitution, and operates without any true oversight by any branch of government, has handed out two trillion dollars in “loans” in the last few months, but feels no obligation to disclose to whom the “loans” were made or what the terms and conditions were. That is the taxpayer’s money not the Federal Reserve’s. This amounts to three times the seven hundred billion dollars we were all told had to be appropriated for the so-called “bailout” back in September. To whom was this loaned? For what purpose are they going to use it? Why is the Federal Reserve refusing to disclose the terms to the Congress never mind the public? Whose signatures are on the authorizing documents?

It is precisely these kinds of actions that are rapidly making a lie of our founding concept that this is a government of “we the people,” who have only loaned our powers to our elected representatives. Yet our eyes remain closed to this theft of our money and our rights.

The multi-faceted financial crisis in the housing market will now inevitably and inexorably merge with the pending bankruptcy of the Social Security and Medicare systems and result in calamity with all the potential to make the suffering of the great depression pale in comparison. Such events will lay bare the inviability of a paper shuffling service economy, proof positive that it is no substitute for a wealth producing industrial economy. Widening international conflict and war will follow as surely as sunrise follows the dawn.

The culmination of our quadrennial election process has now left us with a man as President-elect who the vast majority of us know virtually nothing about, a man whose absence of real life managerial or diplomatic experience is unprecedented in the history of the American Presidency. Presented to the American people as a would be savior, all things to all people, under the empty vagaries of “Hope” and “Change” we have bought ourselves a pig in a poke.

That he himself, along with willing accomplices in much of the news media, have sought to obfuscate or minimize a personal history filled with a litany of Communists, nihilistic anarchistic terrorists and neo-Marxist liberation theologists is perhaps the greatest political fraud ever perpetrated on the American people.

In times of economic uncertainty empty rhetoric about impossible tax cuts and unrealistic endless government benefits makes for an all too easy sell to generations short changed by a politically compromised education system. Rhetoric aside there have been hints of his true agenda. His call for the creation of a civilian national security force as well funded and armed as the military should send chills down the spine of anyone with any knowledge of how demagogues of the past have worked. Both he and his newly selected chief of staff have talked about mandating compulsory community service. Since when has compulsory community service been anything other than part of a sentence for the conviction of a crime? Will failure to enlist in the President-elect’s new legions in and of itself become a crime? Just who or what will these new legions swear their loyalty too?

Such policies, far from uniting people, will only further divide us as a people, leaving large groups not just disenfranchised, but set up as disloyal to the new regime. As the new administration’s policies begin to fail under the weight of an economy over burdened with taxes and regulation and no longer capable of creating real wealth, rather than seeing the failure as systemic to the policies themselves, targets will be sought out on whom to lay the blame for the failure.
This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

And that is only the beginning.

When discussing Nazi Germany we have long been told that “It could never happen here,” as if just repeating that like some sort of mantra would be all it would take to actually prevent it from happening. Don’t teach or try to understand the historical trends that led to it happening, just repeat the mantra. I for one have never been that na├»ve.

I have long hoped that I would never experience what the ordinary German went through in the 1930s. They too were presented with a silver tongued social activist, a rabble-rouser, supposedly up from the streets. Hitler was a man who most Germans knew next to nothing about. They did know that his NSDAP had a history that was replete with shouting down and physically confronting people with whom they disagreed, often with violent results. He forced his way onto the German political stage through oratory skills and empty promises. Just as today the economic situation in 1933 was highly uncertain, people’s jobs and pensions were disappearing, and he was a captivating speaker.

Throughout the elections of 1933 many people and the news media, refused to speak out for fear of retribution from the “brown shirts” of the SA. With the economic situation worsening by the day the NSDAP became the largest party in the Reichstag and Hindenburg had little choice but to appoint Hitler as Chancellor. Then piece by piece the Nazis seized control of and transformed not just the German state but German culture as well. The Party and the State were to be one and the same. The red, black and gold of the traditional flag of German nationalism was replaced with the Nazi Party flag. The Boy Scouts were banned and replaced by compulsory membership in the Hitler Youth where all were inculcated into the new cult of personality. Government employees had to take oaths of office swearing loyalty not to the German Constitution, but to Hitler.

The sublation was complete; the rule of law was gone, replaced with the rule of men. Hegel’s Aufhebung was made manifest in the Fuhrer Stat of Third Reich.

So how could the German culture that had produced the likes of Beethoven, Schiller and Goethe and the German people, perhaps the best educated in all of Europe at the time, fall victim to a con artist like Hitler? The answer was given by Fritz Morstien Marx in his “Government in the Third Reich” published in 1936.

“The movement drew its strength from all those quarters that had come to identify bad times, or what had caused them, with the existing regime. The …. vote was in the first line a protest vote – not a national endorsement …. , but the emotional response to a man …. , a man propelled by a holy obsession, whose thunderbolt oratory made throngs sweat from psychic strain. The very impact of his ringing voice, of his unpretentious language, carried conviction. This was no ‘platform technique,’ or artful political electrotherapy, but the explosive outburst of faith. …. His was an argument for a better and richer life – an argument made invincible not so much through genuine eloquence, untiring repetition, and crude simplicity of presentation, but rather through the people’s keen realization of national and individual insecurity.”

The confluence of campaign promises between the NSDAP and Obama are stunning if you take the time to put them side by side; jobs for the jobless, money for the moneyless, and bailouts for the military-industrial complex. Blatant indoctrination of the youth, gun control, universal health care, and promising renewed pride and respect again in and for the country across the world.

Both campaigns succeeded with the aid of a compliant media. The alleged premise of both campaigns was the need for social justice and . . . changes. And the people surely got what they voted for, both then and now.

It’s all in the history books. Those Germans who objected in 1933 were shouted down, ridiculed, made the butt of jokes, and later disappeared into the Concentration Camps. When Sir Winston Churchill had the temerity to point out the danger of the Nazi menace in the House of Lords, he was met with a chorus of boos and labeled a troublemaker. Seams he was right, however.

This is not to say that our President-elect is going to suddenly transform into murderous sociopath, or that we need worry about being rounded up for simply opposing his policies. I am merely pointing out eerie parallels between the times and methods employed.

We do need to worry about the likes of a Congressional re-imposition of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” and then having it used in an arbitrary manner to stifle the public voice of those who disagree with the new administration. We do need to worry about compulsory public service being used to further partisan political agendas. We do need to worry about a “Domestic Security Force” being used to the same ends and in violation of posse commentates laws. We do need to worry about a “crisis situation,” real or manufactured, or “national security concerns”, real or imagined, being used as the excuse to impose any or all of the above without the consent of the people.

All would be done with the “best of intentions,” completely ignoring any law of unintended consequence or that the road to Hell is paved with them. We will be find ourselves eyeball to eyeball with what in the '30's was refered to as "Fascism with a human face."

I like to consider myself as practical, and at least objective within my own limitations, so I can either believe what evidence I have pieced together and what the historical records of some 75 years ago tells me or I can hope that my conclusions are wrong or misplaced, go back about my personal business and ignore what I think is about to transpire.

So dismiss me if you will, laugh at me if you must, think me a fool, sadly misinformed, or both. Perhaps so, but those of you who know me, know I have never been afraid to stand up and tell people exactly what I believe, and why I believe it.

I have never been so afraid for our Republic and its future as I am now. I pray I am wrong. I fear that I am not.

Just For Starters

Now that blogging has become the medium of choice for may I guess now its my turn to put in my two cents worth. As a life long Republican most of what I post here will of course be from the political right, not always but most of the time. Any and all who come across my postings are of course welcome to comment. I only ask that if you disagree with my commentary is that you remain civil. I will do my best to remain so myself.

The name of this blog comes from a no longer published newspaper from my old home town in Massachusetts that was owned and published by an old family friend and long time leader of the Republican Party. I hope you all enjoy what you find here.