Seth Segal of BigLeaguePolitics interviews Ilana Mercer about paleolibertarianism.
BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: Being a preeminent paleolibertarian thinker today, how would you define paleolibertarianism and how does it differ from standard paleoconservatism?
ILANA MERCER: First, let’s define libertarianism. Libertarianism is concerned with the ethics of the use of force. Nothing more. This, and this alone, is the ambit of libertarian law.
All libertarians must respect the non-aggression axiom. It means that libertarians don’t initiate aggression against non-aggressors, not even if it’s “for their own good,” as neoconservatives like to cast America’s recreational wars of choice. If someone claims to be a libertarian and also supports the proxy bombing of Yemen, or supported the war in Iraq; he is not a libertarian, plain and simple.
As to paleolibertarianism, in particular, and this is my take, so some will disagree. It’s how I’ve applied certain principles week-in, week-out, for almost two decades. In my definition, a paleolibertarian grasps that ordered liberty has a civilizational dimension, stripped of which the just-mentioned libertarian non-aggression principle, by which all decent people should live, will crumble. It won’t endure.
Ironically, paleoconservatives have no issue grasping the cultural and civilizational dimensions of ordered liberty—namely that the libertarian non-aggression principle is peculiar to the West and won’t survive once western civilization is no more. Which is why, for paleoconservatives, immigration restrictionism is a no-brainer.
By the way, the statement is not meant to be culturally chauvinistic. There are indigenous tribal people (say, in Brazil) who’re peaceful and pastoral. I mourn their culture’s near-extinction, as well. Where such extinction has been brought about by the West’s chauvinism—it must be condemned.
In any event, paleoconservatives would typically grasp that libertarian principles would not endure in certain cultures. Libertarians, on the other hand, have had a hard time linking civilizational issues with the libertarian axiom of non-aggression. What do I mean? Libertarians will chant, “Free markets, free minds, the free movement of people.” Let’s have ‘em all.
They don’t always explain how these principles are to endure once Western societies are overrun by individuals from cultures which don’t uphold these principles. (From the fact that our own societies are turning out liberty hating individuals—it doesn’t follow we should import more.)
On the other hand, paleoconservatives are far less focused on the state as an evil actor and often appear more concerned with culture wars: gay marriage, cannabis, pornography, abortion. The paleolibertarian rejects any attempts by the state to legislate around the issues of:
Abortion: Completely defund it is our position.
Gay marriage: Solemnize your marriage in private churches, please.
Drugs: Legalize them and stop the hemispheric Drug War.
Wage walls, not wars.
As a creedal paleolibertarian, I see the road to freedom, primarily, in beating back The State, so that individuals can regain freedom of association, dominion over property, the absolute right of self-defense; the right to hire, fire, and, generally, associate at will.
Foreign policy—specifically, no meddling in the affairs of other countries!—is the be all and end all of both paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism. Don’t let any of the radio or TV personalities fool you. If he or she liked, justified or rationalized Bush’s Middle-Eastern wars or Trump’s dabbling in Niger—he or she is no paleolibertarian. (Tucker Carlson is a fabulous paleoconservative.)
Both variants are for small government and big society. Again, more so than the paleoconservative, the paleolibertarian is radical in his anti-state position, sometimes even advocating a stateless society.
BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: In what ways does your political thought differ from CATO institute libertarianism?
ILANA MERCER: CATO’s political thought is left-libertarianism. I call it “lite libertarianism.” Lite libertarians equate liberty with abstract, lofty ideas, which—against all evidence, historic and other—purport to work magically when applied to every individual in the world.
You can say that the crucial difference between lite libertarians and the Right kind is that, to the former, the idea of liberty is propositional–a value, an idea that’s untethered from the realities of history, hierarchy, biology, tradition, religion, culture, values.
Bluntly put, the principles of American freedoms were not developed by progressive, libertine ladies, marching in pussy dunce caps; by the suffragettes or the LGBTQ community and their program. Are those significant facts? You bet!
The garden variety libertarian, CATO and Reason types, see liberty as a shared, universal quest. They appear to think that inside every Afghani or Yemeni or Iraqi is a Jeffersonian waiting to break free.
In essence, this left-libertarianism is one that underplays, underestimates or just plain refuses to recognize what I just referred to as “liberty’s civilizational dimension.”
Notice how similar are left-libertarians to neoconservatives in the tendencies just described.
INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY. Lite libertarians also tend to blame governments, principally, less so the individual, for barbarism in certain parts of the world. Your regular libertarian’s attitude to personal wrongdoing often runs to what I’ve characterized as a form of social determinism: “The state made me do it.”
In other words, if for the sins of man the left is inclined to blame society; a lot of libertarians fall into the same methodological error when they implicate the State. The conservatively minded paleolibertarian will recognize humanity’s innate, biblical capacity for evil.
Both factions (left-libertarians and neoconservatives) are short on punishment, individual responsibility and agency, all preconditions for ordered liberty.
RACISM. And this is vitally important: A lot of establishment libertarians have joined the neoconservative and neoliberal establishments in the habit of sniffing out racists. Sniffing out racists is an absolute no-no for any and all self-respecting libertarians.
True libertarians don’t, or should not, prosecute thought crimes or persecute thought “criminals.” Period.
BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: Which conservative thinkers resonate most with your beliefs?
ILANA MERCER: John Roanoke, John Calhoun, Edmond Burke, Russell Kirk, Frank Chodorov, Felix Morley, James Burnham (once a leftist), Paul Gottfried, Clyde Wilson, Samuel P. Huntington.
This interview was previously published on November 23, 2018.
In the United States, even Customs and Border Protection apologizes for doing its job. CBP is supposed to “protects the public from dangerous people and materials attempting to cross the border …”
On one of the networks that wants all people, dangerous or not, to cross the southern border into the U.S., if they so desire, a CBP officer was bending over backwards to appear like a “global force for good.” (That, believe it or not, was the U.S. Navy’s motto, between 2009 and 2015!)
Tear-gassing rubble-rousing migrants, who were charging his officers and breaching the U.S.-Mexico border, was in the service of protecting … the migrants, especially The Children. Perhaps that’s in the oath of office a CBP officer takes?
Law enforcement officers entrusted with the safety of the American people struggle to articulate pride in executing their mandate. Attached to the expected self-loathing repartee is, invariably, a declaration of loyalties to The World. (Of a piece with this confused loyalty is the typical argument made by the typical TV talker: Illegal immigration must be stopped, so as to … save migrants from the journey’s depredations.)
It’s instructive to contrast the apologetics around defending the U.S. border and the American people with the absence of apologies on Israel’s borders.
In May this year, “Tens of thousands of Palestinians massed near Gaza’s border fence, threatening to ‘return’ to the lands their forefathers lost when Israel was created in 1948.” They wanted in.
Israeli soldiers responded not with tear gas, but with bullets. They killed over 60 protesters who threatened to breach the border. The number has since risen to 120.
Most of us, this writer included, would condemn such excessive force.
Yet surprisingly, the Economist—a liberal, pro-Palestinian, most excellent weekly--pondered but briefly and nonchalantly about Israel’s army having used excessive force, concluding almost callously: “Every state has a right to defend its borders.”
This from the very same editorialists who never tire of protesting any disruption in the holy quest of weary columns of Christ-like caravanners, planning to defy the U.S. government, by illegally entering the United States of America.
Moreover, calmly and with no histrionics does the Economist report, matter-of-fact, that “Any Palestinian, even a farmer, coming within 300 meters of the fence [with Gaza] is liable to be shot.”
And while the august magazine has declaimed dutifully that “Israel must answer for the deaths in Gaza,” its writers have also evinced a good deal of impatience with the M.O.P.E (Most Oppressed People Ever), stating: “It is time for Palestinians to take up genuine non-violence.”
In other words, grow up. The stone throwing was cute when your “Struggle” was in its infancy.
For the longest time, the world raged about Israel’s refusal to accept the necessity for its citizens to be blown to bits or be overrun demographically (by people who’re “only seeking a better life” for themselves and their posterity).
Israel paid no attention to the liberal lunatics aligned against its oft-excessive habit of defending its citizenry’s rights.
In fact, the Jewish State has recently gone one better. Israel has automated the process of defense, creating a set of "auto kill-zones” “by networking together remote-controlled machine guns, ground sensors, and drones along the 60-kilometer border.”
Bluntly put, Israel has deployed gizmos to Gaza; “Robo-Snipers” instead of flesh-and-blood men and women.
The nation’s “19- and 20-year-old soldiers” are still deployed to the front—but virtually. They sit at a safe distance “behind computer screens,” waiting on “approval by a commanding officer” before “pushing the kill button."
The IDF Southern Command’s rules of engagement along the Gaza fence are, shall we say, particularly aggressive.
Oh, it’s still pro forma for the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council to open every one of their sessions with a rote condemnation of Israel’s actions on its borders and everywhere else.
But even the U.N., a cesspit of venality and stupidity, has gotten the message over the decades. And it is this:
Israel's army is not going to put down its guns and mobilize an army of stone throwers to throw stones back at the persecuted Arabs, thereby not committing the crime of using excessive force.
Israel’s action on its borders is not unlike action taken by the U.S. Armed Forces in defense of borders not our own.
This article was was previously published at IlanaMercer.com on Dec. 6, 2018.
“We are one American nation. We must unite. We have to unify. We have to come together.”
Every faction in our irreparably fractious and fragmented country calls for unity, following events that demonstrate just how disunited the United States of America is.
They all do it.
Calls for unity come loudest from the party of submissives—the GOP. The domineering party is less guilt-ridden about this elusive thing called “unity.”
Democrats just blame Republicans for its absence in our polity and throughout our increasingly uncivil society.
These days, appeals to unity are made by opportunistic politicians, who drape themselves in the noble toga of patriotism on tragic occasions. The latest in many was the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre of Oct. 27.
In the name of honesty—and comity—let us quit the unity charade.
The U.S. is not united. Neither is America a nation in any meaningful way. It hasn’t been one for a long time.
Consider: In the late 1780s, Americans debated whether to nationalize government or keep it a decentralized affair. The discussion was one in which all early Americans partook, nationwide.
Think about the degree of unity that feat required!
The eternal verities of republicanism and limited government were understood and accepted by all Americans. The young nation’s concerns centered on the fate of freedom after Philadelphia. (The Anti-Federalists, the unsung heroes who gave us the Bill of Rights, turned out to be right.)
Around the time The Federalist Papers were published in American newspapers—Americans were a nation in earnest.
For it takes a nation to pull that off—to debate a set of philosophical and theoretical principles like those instantiated in these Papers, Federalist and Anti-Federalist.
The glue that allowed so lofty a debate throughout early America is gone (not to mention the necessary gray matter).
The Tower of Babel that is 21st century America is home not to 6 million but 327 million alienated, antagonistic individuals, diverse to the point of distrust.
Each year, elites pile atop this mass of seething antagonists another million newcomers.
Democrats, who control the intellectual means of production—schools, social media, TV, the print press, the publishing houses, think tanks, the Permanent Bureaucracy—they insist mass immigration comports with “who we are as a people.”
The last is yet another hollow slogan—much like the unity riff.
Modern-day Americans, some of whose ancestors were brought together by a “profound intellectual and emotional attachment to individual liberty,”possess little by way of social capital to unify them.
We don’t share the same core values, morals or mannerisms. We don’t revere the same heroes. We tear down other countrymen’s historic monuments. (As governor, Nikki Haley, hardly a member of The Mob, led the charge in South Carolina.) We display different regalia. Our attachment to one language, English, is tenuous at best, and waning.
Surveys suggest Americans today would rather avoid one another, choosing instead to hunker down unhappily in front of the telly.
As Americans, what unites us most is our passion for, and patterns of, consumption. America is an economy, not a nation.
Unite we Americans do over the state of our sovereign debt—it’s bad! But not over what it means to be a sovereign people.
For half the country, sovereignty entails hordes of defiant scofflaws breaking the border. For the other half, sovereignty means borders. (And some respite, maybe even a moratorium on the incessant influx.)
People become rightfully resentful of others when forced into relationships against their will.
Signs of the attendant, endemic civil unrest are already evident.
Don’t knock the cliché. Good fences (or walls) do indeed make good neighbors, within countries and between them.
A sense of security and sovereignty are essential to the health of individuals and nations alike. Developmental health in kids is predicated on respecting their bodies and their boundaries.
Wait a sec: Kids need boundaries but the communities in which they reside don’t?
Why do boundaries or borders become cardinal (racist) sins when staked out by communities? And why is trespass a praiseworthy creed?
A peaceful society is one founded on voluntary associations, not forced integration.
By extension, if the Christian pastry man doesn’t care to bake a cake for a gay wedding; leave him be. There are plenty cake-makers who’ll cater for your event.
Where’s the morality and munificence in compelling a service from an unwilling service provider? Servitude not service iswhat the gay master is extracting from the baker subordinate.
People are harming nobody when they withhold their wares. It’s their right. The baker owns his labor and his property. Leave him alone.
Currently, our overlords in Deep State D.C. insist that because we’re so rich and innately mean, they should decide what to do with the lion’s share of our earnings (including to distribute it to the world.)
No need. Americans are terribly generous—and most generous when left to choose their charities.
We are most generous to strangers in need when they, in return, don’t encroach on our space, and respect the natural rights we have in our person and property.
Besides, people get mad, even murderous, when Big Brother tells them who to shower with brotherly love.
An uneasy co-existence, not coerced unity, is the only hope for calm in our country.
Respectful disunity is the only way forward.
This piece was previously published in the Unz Review on November 1, 2018.
The latest “caravan” community planning to crash borderless America is not part of Latin America’s problems; it’s escaping them. So say America’s low-IQ media.
And Latin America’s problems are legion.
The region, “which boasts just eight percent of the world’s population, accounts for 38 percent of its criminal killing.” Last year, the “butcher’s bill … came to around 140,000 people … more than have been lost in wars around the world in almost all of the years this century. And the crime is becoming ever more common.”
So writes the Economist earlier this year, in an exposé aimed at “shining light on Latin America’s homicide epidemic.”
As is generally the case with this august magazine, the shoe-leather journalism is high-IQ, but the deductions drawn therefrom positively retarded.
Tucked into these frightening facts about a killer culture is a timid admission: The Problem—Latin America’s murder trends—could be exported to the neighbors.
How? Do tell. By osmosis? Perhaps by “caravan”? Liberal louts never say.
By the by—and just so you know—Latin America’s crisis of crime “has been mounting.” El Salvador, for instance, had the highest murder rate in the world: 81 to 100,000. By the early 2010s, “the bloodshed in some cities had reached a pitch.”
Referred to by demographers also as a “youth bulge,” this “demographic bulge” is the crème de la crème comprising the caravans. Their exodus is from the slum-dog cities of Latin American, where the crime is heavily concentrated, and where “people are crowded into … shantytowns and favelas.”
Our young, strong caravanners hail from a culture of “extortion gangs,” “drug-trafficking,” badly trained, “often corrupt” police and prosecutors, marred by general “institutional weaknesses.”
War-like conditions in their countries force “Latin American governments [to] spend an average of five percent of their budgets on internal security—twice as much as developed countries.”
Since I reported on El Salvador’s murder rate … a paragraph or two back, the murder rate in that country has “rocketed to 104 per 100,000 people.”
Such is the power of the war lords there, that stationing “soldiers on the streets” and throwing “thousands of gang members into prison” only served to increase crime.
Only— and only—when government offered bribes to “El Salvador’s three main gangs” did murders halve “almost overnight.” The government gave “imprisoned leaders luxuries like flat-screen televisions and fried chicken if they would tell their subordinates to stop killing each other.”
But then “the gangs began to see violence as a bargaining tool,” and the peace died.
What do you know? Since telling you about El Salvador’s criminal pinnacle, a mere paragraph ago, Venezuela did one better. (Maybe the Economist isn’t so high-IQ, as the rather randomly yoked-together data I relay here are its own).
“Venezuela now has the world’s highest homicide rate.” The country “stopped releasing murder statistics altogether in 2005,” because these make South Africa seem an oasis of peace and prosperity.
To fanfare, Colombia announced the achievement of “a murder rate of 24 per 100,000 people, its lowest in 42 years,” in 2017. In the United States, it’s still 4.9 per 100,000, although in some spots, murder rates are higher than in South Africa.
When they aren’t in hiding, Latin-American leaders and their international helpers try to excite a reverence for life among their people with sexy sounding campaigns. “Value life” is one. Another is “Instinct for Life.” These attempts haven’t taken.
Still, when the most hated man in America, President Donald J. Trump, questioned the benefits to the U.S. of immigration from what he called "shithole" countries, the low-IQ media lost it.
The president’s brutal honesty masks a more vexing question:
What makes a country, the place or the people? Does "the country" make the man or does the man make the country?
To listen to the deformed logic of the president's detractors, it's the former: The "country" makes the man. No sooner will these Latin-American migrants crash into our borderless country—than the process of cultural and philosophical osmosis will begin. Big time.
In no time will American probity and productivity become second nature to the newcomers.
Quite the reverse.
Having chronicled and analyzed the fate of the dying Christian civilization at the tip of Africa, allow me to sound the alarm, straight from a book that predicted the demise of South Africa, due to the same, shared flippant attitude toward human capital:
“Human action is the ultimate adjudicator of a human being's worth. The aggregate action of many human beings acting in concert is what makes or breaks a society. Overall, American society is superior to assorted African [and Latin American] societies because America is [still] inhabited by the kind of individuals who make possible a thriving civil society.” (“Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” pp. 161-162, 2011.)
Put differently, it is the individual who creates the collective, not the other way around. The Man makes the country what it is.
South Africa ceased being great once enough good people were expunged from state and civil society.
The tipping point is coming. A sufficient number of bad people admitted into the Unites States of America will make America great no more.
One of many cringe-making moments in Christine Blasey Ford’s protracted complaint before the Senate Judiciary Committee—and the country—was an affectation-dripping reference to her hippocampus.
“Indelible in the hippocampus” was the memory of supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulting her, some 36 years back, asserted Ford.
With that, the good “doctor” was making a false appeal to scientific authority. Ford had just planted a falsity in the nation’s collective consciousness. The accuser was demanding that the country believe her and her hippocampus.
All nonsense on stilts.
We want to believe that our minds record the events of our lives meticulously, and that buried in the permafrost of our brain, perfectly preserved, is the key to our woes.
Unfortunately, scientific research negates the notion that forgotten memories exist somewhere in the brain and can be accessed in pristine form.
Granted, we don’t know whether She Who Must Never Be Questioned recovered Judge Kavanaugh memory in therapy. That’s because, well, she must never be questioned.
Questioning the left’s latest sacred cow is forbidden. Bovine Republicans blindly obey.
I happened to have covered and thoroughly researched the “recovered memory ruse,” in 1999. Against the prevailing trend, one of my own heroes is not Christine Ford, but a leading world authority on memory, Elizabeth Loftus.
Professor Loftus, who straddles two professorships—one in law, the other in psychology—had come to Vancouver, British Columbia, to testify on behalf of a dedicated Richmond educator, a good man, who had endured three trials, the loss of a career and financial ruin because of the Crown's attempts to convict him of sexual assault based on memories recovered in therapy.
I attended. I was awed.
Over decades of research, Loftus has planted many a false memory in the minds of her research subjects, sometimes with the aid of nothing more than a conversation peppered with some suggestions.
"A tone of voice, a phrasing of a question, subtle non-verbal signals, and expressions of boredom, impatience or fascination"—these are often all it takes to plant suggestions in the malleable human mind.
Loftus does not question the prevalence of the sexual abuse of children or the existence of traumatic memories. What she questions are memories commonly referred to as repressed: "Memories that did not exist until someone went looking for them."
Suffice it to say, that the memory recovery process is a therapeutic confidence trick that has wreaked havoc in thousands of lives.
Moreover, repression, the sagging concept that props up the recovered memory theory is without any cogent scientific support. The 30-odd studies the recovery movement uses as proof for repression do not make the grade. These studies are retrospective memory studies which rely on self-reports with no independent, factual corroboration of information.
Sound familiar? Dr. Ford (and her hippocampus), anyone?
Even in the absence of outside influence, memory deteriorates rapidly. "As time goes by," writes Loftus in her seminal book, “The Myth of Repressed Memories,” “the weakened memories are increasingly vulnerable to post-event information."
What we see on TV, read and hear about events is incorporated into memory to create an unreliable amalgam of fact and fiction.
After an extensive investigation, the British Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a ban prohibiting its members from using any method to recover memories of child abuse. Memory retrieval techniques, say the British guidelines, are dangerous methods of persuasion.
"Recovered memories," inveighed Alan Gold, then president of the Canadian Criminal Lawyers Association, "are joining electroshock, lobotomies and other psychiatric malpractice in the historical dustbin."
Not that you’d know it from the current climate of sexual hysteria, but the courts in the U.S. had responded as well by ruling to suppress the admission of all evidence remembered under therapy.
Altogether it seems as clear in 2018, as it was in 1999: Memories that have been excavated during therapy have no place in a court of law. Or, for that matter, in a Senate Committee that shapes the very same justice system.
Note: This piece is also published on Ilana Mercer.com.
By the time this column goes to press, Christine Blah-Blah Ford will have appeared before the coven once considered the greatest deliberative body in the world: The United States Senate.
At the time of writing, however – on the eve of a hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee to ascertain the veracity of Blasey Ford’s sexual assault claim against Judge Brett Kavanaugh – I hazard that voter distrust in the Republicans will prove justified.
True to type, Republicans will deliver a disaster to their supporters – to those banking on the confirmation of another conservative to the Supreme Court bench.
To question the two adversaries, the psychology professor versus the Supreme Court nominee, the Republicans chose an unknown, unremarkable quantity – a Phoenix-based prosecutor named Rachel Mitchell. Mitchell heads the Special Victims Division of Maricopa County, which consists of “sex-crimes and family-violence bureaus.”
This slipshod selection seemed forensically tailored to Judge Kavanaugh’s alleged crime. It almost suggested Republicans believe such a crime had occurred. Or, worse: These slithering opportunistic reptiles (with apologies to the reptile community) must feel politically compelled to conduct themselves as if Kavanaugh were indeed culpable.
Days before the hearing, this writer had warned that the Republicans did not have the male bits to defend Kavanaugh themselves: “With their choice of sex-crimes prosecutor Mitchell to quiz Brett Kavanaugh and his nemesis, what are Republicans saying? That they think a sex crime occurred?”
A better choice would have been Olivia Benson, leading lady on TV’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Actress Mariska Hargitay would’ve put on a better show than Mitchell and consulted with sharper legal minds for her script. Hargitay is a liberal, but she’s a pro.
Mitchell, a humdrum, minor state functionary, was unlikely to effect a cross examination for the ages – which is what was required if Brett Kavanaugh was to have a fair shake.
For his part, Kavanaugh is oddly obtuse for one who is said to be such a great jurist. Meek, mild and emotional, he does not seem up to the task of defending himself.
Had the Republicans, also the laggards who dominate the Judiciary Committee, chosen to meaningfully fight for their candidate, they might have opted for one of two dazzling legal scholars. (Please, gentle reader, do not, in the same breath, mention TV judge Andrew Napolitano. Napolitano is a left-libertarian mediocrity who, predictably, has taken the left’s position on the violence-against-women sub-science.)
Jonathan Turley, for one. Now there’s a fine choice for the cross examination that never was.
Another is Alan Dershowitz. A civil libertarian, Dershowitz is now emeritus professor at Harvard Law School, having taught there for 50 years.
Both Turley and Dershowitz are liberal. Both are brilliant. Both would have probably done the cross pro bono.
A fixture on television, Turley, professor at George Washington University, had suggested politely that Kavanaugh was not an intellect of Neil Gorsuch’s order.
As exemplars of the “big fierce minds” Americans are unlikely to see on the Court, Turley has cited Richard Posner and Robert Bork, while candidly pointing out that Kavanaugh was not of the same caliber.
As a rule, “Supreme Court nominees … are not especially remarkable in their prior rulings or writings,” wrote Turley. “They are selected largely for their ease of confirmation and other political criteria. Big fierce minds take too much time and energy to confirm, so White House teams look for jurists who ideally have never had an interesting thought or written an interesting thing.”
Consider: Republicans can’t even get a middle-of-the-road mind like Kavanaugh confirmed!
As far as unremarkable goes: Accuser Blasey Ford has certainly distinguished herself in this department.
Other than that she writes as poorly as is expected from an American university professor, and that she speaks like a valley girl (but, alas, doesn’t look like one) – Ford is unremarkable.
But then bad people are often banal.
Since the Senate extravaganza featuring the judge and his accuser were not criminal in nature, Democrats and their pussy-hat harridans have made the case that judge Kavanaugh was not entitled to due process of the law – to be presumed innocent, to be informed of the charges against him, to confront witnesses against him, and enjoy legal representation.
“Look, we’re not in a court of law,” shrieked that monster of a woman, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.
Likewise, to justify their philosophical contempt for American constitutional legal protections, hordes of TV harpies, all baying for Judge Kavanaugh’s blood, relied on the same sub-par “reasoning”:
They were not seeking to convict – the offensive against Kavanaugh was not criminal in nature – therefore, claimed the conga-line of cretins presiding over the lynching, they have the right to sully the man in every way possible.
Not that one expects argument from asses, but there is more than a procedural difference or two at stake here.
Just law, as instantiated in the Bill or Rights, constitutes a declaration of the values shared in a society. We afford a man the presumption of innocence partly because the law instructs us to so do, but mainly because it is the right thing to do.
Underpinning the legal protections afforded to an accused in our adversarial legal system are vital ethical imperatives in which our society is meant to share.
In her initial list of demands “to be heard” (that cliché from a cadre of women that never shuts up), Ford evinced utter contempt for Kavanaugh’s natural, Sixth Amendment confrontation rights.
Blasey Ford had initially demanded of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee that “Brett Kavanaugh be questioned first, before he has the opportunity to hear [her] testimony.”
Among other rights, Sixth Amendment constitutional protections afford defendants the right to confront their accusers and the accusations against them.
Like the sizable mob that supports her – Blasey Ford doesn’t share a fidelity to and a respect for due process of law.
That many Americans no longer believe all are entitled to equality under the law reveals a great deal about the fault lines that mar and scar our country.
Note: This piece was originally published at WND on September 27, 2018.
Adroitly, President Trump has optimized outcomes for the American Worker. His is a labor market like no other.
Long overdue in the U.S., a labor market is one in which firms compete for workers, rather than workers competing for jobs.
“For the first time since data began to be collected in 2000, there are more job openings than there are unemployed workers.” By the Economist’s telling (Jul 12th 2018), “Fully 5.8 million more Americans are in work than in December of 2015.”
Best of all, workers are happier than they’ve been for a long time.
Not so business. For American business, it’s never enough.
Big or small, business is focused on elephantine-like expansion.
Big and small, business is nattering about labor shortages: “Ninety percent of small businesses which are hiring or trying to hire workers report that there are few or no qualified applicants, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.”
With blaring headlines, the megaphones in the financial press are amplifying a message of dissatisfaction:
“The shortage is reaching a ‘critical point’ … A lack of applicants for blue-collar jobs such as trucking and construction has received particular scrutiny, as have states like Iowa where the unemployment rate is especially low (it is just 2.7 percent in the Hawkeye state).”
August 31 saw President Trump sign an executive order meant to further boost small businesses. These will be permitted “to band together to offer 401(k)s.”
Again, nice, but not enough. It never is. A businessman present piped up about “a very tight labor market … causing us a little bit of a problem.”
Contrast this gimme-more-forever-more attitude, with the patriotic perspective of your average Trump supporter: “I’m willing to take my lumps for the good of the country,” a farmer told broadcaster Laura Ingraham. “The Scottish in me says to the death.”
Look, a labor market allows wages to rise and productivity to grow, for unprofitable firms will soon fold when they find they can’t pay enough to attract workers. Scarce resources—labor and capital—are then “put to better use.” …
More crucially, wage gains accrue “to the poorest workers.” As the neoliberal, Trump-hating Economist notes, “Full-time employees at the 10th percentile of the income distribution are earning almost 4 percent more than a year ago.”
Beware; the good times may be short-lived. Trump’s response was Pavlovian. He promised the bitchin businessman to “start looking at, very seriously, merit-based immigration. We have to do it, because we need people.” Read: We don’t have enough fabulous people among a labor force 160-million strong.
This is the conditioned response corporate America has come to expect from Power. Business wants the world as its labor market, because? Fill in the blanks, dear reader.
For its part, government cares a great deal about outsized sectional interests and GDP (gross domestic product) numbers, as churned out by number-crunchers.
But, surely prosperity is about per capita growth as well, and—dare I say? —the wealth and health of local communities?
We know that multinationals—stateless corporations; “global beasts with vast balance-sheets”—are preoccupied with increasing value for shareholders. However, that and training American talent are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
What’s so wrong with making fellow Americans part of the success story? This may slow economic growth, but may increase its sustainability; make it the kind of growth around which authentic, organic communities can coalesce.
And what’s wrong with doing well enough with the labor available in the country? Or, with a view to training American talent? Or, with a mind to paying more for local labor?
As it stands, business is permitted to petition The State to import the world at a price heavily subsidized by disenfranchised American taxpayers.
By extension, the attitude of business toward economic growth is rooted not in healthy, community-based practices (stateside and abroad), but in some aberrant economic gigantism; in an economic elephantiasis undergirded by greed.
Fair enough: Small business wants to be big when it grows up. But let us not confuse the metastatic multinational, motivated by mammon alone, with a business whose growth is sustained by communities, as opposed to colonies of imported labor.
This piece originally appeared on IlanaMercer.com on September 20, 2018.
It takes no time at all. You listen to Bob Woodward’s halting speech. You read his lumpen prose, and you get right away what undergirds his Trump-phobic tome, “Fear: Trump in the White House.”
Naively, the president had expected to fulfill his revolutionary campaign promises to the American voters, an assumption that threw Woodward and the D.C. elites for a loop.
If past is prologue, voters don’t—and should not—get their way. After all, the views of Trump voters on American power are polar opposites of those held by the permanent state.
What does "Boobus Americanus" know? Nothing!
Woodward and the New York Times’ anonymous anti-Trump whistleblower consider the president to be stark raving bonkers for not grasping that Rome on the Potomac moves to its own beat. It does not respond to voters, except to mollify them with "bread and circuses."
Mostly reflexively, not always consciously, The Powers That Be seek to retain and enlarge their sphere of influence. Nothing, not even the venerated vote, is allowed to alter that “balance.”
This means that established fiefdoms and the “thinking” underlying them are to remain unchanged and unchallenged. Foreign affairs, war-making, the post-war economic order and globally guided crony capitalism are examples.
Against this command-and-control apparatus, 60 million Americans rebelled. They liked Trump’s America First ideas enough to elect their champion as president.
The president promised to upend “the post-1945 rules-based international order,” and Deplorables applauded him for it.
Had Woodward and his publisher missed the 2016 Trump Revolution?
Incredulous, Woodward grumbled at one Fox News host: “People need to wake up to what's happening under Trump.”
Again, Woodward is hardly original in his endeavor. In the tradition of the Never Trump Resistance, within and without the administration, he and those for whom he speaks have resolved to thwart and discredit the political plank on which Trump ran.
The washed-out journalist then blurted out this in disbelief: “Trump said the ‘World Trade Organization is the worst organization in the world.’”
Hyperbole? Maybe. The FBI under James Comey, Andrew McCabe and now Christopher Wray are easily worse than the WTO.
Like the New York Times’ anonymous, op-ed writer, purportedly a member of the Trump administration, Woodward is exposing the Trump White House for nothing more than its attempts to fulfill voter demands.
Withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement was one such goal.
These senile subversives would like you to believe the president is insane for expecting to move on promises made to American voters. If not to withdraw from international agreements that have compromised ordinary Americans, at least to rework them so they don’t further pauperize our workers.
Who can argue that successive U.S. administrations had ceded the sovereignty of citizens to various supranational systems through international treaty making?
That Deplorables wished to reclaim their sovereignty is nevertheless news to seasoned newsman Bob Woodward.
The Woodwards of the D.C. Swamp want multilateral trade agreements maintained. The smart set call it “sovereign multilateralism,” which is Orwellian for a loss of citizen sovereignty through undemocratic, international treaties.
American workers don’t want their interests lost in this maze of multilateralism.
Thank goodness, gasps Woodward, that the globalist grandees with whom he stands so courageously, and who surround the president saved the day:
“[D]rafts of a proposal to get out of the Paris climate accord … were removed from the president's desk,” Woodward says. "[There were] draft statements about withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement—which would have been a disaster—and [former economic adviser Gary] Cohn just took it off the desk."
To repeat, this was promised on the campaign trail and in Trump position papers. We now know who stole those promises from the American people.
In fact, until Woodward’s revelation, I was under the impression that, in June of 2017, President Trump had extricated the U.S. from the Paris Accord!
The thing was nothing but a wealth grab from the constituents Trump vowed to protect, with no benefits to the environment, which we all cherish. Besides, the U.S. has strong in-house environmental protections, including emission controls.
Thanks to Woodward, we now know that the ditching of the Paris Accord never happened.
The outrage animating Woodward—he insinuates that he’s driven by truth, not politics—is shared by the New York Times’ anonymous op-ed scribe aforementioned.
This yellow-bellied purveyor of yellow journalism claims to be a “senior official in the Trump administration,” who “vowed to thwart parts of [the Trump voters’] agenda and temper the president’s “worst inclinations.” (All the good things listed above.)
We thank you, oh overlord who art in D.C.
In his piece of pomposity, this anti-Trump White House employee invoked scripted party policy for his screed, while congratulating himself for being a “first principles” guy or gal (or amalgam).
He, too, has cast as dangerous the Trump positions millions of American voters considered wise. To wit, diplomacy with “President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un” and a cessation of America’s hobby wars.
We Deplorables disagree with the New York Times’ unelected, “lodestar” for all things honorable and conservative.
Never Trumpers and Trump haters are on a quest to scuttle an agenda seconded by millions of American voters. To them, the positions emanating from the Trump White House are a crisis of crazy.
To these saboteurs of the president, “crazy” is, very plainly, keeping campaign promises.
This piece was originally published on Townhall on September 14, 2018.
Apartheid In Black And White: Survivalism, Not Racism, Part 2
Monomaniacal Westerners—they have one thing on their minds: it begins with an "R"—have come to think and speak of apartheid as a theory of white supremacy.
It was not.
The policy of "separate development," as it was admittedly euphemized, was not a theory of racial supremacy, but a strategy for survival.
But first: To perceive the fundamental way in which the Afrikaner and American creeds differed early on we must first examine the former's ideas of what a nation and a state were, respectively.
America, being a rib from the British ribcage, was built on liberal individualism; Afrikaner culture was first and foremost grounded in the survival of the Volk.
This is not to say that Afrikaners were not fiercely individualistic; they were, even more so than early Americans.For the Boers, however, the nation encompassed "the land, the culture, the terrain, the people." The state, on the other hand, had no such prestige for the Boers, who regarded it as just "the coercive apparatus of bureaucrats and politicians."
Against this apparatus, above all, the Boer rebelled. The 19th century found him still resisting majority rule, by which time Americans had thoroughly submitted to it.
Although the Boer's outlook remained passionately political, his preference was for parochial self-rule. It might be said, then, that if in the Americans the vagaries of the frontier bred an atomistic individualism, those same vagaries bred in the Afrikaner a very different attitude, namely, a keen sense of the collective and the need to preserve it. "The worth of the nation is even higher than the worth of the individual," exclaimed one Volkphilosopher.
To the existential threat which they faced on the Dark Continent, Afrikaners therefore responded by circling the wagons metaphorically (much as they had done, literally, during the 1830s) and devising the corpus of racial laws known as apartheid.
"We shall fight for our existence and the world must know it. We are not fighting for money or possessions. We are fighting for the life of our people," thundered Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd (1958 - 1966).
Prime Minister D. F. Malan (1948 - 1954) had already used different words for the same sentiment, announcing his devotion to, "My God, my people, my country."
Malan's successor, Prime Minister Strijdom (1954 - 1958), believed unswervingly that if they were to survive as a group, the whites of South Africa would need to retain a position of guardianship, and that ultimately, white hegemony was indispensable for the good of all.
The Cape Town-Stellenbosch axis of the nationalist intelligentsia, which was the most influential lobby in Malan's National Party (NP), almost without exception defended apartheid not as an expression of white superiority but on the grounds of its assumed capacity to reduce conflict by curtailing points of interracial contact.
The intellectuals who heralded from the University of Stellenbosch phrased the issue thus:
The granting of political rights to the Bantu, of the kind which would satisfy their political aspirations, was altogether impossible in a mixed community, since such a step would endanger the … survival of the European population. If this danger was to be avoided, and at the same time the Europeans were not to violate their own conscience and moral standards, a policy of separate development would prove the only alternative.
To that end, a "tortuous social structure" was erected to keep blacks from forming a political majority in South Africa proper. Africans were assigned to homelands in accordance with tribal affiliation, still a central organizing principle across Africa. These "black satrapies" were to function as "national and political homes for the different Bantu communities"; in the "Bantustans," blacks were to exercise political rights.
Hermann Giliomee—author of the grand historical synthesis, "The Afrikaners: Biography of a People"—agrees that Afrikaner anxieties were overwhelmingly existential, rather than racial.
Giliomee is adamant that the apartheid policy did not spring from "racist convictions or antiquated religious doctrines" (even if these convictions were at times present in specific Afrikaners themselves), but from an overriding need for security. For leading thinkers in the NP such arguments almost completely missed the point because the security of the Afrikaners as a dominant minority, and not as a race per se, was what concerned them.
Giliomee, a liberal historian who opposed apartheid (as this writer did), contends that "apartheid was not uniquely abhorrent and had much in common with Western colonialism and American segregation." Another of the historian's apparent heresies has it that "attempts to depict the nationalist leaders as proto-fascists showed a poor understanding of both the Nazi and the Afrikaner nationalist movement."
In retrospect, it is easy for me to see the merits of Giliomee's argument for "the essential moderation of Afrikaner nationalism." Anybody who lived, as I had lived, among Afrikaners during the apartheid era can testify that crime and communism were foremost on their minds.
To rationalize the Kafkaesque laws of apartheid, Afrikaners spoke of the Swart Gevaar(which meant the "Black Threat"), and of the Rooi Gevaar(the "Red Threat").
My Afrikaner friends would regularly admonish the American mindset for its incipient liberalism: "They demand majority rule, but look around you at the rest of Africa! Anglos simply don't understand what's at stake."
**This is a historical account of how the Afrikaner intelligentsia viewed a policy against which the writer and her family fought. A writer need not agree with it to chronicle and analyze it.
Part 1 is "Apartheid In Black And White: Truth About The Afrikaner."
Note: This piece was previously published at IlanaMercer.com on September 6, 2018.
Apartheid In Black And White: Truth About The Afrikaner, Part 1
In a recent translation of Tacitus’ Annals, a question was raised as to whether “there were any ‘nations’ in antiquity other than the Jews.” Upon reflection, one suspects that the same question can be posed about the Afrikaners in the modern era.
In fact, in April of 2009, former South African President Jacob Zuma infuriated the “multicultural noise machine” the world over by stating: “Of all the white groups that are in South Africa, it is only the Afrikaners that are truly South Africans in the true sense of the word. Up to this day, they [the Afrikaners] don’t carry two passports, they carry one. They are here to stay.”
Indeed, the Afrikaners fought Africa’s first anticolonial struggles, are native to the land and are not colonists in any normal sense. Yet the liberal world order has only ever singled out Afrikaners for having established apartheid, considered by the Anglo-American-European axis of interventionism to be “one of the world’s most retrogressive colonial systems.”
However, while the honing of apartheid by the Afrikaner National Party started in 1948, after Daniel Malan assumed the prime minister’s post, elements of the program were part of the policy first established in 1923 by the British-controlled government.
There was certainly nothing Mosaic about the maze of racial laws that formed the edifice of apartheid. The Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be classified by bureaucrats in accordance with race. The Group Areas Act “guaranteed absolute residential segregation.” Pass laws regulated the comings-and-goings of blacks (though not them alone), and ensured that black workers left white residential areas by nightfall.
Easily the most egregious aspect of flushing blacks out of white areas was the manner in which entire communities were uprooted and dumped in bleak, remote, officially designated settlement sites— “vast rural slums with urban population densities, but no urban amenities beyond the buses that represented their slender lifelines to the cities.
Still, apartheid South Africa sustained far more critical scrutiny for its non-violent (if unjust) resettlement policies than did the U.S. for its equally unjust but actively violent mass resettlement agenda, say, in South Vietnam. (See Sophie Quinn-Judge, “Lawless Zones,” The Times Literary Supplement, February 26, 2010.)
Or, before that. In his magisterial “History of the American People,” historian Paul Johnson, a leading protagonist for America, details the rather energetic destruction and displacement by Andrew Jackson of the “the oldest American nations," the Indians.
Nor should we forget subsequent American military misdeeds. There was, for instance, the 1890 “Wounded Knee” bloodbath in South Dakota (where a U.S. cavalry regiment wiped out, within an hour, between 150 and 300 Native Americans, women and children included). A decade later occurred the war in the Philippines, where a million Filipinos perished at American hands. The 1990 book “In Our Image,” written by historian Stanley Kurnow, reports that at least 200,000 of the dead Filipinos in that war were civilians. Many of the civilians breathed their last in disease-ridden concentration camps which were known as reconcentrados.
It was the British, not the settler ancestors of the contemporary Afrikaners, who vanquished the locals with the express purpose of producing British-type “free” societies. The horrors of British concentration camps during the Boer War are well documented. And there is little to be said in extenuation of Britain’s Zulu Wars, which were summarized in an extract from the once-famous 1930 historiographical parody “1066 And All That”: “War Against Zulus. Cause: the Zulus. Zulus exterminated. Peace with Zulus.”
Why so many conservatives still defend Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt is a mystery. The fact is that between 1942 and 1945, the FDR administration dispensed with habeas corpus in order to relocate en masse, and confine in camps, some 112,000 Japanese aliens and American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry. These Japanese internees were penned in camps, their bank accounts frozen often for years, without being charged with any crime.
Nothing in Afrikaner rule, even at its least enlightened, can match such episodes in American history.
The offending National Party began to dismantle apartheid almost a decade before the transition to democracy. By 1986, the party had already brought down apartheid’s pillars. “Beginning in the early 1980s, the South African government expanded democracy by drawing colored people and Indians into Parliament.” By the end of the 1980s, the pernicious influx control laws had been scrapped, public facilities desegregated, and racial sex laws repealed. “Blacks were allowed full freehold rights to property” and admission to historically white universities.
Next week: “Apartheid: A Strategy for Survival”
Note: This piece originally appeared in Town Hall on August 31, 2018.
Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa”(2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube