Government Power


#1

The key to government power is gradualism. Anything can be accomplished by government over a long enough time period. People accept their conditioning over time no matter what it is. Even the most absurd of notions come to be accepted over a long enough time frame.

The principle of government is that political power is maximized by forcibly leveling every individual to the same status of conformity, collectivism, serfdom. And since that leveling cannot be accomplished by raising up the weakest, it must always be accomplished by reducing the strongest.

We see that in action today.
Healthcare is a right. We now have a failing ACA.
The new chant, single payer.
Illegal immigration, now DACA must be made law, oh the poor children. Ignoring the end results.
We have now become accustomed to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and pretty much ignore our participation and the end results.

Government, the media, the left, the right all have their own issues they push on the populace. Raising everyone boat is a vey sad joke as thy are lowering boats to the lowest level, gradually.


#2

I read a rather depressing article the other day which states that progressivism will win the ideology wars. The long and short of it is that Constitutional limited government and libertarianism have no power. To hold true to these beliefs does not give things away and therefore gives the major advantage to progressives who will give anything away for power. Their control of academia teaches young minds and is funded by the government. Academia supports government in its program development… the government funds the program development not only for today but for tomorrow will insuring that youth constantly receive the updated version… This sure sounds like a violation of separation of church and state to me… It is also logical that it will require a rather superhuman effort to change this boats direction…


#3

The problem we have is the progressives are always on offense while conservatives on defense trying to limit the damage done by the progressive ideology. Add to that the leftist media and national TV and you have the makings of the perfect long term war.

And then where the indoctrination begins education.


#4

They might deny it but perpetual war is a part of their institution… Oceana is always at war with Eastasia and Eurasia and the book burners are always vigilant.


#5

Unless we are to have another era of sectional rivalry that ends in irrepressible conflict, we have to end the states. Not that any nation larger than Monaco can do without local govt, maybe several layers of local govt, underneath the national govt. But those local govts have to be under the national govt, not independents sources and centers of power and authority.

And please, no appeal to the wisdom of the Founders, some notion that they gave us the states because they thought that was the best system of local/regional govt for the new nation. States that retained their own separate sovereignty, apart from and prior to the new Union, were a given. These states existed before the national govt existed, and they weren’t going to sign the Constitution unless the new scheme of national govt continued to have states as centers of power.

We’re past the most obvious danger of the separatism the Founders had to bake into the Constitution, that they had to leave the states the power to raise their own armies, the militia, and to exclude federal armed forces from their territories. The militia is gone (Though it could be revived!), and states can’t exercise their powers under the 2nd and 10th amendments and Art IV, sec4, to nullify and secede. Oh, they can claim some sort of “states’ rights” to nullify federal actions, but that phrase is a fundamental misstatement of the state sovereignty set up by the Constitution. States were given power, they had their armies, but they had to risk winning or losing a war with the federal govt to assert their sovereign authority. No more state armies means no more state power to nullify. State governors can stand in the school doorway to block implementation of a federal court order, and the nullifying state law they base that action on can stay in the their state’s lawbooks, but it’s all just empty theater unless the state can come up an army to hold off the US Marshals, or the 82d Airborne, or whatever force the US sends to enforce its authority.

But if states no longer have the power to achieve nullification and disunion by force of arms, they remain centers of political power. Most fundamentally, we let them influence who gets to vote and who gets sent to the House, by way of apportionment. This political power we have left the states creates an opening for sectional conflict in our national politics, if no longer on literal battlefields.

Of course this sectional party, our contemporary Republican Party, this red state American Hezbollah, wants to use the federal govt to screw over the blue states. As long as sectional interests and sectional passions weren’t a dominating factor in our nation politics, we could rely on prudence to keep either party from using the national govt when it had the trifecta to screw over any state. The Rs were once competitive in NY and CA, so of course a plan to screw them over would go nowhere back then. But in the current political atmosphere, why not screw over CA and NY? What’s the downside? Screwing over NY and CA makes their red state base happy, and they aren’t getting any EC votes out of NY and CA anyway.

Now in this case, this Graham-Cassidy bill hasn’t got it quite right. It screws over some states they need to win the WH. But that can be tweaked, and undoubtedly would be before any actual screwing takes place. The final form of this law, should it pass, would predictably only screw states the Rs can’t win anyway.

What will happen if the Rs do not pull back from this brink – this aggressive voter suppression and gerrymandering they engage in – and the blue states start to get screwed over by trifectas that these practices give the Rs, is that the blue states will answer in kind. CA probably could insure that it sends no more than one or two Rs to the House, if it were willing to be ruthless at gerrymandering. CA and other blue states could start passing state laws that screw over fundies and other R-sympathizer minorities in their states.

Worsening sectional conflict ends one of two ways.

We could have another civil war, though the absence of state armies makes it more likely that the intrusion of armed force into the political process this time would look more like a coup than a civil war. Coup plotters, perhaps ideologically based like the Oathkeepers, would prevail within the federal military and the intelligence services, or the regular chain of command would prevail. Either set of winners would impose order and the end of sectional conflict. I don’t see a prolonged struggle involving military units fighting on battlefields, not unless we go through a period first, as sectional political conflict heats up, of the revival of state militias.

The hopeful way this sectional conflict ends this time is that it teaches all of us – right, left and center – that we need to get rid of the states, and we pass the amendments necessary to do that.

People who rightly maintain that the secession that ended our last great period of sectional conflict was over slavery rather than “states’ rights”, tend to point to the word and deed of the secessionists, speeches like Alexander Stephen’s Cornerstone Speech, as proof of that point. But actually, the words and deeds of the side that won are much more relevant. If the Rs of that day had imagined that the problem was states’ rights and nullification, they would have repealed the gateways to secession and nullification, the 2nd and 10th, and Art IV, sec 4. They didn’t, because they did not think that state militias and state assertion of power were a bad thing. State militias called to federal service won the war, and it’s a damned good thing that the IL and MA militias were a lot more ready for war than those of MD and MO. R states and cities had nullified the Fugitive Slave Act, and those acts of resistance, and the failure of the then D administration to vindicate that law with federal troops, was the rallying point for the R sweep of the trifecta in 1860. We know that slavery was the cause of the war of secession, because slavery and the denial of equal rights that slavery was based on, is what got the victors to pass the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments while the slave states were out of the Union.

The victors in that war got it wrong, or, more accurately, they got it only half right. The fundamental problem was state power and divided sovereignty. Not ending sectional political power left the slave states the ability to end-run the 13-15th with Jim Crow. Slavery and the states are the two original sins of the Constitution, the two things it got fundamentally and disastrously wrong. The Founders had no choice, as there would not have been a Union without both embodied in the founding document. We do have a choice now, as the states have long since lost any needful or even useful function, and survive out of sheer inertia. As power centers, no one wants to mess with them, because the states are not going to vote themselves out of existence, as they would have to do in the amendment process, short of some disaster that clarifies the need to get rid of them so clearly that it makes politicians willing to end their existence. But their power is purely inertial. They command no one’s loyalty over loyalty to the US.

Until we reach the point where it is clear that we have no choice – the states survive, or the US survives, but both cannot survive – we will not do what is needed and decide that the states will not survive. And if the states survive, then there will be no end of second class citizenship either. If we don’t make this decision as a democracy, it will be made for us by the military, because tolerating the states as independent sovereigns can only end in irrepressible conflict.


#6

The thing is, even if the States were no longer distinct in any way, all subject to a single set of federal laws, we would still need to agree, via democratic processes, what that one set of laws would be, and so this does not escape the issue of a lack of common vision about what values and principles we hold in common as a nation.

Over time this set of common values has evolved, and areas where the Constitution had allowed each state to choose - between slavery or not, gay marriage or not, etc - have been replaced by “all Americans shall”. But laws do not change hearts and minds, so it’s finally a matter of whether a sufficiently large set of people can agree on these matters, agree to be bound by a single set of rules, or whether people are too diverse in philosophy and beliefs to coexist in a single political unit. The same goes for extrapolating this line of thinking to “one world government”. But even in the Star Trek universe, nobody ever proposed (to my knowledge) that Earth and Klingon and Vulcan homeworlds agree on a single common set of laws.

It might be interesting for states to explore “economic secession” as an alternative to political secession. Imagine CA and NY deciding to help its citizens shelter income from the federal tax base, for example. Implement statewide single-payer HC, set your premium as a percentage of income, add it to your state tax bill, which is deductible from federal taxes, and no more funding red states who want freedom without responsibility.


#7

Your vision of the future is abhorrent, yet typical of a progressive. I would imagine you look at Venezuela and smile ’ that’s the way to do it!"

I recall an episode of "All In the Family’, in which Archie Bunker tells a couple of Klan types- “No; there are more of us than you.” The notion that the military is so robotic that a leftist despot could turn them on Americans is exceedingly unlikely. I have known a fair number of veterans, and had students who joined the service- not one of them would follow and order to open fire on US citizens for dissent of tyranny (must be disappointing to you).

Beyond the childish supposition that America will willingly give up its freedoms for a few more freebies, there is the issue of what sort of orders the military would be willing to execute, and I really don’t see them willingly becoming the tools of socialist despotism.


#8

I agree with your point, and I would go further to predict that such agreement is generations away, if ever, for the simple reason of geography. The needs of different regions differ widely, and cultures grow out of meeting needs. I really can’t envision a state with a large agricultural base willingly being ruled by the effete of NYC or SF. The people in Iowa, or Neb. are good people, they just aren’t obsessed with worshipping a tranny traitor, or a punk who died trying to kill a cop.

Would not work, as the Feds would justly demand compensation for the infrastructure they built- oh, and the military bases would close. So what? Gosh, almost forgot, we might just decide to close your socialistas’ air traffic to ‘flyover’ the rest of the country.


#9

This is the same progressive logic used in the march to world governance. It is the dream child of marx who understood that it there was light anywhere that communism would fail. I is the same logic of Trotsky… It drove a wedge between him and Stalin… That need to control; that need to subdue.

First of all, let me ask you directly @gtomkins… are you an American citizen or a legal resident? I ask that because I may be accidentally confusing you with someone who uses the same handle who is quite possibly a citizen of another country. The reason that I bring this up of course is that throughout your post you use the word ‘We’… and I just want to make sure that you are truly a ‘We’ in this subject.

Let me first state that you are right in that the United States of America as described in the U.S. Constitution and related documents can indeed be anything we wish it to be… The constitution says so but it also says that anything that contravenes the constitution must have enough support from the people of the United States to effect change in our base law through the process described in Article V. Progressives and those who, despite the warnings of history that push pure democracy, cannot garner the support to do the things they want through constitutional change so they pursue the doctrine of judicial deference and precedent… if, like the ACA, they can push a change that 1) captures the American populous in yet another ‘entitlement’ and create the illusion that the Constitution now accepts the individual mandate then they have succeeded in both the control they desire and the destruction of the constitution which has always been their goal. This maneuver of course was made possible by the FDR threat of stacking the courses and the perverse idea that 1) congress has the right to tax anything that it wants and 2) the constitution supports that because some judge says so…

I don’t have a problem with the people of this country deciding to drive the country into the ground… what I have a problem with is ignoring the agreed law to achieve it and the perverse attitude of the likes of Holmes in his belief that “If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It’s my job.” He didn’t say unless it violated the constitution of which I took an oath to defend…

The fallacy with the progressive left is that they think they know everything… they know, without doubt the hearts of every man, woman and child. Of course what they mean is that, given the authority and the power, they can cause those who object, to submit. That in and of itself tells you that you cannot and will not subjugate the individual spirit… and you will never align all minds… except of course possibly with the force insertion of a synthetic force… a chip… a drug. Do you know that in the forced sterilization of a women caught up in, what was then, the overt application of eugenics (as opposed to the more smiley face version promoted today) that they used the forced vaccination for a disease as a prescient for forcing a woman on the operating table to sterilize her?..
Just as the founders were quite animate about the dangers of a standing army to the republic, you clearly articulate the reasons why… The authoritarian will always find force to be the ultimate tool in the subjugation of a people… because it can’t make the case for their hideous ideologies any other way.

This of course brings us to the jest of you post… You will not take away this constitutional republic without a fight. Make no mistake, Donald J Trump is a statist… and another variety of authoritarian but he is, at least for the moment, the voice against the very insidious ideology that is progressivism… He is, in his own way (a bit rough around the edges) forcing the people of this country to confront the creature that is trying to take the original ideals of this country and turn it into its own failed version of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics… or perhaps the democratic failure of Athens…

You will meet resistance and if you continue with your contrived social justice BS because it is the only way you can get any attention… you will drive this country to violence. YOU and your ideologically driven version of a populous uprising, will drive this country to violence.

Just as states will fight for their rights and positions under the constitution to build unique places to live, the individual will do the same against their respective states for communities of their own choice in social norms…


#10

Actually evolution isn’t quite the right word… Violence and subversion of law by things like judicial deference and precedent forced a change in the original agreement by a minority of the people who could not muster the general consistence of enough of the population to trigger an article V change in our base law.

You tend to get the cart before the horse with your ‘But laws do not change hearts and minds’… The ‘laws’ should absolutely conform to the constitution. Never forget that the Constitution (we are still a constitutional republic) says that it is the AGREED upon supreme law of the land… so changing that agreement requires the consistence of the people BEFORE it becomes law. With the exception of the civil war, all other subversions to the constitution have been done through a rather stealthy process of judicial deference or judicial activism that sets up changes in law in direct contravention of the constitution called precedence.

The situation that we are facing now is that fact that a good lot of people… at least half of the nation, never really agreed with the subversive tactics of authoritarians regardless of which party they hail from… but I got to tell you … progressives are the most active, most violent and have the most disrespect for the constitution in this country today… and yes, people are rebelling.

This ‘evolutionary’ process that you speak of actually occurred after 1900… first with Teddy ‘rough rider’ and then Wilson and his street thugs and then FDR’s subverted concept that says taxation can allow the federal government to create, invent and execute anything it wants… never mind the words ‘enumerated powers’.

People want their country back and I guess it might take another civil war to get it done because you have no desire to follow the article V process… and really, you never did.

Your ‘economic secession’ comment is funny… funny in a very ironic way… I suggest that you take your blinders off and study the many facets of the original civil war and its causes… don’t be blinded by the slavery issue… remember the north actually had to conscript soldiers to fight against the south… and that included free blacks…


#11

There is noting that can be said to address the foolishness of the left that continues to tear this nation apart.

Only a central government can exert that power, only states can keep a central government at bay. But then again you cannot get your way when states exist.


#12

The tyranny of the majority over the minority speaks loud with you.

As long as your ideas are accepted as the norm and forced on the rest of the nation all is well. When the rest of the country finally bands together against the cities and say enough, the left in the cities stomp their feet and act like 2 year olds trowing a temper tantrum. Rioting and damaging the places they live and then demand the Federal Government send them money to fix it.

The people in outstate NY had little in common with NYC as the people in outstate California have little in common with LA.

Neither city would survive with out their slaves in the outstate areas.


#13

We already have a democratic process for agreeing on what we have to agree will be the law. It’s called Congress. It’s perfectly capable of making all the law that need to be made in this country. It is quite a bit less aggressive than state legislatures in making laws that don’t need to be made, such as “Stand Your Ground” laws, or laws limiting abortion rights. My point in what I wrote is that this state lege intrusion into areas of law that didn’t need remedy isn’t just idle mischief, it’s directed mischief. It’s directed towards finding veto points and alternate forums when the other side loses out in its attempts to control this one country we all live in. We already have a process for embodying the national will into law, and for helping us discriminate between what parts of that will can and cannot legitimately be imposed as law on the rest of us. The whole point of states’ rights is to subvert and undermine that process.

It’s all well and good to talk about the states as “laboratories of democracy”, but that’s a straight-up fantasy rationalization, an attempt to invent a sound and good reason for something that has only bad reasons to exist. You can imagine that this blue state or the other is going to use state sovereignty for some good and noble end, such as setting up single payer in that state. But the other side will always be more aggressive both at using the states they control for ignoble experiments that defy federal law, and for quashing blue states that defy federal law that Rs have made. The current R trifecta would shut down any NY or CA attempt to do single payer. It wouldn’t be done by politely allowing the blue state governor to step aside from whatever door he or she was blocking when the US Marshalls showed up. They’ld send a SWAT team, and such a governor would be lucky if they take him into custody alive.

We aren’t different species, like Klingons and Terrans. Even the secessionists of 1860 didn’t want to be separate nearly as much as they wanted to use secession as just the latest veto point with which to bludgeon those damned abolitionists in their ongoing struggle to control the US govt. If they had actually wanted independence from the US, their new Confederate govt would have offered the Free Soil US a complete victory in the irrepressible conflict: cession of the territories to the US, and signing an extradition treaty with the US that would not have required the US to extradite fugitive slaves, but would have required the Confederacy to extradite pro-slavery guerrillas. They didn’t do that because their real aim was to make the North grovel and beg them to return in order to avoid disunion and war, to offer the South guarantees and assurances that slavery would continue forever protected and coddled, free to expand without limit in the territories, and even into free states… In 2017, there isn’t even any question that these people actually want secession and nullification just to be left alone in their section of the US. These people are “USA #1!” hyperpatriots. They want control of the US, they want to impose on the whole country their peculiar vision of what should be illegal, what behavior they personally find abhorrent that they want the full weight of the law to crash down upon. States’ rights is just a tool to that end. They will have zero respect for any blue state’s rights to do anything that threatens their control, precisely because they know from their own exploitation of the divided sovereignty the Constitution left us with that assertions of states’ rights are just an insincere power play.


#14

We are different and not the same.

Wha applies in California doesn’t apply in Iowa. The east coast and their ends are different from the midwest and the needs of the north are different than the south.

That is why state laws are important.

Outback Tennessee doesn’t need a 15 buck minimum wage where in LA they may need it.

p.s. The central government cannot govern from 80K feet and be effective as so well demonstrated today. The states can effectively govern their own states which they can do as long as the central government stays out of their way.

The Constitution grants those powers needed to deal with issues of overarching national concern exclusively to the U.S. federal government, while the state governments are granted powers to deal with issues pertaining to issues affecting the particular state only.


#15

No to be a snarky “you stink even more” type, but, what you wrote describes the left perfectly- you just need to add ‘speech, writing, and thought’ right there between “behavior”, and “they.”

After all, it isn’t righties keeping speakers from campuses, or rioting, or suing businesses that’disrespected’ them.


#16

You are good at pontificating but seldom good at any direct dialogue… Again I ask you… You refer to ‘we’ in your commentary… are you an American citizen? I live and am resident in Britain but I don’t suppose to write opinion for their governance and while I certainly have my opinions, just because I live in the UK, does not give me the right to use the word ‘We’.

Also interesting in your comments, except for the last sentences attempt to disparage people who believe in states’ right… no doubt as much as they believe in national sovereignty you never use the words ‘Representative Republic’ or ‘Constitution’ to justify your position… because they are most certainly a major part of the desperate views between those who ignore history with respect to democracy or have no use for actual black letter law… and of course, those who do.