YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

June 15, 2018

Wilsonian “democracy” is alive and well, maybe

I don’t blame my FB friends (or others) for blurring the boundary between factions of “the Left.” Rereading the Beards’ popular volumes (no footnotes!) on THE RISE OF AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (1927), I can’t tell if the authors are “moderate”/“Wilsonian democrats” as they claim, or revolutionary socialists, for they did get their works published and may have been slipping their more heartfelt convictions through censorship in the book market. Nevertheless, in their enthusiasm for labor unions, anti-imperialism, and secularism, I see the Beards as close to today’s social justice democrats. (Although the Beards did not live to see the climate change debates, as sort of Jeffersonian agrarians, they were anti-machine (industrialism), like today’s counter-culture, opposed to the standardization of technology (mass media!) and the concomitant creation of a national market–not a local one) Indeed, I wonder if the Beards proclivity for collectivist discourses stems from the notion that standardization affects human beings to the point where we are all the same?

But what this blog is about is the resemblance of the Beards’ work and the current Democratic Party (and even the “progressive” faction in the Republican Party), especially since the emphases conferred by the New Left that picked up steam in the 1960s (emphasizing “race,” “gender,” and “ecology,” over class struggle as the outcome of the civil rights, feminist, and environmental movements).

For instance,1. identity politics (class, race, and gender determine political allegiance/leanings), 2. anti-capitalism/anti-imperialism, 3. animus toward “the idle rich”/the Gilded Age/ initially brought by crypto-Jew Alexander Hamilton (a.k.a. “the money power”), 4. class struggle between <em>soi-disant aristocrats (industrialists) vs. farmers and laborers, 5. white supremacy/racism (“Anglo-Saxons” are imperialists, 6. diversity/inclusion as a form of reparations for ongoing domination), 7. Poorly masked antisemitism and secularism, 8. Labor unions 9. Union achieved through a balance of power, compassion/love, and compromise. (For the latter see https://clarespark.com/2010/11/06/moderate-men-falling-down/ and much else on my website). The “moderate men” on both “Left” and “Right,” are appalled by the current polarization, as if we had never been divided since Columbus set foot on the soil of the Western Hemisphere.

Are we not ever looking for UNITY? (See https://clarespark.com/2013/10/26/krauthammer-fox-news-channel-and-the-search-for-unity/.)


May 12, 2018

Ludwig von Mises’s Socialism

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von Mises SocialismI have some agreements, disagreements, and there are open questions regarding the renowned economist’s book denouncing the socialist movements of the nineteenth century and then, the Soviet revolution of 1917.

Agreements: 1.von Mises is a fan of science and Enlightenment. And yet, he does not denounce religion, but rather complains that “socialism” is a form of religion. But, like the 18th Century Enlighteners, he has standards, and affirms the meritocracy. (This separates him from populists.)

2. von Mises is appalled by the repressiveness of Big Government (socialism and communism).

Disagreements 1. Affirming supply and demand (the free market), von Mises favored open borders. This is an outmoded standard, taken up by liberals and globalists. von Mises’s standard made sense at the time he was writing this (in the early 20th century), but would he have agreed with the multiculturalists? Perhaps he would have, as he affirmed (somewhat?) the validity of racial and gender differences.

2. von Mises includes in one bag, social democrats (following FDR’s New Deal) and communists. I agree that Big Government/bureaucracy) is a bad thing, but have taken pains to distinguish liberals from communists (especially following the Popular Front Against Fascism (1935). Liberal anticommunism still prevails. Liberals of course co-opted some socialist demands, but distorted them, especially in their avid support of labor unions (also criticized by 1930s radicals).

3. The Enlighteners were empiricists, yet von Mises provides no facts to support his thesis that capitalist institutions do not exploit the workers.

Open question: Is Nazism to be grouped with Socialism? von Mises, using the standard of state control of prices and interest, said yes. Since he did not treat the cult of the Leader (or other cultural factors), I remain unconvinced.

September 11, 2012


Terry Malloy, bloodied but unbowed

While looking up prior descriptions of 9/11, a day remembered on Fox News as best treated as remembrance of the dead, owing to the “tragedy” of the event, I found myself getting more and more appalled at the rhetoric. As Mark Steyn pointed out years ago, 9/11 was not a “tragedy” [i.e., aimed at catharsis and healing as a theatrical event] but a military  “attack,” and I would add, a strike at finance capital/the city of the Jews by radical Islamists who were able to achieve their lethal goals because of outright negligence during the 1990s during the Clinton administration and/or longstanding Arabism in the State Department, not to speak of the mostly deaf response to the findings of Steve Emerson from the 1980s on,  namely that we had been infiltrated, and that no one with the power to stop them was paying attention. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Emerson.)  And the DNC had the nerve to summon President Clinton to support President Obama, who, we are told by Vice-President Biden “killed” bin Laden–as if that event marked the completion of whatever liberals call “the war on terror.”

At the same time, Chicago teachers are out on strike, reportedly owing to their disdain of government testing and other evaluations that would separate the wheat from the chaff. Clearly, these teachers are proud of their tactics, and imaginatively line up with exploited labor in the bad old days before unions and collective bargaining became legal during the New Deal. Reminder: strikes have always been a violent tactic, but strikes have been endlessly celebrated by the anti-capitalists as heroic acts that do not hurt “the community” but rather that strikers are forced to use the only weapon at hand. You will not find a labor historian or social historian who disagrees with this assessment, and who does not revel at every sign and symptom of defiance by the “exploited” class. (I will gladly retract this statement if I am proven wrong.)

Chicago teachers on strike

(Reminder: one of the great movies of my youth: On The Waterfront (1954), was not about a strike, but about standing up to crooked union bosses and their thugs. Critics on the Left hated it, and attacked  Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg for ratting on their ex-comrades while pretending to purify the labor movement.)

We no longer use words such as “tragedy” with precision or with regard to their multiple and changing meanings in the past. But we do pretend that traumas of every kind can be healed. For many, September 11 is a day for meditation, remembrance, and healing. I understand that impulse for unity and solidarity with the families of the victims of 9/11. But we fool ourselves if we fail to trace the precursors, selfish interests, and corrupt, incompetent  practices that brought down the Twin Towers, and that threaten to bring down the Republic if not forthrightly and fearlessly addressed by us all, each and every one. We need to emulate Terry Malloy.

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