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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The New USSRists

I was watching White House spokesman Jay Carney on the tube today. He was "responding" to questions about the disastrous Obamacare roll-out in his usual way, to wit, a mix of aggression, dismissal, insult, and obfuscation, and that's when he bothers to address the questions asked. It was depressing seeing, yet again, the misadministration put out its lying and contradictory statements on Obamacare starting, of course, with you can keep your doctor and current insurance except when we say you can't; the website is working and we have hired all sorts of braniacs to fix it; and on and on and on. It is depressing but educational. After not too long, you become aware that Obamacare's promoters don't care if the website works or doesn't; if there are more uninsured now than before; or if your insurance deductibles and premiums go up or down. That's not the point of Obamacare. Putting us on the path to the USSR is the point. Let me explain.

Back in the old days at university, I had endless debates with self-proclaimed Marxists. I guess I was never young since I never went through a Marxist phase in my life, and just couldn't understand why anybody took Marxism seriously. That said, a lot of my colleagues were going through Marxist phases and would argue passionately the benefits of the Marxist lifestyle. These friends would inevitably reply to the obvious and serious moral and practical shortcomings of Marxist states such as the USSR or the GDR with the well worn phrase, "Those aren't real Marxist countries." The true Marxist believers--and it was and is a religion more than anything else--would argue that the USSR, GDR, Poland, etc., had deviated from the path of Marxism and become something else; that one could not criticize Marxism by pointing to those countries as examples of putative Marxist paradises. OK, crazy college kids looking for utopias and getting frustrated by the fact that reality always seems to mug travelers on the road to utopia, forcing them to stop somewhere else. That doesn't mean utopia is not there right, man? Fine. Hey, if you can't be stupid and frustrated when you're young, when can you be?

The problem we now face is different. The people we have running and ruining our country are not really Marxists. They have taken bits and pieces of Marxism such as the hatred of capitalism, the belief that the history of the West is an unending saga of greed, corruption, exploitation, and death, and, above all, that there is a need for a vanguard that will transform society. Yes, you guessed it, they are the vanguard who will transform society. Unlike some modern day Marxist philosophes, however, they are not really concerned about educating the rest of us in seeing the wisdom of their vision, of their transformative work. Not at all. They are much more practical than that. They want to control the state and the coercive power of the state to force, yes, force, the rest of us into living life as they want it lived.  They want and will use the many coercive agencies of the modern state in furtherance of their objectives. The IRS, for example, will crush political opponents; agencies such as the EPA will silence pesky business owners, etcetera.

And what is the vision that drives these new mandarins, these elites? Government. That's all. They want a society in which government forms the center of our lives. Government will decide. Even and especially our most personal decisions must be tempered by taking into account the government. Can and may we have a gun for home defense? What kind of health insurance and health care can and may we have? Can and may we have a car? What type? What salaries can and may we earn? What speech can and may we utter so as not to be considered hate-mongers? You get it.

The bottom line is that new leftists are not embarrassed by the bureaucratic nightmare of the USSR and the GDR. Not at all. That is their goal. They want a society defined and built around government, and they, of course, will control it.

Forward! Back to the USSR!



70 comments:

  1. "Putting us on the path to the USSR is the point. Let me explain."

    You didn't really need to. The rest of your piece is supererogatory; you wrote it well, but it writes itself.

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  2. Replies
    1. Not really. You don't really think they care that A has more than B? That's just an excuse to get B's vote and A's protection money or crony-"investment".

      It's the pure lust for power. A boot stamping on a human face ... forever.


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    2. Have to agree with A66 - it's not the politics of envy at all - it's the politics of unbridled lust for power. I like the way John Adams put it:

      Power always sincerely, conscientiously, de très bon foi, believes itself right. Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak.

      JOHN ADAMS, letter to Thomas Jefferson, Feb. 2, 1816

      Delete
    3. A66

      That's how Tom Kratman puts it...
      "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever."

      His Books like @A State of Disobedience and A desert called Peace@ are classics in my book.
      All his books are good.

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    4. It is difficult to obtain enough votes for the “Boot on the neck” platform unless you convince enough folks that some people deserve it, because they stole from you. Keep enough people dependent upon Government for subsistence and feed them the rhetoric of, “The rich aren’t paying their fair share, and that’s why your situation is poor.”
      That is how the boot comes to power. It has happened before, a lot of times.

      Delete
    5. Excellent points by everyone. Something truly awful is happening right before our eyes, and we seem to be incapable of doing anything to stop it.

      "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its
      victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under
      robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us
      without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis

      We're governed by malevolent idiots, and it's our own damn fault.

      Delete
    6. Right, attempting to give more people health insurance, just like EVERY OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY, is equivalent to totalitarianism. Ask Canadians, Brits, French if they feel their face is being stepped on forever by their national health systems.

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    7. Anon - the people in those countries don't know any better, because a lot of them have never had better. That doesn't mean better doesn't exist, or is unattainable.

      And name me one person who doesn't get health CARE, and you'll have a point.

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    8. Anon 9:54

      I believe you have identified the problem for yourself..........attempting to give more people health insurance........you see gubmint cannot give anything, they can only take and re-distribute. The very essence of Marxism.

      And as a Canadian, let me answer your question-I do indeed feel like my face is being stepped on forever by my national health system. I resent paying into a system that our native indians, prisoners and refugee claimants access for free, I resent the fact that politicians can access better care, quicker than my family, I resent the whole communist underpinning of the system.

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  3. I have never understood why we say "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."

    If we aren't going to say "Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик", why don't we say "Union of Committee Socialist Republics"?

    Or, for short, "the Committee Union".

    After all, the committee was the central institution of its life, after the Gulag and the secret police.

    Perhaps interestingly, our no-longer-young-people's American socialist republic doesn't actually go in for committees much. Or gulags, yet, although I haven't heard back yet from a Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. But the IRS does seem to show promise as the beginnings of a secret police.

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    1. "But the IRS does seem to show promise as the beginnings of a secret police."

      It is difficult for me to express how shocking it was for me to read this. Not only because it had not previously crossed my mind (it had not) but because, upon reading it, I immediately realized that it is entirely plausible, based on current information. Did I just swallow the red pill?

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    2. Thank you, Mr. Mous. You flatter me.

      To be fair to the IRS (!!!), they are not alone. The NSA, FBI, and many other organizations have been noticeably willing to play their parts.

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    3. Yes, of course. To be clear, it was the direct analogy to the SOVIET secret police that I found shocking. I see it now that you have put words to it. I just never dreamed we would see this much brazen usurpation of power in such a short period of time that would actually justify a direct comparison.

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  4. One thing that amazes me is the utter, naked hypocrisy of the progressive movement. For example, they reject religion because obviously Darwin's theory of evolution is far superior to the thought of a supreme being. Now in true progressive form they select what parts of the theory they wish to see through (just like unconstitutionally enforcing only parts of laws) like they refuse to follow survival of the fittest. If they truly reveared Darwin, they would not punish the prosperous members of society to give handouts to those who cannot or choose not to survive on their own.

    It is nice to hear stories about some of the idiots who supported 0bamacare now realizing that they will have to "pay their fair share." It is not like the fed can just endlessly print money to cover our deficits...
    Done ranting
    -Nick from the penal colony formerly know as the Empire State

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    Replies
    1. Ah, but that's "Social Darwinism" (evil), not actual "Darwinism" (good).

      Which is interesting, because in every other case of the modifier "social" (meaning "not"), as in "social justice", "social peace", "social studies", and "social work", it is the phrase *with* the modifier that they like.

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    2. And that is the biggest problem, they control the language. They have somehow managed to pull the wool over the masses eyes and substituted the term liberal, for progressive (or fascist, statist, etc.). It is not much of a mystery how this was accomplished, when you control the education system you control the people. Students have to actively try to resist the indoctrination they are receiving in public schools and Universities of all stripes. I have first hand experience, having been a product of public school grades 1-12 and State University for undergrad and grad school. I battled, I suffered, my grades suffered, but I persevered. Unfortunately, I don't think most people choose the path of most resistance.

      -Nick from the penal colony formerly know as the Empire State

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  5. Approved science in the Committee Union was much more Lanarkian than Darwinian. Change the environment and you get a better sort of human. Their atheism was not Darwinian, just Rousseavian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You raise an interesting point. There are different atheisms.

      There were high hopes for atheism, at first, and failing those, middle hopes, and finally low hopes: that at least you couldn't have a religious war, like the Thirty Years War, between atheisms.

      As we now know from the Eastern Front in World War II, you can.

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    2. What you have said is Gospel truth;) Keep in mind that the "Religious Thirty Years War" saw the Catholic French fighting on the side of the German Protestants. That war had much more to do with the rise of a politically influential bourgeoisie than with eating breakfast before church.

      I know people get irate over religious issues, but I have never in my sixty three years come out of church wanting to kill somebody. I am not Pentecostal, but I have heard old-timers among that sect tell tales of Klansmen attacking racially integrated brush-arbor revivals, and never the other way around.

      The Left always needs to make the facts fit the Rouseavian paradigm, whether poorly or well. So, Conservatism and Religion must always be portrayed as violent, anti-intellectual, hypocritical, and, now, racist. Not one act of violence at any TEA party, multiple races represented, and now, "TEA parties are violent racist events".

      It's defamation, of course, but it is also a kind of reassuring litany to the believers, who believe much more, in the teeth of the evidence, than any religious fundamentalist.

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  6. Really, the finest and purist moment of expression of the Obama & Clinton progressive mindset was Hillary's not famous explosion: "What difference does it make?"

    The key to comprehending, IMHO, is that the conclusive judgement lies with intention and objective and not reality or outcome. What difference does it make if the healthcare.gov website works or not? The intention was pure and the objective was to equalize access to healthcare for all. Maybe a giant step backwards was a necessary evil to destroy the village in order to save it? In any case, what difference does it make? They're doing their very best to run our lives on our behalf and we're fools - no criminals, maybe - for not realizing it and falling on our hands and knees in front of them in gratitude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops - should have written "Really, the finest and PUREST moment of expression . . . . . was Hillary's NOW famous explosion . . . . . .

      Delete
    2. "Purist" fits rather well also.

      Delete
  7. The exact -ism doesn't mean much. There is a simple equation:

    Promise free stuff = Power

    By the time the proletariat figures out the lie, the intelligentsia already has the power. Easier path to wealth than making a product or delivering a service.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I enjoy letters like this one Dip. It reminds me that I have plenty of good company in the war against global Leftism. The Liberal's "government uber alles" is going to run into the rapidly rising public distrust of government. Obama and his commissars are the face of government all the while people are learning to distrust their government. Unknown at this point: how deep within the Democrat Party does this totalitarian Obama streak run? And,how "bitch slapped sensible" has the Republican Party finally become now that the evidence is clear? Et tu news media?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I think that the "Hunger Games" is an appropriate lens through which to view both Democrats and Republicans (I have Middle School children, so I have to know all about The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, not to mention Justin Bieber though he's fading fast, thank God).

      I don't think there's much of a chance of long-time denizens of Capitol Hill and Georgetown and the gilded towers of Manhattan (during brief revolutions of the spinning doors) ever - EVER - seeing the world the same way that the poor working class does out in flyover country.

      The 2014 and 2016 election cycles may be a good chance to throw out the worst of the progressive liberals, but I have zero enthusiasm for replacing Reid with McConnell or Obama with a Romney or McCain Republican. A huge step-back away from the abyss, to be sure, but nothing there that I could be the least bit enthusiastic about.

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    2. Anon...I share your lack of enthusiasm re those names but I believe rescue will come from "the American Side of the beltway" and take place in stages. The old guard me too Republicans are going to fall as they are being exposed as just place holders of ground the Left has already vacated and moved on. We need younger new blood who relish a fight because a fight it will be. We need the increasingly active new media and a spirit that confronts the old media for their treachery and complicity.

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  9. Whilst "away on travels" I read something authored by VD Hanson - perhaps it's apropos here. Excerpting:

    What, then, is the Obama legacy? An insidious politicization of almost everything. Obamism has become a holistic concept of “fundamentally transforming America” that, like all ideologies, cannot be assessed solely by concrete laws and policies, but rather through a change in the mentality and spirit of Americans and those who govern them.

    ...The politicization of almost every aspect of American culture and politics over the last five years could easily be expanded. Traditional employment background checks are now “racist” given that minorities with higher crime records might be unduly affected.

    ...The antidote has been for Obama administration technocrats to reexamine the way Americans go to the doctor, borrow money, pay their taxes, secure their borders, protect their country, explore space, and contemplate the weather. In each case, it turns out that someone wealthier and more privileged than the majority has done something wrong. The remedy is to provide more power and money to an all-knowing government elite who alone has the wisdom and morality to make things fairer by making them more equal.


    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/26/the_politicization_of_everything_120774.html

    Arkie

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  10. I agree pretty much with the above, but it is mostly about why the left is what it is. I'm more into the nuts and bolts of what their plan of action is. They've always dreamed of being able to diktat from the mountain of power, but it always seemed to be a dream far away. Then Obama, their Caesar came seemingly from nowhere to lead them. And they do liken him unto a Caesar to take them across the Rubicon forever routing the forces of evil.
    Well he took them across and we had our Pharsalus (2012) and our Pompey (Romney), but they have finally discovered the difference between then and now. We are still in the field, they have used all their best weapons and the initiative is no longer theirs. This is not to say they won't be dangerous. On the contrary probably more so, since they went for all, but now may come out with less than nothing. This also doesn't mean we've gained the initiative (which we need to do re: Cruz) but they have lost it.

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    1. I don't think Cruz ban be elected president. I think he wasn't born here, but naturalized.
      Is that correct?

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    2. Some of the more shrill lefties Down Here are predicting that HRC will stroll into the White House come 2016. My take on it is that after a calvalcade of Obama cockups and the utter failure of the Democrats to get anything right for two terms, the Republicans will get the gig for at least two terms in an attempt to clean things up and go forward.
      We have charged our new government in Australia to do just that and they are going about their business quietly, opening the books and seeing where ludicrous lefty largesse can be trimmed. The electorate demanded this, however despite only being the government for less than 100 days thus far the rabid left a re in full foot-stamping pants-wetting fury as to why the hideous mess they left behind hasn't been IMMEDIATELY cleaned up via some kind of magic wand policy.

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    3. Unfortunately, La Clintona has the help of a master politician. Fortunately, she herself is a terrible politician.

      (And a terrible secretary of state, and a terrible senator, and a terrible first lady, and terrible candidate's-wife. But before that, she was a competent bagman.)

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    4. "She Who Must Be Obeyed" is also shrill and undisciplined.

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    5. "I don't think Cruz ban be elected president. I think he wasn't born here, but naturalized."
      That wasn't really what I meant by mentioning Cruz. He was the first to actually stand up publicly to these people and has turned out to be validated in doing it. But most importantly he showed they are not all powerful, all seeing, invincible beings. They didn't expect it and with the HC snafu they've lost the initiative. They must be pressed and never let up on.

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  11. Re-read PJ O'Rourke's 'Give War A Chance' for some good old-fashioned lefty baiting. Come to think of it, anything by PJ baits the left which is why I have all of his books on my shelf.

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    Replies
    1. I'm midway back through 'Republican Party Reptile' hence my comment but I've been a huge PJ fan since discovering National Lampoon on an exchange trip to Fort Benning back in the 70s.

      Delete
  12. Hmm, if you're right that would make them literally Fascists.

    Use of only selected elements of Marxist thought, check!
    Lust for power, check!
    Wish to put the State at the center of every sphere of life, check!

    Of course there are differences, the Fascists were nationalists, whereas these people are trans-nationalists. Also a distinct lack of pseudo military uniforms and goose-stepping, at least in public. That said they still march in ideological step every bit as rigid as in the old days.

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    Replies
    1. http://www.amazon.com/Liberal-Fascism-American-Mussolini-Politics/dp/0767917189

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  13. A very neat summation of many comments can be found here this afternoon, interestingly and illuminatingly in perspective at Dan's spot here: http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-liberal-god-dies-again.html

    "The ideas of the left always fail because the avatars and muses always fail. The ideas that seem so bright in theory fail when confronted with the actual task of charting human lives and the unpleasant reality that the Negro, the working man, the old people and the students may not want the same things that the idealists want for them."

    Quite a worthy read, also, I think you will agree.....Jack

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for this link. That is a fine piece of writing.

      Delete
    2. Good pointer. I too am a fan of Sultan Knish.

      But I think it's the other way around: the avatars and muses always fail because the ideas fail.

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    3. I have yet to see a piece from Dan G. that is not outstanding. He humbles me. Max.

      Delete
  14. The key is your last sentence. The goal is control, with them as the bosses.

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  15. Growing up in Ireland under doctrinal Catholic immersion, I was perpetually puzzled at the insistence of an omnipresent army of black frocked lads that I accept, inculcate and perform rituals that came from books that I could barely comprehend; all made more complicated given that they were written in Irish (Gaelic) and Latin. All the same I behaved myself at the sweet-shop because God knew if I slipped an extra into the bag and I didn’t use profanity as I noticed it was typically the “thickheads” who communicated to me thusly and the “Ma” would crucify me for any deviation and even though I couldn’t decipher the previously mentioned pervasive literature I had a fair idea from that embossed on the standard front cover imprimatur what it meant to be crucified. Not for this lad.

    Catechism class was equally disquieting for me except for the rare opportunity for closeness to the opposite sex that was remorselessly drummed into me would become duly available to me after I got the letters “Esq.” after my name on inbound letters (mail), which judging by the paucity on those received by uncles and statured English cousins might make for a long wait. There was light though. The finest line I had memorized of many fine lines from my religious cornucopia was that I must accept on faith (read blindly) the tenets of my culture and religion until such time as I “reached the age of reason” upon which time I could revert to thinking for myself. Luckily for Irish lads it was generally accepted that “the age of reason” arrived, for most at about seven years of age. I never forgot that “get out of jail free” card. Lest it be thought different I have no regrets regarding how and where I was raised and educated (beginning with the hallowed halls described by Joyce in the “Portrait of the ..”) and shined by stops along the way in the shimmering salons of exalted European and American body-shops. The day of my 7th birthday couldn’t dawn soon enough though. Thank Christ to be free and able to critique anything and everything and to consider that normal. Max.

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    Replies
    1. My friend you were yearning to be free! Where ever you are lets hope critique is always normal and possible.

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    2. Max, your wonderful last sentence describes what was great about Europe. Note past tense.

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  16. RE: "The people we have running and ruining our country are not really Marxists."

    I can see and appreciate the subtleties underlying and attached to this statement, but to my mind the statement itself is not bluntly true.

    It would be more accurate to say that the people we have running and ruining our country today are contemporary Marxists who are attempting to exploit four generations worth of careful field work in America to take final control of our political and government system.

    They have a shot and they're taking it. If they fail, it will be for them only a temporary setback. Like Rocky Racoon, they will take another shot as soon as they are able.

    Unless something stops them.

    Johnonymous

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    1. IMO the government was overthrown in 2008. Ever since then, everyone is like a frog being slowly boiled in a pot of water. I fear that, by the time enough people realize the extent of what's happening, it will be too late to do anything.

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    2. My well-thumbed Almanac of American Politics doesn't mention anyone named Racoon. Is he new? I don't have the latest edition.

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    3. Sorry, A66, for the mispelling. I should have typed "Rocky Raccoon."

      It's the title of a song on the Beatles White Album, which also includes a song our host alludes to, "Back In The USSR."

      The essence of my concern is that good people on the political right don't appreciate the relentless nature of the antagonist we are dealing with.

      Johnonymous

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  17. All it takes is realization.

    http://themellowjihadi.com/2013/11/25/historical-mistake-biblical-proportions/

    You probably knew that sir.

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  18. Not entirely relevant to the topic but it should be of interest in respect to the thoughts of some of us outside the US in respect to where you are going in the international scene is an article in the magazine "Quadrant". It is entitled "A World Without Uncle Sam". It can be viewed at www.quadrant.org.au

    If it helps our "pollies" here to get off their publicly funded bums and allocate more of our GDP to defence issues well and good. That will not be before time.

    A couple more decisions from Obama like the Iran one and we will probably do something about a proper programme of armament independent of a seemingly unreliable ally. I have no truck for the Saudis and their way of life and government but they are US allies and have been turned out into the cold and the one truly democratic and civilized country in the Middle East, Israel, a long time ally must be looking to their own protection and checking the fuses on the nukes they "don't" have.

    What the US stands for in terms of human freedom and governance is not being serviced by the current administration.

    Just the opinion of a friend from outside who would like to see you return to your true values.

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    Replies
    1. and a very valuable opinion. I think Australia needs to start a serious and independent defense policy. It won't be easy and it will be expensive but its that or depend on loons such as Obama and his crowd and whatever "revelation" they happen to have that day.

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    2. First; the comment section here is excellent and getting better. Second; Japan is worried. If i were a nip i would be as well. I once asked a liberal japanese man if, push came to shove, he would trust the security of his country to Clinton's judgement. The look on his face was priceless. Gentlemen, i am afraid that history is happening again.

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    3. The so-called peace dividend that accrued to the west after the fall of the soviet union bloc has been pissed away on frivolities related to buying votes of the eternally "oppressed", climate change and other fringe groups.

      It is to be hoped that Australia can show the world how funds can be re-allocated to worthwhile projects. Be that rebuilding a military (though how a military can be built to resist the Chinese is impossible to imagine) or heaven forbid just scaling back on government spending.

      The issue Diplomad addresses is serious, nobody can in future rely on the USA to come to their aid (and frankly we should have never been hiding under her petticoats). The UN is useless. NATO is failing apart and anyway directed at the wrong ocean. It seems to me a Pacific Rim agreement amongst nations threatened by China is required, and a serious relook at nuclear weapon provisioning.

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    4. G'day Cascadian. I think you have hit the nail on the head re a Pacific Rim Alliance.

      Until my recent retirement I had a considerable involvement with China's near neighbours and China itself. The neighbours look warily at the Middle Kingdom and its bellicose posturing and are rightly wary of its intentions.

      The only problem I see with a Pacific Rim Alliance is the complex mixture of cultures, ethnicities and military philosophy unlike NATO which was originally comprised of nations that had evolved from the European Enlightenment.

      For all China's posturing and sabre rattling it is still a long way off being able to project substantial military power over long sea distances though the proximity of Taiwan must make the Taiwanese constantly aware of their delicate situation.

      Sheer numbers are not necessarily a problem as Voltaire expounded, "God is not on the side of the big battalions but on the side of those who shoot best". The Chinese found this to be the case at the battle of Kapyong [Korea, 23 to 25 April, 1951] where they came up against 3Bn RAR, 2nd Bn Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and 16th New Zealand Field Regiment [Artillery] who successfully stopped the Chinese push on Seoul. It was also a lesson taught to them by General Ridgeway's US troops.

      From my dealings with the Communist Chinese I would give them the same amount of trust I would a saltwater crocodile; i.e two thirds of three fifths of s.f.a.

      With the Chinese, and others who want to throw their weight around, I subscribe to Theodore Roosevelt's concept, "Speak softly and carry a big stick".

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    5. Good morning David. A good post you have here. I appreciate your personal insights into China as I have little. Plenty on Communism itself but the ChiCom way- not so much.

      Our illustrious president is wanting to "pivot" to Asia it seems but so far he is managing to perch and rotate on his thumb thereby making allies nervous with good reason.

      My take on China is that it is large and loud but that masks many internal problems that will soon come to light. There are several "Chinas" within China meaning too much third world poverty and isolation while at the same time a bit of glitzy first world China that we see in the press. It wasn't twenty years ago that Japan Inc was going to somehow rule the modern world. Well they polluted their currency and cronied up government and business and boom! A dead in the water economy and a society that is literally dying in front of itself.

      China's command/control economy with a dubious yuan will do much the same in time. The difference today between the PacRim alliance and NATO may just come down to simply the former being good for business while the latter is/was good for freedom. I share your distrust of China as with all versions of communism. Communism of today will have to try to parcel out freedom in small bits to a nation of one billion that is too large to be satisfied with bits. That can be a domestic powder keg.

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    6. G'day David, I am going to defer to your obvious expertise, and am somewhat heartened that you believe that China is unready (at present) to project power across sea expanses. A Pacific Rim alliance has obvious shortcomings as after Japan, Taiwan, Korea (perhaps Singapore), Australia, New Zealand and Canada one is perplexed to see how any other country on the rim could contribute, and how such a lop-sided alliance could work.

      Then again seeing China's ability to build airports, seaports, bridges and cities seemingly in months and construct military hardware without a lead-time of 25 years which seems current in Western democracies is impressive. Canada's attempts at buying helicopters and submarines has revealed a system that is beyond broke, we end up with unsuitable equipment and get fleeced at the same time-such is the current military expertise.

      Your mention of Kapyong is instructive, but in my naivete I doubt any future nastiness will involve a land war, seems to me a naval blockade of most of the countries mentioned above could bring them to their knees in fairly short order. Which brings me to the "big stick" you mention, it seems to me a nuclear capable submarine force (which Is Israels final threat to would be attackers) is most useful.

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    7. G'day Cascadian,

      I do not consider myself an expert on China just a careful observer and collector of information as I see it around me.

      We, Down Under, are in a unique situation. An island/continent/single national identity. A small population with a huge land mass most of which is unfriendly and an even longer coastline to defend so an effective navy and air force is essential to make any attempt on us too costly to contemplate. We can be self sufficient and so to us a blockade is not really the effective tool it could be to some of the other nations who rely heavily on imports for survival.

      We, like Canada, have also made some bad choices in armament procurement due to the "pollies" ignoring their defence people in outlining what we actually need.

      For a small nation the nuclear option as a deterrent is very real.

      The big powers may not like it but unless there are some dramatic changes towards détente between those powers we smaller nations are well advised to look to our own solutions and Israel is a good example of a small country wielding a very big stick.

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  19. From the great western sage, P. J. O"Rourke: "wonder how many of the people who profess to believe in the leveling ideas of collectivism and egalitarianism really just believe that they themselves are good for nothing. I mean, how many leftists are animated by a quite reasonable self-loathing? In their hearts they know that they are not going to become scholars or inventors or industrialists or even ordinary good kind people. So they need a way to achieve that smugness for which the left is so justifiably famous. They need a way to achieve self-esteem without merit. Well, there is politics. In an egalitarian world everything will be controlled by politics, and politics requires no merit.".

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    1. I'm somehow reminded James of (from two specific of your cited sentences)

      So they need a way to achieve that smugness for which the left is so justifiably famous. They need a way to achieve self-esteem without merit.

      I wonder if He included Himself when He said,

      "You didn't build that."

      Ark

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  20. Change "the government" to "the State" and we are nearer to the truth.



    pmc



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