Archive for April, 2011

The Reagan Doctrine of National Suicide

April 15, 2011 1 comment

Reaganism is the Suicide of the Government of the United States

Copyright©2011 by Wilson J. Moses, Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ronald Reagan’s cunning and mischievous National Suicide Doctrine, is the cause of our present economic crisis in the United States.  His insane anti-American doctrine is exactly the opposite of the patriotism of that true Republican, Dwight David Eisenhower, who led the Allies to victory over the Nazis, shaped the Korean Truce, balanced the national budget, and assaulted the bastions of racial segregation. No more pernicious and divisive philosophy than Reaganism has appeared in American politics since the time of Jefferson Davis.

Reagan openly announced his doctrine in his First Inaugural Address, when he said: “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”   Even more outrageous, the Reagan administration began to preach the slogan “Starve the beast,” in 1985, an idea later recycled by Sarah Palin in the 2008 Presidential campaign.  Palin, who is married to a notorious Alaskan secessionist, is typical of Republicans, with her idea of cutting taxes until we have destroyed the national economy and the Government of the United States.

 Reagan Republicans hate the Government of the United States.  They call it a “beast.” 

Ronald Reagan’s inaugural address, his doctrine of government suicide, is currently accessible at YouTube, and the text is at The Avalon Project of the Yale Law School   The phrase  “Starve the Beast” applied to the government of the United States, originated with an anonymous hack in the Reagan White House, according to Michael J. New’s article in Cato Journal, (Fall 2009), published by the Cato Institute.  Reagan’s words and his government destroying policy sets the tone for all subsequent discourses in American politics, and reignites the homicidal fires of American secessionism.

Republicans seek to validate a doctrine of localism, provincialism, and individual isolation that was openly rejected by Benjamin Franklin as early as 1754, repudiated by George Washington and Alexander Hamilton in 1787, and subsequently condemned by John Adams.  But the quasi-populist fires of American secessionism were secretly stoked by the Machiavellian slaveholder and pseudo-egalitarian, Thomas Jefferson in his Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.  The hypocritical and devious Thomas Jefferson was always covertly hostile to George Washington, to the Government of the United States, to its Flag, and to its Constitution.  Regrettably his philosophy moved increasingly to the right over the years, until he repudiated the anit-slavery doctrines of his youth and supported the expansion of slavery into the territories.  Jeffersonian thinking was among the contributing causes of the Civil War.

 The United States had to fight a Great Civil War to extirpate “Jeffersonian Democracy.”

Capitalism is a necessary ingredient of all civilization, and capitalism is impossible without the existence of Law and Order.  Government is necessary for property to exist.  This is known to every college graduate who has read the works of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Benjamin Franklin, and Adam Smith.  Without government, property is only an abstract and insubstantial theory.   As Aristotle and John C. Calhoun pointed out, there has never been a human Society without government.   And to this I would add that it is only within the context of Society. i. e. Government, that property rights can have any meaning, that capital can be accumulated, or that money can have any value.

 All wealth derives from a social contract, and is inextricable from the idea of COMMONWEALTH.  

Calhoun knew this was true, but he was intellectually dishonest, and worked to undermine the sacred institution of government that he knew was essential to human civilization, wealth, and happiness.  His conception of culture was primitive, for he was not only a slaveholding racist, but contemptuous of the interests of the nascent industrial working class.   Although he understood the necessity of strong government, he encouraged his constituents in refusing to pay their taxes, and for this, he was rightly upbraided by President Andrew Jackson.

Jackson was no paragon of statesmanship; he was a murderous, drunken brawler, a cold-blooded dueler, an Indian scalper, and a slave-driver.   He stupidly destroyed the Second Bank of the United States, thereby causing a depression.  But, to his credit, Andrew Jackson was the last American President to balance the budget and sink the national debt.  He did this by asserting the principle that the federal government must collect taxes, at gunpoint if necessary.   When South Carolina tried to nullify the Tariff of 1832, Jackson showed them he meant business.   He demolished the extreme doctrine of states rights, announcing to the states rights deadbeats:

“The Constitution of the United States, then, forms a government, not a league; and whether it be formed by compact between the States or in any other manner, its character is the same. It is a Government in which all the people are represented, which operates directly on the people individually, not upon the States.”

 Law and Order, are identical with Government; they are the basis of Property, of Capitalism, and of every other aspect of Civilization. 

Even in so-called “primitive societies,” money has always been more than a mere medium of exchange.  Money is, and must be, by definition, a means of storing wealth.  Traditional African and Native American societies, long before the coming of European colonialism, created and used sophisticated money systems, in the form of wampum belts, and cowry shells, as means of calculating debt and storing wealth.  One of the means employed by European colonialists to destroy African and Native American economies, was to counterfeit indigenous currencies.   Inflation of wampum and cowries were among the gimmicks employed by Europe in destroying African and Native American economies.

Gradual inflation, as Benjamin Franklin knew, is sometimes good, for it may stimulate the flow of goods and services, and accomplish great public works.   But unrestrained inflation is an evil, for it destroys money the most convenient means of storing wealth, and the basis of any predictability and stability in the exchanges of labor and commodities.   James Madison viewed “a rage for paper money,” as evil and pernicious.  In today’s terms, he would have to include, not only paper, but electronic money which is being recklessly generated by the Federal Reserve System, and leads to an inflationary expansion of the money supply.   But a national debt, in the form of a stable national currency, and the governmental capacity to issue reliable bonds, is a national blessing, as the wise and fearless genius, General Alexander Hamilton well knew.

One purpose of the Constitution was to thwart “inflation, an abolition of debts, or for any other improper or wicked project.”  (Federalist 10)  The right wing of the Republican Party is presently calling for an abolition of the National Debt, for no other reason than to bring down the Government of the United States.   They advocate the destruction of the Full Faith and Credit of the Government of the United States, because they hate the Government of the United States!

One of the great and tragic ironies or our time is that the Republican Party, once the champion of National Union and vigorous government, has become the party of weak government, fiscal irresponsibility and secessionism.  The party of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower has adopted the National Suicide policies of Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee, and Ronald Regan.  How did this happen?   It has to do with the disgraceful heritage of slavery and racism, as I shall demonstrate in a forthcoming essay.  —  Wilson J. Moses, 2011-04-14

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TEA-PARTY, SCHMEE PARTY: Dems, Reps and Baggers all Have the Same Effect

April 15, 2011 1 comment

TEA-PARTY, SCHMEE PARTY: Dems, Reps and Baggers all Have the Same Effect

by Wilson Moses

Back during the Presidential campaign of 2008, many of those who opposed the Big Bank Bail-out were Old Reaganites, long-time supporters of the deregulation that allowed the banks to pull down the economy in the first place.  Or they were Old-Goldwaterites, or libertarians, or small-government advocates who oppose the existence of the Federal Reserve System, the Security and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and every other mechanism that was established in the 20th century for the ostensible purpose of protecting the public from what Louis Brandeis called “The Money Trust.”

Of course, all the above agencies are controlled by the very entities they are supposed to regulate.  This state of affairs was sardonically predicted in the 1880s by William Graham Sumner, a social Darwinist who insisted that Big Business would inexorably devour individual freedom and that there was nothing anybody could do about it. There was no point in progressive era reform “to make the world better.”  Workers were inevitably doomed to become cogs in monopolistic industrial machines.   As early as 1776, Adam Smith had noted, the progressive tendencies of society towards industrialization. Smith championed the “labor theory of value.”  He believed in the moral and material rights of the working people as did Benjamin Franklin before him and Karl Marx after him.  But Smith, although sympathetic to the rights of the emergent working class, recognized the difficulty of workers ensuring those rights.  He feared that combinations of workers, i.e. labor unions, must always be doomed to failure because, “We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work, but many against combining to raise it.”

Smith’s statement seemed woefully outdated to anyone looking at the American economy in 1960, when the United Auto Workers was reaching its peak, wages were high, and the population of Detroit was close to 2 million.  The collapse of the Detroit economy, and the concurrent withering of the industrial labor movement, make Smith’s observations tragically appropriate.  Recent  union busting activities of the Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio legislatures, aided by powerful combinations of anti-labor forces, such as the Koch Brothers, Fox Television, and Donald Trump demonstrate that Smith’s grim observations are every bit as valid today as they were 225 years ago.  It is the “masters,” not the workers, who make the laws.

The masters not only make the laws, but interpret them as well, sometimes turning progressive laws against their original progressive aims.  Sumner observed that progressive laws seemed only to generate endless legal disputes, which ended in court decisions favorable to the bosses, not the workers.  As early as the Slaughterhouse Cases of 1873, the 14th amendment was being used by a conservative Supreme Court, not to protect the rights of the emancipated slaves, but as a means of breaking the unions.  It was far from the minds of the Justices that trade unions happened, incidentally, to discriminate against black workers; it was very much on their minds that the existence of unions was bothersome to the master class.   The Supreme Court came to support an interpretation of the 14th Amendment that treated corporations as persons. In the Case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (1886).  Thus, as historians Tindall and Shi have observed, “the fourteenth amendment became a judicial harbor for laissez faire.”

In Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled as Wikipedia summarizes, that “spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech.”  Most recently in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205  (2010), the Supreme Court has ruled that money is the same thing as speech.  Thus every political position today reflects the interests of the master class.  The Supreme Court has deregulated campaign donations, and state legislatures have crippled the labor unions.  Big government no longer balances the interests of big business, and the individual American worker is left to his or her own devices.  The historical tendency of the past 35 years is to carry the society in the direction of feudalism, towards an environment of absolute, unregulated “liberty,” in which life will become increasingly “nasty, brutish, and short.”

In the progressive era, a number of wise and temperate members of the elite, most prominently J. P. Morgan, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, recognized the usefulness of a balance between big government and big business, and the necessity of both.  They saw that the anarchy of unbridled capitalism was injurious to the interests of the elite.  For this reason, they worked to fashion a new commonwealth in which government would place limitations on the greed of shallow-thinking capitalists, but could also be used to protect the feckless mob from its own ignorance.

The progressive tradition seeks to protect the mindless masses from their industrial masters as well as from their commercial masters, the greedy banks, insurance companies.  Government is the only instrument that can protect the masses from the free-wheeling robber barons and swaggering exploiters who silently tax them.  As George Fitzhugh observed, the man of strong intelligence and unstable morality exerts at tax on every inferior he encounters. In a world without big government, the brilliant and immoral capitalist exists in the natural state of a feudal lord.  He is a robber baron in a Hobbesian universe.   He desires a state of anarchy in which the ignorant masses suffer under the laissez faire system which they mindlessly praise.

The Democrats, the Republicans, and the Tea Party are tools of the people of superior intelligence and superior economic resources.  All men are not created equal.   Some are born with more money, more brains, better looks, better social contacts, more powerful families, greater charm.  Others achieve positions of power.  Obama is among those who have brains enough to rise to the top, due to the intellectual gifts he inherited from his parents.  But his rise was impossible without the assistance of elites who were already in power.  Thus his vague progressivism, which was doomed from the beginning, is symbolized by his feeble efforts at creating a national health care system.

I was among the first to criticize Obama’s half-stepping approach to health care.  In my view, he should have “thrown the Hail Mary Pass,” as soon as he took office, by insisting on Socialized Medicine. If he had done so, the current state of play would have been no worse than it is.   In the political cycle, Obama was destined to face disappointment.  He should have accepted that fact and taken a firmer stand for the principles that ostensibly drove him in the progressive tradition.   Had he done so, the only consequence of Obama’s failure, would have been the right to say,  “I tried.”

As it now stands we have a weak health bill that nobody understands, and which is disappointing to most progressives.  A series of reforms that will not take effect immediately, and that has a good chance of being overturned, before it can take effect, humble as it is.

Progressive forces in America are scattered and disorganized, just as Adam Smith predicted centuries ago.  Some Pan-Africanists and Afrocentrists are more concerned with defending Gaddafi than with defending the public employees unions.  White workers are terrified of “big government,” suspicious of “big business,” and completely brainwashed by both.  Intellectuals and progressive elites are in complete disarray, and their immediate destiny of weakness and ineffectuality is apparently ineluctable.

American political thought is dominated by the meaningless rhetoric of three parties, all of which stand ultimately for sinking the price of labor, raising the price of education, protecting the insurance companies, rewarding corrupt bankers, inflating the stock market, cutting taxes, devaluing the currency, and bankrupting the United  States Treasury.

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