Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Inherent Colonialism of the Left

Not the most thoughtful analysis but I read a blog posting in which the author takes issue with those who "promulgate and promote the notion that, because of his father's background, Obama has an anti-colonial mindset. And what is so bad about that, anyway? Colonialism is: 'the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.' The US started out as a colony and didn't care much for it."  No.  The U.S. started off as a group of separate colonies, and people in all the colonies wanted to enjoy all the rights of British citizens.  When this seemed impossible, they took to the notion of independence and the colonies became sovereign states.   If they didn't confederate, they wouldn't be able to resist the Crown and keep their independence, so sovereign states voluntarily joined a confederacy under the Articles, and then voluntarily ratified a document constituting "a more perfect union."  This document was crafted with the express purpose of keeping the federal government from exercising imperial authority over the states.  It defined essentially a sort of corporation of the states.

The problem with the sort of anti-colonialism that Obama appears to embrace (as D'Souza argues in 2016, citing among other things Obama's quick return of the Churchill bust and his position on the Falkland Islands) is that it is the progressive class warfare trope writ large.  If one nation is doing well and another isn't, the well-off nation must be bettering itself at the others' expense.  There is no economic win-win scenario scenario for the leftist.  (As I've noted previously, D'Souza's 2016 illustrates some problems with this view.)
Notice here also that progressives have had muted (if not missing) outrage over Soviet Russian colonialism over Easter Europe.  Very little to say about that. Maybe because all that was done in the name of spreading the wealth.

But I want to get into my principal theme here, that as much as the Left condemns intervention on the foreign front (though ignoring it under some circumstances especially if the "League of Nations" is for it) and downplays the need to be strongly armed against global threats, it believes in a government force against its citizenry (and disarming the public against such) and power being consistently more centralized and nationalized.

In other words, the Left seems to support the autonomy of foreign states, often when there is reason to think there is a great potential threat, while disdaining the autonomy of our domestic states whose powers of autonomy are nominally guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.  How many left-leaning citizens continue to be bothered by federal troops incinerating children in Waco, because the militarized ATF didn't like being repelled by armed citizens (a jury found in favor of the Waco survivors exercising their 2nd Amendment rights against armed invaders) and so they gassed them with tanks.  This happened under the direction of so-called liberal peaceniks.  It makes you wonder what would happen if American states decided to secede from the federal government.  Would people that balked at intervening in the affairs of dictatorships seriously send federal troops in to force subservience on penalty of death?

The assumption that the federal government will opt for the Lincoln precedent (level the states if it will keep them "in the fold") itself demonstrates the colonial attitude. (As Kathy Bates said in Misery, "It's for the best.")  When it comes to how certain Islamist nations treat their women, we have nothing to say (it is their country after all), but Supreme Court Justices here have reveled in their power, not simply to keep government powers within their constituted limits, but to expand federal power by dictating what the states can legislate.

Whenever anyone says that conservatives are going to outlaw abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade, you should recall that there was abortion before Roe v. Wade, in the states that allowed it.  The court decision  for Roe v. Wade (based on a lie if you now ask Jane Roe) took the matter out of state autonomy based on a dubious interpretation of Constitutional privacy.   Now your federal government can be involved in almost any matter between you and your physician except when it might involve the life of a defenseless feeling creature (that thing that is referred to clinically as a fetus).  The right to privacy disappears in those cases.  And the federal government is licensed to interfere with state affairs on the basis of judicially minted "reproductive rights."  Isn't that useful?

Here's what I suspect.  In that social upheaval during which the Democrats abandoned "states rights" after they lost their fight against civil rights legislation and the progressive radicals steered the party toward identity politics and America-blaming, something happened.  Not only did progressives see a party that was disoriented and ripe for the taking.  Not only did Democrat politicians see in young protesters a chance to demagogue their way into a new clientele/constituency.  I think that the most radical progressives and socialists and Marxists licked their lips when federal troops descended on Little Rock in 1957.  I think it was at that time that they started to see in identity politics the key to breaking the 10th Amendment protection against centralized, nationalized power.  There is nothing like an expansive court decision for making federal guns descend on a locality.  And there is nothing like morality questions for making expansive court decisions.

Now there are your everyday average progressive types that think, strangely enough, really do think that progressivism is all about individual liberty and putting all the power in the one place you can trust (the federal government) to guarantee those individual liberties.  Big Daddy Fed will protect you from your state, from your community, from your employer; just hand over your guns and all information concerning your economic transactions.  And Daddy will take care of you.  Uncle Ho, Uncle Mao, Uncle Sam.  Oh my!

Let's forget about Iraq and focus on Afghanistan, since Obama said that's what we should have done all along.  All this effort in Afghanistan just to exact revenge on bin Laden.  Wouldn't it have been nobler to go into Vietnamistan with the express purpose of replacing their government with one that would respect human rights?  Will the governments in Egypt and Libya be less oppressive to women and homosexuals?  Or is just having Islamist governments that are more hostile to Israel its own reward?

You say we'd be treading on their culture, interfering wrongfully, violating the Prime Directive?  (Supposedly though, the Civil War was (retroactively?) justified precisely for imposing a set of values.)   Why don't progressives think that they are doing the same thing to states all over the Union?  Why are liberals content to push their liberal morality and their secularism and scientism (their values) on the local conservative masses that are too stupid to know what's good for them?   In that case they think the imposition is justified.  Why, it's my country and I'm going to make everyone in Texas live how I know the country should live!  What about making Saudi Arabia live up to the standards that you know are right?  Oh no! I can't do that. It's not my country.  That would be unethical! 

When we are talking about foreign states, especially Muslim states, those states are given a dignity that domestic states here are not  that even though there may be large segments of their society that seem prone to oppression in the eyes of liberals or even in the eyes of most Americans, especially compared to any of the states of the U.S.!  Why?  How can liberals be so silent (or supportive!) about so many nations that have little or no commitment to liberty, and at the same time decry the U.S. (and its conservatives in particular) as theocratic, radical, ultra-religious, hateful, destructive, extremist, etc.  Comparing the Tea Party movement to Salafis?  Really?  ... But sharia as national civil code?  Oh that's just people keeping their culture!  Don't knock it if you haven't bothered to understand it!  Ah, the selective multi-culturalism of the Left!

And their selective colonialism!  An approach that, instead of following Reagan's successful peace through strength example,  tries to level the playing field where America is one of many world powers (like Israel is one of our closest allies in the Middle East) but the people can be coerced with overwhelming federal might into anything that is forced on the entire population (whether through judicial fiat or through populist demagoguery). Don't want the federal government to take your guns?  From your cold dead hands?  Judging by the rubble at Waco, from your incinerated dead hands!  Lying next to your incinerated children.  You citizens can't be trusted with weapons so we're going to Tiananmen Square your asses with these tanks.  ATF?  That's another name for an armed force and in Waco it was an armed force of berserkers turned loose on citizens without due process.

With the 10th Amendment being gutted, the states are once again becoming colonies, no longer self-determined, paying ever-growing tributes to an Empire in a tiny country known as the District of Columbia.  The only thing that makes us a true large Republic of smaller republics is respecting the 10th Amendment.  The only thing that warrants federal intrusion of armed forces is a threat to national security or a threat to "Republican Form of Government" (Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution) in a particular state.  Liberals here vote for Empire as long as the imperial actions are limited to the 50 states currently under its jurisdiction.

One of the criticisms of the modern revolt against this imperial imposition, was that, unlike the modern Tea Party movement, the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against an evil corporation, ergo it was more like Occupy Wall Street than the modern Tea Party.  This is the first time I've heard that the Boston Tea Party had little to do with the 1773 Tea Act and with the Revolutionary War in general.  The "Destruction of the Tea" as it was known then was a political protest against a policies in which the British government was "picking the winners and losers" in colonial commerce in order to fill its coffers after a war in which many colonials had fought and died.  At the time, a little commercial terrorism (by local capitalists) was a safer political statement than confronting redcoats.  The East India Co. was practically a GSE of the British Empire, and the colonials were sending a message to Parliament that they recognized it as a way of funding the Empire.  So it may be a more complicated situation to analyze, but reducing the destruction of the tea to the same nebulous anti-capitalist outrage of people that envy the salaries of executives is an extremely superficial analysis.

This reminds me of the quick retraction (well, not a retraction, more like a sudden stunned silence) of the criticism over Sarah Palin's 1773 non-gaffe.  Don't party yet like it's 1773, people.  And yes, not everything significant that happened in the 1770s happened in 1776.  

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