Category Archives: Democracy

NEW COLUMN: The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe

Democracy, Foreign Policy, History, libertarianism, South-Africa

“The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe” can be read in full on the Mises Institute’s Wire. An excerpt:

…  Yes, it has happened. A mere 23 years after the 1994 transition, in South Africa, to raw ripe democracy, six years following the publication of a wide-ranging analysis of that catastrophe, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, a Beltway libertarian think tank has convened to address the problem that is South Africa.

The reference is to an upcoming CATO “Policy Forum,” euphemized as “South Africa at a Crossroad.” One of the individuals to headline the “Forum” is Princeton Lyman, described in a CATO email tease as having “served as the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa at the time of the transfer of power from white minority to black majority.” At the “Forum,” former ambassador Lyman will be discussing “America’s original hopes for a new South Africa and the extent to which America’s expectations have been left unfulfilled.” (Italics added.)

The chutzpah!

The CATO Institute’s disappointment in the South Africa the United States helped bring about is nothing compared to the depredations suffered by South Africans, due to America’s insistence that their country pass into the hands of a voracious majority. Unwise South African leaders acquiesced. Federalism was discounted. Minority rights for the Afrikaner, Anglo and Zulu were dismissed.

Aborted Attempts at South African Decentralization

This audacity of empire is covered in a self-explanatory chapter of Into the Cannibal’s Pot, titled “The Anglo-American Axis of Evil,” in which Lyman makes a cameo. (It’s not flattering.) From the comfort of the CATO headquarters, in 2017, the former ambassador will also be pondering whether “growing opposition will remove the African National Congress [ANC] from power.” The mindset of the DC establishment, CATO libertarians included, has it that changing the guard  —replacing one strongman with another — will fix South Africa, or any other of the sites of American foreign-policy interventions.

So, what exactly did Princeton Nathan Lyman do on behalf of America in South Africa? Or, more precisely, who did he sideline?

Ronald Reagan, who favored “constructive engagement” with South Africa, foresaw the chaos and carnage of an abrupt transition of power. So did the South Africans Fredrick van Zyl Slabbert, RIP (he died in May 2010), and Dr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The first was leader of the opposition Progressive Federal Party, who, alongside the late, intrepid Helen Suzman became the PFP’s chief critic of Nationalist policy (namely Apartheid). The second was Chief Minister of the KwaZulu homeland and leader of the Zulu people and their Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). …

… READ THE REST. “The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe” is on the Mises Institute’s Wire.

Deep State Establishment Vs. The Aristocratic Republic The Founders Bequeathed

America, BAB's A List, Communism, Constitution, Democracy, Donald Trump, Federalism, Foreign Policy, Founding Fathers, Government, History, Intelligence, The State

By Dr. Boyd D. Cathey

Who is former CIA director William Brennan? Here is what the Wikipedia says of him: In 1976, he voted for Communist Party USA candidate Gus Hall in the presidential election; he later said that he viewed it as a way “of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change.”  Despite that and despite what such actions denote, he has been involved in the most sensitive of US intelligence work and in the CIA for twenty-five years, serving directly as a personal intelligence advisor in the administration  of Bill Clinton, and, as a staunch Obama supporter, appointed to head the CIA in 2013.

This fact puts into context an element of the present multifaceted  assault on the Trump presidency, and, indeed, of a highly-politicized intelligence community, infiltrated over decades by cadres of Deep State operatives and sleeper agents, whose goal is to bring down that presidency.

The Deep State establishment wants us to do our thing—pay bills, pay taxes, take the children to school, watch ESPN, mow the grass, maybe go to church, but mainly stay away from getting involved in the “big issues” of really deciding how this country is run. That is their thing: making executive decisions at the top of the food chain, running this nation, conducting its foreign affairs, enacting its domestic policy, lining their pockets, and passing legislation that most of us never hear about until it hits us in the face—or in the pocket book. It’s not exactly an old fashioned dictatorship, but neither is it the republic that our ancestors or the Founders of this nation envisaged, either.

Certainly, those men who assembled to draft our Constitution some 230 years ago did not believe in a “peoples’ democracy.” For them, the republic they gave us did have tiers and gradations, such that those with the most involvement and interest in the new nation would also have the most direct influence. Thus each of the thirteen states had a plethora of property requirements and age requirements, as well as religious tests: all these came together to insure a high level of participation from those who had those interests.

So, what then is the difference between then and now? Do we not still have an aristocracy that, in effect, runs the country?

The issue here is rather the nature of government and how it is construed and operated. Our Founders considered the aristocratic republic they established to be a natural development, based firmly in the deepest traditions and inherited beliefs of the citizens of the new nation. The new constitution would represent an organic “moment” in which the new United States would crystallize its history, reaffirm its British heritage of law and justice. It was, then, not a revolutionary moment, but one cementing a link and connection to the past, to rights that went back to Magna Carta, to Rome, Athens, and, yes, Jerusalem.

It was also intended to be transparent, in that this constitutional arrangement, with its mix of the traditions of aristocracy and limited democratic participation, was not hidden from view. Nor was it intended to be. Americans knew what they were getting. Of course, there were debates over aspects of the founding, and there were disputes, seen most particularly in the several state conventions in the 1820s and 1830s, about whether we wanted to move further in the direction of “democracy” or not.

A major concern of the Founders was the effect wealth might have in influencing elections. They wanted to avoid impropriety as much as possible, to make such concerns as public as they were able.  While they foresaw that men of great affluence might gain advantage, imposing set property conditions and the accumulated weight of traditions, custom, and a sense of deference they believed, could offset such dangers. And, very importantly, they wished that local and states’ rights act as a major counter-balance to eventual encroachments attempted by the Federal government. In other words, they posited what Catholic theorists term “subsidiarity,” that is, what can be done on a lower level of governance, ought to be done on that level and not on a higher level. A whole series of layers of intermediate organisms, families, communities, states, would insulate citizens from overweening powers emanating from Washington.

But, as was stated more than once, the republican “experiment” depended largely on the virtue of its citizenry.

Contrast this now with what acute observers like James Burnham (e.g., The Managerial Revolution) and Samuel Francis (e.g., Leviathan) have starkly noted about the modern United States, about how unelected and largely unseen “managers,” technocrats, and political operatives have in a real sense taken over both the electoral process as well as the running of government, forming a new, “hidden” kleptocracy, of those who answer to no one, and whose tenure is unlimited.  It is, thus, an ugly and grasping inverted mirror of the model the Founders envisaged.

And since 1865 those protective, intermediate layers—states’ rights, local controls, our liberties—have succumbed, one by one, to the power of the Federal state which seems to increasingly suck the lifeblood out of society. We now are face-to-face, far too often, with the full power and threats of a Federal bureaucracy which seems to know no limits. Those unseen managers, the Deep State establishment, will brook no real opposition. If it should appear, it is either tamed and bought off, or squelched.

Enter Donald J. Trump and an agenda that promised to “drain the swamps,” and a very rude awakening in last November’s election. For the Deep State establishment it could not—must not—be permitted to stand. And thus we come to today, all the chimerical controversy about how the “Russians did it,” and how that uncouth ruffian in the White House needs to be taken down a peg or two, surrounded by “experienced advisors,” or perhaps removed from office, toute suite!

This process has in effect torn the lying mask off the face of the Deep State, and most particularly, its advance panzer units, the Mainstream Media. A recent study completed by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy [May 18] has analyzed media coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office. Here is what was found:

CBS, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. All six portrayed Trump’s first 100 days in highly unfavorable terms. CNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting—negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks. Trump’s coverage on CBS also exceeded the 90 percent mark. Trump’s coverage exceeded the 80 percent level in The New York Times (87 percent negative) and The Washington Post (83 percent negative). The Wall Street Journal came in below that level (70 percent negative), a difference largely attributable to the Journal’s more frequent and more favorable economic coverage.

Even Fox scarcely gave the president more than 50% favorable coverage.

Add to this the unrelenting assaults by Democrats, academia, Hollywood, and various skittish Republicans and NeverTrump Neoconservatives, and we can see the massive offensive against not just President Trump, but even more, against the “drain the swamps” agenda that brought him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the first place.

More than once I have called for a massive response to this massive offensive. I have stated that while winning this past November 8 was a mini-miracle, extremely difficult to achieve, “winning the victory” would be even harder. And, certainly, it is proving to be so.

*****

~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

Neocon Condoleezza Rice Tries To Rehabilitate Herself

Bush, Democracy, Iraq, Propaganda, WMD

Condoleezza Rice is misleading again. At the time of Operation Iraqi Freedom, she had compared the Iraqi democracy project to early America’s fits and starts. Basically, America was once Iraq. Iraq will get there. Moreover, she had no right to “overthrow Saddam,” which was as radical an act as one could commit against a sovereign country that had not attacked the US.

“‘We went to Iraq to overthrow Saddam, not bring democracy’ – ex-State Secretary Condoleezza Rice.”

Going into Afghanistan to get Osama bin laden was a legitimate act. Bush had asked the Taliban to relinquish him; they refused. He invaded. Fine. Remaining in that hellhole for decades to bring democracy: that was illegitimate.

World-Class Idiot Nikki Haley On How To Make Syria Great Again

Democracy, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, UN, War

Nikki Haley is no longer a provincial idiot, but a world-class idiot who speaks for Donald Trump when she pontificates on how to make Syria great again:

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, STATE OF THE UNION: Is regime change in Syria now the official policy of the United States?

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: So, there’s multiple priorities. It’s — getting Assad is not the only priority. So, what we are trying to do is, obviously, defeat ISIS. Secondly, we don’t see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there. Thirdly, get the Iranian influence out. And then, finally, move towards a political solution because at the end of the day, this is a complicated situation. There are no easy answers and a political solution is going to have to happen.

But we know that it is not going to be — there is not any sort of option where political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime. It just — if you look at his actions, if you look at the situations, it’s going to be hard to see a government that’s peaceful and stable with Assad.

TAPPER: Well, of course, it’s hard to. Is it the position of the Trump administration that he cannot be ruler of Syria any more? Regime change is the policy?

HALEY: Well, regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that Assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria.

Haley also told CNN last week the — rather last week the strike could be followed by more action if necessary.

HALEY: He won’t stop here. If he needs to do more, he will do more. So, really, now, what happens depends on how everyone responds to what happened in Syria and make sure that we start moving towards a political solution and we start finding peace in that area.