Category Archives: Elections

Chile: A Well-To-Do People That Wants MORE … Socialism, Not Capitalism

Capitalism, Culture, Democracy, Economy, Egalitarianism, Elections, Free Markets, Race, Socialism

Chile is the country with the highest per capita income and least inequality in all of Latin America,writes Pat Buchanan. “Yet the protesters have succeeded in forcing the elected government to capitulate and write a new constitution.”

The economic issues propelling workers into the streets to protest inequalities of wealth and income are occurring at a time when our world has never been more prosperous. …
Neither authoritarians nor the world’s democracies seem to have found a cure for the maladies that afflict our world’s unhappy citizens. …

What we have in reality is what Pat Buchanan has always warned of:

The ethnic and racial clashes within and between nations seem increasingly beyond the capacity of democratic regimes to resolve peacefully.
As for matters of fundamental belief — political, ideological, religious — the divides here, too, seem to be deepening and widening.

The Economist concurs that Chile has it quite good, writing that it “is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector”:

Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s centre-right president, at first took a tough line with the malcontents. “We are at war,” he declared during the rioting. The state’s response was heavy-handed. Although most of the deaths occurred because of arson …

What the people of Chile want, it would appear, is less capitalism and MORE socialism:

Under a model developed by free-market economists during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990, citizens are expected to save for their own retirement. … In many other countries, public pensions are financed by taxing current workers and giving the money to current pensioners—a system that comes under strain when the population ages. Chileans, by contrast, invest the money they save in privately managed funds. This system has helped Chile manage its public finances and encouraged the development of long-term capital markets, which in turn has boosted economic growth.

IS this good? You bet it’s good.

The conservative Mr Piñera is unlikely to scrap a system which in many ways has served Chile well. It is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector.

BUT the people are not interested.

* Image courtesy The Economist.

NEW COLUMN Updated (1/21): Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads

Critique, Donald Trump, Elections, English, Family, Journalism, Media, Political Correctness

NEW COLUMN is “Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads.”

In its attenuated form, the column appeared on Townhall.com. If you prefer lukewarm, milquetoast, bland fare (as much as this writer can do those), adapted for conservative tastes, then stick with this version: “Dissident Deplorables Deserve Decent Coverage.”

Otherwise, read the piece in full on The Unz Review.  Or, look-away, FAST (as did others. Yes, the piece was spiked elsewhere).  The more I read Mencken, the more I know this: If he were alive today, Unz Review woudl be the only place that would dare publish him.

Excerpt:

The happening featured beefcake Donald Trump Jr. and bimbo Kimberly Guilfoyle.

The couple was on stage at UCLA to promote the president’s son’s “book,” when they were jeered by dissident Deplorables for shutting down the Question-and-Answer segment.

“Book” here is in quotations to denote “so-called,” because the staple, ghost-written political pablum, penned by ambitious political flotsam, relates to literacy as H. L. Mencken relates to conformity—not at all.

Predictably, Guilfoyle opted out of the conversational give-and-take demanded by her man’s hecklers, and went straight for the groin:

“I bet you engage in online dating, because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.”

Why “predictably”? Well, a supple mind may not be one of Guilfoyle’s assets.

Kimberley’s cerebral alacrity was seldom showcased when seated in Fox News’ legs chair. During one of her last televised appearances on “The Five,” a Fox News daytime show, Guilfoyle protested that, “the U.S. has already reduced its [toxic] ‘admissions’ enough.”

I give you Guilfoyle, verbatim, in her own words: “So, we can keep doing what we’re doing. We can keep reducing our admissions. …”

To Make English Great Again, you reduce emissions, not “admissions.”

For a while, it even seemed that Trump, looking for curve appeal in a press secretary, was going for Guilfoyle. She certainly thought so and said as much, implying, at the time, that she herself is “a great communicator … with deep knowledge.”

And no; I do not digress. This all goes to the Guilfoyle’s knee-jerk, flirty, aim-for-the-groin reaction to her hombre’s hecklers.

Tellingly, the taunting of Donald Jr. by dissident Deplorables was covered very differently by the American Daily Beast and the British Guardian.

Descriptions of political positions and personalities were prefaced by the Daily Beast with “edifying” editorializing. The hecklers the Beast described as “fringe-right.” Their alleged instigator and inspiration was said to be “a white nationalist.” Perfectly legitimate demands from this disgruntled audience for a “Q&A” and for “America First,” the Daily Beast deemed tantamount to a right-wing insurrection or civil war.

Discrediting dissent is all in a day’s work for the American press.

What do you know? The hecklers at Trump Jr.’s book-flogging were also known, to the Daily Beast at least, as “Holocaust deniers.” As far as this reader can tell, the group taunting the empty suits on stage for refusing to answer questions had said not a word about the Holocaust. Nor had the disrupters been interviewed by the Daily Beast about their views on the Holocaust.

More to the point: Why is participation in our democracy predicated on one’s views on the Holocaust? What the hell does an individual’s opinion about that topic have to do with his right to solicit answers from members of Donald Trump’s politically active dynasty? I say this as a Jew whose family tree was truncated by the industrial-scale mass murder of millions of Jews that was the Holocaust. …

… READS THE REST.  NEW COLUMN is “Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads.” Or, “Dissident Deplorables Deserve Decent Coverage,” if you can’t take the heat. 

UPDATE (11/21): 

On WND: “Is political participation predicated on views about the Holocaust?” “Discrediting dissent is all in a day’s work for the American press,” says this Jew, whose family tree was truncated by the industrial-scale mass murder that was the Holocaust. MORE …

NEW COLUMN: GOP’s Texas Strategy: Hope New Voters Don’t Show Up

Elections, Gender, IMMIGRATION, Republicans

NEW COLUMN IS “GOP’s Texas Strategy: Hope New Voters Don’t Show Up.” It’s on The Unz Review and WND.COM.

An excerpt:

Democrats, reports the Economist, “think they might win Texas in 2020.”

Demographers, being mostly Democrats, credit Donald Trump.

One of them, he’s from Rice University in Houston, claimed that Donald Trump was the “worst thing that ever happened to Texas Republicans”:

“Mr. Trump has alienated many white Republican women in Texas, and has also pushed away Hispanics, who account for around 40 percent of the state’s population. … According to a recent poll by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune, more Texans say they would sooner vote for a candidate running against Mr. Trump than re-elect the president.”

But even those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome are forced to concede that,

“Long after Mr. Trump leaves office, demographic change in Texas will continue to exert an influence on the fortunes of Republicans, as the Hispanic population grows, millennials vote in increasing numbers and people continue to move to Texas from other states, bringing their more liberal politics with them.”

Yes, the country as a whole is moving leftward. And it’s not Donald Trump—although a border wall and a moratorium on immigration would have helped mightily. As the Economist attests, “Americans are more in favor of ‘big-government’ policies today than at any point in the last 68 years.”

The “public mood” in America is decidedly with statism and leftism.

Ultimately, even blame-Trump demographers must, on occasion, crunch data accumulated over decades and admit that, a “blue Texas” must be chalked up to demographic “changes,” which denote the swamping of the native population by a politically monocultural immigrant cohort …

… READ THE REST.  NEW COLUMN IS “GOP’s Texas Strategy: Hope New Voters Don’t Show Up.” It’s on The Unz Review and WND.COM.

NEW COLUMN: How Democracy Made Us Dumb

America, Ancient History, Democracy, Democrats, Egalitarianism, Elections, History

NEW COLUMN IS “How Democracy Made Us Dumb.” It’s currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

An excerpt:

From the riffs of outrage coming from the Democrats and their demos over “our democracy” betrayed, infiltrated even destroyed—you’d never know that a rich vein of thinking in opposition to democracy runs through Western intellectual thought, and that those familiar with it would be tempted to say “good riddance.”

Voicing opposition to democracy is just not done in politically polite circles, conservative and liberal alike.

For this reason, the Mises Institute’s Circle in Seattle, an annual gathering, represented a break from the pack.

The Mises Institute is the foremost think tank working to advance free-market economics from the perspective of the Austrian School of Economics. It is devoted to peace, prosperity, and private property, implicit in which is the demotion of raw democracy, the state, and its welfare-warfare machine.

This year, amid presentations that explained “Why American Democracy Fails,” it fell to me to speak to “How Democracy Made Us Dumb.” (Oh yes! Reality on the ground was not candy-coated.)

Some of the wide-ranging observations I made about the dumbing down inherent in democracy were drawn from the Founding Fathers and the ancients.

A tenet of the American democracy is to deify youth and diminish adults. To counter that, I’ll start with the ancients.

The Athenian philosophers disdained democracy. Deeply so. They held that democracy “distrusts ability and has a reverence for numbers over knowledge.” (Will Durant, “The Story of Philosophy,” New York, New York, 1961, p. 10.)

Certainly, among the ancients who mattered, there was a keen contempt for “a mob-led, passion-ridden democracy.” The complaint among Athenians who occupied themselves with thinking and debating was that “there would be chaos where there is no thought,” and that “it was a base superstition that numbers give wisdom. On the contrary, it is universally seen that men in crowds are more foolish, violent and cruel than men separate and alone.” (p. 11)

Underground already then, because so subversive—anti-democratic thinking was the aristocratic gospel in Athens. Socrates (born in 470 B.C.) was the intellectual leader against democracy and for the even-then hated aristocratic philosophy. Socrates’ acolytes, young and brilliant, questioned the “specious replacement of the old virtues by unsocial intelligence.”

The proof of the foolish, violent and cruel nature of the crowds is that the crowds, not the judges, insisted on making Socrates the first martyr of philosophy. He drank the poison at the behest of the people.

No wonder Plato, Socrates’ most gifted student, harbored such scorn for democracy and hatred for the mob—so extreme that it led this controversial genius to resolve that democracy must be destroyed, to be replaced by his planned society; “the rule of the wisest and the best, who would have to be discovered and enabled.” …

READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “How Democracy Made Us Dumb,” is currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.