Category Archives: Political Philosophy

Quick Note On Principle-Bereft Conservative Utilitarianism

Argument, Conservatism, Energy, Political Philosophy, Russia, War

In a segment today, Monday October 3, Fox News personality Tucker Carlson and guest Glenn Greenwald discussed the Evil Empire’s sabotage of Russia’s energy pipelines to Europe . (The best on the subject is FRED REED’s “A Diagnostic Letter To Our Euro-Peon Vassals, Who Are Dumber Than The Better Class Of Nematode.”)

Glenn Greenwald belabored the point as to whether a war with Russia is even advantageous to the United States and its people. This was also as far as Tucker Carlson would venture, the premise of such crass utilitarianism being that the American State has the right to do anything it wishes, provided this benefits the American people. Poppycock.

Contra  Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald, even if war with Russia were “advantageous to the American people”—to paraphrase the exclusively utilitarian point the two made—it is an unjust war. Like most conservatives, the two personalities mentioned ignore ethical or moral argument, never mentioning Just War theory. Or, even the constitutionally correct way to take our country to war.

See “JUST WAR FOR DUMMIES” (March 12, 2003)

*Image credit, screen picture of this image.

UPDATED (9/26/022): Giorgia Meloni Has A Philosophy Of Liberty; GOP Candidates Have Positions, Talking Points, Bereft of Philosophy

Argument, Europe, Family, Individual Rights, Liberty, Nationalism, Nationhood, Political Philosophy

‘The GOP has to stick to positions, talking points, because the Republicans don’t hold a philosophy, much less one that can support concepts like nationalism, nation-state and national sovereignty’

Unlike most of our GOP candidates, who promote positions, as opposed to a philosophy of liberty (even the very nice ones such as Kari Lake)—Giorgia Meloni, prime minister elect of Italy and leader of Brothers Of Italy, bases her opinions on a systematic philosophy which is central to her core beliefs.

Liberty to Meloni is not the party’s talking points—positions and political plank—as it is for the GOP—“God, Groceries, Gas,” as one hack summed it up on Hannity. Rather, Meloni holds a philosophy of liberty which she grasps. Thus she quotes GK Chesterton not for the meaty words, but to shore up a philosophy. Coming from her, Chesterton doesn’t ring hollow.

What do I mean? Example: Meloni talks about “the nation state” and a “political sovereignty that belongs to the citizens of that state.”

The GOP confines itself to noodling against open borders, but for legal immigration (they love it) and against illegal immigration. The GOP has to stick to positions, talking points, because the Republicans don’t hold a philosophy, much less one that can support concepts like nationalism, nation-state and national sovereignty.

Meloni knows that individual rights are not deracinated, free-floating entitlements that attach naturally to every person who can then show up on the West’s doorstep demanding these abstracted rights be defended and optimized. No, this position is that of the Republicans and Democrats. Their positions justify open borders to varying degrees and an adventurous foreign policy to varying degrees.

A party that holds positions bereft of philosophy will never restore the nation. Why, the concept of a nation (not nation-state) Republicans reach for only to promote and project Lincoln-like visions of political might and can-do optimism.

On the other hand, Meloni, an Italian nationalist, will want to slow immigration to a halt because she believes that everything that is good in Italy comes from its Italian essence.

Suffice it to say that, in her references, the Italian prime minister elect evinces erudition and knowledge.

Alas, as I’ve been told, Meloni is wishy-washy on the vaccine and I note that she suffer the Ukraine euphoria, although is about Italy First.

https://gettr.com/post/p1s9u5762ab

* Screen capture image via NYT

UPDATED (7/5/022): Independence Day Is Not About Firecrackers And Cookouts

America, English, Founding Fathers, Liberty, Nationhood, Political Philosophy, Secession

“notwithstanding the claims of the multicultural noise machine, the Declaration was as mono-cultural as its author. Let us … toast Thomas Jefferson—and the Anglo-Saxon tradition that sired and inspired him.”ILANA MERCER, July 4, 2019

The Declaration of Independence—whose proclamation, on July 4, 1776, we celebrate—has been mocked out of meaning.

To be fair to the liberal Establishment, ordinary Americans are not entirely blameless. For most, Independence Day means firecrackers and cookouts. The Declaration doesn’t feature. In fact, contemporary Americans are less likely to read it now that it is easily available on the Internet, than when it relied on horseback riders for its distribution.

Back in 1776, gallopers carried the Declaration through the country. Printer John Dunlap had worked “through the night” to set the full text on “a handsome folio sheet,” recounts historian David Hackett Fischer in Liberty And Freedom. And President (of the Continental Congress) John Hancock urged that the “people be universally informed.”

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, called it “an expression of the American Mind.” An examination of Jefferson‘s constitutional thought makes plain that he would no longer consider the mind of the collective mentality of the D.C. establishment “American” in any meaningful way. For the Jeffersonian mind was that of an avowed Whig—an American Whig whose roots were in the English Whig political philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

By “all men are created equal,” Jefferson, who also wrote in praise of a “Natural Aristocracy,” did not imply that all men were similarly endowed. Or that they were entitled to healthcare, education, amnesty, and a decent wage, à la Obama.

Rather, Jefferson was affirming the natural right of “all men” to be secure in their enjoyment of their “life, liberty and possessions.”

This is the very philosophy Hillary Clinton explicitly disavowed during one of the mindless presidential debates of 2007. Asked by a YouTubester to define “liberal,” Hillary revealed she knew full-well that the word originally denoted the classical liberalism of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. But she then settled on “progressive” as the appropriate label for her Fabian socialist plank.

Contra Clinton, as David N. Mayer explains in The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson, colonial Americans were steeped in the writings of English Whigs—John Locke, Algernon Sidney, Paul Rapin, Thomas Gordon and others. The essence of this “pattern of ideas and attitudes,” almost completely lost today, was a view of government as an inherent threat to liberty and the necessity for eternal vigilance.

Jefferson, in particular, was adamant about the imperative “to be watchful of those in power,” a watchfulness another Whig philosopher explained thus: “Considering what sort of Creature Man is, it is scarce possible to put him under too many Restraints, when he is possessed of great Power.”

“As Jefferson saw it,” expounds Mayer, “the Whig, zealously guarding liberty, was suspicious of the use of government power,” and assumed “not only that government power was inherently dangerous to individual liberty but also that, as Jefferson put it, ‘the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.’”

For this reason, the philosophy of government that Jefferson articulated in the Declaration radically shifted sovereignty from parliament to the people.

But Jefferson‘s muse for the “American Mind” is even older.

The Whig tradition is undeniably Anglo-Saxon. Our founding fathers’ political philosophy originated with their Saxon forefathers, and the ancient rights guaranteed by the Saxon constitution. With the Declaration, Jefferson told Henry Lee in 1825, he was also protesting England‘s violation of her own ancient tradition of natural rights. As Jefferson saw it, the Colonies were upholding a tradition the Crown had abrogated.

Philosophical purist that he was, moreover, Jefferson considered the Norman Conquest to have tainted this English tradition with the taint of feudalism. “To the Whig historian,” writes Mayer, “the whole of English constitutional history since the Conquest was the story of a perpetual claim kept up by the English nation for a restoration of Saxon laws and the ancient rights guaranteed by those laws.”

If Jefferson begrudged the malign influence of the Normans on the natural law he cherished, imagine how he’d view our contemporary cultural conquistadors from the South, whose customs preclude natural rights and natural reason!

Naturally, Jefferson never entertained the folly that he was of immigrant stock. He considered the English settlers of America courageous conquerors, much like his Saxon forebears, to whom he compared them. To Jefferson, early Americans were the contemporary carriers of the Anglo-Saxon project.

The settlers spilt their own blood “in acquiring lands for their settlement,” he wrote with pride in A Summary View of the Rights of British America. “For themselves they fought, for themselves they conquered, and for themselves alone they have right to hold.” Thus they were “entitled to govern those lands and themselves.”

And, notwithstanding the claims of the multicultural noise machine, the Declaration was as mono-cultural as its author.

Let us, then, toast Thomas Jefferson—and the Anglo-Saxon tradition that sired and inspired him.

©2019 ILANA MERCER
SEE: “A July Fourth Toast To Thomas Jefferson—And The Declaration,” by Ilana Mercer, July 4, 2019

UPDATED (7/5/022): Thomas Jefferson & The Jacobins “From my reading of Dumas Malone’s 6 vol. Jefferson And His Times,” writes BAB writer Juvenal Early, “I’m to the point where Jefferson has just returned from France, where he’d witnessed the first few months of the Revolution. He had been there 5 years and he continued to detest the whole idea of the king, and was still much opposed to England. The England most recently of Edmond Burke and Dr. Johnson, as we know. So Jefferson was naturally inclined toward the Jacobins, very good friends with his fellow Mason the Marquis de Lafayette. Also a very reverent friend of that most radical of the founders (I think) Mr Franklin.”

So, yes, TJ was pretty radical by American standards when he joined Washington’s administration. He was even a little suspect in some corners, for having too favorable a view of the French Revolution. He would cool off on the Revolution later, I think. I’ve heard that. But I haven’t got to that part. A long way to go.

Sigh. Tucker Bashes Biden For The Two Things He’s Doing Right: Iran And Yemen

Foreign Policy, Iran, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Paleoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Republicans, The Establishment, War

Tucker Carlson does splendid work from his mainstream perch, but because of his philosophical limitations and many blind-spots—the kind that had him join the neoconerie in killing Iraq, in the first place; the kind that saw him laud the murder of Iranian major general Qassim Soleimani; the kind that has him bash The South; and call on Canadian truckers to prove a negative, namely, that they aren’t racists; the kind that whined, whined, whined non-stop about Harvey Weinstein, in effect talking-up the MeToo fraud—he stumbles all the time. All the time. Without fail.

Thus did I urge ideological caution on a good friend who got carried away in giving too much street cred to Tucker, and, by extension, enthusing about a Tucker-endorsed Iranian warmonger, Sohrab Ahmari, who has reinvented himself and now peddles retread banalities (or stuff the Old Right—myself included—had espoused decades ago). At best, Ahmari, this ex-agitator for war in Iran, is an unoriginal second hander.

Today (4/12/022), Tucker played a piss-poor satirical skit—just plain bad—of Biden and Harris  being lampooned in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis, explained Tucker, are angry with the awful Biden Administration over Iran and the war in Yemen. I imagine Biden is perceived by the Saudis—and ConOink—to be insufficiently belligerent about destroying Iran, a longtime mission the Saudis share with the neocons. As is Biden considered to be unhelpful to the Saudis in his impetus (albeit weak) to end Saudi Arabia’s protracted war on an impoverished Yemen.

Both these Biden positions, as limp as they are, are better than the positions adopted by ConInc and, yes, Trump. The Saudi war on Yemen is a scandal.

Likewise the unchanging agitation against Iran.

MORE CONTEXT on regional Sunni-Shia squabbles: “Lies About Putin, Syria & The Alawite Alliance