Musings, Quotes, and Observations on a conservative argument


Musings, quotes and observations: how to debate your liberal friends.  A collection of quick and descriptive concepts.  Some quoted, some from unremembered authors, and some just floating around out there

We’re robbing selective Peter to pay for collective Paul

Individual rights are what we need to mobilize all the knowledge it takes to run a successful society- William Easterly

Democracy is the institutional building of freedom and the institutional building of the rule of law- Condi Rice

If the US stops attempting to influence the direction of liberty and dictatorial cultures and governments, then one of two things will happen: chaos, or someone else (China, Russia, an Islamic Caliphate) will take our place.  This has been relegated to us from Britain- Condi Rice

The costs of federal spending are diffused throughout the population so no one has an incentive to push back.  So therefore the greater federal spending becomes- Larry Arnn interviewed on the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge” podcast

Protecting the equal and inalienable rights of people is the government’s primary responsibility- Larry Arnn

The modern bureaucracy is NOT a disinterested/unbiased/neutral organization.  As in self-interested, self-perpetuating, and self-justifying

Originalist interpretation of the Constitution.  Two ways of looking at it:

–      What the founders intentions were

–      What the original public meaning was

 Your representative [congressman] owes you not his industry but his judgment- Edmond Burke

John Taylor from his book First Principles:

  • Predictable policy framework

  • Rule of Law

  • Strong incentives

  • Reliance on Markets

  • Clearly limited role for government

     

“Is there no word in English [coming from a German elite] for gelehrt [cultivated]?” “Oh yes [from a Brit], we call it a prig.”

“There is no power but the State and the State can’t sin when following it’s own higher interests.”- Descriptive statement of how Central Planners think

Mediocre souls trapped in material enjoyments will readily trade their political liberty for peace and security in those enjoyments

In reaction, they withdraw from the public, forgetting they are citizens, and concentrate their lives on family, friends, and themselves. Losing sight of the public, they become oblivious to any distant goal and welcome the benevolent aid of big government, “the immense being”, that acts on their behalf with their passive consent because it knows better and offers to take over responsibility for the trouble of thinking and the pain of living”- D’Tocqueville

 Religion combats the shortsightedness and fecklessness of democracy, and gives it something to be proud of, above the mediocrity of material enjoyments. D’Tocqueville

 The scientific materialism that deprives citizens of their belief in the possibility of self-government is used to justify instead, the rational control of citizens by experts with knowledge of such science”. D’Tocqueville

Legal positivism definition: Judicial opinions based on the utilitarian authority of the govt. vs. constitutional originalism

These proceedings may at first appear strange and difficult; but, like all other steps which we have already passed over, will in a little time become familiar and agreeable; and, until an independence is declared, the continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity-  Thomas Paine, last sentence of “Common Sense”

Our country’s stumbles are the result of human frailty, not a crack in our foundation of inalienable rights and our bedrock of constitutional republican government

State planners always plan for the result they would most like to see, not the one that is most likely to happen.– Friedrich Hayek

We are objects of liberals enlightened interest; then their pity; then their wisdom, then their coercion

Something destructive at its core can’t be fixed at its margins

Property, prices and prof/loss = incentives, information, and innovation. – Ludwig Von Misis.

Liberalism = something between defective temperament and malign intent

WA State income tax failed: People understand wealth destruction = job destruction. Also, they don’t believe they won’t be subject to the tax in the near future

Welfare programs are the oxygen that fuels social pathologies.

Needs morph into rights

Egalitarianism sounds warm and fuzzy but it ain’t necessarily so

NAZI = National Socialist Worker’s Party.  The left throws out this word all the time, but there is not a modicum of difference between the NAZI party and the Soviet Union re: genocide, central planning and authoritarianism

Freedom means the freedom to be unhappy as well

A civilization that feels guilty for defending everything it sees and does lacks the conviction to defend itself.  Blame America first

The Yellow Pages test.  Anything in the Yellow Pages has no business being administered by government

The control of production means the creation of privilege

Liberals’ four states of conservative theory acceptance (when a liberal is forced to admit a conservative theory is proven correct)

1. This is worthless nonsense

2. This is interesting but perverse

3. This is true but quite unimportant

4. I always said so

(As in Bill Clinton‘s statement that “The era of big government is over”.)

Promote vs. provide the general welfare. Not as in provide for the common defense

The Supreme Court thinks that California’s attempt to limit welfare payments to new residents is a violation of the 14th Amendment Privileges and Immunities clause, as in limiting welfare payments limits someone’s right to travel.  How bizarre

A study of math skills showed Koreans first and Americans last. But when asked if you consider yourself “good at math”, only 23% of Koreans said they did, but 66% of Americans said they did. Thank you Democrats for instilling self-esteem in our students

Nothing is more guaranteed to attract govt. money than repeated failure

In the “decade of greed/1980s”, charitable giving grew at an annual rate 55% faster than the rate at which it had grown over the previous twenty-five years

Today, wanting someone else’s money is called need, wanting to keep your own money is called greed, and compassion is when politicians arrange the transfer-  Joe Sobran

The MSM newsrooms are filled with those insulated from what is considered common knowledge by those reading the WSJ and other conservative media sources. Therefore the ethos self perpetuates

Where there is a crowd there is untruth- Kierkegaard

Dystopian. No dictionary definition. Means the opposite of utopian.  See Mark Levin’s new book

One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors- Plato

A lie will go around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on

The constitution stands for fixed principles, a gift from the founding fathers. Legislators, as stated by Lincoln, must look backwards, not forwards for guidance. Lincoln was wary of what he called “progress in govt.” I would call this an anti-progressive explanation of conservative (and by inference) constitutional principles.  The Democrat party/liberal alliance views constitutional principals as quaint and out of touch with progressive legislators’ superior abilities to socially engineer society for an entitlement addicted class dependent on the largess of  “forward looking” progressives

Secular Humanism is blind to the concept that there just might be something greater than us out there

Conservatives must wander somewhere between the ideal and the prudential- William F. Buckley

Free markets, property rights and enforceable contracts will always be at the tip of the spear of prosperity

The “Prohibitive precautionary principle”: An excuse to regulate based on the “just in case concept”, without regard to unintended consequences. A philosophy institutionalizing problems that might otherwise be transcended by time if just left alone

“The gifts of heaven are legitimate. The gifts of the state are suspect”- Andrew Jackson

Classical liberalism (as opposed to the current meaning of liberalism) stands as a corrective to utopian arrogance

Conservative ideology bears antipathy towards state sanctioned privilege

Frederic Bastiat and Us. Please click here and scroll to the bottom of the site to add a comment.


It’s raining dollars!  What would Frederic Bastiat have to say about this if he could speak to us from 1848?


As government regulations grow slowly, we become used to the harness – Judge Robert Bork

Hail 1840s French Liberalism!

Frederic Bastiat


We interrupt our regular programming.  The President has just banned windows in order to benefit candle makers; candle production, he says, will stimulate the economy as long as candles aren’t melted by sunlight.  The administration also announces it will nationalize candle manufacturing, allow greedy wax suppliers only 10% of the money they are owed by the candle makers, plus grant a 30% share of Acme Candles, Inc.  to the UCMDWU (United Candle Mold Delivery Workers’ Union).   New York Times White House correspondent asks Press Secretary Robert Gibbs what most enchanted the President before he was blessed with this economic epiphany.

OK, I’ve got the facetiousness out of my system.  I wish I could take credit for this prescient concept.  I’ll admit to only my personal sarcasm in tying the philosophy of that remarkably witty proponent of freedom and liberty: Frederic Bastiat, (see link to Wikipedia entries from the pictures on the sidebar) to our current state of affairs.  Frederic Bastiat was a member of what was known as the French Liberal School in the 1840s (liberal as in the classical/original free market definition), warning of the folly of government intervention in the marketplace.  His parable of a fictitious petition by candle makers to the French government to eliminate windows in order to prevent candles from melting – thereby increasing economic prosperity by insuring the success of the candle industry (at the expense of the window industry…oops) – is a hilarious anecdote.  It also unfortunately illustrates the genesis of the president’s belief system.

Obviously above, I make reference to the bailout of GM, the perversion of the rule of law in throwing Chrysler bond holders to the wolves, and the artificial propping up of the UAW rather than normal bankruptcy pecking order.  Bastiat’s fable of altruistic but ultimately damaging marketplace intervention, is echoed consistently by the current administration’s adherence to this paradigm of unlimited spending by fiat justified by its immediate/short term effects on various and sundry interest groups.  In fact, Friedrich Hayek (see my previous two posts) said in a review of Bastiat that, according to 1930s economist John Maynard Keynes, the assumption of a multiplier effect (simply meaning a belief that the government can stimulate the economy by spending, producing a return greater than the cost of the stimulus; thereby increasing employment) on general economic prosperity would precisely mimic the argument of the candle makers!

Cash for clunkers (and maybe the upcoming Stimulus II cash for “cluckers” chicken farm bailout?) would most certainly fit neatly into these fallacies: money will do more good in the hands of the government, and it is the duty of government  to see that all get what they “deserve”.

Lastly, Frederic Bastiat’s landmark book: The Law has remarkable parallels to the economically damaging entitlement philosophies of the current congressional majority.  For example Bastiat says in the section The Results of Legal Plunder, “No society can exist unless the laws are respectable to a certain degree.  The safest ways to make laws respected is to make them respectable.”  This quote illustrates the current congress’s path towards a society in which greater than 50% of workers pay no taxes, and receive payments in the form of the Earned Income Tax Credit.  Therefore, this non-tax paying majority – the receivers of public services and governmental largess – are able to award themselves through the ballot ever increasing free goods and services from the minority: the tax payers/suppliers of public services and governmental largess.  I see no end to this increase in receivers, to include the resulting unconstructive inertia towards manufactured dependence.

So to bring my polemic to a close, I quote Bastiat one more time: “Legal plunder is identified as “… the law takes from some persons [what] belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong…The person who profits from this law… will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry…”

— Or nationality, ethnicity, income demographic, religion, color, blue collar, white collar, government employee, Woodstock museum, first time home buyer, union member, sexual preference, illegal immigrant, home in foreclosure, Wall St., Main St., small business, large business, self esteem damaging tatoo removers (I didn’t make this one up: see   http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/63697.html), “green” energy producer, municipality, farmer, auto parts supplier, environmentalist, “too big to fail” bank and insurance companies, student, teacher, cop, mechanic, ethanol producer, the bicycle spoke hooker-uppers’ guild, donut shop owners’ amalgamated, and last but not least……….Acme Candles, Inc.

Comments on the blog con or pro most welcome.

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