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We are not on the Winning Side
http://www.klaus.cz/clanky/3178 ^ | September 7, 2012 | Vaclav Klaus

Posted on 09/08/2012 1:01:49 AM PDT by No One Special

I already had a chance to say earlier this week how pleased I am and we all are to host the Mont Pelerin Society General Meeting here in Prague. I hope you have been enjoying your stay.

More then 20 years ago, two years after the fall of communism in this country and this part of the world, we had here the MPS Regional Meeting, in which some of you participated. At that time, we were in the crucial moments of our radical transition from communism to free society which was in many respects based on the ideas connected with the Mont Pelerin Society. This meeting gave us important moral support and helped us in our efforts to get rid of the past and to build a free society in a MPS sense.

Since then, we have succeeded in changing the country substantially in this direction. As you may see, the Czech Republic has made a visible step forward. Yet, it would be inappropriate to declare victory.

For someone like me, who after the fall of communism actively participated in preparing and organizing radical political and economic changes, the world we live in now is a disappointment. We live in a far more socialist and etatist society than we had then imagined. After the promising beginning, we are in number of respects returning back to the era we used to live in in the past and which we had considered gone once and for all. Let me stress that I do not have in mind this country only but Europe and the whole Western world.

Twenty years ago, it seemed to us that right in front of our eyes a far-reaching shift was taking place on the "oppresion vs. freedom" and the "state vs. market" axis. It was a justified feeling. It was reinforced by the fact that our Velvet Revolution had taken place at a time of the historically unique era of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Thanks to them and in the world of ideas thanks to Hayek, Friedman, Stigler and a few others, we believed that capitalism, at least for a certain period of time, succeeded in defending itself against global socialism. People like me knew that these individuals were exceptional and unique, but we did not expect that what they achieved would be so quickly forgotten. We erroneously hoped that the changes that had been taking place at that time were irreversible.

Today, many of us no longer have this feeling; at least I certainly do not. Once again, almost invisibly and in silence, capitalism and freedom have been weakened. My friend Pascal Salin, a former MPS President, must have had a similar feeling when he in his presidential address in 1996 in Vienna made the following remark: "We are not the winners of the present time". In 1996, the fact that we were losing did not seem as obvious to me, as it does today. The system of political freedom and parliamentary democracy was established quickly, thus replacing the former authoritarian, if not totalitarian political regime; the market and private ownership instead of planning started to dominate the economy and overall liberalization, deregulation and de-subsidization took place. The state radically receded in all its roles and the free individual got to the forefront.

Our optimism was based on the strong belief in the power of principles of free society, of free markets, of the ideas of freedom as well as in our ability to promote these ideas. Today, at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, our feeling is different. We ask ourselves: Did we have unreasonable and unjustified illusions? Did we perceive the world in a wrong way? Were we naive and foolish? Were our expectations mistaken?

These questions deserve serious answers. We could, and may have been wrong, there is no doubt about it, but it was not because we were under any illusions about the West, in particular about Western Europe, about the EU. People like me were not misled by any illusions about a possible convergence of capitalism and socialism, very popular in the West starting in the early 1960s, or by dreams about possible third ways. We rejected those without any hesitation.[1]

We saw a number of things already then, and thanks to our life in communism, we saw them more clearly than some of our friends in the West including those sharing the same political and ideological ideas. Let me start by indicating what we were aware of and afraid of as regards the future already in the communist era.

1. We knew that socialism, or socialdemocratism, or "soziale Marktwirtschaft" is here, is here to stay and - due to its internal dynamics - will expand.

2. From the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, that is from the establishment of the Club of Rome and its first reports, I became afraid of the green ideology, in which I saw a dangerous alternative to the traditional socialist doctrine. It was evident that it was another radical attempt to change human society. The alleged depletion of natural resources and the so called population bomb were merely a pretence. At that time it was not possible to see the Global Warming Doctrine that arrived later, nor the power and dangers hidden inside it.[2]

3. Even during our life under communism, people like me were aware of the leftism of intellectuals[3] since we had the chance to see for ourselves that it was the intellectuals or their vast majority who served as the main driving force behind communism and doctrines close to it. Authentic representatives of the working class, that is Marx's proletariat, have never been true believers in communism. Already at that time, I followed with great concern the "excessive production of under-educated intellectuals" that emerged in the West as a result of the rising university education for all. One of its implications was and is the superficiality of public discourse that has reached extraordinary dimensions.

Intellectuals are to a great extent socialists because - as Hayek put it - they are convinced that socialism is a "science applied to all fields of human activity" and thanks to that, it is a system created "exactly for them." "Intellectuals feel they are the most valuable people"[4] and that is why they do not want to be evaluated by the market, since the market often does not share their high self-evaluation.

4. Socialism (or rather communism, as we say today) has from its very beginning been based on an apotheosis of science and on a firmly rooted hope that science shall solve all existing human and social problems; that is why it is not necessary to change the system. It suffices to make it slightly more enlightened. Our communist experience tells us that this idea is absurd. It did seem to us back then that the West believed in the same fallacy.

We did not believe in the technocratic thinking, in the belief in the rightfulness of science and technology to organize human society. I was not able to appreciate Herman Kahn, Jay W. Forrester, Alvin Toffler (and recently also Max Singer and his book "History of the Future"[5]) because I felt the risk that stems from underestimating social or systemic characteristics of human society by those people and from their unjustified technological optimism, which actually did not differ much from the Marxist doctrine. In this context, I have always had Aldous Huxley and his unsurpassed "Brave New World" as a warning memento in front of my eyes.

We learned a lot from Hayek's seminal article "The Use of Knowledge in Society".[6] Whilst socialist ideologues (in the East and also in the West) regarded nothing else but science and other organized and organisable learning as knowledge, we - in line with Hayek - unterstood that the most important knowledge was practical knowledge dispersed within society that people use in their everyday life, and not just write books about. The nowadays so fashionable notion of the "knowledge economy" is empty. Each and every economy in the past has been based on knowledge, what mattered was how the people managed to use it.

These were the main problems I was aware of, but there are issues - as we see them now - that we underestimated or did not see. I will name some of them.

1. We probably did not fully understand the far-reaching implications of the 1960s. This "romantic" era was a period of radical denial of the authority of traditional values and social institutions. As a result, generations were born that do not understand the meaning of our civilisational, cultural and ethical heritage, and are deprived of having any compass guiding their behaviour.

2. We underestimated certain problematic aspects of a standard, formally well-functioning democratic system that lacked an underlying set of deeper values. We did not see the power of the demagogical element of democracy that allows people within this system to demand "something for nothing". We did not expect that the political process will lead to such a preference of decision-making that brings "visible and concentrated benefits" at the price of "invisible and dispersed costs", which is one of the main reasons for the current Euro-American debt crisis.

3. Already in the past, I feared the gradual shifting away from civil rights to human rights, which has been taking place for quite some time. I feared the ideology of human-rightism, but did not anticipate the consequences of this doctrine. Human-rightism is an ideology that has nothing in common with practical issues of the individual freedom and of free political discourse. It is about entitlements. Classical liberals and libertarians do not emphasize enough that the rights interpreted in this way are against freedom and the rational functioning of society.

Human rights are in fact a revolutionary denial of civil rights. They do not need any citizenship. That is also why human-rightism calls for the destruction of the sovereignty of individual countries, particularly in today's Europe. Positive human rights also contributed heavily to the present era of political correctness with all its destructive force.[7]

4. Related to human-rightism and political correctness is the massive advancement of another contemporary alternative or substitute for democracy, juristocracy. Every day we witness political power being taken away from elected politicians and shifted to unelected judges.[8] "Modern judicial activism is in many ways an expression of the old belief that democracy must be tempered by aristocracy" (p. 17), in other words that democracy without a certain "chosenness" (i.e. unelectedness) of this judicial aristocracy cannot function well. It is also worthwhile to realise that "the main method how this judicial activism is implemented is the path of rights" (ibid.), yet it is not the path of civil rights, but rather human rights. All that is a part of an illusion about potential (and desirable) abolition of politics, in other words of democracy. Juristocracy is another step towards the establishment of a post-political society.

5. Likewise, I did not expect the powerful position that NGOs (that is civil society institutions) would gain in our countries and in particular in the supranational world, and how irreconcilable their fight with parliamentary democracy would be. It is a fight that they are winning more and more as time goes by.[9] Institutions such as NGOs, which are the products of organised groups of people who in an apolitical manner strive for advantages and privileges, bluntly deny the liberalisation of human society that had taken place over the past two centuries. I do not recall where I first came across the statement that those institutions represent a new re-feudalisation of society, but I consider it to be a very good one.

6. We lived in a world of suppressed freedom of the press for too long, and that is why we considered the unlimited freedom of the media as the necessary prerequisite for a truly free society. Nowadays we are not sure about it. Formally, in the Czech Republic as well as in the whole Western world there is almost absolute freedom of the press, but at the same time an unbelievable manipulation by the press. Our democracy quickly changed into mediocracy, which is yet another alternative to democracy, or rather one of the ways to destroy democracy.[10]

7. In a closed communist world, in which we opposed, due to the tragic experience with the imperial policy of the Soviet Union, everything supranational, i.e. coming from Moscow, we failed to see the danger of the gradually ongoing shift from national and international to transnational and supranational in the current world.[11] In those days we did not follow European integration very closely, perhaps for understandable reasons. We tended to see only its liberalising aspect rather than the dangerous supranationalism that destroys the democracy and sovereignty of countries.

8. I also did not expect such a weak defence of the ideas of capitalism, free market and minimal state. I did not imagine that capitalism and the market would become almost inappropriate, politically incorrect words that a "decent" contemporary politician should better avoid. I had thought that something like that was only some kind of a compulsory coloratura of the Marxist or communist doctrine. Only now do I see the real depth of hatred towards wealth and productive work, only now do I realise the role of human envy and of a completely primitive thought that other person's wealth is solely and purely at my expense.

9. I did not expect such popularity of public goods, of the public sector, of the visible hand of the state, of redistribution, of wisdom of the anointed in comparison with the wisdom of the rest of us. As an economist who has for decades, in fact from the mid-1960s, carefully followed Western economic literature, I did not expect that the ideas of monetarism would be so quickly abandoned, that people would so quickly forget that the word regulation is yet another expression for planning, that social policy would not differ much from communism, that people would forget that the market either is or is not, since it has to be formed spontaneously, that after a radical removal of grants and subsidies of all kinds we will be - by means of a new re-subsidisation of the economy - once again forced to introduce them, that such mistakes would be made in the economic policy, in the establishment of monetary unions, etc. We did not expect that people would be so unwilling to take on the responsibility for their lives, that there would be such fear of freedom, and that there would be such trust in the omnipotence of the state.

Why have we as MPS members allowed this to happen?

I do not think that we failed analytically. There are other reasons. There is certain recklessness, if not laziness in our thinking and behavior. There is insufficient personal courage involved, fear of standing alone with one's opinions. Even we have failed in the sense that we are not being heard loud enough, that we no longer actively promote freedom, that we no longer have any Milton Friedmans among us. Even though it is important that we address one another at meetings such as this one, I fear that we are not being heard outside of this circle. We are pleased that we publish one another's articles in our own journals and newsletters, but we have to strive to enter the "other" journals - journals for "the others". Even though ideas promote themselves, they do so only in the very long run, and that may already be too late.

Likewise, we have to concede that we are not producing serious empirical, descriptive, positive socio-economic analyses. What prevails are pieces of partial analyses and shallow normative ideological papers. What is missing are non-declaratory texts, a deep "anatomy" of the current situation.

I would be glad if I were wrong. I would be glad if it showed up that the robustness of capitalism was such that all that would be corrected. Even though it will eventually happen, it will certainly not happen spontaneously. Hayek rightly argued that "freedom cannot endure unless every generation restates and reemphasizes its value". Now it is our turn. Our generation and the generation of our children have to do it. And we should start doing it before it is too late.

Václav Klaus, Mont Pelerin Society General Meeting, Prague Castle, Prague, September 7, 2012

[1] More about this topic can be found in my address at the MPS Regional Meeting in Vancouver in August 1999 "The Third Way and Its Fatal Conceits", published in a book "On the Road to Democracy", NCPA, Dallas, 2005. Even today in various countries around the globe, I am constantly confronted with people recalling my statement from January 1990 made in Davos that "the Third Way is the fastest way to the Third World".

[2] I refer to my book "Modrá, nikoli zelená planeta" ("Blue Planet in Green Shackles"), Dokorán, Prague, 2007 and its publications abroad (it is already available in 18 languages).

[3] Friedrich von Hayek: "The Intellectuals and Socialism", The University of Chicago Law Review, Spring 1949. Available at http://mises.org/etexts/hayekintellectuals.pdf.

[4] Robert Nozick, "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism", CATO Policy Report,Washington, D.C., No. 1, 1998.

[5] Max Singer, "History of the Future", Lexington Books, New York, 2011.

[6] Friedrich A. Hayek, "The Use of Knowledge in Society", American Economic Review, No. 4, September 1945.

[7] The Centre for Independent Studies in Australia recently published a nice collection of essays "You Can't Say That" (CIS Occasional Paper, 124, Sydney, 2012) about political correctness, in whose introduction we read: "We are at a strange crossroads of the history of Western civilisation. Nowhere before has there been greater freedom of movement, greater freedom of information, greater general prosperity, yet at the same time greater restriction of the freedom of speech... Western society self-censors its exchange of opinions... Political correctness efficiently endangers the very foundations of free society - an open and broad-branched debate in the form of free exchange of opinions" (p. 1).

The result is that "politicians for tactical reasons withdraw from serious debates" and that "the mechanism of political correctness prevents the formulation of non-conformist opinions" (p. 10). Political correctness is based on "intolerant moralising" (p. 21) and is made possible by our weakness, disintegration of our traditional values and their insufficient defence.

[8] James Grant presents a very convincing analysis of the above phenomenon in his paper "The Rise of Juristocracy", The Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2010.

[9] The annual UN General Assembly Meeting is opened each September by an address of its Secretary General. Instead of giving the floor to politicians of the largest countries around the globe, the Secretary General intentionally invites to speak completely illegitimate (i.e. completely arbitrarily selected) NGO representatives, who are on UN grounds (in fact in this largest global NGO) seen as something better and more noble than politicians.

[10] In his widely discussed 1978 Harvard address Alexander Solzhenitsyn noted that "the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, exceeding that of legislation, the executive and the judiciary". This may have been one of the reasons why he was never praised for this address in the West, in particular by the media and by the academic world. It was regarded as criticism of the West and this is something that no one from the East may dare to do. However, it was a criticism of the negative aspects of Western civilisation.

[11] More about that in John Fonte, "Sovereignty or Submission", Encounter Books, New York, 2011, or V. Klaus, "Evropská integrace bez iluzí­" ("European Integration without Illusions"), Knižní klub, Prague, 2011.


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The author is an economist and the President of the Czech Republic.
1 posted on 09/08/2012 1:01:57 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: No One Special

Wow. He is right on the money and he sees it even more clearly than many of us.


2 posted on 09/08/2012 1:10:40 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: No One Special
This one is a "saver."

Thanks!

Regards,

3 posted on 09/08/2012 1:20:43 AM PDT by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: No One Special

Brilliant analysis, excellent article. Always admired Klaus. A must read, especially points 4, 6, 7, 8, although all points are excellent. Number 4 really struck a chord.


4 posted on 09/08/2012 1:22:03 AM PDT by flaglady47 (When the gov't fears the people, liberty; When the people fear the gov't, tyranny.)
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To: alexander_busek

This one deserves to go out on all the ping lists. I don’t have one though.


5 posted on 09/08/2012 1:24:43 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: No One Special

—>>1. We probably did not fully understand the far-reaching implications of the 1960s. This “romantic” era was a period of radical denial of the authority of traditional values and social institutions. As a result, generations were born that do not understand the meaning of our civilisational, cultural and ethical heritage, and are deprived of having any compass guiding their behaviour.

Thank you sharing this. A great read.


6 posted on 09/08/2012 1:27:53 AM PDT by Christie at the beach (I like Newt.)
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To: No One Special
I have come to believe that ‘communism’ in whatever form it evolves into, is the easiest ideology to pull in the masses. Communism is full of platitudes, but the leaders are never responsible for outcomes. Their intentions are all that count, and as somebody once said ‘the road to .ell is paved with good intentions.

It is quite seductive to proclaim ‘universal healthcare’ and totally ignore who will be required to pay for the universe. It is akin to being forced into a religion created by evil minds.

7 posted on 09/08/2012 1:31:24 AM PDT by Just mythoughts (Please help Todd Akin defeat Claire and the GOP-e send money!!!!!)
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To: Just mythoughts

Good piece, bttt for others


8 posted on 09/08/2012 1:35:44 AM PDT by txhurl
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To: No One Special

This is probably the most important document to be uploaded on Free Republic in a very long time.

This basically describes the war we are engaged in right now.

It should be mandatory reading for every Freeper who believes in political and economic freedom.

Hell, I never thought I would say this in my life-time, because I lived through the dying days of the Cold War, but Eastern Europe—at least Poland and the Czech Republic— might be last stand against Marxist tyranny in the world.


9 posted on 09/08/2012 1:41:44 AM PDT by radpolis (Liberals: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy)
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To: No One Special

Simply outstanding.


10 posted on 09/08/2012 1:42:29 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: No One Special
Deep.He has managed to distill the critical factors at play and present them in an easy-to-digest manner. However, I am doubtful that it will make much difference since a greater and greater number of people continue to take the first tentative steps towards deeper and deeper acceptance of socialist thought and belief.

In some ways it appears that the fall of the Communist evil empire hastened the downfall of the West, since now there was no longer an evil bastion to stand up against (not just physically, but also standing against their ideologies and precepts).

With no evil monster beyond the ridge, suddenly certain ideas were no longer wrong. No longer anathema. No longer 'foreign.'

Go to (almost) any American university and have a chat with the young minds there ...to many of them socialism (and to some, communism) are perfectly viable approaches to running things. A rising number even believe socialism (and to a fortunately fewer number - but rising also - communism) to be far better alternatives to capitalism. The economic doldrums over the last 10 years have also not helped much, and the rise of the East (India, China and even smaller economies like Viet Nam) means that there will be people always willing to work almost as well for considerably less (wait until Africa gets in line in the next 15 or so years ...Google Silicon Savannah for a taste of whats cooking in my native Kenya for instance). That means, unless something big happens, the West will have more and more young people either a) without jobs or b) without jobs that THEY THINK (the young people) are 'good enough' for them (the second problem is worse than the first one since a lot of the young EXPECT to get a 'certain type' of employment ...read: they can buy new posh cars, live well, take vacations ...there is no postponement of gratification at play). This means they will always feel like they have been let down, and socialism (and at a more extreme level communism) will simply continue to get more and more attractive.

As for those saying this is only happening in Blue States ....think again. In the first Bush election (Bush vs Gore) I was in Oklahoma working with the College Republicans (a student group) to get voter awareness out. Note: As a foreigner I couldn't even vote, but I was out there helping. The level of apathy I noted, and the level of Liberal thought, was amazing. Same thing in Texas by the way. It is not a Blue state thing.

Then to this add the slow-crawl demographic shift in the US.

Anyways, the article is spot on, and a lot of victories will mean nothing if the war is lost.

11 posted on 09/08/2012 1:44:58 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: spetznaz
I remember in high school, American History class, early 70’s, before Nixon was forced out, the teacher and the history book, equated communism and capitalism as sameness.

Had it not been for my father a Korean War veteran, I could well be just another common commie.

12 posted on 09/08/2012 1:53:48 AM PDT by Just mythoughts (Please help Todd Akin defeat Claire and the GOP-e send money!!!!!)
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To: No One Special
The democrat party in the USA has been moving the US steadily towards communism since the civil war. To be honest, some within the republican party as well.

True the modern thought is to call it socialism or progressivism, the affect is the same, a loss of individual rights in the interest of benefiting the greater good.

13 posted on 09/08/2012 1:57:18 AM PDT by exnavy (The time is upon us, fish or cut bait, may God guide your heart.)
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To: Just mythoughts

ugh, I looked into my neice’s “government: class textbook and its a love letter to the left, Obama and abortion. They used to teach civics and now they teach leftwing propaganda.

The book is called “Living Democracy” third edition.


14 posted on 09/08/2012 2:00:08 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GeronL
ugh, I looked into my neice’s “government: class textbook and its a love letter to the left, Obama and abortion. They used to teach civics and now they teach leftwing propaganda. The book is called “Living Democracy” third edition.

Leftist write public education text books. All but one of my children's history teachers in high school were flaming liberals. Public education is the 'church houses' for communists, and has been for decades.

President Reagan sought to disassemble federal control over education, but too few in positions of elected authority would allow that to take place. We have ignored to our own detriment and elected unabashed commies to rule over US. Obama did promise to redistribute the wealth.

15 posted on 09/08/2012 2:21:31 AM PDT by Just mythoughts (Please help Todd Akin defeat Claire and the GOP-e send money!!!!!)
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To: Just mythoughts

bump


16 posted on 09/08/2012 2:28:08 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: No One Special

Wow. bookmark


17 posted on 09/08/2012 2:35:10 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: No One Special

This shows a brilliant insight into the goings on of socialism after the wall. I have alwys wondered though whether the Communists saw the writing on the wall and strategically gave ground as thie rgolas were already being met by the UN and leftist parties in the West.

I feel confident today though in the possibility that the solialsts have overeached, Obama in your country and to some extent Gillard and Rudd in my own, seem to have awakened many to the fact that the war against Socilaism/Marxism is alive and well and that this maybe the time we can take back large amounts of ground from the b#stards and set their cause back 20 years.

Mel


18 posted on 09/08/2012 2:47:38 AM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong....)
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To: No One Special
Intellectuals are to a great extent socialists because - as Hayek put it - they are convinced that socialism is a "science applied to all fields of human activity" and thanks to that, it is a system created "exactly for them." "Intellectuals feel they are the most valuable people"[4] and that is why they do not want to be evaluated by the market, since the market often does not share their high self-evaluation.

That's gold, right there!
19 posted on 09/08/2012 2:55:27 AM PDT by hemogoblin
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To: No One Special
Brilliant speech, thank you for posting it.

“I know that I am leaving the winning side for the losing side, but it is better to die on the losing side than to live under Communism”
Whittaker Chambers

20 posted on 09/08/2012 3:10:20 AM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: No One Special
This is the best essay on the problems facing us I've seen in ages.

Bump for the morning crowd.

21 posted on 09/08/2012 3:13:05 AM PDT by metesky (Brethren, leave us go amongst them! - Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond, The Searchers)
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To: No One Special

Bump


22 posted on 09/08/2012 3:17:53 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: No One Special

Bflr


23 posted on 09/08/2012 3:24:34 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 ("It doesn't matter how smart you are if you don't stop and think" - Dr. Sowell)
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To: No One Special

Later


24 posted on 09/08/2012 4:05:16 AM PDT by I_be_tc
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To: No One Special

For later


25 posted on 09/08/2012 4:18:16 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: GeronL

“They used to teach civics and now they teach leftwing propaganda.”

The overt, systemic leftwing indoctrination has been going on most of my life. At least since the early seventies.


26 posted on 09/08/2012 5:06:03 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Where would Christianity be if the early believers put their hopes and trust in the Roman empire?)
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To: No One Special

Bacon


27 posted on 09/08/2012 5:21:00 AM PDT by VRW Conspirator (We were the tea party before there was a tea party. - Jim Robinson)
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To: Psalm 144

About a week ago I was teaching some of the writings of the early Pilgrims (mostly poetry of Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor, but also an excerpt from The Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, which I just happened to find online) to my AP English class (Juniors). We got into discussions of the role religion played in the lives of these early Americans and I asked them (all right, I was goading them) about religious freedom in America today and whether or not there was a chill being placed on open religious expression. Several students began (rather forcefully, I might add) citing the Constitution’s “separation of church and state” as the correct way to understand why such expression should be omitted. When I tried to explain to them the true nature of that phrase, they looked at me as if I had grown a third eye (which, I was careful to not wear to class that day!) When I asked them to ponder the nature of these deeply religious folks (we had been studying them for two weeks, and the notion that there would come a day in their not-too-distant future where their offspring would actually legislate against their own deeply held beliefs, to wit, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s create a country where we are not allowed to openly practice what we most revere,” when I asked them to consider the absurdity of such a thought, about half the class took on a “light bulb going on” look, while the other half continued to snarl.

You see, their History teacher had told them, “separation of church and state was in the Constitution. Who is their English teacher to tell them otherwise! At the ripe old age of 16, their minds (some of them) had been successfully calibrated.

Get them while their young, folks!


28 posted on 09/08/2012 5:23:27 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: GeronL

“he book is called “Living Democracy” third edition.”

Alas, probably to replace, Democracy in America (De Toqueville)


29 posted on 09/08/2012 5:26:16 AM PDT by MarDav
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To: No One Special

Bookmark for later.


30 posted on 09/08/2012 5:30:56 AM PDT by SCalGal (Friends don't let friends donate to H$U$, A$PCA, or PETA.)
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To: MarDav

Great work! I see a bit of hope for younger people. Many of them are savvy beyond their years due to the stream of information that they glean mostly off of the internet. The sad part is that many of them are jaded before they have really embarked on their journey. The good part is that many of them are skeptical, critical thinkers. They can look around themselves and see that things are bent, broken or lacking. They ponder it, and often without much respect for authority simply as authority. They want a reason or a proof of integrity.

Great guidance that you did there. Not all, but some of those seeds you planted will take root.


31 posted on 09/08/2012 5:35:21 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Where would Christianity be if the early believers put their hopes and trust in the Roman empire?)
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To: No One Special; mickie; flaglady47
Someone should hold Bill O'Reilly's neck in a vise and force him to read this article.

TV punditry's greatest fence-sitter, O'Reilly has brought fame and fortune to successions of under-educated (in freedom) but glib leftist professors and pseudo-intellectuals by featuring them over and over again on his show.....and giving them free rein to spout their marxist ideologies.

O'Reilly, who has no grounding in those conservative and free economy things we all know by heart, is another glib huckster who is important only because he has such a wide audience. And this is what makes him dangerous. And I think that in his small mind he loves being considered dangerous....thi$ help$ bring the dollar$ in so he can live like a capitalist while he promotes and furthers both capitalism and communism at the same time.

Nice gig if you can get it.

Leni

32 posted on 09/08/2012 5:38:40 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: metesky

This is good stuff.

Intellectuals are to a great extent socialists because - as Hayek put it - they are convinced that socialism is a “science applied to all fields of human activity” and thanks to that, it is a system created “exactly for them.” “Intellectuals feel they are the most valuable people”[4] and that is why they do not want to be evaluated by the market, since the market often does not share their high self-evaluation.

4. Socialism (or rather communism, as we say today) has from its very beginning been based on an apotheosis of science and on a firmly rooted hope that science shall solve all existing human and social problems; that is why it is not necessary to change the system. It suffices to make it slightly more enlightened. Our communist experience tells us that this idea is absurd. It did seem to us back then that the West believed in the same fallacy.

Sort of slaps the “educated fools” in the face saying what we’ve thought all long...


33 posted on 09/08/2012 5:39:47 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: No One Special
A good read.

This is why we have to utterly defeat the Marxist in two months, then turn our efforts towards continually pushing our RINO squish candidate to the right, continually pushing to remove the statists in the GOP leadership. The left never stops, nor should we.

If we only do the one without the other, it will not be good enough, and we will eventually fail.

34 posted on 09/08/2012 5:40:47 AM PDT by Lakeshark (I don't care for Mitt; the alternative is unthinkable)
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To: No One Special

He’s Czech, so it’s no surprise he “gets it”. I have many Eastern European friends (and some Western European “refugees”) who make the argument for conservatism very well. Once you’ve seen the other side of the political spectrum up close, when you’ve seen neighbors starving, when you’ve waited in 8 hour lines for healthcare, when all sense of cultural identity is wiped out in the name of some “multi-cultural utopia” nonsense, you become a card-carrying conservative for life. In fact, every time the two Latvians at my place of work see Obanjo on T.V., they give an entertaining, mock Soviet allegiance pledge to “Black Lenin”, or “Comrade Zero”. Drives the libs nuts ;)


35 posted on 09/08/2012 5:41:04 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: No One Special
1. We knew that socialism, or socialdemocratism, or "soziale Marktwirtschaft" is here, is here to stay and - due to its internal dynamics - will expand.

A very true but discouraging observation. Once you create that collective culture of dependency, it is very difficult to wean the people off of Big Government. People will give up liberty for security.

36 posted on 09/08/2012 6:47:14 AM PDT by kabar
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To: No One Special

Ping for reference


37 posted on 09/08/2012 6:47:47 AM PDT by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
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To: No One Special

Bookmark


38 posted on 09/08/2012 6:58:07 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: Viennacon
He’s Czech, so it’s no surprise he “gets it”. I have many Eastern European friends (and some Western European “refugees”) who make the argument for conservatism very well.

Don't be fooled by labels. Conservativism in Europe is still far different than in the US. The role of government in one's life is viewed far differently. Health care is one big example. They are very few European conservatives who would support dismantling their national health care systems.

39 posted on 09/08/2012 7:00:54 AM PDT by kabar
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To: No One Special

A keeper!


40 posted on 09/08/2012 7:23:24 AM PDT by Oratam
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To: hemogoblin

That was the money quote for me, too! Saved it to my great quote file.

But really, this whole article is a keeper. I think I will copy the entire thing for future reference.

I wish everyone would read this, especially high school civics classes. Unfortunately, I think the average attention span is too short to grasp it.

One small point. I was a little confused at first by civil right vs. human rights. I am not sure whether these terms are well-understood by the general population. The context explained it, so I get it now. Maybe we need different terms or better education on this. Or maybe I’m the only ignorant one!


41 posted on 09/08/2012 7:50:30 AM PDT by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
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To: flaglady47

You mean point 4 about the “juristocracy?”

I think that is one of the most dangerous developments in our society.

I used to think that the courts were arbiters of justice and fairness until I got some first-hand exposure. Now I am more aware of judicial news as well.

The courts may dispense justice in petty matters (though even there I have my doubts) but in matters of major importance, they are political and partisan. And in private matters between individuals, they are based on which party has the most money and how much of it lawyers can extract by dragging things out as long as possible.

I despise the legal system as it currently exists in practice.


42 posted on 09/08/2012 8:19:00 AM PDT by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
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To: MinuteGal

O’Reilly = lazy blowhard


43 posted on 09/08/2012 11:36:42 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: STARWISE; penelopesire; hoosiermama; Dog; holdonnow; onyx; AliVeritas; Miss Didi

This is an extraordinary speech and oh so timely.

It’s not short, and it will not fit on a bumper sticker.

We are well served to have such a fine mind speaking for the cause of liberty...pass it on to your friends, lists, everyone!!!!


44 posted on 09/08/2012 4:36:51 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: SE Mom

Thanks for the ping...Wish there was some way to get this out to even more people....bookmarked for later.


45 posted on 09/08/2012 4:56:21 PM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then.)
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To: SE Mom

Indeed an extraordinary speech!!

It was a great way to start the day. Especially agreed with his closing argument, that we must enter into ‘the others’ domain to begin the long task of righting the ship of freedom.

Thanks for the ping SE.


46 posted on 09/09/2012 6:49:37 AM PDT by penelopesire (TIME FOR A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR!)
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To: penelopesire

Even the footnotes are great- this is quite apt:

[10] In his widely discussed 1978 Harvard address Alexander Solzhenitsyn noted that “the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, exceeding that of legislation, the executive and the judiciary”. This may have been one of the reasons why he was never praised for this address in the West, in particular by the media and by the academic world. It was regarded as criticism of the West and this is something that no one from the East may dare to do. However, it was a criticism of the negative aspects of Western civilisation.


47 posted on 09/09/2012 7:08:13 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: Lakeshark

Amazing read. Simply amazing.


48 posted on 09/09/2012 7:21:02 AM PDT by rintense
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To: MEG33

Save


49 posted on 09/09/2012 7:36:00 AM PDT by MEG33 (O Lord, Guide Our Nation)
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To: SE Mom

Funny how liberal western media and academia can criticize and tell everyone else how live but are so thin skinned when it comes to someone daring to critique and dissect their world views!!


50 posted on 09/09/2012 10:17:26 AM PDT by penelopesire (TIME FOR A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR!)
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