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Neoconservatism, not libertarianism, is the true aberration on the American Right
Charleston City Paper ^ | 2010-04-07 | Jack Hunter aka Southern Avenger

Posted on 04/08/2010 9:27:19 AM PDT by rabscuttle385

During a question-and-answer session at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., one man opined, "One thing I've learned here at CPAC is that the 'C' actually doesn't stand for 'libertarianism.' It's not 'L'PAC." When Congressman Ron Paul won the annual straw poll at CPAC, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh made a point to tell his listeners that CPAC wasn't conservative this year because a libertarian had won.

Both men are worse than just wrong. They're out of their minds.

Arguably the most popular history of American conservatism, George H. Nash's book The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America begins with libertarianism. In the first chapter titled "The Revolt of the Libertarians," Nash states: "For those who believed in the creed of old-fashioned, classical, 19th-century liberal individualism, 1945 was especially lonely, unpromising, and bleak. Free markets, private property, limited government, self reliance, laissez-faire — it had been a long time since principles like these guided government and persuaded peoples."

Chronicling the intellectuals who tried to rectify this bleakness, Nash begins his history with two men: economists F.A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. Then he explains how these libertarian heroes kick-started the American conservative movement. Few actually used the word "conservatism" in 1945, a term that began to gain popularity when Russell Kirk's book The Conservative Mind was published in 1953 and with the founding of William F. Buckley's National Review in 1955. Nash notes that even Kirk was inspired by both Hayek and Mises, writing to a friend that these men represented a "great school of economists of a much sounder and different mind."

After Hayek and Mises, Nash then cites Albert Jay Nock, publisher of the unabashedly libertarian magazine The Freeman in the 1920s. Writes Nash: "Nock came to exert a significant amount of influence on the postwar Right," yet was so libertarian that "Nock verged on anarchism in his denunciations of the inherently aggrandizing State." Noting the impression Nock made on a young Buckley, Nash explained that "it was Nockian libertarianism, in fact, which exercised the first conservative influence on the future editor of National Review."

Edwin J. Feulner, Jr., president of the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, says, "Nash's work is one of the very few books that must be read for a full understanding of the conservative movement in America." However, Feulner's Heritage Foundation advertises on Limbaugh's show, where the host is seemingly oblivious to the fact that the American conservative movement could not have existed without libertarianism. Furthermore, pundits like Rush often claim to be "Reagan conservatives." However, they seem to forget that in 1976 said Reagan, "I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." As you can see, advocating for "limited government" without employing some degree of libertarianism would be logistically impossible.

Which is exactly why so many of today's so-called conservatives are so quick to dismiss it. If there is an interloping ideology on the Right today, it is not libertarianism but neoconservatism, an ideology born not of limited government philosophy but of ex-socialists who migrated Right in reaction to the counterculture of the 1960s. Today, neoncons are devoted to promoting the maintenance and expansion of America's global empire.

Whereas traditional conservatives considered war — and the massive bureaucracy necessary to wage it — an occasional, necessary evil, neoconservatives consider perpetual war a good precisely because they believe it is America's mission to export democracy to the rest of the world.

Questioning the cost or wisdom of waging perpetual war is considered unconscionable or even "unpatriotic" to neoconservatives, which is why they are so dismissive of libertarians and others who question foreign policy. Most neoconservatives instinctively realize that their ideology is incompatible with the libertarian's pesky obsession with limited government, giving neocons reason to marginalize, or expel, any libertarian influence that threatens to expose the statist nature of today's mainstream conservative movement.

Considering their new, radical definition, it's easy to see why Rush and other mainstream conservatives don't consider libertarians part of their movement —because they're not. And while it remains to be seen how the irreconcilable differences will play out between limited government libertarians (whose numbers are growing) and big government neoconservatives (whose ideology still dominates), let there be no more ignorance about which philosophy is truly more alien to the historical American conservative movement. And let there be no further delusions about which philosophy was most responsible for creating it.

Catch Southern Avenger commentaries every Tuesday and Friday at 7:50 a.m. on the "Morning Buzz with Richard Todd" on 1250 AM WTMA.


TOPICS: Issues
KEYWORDS: conservatism; libertarian; lping; paulestinians; southernavenger; southernwanker
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To: Dead Corpse

“It has been pointed out to you a number of times that traffic laws are State laws. The the Federal highway system is allowed for in Art 1 Sec 8.”

So “post Roads” is transformed into federal money for state roads and an entire interstate National Hwy stystem.

There is nothing specific in Art 1 Sec 8 that authorizes either of the above mentioned. So you are picking and choosing which issues you want to “strictly” interpret.

“The Constitution is two lists.”

A true exemplar of of your level of understanding. In a conversation where you’ve managed to use third grade reasoning, somehow, you manage to go down yet another grade level.


151 posted on 04/09/2010 3:20:50 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (Let hot tar wash their throats and may it flow freely.)
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To: Dead Corpse

There’s no point in arguing with this guy. We state facts and make a reasoned argument and he responds with illogical rhetorical garbage. Such is the state with so-called “conservatives” who are really nothing but Statist, big-government hacks.


152 posted on 04/09/2010 3:41:17 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: daniel885

...are you guys Paul nuts or just regular 1% fringers?


153 posted on 04/09/2010 4:11:42 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (Let hot tar wash their throats and may it flow freely.)
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To: rbmillerjr

No more “fringe” than our founding fathers. I believe that our federal government should stick to those areas of responsibility that Article I, Section 8 and the 9th and 10th amendments limited it to. Everything else should be left up to state and local governments.

You leave up the interpretation of the Constitution to the Supreme Court (which was not even empowered by the Constitution to decide the Constitutionality of laws) but Thomas Jefferson, one of the earliest advocates of nullification (Read his KENTUCKY RESOLUTIONS), warned us about relying on these unelected federal officials to protect us about the growing power of the central government:

” ... the Federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scarecrow), working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one.

“When all government... in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” - Thomas Jefferson (1821)

The Conservative movement of the 20th century advocated states’ rights and limited government but the movement had a detour where it approved of central government infringement as long as it was for policies of its approval. The problem is, in doing so, you abandon the principle behind states’ rights and limited, Constitutional government.

And on a forum called “FREE REPUBLIC” we have so-called “conservatives” who advocate virtually no Constitutional restrictions (all it takes is majority approval and a judical wink and nod) and a dismissal of states’ rights and limited government. It’s a bastardation of the conservative movement.


154 posted on 04/09/2010 4:52:38 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: rbmillerjr
So “post Roads” is transformed into federal money for state roads and an entire interstate National Hwy stystem.

Interstate highways do not come out of State budgets moron. Also, it's spelled "system".

A true exemplar of of your level of understanding.

If I'm using 3rd grade reasoning, maybe I should tone it down to your pre-K intelligence...

155 posted on 04/09/2010 5:48:03 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: daniel885
He responds with illogical rhetorical garbage.

It'd be one thing if they even bothered to try to sound conservative, but they don't. Classic "progressive" thinking.

156 posted on 04/09/2010 5:49:44 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: Dead Corpse

Exactly.


157 posted on 04/09/2010 6:04:00 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: Dead Corpse

“Interstate highways do not come out of State budgets moron. Also, it’s spelled “system”.

LOL. You’re the dumbass...if you had any comprehension skills, I’d repost it lol.

But you don’t.

I stated that your infantile “post Roads” interprets the Constitution in an expansive way, as you accuse me of doing.

Why? 1) because “post Roads” transforms into a national Highway system and 2) federal money sent to the states for state roads...

I slowed down for your dumb ass, hope you can comprende now lol

You choose to define “strict” when you see fit.


158 posted on 04/09/2010 6:46:50 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (Let hot tar wash their throats and may it flow freely.)
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To: rbmillerjr

I’m glad you agree that Congress has no business building roads (which it technically doesn’t do — it simply gives money to states to do it)... but even that is unconstitutional. The federal government was not intended to be involved that much in domestic affairs.

As James Madison said in Federalist 45:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

Do you believe in the concept of federalism at least?


159 posted on 04/09/2010 7:07:59 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: rbmillerjr
I stated that your infantile “post Roads” interprets the Constitution in an expansive way, as you accuse me of doing.

No. It didn't. Did you miss the part were I clearly stated that TRAFFIC LAWS are STATE laws? You were the one trying to make a Federal case for stop signs.

Sorry you are trying to take that particular tack on this, but it only makes you look both stupid and desperate.

You choose to define “strict” when you see fit.

No. Strict is strict. If it was up to me, there'd be no NASA, FAA, or FCC either...

Of course, that's a CONSERVATIVE position, so I don't expect you to understand.

160 posted on 04/09/2010 7:16:07 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: Dead Corpse

Of course, one simple way to know we are the real conservatives and these other guys are fake “conservatives” is simply in the fact that we are the ones arguing for a more limited government and less control -— they are the ones arguing for more government and more control.


161 posted on 04/09/2010 7:18:41 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: daniel885

Yeah... Somehow, I don’t think that simple and logical fact will sway the OP in any meaningful way.


162 posted on 04/09/2010 7:20:13 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: Dead Corpse

You guys aren’t conservatives. You are Libertarians. I’m sure you ll struggle with this level of rational thought, so I’ll ask Daniel to interpret down to you.

Ayn Rand on Libertarianism:

Q: What do you think of the Libertarian movement? [FHF: “The Moratorium on Brains,” 1971]

AR: All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies, except that they’re anarchists instead of collectivists. But of course, anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism, because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. The anarchist is the scum of the intellectual world of the left, which has given them up. So the right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the Libertarian movement.


163 posted on 04/09/2010 7:35:27 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (Let hot tar wash their throats and may it flow freely.)
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To: Dead Corpse

Logic?... rbmillerjr hasn’t used a logical argument yet. A logical argument would make conclusions based on a known premise with conclusions that necessarily follow. But his base premise “begs the question” and is itself unknown and unproven... namely his assertion that federal roads are constitutional despite having no specific constitutional text authorizing their construction. It “begs the question” because we don’t accept the premise that federal roads are necessarily constitutional.


164 posted on 04/09/2010 7:35:53 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: rbmillerjr

That’s a strawman argument (another logical fallacy). Nobody here is advocating anarchy. We are advocating constitutionally limited government. If we were anarchists, we would be arguing for no government. But no comment here is urging that.


165 posted on 04/09/2010 7:38:40 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: daniel885

Try reading it again. It describes Libertarians perfectly.

Ayn Rand on Libertarianism:

Q: What do you think of the Libertarian movement? [FHF: “The Moratorium on Brains,” 1971]

AR: All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies, except that they’re anarchists instead of collectivists. But of course, anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism, because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. The anarchist is the scum of the intellectual world of the left, which has given them up. So the right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the Libertarian movement.


166 posted on 04/09/2010 7:42:16 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (Let hot tar wash their throats and may it flow freely.)
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To: rbmillerjr

I am not an anarchist, nor are most “libertarians” in the United States. The term “libertarian” in the United States generally applies to minarchist libertarians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minarchism) or classical liberals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism). Again, you are attacking a straw man. Nobody here is advocating anarchy. We are arguing for federalism. The federal government should be constrained to the 17 specific powers it is empowered by Article I, Section 8 to legislate regarding (and nothing else) as reinforced by the 10th amendment. Drug laws, if they exist at all, should be done on the state level.


167 posted on 04/09/2010 7:50:17 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: daniel885

“It “begs the question” because we don’t accept the premise that federal roads are necessarily constitutional.”

This doesn’t beg the question. If your radical ideology clouds your ability to see what is clear and evident...fine.

But you don’t get to create your own reality. Federal roads are constitutional as are drug laws written by both state and federal governments.

It is reality. For goodness sakes, look around you. If it weren’t the case, there would be cases proving your point on constitutional grounds.

Your interpretation of the Constitution is inept and not accepted in the mainstream. Your claim to have the “correct” interpretation is of course, ludicrous. Your interpretation is rejected and laughed at, much like Ron Paul when he is in public.

In fact, your perspective is not unlike the communist cell members who want to think for the masses and “know” the “correct” interpretation or path.

Coffee...reality...get some.


168 posted on 04/09/2010 8:03:52 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (Let hot tar wash their throats and may it flow freely.)
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To: rbmillerjr

It is a “beg the question” fallacy (aka circular logic) because I have refuted your premise that federal roads have no Constitutional basis. You even admit as much when you can’t point to the authorizing text in Article I, Section 8.

The difference between us and you is that we believe in obiding by the actual text of the Constitution and like Jefferson oppose your view that we should rely on Supreme Court decisions based on “stare decisis” (using bad decisions of the past to justify more bad decisions).

Like Jefferson, I believe that our federal government should abide by the Constitution as written by our founders and not the Constitution as imagined by un-elected and un-accountable judges.


169 posted on 04/10/2010 4:42:16 AM PDT by daniel885
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To: daniel885

“I have refuted your premise that federal roads have no Constitutional basis.”

I think you’re slightly confused. I used the federal roads argument as an example of something that is constitutional, yet isn’t expressly stated in the Constitution. “Post Roads” would have to be expanded upon quite a bit to apply to the federal highway system and the federal funds used to pay for state roads and highways.

Just an example of how Libertarians “strictly” define only when they choose to on “certain” issues important to them, like drugs.


170 posted on 04/10/2010 10:45:38 AM PDT by rbmillerjr (Let hot tar wash their throats and may it flow freely.)
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To: rabscuttle385

If America can be looked at as a ‘house’, heres how I would describe what each ideology or “ism” intends.
Obamaism-a blend of fasism and corpratism, this is the cockroaches in the walls of the American house. The cockroaches (Obamaism) got in because they were lured by the tasty termites (liberals) that had been infesting the house for many decades.Democrats address the new cockroach problem by introducing more termites into the walls, hoping to satisfy the roaches with liberal termites inside of structural load bearing material, which the roaches have already started to eat for the past 18 months. Republicans are addressing the problem by claiming that introducing more termites only feeds the problem, then offering to feed fewer termites into the walls, if elected in November. Paul Ryan says he can wean the roaches (Obamaisms) completely off the termites (liberals) and save the whole house (America), over the next twenty years with his plan. Unfortunatly his plan was on a sheet of paper eaten by roaches while its assigned guard was awol attending a lesbian lapdance club meet and greet. So what other plans are there? Anarchism, suggests that we invest in a book of matches, burn the house down, and call the problem solved. Socialism, suggests we sell the house to the Chinese government who we than hope will fix it, and allow us to be a renter. Neo-conservatism suggests we move ourselves into the inside of walls, and give the roaches the rooms and furniture, figuring we can make the world safe for democracy if we show the roaches the ways of our lives. Conservatives call the Orkin man, but ask for an exorcist first. This fails when the exorcist takes all the money we had alloted for him, and the Orkin man. We tell the Orkin man it is his moral duty to serve us non profit, he flys his non-four fingers, and goes. The libertarian proposal is to leave the house and bargain for the tree house in the back yard. ‘Who are we to initiate force against the roaches?’, they ask. After a month, the house is vacated , and the roaches head up the tree to the tree house. Of course the tree and tree house are gone, just a pile of ash, rumour has it, Murray Rothbard was there with a match. Just prior to total collapse, the owners call a group of economists...see the next post...


171 posted on 04/10/2010 5:44:39 PM PDT by Unconquered One
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To: rabscuttle385

If America is a “house”, what would a group of laborers do to improve it, if those laborers were from different economic schools?
“Keynes” Day Laborers Inc would run down to home depot, before even looking up close at the house, and purchase new paint, insisting that without a florescent color, no house is worth saving. They never make it back to the work site, they get stuck at a brothel.
“Marx” Man-power To The People Dot Gov. show up. They try to organize a strike, fail, then brake in, steel the copper pipes, and leave.
“Milt Friedman” For Hires Company comes along. They go through the entire house with a fine tooth comb. The house (America) they deem savable. They call Orkin, wait a week, come back, knock down a couple of walls, expand some rooms, wallpaper over some holes, put an addition in, and replace the doorbell.
FA Hayek Temp Agency shows up. They like Milts work. They paint the house a fitting color, and pave the driveway.
Finally, L. V. Mises Co shows up. They chuckle. Windows and doors are replaced. Structural walls are inspected and replaced. Plumbing, electrical, insulation, completely updated. Garage is expanded from one car to three car. Pool in the back. House lifted up and new foundation is poured, reenforced concrete,ect.. ofcourse.
Larry Summers and Paul Krugman drive by later to see Mises work.Larry says to Paul..”I like it, but can we fix it Paul?”


172 posted on 04/10/2010 5:45:05 PM PDT by Unconquered One
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To: rbmillerjr
You guys aren’t conservatives.

Ask yourself, exactly WHAT are you trying to "conserve"?

For me, it the Constitution and our Republic. The very freedom we are supposed to have.

You? You'd piss it all away over a battle over a plant.

And yes, I've seen the same quote from Rand ad nauseum. It isn't germane to the current discussion.

173 posted on 04/10/2010 6:14:03 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: daniel885

Yeah, they don’t seem overly preoccupied with the finer details like facts. ;-)


174 posted on 04/10/2010 6:15:05 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: Jewbacca
Someone define “neoconservative” for me.

neo·con·ser·va·tive [ˌnē-ō-kən-ˈsər-və-tiv], n., a term describing someone who posts something disagreeable, or propounds a disagreeable view, on a conservative message board (pref. someone of Jewish descent).

175 posted on 04/10/2010 6:18:34 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: rbmillerjr
“I have refuted your premise that federal roads have no Constitutional basis.”

I think you’re slightly confused. I used the federal roads argument as an example of something that is constitutional, yet isn’t expressly stated in the Constitution. “Post Roads” would have to be expanded upon quite a bit to apply to the federal highway system and the federal funds used to pay for state roads and highways.

Just an example of how Libertarians “strictly” define only when they choose to on “certain” issues important to them, like drugs.

My position is that federal roads are NOT constitutional. You keep asserting that it is. I am a strict constructionist on ALL of the above. Where am I not being a strict constructionist? If there is anything I've proposed that is contradictory of the TEXT of the Constitution, then please post it. And by the way, drugs are NOT important to me. I don't use them, I don't like people who do use them, and I think people who use them are being stupid. But I also don't believe I have a right to control others and generally people have a right to be stupid (as I'm sure you'll be glad to learn). I don't oppose the intent of drug laws. I just see them as unconstitutional and ineffective. Likewise, I also don't oppose the intent of universal health care. I just see it as unconstitutional and ineffective. I don't pick and choose issues to apply a strict reading of the Constitution. Besides, the tenth amendment allows powers that Congress doesn't have to be exercised by the states (unless specifically prohibited in the Constitution). So just keep your drug laws on the state level at least.
176 posted on 04/10/2010 8:07:00 PM PDT by daniel885
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To: daniel885

Constitutional interpretation from a bubble gum dispenser is frowned upon.

Your view that roads are unconstitutional is one of the most asinine things I’ve read in a long time.


177 posted on 04/11/2010 5:36:51 AM PDT by rbmillerjr (Let hot tar wash their throats and may it flow freely.)
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To: rbmillerjr
Are you drinking? At 7:30 in the morning?

Your post bears no resemblance to anything anyone has said so far...

178 posted on 04/11/2010 10:54:29 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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