Category Archives: Conservatism

On the 225th Anniversary of the United States’ Bill of Rights

the-bill-of-rights

This December, 2016, marks the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution which would become known as the “Bill of Rights.”  To secure passage of the Constitution, the framers of the document (the Federalists) had to agree that it would contain explicit language on individual rights.

Ever since its ratification, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in which it is a part, has been hailed as one of the seminal achievements in the annals of human history while the political arrangements prior to it (primarily monarchy and aristocratic rule) have been sneered at and belittled by the Constitution’s hagiographers.   Moreover, the American Constitution has provided a model for the emergence of the nation state which came into its own after the French Revolution and the tragic breakup of Christendom.

History, however, if looked at outside the Anglo-American perspective has shown that far from a protector of individual liberty, the Bill of Rights has been mostly useless in defense of basic freedoms while the Constitution, that it is a part of, has been a vehicle for the expansion of state power to an unfathomable degree.

Despite the supposed guarantees of individual liberty within the Bill of Rights and the supposed limited nature of the Constitution itself, there has never been a more intrusive state in world history both domestically and in its myriad of interventions across the globe than the Leviathan that rests on the shores of the Potomac River.  And, the rise of American totalitarianism did not begin with the revelations of Edward Snowden and the other courageous whistle blowers of the recent past, but started soon after the new “federal” state came into existence with the passage of the Alien & Sedition Acts.  Each year since has witnessed the growth of state power at the expense of individual rights where now domestic spying and surveillance are part of the nation’s social fabric.

The primary reason why the Bill of Rights has been unable to secure basic liberties is because the federal government and its courts are the ultimate interpreters of the Constitution and its amendments as explicitly stated in Article VI, section 2, subtitled, Supreme Law of the Land:

This Constitution and the laws of the United

States which shall be made in pursuance thereof,

and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under

the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme

law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be

bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of

any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Since the central government is the final arbitrator of the document, any ruling or decision on particular laws or regulations which would impinge on individual rights will, for the most part, be favorable to the government itself.  And, due to man’s fallen nature, any such power will be abused.

The ratification of the Constitution in 1789 made in essence the individual states mere appendages of the central government.  While the Constitution’s sycophants boast of its “checks and balances,” a far superior bulwark against political repression is that of people “voting with their feet.”  Under the Articles of Confederation, when the national government was not the supreme law of the land, if a certain state became too tyrannical, at least in theory, and had the much neglected Articles remained in place, those persecuted could simply move to a more friendlier jurisdiction.

This would also hold true in the realm of taxation and regulatory policy.  Those political authorities who became too confiscatory in their taxing or enacted burdensome regulations could also see population outflows.  Similar activity goes on all the time currently as people flee high tax municipalities and states like California and New York to lower tax regions such as Florida and Texas.

For voting with one’s feet to be most successful, there needs to be a multitude of states and political jurisdictions.  In the current political climate, this would mean the breakup of the nation state.  Secession and political decentralization should thus be the goals of those who prize individual liberty and prosperity, not the celebration of constitutionalism and the supposed guarantees of personal freedoms under ideas such as the Bill of Rights.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Fidel Castro and the American Empire

castro

The death of the brutal Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro closes the door, in some respect, on another disastrous page in US foreign policy history.  For all the denunciations and criticism of Castro from conservative elements and exiled Cubans, his despotic rule was the outcome of decades of American imperialism which began with President William McKinley’s infamous decision to wage war on hapless Spain in 1898.

The defeat of Spain and the confiscation of its possessions, which the US imperialist and corporate forces had longed prized, set the stage for the nation’s hubristic foreign policy course throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.  America’s action against Spain showed its ungratefulness for it attacked the country that did more for it than any other (including France) in its struggle for independence.  Maybe Castro’s interminable reign, which had always been a thorn in the side of US globalists, was payback for America’s wanton aggression against Spain.

Castro’s rise to power came about not only through the bungling of American diplomacy, but also from genuine “populist” support directed against the thoroughly corrupt regime of the US puppet in charge at the time, Fulgencio Batista.  Even by Latin American standards, the corruption which existed under  Batista was legendary!

The US government played an enormous role in Batista’s second presidency which began when he seized power in 1952.  Throughout his second tenure, Batista received massive kickbacks from American multinational businesses for grants of monopoly privileges on the island.  The most notable was the ITT corporation.

Batista used his unjust gains to enrich himself and buy weapons to be used against his opponents. It was claimed that when he fled Cuba he took a personal fortune of $300 million with him. While Batista and his ruling clique were enriching themselves through US assistance, the Cuban population suffered as the gap between rich and poor continued to widen.

Like Castro, Batista was ruthless in political repression which even American politicians noticed.  In a speech during the 1960 presidential campaign, John Kennedy claimed that Batista had murdered some 20,000 Cubans!

Of course, the US empire learned little from the fiasco with Castro and continued on its rampaging, destructive ways – destabilizing, bombing, and squelching populist uprising across the globe.  No sooner had the island become a lone communist outpost in the Western Hemisphere and the “Cuban Missile Crisis” was defused, than the nation plunged itself into a far bigger and more costlier quagmire in Vietnam.

Donald Trump rightfully condemned Castro’s murderous reign:

The world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who

oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.  Fidel

Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable

suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human

rights.*

The President-elect must, however, understand the reason why Castro came to power and was able to maintain his totalitarian grasp for so long if America is to begin a new and hopefully peaceful foreign policy path.

Trump promised that the US would do all that it can to bring about a “free Cuba:”

Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro

cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure

the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity

and liberty.**

The best way he could accomplish this task not only in Cuba but in regard to all other nations is to heed the words of America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, on the proper foreign policy path for the nation: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”

Maybe the demise of Castro and the ascendancy of Donald Trump is not a coincidence, but an opening which points to a new direction in foreign affairs: one that rejects nation building, intervention, and financial terrorism against friend and foe alike.  Let us hope so.

*David Jackson, “Trump Condemns Castro as ‘Brutal Dictator.’”  USA Today.  26 November 2016.

**Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

It’s Still the Media, Stupid!

media-womd-lies

The US Presidential campaign has demonstrated once again that the mainstream mass media is still the dominant force and arbitrator of political events and if it is successful in pushing the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua past the finish line this November, it may have achieved its greatest triumph.  During the campaign’s stretch run, the mainstream media has used every form and variety of spin, distortion, half truth, calumny, and lies in its diabolical effort to make Killary Rotten Clinton President of the USSA.

The mass media – television, newspapers, movies, the Entertainment industry, book publishing, advertising, and now sports – is part of society’s opinion molding movers and shakers which form part of what Noble Prize winning economist F.A. Hayek called “intellectuals.”  This all important group are not simply nerdy academic professors with patches on their sleeves, but are those who have the ability to shape public opinion, as Hayek describes:

It is the intellectuals in this sense who decide what views and

opinions are to reach us, which facts are important enough

to be told us, and in what form and from what angle they are

to be presented.  Whether we shall ever learn of the results of the

work of the expert and the original thinker depends mainly on their

decision. *

Since at least the 1960s, the dominant opinion-molding sector of the mass media has been the electronic media, which has far outpaced newsprint and academia in influence.  While its power may be on the wane in the Internet Age, it is still the most powerful and important tool in the political elites arsenal for imparting their agenda.

The electronic media, through its use of pictures and images, has been able to manipulate political outcomes and shape public policy discussions at almost every turn.  As every media realist has long understood, the mainstream media has long been controlled by the Left which has used this power to counter any opposition to its narrative.

The major media outlets are controlled by five corporate giants – Time Warner, Disney, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom – the largest purveyors of crony capitalism and cultural Marxism the world has ever witnessed.  No dissent is allowed to be heard on these outlets nor is there any hope of career advancement for journalists or writers if the Leftist paradigm is not trumpeted.

A free society does not exist because of a free press.  In fact, every society which has naively allowed a free press to exist, invariably finds that the press will seek to undermine it, especially its most innovative and successful individuals.  The reason, as Hayek so brilliantly explains, is that the press, and in this age the electronic media, is part of the intelligentsia which by its nature is envy ridden since it has little to offer the world in the production of actual goods and services.  Its members, therefore, are constantly denigrating their betters.

Such a mindset and sociological disposition will naturally lead members of the mass media to support politicians who will regulate, tax, and control the productive members of society.  This explains, in part, their vile and hysterical opposition to Donald Trump.  For Trump, unlike his crazed and corrupt opponent, has largely gained his wealth and position through his own intelligence, foresight, and hard work.

Offsetting media bias is a Herculean task and can only be done by one who is savvy and financially independent enough.  This is why Donald Trump has gotten as far has he has and has used his leverage to heroically call out the manipulations of the mainstream media.

It is surprising, therefore, that Trump agreed to the Presidential “debates” in a forum orchestrated by the media with “moderators” who would be gunning to undermine him at every turn.  Better to have chosen a neutral environment with an honest third party participant such as Brian Lamb of C-Span.  Agreeing to the same rigged debate format was a tactical mistake.

For anyone to seriously challenge the American Leviathan, it must be understood that the mainstream media is a part of that despotic structure and it too must be neutered.  Donald Trump has done more than any Presidential candidate to expose the treachery of the mainstream media, now others must take up the cause.

*F.A. Hayek, “The Intellectuals and Socialism.”  https://www.mises.org/sites/default/files/Intellectuals%20and%20Socialism_4.pdf

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

 

Presidential Dictatorship

Sic Semper tyrannis II

Executive orders, undeclared wars, drone hits, assassination of citizens and non-citizens alike, the overthrow of foreign regimes, domestic spying, the abetting of known criminal activities through pardons, economic planning, opening borders, monetary manipulations are just some of the nefarious activities that routinely emanate from the most dangerous political office that the world has ever painfully come to know – the United States Presidency!

The U.S. presidents can and have created a veritable “hell on earth” for their opponents, perceived enemies, and the innocent not only in the country in which they reign, but over the lives and fortunes of peoples and places where they have absolutely no authority to interfere.  While other chiefs of state have theoretically had such power, U.S. presidents have been able to inflict their destruction and chaos because, paradoxically, the nation’s free-market system, for a long time, created immense wealth which could be tapped into.

The tyrannical nature of the presidency was recognized long ago by those politically perspicacious men who opposed both the office and the draconian document which created it.  Few groups in history have been so vindicated for their foreboding as those who vainly argued against the ratification of the United States Constitution than the Antifederalists.

“An Old Whig”* aptly sums up the damage that would come about if the Constitution was ratified and the office of president would come into being:

. . . the office of President of the United States appears to me

to be clothed with such powers as are dangerous.  To be the

fountain of all honors in the United States, commander in chief

of the army, navy and militia, with the power of making treaties

and of granting pardons, and to be vested with an authority to

put a negative upon all laws, unless two thirds of both houses

shall persist in enacting it, . . . .**

An Old Whig saw that the president would become a “king” but without the natural and binding checks that even the most absolutist of monarchs were restrained by:

[The president] is in reality to be a KING as much a King

as the King of Great Britain, and a King too of the worst

kind; – an elective King. . . . The election of a King

whether it be in America or Poland, will be a scene of

horror and confusion; and I am perfectly serious when

I declare that, as a friend to my country, I shall despair

of any happiness in the United States until this office

is either reduced to a lower pitch of power or made

perpetual and hereditary.***

One of the Federalists’ counterarguments to the Antifederalists’ concern over the presidential office was the widely held assumption that George Washington would become the new Republic’s first chief executive and the general knowledge of his impeccable character would assuage those worried of potential executive overreach.  Such a lame response neglected to look into the future when the office’s huge potentiality for despotism would be sought after and won by those who had less upstanding personal traits than the father of the country.

The growing decentralized political movements throughout the world with, for instance, the hopefully upcoming British exit from the European Union, can only be enhanced if the office of the president and, for that matter, all other nation state’s chief executives are exposed as tyrannical institutions which are anathema to individual liberty and collective self-determination.  Presidents, premiers, chancellors, prime ministers, and their like along with central banking are the two nefarious pillars of power of the modern nation state whose continued existence guarantees perpetual war and economic regression.

In this seemingly interminable presidential election cycle, populist, libertarians, conservatives, and all sorts of anti-Establishment types are delusional if they believe the totalitarian direction in which the country is now headed will be reversed through elections or choosing the “right” candidate.  “Making American Great Again” will only come about when the chief executive office and the statist document that created it have been repudiated.

Prior to the presidency’s abolition, its ideological justification must be first debunked.  There is no finer place to start for this most necessary task to take place than in the dissemination of the perceptive and enduring words of the much neglected Antifederalists.

 

*Probably penned by a group of Philadelphia Antifederalists – George Bryan, John Smilie, James Hutchinson and maybe others.  See, John P. Kaminski & Richard Leffler, eds., Federalists and Antifederalists: The Debate Over the Ratification of the Constitution.  Madison, Wisconsin: Madison House Publishers, 1989, p. 18.

**Ibid., p. 86.

***Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Rock ‘N’ Roll Has Got to GO!

R n R

Has Got to GO!

Those who believe that the Western world can solely be turned around by the enactment of sound economic policies are sadly mistaken.  Until the Left is not only defeated, but annihilate in the culture war, the decline of the West both economically and socially will continue as recently witnessed by the “controversy” over the use of public bathrooms by perverts.

To accomplish such a necessary task, those on the Right must identify the means and mechanism by which liberalism has so adroitly used to accomplish the cultural transformation.

No finer example of the Left’s use of a medium for its depraved ends can be seen in that of rock “music.”  It is safe to say that rock ‘n’ roll has done more to undermine public morality than all of the judicial activism and welfare legislation enacted throughout the past half century or so.  And, without a conducive social atmosphere created by such music, it is doubtful that the sexual revolution and its perverse byproducts such as militant homosexuality and feminism would have ever flourished.

While initially rock was relatively innocuous, it, nevertheless, was subversive to traditional morality.  Most rock songs are couched in cleverly worded lyrics which promote promiscuity, vices such as drug use, and frequently mocks Christianity, all of which has led to the corruption and eventual ruination of countless lives.

Yet, despite these well established sociological “facts” of rock ‘n’ roll’s corrupting influence, those among the Right have long ago accepted this insidious form of music.  In fact, many actually promote it.  Rock is used as lead-in and background music to conservative television and radio programs while publications carry reviews of rock albums and concerts with writers often boasting about attending such events with their wives and children in tow.

After the recent passing of the degenerate and truly odd character who went by the name of “Prince,” a number of conservative outlets praised his “music” while one popular radio and television personality attempted to make the case that Prince was an opponent of the New World Order!

At one time, the culture war was an integral part of the political discourse, however, the debate over the issues of that war have been abandoned.  The acceptance of rock music by the Right is another demonstration of how it has succumbed to nearly all of liberalism’s premises.

The Left has understood (and still does) that through mediums such as television, motion pictures, and music, they could accomplish their agenda despite setbacks in the political arena.  While unsuccessful for a time in politics, they were, nevertheless, winning the important cultural battles and it was through rock music that society was gradually transformed.

There is, thus, no need for those who seek a return to traditional society to celebrate and embrace rock music, instead it should be treated with scorn.  But, it must first be recognized for the evil that it is.

While rock music must be understood for what it represents and debunked for its part in the triumph of the counterculture, an alternative should also be offered.  Happily, one can be readily found in the sublime and societal enhancing music of such masters as Brahms, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Better still, St. Augustine reportedly remarked, “Qui cantat, bis orat” (“A person who sings prays twice”).  When Western man’s Creator is once again prayed to through the music of such greats as Palestrina, Victoria, and Byrd throughout all the lands will the cultural war be won and society revitalized while rock music will be a distant and regrettable memory of a troubled time.

 

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/