With the following tweet from PEOTUS DJT, at 7:30 AM 2017, The American Experiment has entered its third phase, and there is no going back.
The future of American political debate will now be between the two camps of corporatism and socialism, and future historians will make a dividing line between American Eras, marking the beginning of the third with Trump's election.
Furthermore, there is no way to stop this advancement, reverse this trend, or go back. Welcome to our future.
The First Wave of American Freedom
From 1776 to 1861 the world saw the emergence of a bold and exciting political project. The defining feature of which was the affirmation of individual liberty and responsibility against the authoritarianism of churches, states, and corporations. Free enterprise was the driving motor pushing this project forward. Freedom to choose how you worship, where you shop, what you pursue in life; these were the revolutions. Local government was strong and important and Federalism meant a powerful alliance of mostly individual states and local cultures and ways of life coming together for the preservation of freedom. It is here that Christian theologians and political philosophers established the necessary principles of secularism, ensuring that the church would never be poisoned by state endorsement; and the state would not become the strong-arm of forcing others to pretend to believe an approved orthodoxy. Here that the successes of powerful enterprises saw the virtue of not seeking government assistance or endorsement against their rivals, but of proving their superiority through success in an open and free marketplace of competition. It was here that a fledgling and neonatal nation-state emerged with codified protections ensuring the rights of its citizens to protest that very government, coalesce in assemblies to petition that government and seek out redress of grievances, speak freely any criticism imaginable of the individuals and the systems which were just being established to rule over this new brave and free people.
These are the principles that readers of this website care about. These are the principles they wish to see reestablished in a renaissance of American ideals. The depressing purpose of this paper is to argue that these hopes are all but made in vain.
Hardly were these principles first established on earth than the initiation of their degradation was begun. Looking back on the beginning days of this experiment French philosopher and economist Frederic Bastiat diagnosed an inevitable flaw in the constitution of this greatest of all political projects, predicted the symptoms which would arise as a result of this fatal flaw; and, in 1850, gave us the history of the next 150 years. His powerful and insightful formula, if my memory serves, can be ventriloquized something like this:
- A free people allowed to engage in enterprise choose to do so and prefer simplistic narratives regarding politics so that they can quickly cast their votes and get on with the project of living.
- A politician, which Socrates accurately psychologically analyzed as necessarily sick or psychotic, will find that violating the principles which separate the state from the free market in a way which gives a temporary benefit to one corporate agent over his competitors leads naturally to the funds and votes necessary to ensure a reelection victory.
- Despite the fact that principles like those outlined in the 8th article of the constitution will prohibit these sorts of interventions by the necessary authoritarian body into the free and fair competition of an otherwise free-market; the temptation to ensure preservation of power by individual politicians will necessitate that these principles be violated. There just is not enough of a check to stop this trend codified in the American Constitution.
- Businessmen will find that bankruptcy always threatens their enterprises, and that they would be able to compete much more effectively if they had some sort of change in the rules which favored them over their competition. Just as inevitable, will be their future attempts to court and lobby politicians to create laws (regarding subjects Congress has no authority to legislate in the first place) which give them this unfair advantage.
- Once this process is started; which, Bastiat tells us was already in full swing at the time of his writing; it will necessitate that the competitors of this first businessman and his lobbyist get into the same game. The only way to compete is to keep an eye on the rules regarding the public coffer and the regulations invading each industry. This is as inevitable as the rest of what has been observed.
- As a result of these observations and economic realities, the US government will succeed in doing what all authoritarian systems are inclined to do, that is, encroach upon liberties and become ever larger entities with expanded scopes of influence in the lives of the citizens (who are more and more becoming, "subjects", instead of citizens).
Not bad for 1850!
"The United States of America is..."
After the Civil War, people no longer used the phrase, "the United States of America are...". It was the rise of a powerful federalist system (which may have been necessary to end the wickedness of slavery at a time when scientific progress made owning slaves economically more valuable in the States than ever before--one of the few times in world history where the clear victory of principle over economic driving factors determined the fate of a nation and its people.) during the civil war that forever changed the way Americans viewed themselves, their nation, and the political project it represented on the earth.
State's rights are still discussed today, in the first few moments of the new third wave of American history; and they will likely still be talked about for some time in the future. State's rights have been discussed throughout our lives, and through the rest of the time of the Second Wave of American history as well. But the term, "State's rights" has meant something much less than it did in the past. There is still a legal and written tradition which gives historical nods to these principles, but there is not, and will not be in the near future, the political capital to care about or defend these principles.
I'll never forget the day Michael Farris, one of the few lawyers who somewhat regularly argues cases in front of the supreme court, a constitutional lawyer and founder of the HSLDA, demonstrated to me the hollowness of the lip-service still paid to these founding principles even by some of the strongest advocates on the right of the political spectrum. Mike Farris has argued and organized push-backs against many of the encroaching governmental power schemes of the left. One of his favorite tactics is to point out that the original intent of the founders when writing the 8th article of the Constitution, which describes the areas of life the founders delineated congress can legally regulate; and specifically the famous clause regarding the "regulation of interstate commerce" was never meant to be interpreted by the courts in the broad way they have. The Supreme court has decided that a legislative bill which has consequences for interstate commerce is, by this clause, constitutional; even if the primary purpose of the law is evidently something far removed from the regulation of trade between the states. The principle he advocates is an accurate one; but he doesn't mean it.
One, perhaps the greatest, of the virtues of the Donald Trump campaign and upcoming Presidency is its clarifying effects. The Republican Party has been giving lip service to the principles of the American founding all the while doing exactly what any political party might be expected to do... expanding governmental authority at the expense of individual liberty. The left, and the democratic party, has lately been boldly advocating for more governmental intrusion into the lives of what used to be free citizens. In recent history they have been unable to conceal the contempt they have for a free people, and have enacted policies which diminish our power and respect around the world all the while claiming to be the highly-esteemed international figures the world respects.
Donald Trump's response to the creeping socialism of the left is necessary. The education systems in this country have ensured that no people are educated enough to long be free anymore, and the only opposition to the rapid destruction of our country through the implementation of socialist and communist ideologies is the new corporate nationalism of Donald Trump. This is unfortunate, but true nonetheless.
The Redefinition of the Left and the Right in America
The right: Corporatism, American Nationalism, Greatness
Trump will succeed in Making America Great Again, but "America" will mean something entirely new.
The left: socialism, communism, government takeover of industry
The left will advocate for more extremes and will use the inevitable negative consequences of Trump's new right and its corporatism to win elections and push America further down the road to socialism. The worse results of these actions will cause the pendulum to swing back towards the new nationalism of Trump's new right and future "conservatives" will win elections and use their power to give control back to, not the American people, but to specific corporations who will inevitably end up doing a better job than the government but which will represent a system very far removed from the free capitalism of the past.
Patriots, I pray I am wrong.
If Donald Trump appoints Ron Paul to audit the Fed, if he evinces an understanding of Founding American Principles and uses his powerful persuasive tactics to educate others on these, if we show the same understanding and demand a renaissance, we may get one. But, none of these things seem likely at the moment.
True patriots who believe in the original American Experiment and it's powerful message of liberty will have to wait out this storm. Resist encroachments on your own liberties, become self-sufficient, hoard firearms and books. Eventually things will get bad enough and you will be called upon to lead the bloody revolution to take back power from the government and give it to the people. I predict that day will not come for a long time.
Raise the next generation to be educated in these matters, to understand liberty and personal responsibility. This third wave has only just started, and it will be a century or so until things get bad enough to justify and warrant a revolution. People have the democratic right to sell themselves into slavery, to foolishly give over great power to their government. We, as a people, can work to educate our fellows to resist these trends--trends, which, like the tide, will advance nevertheless, but we do not have the right.
Our fellow countrymen seem content to have their liberties, powers, and rights taken away from them piece by piece, and are even applauding those who propose to make this usurpation even more rapid. We must prepare ourselves for the eventual physical revolution which this foolishness will make necessary, but we have no right to engage in same until our fellows recognize the errors and join us. This will be a long time coming.