[C4L-SF] Don't Forget to Wish Ron Paul a Happy Birthday!

I'm excited about how well things are going, and continue to think Ron Paul has a shot at actually winning the Republican nomination and getting elected president. But if nothing else, the degree of success he is having, appealing to young people in particular -- see latest poll win results in New Hampshire Young Republican straw poll, below -- makes donating to his campaign a worthwhile investment for freedom, imho. I know times are tight, but they're likely to get worse if he *doesn't* win, so I encourage everyone who can to contribute. The freedom movement takes precedence over party, I say!

Love & Liberty,
                                    ((( starchild )))

P.S. - Also encouraging in the straw poll results below is that on top of Ron Paul's 45%, Gary Johnson got 6%, outpolling all others besides Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Thaddeus McCotter and putting the combined total for the libertarian-oriented candidates in the GOP race over 50%! I think Johnson's presence in the race is good for the cause, and could give him stature as a potential running mate for Dr. Paul or someone else.

  Did you notice, though, how the US media propagandists ignored Ron Paul altogether and are supporting the Teabag Nazi/Bush operative, Rick Perry instead?

  Ron Paul has no 'shot at winning the GOP nomination'. America, as a republic, is dead. We are now a neo-nazi corporatist police state and elections are only for show.

  Ron Paul would do better service by leaving the US and organizing a resistance movement. That's the kind of political action that is needed now.


  I disagree that things are as bad as that. But if you think they are, what do you intend to do about it? Which countries do you think offer better prospects for freedom?

  If you're suggesting that you'd like to see the freedom movement take on more of a global perspective, however, I very much agree. That could certainly be helped by more libertarians locating in other countries and staying in touch with each other, since I think that numerically the movement is still concentrated in the U.S. even though I don't necessarily think that concentration is proportionate to the prospects for freedom taking off here relative to its chances in other countries.

  I don't think Ron Paul leaving the country would be very constructive however. He's doing a lot of good here, but would have much less ability to do good elsewhere, imho.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))


   To ask bluntly: how many stolen elections do you need to see before you're convinced that our electoral system is completely rigged? How much corporate media suppression of candidates or unlimited 'campaign donations' (i.e. bribes) or manufactured scandals or rigged ballot-access laws would convince you that things really are 'as bad as that'?

  What to do about it is an open question for me at this point. I'm convinced that the American people have neither the intelligence nor the will to resist dictatorship; and that is the intention of the corporate/government elites to impose such a dictatorship upon us.


  While in many ways the leaders of the two establishment parties are marching together toward tyranny -- see cartoon just uploaded to the "Laugh or Cry" album on this group's Photo's page, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpsf-discuss/photos/album/0/list -- it also seems clear that the competition between them is real, and that each desires to get and maintain power over the other.

  What I get from that is that neither side of the establishment is fully controlling events, because both continue to regularly experience electoral outcomes they don't want. Thinking of the truly authoritarian regimes around the world, none come to mind that control the electoral process, yet regularly lose important elections that they would rather not lose.

  I guess I would turn the question around and ask how many such undesired results do you need to see before you're convinced that "our" (I'm cynical/radical enough not to consider the system "ours") electoral system is *not* completely rigged?

  My impression from your other recent comments is that you believe current governments in Europe and the United States are worse than the regime presided over by Libya's Gadhafi, who ran a full-blown dictatorship for 42 years. Yet here you seem to express concern that the "corporate/government elites" intend to impose dictatorship on the U.S. What is your theory for why leaders of major corporations would want such a dictatorship, when according to you they are already firmly in control and their interests being served much better by the U.S. government than by a real dictator in Libya?

Love & Liberty,
                                     ((( starchild )))


   I think that the elites in this country control the government and the electoral process to large extent, but because our electoral system is decentralized, they may not fully have control over local elections. That can extend even to congressional and senatorial races, where they can't get the desired outcome. If I had to speculate, I think the only reason that they bother with elections at all is because they want to promulgate the illusion to the people that it is 'the popular will' that's really deciding things. IOW, it's more of a propaganda ploy, since they usually control one or both of the competing candidates; or at least can suppress (or discredit) a competing candidate who happens to win.

  I don't rule out the possibility that some 'national emergency' is on our horizon soon under which they can suspend elections as sort of a trial balloon. If they get away with it (and they probably will), then the electoral process will be phased out over time.

  On the question of dictators like Qaddafi: these types of leaders are always a liability for the corporatists. It's different in dictatorships like Saudi Arabia or China, where the corporatists can deal with a relatively stable structure with similar motives to themselves. But dictators like Qaddafi believe themselves to be revolutionaries working in the interests of their own people and have a tendency to balk when those interests are threatened, without regard to the consequences. I'm certain that Qaddafi really believes that he is working to the benefit of the Libyan people. The problem with that type of dictatorship is that national policy is completely dependent on the personality of the dictator; and his judgement alone---for good or bad---affects the entire nation. Qaddafi did a lot of good things for Libya, but he did some bad things too. That's the inherent flaw in that kind of government.

  But the inherent flaw in our corporatist system is worse, because the would-be dictatorship here is NOT working in the interests of the American people, but only to expand its own power and profit. They prefer a dictatorship more along the Saudi or Chinese lines where a handful of elites take everything for their own benefit and enslave the rest of us.

  I think the reason that we have elections is the same reason we have reality TV shows and "US, and Okay\!" and People on the checkout aisles and ""news" stories about some woman who may or may not have killed one child \(her own\) and American Idol\.  It's the circus part of bread and circuses, and the elections are circuses, too, that never make any real difference in the long run; although Clinton did manage to pay off the national deb, that was quickly wiped out by the next circus act\.


  I agree that the elites don't fully control local elections. I don't even think the elites fully control *national* elections. They *dominate* elections at both (all) levels, but dominating the results in terms of establishment-oriented career politicians constituting the bulk of those who are elected is not the same as controlling outcomes.

  Hell, I don't think they fully control the federal government itself. That entity is an 800 pound gorilla with its own impulses and inertia; it is so huge that no one can effectively control it, short of truly extreme changes in society.

  Unattributed quote found online: "Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism."

  I also agree with you that someone using some kind of "national emergency" to suspend elections is indeed a possibility, and I think this constitutes further evidence that elections matter. If they didn't offer the possibility of change, there would be no reason for anyone to want to suspend them. I think any attempt to suspend elections should be fought tooth and nail.

  You write that "(The corporatists) prefer a dictatorship more along the Saudi or Chinese lines where a handful of elites take everything for their own benefit and enslave the rest of us," because they "can deal with a relatively stable structure with similar motives to themselves". No argument there, except perhaps with the claim that the elites take "everything". Any system that's highly dependent on the whims of a single person is inherently unstable, and business interests are well known to prefer stability and predictability.

  But if our morality test here is what's better for society as a whole (which I think it should be), I believe that comparing authoritarian regimes of the two kinds (stable with diffused power versus unstable with concentrated power) would fail to show that people are significantly better off under the latter (except with regard to the prospects of change after a strongman dies). Here's a sampling from each category (I admit these are largely educated guesses based on how much a regime is identified with an individual and how much questions of power transitions seem to loom):

Authoritarian regimes with broad-based structures


  Bill Clinton didn't pay off the national debt. You're thinking of budget deficits. The U.S. federal budget was at least temporarily balanced during part of his term, although arguably the Republican-majority Congress of that time deserves at least as much credit for that as he does (see e.g. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071214065623AA5VuIT ).

  I can see the "bread and circuses" parallels between our society and ancient Rome, only I don't think the circuses are as centrally planned and organized as they were at that time. Elections may resemble circuses at times, but I think that is more circumstantial than arranged. Given the polarized politics of the U.S., the dominance and influence of entertainment culture and the incentives of the media, the sheer number of voices and interests involved, etc., how could elections here be otherwise?

Love & Liberty,
                                          ((( starchild )))

And the solution is?



Thanks for pointing out the distinction between debt and balanced budget. It's an important distinction that is not widely understood or accepted.

I hope all is well.

All the best,


Starchild....with all due respect, I wouldn't speak too flatteringly of this event in Libya....



Yes, you're right; I misspoke -- it was balancing the budget. The Atlantic Monthly article I'd read about that, though, gave Clinton the credit for focusing on the issue and being willing to spend his political capital to get it done, so I'd give him the credit for it -- he got everyone to come along by using his "capital," I guess.

I've been having a bad feeling for years that there is no solution. What happens, happens, and I don't think it will be something I'll like.


  Another story resurrected during this whole Libya fiasco was the 'Lockerbee Bombing'. But bet you didn't know ('cuz the corporate media swept it under the rug); that 4 of those passengers killed were the same CIA agents who gathered intelligence on the targets for the 1986 US airstrike?

  Qaddafi's intelligence service had been tracking them, because after the airstrike, they uncovered the CIA-sponsored spy network inside Libya. Interestingly, too, Hafta---the self-styled 'rebel leader' defected from Libya about the same time that Qaddafi's men were tracking down spies within their own government...just a coinicidence?

  I have exactly the same feeling. The American people are, collectively speaking, too dumb to be anything other than fascists. I'm afraid that the odds are that things will change will never come from within; but more likely, end up being imposed by foreign countries once they've had enough of these Wall Street bullies and their Pentagon puppets and gang up on us. Where that could lead is anybody's guess.

 Thanks for e\-mailing me with that thought\.  There is more stuff besides Wall Street and the Pentagon at work in this country, and it actually involves the people who were behind the Nazis\.  That group is a very old, organized group with a religious gloss, but with the same desires for power and control as all groups that use membership affiliations to advance their interests\.  I'm sure this group has agents on Wall Street and in the Pentagon, just as everywhere\.

Hi Letitia:
  I've heard some of the same theories. In fact, there's some plausible evidence that Neoconservatism had roots in earlier neo-Nazi movements. For example, Bush Sr's dad, Senator prescott Bush, was pretty heavily involved with the German-American Bund, a Gestapo front-group of the 1930s and 1940s.

  On a couple of points: first, I'd divide authoritarian regimes into 3 categories:

  1. A dictator who believes he is working in the interests of the nation and puts that interest ahead of his own. Modern Examples:
  Napoleon, Porfirio Diaz, General Franco, Marshal Tito, Qaddafi.
These men are hated by the corportist elites because they are not 'team players' so to speak. They have both positive negative points in that the strongman actually DOES do things in the national interest. The problem is that the societies tend (at best) to stagnate; or rise and fall along with the strongman.

2. A dictatorship headed by ruthless thugs out for their own interest, examples being the Third Reich, the Soviet Union, the Taliban. This is direction our own culture is heading. The corporatists also hate this crowd because they are seen as competitors.

3. A dictorship which is a criminal enterprise, but governed by 'realpolitik': e.g.; China, Dubai, Saudi Arabia; the European Union; these systems are oppressive towards their own people but flexible enough to work with the would-be global elites in order to maintain their own power and priviledges.

This is why people under the 2nd and 3rd groups are worse off than under the 1st. The last two are consciously working against liberty, while the 1st is at least trying to do something (however misguided) on behalf of the people.

The best form of government, however, is the one where people themselves have the maximum power; but I'm afraid that, given the choice, the average Ameroboob would pick authoritarianism.

The other disagreement here is that I think that you way overestimate the power of bureaucracy. The average government bureaucrat is simply an order-taker who doesn't especially care who gives him orders; or who he hurts carrying them out. True, Junior and Cheney stacked the bureaucracy pretty heavily with their own fanatically loyal toadies, who've been undermining Obama every chance they get, but they would still be easily controlled by another GOP/ Teabag takeover.


  The road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions. I strongly disagree that just because the leader(s) of an authoritarian regime believe that he/they is/are working in the interests of "the nation", that this means the people living in that jurisdiction will necessarily be better off than under a regime whose leader(s) are out for his/their own interest(s), or a regime whose leader(s) practice "realpolitik".

  China's recent history provides a good example of the contrast between these types. I think Chairman Mao, despite the fact that he enjoyed the good life at the top, believed at least to some degree that his communist ideas were making the world a better place. And he didn't seem to care much about getting along well with the global elites. The people running China today on the other hand are clearly not sincere communists, though they continue to pay lip service to communist ideology. I believe their only real ideology is keeping themselves in power, and to this end, as you note, they practice realpolitik.

  And yet the Chinese people were objectively far, far worse off under Mao, who was perhaps the worst mass-murderer in history, than they are under Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping, and rest of the current crop of career-minded rulers.

  I think a good case can likewise be made that Adolph Hitler and many of the Nazis sincerely believed in their ideology and thought they were doing what was best for the German people. Ditto vis-a-vis Russia for early Soviet leaders like Lenin and Trotsky (maybe not Stalin, who I think was more of a straight-up power-hungry thug).

  I'm surprised however that you put the Taliban in the "ruthless thugs out for their own interest" category. Who else but rulers motivated by a misguided ideology, rather than by self-interest, would do something as senseless and unprofitable as blasting to ruin a hundreds of years old Buddhist monument carved into a mountain?

  I'm also less than convinced that some of the people in your first group really thought they were working for the interests of "their nations". Napoleon, for instance, subverted the French revolution to become dictator. Even today the phrase "Napoleon complex" is often used for megalomaniacs, or people obsessed with wielding power.

  And Gadhafi? This is the guy who's just recently been wantonly killing "his own" people, and who said he would fight to the "last drop of blood" rather than step down. One of his sons was trying to cut a deal with the Islamic fundamentalists he'd previously said were Al Qaeda terrorists (see http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/192427/20110804/gadhafi-s-alliance-deal-rejected-by-islamists-as-they-prefer-the-rebels.htm ). Are these the actions of a regime that puts the interests of "their" country/people first?

  Probably the most straightforward and relevant criteria by which to categorize authoritarian regimes is simply the amounts of damage they do. Death tolls are one fairly good data set to use for this purpose, since they can usually be estimated with at least some degree of accuracy (R.J. Rummel, who coined the term "democide", uses this yardstick to compare regimes -- see http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/MURDER.HTM ). Motives, on the other hand, are always nuanced and can be endlessly debated. We may never know with any certainty any ruler's precise mixture of motivations.

  As for the power of bureaucracy, I think it's somewhat analogous to water. Taken individually, bureaucrats, like small amounts of water, are not particularly powerful; as you say, they can be easily manipulated and bent to the ends of a strong-willed ruler. But just as water flows downhill, they have their own inertia, and in large masses can exert a lot of pressure and eventually wear down and triumph over strong individuals (think of Schwarzenegger's failure to reform California government despite arriving on the scene as a vastly popular governor).

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))