The Crisis of Liberty, Part 2

Eric,

Thank you for your detailed reply.

Your reasoning is persuasive: the East Germans seemed to have more going for them as revolutionaries than does the average American. However, it's likely libertarian change will come (if it does) not fueled by the average American, but by a small group of Americans influencing the
intellectual, political, and cultural zeitgeist.

BTW, which Eric are you? Eric Brenner, Eric Dupree, Eric Clapton?

Warm regards, Michael

Hi Michael:

  Sorry that I didn't get back sooner on this one. This a more complicated question than it appears at first. The complexity of the issue depends on sociological theory.

  It would seem that this is a good point; that if the apathetic masses will follow any leader, then it would make sense to promote libertarian leaders that they would follow. This would be the opinion of Max Weber, for example; and also Ayn Rand, although she puts a different construction on it.

  But there is also a theory that grew out of depth psychology; that society is an extention of the individual and, as groups of individuals, are subject to the same types of disorders. I tend to follow this theory. In a normal state, society is stable, and fringe elements are relegated to the fringe. But when society breaks down, just as in the case of an individual, the tendency is to regress. A neurotic individual moves mentally back to his childhood; a culture looks back to it's 'Golden Age' which Right-wing demagogues from the fringes typically mythologize and push into the mainstream. We see that tendency in our own culture: Right-wing groups absorb names like the 'Tea Party' the 'Minutemen' the 'Constitution Party' the 'Patriots' &c. Racist right-wing groups regress even further and go back to the 'Aryans' 'Christian Identity' and so forth.

  This is why when a culture collapses it typucally goes to the Radical Right rather than the Radical Left. The Radical Left wants to replace a culture; and their situation is analogous more to an abused child who grows up and turns on his persecutors. Left-wing dictatorships have only sucessfully taken root in cultures where the population hated everything their culture stood for (e.g. Jacobin France). Communism could never be established in countries like Poland or Afghanistan; it could be in Czarist Russia.

  So based on this analysis, where is America today? On the precipice of a Right-wing takeover, most likely.