Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trotskyite Republicans? Where are we headed?

The apparent balkanization of the Republican party got me thinking about just how diverse are the views held under the political umbrella of that party. Using the familiar jargon of the popular media, there are the social conservatives, the fiscal conservatives, the evangelicals, the moderate conservatives, big government conservatives, libertarian conservatives, and about a dozen or two more variations and combinations among the rest of prospective voting blocks, ranging from Tea Party conservatives to moderate swing voters. There seem to be very few individuals any more capable of capturing the imagination and enthusiasm of the entire GOP voting block and really uniting it the way Ronald Reagan did, just as there seems to be nearly nobody anymore who can unite this deeply divided country of these "United" States.

Just how deeply this balkanization runs was driven home for me by a video clip by Sen. Ron Paul I recently discovered from May of last year in which he endeavors to expose the neocon agenda in American government by showing us what nocons really believe. The term "neocon," of course, is about as hard to pin down as "liberal" or "fundamentalist" these days; but what Sen. Paul means by it is the political movement whose descendants stem historically from left-wing Ashkenazi Jewish Trotskyites who now identify themselves explicitly as "neo-conservatives" and include the spiritual stepchildren of Leo Strauss and Irving Kristol, like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearl, Elliot Abrams, Robert Kegan, William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey,Frank Gaffney, and others like Dick Cheney, William Bennett, Ronald Rumsfeld, and Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox New, The Wall Street Journal, and, I believe, the New York Post and Weekly Standard).

He mentions as key beliefs and assumptions of such neoconservatives: (1) Trotsky's historical tenet of permanent revolution, (2) redrawing the map of the Middle East, (3) pre-emptive war to achieve desired ends, (4) that the ends justify the means, (5) support for the welfare state, (6) American Empire-building, (7) the necessity of deceiving the public in the interest of the state's survival, (8) the necessity of a strong, centralized federal government, (9) the government by an 'elite', (10) opposition to American neutrality in foreign affairs, (11) reject libertarianism and constitutionalism, (12) the necessity of compromising civil liberties for security, as in the Patriot Act, (13) unconditional support for Israel and the Likud Party.

He mentions also the promotion of these ideas via the agenda of the American Enterprise Institute and the Project for a New American Century, as well as its parent organization, the Bradley Foundation. He mentions the (unwitting?) support for this neoconservative agenda, as well as for Israeli Zionism (usually for fundamentalist biblical-theological reasons) by various Christian Evangelicals and Fundamentalists.

You get the picture. None of this is really new, though it may be news to some. It has all been said by others before in various places, including Dale Vree, the former editor of New Oxford Review, in a December, 2005, editorial, "What is a Neoconservative? -- & Does It Matter?," who talked at some length about the ultra-Left Communist (Trotskyite) origins of modern American political neoconservatism. It has been said before by the likes of Jack Bernstein in "The Life of an American Jew in Racist Marxist Israel" (1985), who, among other things, pointed out the radical racial discrimination between the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in Israel, the former of European descent, usually Zionists and often of Marxist orientation; the latter of Middle Eastern descent, religiously conservative, poor and persecuted. The agenda of American neoconservativism would be perceived as "friendly" by the Jewish Zionist movement, while there are other Jewish groups decidedly opposed to such an agenda, such as the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

None of this is surprising as such. What surprised me, however, is that it came from Sen. Ron Paul. But then, what did I know about Ron Paul? Next-to-nothing, except for what I've read and seen in the mainstream media and the public debates, where he hasn't been very impressive.

Like most everyone else, I see things I like and dislike in all of the Republican candidates. I like the fact that Sen. Santorum has a clear Catholic vision and can articulare an intelligent rationale for some of the Church's positions on social issues. I like some of the zingers launched by Speaker Newt Gingrich in his debates. I like the flat tax idea floated by Gov. Perry. I like the usual poise under pressure of Mr. Romney. I even like the occasional statement by Sen. Paul. But I'm not confident that any of these can unite the party, let alone the country, although I would just love to be pleasantly surprised. I am more-and-more confident, however, that the real winner in this election, like the last, will be the mainstream media; and while I hope it makes some difference which party occupies the presidential office, I'm no longer convinced that any candidate, once elected, can likely turn this country around, now that it's hit the greased skids to what looks like spiritual as well as socio-economic suicide.


Rachel said...

I like how you find something good to say about each candidate. I think the country's had incredibly serious spiritual problems for a long time. One sign of that is that only the economic problems get much attention!

I am not Spartacus said...

The real powers behind the public spectacle of our faux political elections are not about to let one ascend to a position of authority if he were an actual threat to their power and perks and so this election season is not any different from any election since Kennedy was bumped-off: and his assassination by the establishment was a savage display that an unelected power elite could do what it wanted when it wanted and that there was not one damn thing me or thee could do about it.

As Mr. Tabbi observed in "Griftobia'" while the voters are distracted by the sturm und drang atmospherics of the electoral escapades international bankers are meeting in Basel, Switzerland carving-up what remains of the capitalistic corpse.

Abandon hope all ye who enter the voting booth. Your vote does not matter and, secretly, in your soul, you know that is the reality: and it is time to confess that truth and stop helping to give legitimacy to this captious capitalistic kleptocracy that ruins souls and creation.

This November, stay home and listen to Vivaldi while you drink some quality Cabernet and let the dead vote for the dead.

Bernard M. Collins said...

"Does it matter? Grace is everywhere."(Bernanos - Diary of a Country Priest). But, for that very reason it does matter. It is our obligation to think and act with the deep understanding of which we are capable - informed, and yet placing our trust and peace in the sure knowledge of God's presence everywhere and in everything. Thank you for a solid re-cap of our situation.

Bill said...

You miss the neocons' embrace of Cultural Marxism / PC. Also, in your description of the R party's constituents, you neglect the money: Wall St, big business, and the Sheldon Adelson's of the world.

Anyway, I think you are pointing to a real phenomenon. The postwar R party was the "we hate commies" party. That is the issue that really united all the disparate bits. There is no replacement issue, and the R elite knows it. The whole "global war on terrorism" BS is a desperate effort to gin up something to replace the commies. Worked for a while, but we'll see.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

PP I've had most of the same reactions to the candidates that you have had.

I don't want another Bush-patrician anointee of what used to be called the "Rockefeller Republican" wing of the party, and that is all that Romney has in the way of identity. The great man of the people, George Bush the First, said of Romney, "I like the cut of his jib," and this was back when he was governing the socialist republic of Massachussetts in the manner to which they are accustomed.

Give Newt a podium, and he is brilliant; take it away from him, and he is a disorganized mess of a man.

Santorum has Catholic values in his personal life, but politically he comes across as no less a neo-con than Romney and Newt. That is not good. The idea of turning Asia into a neighborhood of friendly democracies is insane, and republicans should have called it insane when our last goofy president and his neo-con handlers proposed it.

We are caught in the trap of globalism like dinosaurs in a tar pit, and we owe it all to the wondrous bipartisanship of our two political parties, who showered NAFTA treaties on us, and showered American jobs on the rest of the world, because corporate lobbyists told them to. Everyone enjoying spending their unemployment checks at Dollar Tree?

Ron Paul does not have good answers to any of this, only simplistic ideology (and he would never get anywhere with the current congress anyway), but I find little to fault with his analysis.

God help us all, but let's face it: men may be capable of blowing up the world, but they cannot govern it. Caesar is gone: only his salad remains. None of these guys are going to beat Obama. Probably none of them deserve to. Not Spartacus has the best advice, though I would substitute Haydn for Vivaldi, and strong black tea for cabernet.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Kurtz looked into the heart of darkness, gasped "the horror, the horror," and expired.

G W Bush looked into the heart of darkness, saw an oil well, and figgered it was Texas.

Sorry, that's what happens when I spend too much time thinking about the republican primary.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

I have to hand it to Newt, however. The man has a genius for incisive verbalization. He recently said that, as president, he would not be content to "manage the decline."

This is such a fecund thought. Newt ought to repeat it and expand on it every time a microphone is shoved into his face.

First of all, America is in decline. It has been for some time -- surely most of my life.

Secondly, America's decline was in many respects a planned event, or at least a willed one. It came at the behest of the same people who have supported our bipartisan leaders so handsomely over the years. America's decline is viewed by corporatists and bankers as natural, if not desirable -- "creative destruction," don't you know. Must decrease wages and call it increasing productivity. All politicians are essentially salesmen: give them a handsome enough bonus for doing so and they will sell out their constituents.

The suppurations were certainly evident in the seventies, with the deterioration of major American industries such as steel and automobiles, and by the end of The Gipper's second term the sores were open and running free. Jobless Americans in Western New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania and the rest of my beloved "Rust Belt" were getting the now familiar banjo tune from politicians of both parties that "free trade" treaties like NAFTA were the answer, when in fact they were the formalization of the problem – (a) establishment of geopolitical alliances and (b) satisfaction of the ravenous appetite of international corporations for cheap labor, achieved through (c) the currency of American prosperity and jobs. Every pol from Bush and Dole to Mondale and Clinton were plinkin' their Foggy Mountain Breakdowns about how all you fellers whut lost yer jobs riveting fenders would soon be able to retrain yerselves to be high tech computer analyst thingamajig sonsabitches, an' be back to livin' high off the hog! All them fancy dan white collar jobs were coming at ya some time, somehow, courtesy of the NAFTA Consortium of Creative Destruction Economics, and Your Congressman, who is retiring next term to become a lobbyist in a big ol office building down the street from the Capital dome.

During all of that time, I can remember only one consequential presidential candidate who recognized and addressed the problem -- an Irish Catholic bareknuckle brawler and first rate political strategist named Patrick Buchanan, whose books still set a high water mark, in my view, for serious thinking about the future of the country. Unfortunately for us all, Buchanan's presidential aspirations were crushed by the republican establishment, aka "Rockefeller Republicans," who gave us instead a succession of old shoe backroom boys who had patiently waited their turns and now were qualified [albeit some times barely] to be competent "managers of the decline." They called themselves "conservative." They called themselves "moderate." They would have called themselves slavering dogs from hell if they'd thought it would have enhanced their electability (Howzabout another pork rind, George?). About the only advantage any of these shills had over Bill Clinton was that they kept their pants zipped when interns were around (which, I grant you, is something).

All of the foregoing anger, frustration, fear and despair is capsulized in that small but magnificent phrase, "manage the decline." It sums up Romney perfectly and deposits him like kitty kat droppings in the 9th hole sand trap of whatever country club Rockefeller Republicans currently favor. To refuse to "manage the decline" is to say no in thunder. It is exactly what Newt needs to say, exactly what Americans need to hear, and it is all they need to hear to send President Black Jesus on a one way trip to political gehenna.
Of course, it would be nice if he meant it.

Pertinacious Papist said...

Ralph, you're on a ROLL here! In fact, you may have one thing in common with Newt, to quote my friend Doister: you have a "genius for incisive verbalization"!

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

You've got to embrace the creative destruction, PP. It's all part of being open to change, going with the flow, evolving to a higher plane, throwing open the windows, global aggiornamento.

On his cartoon show "Futurama," Matt Groening imagines a world where man's favorite consummable is "Bachelor Chow." It is packaged in big paper sacks like dog food ("it's not just for Rex anymore!"), and it even "makes its own gravy." So, those 99 per centers who are feeding their children dog food in this century have the distinction of being on the cutting edge of societal evolution, NAFTA style.

This is indeed "change you can believe in":

"Fred, this is Rajneesh. He is going to be doing your job starting two weeks from today. Please transfer all of your skills and knowledge to him within that timeframe, otherwise your severance package (a handful of nickels and a fifty cent-off coupon for a fish sandwich at McDonalds) may be affected. Kind regards to your family."

There is a certain kind of person who whines endlessly about the lack of bipartisanship in congress and good vibrations in the world generally. We have soooo many vitally important issues, and those awful men just keep fighting with one another! How horribly unprogressive! My delicate, highly evolved, spiritually attuned sensibilities cannot withstand such negativity! Can't we all just work together in a fraternal and spiritually elevated manner, like people did at the United Nations, Vatican II, and the NAFTA free trade treaties debates???

This kind of person is known as a sucker. For him/her I have the following bullet points for memorization:

(1) in the phrase "change for the better," there is no causal relationship between "change" and "better"

(2) the more glittering the generality, the greater the fecal content

(3) "bipartisanship" is a glittering generality which is most accurately translated as "the fix is in"

Got that? Good. Welcome to life in the City of Man.

Pertinacious Papist said...

To hell with Matt Groening's "Futurama." I want "The Daily Show with Ralph Roiter-Doister."

Charles said...

Two thoughts. The central fallacy of the neocons is the idea that we can and should export American culture by aggressively intervening in the rest of the world. Why did we stay in Afghanistan and Iraq after a successful military intervention? The mission in both cases morphed into nation-building. There are neocon elements in the Democratic Party as well - witness the Libyan intervention and twenty years ago mission creep in Somalia under Clinton.

The lack of a strong candidate is a more serious issue. There are plenty of strong, experienced Republicans: Daniels, Ryan, Jeb Bush to name a few. None of them will run against an unpopular and unsuccessful president. One wonders.