25 April 2010

Building a case

This post was originally presented at The Jacksonian Party.

The following is an opinion piece of The Jacksonian Party.

When the 13 Colonies sought to break with Great Britain they did so in a fashion that was quite unique: they utilized a bill of particulars in which Great Britain was not performing her sovereign tasks for her citizens in the Colonies or, even worse, was abusing powers of the State against the Colonies.  While the first portion of the Declaration of Independence  is well known as a succinct restatement of the rights of man as an individual and the duties man has to make government to suit his needs, the latter and more lengthy portion is a piece-by-piece description of what Great Britain was doing to her colonies that was out of order with what citizens expected from their government under the various Charters and Laws of Great Britain.

This portion of the Declaration doesn't sing to us as it is a plain and blunt statement of conditions and I will pick it up midway through the second paragraph:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Each of those items is a transgression between the existing State and its citizens in the Colonies, and the Founders in writing the Declaration were giving a bill of particulars against the State to say exactly what the transgressions were.  These were not only violations of British Law but, in a number of cases, a violation of the Law of Nations that underpins all Nation States and the usurpation of that by any State is a movement of citizens from subjects of the law to mere objects of the State.  Not only was the State acting without regards to the law, it was acting in a lawless manner outside any known form of civilized obedience the State must demonstrate towards its people to be legitimate to them.  When that happens you have Tyranny and in this case it is headed up by a Tyrant.

This is an explicit exposition of what the British government had done, or not done in many circumstances, to warrant being called a Tyrant and worthy of being divorced from the people so that an accountable government could be stood up.  By taking up this path of the lawful requirements of the State to its people, the Founders created a unique document and understanding of just how to go about calling a National government to task when it ignores its duties.

Today there are rumblings of this sort coming from the States within the United States, calling to task the Federal government for what it is or is not doing in some areas that are primal to the rights of the individual States and the people to remain free with liberty:

1)  Gun laws -  This has been an ongoing concern of those wishing to disarm the populace and centralize all power into the Federal government.  When the Federal government had a high amount of trust after WWII, this notion could gain some traction, but when our trust in government declines we see a direct effect in support of more restrictive gun laws.  This from Gallup Poll of 08 APR 2009 that tracks the post-WWII period on this question:

gallup graph gun control

Likewise Pew Research also examined this phenomena on 30 APR 2009, and saw the steady, long-term decline in support for gun control and restrictions on gun ownership from 1993 to present.  Amendment II to the Constitution supports the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and to form up voluntary militia to support themselves and their States.  This is considered one of the prime rights of the individual and is granted by the Law of Nature as a positive liberty (of self-defense) and by the Law of Nations as the positive liberty of protecting one's property.  It is a basic and fundamental human right and when infringed upon by any government it is an attempt to shift the power of the people of a Nation to be free from their hands and into the hands of their government.  Yet it is an inalienable right bestowed upon us by being creatures of Nature and as a positive bulwark against Tyranny for the protection of self and property.

Here I will take a paragraph from my Signposts article to describe this movement:

The expression of the fundamental and inalienable Rights of Man gains expression outside of direct politics but is having an effect.  It is along a pathway I talked about and have talked about in many areas: the ethical and responsible self-arming of citizens for the protection of themselves and society.  This has been written about in the San Diego Reader by Rosa Jurjevics, 15 JUL 2009 (H/t: Instapundit), which examines the Open Carry movement as seen in San Diego.  It is interesting that one of the last States in the Continental US to be the 'Wild West' still has those laws on the books, and folks at Calguns and California Open Carry are now putting their civil rights forward and protecting them in the harshest Progressive State in the Union.  While small this, too, is slowly permeating into the culture from its majority position after decades of authoritarian responses by government to civil firearms ownership.  Southern Maryland Shooters are helping to organize an Open Holster Day in Baltimore on 01 AUG 2009 to show that those who are responsible shooters are your friends and neighbors. The NRA is also running USA Carry for Open and Concealed Carry site to help bring social awareness to how important this civil right is in our communities across the Nation.

States vary on concealed carry laws from highly restrictive (NY, IL) to unrestricted (AK, AZ) to open carry freely (VA, NV).  The shift has been to move away from restrictions over the last decade and to a greater understanding that being armed is a civil right and that when practiced by citizens in a civil fashion it is a threat to no one.

Amendment II is incorporated into the States via Amendment XIV, so that States must, likewise, recognize the basic civil right of arms for the citizenry.  Thus when any State moves to the equivalent of complete exclusion of firearms to its citizens it is brought to task under not only Amendment II but Amendment XIV, as this as an explicitly protected right of the citizens of a State.  This includes the District of Columbia and the Heller decision is a first to strike down all-encompassing gun bans done at a local level.


2)  The Right of the State to Self-Defense via its Citizens.  The BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) was given a role in the checking of handgun purchases for criminal background at the National level.  And yet that is a purely State concern, where States are the prime determiner of what civil rights are allowed to convicted felons after conviction and having time served.  That is the work of the National government to tell the States what they must do with regards to those who have committed crimes or are mentally incapacitated with regards to firearms ownership.  And yet we also recognize that if an ex-con is trapped in a situation where he or she is threatened and they can gain access to a firearm for self-defense, then no court in the land will convict them as their basic civil right that is inalienable to them, the right of defending oneself, is paramount to all people.  Thus a law made without exceptions allowed can be nullified by a jury per trial, and this can indicated a class of individuals who may have actually returned to the bosom of society, recanted their ways and are trustworthy with carrying arms in their own defense.  If a trial by jury can remove such a right, why cannot an appeal to a jury get it re-instated?  Blanket laws from the Federal government are made to be 'One Size Fits All' but also comes with the caveat with such clothing 'Fits None Well'.  States are better suited to determining the safety of their citizens than the Federal government is as the States have local concerns, society and societal conditions which may obviate a general rule set down by the Federal government for a matter which has traditionally rested with the States.

This generalized rule system has now gotten push-back from a number of States which are pushing forward their own gun laws for firearms made inside their State for sale to its Citizens in the State.  Unlike other commerce this one is part of the State's sovereignty guaranteed in the US Constitution:

Article I, Section 10, paragraph iii:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.


Article IV, Section 4:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

For the State to have the Sovereign Right to create an army or other forces accountable to it during times of war, invasion or in imminent Danger is one that is primal to the States.  The Federal government was not seen as a power structure to make all States give up their rights, but as a brokerage system between equals in federation with each other so that none were discriminated against by the whole of the Nation.  This is often referred to as a 'dormant right' of the States as it is not operational during any other time than those given.  Any law that undermines such rights is against what the States agreed to explicitly in the Constitution in the above areas.  The the right and accountability of bearing arms rests upon the individual and the State is to ensure that it is not infringed by the Federal government as that would jeopardize the State's implicit sovereignty of self-protection.

Montana started this with their new law challenging the Federal system.  Other States are joining or looking to join Montana in this: Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho.

With this these States go right up against the ever expanding interpretation of the 'interstate commerce clause' of the US Contitution:

Article I, Section 8, paragraph iii:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

Foreign States are mentioned, along with the Indian Tribes that were seen as sovereign entities, and thus they define that the States, too, are seen as sovereign entities so that the clause is one that addresses the same class of commerce as done between sovereign States.  If commerce between the several States was meant to be treated differently than commerce between sovereign States, then it would have been treated differently in the US Constitution.  And yet the expansion of this clause has intruded on commerce within Indian tribes and within States, thus can intrusion into foreign Nations be far behind?

An interesting part of the Heller decision comes from one of the amicus briefs presented by the Dept. of Justice on pp. 28-29 and I will bold parts of interest:

3. Congress Has Authority To Regulate The Manufacture, Sale, And Flow Of Firearms In Commerce

Licensing requirements such as those contained in the GCA (see p. 3, supra) generally do not present the same Second Amendment concerns as a direct prohibition on the possession of firearms by individuals. The Amendment’s text and history suggest that the Framers were more concerned with securing the right of individuals to “keep and bear Arms” than with limiting the government’s ability to regulate the manufacture or sale of such arms. Government restrictions on the importation and interstate transportation of firearms, see p. 3, supra, are even further afield from the Framers’ concerns. In addition, as in the context of other individual rights, regulation of firearm-related commercial activities may present distinct constitutional considerations. See, e.g., New York v. Burger, 482 U.S. 691 (1987) (recognizing exception to Fourth Amendment warrant requirement for administrative searches of certain business premises); Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Public Serv. Comm’n, 447 U.S. 557 (1980) (holding that commercial speech is entitled to reduced protection under the First Amendment). Accordingly, there is no basis here for questioning the constitutionality of the GCA’s licensing provisions or federal limits on importation or transport of firearms. In any event, this case, which involves private possession, provides no opportunity for the Court to expound on the different principles that might govern efforts to regulate the commercial trade in firearms.

Note this is a carefully worded paragraph that utilizes the Amendment II right, and not referencing other rights that States hold.  Even with that the 'distinct constitutional considerations' given the history of the Framers unconcern with interstate commerce of firearms would also demonstrate a lack of concern with intrastate commerce as being outside of their concerns as it is never mentioned in the Constitution.  It is rare to see a DoJ brief that lends support to the States for commerce not only between them but within them which directly goes against such concepts as presented in the Raich decision.  While DoJ does uphold the Gun Control Act throughout, the concept that the States are sovereign and could very well do as they please with firearms undercuts that reasoning instead of bolstering it.  Not only the Heller decision and the opinions for it, but a few of the amicus briefs offer a venue for the States (separately) to move away from government control of intra-state firearms production and sales.


3)  Health care.  I have written on this topic numerous times.  Suffice it to say that for the first time in US history to be born inside the US requires a commercial transaction to get health care insurance or be fined.  To be born is to be fined.

Yet we are born, free.

Very strange how we have survived from 1776 to 2010 without that bit of purchasing forced on us as citizens.

There are 36 States looking to pass Health Care Freedom acts including Virginia, Idaho which have already done so.

The imposition of mandatory purchases or punishment of a product from birth is something far outside of any 'right' and is the decision of an authoritarian State upon citizens it no longer perceives as citizens or even subjects.


4) Immigration.  Arizona has passed as of 23 APR 2010 an immigration law giving its law enforcement personnel the ability to inquire into the citizenship status of individuals to enforce Federal immigration laws.  Each State has the expectation to equal application and protection under the law and that the Federal government will not shirk its duties.  This is not a call to 'immigration reform' but a call for the US government to do its damned job.

It is also an implicit statement of State sovereignty under the Constitution.  This starts as an Article IV, Section 4 call but has, implicit in it the abrogation of Federal duties in law enforcement for the Nation via armed criminal gangs that are moving into Arizona and other States.  This is the 'wake-up call' as the next step is an Article I, Section 10, para iii call which would be a 'no confidence' measure to the US government.  No State does these things lightly as they are part start to create a bill of particulars by the States against the Federal government.

It is building a case against the Federal government, piecemeal: a bit on individual rights, a bit on intrastate commerce, a bit on authoritarianism forcing commercial trade or penalizing citizens from birth, and a call to enforce the border.  If the government says that it can't figure out how many illegals there are in the country and can't do its job protecting the Nation as a whole, then what faith can the citizens have with it in something like health care?  Or firearms?

We expect National government to uphold the Nation as a whole, not in its parts, and when it can't do that job it does begin to break apart at the seams.  The more intrusive and less capable government becomes, the more it reaches for power on the basis of authority willingly vested in it.  When the willing no longer vest their trust in that common project, then no power can restore it, save for government to go back to what it must do, and shed these things that have lost it trust in all regards across the board.

For the people and the States are building a case against the US government.

A very civil case, yes, as we are a very civil people.

But a case nonetheless.

19 April 2010

Being so smart as to be insane

The following is a comment I left at PJM on an article by Victor Davis Hanson.  All spelling, syntax and logic errors are left as-is for the amusement of the audience.  This is copied from an unmoderated comment, who knows if it will look anything like this after moderation?

Only the Shadow knows!

Thus it is presented plainly:

The simple summation between the fine theory of supporting the ‘needy’, the ‘poor’ and the ‘elderly’ with government help that then seeks to add on ‘health insurance’ for all Americans without addressing the cost of the previous entitlements going through the roof is a very simple one, known in science and engineering:

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.”

That is called The Theory and Practice Conundrum, and it describes the inability to examine previous theory and its outcomes to adjust future theories to account for the outcomes of past application of theories. It does not matter how ‘good’ it feels to think that government can ‘take care of’ the poor, needy, sick and elderly if you ignore the outcomes of previous work driving the government, itself, to bankruptcy.

War is not a causation of deficits: government should be cutting extraneous programs as a war-time efficiency. Yet the concept that we must actually cut extra goodies, say the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Education and then have austerity budgets without one piece of pork is never cited as a problem for deficits. Yet Congress authorized both conflicts and is on the hook to pay for them… if you decry the ‘wasteful spending on war’ then do acknowledge that war is a priority set by Congress and that Congress could easily cut non-mandatory spending or even whole departments not given in the Constitution to pay for that priority.

If Obama is the pinnacle of this thinking, the underlying pyramid of it is represented in a Congress unable, unwilling, and unwanting of any change in its path of guiding good government to fiscal sanity when its own perogatives mandate that it must do so. For all the waste in DoD, the aforementioned Departments that have not been touched have yet to show any capability in actually getting a sound agricultural system in place, dealing with energy so we do not get ‘energy crises’, and raising the literacy rate one scintilla above the level set by the deplorable description of when Poor Johnny just couldn’t read. These are absolute failures of long-term Departments, and if you say that Agriculture ’solved’ the DustBowl then do look at previous work done to encourage the very same sorts of farming that caused the DustBowl pushed by the very same Department of Agriculture.

Saving us from the greatest disaster that government can create is not a definition of good government. Good government requires frugality, fiscal sanity and examining ‘entitlements’ to see if they are in any way, shape or form sustainable. Pushing new ‘entitlements’ when the old ones are failing as social constructs is not a path to a better future but a worse one. The theory is all fine and dandy, this bleeding hearts slitting fiscal wrists to show how much the blood is red… the practice that ends up in perpetual red ink, however, is a different story. Bring that up and the bleeding hearters show up, yet again, to point out how ‘mean’ you are… being unable to conceive of the end-state that their ‘goodness’ brings. All this spending on the ‘poor’ has not eliminated poverty, has not brought about a good understanding of personal finances, has not actually invested in the poor so that they can get a leg up and out of poverty… by encouraging bad spending habits, bad eating habits, and bad work habits the ‘poor’ are not ’saved’ from poverty but condemned to it in perpetuity. Yet that is touted as ‘good’.

In theory it sounds so nice.

In practice it condemns society to servitude to government largesse with fewer and fewer able to pay for it, until the largesse disappears completely in a new sea of red… not one of ink, unfortunately.

Those pushing such practices could learn from the outcomes of previous theory and be ’smart’.

Instead they perform the same experiment over and over, expecting different results.

That is the definition of insanity.

03 April 2010

Just how out of tune are the children of Progressivism?

This concept that 'Progressivism', that political movement to centralize private functions in the State, has been around since the State was first invented.  When there wasn't much in the way of private ownership of anything, the early States took it all.  Ancient Hydraulic Empires in China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and Central to South America all centralized functions around the State or Empire.  The use of waterways and early water power for navigation, transport and some larger scale projects meant that the only organization that could handle those things was the State.

The City State was an outgrowth of non-large waterway civilization, although most often associated with coastal waters and islands, they also popped up along trade routes, near mines and at oases.  City States did not depend on centralized works and administration but on this thing known as 'trade'.  Such trade was built up by diversity of production from a resident population and they would trade such goods they made or grew with others who wished to exchange their goods in trade for those produced elsewhere.  These could grow into Empires, like the Hittite and Assyrian, or form confederations, leagues and other such new forms of government, typical of the Greeks.  Hydraulic Empires did have trade craftsmen, miners, masons, farmers and such, but the centrality of the major river waterways centralized authority so that all goods came under the overview of the State.  Items for trade did build the interior of Empires and allowed external trade to flourish, but that was done with the cognizance and permission of the State. 

In the City States, due to their diversity, there was no centralizing authority, and even the Hittites dispersed powers to provincial governors and mayors of large cities to ensure that they had indigenous protections against foreign forces.  The Empire could, and would respond if it was able to, but time and distance meant that forward forces needed to be present in some form as a part of civil society.  Unlike the large centralized armies of Pharaoh or a Sun King, say, a dispersed army is generally weak, as it is not concentrated, but it is locally supported, which gives it moral and local knowledge as a benefit.  If local forces could hold up a larger force for a few weeks, then the Empire could respond with better and more numerous forces (or often just more numerous).  Thus when the Egyptians faced the Hittites, the Egyptians had extremely numerous and skilled forces, but centrally directed, and they faced a foe willing to go through multiple fall-back positions and perform supply line attacks with small forces, fending off the larger force until the Empire could respond.  At Kadesh the treaty there puts the battle, a long multi-week affair, at a draw.  In fact both forces lost: the Hittites had picked up a plague that would cause the downfall of the Old Kingdom and the Egyptians were so spent that when the Sea Peoples arrived, they could only fight a defensive action.

These armies were composed of different types and styles of troops, and the supply lines for the centrally supplied troops of Egypt was long and specialized, to meet up with their style of warfare.  The Hittites supplied a varied force and those that were local had no distance, at all, to get re-supplied with equipment, and any of the more centralized forces that utilized similar tactics and equipment were also better supplied.  Part of that is fighting on the defensive with interior lines: the defender gets better supplies.  The other part, that of adapting to local conditions, is a by-product of the way the civilization was created from a number of smaller City States and Kingdoms.  And if Kadesh happened after another major campaign, the decade of ravaging the coast around Troy plus outlying islands, then the collapse of the trade system that had been present meant that the Hittites and the rest of the Eastern Med. was put at dire peril as the City States broke from each other due to loss of funds, personnel, a constant drain of food supplies and, from that, a decreasing population.  This haphazard system that was made up as it went along fell, took the Hittites, Greek City States and other minor States with it, and nearly toppled Egypt and Babylon through attacks towards the former ravaging State farms and the cut-off of trade with the latter, which was a way point on east-west trade.

That was the last time a large set of centralized States or Empires survived the collapse of a major trade system locally.

It was circa 1100-700 BC.

After that the collapse of centralized trade empires, like the Macedonian/Greek, Roman, and Mayan civilizations would bring their own problems and cause a localized breakdown of States to less over-arching and more nearby control.  The slow collapse of the Roman Empire, West to East, between 900 -1500 AD did just that across the old holdings of the Empire, and the rise of the Ottoman Empire would see one of the last of the old style Empires arise only to slowly collapse inwards due to corruption and inability to handle trade well.

This stuff is all history and pretty old at that.

Now compare those motions of the old Empires and States to this thumbnail overview of Progressivism by Michael Barone ( Source: Washington Examiner, 31 MAR 2010):

The Progressives have always assumed that people needed safety nets and would welcome dependence on government. The public's clear rejection of the Democratic health care bills has shown that this assumption was unwarranted. Americans today prefer independence to dependence on government, just as they did 200 years ago.

All this was supposed to have been consigned to the past long ago. The Progressives of the early 1900s -- Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, New Republic founder Herbert Croly -- argued that in an industrial era of mass production and giant businesses, ordinary people were helpless and needed government's guiding hand. It would be more efficient, they argued, for centralized, disinterested experts to administer national institutions than to let chaotic markets operate freely and to observe the Constitution's horse-and-buggy limits on government power. The Founders were out of date.

Feel 'repressed' by Big Business?  'Helpless'?  Unable to cope with them?

That concept of America, itself, is rather dated to a period where modern communications structures had not gotten in place.  It was only somewhat suited to the latter 19th century, but even then the telegraph and later telephone and radio would start to shift the basis of understanding on how information about these large companies was moved around and understood.  Fast forward just to the 1970's and you get the 'mutual fund' which advertises for individuals to invest for fractional shares in a fund that invests widely across a set of industries.  Multiple different funds address multiple sectors of the economy and you can help in the ownership and make money off of them through investing in the economy.  Early and conservatively managed funds from Vanguard popularized this notion, and between 1972 and the mid-1980's the concept of using mutual fund investments as part of an Individual Retirement Account was born.  Thus demonstrated skill in understanding market segments could be analyzed not only in detail, but in grosser funds covering business sectors.

With that the idea of being 'repressed'  or 'helpless' against Big Business started to make less and less sense as individuals were cumulatively investing and making money off of these very same Big Businesses.  And small business.  And venture capital investments.  And bond fund investments, which had started the whole thing off even before Vanguard.  And overseas investments.  You could invest by company type, by market type, by company size, by company location... you now had the opportunity to start controlling your own destiny based on the success or failure of businesses and you were not exposed to just one company going up or down, but widely distributing funds across entire sectors so as to help insulate your investment against bad management at any single firm.  Or any single fund.

And that hasn't gotten us to the 1990's.

Still in the 1980's the PC revolution placed computers onto desktops and one of the foremost applications for it, and the reason so many businesses wanted them, was VisiCalc.  It was not a word processor but a spreadsheet.  With an interactive spreadsheet you could take those old, dusty formulas out of economics textbooks and apply them to your business situation and see if the damned things actually worked or not!  And once the $3,000 price barrier went down to Moore's Law, by the end of the 1980's these were becoming home PCs, with many of them running Lotus 1-2-3 and then Microsoft Excel.  You, as a savvy individual willing to learn some automated tools, could use the market data, trot out those lovely formulas from dusty economic texts and then apply them to larger parts of the market and make your own investing decision.

When the first person who had a PC with a spreadsheet to help them analyze the market as a personal investor actually did that, they were utilizing more information power, processing power, business acumen, and skills than Carnegie, Rockefeller, Standard Oil... combined for their era when they were Monopolies.  That date probably was in the early 1980's, and possibly even back in the late 1970's with early Apple II machines.

The gulf between how ancient states stood up and fell, and why, is well known and documented.

A concept of an eternally helpless individual against the power of a mere COMPANY is ridiculous on its face given how mankind creates new tools to manage our affairs as individuals.  Centralized State institutions of the philanthropic or 'good' kind depends on a subservient and dependent people who cannot imagine themselves taking care of themselves.  Michael Barone sums up these two parts of the massive fault line in western political ideology as it appears in the US as follows:

The Declaration of Independence's proclamation that "all men are created equal" with "unalienable rights" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" has proved to be happily elastic. It still sings to us today, thanks to the struggles and sacrifices of many Americans who gave blacks and women the equality denied to them in 1776.

In contrast, the early Progressives' talk of an "industrial age" and an outmoded Constitution sounds like the language of an age now long past. Their faith in centralized planning seems naive in a time when one unpredicted innovation after another has changed lives for the better.

The Marxist theme of when the proletariat rises up and takes over the means of production sounds pretty damned outmoded when the workers are investing in the means of production so as to profit from it.  In an era with lawsuit happy lawyers willing to take on ANY Big Business and Class Action Lawsuits that go after abusive companies and oligopolies, this funny idea of trying to centralize ANY aspect of life because it is 'threatened' by Big Business is ludicrous.  You, as an individual, have more legal leverage and ability to tie a large corporation in knots than any other person in any era of any Nation in all of history. 

You are one of the most powerful people who have ever lived in the realms of economics, law and understanding of society.  A veritable god amongst men.

When 'the poor' have a problem of 'obesity' in a more decadent era that would just mean they were getting fattened up for ritual slaughter to some god that had to get appeased on an annual basis.  Today it means you wear $150 sneakers, have $40 jeans, $30 shirts, $20 sunglasses, $40 watch, $10 baseball cap you can't wear right, watch a color TV worth $400, have a $300 DVR or similar, have a $80 iPod with $250 worth of music, a good place to live in that is subsidized, a washing machine and drier for $600 or so, refrigerator for $100, stove for $350, a dishwasher for $150 and probably a fancy $60 coffee maker.  I'm sorry but this is not a poor person who gets subsidized food to the point where they can purchase junk food and get obese.

That is not a poor, helpless victim of Big Business but someone who has greater benefit from ALL BUSINESS than any person who ever lived before 1930.  Which includes all of the big capitalists that Progressives bitched about.

And this poor person pays NO INCOME TAX.

Say, maybe if they cut back on the lifestyle clothing, suffered with an older TV, and did without an amenity or two they could save up some money and PAY for their OWN healthcare! Because they are not suffering the ill-effects of not contributing to society, far from it.  If anyone is 'repressing' them it is the bureaucracy that makes not contributing an attractive lifestyle, encourages people to stay in poverty to get subsidies and goodies, and then puts ZERO penalty on them when they can't be bothered to spend all those goodies on watching their food intake and generally taking care of themselves.

What these poor folks need is a liberation movement to free them from the shackles of government that wishes to keep them oppressed to the benefit of the ruling class of elites.  Because it is the elites, thinking they are doing 'good' by handing the poor other people's money, that are doing the harm to society by trying to remove the burden we each have to care for our fellow man.

The poor must be saved and liberated from the chains of subservience. Those chains created and cared for by government.

Their precious liberty and freedom is at stake. And so is that of the rest of the Nation and each and every single citizen.


So which sounds like the future?

The political ideology that tells you that you are a weak, poor, miserable creature that needs to either have your money or liberty taken from you so as to have government decide how to run your life.  You need guidance, government will do that for you because you are incapable of it and you will do as you are told.


The political ideology that says that each individual is a mighty force in and of themselves with their self-evident liberty and rights allowing each man and woman to decide their own course and take in their hands, in a mighty grip, the course of industries and their Nation for the betterment of all and the disparagement of none.  You need no guidance and government had best get out of the way when it tries to stop YOU from leading YOUR life when YOU harm NONE.


One is the path to empires and their collapse.

The other is the path to freedom and liberty, to keep empires from happening so that mankind can thrive and prosper.

One sounds like the future, the other like the buggy whip of an ideology long past its expiration date.