Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hif Majeftie and Machiavelli

The United States was once known for its shared values with that of Great Britain. As divergent as the two countries are, and as little as Britons are yet inclined to free themselves from the abhorrent shackles of their monarchy, both cultures have instilled for a very long time the concept of “fair play.” This is most obvious, of course, on playing fields of sport, where expressions like “that’s not cricket” and “personal foul” are everyday occurrences. In America, the most influential work of Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, is usually not assigned to school reading lists until someplace in the college syllabus. In Europe, however, of which Machiavelli was a product, and in many places, a cultural hero, his works are read early and often cited as beneficial instructions to those who seek to rule.
The shortcomings of Machiavellianism as a moral cause are legion, none more frequently cited than the maxim “the ends will justify the means.” The derisive political epithet “Machiavellianism” has come to represent political figures devious, banal, wicked, and malign. What made America different from European culture was the concept that such ideas as “princes” would not be tolerated in the new democratic republic created out of revolution against hereditary monarchy. And yet Machiavellianism always manages to flourish both inside and outside of Washington DC, as more and more players eventually adopted the philosophy— also of Machiavelli’s— “what evil you must do, do it quickly, for it is better to be feared than to be loved.” The Nazis took this idea one step further when they realized that once the Leader is sufficiently feared, the Love of the Volk will and must soon follow.
What perhaps most galled the American prosecutors at the Nuremburg trials was the sheer lengths to which the German ruling class had appropriated the idea that the ends —in their case, the genocide of the Jewish people— would be justified by the means (“special action”; i.e.; a “final solution). That this was precisely the point of Manifest Destiny in the USA is another matter we might take up at some another time. I am speaking here of what was generally thought of as an inherently American sense of Fair Play, which extended as far from the playing fields into everyday life as could be drawn— to the courts, for instance, and to the general rule of the populace. There were some things our politicians just would not do, and were restrained from, either by virtue of the fear of impeachment, or criminal indictment. Americans have always had more of a sense of justice, which of itself in its pure state is the acme of a sense of fair play. And to find Machiavellian concepts and “pragmatism” infecting American politics is certainly no improvement for the American society but evidence of a banal sense of moral decay.
No such inhibitions plague the current crop of American politicians and bureaucrats. From the top and eye of the pyramid on down, a blasé approach of cynical opportunism spreads like a malignant cancer upon the body politic. Legislators are bought out by lobbyists. “Constitutional scholars” present their case for the destruction of the Bill of Rights with platitudes such as “a balance that must be struck between liberty and security” and “my first responsibility is to keep the American people safe.” I never noticed those words in the oath of office any legislator makes, but I do note that “uphold the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic” plays a rather prominent part.
I do not know if Hif Majeftie has actually read Machiavelli, but I think it is a safe bet he never read Sun Tzu, (The Art of War) either. There, he would notice on the fist page “there has never been a society that survived a protracted war.” You can say that for the War on Terror, for the wars of Iran and Afghanistan, as well as the War on Drugs. The adoption of adversarial positions is the hallmark of the insufficiently diplomatically gifted. It might occur to many that the aims and goals of Al Qaida—to turn America into a caricature in donkey-draw of a free society—have basically been achieved by the fiat of the United States Congress and Executive branch. The Patriot Act. The indefinite detention clause of the 2012 NDAA. The blanket surveillance of  persons of international internet aptitude or awareness. All of these are incursions on what had once been the greatest hope for freedom in the world. Millions have died in defense of a Constitution which the president himself has evidenced—by his actions, not his words— he has absolutely no intentions of protecting. Millions who it may well be argued that with the system of American law and civil liberties as it now stands, died in vain.
One person I am sure he has read however, is Saul Alinsky, the author of the hilariously oxymoronic Rules for Radicals. (If you are a “radical” and you need rules, then you most probably are not quite as radical as you like to think you are- let alone that you need to get your rules from yet another old dead white dude). Alinsky is also cited often by those who have studied both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Hilary Clinton as being influential to their formative political thinking. He is also advocated what might politely be called “toilet tactics”  and much like Machiavelli, saw benefits of making points by hitting below the belt with untruths. “Ridicule is man's most potent weapon” as a signature quote of Alinsky’s,  shows in a stark way how cynical and how intolerant his disciples can be. The opposition are to be ridiculed, not tolerated. Liberalism used to mean the ability and willingness to allow contrary and opposing ideas to exist. Now it seems to, if we take Mr. Alinsky’s words seriously, indicate appropriate ridicule of anyone who feels otherwise to be no more than an “idiot.” Indeed, all one has to do is peruse the comments section of any political article anywhere in America these days and you’ll find someone using the word to describe someone of a differing opinion. Liberal democracy and civilization cannot flourish under one party rule, no matter whose party that is, whether Communist, Socialist, Fascist, Republican, or Democrat. Since enough people of either major party (and many who belong to neither) love tossing the word around these days, one could easily conclude that Mr. Alinsky’s maxim has now become de rigueur for examining polemic and debate. Which is why people such as Alinsky, while worth a read (just as much as Hitler or Marx, if only to inform oneself as to what the hoopla is all about) ultimately belong in the dustbin of history, and the generation of American leaders who took his guidance for gospel should be scrutinized in the extreme when they make their empowered suggestions leading to “ultimate” answers to social problems. Do you have a problem with someone else’s ideas? Just call them “idiot”. It sure saves the trouble of thinking up and expounding on an intelligent rebuttal, doesn’t it? Better to insist that they shut up, since living with their words and ideas is so impossible to take.
And since Rules for Radicals was self described by Mr. Alinsky in this manner: “If The Prince is for the haves to hold on to power, Rules is The Prince for have-nots to gain power,” I see no virtues in that at all. For the Bolshevik revolution, ostensibly a revolution of “Have-Nots” taking power, was accompanied by a great deal of the same type of “better feared than loved” sensibilities. It was, also, actually, an accomplishment of an Elite— in the name of the Have-Nots— which quickly reversed itself into its own parody- an elitist group of self-proclaimed Have-Nots who immediately set about depriving the actual Have-Nots of what little they had. The famines of the 1930’s and the forced resettlements, the pogroms against the kulaks, not to mention the vast social engineering intent of Stalin’s purges, were all orchestrated by elites in the name of state-manufactured equality, equality which would never be realized, and Machiavellian in their extreme both in organizational scope, and in procedure. I just do not see how overcoming amoral tyranny by amoral means manufactures automatically a somehow more moral social order.
It does not matter to Barack Obama that he was elected, in a great part, by idealistic believers in the things he had to say about the Constitution and rule of law. Who believed he really was an “environmentalist” and not just another Wall Street puppet. Who believed that he would actually create a national public health system, not some piecemeal tyrannical demand that- just as they once had demanded male citizens register for military service- all citizens must register for their chaotic “Affordable Care Act”— or else, face extortive criminal sanctions. Well, that’s one  way to balance the federal budget, eh? Barack Obama has shown by his actions that he is not a man of morality or fair play. Hell, he won’t even apologize for an “accidental” murder which he himself authorized. “I’m pretty good at killing people” he brags. Well, bully for you, punk, but some of us are absolutely not willing to go so quietly. Once he had his votes in place, he figured he could do whatever he liked and people would never notice, for his love of power is seemingly greater than his sense of responsibility to American ideals and values.
Machiavelli has another role to play in American politics these days. George W. Bush brought “ends justify the means” back big-time with his justification of the use of torture on detainees. “What matter is it that we torture people if it saves American lives?” Obama too- “what matter who we kill, even if we kill innocents, (or even fellow Americans!) if we kill terrorists as well?” For many people living in central Asia now, their first representative of American policy is a robot death plane delivering a Hellfire missile to their neighborhood, not a package falling from the sky filled with boxes of oat flakes and peanut oil. And what about the winner of the “more feared than loved” award of all time in Washington DC, Dick Cheney? Obviously he won’t be winning any “most likeable” awards, either. Machiavelli seems to have all but invaded US thought these days and the result is an amoral government which is as much instinctively repressive as it is paternalistic.
People can think whatever they like about Barack Obama’s high-flying rhetoric on “NSA reforms”, that he will, actually, do more to restore the trust of the public in the NSA and other intelligence arms of the US Government. But I have listened to his promises before, and I have been disillusioned before, by his accompanying actions. As John N. Mitchell, that unctuous jailbird Attorney General of Richard Nixon’s, once so well put it “Watch what we do, not what we say.” Barack Obama needs to be completely scrutinized for every aspect of his presidency and held accountable for his outright lies and the obvious apparent discrepancies between his words and actions. He cannot eternally campaign for an office he has already won. He will never need work again another day in his life, should he not wish to, being assured  of a federal pension for life assumed by we the taxpayers who have suffered under the wheel of his nonexistent “economic recovery” and whose electronic metadata must exist— somewhere, for lord only knows how valuable it is— in some far off never-never land in the hands of who-knows-who what consortium of dataminers he eventually sends it all away to. No, I have heard too much from this man to listen to his sweet talk and his con game any longer. It’s my sincere wish that most of you will tune out the lies- or keep your bullshit detectors on wide-stun, because he has snuck a number of things past us all in the past, and he is very much— in all likelihood going to sneak something past us all again, given time and circumstance. I plan to ride Mr. Obama all the way down to Hell like Chill Wills on the atom bomb in Dr. Strangelove, for the unconstitutional murder of Abdulrahman Alwaki. If I must. Even if I were the only American left standing willing to do so on the sheer principle of it. Life cannot be made forfeit without the burden of proof falling on the state. Letters of Attainder are illegal under the US Constitution. For I prefer that my president be above outright murder, whether it be by design or accident, and regardless any issues on which he and I could possibly agree about the culpability of Abdulrahman’s father as a “terror suspect,” President Obama must live with that death forever, and I for one hope to ensure that he, indeed, will never be allowed to forget it.
Barack Obama can do one thing, and one thing only, if he wishes to restore “trust in government” with the American people. It is a very good thing that for a very long time, Americans have not nourished a blind faith in their government. But if the numbers mean anything, less are willing to swallow his painful ACA pill than he would like to see. That says more about their trust in him than anything else. (And more about the viability and validity of his “solution” than he cares to admit). That one thing is to abolish forever the National Security Agency. The ability for governments and their secret intelligence and police arms to abuse power has never, ever in history, been something which once available, has ever before been set aside. More people are, this very day, taking part in international protest against this super-secret-police arm, which would like to be everything the NKVD, KGB, Gestapo, and Stasi once were, and in fact, possesses powers which they would be only all too jealous to have had at their disposal, in their day. What the NSA propose to do— completely eliminate the concept of personal privacy and instill obedience, chill free speech, and crush dissent— (and which President Obama would like us all to believe they never-ever would possibly actually put into play) is no less than the murder of the Republic, that “hope of the nations” and the very ideals out of which the United States of America was born.
At this time, Hif Majeftie Barack Obama is openly contemplating committing yet another murder. The rot begins from the top down. Indict and try James Clapper for perjury. Impeach Barack Obama for murder.  It’s well nigh high time.
As usual, I have marshaled a “legion of demons” (an entire MS Word doc’s page worth!) in the form of relevant recent articles which expose the situation, as is, from a less deceitful perspective than that being pimped out by Washington officials in order to rain on Hif Majeftie’s parade (as well as bite him on the ass) and which support my assertions, reflecting that in these matters, my criticisms are not alone... ENJOY!
Finally, I have been making many of these same points all along:


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