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Saturday, October 05, 2013

From Problemtown to Solutionville

"There is no more neutrality in the world," said Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver. "You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem-- there ain't no more middle ground."

We live in Eldridge Cleaver's world now. A world with no more middle ground. Where neutrality is not an option.

The average American still believes that if he isn't bothering anyone, he should be left alone. To the people running his life and his country, that is as bizarre and unworkable as Phrenology  or handing out universal health care without also compelling everyone to buy it.

This is not a nation where people are left alone anymore. This is a nation where they are hounded from the moment they are born until the moment they die by a regulatory state where being left alone has become the greatest of luxuries.

It takes a lot of money to be left alone.

Regulatory space is much more expensive than physical space, and buying it requires investing in lobbyists, fundraisers and lawyers. If you make the right payoffs, then you can buy the privilege of being left alone, exempted from regulations left uninspected and protected against the agents of the state. Once you do that, you have bought yourself the privilege of not being considered the problem; becoming part of the solution for the people you are paying off.

The Americans ambushed by ObamaCare, the scam artist's dream of a tax paid to a third-party in exchange for benefits accrued to a fourth party, still thought they had the freedom to despise the meddling politicians in both parties and ignore most things the government did, while living their own lives. They had seen their lives bedeviled by a thousand regulations, but still thought it was possible to hold the middle and reject all the solutions by asserting that they were not the problem.

They did not understand that in Cleaverland, in Alinskytown and in Obamaville-- no one opts out. Either you volunteer or you get drafted. Raise your hand or you will be called on anyway. Not volunteering to be part of their agenda means that you are the problem.

You, sitting right there in your chair, watching these words move across your screen, are the problem. A problem 311,591,917 human souls strong.

You eat too much or you don't pay enough taxes, you drive your car too often, you haven't bought solar panels for your roof, you browse extremist websites when you should be browsing government informational sites for tips on how to do or not do all of the above. Most of all, you don't understand what a great problem you are for the people running this country into the ground between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

They keep trying to solve you, but you don't go away.

There is no neutrality when dealing with people who reject the very concept of opting out of a solution. There is no middle ground with people who don't believe there is a middle ground, believing instead that every human on earth is part of the problem and can only stop being the problem by  following their directives.

We confront the Great Solvers of the Human Problem who are determined to rearrange everyone to their liking. They began by controlling everything that people did. Now, they have moved on to controlling what people don't do. If you live, if you breathe, if you stir, move your muscles, track moving objects with your eyes, then there are obligations imposed on you.

ObamaCare is one of the final declarations that there is no opting out. Even if you don't drive, own a home, own a business, own a dog, or do one of the infinite things that bring you into mandatory contact with the apparatus of your government, you are committed to a task from maturity to death. Your mission is to obtain health insurance, and, in a system in which you become the ward of the government as soon as you taste air, it is the price that you pay for being alive.

In a free country, you are not obligated to do things simply for the privilege of breathing oxygen north of the Rio Grande and south of Niagara Falls.

But this isn't a free country anymore; this is a country in which you get things for free. And there is a big difference between those two things.

We are a nation in which everyone is entitled to everything, except the right to opt out of all the entitlements and the cost of paying for them.

We may not have the Bill of Rights anymore, but we have a hell of a bill to settle and, every year, the deficits keep making it bigger and bigger.

Our forefathers passed on to us a Bill of Rights, and we shall pass on to our descendants a Bill. A tremendous Bill which can be unrolled from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam... and all the way across the ocean to China.

The Bill of Rights was a list of things that the government could not do. The Bill is a list of things that the government has done. It's an endless bill, because we have an endless government that is doing things all the time. And though we didn't do any of them, we are still stuck with the bill.

Even if we could reach into our pockets and settle the bill with a couple of loose trillion dollar bills, this Bill doesn't just demand money, it demands power.

If all that government officials did was go to Vegas, give each other prizes and sing silly songs, then the Bill would be large, but it wouldn't ask for a piece of our soul. But the amount of money that the government spends is almost beside the point. The amount may bankrupt us, it may destroy our economy, it may turn us into debt slaves-- but it's secondary to how the money is being used.

It's bad enough to be eaten out of house and home-- worse to be forced to feed the occupying army that is taking away your freedoms one by one.

People often talk about the First and Second Amendments, the Fifth comes up, and even the Fourth. But how often do we think about the Third Amendment, that old relic of a time when we were ruled by a distant power with no concern for our lives or our freedoms? "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner". It's one of the few amendments that goes unnoticed. No one challenges it. No Supreme Court blots it out with the stroke of a pen or rephrases it to mean that there is a Constitutional right to abortion or a ban on executing juveniles.

There is no occupying army quartered in our homes. They have sizable barracks with marble floors, gleaming chandeliers and metal detectors through which you must pass in order to meet with even one of their lowest officers. They aren't quartered in your living room, they build buildings and send the bill to you. And then they send you another bill which informs you that they have decided that the War on Obesity, the War on Health Care or the War on the Economy requires you to do a set number of things, the costs of both the doing and their enforcement to be borne by you.

In the last century, the Great Solvers went to work on a national and global game of human chess. They called this game by various names, The New Deal, the New Frontier, Hope and Change, or, most commonly, Social Justice. The real name of the game is "There Ain't No More Middle Ground". Either you are a New Dealer, a New Frontierer, a Hope and Changer, a Tolerator, a Liberal, a Donor, an Activist and an Organizer-- or you are on the wrong side.

You might think that you are standing in the great moderate middle, the open-minded frontier of the old America, but the frontier and ground are gone. There is only Problemtown and Solutionville and the bulldozers are coming to knock down Problemtown and deport its residents to Solutionville.

ObamaCare is the bus to Solutionville. It is the problem that is "You" being solved in the same inept brute-force fashion in which the Great Solvers solve everything, from Russian agriculture to European Union democracy.

The problems are many, and the Solvers are impatient. There are too many peasants, and weekends are too short, the golf courses are too crowded and the numbers never add up. Each problem keeps needing to be solved many times, but they have already moved on to the next problem and the one after that in the great mass of problems that some people still call America.

Too many Americans still wonder out loud what happened. When did this stop being a free country? Then they finish pumping their gas, buy their sodas, paying several taxes on each and completing a transaction for two commodities whose production and distribution involve more laws than the entire legal codes of Rome and Greece combined, and then drive home, where they begin making notes for next year's taxes, while reading how the latest laws will affect them.

On the television, an anchor with carefully molded hair and the grave look of the career idiot who has learned to disguise this by always appearing concerned about something, interviews an activist who is proposing new regulations as the only responsible thing to do. "If you aren't part of the solution," she says with equally grave sincerity, "then you are part of the problem."

 The American nods along because the proposal seems so reasonable. Who doesn't want to do something for the children, the oceans, the endangered red-banded shrub, the people somewhere who don't have something and that sincere young woman who really seems passionate in a way that few are anymore. Then he turns back to his desk, somewhere in the great middle ground that once was, studies the tax forms again and wonders when this stopped being a free country.

27 comments:

Mike said...

Great read, nail on the head. Thank you.

The only way out of this mess is term limits, to destroy the political class. No lifetime parasitism on the taxpayer. No career politicians. No political dynasties. Humans cannot be trusted with political power.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

term limits alone won't do it

NYC tried that. It just creates professional politicians who keep moving from job to job

Government has to let loose a lot of the power that makes the post appealing

mindRider said...

Mr. Savage of Brave New World, who tried to opt out......and could just as little as we, who allowed actively and passively for The System to control us, can anymore.

fsy said...

It's worth mentioning that Eldridge Cleaver eventually became somewhat of a conservative after actually tasting Communism in Russia and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Before this is over, as with all efforts to "fix" man, the camps will open and the boxcars will come.

Anonymous said...

When being a good citizen becomes too expensive, people will learn how to thwart bureaucracy. You don't have to belong to a union to go on strike. You still have the freedom to be part of the problem. I am proud to be a part of the problem.
Swartz.

Edward Cline said...

I knew this was no longer a free country long ago, when Obama was smoking pot at Occidental College, or taking lessons in socialism from Frank Davis in Hawaii.

Mme Scherzo said...

You can opt out. Simply stop paying. Lose everything. You've lost it all anyway. You just don't know it yet. When we get to that point, where more people are willing to say and do this, The edifice will come crashing down.

Anonymous said...


Nazi Ghost Trains

"In 1944, the Gestapo loaded a train in Brussels with hundreds of prisoners - Resistance workers, political undesirables and other enemies of the Nazi cause - all bound for Germany under sentence of death.

However, thanks to some remarkable acts of courage, the train never reached its destination..."


Keliata

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

the question is what will replace it should the edifice come crashing down

ganderson said...

I agree- term limits won't do it- the bureaucratic state is in charge now- we all answer to Sir Humphrey Appleby!

Anonymous said...

...I feel sick.
- BarbaCat

Anonymous said...

The only real freedom for man is in his mind. But the problem solvers have messed with it as well as with everything else knowing the way to have complete control over man means having control of his mind. That is why the progressives in their quest for total control began with the schools. Indoctrination works best when begun as soon as possible. They push for mandatory pre-school and all day kindergarten not as a means to educate but a means to indoctrinate. If they could they would mandate all children be taken from their parents as soon after birth as possible and hoard the kids into pens of conformity and collectivism before they can walk and talk.

There is no real freedom in the U.S. and there never has been. As soon as the ink dried on the printing of the ratification of the Constitution the progressives began to do what they do-strip away the notion that man is capable of self government and always has and always will need a ruling class. Over time, the politician, the judge, and the businessman have all conspired against this notion of freedom. In our day, all three are working as one to put the last nail in the coffin of that idea of liberty for all.

Elaine

Anonymous said...

The edifice that needs to come down is not the Republic, it is the bureaucracy that has attached itself. A bureaucracy which is symbiotic to those in power and parasitic to those not in power. Without the bureaucracy, politicians lose their enforcement power; without their enforcement power, politicians are just failed attorneys. Deunionize the bureaucracy, automate as much as possible, contract out the rest. I think that once the pollution which has accumulated on the buildings, streets, and lights has been scrubbed away, the city on the hill will be shining once again.

Doug Mayfield said...

"Too many Americans still wonder out loud what happened. When did this stop being a free country?"

It stopped being a free country when the American people began to vote the 'something for nothing' platform.

That is, they began to vote for politicians, both the outright dealers in socialist poison, the Democrats, and the cowardly, semi-socialist, 'me too' Republicans, who can only offer that unearned 'something' by grabbing it at gunpoint from people who actually earned it, in exchange for the thoroughly vicious and immoral 'nothing' of their voting for them without even the slightest consideration of what they were doing.

Unknown said...

It was ML King who first declared "If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem", which is why I reject all his other high-flown rhetoric as tainted. I mych prefer Reagan's formulation, "Everyone who is not an enemy is a friend".

If you will not give me that middle ground, then I will give you my middle finger.

Anonymous said...

Ask this question instead:

How the hell did Massachusetts end up ruling the world?

When you get the answer to that one, you'll be on the right track. Till then, you're going to remain a befuddled Tea Party patriotard...

Zenster said...

Eldridge Cleaver. "You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem-- there ain't no more middle ground."

True to his Black Grievance Industry roots, Cleaver is merely putting old wine in a new bottle. A much older maxim reads:

To live is to take sides.

Nature never is neutral just as nature has absolutely no use for equality. Cleaver and all of his fellow race baiting wannabe warlord poverty pimps have yet to embrace or truly understand that in political life moral indignation is a worthless commodity.

This is not a nation where people are left alone anymore. This is a nation where they are hounded from the moment they are born until the moment they die by a regulatory state where being left alone has become the greatest of luxuries.

Consider the remarkable semblance America has to the Soviet Union of old. In the USSR it wasn't a matter of personal guilt or innocence. There were so many different and almost unavoidable legal offenses that guilt or innocence didn't even enter into the equation. Everybody was automatically guilty and it was only a matter of when the authorities got around to arresting you.

With the explosive growth of Big Government™ in America there has been an equal expansion of new and more restrictive laws. The Patriot Act and creation of agencies like DHS and TSA are stark testimony to this fact. As a people, Americans are less free then at any other time in their history, including the period of quasi-martial law that existed during WWII.

It takes a lot of money to be left alone.

Or power. 0bama proves that fact to perfection. Even the über-Liberals like Paul Krugman are beginning to stand up and take notice of how this nation is being run by "a small but powerful group of what can only be called sociopaths."

They keep trying to solve you, but you don't go away.

Brilliant! Despite a plethora of new regulations and further elaborations of already intricate political rectitude, America's self-anointed Social Engineering elite just cannot seem to weed out these pesky individualists and the annoying reality they insist upon bringing along with them whenever they start pointing at the emperor's new clothes.

But this isn't a free country anymore; this is a country in which you get things for free. And there is a big difference between those two things.

[golf clap]

The Bill of Rights was a list of things that the government could not do.

And if anyone takes the time to notice, most of the early Constitutional amendments controlled what the government was allowed to do. Examine many of the newer Constitutional amendments and you will see that they restrain the citizenry. Welcome to the moral inversion of Big Government™ whose own existence and growth takes precedence over the prosperity of its constituents.

[to be continued]

Zenster said...

In the last century, the Great Solvers went to work on a national and global game of human chess. They called this game by various names, The New Deal, the New Frontier, Hope and Change, or, most commonly, Social Justice.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for banging on the "Social Justice" drum. Way too few people understand that old Soviet-style Communist doctrine is alive and well in the form of "Social Justice". The Red Commie zombie has exchanged its rags for the khakis and dockers of your local "community organizer" but the main course is still your brain. Dogmatic ideology is the root and branch of Liberalism and this current administration proves it beyond all doubt.

Sultan Knish: the question is what will replace it should the edifice come crashing down

Right now, it looks as though there is a Cromwell or Bonaparte lurking on the horizon. Ironically, much like with Islam's operative model, America is painting itself into a "strong-man leadership" type of corner. Few other methods of governance will exhibit the political spine necessary to deal with the onerous tasks that confront us.

Anonymous 6/10/13: The only real freedom for man is in his mind.

Even that is quickly fading. Political Correctness is rapidly winnowing out the Vocabulary of Opposition™. Consider this passage from George Orwell's, "The Principles of Newspeak": (Italics omitted for clarity)

To give a single example - The word free still existed in Newspeak, but could only be used in such statements as "The dog is free from lice" or "This field is free from weeds." It could not be used in its old sense of "politically free" or "intellectually free," since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.



Take for example the well-known passage from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government…

It would have been quite impossible to render this into Newspeak while keeping to the sense of the original. The nearest one could come to doing so would be to swallow the whole passage up in the single word crimethink. A full translation could only be an ideological translation, whereby Jefferson's words would be changed into a panegyric on absolute government.

i am clam said...

Good Lord what a nice bit of writing. Thank you.

Victor said...

Your article is a paraphrased summary of Atlas Shrugged with the real solution omitted. And the real solution is that men & women of the mind, i.e. those who are productive or creative or innovative should go on strike & let the bureaucratic bums in Washington starve to death.

Faedrich said...

America has allowed too many minority voices, too much diversity to destroy its family cohesiveness. Most other nations would never dream of doing that.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Zenster, quite possible, though we will likely end up with a strong man regime either way. In his own pathetic way, Obama is playing that role.

Zenster said...

Faedrich: America has allowed too many minority voices, too much diversity to destroy its family cohesiveness. Most other nations would never dream of doing that.

As nonpareil Conservative blogger supreme, Takuan Seiyo, has observed:

“Diversity” is like Tabasco – add a ¼ spoonful to your grits, and you have a more lively and interesting dish. Add half a cup of the hot sauce, and you need an ambulance.

The introduction into America of so many different ethnic minorities automatically guaranteed a toxic degree of divergence in social, political and cultural objectives. Aside from America and Europe, no other countries on earth participate in the grand multicultural experiment.

Try immigrating to Japan. It matters not if you are a subsequent generation of overseas Japanese emigrant, you're hosed. Go ahead and see if Switzerland will let you move there. Same goes for Iran, Saudi Arabia and almost all Second World countries. Only White nations, for some obscure reason, are mandated with the PCMC (Politically Correct Multi-Cultural) agenda of suicide by demographic replacement. Curious, that.

Sultan Knish: Zenster, quite possible, though we will likely end up with a strong man regime either way. In his own pathetic way, Obama is playing that role. [emphasis added]

Key word: pathetic

If this is what today's "strong" have to offer, then mercy be upon the weak. BHO makes Jimmy Carter look like a tough-minded, decisive, take-action kind of guy.

PS: Your writing is streets ahead of everything else on the web. Congratulations on what is obviously some truly dedicated effort upon your own part.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

diversity as an end in and of itself is perverse, it speaks of a longing for chaos

Countries have a certain amount of diversity, usually for historical reasons, what they don't do is seek to achieve maximum diversity which is just another word for complete chaos

and it's the striving for maximum diversity that we're dealing with

which means, for example, it's not enough to have English, Welsh, Scottish, some people of French and German descent, assorted Eastern Europeans and Russians in the UK

Maximum diversity demands that it be so diverse that it no longer have any form of definition or structure

Anonymous said...

My writing certainly lacks the eloquence of Zenster; however, I've concluded sometime ago, that the elitist politicians elimination of immigration quotas would be the downfall of our great nation because mass immigration would destroy our culture which is evidenced by the "need" to provide multiple languages to those who come here. This certainly didn't happen as long as there were established limits. Sadly, the elimination of quotas was all done for politicians to garner votes.

Anonymous said...

I don't get anything for free. My life isn't any different than it was in 1980. I have health insurance so Obamacare is a non starter here.

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