"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."
Ronald Reagan

Friday, March 1, 2013

Daniel Greenfield - The Land of the Free or the Home of the Slave?

Originally Published on the Sultan Knish blog

Any code of laws that has been set down in the past in order to guide the future organization of a nation is vulnerable to being rewritten by the dominant political or cultural forces of a later period. These forces will inevitably attempt to rewrite that document to give themselves absolute and unlimited power to rule as they see fit, while also providing themselves with immunity from any of its laws.

The United States Constitution was assembled with complete awareness of this reality of human affairs, and so it was designed to limit to the power of government, more than to empower it. But enough pressure against any object, physical or legal, will in time cause it to buckle. Water against a dam will find an opening in it. So too with the United States Constitution. It is startling to consider what an upheaval in the rights of individuals and states was snuck in through the Commerce clause. This was one of the weak points in the Constitution that was bored at and expanded into a hole through which the governing of the nation as a whole was transformed, and the dominant political and cultural movement, liberalism, accrued to itself unlimited power.

Not that there was anything the Framers could have done about it. Given time even the most perfect of documents can be perverted, set aside and turned into the instrument of tyrants and monsters. And they could not have hoped to better the Almighty, whose own document had been perverted in the hands of evil men. All they could hope to do was pass down a legacy of intention that would ward freedom for a time, and then hope that it would serve to keep the flame of freedom burning through the generations. That men would remember the sort of government that had been intended for them to have, the gift set aside for them, even when it was no longer present.

This history is of course a matter of some debate. Those who would alter the future, begin with the present begin with the past, and then the future. Revisionist history is required by every ideology that wishes to radically change the world. The revisionist history of liberalism in particularly is quite revealing when it comes to exposing its own motives and agendas.

Those whose revisionist history recasts the past of their own people as a long series of cruel and oppressive acts, expose themselves as revolutionaries who seek to recast their own history as evil, all the better to rule over the future in the name of justice and mercy. This is altogether true of liberal revisionist history, which recreates America as a shameless tyranny ruled over by greed and lies. A typical and influential example of the genre, is A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, in which the gullible college student learns that all of American history is a sham by the wealthy to control commerce and territory. This naturally prepares him to accept liberalism's mandate for destroying America in order to turn it into a land of liberty, equality and justice.

For the left, the United States Constitution has always been a dangerous document, because it limits the power of government. Their power. And for all that the left inveighs against power and authority, it only does so because its leaders are driven to be the ones in power and wielding that envied authority. The left's model is not democracy, but aristocracy. The aristocracy of the revolutionary faithful. Back to the days of the French Revolution, the radicalism of the left sought to replace inherited aristocracy with ideological aristocracy. Instead of an elite that ruled over the masses because their descended from nobility, they wanted an elite that ruled over the masses because it had the passionate idealism to fight for social justice.

The Constitution is dangerous to them because it limits government power. Its Framers viewed government power as inherently dangerous. This is not a view shared by the left which only sees government power as dangerous-- when it's in the wrong hands. The wrong hands being the hands of the reactionary authorities or that of their political rivals who lack the same ideological commitment that they do. Rather the left believes in the transformative effects of government power to remake a society so that it can reach a perfect state of liberty, fraternity and equality. And this they do not believe can be achieved by limiting government power, but by wielding it in the name of the cause.

Representative democracy is another thing the left has never liked very much. Because its compass turns toward the false south of ideology, not the true north of the will of the people. The left will always choose ideology over the popular will, because their morality is political. The idea that a bad popular decision is better than a good imposed decision is one that is foreign to them. Representative democracy is threatening to them because majority rule is populist without being revolutionary. And what they desire is revolutionary populism employed in the service of their political ends.

The left's determination of who is allowed to participate in elections and other forms of decision making is ideological citizenship, not national citizenship. Only those who believe exactly as they do are allowed to participate in the process. Only those who share their goals and beliefs have a valid vote. As the revolution gets underway, a winnowing process occurs that purges any who do not share their exact beliefs to create a narrower and narrower standard through which no one but those in perfect agreement with their views are allowed to pass. Even when those views change. Especially when those views change.

Without any limitation on government power and with no popular representation, what you have is tyranny. The left does not see it that way, because they are incapable of defining their own actions as tyrannical. This block prevented them from condemning Stalin, even when he was carrying on spectacular acts of mass murder, and killing their own comrades and friends. This block still prevents even most liberals from equating Communism and Nazism. Because to them morality itself is political. A murder or a tyrant are never objective variables, but subjective ones defined by the moral equivalency of their ideological alliances. A Castro or a Saddam to them, will never be as awful as a Pinochet or a Franco, not based on their deeds, but on their ideological allegiances.

To the left all things are political. And if a thing is not political, they cannot be bothered to care about it. And the foundation of their morality is rooted in the ability to elevate oppressed groups out of their oppression. If the left cannot reduce an issue to an oppressed-oppressor formula, then the entire situation has no meaning to them. That is why unlike the right, the left does not care a great deal about what goes on in the bedroom, aside from areas such as rape or gay rights, which they can nudge into their oppressed-oppressor class formula. That is not to suggest that their ability to expand their political morality everywhere can or should be underestimated. The left has managed to treat everything from breakfast cereals to SUV's to brand labels as counters in their political morality. And there is no telling where, if anywhere, it will actually end.

As the dominant cultural and political movement, the left has fought a long war to transform America along the guidelines of its own political morality, exploiting social and economic fault lines, harnessing culture and organizing sections of the public to carry on its war for it. The ends however have never been what they appeared to be. While individually the left appeared to be fighting against injustice or for higher standards, from a bird's eye view it was pursuing a long range struggle whose goal was to consolidate power and remove all obstacles to the free exercise of that power.

Because the United States was a representative democracy with strong limitations on government power, the left's task was two-fold. In a dictatorship, the left could have simply attacked the power structure itself. However in the United States, power rested with the American people. They were the ruling class. Which is why they had to be co-opted, replaced or destroyed. In a dictatorship, the left could have also simply taken power and exercised it. Because of Constitutional limitations, the left has instead had to undermine those limitations by pretending to embrace them, and then get the public used to expanding them in the name of preserving their freedoms. Judicial advocacy allowed the left to imitate Lenin's "Two Steps Backward, One Step Forward", expanding Constitutional intent to seemingly provide more freedoms, in order to ultimately destroy it and any protection against government authority it offered with it. This two-fold approach allowed the left to play civil libertarians, as they always have, even as their ultimate goal remained what it has always been, absolute power.

They are now closer to harnessing that power than ever before. Their plan is proceeding on schedule. The fall of free enterprise. The transformation of religion into social justice. The unworkability of government. All of it is leading down one road. Their road.

The left is the product of absolute arrogance that has directed all its aims toward achieving absolute power. For all its progressive posturing, it is run by egotists who believe that if they were in charge, things would finally be set to right. Their ideas are medieval. Their tactics are utterly amoral. They have no boundaries, because they like to think that their enemies have none. And we are their enemies.

The American Experiment was built to elevate a people and their laws above being tools of their government. This noble achievement succeeded. That is why so many who believe that laws exist to enable a government to use its people as mere tools, have been so determined to destroy it. To the left there are no individuals and no people, only classes. Only groups crying out to be equitably redistributed in the name of creating a perfect order. And they have always despised the American Experiment, castigating the idea that the popular vote without the oversight of the guardians of social justice can achieve an equitable society, as hypocritical and deceitful. That is an idea that the American liberals of the day are driven by. It burns through their revisionist history and their rhetoric. It is what drives their exposes and condemnations. All of it aimed at one thing. The replacement of America as we know it, with their system. And they are closer to it than ever before.

Where the Constitution promised Freedom, the Left promises Equality. But the former did so by limiting government. The latter promises to do so through the unlimited exercise of government power. Those are the stakes here in a very old contest, ever since Thomas Paine sailed back to the Continent in a huff accusing Washington of betraying the revolution. The original American Revolution took power only to return it back to the people. The left's Second American Revolution would remove power from the people in exchange for protecting them from each other. The state of freemen vs the nanny state. That is the choice here.

When you limit government power, you expand individual freedom. When you expand government power, you limit individual freedom. As government power expands, it begins to impose a particular social order. This social order benefits those who are already in power. Law then becomes a tool by which the dominant cultural and political forces remain in power and impose their will on the people.

The Framers understood this, as even we cannot, because to truly understand freedom, one must experience tyranny. Freedom has no meaning except in the context of oppression. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were Documents of Resistance, created to stand against tyranny as doctors would create antibiotics against infection. But the infection still crept in and we are all sick with the disease. The documentary antibiotics forced it to come through a back way, to use more guile and stealth than it would have needed to otherwise. But the crisis is nevertheless here.

Given a chance, the left will do to America, what they have done to nation after nation. Suck it dry and destroy it. Because their ideology represents a dead end. Their ideas are so old, that there is sand and dust on their breath. It is the promise of a benevolent tyranny, the protectors of the people who will protect the people from everything, but what they really need protecting from, themselves. They have no new ideas. Only old ones relabeled, rebranded and polished to make them seem new again. The American Experiment was a chance to break the cycle of kings and tyrants that had dominated so much of human history. The left would destroy that experiment, in the name of their own experiment. And their experiment has always proven to be fatal to the test subject.

The question before us is whether freedom will survive or perish. Whether we will be the land of the free and the home of the brave, or the land of the fee and the home of the slave.

Daniel Greenfield

Visit Daniel's Blog Sultan Knish by clicking HERE

Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City. Daniel is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters.

Daniel's original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and his blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. Daniel has a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and his op eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation.

Daniel was named one of the Jewish Press' Most Worthwhile Blogs from 2006-2011 and his writing has been cited by Rush Limbaugh, Melanie Philips, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Judith Klinghoffer, John Podhoretz, Jeff Jacoby and Michelle Malkin, among others.
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