Walter Williams on Bastiat

At FEE.

….
Bastiat explains the call for laws that restrict peaceable, voluntary exchange and punish the desire to be left alone by saying that socialists want to play God. Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. To them – the elite – “the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter.” And for people who have this vision, Bastiat displays the only anger I find in The Law when he lashes out at do-gooders and would-be rulers of mankind, “Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don’t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.”
….

 

Walter Williams on Democide

 

Before the question, how about a few statistics? The 20th century was mankind’s most brutal century. Roughly 16 million people lost their lives during World War I; about 60 million died during World War II. Wars during the 20th century cost an estimated 71 million to 116 million lives.

The number of war dead pales in comparison with the number of people who lost their lives at the hands of their own governments. The late professor Rudolph J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii documented this tragedy in his book “Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900.” Some of the statistics found in the book have been updated here.

The People’s Republic of China tops the list, with 76 million lives lost at the hands of the government from 1949 to 1987. The Soviet Union follows, with 62 million lives lost from 1917 to 1987. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi German government killed 21 million people between 1933 and 1945. Then there are lesser murdering regimes, such as Nationalist China, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and Mexico. According to Rummel’s research, the 20th century saw 262 million people’s lives lost at the hands of their own governments.

Hitler’s atrocities are widely recognized, publicized and condemned. World War II’s conquering nations’ condemnation included denazification and bringing Holocaust perpetrators to trial and punishing them through lengthy sentences and execution. Similar measures were taken to punish Japan’s murderers.

But what about the greatest murderers in mankind’s history — the Soviet Union’s Josef Stalin and China’s Mao Zedong? Some leftists saw these communists as heroes. W.E.B. Du Bois, writing in the National Guardian in 1953, said, “Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. … The highest proof of his greatness (was that) he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.” Walter Duranty called Stalin “the greatest living statesman” and “a quiet, unobtrusive man.” There was even leftist admiration for Hitler and fellow fascist Benito Mussolini. When Hitler came to power in January 1933, George Bernard Shaw described him as “a very remarkable man, a very able man.” President Franklin Roosevelt called the fascist Mussolini “admirable,” and he was “deeply impressed by what he (had) accomplished.”

In 1972, John Kenneth Galbraith visited Communist China and praised Mao and the Chinese economic system. Michel Oksenberg, President Jimmy Carter’s China expert, complained, “America (is) doomed to decay until radical, even revolutionary, change fundamentally alters the institutions and values.” He urged us to “borrow ideas and solutions” from China. Harvard University professor John K. Fairbank believed that America could learn much from the Cultural Revolution, saying, “Americans may find in China’s collective life today an ingredient of personal moral concern for one’s neighbor that has a lesson for us all.” By the way, an estimated 2 million people died during China’s Cultural Revolution. More recent praise for murdering tyrants came from Anita Dunn, President Barack Obama’s acting communications director in 2009, who said, “Two of my favorite political philosophers (are) Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa.”

Recall the campus demonstrations of the 1960s, in which campus radicals, often accompanied by their professors, marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao’s Little Red Book. That may explain some of the campus mess today. Some of those campus radicals are now tenured professors and administrators at today’s universities and colleges and K-12 schoolteachers and principals indoctrinating our youth.

Now the question: Why are leftists soft on communism? The reason leftists give communists, the world’s most horrible murderers, a pass is that they sympathize with the chief goal of communism: restricting personal liberty. In the U.S., the call is for government control over our lives through regulations and taxation. Unfortunately, it matters little whether the Democrats or Republicans have the political power. The march toward greater government control is unabated. It just happens at a quicker pace with Democrats in charge.

Giovanni Gentile

Described as the founder of Fascism, he’s certainly one of the founders of the movement.

Wikipedia has an article on him, which has “multiple issues”.  This article also leads to a “fascism portal” with collected pieces on the subject.

His thought definitely has roots in Marxist and Hegelian philosophy. This may be a problem for those who are determined to assert that Fascism is absolutely, positively, right-wing.

Due Process Is Making A Comeback For Students Accused Of Rape

Source: Due Process Is Making A Comeback For Students Accused Of Rape

But due process appears to be making a comeback. By K.C. Johnson’s count as of Sepember 8, 59 accused students had received at least partially favorable rulings from judges after they sued their schools for gender-bias and denying due process. I believe this count is now over 60.

Some of these judges decried schools shifting the burden of proof onto accused students, some stated cross-examination was essential, others noted the potential ramifications for expelled students that activists seem to ignore, and others simply said the campus kangaroo courts were “unfair.” These are just four examples of due process wins for students, but there are dozens more.

Those are just the judicial wins. Accused students have been racking up settlements with their universities for years, with a seeming uptick in 2017. Some of the settlements came from high-profile cases, like Columbia University settling with the man accused by “Mattress Girl.”

With court wins in the background, DeVos rescinded the Obama-era guidance that led to this chaos and denial of civil rights for accused students. She promised to create guidance using the proper notice-and-comment period that Obama’s education department had ignored. She promised to hear from all parties with related interests, including victims and self-described victims, accused students, lawyers, schools, and others. The system she hopes to create will benefit both accusers and the accused, neither of whom are being served well now.

Who’s a Fascist? Why Does it Matter? | Faster, Please!

Source: Who’s a Fascist? Why Does it Matter? | Faster, Please!

But “fascism” as it originated, and came to power, in Europe is gone, and there is no sign of contemporary revival. There has never been a viable fascist movement or party in the United States (any more than there has been a viable socialist party or movement).

Fascism was a revolutionary mass movement that originated in Italy after the First World War. Why revolutionary? Because, unlike the 19th century right-wing movements, it did not aim at the reestablishment of traditional monarchies. Nor was it class-bound; it acted in the name of the war-winning fighters (Italy), or the fighters betrayed by the political class (Germany) and the Jews. Thus the claim of fascist leaders to act in the name of “the nation.”

America has patriotism, not nationalism. Our loyalty, and our passions, are to a set of ideas, not to a country whose citizens share a common ethnic identity or religion, which is what nationalism is all about.

The fascist movements were part of a broad-based revolt against the liberal democratic state; revolts and then revolutions succeeded in Italy, Germany and Russia. First came the Russian revolution, then Italian fascism, then Hitler’s failed revolution, which triumphed a decade later.

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of fascism was its enormous popularity. By the time Hitler became German chancellor, had enormous mass appeal, both in Italy and beyond. In both Germany and Italy, there was no sign of an effective opposition or resistance. Had they not lost the war, the two tyrants could have looked forward to many years of stable rule.

There is, and has been, no comparable movement in the United States. Racist reactionaries on the right, or violent anti-capitalist groups on the left, are both miniscule. Both claim to speak in the name of failed movements and regimes, ranging from communism to racial slavery. Real fascism was revolutionary and claimed to represent a “new man.” Today’s violent Americans have no such concept.

The most politically interesting and potentially significant aspect in the current tumult is that both sides call the other “fascist.” That testifies to the sometimes perplexing success of “progressive” dogma in the Western left following the fall of the Soviet Union. You might have expected Western intellectuals to acknowledge communism’s failure, but instead “fascism” became the primary, at times seemingly the only, legitimate label for political evil. This practice started right after the Second World War, and was a major weapon in the Soviets’ campaign to bring communists to power in the West. The West European communists asserted that they alone were entitled to determine if a given person was “fascist” or “antifascist.” Post-war Italy, with Europe’s most powerful Communist party, was the classic example. This produced all manner of political blackmail, as many real fascists were recycled as “antifascists.” It all went well for them for two generations. It wasn’t until the end of the century that famous writers and scholars confessed to their dark past.

Something similar is happening today, in the United States. As the left dominates the selection of faculty, curricula and recommended or required reading material, intellectuals who want to survive and flourish have to pretend to be loyal leftists. They tell themselves that eventually they will come out of their ideological closet, but as the European examples show, that can be quite a long time, if indeed it ever happens.

The first step toward fixing the mess is to stop using “fascist” whenever you disagree with someone. Use it correctly: the name of a West European movement between the two world wars of the last century. That’s it.

George Weisman at the Mises Institute offers

Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian

My purpose today is to make just two main points: (1) To show why Nazi Germany was a socialist state, not a capitalist one. And (2) to show why socialism, understood as an economic system based on government ownership of the means of production, positively requires a totalitarian dictatorship.

The identification of Nazi Germany as a socialist state was one of the many great contributions of Ludwig von Mises.

Or, in Mises’ own words, Part Six: The Hampered Market Economy > Chapter XXVII. The Government and the Market

There are two patterns for the realization of socialism.

….

The second pattern (we may call it the Hindenburg or German pattern) nominally and seemingly preserves private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary markets, prices, wages, and interest rates. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs, but only shop managers (Betriebsführer in the terminology of the Nazi legislation). These shop managers are seemingly instrumental in the conduct of the enterprises entrusted to them; they buy and sell, hire and discharge workers and remunerate their services, contract debts and pay interest and amortization. But in all their activities they are bound to obey unconditionally the orders issued by the government’s supreme office of production management. This office (The Reichswirtschaftsministerium in Nazi Germany) tells the shop managers what and how to produce, at what prices and from [p. 718] whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell. It assigns every worker to his job and fixes his wages. It decrees to whom and on what terms the capitalists must entrust their funds. Market exchange is merely a sham. All the wages, prices, and interest rates are fixed by the government; they are wages, prices, and interest rates in appearance only; in fact they are merely quantitative terms in the government’s orders determining each citizen’s job, income, consumption, and standard of living. The government directs all production activities. The shop managers are subject to the government, not the consumers’ demand and the market’s price structure. This is socialism under the outward guise of the terminology of capitalism. Some labels of the capitalistic market economy are retained, but they signify something entirely different from what they mean in the market economy.

Yes, antifa is the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis – AEI

Source: Yes, antifa is the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis – AEI

 

As if to prove Cummings’s point, the antifa movement responded with jackboots and clubs — because their definition of “fascist” includes not just neo-Nazis but also anyone who opposes their totalitarian worldview.

And let’s be clear: Totalitarian is precisely what they are. Mark Bray, a Dartmouth lecturer who has defended antifa’s violent tactics, recently explained in The Post, “Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists” who believe that physical violence “is both ethically justifiable and strategically effective.” In other words, they are no different from neo-Nazis. Neo-Nazis are the violent advocates of a murderous ideology that killed 25 million people last century. Antifa members are the violent advocates of a murderous ideology that, according to “The Black Book of Communism,” killed between 85 million and 100 million people last century. Both practice violence and preach hate. They are morally indistinguishable. There is no difference between those who beat innocent people in the name of the ideology that gave us Hitler and Himmler and those who beat innocent people in the name of the ideology that gave us Stalin and Dzerzhinsky.

Patterico’s Pontifications » Memo To Employees From Google’s CEO Seems A Bit Inconsistent

Source: Patterico’s Pontifications » Memo To Employees From Google’s CEO Seems A Bit Inconsistent

1. Google claims to strongly support the rights of employees to express themselves. And yet when one employee exercised those Google-given rights to express himself, he was fired.
2. How does the CEO know that the vast majority of employees disagree with Damore’s memo? Would they actually want to go on record agreeing and supporting Damore after seeing him be fired for exercising his Google-given rights?
3. It’s fair to debate what is in the memo per the CEO, and yet when Damore brought up what was fair to debate, he was fired.
4. It allegedly crossed the line by promoting harmful gender stereotypes, except that Damore simply suggested that innate differences between the sexes, to some degree, contribute to the low representation of women in tech, and then he provided options to work with that possibility to increase, or at least encourage a greater participation of women. He didn’t ridicule or threaten or harass anyone. This is what an intellectual challenge looks like.
5. James Damore, in exercising his Google-given rights to express himself, was directly attempting to “do his utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination”. He was attempting to open discussion, honestly and seemingly without fear of reprisal directly because of the words and assurances in Google’s own Code of Conduct.
6. In as much as some employees feel hurt and judged as a gender, it appeared that Damore was also feeling judged and possibly hurt for his non-leftist views and resistance to conforming to the prescribed political positions held by Google – even before he wrote the memo. Because his feelings of being judged were the result of the company’s political biases, and were in the minority, does that make them invalid?
7. While the CEO does not want employees to have to worry about opening their mouths, in retrospect, shouldn’t Damore have worried about opening his own mouth via a memo? Does that freedom from concern really extend to every employee and the positions and views they value and stand upon?
8. If employees holding minority views question whether they can really freely express their views (without fear of reprisal) because they already feel under threat, and they’ve just witnessed an employee holding similar minority views be fired for doing that very thing, why on earth would any concerned employees sharing similar views believe his claims?

The “author had a right express their views on those topics—we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions,” AND YET WE JUST TOOK MAJOR ACTION AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXERCISING THOSE RIGHTS WHEN HE EXPRESSED HIS VIEWS.

A Liberal’s Perspective: Evergreen College And The Fascism Of The Illiberal Left | HuffPost

Source: A Liberal’s Perspective: Evergreen College And The Fascism Of The Illiberal Left | HuffPost

At Evergreen State College in Washington, the dangerous authoritarian streak of college-aged, left-wing extremists is being exposed in disturbing detail. In recent weeks, social justice activists demanded that white students refrain from attending class or being present on campus on a predetermined day, in order to appropriately, from their perspective, observe the traditional “Day of Absence.” Evolutionary Biology Professor Bret Weinstein wrote an email objecting to this event, in part, saying that to force every white member of campus to leave would be “an act of oppression in and of itself,” Weeks later, when this email became public, it did not take long for a mob to assemble.

For his objection to “A Day Without White People,” Weinstein was speciously accused of being a racist. Additionally, a group of students cornered other white faculty and proceeded to viciously berate them. Footage of these confrontations are available online, bringing the incident to public attention and landing Weinstein in a media firestorm.

According to Weinstein, the college administration has done little to protect him and give him a platform to defend himself from utterly unfounded allegations of racism and calls for his ouster from the classroom. Police barely intervened when students organized into angry mobs and screamed insults and vulgarities at administrators, completely disregarding the notion that faculty and administration have any authority over students, who can apparently openly disrespect them with impunity.

The irony in all of this is that Weinstein himself is a liberal, having supported Bernie Sanders for president. There is no evidence that he is a racist and he has done nothing to these students but object to their authoritarian mentality and attempt to have an open dialogue. So why are these left-wing extremists attacking one of their own liberal comrades? The answer is simple: they are not liberals. They are illiberal, left-wing fascists.

These so called “activists” are not interested in dialogue — one of them said exactly that in a video of their confrontation. They are only interested in their political agenda being enacted at all costs, without any negotiation with dissenters. To me, that mentality is inherently illiberal and undemocratic. It is close enough to fascism to warrant use of the label “fascist” at this point.

We need a more functional word for these individuals. Up until now, they are usually ironically referred to as “social justice warriors” (SJW). That term intends to emphasize their self-serving thirst to signal personal virtue via “activism” in support of marginalized groups.

Again, I know that left-wing fascism is somewhat of an oxymoron. I’m trying to make a broader point about what we call the social justice mob when it arises and why we call them that. As a label, “social justice warrior” just doesn’t cut it. It has too much of a positive connotation and can be embraced all too easily as the cool, rebellious thing to be.

The majority of Americans who utterly reject the ridiculous behavior of this growing group must not let the extremists control the narrative by characterizing their behavior as being politically rebellious or “on the right side of history.” Instead, this behavior must be portrayed as it truly is, as a shameful and pedestrian surrender to authoritarian political doctrine and mob mentality.

Considering this, “fascist” works fairly well as a label for members of the social justice mob. It drives home their authoritarian, ideologically-possessed mindset and tactics which can only be described as systematic brainwashing followed by witch hunts for any who would even think to diverge from the social justice orthodoxy.

And for those who think I’m going a step too far and overreacting, watch the videos from Evergreen State, as well as the endless additional footage of ‘social justice warrior’ mobs and “protests” of college speakers available on YouTube. Witness the actions of these people and how no one steps up to correct them.

Watch as they hospitalize a female professor at Middlebury College and receive minimal consequences. Watch as they set University of California, Berkeley ablaze because of the presence of a dissenting political voice.

Now, you can watch as they physically and verbally intimidate faculty and students at their own institution, terrorizing them for the heinous crime of being present while white.

Additionally, I implore you to imagine what the university and police response would have been if conservative students had made similar demands in a similar manner. In this case, the students would have been ordered to disperse. They would have been disciplined or even arrested for not complying with school policy. This double standard starkly displays the danger of a far-left ideological mob that is exempt from otherwise enforced social and legal consequences.

To be frank, if this ordeal does not boil your blood and make you want to fight the regressive left and campus extremism, then you are either ideologically possessed or intellectually blind. For the rest of us, there is clearly fight on our hands for the heart of Western civilization which calls on all of us to speak up.

These fascists must be disempowered via the very right they fear most, freedom of speech, which manifests itself in open dialogue leading to the exposure of their ideas as inferior to the core values that make Western civilization the pinnacle of humanity.

Additionally, college administrators and police must hold students accountable for their actions, as they would with any other group. They must not do what Evergreen College administrators have done and be intimidated by a small, but extremely vocal, group of students who have terrorized their own campus community in an ideological conquest — not for truth, but for confirmation of a dogmatic narrative.

As with Professor Weinstein, I am no conservative. I am the former president of the College Democrats of Maryland. However, this insanity is unrepresentative of true liberalism. Liberals who don’t call out these illiberal fascists are complicit in their growing influence and impunity. We real liberals must wake up, we must stand up, and we must act.

The Death of Facts

Source: The Death of Facts

Heather Mac Donald is a conservative author, journalist and fellow of the Manhattan Institute in New York. Her work has appeared in some of the world’s most prestigious journals. Of course, none of that was enough to deter students at Claremont from libelling her as much as possible in advance of her speech and then preventing her speech from taking place. At Claremont McKenna College, where Mac Donald was due to speak about her recent book, The War on Cops, angry students surrounded the building, screamed obscene words and banged on the windows. Mac Donald ended up giving the speech to a mainly empty room via live video-streaming and then fleeing the university under the protection of campus security. As recent events, such as the hospitalisation of a professor at Charles Murray’s recent speech at Middlebury College have shown, intimidation and violence are clearly regarded by today’s North American students as legitimate means to stop people from speaking.

The reason, if any, may well come down to the possibility that facts have become diminished in importance on American campuses and have gradually lost out to the greater imperative of short-term political “narratives” and victories that come from thuggish intimidation. A letter sent to university authorities at Claremont ahead of Mac Donald’s speech is one of the most important recent documents chronicling the descent of this most crucial American value, freedom of speech.

The letter to university authorities from “We, few of the Black students here at Pomona College and the Claremont Colleges” loses no time in libelling their subject:

“If engaged, Heather Mac Donald would not be debating on mere difference of opinion, but the right of Black people to exist. Heather Mac Donald is a fascist, a white supremacist, a warhawk, a transphobe, a queerphobe, a classist, and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live.”

Needless to say, none of this is true. Nowhere has Mac Donald suggested that black people or any other type of person has “no right to exist”. The accusation is levelled without evidence. But as with all anti-free-speech activists today, the line is blurred not merely between actual words and violence, but between wholly imagined words and violence. Thus the students write:

“Advocating for white supremacy and giving white supremacists platforms wherefrom their toxic and deadly illogic may be disseminated is condoning violence against Black people. Heather Mac Donald does not have the right to an audience at the Athenaeum, a private venue wherefrom she received compensation. Dictating and condemning non-respectable forms of protest while parroting the phrase that ‘protest has a celebrated’ place on campus is contradictory at best and anti-Black at worst.”

Amid the semi-literacy, linguistic ostentation and intellectual dishonesty, it is hard to single out what is worst about this letter. But, against stiff competition, what is worst is that the whole thing is built on one massive misunderstanding which might also be described as a false premise.

“Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of ‘subjectivity vs. objectivity’ as a means of silencing oppressed peoples. The idea that there is a single truth–‘the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.”

As the English philosopher Roger Scruton wrote in his book Modern Philosophy, “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”