A form of grassroots activism. I observed something like what you see in the video in my garden, some years ago. I thought it an odd exception; however, there seems to be a general affinity potential between the two species:
[Obama] and some of his tea party adversaries share an impatience with
Madisonian politics, which requires patience. The tea party’s
reaffirmation of Madison’s limited-government project is valuable. Now,
it must decide if it wants to practice politics.
A party is concerned with
, understood as the ability to achieve
effects. A bull in a china shop has consequences, but not power,
because the bull cannot translate intelligent intentions into
achievements. The tea party has a choice to make. It can patiently try
to become the beating heart of a durable party, which understands this:
In Madisonian politics, all progress is incremental. Or it can be a
raging bull, and soon a mere memory, remembered only for having broken a
lot of china. Conservatives who prefer politics over the futility of
intransigence gestures in Madison’s compromise-forcing system will
regret the promise the tea party forfeited, but will not regret that,
after the forfeiture, it faded away.
I wonder whether what is happening in America parallels the social democratisation of the dominant parties long prevalent in Germany. If the below author is right, cannot what he argues be interpreted to mean that the political system of the US is effectively shedding the non-social-democratic fringe? Democrats and Republicans are vying for support by the social democratic majority. That, of course, assumes that the author's statistical estimates of the number of anti-establishment Republicans are exaggerated:
The Republican Party died during the struggle over Obamacare. Its most
vital elected officials chose to represent their voters. This left their
erstwhile leaders to continue pursuing acceptance by the ruling party,
its press and its class. The result is a new party that represents the
roughly three fourths of Republican voters whose social identities are
alien to those of the ruling class and whose political identity is
defined by opposition to the ruling party. These voters are outsiders to
modern America’s power structure. Hence the new party that represents
them is a “country party” in the British tradition of Viscount
Bolingbroke’s early eighteenth century Whigs, who represented the
country class against the royal court and its allies in Parliament. The
forthcoming food fight over the name “Republican” is of secondary
This has been a long time coming. Obamacare was a trigger, not a cause.
While a majority of Democrats feel that officials who bear that label
represent them well, only about a fourth of Republican voters and an
even smaller proportion of independents trust Republican officials to
represent them. [...]
Rather than defending their voters’ socio-political identities, they
ignore, soft-pedal, or give mere lip service to their voters’ concerns.
It chooses candidates for office whose election only steadies America on
a course of which most Americans disapprove. [...]
The issue groups’ joint endeavor to de-fund Obamacare, their joint
rejection of the Republican Party’s leadership, and the collaboration of
Republican legislators who had been endorsed by some but not others of
these groups, effectively forms a new party. The question is not what
the Republican Establishment will do with these dissidents but what the
dissidents will do with the Establishment.
While the paleo-diet definitely does me good, neither do I avoid junk food (I love it, but do not eat it excessively) nor do I choose and judge diets that work for me on ideological grounds - see more at the bottom of the post.
Increasingly, I begin to feel that large numbers of libertarians are in some vital respects no different from followers of other political movements: they have a strong desire to be part of a group that takes care of their need to be morally anchored in rigid ground and part of a superior social whole. Therefore they are prone to develop their own standards of political correctness, that is: they let themselves be led by cues and symbols, fetishes and taboos.
Interestingly, I find some of his criticism can be applied to libertarians, in as much as they have become "symbol-oriented" or "auto politically correct" (my terms, should posterity care) as opposed to being critically rational.
Uneconomic and economistic at the same time
Too Little Economics
For instance: The libertarian criticism of the state, in so far as it is (crypto-)anarchist in orientation, i.e. (unconsciously) taking a world without the state for its ideal, is renouncing basic economic wisdom ("there are no solutions, there are only trade-offs"), and like left thinking, ignores the realism of the incremental (the perfectibility of the state) in favour of the illusion of the categorical (the absolutely evil character of the state).
Too Much Economics
At the same time, politically correct libertarianism is in other respects economistic, i.e. it perpetuates the attitude described by Tom Bethell in his The Noblest Triumph thus:
"Starting with Adam Smith, all the leading economists came from just those countries where the essential legal preconditions for real economic advance did exist. So they took them for granted" (p.26)
And impalpably developed assumptions about an ideal world, a free world in which the market can regulate all human affairs, making fuzzy extra-economic struggles, negotiations and imperfect coercive, yet violence-reducing, welfare-enhancing arrangements look unnecesary.
The Freeman: Why do you think so many libertarians seem to be attracted to a paleo lifestyle?
Durant: First of all, the established food
movement—organic, plant-based—has been heavily influenced by liberal
progressives, with that ideology being most pronounced among vegans and
vegetarians. But there are many people who want to be healthy yet find
progressive ideology off-putting. So there’s demand for an alternative
approach and identity.
Not politically correct for libertarians, it appears from browsing Lew Rockwell's tabloid, I venture to argue nevertheless (more in sync with Ted Rockwell), the below report on Fukushima (August 2013) is well-worth reading:
The situation is this. The melted-down cores at the damaged reactors
(the site is not "crippled", two reactors were undamaged and will return
to service) are still hot - though much less hot than they were two
years ago - and need to be cooled. This is done by pumping water through
their buildings, then sucking it out again and putting it into holding
tanks before purifying it to remove the radiation it picks up from the
cores. Then it gets used again.
What has happened is that one of
the holding tanks, containing water that had only been through one stage
of purification, has sprung a leak and about 300,000 litres of water
has got out. Almost all of this was contained by a backup dam which had
been built around the tanks when they were set up (this is the nuclear
industry, there is always a backup). However, "two shallow puddles" of
the water got out of the dam via a rainwater drain valve which has since
been sealed off.
The water is quite radioactive, and dose rates
measured next to the puddles were 100 milliSieverts per hour. Nuclear
powerplant workers, whose cancer rate is somewhat lower than in the
general population (probably because they don't smoke so much) are
allowed to sustain 50 millisievert in any one year in normal times and
average doses across five years of 20 millisievert/yr.
what Reuters haven't picked up on is that the high 100 milliSievert
reading is for beta radiation only. The reading for gamma rays is only
1.5 milliSieverts per hour.
As we no doubt all recall from skool,
beta radiation is not very penetrating: it can't get through human skin
and it only travels a few feet through air. So you'd have to stand very
close indeed to the two puddles, in them probably, for their beta rays
even to reach you. A sturdy pair of wellingtons would have a good
protective effect, if you should do this. As far as beta radiation is
concerned, the only ways
to seriously harm yourself with that water would be to get it on your
exposed skin and leave it there for some time, or to drink it. This is
also true of many domestic cleaning products.
The gamma hazard is
noticeable, you wouldn't want to take up residence next to the pool of
water, but you could work for days around it without breaching normal
nuclear-worker health limits and the crews in the vicinity are being
rotated regularly. Tepco is pumping all the water back into another tank
pending purification, and segregating wet soil from the area. The firm told WNN that it has no indication so far of any water having got into a drainage channel or otherwise left the area.
Incidentally, when watching the women's world championship soccer final in 2011, the German commentator kept referring to "the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe" (as is the mindless habit of countless of my compatriots to this day), which I found most irritating as no nuclear catastrophe had occurred, which should have been a reason to celebrate. At the same time, the real catastrophe was/is not worth mentioning: the nuclear-unrelated deaths of 20 000 Japanese.
The stuff is so good, you even need it to stage a protest against it, to get to the event, to disseminate the unhappy message, etc.
In the sequel to his excellent post on how Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet, Alex Epstein discusses why the oil industry is fundamentally a force for good in human life.
Imagine you are an advertising executive, and a CEO asks you: “Do you think you can help improve the reputation of my industry?”
You respond, “Sure, what are some ways your industry makes people’s lives better?”
He replies, “Well, actually, our product helps people in just about
everything they do. This past year, it helped take 4 million newlyweds
to their dream destinations for their honeymoons. It helped bring 300
million Americans to their favorite places: yoga studios, soccer games,
friends’ houses. It made possible the bulletproof vests that protect
500,000 policemen a year and the fire-resistant jackets that protect
1,000,000 firefighters a year.” 
“If you do all that, how could you be unpopular?”
“We’re the oil industry.”
Why is the oil industry so hated? After all, the oil industry does everything I said above, and many more wonderful things.
The markets appear particularly nervous this morning, with many observers surmising that in the face of spiking bond yields the Fed is beginning to lose control over markets.
It so happens that Frank Schaeffler is going to be arriving from Berlin this evening, to give a talk at my local Hayek-Society, here in middle-of-nowhere Kaiserslautern (aka K-Town among our American fellow-inhabitants).
Writes Michael Krieger:
We should have competition in the production of money. I
have long been a proponent of Friedrich August von Hayek scheme to
denationalize money. Bitcoins are a first step in this direction.
- Frank Schaeffler, member of German parliament’s Finance Committee
The story of the German Finance Ministry stating Bitcoin is
essentially “legal tender” has been making the rounds all over the
virtual currency and technology world this morning and for good reason.
This is a very, very big deal. Not just because some bureaucrat
seemingly “legitimizes” the crypto-currency, but because it is the first
commonsense approach from a major economy to-date.
I often think of Laura Ebke, our wonderful hostess here at RedStateEclectic. Even more so now that she is especially active in the world of politics, where she belongs in her capacity as a talented, level-headed, yet passionate, and always honest representative of the ideals of freedom.
It is a standard complaint of mine that many liberty-minded people tend to become so consumed with their criticism of politics and the state that they effectively turn into anarchists, refusing to defend and build freedom by participating in politics and thus helping to shape government and the state in a way inclined toward liberty.
Laura is pursuing the important task of fostering freedom in the political arena. A tough challenge as the below film on the rivalry between Gladstone and Disraeli vividly illustrates. I submit the video in honour of Laura Ebke:
Yesterday in Houston, Black Panther leader Quanell X organized a traffic-stop protest of the "Not Guilty" verdict found in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed a 17 year old youth, Trayvon Martin.
I'm always a fan of a good protest but sometimes their objectives elude me. Antiwar protests may have been a Democrat sham but at least they had a stated objective. But as with the Occupy protests, the Trayvon protestors seem to be representing anger without any particular goal.
I hear they want "justice" but what exactly is that? Do they want to eliminate our trial-by-jury system and replace it with mob rule? Trial by professional, politically connected jurors perhaps? Maybe trial by media? Verdicts rendered by elected officials?
Or perhaps they simply want to take away the right to plead self-defense?
And even more confusing to me? What are the people of Houston supposed to do about a verdict that was rendered in a Florida court?