Thursday, January 6, 2011

The WHAT Civil Liberties Union?

While the national ACLU doesn't believe gun rights apply to individuals (maybe "gun privileges" do), the South Dakota chapter believes they definitely do apply to resident aliens, and not just for ownership, hunting, and open carry, but also for concealed carry.

In other words, the ACLU is about as close as possible to the leftist's dream of having it both ways on rights - denying rights to US citizens while guaranteeing them to foreigners on our soil.  Because of course the national ACLU doesn't just say that concealed-carry isn't a constitutional right; according to them, no level of individual gun rights is constitutionally protected, only state militias are protected.  (I.e., the government can't ban itself from doing what it wants to do.)  The ACLU of South Dakota is not prepared to settle for one iota less liberty for holders of green cards, even though defense against foreign invasion is one of the express purposes behind the Second Amendment.

An argument can be made that, since the Second Amendment doesn't say anything about "citizens" or "naturalized persons" but rather "the people", the rights to keep and bear do apply to everyone legally in the country.  Why this necessarily includes carrying weapons concealed is never explained by the SD ACLU - an interesting question given that both the courts and most gun rights advocates accept a higher level of regulation for concealed-carry than for simple ownership, hunting, or open carry on one's own property.

As the GOA's Larry Pratt points out, the extension of these rights to immigrants is an attempt by the left to set a precedent for arming "illegals" (foreign scofflaws).  The SD ACLU's move is another reason to dramatically reduce legal immigration, as well as step up deportations of foreign scofflaws.  The NRA's support of the ACLU on this one, combined with their endorsement of John McCain in his senate reëlection bid, is enough to keep me from joining.  I'm joining the Gun Owners of America instead.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Answers to the Four Tough Questions

Bruce Charlton recently wrote an open letter directed at me (among others), asking four tough questions, presented below in italics (there is additional explanatory test at his site):

1. What do you want? And what do you not want?

I want a stable society with minimized violence, predictable order, and contented citizens.  I want to defeat mob rule, rule by hostile elites, and the destructive ideologies that support them.  I do not want mass immigration, enforced race-mixing, affirmative action, or a centralized surveillance state.

Is your list any more than a mere wish list? If so, what binds-together these core values and necessary exclusions? 

This is a fairly typical conservative-nationalist list of demands.  The demands were created by a clear-eyed understanding of the impossibility of having both a vital culture and infinite tolerance at the same time.

2. Having listed these requirements, is it possible to sustain a society which gives you what you want, and not what you do not want?

Certainly.  As a Moderate American Nationalist, the political framework I seek is open enough to accommodate many ideologies and cultures in different regions.  All that is required to build a mass movement strong enough to create this framework is the death of the PC multicult.  Put another way, I don't demand that every region of the country adhere to my every whim.  I only demand that the country allow every region to be itself.  At that point I could pick and choose.

What are the mechanisms by which your ideal society would be maintained? Are they plausible? Are they strong enough?

My ideal society harnesses human jealousy in defense of local and regional power.  The mechanisms can be seen as a modern answer to the Articles of Confederation, with a couple of simple dictums to make things work.  The first dictum: only people who contribute, either by putting their life on the line in uniform, or by paying out more in taxes than they take in in subsidies, should have the right to vote.  The second dictum is that lower levels of government can be trusted with more powerful than higher, as long as citizens have the freedom to move from place to place.  The third dictum is that the civil employees should only be leant to the central government, rather than permanently employed by it.  The fourth dictum is that central government legislators should serve regional governments, either directly or indirectly.

These mechanisms are plausible if the big thinkers are focussed, and if they are heard.  The sooner we quit fantasizing about disenfranchising women the sooner we can get down to the business of disenfranchising welfare mothers and civil servants, etc.

3. How would your ideal society stop itself recapitulating the course of all existing Western societies?

The all-important trick of harnessing jealousy of lower levels of government strengthens the whole system.  Both the European Union and the United States made the mistake of creating too many permanent central institutions and then trying to keep them from becoming too powerful.  All of the people with both power and expertise in the EU benefit when the EU grows in power.  Thus it continues to grow, way beyond the customs union that was originally intended.

4. In such a society as you conceive, what will motivate people? And are these motivations plausibly strong enough to resist relentless, implacable and dedicated foes who cannot be convinced of the virtues of your favoured society and who are prepared to sacrifice pleasure, experience pain, and even willingly to die to get what they want? 

I don't think people's motivations will change too much.  The ideological motivation to centralize, to make PC, to borrow-and-spend, etc., will remain, but the political/financial motivation to do so will be broken apart.  Law and order would be maintained by local and regional governments with a strong motivation to protect the taxpayer without overtaxing him.  The dedicated foes of this arrangement could sacrifice all they wanted, but their freedom of movement would become very limited.  I.e., the Fred Phelpses of the world would find they couldn't visit the San Franciscos; the Eldridge Cleavers would not be welcome in Idaho; the neo-Nazis wouldn't be welcome in Florida, New Jersey, or the New York islands, etc.  Very few people would really be motivated to strike at the heart of a decentralized system.

At root this is just one question: what would be different about your desired secular society which would plausibly make it self-maintaining when all previous secular societies have become progressively more self-destroying?

I don't but that Switzerland is progressively more self-destroying, even though there are directly-elected legislators in their central government, they have universal suffrage, etc.  Surely this is partly because their political culture is healthier than most, but I don't think they have any secret magic.

My desired non-clerical society would be self-maintaining because it would encompass the wisdom of the American founders plus experiences they couldn't have had.  For not much longer will we be blind-sided by cultural Marxism, "religion of peace" propaganda regarding Islam, illusions about meso-American culture, etc.