Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Part of “Self-Government” Do You Not Understand?!

 

PowerLine blog points to an excellent video, “Deplorables,” that highlights that the populist movement that elites so decry is really about the need to wrestle the power from the self-appointed and deliver it to the people’s choice. The video looks at the political earthquakes that Brexit and Trump represented in 2016. But such is the strength of the swells that both Britain and America continue to fight for implementation of the people’s choice.

I am not sure that the resistance in both Britain and America understand how deeply offensive their reaction is to legitimate democratic processes. Maybe they are living so cosily in their intellectual bubbles that they cannot see it. I can only pray that when the next national referendum (or whatever stands in for one) in each country occurs, that the elites get another, more sound, drubbing.

Brexit and Trump are not about race and fear. They are about fulfilling the promise of self-government. Heaven knows I don’t like some of the decisions that self-government brings. But if it is truly self-government, and not the preferences and wishes of those who “know better” and for whom I have never had an opportunity to vote, then I am prepared to live with it. Unelected, unaccountable policy-makers are not self-government. Period.

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There are 23 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    Rodin: Unelected, unaccountable policy-makers are not self-government. Period.

    Amen to that.

    • #1
    • September 21, 2019, at 1:32 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  2. EODmom Coolidge

    I think the “resistance” does indeed know how offensive they are. I think it is wholly irrelevant to them – they don’t care what we think of them or who they offend. It’s about their retention of power. That part isn’t going to change. So we will always be in the position of wrenching power away from those who usurp it. They grab first and stare you down later. Don’t Grab!

    • #2
    • September 21, 2019, at 2:56 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    EODmom (View Comment):

    I think the “resistance” does indeed know how offensive they are. I think it is wholly irrelevant to them – they don’t care what we think of them or who they offend. It’s about their retention of power. That part isn’t going to change. So we will always be in the position of wrenching power away from those who usurp it. They grab first and stare you down later. Don’t Grab!

    The trick for the elites is to make a bunch of people think they are part of the elite. With enough clingers plus control of the media and culture, the true elite can control things fairly well. 

    • #3
    • September 21, 2019, at 3:59 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    EODmom (View Comment):

    …So we will always be in the position of wrenching power away from those who usurp it….

    “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

     

    • #4
    • September 21, 2019, at 4:07 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  5. Mark Camp Member

    Rodin: the populist movement that elites so decry is really about the need to wrestle the power from the self-appointed to the people’s choice.

    The need? The assumption is that there is only one need.

    In truth, each faction, including the populists and the Progressivist elite, has its own private need. The thing all these factions have in common is the need to diminish or destroy the institutions of self-government, the institutions of the sovereign individual and the organic traditions of his people.

     

    • #5
    • September 21, 2019, at 6:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    I watched it earlier today. Highly recommended.

    • #6
    • September 21, 2019, at 6:32 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. The Reticulator Member

    Rodin: am not sure that the resistance in both Britain and America understand how deeply offensive their reaction is to legitimate democratic processes

    I don’t like hearing disparaging remarks about the resistance. I am part of the resistance. We all should be.

    • #7
    • September 21, 2019, at 8:16 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Rodin Member
    Rodin Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Rodin: am not sure that the resistance in both Britain and America understand how deeply offensive their reaction is to legitimate democratic processes

    I don’t like hearing disparaging remarks about the resistance. I am part of the resistance. We all should be.

    I think we share a disdain for hearing disparaging remarks about ourselves.

    • #8
    • September 21, 2019, at 8:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Arahant Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Rodin: am not sure that the resistance in both Britain and America understand how deeply offensive their reaction is to legitimate democratic processes

    I don’t like hearing disparaging remarks about the resistance. I am part of the resistance. We all should be.

    Wait, which resistance are you?

    • #9
    • September 21, 2019, at 9:10 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. The Reticulator Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Rodin: am not sure that the resistance in both Britain and America understand how deeply offensive their reaction is to legitimate democratic processes

    I don’t like hearing disparaging remarks about the resistance. I am part of the resistance. We all should be.

    Wait, which resistance are you?

    I am resisting the aggressive takeover by the left.

    • #10
    • September 21, 2019, at 9:22 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. Arahant Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Rodin: am not sure that the resistance in both Britain and America understand how deeply offensive their reaction is to legitimate democratic processes

    I don’t like hearing disparaging remarks about the resistance. I am part of the resistance. We all should be.

    Wait, which resistance are you?

    I am resisting the aggressive takeover by the left.

    Oh, well that’s alright. I thought you might be part of the People’s Front of Judea.

    • #11
    • September 21, 2019, at 9:24 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  12. Larry3435 Member

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    EODmom (View Comment):

    …So we will always be in the position of wrenching power away from those who usurp it….

    “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

    I’m glad you posted that, AIAC. A portrait of one of America’s finest elites, right there. Along with Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Madison, and the other elites who did such a wonderful job of founding this country. Our problem today is not that we have elites. Indeed, if we did “wrest power” from the current elites and turn it over to the “peoples’ choice,” then the peoples’ choice would become the new elites, and would hold on to power with the same tenacity as the current elites.

    Power is only of value if it is used in furtherance of policy. Just getting rid of politicians who went to Harvard Law, and replacing them with “ordinary” folks who attended Podunk Community College, is not going to help. Or, at least, not much. It turns out that there are socialists, Utopians, and climate hysterics in Podunk too. I want leaders who believe in the value of liberty and, if we are fortunate enough to get them, I don’t really care if they are “elite” or not.

     

    • #12
    • September 22, 2019, at 4:28 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  13. GrannyDude Member

    I just sent an email recommending “Deplorables” to a bunch of friends and relations! 

    It’s difficult to know how to characterize the anti-Founders. “Elites” isn’t quite it, although @DonG puts his finger on a crucial part of the appeal: social workers, underpaid mainline church ministers, government bureaucrats, Starbucks baristas and, of course, those schoolteachers dutifully training small children to fear misgendering and climate change (in that order) definitely imagine themselves among the Anointed. Just as the average Joe could imagine having a beer with George W., the average high school English teacher fantasizes about having the Obamas over for the organic beet, quinoa and goat cheese salad. 

    EODmom (View Comment):
    I think the “resistance” does indeed know how offensive they are. I think it is wholly irrelevant to them – they don’t care what we think of them or who they offend. It’s about their retention of power

    This is one of the strong points of the film (only half an hour long!): that the Anointed were shocked at having their power taken away by, respectively, the election of Trump and the Brexit vote. They have been pitching a tantrum, accusing voters of (what else?) racism, and engaging in various undemocratic ploys to reverse the vote ever since. 

    For my leftist friends, I’ve been recommending this film (along with Victor Davis Hanson’s The Case For Trump) as a matter of strategy. “Keep it up, and you’ll keep losing,” is my basic message. If you don’t understand why people voted for Trump, you won’t be able to convince them to vote for you.

     

    • #13
    • September 22, 2019, at 7:00 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. philo Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Rodin: Unelected, unaccountable policy-makers are not self-government. Period.

    Amen to that.

    Clearly, you guys do not understand the fundamental and natural purity of the progressive hearts and minds:

    The key to Wilson’s separation of politics and administration is to keep the former out of the latter’s way. Administration, after all, is properly the province of scientific experts in the bureaucracy; the experts’ competence in the specific technological means required to achieve those ends on which we are all agreed gives them the authority to administer or regulate progress, unhindered by the realm of politics. Politics can claim no such expertise. – Pages 127-128

    Perhaps most important, a civil service appointment, with its secure tenure and independence from politics, would allow a bureaucrat to disregard special interests and act on behalf of the general interest. The civil servant would be beholden to no particular interest other than the public good. Here, Wilson assumed—precisely as Hegel had in The Philosophy of Right—that the secure position in the bureaucracy would somehow eliminate the natural self-interestedness of the civil servant, and that an administrative appointment (with a good salary and life tenure) would somehow free the official of his particularity so that he could focus solely on the objective will. … – Page 229

    Yet in spite of the openness to all classes of society, Wilson conceded that those awarded bureaucratic positions would naturally be those with a elite education. This system remains fundamentally “popular” as long as the competition for administrative positions remains, de jure, open to all. – Page 241

    It appears that the illusion of self-government is as close as they are going to let you get to actual self-government. But, as I am sure you are aware, these are, in fact, one and the same…they clearly say so on Morning Joe all the time. (For the record, that link in the previous sentence is certified as a good faith endorsement from a troll free source. How embarrassing…and I pay for this?)

    • #14
    • September 22, 2019, at 7:28 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  15. cdor Member

    I think a strong example of your point in this post is same sex marriage. I have never been an antagonist to free association. But it sure irked me when, after State after State after State held actual voter referendums on same sex marriage and the proposal lost time and again, the courts just turned around and decided for us. In the most part, not only did actual votes fail to enact the new laws, but state legislatures also mainly failed to pass laws allowing gay marriage. And yet, here we are in 2019 and same sex marriage is absolutely the law of the land. How did that happen?

    • #15
    • September 22, 2019, at 7:49 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  16. GrannyDude Member

    philo (View Comment):
    Yet in spite of the openness to all classes of society, Wilson conceded that those awarded bureaucratic positions would naturally be those with a elite education. This system remains fundamentally “popular” as long as the competition for administrative positions remains, de jure, open to all. – Page 241

    But not black people.

    • #16
    • September 22, 2019, at 8:57 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. GrannyDude Member

     

    Maine voted SSM in. Which—I agree— was how it should have happened. Even if the vote was a bit lopsided, the necessity of getting people to vote at all meant that the argument was engaged, was pretty darned civil, and the verdict of the vote was accepted. 

    Imagine that! Maybe the founders were onto something with this “government by the people” thing?

     

    • #17
    • September 22, 2019, at 9:01 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  18. Mark Camp Member

    Some clarification of semanitcs is needed here.

    Self-government is a term traditionally used to describe liberal government. The protracted American Revolution* established the first asperationally liberal national government, and thus the first government based on the pursuit of the principle of “self-government”.

    Because of this semantic tradition, and because that liberal revolution was unquestionably a triumph for justice and human prosperity, the word self-government is fraught with the senses of moral and practical virtue.

    A new definition is being used by many here: self-rule==majoritarianism.

    Majoritarianism (or “populism”) is inherently and profoundly anti-liberal. It is a system of class-based tyranny.

    So. If someone uses self-rule in the traditional sense, many of us (the “the conservatives”, or “the liberals”, if you like) are gung-ho for “self-government”. If you mean it as it is mainly being used here, we are violently opposed to “self-government.”

    *the Revolution proper, plus the war to eradicate slavery, plus the civil struggle to eradicate Jim Crow laws.

    • #18
    • September 22, 2019, at 11:43 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. Full Size Tabby Member

    philo (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Rodin: Unelected, unaccountable policy-makers are not self-government. Period.

    Amen to that.

    Clearly, you guys do not understand the fundamental and natural purity of the progressive hearts and minds:

    The key to Wilson’s separation of politics and administration is to keep the former out of the latter’s way. Administration, after all, is properly the province of scientific experts in the bureaucracy; the experts’ competence in the specific technological means required to achieve those ends on which we are all agreed gives them the authority to administer or regulate progress, unhindered by the realm of politics. Politics can claim no such expertise. – Pages 127-128

    Perhaps most important, a civil service appointment, with its secure tenure and independence from politics, would allow a bureaucrat to disregard special interests and act on behalf of the general interest. The civil servant would be beholden to no particular interest other than the public good. Here, Wilson assumed—precisely as Hegel had in The Philosophy of Right—that the secure position in the bureaucracy would somehow eliminate the natural self-interestedness of the civil servant, and that an administrative appointment (with a good salary and life tenure) would somehow free the official of his particularity so that he could focus solely on the objective will. … – Page 229

    Yet in spite of the openness to all classes of society, Wilson conceded that those awarded bureaucratic positions would naturally be those with a elite education. This system remains fundamentally “popular” as long as the competition for administrative positions remains, de jure, open to all. – Page 241

    It appears that the illusion of self-government is as close as they are going to let you get to actual self-government. But, as I am sure you are aware, these are, in fact, one and the same…they clearly say so on Morning Joe all the time. (For the record, that link in the previous sentence is certified as a good faith endorsement from a troll free source. How embarrassing…and I pay for this?)

    I consider it extremely disingenuous of the Progressives to claim that “administration” could be divorced from “politics.” Every “administration” decision inherently involves a prioritization of policy preferences that are based on worldview, and can never (or maybe almost never) be a matter of pure scientific decision making. 

    • #19
    • September 22, 2019, at 12:19 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Rodin Member
    Rodin Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Some clarification of semanitcs is needed here.

    Self-government is a term traditionally used to describe liberal government. The protracted American Revolution* established the first asperationally liberal national government, and thus the first government based on the pursuit of the principle of “self-government”.

    Because of this semantic tradition, and because that liberal revolution was unquestionably a triumph for justice and human prosperity, the word self-government is fraught with the senses of moral and practical virtue.

    A new definition is being used by many here: self-rule==majoritarianism.

    Majoritarianism (or “populism”) is inherently and profoundly anti-liberal. It is a system of class-based tyranny.

    So. If someone uses self-rule in the traditional sense, many of us (the “the conservatives”, or “the liberals”, if you like) are gung-ho for “self-government”. If you mean it as it is mainly being used here, we are violently opposed to “self-government.”

    *the Revolution proper, plus the war to eradicate slavery, plus the civil struggle to eradicate Jim Crow laws.

    Words are being used in a lot of different ways. The current “populist” movement is a revolt against politicians making sinecures for themselves, delegating law-making functions to unaccountable civil masters (not “servants”) and otherwise observing only the forms of elections without taking direction from the electorate. I doubt few on this site believe in majoritarianism without limits on the power of the masses to abrogate individual liberty. But if “We the People” is to have any meaning, politicians and the Administration has to take their lead from the electorate and not ignore them as they have been doing.

    • #20
    • September 22, 2019, at 12:20 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  21. philo Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Rodin: Unelected, unaccountable policy-makers are not self-government. Period.

    Amen to that.

    Clearly, you guys do not understand the fundamental and natural purity of the progressive hearts and minds:

    The key to Wilson’s separation of politics and administration is to keep the former out of the latter’s way. Administration, after all, is properly the province of scientific experts in the bureaucracy; the experts’ competence in the specific technological means required to achieve those ends on which we are all agreed gives them the authority to administer or regulate progress, unhindered by the realm of politics. Politics can claim no such expertise. – Pages 127-128

    Perhaps most important, a civil service appointment, with its secure tenure and independence from politics, would allow a bureaucrat to disregard special interests and act on behalf of the general interest. The civil servant would be beholden to no particular interest other than the public good. Here, Wilson assumed—precisely as Hegel had in The Philosophy of Right—that the secure position in the bureaucracy would somehow eliminate the natural self-interestedness of the civil servant, and that an administrative appointment (with a good salary and life tenure) would somehow free the official of his particularity so that he could focus solely on the objective will. … – Page 229

    Yet in spite of the openness to all classes of society, Wilson conceded that those awarded bureaucratic positions would naturally be those with a elite education. This system remains fundamentally “popular” as long as the competition for administrative positions remains, de jure, open to all. – Page 241

    It appears that the illusion of self-government is as close as they are going to let you get to actual self-government. But, as I am sure you are aware, these are, in fact, one and the same…they clearly say so on Morning Joe all the time. (For the record, that link in the previous sentence is certified as a good faith endorsement from a troll free source. How embarrassing…and I pay for this?)

    I consider it extremely disingenuous of the Progressives to claim that “administration” could be divorced from “politics.” Every “administration” decision inherently involves a prioritization of policy preferences that are based on worldview, and can never (or maybe almost never) be a matter of pure scientific decision making.

    One should not openly doubt Saint Woodrow in that way. Tread lightly, comrade.

    • #21
    • September 22, 2019, at 12:25 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. GrannyDude Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I consider it extremely disingenuous of the Progressives to claim that “administration” could be divorced from “politics.” Every “administration” decision inherently involves a prioritization of policy preferences that are based on worldview, and can never (or maybe almost never) be a matter of pure scientific decision making. 

    What’s so strange (or maybe predictable?) about this is that Intersectional post-modern blah blah explicitly holds that a person or institution cannot possibly be separated from all the various “identities” that combine to shape and—mostly—limit experience. To the extent that intersectionality has any insights to offer, these only undergird the necessity for the structures and balances that the Founders laboriously worked out. 

    • #22
    • September 22, 2019, at 1:46 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  23. Henry Castaigne Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):
    Yet in spite of the openness to all classes of society, Wilson conceded that those awarded bureaucratic positions would naturally be those with a elite education. This system remains fundamentally “popular” as long as the competition for administrative positions remains, de jure, open to all. – Page 241

    But not black people.

    I doubt he was a big fan of Native Americans either. Ulysses S. Grant was much more open minded about that sort of thing. 

    • #23
    • September 22, 2019, at 2:42 PM PST
    • 1 like