Towards a Restoration Workers’ Return

 

This is my first Member Post, and it started as a quick comment. I soon realized it was getting at something I have wanted to explore a tad deeper, so I have brought it here for your reading pleasure. Thoughts and feedback are highly appreciated. Thank you Ricochet, and thank you dear reader.

Near the end of the most recent Law Talk with Richard Epstein and John Yoo, (#145 The Housewarming Party), Prof. Yoo discussed a recent dissent by Judge Laurence Silberman. Yoo spoke to the change in Silberman’s rulings/philosophy and GOP/Conservatism as one that has become more “populist, anti-institution.” I couldn’t agree more – though perhaps not for the reasons that the culinary savant Yoo may think.

Prof. Epstein makes a good retort that it is because they (the institutions) have “behaved badly.” This explains the changed stance toward corporations and institutions that GOP/Conservative coalitions are going through at the moment. This “populism” is best understood as, “the general public’s movement towards political and institutional changes because of dismay with their elite.”

Populism defined as a du jour movement paints too broadly and fails to highlight the reason for the change.

Epstein lists several examples of “behaving badly” and also points out that the Left is also experiencing its own populist movement. The difference lies in which direction the changes are going and how the parties themselves are changing.

The Left is finding itself further captured by internal forces that are in thrall of a system-leveling, utopian march that has been growing for the better part of the last century. Whereas the Right, once champions of the very cultural and political institutions that were (often properly) viewed as the bedrock of this American society, has seen a dramatically accelerating shift in the direction of these institutions. Not at all led by social/political bottom-up change through slow integration and understanding as is desired by the Right, but rather through direct top-down realignment by those who should rightfully be referred to as the Elite.

The Elite are turning the corporate behemoths in this country into something more akin to Mussolini’s National Council of Corporations; those Elites in the political institutions are bringing about the new Red Scare in their continual Blue-Anon conspiracies; those Elites in the cultural and literary circles raising up new Cathedrals and Pravdas – complete with their own ever-expanding lists of sin from which the only repose is acceptance and conformity. Not a glimmer of benevolence or conversational dignity is to be found.

It is against this Elite that Yoo’s former judge-boss is turning. I applaud those complaining that the mortar of our American foundation that should be repaired and renewed is instead being dismantled. The stones not just chipped away at but rather unceremoniously carried off and casually discarded. The structure will not stand without a solid foundation (perhaps the goal for some), and thankfully it seems (according to polling/social science study) that the general masses are none-too-pleased to see Demolition Crews arriving on the sites of their own communities. The people are asking in their pluralistic ways (both Left, Center, and Right – but really driving many into the Realigning Right – more on that another time) for the return of Restoration Workers.

When faced with a corrupt and captured Elite, the only proper answer for the people is to take a stir at the Populist pot and distill from that stew the hopeful cure. This hopefully fragrant Balm of Gilead will inspire, reinvigorate, motivate, and awaken that American spirit in those who will lead our future institutions, and in due course, reconstitute a proper elite focused on building and beauty as opposed to iconoclasm and destruction.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Quickz: This is my first Member Post. . .

    Welcome. It only took you four years. 😉

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Quickz: For the people, when faced with a corrupt and captured Elite, the only proper answer is to take a stir at the Populist pot and distill over time from that stew the hopeful cure, the hopefully fragrant Balm of Gilead, that which will inspire, reinvigorate, motivate, and awaken that American spirit in those that will lead our future institutions, and in due course reconstitute a proper elite focused on building and beauty as opposed to iconoclasm and destruction.

    Amen!

    • #2
  3. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Quickz: This is my first Member Post. . .

    Welcome. It only took you four years. 😉

    Oh man, I have come close to commenting so many times – but a lurker I was for so long! If you take into account the years before I officially joined – my my my – where has the time gone? 

    • #3
  4. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Slow to start from seed.  Fast grower once established.  Let’s hope.

    (Sorry.  Gardening metaphors abound for me at this time of year.)

    Welcome, new Ricochet poster!

    • #4
  5. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Impressive, first post or not. Keep ’em coming.

    Nice that someone remembered Mussolini’s various operations. There were a lot of prominent Americans who thought Mussolini had the right idea, until he got steamrolled by the short guy with the moustache.

    • #5
  6. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Quickz: This is my first Member Post. . .

    Welcome. It only took you four years. 😉

    It was worth the wait.

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    until he got steamrolled by the short guy with the moustache.

    Hitler wasn’t short. He was about 5’8″, which was pretty average for the time. It’s just like Napoleon was an inch above average for his time. In Boney’s case, part of the problem was that the French foot and inch were longer than the English foot and inch, so Napoleon was reported as 5’2″ French measure, but was more like 5’6″ English measure.

    • #7
  8. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    until he got steamrolled by the short guy with the moustache.

    Hitler wasn’t short. He was about 5’8″, which was pretty average for the time. It’s just like Napoleon was an inch above average for his time. In Boney’s case, part of the problem was that the French foot and inch were longer than the English foot and inch, so Napoleon was reported as 5’2″ French measure, but was more like 5’6″ English measure.

    The French had bigger feet than the English?

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Stina (View Comment):
    The French had bigger feet than the English?

    One French king who set the standard had bigger feet than one English king who set the standard. And quit that! I know where you were going.

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I hope the other commentors to this post remember to “like” it too.

    Meanwhile, one of the big problems I think our side faces, is the number of (supposed?) Conservatives who automatically recoil from “populism” because they’ve come to believe – or been programmed to believe – that “populism” is always bad.

    • #10
  11. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I hope the other commentors to this post remember to “like” it too.

    Meanwhile, one of the big problems I think our side faces, is the number of (supposed?) Conservatives who automatically recoil from “populism” because they’ve come to believe – or been programmed to believe – that “populism” is always bad.

    Thanks for the support @kedavis, appreciate that.

    I completely understand those people you are referring to, it makes sense – for much of their lives (however long or short), they have grown to view many institutions as “good” and to-be-preserved. The Left also, as is their want (see the use of the words Progressive, Liberal, Forward-Thinking, Problem-Solving, Common Sense, etc.) used the term Populism to wrap their own radical minority who wanted to tear down those same institutions in some semblance of “common-man” clothing.

    It was this Populism that the Right (correctly in my mind) pushed back against. Sadly, in not properly drawing lines in the sand with language (for example: dismissing the Left’s “populism” as nothing of the sort – it being a minority and faith in the common institutions at that time enjoying a plurality of support nationally).

    By (unconsciously?) accepting the premise that the Left’s movement was “Populism”, it further entrenches to the mind of a passive reader that Populism = bad, nasty Lefties trying to take down American institutions, which results in exactly what you wrote, “they’ve come to believe – or been programmed to believe – that “populism” is always bad.”

    I think it can be persuasively argued that they (the more radical Leftists) have become partially successful, especially at the national/global corporate level, the Federal level, and many state & city govs now. I still feel that a strong majority of citizens are opposed to them, many don’t realize still what is happening. More do every day though. The more we discuss the proper way to view populism, and what is behind the current wave (restoration not revolution), the more we can (forgive the word) progress.

    The current abuse of words like justice, equality, equity, fairness, oppressor, and others that make up the vile Smörgåsbord presented to us by many French Post-Modernists makes discussion of these topics difficult with anyone recently educated in our system. There are some that speaking with is simpler, but with many you must take so very much time establishing accepted definition of terms that quick lucid conversation is uncommon. This is why forums like Facebook and gutters like Twitter are extraordinarily difficult to have a conversation on.

    Now I’m rambling again. Lol

    • #11
  12. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Welcome Quickz! Nice first post.

    • #12
  13. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Quickz (View Comment):
    Now I’m rambling again. Lol

    Richer for it, so ramble on.

    • #13
  14. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I hope the other commentors to this post remember to “like” it too.

    Meanwhile, one of the big problems I think our side faces, is the number of (supposed?) Conservatives who automatically recoil from “populism” because they’ve come to believe – or been programmed to believe – that “populism” is always bad.

    Yes. Every time I hear “populism,” I think of Huey Long. 

    • #14
  15. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Not too shabby for a first post. Now, go back and comment on all the ones you missed!

    • #15
  16. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    until he got steamrolled by the short guy with the moustache.

    Hitler wasn’t short. He was about 5’8″, which was pretty average for the time. It’s just like Napoleon was an inch above average for his time. In Boney’s case, part of the problem was that the French foot and inch were longer than the English foot and inch, so Napoleon was reported as 5’2″ French measure, but was more like 5’6″ English measure.

    I sit corrected. At 6 foot 5, to me he’s short.

    • #16
  17. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Welcome to the conversation. I was more excited by your expressed view in your post than I can recall in any recent first post. The one thing I have dreaded recently is any prospect that the restoration of our American republic might require resort to armed conflict. I still hope this will never happen. The task to accomplish this with an elite, many of whom have lost something that will be required, will not be an easy one. Keep up the work exemplified by this beginning.

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    At 6 foot 5, to me he’s short.

    At 6’5″, almost everyone is short.

    • #18
  19. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Not too shabby for a first post. Now, go back and comment on all the ones you missed!

    Thanks so much, I already see some things I would change – like starting two paragraphs in a row with, “It is…”

    All the ones I missed! Ha! I don’t know how some can be so productive online. I see some people post, reply, reply again, have jobs, sleep, haha – how do they *do* all this in a day! With my faith, wife. newly arrived son, job, job#2, social group, political groups, and trying to read/keep abreast on various topics the idea of upping my participation on Ricochet is likely foolish – but ooh let’s just jump in. :) Thanks again.

    • #19
  20. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Welcome to the conversation. I was more excited by your expressed view in your post than I can recall in any recent first post. The one thing I have dreaded recently is any prospect that the restoration of our American republic might require resort to armed conflict. I still hope this will never happen. The task to accomplish this with an elite, many of whom have lost something that will be required, will not be an easy one. Keep up the work exemplified by this beginning.

    I will make a passionate argument that we are nowhere near – even remotely near – a situation where armed resistance is necessary or likely. You would have to see inta-state compacts against groups of people, armed removal and jailing of citizenry for political views, roving gangs murdering people for identity/politics, militarization to a level that would make the 2000’s LAPD blush, massive distrust among people, the breakdown of civil society, blockades on freeways, bombings in multiples of what happened in the 70s – in general a focused level of repression that would even begin to foster the fertile soil for armed resistance is no where in site.

    Look at the 1/6 riot – a good example of where a “crackdown” could have happened – already in the courts the over-reaching by Federal agents is coming into question, misdemeanors are being handed out instead of the threatened felonies, alarms and hackles are raised immediately for this one event. If we were in the dire straights before revolution you would not hear boo about these folks. Boom. Gone. Gulag or Guantanamo.

    Instead we have a diverse conversation of rights, trespassing law, comparisons to other instances of public rioting, individual cases shown under the light of public court hearings – none of this is anywhere close to a civil breakdown.

    And statistically speaking, we care about our neighbors, eat at our local restaurants, shop in our local and big box stores, joke with the cashier about the crazy times, look forward together for sodas and movies again. Yes there are areas that are definitely more “intense” than others, but the great movement away from these places INSTEAD of INTO them belies that this is not a state of being that the average person wants to be in.

    Life is good, and we (general population) are waking from our slumber (like America always do over history) beginning to speak out against the corruptions we see and beginning to start the changes that will repair and reinvigorate our institutions.

    We went from Farm to Factory, from Town/Regional Power to Global Power, from a somewhat small Federal government to a Centralized Power Nation.

    Now we (likely) go from Centralized Power Nation to a properly Disbursed Power Nation. Anti-Fragile, Federalism, Regional distinctions, culinary and athletic differences celebrated, further development of accents away from the “California accent” that rose post-60s, more community, more church, and more God.

    Or the whole thing collapses and burns. Nah.

    • #20
  21. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Well, I have to admit that since I retired I do have more time to spend on Ricochet.  And to write on my personal blog.  I used to go weeks between posts, but now I’m posting nearly every day, and sometimes twice a day at RushBabe49.com.  This is a news environment that simply demands comment.

    One more thing.  The atmosphere of DC is toxic, and it doesn’t take a new congressperson very long for his brain to become addicted to the perks, and to forget what he is there for (supposedly representing his constituents).  I think that’s one big reason the Elites have become so, and a good reason to quite re-electing incumbents (yeah, right, never happen).

    • #21
  22. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

     

    Hey @RushBabe49! What a great site you have! That top post was just great to go through – I’ve realized the allure and proper civic beauty of Art Deco myself in the last seven years, and all those photos are great and show your “eye” for the interesting – at least to me!

    Check it out folks: https://rushbabe49.com/2021/03/27/lens-artists-photo-challenge-141-geometry/

    • #22
  23. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Quickz (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

     

    Hey @ RushBabe49! What a great site you have! That top post was just great to go through – I’ve realized the allure and proper civic beauty of Art Deco myself in the last seven years, and all those photos are great and show your “eye” for the interesting – at least to me!

    Check it out folks: https://rushbabe49.com/2021/03/27/lens-artists-photo-challenge-141-geometry/

    Go ahead and follow my blog, in the right sidebar.  Then you get an email whenever I put up a new post, and you can comment.

    P.S.  Congrats on the new kiddo!

    • #23
  24. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Quickz (View Comment):

    Life is good, and we (general population) are waking from our slumber (like America always do over history) beginning to speak out against the corruptions we see and beginning to start the changes that will repair and reinvigorate our institutions.

    We went from Farm to Factory, from Town/Regional Power to Global Power, from a somewhat small Federal government to a Centralized Power Nation.

    Now we (likely) go from Centralized Power Nation to a properly Disbursed Power Nation. Anti-Fragile, Federalism, Regional distinctions, culinary and athletic differences celebrated, further development of accents away from the “California accent” that rose post-60s, more community, more church, and more God.

     

    That’s what I hope for. 

    • #24
  25. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    At 6 foot 5, to me he’s short.

    At 6’5″, almost everyone is short.

    I never insult short people. They hit lower.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    And welcome to the Main Feed!

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    At 6 foot 5, to me he’s short.

    At 6’5″, almost everyone is short.

    I never insult short people. They hit lower.

    There was a fun bit in The Big Bang Theory, sadly I can’t find a clip.  More or less, Bernadette says to Penny, “When you’re so short you come up to other peoples’ waist, that’s where you punch.”  And Penny says “That’s funny, I learned something completely different.”

    • #27
  28. John Yoo Contributor
    John Yoo
    @JohnYoo

    Hi @quickz and thanks for listening!

    Conservatives should generally favor the preservation of institutions, even as those institutions drift in unhealthy directions.  Sometimes I worry that my co-host Richard so falls in love with ideas — however rational and coherent they are — that he would remake the world along revolutionary lines (for example, his discussion in the last episode of his theory of bargaining with the state).  I tend to agree with Richard’s revolutionary ideas, such as the general efficiency of the free market, decentralization of government power, and a wide scope to individual liberties.  But I also believe that it takes societies much time and resources to build institutions which are all too easily pulled down and even harder to replace.  I’ve also thought Chesterton’s quip — something along the lines of do not remove a fence until you know why it was put there in the first place — has much wisdom to it.  I worry that the rise in populism, on both the left and the right, threatens our institutions (however misguided their current leadership is) without viable replacements that would improve matters.  

    • #28
  29. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    John Yoo (View Comment):
    I’ve also thought Chesterton’s quip — something along the lines of do not remove a fence until you know why it was put there in the first place — has much wisdom to it.  I worry that the rise in populism, on both the left and the right, threatens our institutions (however misguided their current leadership is) without viable replacements that would improve matters.  

    I hope nobody minds if I jump in too…

    I don’t think the Right’s “interest” in removing or deconstructing institutions is anywhere the level of the Left’s.  Perhaps just the opposite, since the Right’s populism is an insistence that institutions respect and respond to the people, a return to their original purpose; where the Left’s populism is more like telling institutions, as if they were bratty children, “You’re not the boss of me!” and if the institutions continue to exist at all, they can only be allowed to exist as hollow shells that merely tell the Left that everything they’re doing is just fine.

    • #29
  30. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    kedavis (View Comment):

    John Yoo (View Comment):
    I’ve also thought Chesterton’s quip — something along the lines of do not remove a fence until you know why it was put there in the first place — has much wisdom to it. I worry that the rise in populism, on both the left and the right, threatens our institutions (however misguided their current leadership is) without viable replacements that would improve matters.

    I hope nobody minds if I jump in too…

    I don’t think the Right’s “interest” in removing or deconstructing institutions is anywhere the level of the Left’s. Perhaps just the opposite, since the Right’s populism is an insistence that institutions respect and respond to the people, a return to their original purpose; where the Left’s populism is more like telling institutions, as if they were bratty children, “You’re not the boss of me!” and if the institutions continue to exist at all, they can only be allowed to exist as hollow shells that merely tell the Left that everything they’re doing is just fine.

    This. I don’t understand why or how it is conservative to uphold corrupt institutions that have turned to facilitating and enabling tyranny.

    That seems like we are too wedded to the shallow representation of the institutions rather than the deeper ideals they were meant to protect.

    • #30