The Democratic Party has become the political party of identity politics, and they are taking identity politics to ridiculous extremes. So it is that we have the theory of intersectionality.
in·ter·sec·tion·al·i·ty | \ ˌin-tər-ˌsek-shə-ˈna-lə-tē \
: the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups
//[Kimberlé] Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality, the idea that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct.
— Adia Harvey Wingfiel
What are identity politics and intersectionality all about? Becoming a victim, but why would anyone want to be a victim? Victims get to blame others for their sins. Nothing is their fault. The shame of a victim belongs to someone else.
Consider the definition.
vic·tim | \ ˈvik-təm \
1: one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent
//the schools are victims of the social system: such as
a (1): one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions
//a victim of cancer
//a victim of the auto crash
//a murder victim
(2): one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment
//a frequent victim of political attacks
b: one that is tricked or duped
//a con man’s victim
2: a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite
As the definition indicates, a victim has the luxury of blaming someone else. A victim has no responsibility. A victim has no guilt and no shame. Click here and here. Contemplate the meaning of guilt. Study the meaning of shame. Learn the difference between guilt and shame.
Though Guilt and Shame are twins, born in the garden (author’s note: Garden of Eden), only moments apart, they aren’t identical. Guilt is usually tied to an event: I did something bad. Shame is tied to a person: I am bad. Guilt is the wound. Shame is the scar. Guilt is isolated to the individual. Shame is contagious.
When you violate God’s laws you feel guilt. But that emotion is quickly, nearly simultaneously, joined by shame. Guilt says, “You did something wrong.” Shame says, “That’s why you need to hide. You’re no good. You deserve to live in darkness. Come with me; I’ll lead the way.” (from here (thegospelcoalition.org))
When something bad happens, a victim can throw off the guilt and the shame. A victim merely has to establish a perpetrator. The perpetrator owns the guilt. The perpetrator is the person we can shame. This is what makes being a victim so desirable. This is why identity politics and the theory of intersectionality are so “useful”. Identity politics and the theory of intersectionality provide some people, victims, politically correct ways to shift their guilt and shame to someone else.
Are there perpetrators who need to be stopped and punished? Are there victims who need to be protected and helped? Yes and yes, but identity politics and the theory of intersectionality don’t have much to do with authentic perpetrators and victims. Identity politics and the theory of intersectionality is about creating a political coalition based upon bigotry of people determined to be victims.
There is a better way, a way that honors the truth and provides forgiveness for all, the Gospel. What is the Gospel? The Apostle Paul provided this explanation for the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Resurrection of Christ
15 And now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm. 2 That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it—unless it was for nothing that you believed.
3 I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; 4 that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; 5 that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, and afterward to all the apostles.
8 Last of all he appeared also to me—even though I am like someone whose birth was abnormal. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles—I do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted God’s church. 10 But by God’s grace I am what I am, and the grace that he gave me was not without effect. On the contrary, I have worked harder than any of the other apostles, although it was not really my own doing, but God’s grace working with me. 11 So then, whether it came from me or from them, this is what we all preach, and this is what you believe.
Jesus died for our sins. Thanks to Him, we have forgiveness. God has saved us. “It is finished!” We don’t have to be slaves to sin.
To escape our feelings of guilt and shame, we don’t have to shift the blame to someone else, which doesn’t really work anyway. We just have to accept the gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Instead of finding new excuses to become a victim, we just need to have faith in Jesus Christ. We just need to forgive each other and look out for each other’s welfare.
Which would you rather be, a victim or a child of God? A slave to sin or free?
I understand the context of your post. Statements such as “Victims get to blame others for their sins. Nothing is their fault. The shame of a victim belongs to someone else;” concern me however in that they could be taken out of context of “identity politics and intersectionality.” I have been a Chaplain and working with inmate recovery and counseling for nearly 20 years. Some are truly “victims” and feel the guilt and shame of their actions while others victimize and as you point out play the blame game.
There are “real” victims. Job was a real victim of Satan, and he wanted an end to his suffering. So he turned to God and asked him to judge his case. Job did not spend his time worrying about who to blame. Instead, Job’s accusers — his three friends — added to his sorrows by wrongly blaming him.
Job knew God had allowed his suffering, and he wondered why. But God did not explain Himself to Job. God does not have to explain Himself to His creatures. That’s why we sometimes suffer, and we have no idea why. When that happens all we can do is trust God, understand to if we trust Him — as Job did — He will take care of us.
Is it appropriate to fix blame? Yes, but we do that to deter miscreants from victimizing their fellow human beings. We fix blame as part of an orderly judicial process. We don’t do it just to stifle debate and shame our political opponents into silence.
t’s all part of outrage theatre.
Hard to have a hero without any victims.
The shortcut to winning at the game of outrage theater is to make oneself a de facto hero via victim status.
“As a lesbian woman in a military organization I have overcome extreme diversity on all fronts”
(the recently disgraced USAF Academy commandant of cadets made this claim on the regular…when in fact, her “victimhood” granted her teflon status and much was overlooked in the quest to put her in charge of…well, real victims of her manipulation and incompetence, and btw the person replacing her is no better. They really should just close the academy at this point).
Looks like the lesbian general’s primary problem was that it was everyone else’s fault. Great example to add to this post.
Very true Tom. Those Christians in some countries who are victimized because of their identity as Christians should realize that they are not victims and we should quit treating them as victims. Their faith is their reward, a reward that cannot be taken away by any oppressor. Jesus explains this in so many places in the gospel. However, as you know, we Christian’s consciously “choose” our identity as followers of Christ.
On the other hand, don’t you think that Jesus also expects Christians to seek justice for those who are unfairly persecuted for “identities” that they do not choose, such as their sexuality, the color of their skin or the situation into which they were born? And don’t you see how a person can be especially persecuted when two or more of this identities “intersect”? For example on August 28, 1955 in Mississippi,14 year old Emmett Till was lynched by a white mob allegedly for sexually offending a white woman in a grocery store. Had Emmett Till not been born black and male do you think that he would have been victimized to this extent? Who was morally to “blame” for Emmett’s lynching? Emmett himself?
When I lived in Seattle, as the Black Lives Matter movement began, the man who headed King County, who was himself a protestant minister and just happened to be a black man, reported having been pulled over by his own local police numerous times. He said he never speeds or breaks any traffic laws and never on any of these occasions was he charged with anything or given any citation. However, on each occasion, except the last one, the police officer made up some arbitrary reason for pulling him over. On that last occasion, our county’s lead official asked why he was pulled over, and the police officer simply said “no reason”. On several other occasions, this official said that his black sons had been questioned by police for simply walking in their own affluent neighborhood. The father feared for their lives if they were to complain about or resist this obvious harassment. Was this man and his young sons being victimized by police simply because of their race and gender, their identity?
The prisons are full of men and women of color in proportions far beyond the proportion of their make up the societies in which they live. Obviously, there are many reasons for this which go beyond race or gender, but to say that obvious endemic institutional and individual prejudices can be ignored is like ignoring the rain even when you”re soaked to the bone.
I’m not a big fan of the identity politics on either side, but that doesn’t make prejudice any less real. Intersectionality may indeed be overblown. However, pretending that racism and sexism are not real just because Democrats are using it as a weapon for political gain just doesn’t make the actuality of racism and sexism any less a problem for our country or for those who are being victimized by it. Do you think that playing down their actual victimhood with word games might just be drive them into the arms of Democrats?
That’s funny! You “agree” that Christians should not complain about other Christians being martyred for their faith, but we should feel sorry for blacks who are pulled over for driving while black even if they are Christians? If that is not an example of the soft bigotry of low expectations, then what is?
Please read my post carefully. Then do a word search in the Bible on the word “partial”. You will learn about the sin of partiality. Giving someone special treatment just because they are rich, of a certain race, sex, political party, or belong to some crazy identity group we favor is wrong.
We have to have a practical reason for giving someone special treatment. Do you let your wife and children into your home in preference to others? Yep! Do you exclude poor people from your church? No. If you are a merchant, do you show a preference for people who can afford to pay for what you are selling? Kind of unavoidable, is it not? Do we exclude people of a different race from a public swimming pool? No. Do we enforce our borders to keep out illegal immigrants. Sure do!
We don’t form identity groups just to bully people who don’t agree with our personal preferences. That’s what the Democrats are doing. Identity groups exist to discriminate.
Is it proper to say black lives matter? Sure is, but we cannot say anybody else’s lives matter? If that is not idiotic, what is? Yet that is the point Democrats have reached.
To insist that boys have the right to play on girl’s sports teams and use girl’s locker rooms and restrooms because of their “gender identity” is just insane. Yet that is what identity obsessed Ddemocrats want.
Identity politics is for people who refuse to give up their bigotry. That is the main point I want people to get from this post, and I hope you do.
When someone is driving, and a policeman stops them for no good reason, that’s the problem. The clown is abusing his authority. That makes him a threat to everyone, not just blacks.
“That’s funny! You ‘agree’ that Christians should not complain about other Christians being martyred for their faith, but we should feel sorry for blacks who are pulled over for driving while black even if they are Christians? If that is not an example of the soft bigotry of low expectations, then what is?“
I don’t agree that it’s “funny” when anyone gets persecuted, whether for their confessional faith or for the color of their skin. But it was meant as a parody of your premise that our ”identity“ alone, whether faith or color, can’t subject someone to unjust persecution. Sorry that you seemed to miss the paradoxical irony that I tried to present. Read it again and maybe you’ll get it.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Do we enforce our borders to keep out illegal immigrants. Sure do!”
I don’t believe what you’re saying here is actually biblical. Christians don’t exclude people from their house because of the color of their skin or their religion or because they are a stranger or even for their sins (otherwise EVERYONE would be excluded). It is clear that Jesus did not exclude people for these reasons and He too was constantly criticized for it. I don’t think that your immigrant hatred is on the right side of the Gospel here brother.
As members of a representative democracy we decide who is “illegal” and who is “legal”. In so far as WE THE PEOPLE make people “illegal” and exclude them mainly based on their religion, skin color, cultural strangeness, sexuality, desparation or any other invidious reason, we are not acting as Christ would.
“We don’t form identity groups just to bully people who don’t agree with our personal preferences. That’s what the Democrats are doing. Identity groups exist to discriminate.”
I agree, and they should not do that and neither should supposedly “Christian” identity groups.
“Is it proper to say black lives matter? Sure is, but we cannot say anybody else’s lives matter? If that is not idiotic, what is? Yet that is the point Democrats have reached.”
What is idiotic is to play semantic games with actual human bigotry that undeniably causes suffering and injustice. The next time that a police officer pulls you over because you are driving while white or lynches you for complimenting a black woman, then you can pretend this “all lives matter” deflection isn’t just a racist trope.
“To insist that boys have the right to play on girl’s sports teams and use girl’s locker rooms and restrooms because of their ‘gender identity’ is just insane. Yet that is what identity obsessed Ddemocrats want.”
Is this a real world shattering issue for you? This is the fallacy of emphasizing the rare particular to prove the general. You watch faux news and hear an extreme example and suddenly the whole world is ending. It’s as silly as saying that all Republicans are racists because the vast majority of the extreme minority of white supremacists (as Ambassador Sondland said just love Trump’s ass.
“Identity politics is for people who refuse to give up their bigotry. That is the main point I want people to get from this post, and I hope you do.”
Ok. I got your main point and as I said, in many ways I agree, but both sides are playing this card. You propagandize against their tribe and are willfully blind to the sins of your own. Where such tribal hatred dominates the discourse at the expense of obvious truth, justice dies.
“When someone is driving, and a policeman stops them for no good reason, that’s the problem. The clown is abusing his authority. That makes him a threat to everyone, not just blacks.”
I agree with that too, and if cops actually were pulling over white people for doing nothing but being white, we would definitely do something about it, now wouldn’t we?
What is amazing to me is that this is only a partisan issue because the political parties each have cynically weaponized it to play to the “victimization”, justified or not, that their base feels. You are doing that here – only you are the poor victimized white Christian male. However, to say that certain people are not actually unjustly being victimized because of their race, creed or sexuality is to ignore reality in favor of pure party propaganda. It drives the real victims of the real persecution into the arms of the cynical political machine that, often only for pure partisan warfare purposes, chooses to recognizes their very real suffering. This includes Christians being driven Right by an increasingly secular, if not atheist Left, and minorities by a Right wing that is ambivalent to their actual persecution.
I don’t see much actual Christianity going on in either party these days. Elements of each party will sell their souls for the sake of loyalty to their political tribalism. With the inherently corrupt Donald Trump in charge of the Republicans these days, I just think that far too many Republicans are selling their souls at bargain basesment prices. And too many other otherwise good Republicans are so consumed by their absolutely irrational hatred of Democrats in the cognitive distortion of their binary choices between good and evil that they will excuse any evil in themselves just to win, win, win at all costs to their country.
It is a big enough deal that Democrats put it front and center long before I did.
I live in an area where godless, shameless, sex obsessed, fools are trying to push their insane beliefs into our public schools. Unfortunately, Republican politicians are afraid to talk about social issues. Only Democrats are allowed to talk about social issues. Why? Because of the social issues and the immigration issue, Democrats have had tons of money from people outside the state funding local races. In addition, we have a news media that is eager to call Conservative Republicans bigots, to immediately silence any rational discussion. So fearful candidates won’t take a stand.
I have talked to the Republican candidates. I know they don’t approve of what the Democrats want to do, but they are afraid of being persecuted, having their reputations destroyed and being confronted and abused by Democrat “advocates”.
You don’t think it is funny when anyone gets persecuted, but identity groups are okay based upon the strangest notions are okay? Don’t you realize we organize into identity groups in order to persecute other people?
If we are Christians, then our identity is in Jesus Christ. So that He can live through us, we love and obey Him. We don’t have an identity group. We a church that belongs to Him, is His body.
Can we have legitimate disagreement over what it means to love and obey Jesus Christ? Yes, and that is the principal reason the founders sought to protect religious freedom. We can argue about just about anything and everything.
Consider what the slave owners did when the persecuted blacks and enslaved them. They sought to organize whites, especially WASPs into an identity group that had both the right to enslave blacks for their own good. Gosh! They even used the Bible to excuse their behavior, and they spoke of that white man’s terrible burden. Look at how much trouble those pesky blacks give us for enslaving them, and it is for their own good.
After the success of the civil rights movement, did Democrats give up enslaving blacks for their own good? No. They just adapted the tools of government to use the welfare state to dominate the black vote and the votes of guilt-ridden whites, whites paying lip service to the equality of blacks. Using the public schools, the mass media, and the welfare system, they convinced blacks that only Democrats would give them what they “deserve”, other people’s money. Thus, Democrats helped to organize black identity groups in order to persecute supposedly racist whites. Was it not amazing how suddenly all those Republicans started hating blacks? Must have been a southern strategy. The question is whose southern strategy.
Even the immigration issue revolves around identity politics. Instead of debating the merits of using our borders to protect our nation, Democrats call their opponents on this issue selfish racists. That kind of idiot stupidity presumes too much, but it gives Democrats an excuse for ignoring the opposing view. They don’t have to discuss the perfectly legitimate reasons for keeping foreigners — strangers — out of our country.
We have obligations to God, our family, our friends, our immediate neighbors, our countrymen, and other Christians that come before any obligation we might have to people we don’t know. Does the Bible tell us to be kind to the stranger? Yes, even the Old Testament, which is supposed to depict an angry God, is quite explicit about that. Nevertheless, the Bible never condemns borders. In fact, the Bible instructed the Jewish people to do whatever they had to do to protect their culture. You want to call that tribalism? Frankly, I don’t think you understand how foolishly you use that word. How do tribes come to be? Are they are not formed initially by large, extended families? And that’s bad?
Is there something special about belonging to a family? Of course there is. When we accept Jesus Christ, the Father invites us into His family. Note the precondition! When we accept Jesus Christ, we repent of our sins, and put our faith in His Son, not something else.
Why can’t you discuss anything without issuing a condemnation of Donald Trump? You have an open mind? Perhaps, you ought to be more careful about what you let into it.
Do you really think you can execute your Christian beliefs using the government? Does not work. Trump is not some kind of demon. Obama and H. Clinton are not some kind of demigods. They are just fallible human beings.
When we try to execute our Christian beliefs using the government, that is not Christian. It is just putting our faith where it does not belong, in the state. To use the government that way, to execute our Christian beliefs, we have to render unto Caesar what belongs to God. We have to give up the rights of our fellow citizens, who have the image of God upon them, over to the power of the state. That is dead wrong.
As Christians, our identity is in Jesus Christ, not the government. Because charity is an act of love, and God is love, charity is of God, not government.
I wrote a lengthy response to this, but when I tried to post it, it somehow disappeared into the internet ether and was lost. Let me therefore just summarize it by saying that I utterly destroyed all you arguments.😉
Oh well, maybe I will find time to write something further on this later, but I need to go run and get ready to drive up to B’ham Monday for Turkey Day with our mutual family there.
In the time being, you may wish to look into how the great leader of your party went on faux news to perpetuate Putin’s own disinformation propaganda about the Crowdstrike and the Russian confabulated connection to Ukraine. If Trump doesn’t actually work for Putin, he’s either an amazing fool or some other type of lying rogue. You choose.
Saw your lengthy comment in the spam bucket, and I started to retrieve it by moving it into the pending queue. Unfortunately, when I tried to retrieve it from the pending queue, it disappeared. Weird!
I attempted to retrieve your comment on my cell phone. Not the best way.
Anyway, you may wish to be careful what you have to say about our president. Since you didn’t hear Trump’s phone call with the leader of Ukraine, sly and sleazy Shifty Schiff may consider you qualitied to come to DC to testify at our capitol in his dungeon SCIF.
Sounds like the SCIF I used to run in the Navy. We kept Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate in our safe. We had trained dragons and unicorns too. 😁
And now you have drag queens, experts in gender studies, and godless ethicists.
No, nothing that boringly real brother. We just tried to hide away in code word the fantastic real proof of all the endless seemingly confabulated Trump stories like Ted Cruz’s dad assassinating JFK, the tax records that show Trump really is a self made billionaire, evidence of the Clintons’ child sex pizza chain and pictures of Crowdstrike hiding the DNC’s server in a SCIF in Ukraine’s Parliament Building. Trump never actually lies 10 or 12 times a day. It all just looks and sounds like thousands of lies.
Why did we hide all this truth in a SCIF you may ask? Well, isn’t it obvious? It was to conceal the fact that “The Deep State” is actually “THE State”, including all the military, all the intelligence services, the entire state department every agent in the FBI and even the RNC.
My unit and the US military never actually fought to get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait like we appeared to do. We were far too busy using all our vast resources to help the George Soros all gay Illuminati obtain naked pictures of Trump. And we would have done it too if we had not ultimately been exposed by real patriots like Qanon, Alex Jones, Congressman Nunez, Vlad Putin and even you.
Curses! We’ve. been foiled again in our dastardly plots to rule the world. Boowahahaha! 😜
Then there are the Democrats who “love” the children by funding abortion mills, the Democrat “hawks” who ask Putin to wait until after the election, the Democrats healthcare “experts” who promise that government run health care will reduce the cost, improve the quality, and allow us to keep our doctor,….
Now that I don’t have the Area 51 “illegal” space aliens to help me anymore, I can’t keep all the Republican conspiracies straight anymore.
You do know that it was a Republican Nixon appointee that wrote Rowe, don’t you? Wasn’t it Moscow Mitch that threatened to cry foul if the Russian meddling for Trump were exposed before the election? Wasn’t Obamacare hatched in a Republican Think Tank and first enacted by a Republican governor? I need some red yarn.
As for “keeping your doctor”, now weren’t those the good old days when a misunderstanding so blandly vanilla could disguise the an evil conspiracy? Now you are forced to mine to the center of Mars for the hidden truth in all the President’s endless whoppers.
And all the rotten ideas Democrats implement were first proposed and discarded by Republicans. So it’s the Republicans fault Democrats ever heard about their dumb ideas.
I believe Republican Teddy Roosevelt is considered the first Progressive. And let’s not forget the Super Highway System under Eisenhower, the EPA under Nixon, the Medicare Drug Plan under GW Bush who also enacted the federal “No Child Left Behind” federal school program. Predicting the rise of your great and noble hero, Trump, the Space Aliens helped the Gay Illuminati turn them all into Never Trumpers. It was all in the SCIF under the code word, “covfefe”.
So now I have to prove all Republicans are saintly Conservatives? Actually, what you are trying to do is an old trick. Liberal Democrats are always trying to tell Conservatives be good Conservatives. We need to be like you. You think you are soooooo perfect!
Does what Teddy Roosevelt called a Progressive describe H. Clinton and B. Sanders?
How has the Interstate Highway System worked out? The only expressways in the DC area are the interstates and toll roads. What happens to our so-called parkways? They become cluttered with stoplights for developers. When we give our money to politicians to pay for infrastructure instead of paying tolls, we lose any possibility that they will actually give us what we need, much less want. People make mistakes.
I don’t know about the old tricks of liberal Democrats. (I have voted for Republicans and Democrats and like to think of myself as a moderate Independent who doesn’t much care for the purist ideologies of either side). What I am saying is that, historically speaking, you are not a Republican. Republicans used to be realists who were a big tent Party. Your ideas are so radically ideological that I don’t really think you are a conservative either. Since the leader of your party is Donald Trump and he sets the agenda, it makes sense that you are whatever he is. Because I don’t think Donald Trump actually believes in anything but himself, I guess what you actually have for a political party now is a cult of personality, devoid of morality and unified no cause except hatred of anyone who opposes Trump, even fellow Republicans.
Your nonsense about the interstate highway system is a great example. How much commerce do you think has been enabled by the Interstate Highway system. You look at all the traffic and trucks crowding the road and see chaos when you ought to see money, jobs and a growing economy. It unified the nation in trade and prompted trillions of dollars in new commerce. Why? Because cheaper transportation cost enabled by the Interstate system lowered enough to for a businessman in Topeka to sell his widgets in Miami so he opened a new factory, hired new people, and even more factories opened to compete with him.
When we were kids, it took all day long to go through all the little towns with all the school zones and stop lights every few miles just to get from Biloxi to New Orleans. Now I can be there in an hour and 20 minutes. If anything with the Interstate Highway System, we have become victims of our own success and the idiocies of ideologues who are every day riding on the innovations of the past but can’t see past the fact they have victimized themselves with the ideological drag they put on the system.
There may be a place for private highways in some cases, but you know that that just has government privatizing a monopoly. In most cases, the government has to actually condemn land for that private interest. What it’s not is it is not market economics – it’s not a competition between buyers and sellers for price and value. It’s not capitalism, although it certainly invites crony capitalism. The profit incentive in a private monopoly where there is little elasticity of demand is to raise prices to the breaking point and lower costs to the point of very poor value. Why? Because there can only be so many roads between one place and another without having a massive amount of wasted land and resources, private highways literally end up with captive markets. Because that can’t be allowed, government has to so heavily regulate and run the monopoly that one has to have a pretty good reason for paying a private company a profit to do what it could do itself just as efficiently without a profit.
It takes a Trumpublican to come up with an idea that would naturally lead to so much waste and corruption. The Republican Party prior to Trump would have scoffed at such economically unsound nonsense. But we are dealing with a party of victims now who will swallow all sorts of nonsense and conspiracy theories.
Are you attacking me or making a logical argument.
Where do I take issue with the Interstate Highway System? I think it should have been funded — paid for — with tolls. You are acting like I said it never should have been built. Silly!
When we just hand money over to politicians, they will misuse it. That’s why “freeways” cost more than toll roads.
We traditionally finance toll roads with bonds. If the bonds have to be paid off with tolls, that means that the buyers of the bonds have to be convinced that the project that will pay off the bonds makes sense. Further, if the tolls collected from the users of a road can only be used to pay off the bonds or for road maintenance, that tends to make both the bond holders and the users of the road happy.
What has any of that to do with Trump? Nothing. Why do you want to make everything about Trump? Because you cannot get him out of your head. You may want to find other ways of getting your news. The world does not revolve around Trump. God is the central figure, not any of us.
Just for fun I suppose I should add this. One reason the Mediterranean Sea was critical in the history of Europe is that it provided a means to get around extravagant tolls. “Governments” — robber barons — often charge whatever they can get away with.
In addition to a relatively fair judicial system, the roads the Romans built throughout their empire helped to make it an economic success. Like our Interstate Highway System, Rome initially built those roads for defensive reasons.
Is it attacking someone to lump him into a straw man label and then characterize him in unfair generalities. It’s worth considering isn’t it?
I don’t claim to be a Democrat, much less a liberal Democrat, but you do claim to be a Republican and Trump is the leader of your party. If you’re making claims about your party, then I would hardly think Trump’s words and actions are irrelevant to promoting or rebutting the credibility of those claims. Trump is after all at least at the center of your Republican universe.
Although I am not a Democrat, the slightest genuine observation of them shows that they are not any one thing, but like the Republican Party before Trump, a broad spectrum of sometimes competing interest groups under one big fractious tent. And yet your post here, as in most of your posts, paints all Democrats organized as one in cartoonishly diabolical terms.
Maybe you should get some broader information sources. Your entire world seems to revolve around battling this trumped up demonized cabal of Democrats. You know God should be our central figure. And of course I’m not being the least bit holier than thou when I personally attack you in such a way? 😏
Anyway, I don’t have any strong opinions about toll roads. (I don’t even have strong opinions about experimenting with some privatization of roads). Truckers already pay tolls in most states. Florida has a toll system on many roads. I bought a transponder when we went down to the Keys last year and it didn’t seem unreasonable. Is it the most economically effective way to pay for roads? I don’t know. By taxing anything, it can have the effect of discouraging that activity. Do tolls discourage commerce and tourism? What are the trade offs? What about the Coase theories about “willingness to pay” which says that government should tax to arrange the most efficient transaction for such goods that the parties would make for themselves if government were not involved (yep, it’s a lot more complex than that).
Your last post oddly points out the downside of taking anything too far. In the end, that’s all I’m actually saying about ideological dogmatism, including going too far for or against identity politics.
I deal directly with your arguments, and I don’t throw up half a dozen every time I post a reply.
If it amuses me to call you a Democrat and watch you run away in embarrassment, that should tell you something about Democrats. Look at that crowd running for the Democrat nomination. Sheesh!
You got that bunch of phony liberal, progressive, spendthrift socialists running for the president, and you are complaining about my ideological dogmatism?
All I am doing is suggesting that whenever possible, we should remember it is best to let people run their own lives. If you want to spread the wealth, use your own pocketbook. If nothing else, don’t pretend it is a great idea to create vast government bureaucracies that stifle competition when other viable alternatives obviously exist. That is just asking for trouble.
Do tolls discourage commerce? No. Roads have to be paid for. If set properly, tolls just make the users pay. Thus, the real transportation cost is included in the cost of a product or activity. Otherwise, taxpayers end up subsidizing who knows what.
“If it amuses me to call you a Democrat and watch you run away in embarrassment, that should tell you something about Democrats.”
I don’t know about that, but if you called me a Republican, given it’s the Trumpublican Party now, I definitely would run away from the disgrace of that. I guess we are both being amused. 😊
You are amused? Not likely. I don’t have much reason to run from Trump or the Republicans Party. In fact, I expect to go doorknocking asking for people to vote Republican. Trump has been keeping his promises.
Good post, Tom. Identity politics finds its roots in Marxism. The bourgeoisie-proletariat class wars of Marxism have now become the race and gender wars and identity politics of today. It’s just different lyrics to the same old song—the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor.
Interesting history here. We can trace this connection back to the works of Neo-Marxist philosophers, like Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault who, when Marxism fell out of favor the 1970s (because it was proven over and over again to produce evil empires), turned them into the Postmodern ideologies that afflicted our universities back then and are now in the mainstream today.
When Marxism fell out of favor in the 1970’s, committed Marxists, like French philosophers helped to create what we now call Postmodernism. And part and parcel to this is class warfare (B
Sorry, the last paragraph should’ve been deleted after I edited my thoughts. 🙂
Thanks for the history lesson.
It seems that demagogues are always repackaging the supposed glories of majoratarian tyranny. We call that Socialism today, but the idea of making the “rich” share their wealth is an old one that has never ever worked.
Supposedly, we have a mixed capitalist/socialist government/economic system. What people fail to observe is the socialist parts work the most poorly even though they are the most costly.
Very true. Like Norway found out, you have to have free market capitalism in the business sector in order to make their socialist programs work. 🙂
Very true about Norway Reverend,, but they seem to have found have found a balance that works for them, at least for the moment.
I belonged to our military for 20 years. I can tell you that we could waste money like crazy. Does that mean that we should get rid of a government owned military system and instead have a capitalist system of defense? That we should institute a market based system of commercial military enterprises should only defend Americans who can afford it? What could go wrong with that?
And who says that capitalism can’t be wasteful? Isn’t rampant consumerism by its very nature inherently wasteful and grossly unequal?
I honestly don’t see either/or static systems of any kind working for very long. These ideological extremes just don’t exist very long in the wild before they go extinct under the weight of their own logical contradictions. The reality is some ever dynamically changing mix of systems, none of which achieve perfection, as much as their adherents claim a deterministic, sometimes even divine, flawlessness to their very finite and flawed human schemes.
The military is not a socialist institution. Mercenaries are not capitists.
One man’s wasteful activity is another man’s religion, entertainment, food, clothing, shelter, …. The point of a constitutional republic with a capitalist economy is that we each get to as we wish so long as we don’t infringe upon someone else’s rights. The moment we start using the government to force other people to support activities we think more productive we start infringing upon the rights of others to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The military is an organization of defense goods and services owned by the government. Socialism is actually a very specific ism where the government owns ALL the means of production of goods and services, including the military. Republican ideologues are the ones who keep contorting the definition of socialism to include everything that government does that they don’t like and nothing that government does that they do like. Whether you want to call it socialism or not, the military is necessarily socialistic, and it is notoriously wasteful, don’t you think?
Granted, some exclusivity in the legal use of force is the definition of sovereignty, but that doesn’t mean that very capitalistic alternatives can’t and don’t exist. The reason why we limit such private alternatives is not because they are less efficient, but because they can be inequitable and because their mercenary nature can be corrupting to democracy if taken to the extreme.
I’ve spent much of my life very much benefiting from a highly regulated capitalist system and I am a fan. Nothing works better to creat wealth and provide just the choices that you elude to. However, everyone realizes that any capitalist system requires some inequality of distribution of scarce resources in order to actually work. Furthermore, too much inequality of distribution will cause the system to collapse as well. If nobody has any money to buy anything but a few gazillionaires, then democratic capitalism falls apart for any number of economic and political reasons. If you can find me an example where such oligarchs all chose to benevolently to self regulate without any action by government, then Ill show you where I’ve got the real Santa Claus and the tooth fairy hiding in my closet.
The balance is constantly in a state of dynamic flux and every country is different but the most economically and democratically successful countries in the world have some equitable balance between the wealth producing positives of market capitalism and the equality of opportunity producing functions of government. In the countries that we all would agree are the most free and prosperous, there never has been and never will be a simplistic either/or possibility.
You like to say that government should exist ONLY to protect our rights. The problem with this maximalist theory isn’t just that it does not actually exist anywhere in the wild; it’s that, depending on how we broadly or how narrowly we define “rights” economically, government’s role can get awfully expansive (for example, unlimited patent rights assignment) or way too small to effectively insure a fair and free market (for example, not creating the right to form corporations or unions).
Military force is the heart of any government. Without military power, at least a police force, there is no reason for a government to exist. Without sufficient power, government cannot maintain order or enforce justice (or whatever passes for justice).
Military force does not feed, cloth, or shelter people. That’s why it has nothing to do with either Socialism or Capitalism. Military force not part of an economic system. Government feeds off whatever economic system it uses it military and police powers to enforce. That’s why it is pointless to talk about the military in a discussion of Socialism versus Capitalism.
Is the military Socialistic? In order to exercise proper control, government must hire and pay its own soldiers. Mercenaries may seem less expensive than the cost of maintaining a standing military force, but mercenaries tend to be disloyal. So they don’t get the job done. When it is needful, they won’t risk their lives to kill people and break their things, that most Socialistic of all activities.
So what about the sacred balance? I think your goal is cockeyed. Are we trying to achieve a balance that maximizes the power of busybodies or one that makes it easier for people to run their own lives? If we want to run our own lives, then we should minimize the role of government.
I think you are making a semantic error by conflating form with function. No one is arguing that the military isn’t a legitimate government “function”. However, if you define “Socialistic” as it is generally defined, the ownership of the means of production of a good or service by government, then the “form” of the military, like police departments, fire departments, roads and highways, and school systems all over the country, is by definition Socialistic. The real issue isn’t whether you can honestly play semantic games in order to define away all the obvious exceptions and contradictions to your ideological dogma. Nope. The real issue that confounds your maximalism is finding a consistently applied rule for when providing a given good or service really is a proper government function. I would argue that the issue of the proper “functions” of government can take a myriad of forms on a vast continuum between the absolute individual freedom of a libertarian Utopia and the absolute governmental domination utilitarian Utopia.
I also think that, because the question of proper function is effected by so many areas of concern, from economics to morality to human psychology to many more, the endless variables and vectors of force make any deterministic rule subject to so many exceptions and contractions and unknowns as to defy dogmatic formulation. Therefore rules about something so complex and so ambiguous with so many combinations of variables are only useful as normative suggestions rather than absolutes. Indeed, as we saw with Fascism and Communism, dogmatic deterministic formulations without some humility about the ambiguity, complexity and variability, can be outright dangerous.
There has also been a good deal of study recently about phenomena like “the observer effect“ that shows that dynamic systems change so unpredictability as soon as any force (or even observation) is applied, the deterministic formulation in such a dynamic system is a fools errand. It’s why no one can make an actual prediction about the stock market. Just making the prediction unpredictably changes the outcome so much that it is hard to actually completely game the system. Look at all the chaos that was caused by millisecond responding stock trading computer logarithms.
My point in this long post is that any serious discussion of the proper function of government, if one is reasonable, must be undertaken with a good bit of humility about the general statements that can be made. If one really is humble in such a way, there is a possibility of agreement and compromise. On the other hand, if one or the other side is way too proud of their dogmatic omniscience and certainty, then agreement and compromise ends and warfare necessary begins.
Okay! I will be humble. I will concede you are absolutely and tetotally right.
Obviously this quote explains the purpose of communism/socialism.
Since history has shown unequivocally that communists/socialists spread death and destruction, obviously the purpose of communism/socialism Is to spread death and destruction. Therefore, if the purpose of communism/socialism is to spread death and destruction uniformly across the surface of the earth, the military must be a key part of communism/socialism.
Thanks for bringing me around to your way of thinking.
You do realize that forcing everyone to pay taxes to support military and police forces already represents a huge “compromise”?
My way of thinking? You are being disingenuous. You are propping up a straw man for pure Socialism and claiming it’s me when you know that I said just the opposite. I said I don’t believe in any absolute and dogmatic rules and that includes just the ones you seem to want to attribute to me.
Only your last line makes sense . The question is why is that compromise for the military necessary rather than a more free market approach? What other compromises do we make for roads and utilities and why is greater or lesser government involvement justified? How do markets fail so that government is required? When is the role of government necessary to “maintain legal and social framework, overcome market failure by providing public goods and services, maintain competition, redistribute income, correct for externalities, to protect individuals and their property rights, and stabilize the economy”? When should the government encourage monopolies(such as patents and utilities? When is it necessary and how should the government step in to provide goods and services that, at the margin, would not be profitable to provide to the next person but the deprivation of which would be devastating to those next people and to society as a whole? When and how should the government intervene to insure equal access to certain goods and services when access to those goods and services are threatened? How many combinations and compromises between government and private are possible and should the mix be stagnant in the face of changing technology (take land lines to cell towers for example)?
This is the compromises I’m actually arguing that require some humility about the complexity, the endless variables, the moral dilemmas and the uncertainty of easy absolutes.
You sure are difficult. I agree with you, and you still are not happy.
What does the military do? It kills people, and it breaks their things.
What does communism/socialism do? These systems concentrate power into the hands of a small number of people. Even if they were not corrupt to start with, they become corrupt.
Communist/Socialist leaders promise to spread the wealth around. Because they are almost invariably corrupt, they end up spreading the bullets around. You think it is an accident that Hitler and Stalin went for each other’s throats. It isn’t. Each recognized the character of the other. Hitler just beat Stalin to the double-cross.
Anyway, you have a bunch of questions. The answer to all of them is relatively simple. Government regulation. Since politicians know very little about the businesses they regulate and we don’t want businessmen and politicians to become cronies, we don’t want any more regulation than absolutely necessary.
Are you actually suggesting humility? No. You want “compromise”. Forced compromise. What about forced compromise required humility? What it requires is majoritarian tyranny.
What happens when busybody politicians who connive to “compromise” with their opponents go well beyond what is required just to protect our rights? What happens when a doctor doesn’t know what he is doing? Busybody politicians waste huge sums of money in fraud, waste, and abuse. People who don’t have much to start with go hungry, without clothing, and/or without shelter. When poor people need medical care, because of their busybody leaders they cannot afford it. Similarly, ignorant doctors just make their patients sicker, and some of their unlucky patients die.
Sadly, we Americans have been indoctrinated to believe Government knows what’s best have no idea that we are rubes.to control freaks that have been recorded in history since the beginning of time.
Regards and goodwill blogging
This is good stuff, Tom. A real problem with shame, it’s like playing a game of hot potato, you have to give it away, try inflict it on someone else. Blame is another toxic one, you also have to give that away too, and with it all your power.
Remember the old, “the buck stops here?” Whoever is willing to pick up the responsibility, now holds the authority, the power.
Democrats always blame Republicans and Conservatives for bigotry, and they always demand responsibility for fixing various bigotry problems. Nevertheless, these bigotry problems only seem to get worse wherever Democrats are in charge. Still, Democrats gain what they want, authority and power, but the people who vote for them gain nothing, nothing except someone to blame.