YESTERDAY, in the airport at Fort Lauderdale, I overheard a Bernie Bro telling a couple of listeners that “next time” Bernie would win and bring on “single payer.”
This bearded young man had majored in drama and done a bit of theater.
I did not try to enter into a dialog with the young man, so I did not say:
“So, kid, you like guns.”
“Guns? What do you mean? Guns kill people and if it wasn’t for the NRA…”
“I get it. But government is force, and that means, at the end of the day, government men with guns enforcing the law. So you like the idea of government men with guns.”
“What do you mean? I just want a just and rational health-care system.”
“But you want a system, and system means force.”
It is a delicious irony of our modern age that everyone is competing to be Mr. Nice Guy. The lefties talk about bending the arc of history towards justice, but forget that the means appointed comes down to thuggist activists backed up by men with guns, their loyalty bought with handsome pensions. Mr. Nice Guy with a gun?
On the other hand, the amazing emerging order of what we call “capitalism” that has brought the west from the indigence of $1 per head per day to $100 per head per day, is an order of remarkable ruthlessness. It says that if you can’t sell your skill or product on the market for the amount you had in mind, well, too bad for you: get a clue.
It allows you to dabble in a bit of theater, even amateur theatricals, but it doesn’t say you have a right to do that and get health care too.
By the way, did you know that Chinese factory workers are now getting about $3.60 per hour, or nearly $30 per day? I don’t know how that works out for the population as a whole, but it sure looks better than the 30 million that died of starvation during the Great Leap Forward in the 1950s.
OK, let’s get to the point. Right now I am reading Ian McGilchrist’s The Master and the Emissary. It’s a review of human brain science, and the emerging idea that left and right brain are complementary. The right brain takes the whole world as a whole with judgment; the left brain develops a theory of the world. Moreover, according McGilchrist, the right hemisphere is “primary;” for it defines the whole that the left hemisphere reduces to a mechanical theory.
Then there is David Bohm and his idea of the “implicate order,” the notion from post-Newtonian science that the world is not a machine, but something far deeper and more mysterious. In the dumbed-down version in Unfolding Meaning: A Weekend of Dialog, Bohm explains that the world is not a whole built up of parts but something more complex, for while the whole and the parts are not exactly one and the same thing they are so interrelated that it is certainly wrong to think of the whole as constructed from the parts. Bohm uses the example of a hologram projected by laser light. If you project the light through a small part of the hologram you will get the whole picture, but it will be low resolution. The more of the hologram that is illuminated, the more resolution will appear in the resulting image.
Now the hologram is a direct demonstration of quantum mechanics, so the experiment is demonstrating that each part of the universe, at the quantum level, contains some encoded information about the whole.
I would argue that my airport friend’s “single-payer” health system is a Newtonian mechanical universe in which the whole is a bolted-together machine of parts. But the Newtonian universe is all about force: action and reaction are equal and opposite.
I would argue that the market “system” is not a system at all but an implicate order where the whole and the parts are intimately connected, where the whole is certainly more than the sum of the parts. Let’s quote Bohm at length:
[I]n each sub-whole there is a certain quality that does not come from the parts, but helps organize the parts. So the implicate order does not deny the significance of parts or sub-wholes, but rather it treats each in its own way as relatively stable, independent and autonomous. Wholeness is seen as primary while the parts are secondary in the sense that what they are and what they do can be understood only in the light of the whole.In other words, to understand what the molecules in a human cell are doing, it helps to know they are part of a live human.
GOOD old Steve Sailer is having fun with the gender pronoun issue. Remember the Pablo Gomez flap, about the transgender activist that up and stabbed someone? Gomez wanted to be called They, so Sailer had some fun with it. And of course the kindly folks at GLAAD are right in the middle of it. Really, you have to give the liberals credit. This business of people demanding that you call them he/...
EVERYONE is in a fine froth about the failure of Ryancare (or Trumpcare) last week, and everybody is busy blaming someone. It was Speaker Ryan, who should have known that you don't do major health care reform in a month. It was the House Freedom Caucus that would compromise on anything. It was President Trump, who didn't appreciate how difficult and complex health care is. It was Steve ...
WE conservatives are naturally angry that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced that he will vote against the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch. And he will probably filibuster Gorsuch too. But what else is Schumer to do? The liberal base is all riled up and it demands "Resistance!" The great and powerful United State Senators cannot just wink at each other and let a Republican Supreme...
WE won't be posting to this blog any more.
Go to an American Manifesto instead.
HOW do we deal with the meme that sank Mitt Romney, the idea that he was an unfeeling rich man that didn't care about "people like me." Mona Charen makes the point directly. Many Republicans now recognize that they must propose reforms that speak to middle- and working-class voters, and shed their image as the party of the rich. But what is it that makes the Republican Party the "party of the ...
MANY conservatives are puzzling over why, just why, the Obama administration would get itself into such a mess over the Bergdahl prisoner exchange. How could anyone treat Bergdahl's likely desertion as just a matter of missing a class on Monday? The answer is simple. It is honor. Lefties don't understand honor, male or female. And especially they don't understand military honor. The whole ...
YOUNG Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz has taken a look at the new ideas in YGNetwork's "Room to Grow" proposals, and wonders what's the point. Forget the "new" ideas. How about some good "old" ideas? Here’s a old/new idea: get government out of the way. cut off the spigot. end the subsidies. cut the regulations. help the middle class by allowing the market to work for them. Cathy quotes ...
EVERY time we hear of a new incident of Obama administration lawlessness, we have to wonder. Do liberals really not see this as a problem? We know what is going on. The news media and the cultural czars reckon that Obama and the liberal activists and the Democratic Party have their heart in the right place and so the corner-cutting on Obamacare, the bogus wait-list scam at the VA, the ...
Download latest e-book draft here.
A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elitethe spectre of conservatism.
The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasnt supposed to be like this.
Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.
Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.
Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.
The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.
A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.
The Paradox of Individualism
Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?
From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.
The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.
The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.
Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.
The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state
The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?
The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?
Liberals and the Welfare State
Liberals, the ruling class of the administrative welfare state.
From Freeloaders to Free Givers
The path to the future lies through moral movements.
The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the last best hope of man on earth.
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.
But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?
With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.
In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.
Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.
I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.
Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.