Sunday, June 29, 2014

Our Consensus Rulers

Sultan Knish blog on Jun 29, 2014
Every society is ruled by a consensus. The consensus rarely comes from the bottom up. Usually it's imposed from the top down.

The consensus is what the people running things believe. It's their equivalent of common sense.

The United States is not run by the voters. It's not run by the people. It's run by a consensus. That consensus is what the elites think is true. That consensus is not exactly the same among Democrats and Republicans, but it does overlap in significant ways.

The first point of the consensus is that bigger institutions are better because they are smarter. This isn't limited just to government. It also encompasses the corporate world. And the merger of governments, corporations, academics and non-profits into one large conglomeration of consensus.

The movement of executives from the non-profit, to the political to the corporate spheres, in no particular order, is really how our society is run. Even when each group remains in its own sphere, they make interdependent decisions with companies and government institutions acting as executive leaders and treating non-profits and academics as the expert class.

Pull back and we're run by a single giant corporation whose leadership is very complicated and competitive, but whose leaders come from a common culture and who call on the consensus for their ideas.

Using elections to shift that consensus is very difficult because at the top the consensus extends across both parties and much of the governing of the consensus is not subject to voter review.

You can elect Congressman Y to represent your interests. But the system isn't run by Congressman Y. It is highly unlikely that Congressman Y will ever be president. Even if Congressman Y becomes a Senator, he will have to win over donors whose worldview is a product of the consensus. If he manages to make it to the Senate without accepting the consensus, his legislation, should any of it make it past the Consensus Senators, will then be dumped into a pile managed by Consensus regulators and Consensus Federal judges who will reject it if doesn't meet the Consensus.

That's the interdependency of the Consensus. It's a single massive system made up of individuals who are diverse in demographics, but share the viewpoints of the Consensus or shut up about it.

Making the Consensus bigger has made American government and business extremely inefficient. It's why we can't seem to get anything done anymore and our only products that matter come from the occasional young visionary who challenges the system with a new company. But it also makes it very hard to beat.

The Consensus is constantly increasing in size. The growth impoverishes America, puts it deeper into debt and makes it less competitive. But it also makes the Consensus unchallengeable. The parasite is killing the host.

The second point though is that the Consensus is a parasite that thinks it is the host and that Americans are the parasite.

Maintaining the Consensus requires unhealthy doses of contempt for the people. The central article of the Consensus is that it can make life better by controlling people. It's not an idea that can be sustained without believing that most people are basically inferior.

Considering that the Consensus does draw from an elite, Ivy League grads, aggressive businessmen and financial geniuses, it's not extraordinary that its members would think this way. And yet the country's Founders, who were also the elite, believed in crowdsourcing politics long before the existence of Wikipedia. Meanwhile today's elite, heavily spiced by the Dot Com crowd, dismisses the idea of allowing the people to run their own lives.

The shift from Power to the People to Technocracy took place after the Constitution, otherwise our founding documents would look a good deal more like those of some Latin American banana republic that promises everything from government day care to weight loss health clinics. But Technocracy has been in the driver's seat for most of the 20th Century.

The members of the Consensus extrapolate from their own leadership skills and success a chilling contempt for the ordinary person and a certainty that he can and should be manipulated. It never occurs to them to think otherwise. Their experiences with their voters and their employees only reinforces their certainty that the ordinary person is unfit.

The various layers of government bureaucracy, from the DMV clerk to the local cop, share this same certainty. The more regulations they have to learn, the more their jobs seem to be those of experts coping with the ignorant masses. They become natural members of the Consensus because they have to know ten thousand regulations to do their job and the irritating public doesn't know any of them.

The expert class of the Consensus expands with each regulation and freedom contracts with each regulation.

The voter isn't in charge of the expert class, because the expert class deems itself superior in knowledge and expertise. Voting becomes a ritual that the expert class finds irritating. And the number of expert classes are constantly growing. Unionized expert classes form powerful guilds immune to outside pressure. Academic expert classes control much of public life through ideas that are filtered down into public policy.

The ordinary American is no longer in charge of anything, including his own life. He is an employee and client of the Consensus. The two terms are largely interchangeable in this context. He works for a vast paternalistic force which gives him money and takes his money, but manipulates the entire system around him so that he lives within a company store that encompasses everything from his grocery shopping to his health care.

This is Unamerican, some might say, but the Consensus is Unamerican.

The members of the Consensus are not nationalists. They are not patriots. They are too "smart" for that. To the extent that they celebrate America, it is not for its history or its people, but for its "ideals". These ideals are, like regulations, existing apart from culture and capable of applying to anyone anywhere.

America can be "transplanted" anywhere was the firm belief of 20th century progressives. The Iraq War was only the latest reminder that it really cannot. But we're still fighting nation building wars on the premise that any people anywhere can be turned into good citizens with a dose of the right ideals.

The Consensus isn't for America. It's for the world. It cares as much about Americans as it does about Guatemalans or Pakistanis. Its members vacation and live around the world and see themselves as human beings first and members of a people or a nation second. They have a "higher citizenship" in humanity. They will take what is good about America and apply it elsewhere.

What do they believe in? What are their ideals? They believe in efficiency. They believe in justice. They believe that everything can be constantly improved until it is perfected in a perpetual process of social evolution. They are not religious. Their religion is that of the factory floor. Their faith is in their own godhood as experts. They believe that man came from apes and that someone has to see to it that he behaves like a good ape, rather than a bad ape.

Their faith in their own efficiency is vastly misguided. Like their 20th century forebears, they love the taste of efficiency, the design and sensibility of it, but they pay little attention to how well it works. They will inefficiently spend vast amounts of time and effort to improve something by a fraction of a tick.

A kinder word for their obsessiveness would be control freaks.

Green Energy's obsession with efficiency is largely this sort of madness in which vast amounts of effort are expended to save a fraction of the total of that effort. But the Consensus dislikes mess. It thought that landfills were messy and wasteful so it championed recycling and it made money from recycling without there being any actual need for it.

If the Consensus were a person, it would be the sort of man who would spent ten times as much on a device because of the pointless ad copy beneath it that appears to give it status and polish. Except that it's really our money that the Consensus is spending.

The Consensus is liberal. The Republican and Democratic wings of the Consensus don't differ on whether they are liberal, but how far to the left they are willing to go. They all agree on being socially liberal on gay rights, the right kind of drug use and abortion, while cracking down on obesity, smoking and the wrong kind of drug use.

The distinctions there are class signifiers and the Consensus is all about class.

Despite some of the anti-corporate talk, the Consensus is very much corporate. Its anti-corporate talk is invariably either empty populist rhetoric or a power play among members of the Consensus. The Consensus likes bright and shiny things. Its favorite companies are government subsidized or investor subsidized and make no actual money, but promise to make money someday.

The members of the Consensus look down on actual money as vulgar. They believe that money should be used for higher purposes. Even their successful businessmen are often dealers in intangibles. They rarely engage in anything as vulgar as making things. Instead they manipulate data, financial or personal, they provide services to companies you have heard of, even though you have never heard of their companies, they manipulate the economy and markets, and make fortunes. And they feel, often rightly, that their money is unearned and that everyone else should feel the same way.

They don't think of themselves as Socialists. They think of the word as outmoded. An "Othering" label that is most likely to be used by Tea Party members or a Bircher. They may be Socialists, but they wouldn't use the word. No more than a doctor would call himself a Bonesetter or a gay man would call himself a Sodomite.

They see themselves as modern, sleek and efficient people who rely on expert knowledge to advance society. They don't leaf through dusty copies of Marx and have never heard of Fourier. They accept the premises and most of the conclusions of Socialism without ever being aware of the origins of the theories they embrace. This is typical of the Consensus. It is unknowingly and unthinkingly left-wing.

The Consensus' executives like to believe that they accept the "correct" conclusions. They are big on science and even bigger on pie charts. The policies that they like convince people to change their behavior for the better. Socialism to them sounds like radicals with awkward glasses screaming at people about agriculture. They don't see themselves having anything in common with that nonsense.

Its executives dabble in politics without understanding the ideas behind their policies. They have nothing but blind spots and their greatest blind spot is believing that their superiority will prevent them from making mistakes and makes them better able to make decisions about people's lives. It is this very certainty that has made them such excellent puppets of the left's Consensus expert class.

The Consensus can only be beaten in a war of organizations and ideas. Like every other ruling class, it has to be challenged and exposed as an oppressive failure, membership in it has to be reduced to an abusive joke. An elite only falls to revolution or to national contempt. Most Americans already hold government in contempt, but they do not understand that what they hate about Washington D.C. is really the Consensus. What they find ridiculous about national waste and petty tyranny is really the policies of the Consensus.

What is wrong with America is the Consensus. The only way to fix it is to shatter the Consensus.

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Friday Afternoon Roundup - Can't Miss

By Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog on Jun 27, 2014 08:06 pm

 Tom Trento's amazing team have put together another video on my article, The Innocence of Hillary.


1. Beating a Senate incumbent is still really hard. Even when the votes go your way, the incumbents have any number of dirty options at their disposal. It happened in Alaska. Now it happened again.

The system itself is corrupt and winning an election means beating the system. The bigger the election, the harder the system pushes back. It's an elastic effect. Scale that up and you can see how hard winning the White House becomes.

This is why the left started at the bottom. It's much easier to take over organizations from the top than the bottom. You have to become the system before you can beat the system.

2. The Tea Party brand has been severely damaged. That is to be expected. Even the left doesn't stick with a brand. It uses innumerable front groups. The Tea Party brand should be retained as feeders for recruitment, but it might be wiser to route actual work through groups branded with names like "Reform" and "Change".

And that takes me to...

3. The ongoing problem on the right is that it talks 'extremist' and legislates 'moderate' while the left talks 'moderate' and legislates 'extremist'.

That's a big part of why Obama is in the White House and conservatives are still struggling to make headway.

Obama isn't in the White House because Americans woke up Communist one morning. I know that "Free Stuff" is a popular theory, but people always liked free stuff. The larger welfare population helped shift the balance, but if Obama had been a non-viable candidate, there would have been no balance to shift and it would have done him as much good as it did Jesse Jackson or Dukakis.

Obama is in office because much of the country believes that he is a moderate and a centrist.

The left can get away with it because it talks centrist and lives radical. If the right is ever going to do better than another liberal Republican, its candidates are going to have to talk like liberal Republicans while legislating well to the right.

It is doable. Rand Paul has been doing the talking part well enough. Unfortunately he talks the talk so well because he actually is well to the left.

And that's the bigger problem.

Lefty candidates can have a certain amount of trust from the base because they are committed to an ideology. Obama's supporters knew that he was for gay marriage and racial polarization no matter what he said. The right needs candidates who are ideologically committed so that trust stops being an issue.


There can be no conservative case for amnesty because there is no such thing as a conservative case for a policy that will not have a conservative outcome.

The only meaningful argument for a policy is based on outcomes.

If the outcome of a conservative policy is more liberalism, it was never a conservative policy to begin with. That is the simplest and most reliable acid test of any “conservative” policy agenda.

Will Policy X put the country on a more liberal or conservative track?

There Is No Conservative Case for Amnesty

Kerry: Russia Must “Literally” Disarm, State Department, Don’t Take Him “Literally”  - This administration and its foreign policy are literally a joke.


The leading factor behind the resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq didn’t come from Iraq. It came from Syria.

The theory that turned Al Qaeda into a regional monster didn’t come from Dick Cheney. It came from Obama’s Presidential Study Directive 11 which helped pave the way for the Arab Spring. The definitive speech that opened the gates of hell wasn’t Bush’s speech on Iraq, but Obama’s Cairo speech.

Al Qaeda in Iraq was a vicious terrorist organization before the Arab Spring, but it was not capable of menacing Baghdad with a sizable army while crushing numerically superior forces along the way.

That didn’t happen in Iraq. It happened in Syria.

Don’t Blame Bush for Al Qaeda in Iraq, Blame Obama


So Obama is going engage in counterterrorism… by arming and training terrorists. That’s like running guns to Mexican drug cartels to stop Mexican drug cartels from having guns…

… another brilliant Obama plan.

A US chopper in Afghanistan was already shot down by the Taliban using a Qatari shipment of Stinger missiles meant for Libya. That was another of Obama’s great plans.

Obama Announces Plan to Fight Al Qaeda, by Arming Al Qaeda

Nancy Pelosi Heads to Border to Find More Illegal Alien Workers for Vineyard


First Mahmud applied for political asylum in Germany, but they said Nein. Then he came to America and filed for amnesty as an agricultural worker. (Remember all those complaints about how Americans just won’t pick lettuce? Terrorists won’t either, but they will file for amnesty that way while driving a cab and raising money for terrorists.)

His taxi was filled with Korans and Arabic books that Abouhalima would read at traffic lights, ignoring what was happening on the streets. Cassette tapes blared Arabic sermons. When Abouhalima spoke with Hockenberry, the cabdriver mentioned that America would lose the war against Islam.

The Last Time We Had Illegal Alien Amnesty, the World Trade Center Got Bombed

$100 Mil Hillary: Republicans Hate Me Because I’m Opposed to Income Inequality


The protest flyers contain the usual mutilated baby (an anti-war staple for any conflict even if the baby is now in his fifties) and claims that the US killed billions of Iraqis, trillions of Iraqi babies and wiped out every Iraqi IKEA.

Anyway “opponents of the US war machine” (elderly Trotskyists and bored college students) have held actions (held up signs) in such centers of US militarism as San Francisco, Auburn and Eureka. Any day now they’ll also protest in Olympia and Portland.

The Kurds were never gassed. And Stalin never killed anyone. Neither did Pol Pot. Just ask Noam Chomsky.

Or dig up Howard Zinn, if you have a ten foot pole, a strong stomach and tenure.

Anti-War Commies Already Protesting Air Strikes on Al Qaeda in Iraq


Obama doesn’t like people. He likes being admired by people. He loves the attention, but he’s paranoid about the terms on which he gets it.

That undertone of irritation comes into his voice when he’s challenged or question or even asked for something. Then he becomes surly.

Obama doesn’t hate politics. He likes power. He hates compromise. That’s not idealism though, it’s ego. He wants everything his way. And he can’t stand even the slightest challenge.

Obama Isn’t an Introvert, He’s a Narcissist


Al Jazeera is not a media outlet. It’s a projection of state power by Qatar. If you participate in a political takeover of one country by another, you can expect to suffer the consequences if you’re stupid enough to stick around when the Egyptians take back their country.

There’s a vast gulf of difference between a CNN reporter and an Al Jazeera reporter. CNN doesn’t work for the US government.

Al Jazeera employees are agents of a hostile regime. They’re being treated like enemy agents because that’s what they are.

Al Jazeera “Journalists” are Employees of State Sponsored Terror


You might think that a call by a major national veterans organization with 2 million members to boycott an entire country over the treatment of an imprisoned Marine would at least earn 2 inches of space in a few papers.

The media is happy to cover stories involving the VFW that are unfavorable to Republicans. Like this story in the Washington Post, “VFW attacks the three Republicans who voted against Senate VA bill”.

If the VFW criticizes Republicans, the Washington Post will cover it. If the VFW criticizes Obama or Mexico, it won’t.

Media Blacks Out Veterans of Foreign Wars Call to Boycott Mexico


Hey Europe, hope you’re in the mood for a poorly ghostwritten book by a politician you don’t care about.

Hillary Clinton Tries to Salvage Poor Book Sales w/European Tour


Bill Clinton had to jump in.

“I think I had the lowest net worth of any American president in the 20th Century when I took office,” he offered, unsolicited.

Considering that Harry Truman left the White House with nothing but a $112 army pension, that’s obviously not true.

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton had earned $188,547 in 1991 mostly thanks to Bill’s political connections. (That’s around $328,000 today.)

The Clintons Just Can’t Stop Lying About Their Wealth

It may well be the main reason the first black president of the United States has stood so firmly behind the first black attorney general of the United States: Holder has been willing to say the things Obama couldn’t or wouldn’t say about race.

“He’s a race man,” says Charles Ogletree, a longtime friend of Holder’s who taught and mentored Obama and his wife, Michelle, as Harvard Law School students in the 1980s. “He’s gone farther and deeper into some issues of race than the White House would like, but I know he has the president’s well-wishes. It’s clear [Obama and Holder] believe in the same things.”

The matchmaker who had brought the two couples together was the ever-present Jarrett…

Soon, other aides would be calling the threesome of Obama, Jarrett and Holder the “iron triangle.”

Obama Supports Holder Because “He’s a Race Man”

VA Staffers Tried to Figure Out the “Color of their Personality” while Vets Died


Iman Bugaighis, an orthodontist by profession, said, “They say it’s about religion, but we are Muslims ourselves as you know. How have we reached this place where a difference of opinion about headscarves ends in someone being killed?”

Benghazi Feminist Opponent of Hijab, Muslim Brotherhood, Murdered

Brooklyn Muslim Cabbie Wanted to Kill Daughter for Marrying Wrong Cousin


At his press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Obama took the time to denounce NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racism.

And Obama took a “selfie” with the Islamic tyrant because he’s still basically a child.

The Great Reformer of Malaysia however has some thoughts on Al Qaeda.

“As proof — whether we agree or not is another matter — the group ISIL with the strength of just 1,300 people, can defeat an Iraqi army of 30,000 soldiers, until four, five generals with three, four stars run for their lives, jump out the window at night. Why? Because they are afraid of those who are brave,” he told more than 1,000 Umno members in attendance.

He also stressed the importance of being loyal to Allah, the party, and friends.

Obama’s “Selfie” Pal Urges Muslims To Be Like Al Qaeda


Here’s a sample of life in the Brooklyn College Economics Department.

"I have not yet been notified of the nature of the complaint, but I have reason to believe that it was filed by the student who threatened to urinate on the classroom floor during my Wednesday afternoon math class."

Brooklyn College Turns Down $10 Mil from Koch Brothers, Will Go On Taking Taxpayer Money


Finally, lawyers don’t have a different set of morals than anyone else. Nuremberg established that doing your duty in a profession does not free you from basic human moral standards. You can’t gun down civilians because ‘that’s what soldiers do’.  You can’t lie about a 12-year-old rape victim because ‘that’s what lawyers do’.

There are lawyers who do it. There are also soldiers who massacre civilians. There are doctors who involuntarily euthanize patients and cops who plant evidence at the scene of crimes.

By smearing a 12-year-old rape victim with false accusations, Hillary Clinton was not being a good lawyer. A good lawyer doesn’t do everything possible to win. Just as a soldier or a police officer doesn’t do everything possible to win.

There are things that we don’t do to win. Those who don’t understand that aren’t good lawyers or good soldiers or good cops.

They’re sociopaths.

4 Disgusting Ways Liberals are Defending Hillary Clinton’s Smear of a 12-Year-Old Rape Victim


For more than a millennium, Arab and Muslim honor resided, among other places, in their domination and humiliation of their dhimmi—and when the occasional reformer equalized their legal status, he struck a heavy blow to Muslim honor...

But culture is not a superficial question of manners. In the Middle East, honor is identity. Appeasement and concessions are signs of weakness: When practiced by one’s own leaders, they produce riots of protest, by one’s enemy, renewed aggression. Benjamin Netanyahu stops most settlement activity for nine months. Barack Obama goes to Saudi Arabia for a reciprocal concession he can announce in Cairo. King Abdullah throws a fit and the Palestinians make more demands. And too few wonder whether basic logic of the negotiations—land for peace—has any purchase on the cultural realities of this corner of the globe. If only Israel would be more reasonable …

When we indulge Arab (and jihadi Muslims’) concerns for honor by backing off anything that they claim offends them, we think that our generosity and restraint will somehow move extremists to more rational behavior. 

An interesting analysis from Richard Landes.


I'd like to think that we have been woken from the long sleep of comfort, money, and ever-expanding special pleadings that have splintered us with the promise of bringing us together. But I know the temptation is always to roll over, hit the snooze bar, and try to grab a few more years of rest even as the enemies of our world patiently plan to assault us again and again, convinced of the weakness of our Nicoles, Ashleys, and Jasons, and the culture which created them.

Our mortal enemies possess, as they have shown, great patience. More patience than we have shown and far more commitment than we have shown to attaining their dark goals; our deaths. They are the Believers while we are still the Dreamers, waking only briefly to write down a few notes for discussion later in the week, during the hour when all that is in the world is really only about ourselves.

from American Digest, once again...


After much legal wrangling between the U.S. and the Iraqi government, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has confirmed the U.S. military will be sending 10,000 green berets to Iraq later this week, Duffel Blog has learned.

Hagel said the berets, described by the Pentagon’s logistics office as “beret, man’s, wool, rifle green, army shade 297,” were even now being loaded aboard an Air Force transport for immediate deployment to Iraq.

At a news conference at the Pentagon, Hagel said he received the directive in a brief phone call from the White House last week, when President Obama told him “to send as many green berets to Iraq as we could.” Hagel added, “We were a little puzzled why he didn’t want us to send something more useful, like special forces or military advisers, but orders are orders.”

“Whatever, they don’t pay me to think,” he said.

In response to Hagel’s statement, the White House spokesman Josh Earnest initially said that there had been some “linguistic confusion.” He later added that after careful deliberation President Obama has decided he likes this new plan much better, as it keeps American boots off the ground, and has halted the military’s current deployment of 300 barefoot American advisers to Iraq.

... from the Duffel Blog.

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