Monday, May 31, 2010


Government does not tax to get the money it needs;
government always finds a need for the money it gets.

Ronald Reagan

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sweden: Totalitarianism Lite

The bureaucratic machine lies outside the purlieus of the judiciary, pronouncing judgement on its own actions by a system of administrative law. Many issues concerning the liberty of the citizen are the prerogative of the civil service.  Exempt from parliamentary supervision, and immune from due process of law, the Swedish administrative machinery has been protected from the most prolific sources of delay, to become a most effective instrument of technocratic rule.

Planning in its widest sense is the kernel of economic progress, and in this field the Swedish system gives tremendous power to the expert. Town planning, for example, is the monopoly of local government, and the concern of a municipal bureaucracy. Expropriation, keystone of public control of land, is a simple administrative process, outside the jurisdiction of courts of law. An expropriation order may not be contested; once it is signed, it is final. Only the amount of compensation may be questioned, and decision is in the hands of the administrative courts.

The proper use of human resources demands a mechanism of control to regulate the supply of work and workers according to the oscillation of depression and boom. This is in the hands of a body called the Labour Market Directorate. It creates public employment, such as road construction, and all private building requires its endorsement. (…) Since the Diet cannot influence, or debate, the activities of the Labour Market Directorate, and since its director general has for long been a Social Democrat, its activities can be steered according to party policy. The advantages are manifold. Industry may be directed to chosen parts of the country by economic and political specialists working without extraneous interference. Building may be retarded or accelerated, and employment created or pared, according to whether the economy needs heating or cooling. If inflation or deflation are not exactly at the beck and call of a civil servant, at least he has the ability to encourage either at the stroke of a pen. A reversal of economic policy which, in England or America, would be the subject of parliamentary debate, and stand in danger of parliamentary sanctions, is simply a matter of administrative order in Sweden.

The Swedish planners have been fortunate in their industrialists.  In England and America, economic direction has been delayed, and sometimes frustrated, by the liberalism that gave political expression to the personal independence demanded by the capitalist ethos. Where control has been tentatively enforced, it has not infrequently been undermined by private sabotage without compunction. In the 1960s, for instance, the Labour government in England saw its financial restrictions undermined by private manipulation of a sophisticated credit system. A bank manager could then say to a customer that 'our aim is to protect our customers from the authorities', and remain honourable and honoured. None of this holds in Sweden. It is not only that the government has more power, but that businessmen want to submit.  Capitalism, in the sense of free enterprise and competition, has never existed in Sweden. The nineteenth-century entrepreneurs who built up Swedish industry believed in State help and control, a belated form of mercantilism. The firms that then grew up were, in all but name, monopolies. The Swedish economy has in consequence preserved a quasi-monopolistic nature. It has led to a degree of concentration which in the West is probably only equalled by Belgium.  Four or five families dominate Swedish economic life.  (…)

Under these circumstances, it might be imagined that the Swedish capitalists would profit by their strength to fight the government. In fact, this has never happened, because they have always by tradition identified themselves with the State, even after the accession of the Social Democrats and the ultimate threat they posed to the independence of the businessmen.

If the Swedish Central Bank exercises a unique and absolute control over financial affairs, it is not entirely due to its very extensive powers, which, in effect, make private banks its branches. It is also a consequence of the quasi-civil servant attitude of bankers.

'I admire the independence of English bankers,' said Mr Tore Browaldh, sometime managing director of Svenska Handelsbanken, one of the three major Swedish banks, 'but it could never happen here. Swedes like State control. It would never occur to a Swedish banker to help a customer against the State; his instincts are the other way: to carry out the orders of the Central Bank. He identifies himself with the State. I suppose it's a result of the Corporate State. I would lay there are no conflicts of loyalty; between the State and the customer, the State always wins. Even if we know we're cutting our own throats.'

This interplay of bureaucratic control, acquiescence and private identification with the State, smooths official control in most fields. Much of the development of Swedish society, for example, lies with the Directorate of Social Affairs which deals with social welfare, medicine and health services, housing and, to a certain extent, education as well. For some years, the director general was Professor Bror Rexed, who also happens to be one of the Social Democrats' leading ideologists. He frequently announced future policy, before his own minister had spoken, and before the party had officially made its decision. But, speaking as a senior bureaucrat, his words were accepted as a rescript which, in due course, would be formally endorsed. To take two important examples, he it was who announced in 1970 that the transplantation of organs was to be reviewed, and the law modified, and that, until the results of further research were available, the fluoridization of drinking water was to be suspended. Both were questions of public interest but, because he dealt with them, they were removed from political controversy. By the time the Diet was allowed to discuss these issues, what might have been a matter of parliamentary debate turned into the consideration of received truth. It is in this manner that controversial subjects are removed from politics.

The Directorate of Social Affairs enjoys untrammeled power in the custody of children. An administrative order issued by a petty official is sufficient to take any child away from its parents and have it brought up by any person (or institution) and in any way seen fit. This is no modern contrivance; it is an old arrangement brought up to date. (…)

Courts of law have no say in the matter, and there is no way that a parent can oppose an order depriving him of custody of his own child. (…) Custody of children, then, is in the hands of bureaucrats.  Child welfare officials may enter any home to investigate family conditions. They have power to order the police to force an entry and remove children without recourse to the judiciary. (…) Child welfare authorities are in contact with every citizen at one time or another. By law, every birth must be reported to the local child welfare centre. A representative will then visit the home to assess conditions and report findings to the doctors at the centre. It is unwise to resist entry, because that will arouse suspicions of maltreatment, with consequent danger of official action. Moreover, there is a legal compulsion on the citizen to report all suspicions of maltreatment to the child welfare centres. Anonymity is guaranteed, so that the suspected parent, like the victim of the Spanish Inquisition, need never know who his accuser is. (…)

Such is the control, and such the public mentality, enjoyed by the Swedish planners. The rulers of the Soviet Union, although favoured by despotic power, are not so fortunate. Obstructively resentful of officialdom, the Russian, in the words of the Spanish saying, has always known how orders are 'to be obeyed but not carried out'. To the Swede, that sort of compromise is downright immoral. His elected leaders have received those political blessings denied the autocrats in the Kremlin: compliant citizens and an unopposed bureaucracy.

(The New Totalitarians by Roland Huntford)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Totalitarian Mindset

When one imagines the totalitarian society, hordes of jackbooted fanatics spring to mind. Soldiers marching lockstep, saluting some mustachioed nationalist leader with a great power chauvinistic "will to power" - this is the norm, particularly in American culture. There is some truth to this illustration, or else it would not be so poignant, or persistent.

The problem with such a montage view of totalitarian societies is that it defuses the question of what preceded this disturbing imagery; how people became putty in some power-crazed dictator's hands. There is only the assumption: These are no more than faceless “others,” and nothing of that sort could ever happen here.

This is a great liberal deception. The totalitarian mindset is the result of a demoralization process that takes place over the course of decades and results in the breaking of a people's spirit. It can happen anywhere, to any people who fail in their vigilance to defend liberty.

Totalitarianism must first take hold in the minds of the people before it becomes political reality. Ideological corruption and subversion is the only path to molding a people who willingly cooperate with their oppressors. The totalitarian dictator does not announce his arrival with a speech proclaiming his intention to enslave a people; he is ushered into power by adoring crowds who glorify him as their savior.

To bring about a totalitarian society, a necessarily subtle form of indoctrination conditions the mindset of a people from the base level of their assumptions, which are the most hidden and obscure of mental heuristics. The prism through which people interpret the world around them becomes fundamentally warped. This foments misunderstanding so profound and obscure to the people themselves that it ultimately leads to the collapse of society; rendering it pliable to narcissistic dictators who desire to erect monuments to their egos.

The fundamental assumption of the totalitarian mindset is simple and potent: It is a zero-sum mentality. It is a worldview that sees no parts in distinction and everything as interrelated. Once this assumption is established in the minds of the citizenry, the totalitarian state follows ineluctably of its own accord.

The totalitarian mindset is the sad state of the modern liberal. Seeing only his beautiful vision of a brighter future, one without war, poverty, or misery, he is driven into an abusive and ultimately destructive relationship with all who oppose him. All history, philosophy, facts, and objections that contradict the modern liberal’s worldview are but justifications of the status quo; residue of capitalist “false consciousness.”

These may all seem like wild claims. But imagine that you are a dictator and you seek control over a nation of individualists, each desiring to go his own way. How do you recombine such rogue actors into a collective whole?

To bring about coalescence, you make everyone’s business the business of everyone else’s. Through the perversions of democracy, group rights, class warfare, and entitlements, you pit each individual against the other. You make it impossible for an individual to “live outside of society”; you drag him into the arena of political conflict, kicking and screaming if needed.

The simplest way to drag someone into the social arena is to confiscate his property, the fruit of his labor, and make his losses someone else’s gain. You then stir up social conflict through race and class warfare, so that people project their resentment on other groups, instead of on the inciting government and its proxies.

This is the secret of Marxism. Karl Marx set out to foster a world revolution and then developed the method to achieve it. The redistribution of wealth, from the “haves” to the “have-nots,” fosters a black-and-white, zero-sum worldview that pits the leaders of industry against their fellow workers, and in the welfare state, the producers against the parasites.

The most decisive way to glean that the current United States government is guided by Marxist philosophy is to examine its incomprehensible and ostensibly self-defeating tax policy. It is generally understood that cutting taxes, according to the Laffer curve, leads in some situations to a boost in employment and tax revenue. Yet the party in power refuses to do cut taxes. Why is this?

Because taxes are not as much about government revenue as they are about individual control, the subjugation of rival bases of power, and the fostering of social conflict. In particular, the progressive income tax, a plank out of the Communist Manifesto’s program for world revolution, penalizes productivity and encourages parasitism.

The welfare state, which is institutionalized parasitism, is assuredly not about promoting a better standard of life. It locks the poor into government dependency and stifles opportunities for meaningful employment through the taxation of businesses, which are accountable to the people in a market. Businesses can only thrive when they satisfy customers, and they spur economic activity through its connections with other businesses; this is the so-called “ten-fold” effect of wealth creation.

Keynesian economics, a Fabian, or incrementalist, innovation on Marxism, pre-empts market accountability through the first step of government theft; this removes market accountability, detaches capital from demand, and artificially re-inserts capital into the economic system. This is another form of wealth redistribution, without the altruistic rationalization of doing it for the lower class. It is no more than a ruse for building clientelism and furthering government dependency.

Keynesian economics, in conjunction with the intentional currency devaluation of the Federal Reserve system, systematically distorts the capitalist system. This leads to accentuated boom-and-bust periods, filling each trough up with capital liquidity, while the economic base is further and further eroded and detached from demand. Essentially, this circumvents the will of the people to produce and consume as they desire, and accumulates power in a political machine that dispenses and withholds favors as it sees fit. When the economic crashes come, with increasing frequency and severity, the people are forced to turn to government to intervene, since the economic structure is unsustainable and not tailored to meet natural market demand. The government’s justifications for further taxation and redistribution become more compelling, and a free people are gradually enslaved to the political class, and to each other.

The distortion and the eventual obliteration of independent economic life and free trade leads to a conflation of the economic, the political, the social, and even the private. Indeed, it is individual freedom that even makes these distinct categories possible.

The term "socialism" thus beguiles a tacit assumption: That all politics and economics can be dissolved within "society"; as if the world can become so immersed in personal relationships that all politics and economic conflict of interests will "wither away." It will become a "worker's paradise" where:

"...nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic." (Karl Marx, The German Ideology)

It is indeed striking to juxtapose Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's statement regarding health insurance portability:

"Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance."

What is striking is that civilizations are built precisely on the division of labor, directed (and in the case of Western Civilization, self-directed) economic activity, and intellectual and political leadership. Yet it appears to be the contention of the liberal intelligentsia that the division of labor, ipso facto, constitutes a conspiracy to oppress the masses. Ironically, liberal elites exempt themselves from inclusion in any such hierarchical view of the societies that they lead. They always claim to be part of "parties," or other collectives; thus denying that they are ruled by self-interest, even as they unabashedly espouse altruistic pretenses.

In the totalitarian's world, all is political. Since power is an existential fact of life, an interrelational concept that is defined by inequality between parts of the whole, power is not something dangerous or evil, but something to be seized and used. It is either possessed by the "good guys," that is, those who fight for social and economic "justice" (i.e. equality), or it is in the hands of the "bad guys," in their eyes, the nationalistic war-mongering oppressors who seek dominance over others.

This is why, regardless of whom America fights, it is automatically the imperialist aggressor. America's relative strength is intrinsically a sign of its oppressive nature, not a hallmark of superior virtue and a civilization harmonious with physical reality and human nature. Its power came at the expense of others; the underprivileged, the underrepresented, the underdeveloped.

Globally, the United States is blamed for the poverty of peoples and civilizations that preceded America by hundreds, even thousands of years. The nation is denounced for a capitalist economic system that produced unimaginable wealth by unleashing the human spirit; yet this is twisted into the exploitation of people in sandy deserts and barren wastelands that most Americans cannot even name, let alone find a map. After all, most Americans are working and minding their own business.

The totalitarian mindset is also why, in the liberal imagination, there is no such thing as a free market (unless you mean a mystical place where everything is "free"). An employer can never be an empowering agency, it must always be an exploiter, or an oppressor. Profits are a physical measure of that exploitation; whatever the employer has that the laborers do not is the hallmark of economic injustice. Never mind that some people are unable to organize an enterprise, develop a product that people want, coordinate the resources to build that product, entice people who can do the best job of manufacturing that product, get the product to people who want it, direct activities to take advantage of new technology and other opportunities, adapt to shifting circumstances, prepare for the unpredictable, compete with rival products, etc.

Such uncertainty and apparent disorganization of an economy that comes with a market, that engine of "creative destruction," as Schumpeter termed it, is a manifestation of individual differences, where true freedom allows people to make of their own lives what they will, to seek what they want, to create with the only restraint being what people deem to have value.

Liberals, as elites who presumably know better what has value, and thus do not seek to be constrained by any "market," believe such a mechanism of economic accountability to be, in any event, an illusion. A market to them is nothing less than a mechanism that leads to a maldistribution of resources from the oppressed to their oppressors. Income inequality is proof of injustice, since men are inherently equal. (Elites, however, see no irony in being paid handsomely for their "public service," since they are "on the side of the little guy." Liberalism is thus a sort of rationalization for hypocrisy.)

The lynchpin of the totalitarian mindset, the venue for its domination and indoctrination, is society. It is in the social realm where values are imparted, emotions are learned, the conscience is formed, and most importantly, where the totalitarian mentality is inculcated.

The importance of society for liberalism, which is to say in the modern era, socialism, is fundamental. Civil society is the arena of communication; we should therefore see no contradiction for liberals to use free speech as a cover to hide behind when espousing their crypto-authoritarian views, yet freedom of speech is one of the first things liberals seek to deprive people of when they are in positions of power.

Liberals use every social tool of intimidation and conditioning to batter individuals into submission. They use shame, ridicule, the manipulation of group dynamics, epithets, personal attacks, and demonization to imprint their values onto their prey. Meanwhile, they defuse judgment, critical thinking, and rationality and ridicule any individual who dares to challenge their narratives. If they have no response, they will merely laugh in a presumably knowingly and arrogant way, usually joined in by their group-thinking audience.

When liberals claim that they seek a society of "freedom," what they really mean is one without order. It is not because they seek to liberate people, but rather that they seek total control over the environment in such a comprehensive way that they are literally omnipotent, and thus everywhere and nowhere at once. This is a utopia of complete domination by invisible elites with the complete and grateful submission of a brainwashed sheeple.

To create a totalitarian mentality, the distinctions that give rise to rationality, and therefore, civilized man, must be obliterated in order to form perfectly malleable savages, able to be controlled and directed without their even knowing that they are being manipulated. Moral relativism, equivocation, rationalization, non-judgment, tolerance, and nondiscrimination are what is needed for a people to be at the mercy of the elites. The successfully indoctrinated are people who operate on a primal level, often spontaneously and inexplicably attacking predetermined targets. What conditions these targets is the zero-sum mentality.

From a social point of view, the zero-sum mentality holds that males are inherently repressive of females; men's relative physical strength is only symbolic of their intent to dominate women. Every good feminist knows that all differences between the sexes are only the result of "gender roles." The totalitarian worldview cannot tolerate inherent natural differences beyond their control.

Furthermore, heterosexuals are inherently "homophobes" if they reject homosexuality. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are simply "lifestyle preferences," after all, and the espousal of monogamous heterosexuality as a value is intrinsically an attempt to dominate the sex lives of others. To a totalitarian liberal, this is true whether a heterosexual is actually interested in others' sex lives or not. If one insists that heterosexuality is natural, he is automatically a bigot.

The same can be said of race. White people are the dominant majority for no other reason than they are the majority. Whether or not "whites" evaluate people on the basis of skin color - that is irrelevant. The "inability" or "unwillingness" to see people in terms of skin color, a de facto aspect of group identity, is a sign of ignorance, not of virtue. It cannot be a sign that people want to "progress" past the true injustices of the past and to live in a society of human beings who are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Such a point of view is impossible in a world where the majority "race" is perpetually the oppressor of the minority race. Totalitarians cannot understand people who see the world in terms of particulars.

In political terms, any power existing outside of the government rightfully belongs to the powerless (democracy supposedly making the government and the people synonymous); the means of the wealthy is rightfully owned by the impoverished; and all prestige rightfully belongs to the underprivileged and underrepresented. It should be noted that “democracy” is only for totalitarians, and not for those who seek to oppose him.

Furthermore, the totalitarian mindset sees the nature of reality as an integrated whole. Totalitarians view the material structure of the environment as deterministic of people's thoughts and behavior; therefore, they seek no less than total control of all resources in order to control the people. This is one reason why liberals believe guns cause violence; people neither have free will nor do some have a natural disposition towards violence. Both implications would frustrate the totalitarian’s ability to remake the world as he sees fit.

More generally, liberals (whom we can classify as people who may or may not know that they are socialists) believe that by removing competition for scarce resources they will be able to remove all sources of conflict. These elitists paradoxically seek to deny people the ability to achieve personal excellence, all in the name of “equality.” Yet they never forego their own resources or privileged positions in the interest of "equality"; once again belying that they are as self-interested as all other people.

It is hidden to the liberal totalitarian that his holistic mindset leads inevitably to dehumanization. Because of his sense of self-righteousness and altruistic mission, he is unable to comprehend that one of the principle organizing tenets of post-communist totalitarianism, radical environmentalism, is destined to unleash a maelstrom of inhumane policies in the interest of "purity." Environmentalism combines the totalitarian's tendency to abstract away individual human beings with a drive for complete control over the material world.

Today’s liberal forces a deadly dance where either you are for socialism (liberalism, progressivism, etc.) or against it. There is no option in the liberal’s mind of sequestration on a deserted island to try, yet again, his failed socialist experiments. Only ever-expanding concentric rings of political control, until the world is under total socialist domination, will quench his lust to remake the world as he sees fit. And the biggest obstacle in his way: The United States of America.

It should not be much of a surprise then that the socialist Democrat Party seeks to “fundamentally transform” the United States and to harness it to unaccountable global socialist bodies. “Progressives” have been systematically undermining the U.S. for decades, if not a full century.

America has been stronger than the progressive (socialists) anticipated, as demonstrated by the threatening tea party movement. But the socialists finally have their man in the White House and the radical wing is tired of waiting. The leftists are growing impatient, and every day brings a new report of some policy or action that threatens to break the nation in two.

The perfect opposition to the liberal totalitarian, the source of his frustration and his target for destruction, is the American Constitution. Private property, expressed and divided powers, checks and balances, individual rights, representation, free trade in and between states, state’s rights, the rule of law, and a free press all frustrate the ambitions of totalitarians. This is why these institutions must be demolished or harnessed for the state’s interests.

Furthermore, American culture, with its family values, rugged individualism, Christianity, firm basis in common sense, respect for the founding, and grounding in objective reality, is a cause of animus for the liberal totalitarian and the forum of his constant corruption.

To defeat liberal totalitarianism, we need to reassert American culture and restore the Constitution. No less that a revolution of ideals, one that sees other citizens as free individuals, and potential collaborators in mutually beneficial joint enterprises, will reestablish a civil society where men can live and work in independent harmony. Through the protection of individuals’ lives and property, we can compete with one another to advance the interests of mankind in the spirit of mutual respect.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dale Peterson - For Every District in the Gawldarn Country

The Tea Parties: Doomed to Fail?

“I have a message, a message from the Tea Party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words,” Mr. Paul said in his victory speech in Bowling Green, Ky. “We have come to take our government back.”

I generally sympathize with the Tea Party movement but I can’t help noting - the exact same speeches were uttered by Jacksonian Democrats in the mid-19th century, Bourbon Democrats in the late 19th century, the Conservative Coalition in the 1930s and Reagan fans in the 1980s. But none of those speeches has so far managed to significantly halt the onslaught of big government. 

Mr. Paul, do you really have the solution? You’re trying to cure the consequences, not the causes. Perhaps your name (Rand) may give you a clue on what the solution is? One of the biggest problems is that the grassroots have never launched an intellectual revolution in the entire history of mankind - that’s why any purely grassroots movement is doomed to fail unless backed by a revolt by the intellectuals. But, as of now, there are very few intellectuals capable of such a revolt - even the Ayn Rand Institute doesn’t quite live up to Ayn Rand’s level, and they are just a tiny drop in the ocean. An overwhelming majority of intellectuals is on the opposite side. I’m not being pessimistic - I’m just stating the facts. Stating the facts is the first step to taking rational action. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Renaissance: The Triumph of Individualism

One of the gravest obstacles to the fulfillment of Utopia has been the development of individuality. It brings too much incertitude and too much resistance to the calculations of authority. But the Swedes have been spared that burden; among them the concept of individuality and the development of personality have been grossly retarded down the centuries. The Swede has never emerged from behind the veil of the group; he is conscious of himself only through some general category, as a member of a people, a clan or a party. He has preserved untouched a devotion to an hierarchical order of things and an unprecedented devotion to corporate organization. Sweden has remained a country, not of individual citizens, but of groups and guilds. The industrial revolution found a receptive environment in Sweden and did not have to grapple with the inappropriate mentality of Western Europe. Sweden is a country in which modern institutions have been grafted onto a medieval frame of mind. This is connected with the absence of the Renaissance from Sweden. The Renaissance is all things to all men. It is an art movement, the revival of classical learning, the rise of humanism, the advance of knowledge or the opening of the age of exploration. The sum of its parts is that force which has created modern Western man. Its heart is the discovery of the individual. That is the real distinction between the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. Medieval man, with his instinct for the collective, existed solely as a member of some group. Renaissance man discovered that he was an individual, with an identity all his own. In that sense, the Renaissance was confined to Western Europe. It was absent from Sweden, as it was absent from Russia, and Swedes share with Russians the distinction of undeveloped individuality. Escaping the discovery of the individual, the Swedes continued to think and act in groups. They have preserved their medieval core intact, where Western man is heir to the Renaissance. In this lies the fundamental difference between Sweden and the West. The hierarchical view of society was a vital part of the medieval mind. It was sapped in the West by the Renaissance, but in Sweden (as in Russia) it had survived more or less intact. Related to this, personal pride was the most reprehensible of medieval sins and, in Sweden today, it remains one of the worst transgressions. Self-effacement is the obligatory virtue. (The New Totalitarians by Roland Huntford)

After Obama

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Obamandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I guaran-gd-tee that it will have to do with censoring critics of the administration and/or subsidizing the dying left-wing press! If they intend to silence critics, well, then the time for talk is over!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More Quotes on Democracy

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. – H.L. Mencken

Democracy is indispensable to Socialism. – V.I. Lenin

Democracy is the road to Socialism. – Karl Marx

Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves. – Joseph Sobran

Russia Buys More Time for Iranian Allies

Russia warns U.S. against unilateral Iran sanctions

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the United States and other Western nations on Thursday against imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Interfax news agency reported.

The European Union has said it may impose unilateral sanctions if a U.N. Security Council resolution fails.

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has been lobbying Western companies not to do business with Iran, but has not imposed sanctions against them.

Countries facing Security Council sanctions "cannot under any circumstances be the subject of one-sided sanctions imposed by one or other government bypassing the Security Council", Lavrov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

"The position of the United States today does not display understanding of this absolutely clear truth."

Russia is in talks with the United States and other U.N. Security Council members on a fourth round of sanctions. Moscow has indicated it could support broader sanctions but has stressed they must not harm the Iranian people. [Continued]

But that is how sanctions work. When you put sanctions in place, you don't expect to hurt the oligarchs. You pressure the regime by pressuring its people.

Russkies Seize NATO Secrets in Polish Airplane "Tragedy"

NATO code compromise by Bill Geertz

The recent crash of a Polish military transport that killed most of Warsaw's senior civilian and military leaders was not only a human catastrophe for a key U.S. ally. NATO sources said that, in addition to the loss of nearly 100 pro-U.S. Polish leaders, the crash provided Moscow with a windfall of secrets.

The crash killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski in western Russia on April 10 and decapitated Poland's military, killing two service chiefs, key military aides and several national security officials, many of whom were carrying computers and pocket memory sticks that contained sensitive NATO data.

Perhaps the most significant compromise, according to a NATO intelligence source, is that the Russians are suspected of obtaining ultrasecret codes used by NATO militaries for secure satellite communications. [Continued]

Sweden: A Totalitarian Brave New World

But, (Huxley) says, There is of course no reason why the new totalitarianism should resemble the old. Government by firing squads ... is not merely inhumane... it is demonstrably inefficient, and in an age of advanced technology, inefficiency is a sin against the Holy Ghost. A really efficient totalitarian state would be the one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.

Of all people, it is the Swedes who have come closest to this state of affairs. They have the necessary background and predilections. Outside Russia, they alone have grasped the necessity of adapting politics to technology, untroubled by doubts or reservations. They offer the first example of a system that fulfills Huxley's prophecy. Historical accident and national idiosyncrasies have pushed Sweden ahead on the road to Brave New World. (…)

Security [(Huxley) says in the aforementioned comment to Brave New World] tends very quickly to be taken for granted. Its achievement is merely a superficial, external revolution. The love of servitude cannot be established except as the result of a deep, personal revolution in human minds and bodies. (…)

(The Swedes) have shown that the 'revolution in human minds and bodies' can be carried through, to a remarkable degree, by available methods. They have demonstrated, for example, that the relatively crude indoctrination offered by television and conventional education holds tremendous possibilities, provided only that there is effective centralized control of both. They have proved how powerful are the existing agents of inducing love of servitude. They are the first of the new totalitarians.

In the search for prophecies fulfilled, it is useful to make one excursion into Nineteen Eighty-Four. The Swedes have demonstrated the power of that form of semantic manipulation Orwell called Newspeak: the changing of words to mean something else. In this way, thought can be directed, and undesirable concepts eliminated, because the means of expressing them have been removed. 'Freedom' does not yet in Swedish, as in the brainchild of Orwell's Ministry of Truth, mean exactly 'slavery', but it already implies 'submission', and a powerful word in the vocabulary of opposition has therefore been effectively neutralized. Similarly, it is exceedingly difficult to speak in any but favourable terms of the State, because the words in that field have been positively loaded.(…)

But what distinguishes Sweden is that morality has become the concern of the government, where elsewhere it is something independent, growing out of changes within society.

The ultimate crime in Brave New World is to deviate from a norm. That norm is innocent of ethics and morality, and decided on grounds of expediency alone. The situation is already a doctrine of Swedish law. Gone is the idea of right or wrong, or the moral content of an action. Crime is now defined as social deviation. The test of whether an offence is punishable, however, is solely whether it has awkward effects on the collective. Analogously, in non-criminal spheres the worst solecism is to be different. Sweden, like Soviet Russia, belongs to that group of countries in which 'individuality' has a derogatory ring.

All this is not because Sweden is so far advanced but because, in all senses except the purely technological, she is so extraordinarily backward. Sweden is a relic of the Middle Ages, a State of corporations and communes, and the Swedes are medieval people living only as members of a group. It is an ideal situation for the incarnation of Brave New World. Like the rulers of Brave New World, the managers of Sweden have abolished history, in order to cut off the past and, by disorienting their time sense, to make people easier to manipulate.

(Roland Huntford, The New Totalitarians)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Benevolent Despotism vs Declaration of Independence

Jeremy Bentham was the founding father of what one might call “liberal totalitarianism.” His Orwellian “Panopticon” was apparently a forerunner of “utilitarian” Stalinism. That prophet of “benevolent” despotism scorned natural rights and at the same time was among the first to promote “animal rights,” foreshadowing envirofascism. In his will, Bentham wished his skeleton to be clad in his clothes and publicly displayed – an eerie, if not crazy, desire.
Here’s what Bentham had to say about the American Revolution in his Short View of the Declaration (1776):

In examining this singular Declaration, I have hitherto confined myself to what are given as facts, and alleged against his Majesty and his Parliament, in support of the charge of tyranny and usurpation. Of the preamble I have take little or no notice. The truth is, little or none does it deserve. The opinions of the modern Americans on Government, like those of their good ancestors on witchcraft, would be too ridiculous to deserve any notice, if like them too, contemptible and extravagant as they be, they had not led to the most serious evils. In this preamble, however it is, that they attempt to establish a theory of Government; a theory, as absurd and visionary, as the system of conduct in defence of which it is established, is nefarious. Here it is, that maxims are advanced in justification of their enterprises against the British Government. To these maxims, adduced for this purpose, it would be sufficient to say, that they are repugnant to the British Constitution. But beyond this they are subversive of every actual or imaginable kind of Government. They are "to assume," as they tell us, "among the powers of the earth that equal and separate station to which" - they have lately discovered - "the laws of Nature, and of Nature's God entitle them." What difference these acute legislators suppose between the laws of Nature and of Nature's God, is more than I can take upon me to determine or even to guess. If to what they now demand they were entitled to by any law of God, they had only to produce that law, all controversy was at an end. Instead of this, what do they produce? What they call self-evident truths. "All men," they tell us, "are created equal." This surely is a new discovery; now, for the first time, we learn, that a child, at the moment of his birth, has they same quantity of natural power as the parent, the quantity of political power as the magistrate. The rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" - by which, if they mean any thing, they must mean the right to enjoy life, to enjoy liberty, and to pursue happiness - they "hold to be unalienable." This they "hold to be among truths self-evident." At the same time, to secure these rights, they are content that Governments should be instituted. They perceive not, or will not seem to perceive, that nothing which can be called Government ever was, or ever could be, in any instance, exercised, but at the expense of on or other of those rights. -That, consequently, in as many instance as Government ever exercised, some one or other of these rights, pretended to be unalienable, is actually alienated. That men who are engaged in the design of subverting a lawful Government, should endeavour by a cloud of words, to throw a veil over their design; that they should endeavour to beat down the criteria between tyranny and lawful government, is not at all surprising."

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Unfounding of America

Life under President Barack Obama and a radical-led Democrat majority in Congress has been a clarion call to many Americans that their beloved home is now dominated by elites who have little respect for this nation's founding principles. But few recognize that the Democrat Party does not merely ignore the Constitution, it stands in direct opposition to the vision of the founders of this great country.

The founding principles of this nation, as expressed in and gleaned from The Constitution, can be summarized as the following: Federalism, limited government, divided powers, individualism, liberty, private property, the rule of law, and free market capitalism.

For serious students of politics, these are sensible institutions that safeguard a people from government oppression. But to the naive liberals, if any charismatic politician purports that he seeks to "change" the nature of government from a coercive institution to a supposedly liberating, "democratic" instrument of the people, they are to be lauded and supported. For those who know history and are able to learn from it, megalomanical politicians always veil their designs on the freedom of a people in the rhetoric of idle pleasantries, false generosity, paternalistic benevolence, and transcendent visions.

Americans should not fall into the trap of believing that Obama is a figure who has single-handedly brought America to the brink of unchecked tyranny. We Americans have largely done this to ourselves; either through ignorance; through unrealistic idealism; or through trepidation at directly challenging the progressive narrative, which is intentionally beset with rhetorical traps to snare those who would be "cruel" enough to debunk its unreality. Obama is the harbinger of the future, he is not the molder of it. Progressives do not fundamentally alter the nature of a people, they take all that is weak and gullible and they exploit and exaggerate it, until people are unable to check the vices in themselves and require government to do it for them.

People need to realize that whether nationalist or socialist in nature, the government seeks to coerce; it is its primary business, its nature, and it attracts men who seek to utilize that power to coerce for their own benefit and those of their benefactors. These tend to be men of deception, of ambition, and of unscrupulous morality; whether Bush, or Obama, or the next incompetent or power-hungry control freak to be selected for the reins of power.

As polities trend towards democracy, the leaders increasingly reflect the worst qualities of the people. And as the people continue to deteriorate morally, through their lack of capacity for self-governance, the leaders find themselves increasingly compelled to exercise their powers of coercion over them. And increasingly the people begin to agree with the tyrants that it is for their own good. The lesson here is that America will be in constant danger not when it has benevolent and sage leadership, a modern-day Marcus Aurelius if you will, but when the power structure is altered from collectivist centralization to federalist individualism. This is not because political architecture is everything, but that such a systems allows people to interact with reality and to learn from it; this allows them the opportunity to be responsible, productive, morally well-adjusted people. And of course, some people will fail. Accepting that men can be imperfect is a vital step to dealing with their foibles; a legal system that consistently penalizes socially aggressive or parasitical behavior is key to forcing men to deal with themselves and to learn self-control. This is indispensable for social stability, and a civil society based on mutual respect.

The growth and spread of a government that naturally has no intention of governing itself began to metastasize about midway between the founding and now. This is not to imply that such seminal events as the Civil War and Reconstruction were not instrumental for the central government's consolidation of power for statists like Wilson and FDR and Bush and Obama. But it is during the Progressive Era when the nation began to incrementally but unmistakably transform into the opposite of its founding.

Under the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson ensued in earnest the accumulation of power in the central government, which is the true source of our current dilemma. During the progressive era, power began to rapidly accumulate in Washington. Liberty became increasingly scoffed at. The brave new world seemed to lay with scientistic collectivisms such as Fordism and Taylorism. Private property was incrementally obliterated under burdensome tax laws and dubious rationalizations for public confiscation. Socialism and other forms of collectivism became all the rage. Presidents and university professors began to talk openly of a "living, breathing Constitution." The executive started to accumulate unauthorized powers, even unilaterally decreeing a novel second "Bill of Rights." A cult of personality swelled up surrounding the nation's highest officials abetted by an all-too-accommodating press. The economic system was broken by government manipulation of the currency and rampant government interference. A crisis of confidence in capitalism ushered in a period of experimentation and a virtually unlimited tolerance for failure. All the progressives knew was that capitalism had failed the world, and America needed to lead it out of darkness.

Such began the crusade of a self-appointed intellectual vanguard to remake the world. A savage world war, seemingly fueled by science and capitalism, had led to worldwide depression and the rise of the jackbooted fascists and nationalistic dictators who desired to guard their lands against further chaos and dependency. The world system seemed to be founded on selfishness, competition, and national sovereignty. Division appeared to sow the seeds of discord. Only in unity would all dissension, and all opposition, dissolve away. What was needed were Guardians, led by Philosopher-kings, to unite the world and manage it "scientifically."

In this drive for unity, a new synthetic logic was demanded, and Marxism fit this order perfectly. Even if it was generally understood that Marxism was a fanciful myth, it was in its Hegelian dialectical method that lay its true strength: To unify one must not clash one opposing side against the other, but bring them together to convergence through synthesis. This is the secret of the transformation of the United States; it was not that socialists sought to destroy the capitalist system, they intended to transform it to socialism. That is why the Democrats appear fascist, despite their internationalist bent. It is in the death throes of market capitalism, as it is systematically corrupted by socialism, that the economy takes on the appearance of fascism.

The more our Constitutional order is transformed into its opposite, the more unpredictable and unstable the nation becomes, ultimately to the point of "crisis," or transference from the old system to the new. We are impending this transference point, and this is the meaning behind the shift in the Democrats' language from veiled Marxism to unabashed socialist rhetoric. We are not the audience for this change in tone - our children are.

Thus the Democrats are increasingly unafraid to state their true goals for this country: Centralization, uniformity of opinion, endless regulation, redistribution of wealth, unlimited government, consolidation of power, arbitrary rule by a charismatic leader - essentially, socialism.

But what has caused these Americans, if we may call them that, to turn so vehemently against the nation that has entrusted them with power? Is it sheer elitism that drives them to think that they are more enlightened than our Founders and Framers? Is the elites' faith in progress so ingrained in their minds that 'the worse things get, the better things are becoming'? Is their existential crisis so complete that they are willing to tear down all existing order, break down all barriers, and undo all real progress in order to remake the world into what they see fit?

The uneasy answer is yes - it is for a bit of all of these reasons that we have elites who crave power to do what they perceive to be good, even if that means doing what we perceive to be evil. Citizens perceive to be good that which is conducive to civilization and that which makes a happy life possible for all citizens, weak and strong alike. Evil is that which is contrary to civilization and that which allows the strong to prey on the weak; especially without justice. But to the elites, good and evil is a myth nested in pagan and religious mythos; it is a mystical barrier that inhibits their ability to pragmatically and scientifically manage society.

Ultimately, the thorn that is lodged in the minds of the progressives is the idea that history is relevant and therefore we are "trapped" in a world of cause and effect and real world consequences for our actions. They cannot allow that America's Founding Fathers were wiser than them; that would imply that progress is not automatic, as it is under socialism. They cannot allow that there is so such thing as human nature; that implies that men are not perfectible in freedom, and therefore it only remains that everything in mankind's environment must be controlled to bring about the conditions for "the new man." Progressives, therefore, are immersed in denial: Of reality, of human nature, even of life itself. They hopelessly lament, because of the "death of God," that it is "just us down here." Therefore, they feel it incumbent to create the paradise that was denied to them by God's death; and since there is no hell to dissuade them, money, manpower, and morals are expendable.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Handbook of Political Manipulation

Politicians employ an array of tactics to disorient, confuse, mislead, and coerce the public. They draw these tactics from marketing (black pr), psychological operations in warfare (psychops), intelligence (disinformation), parliamentary tactics, and agit-propaganda. These tactics can be referred to as political manipulation.

There are many Americans who are either naive when it comes to such manipulation or prone to following conspiratorial cul-de-sacs. In the information age it is vital to know how one can be manipulated if one is not sensitive to information sources, quality, plausibility, and "effects." The following is a list of kinds of political manipulation, based particularly on the American political experience. Some of the terms are neologisms for illustrative purposes:

Ad hominem argument - Discrediting or rejecting an argument based on who someone or some group is rather than what he, she, or it is arguing.

Appeal to authority - A favorite of elitists and self-described intellectuals, an appeal to authority makes a truth claim based on the reputation of a person, group, or other source.  It is often done to diminish an argument made by a person on the merits or according to evidence.  The most famous recent appeal to authority argument is that the "science is settled" regarding the manmade global warming hypothesis, according to a group, the IPCC, whose members and backers receive billions of dollars in grants and other benefits.

Appeal to emotion -  The argumentum ad misericordium, or "appeal to emotion," is one of the most prevalent manipulative political techniques.  It is the use of emotion to persuade people to support, or to intimidate people to reject, an argument based on emotion rather than on evidence, reason, or self-interest.  A subset of this is the infamous "do it for the children" argument, which should have its own fallacy of argumentum ad infantium

Astro-turfing - Paying or employing people or groups to appear like part of a "grass roots" movement. Pioneered by Democrat master tactician David Axelrod.

Bait-and-switch - Named after the marketing technique of advertising a discount or rebate on one product and "switching" the customer to another product once in the store (or on the lot, in the case of used car salesmen).  In politics, it may be the call for "reform" of an industry to lower costs and then the erection of a massive new spending program.

The Big Lie - Pioneered modernly by Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, the big lie is so preposterous that many people do not suspect that one would utter it.  The current master of the big lie is manmade global warming alarmist Al Gore.

Black-boxing - Requiring that citizens or other people divide themselves into predetermined groups. One example is the mandatory classification of Americans by "race" in government forms like the census. This reinforces self-identification as belonging to racial or other types of groups (often artificially).

Bogeymen - The attribution of political phenomena to groups who are accorded disproportionately high levels of influence. Examples of these groups and their members include Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Merovingians, Bilderbergers, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, and even the entire religious ethnic group of Jews. This tactic oversimplifies political reality, misleads and radicalizes fringe elements on the political spectrum, and alienates those of similar ideological affinity. In popular culture, the legend of "Keyser Soze" ("the king who speaks too much" in German/Turkish) in the film The Usual Suspects is one example of such a "spook story."

Chameleon effect - The ability of a politician to adapt to his surroundings, or to portray what his audience wants to see.  This effect is reinforced by a lack of details about a candidate.  Generally the more unknown or mysterious the "real" politician is, the more effective he can be at imitation and misrepresentation.

Class Warfare - The strategy of leftists to pit the less successful against the more successful by arguing that one "upper class" systematically represses the lower classes.  This class narrative is contradicted by upward mobility, both in particular cases and in general (the relatively high percentage of those who move across groups, including from the supposed upper class to the lower classes and vice versa).

The Common Good - The black hole of justifications for leftist causes into which all rationality and caution is thrown. Defined be elites and politicians, this nebulous entity is also referred to as "the public," "the public interest," and "the people."   

Context-dropping - Distorting something a person says or writes by extricating it from its context so as to render the meaning completely different. One easy way is to remove a soundbite or line from a satirical piece without qualifying it as satire. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is constantly attacked by groups like Media Matters using the context-dropping technique.

Controlled opposition - The opposition to a party or group is infiltrated and manipulated until it is taken over and used as a foil to the benefit of the subverting party. It operates either by making a caricature of the opposing party through antics and scandals, or by channeling popular opposition in an ultimately futile and demoralizing direction.

Cultural relativism - The equivocation of cultures for the purposes of diminishing pride in the target's or targets' particular nation, religion, ethnicity, race, or other source of identity.

"Dancing Bears" - The use of political operatives to harness opposition and provide a caricature to one's constituency. Usually done in order to mobilize one's base for political action against a political party or movement. It plays off people's tendency for bivalent (either-or) reasoning. Pioneered in Russia, one example is the use of the ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the party LDP in order to marginalize ultra-nationalism and to make politicians like Vladimir Putin look "moderate" by providing a foil. This tactic may elicit the secondary effect in the audience that "politics is a circus," and may therefore demobilize or disenchant citizens and dissuade them from being more interested or active in politics.

Decry what you do - This is a favorite of followers of Alinsky, such as Barack Obama. The idea is to condemn the very behavior that one is doing. Many times one can find out what a radical is up to by paying attention to what he is condemning. An example might be Barack Obama condemning the Republicans for partisan rhetoric. The very act of condemning the Republicans for partisan rhetoric is itself partisan, but it gives the impression that the condemning party is the victim.

Dirty hands argument - A fallacious argument that implies that a person, group, or other entity cannot do or mean well because of a past mistake or offense. Sometimes used to smear a group, party, or nation whose members may not represent the previous membership.  Dirty hands arguments are often unbalanced in presentation, historically removed, or paint a tendentious picture.

Demonization - A broad term that includes overt or subtle defamation of a person or group with the intention of making it appear evil or insidious to the public.

Disinformation - Disinformation is a broad category of political manipulation whose origins can be traced to intelligence techniques. The KGB are the unquestioned masters of dezinformatsia and much more on this subject can be found by reading about this Soviet agency's tactics.

The goal of disinformation is not merely to misinform, but rather to condition the target to respond to information in a predictable pattern. Response patterns elicited may range from knee-jerk revulsion to ideas that threaten the mental integrity of the subject to uncontrollable fits of rage and other types of irrational behavior. Disinformation can be a one-time operation or part of a coordinated campaign working in tandem with miseducation, usually of young people.

Diversions - The introduction of tangential or irrelevant issues in order to preoccupy the public while more important events take place. One examples may be the Tiger Woods saga, which ran during the healthcare bill debate.

Divide-and-Unite - Sowing the seeds of discords among groups and then appearing as the "savior" to unite them.

Echo Chamber - The repetition of a rumor, scandal, news story, or issue be several ostensibly different information sources in order to condition public opinion.  The practice works by giving the false impression of independently arrived-upon "consensus." 

Fall guys - Disposable fall guys of politicians who take the blame for illicit activities.

False flag operation - Staging an event or secreting evidence in order to create the false appearance that one's opposition is responsible for some scandal or atrocity. Often used as a justification for repression or for more power and authority.  The Reichstag fire that ushered the Nazis to power is one famous example.

Fiat money - Money based on the "full faith and credit" of a government. It is not money as a "store of value," but rather a store of debt. When people trade imaginary (i.e. ultimately valueless) fiat currency for goods and services, it may signify in practice the transition stage from capitalism to socialism. Since people do not own fiat currency, it is not their property; it is legal tender, and therefore can be arbitrarily seized by the government within the legal framework of a fiat currency system (as unjust as that may be from a natural rights perspective). The money belongs to the government, it does not belong to the citizenry.

Flooding - Creating a virtual ocean of reinforcing or complementary signs, symbols, and messages that provide internal referents for the target, essentially indoctrinating him or her into believing in a false representation of reality.  Nowadays, Americans virtually swim in an ocean of cultural marxism. This is largely due to the "flooding" of Hollywood, news media, and other outlets with symbols and messages that overtly or covertly reinforce Marxist messages.  One example is the overwrought emphasis on "sharing" as the primary lesson a child should take away from kindergarten and daycare (as opposed to becoming the best person you can be).  The term is based on the metaphor of the fish who isn't aware that he is wet.

Framing - A sophisticated technique that "primes" a person for his reception of subsequent information. It basically operates by providing a theme and then associating information with that theme. An example may be mentioning a Vietnamese restaurant before discussing the Iraq War. The term "quagmire" is sure to come up.

Front groups - A political party or movement's proxy groups who do not formally announce their affiliation with that party or movement. These may include "non-partisan" 501c(3) groups like Media Matters, which is a Democrat-run think tank founded by the Clintons and John Podesta. Under the umbrella of Cultural Marxism, front groups can include radical feminist, environmentalist, pro-choice, or pro-minority groups.

Fueling the Fire - The agitation of a group through incendiary tactics in order to expose the radical elements and to discredit the group to the broader public.

Fusion - A Trotskyist tactic whereby a party or group is radicalized by the groups who affiliate themselves with the original party or group. One example is the formation of radical environmentalist groups who latch themselves onto the Democrat or even the Republican party and then steer the agenda to the hard left.

Gerrymandering - Originally, the redrawing of districts to benefit politicians or political parties.  The term derives from Governor Eldridge Gerry, whose redistricting of Massachusetts resulted in one district that resembled a salamander. The practice no longer applies primarily to the configuring of district boundaries to the benefit of one party at the expense of another, but also applies to the rigging of the electoral maps to favor incumbents. See horse-trading.

Grandstanding - When a politician, committee, or party abuses public office to make an ostentatious display to an audience.  Typically done for public relations purposes, such as to shore up image, communicate values to the base or to moderates, or to stage a veneer under which to covertly work at cross-purposes to the public message.

Hidden Taxes - These taxes are designed to condition the people not to notice them. These include federal taxes obtained from withholding and the VAT tax. From a non-technical point of view, it also includes intentional inflation, which benefits the large banks and investors that receive access to the money at the origins of its insertion into the economy.

Hit-and-run - Not only a tactic of the "drive-by media" (as Rush Limbaugh labeled it) where news outlets disseminate sensationalistic stories on a daily basis without context or follow-up, it can also be applied to politicians who switch agendas so fast that the average citizen does not know what is next or cannot keep up.  May create a sensation of omnipresent "crisis," it is often used by fascistic and pseudo-fascistic regimes.

Horse-trading - Named after the very subjective business of trading horses, it applies to shrewd bargaining by politicians, usually with wink-and-nod agreements as to the true import of legislation.  Certain regulations, for example, harm particular businesses more than others.  Businesses that benefit from a regulation may donate more campaign contributions to the politician who indirectly assists them.  Other politicians may "keep score" of such veiled transactions and pass their own regulations, with the implicit agreement of the other horse-trading politicians.

Insinuation - Implants an idea in the minds of the audience members by asserting the opposite of the intended message.   Example: "Now I would never suggest that my opponent believes himself to be above the law..."

Jujitsu - In martial arts, the use of an opponent's weight or force against him. In politics, this is the encouragement of an enemy to continue to act or to heighten or increase its actions to the point where that behavior becomes unsustainable. This often requires perverse incentives and false rewards, such as when politicians provide welfare benefits to the community in exchange for votes. One example is the Cloward-Piven strategy.

Kabuki Theater - Named for a form of Japanese puppet show, this is a type of political debate where both sides (tacitly) agree to put on a show for the respective target audiences. This may reduce public tension and apprehension by airing grievances, and bolster the images of the political participants by making them appear more principled than they actually are. Also known as a dog and pony show.

Kickbacks - A return of a portion of funding, particularly public funding, to a politician who helped make the funding possible.  It may also refer to a secret payment for an explicit or implicit service rendered,  which may include "turning the other way" and ignoring corruption or illegal actions.

Laugh it off - Similar to, and perhaps a subcategory of, ridicule. This is when one meets an accusation head on and laughs it off. This can be done in combination with strawman arguments. One example might be when the president laughed off the idea that he was engaging in some sort of "Bolshevik plot." Hardly anyone accuses him of that, though many people are legitimately concerned about the creeping socialism under his administration.

Leader-rappelling - When a leader appears from out of nowhere to become the head of a party or movement. These may be relatively unknown politicians who speak in populist terms. Most effective when the opposition is weak, captured, or effectively demonized. One example is two-year senator Barack Obama.

Logrolling - Refers to the practice of favor-trading by representatives in Congress.  By these means, legislation that might not be passed because it favors one state or district at the expense of others can be passed in exchange for the quid pro quo support of other such legislation by fellow "logrolling" representatives.  The term received its named from representative Davy Crockett of Tennessee, who condemned the practice. 

Mainstreaming - Discussing a controversial topic in an offhand way in order to make it appear acceptable. One example is the mainstreaming of the term "teabag*ing" in major news media to the point where the president of the country feels free to use the sexually explicit slur to demonize his opponents.

Misrepresentation - Portraying an event, group, policy, or politician in a disproportionate or distorted manner.

Moral relativism - Equivocation of morality with the implication that there is no such thing as right and wrong or good and evil.  It plays to the advantage of regimes that desire to steal, kill, and violate the rights of people without being questioned and without consequences.

The Noble Lie - Based on a question in Plato's Republic, the noble lie is rationalized in the mind of the liar by the justification that "it is better that the people do not know the truth." 

Pandering - The misrepresentation of a person or party to cater to the tastes of a prospective constituency or benefactor.  Examples are a politician taking on an awkward southern drawl when speaking to a southern audience, speaking like one is at a hip-hop concert to inner city black youth, or wearing a flannel shirt to speak to Iowans.d   

Pawns - Unsuspecting actors who are manipulated by politicians in a game of which the pawns are unaware.

Plantation farming - The use of dependency to cultivate a political client group. May include minorities or hypothetically, civil servants.

Planting - The use of apparent sympathizers or plants to infiltrate, spy on, influence, and/or potentially sabotage a group.  In intelligence terminology, roughly equivalent to a mole.

Plausible deniability - The ability to persuasively argue that one is not connected to a person, group, or event.  It may include other tactics, such as hedging one's lie with some truth (a "half-truth"), or making one surprisingly candid statement to gain credibility so that a future lie is more effectively received.

Poisoning the well - In debate, the tactic of preemptively using unseemly and usually personal information to discredit what an opponent has to say. Typically done as an ad hominem or personal attack intended (to paraphrase Alinsky) 'to freeze, personalize, and polarize' a target.

Political Correctness - The technique of silencing opposition to an idea, party, politician, policy, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual preference by stating or implying that such an opinion is inappropriate, insensitive, racist, discriminatory, biased, or judgmental.  It preys on the desire of most people to fit in or to be non-controversial.  It draws on the assumption of the civil society that each is entitled to his or her opinion, but by extension that one cannot understand another person's or group's (usually meaning, a minority's) perspective, and therefore criticism of that person or group is somehow invalid.  Political correctness is routinely tilted in favor of progressive or leftist positions.

Politics of the Middle - A set of tactics to alter perception of a policy, politician, person, or party by manipulating the perceived middle or mean.  This includes misrepresenting the middle to falsely convey what is considered mainstream; excluding the middle, which artificially portrays polarization by omitting "moderate" positions (this can also happen naturally); or shifting the middle, which may be an incremental process taking place over the course of years to move a group, party, or nation to the political right or left.  Shifting the middle may be the result of a series of compromises benefiting one particular group or ideology, or may occur due to systematic propaganda.

Pork-barreling - The allocation of public funding for dubious special interests.  The origin of the term comes from the Civil War era, when pork was a marker of a family's general well-being.  The term has come to be associated with piggishness, excess, inefficiency, and suckling special interest groups.

Potemkin Village - Made famous by the idyllic villages constructed to please Tsarina Catherine the Great on her river-tours of Russia, a Potemkin Village is a specially constructed or designed exemplar of a program or policy intended to sell it to the public or to policymakers. At the core, these Potemkin Villages are hollow or false, like the hired men and women and the facades erected to please Catherine on her voyages.

Prospect theory - Technically, the theory that people are risk-averse in a domain of losses, and risk-seeking in a domain of gains.  For most intents and purposes, this means that a politician can be more coercive by proposing to take something already possessed by the public away than he can be by offering something more.  One example is that each time there is a budget crisis, politicians have a tendency to threaten essential services, putting the public in an immediate domain of losses.  This causes people to be risk-averse and therefore seek to avoid change to the status quo. Another implication is that people are far more radicalized when the issue is taking away a benefit that they already have, rather than a prospective benefit they have not received yet.  This is a tacit assumption of the Cloward-Piven strategy.

Protection racket - This is a form of coercion that occurs when one party threatens unpleasant consequences for non-compliance with a policy. This may also be concordant with the practice of supplying protection money. When banks or businesses donate money to politicians or a political party to persuade them not to regulate their respective industry or to otherwise punish them, this may be an example of a protection racket.  May be prefaced by the line, "you wouldn't want something unfortunate to happen to..."

Puppets -  When a politician appears to be independent, but he or she is actually a puppet of special interests or hidden parties.

Pyramid scheme - Generally speaking, a pyramid scheme is a system where those higher up (or earlier on) in the chain of trade or production benefit more than those near the bottom (or later on) of the chain. The Federal Reserve's creation of fiat money is an example of a pyramid scheme, since the value of money is greatest at the top (especially considering interest received from the Treasury for printing the money), and it is worth the least at the bottom, as it trickles down throughout the economy. Fractional reserve lending backed by the FDIC is also similar to a pyramid scheme, only inverted; the base of lending ("holdings") is often much narrower than the gains accrued by the bank after investing or loaning funds based on those reserves.

Quisling - A politician who constantly compromises with his purported opposition, especially on fundamental issues.

Race-baiting - Antagonizing an individual along racial lines, either by implying without grounds that he is racist (making him "prove a negative," e.g.), or by placing him in a situation where he is asked to defend himself or some persons associated with his "race" against presumably oppressed racial minorities.

Red herrings - Issues, phrases, or words meant to derail debate or opposition. A poignant example is the manner that the public funding of abortion seemed all of a sudden to be the only major issue prior to the House's "healthcare reform bill" vote. This was largely due to the fake opposition of Bart Stupak and the dirty dozen supposedly opposing the bill due to "matters of conscience." Fundamental questions such as the morality of putting the life, liberty, and property of citizens at the disposal of government bureaucrats seemed to fall by the wayside.

Repetition - Generally speaking, a tactic to ingrain an idea or image in the mind of the target audience using repetition.  This includes chanting at rallies, which may reinforce branding, loyalty, and group cohesion. More broadly, repetition defuses critical thinking and may systematically desensitize a subject to certain stimuli.  In terms of mass culture, repetition achieves the effect of demystifying a cultural object, in essence, commoditizing it for popular consumption.  One example might be the the diminution of romantic love through the mass production of carbon-copy love songs with repetitive beats and messages.

Ridicule - A favorite tactic of leftist mandarin Saul Alinsky. It is extremely difficult to defend against because it triggers emotional reactions and not rational ones, leading to overreaction, anger, or withdrawal. The best defense is to laugh it off while ridiculing the attacker back as if you were his friend.

Sacrificial lambs - Radical politicians who sell themselves as "moderates" but then throw themselves on their swords once elected. This tactic is most effective when utilized at a predetermined time in coordination with other radicals.

Salami tactics - Developed by Mussolini and named by the Hungarian communist Rakoszci, salami tactics are a way to foster internal strife within an opposition group and then to slice the members off. If the media were able to turn social conservatives against libertarians in the tea party movement and then slice them apart, this would be an example of a successful "salami tactic." The same could be said of the tea party movement if it were sliced off from the Republican party (current tea party movement strategy is to support conservative Republicans).

Salt Licks - The creation of a group, movement, program, or cause in order to scout the political terrain (especially for fringe elements) and to steer people toward desired or ultimately futile ends.

Scapegoating - Placing an inordinate amount of blame on a person or group, usually in order to distract attention away from the true underlying causes of a problem or failure.

Scarecrows - A political operative who infiltrates a party and movement and wards off potential members.

Selective bias - The attempt to control public opinion through the filtering out of stories or information that do not promote the political agenda.  One of the most rampant forms of bias in the news media.  May be achieved through lies of omission, rather than lies of commission.

Shadow-boxing - Debating an issue that is a fait accompli in order to stall or to pander to one's supporters.

Shell game - Named after the popular street game in which a hustler engages in sleight-of-hand to hide an object under one of three shells, manipulates the shells quickly to conceal the one the object is hidden under, and asks a bettor to tell him which shell is the winner.  Analogously, the term describes a game that politicians or their mouthpieces play with the public whereby they hide information by switching the terms of a policy or debate.  One recent example is the argument that the unemployment situation is actually better than the official rate suggests.  When discouraged workers re-enter the job market, so the argument goes, it pushes up the unemployment rate. This means that the job market is getting better, although the unemployment rate is going up. This argument is a type of shell game where the "true information" on the employment situation is hidden within other indicators, such as U6 unemployment.

Showboating - Named for touring riverboat theaters, it describes a politician or party that engages in self-serving attention-seeking, even at the public expense.  May also describe a politician who shows off a skill or talent, when such exhibitionism is unwarranted, repetitive, and/or staged.

Show Trials - When politicians make a public display of an opponent in a trial whose results are pre-determined. Show trials can have willing (if paid off, for example) or coerced defendants. One possible example is the show trial of Goldman Sachs executives. Show trials may prop up the regime by "signaling" implicit messages or threats to similar groups, chilling the economic, social, or political environment as a whole, and may be used to mobilize populist sentiment. In return, the willing show trial defendant may receive reduced penalties or hidden rewards.

Stacking the deck - The tactic of pitting more supporters or opponents of a person, party, or position on one side of a debate or argument than those of the opposition.  This may be increasing the number of leftist to conservative commentators on a Sunday talk show, citing circular and repetitive references in a policy paper for effect, or otherwise overstating a case using numerical misrepresentation.

Strawman argument - Restating an argument in such an extreme form that it provides an easy target (or "strawman") to tear apart. One example might be to say "Tea party activists say that Obama will institute death panels under the healthcare reform legislation. But if you look at the House version of the bill, 'death panels' is not mentioned once..." Yet no one was arguing that the bill will actually have hooded men at guillotines, or that the bill would actually say "death panels." What was meant was that there would be panels to decide who would receive life-saving treatments and procedures. When controlled opposition provides a strawman argument for his or her interlocutor to tear down, one might call it "making hay."

Sword of Damocles - Using the threat of deadlines to pressure people into making decisions that may not be in their best interest.  May be signaled by repetitive use of the word "now" or by attribution to some suddenly arising "crisis."

Symbolic manipulation - The placement of signs or symbols in such a manner as to evoke a desired or undesired response.  One example is the symbolism of Obama's campaign logo, which uses a circle to demonstrate power and authority, and motion ahead across the circle to imply progress, forming a rising sun (or perhaps a setting sun?).  Another common trick is to use reverse perspective to draw people in, eliciting the sensation of awe or movement forward.  Symbolism is one of the most powerful forms of propaganda because it is often resistant to analysis, and therefore people can "read in" to the symbol what he or she wants to see.

Trolling - In Internet jargon, the subversion or harassment of an online community by a troll or cooperating trolls for purposes of disruption, attention-seeking, publicity, advertising, espionage, or propaganda.

Please feel free to expand on this list.