Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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. 

5 comments:

Free Speech Czar said...

Surveys show that tea party members are more educated than the rest of the general population. Hard to believe, I know.

Reaganx said...

It doesn’t matter how educated they are. Ordinary people are not intellectuals, it’s not their occupation and not their business. There’s nothing bad about it anyway - “intellectual” is not the same as “smart”, and an ordinary person can be in some respects smarter than an intellectual. It’s impossible for everyone to be an intellectual, i.e. a person whose business is the intellectual realm. The problem is that ordinary folks, though they may be honest, smart and just, are helpless once they face an intellectual in an ideological battle. Intellectuals, good or bad, always win in such battles - because their intellectual weapons are superior. That’s why “bad” intellectuals (with a fundamentally Kantian mindset) have always won in their struggle against the American people, who tend to have a sound, Aristotelian worldview (which was shaped by the “good” intellectuals of previous eras). The problem is a lack of “good” intellectuals now.

Reaganx said...

In a nutshell, a bad idea, if explicit and framed in scientific terms, always defeats a good idea, if such a good idea is only implicit and framed in non-scientific, "profane", conventional terms.

Free Speech Czar said...

That would explain why the Austrian School is at the forefront of intellectual opposition to socialist tyranny. Austrians have an integrated theoretical base that incorporates the political, social, and economic, and provides a framework for the interpretation and verification of empirical data.

Reaganx said...

The Mises Institute guys (most of the modern Austrians) are superb as far as economics is concerned but they are absolutely disastrous in the realm of philosophy, including political philosophy. They mostly either have no fundamental philosophic views or have totally rotten ones (such as subjectivism and religion). Most of them are anarcho-capitalists, and I have come to believe that anarcho-capitalism, as opposed to minarchism, is a very superficial, harmful and somewhat absurd idea.
The Ayn Rand Institute, on the other hand, is sound in the realm of philosophy but pretty superficial in economics (though economics is not its main field of research, so it’s kinda ok).