The Constitution’s Natural In-Group
Sometimes I’m good at this, other times, not so good, but once again I’ll try to sew two seemingly unrelated thought-lines into a single piece of cloth.
The first thought-line: After the Beck event Saturday Bernie Chumm and I discussed some issues that are peculiar to his “intimacy” with the Left’s “scat-army”, as displayed in two YouTube pieces from RedStaters (and linked in his article). He emailed it Sunday night. It’s a provocative dream sequence called “Submit or Die”, which has some disturbing visual images, although fun to contemplate, so I decided to place it on our website at SICCM instead of here. It’s interesting because while you may be salivating about scaring the Left straight, the real message is more subtle. Look for it.
This is a touchy subject to some, but plain as day to me. But as Janis wrote recently, some things need to be said, and the sooner the better. This will be my last comment on the subject of religion in politics, as we now have to move into a period of forging alliances and making war, not debating or quibbling…so we can kill the Beast. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, is more important than that for the next 60 days.
The Natural Law and the In-Group and the Out-Group
When I was a kid we had in-groups and out-groups in my school. There were cliques but they never had names then. The general assumption today is that the “in-group” is the smaller of the two. The elites. There were “Ins”…at least of some sort, cheerleaders, blonds, jocks, most popular, and then the masses, i.e., all the rest, the others, who went by several names, as they were sub-classed as well. By my sons’ day (the mid-80s) affluence was a big part of the equation, for I think the term “preppy” was tossed around a lot, both my sons agonizing about the $30 shirts their grandfather bought them, and did they really have to wear them to school, Mom, as the kids will make fun.
Today, In and Out seems to have nothing to do with mental acuity whatsoever, but a floating criteria, as one is judged both at how well he/she does at the American Idol audition, and how grossly he/she bombs. Both are stars. (Is that not a perfect metaphor for public schools and the pop culture?)
In today’s political culture, say among the blog-world (my first meeting them was in Vegas) is that while they may be the in-group in this world, they may have been very much the out-group in high school or college. Maybe even a counter insurgent in-group. (A great book will be written about all this some day, and I wish Hunter Thompson were alive to write it.) Like bloggers, though, I never thought it was un-cool to read a book. Everyone on RedState has read several, and continues to do so…more than the Left by a wide margin. We can even spel more better. Tea Parties read more than the GOP establishment, would get higher SAT scores at the drop of a hat, were we to suddenly have a pop quiz. Still, we’re “outs”. Dweebs who read, but who can also “bark” a squirrel with a Winchester ’92 carbine have been definitely “out” for the longest time it seems. Moses Sands reminded me that at one time a Princeton man could win the Heisman Trophy. (Dick Kazmeier, Princeton, 1951). The 6-letter athlete who also was president of the Latin or History Club was not all that uncommon in his day. More than a few of them died in their torpedo planes at Midway. Mostly Yale men, I’m told. Only at the tackle and pulling guard position did Notre Dame recruit dumb Pollacks from the Pennsylvania coalfields…all good Catholic boys mind you…when Frank Leahy coached there. The rest were scholar-athletes, a notion I still like a lot.
The two major points about the modern notion of “In group” is 1) its exclusivity, which is by design, and 2) it’s nature, which almost no one pauses to consider, and that is it is almost entirely created by self-appointment. Almost every waking moment by the modern In-group is spent in trying to convince everyone else they are in fact the real-deal “in” group. This is true at Hollywood High and it is true in the United States Congress. It is true on the blogosphere. Dig me.
This is where we enter dangerous territory. When I was young I was a liberal (JFK was President and Civil Rights was “the cause” in a segregated school system, where there were still separate facilities.) and we tried to identify ourselves as not just the political in-group but as the cultural and social in-group as well. But as I grew up, into college, then law school, I found almost all those kids had dropped their liberalism, and in fact, had become hardcore socialists…as it invited a kind of privilege and rank in society they especially liked. In fact, it was the onl reason. I found that the reasons for differing themselves with the common herd may come and go, but in all cases, Viva la difference! Year in, year out, the only thing that connected all of them was in their mutual disdain for the ordinary and common, i.e, how they saw almost everyone else outside their made-up, self-defined world of “in-group”. They defined themselves entirely by who they were not. (Note: For years Bernie has noted this same sort of self-identification among many young self-described conservatives, and while we hope most will outgrow it, our experience is that many will not, so we strike out against it when it presents itself. In most things I am nice, but in this I am not…at least after November.)
Liberty’s In-Group is the Bigger, not Smaller Group
This is what kills elitists. All elitist. They hate, hate, hate this fact. Waaaahhhh!
One of the things most of you also see as clear as day are the amazing parallels between the world view inherent in the U S Constitution’s scheme and the Judeo-Christian world view. Now, I’m a Christian but out of respect for those who are not…both of other faiths as well as agnostics who have no clearly defined idea of a Supreme Order in the universe…I try to avoid all but the most universally of accepted religious precepts in my posts. But behind linking the Constitution and religion is a body of hard facts, with provable scientific certitude, that actually defines this war with the Left cosmically, as one between Good an Evil in this world as well as the next. RealPolitics is when you play your games within the four corners of a social contract, or on a playing field with clearly defined boundaries. Nature defines this, not Man. FalsePolitics is when that contract is dissolved, those boundaries shifting, or obliterated. Then anything goes. Again Nature, not Man, defines the consequences. F A Hayek was an agnostic, possibly even an atheist, yet he “proved” Man’s desire for Liberty to be innate (Hayek on Liberty, ed John Gray) which parallels Aquinas Summa Theologia, only without a single mention of a Divine Moving Force. Mortimer Adler, one of the 20th Century’s greatest philosophers, struggled with the idea of God all his life, never believing but still never antagonistic toward the notion of God. (Note this distinction, for it highlights the difference between humility and hubris, as only one can lead to true wisdom. As Moses once said, “Never spit on something you don’t know, or can’t know.) Late in life, in his 80′s, Adler finally declared himself to be a “theist”, his conclusion (my paraphrase from memory) “If there is a God, all things are possible. If there is no God, all things are permissible.” (I think my God finds favor with Mr Adler.) Finally, although I can find no track through the wilderness of modern cultural anthropology, in its classic period in America it was accepted wisdom that the habits a culture adopted could be defined as “survival enhancing”, “survival endangering” and “survival neutral” as I doubt nature really cares which hand one wipe’s his behind with, but it does favor those who wash afterward, (see the Deuteromonic Code). The proof was in the pudding, so to speak, and science had thousands of years of history to prove and reprove this thesis of survival. They could see what works and what doesn’t in order to secure a next generation and a next, etc. for any society. Interestingly, the criteria for a successful individual House to be built, which Moses Sands always allowed is one of the pillars of the American Ideal, and which Hayek observed is innate in Man, parallels not only what the Founders seemed to believe defined the social contract as expressed in the Constitution but this scientific criteria for survival and propagation, as well.
See the connections? At this point now I could go off on a tangent and talk about the Dark Side, and elitism. The other world view. But why bother? It has been scientifically disproved. It can’t work. Only anthropology, indeed almost all the social sciences in America (CS Lewis noted this trend in England in the 1930s) after WWII sort of dropped that kind of academic “judgementalism”, by the 1950s, mostly because by then communism had already proven to be an abject failure anthropologically, and all those criteria for a survivable culture seemed to repose instead among its chief antagonist, Democracy. More specifically American Democracy, for no one seemed to pine wistfully for French, English or Scandinavian democracy, not even anthropologists. Bottom line: News like that had to be kept out of the papers. So, by the 1960s that sort of academic curiosity was dropped from the textbooks and curricula, and those old- school professors quietly put out to pasture. From the 1960s onward, it was full bore Us vs Them in academe.
The Religion Plank to the Survival-Enhancing Society
The destruction of religion was but one of many planks of Liberty the Enemy had to destroy, but an important one, for you see, it has always been that body of laws called moral certitudes, which every religion has, from the tiniest tribe in Amazonas, (and amazingly similar) to the great religions of the world (including Islam) that define the playing field and the rules on which that culture plays its game of survive-or-die.
When I was a kid, we had a fellow who delivered our milk. A great guy, but my mother never liked him. He was a Jehovah’s Witness. A lot of men in the town also didn’t like him, as he had avoided military service as a conscientious objector in a town where 90% had volunteered. I asked my dad about Jim, and he said it’s one of the curious things about our democracy that I will have to grow to understand as I get older, but a man like Jim has a right not to have to fight, but his right is only secured and protected by men who will. “We have to carry him. It’ll make sense to you some day.” (Thousands of J-W’s were marched off to the camps in Germany under the Nazis, and Himmler had offered an across-the-board amnesty, if they would only recant. They didn’t. Compare with the kind of kid Bernie encountered down by the lake.)
This is where I start trying to weave this thread with Bernie’s piece at SICCM. He asked that kid straight-up, would he allow us to stay around for the next 100 years nipping at his heels, as we had allowed them to do? Of course not, and that was Bernie’s point. Hell, they’ve advertised their answer for at least 20 years. Harry Reid, Pelosi, Obama, and the media have been as open as a book in declaring no-way do they appreciate (or eventually, will they tolerate) back-sass from the “out-group”, us, the masses. Right now they may have to let us bray. But later, no way.
What this has to do with religion is that a faith-based society, with a Constitution such as ours, can live in peace, and survive and grow for generations while still “protecting” a smaller secular group, which, by being under our protection can pretty much pursue anything it wants to pursue, anything from secular and academic humanism to down-right ornery don’t-give-a-damnism”…up to anything but overthrowing its protectors. For the reverse can never be true.
The humanistic, secular society, no matter how much its world-view and philosophies may mirror the faith-based now, once in charge, it will quickly debase every tenet of those beliefs, for there can never be any external limits to their power to change those rules. That’s a law when all the boundaries have been obliterated. It won’t be in this generation, likely, but it will happen, for there are no fixed stars in your firmament. This is where we stand now in America. In like manner, every House comes to a crossroads, just like societies. Without that extra mortar in the foundation of moral certitude…unbending moral laws, according to Adler, all things become permissible, and the rules of politics, and of Man, and not of an unchanging Order, take over. Science, not me, says those things don’t work. They cannot work. The House must fall.
I try to look at the Constitutional blueprint mathematically, as when 70% of the people are dedicated to climbing that hill to build that House, some at the bottom, some in the middle and a few at the top, hopefully reaching around to offer that handshake. They all play by the rules and stay within those four corners of the social contract, each house rising by how well, among other things, it plays by the rules, the Golden Rule included. The Constitution requires no profession of faith. The other 30%? Well, you met a couple in Bernie’s dream sequence plus the usual array of layabouts, don’t-give-a-damn’s, thieves, mountebanks and other politicians.The math works and the even anthropologists knew this before they were told to hush.
But if those numbers are reversed, and the 70% do not subscribe to those boundaries, they will demand we submit. That is also a law. This why Bernie so rudely pointed that pistol. It’s the only option free men have.