Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Anti-Ideology Syndrome

Nelson Hultberg

Modern intellectuals are anti-ideology. They shun its use like kings and high priests shun voting. One of the first putdowns a student receives from a liberal professor when expounding the basic principles of capitalism in a college classroom is, “Oh, that’s too ideological. Your thinking is too rigid. You’re trying to label things! You must be more open to progressive experimentation and creative government. The Constitution is a living document. The use of any strict ideology or rigid set of political principles is impractical and reactionary. In a modern world, we must be flexible, pragmatic, willing to tolerate a new and ever changing role for government.”

Such is the usual response given to any student daring to declare that government’s functions should be limited to a Constitution that is strictly, i.e., literally interpreted, or that capitalism is the only socio-economic system that is capable of protecting the individual’s rights, or that without upholding the principle of “equal rights under the law,” there can be no true or lasting freedom, etc.

It’s not difficult to understand why our liberal-dominated intellectual establishment opposes ideology and its use of labels to define government’s role in society. Precisely because it does just that – it defines government’s role in society! The statist mind wants a vaguely and loosely defined government, unfettered by the restrictions of theory or principle or rights or labels or moral judgment. He seeks blanket power over men and their production. Thus it is only natural for him to be antagonistic toward the use of an overall ideology that labels his approach dictatorial, statist, neo-fascist, authoritarian, etc. and backs it up with rational arguments. Such intellectual labeling inhibits his power.

Defining Our Terms

Webster’s Dictionary defines ideology as: the integrated assertions, theories, and aims that constitute a socio-political program.

To expand the concept further, it could be said that an ideology is a set of political principles and ideas that define the way the individuals, institutions, and governments of a country should interact and be organized. It is a basic framework of rules and guides that set the course for a nation’s individuals and their government, establish the limits of that government’s power, and clarify what rights (if any) the individual is to retain.

As an example, America, for the first 125 years of her history (1787-1913), operated under the individualist ideology of laissez-faire capitalism with the principles of “private property,” “equal rights under the law,” and “individual sovereignty” predominant throughout her culture.

Most of the world today operates under the collectivist ideology of authoritarian statism (labeled by various terms such as socialism, social welfarism, corporatism, liberalism, etc.). The collectivist ideology’s undergirding principles are “public property,” “corporate-state collusion,” and “equal results in life” predominant throughout their cultures.

Labels and Identification

Some points to consider about ideology and labeling:

1) If you don’t label things, you can’t identify things; and if you can’t identify things, you can’t possibly know what is happening around you.

2) Labeling is defining, and defining is the establishment of distinctions, and distinctions show one what is right or wrong, strong or weak, beautiful or ugly about what is being labeled. Such distinctions require that we make judgments.

3) Labels clearly identify the policies of statism as dictatorial. Naturally, those who wish to establish such policies frown on the use of labels.

4) Today’s anti-ideology thinkers are advocating the initial stages of a dictatorship! Do they think because they refuse to label it as what it is, it somehow means it is not what it is? Hiding from the reality of one’s convictions and advocacies will not change their nature. Evil, evaded, is still evil.

It’s easy to see why liberals oppose ideology and labeling. It defines in clear terms what they are up to. They would prefer to muddy up the intellectual waters with backdoor socialism. Clarity is not their friend.

But unfortunately many conservative intellectuals also oppose the use of political ideology and its concomitant of labeling? These are the followers of Russell Kirk. Why do they adopt the same antagonism as liberals? I believe it is because of an erroneous syllogistic process that takes place in their brains. They see the evil of socialism. They realize that socialism is an ideology, and thus they reason that since socialism is evil, ideology is evil.

This, of course, is the crudest of non sequiturs. It’s not the use of ideology that is evil. It’s the use of irrational ideology that is evil. Ideology itself is not responsible for the tyranny in the world. False ideology is. The false ideologies of socialism, welfarism, liberalism, corporatism.

What is needed is not to abandon the use of ideology in the structuring of society, but to devise a rational ideology based upon right principles. Ideological principles are crucial theoretical guides for men’s actions. Without them and their concomitant of labels, we would be nothing but a nomadic assortment of subhumans with no rules or laws or theories or ideals to direct us.

No society in the history of man has ever existed, nor will one ever exist, without the use of some form of ideology and its building blocks of terms (i.e., labels). Even primitive tribes have their body of thought, theories, and definitional terms that guide their way of life. Granted, their ideology is usually ritualistic dogma and voodoo. But nevertheless, they do make use of some system of ideological thought and labeling to guide them, irrational though it is.

What Ideology Is Proper?

Therefore, we must ask: if ideology itself is good, but socialist, welfarist, liberal, and corporatist ideology is bad, where are we to turn? What ideology should we adopt as our guide? The answer lies in the wisdom that we have forsaken – the great principles that first created America. Our founding fathers were ideologues that posited a rational idealism in governmental affairs. This is what led to the Declaration of Independence and its enshrinement of the “rights of mankind.”

The ideology that we must utilize is the individualist ideology of the founding fathers and their philosophical mentors, John Locke, Thomas Aquinas, and Aristotle. The framers of the Constitution were not flexible advocates of détente with King George when it came time to design the type of government they wanted. They were men of intensely held political convictions. They adhered to clear-cut ideological principles and strict rules of law based upon those principles. They knew that this was the only way to preserve the rights of the individual, which in turn was the only way to maintain a free society.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution resulted from the American revolutionaries’ adherence to an overall political ideology. The creation of these documents would have been impossible without formulation of ideological principles. Thus the creation of America herself would have been impossible without such a formulation. And just as it would have been impossible to create America without ideological principles, it will be impossible to preserve her without them.

So beware. When a professor or politician tells you that he’s against the use of labels and political ideology, he’s setting in place the destruction of the proper guidelines and governmental limits requisite for a free society to exist. That is what ideology and labeling give to us: guidelines, definitions, and limits for our rulers. Most importantly, such a professor or politician is telling you that he prefers a government that is not limited or defined by any of those old fashioned ideological notions such as “inalienable rights,” or “equality under the law.” He’s telling you that he doesn’t like being labeled a statist or a collectivist or a liberal because it identifies the evil of his beliefs if he’s a professor, or the evil of his ambitions if he’s a politician.

The Choice Before Us

Ideology is theory, theory is thinking, and labels are our tools to construct proper theory. The man who wants to erect a government and oversee society without thinking and labeling is a thug or a fool, or both.

The choice before us is not ideology or no ideology! It is which ideology do we employ? Socialism or capitalism? Collectivism or individualism? Statism or freedom? Liberalism or conservatism or libertarianism?

The collectivist ideology (along with its welfarist variants) has ruled the world since the early twentieth century, and its brutal irrationality is directly responsible for the tyranny that prevails over three-quarters of the globe. It is time to restore the only rational ideology that exists – laissez-faire capitalism. The socialists and the liberals have had their chance, and they have failed.

Libertarians and true conservatives advocate laissez-faire capitalism. Liberals and neo-conservatives advocate authoritarian statism. Freedom cannot be defended without identifying the essentials of these ideologies and the intellectuals and politicians who advocate them. Without political-philosophical-moral clarity, tyranny wins.

Modern day tyrants want a vague pragmatism that is not defined (i.e., labeled) as to what it is. In this way, they can violate our rights and say that they are only implementing necessary policy for the emergency of the moment, or the good of the group, or to serve the will of the people. They can seek arbitrary, unfettered power and feel justified in doing so. Freedom demands clear labels and rational ideology. Never let the statist mentalities take these intellectual tools away from you.

Nelson Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas, TX and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic His articles have appeared in such publications as the Dallas Morning News, The American Conservative, Insight, The Freeman, and Liberty, as well as on numerous Internet sites. He is the author of The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values. Email him at:

Sunday, March 03, 2013


By Carl F. Worden

It was a perfect massacre setting when some idiot 15 year-old kid on a school bus in Fort Myers, Florida pulled a gun on another student and pointed it at him, but another 16 year-old tackled the kid before any harm could be done, and now the hero is being suspended from school. Yep, Cypress Lake High School was apparently infuriated that any student would attack a gunman and wreck another perfect opportunity for the anti-gun-nuts to exploit.

From now on, students are to cringe in fear and hide wherever they can, while hoping one of their schoolmates gets shot instead of them. Further, any object or food-stuff that looks like a gun is to immediately confiscated from the student possessing such a lethal instrument because such an object could be used to fake-out and disarm another student armed with a real gun.

The anti-gun squad is clearly despondent that another school massacre has been prevented, and they vow never to let that happen again! All heroes are therefore banned, along with their high-capacity courage. Damn him!!

Is America Being Obamaed?

By Mark Vogl

Despite having a Democratic House and Senate in his first two years, this President and the Democrats have intentionally not passed budgets in the United States. So what's up? What's the problem with the Democratically controlled Senate? In an article of January 20, 2012, the Foundry reports, the last time the government passed a budget, the US has spent 9.4 trillion dollars. More than a year has passed since that article saw trillions more spent. Can you see any employee getting away with such dereliction of duty? What is behind this?

The article from the Foundry goes on to say:

"The budget process forces Congress to set priorities to protect the people’s money and put it to its appropriate use. Instead, the Democrat-controlled Senate has abdicated its responsibility. The result? The deficit is soaring, causing a looming tax burden and injecting uncertainty into the economy, leaving jobs and economic growth on the table. It’s no wonder the U.S. economy’s growth is so tepid." Interestingly, the Senate voted down President Obama's 2012 budget by a vote of 97 - 0! (How's this as an example of Presidential leadership?)

What is behind this complete failure? Why is the main stream media completely failing in its job, totally silent on this breakdown in government? You would think ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, someone would want to do an expose on exactly what is the problem! This is not about compromise, heck no effort has been made to establish a process to get to compromise. And from my perspective the deceased GOP is setting itself up for disaster, should it ever win control of the government. Will America never again do a budget? Or will the GOP try and when the real numbers are released they will be blamed for them?

Some liberal economists try to paint a picture that the government has grown that much. Yes, 40% of everyone working works for government, but hey compared to the socialist countries of Europe that ain't so bad. I mean look at an economic power house like Denmark where 60% of the nation works for the state! Shoot we are not so bad at 40% they argue. But think about it, 4 of 10 works for the state, or government at the different levels. So that leaves 6 of 10 workers to produce all the wealth there will be to pay every one! And for just a country boy like me, I wonder is there any connection between the fact that 42% of every dollar spent by government is borrowed, and 40% of U.S. workers work for government!?

And then you have the fact that less than half of all Americans work. And then you have the large percentage receiving entitlements in social security, etc. Each of those 60% are the workers are actually paying for three. And because social security is financed by the government, instead of by investment in the market, it's purely a drag on the economy.

The same economists telling us it ain't so bad, tell us that government employment has shrunk by 500,000 since 2007. But nowhere in that paragraph do they say the nation lost 7.5 million private sector jobs over the same period! Government didn't take the hit the private sector did, and never does. And now, six years after the recession finally, the government is going to see the reigns pulled through Sequester! (And the question a country boy has to wonder is, how many of the 500,000 lost government employees were just retirees whose job was never filled? And how does that compare to the 7.5 million private sector employees? )

Could it be that some "smart" economists believe you can make up for the shift to government jobs through productivity increases in the private sector? You see, in the end it comes down to wealth creation...not dollars, but items; houses, cars, tools, clothes, medicines, caskets, etc. And the other huge aspect that both Republicans and Democrats have ignored...deficit spending and the affect that has on inflation and just as importantly, the investor psyche.

What is happening in America is economics. Oooooo bad word. Like the laws God made we call physics, the laws of economics are fairly constant. And like the physical laws, you can only cheat them so long. You can get under an umbrella so as not to get wet when it rains, but if hurricane winds rip through, blowing rain at you sideways...well you get soaked. Same thing with economics, you can try to invent tools to avoid the rain...but they won't work forever.

It's hard to believe, hard to conceive that the nation that once stood so tall, now crawls for scraps like a beggar on the world stage. You need only look at whose leading us, to see that there can be only one objective of President Obama, the destruction of the nation he says is not a Christian nation! Is Obama the Lord's punishment for a nation gone so wrong?

I wonder, will there be a new term ... have you been Obamaed!? The meaning of that term would be robbed, or fooled into committing suicide?