An Extremist and Proud of It
Yes, I am that for sure, an extremist. I am totally against taxes, consider them extortion. I think all government regulations are vile, cases of prior restraint and thus unjust. I think a government has only the function assigned to it in the Declaration of Independence, namely, to protect our rights.
I knew I was an extremist from the time Barry Goldwater announced that "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." That's because an extremist is just someone who holds a set of positions that is internally consistent, uncompromising, and demands full integrity.
Of course, once you enter the political fray, it is pointless to be all these things except in how you identify and hold your political position. In the political philosophy one is convinced is sound, everyone ought to be an extremist, even a politician, but in one's strategies for realizing one's principles in public policy it is quite all right to be practical, pragmatic, or prudent. This extremism is a matter of holding certain views, not in throwing bombs or murdering one's adversaries.
Politics takes place among thousands and thousands of people and many of them have agendas very different from one's own. To make any headway at all in the direction of the policies that would help realize one's political philosophy, at least to some degree, one cannot simply hold out for the vote that will agree with that philosophy. Here is where compromise is required but never in watering down one's ideals.
It is mostly those whose views are wishy-washy but who do like to wield power who promote the idea that compromise in how one thinks about issues is necessary, even honorable. But that is false. The world does not conform to a compromised position on anything – it is a consistent system of facts disallowing any inconsistencies or contradictions as possibly true. But the sociology of politics does make compromises useful, provided one never forgets the goals that are being served by it. In and of themselves compromises are worthless – they are in fact evidence of incoherence. But as means to get closer to one's objectives when inescapably working with a lot of folks who hold drastically different views they have merit.
Extremists are folks who stick to their guns as a matter of principle and integrity but they aren't prevented by this from making headway through the give and take of politics. A good case in point would appear to be Representative Ron Paul. Dr. No, as he is often called, holds to his principles unwaveringly but he does have the skills of a politician to make progress toward his goals in the midst of colleagues with whom he doesn't see eye to eye.
Those who defend the idea that a politician must not be principled, must not hold to fundamentally coherent ideas, are hoping that they will make headway with their own ideas while their opponents wobble. Some issues, especially, aren't about how much or how little should be done but about whether certain objectives are even permissible in a free country. Abolitionists knew about this well and while many were willing to politic about various measures that more or less promoted abolition, they never caved in on the idea that blacks were human and thus had all the same basic rights that human beings have. Maybe this involved taking two steps ahead and one backwards but they knew that all in all there was no warrant for compromising their fundamental position.
Of course there can be a point beyond which no negotiations with opponents is tolerable. One could give away the ball game by going along with certain means so as to attain the necessary goals. At that point one may simply need to withdraw and wait for a more opportune time to press one's cause.
All of this takes intelligence, discretion, even some special talent and not everyone can do the job well – e.g., some have temperaments that simply don't suit the machinations of politics. The division of labor applies here as elsewhere. The basic point is that one can be an extremist, a principled advocate of a position, and also be smart and skilled about how to make advances toward its implementation. And those who observe such people need to make sure that they aren't protesting when such smarts are being displayed and mistake it for having compromised political-economic principles.
Posted by Brian Michels on 01/15/11 12:16 AM
Spot on correct. Thank you for writing this. I'll be glad to forward because it is so simple and so true that even an ass can understand it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Posted by Jill on 01/14/11 09:05 AM
"The fact is, in this world there are evil people."
Precisely. The exact reason that we cannot have governments to rule over us.
Posted by Iddy on 01/14/11 08:59 AM
I'm not a fan of pills especially those imaginary chill pills.
It is easy to talk about things but when they show up at my house and my wife and daughter become terrorized by this stuff it does change some what.
I don't mind a tussle with thugs.I have been down with much tougher dudes than a couple of uniformed pansies.
We do appreciate your comments though.
Posted by AmanfromMars on 01/14/11 02:09 AM
Iddy, take a chill pill and relax. Time out.
You're preaching to the converted on the Daily Bell. We got those messages yonks ago, and you wouldn't believe what is now going down and coming your way. We trust in Global Operating Devices and hope you like IT.
Posted by AmanfromMars on 01/14/11 01:51 AM
"I am curious about rights and how a government can protect them." .... Posted by Jill on 1/13/2011 1:21:37 PM
The gospel truth is, no government can protect your rights and any that say that they can, are living in a dream world and deluding themselves and spinning you a tale which is probably geared to them being selected to sit, if not in judgement of you, in a position of artificial and real control of you.
And in such positions are your rights probably always abused and used against you by governments, which if you just look at the UK Parliamentary model, and all governments are similarly arranged, are they not, as a glorified talking shop, is just a gang of mates covering themselves in a convenient enough cloak of pseudo-respectability and competence and calling themselves a political party leadership, who then go on to demonstrate daily through their media pronouncements that they have neither, and they can only squander and gamble a nation's wealth, whilst they desperately try to hold on to whatever they can sqeeze out of the electorate and the system whilst waiting for some sort of divine intervention or someone with ideas to transform their sorry state and reform its Intelligence deficit with Novel Intellectual Property.
Thus are the best governments, SMARTer* Enabled Autocracies, which themselves would realise and accept as a leading Role Model, a Transparent Meritocracy, where all ideas and secrets are freely shared so that Peer Review can identify that and those which poison the well which servers that which is available for supply.
*Self Monitoring Analysis Reporting Technology for Advanced Mentoring Fungible Machines ..... with the machines being regarded as humans/humans being regarded as programmed and programming machines.
Do any of the Daily Bell readership see that as the Present, and the Future, and the somewhat alienating state of earthly existence, with ITs all powerful command and control levers RESTing** and protected in Layers of Cloud. ....... Secured Strata? Or has that not broken its stealthy cover in the Media yet?
** Representational State Transfer .... Click to view link
Posted by Catevala on 01/13/11 10:09 PM
@Bud and his statement:
"At this point, it seems time to consider other "greener pastures" as the USA appears to be losing whatever freedom it had."
Apropos, I today received these paragraphs in an email sent to me by the "Sovereign Man", Simon Black.
"Chile has become one of the countries in a growing list that welcomes foreigners with open arms-- people who are willing to work hard, add value, or bring in capital are respected and treated well. This is the same approach that has worked in places like Hong Kong and Singapore; these are two countries where just about every nationality on the planet can enter without a visa.
"Propping the door wide open for foreigners provides significant economic benefits; people are more likely to visit (and spend their money) in a place where they are treated well, and they're more likely to do business in a place where they feel comfortable.
"The exact opposite end of the spectrum is the United States... and to a growing degree, the UK. Foreigners who arrive to the US are subjected to discourteous, disrespectful measures and made to feel like lowlife criminal terrorists.
"For many, it's an absolutely horrific experience. Maria C., the Chilean lady who owns the apartment I'm renting in Providencia told me yesterday about her most recent-- and last-- trip to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security decided that, instead of being a well-respected Chilean national attending her Harvard reunion, she was a suspected Colombian drug trafficker. DHS detained her for over 12-hours, confiscating her purse, her passport... even her shoes.
"She was continually interrogated by DHS officials who played good cop/bad cop mind games, and when she was given 'permission' to use the bathroom, it was under close-up video surveillance. They finally released her without so much as an explanation, let alone an apology.
"Maria's story is unfortunately common; Homeland Security's Customs and Border Patrol division takes itself way too seriously, and its uniformed chimpanzees are convinced of their own righteousness... that their actions are actually defending the homeland.
"One recent story makes this attitude abundantly clear. It involves a Canadian woman, Lind Bird, who was stopped, searched, and relieved of her $2 Kinder Surprise egg by US border patrol agents. Kinder Surprise eggs are a type of European chocolate candy, and they're considered illegal in the United States because the FDA has deemed them a choking hazard for children.
"The eggs are perfectly legal in Canada, and Bird had one in her vehicle as she was crossing the border. After a stern talking-to by agents, Bird's egg was confiscated by the United States government, who subsequently sent her a 7-page letter demanding that she authorize the 'destruction' of the egg. Stories like this are so ridiculous that they border on satire... and yet they're entirely true.
"Rather than wasting taxpayer dollars such nonsense, the US government should be rolling out the red carpet for all nationalities with welcome signs saying 'Thank you for spending your hard earned savings in our economy... and while you're at it, please consider mopping up our excess housing inventory!'"
This kind of behavior by the Homeland Security apparatus reminds me of the old Soviet Union, not the United States. It is obvious to me, and many others, that the U.S. Government is sending a message loud and clear about its intentions. I feel like some more perceptive Germans must have felt in 1937!
Posted by Iddy on 01/13/11 09:36 PM
I met a young man today, a 15 yr. old
This kid is a decent kid. He told me a story today about the same Policeman whom I met.This thug with badge picked this kid up on the street,threw him in the car and threatened him with the Tazer also.
What was this kid doing, taking a short cut along the railroad tracks to go see his Dad who recently had his leg amputated.
I must put a stop to these local brutes as they give all Policemen a bad name.
In my opinion this is just a result of an overreaching Government. It all rolls downhill.
These Thugs stand behind a badge and a bulletproof vest and wear proudly their batman utility belt. So that is it man I gotta fight these guys with everything I got (and it ain't much) I am reminded of a line from My cousin Vinny.
We got one ting goin fer us and dat is DA Troot.
I see our Illustrious Madame Secretary of State today made the statement about the Arizona shooting . She claims it was motivated by politics. HUH? so what...
This comes from the belief that our lives are divided up into neat little compartments.
Oh here is my politics and here is my Religion, over here I keep my Economics.
Yes, It is all packed away neatly and orderly in a digital file. WE ARE NOT COMPARTMENTALIZED HUMAN RESOURCES!!!! We are people dammit!
I got a phone call today from a total stranger.
This man I have never met before,only through email a couple times. I called him back and as I was relating my story to him. He said Hey I know the whole story. I asked HUH? How do you know.
He heard it on the cell phone.
AHH.. I remember the day A few moments before the uniformed thugs took me out my phone rang. I thought I hung it up, apparently it was on.
Yep... I checked my phone records today and found the call. Very amazing to me. So tomorrow My lawman will talk to this man and hear his testimony. This is very interesting. A man 2000 miles away calls me on the right day at the right time and listened to my whole experience.
I know this is mostly off topic but it is all about who has what right to do what to who. The thugs drive by my house about everyday now between 3 and 4 P.M. This used to be my time for a quiet walk.
Funny thing is, our neighborhood has many supposedly bad people in it and I have never ever felt threatened walking the streets. We have had drug addicts for dinner, crazy whacked out people. Many different kinds of folk most would not feel safe being around. Now I am actually very apprehensive about walking our streets.
Funny how it goes.
His truth marches on? I can say Amen to that even though I do not like His Time table. Yes indeed watch the instant replays. We are in a game that we can not win. The deck is stacked. But that is the way it goes. Death will be swallowed up in victory. Not some day in the sweet by and by but here and now.
Against incredible odds. These thugs are in for quite a surprise. Their arrogance is exceeded only by their ignorance and this is what will bring them down. Yes I am a tool but I am in a Masters hand. I know why this guy shot his gun off a randomly killed people.
I am not condoning shooting people at all, Never have most likley never will. This was a man with ideas that many found way outside the box. So what do you do with a "Human Resource" you can't find a compartment for?
Throw him out reject him and make him feel small and insignificant. First you must run him through a free government school and make mush of his brain. Then push him away.
That whole "memorial" was a hoax. Janet the homeland security queen reading bible verses? The other guy too, Holder I think it was Quoting Paul ?? WTF??? come on are not these the same folks who say take ten commandments off their Government property?
Make it against the law to put up That barn scene with the ceramic figures? They are terrorists. Oops... I went and done it. Hate speech ,Vitrol?
Posted by Floyd on 01/13/11 05:00 PM
Re; "One could give away the ballgame by going along with certain means so as to attain the neccessary goals". One needs only to follow the money to figure that out. Since gambling on professional sports were legalized for example. Watch closely the instant replays (especially in pro football) and you will see. Although this has nothing to do with politics it's all intertwined.
Posted by JerseyGeezer on 01/13/11 04:28 PM
"When you sit down to negotiate on what you already have, you lose." – Marie Parente
Posted by D. Saul Weiner on 01/13/11 03:09 PM
I like Thomas Paine's words better:
"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice."
Posted by Stuart on 01/13/11 02:09 PM
A key issue here is:
"Those who defend the idea that a politician must not be principled, must not hold to fundamentally coherent ideas, are hoping that they will make headway with their own ideas while their opponents wobble."
As for me, ANY compromise on moral principles is evil.
For example, in marriage, there can be no compromise on fidelity. However, there can be compromise on what color to paint the living room. Unfortunately, a dominant meme in society is that there are no moral absolutes and that compromise is the only option. This is also evil. (And, it's not politically correct to call anyone/anything evil, either.)
The fact is, in this world, there are evil people. These people always talk compromise as being reasonable. This is a great tool for destroying freedom.
Posted by Bud Wood on 01/13/11 01:43 PM
That's O.K. to say, but to generally survive in current society, even an "extremist" needs to appear somewhat less than extreme. So here I am, having survived most of the 20th Century with somewhat extremist beliefs and somewhat conventional appearances.
At this point, it seems time to consider other "greener pastures" as the USA appears to be losing whatever freedom it had. Yes, I realize that such freedom is unequally applied (as noted by the response from "Iddy" (above), so as limitations are being "equalized", other pastures look inviting.
As is said, "the best way to get out of any unpleasantness is to leave". Even if it's only from a metro area to a rural area, such may be a big step in the right direction.
Posted by David Hughes on 01/13/11 01:36 PM
Wonderful! Bravo! I appreciate your well-thought out and concise explanation of how Constitutional politics must come to pass amidst those of varying opinion. I think it must have been easier for our government to constitutionally function when those taking part did not have to fight with others who were actually trying to destroy that form of governance that provided their positions of service.
Indeed, there is a "point beyond which no negotiations with opponents is tolerable." And, that point is realized when we understand, like the Patriots of 1776, that our opponents, who are also our own kinsmen, have designs to crush us, take away our God-given liberties, and enslave us in the very land our forefathers fought and died to give to us. More and more Americans are realizing this point each and every day. Thank you for your good effort.
Posted by Jill on 01/13/11 01:21 PM
I am curious about rights and how a government can protect them. Please, this is not a snarky comment, I am curious to hear what Dr. Michan has to say about rights.
Posted by Iddy on 01/13/11 11:30 AM
As I look at the photo of you up there.
I see a contemplative man.
How does one get to that type of place and how the heck do you maintain that pose?
I have always been a non violent type. I do believe what you say about waiting and being patient.
Recent events around here have pushed me to a limit I have never before been at. Some of the NWO thugs grabbed off the street and gave me a good dose with their electro toys, kidnapped me and trumped up a bunch of charges on me.
They have almost 8 grand of my babble bucks on hold in their account and I had to take another 5 grand to hire a professional law guy to help me out.
So pretty much they can come in abuse a person and put him with his back to the wall and make you "legally" fight your way out.
The deck is already stacked against you. Of course, they have a larger bank account than me and could surely prolong this thing till I run out of "resources".
My inner core has been and is shaking and trembling.
I am afraid of what is coming ,HA heck I ain't even sure what is coming.
It is one thing when a man has been sharp enough to gather up enough resources to hold out in times of trouble and distress.
Some of us just ain't that smart all we can do is bust our hump to keep a roof and food over our families.
I wonder how many others out there who are just dumbed down folks who got sold "The American Dream" are sitting in jail because of some trumped up Bs put on them by thugs in Uniform?
I do apologize for polluting your website like this But I can not afford a counselor.
I can almost relate to John the Baptist here was a man who saw God come through the door of the other realm, he was so sure of what he saw but yes even he when He was in jail because of trumped up charges against him wondered ,he sent he guys to Jesus to ask Are you the one?
The only answer he got was not the one he was looking for.
He got his head handed to him.
The most difficult thing for me is to say forgive them they do not know what they are doing.
I think they know exactly what they are doing.
So .........yeah so what.
Posted by Rrust on 01/13/11 10:58 AM
"...Representative Ron Paul... holds to his principles unwaveringly but he does have the skills of a politician..."
Possibly the U.S. government has never seen his like before.
Very likely, we will never see his like again. --He's a one-off.
That's a problem for us all. --And a pretty-solid indicator that government does not work, period.
So, downsize political units... on the way toward extinguishing them.
Power is achieved by those who seek it for its own sake. The desire for power is the single most conclusive disqualifier for being permitted any political power.
This would be an argument for monarchy... except for the corrupting effect of power, even when it has not been actively sought. --And the fact that the corrupting effect usually increases down the generations.
Posted by Heuristic on 01/13/11 10:44 AM
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"
- Barry (the old one)
Posted by EDD on 01/13/11 08:47 AM
@ Dr. Machan,
For once, I have no disagreement with any of this article. You wrote; 'All of this takes intelligence, discretion, even some special talent.....'. Just where are these people when you need them? My observation of those in a position of trust today do not meet the requirements you mentioned. Some may have one or two of the elements but not the other. And then there are those who have none those characteristics but are in office anyhow. What does that have to say about their constituants?
Posted by AmanfromMars on 01/13/11 08:37 AM
Well said, Doc. Short and concise and perfectly flighted right to the centre of the bullseye.