“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
-Winston Churchill (in a brief moment of intellectual sobriety)
I am just finishing Joshua Ramo’s book, The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It. A scintillating read but the treatment of the subject in Ramo’s book is superficial at best. This is a reflection of his journalist pedigree and affiliation with Kissinger Associates. Kissinger is by far one of the most exaggerated intellects to ghost foreign policy circles since it became its own area of academic inquiry in the twentieth century. He is emblematic of the journalism profession today. Ramo said the following in an interview:
“You espouse that average citizens should take control of their lives and live in a “revolutionary” manner. What do you mean? Can established governments and revolutionaries co-exist?”
“Sure they can. Google and the US government get along fine (more or less). What matters is that we all do three things: first we have to live lives that are very resilient, which means taking care of ourselves, our savings, our family and our education so we can adjust to a rapidly changing world. Second, we all have to participate in a caring economy, devoting some of our life to helping others instead of relying on the government to help others for us. And finally we have to be innovative in how we live and think. We have to try to think of new ways to make a difference in the world as individuals, to help prepare our children to manage and control their own lives instead of relying on big corporations or the government to do so.”
All of these ideas are excellent but this is the same author who rightfully condemns the blindness and stupidity of government behavior in everything from the fatal Israeli incursion into Lebanon in 2006 and the resulting mauling by Hezbollah to the sclerotic and ineffective regulation of complex financial markets; he then veers into a list of things the government can do right to include total government provision of healthcare. What?! Ramo, you miss your own message.
Government cannot provide resiliency in the sense you recommend except in the maintenance of its own power by either violently rending its neighbors or cannibalizing its constituent parts to keep it alive. There is only one imperative ALL governments share and that is self-preservation and opportunistic expansion at every turn. Ramo treats resiliency as a positive attribute at the individual level but misapprehends its application to gun-run organizations like the state where innovation and effectiveness are always subjugated to the aforementioned imperative.
Apparently, Ramo’s worldview paints everything he sees it as it does with all human cognition. With rare exception, most of the journalists I have known are not only intellectually lazy but tend to have an almost doctrinaire government supremacism welded to their worldview. For every Fred Reed, there are hundreds of Rachel Maddows. I suspect it is one reason why the USSR did not necessarily have to actively recruit “useful idiots” but the very notion of communism or socialism found a natural resonance in the human parrots known as journalists. Think about the moral high ground one could occupy by espousing such nonsense without thinking it through. These journalists could literally swim through pools of blood shed by these governments and come out the other side heralding the intention of the murderers justifying the failed experiment this time but that socialism would work the next time. I recall reading a reviewer for the French-edited Black Book of Communism forlornly condemning the publication for such a tome because at least the Communist killed and murdered for love unlike the National Socialists, their kissing cousins who ravaged out of hatred.
This is one reason I find it so difficult to read any news sources like Collectivist New Network or Faux News (we have not had broadcast television in the house for 15 years). The sheer idolatry and obeisance to government behavior is obscene at best. From the acknowledged Left to Right (silly terms with no descriptive power), Maddow to Kristol, they all worship and possess a child-like reverence for the State. The entire schema of the media worldview on television and most of the print media cannot see past the government shackles; for them, it does not and cannot exist. They completely ignore and rationalize the stateless existence they practice at home and with family and friends. These are the expositors and apologists for the gun-run world. In the end, our rulers and politicians are nothing nobler than harvesters who farm and ranch human beings through the State. The world is a zero-sum solution to these economic illiterates because for them the perfect world is modeled on the US penitentiary system: freedom is parceled out through sheer obedience and nothing more elegant than that. Freedom and liberty are not inalienable but granted through state institutions with the power to extinguish them at any time on state whim.
Until the individualists who seek to rid the world of the State can conquer this particular dark vision, humanity is doomed to war, penury and death for all eternity.
Journalists have strayed far from Walter Lippman’s observation: “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil – remain detached from the great”.
Ramo misses the bigger picture. Government is the enemy of resiliency for its constituents and will always elevate the most despicable in human instincts and ennoble the worst greed of all: the sociopathic need of all politicians and their sycophants to paint humanity into a corner and kill it after impoverishing their works, minds and souls. Politicians are the core evil of a system which over time always ravages the productive and empowers the parasite and the looter to live at another’s expense. This is the system that most modern journalists embrace and champion, whether they are aware of it or not.
History is nothing more than philosophy in action.
“A long life in journalism convinced me many presidents ago that there should be a large air space between a journalist and the head of a state.”
– Walter Lippman