Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Tocqueville Foresaw This

    Posted by David Foster on January 31st, 2018 (All posts by )

    In California, a bill has been introduced providing for a $1000 fine and a 6-month jail sentence for waiters and other restaurant staff offering plastic straws to customers without those straws being specifically requested by the customer.

    Alexis de Tocqueville:

    [The power of government] covers the surface of so­ciety with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power… does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, until each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and hard-working animals, of which the government is the shepherd.’

    I disagree with Tocqueville about “such a power..does not tyrannize”, it certainly does tyrannize, and to a greater degree than many of the kings and emperors of the past.  Neither George III or Kaiser Wilhelm II ever thought to issue edicts about which pronouns people were allowed to use.  This California bill is in the true spirit of the totalitarianisms of the 20th century:  Naziism and Communism.

    Speaking of totalitarianism, here’s Arthur Koestler, in his novel Darkness at Noon.  Rubashov, an Old Bolshevik who has been arrested by the Stalinist regime, is reflecting on his Communist beliefs and where they may have led him astray.

    A short time ago , our leading agriculturist, B , was shot with thirty of his collaborators because he maintained the opinion that nitrate artificial manure was superior to potash. No. 1 is all for potash; therefore B. and the thirty had to be liquidated as saboteurs. In a nationally centralized agriculture , the alternative of  nitrate or potash is of enormous importance: it can decide the issue of the next war. If No. 1 was in the right, history will absolve him, and the execution of the thirty-one men will be a mere bagatelle. If he was wrong . . .

    Isn’t this reminiscent of today’s leftists who say that climate change is a a matter of “enormous importance”, it can decide not something as relatively minor as “the issue of the next war” but the entire fate of the human race and hence, free speech on this matter must be suppressed?

    Koestler’s Rubashov explains to himself that since the Revolution has overthrown all the rules of ‘cricket-morality’, the State is now ‘sailing without ballast’…and begins to see where this must inevitably lead:

    to settle a difference of opinion, we know only one argument: death, whether it is a matter of submarines, manure, or the Party line to be followed in Indo-China. Our engineers work with the constant knowledge that an error in calculation may take them to prison or the scaffold; the higher officials in our administration ruin and destroy their subordinates, because they know that they will be held responsible for the slightest slip and be destroyed themselves; our poets settle discussions on questions of style by denunciations to the Secret Police, because the expressionists consider the naturalistic style counter-revolutionary, and vice versa.

    We are not yet at the point in America where people are sentenced to physical death for political deviations, but now on a regular basis people have their careers destroyed–sometimes a form of economic death–for such deviations.

    And it is worth noting that the California bill in question was introduced not by some back-bencher no one has ever heard of, but by the Democratic Majority Leader of the California Assembly.

    
    
     

    30 Responses to “Tocqueville Foresaw This”

    1. Brian Says:

      CA is run by and for a very small group of people who are very rich and very white. It’s basically a state for NPR listeners. Such a shame how one-man, one-vote destroyed what once was a great state.

      Also, let’s just say that the Dem push for open borders, etc., is very popular with rich white liberals. Among blacks, not so much. That’s why the Dems have to keep repeating so desperately that Trump is a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad racist, who you can’t even think about voting for.

    2. Mike_K Says:

      Seeing the Democrats at the SOTU last night was amazing.

      I don’t know how they think this is going to win elections.

      Maybe I just have too much confidence in the voters’ common sense.

      The speech was too long but he had to list the accomplishments that most voters will never hear on the MSM.

    3. Gringo Says:

      Gilbert and Sullivan had something to say on making the punishment fit the crime.A More Humane Mikado.

      A more humane Mikado never did in Japan exist
      To nobody’s second, I’m certainly reckoned a true philanthropist!
      It is my very humane endeavour to make, to some extent,
      Each evil liver a running river of harmless merriment:

      My object all sublime I shall achieve in time, to let the punishment fit the crime
      And make each prisoner pent unwillingly represent a source of innocent merriment!

      All prosy dull society sinners who chatter and bleat and bore,
      Are sent to hear sermons from mystical Germans who preach from ten till four
      The amateur tenor, whose vocal villainies all desire to shirk,
      Shall, during off-hours, exhibit his powers to Madame Tussaud’s waxwork!
      The lady who dyes a chemical yellow or stains her grey hair blue,
      Her skin shall be tinted and thereon imprinted a suitably rude tattoo
      The idiot, who, in railway carriages, scribbles on window panes,
      We only suffer to ride on a buffer in Parliamentary trains!

      The advertising quack who wearies with tales of countless cures:
      His teeth, I’ve enacted shall all be extracted by terrified amateurs!
      The music-hall singer attends a series of masses and fugues and ‘op’s
      By Bach interwoven with Spohr and Beethoven at Classical Monday Pops
      The billiard sharp whom anyone catches; his doom’s extremely hard;
      He’s made to dwell in a dungeon cell on a spot that’s always barred.
      And there he plays extravagant matches in fitless finger-stalls
      On a cloth untrue with a twisted cue and elliptical billiard balls!

      I suspect that if some California legislators heard this song, they would use the song as an inspiration for additional legislation. One good thing about having the Texas leg meet only every two years is that the chance to enact nonsense like a STRAW LAW is minimized.

    4. Brian Says:

      “I don’t know how they think this is going to win elections”
      Why wouldn’t they? They turned CA into a one party state with their current strategy–constant shrieking cries of racism plus NPR-friendly policies.

    5. Mr Black Says:

      I’m coming to the view that political violence needs to show its face again. When one party stands for the overthrow of the current system and its voters care only for looting and privileges, no reasoned discourse is going to change their minds. But if people who burn the American flag, who participate in anti-American political groups, who demonstrate on the street for a new dictatorship felt a real fear of being randomly gunned down, pretty quickly those kinds of views would become poisonous. People would be shunned for voicing them because no one else in the group is sure who can be trusted and who might inform on them.

      It will be terribly ugly, it will get out of control in many places, a lot of innocent people will die and it may take years to settle down again afterwards, but if the alternative is living with a 100 million strong faction who wants to see America destroyed and who actively support those who make it happen, the lives lost in a slow civil war will be a small price to pay for some return to normalcy. And bear in mind, 50,000 people die in car accidents each year. The country can sustain the losses, it can’t sustain a population of seditious citizens.

    6. Anonymous Says:

      One good thing about having the Texas leg meet only every two years is that the chance to enact nonsense like a STRAW LAW is minimized.

      This was also the law in California until Jesse Unruh got it changed.

      When one party stands for the overthrow of the current system and its voters care only for looting and privileges, no reasoned discourse is going to change their minds.

      The Intelligence agencies are about to get a free ride in the tumbrils. They are in a panic that their attempt at a coup will be exposed.

      The hard left is not as large as it thinks it is. Maybe I’m wrong but the November election will be a test.

    7. Mike K Says:

      Safari keeps deleting my ID. This is an old computer while my Macbook Air is in the shop.

    8. David Foster Says:

      Mr Black: political violence leads directly to hell. This is why ‘Antifa’ must be prosecuted even when their targets are real neo-Nazis, and why those on the right who engage in violent assaults must be prosecuted even when the targets are leftists of the most vile type. Death threats, in particular, have become appallingly common, and should never be allowed to pass unpunished.

      Remember, early German Nazis focused their violence largely on Communists, and vice-veras.

    9. Jonathan Says:

      I’m coming to the view that political violence needs to show its face again.

      It is already showing its face and the people doing it are too often not being punished. That is the problem. Your solution to violence by a leftist minority isn’t to enforce laws against violence that aren’t being enforced, it’s more violence but by people you agree with, which you acknowledge will be a disaster but rationalize for reasons not unlike those used by the Left. “The lives lost in a slow civil war will be a small price to pay for some return to normalcy” — you can’t make an omelette, etc. But there is no normalcy and never has been. Normalcy as defined by you or anyone else isn’t the goal of our political system. It is the nature of people in large groups to disagree with each other. The point of representative govt is to make it possible for them to coexist with minimal violence and other abuses of individual rights.

    10. Brian Says:

      How many cases of overt nullification have there been in US history, like we are seeing now, where whole states are openly declaring that federal law is null and void in their borders, as are huge numbers of cities, even in opposition to their own states?

      How is that supposed to end well? Extrapolate out a few decades, and it is very difficult to be optimistic.

    11. Anonymous Says:

      “Remember, early German Nazis focused their violence largely on Communists, and vice-veras.”

      This is exactly why we should all fear a “civil war” of this kind. It empowers the statists who promise order. The consolidation of power would be almost certain if it becomes a choice between freedom and security. The growth in law enforcement and intelligence agencies operating domestically, their “lawful” discretion, opaque cover and technical capabilities should already be giving us cause for concern. They have been weaponized for political power and more can be expected given current attitudes. The current FISA concerns may slow that trend and energize a push back. Remains to be seen. Certainly the IRS escaped largely intact.

      The leftists are on the verge of making too many apolitical types feel fear. If that fear grows, it wouldn’t take too much of the available means to shut their violence down. The political will is all that is lacking, but I sense that even those uninvolved “moderates” are beginning to take notice and a consensus may be forming to bring the hammer down. The contrast between facts and reason versus leftist madness was on full display in the events surrounding the State of the Union.

      I agree that the November cycle should tell us where the momentum lies. If the violent left wants to pick a fight with a re-empowered law enforcement structure as a result of a significant progressive loss in November, good luck with that. Don’t bring a bicycle lock and pepper spray to a water cannon and rubber bullet fight.

      That’s some video I’d watch with my pop corn and a Shiner Bock (while I clean my weapons).

      Death6

    12. Mike K Says:

      If the violent left wants to pick a fight with a re-empowered law enforcement structure as a result of a significant progressive loss in November, good luck with that.

      And we do not have a James Buchanan in office to ship arms and ammunition to the rebels.

      The Greenfield talk seems more and more relevant.

      You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.

      Your very own dictatorship.

      The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to the left, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate.

      The attacks on Trump show that elections don’t matter to the left.

      Republicans can win an election, but they have a major flaw. They’re not leftists.

      That’s what the leftist dictatorship looks like.

      The left lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats.

      Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the civil war.

      Our system of government is based on the constitution, but that’s not the system that runs this country.

      We aren’t there yet and I hope sense will return.

    13. Christopher B Says:

      Death6 – I don’t think the IRS escaped entirely. I recall reading that they’ve faced draconian budget cuts, so much so that they were having trouble producing the changes to forms and regulations from the tax bill. I’m sure their ability to harass has been reduced.

      Hopefully before things go as far as Mr. Black suggests non-compliance on the part of most normals coupled with real adult supervision of various agencies will start to push the deep state back from the edge. Hillary’s loss was probably a deeper blow than we realize right now. Though equally corrupt, Obama did little more than pick low-hanging fruit and didn’t have the drive to create the infrastructure the Clintons did in the form of their ‘Foundation’. He was also probably counting on a Hillary victory to produce the conditions necessary for him to capitalize on access. With Trump and the GOP Congress throwing monkey wrenches in their way we might be able to delay this enough to recover without going all the way to an out-and-out conflict.

    14. Richard Says:

      Wait. Think California has hit bottom? Wait until Lt. Governor “Gabin’ Nuisance.” is Governor.

    15. Mr Black Says:

      Political violence leads directly to hell. This is why ‘Antifa’ must be prosecuted even when their targets are real neo-Nazis, and why those on the right who engage in violent assaults must be prosecuted even when the targets are leftists of the most vile type. Death threats, in particular, have become appallingly common, and should never be allowed to pass unpunished.

      Remember, early German Nazis focused their violence largely on Communists, and vice-versa.

      Yeah, not buying that anymore. It just isn’t a likely scenario when the people committing the violence are doing so to reduce the influence, reach and power of the state. And most political violence doesn’t lead to that kind of regime. There is low level political violence in many places in the last 50 years yet no new Hitlers. And the simple fact is, we’ve lost the culture war because we did nothing. I’m not worried about tomorrow, I’m worried about 30 years from now when perhaps HALF of “Americans” are not American at all and vote and support the destruction of the nation as we know it. I’d rather take action before that point. Or to put it into context you might understand, I’d rather start fighting Hitler in 1935 than in 1940. If you wait for your enemy to mass his power before you take him seriously, you’ve lost.

    16. mishu Says:

      What’s so dumb about this is it won’t save the oceans from plastic. The overwhelming majority of plastic in the ocean comes from China and Africa. Our modern landfills easily contain such debris.

    17. Anonymous Says:

      No, I was talking about plastic bullets not plastic Africans and Chinese.

      Death6

    18. Tide Must Turn Says:

      National Socialism and Hitler were not the problem in 1920’s Germany. It was the Communists, and the Weimer Republicans who refused to fight Communism. The NSDASP saved Germany from Communism and then saved Western Europe from Stalin’s planned invasion of Western Europe by pre-empting the Attack.
      If Germany was attacked for Invading Poland why wasn’t The Soviet Union attacked?
      Most assuredly Hitler had blind spots but at least German Women could walk down the street or engage in celebrations in the public square without being molested unlike today.
      White Europeans and White people in general are under attack and facing a genocide in 50 years or less. If you are not a White Nationalist and fighting to save your People, your Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren are going to curse your name.

    19. Calsdad Says:

      I think you have to take Tocqueville’s “does not tyrannize” comment in the context of the time in which it was said.

      These days most sheeple will self-comply simply under the implied threat of violence.

      In the days that Tocqueville lived, people were much more ready willing and able to do ACTUAL violence. So “tyranny” was probably something that was perceived as an ACTUAL boot of the King’s men on your neck – rather than a metaphorical boot showing up in some internet meme.

      When the King’s men show up at your village and start killing everybody and burning the place down – I think that probably qualifies as actual tyranny.

      A set of laws issued by some far away king that nobody listens to – was probably not seen quite as tyrannical as an actual sword to your throat.

    20. Grurray Says:

      Hitler had blind spots? Understatement of the century. That comment is so sickly stupid I won’t even give it another thought, but here’s something for your other idiotic question.

      For all intents and purposes, Germany wasn’t attacked for invading Poland. The Anglo-French alliance was useless against Nazi aggression, so to expect them to take on the Soviets too is crazy.

    21. Jonathan Says:

      White Europeans and White people in general are under attack and facing a genocide in 50 years or less. If you are not a White Nationalist and fighting to save your People, your Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren are going to curse your name.

      What you mean “you”, paleface . ..

    22. Mr Black Says:

      Well, ww2 conspiracy nonsense aside, I have no doubt that in the next 50 years the white citizens of at least one European nation will be fleeing as refugees due to being displaced by 3rd world “immigrants”. But whites have been so conditioned by the culture to see themselves as worthless that even then, no one will much care.

    23. Mike K Says:

      I have no doubt that in the next 50 years the white citizens of at least one European nation will be fleeing as refugees due to being displaced by 3rd world “immigrants”.

      This is happening to some degree today in England.

      When we visited our friends in England in 2015, we stayed at their home in southeast England. They commented that, “If you see a brown face, it will be a NHS doctor. ”

      Housing prices in Chichester, and I suspect other small cities in that area, are as high as London. London prices have always been astronomical but that can be explained like prices in San Francisco or New York. It is proximity to highly compensated work.

      In Chichester and other small cities a hour train ride from London, proximity is not the issue, It is safety and the association with others like you. We were told we would see “typical English faces on the street” and we did. Also quite a few young mothers and baby carriages.

      The English middle class which cannot afford 1 million pounds for a house, like those in Chichester, are moving to France. There are French villages in southeast France that are completely English speaking.

      For some though, the best reason to move here is that it is possible to live in this region and manage with very limited French language skills because of this high concentration of Brits, and for many years, the Dordogne has been dubbed “Dordogneshire” or “Little England” as in the eponymous recent TV series.

      In fact, it is true that a few of Southern Dordogne’s towns have a very large English speaking population. It is the case of Ribérac, Bergerac, Lalinde, but especially Eymet, a small village where 30% of the inhabitants are English.

    24. Ginny Says:

      We know characteristics of third world countries – chaos in the street and dictators, sure. I can’t imagine why we would want that for the next generation. But there are earlier steps and we saw them under Obama and the policies Hillary clearly wanted: drawing more power to the executive, representatives drawn by the money to be made in politics rather than the public to be served, decline of the middle class through crony capitalism and greater regulation on daily lives, inability of the majority to fulfill their potential because of that regulation and the politicization of education and bureaucracies.

      We spent a week during which many of the people we made small talk with were Californians. They were various, of course. But two or three of the more genial couples, finding we were from Texas, announced that clearly the wall wouldn’t work. The fact that California was losing its population was brought up and a husband said, that’s great, it would be better with fewer people. His wife had complained that the current atmosphere as too divisive. But I said from my midwestern perspective, when you lose the middle class you lose the soul. I suspect that was too divisive, but it is a strongly held belief. If the people that teach your children and that put out your fires and patrol your streets are not a part of your lives, if the person who cleans your house and has that low wage factory job because in their lifetime they are learning English, but their kids are going to college and becoming professionals, then your society is on the wrong track. And that track is toward a banana republic.

    25. PenGun Says:

      LOL. I have used the phrase that “South America starts at the Peace Arch” for decades.

    26. Mike K Says:

      The fact that California was losing its population was brought up and a husband said, that’s great, it would be better with fewer people.

      One of the facebook groups I am a member of is those who grew up in Newport Beach many years ago.

      When I moved to Orange County in 1972, waterfront homes in Newport Beach could be had for $100,000. Now, they are all in millions.

      Many members of that group, even though they could no longer afford to live in that city, are enthusiastic about restrictions on development.

      They don’t make the connection. Their families were middle class in the old days they remember fondly.

      Even Mission Viejo, where I lived for 40 years, began as a lower middle class suburb for those who had to commute to Los Angeles for work.

      The houses in Mission Viejo are all at or very near $1 million.

      The coastal areas of California are almost unique in the weather and amenities of the surf and ocean. Still, there are many who don’t see the connection between politics and the destruction of California.

      They will be left with tiny enclaves of very expensive homes and a vast slum.

    27. Ginny Says:

      isn’t that the definition of banana republic?

    28. Ginny Says:

      I’m always sloppy. I meant that there is a sufficiently free market and a sense of community that builds schools, etc. so that entry-level parents can support their children as they move to the next rungs. I think it looks like I said the opposite.

    29. Mike K Says:

      My response disappeared in moderation.

    30. Trent Telenko Says:

      Death6, MikeK,

      See my new post.

      It is too late in the day to avoid political violence.

      Pres. Trump seems to have a political strategy to ameliorate it.