Doubting Thomas: Why The Failure to Cancel a Supreme Court Justice May Not Mean Much for Other “Contingent” Faculty

Below is my column in the New York Post on the recent cancel campaign targeting Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. It was always doubtful that a law school would take the unprecedented step of barring a sitting Supreme Court justice. However, the decision to stand with free speech and academic freedom was still a refreshing departure from the trend toward increasing viewpoint intolerance and orthodoxy. The problem is that most targets of these campaigns have neither the status nor the day job of a Supreme Court justice. Most do not have the option of securing a seat on the Supreme Court to guarantee their free speech and academic freedom. For every Thomas, there are a thousand other “contingency professors” who have little protection or expectation in the current intolerant environment.

Here is the column:

Clarence Thomas last week became cancel culture’s latest target. It’s not an unfamiliar position for the Supreme Court justice, but it generated surprising support at a leading law school. Thousands signed a petition calling for Thomas’ removal as a law lecturer at George Washington University, where I teach. The reason? His vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and his concurring opinion in that momentous case.

In a commendable decision standing by free speech and academic freedom, GWU declared it will not cancel Thomas. The controversy, however, highlights a much more serious problem for faculty who do not have the high profile of a Supreme Court justice.

Within hours of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe, Thomas was again the focus of racist and profane attacks. “Uncle Clarence” trended on Twitter, a reference to the racist pejorative “Uncle Tom.” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot even led a “F–k Clarence Thomas” chant at a pride event.

The petition declared that the justice (and his wife) is “actively making life unsafe for thousands of students on our campus.” It fretted the Dobbs decision “stripped the right to bodily autonomy of people with wombs” and called on faculty and students to “kick Clarence Thomas out of Foggy Bottom.”

Nothing new for Thomas. His incredible life story and career as one of our most accomplished African-American figures are routinely overlooked. The Smithsonian’s African American museum even skipped over him in its initial cut of great African Americans at its opening. (His Senate confirmation-hearing accuser, Anita Hill, did make the cut.)

Of course, if one thing is clear from decades of unfair and unrelenting attacks, Thomas does not walk away from a mob. He did the university a great service by not yielding to the campaign. He does not need this position or the aggravation.

For many of us in teaching, these cancel campaigns have become a constant, looming threat. There have been drives to fire or discipline faculty who hold dissenting views on issues ranging from racial justice to police abuse to transgender identification to gender statements to pronoun usage to native-land acknowledgment. This includes a recent campaign at Georgetown that successfully secured a law professor’s resignation over a tweet.

Putting aside its flawed description of the Dobbs decision, the petition makes the familiar complaint that the presence of a faculty member or speaker with opposing views endangers students and faculty. Sometimes students even object that police protecting events would create an unsafe environment. This includes figures who can share first-hand accounts of their roles in historic events, like former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was effectively blocked from speaking at the University of Illinois; former Vice President Mike Pence was targeted at Stanford University.

The GW petition reflects a growing intolerance and orthodoxy sweeping universities. When I began teaching 30 years ago, universities were bastions of free speech where a wide array of views and values were steadfastly defended. Any attack on one was an attack on all.

Today, a palpable level of fear and intimidation exists among many faculty members that they could be the next target of one of these campaigns. Most professors are not protected by tenure, and universities can cite other reasons for not renewing their contracts.

The percentage of tenured professors has been declining for half a century. Roughly three of four faculty today are what are called “contingent faculty,” or faculty who work contract to contract.

The problem is that this contingency often seems to depend upon an adherence to a new orthodoxy on racial justice, police abuse, gender identification and other issues. When a professor voices a dissenting view, universities will often defend the same principles in the Thomas controversy but then simply fail to renew a contract on unstated grounds.

That’s what happened to Greg Manco, a professor St. Joseph’s University effectively terminated for criticizing calls for reparations, including three tweets from Manco’s anonymous Twitter account, “South Jersey Giants.” The school’s human-resources department informed Manco he was responsible for “biased or discriminatory” statements and placed on administrative leave pending an investigation’s outcome. After he was cleared, however, the university refused to renew his contract. He has filed a federal lawsuit.

Public campaigns are often designed to get dissenting faculty to cancel themselves or leave them marginalized in their own academic communities.

For some, the constant hostility becomes too much and they leave teaching — which is the purpose of these campaigns. For others, the attacks only strengthen the resolve to remain. Recently, for example, Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) used her address as GW’s commencement speaker to accuse me of using law for “wrongful ends” for questioning the constitutional basis for former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, including a demonstrably false accusation even her Democratic colleagues refuted in the hearing.

The difference is that as a tenured faculty member, I remain protected from calls for termination. Of course, universities can make continuing on a faculty intolerable by shifting classes, keeping professors off academic panels and committees and subjecting them to public ridicule, including citing them as examples of intolerance.

University of North Carolina criminology professor Mike Adams spent years in university proceedings and litigation successfully fighting for his right to express conservative views. The investigations and attacks never stopped. Indeed, they resumed with new fervor after he condemned Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) for his pandemic rules with a tweet that compared eating in cramped quarters with a slave ship. It was a stupid and offensive tweet. But we’ve seen extreme comments on the left — including calls to gas or kill or torture conservatives — tolerated and even celebrated at universities. Adams was hammered incessantly over the tweet until he finally relented and took a settlement to resign. He killed himself a few days before his final day as a professor.

Tenure remains a difficult, though not insurmountable, protection for schools trying to rid themselves of dissenting voices. Indeed, recently a Princeton professor survived a campaign for termination after questioning special faculty perks based on race. After classics professor Joshua Katz was cleared, the university dug up a prior complaint over a consensual relationship with a student for which he was previously punished. It then fired him on the previously closed case.

Most teachers are contractual or adjunct faculty like Justice Thomas but do not have a “day job” like Thomas if they are forced off faculties.

The targeting of Thomas was a relatively easy fight for academic-freedom advocates given his position. Barring a Supreme Court justice from teaching is not like getting rid of the university’s “Colonial” mascot. The latter changes what publicly we are called while the former changes who we are as an educational institution. Yet for the many faculty in the same position, their continued teaching is both legally and practically “contingent” on satisfying the demands of the majority at universities.

Jonathan Turley is an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School.

204 thoughts on “Doubting Thomas: Why The Failure to Cancel a Supreme Court Justice May Not Mean Much for Other “Contingent” Faculty”

  1. Turkey says:

    “Public campaigns are often designed to get dissenting faculty to cancel themselves or leave them marginalized in their own academic communities.”

    Sounds to me Turley wants to turn our campuses into “safe zones” for Conservatives. Oh, the irony!

  2. Seems to me the academics have turned into intellectuals as defined by Arthur C. Clarke.

    When one side shouts down the other side and calls them names, they already lost because they cannot with the debate any other way. First opinion, now let’s kill the teachers. What’s next, book burning?

  3. “The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state’s widespread use of ballot drop boxes is illegal, delivering a huge victory to election integrity activists and a stinging rebuke to state officials who had deployed the boxes to major success in the 2020 election. “

    It looks like those fining lawyers for claiming election abnormalities will have to change their tune.

    1. Yes their were millions of illegal ballotts counted. More than enough to reverse the certification, if judges would have allowed evidence. Lack of chain of evidence, signature verification abandoned, mail out ballots that the legislature never authorized. Lots of illegal election practices.

      1. So it looks like there were illegal votes in Wisconsin in excess of Biden’s margin. Same for Georgia. And there are probably more. So though Biden is President on the basis of the procedures for certifying results, the election that underlay those procedures looks increasingly illegitimate.

    2. “It’s the [State legislatures], stupid!”

      – James Carville
      _____________

      Citizens are not required to vote and citizens are entitled or denied to vote by State legislatures.

      Citizens are not personally accommodated to execute their vote – it is incumbent upon the entitled citizen to accomplish his vote – the vote of any particular citizen is not necessary for a legal and fair election.

      A particular level of turnout of entitled voters is not required by the Constitution.
      _______________________________________________________________

      State legislatures decide one specific and particular “time” for elections – the U.S. mail and drop boxes require hours and days and, therefore, cannot be employed for elections.

      State legislatures decide one specific and particular “place” for elections in each area – citizens entitled to vote may vote in only one place, drop boxes, post offices, cyberspace are not places.

      State legislatures decide who is entitled to vote, and which method(s) of casting a ballot are employed.
      ________________________________________________________________________________

      Article 1, Section 1

      The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

      The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

  4. Biden mumbling live right now, on live TV. Not sure what he said, but it sounds like a meteor is going to hit earth soon and life as we understand it will be over. Or was he talking about abortion? With the hyperbole, it’s confusing.

    In the earlier post about Justices Praying with groups, he noted, there was no evidence to support the “strory” , but the story does serve as a vehicle to advance a phony narrative, smearing the court.

    Biden also repeated the “story” about the 10 year old raped and being forced to travel for an abortion.
    The problem, nothing supports this story. It must have come from the Blasey Ford school of journalism. The 10 year old rape victim lacks ALL of the 5 W’s. There are no names. Yes the victim is afforded privacy, but what about the rapist? Police Spokesman. etc. No place, no date, no time. While the story can be repeated by a wide swath of the public, and the President of the United States, repeats it from the podium, there is no evidence any such thing ever happened. Much like an Obama Biography, events fabricated to set a narrative.

      1. No story about a rape.

        Nothing exists around this bit of leftist screen play

        It is clear, the left has nothing of substance. All they have is lies

  5. OT| “States target independent election watchdogs with reprisals to deter scrutiny of irregularities”
    “some states are pursuing punitive reprisals to deter unwanted scrutiny, with Wisconsin’s elections regulators slapping independent election watchdogs with fines, while Washington’s Democratic attorney general has submitted a state bar complaint against an election integrity lawyer.”

  6. The Democrats preference is for a justice who is incapable of defining what a woman is in spite of her appearance of being one.

  7. Turley says, “ Today, a palpable level of fear and intimidation exists among many faculty members that they could be the next target of one of these campaigns. Most professors are not protected by tenure, and universities can cite other reasons for not renewing their contracts.”

    Funny he never mentions Florida republicans cracking down on tenured professors and threatening their academic freedom.

    “… new Florida law threatens to turn universities into spy-and-sue zones based on speech. It would require annual surveys of students to check on “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity.” A survey to determine whether students find their schools or instructors are repressing open discussion might sound reasonable. But what if the survey finds that most opinions on campus are liberal? Has the school somehow flunked the “viewpoint diversity” test? ”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/editorial-florida-sets-up-a-witch-hunt-for-liberal-professors/ar-AAZlXZy?cvid=f377755380574275adea11441e10972d

    1. Scary survey.
      A provider of services, asking customers about the product they are paying buying.
      Will this level of authoritarianism ever END!

      1. Iowan2, the purpose of that MANDATORY survey is to gather information and use it to intimidate professors and academics. It’s exactly what Turley complains about in his column.

        Who is to say some students will make stuff up when filling these surveys? His about conservative students playing the victimhood game over a perceived slight?

        1. Now a days we all get surveys, multiple times a day, asking about the service of product we bought. Asking customers if their expectations are being met, is common. Have no idea what mandatory means. Are students going to be kicked out if they fail to respond? Seems like much adu about nothing.

  8. ” The reason? His vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and his concurring opinion in that momentous case.”

    I’m sure Prof. Turley follows this much more closely than I, which means he is being much more than disingenuous, he’s outright lying. The petition itself cites multiple other reasons besides the single relatively benign reason Turley gives. Turley is doing what he often does, tell you what is the minds of others and why it’s ridiculous. You can object to the petition but don’t mistake what it is about.

    ” and with his explicit intention to further strip the rights of queer people and remove the ability for people to practice safe sex without fear of pregnancy, it is evident that the employment of Clarence Thomas at George Washington University is completely unacceptable. While also factoring in his wife’s part in the attempted coup in January of 2021, Judge Thomas is actively making life unsafe for thousands of students on our campus (not to mention thousands of campuses across the country).”

    1. The LEFT wing nuts are making life unsafe for MILLIONS of AMERICANS. WAHHHH…You can still murder babies. Stop crying. Smug lefties find it funny that Brett Kavanaugh had to be snuck out of restaurant to avoid angry protesters just weeks after assassination attempt. https://twitchy.com/sarahd-313035/2022/07/08/smug-lefties-find-it-funny-that-brett-kavanaugh-had-to-be-snuck-out-of-restaurant-to-avoid-angry-protesters-just-weeks-after-assassination-attempt/

        1. J6 is a sham show trial spewing lies. They deserve the wrath and contempt of the people.

            1. J6 is a Stalinist show trial spinning a “narrative” — not to be confused with “the facts” or “the truth.” They are failing spectacularly because they are on the wrong side of “good and evil.” They are the evil ones, in case you are still confused.

                1. Two brand new episodes airing next week? In prime time? Wow! We can tune in to watch the fictionalized, dramatized version of what TV producers and Democrats and the DC Establishment and the Fake News all want the public to believe about that day. Whose the producer of the big show trial, again? You are their target audience.

                  1. Only one in prime time, the last one was quite revealing. Technically, it isn’t Democrats saying what they believe it’s Republicans saying what they saw and heard.

                    1. There is one agenda –and only one– for the J6 sham Committee. It is NOT, nor has it EVER been, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

                      Its sole purpsoe is to ‘factualize’ Pelosi’s ‘narrative’ full of lies and omissions, and to ‘fictionalize’ the facts of what happened on that day — in order to brainwash the public, to destroy Trump and crush the MAGA movement. Period.

                    2. The MAGA movement is doing a good job all by itself, as is Trump. Look at his polls dropping, though having experienced DeSantis up close, he isn’t an improvement.

                    3. *Repeat: The sole purpose of Pelosi’s show trial is to fictionalize the facts and factualize fiction. Got it?

                2. They are clearly failing. The purpose of the show is to try to take control of the narrative for the upcoming election. So far, the polls only keep getting worse for the drooling imbecile in chief.

                    1. DeSantis “isn’t much better”….You would have preferred the state of Florida under the rule of Andrew Gillum?

                    2. It’s amazing how different people can look at things.

                      DeSantis with the most vulnerable population in the country did well with regard to Covid which as you have learned by now is not controllable. He did separate nursing home seniors from the rest, set up centers for monoclonal antibodies not done in most if any other states, reacted well to Covid and preserved Florida’s economy. He is a visionary, but to one who only considers ideology, he is good or bad based on what the left-wing theory is for that day.

                    3. You obviously aren’t familiar with Florida Covid deaths. You don’t know that much of the distribution system came through a grocery store that was a political donor (Publix) which also refused to distribute the new vaccine for children under 5, same as the governor of the only state in the nation that didn’t pre-order supplies. You now presume to tell me what happens in the state in which I live as if you know better. He refused to let professors from the University of Florida have public opinions that differed from his (until he lost the lawsuit). He is the very definition of tyrant.

                    4. The information about Florida is well known and I follow DeSantis because he is the most likely next President of the United States unless Trump decides to run.

                      Your facts are wrong regarding what DeSantis ordered. He even established clinics around the state. Publix was one of the places used because it was able to give it fast and they were situated close to the public. Giving the vaccine to those under the age of 5 is crazy.

                      You are devoid of facts and those that you present are almost always wrong.

                    5. “Hard to say what Gillum might have done? Chances are he wouldn’t have been a petty dictator.”

                      Hard to say? Gillum is a effed up mess. Chances are he would have made Florida into a living hell.

                    6. Most governors don’t relly have that much impact on their state. Gillum wouldn’t have had a state legislature willing to throw out the rules and do his bidding. He might have tried to save more lives during the pandemic as opposed to demanding nobody defy his will. If Gillum had been governor, odds are the citizens wouldn’t have noticed>

                    7. “Most governors don’t relly have that much impact on their state.”

                      DeSantis had a very positive impact on the state of Florida and its people. He is a visionary.

        2. Death threat are always crimes. Mockery and ridicule, even in extremely strong terms? Not so much.

    2. This is obviously a reply of a leftist fringe lunatic with no or inadequate legal training who has no idea what he’s talking about.

    3. ” and with his explicit intention to further strip the rights of queer people and remove the ability for people to practice safe sex without fear of pregnancy

      Thomas never put that in the opinion. You need to cut and paste that part of the Thomas opinion so people can see for themselves exactly what Thomas wrote.

      This is a great teaching moment.

      1. Too much misinformation come from people like Enigma. Thank you for helping set the record straight. Educated people do not repeat Fractured Fairytales.

      2. I was quoting the petition which does accurately point out the areas Thomas wanted reconsidered in his concurring opinion. Turley often points out Thomas was the only one who stated that view but even he acknowledges it. If you want research and quotes, feel free to do it yourself, none of you are convinced by the truth anyway.

          1. The source is always available to you as well. I’m not writing a theme paper every time I comment. I know what Thomas said (which I neither quoted or paraphrased). If you think I got it wrong, show me.

  9. The ‘cancelers’ are idiots. They should welcome Thomas and, if questions are allowed, respectfully have a dialogue. Thomas is a great judge like Scalia and several others. One doesn’t have to agree with his conclusions, but it helps to understand his logic.

    Those wanting to cancel him cannot deal with logic and probably should never become those supposed to represent the law.

    The ideas behind Nazism lie deeply in the minds of the left.

    1. “The ideas behind Nazism lie deeply in the minds of the left.”

      Nazis were way more complicated than an easy left/right divide. They took the worst parts of each “side” and created an especially evil sort of wickedness.

      1. Moral relativism.

        People on both sides can act stupidly, but the leftist ideology is close to Nazism (and Stalinism, etc.). They have replaced the Jew with academics and others whose opinion differs from theirs. At present, they aren’t killing these people but canceling them. Like they did to the Jews, they are depriving them of their ability to work.

        The ideas of the other side, which involve individualism, is repugnant to the left and Nazism.

        1. This is not moral relativism.

          The Nazis also exploited people’s desire for tradition. They also exploited conservative desires for order and hierarchy.

          Conservatism has its own group identity elements. Conservatism does not automatically equal liberty-loving.

          What people chose to attend to reflected their inner preferences, it seems.

          1. “This is not moral relativism.”

            It certainly is. You wish to demonstrate that human traits exist under both types of regimes. Based on that you want to split the baby and skip thinking about the absolutes involved.

            Nazism represents state control. The American ideal represents the individual. Jews, Catholics, and others were murdered under Nazism. Are you trying to say that if the Nazis only killed half the number that would mean they had American values?

            What is the left trying to do? They are not yet killing those that disagree, but they are taking away the livelihood of those people which was one of the first steps done by the Nazis.

            Prairie, look at one major difference at a time. The Nazis held that the Nazi state was more important than those that lived under their rule. Classical liberals (libertarian, etc.) value the individual.

            1. S. Meyer,
              “You wish to demonstrate that human traits exist under both types of regimes. Based on that you want to split the baby and skip thinking about the absolutes involved.”

              Nazism does not equal “the left”. What absolutes do you think I am overlooking? Nazism contained the worst of both conservative and progressive elements, which made them particularly evil. Totalitarianism is not confined to one or the other.

              Classical liberals most definitely value the individual. However, classical liberal does not equal conservative. Perhaps at this time there is a large percentage of those on the Right who wish to ‘conserve’ traditional classical liberal perceptions. That still does not equate the Right with classical liberalism, as much as I’d like to agree to that. There are actually people on the Right who could, conceivably be Royalists if we could go back to 1776. The statists (and corporatists) on the Right are no friend of classical liberalism either. Groupthink can affect people on both sides of the aisle. Saw that with the support for the Iraq War–very few people on the Right were asking hard questions or voicing opposition.

              Nazism cannot be pinned exclusively on the Right or the Left. Theirs was an authoritarian, tyrannical wickedness. It is the sort of wickedness that everyone should fear descending into because no matter your political or personal leanings, everyone could be susceptible to their manipulative machinations, depending upon your especial concerns–tradition unwinding and the Nazis can improve that? check. economy in the tanks and Hitler can solve it with socialist policies? check. need someone to blame for the problems in society? check check check check Everybody loves a helpful scapegoat; it’s a lot easier than looking at the darkness in your own soul or to shoulder the pain of your own failings.

              Both the Right and the Left, in small increments, are trying to cement corporatist control, eroding the self-governance of we the people. It’s a handy trade-off, pitting one “side” against the “other”, back and forth with each election cycle, when, really, it is the “sideless” elite, masterfully playing magician’s tricks to induce people to willingly forfeit their own authority and liberty.

              1. “Nazism does not equal “the left”.”

                No one said that. The left adopts a lot of what Nazism is all about because the origins of Nazism are socialist. They originate from the same thread. That is why I pointed out a major difference, between individualism, and collectivism.

                “However, classical liberal does not equal conservative. “

                Let us not mince words. Conservative means different things to different people. What is frequently not considered on the left is “conservative.” But, you can skip the terms and use collectivist (left) vs individuality (conservative). You can add all sorts of other words such as monarchy or dictatorship, but none of them represent the individual unless that type of leadership is constrained. Then it is a hybrid.

                “There are actually people on the Right who could, conceivably be Royalists if we could go back to 1776.”

                Consider Edmund Burke. (We are dealing with evolving processes. Yet, one can take an easy look as to where we are in the process by using the words collectivist and individualism.)

                “Groupthink can affect people on both sides of the aisle.”

                We are not discussing individual thinking processes that can move from place to place. We are talking of almost polar opposite ideological thinking, collectivist vs. the individual.

                Take note of what I said at the beginning of this discussion, “People on both sides can act stupidly, but the leftist ideology is close to Nazism (and Stalinism, etc.). They have replaced the Jew with academics and others whose opinion differs from theirs. At present, they aren’t killing these people but canceling them. Like they initially did to the Jews, they are depriving them of their ability to work.

                The ideas of the other side, which involve individualism, are repugnant to the left and Nazism.”

                “Nazism cannot be pinned exclusively on the Right or the Left. Theirs was an authoritarian, tyrannical wickedness. ”

                That wickedness exists on the left of today. (see what I initially wrote copied above in this reply)

                “Both the Right and the Left, in small increments, are trying to cement corporatist control,”

                I think you are now referring to corporatism, which isn’t related to collectivist thinking or the individual.

                The left is collectivist and can be corporatist just like the right can be, but the left adopts the political environment of the collectivist. You are getting into the realm of Italian fascism, another spinoff of communism (the left). You are using a relativist mindset in the process.

                1. S. Meyer,
                  ““Nazism does not equal “the left”.”

                  No one said that.”

                  True, it was not stated explicitly. However, by saying “What is the left trying to do? They are not yet killing those that disagree, but they are taking away the livelihood of those people which was one of the first steps done by the Nazis” you are saying the left is walking along the same path. If they are on the same path, then they are being equated with Nazis.

                  “The left adopts a lot of what Nazism is all about because the origins of Nazism are socialist.”

                  Socialist does not equal Nazi either. I am not in favor of socialism; I do recognize, however, that neither are they synonymous.
                  What do you see the left adopting that is a lot of “what Nazism is all about”? That is an extremely broad and vague statement–clarity is needed. The Nazis were quite complicated. Also, the “left” needs defining. What do you mean when you say “the left”?

                  “They originate from the same thread.”

                  Our terms need defining. Democrats do not equal socialists. Some may. What do you mean when you say “the left”?

                  Also, I think it is unwise to try to equate two different ideologies because there is some overlap with the term “socialist”. They do not necessarily follow. We originated from the same ancestor as chimps but we are certainly quite different.

                  “But, you can skip the terms and use collectivist (left) vs individuality (conservative).”

                  Individuality does not equal conservative. Individuality is more closely equated with classical liberal, which is sideways from conservative. Conservatives can be collectivist, too, by wanting everyone to conservatively align with them. Conservatives and liberals can both degenerate into collectivism in their own way. At the moment, it does seem that the spirit of classical liberalism is upheld by more conservative-types as of late, in part, because of the desire to conserve this tradition.

                  “You can add all sorts of other words such as monarchy or dictatorship, but none of them represent the individual unless that type of leadership is constrained. Then it is a hybrid.”

                  I agree with the importance of constrained leadership. Jefferson disagreed with Burke, then, because he also disagreed with Hamilton on the issue of a constrained monarchy (with a Parliament). Jefferson won the day because we have a constitutional republic, a limited presidency, and no monarch. Still too much handshaking with the corporatists, though, and a revolving door between corporate and political leadership.

                  “We are dealing with evolving processes. Yet, one can take an easy look as to where we are in the process by using the words collectivist and individualism.”

                  Hmmm. I think we are dealing with, in part, manipulative processes by influential people, artfully trying to twist, nudge, and steer people towards some veiled goal.

                  “Groupthink can affect people on both sides of the aisle.”
                  “We are talking of almost polar opposite ideological thinking, collectivist vs. the individual.”

                  Thinking as an individual is too rare. I hold that people on both sides (conservative/liberal) can be affected by groupthink. Even people who work to weigh ideas and to think individually can be snared by groupthink sometimes. We are a tribal species; it is work to lean away from a tribalistic response. Education and broad knowledge and wisdom can help fight this inclination.

                  “Take note of what I said at the beginning of this discussion, “People on both sides can act stupidly, but the leftist ideology is close to Nazism (and Stalinism, etc.). They have replaced the Jew with academics and others whose opinion differs from theirs. At present, they aren’t killing these people but canceling them. Like they initially did to the Jews, they are depriving them of their ability to work.”

                  Too broad a brush. What do you mean by “leftist ideology”?

                  “Nazism cannot be pinned exclusively on the Right or the Left. Theirs was an authoritarian, tyrannical wickedness. ”
                  That wickedness exists on the left of today. (see what I initially wrote copied above in this reply)”

                  The right is fully capable of authoritarian, tyrannical wickedness. The Patriot Act, NCLB, and TARP wrested control away from we the people, allowed for private gain/public loss, or were outright authoritarian and all three were supported by conservatives. It’s a nice game of ‘keep away’ or catching crawdads in a creek–both sides trade off the appearance of wickedness while the vice gets tighter all the time on we the people and our power as the foundation of our constitutional republic get further and further eroded away until the corporatists can exert all the power.

                  “Both the Right and the Left, in small increments, are trying to cement corporatist control,”
                  “I think you are now referring to corporatism, which isn’t related to collectivist thinking or the individual.”

                  It is if the opposing elements of collectivism/individualism is used as a tool by those favoring corporatist control. It can be used as a sleight-of-hand or a means of dividing and conquering.

                  “The left is collectivist and can be corporatist just like the right can be, but the left adopts the political environment of the collectivist. You are getting into the realm of Italian fascism, another spinoff of communism (the left).”

                  Collectivism can be either right or left. Fascism is not a spinoff of communism; it was a reaction to it:
                  https://www.history.navy.mil/content/dam/museums/hrnm/Education/EducationWebsiteRebuild/RussianPropagandaAboutGermany/Socialism,%20Fascism,%20Capitalism,%20Communism%20Background.pdf

                  https://www.jstor.org/stable/42879391

                  Fascism includes corporatism as an element.
                  I will grant you that both are statist.

                  “You are using a relativist mindset in the process.”

                  In what way?

                  1. Fascism does not include corporatism.

                    There is a radical difference in government by corporation or corporate intfluence in government and Fascism – where the corporation and the individual are subordinate to the state.

                    Musolini is pretty much the creator of fascism and he definitely establishes it as a form of socialism.

                    Nazi means National German Socialist Workers Party.

                    Both in terms of policies, actions and beleifs the Nazi’s were socialists.

                    There is very little difference between Nazi Germany and the USSR.

                    Mostly a nuanced difference of emphasis. Both were hyper patriotic. But Nazi’s Were Germans first and socialists second. While Soviets were socialists first and Soviets second. But the differences is quite small – examine there propoganda.

                    The Russians call WWII “the great patriotic war” Nationalism is part of both Soviet and Chinese socialism as well as German/nazi socialism.

                    1. The discussion is going nowhere. It is fragmenting. I will try to bring it back into focus, and we can continue later with those things left out after a foundation is laid.

                      “Socialist does not equal Nazi either.”

                      No one says socialism equals nazism. No one says socialist ideology in one country equals socialism in another country. Ideologies branch out and have their own uniqueness.

                      Italian Fascism is derived from Socialism. Giovani Gentile was a Socialist. He, mostly, along with Mussolini, wrote The Doctrine of Fascism.

                      Nazism started in the socialist camp and split from it causing a deep rift and a battle for control.

                      Socialism is not identical from one country to the next, nor is it identical to Italian Fascism or Nazism, but they have the same root and much of the same thinking. To try and equate Nazism with the American experiment is crazy.

                      The (hard) left today can be considered in the camp of the Fascist, Nazi, and Socialist. Not all Democrats are part of today’s left, but many are.

                      Professor Turley is a Democrat. Alan Dershowitz is a Democrat, but both have classical beliefs that separate them from the leftists of today that I refer to.

                      Do not confuse the different ideologies. Do not hang your arguments on the fact that Fascism, Nazism, and Socialism aren’t identical. They come from the same root.

                    2. Nazism IS Socialism. There are many forms of socialism.

                      But Nazism is at its core Socialism.

                      I would not overplay differences between Musolini and Hitler. While they competed they remained comitted to each other until Musolini’s death.
                      Hitler came to Musolini’s rescue repeatedly.

                    3. Almost the entire democratic party today is socialist – though most of it is distant from the more malignant forms.
                      That does not make current democratic socialism good.

                      The far left today is a particularly malignant modern derivative of socialism that is not intellectually well developed.

                      Most people do not grasp that CRT, Intersectionalism, “Climate Change”, The 1619 project are ALL permutations of socialism – despite the fact that they are more than economically immature – they do not even care about economics.

                      The closest thing to what we see today on the left is the Cultural revolution in China.
                      Children actively destroying engaged in widespread an thoughtless destruction – both physical destruction as well as cultural and intellectual destruction.

                    4. John, people are using too many different definitions in the discussion. It would be best if they would look at the features that differentiate individualism from collectivism.

                      They should start with the right of private ownership, big or small government, the rule of law, and a few other things. If different ideologies were placed on a blackboard for each feature, where the location depended on what the respective tendencies were (since all differ somewhat from one another), one will find Nazism, Fascism Russian Socialism, Mao Socialism, Post Mao Socialism, etc., will group while American Republicanism is distanced from all of them.

                      That is where I think Prairie is going wrong though she is thinking in the right direction.

                      As far as right and left go, they vary based on context to such a degree that the terms are rapidly becoming useless.

                      Many will claim the so-called Right-Wing Nationalist, Richard Spencer, is on the right, but when one hears him talk, he advocates left-wing ideology. He wants the government involved in all sorts of things, including national health insurance.

                      Many get confused with federalism. Our system is designed to keep our federal government small and limited. Big government trends in the direction of Socialism etc.

                    5. You and I have gone round on defintions before.

                      I am not as fixated as you on definitions.

                      But it is clear there is no shared understanding of terms like socialism or right wing.

                      We are doing the same to words like racism, and sexism.

                      Regardless we do not need to focus on words and defintions – one of the points I tried to make with you is that we do have a common understanding of meaning.

                      We can directly compare the Nazi’s to the USSR and establish that with few exceptions they are fundimentally the same.
                      And those differences are NOT consequntial.

                      In fact the USSR and Nazi Germany are more similar than the USSR and the CCP.
                      Though the CCP under Xi may be more similar to nazi germany than the USSR is.

                      Pinochett is probably the most consequential example I can think of a right wing authoritarian.
                      And frankly he was pretty tame. The Noreiga’s murdered several orders of magnitude more of their people,
                      and did not surrender power without violence.

                      Regardless, though it is cumbersome – when words are mangled – we can usually still compare to things directly to establish their similarities and differences. There is a gigantic Gulf between Pinochett and hitler, and a very small one between Hilter and Stalin.

                    6. “But it is clear there is no shared understanding of terms like socialism or right wing.
                      We are doing the same to words like racism, and sexism.”

                      As I have said many times, agreement on definitions is important. “Common understanding” depends on our respective understanding of definitions. You might assume we have a “common understanding” of something, but unless it is expressed in a definitional sense, you will never know for sure.

                      “one of the points I tried to make with you is that we do have a common understanding of meaning.”

                      I don’t know what you mean by the above. Meaning of what? What is common understanding? Is it concerning a culture, a religion, an ethnic group?

                      Comparison, as you are doing, is one way of defining meaning.

                    7. Back to the same old argument.

                      Common understanding PRECEDES definition.

                      definitions are a value not a requirement.

                      Broadly accepted defintions allow us to increase the complexity and nuance of what we are communicating – when there is strong agreement on definitions.

                      But ultimately reality defines things.

                    8. “Common understanding PRECEDES definition.”

                      Definitions came into use because the common understanding wasn’t common understanding.

                      Reality defines things. If more than one person is involved, common understanding becomes a necessity.

                    9. My conflict with you is not about the value of definitions it is about the authority of definitions.

                      The left is increasingly changing the meaning of words, often absurdly and they have gained control of nearly all dictionaries. So now we see dictionaries including absurd definitions of words.

                      All you need is to read Orwell to know this is a bad idea.

                      Once you can control the meaning of words, you can make communicating disfavored ideas impossible.

                      But even when we are NOT dealing with the manipulation of meaning by the left. Common understanding precedes definition.

                    10. “My conflict with you is not about the value of definitions it is about the authority of definitions.”

                      John, you need not have such a conflict. From the very beginning I was willing to use your definitions. I use them to communicate, not to set up artificial boundaries.

                      “The left is increasingly changing the meaning of words, “

                      I completely agree. As I told you before, Ayn Rand had her own dictionary. Words by themselves are unimportant. It is what they mean that we need to know.

                      “Common understanding precedes definition.”

                      Of course. But sometimes, one requires a definition to know what common understanding is.

                    11. Suffice it to say, the left doesn’t even know the definition of a woman. Further, the left is not concerned with the Rule of Law, nor do we see present evidence where the left will follow the law unless it benefits them.

                    12. The problem with the left is not about definitions.

                      It is about MEANING. And the left DOES know what the MEANING of woman is – they are deliberately intent on DESTROYING that meaning.

                      The objective of the left is the destruction of language, this destroys communications and gives them the freedom to do whatever they please.

                      This is a major part of why the left is so dangerous. While what is actually happening is slightly less blatant than 1984, it is stil thesame thing with the same fundimental goals.

                      And like 1984 the result will be totalitarian.

                      Like 1984 there is not a single thing or value the left claims that you can trust.

                      As I have noted before – when declining population becomes a means to exercise power over others, The left will go from abortion on demand to forced reproduction. They will sell out Gays and Trans people in a second, just as they have sold out women already.

                      I am using Declining population as an example – any problem – real or made up will be used as a means to exercise more power over the lives of others.

                      We see this with the lefts dealing with Covid.

                      Do not trust that there is ANY meaningful commitment to ANY value of those on the left.

                      We have seen old school liberals go from the champions of free speech to modern leftists engaging in the greatest censorship we have ever had.

                    13. The fact that we can communicate means we have a quite large shared understanding of meaning.

                    14. “The fact that we can communicate means we have a quite large shared understanding of meaning.”

                      Shared understanding means exactly that, but to get a shared understanding can require agreement on definitions.

                    15. Again common understanding precedes definition.

                      I noted that the left is taking over dictionaries.

                      It is legitimate for people – including on the left to change or add to the dictionary definition because actual use has changed.

                      But the left puts the cart before the horse. Proposes a new definition, gets a few people to use it, and then changes dictionaries.

                      Regardless, I am not ceding the authority for meaning to dictionaries.

                      What we will likely see over time as a result of the left’s efforts to control language is people finding new and often cumbersome ways to communicate meanings that the left has attempted to supress.

                      Either we will end up with specific words replaced by more complex phrases or we will see new words or new uses of old words.

                      This is a common leftist tactic.

                      We are seeing the same thing in the J6 hearings.

                      I just read a news article about 1AP’s testimony before the J6 committee – while they had lots of issues, they ultimately agreed to testify fully.
                      It appears there was agreement right down to the topic areas and the questions that would be asked.
                      1AP had fully cooperated prior to testifying – voluntarily providing texts and emails.

                      At the last minute the J6 committee asserted a completely bizarre legal theory about criminal conspiracy to defraud the united states,
                      and he lawyers for 1AP refused to allow their clients to testify.

                      So the end result was Video of 1AP members repeatedly answering “rules, First, Fifth” to questions they would have been happy to answer.

                      Changing the meaning of words is the same as changing the meaning of law.
                      But it is worse with law.

                      One of the major points to textualism is that the law can not be changed without passing new law. A law must mean the same thing 100 years later as on the day it was passed. We are always free to pass new laws.

                      The J6 committee should not be manufacturing new legal theories regarding the law.
                      If they beleive some action should be illegal but is not according to the law, they should recomend new laws.

                      That is a legitimate purpose for the committee.

                    16. This Babylon Bee video does an excellent job of showing the lests problems with language.

                    17. Big state government is little improvement over big federal government.

                      As John Stuart Mill noted – there is no limit to your neighbors interests in restricting your freedom.

                      Local government is not inherently better.

                    18. Perfect is the enemy of good. John, we will never be perfect and that is where my disagreements with you lie. I’ll take federalism. Then I will work on my state to leave more power to the counties and continue down the line. 50 states is a lot better than 1 state. Our founders understood that, but recognized the needs for security knowing perfection could never be had.

                    19. John Say,
                      You are mistaken; fascism and corporatism are most definitely linked.

                      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/11/mussolini-style-corporatism-aka-fascism-on-the-rise-in-the-us.html

                      “Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile who wrote the entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana that said: “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Mussolini, however, affixed his name to the entry, and claimed credit for it.)

                      As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is, “A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.””

                      Richard J. Evans noted in his 2003 book The Coming of the Third Reich:
                      “The Reichstag was to retain only a supervisory role and a ‘critical voice’ in legislation, and to be joined by ‘a representational body structured according to professional rankings in the economic and cultural spheres’ along the lines of the corporate state being created at the time in Fascist Italy.” (95)

                      And, from Mussolini’s own pen regarding fascism and socialism:

                      “Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle.”

                      https://sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/2B-HUM/Readings/The-Doctrine-of-Fascism.pdf

                      John Say>”Both in terms of policies, actions and beleifs the Nazi’s were socialists.
                      There is very little difference between Nazi Germany and the USSR.”

                      I disagree. The Nazis were not entirely socialist either, just like the North Koreans are not exactly democratic. Just because the word is in their title doesn’t mean it totally encompasses their perspectives or policies.

                      Evans also notes “The Nazis declared that they would scrape away foreign and alien encrustations on the German body politic, ridding the country of Communism, Marxism, ‘Jewish’ liberalism, cultural Bolshevism, feminism, sexual libertinism, cosmopolitanism, the economic and power-political burdens imposed by Britain and France in 1919, ‘Western’ democracy and much else.” (449). “Like other people at other times and in other places [they] manipulated and rearranged the past to suit their own present purposes.” (450)

                      And, “The unions agreed that [May Day] would be known as the ‘Day of National Labour’. This act, once more, symbolized the new regime’s synthesis of the seemingly divergent traditions of nationalism and socialism.” (356)

                      There are certainly differences between the Nazis and the Soviets and they were opposed on many things. Totalitarianism can come in many different packages.

                    20. We are dealing wit word games.

                      It is misuse of language to frame socialism or any other form of government that is NOT Government by corporation as corporatism.

                      A broader defintion of corporatism makes it meaningless.

                      In EVERY form of government that allows corporations to exist will have corporations striving to buy influence including our own.

                      That is NOT corporatism, it is just the normal way that those with money try to leverage those with power.

                      Both Hitler and Musolini made it clear that business – like the individual serves the interest of the state.

                    21. I would suggest rereading your own comments and consider whether the words you use have any meaning in the way they are being used ?

                      What does “right” and “left” mean – if you call Nazi’s and Fascists, right wing ?

                      The definition of corporatism you and those you are referencing use would apply to just about every system that allows businesses to exist.

                      The meaning of words matters. We communicate using words, Most of us think using words.

                      Muddle the meaning of words and you muddle thinking.

                      The distinction between Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany is that Nazism is white collar socialism and Russian Communism is blue collar communism. German and Italian Socialists did not own the means of production – but the controlled it, and as a consequence those who did own the means of production bribed and paid tribute to the Nazi’s in return for oportunities to profit. Russian Socialists owned the means of production.

                      China under Mao was similar to Stalinist Russia – except even poorer and the communism of impoverished serfs.

                      But China under Xi much more strongly resembles Fascist italy or Nazi Germany.

                      Regardless ALL of these are socialist.

                      I can not conceive of a consequential distinction between right and left – if all socialism is not inherently on the left.

                      The existance of Corporations in some socialist systems is a meaningful distinction between those systems.

                      Nazi Socialism, Fascist Socialism, Modern Chinese Socialism, the NEP Socialism of Lennin are all very similar and distinct from Marxism, Cuban Socialism, Moaist socialism and Stalinist Socialism. But they are ALL on the left.

                      Please tell me what YOU think left and right mean ? What You think corporatism means ?

                      In YOUR perspective is there such a thing as Right wing Socialism ? If so – then what does right wing mean.

                      I will cede that we have confusion – because right and left do not mean the same thing everywhere.

                      British conservatism is USUALLY significantly different from American conservatism. The US is at its core much more libertarian.

                      For the past couple ofyears we have seen comparisons between Donald Trump and Borris Johnson – like those between Reagan and Thatcher.

                      But Trump is not Reagan and Johnson is not Thatcher – and the difference is more consequential than personalities.

                    22. Darren, WordPress has eaten my other attempts to post a comment. I only had two links and I even tried breaking both of them and WordPress still ate the comment. Would you be able to see if it is caught in the filter? Thank you for your help.

                    23. Prairie Rose,

                      I restored the comment at 2:10 that wordpress snagged. (The one referencing fascism in the U.S.)

                    24. S. Meyer,
                      “Italian Fascism is derived from Socialism. Giovani Gentile was a Socialist. He, mostly, along with Mussolini, wrote The Doctrine of Fascism.

                      Nazism started in the socialist camp and split from it causing a deep rift and a battle for control.”

                      Mussolini and Gentile vehemently opposed the Social Democrats and socialism (as did the Nazis, despite maintaining some socialist elements). Giovanni Gentile had been a socialist, rejected it, and then wholeheartedly considered himself a fascist. The main similar element is that of the collective. But, a collective can be conservative or liberal.

                      “Socialism is not identical from one country to the next, nor is it identical to Italian Fascism or Nazism, but they have the same root and much of the same thinking.”

                      I will reiterate: I think it is unwise to try to closely link two or three different ideologies because there is some overlap with the term “socialist”. They do not necessarily follow. We originated from the same ancestor as chimps but we are certainly quite different.

                      “To try and equate Nazism with the American experiment is crazy.”

                      I never equated ‘the American experiment’ to Nazism. In the original conception of the American experiment, yes, that would be crazy. I won’t go so far as to even equate them now–that would be a degradation of the horror that was Nazi Germany. Yet, our original ‘American experiment’ has morphed into something quite different, something that does not quite reflect the goals of a free and independent people. The federal government, the executive branch in particular, is too much like Jed the Kweek in Bill Peet’s The Kweeks of Kookatumdee–gobbling up all the power, leaving the rest of the kweeks to grasp at the scraps. We just cannot fly off to a new island as they did; we need to stay and fix what’s here.

                      Corporatism has indeed crept in, as has a touch of tyranny with the aforementioned bills (among others, I am sure).

                      “The (hard) left today can be considered in the camp of the Fascist, Nazi, and Socialist.”

                      I need clarity here. In what way do you considered the hard left (leftists) as in the camp of Fascists, Nazis, and Socialists? Those are hard words. I see concerning overtones, some leaning that needs to be redirected and headed off, but I am disinclined at present to consider them in the same camp. There are bits of these ugly things in some aspects of conservatism, too, as I noted before.

                      “Do not confuse the different ideologies.”

                      I am not.

                      “Do not hang your arguments on the fact that Fascism, Nazism, and Socialism aren’t identical. They come from the same root.”

                      I am not. I am trying to be very careful and very clear about their distinctions and similarities. What is the root? It is not clear to me what you exactly mean by that, for one. And, two, does the root matter, as I noted above with our long-past ancestral connection to chimps. Sometimes things become so twisted from their origin that effectively all, or nearly all, resemblance is lost.

                      I see fascism and nazism as far more insidious, things that can warp or be expressed by anyone who has lost their center, whether they are on the right or the left, because different elements of either ideology could potentially appeal to either political/psychological “side” when they become ungrounded or have lost direction.

                      Classical liberalism aims to maintain the delicate balance between the individual and community, the many and the few, progress and tradition. Conservatives and liberals both play a role in maintaining that balance.

                    25. Prairie,
                      “Mussolini and Gentile vehemently opposed ”

                      Sometimes brother and sister fight, killing one another.

                      “But, a collective can be conservative or liberal.”

                      Again, you are mixing many different words, so I picked two other words, individualist and collectivist (not perfect but better). The words you use can mean a variety of things.

                      ” there is some overlap with the term “socialist”

                      I am using socialist and communist in a fashion close to what Marx described.

                      “Yet, our original ‘American experiment’ has morphed into something quite different”

                      Yes, our government has changed, and at times you might have heard me say we were no longer the same Constitutional Republic as we seem to be a country run by an oligarchy with little concern for the Constitution.

                      “Corporatism has indeed crept in”

                      Corporatism, in the sense I think you are using it, has always been there to a greater or lesser extent.

                      ” In what way do you considered the hard left (leftists) as in the camp of Fascists, Nazis, and Socialists? ”

                      I have mentioned those ways many times. Start with large vs. small government and private property.

                      ” What is the root?”

                      The root can be many things depending on the point of time you are discussing. Let’s use Marxism at present.

                      “I see fascism and nazism as far more insidious”

                      That is because you are looking at specific examples that existed, not those concepts that are basic to the individual ideologies.

                      “Classical liberalism aims to maintain the delicate balance between the individual and community”

                      That is true, and Edmund Burke is a good example. The need for government means that the individual loses some freedoms, but if one is careful, one can maintain the idea behind the American Republic. We have not been careful in following our Constitution and its inherent federalist ideas.

                    26. You are dealing with mostly personal politics.

                      Mousolini had significant conflict with the socialist party. Not socialism.

                      An actual example of conservative collectivism ?

                      The Nazis were many things,
                      Conservative was DEFINITELY not one of them.
                      The Italian Fascists were many things
                      Conservative was not one of those.

                      Fascists were progessive, not conservative.

                      Conservative Collectivism MAY be hypothetically possible.
                      But I can not think of an example much less a consequential one.

                    27. “I will reiterate: I think it is unwise to try to closely link two or three different ideologies because there is some overlap with the term “socialist”. They do not necessarily follow. We originated from the same ancestor as chimps but we are certainly quite different.”

                      And yet we are all hominids.

                      Absolutely we need to be careful about differences, but it is equally important to identify and understand commonalities.

                      All collectivist groups fail – they fail for the same reasons.

                      There might not be a theoretical barrier to conservative collectivists – but the concepts are incompatible and I can not think of an actual example.

                    28. The distinctive characteristic of Fascism is nationalism.

                      Current Chinese Socialism under Xi has very strong similarities to Nazism.

                      But the socialism we see in the west is more globalist than nationalist
                      Until the recent ascendance of the post modern progressive left the progress of the american experiment has been MOSTLY towards greater individual liberty. Though there has been competition with the growing administrative state since Wilson.

                      Our founders spoke eloquently of individual liberty, but it is not just slavery where their ideals fell far short of reality.

                      Given that I still have no idea what corporatism means to you it is hard to address your claims.

                      Businesses will ALWAYS seek to rent government power. If you eliminate business, someone else will.
                      Power corrupts.

                      The ONLY means to reduce that is to reduce the power of government.

                      The modern left is the least intellectual form of collectivism ever. While it is clearly marxist in origen and tenor, the left today does not have a coherent ideology, it is a collection of pseudo intellectual drivel that can not withstand any examination. It more strongly resembles a primative religion.
                      To what little extent that modern leftists have an orginized ideology its adherents are at best marginally familiar with it.

                      Though the modern left does NOT share the nationalist trait that is a signature of fascism, it does share with fascism a strong fixation on the extermination of an “enemy” which increasingly is “whiteness, maleness, and western principles”

                      China is dangerous in much the same way that Nazi Germany was – it is increasingly a fascist country. .

                      The modern western leftists also bear similarities to the Chinese cultural revolution in the 60’s – the same effort to demonize and destroy the past,
                      The same ideological incoherence. The same suppression of dissent – within and without. The same pitting of activist
                      children against more mature adults.

                      The situation with China is very dangerous because of the similarities to Fascism.
                      The situation in the west is very dangerous – for the same reasons that the Cultural revolution was.

                    29. Nationalism and Fascism ARE socialism. Just as chimpanzees and Gorilla’s are hominids.

                      Nationalism is one of the more virulent forms of socialism. But Stalinism and Maoism were worse.

                      Classical Liberalism is modern libertarianism.
                      Conservatism is NOT classically liberalism – though some variants are closer.
                      Liberalism is NOT classical liberalism – though more and more actual liberals are being red pilled by the left and becoming more classically liberal.

                      The modern left is ill-liberal not liberal.

                    30. John Say,
                      At the core of Nazism is authoritarianism.

                      “CRT, Intersectionalism, “Climate Change”, The 1619 project are ALL permutations of socialism”

                      How? Socialism is an economic theory. These other things are cultural, scientific, or historical theories. With CRT and intersectionalism there may be some collectivist overlap, but I don’t see how the other two are collectivist. Perhaps the 1619 project could be under the CRT/group identity concept?

                      “Children actively destroying engaged in widespread an thoughtless destruction – both physical destruction as well as cultural and intellectual destruction.”

                      I agree. But a bit of political dismantling, too, with the erosion of local control and the deterioration of taxpayer control of their money.

                    31. Authoritarianism is to one degree an attribute of all forms of socialism and many other ism’s.
                      It is not unique to nazism nor fascism, not is it a signature feature.

                      Pinochette was authoritarian – but he was NOT socialist, or fascist,

                      The USSR was authoritarian, China was and is authoritarian.
                      Russia which is not socialist or communist today is authoritarian.

                    32. “How? Socialism is an economic theory.”
                      There is a socialist economic theory – just as there is a classical liberal economic theory.
                      The economics derives from the underlying principles.
                      “These other things are cultural, scientific, or historical theories. ”

                      With respect to Global Warming – read the leaders of the movement.
                      “When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time.”
                      Maya Angelou

                      The whole ball of wax we are discussing here is a direct attack on one or the other principles of classical liberalism.

                      This is driven by the fact that classical liberalism outperforms everything else.

                      Marxists grasped that in the 60’s and understood they were not going to prevail against classical liberalism without shifting to non-economic domains.
                      All the nonsense we see today is all permutations of tearing down classical liberalism to replace it with some permutation of socialism.

                      Look at the Green New Deal – very little of it has anything to do with climate or ecology.

                    33. S. Meyer,
                      “It would be best if they would look at the features that differentiate individualism from collectivism.”

                      I agree. Perhaps, though, features of authoritarianism and/or totalitarianism from self-governance. There are elements of both individualism and collectivism in classical liberalism, but classical liberalism seeks to advance representative self-governance and eschew authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

                      “American Republicanism is distanced from all of them.”

                      I agree that our American Constitutional Republic is meant to be distanced from all of them. Are there elements of fascism creeping in to our constitutional republic? Yes. That is not good if we wish to maintain individual liberty.

                      You could say that all those -isms are collectivist but they would then need to be further categorized as more on the right, left, or holding elements of both tendencies.

                      “As far as right and left go, they vary based on context to such a degree that the terms are rapidly becoming useless.”

                      I agree. Clarity is needed.

                      “Many get confused with federalism. Our system is designed to keep our federal government small and limited. Big government trends in the direction of Socialism etc.”

                      This is complicated. Federalism is designed for a strong federal government (as opposed to the Articles of Confederation) which is beneficial for military strength and a perhaps better communication and cooperation for federal-level concerns amongst the many states (as the Constitution lays out). While there is an aspect of Big Government trending towards socialist elements (even Thomas Paine advocated for some ‘socialist’-type elements), my greater concern is that of Big Government trending towards authoritarianism or totalitarianism. With the advancements in technology, what is the likely direction? Will people try to use these new technologies to bend others to their will? Will we use technologies or will they, even mindlessly, use us–even if AGI is never realized? Will these technologies make us more liberty-oriented or less?

                    34. “There are elements of both individualism and collectivism in classical liberalism”

                      There is a need for government. Government is a collectivist entity, and why the federal government should be as limited in scope as possible.

                      “(even Thomas Paine advocated for some ‘socialist’-type elements)”

                      I don’t know what you mean by Thomas Paine. He supported the French Revolution. Though Paine was a great man, I wouldn’t rely on his judgment.

                      “With the advancements in technology, what is the likely direction?”

                      People have always used technology to advance their aims. The American people have become soft and too dependent on the government. Technology can push in many directions, but today, we are partly following the Chinese model of totalitarian control.

                    35. Classical liberalism has at its foundation the principle of individual free will.
                      There is virtually no coerced collectivism – what people do voluntarily is up to them.

                      What coerced collectivism is present is limited to the core social contract requirements of government.

                    36. There is very little fascism creeping into american government today.

                      We are headed int he wrong direction – but not towards fascism.
                      We are headed towards authoritarianism – and the left is driving that.

                    37. Thomas Paine defended the French Revolution – until he fled the guillotine.

                      Paine did not understand that Liberty and Equality are not compatible.
                      An error that we have made repeatedly since.

                      And just like the French revolution, and every movement featuring equality tends to devolve to copious bloodshed.

                    38. Technology is either neutral or bends towards liberty.

                      Certainly there are those who try to bend technology to totalitarian ends.

                      I greatly oppose the censorship of “Big Tech”
                      But the only thing I want government to do about it is repeal the DMCA
                      and there are many reasons besides censorship to do that.

                      The big tech censorship problem will solve itself.
                      Censorship is inherently self destructive.

                      “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”

                      ― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

                      “Many of the things that you believe right now—in this very moment—are utterly wrong.

                      I can’t tell you precisely what those things are, of course, but I can say with near certainty that this statement is true. To understand this uncomfortable reality, all you need is some basic knowledge of history.”

                      https://www.persuasion.community/p/misinformation-is-here-to-stay-and

                    39. John Say,
                      “Big state government is little improvement over big federal government.”

                      I agree. Care should be taken at the state level, too. Iowan’s lost their local control of education.

                      “As John Stuart Mill noted – there is no limit to your neighbors interests in restricting your freedom.”

                      Not just freedom is at stake. Should your neighbors be able to effectively loot your wallet and use the money as they wish? They can with vouchers and charter schools.

                      “Local government is not inherently better.”

                      There is more control at the local level because, presumedly, you are better able to know your neighbors, to discuss the issues at church, the local bar, “greasy spoon” counter, coffee shop, neighborhood BBQs, or at other local meetings, organizations, or events. That is, if local government is really local–not NYC “local” but at a much smaller scale that people can more readily wrap their arms around.

                      And, I agree with S. Meyer when he wrote:
                      “Perfect is the enemy of good. John, we will never be perfect and that is where my disagreements with you lie. I’ll take federalism. Then I will work on my state to leave more power to the counties and continue down the line. 50 states is a lot better than 1 state. Our founders understood that, but recognized the needs for security knowing perfection could never be had.”

                    40. “Not just freedom is at stake. Should your neighbors be able to effectively loot your wallet and use the money as they wish?”
                      Nit picking that is an issue of freedom, otherwise you are correct.

                      “They can with vouchers and charter schools.”
                      No more than you are looted to pay for public schools.

                      The best solution to schools is to remove govenrment completely.
                      But if we can not do that, then government should pay everyone the same amount per child and parents should send them where they please.

                      Sweden does that and about 50% of students are privately educated.
                      It works quite well and improved the quality of public schools.

                    41. I do noty disagree that there are advantages as government gets closer to you.

                      But it is fallacy to presume that local is inherently better.
                      The good comes with bad too.

                    42. “Perfect is the enemy of good. ”

                      SM is correct – but that phrase does not accurately reflect our differences.
                      Arguably SM seeks perfection of a different form more than I.

                      We are different in terms of emphasis, not the need for perfection.

                      I am a strong advocate for KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid, in most everything – but especially government.
                      I inherently expect all government will be corrupt and full of failure.
                      But the smaller and simpler we make it the less corruption there will be.

                      Complexity should be as far as possible away from the use of force. And govenrment is the legitimate use of force.

                    43. With respect to your treatise on local government – to a significant extent I agree.

                      Though I have some quibbles.

                      The constitutions so called checks and balances are mostly efforts to pit interest against interest to make it rare that government can accomplish anything. Gridlock was a design FEATURE of our government.

                      I support extending that – the purpose of the federal government is to impede the states – and visa versa, the same with the relation of state and local government.

                      Again the goal is gridlock – except in the rare instances we can get near unanimous agreement.

                      When I was young – my local government was excellent. It epitomized “Don’t Tread on Me”.
                      Today it is a corrupt mess. Nearly every idiotic mistake democrats are making in the federal government local republicans make in some form here.

                      We have a national debate over activist democrat judges and supposed constitutionalist Trump judges.

                      The judges in my county are almost all republicans. The republicans are as activist as federal democrats, and the most conservative constitutionalist is a democrat and do to retire soon. Of course our state supreme court is mostly democrats and worse than local or federal judges.

                      Local issues may be different from national issues – but local republicans are atleast as likely to engage in stupid meddling in peoples personal lives.

                      I would further note – I am well tied into the local legal community. Many of the people I am criticism are atleast acquaintances if not friends.
                      I would vote them all out – in a secret ballot.

                    44. John Say,
                      “We are dealing wit word games.”

                      This is the process of trying to find definitional clarity and agreement. Some of the words we are using have many uses, not all of which are clear.

                      “It is misuse of language to frame socialism or any other form of government that is NOT Government by corporation as corporatism.”

                      I agree that socialism is not corporatism.

                      Corporatism is the merging of political and corporate (and NGO) power with one another serving each other’s respective ends and interests. Though, perhaps I ought to be using the term corporatocracy: “a system of government that serves the interest of, and may be run by, corporations and involves ties between government and business. Where corporations, conglomerates, and/or government entities with private components, control the direction and governance of a country, including carrying out economic planning notwithstanding the ‘free market’ label.” This is how you get nonsense like “future-driven education”–as if the future is already planned out.

                      This can be limited to corporatism within a nation or steering by corporations from an international level.

                      “In EVERY form of government that allows corporations to exist will have corporations striving to buy influence including our own.
                      That is NOT corporatism, it is just the normal way that those with money try to leverage those with power.”

                      Of course, but such things should be stopped or the balance of powers and intent of our constitutional republic will be undermined and thwarted–liberty is at stake.

                      Tocqueville noted: “The will of man is not shattered but softened, bent and guided; mean are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrial animals, of which government [my note: and corporatists] is the shepherd.”

                    45. I find your definition of corporatism to broad.

                      AGAIN
                      In any free system – and likely non-free systems businesses – and other parties will ALWAYS seek to rent whatever power government has. That is a given, not an ism.

                      “Of course, but such things should be stopped or the balance of powers and intent of our constitutional republic will be undermined and thwarted–liberty is at stake.”

                      What has that to do with what constitutes corporatism ?

                      I would further note that any argument involving government that uses “Should” is inherently problematic.
                      What should be done is always a value judgement.

                      I do not understand your balance of powers argument. it is arguable seeking to rent government power is just another check and balance.
                      That is not MY argument, but it is a valid one.

                      There are only two means to limit external influences.
                      Hold those in congress responsible – the moral failure here is abuse of power – and that is something only the person in government can do. Further it is unwise to make illegal something that would be legal if the counter party was not in government. Businesses buy what they want legitimately all the time. They buy prominent placement for their goods in stores. The buy exclusive deals with discounts.
                      The party acting improperly in the arrangements you challenge is the person in government.
                      WE want business to look out for its own best interests.

                      The other is to diminish the power of government so that there is nothing to rent.

                      I deliberately use “rent” – it is by far the most accurate. Those in government have power. They can not sell it, they can only rent it.
                      the distinction is important – as business is almost never the dominant party in the relationship – the government actor is.

                      Corporatism requires business to OWN power not rent it.

                    46. John writes to Prairie: “I find your definition of corporatism to broad.”

                      John, I am glad to hear you talk of definitions. When I ask for a definition, it is so two people can better understand one another. I frequently don’t care what definition the other person uses as long as there is mutual agreement in the discussion.

                      Here you are, John, super-defining a concept to move the goal posts to your preferred arena where you are most comfortable. 🙂

                      “Corporatism requires business to OWN power not rent it.”

                      That is an excellent explanation if one wants to narrow the view of corporatism. Such a view is problematic since I can’t think of one country today or historically that would fulfill the requirement. In discussion, John Stuart Mills might want a narrow viewpoing of what corporatism is in a liberal society, but I don’t think he can do so without some flexibility. Power is always ‘rented’ and can disappear without notice.

                      Therefore we are left with hybrids, both historical and those that existed in recent history. Corporatism was influential in Italian Fascism. I think one could make similar comments about a bunch of nations in the western hemisphere in the early part of the last century. Mexico and Spain come to mind.

                      I think the best to be said about corporatism is the amount of influence corporate entities exert on the government in power. When power is transferred, the corporate influence might remain unchanged and even influence who has the power.

                      IMO the US involvement with corporatism (broad definition) is very much alive.

                    47. The “talk of defintions” – proves the problem.

                      It is probable that many dictionaries define corporatism the way Praire does.

                      I just argued that is too broad.

                      One important reason it is too broad is because it damages our ability to communicate.

                      Broad defintions group things that are losely similar as if they are the same.

                      The left today – and most dictionaries now, use a bat$hit defition of racism
                      That defintion creates racism where it does not exist and denies it where it does.
                      Further it is dissonant with people understanding.

                      Looking at corporatism – a broad defintion conflates relatively benign arrangements with malignant ones.

                    48. “The “talk of defintions” – proves the problem.”

                      Yes, like it or not, definitions are here to stay.

                      “One important reason it is too broad is because it damages our ability to communicate.”

                      That is why definitions are needed. The words Prairie used are commonly used and mean different things to different people. The solution is to agree on definitions.

                      I told you what I felt about the word corporatism and how I felt it not to be the primary ideology of a country. I provided examples of nations where it played a big part. Can you name one country now or in the past where the primary ideology was corporatism?

                    49. The remedy for the relationship that business has with government in an actual free market – is less government
                      Even if you succeed in restriction the influence of business on government without restricting goverment Someone else will rent government power.

                      It is not good when fortune 500’s can rent govenrment, It is not good when billionares can rent government, it is not good when non-profits, NGO’s or 501C3’s can rent government, it is not good when charity’s can rent government.

                      Elimiating that form of corporatism accomplishes nothing – so long as government has power to rent – someone will rent it.
                      Even in the USSR and CCP the power of govenrment was for rent by someone.

                      The remedy for actual corporatism is new government.

                    50. “The remedy for the relationship that business has ”

                      John, I guess your reply means that you agree with me having to do with my comments on corporatism. I agree with you about the benefits of small government.

                    51. Your Toqueville quote is interesting. Your edit is error. Outside of the movies Businesses do not wield power. They wield money. And in comparison to government very little.They use money to rent power. They never own it.

                    52. S. Meyer,

                      “But, a collective can be conservative or liberal.”
                      Again, you are mixing many different words, so I picked two other words, individualist and collectivist (not perfect but better). The words you use can mean a variety of things.”

                      I do mean what I say–collectivists can be conservative or liberal. Appears to me that the KKK would fall into a rather conservative collectivists camp.

                      “Corporatism has indeed crept in”
                      “Corporatism, in the sense I think you are using it, has always been there to a greater or lesser extent.”

                      At this time, it appears to me that corporatism/corporatocracy is there to a massive extent. Corporations and NGOs are thoroughly attempting to steer and push things in their favor even at a local level. Why stop at the Federal and State level! I’m tempted to declare that’s why there are movies out like Everything Everywhere All At Once. Sorta seems like how things are going. 🙁 Could be happenstance, but I’m cynical.

                      ” In what way do you considered the hard left (leftists) as in the camp of Fascists, Nazis, and Socialists? ”
                      “Start with large vs. small government and private property.”

                      Those criteria shift us only a bit towards socialism. In all other respects, those are too general for such hard, ugly labels.

                      ” What is the root?”
                      “The root can be many things depending on the point of time you are discussing. Let’s use Marxism at present.”

                      Hmmm. No, I think the root is under Marxism.

                      “I see fascism and nazism as far more insidious”
                      “That is because you are looking at specific examples that existed, not those concepts that are basic to the individual ideologies.”

                      I disagree. I am considering them at their basic elements, particularly in regards to nazism.

                      “Classical liberalism aims to maintain the delicate balance between the individual and community”
                      “That is true, and Edmund Burke is a good example. The need for government means that the individual loses some freedoms, but if one is careful, one can maintain the idea behind the American Republic. ”

                      People would do well to consider Burke’s thoughts on liberty, some elements of governance, and the beautiful, too. Regarding the individual and community–sometimes individuals must come together to do good:

                      “No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

                      “We have not been careful in following our Constitution and its inherent federalist ideas.”

                      Ah-ha! A point of agreement! 🙂

                    53. “Appears to me that the KKK would fall into a rather conservative collectivists camp.”

                      Can you list what you think makes them conservative?

                      When you finish your list, you will have defined one or two types of conservatives, but are they classical liberals? Do they believe in individualism or collectivism?

                      “Corporations and NGOs are thoroughly attempting to steer and push things in their favor even at a local level. ”

                      That is how a Constitutional Republic functions.

                      “Those criteria shift us only a bit towards socialism.”

                      Private property is a pretty big issue. It almost defines socialism.

                      “Hmmm. No, I think the root is under Marxism.”

                      ??? I said “The root can be many things depending on the point of time you are discussing. Let’s use Marxism at present.”

                    54. John Say,
                      I tried my best to respond to your many posts in this single post. I know it is a bit of a word wall, but I tried to make my responses as organized and as succinct as possible.

                      “Mousolini had significant conflict with the socialist party. Not socialism.”
                      He rejected it in favor of fascism.
                      “An actual example of conservative collectivism ?”

                      The KKK.

                      “The Nazis were many things, Conservative was DEFINITELY not one of them. The Italian Fascists were many things. Conservative was not one of those. Fascists were progessive, not conservative.”

                      Yes, they most definitely can be conservative.
                      Nazis had conservative [Big 5 Personality] elements about them, including a desire for purity, order, stability, emphasis on tradition, and nationalism. They did have liberal-oriented elements about them, too, though–namely “the state taking a 51% stake in major industries and 49% in all other businesses” as well as re-instituting guilds (Evans, 203). The Nazi rhetoric was often egalitarian and stressed the need to put the common needs above the needs of the individual (173). This is what made them so dangerous. Their conservative (and liberal) elements were twisted by totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Richard Evans noted that “The roots of the Nazis’ success lay in the failure of the German political system to produce a viable, nationwide conservative party uniting both Catholics and Protestants on the right; in the historic weakness of German liberalism; in the bitter resentments of almost all Germans…” (445) Also, that “[The Nazi movement’s] ideas evidently had a wide appeal to the electorate, or at least were not so outrageous as to put them off” (447). The Nazis veiled their extremist ideology, depending on the circumstances or to whom they were appealing. They blended elements of socialism with nationalism. Peter Phillips explored the moral breakdown of Germany preceding the Hitler in his book *The Tragedy of Nazi Germany: The Collapse of Character and Morality Which Led to Nazism Can Happen Anywhere*. A breakdown of morality and character can happen to people on either side of the political divide; Hitler took advantage of that and enticed both sides to his movement.

                      ““I will reiterate: I think it is unwise to try to closely link two or three different ideologies because there is some overlap with the term “socialist”. They do not necessarily follow. We originated from the same ancestor as chimps but we are certainly quite different.”
                      And yet we are all hominids.”

                      Making the distinctions between the ideologies so unfocused does not help address the problems at hand. Nor does trying to trace one to the other when the paths have so divergently bifurcated.

                      “it is equally important to identify and understand commonalities.”

                      Not necessarily, unless there is an agenda to paint “the left” as Nazis. Not a wise path to traipse when “the right” could just as easily follow the same path. The only commonalities I’m interested in right now are those that might connect “the left” and “the right” through a reinvigoration of classical liberalism.

                      “Until the recent ascendance of the post modern progressive left the progress of the american experiment has been MOSTLY towards greater individual liberty. Though there has been competition with the growing administrative state since Wilson.”

                      I wish. There has been a slow erosion of the American experiment since the 1950s/WWII, maybe even the Creel Commission from WWI (and Wilson) could make for a somewhat coherent marker.

                      “Businesses will ALWAYS seek to rent government power. If you eliminate business, someone else will.
                      Power corrupts. The ONLY means to reduce that is to reduce the power of government.”

                      Then the virtue of our elected leadership looks nothing like that of Cicero or Cinncinatus, what with the massive renting of government power by big business as you alluded to farther down.

                      “The modern left is the least intellectual form of collectivism ever. While it is clearly marxist in origen and tenor, the left today does not have a coherent ideology, it is a collection of pseudo intellectual drivel that can not withstand any examination. It more strongly resembles a primative religion.”

                      Peter Phillips would agree (page 83).

                      “Though the modern left does NOT share the nationalist trait that is a signature of fascism, it does share with fascism a strong fixation on the extermination of an “enemy” which increasingly is “whiteness, maleness, and western principles””

                      Yes, collectivism can form with those on the right or the left. It will entice the right through nationalism and other binding forces, just as collectivism can engage those on the left via their own collectivist tendencies.

                      “The situation in the west is very dangerous – for the same reasons that the Cultural revolution was.”

                      Be careful not to oversimplify things. The situation in the West comes from both sides. Fear is the mind-killer and one that pushes people into terrible places. Probably why God exhorts people frequently to ‘fear not’, for then they will make decisions that are toward the Light.

                      “Nationalism and Fascism ARE socialism. Just as chimpanzees and Gorilla’s are hominids. Nationalism is one of the more virulent forms of socialism. But Stalinism and Maoism were worse.”

                      No, they are not forms of socialism. They might use bits and pieces, but they morphed sufficiently into something else as to be entirely distinct.

                      “Classical Liberalism is modern libertarianism.”

                      Not quite for this either. Modern libertarianism might be closer on some things, but it tilts too far towards individualism that duties towards one’s community are essentially forgotten, and, there seems to be a bit of an idealistic streak that business will simply be restrained by the market. People, in general, do not pay sufficient attention to details and backgrounds to achieve this well. People certainly haven’t restrained government very well; how would it be any different for business?

                      ““How? Socialism is an economic theory.”
                      There is a socialist economic theory – just as there is a classical liberal economic theory.”

                      Capitalism coincides with classical liberalism, but I would not describe it as a “classical liberal economic theory”. Trying to bring capitalism to Communist China did not create at all whatsoever classical liberal governance.

                      “The economics derives from the underlying principles.”
                      That was the argument for bringing China into the WTO. All we did was feed that monster and ruin a segment of our economic infrastructure as all our manufacturing chased cheap labor (etc).

                      “When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time.”
                      Maya Angelou

                      I like Maya Angelou, and, I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt and to take people at face value. But, even with this inclination I can only agree to this with caution. Like the Nazis, sometimes what you see is not at all what you’ll get.

                      “The whole ball of wax we are discussing here is a direct attack on one or the other principles of classical liberalism.”
                      That is a fair observation.

                      “Marxists grasped that in the 60’s and understood they were not going to prevail against classical liberalism without shifting to non-economic domains. All the nonsense we see today is all permutations of tearing down classical liberalism to replace it with some permutation of socialism.”

                      Hmmm. Replace it with totalitarianism or authoritarianism. Does Neo-Feudalism have some socialist elements to keep the peasants happy with bread and circuses?

                      “Look at the Green New Deal – very little of it has anything to do with climate or ecology.”
                      I will have to read more on this. I haven’t actually looked too closely because I feel like it is, to some extent, a distraction from quieter problems creeping in.

                      “Classical liberalism has at its foundation the principle of individual free will. There is virtually no coerced collectivism – what people do voluntarily is up to them. What coerced collectivism is present is limited to the core social contract requirements of government.”

                      Classical liberalism would be the perspective reflected in our original constitutional and representative republican/federalist government.

                      “There is very little fascism creeping into american government today.”
                      Well, even a little spoils the whole barrel. We could perhaps debate what constitutes “little”.

                      “We are headed int he wrong direction – but not towards fascism. We are headed towards authoritarianism – and the left is driving that.”

                      Fascism is a kind of authoritarianism. It cannot be pinned on the left. This has been a long time coming with the hot potato being passed from Republicans to Democrats, back and forth such that it isn’t really about the party anymore.

                      “Technology is either neutral or bends towards liberty.”

                      I disagree. It is a tool. But, it is a tool that will be used in particular ways. The likelihood that it will be used or bent towards liberty depends only in part on those wielding it. Sometimes technology uses us. Television, as Neil Postman noted, has not really bent us towards liberty, considering the appalling spectacle of what constitutes political “debate”. How can we preserve liberty if prospective candidates for elected office are “vetted” with two-minute bumper sticker remarks or are to defend their ideas for serious and complicated problems with a 1 minute rebuttal?

                      “Certainly there are those who try to bend technology to totalitarian ends.”
                      Indeed and they are legion and worldwide, it seems.

                      “I greatly oppose the censorship of “Big Tech” But the only thing I want government to do about it is repeal the DMCA and there are many reasons besides censorship to do that.”
                      Please clarify. What is the DMCA? What are the many reasons?

                      “The big tech censorship problem will solve itself.”
                      I find this highly unlikely. When there is no one left to speak up? When there is no one left to censor or attack with a DOS?

                      “Not just freedom is at stake. Should your neighbors be able to effectively loot your wallet and use the money as they wish?”
                      Nit picking that is an issue of freedom, otherwise you are correct.
                      “They can with vouchers and charter schools.”
                      No more than you are looted to pay for public schools.”

                      That is not a looting. You voted someone to representative you on the school board to manage the community’s public schools and the public school budget. If you have suggestions or concerns, you can call your school board members, attend school board meetings, and make your concerns known about the goings on in the schools and/or with the use of your tax dollars. You can examine the budget (and anything else, including curriculum) and point out anything you are concerned with. If your elected representatives ignore your concerns—and, if you’ve talked to your neighbors and they’re concerned, too, and you’re all ignored—and you are sufficiently concerned about how well they are representing you, the representatives can be removed from office by voting them out.

                      “The best solution to schools is to remove govenrment completely.”
                      I disagree. Many African countries have barely any government involvement and many, many kids can then not afford to go to school. A happy medium can be found. We had found it, I think, and then that gradually got eroded following A Nation at Risk, then the federal Dept. of Education, then NCLB, then Common Core and Race to the Top, etc etc.

                      “then government should pay everyone the same amount per child and parents should send them where they please.”
                      I’d like to have a greater degree of control over the amount and use of my tax dollars.

                      “Of course, but such things should be stopped or the balance of powers and intent of our constitutional republic will be undermined and thwarted–liberty is at stake.”
                      What has that to do with what constitutes corporatism ?”

                      Corporatism interferes with the balance of powers by undermining the will and efficacy of the people. It becomes an arrangement where corporations work with politicians to run government towards corporate interests and/or state/political interests. Then, government is no longer one of the people, by the people, for the people. Giovanni Gentile was quite clear on the position of the individual in relation to the state in The Philosophic Basis of Fascism.

                      “I would further note that any argument involving government that uses “Should” is inherently problematic.
                      What should be done is always a value judgement.”
                      So?

                      “it is arguable seeking to rent government power is just another check and balance”
                      How? This sounds very concerning. Power should not be up for rent or for sale to the highest bidder outside the will of the people. Has the power of the State Department been rented out? Or that of the NIH to pharmaceutical companies?

                      “WE want business to look out for its own best interests.”
                      Not at the literal expense of the people/public, or at the erosion of people’s/the public’s power.

                      “The other is to diminish the power of government so that there is nothing to rent.”
                      Then it would be diminished below that of the founding government. Thomas Jefferson was bothered that Hamilton’s monetary system was up for rent and speculation.

                      “Those in government have power. They can not sell it, they can only rent it. the distinction is important – as business is almost never the dominant party in the relationship – the government actor is. Corporatism requires business to OWN power not rent it. Your Toqueville quote is interesting. Your edit is error. Outside of the movies Businesses do not wield power. They wield money. And in comparison to government very little.They use money to rent power. They never own it.”

                      If the relationships and agreements are so tangled as to blur the lines of ownership, then it is a distinction without a difference. If businesses can help guarantee a politician gets elected/reelected, then who has the power? Money can buy power and influence. It won’t cost too terribly much if it is mutually beneficial to politicians and corporate interests, especially if both sides are “true believers” towards the advancement of their goals.

                    55. Nazi’s still not conservative.

                      I have no idea where your Big 5 (haidt ?) came from but conservatism is simple. It is not an ideology.
                      Haidt’s evalutation would only apply to modern conservatives and liberals as he is based on surveys and has not data prior to the 21st century.

                      It is a strong hesitance to the change existing norms and institutions that are working. as THE core value.
                      Not “a core value”.

                      Nothing more nothing less.

                      The NAZI’s and fascists sought to change the world. Maybe not in all ways, but quite dramatically.
                      They are not conservative.

                      Most ideologies have elements of conservatism – including libertarians. But not as the core value.

                      For a libertarian hesitance to change what is already working does not block increasing individual liberty.

                      I have pointed out the problems with conservative – liberal has similar problems.
                      Significant portions of the modern right are not conservative.
                      Very Little of the modern left is liberal. In fact the modern left is illiberal.

                    56. The rest of your description of Nazi’s and your historical sources seem fine to me.

                      Saying the Nazi’s have disjoint elements relative to the modern left and right is fine with me.

                      But it is inarguable that they were statists and socialists.

                      As I noted before the Chinese under Xi are becoming ever more facist.
                      China is becoming an incredibly nationalist country.

                    57. “Making the distinctions between the ideologies so unfocused does not help address the problems at hand. Nor does trying to trace one to the other when the paths have so divergently bifurcated.”

                      Not at all unfocussed, Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the conflict between Socialism and western liberalism – both economically, politically and other ways has been the major them.

                      All forms of socialism or collectivism have FAILED. Further socialist regimes account for nearly all the war and bloodshed for 2 centuries.

                      If the terms right and left somehow divide socialism between them – then right and left have no consequential meaning.

                      If you wish to pretend that the Nazi’s and Fascists were “right socialists” – I think that is a poor argument.

                      Regardless, there are plenty of socialists today, but no significant “right socialists”.

                      And it is OBVIOUSLY socialism that is the dangerous element.
                      Russia, China, Nazi Germany, Cuba, Cambodia, even the french revolution – blood in the streets, genocide, are tied to socialism not “right”

                    58. The modern left – in the US is not nazi.

                      If we seek to distinguish fascists from other socialists – the defining distinction would be nationalism.
                      The right today is nationalist – but it is not socialist.
                      The left is socialist but not nationalist.

                      The dangerous trait is socialism not nationalism – so the modern left is dangerous.
                      It is possble to say the modern left has more in common with Nazi’s than the right.
                      It is not possible to say they are Nazi’s.

                      Again it is modern China that appears to be going fascist.

                      The modern left is more comparable to the chinese socialism of the cultural revolution,
                      it is a revolution of children, destroying history and adults,

                    59. The left is actively and openly engaged in the destruction of classical liberalism.
                      If there is nothing else I say that you consider – that is by far the most important.

                      And it is why they are so dangerous.

                    60. Pray tell did the Romans actually do better ?

                      My Echo of Lorad Acton,
                      Power Corrupts, absolute Power Corrupts absolutely
                      is timeless.

                    61. “Yes, collectivism can form with those on the right or the left. It will entice the right through nationalism and other binding forces, just as collectivism can engage those on the left via their own collectivist tendencies.”

                      Hypothetically you can make all kinds of combinations of nationalism, collectivism, conservatism, rightwing, and the inverses of these.

                      That does not make all of them viable.

                      I guess right collectivism is theoretically possible, I have not seen it, and I can not find collectivism in the KKK.
                      But that is not a hill I am looking to die on.
                      If you really believe the KKK was collectivist – we can disagree.
                      Further being wrong does no harm to my arguments.

                    62. While the Nazi’s are probably the epitome of socialist nationalism, and the modern left is definitely socialist and defintiely not nationalist (at this time),

                      Nationalism and socialism are very commonly fund together – Nazi’s Musolini, Peron, China under Xi, and to a lessor extent Castro, the USSR, Venezuella.

                      The label nationalism tends to be used – especially by american leftists to mean “Right wing” – but nationalism and right wing are not inherently linked. nor are Nationalism and collectivism inherently at odds.

                      Further there are plenty of anti-socialist nationalist groups. Pinochett,

                    63. “Be careful not to oversimplify things. The situation in the West comes from both sides.”

                      I would suggest a review of history, This is pretty much ALWAYS wrong.

                      For conflict there must be atleast two sides – and natural human polarization tends towards pushing us into ONLY two sides.

                      It is common that both sides are wrong and many issues.
                      But it is virtually never true that both sides are equally dangerous.

                      I can write a long list of he faults of Trumpist republicanism. But if it managed to control the US government, for all its faults it is benign.
                      If you tuned out of the news and social media through Trump’s presidency it was pretty tame.

                      Conversely Joe Biden has made a total hash of things and he has barely touched the surface of meeting the demands of the left.
                      If Biden delivered to the left as Trump did to his base this country would have collapsed,

                      The left is incredibly dangerous.

                      Just their destructive efforts regarding language are incredibly dangerous.

                    64. “”Nationalism and Fascism ARE socialism. Just as chimpanzees and Gorilla’s are hominids. Nationalism is one of the more virulent forms of socialism. But Stalinism and Maoism were worse.”

                      No, they are not forms of socialism. They might use bits and pieces, but they morphed sufficiently into something else as to be entirely distinct.”

                      Sorry I missoke.

                      NAZIism and fascism ARE socialism.

                      Nationalism is an attribute that makes dangeorus ideologies more virulent, but it is not an ideology nor unique to right, left, ……

                      But I am not backing down on Nazi’s and fascists being socialist.

                      When people tell you who they are – beleive hem.

                    65. “Not quite for this either. Modern libertarianism might be closer on some things, but it tilts too far towards individualism that duties towards one’s community are essentially forgotten,”

                      “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages”
                      Adam Smith,

                      “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
                      ― Benjamin Franklin,
                      “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”
                      ― Abraham Lincoln,

                      “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
                      ― Henry David Thoreau

                      “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
                      ― Thomas Jefferson

                      “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
                      ― Patrick Henry

                      “and, there seems to be a bit of an idealistic streak that business will simply be restrained by the market.”

                      Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.

                      Adam Smith

                      “In law and economics, the Coase theorem (/ˈkoʊs/) describes the economic efficiency of an economic allocation or outcome in the presence of externalities. The theorem states that if trade in an externality is possible and there are sufficiently low transaction costs, bargaining will lead to a Pareto efficient outcome regardless of the initial allocation of property. In practice, obstacles to bargaining or poorly defined property rights can prevent Coasean bargaining. This ‘theorem’ is commonly attributed to Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase.”

                      That may be more complex, as wikipedia wrote it, but the gist is with enforced property rights, and free markets, everything works well.

                      The necescary constraints on business are:
                      The prohibition on the use of force,
                      The enforcement of property rights and contracts,
                      The freedom to transact.

                      That is all. Everything else regulates itself.
                      Adam Smith understood that, Ronald Coase did everything short of prove it beyond any doubt at all.

                      “People, in general, do not pay sufficient attention to details and backgrounds to achieve this well.”

                      They do not need to. Walmart makes about 1.5% on each transaction. Tiny alterations in sales have dramatic effects.
                      Walmart is NOT going to get itself in anyone’s crosshairs if it can avoid it.

                      McDonald’s caved to PETA over raising chicken for Chicken McNuggets – because the impact of PETA protests would have bankrupted many McD’s
                      Even though PETA is tiny and McD’s is enormous and most people do not care.

                      “People certainly haven’t restrained government very well; how would it be any different for business?”

                      Bussinnesses can not use force.
                      Government IS force.

                    66. I do not use the word capitalism. The meaning of free markets is clear. Capitalism is a term of derision concocted by Marx,

                      Capital is an element of free market economics.

                      I am not opposed to the use of capitalism. But I do not use it because its meaning is not clear.

                    67. With respect to China – I would highly recommend Ronald Coase’s “How China Became Capitalist”

                      https://www.amazon.com/How-China-Became-Capitalist-Coase/dp/1137351438

                      It does an excellent job of examining post Mao china up to Xi.

                      At the point Coase died, Xi took power and made totally wrong decisions.

                      Data from China is hard to come buy and highly untrustworthy, but I think China under Xi has massive internal problems.
                      I think the Chinese economy is in danger of serious collapse.

                      China appears to have a $16T housing bubble that has burst. Most of the world is seeing a spike in inflation.
                      China is facing potentially serious deflation.

                      And that scares the he11 out of me.

                      Putin has repeatedly responded to internal economic problems by starting wars.

                      Xi has been heavily pushing China towards nationalism.

                      My daughter was adopted from China. I spent 4 weeks there in 1998, It was a radically different country then than it is now.
                      It was far more free then than now.

                      I think it is a roll of the dice whether China invades Taiwan this fall.

                    68. I want to reiterate. China radically changed directions with Xi.
                      We need to be careful comparing China’s progress towards both economic and political freedom from Mao’s death through Xi with that during Xi.

                      I strongly suspect China’s economy is faltering – and that is very very very dangerous.

                      Even Coase noted before his death that China had gone as far as it could economically without political freedom, and that without political freedom the economic gains were unsustainable.

                    69. The angelou quote was NOT a claim that you should beleive everything people say.

                      It is that you should beleive it when they show you who they are the FIRST TIME.

                    70. “Hmmm. Replace it with totalitarianism or authoritarianism. Does Neo-Feudalism have some socialist elements to keep the peasants happy with bread and circuses?”

                      Not looking to debate hypotheticals.
                      Modern economies are socialist or free market or hybrids of those.

                      Permutations of past economies are not interesting until they are real.

                      Regardless the target of the left today is classical liberalism. Just as the target of the cultural revolution was China’s pre-mao past.
                      They are intent on destroying every single vestige of it.

                      Many laugh as the left tears down statues of Lincoln along with Robert E. Lee, presuming it is some stupid mistake.
                      It is not. To the left there is no good at all in western history. There is no difference between Lincoln and Lee.

                    71. The characteristic distinguishing fascim from other forms of socialism is Nationalism.

                      The right today i nationalist. It is not socialist.
                      The left today is socialist, it is not nationalist.

                      There is no facism in the US.

                      That does not mean we are headed in a good direction. The USSR was not really fascist, Mao’s cultural revolution was not fasicst.
                      All bad things are not fascist.

                      Fascism in China is a real fear.
                      The US has different problems.

                    72. Still not yeilding.

                      Fascism is nationalist socialism. Either alone are not fascist.
                      The modern left is not fascist, but fascism is on the left.

                    73. To evaluate technology you have to look at longer periods.

                      US history – particularly in the 20th century is weird.

                      We have constantly moved towards greater freedom at the same time as more intrusive government.

                      That is possible because standard of living rose, that gives us more oportunity concurrent with more ability to afford constraints on liberty.

                    74. With respect to your complaints – I recall something that I heard when Clinton was seeking to nationalize healthcare.

                      It was something to the effect of

                      “On thing about things that can not go on forever – they don’t”

                      All the problems we have now – will end and we will have new ones to deal with.

                      You said before that you do not trust markets – I do greatly.
                      As I said before, while I do not trust big tech, they will either solve their problems and make me happier or die.
                      There is only one business in the Fortune top 10 in 1960 that is still there today – and oil company.

                      Amazon, and Tesla did not exist a few decades ago, Microsoft and Apple did not exist when I graduated from HS.

                      Free markets are brutal. And they are more brutal the bigger you are.

                      The problems we have now are temporary. Those outside of government will fix themselves.

                      It is only in government where bad ideas do not die.

                    75. “That is not a looting.”

                      It was an analogy. Put simply if brick and mortar public schools are not looting, then charter schools and vouchers are not.

                      ” …… the representatives can be removed from office by voting them out.”

                      Or by voting in representatives who pass charter school or voucher legislation and putting the brick and mortar public schools out of business.

                      Frankly, Schools are NOT part of the social contract, they are NOT a good or service that requires FORCE, they are NOT the domain of government.
                      And taxes for schools IS looting.

                      While I am right, I am not wining that argument. People do not grasp that they are paying alot for next to nothing, when free markets in education would trade value for value and they would get much more. Government is only the most efficient way to do what requires FORCE.

                      While I may not win the argument to end public funding of schools.
                      The actual structure of our school system is a major winning argument for republicans. Vouchers systems have worked – incredibly well – In places like Sweden. Even here in the US charter school and cyber school programs have been the best thing to happen to minority parents in $hitty school districts.

                      There are several major issues that democrats are in trouble on – schools is a biggy. It is a major factor in republican inroads into minorities.

                      It is why DeSantis beat Gillium in FL.

                    76. Countries too poor to feed themselves are not counter examples.

                      I would suggest taking a look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

                      With rare exceptions we climb the pyramid towards self actualization as standard of living rises.

                      Education is NOT a foundational need. Food and water is. No nation, no family cares about education if they can no afford to eat.

                      This is a rich nation. The poor in the US are the top 1% in the world.
                      Virtually everyone in this country can afford to educate their kids.

                      One way or another we all pay the school taxes that pay for our education now.

                      You either own your home and pay school taxes, or you rent and your landlord pays YOUR taxes out of the rent.

                      Further EVERYTHING is cheaper when you pay for it yourself – rather than government paying your money to others for it.

                    77. ““WE want business to look out for its own best interests.”
                      Not at the literal expense of the people/public, or at the erosion of people’s/the public’s power.”

                      That is literally never the case.

                      Tylenol was nearly destroyed by the Tyenol poisonings decades ago. It cost J&J a fortune to rebuild the brand.

                      Do you honestly think that many businesses will poison their customers ?
                      How long will they last ?

                      The really bad stuff almost never happens without government.

                      Maddoff was trusted because the SEC audited him repeatedly.

                      Again you do not understand how fragile big businesses are. 3

                    78. There is no blurring of lines.

                      Businesses have little power.
                      They rent it from government.
                      The lines are not unclear.

                      Regardless, what power those in government has will be rented to someone.

                      If you successfully preclude business from renting power, someone will step into the void.

                      If you wish to stop this you must limit the power of government and/or prosecute those in GOVERNMENT who allow their power to be rented.

                    79. Thank you for your response.

                      And particularly for its quality.

                      If public debate over issues was done as you have done the bitter partisanship we have would end.

                      Your post is head and shoulders over most here.

                      It is a pleasure to discuss issues with you.

                    80. S. Meyer,

                      “There are elements of both individualism and collectivism in classical liberalism”
                      “There is a need for government. Government is a collectivist entity, and why the federal government should be as limited in scope as possible.”

                      What do you mean by “government is a collectivist entity”? That the people (or, in our case, our representatives) in a community (e.g., town), state, or as a nation come together to decide things as a group and in the best interest for the group (community, state, nation) as a whole?

                      “Appears to me that the KKK would fall into a rather conservative collectivists camp.”
                      “Can you list what you think makes them conservative?”

                      Desire for order, stability, preference for hierarchy, purity, low in openness. These things can be benign, even beneficial in many ways, but when warped by an authoritarian/totalitarian bent, that’s when things go sideways.

                      “When you finish your list, you will have defined one or two types of conservatives, but are they classical liberals? Do they believe in individualism or collectivism?”

                      I would say that the KKK does not believe in individualism; it is far more inclined towards collectivism. They are NOT classical liberals.

                      “Corporations and NGOs are thoroughly attempting to steer and push things in their favor even at a local level. ”
                      “That is how a Constitutional Republic functions.”

                      No, that is not how a constitutional republic is supposed to function. These corporations and NGOs are circumventing the electoral process. They seem to be pushing their preferences through the administrative/bureaucratic parts of government—the people who are not elected but hired by governments to help run things.

                      “Those criteria shift us only a bit towards socialism.”
                      “Private property is a pretty big issue. It almost defines socialism.”

                      Our original exchange, for context:
                      P.R.: “” In what way do you considered the hard left (leftists) as in the camp of Fascists, Nazis, and Socialists? ”
                      S.M.: “Start with large vs. small government and private property.”
                      P.R.: “Those criteria shift us only a bit towards socialism. In all other respects, those are too general for such hard, ugly labels.”

                      Socialism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collecgtive or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods”. The hard left/leftists definitely connect with Socialist ideas, particularly towards the administrative end of things. The issue of large vs small government is a harder sell, though, because the large government could be conservative, with corporatist elements and a large military. I am not against a strong military, which can be very protective and potentially prevent problems. That said, I do agree with Eisenhower’s warnings in his farewell speech.

                      An excerpt:
                      “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.” (https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/eisenhower001.asp)

                      “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry.” Those are the operative words and we have not just been sleeping; there are forces (people) that Eisenhower knew only too well that steers, nudges, manipulates, and mis-,dis-, and mal-informs our knowledge and our ability to be knowledgeable.

                      ““Hmmm. No, I think the root is under Marxism.”
                      ??? I said “The root can be many things depending on the point of time you are discussing. Let’s use Marxism at present.””

                      My concern with starting with Marxism is that it doesn’t quite get to the root of the problem. Marxism is one sort of overlay or veneer for deeper problems that can arise in the human soul. I think it is more an issue of authoritarianism/totalitarianism vs. liberty. From an impulse to control others or to be resentful of others can arise Marxism or Fascism or Nazism.

                      “I think the best to be said about corporatism is the amount of influence corporate entities exert on the government in power. When power is transferred, the corporate influence might remain unchanged and even influence who has the power. IMO the US involvement with corporatism (broad definition) is very much alive.”

                      Sadly, I agree.

                    81. “What do you mean by “government is a collectivist entity”?

                      Doesn’t your response answer the question?

                      “Can you list what you think makes them conservative?”

                      Don’t you think your list is common to most, if not all, ideologies? Do you think Stalin or Washington, as leaders, wanted instability?

                      “These corporations and NGOs are circumventing the electoral process”

                      I’m sure some are. Can you list how?

                      “They seem to be pushing their preferences through the administrative/bureaucratic parts of government—the people who are not elected but hired by governments to help run things.”

                      That is my biggest gripe with my hero, the late Justice Scalia (Chevron)

                      “Socialism is defined by Merriam-Webster”

                      Socialism and communism are defined by Marx and Engles.

                      “The issue of large vs small government is a harder sell”

                      Before the fantasy endpoint of Marx, do you note how the state controls private industry? Does such control make the government larger or smaller?

                      “could be conservative, with corporatist elements”

                      That is closer to Italian Fascism. The use of the word conservative in this context is inappropriate.

                      “My concern with starting with Marxism is that it doesn’t quite get to the root of the problem. Marxism is one sort of overlay or veneer for deeper problems that can arise in the human soul.”

                      You are now talking faith-based religion. The relationship of Marxism to religion (Judeo-Christian) is that both rely on faith which, by itself, is OK. However, Judeo-Christian ethics and morality are generally good, while Marxism has no soul. Marxism can only be used for exploitation and leads to death and destruction.

                    82. With respect to the KKK – I really do not wish to dwell on them as Today they are inconsequential. There are less KKK in the US than Antifa in portland.

                      That said I linked a KKK handbook that I think is a good reflection of their values – or atleast how they sought to paint themselves.

                      You would need a definition of collective that is far broader than mine to call them collective.
                      Even calling them conservative is somewhat of a reach.

                      Their core value seems to be “each to his own” – blacks with blacks, jews, with jews, catholics with catholics.

                      In this country we have rejected that.
                      That rejection arises from the free will of classical liberalism – the focus on the individual.
                      most of the world even today reflects the KKK’s core values.

                    83. John, we can say it straight. The KKK was a racist group of people that joined together based on race and religion. Their other features dwarfed their racism. In the south, they were primarily Democrats pushing tribalism just like the Democrats of today are doing. They also used intimidation much like that used by today’s Democrats noted to be most aggressive during the summer riots by Antifa and BLM.

                      I think the KKK, Antifa, and BLM can be considered domestic terrorists.

                    84. We come together as families to clean house.
                      We come together through churches and charities to take care of the less fortunate.
                      We come together as corporations to advance a common business interest.

                      I do not consider these or myriads of other instances in which we CHOOSE to act together to be collectivism.

                      Government adds FORCE, and that changes things.
                      But I d not consider coming together within the constraints of limited government to take on tasks that that are legitimately in the domain of government, and that can not be accomplished individually or by purely voluntary groups to be collectivist.

                      There must be some distinction between people acting through legitimate government and where government starts to replace family, charity, corporation.

                      For me collectivism starts when government intrudes into domains that belong to the individual or to purely voluntary joint action.

                    85. Those who rely completely on the government are collectivists. Those that rely on the government for only those things government can do, basically security, are not. When the government owns private property we add another layer of collectivism.

                    86. I do not consider either nationalist, or authoritarianism or totalitarianism as identifying characteristics of either the right or left.

                      There are right and left anarchists, there are right and left authoritarians, there are right and left nationalists.

                      These attributes May be rare in one ideology and more prevalent in the other. but you can not classify an ideology as left or right based on nationalism or authoritarianism.

                      I would also note that Strong and authoritarian are not the same.

                      I want STRONG government – that takes a narrow view of the law, but enforces it rigorously.
                      I want that government to be limited in scope, but strong within the legitimate scope.

                      I see authoritarian is the distinction between the rule of law, and the rule of man.
                      Authoritarian is when Leaders do not forcefully execute the law, but forcefully execute what They deem is best.

                    87. So long as Corporations etc. are acting within the same laws that govern the conduct of the rest of us. That IS how a constitutional republic is supposed to function.

                      All of us – within the constraints of the law are free to attempt to influence those in government.

                      We can hold those in government accountable – when they abuse their power to benefit someone seeking influence.
                      We can limit government power.

                      But there is no difference between saying corporations can not seek benefit from govenrment than saying churches, civic groups, minorities, or individuals can not do so.

                    88. With respect to “what is socialism”. Fundimentally I am more concerned with “what works and what does not”.

                      All forms of big govenrment fail, for fundimentally the same reasons.

                      Bigger government inherently means government controls more of our lives. Whether that is through ownership, regulation or ….

                      Obviously the domain of individual freedom must have some limits. But there are only a few limits of individual freedom that are necessary for an ordered society. Everything beyond that is increasingly inefficient – our lives are diminished – economically and otherwise.

                    89. S. Meyer,
                      “What do you mean by “government is a collectivist entity”?
                      “Doesn’t your response answer the question?”
                      I wasn’t sure whether you had something else in mind. Glad we are on the same page.

                      “Can you list what you think makes them conservative?”
                      “Don’t you think your list is common to most, if not all, ideologies? Do you think Stalin or Washington, as leaders, wanted instability?”

                      It is the emphasis and the importance that is placed upon them, the ranking of importance. Most everyone really likes stability, but, some people can perhaps tolerate some disorder more than others—maybe they don’t mind unexpected events, a sudden change in plans. Makes me think of Trinity in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. She had just met Arthur and suddenly suggested that they travel somewhere together. When he asked where, she said, “Madagascar!” There are people who place less emphasis on borders and boundaries, too, for instance.

                      I apologize for the brevity, S. Meyer. I am not quite done answering the rest of your response. I posted what I had completed, but I see that I am getting behind in answering both you and John Say. I will try to devote some time tomorrow to responding (hopefully before midnight). Good night.

                    90. Prairie, I am not sure what the first half of your reply was all about.

                      Stability: Every ruler wants stability. That keeps them in power.

                  2. No historically Fascism is LITTERALLY a spin off of Socialism – Read Musloni

                    “Some still ask of us: what do you want? We answer with three words that summon up our entire program. Here they are…Italy, Republic, Socialization. . .Socialization is no other than the implantation of Italian Socialism…”

                    Speech given by Mussolini to a group of Milanese Fascist veterans (October 14, 1944), quoted in Revolutionary Fascism,

                    https://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2015/Samuelsfascism.html

                  3. I would note that the ties to socialism of many putative “right wing” regimes is near universal.

                    “Argentina’s alignment with socialist ideology particularly during the Peronist years has further contributed to this global sentiment. ”
                    Wikipedia.

  10. Professor Turley — you’ve said 30 years ago colleges and universities were place of learning at which opposing opinions were not only tolerated, but encouraged, and where debate was the order of the day, not this new thing called ‘cancellation’ of human beings and their opinions. I’m sure you’re right, but let me add this: in 1968, Cornell University ‘folded’ to the ‘demands’ of the Afro-american Society which had taken over the Student Union with guns and threats of violence against anyone who dared to extricate them therefrom — I witnessed it first-hand. The leaders of the University crumbled rather than enforced local, state and federal laws clearly forbidding such behavior. I know the late 60’s were a difficult and different time, but as far as I’m concerned, that crumbling sent a HUGE message….and the armed angry group made the cover of TIME Magazine for their efforts…..Cornell, Columbia Univ. as well at that time, were no longer bastions of higher learning and debate —- perhaps GW didn’t crumbled until decades later, but the Ivy League and Berkeley were crumbling a lot earlier than 30 years ago, in my experience.

  11. The intolerant left must be eliminated. They have no interest in dialogue. They have not interest in freedom.

  12. Protesters are still showing up at the homes of Thomas, Alito, & Kavanaugh.
    Federal Marshals, hopefully are photographing & investigating these protesters.

    Warning: If there’s a will, then there is a way. The concern comes from Jap land. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dies at 67 after assassination. A home made shotgun was used…..The bodyguards & security team should be charged with incompetence, negligence, & dereliction of duties & responsibilities.

  13. “opposing views endangers students” — that’s their mantra and how they get away with censorship and canceling the opposition. But when they decide to get rough, all bets are off. Then we see their racism and violence. Racial slurs at Thomas (and other black conservatives) and street violence — arson, looting, assassination attempts — are fine when Democrats/liberals do it. These moments expose the insincerity and narcissism of their claims.

  14. God bless Justice Clarence Thomas.

    If you want to be right 90% of the time, the Congressional Black Caucus is the World’s Greatest Contrary Indicator. Whatever they say, believe the opposite.

    Now if we could just get them to make stock-market predictions, we’d all be billionaires.

  15. Clarence Thomas has two first names:. Clarence and Thomas.
    You can call him Uncle Clarence or Uncle Thomas if you are his nephew

  16. To me this is one of the most important topics of our political/social/American era. That anyone would consider not allowing a Supreme Court Justice to speak at a law school?!? Thinking of those without the power and notoriety is chilling….

  17. Watching Fascism take Hold
    There is NO ONE more Hate Filled, Greedy, Lying, Cheating, Hypocrite than Democrats

    The DOJ and FBI are 100% Corrupt.

    Republicans need to cut 50% of ALL Fed Government and then remove the remaining 75% in DC to the Heartland…DC is LOST!

  18. Those who can. Do.
    Those who can’t. Teach.
    Those who can’t teach. Teach teachers

    1. NO!

      “What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation?”
      ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

      That kind of commentary seeks to diminish the quality of our children’s education. Help teachers improve their game instead of casting them down.

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