Tag: Ideology

How China Overtook the USA Where The USSR Couldn’t

Daniel Szewc | Poland

There are multiple reasons why China, a country which had to endure the dictatorship of a communist even worse than Stalin, Zedong Mao, managed to lift itself from the ashes, whilst Soviet Russia couldn’t do it.

Geography

To get the elephant out of the room, the only variable that is inherently more favorable to China than it is for Russia is geography. After WW2, the USSR’s access to warm water ports was the best in all of Russia’s history, yet it is undeniable that there was a muzzle on the bear. The Greenland-Iceland-UK triangle in the North Atlantic, Bosphorus, and Dardanelle, and the Danish straits being controlled by NATO all stood in the USSR’s way. The American Navy, which stood ready to invade the Eastern Russia coastline, also prevented the USSR from having complete territorial control.

In contrast, the People’s Republic of China had a better situation- an underperforming India busy with Pakistan to the South East, impoverished people to the South, and devastated Japan to the West. This allowed the Revolutionary Army of China to concentrate less on defending its borders than the USSR had to.

Economy and Ideology

From the era of Xiaoping Deng seizing power in the Middle Kingdom, China was an active participant in the global market, since they accepted revisionist Marxist doctrines. In practice, they became communist in name only- the gray market was allowed to flourish, and redistribution was minimized, but the authoritarian control maintained. Gorbachev’s, Jaruzelski’s and Kohl’s “opening to the West”, meant a lack of accepting Western cultural demoralization and the slow economic shift to the left, that is still making its way to this day. China, on the other hand, became America and Europe’s supplier of goods, therefore a complete blockade of them would drastically lower the living standards in America and Europe, and cause Westerners to rise up against their governments. Extreme tariffs against goods produced in the USSR would have a minimal effect, simply because Americans did not prefer Soviet products, and the USSR’s products were unfit for American consumption.

To further explain in how much of an disadvantage China was originally, it is enough to say that they didn’t enjoy de facto home rule for the period of European colonisation, even though the Chinese emperor did de jure administer most of it’s territory- in comparison, the only era that could be remotely called “non-home rule” since the Dimitriadis (an era of Polish foreign rule in Russia during the early 17th century) was the Bolshevik rule- most of the party’s presidium was Jewish during that time, even though most people may not know it- Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronstein) and Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) for example, were the grandkids of Orthodox Jews and changed their surnames to aliases to hide their roots.

China’s line of attack based itself upon prior experiences that they have learned from- as Otto von Bismarck said: “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others”


Get awesome merchandise. Help 71 Republic end the media oligarchy. Donate today to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source

Advertisements

Libertarianism: What Do People Know About It?

Teagan Fair | United States

Obviously, libertarianism is not as popular as modern liberalism or modern conservatism, nor is the Libertarian Party as popular as the Democrats or the Republicans. But if it’s not this well known, how known exactly is the ideology? What do youth know? What do adults know?

If I were to personally define libertarianism, I would say a philosophy and/or consistent ideology advocating for liberty and minimal government intervention in the lives of the citizens, economically, socially and politically.’

I interviewed both minors and adults alike on the subject, receiving very diverse responses between the two groups. Obviously, the adults were generally more informed on what the ideology was, however, tended to be more biased towards it since obviously, they had already formed their own political opinions over time.

I interviewed 15 students, most of which were in middle school. Many of those students could not identify with any particular political ideology or party, as well as the majority of the students did not know what the term ‘libertarian’ meant. I had several students identify as centrists, one as a Democrat, one as a Republican, one claimed ‘socially liberal and fiscally conservative’ which some would argue is what libertarianism itself is. The rest claimed that they did not know a political ideology to affiliate themselves with.

When asked what the term ‘libertarian’ meant, the student who identified themselves as a Democrat responded, “Libertarians dislike government intervention and they advocate for more rights.” I then followed up by asking him if he thought libertarianism was a good thing or a bad thing, and he responded with, “To some degree it is good, but only if it is moderate. Not if it gets out of hand.” This makes me question what his idea of moderate libertarianism was.

The one student that identified as a Republican also gave a response as to what the term meant. When asked for the definition, he responded with, “Well I know there are different types of libertarianism. They’re kind of like conservatives, but they want a small military and other stuff but I’m not sure beyond that.” When asked his personal opinion on the ideology, he responded that it was good, ‘I guess.’

There was a student that claimed that they didn’t know of an ideology to affiliate with, however still gave an interesting response. When asked what the word meant, they responded with, “They’re feminists. Kidding. It’s like, freedom, yay. Well, all of the parties are but like, it’s their core thing, I don’t even know.” When asked what their personal opinion on it was, they replied with, ” It’s good in principle, and bad in execution. Well, not necessarily bad as an ideology, but their supporters kind of make it a joke. They take their core values and blow them up to the point of hilarity. Except they’re dead serious. Which ends up in people not taking them seriously. Which is bad for whatever they’re trying to pass through. Stereotypes can have an unconscious effect in peoples’ minds.”

There was a student that identified themselves as a centrist. When asked what the term was, they responded with, “I think it’s a more conservative ideology because people I’ve seen identify as conservative before have also identified as libertarian later.” When asked their opinion on it, they said, “It’s kind of a good thing I think, because I know I share at least some opinions with them.”

As for one more somewhat humorous response, a student who claimed they didn’t have a political ideology, when asked what the term was, took a guess along the lines of, “I think it has something to do with a library. Oh, wait! Is it liberty? Either library or liberty.” Since they didn’t exactly have any idea what it was, obviously I did not ask them their opinion on the term. Several other students had claimed they had heard of it but had no clue what it was.

One adult who leaned liberal defined the term as, “Libertarians are kind of against rules and laws or certain things within society, and they push to deregulate a lot of things.” When asked their opinion, they said that it could be good, but it could get dangerous or out of hand if left too deregulated. You get the point. Every person who had a definition on the subject that I talked to, had a response along the same lines. I could throw in the words of every single person I talked to, but since it is all so similar, that would get redundant pretty quick.

We see a consistent idea that libertarianism is about less government intervention, which definitely isn’t wrong. As for opinions, we saw that out of the responses listed, several of them had talked about the idea that it is good to some extent but can get out of hand if taken to higher levels. Of course, no one that gave a response identified as a libertarian themselves, so it is understandable that many of them would see moderate forms of it as more reasonable, as any ideology would say of another. It also strikes curiosity in me as to what people would define as ‘moderate libertarianism.’ However, the consistent idea that a level higher than ‘moderate libertarianism’ would get out of hand quick, more than likely comes from a personal bias, which is predictable. Of course, there are hints of personal bias all around the answers if you look carefully enough. For example, the student claiming to be a Republican specifically mentioned that libertarians advocate for a smaller military, which likely comes from the fact that he may disagree with that aspect of it, even though he said that he thought that the ideology, in general, was good.

Obviously, as mentioned before, our youth and adults alike are exposed to the two main parties and their platforms much more than to the ideas of liberty. Perhaps in the future our youth and adults alike will be exposed to what I would say is a more liberating and moral option.


Get awesome merchandise. Help 71 Republic end the media oligarchy. Donate today to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source

Libertarians and Neo-Progressives Aren’t That Different

Francis Folz | United States

For the first time in the last three election cycles, Ron Paul was not the old, white man who had the arcane ability to attract the diverse youth vote. In 2016, the role of Ron Paul was played by Bernie Sanders, and boy did Bernie play Ron Paul’s role well. However, once Mr. Sanders was defeated by Ms. Clinton, former Governor Gary Johnson doubled down on his support from millennial voters, stating that he and Mr. Sanders share similar positions close to 70 percent of the time.

I found it quite intriguing that two competing ideologies that, on the surface, couldn’t seem farther apart from each other actually share a plethora of dogmas in common. History is repeating itself, yet very few identify how civil libertarians and these modern-day progressive socialists have been on the same side of history as one another in the past.

In the 1960 presidential election, Americans elected John F. Kennedy by a narrow margin to be the next commander-in-chief. Kennedy, who had many libertarian inklings such as fiscal conservatism, the desire to abolish the Federal Reserve and the CIA, and his opposition to military conflicts. Unfortunately, JFK served only three years as president before he was assassinated and war hawk Lyndon B. Johnson took his place.

Barry Goldwater is often recognized as a man ahead of his time. In 1964, Mr. Goldwater, or should I say Mr. Conservative, defeated the Rockefeller establishment wing of the Republican Party and was nominated to be the next president of the United States. It’s important to note Mr. Goldwater wasn’t a conservative by present day standards, as his positions would be considered libertarian today.

The former senator from Arizona favored personal responsibility, proposed the idea that one must only be able to shoot straight to be in our armed forces, believed foreign entanglements are unnecessary and detrimental to our nation, and that American prosperity starts with laissez-faire approaches to economics. Regrettably, the War Party successfully convinced Americans that a Goldwater presidency would result in nuclear warfare, and as consequence, the Ron Paul of the ’60’s received only 52 electoral votes.

As Lyndon Johnson kicked the Vietnam War into high gear, the youth of the 1960’s became increasingly wary of America’s hunger for military conflict. Countless students defied their military conscription or celebrated Uncle Lyndon’s call to arms by burning their draft cards. Lamentably, the young minds involved in the anti-war movement were led by American communists like Students for a Democratic Society.

What many fail to consider is that libertarians found themselves on the same sides as the hippies, advocating for the end of the disastrous and unconstitutional Vietnam War. In 1969, libertarians were expelled from the conservative Young Americans for Freedom convention after a libertarian member burned his draft card. Although libertarians were not involved with organizations like SDS, their sentiment towards peace was just as strong.

Libertarians and the New Left most likely found themselves sympathizing or supporting the Free Speech movement of the early 1960’s. According to UC Berkeley campus rules at the time, certain political activity was prohibited or restricted to the Democratic and Republican campus clubs.

Students who desired to solicit money for Civil Rights campaigns or to speak out against the Vietnam War were either disbanded or arrested for violating campus laws. Although the Left is predominately considered the champions of the Free Speech movement, 60’s libertarians assumably supported the precepts of free speech, civil rights, and non-aggression.

In addition, the counterculture movement and libertarians shared a relaxed approach to social issues. Both libertarians and the left-leaning youth of the 60’s favored personal responsibility and decriminalization of non-violent offenses. Lastly, hippies and libertarians shared anti-authoritarian attitudes, which is ironic considering communism requires a large, centralized political authority.

Despite the hippies of the anti-war movement and the libertarians of the 60’s belonging to immensely different ideologies and organizations, both espoused similar positions regarding the most critical issues of their time. The similar views both sides formerly held have once again manifested itself in today’s politics, underscored by akin perspectives and, at times, differing solutions from the Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders coalitions.


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

Featured Image Source

Democracy Is Infuriating. Stop Taking It Personally

By Craig Axford | United States

It shouldn’t be that hard to separate the people that are just trying to deflect or stifle debate from those seriously grappling with important questions. But in a democracy that is experiencing a rapid decline in critical thinking skills, it’s the deflectors and stiflers that are currently ascendant.

I’m not a fan of political correctness either as a phrase or in practice. Correctness and politics ideally intersect only when we translate sound ideas into policy. Originally the term referred specifically to the strict adherence to a particular political view or ideology — one was either correctly or incorrectly towing the party line as it were. Assuming Wikipedia’s history of political correctness is accurate, its contemporary usage didn’t begin to emerge until the early 1970s.

Conservatives, in particular, have turned political correctness into a rhetorical bludgeon. Sadly, their opponents have often been willing to oblige them by providing examples of the practice that range from silly or annoying to loud and occasionally violent. Plain old correctness got lost in the increasingly odious political fog produced in our democracy. Being respectful and polite shouldn’t require us to avoid controversy. Nor should being rude and vulgar be construed as refreshing authenticity.

That ad hominem attacks are not merely fallacious, but a sign of weakness and insecurity in the individual substituting them for sound argumentation is no longer widely understood. By labeling those with differing points of view as everything from fascist to snowflake, the person sticking the label on their opponent is attempting to shut down the debate rather than engage in good faith. Having dehumanized the opposition with a label, they have rendered the other’s views unworthy of consideration. Case closed. Thinking, to say nothing of listening, is no longer required.

Another pernicious form of silencing in democracy is practiced by those adopting the intellectually lazy and ultimately relativist stance that they are “entitled to their opinion.” It would seem at first glance that these individuals must also recognize that others are entitled to theirs. However, what they really mean is that having developed an opinion of their own, there’s really no need to listen to anyone else’s. Furthermore, because having an opinion is something they are “entitled to,” having one is also rather conveniently its own justification.

The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” — and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse. ~ Patrick Stokes, professor of philosophy at Deakin University in Australia

No matter where we might fall on the political spectrum, the attempt to silence others by any means is a betrayal of classical liberalism’s most essential principle: freedom of speech. When our attention is upon identity (our own or another’s) or upon our own right to hold an opinion, the ideas that should be the focus of our conversations with one another are minimized and tossed aside. There is no room in a democracy for the practice of citizenship in personalized debates that drive individuals into tribal corners or defensive crouches.

In his book The Age of Anger: A History of the Present, Pankaj Mishra writes, “Survival in the crowd seems guaranteed by conformity to the views and opinions of whichever sectarian group one belongs to. The elites,” Mishra continues, “engage meanwhile in their own factional battles and presume to think on behalf of everyone else. The general moral law is one of obedience and conformity to the rules of the rich and powerful.” In the end, “Such a society where social bonds are defined by a dependence on other people’s opinion and competitive private ambition is a place devoid of any possibility of individual freedom.”

But we need not end up in such a society. Some of us are still old enough to remember a time when most disagreements were not taken personally, or at least did not seem to be. We can remember discussions between Republicans and Democrats, and others too, that ended with everyone leaving as friends and wanting to come back for more. Indeed, we can still find examples of such civility between those with different points of view. The friendly back and forth between the conservative David Brooks and the more liberal-minded Mark Shields each Friday night on the PBS Newshour comes to mind as an example.

To get back to civility we must regain faith in the process. Freedom of expression and of the press are necessary to a functioning democracy, not because we have the right view and others need to hear it, but because having all the views openly debated enables the best solutions to emerge from the debate. Only when each of us is able to smooth the rough edges off our position through friction with other perspectives can the best ideas develop and gain popular support.

Single-party states and authoritarian regimes may be more efficient, but they provide limited space for individuals and groups alike to truly flourish. Pluralistic societies necessarily make us uncomfortable with regularity, but they develop in their citizens a greater tolerance for uncertainty that requires faith in the process to take precedence over faith in an ideology. Personal attacks on those with views we don’t share are an indication it’s an ideology or particular leader rather than the process to which we have begun to devote ourselves.

President Trump’s attacks on the press, his insistence upon personal loyalty, and his affinity for authoritarian leaders represent an assault on a process that has served us well, even if it hasn’t served us perfectly. Similarly, the idea that controversy represents an assault upon our personal feelings or group identity signals that we no longer believe the marketplace of ideas is capable of separating the wheat from the chaff, or that we have lost patience with the time it often takes for it to do so.

In both cases, the willingness to engage in the hard intellectual work of citizenship has been abandoned in favor of slogans and ad hominem attacks. I’m not sure how to persuade those that have given themselves over to the emotional comfort believing in a “strong leader” or embracing the simplicity of an ideology provides. Democracy is messy, which makes any argument for it unappetizing to those that haven’t developed a taste for it.

“To live in freedom, one must grow used to a life full of agitation, change and danger,” de Tocqueville stated after long and careful observation of America. We are now facing the very real possibility that enough Americans have failed to adapt to these conditions to sustain democracy in the United States. Time will tell, but it doesn’t appear we’ll have to wait long for the answer. We should have it by the end of 2020.

Follow Craig on Twitter or read him on Medium.com

Other articles by Craig that you may enjoy:


“I am large, I contain multitudes”

Walt Whitman understood identity. We no longer do.


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

Santa Fe Didn’t Fit The Left’s Narrative, So We All Stopped Talking About It

By Clint Sharp | United States

On February 14, 2018,  19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. In only a few short minutes, the young man killed 17 people and injured 17 others with an AR-15 style rifle before being apprehended by police.

This horrid act sparked outrage across the nation. For months, gun control was the main topic of conversation across the nation with walk-outs, protests, debates, and gun bills popping up around every corner. Television, newspapers, and social media outlets streamed nonstop updates on the mass shooting and followed all of the controversy surrounding it. Although many believed that this shooting meant the end of our 2nd Amendment rights, it soon faded from headlines, leaving behind a trail of people still fighting to remove the rights of individuals.

Fast forward to May 18 of the same year, and a very different story is told. 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis killed 10 people and wounded 13 others at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. Armed with a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun and a .38 revolver, the student walked into the school’s art complex and began shooting at approximately 7:40 AM before being brought into custody. Explosives were found at the scene but were unused.

Although this shooting was reported on major news outlets, it was very quickly passed off as old news within a couple of days. So why did a shooting like the one that happened at Stoneman Douglas cause such a national stir while the shooting at Santa Fe was only mentioned in passing? Simply put, it did not match the agenda of the left-wing activists and politicians.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was exactly what the left had hoped for. A young man with known mental issues and of legal age to purchase a gun obtained an assault-style rifle with multiple high-capacity magazines and shot up a school in a conservative state (according to 2016 poll results).

Truly a perfect storm.

From this, they could argue that it was too easy for Cruz to obtain an assault-style rifle. They could argue that he was mentally ill, yet still managed to purchase a firearm due to his age and lack of criminal record. They could argue the purpose of high capacity magazines and assault-style rifles in the hands of non-military personnel and whether they were protected under the 2nd Amendment. The left could appeal to the emotions of the entire nation, after all, is the individual’s freedom worth forfeiting the safety of our children?

Santa Fe on the other hand, while still a tragedy, is the antithesis of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. A minor stole a legally obtained pump action shotgun, perhaps the most common long gun in the United States, and a 6-shot revolver from his father. He saws the barrel of the shotgun off, an illegal action, and carries the two guns to school to commit his heinous actions.

This proves that the type of gun, the capacity of the firearm, the age of the shooter, and the means by which the weapons are obtained are mostly arbitrary to the amount of damage that can be caused by an evil individual, thus rendering the left’s points null and void.

It is for this reason that the Santa Fe shooting was swept under the rug. It proved that shootings and mass violence are not caused by assault-style rifles, high capacity magazines, lax gun laws, and the 2nd Amendment, but rather by evil and twisted individuals who desire to be nothing more than the genesis of grief for people all over the nation. It didn’t fit the agenda of the overwhelmingly liberal media so it was only mentioned, not covered.

The act of ignoring this tragic loss of human life brings to question what other things remain hidden in the dark shroud outside of party and ideological agendas, on both the right and the left.

How many people have been murdered silently due to apathy? How many bills have been passed without question because the public did not know?

Until agendas are put aside for the sake of information, more and more will remain hidden from the public and more and more will happen without anyone’s knowledge otherwise.


Featured Image Source.