Discussing the NSA and Obama regime's "conservative" Amen Corner, I said:
Underlying all of these various "they hate America" outbursts is the collectivist theories of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who following Plato, identified the State and society as one. Contra America's individualist origins, this notion does not regard the State as an external force, nor a form of political association, the State is the very pith of civil society itself. Only the Messianic State can emancipate the individuals "latent germs of goodness heretofore frustrated by a hostile society."
It's led me to try to think through what those different assumptions and values are that makes people react to this so differently. I think the key issue is how different people understand their relationship with the state (in this case the US government) and the national political community as a whole and the relationship between the two.
Here is I think the essential difference … a basic difference in one's idea about the state and the larger political community. If you see the state as essentially malevolent or a bad actor then really anything you can do to put a stick in its spokes is a good thing … opening up its books for the world to see is a good thing simply because it exposes it or damages it. It forces change on any number of levels.
On the other hand, if you basically identify with the country and the state, then indiscriminate leaks like this are purely destructive. They're attacks on something you fundamentally believe in, identify with, think is working on your behalf. [emphasis added]
As you can see, from their point of view, "the country" and "the state," and/or "society" and "the state," are indistinguishable from one another. So criticizing the NSA's mass surveillance of millions of people without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, or even worse, questioning their motives for doing so, are "attacks on something [they] fundamentally believe in." Thus, the apologists lash out at the whistleblowers instead of those in government recklessly seizing power.
Contra Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Jefferson and Edmund Burke, "the country" and "society" are now one — a unitary political community of shared values and "national purpose." Expressing (more like imposing) the General Will, the sovereign State requires "the unqualified obedience of every individual in the community, and implies the obligation of each citizen to render to the state all that the state sees fit to demand."
Ultimately, American purpose can find its voice only in Washington. — David Brooks and William Kristol
Partisan bickering may be one thing, but "punks like Snowden mucking up the work of war and the sacralized state" is simply too much to bear … "something you fundamentally believe in, identify with" … Don't they know the proper hierarchical structure of society for crying out loud?
The "thinkers" (see Plato) have already determined what is best for us — to keep us safe — and the "guardians" are simply fulfilling their role by seizing, storing and fishing through every last piece of data about you they can get their grubby little hands on. Innocent? Well, bully for you. How dare anyone, let alone a lowly "high school dropout," attempt to "decide what secrets the U.S. government is permitted to keep."
"Obama was elected, twice, by the American people," says Ann Althouse. "We studied him. We listened to him. He is surrounded by advisers and checked by Congress and the press" … Well, there you go then … The collective has spoken.
James Bovard on early Americans:
The British claimed that the Americans were free because they were permitted to petition members of Parliament with their grievances, even though their petitions were routinely not accepted or read.
"Slavery by Parliament" was the phrase commonly used to denounce British legislative power grabs. Americans believed that the power of representatives was strictly limited by the rights of the governed, a doctrine later enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Pamphleteer John Cartwright in 1776 derided "that poor consolatory word, representation, with the mere sound of which we have so long contented ourselves." James Otis, an influential Massachusetts lawyer, asked, "Will any man's calling himself my agent, representative, or trustee make him so in fact? At this rate a House of Commons in one of the colonies have but to conceive an opinion that they represent all the common people of Great Britain, and … they would in fact represent them." One New York critic declared in 1775 that it was inconceivable that Americans' liberty should depend "upon nothing more permanent or established than the vague, rapacious, or interested inclination of a majority of five hundred and fifty eight men, open to the insidious attacks of a weak or designing Prince, and his ministers."
Just TARP, ObamaCare, and the fact that a majority are against arming radical Islamists in Syria, provides more than enough evidence for any sane person to understand we're not "represented" by Washington, DC, in any realistic, real world way. It's a joke! Yet the sycophants of power and other various gatekeepers of the narrative expect us to believe we're so well represented in fact, that it's our duty to defer to governmental secrecy? To paraphrase Orwell, "Freedom is Slavery by Congress!"
As Franz Oppenheimer brilliantly argued, "There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one's own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others." Work and the equivalent exchange thereof, is the "economic means," while seizing the labor of others is the "political means."
The collectivist right, dedicated to establishing a Rousseauian "reign of virtue," relies solely on the political means to do so. They also love Medicare, defend Socialized Security, and bitch that too many people get "credits, deductions and exemptions" on their taxes. Heck, they even support the Soviet-style bureaucracy commonly referred to as the Federal Reserve.
Oh, and let's not forget the extreme amount wealth seized from the labor of others to pay for their Trotskyite democratic global revolution.
A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him — Alexis de Tocqueville
In the end, there are only two political philosophies — individualist and collectivist.
Collectivism "states that the will of the people is omnipotent, an individual must obey; that society as a whole, not the individual, is the unit of moral value."
Individualism says "that each person has moral significance and certain rights that are either of divine origin or inherent in human nature … Individualism denies that a community or a society has an existence apart from the individuals that constitute it … There is no such thing as the general will, collective reason, or group welfare; there are only the will, reason, and welfare of each individual in a group."
When you hear "conservatives" defending the Stalinization of Amerika while mindlessly demonizing whistleblowers, stop and think about it. Is it the individualist tradition of America that they wish to conserve? Or, more likely, do they wish to conserve the Ancien Régime?