Tools and True Believers
April 4, 2012
My last rant dealt with the concept of “Intangibles,” pursued by the American political Left and Right. Now, having defined the “Intangibles,” I will use #HDLBR this week to explore two distinct groups that grasp for these imaginary Intangibles.
For our purposes today (and because I’m a sucker for alliteration), we’ll call them “Tools” and “True Believers.”
The clearest historical example of these two factions comes to us from Soviet Russia, in the first half of the 20th century. I’m speaking of the Bolshevik Revolution. (Though some may point out parallels to the Jacobins and Girondins in the bloody French Revolution).
For those unsure of the details on the Bolshevik Revolution, let me give the Cliff’s Notes version, generalizing for brevity’s sake. In essence, the dispute between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks was one of method. Both factions’ end goal was Marxism, or the common term, “a dictatorship of the proletariat” (read: worker). Bolsheviks adhered to the old saw “might makes right,” as stated in Lenin’s famed April Theses – “While they hold the guns, we’re for ballots. When we have them, it’ll rain lead.” Yes, I paraphrased.
The Mensheviks, on the other hand, sought to *change* hearts and minds, not riddle them with bullets. …At least at first. Lenin referred to these “peaceful revolution” advocates (the Mensheviks, academics, and propaganda artists) as “useful idiots.”
Hence, for today’s topic and by way of illustration, the Mensheviks were “Tools.” The Bolsheviks were “True Believers.” Now, the obvious question will be: “What do Bowling Mensas and What’s Its have to do with 2012?” Answer: EVERYthing.
You remember last week, when I opined on “Intangibles”? Some who engage in that Sisyphean chase are Tools and others are True Believers. It can be difficult to distinguish the two. At first. But it is imperative that we begin to.
As illogical as it seems, there *are* those on the Left who truly believe in imposed order to achieve Utopia by molding man’s nature. Just are there are equally illogical (and ignorant of history- remember the maps?) folks on the Right who truly believe in this mythical “swing voter” who will steadfastly refuse to open his/her mind to core philosophy and first principles.
“Why,” you may ask, “do the Tools go along with the True Believers, if they aren’t sure of the goal’s existence?” A good question. But one with a simple answer. The Tools may not believe in the goal, the imaginary Intangible, but the pursuit fits *their* ends.
For the vast majority of Tools, their ends are rooted in human nature: power, acceptance, monetary gain, etc. If helping out the True Believers in their foolish eternal quest brings about the short term goals of the Tools, they can assure themselves that *they* are not, in fact, Tools. That they’ve cleverly managed to turn the tables on the True Believers. But the joke may be on them.
Because, as with Lenin and the Bolsheviks, today’s True Believers can recognize the Tools in their midst. They understand that these Tools have ulterior motives, yet allow them to remain in their ranks, for the sake of making their base seem more imposing in size, and to avail themselves of the meager assistance these Tools offer to the greater quest.
And, as with the Bolsheviks, they will tolerate these Tools, these “useful idiots,” only insofar as they are indeed useful.
Throughout history, the True Believers have never attained their imaginary, inaccessible Intangible. But what they did attain, they found to be far more useful: Power.
That power has always been attained with the aid of Tools, and the Tools are always among the first to experience the brute force employed by that power, once it has been gained.
Remember, Trotsky was murdered in Mexico by an ice pick to the brain. The hand that held that ice pick? It was attached to one of Lenin’s loyalists. Robespierre? Executed, facing skyward, on the very Madame Guillotine he passionately advocated.
The Tools of today infest both sides of the political aisle, and their fates will be eerily similar, in that those fates will be written and sealed, not by themselves, but by the True Believers they foolishly assist.
No, I don’t believe today’s Tools will be slaughtered by the True Believers. But, to them, it will seem a death sentence. They will be stripped of their power, prestige, monetary rewards, and clout as the True Believers horde more and more of those things for themselves.
On the political “Left,” the Tools are those you see in the streets at “Occupy,” ACORN, and union rallies, as well as various and sundry underlings within these community organizing front groups seeking every form of “justice” under the sun (with the sole exception of actual justice heretofore found within courts of law).
The True Believers are those in the upper echelons of these organizations, the folks in the government-access class whose relative worth to the overall movement warrants far more than a sleeping bag for a bed, or a dirty canvas tarp for a roof. Their work for the cause is rewarded with posh suites at the W, studios and condos in Georgetown and Silver Springs, and lavish spreads at the Four Seasons or Studio City complexes. All while they decry the trappings of wealth and the requisite roll call of evils perpetrated by those capitalist pig-dogs who have amassed it.
We are not shocked at the rampant hypocrisy of the Leftist lemmings, blindly following the True Believers. We understand that they are mezmerized by the mouth-breathing marble-garglers and the statist “solutions” they sound off about. We have come to not only expect it, but accept it.
That is a mistake, and constitutes poor planning on our part. The Tools can be reached. Yes, it will require persistence, as with anything worth doing, but it can be done. And it will require another element, far more important than persistence: principles.
Once again, I refer you back to the electoral college maps from ’80 and ’84. I don’t do this to “dwell on the past,” or frivolously conjure up Reaganesque themes. Go look at the maps, honestly. I’ll wait right here.
Now, how do you suppose Ronald Reagan managed to eke out those unprecedented back-to-back landslides? How was that man, who amounted to a mere blip on the GOP establishment’s radar in the 1976 primary process, able to win so many votes? How was he able to change the hearts and minds of Republicans and Independents and even Democrats, of both genders and all races, colors, creeds, sexual orientations, and religious backgrounds (or even lack thereof)?
In a word: principle.
Reagan stood on, and passionately articulated, the first principles of Federalism (see: Classical Liberalism) and the basic founding philosophy of America. Reagan understood a simple fact which eluded the GOP Establishment of his time (and which still confounds them to this day): the main component of the “big tent.”
Reagan boldly strode into the center of the fertile field of Federalism, and planted his stake firmly in the ground. He spoke, with clearly evident conviction and fervor, of the evils of centralized power in the hands of flawed mortals, far removed from the direct one-on-one influence of a nation’s citizens. And those citizens rallied around his message of liberty, the self-actualization it breeds, and the self-esteem which flows from it.
Reagan understood, like none other since, that the “big tent” didn’t need to be built, but rather allowed to form itself. He recognized that it was organic, comprised of those who would understand the central tenets, the main tent stake, of Federalism. And flock to its defense.
And they did. The capacity of Americans to understand core philosophy, and the profound pros and catastrophic cons of human nature, is unmatched in human history. Reagan believed in America, and the goodness of her citizens, and they did not disappoint. Hell, in 1984, Walter Mondale, running on higher taxes and bigger government, got 13 more electoral votes than I did. And I was 6 years old.
The point is, once again, core philosophy wins because we, as Americans, are hard-wired to seek out rational solutions based on the proven history of human nature. Yes, it is a long-term goal to reach the Tools with first principles, but we must begin that task. The GOP establishment won’t do it for us, and we don’t have time to wait for them to figure it out.
And that leads me to the final piece of the puzzle: defining the Tools and True believers on “our” side. I partially defined the True Believers on the “Right” in the last #HDLBR on Intangibles. They are the pundits, policy wonks, and plutocrats who infest “All-Star Panels” on the cable news networks, pontificating on politics with pompous pleasure at their own perceived profundity.
Shall I name names? Eh, we’ll save that for future rants. You, dear reader, are far too aware of our current crisis to need a list. These people expose themselves far more thoroughly than I can in this limited space.
Who, then, are the Tools on “our” side? My friend Brooks Bayne has summed them up pretty well here as “Eunuchorns,” playing off of Andrew Breitbart’s term “eunuchs,” that he used to describe the Elite GOP Establishment. Brooks has labeled them “Eunuchorns,” because they tend to think of themselves as rare and unique and invaluable to the movement, while their irrelevance continues to be shown on an almost daily basis.
They inhabit the halls of Beltway “think tanks” and state-level “public policy” centers, churning out white papers that succeed only in pointing out the problems we face as a nation, while deftly dancing around the core issue of solving these problems. The reason for this is simple enough: they derive their power (and, in far too many cases, their paychecks) from being in the position of “analysts” and “consultants” and “campaign staffers.” If the problems they get paid to opine on somehow end up being solved, they will have, quite literally, “worked” themselves out of a job.
Just as the race pimps like Sharpton, Jackson, Ogletree, Mumia, Van Jones, and Toure (and before them Derrick Bell, Malcolm X, and Percy Sutton, etc.) have a vested interest in perpetuating and, better still, instigating racial tension, so, too, do these policy wonks, these Tools, have a vested interest in not finding solutions to failed policies.
Without getting too involved and even more long-winded than I have been here, let me delve into the fundamental and crucial difference between the Left’s Tools and our own: will.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, the Useful Idiots and Tools of the Left are just that. By and large, they are ignorant of some basic facts around which politics and economics (and their philosophical underpinnings) revolve. Providing facts and logic can persuade these Leftist Tools, precisely because they were previously ignorant of them. Yes, there is an emotional aspect involved in most of these cases, but the base emotional appeal of Statism can usually be counteracted with the philosophical case for morality. (Perhaps I’ll expand on this in a future rant.)
Once the moral case for Liberty is clearly articulated, and backed up with news-of-the-day examples and facts, the Tools of the Left can begin to break away from pure emotion and become more receptive to logic. This has happened numerous times. Some notable examples: Ronald Reagan, Andrew Breitbart, David Mamet, Thomas Sowell, David Horowitz, and Andrew Klavan were all, at some point, raging Leftists bordering on Marxism (and in some cases embracing it).
The Tools on “our” side, however, do not have these same hangups. They understand logic, core principles, and some of them even understand how to articulate the “why” of Classical Liberalism. Their problem is one of will, and the reason they assist the GOP Establishment True Believers is the most basic of human failings – lust for power, prestige, and monetary gain. So they willingly suspend logic, consciously abandoning philosophy and the task of articulating it, in favor of ingratiating themselves with those will further their aims.
Can these “useful idiots” and Tools on the “right” be reached? My answer, after much contemplation, is a flat (and somewhat bewildered) “No.” I have attempted, as have countless others, and found the task to be insurmountable. My advice, and it truly pains me to say it, is to lump them into the same category as the True Believers of the Right and Left, and commence the War.
Some may be won over, through attrition, but those who will not join with us in the War to save this Republic must be counted as enemies of this Republic. As such, I declare them MY enemies, as well.
Getcha Pull, Eunuchorns!