Jacobin America

JACOBIN AMERICA vs. the WORLD: an Educational essay

JACOBIN. What a strange word to the modern American citizen; soon to become a GLOBAL citizen. I remember as a young schoolboy that I read a required novel entitled “Tale of two cities” by Charles Dickens and later saw a movie made on the novel starring, I believe, Ronald Coleman, if memory serves me. I now have that movie on DVD. It was about the French popular revolution and the terrorism driving it under the social democratic banner of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity”. In the context of the French Revolution, a Jacobin originally meant a member of the Jacobin Club (1789-1794), but even at that time, the term Jacobins had been popularly applied to all promulgators of revolutionary opinions. In contemporary France this term refers to the concept of a centralized Socialist Republic, with power concentrated in the national federal government, at the expense of local, state, Provence or regional governments. Similarly, it is thought truly that Jacobinist educational policy had influenced modern France and America well into the 21st Century, and it sought to stamp out French minority languages that it considered reactionary, such as Breton, Basque, Catalan, Occitan, Franco-Provencal and Dutch (West Flemish) but the essential fact was that the influence of anti-clericalism (following the Jules Ferry Laws which made primary education in France free, public, non-clerical and mandatory) under the aegis and guidance of Jacobinism continues in social democratic societies today and is maximized in PC obsessed America.

Coming to power in an era when France was under attack from foreign invaders and starvation and strife were rampant in the urban centers, the Jacobins under Maximilien Robespierre established what they called a “Republic of Virtue”; a central government that would take whatever steps necessary to preserve the Revolution and establish the nation by changing it in accordance with the Orwellian, blood soaked brave new world of the Jacobin religion/state under the Jacobin banner of “Hope and Change” for the downtrodden common man.

It instituted public government controlled education and universal suffrage. It mandated general conscription to build an army to defend its borders and mobilized every citizen to become involved in the war effort, financially and personally with their lives and volunteerism.

The Jacobins may have had a strong leftist-leaning, socialist political motive for seizing power over the National Convention in 1793, but it seemed to wrestle with its own goals during its initial takeover. They suspended the constitution indefinitely, and instead created a republic [socialist police state] based upon fear and intimidation. Using the guillotine as a deterrent, the Reign of Terror spread across the population, creating a near dictatorship ruled by Robespierre and the nonelected Czarist “Committee of Public Safety”, the enforcers of a totalitarian police state. The present US Government has formed the same similar entity called the “Department of Homeland Security” to reach the same NSDAP end.

With the war in full swing, they deemed that the Revolution would continue until peace was finally achieved, and at that point, the constitution would be re-implemented. This angered many French people and soured a portion of the citizenry in support of the new government.

The Jacobins also helped develop the “Cult of Reason” to replace the Catholic Church. This push for secularism caused France to undergo a series of destructive events in which churches were mobbed and religious statues were defaced. Jacobites are violently anti-religious and enshrine Jacobinism as their only religion.

Through the establishment of the Reign of Terror, the Jacobins forcibly introduced the changes necessary for the Revolution to enter its next steps into a socialist republic. They dismantled the remaining vestiges of royalty and brought an end to feudalism. They created a strong centralized government and gave the country a national defense that would make France one of the most powerful nations in Europe. The 40,000 people who found their end at the blade of the guillotine were from all walks of life, but whole segments of groups were eradicated. Nobles, the Catholic Church and counter-revolutionaries all met death during the Terror. Political factions were executed, and ultimately, the Jacobins themselves were put to death to end the bloodiest era of the Revolution.

As a young boy who lived close to our local zoo, I often went to see the caged lions resident there in small cages. One day, I witnessed an elderly male lion go insane and then proceed to bite himself to death as the only way to escape his continuing torment in life. Arnold Toynbee was right in his assessment of nations proceeding in the same pathway to self-destruction through the application of the inevitable, immutable law of Entropy. The only exception that I can think of in this context is ISRAEL.

Although history records that Maximilien Robespierre was the patriarch of the Jacobins, he acted as much more of a strongman than a visionary. The original moderates who established the illuminati based club were generally regarded as philosophers with political motives. The radical Robespierre came into a position of power just as the Jacobins were taking control of the National Convention.

His actions during the Terror have been questioned in the following years. Some historians believe he was an inexperienced leader put into a position of great power, while others contend that he had a much smaller role in the events than history records. They say his real purpose was that of an orator whose revolutionary speeches electrified the Jacobins. Either way, the Jacobin philosophy is deeper than any one man and forever changed the dynamics of the French Revolution.

As we have been celebrating the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, an epitaph to the ideology we associate with it—Jacobinism—is in order. Ideologies—political ideologies, especially—provide us with telescopes and microscopes through which we look at the world—the world around us and the world that has shaped us, our history, and, in so doing, they distort reality and standardize, so to speak, our political thinking and understanding of our leaders. They form the perceptions in terms of which we judge and know—perceptions that in turn harden into postulates that brook no alternative and no compromise. This has been the case with “Jacobinism”—even more so than with Marxism. No other political ideology, I believe, has shaped so much, so profoundly and so authoritatively, biases, perceptions (and misperceptions) about French and American politics and the political history of both nations.

Jacobinism used the Hegelian Dialectic as a tool of conquest, a long time before it was formally defined and outlined as a political and religious worldview by Hegel. America, through its politicians and PC media, copies Jacobism in minute detail today. The only thing missing to date in the police state of Democratic, Socialist America is the Guillotine.

What is a Jacobin? Jacobins initially ushered in the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. The Jacobins saw themselves as virtuous champions of universalist principles that required them to impose “liberty, equality, fraternity” through socialist democracy, not merely on France by a reign of terror, but also on the rest of Europe by force of arms. America today wants to impose a new socialist democracy on the Muslim Ummah worldwide and then to incorporate Islamic Sharia Law on Americans with its draconian punishments for offenders and its involuntary servitude for Women as lesser creatures under men with clitorectomies and beatings as normal and lawful practices.

Unlike America’s Founding Fathers, who exhorted their countrymen to cultivate their own gardens, the Jacobins were not content with revolutionizing France. They were driven to revolutionize the world. America in the 21st Century has deluded itself into following the same Jacobin Universalist new age of societal enlightenment delusion to its own assured suicidal destruction.

Former President Bush’s second inaugural speech and Obama’s inaugural speech were Jacobin to the core. They stand outside the American tradition and our Constitutional precepts. Declaring American values to be universalist principles, Bush and Obama promised to use American power to spread democracy; to make the world safe for democracy, and to end tyranny defined as “other” forms of government everywhere on earth.

As a neo-conservative; that is, one who poses as a conservative, Bush, and now Obama and their sycophants, present a false picture of themselves as a “universal man”; but in reality are Jacobin in thought, speech and deed. The ‘little tin god’s’ walk amongst us today, hidden within the plain view of the myopic uneducated prole thought of the masses [the Roman ‘bread and circuses” mob redux].

As one of Bush’s neocons and puppet-masters, Robert Kagan, approvingly wrote in the Washington Post,

“The goal of American foreign policy is now to spread democracy, for its own sake, for reasons that transcend specific threats. In short, Obama has unmoored his foreign policy from the war on terrorism.” [A Higher Realism] renamed to a politically correct euphemism.

Michael Gerson, the Jacobin White House speechwriter who wrote Bush’s infamous “God-drenched speech,” defensively insists that Bush and Obama’s wars will only last “a generation.”

We can take comfort in that. According to the dictionary, a generation is “about 70 years,” so it is only our children and grandchildren who will have to be sacrificed for “Bush’s historic mission; now carried on in total by Jacobin “change-master” Barack Hussein Obama, aka, Barry Soweto.”

This Jacobin program requires the supremacy of government and banking executive power and is dependent on an unwarranted belief in the efficacy of force.

There is nothing American or democratic about this Orwellian program. Bush speaks as Robespierre when he invokes “a fire in the minds of men” that “warms those who feel its power.” Former President Bush possesses Robespierre’s “pure conscience” as he destroys Iraqi’s infrastructure and the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, levels cities, and practices torture. American casualties (dead and wounded) have reached 10 percent of the US occupation force and are but the “realistic methods” Bush used to achieve his “deeply idealistic” goals and Obama, once in office, continues the same “change”.

In a well-known passage in One Step Forward, Two Steps Back (1904), V.I. Lenin described a revolutionary Social Democrat as “a Jacobin indissolubly connected with the organization of the proletariat.” This assertion provoked much debate within the ranks of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP), but even in the face of sharp criticism Lenin continued to insist for the rest of his career that genuine Marxists must also be Jacobins.

At home, the casualties are the US Constitution and Bill of Rights along with the American citizens Constitutionally guaranteed liberties and personal freedom. All who resist the present Jacobin Executive and his “changelings’” are now branded by our “Napoleonic” Napolitano led Homeland Security Jacobin clones as the new TERRORISTS. Guillotine or Gas anyone? The Second Law of Thermodynamics; Entropy, is in full effect; unchecked, and is reducing it all to rust and decay.

The True JACOBIN MAN and who he is and what he believes:

First, he has faith, and faith at all times “moves mountains. “Take any ordinary party recruit, an attorney, a second-rate lawyer, a shopkeeper, an artisan, and conceive if you can, the extraordinary effect of this doctrine on a mind so poorly prepared for it, so narrow, so out of proportion with the gigantic conception that has mastered it. Formed for the routine and the limited views of one in his position, he is suddenly carried away by a complete system of philosophy, a theory of nature and of man, a theory of society and of religion, a theory of universal history, conclusions about the past, the present, and the future of humanity, axioms of absolute right, a system of perfect and final truth, the whole concentrated in a few rigid formulae as, for example:

“Religion is superstition, monarchy is usurpation, priests are impostors, aristocrats are vampires, and kings are so many tyrants and monsters.”

These ideas flood a mind of his stamp like a vast torrent precipitating itself into a narrow gorge; they upset it, and, no longer under self-direction, they sweep it away. The man is beside himself. A plain bourgeois, a common laborer is not transformed with impunity into an apostle or liberator of the human species. – – For, it is not his country that he would save, but the entire race. Roland, just before the 10th of August, exclaims “with tears in his eyes, should liberty die in France, she is lost the rest of the world forever! The hopes of philosophers will perish! The whole earth will succumb to the cruelest tyranny!” Gregoire, on the meeting of the Convention, obtained a decree abolishing royalty, and seemed overcome with the thought of the immense benefit he had conferred on the human race.

“I must confess,” said he, “that for days I could neither eat nor sleep for excess of joy!”

One day a Jacobin in the tribune declared: “We shall be a nation of gods!” — Fancies like these bring on lunacy, or, at all events, they create disease. “Some men are in a fever all day long,” said a companion of St. Just; “I had it for twelve years . . .” Later on, “when advanced in life and trying to analyze their experiences, they cannot comprehend it.” Another tells that, in his case, on a “crisis occurring, there was only a hair’s breadth between reason and madness.” — “When St. Just and myself,” says Baudot, “discharged the batteries at Wissenbourg, we were most liberally thanked for it. Well, there was no merit in that; we knew perfectly well that the shot could not do us any harm.” – – Man, in this exalted state, is unconscious of obstacles, and, according to circumstances, rise above or falls below himself, freely spilling his own blood as well as the blood of others, heroic as a soldier and atrocious as a civilian; he is not to be resisted in either direction for his strength increases a hundredfold through his fury, and, on his tearing wildly through the streets, people get out of his way as on the approach of a mad bull.

If they do not jump aside of their own accord, he will run at them, for he is unscrupulous as well as furious. — In every political struggle certain kinds of actions are prohibited; at all events, if the majority is sensible and wishes to act fairly, it repudiates them for itself. It will not violate any particular law, for, if one law is broken, this tends to the breaking of others. It is opposed to overthrowing an established government because every interregnum is a return to barbarism. It is opposed to the element of popular insurrection because, in such a resort, public power is surrendered to the irrationality of brutal passion. It is opposed to a conversion of the government into a machine for confiscation and murder because it deems the natural function of government to be the protection of life and property. — The majority, accordingly, in confronting the Jacobin, who allows himself all this, is like an unarmed man facing one who is fully armed. The Jacobin, on principle, holds the law in contempt, for the only law, which he accepts is arbitrary mob rule. He has no hesitation in proceeding against the government because, in his eyes, the government is a clerk, which the people always have the right to remove. He welcomes insurrection because, through it, the people recover their sovereignty with no limitations. — Moreover, as with casuists, “the end justifies the means.” “Let the colonies perish,” exclaims a Jacobin in the Constituent Assembly, “rather than sacrifice a principle.” “Should the day come,” says St. Just, “when I become convinced that it is impossible to endow the French with mild, vigorous, and rational ways, inflexible against tyranny and injustice, that day I will stab myself.” Meanwhile he guillotines the others. “We will make France a graveyard,” exclaimed Carrier, “rather than not regenerating it our own way!” They are ready to risk the ship in order to seize the helm. From the first, they organize street riots and jacqueries in the rural districts, they let loose on society prostitutes and ruffians, vile and savage beasts. Throughout the struggle they take advantage of the coarsest and most destructive passions, of the blindness, credulity, and rage of an infatuated crowd, of dearth, of fear of bandits, of rumors of conspiracy, and of threats of invasion. At last, having seized power through a general upheaval, they hold on to it through terror and executions. — Straining will to the utmost, with no curb to check it, steadfastly believing in its own right and with utter contempt for the rights of others, with fanatical energy and the expedients of scoundrels, a minority may, in employing such forces, easily master and subdue a majority. So true is that, with faction itself that victory is always on the side of the group with the strongest faith and the least scruples. Four times between 1789 and 1794, political gamblers take their seats at a table where the stake is supreme power, and four times in succession the “Impartiaux,” the “Feuillants,” the “Girondins,” and the “Dantonists,” form the majority and lose the game. Four times in succession the majority has no desire to break customary rules, or, at the very least, to infringe on any rule universally accepted, to wholly disregard the teachings of experience, the letter of the law, the precepts of humanity, or the suggestions of pity. — The minority, on the contrary, is determined beforehand to win at any price; its views and opinion are correct, and if rules are opposed to that, so much the worse for the rules. At the decisive moment, it claps a pistol to its adversary’s head, overturns the table, and collects the stakes. And now; America!

WHO IS THE TERRORIST TODAY and where did the WORD TERRORIST come from in its original usage?

Though it has been a topic of much attention in recent years, the origin of the term “terrorist” has gone largely unnoticed by politicians and pundits alike. The word was an invention of the French Revolution, and it referred not to those who hate freedom, nor to non-state actors, nor of course to “Islamofascism.”

A terroriste was, in its original meaning, a Jacobin leader who ruled France during la Terreur. We are now “fighting terrorism” through leaders who define the term in devious ways for the dumbest “sheeple”. Perhaps Pogo the possum was right after all? We have met the enemy and he is us!

United Kingdom. Canning‘s paper, The Anti-Jacobin, directed against the English Radicals, of the 18th-19th Century, consecrated its use in England. The English who supported the French Revolution during its early stages (or even throughout), were early known as Jacobins. These included the young Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and others prior to their disillusionment with the outbreak of The Terror. Others, such as William Hazlitt and Thomas Paine remained idealistic about the Revolution. Much detail on English Jacobinism can be found in E. P. Thompson‘s The Making of the English Working Class. Canning planned the Anti-Jacobin when he was Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He secured the collaboration of George Ellis, John Hookham Frere, William Gifford, and some others. William Gifford was appointed working editor. The first number appeared on November 20, 1797, with a notice that “the publication would be continued every Monday during the sitting of Parliament“. A volume of the best pieces, entitled The Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, was published in 1800. It is almost impossible to apportion accurately the various pieces to their respective authors; though more than one attempt has been made to do so. When is finished in 1798, John Gifford began The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine, or, Monthly Political and Literary Censor, which ran until 1821.

Early Federalist-leaning American newspapers during the French Revolution referred to the Democratic-Republican Party as the “Jacobin Party”. The most notable examples are the Gazette of the United States, published in Philadelphia, and the Delaware and Eastern Shore Advertiser, published in Wilmington, during the elections of 1798.

Today, the term is used in American politics to describe extremists of any party who demand ideological purity. For example, in an article in The New Republic, commentator Eve Fairbanks described right-wing opponents of moderate Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest as “Jacobin conservatives”.

The author of the book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, Jonah Goldberg, describes Jacobinists as ones during the French Revolution who sought to nationalize and centralize all aspects of a civilization contrasting with modern Conservatism, right-wing, or Classical Liberalism, but more similar to modern liberalism or to progressivism who all chant the inane mantra, “yes, we can” with starry eyes.

Occasionally, neoconservatives are derisively referred to as “Neo-Jacobins.”

Allegorical usage

The conventionalized scrawny, French revolutionary sans-culottes Jacobin, was developed from about 1790 by British satirical artists James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson and George Cruikshank. It was commonly contrasted with the stolid stocky conservative and well-meaning John Bull, dressed like an English country squire. C.L.R. James also used the term to refer to revolutionaries during the Haitian Revolution in his book The Black Jacobins which book I am reading now after picking it up for 25 cents at an old thrift store. This book set me off on this quest for the roots of truth and is leading to a far greater and shocking trip than I had ever imagined!

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Jacobin in Chief

Exporting the French Revolution to the world

By Claes G. Ryn

Ever since 9/11, the presidents of the United States have been urging the use of American power to spread the allegedly universal principles of “freedom and democracy” throughout the world. On their European tour President Bush and President Obama solicited the support of Europe in this cause, saying, “our ideals and our interests lead in the same direction.”

 President Obama, on his World tours, expressed the same leftist mantra. What Condoleezza Rice said just a few days earlier was the same. Speaking in Paris, she said that the founders of the American and French republics were inspired by the same values, a statement that implied common origins in the same revolutionary Jacobin spirit. Though historically wholly erroneous, this view was consistent with the ideology that the present administration has enunciated. It should by now be obvious that, in his foreign policy views at minimum, the president of the United States is no conservative. He is a Jacobin nationalist. 

 Inspired, guided, and supported by the ubiquitous neoconservatives, President Obama has adopted and fostered an ideologically charged missionary spirit that bears a striking resemblance to that of the Jacobins who led the French Revolution. The principles of “freedom and democracy” are to be promoted around the world by virtuous American power. The French Jacobins, too, saw themselves as virtuous champions of universal principles, “freedom” and popular rule prominent among them. 

 After the president’s inaugural address, his ensuing news conference, and his State of the Union address, no doubt can remain about how he views America’s role in the world. To advance freedom and democracy is, he said, “the mission that created our nation.” At the news conference he added, “I look forward to leading the world in that direction.” In Bushes State of the Union speech he pointed to “the road of Providence” and said, “we know where it leads: it leads to freedom.”

 The neoconservatives have transformed the old American exceptionalism, which counseled isolation from the world, into an assertive, ideologically intense nationalism, whose smugness seems to know no bounds. The president has long asserted that America’s values are for all people. “There is a value system that cannot be compromised, and that is the values we praise. And if the values are good enough for our people, they ought to be good enough for others.” In the State of the Union address’s of both Bush and Obama, they claimed, “We live in the country where the biggest dreams are born.” The President and America are called to enact the will of Providence. 

 That a particular leader or country could be identified with God’s purpose is a notion alien to the mainstream of the Christian tradition, which insists that humans are fallen beings. Their knowledge is, at best, imperfect. Though statesmen, like others, should try to make room for the spirit of God by trying to purge themselves of tainted motives, not even a person of pure motive could in the infinitely complex reality of politics claim to have discerned God’s will for the world. None of this has deterred the president, who exhibits just the kind of pride against which the older western tradition—both classical and Christian—warned. 

 “Freedom” and “democracy” can mean radically different things. The president, his secretary of state, and their neoconservative czarist idea-men have connected them with the Jacobin faith. The French Jacobins were followers of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who argued, “man was born free, but he is everywhere in chains.” For men to be liberated, inherited societies and beliefs had to be destroyed. 

The French Revolution was an attempt to enact his ideas. The Jacobins dealt harshly with “evil,” guillotining conspicuous representatives of the old order and employing a general ruthlessness that culminated in the Terror. To France was assigned the mission of liberation. Europe and other parts of the world were thrust into protracted war. 
 
In 1980, James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, used the phrase “fire in the minds of men” as the title for a book about the revolutionary faith. This faith would unsettle the entire Western world and eventually spawn the Communist Revolution of 1917. In his second inaugural address, then president Bush used the same phrase, “fire in the minds of men,” not to reject this impulse, which is what would be expected from a conservative, but to help define America’s pursuit of freedom. He could not more clearly have aligned himself with Jacobinism. One wonders whether the present president or his speechwriters understand that, rhetorically at least, he has adopted a faith that created some of history’s most monstrous regimes. 

 Today communism has collapsed, but another Universalist ideology, the new Jacobinism, has taken its place. A difference between the French and the new Jacobinism is that the latter has chosen not France but America as mankind’s savior. 

In a large number of speeches and statements since 9/11, the Jacobin president has made clear that he considers armed world hegemony necessary to America’s mission. At the last several inaugurations, the massive security—involving some 30,000 plus secret service agents, police, and military personnel—and other telltale symbolism, signaled the invincibility and willpower of the United States. Here was installed an American emperor, but one far more powerful and far more ambitious than any Roman counterpart. Neo-Jacobin ideology can be seen as the perfect justification for American imperial power. 
 Praising president Bush’s inaugural address, neoconservative foreign-policy analyst Robert Kagan wrote in the Washington Post that America should pursue timeless “universal aspirations.” Fighting terrorism was “too narrow, too limited” as a “paradigm for American foreign policy.”

 After the implosion of the Soviet Union, the neo-Jacobin neoconservatives argued that America should use its status as the lone superpower to spread its principles. They demanded “moral clarity” in U.S. foreign policy. Good stood against evil. After 9/11, Bush became their chief spokesman, followed by Obama. He committed the United States to what he calls “the global democratic revolution.” The war against Iraq, he said, was “the first step” in that revolution. There has been not even a hint in the present president’s recent speeches that the Iraqi and Afghanistan debacles and the tens of thousands of dead and maimed have made him question his own virtuous nationalism. 
Rarely has an ideology been so strongly entrenched in a country’s opinion-molding establishment. Especially with regard to foreign policy, the new Jacobinism is strongly represented in virtually all-leading American media outlets. In the press, this is particularly true of the Wall Street Journal, but the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report all give it more than a hearing. Among the opinion magazines, the Weekly Standard is its main voice, but on foreign-policy issues at least, it also dominates formerly more conservative magazines like National Review. 

In the commentariat, neo-Jacobin thinking is today challenging an older, more diffuse and less vigorous liberalism for pre-eminence. It is omnipresent in the think tanks, especially those emphasizing foreign policy and national security. Its brain-center is the American Enterprise Institute. On television, the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel pushes the neoconservative foreign-policy line most conspicuously and reliably, but it flourishes on all the networks and major cable channels. By presenting itself on the radio waves and elsewhere as a form of kick-butt Americanism, neo-Jacobinism has also acquired millions of foot soldiers among flag-waving Americans. 

What goes curiously unnoticed is that, despite their label, the neoconservatives think of themselves as representing a progressive, revolutionary force. The America they champion is not the America of history with its deep roots in a European and English past. In theory, they have constructed their own America, which represents a radical break with history. 

“To celebrate America is … to celebrate revolution,” writes professor Harry Jaffa, a leading disciple of Leo Strauss, whose admirers are spread throughout the Bush administration. The American Revolution in behalf of freedom may appear mild “as compared with subsequent revolutions in France, Russia, China, Cuba, or elsewhere,” Jaffa notes, but “it nonetheless embodied the greatest attempt at innovation that human history has recorded.”
 
Another leading neoconservative, Michael Ledeen, who first came into view as an advisor on national security in the Reagan White House, openly portrays the America with which he identifies as a destroyer of existing societies. According to Ledeen, “Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day. … Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions. … [We] must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”

 Some of the most prominent neoconservatives caught the revolutionary spirit when they were still Marxists, and despite their “second thoughts” they still harbor a deep desire for remaking the world according to a single model, their model. One of the reasons they are now fond of capitalism is that, like Marx, they conceive of it as an effective destroyer of traditional elites and societies. 

According to Irving Kristol, the reputed godfather of neoconservatism, today’s United States is “ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear.” His son William insists that for America vigorously to promote its universal principles abroad, it must have great military and other governmental might. The old conservative suspicion of strong, centralized federal government must be abandoned. According to the elder Kristol, it has been the role of neo-conservatism “to convert the Republican party, and conservatism in general, against their wills,” to this new conception of government. 

To call people who are attracted to the new Jacobinism “neoconservatives” reveals profound confusion. Modern conservatism was born in opposition to Jacobin universalism. The father of conservatism, Edmund Burke, was an English liberal, a Whig, who was very friendly to the American colonists; he thought they had strong traditional grounds for challenging king and Parliament. What Burke argued passionately against, by contrast, was the French Revolution and Jacobin thinking, which he saw as expressing an unhistorical, tyrannical spirit and an importunate desire for power. Burke warned specifically against “liberty” in the abstract. 

Like Burke, the Framers of the U.S. Constitution associated liberty with particular inherited traditions, limited, decentralized government, checks on power, self-restraint, moderation, and a willingness to compromise. Jacobin “freedom,” by contrast, justifies unchecked imperial power. That is the “freedom” for which George W. Bush and now President Obama has become the most prominent advocate. 

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Where in the World Are We Going? By Claes G. Ryn

Philadelphia Society, April 2, 2006

Within the so-called American conservative movement intellectual and political confusion are today rampant. Hence the following attempt to sort out what is what.

First of all, a conservative is acutely aware of the flawed nature of man. The capacity of human reason is limited. Our existence is ultimately a great mystery. Conservatives recognize that for these reasons we need the best of the human heritage to help guide us.

The Jacobin suffers from no such humility. Who needs history when there are universal principles that are also self-evident? It’s all so clear. Traditions are but historical accidents, props for old elites that should be replaced by the enlightened and virtuous, people like him. Leo Strauss and his disciples have taught us to disdain “the ancestral” and heed only principles of reason.

Conservatives and Jacobins differ profoundly on what ultimately commands our loyalty. Conservatives stand in awe of a higher power. The ancient Greeks spoke of it as the good, the true and the beautiful. Others refer to it as the will of God. This higher reality is, in any case, not some ideological blueprint. To feel obligated to look for and to do the right thing is not the same as to know just what it is in particular circumstances. The complexity and unpredictability of life disincline the conservatives to sweeping, categorical assertions.

The Jacobin is a true believer. He has access to universal principles, you see, and they demand “moral clarity.” You are either for his principles, which makes you virtuous, or you are against them, which makes you evil. It’s all so clear.

To have unquestioning faith in one’s own moral superiority is for Christians the cardinal sin. Only a profoundly conceited person could think that for another to oppose him is by definition morally perverse.

But the Jacobin assumes a right to have his way. Behind his moralism hides a desire to dominate. The hesitation or trepidation that may trouble men of conscience does not deter him. The will to power silences all doubt.

For the conservative, the universal imperative that binds human beings does not announce its purpose in simple, declaratory statements. How, then, does one discern its demands? Sometimes it happens only with difficulty. Only through effort can the good or true or beautiful be discovered, and they must be realized differently in different historical circumstances. The same universal values have diverse manifestations. Some of the concrete instantiations of universality take us by surprise. Because there is no simple roadmap to good, human beings need freedom and imagination to find it. Universality has nothing to do with uniformity.

For the Jacobins, a historical, ideological precepts define universality, and these demand conformity. Comply with them, or else.

The conservative is attracted to both universality and diversity, because the two do, in a sense, need each other. He does not cherish diversity for its own sake, for much of the diversity in the world offends all higher values, but diversity of another type is how universality comes alive in the infinite variety of individuals and circumstances.

Because universality manifests itself variously, the conservative is no narrow-minded nationalist. He is a cosmopolitan. This does not mean that he is a free floater, at home everywhere and nowhere. That describes the Jacobin ideologue. The conservative is a patriot, deeply rooted in the best of his own heritage. It is because he is so attached to what is most admirable in his own culture that he can understand and appreciate corresponding achievements in other cultures. He is able to find in different places variations on a common human theme. The culturally distinctive contributions of other peoples deepen and enrich his awareness of goodness, truth and beauty.

The Jacobin is not interested in diversity, only in imposing his blueprint. What history happens to have thrown up is just an obstacle to what ought to be. Only what is “simply right” deserves respect. It’s all so obvious.

Conservatives see in Jacobin principles a hair-raising obliviousness of life’s complexity. To implement such principles may devastate a society. A society may be wholly unsuited or unprepared for changes demanded of it. So what, say America’s neo-Jacobins. We need moral clarity. What was there before does not matter. “Democracy” must take its place. One model fits all. To ensure a democratic world, America must establish armed and uncontested world supremacy.

The will to power is here bursting at the seams. What argument could be better for placing enormous power in the hands of the neo-Jacobins than a grandiose scheme for remaking the world. At lunch yesterday we got to hear [from Max Boot] the pure, undiluted neo-Jacobin message.

All Jacobins warn of the Enemy with a capital “E.” The Enemy is the embodiment of evil, a force with which no compromise is possible. For the American neo-Jacobins the Enemy is Terrorism with a capital “T.” Though the only superpower, America must be in a permanent state of emergency, be armed to the teeth and relentlessly pursue the Enemy.

One current assumption about conservatives is nothing less than weird: that they are hawks, always looking for prey and always bullying. Conservatives are in reality normally doves, looking for ways to settle conflicts peacefully. They view war differently from neo-Jacobin desk-warriors. The suffering and destruction of war are frightful realities involving actual human beings. War is the very last resort.

Conservatives harbor no illusions about the international arena. Bad people behave badly. So conservatives want to be prepared to handle threats to their own society and civilization or to international peace. But their normal way of interacting with other peoples is to try to defuse conflict and to pursue a common human ground. This is the cosmopolitan way.

In domestic affairs, American conservatives have always feared unlimited power, partly because of their belief in original sin. Law must restrain fallen creatures. Government must be limited and decentralized, hence the separation of powers and federalism. The sprit of constitutionalism forms the core of the American political tradition. Unchecked power is an invitation to tyranny. The framers even wanted the U.S. Congress, which was to be the preeminent body of the national government, to have divided powers. Needless to say they disdained democracy.

Jacobins see no need for restraints on virtuous power. Today American neo-Jacobins are promoting presidential ascendancy and great leeway for the executive. Old restraints and liberties must yield to the needs of the virtuous national security state.

Neo-Jacobins undermine American constitutionalism by radically redefining its meaning. They have little loyalty towards the culturally distinctive, historically evolved America. This country, neo-Jacobins assert, represents a sharp break with the past. They love to speak of the “Founding,” because that term suggests that America does not have historical origins but emerged afresh from enlightened minds. Harry Jaffa and others insist that to celebrate America is to celebrate radical innovation and revolution.

Conservatives cherish local autonomy and strong communities. As far as possible people should be able to shape their own lives, partly because the good life has to be lived differently in different circumstances. Jacobins resist anything that might interfere with ideological homogeneity. Individual and local autonomy could, they think, so easily get out of hand.

It should be obvious that, due in large part to barely masked neo-Jacobinism; American conservatism has in the last few decades been turned virtually inside out. In 1952 many conservatives regarded Dwight D. Eisenhower as too “liberal” because he was not willing to dismantle the New Deal. He would only prune it. Today, in all but rhetoric, people calling themselves conservatives accept a vastly larger and more intrusive central government. Under the current allegedly conservative president alone the federal government has expanded by 25%. Yet representatives of the so-called conservative movement proceed as if nothing had happened and absurdly celebrate “triumphs of conservatism.”

Only a major intellectual or moral flaw in American conservatism could have made so many susceptible to the neo-Jacobin bug. Many who caught it were myopically preoccupied with practical politics and Republican partisanship. They lacked historical perspective and philosophical discernment. Others dimly recognized what was happening but went along to reap financial rewards and advance careers. They concealed almost from themselves that they became hired guns advocating the positions expected of them. Both groups made alliances that will prove compromising. Historians will wonder how so many could have been so easily swayed and manipulated.

Today the utopianism, recklessness, cynicism and sheer incompetence of the neo-Jacobins are becoming obvious. Many of their fellow travelers are trying to save what remains of their reputations by jumping ship. Intellectually challenged super-nationalists just raise their voices and call critics unpatriotic. As for the neo-Jacobins themselves, they are blameless. It is those who implemented their policies who should be blamed. They didn’t do it right.

The neo-Jacobin virus should have been flushed out long ago.

April 4, 2006

Claes G. Ryn [send him mail] is professor of politics at the Catholic University of America; chairman of the National Humanities Institute, and author, most recently, of America the Virtuous.

Copyright © 2006 Claes G. Ryn

Cockades of the revolutionaries on Phrygian caps: the ancient symbols of all pagan sungods from Nimrod to Mithra.

In the eighteenth century, the cockade was pinned on the side of a man’s tricorne or cocked hat, or on his lapel. Women could also wear it on their hat or in their hair. A cockade uses distinctive colors to show the allegiance of its wearer to some political faction, their rank, or as part of a servant’s livery. In pre-revolutionary France, the cockade of the Bourbon dynasty was all white. In the Kingdom of Great Britain a white cockade was worn by those supporting the restoration of a Jacobite monarchy, while in contrast the established Hanoverian monarchy they were trying to overthrow had one that was all black. But elsewhere and at other times there was more variety.

During the American Revolution, the Continental Army initially wore cockades of various colors as an ad hoc form of rank insignia, as General George Washington wrote:

“As the Continental Army has unfortunately no uniforms, and consequently many inconveniences must arise from not being able to distinguish the commissioned officers from the privates, it is desired that some badge of distinction be immediately provided; for instance that the field officers may have red or pink colored cockades in their hats, the captains yellow or buff, and the subalterns green.”

Before long however, the Continental Army reverted to wearing the black cockade they inherited from the British. Later, when France became an ally of the United States, the Continental Army pinned the white cockade of the French Ancien Régime onto their old black cockade; the French reciprocally pinned the black cockade onto their white cockade, as a mark of the French-American alliance. The black-and-white cockade thus became known as the “Union Cockade”.

Cockades were later widely worn by revolutionaries and proponents of various political factions in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. Just as they did in the United States a few years before, the French now pinned the blue-and-red cockade of Paris onto the white cockade of the Ancien Regime – thus producing the original Tricolore cockade. Later, distinctive colors and styles of cockade would indicate the wearer’s faction — although the meanings of the various styles were not entirely consistent, and varied somewhat by region and period.

Today, the term is often used to indicate the tricolor cockade in specific, which became a relatively common symbol of nationalism during the French Revolutionary Wars.

America’s Jacobin Ideologues

By Thomas J. DiLorenzo

In his book America the Virtuous and in articles published on LewRockwell.com and elsewhere, Professor Claes Ryn has clearly defined what he calls the “Jacobin ideologues” in American society, otherwise known as Straussians and neocons. Since I consider Abraham Lincoln to have been a Jacobin, and his war a Jacobin revolution, I have been a close follower of Professor Ryn’s work and its relevance to American history. I have been struck by how Professor Ryn’s definitions fit so many of today’s Lincoln idolaters like a glove. In his writing he refers most often to Harry Jaffa and his fellow “Straussians” as the chief Jacobin ideologues and contrasts them sharply to genuine limited government conservatives. Let’s take a look at some of his definitions.

  1. The Jacobin ideologue expresses no humility. I have seen this time and again with the Straussian Lincoln cult. A good example would be one humorous response to my book, The Real Lincoln, by one of Jaffa’s fellow cultists, one Ken Masugi, who announced that cult leader Jaffa had apparently “settled” all these issues 50 years ago. Of course, nothing is ever settled permanently in the social sciences, especially when it comes to something as complicated as a war. Only members of a cult, who believe that THE TRUTH comes only from the mouth of the cult leader, would believe such a thing. No one with intellectual integrity would ever make such a totalitarian-minded claim.
  2. The Jacobin ideologue has no use for actual history because he claims to have special knowledge of “universal principles.” This explains why so much of what the Straussians say about Lincoln and the war are flat out contradicted by real history. They don’t care about real history. All they want to do is to repeat Jaffa’s false theory that Lincoln was devoted to natural rights. The fact that Lincoln repeatedly denied that black people should be able to exercise these rights doesn’t matter. What matters most is the fanciful theory put forth by the cult leader.
  3. The Jacobin ideologue makes sweeping, categorical assertions as a substitute for the real complexity of the world. This is another reason why America’s Jacobins do not care about history. History is complicated. War is complicated. All wars have multiple causes and effects; But not the Jacobins’ wars. Lincoln’s war was caused by slavery and slavery alone, despite the fact that Lincoln himself – and the entire U.S. government – insisted otherwise. And the war in Iraq is a war “for democracy” and nothing else. Jacobin ideologues have unquestioning faith in their own moral superiority. This explains why the Straussians so often behave in such a completely vulgar, mannerless, and uncivilized way whenever anyone questions any of their precepts. This is radically different from the normal state of affairs in academe where such criticism is viewed as the means of arriving at the truth through discussion and debate. It is also why the Straussians are so despised (and largely ignored) by the rest of academe.

4a. The Straussian Jacobins are not necessarily interested in the pursuit of truth: they already know THE TRUTH. Harry Jaffa and other cult leaders have revealed it to them. That’s why they so often attempt to assassinate the character of anyone who dissents with the views of the cult leader. A case in point is the viscous and hysterical smear campaign against the late Professor Mel Bradford, a preeminent Lincoln critic, after President Reagan nominated him to head the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1981. He eventually withdrew his own nomination in disgust.

Several years later, in an article entitled “Against Lincoln: A Speech at Gettysburg,” Professor Bradford cynically recalled how “I have found that I ‘favor slavery,’ consider it to be a ‘tenuous multiracial experiment’ yet to receive the final verdict of history, and that I censure Lincoln because of ‘what he did for racial equality.’ My reservations [about Lincoln] are described as ‘insulting to Lincoln’s idea of liberty.’ And the very errors embodied in such wild charges, requiring as they do some rejoinder, ‘prove’ that there is something wrong with my character, regardless of their implausibility . . .. I have ‘overturned the Declaration of Independence,’ called Lincoln a ‘villain,’ and argued that ‘there is no right principle of action but self interest.’ None of which can be documented from anything I have written” (emphasis added). He was also falsely accused of being a “Hitler admirer.”

What we had here was one of the first shots in the Straussian/Jacobin/neocons takeover of the old conservative movement that really did believe in limited government. Thus, Jaffa can be thought of as a sort of Iranian Mullah light. He has no ability to issue a death warrant to any Salmon Rushdie’s that might question or mock his “civil religion” (a coin termed by Rousseau, the ideological godfather of the French Jacobins and one of Jaffa’s favorite phrases), but he can orchestrate smear campaigns against him or her such as the one that was directed at Professor Bradford.

This episode, and many others like it, proves the truthfulness of another of Professor Ryn’s characteristics of a Jacobin ideologue:

  • The desire to dominate and silence one’s ideological opponents rather than engage in civilized discourse with them.
  1. Jacobin ideologues are also narrow-minded nationalists. They believe that their country is morally superior to all others, and by virtue of that “fact” they have a right and a duty to impose their “moral” will on others. This of course is the old New England Yankee impulse, derived from the Puritans, whose modern-day ideological descendants are the neocons.

Lincoln mythology plays an important role here, for the nonsense about America being the “last best hope of earth” has long been used to assert American moral superiority in world affairs. Hence when William Bennett, the “Washington Fellow” of the Claremont Institute, made a case for the Iraq War on the CBS “Sunday Morning” television show on March 19, his closing line was, “we truly are the last best hope of earth.” (At which time the entire nation is apparently supposed to collectively wet its pants and sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic).

  1. The Jacobin ideologue is constantly warning about THE ENEMY, who is so depraved, and so evil, that no compromise of any kind is possible. Total War is the only solution, whether it’s the war on drugs or the war in Iraq. This of course began with the demonization of southerners prior to the War to Prevent Southern Independence, which continues to this very day. Thus, I would add another characteristic to Professor Ryn’s list: hatred of the south, its citizens, its history, and even its contemporary institutions, from NASCAR to country music. (Recall the hysterical and hate-filled responses by the media to the movie “Gods and Generals,” which portrayed Stonewall Jackson as the deeply religious man that he was.)

Thus, Saddam Hussein had to be compared to Hitler. As evil as Hussein was, he was no Hitler. In making his case for the Iraq War William Bennett cited an anonymous “observer” from the Washington Post who asserted that Hussein and his thugs “starved babies,” “gouged out the eyes of children,” raped women in front of their husbands, and even “slowly immersed victims in a vat of acid.” Wow. Too bad Bennett couldn’t provide an actual factual reference for such shocking claims.

  1. The Jacobin ideologue has no fear of unlimited government as long as Jacobins in good standing are in charge. Thus, the Straussians defend the “Lincoln dictatorship” and its obliteration of constitutional liberties in the northern states. They also routinely point to Lincoln’s trashing of the Constitution in his day to “justify” the Bush administration’s unprovoked war in Iraq, domestic spying, the imprisonment of war opponents, the use of torture chambers, and any and all usurpations of the Constitution.
  2. Neocon “godfather” Irving Kristol has mocked the entire classical liberal tradition of limited constitutional government by mocking Friedrich Hayek’s rendition of it in The Road to Serfdom. And the neocon Bush administration and the present Obama administration have certainly done nothing at all, whatsoever, to limit government in any way. The Jacobin ideologue will redefine the Constitution in his pursuit of unbridled political power. Again, Lincoln is the role model when it comes to acting like a dictator by asserting that the Constitution says something different from what actually appears in the document. Jaffa has devoted much of his career to unsuccessfully defending the Lincoln dictatorship against the facts of history. Today, the Jacobin ideologues who run the Bush administration (and their supporters in the media) tell us that the Constitution allows the government to spy on every citizen, to torture prisoners in American prisons – even American citizens, and even to imprison outspoken war opponents if necessary.
  3. The Jacobin ideologue is also opposed to decentralization and true federalism because such a system is too difficult to control in dictatorial fashion. Once again, Lincoln is the role model here since he destroyed the system of federalism that was established by the American founding fathers and did more than anyone else to usher in the centralized, bureaucratic state that we all slave under today. This is why there has been no consideration given to a series of republics in Iraq; several different republics populated by the various ethnic tribes there would be more difficult to control and dictate to than one centralized state that can be more easily managed by the U.S. government. It would be much more conducive to a peaceful and prosperous Iraq, but that’s not the goal of the American Jacobins. Their goal is a puppet government.

This is also why the idea of states’ rights is always immediately associated with slavery and racism. The purpose of this is to censure discussion of the oldest of American political traditions, a tradition that the founding fathers thought of as the most powerful protection against centralized governmental tyranny.

In short, the phony and misdirected hatred of the French people that was ginned up by the Bush administration and its media mouthpieces at the beginning of the Iraq war should really be directed at America’s Jacobin ideologues, who have adopted every destructive aspect of the French Jacobin tradition, and then some.

The French people eventually beheaded Robespierre, the leader of the French Jacobins. Figuratively speaking, that would also be the well-deserved fate of America’s Jacobin ideologues.

Jacobins are seduced by power. The foundation of their abstract morality is their fantastic claim to a monopoly on virtue. Secure in their belief in their monopoly on virtue, Jacobins are prepared to use force to impose virtue on other societies and to reconstruct other societies in the Jacobin image.

Jacobin society is a centralized one that subordinates individuals and their liberties to abstract virtues. In short, it is an ideological society imbued with assurance of moral superiority that justifies its dominance over others, including its own citizens.

Virtue gives Jacobins a mandate to rule the world in order to improve it. Opposed to the American Republic that is based in traditional morality and limits on power, the Jacobin agenda is to remake America into an empire capable of imposing virtue on the world.

Jacobin morality is divorced from moral character, personal conduct, and treatment of others. Jacobin morality expresses itself in benevolent sentiments toward abstract entities. Human lives and cultural diversity mean nothing compared to “making the world safe for democracy” and “liberating women from the Muslim yoke.” Jacobin morality seeks to achieve a uniform unipolar world.

Possessed of an unrelenting will to power, the Jacobins in the Bush and Obama administrations, together with their media allies, seized the opportunity afforded by September 11 to meld America’s nationalistic response to terrorism with the Jacobin ideological agenda. Once Americans associated invading foreign countries (Afghanistan) with the “war on terror,” Jacobins shifted the “terrorist threat” to Iraq. Now they are working to shift it to Syria, Iran, Libya, Tunisia and Lebanon. Next will be Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The Jacobin agenda requires large numbers of American troops spread worldwide and heavy taxation to support massive military budgets. It means the return of the draft.

It also explains why Jacobins are unconcerned with our own country’s porous borders while they seek to control Middle Eastern borders. The hordes of young Mexicans pouring into the US are a convenient source of cannon fodder, just as President Lincoln redirected the flow of Irish immigrants in his day into the Union Army.

Jacobins are dangerous because they lack historical understanding and rely on abstract righteousness to impose ideological unity. Their drive for like-mindedness implies coercion, the gulag and the Orwellian state. The Jacobin agenda means the end of Western civilization.

Professor Ryn shows that Jacobins are lost in abstractions and do not appreciate or understand Western civilization as a human achievement resulting from centuries of struggle to create moral character. Self-restraint, empathy, and mutual respect are necessary for pluralistic societies. However, such genuine virtues have no role in the uniform Jacobin state.

It is difficult to quibble when Professor Ryn writes, “monopolistic ideological universalism that scorns historically formed societies is a potential source of unending war and great disasters.” Professor Ryn reports that many Americans, including conservatives, find aspects of the Jacobin message attractive without understanding where it leads. The Jacobin quest for American world supremacy appeals to nationalistic patriots, to macho types whose response to September 11 is to “kick butt,” to people fearful of terrorist plots, to global business and financial interests, to do-gooders anxious to spread democracy and women’s rights, and to people who enjoy power and success vicariously like fans of champion sports teams.

Jacobins are to be found between both political parties and among both “conservative” and “liberal” columnists. As a result of conservative befuddlement, Jacobins now control the formerly conservative media, foundations and think tanks, and they occupy most of the putatively “conservative” posts in universities.

Professor Ryn acknowledges that he is alerting us to the Jacobin threat late in the game. Jacobins use their power and influence to suppress dissent. Jacobin ends justify Jacobin means. Thus, lies, deception, and manipulation cause Jacobins no shame.

As Professor Ryn observes, ambition unchecked by intellectual humility and moral self-control is the source of tyranny.

There is an even greater cost of a proclaimed perpetual war against terrorism– the legal system that protects liberty, a human achievement for which countless numbers of people gave their lives over the centuries but now is subverted by “change” for the American Jacobian Government as a “tool” for “new thought”. The Bush and Obama administrations used September 11 to whip up fear and hysteria and to employ these weapons against American liberty. The Orwellian-named Patriot Act has destroyed habeas corpus. The executive branch has gained the unaccountable power to detain American citizens on mere suspicion or accusation, without evidence, and to hold Americans indefinitely without a trial to the Homeland Security Gestapo goon squads.

Foolishly, many Americans believe this power can only be used against terrorists. Americans don’t realize that the government can declare anyone to be a terrorist suspect, including Patriots and War Veterans. As no evidence is required, it is entirely up to the government to decide who is a terrorist. Thus, the power is unaccountable. Unaccountable power is the source of tyranny.

The English-speaking world has not seen such power since the 16th and 17th centuries when the “Court of Star Chamber” in England became a political weapon used against the king’s opponents and to circumvent Parliament. The Star Chamber dispensed with juries, permitted hearsay evidence, and became so reviled that “Star Chamber” became a byword for injustice. The Long Parliament abolished the Star Chamber in 1641. In obedience to the Bush regime, the US Congress resurrected it with the Patriot Act, which continues apace with Obama. Can anything be more Orwellian than identifying patriotism with the abolition of habeas corpus? Historians are quick to note that the Star Chamber was mild compared to Gitmo, to the US practice of sending detainees abroad to be tortured, and to the justice (sic) regime being run by Czarist Attorney General Eric Holder, former AG, “Torture” Gonzales and his predecessor, “Draped Justice” Ashcroft, who went so far as to say that opposition to the Patriot Act was itself the mark of a terrorist.

The time-honored attorney-client privilege is another casualty of the “war on terror.” Taking their cue from the restrictions placed on lawyers representing Stalin’s victims in the 1930s show trials, Justice (sic) Department officials seek to limit attorneys representing terrorist suspects to procedural niceties. Lynn Stewart, attorney for Omar Abdel Rahman, was handed a letter by a Justice (sic) Department prosecutor, which was instructing her how to represent her client. When she did what every good lawyer would do and represented her client aggressively, she was arrested, indicted and convicted.

Many conservative lawyers have turned a fearful blind eye, because Stewart is regarded as a leftwing lawyer whom they dislike. Only a few civil libertarians, such as Harvey Silverglate, have pointed out that prosecutors cannot create felonies by writing letters to attorneys. Stewart was convicted for violating a prosecutor’s letter (technically, a Special Administrative Measure). This should make it obvious even to the blind that American democracy has lost all control over law promulgation and enforcement.

Federal officials have sensed the sea change in American law: arbitrary actions and assertions by federal officials are taking the place of statutory legislation. We saw an example recently when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that news media covering the New Orleans hurricane story were prohibited from taking pictures of the bodies of inhabitants drowned when the levees failed. Nowhere is FEMA given authority to override the First Amendment. Yet, FEMA officials saw no reason not to issue its decree. Rome had one Caesar. America has them throughout the executive branch.

We see the same exercise of arbitrary authority in break-ins by police into New Orleans homes in order to confiscate legally owned firearms. No authority exists for these violations of the Second Amendment. No authority exists for the forceful removal of residents from non-damaged homes. Tyrannical precedents are being established by these fantastic abuses of government authority. In the US today nothing stands in the way of the arbitrary exercise of power by government. Federal courts have acquiesced in unconstitutional detention policies. There is no opposition party, and there is no media, merely huge conglomerates or collections of federal broadcasting licenses, the owners of which are afraid to displease the government.

The collapse of the institutions that confine government to law and bind it with the now dead Constitution was sudden. The House for lying about a mostly oral sexual affair with Monica Lewinski, a White House aide, impeached the president previous to Bush, Bill Clinton. If we go back to the 1970s, President Richard Nixon had the decency to resign when it came to light that he had lied about when he first learned of a minor burglary. Bush’s failures are far more serious and numerous; yet, Bush has escaped accountability. Obama is a consummate Muslim liar [AlTaqiyya] but is unchallenged by anyone, including a venal Congress. Polls show that a majority of Americans have lost confidence in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and believe Bush did a poor job responding to flooded New Orleans. Many Americans hope that these two massive failures have put Bush back into the box of responsible behavior from which September 11 allowed him to escape. However, there is no indication that the former Bush administration sees any constraints placed on its behavior by these failures. The Obama administration compounds the errors of former administrations. The identical cronyism and corrupt government contract practices, by which taxpayers’ money is used to reward political contributors, so evident in Iraq, and is evident in the New Orleans police power grab and beyond.

To press its fabricated case against Iran’s alleged weapons of mass destruction program, the Bush administration has shown every foreign diplomat it can corral an hour-long slide show titled, “A History of Concealment and Deception.” Wary foreigners are reminded of the presentations about Iraq’s WMD and wonder who is guilty of deception, Iran or the Bush administration.

Now that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has established that US ground forces cannot easily prevail against insurgency, the Obama administration is bringing new military threats to the fore. The neocon orchestrated “Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations” abandons the established doctrine that nuclear weapons are last-resort options. The Bush and Obama administrations are so enamored of coercion that they are birthing the doctrine of preemptive nuclear attack. US war doctrine is being altered to eliminate the need for a large invasion force and to use “preventive nuclear strikes” in its place.

Is this the face that the American people want to present to the world? It is hard to imagine a greater risk to America than to put the entire world on notice that every country risks being nuked based on mere suspicion. By making nuclear war permissible, the present administration is crossing the line that divides civilized people from barbarians. The United States is starting to acquire the image of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Knowledgeable people should have no trouble drawing up their own list of elements common to both the Bush, Obama and Hitler regimes: the use of extraordinary lies to justify military aggression; reliance on coercion and threats in place of diplomacy; total belief in the virtue and righteousness of one’s cause; the equating of factual objections or “reality-based” analysis to treason; the redirection of patriotism from country to leader; the belief that defeat resides in debate and a weakening of will; refuge in delusion and denial when promised results don’t materialize. As Professor Claes Ryn made clear in his book, America the Virtuous, the neoconservatives are neo-Jacobins. There is nothing conservative about them. They are committed to the use of coercion to impose their agenda. Their attitude is merciless toward anyone in their way, whether fellow citizen or foreigner. “You are with us or against us.” For those on the receiving end, the Nazi and Jacobin mentalities come to the same conclusion.

The Bush administration, and now the Obama Administration, has abandoned American principles. They are and were Jacobin regimes replaying the Jacobin French Revolution. Woe to its American citizens and the rest of the world.

Assembled, edited and with comments by Rav James Talbott, Yeshua HaTikvah Yisrael Ministries,

From the wilderness, a place of uncultivated lands and uncultivated minds

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