What’s The Plan, Here, Exactly?-Theodore Dalrymple On Immigration In Europe

Dalrymple:

‘This seems to me a time when several European governments act specifically and deliberately against the most patent and obvious national interests of their country, often with the support of the intelligentsia…’

It’s baffling to me that one of the most basic and visceral obligations leaders have to the people they represent (safety and security) isn’t really being met in many cases.  Heck, it appears just pointing these problems out makes one unwelcome in polite society; the issue not yet the stuff of pandering political promise.

Most of us know right away, in fact, we feel it all around us when there’s danger afoot: ‘I’m not safe here. I’ve got to stay alert.

Let’s just say it’s a priority for most people, whether standing outside a seedy bar, living in a rough part of town, or being anywhere near a war-zone.

What worries me is that many European societies are only generating political will enough for consensus around ideas which can’t even get this most basic of obligations….basically right.

What’s the plan, here, exactly?

Via a reader, Dr Tino Sanandaji, a Kurdish-Swede discusses Kurds, Kurds in Europe, European immigration and Swedish immigration in particular, via the Rubin Report, which pursues a new form of anti-Left liberalism:

Christopher Caldwell At The Claremont Review Of Books: ‘The Hidden Costs Of Immigration’…From The Middle East Quarterly Via A & L Daily: Europe’s Shifting Immigration Dynamic

Michael Totten On The Problem From Hell In Syria

Mid-Term Elections-A Link

Pejman Yousefzadeh sums some of it up for me.

I think it’s a good to see activist government overreach repudiated at the polls (if this is, in fact, what’s happened).  There has seemed an endless stream of causes, grievances and victims coming out of the woodwork, often with fewer reasons and lots of emotion and conviction behind them.

Every solution proposed has seemed a government one these last six years, run by activists and their coalitions, favoring unions, with utopian promises usually masking a shabbier, grubbier political reality, and perhaps too much incompetence to track.

From my perspective, many in the media and in public debate have generally gone along to get along (aside from the moral and historical issues at play), and some have retrenched their political and ideological commitments within secular ideologies and progressive activism.

If you’re actually concerned about helping people, and maintaining more freedoms and opportunity for more people, I’d argue this is a bad way of going about it.

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Now it’s time to keep an eye on Republicans, the politically possible, the compromises they’ll have to make, the inertia built in the system.  I’m not expecting a fair shake from many in the media, and from very few ‘cultural gatekeepers.’

Many principles I seem to think are important don’t seem that important in the media landscape, and the Republican party seems closer to maintaining more freedoms and limited government, but I don’t trust Republicans that much either.

I see politics as a necessary evil, a business with anywhere from potentially crooked hucksters involved to shrewd, pretty honest, principled brokers at work (those who make sure not to stay in too long). This, too, often depends on your perspective.

If you’re looking for something else in politics, you should probably look somewhere else.

Every Time An Activist Gets His Wings…From Inside Philanthropy: ‘Did You Hear The Koch Brothers Just Gave A Million Bucks To NPR To Cover Healthcare?’

Full piece here. (No, it didn’t really happen, but this is one of my hobby horses, and I’m not afraid to whip it often).

NPR works alongside the Kaiser Family Foundation to deliver ACA coverage.

Money, money, money:

‘My point, of course, is that growing concern about the subversion of public media by private donors is quite selective. Progressives only fret when it’s conservative money coming in, but ignore cases in which funders they like are writing the checks. And while the right routinely hits NPR for being too liberal, it’s been strangely quiet on NPR’s sources of funding and the possible conflicts embedded in funding arrangements’

Let’s just say most people are attracted to large revenue streams, even lofty secular idealists.  The money has to come from somewhere.

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A brief rant:

Activists of all stripes seem to occupy a special place in the moral universe of NPR coverage. Perhaps a pure, uncut activist is a little much, but such folks can always be backed-up with the right studies and statistics.  In a four-minute piece, activists can be bolstered by a two-minute interview with a more knowledgeable bureaucrat and/or favorable university professor.

Activism is virtuous, after all.

From civil rights to feminism to environmentalism to gay rights…equality will eventually be reached, doled-out, quantified and planned.  But only if the general will is being served daily, while the ‘The People’ are rising-up demanding change, protesting and chanting, forming purely democratic coalitions and autonomous collectives that can only make our politics and the world a better place.

Each individual is gaining more freedom daily through collective action, dear reader.

***I’ve been assured that every time an activist gets his wings, the storehouse of moral good increases by a hectare, while the happiness index inches upwards.

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Of course, making such Left-liberal ideals the highest things around means always courting activists to some extent, for no other purpose than staying in business. It also means making choices in the real world.  Private donations by listeners to NPR are generally good, while private ownership in a company donating to political campaigns is generally bad.

The foundation money that funds Left-liberal think tanks and action committees is generally a force for good in politics, while the Koch brothers money is generally bad, and suspicious.

Even if the foundations were started by capitalists, innovators thriving under a relatively free flow of capital and labor like Henry Ford’s motor company did, dramatically driving down the price of cars for everyone, these cash-cows have finally been bent to the right ideals.

Equality is next, right after the next big private/public partnership.

(addition: yes, that last part is sarcasm, and no, I don’t think anyone is capable of being the moral judge nor final arbiter of the Civil Rights movement and its gains of freedom for many in the real world.

Rather, one can simply point out many of its costs and consequences; the logical flaws, including the lack of limiting principles to political power.

I think it’s more clear now how endlessly rewarding victimhood, capitalizing on grievance and injustice, and cultivating envy into a movement led by a charismatic figure has consequences.

It seems there’s some good when the folks at NPR are called-out on their activism as well as their moral and political commitments, to see how their business works while they are busily minding everyone else’s business).

Related On This SiteJack Shakely At The Los Angeles Review Of Books Reviews Ken Stern’s ‘With Charity For All’

How Many Techno- And Bureaucrats Are Enough?-David Greene At NPR: ‘Rochester Focuses On A New Piece Of American Manufacturing’

A Few Thoughts On NPR And Current Liberal Establishment Thinking Under Obama

Ken Burns makes a good documentary, but he’s also arguing he absolutely needs your tax dollars in service of what he assumes to be a shared definition of the “common good” as he pursues that art.  The market just can’t support it otherwise. Repost-From ReasonTV Via Youtube: ‘Ken Burns on PBS Funding, Being a “Yellow-Dog Democrat,” & Missing Walter Cronkite’From NPR: Grants To The NEA To Stimulate The Economy?…We’re already mixing art and politics, so…
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David Brooks, We Hardly Knew Ye-One Nation Under The Best & Brightest Long-Term Planners

Amongst many folks in the West, usually liberal, there’s been a healthy respect for top-down solutions to problems that some far-East authoritarian, paternalistic governments can impose on their generally less individually free populations. Climate-change knocking at your door?  Here’s high-speed rail. You’re welcome. Don’t ask questions.  You’re in post-Communist China.

Extra income floating around? Well, we liberalized the economy for you, so now you’re going to invest in real-estate until the bubble pops. You don’t know any better.

You won’t buy or sell gum in Singapore, damn it.  And you’ll only chew it under doctor’s orders.

David Brooks gets in on that action:

‘In places like Singapore and China, the best students are ruthlessly culled for government service. The technocratic elites play a bigger role in designing economic life. The safety net is smaller and less forgiving. In Singapore, 90 percent of what you get out of the key pension is what you put in. Work is rewarded. People are expected to look after their own’

Let’s be a little more autocratic, America, at least at the national level.  It’s just so we can compete and plan for the future.  Someone’s got to take hold of the meritocracy.

Get on board!:

‘The answer is to use Lee Kuan Yew means to achieve Jeffersonian ends — to become less democratic at the national level in order to become more democratic at the local level. At the national level, American politics has become neurotically democratic.’

That’s the father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew.

We need to restrict freedoms in order to get more freedoms, you see.  The system’s broken.  American democracy is sick. The cure for too much democratic neurosis is putting the right people in charge and browsing at the buffet of global ideas.

We’ll be strong and healthy in no time.  It’s just for a little while.

I’d like to thank David Brooks for staying relevant to Times readers by synthesizing many of the authoritarian, technocratic and paternalistic impulses of Left-liberal sentiment into his national column (where everyone’s an ‘elite’, of course, in a purely democratic way). Brooks is doing a public service by showing us where many of those ideas can lead. The illiberal impulses which can’t be channeled through activism, ‘executive’ actions, and one-party rule can be redirected to autocratic solutions in a global marketplace.

Thanks Brooks, we hardly knew ye:

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Repost-Cass Sunstein At The New Republic: ‘Why Paternalism Is Your Friend’…At least with religious conservatives, they’re clear about moral claims to authority.  Sunstein’s got to create some space between the Bloomberg backlash and the totalitarians on the Left: Daddy’s Gonna Make You Do It

Repost-From The Spiked Review Of Books: ‘Delving Into The Mind Of The Technocrat’

Anarcho-syndicalist, libertarian socialist and sometime blind supporter of lefty causes:  Via Youtube: (1 of 3) Kant, Chomsky and the Problem of Knowledge

Steven Pinker somewhat focused on the idea of freedom from violence, which tends to be libertarian. Yet, he’s also skeptical of the more liberal human rights and also religious natural rights. What about a World Leviathan?: At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas HobbesFrom Reason.TV Via YouTube: ‘Steven Pinker on The Decline of Violence & “The Better Angels of Our Nature”‘Simon Blackburn Reviews Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial Of Human Nature” Via the University Of Cambridge Philosophy Department