Friday, February 11, 2011

The State of the Union According to Tolkien

[Updated  2/11/11]  
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;
Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution

To summarize the recent State of the Union Address Jan. 25, 2011 by the President of the United States of America to a joint session of Congress is not difficult. It was already stated over fifty years ago on the opening pages to J.R.R.Tolkein's classic trilogy, the Lord of the Rings:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie
In other  words, to translate the latest Saruman speak and WashingtonDC.orc talk: More Big Government as the Savior of all our  Economic Woes and American Sorrows. 

And, of course, upon delivery of this august address, there was great rejoicing all through the House of Congress and the Cable TV Studios. Implicitly it was understood that the Great Ogre of Unemployment with his Hordes of Underemployment would not dare to show their faces within the city limits of  the national version of Mordor on the Potomac. (Likewise faint hearts should not fear, Nationalsozialistische HealthCare for all will still be enforced freely and rationed  as prudently and carefully as every case may require.)  Neither did anyone have the unmitigated gall to interrupt and insist that someone was a liar as has happened in the past, regardless if lies, half truths or inaccuracies prevailed.

Yet as others have asked, is there any constitutional mandate for what was presented as the resolution of the problems that are facing the nation? But to ask is to answer, you silly goose. Perish the thought. May it never be.

Twin Siamese Parties
Still the real problem with all this, is not how does one go about electing a new president, or a new congress, but rather how does one elect a new electorate to replace the old electorate who voted for the incumbents. The same,  who largely, the Tea Party not excepted, promise more of the same old same old that got us here in the first place.  In case we haven't figured it out yet,  what was pretty much a  Republican version of a Stalinist personality cult preceded this administration's version  -  of  the exact same thing. Neither is it mentioned in polite society or  acknowledged by the  corporate bought and paid  for media,  but the two political parties in America are actually Siamese twins.

Socialist Parties
Tweedledum and Tweedledee   may be separate entities for tax purposes,  but by and large, they are still both firmly  rooted in the trunk  of  the Dire Necessity of More Big Government  Management/Control of the Economy -  whether indirect, through corporate collusions and  cartels (fascism) or direct, through  actual ownership of business, i.e. Government Motors (communism). In other words, whether direct or indirect, government control of the  economy is  of the  essence and definition of socialism, however it escapes the talking heads. Ben Gleck can't understand that Social Security is a socialist program, however much that Jon Stewart  Leibowitz might chide him about it on the Daily Show because at the least, both of them are really in  favor of the fascist version of socialism,  with respective emphases  on either warfare or welfare. But it's all ice cream, regardless of the flavor.

Monetary Socialism
Not the least of the  socialist indicators is the 1913 institution of the Federal Reserve, nominally under the derelict oversight of Congress, which is a cartel of private central banks that among other things, price fixes the prime  interest rate. This, in the interest of central economic planning, without of course, the  Five Year labels the  Soviet Union put on their version. How's that for a free market economy, Mr Greenjeans? Pretty hard to beat, huh, when  the FR   bankrolls  both sides of the Congress and their aggrandizing  schemes of redistribution, graft, corruption and domestic/international empire through the inflationary printing of money.  Just as  the real Davey Crockett is one thing,  the old Fess Parker metal lunch boxes another, so too, the free market economy and  the constitutionally sound money of the founding fathers  bears little resemblance to what  passes for it today. But perhaps only experience can do what elections can not,  though sadly  the lesson of history seems  to be that it is seldom learned.

Political Paradises and Pogroms
Furthermore, man is a sinner,  however much Black Liberation Theology and Pastor Jeremiah Wright deny, if not politicize  the historic Christian doctrine of original sin  at the church where Barack Obama attended for twenty years. Nether is man perfectible as the myth of the Enlightenment teaches -  or the state, made up of imperfect men,  as the generic 20th century totalitarian states otherwise known as "The Peoples's Republic Of"  have amply  demonstrated in bloody living color, regardless  that  all was done in the most holy  name of radical Jacobin egalitarianism and equality. For that matter, those  who have in the 20th century denied any heaven above have been the most adept at turning life below into a living hell. Of Germany and  the Soviet Union, never mind  China and America, more below.

Likewise Burke told us (cf. 2 Pet. 2:19): 
It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
Hence the conclusion that a genuinely free republic requires  men  free of the intemperate notion that the state can provide all the wants and necessities of its citizens.  It  therefore remains to be seen just exactly how many  have continued to drink the koolaid and cheer on the  utopian juggernaut  as the pep talk of Jan. 25 disingenuously laid out the further game plan.

Private Property
There are those, of course,  who think this all unnecessary  and evil spirited criticism; unpatriotic if not - to play the current smear card  trump - racist. (Sexist, homophobe, anti-semite and white supremacist/Nazi, all stand ready on combat alert for the opportune moment  when yet another progressive/neo-conservative  argument is fast losing both altitude and traction  in the simple and manipulated minds of the hoi polloi.)  Nonetheless, a word from an American icon  is to the point:
Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.
Yes, that's right. The sainted Abraham Lincoln himself said that  in a March 21st 1864 address. The same Lincoln, who,  one of the most eminent literary critics of the last century, Edmund Wilson  considered  most responsible for the centralization of America, as  Lenin and Bismark respectively were for Russia and Germany. Of course, Wilson's opinion is not the popular opinion of Lincoln, but it is probably closer to the truth than is comfortable for either of the two parties.

Abe's Apprentice
In that the present executive sees himself as following in Abe's shoes, if not that Abe made it possible for him to run and hold office (Abe's politically incorrect views notwithstanding), surely it's not too hard to connect the dots and apply Lincoln's sentiments to the current status quo and the answers the SOTU proposes to deal with our problems:  More appropriation by the state of private property in order to achieve  a sanctified equality of property, innovation and healthcare. But this is hardly the  Spirit of 1776  according to early Americana writer Eric Sloane, who first alerted us to both quotes from Lincoln in this essay. Historically the exceptualism of America did not consist in the power of the government to jump start the economy, much more "rescue" it as it supposedly did recently in the meltdown of '08,  never mind  all the "stimulus bills" and the mythical panacea of inflationary Quantitative  Easing. 

The American Republic, Which Version/Upgrade?
But it gets worse, regardless that Lincoln, in refusing to let the South secede, arguably ushered in the Second American Republic. At the very least it  has to be said that slavery was abolished in the rest of the western world without a resort to arms. Yet as Lincoln set precedents for  Wilson and the Third American Republic  with WWI in order to make the world "Safe for Democracy", so too FDR with the  domestic New Deal  instituted the Fourth version of the republic just as the composite Geo. W. Obama is welcoming the Fifth/Last American Republic with the unending, undefined and unconstitutional War on Terror.

The last, just like the other government wars on poverty and drugs,  really only means subsidy rather than genuine animosity. America has been meddling for a long time in the Middle East and  regardless if Islam is a wicked and vicious superstition - it is that and more - the Arabs have a right to self determination  and government.  And if you keep poking a stick in somebody's eye, chances are sooner or later they will retaliate if they can.  The CIA term is blowback which pretty much summarizes the 9/11 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon regardless if the neoconservatives capitalized on the situation ala Hitler and the Reichstag Fire, with wars of occupation - not liberation - in Afghanistan and Iraq. And Iran, Pakistan, Somalia and Egypt? 

Card Sharks and the Constitution
Which is all to say, the Patriot Act after 9/11,  the TARP Bailout, and ObamaCare all tend to the same end, the supremacy and centralization of  all power in the Federal branch of government -  as well as Cap and Trade/Illegal Immigration Amnesty if they can swing it; later if not now. In other words, the powers that be are playing for  a straight flush; whether  a Royal Flush or  an ace low Steel Wheel. But either way Joe  Taxpayer  or Joe the Plumber  still gets ruled or rolled. Ain't hope and change grand, boys and girls? All it  really means is that the Dimocrat Party is in charge of the Plunderbund instead of the Repuglicans,  however transparent/invisible  this may be to the great unwashed flag waving/burning public.

Give Me  Liberty or Give Me Assassination
Even further, on Feb. 22, 1861 Abraham Lincoln stopped his inaugural journey to Washington at Philadelphia and gave an address at Independence Hall, where the Declaration of  Independence had been signed.
I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the motherland; but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of all men. This is a sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world, if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle,  I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it (it. added).
Granted, Father Abraham didn't expect John Wilkes Booth to take him for his word, but "sic semper tyrannis" or " thus always to tyrants" is what  Booth said  upon  leaping to the  stage after shooting the President in his private box seat at Ford Theater  in repeating Brutus's line at the assassination of Julius Caesar, which is also the Virginia state motto. Not that either the North or the South really fulfilled the letter of the law when in came to the Bill of Rights in the War of Rebellion, but rhetoric is rhetoric, right? Nothing to get worked up about or take seriously?

An Arizona Aside
So evidently those, who would excuse the left, but excoriate the right, when it came to "violent" political  rhetoric which was supposed to have provoked the recent shooting incident in Arizona.  Neither did Obama in his speech  at the memorial service in Arizona really do much more than overlook the left's prejudices after letting them freely play previously and then  beg the question as to who was accusing who of what.

The Record and the Rhetoric
Regardless of all that, the question in light of Lincoln's comments on property and liberty still arises: Was the SOTU about liberty; about lifting the weight of government from the shoulders of men or was it about lifting the weight of our problems from our shoulders  through more government? The last especially since we know how well  The Government   saved:  the Economy, the Too Big to Fail Banks,  Wall Street  Speculators  and Detroit at the sole expense of the taxpayer, who, while he was not invited to the shindig in DC, was supposed to be represented by his elected congressman when all of this took place

One may care to argue about Lincoln's record vis a vis his rhetoric, -  after all he only emancipated the slaves to save the Union  and was up to the day he died, intent on deporting all blacks back to Africa - but that's not the question before the house. Rather what can Mr. Obama say regarding his rhetoric and his record in office which again  includes,  among other things, something like the bureaucratization of one sixth of the US economy  in health care?

Poor Presidential Precedent
Of course, if the whole truth be told, Obama is only following Geo. W. Bush's precedent with Medicare Plan D, if not RomneyCare and before that ClintonCare, not to mention the Nixon/Kennedy cartelization of the HMO's in the '70's, which is something else conveniently ignored in what passes for intelligent and informed discussion of the issue. Regardless  of that, while it can be said that people might suffer under a govt. health care system in the name of the liberty of all to have "health care" somehow we don't quite think that was what Abraham was talking about in  principle in Philadelphia. To be sure, he went on to honor it in its breach and he was a lawyer, just like  Barak, but hopefully some lies are just too big to tell just yet and some things you just can't spin.

Yet   the one big lie of the SOTU remains, if not that it summarizes the prevailing ethos  of our Federal Government in general: 
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the halls of Big Government where the politicians lie through their teeth,
All the while they smile for the camera and promise a neo-con/progressive for every office and enough deficits to secure our financial future forever. (Won't it be lovely?) 
In other words, Tolkien has already spoken, any and all  SOTU addresses notwithstanding. And Tolkien rules regardless if  your average politician considers  any kind of literature  other than campaign propaganda to be only entertainment and fantasy.

Politics and Reality
Maybe the  specific term  "literature"  never comes up on the teleprompters the political and media whores so zealously scan in order to vomit forth the latest in "news" on the teevee screen  where everything is  in High Definition except what really counts,  the truth, but  the word still reads quite well in black and white on the printed page these days. Not to worry. J.R.R.  will not be running in any political primaries  or sponsoring a candidate in a national election any time soon, if at all.

Which is just the point. Despite the fact that it is the prevailing lie, the  atmosphere and ocean of assumption in which the political piranhas and predators roam and cavort freely these days, there are some things infinitely beyond the scheming grasp  and conniving of politicians and tax collectors, the latest SOTU notwithstanding. There are some things beyond the gaping maw of Leviathan however much he rages and thrashes.

The God of Church and State
Even further and regardless if Cotton Mather correctly regarded it as a superstition, the practice of swearing an oath with one's hand on the Bible, is even part of  the  inauguration of US presidents.  And  while Obama was sworn  into office using the same Bible Lincoln used,  he hardly kissed it afterward as Lincoln did, though Abe made no claims to be a believer,  Ps. 2:10-12 notwithstanding.

While arguably the state only recognizes God as Creator versus the Church's acknowledgment of Christ as Redeemer, we still live in a nation that has violated and trampled upon the natural light and law of Nature's God in legalization of abortion and homosexuality, never mind what the Scripture says. (For that matter, America was the first Western nation to incorporate without an  official established religion. It remains to be seen if a totally amoral secularism will prevail as the sacred cow of choice and  atheistic libertinism will become the law of the land.) True, things have not "progressed" so far that the state actively compels abortion per se, as the Nazi regime persecuted the Jews  and promoted homosexuality or China enforces a one child policy, but among the certain inalienable rights granted by Nature's God is life,  contra Roe Wade and Mr. Obama's rabid pro choice mentality, which  exceeds even that of arch/rabid feminist Hillary Clinton.

That is not to say, his predecessor's policy of "pre-emptive" war bears any resemblance to the historic Augustinian and Christian doctrine of a just war (if not the same more resembles that of a certain German demagogue and dictator of the 1930's whom we shall not mention for fear of violating Godwin's law),  but Obama has been zealous to double down on the worst of Bush's policies contra the campaign rhetoric. But what else is new? Hardly the excuses used to justify or obscure the obvious.

Saruman's Grim Courtier
In short, Pres.  Obama resembles yet another character out of Tolkien's masterpiece besides Saruman  when it comes to life and liberty - or even reluctantly,  Lincoln, who began the centralization of the Union just as Geo. W. Obama wants to finish it -  that of   Grima Wormtongue. Granted, he is just one in the long line of  the same,  though a little more adept, polished and racially correct than the usual heretofore, but to choose to denominate the latest frontman  for the Establishment as  Grima instead of Saruman is, in that  ironically curious way reality works, both a promotion to what one really is in truth:  a courtier to the powers that be  and yet also a demotion because of what one in truth really is:  a glib, smooth talking  and perjured sycophant to Big Pharmaceutical, Big Insurance and Big Banks/Wall Street, if not  arguably Big Business in general, with the addition of Dailey from the Chicago machine to the White House staff, to replace Emanuel, who is  now running for mayor of the Windy City.

No doubt of course, God can and does strike straight with both  crooked sticks and tongues , while a nation  and a people usually get the kind of rulers they deserve, but somehow those home truths, along with a few others, never made it into the latest SOTU. A pity that, and hardly complimentary.


1 comment:

RPV said...

Yo Anonymous,
When you can marshal an argument, we'll consider it. Until then, don't bother.