Greener Pastures

New Yorkers, Angelenos and Chicagoans leave their bankrupt liberal states and move to Florida, Arizona and Texas. They are all fleeing the ever-growing power and inefficiency of government, the crime, the sloth, the homelessness, and the taxes and regulations piling up on them. But when they get to their new, resplendent destinations, they keep voting for the same types of politicians and for the same issues they loved in their old homesteads. It’s then not surprising that, after a couple of decades, the new places look very much like the old ones. However, those same voters would never even think they are the ones responsible for the destruction of both places.

Vladimir Dorta, 08/07/2018

Human Stupidity

We asked for workers. We got people instead.
Max Frisch


Life is hard and it’s harder if one acts stupidly, a rule of practical wisdom one learns when growing old but one that some people never do. It points to something stronger working under the surface: human nature. Many wrong social, economic, and political decisions have been made under the enlightened belief that human nature doesn’t exist or that we have overcome it. From Rousseau’s belief in infinite human malleability, to Locke’s rejection of innate ideas, to Marx and humans being able to manipulate history. They all believed we are blank slates, virgin wax tablets on which those in power can inscribe anything they want. Humans as laboratory animals, or worse, because even the most evident failures don’t force the social engineers to accept their failure, as there is a chance next time they’ll get it right. When they tried socialism in Venezuela and it failed, it wasn’t real socialism, so they are going to try it again in Spain and maybe for the first time here in the USA:

Caracas is now the world’s most violent city. The people are starving and without medicine as inflation goes through the proverbial roof. The rich flee to Miami and the poor to Colombia. Venezuela is the shell of itself, a disaster area, currently close to the saddest story on Earth, given where it started. Meanwhile, with exquisite timing, our Democratic Party has found the solution to its woes —socialism! Er, excuse me, democratic socialism. We’re going to do it differently.

As one of my favorite texts ever reads:

There is no disillusionment for socialists. After every failed experiment, they recommence their work: the solution hasn’t been found yet, but it will be. The idea that no solution exists never occurs to them, and in this lies their strength. Ernest Renan, Histoire du Peuple d’Israel, Tome Troisième, Livre VI, Chapitre X. (circa 1890).

These self-appointed social engineers don’t know a thing about human nature and thus can’t get the success of practices that have demonstrated their utility for millennia. All they see is appearance, since capitalism was created by man it can be undone by man. But socialism is likely to fail time and time again because of this: Adam Ferguson, the founder of sociology, contemporary and friend of Adam Smith and David Hume and leading thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment, helped in the understanding of capitalism and markets as products of human action, but not of human design. He saw this as a third category of nature, besides the classical Greek ones of “natural” and “artificial.” It also includes language, society, family, social traditions, science, ecosystems, common law, money, government, democracy, even cities. Ferguson is behind the following comment by Greg Ransom about Friedrich Hayek:

“[These are] some of the outcomes of the accumulated experience of human beings pitting their wits against nature and social circumstance. They represent a distillation of what human experience has found works to satisfy our various needs. Because they arise from a multitude of circumstances and influences too diverse and too obscure to be known in their totality, they offer a rational guide to human action that individual human reason seeks to supplant at its peril. At its core, this evolutionist account of human society’s growth challenged the notion that a human will must be behind the remarkable social order that lets us achieve our goals and that allows other people to behave toward us in usefully predictable ways. If this authoritarian vision of the origins of social order were correct, then the order we know would simply be the choice of some human authority. If but a choice, it could be redesigned to achieve an outcome more pleasing for one reason or another. In contrast, Hayek offered a vision of social order that was not designed, but rather ‘spontaneous.’ In a spontaneous order, like the abstract order that was its predecessor in Hayek’s thought, people pursue their own goals within the framework of rules that facilitate cooperation with others. Spontaneous order adds a further dimension: that the rules themselves, because of their evolutionary pedigree, allow the emergence of a far richer and more complex level of cooperation than rules invented by clever people. Just as the attempts to ‘invent’ a universal language, such as Esperanto, always seem a pale and inadequate imitation of the complexities and resources of a language refined and enriched by millennia of human experience. So, too, invented moral codes and planned economies reduce the complexity of human relations to what the designing mind can comprehend.”


The same stupidity reigns here. Even if the Enlightenment ideal of universal education failed, politicians and social engineers still think that all humans are equal and interchangeable. They are clearly not. They bring their problems with them and, under welfare-state conditions, most of them become burdens on society. As Milton Friedman said, a modern, developed country with a welfare state cannot have open borders because “the supply of immigrants will become infinite.” This is so self-evident that we see it happening in Sweden and Germany and not happening in Hungary and Czechia: as Niall Ferguson writes in a devastating essay about what he calls the European meltdown pot, “it’s hard to be Denmark with a multicultural society.” This is a threat to Europe as grave as those posed by the Arabs in 732 and the Ottomans in 1683:

The threat Europe is facing if it refuses to close and control the borders is examined by Stephen Smith, an expert on Africa and admired by French President Emmanuel Macron, in his new book, The Rush to Europe: Young Africa on the Way to the Old Continent. Today, he notes, 510 million Europeans live in the European Union with 1.3 billion Africans facing them. “In thirty-five years, 450 million Europeans will face some 2.5 billion Africans, five times as many”, Smith predicts. If the Africans follow the example of other parts of the developing world, such as the Mexicans in the US, “in thirty years”, according to Smith, “Europe will have between 150 and 200 million Afro-Europeans, compared with 9 million today”. Smith called this scenario “Eurafrique”.

A new study shows that non-Western immigrants will cost the Netherlands more than $100 billion throughout their lives, simply because they are economic migrants looking to benefit from European welfare states. And let’s open Germany’s borders, what could go wrong?:

Arab clans dominate Berlin: Twenty families rule large parts of Germany’s capital; each family clan has up to 500 family members. Twelve clans are causing great problems for the police because they repeatedly commit organized crime. The clans, which consist of Arabs, Turks, and Africans, operate primarily in the west of the city. Some Arab clans live in Berlin’s Neukölln suburb and have divided certain streets among themselves. The problem is not limited to Berlin. The clans are also active in the Ruhr area, in Lower Saxony, and in Bremen.

And most illegal immigrants are a burden to American society:

The general consensus is that illegal aliens pay $12 billion a year in taxes. Every job an illegal alien takes is a job an American would have and for which an employer would have to offer fair compensation. Ergo, if Americans were in those jobs, the taxes they would pay would add much more to the tax coffers. If you include tax subsidies enjoyed by illegal immigrant workers and their employers, lost tax revenue is estimated to be $30 billion annually. Next, unless we also consider how much illegal aliens take out of the system in the form of government assistance, we aren’t talking real numbers. It is shocking how many benefits an illegal immigrant is entitled to receive, especially in California.

California is home to between 2.35 and 2.6 million illegal aliens, more than any other state in the nation. Illegal immigrants in California are entitled to in-state college tuition, scholarship assistance, emergency medical assistance, lab costs for indigent mothers who give birth in a hospital emergency room, outpatient dialysis, legal representation to fight deportation, drivers licenses, and law and other professional licenses. There is now a bill before the California legislature to extend full-scope Medicaid benefits to illegal alien adults.

As soon as an illegal alien has a baby on American soil, the new American citizen qualifies for a host of government services, most of which conveniently boomerang to benefit the entire family: WIC, free/subsidized lunch, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, Medicaid, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) education. It is estimated that 12.3 percent of California’s K–12 school children have an illegal immigrant parent.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 62 percent of all illegal immigrant households use some kind of welfare, including households with one or more workers present. Eighty-seven percent of illegal immigrant households with children use some kind of welfare. The Federation for American Immigrant Reform estimates that Americans are spending $135 billion a year in welfare payments to illegal aliens.

If we consider what we’re spending in welfare services to support illegal immigrant households, the $12 billion they’re paying in taxes is nothing. After accounting for taxes illegal immigrants pay, we’re still supporting them to the tune of some $123 billion.

But we are told that America can’t pay $20 billion one-time for a border wall to stop this. Nor can America develop a system to check visa overstays.

Vladimir Dorta, 07/23/2018

“United States” or “America”?

I wrote this article in Spanish for a Venezuelan magazine eighteen years ago. As the current culture war has rekindled all kinds of arguments against American nationalism, I wanted to post this updated, free translation of the original article.

Si (como afirma el griego en el Cratilo)
el nombre es arquetipo de la cosa,
en las letras de “rosa” está la rosa
y todo el Nilo en la palabra “Nilo.”
Jorge Luis Borges, El Golem

If (as the Greek affirms in the Cratylus)
the name is archetype of the thing,
in the letters of “rose” the rose is,
and all the Nile in the word “Nile.”
(my unfaithful translation)

It is normal to hear American citizens call our country “America.” However, there is also a different and generalized opinion among Latin Americans to call the country situated to the north of the continent as “United States,” while at the same time adding the prefix “North” to the name of its “American” citizens.

What is the correct name of this particular country? As often happens with sentiments, passions and beliefs, the opinion that the name of the country is “United States” is unsustainable when facing reasoned argument.

It is natural for Latin Americans to think that their membership in a continent baptized for Amerigo Vespucci would be diminished and even denied if they would call the particular country “America.” It would consider North Americans as the only inhabitants of the New World, something evidently absurd. Nevertheless and risking the shame of Latin nationalists, xenophobes and anti-imperialists, I would like to clarify the misunderstanding that lays at the bottom of this laudable but mistaken sentiment.

By the way, I have also heard this misunderstanding from American citizens who wanted to be up to date on political correctness and help erase the image of the Ugly American.

The French, protectors only of their own nationalism, conscientiously assume the misunderstanding and refer to the particular country as États Unis. However, when an Italian who wanted to emigrate in 1900 talked about “America” while remembering his older relative who emigrated from Sicily, he wasn’t thinking about a whole continent; he was thinking about a particular country and a particular city, New York.

Simply, there is a confusion between the geographic sense and the political sense of the word “America.” When we refer to the inhabitants of the continent represented in a geographical map as Americans, we are right in unifying all of them whatever the country they belong to. But we are in error if we believe that this is the only meaning of the word “America.” Because there is an equally valid political sense of the word, the one in which the name of countries are represented in a political map of the world, the same sense that everybody uses in daily speech. And there is only one country called “United States of America” among all the countries in the world. One could claim this fact to be unjust, but it is a fact.

But there is yet another, even more powerful argument to determine the correct name. The term United States has nothing to do with the country’s name. It has everything to do with the type of state the country has. The term means that all the governmental institutions of the nation are united in a decentralized federation, a voluntary union of all the states that conform the nation, just like the Confederation of Swiss Cantons, in opposition to the type of state assumed in the modern meaning of the word republic, which originally meant a system of government based in popular sovereignty but that currently means a centralized state.

There are examples of this difference everywhere: The current Republic of Venezuela was called Estados Unidos de Venezuela from 1864 to 1953; France, by a decision of the National Convention in 1792 during the French Revolution, is called République Française. Was Venezuela’s name Estados Unidos, or is France’s name République? Of course not in both cases. The former was and is Venezuela, and the later was and is France. Therefore, whether one likes it or not, the name of the country is “America.” Or, if you prefer not to ruffle feathers in polite company and inconvenient times, the name of the country is “United States of America.”

Vladimir Dorta, 06/22/2018

Replacing the American People

After the Uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in Stalin Street
Stating that the People
Had lost the trust of the Government
And only through redoubled efforts
Could they win it back. Wouldn’t it
Be simpler for the Government
To dissolve the People
And elect another?
Bertolt Brecht, The Solution, 1953

One of the many novelties President Trump has brought to American politics is an easy ability to unmask his opponents. In this case because his pet project, immigration, is a key —if previously hidden— factor in our politics. The Democrat Party openly chooses illegal aliens, including the very nasty MS-13 criminal gangsters, over American citizens. It calls them “dreamers” and creates city and state sanctuaries for them. Wicked but logical, since the future of the party hinges on having masses of poor, ignorant, pliable Third World migrants as future voters. The Republican Party also wants to import masses of Third World migrants, with a twist: it plays political economy in tune with Big Business, which requires cheap laborers in all industries. But all of a sudden, a new and strong reinforcement appears out of nowhere: Big Business is not exclusively Republican anymore, as all the high-tech billionaires are Democrats and openly act as such. As if by magic, the Democrat Party is no longer the party of the worker and the little guy, and the Republican party doesn’t conserve anything worth conserving.

Thus the UniParty

Both parties cover their evil goals with cheap propaganda disguised as political wisdom. Democrats fling at us assertions like “multiculturalism is good” and “diversity is our strength,” they call illegals “undocumented” as if they lost their papers somewhere, or just “immigrants,” to dissolve the meaning of words. Republicans hide their goals under misleading assertions like “immigration is good for the economy” or lies like “most immigrants are conservatives,” while Big Business replaces American workers with lower-paid foreigners at both ends of the spectrum by inventing all kinds of visas and even an immigration lottery! Both parties block real solutions like mandatory E-Verify or the Trump Wall, and look the other way on the half-million-a-year visa overstayers. It doesn’t matter that terrorists and drugs also come through the open borders, and the only excuse and justification is to lull the expendable natives with a big lie: “demography is destiny.” There is no destiny regarding demographics, it’s a choice made by the unholy alliance of Democrats and Republicans.

As I have argued in other posts, this is just the postmodern variety of liberalism taking over and unfolding its own destructive logic. Open borders and lack of sovereignty are instruments of the push toward global government and global citizenship that have been there from the beginning in both parties: Democrats long for socialist centralization and thus see the United Nations as a budding global government; Republicans, Smithian liberals at heart, long for freedom of economic constraints, thus their love for open borders and the free movement of people. The Wall Street Journal has been pushing both for decades. On top of all that and according to both parties, American citizens have no say on who comes to the country, how many can come, or in what way.

The truth is that our two parties have to change the people of America in order for their feudal system to finally triumph. The globalism supported by both parties points to a new system of small groups of modern seigneurs surrounded by masses of poor and uneducated serfs, a system in which both the middle class and the working class gradually disappear. That’s why both parties are blocking President Trump’s most important electoral promises. Open borders and limited sovereignty are the hills both parties want to die on.

Seen this way, all those political intricacies are just different facets of the same thing. And as Allan Bloom said that tolerance is indifference, the left-wing and right-wing cultural, political, and economic synonymia convinces the victims that they deserve their fate and that, anyway, they can’t do anything about it.

This would be unprecedented in history without a previous military defeat.

The insistence on hating your own culture is a central part of the “convincing,” including the shaming of little kids and forcing their parents to accept it. They can’t see the many failures in front of their noses; I don’t think they want something like Zimbabwe, they just can’t see that something like Zimbabwe would be the result of their efforts. Part of the reason is that they can’t accept that most of the good things about former colonies are the institutions left by Old England, as I have personally witnessed in many years of business travels in the Caribbean and the near Atlantic. Everything is lost in their efforts to atone, to do penitence for all our supposed historical crimes. The superiority of Western civilization, something easily seen when you simply look around, check the news, or study history, is not accepted by these new fanatical, ignorant converts. But it’s evident that the change will be for the worse as we are seeing in Europe and, progressively, here in America too. Are we looking to Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire via an apocalyptic Camp of the Saints all over the West?

Since the stakes are so high, some hard questions need to be asked:

1. What right do “leaders” have to replace a population of Americans of European descent, African Americans, and Native Americans that comprise more than 75% of the country?

2. Why should the native majority accept such a huge change for the worse? Especially, why should the 61% white American majority accept to become a minority in its own country, perhaps even a persecuted minority like in South Africa and Zimbabwe?

3. What right do 23% of Hispanics and Asians have to overwhelm the native majority?

4. Will the American people reproduce and counter the modern Mephistopheles?

5. Is this just another case of the boiling frog story?

6. Why is nobody close to power in America asking these questions?

An undeclared war has already started: Americans of European descent are being forced to become a minority, something they supposedly deserve for their ancestors’ wickedness. For some reason, nobody asks South Korea or Japan to change, become more diverse and accept their cultures to be completely changed. But that question is normal in the USA and in Europe. Not only the huge successes of Western civilization are now presented as proofs of oppression and evildoing, but Rousseau is back in force as poor, low-IQ peasant foreigners are the new noble savages. Multiculturalism and diversity, the tips of the anti-Western spears, are the latest weapons wielded by postmodernism to lead us forward to a dystopian future. Now, when our leaders hate their own culture, we’re told that all cultures are equal —except ours, which is the worst. And they tell us that “diversity is our strength” when it is really a weakness, as political scientist Robert D. Putnam has shown. Surreal.

A second firing on Fort Sumter is being prepared by Democrats. California is the best but not the only example. The unthinkable is already happening: State and city authorities openly oppose the federal laws they swore to enforce. Democrats, who normally love centralized federal power, have turned 180 degrees and now promote States’ Rights and seem to accept John C. Calhoun’s Nullification doctrine.


Vladimir Dorta, 04/26/2018



On Tariffs and Trade Wars

Economics is one of the most ideological and least scientific (in the dual sense of objectivity and precision) of the social sciences. Not for nothing Karl Marx, both using and criticizing David Ricardo’s economic theory, emphasized its original name, Political Economy. Just to have an idea of the ideological fog that surrounds the current debate on President Trump’s trade and tariff proposals to force others to deal with him, let’s go back to what Ricardo wrote in 1817 about free trade and the comparative advantage of cheap labor of Portugal over England:

“It would undoubtedly be advantageous to the capitalists of England, and to the consumers in both countries, that under such circumstances, the wine and the cloth should both be made in Portugal, and therefore that the capital and labour of England employed in making cloth, should be removed to Portugal for that purpose.” (Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, Chapter 7, Paragraph 7-18).

Since this offshoring of production would result in job loss and economic decline in England, Ricardo argued that 1) Capital is immobile, and 2) English capitalists are altruists who love their compatriots:

“Experience, however, shews, that the fancied or real insecurity of capital, when not under the immediate control of its owner, together with the natural disinclination which every man has to quit the country of his birth and connexions, and intrust himself with all his habits fixed, to a strange government and new laws, check the emigration of capital. These feelings, which I should be sorry to see weakened, induce most men of property to be satisfied with a low rate of profits in their own country, rather than seek a more advantageous employment for their wealth in foreign nations.” (Op. cit., Chapter 7, Paragraph 7-19).

Therefore, when an expert with a PhD in Economics wants to explain how free trade is good for everybody, you should ask him about his politics. Those are the same experts who told the USA decades ago, back in the beginnings of globalization, that manufacturing was obsolete and therefore our country would be a “service economy” in the future. The only problem is that they forgot to tell the same thing to Germany, Japan, and South Korea, as we watched them become manufacturing and exporting powers, and as we watched our industries leave the USA one after the other.

Or when the expert says — we see this every day on TV — that when a country imposes tariffs it is creating a tax on the country’s own citizens, he is leaving out the rest of the explanation: if both countries produce, say, similarly priced cars, the high-tariff country can keep exporting its cars to the non-tariff country to compete over there, and also keep selling them to its own citizens, while pushing out the other country’s cars because of their artificially higher price created by the tariffs. A win-win situation.

The British historian Paul Johnson wrote a very revealing book about the English people, The Offshore Islanders. The book’s final  chapter (Part 6) is entirely dedicated to the decadence of England from being at the top of the world in 1870, in the then newly interlocked world economy, to its lowly state one hundred years later. Why did it happen? The partial answer reads very much like the America our experts have been pushing for decades:

“In 1870 England was universally regarded as the strongest and richest nation on earth, indeed in human history … God was the Great Book-keeper, the Ultimate Accountant, the Chairman of the world liberal economy, and His instruments were free trade and the Royal Navy … [But] by 1880, free trade as a world system was dead. The industrialists [In Continental Europe], alarmed by the end of cheap food for their workers, and seeing governments bend to the pressure of the farming interests, sent up their own yelps of fear, and they, in turn, got tariffs on imported manufactures. This, of course, angered the Americans: they had never really abandoned tariffs, and their system of government was peculiarly susceptible to protectionist demands from powerful lobbies. In 1890 they erected the McKinley tariff structure, and this provoked further Continental retaliation. The rapid retreat from free trade left Britain isolated on a lonely sandbank. The immense conservatism of the English, their unwillingness to contemplate radical change without decades of investigation, the huge built-in barriers to reform which existed at every level of the political system, united to inhibit any sharp response. It had taken more than half a century for Adam Smith’s doctrines to win acceptance and implementation. By 1875, however, they were the supreme orthodoxy. Free trade was traditional, had existed … since time immemorial, was almost a supernumerary article in Magna Carta. It was what England was all about. Abandon free trade, merely because some frightened foreign governments had lost faith in it? One might as well propose to abolish the monarchy … The depression of the 1870s exposed the English public mind at its worst: drugged by a dogma which had once enshrined empirical truth.” (The Offshore Islanders, Part 6, pp. 317 – 330)

Because it is all about ideology: the experts’ globalist big business and technology bosses wanted the USA to become a landing ground for cheap foreign products and cheap foreign labor, while they controlled everything with their highly mobile capital secured elsewhere. For exactly the same reasons, national security isn’t important to them and that’s why they see President Trump as an enemy, because he is a patriot, a rare thing nowadays.

In order for those countries to become manufacturing and exporting powerhouses, they had to wage a trade war against the USA, a war that has been going on for decades. They became mercantilist countries, pushing their exports and blocking imports via tariffs, while our “experts” told us to believe in “free” trade. But it’s Trump’s fault if we fight back. When a country levels a 35% tariff on imported American goods, to give just the example of Brazil, there is a trade war going on, and a lopsided one at that. And as our trade deficits show, it is difficult to win a war started many years ago by the other side when our side does nothing.

UPDATED on 06/08/2018

America the Innocent

Innocence is a kind of insanity
Graham Greene

It is behind us but it almost happened, and nobody knows what comes next because we still haven’t seen the most incriminating evidence. In November 2016 America dodged a .50 caliber bullet aimed at its heart. But America neither sees nor understands it, although the clues are everywhere if one looks for them: Politicization and corruption at the highest levels of the national intelligence agencies; Barack Obama’s NSA, FBI, CIA, and DOJ spying on the media and on their political opponents in order to push a crude coup d’état against a duly elected government —for the first time in history; Chavista-like preparations for a permanent regime cloaked behind democratic rules and procedures; Mafiosi-like behavior of the defeated candidate and her subordinates. Those are some of the echoes and reverberations of the bullet’s explosion. But America still sees with innocent eyes.

On the one hand, conservative longing and naiveté. Conservatives believe we can still go back to the America of the founding, the innocent America of the first wave of modernity. They see what is happening as a bad dream, at most an aberration. They don’t want to recognize the wicked evolution of modernity, they just want to watch reruns of good-guys-vs-bad-guys movies with happy endings. According to them, all politicians should play by the Marquess of Queensberry’s rules, duly adapted to politics. That’s nice but also naïve, ignorant, and dangerous when a coup d’ état and possibly a political murder appear like bolts out of the blue. Their motto is the childish phrase of the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, “that’s not who we are.” The political right today is the same as always, there is nothing to the right of American conservatism; the extreme right —the Alt-Right— is as insignificant and marginal today as it has ever been, notwithstanding the effort of the media to highlight them and for leftists to call “fascism” anything they don’t like. If Charlottesville is the one and only example of right-wing extremism, then I confidently rest my case.

On the other hand, there is the American left. Ever since the Jacobin Reign of Terror in 1793-94, through the French Commune of 1871 to the 1917 Russian Revolution and its 1918 echoes in Germany, Hungary and Italy, to the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the 1978-79 Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, and the 1992 Chavista Revolution in Venezuela —just to name a few— it has been clear that the ideas of the revolutionary left aren’t good for elections, they are only good for revolutions and coups d’état unless they pretend not to be revolutionary. Nobody would vote for political violence, property confiscation, secret police, neighborhood spy committees, or firing squads. Hence the need for concealment.

The traditional Democrat Party, the one we still think we know, was a mix of center and center-left politicians, with a few, insignificant crazies on the extreme left. Since the 1970s this has progressively changed to the point that today the Democrat Party is completely on the left and there aren’t practically any centrists or “liberals” to maintain the civil political game and the electoral alternation of parties in a democracy. The leaders of today’s Democrat Party aren’t Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi; they are the curtains behind which the real leaders, the radical leftists Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Keith Ellison, hide.

The history of the American left is very different to the left in the rest of the world. Save for about 6 percent of the total votes for the Marxist Eugene Debs and his Socialist Party of America in the 1912 elections, or the peak of 85,000 members of the Communist Party USA in 1942, revolutionary socialism never set foot in America, an unlikely exception in the Western world. Today, a mix of second-wave Marxism and third-wave postmodernism dominates American culture, media, education, and technology, and also fights for political power. They are now in full weirdness mode, the more dangerous the more distanced from reality. What we have today in America as the Democrat Party is an extreme left organization that includes Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA, the nucleus of a violent revolutionary arm. BLM combines black grievances with anti-police criminality, and ANTIFA (Anti-Fascist Action) was inspired by Antifaschistische Aktion, a violent group formed in 1932 by the Communist Party of Germany to further revolution and to combat fascism in the streets. Those of us who have studied socialism and lived under socialism know this is called a “pre-revolutionary situation” in Marxist terminology.

Nothing surprising here, as this is what revolutionaries worth their salt ought to do. Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and David Axelrod grew around Frank Marshall Davis, activist member of the Communist Party USA. Barack Obama’s favorite writer was Frantz FanonSaul Alinsky was Hillary Clinton’s tutor, she wrote her thesis about him, and Barack Obama used Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals, as a text for teaching community organizing. John Brennan, Obama’s CIA Director and possible perjurer in the ongoing coup, declared having voted for Gus Hall and the Communist Party and was probably a member of the party. Anita Dunn, Obama’s Communications Director, said she was “inspired” by Mao Tse Tung. Van Jones, Obama’s “green jobs czar” is a self-confessed Communist. Ron Bloom, Obama’s manufacturing czar, said he agreed with Mao Tse Tung that “power comes out the barrel of a gun.” Obama got to power by lying, charming, and pretending to be a moderate; that’s why those of us who knew how revolutionary socialism works called Barack Obama “the Chávez of the North.”

But this American political reality is being blurred with the theory of the “Deep State Conspiracy” about a kind of above-the-fray, technocratic group of patriotic bureaucrats who see the Truth and try to subvert democratic rules in order to save democracy. That is the naïve way of explaining the real thing. The real thing is the coup’état by the left in its quest for absolute power and control. The whole thing was planned and directed by Obama the socialist boss and supported by the socialist media, to continue and deepen his “fundamental change” of the United States of America by making sure Hillary was elected or, when that proved impossible, to destroy the duly elected president and undo the election. The coup even copies the Soviet Union’s favorite ploy against dissidents: the accused is crazy, so let’s send him to a mental hospital and work on his illness. This is Marxism all along: the revolution is inevitable, but you have to help it come about. The “Deep State” is just a group of high-level government employees who work as Democrats for the Democrat Party, which also happens to be the vanguard of the revolutionary left in America at this point in time.

From this point of view, politicizing the government agencies against their political opponents becomes a hall of mirrors: One big myth of democracy is that administrations shouldn’t go after their predecessors, but it assumes a common, democratic idea of politics and law. Conservatives and the political establishment keep playing to the left’s strength because the revolutionary left doesn’t believe in any of that. Therefore maintaining the myth equals helping the left in its quest.

The country dodged a bullet because a man named Donald J. Trump suddenly appeared to save the country and to save conservatives from themselves, much to their chagrin. President Trump doesn’t have a special gift of knowledge about America or about the left; he is just the latest of the American “go-getter” giants we have known throughout her rough and beautiful history. Trump is the unexpected response of traditionalist, religious, free, capitalist America to Europe’s ugly revolutionary socialism.

Vladimir Dorta, 01/23/2018

P.S. I forgot to include Samantha Power, Obamas Ambassador to the United Nations, in the Marxist list. Friend and admirer of Noam Chomsky and Tom Hayden, she is perhaps the most ideological of all.

P.S. Nellie Ohr, one of the central characters in the coup, is a communist of a special kind. She studied in the USSR, speaks fluent Russian, and take a look at this: her Ph.D. thesis, titled Collective Farms and Russian Peasant Society, 1933-1937” and her book reviews until 2004, are part of revisionist” history that practically justifies and minimizes Joseph Stalin’s terror against the Russian people. See Diana West here, here, and especially her conclusion here.

Shiny Objects

We are not entitled to say that the classical view has been refuted.
Their implicit prophecy that the emancipation of technology, of the arts,
from moral and political control would lead to disaster or
to the dehumanization of man has not been refuted.
Leo Strauss, What Is Political Philosophy?


In 1958 Hannah Arendt wrote an odd book, The Human Condition. Penetrating but unorganized, it was perhaps intended as the nucleus of a political philosophy book she never wrote. One of Arendt’s most acute insights in the book is the distinction between labor and work which, she said, has been ignored in the face of abundant historical testimony. In every European language there are two etymologically unrelated words for two different activities we moderns wrongly believe to be the same, “the labor of our body” and “the work of our hands”:

Poneinergazesthai (Ancient Greek), laborarefacere (Latin), travaillerouvrer (French), arbeitenwerken (German), etc. There is a fundamental difference between the two activities. For example, ponein in Ancient Greek is to toil, to till the ground, to draw from the source, while ergazesthai means to work, to create, to perform, to commit, to do business, and also the opposite of inactivity or idleness.

Labor is punishment: “By the sweat of your brow shall you eat your bread until you return to the ground, from which you were taken.” Labor connotes the human toil, pain and futility required to maintain and reproduce life. Labor is despised because it is almost completely related to consumption, a constant effort that leaves no trace and has no perdurability, an effort worthy only of slaves and peasants. It is not surprising then that humanity has always wanted to eliminate labor, to replace it with machines. The classics imagined it:

“We can imagine a situation in which each instrument could do its own work, at the word of command or by intelligent anticipation, like the statues of Daedalus or the tripods made by Hephaestus, of which the poet relates that of their own they entered the conclave of Gods on Olympus. A shuttle would then weave of itself, and a plectrum would do its own harp-playing. In this situation managers would not need subordinates and masters would not need slaves.” (Aristotle, Politics, 1253b23)

Work, on the other hand, implies attainment, creation and permanence, as in “oeuvre” and “work of art,” and was exalted in all previous epochs as the vehicle of human achievement.

But there is a tendency in modernity with Smith, Ricardo, and especially with Marx, to reduce both activities to labor in its most basic form, only taking into account its productivity and its quantifiability. Marx even goes to the extreme of saying that man creates himself through labor, and defines man as animal laborans instead of animal rationale. Since we are far from the concept of homo faber —having forgotten the original dual meaning— we understand the modern ease in thinking about work as an ancient burden that shouldn’t exist anymore, a problem whose logical solution is abolishing it through technology, not only for reasons of cost and productivity but also for ethical reasons. It would liberate man from its historical oppression, it would be the last act required for the fulfillment of the Enlightenment promise, and it could only be a good thing. However, would it be as good as it appears? I guess that asking this question to the leader of any of our tech companies would only result in a dazed look.

To take work away from man would be like chopping off all branches from a tree, leaving only the trunk. We moderns think that leisure —otium— is the perfect human state. This is a consequence of the constriction of the political horizon by Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke, a constriction that has been presented to us as a widening. We have been told that science opens all possibilities but the reality is that we don’t ask the fundamental questions any more because we believe there aren’t any fundamental questions to ask.


Closely related to this view of leisure is the dispute between the moderns and the classics about democracy. The classics saw the advantages of democracy: “since the principle of democracy is freedom, all human types can develop freely in a democracy, and hence in particular the best human type” Strauss commented, in the same work above, on Plato’s Republic: “The classics rejected democracy because they thought that the aim of human life, and hence of social life, is not freedom but virtue. Freedom as a goal is ambiguous, because it is freedom for evil as well as for good.” They also viewed human nature as something given and permanent, and that only “the few” could elevate themselves to virtue by effort, habit and the formation of character —real education— while “the many” would always be poor and uneducated. And there is a world of difference in wisdom and responsibility between the two visions, as Paul Rahe writes:

“At the beginning of the Nicomachean Ethics, he [Aristotle] writes, ‘People have nobly declared that the good is that at which all things aim.’ At the beginning of the Politics, he writes, ‘Every community gets established with some good in view (for everyone does everything for the sake of what they think good).’ This seems self-evident to me, and it puts a premium on right opinion —for we can easily err in what we think good.”

We moderns see democracy in a very different way: Since the beginnings of modernity in the late 1600s, democracy as the ideal regime was the logical consequence of a revolutionary offer we couldn’t refuse from the early modern political philosophers: freedom as the highest good, something that flows by itself from our deepest desires and does not need to be slowly hammered into the soul by habit and learning like virtue was. All those freed passions needed was to be checked by obstacles and directed by boundaries in the form of institutions, and for progress in the form of science, technology, and universal education to be applied on man’s infinitely malleable self in order to move humanity ever closer to the perfect society where everybody would be equal, virtuous, educated, and interchangeable.

But liberalism has failed miserably in both its social form on the political left and in its economic form on the political right. The growth of government control, abuse, and inefficiency, and the separation between “the few” and “the many” have reached levels never seen in previous epochs. We believe in a behavioristic democracy where technology severs the last links between man and nature and makes a world government, a perfect good-intentioned tyranny, finally possible. But it could be too late for 1984. Europe is becoming Muslim and America a multicultural pastiche, and neither one brings enough children to the world anymore. Maybe this is the curse of modernity: at the height of his power, liberal man imagines a dystopian future he may never reach.

The truth is that the idea of progress and the image of “bending the arc of history” are myths. There is no universal enlightenment; education is little more than instruction and indoctrination; we use our increasing leisure for ever more trivial, stupefying and dangerous entertainment, hedonism, and drugs; the War on Poverty didn’t work even after spending “three times the amount of money that the government has spent on all military wars in its history, from the Revolutionary War to the present.”

Technology is the key aspect of modernity. As technology has advanced, not only nature but man himself is now material to be manipulated. As Patrick J. Deneen writes:

“It ought to come as no surprise, then, that these ideas might be carried further, so that human beings, as merely part of nature, could also be regarded as natural objects for manipulation. Man, too, could become no longer just subject but object. Many of the great horrors of the last century —from economic failures of all sorts to eugenics and worse— arose from this understanding. But a new movement today, calling itself transhumanism, carries these notions to their logical conclusion: human beings are not only manipulable objects, but raw, manipulable material; man himself, his very form, might be tinkered with, enhanced, and ‘reengineered,’ like a species of crop or livestock. What becomes of the political animal when politics seeks not to meet his ends but to unravel them — not to serve him but to remake him?”

Facebook, Google, YouTube, PayPal, Google Play Store, Apple Store, and Apple iTunes are ejecting anybody they see as political opponents from their social services. And they are monopolies or oligopolies. Hosting sites like GoDaddy, Cloudfare, Mailchimp, and Eventbrite are following the same pattern. Most of them are in fact public utilities and should be regulated as such. Most of their owners are billionaires totally drunk with modernity and modern philosophy, much worse and more dangerous than the original robber barons of the late 19th century. We haven’t yet seen the worst face of capitalism and individualism.

BBC’s Secrets of Silicon Valley:

“A tiny class will own all of the capital and all of the data and everybody else will add no economic value.”

Sean Parker, ex-president of Facebook:

“The disparity of wealth in the United States will create a class of immortal overlords;” “new advances in the life sciences are allowing humans to “live much longer, more productive lives [and] because I’m a billionaire, I’m going to have access to better healthcare so … I’m going to be like 160 and I’m going to be part of this, like, a class of immortal overlords.”

The extreme cost of transforming a human being into a cyborg means that there will be few “enhanced” ones —I guess Zuckerberg, Bezos, and other oligarchs— on top of the rest of us “naturals,” literally a feudal world from which there would be no escape.

This is what the classics warned about liberating technology and the arts from moral and political control. We moderns see ourselves instrumentally, humans can also be things, objects to be manipulated and some of them even “enhanced.” The fast-made tycoons mentioned above have a narrow and shallow education, they are extremely ideological, and they have no wisdom. They see technology as the power of artificial intelligence leading to our transhuman future —something they don’t understand themselves, but keep happily playing with a thermonuclear bomb without any consent from us, outside of our control as citizens, and in complete secrecy.