Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hippies for McCain: Is Bill the New Eleanor?

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 10/28/07

"I'd rather be dead than cool." - Kurt Cobain

Argentina, it appears, will be the first of our neighbors to circle the drain in the spiraling descent to tribal monarchy, as First Lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is elected President by a wide margin. For this they need elections?

‘Tis only in imitation, of course, of the tall, handsome, organized and oh-so-rich white people in the north and of the continuing folly which is Clinton, where hubby Bill threw a birthday party for Hillary this week with characteristic third-world monarchist hubris and the gaudy taste of a fascist South American dictator.

Crisis approaches in this strange turmoil which brings us together spiraling into the dual millennia of Aquarius: What’s black is white; what’s up is down. Yet it comes as no surprise that Wife of Bill wants to be President. It is the classical, symbiotic marriage of the mercurial trickster man and the dominatrix woman – the trickster needs Big Nurse to control his random inner child and arrested sexuality. And Big Nurse sees the world as satyr, the goat boy running naked in the world. She needs to bring it to order. Bill needs to be brought under control: He is the world and the world is goat boy.

As the Democrats continue their descent into nostalgia, they model on a perceived misunderstanding. It is a kind of a ritualized dress-up; an “acting out” of Franklin and Eleanor. It comes as no surprise that Hillary would want (need) to be Bill or Franklin, Leviathan II, coming just after Wilson, but what is kind of odd here is that Bill seems to really want to be the new Eleanor Roosevelt. As he told a British newspaper last week, thrilling to the idea, Hillary really wants him to go around the world as soon as she is President to put the world back together just like it was when he was President. (Way back in the Second Millennium - did somebody say Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo?). I can just see it now with Bill traveling the world and the country as Eleanor did, going deep into the mines to pitch Hillary to the harden and seasoned men: “I am my wife’s legs,” he will tell them.

Not surprising; like so many men with unsure and arrested sexuality, they marry big, bossy women and prefer the life of chamber music, art or saving the world by giving speeches to the blue-haired elderly women of church or party with a whole lot of money. It’s kind of a syndrome.

But it is not going to work. The press has sentimentalized Bill Clinton’s illicit sexuality by comparing it to Betty Ford’s drinking, or the sad case of apparent compulsion of Larry Craig; things we in New Hampshire would deal with and forget in the character of men and women otherwise honorable and competent, as Ford was and Craig is. But Bill Clinton’s acts of sexual dominance and submission in the Oval Office were entirely intentional and fully orchestrated to please and impress his generation. They bring the celestial high point of 200 years of nihilistic political symbolism; a long path that shifted its idea from engaged murder by Anarchists in the 1880s, to sexual dominance, territoriality and exhibitionism like that of the “nihilist saint” Jean Genet in the 1950s.

The nihilist agent seeks to territorialize in conspicuous symbolism that even the proles can understand – in the Sixties it was called Mao Theater. A good expression of it was the famous Life Magazine picture of the student radicals called Weathermen who had taken over the Office of the President at Columbia University. One of the students was sitting behind the President’s desk smoking a cigar. Had he had sexual congress with the President’s secretary on the desk would have been even better; or dominating a police officer in a homosexual act as in Genet. But nothing in this shadow tradition is so rich and primal in counter-culture symbolism as Clinton’s act of sexual dominance in the Oval Office.

Here is the difference between Larry Craig and Clinton. Here in New Hampshire we would see Craig as someone who wanted to do his duty and struggled in the dharma path of life with a mild possession; something to which he was ashamed and in denial of as it hindered him in his duty to family and country; his duty to himself. In New Hampshire we would probably reelect Craig because many things drain the joy from our lives as we struggle on our varied paths. We would respect Craig because in spite of these things he kept to the path. It is a story on which some of the world’s greatest religious texts have been based including John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress and The Mahabharata. But that is not why the Clinton supporters like Clinton, at least the ones of his generation. They like him because he had sex in the Oval Office: They think it is cool. They think it is counter culture. And so does he.

The accusations of sexual misconduct by the President didn’t end with the impeachment trial, they just stopped: The country just needed to move on. But the country will not now or ever move back to a Clinton White House and if it starts to get close, the accusations of sexual misconduct will return. There were rumors rampant of misconduct with other interns among college administrators at the time of the tabloid events; events which with any suggestion of plausibility would have sent any college vice president or district manager at Wal-Mart packing before sundown; there are still unaddressed and unresolved sexual assault accusations against the former President; and there is still the glib defiance, a positive assertion to the faction of his generation whose development stopped at Woodstock. They like it because it is counter-culture.

But Youth Wants to Know and if this former President wants to return to the White House a new generation needs to clearly understand his actions and the purposes and intentions of his actions without guile, sentimentalism or bullshit: Did the President of the United States actually pull his pants down when an attractive female staffer entered the room? Did he do this often? Are you serious?

This week, John McCain was right to invoke Woodstock as a milestone and turning-point event in the generations since WW II. Senator Clinton this month asked that one million dollars be spent in her state to build a museum to the Woodstock event at Yasgur’s farm in 1969. In a charming and touching political ad here in New Hampshire McCain said he couldn’t make the scene because he was “all tied up” at the time. This race is about a generation and who and what of that generation will come forth; Hillary Clinton and hubby Bill, the first representatives of the Woodstock generation? Or John McCain who was shot down over Hanoi 40 years ago this week. It will also decide which will be left behind for good.

It has long been forgotten, but between the acts at Woodstock was a simple and sincere Hindu guru, Swami Satchidananda, who offered the world a simple message: “One truth, many paths.” It was an exotic awakening and brought some culture shock at the time, but such events tend to demystify that which is strange, foreign and alienating to us. It is easy to make fun of the Hari Krishnas, Beatles' guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the others who became popular in the Sixties, but those event have become acclimatized and assimilated and have made possible the welcoming of new immigrant groups to America who add spice and character to the American condition. They also made for the sincere and genuine friendship of my old Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina with the Dalai Lama 25 years later and the compassionate understanding of my current Senator John E. Sununu who this month joined with 26 other Senators in cosponsoring a Sense of the Senate Resolution condemning the violent government crackdown of the Burma junta against the brave and peaceful Buddhist monks who marched unflinching to certain death and imprisonment.

As one prominent conservative scholar and commentator has written, Woodstock and the Sixties were not about politics; they were spiritual awakenings and cultural transitions. And as the Christian Master has said, the things of God and the things of Caesar are two realms and two sides of the coin. The Clintons have not a clue to this. As Sixties types they see instead the communists and the anarchists who commandeered the day. They are “Rubin Democrats” – not the kind who follow the economic cues and insights of Goldman Sachs’ Robert Rubin - but Jerry Rubin, the Marxist revolutionary who told the young ‘uns to go home and kill their parents, but after the draft was passed urged them on to Wall St. He was, he said, a “pilot fish” of his generation and he was, but only to that part of the generation, including the Clintons, which misunderstood the basic premise.

McCain was the flip side of the coin. At its core, war is a test given to a new generation; if you pass the test you are allowed to go on in the universe of your life and generation to other tests; and if you pass the next and the next, you might even get to be President. If you fail or if you avoid the test it costs in later life – your actual successes are always fraught with breakage and defaulted by embarrassments and you are cursed to live out the far side of your life like Elvis; vain, feminine, fat-in-the-face and drugged and unfulfilled, with oiled and blackened hair singing in trashy Vegas bars in the god suit; or charming the elderly and adoring women of church and political party with sentimental and adolescent visions of saving the world.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ron Paul: A Jeffersonian Awakening for America

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 10/17/07

“ . . . first of all, to go alone; to refuse the good models, even those which are sacred in the imagination of men.” - New England’s Celestial Bard, 1838

At the beginning, our continent took two paths and was led by two visions; the one, the expansive, globalist vision of Alexander Hamilton of the Empire State, who saw a strong and singular central (world) government enabling a world of capital and corporations. The second was a vision of unique states and regions and peoples, loosely connecting the one to the other, growing over time, rich in character and each with its own identity and personality. These would be peoples whole in their own communities; people close to the earth and close to their experience of God. This was the vision of Thomas Jefferson, the Virginian. The Jeffersonian vision was sent into exile in 1865. Ron Paul has brought it back.

Hamilton’s vision was at war with Jefferson’s from the start. And as power accumulated in the Empire State through the rise of corporations and the industrialization of the northern cities, the Hamilton vision dominated and found its Dark but Identical Twin: Marx was a countervailing movement reacting to Hamilton-based capitalism but likewise, a materialist plan featuring one world and one central power. From 1865 until now, both political parties should be seen as manifestations of one or the other of these two masks, sent to the world stage for and agin’ by surfing the rise of England’s and America’s economic arc in the world.

From as early as 1830, when the industrial revolution came to New England and New York, Jefferson had no role whatsoever. The industrialists had the power and Jefferson and the Virginians were considered tribal and regressive by both the Marxists and the Empire Staters. Today, for the first time in more than 150 years, Jefferson’s vision has awakened again in the world with the rise of Ron Paul.

There could not be a better man for the times than Ron Paul. He rises here in northern New England because we are one of the last vestiges of Jeffersonian independence in the northern parts, although all of our early great poets were Jeffersonian, including the Celestial Bard cited above. We lost our identity when Wall St. became the world vortex of capital, but this week the NYTs Magazine asks in an excellent and comprehensive article by Daniel Gross, is NY no longer the capital of capital?

In today’s burgeoning and increasingly integrated global financial markets, he writes, New York is clearly no longer the epicenter of world capital:

“Since the end of the cold war, vast pools of capital have been forming overseas, in the Swiss bank accounts of Russian oligarchs, in the Shanghai vaults of Chinese manufacturing magnates and in the coffers of funds controlled by governments in Singapore, Russia, Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia that may amount to some $2.5 trillion, according to Stephen Jen, a Morgan Stanley economist.”

Having your own stock market today is akin to having some of those gigundus pointy buildings and sending guys (of every race, creed, sex and sexual orientation) to the moon to play golf. It shows NY it is no longer Big Boss on its own terms: If you don’t have the dough, you gotta go.

Could be that culture follows capital. Or capital follows culture. Can’t tell. I would say though that for whatever reason, New England does indeed seem to be rising again and coming out to NY’s shadow. It was horrible here growing up in a city of 150 empty cotton mills. I volunteered for Vietnam just to get away from it. It was so bad that in the restaurant I worked at as a college student some of the waiters also played for the Patriots. No duh! And the federalies had sent a major highway right through the heart of the city of Boston as they had through so many other major cities in the country, cutting them in half to show who was boss. But today New England is looking pretty good and so is Boston. They buried the highway. Our quarterback is almost beyond imagination. And the Red Sox have broken the Curse, and possibly broken the Yankees: Nobody loves you when you’re down and out.

But the masks persist. David Brooks, one of the High Priests who accompanies the Conquistadors, is starting to get stressed out. He writes in his column for the NYTs this week that the Republicans are losing the Hamiltonian grounds to the Democrats.

It is true. The fact is that Marx needs proles in big numbers to accumulate power. (Worth noting, China has 900 million potential workers who have not yet been brought into China’s Hamilton/Marx hybrid). By Bill Clinton’s day we had outsourced ours. Without proletariat, the Democrats had no voice, no pocket of oppression. So Bill Clinton tried the direct Hamiltonian path. That is when the Republicans began thinking of abandoning it.

The Republican Party has abandoned the Hamiltonian ground, writes Brooks, and has lost “intimate contact” with the “working class dreamer” (wow). And instead, this ground is being seized by Hillary Clinton. In fact, the Clintons, like the god Janus (and not unlike China), are trying to wear both masks, Hamilton and Marx.

One of the very great college teachers, Jack Deaver, used to tell us at U. Mass: “We look for a mask that fits until we find one that fits so well we can’t get it off.”

That’s the Democrats’ dilemma today, or rather the Clinton dilemma, because as of now, there is no Democratic Party, there is only the Clintons.

But Brooks is right when he says that the Republicans are beginning to yield the Hamiltonian ground. And it will one day, not far away, leave Brooks behind.

The Federalist Society takes James Madison, Jefferson’s colleague and right hand man, as its avatar. When it was noticed that the new Supreme Court Justice, John Roberts, was associated with The Federalist Society, old school Hamiltonian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., went apoplectic. He began writing letters to editors denouncing Jefferson and appearing on talk shows just before his death warning against the Jefferson position. And recently, Mitt Romney, who has spoken at The Federalist Society, also suggested Jefferson when he began using the phrase “one size fits all federalism” suggesting regional rather than federal solutions to social and political problems.

It was inevitable that the Jeffersonian paradigm would awaken after the South, Texas and the Southwest were brought into the mainstream Republican fold, as all Southern life is based on Jefferson.

As Frank Owsley, one of the great historians of the 20th century put it:

“In the beginning of Washington’s administration two men defined the fundamental principles of the political philosophy of the two societies (North and South), Alexander Hamilton for the North and Jefferson for the South. The one was extreme centralization, the other was extreme decentralization; the one was nationalistic and the other provincial; the first was called Federalism, the other State Rights, but in truth the first should be been called Unitarianism and the second Federalism.” (“The Irrepressible Conflict” by Frank Owsley, 1930)

Today, Jefferson’s vision comes out of shadow and onto Main Street with Ron Paul. Paul, with Howard Dean, is one of two voices and new directions for the political parties and it is most interesting that Dean, a New Yorker, speaks to Vermont while Paul, a Texan, speaks to us here in New Hampshire. We are binary states. Indeed, we are very much alike, like twins, but the kind of identical twins who are vastly different. In fact, both states have burgeoning independence movements and they are the only states that do.

But Dr. Dean carries what might be called the “Deaver Curse” – the mask which can’t come off. It is a problem, it could be a crisis.

It is an issue that some of the greatest literary minds of our time have written about and one of them last week won the Noble Prize for Literature. Anti-communist writer Arthur Koestler wrote in the 1930s and 40s about Soviet agents going to their executions by Stalin’s hand still endorsing Stalin and his works. He asked the question how could a European, who considered himself and herself to be a humanitarian, become a Communist and enable and abet the executioner’s hand? And why would he still endorse the executioner even when he was the one being executed? Doris Lessing, who recently won the prize, asks a similar question.

In an essay in 1992 she points out that many writers and politicians, when they leave the Communist cloak behind, simply change the language and remain in the same condition.

“While we have seen the apparent death of Communism,” she writes, “ways of thinking that were either born under Communism or strengthened by Communism still govern our lives. Not all of them are as immediately evident as a legacy of Communism as political correctness.”

Would that some of the “anti-war” types of the last five years had read them. Howard Dean and Ron Paul both opposed the war from the very start. But immediately after the decent interval had passed, Dean went direct to the head of the Democratic Party and folded in with the party, enlisting with the party which had endorsed the invasion of Iraq, the pre-emptive policy, the war on Islam “to take generations” and with Senator Clinton as front-runner, the completely and pathologically irresponsible policies which legitimize use of nuclear weapons in battle circumstances and the full endorsement of a pending invasion of Iran which could well bring us today to a full-scale war with Russia.

Dr. Paul has a different position. When asked by a Washington Post reporter last week if he would endorse another Republican who supported the invasion if he did not get the nomination, he said: “I cannot in good conscience vote for them.”

This is the way the world begins again; with one man willing to go alone, refusing the good models, even those which are sacred to the imagination of men, as Ralph Waldo Emerson advised us to do here in New England back in 1838.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

NH Northern Counties Should Seek Statehood Status: Ron Paul is NH

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 10/14/07

Senator Clinton is way ahead in New Hampshire. The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion has her at 40%. Her closest rival is at 20 percent. If she wins the state, the northern counties of New Hampshire should begin to call for separate statehood status.

New Hampshire is Ron Paul. You see it everywhere – on oversized signs in Warren, Woodsville and Lisbon, in the local papers and at state fairs. He has taken the imagination of the Live Free or Die state and more than anyone in today’s Presidential race he represents the instincts, ethic and the mythic tradition of independence that brought people to like him up here as we once liked John McCain and others too rich for the blood of the mainstream federalist consensus.

New Hampshire is today the most Jeffersonian of states in a nation of mass-minded and manipulated corporate consumers which have forgotten what Jefferson awakened in the world. We wear independence on our license plates and when a foreign leader like the newly elected Nicolas Sarcozy, intent on changing France’s destiny, wants to show a flinty independence, his first symbolic act it to come to our cold lakes to bask. We even have a movie nowadays with Bruce Willis busting thing up under the anthem of our state motto.

But right now Ron Paul is New Hampshire.

It may seem odd that this same environment would want to send Hillary Clinton – who seems on closer inspection more a Mrs. Harry Truman than a Mrs. Clinton – the apogee of middle mind; middle age; middle management mid’lin – to the highest numbers in the polls.

It is simple demographics. The tax rate up here is an attraction to outsiders who are not particularly independent of spirit but simply want to avoid responsibility. That is, they want cradle to grave federal care same as in Massachusetts and pre-Sarcozy France, but want others to pay the bill. (A condition of the Mid’lin Class: neither master nor man and woman, but mid’lin – they want to live like the Eloi and the royals of 17th century France, but still have the attitudes of the proletariat ancestors). These people are generally from the industrial top of Massachusetts and have just in recent times moved across the border.

The trouble is, they have brought Massachusetts with them.

New Hampshire still has the right stuff which gave it its reputation, but now it is invariably overwhelmed by the mass market corporate culture which has moved across to the bottom of the state.

If we could have a primary of just us in the northern New Hampshire counties – which is most of the state and mostly mountains - and exclude the few counties of the Massachusetts people in the flatland south – the Massachusetts “pseudo states” or economic colonies - we could once again express our native independence and Ron Paul would very well win the state.

We have seen this new condition of voting in recent elections and it was illustrated most vividly in ’04 at the frozen top of the state, Dixville Notch, which might be considered essence of New Hampshire, when Wes Clark won up to 80 percent of the vote. And as with Ron Paul today, large Wes Clark signs dotted the northern landscape (sometimes to the distress of the Massachusetts people who would if they could, zone their property to outlaw pick up trucks . . . they also feel the big political signs benighted their neighborhoods). But at the end of the day it was all John Kerry, same as in Massachusetts.

If Senator Clinton or one of those milquetoast others of both parties wins this state the northern counties above industrialized Manchester on the southern tip should seek independent state status – call that Free State status – to restore our independence of mind and influence. And while we are traveling there we might call for a state Constitution Convention to retool our old state Constitution. Consider the new with Jefferson in mind and Madison, and find a state Constitution to fit the times and temperament.

After we ditched the Massachusetts people in the south we might for example specify in our new state Constitution that before the U.S. President can send New Hampshire men and women to war against China, Russia, all of Islam and the other of its now so many enemies (I added these up using the CIA Factbook and it comes to at least 2.5 billion people against the 301 million in the U.S.; but then we have Blackwater), she would need permission from the New Hampshire Governor. And when President Hillary attempts to reestablish the draft to show her manlies, as she is certain to do under the advice of the Clinton Cajun Cartel which keeps her on her populist and nostalgico course, she would need our permission to press into service from our state.

If this came about the northern counties should be called New Hampshire. We would not be creating a new state, we would only be restoring that which we once were and finding again that which we have lost or had taken away from us. The southern counties could be called North Massachusetts. But Little Massachusetts would be better. We used to call small towns which resembled big towns “little” in old New England, and the littles always do best to follow Mother.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Doris Lessing’s Nobel Prize in Literature

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 10/12/2007

Not since Harry Potter has literary critic Harold Bloom been sent so close to the edge, calling the award of the 2007 Noble Prize to Doris Lessing, “ . . . pure political correctness.” But the literature award to Doris Lessing is an important landmark.

Since war’s end, two books by literary figures have virtually changed the political landscape and the way we live today. The one is Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon published in 1940. Koestler was an early communist and supporter of Joseph Stalin. But his later writing revealed to the West the delusional world of Marx and the widespread slaughter of millions it brought on in Russia during the rein of Stalin. He cast much of the blame on himself and on the dilettante and appeasing leftist and liberal Western thinkers and writers of the 1930s and 1940s. Koestler lifted the curtain to reveal that Marx, the nihilist god of Europe’s illuminati, was a ‘god that failed.’ By the 1950s his writing began to turn the tide and a new moral conscience developed in the West largely out of his perspective. Doris Lessing’s Golden Notebook, published in 1962, is the second book. She herself was a communist in the 1950s and her rejection of the nihilist delusion advanced Koestler’s view. It brought a new generation out of shadow and on to a better path.

Contemporary social conscience and cultural studies may be as Bloom might claim; weakling, suburbanized and tenurized nihilism; insidious work akin to that of the coat carriers and fellow travelers who Koestler indicted. But Lessing does not in any way belong to that crowd. She is one of the very last lions of the old school: Writers like Koestler, Jack Reed, Andre Malraux, the committed journalists at McClure’s Magazine like Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens and their colleagues of the Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. They were original thinkers who shook the world and men and women of enormous courage, ability and character who were neither daunted by the odds nor afraid to die for what they believed. And very often they did.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Canadian Century (a Sputnik Moment)

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network at 10/4/07

The Russians have planted their flag at the North Pole in recent days; in that singular place where the earth seems to align itself with the North Star. I seem to live not far away; in any case, as near to the North Pole as one can possibly live and still be an American. In the Border Lands in Wisconsin thereabouts, agrarian visionaries say there is nothing north of them but "a bunch of fences." I’ve been there: There are no fences. It is starting to get crowded up here in New Hampshire and last I was there, the traffic flow was even greater north from Chicago to the border line.

New Elizas are crossing that fateful psychological river and heading North to freedom; they are coming here daily to the northern edge of New Hampshire even from North Carolina and Texas and beyond. My own neighbors are looking even further north.

And for this reason only: It is getting hot up here and the culture is starting to flip from Denial to Panic. For the first time in my history I have talked this summer to tobacco farmers in North Carolina who complained about the heat. As part of the unspoken lore and tradition – that which makes us who we are – Southern people generally do not complain about the heat. Same here. We never complain about the cold. But it is not that cold anymore and last winter we didn’t have November ice till late January.

The Canadian Century is upon us and all roads lead to the thawing tundra: I’m beginning to wonder if I may yet buy real estate at the North Pole.

But the warming problem interfaces with another: In Ottawa last Christmas with family, attempting unsuccessfully to skate on the Rideau Canal because the ice was melting, an environmentalist asked if we would sign a petition to "stop global warming." Jokingly I said: "Global warming; bad for Texas, good for Canada."

In years past I have sent my daughter to the school bus through a passage in the snow well over her head at 10 degrees below zero for a month on end. Now, it is hard to feel bad when you feel good. Here in northern New Hampshire we had a bumper apple crop don't cha know. And in Greenland they are now growing wheat. And when the hockey season started last night I was still working in my yard in beautiful 80 degree weather.

Most Americans don't really understand how beautiful and vast and open Canada is and how pleasant a trip to Tim Hortons can be in the morning and how genuinely nice Canadians are: Canada is the Undiscovered Country of the North American mind. But the hordes are now looking north from Hoboken, from Tobaccoville, from Paris, Texas. And so are entrepreneurs and government agencies looking for advantage in minerals under the ice and the Northwest Passage.

We have two minds: the Buddha mind and the Doing mind. The later which dominates and finds pleasure in "positive" (meaning doing things) action; it is the enemy of Buddha Mind: It is Norman Vincent Peale; the religion of optimism; the religion of doing things to feel good. Hard to get around.

The Russians planting of the flag at the North Pole is a Sputnik moment but underwater. Its purpose is to territorialize our northern regions and turn our gaze north as surely as if it was a war dog peeing on the frozen tundra property line to warn off Canadian coyotes. (Just as the U.S. intends to territorialize [by which we mean to dominate psychologically - see Sun Tzu] Russia by planting missiles on his borders.)

It begins the drive to new action and passion in the new century. It begins a new era of growing things and creating things and killing things and thinking things up and making them on a vital and brand new, snow white and pristine Canadian canvas: It begins the Canadian Century.