Friday, 23 October 2020

James McGill Buchanan: Part Two

 Conservatives like to talk about "corruption". A lot. But do they mean the same thing most people mean by the word? I think many people would consider a political party doing something that does not benefit the people, but rewards their friends as corruption. 

Or a government that invents panels & advisory positions for friends & donors & arranges for these panels and advisors to return reports and recommendations that mirror what the governing party wants to do, but with the guise of "research" and "impartiality". Seems corrupt.

Or, a government that changes electoral boundaries and/or rules to favour their party in the next election. Or makes backroom deals where advantages are offered in exchange for funding PACs and promoting the party. Those seem like corruption.
The James McGill Buchanan definition is subtly different. I now present you with a quote from @NancyMacLean5 's book, "Democracy in Chains" which illustrates this point...
"Buchanan believed with every fibre of his being that if what a group of people wanted from government could not, on its own merits, win the freely given backing of each individual citizen, including the very wealthiest among us, any attempt by that group to use its numbers to get what it wanted constituted not persuasion of the majority but coercion of the minority, a violation of the liberty of individual taxpayers." 
In other words, he viewed governments who do things the majority (or large groups of citizens) wants, in order to get re-elected, as corrupt, if those things impinged upon the wishes of anyone (particularly the wealthiest).  
So, current Canadian conservatives (who seem to be advocates of the Buchanan school of thought) would feel that, for example, a government raising the minimum wage against the wishes of wealthy business owners, is corrupt. 
Obviously, a government that is run on Buchanan's principles would do nothing in crisis situations, if the wealthy did not like the action. The CPC have strongly indicated that they feel CERB and other pandemic relief is deeply suspect. 
They want to have a committee to examine the "corruption" of the Liberal government in setting up programs to help people. They have signaled that they would have done nothing. Just as Harper did not want to act on stimulus spending during the recession of 2008. 
The Buchanan philosophy gives the wishes of the extremely wealthy preeminence, because he felt their rights were being infringed by any government action that interfered with their ability to be wealthy and continue to amass wealth. 
Remember, from my first instalment about Buchanan, that his theories emerged from a deep resentment of having to treat black citizens in the southern US equally, and the associated costs of that to the wealthy taxpayer. 
Buchanan's philosophy is predicated on the notion that people are not equal. The wealthy are more important and must not be victimized by the not-wealthy, even though the not-wealthy have far greater numbers. 
Most of us understand democracy as a system in which people vote for a candidate from the party they feel will most benefit their community or the country. And the governing party tries to work to the public good, thus pleasing the people, and being re-elected.
In pleasing the people, in a system where number of votes matters more than people's bank accounts, large groups of not-wealthy people have power. Buchanan would say this "pleasing the people" is corruption, because it doesn't protect the interests of the wealthy few.
It is important to understand when conservatives speak these days that their terms of reference may not be the same as most people's. Likewise, their goals may be completely at odds with those of most Canadians.

Stay tuned, there will be more about Buchanan soon! 

James McGill Buchanan: Part One

 In 1955, the US Supreme Court issued its second Brown v. Board of Education ruling. They called for dismantling of segregation in public schools, across the US, "with all deliberate speed". 

Now, some people in Virginia, including the president of the University of Virginia, Colgate Whitehead Darden Jr, were appalled by this. They felt it seriously over-reached into "states' rights". 
Any state, they felt, should be able to discriminate against any people they felt were inferior, because of race, religion, gender, or whatever damn thing they chose. They saw it as a deliberate attack on the cherished values and way of life of southern Americans. 
Well, white southern Americans, anyway. And, really, from their point of view, those were the only southerners that mattered. Darden had a young economist on faculty, James McGill Buchanan. Buchanan had written a proposal that touched Darden deeply. 
It was as if they thought with one mind. Buchanan saw the ruling as not just an attack on the State's right to discriminate, but he also foresaw how giving these people more rights would inevitably lead to actual depletions of the bank accounts of people like himself. 
He realised that those with resources would be called upon to subsidize the creation of equality. He imagined his taxes going up to accommodate all these people who had, hitherto been treated as inferior. And he did not like that. 
His proposal to Darden was that if Darden could find the resources to create a centre at the university for Buchanan, he (Buchanan) would create a new school of political economy and social philosophy to counter these incursions into the traditional southern way of life. 
Darden was excited by this, and found the money for Buchanan's centre. However, despite working very hard, Buchanan and his staff were unable to stem the tide of civil rights and progressive thought through the 60s and 70s. 
But, sometime in the 80s or early 90s, Charles Koch discovered Buchanan and his work and began to pour money into Buchanan's Centre for Study of Public Choice. And things began to happen... 
Buchanan had an idea, stemming from that Supreme Court ruling, that would change how the right would conduct politics. His core idea: that people should not be allowed to use their numbers to force legislation favouring their position. 
That no person of property should be made to give up any of their property, through taxation or otherwise, nor should business profit be thwarted, simply because a large number of people wanted certain things to happen. Think about that for a moment. 
Buchanan's core premise is the antithesis of democracy. He believed that law-makers should not heed the will of the people, but, rather, should protect the most wealthy. Ostensibly from the will of the people. Obviously, Buchanan felt that labour unions were terrible... 
Unions picked employers' pockets based on the sheer number of workers relative to the number of employers. He was opposed to the will of the many impinging in any way on the will of the 1%. 
This is a very brief introduction to James McGill Buchanan. It is largely drawn from the book, Democracy in Chains, by Nancy MacLean (@NancyMacLean5) . I encourage you to get a copy and read it. 
What has this got to do with Canadian politics? Well, look around. What you see happening in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and being proposed by the federal CPC, is all based on Buchanan's ideology. 
Just like in the US, think-tanks in Canada (Fraser Institute and others) are busy churning out propaganda to support this ideology. Our American-owned media is controlling the way news is reported to subtly sway Canadians to favour a corporatocracy. 
It's all around us. Before you flame me, think. Think about how closely Canadian conservative parties mirror what the Republicans are doing in the US. Think about what might underlie their actions. No, it is not because they are stupid or incompetent. A lot of people think that. 
But that is not the case. They are bad for Canadians because they are not serving Canadians. They aren't bungling. They are doing their jobs. It's just that their jobs are not what we think they are. Think about it. 
That's it for the first instalment. I will give everyone some time to process this information. There will be more. Much more. Stay tuned! 

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Far Right Rebel Media and Their Ties to Canadian Conservatives

Today I welcome another guest blogger, @PaulByJove, who will illuminate us all on the entity known as Rebel Media, and how this organization is impacting public opinion in Canada. Paul, thank you for your research. We all need to know what is being pushed into our brains and our neighbours' brains. Without further ado, here's Paul:

I can't follow any more accts back right because I guess I don't have enough mushrooms or coins or whatever twitter needs for me to "proceed to the next level". So I'll recreate some threads on rebel @postmedianet @CPC_HQ. You know, "the family".

Here's Gavin McInnes, founder of proud boys, talking about, laughing about the horrific beating of Rodney King

Here's @SheilaGunnReid. Here are some of her tweets about being a big fan of ISIS methodology, wanting to genocide millions of people in the middle east and assorted nuttery.ImageImageImageImage
Here's Gavin, Sheila, and Faith. This (now gone) vid was originally titled (And I don't like writing it) 10 Things I Hate About The Goddamn Mother Fucking Jews. They changed it 2X. 1st by removing MF & then the GD. Yes, more concern with profanity than antisemitism
Here's @TheMenzoid just being utterly vile and getting his Islamophobia & Transphobia on in one fell swoop.
They shouldn't be welcome in Canada either. Not the 1st time rebel has been cited by someone who's committed terrorImage
More bad acting on the world stage. Note the nice white power symbol 🙄Image
And they sure are connected to the conservative parties at both federal & provincial levels. Here's Dual citizen, no insurance licence having, 900k pants wearing, and total job experience = busboy, Everyman Andy running away when asked about rebel.

Who is andrew lawton? Yeah, he's something. Something horrid that is.

Here he proves that one NEVER suffers from one 'ism, bigotry or prejudice like misogyny or racism, It's ALWAYS a festival of hate going on inside them.…
In keeping with RWNJ media lets have a closer look at the now American billionaire owned @TheTorontoSun thru @postmedianet. To understand why they'd buy it, is to understand it's founder and his ONGOING ideology that prevails today at that "newspaper"
It didn't go unnoticed.Image
Nor is Ms.Levy the only "reporter" at this org to have a complaint filed & upheld. Here's @brianlilleyImage
This is their "go to guy" to report on national news because of his seemingly preternatural grasp of the obvious, as demonstrated by this 👇
This is still on his TL.Image
Oh yeah, @brianlilley is pure class.Image
Joe's never been one to let an opportunity to attack the poorest among us either and bonus, @JustinTrudeau at the same time. Here's a now deleted tweet where he hassled early morning commuters about #COVID19. Note: none of these people interacted with him. Who likes to be yelled at?Image
And they're just ever so "classy"ImageThank you, Paul for this informative post! We all need to be wary, use our critical thinking skills, and not be dupes for people who only want to fleece us for their own profit.