Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Theobertarianism Chancelucky's First Treatise of Contemporary Government

Got this Political Compass from Alan Howard’s Life Through My Eyes site. If you answer a bunch of questions about your beliefs, it helps you locate your personal political philosophy on a set of Cartesian coordinates. Libertarianism neo Liberalism is the extreme right of the east-west axis and Communism is the left. Fascism is the extreme top of the north-south axis with Anarchy/Libertarian the bottom. I have some issues with mapping political beliefs in two dimensions or treating them as if they are linear functions, since humans just aren’t all that linear. Of course, this one only assigns a set of coordinates, making our thoughts a fixed point on a fixed plane and does not necessarily predict where we'd line or curve up in a dynamic situation. Most people are sort of a cloud of moving points in any given span of time and with respect to any issue. It’s still a fun exercise. It was pretty clear to me that I’d wind up somewhere in the lower left quadrant somewhere between Gandhi, Bakunin, Emma Goldman, Thomas Jefferson, Steven Wright,and Linus Torvaald. What wasn’t so clear to me was where the current US administration might show up?

A lot of people argue that the Bush administration isn’t traditionally conservative nor is it actually Republican. It’s clearly not liberal, so what do you call it? After some struggle, I’ve come up with a name, “Theobertarian” . Of course, in the true spirit of the administration I should have asked for bids or sold the name under no bid contract. What is a theobertarian? It is as you might guess a sometimes paradoxical combination of a theocratic belief that Religion has a key role in the way we govern our everyday lives and a libertarian or laissez faire take on the responsibilities of a government to its citizens.

Most political philosophies are associated with some well known thinker. The founding fathers drew from John Locke, David Hume, and Anthony Shaftesbury. The Soviet Experiment was based on Marx and Lenin himself put his political philosophy in writing. Even Hitler wrote a book and sometimes quoted Nietzsche and Spencer. While there are books written by and about the current administration, it is hard to compare anything dictated by Rush Limbaugh or the Fox Commentariat to coherent political philosophy. since Rush often claims not to have said what he said.A Good Source on Rushisms and Other Thoght Free Talk Types Some day, I imagine the president himself or those who speak for him at times like the guy who ran over the crosses in Crawford will come forward with a manifesto of their own. While they sometimes do refer to Von Hayek, Milton Friedman, Rawls, and William Kristol as told through PNAC, one would be hard pressed at times to actually see administration policy as an extension of these theorists. Even Ayn Rand doesn’t quite work.

In the meantime, here are some identifying characteristics of Theobertarian Political Thought that may help to clear up some confusion when Theobertarians use traditional terms.

Democracy: Theobertarians believe in preaching democracy as a moral value, but not a process. For instance they do not necessarily believe in counting all the votes, making sure everyone who wants to vote can, or making sure that voting machines are subject to any inspection measures or paper-trail examination. They call for “free” and fair elections, but oppose campaign spending reform measures of all kinds.

This also explains why they see no problem with implementing “democracy” by invasion. It is important to claim to be a democracy, but you don’t have to get there or keep one by democratic means.

Patriotism: Is another important moral value in Theobertarianism that runs parallel and sometimes gets confused with piety. According to Theobertarianism, patriotism is a series of acts or rituals. Saluting and respecting the flag, applauding the president, voicing unquestioning support for the war are all patriotic acts. If you do these things consistently and as publicly as possible, you are “patriotic”. If you don’t, you can’t be patriotic.

As long as you follow the rituals of Theobertarian patriotism, it doesn’t matter if you let men and women die without a purpose, lie about going to war, put intelligence assets at risk, or compromise safety for no bid contracts. It doesn’t even matter if you fully supply troops in the field as long as you say that you support them and don’t question the policy that got them there. In fact, patriotism isn't even measured by whether or not you served in the armed forces in a time of war.

Free Market:
Theobertarians believe that a free market entitles companies to take profits and improve revenues without the burden of either taxes or regulation. At the same time, liability for any wrongs these companies do in seeking profit should be protected or limited by the government. If companies are responsible for all the harm they do to others, then they would obviously not be able to make a profit. Also, Theobertarians oppose the rights of workers to band together and form unions. Companies can merge, but workers who band together for bargaining purposes are interfering with the basic values of the free market.
Theobertarian market philosophy often claims to be pro-business. This is not necessarily true for small or independent businesses. Truly free markets are for corporations that give large amounts of money to Theobertarian causes and leaders. This is considered a show of faith in the “Free Market” and indicates that you honor free enterprise as a moral value rather than an economic system based on accurate information, open accounting, and genuine accountability for what one’s products do in the market.

Strict Construction of the Constitution:
Theobertarians believe the Constitution of the United States is a kind of holy document, something they share with the ACLU.
Unlike the ACLU, they do not always follow the explicit words of the Constitution, but seem to rely on some more private more original verison of the text.
They, for instance, believe there are rights written into the constitution that aren’t necessarily explicitly there. They believe that the constitution clearly prohibits abortion and that it gives the executive an unlimited right not to disclose information to either congress or the judiciary even though it gives it a greater right to privacy than a prospective mother. They believe that the ten commandments are an integral part of that true original constitution. In those instances, Theobertarians strongly support amending the constitution as they see fit.

Gun Control:
Theobertarians strongly believe in the individual right to bear arms of virtually any kind. It is one of the reasons that when right wing groups were linked to the anthrax mailings after 9/11 that Theobertarians had to back off of any further investigation. At the same time, they strongly believe that people in other countries should not be able to bear arms, particularly if they are Weapons of Mass Destruction like the United States has and continues to develop. Theobertarian tenets around arms control are essentially Twenty First Century Thirty Millimeter Mercantilism, an economic/trade philosophy from the colonial era that some say culminated in the Opium War. (see also Iran-Contra) Gunpowder mercantilism apparently has a patron philospher named "Glock", but I've never read any of his or her writings because they are only printed in blood.

Is one of the holiest words in all Theobertarianism. It is according to their tenets, monolithic and absolute. It is always "Freedom", there are no specific freedoms or rights. Theobertarian freedom is always singular never plural. If it were pluralist, it would be separable and thus open to analysis. In this way, Freedom always means the same thing to the Theobertarian inner circle and never actually has to be explained in detail which makes it something like the Holy Ghost of Theobertarianism.

This makes it possible to preserve "freedom" by arresting hundreds of people without charging them, limiting the right to privacy and association through the Patriot act (see Patritism above), and calling anyone who dissents an enemy of those who fight for "Freedom:. Freedom Inc. is a publicly held company and was recently listed on the NYSE and should not be confused with anything in the Bill of Rights. With Theobertarian freedom, you are either with it or against it. One is free to marry as long as its a marriage that would be sanctioned by Christianity. One is free to buy stock in or pay for anything that might be for sale, as long as one has the credit.

I will be adding to this first treatise and glossary of Theobertarian thought in future installments. Additions, recommendations, and changes are more than welcome. I should mention that the notion of a glossary was partly inspired by Mr. Pogblog Pogblog's own more metaphysical glossary
who may have also gotten a nudge from Ambrose Bierce.

More from the Theobertarian dictionary


At 8/24/2005 05:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your treatise-glossary & thanks for the nod. My nudge actually, tho pogblog's Glossary is swiftbiercean, came from Samuel Johnson. I just like the word 'Glossary' because words could use some polishing up to reveal their inner lights sometimes.

I, as you know, have lighted upon theofascist because I think these NonMammals are more controlling by primo-vigesimo-centillion more times (a number biggerr than a googol even, bigger than a killion, the contemplation of which will kill you) than the post-fix of bertarianism implies. I don't think there is anything, except rhetorical, laizzez faire about these Villains. I believe their wielding of the government is proactively damaging to the normal have-less citizenry -- while the have-mores hog out.

I do however love all your analyses -- am educated & illuminated & wait for more.

ps. I have to take issue with being in a quadrant with Thomas Jefferson. Slave-holding aforethought keeps you out of any quadrant of generous & wise aspirations -- so Thomas, sadly, has to reside with less savory folk than Gandhi methinks.

Leo Strauss is The Guru to the NeoNutCons.

Congratulations on this important addition to chancelucky.


At 8/24/2005 05:51:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Theofascism may be an even better description, but the rhetoric and vocabulary are "libertarian" and the actions/impact are "fascist".

I liked the self-cancelling quality of the "bertarian" part. Fascism also implies a governmental efficiency that the current administration apparently lacks. Trains don't exactly run on time.

As for Thomas Jefferson, I think the coordinates are about "thought" as opposed to what you actually do. If they were about "acts" most historical figures would be all over the thing.
I did briefly wonder if "zen" was at 0,0 and not in any quadrant.

I always appreciate your comments, when they respond to what's written here, comments always feel like the ultimate compliment to a blog. Even when they disagree, unless you run a Theobertarian blog in which case....:}

At 8/25/2005 12:35:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. Legend,
thanks for the kind words.
Media Research Center is a conservative version of Media matters from the Annenberg foundation claims to be "neutral" though there may be no such thing.

At 8/25/2005 01:42:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I should also mention that David Brock, the guy behind, was a conservative journalist with the American Spectator and the Washington Times who "dug up" the troopergate scandal during the Clinton administration. He contracted to write a biography of Hillary and decided to deliver one with a more balanced view....and


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