Once Obamacare is “Repealed & Replaced” – i.e. once the GOP ensures that we have socialized medicine against our will, the last hope, the Freedom Caucus and all that that implies (the Tea Party, the Liberty Movement, etc.) will die…that will be the Freedom Carcass.
I just published Semantic Infiltration as a glossary term and I nearly fell for it myself recently. I am an anarcho-capitalist and refuse to relinquish the word capitalism as if it means corporatism or cronyism, but there is an insidious plan afoot that has converted so much of the world’s production into financial wealth amassed among purely financial actors, that in describing it I nearly adopted the term of collectivism: Financial Capitalism. First of all, that’s basically a redundancy – capital is money, finance is money – but the phenomenon propagated by fiat money and fractional reserve banking through which the richest, most powerful people in the world create money, lend it to governments, corporations and individuals, multiply it and forever benefit from investing something they never had while the productive borrower pays out all his surplus in interest. This financial structure underlying every asset drives up prices so that we can only access those assets through financial instruments like school loans, mortgages, health insurance (all three fostered by government policy, I might add). But what to call this? I nearly fell for the trap and started calling it financial capitalism as if the “financial” didn’t transform the word capitalism into something bad, then it hit me – call it what it is – financial fascism, whereby cronies leverage the power of government to gain control of the financial system and grow it until it consumes all that is good. It’s fascism, not capitalism.
Update: I wish he had said anti-fascism!!
Matt Ridley’s ‘Case for Free-Market Anticapitalism‘
Ridley argues that the champions of markets need to recapture their radicalism.
Semantic infiltration is the “systematic distortion of meaning of certain words to confuse or mislead”. According to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, it “is the process whereby we come to adopt the language of our adversaries in describing political reality”. Eventually, “we pay for small concessions at the level of language with large setbacks at the level of practical politics”.
The process of semantic infiltration occurs when a “skillful or persistent semanticist can persuade an opponent to accept his terms of debate…[and the] opponent thus unwittingly through repetition or willingly through persuasion adopts the semanticist’s usage of words and by extension, the ideas, perceptions and policies that accompany them”.
A potlatch was a ceremonial feast among tribes of the Pacific Northwest who were so rich in resources that they demonstrated their wealth at big celebrations by wasting it, for example, by preparing mountains of fish and dumping them back in the ocean. I see alarming hints of this mentality in today’s consumer society as if our appetite for consumption is it’s own animal and cannot be satisfied simply by consuming what we desire, we must now waste.
I observed two examples of this recently. One, in an article in The Wall Street Journal:
What’s a Wedding Without 18,000 Cookies in 150 Varieties Made by 45 Helpers?
In pockets of the country, a reception is rated on the size and quality of its cookie table. ‘I wanted the biggest’
Unless there are 9,000 guests coming to this wedding, I don’t see how this is anything but a potlatch.
The second example I observed watching my husband’s new favorite channel, Velocity. There we watched a commercial for “figure-eight racing” – check it out (it’s actually better at 2x speed!):
I don’t know what exactly that is, but I can’t help but think our society is somehow too rich if we’re this bored!
“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
“The most important political office is that of the private citizen.”
“Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.”
“If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.”
“Our government … teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”
“Those who won our independence … valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”
(h/t Erik Luna https://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/mandatory-minimum-sentencing-provisions-under-federal-law)
I can’t take credit for coining this one and I must admit, though I saw the PsyOp brewing for over a year, I didn’t see it ending in real violence–and that is only beginning, I suspect. In today’s Journal, Daniel Henninger coins a couple of phrases, Political Disorder Syndrome and Political Shooter, the latter in reference to the man who allegedly shot up the Congressional baseball game practice.