Wednesday, 7 November 2012


“It's not twilight in America because Obama won. Obama
won because it was, sadly, already twilight in America… The
electorate of America now cares more about being cared for
than about having the freedom to care for themselves.”

            - Michael Hurd, “It's Twilight in America

UPDATE: Dians Hsieh posts the contrarian view:

“Don’t despair that so many Americans voted for Obama. Many of them voted for him because of the issues on which he’s right (or better), such as abortion rights, gay marriage, and immigration. So how about insisting on changes for the better in the GOP, rather than cursing people for not wanting to live in an insular, homophobic, repressive theocracy?”


  1. How can this 'issue' be right?


  2. I must have missed the ads where the GOP were offering up an "insular, homophobic, repressive theocracy."

    Hurd's analysis is saner. 50.4% really want to live in dependency.

  3. I agree with Dians Hsieh here, Peter.

    Many voters turned their back to the republican party because some of Romney's views are horrendous (and inacceptable for a big part of the population). He would have done a lot of bad to the liberalism image in my opinion, as the Tea Party did too. Some of his comments/speeches gave me epidermic reactions...

    Also I disagree when you said in a previous post Romney was the symbol of non-collectivism as he was opposed to Obama, in this election. This assertion seems clearly false to me. I do not see your point nor your logic. To me, Romney also depicts collectivism greatly.

    Remember what happened in France... The masses voted for Sarkozy (opening the liberalism door they thought) but Sarkozy managed to destroy completely the right image of the liberalism. However he was not less collectivist than the others... And he did a lot of bad to the country! In reaction to him the French finally elected socialist and super dumb Hollande because they were scared of the 'liberalism'. But reality is they never tasted liberalism...

    People need to get educated first, they need to understand the economy, the market and so on. This is possible. It is happening, slowly but surely. It will take time. Those guys, Romney or Sarkozy, they are not helping. They are just perverting and degrading good concepts.

    As far as I am not a fan of Obama at all I am happy with the result today. Obama will fail better and bigger. Here is the real opportunity for the real libertarians, in a few years, or later. It was not the right time and Romney was definitely not the right guy.



  4. Sandrine

    For goodness sake, the USA and France? You might as well compare elephants with unicorns - they both have four legs, in theory!

    Whilst ever a socialist like Obama is in power people become less empowered, less educated, more dependent.

    What you are hoping for is at best fanciful, as much as I would like it to happen I fear the amazing and free US of A is in decline and it is too late.

  5. Allowing abortion and homosexual marriage, though they are the right things to do will not stave off a military or economic collapse, I’m afraid. Romney would not have done anything for the latter but with him in power; we might just have a chance to stave off the former.
    Open your eyes. Weakening the US militarily is Obama’s main purpose. Once the military debases to a certain point, we will not rebuild it. Our enemies have worked too hard on this for too many decades to allow that. They will not let us, rebuild; period. It will be game over. Though, they may fight about everything else they will be united on that front. China is not quadrupling its spending on its military while we reduce ours for fun.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Anonymous, you did not understand my comment I am afraid. I am not comparing France and US, nor their proper economic or politic systems. I am talking about how the 'mind of the masses' is working. This field of science is called sociology.

    In a specific society people have reactions. Those reactions are derived from a context. This is all I am talking about.



  8. Also I disagree with this assertion:

    'What you are hoping for is at best fanciful, as much as I would like it to happen I fear the amazing and free US of A is in decline and it is too late.'

    Nothing is too late. History of Humanity is showing us cycles. Cycles of freedom and cycles of less freedom. We (now) belong to a specific cycle.

    I have no idea of what the future is made of. Anything can happen, the worst like the best, and so on.



  9. @Sandrine: I agree that history moves in cycles and it's never too late. It's usually takes something pretty dire for society to learn it's lesson and to turn the other direction. We're obviously not there yet.

    But I disagree that this not a major blow for liberty. Whatever Romneys views on aborton and gay marriage, this is not what he campaigned on and not what he stood for. The battle for personal freedom around these issues is already largely won, they're not under threat. What is under threat is the free market economy that makes us prosperous. The critical issues of the day are intrusion of gov't into the economy and expenditure at unsustainable levels. Whatever Romney's flaws and his lack of sound principles, he represented the self made successful entrepreneur, and combined with Ryan (influenced by Ayn Rand), gave every indication they were going to put a limit on, and perhaps even start to turn the back the tide on the ever-expanding welfare state. This is what people voted against, not his beliefs on marginal social issues.

  10. @Mark, I agree with you. I am conscious of what you are saying. But I do not consider this as a major blow and certainly not a definitive one. I am quite pessimistic for the close future but sincerely not for the long run.

    One simple and single reason: change is coming from education. As you said education (and learning from the past and mistakes) takes time: usually several generations. And you can have many facts from History in your hands, many exemples from other countries under your eyes, you still need to experience it yourself to understand it. Humans are scientists. And unfortunately the following generations will not have your experience and they would have to start and experience some of it all over again (that is what we call the Human Condition isn't it?). Indeed it takes a lot, a lot of time for the Human specie to evolve...

    I lived and experienced socialism and liberalism to a certain extent and I am now able to understand what is wrong with socialism. In what way it hurt me. I used to hold socialist views. Also I can tell you for exemple that the French are mostly paralysed because of fear. They are associating liberalism with anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-human rights mostly because of some very bad politicians like Romney, Bush or Sarkozy. This is what is happening in the US too. For the masses the 'direct individual rights' are more importants than the market freedom because they do not have the knowledge nor the education to understand the underlying relations. And to understand them you need time to educate yourself... (Romney would have not changed the education system neither). There is an episteme now created and associated with the word "liberalism". Again guess because of whom? In our case not Obama but Romney.

    I am definitely not convinced Romney would have done much better than Obama in term of economy anyway. To do so he would have had to change a lot and his program did not show anything going that way. I do not think it is safe and sensible to follow someone only because he has "the image of an entrepreneur influenced by Ayn Rand" and do not say what he is really willing to change drastically.

    However we are just starting the internet era (infancy)... We are learning more and more, faster and faster.

    Market Freedom will probably rise again and I hope even in a better way it has never happened before. To my perception, the fantasy is to believe it will happen tomorrow... or in our life time ;-) But may be I am wrong.

    The world can only be changed one person at a time, and then, only if that person wills it, making it appealing to many others. The only thing that the individual can do is present society with 'one improved unit'.

    Albert Jay Nock expressed this point as follows: "Ages of experience testify that the only way society can be improved is by the individualist method …, that is, the method of each 'one' doing his very best to improve 'one.' This is the quiet, peaceful, patient way of changing society because it concentrates on bettering the character of men and women as individuals. The individual units change, the improvement of society will take care of itself. In other words, "if one take care of the means, the end will take care of itself."

    And despite some "good" and "bad" cycles along human history this is indeed what happened until now.

  11. We are all subject to influence. The best reference on that topic by far and away is "Propaganda, The formation of Men's Attitudes" by Jacques Ellul. It is required reading by the CIA.

    Some excerpts here


  12. @ Sandrine: I agree with a lot of what you say. But I think you're missing one crucial thing. This discussion is not about Romney any more, but how we can stop the tide of socialism.

    The thing is we'll never get a free society by getting people to have an epiphnay and move from socialism to libertarianism, one person at a time. It may have happened to you, but it'll never happen in large enough numbers to effect any change. That's the course that Libertarianz tried to take in NZ and it didn't work. More than that I now believe it can't work, because the vast majority of people are too concrete bound to make such a leap.

    What's needed is to get most people headed in the right direction, one *issue* at a time. If you can get a majority to take a small step in the right direction, even on something relatively minor, that's a gain and you don't have to agree with them on everything else. The 'ratchet for freedom' that Peter has talked about. You put aside what you disagree on, make a gain, don't go backward, and then move onto another issue.

    Getting back to the topic, that's why I see this fixation on marginal issues that aren't the main event (for instance Romney's views on gay marriage) as damaging to any progress. Until the libertarian/Objectivist can get their head around this, things can only continue to get worse.

  13. @Mark (and indirectly @PC) While I love the concept of the ratchet for freedom, it seems a little too simplistic.

    Often, to argue with any weight or validity, one needs to call upon philosophy and ideology. Objectivism provides excellent arguments for all areas of freedom, but it's also very hard to separate out just one issue. When one does so, how can the argument be made with any moral weight? It would seem to just come down to "my idea is better than yours because I said so" (tautological reasoning - the bible is true because the bible says it is true).

    I'm not saying you need Objectivists to win (history shows that's possibly the opposite of what's needed) but I am asking the question how does one consistently separate the morality from the actual issue and still carry weight?

  14. @Mark, I believe you put your finger right on it!
    What if it was not the right time to stop the tide of socialism?
    This is not going to happen I am afraid. But this is not for an indefinite period of time I believe.

    Let's experience it, and may be a couple of generations after us too, and let's do our best to bettering us and the people around us. Let's do our best to share our knowledge. It might even goes faster than what I believe.

    We made progresses by the past and we are still making progresses, we are not going backward (again look at the Human History...). We had to face a few bad cycles indeed, with less freedom but we are still progressing on the long run...

    We need to get rid of the 'false liberals' and restore the purity of the concept in the mind of the masses. This is now the task of the libertarians and their philosophers. And certainly not to associate liberalism with some Romneys or others collectivists full of hatred in their talks...

    Fighting against windmills never helped. You won't stop te rise of socialism now, none of us will. And the reasons why seems pretty logical... Those pseudo liberals are harvesting what they seeded. History is cristal clear on this mechanism... But again, on the long run Liberty will win.



  15. Peter,

    There is a raging debate among relatively free market people in the US as to whether it is better to fail fast (Obama) or fail slow (Romney). I have heard good arguments on both sides. However, I thought a gentleman I met the other night had some interesting points. He is a former MP from Canada’s Reform Party. (My wife had warned me not to discuss the election) He was born in the UK and moved to NZ. In 1977 he no longer felt it made sense to stay in NZ. He toured Canada and the US and felt it would be easier to fit in with the Canadians culturally. Anyway, his point was NZ’s essentially bankruptcy in the late 70s allowed it to implement free market reforms more easily than if it had failed slowly. It is always dangerous to draw exact parallels in history, but that has been my basic argument also. Obama openly professes allegiance with two philosophies that killed more than 100 million people in the 20th century – Marxism and environmentalism. Romney was not so much against these philosophies, he just thought he could run them better.

    My predictions about the election were incorrect. I should have listened to what Ayn Rand said years ago – namely that in a choice between a true collectivist and pseudo collectivist, the electorate will always choose the person who is more consistent. The Republican establishment has believed that you can triangulate people and get the most votes, but they have been proven wrong in most elections and when they have succeed they have given us a Bush or Hoover, who may be more damaging in the long run than a Carter or an Obama.


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