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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For March 1, 2017

Feb 24

To Joe Carter and his blogpost stating that Christians must oppose anti-Semitism. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

If we believed that Christians should oppose all racial discrimination, then articles like the one above would be unnecessary.

Of course anti-Semitism must be opposed by all Christians. But what is being talked about above is anti-Semitism against Jews. What is being overlooked is that Jews are not the only Semites--contrary to the assumptions made by Wilhelm Marr who was the first person to coin the term. Palestinians are also Semites; but how many Christians are talking about anti-Palistinian prejudice and discrimination?

The stats that Carter cites regarding instances of anti-Semitism are tragic and point to the need to oppose anti-Semitism. But what about the stats regarding anti-Muslim acts, where are they? We should consider that since Trump's election, 2 mosques have burned and there was a shooting in another one. In addition, over 700 anti-Muslim acts have been recorded by law enforcement when the number hate crimes against Muslims in 2015 was under 300.

It isn't just anti-Semitism that must be opposed by all, let alone by Christians. All racial and religious bigotry must be opposed. If we don't oppose all racial and religious bigotry, then our valid complaints against anti-Semitism will be relegated to be counted as instances of Pharisaical tribalism.


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To George Carey and his blogpost advocating the return of popular self-government. In that article, Carey states that only conservatism could bring back popular self-government. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative Blog.

This is simply another article that states conservatives must rule, and that rule must be without limits. For the only form of populism recognized is conservative populism. Then in complaining about the power of the courts, the issue is that any laws drafted by conservative principles, whether they be federal laws or state laws, must then be evaluated by the courts to see if they violate The Constitution. For though there is less complaint here when the courts apply The Constitution to evaluate the legitimacy of Federal law, it is argued here that the courts have no grounds for so evaluating state laws.

But such would seem to run contrary to what we know as the Bill of Rights. For rights that cannot be abridged by federal laws but can be violated by state laws are not rights. And thus what the current practice of the courts, including the Supreme Court, is that it runs as a check on both state and federal governments in terms of how they would rule over those not represented by populist sentiment.

What is assumed is that only conservatives have the proper approach to interpreting and applying The Constitution and that populism is not determined by any majority, but by those who most accurately represent the founders of our nation.  This article is nothing more than a promotion for a conservative power grab where conservatives can deny the rights of others provided that they do so through their state governments. And in promoting this conservative power grab, nonconservatives are meant to be relegated to a passive role of accepting whatever a conservative mandate dictates provided, again, that it is through the state governments.

There is no sense of conservatives working with others in this article. Rather, it is just another in what is becoming a long line of conservative works calling on conservatives to take back their nation from nonconservatives regardless of whether conservatives represent a majority of the people. Our nation, according to this article, must suffer a tyranny of the past as only conservatives have interpreted it. Instead of sharing the nation with the children of the Enlightenment as equals, this article calls on conservatives to strive to seize full control of this nation.  At this time, we should note that the writers of The Constitution were merely trying to strengthen the federal government so that those from the upper economic classes could safely rule over those from the lower classes. We should remember that at the time of the ratification of The Constitution, only around 5% of the people could vote. That soon changed but was that the intention of our founding fathers?

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Feb 28

To Devin Ryan and his blogpost citing Dylan Pahman’s work that claims that free trade helps a nation’s economy more than government interference via protections, the regulation of wages, and guaranteed incomes. This appeared in the Acton blog.

The trouble with the above article, besides the fact that the title is a bit misleading,  is that history points to economic benefits from protectionism. This is true especially when a nation uses protectionism to build up specific industries and economic sectors. Those nations that currently push free trade now are merely 'kicking away the ladder' they used to develop many of their own industries in the past.

Something else should be troubling here. Though the ratio of jobs lost to automation compared with offshoring might have changed, initially, offshoring was a primary way by which many lost their jobs here and those from other nations who took them were not protected by the laws of their nations as many workers here are. And still, a significant number jobs continue to be lost to offshoring. Why offshoring, for many, it is because stockholders here were demanding a greater ROI and thus workers here were sacrificed in order to achieve bigger returns. In fact, for many corporations, the only meaningful stakeholder has become the shareholder and yet nothing here is said about that changing scenario.

What free trade demands is what the Donald is offering American big businesses here: fewer and fewer social responsibilities for business in terms of what they owe to those who traditionally were regarded as their stakeholders. So Trump's economic policies pretty much resemble Hillary's in terms  of goals and direction. The only difference has to do with the issue of the location of the business restraints government would employ. Would the restraints fall more on restraining an expansion in the foreign workforce of American businesses or on taxes and regulations on how American businesses would conduct themselves here. We should note, and this is neither a criticism or sign of support, that  the open trade borders Hillary wanted was part of an American economic plan for South America written in the mid 1940s.



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To Joe Carter and his blogpost on why people prefer government to markets. This appeared in the acton blog.

We should note here that when people favor government over business in a democracy, they are favoring democratic controls over business rather than market control that favors elites in how they will interact with all of their stakeholders, not just their shareholders.

We should also note that free markets and free trade allow for elites to increase not just their profits but their power as well. That on the way to increasing their profits, many elites have a way of objectifying many of the stakeholders of their businesses thus making them disposable. And when people, especially workers, become disposable, then the neighborhoods in which they live become disposable as well. And when people are so disposable, there is a denial of their intrinsic worth. Only their market worth is recognized. In contrast to that, democratic control of the markets allow people to show solidarity as they attempt to protect the vulnerable.

So we have a choice between democratic control of the market place or elite-centered control of the market place and the government where the rule of economic force rules. I wonder how Christians could defend the latter.






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