Dadacracy Now, Totalitarianism Next
by Eric Englund
by Eric Englund
Our founding fathers gave us a republic, if we could keep it. The United States' Constitution was crafted to strictly limit government so as not to deprive citizens of their natural rights to life, liberty, private property, and the pursuit of happiness. Ever since the Civil War (which it really wasn't), the founding of the Federal Reserve, two world wars, FDR's New Deal, and LBJ's Great Society, American government has transformed into a democracy. So now we must worship, and abide by, the will of the majority at the expense of our liberty. This is a particularly frightening thought considering that what passes for wisdom today is based upon feelings and emotions while logical and rational thinking have been eviscerated. In turn, it is quite common to encounter terms such as "Demopublican" and "Republocrat" to describe the emotional and illogical citizenry of the United States (with the most mentally imbalanced seeking elective office of course). Add in environmentalism, moral relativism, multiculturalism, political correctness, and a public education system that pushes this tripe, a truly confused citizenry emerges from this messy hodgepodge. When combining democracy with a dazed and confused citizenry, the United States has devolved into a dadacracy.
From where does the term "dadacracy" come? The Dada movement, which began in 1916 (and, in essence, still survives to this day), embodies what it means to be illogical, self-referential, and emotional. Dadaism was an artistic and literary movement that was nihilistic and anti-Western civilization. "Dada was more than an art form or culture; it was a state of mind" (Information on Dadaism). For those who shared the Dada state of mind, the following were considered to be positive attributes of Dadaism (A Brief History of Dadaism):
- All forms of modern civilization were found to be disgusting.
- One of its aims pertained to the relativization of all values.
- It sought a complete break with tradition (Dadaists didn't want to be reminded that anybody existed before them).
- It sought the systematic destruction of culture and of civilization.
In Dadaism, "Freedom from everything was the watchword. Revolutionary spirit, relativity, spontaneity, and primitivity ranked as positive values." Moreover, Dadaists were typically supportive of communism.
When examining moral relativism, multiculturalism, political correctness, and environmentalism (which is socialism's Trojan horse aimed at destroying private property rights), it is quite apparent that those who are part of today's alleged intellectual vanguard are simply modern-day Dadaists. In turn, these college professors, public school teachers, newspaper editors, television anchors, and countless others, undermine Western civilization every time they open their mouths or put pen to paper. With enough repetition in the classroom, on the TV, in the newspaper, and elsewhere, Dada indeed does become a state of mind. Emotion and feelings are celebrated as the pinnacle of intellect whilst logic and true scholarship are eschewed as worthless relics. The mind dies as it becomes infected by illogic. Thus, we become engulfed by "the culture of the moron" (to use Bill Bonner's phrase). Consequently, when such people enter the voting booth, typically registered as Republicans or Democrats, be assured that they are really Dadacrats. Hence, America has become a dadacracy.
Examples of Dadacrats abound. The gymnasium at which I exercise has a member that wears T-shirts from Earth First! and from Greenpeace. When he has completed his workout, he drives home in his luxurious Mercedes E 400. I doubt either aforementioned organization would approve of his vehicle. Ah, but as long as he feels good about himself. Speaking of vehicles, I frequently see a Hummer H2 with an Oregon DMV custom license plate with the state-mandated phrase of "Cultural Trust." A car owner must pay additional fees for such a license plate with the excess fees going to the state's "Litter Patrol Fund" and to the state's "Trust for Cultural Development." It is rather ironic to see such an "enlightened" multiculturalist/environmentalist driving a Hummer. No room for logic in that enormous SUV. What really gets to me is that the Democrats I know can't stand President Bush even though his administration is working hard to bring about the second incarnation of the Great Society. Conversely, Republicans I know love President Bush even though he is trying to bring about the second incarnation of the Great Society. When Dada becomes a state of mind, logic dies and we see it all around us.
Just as a quick sidebar, it is obvious to paleolibertarians that President Bush is immoral and is a coward. To propose any budget that will result in a $500,000,000,000+ deficit is tantamount to fiscal child abuse. Perhaps we will get to buy a lot of guns and butter today, yet it is immoral to make future generations pick up the tab. The following is an excerpt from H.A. Scott Trask's fabulous essay Perpetual Debt: From the British Empire to the American Hegemon:
In a 1789 letter to his friend James Madison, Thomas Jefferson raised the philosophical and moral question of whether "one generation of men has a right to bind another." He believed the answer was no, "that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living." He believed it a principle of "very extensive application and consequence, in every country." Applying it to government borrowing, he argued that it was unjust and unrepublican for one generation of a nation to encumber the next with the obligation to discharge the debts of the first. After all, the following generation cannot have given their consent to decisions made by their fathers, nor will have they have necessarily benefited from the deficit expenditures.
For Jefferson, every generation has the same right to enjoy the bounty of nature and the fruits of their labor as the preceding ones, without being bound or encumbered by the profligacy or ambition of those who went before. "No generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence," and if they do so, the following generation is under no obligation to pay it. "They and their soil are by nature clear of the debts of their predecessors."
George W. Bush is advocating deficit spending that would warm the hearts of LBJ and FDR. He is doing this for the sake of getting re-elected. Future generations will recognize this as moral cowardice as they will be footing the bill (unless they repudiate it and justly so). Dadacrats cast a blind eye toward this reckless spending as the future is not something to be pondered today.
If I were to select a well-known figure, who embodies what it is to be a Dadacrat, I must choose Bill O'Reilly of "The O'Reilly Factor." Mr. O'Reilly is so muddleheaded that he has become television's king of illogic. For example, on his February 2, 2004 show, he expressed outrage about how the New England Patriots' fans behaved after their team's Super Bowl victory. In particular, he aired a film clip in which someone's car was being destroyed by unruly celebrants (when they were done, the car was ready for the junkyard). The sanctity of private property was being desecrated by these thugs. His outrage, regarding the destruction of this car, is nonsensical in light of his well documented position of being anti-SUV. If one is to take the anti-SUV dogma to its logical conclusion, all SUVs would be confiscated and sent to the junkyard. Thus, according to Bill O'Reilly, only certain kinds of private property are worthy of defending. This statement is buttressed in light of Mr. O'Reilly's post-9/11 interview of Congressman Ron Paul. In this interview, Dr. Paul warned Bill O'Reilly that the Patriot Act effectively suspended the 4th Amendment of the Constitution (which states that "The rights of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…"). In an intellectual tour de force, Mr. O'Reilly essentially countered that the Patriot Act will only be used against the bad guys (i.e. SUV owners?). Wow! This is comforting especially considering that the U.S. Attorney General is John Ashcroft who is empowered, by the Patriot Act, to arbitrarily decide who is "good" and who is "bad." Finally, to showcase Mr. O'Reilly's self-referential Dada state of mind, Bill O'Reilly chooses to believe in global warming (which is socialism's Trojan horse aimed at destroying private property rights). The alarmists, asserting that Earth is baking to death, have nothing but junk science to back their position. Oh, now we can see a logical consistency here. Bill O'Reilly could care less about your private property rights. So in Mr. O'Reilly's crowning achievement in Dadaism, he has the audacity to title his latest book Who's Looking Out for You? I suppose if you are a propertyless drifter, with only a few dadollars in your pocket, O'Reilly is your man.
Why be alarmed that O'Reilly is popular, that public schools have become left-wing indoctrination camps, and that logic and true scholarship are on the wane? After all, isn't the United States the greatest country on earth where people are allowed to control their own destinies by voting in democratic elections? Let me answer with a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville's masterpiece Democracy in America:
After having successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power [of democracy] then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent and guided…men are seldom forced to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting…Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people…
Thus, their spirit is gradually broken…gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves. People then console themselves at the loss of their liberties by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians.
Indeed, the American experiment has gone from a republic, to a democracy, to a dadacracy. I fear the next step is totalitarianism. Unless we roll back government to a minimum (as idealized by the Constitution), we have a Dadaist populace on the verge of taking the next step beyond voting for its own guardians. The next step is voting for its own masters. Therefore, the following chilling quote is appropriate:
The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a few essential points…These slogans must be repeated until every last member of the public understands what you want him to understand. (Adolf Hitler)
Environmentalism, multiculturalism, political correctness, moral relativism, illogic, self-esteem and emotionalism are revered at the expense of our liberty. In the United States, Dada has become a state of mind. Right under our noses, the Constitution has become a joke. It has become more like a menu from which our guardians (politicians and judges) can pick and choose which rights shall and shall not be granted to citizens. Ah, but the Dadacrats are carefree. They feel great about themselves. In this soil, fertilized by smug and sterile minds, the seeds of totalitarianism have been planted. In an election coming soon, Americans may prove capable of voting for their own masters.
February 10, 2004
Copyright © 2004 LewRockwell.com