Announcement

Collapse

Civics 101 Guidelines

Want to argue about politics? Healthcare reform? Taxes? Governments? You've come to the right place!

Try to keep it civil though. The rules still apply here.
See more
See less

Yes, Minister, or JP Holding is utterly lost on how government works today.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Yes, Minister, or JP Holding is utterly lost on how government works today.

    Mr. Holding, being a political neophyte who believes that his prior experience (and indeed, excellence) as Christian apologist enables him to take his personal vendetta against an unremarkable Florida governor as a proper topic of general political conversation, is currently making regrettably overwrought noises about how we need to vote for the most morally exemplaricious people for office, and that if such people do fall, the even MORE morally exemplaricious community they lead need to harangue them back into good behavior.

    Like most ideals, this is something I can appreciate, but can only condone to the extent it actually matches reality. Naturally, he's banned beavers like me who may be perhaps a little too eager to correct him from his threads, but I do see that he's being roundly rebutted by nearly everyone else on the forum. I am grateful to see that a spirit of realism and experience with regard to politics and the civics it arises from has inspired all of you to make the same corrections I might have made, but in, perhaps, a kinder, gentler, and more good-humored Christian spirit than I'm capable of.

    I do have the feeling, however, that we want a proper idealistic deprogramming module for other men of good will and talent who regrettably stumble into American politics and government for one reason or another, and have so far found no one better than a man whose parents were in the civil service for their whole life. The post is about Ron Paul's campaign and British television but the lessons are always true:

    Originally posted by Mencius Moldbug
    As I've mentioned a couple of times, I come from a civil-service family. Horrible as it may seem, I was raised and educated on your tax dollars. And if there is one modern production which everyone who I have ever met who had ever been involved in government considers an accurate portrayal of the actual thing as it actually is, it is, of course, Yes Minister.
    There are no Ministers or Private Secretaries in DC. Crossman's opposite number in Washington, especially Washington today, would be surrounded by a small platoon of so-called "sched Cs," known to the punters as "political appointees." There are a couple thousand of these jobs, which are listed in a wonderful little volume called the Plum Book. From the Beltway's viewpoint, the primary purpose of your vote this November is to decide who shall consume these plums, "so sweet / and so cold."

    My mother was a GS-15 at DoE, working on budget and policy for renewable energy, in the Clinton administration. The other day I asked her about the sched Cs. "They get very nice offices," she said. "And they can do pretty much whatever they want. They're encouraged to find something and work on it." A legion of little Jim Hackers. Here in America, everything comes in a bigger box.

    Of course, the politicians have another option. They can try to fight. Sometimes this is done by the so-called "Republicans" among them. Perhaps you have seen stories in the press that indicate that some elected mannequin or other is trying to "politicize" the operations of some responsible and professional arm of USG. This indicates that someone is struggling. Of course, the classic example of an American politician who really went to war with the civil service was old Tailgunner Joe, and we all know what happened to him.

    The basic strategy of the civil servant, when attacked by a politician or political appointee, is to make his attacker or the attacker's political sponsor look bad in the press. Since politicians cannot be elected without the cooperation of the press, this strategy always works. Since the press is effectively part of the civil service (if the news desks at the Post, the Times, and CNN were reorganized into a Department of Journalism, perhaps not unlike the BBC, the lives of reporters would hardly change at all), this game is always "on."
    So what do you think would happen to Ron Paul if he tries to stay on Carlyle's horse? I'm afraid there are exactly two possibilities. I believe Dr. Paul is an honorable man, so we need only consider the first, which is that he will fight the system and actually try to downsize DC.

    Of course, beyond his ability to block Congressional legislation (a courtesy Senate rules grant to every single Senator - people in DC who can stop things from happening are a dime a dozen), his power to nominate Supreme Court justices (who must still be confirmed by the Senate; and note also that Republican Presidents chose seven out of the last four conservative Justices), and his nominal command of the armed forces (whom he can at least order to stop whatever they are doing right now and come home; but so can Barack Obama), President Paul will have no power whatsoever.

    But don't worry. He will still have the power to make a fool of himself - at least as portrayed in the eyes of the press. His popularity will descend into the single digits. The result will be that Americans will consider libertarianism "discredited" for at least the next twenty years. Except for the same kinds of diehards who support him now, everyone who voted for Ron Paul in 2008 will realize, by 2012, that they were swept up in a wave of craziness, they had no idea what they were thinking, and they will certainly never think it again.

    In other words, the problem with believing in Dr. Paul is that Dr. Paul is a candidate in a democratic election. To vote for him and believe you are doing something meaningful and important, it is necessary to believe not just in one thing - Ron Paul - but in two: Ron Paul and contemporary American democracy.
    Do read the whole thing. At least there's no doubt about the moral haranguing! And if you remember any historical, media, or personal experience that exemplifies the power of organizational career structure (oligarchy, if you want to get technical) against meritocratic human judgment of the democratic or monarchical variety, feel free to add your own examples, that we may educate each other better.

  • #2
    I'm not getting the thread title.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      I'm not getting the thread title.
      It's apparently one of the actually worthwhile BBC series.

      Comment


      • #4
        It is brilliantly written and very funny series.

        Comment


        • #5
          oh
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            oh
            but you have to appreciate British humour (which I do)
            "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
            -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

            Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
            1 Corinthians 16:13

            "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
            -Ben Witherington III

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Raphael View Post
              but you have to appreciate British humour (which I do)
              Same here. I'm a big fan of several "Britcoms"

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #8
                Good riddance. Last thing we need any more is one of Keen's amateurs who think citing amateur blogs that sound like themselves constitutes rational argument.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jpholding View Post
                  Good riddance. Last thing we need any more is one of Keen's amateurs who think citing amateur blogs that sound like themselves constitutes rational argument.
                  Reflects the history of your Ministerial reign in your sacred corner of Tweb. Dialogue to you is 'by a log.'

                  When it reigns mediocrity, no one gets wet.
                  Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                  Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                  But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                  go with the flow the river knows . . .

                  Frank

                  I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                    Reflects the history of your Ministerial reign in your sacred corner of Tweb.
                    Sure thing, Bungle Boy, Ben Witherington is an amateur blogger. Change your shirt; your butthurt stands out too much on your sleeve.

                    It speaks for itself that you were morally decrepit enough to "amen" an OP rife with the moral sewage of unprincipled surrender.
                    Last edited by jpholding; 05-21-2015, 10:03 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      I'm not getting the thread title.
                      The title was the only reason I clicked on this thread. Unfortunately, Epoetker's commentary is not nearly as smart, witty, or insightful as the British comedy.
                      Last edited by Mountain Man; 05-21-2015, 09:37 PM.
                      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                      Than a fool in the eyes of God


                      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jpholding View Post
                        Sure thing, Bungle Boy, Ben Witherington is an amateur blogger. Change your shirt; your butthurt stands out too much on your sleeve.

                        It speaks for itself that you were morally decrepit enough to "amen" an OP rife with the moral sewage of unprincipled surrender.
                        Classic JP Holding response!!!! Benny Hill would be proud.
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How does government work today? Are we agreed that government should work on making the world better, above all other aims? From the fact that a large number of people struggle in poverty, can we agree that government works at cross purposes to that objective?
                          The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                          [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                            Classic JP Holding response!!!! Benny Hill would be proud.


                            Do yourself a favor shuny, stop talking.
                            "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
                            GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                              Classic JP Holding response!!!! Benny Hill would be proud.
                              You bet. It would be a great comedy scene of me chasing you around with a large wooden mallet in fast motion, to the tune of "Yakety Sax".

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by CivilDiscourse, Today, 07:13 AM
                              1 response
                              11 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post rogue06
                              by rogue06
                               
                              Started by shunyadragon, Yesterday, 10:50 PM
                              0 responses
                              49 views
                              1 like
                              Last Post LiconaFan97  
                              Started by rogue06, Yesterday, 08:47 AM
                              5 responses
                              55 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Ronson
                              by Ronson
                               
                              Started by LiconaFan97, 12-01-2020, 11:56 PM
                              36 responses
                              284 views
                              1 like
                              Last Post oxmixmudd  
                              Started by mikewhitney, 12-01-2020, 08:39 PM
                              2 responses
                              26 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post mikewhitney  
                              Working...
                              X