Friday, February 19, 2016

- Fundamental Transformation In The Courts

All this talk of Scalia’s replacement has me thinking about ‘fundamental transformation’ lately. The left has had mammoth success during my lifetime reinterpreting the ‘living constitution’ to mean whatever they damned well please, and the courts, with a few glaring expectations have sanctioned that view. I’m not talking about the social justice stuff. If Bruce Jenner wants to call himself a woman I don’t really much care. It’s not like he’ll be seeing an OBGYN on my dime anytime soon.

But our fundamental rights have been reinterpreted and reduced so severely that my daughter, born just 16 years ago, has no idea the degree to which she is very much ‘less free’ than I was at her age. The two rulings that immediately spring to mind are the eminent domain ruling Kelo vs. New London, and the raft of incremental infringements on the second amendment. But they are by no means the only ones.

Thanks to president Bike Helmet and his sycophants from the teachers’ lounge, we have a relatively long list of new executive actions and dubiously enacted legislation that will (and in some cases already have) set off law suits countrywide on other fundamental freedoms. We are by no means a free people anymore, but the courts are slow and methodical, so the issues raised by Obama’s ‘flexible’ interpretation of the laws restricting his actions have not yet been fully settled. Your freedom to assemble, to practice your faith, and to speak to others as you see fit have all been seriously degraded since my youth, and still face further meaningful challenge – to say nothing of our right to use force to resist tyranny.

Whenever I think of ‘fundamental transformation’, I think of Rhodesia. When Robert Mugabe’s idiotic ZANU regime took over in 1980, the country has already seen 15 years of internal guerrilla warfare by fractional groups. But as a British Colony until 1965, it was a kind of African paradise in waiting. It had a stable currency, a growing economy, and a rising standard of living (rising fastest for the black population). With enormous natural resources, and a spectacular agro climate even with its small size it showed every sign of becoming a regional powerhouse. But then came the 60’s.

The Rhodesian government under Ian Smith openly discriminated against the majority black population, reserving a large number of parliament seats for whites under the premise that it was they who built Rhodesia from a third world backwater to a potential rising star, and should have their interests protected from the majority black population. Though the plan was always to fully include the black population once education took root and proved their fitness for self-rule, Smith never got the chance.

In the 60’s racial identity politics became the order of the day and it weakened the outside support of the ruling regime. Before long, economic sanctions, pressure from the superpowers, and most of all, outward migration of the white citizens who feared black Guerilla violence, so weakened the position of Smith’s government that the communist backed guerillas were given a political foothold. The rest, is simply tragic history. Now what was once Rhodesia is renowned only for its spectacularly bad economic decision making, its laughable currency, and its brutal bayonet point politics. The ‘fundamental transformation’ of Rhodesia from rising African star to ridiculous and brutal third world backwater, was complete.

I can’t find the news article, but I remember reading a piece in one of the British newspapers some time in 2004 about the goings on in Rhodesia under Mugabe. He seized most of the farmland of course, and handed it out to party loyalists who were all black. The newly created ‘farmers’ then immediately complained that they needed tractors so Mugabe went out and seized those too. Sometime after that, I read a piece where the new ‘farmers’ of Rhodesia demanded workers to drive the tractors, mechanics to fix them, and someone to teach them all the other things they need to know to be farmers. The politics of racial entitlement only led to more and greater demands for more entitlements. At the risk of offending social justice warriors even further, that analogy about teaching pigs to sing springs immediately to mind. As it stands Rhodesia today produces only a fraction of the real economic output of what it did under Smith.

I’m not saying that Obama is as stupid as Robert Mugabe or that his regime and the social justice warriors who lobby to move the agenda further left are demanding the same thing in America that ZANU and the communists were there. In America no one wants to be a farmer, they want to be lawyers, doctors, and tenured professors in such demanding ‘hard science’ disciplines as women’s and ethnic studies.

But while the actual entitlements they’re asking for are different, they’re certainly doing it in the same way. What was important to both groups? Racially driven ‘social’ justice, entitlements for the politically loyal, and ‘equality’ of results for those seen as underprivileged by the political elite, whether they knew what they were doing in their selected trade or not. What is unimportant for both? Property rights, individual liberty, and the value of knowledge.

America is by no means ‘the same’ as Rhodesia was politically either in spite of the dubious claims of the social justice and ‘black lives matter’ crowd. Under American law, black citizens have no reduced status - they are full citizens given the same protections and the same rights as any other American – which is obviously as it should be in my opinion. But in a welfare state, you cannot get equality of outcomes without holding someone back. This isn’t politics, it’s simply mathematics. One person will always know more, work harder, or otherwise be more productive than the next person. You can believe that’s as a result of individual initiative or of bias and oppression, but it’s a fact either way. So equality can’t be accomplished without punishing the have’s and bringing them down to the level of the “have not’s”.

As much as Obama has done to try to turn America into a Rhodesian superpower, I believe one thing and one thing alone has stifled his ambitions. In America 100 million private citizens have the means to resist the force which will be required to produce equality of outcomes. Our right to keep and bear arms is deeply embedded in the culture, and is going absolutely nowhere. The law may change, but gun ownership will not. And you can arm 100 million motivated people with nothing but farm implements, and no army in the world could successfully suppress them. Anyone who believes differently simply doesn’t understand the nature of armed conflict. What’s even worse for Obama and the SJW’s is that of that 100 million people, a very large number of them are currently wearing the uniform of our armed services. The day Obama or his progressive successor tells them to disarm the American public, is almost certainly the day that his Army turns on him. And you cannot rule by force if you have no force to use. You may be able to force a bakery owner to violate his faith, but you cannot force even a tiny fraction of America’s gun owners to surrender their arms or steal their farms or tractors. Not unless you want to see 15+ years of guerilla warfare across the entire continent, much like what they saw across all of Rhodesia.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but America’s gun owners are far more capable, cunning, and skilled than Robert Mugabe’s functionally illiterate idiot communist ZANU insurgency ever was. Conflict between the most fanatically determined portion of gun owning America and the US military would be such a total blowout that a meaningful portion of gun owning America is actually kind of hoping that Obama and the other girls from the teacher’s lounge actually try to pull it off. To say nothing of the fact that the two groups overlap in important and meaningful ways. As they see it the civilian loss would be minimal and there would be a congressman or know it all federal bureaucrat hanging from every lamp-post. Me I’m not so optimistic.

This is why I believe Scalia’s successor to the court is the entire battle for the soul of America in microcosm. There is really only one way to avoid the decades of violence that will spring from the ‘fundamental transformation’ of our right to keep and bear arms. And that is to leave it in place, or even better, to strengthen it. If we get another progressive on the court we inevitably go the way of Rhodesia and are ‘fundamentally transformed’ at bayonet point. If not, then when the next economic bubble bursts what comes out of the wreckage might have at least a few things in common with America of my childhood. And the ideas that the second amendment actually protects like free speech, free assembly, and property rights, might just survive it all. %%%%%%%%%%UPDATE%%%%%%%%%%

From the NyTimes:

“If we got a fifth liberal on the court, the pendulum would swing pretty quickly on gun control,” he said. “I expect that we’d see a major shift in the kind of gun control laws that get approved by the court. Look for enhanced registration requirements as the first step.”

Or you could think of it as a 'last step', depending on how you look at things.


Unknown said...

Love the article, but I should point out that it's Scalia who must be replaced, not Alito.

Tom said...

LOL I'm so sorry. Serves me right for trying to do this at work.

correction added.

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

A side note about Ian Smith:

Back in the early '90s, Smith was shopping in a department store in Zimbabwe. He was confronted by a gang of black men. To harm him? No... They were urging Smith to run against Mugabe and were even trying to give him money to help fund the campaign (Smith politely refused).

When Smith was in power, they had jobs, a stable country, and a future. Now under Mugabe they had black rule, but black rule in Hell.

From my understanding of the Rhodesian government, it did not practice strict racial segregation like the Apartheid system in South Africa. Blacks could vote and hold office. However, the right to vote depended on having a certain level of wealth / income. Like the old Roman Republic, the franchise depended on an individual have a 'stake in the system', so to be discouraged from voting one self a raise from the public treasury.

The requirements were spelled out in the constitution which I linked below:

Muzzlethemuz said...

Excellent post.
For a fantastic read that tangentially deals with the background politics of the Rhodesian conflict during the 1960's and 70's check out Lt. Col. Ron Reid Daly's "Selous Scouts Top Secret War." The West sold Rhodesia down the river and none of the jackasses that aided and abetted Rhodesia's fall ever owned up to it so far as I am aware. The picture painted in the military tomes I've read on the conflict indicate a social structure along the lines as Hell describes above. Zimbabwe's citizens today live in a failed state provided them by the western liberal "conscience" of the 1970's. Well done liberals. Well done.

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...


If you are still up for reading about the Rhodesian bush war, I highly recommend the following book (if you can find it):

It is an autobiography from a grunt's perspective.

Muzzlethemuz said...

Thanks Hell. I am familiar with that title. A few years ago I shelled out big on a mint copy of "The Saints," the story of the Rhodesian Light Infantry that I found on Amazon. The exploits of the Rhodesian Army are the stuff of legend. The Selous Scouts and in my opinion, Israel's Duvduvan unit, are the finest counter-Marxest/counter-Eastern fighting groups ever to come out of the West. I have had contact directly and indirectly over the years with several ex-Rhodesian fighters both here and abroad and those men were cut from a different cloth and a different time. Running around the bush country in tight shorts and FN/FAL battle rifles whacking Marxist a$$holes... the stuff of legend.