2009 April 16 Thursday
Right Wing Extremists Seen As Threat

The US Department of Homeland Security has released a report entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" which has got me examining myself looking for evidence that I'm plotting terrorist activity. Maybe I'm not sufficiently self-aware to see the evidence in front of my eyes. Maybe all the people on the Right have got to take turns examining each other looking for the danger signs. I am as suspicious of my many immigration restrictionist readers as I am of myself. The report draws attention to our potential for violence.

Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.

Maybe we should be deported to make America safe for illegal immigrants? I'm thinking a country could be set up just for us dangerous right-wingers. Maybe evacuate Argentina and let all the Argentinians come to America. Then all the American right-wingers could go to Argentina to place us far from high left-liberal civilization. Work for you?

Since veterans returning from the Iraq war are dangerous they too should be transferred to Argentina. In fact, anyone sent out to defend the empire should be given a land grant in some area of the empire instead of being allowed home again.

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

As a recent Pew Research Center poll shows the Right is so dangerous that it fails to recognize Barack Obama as an absolutely great and glorious President. A full 73% of Republicans reject the Messiah.

For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama's job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president -- 88% job approval among Democrats -- and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%).

People who aren't infatuated with our maximal leader could be dangerous.

My worry is that more than just the Republicans are dangerous immigration extremists.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of likely voters nationwide say it is Very Important for the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration. However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 32% of America’s Political Class agrees.

We might need to deport two thirds of the existing American citizens to make America safe for illegal immigrants.

People who get involved in politics are suspect too. Peope who get involved in order to protect themselves from government are therefore today trying to protect themselves from Barack Obama. What a suspect motivation.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Americans adults say most people get involved in politics to protect themselves from what the government might do, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Forty-four percent (44%) believe most get involved in politics to help make the country better.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 April 16 06:05 PM  Elites Betrayal And Incompetence


Comments
black sea said at April 16, 2009 10:44 PM:

Having failed to pass amnesty under the Bush regime, the preferred tactic is now to demonize those who oppose such legislation (which would, of course, be the majority of the electorate). Oh well, time to elect a new electorate. At this point, I give representative government in America about another 15 years. Of course, there'll always be elections to look forward to.

Robert said at April 16, 2009 11:12 PM:

This qualifies as another "Glad I live in South Korea" moment.

Sure, we've got a nuke-loving Stalinist just an hour's drive away, but at least the government doesn't denigrate those who want immigration law enforced as threats to national security. In fact, it regards --- the horror, the horror! --- illegal immigrants as threats to national security.

James Bowery said at April 16, 2009 11:57 PM:

The basic problem is that passive resistance requires a good deal of local cohesion so that when the central government comes to enforce the "law", there is a reasonable chance that the people's militia can handle the concentrated assault from the government's military. The 20th century was all about dissolving local cohesion in favor of global adhesion. This means that if 21st century central governments get themselves into a state where they need to be resisted, terrorism against them makes tactical sense.

This woman isn't crazy -- just realistic about the aftermath of the 20th century's excesses and about the incompetence of Obama and Pelosi.

O'Brien said at April 17, 2009 10:33 AM:

The Western elite does not believe in itself. Yes, the elites definitely do believe in themselves, as individuals. But for some reason, Western elites refuse to consciously see themselves as a group. One may be able to escape identifying with race, sex, religion, even nation. But somehow it seems that virtually all human beings need some kind of group identity. If the Western elite did begin to identify itself as a distinct group, and a group that had not only the right to exist, but the responsibility to exist, I believe many problems would go away. No more worshiping illegals with 8th grade educations. No more thinking that people with 90 IQs will become geniuses if the USA spends 30K per kid per year on education. A conscious, scientific, and (relatively) united Western elite would realize that most people are not like themselves, regardless of what is comforting to believe.

What elites must realize: they are not the same as the masses. Just because traditional gender roles, jingoism, the literal interpretation of the Bible or other religious works, the Twelve Steps, etc. are useless or outright repellent to themselves does not mean that such things do not have a use for the masses.

On a related note, even if military discipline and the idea of working to kill other human beings seems horrific, it does not mean that a strong military is not still needed. Elites must separate their gut feelings about the military from the reality that we need a strong one.

mark said at April 17, 2009 11:07 AM:

Barack is going to be a victim of circumstances, that is for sure. A victimization complex at the core of his personality may be the reason for his nonchalance in these most perilous of times.

I think a valid third party effort is needed to break the deadlock of the duopoly which invites domination by oligarchs and suffocates political dissent. I am concerned since by midcentury the consequences for our country of this latest binge of deficit spending will become clear. The debt service is going to be paid to sovereign wealth funds, not to “us” as it is usually described. A revolutionary situation will develop because all solutions proposed by the then-establishment will clearly be counterproductive, and make that extremely so. When we pay our taxes in the future, much of the wealth we consign over to the federal government will be shipped to overseas accounts of countries such as China who likely will be in fierce economic competition with us for remaining global markets and resources.

So the reason people will pay taxes then is …to hasten our demise? I don’t think so; and to prepare for that eventuality a powerful third party must be started now so there will be a legitimate channel for the ultimate dissent: secession. Our backs will absolutely be against the wall by then.

Reasons? Well,the federal government will have to resort to an army of Treasury Police to enforce acceptance and usage of the dollar in economic transactions, all of which will be subject to onerous value-added taxes. Additionally, in order to regularize the economy further there will be extensive wage and price controls once the inflation generated by this “stimulus” takes hold. This will of course result in a huge black market, in turn a further reason for policing of the economy in a soviet-style manner. Dissent will become linked to economic crime and will be outlawed.

But as I have said above the revolutionary situation may develop because the USA is a debtor nation; essentially a financial colony of the sovereign wealth funds of China and other holders of our TBills. Taxation, already onerous, will become unbearable in light of the fact that the collection of taxes itself will hasten our economic demise. The “original 13 colony” mentality will reassert itself. Prosperity will frankly be seen never to be realizable unless a re-ordering of the borders takes place to enable the productive to separate themselves and rid themselves of dollar debt.

Ergo, secession.

Anon said at April 17, 2009 11:32 AM:

"On a related note, even if military discipline and the idea of working to kill other human beings seems horrific, it does not mean that a strong military is not still needed. Elites must separate their gut feelings about the military from the reality that we need a strong one."

Up until very recently, elites were in the military (I can't think of a time or place where this wasn't the case, maybe someone can?). But for some reason in the modern west, elites aren't anymore. That is a major part of the problem.

O'Brien said at April 17, 2009 11:47 AM:

Up until very recently, elites were in the military (I can't think of a time or place where this wasn't the case, maybe someone can?). But for some reason in the modern west, elites aren't anymore. That is a major part of the problem.

Probably a large part of the reason there aren't many elites in the military is because there are so many other opportunities. The first major wave of anti-militarism in the West came in the late 19th and early 20th century, that is when professional/office-type jobs started to become available in significant numbers (albeit in far smaller numbers than today, or even in say, the 1950s). People like HG Wells believed that the need for a military culture could be abolished, and others like Franz Boas and Emile Durkheim were totally out to lunch. Unfortunately, as Machiavelli knew, peace and prosperity are enablers for corruption and stupidity--this is not to say that the USA/the West should get into wars like Vietnam, much less Iraq, as some sort of perverted "reality check," [in fact both these wars had/have had the exact opposite effect] but one must understand that good times as well as bad times carry serious dangers.

Michael L said at April 17, 2009 12:46 PM:

elite in the military? Be careful for what you wish for. There are effective models of doing it (see Prussia - they had all their aristocracy and college trained intellectuals serve as officers, and many rose up high enough to transform 19th century and 20th century warfare). And there are INEFFECTIVE models of doing it (see America - they drafted college kids and sent them to die as infantry under command of not-so-intelligent officers in Vietnam). You better believe it that the Vietnam experience did not make the elite empathize more with the nation or appreciate the national defense issues... Well, why go as far as "dying"? Just put an IQ of 130 guy in the same platoon as a bunch of IQ of 100 guys for awhile and see the sparks of love and national reconciliation fly :)

Moral of the story is, smart reforms can yield wonderful results. And stupid reforms will cause untold damage above and beyond the messed up situation we already have. Now, given the quality of current American government, what sort of reforms do you expect from them, whether in the military or elsewhere? :)

O'Brien said at April 17, 2009 1:30 PM:

I agree that elites make bad cannon fodder. A wounded or dead elite is a good cause celebre for the anti-war crowd.

Also, elites like Goering, Goebbels, Khrushchev, etc can be disastrous when they can only get their jollies through an organized crime syndicate, like say, the Nazi or Commie Party (I see both Republicans and Democrats moving in this direction). The common problem with Nazism, Communism, and "democracy" ca. 2009 is that all have attempted to divide the elites in the name of justice for the masses, causing the elites to fight each other rather than actually do something useful.

The Founding Fathers were extremely wise to emphasize that America is a republic, not a democracy, and to greatly value liberty over the will (whims?) of the people.

Rohan Swee said at April 17, 2009 1:45 PM:

Maybe all the people on the Right have got to take turns examining each other looking for the danger signs. I am as suspicious of my many immigration restrictionist readers as I am of myself.

Struggle session! I'll bring the beer and the dunce cap.

We might need to deport two thirds of the existing American citizens to make America safe for illegal immigrants.

Good one. (Ha, we laugh, but don't give DHS any ideas.)

Maximum Fab said at April 18, 2009 8:39 AM:

Janet Napolitano seems almost to be maneuvering the country in the direction of a civil war. Why she would want to do so is her own twisted affair. For Obama, working to alienate over one half the population of the country is a very bad start to an administration.

averros said at April 18, 2009 3:39 PM:

"Elites"? Don't make me laugh. The half-educated kleptocrats are not elite in any sense of the word.

Shrewsbury said at April 18, 2009 7:00 PM:

When will the entertainment-sodden American people at last realize that their own government is against them, and both despises and fears them? What will it take? Could anything do it? Maybe not - the federal government has been trying to destroy them for nearly a half century now, and they've hardly noticed.

O'Brien said at April 19, 2009 11:55 AM:

@Shrewsbury

There has always been a cultural divide; Machiavelli observed essentially the same cultural divide in early 16th century Italy--between the Lions, those who are conventional, patriotic, and traditionalist, sometimes to the point of jingoism and bigotry, and the Foxes, the largely bohemian elite, who are responsible for running and advancing society but could become decadent and corrupt (especially in long spells of peace and prosperity). I do not believe that the Lions and the Foxes have ever really gotten along. In fact, it is probably Machiavelli's own experiences with rigid Lions, and self-deceived elites who believe the pap they used to pacify Lions*, that inspired his ideas.

Even the Founding Fathers did not much respect the masses, though their viewpoints seemed more separationist rather than the more supremacist views of the elite today, that is they would stay out of the masses' lives and the masses could not (much) interfere in their lives. Also, while almost all of the Founders believed in some sort of God and many were Christian, they certainly were not deeply religious. The Founders were far closer to Machiavelli than Christ, would have strongly agreed with Cosimo de Medici, who said that states are not ruled based on prayer books (and this goes far beyond simple separation of Church and State).

It is long-standing myth that the elites get ahead by being upright, in the sense of being 100% honest, not having sex outside of marriage, not abusing alcohol or using drugs, and the like. On the contrary: the elites get ahead by deceiving (self-)righteous people, and through their desire for sex, money, and privilege. This includes nearly all of the Founding Fathers. Unfortunately today's elites have become self-deceived, and have no belief in the greater good, even for the elite as a whole (unless the elite is narrowly interpreted as govt leaders, CEOs, CFOs etc as opposed to professionals generally [doctors, scientists, academics, lawyers etc]).

*For example, today in the USA, both fundamentalist Christianity and blank slate-ism. The popularity of both ideologies in the USA has essentially the same Puritanical root.

Dragon Horse said at April 20, 2009 4:00 AM:

Randall:

Didn't I tell you this 2 or 3 years ago. The initial study was commissioned under the Bush Admin, not the Obama Admin. Didn't I say you and many others were being observed? If you think this is limited to organized groups and returning military that might be sympathetic...naw...they are looking at gun sales, those tea party weirdos who are letting themselves be videotaped in public saying wackball conspiracy theories, internet, etc. A lot of you guys are putting bulls eyes on you.

Dragon Horse said at April 20, 2009 4:10 AM:

"Since veterans returning from the Iraq war are dangerous they too should be transferred to Argentina. In fact, anyone sent out to defend the empire should be given a land grant in some area of the empire instead of being allowed home again."

My father is a 20 year military veteran; I don't think they are talking about him. They are concerned with future Timothy McVeighs. There are more than a few of those freaks with an arsenal of guns in a secret compartment under their shed and copy of Anarchist Cookbook.

mark said at April 20, 2009 5:49 PM:

The USA by 2030 will be auctioned off in pieces to the Chinese et al. to cover the loans being made by this admin. I wonder if the people of this country have any idea how much money we will owe to foreign funds. The amount owed borders on the incomprehensible. How we are to collect it and remain a viable society is beyond me. What conceivably could we produce, other than food,to barter with our creditors? This country is cooked.

Randall Parker said at April 20, 2009 6:15 PM:

Dragon Horse,

Gee whiz, if I'm so important to be watched then I could feel paranoid and justified in feeling paranoid. That'd make me more important. My status would rise.

That's what's interesting about paranoia: In some people it is probably a product of a desire to feel more important.

mark,

We (or our masters) always have the option to inflate away the debt.


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