Geezer Conservatism: The Albatross
by Gary North: Liberty
Is Making the World Richer. You're Included.
are heavily influenced by the geezer mentality. This is because
most movements are funded mainly by geezers.
If you were
to look at the demography of donors to televangelism ministries,
you would find that the people who donate 80% of the money are women
above the age of 55. Televangelists never mention this on screen,
but they know it is true, so they dare not alienate older women.
Whatever older women believe is what televangelists preach.
of any religious or political organization is run by people over
age 55. They have the experience. They have at least some leisure.
They have the discretionary income to support the organization.
So, there is a tendency in every movement older than 20 years old
to be backward looking. The organization does not want to alienate
people who are looking over their shoulders at the good old days.
the past is one of the greatest weaknesses of all ideological movements.
This is especially true in the United States. If we are talking
about limited civil government, the good old days ended with the
opening shots of the Seven Years' War (1756-63). From that time
on, taxes continually rose in the British colonies in North America,
and they continued to rise under the Constitution of the United
States, 1788 edition. The central government has continued to expand
at the expense of individual liberty. Anyone who talks about the
good old days that came after 1756 is talking about the days that
led, step-by-step, to the centralization of the national government
and the reduction of individual liberties.
America were educated in the public schools, and the public schools
have always taught the message of nationalism and political centralization.
Ever since 1945, they have taught the importance of big government
in saving capitalism from itself.
school textbooks have long taught that the Supreme Court has final
jurisdiction on legal matters, which is explicitly denied by the
United States Constitution, 1788 edition. (Congress can remove the
court's jurisdiction over virtually anything at any time: Article
III:1:2). The President need not go along.)
geezers look back at their youth, which means from the 1950s through
1963, and they long for the good old days, when men were men, and
politicians respected the United States Constitution.
They are living
in a fantasy world of the textbooks' creation, and they are unwilling
to re-think what they were taught in the public schools as teenagers.
They do not understand the fundamental fact of history, namely,
that history never moves backward. Liberals and radicals
accept this fact of history, which is undeniable in terms of the
record, and they have parlayed that into a form of political legitimacy
which says that the state must push society forward. The conservatives
rejected this view of the state, which is appropriate, but then
they defend it by means of an appeal to an imaginary past.
received an e-mail in response to an article that I wrote on gun
control and the Second Amendment. I wrote that America
is exceptional with respect to the widespread ownership of guns,
which are in the hands of individuals, not the state. Here is the
2nd Amendment, contrary to popular beliefs, is to have the ultimate
veto power over an oppressive regime.............................................
No pundit, including yourself, has the courage to state this to
the shepple. Personally, I believe if one could afford it, he should
be legal to own a Howitzer............ Regarding oppressive, I am
70 and old enough to remember when our leaders respected and defended
our Constitution, but in this century our leaders, who are sworn
to uphold and defend our Constitution, treat it as if it didn't
exist. If the trend seeks its course our federal government will
approach that oppressive regime.
I assume that
"shepple" is a misspelling for "sheeple."
Now, if this
guy knew anything at all, he would know that my position on gun
ownership is exactly his position, namely, that it represents the
ultimate veto power. Gun ownership is a mark of the ultimate veto
power of sovereign individuals. In fact, I have said that this is
the fundamental reason why gun control advocates want to suppress
the ownership of guns. It is not that they fear revolutionary resistance.
They fear rather the inescapable constitutional implications of
such ownership, namely, that citizens possess legitimate sovereignty,
and they can use this sovereignty to overturn the existing political
order. On December 22, 2012, I wrote this:
control advocates insist that the centralization of gun ownership
into the hands of the monopolistic government is a moral obligation.
Why is it a moral obligation? It is a moral obligation because these
people really do believe that the central government possesses legitimate
original political sovereignty, an exclusive sovereignty, over the
weapons that could be used against the central government.
This led to
are important. A citizen who has the right to keep and bear arms,
even though he is not planning to join the state militia, which
is in fact an arm of the federal government, understands that he
possesses a degree of sovereignty that is not possessed by citizens
in nations that prohibit widespread firearm ownership. He understands
that he is in a unique situation. He still has the fundamental marks
of political sovereignty, namely, firearms. His firearms testify
to the fact that the central government does not yet feel sufficiently
confident to confiscate his firearms in the name of the central
government's exclusive monopoly of violence. His firearms testify
to the fact that he is still a citizen, and that he still possesses
rights that politicians and bureaucrats cannot legally overturn.
I ended with
are marks of political sovereignty. They should be defended on this
basis, not on the basis of some hypothetical revolution, which is
not going to take place. I am saying that such a revolution is not
necessary, precisely because the people do possess the right to
keep and bear arms. They need not take up arms against the government,
precisely because they already possess the arms.
a geezer conservative, he was too busy defending the good old days
to do the research required to understand the detailed published
opinions of his target: me. He shot from the hip.
you shoot from the hip, you risk blowing off important appendages.
me with this: "I am 70 and old enough to remember when our leaders
respected and defended our Constitution."
I will turn
71 in two weeks, and I do not recall this. I do recall the Warren
Court, which re-wrote the Constitution. More to the point, as a
specialist in American history, I know of the Marshall Court, which
re-wrote it far more than the Warren Court did.
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is the author of Mises
on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com.
He is also the author of a free 31-volume series, An
Economic Commentary on the Bible.
2013 Gary North
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