Thursday, March 20, 2008


In Weapons Turned Inward, Wretchard observed how some left-leaning partisans see insanity in the internecine warfare that has erupted in the Democratic Party because of rock star Obama's "new" front moving in from the Left and threatening the Clintonista leadership as nobody has before.

Wretchard opined that it was not truly insanity "but the rational application of the demented rules of left-wing politics."
Well, what are the demented rules to which Wretchard is referring? He mostly alluded to them in much the same manner that the Democratic front-runners avoid admitting what rules they are following.

But in the comments others flushed it out. It is of the politics of division that Democratic Party has nurtured for, it seems, forever. And it has become brittle as its subdivisions jockey for position, in a hierarchy that is now viewed up for grabs. "Me first! No me!"

Wretchard finally gave us an inkling as to how he viewed where the application of those rules were leading with this:
"The problem with the politics of infinite subdivision is that it inevitably fractures the party which manufactures the categories itself. Eventually the Party itself becomes a pile of sticks that can't be shifted without everything falling to the ground."
And that is where he inspired me to comment. I saw that Wretchard's pile of sticks were symbolically what happens when a fasces has lost its binding chord.

I asked Wretchard of what he thought the binding chord was made. He responded: "Hate" and a bit more. Go read it.

Alright, now here's the point of the title of this piece as inspired by Wretchard's invoking the symbol of the fasces.

The fasces was originally a symbol among those with a common interest to provide for their defense. It originated with the Etruscan League.

After the Etruscan King was kicked out of Rome, it was adopted by the Romans to represent their republic: A state formed to provide a common defense among more or less equals; who were bound together in a ways similar to how the sticks bound to the ax handle protects it from attacks to it flank, its weakest point; and who elected its leaders to wield the weapons of the state.

These United States also adopted the fasces. It symbolized the words of Benjamin Franklin:
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
However, the fasces had also carried over into the Roman Empire as a symbol. The difference was that the dictator then decided who it was that he represented; who it was that protected his flank; and who was not to be included because they were a threat to his power -- and, of course, by extension, a threat to the state. This was the meaning of the symbol that Mussolini has come to represent. It is the meaning most associated with the fasces today.

Wretchard's post clearly shows that in the Democratic Party at least, the common interests that it represented once, working folk, the less privileged members of society, who banded together to elect its leader, have morphed from a republican form into a fascist form of organization. Wherein its leaders decided WHO best represents the special interests for whom it claims to speak. In other words, the leadership decides who are allowed to be the sticks that protect its flank rather than "the sticks" deciding who its leadership should be.

Wretchard laid the groundwork for today's observation a few years ago with this line:
"One of the sources of the inhuman 'strength' of the Left is its refusal to acknowledge the existence of anything smaller than a mass noun. Rhetorical service to the people, masses, workers, peasants; the poor and the downtrodden are objects worthy of the Left; but love, pity and sorrow for individuals is sentiment beneath contempt."
The reason the Left can ignore individuals is because it is not individual's voices that are heard. Individuals from each of the interests groups the Left claims to represent are MARGINALIZED whenever they disagree with the Left's leadership. How could it be made much more clearer than suffering from or even witnessing such behavior? The Left's leadership clearly cares less for members of any of its groups than it does about being able to claim without contradiction to be doing what it wants "in the interest" of its groups. (And largely succeeds since both it and the MSM it inhabits block or discredit complainants from its groups.)

Examples abound. The left calls women who reject feminist ideology female impersonators. It loves Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, men who make demands that provide government an excuse to grow and to steal via taxation, but it hates brilliant economists like Sowell and Williams because they recommend the opposite. Duh. And homosexuals who merely want to be left alone, and are appalled by the radicals' agenda, are dismissed or threatened. In fact they have nasty names and exclusionary labels for members of every group who dare say "Now wait, not so fast..." even before they can finish stating their complaints.

That behavior is simply more obvious in the Left, because it has been going on there much longer. But ask most any conservative today if the GOP hears his complaints. You will hear that his words have been shucked to the side with a sneering "what can you do about it other than elect people who are worse than me? Shut up, you bother me."

In short, what we are seeing here has been metamorphosing in these United States in both main parties, and in the central government as well, but quite a bit more obviously in the Democratic party. The fasces today stands less for the republican form and more for the dictatorial form of the state.

Metamorphosis is how the fasces went from representing the defense of common interests who choose their leader, to one where the leader replaces, one by one, those who represent the individual interests with men of his liking.

Can what is left of free men still form a strong defense for the common interest of all and elect real leaders to defend them? Can the republican form symbolized by the fasces be brought back to save the day? That remains to be seen.

I received an email from "Carry_okie" in which he stated something with which I agree in large part because I know how violations of the tenth commandment easily lead to personal unhappiness.

In it Carryokie is indirectly referring to Wretchard's comment that what binds the fasces of the Democratic Party is hate. Carryokie qualified that a bit more:
"Not quite.

Its leaders decide WHO gets protected, who takes the whack, and who gets to define the covetousness with which it is bound.

Covetousness is a better binder than hate because it is entirely subjective and need not be sated. Indeed, it is the insatiable nature of covetousness and the fact that any attempt to sate it leaves the "benefactor" less capable of delivering that makes it such a powerful binder. One need only offer the hope that you'll deliver the goodies, because you can always blame the bad guy if you don't.

Certainly one hates those they envy, but it is the unrequited desire to take that drives that hate." [emphasis added]
Thank you Carryokie.


  1. The problem with "unity" movements is that they must eat their own. Trotsky must die. [See the Obamaniacs vs. the HRCers at the Daily Kos.]

    On the GOP side, I'm not sure I want a real leader to defend me. As long as we don't descend into anarchy, chaos is freedom's friend.

  2. Wasn't Trotsky's demise more about the maximum leader (Stalin) not tolerating the existence of his rival even in exile rather than smaller factions taking out another small competitor?

    As for the "real leader" worry, I fear you may be right.

    It may well be that a civilization as "advanced" as ours will never get a truly selfless leader. God forbid will get so fed up we're willing to follow a "clean" candidate? You're thinking perhaps how Robespierre and Hitler had impeccable habits.

    Yes, Chaos may be a friend of freedom -- and also a tyrant's exploitable opportunity.
    Hey! That's the first inclination I have had that Mr. Reform Club viewed anarchy as the reform du jour. :)

    Thanks for you comment Tom.

  3. As for covetousness, I think it is summed up best by Humphrey Bogart to Edward G. Robinson in "Key Largo": "I know what Rico wants, More", to which Rico replies, after a quizzical look: "Yeah, that's right, More."

  4. It's been a long time since I've seen Key Largo Ed, and still I can see the greed and hear the sinister crankiness of Rico. You've reawakened a new appreciation for the skill of E.G. Robinson.


    I think you have given us the epitome for the craziness stemming from unrequited desires, unrestrained by reason and possessed with ruthlessness.

  5. Even though it's Rocco, not Rico, "I want more!" is still a excellent example.


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