The propensity for what we may call pseudo-theorizing has been at the heart of progressivism from the start. The nineteenth century spawned a mutant philosophical subset, intellectuals for tyranny, who produced ersatz scientific, moral, and even metaphysical arguments to persuade men that their desire for unlimited state power was in fact an unavoidable inference from an objective reasoning process, rather than the authoritarian impulse plain and simple. This philosophical mutation -- reason as handmaiden of authoritarianism, rather than as its natural rival and limit -- was made possible by the anti-rational turn in German thought during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, most dramatically signaled by Immanuel Kant's condemnation of previous Western philosophy as a "dialectical illusion," in his Critique of Pure Reason.snip...
This was the seed of modernity's deadly invasive plant, political historicism. In effect, this nineteenth century weed, authoritarianism in the guise of theory, was the latest and greatest revival of Socrates' old nemesis, sophistry -- the art of rhetorical persuasion in the service of political efficacy, grounded in the denial of any distinction between truth and power. The basic method of this newer, more devilish sophistry was to obliterate the truth/power distinction by flat-out denying the reason/politics distinction. In other words, the intellectuals for tyranny reduced the mind itself to the play of political forces, hence conflating logic, the abstract method of development in the search for knowledge, with power struggle, the practical mechanism of political development.One of the things the Christianity introduced to the world was the notion that individuals count, not merely collective peoples. The Prophets preached to the whole collective of Israel, and promised pain if the collective Israel did not repent. But suddenly Jesus is saying that even if your neighbor doesn't repent, or your wife or brother for that matter, if YOU repent, and believe in God's saving grace, YOU will be saved. That was something new, and it carried down through Christian philosophers including St. Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther to John Locke, and ended up as practical politics in the Constitution of the United States, and its precursor document the Declaration of Independence.
Marxism, on the other hand, proclaimed that history, rather than being the collection of the choices of individual men, was in fact the driver of those choices. Jonescu again:
For one thing, the individual human being becomes, if not an outright logical fallacy, then at least an insignificant term in the new morality which flows from the elevation of political history to the status of a logical argument, or dialectic. Ethical individualism is thus obliterated, in favor of a collectivism that is as much metaphysical as it is ethical. (I have repeatedly noted that progressivism literally denies the logical priority of the individual human being, and declares instead that the individual is derived from the collective. Some may have found this description hard to believe; nonetheless it is not only true, but absolutely unavoidable if one radically reverses our relationship to history, as progressivism does.)
Secondly, if reason is reduced to political history, and the brute force of collective action identified with the force of logic, then death and oppression, the practical means of progressive authoritarianism, are as objective and amoral as a syllogism. In this way, historicism becomes man's most ingenious moral sophistry: the rationalization of mass murder, and of carelessness about life itself. What, after all, is mere individual life against the glorious march of history? Furthermore, what is individual moral responsibility in the face of collective historical necessity? This is perhaps the ultimate explanation of every progressive atrocity, real and prospective, from the Communist Manifesto to Bill Ayers' projection of the need to kill twenty-five million Americans who resist re-education; from the millions slaughtered by Stalin, Hitler and Mao to Barack Obama knowingly ignoring the cries for help from the victims of Benghazi for over seven hours, or his support for death panels and post-birth "abortion."Of course, Marxism has proven to be a lie. But the Marxists can not admit to that lie, and so have constantly changed their language to fool the public in the hopes that they can keep their true agenda alive, namely the Tyranny of the Elites. Despite the fact that history (properly understood) has shown that Marxism has failed wherever it has been tried, Marxists dare not admit this to themselves, for their egos could not take it. Thus they change names from Marxist, to Socialists, to Fascists, to Communists, to Liberals, to Progressives, each one meaning whatever one wants it to mean, like Social Justice. Just as Global Cooling became Global Warming, then Global Climate Change, but always it had the same solutions, so the Progressives have maintain the same solutions no matter what they called themselves.
One of their "solutions" has been to ban all guns in the United States. They will tell you they don't want to ban all guns, just these dangerous guns (which have been conveniently demonized by a compliant media) and whose owners have been made to seem like crazy kooks out to terrorize innocent mothers and children. In another age, it was "Saturday Night Specials," cheap handguns that black men supposedly carried to threaten and mug families out for a good time on a weekend night. Clearly such overt racism is no longer acceptable, so they move on to demonizing southern white men. The impulse is the same, however, and so are the people involved.
Lewis Dovland has a piece up at American Thinker entitled Guns: The Left's True Aim and How to Thwart It, that explains the Progressives strategy in banning all guns in the United States. It involves trickery, demonizing guns and people, of course, slight of hand, and possibly more outright fraud by the Senate Majority Leader. Doveland:
To understand progressive methodology, let's use another similar issue: the gay marriage agenda. Say the current definition of "marriage" as it has been for thousands of years is represented by "A" on a continuum of A to Z, with "Z" being the left's ultimate goal. Asking for "Z" now would be a major overreach (and "Z" is much farther than just gay marriage), so progressives ask for "N," which is just enough of a stretch to make people push back only a little.
So to protect a foundation of society, the people of California overwhelmingly vote a law that defines marriage -- an appropriate state's rights issue. The left goes to court and has California's decision overturned. The people next pass a state constitutional amendment, and again the left gets it overturned, and now it is in the Supreme Court. The left also applies public pressure through the media to brand anyone who doesn't agree as a homophobe or hater, all the while controlling the educational curriculum so only one side of the argument is taught to our children.
Eventually, progressives will get only "C" this time, which is really all they wanted for now. But note something powerful here. "C" becomes the new "A." So there is never a way to back it up to the original "A." Over time, they will win another "C" that becomes "A."It has been a successful strategy so far on every front. The first Federal gun control, the National Firearms Act, was passed in 1934, during the crime wave of the 1930s. A few of the most notorious criminals had the new automatic firearms such as the Thompson Submachine gun. At close range, the Tommy gun was an awesome weapon, and the police claimed to be outgunned by gangsters wielding Tommy guns. I think this was a lie, because all of the people that were terrorizing the public at the time from Bonny and Clyde to Baby Faced Nelson were eventually put down by ordinary weapons and good police work. In any case, under the NFA, you could still own a Thompson, if you had the permission of your local officials, paid a $200 tax, and registered your ownership of that weapon with the ATF. In essence, the NFA made ownership of these weapons unattainable by the average guy in the street, while leaving them available to the rich and powerful-the Elites.
Of course, there were more gun laws to come, such as 1938, and the Gun Control Act of 1968, after the assassination of President Kennedy, his brother Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. Once again the public was panicked, and gun grabbers were able to use emotion to crack down a bit more on gun owners. Even President Reagan got in the act with the so-called Firearms Owners Protection Act, which did little to protect firearms owners, but further restricted ownership of NFA weapons, making them available only to the very very rich. Each time a new gun control bill was passed, that became the starting point for more "common sense" restrictions. We started out with no infringement, and now we find ourselves battling to keep semiauto rifles and push back a plan to register all our guns so they can be confiscated.
Enforcing the universal background check will require registration of all guns in a national database; otherwise, how and where do we prevent private sales without background checks? And the details of how to enforce the background checks will be handled by the legislation, neatly out of the direct view of the public. Once that occurs, the government will have a list of all legal guns and owners in the U.S., making confiscation extremely easy when the time comes.We must make clear to our "representatives," who will be only too happy to cave to the Left in order to appear to be willing to compromise, "Not One More Inch." Remember the words of Jessie Helms:
“Compromise, hell! That’s what has happened to us all down the line — and that’s the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?”We believe in freedom, in liberty, and we believe those telling us how to live should mind their own business. We can compromise on certain things, for instance how long it will take us to return to a balanced budget. But we can not compromise these fundamental principles. Not one more inch (and oh, by the way, we are gunning for all those laws that infringe our rights.)