Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Machiavelli, Tocqueville, Mussolini

Tocqueville on American Character: Why Tocqueville’s Brilliant Exploraton of the American Spirit is as Vital and Important Today as it was Nearly Two Hundred Years Ago by Michael Ledeen

Michael Ledeen takes a fresh look at Tocqueville’s insights into our national psyche and asks whether Americans’ national character, which Tocqueville believed to be wholly admirable, has fallen into moral decay and religious indifference.

Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s Iron Rules are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago by Michael Ledeen

American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Ledeen offers an updated version of the rules for leadership laid down by Machiavelli. Its the nature of humans to do evil, and war is our natural state. Anyone who would wield power in such a setting, writes Ledeen, echoing Machiavelli, “must be prepared to fight at all times.” This is as true in business, sports, and politics as it is on the battlefield. Kirkus Reviews

Freedom Betrayed: How America led a Global Democratic Revolution, Won the Cold War and Walked Away by Michael Ledeen

With the skill of a born storyteller, Michael Ledeen weaves together key moments in the fall of communism. His insider’s knowledge of the interplay of complex personalities and Byzantine strategies makes a compelling narrative, one enlivened by his wry wit and flair for the dramatic.
In this call to embrace the worldwide democratic revolution, the author argues that global democracy should be the centerpiece of U.S. strategy.

Faster, Please! February 12th, 2009 1:38 pm We Are All Fascists Now Michael Ledeen

Second, not one person in a thousand knows what fascist political economy was. Yet during the great economic crisis of the 1930s, fascism was widely regarded as a possible solution, indeed as the only acceptable solution to a spasm that had shaken the entire First World, and beyond. It was hailed as a “third way” between two failed systems (communism and capitalism), retaining the best of each. Private property was preserved, as the role of the state was expanded. This was necessary because the Great Depression was defined as a crisis “of the system,” not just a glitch “in the system.”

And so Mussolini created the “Corporate State,” in which, in theory at least, the big national enterprises were entrusted to state ownership (or substantial state ownership) and of course state management. Some of the big “Corporations” lasted a very long time; indeed some have only very recently been privatized, and the state still holds important chunks–so-called “golden shares”–in some of them. Read More (125) Comments Pages: 12Next

February 14th, 2009 12:21 pm We’re All Fascists Now II: American Tyranny Michael Ledeen

Most of us imagine the transformation of a free society to a tyrannical state in Hollywood terms, as a melodramatic act of violence like a military coup or an armed insurrection. Tocqueville knows better. He foresees a slow death of freedom. The power of the centralized government will gradually expand, meddling in every area of our lives until, like a lobster in a slowly heated pot, we are cooked without ever realizing what has happened. The ultimate horror of Tocqueville’s vision is that we will welcome it, and even convince ourselves that we control it.

There is no single dramatic event in Tocqueville’s scenario, no storming of the Bastille, no assault on the Winter Palace, no March on Rome, no Kristallnacht. We are to be immobilized, Gulliver-like, by myriad rules and regulations, annoying little restrictions that become more and more binding until they eventually paralyze us.

3. Ran: Thanks Michael. The points you raise are frightening... One point you raised in Freedom Betrayed was that expanded Freedom - individual responsibility - gained by peoples in the 19th and 20th Centuries, especially after wars, but often by bloodless revolutions, was the surest road to peace and prosperity. It was an extension - if I’m reading it properly - of Tocqueville’s observation that the human condition had tended towards ‘Democracy’ in the Tocquevillian sense. What bothers me is that America and Europe both appear headed the wrong way in too many respects. We’ve fought wars to take down Fascists and dictators of all sorts only now to go cap-in-hand for cap-and-trade?


  1. If the said author would take an unflinching look in the mirror and see what he, and the AEI truly represents, he might find that the AEI is the leading vector of Fascism in the USA.

    And that it the focal point and leading vector of the forces that have caused the destruction and disintegration of USA culture (such as it was) altogether

    And that it pervaded by, moral decay and "religious" delusions.

    The stench thus emitted is over-whelming.

  2. America was built on religious, political and economic lies and explitation. Grand theft, genocide and slavery. Slavery being both grand theft too, and systematized murder.

    These lies have yet to be taken into account by "freedom" merchants such as the said author.

    One of the best descriptions of what really happened (and is still continuing) is Columbus and Other Cannibals by Jack Forbes.

    Plus if we continue on our current trajectory of never-ending global warfare we WILL destroy ourselves and all of life on this planet.

    The pycho-paths rule OK.

  3. These two paragraphs sum up what the AEI, and ALL the other right-wing think-tanks, really represent in the world altogether, and what they thus loudly champion.

    "The entire pattern and trend of current human culture, including scientific materialism, all modes of false philosophy, and everything relating to the current domain of consumer based politics, competitive social systems, tribal national systems, un-regulated economics, and archaic tribalistic conventional religiosity---is abouth death and the "culture" of death."

    Plus a quote from Jules Henry from his Culture Against Man (1963).

    "In Western Culture today one must make a distinction between the culture of life and the culture of death. In the minds of most people science has become synonymous with destructive weapons, i.e. with death....Where is the culture of life? The culture of life resides in all those people who, inarticulate, frightened and confused, are wondering where it will all end. Thus the forces of death are confident and organized while the forces of life--the people who long for peace---are, for the most part, scattered, inarticulate, and wooly-minded, overwhelmed by their own impotence.

    DEATH struts about the house while LIFE cowers in the corners."