Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Victory Will Bring Defeat

The kind of victory that brings defeat is a Pyrrhic Victory. I'm going to discuss a few things before I show you why that idea is important to the general flow of American politics. This thought train was inspired by a discussion at What If They Gave A Revolution And You Didn't Show Up?

A classic military principle is to go after the weakest member of a coalition. The reason for this is that relative military strength is a non-linear function. Doubling the size of your army more than doubles your relative power. However, if you can isolate and defeat a segment of an enemy's support you subtract considerably from their total power. We see this in politics all the time. It doesn't matter if your guy got a million votes if the other guy wound up with a million and one. It might as well have been a million and one to zero. Quite a reduction in power from just one vote. In close situations you don't have to peel off much support to cause a change in outcomes.

So how are things divided up (more or less) in the American political space? Generally accepted values for the current major political divisions are 20% liberals and 40% conservatives. With the remaining 40% split among several other idea constellations including a significant libertarian contingent. In my anything but humble opinion (every day I get told how arrogant I am - thanks for the compliments) the 20% tend for the most part to be Economic Socialists and the 40% tend towards Moral Socialism. Nanny staters all. Don't believe me? It is discussed in detail in the comments at Why Did Social Conservatives Ally With Progressives? You can also check out a similar exposition at On Marijuana, Social Conservatives Trend Statist with a commenter suggesting this book:

Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter

Since the end of Alcohol Prohibition the two groups have divided their functions in seeming opposition to each other. The liberal/Progressive side handles the Economic Socialism and the Social Conservatives handle the Moral Socialism. Very convenient.

What does the Conservative Coalition look like? It consists of social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. If the fiscal conservatives win the day (that looks very likely) and the Democrats go (are forced) in that direction then the only thing left to fight over will be the nanny state addictions of the Right. Consider: When the Progressives get defeated they are going to be pissed. Economics and size of government are now off the table (when it comes to increases). So what will be on the table? The social improvement projects of the right. And the defeated will go after them with a vengeance and they can get the fiscal conservatives (smaller government) types on their side without too much effort - no Drug War means smaller government after all.

Once you destroy the economic underpinning of the nanny state the moral underpinnings will not hold up well at all. Moral improvement (the support of black markets, gangs, and criminals) is not cheap. Once economic socialism is gone the people will turn on the nanny staters of the right. The death of Economic Socialism will lead to the death of Moral Socialism. I don't think the reverse order would work. For sure not as well.

The new rule should be: No victim no crime. Ah what about society as a victim? Did you say society? Isn't concern for the welfare of society (rather than the liberty of individuals) socialism? Interesting thought that. See how long you can hold it.

And while you are holding that thought think of this: the defeat of the Economic Socialists will then lead to the defeat of the Moral Socialists with libertarians being the ultimate victors. In other words a victory over the Economic Socialists will be a Pyrrhic Victory for the Moral Socialists. Which I suppose why the Moral Socialists don't trust me. They know that ultimately I am no friend despite our current alliance. Ultimately I'm a friend of Liberty. The more the better. Within the limits of the other guy's nose of course.

My motto: First Hitler then Stalin. And to get Hitler I will ally with Stalin. How much more Machiavellian can you get?

Balance of power politics played for the long game. I'm all in.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


RavingDave said...


M. Simon said...

Reread your Bible Dave.

Slavery is a traditional value. There are laws.

And if you were up on your Talmud you would know that the oral law was quite detailed relative to the rules of slavery.


I get it though. You support traditional values except when you don't.

Re: your thinking on slavery - you have been infected by those durn libertarians. Be careful. Who knows what eternal principles you will be giving up next?

M. Simon said...


RavingDave said...

You miss the point. Abolition is IMPOSED MORALITY.


I guess this means you support IMPOSED MORALITY except when you don't.