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Bowing is an act of deference, specifically one of deference to social betters. In Western society, this means royalty or nobility.

We don’t have any of that shit in the United States. Oh, we have social classes, all right, but even after the continued efforts of Progs and Leftoids over the last half-century there is still class mobility, and (more importantly) social class isn’t embedded in our laws or Constitution.

Nobody bows to the President, which is correct; he isn’t a social class superior to anybody. The President shouldn’t bow to Kings, Emperors, etc. because he isn’t a social class inferior, either. The correct box to check on the information form isn’t “inferior” or “superior”; it’s [X] Not Applicable.

When Obama bows to a King or Emperor, he’s joining their system of nobility as an inferior, and by extension placing all of the rest of us Americans in an inferior social class. F* that for a game of soldiers. I absolutely refuse to accept that I’m in any way inferior to somebody whose ancestor was a Hapsburg simply because of that ancestry, and you ought to feel the same way. We’re Americans. We don’t recognize that system, don’t accept it, and don’t abide by it — or shouldn’t.

for any sort of strong central control, not just “Socialism”, which is a form of monopoly capitalism in which the Government is the monopolist.

What inspired that thought was visiting Mexico again, and once again interacting with Mexican civil aviation. Mexico is a country with a Socialist philosophy at its base, and it has a long list of extremely tight regulations for almost everything. An honest person trying to navigate the maze of regulatory agencies, permissions, forms to fill out, and so on, will never get anywhere, and if the official process was really the way things worked here they wouldn’t even qualify as a Third World country — they’d hardly be a country at all. But if you’re prepared to carry a couple of US$20 bills in your shirt pocket and a roll of hundreds in your pants (are you that happy to see me?…) and grease palms as necessary, getting permission is a piece of cake.

Aviation, of course, is a little different. Airplanes that aren’t maintained properly tend to fall down and go boom!, so not even the richest padron in the system thinks it’s a good idea to bribe the DGAC inspector (Direccion General de Aviacion Civil; sorry about the missing accents, they go on the last vowel of each word) to let it go without proper maintenance. Until recent changes in the US system, Mexico had more and stricter aviation regulations than we did because they simply adopted ours and added more on top — in a country where 90% of the population lives in a few urban areas and with vast stretches of almost-unpopulated desert, you have to file a flight plan for any sort of flight, including gliders, balloons, ultralights, etc. The result is that except for commercial airlines and the boytoys of los ricos, aviation is nearly nonexistent. To the extent it does exist, the aircraft are maintained to US standards or better — if you need work done on an airplane and can afford patience, you can get it done in Guadalajara or Toluca for half price and the work will be as good as anything an American might do.

In the case of development, putting up buildings, and the like, the rich guy sponsoring the work isn’t in danger, so he can freely bribe and coerce the bureaucrats to get permission — or just go ahead and do as he pleases, then bribe and/or coerce for forgiveness afterward. The system is corrupt, and things get built and done. In the case of aviation, el rico is himself at hazard if the requirements aren’t met, so he can’t corrupt the system without direct risk to himself and the system isn’t corrupted. Since it isn’t corrupted, it’s almost impossible to navigate, and only the very rich (or the nearly-insanely motivated) can manage the resources to get through it.

And, at the end, the airplanes are jewelry and the roads and buildings are crap, and a huge fraction of the money that ought to go for development to make things better for the people instead buys Gulfstreams and Learjets for the rich, who fly them off to the US to go shopping with their extended families, and, at the lower level, Armani suits, fancy cars, and big houses with servants for the bureaucrats.

But at least there are roads and buildings and factories, however poorly made they are, and there is a civil and private infrastructure that lets development happen. If everybody was honest and followed the regulations to the letter, none of that would be possible.

The problem isn’t confined to Government, let alone to Socialist Government. If you’ve ever worked for a big company you’ve encountered a somewhat benign version  — Corporate Regulations won’t let you do what you want/need to do, but if you go down and wheedle Doris in Accounting you can get her to convince Fred in Purchasing to get you the stuff. Money rarely changes hands in that version, so we don’t think of it as “corruption” in the same way as we do bribes, etc., but it’s really the same thing, it’s just that the medium of exchange for the bribes is different. That version also works (with a vengeance) within the “honest” bureaucracy of Government.

Any time you find a system that theoretically has strong central control and appears to work, closer examination will find corruption — people exchanging favors and/or resources (including money) to get things done by going around The System. Doing it that way is horrendously inefficient, because system resources, most definitely including the diligence and intelligence of the people in the system, are wasted in evasion maneuvers, and smart unscrupulous people can easily insert themselves into the “black market” and make off with huge chunks of the available resources. It’s why small companies get more done with fewer resource inputs than large ones, and why “…that Government is best that governs least.”

UPDATE: Serendipity — Reynolds links to an American Interest piece on a UN report that corruption costs the world something like one and a half trillion-with-a-trill US dollars a year. Just going by what I see in Mexico, I would reckon that’s about a tenth of what’s spilled on the bar internally in “corruption”.

I have to disagree with “ef”, who says, in the comments to the previous post


Socialism though, only works if the basic instincts/tendencies of humanity are completely turned on their head

Socialism doesn’t work at all. The reason you can sell Socialism to people is that the advertising slogans for it exactly fit the “instincts/tendencies” we evolved during the many millenia we lived as hunter-gatherer-scavengers.

that socialist-based systems can only work if they’re corrupt.


is Californication.

While everybody was focused on NY-23, several of the Leftoid blogs were crowing about CA-10, where Matt Ortega has called it for John Garamendi (D), with 42,608 (56.12%) over David Harmer (R), 30,015 (39.53%). Reading Zilani’s piece and associated comments last night, I wondered why that didn’t bother me. CA-10 is in the East Bay, which used to be a Republican area. Now that Hoffman has conceded — no, the absentee ballots aren’t relevant; the (R) ones will be for Scozzafava — it’s become more clear.

The California Republican Party long ago adopted the “me too” strategy with regards to its Democratic opponents. They are “moderate”. They are “bipartisan”. And they are almost entirely irrelevant, it being fairly clear that the only thing they have to offer is a different logo. Once in a while they eke out a win or two, but when they do the person who takes office governs like a centrist or slightly-left Democrat. Meanwhile, conservative measures do very well in the initiative-and-referendum system they have there — I lived in California when Proposition 13 was voted on, and later votes haven’t been terribly different.

Rightist blogs have been commiserating with one another to the effect that the McDonnell and Christie wins make up for Hoffman’s loss. That’s almost correct. It works if you’re thinking only of Party identification in the sports-team sense. Both of the new Governors ran as “me too, but cheaper” Republicans against (respectively) a flaming Liberal and one of the most corrupt and inept people outside Chicagoland. Their wins, plus Hoffman’s loss, add up to vindication of that approach in the minds of the RNCC.

The result can only be continual conversion of the national Republican Party to a larger version of the California one — focused on getting power, privilege, and oh those campaign donations by going along with whatever the Democratic Party proposes. That is, after all, “centrist”. It’s “bipartisan”. It “attracts Independents”. It also results in irrelevance. People who want Democrats will vote for Democrats, not imitations who are clearly only in it for the egoboo.

I continue to believe there is a future for Conservatives in politics, even if it’s only as a minority in opposition, but it’s clearly not with the Republican Party, because there is no Republican Party. There are only the Democrats and the Other Democrats, and the ODP isn’t going to tolerate Conservatism. It isn’t “centrist”.

I haven’t heard since about 1964.

N* jokes. I won’t provide examples. They aren’t quite identical to their predecessors, but only the names have really changed. Rastus and Liza have not yet put in an appearance, but it’s a matter of time, I think.

This, folks, is not a good sign.

according to the Leftoids. Responses to my tweet were illuminating:

crewislife RT @Shoq: .@RicLocke Judging from the “lefty ths,” & “lefty that, ” in yr pontifical screeds, entertaining that U’d whine abt stereotypes

And, of course,

noiselessflash @RicLocke The fact is that conservatives are still republicans and Bush was your Waterloo.

Perfect, isn’t it? Absolute stone blindness to anything representing “argument”, plus invocation of the bogeyman.

What I generally use as a characterization is “Leftoids”, unless I have some reason to use the more direct term. It represents what’s really going on, which is a mishmash of ideas traceable to Socialism and communalist (or communitarian) sources, mixed up in a muddled mess that really doesn’t have any consistent basis other than envy, jealousy, and total misunderstanding of how things work.

As a conservative, I’m happy enough with the designation “Party of NO!” That is, I don’t consider it a bad thing to be saying “No, you shouldn’t stick bobby pins in the electric sockets” or “No, smashing things without figuring out what they do isn’t a good idea.” “Conservative” means just that — not wanting to make changes blindly.

And, as I tweeted earlier, I’m happy enough to grant good intentions on the part of a huge proportion of Leftoids, but that doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse. They’re happy to embrace simplistic “solutions” to what they perceive as problems — the proper adjective is “sophomoric”. They think they know what’s going on, but are largely wrong.

What they really are is spoiled preadolescents.

“Daddy, I want a pony.”

–No, dear, we can’t afford it, and besides, we live on the 14th floor and a pony wouldn’t fit in your bedroom.

We then go through the wheedling phase, the screaming tantrum phase, and are now in the penultimate phase, which is our spoiled brat explaining to her (stereotypically “her” — boys express it differently, as a rule) contemporaries that the reason she can’t have a pony is that Daddy is a hateful stingy selfish creep who hates ponies, hates her, and wants little kids to suffer, and when she and her friends get old enough they’re going to make all Daddies buy their children a pony, because that’s faaaaaaaair.

Follow the Leftoids on #tcot and tell me I’m wrong.

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November 2009