Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Alito Confirmation: A Straussian Neocon Fait Accompli

Now that the confirmation of Samuel Alito is a done deal—he won commitments from a majority of senators this afternoon and only a formal vote stands between him and the Supreme Court—we can say good-bye once and for all to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Academics and corporate media commentators like to call the encroaching dictatorial power of the Straussian neocon White House “unitary” presidential power, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves—it is nothing short of the sort of authoritarianism the founders did their best to avoid by establishing separated branches of government and a process of checks and balances, now virtually extinct. In essence, what we now have is a government owned and ruled by a corporate plutocracy—and the father of modern fascism, Benito Mussolini, defined fascism as corporatism.

Alito is a long-time member of the reactionary Federalist Society and if you want to know how he will rule on the highest court in the land, look no further than this organization and its membership. “Initial funding for the Federalist Society came from the Institute for Educational Affairs, a group founded by Irving Kristol and William Simon,” notes Right Web. “The elder Kristol remained an important funding adviser, while his son William Kristol became closely involved with the Federalist Society, by writing for its publications and speaking frequently at its gatherings. Other early funding came from Pittsburgh mogul Richard Mellon Scaife, the Olin Foundation, Bradley Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation,” in other words, the Federalist Society is infested with the usual Straussian neocon and PNAC suspects. Bush administration insiders and former insiders who are members of the Federalist Society include Michael Chertoff, Spencer Abraham, Gale Norton, John Ashcroft, Theodore Olson, and John Bolton.

“The Bush administration, backed by the neoconservative Federalist Society, has brought the separation of powers, the foundation of our political system, to crisis,” Paul Craig Roberts wrote earlier this month. “The Federalist Society, an organization of Republican lawyers, favors more ‘energy in the executive.’ Distrustful of Congress and the American people, the Federalist Society never fails to support rulings that concentrate power in the executive branch of government…. September 11, 2001, played into neoconservative hands exactly as the 1933 Reichstag fire played into Hitler’s hands. Fear, hysteria, and national emergency are proven tools of political power grabs. Now that the federal courts are beginning to show some resistance to Bush’s claims of power, will another terrorist attack allow the Bush administration to complete its coup?”

I wouldn’t put it past them—in fact, if I was a betting man, I’d say this is precisely what will happen: another nine eleven, possibly one of a larger magnitude, will put the finishing touches on the murder of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. As a side bet, I’d wager this will happen sooner before later, maybe even as soon as this March, as the dollar plummets and the sirens or war (or shock and awe) wail over Iran. Bush (or rather the Straussian neocons since Bush is basically an empty shell, a cardboard cut-out, a cigar store Indian) will need another terror attack on the homeland to consolidate the power of the Straussians, who live in the ponderous philosophical shadow of Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt (the last two were hands-on Nazis). As Shadia B. Drury noted in her 1997 book, Leo Strauss and the American Right, Strauss’ protégés include: Paul Wolfowitz, Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork; William Kristol, William Bennett; Alan Keyes, Francis Fukuyama, John Ashcroft, and William Galston.

Jeffrey Steinberg writes:

The hallmark of Strauss’ approach to philosophy was his hatred of the modern world, his belief in a totalitarian system, run by “philosophers,” who rejected all universal principles of natural law, but saw their mission as absolute rulers, who lied and deceived a foolish “populist” mass, and used both religion and politics as a means of disseminating myths that kept the general population in clueless servitude. For Strauss and all of his protégés (Strauss personally had 100 Ph.D. students, and the “Straussians” now dominate most university political science and philosophy departments), the greatest object of hatred was the United States itself, which they viewed as nothing better than a weak, pathetic replay of “liberal democratic” Weimar Germany.

Now, with the confirmation of Alito, these “philosophers” and “absolute rulers” will finish the task of trashing the “universal principles of natural law,” that is to say the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and especially Thomas Jefferson’s appeal to unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence. Instead of John Locke, we will get Thomas Hobbes and his theory of bellum omnium contra omnes, or “war of all against all,” the preferred state of political exchange in the Straussian world.

Of course, the American people are blissfully unaware to all of this and will—with the advent of another nine eleven, possibly of greater and more horrible magnitude—be deceived into “clueless servitude” and likely suffer the fate of the German people as the Weimar republic was systematically destroyed and Hitler ascended to his throne.

Hitler, unlike Bush and the Straussian neocons, however, didn’t have nuclear weapons at his disposal.

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