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Technology, sovereignty and the Third Wave
By Steve Farrell
Democrats in Drag: Third Way Fall From Grace, Part 1 Read the foreword to this series, Democrats in Drag: Third Way Fall From Grace.
On November 11, 1994, in a post-election victory speech, Republican House member Newt Gingrich revealed to Congress what his Contract With America, his Republican Revolution, was in fact about. (1) He called it the Third Way, a "progressive" movement he would interchangeably refer to as the Third Way, the Third Wave, or Conservative Futurism in speech after speech from that point forward. He recommended the reading of two books, for those ambitious enough to decipher its meaning: the first, "The Third Wave" by "ex"-Marxist Alvin Toffler, and the second, "The Tragedy of American Compassion" by "ex"-Marxist Marvin Olasky, founding father of George W. Bush's Compassionate Conservatism.
What is the Third Way/Wave? Today, in Part 1, the early history of this catchphrase sends us our first disturbing hints.
To most ordinary people, the technological revolution is one of those matter-of-fact blessings and spoils of life in modern America. Few of us, then, give technology a second thought . . . except when it fails. Yet all of us depend on it, enjoy it, and forever demand its ready medley of gizmos and gadgets to be newer, better and more distinctive than ever before.
Technology's job should be to make our work easier and quicker, our leisure more fun and comfortable, and our liberty more secure. And it has! Thanks to the creative fire laissez-faire has fanned, in a nation where public virtue and the rule of law reign, there are always ample numbers of deep-thinking inventors and deep-pocketed entrepreneurs eager and able to supply the instant gee-whiz wants and needs of millions of freemen and freewomen.
On the other hand, to the unordinary -- that is, to that odd creature called the Legislator -- technology is an unmanageable, out-of-control threat which has forced and will yet force Americans and other free people to contemplate the redefinition of such things as the republican form of government, private property and the individual and collective right to self-defense, as well as the elimination of such antiquated oddities as neutrality, national sovereignty and religious fundamentalism. A remarkably implosive view of the explosive potential of technological growth for good!
But then legislators prefer controlling rather than liberating things and people, don't they?
The painful truth about legislators and control is this: the I-need-to-control-people syndrome cuts across party lines, afflicting both Democrats and Republicans alike. Both from the left and from the right, we find politicians aplenty who feel "compelled" to flee from the commonsense conclusion that technology can and should be utilized to better protect our God-given rights and our hard-won sovereignty. Rather than stand up and thoughtfully, dutifully put liberty first, they run and seek psychological cover in a progressive wannabe philosophy called the 'Third Wave' or 'Third Way,' a world outlook that has the outward markings of everything new and progressive, but the inner workings of everything old and repressive.
The Third Way/Wave may sound new and innocuous to many, but its founders include such earlier notables as Plato, Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler -- certainly not the best crew for men and women sworn to defend our Constitution to turn to for inspiration.
Plato's Third Wave
The Greek philosopher Plato was the first person that we know of to use the term 'third wave,' which he did in his pro-communist work, "The Republic." Plato called the "third wave" that "largest and most dangerous [wave of all]" wherein the pro-communist philosopher king overthrows the existing order, either by "smooth" persuasion or by brute force. The Third Wave was the transitional phase from any form of government, free or otherwise, to total statism under the leadership of an elite class of individuals called "philosopher kings." (2)
Setting the standard for Third Wavers and Third Wayers today, Plato didn't call his revolutionary plan for tyranny 'tyranny.' Who would? Rather, he cloaked every item of revolutionary change in more palatable terms like 'justice,' 'the Heavenly ideal,' 'the pursuit of the good,' and 'the love of truth.' He believed in and practiced double-talk. So much so, that even today Plato succeeds in convincing casual readers that they are mulling over a Judeo-Christian appeal to virtue. A hard look at Plato's definition of virtue reveals something else, however. Virtue, he taught, is whatever sustains or brings about the ideal city. And such an ideal city was his! Communist, through and through.
Consider Plato's list of virtues.
The 'Virtuous' Aims of Plato's Third Wave
1. Degenerate traditional morality and foster fierce intolerance against it.
2. Lead the dumb masses (like "dumb asses") by the nose to trample on each other's rights in the blind pursuit of their own supposed rights.
3. Legitimize the government's "creeping into houses" through the creation of "new" rights which must be monitored.
4. Create moral chaos, mob and factional spirit, revolution (21) and anarchy.
5. Eventually, bring about such a violent state of uncertainty and fear that the people will, out of necessity, vote themselves the most absolute of tyrannies (22), that of the democratic king, in order to restore order, peace and security. (23, 24)
These were the ultimate goals, the communist goals, of Plato's Third Wave, the place where all this Third Wave/Third Way business began.
Marx's Three Waves of History
The next Third Waver we will consider was modern communism's hired hack and egotistical founder, Karl Marx.
Marx, like his forebears of the 18th century communist cabal known as the Illuminati, invented nothing new. He stole heavily from Plato's "Republic," without due credit, and then "borrowed" lock, stock and barrel from Hegel's Godless dialectic view of history, Aristotle's quantum leap view of evolution, and Plato's cynical conception that the source of all law, morality and religion is simply the strong and the rich erecting protectionist walls around their property and power. This was not new. It was strictly cut and paste.
It was also really dark stuff. All man cares about is money, comfort, power -- and sex. Meanwhile, everyone exploits everyone. The government in collusion with the moneyed class exploits the citizen worker. The husband exploits the wife. The parent exploits the child. The priest exploits the parishioner. The majority exploits the minority.
But the only one who doesn't exploit anyone is the exploited one. He, she or it becomes the "holy" class which must bind together to overthrow society's greedy brutes and lead mankind into a millennium of peace. These exploited masses deserve a reparation, it seems, with one catch -- but don't tell them this; they are too stupid to figure this out themselves -- they must be dragged into the light by the illumined one, the exalted communist, really the only one who is intelligent and moral, according to the Marxist definition of morality. This is Plato's "The Cave," at it again. (25)
As for the promised millennium of peace, there is an unpleasant blip along the way called the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. That's when, at the end of the third wave, capitalism (the first two waves are slavery and feudalism) (26), the exploitees get to take out their "justifiable revenge" on the exploiters, raining bloody horror on them until every last vestige of private property and belief in private property are swept from the earth.
Then, even though their hands are drenched in blood, poof! The proletariat turn into saints, government disbands, and those who were smart and "moral" enough to survive live happily ever after.
It's a dull oversimplification of world events. There are three waves: slavery, feudalism and capitalism. And three waves within the last wave: the Industrial Revolution, the centralization of the world's credit, and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. All these threes!
Technology plays a critical role in all of this triple wave making. Of the three private property phases of economic history, all of them supposedly arose and were terminated, in part, because of the unforeseen convergence of new forms of technology or methods of production with the existing economic order.
Primitive communal man moved into the first economic phase with the invention of tools, which led to specialization and trade -- and eventually to private ownership. The stronger private property owners, selfish and greedy, then enslaved the rest to secure their booty. The cause of the first wave, slavery.
Later on in Marx's third wave, the invention of machines, factories and assembly lines led to big cities, great fortunes and the end of wave two's feudalism -- while newer, better forms of mass production, to follow, would lead to international business, globally centralized credit (27) and, as night follows day, the workers of the world uniting to overthrow their oppressive overseers in the final of the third waves.
Just like modern Third Wavers and Wayers, Marx believed man was powerless against changes in technology and the inevitable march of history. That covetous capitalists who opposed his plan were enemies to public safety. That the last transition -- Plato-like -- was the most dangerous and violent of all. And, interestingly, he taught that communists ought to be "compassionate" enough to intervene, guide the agency-bereft masses and expedite the revolution, lest the blood flow too thickly. It all sounds too familiar.
In the last analysis, Marx's revolution, like Plato's, exploits the poor as a strategy to invoke class warfare, but is, as Lenin admitted, "all about power." Or as Lenin said, in response to the Soviet problem with a few weak-minded socialist bloats who actually believed in the coming utopia: "They just don't get it . . . the Dictatorship of the Proletariat," that brutal transitional phase, "will never end."
So goes Third Waver number two.
Adolf Hitler's Third Way
Hitler was number three, and who should be surprised that tyrants and tyrant wannabes should mimic each other. In a 1945 German National Socialist German Workers Party (the official name of the Nazi Party) birthday address, Hitler condemned "exploitive capitalism and murderous bolshevism," identifying his party's movement as a Third Way between these two "extremes." (28)
Walking in Hitler's footsteps today, one of Europe's major neo-Nazi "White Power" movements refers to itself, interestingly, as the "Third Position" -- again, a half way house between communism and laissez-faire capitalism, a key element of modern third way theology. (29)
It's the safe middle-ground ploy, the one dominating Republican Party thinking today. That spot in the middle of a lion's cage where blind partisans sit disarmed, bludgeoned, bloodied, bruised and blindfolded, and recite three times, "It's safe!"
But there's more to it than just that. Fascism actually makes for one of the best case studies on the modern third wave, both economically and politically.
Economically, fascism is but a form of socialism. As communism in theory is complete state ownership of the means of production, fascism is its more practical sister -- and dialectical friend. Typically, it features state majority ownership of major industry and utilities, heavy regulation and/or "government partnerships" of smaller businesses, and laissez-faire nickel and dime operations. But in truth it's all on an "as needed" for the benefit of the revolution basis. The government is always ultimately in control and can eradicate any supposed private enterprise at any time.
A "privately" owned press exists, for example, but the competition is not one of ideas but of markets. Thus, opposition to the state by the press, except within prescribed boundaries, is an intolerable and dangerous business. "Private" scientific development, another example, is held in check via block grants. A far more effective tactic, the fascist believes, than straightforward totalitarianism. The bottom line: Fascism embraces much of Plato and Marx but utilizes different, perhaps superior, methods of control, for all the while it lets citizens think they have a safe amount of freedom.
Politically, Hitler's fascism offers four other prominent features as major players in today's Third Way.
1. A subtle or open rejection of majority government. Hitler said his "doctrine" was "people and country," and he accepted the idea of a democratic election (to get into power), but he rejected "decision by the majority" and demanded "absolute authority" for the executive after the elections. (30) A bit of Hobbes, and a bit of Marxian minority rule also. The minority was just different this time -- Aryans and Nazis. The masses were inherently dumb, too, for Hitler taught that they don't want self-rule, but only to be led.
2. The decentralization of power. Not to be confused with federalism, but marketed as such. American federalism gives state and local units complete sovereignty over delegated powers. Third Way fascist decentralization creates local units of power which are still accountable to the central authority.
Hitler's brand of decentralization gave general guidelines and layers of central check systems on those periphery units; however, within those stipulations (such as fierce loyalty to the party) he granted peripheral leaders ruthless autonomous power, even in competition with other agencies.
It's Plato and Marx's self-fulfilling prophecy of 'the strong survive,' providing a new pool of brutal leaders for the government. (31) It also creates a loyal cadre of men trapped by fear of reprisal for their brutality, who in protection of their own self-interest will feel inclined to sustain their corrupt party and its brutality to the bitter end.
Decentralization serves other political purposes as well. By pretending to be the equivalent of federalism, it creates a front for the outside world, as if to say, 'we have local government and democracy,' 'we have weakness and division.' Hitler used this ruse in the foreign aid game, as do the communists today.
3. A double-talk rejection but endorsement of internationalism. Hitler rejected the existing international community in favor of extreme nationalism, because of the punishment of Germany under the Versailles Treaty, but favored internationalism when it benefited Germany. Further, he viewed expansion into the territories of Europe and Asia, the springing forth of "national offshoot[s] for centuries," and the requisite disarmament of all neighbors on Germany's "frontiers" as the right and destiny of Germany. (32)
Fundamentally, if we replace racist overtones with the elitist views of today's establishment, there really is no difference in the long run between Hitler's racist Third Way "nationalism" and today's new world order plan for an international civil society. Call imperialism what you like -- a Eurasia with Germanic hegemony, a worldwide Aryan-led Utopia (and he spoke of Utopia), or a disarmed world "safe for Democracy" under an all-powerful United Nations -- it's all the same.
4. The strategic injection of state-sponsored religious fervor into politics. In "Mein Kampf" Hitler writes: "The future of [the] movement is conditioned by the fanaticism, even more the intolerance, with which its adherents present it as the only right one." (33)
The problem with religious fervor, when joined with the power of the state, is that the worship of God and the love of one's fellow man are replaced with the worship of the state and the love of the collective. Tyrants, even communists, have learned that religion is a tough nut to crack. So the Third Way answer is: If you can't beat 'em, pretend to join 'em, and watch how eagerly they volunteer to do your bidding in exchange for subsidies.
Thus, like their talk about decentralization and democracy, Third Way proponents today talk of national "service," "compassionate" conservatism, "faith-based" subsidies, and moral, effective "partnerships," with cash for conversion.
The origins of the catchphrase Third Way, Third Wave, or Third Position go back to Plato, Marx and Hitler. Selecting such an old, tyranny-laden term for a modern "progressive" movement was an unfortunate slip of the tongue. But as the essays which follow will demonstrate, it's not just what is in a name, but what is in the ideology of that name today which leads one to suspect that the choice was not made in ignorance.
Next week read about Bill Clinton's and Tony Blair's left of center take on the Third Way in "Democrats in Drag, Part 2"
Enter Stage Right senior writer Steve Farrell is the former managing editor of Right magazine, a widely published research writer, a former Air Force Communications Security manager, and a graduate student in constitutional law. Contact Steve at Cyours76@yahoo.com.
1. Gingrich, Newt and Armey, Dick. "Contract With America." United States
of America: Times Books, Random House, 1994, p. 186. See also Congressional
Record, November 11, 1994.
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