Irving KristolIrving Kristol, (1920-2009) American columnist, journalist, and writer

Irving Kristol Quote

“Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions -- it only guarantees equality of opportunity.”

Irving KristolIrving Kristol
~ Irving Kristol

Ratings and Comments

J Carlton, Calgary

America isn't a democracy, it's a Constitutional Republic that guarantees (not grants) our rights. And let's not forget, Democracy got Hitler elected. All in all, Democracy guarantees nothing, the Constitution does.

Jimi Bigbear, Libertyville, IA

Irving, father of PNACer William and admitted father of NeoCONservatism, is also admittedly a leading NeoLiberal, and if you will drill down into that mess via Dr. Ron Paul's 2003, "We've Been Neoconned!" speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives*, you'll discover the Trotskyite core of the Establishment - the Zionist Crimocracy that rules and ruins the world.

Mike, Norwalk

Democracy guarantees nothing but, has historically always ended in a despotism and tyranny of totalitarian malefactors. As to one man one vote, Lysander Spooner so accurately wrote: A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years. A democracy was the most hated and feared of all government types by the U.S.A. founders and writers of the Constitution. Democracy is a forest without interest in the individual tree. Democracy is antithetical to the laws of nature and of nature's God. Democracy is a government of men as is diametrically averse to a government of law and justice.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Democracy always ends up as mob rule.

Walter Clark, Fullerton CA

Jim, Mike, all you guys are right...
This aphorism vapid. It should be kept in the collection though, just to show that Republicans like Irving Kristol are as shallow as liberals. He just strung happy words. Let me see if I can make up one...
Government does not guarantee happiness --
it only guarantees the opportunity for happiness.
or how about...
Majority rule does not guarantee wise rulers --
it only guarantees the opportunity to for wise rulers.

Mann, Kalamazoo

So, today we've got an awful lot of noise about the inefficiencies, injustices and unworkable facets of democracy, including statements that once established, democracy has "always ended" in tyranny, totalitarianism and "mob rule." Even if true, and it's not, CAN ANYBODY HERE POSIT A BETTER, MORE JUST FORM OF GOVERNANCE? I thought not. Otherwise you'd post it. Judging from the grasp of history that's usually on display here, today being no exception, one might perceive of Theocracy as a political ideal. Why not? It's easier to pray to an unknowable quantity/quality for relief than to relieve yourself - or to keep your elected leaders honest. It's easier to moan about PERCEIVED political reality than learn, thoroughly, how it got to be that way. That said, my hat is off to some of you people in thanks. You're among my greatest instructors - when it comes to determining an overall average of U.S. intellectual perspicacity. You're the ones who publish here daily, completely enamored by the absolute "truth" dictated by your personal convictions. Judging strictly from what you write it's no surprise, at all, that the U.S. is in rapid decline and may take down all of civilization with us. Americans, (myself included, inevitably) are among the angriest, least informed, least educated, culturally undernourished "developed" people existing on earth. At the same time we're simultaneously convinced of our own "American exceptionalism." Hah! The exact opposite is proven by the comments in these spaces every single day. If you only knew how silly you, and by extension ALL Americans look. I suggest you shut off the TV - voicebox of the Father of Lies, controller of our thoughts and greatest perverter of truth and reality history.

J Carlton, Calgary

Mann, I already did "posit" a better form of Government...the Constitution and it's other words NOT a government...but an administration of our national affairs in the Preservation of our Rights and Freedoms.... I do not need to be "governed". And neither should you.

Mike, Norwalk

Mann, posting here for your information, a representative republic, based on natural law, limited by a written finite constitution is a much more just form of governance. Forms of common law structuring are also a more just form of governance (not the crony common law that the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land would claim under stare decisis) Further, the current unjust governance infesting this land is a theocracy.

A god, extraneous to mans immediate senses may or may not be helpful in determining a religion. Religion is, real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to . . . our fellow men. (Bouviers Law Dictionary) Webster's New World Dictionary -Fourth College Edition states, religion is:
a) any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy [the Christian religion, the Buddhist religion, etc.]
b) any system of beliefs, practices, ethical values, etc. resembling, suggestive of, or likened to such a system [humanism as a religion] ⋯ any object of conscientious regard and pursuit.
As such, religion is then, the conscientious regard and pursuit, based on a motivating object of moral, ethical, or a systematic belief. Not the belief specifically but, the pursuing systemic actions that follow. Buddhism, Christianity, humanism are at their core not religions but rather, philosophies. It is when that / any philosophy offers a moral imperative or belief / an ideology, and then through conscientious regard and pursuit becomes the bases for action, is there a religion. By way of example: it is moral to offer medical care, feed the hungry, cloth the poor, define marriage, describe ethical conduct, etc. It is the conscientious regard and pursuit thereof that is religion. When religion is governed by a statist body with threat of force, that is a theocracy.

In a representative republic, each individual is a noble sovereign with inalienable rights at and by the laws of nature and of natures God (secular application is limited to life, liberty, and property). The individual sovereigns representatives represent the individuals sovereigns rights. If it is unlawful for an individual to act or do a thing, so is it true of his representative. The representative can do nothing the individual sovereign can not do. As an historical point addressing the issue, Samuel Adams said: "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of any, but only to have the law of nature for his rule."

Law existed before man's sojourn on this planet and will exist post man. Man cannot create law. In man's attempt to replicate his imaginary gods, he attempts ex nihilo actions - creating law out of nothing. That body of representatives that discover the natural law and harmoniously administer it, display an execution of justice. Governments of men that vainly claim the ability to be law makers are unjust. Thus, democracy is unjust.

Mike, Norwalk

Carlton, you are absolutely right. In English, there is no word that describes an organized body of representatives. Government, though meaning something entirely different than the representative republic experience, was the default of other societies and organized bodies. It is hard to explain that to the pridefully ignorant.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Calgary: The U.S. Constitution is NOT a form of government. It's a lavishly celebrated blueprint for one. In fact, the Constitution is the primary, initially established law of the US., law that every single other law (and lawmaker and beat cop) IS ORDERED TO CONFORM TO. Our worst problems in domestic governance stem from "public servants" who are in fact lawless when it comes to observing Constitutional orders - and clueless 'citizen' whiners who refuse to accept the responsibility of making certain leadership behaves in a lawful, constitutionally prescribed fashion. We can cite the universal acknowledgment of human dignity and rights embodied by the Constitution till doomsday dawns. But unless they're ENFORCED on EVERY PORTION of governmental leadership/authority by We the People, they aren't worth a brown pile of used TP.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Norwalk: HUH? Good god, man, suggest you first consult dictionary. Audit the words, 'legislature', 'congress', 'assembly', 'council' and 'commission', among others in the lexicon. Your comments generally equate in meaning and understanding to your statement today: "In English, there is no word that describes an organized body of representatives." One can only hope your thinking is somewhat clearer than your thrice-daily edited opinions.

J Carlton, Calgary make my point for me...I already demonstrated the difference between the Constitution as an administrative arrangement and Government as a Domocratic arrangement.
One represents free, sovereign individuals...the other does not.

J Carlton, Calgary

Mann, just re-read your do have a point there.

Mike, Norwalk

Mann, thank you, you make my point for me. By the way, the Constitution does NOT establish law in the de jure USA (primarily or initially) It only limits the category of law that a legislature, congress, assembly, council or commission may address. Man can not create law, only address it through codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. If I consulted a dictionary, what form of government would it say a; legislature, congress, assembly, council, and commission is ;-) ? Mann, what word would you use to explain a body of representatives that represented an individual sovereign's (individually and in concert) inalienable rights at natural law, where all are equal before the law with no one individual being governed by another ? As to hoping my thinking is more clear than your opinionated edits - no need to obaminize it - my thinking is more clear. Again, thank you.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Norwalk: I, as a "sovereign" individual, still cannot morally, legally or by any other standard, pollute drinking water or arbitrarily take human life, no matter what you mean by "natural law." Human behavior, if not mindfully altruistic, is essentially selfish and constantly searching for personal advantage, regardless of consequences for others. That's the "natural" state of humanity and it has to be tempered. Laws, for all their artificiality, work towards that end. The Constitution IS the first, PRIMARY law in the United States, law by which all other laws are JUDGED. Sheesh. Get a clue.

Mike, Norwalk

Natural law is that which describes that which is. By way of example; gravity, fiscal law and that which does not infringe on another's inalienable rights. When an apple falls from a tree with complete regularity, man discovers the law of gravity. When more is spent than can be repaid (for what ever reason), man discovers the law of bankruptcy. When an individual yells fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire, pollutes property / water that causes harm to another or murders, man discovers the antithesis of law (criminal activity - more criminal activity = compelled compliance of the free sovereign executing non-intrusive activities, government licenses, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity [funny money, income / property tax] and denial of inalienable rights [including ownership]). Tempering humanity's state is a moral pursuit for religion. Acting as agents of justice where natural law has been breached, is an act of de jure secular government. By saying that the Constitution is law - what law is it by which all other laws are judged ? WHAT ? ? ? What law is "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." ? Is that a sub-title of murder, larceny ? The being man can not create law. Man can only discover law and then attempt to define it with such tools as codes, conventions, decrees, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. The Constitution is an organizational charter that limits the scope of where man may apply such tools (not law). The closer man's here subject tools are to natural law, the greater the freedom and liberty. Does that help your cluelessness ?

E Archer, NYC

Great discussion! Kudos, Mike, for a very interesting take on 'religion.' Mann apparently can't get his head around the origin of the rights of man.

Here's the thing, people can believe whatever philosophy they wish, and they may join together with those like-minded, they may take upon themselves various charitable tasks, but no one may insist that everyone do so. We do not have to believe in the Evangelicals or the Baptists, we do not have to believe the Muslims or the Hindus, we do not have to believe in aliens or spirits, we do not have to believe in heaven or hell. Nor may any of these groups impose their dogma or 'laws' upon the rest of us. Because of this very fundamental right of conscience and self-determination, We the People established a republican form of government based upon the principles of Liberty, not the dictates of men.

Mann, the Constitution is the rule book for the government, not the people. The Constitution does not grant any rights to the people -- the Bill of Rights specifically states what Congress may NOT do.

The real question is where do your rights come from? In the monarchical days of old, everyone born was a subject of the Crown, everyone had a 'lord' to serve. America was freed from that perpetual bondage with its declaration that our rights are 'inherent,' that they are not bestowed upon us by other men, and that to violate these rights is criminal, whether by thief or king, and that our government was formed to protect these rights.

The premise of altruism and popular religion is generally the same: to serve our fellow man for the common good. I will say this is very much part of the American character. However, to compel others to 'serve' and to 'sacrifice' against their own conscience is NOT for the common good because it does not respect the inherent rights of the people to live their own lives according to their own consciences. As long as the sovereign being does not violate the rights of others (that includes poisoning the commons, watershed, air, etc.) then he is to be left to pursue his own happiness in his own way. Everyone has equal rights, yet obviously not equal in ability, knowledge, power, etc. as the quote above affirms.

Mann argues that humans are inherently selfish and do not care for the consequences -- that is an opinion he is entitled to, however, it does not make it so -- in fact, it would not explain all the good that is done in the world without compulsion, including his own selfless service. What I disagree with is his assertion that HE knows how the world should be and the fact that there are those who 'selfishly' do not want to be compelled to live according to his view proves his point.

In nature, every animal has an ability to defend itself against predators, and humans do as well. When folks with good intentions, like Mann, attempt to enforce the rest of us to 'do good' as defined by some external 'authority' by writing 'laws' (which are 'statutes' actually, i.e. rules) then the tables have been turned, the Constitution turned inside out, furthering the idea that the government tells people what they can't and must do, rather than the people telling the government what it can't and must do, fomenting tyranny and a never-ending bureaucracy of central planning gradually taking upon itself the responsibilities of the people themselves until one day (like today) we have a behemoth whose power is immense and lords over us all. And the seats of power thus created are filled with the very selfish and ambitious that Mann warns us about. That is why every utopian scheme has resulted in a new tyranny.

What we are talking about is CONTROL and the forced ordering of society rather than the free, organic ordering of society. How humans lost the faith in the natural process of life, I do not know. Face it, the "mindfully altruistic" governance of people according to some central authority is no different than the tyrannical Catholic Church of old.

It is unfortunate that the Common Law has been usurped by Commercial Law, for it has twisted the purpose of jurisprudence entirely. The argument against corporate dominance in America is valid, and the commercial law does not recognize 'rights' of corporations. Congress may make laws regulating commerce, but not people! So they have simply declared us all to be corporations and the common law courts are gone. Note that EVERY law Congress passes is COMMERCIAL law under the interstate commerce clause -- they cannot make common law, because the common law is not written per se -- it is based on actual violations of right and property, and the JURY decides of their own CONSCIENCE the guilt of the defendant.

It is a shame that people today like Mann know so very little about Liberty, personal responsibility, and law. Once the law has been corrupted into an instrument of plunder and oppression, we are lawless indeed.

Mike, Norwalk

Mann, your definition of law and the why falls under the philosophy of legal positivism (a philosophy contrary to that which is and, natural law). Your moral tie, as to why, applies to a subcategory described by or defined as a theocracy (see my above post concerning religion) Again, man can not create law, even to curb selfishness or other destructive attributes.

Mike, Norwalk

Archer, I like it, very well said !

J Carlton, Calgary

Mann said: I, as a "sovereign" individual, still cannot morally, legally or by any other standard, pollute drinking water or arbitrarily take human life, no matter what you mean by "natural law." Human behavior, if not mindfully altruistic, is essentially selfish and constantly searching for personal advantage, regardless of consequences for others.
JC Responds: Of course we're not supposed to pollute drinking water..that would be "unnatural". And arbitrarily taking human life is murder, also against natural law. Human behaviour is "selfish"? Really? Are you sure that providing for one's self and one's family isn't simply "responsible"? And if everyone was equally "responsible" wouldn't there be very little need for altruism? And how can one afford to be altruistic when the state is robbing you at every turn? How are we to be generous when we ourselves are economic slaves? An entirely UNnatural state of being I might add.

Mike, Norwalk

(-; Carlton, great points ;-) this has been a very good discussion

E Archer, NYC

I will add, in defense of Mann, that the American Constitutional representative republic that respects and protects the inherent rights of man and woman is still an ideal -- it has never been fully put into practice. I consider the pursuit of that ideal to be the cause of Liberty, and perhaps when the people are ready for it, our government will reflect it. Unfortunately, the childish attitude of entitlement among the prols is exploited by the ruling class to keep everyone indentured and in their debt forever. The common people become the unwitting tools of their own servitude never placing blame where it truly belongs: in themselves. As always, the key to liberation is and always has been in our own hands.


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