Home > Uncategorized > Gonzalo Lira is a shrill conservative who loudly supports the "Occupy" Movement

Gonzalo Lira is a shrill conservative who loudly supports the "Occupy" Movement

Allow me to shill for Gonzalo Lira, a Chilean-American novelist, filmmaker, founder of the Strategic Planning Group, and an economic blogger who contributes  to Zero Hedge, naked capitalism, Seeking Alpha and Business Insider.

I ran across an interesting blog post by Lira that, in contrast with other pieces on LvMI (such as George Reisman‘s), expresses strong support for the “Occupy” movement. 

Lira kindly gave me permission to cross-post his piece. (I note that I seem to be more of a classic liberal and skeptic of government than Lira, and so I don’t fully endorse his ‘conservative’ positions.)

Why I Support The Occupy Movement (emphasis added)

I am a Conservative—and proud of it.

I am against abortion, including in the case of rape or incest. I don’t believe in any form of entitlement program, much less the concept of a welfare state. I am opposed to progressive income taxes—and in fact am against using the tax code as a vehicle to foment or discourage any social goal, as I think it inevitably leads to the tax code being gamed by interested parties (as has indeed happened with the U.S. tax code, beholden to paid lobbyists who have carved out so many loopholes that it looks more like a sieve than a tax code). Thus I’m in favor of a flat tax: Zero-percent for citizens, 20% for corporations.

I am in favor of a reduced government, a reduced military presence, compulsory military service, and a compulsory national guard system requiring 100% citizen participation, similar to the Swiss model. I am completely against foreign military adventurism, foreign military bases, and foreign military aid.

I believe that the government should be the enforcer of the law, and of a regulatory framework which—when it comes to issues affecting the common good—is strict to the point of anal.

For instance, food regulation, financial regulation, building code regulation—all of these regulations obviously serve the common good, and protect us all from unscrupulous people seeking to get an advantage by poisoning or otherwise hurting us all. Thus the government should have a tough regulatory framework—think of it like traffic laws: Tough government regulations that are simple, transparent, and which protect us all from each other, while making our interactions smooth, convenient and graceful.

I don’t have a problem with some people making boatloads of money, while others are homeless. I don’t believe it is the State’s or society’s or the government’s responsibility to take care of you in your old age—it is your responsibility.

Gun rights—yes. Gay rights—no. States’ rights—yes. Affirmative Action—no.

There are only three issues on which I don’t toe the Hard Right line: The death penalty, the war on drugs, and health care.

I am against the death penalty—not because I think that the State and society do not have the right to execute one of its members: They do, to my way of thinking, if the citizen has committed an especially heinous act. But the death penalty is permanent: You can’t take it back if you screw up. And since no justice system made by fallible men is infallible, mistakes are inevitable. So I am of the opinion that it’s better to have 1,000 murderers sit in jail at society’s expense, than allow one innocent man be put to death. Because you can free an innocent man after twenty years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit—but you can’t bring back the dead.

I am against the War On Drugs: First of all because it doesn’t stop the consumption (and thus flow) of illegal recreational drugs; second because I believe recreational drugs (up to and including cocaine, heroin, meth and acid) ought to be legalized and taxed, like booze, and its production regulated for safety standards, again like booze; third, because the “War On Drugs” has created a huge penal class—citizens who have spent time in jail for non-violent offenses, and thus are marginalized from general society because of this stigma on their record—which hurts people who have committed non-violent infractions, and enriches people who thrive on building and staffing more and more needless prisons.

I am in favor of trashing the current American health care system, and making it either entirely private, or entirely socialist: This hybrid system the United States has not only does not work, it is extraordinarily expensive. The fact that the French of all people spend less of their gross domestic product on their socialist health care system, yet have a lower infant mortality rate and a longer median and average lifespan than people in America, is a wake-up call: If the full-Commie Frenchie system is better and cheaper than the American one, then literally any health care system is better than the one that exists in the United States.

But all in all, I’m a good Conservative. (Though certainly not a Republican—a political party dominated by Neo-Conservatives, who are not Conservative at all, but rather, Corporatists.)

I believe that America should be the land of opportunity and risk: You can fly high—but you can also crash and burn. A society that eliminates risk—that tries to somehow torque risk down with “safety nets” and “systemic protections”—is begging for a Mommy Dictatorship when all is said and done.

Now, why do I go into all this detail about my political beliefs and ideas? Because I want to make clear where I stand, before I come out and say that I am in favor of, and fully support, the Occupy Movement.

The Occupy Movement is inarticulate—but not because of it nonsensical: The protestors are against the travesty that has become the American Republic. And though its origins are on the political Left, it should not be considered a “Leftist” movement.

Rather, it is an anti-Corporatist movement.

It’s core issue is the One-Percenters: As we have currently organized the American Republic, everything seems geared to protecting and enriching the top 1% of the population—to the detriment of the 99% of the population.

The One-Percenters have made huge gains in income over the last 30 years, compared to any other tranche of the population—while the standard of living of the middle and lower classes has actually gone down.

There is less opportunity for the 99%—but more opportunities for the One-Percenters to enrich themselves at the public expense, by way of manipulating the law, the tax code, or the regulatory framework.

There is a revolving door between One-Percenters in the government and the private sector—so the former government employees make it a point to “help” the private sector One-Percenters, at the expense of the public good. Think of the Obama health care “reform”—which helped no one, save Big Pharma and Big Med.

There is zero chance that a One-Percenters who breaks the law will go to prison. He can put toxic substances in food production, inject toxins into groundwater to get at some oil, bankrupt a pension fund, steal and cheat people out of their homes—and there’ll be no consequences insofar as the law is concerned.

The things he might have done might be immoral—they might be despicable—they might even be outright wicked and evil: But they are not “illegal”—because the One-Percenters change the laws by way of their bought-and-paid-for politicians, and thus never do anything “illegal”. They only do things which are immoral, and wrong—and thus not subject to legal punishment.

Yet any member of the 99% caught smoking a little weed will go to jail for 90 days—and have a permanent black mark on his record, severely curtailing his ability to find employment, get a bank account, or otherwise participate in civil society.

How bad is this lawless among the One-Percenters? To give an example: The bankers. Not one banker has been charged with fraud, for the Robo-Signing scandal; for the fraudulent securitization scandal that led to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis; or indeed, for any of the heinous acts of financial terrorism which has essentially held us all hostage, while the banksters have raped and pillaged from us all, by way of bailouts.

How did they rape and pillage our society? By telling us through their bought-and-paid for politicians and media shills, “You better bail us out—or we’ll crash the economy by the bankruptcy of our financial institutions, and put you all out of work.” So we give them literally trillions of dollars to bail them out in 2008 and after—

—and once we bail them out, do they pay us back?

No!—don’t be naive! They don’t pay us back! Instead, they use the bailout monies to pay themselves huge bonuses. After all, as is public record, in 2009, the banks paid their executives more and bigger bonuses than ever before—even though they would have been bankrupt had it not been for the lifeline that we paid for!

Are any of these bastards cooling their heels in jail? No they are not. In other words, we pay—and the banksters get a tan in Tahiti.

And this same pattern happens in every other industry and sector of our economy—in every other area and concern of our society: The One-Percenters get all the breaks, the government “of the people, by the people and for the people” bending over backwards to give this oligarchy all these phenomenal breaks—while the rest of us in the 99% pay. And pay in spades.

This is what the Occupy Movement is against.

As far as I’m concerned, the people currently protesting are a bunch of Lefty, bongo-banging hippie-dippy metro-sexual turds—but that doesn’t make their protest wrong.

And in this case, those Lefty fools are actually right.

And we on the Right should join them.

As Al Gore accurately put it (and trust me, my skin is literally trying to crawl off my flesh as the reptilian part of my brain reacts to me praising something that Al Gore, of all people, has said), the Occupy Wall Street movement is basically a primal scream of democracy.

It is a primal democratic scream that we all feel—Lefties and Righties.

Those Lefty granola-munchers have a putatively granola-munching Lefty in the White House—but they’re out on the street anyway. Why? Because Obama might munch on granola, but he’s about as Lefty as Herbert Hoover.

Don’t get me wrong—Obama ain’t on my team. He’s about as Righty as Adlai Stevenson. No, what Obama is is corporatist—as are all the Democratic politicians. That’s why the Unions and the blacks and the other “approved” Left wing interest groups haven’t been able to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street movement:

The Occupy Movement instinctively—perhaps even inarticulately but accurately—realizes that the traditional “Left” politicians aren’t politicians of principles.

Rather, they are the best politicans money can buy: Corporate politicans bought with coporate money, via K Street lobbyists, and the revolving door between corporate interests and political power.

Just look at Michael Chertoff, the former head of Homeland Security, whom I wrote about here (a piece which by the way earned me my own HSA agent, who dilligently monitors me).

Chertoff headed the HSA under George W. Bush—so he ought to be on my team, Team Right. But he’s not—he’s Team Corporate. He’s a One-Percenter.

Chertoff served as director of Homeland Security, then left for the private sector, where he formed “The Chertoff Group”—which promptly went into business with RapiScan Systems, purveyors of airport bodyscanners.

And so what did Chertoff do? He hit every talk show and media outlet, peddling the bodyscanners.

The corporate media was happy to have him—and not once did they point out that his fear-mongering would make him wealthier. Not once did the corporate media portray Chertoff as what he was—a corporate shill. Not once did the corporate media do its job of informing the citizenry of Chertoff’s conflict of interest.

Instead, the corporate media gave Chertoff a platform, from where he could sell us all on the full-body scanners—lying and saying that they were for “our protection against the terrorists”.

Were the body scanners necessary? No—they have yet to catch a single terrorist. Do they work? No—a determined terrorist can easily defeat them, as has been demonstrated. Are they safe? No—they likely cause cancer, though no one is really sure, because safety testing of the scanners has been proscribed.

Ah, but do the body-scanners pay Chertoff a big phat fee, every time one of those $100,000 machines ($100,000 each!) is deployed in an American airport?


Someone like Chertoff isn’t on the “Right” or on the “Left”—someone like Chertoff, or Obama, is on the side of One-Percenters: The interests of the One-Percenters are their interests—versus you and me in the 99%—because they are the One-Percent. They have more in common with each other, than with any paltry political “Left/Right” difference.

Chertoff and Obama certainly have more in common with one another, than either one of them has with us, the people whom they are supposed to serve.

Now, if I have put this issue in terms of class-warfare, it sure makes it sound Marxist—which ordinarily would make me dismiss it. After all, Marx claimed that everything that was bad in a society was the result of “class warfare”—which is bullshit, as far as I’m concerned.

But a broken clock is right twice a day. To my way of seeing things, our society has fallen into an oligarchic trap: We have confused the health and welfare of the top of the social pyramid with the health and welfare of the entire pyramid—and that of course is a mistake. The top can be just fine and dandy—while the rest of society rots, crumbles, and collapses.

This, in a nutshell, is what is happening. This is what the Occupy Movement is protesting. This is something that I support. Because the health and welfare of our society as a whole should never be confused with the health and welfare of the richest 1%.


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