Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Republicans Versus the Race Party...I Mean the Democrats: Part I - 1789-1854

In the age of legacy media and alternative information fighting for segments of political narrative dominance, if not serving as press arms for the dominant political parties of the US, it is illuminating to study how these structures came about, what they stood and / or stand for, and how they evolved over time.

As a person who was firmly on the left as a very young man, and has leaned right since about the age of twenty, I have come to feel that many of us accept certain narratives and doctrines based more on our perception of the parties that claim to represent them, and our self-images of course, rather than by identification with specific platform points and philosophies.

Growing up in New York City, the all but overt messaging I received as a general sensibility was that the Democratic Party was, well...they were "normal". They were clearly the "good guys", and certainly, one should only vote for them, because to not - was just crazy. I mean, the Republicans were just horrible, horrible people (don't you know?). It was an unspoken truth that they were thoroughly deplorable, in every way, long before Hillary Clinton deemed everyone to the right of her position as such in the 2015 election cycle.

Ironically, what many fail to understand is that the corrupt Madame Secretary had long since gone through her own political evolution - not unalike millions of others in her generation and since. From a Goldwater Republican as a teenager, Miss Rodham fell under the spell of Socialist agitator Saul Alinsky, and as she drifted into the Democratic Party, she, like many other liberals of her generation, brought far left radicalism into the establishment.

This toxic combination of Marxist-tinged leftist ideology being baked in a slow admixture with the military-industrial complex, led to the creation of a type of creature that is now commonly called a "Neo-Liberal", or "Neo-Lib" in contemporary social parlance. This concoction of victim politics and Corporatism created a bi-polar dissonance (i.e Woke CEO's) that achieved a kleptocratic high point in the 1990's - as many former hippies traded in their moccasins and hoodies for patent leather shoes and Chanel business suits. It is no coincidence that this high point matured during the Clinton administration, and was paralleled on the right side of the aisle by, you got it, the "Neo-Conservatives", or in short, the "Neo-Cons".

For those of you who I might have lost in the last passage I must explain that these euphemisms do not simple refer to renewed ("Neo") waves of Liberal and Conservative ideals - they instead refer to a new set of ideals, much in the same way that breeding a horse with a donkey creates a mule - it doesn't make a horse-donkey, or donkey-horse.

So we have Neo-Libs and Neo-Cons, as well as traditional Democrats and Republicans, as the dominant forces in America's two-party system. But where do these ideologies originate from?

In this post I will attempt to encapsulate in a very abbreviated form (but hopefully thoroughly and scholarly enough) how these ideas came into being, effected, and responded to one another over time.

My thesis in short will illuminate how the two major and recurring themes of American politics: Federalism and Anti-Federalism (i.e how much or little control the government has over individual, local and state issues) has really only been a debate within the Republican camp from 1789 until the present, while a platform primarily built upon ethno-identitarianism and Marxist identitarianism (i.e. race) has always been the purview of the Democratic Party, from its founding until now.   

If we are able to recall our early school days, we  might remember studying the founding fathers and their nascent political alliances. In that, two particular opposing streams of thought stand out - Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans and John Adam's Federalists. While it would be very easy to picture that our current RNC and DNC and the direct heirs to these two parties, it is by no means that simple. In fact, I would argue that the notion that such is the case is a retro-active deception and a century old historical re-write created in order to clean up the sordid origins of the Democratic Party.

So let's go back to the very start and see how we got here.

Part One: 1789-1824 (Republicanism versus Federalism)

In the aftermath of the ratification of the US constitution and of George Washington's "independent" or at least "non-partisan" presidency, the Democratic-Republican Party was founded by President Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1792. It found support mostly in the southern states, and was in essence the successor of the Anti-Administration Party which had formed in 1789 and was dissolved in 1794. The party reflected the core beliefs of "Jeffersonian Democracy" (Jeffersonian Era 1801- 1817), which prized above all civic service.

The values of Republicanism opposed aristocracy, monarchy, central banking, the religious authority, and corruption. Within reason, it can be described as a socially center-left form of Classical Liberalism (i.e. the liberal ideals of the Enlighten- ment), and if we attempt to find a contemporary political parallels to it, I would suggest it maintained many common- alities with Libertarian thought, if not the current Libertarian Party - which in my opinion, has not yet adequately pieced together an holistic platform that would appeal to both right and left Libertarians.

The counter to both the Anti-Administration party and to the Democratic-Republican party was John Adam's and Alexander Hamilton's Pro-Administration party, better known as the Federalist Party, or simply, the Federalists (Federalist Era 1788-1801). The Federalist Party also formed in 1789, but unlike the Democratic-Republicans it found most of it's base in the chilly states of New England. The Federalist position was that government was innately an evil, but a necessary one, and thus, it should be regulated by a strong legal framework. Within reason, as a party the Federalists relied on traditional family and religious values and centralization of power and finances. Philosophically, it was both socially and fiscally more Conservative than the Jeffersonians, and would be best described as a center-right wing branch of Classical Liberalism, placing it firmly in the arena of most of today's Neo-Con's.

From the beginning the debate was always between how much, or how little, the newly created national government of the United States would, well, govern. States rights and the individual rights of man versus how much power the national government could, would, or should exert. I guess it was, and is, a bit of a pickle.

Both sides promoted their doctrines and opinions with the passionate zeal of devotees to a new faith, and before long the rivalry between the two parties became so extreme that duels in the name of the argument were taking place. The most epic and notable of these decades-long grudges was a pistol face-off between Federalist Alexander Hamilton and Jefferson's second Vice-President, Aaron Burr, who shot the prior to death in 1804. Burr was never charged, but it should be added that the duel ended his political career.

At the time, and until the Civil War, we must recall that often the President and Vice-President represented the opposing parties, with the loser of the electoral college taking the lesser seat. In a mythical construct where political civility reigned this sounds idealistically non-partisan and just wonderful. But in reality, this was not possible after the bitterness brought on by the north-south / Republican-Democratic schism and the Civil War that grew from it. But more on that later.

Regardless, the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican parties were both dissolved in the election of 1824 and morphed into very different creatures. However, the threads of their philosophy and streams of their thought both persisted and can be traced in some way until the current day.

Part Two: 1825-1854 (Republicans, Whigs and the Pro-Slavery Party)

The first great internal watershed of doctrinaire proportions that shook the political landscape of America was the election of 1824 - which pitted an ardent Federalist, John Quincy Adams - the son of parties founder, against a southern populist and war hero known as Andrew Jackson.

Reformulated themselves into the National Republican Party, and headed by J.Q. Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay, the NRP was initially referred to the Adams-Clay Republicans in order to differentiate themselves from the Jeffersonian Republicans - but these were clearly Federalists. The National Republican Party was in essence the fusion of the earlier Democratic-Republican party and the Federalist party - the once bitter rivals agreeing on one thing: that Jackson and his ilk had to go!

While Adams won the 1824 election, he savagely lost the election of 1828 election to Andrew Jackson. The Jackson camp (the Jacksonian's) quickly adopted the moniker "the Democratic Party", and the origin of the current political party of the same name dates from that year. If we are to believe their rhetoric (and wikipedia) there is an unbroken line of thought here, or at least that is what we are led to believe. True, Jackson attacked the institution of central banking as an evil, and in that he was largely correct, and within reason the DNC did indeed inherit many of the socially left ideals of Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans. But more so the Jacksonian's utilized the individualism of the platform and states rights sovereignty to justify and support the continuation of their most prized issue - the institution of slavery in the south (and Native American culturcide and genocide, if we're being fully forthcoming).

Having lost to Jackson in the 1828-1837 period, The National Republicans went into a tailspin, but in the long run the defeat galvanized them into a stronger platform, gathering their former members together with disaffected Democrats, as well as the Anti-Masonic Party - which supplied a strong third-party alternative to Jackson in the 1828 election. Honestly, by today's standards the Anti-Masons would frankly seem at home with the conspiracy theorists and the soft Alt-Right, or at least "Alt-lite". Nonetheless, these three streams all coalesced into what was called the Whig Party, which formalized itself in 1833. Indeed, such was the appeal of the party that four US Presidents after Jackson were Whigs.

As a party the Whigs (or "Clay" Whigs) took their name from the powdered wigs that the colonial founders sported, belying their pride in the revolution and their patriotism. They were a center-right party, which favored economic interventionist policies such as protective tariffs, national infrastructure development, and an "America First" outlook (sound familiar?). Unlike the earlier regional divisions of the parties, the Whigs had supporters in both the north and the south, notably from the entrepreneurial class. Due to this, or maybe because of this, the Whigs opted to not have a strong platform regarding slavery, either way, and chose to kind of ignore it.

By today's standards I feel that the closest parallel to the Whig Party of the 1840's would be to that of the Tea Party movement of the early 2000's. Both were Federalists, but not extremely so. Both were Classical Liberals - with a Conservative streak. And both prized Entrepreneurial Capitalism but not war- mongering and Corporatism, and I like to imagine that the Whigs and the Tea Party would have shared a similar heartfelt disdain for Neo-Con's (and Neo-Lib's).

I personally like to think of myself as a bit of a Whig, and if President Donald Trump thought about it, he would too, even though his brand of populism has had a similar divisive effect on the opposition party and the media-indoctrinated partisan populace as Jackson did in his time.

As you might have premeditated, I'm about to talk about Whigs "chicken's coming home to roost" effect due to their avoidance to taking a stand on the slavery issue. And if you did guess that, you'd be absolutely right.

You see, it was due to, or maybe because of the neutral approach the Whig's took on the issue of slavery, that several single-issue abolitionist splinter parties came into existence in the 1840's - such as the Liberty Party (1840-1848), who responded to southern Democrats (and somewhat northern Democrats) who were pushing for the expansion of slavery in the newly acquired south-western territories. Ironically, Southern Whig's leaned to being even more pro-slavery than their Democratic Party counterparts in either the south or north, while Northern Whigs tended to being more anti-slavery than Northern Democrats. However, as Southern Democrats started to suggest the concept of secession over the issue of slavery, Southern Whigs moved away - their Federalist-born national patriotism being more important than what was in many ways seen as a "regional issue".

However, slavery was of course not just a regional issue, it was a moral issue. So, in the end, morality caught up with the Whigs, who promptly divided into two major factions: the anti-slavery Conscience Whigs and the Pro-Southern Cotton Whigs. While the Conscience Whigs were noted for their opposition to slavery on moral grounds, the Cotton Whig's association with the New England textile industry led them to consistently downplay the slavery issue. During the 1850s, several Conscience leaders played an important role in the founding of the Republican Party - displaying the abolitionist stream of Republican thought even prior to the technical founding of the party.

It should be mentioned that the Whigs and their denial of the issue of slavery first led to them loosing elections, and finally to a collapse, and then dissolution in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This led to a reunification or a re-absorption of their party back into the National Republican Party. Likewise such were the times that the Liberty Party, the Conscience Whigs, and many Barnburner Democrats (who left the DNC), soon formed the Free Soil Party in 1852 - a centrist anti-slavery political party. No shock here - the Free Soil Party and the NRP then merged on March 20th, 1854 to form the GOP (Grand Old Party) then as now known simply as the Republican Party.

I should make it clear that the Democrats were not immune to the push and pull of the slavery issue, and at least in the north, a radical anti-slavery wing of the Democratic Party called the Barnburners, or Barnburner Democrats came into being. They were opposed within the party by a group called the Hunkers. The Barnburners (like current fiscal Conservatives) while not against large entrepreneurial businesses, opposed expanding the national debt and aggrandizing the power of large state-subsidized corporations. They also stood for local control, as did the Jeffersonian's. The Hunkers also wished to minimize the issue of slavery, like the Northern Whigs, but unlike the Federalists they favored state banks rather than a national bank.

While Democrats of the time insisted they were still less socially Conservative than Republicans, and reflected some of the leftist leanings of Jefferson's original Democratic-Republican Party (minus the moral qualms over slavery), just as at it's inception under Jackson, the issue of race (and pro-slavery) became the purview of the Democratic Party leading up to, and after, the Civil War.

In retrospect it is clear that the Democrats of the 1824-1854 period only supported states rights in order to insure that African-American's would not be freed, and that Native American land could be freely confiscated. Add to that their Anti-Catholicism, and it should come as no surprise why the DNC would later come to be the home of secessionists, anti-de-segregationists, eugenicists, and the KKK until the 1980's, and is in my opinion a political party that is currently still obsessed with race in the form of post-modern language deconstruction, Marxist intersectionality and identity politics.

But that's for the later posts in this series.

Till next time.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Electronic Music Give-Away of the Day: The Entire Catalogue Thus Far

Welcome back Gauntletarians, or maybe it's better as Balthazarians - I don't know, so shoot me your opinion if you'd like.

Anyway, I must confess that I did a little "internet presence" clean-up in aftermath of releasing the most recent 391 & the Army of Astraea's Re-Mix extended play "False Flag" (in my last post) and in anticipation of a forthcoming Soundtrack EP titled "Sovereignty". I must admit that overall I'm I'm quite please with it and the script it was inspired by. Regardless, that audio release will be holistically accompanied by a concept video which will find a home on the Nevekari Enterprises YouTube channel, and both will be embedded on a Nevekari Enterprises web page dedicated to this new hard-sci-fi series pilot script. These releases will also be featured on the Nevekari Enterprises and Stubborn God Productions Facebook pages. But, more on that on release day.

As far as today's post goes, it revolves around the fact that at this point the entire 391 & the Army of Astraea industrial-electronic "Give-Away" catalogue from 2016-2019 has been placed on Bandcamp and secondarily (and partially) on Soundcloud. These releases do not include any electronic or soundtrack releases Stubborn God Productions took part in from 2012-2015, nor any of my recent sixty or so compositions in the Singer-Songwriter Folk-Rock vein, nor as well as any of the hundreds of archival recordings (in multiple genres) made between 1983 (yes, even the most craggy Punk demos) to 1998 (by that time mainly ethnic recordings).

The recordings are, in chronology:

Battle and Realms: Catalogue Volume I (2016-2017)
The Dark Wood: Soundtrack to the Motion Picture (2017)
Sweetmeats For Little Turks (Best of Compilation 2016-2018)
Battle and Realms: Catalogue Volume II (2018-2019)
Scrimshaw: A Dark Tale of the Sea Soundtrack (2019)
False Flag Re-Mix EP (2019)

The Bandcamp embeds for your easy access to all of the albums are below.

Happy listening.

Till next time.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Electronic Music Album of the Day Give-Away

Salutations, Gauntletarians.

Yes, you are correct - the title of this post is not the usual "Electronic Music Piece of the Day...yada, yada, yada, it's "Album of the Day...", and within reason, that's what we have today - a Six-Track 391 & the Army of Astraea Re-Mix EP (Extended Play) entitled "False Flag".

While most, if not all of these tracks have been featured earlier in Gauntlet history, these altered / variant versions have not, and I personally believe that they are much improved from their earlier incarnations.

Not unusually, and also within reason, these tracks all fall into the same industrial-electronic music genre and feature similar instrumentation, but these six cuts also share a common theme - which is a focus on the fractious state (pun intended) of global politics.

So sit back and enjoy, and ideally, like, share, etc., etc., if you are so inclined.


Till next time.