Rectification of Names: Let's Call Obama Era What It Is

Conservative author Jonah Goldberg has come up with a great idea for his next book. It's the Confucian idea of “The Rectification of the Names.” He illustrates his epiphany with a long Confucian quote:

A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.

Don't look now, Jonah, but you already wrote two books on the rectification of the names. The first was called Liberal Fascism, about the idea that, really, liberalism/progressivism is a form of fascism. The second was The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.

The point is unassailable. When you are in a mess, the first thing to do is to get the names right, and call a spade a spade. Usually, the reason you are in a mess is exactly because you have been in denial and have been hiding from the truth.

That is what “Islam is a religion of peace” and the Fort Hood shooting as “workplace violence” are all about. Our ruling class cannot bring itself to confront the truth, because if it did it would have to do something.

Our ruling class, like any ruling class, lies its head off. Usually We the People put up with it because a) we don't want to end up in reeducation camp like Dinesh D'Souza or b) we shrink from confronting the truth of our time, just like the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot. But when things get really bad, then some people start to say that it is time to take a stand, and they do.

Last week I penned a brilliant blog post on the necessary U.S. grand strategy to combat the Islamic upsurge: contain them, divide them, and frack, baby, frack, I wrote. But I forgot the most important item without which victory is impossible: the euthanasia of the PC class. Which is another way of calling for the rectification of the names.

Let's do some rectification. The whole point of economic Marxism is to divide industrial society on economic lines, between worker and employer, to say that the Farmer and the Cowman can't be friends, because exploitation. The whole point of cultural Marxism is to divide modern society with political correctness, to say that the White Man and the Black Man can't be friends, because marginalization.

Economic Marxism orders everyone around in Five Year Plans; we know where that ended up. Cultural Marxism needs an army of social justice warriors bullying people around for deficiencies in diversity and inclusion. Yeah! And Apple is run by a bunch of white guys!

But it's all a lie. Marxism of any flavor is just an excuse for the ruling class to grow its power.

Meanwhile people are shocked, shocked that the Federal Reserve's regulators at Goldman Sachs are timid time-servers. What planet are people on? Why would a lifer bureaucrat at the Fed ever match the cojones of a Master of the Universe at Goldman, or ever want to? The real action is in bullying the NFL about domestic violence and teaching men not to rape.

I stepped out for a moment to Third Place Books, and ran into Niall Ferguson's Great Degeneration. The problem, says the author of The Rothschilds and the husband of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is elite rent-seeking, public debt that lets seniors live at the expense of the young, pervasive but ineffective regulation, and lawyers. And the Economist's Micklethwait and Wooldridge are calling for The Fourth Revolution to solve our problems.

Allow me to rectify, gentlemen. The problem is injustice. All government creates injustice because government is force, but big government spawns big injustice. Even liberals get this when they advocate for the rights of criminal defendants.

Really, if the ISIS chaps didn't exist, we'd have to invent them. Otherwise political correctness would go on and on and oppress us more and more, forever. ISIS reminds us that our ruling class lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land, and needs to get back to reality.

Meanwhile in Barack Obama's America it's beginning to seem that “affairs cannot be carried on to success.” And even the suburban moms are starting to notice.

As we begin the labor of the Rectification of Names and send them in to Jonah, we should start with the right name for the Obama years. How about Reign of Error?

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

Conservative author Jonah Goldberg has come up with a great idea for his next book. It's the Confucian idea of “The Rectification of the Names.” He illustrates his epiphany with a long Confucian quote:

A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.

Don't look now, Jonah, but you already wrote two books on the rectification of the names. The first was called Liberal Fascism, about the idea that, really, liberalism/progressivism is a form of fascism. The second was The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.

The point is unassailable. When you are in a mess, the first thing to do is to get the names right, and call a spade a spade. Usually, the reason you are in a mess is exactly because you have been in denial and have been hiding from the truth.

That is what “Islam is a religion of peace” and the Fort Hood shooting as “workplace violence” are all about. Our ruling class cannot bring itself to confront the truth, because if it did it would have to do something.

Our ruling class, like any ruling class, lies its head off. Usually We the People put up with it because a) we don't want to end up in reeducation camp like Dinesh D'Souza or b) we shrink from confronting the truth of our time, just like the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot. But when things get really bad, then some people start to say that it is time to take a stand, and they do.

Last week I penned a brilliant blog post on the necessary U.S. grand strategy to combat the Islamic upsurge: contain them, divide them, and frack, baby, frack, I wrote. But I forgot the most important item without which victory is impossible: the euthanasia of the PC class. Which is another way of calling for the rectification of the names.

Let's do some rectification. The whole point of economic Marxism is to divide industrial society on economic lines, between worker and employer, to say that the Farmer and the Cowman can't be friends, because exploitation. The whole point of cultural Marxism is to divide modern society with political correctness, to say that the White Man and the Black Man can't be friends, because marginalization.

Economic Marxism orders everyone around in Five Year Plans; we know where that ended up. Cultural Marxism needs an army of social justice warriors bullying people around for deficiencies in diversity and inclusion. Yeah! And Apple is run by a bunch of white guys!

But it's all a lie. Marxism of any flavor is just an excuse for the ruling class to grow its power.

Meanwhile people are shocked, shocked that the Federal Reserve's regulators at Goldman Sachs are timid time-servers. What planet are people on? Why would a lifer bureaucrat at the Fed ever match the cojones of a Master of the Universe at Goldman, or ever want to? The real action is in bullying the NFL about domestic violence and teaching men not to rape.

I stepped out for a moment to Third Place Books, and ran into Niall Ferguson's Great Degeneration. The problem, says the author of The Rothschilds and the husband of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is elite rent-seeking, public debt that lets seniors live at the expense of the young, pervasive but ineffective regulation, and lawyers. And the Economist's Micklethwait and Wooldridge are calling for The Fourth Revolution to solve our problems.

Allow me to rectify, gentlemen. The problem is injustice. All government creates injustice because government is force, but big government spawns big injustice. Even liberals get this when they advocate for the rights of criminal defendants.

Really, if the ISIS chaps didn't exist, we'd have to invent them. Otherwise political correctness would go on and on and oppress us more and more, forever. ISIS reminds us that our ruling class lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land, and needs to get back to reality.

Meanwhile in Barack Obama's America it's beginning to seem that “affairs cannot be carried on to success.” And even the suburban moms are starting to notice.

As we begin the labor of the Rectification of Names and send them in to Jonah, we should start with the right name for the Obama years. How about Reign of Error?

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.