December 9, 2011

Historical View of Campaign Finance

Now JK's linking to The Objective Standard! End times, baby!

In my ThreeSources Home Version, I should have found a spot for McCain-Feingold and the McConnell v. FEC decision which upheld it.

Steve Simpson documents the history of campaign finance, including many of the pertinent laws and judicial decisions. Nice, but I have heard it. He goes a bit further showing the interest of early Progressives like Herbert Croly, John Dewey, and John Gardner.

Speech, they said, should be protected only to the extent that it serves the "public interest"--which, in their conception, did not include the interests of businesses and the wealthy. The progressives pejoratively dubbed the interests of businesses and the wealthy "special interests"--interests contrary to the "public interest"--and held that the First Amendment did not protect speech in the service of such interests.

Not a quick read, but an interesting piece. Hat-tip: @ariarmstrong

Posted by John Kranz at December 9, 2011 9:34 AM

John Dewey was prominently criticized by Ayn Rand and thus, by Objectivists. The father of the Dewey Decimal System, he also introduced moral relativism into public education. (The two are unrelated.)

I look forward to reading the article, but the pull-quote is awesome. If nothing else, re-read it three times until it sinks in: "Nobody may be censored, except those who speak against collective interests, for they are evil."

Posted by: johngalt at December 9, 2011 11:37 AM

Shorter JG: Some pigs are more equal...

Posted by: jk at December 9, 2011 12:18 PM

"How dared you, gutter cleaner," spoke Fraternity 9-3452, "to hold yourself as one alone and with the thoughts of the one and not of the many?"
...

"What is not thought by all men cannot be true," said Collective 0-0009.
...
"What is not done collectively cannot be good," said International 1-5537.

"Many men in the Homes of the Scholars have had strange new ideas in the past," said Solidarity 8-1164, "but when the majority of their brother Scholars voted against them, they abandoned their ideas, as all men must."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 9, 2011 4:09 PM

YESSS! Are those quotes [Brother 1-0007] or are you paraphrasing?

Well done.

Posted by: johngalt at December 9, 2011 5:01 PM

JG: Those are direct quotes, lifted directly from the pages of Chapter 7 of Anthem - my introduction to Ayn Rand at the comely age of thirteen. Given that the topic at hand was quashing individual freedom in the face of the purported "public interest," this passage seemed to be... on point.

Forget Nostradamus - it was Rand that saw our day coming.

They say that to cop the thoughts of another person is plagiarism, while to cop the thoughts of many is genius, so I'll borrow from a different source. How long do you think it is before we who share thoughts on these pages are branded as "unmutual" as regards the Collective?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 9, 2011 8:01 PM

A frightening prospect. I'll let you know on November 7, 2012.

Posted by: johngalt at December 10, 2011 10:20 AM | What do you think? [6]