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Unexamined Premises

Free Detroit City!

July 23rd, 2013 - 4:15 am

As everyone who’s ever been skating knows, there’s nothing like anarchy to bring about spontaneous order. Somebody decides to skate either clockwise or counter-clockwise and pretty soon everybody falls into line. Based on no empirical evidence whatsoever, a “progressive” would have predicted random collisions, overheated tempers and — in concealed-carry states — gunfire. To a leftist, life is a room full of bumper cars just waiting to happen, and needing the heavy, coercive, and sometimes lethal hand of the state to prevent citizens from, well, killing each other.

We conservatives, on the other hand, prefer the view that not every one of our fellow citizens is a homicidal maniac, thief, robber, or chiseler; we do not view the entire rest of humanity, crooked as its timber may sometimes be, as a threat. The Hobbesian left exists in a constant state of fear and misery (hence the rise of the Robocop), with the added genius that its prescriptions for ameliorating the human condition inevitably and ineluctably result in an increase in misery, until it finally turns into what it really has been all along: a suicide cult. The notion that less government equals better government is completely alien to them, because they do not trust themselves to be good.

And now we both have a chance to put our theories to the test, right there in Motown — Detroit City, Michigan, U.S.A.

Their theories, of course, have already been tried.

The fabulous Ruins of Detroit, decline-porn lovingly recorded by legions of photographers from around the world, are a direct result of leftist notions of government, put into place since the calamitous riots of 1967 and now at their apotheosis in the bankruptcy of one of America’s greatest cities. An entire city has effectively been leveled in a failed attempt to prove that the crackpot Marxist “labor theory of value” makes any sense in the real world; that the current generation of people is far more important than those in the past who labored to create the city, and more important even than future generations. An infinite amount of money — well, nearly infinite, because Detroit finally ran out of it — has been expended in order to provide “services” that nearly everyone would have been better off providing for themselves.

As I wrote over at the Corner on NRO yesterday:

Until you’ve been there, you have no idea just how devastated the place is. And I don’t mean “devastated” in its current pop-psychological, New York Times-sense of “a little bit discomfited” — I mean devastated as in Carthage just before the salt trucks arrived. I’ve driven all over the city, from downtown to Eight Mile along Woodward Avenue, which bisects the town into its east and west sides, through surviving neighborhoods like the faded but still mightily impressive Boston-Edison and Indian Village, to neighborhoods that, well, simply do not exist anymore. They’re gone. From Brush Park, for example — in the 19th Century, Detroit’s most desirable neighborhood — you can stand on what amounts to a prairie, gazing south toward downtown a couple of miles away, and your view is entirely unobstructed — you can easily make out Ford Field in the distance. A city that once boasted the finest residential architecture in the country is now effectively a ghost town, and all the finger-pointing won’t bring it back.

And that’s the real tragedy of Detroit — a marvelous example of 20th Century American civilization has vanished and is now returning to a state of nature that would have, literally, been inconceivable were it pitched back in the 1950s as one option for the city’s future. We can argue all we want about the blame, but there is no gainsaying that Detroit did not deserve its lot, and does not deserve to be an object of derision for the Right today.

"Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus." Maybe

“Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus.” Maybe

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Top Rated Comments   
Detroit is the rotting corpse left behind by leftism's state-eating disease.

How do you "save" a corpse? You can't. You CAN save the people who must live near it, by removing its ability to spread the plague it carries.

Detroit is no longer a viable entity. It is a shell, harboring merely the maggots and bacteria left behind by runaway "revolution"...while mindless twits continue to tell us how beautiful "socialism" is and communism would be "in the correct hands".

THIS is what "beauty" means to the Permanent Revolution. Behold..."transformation" in its final stages.

You can't fight to "save" Detroit. So, showcase it for the plague carrying symbol it really is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Democrats easily win the Most Fiscally Irresponsible award hands down. They desperately cling to their mistaken belief that an ever bigger unionized government alone can become a sufficient service industry and employer base to sustain an urbanized megapolis, so long as there exists an employed taxpayer and dues paying hostage class to ceaselessly extort of more revenue needed to pay for extravagant promises to the unemployed dependent class of entitlements that are made in return for more votes that secure a permanence of a government to eventually fulfill those expectations.  Local governments, however, unlike the federal government, cannot create its own revenue source to generate the circle from the printing, the paying out, to the taxing of funds necessary to sustain their schemes.   Stockton, CA, and Detroit, MI are but just two recent examples of Democrat bankruptcies; Chicago, IL may also be on the brink.  Conversely, Madison, WI and Indianapolis, IN and Charlotte, SC are examples where Republican governors have shown capable of reversing the same trends.  But, nationally the Obamanistas in power now, unfortunately for the rest of us, are driven by his vision that a centralized federal government can lead the way to such Democrat nirvana and never you mind with the Detroit example of how they're taking us all to hell in a hand basket.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Detroit would be a great place to attempt "nation building". The functional illiteracy rate is astounding, the corruption astronomical not to mention you'd need hundreds of Diogenes' to search for a functional nuclear family. Oh, and moral values, work ethic, and .. the list goes on.

I'd start by working a deal to swap the folks living in Detroit with the population of Haiti. It'd be a better start.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (56)
All Comments   (56)
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Detroit had been destroyed by a surfeit of government.

For Detroit to live again, government must be removed. I recapitulate Paul Rosenberg's six-point plan herewith:

(1) "The federal government (in writing) forbears taxes, regulations, laws, and impositions for a hundred years to the area of the current municipality of Detroit and to all persons and commercial entities resident there.

(2) "The government of the state of Michigan forbears taxes, regulations, laws, and impositions for a hundred years to the area of the current municipality of Detroit and to all persons and commercial entities resident there.

(3) "All municipal government agencies within Detroit are disbanded.


(4) "All state and federal offices within the city of Detroit are disbanded.

(5) "The federal government guarantees that entry and exit to/from Detroit will remain unchanged from the current conditions, and that no obligations will be placed upon residents of Detroit in any other place.

(6) "Federal and state governments immediately cease all payments to residents of Detroit. (They may resume payment to those persons if and when they are no longer resident in Detroit.)"

That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less, either.

"Think of Hong Kong, but easy to get to.

"Businesses would begin to relocate the next morning. Hundreds of them, thousands of them. The people who still owned and lived in their homes would be offered lots of money for their properties.

"Libertarians and conservatives, disgusted by the gang in DC, would load up and drive to Detroit.Productive former residents would return. Thousands of opportunity-seekers, anarcho-capitalists, and pot-smoking hippies would be gathering their money and buying property.

"Detroit would, within only a few years, become the coolest city on the planet – by FAR."

Rosenberg concludes:

"The truth, of course, is that the state and fed guvs will never agree to a plan like this one, for a single reason:

"Because they fear it would succeed.

"They’ll let every last person in Detroit rot before they’ll let a group of producers live free of their chains.

Detroit returned to its natural state would expose the great lie of the government game – that we can’t survive without them."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It might be providing a service to burn the worst parts of Detroit. Save the architecturally important parts and restore them as a new Williamsburg. Specify non-union workers for the restoration work.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Detroit, in its current form, cannot be saved. Any knight in shining armor who rides to the rescue with billions of dollars to invest will be surrounded by thieves and parasites; activists, bureaucrats, union bosses, lawyers, all lining up with their "requirements".
You need a zoning variant for that, and approvals and permissions for this.
You'll need union drivers for those vans.
You'll need to pay "living wages".
You'll need us to approve your Affirmative Action program.
You need to give something back to the community.

They'll suck the life out of anyone who tries to rescue them, and when the exhausted, depleted Knight gives up and goes home, they'll blame the knight for being greedy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
(Not to mention the "normal" thieves.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I must respectfully disagree with the author's innately Conservative reaction to a monster problem. That is 'fix it'. Don't fix it, back up the salt trucks and complete the ruination of the last vestiges of civilization. Then, hang Detroit's lifeless carcass high as a warning to others. If you fix Detroit, the Left will take credit, for they care not about the truth and are shameless in their intellectual harlotry. Further, it is not possible to fix any community where the parasites vastly outnumber the producers. Bulldoze the entire city and use the ruble to build the world's largest waste disposal landfill. Retain only the 'Welcome to Detroit' signs on the edge of the dump and publish photos in every civics textbook as a warning to future generations about placing the parasite class in charge. In a 1000 years, we can build a shiny city on that hill of wasted dreams.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If anybody is thinking about buying some of that famously cheap real estate in the city, keep in mind that you will b e buying land that needs to be cleared of debris in order to rebuild. Good luck getting the demolition and construction permits out of the city.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What made Detroit look like a Mad Max movie set were liberal Democrat policies, union involvement, and black leadership. WAIT A MINUTE! That is what we have in Washington, DC now. Come to think of it, the same thing has started happening around the country, especially in Democrat-run states. Yikes!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If the Right really wanted to seize this moment, they would make Detroit a symbol of two things: what once was, and what could be again, if only we allow Detroit to return to first principles:"

If we get involved IN ANY WAY with this debacle, we will NOT be allowed to succeed. We will simply become the scapegoat for the final collapse.

The media will talk about nothing but what conservative ideas did to Detroit. "It could have been saved but for YOU guys! LOOK WHAT YOU DID!"

You'll hear it from every media outlet, every pundit, every "expert".

It will be the ONLY message most of the world ever hears. It will become "The Truth".

Touching an IED with a 10 foot pole would be prudent compared to getting involved in the rescue of Detroit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think that Mr. Walsh nails it here. Conservatives (and I am one) are engaging in a wee bit too much schadenfreude over the fate of Detroit. It's easy to do but ultimately pointless. I live just forty miles south of Detroit (go Tigers!) and have been witnessing it's steady decline for years. I remember when I was a kid "a trip to Detroit" was something you eagerly anticipated. Now the prospect is about as welcome as a visit to a Green Zone in Lebanon. The bankruptcy of Detroit is not just a tragedy for Motown but an embarassment for anyone calling himself (herself) an American. Conservatives need to propose solutions and engage in the sort of creative outside-the-box thinking that "progressives", weighed down by their feudal allegiances, simply cannot do.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Detroit's 2012 estimated population 701,475

Number of Detroit abortions in 2012 5,693
2012 murders 379

If you kill off almost 1% of your population each year, you won't continue. We saw this in the first few centuries AD in the Roman empire, too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What's the birth rate?
You only kill off the population if you kill them faster than they reproduce.
Detroit's shrinkage is emigration, not death.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think the ideal way to deal with Detroit's bankruptcy is to publicly announce the names and home addresses of all the politicians, both past and present, who made the unsustainble promises of bloated pensions and benefts in exchange for votes. Let the retirees, who are now in danger of losing those pensions, know exactly who was responisble for lying to them. And let the retirees vent their frustration on the people who actually created - and benefited from - this problem. Of course, truth be told, a large part of the problem is the public employees themselves, who apparently quite willingily, kept returning these con artists to office. Making them co-conspirators, so to speak. in their own demise. But let's deal with first things first and go to the politician's homes for some "social justice", first. Hmmmmm?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Detroit delenda est!

Do you REALLY think that "saving Detroit" will result in any positive gain for conservative values and free-market principles? Not in THIS country with THIS media.

Like the foreign policy of the Carter Administration in re the Soviet Union,(or Clinton's with North Korea), all you will do is create better-fed and housed enemies who can now afford more weapons to shoot you with.

No....if Detroit is to be "saved", it is the citizens of Detroit that must dom it. And if that means that Leftists have to get their minds right with God and Adam Smith...so much the better.

And if they don't...well, if they're happy living on a dung-heap, who are WE to object?

As long as none of our monies are taken away from cities that are struggling on the good path and fed into that crap-house of a city.

Detroit is far more valuable to the Conservative movement just the way it is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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