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THE SIX LAWS OF POLITICS

by Andrew Carlan (Contributed by the National Coalition of Free Men

FATHERS' MANIFESTO Home Page

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In this article we take a look at the past to understand the present and the future. Mr. Carlan made some astute observations way back in 1984.

Andrew Carlan taught social studies at Lawrence High School in New York. He is a veteran in the fight to obtain joint custody of his children. He was formerly a Republican candidate for Congress.

Reprinted from Transitions - the Newsletter of the National Coalition of Free Men. Vol. 4 No. 1. January/February 1984

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How can you seriously contend men are increasingly powerless when everywhere they continue to far outnumber women as officeholders? The political philosopher, James Burnham, said it makes little difference whether one is armed with a broom or a bazooka, if one lacks the will to use it, or, either out of ignorance or self-hatred uses it in ways that undermine one's own interests. In 1914 all visible power was in the hands of the Czar and his minions. Less than ten years later, the ruling class had been wiped out without a murmur. The origins of communism trace back to the romantic self-destruction of a bored aristocracy, tired of running around and patching up a society that was faltering and rounds of meaningless ceremony that covered up for this decay.

Males seek position in politics and business not to exercise power. That requires real work, and work is boring. They seek the trappings of power for its high salaries and perks. Money commands others, which is the measure of status and guarantees the luxuries. In our society where the "pursuit of happiness" is everything, that's all most of us want. It assures these men eternal youth, power over younger women, who would not pay them a mind were they not rich and influential.

Ruling classes are not overthrown in a struggle with superior force. That is but the last and most visible step. The inner rotting comes long before. Ruling classes collapse as interest in solid achievement gives way to pleasure-seeking, not as recreation, but as the end in itself. As in animal studies, where the need to struggle in order to survive has been eliminated, life becomes fixated on the erotic. Then the female dominates. Like performing dogs, the male submits to being trained, acting a part in exchange for favors. Food and sex are so powerful in stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain that the largest and most ferocious animals can be used in animal acts.

Look at Rome as yet another illustration of where men stand today. As real power declines, the more exaggerated its trappings. Grandiose monuments are built to the dead. It is true that once men vie for real power it will become obvious that what they possess is illusory. They will lose the advantages of its trappings. That's why men hesitate. They sense that initially in trading real power for its counterfeit, the loss will outweigh the gain. For a time, appearances can be as powerful as reality. Stocks with no assets behind them, can be successfully marketed and make fortunes for their promoters until someone notices "the king has no clothes" and "bursts the bubble". Real power is easier to take if your adversary is kept asleep. That is why, as women take power and all power unchecked is exploitative, they keep up the illusion of men as exploiters.

The first law of politics is that only the threat of a common enemy can unite the conflicting interests of individuals into an effective political force. Without England as the scapegoat, our thirteen squabbling colonies could never have joined together long enough to win a war and form a nation. If politically men didn't have a real enemy, we'd have to create one. But we have allowed the feminist-dominated media to convince us that our enemy is no enemy, but our own paranoia. The leadership of the women's movement has no scruples viewing men in such terms.

The man who enjoys all the illusions of power, who because of his means the men's movement most desperately needs if we are to succeed, is most likely to buy the media argument that a real man doesn't fear womanpower. But the women's movement is no longer a cause opposed to sexism. It is the new sexism. Like all the other power hungry brokers in Washington and the state capitols, it is a lobby, intent on maximizing power for its constituents at the expense, if necessary, of competing constituencies. In this case, there is only one potentially competing constituency and that is an organized men's movement. Power is limited. You are either on the steamroller or you are under it. Anyone politically shrewd knows that you'd better fear any power out of your grip. But the man "on top" is still convinced it is a symptom of his invincible macho -- that all men need do is show feminists their good intentions and women will stop their aggressive posture.

All history and human nature belies this strategy. Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan were stripped of their rights not because they were threats, but because they were easy marks, not because they were guilty, but because they were innocent. It wasn't a misunderstanding. The aggressor knew precisely what the situation was and took full advantage of it. Most men are now in the "Munich" phase of dealing with feminists. Like the democracies in the thirties, they have yet to learn that until women are opposed -- the second law of politics, that power expands until it meets effective resistance, we give them no incentive to compromise, so talk is futile.

The third law of politics is that power abhors a vacuum. The question is not whether (1) power is moral and (2) why men have no taste for battle, especially politically oriented battle, can't simply opt out. You know the observation, "suppose there were a war and no one came?" Suppose there were? The nation that could scrape together the largest force, no matter how small, would win, and winning dictate the terms under which all would live. The fourth law of politics is you may not be interested in politics, but politics is sure interested in you ! You live by its rules whether you have input or not and input is maximized by being organized. Example: what is the best tax? The one that someone else pays for goods and services that accrue to you. As a matter of fact, the best way of insuring that politics intrudes minimally on your cultivating your own garden is to work politically for a balance of power.

Washington's admonition to the new nation to make no permanent alliances, but to drive the best bargain with all, is the fifth law of politics. Play one party against the other. Here is probably where the feminists, who are riding high with the Democrats at the moment (50% of the seats at the 1984 Democratic convention are reserved for women) are committing their most serious -- hopefully fatal blunder. They are tying their fortunes too inextricably to the fortunes of the Democrats and so completely rejecting the Republicans as to give neither party much incentive in the long run to compete to attract them and hold on to them.

But men are in even worse shape. They are voting willy-nilly and that kind of vote is easiest for the professional politician to disregard. The gender gap, that men and women in the aggregate, vote very differently, is for the moment working to the advantage of the feminists. The Republicans are convinced that the men's vote is sewed up in the 1984 presidential race, if not in the races for Congress. So the administration is spurning its friends and furiously sponsoring anti-father, anti- male legislation in a desperate play for the female vote. The only way that can be reversed is if the men's movement quickly organizes politically. The Republicans need to be persuaded that they do not have the men's vote sewed up. That threat will be credible only if we begin immediately raising campaign funds and supporting candidates who support us. Finding a few isolated Democrats who are sensitive to men's rights and throwing our full support behind them is a most effective strategy.

The sixth law of politics is that power can only operate in our heterogeneous society on the principle of negotiation. It is built around representing special interests, whose first offer must be exaggerated if any leverage is going to be salvaged for the final stages of bargaining, when a compromise is worked out. That's why the non-partisan, good government types fail. They start by showing all the cards and wonder why they're out of the game so soon.

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