Are Liberal/Progressives Crazy: False Consciousness in the Reign of King Barack

About six-years ago, during one of my occasional inter-marital periods, I found myself at a nice restaurant in LA, enjoying what I hoped would be a pleasant dinner and the beginning of an even more enjoyable evening.  My hosts for the evening were two very attractive female, doctorally-qualified Social Science professors, and the husband of the one I was meeting for the first time, who was a partner in a law or accounting or consulting firm.  I don’t have a clear memory of the gentleman, since I usually don’t remember other men, and that night the two woman professors were far more interesting.  My date for the evening was a beautiful woman with whom I had shared a bad case of “the hots” since my senior year in college, and my plan for the present, also shared I think, was to make up for lost time.  As the evening began, the conversation moved to political topics, and I immediately sensed I was in deep trouble. 

I had expected both the professors to be Liberal/Progressives, since my own 25-years as an academic had taught me that most academics are Lib/Progs, and female Social Scientists are among the most rabid.  I played it cool, hoping the meal and the wine would offer an opportunity to shift the conversation to topics less likely to piss-off my companion, and I offered up what I thought would be a safe topic, recounting a recent study by the US Department of Labor that had documented the incredible movement between and among economic and social classes in American society.  Sounds safe, doesn’t it?  But by the time I had outlined the DOL study’s findings that economic movement across quintiles in America remains the most flexible and dynamic in the world, both women attacked me as if I had said Barack Obama was not the new Messiah.  I listened to an appalling series of vapid arguments about methodology and how I must have misread the results, before I offered to email them copies of the study and began trying to shift the topic to the Dodgers or the weather or the wine.  I later sent them both copies of the study, with the same conclusions I had discussed, but never heard another word on the topic from either professor.  The reality I had presented conflicted sharply with the ideologically constructed Liberal/Progressive illusion that my friends used to determine what “facts” could be entertained in their conscious minds.   

Paranoia, schizophrenia, and various other mental disorders distort the individual’s ability to perceive the external, sensory-based reality accurately and often bring about a blurring of the line between internally experienced “delusions” and external stimuli. Julian Jaynes, who I met and heard speak, but never actually studied with at Princeton in the late seventies, developed an interesting theory in his research and in a popular treatment, THE ORIGIN OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BICAMERAL MIND. Jaynes speculated that the “voice of God” which was “heard” in any number of religions during Bronze Age civilizations, represented the emergence of human “self-consciousness” or consciousness, in which the human brain developed for the first time an awareness of itself as separate from its environment. The holy men, and some holy women, heard the “Voice of God” inside their brains, but Jaynes speculated that those heavenly voices were actually the two hemispheres of the brain beginning to “communicate” for the first time. While Jaynes’ theory has some problems that I won’t try to outline here, it does provide a possible answer as to why the “Divine Voices” went silent as the brain became more effectively integrated and most humans with normal brain functions ceased to “hear” other voices “inside” their heads. Of course, Jaynes’ theory also provides a possible explanation for some symptoms of schizophrenia and other forms of paranoid delusions, since people suffering from those maladies could have brains that are not fully integrated, hence the difficulty they experience in attempting to integrate sensory-based and purely cognitive data.

So what the heck does all this have to do with our generally politically and economically oriented discussions on RNL? One of the lesser known beliefs of Liberal/Progressivism and other forms of Collectivism (especially Marxism) is that reality does not actually exist as an objectively experienced set of “facts”, but rather “reality” is actually a series of subjectively experienced individual visions. Hence, my reality is different than “your” reality and so on and so on. In the absence of any objective reality, the reason why we non-believers cannot comprehend the shared “reality” of Collectivism is that we suffer from “false consciousness”, an affliction first discussed by the monsters who led the French Revolution and developed at length by Friedrich Engels. As implemented in the Communist Soviet Union, this doctrine led to the standard treatment for “counter-revolutionaries” to be long term confinement in barbaric Soviet “mental facilities”. Several of my old Chinese friends were classified as “Intellectuals” during Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” and were sentenced to hard labor and “reeducation in the peasant virtues”, essentially a similar treatment to the Soviet approach.

Our Dear Leader’s “educational” cadres have been quietly taking a similar approach to correcting the “false consciousness” of America’s children on issues like race. According to the “new history,” America, the only nation in history where a dominant race, White Europeans, fought a civil war in order to free a then-subservient race, African Americans, is now somehow the Great Satan. The consciousness correcting campaign in our nation’s government schools has extended to the marginalization of our Founders, who created the freest civilization in the world’s history, and of our free enterprise capitalistic economic system, which has produced the highest standard of living in a large nation thus far in human history. The reason why Lib/Progs have sought and achieved effective control of our nation’s public schools, while seeking to eliminate or control private schools and to eliminate “home schooling,” is that our Collectivist fellow citizens are playing out a long-term, multi-generational strategy in which the false consciousness of we traditional individualistic Americans will be “corrected” by undermining our beliefs and America’s founding principles through “reeducation” of our children and grandchildren. If you doubt this strategy has been underway for some time, take a look at your children’s or grandchildren’s textbooks and you will be appalled.

We are potentially one generation away from a time when those of us embracing the values of individual freedom and liberty, property rights, freedom of religion, speech, thought, association, assembly and free enterprise capitalism could find ourselves classified as delusional, paranoid or schizophrenic and subject to reeducation and/or “treatment” in government psychiatric facilities. It has happened before in China, Russia, Cambodia, Viet Nam and numerous other Collectivist nations. It is my view that our Liberal/Progressive friends are the ones suffering from distortions of reality, which clearly does exist, since they find it impossible to acknowledge the failure of everything they set out to achieve. Charles Murray, Thomas Sowell, Richard Epstein and Friedrich Hayek present a clear picture of the past crimes against humanity perpetrated by Collectivist regimes (Hayek, especially THE ROAD TO SERFDOM) and what has been happening silently in America for the last two generations (Murray, Sowell & Epstein).  This is scary stuff, and if you remember the words Our Dear Leader spoke on the night of his first term election in 2008, Mr. Obama told the Faithful, “On this night, change has come to America.”  We now know what he meant and it has been frightening to watch as it unfold.Image.  CDE 

61 thoughts on “Are Liberal/Progressives Crazy: False Consciousness in the Reign of King Barack

  1. If we slapped a mustache on him, the RNL would have it’s own version of Gordon from Nolan’s Batman trilogy. That’s a compliment by the way.

    CDE,

    What did you do in academia?

    • Hi libercrite….I taught graduate students (mostly MBAs) Marketing Strategy and International Business & Risk Management at a number of B-schools in the New York area. I also got involved in management and fundraising, but it was the teaching I really loved. CDE

    • chhelo: The Germanic peoples have never had the tradition of individual freedoms that has always flowed and ebbed among the Anglo-American nations, in varying levels of strength. As a group-oriented civilization, I think the Teutonic race has always valued conformity over freedom, making it subject to totalitarian despots and a tendency to “follow orders” rather than question authority, however monstrous. This conformist gestalt made the Germanic states vulnerable to the intellectual disease of Collectivism when it emerged from the unnatural union of Marxism and Hegelian philosophy in the 19th century. It also meant that while the American flavor of Collectivism, Liberal/Progressivism, was disastrous for American society, the German variant, Nazism, for a while threatened the future of the human race. It is not a good sign that America is now struggling to rid itself from the latest Liberal/Progressivism disaster as personified by Barack Hussein Obama or that Germany is again exhibiting the willingness to enforce the rigid conformity that the SS and Gestapo established from Kristallnacht on. These are serious signs of problems we have all seen before. CDE

      • CDE,

        Don’t you think that the Christian tradition of the Germanic peoples first had to be overcome before their martial heritage could be successfully exploited? After all, there is a world of difference between the Germans of WW I and those of WW II — don’t you think?

        🙂

      • Remember Charles that our legal traditions in a very basic sense are a mix of Roman and Germanic law. And one of the most basic differences between the two cultures was in the realtionship of the People to the Roman Emporer versus the much more egalitarian nature within the German tribes. The King in that sense was an equal among equals …. a notion given only a philosophical gesture in the Classic world.

        What most of us know as “Germanic” today evolved AFTER their close association with the Roman Empire….eventual BECOMING the western Empire themselves….. on up through the Charlemagne version and into the
        Austro-Hungarian “Empire”.

        And as to Teutonic race…..we have to also remember that England has a large teutonic element …. the Windsor’s themselves are Germans. And the fiercely independent Dutch are also Teutonic. Both the English and Dutch Republic formed the nexus of Intellectual and Political movements towards social and Political freedom …. movements which have inspired the World. Now the Celts especially in England and Scotland are also the progenators of these movements to be sure.

        So, I’m not sure it was anything intrinsically German that lead to the Collectivist scurge…..perhaps a mix of Geographical isolation mixed with the “Baggage” from Being the “holy Roman Empire” lent itself to authoritarianism…..perhaps if the Roman Empire had stayed in Italy and the Balkans we would have seen Collectivism begin there ?
        But we also have to remember the FIRST real foray was in the Slavic North…..mother Russia….a country whose aristocracy was actually made up of the Royal houses of Scandanavia, Germany , England and France as well as slavic Russians at the time of it’s Revolution.

        • Don: What an interesting and substantive post! I’ll try to do it justice to your observations without falling prey to the pernicious verbosity that sometimes (often) afflicts my comments when I’m responding to something that really interest me. First, a necessary disclaimer. Although my last name, “Edinger,” is Germanic in its derivation, it was the name of my distant ancestor, Abraham Edinger, who emigrated from what is now Austria to Philadelphia in 1740. Apparently the Bavarian Edingers are still there, since a German businessman I did some work with about 10-years was delighted to tell me he knew my family well and that they were fine people. Once Abraham hit Philly, he and his descendants commenced to marrying English and Irish women, always producing sons and perpetuating the name while gradually diluting the Bavarian blood, until the my branch of the Edingers today are essentially Irish (predominantly) and English stock, with no particular attachments or knowledge of Old Abe’s homeland. But you are quite right that to know anything about the history of Britain and Ireland is to know a bit about the history of Germany, Denmark, Holland, Normandy and northern Europe generally. The second confession is that my original interest in these areas was part of a study I did 30-years ago on the development of the ideas of religious freedom and toleration, which I found connected to the devolution of authority that followed the breakdown of the Roman Empire, its replacement in Europe by the emergence of the Papacy and the gradual emergence of notions of individual freedom that followed the Protestant Reformation and the forced signing of Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede in 1215. That paper is long since lost, since it proceeded computer-based storage by about 15-years and my paper files from the period have moved multiple times since.

          The history of Britain is, of course, a history of invasions, subjection, and eventual amalgamation of Vikings from Scandinavia, Germans from Saxony, Norman aristocrats, and William III of the Dutch Republic with the original “Britains,” who eventually ended up gathering in the wild mountain-highlands of Wales to escape the various invading hordes and rulers. Churchill’s HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLES is the best long history of Britain and its Empire that I’ve found thus far. What has fascinated me for decades is why the notions of individual freedom and liberty, the related freedoms of religion, speech, association, and self-defense and free enterprise capitalism all emerged most strongly from the the island of Britannia and its Empire around the world. The association of the Christian Church with the Roman Empire by Constantine in 326 CE, which I’ve always viewed as a disaster for Christianity as a religious faith, began a long process during which the authority of the Emperor devolved upon the bishops of Rome, who gradually became the “Popes,” the CEOs of the world’s first truly global organization. After Europe recovered from the Black Death and began to repopulate and the authority of the Popes began to be difficult to sustain, kings and other tyrants asserted their authority regionally and locally, and the Reformation grew as much out of the territorial ambitions of German princes and English kings as from religious “enlightenment.” The English church (Anglicanism) and the Lutheran churches of Germany and Scandinavia mirrored many of the Roman liturgical and organizational structures and it was Calvin and Zwingli in the Swiss cantons and the Puritans, Quakers (both my ancestors) and Non-Conformists of Britain and Scotland, whose beliefs seriously challenged the old structures of centralized authoritarianism (religious and secular) and continued the devolution of authority from the kings and their civil servants to the notions of individual freedom and responsibility, voluntary association and legal contracts rather than personal authority as central to a civil society. At this point I’ve always seen a split in the cultural and political developments of the continental Europeans and their British cousins, although the aristocracies of both areas continued to intermarry and in-breed, often with unfortunate results. The free-thinkers in the now United Kingdoms emigrated to North America, Australia, Africa and Asia, and the North American Britains in particular took advantage of their distance from London to further develop the themes of freedom and liberty that had percolated for centuries in the old country. The historical accident of the truly greatest generation of thinkers in America’s history finding each other in the turmoil of the mid-18th century created an accelerant for the thinking that resulted in the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the values enshrined and guaranteed by the new American nation. Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay and the rest produced a series of political documents and related ideas that placed our nation on a new, radical path that has produced the freest, most economically successful civilization in the history of the world.

          My thoughts on why we and to a certain degree our British cousins have been different from our common ancestors on the continent are purely speculative on my part, but they are offered in an attempt to understand the clear differences which have led to almost constant wars and economic failure throughout much of Europe over time. The Germans and other Continental Europeans never broke cleanly from the authoritarian models of the 18th and 19th centuries, and so were vulnerable to the emergence of the Collectivist movement in the 19th century, in its various forms. While America experienced its own Collectivist plague in Progressivism, which later renamed itself as Liberalism, the continental Europeans had no real culture of individual freedom nor did they have a strong philosophy of checks and controls in government, which America had inherited from Protestantism, and particularly from the structure of the Presbyterian “Session” and the “Presbytery.” So while the Progressives threatened to destroy the American economic and governmental systems by Wilson’s introduction of Progressive structures like Prohibition, the Progressive Income Tax, the Federal Reserve and other bad ideas, the US survived Wilson, Dewey, Sanger and FDR and rescued the Europeans twice from their authoritarian and Collectivist tendencies. In many ways, Nazism, Marxism, Fascism, Communism, Liberal/Progressivism and other Collectivist movements are only reversions to the authoritarianism that held back economic and social development in Europe for 1500-years. Today, Barack Hussein Obama and his brain-trust are only a cyclical reemergence of bad, Collectivist policies that have plagued the human race since antiquity. As one of my distinguished academic colleagues phrases it artfully, “Same shit, different bag.” Can I get an amen? CDE

          • Chuck,

            With respect to SSDB and the current Douche-Bag Tyrant in Office You get an “amen” from me. Also on Philly Cheeze-steaks which upon occassion I have partaken of with relish…..well not actually with relish…with peppers sometimes, but always with ketchup.. ( the UNinnitiated will not understand… ;- ))…)

            Amen…..(Amen-Ra)….which you may be aware of in unbroken bloodline fashion from ..”a time long ago…in a place far away..”….For another discussion.

            I disagree with the “Historical Accident” view of America…….as Joe’s more than excellent posts and Work clearly shows,…… American Liberty was a Great Work….meticulously thought out and executed….and yes fought for as well.

            I do think any analysis of Republicanism MUST include the Dutch and the Swiss ( which you DO mention). And I’m sure you are aware that there was a prior event to the Magna Carta Liberata….in fact 1215 AD may be seen as the culmination of a number of prior Medieval English attempts at Curbing the growing power of the English Kings.

            The Concept of “God on Earth” was adpoted from the Levant / Egypt by the ruling/powerful families of Europe while the Tribal egalitarian concepts were pushed down. Le Roi Soleil (The Sun King) concept in France was nothing more than the Babylonian ( Later Egyptian concept of God-King). And with this adpotion the Franks, Lombards, Goths etc became susceptible to Centralized control….mentally and socially. It was a long process of change helped along by the Church of Rome and its Roman Empire influences. So by the late 1600s and into the 1700s we already see the populace complascent to a sunserviant role vis a vis their own Aristocracy and Kings……by the late 1800’s the morph into centralized STATE control from centralized Knobility control was an easy make-over.

            I’m not sure I would agree completely with Europe being “Held Back” economically or socially in development for 1500 years……….. We ( you and I and Joe and other modern apologists of Classical Republican Liberty) now have a deservidely dismal view of European thought and political despotism, but Europe was responsible as the Crucible of Freedom and of Freedom of Expression in the Arts and Sciences. We have to remember that.

            • If I may but in here, I’d like to offer an observation. As history progressed, liberty — as we know it — progressed as well. It did so from Israel, to Babylon, then to the lost tribes into Europe. Once in Europe, the Hebrew principles of the individual with individual rights and liberty continued to advance further Westward — to America. Now, if you will notice, as liberty advanced Westward, where the principles that gave her birth were discarded or rejected, liberty — as we understand it in relation to the founding ideal of this nation — died! Thus, the continent of Europe — which rejected Natural Law in context with a Creator who is still concerned with the affairs of men — chose to focus only on the material. As a result, they started down the path of bloodshed, which started with the French Revolution. This is because man simply cannot remake the laws that govern this universe.

              On the other hand, where the Creator was kept connected to the notion of Natural Law, which was primarily with the Anglo cultures, liberty not only continued to advance, but flourished and thrived — until we started to follow the path of Europe and reject God in favor of the material world. The farther down that path we travel, the more we resemble the ruin that can be found in the wake of liberty’s march to the west.

              I also find it interesting that so much which is connected to the Creator is dismissed as “accidental.” There was NOTHING “accidental” about this nation. If we would humble ourselves enough to actually read and accept at their word what our founders wrote, we would see they were clearly pointing to the source of their inspiration. When asked where they got the principles for our new Constitution, none other than Franklin, himself, said “Why, the most ancient of texts: the Holy Scriptures, of course.” Madison found the three branches of our govt. in Isaiah (I am your King, Law Giver and Judge). And then there are these words from the founders:

              “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected, in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity… The United States of America were no longer colonies. They were an independent nation of Christians.”
              — John Quincy Adams, July 4, 1821

              “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
              –John Adams

              “We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”
              –Samuel Adams

              I could have cited more, but I chose these men for a reason. Research the history of the American Revolution and tell me it could have happened without the help of John and Sam. In fact, tell me they were not pivotal in bringing the Revolution to a head. And John Quincy was there — from the beginning, and because of this, his word is as good as the Gospel of Hon — because it is a first hand account by someone who actually lived through it and knew the players intimately.

              But then, to the skeptic, I am sure it is just an accident that our founders left us such records. I mean, it’s not like Jefferson told his fellow countrymen to make every effort to preserve as much of the historic record as possible for posterity or anything like that 😉

              • I have heard it said…..”Liberty without Morality is not Freedom, it’s Bondage”….

                You and I agree that America is/was no Accident…..However,An “Accident of History” is one of those slogans so prevelent in the Common Knowledge and Usage of America that we throw it out there like saying something is a “quantum Leap” when referencing a new product line or something…..more of the Subtle Language games of the Left ( progressives).

                I actually don’t think Charles would think America IS/WAS and accident…..just the turning of phrase we all have to catch ourselves in….and remind each other of……Like when Allen West said recently….

                “America doesn’t have Classes….”Class” is a Marxist term…..We have income levels ” !! We all know this….it’s good to remind ourselves and each other of the Real Truth…. :- )).

                A to “path of Bloodshed starting with the Frenchie Fries Revolution…..I rather think you mean the turn toward statism and its particular version of State-sponsored Mass Murder. Becuase European history is nothing if not Bloody….30 Years war, 100 years war, War of the Roses….etc, etc , etc.

                But I agree that the Frog Jump circa 1789 was the Start of something different.

                To UR larger point here and elsewhere about the Connection between Christianity and the spread of Liberty….and indeed the Articulation of it….you get no argument from me………….Overturning the Money Changers Tables as just one tiny example of a lesson carried forward by untold generations whose fruition can be seen in the Freeing of one’s own relation to God irrespective of the Church authorities….

                And…..didn’t Luther nail something or other to a Church Door ???……..and it wasn’t a Cheeze-steak !!

                • Don,

                  I was trying — hard — not to make any accusations or cause an argument. This is why I tried to posit my last post merely as something to consider. As usual, it would appear you understood this. I just hope CDE will see it, too.

                  Oh, and yes, I was referring to the turn toward collectivism as the new tyranny in Europe when I mentioned the French Revolution. See, you knew that, too 😉

                • Don: Quick responses on a few points, and more later. Greatly appreciate the “Amen.” I’ve done some speaking in African-American churches, and I always got charged up by the “Amens.” On Philly cheese-steaks, I either did not know, or did not remember you were a partaker of the finer things Philly has to offer. I ended many a night of schoolyard basketball at Pat’s with whiz, and recently took three of my suburban-raised kids back to the scene of the crime and the whiz vat was still boiling. I mostly live an fish, vegetables, fruit and whole grains these days, but an occasional return to real food eaten standing is good for the heart, if not the arteries.

                  I may have badly phrased the “historical accident” statement in my earlier post. The emergence of the ideas of individual freedom and liberty, and the related human rights and the capitalist economic system were long in the making and may have occurred elsewhere, or at another time, but were destined to come about somewhere. What I meant was that the historical accident was that Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay and Sam Adams (that’s for Joe) happened to be alive and within reasonable proximity of each other at the time the American colonies became dissatisfied with the mother country, fought an impossibly successful war for independence and collaborated to create two of the most important political documents in human history. I am a strong believer in the “great person” theory of leadership, and the massing of our Founders at the right points in time was critical to the course our nation charted at its inception.

                  I didn’t develop the contributions of the Dutch and the Swiss in my earlier post because I had made a commitment to keep my word-count within reasonable limits, and that was proving hard to do. The organization and self-government of the Swiss cantons was certainly a model for American Federalism in terms of the relationship of the Federal and state governments. And yes, Runnymede was an important milestone but far from the starting point for the devolution of power from the royals to the people. As for the Babylonian and Egyptian antecedents, you are absolutely right. My theory of human history is that “new” ideas or secular trends are rarely new, but usually represent the cyclical reemergence of a small number of themes that are often modified by new technologies, or demographic realities or other similar changes. On the issue of authority, for example, I see a continuum ranging from anarchy through various shared schemes where the individual and the group share authority and responsibility (Libertarianism, American Conservatism, etc.) to Collectivism in its varying manifestations to Totalitarianism, which is often a product of collectivism. Of course Obamite Liberal/Progressivism is a form of Collectivism that appears to be headed toward some type of totalitarianism, if not brought into check by its myriad Constitutional violations.

                  On my statements about Europe’s economic and cultural or social development being delayed by the centralization imposed by the Roman/Papal/Royal models of centralization of authority, I am a strong believer in the ability of individuals, regardless of class, race, or standing, to drive innovation in multiple areas of human civilization. From my perspective, any society which marginalizes any of its people and restricts their access to learning and information, will advance less rapidly than it could if it were truly free for all its people. Hence, while I, as a student of the visual arts and music, am dazzled by many of humankind’s accomplishment through the centuries, I firmly believe that Adam Smith and Johannes Gutenberg could have emerged earlier if authority had not been centralized under emperors, Popes and kings, and most people kept in poverty and ignorance to safeguard the positions of the privileged. Freedom and individual liberty did emerge, but slowly, and generations of humans wallowed in squalor while a small aristocracy lived in comparative splendor. But that’s just me. CDE

                  • With respect to Franklin Adams et al….yes indeed….Some say Fortuitous accident….some would say miracle. “Great Men…Great Leaders Men and Women” unlock the Zietgiest of their times locked within the average person, and the momentum carries the Spirit of the times forward.

                    I’m not sure I agree completely about your assessment of Medieval Europe…..to a certain extent I do. But Eorope was not the settled place that the Near East or Asia was……it’s people during the middle ages were relative newcomers to the area and to Greco-Roman culture. These various tribes were feeling out the terrain and the Eastern /Western Roman empires as they grew ………. the middle ages represent a kind of “coming of age” for these tribes in any settled fashion.

                    And as such their progression in a relatively short span of time which in fact lead to the various renaissences and the Enlightenment and the Cultural achievements is nothing short of Miraculous. Of course out of this came the Scottish enlightenment and our own Founders. Europe went from tribal to Kingdoms to Empires to renaissences to Enlightenment to Scientific discovery to political Entlitenment to experiments with Republics all in the span of about a thousand years…………..while virtualy the rest of the ENTIRE PLANET stayed pretty much the same for at least 8,000 years.

                • Don: I agree with most of your statements above, but must differ with you and Congressman West is terms of his rejection of “classes” in America. Charles Murray’s studies and his popular accounts of them (LOSING GROUND, etc.) have documented that income levels tend to link with patterns of life and behavior that seem to go beyond whether people shop at Kmart or Bloomingdale’s. While “class” is a much abused Marxist term, those behavioral clusters represent something more than income levels and one can speculate that the behaviors are contributory to the income differences. Cheers, CDE

                  • West is not ( nor am I ) ignoring habits and their outcomes…..nor life choices and their outcomes.

                    But the Term “Class” IS a Marxist term as well as a descriptor for Societies which disallow movement between income levels or Birth based on restrictions of law or lack of opportunity in Education and Capital sources.

                    Niether is the case in America…..and in fact numerous sources show that people in the US move in and out of income levels more freely than almost anywhere else.

                    That is the sense ( or NONSENSE) of the use of the Term Class that He ( and I ) are talking about. And the continued use of the Term serves nothing but Statist Aims……Victimization Status…..excuses etcetera.

                    • Don: I understand the importance of words and the risk when they have been kidnapped and repurposed by Collectivists or other villains. What I don’t have is another word (yet) to describe what Murray’s research on America’s societal trends in the second half of the 20th century has uncovered. Tocqueville likewise discovered very interesting trends where America differed from Europe in important ways in the 19th century. Of course, the ultimate verbal hijacking was the theft of “Liberalism,” which meant “Classic Anglo-American Liberalism” until FDR, Dewey, Sanger and the other Progressives realized in the early 1920’s how unpopular Progressive Taxation, Prohibition, the Federal Reserve and other Progressive policies that Wilson had pushed through Congress under the cover of WWI actually were with the American people. By adopting a political rebranding strategy, the “Progressives” morphed into the “Liberals” although the first had no philosophical ties to the second, and Progressivism represented the antithesis of everything the Anglo-American Liberals stood for. As Uncle Joe Stalin said, the Big Lie often works, because most people are not paying attention. CDE

                    • Yes…People are NOT paying attention….perpetually.

                      There is some hope in the Internet though ….. info gets around very quick and I do get the sense that there are more awake now than 10 or even 5 years ago.

              • Joe: Enjoy your contributions to what has been a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting discussion for me. There is no question that the themes of “freedom” and “liberty” were important to the Jewish people throughout their history. And it was no accident that southern slave owners tried to suppress literacy among their victims to avoid reading of the Exodus story and the prophetic writings like Amos and others. The African American slaves were fed a diet of St. Paul’s admonitions to accept one’s position as a slave and be a good slave. It has long been my view that many of Paul’s writings distort the teachings of Jesus, but that’s a topic for another day. Our Founders were all conversant in Biblical history and literacy, to a much greater degree than virtually any Americans are today, although some, like Franklin and Jefferson, had already moved in their personal beliefs to a “demythologized” version of Christianity that would later be popularized by Bultmann and the “higher criticism” school. Jefferson’s “Bible” eliminates the miracle stories and other allegedly mythical aspects of the Christian Bible. But Jefferson retained the moral and ethical guidelines of the Jews and Christians, and those are the foundation of both the Declaration and the Constitution. The influence of the Protestant Reformers, Calvin, Luther, Wesley and others is also clearly visible.

                Bentham and his Utilitarian disciples were clearly Materialists, as are their descendants the Marxists and other Collectivists movements, including the Liberal/Progressives in America. This atheistic denial of any “higher power,” unless it is the State itself, has proven a real problem in the US, since Americans continue to be among the most religious peoples in the world, and Collectivism is by its nature an atheistic, materialistic movement. While I never question another’s faith, I find it curious that Our Dear Leader publicly professes Christian beliefs in the African American tradition, when he had no connection to any religious faith, except possibly Islam during his formative years in Indonesia, where he was listed as a “Muslim” on his school enrollment papers. By the way, those school records may be the most recent we have for Mr. O, since the rest of his academic adventures have been sealed tight since he began his political career.

                As for the Adams family, I do not deny at all their influence and involvement in shaping the foundations of our nation. Smart, committed thinkers all, the Adams family represented the Puritan/Protestant tradition that has always been strong in America and John and Quincy, who I think both ended life as Unitarians, were among the key leaders among the Founders. John knew and disliked Franklin, who was my hero, and there are numerous very funny stories about Old Ben unsettling Adams, such as when they shared a bed in Paris. As a libertarian, I find the Adams’ prescriptive approach to morality and the state to be troubling, but that’s because I am always on guard against government encroachments in the lives of individual citizens. So no surprise there. Cheers, CDE

                • CDE,

                  I’m not sure I can agree that Paul distorted Christ’s Gospel, though I can understand why he is difficult for many to understand. Paul is the one who brought Christianity to the Gentiles, but it must be remembered that he was still a Jew — and a Pharisee, at that. So you must look to the audience to whom he is writing to understand his message. We must also understand the culture in which he lived and the Gospel message, itself. Slavery in his culture was not slavery as we understand it. A slave in his times could own their own slaves, businesses and even own property. And the Gospel message is about focusing on the Kingdom of God and not that of men.

                  As for Jefferson: I would recommend “The Jefferson Lies” by David Barton. Much of what we ‘think’ we know about Jefferson is not supported by the actual content of his writing, and more of it is distorted by having an incomplete view of his life as he aged. Jefferson is NOT a person we can quote without paying attention to the period of his life from which his quote comes. On some things, he stayed constant as the northern star, but on others, he swayed back and forth. I suspect this is one of the reasons I identify with him, myself. I understand him on a personal level — and for much the same reason I just described.
                  Finally, with respect to Franklin and Adams. Had we followed Franklin’s moral inclinations, we would most likely have turned out more like France than we did. When people try to paint our founders as libertarians, I am quick to point out that they prohibited NATIONAL laws dealing with religion, but NOT State laws. Nor did they prohibit national laws dealing with morality. They were adamant that our system MUST rest of a system of oaths, and that the oath MUST rest in a belief in God and the Judgment. Franklin agreed with this, as well. The founders said that, without such a protection built into our system, we would become — well, we would become what we have become. And we are suffering the fate they told us we would suffer. The founders understood that a corrupt and amoral or immoral people cannot be free, and a govt. that has no authority to or refuses to enforce a minimum moral order will breed such a corrupt and amoral/immoral people.

                  THIS is the fatal flaw in modern Libertarian thought — and why it has never and will never lead to a society any more stable than Marxist/Communist thinking. It is simply out of step with the realities of human nature.

                  But we are allies in the ideal of individual rights and liberty. We must not lose focus on this point 🙂

                  • Joe: Ben Franklin and the other founders understood the importance of oaths or compacts as the freely given mutual consent of the free, and those understandings are safeguarded in our history and founding documents. The notion of being governed by laws rather than kings or other authoritarians is sound and no thinking libertarian would dispute the need for laws that address the day-to-day issues of how citizens interact in a complex society. What we are careful about is the need to always have government exercise the absolute minimum intrusion into our individual lives to accomplish only essential goals, and that all laws should be subject to the libertarian (and Classic Liberal) mantra: each should not do unto another what he or she would not want done unto him or herself (see Jesus of Nazareth and Rabbi Hillel), that no citizen should physically coerce or defraud another citizen and that every citizen has the right to do what he or she chooses to do regarding him or herself and possessions, as long as his or her actions do not impinge on the freedoms of another. I’ll add that lawmaking and government should be carefully kept at the bare minimum required to safeguard our core values, and that the result of these libertarian values should safeguard the contractual underpinnings of the free-enterprise/capitalist system that allows each citizen to succeed in direct proportion to his or her efforts. There is no provision in our Constitution that permits the taking of property from one citizen in order to give it to another, and in fact such redistribution schemes are expressly forbidden under the “Takings clause,” so Obamacare and other Lib/Prog initiatives are expressly un-Constitutional on their face. As for flaws in libertarian thought, there are none I’ve found, although we do not seek power through government and will always look to the power of our ideas to influence rather than to rule. CDE

                    • CDE;

                      While we may agree on the importance of the individual, individual rights and on individual liberty, we differ when it comes to equating modern Libertarianism and Classic Liberalism. Though they are closely related, they are NOT the same ideologies. If we equate them, we mislead the reader — don’t you think?

                      As for your reference to Christ in trying to make the point that we should treat others as we would want to be treated: I would offer a STRONG word of caution. While Christ did say we should love our neighbor as ourselves, He did so in context of the rest of His Gospel message. You will be hard pressed to find a “Libertarian” bent to that message. It is ALL ABOUT God’s moral law 🙂

                      In this sense, Christ did not tell us to “accept” those who refuse to abide by this moral law. Quite the contrary: He told us to leave them to their fate. This would exclude them from the fellowship, not leave them in it to do as they please.

                      Now, I still agree with you: govt. should do the bare minimum to assure that the Social Contract is maintained. HOWEVER, that Social COntract must be anchered to either man’s law (i.e. Hobbes) or God’s law (i.e. Locke). If to man’s law, then there is NOTHING to keep the individual from trying to re-write or destroy that law and it WILL become perverted. But if to God’s law, then the individual has an internal duty to God — even before the Social Contract. THIS is the understanding our founders held, and that which they used to frame this nation. And as such, it is perfectly within the real of propriety for govt. to see to a minimal conformity to the moral law that grounds our society. Without out it… Well, look around. The social decay we see all around us is the direct result of rejecting the framers’ understandings and replacing them with the European/Hobbesian model.

                      I keep telling you that we agree in principle. I just think we disagree — strongly — on how that principle should be achieved. Going back to Christ’s Gospel, you will not find a “Libertarian” model there, but you WILL find something very close to the Classic Liberal model our founders used to build this nation. 🙂

                    • Good discussion Guys…..There IS a difference between Modern Libertarianism and Classical Liberalism.
                      The Inspiration of Rose Wilder Lane, Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson was morphed into the works of Rothbard and Murray and even further changed by Ron Paul and supporters. The form and appeal Libertarianism has for the Youth today would be a bit strained to those Ladies original ideas ( which DID have more in common with the Founders).

                      But discussions like this are good because they articulate for those younger adherents what exactly it means to be pro-Liberty and Anti-Statist.

    • Utah: I should have checked with you before writing so much. And you do have a way with words. CDE

        • Oh, take your time don’t live too fast
          Troubles will come and they will pass
          Go find a woman you’ll find love
          And don’t forget son there is someone up above

          And be a simple kind of man
          oh,Be something you love and understand
          Baby be a simple kind of man
          Oh, won’t you do this for me son if you can?

          Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd

  2. Crazy? Indoctrinated to believe in a false world…. and that tends to make one crazy when they realize what is suppose to be true, is not, but everyone around them tells them “their world” is real…

    “An announcer on state television declared that Elian’s teachers would now “undertake the masterful work of making him a model child”.
    https://therionorteline.com/2013/08/31/elizabeth-brotons-a-martyr-who-showed-the-world-bill-clinton-hillary-and-obama-are-communists/

    • texas: My definition of at least one form of “crazy” is the inability to perceive reality as it is objectively available. That means the “inability” is not related to sensory distortions, but to something that is malfunctioning in the brain itself or in the conscious “mind,” if one prefers to draw a distinction between the brain and the mind. The Marxists and other Collectivist movements, including the Lib/Progs, have long posited the human mind as a “tabula rasa,” that can be cleansed of “false consciousness” through “reeducation” of the subject. Hence the presence of vast “reeducation camps” and “mental health facilities” in virtually all Collectivist societies. I first encountered this idea at about 14, when I read DARKNESS AT NOON, and later THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, both written about the Soviet Communist system that addressed the enormous problem of free-thinking “intellectuals,” who were not subject to the Communist Party propaganda about the wonder that was the “worker’s paradise.”

      The Obamite initiative to create and eventually enforce a “Common Core” in American primary and secondary schools is an effort to take preemptive action against the continuation of America’s freedom-oriented culture by teaching our children that the Founders and their ideas were “radical” and “unfair” and that our nation has prospered at the expense of less successful Collectivist societies. All “Big Lies” in the Stalinist and Maoist traditions, but lies that will influence the weak-minded and low-information segments of America today. The repatriation of Elian Gonzalez to Cuba by Janet Reno and the Clinton administration was a clear sign that most of the Democrat Party, from the Clinton Pragmatists to the Obama Liberal/Progressives, no longer see America as the beacon of freedom or the home of individual freedom and responsibility, but rather identify with the Collectivism of the anthill, which Americans have died to resist for over two centuries. And the anthill begins with seeing the world through a distorted, malignant lens. CDE

      • CDE,

        Common Core goes back a LOT farther than Obama, my friend. But you are on the right track. Now, if you’ll walk it back, you will eventually run smack into Marx 😉

        • Joe: You are quite right. Common Core is a proto-typical Collectivist approach to the propagandizing, rather than educating, of each new generation. Liberal/Progressives would have been delighted to have been the Captain on the Titanic…what matters is only that they are in control, not that the ship is sinking underneath them. Hence, their commitment to economic “fairness” rather than to sound economic principles that would produce growth and a higher living standard for all Americans. It’s one reason so many of my academic colleagues are attracted to Liberal/Progressivism over economic and political freedom…the Liberal/Progressive faith requires no actual results, only politically correct “activity.” Humorously, Mr. Obama was not even a real “academic.” He had the title of “Lecturer” but never attended a faculty meeting at the U of C Law School, and never produced an article in refereed journal.

  3. Sounds like Jaynes dug Jung. To brainwash a society, obviously re-educating is an important factor, but don’t you think that cutting the strings that tie a society to its morals is the most important?

    Say, Charles; you didn’t mention if the evening had been profitable….

    • Ms. Kells: Uncle Karl was certainly an intellectual influence on Jaynes, and Jung’s work on universal archetypes and symbols tends to substantiate aspects of Jaynes theory in interesting ways. Reeducation is often pursued by destroying the existing structure, intellectual and social, within the society being attacked. Morality is certainly a component of any society’s shared values and the Collectivists “re-educators” often attack a population’s moral code as part of the reconfiguration of the broader culture. The Communists in China attacked the family-centered aspects of Confucian culture in shifting the locus of power to the party. Children being alienated and removed from the influence of their extended families was a key strategy in changing the Chinese people to a Party-oriented nation. The Obamites are at an early stage of a similar effort, in my opinion.

      On your second question, Ms. Kells, it could appear that you were seeking salacious details that I have never shared at any time. What happens with Charles stays with Charles, which works better for all parties. Good question, though. CDE

  4. Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    Forced treatment in “mental facilities”, like lobotomies in Cuba? People should be careful for what they wish for. Lobotomy (kafshash uzhgun) is most terrible to those who don’t have access to euthanasia and do not believe in the Afterlife.

    • oogen: Ken Kesey’s great book, and Jack Nicholson’s related movie, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, both address the inevitable conflict between forced conformity and individual freedom. As Americans, we have always supported freedom and liberty over the establishment and enforcement of “group” dictated standards and prescriptive moral laws. We libertarians support the freedom of American citizens to pursue their own moral standards, subject only to their not exercising their freedom at the expense of a fellow citizen, that they not engage knowingly in fraudulent behavior or seek to exert coercive force upon a fellow American in order to achieve their own goals. Or as Jesus of Nazareth and Rabbi Hillel summarized, do not unto others as you would not want done unto you. If those rules are observed, libertarians think the freedom of individuals can be maximized, while the police power of the state can be deployed to prevent the weak from being victimized by those who choose not to observe that simple code.

      Our close Conservative cousins are often ambivalent about whether society should hold individual freedom accountable to group norms, and Conservative thinkers like Burke and the Adams family saw society’s role in dictating morality to individual citizens as much more extensive and intrusive than I or most libertarians or Libertarians will ever be comfortable with yielding. Still, the differences between libertarians and Conservatives are mostly a tiff between close philosophical friends. Collectivists in general and Liberal/Progressives like Barack Obama and Michael Bloomberg in particular, see the proper relationship between government and its technical “experts” and individual citizens as one where the government prescribes the behavior of American citizens and utilizes the coercive power of government to enforce approved solutions developed by government “experts” in areas like diet, education, exercise, smoking, ownership of private property, travel, transportation and basically all aspects of life. The Chinese enforced a one-child policy through forced abortion and sterilization. Margaret Sanger and Woodrow Wilson, both blatant racists, sought to pursue a policy of eugenics to eliminate the next generation of African Americans, who they and fellow Progressives viewed as mentally inferior to American Whites. Two of the major victories of the first generation of Progressives were Prohibition and the Graduated Federal Income Tax, both of which were viewed as so un-American that the Progressives changed their movement’s name to “Liberal” for three generations.

      So yes, Collectivists have been willing to utilize forced lobotomies, castrations, abortions and bogus mental health confinements and psycho-tropic drugs to enforce conformity. And those who support individual freedom and responsibility are their sworn enemies, whether we choose to acknowledge that declared conflict or not. CDE

      • CDE,

        Ah, while I agree with your evaluation of the difference between conservatives and libertarians, I wouldn’t go so far as to equate Burke with Adams. Nor would I be too quick to dismiss Adams’ reasoning. Whereas Burke would support legislating morality, he held no objective measure of social mores. All he cared about was limiting change (after all, he thought it quite acceptable to sell the rights to own and dispose of 1/3 of the world’s population and property to a corporation). But the same cannot be said for Adams. He had sound reason for his position:

        If a majority are capable of preferring their own private interest, or that of their families, counties, and party, to that of the nation collectively, some provision must be made in the constitution, in favor of justice, to compel all to respect the common right, the public good, the universal law, in preference to all private and partial considerations… And that the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of history… To remedy the dangers attendant upon the arbitrary use of power, checks, however multiplied, will scarcely avail without an explicit admission some limitation of the right of the majority to excercise sovereign authority over the individual citizen… In popular governments [democracies], minorities [individuals] constantly run much greater risk of suffering from arbitrary power than in absolute monarchies…”
        –John Adams

        • Joe: I don’t confuse or conflate Burke and Adams, but I do place them in a different pew than Jefferson or Franklin. And while I admire the former pair, my personal beliefs align more closely with the the later and even more so with their intellectual descendants, Murray, Sowell, Friedman and others. Cheers, CDE

  5. CDE,

    Didn’t I just post on much this same topic? Anyway, you are correct to warn people how this process works. And to think, the people who will try to ‘liquidate’ their problem (i.e. those who embrace the individual rather than the collective) will claim they are justified through ‘science.’

    Gee, I think I’ve heard this tune before…. OH! I know. 1930’s Germany/England/America — its EUGENICS ALL OVER AGAIN (just replace ‘Jew’ with ‘conservative’) 🙂

    • Hi Joe: I’ll look for your post, but we do know that great minds tend to think alike. This topic concerns me more each day. I am working on how to exert some level of positive influence on the major issues such as healthcare, which I regard as a potential watershed issue. And yes, the strategies embraced by the Collectivists in Nazi Germany, the USSR and the People’s Republic of China are different in degree but not in kind from those being deployed by Our Dear Leader and his Brownshirts throughout the Federal bureaucracy. Now is the time, as someone who I can not remember right now once said. CDE

  6. Pingback: Sunday Contemplation (1 Sep 13) | Dak's Bays

  7. “by the time I had outlined the DOL study’s findings that economic movement across quintiles in America remains the most flexible and dynamic in the world”

    “It is my view that our Liberal/Progressive friends are the ones suffering from distortions of reality”

    BHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
    A-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    http://www.marketplace.org/topics/wealth-poverty/two-thirds-americans-arent-economically-mobile

    In the USA:

    “- You can still make more money than your parents and fall on the income ladder. Twenty percent of people are experiencing this right now.

    – Thirty-five percent of people will achieve both absolute and relative mobility, both making more money than parents and climbing a ladder rung.

    – Only 4 percent of people raised at the bottom quintile will ever make it to the top.

    – Only 8 percent raised on the top rung will fall to the bottom.

    – Sixteen percent of Americans are downwardly mobile, which means they earn less than their parents and have a lower wealth.

    – Sixty-six percent of those raised in the bottom of the wealth ladder remain on the bottom two rungs. Sixty-six percent of those raised in the top of the wealth ladder remain on the top two rungs.

    – Having a college degree makes a person more than three times more likely to rise from the bottom of the family income ladder all the way to the top, and makes a person more than four times more likely to rise from the bottom of the family wealth ladder to the top.

    – When it comes to mobility there is a huge gap between blacks and whites. Sixty-five percent of blacks were raised on the bottom quintile. Only 11 percent of whites were.

    – Two percent of blacks were raised at the top rung. Twenty-three percent of whites were. (Note: there are so few African Americans in top two quintiles that they did not provide a proper sample.)

    – Downward economic mobility is much more likely for African Americans. Half of all blacks raised on the middle rung will fall to the bottom two rungs. Whereas 32 percent of whites will. ”

    The USA has lower social mobility than the UK, which has lower social mobility than Norway and Sweden (http://ftp.iza.org/dp1938.pdf)

    In your case though I think it can be chalked up to mere ignorance, rather than a distortion of reality.

    • Dave: Interesting statistics. Do you know much about IZA? I do do know a bit about the US Department of Labor, and in fact have known several of the academic types who have led DOL’s research operation over the last three decades…smart folks and I’ve been impressed with their commitment to doing objective research rather than partisan hack jobs that start from the conclusions and then work back to cook the data to order. But I’m certain that’s not what you or IZA would ever do. BTW, does IZA do actual primary research studies, or do they carry out the ever popular “summaries” of other people’s research…you know,where the “researchers” cherry-pick the hack-job research carried out by other “researchers” and call it a compendium of primary research in a given area? A lot like what the Obamite Lib/Progs do with statistical “reports” on economic issues or healthcare or the impact of concealed-carry laws. where they change or manipulate the underlying methodology but either fail to state the nature of the change or bury it in the “Notes” section, where our brilliant “journalists” in the major American media are unlikely to venture, let alone understand.

      I’ve actually done primary research, although a few decades back I made a move from the academic variety to research that is used to make strategic and tactical business decisions. Its always been a lot of fun, and people have actually paid me for it, which I suspect may shock you, since I’m not sure IZA gets a lot of practical research work. I don’t get to use any of the magic, mystery variables that allow much academic research to produce the results the “researcher” wants to produce. If I did that, my research pipeline would dry up quickly, but it never has. If you want to reference a research shop, try looking at what is being produced by Manhattan Institute or Cato or Hoover, all of which do solid, verifiable studies that allow one to draw actual observations with confidence.

      But I will admit I was crushed by your harsh assessment of my story about my ancient dinner date and the rejection I received at the hands of my two delightful but somewhat deluded academic companions. I may have wiped away a tear, but I don’t think so. When one is a libertarian academic working in areas of applied economics, one comes to expect serious attempts to not just hurt one’s feelings, but to discredit his or her work and destroy his or her reputation and career. So being told I suffer from the sin of “ignorance,” is actually entertaining rather than existentially threatening. Now if you had followed that intended insult with something really mean, I might have wept. Thanks for going easy on me. Cheers, CDE

      • Hi CDE, the correct response would have been to provide a link to a study proving your claim. You didn’t, you just disassembled.

        Provide a link to a study conducted in the last few years which proves your claim that the US has the highest social mobility in the world. You won’t be able to of course, because it doesn’t. The UK has higher social mobility than the US.

        • Dave: Sorry, I missed this response. The study I quoted to my lovely companions six+ years ago was released by the DOL sometime around 2006 or 2007, which means it was probably based on Census data from 2000. That places the results observed right in the middle of the “Great Expansion,” that began under Reagan in 1983 and extended to 2007 under Bush the Younger. I suspect our economic mobility has deteriorated under King Barack, since everything economic has run-down under his wrong-headed policies, but I at least have not seen the 2010 study, which should be available in the next 5-years, unless it is suppressed by the Obama White House. It will be interesting to see the results of the first two-years of Obamite policies, although the full impact will not be seen until the 2020 census. BTW, I think you were accusing me of “dissembling” rather than having “disassembled,” but since I haven’t done either, let’s call it even. And while I find our discussion somewhat interesting, I’m doing most of the work and I don’t have time to find a link to a 6 – 7-year-old DOL study. Feel free to do so, though, as you’ll find it interesting I’m sure. Cheers, CDE

  8. Ouch Dave? CDE just put a case of the Whop A$$ on you. Secondly, blacks will never “start moving on up” until they get off the Democrat Slave Plantation. If all welfare to blacks was ended today they would start on the upward path. Work or starve has a lot of good benefits.

    • Tell me where these jobs are? Your country has 8% unemployment – and that’s the people still looking for work!

      If there are no jobs then people can’t get work.

      Look up “the cycle of poverty” on wikipedia. If you would prefer children to be starving in your streets though…how Christian.

      • Dave,

        How Christian? You do know that the Apostle, Paul, teaches that those who are able bodied but who refuse to work should not eat, don’t you?

        And this is nominally a free country, where you do NOT have a ‘right’ to a job (that only happens in socialist economies), but we DO have a right to go about EARNING our own living.

        Put these together and the problem is most likely with our people. Rather than looking to govt. to steal in their name, they should be out beating the bushes for work. They should think — HARD — about what they can do best that others might pay them to do and start a business. And, if they have no skills, they should take 2, 3 or more “burger-flipping’ jobs, save every penny they can and go to school.

        There is a cycle of poverty, but it is rooted in the mentality of those who are poor and in over-controlling govt. When the people are lazy or the govt. too restrictive, then the people get caught in poverty cycles. But when the govt. stays out of the market and the people are hard working, prosperity flows. THIS is the lesson of history.

      • Hi Dave: I don’t know your background, experience or values, but you pose some great questions here. First though, you understate the unemployment in America today. If we used the measure that was in place at least as far back as the 1980’s, unemployment would be accurately stated as about 15%, but it is much higher in certain communities, especially among African Americans. And much of the “employment” is not what the people working actually want, since it is part-time rather than full-time, and many people are under-employed or working in jobs they find disagreeable because they are afraid to seek other, less reliable employment. So the situation is bad, but the key questions are how did we get here and how do we make changes that will make things begin to improve?

        While you may have a different analysis and theory about those questions, I have studied the issues closely, because I have for decades built and run my own businesses, and I’m now helping my six kids do the same. So I am dependent on a strong economy with low unemployment to drive my sales. I also taught applied economics to MBA students for about 25-years, in areas like Marketing Strategy, International Business and Risk Management and traveled to most of the world giving lectures and consulting during that period. What I’ve observed is that job growth, whether directly in the private sector, or indirectly through the public sector, is always driven by private sector growth, and that entrepreneurial ventures create far more jobs than large, established firms. Any approach that tries to pursue employment growth from the government’s involvement fails and often creates enormous unintended consequences. So the relatively strong employment in the US during the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush presidencies happened because two of those presidents, Reagan and George W. Bush understood and believed the private sector needed to be unburdened from heavy taxes and excessive regulation, and the other two, George H.W. Bush and Clinton, were forced to do the right things most of the time by Conservative GOP majorities in the House and Senate. Mr. Obama has been a closet-Marxist all his life, as were his parents and grandparents, as he reveals in his two autobiographies, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER and THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, so he operates out of the bizarre economic theories of Karl Marx and America’s Liberal/Progressive movement and he has no trust or understanding of the private sector or economics in general. I think he honestly believes the Government sector can create jobs and drive economic growth, although there is no evidence I’ve ever seen of that actually having happened anywhere. So unemployment may worsen due to really bad ideas like Obamacare, but it unlikely to improve until Mr. Obama retires to his estate in Hawaii or the GOP recovers control of both houses of Congress in 2014. I don’t see a real alternative reading on this one.

        On your second observation about American kids “starving in the street,” please rest your mind and emotions a bit. There are no American kids starving anywhere, unless their families are keeping them from the multitude of government and private sector resources in place to prevent starvation or malnutrition, especially among children. That has always been true in the US. Before Wilson’s election in 1912, America had a vast network of voluntary organizations that Tocqueville had discussing in his work, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA

  9. To Dave (CONTINUED): The American voluntary network was composed of churches, religious organizations, fraternal societies and other groups established to support those who could not support themselves, for whatever reasons. Wilson and the Progressives of his day, and later FDR and LBJ, sought to replace the American voluntary safety-net with government programs because their view was that government was more efficient (not!) and people should trust the Federal government rather than their fellow citizens. Hence, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society, the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, and Compassionate Conservatism…all costly and unsuccessful failures that did little other than to create a permanent underclass that has little motivation to escape government dependence or to partake of the “American Dream.” But no one in America today does not have access to Section 8 (Housing support), Food Stamps (Food), communication (Obama phones), transportation (various programs) and a raft of specialized or targeted programs for poor kids and mothers, etc. Public education, through college, is paid for by taxpayers for poor kids, and most large organizations have Affirmative Action hiring programs in place that discriminate against Whites, regardless of their economic status.

    These realities conflict with the Obamite Liberal/Progressive preferred narrative, and apparently with the sentimental appeal provided by Wikipedia, but they are factual and they continue, despite Lib/Prog and American media efforts to deny them. CDE

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