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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Liberalism: a Barren Rock in Mid-Ocean

Liberal-socialism offers no meaning to individuals’ lives.

In March of this year, news media gave extensive coverage to the story of Ashley Smith, the Duluth, Georgia, woman who was held hostage in her apartment by Brian Nichols, the man accused in the Atlanta courthouse killings.  Accoding to the New York Times story by Edward Wyatt, “Ms. Smith said on Sunday that while she was being held, she retrieved a copy of “The Purpose-Driven Life” [by Protestant minister Rick Warren] from her bedroom, read parts of it to Mr. Nichols and discussed with him the book’s themes of finding God’s purpose for oneself. Those discussions, she said, led her captor to release her unharmed and to his later surrender to the police…After we began to talk, he said he thought that I was an angel sent from God. And that I was his sister and he was my brother in Christ. And that he was lost and God led him right to me to tell him that he had hurt a lot of people.”

If you ever unhappily find yourself in Ashley Smith’s position, instead of offering the message of Judeo-Christian spirituality, try reading to your captor passages from Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” or John Dewey’s “Education for Democracy” and see how far you get in persuading him to seek a new purpose for his life.

The unbridgeable difficulty, of course, is that the various sects of socialism have nothing to say to the individual person.  Socialism deals with the masses, by class, and speaks in terms of the collectivized power of the political state.  The individual is on his own, liberalism providing him no more elevated aspirations than sensual gratification via unrestrained hedonism, which is liberalism’s “opium of the masses.”

In stark contrast, Judeo-Christian principles address each individual directly and call upon him to repent his sinful ways, to turn to God, and to live a life of benevolence grounded in love of God and his fellow humans.  The individual is to soften his heart and to begin dealing kindly and lovingly with each individual person in his life.  Spiritual religion thereby gives a specific purpose to every person’s life.  Those who strive to follow its dictates discover the inner peace that passes all understanding.

The Judeo-Christian heritor is not permitted to take refuge in the “I gave at the office” attitude that leads liberals to look to the collectivized political power of the state to rectify all wrongs.  Jesus made a distinction between individuals’ duty to God and to the political state.  As He replied to the Pharisees’ question, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 

Under liberalism, the closest the individual can come to meaningful personal action is becoming part of a mass protest against the founding principles of the United States, in a street mob waving placards with slogans that he can’t explain to inquiring media reporters.  He has absolutely no means of direct, personal relationship with his god, the secular and materialistic political state. 

In liberal doctrine, the political state must take care of individuals, because they are incapable of doing so for themselves.  As Dee Dee Myers, President Clinton?s press secretary, wrote in a Los Angeles Times article dated June 6, 1999, “The failure of health care, and the ups and downs of her years in the White House, have done nothing to shake [Hillary] Clinton’s faith in government. If anything, they’ve strengthened it. Only government can make the kind of sweeping changes that improve people’s lives.”

Under liberal-socialism, everything belongs to the political state, at least indirectly.  Implicitly, even if you nominally own things, it is the political state that creates jobs and provides for your material needs.  Under atheistic socialism, there is no spiritual dimension, just the physical goods and services that the planners think fit for you to have. 

Liberals cloak this fundamental doctrine under bland language about “caring” for the people.  But theirs is a “caring” that ignores, for example, the degrading effects of welfare dependency.  Theirs is a “caring” that led them to support Stalin’s mass murders of tens of millions of Russians, because they “cared” about the theoretical good of humanity.

Adolph Hitler minced no words in ?Mein Kampf:?

?The best State constitution and State form is that which, with the most natural certainty, brings the best heads of the national community to leading importance and to leading influence…the State in its organization, beginning with the smallest cell of the community up to the highest leadership of the entire Reich, must be built upon the principle of personality [of the Fuhrer].?

Nor did Benito Mussolini in ?The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism? (1933):

?Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. ?The Fascist State has drawn into itself even the economic activities of the nation, and, through the corporative social and educational institutions created by it, its influence reaches every aspect of the national life and includes, framed in their respective organizations, all the political, economic and spiritual forces of the nation.?

Liberals will object that their secular ideology is very different from the totalitarian, statist regimes of Europe.  Perhaps so, in degree.  It’s undeniable, however, that American liberalism arose in the last half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th directly from the same roots as Hitler’s and Mussolini’s socialism: the socialistic Religion of Humanity preached by the French Revolutionary era philosophers, Henri de Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte.

What is commonly taught in our schools, that Nazism and Fascism were right-wing ideologies completely different from socialism and communism, is a deliberately concocted falsehood to protect socialism from careful scrutiny.  The popular myth was fabricated by apologists for socialism like Hannah Arendt, the author of “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”  Before coming to New York at the outbreak of World War II, Arendt was a German philosopher who had been a collaborator of Martin Heidegger, the notorious philosophical supporter of Hitler?s National Socialist regime and a member of the Nazi party until it was disbanded in 1945.  In New York City she became a professor of political theory at The New School for Social Research, an institution founded in 1919 by John Dewey and other socialists to radicalize American students.

The secular religion of socialism, in fact, is the doctrinal foundation, the underlying ethos of Soviet communism, Mussolini’s Fascism, and Hitler’s National Socialism (the Nazis).  American liberalism is simply a sect of that same worldwide religion of socialism, just as Roman Catholics, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists, and so on, all are Christians.

Liberalism, Fascism, Nazism, and Communism share a common belief that individualism and private property are the source of humanity?s ills.  All employ the same methodology of collectivized government control, differing only in degree.  All are materialistic and opposed to spiritual religion, believing that the state?s organization and its control of economic activity are the only real determinants of human behavior.  God as Creator of the universe is pushed aside, and His place is seized by the intellectual regulator.  The world and human society are henceforth to be whatever the intellectual decides that they should be.

In the final analysis, even in the relatively mild socialism of our American welfare state, life’s meaning for the individual is as bleak as for a seed dropped in the middle of the desert.  We have lost sight of this fundamental reality with the passage of time and world military conflicts since the 1920s.  Before World War II, however, even liberals acknowledged it.

As George M. Marsden noted in “Religion and American Culture,” prominent liberal historian Carl M. Becker wrote in 1932 in his widely praised “The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers”:

“Edit and interpret the conclusions of modern science as tenderly as we like, it is still quite impossible for us to regard man as the child of God for whom the earth was created as a temporary habitation.  Rather we must regard him as little more than a chance deposit on the surface of the world, carelessly thrown up between two ice ages by the same forces that rust iron and ripen corn, a sentient organism endowed by some happy or unhappy accident with intelligence indeed, but with an intelligence that is conditioned by the very forces that it seeks to understand and to control.  The ultimate cause of this cosmic process… appears in its effects as neither benevolent nor malevolent, as neither kind nor unkind, but as merely indifferent to us.  What is man that the electron should be mindful of him?”

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Progressive Era Scholars: The Socialist Paradigm

To understand present-day education, study university professors of the Progressive era.

This article is scheduled for publication in the upcoming edition of the RepublicanVoices newsletter.

The first two decades of the 20th century were the period of maximum influence of the Progressive movement in politics and education.  Progressivism arose out of the collapse of the Populist Party after it was trounced by Republican William McKinley in the 1896 presidential election.  In the 1920s the Progressives merged with the American Socialist Party.

Progressives, in those first two decades of the 20th century, established the social, political, and educational paradigm that persists today.  Its hallmark was, among other things, rejection of the original ideas about constitutional government, particularly of the idea of natural law rights, which were the basis of the Declaration of Independence, the original Constitution, and its first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights.  As a result, Federal courts have degraded the Bill of Rights into a license for any form of gross hedonism, no matter how disruptive to social life or how offensive to other people.

Historian Richard Hofstadter’s “The Progressive Era Historians” provides valuable insights into the thinking of three of the most influential of the Progressive scholars: Frederick Jackson Turner, Charles A. Beard, and Vernon L. Parrington.  Of the three, Beard most completely embodies the essential characteristics of Progressive era thinking.

Beard’s outlook was molded directly by the diffusion of socialist theory and Auguste Comte’s Religion of Humanity from continental Europe into England during the 19th century.  Professor Hofstadter writes that, in 1898, Beard moved to England to study at Oxford, in the midst of the ferment of socialist activity.  Sidney and Beatrice Webb had just published their book on trade unionism and industrial democracy, and their Fabian socialist group was gaining important converts in government and academia.  At the same time, the new Labour party was taking shape out of the trades unions. 

Most influential on the development of Beard’s educational and social paradigm, according to Professor Hofstadter, was John Ruskin’s “Unto This Last,” which had been published forty years earlier.  Ruskin’s thesis was that the political state should provide free education, vocational training workshops, guaranteed employment, job security, housing and social security for the old and poor, minimum wage laws, rent control, income ceilings, and public ownership of transportation.  In short, John Ruskin should be the patron saint of the Democratic Party, not Thomas Jefferson, the advocate of limited government.

As was typical of socialist sentiment in 19th century England, ideas such as Ruskin’s were presented as true Christian morality, merely the logical implications of brotherly love.  Very few upper-class Englishmen who espoused socialism had even the vaguest understanding that it was an atheistic doctrine that could be implemented only with some degree of political tyranny.

During the three years or so that Charles Beard spent in England, he became very active in organizing groups to promote socialist doctrine.  He also wrote several essays about the theorists who had been most helpful in furthering the cause of socialism, among them, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Darwin, and Robert Owen.  Professor Hofstadter quotes one line from these essays: ” The concept of God and the individual is being supplemented by the more glorious concept of God and the collective life of man.”

After his return to the United States, Beard joined the faculty at Columbia University.  In 1901, he published his first book, “The Industrial Revolution.”  At this stage of his socialization, he was more concerned with economic theory than class warfare.  He promoted the theory of Henri de Saint-Simon and his colleague August Comte that free-market competition wasted economic resources, which state planners could put to better use helping the poor.

Like all socialist theories, this doctrine had a degree of plausibility at first glance, but proved to have the opposite of desired results in practice.  Socialists believe that middle-man units in an economy, such as wholesale distributors and advertising businesses, are unnecessary and tend to promote a wasteful proliferation of products.  Socialists were confident that people need only one standard product in each category designated by planners.  Moreover, according to theory, planning engineers would be much more efficient than private businessmen in manufacturing the products needed by society.

Though it is seldom articulated by socialists, the underlying presumption of all socialist planning is that an economy is a static phenomenon, with fixed production facilities, distribution and transportation, and fixed demand for products.  If that were true, which of course it isn’t, presumably social engineers could optimize availabilities of goods and services for every person on an equal basis.  The laboratory of real life, from Revolutionary France to Soviet Russia, has emphatically demonstrated the falsity of this doctrine.  Yet it remains the fundamental belief of American liberals and most Western European governments.

In 1913, Beard published his most notorious and most influential book, “An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States.”  The book asserted that the Constitution was far from a document crafted by patriotic statesmen to promote the general welfare of the nation.  It was rather an inside job by connivers to promote their own personal financial interests.  Equally reprehensible, the Constitution was drafted by the Philadelphia Convention and ratified by the states in an anti-democratic manner that excluded what he called “the propertyless masses.”

The most succinct and appropriate reaction to the work is the remark attributed to Nicholas Murray Butler, then president of Columbia University.  When asked, “Have you seen Beard’s last book?”  Butler replied, “I hope so.”

In the intervening years, Beard’s assertions have been completely discredited, indeed demolished.  Even Professor Hofstadter, whose views were left of center, said that Beard’s works “, however, show that capacity that Beard would always have in generous measure for a selective use of historical facts in order to put across his message.”  Princeton’s Edward S. Corwin, the Democratic party’s principal theorist of Constitutional law during the New Deal, wrote that had Beard “been less bent on demonstrating the Socialist theory of economic determinism and class struggle as an interpretation of history, his own performance would have been less open to criticism.”

Young Forrest McDonald, later a distinguished historian, burst upon the academic stage with his PhD thesis based on exhaustive research of original colonial documents that revealed no basis in fact for Beard’s assertions.  One of the works that shredded Beard’s contentions is Robert E. Brown’s “Charles Beard and the Constitution: A Critical Analysis of ‘An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution’ .”

A few points from historian Brown’s book reveal the sloppiness and outright misrepresentation that characterize Beard’s book. 

First, with regard to Beard’s description of “the masses” as unable to vote because they were propertyless, research by numerous scholars has shown that more than 90 percent of all males in colonial times had enough property or income to qualify for voting.  This is not hard to understand when we note that most people owned their own businesses or farms, and very few people worked in cities for wages low enough to be classified as propertyless.

Beard wrote, “How extensive the disenfranchisement really was cannot be determined,” yet he flatly asserts that the process of ratifying the Constitution was undemocratic because most people could not vote.  He ignores one readily available piece of documentation, Madison’s notes on the debates in the Constitutional Convention.  There was extensive and repeated discussion of personal voting rights in the states, because this was the bedrock of the representational structure in the states and the Federal government that constituted the Constitution’s check and balances.  It is clear from delegates’ statements that suffrage among adult males was nearly universal.  Supporting this is the continual concern in the Convention about what the people of the thirteen states would accept.  If very few people could vote, there was no point in Jay, Madison, and Hamilton laboring for nearly a year to write and publish the 85 “Federalist” papers, which were aimed at individual voters.  There would simply have been private conversations within an “old boys” network to get ratification

Second, Beard explicitly adopts the atheistic Marxian theory that all human conduct, including the unfolding of a predictable future, is the product of economic determinism.  That is, ideals and morality or religion play no real role in human conduct; they are merely the opium of the masses fabricated by the wealthy oppressors to subjugate the workers.  Only material and secular forces influence human conduct.  In support of this thesis, Beard abstracts certain passages from James Madison’s “Federalist No. 10,” in which Madison notes that historically contention in political societies arises from the unequal natural abilities of individuals, which in turn produce unequal distribution of incomes.  Not only does Beard ignore other parts of “Federalist No. 10” that counter his thesis, but he simply ignores the other 84 “Federalist” papers which in no way present a Marxian theory of economic determinism.

Third, contrary to popular impression, Beard doesn’t simply assert that the Constitution pitted property owners against non-property owners, and for a very good reason.  As noted above, nearly 90 percent of voting-age males owned property.  Beard asserts instead a split between the small farmers and businessmen and the wealthier merchants and bankers, people who owned debt instruments, such as paper money, bills for merchandise sold to farmers and small businesses, and bonds issued by the states and the Continental Congress during the War of Independence.  The Constitution, said Beard, was a conspiracy to force honest workers to enrich these wealthy merchants and lenders by paying off the debts, which they had speculatively bought at huge discounts when it appeared that the government under the Articles of Confederation would fail to honor them.  This, of course, presumes that these “speculators” had advance knowledge that Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury, after the Constitution was ratified in 1789, would lead the Federal government to honor state and national debts.

Beard says that farmers were “a large debtor class,” but offers no support at all for his statement.  State and local records from 1787 do not support this assertion.

Even with regard to the most central proposition in his book, Beard admits that he has no proof of it.  After declaring that the Constitution was a conspiracy of owners of currency and other debt instruments against farmers and small businessmen, he says that the ownership proportions of debt instruments by delegates had never been determined, and probably could not be determined.  Where he does offer inferential evidence, it is based, not on ownership records, but on taxation figures from 1792 to 1804, five to seventeen years after the drafting of the Constitution.  All available state records from 1787 show that ownership of property was overwhelmingly in real estate, not debt instruments.

Having no specific evidence of what amounts of debt instruments the individual delegates owned in 1787 at the time of the Constitutional Convention, Beard lists ten of the delegates who, under the Articles of Confederation four years earlier, had voted to give the government more power over finances.  But of the ten, four were not at the Constitutional Convention at all, three owned securities four years after the drafting of the Constitution, and only one probably owned securities in 1787.  Beard offers no evidence that other Convention delegates owned securities, yet eighteen of them voted for the Constitution.

Tellingly, liberal academics and politicians of the day eagerly grasped Beard’s “Economic Interpretation of the Constitution” as proof of socialism’s doctrine of economic determinism, completely ignoring its sloppiness and lack of supporting evidence.  The “New Republic,” the leading liberal publication of the early 20th century, found in a 1938 poll that Beard’s “Economic Interpretation” was regarded by intellectuals as one of the two most influential works of the modern era.

The paradigm that Beard was so instrumental in establishing has had lasting and devastating effects on education. 

In Professor Hofstadter’s words, “... he argued that old modes of explanation were no longer usable: Darwin had undermined natural rights, for example, as a fixed and eternal scheme of things, by showing that all things change…”  But if this is correct, the famous words of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self evident…” are now invalid nonsense.

Hofstadter continues, “Political and legal institutions were beginning to be seen as products of the whole social process, not as consequences of some self-sustained process of abstract reasoning [like the Constitutional Convention?].... Political philosophy, far from being the product of pure reason, must be seen as the product of the political system.” 

He quotes Beard:

“It would seem that the real state is not the juristic state but is the group of persons able to work together effectively for the accomplishment of their joint aims, and overcome all opposition on the particular point at issue at a particular period of time.”

Now, in practical terms, this means that the Constitution and established legal precedent are to be interpreted to mean whatever the victorious special interest group decrees.  The Constitution is to be subordinated to the law of the jungle, pure power politics. 

Nobody’s rights may stand in the way of Darwinian evolution of public opinion, because the idea of natural rights is outmoded.  If liberal-socialists can effectively work together as a special interest group and gain control of the Federal judiciary, then judges can simply by fiat “discover” new “rights” to socialism’s latest variety of hedonism, such as unlimited abortion to facilitate sexual promiscuity.

As Madison and Hamilton note in the “Federalist” papers, there will always be special interest groups (factions, as they were called in 1787).  The point of the checks and balances in the Constitution was to neutralize them and to prevent any faction from taking control of the government. 

Doing away with those checks and balances is precisely the objective that Charles A. Beard espouses, and the reality that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal established in the 1930s.

This doctrine is now taught almost universally in American colleges and universities, and it is the driving force behind liberals’ blocking the appointment of cabinet officers and Federal judges who are not atheistic socialists.

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Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 05/30 at 03:00 PM
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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Science vs Scientism

Calling a secular religious belief scientific doesn’t make it so.

In The Liberal Mind: the Foundation of a Sand Castle Built in Mid-Air, I mentioned the Darwinian evolution hypothesis as an example of the secular-materialist theories of liberalism that are plucked out of thin air, with not a single proof.  Yet, because evolution is labeled scientific, everyone in our modern, hedonistic world is supposed to bow down before Darwin and worship his doctrine.

TechCentralStation has a good article responding to a defender of Darwin’s materialistic religious creed.

See Intelligent Decline, Revisited by Mustafa Akyol.

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Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 05/29 at 11:46 PM
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Do I Detect Defection?

A certified liberal-socialist recants a key doctrine.

Matthew Miller, a nationally-syndicated columnist, had a startling op-ed article in yesterday’s New York Times.

According to Mr. Miller’s bio on the Center for American Progress Website:

“Matt Miller is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress; a monthly columnist for Fortune; and an award-winning contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and other national magazines. Miller is also a commentator for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” and the host of “Left, Right & Center,” a political week-in-review program aired on public radio stations across the country….. Previously, Miller held senior posts in both government and business. Miller served as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1995, where his duties included managing the staff work for presidential decisionmaking on the budget, and leading management studies both for OMB and the White House, which led to the most sweeping changes at OMB in two decades. From 1991 to 1992 he was a White House Fellow, serving as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.”

In other words, Mr. Miller is a certified, true-blue liberal-socialist. 

This makes the more startling his article, which advocates improving education in the worst schools by (sic!) judging individuals on the basis of merit, determined by evaluating performance, not just “self-esteem” techniques!  He writes, “We’d raise salaries for teachers in poor schools by 50 percent. But this offer would be conditioned on two major reforms. First, the unions would have to abandon their lock-step pay scale so that we could raise the top half of performers (and those in shortage fields like math and science) another 50 percent. Second, the unions would have to make it much easier to fire the worst teachers, who are blighting the lives of countless kids.”

This is the sort of thing that Mario Cuomo advocated when he first ran for the New York governorship.  Needless to say, he was decisively defeated by massive campaign funding from the teachers unions.  Four years later, as a converted champion of socialistic parasitism for teachers unions, he won handily.

One can make the case that Mr. Miller’s advocacy of merit, rather than lock-step solidarity with socialistic unions that promote primarily on the basis of longevity in grade, is consistent with his secular humanism.  He has written in other pieces that all of human society is the product of the human reason (i.e., there is no God or intelligent design to the universe or meaning to history).  So, why not, as socialists customarily do, simply conjure up a vision of collectivized perfection and presume that it can be implemented by the intellectuals?

My expectation, however, is that before anything so radical as Mr. Miller’s merit-based proposal gets very far, he will be visited by the thought police and subjected to a Soviet-style reprograming of his rational mind.

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Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 05/29 at 05:54 PM
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Friday, May 27, 2005

The Liberal Mind: the Foundation of a Sand Castle Built in Mid-Air

Liberalism, or secular humanism, is based on unscientific, utopian assumptions.

Liberal media reporters’ and editorialists’ slanting, even deliberate falsification, of opinion presented as “news” has been noted here, here, and here.

This is a pattern that appeared at the beginning of the secular religion of socialism in mid-18th century France.  Condorcet and other Encyclopedists were well aware that the new source of legitimacy for government, once Christian morality had been destroyed, would be simply public opinion. 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Revelation” concerning the State of Nature was, he candidly wrote, not based on any evidence, historical or otherwise.  His “reason” simply told him that there MUST have been a period at the beginning of humanity when people were all good and benevolent.  The true Downfall, per Rousseau, was the advent of private ownership of property, not original sin of Adam and Eve.

Therefore, according to Rousseau’s “reason,” intellectuals could redirect humanity to the perfection of the State of Nature by eliminating private ownership of property.  This, of course, is the seed of the secular religion of socialism and its American sect, liberalism.

This readiness to concoct speculative hypotheses out of thin air, with no real proof, has characterized secular humanism ever since. 

For example, Darwin’s hypothesis of evolution was not, as educators teach, the product of scientific, inductive analysis of empirical data.  In fact, as Darwin acknowledged, he was all his life anxious to follow in the footsteps of his notorious relative Erasmus Darwin, a vociferous anti-Christian.  Thus he set about looking for a way to disprove “the damnable doctrine” of Christianity.  Evolution was the best he could do, after many decades of trial and error effort.  It is revealing that the present day’s major popular foe of the sweeping physical and scientific evidence of uniform laws of science, or intelligent design, throughout the universe is Richard Dawkins, an ardent defender of Darwinian evolution.  Dawkins, in “The Blind Watchmaker,” never offers a single proof of evolution; he merely presumes that all intelligent persons are already believers.  But his book, scores of times, makes huge assumptions, introduced by such terms as “might have been,” “could have been,” and “we may speculate that.”

Hence it’s no surprise that today’s liberal journalists, schooled in this utopian and intellectually false mode of thinking, routinely write “news” articles, not simply reporting facts, but conceiving first a secular humanist thesis, then twisting the evidence, or excluding countervailing fact, to arrive at their predetermined conclusions.

A personal example occurred about thirty years ago, when the New York Times interviewed me in connection with an article about the boom in construction of condominium apartments.  The reporter told me that he was investigating the tax basis for the boom, with the intent to show that building condos or converting rental units to condos was an anti-social process.  No matter how often I told the reporter that tax laws had nothing to do with the preference of builders for condos, he refused to accept the truth and kept probing for some hidden, anti-social motivation. 

The background was New York City’s rent control laws, which kept existing apartment rents at a fraction of the rents necessary to make construction of new rental units economically feasible.  Every impartial observer, then and now, has concluded that rent control has been a disaster for the city.  But it’s socialist apple-pie-and-motherhood to the city’s overwhelmingly liberal citizenry.  What could be wrong with keeping capitalist landlords from making a profit at the expense of good liberal-socialist tenants?

This utopian set of assumptions, one built upon the other, is fundamentally flawed at the root level.  Atheistic socialists and secular humanists always assert that religion and morality are just value judgments and therefore unscientific.  To liberals this is presumptive proof that religion and morality are outmoded, superstitious ignorance.  Yet, from the get-go, liberal-socialism’s first foundational corner stone is an unscientific value judgment plucked out of thin air.

That science has nothing whatever to do with any of the sects of the socialist religion ? secular humanism, atheistic materialism, American liberalism, or European social democracy ? is abundantly clear to anyone who actually uses scientific methodology to examine the historical, disastrous empirical results of this utopian doctrine in real life.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Maybe the Income Gap is in Times’s Reporters Minds

Maggie’s Farm has a first-class piece also dealing with the lamented income gap.  Gwynnie surgically flays, filets, and fries the New York Times presentation of American Marxist class warfare.

Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 05/26 at 10:40 PM
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The Fairness of Government Intervention

The most efficient way to eliminate the income gap between the highest and lowest earners is to put everybody in prison, where everybody has exactly the same clothing, food, and shelter, and everybody has a guaranteed job.

David Wessel, one of the Wall Street Journal’s writers contending for the title of house socialist, has another installment in the series lamenting the lack of equality of incomes in the United States.  If you are a subscriber to the Journal Online, you can get it here.

In today’s column, “How Parents, Genes and Success Intersect,” he wonders whether the government shouldn’t intervene to diminish the advantages conferred upon some people by their genetic inheritance and their family upbringing.  Intervention, planned by intellectuals and implemented by bureaucrats, is what characterizes collectivized, socialistic societies.

Since socialism has always produced tyranny or a lagging economy, the real question is why are we even considering collectivist intervention to compel income equality?  In the words of a popular song of some years ago, “When will they ever learn?”

Socialistic intervention taken to its logical conclusion gives us the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany.

When socialism is milder, what American liberals call liberal democracy and Europeans call social democracy, we get a Western Europe, dead in the economic water. See Latest Report: Tune in for Socialism in Action on Home Court.

Mr. Wessel repeats analysts’ conclusion that American youth will have a better chance to get ahead in Europe than here.  He doesn’t present the specific numbers leading to that conclusion, but my suspicion is that the numbers show something different. 

It’s because Western Europe’s socialist governments exact so heavy a tax toll on their highest earners that the range from top to bottom on the income scale is very narrow.  The same sort of “analysis” would conclude that it’s better to be a baseball player in the minor leagues, because the gap in playing ability between amateurs and minor leaguers is less than between amateurs and major league players.

Under a regime of extensive government intervention to equalize incomes, everybody has an equal chance at stagnation. The most consistent result of socialist collectivism, whether under totalitarianism or liberal democracy, is that everybody becomes equally poor, and poorer each year compared to non-collectivized countries.

Germany’s unemployment is higher than during the Depression, and economic growth is only a fraction of our economy’s growth rate.  France has attempted to even out incomes by making it illegal for people to work more than 35 hours a week. 

Sweden, that poster-child of benevolent socialism, is falling behind the productivity growth rate of the United States at an increasing rate each year.  The reason is fairly obvious.  To equalize incomes with its cradle-to-grave welfare system, Sweden has enacted some of the highest income tax rates in the world.  More than 50 percent of the entire Gross Domestic Product is collected as taxes by the government, a figure 43 percent higher than in the welfare-state economy of the United States. 

If Mr. Wessel and his fellow travelers on the New York Times are truly serious about income equality, why don’t they advocate the ancient Spartan system?  To eliminate differences in ability conferred by nature, any child who exhibited physical shortcomings was killed by the state.  All children were taken from their parents at about age five and educated collectively.  Males were trained to be warriors, and Spartan women were said to be so fierce that they would kill any male who showed cowardice in battle.  Battle plunder was shared more or less equally.  And, of course, they all ate the same meals in communal halls.  Needless to say, there was no problem with an income gap.

Why should it be a matter of concern to the political state if the very top levels of workers in a highly technological society earn more than others?  Especially when income levels for everyone are rising decade upon decade?  When even people on welfare have more luxury goods than the average worker in Western Europe?

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Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 05/26 at 09:46 PM
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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Main Stream Media’s Ethical Standards

This is what is known as an oxymoron.

More on Newsweek (the magazine of socialist propaganda owned by the newspaper of socialist propaganda, The Washington Post) and its since retracted article about American soldiers reportedly defiling the Koran, covered recently in Meretricious Main-Stream Media.

Ann Coulter is at the top of her game with a piercing review of Newsweek’s editorial standards and procedures.

Sample line:

“Newsweek seems to have very different responses to the same reporter’s scoops. Who’s deciding which of Isikoff’s stories to run and which to hold? I note that the ones that Matt Drudge runs have turned out to be more accurate—and interesting!—than the ones Newsweek runs. Maybe Newsweek should start running everything past Matt Drudge.”

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Friday, May 20, 2005

The Hypocrisy of Tolerance

Yale, it appears, tolerates only the materialistic religion of secular humanism.

Naomi Schaefer Riley is the author of “God on the Quad.”  Writing in the weekend section of today’s Wall Street Journal, she covers most of the points asserted in Man Alone at Yale; God Need Not Apply.

Ms. Riley’s article and mine deal with Yale’s recent decision to boot the United Church of Christ out of its main campus chapel, making it non-denominational and completely divorced from the Scriptural basis of Christianity (some would say that the UCC already had done that).  Yale was founded in 1701 by Congregationalists to train Christian ministers, but university spokesmen say that Yale has been gradually severing its connection with Christianity since the late 19th century. 

Ms. Riley adds a telling thrust that illuminates the bounds of Yale’s tolerance:

“If Yale is interested in strengthening religious expression on campus, it might want to think more about dorm policies, for instance, than about chapel affiliation. It was eight years ago that five orthodox Jewish students there sought to live off-campus because the co-ed dormitories forced them to encounter in the hallways half-naked members of the opposite sex. The students were denounced for being judgmental and told that, if they did leave campus, they would still have to pay the $7,000 dorm fee. (They lost a subsequent lawsuit.)

“At the time, a Yale spokesman explained that co-ed dorms were just one “aspect of the Yale educational experience.”

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Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 05/20 at 08:31 PM
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Latest Exchange With Prof. Gavin Kennedy

It appears that we are not very far apart.

The latest exchange of views with Professor Gavin Kennedy can be found on the Intellectual Conservative website.

My original essay titled Adam Smith vs. Robert Reich, started the exchange of views.

Professor Professor Kennedy’s first rebuttal and my response both can be found on the Intellectual Conservative website.

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