The View From 1776
Tradition & Morality
Friday, April 10, 2015
The Struggle Dividing Our Nation
Increasingly frequent presidential executive orders and arbitrary bureaucratic regulations make it abundantly clear that liberal-progressives aim to conquer and to impose their will upon the rest of us, making the Constitution all but meaningless.
The following is from the introduction to my book, The Liberal Jihad: The Hundred Year War Against The Constitution
For more than a century, liberal-progressive-socialists have waged a secular religious jihad against the Constitution and the ethos of personal morality and individual responsibility upon which the Constitution was based in 1787.
That liberal jihad is, like Islamic jihad, a matter of conquest and militant rejection of Judeo-Christian morality and principles of social order. Liberal-progressive-socialists are not content to have the freedom to express their views. They want laws and regulations that will compel the rest of us to conform to their secular religious ideology, just as the Islamic jihad seeks to impose sharia law on everyone.
In simplest terms, liberal-progressive-socialist ideology is what Karl Marx called scientific socialism: the belief that human nature is plastic, that it can be reshaped and perfected by the political state. The ideology of socialism is a secular religion in which the political state, guided by intellectual and bureaucratic planners, takes the place of God, whose existence is explicitly denied. In that ideology Judeo-Christian morality, which focuses upon individual responsibility to work hard and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, leads to private property rights and to unequal distribution of income and life status. The capitalistic system, a product of individuality and innovation, in that perspective is nothing more than a rationale for greed and savage competition in the marketplace.
If liberal-progressive-socialists are to reshape human nature and to perfect and harmonize society, Judeo-Christian individuality must be destroyed. The Constitution of the United States, which is based on Judeo-Christian individuality, must also be perverted and subverted. Only then will liberal-progressive-socialist economic planners be able to impose their ideological vision. Hence the liberal jihad.
Many recent books have warned us about one or another of the divisive social policies that menace American society and have denounced the social-engineering activists pushing them. The Liberal Jihad differs from these books in a several ways.
First, it is a big-picture book that aims to pull pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together so that you can understand how the different attack points of liberal-progressive-socialism are connected.
Second, it aims to go beyond describing symptoms of social illness and to identify the virus causing them, as well as to suggest the cure.
Third, to do this, The Liberal Jihad sketches the historical movements in the Western world that explain the origin and nature of this virus, which is the secular and materialistic religion of socialism worshipped by American liberal-progressives and their fellow-travelers.
Much of this is simple common sense, yet the larger picture remains beyond the reach of most people. The reason is that understanding the nature of socialism and its profound threat to civilization requires knowledge of history. Few people in America today have such knowledge, because one of the basic policies of liberal-progressive-socialists since the beginning of the 20th century has been to distort and falsify the teaching of Western history and its traditions. A main purpose of The Liberal Jihad is to fill the blanks so that you can have a complete picture of what is going on in politics, education, and the law.
This is not a book about Democrats vs Republicans. The secular religious virus of socialism has infected the liberal wings of both parties. Nor is it a book that simply defends what is generally regarded as the conservative position. It is a book that aims instead to give you a clear picture of the political and moral traditions that were the common understanding among people of the thirteen colonies of British North America in 1776.
Describing today’s social activism as a jihad may strike you as a sensationalist exaggeration. This book will lay out the factual basis so that you can decide for yourself.
Part I of the book describes the social and political views that unified the United States in 1776 and contrasts them with the religious and social doctrine of present-day liberal-progressive-socialism. Part II describes the nature and origin of the virus of socialism and how it was transmitted to our society. Part III describes the battlefields of religion, education, and the law, in which the liberals are waging their jihad. And Part IV provides a summary and conclusion.
The events of September 11, 2001, were like a bolt out of the blue for most of us. We knew about Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, but we thought that it wasn’t part of our world. We were living in blissful, but dangerous ignorance of Western European history and didn’t know that today’s terrorism is just a continuation of the relentless warfare that Islam had waged for a thousand years against all of the Christian West. From the beginning of Islam in 622 AD until repulse of the last attack on Vienna in 1683, there was never a decade when Islam was not invading and conquering the Christian territories of the former Roman Empire. Knowing nothing about Islam’s militaristic convert-or-kill nature, we thought of Islam as just another religious view to be tolerated along with Judaism and the various Christian denominations. Destruction of Manhattan’s World Trade Towers and part of the Pentagon were a wake-up call.
In the same way, our ignorance about the history and traditions of the Western world leaves us unprepared to fight the liberal jihad effectively. The fury among liberal-progressive-socialists unleashed by the election of President George W. Bush and by our response to terrorism was a wake-up call for everybody who cares about preserving the Constitution and the American traditions upon which it is based. Current liberal venom is just a flare-up of the relentless struggle by secular religionists that began in the middle 1700s to obliterate personal moral responsibility and spiritual religion.
Many people still assume that the hostility erupting from liberal-progressive-socialists is just a matter of differences here and there that can be worked out by political compromise. Most of us, having been kept in ignorance by a liberal-dominated educational system, know nothing about the secular religious nature of socialism and its relentless drive to conquer and destroy all spiritual religions, political systems, and cultural values that stand in its way. If the United States is not to continue along the socialistic path of France, Germany, Russia, China, and Cuba, we have to get an understanding as quickly as possible about the broad and deep currents pushing liberal-progressive-socialism in the United States.
The book’s principal points are:
The United States was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic that historically was the substance of Western civilization. Ours was a specifically English conception of individual morality and individual responsibility that, only in England and its North American colonies, had produced a government of laws, not men, a government in which even the king is subject to the statutes of the land and to a higher moral law.
This conception of government necessitates a citizenry self-regulated by moral precepts that are preserved and taught by spiritual religion. The government must similarly be restrained by the limits of natural law, which say that no legitimate government may infringe any individual’s rights to life, liberty, and private property. Both religion and natural law, and their relation to human nature, are part of God’s creation.
No society can survive without a consensus about right and wrong, about what constitutes moral conduct. That consensus is the unwritten constitution of society, the content that gives meaning to a written constitution, the meat on the bones of the structure of government. Without that consensus there can be only disparate special-interest groups; such is the multi-cultural jumble into which the United States has blundered since the late 1960s.
Opposing our original conception of government is the liberal jihad, driven by the ideology of socialism, sometimes called The Religion of Humanity or secular humanism. This religion was formalized in the 1789 French Revolution, the same year that our Constitution was ratified.
Socialism is a secular religion. Like Islamic suicide bombers, liberals are so firmly persuaded that their cause is right, good, and just that they are prepared to go to any lengths necessary to destroy the Judeo-Christian ethic of individual morality and replace it with a rigidly regulated National-State collectivism, of which Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were extreme examples.
The religion of socialism is being taught unconstitutionally, at your expense, in public schools and colleges receiving Federal aid. Teaching the religious doctrine of socialism as “scientific fact” amounts to making liberal-progressive-socialism the unconstitutionally established religion of the United States.
The way, and it necessarily will be laborious, to stop the liberal jihad is to force schools to present both sides of the story, traditionalist, as well as liberal-progressive. Publicly funded schools now teach only the amoral, secular materialism of the socialist religion. Schools no longer present true versions of American history and of our original ideas of civic virtue and personal morality that are historically the substance of Western civilization. Penetrating the shield of socialist teachers’ unions and the politicians whom they help elect is a very long-term project, but a vital one.
The largest volume of immigration in the nation’s history, both legal and illegal, coupled with liberals’ relentless efforts to destroy America’s original traditions of individual morality, leaves us with no core values and a diminishing will to defend ourselves against foreign enemies.
What Jefferson said of his writing the Declaration of Independence can be said of The Liberal Jihad. It is not an effort to create a new theory or to say things never before expressed. It is simply an affirmation of the hard-won wisdom and experience of thousands of years. It is simply a recounting of history and ideas that were well understood in 1776, ideas that have been forgotten or deliberately erased from text books and teachers’ lesson plans by liberal-progressives who control our educational system.
The Liberal Jihad offers no magic cures for the ills of the world. It’s the liberals who believe in the superstitions and ignorance of socialism and are confident that they can make everything perfect, if we just put them in charge of our lives. Nobody will ever make the world or a political society perfect. The message of The Liberal Jihad, however, is that it is a worthy goal to work for a society in which each individual is taught community standards of decent and civilized conduct and in which each individual is expected to obey his own conscience and to strive always to do the right thing. A government of limited powers, giving maximum rein to individuality under a common ethic of morality, is a far better world than the despotism and moral relativism of the liberals’ social-engineered dream.
In the long run, education is the most effective weapon to defeat the liberal jihad. To use an out-worn expression, we are struggling for the hearts and minds of our own citizens, particularly the young students who are bombarded with socialistic propaganda from kindergarten through college.
We must do our best to get equal time for presentation of the historical traditions, Judeo-Christian moral principles, and constitutional individualism that motivated the colonists in 1776. We must abandon multi-cultural education and go back to the concept of the American educational system as a melting pot in which everybody became an American. If students are to make wise decisions as adults, they must have the opportunity to learn the original ideas that created the United States, not just a distorted picture of our history and the dogma of liberal-progressive-socialism. The Liberal Jihad is written with the idea that, given a full understanding, students will prefer the individualism and limited government intended by our Constitution. Given an understanding of the mythological, unscientific ignorance that is the basis of liberal-progressive-socialism, they will become as scornful of what they are now taught as liberals are of American traditions.
This is not a matter of restricting free speech or academic freedom, but of enforcing the First Amendment’s anti-establishment clause. It is a matter of thwarting the unwavering goal of the liberal jihad, which is overthrowing our Constitutional government and establishing socialism as the official religion of the collectivized National State.
Constitutional Principles • Political Theory • Tradition & Morality • (3) Comments
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Saturday, March 28, 2015
Liberal-progressivism and its subset environmentalism are both secular religions. They are, along with Lenin’s and Stalin’s Communism, Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazis), and Mussolini’s Fascism, merely denominations within the church of socialism.
With regard to environmentalism, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, 3/15/15:
From a speech by the late novelist Michael Crichton to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, 2003:
Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe. . . .
There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?
With regard to the overarching secular religion of liberal-progressivism. in March 2004 I wrote the following:
Socialism: Our Unconstitutionally Established National Religion
Federal education funding to teach socialism amounts to establishing the secular religion of socialism as the official national church.
The following letter was mailed to Supreme Court Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas:
Dear Mr. Chief Justice:
This letter is in regard to the Court’s recent decision in the Washington State religious scholarship case. The purpose is not to disagree specifically with the Court’s decision, but to question what constitutes a religion, the establishment of which is prohibited by the First Amendment.
It can be demonstrated that secular and materialistic socialism is a religion. That being the case, any use of Federal funds by public schools and universities for the teaching of socialistic doctrine constitutes a prohibited establishment of a specific religion.
That socialism is a religion:
Socialism’s codifier, Henri de Saint-Simon, himself called socialism a religion. His last major work was entitled The New Christianity. Saint-Simon said that the highest socialistic regulatory council should control education so that nothing but the catechism of social justice might be taught (e.g., Darwinian evolution, multiculturalism, Keynesian economics, deconstruction, legal realism, and critical studies).
Saint-Simon’s more famous colleague Auguste Comte went so far as to create The Religion of Humanity as part of his materialistic philosophy of Positivism.
Comte’s Religion of Humanity was approvingly cited by John Stuart Mill in his Chapters on Socialism, in which he mused that the educational system should be changed to indoctrinate the people with the principles of socialism.
The late Bertrand Russell, one of the world’s most prominent spokesmen for socialism, said of the World War I German socialist party, “For Social Democracy is not a mere political party, nor even a mere economic theory; it is a complete self-contained philosophy of the world and of human development; it is, in a word, a religion and an ethic. To judge the work of Marx, or the aims and beliefs of his followers, from a narrow economic standpoint, is to overlook the whole body and spirit of their greatness.” (from Lecture One, German Social Democracy).
Irving Howe was, as you know, a leading New York socialist intellectual after World War II, as well as the founding editor of Dissent magazine. In A Margin of Hope: An Intellectual Autobiography, he wrote, “Call it liberal, call it social democratic, a politics devoted to incremental reform even while still claiming a utopian vision, how can such a politics satisfy that part of our imagination still hungering for religious exaltation, still drawn to gestures of heroic violence, still open to the temptations of the apocalypse? Perhaps it was recognition of this fact that led the leadership of the European social democracy in the years just before the First World War to maintain some of the “revolutionary” symbols and language of early Marxism, though their parties had ceased to be revolutionary in any serious respect. Intuitively they grasped that the parties they led were not just political movements but, in some sense, branches of a “church” “
In A Yippie Manifesto, published in May 1969, Jerry Rubin wrote, “America and the West suffer from a great spiritual crisis. And so the yippies are a revolutionary religious movement.A religious-political movement is concerned with peoples souls, with the creation of a magic world which we make real.We offer: sex, drugs, rebellion, heroism, brotherhood. They offer: responsibility, fear, puritanism, repression.”
To round out the liberals’ own characterization of socialism as a religion, start by comparing the similarities in structure between socialism and Christianity. Each has a theory about human nature that prescribes conditions of daily life and holds forth a promise of future redemption for all of humanity, a vision of future perfection that becomes a controlling factor in the daily lives of Christians and socialists. Christians look to salvation and life after death. Liberal-socialists look to The Religion of Humanity’s promise of perfection of man and society, here on earth, by means of materialistic structures planned and administered by intellectuals.
For liberals, there being no God, the ultimate source of legitimacy and authority is the ever-changing ideas of social justice in the minds of intellectuals. Applying that view to our Constitution is the process of judicial activism.
Christianity, like it or not, was the sole unifying structure of Western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. For the Judeo-Christian tradition, Original Sin was humans over-reaching to become God-like by eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. The message was that humans are God’s creatures and must obey God’s Will. Neither Salvation, return to the Garden of Eden, nor eternal bliss, is possible within this world.
Socialism exhibits all the same elements: a Garden of Eden (the State of Nature), original sin, and a promise of salvation revealed in sacred texts delivered by revered prophets. For socialists, Original Sin was the invention of private property and the resulting scramble of individuals to amass property, which introduced greed, avarice, aggression, crime, and wars. But unlike Christianity, socialist salvation is attainable without divine intervention, through the political state, by future generations here on earth.
Socialist salvation, however, is not an individual matter. It applies to the collective masses, in which individuals have no political significance beyond their class identity. Be it noted that our nation was incontrovertibly founded on principles of individualism, not secular and materialistic collectivism.
To be considered true religions, doctrinal beliefs must achieve multi-national and cross-cultural acceptance. Socialism clearly qualifies, having spread from Western Europe to all parts of the world. It has been adopted by countries in the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East, including three of the most populous nations in the world: Russia, India, and China. Great religions commonly are associated with the lives and teachings of larger-than-life individuals such as Moses, Buddha, Jesus, or Mohammed. Socialism qualifies in that respect also. Henri de Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, and Charles Darwin delivered their revelations of materialistic Truth in the first sixty years of the 1800s.
Marx has become a mythical, god-like figure to billions of people around the world. American school children are taught that Darwin was the embodiment of science and truth, despite the fact that there exists not a single proof of his speculative theory (see Cal-Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson’s Darwin on Trial and Gertrude Himmelfarb’s Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution). Thomas Huxley and American socialists like John Dewey used Darwinian evolution theory as a battering ram against morality and spiritual religions, particularly Christianity.
John Adams said that the Constitution was made for a moral and religious people, self-constrained by individual morality; that it would work for no other. Darwin’s “bulldog,” Thomas Huxley, said that there is no such thing as sin, merely the struggle for survival. Dewey taught that there is no morality, because material conditions are the sole source of human nature, and those conditions change continually in Darwinian fashion. Their fellow socialists Hitler and Stalin found nothing to quibble about in those doctrines.
The prophets of the socialist religion proclaimed that human nature could be returned to its State-of-Nature benevolence by the abolition of private property. Political societies, indeed all of humanity, could be perfected here on earth by restructuring government to place it in the hands of intellectual planners. The state-planner, the minister of socialist religion, sees himself as a modern-day Moses uniquely qualified by his knowledge about the so-called Immutable Law of History to guide humanity to earthly perfection, back to the Original State of Nature.
That the secular and materialistic religion of liberalism (the American sect of the international religion of socialism) is antithetical to and wholly incompatible with the fundamental principles of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution; proselytizing with Federal funds for the religion of socialism is therefore unconstitutional:
The American War of Independence was based philosophically upon John Locke’s Second Treatise, which was founded entirely in natural law. The legitimization for both the ouster of James II and George III was that each had broken the natural-law compact that postulated inalienable, individual natural-law rights to life, liberty, and property. “No taxation without representation.”
Jefferson’s references in the Declaration to “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” are meaningless except in the context of natural law. Ditto with regard to the Bill of Rights.
Natural law, since Aristotle, has been identified with the teleological, intelligent-design paradigm of the cosmos. Aristotle’s natural law, via Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, opened the field of European medieval law to the concept of separation of church and state into political and spiritual realms. One dealt with making people good citizens, the other with making people good humans. Both were rooted in natural law, and natural law was God-given. This was the entire foundation of everything that we now call Western civilization.
Everyone from Franklin to Washington continually invoked the Deity’s blessings for the success of the American cause of independence, and later the Constitution. But American liberal-socialism demands that only the secular doctrine of socialism and Comte’s Positivism be taught in our schools. Because of support from our Federal courts, socialism has been established as the only scientific truth. The natural-law, spiritual-religion foundation of our nation has been dismissed as ignorance from a pre-scientific age. If that position holds, then the Declaration and the Constitution are meaningless drivel that “evolves” in Darwinian evolutionary fashion, subject only to random, chaotic materialistic forces.
As our first socialist Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, repeatedly wrote, there is no such thing as a higher law of morality, merely whatever a particular judge thinks that the law ought to be. As you know, Holmes opined that, if secular materialism changed public opinion to the belief that we should scrap the Constitution and institute Bolshevism, then neither the Court not the Constitution should stand in the way. That contempt for tradition and precedent, for the entirety of Western civilization, has, too often since the 1920s, informed Federal judicial practice, making the Constitution into a Rorschach ink-blot.
The materialistic and secular doctrine of socialism, pushed by the ACLU (e.g., the Scopes monkey trial), liberal-socialist politicians, and the teachers’ unions, in effect decapitates Western civilization. We see this daily in denigration of subject matter produced by “dead white men” and John Dewey’s maxim that “dead” history has no place in the Progressive Education curriculum. William F. Buckley, Jr., documented it in his 1951 God and Man at Yale, and Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate have updated it in The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on Americas Campuses.
Saint-Simon and John Dewey were correct in perceiving that control of education is the most effective way to destroy the essence of Western civilization and replace it with the secular and materialistic religion of socialism. We may hope that education will be rebalanced to require fair presentation of the doctrinal foundations of our Constitution, as well as the dogma of liberal-socialism.
May we hope that the Federal judiciary will abandon its suicide pact with the liberal-socialists?
Thomas E. Brewton
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015
The Information-Closed Universe of Liberal-Progressivism
Worshippers of the secular, materialistic religion of liberal-progressivism, particularly since Darwin’s 1859 Origin of Species, accept as an unquestioned article of faith that there is a one-on-one relationship between edicts of the political state and results of such political action. If liberal-progressives conceive it, it is an accomplished fact.
Liberal-progressives have been energized by their doctrinaire certainty that God, through His externally imposed intelligent design, is no more than ignorant superstition. Their corollary faith is that all of life on earth is the product of random collisions of material force. This leads liberal-progressives to assert that, their superior intelligence having discerned this supposed reality, they are enabled by their superior knowledge to conquer nature and to structure political society in ways that guarantee perfection of humanity.
This faith in secular, materialistic religion, however, blinds them to the fact that matters seldom work as they predict.
We have seen this in spades during the past eight years in the Federal Reserve’s dogged adherence to Keynesian economics, the product of an economic theory that posits the political state as the primary, if not sole, source of the nation’s economic wellbeing. Ditto with regard to the entirety of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society entitlements programs and the president’s ObamaCare.
As countless commentators have noted, liberal-progressivism excludes the possibility that individuals may know, better then the political state, what is best for them. Also banished from public square discussion is the age-old truth that the spiritual realm, most evident in the West’s Judeo-Christian heritage, is ultimately more powerful than the political state’s secular and materialistic religion.
Read Seth Mandel’s There Is No Such Thing as a Secular Politics, posted on the Commentary website.
Junk Science • Political Theory • Tradition & Morality • (4) Comments
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Friday, February 20, 2015
Restoring The Unwritten Constitution
Liberal-progressivism, exemplified in President Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, is aimed at destroying the essence of constitutionalism that gave birth to the United States.
Intellectuals since the so-called Age of Enlightenment have theorized that political societies are merely projections of ruler’s minds and that a ruler, or ruling intellectual elite, can make of a society whatever it wishes. Liberal-progressives’ atheistic materialism leads to their faith that whatever exists is the product of rational minds and, therefore, rational minds can change things at will in order to perfect them.
In the materialistic world view dominating society today, no weight is given to the essentiality of spiritual matters expressed in religion and societal cultures, from the tribal level to national states. Liberal-progressivism emanating from the corrupting continental European so-called Aage of Enlightenment propounds the faith that reality is only what is perceptible by human sensory organs. From this flows the hubristic assurance that intellectuals, having transcended the ignorance and superstition of the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western civilization, have conquered nature and are able to shape it to their vision of societal perfection.
Lenin envisioned the brutal force of collectivized tyranny as creating the New Soviet Man, a creature who would selflessly give his all for society, asking in return only what he needed to live in a classless society. Today we see the same hubristic certainty expressed in liberal-progressive collectivism evidenced in regulatory homogenization ranging from President Johnson’s Great Society to ObamaCare and President Obama’s regulatory assault on production and use of coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Resistance from half or more of voters persists, because liberal-progressivism ignores the essentiality and power of spiritual religion as a primary source of morality, respect for constitutional authority, duty to family, community, and national patriotism.
No weight is given to historical precedent. There is no sense that political order is the product of centuries of accumulated adjustments and understandings among people who constitute the society. There is no sense that societies do not survive without a set of core beliefs and principles to which almost everyone subscribes.
Nations don’t survive because government welfare programs provide them material goods. Nations survive because people share a common vision and are willing to work hard and, if necessary, to fight for that vision.
The statement of purpose for this website puts it this way:
The View from 1776 presents a framework to understand present-day issues from the viewpoint of the colonists who fought for American independence in 1776 and wrote the Constitution in 1787. Knowing and preserving those understandings, what might be called the unwritten constitution of our nation, is vital to preserving constitutional government. Without them, the bare words of the Constitution are just a Rorschach ink-blot that politicians, educators, and judges can interpret to mean anything they wish.
In the United States, immigration abetted by multiculturalism is corrupting society’s unwritten constitution, which is the positive embodiment of the spirit that animates a society and gives it a driving force of unity in belief and national aims.
No society can survive without a consensus about right and wrong, about what constitutes moral conduct. That consensus is the unwritten constitution of society, the content that gives meaning to a written constitution, the meat on the bones of the structure of government.
Without that consensus there can be only a disparate group of people with little or no attachment to their new homes. That is what we see increasingly, here , under the impact of a tsunami of immigration from alien cultures and religions.
It’s not immigrants who are undermining the unwritten constitution, however. The source of corruption is liberal-progressive beliefs, endlessly preached in our multicultural educational system and the mainstream media, that the United States is, and has always been, a corrupt, oppressive society conceived by the rich to plunder the American public and the rest of the world.
Accommodating immigration is both a major means of survival for the United States and a device for liberal-progressives to recruit new voters (including illegals) for the Democrat/Socialist Party. Immigrants have become a major source of new business and employment creation and the source of the higher birth rate needed to keep the United States from becoming a replica of western Europe: an aging society of dwindling numbers of young workers to support the burden of rising welfare-state obligations.
Combining the huge flood of immigration with a liberal-progressive ethos of rootless multiculturalism sets the stage for disintegration of American society more effectively than terrorist attacks by Islamic jihadists. No longer is education viewed as a melting pot to teach our history and the principles of our government.
Without the pre-existing unwritten constitution of 1776, which Jefferson said was the source of his words in the Declaration of Independence, our written Constitution has become vulnerable to destructive distortion by activist judges and liberal-progressive educators.
Judeo-Christian traditions of right and wrong underlie the unwritten constitution that prevailed in 1776. Those traditions taught generations of Americans that every person should always do his best to do the right thing, even if doing so did not benefit him personally. A flood of judicial decisions since the 1950s reveals, however, that doing away with precepts of right and wrong is one of the primary objectives of liberal-socialism.
The “me” generation of the Baby Boomer era were taught that the only standard is immediate gratification of their sensual urges. Hence today’s generally accepted belief that sexual promiscuity, murdering babies via abortion, drug abuse, biological fathers abandoning partners and the children they father, and living off the welfare state are acceptable life styles.
Myron Magnet expands upon this theme in What Must We Think About When We Think About Politics? appearing in the City Journal website.
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Sunday, December 21, 2014
Caring Liberal-Progressivism And Anti-Semitism
Ben Stein outlines the growing, irrational racism of liberal-progressivism, in the United States. That racism, anti-semitism and anti-Israelism, is even more virulent in Europe.
In part liberal-progressivism’s racism is resurgence of scape-goating, blaming one’s failures and miseries on a convenient group of “others.”
Liberal-progressivism’s across-the-board failure is manifest in the miseries of high unemployment rates here and in Europe; in high rates of violent crime; in never-before-experienced high rates of illegitimate births and single-parent families; in the murder of millions of unborn babies; in current generations of students far less well educated than earlier generations. Meanwhile the birth rate in the United States (except among immigrant groups) and in Europe has been falling and is now below the rate necessary to keep populations from shrinking in total. Given the unsupportable costs of welfare-state hand-outs, we and Europe are approaching a point at which the dwindling numbers of those working to produce economic goods will be outnumbered and overwhelmed by the non-working beneficiaries of welfare programs.
This dismal record since the 1960s is the direct result of liberal-progressivism’s hell-bent campaign since the French Revolution to destroy all of the religious morality and social customs that are essential to creating and maintaining social and political order.
Media & Opinion • Thought Police & PC • Tradition & Morality • (0) Comments
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Tuesday, December 02, 2014
What’s The Real Deal In Ferguson?
We are confronted with a fundamental Constitutional issue: protecting the rights of individuals against mindless mobs in the streets.
Only liberal-progressives could feel justified in mobilizing a media campaign to incite further rioting, believing that “caring” in the abstract for “victims of oppression” trumps maintenance of law and order for the benefit of all citizens, black and white.
Only liberal-progressives could ignore the rights of innocent residents whose property was vandalized in Ferguson and elsewhere; after all, in socialist ideology, capitalism and property ownership are evils that must be controlled or eliminated by collectivized government in the name of social justice.
Only liberal-progressives could attribute to racism the anger of the majority of Americans when they see gangs of people in the nighttime streets looting and burning businesses of people who had nothing whatever to do with the Ferguson incident.
Only liberal-progressives could dismiss legitimate grievances of citizens alarmed by rampant crime among young black males and the readiness of their elders to blame the white community for conduct that raises fear for the survival of our political society.
Only liberal-progressives could sneeringly dismiss people with those concerns as racists who “cling to their Bibles and guns.”
In Class Prejudice Resurgent (New York Times, December 1, 2014), columnist David Brooks correctly observes that the Ferguson fulminations are different from civil rights issues. He doesn’t, however, note that more fundamentally Ferguson represents refusal of liberal-progressives and their black political supporters to accept responsibility for their own actions. Liberal-progressive hippies and flower children were fond of spiritual concepts such as karma, but failed to understand its substance: you reap what you sow.
Responding to one of liberal-progressives’ gauzy platitudes, Mr. Brooks writes:
It’s often said after events like Ferguson that we need a national conversation on race. That’s a bit true. We all need to improve our capacity for sympathetic understanding, our capacity to imaginatively place ourselves in the minds of other people with experiences different from our own. Conversation can help, though I suspect novels, works of art and books like Claude Brown’s “Manchild in the Promised Land” work better.
But, ultimately, we don’t need a common conversation; we need a common project. If the nation works together to improve social mobility for the poor of all races, through projects like President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, then social distance will decline, classism will decline and racial prejudice will obliquely decline as well.
In a friendship, people don’t sit around talking about their friendship. They do things together. Through common endeavor people overcome difference to become friends.
Mr. Brooks’s “common endeavor” is a pipe dream.
As I noted in Ferguson Again, the root cause is President Lyndon Johnson’s 1960s Great Society welfare state, which destroyed the cohesion of so many black families and spawned large numbers of black young men raised in single-parent, welfare-addicted households. Liberal icon Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan predicted at the time that the result was going to be black neighborhoods terrorized by remorseless, conscienceless young black men. One of those was Ferguson’s Michael Brown.
Constitutional Principles • Media & Opinion • Thought Police & PC • Tradition & Morality • Welfare-State Socialism • (5) Comments
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Friday, November 21, 2014
Traditional Virtues Perish Under Onslaught Of Deficit Spending And Federal Reserve Loose Money
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Thursday, November 13, 2014
Like sausage, few people knew everything that was packed into it.
Nancy Pelosi notoriously said that Congress had to pass enabling legislation in order to find out what was in the bill. At the time Pelosi and Harry Reid jammed the bill through Congress no one had read all of its 1,200, plus or minus, pages.
The administration’s current plaint that limiting subsidies to citizens of states that enacted their own ObamaCare insurance exchanges was a “typo” is obviously contradicted by the plain and extensive language of the act itself. If the Supreme Court rules that the law is the law and that a president may not unilaterally change or ignore laws passed by Congress, Obama will have been hoist by his own petard.
As James Taranto wrote, in his November 13, 2014 column in the Wall Street Journal:
This is beginning to take on a man-bites-dog quality. More video has surfaced in which ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber acknowledges the dishonesty that underlies the law. The Washington Examiner reports this one—a 2012 talk at the University of Rhode Island—has to do with the so-called luxury tax on employer-provided medical coverage:
“In America, we have a pernicious feature of our tax code, which says that if MIT pays me in wages, I get taxed,” Gruber, an MIT health economist, said during his address. “But if your employer pays you in health insurance, you do not.”
Gruber explained that most Americans become defensive and object when policymakers try to change this, because they don’t want their health insurance to be taxed. But it wasn’t until Secretary of State John Kerry, another Massachusetts “hero,” came along that he realized how to sell such a plan successfully.
“John Kerry said, ‘No, no. We’re not going to tax your health insurance. We’re going to tax those evil insurance companies. We’re going to impose a tax that if they sell insurance that’s too expensive, we’re going to tax them,’” Gruber said. “And, conveniently, the tax rate will happen to be the marginal tax rate under the income tax code.”
“So, basically, it’s the same thing: We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing,” he added. “It’s a very clever, you know, basically exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
And CNN’s Jake Tapper reports on a fourth video, albeit one in which his “language is not as stark”:
“Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay?” Gruber said in his remarks at the College of the Holy Cross on March 11, 2010. “He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured. . . . What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it’s going to lower the cost of health care, that’s all they talk about. Why? Because that’s what people want to hear about because a majority of American care about health care costs.”
You can tell this stuff is worrying ObamaCare supporters, because they’re anxiously trying to rationalize it away. The New York Times’s Neil Irwin, referring to one of the Gruber videos revealed earlier, writes:
It looks like a shocking instance of a onetime Obama adviser saying that the administration pulled the wool over America’s eyes in advancing major legislation. That is certainly how many conservatives are interpreting it after a video of the remarks started circulating this week.
But here’s the dirty little secret: Mr. Gruber was exposing something sordid yet completely commonplace about how Congress makes policy of all types: Legislators frequently game policy to fit the sometimes arbitrary conventions by which the Congressional Budget Office evaluates laws and the public debates them.
What doesn’t seem to occur to Irwin is that if this is commonplace, that makes Gruber’s candid acknowledgment of what he and other ObamaCare designers were up to all the more shocking.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake has a post titled “Why Jonathan Gruber Won’t Change the Obamacare Debate.” His main argument is true, but somewhat trivial: Gruber cannot turn the public against ObamaCare because the public is already against ObamaCare. But why can’t the opposition become broader, or more intense? Here’s Blake’s answer:
And Gruber’s comments, while damning, aren’t exactly the most fertile political territory. That’s because, while “stupidity of the American voter” is a pretty strong soundbite, Gruber’s connection to the law takes some explaining. And we’re not sure most people—apart from those who already decided the efficacy of the law years ago—are really keen on the latest Obamacare debate a week after the 2014 election.
In other words, the American people are too stupid to figure out who the guy calling them stupid is. But the Hill reports that one of the guy’s chief co-conspirators is pleading ignorance:
The ObamaCare consultant churning headlines this week for questioning voters’ intelligence is a stranger to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader from California said Thursday.
“I don’t know who he is,” Pelosi said of Jonathan Gruber. “He didn’t help write our bill.”
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Friday, October 31, 2014
Liberal-progressives deny the existence of moral principles, but don’t hesitate to employ moral rhetoric to cudgel those who disagree with them.
Assessing a column by New York Times writer David Brooks, Peter Wehner asks, “Should I think less of the character of the coach of my son’s soccer team, or my daughter’s piano teacher, or the couple in my Bible Study, or the person who volunteers at a homeless shelter because of their views on climate change or the Affordable Care Act? On whether or not they want to raise or lower corporate tax rates? On whether they think illegal immigrants should be given a path to citizenship?
Mr. Wehner continues, “The answer for some people is yes. Jonathan Chait of New York magazine argues that those who hold political views contrary to his “live in a different moral universe” than he does and he therefore believes “their political views reflect something unflattering about their character.” This attitude shapes how he and others like him approach political debate.”
What is particularly odd about the liberal-progressive stance, to the extent that Jonathan Chait exemplifies it, is that a fundamental principle of liberal-progressivism is the denial of moral principles.
Since the advent of Darwinian evolutionary theory, its champions have attacked the Judeo-Christian faith that there are unchanging moral principles flowing from human nature endowed by our Creator God. For “scientific” liberal-progressive-socialists since the days of Karl Marx, religious morality has been regarded as no more than a hoax created by the ruling class to oppress the masses. Darwin’s fiercest contemporary supporter, Thomas Huxley, asserted flatly that there is no such thing as sin, no such thing as morality; there is, he said, only the struggle for survival. In that view, if liberal-progressives have the political power, there is nothing to forestall their forcible imposition of the materialistic religion of socialism upon the entire nation.
This paradigm remains robustly alive among liberal-progressives. Obama’s defiant assertion that what the Constitution ordains is not to be regarded as an impediment to unilateral executive action is but the most grating reminder at present. The Democrat-Socialist Party’s brute-force imposition of Obamacare, in the face of roughly 60% opposition by voters, is another. Nancy Pelosi was notoriously astonished that anyone could even raise a question about the Constitution’s standing in the way of Obamacare.
Underlying today’s “get used to it” attitude is the earlier theory of legal realism (today’s critical legal theory), popularized by liberal-progressive icon Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., our first socialistic Supreme Court Justice. Holmes proclaimed that the law should be whatever the majority of voters wanted it to be. Politics in his view was just raw power. He wrote that, if a majority of voters wanted to swap our constitutional political structure for a Bolshevik government, the Constitution should not stand in the way. Ironically, Holmes is depicted by liberal-progressive writers as a defender of the Bill of Rights. But, were his real views to prevail, our society would degenerate into a mobocracy in which unrestrained enthusiasms of the moment, driven by media propaganda, would sweep away all the protections of individual rights intended by the Bill of Rights.
It’s time for today’s degraded educational system to teach again that the Constitution was written expressly to curb tyranny of the majority, mob actions vitiating rights of individuals, however, unpopular, and that the Constitution was structured to prevent the grasping of tyrannical power by any branch of government.
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Monday, September 22, 2014
The Scottish Renaissance In America
Scottish scholars were the most influential single group of teachers during the founding of the United States. Today none of these great educators could find employment at major universities, because of their non-politically-correct understanding of reality.
Educating the Founders
By Robert Curry
“At age sixteen Jefferson and Madison and Hamilton were all being schooled by Scots who had come to America as adults.”
Garry Wills, Inventing America
This remarkable fact was no mere coincidence. Scholars from Scotland were held in the highest esteem in colonial America because of the preeminence of Scottish thinkers and Scottish universities at that time. The Scottish Enlightenment (it lasted from about 1730 until about 1790) was an explosion of creative intellectual energy in science, philosophy, economics, and technological innovation. It arrived just in time to have a decisive influence on the Founders.
Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton are the architects of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and The Federalist Papers. If we want to understand their thinking and their writings, we need to start with the fact that the Scottish Enlightenment provided their teachers.
Jefferson’s tutor, William Douglas, had studied at Glasgow and Edinburgh, but the great intellectual influence on Jefferson was William Small. Small was a powerful representative of the Scottish Enlightenment, and he was by far the most brilliant member of the faculty at William and Mary. He came to America to teach only from 1758 to 1764—at precisely the right time to guide Jefferson’s studies there. Small left America when he did in response to an urgent request from James Watt. Watt wanted his help with the development of the steam engine.
Madison’s tutor, Donald Robertson, was also a product of the Scottish Enlightenment at its peak, but the great intellectual influence on Madison was John Witherspoon, also a Scot. Witherspoon’s own education can help us see just how close the Founders were to the Scottish Enlightenment. Before coming to America, he studied with Adam Smith and Thomas Reid. When Madison entered Princeton in 1769, under the leadership of Witherspoon it had become the American university where the great thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment—Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Reid, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and David Hume—were studied most intensely.
Hamilton had set out from the island of St. Croix to enroll at Princeton in 1772. He was sent by two sponsors, men who had recognized his astonishing gifts, his employer and Hugh Knox, a Scot and a Presbyterian minister who was a Princeton graduate. When Witherspoon did not accept Hamilton’s typically bold proposal that he be allowed to blaze through his studies at a rate only determined by his intellectual powers, Hamilton made the same proposal at King’s College (today’s Columbia) and was accepted. His tutor there, Robert Harpur, was also a product of the Scottish Enlightenment, having studied at Glasgow before coming to America.
The ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment were studied and hotly debated just about everywhere in colonial America. In the words of the eminent scholar Douglass Adair, “At Princeton, at William and Mary, at Pennsylvania, at Yale, at King’s, and at Harvard, the young men who rode off to war in 1776 had been trained in the texts of Scottish social science.” James Foster’s admirable book Scottish Philosophy in America states it this way:
The Scottish Enlightenment provided the fledgling United States of America and its emerging universities with a philosophical orientation. For a hundred years or more, Scottish philosophers were both taught and emulated by professors at Princeton, Harvard and Yale, as well as newly founded colleges stretching from Rhode Island to Texas.”
It is well known that the Founders were on the whole remarkable for their learning. It is fair to say that by modern standards they were as a group almost unimaginably learned. They knew their Aristotle, they knew their Cicero, and they knew the Bible—and often read the texts in the original languages; Jefferson and Adams read Greek, Latin and Hebrew. What is not so well known is how much the Scots contributed to the Founders’ thinking. Those who overlook the Scots’ contributions to the American Founding end up overlooking the American Idea itself.
Witherspoon is no doubt the most important example of the influence of Scottish educators. In the words of Jeffry Morrison in his excellent biography of Witherspoon:
“No other founder (not even James Wilson) did more to channel the Scottish philosophy into the colonies and thus into American political thought.”
In addition to Madison, Witherspoon’s students by one count included twenty-one U.S. senators, twenty-nine members of the House, twelve governors, three Supreme Court Justices, and five delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Is it any wonder that the ideas and arguments of Reid and Smith and their Scottish colleagues are everywhere in the writings of the Founders?
Witherspoon’s course in moral philosophy, which he dictated year after year in largely unchanging form and which his students copied down faithfully, is almost certainly the most influential single college course in America’s history.
Beyond his enormous influence as an educator, Witherspoon was also one of the most important of the Founders. He was an early and influential champion of American independence, and much more than merely a signer of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, he played a central role in the signing.
When the Declaration was completed and ready to be signed, the signers-to-be wavered. For two days they hesitated to affix their signatures. To sign it, after all, was to provide the British with documentary evidence of treason, punishable by death. John Witherspoon rose to the occasion, speaking in his famously thick Scottish accent:
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, a nick of time. We perceive it now before us. To hesitate is to content to our own slavery. That noble instrument upon your table, which ensures immortality to its author, should be subscribed this very morning by every pen in this house. He that will not respond to its accents and strain every nerve to carry into effect its provisions is unworthy the name freeman.”
His speech broke the logjam and, as we all know, the delegates then swiftly signed the Declaration.
Robert Curry is the author of the forthcoming book, Common Sense Nation. You can visit him at https://www.facebook.com/CommonSenseNationBook