By "cloud dancing" we refer to a penchant of the modern reformer to embrace fantasy rather than experience as a guide to solving social problems--to those whom Kipling described as "cloud" or "wind-borne"; those who seek to force personal wish lists on other people--those who work themselves up into absolute frenzy, like participants in some pagan dance, in pursuit of such wish lists, in a frantic quest to "change" long established human institutions.
Whether one interprets the story of Adam & Eve, in Genesis, literally or allegorically, no rational theologian would argue the role of the Serpent to be either idealistic or constructive. Playing upon woman's insecurity to induce a sense of denied entitlement, even in Paradise, is best described as despicable, whether the manipulator of imaginary grievance be satanic or merely a Marxist influenced pseudo-intellectual poseur, or "Mipip." And yet in America in this last year of the first decade of a new Millennium, "Mipips" in Government, Academia & the Communications Media, have convinced many millions, that to spread discontent over imaginary grievances, is somehow noble, constructive & idealistic! In this they have wrought mischief beyond the dreams of any Satanist in the previous history of Man.
The implied premise behind almost every politically driven social or economic innovation over the past two generations, has been that those, who find themselves in a social or material position below the average level of the more affluent members of a social order, have a grievance; that there is some mystical right to expect equality, or near equality in social & material achievement. We have demonstrated the absurdity of such premise, over and over again. Yet the "Merry" dance of its adherents, in centers of political power, continues unabated. It is a dance in the clouds of ungrounded thinking, of intellectual confusion; a celebration of every base emotion at the expense of anything resembling true analysis, or of any arguably noble pursuit in the human past. The participants pose as enlightened advocates of "progress"; but the dance venue is filled to capacity with scoundrels, neurotics & dolts. Let us define our terms:
Scoundrels: Those who seek power or influence by catering to the worst instincts of others; who preach envy, rather than emulation; demand social or economic results, rather than work towards a goal; blame those who succeed for those who fail. They may be political office seekers, or leaders of organizations that seek to intimidate political office seekers. They often deliberately mislead, diverting human effort away from what has proven to work in the direction of what has proven to fail--in short, to what must lead to ever greater dependence on what the power seeking scoundrel is able to achieve & institutionalize.
Neurotics: Those who, despite all evidence & regardless of their own experience, are compulsion driven to seek Equality, to demand uniformity of the human condition. These provide the "true believers" for all the great totalitarian movements; the frenetic pursuit of Egalitarian policies; the fanatic adherence to programs & theories born in cloud-borne fantasy; those who verbally rationalize substituting fancied blame for honest effort; envy or resentment, for emulation!
Dolts: These are neither power seekers, nor compulsive pursuers of human uniformity; yet are either too stupid to realize the absurdity of the pursuits of scoundrels & neurotics, or too intimidated by their fervor, to ever question the ideological mantra. They provide a singing chorus for the "dance."
The contemporary achievement, in spreading mischief, exceeds that of previous generations, if only because modern communications are so vastly more efficient than those in past eras. But the dance is hardly a new one. In Paris, in the French Revolution and ideological ferment immediately preceding, the scoundrels & neurotics (Jacobins) had no problem recruiting a vast chorus of dolts, marching together in quest of Egalitarian make believe--a mighty turn out of the cloud & wind borne, waving banners and singing adrenalin raising songs. They first succeeded in executing many wealthy objects of their displeasure. Yet, since the pursuit was for Equality, and there is no Equality in Nature; the scoundrels & neurotics soon turned on one another; and many of their leaders followed the objects of an original displeasure, born in envy, to the guillotine.
Again, in Russia in 1917, Bolshevik scoundrels & neurotics, numbering scarcely 10,000, 22 months earlier, but now swollen to 40,000, easily recruited a great chorus of dolts, to seize what had been the Russian Empire, less Finland & the Baltic States (which, for a time, escaped). They managed to kill or drive away many of their initial targets from the great land owning families; yet soon began to vent a frustrated Egalitarian frenzy, in successive purges among their own. In the the midst of such, Stalin killed seven to ten million former Peasants, whose offense was in not wishing to be collectivized in an insane effort to apply Egalitarian folly to local agriculture. (The result of that aspect of the Russian cloud dance was that when Stalin, perhaps the greatest scoundrel of the era, finally died in 1953, Russian farm production lagged where it had been in 1913. Killing off your better farmers is not a wise move, if you hope to eat well.)
In the late 1920s & early '30s, a collection of German scoundrels & neurotics rallied to the National Socialist banner, where they found better organization, better orators, more moving music & better uniforms, than those offered by the scoundrels & neurotics contesting the streets under the Communist banner. Once the Nazi scoundrels & neurotics gained the upper hand over their Bolshevik rivals for a chance to lead a Leftist takeover, they also had no difficulty recruiting vast numbers of dolts, often directly from the ranks of the less efficient, though ideologically similar, Communist chorus. The Nazi experience, like the cloud dances of the Jacobins & Bolsheviks, quickly involved not only efforts to drive off objects of an original displeasure but, soon enough, bloody purges, finally leading to the initiation of world war, with vast civilian massacres, rivaling--if not quite matching--the Bolshevik achievement in killing innocents.
To fully grasp the absurdity of anyone with honorable purpose participating in what we have described as cloud dancing, one must understand what actually works, in the dynamic interaction that creates a social economy, as opposed to what "Mipips" & other cloud dancers hope just might. Here we must look to history, as well as pure reason; experience, rather than wishful thinking. In this, we will find many examples, both of what works and what does not, both in the British & American experience.
In Chapter 1 of the Conservative Debate Handbook, we quote Jefferson's exposition on how "Welfare" worked in Virginia and most other States in 1782, seven years before the creation of our present Federal Union. The system was far more successful than anything America has seen since the "New Deal" launched the current entitlement mentality. Jefferson stated, in the quoted passage, that one could go from Portsmouth (New Hampshire) to Savannah (Georgia), and never see a native American begging. (No one in any major American city, today, can make that statement!)
Welfare, then, was entrusted to local Church vestrymen, able to make moral assessments as to the genuineness of claims; able to weed out malingers or would be parasites, to focus aid where it was actually needed. In the process, grasping politicians had no role. Later, with a switch from State Churches, programs to deal with real need continued to be administered locally, without mandates from neurotic theorists or far off scoundrels, seeking dependency for votes. Only one dancing in the clouds of self-inflicted fantasy would suggest that today is anything but disaster in comparison.
Booker T. Washington, wise, self-taught, Negro educator, urged his people to solve problems, much as had every other recognizable group, ever to progress: Via personal responsibility & self-improvement; by emulating, not resenting, what others had accomplished; by promoting good will & celebrating positive aspects of a shared history, rather than by confrontation & hostility between the races. His program was achieving positive results, when four White Socialists and a Marxist influenced Mulatto launched the NAACP--and what was to become the "Civil Rights Movement"--in 1909.
Washington did every thing he could to warn the Negro against following that ill advised initiative, prior to an unfortunate death in 1915. In his classic speech to the Atlanta Exposition (1895), he appealed to a Southern White business community to recall the fidelity of the Southern Negro to Southern culture; capturing in one simple, yet profound, metaphor, the very essence of what had made our Federal Union possible in 1789; although many who heard it saw it only as a prescription for future harmony:
In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress. (The "Mipips," scoundrels & neurotics dancing in the clouds of wishes, blame & self-destructive envy, generally denounced it.)
Washington offered proven solutions for real problems--proven on the anvil of experience. How had very different classes of settlers, the landed gentry of the South, heirs of Puritan merchants & artisans in New England, Catholics of Maryland & Huguenots of the Carolinas, etc.--in short, people who, a few generations back, had been killing each other in Europe--come together to forge a Federal Union? Was it not precisely by that very formula that Booker T. Washington had proposed, and the cloud dancing "Mipips" of the "Civil Rights Movement" rejected? Had not that spirit of mutual respect, a willing acceptance both of what was common and what was not, contributed mightily to the social progress of the settler stocks who had originally embraced it?
The free market, dependent upon individual decision making, individual initiative, individual responsibility--individual freedom--out performs any planned economy, because it puts the entire wisdom, energy & desires of a population--or, at least, all who have anything worthwhile to contribute--to work. Of course, the same principle applies to all other facets of a civil society. Enrolling millions of people into a Government run health program can only undermine the sense of personal responsibility--individual effort, individual decision making, individual accountability--with respect to health care. It offers immediate inducement, not to hold costs down, but to take unearned advantage. That ability, indeed, is its real political appeal to entitlement seeking voters. It is certainly no prescription for holding down the total costs of health care. Having people expect to pay for what they receive, is a far better approach; a better motivator to frugal human conduct, than allowing the least provident, freedom to abuse benefits mandated by a remote bureaucracy.
This is obvious; yet consider the rhetoric of the Administration over "Health Care." Consider the frenzy of pursuit; a willingness to employ the most outrageously immoral tactics--intimidation, blackmail, even bribery;--packaging a radical new policy in a single bill, much too complex for anyone to ever debate as a whole. One may opine that Obama "means business"; yet what we actually witness is a "Mipip" cloud dance to rival those of the Jacobins, Bolsheviks & Nazis, of other eras. Piling over 100 new agencies into a bureaucracy that already burdens the provision of medical services in America--that has already more than doubled the previous percentages of American earnings that go for "Health Care"--is no way to control cost! It is better directed towards installation of a Totalitarian regime; more clearly directed to control a population, than to offer it better service. All human experience challenges the preposterous claim of the sponsors. No legitimate pursuit in the human experience has ever benefitted by expanding a bureaucracy, able to interfere with that pursuit.
The takeover of "Health Care" is not about better medicine, better health. It is about stealing from the provident, the benefits of their labor, ingenuity & achievement; the fruits of multi-generational purpose. It is part & parcel of a "Mipip" assault on the right to rise above the crowd, to be unique; in brief, what we have always considered the very essence of being an American. It reflects the same compulsion for uniformity, for forced equality, that drove all the great tyrannies of the Left. Or how else can anyone even rationalize the Obamanist proposal to tax the contract benefits of those who have provided themselves with good health care, out of their own resources; to tax the prudent & successful, to convey unearned benefits on those dependent upon expanding Government?
The same mischief, same dancers building a Federal bureaucracy to take over educational decision making from parents & local schools authorities in the name of "Equality," have sacrificed legitimate educational concerns across America. Here the chorus is "No Child Left Behind"; yet every reader, who ever attended school with other children, must remember that he never sat in a class where any two children--save perhaps identical twins--ever had the same aptitudes. In school, what worked best for a child having problems with any subject, was individual attention, recognizing what was unique in that child, never a bureaucrat's check list. Alice fell down the Rabbit Hole into "Wonderland"; but it was never more fanciful or ridiculous than what passes for educational regulation in contemporary America, where rational decision making is stultified by layers of interacting bureaucracy, all embracing the disproven myths of egalitarian fanatics.
Great Britain, of course, preceded us in the malady of cloud dancing. England, Scotland & Wales, Nations once known for intense pride in being themselves, now huddle in multi-culturalism--the result of a "Mipip" directed immigration policy--where the progeny of a once free Briton may be jailed for even criticizing someone of alien ethnicity. Nations, which once transported thieves, now jail farmers who shoot burglars! Thus the Folk, who launched modern Capitalism--the industrial revolution--now wallow in a fantasy existence, dictated by a self-imposed folly, derived from Jacobin & Marxist theories that, in a happier era, were understood as totally absurd.
In 1919, the British poet Rudyard Kipling described those theories as being "cloud" & "wind-borne," in a poem that provides our theme at this Web Site. Americans should have heeded his words, and never let the cloud dancers prevail here.
At every turn, we see a neurotic compulsion, employed in the name of "Equality," to increase dependence on central Government--to create a mass dependence that is, and will continue, a basis for the power of scoundrels to deliberately appropriate the achievements of the productive & frugal (efforts of a once free people to provide for their needs & posterity, down through the generations)--to fund an endless pursuit of ever more egregious folly. Coupled with a calculated catering to an incongruous immigration, rapidly changing the demographics of America, the new "Health Care" initiative could be a final nail in the coffin of the very concept of a free society. Much of the electorate will be simply too dependent upon Government, to ever seek to restore the ethos that made us free & provided the foundation for prosperity. Under pretense of a public interest in forcing changes in individual behavior, in ways thought necessary to reduce medical costs, "Mipips" (scoundrels, neurotics & a cloud dancing chorus of dolts) may destroy the last vestiges of personal freedom, confiscating what remain of private reserves of earned wealth, to pay for our subjugation by a vast bureaucracy--job holders, themselves hopelessly dependent upon a continuation of the process.
[Continued in May.]