Of all the differences between Conservative/Libertarian thinking and that of Leftist Egalitarian Collectivists, surely the philosophically most significant is this: In Conservative or Libertarian society, social theory grows out of the experiences of a people; experience precedes ideology. In Leftist Collectivist society, theory (ideology) precedes experience. Last month, we identified the "Mipip" (Marxist influenced pseudo-intellectual poseur) as the chief moving force in the promotion of modern Collectivist over-dependence on Government. We closed by describing a tactic by which the Mipip diverts attention from any challenge to the underlying premises of his policies & programs--particularly where questions of class, race, ethnicity, community, sex or Faith are involved: "Gaming The Question."
When the Mipip has no answer to a point, where human experience is invoked to question unproven premises of his social theory, he " 'games' the question." In June we offered an example: The accusation of a "fear" of poor people, when a Public Housing advocate could not rationally support premises to justify an arbitrary & expensive placement of public housing in an affluent neighborhood. Here we look more closely at the technique--one well loved by the Leftist demagogue, 'educator,' journalist & quack.
Gaming the question, is not limited to any one political party, or to those whom we have labeled "Mipips." A most blatant example involved a Republican President, with few, if any, pseudo-intellectual pretensions. Consider George W. Bush, who marketed an "educational" program under the popular title, "No Child Left Behind." No one reading this has ever sat in a class room where every child had the same aptitudes; no one ever attended a school where all children were equal on the playground. No teacher ever succeeded by pretending that one method worked the same for every child. How, then, did the President answer the obvious questions; begged questions that should have challenged the very possibility of a Federal program that could guarantee that "no child would be left behind?" He "gamed the questions" by denouncing the "bigotry of low expectations!" Thus, the unchallenged premises of the program were rendered sacred. The normal questions were not just begged, they were gamed.
The legislation passed. The Federal Department of Education expanded an unconstitutional Federal educational bureaucracy, while State & local school authorities each expanded its own bureaucracy in order to respond to the new Federal mandates. Few, in the seats of power, bothered to question the underlying premises on which each action was based.
The last thing a child struggling with any particular subject needs is for the teacher to pretend that he should have no problem; that it is "bigotry" for anyone to doubt his potential in that subject. The worst possible policy in this situation is one that creates additional layers of interacting bureaucracy, circulating mandates, guidelines and test results, to evaluate teaching performance, according to bureau created norms that stultify the ability of the individual teacher to take innovative measures to address the unique problem of any child.
It would be difficult to conceive of a more foolish concept in public education, than that of equal achievement; a more foolish method than trying to standardize educational goals across a continent; a more wasteful & self-defeating project than building up a decision making "educational" bureaucracy between the classroom teacher and the student. For a role, which cries out for individual initiative--for personal responsibility in addressing the unique needs of each child--those who pursue the fantasy of human equality succeeded in so gaming essential questions, as to guarantee that there will be no meaningful improvement in an already very sorry situation.
Of course, the Bush assault on any mention of different aptitudes & educational capacities was no isolated thrust. For well over a generation, almost no one in an educational establishment, that seeks to justify ever more expensive programs on the basis of a gap between educational achievement in America and that in some other nations with "First World" economies, has dared to suggest that the gap may be fully explained by the large number of peoples of "Third World" origin in American public schools: That a comparison of similar stocks, here & overseas, would greatly reduce--if not eliminate-- the gap. The underlying question was "gamed" in the 1950s & 1960s by hissed epithets: "racism," "bigotry," "nativism" & "hatemongering." Yet, we leave it to those still capable of rational analysis, who are the "hatemongers," those who accept that there are great varieties in the human prototype, who try to recognize and encourage the best in each group; or those, willing to sacrifice the actual interests of two generations of children, to the pursuit of fancy & fantasy--those driven by a compulsion to fit all Mankind into a single niche?
Before a successful, multi-generational, campaign to over sensitize Americans to the Mipip's favorite insults, those encompassed now within the orbit of what is considered "politically correct," the favorite tactic for avoiding attacks on untenable premises, underlying Leftist policy, was by the creation of absurd antitheses. Thus, we were told that "human rights are more important than property rights," whenever Conservatives raised Constitutional objections to proposed legislation that infringed upon private property rights to pursue a Socialist goal; that "human rights" were more important than "States' Rights," whenever Conservatives raised Constitutional objections to Federal intervention in State or local electoral, educational, social or ethical policy. While these may have seemed, to the unsuspecting, merely a declaration of user priorities; they were, in fact, fairly obvious examples of gaming the question. Why?
Is there a more fundamental human right than the right to acquire property through the fruits of one's labor & ingenuity? The issue is whether or not man has a right to progress; to rise above a subsistence level; to accumulate the benefits of personal achievements and pass those achievements on to one's posterity. Stated simply, men own property, not property men. The dichotomy, presented by the Leftist shibboleth, exists only in the fantasy or fancy of the user.
The claimed dichotomy between State Rights and human rights, in the American context in which that shibboleth was offered, is no more defensible. States' Rights, in a Federation of Republics, such as that provided in the United States' Constitution, embody the principles of self-government--as between State or Federal functional control of local institutions, the essence of self-government. Under the guise--the patent pretense--that "human rights" justified such interference, the Left--via corruption of Federal Courts by "activist" Judges--stripped away effective local decision making on religious observance & symbols, local control of local school policy, local control of police procedures, local control over Legislative apportionment, residential voting requirements, even the right to protect unborn babies from abortion. In each case, the once obvious "human right" of a free community, to reflect its own unique values & mores in its own affairs, was stripped away, with no better justification than a deliberate "gaming" of relevant philosophic questions that should have been, but never were, actually addressed.
To merely recite what the Warren Court wrought, understates the problem in relation to our subject. "Gaming" the argument did not just serve to corrupt "Justice." It intimidated Congress, both then and since, into virtual impotence. Indeed, so far as religious, racial & ethnic questions, Congressmen even jumped on the collectivist "bandwagon," following judicial assaults on the Constitution, with emotion driven Legislative enactments. Yet none of the latter had unanimous support. Vocal opposition to each enactment, as to the activist Court decisions, continued. One frequently had the impression that a clear majority in both Houses of Congress were in general opposition to the collectivist assault. But so great was the effect of the question gaming technique, that Members never could be brought to work together--as, for example, the way they do to pack "pork" into spending bills--to stop the process. Yet a close reading of applicable Constitutional provisions leaves no doubt but that Congress could have done so, simply by limiting jurisdiction of the Federal Courts to even entertain cases on the abused subjects.
An area where Leftists may be expected to "game the question," most fervently, is in dealing with challenges to their anti-heritage immigration policy. The tactics involve both use of the hissed insult, as well as spreading deliberate confusion as to the origin & nature of a nation. The effort of some contemporary politicians of the Mipip variety, to define a nation in terms of its geography, reflects this confusion. Thus, we have the term "Native American," aggressively applied in place of "American Indian," or the nomenclature of the particular Indian Nation, to which a particular Amerindian belongs. Most Mipips embracing such relabeling do not realize the implied insult; that they are defining peoples, who fought long, proudly and courageously, against great odds for the preservation of their nations, in terms of their conquerors. The hissed insults for "gaming the question," when one of the begged questions with respect to a loose and permissive immigration policy is challenged, are the usual barrage of "racist," "bigot" & "Nativist" (particularly applicable to immigration): One who favors the native born over those of foreign origin.
As a grandson of immigrants, your guide understands the technique very well. It is to alienate the descendants of those who came in later waves, after the American Revolution, from the posterity of the Founding Fathers; to silence opposition to those who would flood America with incongruous peoples, who do not come for reasons that drew earlier settlers, nor readily adopt the complex social values of those earlier settlers; those who over-crowd already crowded cities, overwhelm already foundering public services, and increase the voting percentage of those who want to "change"--rather than validate--the principles upon which America, as a Federation of particular peoples, was founded. Of course, immigration should be carefully controlled by a people who understand that favoring one's posterity, in the land of one's fathers, is essential to any Nation that recognizes the multi-generational purpose required for a civilization to rise & remain above the most pathetic level of subsistence.
One need look no further than the Preamble to the Constitution, to grasp our point. America--the Federation of sovereign States--whose immigration policy is under discussion, was set up to "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." Even in this age of "no child left behind" education, posterity means now, what it meant then, one's lineal descendants. A Nation has always been about the multi-generational pursuit of a people; about kith & kin, blood-lines, shared values, shared history--struggles & achievements, triumphs & defeats.
The most respected authority on the Law of Nations, at the time our Federal Constitution was drafted, was the great Swiss legal philosopher, De Vattel, who began his classic treatise, with a definition: Nations or states are bodies politic, societies of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by the joint efforts of their combined strength.
Such a society has her affairs and her interests; she deliberates and takes resolutions in common; thus becoming a moral person, who possesses an understanding and a will peculiar to herself . . .
In Book I, Chapter II, Vattel makes a basic point: . . . a nation ought to know itself. Without this knowledge it cannot make any successful endeavors after its own perfection. . . Without this knowledge a nation will act at random, and often take the most improper measures. It will think it acts with great wisdom in imitating the conduct of nations that are reputed wise and skillful,--not perceiving that such or such regulation, such or such practice, though salutary to one state, is often pernicious to another. . . Nations cannot be well governed without such regulations as are suitable to their respective characters; and in order to this, their characters ought to be known.
But for 'gamed,' previously begged, questions underlying immigration issues, it would be obvious that an American immigration policy must reflect the needs of an existing citizenry, not those of other peoples: That persons most likely to reflect characteristics similar to those reflective, self-reliant, personally responsible, seldom dependent types, who settled, organized & established American institutions and sovereignty, should have preference over those with any other characteristics. That fancy & fantasy driven lines, at the base of the Statute of Liberty, do not reflect a rational immigration policy for a people with long settled frontiers. That any policy, which favors immigration by those with very different qualities, reflects not the interests of those who seek American purpose, but rather the abolition of Nation, heritage and liberty, in favor of an eventual collectivization of Mankind; rather the goals of the Lenins, Trotskys, Stalins & Cousins, than those of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin & Adams.
As a result of a 'gaming' of fundamental questions of the American experience & purpose, we have failed, in the collective sense, to know ourselves; and in that failure, we careen towards a reversal of American achievements in the Revolution and since; indeed, towards a surrender of sovereignty & heritage by deceit & subterfuge, without even a shot being fired. Where there cease to be rudimentary common values, there is no Nation--and the values offered by Mipip demagogues inside the Beltway, today, are not the values on which America was premised.
In addition to free and vigorous use of the foregoing techniques for gaming previously begged questions, Left leaning academic poseurs have other, very special touches, for inhibiting the education of the thoughtful student. These include the strategically raised eyebrow--literal image of the supercilious;--the feigned bout of uncontrollable humor; and yet subtler forms of implied evil than those previously described, including ones to disparage ancestral achievement in families of students found susceptible to contrived guilt complexes.
In applying the term 'Mipip' to the Leftist poseur in the Academy, politics or journalism, we would not be understood as suggesting that the type may be dismissed as stupid. Certainly many Leftist Academics have above average IQs, whether or not they have sufficient intellectual functionality to recognize the importance of truth. We denigrate their thought processes, because they do not ground premises in demonstrable reality. They are akin--though less intelligent--than the Athenian pretenders, whom Socrates humiliated during the last 30 years of his life, by exposing their inability to rationally support assumed premises. Yet, despite such glaring inadequacy, Mipips have nearly succeeded in deconstructing American society, seldom bothering even to discuss its intrinsic merits.
Consider the use of the term "WASP" in reference to Americans of pre-Revolutionary stock, to gradually demean the continuity of the culture and ethnic values of the Founding Fathers; a deliberate emphasis on grievances, real or imagined, endured by waves of Irish & Jewish immigrants from more recent eras; even the sudden explosion of Polish jokes, following reports of Polish resistance to Affirmative Action, in the days of JFK & LBJ; to understand a subtle, but effective, gaming to undermine America. Or research the White Leftist Academic control of the NAACP for its first half century, as it dismantled the constructive progress achieved by Booker T. Washington and his followers between 1909 & 1959.
And, please, do not imply that we deny that many immigrants had to endure a period when they had to prove their ability to fit in to a more traditional America. Yes, they did. Some grievances were real. It is the continuing significance of those grievances that is imagined. That a new boy, entering a school in the fourth grade, has to prove himself to those who have been in class together for four years, reflects human nature. Is any grievance that he feels, a rational basis to hold a grudge the rest of his life--or even one week, after he wins acceptance? Only to mischief makers; only to those with an ulterior axe to grind!
Yet it is the imagined grievance that has delivered much of the Northeast to the Left, politically.
We cannot read minds. But is it merely coincidence, that what has passed for social reform in America since World War II, with a changing emphasis in American education on such "reforms," in a context of reduced emphasis on earlier patterns of settlement & achievement, are more consistent with the collectivization of Mankind than the continuity of a unique people? Is the ultimate "game," a formula for the destruction of what the Founders wrought; an abolition of American independence, the submersion of America into a world-wide tyranny, from which there may be no escape without incredible havoc & bloodshed? We do not intend that accusation. Most Mipips do not think that deeply. But it is no true coincidence that many of their favorite writers have openly embraced the treason of World Government.
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