An Essential Dichotomy

[Updated, May 11, 2018]

Reason Or Compulsion? The Future!

February, 2007 Feature--Truth Based Logic

Conflict between reason & compulsion driven approach to major issues; poverty, education, economics, public safety, sex, race, religion & foreign policy.

The late R. Carter Pittman wrote and spoke about the eternal conflict between Liberty & Equality, making the essential point that free men were never equal and that equal men were never free. At this Web Site, we have often commented on compulsion driven aspects of Egalitarianism, the neurotic or compulsive origins of Leftist thought and agitation. Other common subjects have touched upon the complexities of perspective and context.

As with the old Hindu fable of the six blind men and the elephant, our purpose is, and has been, to help a new generation of Conservative spokesmen recognize inherent flaws in contemporary Leftist argument; to see, in each individual situation, the most effective refutation. Here, we propose something of an overview, seeking to better illustrate certain recurring aspects, which can certainly stand fuller development.

We refer to Mr. Pittman's point as being "essential." Surely, with regard to any defense of the Liberty won for Americans in the Revolution, it is essential to understand fallacies in the pursuit of egalitarian values, as they pertain to collective intervention intended to equalize achievement or status, whether of individuals or definable groups. Once his point is grasped, the question naturally arises, why it seems to elude so many in public life? The answer, of course, is in another eternal conflict, that between reason and compulsion. In understanding that conflict, lies the key to pulling the West back from the brink of self-destruction.

Our novel Return Of The Gods takes its theme and title from the 1919 Kipling poem, "The Gods Of The Copybook Headings". The poem contains the line, "being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market-Place," to contrast reality with the fallacy based wishful thinking that has characterized modern "reform" movements. Over the eight years, that this web site has operated, we have addressed many issues, to explore typical fallacies in contemporary approaches to Government and the dynamics of human thought and interaction. We have treated some issues several times, from different perspectives--as it were from different aspects of that metaphorical elephant of the Hindu fable. Here, we are going to offer a slightly different over-view of the dichotomy between reason, which starts by trying to understand what is true and genuine--to build on that reality--and the compulsion driven politics of our time. We will identify a subject, briefly describe how a reasonable man or woman might analyze relevant situations; then summarize the compulsions that have come into play, when the "cloud & wind-borne" have addressed the same phenomena, to completely distort any debate over direction.

Poverty & Inequality Of Wealth

[We begin with poverty & general inequality of condition, because compulsions that come into play, here, run virtually the whole spectrum of those we will encounter later, in considering education, economics, public safety, sex, race, religion, & foreign policy.]

Reason: A reasoned approach to "poverty," to the vast differences in living standards and resources among definable classes within an advanced political society, starts by questioning whether and to what extent, the phenomenon should even be addressed as a collective, rather than individual, concern. It is certainly not the given that some would have it. Secondly, reason must consider the realities governing any approach to helping the "poor," from standpoints both of cost effectiveness and long-term dynamic consequences for other elements of a social order. Certainly, reason can embrace concepts of charity and fairness, but never a program to discourage self-help or honest effort. It would certainly not seek to punish those who have achieved success by legitimate means; nor undermine the desire to pass on ascending prosperity to one's children and grandchildren, as motivation for human progress.

Wealth and poverty have always been relative. A poor family, with the benefits of modern refrigeration and television, have luxuries which the wealthiest in ages past might have envied. Differences in human condition do not represent a moral crisis. Attempts to help the less successful may represent kindness; they are not dictated by basic fairness nor justice. Reasoned analysis must seek to understand why one individual succeeds and another fails. Reason dictates consideration of different levels and types of intelligence; how each relates to the needs of a particular social order, as well as the degree to which each is present in any particular individual. A reasoned approach should also involve similar analysis with respect to physical aptitudes. Without clear and credible evidence of a specific wrong, an assumption that there is an injustice involved in the greater success of one individual or group than another, is a rush to judgment, which can never be justified in reason.

A reasoned approach to uplifting any individual or group starts with analysis of the talents or aptitudes of those whom one would assist. It would never begin with a program to antagonize other individuals or groups; nor to divert an instinct for self-betterment, into a self-defeating pursuit of blame, envy and resentment. Reason teaches personal--individual--responsibility and accountability, as essential to human progress. Paying people for existing has, throughout history, brought out the very worst in those so subsidized.

Compulsion: Only in approaching questions of race & ethnicity, do we witness the same degree of compulsion as that observed in Leftist efforts to address poverty and the inequality of wealth & achievement. Consider some common examples:

The basic, which underlies the initial agitation for almost every type of egalitarian pursuit, appears to be a neurotic need to deny innate human differences. While this particular compulsion is present in virtually every Leftist agenda, it may reflect several identifiable neurotic impulses. A passion for uniformity within communities, tribes and nations, certainly predates the age of modern Socialist Egalitarianism. In identifying the trait in all major Leftist movements of the 20th Century (Fabian, Communist, Nazi, Social Democrat & American "Liberal") in an essay on A Compulsion For Uniformity, we also recognized the same compulsion in the revocation of the Edict Of Nantes in XVIIth Century France. As we do not claim that Louis XIV was an egalitarian socialist, it is obvious that the trait may exist independently of any contemporary compulsion for equality.

However, it appears obvious that the compulsion for uniformity is at least a major facet to a compulsion for equality. Yet the shift in focus, from a pursuit for uniformity of thought, to a pursuit of uniformity of condition--and an illusion of equality of ability or character--must reflect other neurotic needs. One of these may involve a form of "projection"; not the usual, where a subject attributes his own emotions, traits or deficiencies to another, but rather one where one compensates for doubts as to self-worth, by embracing a cultish dogma that denies meaningful differences among humans in general.

Note, one in compulsive denial may have a high level of intelligence, as measured by IQ or the like, yet have a low level of confidence in other aspects of his personality. By seeking to elevate the general perception of innate ability or intelligence in human failures, while blaming society for their failure, he can attack the very concept of a valid judgment of human worth--by which he feels threatened. At the same time, he can claim an altruistic endeavor! Evidence of a compulsive origin in such egalitarian attitudes may be found in the frenetic way that many activists, with apparently high IQs, pursue Socialist causes, even though their own experience in interacting with people of differing levels and types of intelligence, should certainly have exposed them to convincing evidence of the very reality they seek to deny.

A secondary type of compulsion comes into play among those intimidated by the fervor of compulsive Egalitarians. The most common form of this compulsion was illustrated by the fawning courtiers in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes". Tragically, this phenomenon is more likely to be encountered among the better educated, who, as those courtiers, are terrified lest they be considered stupid by questioning what is perceived as the prevailing wisdom. A kindred fear driven compulsion, which will be more evident in discussing sexual, racial or religious differences, is that driven by the aggressive mislabeling of dissent. In dealing with disparity in wealth or condition, labels applied to the Conservative dissenter are apt to be at least a tad less virulent than those employed over sexual and racial differences.

There may also be a form of compulsion, where one who really is not altruistic, but feels an emotional need to be perceived as altruistic, expounds egalitarian cant to demonstrate his or her "altruism." The total lack of bother, by such persons, to seek to understand how egalitarian programs actually affect supposed beneficiaries, is a clue to the neurotic, as opposed to reasoned, motivation.

Educational Concepts

Reason: The reasoned approach to education starts with the individual child. As no two of us are alike, prescribed formulas tend to be inherently flawed. Thus the closer to the immediate situation, that is the interaction of pupil with teacher--whether parent, other family member or hired employee of a school system--the decision making as to materials and technique, all else being equal, the better. This is not to suggest that there should be no supervision or standards in an organized school system. It does go to the level of such supervision, and a conscious need to supervise in a manner which interferes least with individual initiative. As for standards, there is no reason not to test pupil achievement levels. Objective standards are important. Yet such standards should never be used to force a child, who does not fit the "normal" pattern, into a category that interferes with the development of what aptitudes he has.

Compulsion: Compulsions, which lead to a denial of meaningful human differences, obviously interfere with maximizing concern for the individual child. In addition to compulsions to pretend equal potential, there is the generic compulsion of the Reformer for Society "to do something" to deal with any perceived problem. This leads to proposed "solutions," which serve only to squander resources and impede the meaningful progress that flows from the interaction of individuals, responding to their individual perceptions--whether, here, as teacher or pupil, or simply as sapient acquaintances, learning from experience.

Over sixty years ago, Dr. Clairette P. Armstrong conducted a study of high school drop-outs from the New York Public Schools, and clearly identified a pattern among both White and Negro delinquents, who had substantially below average IQs, but better than average mechanical skills. These children had tended to react with "shame and grief" to being unable to compete in standard academic subjects, and had become truants and delinquents, ending up wards of the Court, when a system better oriented to recognizing human differences might have offered them productive lives, filling societal needs for those with the skills they actually had. That pursuits of egalitarian shibboleths, two generations later, continue to wreck the lives and embitter the psyches of millions of children, particularly among minorities, in an ongoing sacrifice to the lie of human equality--despite endlessly recurring evidence of the Armstrong identified phenomena in every major American City--surely demonstrates the power of the compulsions involved.

Dressing up the process with fantasy or fear driven claims that the Federal Government can direct that "No Child" be "Left Behind," which can only result in more layers of bureaucracy being added on top of already barely functional local school systems, unable to respond to the very individual needs of individual children, is about as counter-productive as one can imagine.

Economic Cycles

Reason: The reasoned approach to economic cycles differs little from economic analysis in general. All economic history shows that an economy adjusts most rapidly and best, where those participating, whether as suppliers or demanders for goods and services, are the least impeded in their personal decision making; that while perfect equilibrium may not be obtainable, the freer a market, the closer the approximation that may be expected.

America has been an economic marvel, because it has been able to coast on a dynamic infra-structure, which grew out of an era when its States offered one of the least restrictive climates for economic decision making on earth. When we have deviated from that, as in the New Deal response to the Great Depression, or in the continued drift to the Left, up through Carter, we have developed major problems. With Reagan, America at least turned again in the right direction--although some intended reforms were aborted because of entrenched interests that had grown powerful with increased dependence upon Government. However, even a limited change in direction, yet major change in focus, allowed the vast capital resources created during the first three hundred years of European settlement, to assert themselves more productively than they had in the previous half-century.

While those who seek "catchy" labels, to imply new concepts where the principles are ancient and enduring, may suggest that central innovation was involved; the precipitant for growth was the same as it has always been: A removal of impediments, whether in the form of excessive regulation, excessive taxation or social instability.

Compulsion: Egalitarian compulsions can certainly impede recovery from an economic crisis; creating "justifications" for politicians to appropriate private resources, whether via taxes or excessive regulation, in order to reduce the normal inequalities in a Society being afflicted. But there are other factors in play, also, in the cyclical nature of the "booms" and "busts" that impact markets. It is almost as axiom of the Market that every trend runs to an excess; that a "Bull Market" runs until almost everything is over-priced; a "Bear Market," until most stocks are considerably under-priced. This phenomenon is not truly an economic phenomenon, rather a psychological one; and as such involves compulsive factors, obviously including fear or panic driven selling, as well as excessive buying, by those afraid that they will otherwise miss out on an instant path to wealth and success.

In the political sphere, a major compulsion, with a significant effect on economic cycles, is not the egalitarian one, however; rather a perceived need or advantage in being seen as "doing something" to promote recovery, cure unemployment or curb inflation, as the case may be. We do not suggest that every demagogue, who seizes the moment to promise wonders via Government in an economic crisis is compulsion driven. There are also the cold and calculating, only too happy to exploit the needs of others in that panic, to be "seen as doing something!"

Public Safety

Reason: While those with 'axes to grind,' will often inject tangential issues into questions of how best to secure the public safety in a particular community; reason dictates recognition of certain primary factors, as starting points for decision making in the exercise of Police power and the inhibition of anti-social conduct. These fall into two categories--positive and negative: Factors which increase the ability of an established Society to defend itself, and those which tend to deter individuals from preying upon other individuals. A Society such as one of the traditional Swiss Cantons, offers the best possible positive (defensive) structure. There, as part of a citizen's responsibility for the public safety, the able bodied men are armed, from their teens, with military grade personal firearms, with which they are well trained--both in use and purpose--under a social policy which George Washington considered the proper model for America. The obvious net effect, a high ratio of the able, armed & law-abiding to any perspective challenge, tilts the balance in the right direction.

Correspondingly, a heightened sense of personal responsibility among youth, who grow up seeing themselves as both their families' and their people's first line of defense, feeds the better impulses of their nature; thus avoiding anti-social tendencies in ways that words alone can never match.

Reason also directs that punishment for actions that threaten the public safety be perceived as swift, certain and adequate. One need not go so far as the Saudis, who lop off the right hands of first offenders, to recognize that the expectation of serious punishment is essential to restrain those individuals, who lack either the self-discipline or moral compass to restrain themselves from preying on their neighbors. Indeed, considering the abysmal lives that most of those, unable to discipline or restrain themselves internally, live; it is clearly kinder to such individuals, that Society treat even first offenders more severely than has become the contemporary expectation. The sooner one learns the true wages of criminality, the better. If by not being coddled, a young thief or thug can straighten out his path, he is far better off than otherwise. And stricter immediate consequences do not rule out later rehabilitation, when appropriate.

Compulsion: The same compulsions, encountered in discussing poverty, certainly come into play. Those who have a need to pretend that all men are potentially equal, will translate that into a need to excuse misconduct--to find someone or thing to blame other than the culprit. To the extent that the compulsion driven Egalitarians are able to alter or deter the normal workings of a Criminal Justice system, to appease neuroses or fanatical pursuits; they render the general public that much less safe in both their persons and property. To the extent that egalitarian compulsions interfere with teaching those more susceptible to criminal temptations, lessons that they desperately need to learn, and could otherwise learn, the lives of such persons are to all intents and purposes simply thrown away.

A compulsion peculiar to the quest for public safety, can be seen in calls to disarm the public; to ban private possession of firearms, for example, as though the mere existence of a means for self-protection, is responsible for criminal violence! Those suffering from such fear driven compulsion, appear unable to differentiate between the hands that hold firearms, whether predator or protector; nor to comprehend the obvious fact that one bent upon crime will never respect a ban--nor the ease with which such person might find alternative means to deliver deadly force, whenever seen as useful.

Sex Roles & Sexuality

Reason: Reasoned analysis of anything pertaining to human sexuality must start with a recognition that in the division of the species into two sexes, we have what is arguably the single most important aspect of the human experience. All human life flows from that division. Nothing is more important to human survival than sex roles and sexuality! Secondly, if society has any function in the human mating process, it should be to protect traditional marriage, which has, as a primary function, the continuity of human life in a socially proven structure. Beyond that, reason would suggest a social interest in encouraging youth to take eugenic considerations into the selective process.

[The concept of eugenics--basically what intelligent people have applied throughout history, by selecting mates for desirable innate characteristics rather than considerations of the moment--has been viciously smeared by Egalitarians claiming it to be a form of genocide. The technique has been to cite atrocities committed by German Socialists under Hitler (Nazis), which were inspired by hate, not reason. Yet disparaging rational efforts to improve lines of descent as "Nazi" barbarism, is like disparaging construction of modern super-highways by reference to fine road building that facilitated Nazi barbarism.]

Reason focuses on the importance to human happiness in the fulfillment of sex roles; on the unique qualities of each sex, and on the functional ability of normal women to bear and nurture another generation. Reason does not suggest that there is a fundamental conflict between the sexes; that we are competing interest groups. There have always been problems in adjusting to our different natures; but, in reality, we complement each other! We need one another to be or feel complete; even as we need one another to have a future. From puberty on, most normal men and women see finding a suitable person of the opposite sex to be their closest companion in life, more important than any other pursuit. For thousands of years--among the rational--the idea of a fundamental conflict has been a source for humor, not a cause for dedication.

Compulsion: The compulsions among those who would deny the importance of sex roles and sexual differences are similar to those discussed under poverty and inequality; parallel to those discussed under other topics, herein. Militant Feminists have often trivialized the importance of traditional female roles, where normal women have a distinct & demonstrable advantage over men, while aggressively seeking to force acceptance in fields, such as military combat and protection of the public safety, where the--on average--greater upper body strength of men puts women at a distinct disadvantage! This should demonstrate to anyone, who is not compulsion driven, that the movement has never been about actually advancing the cause of woman. Rather, the adherents, as all Egalitarians, seek to satisfy some internal need to deny the realities of nature.

Similar compulsions may be seen among groups that choose to flaunt sexual deviancy; seeking not understanding for a problem that afflicts some individuals, but demanding that Society, as a whole, rethink the whole concept of what is normal--even to the extent of embracing the fantasy of homosexual "marriage." Anyone neither driven by a compulsion to prove that they are "normal," nor cowed by a compulsion to appear politically correct, will recognize that marriage is a solemnization of human mating--a protection and sanctification of the procreational process. The concept of homosexual marriage is an oxymoron. And if the purpose is to encourage greater toleration for people who have problems with their sexuality; it should be obvious to anyone not driven by compulsion, that demanding the world accept an oxymoron as reality, is the worst possible way to promote that toleration.

Race & Ethnic Differences

Reason: With increased contacts between Western peoples and the inhabitants of once remote regions of the earth in the 19th Century, there was an explosion of interest in physical anthropology, in the great variety of human life, which continued well into the 20th Century. The intention was to understand the nature of diverse peoples; not to disparage, but to appreciate, obvious differences. With the rise of Twentieth Century Socialist movements, the very concept of significant differences--of racial inequality--came under attack. Yet reason was little involved in that attack.

The basic challenge to evidence of significant physical and psychological differences, effecting the whole range of human aptitudes, came in finding exceptions to clear patterns, and mitigating circumstances to suggest possible intervening causation. In addition to this inherently flawed argument by exception and in mitigation--there being a total absence of evidence for a claimed equality--Egalitarians attacked the motives of investigators, and adopted the tactic of mislabeling all who questioned the pursuit of a new egalitarian orthodoxy.

Reason must reject an argument based solely on exception, mitigation and vilification. Reason understands that if racial inheritance can clearly effect the susceptibility or resistance to disease or medical disability, it is not rational to believe that it does not effect other genetically based traits. Reason comprehends that the motives of those who investigate to understand apparent differences among human types, are less likely to be flawed than those who scream insults in denial. Reason also recognizes that the solution to any problem begins in understanding as much as possible of the nature of the factors involved.

Compulsion: In considering race and ethnicity, we encounter the greatest intensity of compulsion driven thought. The denial of the significance of race takes on a frenzy--a true fanaticism--that clearly exceeds that found in discussions of poverty, or general inequality of achievement. We have dealt with many aspects of this in an essay on "Racial Denial In America--Life & Politics In A Pavlovian Kennel," and in the section on Ashley Montagu in Chapter 16 of the Debate Handbook, below. We will not try to summarize a long argument. Yet who can reasonably deny that the suppression of study & debate over racial and ethnic differences, is compulsion driven; that the need to pretend an equality of peoples is found not in reason, but compulsion?

No one would suggest that an architect who designed every home exactly the same, was a great or even adequate architect. No one would hire a horse trainer, who was not able to distinguish among the innate qualities of individual horses, or denied the importance of breeding and lines of descent. No reasonable person would seek a Medical Facility, which dogmatically refused to look at genetic factors and lines of descent in medical diagnostics and treatment. The compulsion to pretend equality is very strong indeed, here; and it is reinforced by compulsive fear, engendered by vicious invective hurled at all who dissent from prevailing dogma.

Religious Conflict

Reason: If the purpose is to avoid hideous and cruel savagery that has often characterized religious war, while still protecting Freedom of Faith & Conscience; reason must comprehend that respect for others--respect for the right of others to believe what a particular individual may believe to be clearly wrong--is part of the price for living in a free society, where people of many Faiths & Denominations peacefully coexist. Yet, that said, nothing in reason compels interference with the peaceful observance of any Faith, whether in public or private. Reason has played little part in Court cases, which over the past two generations have interfered with previously established American religious observances, or which, in some instances, have even required removal of old landmarks, that had religious significance, from public grounds and facilities. Nor can reason justify legislation that forbids employers or landlords to take religious beliefs into account on private property, or in private business.

Reason does not confine itself to the abstract & theoretic, but looks at the actual history of human settlements; recognizes the varied motives that drove early European settlers to America, and considers concepts that flowed from the experiences and purposes of those settlers. In that context, it is abundantly clear what the First Article of Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, intended on the subject of religion. A more detailed discussion may be found in Chapter 3, of the Conservative Debate Handbook (below); but, basically, it guarantees that Congress may not restrict religious freedom in any way, specifically prohibiting any action respecting an established religion: It can neither establish a Church, nor interfere with one established in a State or local community. The Courts, in seeking to enforce an imagined, never granted, right for malcontents to suppress, have invoked concepts that have no basis in reasoned analysis.

Compulsion: Egalitarian compulsions have impacted the concept of religious freedom by shifting the emphasis from toleration of dissent to suppression of expression! There is nothing reasonable in that shift, which took over a generation to accomplish by persistent boring. It started with precedents against forcing dissenters to participate in public demonstrations of Faith. It ended by preventing believers from having public demonstrations of Faith, or even of religious based principles on historic monuments. Yet we can tell much about people's "thought" processes by on what they focus.

The compulsion for uniformity, which fueled the Spanish Inquisition & the later expulsion of the Huguenots from France, were less fanatically negative, in suppressing religious freedom of minorities, than are contemporary demands of those who would stifle expressions of Faith by established religious communities, in the very name of "religious freedom," across America. Old bigotry sought to force all to honor God in the same way. The compulsion of the American Left, which uses any excuse to seek a Court order to suppress a public religious observance, or force removal of a Faith based symbol regardless of origin, is the absolute antithesis of all religious freedom.

Whether the compulsions involved are driven primarily by fear of controversy between Faiths, or simple fear or hatred of the very concept of Faith; that they are, in fact, compulsions against Faith, not reasoned approaches to maintaining anyone's right of conscience, is confirmed by a total lack of proportion; as well as by the fact that the same organizations that push for such suppression & removal, were strong supporters for "Civil Rights" enactments, which made it illegal for employers or landlords to take Faith into account, even in employment or rental decisions governing private property. What we witness may be simply another facet of the compulsion driven pursuit of an undifferentiated humanity.

Relations Between Nations

Reason: The reasoned approach to foreign policy begins with consideration of all we know of human nature; all we know of history; an in depth consideration of our principal objectives and the possible consequences of different initiatives or responses. Certainly, any American foreign policy debate must take into account our own history, and how well the Washington/Jefferson foreign policy, which we maintained from 1789 until 1918, worked. Reason requires a recognition of what makes each people unique, the vast cultural differences between peoples, in order to better interact with those who may have very different perspectives. Assuming the intention is to promote amity and good-will, reason applies knowledge and past experience with respect, and asks for respect in return. There are few political fields, indeed, where the application of the "Golden Rule" is more obviously called for.

Compulsion: The compulsions which interfere with a reasoned Foreign Policy may run the gamut of those evident or discussed under other sub-headings, but with variants more particularly focused on World Affairs. As discussed in Chapter 16 of the Conservative Debate Handbook (below), the late Norman Cousins, Editor of the Saturday Review, and leading proponent of World Government in America during the middle years of the 20th Century, repeatedly toured the Continent, speaking at both Colleges and at State-wide or regional teachers' associations, promoting a deliberate shift in educational direction. Cousins' tactic was to first frighten an audience with a graphic picture of the horrors of atomic war, and then propose that if the emphasis in education could be shifted from studying how peoples and nations differed--from the qualities that made each unique--to what they had in common, the danger of another war could be greatly reduced: His goal, acceptance of World Government.

As pointed out, this was tantamount to proposing surrender, by subterfuge, of values for which other generations had been willing to die. It was contemptible; but it dove-tailed very nicely with the egalitarian social anthropology & sociology, touched upon above. Thus, we had a blending of the fear of modern warfare with all the compulsions that compel a pretense of human equality--or human interchangeability--into a more specialized vehicle to impede rational analysis of what actually works or does not work--what is constructive or destructive--in interaction among nations.

Final Thoughts

There is another type of compulsion, reflected in virtually every major social issue and ideological confrontation of our times. James A. Reed captured its essence in his 1925 essay on "The Pestilence Of Fanaticism":

The present-day reformer supplants the ancient and foolish doctrine, "Everything that is, is right," with the still more foolish doctrine, "Everything that is, is wrong." In a world which an intelligent and patriotic ancestry lovingly handed over to us in a reasonably well-ordered condition, he runs amok. Our inherited liberties, guaranteed by a Constitution and code of laws, together forming a homogeneous system, are recklessly attacked until the whole structure is seriously imperiled.

The modern reformer insists upon substituting statutory commands for ethical precepts and official surveillance for the restraints of morality. He undertakes to force the acceptance of his peculiar doctrines by penalty of fine and imprisonment. The old and true concept of freedom embraced the right of the citizen to choose his own religion, think his own thoughts, indulge his own habits and live his own life without interference by the state, save that he should not trespass upon the rights of others. For this condition of personal freedom and responsibility, the reformer proposes to substitute legal regulations which, like a web of steel, shall encompass the citizen from birth to death. Man will live and die the slave of the majority which enacts the laws.

Although written ninety years ago, Reed's comments are yet more relevant, today, than in the era in which he made them. An additional compulsion involved, here, may be another facet of that perceived need to be seen as "doing something." It may be to serve a previously identified compulsion; or it may simply be to meet an individual's need to appear innovative; not to recognize the "Emperor's New Clothes," but to design them, in pursuit of craved recognition. What it does not involve is reasoned analysis.

Have we misrepresented the thought processes involved in the ideological dichotomies of the modern age? Or is the picture offered--that of an endless succession of collisions between rational man and compulsion driven folly--a true analysis of what we have to deal with? If we have overstated, we have harmed no one in asking you to consider our points. If we have correctly identified the contemporary reality, and intelligent men & women remain docile, continuing to accept this situation as beyond correction; civilization, as reasoning humans have experienced it, is going to die. It is being systematically dismantled by those who are unable to understand that it ever had or depended upon a logical structure--or who are so hate-driven, they simply do not care.

William Flax

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