Commentary at jeromehuyler.com
From the author of Locke In America: The Moral Philosophy of the Founding Era
Commentary at jeromehuyler.com
From the author of Locke In America: The Moral Philosophy of the Founding Era
The American Declaration
Commentary at www.jeromehuyer.com
Author of Locke in America: The Moral Philosophy of the Founding Era
Power vs. Liberty
How Goes the Contest?
Let us look around this Great World, and behold what an immense Majority of the whole Race of Men crouch under the Yoke of a few Tyrants, naturally as low as the meanest . . . and by being Tyrants, worse than the worst . . (Cato's Letters, 1720-3)
What John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon said about their times can surely be said about ours. As you count the blessings of liberty America still offers, ponder the plight of those trapped in places where breathing a free thought is punishable by incarceration or death: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and, now, Venezuela. Ponder the dire threat of tyranny the good people of Hong Kong will struggle with for the foreseeable future.
Wouldn't it be folly to presume that no such social dynamic could form or fester in 21st century America or that it hasn't been affecting our cultural institutions for more than a century? As "Cato" sternly cautioned:
Let us therefore grow wise by the Misfortunes of others[i]"[And] let us let their Virtues and their Vices, and the Punishment of them, too, be an example to us; and so prevent our Miseries from being an Example to other Nations....In fine, let us examine and look narrowly into every Part of our Constitution, and see if any Corruptions or Abuses have crept or galloped into it.[ii]
[i]. IJohn Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, Cato's Lettersid: Essays on Liberty Civil and Religious, I, No. 25, (Apr. 15, 1721) p. 184: Considerations on the Destructive Spirit of Arbitrary Power. With the Blessings of Liberty and our own Constitution."
[ii]. Ibid., I, 18 (Feb. 25, 1720) pp. 121-22. "The Terrible Tendency of Public Corruption to Ruin a State...applied to our own."
Does this mean that inside the breast of every man there is a damaged, power-lusting beast seeking to subdue the world and make it obey his arbitrary will. No, not at all. The American people are good. The vast majority will not advance their own interests by robbing, defrauding, crushing or controlling others. Mostly they exchange value for value and just want to live and let live.
Their leaders in the "Ruling Class," are a different breed. Public servants and the special interests whose support they rely on collude to line their own pockets all the time. Most simply, they put public power to private, pecuniary use. American politics is where counterfeit capitalists and entitlement enthusiasts go to get special benefits, privileges and immunities at their neighbors' expense. The bigger government gets, the more graft and goodies there are to distribute.
Who in today's world runs for public office promising to give government more, not less, power than it already exerts? Who insists that government do more than it is already doing, that it take a more active role in people's lives? While Establishment Republicans are far from innocent in this, it's the Progressives and Socialists (running as Democrats) who incessantly clamor for a more active and expensive government. Their plans are uniformly endorsed in the mainstream media and their underlying premises indelibly etched in the halls of academia. Hundreds of grassroots organizations and tens of thousands of political activists actively support the effort and work assiduously to achieve their common goal: to grow government.
Admittedly, that's some "conspiracy." When and where do all these folks meet? They don't have to meet. They are united by a similar set of ideas and a purpose they believe to be "noble." Their common aim is to fundamentally transform a free country, to make it something very different from what it has been.
You don't understand the political Left if you don't calculate its deep and abiding animus toward capitalism. Actually that animus is incalculable. America's founders understood wealth to be the just fruits of honest industry. Inequalities in the distribution of wealth across the ranks of society were the inevitable and unobjectionable result.
With Marx, today's Progressives see wealth as the poisonous fruit of oppression and exploitation. In fact, as far as they're concerned every aspect of capitalist culture is designed to justify injustice and pacify a gullible populace. The result: A tiny few have so much while the vast majority have so little. To the Left, it is a self-evident axiom of social life that the material inequalities a free market naturally produces and the resulting disparities between rich and poor expose the moral depravity of any public figure who would defend the "abominable" system, from Trump on down.
Millions of Leftists are united in at least one other respect. They will all personally benefit from their movement's success. Think of the new agencies, bureaus and departments that will be needed to administer the ever-expansive powers governments are to wield. That spells high-paying, secure and easy-going civil service positions galore. High-power supervisory positions will also open up. For a certain type of personality, the opportunity not just to rule the people, but to wield direct power over the specific men and women who serve under his or her command is a neat two-fer.
Do you wonder why so many established "capitalist" corporations side with so many Progressive causes? For one thing, it's in order to assure themselves a "seat at the table" where the major decisions are to be made. But beyond that the movement's "businessmen" will cash in on the patronage their service to power will have earned them. Let 10,000 environmentally-friendly, Solindra-sized, publicly-subsidized "businesses" bloom. Cost and wasted expense no object. It's the public that will pay the freight. As the Left sees it, American taxpayers are lucky to have what's left them today and shouldn't think they'll be so lucky tomorrow.
There is only time to pause to note the near-total demise of the original, laissez faire model of capitalism. In any age, the "capitalists" who run to government in order to avoid the unavoidable risks a truly free market imposes are really counterfeit capitalists. More accurately they are ravenous socialists disguising themselves in tattered capitalist clothing.
At any rate, the Left doesn't distinguish the laissez faire from the corrupt crony forms that grew up side by side. It's the whole package deal they abhor. In fact, they are contemptuous of all the cultural institutions that defend and promote the inequalities, indignities and "exploitation" individuals necessarily "suffer" in a "free market" economy. The very idea of capitalism is anathema to the Progressives. To them, it's emphasis on the lone individual rather than the "common good" forms a breeding ground for "racism," "white privilege," and the other well-advertised "evils."
They see them everywhere they look. It is not direct perceptual experience, not anyone's actual words and deeds, but this overarching, fictitious frame of reference that determines how any event, circumstance or motive will be interpreted and reported.
If there are some in every time and place who have what the 17th century philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, called an itch "for power after power that ceaseth only in death," if it is an ever-present tendency on the part of some well-positioned citizens to attain power in order to subdue the rest and if that lamentable drive is with us here and now, attentive and concerned viewers should be able to see its signs and symptoms operating all about. And that is, in fact, the case.
1) AN OPEN TREASURY: PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FOR ALL
Promise to feed, house and clothe the people and the people will empower you to do just that. Notice that strong, ambitious leaders thrive in conditions of hardship and discontent. No matter how good the "Trump economy" may be doing, the Democrats say, it's still leaving too many American families behind. And the Republicans want to cut the programs that aid Grandpa and throw grandma over the cliff. Put the Progressives in charge and the hunger and hardship will go away. The suffering masses will be "freed" from the grip of deprivation. It rarely turns out well. But it garners votes, grows government, and puts the "right" people in charge.
So, consider today's steady, unrelenting drive to grow government and transfer ever more wealth from those who have it to those who don't, from the 1% to the 99%. There is the promise of college debt forgiveness (as of 2019, around $1.5 trillion), paid college tuition and free medical care for all. The Left in and out of Congress has declared that paid family leave (paid for by every privately-owned business in the country), a federally-mandated living wage and even a guaranteed annual income are the birthright of every American.
Now come calls for reparations, large sums of money taken from folks who never owned slaves and given to folks who never were slaves. In fact, some on the Left say that for the years they were denied rights long held by married, heterosexual couples, LBGT partners also deserve reparations.
Those who promote the expanded universe of entitlements in the name of social justice, will need to raise taxes. They concede the rich will have to pay upwards of 70% (or more). Call it plunder or anything else, it won't yield enough revenue to fund the Social Security entitlements already on the books, not for very much longer. There aren't enough "fat cat, robber barons" alive to pay for the full Monte of recommended entitlements the Democrat Left plans to impose.
After destroying all incentives to work hard, invest, create and market innovative products or do anything else productive, why would anyone expect the effort to yield more tax revenue? And who will support the millions of displaced workers who'll lose their jobs thanks to the Progressives' "humanitarian" tax-hikes and regulatory stranglehold. Higher taxes translate into less purchasing power, and that leaves businesses that offer non-essential goods and services with fewer customers.
What will universal health care produce? Nothing is as expensive as a service that governments give away for free. As astronomical demands for health services expand, public reimbursements to hospitals will contract. Ever-more-confining protocols will be announced. Physicians and hospitals will not be allowed to administer expensive tests, offer elective surgical procedures, prescribe costly (but effective) medications, etc. Today, payments for services are mainly made by private insurance firms. Those more realistic reimbursement schedules (certainly not Medicaid distributions) is what allows health providers to cover their overhead and keep their doors open. Medicare for all will have government as the sole payer of bills to every medical practice in America. They will all be told to take it or leave it.
The Left prefers to say nary a word about how much these colossal giveaways will cost, how phenomenal a tax bite they will require and how progressively inhospitable a business climate they will create. Remember, they don't care for capitalism, anyway. And, as Mao observed, "You have to break a couple of eggs to make an omelet."
A totally devastated economy can always be blamed on tomorrow's Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump or Tea Party Conservatives, at large. More importantly, the dislocations call stark attention to the need to grow government even further to deal with the "unintended" consequences Progressive policies, themselves, produced. Crisis has ever been the catalyst of change. And, as a famous Leftist Chicago Mayor once remarked, there's never a good reason "to let a good crisis go to waste." Crises cry out for needed "reforms." Government must act and that never means cutting, shrinking, or dismantling anything.
Nor do the welfare panderers consider the history of all such social welfare efforts. Who really benefits from skyrocketing taxes, expanding regulatory authority and everything else government growth unavoidably invites? Who beside the well-paid, job-secure bureaucrats who administer welfare state directives and the established special interests who line up for special benefits have ever been helped by this species of "compassion?"
What Baltimore, Detroit and every other hardpressed inner-city should tell us is that intergenerational dependency is a formula for violence and misery.
Social welfare harms MOST the very people it purports to help.
As William Boedcker succinctly and poignantly put it,
"You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
If you want to know the truth, the Left is about as concerned for the welfare of the 99% as it is for the welfare of the 1% - no matter how sincere its candidates for high office may sound.
But what else serves to support the idea that power seekers are plotting to grow their power?
(2) OPEN BORDERS & SANCTUARY CITIES: WAGING CULTURAL WAR
So tyrants-in-waiting can capitalize on poverty and hard times. They offer to help those in need. The more needy there are, the greater the potential electoral base there is to tap. Progressivism counts on the support of those who depend on government for their well-being. It thrives on dependency. But open borders and sanctuary cities offer the Left much more than that.
Not too long ago a black listener from Alabama (I believe) called into the Rush Limbaugh Show. He had a really thick southern accent that could almost be mistaken for "ghetto." With the greatest of poise and eloquence, he identified the abject danger open borders/sanctuary city policies pose to the country. He spoke of the millions already residing here who are entirely unfamiliar with America's cultural heritage. They don't understand what made an abundance of freedom and opportunity possible, and have no clue what is required to preserve the blessed freedoms and rich opportunities we casually take for granted. This man-of-the-people grasped that. Our well-educated elites never will.
Anyone who would transform a free society into something else must challenge and undermine that society's cultural values, traditions and institutions. Capitalism is one traditional value; Christianity is another. For decades, the Left has opposed the public display of traditional religious symbols. One had to whisper "Merry Christmas at Christmastime. Then there are the ongoing assaults on the "sanctity of life and everything else a Christian America holds dear. Legal traditions must also be jettisoned when they interrupt the Socialist timetable. Due process, the presumption of innocence, the rule of law itself can all be suspended if circumstances require it. Even respect for traditional gender roles can be vehemently opposed. How dare anyone use a personal pronoun in any public utterance.
Above all those who made Liberty possible, and handed down the vital lessons on which it depends, i.e., the nation's founders, must be driven into some cultural wilderness never to be a source of enlightenment and inspiration again. The Left sees only victims, and they authorize every victimized group to enjoy vindictive retribution for all past violations - in perpetuity. For the Left, the founders were slaveholders. Nothing more. Let us then tear down their statutes and forget their names.
It is true. On one side of the scale there is slavery and a virulent racial animus and subjugation that cannot be minimized or pardoned. But what about the scale's other side? Are there not moral weights that afford a more balanced appraisal of the founders and all they left us? How can anyone discount what their Constitutional guarantees have afforded us: free speech, a free press, religious liberty, prohibition against self-incrimination, warrantless searches and seizures, cruel and unusual punishments, or, for that matter, the rule of law itself? And there's more. Being well acquainted with the ancient and early modern past, the founders appreciated the awful influence of power on human affairs. To preserve Liberty (however compromised at the outset) power would have to be separated into competing branches of government and made to be a check on power, itself. .
There is every reason to respect the founding generations. Their heroic sacrifices on behalf of liberty and equality made it possible for a future posterity, we living today, to finally live out the full meaning of their unprecedented creed.
How better to repeal these "misguided" views than to invite millions of immigrants, folks entirely unfamiliar with the nation's history and traditions. into the country? So the Left defends open borders, creates sanctuary cities, and places every fiscal obstacle in the way of Pres. Trump's promised border wall. It can only speed the Left's project along. It's of no consequence if the newly-arrived and unwashed know little about the country's founding or the staples of Western culture that allow free minds to function and (even semi) free markets to flourish. It is not human flourishing that the Progressive Left cares to promote.
(3) CLOSED MINDS: THE TYRANT'S TOOL KIT:
Propaganda, censorship and indoctrination, these are the time-honored tools tyrants employ to subdue a population and keep it obedient, i.e., firmly locked in power's iron grip. They will use all the armed force needed to control men's bodies. But they know it's less expensive to control men's minds. How much easier is it to rule a people if the ruler can pour their thoughts into a congenial mold? Free thought and expression are power's first casualty. Honesty is the second. To gain or maintain control, any fabrication, falsehood, or baseless smear may be shamelessly spread. For highly educated Progressives, many trained in courtroom combat, it's not hard to promote whatever "narrative" suits the cause-of-the-moment.
All that may be true, but we are talking about the United States. Considering all that is said daily for and against Progressivism, the Green New Deal, ObamaCare, high taxes, "AOC's squad, or Donald Trump, it is insane to put America and censorship together in the same sentence. The First Amendment's protection of free speech still guides and governs permissible expression. But that doesn't mean there is no mind control going on. And it doesn't commit today's Progressive, in or out of government, to being honest and telling the truth.
Today's Progressives lack the power to suppress anyone's opinion. But that doesn't make them powerless. They are anything but. For all the diversity Progressives claim to champion, they're really out to make sure everyone thinks and speaks with one voice. This is what political correctness is all about. It champions "diversity," but demands abject conformity of opinion from its minions and everyone else it touches. And it works not through persuasion, but through compulsion. It traffics in intolerance toward dissent and that can be highly effective.
If you know any millennials, you know how great is their need to be accepted by their peers, to fit in. What do they learn? Those who voice politically incorrect views (e.g., say a kind word about capitalism, the slave-holding founders, or Trump) will have to answer to their peers and all the social pressure they can bring to bear. It takes the form of social ostracism, Let the "wrong-headed" be shunned, ridiculed, guilted, cast out, in a word, abandoned. And this "soft-censorship" afflicts more than just millennials. Many adults are reluctant to express their genuine opinions in public, lest they lose friends, be viciously smeared, or get fired.
The long and honorable record of a person's life can be swept away and his last off-color quip turned into undeniable proof of moral depravity.
A varsity sports team's future can be destroyed by nothing more than a false accusation (see the Duke Lacrosse team's harrowing experience).
In October, 2018, the Black rapper and super-star celebrity, Kanye West, visited his friend, the president. He soon learned what happens to a minority celebrity who strays off the political reservation. A spokesman for the mob pronounces guilt, the blade comes down, and heads roll.
And there is more to it than that. Formal speech codes dictate the permissible limits of thought and expression on many a college campus. Administrative bodies impose punishing penalties on offenders. Under Title 9 (cancelled by Trump, if I'm not mistaken) campus kangaroo courts were severely stacked against students (men, of course ) accused of sexual improprieties.
College students demand "safe spaces" to prevent their ever hearing an "objectionable" fact or viewpoint from those who are paid to instruct them. Their professors must issue "trigger warnings," lest a student be exposed to course material he or she finds offensive. You know you are approaching a fatal juncture when the silencing of opposition takes on a life of its own. Conservative and Libertarian speakers are routinely prevented from addressing the college audiences that invite them to speak and want to hear what they have to say. Some, like the well-known scholar, Charles Murray, have been violently driven off campus. Is any of this normal? Is it the way rational seekers of truth behave?
The goon squads of despotism go further, brazenly attacking innocent folks and destroying property. Perhaps the reader has read about the radical activists known as "Occupy Wall Street," "or Black Hebrew Israelists," or "Black Lives Matter" or the savage hoards known as "Antifa."
You will know the end is near when these types are issued arms and uniforms and made to take an oath "to protect and defend" the Constitution of the United States..
Propaganda (Lies, Lies and more Lies)
A concept is a mental integration of two or more concretes united by certain shared characteristics (e.g., every bed, bookcase, table and chair are man-made items designed to support the weight of people or smaller objects. They are all joined by the wider abstraction "furniture"). A definition (just named) is attached to let us recognize every individual instance or example of the concept when we see it.
The concept of propaganda refers to all the falsehoods that have been, are now or in the future will be told in order to gain, maintain and expand political power. They are big, bald-faced lies repeated over and over until they take on the status of "common knowledge." Today, they are on display everywhere in public pronouncements and biased media coverage.
Progressive political leaders and activists have little regard for the truth. They continually lie to the American people to accomplish their, by now, not-so-hidden agendas. For them, the idea is not to know the world, but to change it, Obama's fundamental transformation is the object of their collective desires. After power is acquired, they will make sure that no change is ever thought or spoken of again. That's what despots do.
Truth, plain honesty, holds no special place in the hearts of those who seek power over people. They are free to lie with carefree abandon. And, throughout history, tyrant types have made for very slick con-men and convincing liars. Those who look on often mistake the vicious "gift" for "charisma."
The lies take many forms. Today's mainstream media issue a relentless barrage of reports to establish the multiplicity of evils that afflict American culture. Any story that smacks of racism, sexual misconduct, or police brutality will become front-page, above-the-fold gospel. Any interpretation of passing events that casts America in a bad light will be spread as far and fast as possible.
Why does Trump want to build a border wall? He hates brown people. What else could it possibly be? There are plenty of other possibilities. Only our Left-wing, College-trained journalists have no need to dig any deeper. The news must be "massaged" to fit the agenda.
The lies keep coming. In order to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court bench, a jurist with a long and distinguished record of service, the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee were prepared to say and do anything that might help defeat the nominee. With nary a shred of evidence to support the charges, they pronounced Ms. Christine Blase Ford's case thoroughly persuasive. We must believe the woman victim because she is a woman and a victim. Anyway, everyone knows that sexism, rape culture, and toxic masculinity are enduring American pastimes. Why not believe her?
A few years earlier, to win the vote on ObamaCare, A U. S. president looked into the camera lens and assured every American that "if you like your doctor and insurance plan, you can keep your doctor and insurance plan.
Wholly aware of the strict terms and new coverages ObamaCare mandated (and forced families to pay for), the president knew full well that very few would be able to keep their plans or their doctors. Against all promised premium reductions, premiums soared.
The obvious solution to the problems ObamaCare exacerbated, single-payer, i.e., universal health care, i.e., Medicare for all." In a simpler time it was just called socialized medicine.
What's wrong with liberal leaders who repeatedly lie to achieve their ends? The same thing that's wrong with any lie we tell others or ourselves. Honesty means looking at the world as it is, not pretending that what is isn't or that what isn't is. Ask yourself, how can we expect to deal effectively with the unavoidable challenges we face if we (1) refuse to see them for what they actually are and (2) fail to realize what will come of this or that "solution" on the basis of all past human experience?
The Progressives don't care. They are not out to deal effectively with life's unavoidable challenges (take a look at Baltimore, Detroit and a hundred other inner cities).. They are out to take charge and set the terms for the rest of us.
In the long run, there's nothing to gain from faking reality. It makes a difference whether a nation lowers taxes or must steadily raise them to pay for ever-more-extravagant entitlements and swamp-driven graft). There is abundant historical evidence signaling which course promotes prosperity, and which can only bring more heartache and suffering.
Let's look at one popular lie that has become a steady drumbeat of propaganda and deceit. It is the claim that Donald Trump is a racist and worse, a white supremacist.
They label his huge, stadium-sized audiences evil yahoos, hoping to restore a once-pristine, white American culture. What else could the president possibly be doing but sounding "dog whistles" to signal his whole-hearted support for their bigotry? The president hates brown people, there's no way around it. There's no need to consider what
other considerations might reasonably recommend a border wall.
Then, Mr. Trump defends his demand to close the border by noting the heinous crimes illegal immigrants are committing in every part of the country. According to the Left, this vicious slander against "all" immigrants of color only confirms Trump's guilt. Never mind the passionate denunciations of white supremacy he has voiced time and again.
The president then pushes back against "TOC-and-her-gang-of-3." What does that prove? It further confirms what everyone already knows. The president hates women of color, especially if they're competing for power and winning seats in Congress. Could it have been their repugnant ideas, not their diverse ethnic origins that irked the president? Today's college-trained "journalists" and media commentators see no need to dig any deeper. The fraudulent smear serves its purpose. Repeat a lie often enough and, well, you know the rest.
In Charlottesville, Va, a controversy breaks out. In response to the Left's effort to remove venerated statutes of the founding fathers, patriot groups rise to resist the effort.
While living, breathing white supremacists show up and spew their vile hate, many others simply want to save the statutes and honor the founders for the many liberties they left us. The president says there are good people on both sides of the controversy while denouncing white supremaciy. To his foes, that confirms his racist cast. Good people don't want to preserve the memory of the slave-holding founders, don't you know.
And all this comes after an extensive campaign designed to drive Donald Trump from office. For more than two years, the mainstream media sold the people a saga of Russian collusion. Never mind a preponderance, not a smidgen of evidence was ever produced to support the allegation. He was pronounced guilty and declared sorely unfit for high public office long before the Mueller Report finally vindicated him of the fake, fraudulent charges. Loud calls for his impeachment linger on.
Marry propaganda and censorship and insert the unholy union into a nation's school curriculum and you bang out the tyrant's third indispensable tool. From kindergarten to college, nearly every American classroom has become little more than a center of indoctrination. That wasn't the original plan. Education was designed to teach the important critical thinking skills both young and old need to navigate through life, i.e., to make the personal, financial and political decisions that can steadily improve (rather than diminish) the quality of daily life.
Instead of teaching the young how to think, today's "educators" insist on telling them what to think. Where does it all begin? Who chooses the designated body of belief and sends it cascading down the multi-layered canyons of culture?
Cultural patterns are formed from the top down. The shaping of thought starts in the universities, especially in the Ivy League schools. The most prominent academics, authors and public speakers set the stage. The people who read their books and agree become middlemen on the long transmission belt of cultural continuity or change. The leading thinkers thus teach the rank-and-file professors, who teach the undergraduate students, who become classroom teachers, judges, journalists, lawyers, playwrights, movie moguls, outspoken athlete/entertainment celebrities, and "lowly" bureaucrats., The culture's grassroots opinion leaders take it from there. And the attorneys, trained to argue any side of any case, become elected leaders and find themselves in a position to even more directly impact cultural outcomes.
What kinds of ideas are today's educational elites busy spreading? First, there is the emphasis on the country's moral failings. Professors in the humanities and social sciences uniformly disparage the historical record and assure their students that past sins yet persist (if dressed in somewhat more subtle, "unconscious" garb). School is where young minds go to learn of their country's innumerable sins and shortcomings (real and imagined). They learn that this is a land racked by racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, white privilege, hate speech, rape culture, toxic masculinity, and rampant police brutality.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the widely assigned college-level text, A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. The least sympathetic, it is easily the most widely-assigned American history "text" in the country. It is a story told by one of America's most ardent detractors and read by successive generations of high school and college students.
Barely lagging behind the evil-America theme is the anti-industrial" project. It has found ultimate expression in the radical Green New Deal (more about that later). From grade school forward America's young are taught that industrial activity and the reckless release of carbon molecules are polluting the atmosphere and threatening the very sustainability of life on earth. Unless severe remedial steps - political steps - are taken, total climactic calamity awaits.
Not every student adopts his or her teachers' outlook on life. There is still free will, the influence of more honest and rational parents and peers and the evidence of reality one's own independent look at the world reveals.
But for millions of "educated" young people, the verities they have been taught to repeat take on the status of indisputable "facts." If you speak to millennials you know quite often there is no talking them out of anything. Fact: Donald Trump is a white supremacist, and socialism is a far better way to organize society than is greedy, "look-out-for-#1" capitalism. "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Western culture's got to go."
The well-advertised fondness America's youth feel for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, in particular, testifies to how successful the Progressive curriculum has been in penetrating the American mind and shaping its outlook. Be assured, it is change - a fundamental transformation - not continuity that guides the educational agenda. As far as today's Progressive "Educrats" are concerned, that agenda is the hope of mankind. Nothing must be allowed to get in its way. So the only question is will the people put up with the deprivations those changes will unavoidably bring?
Total Government: The Green New Deal
There is no example of propaganda that endangers the general welfare more than the heated alarms sounded by today's environmentalists. If global climate change poses the threat they assure us it poses, then what steps may government not take to rescue the planet and stave off climactic calamity?
What courage it now takes merely to question the threat carbon emissions allegedly pose to the sustainability of life on earth. It's "settled science," after all. As if there is such a thing. For anyone who wishes to fit in, it's blasphemy to oppose the Green New Deal. More than a few climate warriors have demanded that climate "deniers" be driven from their professions as climatologists or nightly weather reporters.
If there is no national purpose more vital than saving the planet and fossil fuels are the chief environmental scourge, then what restrictions on its distribution and use could not, in the crucible of time, be promulgated?
For the Progressive Left it's not just about controlling thoughts. The aim of the exercise, ultimately, is to control lives. This is what the Green New Deal is designed to do.
Government will be put in charge of saving the planet. If carbon emissions pose the main threat to mankind, the solution consists in curtailing their use. Any imaginable measure that can contribute to the solution can be implemented. Every man, woman and child will lose the freedom to fly or drive where and when and however far he or she may want to go. The temperature of our homes and businesses will be regulated, as will the use of fossil fuels in whatever form they may still be legally marketed. The needs of the climate will trump the needs of the people at every term. Since an industrial economy runs on energy and the fossil fuels supply the bulk of it, controls will be placed on every facet of production, distribution, investment and labor. Total control will be desperately "needed" and, should the people be compliant enough to permit it, fully employed.
A Concluding Note
Should the reader be alarmed by this report? Of course. Should the reader be worried about the prospect of the pending peril? Not necessarily, at least not yet. The danger should not be thought imminent.
The American people have not yet been tested. The freedom to live our lives, associate with whom we please, work in a chosen field, climb the ladder of success and take a couple of vacations, each year, is still a bona fide fact of American life. Though the forgotten men and women of the country are feeling the tax man's bite, opportunities for advancement have only been expanding in recent days.
So I'll go out on a limb and conclude on an optimistic note.
Since Americans will never put up with the deprivations a Green New Deal will necessarily inflict, tomorrow's Green New Dealers will have to decide what's more important: saving the planet or holding free elections. They won't be able to do both. It is when push finally comes to shove and their backs are against the wall that we will learn how much freedom continues to mean to we the people.
The United States of America is still a wondrous land of opportunity for those who are willing to work to make tomorrow better than today