Tag Archive for: Marxism

Biden Regime Unleashes ‘Total Transformation [Destruction] of the [Federal] Government’ With ‘Equity Action Plans’

This. Is. Happening. Our universities, colleges, public schools, intel agencies (all government agencies, for that matter) – every sphere is being subsumed by this 21st century quasi-Nazism.

Woke Pentagon rolls out ‘equity’ plan | Fox News

The Department of Defense issued an equity report, aiming to equalize outcomes of employees and partners across racial, sexual and gender lines.

Biden Admin Unleashes ‘Total Transformation Of Government’ With ‘Equity Action Plans’

By Tim Meads • Daily Wire • Apr 20, 2022 •

On April 14, the Biden administration unleashed a “total transformation of government” — as described by the Department of Energy — arguably based on principles of Critical Race Theory.

Toward that end, more than 90 federal agencies announced “equity action plans” to supposedly address inequality in American society — but critics say that the plans will create a coercive bureaucracy intent on punishing certain Americans based on racial marxism and other progressive ideas that champion victimhood.

The White House recently noted that on his first day in office, President Joe Biden “signed Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government” which “directed the whole of the federal government to advance an ambitious equity and racial justice agenda” focused on creating “prosperity, dignity, and equality” for underserved communities.

Ryan Girdusky, founder of 1776 Project PAC, a non-profit focused on electing school board members opposed to Critical Race Theory-inspired curriculum, told The Daily Wire that Biden administration’s “plan towards equity is race-based Marxism with a different word.”

“The entire program is set to lower standards, dilute meritocracy, and have the first large-scale government-supported laws that discriminate against people based on their race since before Eisenhower was President,” Girdusky added.

Indeed, the Department of Energy explained in its equity action plan released last week that it has already started considering factors other than technical merit when doling out financial assistance via a pilot program through its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) office.

Starting back in March 2021, applicants seeking research and development funding from EERE have had to issue diversity, equity, and inclusion statements for their projects on their applications.

The purpose of such statements are to explain how their project would help and include “underserved communities” — which is taken to mean minority, non-white, non-heterosexual, non-male groups — in order to be considered for the taxpayer-funded grants……

Keep reading.

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Islamo-Leftism [Part 8]

Editor’s note: The following is a translation by Ibn Warraq and Robert Kerr of Michel Onfray’s L’Art d’Etre Francais (The Art of Being French, Bouquins, 2021), published here for the first time. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. Part 4 is here. Part 5 is here. Part 6 is here. Part 7 is here.


This essentialization finds its theory in long discourses on “the Other” (p. 141) with a capital letter… One can’t do more essentializing than with this hollow, empty, pretentious concept, redolent of the philosophical jargon of phenomenologists! What is this Other that some people who quote Levinas go on about? What though is the ‘Other’ than the ‘same entity’ (Même), repeatedly recast from the same mould, duplicated ad nauseam for the particular needs of the cause on hand. The Other is nonexistent, just an idealized figure, a notion, a Platonic ideal that can never become manifest because there are only multiplicities, diversities, otherness. Plenel writes at one point: “This Other who, in our societies, has taken the figure of the Muslim” (p. 143). There can be no better proof that this Other is nothing but a ‘Sameyness’ (Même) conceptualized as an archetype, allowing for all possible journalistic and pamphleteering variations.

Plenel is a realist, in the medieval philosophical sense of the term, in other words someone who believes in the reality of ideas more than in the truth of multiplicities. He does not believe what he sees, but he sees what he believes. And there is little difference between the realist in this sense and the ideologue, for whom reality never materializes because the idea imposes the law in its place. Plenel’s Muslim does not exist, except as an allegory by means of which all ideological variations are possible.

Secondly: godwiner. I propose this neologism based on Godwin’s observation[16] which describes the tendency of people to invoke the Holocaust [or Nazis] to prevent any subtle analysis in order to preclude any complex reflection. This criminalization of the interlocutor forbids us to debate with him. He is de facto a monster comparable to the Nazis.

Edwy Plenel’s title is not by chance: Pour les musulmans. Since Émile Zola published Pour les juifs (p. 67) during the Dreyfus affair, Edwy Plenel, in response to this new Dreyfus affair, namely the assertion that there is “a problem with Islam in France” (p. 39), must take up the torch and be the Zola of his time.

Muslims are allegedly stigmatized, despised, hated and persecuted in France, just as the Jews were in the course of the 20th century. They are seen as an “enemy from within (the Jew yesterday, the Muslim – or, indiscriminately, the Arab today)” (p. 54) – the upper and lower case letters are the author’s.

If today’s Muslims are yesterday’s Jews, then where are the Drumonts[17] and Maurras[18] of today? Finkielkraut[19], answers Plenel…  Where is the media in which hatred against Muslims is spewed out every day? Plenel can produce no culprit worse than France Inter, specifically the Matinales program of this radio station, which by all accounts supports most of his theses – the book opens with a denunciation of this state broadcasting station, as it serves “lark’s pâté” every day, inviting an Islamophile horse[20] and [what offends Plenel] a lark critical of Islamophilia (p. 39). There was even a time, on France Inter, under the leadership of Patrick Cohen, when there was a blacklist of people not to be invited, most of whom could have played the role of the lark in a pâté that was then frankly more horse, with the blessing of the management of this public service that lives on taxpayers’ money and that declined to comment when this became known…

Is there a newspaper that would be the equivalent of L’Action française?[21] Yes. It’s Libération… No laughing matter… First, Edwy Plenel points out “the responsibility of the media” (p. 60), which itself is then essentialized, he claims that they construct, convey, and trivialize “the stigmatization of a population of men, women and children, on the pretext of their religious, spiritual or community identity” (p. 60). Libération? Le Monde? L’Humanité? L’Obs? L’Express? France Inter, France Culture, France infoFrance 2? Media that propagate a bad image of Muslims – yea right, get real.

But where then are the anti-Muslim laws, such as those passed by Vichy on October 3, 1940, antisemitic laws which prohibited Jews from being judges, teachers, doctors, civil servants, soldiers, journalists, film-makers, directors, administrators or theater managers? What is the counterpart of the law of June 2, 1941, which racialized Jews on the basis of their ancestry? Which forbade them from receiving decorations, including the Legion of Honor? Which expanded the work bans to [Jewish] craftsmen, merchants, industrialists, librarians, bankers, advertisers, real estate agents, traders, brokers, foresters, publishers? Which civil service is working to concretely discriminate against Muslims, as did the General Commissariat for Jewish Questions created by the law of March 29, 1941?

The proposal to revoke nationality (of Muslims) following the attacks was indeed foolishness intended to produce a media effect, but that is not enough to conclude that the Muslims of today are the Jews of yesterday. To which I should not be so presumptuous to add that, even among the most vehement opponents of Islam, Jean-Marie Le Pen, no one has envisioned or proposed the equivalent of the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup,[22] of a mass deportation of Muslims to concentration camps, let alone extermination. Just as one would look in vain for a massive plan to destroy Europe’s Muslims in gas chambers, which, need we remind you here? alas yes, remains synonymous with the Jewish people. That is why this moment in history should not be invoked or referred to so lightly.

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REFERENCES:

[16] Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a saying made by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states: “As a discussion on the Internet grows longer, the likelihood of a person‘s being compared to Hitler or another Nazi, increases.” That means that as more people talk on the Internet for a longer time, it becomes more and more likely that someone will talk about Hitler or the Nazis.”

[17] Édouard Drumont [1844 -1917] was  a journalist, writer and right wing politician, who was an antidreyfusard and antisemite.

[18] Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras [ 1868 – 1952) was a French author, politician, poet, and critic. He was an organizer and principal philosopher of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras’ ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and integral nationalism.

[19] Alain Finkielkraut [born 1949] philosopher, whose parents were Polish Jews, defines himself as being “at the same time classical and romantic”. Finkielkraut deplores what he sees as the deterioration of Western tradition through multiculturalism and relativism.

[20]   “To make a lark pie, take a horse and a lark …”. In this list of ingredients, the size disproportion between horse and lark is striking. The contrast makes us say that it would have been intellectually more honest to name such a dish (if we had to find a name for it), paté of horse with lark.

This exaggerated imbalance between two substances “packaged and sold” together under the same name, a disparity that the lark pie idiom perfectly highlights. Lark pâté is a Machiavellian trap in the place of a product or a proposition that has been misleadingly highlighted. The recipe is well known to advertisers and politicians. It consists of highlighting one of the secondary characteristics of a product, a law or a proposal, in order to present it in its best profile; the goal being to make up, minimize or even make people forget the dominant, uninteresting, harmful or liberating characteristic of the object in question.

[21] Action française is a French far-right monarchist political movement. The name was also given to a journal associated with the movement. The movement and the journal were founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois in 1899, as a nationalist reaction against the intervention of left-wing intellectuals on behalf of Alfred Dreyfus. Charles Maurras quickly joined Action française and became its principal ideologist..

[22]  The Vel d’Hiv Roundup (an abbreviation of Rafle du Vélodrome d’Hiver) in Paris was a mass arrest of Jewish families who were herded into this stadium, used for cycling tournaments during the winter, by French police and gendarmes on the orders of the German authorities in July 1942. Over 13,000 Jews were arrested, including more than 4,000 children. They were all later sent to Auschwitz.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Islamo-Leftism [Part 3]

Editor’s note: The following is a translation by Ibn Warraq and Robert Kerr of Michel Onfray’s L’Art d’Etre Francais (The Art of Being French, Bouquins, 2021), published here for the first time. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.


Foucault went on a second trip in November of that year, and a new series of articles appeared. On February 13, 1979, when Khomeini left for Iran, the philosopher, who had made the trip to Neauphle-le-Château, was present at the airport.

What arguments do the articles he published in the Italian newspaper at the end of 1978 make?

That Islam is the answer to the Shah’s westernization of Iran; that, for want of justice, the Mullahs provide charity in response to the regime’s imperialism; that a Muslim killing another Muslim is scandalous – which is however to ignore the history of Shiite-Sunni relations for almost a millennium and a half; that Israel backed the Shah along with the United States and France (but then so did the Soviet Union); that, paradoxically for a normalien, modernity is archaism – and thus tradition is the true modernity; that the regime was corrupt and that the Shah was imposing on his people “a regime of occupation” comparable “to all colonial regimes” (III, 683).

– therefore, to oppose this is to resist; secularism and industrialization are no longer relevant

-and consequently, theocracy and feudal economy represent the true modernity; the Shah’s regime stands for archaism while that of the Mullahs  is modernity; that the traditional life defended by the Mullahs is preferable to the modernity advocated by the Shah; that “Islam, which for so many centuries has so carefully regulated daily life, family ties, and social relations” (III, 685), is most capable of offering “protection” against the regime – “didn’t its rigor [sic], its immobility [re-sic] determine its success?” Accordingly, “the Islamic government” and the left make common cause without any difficulty  (this is the genealogy of Islamo-leftism); that the Qur’an legitimized the struggle against the Shah, the Americans, “the West and its materialism”; that Islam is fascinated by death and martyrdom (and it is understandable that this proved irresistible to Foucault, who shared this fascination); that the Islamist sermons broadcast in the streets by loudspeaker reminded him of Savonarola – who headed the Catholic theocratic dictatorship in Florence without our philosophy professor being troubled about it; that the Shiite clergy disregards hierarchy, but that one must follow ‘the great ayatollahs’ because they crystallize the will of the people; that Islam is opposed to state power (a notion that a thousand years of Islamic politics refutes); and “that one fact must be clear: By ‘Islamic government’ no one in Iran means a political regime in which the clergy would play a leading or supervisory role” (III, 691) – Everyone will appreciate the philosopher’s immense foresight; that Islam once in power would protect freedoms, minorities, the equality of men and women, that the people could hold those who govern them to account; that this same political Islam would make it possible to reinsert spirituality, that is to say religion, into politics – which means abolishing secularism and restoring the theocratic order that the French Revolution had suppressed in order to favor the democratic order; that a ‘political spirituality’ (III, 694) is a project that ‘impressed’ (that’s his own word) Michel Foucault.

In speaking of this “political spirituality” as something we had forgotten “since the Renaissance and the great crises of Christianity” (though all counter-revolutionary thought was full of it in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, one only has to read Joseph de Maistre[4], Louis de Bonald[5], Blanc de Saint-Bonnet[6]), Foucault writes: “I can already hear the French laughing, but I know they are wrong” (III, 694).

The philosopher, however, was also wrong on this subject: many French people did not laugh, many of them even subscribed to this reactionary and theocratic thinking, since it came from a man who called himself a leftist. I am thinking of Serge July in Libération or Jean Daniel in Le Nouvel Observateur, who also thought along these lines. The same applies to the Parti socialiste. Or with Le Monde, which, since the war in Lebanon in 1975, pitted the “Islamo-progressivists” against the “conservative Christians”. This has since become the dominant ideology of what presents itself as the Left and claims to be progressive.

Islamo-Gauchism was thus born in the wake of this Iranian revolution when Foucault believed that Islamic traditionalist thought, that is to say its anti-Semitism, its phallocracy, its misogyny, its theocracy, its homophobia, were susceptible to become the truth of the future.

He was certainly not wrong to write: “The issue of Islam as a political force is a crucial matter for our time and for the years to come” (III, 708). But why on earth did he think that abolishing secularism, suppressing democracy, renouncing progress, that is, restoring the power of the religious, rehabilitating theocracy, and re-establishing tradition, were the political answers to the crisis of the Western world? The ghost of Foucault hovers over European decadence.

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[4] Joseph de Maistre [1753-1821] was a key figure of the Counter-Enlightenment. He regarded the monarchy both as a divinely sanctioned institution and as the only stable form of government. Maistre argued that the rationalist rejection of Christianity was directly responsible for the disorder and bloodshed which followed the French Revolution of 1789.

[5] Louis de Bonald [1754-1840], was a monarchist who opposed the French Revolution, and wished France to return to the principles of the Roman Catholic Church.

[6] Blanc de Saint-Bonnet [1815-1880] was a counter-revolutionary, anti-liberal who favored social Catholicism. He wrote, “You who separate reason and religion, know that you destroy both. Religion is the health of reason; reason is the strength of religion. Religion without reason becomes superstition. Reason without religion becomes disbelief” (L’Unité spirituelle)

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

EXPOSED: Agenda 21 – 2030/2050

This blog subject was suggested to me by a dear friend, a fervent patriot, a Save America Foundation founder member and a conservative activist, Deb C. She and I plus thousands of others have been preaching about Agenda 21 and the Great Reset. Both are real. Both are here. Both need to be stopped. Unless we do America is doomed. No iffs or buts about it. Done. Finito. Destroyed. The video links I have pasted below need you to register but I suggest you do. There is a massive wealth of information on that site. As always we need to get the information out. One way is by the sharing this blog to everyone you know. Read on …

May God rest her soul, Rosa Koire explains Agenda 21. Everyone should pass this on . We must wake up the people.

Once we were tin foil hat wearers, NO MORE . WE ARE LIVING THE NIGHTMARE. Agenda 21  2030 and 2050 are activated. My friends, everything I told you was TRUTH, believe it now??

WE MUST NOT COMPLY!

WE MUST NOT LET THEM ENFORCE THE PASSPORTS!

Right now the Agenda is the Depopulation portion of the Agenda 21. VAXXED, UNVAXXED stand for individual liberty , STAND TOGETHER AND JOIN IN THE STREET PROTESTS WHEN THEY BEGIN. I went to one on Saturday in Tallahassee, not enough people are showing up. NUMBERS ARE STRENGTH, SHOW UP.

Only we can save our children . DO NOT VAX the kids! Take them OUT OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. SORRY, YOU MUST HOME SCHOOL Or the child will be damaged in many ways , sterilization, heart issues and possibly death.

This is a Perfectly done video for all ages. SHARE THIS!!

I think we are winning only because we are not complying .

Many that took the jab can also be saved by not taking any more shots and taking supplements and Ivermectin ( once weekly). Vitamins C (1000-2000 daily)  Vitamin D ( 5000units minimum daily) ZINC ( 30-50 units daily)

Quercetin, NAC (600units daily), vitamin A and K2.  This is for future immunity because the shot has attacked the immune system . That is why the shot is not working to protect the jabbed . Do NOT TAKE a FLU SHOT!

God save Humanity!

NEWS WORLD ORDER: EPISODE 3: TRANSITION TRANSLATION AND REFLECTION

Where the NWOs plan is today on 2021. Explaining the Great Reset – Agenda 21 – and how it all ties in with some unexpected turns.

The most rare clips compiled in a unique fashion that completely exposes the New World Order. It wont seem so crazy anymore after experiencing this series. This is a great place to start for anyone new or advanced.

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Banned Video Archive

8GOLDEN0KNOWLEDGE2

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: MSNBC FINALLY Reports The “Scary” Truth: “Americans Have Lost Confidence” In Biden.

Capitalist Giant American Express: Capitalism Is Racist

My latest in PJ Media:

What could be more capitalist than American Express? After all, the credit card behemoth made $2.3 billion in profit last quarter alone.  Since the social media giants are massive corporations, too, and they seem to be all in on the woke corporate nanny state, why not Amex? Christopher F. Rufo of the Manhattan Institute revealed in the New York Post Wednesday that Amex invited Khalil Muhammad, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School and the Radcliffe Institute and the great-grandson of the founder of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, to give a lecture to employees on “race in corporate America.”

Yes, Amex is pushing critical race theory (CRT) in a big way. Rufo notes that the company established an “Anti-Racism Initiative” last year after the death of George Floyd, and since then has been “subjecting employees to a training program based on the core CRT tenets, including intersectionality, which reduces individuals to a tangle of racial, gender and sexual identities that determine whether he is an ‘oppressor’ or ‘oppressed’ in a given situation.”

Employees were made to enter their “race, sexual orientation, body type, religion, disability status, age, gender identity [and] citizenship” onto “an official company worksheet” and use this data to determine whether they were “privileged” or “marginalized,” no doubt in full accord with the Left’s hierarchy of good to evil, in which white American males are the carriers of the original sin of racism. Amex offers resources (including, of course, the timeless classic writings of Ibram X. Kendi) to “learn about covert white supremacy” and take up “the lifelong task of overcoming our country’s racist heritage.” Some of the featured resources call for efforts to “force white people to see and understand how white supremacy permeates their lives.”

As in other places, the CRT training at Amex identifies even the renunciation of racism as racist, stigmatizing as “microaggressions” phrases including “I don’t see color,” “We are all human beings” and “Everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard enough.”

Everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard enough, but Khalil Muhammad, Harvard professor, was having none of that and was determined to make sure the Amex employees, or at least the white male ones, became aware that they were racist oppressors. He told his captive audience of credit card wonks that capitalism was “founded on racism” and that the Western world had been profoundly influenced by “racist logics and forms of domination” for centuries. “American Express,” he declared, “has to do its own digging about how it sits in relationship to this history of racial capitalism.” He laid the guilt on extra thick: “You are complicit in giving privileges in one community against the other, under the pretext that we live in a meritocratic system where the market judges everyone the same.”

There is more. Read the rest here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump’s ban on Critical Race Theory, explained

Does Critical Race Theory promote racial harmony or does it “sow division” as the Trump administration claims? And what is its relation, if any, to Marxism?


With the November election just around the corner, it’s only to be expected that President Trump would seek to rally conservative voters and drive his supporters to the polls. So, when his administration, on September 4, instructed the federal government to eliminate all training in “Critical Race Theory,” some thought it was just a red-meat stunt to excite the Republican base. Others saw it as an act of right-wing censorship and an obstruction of racial progress.

In truth, there’s much more to this development than mere politicization and censorship.

Here’s a breakdown of what the administration is doing and why it’s a welcome move.

The executive memo

“It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought wrote in the executive memorandum.

“Employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism’ or where they are required to say that they ‘benefit from racism,’” Vought explained. “According to press reports, in some cases these training [sic] have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.”

The order instructed federal agencies to identify and eliminate any contracts or spending that train employees in “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” “or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”

The exposé

How did it “come to the President’s attention,” and what press reports is Vought referring to?

Well, President Trump is known to watch Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News. And days before the memo was issued, Carlson had on journalist Christopher Rufo to discuss his multiple reports uncovering the extent to which Critical Race Theory (CRT) was being used in federal training programs.

“For example, Rufo claimed, the Treasury Department recently hired a diversity trainer who said the U.S. was a fundamentally White supremacist country,” wrote Sam Dorman for the Fox News web site, “and that White people upheld the system of racism in the nation. In another case, which Rufo discussed with Carlson last month, Sandia National Laboratories, which designs nuclear weapons, sent its white male executives to a mandatory training in which they, according to Rufo, wrote letters apologizing to women and people of color.”

Rufo challenged President Trump to use his executive authority to extirpate CRT from the federal government.

The debate

CNN’s Brian Stelter (as well as Rufo himself) traced Trump’s decision directly to the independent investigative journalist’s self-proclaimed “one-man war” on CRT, of which the recent Carlson appearance was only the latest salvo.

Selter characterized Trump’s move as a reactionary attack on the current national “reckoning” on race. He cited the Washington Post’s claim that, “racial and diversity awareness trainings are essential steps in helping rectify the pervasive racial inequities in American society, including those perpetuated by the federal government.”

So which is it? Is CRT “divisive” and “toxic” or is it “rectifying” and “anti-racist”?

Intellectual ancestry

To answer that, it would help to trace CRT to its roots. Critical Race Theory is a branch of Critical Theory, which began as an academic movement in the 1930s. Critical Theory emphasizes the “critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures,” as Wikipedia states. Critical Race Theory does the same, with a focus on racial power structures, especially white supremacy and the oppression of people of color.

The “power structure” prism stems largely from Critical Theory’s own roots in Marxism—Critical Theory was developed by members of the Marxist “Frankfurt School.” Traditional Marxism emphasized economic power structures, especially the supremacy of capital over labor under capitalism. Marxism interpreted most of human history as a zero-sum class war for economic power.

“According to the Marxian view,” wrote the economist Ludwig von Mises, “human society is organized into classes whose interests stand in irreconcilable opposition.”

Mises called this view a “conflict doctrine,” which opposed the “harmony doctrine” of classical liberalism. According to the classical liberals, in a free market economy, capitalists and workers were natural allies, not enemies. Indeed, in a free society all rights-respecting individuals were natural allies.

A bitter inheritance

Critical Race Theory arose as a distinct movement in law schools in the late 1980s. CRT inherited many of its premises and perspectives from its Marxist ancestry.

The pre-CRT Civil Rights Movement had emphasized equal rights and treating people as individuals, as opposed to as members of a racial collective. “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” Martin Luther King famously said.

In contrast, CRT dwells on inequalities of outcome, which it generally attributes to racial power structures. And, as we’ve seen from the government training curricula, modern CRT forthrightly judges white people by the color of their skin, prejudging them as racist by virtue of their race. This race-based “pre-trial guilty verdict” of racism is itself, by definition, racist.

The classical liberal “harmony doctrine” was deeply influential in the movements to abolish all forms of inequality under the law: from feudal serfdom, to race-based slavery, to Jim Crow.

But, with the rise of Critical Race Theory, the cause of racial justice became more influenced by the fixations on conflict, discord, and domination that CRT inherited from Marxism.

Social life was predominantly cast as a zero-sum struggle between collectives: capital vs. labor for Marxism, whites vs. people of color for CRT.

A huge portion of society’s ills were attributed to one particular collective’s diabolical domination: capitalist hegemony for Marxism, white supremacy for CRT.

Just as Marxism demonized capitalists, CRT vilifies white people. Both try to foment resentment, envy, and a victimhood complex among the oppressed class it claims to champion.

Traditional Marxists claimed that all capitalists benefit from the zero-sum exploitation of workers. Similarly, CRT “diversity trainers” require white trainees to admit that they “benefit from racism.”

Traditional Marxists insisted that bourgeois thoughts were inescapably conditioned by “class interest.” In the same way, CRT trainers push the notion that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” as a result of their whiteness.

Given the above, it should be no wonder that CRT has been criticized as “racist” and “divisive.”

Reckoning or retrogression?

Supporters of CRT cast it as a force for good in today’s “rectifying reckoning” over race.

But CRT’s neo-Marxist orientation only damages race relations and harms the interests of those it claims to serve.

In practice, the class war rhetoric of Marxism was divisive and toxic for economic relations. And, far from advancing the interests of the working classes, it led to mass poverty and devastating famines, not to mention staggering inequality between the elites and the masses.

Today, the CRT-informed philosophy, rhetoric, and strategy of the Black Lives Matter organization (whose leadership professed to be “trained Marxists”) is leading to mass riots, looting, vandalism, and assault. The divisive violence has arrested progress for the cause of police reform, destroyed countless black-owned small businesses, and economically devastated many black communities.

Those who truly wish to see racial harmony should dump the neo-Marxists and learn more about classical liberalism. (FEE.org is the perfect place to start.)

So much for CRT being a force for good. Of course, even horrible ideas are protected by the First Amendment. The government should never use force to suppress people from expressing ideas, speech, or theories it dislikes.

Critics insist that President Trump is engaged in this kind of censorship by targeting CRT.

Not so.

No one is banning White Fragility, the blockbuster CRT manifesto. No one is locking up those who preach CRT or ordering mentions of it stripped from the internet.

The memo simply says that taxpayer dollars will no longer be spent promulgating this theory to federal government employees. As heads of the executive branch, presidents have wide latitude to make the rules for federal agencies under their control. Deciding how money is spent certainly falls under their proper discretion—and it is always done with political preferences in mind, one way or the other.

It is not censorship for Trump to eliminate funding for CRT, anymore than it was “censorship” for the Obama administration to choose to tie federal contracts to a business’s embrace of LGBT rights.

Elections have consequences, one of the most obvious being that the president gets to run the executive branch. If we don’t want the president’s political preferences to be so significant in training programs, then we should simply reduce the size of government and the number of bureaucrats.

In the meantime, stripping the federal government of the divisive, toxic, and neo-Marxist ideology of Critical Race Theory is a positive development for the sake of racial justice and harmony.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

COLUMN BY

Dan Sanchez

Dan Sanchez is the Director of Content at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and the editor-in-chief of FEE.org. He co-hosts the weekly web show FEEcast, serving as the resident “explainer.” … 

Tyler Brandt

Tyler Brandt is a Senior Associate Editor at FEE. He is a graduate of UW-Madison with a B.A. in Political Science. In college, Tyler was a FEE Campus Ambassador, President of his campus YAL chapter, and… 

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and the Eugene S. Thorpe Writing Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education. He was previously a Media and Journalism Fellow at… 

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EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

AOC: ‘Freeing People’ From ‘Existential Havoc’ of Capitalism

In a conversation with the online Interview Magazine published Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) promoted fellow Democratic Socialist Jabari Brisport from New York as another candidate who hopes to fundamentally transform the country.

AOC asked the openly gay, black nominee for the New York State Senate what Democratic Socialist means to him, Brisport replied, “For me, it’s really about getting people out from underneath the thumb of capitalism, and freeing them from the very small group of people that manage—or I should say mismanage—our economy and our society for their own wealth and benefit. It’s about freeing up people to truly experience all the joys in life by making sure they don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll be able to keep their home from month to month, or whether or not they’ll be able to pay for health care when they get sick.

“It’s about freeing people from all the existential havoc that capitalism wreaks on us, and allowing them to truly thrive,” Brisport added.

The duo didn’t offer any examples of where and when in history people have truly thrived under socialism.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

27 Known Connections

Lauding the Protesters and Rioters in America’s Streets

In an August 2020 photo essay in which Vanity Fair magazine “celebrat[ed] the founders of Black Lives Matter [BLM] … and more on the forefront of change,” Ocasio-Cortez called it “profoundly exciting” that the Marxist/anarchist revolutionaries of BLM and Antifa were “discovering their own power” by participating in the massive wave of protests and violent riots that had swept the country since late May. Some excerpts:

  • “I believe that people are really discovering their own power in a broader sense that we have not seen in a very long time. So, yes, we’re starting to see some of this emerging power at the ballot box and at the polls, but we’re also starting to see it in the streets, and people standing up for themselves in the workplace, in organizing themselves and their labor, and it’s profoundly exciting. And it’s really incredible to see how people are really taking the reins for themselves in the direction of systemic change.”
  • “I think that all these people in the streets that are educating others, that are engaging in this elevated and amplified way, have really emboldened me, and it’s given me a lot of courage and encouragement to try to match the energy of everyone else right now who’s really fighting for progressive change.”

To learn more about Ocasio-Cortez, click on her profile click here.

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

De Blasio Quotes Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto in Discussion on Relationship with NYC Business Community

No pretense anymore. None. The Mayor of the capital of capitalism is imposing governance based on the most brutal, anti-human ideology in human history.

The Communists’ chief purpose is to destroy every form of independence—independent work, independent action, independent property, independent thought, an independent mind, or an independent man. Conformity, alikeness, servility, submission and obedience are necessary to establish a Communist slave-state. Ayn Rand

[…]

It is the Communists’ intention to make people think that personal success is somehow achieved at the expense of others and that every successful man has hurt somebody by becoming successful. It is the Communists’ aim to discourage all personal effort and to drive men into a hopeless, dispirited, gray herd of robots who have lost all personal ambition, who are easy to rule, willing to obey and willing to exist in selfless servitude to the State. Ayn Rand

Who will he quote next? Hitler?

De Blasio Quotes Marx’s Communist Manifesto in Discussion on Relationship with NYC Business Community

By: Zachary Evans,National Review, July 24, 2020

New York mayor Bill de Blasio quoted Karl Marx when outlining the relationship he wanted his office to have with the city’s business community, in an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC.

Host Brian Lehrer asked de Blasio how the mayor was approaching businesses for help with recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Lehrer said that the mayor was not known for extensive outreach to the business community given his focus on issues of wealth inequality.

“There’s an underlying truth in the fact that my focus has not been on the business community and the elite,” de Blasio said. “I am tempted to borrow a quote from Karl Marx here…”

“They’ll love that on Wall Street,” Lehrer interjects.

“Yes they will,” de Blasio laughs. “There’s a famous quote that ‘the state is the executive committee of the bourgeoisie,’ and I use that openly to say no, I read that as a young person and thought, well, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.”

The quote comes from the first chapter of Marx’s Communist Manifesto, in which Marx outlines his theory of the progressive advancement of the class of the bourgeoisie at the expense of the proletariat.

The mayor continued in the interview, “We need to work with the business community, we will work with the business community, but the city government represents the people, represents working people….A lot of folks have just sort of hit a wall when I say guys, you’re gonna have to pay more taxes, and we’re gonna have policies that favor working people more.”

De Blasio ended by saying he knows that many businesses want to help with a “comeback” for the city, and that his administration “really appreciate[s] that.”

The interview was not the first time de Blasio has quoted a communist figure. In 2019, the mayor apologized after quoting communist revolutionary Che Guevara at a rally of striking airport workers in Miami.

“I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter after backlash from Miami’s Latino community, many of whom are Cuban exiles.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Put Socialism on Trial,’ Larry Kudlow Urges

Larry Kudlow, director of the president’s National Economic Council, called Thursday for putting socialism “on trial”—and convicting it. 

“I want you, and everybody in this room and your friends and your neighbors, I want you to put socialism on trial, that’s what I’m asking,” Kudlow said, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington.

“I don’t want us to stand idly by,” he told the CPAC audience. “I don’t want to let this stuff fester. I want it challenged. I want it debated. I want it rebutted. I want to convict socialism.” 

The top economic adviser to President Donald Trump noted the emergence of support for socialism among young voters and among Democrats in Congress. 

He singled out the so-called Green New Deal, a proposal backed by congressional Democrats in the form of a resolution sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. 

The Democrats’ plan would move the country away from fossil fuels while implementing a raft of liberal initiatives. 

Kudlow called the proposal “central planning on a grand scale.” 

“The Green New Deal would literally destroy the economy. Literally,” Kudlow said. “It would knock out energy, transportation, airlines, jobs, business. We’d probably lose 10 to 15 percent of our GDP. That’s remarkable. But that’s what our opponents and critics are saying.” 

Kudlow added: “About $75 trillion is the total cost of the Green New Deal and its associated policies.”

He called for Americans to be armed with facts. 

“Tax the rich. Tax wealth. Wealthy, successful people don’t pay their fair share,” Kudlow said, echoing the left’s arguments. 

“The top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of taxes,” he said, ticking off some facts. “The top 10 percent pays nearly 70 percent. The bottom 50 percent pays 3 percent. So, who pays the taxes? Successful people.”

“So don’t let this ‘tax fairness’ debate go by,” Kudlow urged his audience. “Use the numbers.”

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs through Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image of Karl Marx is by Wikimedia Commons.

Progressivism’s Dark Side by George J. Marlin

George J. Marlin writes about the shadows that envelope Progressivism: a legacy of elitist eugenics and racism.

In early March, I had the privilege of attending the oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole at the U.S. Supreme Court. It was both an extraordinary and eerie experience.

The eight justices questioned Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller and pro-abortion advocate Stephanie Toti about a 2013 Texas law – passed in response to the gruesome Gosnell revelations and trial in Philadelphia – which requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within a thirty mile radius of the place at which the abortion is being performed.

I was seated in one of the seven guest rows, where most attendees were pro-abortion. To my left: Planned Parenthood C.E.O. Cecile Richards. Fives minutes before the justices took their seats, President Obama’s top aide, Valerie Jarrett, came in and sat down in front of me.

President Woodrow Wilson

The issue before the Court was whether the Texas law imposes “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. The progressive justices’ cross-examinations were very clinical. In fact, I have never heard the word “abortion” used so often in such a detached manner.

For instance, when Solicitor General Keller pointed out that the law would save the lives of victims of botched abortions, Justice Stephen Breyer dismissed the argument as immaterial because there were only 200 such instances out of Texas’ 70,000 abortions per year.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor snapped at Keller, asking sarcastically, “The slightest benefit is enough to burden the lives of a million women. That’s your point?” In other words, all lives don’t matter.

By the end of this morbid session, I thought I was in a eugenics court. Then it dawned on me, I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, the modern Progressive movement has been dominated by a self-anointed elite, like several of the justices, who had contempt for the common people. In the early 20th century, they even promoted social and economic policies driven by anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic impulses.

Click here to read the rest of Mr. Marlin’s column . . .

Shakedown Socialism: Second edition, improved and expanded

The positive response to my first book was overwhelming. Many readers on Amazon praised Shakedown Socialism for its insights, style, and originality, regretting only that it was too short. By popular demand, I have republished it with more relevant material and a new, more attractive cover.

Shakedown SocialismHere is one such review:

I’ve bought books on Amazon for a while but never felt the need to write a review before. This is not a typical anti-socialist book at all. None of the familiar rhetoric you might be expecting. While not an academic work by any means, the author makes some of the most compelling arguments I’ve ever read, and from an angle you seldom think about. His anti-union argument is so perfect, I will be repeating it in conversations for the rest of my life. Some serious mental ammunition for arguments with any unfortunate, collectivist-leaning friends you may have. Even if they refuse to read it, the images (on practically every page) might catch their attention if you can get them to flip through it. Do not click off this page without buying this book.

It inspires me to write and publish more books, and I already have a few good ideas.

For more information, see the updated and improved ShakedownSocialism.com.

You can look inside the new edition, read the reviews, or even buy the book on Amazon.

Amazon buttonAmazon

If you are a fan and would like to support the author and the People’s Cube, buy it directly from the printer at CreateSpace – the price is the same, but I’ll be getting a bigger royalty.

CreateSpace button

But if you really want to support the author, order an autographed copy!

Buy book button

If you like to read on Kindle or any other tablet, there’s an eBook:

Buy book button

Here’s a fun promotion of the first edition: The Best Book Promotion Ever!

Obama reads Shakedown Socialism

Brwzhnev reads Shakedown Socialism

Shakedown Socialism

EDITORS NOTE: To learn more about Shakedown Socialism and The Peoples Cube click here.

Why Students Give Capitalism an ‘F’ by B.K. Marcus

bernie sanders half of a sign socialismNot only are young voters more likely to support Democrats than Republicans, they are also more likely to support the most left-wing Democrats. In recent polls of voters under 30, self-declared democratic socialist Bernie Sanders beats the more mainstream Hillary Clinton by almost six-to-one.

Former professor Mark Pastin, writing in the Weekly Standard, acknowledges some of Clinton’s flaws as a candidate, but concludes that “the most compelling explanation” for young Democrats’ overwhelming preference for Sanders “is that young voters actually like the idea of a socialist revolution.”

I’m embarrassed to confess that when I was a young voter, I probably would have been among the “Sandernistas.”

I don’t think Pastin is right about the revolution, though. Much of Sanders’s success in defanging the word socialism is in pairing it with an emphasis on democracy, as George Bernard Shaw and the Fabians did in an earlier era. Democratic socialists — at least among my comrades — preferred the idea of evolutionary socialism, and we tried hard to distance ourselves from the revolutionary folks.

Whether by evolution or revolution, however, what we all sought was less competition and more cooperation, less commerce and more compassion. Above all, we wanted greater equality.

“When I asked my students what they thought socialism meant,” Pastin writes, “they would generally recite some version of the Marxist chestnut ‘from each according to ability and to each according to need.'” That sounds about right, but add to that the assumption that it’s government’s job to effect the transfer.

My father, gently skeptical of my politics, pointed out a problem confronting American socialists: we tended to imagine ourselves on the receiving end of the redistribution — rob from the rich and give to the rest of us. “However poor we may think we are in the United States,” he told me, “we would have to give up most of what we now have in order to make everyone in the world equal.” This was strange to hear from someone always behind on the rent and facing ever-growing debt.

Pastin makes a related point: “I’ve always thought that socialism appealed to students because they have never not been on the receiving end of government largesse.”

As an informal test of his students’ egalitarian beliefs, Pastin “would offer to run the class along socialist principles, such as the mandate to take from the able and give to the needy.” Specifically, he proposed subtracting points from the A students and transferring them to those who would otherwise earn lower grades.

Even the most ardent socialist students balked at this arrangement. In fact, according to Pastin, the highest-performing students were both more likely to be self-declared socialists and more likely to meet his proposal with outrage: grading, they argued, should be a matter of merit.

Is it pure hypocrisy on the part of these rhetorical radicals, or is there a logical consistency behind this apparent contradiction in their values?

Trying to recall the details of my own callow political folly, I seem to recall three main issues behind my anti-capitalistic mentality:

  1. “Capitalism” was just the word we all used for whatever we didn’t like about the status quo, especially whatever struck us as promoting inequality. I had friends propose to me that we should consider the C-word a catchall for racism, patriarchy, and crony corporatism. If that’s what capitalism means, how could anyone be for it?
  2. Even when we left race and sex out of the equation, our understanding of commerce was zero-sum: the 1 percent grew rich by exploiting the 99 percent.
  3. For whatever reason, none of us imagined we’d ever be business people, except on the smallest possible scale: at farmer’s markets, as street vendors, in small shops. Those things weren’t capitalism. Capitalism was big business: McDonald’s, IBM, the military-industrial complex.

I don’t know how many of today’s young socialists hold these same assumptions, but a question recently posted to Quora.com sounds like it could have been written by one of my fellow lefties in the 1980s: “Should I drop out of college to disobey the capitalist world that values a human with a piece of paper?” (See Praxis strategist Derek Magill’s withering advice to the would-be dropout.)

Even if a different array of confusions drives the radical chic of millennial voters, what is clear is that they see American capitalism as rigged. “Crony capitalism,” from their perspective, is redundant — and “free market” is an oxymoron. They’re not necessarily opposed to meritocracy; they just don’t see what merit has to do with the marketplace.

Grading that would penalize the studious to reward the slackers is obviously unfair, and a sure-fire strategy to kill anyone’s incentive to do the homework. It’s not that the socialist students are applying the principle inconsistently; it’s that they don’t see what merit has to do with commerce. Some of that may be intellectual laziness, some is the result of indoctrination by anti-capitalist faculty, but much of it is also based in the reality of America’s mixed economy.

Not only have young voters spent most of their lives sheltered from the productive side of the commercial world, schooled by men and women who are themselves deliberately insulated from the marketplace, but time spent in the reality of the private sector is hardly an education in what the advocates of economic freedom have in mind when we talk about the free market.

If my own experience is any guide, today’s democratic socialists will have to spend a lot of time unlearning much of what they’ve been taught.

Pastin’s informal experiment is an illuminating first step, and it’s a powerful way to expose the conflict between his students’ understanding of merit and the socialists’ understanding of equality. But there’s also a danger in comparing the economy to the classroom. By offering his grade redistribution as an analogy for socialism, Pastin seems to imply that the merit-based grade system better resembles a free market. But that’s silly.

For one thing, studying hard for your next exam may improve your own GPA, but it probably doesn’t help your classmates. In contrast, an unhampered marketplace makes everyone better off, however unequally.

More significantly, in a free economy, there is no one person in the role of the grade-giving professor. In the absence of coercion, power has a hard time remaining that centralized. Yes, wealth can be seen as a kind of grade, but in the free market, an entrepreneur’s profits and losses are like millions of cumulative grades from the consumers. A+ for improving our lives. F for wasting time and resources.

That kind of spontaneous, decentralized, self-regulating prosperity is every bit as radical as the visions of young socialists, minus the impoverishing effects of coerced redistribution. It’s almost certainly not what they imagine when they say they oppose “capitalism.”

B.K. MarcusB.K. Marcus

B.K. Marcus is editor of the Freeman.

Why the Holocaust Should Matter to You by Jeffrey Tucker

People tour the nation’s capital to be delighted by symbols of America’s greatness and history. They seek out monuments and museums that pay tribute to the nation state and its works. They want to think about the epic struggles of the past, and how mighty leaders confronted and vanquished enemies at home and abroad.

But what if there was a monument that took a different tack? Instead of celebrating power, it counseled against its abuses. Instead of celebrating the state and its works, it showed how these can become ruses to deceive and destroy. Instead of celebrating nationalist songs, symbols, and stories, it warned that these can be used as tools of division and oppression.

What if this museum was dedicated to memorializing one of history’s most ghastly experiments in imperial conquest, demographic expulsion, and eventual extermination, to help us understand it and never repeat it?

Such a museum does exist. It is the US Holocaust Museum. It is the Beltway’s most libertarian institution, a living rebuke to the worship of power as an end in itself.

I lived in Washington, DC, when the Holocaust Museum was being built, and I vaguely recall when it opened. I never went, though I had the opportunity; I remember having a feeling of dread about the prospect of visiting it. Many people must feel the same way. Surely we already know that mass murder by the state is evil and wrong. Do we really need to visit a museum on such a ghastly subject?

The answer is yes. This institution is a mighty tribute to human rights and human dignity. It provides an intellectual experience more moving and profound than any I can recall having. It takes politics and ideas out of the realm of theory and firmly plants them in real life, in our own history. It shows the consequences of bad ideas in the hands of evil men, and invites you to experience the step-by-step descent into hell in chronological stages.

The transformation the visitor feels is intellectual but also even physical: as you approach the halfway point you notice an increase in your heart rate and even a pit in your stomach.

Misconceptions

Let’s dispel a few myths that people who haven’t visited might have about the place.

  • The museum is not maudlin or manipulative. The narrative it takes you through is fact-based, focused on documentation (film and images), with a text that provides a careful chronology. One might even say it is a bit too dry, too merely factual. But the drama emerges from the contrast between the events and the calm narration.
  • It is not solely focused on the Jewish victims; indeed, all victims of the National Socialism are discussed, such as the Catholics in Poland. But the history of Jewish persecution is also given great depth and perspective. It is mind boggling to consider how a regime that used antisemitism to manipulate the public and gain power ended up dominating most of Europe and conducting an extermination campaign designed to wipe out an entire people.
  • The theme of the museum is not that the Holocaust was an inexplicable curse that mysteriously descended on one people at one time; rather the museum attempts to articulate and explain the actual reasons — the motives and ideology — behind the events, beginning with bad ideas that were only later realized in action when conditions made them possible.
  • The narrative does not attempt to convince the visitor that the Holocaust was plotted from the beginning of Nazi rule; in fact, you discover a very different story. The visitor sees how bad ideas (demographic central planning; scapegoating of minorities; the demonization of others) festered, leading to ever worsening results: boycotts of Jewish-owned business, racial pogroms, legal restrictions on property and religion, internments, ghettoization, concentration camps, killings, and finally a carefully constructed and industrialized machinery of mass death.
  • The museum does not isolate Germans as solely or uniformly guilty. Tribute is given to the German people, dissenters, and others who also fell victim to Hitler’s regime. As for moral culpability, it unequivocally belongs to the Nazis and their compliant supporters in Germany and throughout Europe. But the free world also bears responsibility for shutting its borders to refugees, trapping Jews in a prison state and, eventually, execution chamber.
  • The presentation is not rooted in sadness and despair; indeed, the museum tells of heroic efforts to save people from disaster and the resilience of the Jewish people in the face of annihilation. Even the existence of the museum is a tribute to hope because it conveys the conviction that we can learn from history and act in a way that never repeats this terrible past.

The Deeper Roots of the Holocaust

For the last six months, I’ve been steeped in studying and writing about the American experience with eugenics, the “policy science” of creating a master race. The more I’ve read, the more alarmed I’ve become that it was ever a thing, but it was all the rage in the Progressive Era. Eugenics was not a fringe movement; it was at the core of ruling-class politics, education, and culture. It was responsible for many of the early experiments in labor regulation. It was the driving force behind marriage licenses, minimum wages, restrictions on opportunities for women, and immigration quotas and controls.

The more I’ve looked into the subject, the more I’m convinced that it is not possible fully to understand the birth of the 20th century Leviathan without an awareness of eugenics. Eugenics was the original sin of the modern state that knows no limits to its power.

Once a regime decides that it must control human reproduction — to mold the population according to a central plan and divide human beings into those fit to thrive and those deserving extinction — you have the beginning of the end of freedom and civilization. The prophets of eugenics loathed the Jews, but also any peoples that they deemed dangerous to those they considered worthy of propagation. And the means they chose to realize their plans was top-down force.

So far in my reading on the subject, I’ve studied the origin of eugenics until the late 1920s, mostly in the US and the UK. And so, touring the Holocaust Museum was a revelation. It finally dawned on me: what happened in Germany was the extension and intensification of the same core ideas that were preached in the classrooms at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton decades earlier.

Eugenics didn’t go away. It just took on a more violent and vicious form in different political hands. Without meaningful checks on state power, people with eugenic ambitions can find themselves lording over a terror state. It was never realized in the United States, but it happened elsewhere. The stuffy academic conferences of the 1910s, the mutton-chopped faces of the respected professorial class, mutated in one generation to become the camps and commandants of the Nazi killing machine. The distance between eugenics and genocide, from Boston to Buchenwald, is not so great.

There are moments in the tour when this connection is made explicit, as when it is explained how, prior to the Nazis, the United States had set the record for forced sterilizations; how Hitler cited the US case for state planning of human reproduction; how the Nazis were obsessed with racial classification and used American texts on genetics and race as a starting point.

And think of this: when Progressive Era elites began to speak this way, to segment the population according to quality, and to urge policies to prevent “mongrelization,” there was no “slippery slope” to which opponents could point. This whole approach to managing the social order was unprecedented, and so a historical trajectory was pure conjecture. They could not say “Remember! Remember where this leads!”

Now we have exactly that history, and a moral obligation to point to it and learn from it.

What Can We Learn?

My primary takeaway from knitting this history together and observing its horrifying outcome is this: that any ideology, movement, or demagogue that dismisses universal human rights, that disparages the dignity of any person based on group characteristics, that attempts to segment the population into the fit and unfit, or in any way seeks to use the power of the state to put down some in order to uplift others, is courting outcomes that are dangerous to the whole of humanity. It might not happen immediately, but, over time, such rhetoric can lay the foundations for the machinery of death.

And there is also another, perhaps more important lesson: bad ideas have a social and political momentum all their own, regardless of anyone’s initial intentions. If you are not aware of that, you can be led down, step by step, to a very earthly hell.

At the same time, the reverse is also true: good ideas have a momentum that can lead to the flourishing of peace, prosperity, and universal human dignity. It is up to all of us. We must choose wisely, and never forget.

Jeffrey A. TuckerJeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE and CLO of the startup Liberty.me. Author of five books, and many thousands of articles, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook. Email.

Will a ‘Socialist’ Government Make Us Freer? by Jason Kuznicki

“Socialism” is a weasel word.

Consider that the adjective “socialist” applies commonly — even plausibly — to countries with vastly different ex ante institutions and with vastly different social and economic outcomes. Yet Canada, Norway, Venezuela, and Cuba can’t all be one thing. Does socialism mean substantial freedom of the press, as in Norway? Or does it mean the vicious suppression of dissent, as in Venezuela?

We need more clarity here before we decide whether socialism is a worthwhile social system, and whether, as Will Wilkinson recommends, we ought to support a socialist candidate for president.

An approach that clearly will not do is to apply the term “socialism” to virtually all foreign countries. Shabby as that definition may be, some do seem to use it, both favorably and not. The result is that “socialism” has grown popular largely because a lot of people have concluded that the American status quo stinks. Maybe it does stink, but that doesn’t endow “socialism” with a proper definition.

Let’s see what happens when we drill down to the level of institutions.

Now, we might personally wish that the word “socialism” meant “the social system in which the state owns the means of production and runs the major industries of the nation.”

This is a workable definition: It has a clear genus and differentia; it includes some systems, while excluding others; and it’s not obviously self-referential. It’s also the definition preferred by many important political actors in the twentieth century, including Vladimir Lenin.

Lenin’s definition was not a bad one. But it’s far from the only current, taxonomically proper definition of socialism. As Will Wilkinson rightly notes, socialism also commonly means “the social system in which the state uses taxation to provide an extensive social safety net.”

And yet, as Will also notes, “ownership of the means of production” and “provision of a social safety net” are logically independent policies. A state can do one, the other, both, or neither. Of these four possibilities, there’s only one that can’t plausibly be called a socialism — and not a single state on earth behaves this way!

Better terms are in order, but I know that whatever I propose here isn’t going to stick, so I’m not going to try. Instead I want to look at some of the consequences that may arise from our fuzzy terminology.

One danger is that we may believe and support one conception of “socialism” —only to find that the agents we’ve tasked with supplying it have had other ideas all along: We may want Norway but get Venezuela. Wittingly or unwittingly.

Before we say “oh please, of course we’ll end up in Norway,” let’s recall how eager our leftist intelligentsia has been to praise Chavez’s Venezuela — and even declare it an “economic miracle” — until the truth became unavoidable: The “miracle” of socialism in Venezuela turned out to be nothing more than a transient oil boom. Yet leftist intellectuals are the very sorts of people who will be drawn, by self-selection, to an administration that is proud to call itself socialist.

There’s some resemblance to a “motte-and-bailey” process here: they cultivate the rich, desirable fields of the bailey, until they are attacked, at which point they retreat to the well-fortified motte. The easily defensible motte is the comfortable social democracy of northern Europe, which we all agree is pretty nice and happens to have quite a few free-market features. The bailey is the Cuban revolution.

This motte-and-bailey process does not need to be deliberate; it may be the result of a genuinely patchwork socialist coalition. No one in the coalition needs to have bad faith. An equivocal word is all that’s needed, and one is already on hand.

Even when we look only at one country, the problem remains: We may only want some institutional parts of Denmark — and we may want them for good reasons, such as Denmark’s relatively loose regulatory environment. But what we get may only be the other institutional parts of Denmark — such as its high personal income taxes. (Worth noting: Bernie Sanders has explicitly promised the higher personal income taxes, while his views on regulation are anything but Danish.)

Will thinks that electing someone on the far left of the American political spectrum could be somewhat good for liberty, but I’m far from convinced. Remember what happened the last time we put just a center-leftist in the White House: By the very same measures of economic freedom that Will uses to tout Denmark’s success, America’s economic freedom ranking sharply declined. And that decline was the direct result of Barack Obama’s left-wing economic policies. We got a larger welfare state and higher taxes, but we also got much more command-and-control regulation.

Faced with similar objections from others, Will has already performed a nice sidestep: He has replied that voting for Sanders is — obviously — just a strategic move: “Obviously,” he writes, “President Bernie Sanders wouldn’t get to implement his economic policy.” Emphasis his.

To which I’d ask: Do you really mean that Sanders would achieve none of his economic agenda? At all? Because I can name at least two items that seem like safe bets: more protectionism and stricter controls on immigration. A lot of Sanders’s ideas will indeed be dead on arrival, but these two won’t, and he would be delighted to make a bipartisan deal that cuts against most everything that Will, the Niskanen Center, and libertarians generally claim to stand for. Cheering for a guy who would happily bury your legislative agenda, and who stands a good chance of actually doing it seems… well, odd.

There is also a frank inconsistency to Will’s argument: The claim that Sanders will make us more like Denmark can’t be squared with the claim that Sanders will be totally ineffective. Arguing both is just throwing spaghetti on the wall — and hoping the result looks like libertarianism.

Would Sanders decriminalize marijuana? Or reform the criminal justice system? Or start fewer wars? Or spend less on defense? Or give us all puppies? I don’t know. Obama promised to close Guantanamo. He promised to be much better on civil liberties. He promised not to start “dumb wars” or bomb new and exotic countries. He even promised accountability for torture.

In 2008, I made the terrible mistake of counting those promises in his favor. We’ve seen how well that worked out.

It’s completely beyond me why I should trust similarly tangential promises this time around — particularly from a candidate like Sanders, whose record on foreign policy is already disturbingly clear. None of the rest of these desiderata have anything to do with state control over our economic life, which would appear to be the one thing the left wants most of all. (Marijuana: illegal in Cuba. Legal in North Korea. Yay freedom?)

Ultimately, I think that electing someone significantly further left than Obama will not help matters in any sense at all, except maybe that it will show how little trust we should put in anyone who willingly wears the socialist label. The only good outcome of a Sanders administration may be that we’ll all say to ourselves afterward: “Well, we won’t be trying that again!”

Now, I am prepared to believe, exactly as Will writes, that “‘social democracy,’ as it actually exists, is sometimes more ‘libertarian’ than the good old U.S. of A.” That’s true, at least in a few senses. Consider, for instance, that Denmark isn’t drone bombing unknown persons in Pakistan using a type of algorithm that can’t seem to deliver interesting Facebook ads. (One could say that, as usual, Denmark is letting us do their dirty work for them, with their full approval, but I won’t press the point.)

Either way, that’s still a pretty low bar, no? Meanwhile, there remains plenty of room for us to imitate some other bad things — things that we aren’t doing now, but that Denmark is doing, like taxing its citizens way, way too much. The fact that these things are a part of the complex conglomerate known as northern European social democracy doesn’t necessarily make them good, exactly as remote control assassination doesn’t become good merely by virtue of being American.

In short: Point taken about social democracy. At times, some of it isn’t completely terrible. But that only gets us so far, and not quite to the Sanders slot in the ballot box.

Jason KuznickiJason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is the editor of Cato Unbound.

School Is About Freedom, Marco Rubio, Not Just Money

Republicans including Marco Rubio parrot leftist lines about how education’s ultimate goal is money. It needs to be a great deal more than that if our republic is to survive.

Once again, presidential candidate Marco Rubio, when asked a question about education, disparaged liberal learning by repeating his well-rehearsed lines about preparing students for careers in a “global” and “twenty-first-century” economy.

During the CNN town hall last week, he said that rather than teaching philosophy (“Roman philosophy,” no less), colleges should teach practical things—like welding. Sadly, Rubio is not alone. Many Republicans, forgetting their conservative roots, have joined Democrats in advancing a utilitarian view of education.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being a welder. My father, an immigrant, was one. And there is nothing wrong with philosophy—for the student in a technical school. In fact, it was our Founders’ belief that only a literate, well-educated citizenry could govern themselves. Even the tradesman should be versed in the basics of literature, history, and ancient philosophy, they thought. “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people,” said James Madison.

Modern Philosophy Is Merely Cynicism

Rubio, however, does not distinguish between legitimate philosophy and what philosophy, like the rest of the humanities, has become under the regime of tenured radicals. The problem is that philosophy professors no longer teach their subjects or, if they do, it is to cast suspicion upon the very enterprise, as I learned in graduate school in the 1990s.

Yancy would do well to review the Greek philosophers on the art of rhetoric and what they have to say about not insulting your audience.
My seminar on ancient rhetoric consisted of the professor elevating the sophists, the teachers who for fees taught the art of persuasion by making the worse case seem better. The ends were practical: so citizens could defend themselves in court. To my amazement, my professor ridiculed the traditional philosophical goals of searching for the truth.

In the intervening decades, the situation has become worse. Consider Emory University philosophy professor George Yancy. This full professor, according to the university’s website, specializes in “Critical Philosophy of Race (phenomenology of racial embodiment, social ontology of race),” “Critical Whiteness Studies (white subject formation, white racist ambush, white opacity and embeddedness. . .),” and “African-American Philosophy and Philosophy of the Black Experience (resistance, Black identity formation . . .).”

Yancy received national attention in December for penning the screed “Dear White America” in The New York Times. He began, “I have a weighty request. As you read this letter, I want you to listen with love, a sort of love that demands that you look at parts of yourself that might cause pain and terror, as James Baldwin would say. Did you hear that? You may have missed it. I repeat: I want you to listen with love. Well, at least try.”

Yancy would do well to review the Greek philosophers on the art of rhetoric and what they have to say about not insulting your audience (“Did you hear that?” “Well, at least try.”). Behind such appeals like Yancy’s is an implied threat. Invoking the names of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and other allegedly innocent victims of police violence, he accused “White America” of being racist through and through. Such rhetoric presages and justifies the angry mobs on our campuses and in our streets.

Philosophy Doesn’t Mean Grievance-Mongering

College campuses, once the places where the civilized arts of debate and the pursuit of truth were taught, have become places where the PhDs, doctors of philosophy, lead mobs of students in pursuit of retribution against some “systemic” wrong, usually in reference to race, ethnicity, or gender. Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, supporter of the Black Lives Matter mob movement, is promising to make such education free.

Our presidential candidates should consider what philosophy, rightly understood, could do. Indeed, by studying Aristotle’s “Rhetoric” students would be able to distinguish between different rhetorical appeals and learn the legitimate arts of persuasion—those that allow us to live in a civilized manner, where we resolve our differences through debate, not violence.

Were students to study Plato’s “Republic,” they might understand the dangers of a popular democracy and why the American Founders rejected one. They would consider Thrasymachus’s contention that justice is synonymous with strength, with being a “winner,” regardless of the methods. They might decide to evaluate such rhetoric carefully when it comes from a political candidate, like Donald Trump.

They would consider whether it is good for the government to put people in certain classes, as craftsmen or “guardians,” instead of allowing them to choose for themselves, or whether government should raise children rather than parents. What has been the historical outcome of such societies with centralized government, five-year economic plans, government-assigned jobs, and child-rearing from infancy? Are there any similarities to what Sanders is proposing?

Education Is Ultimately about Self-Governance

This is not to say that a class discussion should center on current political candidates. Indeed, the truly philosophical professor will keep the discussion largely away from the immediate. If the lesson is taught well, the student should come to his or her own conclusions and be able to carry those lessons into adulthood. That is the purpose of an education, not regimented job training and political molding.

The student should come to his or her own conclusions and be able to carry those lessons into adulthood. That is the purpose of an education.
The responses to Rubio’s statements in November, by such leftist outlets as ThinkProgress, CNN, and Huffington Post, were quite telling. They replied in kind to his materialist arguments. “Philosophers make more money than welders!” they said. In this they betrayed their utilitarian view of education, one that dominates the Obama administration, specifically through Common Core, a federally coerced program designed to produce compliant workers in the global economy.

The job training part has lured some short-sighted or corrupt Republicans. In higher education, too, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker advanced short-sighted “careerism,” as if he had forgotten, as Peter Lawler pointed out, Alexis de Tocqueville’s argument for studying the Greek and Roman classics. Earlier this year, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin suggested that electrical engineering was worthy of support, while French literature was not.

The other part of the progressive vision for education is to produce graduates who adhere to the state’s status quo. Students are trained to work collectively, focus on emotions, refrain from making independent judgments, and read in a way that does not go beyond ferreting out snippets of information. They are not asked to read an entire Platonic dialogue or novel. They do not get the big picture, from the dawn of civilization.

Our current educational methods are a far cry from the Founders’ robust views, of preparing citizens who are literate, logical, and knowledgeable; citizens capable of voting intelligently.

We Need Cultural Renewal, Not Materialism

We should embrace this conservative view of education. Although it is extremely rare in today’s college classrooms, it is being advanced in more than 150 privately funded academic centers on and off campuses. According to the John William Pope Center for Education Renewal, these centers “preserve and promote the knowledge and perspectives that are disappearing from the academy.”

One of these is the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, where I am a resident fellow. It was founded by three Hamilton College professors in 2007, and is located in the village of Clinton.

AHI offers students the option to read the classics in a manner that is increasingly difficult to find in the typically highly politicized open curriculum. AHI-sponsored reading groups have focused on the works of such important figures as Leo Strauss, St. Augustine, and Josef Pieper. This semester Dr. Elizabeth D’Arrivee is leading a discussion group on Plato’s “Republic.”

Political candidates would do well to explain how they will support such efforts for educational renewal, instead of disparaging philosophy and literature.

RELATED ARTICLE: Campus Protesters Try to Silence Conservative Speaker, Demand College President’s Resignation

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Federalist. Photo Crush Rush / Shutterstock.com