note: When writing I often end up with fragments ranging in length
from one or two sentences to several paragraphs. Many aren’t worth
saving, but some seem to be. Most never develop into anything of
article length, but it has dawned on me that they might find interested
readers nevertheless. So here, in no particular order or arrangement,
is a sampling. Most are recent; a few are older.)
anyone noticed how both the federal government and the national
news media dump on corporations such as WorldCom following evidence
of financial misdeeds; yet federal agencies can "misplace"
billions with no one saying a word? A prime culprit here is the
U.S. Department of Education where I’ve heard figures as high as
$18 billion that have been lost. Somehow, this situation indicates
the need for government regulation of business.
could it be that some of the anxiety triggered by corporate collapses
and falling stocks is due to three unconscious realizations: (1)
that the so-called new economy did not repeal economic law, popular
government-fed and Fed-fed misconceptions to the contrary; (2) that
massive influxes of easy, Fed-created credit lead to pseudo as opposed
to real prosperity (because real wealth cannot be generated out
of thin air), and (3) that corporate welfare is as much a snare
and a delusion as welfare for individuals?
we have seen a lot of news coverage of so-called pedophile priests
at least some of whom aren’t pedophiles at all but ordinary
homosexuals. But we’ll let that go for the moment: are these men
being hung out to dry in the national news media because they are
pedophiles or because they are priests? I’ve yet to
hear the phrase innocent until proven guilty applied in one
of these circumstances.
other morning something made me recall a question I asked my father
when I was a little kid, maybe five years old. "How come people
have to pay for things?" I don’t recall what my father said,
but it strikes me that such a question is a fairly obvious one for
inquisitive children to ask eventually, and could be the perfect
springboard for parents (assuming they understand the subject themselves)
to begin systematic instruction in the principles of free market
Sobran has written a
number of interesting and provocative columns about an entity
he and Tom Bethell described a few years back and called the Hive.
The Hive is an informal group whose members participate in education,
the media, etc., to take this country closer and closer to socialism
without necessarily taking marching orders from someone at the top
of a hierarchy of conspirators. Sobran writes: "Except for
its Communist minority, the Hive has never been directed by commands
from above. Instead it uses peer pressure, verbal signals, and the
amorphous power of ‘public opinion.’ It accustoms the general public
to accepting its definitions of discrete ‘issues,’ couched in reformist,
seemingly ‘pragmatic’ language, so that the bees the agents
of the Hive range from conscious ideologues to passive dupes."
does this mean there is no "conspiracy" no one
at the top directing traffic leftward? Not necessarily. All it means
is that the CFR-types don’t have to direct all the traffic, not
by any means. Once a significant fraction of those with influence
are convinced, and once a significant fraction of the public has
been brainwashed to go with the group, there is no need. Government
schools have been experimenting with behavior modification programs
for decades, as John Taylor Gatto (in, for example, The Underground
History of American Education) and others have shown in great
detail. These programs were created under the auspices of an educational
elite, once called the Education Trust, which actually goes back
to the time of Woodrow Wilson and borrowed freely from the behaviorism
of Watson, Thorndike and Skinner. The long-term goal of the Education
Trust was to create a docile, compliant population that would not
only submit to rule by an elite but would actually love their
rules. The instrument was government schools. Government schools
accordingly began to ratchet up emphasis on the group group
identity, group activity, group thinking as well as feelings
(the "affective domain"). Simultaneously they assaulted
the independent individual and logical thought (the "cognitive
domain"). The liberal arts curriculum was slowly gutted, since
at its ideal best a liberal arts curriculum aims at teaching individuals
how to think instead of how to obey. Subjects like philosophy and
literature are capable of threatening this when they are more than
stands to reason that some of these efforts would be wildly successful,
and that we would see the emergence of large numbers of people who
automatically carry forward the agenda of the centralizers without
being given explicit instructions by anyone. This is Joe Sobran’s
Hive. It is what it is because its informal membership has become
completely immersed in the group-oriented mindset, totally sold
on the idea that the State has replaced God, and all that this calls
long ago I had cause to compare some current logic texts that are
considered pretty good and often used, such as Irving Copi’s classic
to Logic and Patrick Hurley’s more recent A
Concise Introduction to Logic, with a text originally published
in 1934 which drew the praise of none other than Ludwig Von Mises
himself: Morris Cohen and Ernest Nagel’s An
Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method.
former texts do not even come close to Cohen and Nagel’s book in
level of sophistication! As its authors spent pages developing topics
that are treated (if at all) in just two or three sentences in today’s
logic texts, I dare say that the average undergraduate today would
not find Cohen and Nagel’s text comprehensible. Yet An Introduction
to Logic and Scientific Method was once used in undergraduate
folks wonder why some of us go on and on about the dumbing down
of education in these United States.
times now, both on the Web and elsewhere, I have encountered the
following remark by the left wing columnist Julianne Malveaux about
Justice Clarence Thomas who has always been sort of a hero
of mine and who may be the only person on the current U.S. Supreme
Court who actually has a legal philosophy: "I hope his wife
feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early, like many
black men do, of heart disease. . . . He’s an absolutely reprehensible
strikes me that this is an absolutely reprehensible thing for any
human being to say about another human being. But can you just imagine
the media explosion that would rock the nation if any white columnist
were to say something like this about, say, Jesse Jackson or Al
often complain that they are not taken seriously by any of the major-party
folks or by the news media. Oftentimes these complaints are justified.
I once had a passing acquaintance with a man who lived in Columbia,
South Carolina, and considered himself a libertarian. I would estimate
his age at around 55. He could frequently be seen on city streets
usually those full of shops, sidewalk cafes, bars and other
places that catered to university students. His hair, black and
streaked with gray, was most of the way down his back. He nearly
always wore a blue T-shirt with the national Libertarian Party logo
on it the one with the Statue of Liberty alongside the words
Libertarian Party. However, the shirt never looked like it
had been washed in the past month. The same for the man’s torn and
faded jeans. The man showed up at local Libertarian Party meetings
dressed like this!
kind of an advertisement for libertarianism is that?
good starting point for at least some libertarians who want to be
taken seriously I would think is to clean themselves
up. Get rid of that long hair. Replace the dirty T-shirt with a
clean white shirt with buttons down the front. Do not show up at
official functions without a tie (and don’t wear a Rush Limbaugh
tie!). Put on a decent pair of neatly pressed trousers. One need
not put on a tuxedo or even a three-pieced suit. One just needs
to look like a professional adult, not a person stuck in terminal
won’t guarantee, of course, that the libertarian is taken serious
by the "mainstream." Many libertarian ideas—abolishing
the income tax, for example, or getting rid of the U.S. Department
of Education—are, after all, pretty radical sounding to most people’s
ears, and almost certain to be seen as a threat to those wielding
most of the power in American society as it has developed over the
past several decades. However, a libertarian who looks like a throwback
to the hippie generation almost guarantees himself not being taken
seriously. And he hurts the freedom movement, which will be dismissed
in the "mainstream" as a collection of terminal adolescents.
cynic may be right nine times out of ten; his belief that he is
right ten times out of ten is his downfall. [Written sometime
informal list of people who chap my rosy-red behind:
feminists at prestigious universities, hired through affirmative
action programs, tenured and promoted to senior-level positions
(and paid accordingly), who whine incessantly about how mistreated
they are by "the patriarchy."
social engineers at universities who respond to supposed racial
incidents by building "cultural diversity centers," as
has been done at Auburn University. These centers celebrate every
culture except the one that built this country. Has it occurred
to its builders that incidents might be occurring because white
male students are slowly getting fed up with being treated like
the scum of the earth, and are taking the only avenue of protest
open to them short of simply not attending public universities?
Hollywood celebrity who says that the government ought to do more
to help the poor. Barbra Streisand made such a remark back in the
early 1990s. Rush Limbaugh reasonably responded with ridicule. The
average Hollywood celebrity has far more money, after all, than
the average taxpayer. If Hollywood celebs are "feeling your
pain," then perhaps they ought to get up off their butts and
do something to help the poor. They have vastly more resources,
after all, than the average taxpayer. I doubt any taxpayers will
stand in their way.
Republican Party, except for Ron Paul.
who says he is a libertarian but draws a government paycheck.
who says he is a libertarian but favors more overseas intervention
in the name of George W. Bush’s "war on terrorism."
who says he is a libertarian but favors educational vouchers.
Jackson. Enough said.
Yates [send him mail]
has a PhD in philosophy and is a Margaret "Peg" Rowley Fellow
at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
He is the author of Civil
Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (ICS Press,
1994), and numerous articles and reviews. At any given time
he is at work on any number of articles and book projects, including
a science fiction novel.
© 2002 LewRockwell.com