Friday, July 29, 2011

Progressivism: Journalism, what they think about you, and the manufacturing of consent

Most of us know just how arrogant that journalists are. Here is how Walter Lippmann, who many consider to be the father of modern journalism describes it, in his own book: (Public Opinion on page 75)

And finally since opinions do not stop at the normal members of society, since for the purposes of an election, a propaganda, a following, numbers constitute power, the quality of attention is still further depressed. The mass of absolutely illiterate, of feeble-minded, grossly neurotic, undernourished and frustrated individuals, is very considerable, much more considerable there is reason to think than we generally suppose. Thus a wide popular appeal is circulated among persons who are mentally children or barbarians, people whose lives are a morass of entanglements, people whose vitality is exhausted, shut-in people, and people whose experience has comprehended no factor in the problem under discussion. The stream of public opinion is stopped by them in little eddies of misunderstanding, where it is discolored with prejudice and far fetched analogy.

This could be written today, about any one of you who consider yourselves a tea party supporter. And get how he writes that. "Normal members of society", Walter are you excluding yourself from the rest of us? That's why journalists very often do not report on the whole story. He continues: (pages 247, 248)

The established leaders of any organization have great natural advantages. They are believed to have better sources of information. The books and papers are in their offices. They took part in the important conferences. They met the important people. They have responsibility. It is, therefore, easier for them to secure attention and to speak in a convincing tone. But also they have a very great deal of control over the access to the facts. Every official is in some degree a censor. And since no one can suppress information, either by concealing it or forgetting to mention it, without some notion of what he wishes the public to know, every leader is in some degree a propagandist. Strategically placed, and compelled often to choose even at the best between the equally cogent though conflicting ideals of safety for the institution, and candor to his public, the official finds himself deciding more and more consciously what facts, in what setting, in what guise he shall permit the public to know.

That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough.

Lippmann does not explicitly include journalists themselves as said 'leaders' and 'propagandists', but he doesn't have to. We all see the news and information of today, and we all see how the journalists are using it to their advantage.

He already made it clear that he views portions of the populace as "mentally children and barbarians", and "grossly neurotic", why wouldn't those journalists who are so superior to the rest of us not withhold certain information so as to make us more fit for 'democracy'?

And this isn't the worst of it. Lippmann continued this line of arrogance in another book of his, The Phantom Public. Unfortunately, it's still under copyright.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Progressivism: Distortion of the gospel and the roots of social justice

When I hear/see someone like this start talking about things like 'biblical justice' and 'social justice'; Quote:

We have to be very clear about this. Voluntary, faith-based initiatives with no resources, no resources to make any serious difference in poverty reduction, is not adequate. That's a charity that falls far short of Biblical justice.

The first thing I wonder is where did an idea such as this ever start? Well, the true genesis may not be something any of us could ever uncover, it probably started over in europe somewhere, but here in america, in the progressive era, there is an answer to that.

I'm sure many of you out there know of Father Coughlin's use of social justice for big government ends, which is where I considered looking first. But once I came across the term 'social gospel', I realized that it went back further.

Sometimes small ideas are born in small places and grow large, it's hard to say. But at the very least, I can pin it to one of among the first major voices. Richard Ely, a man who may be the closest thing there is to a founding father of american progressivism, has these things to say:

Introduction to Political Economy. (1889)

Public and Private Responsibilities.— It is seen in general that there is no limit to the right of the State, the sovereign power, save its ability to do good. Duty, function, is co-extensive with power. The State is a moral person. It may be further said in general that the fundamental principle, the basis of the economic life of modem nations, is individual responsibility. It is designed that each grown person should feel that the welfare of himself and of his family, if he has one, rests upon himself. The State enters where his powers are insufficient, or we may express it better in this way : for the attainment of certain ends he finds it advantageous to co-operate with his fellows through town, city. State, federal government, and the performance of public duties as well as private duties is helpful in the development of the individual and of the race.

Social Aspects of Christianity, and Other Essays‎. (1889)

I take this as my thesis : Christianity is primarily concerned with this world, and it is the mission of Christianity to bring to pass here a kingdom of righteousness and to rescue from the evil one and redeem all our social relations.

The Social Law of Service. (1896)

Family, Church, and State are frequently mentioned together as the three pre-eminently divine institutions known to man. It is claimed by some that the State is the chief institution of these three, and that if we select one institution as above all others divine it must be the State. Such a comparison manifestly cannot be understood too literally. If several institutions are established by God, it can hardly be strictly true that one is more divine than another. What is meant is this : That God works through the State in carrying out His purposes more universally than through any other institution ; that it takes the first place among His instrumentalities.

And there you have it. Classic statist. Doesn't sound all to different from Wallis to me. The state imposes, where humanity's efforts just aren't enough. Back in Ely's day, their key phrase was 'social gospel' instead of 'social justice', but that's how the progressives always do it, isn't it? Once the old calling card wears out, just issue a new one and keep the same old ideas. And why does it keep working? How many of us know our history? I'm certainly not interested in being anybody's oracle here, my opinion can't be 100% correct all the time any more than yours or anybody elses can be. That's not why I do this. If anything, getting a handful of things wrong might be advantageous, as it may get modern progressives to become defensive.

I want to show you some places were to look, that most of us haven't considered. I want to show you what they've said, where they said it, and let you pick and choose what to read for yourself. Hopefully, one day, we'll all openly discuss the progressives' own history, which is the last thing they'd ever want to happen.

Further reading:

Richard Ely and the Ugly Side of the Progressive Era

The Four Horsemen of Progressivism

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Radical Non-profits - the revolution will not be funded

Once you start learning the language of the left, it's interesting what you find once you use their words. I have recorded parts of the STORM handbook, it's time to put it to use. On page 33, it says this: (paragraphs 3, 4)

(3)Most of us were (more than) full-time staff members at radical non-profit organizations.
(4)Individually, every Core Member was playing a significant leadership role in the movement. Several were directors of movement non-profit organizations.

We've known for a long time that revolutionaries were subverting non-profit organizations, anybody who's watched George Soros knows that. But it's interesting to see them write it down. It becomes more interesting to go searching for the phrase(radical non profit) in a search engine. The number one return comes from this page.(This is also where I got the idea for the title of this posting) Now, I won't pretend to know who these people are, but I think I have an idea of where to go, to find out what they're doing. Let's ask our president. Quote:

the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.

On the surface, saying that 'the revolution will not be funded' seems nonsensical. But when you put it together with all of this, suddenly it becomes rather alarming. It's obvious that they're going to be funded to some degree by radical non profit groups, but their real goal is not money. Their real goal is power, the kind of power through with you bring about redistributive change. And to say that the revolution will not be funded makes perfect sense once you realize they're using our own tax code(501c3) against us as a weapon for redistributive change.

Those of you who have read Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals, will not find any of this surprising. For those of you who don't have access to Alinsky's book, the STORM handbook is a good substitute. If you want to stop progressives, you must learn progressivism.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. - - Sun Tzu

I won't succumb to progressivism. How about you?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Socialism and democracy are the same thing

Ann Coulter recently wrote a book regarding the left's mob mentality. Well, what does the mob want? Other people's money. Watch them riot. What do they do? They try to grab as much of other peoples' money as they can.

In 1887, Woodrow Wilson wrote an essay titled "Socialism and Democracy". It's very short, I recorded the entire thing in 13 minutes. Here is what Wilson has to say:

Roundly described, socialism is a proposition that every community, by means of whatever forms of organization may be most effective for the purpose, see to it for itself that each one of its members finds the employment for which he is best suited and is rewarded according to his diligence and merit, all proper surroundings of moral influence being secured to him by the public authority. 'State socialism' is willing to act though state authority as it is at present organized. It proposes that all idea of a limitation of public authority by individual rights be put out of view, and that the State consider itself bound to stop only at what is unwise or futile in its universal superintendence alike of individual and of public interests. The thesis of the states socialist is, that no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the State may not cross at will; that omnipotence of legislation is the first postulate of all just political theory.

Applied in a democratic state, such doctrine sounds radical, but not revolutionary. It is only an acceptance of the extremest logical conclusions deducible from democratic principles long ago received as respectable. For it is very clear that in fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members. Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals.

It gets worse:

Democracy is bound by no principle of its own nature to say itself nay as to the exercise of any power. Here, then, lies the point. The difference between democracy and socialism is not an essential difference, but only a practical difference — is a difference of organization and policy, not a difference of primary motive. Democracy has not undertaken the tasks which socialists clamour to have undertaken; but it refrains from them, not for lack of adequate principles or suitable motives, but for lack of adequate organization and suitable hardihood: because it cannot see its way clear to accomplishing them with credit.
Seeing this, now it becomes so clear as to why so many modern progressives have as their rallying cry - "democracy". If they can just re-organize society so that it tells you what to do, how, when and so forth to do it, and it's all passed into law in a democratic way, then they can justify their beliefs because they've been enshrined into law.

As if anybody can truly argue that the rule of law has triumphed here.

Woodrow Wilson was a real piece of work. Obama, Wilson, and his alter ego Edward House directly compared, in audio:

Barack Obama in 1912
Barack Obama in 1912 part 2

Negative liberties and negative government

For progressives, talk of negative liberties and government is nothing new.

You may have heard Obama's complaint about the constitution. This audio was recorded in 2001, you can find that here. And make no mistake, this audio is a complaint. It says what "the states can't do to you", describing this.

One of the first audio clips I did was from a book titled "Philip Dru, Administrator". (audiobook) (text) As a primer into progressivism, this book is a pretty good place to start. If you've just listened to what Obama said regarding the constitution, looking at the table of contents for Philip Dru you may not help but notice that chapter 39 is "negative government".

Much has been written about the closeness of House and Wilson,(then and now) so I don't need to go into much detail about it. But it's worth noting that while negative government is in the book Dru, it also appears in one of Wilson's speeches.(that I know of) (The New Freedom, part 12) (audio file of that speech)

Barack Obama in 1912
Barack Obama in 1912 part 2

It is worth examining the difference though. In Wilson's day, government largely left people alone. It didn't coerce them the way it does today. So for the revolutionary progressives of the early 20th century, the entire government was a problem. For Obama and today's progressives, the constitution is the problem - it's the only thing left that stands in their way.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Progressivism: The Dictatorship of the Constitution

In his 1915 book "Progressive Democracy", Herbert Croly elaborates on something he calls "the monarchy of the word". He writes: (page 44)

The Law in the shape of the Federal Constitution really came to be a monarchy of the Word. It had been imposed upon the popular will, which was the only power capable of disputing its authority; and its friends came more and more to assume that the imposition was wise and beneficent. A systematic attempt was made to justify the supremacy of the Law. The people were warned that, if they rebelled, the just and awful judgment of the Lord would overtake them. Thus the aspirations and the conviction of the early democrats that popular political authority should be righteously expressed hardened into a system, which consecrated one particular machinery of possibly righteous expression. Reverence for law was made to mean reverence for one specific formulation of Law. Reverence for order was made to mean reverence for an established order. All that the American people had to do to insure their political salvation was vigilantly to safeguard the specific formulation of law and order which was found in the sacred writing.

Monarchy is just another word for dictator. And 'the word' he's writing about is our constitution. I don't believe I'm overstating this. He writes on page 76:(speaking of the Whigs)

They became, consequently, its appointed defenders. By the force of their reiterated panegyrics they did much to surround the monarchy of the Law with a more radiant halo of sanctity, which under the circumstances may have had its uses; but they certainly carried their worship of the Word too far.

The word "worship" appears in this book 7 times. 5 of those references are aimed at worshippers of "the word", "the law", and "the constitution".

Friday, July 8, 2011

Journalists don't understand revolutionaries

In a little noticed interview with Virginia Ironside, she discusses aging. The words of the journalist should shock anybody well versed with revolutionaries.

Journalists don't understand revolutionaries

This interview says a lot about the mindset of journalists worldwide. To americans - Have you ever heard a journalist take Van Jones seriously? How about George Soros? And groups like A.C.O.R.N.?

Journalists don't take any of these people or groups seriously, or the threat that they pose to our society. They just over look it. And it's been this way for a long time. When George Bernard Shaw was out talking about the need for 'lethal chambers' for eugenic purposes, he was met with skepticism. Many thought he was just playing. "Oh, that's just George, yanking everybody's leg". Shaw also talked about the need for 'humane gasses', and even said this on film. This man is playing? Really? Really.

Getting back to Virginia Ironside(who is a fabian, like Shaw was) the real danger is how she's handled by people in the media. In both instances(see the video on my popmodal account, linked above) I'd argue she is mishandled. The first interview on aging, the journalist uses the line "on a more serious note". In the more well known video I linked it with(see here for details), It seems to me that Susanna Reid is in a bit of a rush to end this dialog on part of Ironside. As soon as Ironside first uses the line about putting a pillow over a child's face, Reid attempts to introduce a guest.

Make what you want of it.

I've had this video made for a short while now, but I held onto it so as to release it at the same time I announced beginning the recording of Walter Lippmann's book Public Opinion. There's a lot of good information out there as to why journalists are what they are, and do what they do. This book is one of them.

Theodore Roosevelt to John St. Loe Strachey

On February 12, 1906, Teddy Roosevelt wrote a letter to the editor of the London Spectator. Here is what he wrote:

"Although I have been pretty steadily in politics since I left college, I have always steadfastly refused to regard politics as a career, for save under exceptional circumstances I do not believe that any American can afford to try to make this his definite career in life. With us politics are of a distinctly kaleidoscopic nature. Nobody can tell when he will be upset ; and if a man is to be of real use he ought to be able at times philosophically to accept defeat and to go on about some other kind of useful work, either permanently or at least temporarily until the chances again permit him to turn to political affairs. Every office I have held I have quite sincerely believed would be the last I should hold, the only exception being that during my first term as President I gradually grew to think it probable that I should be reelected."

In the same letter, he writes of the Senate :

"It is a very powerful body with an illustrious history, and life is easy in it, the Senators not being harassed as are members of the lower House, who go through one cam paign for their seats only to begin another. The esprit de corps in the Senate is strong, and the traditions they inherit come from the day when, in the first place, men dueled and were more considerate of one another s feeling, even in doing business ; and when, in the second place, the theories of all doctrinaire statesmen were that the one thing that was needed in government was a system of checks, and that the whole danger to government came not from inefficiency but from tyranny. In consequence, the Senate has an immense capacity for resistance. There is no closure, and if a small body of men are sufficiently resolute they can prevent the passage of any measure until they are physically wearied out by debate. The Senators get to know one another intimately and tend all to stand together if they think any one of them is treated with discourtesy by the Executive.

"I do not see that the Senate is any stronger relatively to the rest of the government than it was sixty or seventy years ago. Nor do I think that the Senate and the lower House taken together are any stronger with reference to the President than they were a century ago. Some of the things the Senate does really work to increase the power of the Executive. They are able so effectually to hold up action when they are consulted, and are so slow about it, that they force a President who has any strength to such individual action as I took in both Panama and Santo Domingo. In neither case would a President a hundred years ago have ventured to act without previous assent by the Senate. ... In this nation, as in any nation which amounts to anything, those in the end must govern who are willing actually to do the work of governing ; and in so far as the Senate becomes a merely obstructionist body it will run the risk of seeing its power pass into other hands."

This is only a partial lift out of that letter, the full text of it is in other books which I can't access due to copyright. But even with the partial, it's clear how Roosevelt had disrespect for our checks and balances.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Progressivism: General regulation and social regulation

For roughly the last century, progressives have sought to consolidate their power through the body of regulation. As Van Hise wrote: "regulation, not socialism". Others have written similar things too. Glenn Beck had several shows dealing with a book written by Stuart Chase that says basically the same thing. In order to understand this better, it's important to draw a line of distinction. A good place to do this(I think) is John Dewey, in a small piece he wrote for The New Republic titled "The Social Possibilities of War". I encourage everybody to read it in full. Or if you prefer, I recorded the entire thing in audio.(here)

In short, Dewey (much like Rahm Emanuel) is an opportunist. The war afforded immense opportunity to organize society, which he goes through explaining. Then we get to this:

To dispose of such matters by labeling them state socialism is merely to conceal their deeper import: the creation of instrumentalities for enforcing the public interest in all the agencies of modern production and exchange. Again, the war has added to the old lesson of public sanitary regulation the new lesson of social regulation for purposes of moral prophylaxis. The acceleration of the movement to control the liquor traffic is another aspect of the same fact. Finally, conscription has brought home to the countries which have in the past been the home of the individualistic tradition the supremacy of public need over private possession.

What he is saying here is fairly obvious, especially once you understand that the word "prophylaxis" means to prevent disease. In the eyes of progressives, that we own private property is in/of itself a disease.

And here's the key: Dewey separates the difference between general regulation and social regulation. He uses the example of public sanitary regulation, but you could use any sector of life you want. General regulation relegates the government to 'referee' status. Watch a football game, referees aren't a part of the game.

But with social regulation, they use regulation above and beyond simply keeping peace with the different sides of the matter. With social regulation, the government becomes a player in the game and does so with a dark intent.

I can think of several examples of social regulation right off of the bat. How about the energy industry? Drilling both on/offshore, refineries, and more. And a lot of that is tied in with environmental regulation. Most of which is just more social regulation, not general regulation. How about Obamacare? Why is that bill 2000 plus pages long? Why is the phrase "as the secretary shall determine" littered throughout the bill? It's because they know if they passed all of what they wanted to do as laws the people would go bonkers. They can't hide laws the way they can regulations.

General regulations amounts to a non activist government who keeps the peace. Social regulations amounts to progressivism ruling every aspect of your life. As Reagan said:

it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed to the -- or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? And such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place.

That perversion took place in the early 20th century. And that's what I will continue to examine.