Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Walter Lippmann explains how journalists and media can and do create opinion

In the book "Public Opinion", Walter Lippmann writes the following: (Page 355)
It is a problem of provoking feeling in the reader, of inducing him to feel a sense of personal identification with the stories he is reading. News which does not offer this opportunity to introduce oneself into the struggle which it depicts cannot appeal to a wide audience. The audience must participate in the news, much as it participates in the drama, by personal identification. Just as everyone holds his breath when the heroine is in danger, as he helps Babe Ruth swing his bat, so in subtler form the reader enters into the news. In order that he shall enter he must find a familiar foothold in the story, and this is supplied to him by the use of stereotypes. They tell him that if an association of plumbers is called a "combine" it is appropriate to develop his hostility; if it is called a "group of leading business men" the cue is for a favorable reaction.

It is in a combination of these elements that the power to create opinion resides. Editorials reinforce.

Anybody involved with the Tea Party has seen this in action on a very personal level, considering the reporting difference between us and Occupy.

Walter Lippmann has been described as "The Father of Modern Journalism". Seeing the sort of word play quoted above plainly advocated, and knowing that modern journalists widely employ this tactic today, it's easy to see why that title is deserved. This is chapter 23. In the following chapter(24), Lippmann explains the following:

1: News and truth are not the same thing.

2: There is a very small body of exact knowledge, which it requires no outstanding ability or training to deal with.

3: The rest is in the journalist's own discretion.

So pretty much, journalists have carte blanche to do whatever the heck they want with the news. They can use it as they please. Which is why, as Lippmann himself explains about budding politicians: (Chapter 15)

The ostensible leader often finds that the real leader is a powerful newspaper proprietor

Following the "Lippmann Formula of Journalism" (I just made that up), it makes perfect sense that nobody could stand up to any journalist or media magnate. They control the levers of information, they use it like a weapon, and they carry the distinction and prestige of being disinterested observers. So they can make you into a demon and get away with it. They could get you elected without appearing political.

That's power.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Heath and Debs: America's awakening to socialism began with Edward Bellamy

The Social Democratic Party, the precursor to the SPA, the Socialist Party of America, had several important figures in it. This old illustration from 1900 places the point very well:

Two of those 5, Frederic Heath and Eugene Debs, wrote something very interesting. In Heath's "Social Democracy Red Book", Page 41-42, Heath writes the following:

Laurence Gronlund has said that in 1880 he could count the native born American Socialists on the fingers of one hand. Had the foreign born residents suddenly left the country they would have practically taken Socialism with them. In 1880 Judge Thomas Hughes, the Christian Socialist, founded a profit-sharing, semi-communistic colony at New Rugby, in the Cumberland mountains of Tennessee, and delivered several lectures in the larger cities. A year later this colony had nearly 300 members and enjoyed a short-lived prosperity.

The American awakening to Socialism began with the appearance of Edward Bellamy's "Looking Backward" in 1888, although in 1884 Laurence Gronlund's "Co-operative Commonwealth" was the first book to place the new theory before American readers in a popular way. This had a very fair sale and set many prominent men to thinking along new lines - and among them probably the novelist Edward Bellamy himself. "Looking Backward" was not at all scientific in its conception of Socialism or the probable Socialistic state, but it came as a great message to the American people, nevertheless, and its success was phenomenal. In the succeeding few years over 600,000 copies were sold and for a time it had a record of sales of over 1,000 a day. Still it must be noted that the word Socialism nowhere appeared in the book. Bellamy and his converts at once organized clubs, which, with a cowardice that was perhaps justified, they called Nationalist clubs, and they persisted in calling their Socialism Nationalism.

In quoting America's Fabians, I wrote about this last August: ""Nationalism" is how socialism was introduced to the American people". (My point is not to pat myself on the back, but rather to highlight that the Fabians are in agreement about the significance of Bellamy, his book, and the Nationalist Clubs) In both instances, you can see the hat tip to the fact that Bellamy didn't call it Socialism. He called it Nationalism, and there's clearly a broad belief that this is an important reason why it became successful.

It should be noted, that Frederic Heath was an expert in this on a very personal level. How did Heath become a socialist in the first place? In "The Comrade", Heath wrote an article titled "How I became a Socialist", and here's what he says: (page 154)

I evolved a philosophy of my own. I became impatient that the lower classes did not partake of the culture and the refinements that minister to a satisfactory life, and came in time to blame conditions and not the workers for it. I grew to be reflective. I remember that I noted the fact that the first ambition of the negro who drifted North was to make a good appearance and dress well, even though this latter was often carried to the lengths of caricature. I saw that there was in the breasts of all persons, white or black, the desire for self-betterment, no matter how little the possibility of attaining to their ideal.

I was puzzling my brain with such groping thoughts as this, when Bellamy's "Looking Backward" flashed forth upon the American people. I capitulated to it at once, and a few years later was the author of a series of reports of the sessions of a mythical Bellamy club, in a Chicago illustrated paper, of which I myself was editor, articles which afford me amusing reading today, you may believe. By this time I had come to think myself a Socialist, yet kept on religiously voting for "protection" to American industry.

This is profound. That is, if you are like me, and you are seeking to understand how it is that these people came to be. "Where does all of this come from", "how did this happen", and other such questions. We can easily gather up 900+ pieces of the 1000 piece puzzle, and put it together well enough, accurately enough, to see the whole picture as it actually existed back then, and make our judgements accordingly.

Now, I also mentioned Eugene Debs, not just Heath. Debs is also in agreement with the sentiments of Frederic Heath and the Fabians. On page 64, Heath notes:

President Debs, Margaret Haile and C. F. Willard were appointed to draft resolutions on the death of Edward Bellamy, to be telegraphed to a memorial meeting being held in Boston. The message sent was as follows:

"The first national convention of the Social Democracy of America pays tribute to the memory of Edward Bellamy, first to popularize the ideas of Socialism among his countrymen and last to be forgotten by them."


Friday, March 22, 2013

Fabian Freeway, now available as an EPUB file

While I was working to transcribe Fabian Freeway, so too, was this guy. Mises.org is now officially hosting the EPUB file on it's website. My target was the internet, while he made an EPUB. This is very useful, for one, the download is much smaller. The PDF file is 42Mb, whereas the EPUB is less than 1Mb.

Being an EPUB, it's specifically designed for your Kindles, Ipads, even Iphones and other such devices.

My web friendly transcription starts here: (Table of Content)

For those who don't know what this book is and why I would mention it(I'm sure there are many), here is the book's Foreward:


The American people have been and are complacently unfamiliar with Communism’s helpmate, Fabian Socialism. For over fifty years but especially since the middle nineteen-thirties there have been insinuated into high places in our government at Washington men whose collaboration in this socialistic movement has been greatly responsible for breaking down our constitutional form of government and substituting therefor the Socialist idea of centralized government.

Every loyal American should read this book. It is well documented, and proves beyond doubt that those who have wielded such vast influence upon successive Presidents, especially since Franklin Roosevelt, do not have a desire to retain the freedom of the individual and the free enterprise system, but rather seek to establish the very coercion from which our forefathers fled. The reader will be shocked when he comprehends that there are those in high places in government who are dedicated to this Socialist movement. The ultimate objective of the Fabian Socialist movement is no different than the ultimate objective of the Communist movement….

To those who have an inquiring mind, and to those who wish to understand the tragedy of abandoning our form of government under which we prospered and under which our people have freedoms never enjoyed before in the history of the world, this book is a “must.” It will enlighten the American people, and it is hoped that a reaction will set in demanding that the Walter Lippmanns, the Schlesingers, the Rostows and a vast number of others disclosed in the book as Fabians, be exposed for what they are so that their influence on government will terminate.

The author has rendered a great public service. Whether you agree or disagree with the conclusions or the philosophies enunciated herein, you cannot close your eyes to the documentation of the progress of this evil movement.

          Loyd Wright


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Progressivism: In general, there is no limit to the right of the State

In "An introduction to political economy", Richard T. Ely writes the following: (page 92)
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 modern 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.

"Introduction" was written in 1889, at a time when the progressive movement had not become what it became by the early 1900's. So some of this is not necessarily all that threatening. It requires more reading of Ely to fully understand the mindset. In "Evolution of industrial society", Ely writes the following: (page 402)

Another stage in the development of thought is clearly reached in the writings of the English philosopher, Thomas Hill Green, who breaks away altogether from the conception of liberty as something to be achieved by negative, political action, holding that true liberty means the expression of positive powers of the individual, and that it can be reached only as a result of a long and arduous constructive process. Green tells us in these words what he means by liberty or freedom:

Richard Ely's influence upon early progressive thought probably cannot be under estimated, and it is likely that this is how and where progressives got the ideas that we have heard coming from Obama, the concepts of negative and positive liberty. It was imported from Britain. Keeping in mind that as Obama states it, you're hearing a philosophy that's had a whole century to "mature" and find its way, whereas Ely's writing is early and has not had the time to come to full fruition. Here is what he quotes from Green:

We do not mean merely freedom from restraint or compulsion. We do not mean merely freedom to do as we like irrespectively of what it is that we like. We do not mean a freedom that can be enjoyed by one man, or one set of men, at the cost of a loss of freedom to others. When we speak of freedom as something to be highly prized, we mean a positive power or capacity of doing or enjoying something worth doing or enjoying, and that, too, something that we do or enjoy in common with others. We mean by it a power which each man exercises through the help or security given him by his fellow men, and which he in turn helps to secure for them. When we measure the progress of a society by the growth in freedom, we measure it by the increasing development and exercise on the whole of those powers of contributing to social good with which we believe the members of the society to be endowed; in short, by the greater power on the part of the citizens as a body to make the most and best of themselves."

To sum: Green is talking about the collective. Not the individual.

In the short bit that I have quoted, and in the even larger context of the few pages around it, it is unclear if Ely is quoting Green in agreement. If he is, I might have missed it. But elsewhere, we know that Ely was profoundly impacted by the things he read in European writings and was in agreement with them. Elsewhere in the very same book, "Studies in the Evolution of Industrial Society", Ely writes this: (page 62)

For a long time in this country, under the influence of eighteenth century philosophy, we were inclined to regard men as substantially equal, and to suppose that all could live under the same economic and political institutions. It now becomes plain that this is a theory which works disaster, and is, indeed, cruel to those who are in the lower stages, resulting in their exploitation and degradation.

Of all the instances of rejection of the so called "eighteenth century ideas", this might be the most pointed. Above this quote and on page 61, he's talking about individualism and private property. Even before his quoting of Thomas Hill Green in 1889, Ely wrote this, in 86: (after quoting from Adam Smith)

This view, however, does not imply a conflict between the development of the individual and the development of society. Self-development for the sake of others is the aim of social ethics. Self and others, the individual and society, are thus united in one purpose.

This again, could be read ambiguously. Two paragraphs down, we see this:

The older ethical systems may, I think, be called individual. The perfection of the individual, or the worthiness of the individual, to use another expression, was the end proposed. Moral excellence of a single person was considered as something which might exist by itself, and need not bear any relation to one's fellows. Men were treated as units, and not as members of a body. The new tendency of which I speak, however, proceeds from the assumption that society is an organism, and that the individual is a part of a larger whole. Rudolph von Ihering develops this idea in the second volume of his "Zweck im recht." The source of ethics he finds in society: the end of ethics likewise is discovered in society and from society according to this theory is derived the ethical motive power which resides in the human will. Social ethics thus replaces individual ethics.

A few observations about this: Unlike his quoting of Green above, he is quoting in agreement here. He says "The older ethical systems may, I think, be called individual". There again, we see a nod to disagreement with the eighteenth century ideas and a push back against the Founding. "The perfection of the individual" is still something we hear about coming from progressives of today. "Men were treated as units" - This offends me to no end. I am not a "unit". The larger observation here is obvious. Old individualism is replaced by collectivism, even his characterization of individuals as "units", that's wording that gets right toward the core belief of the writer. Ely just can't help himself but look at us as parts of a whole, much like a beehive.

So here we have the answer to our query. Why is there no limit to the right of the state? Because that old eighteenth century philosophy "works disaster". The Founders were wrong. We progressives are right. Social replaces individual, and the state is our savior which will correct all of these ills.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Fabian Society lists the League for Industrial Democracy as a sister organization

On archive.org, there's a mislabeled book here, it's actual title is "The Forty-Sixth Annual Report On The Work of The Fabian Society", and if you dig through the preface here is what you will see: (Page 5-6)
Provincial and other Societies.

During the year under review there has been little change to note in regard to the various provincial and other Fabian Societies recorded in our last report. No new local societies have been established, but the membership of most of the other local societies has shown an increase during the year. Through the Fabian Nursery and the New Fabian Group, a close connection between the Society and the various Universities is maintained, and a steady stream of new members of the Society is kept up.

We maintain a close connection with the active Fabian Society in Japan, which issues many tracts and publications, unfortunately not readable by anyone in our circle; and with the Escuela Xueva, a Spanish Society founded on similar lines to our own, and carrying on active propaganda in that country, including the translation and publication of some of the best known Fabian tracts. The Gesellschafl fur Sozialforschung, of Frankfort, Germany, is still affiliated to us, and we continue active relations with that body; with the League for Industrial Democracy of New York, which carries on active propaganda in the United States on very similar lines to our own work here ; and also with the newly established Fabian Club at Auckland, New Zealand. Our relations with the Labour and Socialist International remain unchanged and as described in our last and some previous reports.

Just to make this easier to track and pin down, this is the 46th annual report, March 31st, 1929.

This is, of course, a two way street. The L.I.D. themselves wrote nearly the same thing. While this is given the appearance of being written in a tongue in cheek manner, now that we see that the Fabians themselves held the same opinion, the appearance of tongue in cheek is surface level only. Here is what they wrote:

Mandel V. Halushka, Teacher, Chicago, III.:

"Birthday greetings to Americans Fabian Society!

"Many organizations with much larger membership and greater financial support have come and gone since September 8, 1905. Few organizations have championed a better cause than the League for Industrial Democracy during these many years."

One of the small observations that I made quite some time ago is fairly accurate then. "Industrial Democracy" is a book written by Sidney Webb, a founding member of the Fabians. So the League for Industrial Democracy is quite honest as to what the group is all about.

I also highlighted the line about how the Fabians keep a close connection with colleges. Self explanatory, really.

Why this matters: There have been a lot of important and even well known people involved with the L.I.D. John Dewey, for example, who is widely regarded as the father of modern education, served president of the group for a time, and honorary president for life. Stuart Chase was a member of the League, as its treasurer, and as an advisor to FDR.

The League came into existence in 1921, by a simple re-naming. It's original name was the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. Same group, just renamed, founded in 1905. The ISS was founded by some people who's names you may recognize: Florence Kelley(Suffragette), Norman Thomas, and Upton Sinclair. Later in the League's existence, a splinter group was formed called S.L.I.D., the Student League for Industrial Democracy. Again, they engaged in re-naming and the name they chose for themselves this time was S.D.S., the Students for a Democratic Society. Many of the radicals that we are fighting against today have a much longer and more storied history than it may seem on the surface.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Do you see the warning signs?

Don't miss the warning signs of radicalism.

I recently posted a series of two images of a letter, written by Neville Chamberlain, (Now on archive.org, here) which is an object lesson in what happens when people don't, won't, or even can't, see the warning signs. For most people, it's don't and won't. They instinctively know they're looking at something ugly, but because none of us are taught proper history in schools we don't know what we're looking at. So they want to shield their eyes hoping it will go away. But for Chamberlain, it was can't. He couldn't see the signs, and he made life much much worse. Certainly for his country as well as all of Europe, but perhaps even the globe. We have a lot of leaders today, who can't see the signs. They make excuses, or outright reject what's right in front of their faces and choose to demonize those who do understand what they're looking at.

We are currently in the middle of the rise of radicalism, as Americans. You should take time to ask yourself, "Do I see the warning signs?"

"Do I understand the dangers of so called 'social justice'?"

"Do I see red flags all over the place when I read about Alinskyism?"

"Does my red light turn on when I read about Theodore Roosevelt?"

If(Hopefully when) you listen to that piece of audio I uploaded, I hope you won't just just limit it to anti-semitism. Radicalism goes much, much further than that into concepts such as centralized planning, eugenics, community organizing, social justice, economic justice, environmental justice, class warfare, and much more. Chamberlain's fault was not that he didn't see anti-semitism, but rather the larger problem of radicalism. Are you Neville Chamberlain? Do you dismiss it?


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Neville Chamberlain's letter to the Hitler Youth

Glenn Beck just talked about this on his show, I managed to find it online. Here is the full text:
I welcome the intention of the German Youth Movement to devote a special issue of their Magazine to the subject of England, and I gladly accept the invitation to contribute to a project which I regard as a sign of the growing desire for mutual understanding between our two countries.

In writing to you, the young manhood and young womanhood of Germany, I need to remind you that you are, in the words of the poet Shakespeare, "The expectancy and rose of the fair State". A great responsibility lies upon you - the responsibility for your country's future. All the hopes of Germany are set upon you; to your care is committed your national heritage and traditions, your national honour and your national prosperity. All this is entrusted to you for safe keeping, and I am confident that you will prove worthy of the trust.

But your responsibility does not end there. You have a responsibility for the future of your country: But you have also, in common with the youth of other nations, a joint responsibility for the future of the world. It is already and in the future will be still more the happy fortune of the organisations of youth now flourishing in many lands to foster - by means of mutual interchange of visits and otherwise - that understanding between nations which is so essential to the settlement of differences and the appeasement of the world. The admirable motto "The Year of Understanding", which you have chosen for the year 1938, shows the part that you are playing in this work.

(Signature) Neville Chamberlain

I'm actually a little surprised I was able to find this, but I'm glad I did. It took a few minutes to go digging through some of the auction sites to find it, but here is the listing.

This is something that has never been on the internet before these auction sites posting the images, and now, my blog posting which transcribes it. It is my suggestion that you make a copy of these images for yourself, copy the transcript, I don't mind if you don't reference my blog either. Just get it out there. There is a whole lot of information out there which is not yet on the internet, and we need to change that whenever the opportunity arises. Now is one of those opportunities. Especially if you have your own blog. I hope you will post this on your own so it can't be removed from the internet.

(Click for larger or see the listing on archive.org)

Monday, March 11, 2013

How John Stuart Mill helped to foster a revival of Socialism

Sidney Webb, one of the founding members of Britain's Fabian Society, wrote the following in his book "Socialism in England", Page 19:
It is true that with the collapse of the Chartist movement in 1848, all serious agitation of a Socialist character came to an end, and for thirty years popular aspirations in England took the forms of a development of trades unions, the progress of co-operative distributive stores and building societies, in conjunction with the purely political agitation for the Parliamentary franchise. But the Socialist leaven was still at work. The Chartist survivors continued to be centres of quiet education of their comrades. The ideas of Marx and Lassalle filtered in through French and German refugees, as well as through the personal influence of Marx himself on a select few. The latter influence of the Political Economists, notably that of John Stuart Mill,1 gradually prepared the public mind for Socialist proposals, especially on the subject of the "unearned increment" of land values.

1 See the explicit confession of his conversion, as he says, from mere Democracy to Socialism (Autobiography, p. 231-2) and the change in tone shown in Book IV. of the Political Economy (Popular Edition 1865.)

Alright, Webb told us where to look. Let's go take a look. Mill, Autobiography, Page 230-233:

Private property, as now understood, and inheritance, appeared to me, as to them, the dernier mot(final word) of legislation: and I looked no further than to mitigating the inequalities consequent on these institutions, by getting rid of primogeniture and entails. The notion that it was possible to go further than this in removing the injustice—for injustice it is, whether admitting of a complete remedy or not—involved in the fact that some are born to riches and the vast majority to poverty, I then reckoned chimerical, and only hoped that by universal education, leading to voluntary restraint on population, the portion of the poor might be made more tolerable. In short, I was a democrat, but not the least of a Socialist. We were now much less democrats than I had been, because so long as education continues to be so wretchedly imperfect, we dreaded the ignorance and especially the selfishness and brutality of the mass: but our ideal of ultimate improvement went far beyond Democracy, and would class us decidedly under the general designation of Socialists. While we repudiated with the greatest energy that tyranny of society over the individual which most Socialistic systems are supposed to involve, we yet looked forward to a time when society will no longer be divided into the idle and the industrious; when the rule that they who do not work shall not eat, will be applied not to paupers only, but impartially to all; when the division of the produce of labour, instead of depending, as in so great a degree it now does, on the accident of birth, will be made by concert on an acknowledged principle of justice; and when it will no longer either be, or be thought to be, impossible for human beings to exert themselves strenuously in procuring benefits which are not to be exclusively their own, but to be shared with the society they belong to. The social problem of the future we considered to be, how to unite the greatest individual liberty of action, with a common ownership in the raw material of the globe, and an equal participation of all in the benefits of combined labour. We had not the presumption to suppose that we could already foresee, by what precise form of institutions these objects could most effectually be attained, or at how near or how distant a period they would become practicable. We saw clearly that to render any such social transformation either possible or desirable, an equivalent change of character must take place both in the uncultivated herd who now compose the labouring masses, and in the immense majority of their employers. Both these classes must learn by practice to labour and combine for generous, or at all events for public and social purposes, and not, as hitherto, solely for narrowly interested ones. But the capacity to do this has always existed in mankind, and is not, nor is ever likely to be, extinct. Education, habit, and the cultivation of the sentiments, will make a common man dig or weave for his country, as readily as fight for his country. True enough, it is only by slow degrees, and a system of culture prolonged through successive generations, that men in general can be brought up to this point. But the hindrance is not in the essential constitution of human nature. Interest in the common good is at present so weak a motive in the generality not because it can never be otherwise, but because the mind is not accustomed to dwell on it as it dwells from morning till night on things which tend only to personal advantage. When called into activity, as only self-interest now is, by the daily course of life, and spurred from behind by the love of distinction and the fear of shame, it is capable of producing, even in common men, the most strenuous exertions as well as the most heroic sacrifices. The deep-rooted selfishness which forms the general character of the existing state of society, is so deeply rooted, only because the whole course of existing institutions tends to foster it; and modern institutions in some respects more than ancient, since the occasions on which the individual is called on to do anything for the public without receiving its pay, are far less frequent in modern life, than the smaller commonwealths of antiquity. These considerations did not make us overlook the folly of premature attempts to dispense with the inducements of private interest in social affairs, while no substitute for them has been or can be provided: but we regarded all existing institutions and social arrangements as being (in a phrase I once heard from Austin) "merely provisional," and we welcomed with the greatest pleasure and interest all socialistic experiments by select individuals (such as the Co-operative Societies), which, whether they succeeded or failed, could not but operate as a most useful education of those who took part in them, by cultivating their capacity of acting upon motives pointing directly to the general good, or making them aware of the defects which render them and others incapable of doing so.

First, dernier mot means "final word", so I added that in line to make this easier to understand.

Second, much of this is utopian nonsense. "If" we could only get humans to do this, and do that, life would be so much better for all. "Accident of birth" is a highly jealous and covetous phrase. Just because you were born with rich parents, doesn't mean .......; whatever the assertion is. It's class warfare, essentially.

I actually quoted more than Webb specified, because I felt it gave a greater context.(I italicized what is actually on pages 231-232, you can verify it here.) Utopian nonsense aside, you can clearly see that Mill wanted to go much further than the "average democrat", and did not at all have a problem with socialism. Which isn't surprising, Webb's writings are from a socialist perspective, for other socialists, and in either a historically accurate sense and/or from a pro-socialist perspective.

This isn't the first time I've written about this topic, last time I noted much of this, but from the writings of Edward Pease. As you can see(and Bernard Shaw is also there) Mill is a very problematic figure in history due to how he influenced people back toward a big government mindset.

Webb also pointed out Mill's importance to Socialism in Fabian Tract 15. The Fabian Tracts are not always easy to deal with over the internet, so this might be a sticking point; the page numbers. The Fabian Tracts' pages themselves are often times numbered, and the book has it's own numbering system as well. So you can find this on Tract page 11, book page lxvi:

Is there then no hope? Is there no chance of the worker ever being released from the incubus of what Mill called,1 "the great social evil of a non labouring class," whose monopolies cause the taxation of the industrious for the support of indolence, if not of plunder?2

Mill tells us how, as he investigated more closely the history and structure of Society, he came to find a sure and certain hope in the Progress of Socialism, which he foresaw and energetically aided. We who call ourselves Socialists today in England, largely through Mill's teaching and example, find a confirmation of this hope in social history and economics, and see already in the distance the glad vision of a brighter day, when, practically, the whole product of labour will be the worker's and the worker's alone, and at last social arrangements will be deliberately based upon the Apostolic rule ignored by so many Christians, that if a man do not work, neither shall he eat.

One of my reasons for quoting Mill directly should be apparent to you by now, look at the language used. Fabian Tract 15(at least this portion) is written almost word for word(at the very minimum, inspired by) from Mill. I think that speaks volumes, perhaps is even more important than the text that's written. Because it puts on display the change in mindset, the infectuous transfer of idealism.

As a final note, on Page 20 of Webb's "Socialism in England", he goes into the influence of Henry George. I mention it due to it's relevance to the article of mine that I referenced above, but also to an article I wrote 6 months prior to that. Henry George was an American. But his influence, like Mill's, cannot be ignored in the beginnings of both Fabianism and Progressivism. It makes sense, given that both Mill and George came to the same conclusion: private ownership of property was an impediment to "progress".


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Caleb C. Colton, regarding power and it's corrupting influence

I ran into some interesting quotes the other day, and I wanted to make it easier for people to find.

Most people have heard the phrase "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". That comes from Charles C. Colton in his book "Lacon", page 113.

What I found interesting enough to go looking for was this:

POWER will intoxicate the best hearts, as wines the strongest heads. No man is wise enough, nor good enough, to be trusted with unlimited power; for, whatever qualifications he may have evinced to entitle him to the posession of so dangerous a privilege, yet, when posessed, others can no longer answer for him, because he can no longer answer for himself.

From the same book, "Lacon", page 216. He makes an interesting point, in that power acts like a drug in a lot of ways, driving those who wield it mad. Tolkien's presentation of "Gollum" is not so far off the mark - "my precious".

Also from "Lacon", page 24:

"POWER, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness; it magnifies littleness; to what is contemptible it gives authority; to what is low, exaltation. To acquire it, appears not more difficult than to be dispossessed of it, when acquired, since it enables the holder to shift his own errors on dependants, and to take their merits to himself. But the miracle of losing it vanishes, when we reflect that we are as liable to fall as to rise, by the treachery of others; and that to say "I am," is language that has been appropriated exclusively to God!

Did you notice that in both quotes, he doesn't say a word about money, wealth, or riches? That's because the pursuit of power can and often times does stand alone. This flies in the face of what a lot of people these days think, but it's true. There's a phrase which animates this line of thought: "follow the money", which is 100% true. But it's only half of the picture. Another phrase which should further highlight what Colton is getting at is the following:(Its attributed to Saul Alinsky, but I cannot find the source it)

Power goes to two poles: to those who've got money and those who've got people.

Regardless of attribution, the phrase is accurate in that money and power do not have to come together. They can come separately. There are plenty of people out there with plenty of wealth who do not seek power, even surreptitiously, and there are plenty out there who seek power even though they don't have money. It's like age and wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone. What this quote does is highlight one way you can gain power, without having any money whatsoever. Have people.(and by extension, organization)

Our Founders also recognized the duality of human motivation: On the floor of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin originated the following ideas:

Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power, and the love of money. Separately each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but when united in view of the same object, they have in many minds the most violent effects. Place before the eyes of such men, a post of honour that shall be at the same time a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it. The vast number of such places it is that renders the British Government so tempestuous. The struggles for them are the true sources of all those factions which are perpetually dividing the Nation, distracting its Councils, hurrying sometimes into fruitless & mischievous wars, and often compelling a submission to dishonorable terms of peace. And of what kind are the men that will strive for this profitable pre-eminence, through all the bustle of cabal, the heat of contention, the infinite mutual abuse of parties, tearing to pieces the best of characters? It will not be the wise and moderate; the lovers of peace and good order, the men fittest for the trust. It will be the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits. These will thrust themselves into your Government and be your rulers. -And these too will be mistaken in the expected happiness of their situation: For their vanquished competitors of the same spirit, and from the same motives will perpetually be endeavouring to distress their administration, thwart their measures, and render them odious to the people.

There's plenty of this which is applicable to today's progressives, but the point of focus is the dual passions of men. Franklin is right, in that when the two are put together you have a very dangerous mix. But it can be very easily demonstrated how the two do not have to mix to be relevant. They can stand alone.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Progressives really do believe that free markets are a form of anarchy

That is, if you use the definition of anarchy that conforms with the concept of absolutely no government - completely out of control and destructive.

As I've written in the past, Stuart Chase, Woodrow Wilson, and John Dewey have all made this belief clear.(I'll give the quotes below) Now, FDR. Raymond Moley eventually split with the Brains Trust and coughed up all kinds of details. For some, he's infamous. For others, he delivered some of the most valuable insights into the New Deal at the time, perhaps ever. In his book "After Seven Years", Moley writes something that is probably overlooked by most despite it's importance. From page 184: (Direct quote links in-line)

The source of that philosophy, as I've suggested earlier, was Van Hise's Concentration and Control, and it was endlessly discussed, from every angle, during the 'brain trust' days. In several of his campaign speeches F.D.R. had touched upon the idea of substituting, for the futile attempt to control the abuses of anarchic private economic power, by smashing it to bits, a policy of cooperative business-government planning to combat the instability of economic operations and the insecurity of livelihood.

The beliefs that economic bigness was here to stay; that the problem of government was to enable the whole people to enjoy the benefits of mass production and distribution (economy and security); and that it was the duty of government to devise, with business, the means of social and individual adjustment to the facts of the industrial age—these were the heart and soul of the New Deal.

Its fundamental purpose was an effort to modify the characteristics of a chaotic competitive system that could and did produce sweatshops, child labor, rackets, ruinous price cutting, a devastated agriculture, and a score of other blights even in the peak year of 1928. Its chief objective was the initiation of preliminary steps toward a balanced and dynamic economic system. And if ever a man seemed to embrace this philosophy wholeheartedly, that man was Franklin Roosevelt.

There he is, FDR with his belief that free markets need to be controlled from on high because they're chaotic/anarchic. This is entirely in line with earlier progressives, and one even who was one of his advisors. Stuart Chase, a Fabian Socialist, wrote the following:

Political democracy can remain if it confines itself to all but economic matters; democracy in consumption will make enormous strides as standards of living are leveled upward; industrial individualism - anarchy is a better term - in the sense of each businessman for himself, each corporation for itself, must be disallowed.

John Dewey wrote this:

Peoples who have learned that billions are available for public needs when the occasion presses will not forget the lesson, and having seen that portions of these billions are necessarily diverted into physical training, industrial education, better housing, and the setting up of agencies for securing a public service and function from private industries will ask why in the future the main stream should not be directed in the same channels.

In short, we shall have a better organized world internally as well as externally, a more integrated, less anarchic, system.

And finally, Woodrow Wilson. He wrote this: (Coming from page 6)

Such a commission would be in fact a commission to discover, amidst our present economic chaos, a common interest, so that we might legislate for the whole country instead of for this, that, or the other interest, one by one.

There is much more to all of these quotes, so you can either read the original sources or my prior entries on this, here and here.

This last quote, from Wilson's is a little less direct so it's not as clear. Here's what he says above this, on page 4:

Take the case of the United States. It has been a great spectacle of splendid force released and challenged by every circumstance to work its will. It has, too, been a regime of utter individualism. The forces as well as the men have acted independently, of their own initiative, at their own choice in their own way. And law has not drawn them together,- it does not appear that it was its object to draw them together.

This makes entirely clear the false equation of free markets and individualism into the category of anarchism, and it is a completely bastardized view of "the law". The law is not supposed to draw people together in a centrally planned authoritarian state, the law is there to deal with people who do wrong things to one another such as murders, thefts, rapes, and other such things which are actually wrong, not just wrong because he the planner dictates that they're wrong. That's the rule of man, not the rule of law.

It is the law that keeps markets in line, without the need whatsoever for dictators. Either you have central planning, or you have anarchy, the progressives say. Which is an entirely false choice.

Through the two Roosevelts, Wilson, and all the planners beneath them in both elected and non elected positions alike, the law was changed in order to draw us closer, and now we're stuck in the mud of centralized planning.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Freedom: You're doing it wrong

This was a third revision. I found two great protest photos which would've been even better. But this won't cause any legal issues, it's a government propaganda image. That's public domain by default.

Click for larger.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The other dark side of conservation: The New Patriotism

In his book "The conservation of natural resources in the United States", Charles Van Hise writes the following: (Page 337, section: "Conservation and Patriotism")
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, during the natural resources of the country were being taken possession of, were naturally times of intense individualism. Each man took freely of the resources, did with them as pleased, and regarded interference from any source as unwarranted. But the private possession of our resources placed a new situation before us and demands of the people the twentieth century different ideals from those that obtained in the past.

If you happen to be a reader of mine, you've noticed the progressives' continued lamenting of the ideas of the eighteenth century.(It helps that I constantly point it out, too) Hise at least is not outwardly arrogant towards those ideas like others have been, but he is clearly rejecting them. Before I get to far into this, Who is C. V. Hise? Hise was an advisor to Theodore Roosevelt, (unsurprising, "Conservation" is largely synonymous with T.R.) and as I wrote in that blog posting, there is a huge eugenic component to conservation. Which is why I titled this the other dark side.

Continuing on page 377:

As already said, so far as possible, each should hold the resources he possesses in trust for the generations to follow. Each should desire only what is right, and right must be defined as that which is best for the future of the race. In short, the period in which individualism was patriotism in country has passed by; and the time has come when individualism must become subordinate to responsibility to many.

In the days of '61 to '65, a million men laid aside personal desires, and surrendered their individualism for good of the nation. Now it is demanded that every shall surrender his individualism not for four years but life, - that he shall think not only of himself and his family, but of his neighbors, and especially of the unnumbered generations that are to follow. It is by the criterion of what is for posterity that we should judge of the interlocking questions of economics and conservation which confront us. Upon this principle should legislation be based. If we recognize this, we shall have made the great progressive fundamental step. When the criterion as to right, the good of posterity, is clearly accepted by the people, no individual or group of individuals can permanently retard progress.

Even here, you can pick up on the eugenical nature of the argument.("Future of the race") But note the clear intent - Conservation has nothing to do with the land itself, in the sense that just having large parts of land owned by government agencies doesn't have to do any harm. But they intend harm. Conservation is the means to an end - individual control. That's why it has a eugenical component. Hise says that "the conservation of man" has a proposal in eugenics, and Roosevelt said that "conservation does not stop with the natural resources". Enter the new patriotism: (page 377, to 378)

But the demand for transformation of the ideals of the individual, who has felt himself free to do with what he has as he pleases, to social responsibility, will be as great a change of heart as has ever been demanded by seer or by prophet. Already we have angry protestations from many who largely possess, when any restraint is proposed. Often those who make such proposals are denounced as dangerous to the welfare of the country. But still the demand will be pressed in upon each man that he shall surrender his individualism so far as is necessary for the good of the race. He who thinks not of himself primarily, but of his race, and of its future, is the new patriot. Only under conditions which permit of education to each, and education as far as his capacities will permit him to go, only under conditions which will give each man an opportunity to rise, will this new era of remedial legislation be safely guided.

Without the widest and wisest system of education, the poor will be led by impulse and not by reason. Without the widest and wisest system of education, those who possess largely will continue to be moved by individualism, as apparently are the group of men who control the anthracite coal of the country, - as if this privilege were granted from on high instead of by their fellow men.

As you can see, the true reason for conservation was(is) control. I mean, what is gun control? People control. So too is conservation. It's people control. If you take conservation to a more extreme form, what do you have? Environmentalism. What has the EPA been doing for all these years? Passing regulation to control every aspect of our lives. Take it to it's most extreme form, and you have Agenda 21 and "sustainability". So knowing this history does have a direct current application.(And I say all this while ignoring the eugenical aspect) As we've all seen on issue after issue in our current lives, once these progressives get an idea, they never let it go.

First, for those who may not know, the typical eugenist uses the word "race" in the sense of "human race".(or perhaps the Nationalist variant, "Americans" or insert your country)

But second, note that very last line. "As if this privilege were granted from on high" - That goes back to how I opened this posting, and the progressives continued rejection of the Founders vision of Natural Law, the Laws of Nature and Nature's God, and so forth. Government is all to all people.

When I first started doing all of this reading, conservation was one of the few things that I thought maybe the progressives got right. Maybe it wasn't a means to an end. No, nothing about progressivism is real. Behind every cause they initiate, big government is both the goal and result. And it's not enough to know this instinctually. All of us need to be able explain it in detail and with the facts on our side.

Look at the other language used here by Hise. "The widest and wisest system of education". Who's against that?(on the surface) What he really means of course, is indoctrination and propaganda. But on the surface, this is hard to oppose. He talks about posterity. Now really, who is against making sure there's forests and so forth for future generations? This is not a question you should even begin to answer, because as I have proven, Conservation is about people control.

You won't allow government to control every aspect of your life? You are unpatriotic.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

How did American progressives pick up British Fabian ideas?

In a book titled "Visions of Progress: The Left-Liberal Tradition in America", the following is written: (page 46)
A host of discussion clubs in New York City between 1900 and 1910 brought together Socialist and liberal activists and intellectuals, who clearly felt they had much in common. That common property was the Fabian side of American reform. The flamboyantly named X Club, for example, begun by William James Ghent in 1903, had Algernon Lee, William English Walling, and Edmond Kelly among its members, and visitors to its meetings included John Dewey, Charles Beard, Franklin H Giddings, Walter Weyl, Norman Hapgood, H. G. Wells, and Emile Vandervelde. There were others whos reach extended even further, including broad-minded businessmen. These discussion clubs built upon the earlier cooperation among reformers of varying, but at that time vaguely defined, stripes within the Good Government efforts of the 1890s. New York's City Club had involved figures such as Washington Gladden, Giddings, Jacob Riis, Edward Devine(an important figure in social work), and Felix Adler(head of the Ethical Culture Society), as well as worthies such as Nicholas Murray Butler, John Jay Chapman, and Elihu Root. Here was a bridge between the old liberalism and progressivism.

Its incredible what can be found with the right stroke of keys in a search engine. This pretty much confirms a thought I had earlier: (this is me quoting myself!)

The reformers at all levels(national, state, local) went from a disparate movement of people with all kinds of beliefs, ranging from many (that) conservatives (today) might agree with to full fledged statists within about 20 years. How?

Through the Fabian policy of permeation. As I've written previously, American Progressives were in fact reading Fabian writings. The Fabians and Progressives worked together in various academic settings. And now, they're getting together after work at political discussion forums. We have a full picture now to look at. I'm going to address some of these names:

William James Ghent: (Club Owner), Socialist writer - In his book The New Appeal, he at least knew of the existence of Fabians, having written about them.

Algernon Lee - Would go on to be the Director of Education at The Rand School of Social Sciences. For those who know the story of the London School of Economics, the story is nearly identical. Fabians like Stuart Chase were involved at Rand.

William English Walling, an American Socialist.

Edmond Kelly, who writes the following: The fabian theory of collectivism seems more sound than that of Marx.

John Dewey - Was President for life of America's Fabian Society. Father of Modern American Education.

Charles Beard - Taught at the Rand School.

Walter Weyl - First editor of The New Republic.

H.G. Wells - A Fabian Socialist. (Note the time frame. Yes, he left the Fabians, in the 20's.)

Here is the bridge between the old liberalism and progressivism. We know how profound Dewey's writings would be for the entire education sector. But look at a guy like F.H. Giddings. He was over at Columbia University, while he would come to clubs like this and rub elbows with these people. Guess what kinds of ideas he brought to Columbia? The kinds that the people at Columbia wanted to hear.

Permeation is not a one way street. Old liberalism circa the late 1800's(1880's/1890's, leading right into the first few years or so of the 1900's) was open to Fabianism because they had already abandoned the ideas of the Founders, and because the new ideas that the liberals were formulating on their own were very compatible with Fabianism. Take the 1872 "Demands of Liberalism". That's not the kind of thing that comes from the Founders' America, but an America ripe for the planting of Socialist ideas. That's why Edward Bellamy's Nationalism was so well received.

You take old liberalism and it's budding lust for bureaucratic despotism, add Fabianism into the mix and the end result is Progressivism. It's no wonder that so many of the early Progressives, many that you would recognize, had friendly relationships with British Fabians. They were working along side each other in various roles, journalistic, academic, they were meeting at discussion clubs, and they were reading each other's writings.

A historian by the name of Robert H. Wiebe wrote a book titled "The Search for Order". and on page 166 he writes the following: (Page 166 cannot be seen from Google Books)

The heart of progressivism was the ambition of the new middle class to fulfill its destiny through bureaucratic means.

That's how we got here. "Old Liberalism" + "Fabian Permeation" = Progressivism.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Progressivism cannot survive American history - They must reinterpret, reinvent, and revise history with a social interpretation

As we look at the damage that has been done to history curricula by agenda driven progressive professors and progressive curriculum writers, the long term trend is easy to spot. First, they started by manipulating what the Founders said - revising and editing - and at this point the progressives have just had it and decided to remove it altogether. Or worse, they outright demonize American history.

One of the most well known items of progressive history revisionism is a book titled "George Washington, the Image and the Man". Published in 1926, it is well known for having exactly zero footnotes. It tries to create a brand new Washington out of whole cloth. Even worse, the book "The Godless Constitution" states the following:

Because we have intended the book to reach a general audience, and because the material we have cited is for the most part familiar to historians and political scientists, we have dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes.

Many will point to books written by Zinn, I myself have attempted to trace this revisionism back to it's roots. It's gotten so bad that there's even school districts out there who teach American students that the original tea party was perpetrated by terrorists. There is a rational answer for all this, in the writings of the progressives own literature.

In "The New Democracy", by Walter Weyl, the following is written: (page 160)

The new spirit is not all new. Before this we have known these types, or, at least, their prototypes. But what has been small has grown great, and what has been still has become loud. There has been a change in emphasis, which makes the new spirit a something different from the crass, state-blind individualism of yesterday.

The new spirit is social. Its base is broad. It involves common action and a common lot. It emphasizes social rather than private ethics, social rather than individual responsibility.

This new spirit, which is marked by a social unrest, a new altruism, a changed patriotism, an uncomfortable sense of social guilt, was not born of any sudden enthusiasm or quickening revelation. It grew slowly in the dark places of men's minds out of the new conditions. The old individualism - carried to its logical sequence - would have meant impotence and social bankruptcy. Individualism struck its frontier when the pioneer struck his, and society, falling back upon itself, found itself. New problems arose, requiring for their solution slight amendments of our former canons of judgment and modes of action. In many spheres of economic life the individual began to find more profit in his undivided share of the common lot than in his chance of individual gain. On this foundation of an individual interest in the common lot, the new social spirit was laid. This egoistic interest, however, was shared by so many interdependent millions, that men passed insensibly from an ideal of reckless individual gaining to a new ideal, which urged the conservation and thrifty utilization of the patrimony of all in the interest of all.

In obedience to this new spirit we are slowly changing our perception and evaluation of the goods of life. We are freeing ourselves from the unique standard of pecuniary preeminence and are substituting new standards of excellence. We are ceasing solely to adore successful greed, and are evolving a tentative theory of the trusteeship of wealth. We are emphasizing the overlordship of the public over property and rights formerly held to be private. A new insistence is laid upon human life, upon human happiness. What is attainable by the majority - life, health, leisure, a share in our natural resources, a dignified existence in society - is contended for by the majority against the opposition of men who hold exorbitant claims upon the continent. The inner soul of our new democracy is not the unalienable rights, negatively and individualistically interpreted, but those same rights, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," extended and given a social interpretation.

History revisionism on part of progressives is intentional. It serves their collectivist goals. George Washington once said:

If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.

What if there was no high standard set? What if there was no ghost of our Founders, watching over us? Get rid of the ghost, and you can do whatever the heck you want. That's why they've done this. You simply cannot repair what you don't even know exists.