Saturday, August 27, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt - the first globalist president

All of us know how politicized the Nobel Prize is, but many people falsely believe that it's only been politicized since around the time of Obama, perhaps since the time of Carter. It's been a tool for awarding statists for over a century. Don't forget, Wilson also won a Nobel. On May 5th, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt gave his acceptance speech for receiving his political prize.

Here is how Roosevelt began the last paragraph of that speech:

Finally, it would be a masterstroke if those great powers honestly bent on peace would form a League of Peace, not only to keep the peace among themselves, but to prevent, by force if necessary, its being broken by others. The supreme difficulty in connection with developing the peace work of The Hague arises from the lack of any executive power, of any police power to enforce the decrees of the court.

Even here, TR continues his zeal for kingly government and some power, any power, who can issue decrees to all of you little peasants out there. But this is much, much worse. Being as this speech is from 1910, this makes Roosevelt the first American President(he was a former president at the time) to call for an international body to lord over multiple nations. Note that last line, where he laments the fact that there's no executive power at the Hague. So, to you living in 2016, do you think Roosevelt would be proud of what his World Court has become? It's just a side question, a thought piece.

Woodrow Wilson would continue Roosevelt's work with an attempt to form a League of Peace League of Nations, and finally, TR's cousin Franklin would succeed in implementing the dream, with the introduction of the League of Peace United Nations.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Columbian Orator, audiobook edition

Normally I wait until I am fully complete with an audiobook before announcing it here, but I am handling this one a little differently.

For my next audiobook, I am not doing a solo read. It is a group project on Librivox instead. So if you are interested, feel free to join in and take a section. The book has over 80 sections, so most are not more than 1-3 pages long.

The Columbian Orator, first published in 1797, is a great book for anybody interested in the culture of early America. It contains speeches from Founders such as Franklin, Mason, and Washington; it has several British parliamentary speeches from Pitt, Fox, and others, and even earlier classical works, from well known Roman authors such as Cato and Cicero. Additionally, many sections of the book are deeply religious, in regards to topics like Christ's Crucifixion, David and Goliath, and the existence of God. Finally, there are sections of this book that contain back and forth discussions, which could afford two people the ability to have somewhat of a personal dialog together.(per the book text, of course)

In short, this is truely a great book and it will be a great audiobook when complete. If you have ever thought about considering recording an audiobook or want to give it a try, this is a good place to start.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Progressivism kills dolphins. So stop feeding the dolphins!

You ever see one of these signs? If you live in a warm-climate state near large bodies of water, you most likely have in one form or another. They're quite common. It is also common to see the official signs, which may look like this:

You know this is a discouragement of socialism, right? Now, I don't want to downplay the effect of wild animals who get hungry and lash out, and other maladies, such as getting stuck in a net or the effect of propeller blades.

But lets be serious here. Among other things this is a de-facto campaign against socialism and progressivism. It truely is. On the intro page, states this: "The billboard in the picture says it all. It’s illegal to feed wild dolphins. And it can cause a dolphin’s death." and then the very next line it says is "Dive deeper". OK!!! I will! Diving deeper beyond just simply "food handouts to dolphins", is there a system designed around handouts and dependence? Yes, there is such a system. There's quite a lot of such systems.

According to sarasotadolphin, as well as Don't Feed Wild Dolphins .org, "Dolphins are hunters, not beggars". Hey wait! Humans are hunters, not beggars! The website says: "when people offer them food, dolphins, like most animals, take the easy way out. They learn to beg for a living, lose their fear of humans, and do dangerous things."

Hmmmmmm......... when people offer them food, humans, like most animals, take the easy way out. They learn to beg for a living and do dangerous things.

On the website this phrase is used: "begging for a living". That phrase is the key. The website even states that when you practice dolphin socialism, the mother dolphins don't teach the baby dolphins how to be independent and hunt for their own food. In other words, they become wards of the state; they become permanent dependents on getting handouts. Among researchers, there is even a famous example: a dolphin named Beggar. According to National Geographic, "Beggar mostly stopped foraging on his own". Was Beggar killed by socialism? Slate has an interesting article about this, which states that "He was loved to death." Now isn't that exactly what the progressives claim? That the reason they get people hooked on handouts want to redistribute wealth, is because the progressives are so loving and caring? Are people also loved to death?

As history has proven, socialism kills. It even kills dolphins.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Does Japan have a living and breathing constitution?

Joe Biden made some interesting comments recently regarding the constitution of Japan and nuclear armaments. It's been widely reported, so I don't have much need to re-hash all of that.

Except for one thing: What is it about Japan's constitution that makes progressives believe that the Japanese constitution does not qualify as a living and breathing document?

I would really like to know the answer to that question.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

As police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt laid out his dreams for benevolent dictatorship

If this country could be ruled by a benevolent czar, we would doubtless make a good many changes for the better. - Theodore Roosevelt, 1897

In most of the puff piece biographies written about Theodore Roosevelt, one will read about the valiant days of TR as police chief, cleaning the joint up, and rooting out the bad guys. But is that really all that happened? Nothing more? Why is it that the full story is never told, rather, it has to be pieced together?

During his time as a police commissioner, TR was actually quite unpopular. There were many who dubbed him "King Roosevelt I"(source), with some newspapers even going so far as to coin a jingle based on the notion:

East Side, West Side, all around the town, yesterday went King Roosevelt I, ruler of New York and patron saint of dry Sundays.(source)

Now, it is true, that much of Roosevelt's unpopularity as "King Roosevelt I" was directly connected to his taking away people's drinks(source), but there was more, much more to this.

As an aside, wasn't prohibition one of the crowning achievements of progressivism? And didn't that involve big government taking away people's drinks? Interesting. But I digress.

Roosevelt had a longstanding proclivity toward "strong"(which he used as a euphemistic code word for roughshod, hurtful, bully government) government. In a letter to his sister Anna, TR wrote:

If I were ... a single-headed Commissioner, with absolute power (not to speak of his having an infinitely less difficult problem to solve), I could in a couple of years accomplish almost all I could desire; were I even the member of a three headed commission, like the Boston Police Department, with absolute power, I could have accomplished very much; but, as it is I am one of four commissioners, any of whom possess a veto power in promotions.(source)(source)(source)

Now really.... Who do you know who speaks this way besides 12 year olds and young college grads who are completely out of touch with reality?

It's no wonder then, we have all of these stories of how most of the republicans in New York were just waiting with bated breath to get rid of Roosevelt. The web page for the National Park Service contains a very interesting line in this regard:

In 1895, he resigned to take the post of Police Commissioner of New York City. With this new appointment he hoped to expand his ideas of reform into new areas. Just like the Civil Service Commission, Roosevelt wanted the Police Department appointments and promotions to be based on merit rather than patronage. He tirelessly hounded corrupt and incompetent policemen, often replacing them with men who had no connection to any political machine.

With all of his talk of benevolent czars and absolute power, and the fact that the NY GOP ejected him as fast as they could, I highly doubt that Roosevelt's time as commissioner was truely as clean as the wind driven snow as they make it seem with this line here. Particularly this line of him "tirelessly hounding" "incompetent policemen". As we have seen with Obama, people enthralled with absolute power such as this have bizarre definitions for "incompetence".

This certainly matches with his letter to his sister. His "tireless hounding" had a lot to do with getting rid of people that he, and only he alone, knew to be incompetent. It is likely that there were some true incompetents. Others, however, were probably no more than simply of a different ideological persuasion than he.

Between that, and his anti-saloon campaign, Roosevelt ended up losing his job as commissioner - a job that was revoked by republicans.(source) All the reform work Roosevelt had attempted to do was for naught.

It is interesting to note, that one of Roosevelt's last acts as Governor, was to unify the job of Police Commissioner under a single head starting in 1901. This is very, very indicative of how deep his progressive ideology ran, even at that time. He wouldn't even be the one sitting in the top chair, as he had dreamed of years prior. But that power - it had to be centralized. He couldn't let it go.

Centralization for centralization's purpose. That's progressivism.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Understanding the non-marxist left

In 2008 Daniel J. Flynn published A Conservative History of the American Left, which he ends chapter 8 this way:
Despite his loyal namesake's best efforts, Henry George is not imagined as a Christ-like figure by contemporary leftists. This is because, overwhelmed by Marxism, few contemporary leftists remember their non-marxist forebears. But George's contemporaries certainly did. He flashed, burned white hot, and was gone. In a fit of overly generous praise, which ages poorly, philosopher John Dewey held: "It would require less than the fingers of the two hand to enumerate those who, from Plato down, rank with Henry George among the world's social philosophers." Though very few leftists today concur with Dewey's assessment, its worth noting that quite a few leftists yesterday heartily agreed.

After blogging about the history of progressivism for going on 6 years now, I am starting to believe that this is a huge weakness among conservatives, perhaps the biggest of all. Far too many people believe that all leftism falls within the socialist/marxian sphere, and because people (some of whom, I believe, are in flat-out refusal) don't look beyond that sphere, it leaves us wide open to attacks from people who would be relatively easy to defeat otherwise.

This goes back to what I believe is my mission statement, and has been my mission statement since November 2010:

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 (Art of War, Chapter 3)

That quote is on the right hand side of my blog, and it will never ever change. It perfectly encompasses the reason for the existence of this.

If you are a conservative and you are in refusal to even consider the non-marxist left, you will succumb in every battle. And you have been. I see it all the time, I hear it all the time - in other blogs, on TV, radio, and elsewhere. There is a definite feeling no matter where you turn that conservatives take two, if not three steps backward for every one step forward. Then people scratch their heads "how did we get here?"

You gotta know your enemy. All of them. Not just the socialists and the communists. And just so it is said, this isn't me practicing a little finger wagging. I put myself into this. I have been reading the works of the non-socialist progressives for years now, and I still, STILL do not believe I know enough about progressives like Wilson or Theodore Roosevelt and all the rest. But at least I am trying to know them and their statist beliefs. All houses worth living in are built on strong, rock solid foundations. Progressivism has a weak foundation(if it were ever attacked; the foundation of progressivism is strong enough to resist basic erosion), but because nobody dares look progressivism in the face and challenge it, that foundation stands the test of time - at least the last 100 years - it's stood so far. It will likely keep standing until we attack it.

We have a long way to go to eliminating progressivism, and in just about every instance, we haven't even begun to fight. That fight begins, and can only begin, with an understanding of the non-marxist left. The old left. A lot of people will talk about the new left, the 60's generation and beyond, but what about the old left? I mean before FDR's time.

Why do so many let them off the hook, when they don't deserve to be let off the hook? They are guilty.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Margaret Sanger's father was an ardent Georgist

Everywhere you look in early progressivism, the influence of Henry George and his ideals as espoused in the book Progress and Poverty can be found.

So when doing some digging around this morning, I was surprised to learn that Sanger's father Michael was ardently in favor of George's ideas. My surprise was only in the individual,(my reaction was more like "Oh wow - now, that figures. It makes perfect sense.") for in the aggregate it is impossible to have progressive ideology without Henry George.

The Higgins family was so impacted by the work of George that one of Margaret's brothers was named Henry George McGlynn Higgins. This is just as significant for what you do see - as what you don't see. Henry George McGlynn Higgins, is named both after Henry George himself, and also a well known(I would say notorious) at the time Georgist priest in New York, Edward McGlynn.

In Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion, the following is written: (page 18)

Similarly intolerable to most of Corning was Michael Higgins's support of Henry George's radical solution to the inequitable distribution of wealth in America. George proposed a single tax for landowners on the unimproved value of land. In a home with few books, George's exposition of this idea in Progress and Poverty - Published in 1879, the year of Maggie Higgins's birth - held an important place in a small family library that included the Bible, Aesop's Fables, Gulliver's Travels, Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh, and Michael's medical books on physiology.

Indeed, here is what Margaret Sanger herself had to say about her brother, who passed away at the young age of four: (Autobiography, page 29)

Henry George McGlynn Higgins had been named for two of the rebel figures father most admired.

Henry George strikes again. Henry George is to progressive ideology what Karl Marx is to communist ideology.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Will Barack Obama be a dangerous post-president?

The closer and closer we get to the election, the more I see people harping on the theme "there's only x many days left until the election", "I can't wait until Obama isn't president anymore", "this error is almost over"........


Do you seriously expect Obama to go away quietly into the night just because his term is over? Because if that's what you think? I honestly wonder if you've not learned anything over the last 8 years.

This guy isn't going anywhere. Yes, he won't be president anymore. But you aren't rid of him. The nightmare isn't over, it's only just begun. Obama is going to be a very active, very oppressive post-president. So you can stop counting the days now. That's a waste of time and a false harbinger of hope.

You think Jimmy Carter has been an active post-president? As they say: "You ain't seen nuthin yet."

Samuel Gompers' letter to James W. Sullivan

Mr. J. W. Sullivan:

DEAR SIR:- I have had the extreme pleasure of reading your book, '''Direct Legislation'',' and beg to assure you that it made a deep impression upon my mind. The principles of the Initiative and Referendum so often proclaimed find sufficient elucidation in concise form. The facts that you have massed together of the practical application of these principles give the best evidence of thorough research and study. It is the first time that the labor reformers and thinkers generally have had this subject presented to them in so able and readable a manner. Every man who believes in minimizing the evil tendencies of politics as a trade or profession, cannot fail to be highly interested as well as pleased upon reading your book.

In many of the trade organizations the Initiative and the Referendum are applied, and have no doubt in my mind whatever that with the growth and development of the trades-union movement, much will be done to apply the principles to our political government.

I am led to believe that now in the New England states, particularly in Massachusetts, where the town meetings exert a large influence upon the public affairs of their respective localities, much could be done to bring the subject of the Initiative and the Referendum to the attention of the masses. I think the trades-unionists of that section of the country would be more than willing to coƶperate in an effort to demonstrate the practicability as well as the advisability of the adoption of that idea.

Again assuring you of the pleasure I have had in perusing the work, and thanking you earnestly for your contribution toward the literature upon this important subject, I am fraternally yours,

SAMUEL GOMPERS, President, American Federation of Labor.

(Source, Alt., Alt. 2)

Friday, August 5, 2016

Trans National America


By Randolph Bourne, 1916

No reverberatory effect of the great war has caused American public opinion more solicitude than the failure of the "melting-pot." The discovery of diverse nationalistic feelings among our great alien population has come to most people as an intense shock. It has brought out the unpleasant inconsistencies of our traditional beliefs. We have had to watch hard-hearted old Brahmins virtuously indignant at the spectacle of the immigrant refusing to be melted, while they jeer at patriots like Mary Antin who write about "our forefathers." We have had to listen to publicists who express themselves as stunned by the evidence of vigorous nationalistic and cultural movements in this country among Germans, Scandinavians, Bohemians, and Poles, while in the same breath they insist that the alien shall be forcibly assimilated to that Anglo-Saxon tradition which they unquestioningly label "American."

As the unpleasant truth has come upon us that assimilation in this country was proceeding on lines very-different from those we had marked out for it, we found ourselves inclined to blame those who were thwarting our prophecies. The truth became culpable. We blamed the war, we blamed the Germans. And then we discovered with a moral shock that these movements had been making great headway before the war even began. We found that the tendency, reprehensible and paradoxical as it might be, has been for the national clusters of immigrants, as they became more and more firmly established and more and more prosperous, to cultivate more and more assiduously the literatures and cultural traditions of their homelands. Assimilation, in other words, instead of washing out the memories of Europe, made them more and more intensely real. Just as these clusters became more and more objectively American, did they become more and more German or Scandinavian or Bohemian or Polish.

To face the fact that our aliens are already strong enough to take a share in the direction of their own destiny, and that the strong cultural movements represented by the foreign press, schools, and colonies are a challenge to our facile attempts, is not, however, to admit the failure of Americanization. It is not to fear the failure of democracy. It is rather to urge us to an investigation of what Americanism may rightly mean. It is to ask ourselves whether our ideal has been broad or narrow - whether perhaps the time has not come to assert a higher ideal than the "melting-pot." Surely we cannot be certain of our spiritual democracy when, claiming to melt the nations within us to a comprehension of our free and democratic institutions, we fly into panic at the first sign of their own will and tendency. We act as if we wanted Americanization to take place only on our own terms, and not by the consent of the governed. All our elaborate machinery of settlement and school and union, of social and political naturalization, however, will move with friction just in so far as it neglects to take into account this strong and virile insistence that America shall be what the immigrant will have a hand in making it, and not what a ruling class, descendant of those British stocks which were the first permanent immigrants, decide that America shall be made. This is the condition which confronts us, and which demands a clear and general readjustment of our attitude and our ideal.


Mary Antin is right when she looks upon our foreign-born as the people who missed the Mayflower and came over on the first boat they could find. But she forgets that when they did come it was not upon other Mayflowers, but upon a "Maiblume," a "Fleur de Mai," a "Fior di Maggio," a "Majblomst." These people were not mere arrivals from the same family, to be welcomed as understood and long-loved, but strangers to the neighborhood, with whom a long process of settling down had to take place. For they brought with them their national and racial characters, and each new national quota had to wear slowly away the contempt with which its mere alienness got itself greeted. Each had to make its way slowly from the lowest strata of unskilled labor up to a level where it satisfied the accredited norms of social-success.

We are all foreign-born or the descendants of foreign-born, and if distinctions are to be made between us they should rightly be on some other ground than indigenousness. The early colonists came over with motives no less colonial than the later. They did not come to be assimilated in an American melting-pot. They did not come to adopt the culture of the American Indian. They had not the smallest intention of "giving themselves without reservation" to the new country. They came to get freedom to live as they wanted to. They came to escape from the stifling air and chaos of the old world; they came to make their fortune in a new land. They invented no new social framework. Rather they brought over bodily the old ways to which they had been accustomed. Tightly concentrated on a hostile frontier, they were conservative beyond belief. Their pioneer daring was reserved for the objective conquest of material resources. In their folkways, in their social and political institutions, they were, like every colonial people, slavishly imitative of the mother-country. So that, in spite of the "Revolution," our whole legal and political system remained more English than the English, petrified and unchanging, while in England itself law developed to meet the needs of the changing times.

It is just this English-American conservatism that has been our chief obstacle to social advance. We have needed the new peoples - the order of the German and Scandinavian, the turbulence of the Slav and Hun - to save us from our own stagnation. I do not mean that the illiterate Slav is now the equal of the New Englander of pure descent. He is raw material to be educated, not into a New Englander, but into a socialized American along such lines as those thirty nationalities are being educated in the amazing schools of Gary. I do not believe that this process is to be one of decades of evolution. The spectacle of Japan's sudden jump from medievalism to post-modernism should have destroyed that superstition. We are not dealing with individuals who are to "evolve." We are dealing with their children, who, with that education we are about to have, will start level with all of us. Let us cease to think of ideals like democracy as magical qualities inherent in certain peoples. Let us speak, not of inferior races, but of inferior civilizations. We are all to educate and to be educated. These peoples in America are in a common enterprise. It is not what we are now that concerns us, but what this plastic next generation may become in the light of a new cosmopolitan ideal.

We are not dealing with static factors, but with fluid and dynamic generations. To contrast the older and the newer immigrants and see the one class as democratically motivated by love of liberty, and the other by mere money-getting, is not to illuminate the future. To think of earlier nationalities as culturally assimilated to America, while we picture the later as a sodden and resistive mass, makes only for bitterness and misunderstanding. There may be a difference between these earlier and these later stocks, but it lies neither in motive for coming nor in strength of cultural allegiance to the homeland. The truth is that no more tenacious cultural allegiance to the mother country has been shown by any alien nation than by the ruling class of Anglo-Saxon descendants in these American States. English snobberies, English religion, English literary styles, English literary reverences and canons, English ethics, English superiorities, have been the cultural food that we have drunk in from our mothers' breasts. The distinctively American spirit - pioneer, as distinguished from the reminiscently English - that appears in Whitman and Emerson and James, has had to exist on sufferance alongside of this other cult, unconsciously belittled by our cultural makers of opinion. No country has perhaps had so great indigenous genius which had so little influence on the country's traditions and expressions. The unpopular and dreaded German-American of the present day is a beginning amateur in comparison with those foolish Anglophiles of Boston and New York and Philadelphia whose reversion to cultural type sees uncritically in England's cause the cause of Civilization, and, under the guise of ethical independence of thought, carries along European traditions which are no more "American" than the German categories themselves.

It speaks well for German-American innocence of heart or else for its lack of imagination that it has not turned the hyphen stigma into a "Tu quoque!" If there were to be any hyphens scattered about, clearly they should be affixed to those English descendants who had had centuries of time to be made American where the German had had only half a century. Most significantly has the war brought out of them this alien virus, showing them still loving English things, owing allegiance to the English Kultur, moved by English shibboleths and prejudice. It is only because it has been the ruling class in this country that bestowed the epithets that we have not heard copiously and scornfully of "hyphenated EnglishAmericans." But even our quarrels with England have had the bad temper, the extravagance, of family quarrels. The Englishman of to-day nags us and dislikes us in that personal, peculiarly intimate way in which he dislikes the Australian, or as we may dislike our younger brothers. He still thinks of us incorrigibly as "colonials." America - official, controlling, literary, political America - is still, as a writer recently expressed it, "culturally speaking, a self-governing dominion of the British Empire."

The non-English American can scarcely be blamed if he sometimes thinks of the Anglo-Saxon predominance in America as little more than a predominance of priority. The Anglo-Saxon was merely the first immigrant, the first to found a colony. He has never really ceased to be the descendant of immigrants, nor has he ever succeeded in transforming that colony into a real nation, with a tenacious, richly woven fabric of native culture. Colonials from the other nations have come and settled down beside him. They found no definite native culture which should startle them out of their colonialism, and consequently they looked back to their mother-country, as the earlier Anglo-Saxon immigrant was looking back to his. What has been offered the newcomer has been the chance to learn English, to become a citizen, to salute the flag. And those elements of our ruling classes who are responsible for the public schools, the settlements, all the organizations for amelioration in the cities, have every reason to be proud of the care and labor which they have devoted to absorbing the immigrant, His opportunities the immigrant has taken to gladly, with almost a pathetic eagerness to make his way in the new land without friction or disturbance. The common language has made not only for the necessary communication, but for all the amenities of life.

If freedom means the right to do pretty much as one pleases, so long as one does not interfere with others, the immigrant has found freedom, and the ruling element has been singularly liberal in its treatment of the invading hordes. But if freedom means a democratic cooperation in determining the ideals and purposes and industrial and social institutions of a country, then the immigrant has not been free, and the Anglo-Saxon element is guilty of just what every dominant race is guilty of in every European country: the imposition of its own culture upon the minority peoples. The fact that this imposition has been so mild and, indeed, semi-conscious does not alter its quality. And the war has brought out just the degree to .which that purpose of "Americanizing," that is to say, "Anglo-Saxonizing," the immigrant has failed.

For the Anglo-Saxon now in his bitterness to turn upon the other peoples, talk about their "arrogance," scold them for not being melted in a pot which never existed, is to betray the unconscious purpose which lay at the bottom of his heart. It betrays too the possession of a racial jealousy similar to that of which he is now accusing the socalled "hyphenates." Let the Anglo-Saxon be proud enough of the heroic toil and heroic sacrifices which moulded the nation. But let him ask himself, if he had had to depend on the English descendants, where he would have been living today. To those of us who see in the exploitation of unskilled labor the strident red leit-motif of our civilization, the settling of the country presents a great social drama as the waves of immigration broke over it.

Let the Anglo-Saxon ask himself where he would have been if these races had not come? Let those who feel the inferiority of the non-Anglo-Saxon immigrant contemplate that region of the States which has remained the most distinctively "American," the South. Let him ask himself whether he would really like to see the foreign hordes Americanized into such an Americanization. Let him ask himself how superior this native civilization is to the great "alien" states of Wisconsin and Minnesota, where Scandinavians, Poles, and Germans have self-consciously labored to preserve their traditional culture, while being outwardly and satisfactorily American. Let him ask himself how much more wisdom, intelligence, industry and social leadership has come out of these alien states than out of all the truly American ones. The South, in fact, while this vast Northern development has gone on, still remains an English colony, stagnant and complacent, having progressed culturally scarcely beyond the early Victorian era. It is culturally sterile because it has had no advantage of cross-fertilization like the Northern states. What has happened in states such as Wisconsin and Minnesota is that strong foreign cultures have struck root in a new and fertile soil. America has meant liberation, and German and Scandinavian political ideas and social energies have expanded to a new potency. The process has not been at all the fancied "assimilation" of the Scandinavian or Teuton. Rather has it been a process of their assimilation of us - I speak as an Anglo-Saxon. The foreign cultures have not been melted down or run together, made into some homogeneous Americanism, but have remained distinct but cooperating to the greater glory and benefit, not only of themselves but of all the native "Americanism" around them.

What we emphatically do not want is that these distinctive qualities should be washed out into a tasteless, colorless fluid of uniformity. Already we have far too much of this insipidity, - masses of people who are cultural half-breeds, neither assimilated Anglo-Saxons nor nationals of another culture. Each national colony in this country seems to retain in its foreign press, its vernacular literature, its schools, its intellectual and patriotic leaders, a central cultural nucleus. From this nucleus the colony extends out by imperceptible gradations to a fringe where national characteristics are all but lost. Our cities are filled with these half-breeds who retain their foreign names but have lost the foreign savor. This does not mean that they have actually been changed into New Englanders or Middle Westerners. It does not mean that they have been really Americanized. It means that, letting slip from them whatever native culture they had, they have substituted for it only the most rudimentary American - the American culture of the cheap newspaper, the "movies," the popular song, the ubiquitous automobile. The unthinking who survey this class call them assimilated, Americanized. The great American public school has done its work. With these people our institutions are safe. We may thrill with dread at the aggressive hyphenate, but this tame flabbiness is accepted as Americanization. The same moulders of opinion whose ideal is to melt the different races into Anglo-Saxon gold hail this poor product as the satisfying result of their alchemy.

Yet a truer cultural sense would have told us that it is not the self-conscious cultural nuclei that sap at our American life, but these fringes. It is not the Jew who sticks proudly to the faith of his fathers and boasts of that venerable culture of his who is dangerous to America, but the Jew who has lost the Jewish fire and become a mere elementary, grasping animal. It is not the Bohemian who supports the Bohemian schools in Chicago whose influence is sinister, but the Bohemian who has made money and has got into ward politics. Just so surely as we tend to disintegrate these nuclei of nationalistic culture do we tend to create hordes of men and women without a spiritual country, cultural outlaws, without taste, without standards but those of the mob. We sentence them to live on the most rudimentary planes of American life. The influences at the center of the nuclei are centripetal. They make for the intelligence and the social values which mean an enhancement of life. And just because the foreign-born retains this expressiveness is he likely to be a better citizen of the American community. The influences at the fringe, however, are centrifugal, anarchical. They make for detached fragments of peoples. Those who came to find liberty achieve only license. They become the flotsam and jetsam of American life, the downward undertow of our civilization with its leering cheapness and falseness of taste and spiritual outlook, the absence of mind and sincere feeling which we see in our slovenly towns, our vapid moving pictures, our popular novels, and in the vacuous faces of the crowds on the city street. This is the cultural wreckage of our time, and it is from the fringes of the AngloSaxon as well as the other stocks that it falls. America has as yet no impelling integrating force. It makes too easily for this detritus of cultures. In our loose, free country, no constraining national purpose, no tenacious folk-tradition and folkstyle hold the people to a line.

The war has shown us that not in any magical formula will this purpose be found. No intense nationalism of the European plan can be ours. But do we not begin to see a new and more adventurous ideal? Do we not see how the national colonies in America, deriving power from the deep cultural heart of Europe and yet living here in mutual toleration, freed from the age-long tangles of races, creeds, and dynasties, may work out a federated ideal? America is transplanted Europe, but a Europe that has not been disintegrated and scattered in the transplanting as in some Dispersion. Its colonies live here inextricably mingled, yet not homogeneous. They merge but they do not fuse.

America is a unique sociological fabric, and it bespeaks poverty of imagination not to be thrilled at the incalculable potentialities of so novel a union of men. To seek no other goal than the weary old nationalism, - belligerent, exclusive, inbreeding, the poison of which we are witnessing now in Europe, - is to make patriotism a hollow sham, and to declare that, in spite of our boastings, America must ever be a follower and not a leader of nations.


If we come to find this point of view plausible, we shall have to give up the search for our native "American" culture. With the exception of the South and that New England which, like the Red Indian, seems to be passing into solemn oblivion, there is no distinctively American culture. It is apparently our lot rather to be a federation of cultures. This we have been for half a century, and the war has made it ever more evident that this is what we are destined to remain. This will not mean, however, that there are not expressions of indigenous genius that could not have sprung from any other soil. Music, poetry, philosophy, have been singularly fertile and new. Strangely enough, American genius has flared forth just in those directions which are least understanded of the people. If the American note is bigness, action, the objective as contrasted with the reflective life, where is the epic expression of this spirit? Our drama and our fiction, the peculiar fields for the expression of action and objectivity, are somehow exactly the fields of the spirit which remain poor and mediocre. American materialism is in some way inhibited from getting into impressive artistic form its own energy with which it bursts. Nor is it any better in architecture, the least romantic and subjective of all the arts. We are inarticulate of the very values which we profess to idealize. But in the finer forms - music, verse, the essay, philosophy - the American genius puts forth work equal to any of its contemporaries. Just in so far as our American genius has expressed the pioneer spirit, the adventurous, forward-looking drive of a colonial empire, is it representative of that whole America of the manyraces and peoples, and not of any partial or traditional enthusiasm. And only as that pioneer note is sounded can we really speak of the American culture. As long as we thought of Americanism in terms of the "melting-pot," our American cultural tradition lay in the past. It was something to which the new Americans were to be moulded. In the light of our changing ideal of Americanism, we must perpetrate the paradox that our American cultural tradition lies in the future. It will be what we all together make out of this incomparable opportunity of attacking the future with a new key.

Whatever American nationalism turns out to be, it is certain to become something utterly different from the nationalisms of twentieth-century Europe. This wave of reactionary enthusiasm to play the orthodox nationalistic game which is passing over the country is scarcely vital enough to last. We cannot swagger and thrill to the same national self-feeling. We must give new edges to our pride. We must be content to avoid the unnumbered woes that national patriotism has brought in Europe, and that fiercely heightened pride and self-consciousness. Alluring as this is, we must allow our imaginations to transcend this scarcely veiled belligerency. We can be serenely too proud to fight if our pride embraces the creative forces of civilization which armed contest nullifies. We can be too proud to fight if our code of honor transcends that of the schoolboy on the playground surrounded by his jeering mates. Our honor must be positive and creative, and not the mere jealous and negative protectiveness against metaphysical violations of our technical rights. When the doctrine is put forth that in one American flows the mystic blood of all our country's sacred honor, freedom, and prosperity, so that an injury to him is to be the signal for turning our whole nation into that clan-feud of horror and reprisal which would be war, then we find ourselves back among the musty schoolmen of the Middle Ages, and not in any pragmatic and realistic America of the twentieth century.

We should hold our gaze to what America has done, not what mediaeval codes of dueling she has failed to observe. We have transplanted European modernity to our soil, without the spirit that inflames it and turns all its energy into mutual destruction. Out of these foreign peoples there has somehow been squeezed the poison. An America, "hyphenated" to bitterness, is somehow non-explosive. For, even if we all hark back in sympathy to a European nation, even if the war has set every one vibrating to some emotional string twanged on the other side of the Atlantic, the effect has been one of almost dramatic harmlessness.

What we have really been witnessing, however unappreciatively, in this country has been a thrilling and bloodless battle of Kulturs. In that arena of friction which has been the most dramatic - between the hyphenated German-American and the hyphenated English-American - there have emerged rivalries of philosophies which show up deep traditional attitudes, points of view which accurately reflect the gigantic issues of the war. America has mirrored the spiritual issues. The vicarious struggle has been played out peacefully here in the mind. We have seen the stout resistiveness of the old moral interpretation of history on which Victorian England throve and made itself great in its own esteem. The clean and immensely satisfying vision of the war as a contest between right and wrong; the enthusiastic support of the Allies as the incarnation of virtue-ona-rampage; the fierce envisaging of their selfish national purposes as the ideals of justice, freedom and democracy - all this has been thrown with intensest force against the German realistic interpretations in terms of the struggle for power and the virility of the integrated State. America has been the intellectual battleground of the nations.


The failure of the melting-pot, far from closing the great American democratic experiment, means that it has only just begun. Whatever American nationalism turns out to be, we see already that it will have a color richer and more exciting than our ideal has hitherto encompassed. In a world which has dreamed of internationalism, we find that we have all unawares been building up the first international nation. The voices which have cried for a tight and jealous nationalism of the European pattern are failing. From that ideal, however valiantly and disinterestedly it has been set for us, time and tendency have moved us further and further away. What we have achieved has been rather a cosmopolitan federation of national colonies, of foreign cultures, from which the sting of devastating competition has been removed. America is already the worldfederation in miniature, the continent where for the first time in history has been achieved that miracle of hope, the peaceful living side by side, with character substantially preserved, of the most heterogeneous peoples under the sun. Nowhere else has such contiguity been anything but the breeder of misery. Here, notwithstanding our tragic failures of adjustment, the outlines are already too clear not to give us a new vision and a new orientation of the American mind in the world.

It is for the American of the younger generation to accept this cosmopolitanism, and carry it along with self-conscious and fruitful purpose. In his colleges, he is already getting, with the study of modern history and politics, the modern literatures, economic geography, the privilege of a cosmopolitan outlook such as the people of no other nation of to-day in Europe can possibly secure. If he is still a colonial, he is no longer the colonial of one partial culture, but of many. He is a colonial of the world. Colonialism has grown into cosmopolitanism, and his motherhood is not one nation, but all who have anything life-enhancing to offer to the spirit. That vague sympathy which the France of ten years ago was feeling for the world - a sympathy which was drowned in the terrible reality of war - may be the modern American's, and that in a positive and aggressive sense. If the American is parochial, it is in sheer wantonness or cowardice. His provincialism is the measure of his fear of bogies or the defect of his imagination.

Indeed, it is not uncommon for the eager AngloSaxon who goes to a vivid American university today to find his true friends not among his own race but among the acclimatized German or Austrian, the acclimatized Jew, the acclimatized Scandinavian or Italian. In them he finds the cosmopolitan note. In these youths, foreign-born or the children of foreign-born parents, he is likely to find many of his old inbred morbid problems washed away. These friends are oblivious to the repressions of that tight little society in which he so provincial ly grew up. He has a pleasurable sense of liberation from the stale and familiar attitudes of those whose ingrowing culture has scarcely created anything vital for his America of to-day. He breathes a larger air. In his new enthusiasms for continental literature, for unplumbed Russian depths, for French clarity of thought, for Teuton philosophies of power, he feels himself citizen of a larger world. He may be absurdly superficial, his outward-reaching wonder may ignore all the stiller and homelier virtues of his Anglo-Saxon home, but he has at least found the clue to that international mind which will be essential to all men and women of goodwill if they are ever to save this Western world of ours from suicide. His new friends have gone through a similar evolution. America has burned most of the baser metal also from them. Meeting now with this common American background, all of them may yet retain that distinctiveness of their native cultures and their national spiritual slants. They are more valuable and interesting to each other for being different, yet that difference could not be creative were it not for this new cosmopolitan outlook which America has given them and which they all equally possess.

A college where such a spirit is possible even to the smallest degree, has within itself already the seeds of this international intellectual world of the future. It suggests that the contribution of America will be an intellectual internationalism which goes far beyond the mere exchange of scientific ideas and discoveries and the cold recording of facts. It will be an intellectual sympathy which is not satisfied until it has got at the heart of the different cultural expressions, and felt as they feel. It may have immense preferences, but it will make understanding and not indignation its end. Such a sympathy will unite and not divide.

Against the thinly disguised panic which calls itself "patriotism" and the thinly disguised militarism which calls itself "preparedness" the cosmopolitan ideal is set. This does not mean that those who hold it are for a policy of drift. They, too, long passionately for an integrated and disciplined America. But they do not want one which is integrated only for domestic economic exploitation of the workers or for predatory economic imperialism among the weaker peoples. They do not want one that is integrated by coercion or militarism, or for the truculent assertion of a mediaeval code of honor and of doubtful rights. They believe that the most effective integration will be one which coordinates the diverse elements and turns them consciously toward working out together the place of America in the world-situation. They demand for integration a genuine integrity, a wholeness and soundness of enthusiasm and purpose which can only come when no national colony within our America feels that it is being discriminated against or that its cultural case is being prejudged. This strength of cooperation, this feeling that all who are here may have a hand in the destiny of America, will make for a finer spirit of integration than any narrow "Americanism" or forced chauvinism.

In this effort we may have to accept some form of that dual citizenship which meets with so much articulate horror among us. Dual citizenship we may have to recognize as the rudimentary form of that international citizenship to which, if our words mean anything, we aspire. We have assumed unquestioningly that mere participation in the political life of the United States must cut the new citizen off from all sympathy with his old allegiance. Anything but a bodily transfer of devotion from one sovereignty to another has been viewed as a sort of moral treason against the Republic. We have insisted that the immigrant whom we welcomed escaping from the very exclusive nationalism of his European home shall forthwith adopt a nationalism just as exclusive, just as narrow, and even less legitimate because it is founded on no warm traditions of his own. Yet a nation like France is said to permit a formal and legal dual citizenship even at the present time. Though a citizen of hers may pretend to cast off his allegiance in favor of some other sovereignty, he is still subject to her laws when he returns. Once a citizen, always a citizen, no matter how many new citizenships he may embrace. And such a dual citizenship seems to us sound and right. For it recognizes that, although the Frenchman may accept the formal institutional framework of his new country and indeed become intensely loyal to it, yet his Frenchness he will never lose. What makes up the fabric of his soul will always be of this Frenchness, so that unless he becomes utterly degenerate he will always to some degree dwell still in his native environment.

Indeed, does not the cultivated American who goes to Europe practise a dual citizenship, which, if not formal, is no less real? The American who lives abroad may be the least expatriate of men. If he falls in love with French ways and French thinking and French democracy and seeks to saturate himself with the new spirit, he is guilty of at least a dual spiritual citizenship. He may be still American, yet he feels himself through sympathy also a Frenchman. And he finds that this expansion involves no shameful conflict within him, no surrender of his native attitude. He has rather for the first time caught a glimpse of the cosmopolitan spirit. And after wandering about through many races and civilizations he may return to America to find them all here living vividly and crudely, seeking the same adjustment that he made. He sees the new peoples here with a new vision. They are no longer masses of aliens, waiting to be "assimilated," waiting to be melted down into the indistinguishable dough of Anglo-Saxonism. They are rather threads of living and potent cultures, blindly striving to weave themselves into a novel international nation, the first the world has seen. In an Austria-Hungary or a Prussia the stronger of these cultures would be moving almost instinctively to subjugate the weaker. But in America those wills-topower are turned in a different direction into learning how to live together.

Along with dual citizenship we shall have to accept, I think, that free and mobile passage of the immigrant between America and his native land again which now arouses so much prejudice among us. We shall have to accept the immigrant's return for the same reason that we consider justified our own flitting about the earth. To stigmatize the alien who works in America for a few years and returns to his own land, only perhaps to seek American fortune again, is to think in narrow nationalistic terms. It is to ignore the cosmopolitan significance of this migration. It is to ignore the fact that the returning immigrant is often a missionary to an inferior civilization.

This migratory habit has been especially common with the unskilled laborers who have been pouring into the United States in the last dozen years from every country in southeastern Europe. Many of them return to spend their earnings in their own country or to serve their country in war. But they return with an entirely new critical outlook, and a sense of the superiority of American organization to the primitive living around them. This continued passage to and fro has already raised the material standard of living in many regions of these backward countries. For these regions are thus endowed with exactly what they need, the capital for the exploitation of their natural resources, and the spirit of enterprise. America is thus educating these laggard peoples from the very bottom of society up, awaking vast masses to a new-born hope for the future. In the migratory Greek, therefore, we have not the parasitic alien, the doubtful American asset, but a symbol of that cosmopolitan interchange which is coming, in spite of all war and national exclusiveness.

Only America, by reason of the unique liberty of opportunity and traditional isolation for which she seems to stand, can lead in this cosmopolitan enterprise. Only the American - and in this category I include the migratory alien who has lived with us and caught the pioneer spirit and a sense of new social vistas - has the chance to become that citizen of the world. America is coming to be, not a nationality but a trans-nationality, a weaving back and forth, with the other lands, of many threads of all sizes and colors. Any movement which attempts to thwart this weaving, or to dye the fabric any one color, or disentangle the threads of the strands, is false to this cosmopolitan vision. I do not mean that we shall necessarily glut ourselves with the raw product of humanity. It would be folly to absorb the nations faster than we could weave them. We have no duty either to admit or reject. It is purely a question of expediency. What concerns us is the fact that the strands are here. We must have a policy and an ideal for an actual situation. Our question is, What shall we do with our America? How are we likely to get the more creative America - by confining our imaginations to the ideal of the melting-pot, or broadening them to some such cosmopolitan conception as I have been vaguely sketching?

We cannot Americanize America worthily by sentimentalizing and moralizing history. When the best schools are expressly renouncing the questionable duty of teaching patriotism by means of history, it is not the time to force shibboleth upon the immigrant. This form of Americanization has been heard because it appealed to the vestiges of our old sentimentalized and moralized patriotism. This has so far held the field as the expression of the new American's new devotion. The inflections of other voices have been drowned. They must be heard. We must see if the lesson of the war has not been for hundreds of these later Americans a vivid realization of their transnationality, a new consciousness of what America means to them as a citizenship in the world. It is the vague historic idealisms which have provided the fuel for the European flame. Our American ideal can make no progress until we do away with this romantic gilding of the past.

All our idealisms must be those of future social goals in which all can participate, the good life of personality lived in the environment of the Beloved Community. No mere doubtful triumphs of the past, which redound to the glory of only one of our trans-nationalities, can satisfy us. It must be a future America, on which all can unite, which pulls us irresistibly toward it, as we understand each other more warmly.

To make real this striving amid dangers and apathies is work for a younger intelligentsia of America. Here is an enterprise of integration into which we can all pour ourselves, of a spiritual welding which should make us, if the final menace ever came, not weaker, but infinitely strong.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How did progressivism get re-branded as liberalism? Who did the re-branding?

Coming off of the Woodrow Wilson years, the Democrat Party was the de-facto Progressive Party in the United States. Theodore Roosevelt's efforts had failed, and the GOP remained as having some constitutional elements in it.

With the rise of Calvin Coolidge and the roaring 20's coupled with a reduction in government that makes most of us jealous, progressivism was looking like it was permanently eliminated.

Technically, it was. In order to ensure its own survival, progressivism had to lie and say it was something else. That chosen title was "liberalism". Most of the time, when you and I think about how liberals are destroying this country - um, no, they aren't.

Liberals are not destroying America. Progressives are destroying America. So, who re-introduced progressivism as liberalism, and when did this re-branding occur?

It was rebranded by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at his acceptance speech for the 1932 Presidential nomination. He said:

Yes, the people of this country want a genuine choice this year, not a choice between two names for the same reactionary doctrine. Ours must be a party of liberal thought, of planned action, of enlightened international outlook, and of the greatest good to the greatest number of our citizens

Liberalism never stood for "planned action". Liberalism never stood for the utilitarian "greatest good to the greatest number". "Reactionary" isn't a liberal word. This is the perversion.

This, is where it took place.

July 2, 1932. Mark the date.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Wealth Redistribution: the original "American Dream"

When James Truslow Adams invented the phrase "American Dream" in 1931, did he have in mind some nebulous tabula rasa that you or I could put anything you or I wanted to put onto it? Or did Adams have something specific in mind?

What was James Truslow Adams' dream? When Adams invented the phrase, here is what he wrote: (the most widely quoted paragraph, seen everywhere around the internet)

If, as I have said, the things already listed were all we had had to contribute, America would have made no distinctive and unique gift to mankind. But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

I blogged about this recently, but what I highlighted originally was Adams use of the phrase "social order", because of how obvious of a catch phrase that it is. That is important, as it gives an ideological clue about Adams' belief system. More importantly however, Adams is specific about this; specific about what the "American Dream" is and is not. This is a problem for anybody who currently thinks what they think about the "American Dream". According to Adams, the "American Dream" IS NOT:
(1)a new house.
(2)It is not a new car.
(3)It is not material things.
(4)It is not success.
(5)It is not a better job or career.
(6)It is not a greener lawn than your next door neighbor.
(7)It is not any other fortuitous circumstance.

James Truslow Adams specifically went out of his way to shoot this idea down, despite the fact that today the "American Dream" is used interchangeably for any or all of them, and hundreds of thousands of other things. This is how progressives work. They need shadows to hide in, and they need lies to thrive. Adams uses the word "merely", which makes it quite clear: to boil down the "American Dream" to any of these items(or any others) is to cheapen it, is to make the "American Dream" into nothing but an empty suit. That is very important. All of these things are nice, they are good dreams and Adams is not completely canceling these things out, but they are ultimately distractions from what the dream really is all about. They're sideshows, not the main event.

As the person who invented of the phrase, Adams has the right and the ability to decide who plays first fiddle. He has the right to decide what's what. Now having detailed what Adams stated that the "American Dream" was not, what did he say that it really was? This is what the "American Dream" is:

If the American dream is to come true and to abide with us, it will, at bottom, depend on the people themselves. If we are to achieve a richer and fuller life for all, they have got to know what such an achievement implies. In a modern industrial State, an economic base is essential for all. We point with pride to our "national income," but the nation is only an aggregate of individual men and women, and when we turn from the single figure of total income to the incomes of individuals, we find there was a very marked injustice in its distribution. There is no reason why wealth, which is a social product, should not be more equitably controlled and distributed in the interests of society.

People everywhere need to know what the "American Dream" actually implies, and Adams outright states it. Wealth needs to be "more equitably controlled and distributed in the interests of society", because citizens aren't smart enough to do it themselves. This is that elitism that we all are used to seeing from progressives. The "American Dream" SPECIFICALLY IS:
(1) Wealth redistribution
(2) A new social order
(3) Big government

I can't say this enough to enough people on this topic. Please read the original sources for yourself. You probably won't like what you read, but you need to know this.

Here is why this is important and I want to tie this together: For Adams and other progressives who constantly obsess about the "social order", that's the priority. That is why he does not totally wipe material things off of the table while he reduces them in importance with his use of the word "merely". Once progressives achieve their utopia where government distributes all wealth and makes - to borrow a phrase from Al Sharpton: "Everything Equal in Everybody's House", then and only then can you have your greener lawn. Your new house. Your faster car. Your career. Etc, etc, etc. The phrase "The American Dream" does have room to be tabula rasa in which you can put anything on it that you wish, if and only if the perfect utopian social order with optimum wealth redistribution has been achieved. Understanding progressivism is easy to do once they themselves explain it.

When radical communist Van Jones held his "Take Back the American Dream" conference, and announced the Rebuild the Dream website, did that offend you? I know it offended me. But after reading the original words of James Truslow Adams, it won't offend me anymore. Do I think James Truslow Adams was a communist? No. He could have been, but I haven't researched that. It honestly doesn't matter; he was a progressive. What does matter, is that both Jones and Adams are obsessed with the "social order", and both see the "American Dream" in the same way. Here is the mission statement of communist Van Jones's Rebuild the Dream:

Rebuild The Dream is fighting for an economy that works for everyone, and an America that delivers on its promise of opportunity for all.

James Truslow Adams himself could have written that phrase. You can see the clear indication that the "social order" is the problem, and that "opportunity for all" doesn't yet exist - wealth redistribution may be happening, but it isn't happening enough. Jones, unlike Adams, has no choice but to be overly nebulous. He's a communist. He can't come out as honestly in the effort as a salesman for wealth redistribution, as Adams was more able to do in 1931.

To close, the aggressive way that progressives employ the language to achieve their goals is something that must be credibly challenged. We can't mount an effective challenge if we are willing to them get away with it when we simply don't have to let them get away with it. If there is a specific meaning attached to one of their nebulous phrases, we have got to prevent them from using it as a hammer to destroy our society. As Jones has currently been doing. The phrase "American Dream" is, unfortunately, language pollution.

The better phrase is "American Exceptionalism", which can't be boiled down to petty material things and isn't a euphemism for a better "social order" or wealth redistribution. It accurately conveys the uniqueness and significance of our country.

It drives progressives out of their minds when someone uses the phrase "American Exceptionalism", doesn't it? That should let you know you're on the right track.