Empathic Solidarity to Undergird Economic Citizenship: Creating Common Core Beliefs in New Social Obligations

At some point in the last several years someone put up on old interview of President Obama when he was an Illinois state senator where he complained about the US Constitution having a premise of “negative liberties” instead of obligations of when governments must act. Now I have been a bit too busy to spend my time fretting over shifting views on the nature of the law but that video came roaring back to my mind as I explored Martha Nussbaum’s “capability as a human right,” Harvard’s decision to push CRT–Critical Race Theory–in K-12 to eliminate structural differences in society thought to affect Blacks and Latin@s (not a typo this is how book shows gender correctness with Latin nouns now I suppose), and the American Political Sciences Association’s April 2012 report pushing Economic Citizenship.

In all of the political theory reading I have been forced to do I kept coming across references to “Marx said this” and “social justice demands” along with the phrase “materialist conception of the world.” And honestly I never knew quite what that meant beyond disdain for people with Judeo-Christian beliefs in a transcendental God. Until I read the law review articles trying to justify these changes, those reports and the Contesting the Myth of a ‘Post Racial’ Era book from the previous post, and a September 18, 2013 EU report exploring the adoption of the “shareable/collaborative consumption” economic model. The latter reflected the now to be common global vision of creating a “roadmap featuring a world in which every human being can enjoy their human rights, live equitably and free from the injustice of poverty, on a planet that has the natural resources to sustain them.”

All this social justice theorizing that is committed to education that levels the best and brightest and deplores any Constitutional or other legal interpretations that would focus on “negative rights [that] disempower the state from intervening into the private sphere for the democratically progressive purpose of redistributing power or resources within it” are all grounded in the erroneous belief that economies and wealth are about a fixed, finite, tangible, sum of goods and property. In other words, that’s the “materialist conception” the political theorists are referring too.

Once I realized that key fallacy lying under all these planned changes in social policy and political structures for the 21st century, I went back to a book economist George Gilder wrote in 1981 called Wealth and Poverty. He wrote it to describe what he saw as the basis of the economic stagnation prevalent all over the West in the 1970s. He pointed out that “Economies do not grow of their own accord or by dint of government influence. They grow in response to the enterprise of men willing to take risks, to transform ideas into monopolies, and monopolies into industries, and to give before they know what they will get in return.”

All of this theorizing being launched at us now through the spending and regulatory powers of federal, state, and local governments and the education policies I have laid out on this blog and in my new book forget that the prosperity creating capitalism (not the Crony Corporatist variety that is usually parasitic) that we take for granted is mostly psychological. It is about “qualities of thought and spirit” in relatively few people who have the requisite “imagination and purpose, which make wealth” that in turn make all of us better off. Because those unique ideas and effort created goods and services we voluntarily wished to buy. With our own money.

In pushing mind arson in K-12 and our colleges and universities to supposedly gain equity in a finite world and the psychologically manipulative “engaged” learning for the Whole Child to create “empathic solidarity” that will support political power massively redistributing this supposedly finite bowl of goods, we forget that mass prosperity has always grown from the “metaphysical capital of human freedom and creativity” as well as law that applies equally and predictably. Not law that applies unequally to various groups to try to shift opportunity and outcomes in politically chosen directions.

The rule of law matters so much because morale and inspiration, coupled to deep knowledge that takes precious time to build up, are critical to the genuine “conscience of capitalism : the awareness that one must give in order to get, supply in order to demand.” We are instead looking at a 21st century political, social, and economic vision grounded unabashedly in communitarianism that says ” I exist, gimme” and “governments, you step in and make it so and we will reward you with our votes.” But prosperity-creating wealth isn’t physical, it’s psychological. This redistributive zeal based on mistaken assumptions ultimately destroys the very essence that drives all economies that have ever worked for the benefit of broad masses of people.

In other words, in this zeal to get to a Good Society/cooperative commonwealth /economic citizenship/capability vision for the future we are extinguishing the very basis for the wealth planners and politicians and naive educators believe everyone can live on as a matter of “right” in the 21st century. Let’s take a look at what is being demanded as a matter of “right.” The APSA report called “Democratic Imperatives: Innovations in Rights, Participation, and Economic Citizenship” certainly supports our speculation in the recent Bruno Latour post that all these current mentions of innovation mean sociological inventions that consume existing wealth. Not the wealth-creating, Free Lunch for Others, kind that created the unprecedented economic prosperity and living standards of the modern world in the West.

No, APSA simply declared its determination to push “human-rights based approaches to democratization, welfare, and development” that will be based on “participatory governance.” Notice that “-ance.” An ability to bind all of us with no recourse for an individual because I am seeing that term in OECD documents tied to their education and subjective well-being/welfare state agendas all over the globe. APSA kindly lets us know the reason as “participatory governance is a process through which [created now via law reviews or federal agency overspending] rights are exercised and citizenship and political agency enacted. [in a majority will takes what it wishes sense of we take the benefits of ownership and you pay the taxes]. It can help bring traditionally marginalized groups into politics and can enhance accountability [to the will of those groups], responsiveness [ditto], and social justice. Participation is a vital element of rights-based approaches, [I have little doubt of that or why a community organizer would disdain ‘negative liberties’] and rights facilitate political participation. [As the place where give me demands are made].

Let me include the definition of economic citizenship after I first point out that APSA is insisting that this program with its “inclusive, pro-poor” emphasis is premised on the factually untrue “key finding” that the “more egalitarian and democratic the state, the better its overall economic performance.” So once again, as happens so often in education, we are enacting policies and theories based on factually untrue premises. And we wonder why we spend so much with such poor consequences for all those dollars.

“Economic citizenship refers to the substantive aim of making economic security and social justice entitlements of democratic citizenship. It is, in a sense, the objective of human-rights based approaches, and it, in turn, enables meaningful political agency.” Well, of course, it does in a collective and groups matter but the individual does not vision.  As Georgetown Law Prof, Robin West, put it in her 2001 aspirational Law Review article “Rights, Capabilities, and the Good Society” where we also took that negative rights ‘disempower’ quote above, the state is obligated to provide that “threshold level of material well-being” that is necessary for ALL citizens to “be able to be free and equal participants in the collective project of self-rule.” Those individuals not wishing to be bound will discover why those 5 little letters in ‘governance’ are to prove so binding. And “equity” and poverty and race become the excuses for a public sector-centric vision globally for the 21st century.

Professor Wright’s sense of the law strikes me as indicative of someone who has lived their life safely ensconced in an Ivory Tower but deluded does not mean not influential. Unfortunately. She finds it reasonable that citizens should be able to “demand, that the law both can and should structure a decent social world” as if ‘the law’ were a magic wand that does not first take whatever resources it plans to spend as politicians see fit. In fact, she believes “states and state actors” should “focus on the utopian aspirations we might universally hold, and then to bring that vision to earth.” How magnanimous of her!

Respect for Individualism might be the crucial ingredient in the economic prosperity professors like Robin Wright or Martha Nussbaum or those Harvard CRTers plan to try to redistribute using legal theories and political power and new education visions. Only later will we all understand these huge fallacies in what is now being pursued in earnest. From so many different directions and levels of government.

But what can we expect from tenured profs who can look at the world that exists and desire “a relational and communitarian world substantially different from the overly atomized [current] individualistic hell.”

With these plans and theories we all may be about to learn a huge lesson in what really creates living hells. Generally they come from the misuse of political power.

I guess they don’t teach that these days in law schools or education graduate schools. Certainly not in the psych or sociology or political science departments. Too bad.


9 thoughts on “Empathic Solidarity to Undergird Economic Citizenship: Creating Common Core Beliefs in New Social Obligations

  1. Excellent, as usual, Robin! From my notes…

    Verbal Venom: Biological Parallels for Western Pathologies

    “My hypothesis, therefore, is that cultural Marxism is a language-based form of parasitism. But how might you go about proving this hypothesis? In the same way as you might prove that an animal has parasites. You don’t have to detect the parasites directly — you can deduce their presence from their effects on an animal’s metabolism…”

    Cultural Marxism: The Doom of Language

    The Noahide Deception

    What is Communitarian Law?
    Talmudic Law

    Communitarianism = Kibbutzism

    • Lark-

      One of the books I cite is Joshua Muravchik’s Heaven On Earth. He looks at the kibbutzim and concludes the ideology never worked. In the end by the 2nd generation the family ethos and the individual overcame the communitarian.

      I don’t know if you have been to Israel but I have. In fact I was there in December after the ’73 war and spent time on a kibbutz where you could hear the shelling on the Golan Heights off in the distance. If anyone ever had a reason to make communitarianism work it was Israel, especially before the ’67 war.

      I don’t think consensual communitarianism is comparable to imposing it by federal spending decrees, misunderstood education edicts, and law review articles that seem out there and then becaome the support for a major change in case law.

  2. Robin,
    I very much like your writings. I mentioned once before and still hold to the fact that it’s all a little over my head. But…my belief is we are living in a time where progressives/communist are punishing the USA for what they perceive as ‘our’ past transgressions. In particular for slavery but incidentally for other faults as well.
    Because the punishing methods being used are full of lies and deceit, it is virtually impossible to follow them in any coherent manner. i.e. abortion among blacks. The whole Margret Sanger thing. It’s clear to me why blacks are encouraged to abort in mass numbers but others seem to skip over the genesis of the program.
    Redistribution of wealth is on its face dishonest. While under the 8A program of the government, some blacks and hispanics are becoming wealthy at the expense of the tax payer,black youth are realizing massive unemployment.
    That brings me to education. The only way to inculcate the masses and remove all confusion about why we [USA] can repent is through the programs that you have identified in your writings. Ayn Rand had it just about right. “Atlas Shrugged”

    • Thanks Tom.

      I try to bring this down to earth but it is not always easy. It starts on deliberately obfuscatory language to mask that we are describing substantial psychological change in the students to alter what they value. Even their dispositions.

      Here’s a graphic that may help in terms of what is sought via Project Based Learning. http://d1lhirsz7m8sbi.cloudfront.net/mindshift/wp-content/blogs.dir/42/files/2013/10/iLab_infographic_11x171.pdf

      It is preparing students to believe that societies can be designed and you should take action and then see what happens and adjust.

      Likewise CCSSO in this document verified that it is personal student Dispositions that are being molded as desired. http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/ILN%20Knowledge%20Skills%20and%20Dispositions%20CCR%20Framework%20February%202013.pdf

      Again deliberately manipulative language I can read because I read the original theories but there is no ambiguity in the sources listed and every single one of them I either hone in on in book and did long before that doc was created or on this blog. Those career tech standards are where I encountered the hard communitarian ethos.

      I only got the last link a few hours ago and will write it up. Run it through Robin’s translation machine.

      It can be hard to grasp these intentions because it does seem to belong in science fiction or satire. I have had years to get used to this and know it is a matter of ultimately every definitive source over decades having comparable pursuits.

      The book is written at an easier level than blog because I could go by topic or linearly through time and I pulled out almost all of my $10 words.

      If you will give me an area in particular where I could be clearer I may have an old post I can cite to that will fill in holes.

  3. Global Citizenship Readiness ?

    I must admit as to how unaware I’ve been of the hidden agenda. Well, it’s not so hidden if we read masses of material and pay attention to this blog. It’s daunting to try connecting the dots though.

    But, this last link by Robin to the document on dispositions for global citizenship readiness really threw me.


    All along I’ve been reading about the common core as being about career and college readiness. Never saw this third “c” before.

    The implementation (speed, stealth and clever coerciveness) of 21st C Learning is scary, indeed.

    I will repeat an earlier incident that happened in BC (Canada). I attended a parent meeting about special needs students and a Ministry of Education Official spoke. We were heading for a provincial election a month and a half later and the Official told us to prepare for the glories of 21st C Learning, stating that regardless of which of the dozen or so parties running would win, the plan would go ahead — it’s international !

    I was shocked to be told in so many words that education was immune from political oversight, and, again in so many words, that citizens need not petition their elected representatives with concerns on this matter. I have lodged a brief urging a political review and stall of this plan.

    We must contrast how universal mass education came to be adopted in the Western world over a period of 200 years to what we are seeing now with the 21st C L push. What was “social evolution” to produce moral, responsible and informed citizens for loyalty to their own nation/state is now nothing more than a contrived revolution (overthrow without the guns) to produce international citizens amenable to global economic obligations and direction.

    • Tunya-

      Yesterday I finished yet another book that was published in English in 1984 and German in 1979 that laid out the entire vision we are dealing with now and how the foundations and leaders would need to create false consciousnesses about what was being sought to drive actions for change. That it was the West that was ready for little c communism because it had reached the requisite stage of technology that would allow for global redistribution. Just like what Robert Tucker wrote in 1962.

      That concept of citizenship is behind that Linda Darling-Hammond quote from 2008 that I use early on in the book where she says that the transmission curriculum would be counterproductive today. It is the essence of what is laid out as Competency that the OECD and the Civic Mission of Schools are pushing. It’s also the 3rd C in the Social Studies Framework the CCSSO tried to sneak through Thanksgiving week last year. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/tearing-up-the-fabric-of-a-free-society-the-new-college-career-and-civic-life-c3-framework/

      CCSSO later said the Social Studies trade group could release that framework themselves without their formal sponsorship to prevent someone linking these 2 documents as I have already done.

      Finally, the kind of thinking CCSSO is calling for in that Framework is what we have tracked down as dialectical thinking. Which is why I kept encountering references to Evald Ilyenkov and wrote about it and Yrjo Engestrom and did the same and noticed the links between the participants in CHAT-cultural historical activity skills-and Lauren Resnick’s 1987 report of higher order thinking skills.

      Between the book and blog I have put it all together accurately. The question is will enough people read in time? Hard to imagine I was given all these insights and then able to verify it all over and over again unless we were supposed to have access to all this now.

      I am reading Arne Naess at the moment and that clarified for me that the Belmont Challenge and the Future Earth Alliance that I started the blog to reveal in time are definitely a huge part of the international effort. As well as what the Ehrlichs have written about their Millenium Assessment of Human Behavior and only leaving people tacit knowledge.

    • Thanks narciso. They are serious about pushing all this in the classroom to create a belief in the need for change. Beyond the Critical Race Theory from the past two posts after Education Week began promoting the book, we have this old post http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/making-race-and-class-oppression-the-locomotives-driving-the-positive-school-climate-mandate/ where Harvard (who remember published the CRT book) says the 10Cs are the key to its graduate ed degrees. Who then become ed profs and district supers etc.

      Because those 10 Cs were originally created in the 90s, hyping racism and class and ethnic differences was always a key component of Radical Ed Reform because it supposedly helps change prevailing values. Maybe but that may leave nothing workable that will allow cooperation in the future without a very authoritarian hand forcing compliance with the desired vision.

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