Because I still have a large body of facts from history located quietly and portably within the privacy of my own mind, I have a nice cushion to fall back on when I encounter troubling open declarations about reorganizing the nature of business and the economy and society. Especially when these plans originate among parasitic taxpayer funded international bureaucrats, higher ed administrators, and Big Business wanting to protect its current turf and revenue by simply hiring more lobbyists. In case you did not think about what the acronym UNPRME stood for in the last post’s linked report, it means United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education. Think of the United Nations realistically as a place dominated by dictatorships wanting to snuff out liberty in any part of the world or areas of society where it still currently exists.
The reason I brought up that body of knowledge is it lets me respond to that report and the Great Transition pursuits generally and everything I have compiled and written about what is called the Belmont Challenge and the Future Earth Alliance by walking over to my bookshelves (plural at this point in my research) to reread something on point. This time I pulled a book first published in 1936 called Collectivism: A False Utopia. Written by a Christian Science Monitor reporter, William Henry Chamberlain, who was stationed primarily in Moscow in the 30s, he also spent a great of time in Berlin, Germany. Given what he had seen, Chamberlain opens the book with the point that even more crucial than the question of where the line should be “between public and private enterprise in economic life” was “whether the people are to own the state or whether the state is to own the people.”
Those are still the crucial issues today in 2014. When I listen to a state legislator boast that the schools have never been very good at academics so now we only want them to ensure that all students are “competent,” he is treating students like subjects under his oversight. When the EU Economic and Social Committee pushes itself as the bridge between Europe and an “organised civil society,” it intends to do the organising so it can dictate what is allowed or impermissable. www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.press-releases.30595#_ftn1 When it announces that it is “unnatural” for hunger and obesity to coexist in the same society we can just imagine the extent of the meddling that will now be required in people’s personal lives.
When the Common Core pushes teachers to instruct students that certain groups are “right wing” with “extremist views” and thus should be called “Fascist” they are using the term ahistorically as an insult to slime ideological opponents about the proper role of governments. http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/18/teachers-instructed-to-teach-all-right-wing-extremist-groups-are-fascist-video/ They are also making Fascism a “metaphorical lens” for students to view certain types of political activity. When I use the term or allude to it, it is based on going back to someone like Chamberlain or Hayek or Von Mises who lived with people who openly proclaimed this as their organizing philosophy. I go back to these older resources written before World War II or even the annexation of the Rhineland or Kristallnacht because they are based on personal informed observation. They are untainted by knowing the tragic end of the story. That’s what makes the modern day parallels to declared intentions so troubling.
When we look at 21st century skills and see nothing but mind arson or at the manipulated perception of obuchenie and wonder why, consider this passage from Chamberlain:
“In the collectivist state, on the other hand, every influence within the control of an omnipotent government is mobilized for the purpose of creating a uniform type of personality, disciplined and regimented to the last degree, trained to regard anything ‘the leader’ advocates as right and to change its mind as quickly as the leader may change his. It is easy to imagine the kind of individual that is becoming a standardized product under the collectivist dictatorship; it is a sort of human gramophone which plays without a hitch whatever tune the official thought-controllers may call.”
Human gramophone was the metaphor in those radio, pre-TV days. Just imagine what the thought controllers intend to do with adaptive software, gaming, and embedded virtual reality. And before you dispute claims of collectivism, it’s all through all these cited documents from this blog. That’s also what all those references to the obligation to promote the common good are about. I am not claiming anyone is planning in 2014 in the West to be a dictator. I am asserting though that all these documents assume that majority will may now impose terms on all citizens down to the nitty-gritty details of life. Dictatorships don’t have to be about a singular individual in charge of all.
Chamberlain made an important point about the nature of envy and when it becomes explosive to a society. Tell me if you don’t believe that politicians and NGOs and international figures and the media and college professors and think-tanks are currently, and deliberately, using rhetoric about inequality to ignite an explosion of just the type Chamberlain worried about:
“Envy is as inescapable a condition of human life as the inequality that provokes it. It becomes a formidable form of social nitroglycerine under two conditions: when the masses are conscious of a worsening in their condition, and when a considerable number of individuals endowed with genuine force and ability feel themselves excluded from normal opportunities of advancement, from a fair chance of enjoying a satisfactory livelihood.”
“Liberty” on the other hand, as long as it is properly nurtured and respected for the mass prosperity machine it has historically proven to be, is a “constant agency of self-renovation.” But that of course is a danger to politicians and bureaucrats wanting to direct society and the economy and being well-paid for life for just showing up and pushing as told. Hence we get the mind arson and no Axemaker Minds all while asserting these education initiatives promote “critical thinking” and innovation. The small print about the innovation being a reenvisioning of society and the economy gets left unread and unremarked on in public.
It is interesting that Chamberlain believed that “if American democracy should ever be overthrown, it would yield place to fascism, not to communism.” I will interject here that he was not using democracy in the John Dewey transformative sense so common today. To Chamberlain, communism was the Stalinist variety where if there were 15 collaborators in a scheme, another 185 would be selected at random to be executed to dissuade future participation and encourage squealing over any overheard plans. It’s not the little ‘c’ communism variety various professors in the US and the West generally still think we should try in the 21st century that now seems deeply embodied in the current UN and OECD initiatives. Now I continue with the rest of the quote because it remains a relevant, prescient point:
“Both communism and fascism are forms of despair politics. But communism is calculated to appeal to people who never had anything, while fascism is the preferred expression of despair for people who once had something, but have lost it.”
But what if the public sector is the primary driver behind the conditions of despair? What if what has been lost and is being taken away is due to an ever-expansive, self-justifying, public-sector, and a non-profit sector that benefits from its alliance and its grants from the public sector without having to pay its dues in taxes, and a cronyistic Big Business sector that wants to operate with impunity due to its political connections?
Out of the frustration of what has been lost and with misleading pitches and propaganda from politicians, the media, and education, are we now shaking the social nitroglycerine described above?
Are we increasing the programs that created much of the dysfunction in the first place?
Next time we will return to Chamberlain’s concern over what he called “straitjacketing of the mind” in both collectivist ideologies and compare it to known current pushes in the schools and classrooms.