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Aug 30, 2008

Leading The People

If You Don't Agree Now, You Will Later

The University of Chicago was an intellectual school in 1967 (probably still is), and it had a diversity of students, I among them. Most students were liberal or very liberal; some were aspiring revolutionaries. I had read a little and liked limited government, freedom to start a business, and personal freedom. I doubted that a more powerful government was going to change the world in any good way. This made me a "conservative" in most discussions.

I have a clear memory of the end of one discussion. I was talking to one of the radical guys in my dormitory, call him Brad. He argued that only a radical change in government would bring about a better society. I disagreed. He said that I should join the demonstrations against the University to end the Vietnam war. I thought a sit-in demonstration against the University was misdirected. I suggested the he should demonstrate against the government; the University was not at war.

He said that his movement would become stronger, and eventually I would agree with him. I asked, what if I didn't agree with him, even later? He flashed anger and told me that if I didn't agree on my own, he would make me agree. I saw that as the end of the discussion.

I thought of this conversation when I saw Jonah Goldberg's post of 08/26/08 at National Review (via Instapundit) about the radical bombers Ayers & Dohrn. Goldberg wrote:

[edited]  I am amazed, simply amazed, at the amazement of many liberals that Ayers and Dohrn should matter to anyone. Well, it seems puzzlement over the inability of others to get over this stuff extended to Dohrn herself. Fast-forward to 1993. In a predictably sympathetic profile in the New York Times, Dohrn said: "I was shocked at the anger toward me."
People like Brad, Ayers, and Dohrn won't take No for an answer. Their self confidence and superior intellect (smile) tell them that they have the right answer for whatever problem they are interested in. They are better than the people who don't agree with them, and they don't mind using force when they can't get agreement.

Brad admitted that he would eventually force me to do things his way. Ayers and Dohrn knew that their cause justified blowing up their opponents. Dohrn does not understand what all the fuss is about; she only followed the path that she thought was right as a soldier for the good.

Jonah Goldberg referred to some liberals who sympathized with Ayers and Dohrn. Those liberals understand that a vision of change may require coercion. They sympathize that Ayers and Dohrn were admirable in their goals and their willingness to take risks. Bombing was just a bit enthusiastic.

People like Brad propose solutions with the same general theme:

  • They have a solution that will work if we would only stop arguing and agree with them.
  • They may need to omit some information about the new arrangements and what these will cost. They observe that ordinary people do not think well enough to make decisions in their own long-term best interest. Dissenters are either uninformed or selfish.
  • There is no need to argue about the specific meanings of words. The good of the society justifies telling some lies, if it comes to that.
  • They do not limit themselves to offering another possibility. They reorganize everything into a comprehensive new system, breaking the existing relationships between people and defining a new set of relationships described by charts, graphs, committees, and regulations. It is an awesome task that keeps many of them at work in the bureaucracy.
  • They are best qualified by superior education and intellect to implement the solution.
  • The solution requires that we all pitch in and not be greedy. The people with the most resources will put their extra income or property into the pot.
  • There must be complete cooperation. Alternate solutions go against the community spirit, and these are elitist and illegal.
  • There will be severe penalties for non-compliance. All good people will want to comply.
  • If there are not enough resources to pay people for their work according to the solution, then those people with the appropriate knowledge and experience will contribute some of their effort for free. Whatever it takes for success.
  • They will modify or replace the solution if it doesn't work. They will design a new solution the same way they designed the first solution, through thought, research, and discussion among themselves. Further solutions may require more resources.
  • Providers within the solution will be monitored, measured, and adjusted to achieve best practice and efficiency. Daily records and monthly reports will assure that providers are in compliance and are delivering the highest quality services. Payment will be based on written quality measures.
This may seem exaggerated, but it has happened in many areas of American life. It is halfway accomplished in healthcareBy board certified Emergency Medicine Physician 911DOC, with disastrous results.

Brad's Friends want to be elected, then use that power to make your life better, and you better, whether you agree or not. Brad's Friends are not motivated by respect for their fellow citizens or a regard for the truth. They want to produce a grand experiment to make a better world. Eventually, they will make you agree with them.

The Man of System

Adam SmithBiograph.com  (1723-1790) was a Scottish economist and philosopher. His book The Wealth of Nations details the first system of political economy and is considered the bible of capitalism.

Smith’s  The Theory of Moral SentimentsLibertarianism.org  includes this observation of two ways of seeing the world. Smith appreciated the natural and harmonious view of spontaneous order. But, the “man of system” sees society as something he can manipulate “easy as the hand arranges pieces upon a chess-board.”

[edited to modern usage]:  The man whose public spirit is prompted altogether by humanity and benevolence will respect the established powers and privileges of individuals. He will respect even more the great orders and societies into which the state is divided.

He may consider some of those privileges as partly abusive. But, he will be content to moderate what he cannot eliminate without great violence. When he cannot conquer the prejudices of the people by reason and persuasion, he will not attempt to subdue them by force. He will observe the advice of Plato never to use violence to his country no more than to his parents.

He will accommodate his public arrangements to the confirmed habits and prejudices of the people, as well as he can. When he cannot establish what is right, he will not disdain to reduce the wrong. When he cannot establish the best system of laws, he will work to establish the best that the people can bear.

The man of system, to the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit. He is often so in love with the supposed beauty of his plan that he cannot allow the smallest deviation. He establishes it completely and in detail without any regard to the interests and prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the members of a great society with as much ease as he could arrange pieces on a chess-board.

He does not consider that chess pieces have no will of their own. But, in the great game of human society, every piece has its own will, possibly opposed to what the legislature wants. If those two wills act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on harmoniously and is likely to be happy and successful. If those wills are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably and society will always be in disorder.


Lying is Moral When Your God is Electing Democrats
08/29/08 by Jon Sanders at TownHall.com

Conservatives believe lying is wrong. Numerous studies have shown that conservatives are far more honest than political "liberals" As author Bruce Walker pointed out, 60 percent of Americans consistently identify themselves as conservative; in short, "Conservatives are not just a majority of Americans, but an utterly overwhelming majority of all Americans."

So yes, leftists don't have the "luxury" of being able to tell voters, who believe lying is wrong, that they think it's OK to lie to get elected. You see, getting elected is the god of the Left from which all morality flows.

Democrats Offer Stealth Liberalism
08/29/08 Wall Street Journal - Potomac Watch by Kimberley A. Strassel

If today's liberal storyline were correct, a proud "progressive" candidate should win voter acclaim with promises of higher taxes, government regulation, an encompassing health-care entitlement, protectionism and corporate-bashing. We can't know if that's the case, since the "progressive" Mr. Obama is doing such an excellent job of hiding those policies behind the conservative rhetoric of "choice," "tax cuts," "free trade" and "freedom."

How to be Annoying and Useless:
An Introduction to JCAHO and Press-Ganey

04/06/08 by EtoTheIpi at DocsOnTheWeb
A doctor complains about bureaucracy imposed for no real improvement:

Now, Press-Ganey. This is a survey company that asks patients to respond to questions about the quality of care they received. Really it is the PERCEIVED quality of care measured, often from non-paying "customers", who demand perfection and know very little about medicine (a hospital, by the way, is not a hotel. Sorry.) A 'mean nurse' can [ruin] your Press-Ganey scores relative to other hospitals. A doc who will say "no, I know better" to the annoying patient will drop you to the bottom of the list.

Control has been handed to the paper pushers and taken away from the doers. I weep for our profession.

Councils Recruit Unpaid Volunteers To Spy On Their Neighbours
08/30/08 by ThisIsLondon.co.uk (via Instapundit)

Neighborhood Councils in Britain are recruiting 'citizen snoopers' to report litter louts, dog foulers, and even people who fail to sort out their rubbish properly.

The 'environment volunteers' will also be responsible for encouraging neighbours to cut down on waste.

The move comes as local authorities dish out £100 fines ($180) to householders who leave out too much rubbish or fail to follow recycling rules.

'With council tax so high, the last thing people want to pay for is an army of busybodies peering through their net curtains at their neighbours as they put out their rubbish.'

Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools
09/23/08 - WSJ.com by Stanley Kurtz

(edited) Bill Ayers founded the Weather Underground in the 1960's. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.

Ayers founded the CAC in 1995, ostensibly to improve Chicago's public schools. The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, to infuse students and parents with a radical political commitment, downplaying achievement tests in favor of activism. Mr. Ayers wrote in "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression.

Obama and Ayers - 09/23/08 at JustOneMinute (via Instapundit)
Obama explains his relationship with Bill Ayers, in an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News on 04/27/08.

(edited) OBAMA: Now, Mr. Ayres is a 60 plus year old individual who lives in my neighborhood, who did something that I deplore 40 years ago when I was six or seven years old. We served on a board together that had Republicans, bankers, lawyers, focused on education, who worked for Mayor Daley. The same Mayor Daley probably who when he was a state attorney prosecuted Mr. Ayres’s wife for those activities. I (inaudible) the point is that to somehow suggest that in any way I endorse his deplorable acts 40 years ago, because I serve on a board with him.

Obama, Ayers and the Annenberg Challenge
09/22/08 at GlobalLabor by Stephen F. Diamond

(edited) The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was far more than a chance for Ayers to engage in "radical" efforts to raise the political consciousness of young students. It was a front in a battle for control of the Chicago Public School system. The Challenge represented an authoritarian and bureaucratic agenda - a desperate attempt to foist upon troubled classrooms a "politically correct" curriculum, and to use parents as canon fodder to control teachers and administrators.

The Authoritarian Radicals - Diamond's complete paper is at The Social Science Research Network.

Stephen F. Diamond, Santa Clara University - School of Law (09/1/08)

Abstract: The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was a $160 million dollar reform effort in the Chicago public school system led by Barack Obama and Bill Ayers among others. An analysis of the Challenge suggests that an authoritarian form of politics shared by Ayers and Obama was a critical part of the reform effort. This form of authoritarian radicalism has its roots in the American New Left and Black Power movements. The paper contrasts the authoritarian and anti-union approach of the Challenge with a democratic alternative.

Ayers-Dohrn-Obama Tie Shouldn’t Be Dismissed
10/06/08 - PajamasMedia by Bob Owens

[edited] Obama's campaign manager David Axelrod tried to explain Obama’s involvement with Ayers, “Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school. They’re certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together.” This is obvious fiction. Obama's children are in elementary school; Ayers’ children are adults.

Ayers’ wife Bernardine Dohrn has largely escaped recent scrutiny. She was either a leader or the leader of the Weathermen, with ties now to both Barack and Michelle Obama.

Dohrn was a principal signatory of a Declaration of War against “AmeriKKKa”, now a standard spelling among radicals. Dohrn participated in multiple bombings and was accused of planting a bomb at a San Francisco police station that killed an officer and maimed others, according to an FBI informant.

Ayers and Dohrn infamously played host and hostess to Barack Obama’s political “coming out” with a meeting at their home, where outgoing State Senator Alice Palmer tapped Barack Obama to be her handpicked successor.

Other direct connections between the Obamas and the Ayers are much harder to discern and have never been thoroughly investigated.

Daley reins in radicals the Chicago Way
10/11/08 - Chicago Tribune by John Kass

[edited] Obama and Ayers are neighbors and they worked together on school issues with the same foundation. Obama's political coming-out party was held in Ayers' living room when Obama was running for his first political office. The boss of Chicago is Mayor Richard Daley. Mayor Shortshanks has thrown his protective embrace around both men. These are facts.

The reason Ayers is not a big deal in Chicago has to do with the Chicago Way, and the left fork of that road that has been bought and paid for by the Daley machine, subsidized by taxpayers who foot the bill for public relations contracts from City Hall.

University-educated consultants get city contracts to spin the news, shape symbolism, and tell out-of-town reporters that Ayers is no big deal. They won't bite the hand that feeds them. For an examination of the Daley spin machine—and its cost to taxpayers—please see Tribune reporter Dan Mihalopoulos' story in the Sunday editions.

NYT Won't Run Op-Ed Criticising Bill Ayers
12/23/08 - PajamasMedia by Bob Owens

The New York Times published an Op-Ed article by Bill Ayers on 12/5/08. They declined to publish a rebuttal by Larry Grathwohl. Grathwohl is the only informant to penetrate the Weather Underground for the FBI, and lived the history Ayers wants to rewrite. Here is an excerpt of Grathwohl's reply.

[edited] Billy goes on about how the Weather Underground came into existence because “peaceful protests had failed” and “after an accidental explosion killed three comrades.”

The explosion of the townhouse in Greenwich Village was the result of a bomb factory which was preparing bombs containing roofing nails for use at a Fort Dix enlisted club. The inclusion of roofing nails can have but one purpose and that’s to injure or kill people.

Prior to this event Bill’s wife, Bernardine Dorhn, placed a bomb of the same design at the Park Police Station in San Francisco and killed Officer McDonnell. Additionally, I was still inside the Weather Underground when the townhouse blew up and the commitment to sabotage and terrorism had already been established and the purpose was the overthrow of the United States government.


Anonymous said...

Thank God I did not grow up in that era. The pressure of their way of thinking. Things change. Americans will this.

Teri said...

Dear anonymous: It was a frightening time and it felt like things could just explode. It really was a break down of the culture. A youth culture, one that denigrates everything that preceded it, is not a good thing. Young people have too little experience to be wise in the ways of the world. They are too easily corrupted and misled. There was a tremendous loss of innocence when Kennedy was assassinated. The folks above predated that, of course, many from families that were communist sympathizers. When you read the history that makes Joe McCarthy look like a crank, dig deeper and notice the number of folks that really did turn out to be communists in that era.

These people found sympathy with other children of well-off families. Kids from blue collar families like mine didn't have anything to feel guilty about. When you are rich and feel somewhat guilty about what you have, you can be turned. And that's what led to the Weather Underground.

StephUF said...

Love this blog, hope you'll post again soon.

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