Sunday, February 24, 2008

Agents of Change

If you want CHANGE vote Democrat in 08.

I wish some reporter would ask both Obama and Hillary how their policies differ from the collectivist ideas of communists.


nanc said...

seems so simple.

when did we go and complicate everything up?

must've been the sixties...


IOpian said...

That's the way I remember it. Seems it all started right after Kennedy was assasinated and by 1968the effort to dumb down the populace, make the women more masculine and the men more feminine was moving ahead full bore. 1975 was about the last time a decent American car could be bought and good education could be attained.

By the 1980's the checks written by the 1960's generaton were beginning to bounce. Johnson's 'Great Society' had produed it's first generation of fatherless gangster production centers, free love had brought us AIDS and progressive politcal thought had been hijack by the anti-war hate America "we are the world' groups that so despised their arch-nemessis Reagan. Been progressively sliding down hill ever since.

Phelonius said...

I am not so sure that was the genesis of the modern situation, IOpian. I think the roots lay in the Wilson administration and its efforts to pass the League of Nations Treaty past the Senate of the US. That was when the ideals of Progressivism really took root, and you see the advent of educators like Dewey and the beginning, in this country, of the ideals of eugenics coupled with the rise of the Communist Party.

Not long after that, of course, came the New Deal, and the idea that large government would answer our problems. This is where I kind of run into a conundrum.

Not all of the ideals that were promoted in the 60's and 70's were socialist. LBJ and his Great Society certainly were, but equal rights for minorities is certainly a very conservative viewpoint. The right to live without government interference is certainly not a socialist ideal. The right of expression, the right to bear arms, and the right to worship are conservative ideals. The guys that went out and lived in communes lived along a socialist ideal, but their maintaining the right to do so is very Jeffersonian.

When it comes to Vietnam, I am torn. Perhaps we did the right thing, and perhaps not, but the right of people to protest is also a conservative ideal. The Libertarian Party was born in 1972 along these ideals, and I have no problem with the Libertarian platform for the most part. To be fair, the birth of Greenpeace, the demonizing of business, and the subsequent offshoots like PETA and the Green Party are certainly large-government solutions to our problems and are therefore antithetical to our Constitution. But again, a lot of their origins belong to the socializing of this country that began with Wilson.

I am interested in your take on this.

IOpian said...

I actually think it goes even further back and involves other social dynamics. At some point in the nineteenth century American culture changed from one where the common attitude of the citizenry went from self-reliance to one of dependance on institutions. The same thing happened in Europe.

The one thing all cultures hold in common is the need to earn a living according to one's wiles or skills. During the advent of the industrial age there were abuses by the owners of the means of production against the common laborer that brought about resentment and an abyss of wealth disparity. The result was the advent of communism and socialism in the kingdoms of Europe and in America these extremist systems could not take seed in the independent mind of the America system. So what we saw here was unionization. The language of the unionist is the same language of the socialist. Because the American governement reacted with things like trust busting and regulation the resentment of the common worker was held at bay. Yes we had riots and uprisings but they were limited and few advocated the complete overthrow of the existing national structure.

But the consequence was a change in attitude of the common citizen that his labor was worth more than the free market would actually produce without some kind of protectionist system. But this laid the foundation of the slow grind of destruction of American industry. We see the result a century later in this attitude in the American auto industry. Detroit lays in waste because the American unions have priced themselves out of a global market. Why should I pay an additional $1500 for an American auto so that that an uneducated laborer has healthcare when I don't. The end result has been a weakening of our society's moral fiber. It has taken a century but we have now made the trasition from a formerly self-reliant way of thinking to a society of dependance and higher expectations of what others owe us simply for existing.

The Great Depression sealed the fate of rugged individualism. Governemt intervention worked for that situation but that does not mean that it will work for other things. I notice Bush has pulled this same thing. His return of the surplus to the people in 2000 was the thing to od. Note that Hillary says he squandered this surplus but Bush spared the people of the Congress's lust for it by simply giving it back to us. It worked. But now he is trying to apply the same priciple with the housing crisis. It will not work. $600 will pay a little on someone's mortgage then their in the same situation the following month. Likewise the democrats have not learned that Roosevelt's model does not work all of the time yet they continue to go down that path.
but we continue to hear promises from them to create jobs. Now none of this should work on an educated population.

Now, to the point of my concern. Never in the history of Man has so much knowledge been so easily available yet a people be so ignorant. A strong society, like character, is created through shared adversity. It is bound together by knowledge of a common history of experiences. So if one wants a maleable society these two characteristics need to be diminished. Keep the people well fed and stupid.

The left has almost always controlled the means of education. Having taught as an adjucnt myself I have found the old observation that "those that can- do and those that can't - teach" to be somewhat true. It is quite common in academia to refer to the outside world as 'out in the real world'. So academia is populated with those that take no risks and have the luxury of time on their hands to contemplate how the world ought to be as opposed to those that commit to the struggles of the world that is.

So in my life I recall the horror of Sputnik orbiting above us. It was at this time that JFK stimulated our educational paradigm and I recall that I was in the last batch of students to get the three R's education. My brother, who was a class behind me, was the first to get the 'New Math' based on set theory. At the same time the country was faced with integrating a significant population of people that had been deliberately undereducated. So JFK's push to attain higher achievement standards in education was soon overtaken by Johnson's efforts to bring equality. The only way this could be done was to lower achievment standards. On top of this was the liberalisation of the common thought in the sixties that it was the individual that mattered and self-image was more important than being a contributing memember of a greater society. Once these people came down from their acid trips and sought jobs many ended up in academia yet they retained their adolescent views. This set in motion this entire belief system we currently see where individual self-image outweighs personal accomplshment. It has infected our society and is a terminal disease where no one cares because in all likelihood we are not the ones that will die from it but instead it will be our grandchildren that will suffer the consequences of our self-indulgences. The sooner my generation dies out the better the country will be if it hasn't been colonized by non-citizens by that time. I know my two nephews, one of whom has served two tours in Iraq, are far more conservative than I was at their age.

There is so much I could write about each aspect of this response and I don't think I did any justice to it. Sort of rambles but I see our society that exists today as a result of the dynamcis of many seemingly unrelated events in our history.

But in particular our education system is at the very core of whether our nation will survive for two or three more generations.

There is a video I've been wanting to post for a long time but haven't because I just have so many opinons on the topic and could never box them in but I happened on it while tubing and it confirms to me that the sorry state of our education system was not accidental but quite intentional. I'll go find it and post it and it ought to make everyone that watches it angry as hell for the dupes the institutions of our society have played us for.

Phelonius said...

"The Great Depression sealed the fate of rugged individualism."

Perhaps it did for a lot of people. I guess the problem I have with that is that my immediate ancestors were all dirt farmers and ranchers that did not leave the Texas panhandle during the dust bowl days, and according to them, the Great Depression was just an extension of what their whole lives had been about. You are just a tad bit older than I, not much, but I was taught that dependence on government was a terrible idea and that labor unions were down-right communist.

I was a child of the "New Math", though, and as far as education goes, I do agree with you. When I mention educators like Dewey and historians like the Beards, I am pointing to the control over the education by the progressive movement. It was Dewey that said that children should be thought of as wards of the state. That being said, there are people like me out here home-schooling their kids. We teach self-reliance and we teach personal responsibility. The thing that strikes me philosophically is that the whole concept of home schooling is very much an outgrowth of the 70's. It was a reaction of the religious peoples and some communes against the public schools.

I just see the 60's and 70's as being something of a mixed bag, and not all of it was terrible.

IOpian said...

I must admit that if God let me relive any period of my life the 1970's would be it without question. In particular 1975.

Same here. I understand the Texas Panhandle culture. Being an Okie I was cut from the same roll of cloth. My father was born in a tent in Drumright, OK during the Depression, the eldest of 9 children; my mother in a home with a dirt floor and 11 kids.

When I was a kid we were beans and potatoes poor. I have photos of me in ragged clothes. But Mom and Dad sacrificed their youth for the promise of tomorrow. Dad put himself through OSU and later became somewhat wealthy in the oil industry. He instilled these values in me that if you want something you simply need to get off your butt and work for it. I began working at 15.

We attended public school but Dad and Mom always used situations as an opportunity to teach life's lessons.

They weren't religious but they were righteous and honset to a fault.

Phelonius said...


Oh yea we were poor. I remember in a town called Pampa, just northeast of Amarillo, we had the habit of sharing meals with our neighbors across the street to make all ends meet. Dear GOD I loved it when it was my mother's time to cook because those crazy cajuns over there could turn hamburger meat into something so tough it took an extra set of knives just to cut it.

Beans and cornbread were our lot, and yea, we hated it, sometimes.

I knew from what I had read here that you would relate to what I grew up with. I hoed cotton with the wet-backs in my summer breaks. I moved water lines, and we broke up watermelons that the crows had already broken when we had a chance. I split peas, shanked corn and gathered spring fruit so my grandmother could make the best preserves and jellies that I have ever seen.

These people taught me to never give up, and to fight for what is right no matter what the cost is, because your own kids depend upon it.

Coming up in the 70's I smoked some dope. I drank more than I should have. I learned to play guitar and bass and we played some stuff. The 70's taught me that I have no real claim to this life, as I squandered at least 8 of my nine lives for sure. I was a devout atheist.

But, I went on to get a good Christian education. I married a good Christian woman, and I have learned a lot since those times. I am now a Christian, and I am doing my level best to raise my kids in the same belief system. It is not easy.

I believe that people like you, IOpian, and others like us, can make a difference in this world, and I do so because my grandmother always told me that a few believers doing the work of the Maker can make more difference than an army of non-believers. That is the fight I am resigned to fight.

IOpian said...

I been in and around Pampa, Dumas. Went to school with John, Sharon and Liz Townsley from Dumas when I lived in Norway. My first girlfriend's brother, the one I wrote the post about, still lives in Duams.

Yep I indulged as well during that time and I think that is why I have such good memories but it was mostly the music was so good back then.

When I worked in the oilfield that area was well traversed as well as Clinton, Woodward, Weahterford OK.

Usually when I have to go to client sites I head up north out up Amarillo to Dumas then over to Clayton, NM. Love that part of the country. The term vastness comes to mind.

Phelonius said...

The Llano Estacado is the big sky country alright. I remember spending a lot of time out there both over the caprock and under the caprock. I remember wind, and lots of it.

What I love about those old pioneers out there was the idea of self reliance. These were not people to sit on their asses and whine about stuff. They were hard men, no doubt. There are stories that still circulate about my grandfather Baird, who was not a man of tall stature. The story goes from my Dad that he was out one day with his father and a man accused him of cheating him. My Dad said after that not a word was uttered. He said that his Dad's fist barely missed the ground as he swung for the other man's head. Dad said that when his fist connected with this other 'gentleman' that it sounded like a wood block when you hit it with a stick. There was no follow-up. No need.

It still applies out there that you do not doubt a man's honor unless you are willing to take the consequences. The upside is that out there people will still make an honorable deal with a handshake.

I reckon that I was born in the wrong century......

nanc said...

i reckon i was also, phelonius - i was accused recently of NOT being the poster child for women's suffrage!


i was crushed i tell you.


Phelonius said...

Now Nanc, that is not fair.

I have never been against women's sufferage, and in fact the best people in my life have frequently been women.

nanc said...

but, we are only equal in SOME areas, better in others and less equal in others.

the feminist agenda has killed this nation and for that i'm sorry being affiliated with anything "feminist".

i enjoy being a girl.

IOpian said...

That's why we have marriage because both genders lack something the other has. I personally really I mean really enjoy our differences.