Monday, May 21, 2012

Eclipsing Justice

So, did you see the eclipse yesterday? No, no, no... not the intriguing but irrelevant light show in the sky, I mean the dark show that played out on our city streets by the Occupy movement, now protesting NATO, the one where the light of civilization was being eclipsed by the savage hordes of our educated populace?

This one (see pic to right), did you see that? Those were some seriously 'peaceful' activities from the Occupy movement, weren't they? How many people, I wonder, did it occur to, that most of those throwing rocks and bottles for peace... were either college students or college graduates? Doesn't that seem odd? Shouldn't that seem odd?

Where do you suppose they learned such violent ideas about peace?

Did you see the OWS members being arrested for making bombs? Arrested for planning to express their views with Molotov cocktails? Arrested for planning to blow up bridges? Arrested for plotting to blow up President Obama's house and the Mayor's mansion? Have you heard any of their catchy chanting? Lovely and uplifting tunes such as:
"1-2-3-4-No War but Class War! Eat the Rich!"
And how about their peace mongering manners and dress? Capped off with surrounding, attacking and stabbing, the Police?

Do you, from time to time, wonder how these people, these mostly well off American youth, managed to become infected with the ideas which transformed them into those kinds of people?

These ideas they are agitating for, after all, in their minds at least, are about their ideas of Justice.

What is that?

They tell themselves that in using govt power to improve our lives and make life more 'fair', that they are pursuing a greater form of good than is made possible under our nation's constitution, than is possible to be obtained through individuals making their own choices in life. The occupiers believe that their good is better served by telling you what to do, rather than through you living your own life in liberty and pursuing happiness; that the state mandated market is more just than what is possible through the Free Market and its pesky demands for individual rights and property rights protected by law.

These educated mobs truly want to cast that all aside in order to promote 'Democracy!' and Social Justice! But their standards of justice, are ones which, by our traditional western and American standards, are the height of injustice... so where did their barbaric ideas come from?


Think about this as well, when you hear them chant about how they love 'Democracy' - that they think that lawless violence is the way to achieve peace and fairness... do you think that their idea of democracy is the same as your idea of it? Or are you also one of those who thinks that our nation was founded upon principles of 'Democracy'? Wrong. Don't feel too bad though, most of our school's textbooks say just that. What they don't say about Democracy, is what the... majority... of our Founders said about Democracy, as expressed by Madison ,
“…a pure Democracy, by which I mean, a Society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of Government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths.”[emphasis mine]
Our Founding Fathers knew their history, and they knew philosophy, and they knew that 'Democracy' inevitably meant demagogues agitating the mob to the point where 51% of the people could choose to sacrifice 49% of the people. And while that fits in just fine with the chanting of the mobs in Chicago, that doesn't fit in with our American ideas of individual Rights and Liberty and Justice for all. Our Founding Fathers understood that an individuals Property Rights were vital to the protection of all of their Individual Rights,
"The right of property is the guardian of every other right, and to deprive the people of this, is in fact to deprive them of their liberty". (Arthur Lee of Virginia 1775).
Where did our fellows, your children, get the idea that Individual Property Rights is an evil? Aside from Marx, I mean, who said,
"In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. "
, because Marx understood that Property Rights were a barrier to the kind of total power he wanted the state to have. But how, in the United States of America, did Marx's ideas of 'justice' get into American kids heads as their idea of Justice?

Our Virtual 'Education'
The answer is that they got their ideas from School, of course. It is through our schools that the occupiers are made, and it is through schools that these ideas are pushed onto the next generation, in ever larger numbers than the one preceding it. Our children are  taught, not explicitly perhaps, but most definitely by implication, that power, that wise and caring leaders using force, is the path to fairness and peace. And they are taught these pernicious notions, not as ideas to be understood, but as beliefs to be accepted, without question, and they are taught that questioning them is wrong, very wrong.

A case in point this last week, from a student in a high school 'Social Studies' class who recently captured the scene of their teacher demanding, in a very belligerent manner (listen to the OWS crowds chants, see if you can hear the same melody), that he accept her political beliefs,
"The teacher yells -- literally yells -- that Obama is “due the respect that every other president is due … Listen,” she continues, “let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom.” She yells over the student repeatedly, and yells at him that it's disrespect for him to even debate about Romney and Obama."
This student had been trying to tell his parents about this situation at school, but they were sure he was exaggerating, so,
"... the student had asked his friend to record the discussion to "prove to his parents what he has been trying to tell them for some time. The teacher in this video has a long history of pushing a liberal agenda, by shouting down students. She is very intolerant of other points of view that she does not share. The atmosphere at this school is not very conducive to opposing views.""
Virtual Philosophy = Actual Misosophy
The peoples of the Occupier movements of course come from some of our classrooms (some is all it takes, it doesn't require many bad apples to ruin bunches of defenseless students), and some of those classrooms are taught by teachers who have learned that teaching means indoctrinating students with 'the right ideas', or 'outcomes', and they learn that notion from some of their college classrooms.

Courtesy of Academia (the Irony runs so deep), one philosophy department is now making it possible for you to see a favorite method for how this dastardly deed is done, online. You can now catch a glimpse of how these ideas are taught, how these choices - to be violent or to be violated - are made to seem to be the only choices there are to choose from, you can actually see how students, students in Ethics classes, supposedly devoted to understanding what is right and what is wrong behavior, are being taught that force and sacrifice 'for the greater good' is how justice must be done.

Are these ideas something that's likely to have been discussed in depth? No, exactly the opposite. Most in depth discussions would cause the sorts of notions that are put forth as ideas, such as this, to collapse under their own lack of weight - they truly are meaningless. Instead these issues involve arbitrary situations, with no fundamental principles to rest upon (Surprise!), thrown at you with the expectation that you will make a 'decision', with little or no basis for making it. Translation: Do what is the politically correct thing to do. These are usually passed on through hit & run survey courses in the humanities & philosophy classes (the shallower the better and easier they are to be dogmatized) and they teach their students that questions of right and wrong are to be determined by unresolvable issues made in an emergency situation, such as in the leftists favorite scenario, an overloaded lifeboat.

Soon, it has been announced, these weightless ideas will be able to be wafted through the open minds of even more people, and with much less effort, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, requiring only nominal input from professors of philosophy, and some serious effort by programmers (again, the irony...) so as to make a virtual education indoctrination available on online to all.

These Philosophy professors (keep in mind that 'Philosophy' means 'Lover of Wisdom'), at an American university, are developing a 'Virtual Socrates' program, designed to engage students in a 'virtual dialog', that is supposed to be like "an interactive exercise to try to replicate the classroom experience online", which I'm sure it will do a bang up job of... right down to manipulating the students into situations where they have no choices, no chance to think, no alternatives, but those forced upon them by their sophistic (those who manipulate ideas to achieve predetermined conclusions) professors - the very sorts of people that the real Socrates battled and eventually lost his life to - thanks to a democratic majority vote.

This article tells of the new wonders of Virtual Philosophy
"Some assume that online education is not a suitable medium for courses that rely on the Socratic Method. But the philosophy professors at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are skeptical.
Oh... how I'd like to churn out a few pages on just that ... but I'll spare you. You're welcome. Moving on...
The Greensboro philosophy department, which already offers online versions of eight of its courses, has adapted two additional ones, including a “capstone” seminar, for the Web. Pending the approval of the university system’s general administration, the new courses would make it possible to earn an undergraduate philosophy degree from Greensboro without setting foot on its campus.

That would make philosophy the first department at Greensboro’s undergraduate college to offer a fully online degree.

"That might strike some observers as odd, given philosophy’s reputation as a discipline that relies on classroom exchanges and whose pedagogical model has hardly changed since ancient Greece. But philosophy and technology are more closely linked than some might assume, says Gary Rosenkrantz, the chair of the department.

“It’s not as ironic as it seems if you reflect on the fact that computers -- both hardware and software -- derive from logicians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” says Rosenkrantz. Threads of inquiry that use the “if-then” protocol of formal logic are the “foundation of both the computer chip and basic computer software functions,” he says."
If you've been reading my posts, you know just how nauseatingly true that last part is... but again, I'll spare you a rehashing of it, because there is more than enough here to be seen with your own eyes in this single demo, to rant on about.

The online demo is complete with an actor portraying the Greek Father of Philosophy, 'socrates', dressed  in a roman toga no less, and wearing a laurel wreath on his head - if you're not struck by the error there, it's a little like presenting Ben Franklin as wearing an Armani three piece suit while talking on an iPhone in Russia, which is the sort of foul-up I'd expect to see on Saturday Night Live, but not in a presentation by the philosophy dept of a university. On top of that we're given a socrates who mugs, rolls his eyes and shakes his body at you, even pulls his toga over his head in horror, if you dare to click any of the replies that the programmers were doing their best to program out of you.

This is seriously sick stuff, and it is being put across with a straight face, as an innovative approach to something they like to call 'education'. But beneath the awful appearances, lies some truly evil material, and it is a perfect example of how students are fed the bilge which they are taught to think of as thinking about 'justice' and 'ethics', and result in violence, which is the only way they can play out in real life.

Here's the content of one of the slides:
The Lifeboat Problem You are on a lifeboat with 11 people (including you) aboard. The water surrounding the lifeboat is freezing such that no one can survive in the water. There is no rescue ship in sight and worse yet, the lifeboat is sinking. You then notice there is a sign posted on the lifeboat that reads "Capacity 10 normal sized persons." Looking around you notice 10 normal sized persons and one 400 pound man. No one wants to jump out of the boat and if nothing is done it will sink leaving all 11 to die. Would you:

  • A. Push the 400 pound man out of the boat to save everyone else. (Achieving the greater good.)
  • B. Refuse to push the 400 pound man or anyone else out of the boat and hope for a miracle.
  • C. Denounce the person who presented this scenario as an exercise in philosophy, as a fiendish fraud and a misosopher.
Yes, "C" is my wishful addition to the options, but you can bet your bottom dollar that no such option will be presented to your children, instead they will be told that those are their only options, that these are real world examples of 'Ethical choices'.

These supposedly ethical issues, are presented with little context, in situations which forbid contemplation or discussion, without covering any of the concepts involved and with arbitrary options which you cannot question, all of which is presented in order to railroad you into situations where you CANNOT make an intelligent decision... do you get that? You cannot make an intelligent decision with this scenario and these options, and that is exactly their point - you are simply expected to Act, for the moment... pragmatically, with no regard for fundamental principles, with the expectation that you will have no choice but to 'choose' the politically correct thing to do. Go to this page, click on the options that you know are not politically correct, and you will see 'socrates' grimace at you, even hide his face from view, until you just 'get' the right ideas into your head as being the ones you should 'choose'.

If you are interested in doing what is Right, if you are interested in discovering what the meaning of justice is, and how society should be organized so as to exemplify it every day, you do NOT learn to understand it through a an emergency crisis situation, a situation which, by definition, has to be decided and acted upon without thoughtful deliberation.

In the Lifeboat dilemma, as with all emergency scenarios, life itself must be made paramount, and all the secondary issues which are required to support it in everyday living, must be pared away, tossed away, in order to preserve the most life possible. It is, literally, "Women & Children first!", there is no time to consider whether or not one person has led a good and just life, and another a one of debauchery and crime, that goes out the window as those with the breath of life are equal by virtue of that as life itself become the standard, and quantity becomes the goal. The contemplation of life, liberty, property, justice, happiness have no place in a life or death scenario... and that is EXACTLY what the leftist wants to make as the standard for every day life, because they want to throw overboard any and all considerations of Quality - principles of philosophy, law, justice, liberty, must be discarded in their ideal utopia, in favor of quantities of breathing bodies - their quality of life held as irrelevant - and the requirements of living a quality life over the long term, which leads you back to principles, are to be discarded.

You, YOU, and by 'you' they mean them, are to be given god-like, life or death power over the actual you.

What these lessons teach has nothing to do with Ethics or with Justice; those principles require the careful use of deliberative Reasoning, informed with a thorough knowledge of the concepts which they are derived from, in order to discover govt's role in ordering society so that men can live and deal justly with their fellow man. Instead, the purpose of these lessons is to prevent the students from ever arriving at the actual concept of Justice - something the real Socrates would have been driven nearly to the point of madness over. And btw, the real Socrates was no flaccid & flabby priss, such as the actor portrays in the 'Virtual Socrates', the real Socrates was a stone cutter and a veteran of war, he was a man whose battles, in hand to hand warfare, were legendary. He understood well the differences between action and reflection, between sophistry and wisdom, and he spent his life in conversation, seeking to understand the concepts of Justice, and Injustice, which these misosophers defame so despicably. The notion that these put up jobs could be considered in any way as legitimate attempts to teach ethics or justice, would have been, and is, obscene.

These 'lifeboat ethics' are the antithesis to educating students about Justice, but they aren't new, only more visible as of late, as are the results of having be taught ethics from them. I noted in a post on "Teaching Justice at Harvard... Not!" a few years ago, how a popular Professor of Law, an authority on Ethics, was using just this type of scenario, 'lifeboat ethics' to 'teach' his classes with, and each one filled with hundreds of students:
The express purpose of such a scenario, is to put the student into a situation where he has no time to think, and must just react, in order to 'do the right thing'. Somehow.

Look at that again.

A philosophy course, an introduction to philosophy, the study of wisdom, and in this case focused upon the central point of the jewel of Justice, which seeks to resolve issues into what it is good to do and what is wrong to do... dealing with the highest concepts and truths, requiring the most deliberate and refined practice of reasoning... and as an example of entering into this, the most concentrated form of thinking, of reasoning upon vital life changing issues, we are given, as the introduction, your 'first impression' which you never get a second chance to make, and as the choice made for setting the tone for the entire course, is chosen, chosen, a situation designed "to put the student into a situation where he has no time to think".

Where, I want to ask, is the Justice in that? He then rolls on with questions of Marxist derivation, and anti-justice thinkers such as Rawls… the students rapt attention at the entertaining philosophical vivisectionist at work upon them… horrifying.

This is very much representative of the 'teaching' professors employ in philosophy classes today.
There is nothing good that can come of this, and you can seen in Chicago how nothing good is coming from those who have likely been taught with just these 'lessons'. Precisely because these sorts of lessons have been allowed to be drilled into the brains of America's youth, there is no way left for us to find a 'middle ground' with which to co-exist with these people - they have been indoctrinated with the lesson of Lifeboat Ethics, that Justice and Ethics are simply 'Kill or be Killed!', and that it is only a matter of deciding who is to be given the power to make those decisions. The lesson finally learned is that Power! is the path to their conception of Peace, and that Power must be seized through power - Power to the People! No War but Class War! Eat the Rich! Sound familiar? Gotta give em credit, the occupiers are practicing what they were taught to.

What I worry about most lately, is that we are being maneuvered into a situation, similar to a hundred and fifty years ago, where there will be no room left to find a reasonable alternative to action. I pointed out in a recent post, that:
...Conservative positions will always be perceived as a threat, and for at least two reasons.
  • First, your principles are a reminder that there are consequences for all that we do, which is an affront to everything they want, and everything they want to believe.
  • Secondly, your claim to such principles and rights, are barriers which are keeping them from what they want, in just the same way that the Constitution is a barrier to the power to ‘provide’ the universal healthcare they so dearly want.
Read that lifeboat scenario above, to you see any room for principle? Any mention of it? Worse, if you take that 'ethics' track from the start to finish, it deliberately seeks to draw out your principles, and then after the above scenario, no matter which option you choose, show you that your principles are in conflict with whichever choice you make, the inescapable conclusion being that principles as such are useless, and that all such important decisions must be made 'pragmatically', on the range of the moment. It is intended to teach you that Right and Wrong are childish fantasies. These scenarios are taught to inculcate the 'answers' that there are only two options available to you.
  1. to eat your neighbor
  2. to be eaten by your neighbor
The conclusion that must be drawn from those options, by any person with the ability to count to three twice in a row, is that you'd better use whatever force you can, in order to secure what you think is fair, before the Other guy does... IOW, someone will have to choose which neighbor is to be eaten, first, for the greater good.

What the educated Occupier just knows they Ought to do
For an example of how someone educated in these types of these ideas believes that they ought to be put into action, this article gives a glimpse into how one of the occupiers arrested recently for plotting bombings, a college student at a New Hampshire community college, thought his ethics demanded he ought to behave:
He posts against perceived “authoritarian control” and states he would “rather die for a cause than live a life that is worthless”. When Anonymous targeted Oakland officials in revenge for what they perceived as bad treatment of Occupiers in Oakland and released personal information on the internet on the officials, Chase’s comment was “Eat it dirty pigs!” He notes his arrests at Occupy Miami and in D.C.. One of his Facebook friends asks him what is the purpose of Occupy, to which he responds, “Revolution, disent”[sic].

The two most striking comments include a threat against the Miami police:

Jared Chase Miami has the most crooked cops in the country. We should execute them before they do something well regret.
That is the only sort of justice which Lifeboat Ethics can produce in action, in real life; a demonstration of how 'Virtual Philosophy' means 'Actual Misosophy' (Hatred of Wisdom).

Look around America - what you see is what your modern ideas of education, of 'useful' and 'pragmatic' education, of turning the primary purpose of going to college, into getting a good paying job, has brought you to. Parents, fellows, there are no skills that can compensate for the loss of liberty, and there is no liberty that can be had if you don't first how to employ Right and Wrong in your own life. Such an 'education' can only deliver us to the cultural loss of the concept of justice, loss of the self; that is the popular understanding that this form of 'education' is bringing us to.

I was reminded this weekend of an essay by the great Richard Mitchell. He stirred the pot up as "The Underground Grammarian" in the 70's & 80's, doing his best to alert us to what the 'educationistas' were bringing our way. This from his book on Educationism, The Leaning Tower of Babel, opens with a quote by Lenin who's giving advice on how to deal with those who disagree with the Party - see if it rings any bells for you,
"'Why should we bother to reply to Kautski? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There's no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautski is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything.' - Nikolai Lenin
... Lenin's bolshevism and American educationism have so much in common.

"Give me four years to teach the children,'' said Lenin, "and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.'' He wasn't talking about reading, writing, and arithmetic. He wanted only enough of such skills so that the workers could puzzle out their quotas and so that a housebroken bureaucracy could get on with the business of rural electrification. Our educationists call it basic minimum competency, and they hope that we'll settle for it as soon as they can cook up some way of convincing us that they can provide it. For Lenin, as for our educationists, to "teach the children'' is to "adjust'' them into some ideology."
His books & articles are online at this site (which I highly recommended), if anything they are even more relevant today, with our "Education Reform!" mantras for Basic Minimum Competency, No Child Left Behind, Common Core Curriculum, Competitive Skills, Data Driven Education, Educational Choice through private Charter Schools!(which have to follow federal govt rules and guidelines - wow, bet that'll  show some real entrepreneurial initiative, eh?!)... Lenin would smile and Marx would chortle. Mitchel is worth a read, especially if you are one of those who thinks that the purpose of an education is to get a good paying job, because soon enough, due to just that form of educationism which has already reformed, or deformed, our nation into its current shape, there may, perhaps sometime soon, be no good paying jobs left.

At that point it will only remain to be decided who is to be on the menu for dinner.

Oh, and if that doesn't trouble you, you might want to recall that Obama defined 'The Rich' down from his previous campaign's high of those who 'were paid' over $250k, to being any household making above $100k.

Bon Apetite

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