NOTE ONE: JibberJobber discovered that there are informal support networks both in the family and community which are extremely important for people laid off or otherwise hitting hard times. Unlike the government networks, these informal network have a unique ability to help getting people onto a path where they thrive. I believe that the informal networks do a more efficient job of getting people on a good path than the government or bureaucratic networks advocated by the left. Of course, I've many horrible situations where an alcoholic, drug user or manipulator takes out a social network. Overall, one of the reasons that I am such a fervent supporter of the free market, is that when people are allowed control of their resources, they tend to make social networks that are more effective at pulling people out of poverty.
NOTE TWO: Craig Johnson dropped an interesting note on ReachUpward's blog in reference to an article on the abuses of the educational establishment. ReachUpward was calling the establishment "educrats". Mr. Johnson: "The term 'educrat' is obnoxious, misleading, and flat out rude. Your use of terms such as this cheapens your message."
I had a progressive education. I learned that the way "a peoples" engages progresses society is by first defining the enemy, then creating a layer of scientific sounding insults to label the peoples' enemies. Politically correct speech is not about eliminating labels. It is about controlling the labels so that the groups denoted as a peoples' friend is praised and a peoples' enemies are hit with a subtle insult.
When I read ReachUpward's post, the little brain cells conditioned during my progressive education fired on seeing the word "educrat." Is it a good word for labeling the enemies of freedom who control education? Is this an effective insult worth propagating? In the progressive blogosphere, a good insult spreads like a virus.
I would like to thank Craig Johnson for pointing out that civility is one of the core strengths of the classical liberal tradition (American Conservativism). I love the way that ReachUpward's insult shoves the method down the throats of the progressives that have a strangle hold on education.
I was taught that to communicated effectively, you have to use reverse logic and to develop a massive trove of insults for heaping on your enemies and subtle praises for friends. When I finally realized that progressives were the primary enemy of freedom, I find myself wanting to hold up a mirror and reflect all of the nasty rhetorical devices that they use back on their ideology. This is what Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly do. They use the techniques taught in schools to counterattack the ideologies of modern schools.
Mentioned previously Culture Warrior Bill O'Reilly lost the culture war when he chose to adopt the methods of his enemies. Yes, occasionally the tits of the progressives should be responded with conservative tats. However, to win the war, Classical Liberals and Conservatives have to find the way back to civil discourse. (Civil discourse is something entirely different than politically correct speak).
NOW ONTO the WORLD BLOG:
I just threw Michael Tanner's Leviathan on The Right in to my wish list. This book details how the Republicans transitioned from the party of limited Government to a carbon copy of the Democrats.
An interesting free resource related to this question is the University Channel podcast titled: The 'Public Interest' and the Making of American Public Policy: 1965-2005. The multipart podcast is from a conference commemorating The Public Interest Managize. The Public Interest magazine defines a point of view that is self-described as "neoconservative."
The Public Interest was established by Democrats who saw that the wild-eyed utopian institutions of the progressives were failing. The desire of The Public Interest was to make programs that worked. The magazine championed ideas such as paternalism, school vouchers. Neocons are the ones who pushed the No Child Left Behind act along funky ideas like increasing taxes without decreasing spending.
They rejected that progressive notion that religion and family are enemies of progress. They seemed to realize that religioun and family are good institutions for building those informal networks that are ever so beneficial to society.
I happen to favor small government and individual freedoms. The neocons have a very good point that if are to have big government social programs, we should try our hardest to make the programs work.
We, as a society, need to figure out how to rise above the culture war between the progressive and coservative and relearn the techniques of civil discourse. The conversation between the neocons and classical liberals is actually more interesting than the incindiary comments that get lobbed between progressive and conservative culture warriors.
I wish the educrats who indoctrinated my mind with the politically correct new think of the modern age had taught me the process of civil discourse instead.
y, I'm sorry to hear about your upbringing and education. You apparently were raised in a fundamentalist leftist environment - certainly unusual in the US, but I have met a few of these people and they are as rigid as any religious fundamentalist.
You are certainly correct that civility and dialog are essential to achieving any political result in a democracy and our present descent into name-calling and yelling (augmented by the Limbaughs, Coulter, Hannitys and O'Reillys and others of their ilk) is poisoning our political debate.
I don't understand the basis of your argument that the "culture war" was initiated by the left. I don't see the introduction of new ideas as initiation of a "war". Uninformed, irrational attacks on those ideas in an uncivil manner are more 'warlike' behavior, IMHO.
I also am not aware of any mainstream progressive who sees family as an enemy of progress. I think one can make a rational argument that some forms of religion have been and continue to be enemies of human progress, and such arguments have a place in our civil discourse. People should have a right to state their beliefs and those who see those beliefs as "enemies of human progress', have a right to state their viewpoint as well. As long as both remain civil, such a discussion can add much to civil discourse.
It is indeed heartening to read the story on JibberJobber that you linked. It is wonderful that so many have responded to him in a time of need. We have to wonder whether someone without his particular personal qualities and community connections would have had the same experience, or whether there are sufficient examples of charity to provide for all the individuals who find themselves unemployed. If we can restore civil discourse, perhaps we can find a way to work together to address such issues.
Most of the neocons started out as progressives. In each case they saw negative trends that made them run from the movement. Often they use methods that they learned as progressives in their neocon war against progressives. A large number of neocons trace their neoconic conversion back to the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s. There were people in this era who were trying to make a complete total transformation of society.
I have the hard time making this case in a single post. You have to trace things back to Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and Marx. (You can't really understand what they were doing without tracing things back to ancient greece.)
Perhaps a more interesting reply is as follows: The American Classical Liberal tradition is notable as one of the most open societies that has ever existed. The goal of the classical liberal is to put all ideas on the table. They value liberty because it allows different people to explore different ideas, with the best ideas surfacing to the top.
The Classical Liberal is open to all ideas both new and old.
Conservatives want to preserve the social order and tend to be hostile to new ideas.
The modern progressive is driven by dreams of the promised Marxist socialist utopia. To achieve the socialist utopia there must be a complete transformation of society. The result is that progressives are hostile to old ideas.
I believe that most Americans fall into that classical liberal camp. Since the modern social order rose from a classical liberal tradition, there is a temporary alignment between classical liberals and conservatives.
I'm working on understanding all of your points. You'll have to give me some time to link up all of the labels.
Have you tried politicalcompass.org? I think it is very insightful and I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts.
Now, I have to say I sense an inconsistency in your argument:
>> We, as a society, need to figure out how to rise above the culture war between the progressive and conservative and relearn the techniques of civil discourse.
>> When I finally realized that progressives were the primary enemy of freedom...
I have a hard time internalizing that nearly half of our population are enemies of freedom. Perhaps you can explain why you think I, a garden-variety progressive, am an enemy and how labelling half of the population as freedom-haters is a civil thing to say.
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