Category Archives: Founding Fathers

Iowa Caucuses Would Be Remarkable Athenian Democracy, If ONLY

Democracy, Elections, Federalism, Founding Fathers

James Madison was not a democrat. He denounced popular rule as “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” Democracy, he observed, must be confined to a “small spot” (like Athens). That’s why what’s underway in Iowa is so remarkable for its local impetus, “a gathering of neighbors,” really. Where an Iowa-like process loses any semblance of legitimate self-government is once campaigns expand and local voices become fainter and fainter. The Iowa Caucuses would be remarkable Athenian Democracy, but for the fact that by the time candidates get to Washington, they forget about Iowans (or the people of any other state). When it leaves the locality, Democracy, like water ripples, never comes back.

Right now, this “gathering of neighbors” is impressive:

In Iowa, groups of voters will meet in 1,681 precincts throughout the state beginning at 7 p.m. local time Monday. “It’s basically a gathering of neighbors, so it’s the folks on your street or in your neighborhood or at your church who vote at the same place where you vote, coming together to discuss politics,” said David Redlawsk, a political science professor at Rutgers University currently serving as a fellow at Iowa’s Drake University. The caucuses will take place at schools, fire stations, city halls and sometimes churches — any easily accessible public location. … There’s a similar theme voters in both states should remember: Love thy neighbor. It just might help your candidate become the next president. … “The caucuses are really about community and neighborhood gatherings and talking politics. But in the end, the campaign in New Hampshire is very similar to the campaign in Iowa — it’s very personal, it’s very oriented around town halls and one-on-ones,” Redlawsk said.


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Schooling Sanders On ‘Inequality Of Condition’ As Essential To Progress & Liberty

Constitution, Democracy, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Liberty, Socialism, Taxation

In his spectacular “Disquisition on Government,” John C. Calhoun, one of America’s greatest political thinkers, outlines why it is so dangerous to depict liberty as meaningless without equality, when the opposite is the truth. From A Disquisition on Government:

… There is another error, not less great and dangerous, usually associated with the one which has just been considered. I refer to the opinion, that liberty and equality are so intimately united, that liberty cannot be perfect without perfect equality.

That they are united to a certain extent — and that equality of citizens, in the eyes of the law, is essential to liberty in a popular government, is conceded. But to go further, and make equality of condition essential to liberty, would be to destroy both liberty and progress. The reason is, that inequality of condition, while it is a necessary consequence of liberty, is, at the same time, indispensable to progress. In order to understand why this is so, it is necessary to bear in mind, that the main spring to progress is, the desire of individuals to better their condition; and that the strongest impulse which can be given to it is, to leave individuals free to exert themselves in the manner they may deem best for that purpose, as far at least as it can be done consistently with the ends for which government is ordained — and to secure to all the fruits of their exertions.

Now, as individuals differ greatly from each other, in intelligence, sagacity, energy, perseverance, skill, habit of industry and economy, physical power, position and opportunity — the necessary effect of leaving all free to exert themselves to better their condition, must be a corresponding inequality between those who may possess these qualities and advantages in a high degree, and those who may be deficient in them. The only means by which this result can be prevented are, either to impose such restrictions on the exertions of those who may possess them in a high degree, as will place them on a level with those who do not; or to deprive them of the fruits of their exertions.

But to impose such restrictions on them would be destructive of liberty — while, to deprive them of the fruits of their exertions, could be to destroy the desire of bettering their condition. It is, indeed, his inequality of condition between the front and rear ranks, in the march of progress, which gives so strong an impulse to the former to maintain their position, and to the latter to press forward into their files. This gives to progress its greatest impulse. To force the front rank back to the rear, or attempt to push forward the rear into line with the front, by the interposition of the government, would put an end to the impulse, and effectually arrest the march of progress.

These great and dangerous errors have their origin in the prevalent opinion that all men are born free and equal — than which nothing can be more unfounded and false. It rests upon the assumption of a fact, which is contrary to universal observation, in whatever light it may be regarded. It is, indeed, difficult to explain how an opinion so destitute of all sound season, ever could have been so extensively entertained, unless we regard it as being confounded with another, which has some semblance of truth — but which, when properly understood, is not less false and dangerous. …

MORE Disquisition on Government.


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UPDATE V (4/8/016): Continuum Of Propaganda: Yale, Mizzou & Your Child’s School

Education, Family, Founding Fathers, Free Speech, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Left-Liberalism, Political Correctness, Propaganda, Race, Racism, Reason

“Continuum Of Propaganda: Yale, Mizzou & Your Child’s School” is the current, weekly column, now on WND. An excerpt:

… On the University of Missouri campus, atavistic youth have joined against hurtful words, symbols and unsettling, unorthodox ideas, and for “safe spaces,” where these brave hearts can hideout from “racial microaggression.” Examples of “microaggression” are asking a black student for lessons in twerking, complimenting her weave, or simply being white.

But mostly, these minorities and their propagandized white patsies are campaigning for the unanimous acceptance of the following destructive, dangerous, often deadly, dictum:

“White racism is everywhere. White racism is permanent. White racism explains everything.”

The “systemic racism” meme you hear repeated by media, across the American campus, and preached from the White House is a function of “Critical Race Theory,” the sub-intelligent, purely theoretical, and logically fallacious construct, now creeping into American schools at every level.

As detailed in WND colleague Colin Flaherty’s “Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry,” America’s children, black, white and brown, are being taught, starting at a tender age, about “racial hostility and resentment.”

This racial hostility is said to be endemic and always and everywhere a white on black affair.

Ask your state representative and your school board about Glenn Singleton and his Pacific Educational Group’s curriculum, deceptively titled “Courageous Conversations.” The PEG poisonous program has been adopted by “hundreds of school districts across the US,” and foisted on millions of pupils, very possibly your child.

Beware; propaganda is process oriented, and an insidious one at that.

ITEM: Your cherub’s project receives an A. His work the teacher praises before the classroom. Yet, oddly, the child’s identity she will studiously conceal. This is in furtherance of the egalitarian idea, implemented, whereby no individual student is to be identified as having produced superior work to that of the collective.

“[U]nder the Singleton influence,” explains Flaherty, “the Seattle schools [have] defined individualism as a form of cultural racism and said that only whites can be racist.” Moreover, “emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology is a form of racism,” too.

The progressive educational project carries its anti-white bias into teaching about the Orient (East) versus the Occident (West).

ITEM: A Christian boy, placed in an academically advanced study program, is tasked with submitting a project about one of three ancient civilizations: Egypt, India and Rome.

Ancient Egypt, a big hit apparently, is spoken for. The teacher, generally “white, female, liberal,” advises the boy: “Choose India. Rome is … BORING.”

What is it that this colossal ignoramus has conveyed to her student with the words “Rome is boring”? Let us unpack the meta-message (with reference to History.org): …

… Read the rest. “Continuum Of Propaganda: Yale, Mizzou & Your Child’s School” is the current column, now on WND.

UPDATE I: “Campuses across country updating ‘insensitive’ mascots, mottos…”

UPDATE II (11/20): At The Unz Review David says:

November 20, 2015 at 12:14 pm GMT

Did anyone beside the author say, “Choose India. Rome is … BORING?” It appears she made it up so she could get really worked up about it, like the Ask-a-Mexican guy.

ilana mercer says:
@David

Both ITEMS in the essay are true. “Kid” in question is like family to this writer. Enough said. The article was prompted, in part, by this “close encounter.” Saying Rome is boring is so weird; too peculiar to make up. Even more peculiar is suggesting someone unknown to you is a liar. Nice.

UPDATE III (11/21): The manner of subversion is so subtle, a busy parent can’t hope to stay on top the propaganda underway in schools. If you are able to detect the programming, deprogram daily using Socratic questioning. So talk to the brats (unpleasant notion, I know). When my daughter used to return from school, and declare something preposterous, I would begin the deprogramming through questioning. Having a child in the public school system comes with the added responsibility to know your child is being programmed—not to doubt it or defend against it—and to be prepared to deprogram or access resources to so do. (Examples of resources are the Homeschool Courses of historian Tom Woods and Ron Paul, or this writer’s columns on economics and the Constitution (and all others focusing on proper reasoning), to be found in the Articles Archive (http://www.ilanamercer.com/phprunner/public_article_list_search.php?Search+by+Category=Search+by+Category). A list of books is a good idea (a short one is here: http://barelyablog.com/classical-liberalism/. Literature is here: http://www.ilanamercer.com/phprunner/public_article_list_view.php?editid1=796). Send your suggestions. Kids can begin with Ayn Rand. We all do. Please post resources parents can access, under this thread.

UPDATE IV (11/22): In reply to David Davis’ heroic efforts (thread at the Libertarian Alliance):

Inculcating proper reasoning in a child is vital in the deprogramming effort. My columns are anchored in argument and reason (as best I can). For example, and in context of David’s comment, my “Reincarnation of the Reds” brings up the concept of “the theory that can’t be falsified.” (This is not to say one can’t be, as I am, a private property conservationist.)

David Gordon, Ph.D, is magnificent on the reasoning front; he has written a kid compatible “Introduction to Economic Reasoning.”

UPDATE V (4/8/016):


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The Muslim Murderers Among Us & Their Enablers

Europe, Founding Fathers, IMMIGRATION, Intelligence, Islam, Nationhood, Terrorism

In the days to come, the rest of the hobbled West will praise the poor Parisians for their “brave” displays of tears, teddy bears and candles, during vigils that will be held for their 153 compatriots, slaughtered across the city. Thanks will be given to an inept French intelligence and security apparatus, which was said to have been “overwhelmed” by tracking 1500 or so returning Jihadis, instead of deporting them. The Muslim friendly, open-immigration policies established by successive treacherous, left-liberal governments will be applauded as a triumph of “our way of life.” The traitor class will persist in declaring French Islam as French as the beret and the baguette.

Patriots who promise to make France safe for its people, once again—Marine Le Pen’s Front National, the Freedom Party of Austria, and Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, to be joined, we hope, by Donald Trump, stateside—will be called “far-right, anti-immigrant nationalists” by the traitor class, starting with The New York Times. The difference: Trump will join the ostracized and normalize the quaint ideas of national survival and good sense.

B. Hussein Obama will blah blah about our flaccid affinity for liberty, equality, fraternity, the French national motto. (Thanks to our public school system, your kids will be none-the-wiser about the fact that America’s founding principles of life, liberty and property are the philosophical opposite of the French Revolution.) The European population, starting with the French, will be convinced by their leaders to declare victory for their “way of life,” as the bodies of the tens of victims, who can’t be consulted about the terms of this “freedom,” freeze over in the morgue.

Yes, in the West, crying and dying is tantamount to … winning.


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