#1 Progressivism vs. the Pursuit of Happiness by algernonpj 13.07.2015 11:11


Long interesting read .

March 30, 2014
Progressivism vs. the Pursuit of Happiness
By Daren Jonescu

Self-interest is good -- not because it "raises the general standard of living" or "makes workers more productive." If it did neither of these things, it would still be good for a more fundamental reason, namely that it is the proper motivation of our nature as human beings. In short, self-interest is moral.

Most public discussion today, however, occurs within the moral paradigm established by our universal progressive indoctrination. Even principled people who wish to defend liberty often find themselves in muddled and unwinnable debates, having unwittingly accepted progressive moral premises.

The progressive paradigm is diffuse and sophisticated, but it may be summarized in one thought, namely that individuals exist for the State, rather than the State for individuals. This is not a new idea, on its face; what is new is that this idea, which used to be called tyranny, has been recast as morality. An alliance of serious thinkers and clever subversives has fundamentally shifted the burden of proof in moral matters to favor the presumption of collective authority over every aspect of life. This deep-seated principle reduces everyone who has not radically purged himself of it to the Pyrrhic position of arguing that the slackening of government control is justifiable because it will benefit the State in some way -- defending freedom as a more efficient way of achieving tyrannical goals, rather than as our birthright.

Understanding precisely how the burden of moral proof was shifted, and how this shift has distorted political debate, is essential to any hope of eventually regaining a proper perspective.

An intellectual tradition developed in earliest modernity framed our epoch's basic political question as, in effect, "Why do free men need a government?" Hence the famous "state of nature" theories, the vocabulary of "natural rights" and "social contracts," and the gradual establishment of the principles of limited government.

Today, progressivism, having fed mankind through its educational, artistic, and bureaucratic meat-grinder, has supplanted modernity's basic political question with a new one: "Why does a government need free men?"

The first question arose from the premise that individual humans and their needs are natural and primary, such that superimpositions of collective authority upon social relations are justified only insofar as these help to advance our rational, pre-governmental ends. The second question, which is implicit in all contemporary politics, arises from the premise that the collective is the primary reality, such that any freedoms individuals are permitted to enjoy are justified only insofar as they serve the collective's ends, as defined by the State.



#2 RE: Progressivism vs. the Pursuit of Happiness by Cincinnatus 13.07.2015 17:12


Excellent article, Algernonpj. I find it interesting that the major culprits he cites, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Marx, are all Germans. There is something in the vater over there which produces such thinking and which ultimately (throw in Nietzsche) produced Hitler, who represents most clearly the results of their combined philosophies (collectivism), or the cult of personality always seen in Communist nations. Their views certainly are certainly not congruent with the American tradition which arises from an entirely different intellectual tradition (the Greeks through Rome through the Anglo-Saxons).

Something else caught my eye in this essay: "If we accept the premise that the pursuit of happiness is immoral (indistinguishable from "greed")..." The very people who are only too happy to tell us you cannot impose your morality on others, are also only too happy to criticize capitalism and free markets on moral grounds (greed), but never economic.

The bottom line on this, however, is something pointed out by the late Dr Fred Schwartz of the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade. These people are elitists to the core and view the rest of humanity as sheep to be herded with them as our shepherds.

#3 RE: Progressivism vs. the Pursuit of Happiness by algernonpj 13.07.2015 17:51


Quote: Cincinnatus wrote in post #2


The bottom line on this, however, is something pointed out by the late Dr Fred Schwartz of the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade. These people are elitists to the core and view the rest of humanity as sheep to be herded with them as our shepherds.

In order to produce a populace that is more easily herded, the elites used the Prussian educational system as a model for our public school system.

......His article, however, goes on to trace the template for our own educational system back to the now vanished, though never to be forgotten, military state of Prussia
The odd fact of a Prussian provenance for our schools pops up again and again once you know to look for it. William James alluded to it many times at the turn of the century. Orestes Brownson, the hero of Christopher Lasch's 1991 book, The True and Only Heaven, was publicly denouncing the Prussianization of American schools back in the 1840s. Horace Mann's "Seventh Annual Report" to the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1843 is essentially a paean to the land of Frederick the Great and a call for its schooling to be brought here
what shocks is that we should so eagerly have adopted one of the very worst aspects of Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens - all in order to render the populace "manageable."
Against School
John Gatto

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