Being Grateful for What We Know and Appreciating Why It Matters

I had actually outlined another barnburner story but the day before Thanksgiving is no time to serve up indigestion. So I thought I would write a tale of appreciating why individual liberty has mattered in the past and why Freed Markets resulted in mass prosperity would be a nice tribute. And I do not mean that in a Pollyanish sense. One of the books I am tackling this holiday week is Robert P Moses’ radical equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project. I want every child to learn to the best of their ability. I want to really appreciate the desperation that is driving this Equality for All even if it guts the economy philosophy. It is why I read what attracted Van Jones to the Green Growth Economy as a manifestation of his self-confessed preference for Communism.

I think the history lessons of the Predator State declaring its Goals for People and then using its powers to coerce are too easy to forget. It’s not an ideological preference. It’s a factual story. A repeated pattern once government reaches a certain size of the economy. I think history consistently bears out the truth of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek said in his 1945 lecture “Individualism: True and False.” I give extra credit for people who have first hand experience in what led to most of the great tragedies of the 20th Century. It’s called Walking the Walk and there is great validity to the hard-earned wisdom it imparts.

“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is a condition of a free society, the second means, as De Tocqueville described it, ‘a new form of servitude.”

There is just no getting around the fact that government officials and their Business Allies deciding they get to fine tune personalities and reset Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs to guide an Individual’s Future Behavior is a 21st Century form of servitude. Especially when the inappropriately named Positive School Climate is now a tool to retrain each student’s filtering Mindset. The worldview they will use from now on as they encounter daily reality. With their preferred non-Axemaker Mind and habits grounded in emotion. All quite consciously cultivated and monitored.

But we now know all this up front and that really is something to be Thankful for. As an active pursuer of these plans and blueprints this is decidedly unauthorized knowledge that was not supposed to become available. A 2012 Deerstalker Gold Star Award for Me. The most common question I get from frustrated parents especially is Why? What I am saying simply rings too true with their daily reality to discount it. But why the Deliberate Operant Conditioning towards a Future that’s not really about prosperity?

Like I have said, I take great comfort in putting all this in its Historical Context and its real Self-Dealing Context. Because honestly that is where it belongs. So I am going to quote you a passage from Hayek’s 1944 book The Road to Serfdom (page 176 in my 2007 copy). He really nails the drivers behind making education miseducation. Notice he also nails down the frequent unholy alliance between government and the media. Simply refusing to report or cover accurately anything that might caste a poor light on desired government policies. My bolding and snark is in the brackets.

“Facts and theories [Sustainability, Man-made Catastrophic Global Warming, Diversity, Social Justice] must thus become no less the object of an official doctrine than views about values. And the whole apparatus for spreading knowledge–the schools and the press, radio and motion picture–will be used exclusively to spread those views which, whether true or false, will strengthen the belief in the rightness of the decisions taken by the authority; and all information that might cast doubt or hesitation will be withheld. The probable effect on the people’s loyalty to the system [Peter Senge just swooned that we so understand the essence of Systems Thinking and Why It Must Be Pushed] becomes the only criterion for deciding whether a particular piece of information is to be published or suppressed. [Benghazi; Actual Employment Numbers] The situation in a totalitarian state is permanently and in all fields the same that it is elsewhere in some fields in wartime. Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. [Hard not to think of Candy Crowley and that 2nd Debate]. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with conditions elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.”

There you have the incentive of Government officials for using education for merely Competent, Mentally Hobbled Citizens. Especially ones who are being bred to see a Duty to the State. And the Business Angle. They are politically connected and want special privileges and protections from their Cronies. That’s not Capitalism though. It’s Mercantilism where there is no mass prosperity. It is what Adam Smith rejected as he accounted for Britain’s phenomenal 18th century economic growth.

So enjoy your friends and loved ones on this cherished American holiday. Whatever happens in education in 2013, we WILL understand what is really going on and what the likely consequences are actually going to be.

And that really is something to be Thankful for.

 

 

Making Race and Class Oppression the Locomotives Driving the Positive School Climate Mandate

That does seem confusing doesn’t it? Instead of transmitting the knowledge gathered through the Ages so this current generation of students can mull that over and build on it, we seem to be embarking on a Game of Fruit Basket Turnover in our K-12 schools and colleges and universities. Required by federal regs or at least executive orders, NCLB waivers, and accreditors’ edicts. Whatever it takes to get Equity in Credential Attainment. Even if that means no one knows much and the scabs picked at and pulled off to gain a widespread sense of oppression to justify and create demand for a wholesale political, social, and economic Transformation create a toxic, flammable mixture of citizen rage. Plus cultivating dependent citizens with unrealizable expectations that only a Strongarm State can hold together.

Before I walk you through “The 10C’s: A Model of Diversity Awareness and Social Change” currently being cited by ASCD as part of their Whole Child Common Core Initiative as well as the National School Climate Center as part of the creation of the required Positive School Culture, let’s remember that famously true saying that “a society that values equality more than liberty will end up with neither.” If government officials can enforce equal results despite real differences, they are treating citizens in vastly different ways. Not only is that not equal, governments that develop a taste for telling certain people what they can and cannot do want to continue that power. And with everyone. Let’s think about the untouchable power of Government Officials in such a Political Favorites and Clients Economy with what really made capitalism unique. Since so many people seem to confuse the Crony Capitalist/Political Class Dirigiste economy with Capitalism now:

“In a free market system, in order for one to get more for himself, he must serve his fellow man. This is precisely what Adam Smith, the father of economics, meant when he said . . . in 1776 that ‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.’ . . . Free-market capitalism is relatively new in human history. Before the rise of capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving one’s fellow man.”

My thanks to the great Walter Williams for reminding us that a world where the federal government now intends to mandate that “I=We and We=I” through the schools may well take us back to those days of officially sanctioned plunder. That no government in history has ever been able to decree an equitable, just and peaceful society. Remember that as we go though the 10C’s. Where they say they are going has always been unattainable and is in fact undesirable to many if it means living as part of a Yoke, like Oxen or Cattle, being told what to Do and Feel and even what may be Known. Let’s be very careful we do not allow everything that works to be destroyed by educators and politicians and Businesses seeking to profit from Connections pushing an Impossible Utopian Dream.

The 10 Cs is a two-part model that includes the 5Cs of Awareness and the 5 Cs of Change. And it is not a model just cooked up for the Obama Administration’s ed reform push. No, it goes back to 1995 so it was created originally to be part of the 90s version under the Clintons known as Outcomes Based Education. We were always supposed to have our values and personal attitudes manipulated via education in fundamental ways. Our schemers prefer a different definition than they tend to tell us about. They wish to try to draw out a new kind of human being. You don’t mind a little experimenting on your children, do you?

The 5 Cs of Awareness are: Color, Culture, Class, Character, and Context. The 5Cs of Change are: Confidence, Courage, Commitment, Conflict, and Community. That last word is where all these education reforms we have examined are going. Community “means working collectively and collaboratively with others toward a shared vision.” And if a student does not share the vision at the start of the 10 Cs he must at the end. You see, the 10 Cs regards individualism as an unacceptably Eurocentric belief. School then becomes about creating values, attitudes, and beliefs so that each student not only values their own 10 Cs, “but the 10 Cs of others as well.”

Not a moment then to waste to see how students are to be taught to see themselves and others. Remember too that like emotions, this is also a type of learning accessible to all. The plan is to start with “an inventory of ourselves and examine our own experiences to more effectively confront issues of personal and societal oppression.”  First, each student is to be taught to look at skin color as an essential, unchangeable aspect of one’s individual/group identity. Charming, huh?

Then we move on to Culture which the students are told is always changing. I would point out that is not necessarily true but is very useful for schemers who would like to jettison an existing culture while creating a new one based on Theories of Utopia as well as political theories that have a tragic past. The students will be told that male and female are socially constructed, assigned roles that differ from culture to culture. The Culture lessons seem to be long on a “Free to Redefine” element without any accompanying lessons that redefinitions have consequences.

“The third C is Class and addresses power relations. It examines individual and group identity relative to power, authority, hierarchy, status, and the degree of access to, control over, or ownership of resources, including wealth, education, employment, housing, etc.” Now most kids have little idea what decisions and training went into their parents having what they have, or not, and the good or poor choices made. We are setting ourselves up for students decreeing “Ice Cream for All!” with no awareness there is a limited amount of milk and sugar available and it’s already been sold to others for necessary uses apart from dessert.

Instead, of reality and the inevitable tradeoffs of finite resources, we are to get student jam sessions that “the failure to recognize power imbalances is a key obstacle to productive and authentic dialogue about diversity because it avoids the fundamental issues of access, ownership, and control over one’s own/group life.” So students are to be encouraged by teachers and principals and facilitators (all living on salaries and benefits paid at taxpayer expense) to each “identify and accept the power that we do have, and creatively use that power in the service of social justice.”

Oh yeah, as part of that lesson students get told “we all have an obligation to use whatever power we possess in ways that work for peace and justice.” Something to keep in mind during the upcoming holidays if your college student comes home for turkey and dressing with a barrelful of new attitudes being cultivated for those tuition dollars. Not just a K-12 model you see.

Character then turns out to be all about the importance of Group Identities. Beyond the Eurocentric comment, it tells middle class White students that they believe in individuality because their “group identities of Color, Culture, and Class have been validated at every turn.” So Dominant Group Members put their primary emphasis on their C of Character. Only someone living at taxpayer expense would think deemphasizing personal Character in favor of parity with Social Group Identity was a Good Idea. Let’s just chalk this C up to the continuing assault on the legitimacy of the Individual.

The fifth C is Context. “The reality in which individuals and groups exist in time, location, environment, and the socio-political, economic, and historical conditions which influence individual and group experience.” Yes, it sounds to me like Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Thinking that we talked about here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/ . Heh, at least we are finding consistency in the Real Common Core implementation. Even if it IS light years from the rhetorical sales campaign. So Context shapes the meaning of Color, Culture, Class, and Character and is like “the basket that holds the other Cs together.” So our students who are largely ignorant of past history are being encouraged to think you can redesign societies, economies, and political structures. They will not see the Likely Downside of Wholesale Change. They are just being pushed to promote it.

How? The C of Confidence–”Reclaiming and redefining one’s personal and group identity and abilities, in ways that are inclusive of all people, will build confidence and unleash creativity that can enrich and enhance the quality of life for all people.” Maybe but history says probably not. Next C of Change is Courage to push for “movements for peace and social justice” despite likely backlash.

3rd C is (sustaining) Commitment. It is the “focus, strategy, determination, and consistency, driven by love. . . that is the deep and consistent passion for justice and embrace of humanity that has always driven social revolutions.” Reality check here from Scrooge. That is not what drives social revolutions. Gracious People. Read some history books not written by Howard Zinn.

The 4th C is (Engaging) Conflict. It means the “reflection, struggle, and creative tension that promotes growth and justice. . . when channeled appropriately, it is a force that can propel us forward.” Yes, right into an abyss. Just ask the French about 1795 how well delusions over human nature as a basis for a revolution worked out there.

And that gets us back to the 5th C-Community. Or not. I personally do not think these 5 Cs will create Community. I do think that widespread pushing of these 10 Cs will destroy a great country. Extinguish the greatest beacon for freedom the world has ever known. Squelch the only economic system that encourages cooperation among ordinary people that leaves all of them better off.

No one pushing the 10 Cs has to live with their likely pernicious consequences. We do. and we have every right to know about and object to this planned focus of K-12 and higher education.

That seems to be already starting judging by some assigned handouts printed out at home by 9th graders. The ones who will be voting in 2016 for the first time. Make more sense now?