America: What Others See

Sometimes we should back off on our concerns and see what others think of us. Two “others” have written about America this week. I think we should take note.

The first is Nikola Kedhi writing on The Federalist. Most of the people we quote here are pretty well-known and we don’t elaborate, but here we should. According to his bio at The Federalist, he is:

Nikola hails from Albania and studied International Economics, Management, and Finance at Bocconi University in Milan. He obtained his Master’s in Finance from Carlos III University in Madrid. Currently, he works as an Associate at Deloitte in Albania, one of the Big 4 consultancy firms.

So no close ties to America other than perhaps, his job. Let’s see what he says.

America is much more than a country. It is much more than a land or a group of people that came together to form a nation. Ultimately, the United States is a symbol. It is the world’s fullest and greatest embodiment of capitalism, democracy, and freedom. It is the land of the free, the home of the brave, a source of hope, and a defender of justice.

Many may not understand the significance of America as an ideal. Some in the United States and Europe have lived comfortably for decades, never been invaded, never lost their land or property, nor their freedom to think or speak. As a result, they can’t value what they already have. It’s an unfortunate reality that you often have to lose something to fully understand its worth.

My country, Albania, is small today, but in the past, the ancestral lands of my people once spread throughout the Balkans. We had the first queen in Europe, gave the Vatican four popes, provided emperors who shaped history and survived through the strong men and women who died for their country, their traditions, and their families.

Nevertheless, neighboring countries with the help of larger empires and states in Europe slowly took our territories and forced into flight large parts of our population. More than 100 years ago, only one country stood up for us, fought for our territorial integrity, and helped us retain the borders we have today: the United States of America.

One doesn’t need to travel further back in time than a few generations to find Albania at the mercy of the red terror known as communism. […]

Despite 45 years of propaganda demonizing the United States, the Albanian people never forgot what President Reagan often referred to as the “shining city on a hill.” Indeed, no matter the torture and the brainwashing the regime tried, it could never remove the desire for freedom. The desire for freedom, meritocracy, and justice are deeply ingrained in the human soul. […]

Still, hope remains. I see it every day and not just in America. President Trump stands in front of the advance of the radical leftists in the United States and he inspires others to follow his example in Europe. He has vowed that America will never be a socialist country. The history of America is filled with inspiring stories of those who stood up, never gave up hope, and resolutely worked for a better future. A strong and prosperous United States means a safer and better world.

Read it all. Then there is this from The Spectator, by Robert Taylor who is based in London.

At a time of crisis, we need hope more than ever. We need positivity and optimism. We need the American Dream. What is the American Dream exactly? Being a Brit, I didn’t really know, though I had a foggy notion of a can-do, anyone-can-make-it, over-the-rainbow sort of spirit. So I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it turns out I wasn’t too far wrong. To summarize, the American Dream is a national ethos that fosters prosperity and success on the basis of social mobility and rewards for hard work and enterprise.

That sounds good and noble to me. But I’d suggest it should apply, especially now, not just to America, but far beyond its shores, to all those willing to embrace it. {…}

To repair the massive damage, to dust ourselves down, recover from the shock, and get back up on our feet, we need cooperation between leading states in terms of economic intervention and health resilience.

And who can lead this cooperation? Well, let’s think. The UN? No way — too many competing interests. China? Nope. There’s no trust, especially since this whole thing appears to have started in or near some filthy live- animal market in Wuhan, followed by weeks of obfuscation and denial.

The EU? Are you kidding? Once the coronavirus hit, the sham that is the European Union was rapidly laid bare to anyone who cared to look. […]

No. Just as in 1945, with the establishment of Bretton Woods as a basis for the global economy and international security, only the USA can lead us out of this crisis. The American Dream must become an international reality. […]

Dare I say that there are few nations that trust each other more, and have a stronger recent history of standing side by side, than the U.S. and UK? […]

For years, a range of academics, economists, and politicians across the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, recognizing their common language, history, cultural understanding, head of state, and deep- rooted, intertwined identities, have advocated closer cooperation between their respective nations in the CANZUK movement (it’s an acronym — get it?). While Britain has been pulling away from the EU, it has quietly been moving towards its English-speaking brethren.

The U.S. is the logical fifth, and most important, partner in this movement. Can these five countries work together now, not just for mutual benefit but to lead the world towards a new global order? Of course they can. […]

Maybe I’m an idealist, but I see a massive opportunity from this crisis for old friends, pulled apart by a decades-long narrative that encouraged crude, regional trading blocs while derisively snorting at the nation state and historic trading links, to come together once again.

Read this one too. I agree completely with both of them. When we say that if the US goes down, there is no place to run to, this is what we mean. It is true for us and it is true for all those who love freedom and liberty, not to mention a chance to get ahead in this life. We are the last ditch in defense of that city on the hill with its beacon burning bright. Others will follow, and help but we must lead. Because we are “The Keepers of the Flame”.

Whatever must be done, and I think many of us have some knowledge of that, must be done.

Some things are worth living for, and they are the things worth dying for

Those sunlit uplands that Churchill dreamed of still beckon, and the journey may be tough but it will be worth it.

The Patrimony and Donald Trump

At Mount Rushmore, President Trump noted that:

Our Founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity.  No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America.  And no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation.

It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence.  They enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said: “…all men are created equal.”

He’s right, and that is the very first time that it was stated, openly, proudly, and loudly. Our Founders were also the first to say that our rights come from God, not man, and especially not government. That was truly revolutionary, although there are precursors, including the publication just a few months before of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Since we have been keeping the flame, those beliefs have spread around the world like a prairie fire.

But here, in its home, Freedom is again in danger.

Sumantra Maitra, writing in The Federalist makes the point that it comes down to this:

Increasingly, even as Trump might be an unlikely cultural conservative messenger, structural forces are placing him in a curious situation where he finds himself the defender of the patrimony in an ongoing cold civil war. This is not a matter of choice anymore.

That’s  true and he identifies two opposition groups:

  1. Corporate media
  2. Academia

That’s no longer even arguable, but academia including k-12 education is by far the primary driver here. Sumantra says the battle comes down to three speeches, the President has given.

West Point where Trump said that,

” We are restoring the fundamental principles that the job of the American soldier is not to rebuild foreign nations, but defend — and defend strongly — our nation from foreign enemies. We are ending the era of endless wars. In its place is a renewed, clear-eyed focus on defending America’s vital interests.”

Rather reminiscent to me of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams who wrote on July 4th, 1821,

“The interest, which in this paper [The Declaration of Independence] has survived the occasion upon which it was issued; the interest which is of every age and every clime; the interest which quickens with the lapse of years, spreads as it grows old, and brightens as it recedes, is in the principles which it proclaims. It was the first solemn declaration by a nation of the only legitimate foundation of civil government. It was the cornerstone of a new fabric, destined to cover the surface of the globe. It demolished at a stroke the lawfulness of all governments founded upon conquest. It swept away all the rubbish of accumulated centuries of servitude. It announced in practical form to the world the transcendent truth of the unalienable sovereignty of the people. It proved that the social compact was no figment of the imagination; but a real, solid, and sacred bond of the social union.”

This is the same report that concluded with this,

“Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.”

It is indeed time to return to the wisdom of our forebearers.

Warsaw, where the President voiced his concern for and defense of Western Civilization, saying,

“We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.”

So many have said this that I’m not going to quote anyone. Free countries could have arisen only in the West, in fact in the Christian West. BTW, while he is no angel, this may be part of the reason that the globalists attempt so hard to denigrate Putin, like Trump, he professes as a Christian.

Last week at Mount Rushmore, iconic mountain celebrating American heroism. where as Sumantra says.

Finally, his latest speech at Mount Rushmore, which argued for a nationalism, regardless of race or class, focused on the classical Western canon and intellectual inheritance, from Andrew Jackson to George Patton, from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman. He vowed to defend the country from anarchists and Marxists.

Taken in combination, these speeches argue for a revival of classical education and art, preservation of culture and history — appropriately recognizing Anglo-American heritage, a restrained foreign policy abroad, and strong law and order at home.”

 

He’s correct, of course, taken together these three speeches illuminate the legacy our predecessors have left to us along with the duty to hand it down unimpaired. So about our opposition:

The corporate media is obvious, of course, if you saw any of its reporting of Mt Rushmore, no doubt you were left wondering what speech they heard because it surely wasn’t the one Trump gave. In any case, media, even more than politics, is downstream of culture. In this case, a specific part of culture, which takes much of its lead from academia.

And so, academia, which is not downstream of culture but is actually the creator of culture. Sumantra says this…

This brings us to the crux of the issue. While a culture war is looming, a culture war will not be won by tweeting and giving speeches, but by legislating policies. Furthermore, these policies will only be effective if they target the propaganda centers in academia. Joy Pullmann and I recently wrote a joint paper on how to redress this massive imbalance. Of the five policy proposals we outline, two are especially relevant to this cultural civil war.

The first policy seeks to limit public funds for all activist disciplines. Legislating a “no politics in education” policy, while making it compulsory to have free speech on campuses and protect against ideological discrimination (as a recent South Dakota law ensured) would be a good first step.

The second policy would be to increase scrutiny of the biases within academic departments by forcing university administrations to ensure research produced by social science and humanities departments is not actively anti-national, subversive, or one-directional. These proposals are well within the capability of the federal government and could ensure proper tax funds disbursement, as well as ensuring balanced academia, without interference in content.

Politics, it appears, is not downstream of economics, but the downstream of culture. And to win the culture war, conservatives need to redress the overwhelming disadvantage in media and academia. While there are conservative media houses, academia works primarily and divisively to denigrate the commonalties of a nation-state.

If shared civic virtues, symbols, and stories are maligned, then there remains no nation and no society or community, but a giant supermarket that houses “consumers” who feel no loyalty to the land beneath their feet. If President Trump is serious about the culture war, then he needs to address the imbalance to win the messaging war against the propaganda markets.

And that too is so. In the coming days, we will explore some ideas about that. As long as I’ve been writing this blog, this has been one of my paramount concerns, how to begin the long march back. It seems from my reading that the President has shaken the Liberty Tree vigorously enough to shake loose a lot of ideas. Some (most, or all) need to be taken up, and this will require legislation, both state and federal, which means we’d best vote FOR America this fall, or we may lose it for all time.

John Adams to Abigail Adams – July 7, 1775

Your Description of the Distresses of the worthy Inhabitants of Boston, and the other Sea Port Towns, is enough to melt an Heart of Stone. Our Consolation must be this, my dear, that Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it…

I am forever yours —

Video Monday, Independence Day

One unimportant problem with the 4th of July is that while we want to make a serious point about why the US is, there is so much partying going on, and we want to share that too. So it always overruns the holiday itself. And so Video Monday makes a comeback.

My navy friends tell me that when a commander boards a ship he is announced by his command, say like “USS Enterprise, arriving”

So this would be “The United States of America, arriving” and dramatically too.

The big news was the President’s speech (and we’ll get there) but South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem gave a barnburner of her own in introducing the President.

Sorry, it’s a Twitter embed, it’s already hard to find. Suppose some people are scared of her? And us?

That quote about the man in the arena is from President Theodore Roosevelt, who knew something about the man in the arena.

Then the Presiden spoke, some are calling his “A time for turning” speech. I disagree, I think he, like a famous Englishwoman, is not for turning.

Of course, there were fireworks, or as John Adams would have it, Illuminations

And then Saturday, on the south lawn of the White house

It starts just before 7 minutes into the video. And if you don’t happen to know that first tune, it’s from the civil war, there are two versions, a Confederate one, and a Union one. This is the Union one.

The Union Irish Brigade was one of the premier battle forces in the Army of the Potomac, but there were many others, for instance, there was the Iron Brigade of the West pretty much destroyed at Gettysburg, who marched into that fracas with the fires and drums playing this

Causing one Southron soldier to comment, “Tain’t no militia, boys, it those Black Hat Boys, ” from the Kossuth hats that were the mark of the Brigade.

That’s the sort of war it took to make all men equal, at least under law. We’re still working towards that “more perfect Union”.

So rally round the Flag, indeed.

 

A Most Conservative Revolution

pic_giant_070314_AToday we celebrate for the 244th time, something the Founders did not want. Independence. What they wanted was the restoration of their rights as freeborn Englishmen. Our revolution was in direct line of succession from Magna Charta, The English Civil War, and The Glorious Revolution (and its Bill of Rights upon which our own was mostly based).

Washington’s Army was very nearly the Roundhead army of Parliament reincarnate. And it was stood up for the very same reason. The “long train of abuses and usurpations” by the King which Jefferson documented, could have been written by the leaders of the Civil War. Let’s look at that document, shall we?

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Often we read Jefferson’s prose in the beginning and end of the Declaration and skip the “Bill of Particulars”. We shouldn’t. There written in plain English is the quest of the English Speaking Peoples, for a stable, free, and representative law. It is a quest that hearkens all the way back to Saxon times and continues today.

We must note that this view was one that was very current in the England of 1776 as well. Edmund Burke said this:

We also reason and feel as you do on the invasion of your charters. Because the charters comprehend the essential forms by which you enjoy your liberties, we regard them as most sacred, and by no means to be taken away or altered without process, without examination, and without hearing, as they have lately been.

Charles James Fox said, in a famous speech,

“I say, that the people of England have a right to control the executive power, by the interference of their representatives in this House of parliament.”

And he even took to wearing the Buff and Blue colors of Washington’s army on the floor of Parliament itself.

William Pitt the Elder unsuccessfully attempted to have Parliament offer the Colonies what would be later called Commonwealth status.

So we see that we today celebrate a reluctant Independence but one that the Founders found necessary to maintain their rights, and they have passed on to us the responsibility to maintain them. It is no small responsibility but it is one we must take seriously to be able to hand our freedom down to our posterity.

I’m one of those curmudgeons who don’t think the National Anthem should be messed with but, I happily admit to loving this version. Consistency is overrated!

And finally, I would remind you that of all the anthems of all the nations in the world, only one ends with a question.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

How that question is answered is up to us.

One thing that pleases me greatly, is that of NEO’s contributors past and present, two of us are Americans and four are British. A few weeks ago, Britain marked the fourth anniversary of its own Declaration of Independence, in the vote to leave the European Union. Like us, holding out for English rights from an overpowerful German.

In a sort of very pertinent aside, the very fact of the conservativeness of our Revolution is why, I think so many conservative Britons have, in the last four years given our founders a good share of the credit for Brexit. I agree with them, it is the American founders, and the traditions flowing from them, and their basis in British law and tradition, that made Brexit possible, along with the quiet stubbornness of the British where freedom is concerned.

And so,

The_Great_Rapprochement

I would remind both our British friends and we Americans though of that last sentence, which has been the reason it has worked, nothing less is demanded of us.

And for the support of this Declaration,

with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,

we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Continue the mission

God Bless America, and God Save the Queen

Broken Eggs but no Omelet

Catholicism Pure and Simple tells us that Fr Thomas Haake, an eighty-year-old priest was assaulted outside his residence in Washington. Fr Haake was dressed in his cassock a praying the Rosary at the time. The assault was apparently carried out by BLM/Antifa (if there is any difference, which I doubt).

Well, I can think of few things more offensive and despicable than assaulting an elderly person, or a priest, let alone an elderly priest. As far as I am personally concerned, they should be put down permanently, there is nothing there left to save. Since it appears that Fr Haake will survive, the law is not that, which is probably a good thing, but increasingly, especially in our cities, we are seeing little to no punishment for such crimes. This will not end well.

It is also a stark reminder of Jacobinism, that brought France the terror, and little different from Mao’s Cultural Revolution or Pol Pot’s Killing Fields. The only real difference is that this time it is in the West, as it hasn’t been since Napoleon ended that nonsense with a whiff of grapeshot.


So what the hell is going on here? Gene Veith at Cranach found someone who thinks he knows.

Today I want to focus on Prof. Kaufmann’s discussion of the prospect of a “Second American Revolution” and his sociological and psychological analysis of what is happening today, as many of our cultural elite turn against their own culture.

Here are some excerpts from his article (bolding what I think is most significant):

Statues toppled, buildings renamed, curricula “decolonized,” staff fired. The protests following George Floyd’s killing have emboldened cultural revolutionaries in America and Europe. The iconoclasts are changing minds, and could be in a position to enact a root-and-branch reconstruction of America into something completely unrecognizable to its present-day inhabitants. Imagine a country whose collective memory has been upended, with a new constitution, anthem, and flag, its name changed from the sinful “America” to something less tainted.

Prof. Kaufmann discusses the “social construction” of “harm,” how framing issues in a particular way can change the way they are perceived.  He uses the example of the teenaged girl who wore a Chinese dress to the prom and got savaged for it on social media:

Is a white woman wearing a Chinese prom dress complimenting or insulting the Chinese? Most Chinese would probably take the former view, but a left-modernist ideological entrepreneur can spin this as cultural appropriation and white colonialism. In effect, the left-modernist socially constructs “harm” and “racism,” spinning something positive into a negative and seeking to sensitize Chinese people to the “fact” that they should feel insulted rather than proud. Those inducted into the religion of antiracism get the message and signal their virtue online, helping to propel people toward the new norm. If this were to catch on in China, the emotions Chinese feel when seeing the image of a white woman in a cheongsam would flip from pride to anger.

The same sensitizing dynamic works for history, literature, film, statues, and even words. Like Red Guards with a hair-trigger sensitivity for sniffing out the bourgeois, today’s left-modernist offense archaeologists outdo each other in trying to reframe the world as racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and so on. Turning the principle of charity on its head, they insist on the most suspicious interpretation of a person’s motives when the subject matter is associated with their canonical totems of race, gender, sexuality. A Hispanic man flicking his fingers outside his truck window gets fired because this was photographed, tweeted, and spun as the “OK” white power sign. The result is an atmosphere where inter-personal trust is as low as humanly possible while discursive power flows to the accuser. The new cultural revolutionaries have constructed our emotional and conceptual reality.

Once “harm”, “racism” and other concepts become unmoored from reality, more of the world is remade. Statues which were long ignored become offensive. Complex historical figures like Jefferson or Churchill, who embodied the prejudices of their time, or elites like Columbus or Ulysses Grant, whose achievements had both positive and negative effects, are viewed through a totalizing Maoist lens which collapses shades of grey into black and white. If a historic personage transgressed left-modernist sacred values, their positives instantly evaporate and activists myopically focus on their transgressions.

Read Dr. Veith’s article and the linked one from Prof Kauffmann that is linked as well. The emphasis is Dr. Veith’s which I agree with.

It all sounds very possible doesn’t it, that this is what’s happening. Maybe so. Dr. Veith continues.

You should read the whole of Prof. Kaufmann’s article, which compares what is happening in the United States to the cultural destruction carried out by the Taliban and to the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” of Mao Tse Tung’s China.  The different threads of this phenomenon lead him to conclude that a “second American revolution” could happen, unless it is countered by a revival of “cultural nationalism.”
What do you think?  Is a second American revolution likely?
I say, no.  The cultural revolutionaries are up against reality, and reality always–maybe not in the short term but the long term–wins out.
I agree with Gene here, there is just too much to destroy to manage it, certainly without government power, but most likely even with.
Plus, there is something so engrained in the American cultural DNA that would prevent a radical “deculturalization” (to use Prof. Kaufmann’s term):  namely, a love of liberty.  The cultural revolutionaries themselves hold to a version of it–they demand sexual freedom–and the original protesters of George Floyd’s killing were quite commendably demanding the protection of civil liberties for Black Americans.  This love of freedom, in fact, unites all Americans despite all of their differences.  And I think it will ultimately thwart the efforts of social control–including limiting free speech, the freedom religion, and the freedom of thinking– that the more radical progressives would like to impose on all Americans.
Again I agree with him, Americans have built too solid a structure of liberty and individual freedom for this to work, now or at any time I can conceive in the future. Sadly, that does not preclude the breaking of eggs, like Fr Haake, but is far more likely to lead to a horrid mess on the kitchen floor than anything resembling an omelet.
Something else BLM/Antifa, as well as our so-called cultural elites, should consider, is that as my less properly spoken friends are wont to say.

“Paybacks are a bitch!”

A Time for Heroes

MC da Silva at American Thinker had some thoughts to share about Mike Gundy the Head Football coach at Oklahoma State University.

To be honest, I actually lost some sleep over the Mike Gundy video earlier last week. Maybe you’ve seen it — the video where the Oklahoma State University football coach is seen apologizing for the offense of wearing a shirt bearing the logo of the conservative news company OANN.

It was a disturbing scene with the coach robotically parroting the talking points of the delicate running back who originally took issue with the offending piece of apparel.

It’s reminiscent of a hostage video of a captured US soldier. Either that or something out of a cartoon villain’s mind control experiment. You can practically see the spirals in his eyes.

Beyond the bizarre visuals, the most disturbing thing about this was the fact that an ostensible adult and leader could be brought to heel by his subordinate — an early adult many years his junior — by something as meaningless and inconsequential as the running back’s tender feelings.

It represented yet another example of the plague of institutional failures spreading over our country. It is no longer limited to just classrooms, the media, government, and their globalist corporate overlords.

Today, we are faced with the crumbling of institutions such as the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, the Pentagon, professional sports, and, now apparently, even college sports.

The athletic field is where we instill in our young men the most important lessons of masculine behavior. Play fair, respect your opponent, be gracious in victory and proud in defeat.

If the scene at Oklahoma is anything to go by, the institution of sports has also fallen.

Yet there undoubtedly a silver lining to this terrifying turn of events:

The stakes are now real.

Take it from someone who has volunteered to serve our country: the path of courage is a source of enormous personal satisfaction.

Read it all, and mind, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with his using of himself as an example, for our soldiers have always epitomized this. But for once, I didn’t think of a soldier, my mind went back to my youth in Indiana and basketball. [Yes, I was a jock, and always a fan.] Dr. James Naismith, who said. “While the game was invented in Massachusetts, basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport.” It still does.

I immediately thought of “The Coach”, John Wooden of UCLA, born in Hall, Indiana, first three-time consensus All-American player, the first inductee into the College Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. and so many more honors that you can (and should) read about at Wikipedia. Truly legendary.

I grew up in the era of Branch McCracken’s Hurrying Hoosiers at IU, and Rick Mount at Purdue, who was the leading scorer that memorable day when Purdue defeated Indiana 120-76. So it wasn’t that we didn’t have teams close at hand to watch. But we saw the Boilermakers lose two straight NCAA championships to the Lew Alcindor led Bruins. We noticed.

The Coach’s overall record of 664–162 (80.4%), including his two years at Indiana State and at UCLA, tells you much. Wasn’t much shame in losing to the team that had ten consecutive NCAA championships. Or to the man who refused to participate in the 1947 National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB) tournament because they wouldn’t allow black players.

But what I really thought of is his legacy, of a man in control of himself, in fact, that is the legacy he himself would have chosen I think. On the official Coach Wooden website, you can read of his pyramid of success (you should, in fact). But I’ll highlight a few:

Loyalty is part of our higher nature and it is also part of the nature of leaders who achieve higher goals. The power of Loyalty is the reason I placed it in the center of the Pyramid’s foundation.

A leader who has Loyalty is the leader whose team I wish to be a part of. This is true almost everywhere. Most people, the overwhelming majority of us, wish to be in an organization or part of a team whose leadership cares about them, provides fairness and respect, dignity and consideration.

Loyalty from the top inspires Loyalty from below. It is a most precious and powerful commodity and it starts with the leader.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

Getting to the top and staying there (somewhat different tasks) present unique and formidable challenges. To do either requires great Self-Control. This characteristic within the Pyramid of Success addresses the importance of controlling yourself in all areas – avoiding temptations, avoiding emotionalism, avoiding peaks and valleys of effort.

I viewed Self-Control, both personal and by our team, as a sixth Bruin on the court during my years at UCLA. That invisible sixth player was as important as any of the visible players.

I like to remind those under my supervision: “Control yourself so others won’t have to do it for you.”

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

There is no stronger steel than well-founded belief in yourself; the knowledge that your preparation is fully complete and that you are ready for the competition.

Confidence cannot be grafted on artificially. True abiding confidence is earned through tenaciously pursuing and attaining those assets that allow you to reach your own level of competency; that is, excellence.

You must monitor Confidence because it can easily turn into arrogance which then can lead to the mistaken and destructive belief that previous achievement will be repeated without the same hard effort that brought it about in the first place.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

All from the website. Do check it out. No man was ever more successful and respected in his field than The Coach, he has been since the sixties, one of my heroes, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

And remember this too:

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” ― John Wooden

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