Monday, October 28, 2013

Progressive Fantasies, Civil Rights Scams

Originally published at 

It was a cliche during the '30s that the wealthy were Marxists, the middle class were conservatives and the poor were Democrats.

The upper class and the lower class have more in common with each other than either has with the middle class. Both the upper and lower classes value comfort and leisure above all else—except sports, both adore unearned wealth, both are extraordinarily self-aware and cohesive, both think themselves gifted and blameless, both scorn education, both make ostentatious display of such affluence as they have, or pretend to have, and neither shrinks from any criminal enterprise they think they can get away with. The industrious and law-abiding middle class supports both and has the respect of neither.

In the Depression of the '30s the middle class found itself in a train wreck economy, lived by the hard rules of deprivation, resisted anything that would dishonor them or their family, then faced the hardships and horrors of a world war. In the good years that followed they built the prosperous America of legend and righted wrongs which had seemed intractable, at no one's bidding but their own and at considerable cost to themselves.

The Progressive narrative turns the middle class's innate good will against them by demanding they be answerable for their success, as if they were beneficiaries of a theft, as if they were also responsible for those who mocked every opportunity and blamed others for the consequences. Those who the middle class is told to "answer to" are those who sit uninvited at their table and complain of the condiments. Amazingly, in the end, the makers and movers of real, tangible wealth stood maligned and displaced by those who did neither and despised those who did. It was a poisoning of the common well, and done in the name of justice.

In the broadest, deepest sense possible the putative demand for equality during the Civil Rights Era was a scam. Equality was a ranging shot, then a pose, now a marker for crypto racism, somehow. The middle class wasn't so much enlisted as borrowed. Now, step by step, the true intent of this particular swindle becomes clear. Who will claim we recovered more civil rights than we lost? Who will claim America is better off for it? For the beneficiaries, and there are beneficiaries, the down side is profound but not obvious. There is no surer way to create an enduring, transgenerational enemy than to betray the trust and good will of the middle class. Faithlessness has consequences proportional to the cause, it shapes events far into the future. The middle class can be defrauded, belittled and beaten down but it endures and it remembers.

The Progressive narrative also excuses its authors, those who imagine themselves Citizens Of The World and emphasize it with contempt for the middle class. Generally it takes the form of fraud, Al Gore's global warming for instance, all the more popular with Progressives for being an amusing ruse perpetrated on the townies. Some contempt is more stark than even this. Adam Kredo at theWashington Free Beacon reports a top Muslim Brotherhood official, one Gehad el-Haddad, served for five years as a top official at the Clinton Foundation. Outrage will be met with chatter of ecumenicalism or special knowledge. It may be a thrilling moment for the benighted and the interns, but for the rest of us it's another vector confirming our suspicions.

Much of the fraud perpetrated on the middle class takes the form of "investing in the future". As with Wimpy of Thimble Theatre, the investment part means now, the future part means never. Investment is invoked where maintenance would suffice, in education for instance. It isn't as if effective teaching is an elusive, secret skill. It's more a case of "you can't find what you're not looking for." Western education has roughly a thousand years of experience to draw upon. Not coincidentally, its success peaked at about the same time Progressive Education began to take hold. And education's been in an every-other-Monday crisis mode ever since.

The billions spent annually for their serial fantasies would be better applied to reincarnating the staff of any Normal School of the late nineteenth century. As it is, roofing funds are diverted to hire directors and assistants of this and that while rainwater drips in the classrooms as a photo-op for feature writers specializing in stories of underfunded schools.
Cui bono? It may not be who you think. Classic education, which is to say education, is a threat to the ruling class. Elite universities educate the reliable, their students having been properly vetted, but public schools and universities are outright anti-education enterprises.

Mopping up the incorrigible is assigned to the NSA, DHS, et al. Fantasy is their queen bee, no threat is trivial, and education threatens the Progressive narrative like nothing else. For one, it's never "different this time" so they can't own the present without rewriting the past. As for surveillance, DC isn't looking for traffickers in plans for nuclear submarines, DC needs to know how much we understand and limit the damage.

Alas, reality is the mean to which fantasy regresses. Contrary to the fantasizers, reality isn't in need of seeking out and defining by them or anyone else, it's reality which does the seeking out, it's reality which does the defining, and it has an unchanging lesson: that which can't work, won't work. Reality is seeking out and defining the Progressives even now. Today we resist them at the cost of our livelihoods. In time it will be a curiosity. Only reality endures, it alone truly commands. The productive answer the helm. Those who don't are a danger to the survival of civilization.