ITEM: The University of Maryland marching band has only this week dispensed with playing the state song, which they say is pro-confederacy and openly racist. This according to The Hill. Only no one there actually bothered to find out what those lyrics were, or note that Maryland was never a part of the confederacy. Adopted as the state song in 1939, it is from an 1861 poem by an ex-pat Marylander living in New Orleans at the outbreak of the Civil War. This means that since 1939 school children had sung this song in classrooms, and sports fans stood and sang the lyrics at sporting events, all the way into the modern era, long after Maryland schools and colleges had been desegregated, beginning as early as 1951. 80 years.
I don’t know if the Maryland lyrics were altered after 1951. In Kentucky “My Old Kentucky Home” – a famous Stephen Collins Foster song, had one line most would consider to be offensive that had to be culled and changed, to “this summer the people are gay” – sometime in the late 1960s. (Not sure if they ever had to fix that “gay” part later on.)
Oh, the song should go, no doubt about it, but it should have been gone in 1951, when the University first admitted black students, not just as a university band song, but as the state song.
Why it wasn’t gone is the topic of this discussion, for it defines, and has defined at least since the 1930s, what purports to be state and university officials tone deafness to the zeitgeist of the time, not to mention their prime directive. The University of Maryland, like so many others since the 1970s, had morphed into the paragon of liberal elitism, political correctness growing on them like acne on a 13-year old in a candy store, yet was indifferent to the incongruities that lay at their feet in the offices they had inherited.
They missed it because they never actually cared. Indifference.
If they actually cared about the liberal sensitivities of the student body, and wanted to prevent the curvature of the spine that accompanies conservative thinking, or moral certainties associated with religion, that song would have found the dustbin by 1954.
Still, here it is, 63 years later, still the state song, and how many university chancellors, how many band directors, how many Department of Political Correctness administrators since 1993, how many sports fans, or black kids in Baltimore, had stood and sung that song without ever once paying attention to the offensive words?
Well, we all know why now. But why not over the past 40 years when the liberal guardians of public morality were still young and zealous about the race-righteous mission?
The lesson to be learned is this: Imagine if a 1000 Maryland citizens dressed in their finest business suits and dresses, then marched up to the doors of the president of the University, then stopped, and reached inside a pocket and pulled forth a black bandana, then tied it on, then marched inside the administration building with a list of demands, among them, that the state song be preserved. What would the university do right now, in 2017?
In all likelihood they would do the same had 1000 citizens marched on the same office in 1951 demanding the state song be banished. They would have bent to the mob.
This tells us much about both the native cowardice and the native laziness of certain types of officials in the public sector. They are called “bureaucrats.” Had John Cleese taken this simple theme and turned it into a comedy, he’d be in his 35th year as the number one show on Public Television.
* * * * *
This observation deserves sober scholarly inquiry, and someday perhaps a group like Heritage Foundation will take a serious look as to why bureaucratic organizations become empty vessels about the ethos, their Prime Directive, for which they were established, and why the Left has a natural advantage in the contest for their souls…then ergo, why the Founders instinctively understood this condition of Man and tried to design a national system that would always be able to step on this impulse simply by employing the Will of the People as the ultimate Prime Directive.
Why I tell the story above about the University of Maryland is that Ayn Rand described how a kid named Mario Savio, in 1964, could lead a student takeover of the University of California at Berkeley administration building under the pretense of a Free Speech Movement, and then, once done, hand the ball off to dozens of radical groups with lesser and lesser claims of “liberal” legitimacy all because, no matter how shallow and inane those subsequent claimants were, the university administration had no counter-belief system, so acquiesced.
They surrendered because they believed in nothing higher than their own preservation.
Then the 2017 cancellation of Milo Yiannopoulos’ and Ann Coulter’ speeches on the same campus, and on the same topic as Savio’s in ’64, Free Speech, brought UC-Berkeley full circle, proving their indifference to free speech or the general purposes of a college education.
Knowing this could be to our advantage if we have educational reform in mind.
How to stage a “hoolie in the kitchen”
Since this first step requires a good number of people to get up off their couch and take that first step, I think it best to tell this part of the plot as if it were being conducted by a modern Coxey’s Army, with jutted jaws and mean looks in the eye, and just a hint of shillelagh law in our intentions. Thanks to Mario Savio and Antifa, we already know bureaucratic regimes respond in predictable ways to this sort of posturing.
For enthusiasm in this endeavor, I much prefer the wicked imagery of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, (The Intellectual, Yet Idiot), and for content the unholy war in which Donald Trump finds himself immersed, and which he largely inspired, and by many accounts, has carried out in a most unholy way.
What has been revealed before our eyes is a veritable gold mine of information about how various institutions react to outside agencies, most of which we’ve seen develop over at least 50 years,
The problem that needs to be addressed first:
Providing a Functional Education for the Unspanked Child, K-12 thru college.
The assumption going forward is that every child, by the time he/she/ or it reaches 8th grade, if the parents have not been arrested for child abuse, visited by Child Welfare Services, or actually removed from the home and placed in foster care, is presumed “unspanked.”
Of course, every professional in the school systems believe this to be untrue, and that sneaky parents are simply getting away with it, probably by using Disney board books (as I did), large, 9 x 12 (for a good grip), thin, under 100 pages, for a great sting, and a beautiful “whop” sound. Stings like hell, and the red butt goes away much faster than the memory of the sting. Apply when needed. And make sure to wear the stern countenance of a gallows executioner, taking no joy in your ministrations.
And yes, I know many people even from my generation who believed that the mildest of swats with the hand on the backside to be child abuse. In many jurisdictions the law even recognizes this. But as counter-evidence I give the bulk of Antifa on the one side, and the hordes of witless Kat Timpfs at Fox News or Captain Kneepants at The Blaze, or writing for Esquire, GQ, HuffPo or Yahoo News, to prove just what the absence of sting on the butt has bequeathed to society, pretending to be the natural heirs to “our best and brightest.”
From the top down we know there will never be a solution to the education problem. It must come from the bottom. From the people…with a mean look in their eyes, if necessary.
Spoiled generation, in any language still spells cultural disaster. See Europe. And the Left, who plays long ball, knows this, because they drew up the plans for this decline in the first place. They know that for every one my age (70+) who dies in the not too distant future, will be replaced by a Kat Timpf or Captain Kneepants, who, no matter their political dispositions, carry implanted Pavlovian responses which will almost always answer the dog-whistle, once tweeted. I think this already explains the intellectual shift of modern conservatism, and the inability of younger conservatives to fully grasp the rise of a voting public they have no personal relationship with or recollection about, so see as banal and stupid instead of what the Founders deemed them to be and the reason the Constitution was written in the first place.
Thus the Constitution is at risk.
I’d hoped the friars at Mount St Heritage would consider this to be an existential threat at the intellectual end of conservatism, and move to snuff it out. But this is a call to action, not a call to discuss.
Bureaucrats do not design systems, they manage them. Any system that employs, as a foundation for its design, an ethos, such as the national purpose for public education, or in another area, say, national security, will lose 50% of the zeal for that mission in the first generation; a bureaucratic generation being approximately 20 years. The Soviet Union had proved this “law” by 1940, the Chinese communists by 1970. Academicians still debate whether it was Marxism or bureaucratism (Homo bureaucraticus) that killed the USSR. American leftists of Hillary’s youth even argued it was the coarse nature of the Russian national character (Homo rus) that caused the USSR to fail as a model of Marxism.
My money has always been on bureaucratism, for there is some uncontrollable aspect of the bureaucratic culture, once established, that causes it to place the survival of the organization over the original mission that brought it into being. No bureaucracy will willingly put itself out of business, which at one time, was a defining difference between the government bureaucracy and the private sector bureaucracy. In the private sector, one could re-organize, fire everyone, or start over, or simply fail, go out of business. But always to be replaced. That was always one of the marvels of the free market system
This is why we know any state-based bureaucratic-regime always, as a law of nature, must fail (catastrophically) once it has spent up all available assets to perpetuate itself, which is why the Founders placed the power of government in the people as the board of directors of the enterprise.
Similarly the elected bodies of government (Congress) had also taken on the aspects of a voting board of directors, speaking for the people, but over time talking one the aspect of the bureaucracy, having turned their interests away from the people and more toward their own perpetuation. This is not new. What we see today in 2017, Frank Capra saw in Washington in 1939 when he filmed “Mr Smith Goes to Washington.” About the senators then, their club, their donor base, the press, even a starry-eyed kid who suddenly found himself a senator. Capra presented Jefferson Smith as a mirror hope, not cynicism, as he would appear today.
Many people blame FDR and his New Deal for changing Washington, by bureaucratizing America using still unproven socialist models from Europe; Europe now dying a slow, lingering cultural death because of it. But structurally the urge had been in Washington from the beginning. Give a man and a desk and a purpose and in a blink of an eye, he will have five desks, then ten, so long as he can create a need for the money to purchase the additional desks.
Until FDR, the people had always said “No.”
The problem going forward for American government was that the people kept it so damnably small.
That lack of power over the people at both the national and state level was a constant burr in government’s saddle. It was not until the 1960s, in my era, that the federal government, and through its money to the many states, could get any control over the content of education in America. Until then, the hottest ticket in every small town was the PTA meeting, where citizens sometimes stormed in to ask why their kids couldn’t read better? The voters set every school’s priorities, and principal among those were that their children could leave home with the basic skills to make their way in the working world as adults.
The same was true at public universities, where schools were budgeted (by the people) to provide core curricula for students to leave university as better citizens (what a novel concept), ostensibly to become the leaders of tomorrow, especially in the private sector (since government pay wasn’t all that good, again, what a novel concept), and to become better citizens, even community leaders. Universities were actually geared to provide the marketplace with qualified applicants for jobs in every private sector pursuit as defined by the marketplace. I’m still looking for the private sector job that requires a degree in Women’s Studies.
Some people go to university to follow their dreams, while others go to follow their appetites. The later usually end up at the cellphone counter at Best Buy or going door to door selling auto insurance, working for a woman named Flo.
Eschewing insurance sales, by the late 1960s, far too many of America’s wealthier children chose political activism as their chosen vocation, steered by degrees in sociology, political science, or underwater basket-weaving. In 1968 they tried to burn down Chicago, some even retreating into basements to build bombs, to emerge after a short stint in prison, to teach Sociology at very fine universities. Today many make up the core cadres of Antifa.
What weds the two generations is the nihilism or alienism they were taught at university, (I recall when Hillary was still involved in the Watergate Commission, before she was fired, Bill Buckley’s “National Review” – not to be confused with its current iteration, referred to her type as “alienists” – a term I generally like.)
These career tracks must end, at least on the public dime. Every university is infested with them. Make them pay full fare at Amherst, so that they won’t infect the children of regular Americans.
Because of our free elections the American system of government had been slower to bend to this way of thinking and the worldwide trend that appears to be fascistic in aspect. But in recent years, purposefully by Democrats, and by a kind of class-neglect of Establishment Republicans, described above, we have been accelerating toward a two-tiered society of rulers and drones.
Still what we know from this short walk through history is that every good thing that has happened in America has been because the people demanded it, or, in many cases, denied it. With the election of Donald Trump it was both.
We know that for the most part all good things have come from the bottom up and most of the bad things have come from the top down. Today a large portion of government, because of the election of Donald Trump, now sees the people, the voters, as the greatest threat to their security and perpetuation as the managers of this great enterprise. The die is cast.
I’ll simply summarize here what you might find of interest for later inquiry and discussion.
1: “The People” are the only national security risk the bureaucracy considers real.
The gestation period of going from a constitutional-believing Mr Smith goes to Washington to a corrupt, soulless, self-aggrandizing thief…is getting smaller and smaller now. Members are conditioned that “money matters first” as the key to wealth and security in their later years. In such an environment, “Leader” takes on an entirely different meaning, if you are seeking answers to the mystery of McConnell or Ryan.
3: So then, There is no top-down solution.
4: “Tommy sees”:
As Kipling noted in “Tommy Atkins”, ordinary people “see” – and can do simple math. So, now, when the people apply certain kinds of pressure, we know with almost mathematical certainly how state legislatures, university administrators, city and county governments, and their various boards of education, not to mention every Fortune 500 board of directors, will respond. All we have to do is do it.
5: All we have to do is put on the bandanas and march.
6. Protecting History
The Left believes, no matter what our gains in the next 20-30 years, to restore America (MAGA) we will die off soon and be replaced by a generation, then in their 40s-50s, who will overturn most of our gains. Remember, they play long ball. Then, IF they still control the universities, they can erase what we’ve done and simply rewrite the history of this period, and tell future generations we never existed. This is why the statue removal movement is so important, since the Democrats of today want to erase all memory that those Confederate generals were all Democrats, and the KKK-Jim Crow politicians who erected those statues were all Democrats, under the protection of one of the most racist presidents of all time, Woodrow Wilson.
So saving our Education System and History should come first. It is a thing in which you call can participate, and on a local level, requiring no Twitter, or even Facebook.
7. First Targets
A. Local school curricula
B. University core curriculum
Just remember, these are the Good Times, and be thankful to be alive that you can continue to play such a key role in making America free again.
Publications: Famous Common People I Have Known and Other Essays
(Both books in Kindle format only, Publishers and agents welcome, as both need to revised)
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