Introduction to the Philosophy Seminar – Part 2

In the second part of his lecture, Mr. De Carvalho discusses the concept of progress and lack of progress when applied to societies and history and begins to outline the true nature of philosophy as education for understanding real life problems.

 

Student: In an interview you gave to the Atlântico magazine, you said that instead of dividing the political spectrum into right-wing and left-wing, we should try to classify political movements as revolutionary and counter-revolutionary, because this latter pair of concepts enables us to see, for example, that some political positions and movements usually regarded as right-wing are actually revolutionary and thus belong together with left-wing movements—something which escapes our view when we use the usual definitions of left and right. Regarding this problem you have been addressing so far, have you developed another key to understanding the problem of progress, something like your concepts of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary?

Olavo: No, I have not. What I am doing is merely splitting apart a pair of concepts and saying that they do not form a pair of opposites in reality. More accurately, only at the level of vocabulary—only semantically speaking―, is backwardness the opposite of progress. In historical reality, there is no such thing as a phenomenon of backwardness which is the contrary of progress. Even if in our minds we conceive of progress as a forward movement and backwardness as backward movement, the fact is we know that in reality time never moves backwards and that it is impossible for it to do so. Now, let us examine the expressions “advanced societies” and “backward societies” in light of this. It is obvious that the current conditions of any society can get worse, but they cannot literally go back to a prior state because the present conditions of a society include all their prior states. Some people say: “Oh no, we’re going back to the Stone Age!” But being born in the Stone Age is one thing, and having to live with Stone Age instruments after having known all the technology we have today is quite another. This is not going back to the Stone Age. This is something totally different; this is deterioration, not backwardness.

From this it is evident that this simple pair of concepts, progress and backwardness, are among the most frequently-used, most imaginatively powerful, and most entrenched ideas in our culture; and they can keep people from understanding a significant number of historical processes. That is to say, if people judge historical processes in terms of progress or backwardness, they will never be able to grasp the reality of what they are considering.

Wanting to become intellectuals, historians, philosophers, and so on, the poor and naive students will naturally apply to and eventually enter universities. The problem is that as they gain entry into the world of high culture, they will receive a severe impact of a huge network of intellectual blinders. Of course, they will also get a lot of positive knowledge, but when we compare the sum total of material knowledge they learned, the whole of the content they acquired at university, with the system of concepts that organize this knowledge, we see that the latter is always more powerful. Why? Because the contents and their organizing concepts relate to each other as form relates to matter, in the Aristotelian sense of these words, and because it is the form of a body of knowledge that determines what this knowledge means.

Now, the study of philosophy has precisely the purpose of enabling you to create your own network of concepts according to the actual needs of the quest for knowledge and not according to pre-established social ends, which are rather focused on the creation, expansion, and conservation of cultural fashions. Philosophy is an instrument for the creation of conceptual structures capable of comprehending and transcending the structures of the cultural fashions that prevail at the moment. In this sense, philosophy is a powerful instrument of deculturation. So, since your task is to try to see beyond the horizon of the culture in which you live, the first thing you need in order to be able to do this is to learn how to retrieve the lost cognitive and intellective possibilities from times past.

How do you restore these possibilities? In the first place, you must have the necessary materials at your disposal, that is, the texts and documents that tell you exactly what happened in the periods of the past you are studying. Next, you must use your imagination to try to understand—note well—not the authors of the past as they understood themselves but rather your own situation as those authors would understand it if they were alive.

You cannot study Plato, for example, from the viewpoint of the contemporary culture because you will never understand him. Why? Because, in addition to that series of important cultural mutations that took place in the twentieth century, we are now going through a gigantic transformation in our society, a transformation determined by a factor called “technology.”

The impact of technology on modern society and culture has been only gradually perceived and integrated into human consciousness, and, strictly speaking, we are not yet living in a technological civilization, because technology does not decide and determine all social processes, although it determines a great and significant number of them. But there are still a lot of things that are based on processes which have nothing to do with technology. For example, consider the fact that in our society there is a large number of religious people and that these people live, partially at least, within a cultural environment upon which technology has little or no influence at all because it simply has nothing to do with religion.

However, it is one thing to live in an environment where people believe in the existence of a God who has created the world and who is going to drive the process of history until it reaches a certain goal—the end of the world and the passage of all things into eternity. Now, it is quite another to live in a culture where everything is a matter of technology. And the fact is that as the impact of technology on society gets stronger, our culture tends to consider all matters in the light of technology.

The first and most immediate consequence of this is that everything that lies beyond the reach of technological action ends up falling beyond the reach of people’s imagination as well. (When I say “immediate,” however, I do not mean that this effect occurs without any delay, since several decades, at least, may be necessary for it to take place.) Because if technology becomes the main lens through which we view reality, then, sooner or later we will end up only thinking about those things which fall within the grasp of technology or which will supposedly fall within the grasp of technology in the future. This means that, in a sense, the realm of human action (in its material sense) becomes the ultimate horizon of reality and that nothing exists beyond it.

It is evident that the territory which falls within the grasp of man’s technological agency is vast. For instance, we may expect that someday all currently existing diseases will be cured by technological means. This has not happened yet, but we may fairly expect it will, and it is a fact that people have hopes that it will indeed happen. When people contract a disease for which there is no cure yet, what do they usually do? They sit tight and hope that, within two, three, four, five, ten, or twenty years, a cure for their disease will be found. For example, I think that all the HIV-positive people in the world entertain this kind of hope. So, as I was saying, there is indeed a realm of existence which can be affected by man’s technological action and this realm is very large. However, when technology is understood as the key to existence, then, quite naturally, all that lies beyond the theoretical possibility of technological action ceases to attract people’s interest. The world, seen from this viewpoint, becomes a sort of laboratory for us to conduct our experiments (which, of course, may go right or wrong), and everything that cannot be tested through experimentation ceases to be of any interest for us.

As a consequence, all those dimensions of existence upon which technology cannot act in any way are viewed as nonexistent or irrelevant—an example of this is the phenomenon of death. Nowadays people cannot seriously think about death, only about how to postpone it, which is actually thinking about how to extend human life, or how to prolong human existence. Prolonging human existence is indeed a technological possibility, and more than that, it is a possibility that technology has been able to realize so far. But what about death itself? The fact is that sooner or later, we are all going to die, that death is part of the structure of reality, and that no life-prolonging technology can possibly change this structure. And because the phenomenon of death cannot be affected by technology, because the reality of death lies beyond the reach of technological action, the concept of death is not integrated into our society and we live in a culture where death has no place. For centuries death was one of the most predominant themes in culture, but now, suddenly, the topic of death is gone. People do not talk about it anymore; they only talk about health, about extending life, about eliminating pain, and so on.

When you set out on a quest for high culture in a cultural situation like that, you start your intellectual journey with a huge blind spot in your field of vision, because an entire dimension of reality is invisible for you, as if it has never existed.

Now, the study of high culture and philosophy can help you recover the vision of those lost dimensions of reality, that is, it can help you become capable of imagining that which is not usually imaginable in your own culture. The problem is that acquiring high culture is often identified with acquiring the credentials necessary to obtain government authorization to enter the teaching or the researching profession. This poses a problem for all those who seek to acquire high culture. For it is one thing to want to acquire high culture in order to be able to understand reality, and specially the reality of history, of civilization, of human existence throughout the ages. It is quite another thing to want to acquire high culture in order to be able to practice this or that profession. In fact, these two uses of high culture are not just different, but opposed to each other, because you will have to adapt yourself to the present culture to the utmost, if you want to be able to represent high culture professionally.

This is why I consider the academic institution to be the worst enemy of higher studies nowadays and why I have remained on the fringes of academia all my life. I have always feared it because I knew it did not strengthen people’s consciousness to enable them to understand reality, but rather molded their minds to enable them to perform certain social roles. Besides, I have also noticed that the social role of the academic and the scientific profession can be so hostile to a true understanding of reality that even the best minds, to the extent they strive to adapt and be successful in those professions, have to maim themselves intellectually so as not to say things that would be incomprehensible or shocking in their professional environments. Of course, there are exceptions to this. There are people who are able to have an academic career and still remain in touch with reality, but they are very scarce.

While I was watching “Voegelin in Toronto” — the DVD of a 1978 conference at York University in which Eric Voegelin participated as a lecturer and panelist—, I came to the realization that if you compared what Voegelin had to say to what the other participants had to say, you would find that while Voegelin was talking about realities, they were discussing typical academic topics of philosophy. And they were no ordinary professors, but first-rate philosophers like Bernard Lonergan and Hans-George Gadamer, among others. Voegelin, however, sounded so strikingly different from them that I think they could not really understand what he was saying, because it was too grave and too serious.

We can never forget that universities are schools, and that school education does not pose real-life challenges to students, but it is merely designed to afford theoretical teaching and practical training to students. In this sense, a school is like, for instance, a military academy, where students do battle exercises, go through shooting training, and so on and so forth, but they do not go to real wars or shoot their classmates. In this sense, a school, or a military academy “non é una cosa seria,” as Pirandello says. That is to say, it is not a serious thing. For things only get serious when you see some actual combat. There, in the battlefield, the enemy is not trying to teach you anything, he just wants to kill you. So a soldier who has a good military training and a soldier who has combat experience are worlds apart.

This means that everything that is adapted to suit a school education mindset is merely an imitation of real situations and processes. In short, academic and school education simulate reality. And they always do it from a safe distance, since students and teachers are confined behind walls that protect them from reality. Because of academic freedom, for example, a student or teacher cannot be held accountable for what he says. Now, if you are a politician, a minister, or the head of a company, everything that you say has consequences. But if you are a teacher or a student, little of what you say has consequences, since most of what is said during a class is said for the sake of learning. In the classroom, for example, a teacher can teach the exact opposite of what he truly believes. If he wants to do it, there is really nothing to keep him from doing so. Because ultimately what a teacher says to his pupils has always a didactic purpose and therefore is tentative, experimental, provisional. Nothing that he says is definitive, so to speak.

Now, if you want to understand the reality of what is happening now in politics, society, and culture, you have to remember, first of all, that reality does not fit curricular and disciplinary requirements. In other words, it is just not possible to reduce reality to a scheme of standardized approaches that correspond to the names of the various disciplines and to the curricular gradations of education. Let me give you an illustration of the irreducibility of reality to the exigencies of academic study. Think of any war. Nowhere can you find a war perfectly adequate to the exigencies of, say, a War 101 college course, another war that fits the purposes of a War 102 course, and a third one that is perfectly suited to War 103. No, actual wars do not come already adapted to fit different course levels. Likewise, there are no wars suited for the methods of the science of economy, nor wars tailor-made for the purposes of sociology, nor wars adapted for the study of political science. The reality of war is one and the same for every science. However, let us say I am a political scientist and I have to teach a course on war for freshmen in a university. In that case, I will have to select from the concrete reality of war only those elements that match my discipline. That is to say, I will have to shape the phenomenon of war according to the requirements of political science rather than according to the requirements of the objective reality of war. This means that the more the academic institution grows and expands, the more it becomes an essential instrument of subdivided professional departments serving societies immediate practical needs, and the less it serves the purposes of the quest for knowledge.

That is a real tragedy—the great tragedy of the twentieth century. In the last few decades, not only in Brazil, but everywhere, the universities, rather than being centers for the education of first rate intellectuals, have become hubs of political recruiting, of training of political activists to defend the most stupid ideas in the universe. Nowadays, virtually no first rate intellectuals are well integrated into the academic milieu. In every field, the best are always at least slightly out of place in that environment or have a conflicting relationship with it. Besides, we should never forget that the university is an educational institution for the masses, not for the elite, and also that anyone in the amorphous mass of university students can earn a bachelor’s degree, become a Ph.D., a professor, etc. What is worse, nowadays most people think they have a right to earn a college degree, as if this were one of the fundamental rights of man, which, of course, makes the coordination between academic education and the quest for knowledge even more difficult. Now, please note that so far I have been only talking about a problem that pertains to the structure of academic education, a flaw that is inherent in the very nature of academia, and I have not brought into the picture the possibility of deliberate academic censure and boycott (which are things that indeed happen in colleges, universities and research institutes). Worse than that, this academic wickedness is actually a reflection of that structural problem, which means that even if academics were as honest as they could be, the very structure of academic education would still be problematic. However, the fact is that, academics, for multiple reasons—internal power struggles, maintenance of the prestige of the academic class, and the like—do not always behave honestly. So, when we put together the obstacles to the pursuit of knowledge that derive from the structure of academia and the malice and wickedness that exist in there, the result we get is the end of the knowledge of reality.

This means that, in an academic environment, the possibility of carrying out a serious investigation into the true reality of things is virtually nil, except for those who are geniuses, who have such impressive personalities that nobody dares to mess with them. These people are allowed to do what they want, for both their students and colleagues think them crazy and find it best not to mess with them. This was, for example, the case of Eric Voegelin. Because people were afraid of him, they did not try to stop him from doing what he wanted, but they kept a distance away from him. In fact, they did not understand much of what Voegelin was talking about. For example, there is a famous anecdote about Voegelin’s first lecture at the University of Munich. Among the attendees were some of the greatest German intellectuals, including Ralf Dahrendorf, the most eminent political scientist at that time. But Dahrendorf, after he had heard Voegelin’s lecture, confessed he was perplexed by it and said he could not understand a word of what Voegelin had said: “He did not talk at all about the Constitution, about human rights, and things like that. I do not understand, what sort of political science is that? He was talking about something else altogether, and I do not know what that something is.” The fact that Voegelin was never understood in the German academy did not result in any form of boycott against him, but had he been any less rigorous a person, he would have been crushed by the German academic environment. Voegelin eventually got fed up with German academics and decided to go back to the United States, leaving all his German students at a complete loss, because for them, Voegelin was a light in the darkness. But the truth is that Voegelin could not take—who would imagine this?—the mediocrity of the German university.

Another amazing thing about the universities is that they usually maintain their prestige long after they have lost their intellectual vigor, just like mummies. An illustration of this is that almost anywhere in the world people still think that the German universities are great universities, as if we were still living in the 1920s. A similar phenomenon takes place here in the United States when somebody mentions Harvard in a conversation, in spite of the fact that nowadays Harvard is nothing more than a training school for leftist activism. People praise Obama, for instance, because he once was the president of the Harvard Law Review—which is nowadays nothing but a periodical of the extreme left, a magazine for semi-illiterate people, but which still retains the prestige conferred upon it in the old days. A quite curious thing is the fact that those who contributed the most toward the destruction of the academic institution—the leftist activists of the 1960s—are the ones who benefit today from the prestige of those universities they themselves have helped to destroy. This is plainly a usurpation. It is like murdering a person to take over his position and title, just like in Alexandre Dumas’ “The Man in the Iron Mask.”

This course—in fact, not only this course, but all that I do in education—has been designed to give an answer to the following problem: What exactly should you do if you want to study history, culture, philosophy, religion, and so on, “in order to know things as they really are,” as Leopold Von Ranke put it, regardless of whether you were ever able to use that knowledge in an academic profession or not, and regardless of the risk that you might become incomprehensible if you succeeded in gaining such knowledge? If you have the courage to take on this challenge, you can attain knowledge of things as they really are, you can attain objective knowledge of reality. But, take note: the more you know, the more you know things that others do not. So, right from the start, knowing more is knowing things that others do not know, and thus the more you know, the less understood you will be by those who do not know. If you want to pay that price, if you think knowledge is worth it, those are the first things you have to bear in mind. Personally, I think knowledge is worth it. I have devoted my life to the pursuit of knowledge and I do not regret it in the least. Quite to the contrary, I think it is great. However, over the years, I had to learn not to expect to be comprehended by the ignorant, for they simply cannot understand me. Also, bear in mind that if you really want to be a serious scholar and not only viewed as such by the ignoramuses who pretend to be scholars, you will have to engage in a series of practices and follow a number of protocols of learning which will allow you to get where you want. This is what I have been doing all my life and is what I would like to teach others to do.

So, when I start thinking about a problem, I want an actual answer for it. Ranke’s sentence, “I want to know things as they really are,” is always on my mind, and I truly believe human intelligence is capable of attaining this kind of knowledge. However, the “things as they really are” are not necessarily the same as people like to imagine they are. Besides, when you find out the truth about the past, for example, your new knowledge changes your view about people who live in the present, that is, you start looking at them from a different perspective. Also, you become able to make comparisons between the past and the present according to a significantly larger scale of reference, and as a result things that may be novelties to other people may be not so new to you, because you may have points of comparison which other people do not have. As a consequence of your accumulated historical knowledge, you will know beforehand that many of those high hopes people usually entertain are not going to lead anywhere. Also, a terrible thing may happen to you: once you have understood a series of processes, once you have acquired a large measure of philosophical and historical culture, it may happen that people do not really want to hear your opinion, because they would rather cling to their prejudices and silly ideas. Let me tell you that this is not at all uncommon: it does happen all the time, putting you in a rather awkward position.

Let me tell you a story to illustrate my point. There was this one time when I was walking down a street and came across an old lady who had fallen down to the ground and was laying there, wiggling and squealing in a fit of hysteria—I even thought she was having an epileptic seizure. As I reached out to help her get back up on her feet, she started punching me and screamed: “I hate men, I hate men!” So what could I do? I simply told her: “You know what? Screw that. I’m not trying to help you anymore; if you don’t want my help, then you won’t get it.” That is precisely the situation you will sometimes find yourself in when dealing with politicians, public men, opinion leaders, business leaders, military officers, and so on and so forth. Because they refuse to listen, the only thing you can tell them is something like this: “Look, I have a solution to your problem, but if you don’t want to listen, that’s your loss. I was just trying to help.” That is to say, you will be regarded as an unheeded and unwanted adviser who actually knows how to a fix a problem. Even so, even if this happens to you, and it may very well happen, I still think that the quest for knowledge is the best of purposes in life because when you understand how things are, at least you do not suffer like a helpless animal, but with all the dignity of a human being, for you know what the problem is.

The purpose of this course is to convey to you a part of my experience of searching for knowledge, and in this sense, in this course we are not going to study “philosophy,” our subject matter is not “the philosophical tradition,” but rather something that is known as reality. But you might ask: what is reality? Roughly speaking, everyone knows reality and what reality is. Reality is where we live, where we move, where we have joy, where we cry, where we have hope, where we have our struggles, our victories, our defeats, and so on and so forth. In short, reality is the realm where we have all of our internal and external experiences—that is reality. And when philosophy first appeared in the world, it came up precisely as an inquiry into reality, not as an academic discipline where you had to perform certain rituals in order to be accepted into a professional community. When compared to philosophy, that is, to the study of reality, this professional or academic “philosophy” is merely a child’s play. It is something we cannot take seriously for even a minute and, in fact, we should always keep our distance from it.

End of the second part.

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This lecture was delivered online in December 2008. Translation from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota and proofreading by Benjamin Mann.

Puerile Sexologists – Part 1

Only mature people can grasp the whole of the complex and multilevel experience of desire, sex, and love. In Brazil, however, most opinion-makers are not up to that task.

“Ripeness is all.”  Shakespeare

In almost everything that I read and hear about sex, desire, and love, there reigns the grossest and most puerile lack of distinction between the most divers experiences associated with those words, which are often taken as synonyms.

On its most immediate and physiological level, desire is a purely internal phenomenon, produced by hormonal chemistry and having no defined object, being able, for that very reason, to be then projected onto any object, real or imaginary. It is a sheer physiological urge, a “desire for orgasm” that emerges without the need for an external exciting stimulus and can be satisfied through simple mechanical friction of male or female genitals.

Quite different is the desire aroused by the direct or indirect sight of an object, that is, a desirable body. Invariably, in that case, the rousing factor is some secondary sexual feature to which the desiring subject is particularly attracted: breasts, buttocks, legs, eyes, and so on. This is the level that technically corresponds to the scholastic notion of concupiscentia. The sexually suggestive remarks young men who loiter about the streets make about women who walk by are an encyclopedia of verbal expressions that manifest this kind of desire.

On a third level, desire is not aroused by any prominent physical feature, but by an overall, undefined, and non-located impression of beauty and charm, almost like a magic aura surrounding the desired object.

The next level is when we fall in love with someone or lose our heart to someone. It is the level characterized by that coup de foudre that turns our object of desire into an obsessive and irreplaceable presence in our mind. This emotion is filled with ambiguities. It brings with itself anxiety, fear of rejection, and triggers a number of psychological defense mechanisms against potential frustration.

Once those ambiguities are overcome, the initial loving attachment may crystallize into a conjugal dream, which is the longing to have our beloved one with us forever. On this level, desire takes on characteristics of a moral value, destined to manifest itself in the common acceptance of sacrifices for the sake of mutual benefit, of raising a family, of taking social responsibilities, and so on and so forth. The greater or lesser resistance of a couple against difficulties can lead to results ranging from the raising of a stable family to a whole variety of conjugal disasters.

However, true and genuine love, in the fullest sense of the word, can only emerge at the summit of the conjugal experience, with all of its ambiguities. True love is the firm, constant, and irrevocable impulse to sacrifice everything for the good of our beloved, to forgive always and unconditionally our beloved’s faults and sins, to protect the person we love from all evil and sadness, even at the risk of our own life, and to maintain that person on our side as our most valuable possession, not only during this earthly existence, but for all eternity.

Each one of those levels encompasses and transcends the previous one, and only those who go to the next stage are able to understand what was at stake in the previous stage.

It is obvious that only the person who has gone through all the stages is qualified to reach an objective and comprehensive view of human being’s sexual experience, which other people can only see in a partial and subjective— and not rarely solipsistic— way, determined by their fixation at a stage that refuses to go away.

Unfortunately, that is the case of the majority of the media or academic opinion-makers in Brazil, who kindly offer to shape other people’s sexual lives according to the measure of their own existential underdevelopment.

Many are not satisfied with that and turn their own atrophied conscience into a criterion of morality, based upon which they judge and condemn what they cannot understand. Those are the people I call “puerile sexologists:” those atrophied souls that want to tailor other people’s sexual lives to conform to the mold of their own immaturity.

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota. Originally published in Diário do Comércio on June 23, 2015.

French resistance defeats LGBT lobby

Judith Reisman spotlights parents’ boycott that got ‘equality’ program axed
In May 2012, it was reported by Worldcrunch: “Following Barack Obama’s surprise public support for gay marriage, incoming French President François Hollande may be poised to push through legislation to give same-sex couples in France the right for the first time to marry.”

Well, the plans for homosexual marriage met with massive French opposition from the French people, and it looks like gender re-education has taken a major hit as well. I just received this announcement from Farida Belghoul, leader of the French resistance movement to the homosexual agenda:

Despite recent LGBT lobby groups [opposing] the announcement of the possible removal of the “ABCD of Equality” program, the government, through its Minister of National Education, Benoît Hamon, announced its final decision: He abandons the ABCD. Already, the intervention of LGBT activists planned for the autumn in schools are erased from the schedule.

Tribute to the popular areas that have suffered for this victory! Tribute to Mothers of France! JRE Cheers! Cheers to the Islamic-Catholic convergence! Cheers [to] all the forces of the nation fighting to save the modesty and integrity of children.

Tribute to the rare priests – Fathers Blin and Horovitz, Father Pagès, Abbé Tanouarn. Thanks to the Imam Rahhaoui and rare others who have supported us. Tribute to local committees and alternative media. …

Shame on the traitors, cowards and collaborators.

Our determination, our strength, our sufferings and sacrifices were rewarded.

JRE movement won this first battle without ever appealing for donations. It is the victory of men and women of integrity and selflessness. So be it … and God be praised!

In April, we wanted to wish Christians a Happy Easter. The time has come to wish Muslims a good month of Ramadan.

Background to the victory

Deutsche Welle reported earlier this year: “A French government program aimed to combat gender stereotyping among primary school children is facing an unprecedented backlash from parents. Parents in France are pulling their children out of class for one day each month to protest against what they say is an attempt by the government to teach primary school children that ‘they aren’t born boys or girls, but neutral.’”

Farida Belghoul, from Strasbourg, created a calendar in Journées de retrait de l’école (days of withdrawal from school) in which she assigned different days for the school boycott. With little or no support or exposure from the mainstream media, Belghoul relied mainly on text messaging. She called on parents to “resist” the government’s ABCD of Equality program, which was planned for primary schools.

Some 100 schools in Strasbourg and the Paris region reported losing up to a third of their pupils. The claim that the gender program was merely geared to equality between boys and girls was seen as a cover for promoting varied strains of homosexuality.

Belghoul calls the program indoctrination, saying the aim of the government’s project is “to generalize gender ideology at every level of French schooling, from the kindergarten to the baccalaureat (final exam).

“At a moment when pupils are struggling to master basic arithmetic, the government considers it a priority to fight homophobia and stereotypes of all sorts,” she added.

Not coincidentally, Belghoul also supports the “Stop the Kinsey Institute” campaign and its global “gender” training.

Viv le France! Power to the parents. In this case, the American resistance can learn from the French resistance.

6Dr. Judith Reisman is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Study of Social Trends, Human Rights, and Media Forensics.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published on WorldNetDaily on July, 2, 2014. You can buy Dr. Reisman’s book Sexual Sabotage on her website.

Corporativism In Money And Banking Has Led America To Fascism – Part 1

[Address to the Annual Spring Meeting of the Committee for Monetary Research & Education Union League Club, New York City, 17 May 2012]

In his State of the Union Message to Congress of 11 January 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned that[w]e cannot be content, no matter how high th[e] general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of that fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.
The right of every family to a decent home.
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.
The right to a good education.[1]

In Roosevelt’s mind, all of these “rights” were to be secured by positive governmental programs, implemented through a vast New Deal bureaucratic welfare state. Actually, it would have been more accurate to call this apparatus a “permanent dependency state”, necessarily tending towards an economic totalitarian state, because everyone entitled to or desirous of such “rights” would look to public officials to fulfill them, and therefore would support an ever-more-powerful central government capable of performing whatever functions were necessary to that end.

And by promising an ever-increasing cornucopia of benefits, public officials would guarantee themselves a “permanent incumbency state” under the slogan “spend and spend, elect and elect”.

To accomplish that, however, the disposable income of the General Government would have continuously to increase.

Although to some degree this could be effected through taxation—Harry Hopkins’ version of the slogan being “tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect”—the inevitable resistance by taxpayers, or their economic destruction, would impose an upper limit on the ability to “spend and spend, elect and elect”.

In the final analysis, for the scheme to work, the General Government would have to commit to ever-increasing borrowing from the banks, and therefore to ever-increasing inflation, or to the emission of Treasury notes directly—the slogan becoming “tax and tax, borrow and borrow, inflate and inflate, spend and spend, elect and elect”.

The self-evident problem with this scheme, though, is that it is self-destructive. And not only must it destroy itself, but also it will inevitably drag down society as a whole with it.

As dark as this picture is, however, it takes only a little intelligence, insight, and imagination to visualize these “rights” in quite a different light. For every one of them would be recognized in a truly free society, too. Not, however, as “economic rights”, except derivatively. Rather, they would be “political rights”—as the Declaration of Independence described them, the “unalienable Rights” to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”.

They would be “rights” in the sense that no individual and no group either in private station or in public office would be allowed to interfere with anyone else’s otherwise legitimate attempts to secure these benefits for himself, by dint of his own efforts or in voluntary cooperation with others of like mind. The government’s only rôle would be to protect freedom of speech, private property, and freedom of contract, and to suppress every sort of tortious and criminal behavior that interfered with the effectuation and enjoyment of these “rights”, whether perpetrated by private parties or by public officials —especially monetary, banking, and other financial frauds, which interfere with every one of these “rights”. Under such circumstances, every one of these “rights” would be perfectly capable of achievement in a stable, prosperous, and free society.

But, in point of fact, under neither definition have these “rights” been attained in America.

They have not been, and could never be, secured as “economic rights” in Roosevelt’s sense of that term and by the means Roosevelt proposed, because the General Government is incompetent to provide them. And although they could have been guaranteed as “political rights” by the means the Constitution provides—primarily, its limitations on the powers of the General Government—they have not been achieved, because rogue public officials and private special-interest groups have proven sufficiently competent to interfere with the exercise of every one of them. What does the record show? Failure upon failure:

The promise: “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.”

The reality: A large proportion of the most “useful and remunerative job[s]” have been exported to far-away lands; and what is left of the national economy is beset with massive unemployment, underemployment, and downright wasted employment.

  • The promise: “The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.”

The reality: Instead of “earn[ing] enough”, or even “earn[ing anything]”, more and more Americans every day must fall back on welfare, food stamps, and other forms of public assistance, consume their meager life savings, or sink deeper and deeper into debt.

  • The promise: “The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.”

The reality: Families are being systematically driven off the land by oligopolistic corporate agribusinesses.

  • The promise: “The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.”

The reality: Domestic businessmen are confronted with ever-more-destructive unfair competition from foreign manufacturers who do not have to contend with America’s minimum wages, labor laws, environmental laws, health and safety laws, unemployment insurance, and so on.

  • The promise: “The right of every family to a decent home.”
    The reality: The housing market has been Ponzified, riven with fraud, and thrown into chaos.
  • The promise: “The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.”

The reality: The proven unworkability of the General Government’s previous interventions in America’s health-care industry is now being employed by politicians and special-interest groups as an excuse to ram down the people’s throats a full-fledged fascistic system that both presents a clear and present danger to every common American’s physical and mental well being, and promises to be financially unsustainable to boot.

  • The promise: “The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.”

The reality: The jungle drums in the Disgrace of Columbia are beating out the message that Social Security must be gutted—and, with it, what little financial security most retirees have.

  • The promise: “The right to a good education.”

The reality: the biggest and cruelest hoax of all, because it affects the future more than everything else. America’s elementary and secondary schools cannot teach children to read, write, and figure, let alone to think critically—but they can fill their heads with every form of sexual perversion imaginable. Colleges and universities are the last bastions of unadulterated, unreconstructed, unapologetic Marxism, radical feminism (a variety of Marxism in which the gender struggle substitutes for the class struggle), apocalyptic environmentalism, blatant racism, Keynesianism, and every other socially destructive “ism” known to modern man. In any event, even graduates who have mastered some useful discipline cannot find jobs in their areas of specialization, but are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt for student loans.

In his 1944 State of the Union Address, Franklin Roosevelt concluded that: “All of these rights spell security.” If he was correct then, what does the utter absence of these rights today spell?

Americans had better come to grips with that question, and soon—because, some sixty-eight years after Roosevelt made his pronouncement, America has a full-fledged Department of Homeland Security, yet common Americans find themselves in the worst state of economic, political, social, moral, and even physical insecurity this country has ever experienced.

Perhaps, though, we cannot rightfully blame Franklin Roosevelt for this mess, except as an accessory after the fact. The real blame must be laid at the doorstep of Woodrow Wilson’s Administration. And specifically at the doorstep of the Federal Reserve System, because the unworkable monetary and banking systems foisted on this country in 1913 lie at the root of all of these economic and political problems.

To conclude that this disgraceful state of affairs is the result of monetary, banking, and other allied financial fraud, facilitated at every step by legalistic sleights-of-hand and political chicanery, is not to oversimplify the problem, but instead to describe its genesis in the most focused fashion possible. For, in the final analysis, the effectuation of every one of these “rights” in their meaningful sense is tied to the existence of sound money, of a rational price structure, of protection for participants in the free market against financial fraud, and therefore of a monetary and banking system that:

(i) provides the people with a monetary unit the substance and supply of which is not subject to political manipulation;

(ii) absolutely separates bank and state; and therefore

(iii) strictly limits the powers of the General Government, so that it is impossible for public officials to employ the scheme of “tax and tax, borrow and borrow, inflate and inflate, spend and spend, elect and elect”.

Conversely, the frustration of these “rights” is assured by the emission of unsound “political money”, by a nonrational price structure, by immunity in law or simply in fact for the perpetrators of massive financial fraud, by integration of bank and state, and ultimately by a totalitarian central government working hand in glove with private bankers and other speculators. And this is true whether or not the “political money” purports to be redeemable in silver (as it was prior to 1968) or in gold (as it was prior to 1933 domestically and 1971 internationally), or is unabashedly fiat (as it is today).

To be sure, sometimes it is difficult to differentiate the chicken from the egg. Has America suffered economic failure because of political failure, or political failure because of economic failure? The answer is codetermination: Economic and political failure have marched in lockstep, because the same culprits have been responsible for both.

The Federal Reserve System and its clients and henchmen, both economic and political, constitute a classic, indeed a quintessential, “faction”. As defined by James Madison: “a faction” is “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community”.[2]

Economically, the big banks and financial houses are, first and foremost, engines and agents of speculation, peculation, and economic predation. They are not concerned with “the general Welfare”,[3] only with their “bottom lines”.

Politically, they are engines and agents of subversion. They do not seek to aid the General Government in the general interest, but instead to coöpt, coerce, and control that government in order to maximize and protect the profits of their operations, while shifting the losses to whomever else can be made to bear them. The General Government has become a compliant component of their business plans. And, through the operations of that government, the American people have become unwilling servants of those plans, too—and necessarily so, because the government has no resources it does not take from the people.

 

The bankers and their allies have been at this game since the very birth of this country—with the Bank of North America, the first and second Banks of the United States, and the National Banking System of the Civil War. Throughout the Nineteenth Century, however, Americans failed to follow the prudential rule that, when dealing with factions, never listen to what they say about themselves, but always observe what they do for themselves and to everyone else.

This failure become critically important after 1913, because the Federal Reserve System goes far beyond mere factionalism.

The Federal Reserve System is specifically a corporative-state arrangement: basically a governmentally sponsored cartel of private bankers and speculators that exercises authority delegated under color of law supposedly to serve both public and private interests in the area of currency and credit. What has become obvious today, however, and should always have been self-evident from the nature of all such systems—particularly in the field of money and banking where the potential for redistribution of wealth is greatest—is that the private interests of the operators of the cartel and their political allies inevitably take precedence over the public interest in the general welfare of common Americans. For part two click below.

Footnotes:

  1. To be sure, these were not Roosevelt’s own, original ideas, but instead derived from his formative experiences in the Woodrow Wilson Administration. See Thomas Fleming, The New Dealer’s War: F.D.R. and the War within World War II (New York, New York: Basic Books, 2001), at 326 & note 39.
    2. The Federalist No. 10.
    3. U.S. Const. preamble.
    4. Act of 16 June 1933, ch. 90, 48 Stat. 195.
    5. A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 537 (1935).
    6. Actually, this “Bush Doctrine” is nothing new. It is merely the logical expansion of old “Brezhnev Doctrine” now embossed with the Stars and Stripes rather than the Hammer and Sickle. Under “the Brezhnev Doctrine”, the Soviet Union claimed the right to invade any country among its satellites that deviated too far from the Communist Party line as enunciated in Moscow. Under “the Bush Doctrine”, the United States claims the right to impose crippling economic sanctions upon, to ring with military bases, and if those tactics do not work then to launch ersatz “wars of national liberation”, to bomb, and even to invade, any country, without distinction, that refuses to subordinate its economy to the dictates of the Financial Axis that runs from London, through New York City, to the District of Columbia.
    7. Recorded on film by Leni Riefenstahl in “Triumph des Willens”.
    8. 2009—DHS-ICE entered into a contract for 200,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W ammunition over the ensuing five years. 2011—FBI awarded a contract for up to 100,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W ammunition over the ensuing five years. 2012—DHS awarded a contract for 450,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W ammunition over the ensuing five years.
    9. Declaration III (1899).
    10. Part 2, Article 8, § 2(b)(xix).
    11. This prohibition stems from the Declaration of St. Petersburg (1868).
    12. See my demolition of Holder’s contentions in “Where is the Outrage?
    13. Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Peking, China: Foreign Languages Press, 1966), at 72.
    14. Observations on the Act of Parliament, commonly called the Boston Port-Bill; with Thoughts on Civil Society and Standing Armies (London, England: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1774), at 50.

vieiraDr. Edwin Vieira  is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Jurisprudence and Constitutional and Monetary Law.

This article was originally published originally published on July 2, 2012, on NewsWithViews.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.