Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Progressive Doctrine Is Reductionist

Reductionism is the practice of defining complex systems in simpler terms in order to better understand the complex. Reductionism can be a useful tool in order to better understand how complex systems work. However, there is a danger in using reductionist arguments. Fallacies occur when the reduced model is perceived of as reality.

Here's an example. When we learn about the structure of the atom, we often use the model of a solar system to help us visualize what's happening within the atom. We picture the nucleus as the sun, with electrons as planets zooming around the nucleus. That model is all well and good, but does not really accurately explain, nor describe, what's really happening within the atom.

The fallacy would come from our accepting the solar system model as an accurate description of the atom.

We all use reductionist arguments in order to illustrate complex points. Some systems, however, such as progressivism, view the world only in reduced terms, and hence argue from the fallacy that the model represents the complexities of reality.

In other words, progressive doctrine is reductionist.

You and I see the world in shades of gray. When we come to complex problems, we attempt to make sense of the problems by reducing them into manageable pieces. We understand that the pieces don't represent the whole, and that the problem really is more complex. We understand that there may never be satisfactory solutions to some complex problems.

Progressives, on the other hand, tend to reduce problems to a model that can "easily" be understood and "easily" fixed.

For example, race-baiting Al Sharpton and Eric Holder, with no regard for the safety and health of the community in Ferguson, Missouri, basically condemned Darrin Wilson for shooting Michael Brown because Wilson was white and a police officer. This view reduces a complex discussion about race or the role of the police to some sound bites and directionless anger.

It should be easy to see that the situation in Ferguson cannot be reduced to a generalized and supposed white hatred of blacks. For me, people are complex. I don't judge people based on their race because I see people as individuals, not in terms of some political identity. Yet, because I don't follow the central (reductionist) views of bleeding-heart progressives, I am consistently condemned as a racist.

The reduction of race into a liberal meme makes it impossible to discuss the complex issues of race in a reasonable manner. Just bringing up the subject of race in any form other than to condemn racism will cause progressives to fall into fits of apoplectic shock.

Similarly, we can no longer discuss, at least among progressive circles, the challenges of the complex economy, common sense means of reducing the national debt, revisions to social welfare programs, or even serious changes to Social Security.

No, all progressive ideas are inviolate, because progressivism has reduced the complex world into a box where the easy solution is to regulate it or fund it with tax money.

Are workers not getting paid what they think they're worth? Don't explore the possibilities of requiring them to be more productive or useful. Instead require more money thrown at them and damn the consequences of government-sponsored wage increases.

Do schools seems to offer children less education? Regulate the schools and the curriculum while throwing money at them. Who cares if the regulating bureaucracy is larger and better paid than the teachers? What does it matter that the new "solutions" rely on old and simplistic progressive models?

Does terrorism continue to plague the earth with death and destruction? Blame the victims for being insensitive to Muslims.

The reductionist arguments of progressives defy logic, yet persist, because they require no thought. They demand no thinking. They ignore the complexity of life and promise a Utopia free of pain and suffering.

We cannot long survive as a country and as a people if we are unwilling, or worse, unable, to come to grips with complex problems. Progressives have done the world no favors by reducing real problems into sound bites and unfocussed feelings. The reduced arguments are the grand fallacy of progressive doctrine.

Monday, January 12, 2015

How Liberalism Left Me Behind and Lost Me

During the early part of the twentieth century, the Democrat party and the progressive ideals of socialism became connected together. Democrat politicians advertised themselves as friends of the middle class and small business. Working class voters believed that their best interests were protected by the Democrat-led economic restructuring of minimum wages, working hours, workplace safety, Social Security, or Medicare.

Republicans, on the other hand, increasingly could not adequately explain how the free market system, with a largely unregulated economy, could benefit the individual worker. The free market came directly into competition with the philosophy of the government handout. The free market message that all benefit with the rising economic tide got lost as Democrats successfully labeled Republicans as the uncaring and unfeeling party.

The idea of job security and guaranteed wages has its appeal and there were certain ideas of the Democrat party that have generally helped the American worker. Yet Democrats have buried their few good ideas by adopting increasingly divisive, simplistic, and economically-idiotic approaches to their policies.

Here are some reasons how modern liberalism has left me behind and lost me:

Progressives try to sell the idea that the Democrat party still concerns itself with the working class, yet its leaders are largely rich and elitist, who live inside a bubble not based on reality.

Obama tries to connect with the "every-man" image, yet demonstrating pure disdain for others while enjoying million-dollar vacations and shopping sprees and spending taxpayer money like a drunken sailor spends money on shore leave.

Hollywood actors who make more money on one movie than I'll ever make in my lifetime, beat the public over the head about our oil dependence, our supposed cruelty to the poor, and our inability to get along with Mother Nature.

Gentrified ex-politician Al Gore, leaves his mansion, then flies around the world telling all that we must suffer huge technological loss in order to save the planet.

Liberal elites preach from penthouse condos and drive cars that cost more than my house, never suffering the deprivations that we mere mortals endure with rising taxes, imposed regulations, and paying the increasing costs of living in a world where government takes our money to feed the bureaucracy then spew out the remains to support the welfare state.

Progressives have also left me behind on the question of race. The constant Democrat push for identity politics, open borders, huge federal entitlements, and race-baiting have marginalized the majority and created an absurd division between people.

When Fake Indian Elizabeth Warren can claim special privileges to get college money, then attempt to use her minuscule connection to Native blood as a means of garnering sympathy and support, the progressive concept of race no longer has meaning.

When President Obama can be pure blood American one day, and a foreign student when he needs money to go to school, the progressive ideal has left me behind.

When considering race and gender become more important factors in hiring than credentials and accomplishments, progressives have lost me.

The double standards that progressives hold when judging and condemning others has reached the point of absurdity.

Joe Biden's inane and uninformed "gaffes" are excused with a pat on the head, while Sarah Palin (whose candidacy for vice president was seven years ago - seven!) is excoriated for allowing her son to stand on the family dog to get to the sink.

It's okay when Al Sharpton and Eric Holder condemn all whites in general, and the police in particular, for the deaths of black criminals, then the mainstream progressive press spins their speech to create a frenzy of rioting and looting. It is not okay, though, to condemn Islam for producing terrorists who wantonly murder French magazine workers for drawing offensive cartoons.

I don't condone such an absurd world where right and wrong are defined by the liberal power elite, and where such absurdities are held, seemingly with straight faces, by the mass followers of liberalism. Such doctrines leave me behind and most completely lose me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Social Liberal Theme Song

The socialist liberals haven't yet accepted my offer of a theme song to help get their message out about same sex marriage, abortion, homosexuality or handing out condoms to kids. The way I figure it, these ideas have been such a hard sell for them, that a protest song was just the ticket to sell their “product.”

President Obama seems to be suffering the same problem with selling socialism to the American people. I'd wager that he'd get the message across to the common folk better about why the US needs to become a socialist nation by selling the idea through song. Obama could hire a respected singer like Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga to produce a hit single, selling the stimulus package to the rest of the country.

I just happen to have another modest example of a song that would do the trick.

The Congressional Song
(sung to the tune of If I Had a Hammer)

If we had some power
We'd tax it from the rich folks
We'd tax it from the poor folks
All over this land
We'd tax your mother
We'd tax your father
We'd tax the money from your brother and your sister
All over this land

If we had some money
We'd spend it on construction
We'd spend it on contraception
All over this land
We'd spend it on work programs
We'd spend it on CEOs
We'd keep it from your poor deprived brother and your sister
All over this land

If we had some earmarks
We'd hide it from the Congress
We'd hide it from the people
All over this land
We'd hide state projects
We'd hide our lobbyists
We'd hide our earmarks from your brother and your sister
All over this land

Well we've got the power
And we've got your money
And we've got earmarks to spend
All over this land
We call this justice
We call this freedom
We call this bleeding dry your brother and your sister

All over this land

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Progressive Protest Song

Inspired by LL's rather maudlin sermon from Bob Dylan this past Sunday (see the link here), I got to thinking what a modern protest song would look like with today's issues? I have a modest example here. It's called...

The Courts Will Invent
(Sung to the tune Blowin' in the Wind)

How many aisles must two men walk down
Before they're allowed to get wed?
Yes, 'n' how many laws must the gays remove
So gay sex's accepted instead?
Yes, 'n' how many faiths must be trampled down
Before they're all declared dead?
Without our consent, the courts will invent,
The answer, the courts will invent.

How many times must a woman change
Before you call her a man?
Yes, 'n' how many times must a woman have sex
Before pregnancy is unplanned?
Yes, 'n' how many times must abortions occur
Before having babies is banned?
Without our consent, the courts will invent,
The answer, the courts will invent.

How many years can some students exist
Before given condoms for free?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before everyone's made to agree?
Yes, 'n' how many times can people speak out
Before they're stopped by decree?
Without our consent, the courts will invent,

The answer, the courts will invent.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy and What Modern Progressives Fail to Understand About Learning

For Christmas, I received a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy. I'd seen the movie when it first came out and found it quite enjoyable. When rewatching the movie the other day, I was struck by one thing: all the main characters (except, perhaps, for Groot) had a back story full of pain and loss.

(If you didn't get a chance to see the movie, it's a fun and funny superhero movie. If you don't like space operas, superhero movies, or CGI, you'll hate Guardians of the Galaxy. But I digress.)

As I said, the back stories are tragic. Quill's mother died and then he's abducted by space pirates. Gamora watched the Evil Overlord kill her parents, then he forced her to become a super weapon. Drax's wife and children were murdered. Rocket was assembled and disassembled as an experiment. Groot is Groot, but probably has some painful memories of the past somewhere.

Here's the point, all of the characters in the movie became superheroes because of their struggles, no in spite of them. They didn't grow up with easy lives where the "government" took care of them, or dished out welfare checks, or told them they were all "special" just for participating, or coddled them against bullying, or told them what kinds of food they could eat, or any of a myriad lies founded on the principle of modern socialist dogma.

No, the heroes became heroes because they overcame obstacles. They became heroes because they suffered and in spite of suffering. They became heroes because they had learned from experience how to fight and win.

Hollywood makes movies all the time where struggle and pain are part of the lesson. Yet, despite this basic understanding of life on this planet, somehow the progressives who make such movies maintain a pipe dream concept of the Utopian system where there is no pain, no suffering, no losers, no winners, no rich, no poor, and no bullying.

As we note time and time again, progressivism/modern liberalism holds double standards that fly in the face of common sense and reality.

In contrast to the lesson learned from Guardians of the Galaxy, here's a look at what schools are teaching our children:

From anti-bullying laws (which never adequately define bullying, except as a vague uneasiness): The truth is that every kid has a right to safety, respect, and a comfortable environment in all school settings, so please report bullies to an understanding, trusted adult.

From a high school: Andover High School is committed to providing a safe, supportive, and equitable learning environment where students and staff alike lead by example, demonstrating collaboration, intellectual curiosity, effective communication, and real world application of skills.

From a grade school: Our commitment is to create an atmosphere of safety in which to acknowledge and express difference while advancing true acceptance and respect for all.

Notice that all of these examples (and countless others like them) focus on "safe environments" for learning. Yet time and again, our foundational stories that express excellence and learning depend on conflict, struggle, difficult situations, heartache, and challenges.

That progressives fail to teach the truths about opposition and struggle is another of the Big Lies of its dogmas. Stories such as Guardians of the Galaxy still ring true because they tell tales filled with conflict and overcoming trials. The screed taught in schools about safe environments and collaborative learning ultimately fail to produce a population which can even rise to the challenges of ordinary life.

There is no life without struggle and pain. As the Dread Pirate Roberts said in Princess Bride: "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

The question then becomes, what are modern progressives selling, and what is the price for buying into their Utopian pipe dream?