Monday 1 July 2024

Jason Stanley's Civic Sadism

Jason Stanley writes in the New Republic of 

 The End of Civic Compassion

This would be signaled by declining State support for Health Care, Housing, etc.  Civic Compassion is 'first order'. It does good directly. Teaching 'Civic Compassion' may be a 'second order' good if it leads to people doing more 'first order' good. But such is not the case. The thing is a waste of time. So is continually calling anybody you don't like a Nazi or a Fascist or a member of the Spanish Inquisition. 

On education in a fascist America

America never faced a serious enough communist threat to become Fascist. Horthy's Hungary did.  

Under its autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Hungary introduced in early 2020 a new National Core Curriculum.

In Britain, the Labor party pared down the 'Core' requirements so that schools in poorer areas could focus more on basic literacy and numeracy. How very fascist of them! 

The curriculum presents Hungarian literature as the literature of ethnic Hungarian populations,

who speak and write in Magyar 

even those living outside of the borders of the state of Hungary after the Treaty of Trianon created present-day Hungary in 1920,

Hungary was on the losing side in both World Wars. It lost a lot of territory.  

sowing national resentment similar to that in post–World War I Germany after the Treaty of Versailles led to the loss of German land and colonies.

The French were miffed that they lost Alsace and Lorraine after the war of 1870. This proves they were Fascist.  

The course includes thematic studies of topics like the Treaty of Trianon in Hungarian literature.

American kids study the Revolutionary Wars. Why are they not being taught Benedict Arnold's version of those events? 

Besides evoking nostalgia and resentful longing for a “Greater Hungary,” it pointedly excludes the work of Imre Kertész,

whom the Germans had taken up and to whom the Soros prize was awarded. But he thought things improved under Orban. Still, in Hungary, he is considered to have shown contempt for his native land.  

Hungary’s only Nobel Prize winner for literature, surrendering a national point of pride in order to erase the contributions of a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust.

They haven't been erased. They just aren't being celebrated.  

And it adds to the core curriculum Ferenc Herczeg,

who was nominated three times for the Nobel. Some of his novels were turned into successful films. 

a minor right-wing nationalist playwright who was celebrated and praised by Miklós Horthy, the World War II Hungarian leader who brought about an alliance between Hungary and Nazi Germany.

Horthy wasn't an enemy of the Jews. He tried to stop the deportations. That's why some wealthy Hungarian Jews helped fund his exile in Portugal. 

Previous revisions of the core curriculum in prior Orbán administrations had already elevated similar minor writers into the pantheon on an obvious political basis, such as József Nyírő,

who wrote about a Hungarian population in what is now Romania 

a member of Parliament for the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, who harbored a passionate hatred of Jews.

The Romanians hated them more.  

The new curriculum presents far-right Hungarian nationalist leaders of the past as heroes.

Whereas they had been erased from the historical record by the Communists. So what?  The plain fact is that when it comes to 'cancel culture', two can play at that game. Don't do it if you don't want it done to you. 

The revamping doesn’t end there.

Orban has repeatedly refused to undergo gender re-assignment surgery or even to take it up the ass now and then. Like Biden, he is totes Fascist.  

In May 2022, Orbán reorganized his administration to place education under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for maintaining order through law enforcement.

There has been no Education Minister since 2010. It seems the status of teachers is being severely downgraded. Hungarians are bright- no question- but to keep their lead they will have to pay teachers more and give them more autonomy.  

A few months later—shortly after declaring that Hungary would not become a “mixed-race” country

Whereas Rishi Sunak promised to personally inseminate every non Punjabi woman in the UK.  This shows he is sexist. Men too deserve his attentions. 

—Orbán was featured as a main speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Dallas, where he was greeted by American conservatives with a standing ovation.

Did you know that many American conservatives have dicks? This proves they are totes Fascist.  

In March 2024, Orbán visited the Heritage Foundation for a private event. The next day, he was fêted by Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

Donald Trump has a dick. It isn't very big but a dick is a dick. Why is this man not in jail? It should be illegal to have a dick.  

Viktor Orbán is a darling of today’s GOP. But Americans do not need to look abroad to find their own versions of educational authoritarianism.

Some teachers have dicks. That is totes Fascist.  

Toni Morrison, like Imre Kertész,

unlike him, she wasn't a great fan of the Jews 

is a Nobel Prize winner in literature.

Knut Hamsun got a Nobel. So what?  

Beloved, Morrison’s most famous novel, concerns the horrors of slavery.

which arose because Africans sold other Africans so as to buy cool, shiny, things.  

It became the subject of controversy in Virginia, an infamous slave state

a proud slave state which fought hard to stay that way 

from its Colonial days until the Civil War; parents targeted the book as obscene. In 2016, the Virginia state legislature passed what colloquially came to be called the “Beloved bill.” It would have allowed parents to request that any material they deemed to have sexually explicit content be replaced by other material.

Which is why Black Muslims supported it.  

As in Hungary, the bill would have effectively removed the book from any required curriculum in Virginia.

The book wasn't on any curriculum when it became a best seller.  

Virginia’s governor at the time, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, vetoed the bill. But in Virginia’s gubernatorial election of 2021, McAuliffe went down to defeat by Republican Glenn Youngkin, who ran on a platform of “parents’ rights,” such as the right to have their children not be exposed to books that might make them uncomfortable.

Why did he do so? His opponent had been foolish enough to say 'I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.' He forgot that parents have votes and do want to tell schools not to teach mischievous shite. 

Like Kertész in Hungary, Morrison in the United States is a member of a national minority whose work reminds others of that group’s painful journey through the nation’s history.

Morrison was sent to a concentration camp under FDR. Thankfully, Comrade Stalin liberated her and forced LBJ to end Jim Crow.  

This kind of work is uncomfortable for many readers.

more especially if they insert the book into their rectum.  

Those who seek to view the nation’s past through rose-colored glasses,

are welcome to do so.  

diminishing or erasing its national sins, whether for the sake of self-aggrandizement or something else, will have strong negative reactions.

especially to big fat books shoved up their rectums.  

Today’s GOP is laser-focused on education, trying to frighten parents about supposed “Marxist indoctrination” in schools and universities (a common tactic in today’s fascist international; see Brazil under Jair Bolsonaro).

or Britain under Rishi Sunak- a White Supremacist if I ever saw one.  

As a sign of the topic’s importance, the GOP campaign against schools and universities was central in Trump’s 2020 election bid.

No. What was central was his contention that Sleepy Joe would make a shit President. Sadly, he was right.  

In a speech at an event called the White House Conference on American History, Trump declared: 'Students in our universities are inundated with critical race theory. This is a Marxist doctrine holding that America is a wicked and racist nation, that even young children are complicit in oppression, and that our entire society must be radically transformed. Critical race theory is being forced into our children’s schools, it’s being imposed into workplace trainings, and it’s being deployed to rip apart friends, neighbors, and families.'

What's wrong with that? The thing is obviously mischievous. Obama understood it was garnering votes for the Republicans. He mentioned the matter so as to send a signal that 'wokeness' costs votes- including African American votes.  

The tactic of painting all of one’s political opponents as Marxists and communists,

rather than Fascists, as Stanley does 

and claiming that they dominate the institutions, is a hallmark of the classic European fascist regimes of the mid–twentieth century.

It was the hallmark of democratic America. Countries which are strong enough to kill Commies don't need nutters who march around in Black Shirts or Brown Shirts or whatever.  

Today, it is employed as a justification to fire teachers and professors and replace them with loyalists and ultranationalists.

Because teachers and professors who gas on about Fascism are as stupid as shit. Don't fire them if they teach at Yale or other such elite institutions. Why should only the poor and the stupid have to suffer under the instruction of ignorant pedants? 

Even a democratic nation’s greatest universities are not immune from being destroyed by this strategy, as one can see in India today.

No one can't. India's universities were ruined long ago by the Left's 'long march through the institutions'. It was the Left front, in Bengal, which did the most damage to the one or two good Colleges they had there.  

Now and in the past, schools and universities are and have been central targets of fascism.

Fascists use schools and universities for their own purposes. But they also use Trade Unions and Professional Associations and Local Government to those same ends. It was Mao, not Franco, who sent in the factory workers to beat the University students and chase them into the villages. Previously, he had said Exams were totes bougie, to get the students to beat his enemies. Once they were cowed, he had no further use for the Universities.  

Attacks on education, including political works deemed obscene, are, to use a cliché, canaries in the fascist coal mine.

Canaries in coal mines die when the air becomes poisonous. Stanley is saying attacks on education stop when Fascism is achieved. This means we can be sure America hasn't become Fascist (which it has because Biden has refused to have gender reassignment surgery) or that Hungary hasn't become Fascist, because Education is still being attacked. 

Education in a liberal democracy introduces students to the diverse perspectives through a nation’s history, in order for people to foster a kind of empathy and understanding for one another;

No. Education is about acquiring knowledge and skills you would not otherwise come by. It looks pretty much the same wherever you go.  

what my father in his work called civic compassion.

Which exists amongst wholly uneducated people.  

Democracy is a system where we let ourselves be affected by our fellow citizens’ perspectives.

Because we talk to them not because some stupid Professor tells us this should happen.  

Cutting students off from exposure to the perspectives of their neighbors

by cutting off their heads and shoving them up their arses 

therefore preempts democracy.

No. Democracy still works even if nobody has any exposure to the perspectives or pudenda of their neighbors. It's bad enough I have to look at my own dick. I don't want to see that of anybody else. 

Such erasures are more conducive to an education for authoritarianism,

Nobody needs an 'education for authoritarianism'. Once you understand that you will get shot if you don't obey, every thing else follows quite naturally. It is a different matter that educational standards in STEM subjects may be higher in an authoritarian country like Singapore.  

where an autocratic leader can more easily set groups against one another, relying on mutual estrangement and mutual misunderstanding.

Fuck would he bother doing any such thing for? It is enough that everybody is afraid of the Secret Police.  It is in a Democracy that leaders seek out 'wedge issues'- e.g. Roe v Wade- so as to break up existing coalitions. 

“Parents’ rights” is an expression used to cover for an illiberal public culture.

Whereas 'Pedophile rights' is very liberal indeed.  

Using the language of rights and freedoms to erase oppressed groups’ perspectives is a familiar vocabulary trick from America’s past (“states’ rights”).

America still has dual Sovereignty. States do indeed have rights. This isn't a 'vocabulary trick'. It is a fundamental doctrine of American jurisprudence.  

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a graduate of Yale and Harvard universities, has specifically targeted schools and colleges, denouncing the supposed “indoctrination” of Florida’s students.

Florida's tax-payers don't want to fund stupid shite.  

The state legislature and Department of Education have brought in Hillsdale College

which gets no Government money at all 

, an institution in Michigan, to advise on Florida’s K-12 curriculum.

How bizarre! Why ask a College to advise on educational matters? Would it not be more liberal to canvass the views of known serial killers?  

Hillsdale advertises itself as providing a “classical education” and a nonideological counterpart to current educational practices. In assessing this claim, it is instructive to turn to Hillsdale College’s website, which lists the online courses offered by the institution. Alongside offerings like Introduction to Aristotle’s Ethics: How to Lead a Good Life, The History of Classical Music: Pythagoras Through Beethoven, and Introduction to Western Philosophy, Hillsdale offers courses with titles like The American Left: From Liberalism to Despotism and American Citizenship and Its Decline, whose message is that “wokeness” is an existential threat to the United States.

If China overtakes the US in various high tech fields, America may be at the receiving end of sanctions of various sorts. It may have to give up some of its cherished values.  

The message of these course offerings is clear: From the perspective of the classical tradition, progressivism is tyranny.

It is stupid shit. A guy who tries to force stupid shit down your throat is a fucking tyrant. Use every legal means to get him to fuck the fuck off.  

One wonders if Hillsdale’s Introduction to Western Philosophy mentions that it was Plato who recommended, well before Marx, that children be removed from their families to be raised by the state (and that homosexual relationships between teachers and their students were regarded as quite normal in the era the curriculum regards as “classical”).

The answer is 'no. Don't be silly.' Also, Marx never said kids should be taken away from their families. He said that industrial capitalism (child labor in particular) was already destroying the family. True, the hypocritical bourgeoisie made great play of keeping up 'family values'. But they also pretended God exists! Neither the Holy Family nor the Bourgeois Family would survive. Capitalism would cause babies to abandon their Mummies so as to get jobs in coal mines. Husbands and wives would never see each other because Capitalism would force them to work different 12 hour shifts.  At a later point Marx and more especially Engels embraced L.H Morgan's view that primitive Humanity displayed promiscuity rather than family life.

In 2023, Florida, Oklahoma, and Montana approved the use of videos from the conservative media group PragerU as educational material for their schools. In its video A Short History of Slavery, far-right commentator Candace Owens declares, “White people were the first to formally put an end to slavery,” adding that “white men led the world in putting an end to the abhorrent practice [of slavery].”

Interestingly, the last White English slaves were only manumitted in the 1870s though, no doubt, this was not pure chattel slavery but something more like hereditary bonded labor achieved through the operation of a cartel. 

Owens’s remarks entirely erase the history of Haiti, whose slave revolution resulted in its leader, Toussaint Louverture, ending slavery decades before Britain did, let alone the United States.

Revolutionary France abolished it and then brought it back. Haiti's new leaders continued to use forced labor though there was much resistance to this. / 

Owens also returns the teaching of the Civil War to a period before W.E.B. Du Bois’s magisterial 1935 work, Black Reconstruction. In that era, the major contributions of Black people to the Union’s victory in the Civil War (both as soldiers and as rebellious enslaved people behind enemy lines) were entirely erased, and Black Americans were represented as passive recipients of the gift of freedom.

This is because most Southern Blacks were not able to retain the rights and entitlements with the Yanks had bestowed on them.  I think what depressed Du Bois was that his projected book on the African American contribution in the Great War couldn't really come together because that contribution really wasn't very much to write home about and lots of people younger than Du Bois knew the facts of the case. It was safer to talk about a War which ended before he himself was born.  

Looking at these course offerings, one might reasonably object to the claim that Hillsdale College and PragerU are freeing schools from indoctrination.

African Americans, sadly, couldn't do very much to affect the course, conduct or outcome of the Civil War. I suppose you can say, Black labor was vital to the Confederate War effort but steam power had already overtaken muscle power. Technology matters. Babbling about Fascism is a waste of time. 

The American Association of University Professors’ report on “Political Interference and Academic Freedom in Florida’s Public Higher Education System,” published in December 2023, describes the effects of DeSantis’s targeting of universities, including the state takeover of an outstanding public liberal arts school, the New College of Florida.

University Professors don't want those who pay their salaries to have any say over what they do.  On the other hand, are Florida's tax payers really delighted at the prospect of spending half a billion on turning New College into a replica of Hillside. The point about Hillside is that it is self-financing. The Left may have started the game of becoming cuckoos in the nest of campuses funded by industry, but any bunch of nutters can adopt the same tactics. 

It begins with a quote from ­LeRoy Pernell, a law professor at Florida A&M, which reflects the general tenor of the extensive report and, more generally, the sense of despair under a regime of educational authoritarianism:

They don't like the current administration. Boo hoo!

What we are witnessing in Florida is an intellectual reign of terror.

NO! What we are witnessing is the systematic rape, sodomization, decapitation and body shaming of every-fucking-body.  

There is a tremendous sense of dread right now, not just among faculty; it’s tangible among students and staff as well.

Even the local cat population is saying 'Miaow, miaow! We are being raped, sodomized, decapitated and subjected to body shaming by Fascists! Miaow, miaow! 

People are intellectually and physically scared.

They are shitting themselves incessantly and wailing very loudly.  

We are being named an enemy of the State.

Worse yet, we are being named obese enemies of the State! That's body shaming!  

The events at Jacksonville too, feel real, and people feel it could happen to them.

So do cats. As for the alligators, don't get me started.  

The raft of laws restricting teaching, entailing everything from disciplinary sanctions to threats of job loss, has also hit K-12 teachers incredibly hard.

One imaginary teacher was fired just for trying to teach little boys how to perform fellatio.  If that can happen to an imaginary person, just imagine what those Fascists could do to real people. 

The laws have created significant fear around teaching topics in U.S. history, especially Black history.

You aren't even allowed to tell people that the Slave Trade was conducted wholly by Cantors and Mohels.  

In general, the laws have created a climate of fear and intimidation surrounding discussion of problems with the old hegemonies of race, class, and gender.

Laws are supposed to create a fear of breaking them.  

 educators under gradually more intrusive laws restricting their freedom creates a climate of fear and intimidation. When such laws target anyone who challenges the greatness of a nation, or its heroes, it’s not a positive sign for democracy.

In State funded schools, it is a positive sign of democracy if voters decide what is taught. 

Bringing educators

paid by the tax payer 

under gradually more and more intrusive laws restricting their freedom creates a general climate of fear and intimidation.

Also the police should be allowed to shoot whom they like and still get paid.  

Trump has made it abundantly clear that a far-right attack on education will be central to his new administration from its beginning, promising to “sign a new executive order to cut federal funding for any school pushing critical race theory, transgender insanity, and other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content on our children” on day one of his administration.

In other words, the woke 'cuckoo in the nest' may get chucked out. Education will go back to what it used to be when Trump and Biden were at school. This raises the question, how fucking useless did our Schools and Colleges become in the Seventies and Eighties that now two very old dudes are duking it out for the Presidency.  

Eliminating the Department of Education is a goal of Project 2025, along with many other changes that would dramatically reduce the federal government’s ability to intervene on potential civil rights violations.

Because what used to keep Trump up nights when he was in the White House was Civil Rights violations.  

The honest teaching of Black history and protections for LGBTQ youth will be illegal in K-12 education.

Like it was when Biden and Trump were young before America became Fascist- right?  

The American university system is the crown jewel of the world’s higher education system.

Very true. That's what people used to say about Trump University 

As far as it is possible, a Trump-led federal government will seek to transform it radically at all levels, with Hillsdale College as its model.

Cool! Tax payers won't have to pay for useless 'liberal arts' colleges.  

The intent is the burying of any civic compassion in the educational system.

No. The intent is to stop tax-payers having to support a woke cuckoo in the campus nest. If a conservative college can do without  

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