Saturday, September 29, 2007

The" We Care Community" & Transnational Progressives

I've written about this before, but as my other reader missed it, a reprise. (The author, John Fonte is "a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. This piece is adapted from his article, 'Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism,' which is scheduled to appear in the Summer 2002 issue of Orbis, and is based on a presentation made last fall to FPRI's Study Group on America and the West. Note, the link below is not the full article. The full rticle in pdf is here, at the Hudson Institute's home page.)

Compare the words of the 'We Care More than You Do' community with quotes from The Ideological War Within the West. I know lists of quotes cause drowsiness. ( Keep in mind the structure of American democracy recognizes, among other things, the tendency of human beings towards self-interest, power, aggrandizement etc. The founders intended to limit, and therefore thwart, corruptible human nature with checks and balances on government. While the three branches continually grappled in interconnected headlocks, mischief committed upon the people and the states, to whom "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people", is limited. Transnational progressives, the 'We Care more than You Do' community et. al. have surpassed the limited powers of human nature through superior caring skills. This gives them, they believe, the duty and right to tell you "We the people" how to behave. No smoking in restaurants, do not eat polar bear meat, etc. You knew that, didn't you?)

"The key concepts of transnational progressivism could be described as follows:

The ascribed group over the individual citizen. The key political unit is not the individual citizen, who forms voluntary associations and works with fellow citizens regardless of race, sex, or national origin, but the ascriptive group (racial, ethnic, or gender) into which one is born.

(Smoothing Plane: In his Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville praised voluntary associations. The 'We Care more than You Do' communities are associations based not on the individual, but an assumed identity, with covalent bonds to special status and privleges. This is abhorrant.)

A dichotomy of groups: Oppressor vs. victim groups, with immigrant groups designated as victims. Transnational ideologists have incorporated the essentially Hegelian Marxist "privileged vs. marginalized" dichotomy.

(Smoothing Plane: I ask, " Who designated the designaters?" To which victim group do they belong? Plato's Philospher Kings? Pernicious and abhorrant!)

Group proportionalism as the goal of "fairness." Transnational progressivism assumes that "victim" groups should be represented in all professions roughly proportionate to their percentage of the population. If not, there is a problem of "underrepresentation."

(Smoothing Plane: Isn't there a problem of "underrepresentation" in the NBA? Too few NASCAR slots for blind drivers? Is there a slot for me and thee amongst the Philosopher Kings?)

The values of all dominant institutions to be changed to reflect the perspectives of the victim groups. Transnational progressives insist that it is not enough to have proportional representation of minorities in major institutions if these institutions continue to reflect the worldview of the "dominant" culture. Instead, the distinct worldviews of ethnic, gender, and linguistic minorities must be represented within these institutions.

(Smoothing Plane: I see one group- a common humanity, suffering under the same flaws and limitations of human nature. With two subsets, male and female. Other distinctions are chaff. No political solutions to the problems of human nature can escape the problems of human nature. Quoting Niebuhr from his essay The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness, "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary." I do not want to discard the smallest unit and replace it with man made transnational elements. Supposedly the physicists who named it Einsteinium, wanted to name this trans uranium-238 element, Pandamonium.)

The "demographic imperative." The demographic imperative tells us that major demographic changes are occurring in the U. S. as millions of new immigrants from non-Western cultures enter American life. The traditional paradigm based on the assimilation of immigrants into an existing American civic culture is obsolete and must be changed to a framework that promotes "diversity," defined as group proportionalism.

(Smoothing Plane: Again I ask, "Who put these people in charge?")

The redefinition of democracy and "democratic ideals." Transnational progressives have been altering the definition of "democracy" from that of a system of majority rule among equal citizens to one of power sharing among ethnic groups composed of both citizens and non-citizens. James Banks, one of American education's leading textbook writers, noted in 1994 that "to create an authentic democratic Unum with moral authority and perceived legitimacy, the pluribus (diverse peoples) must negotiate and share power." Hence, American democracy is not authentic; real democracy will come when the different "peoples" that live within America "share power" as groups.

(Smoothing Plane: "Only blacks can represent blacks, only left handed cripples..., only partial Martian ascetics represent..." There is no end to this lumping. Do you remember what the LA rioters shouted at truck driver Reginald Denny as they slammed bricks into his skull? "Now you know how Rodney King felt!!" Slamming bad ideas into skulls is a very bad idea.)

Deconstruction of national narratives and national symbols of democratic nation-states in the West. In October 2000, a UK government report denounced the concept of "Britishness" and declared that British history needed to be "revised, rethought, or jettisoned." In the U.S., the proposed "National History Standards," recommended altering the traditional historical narrative. Instead of emphasizing the story of European settlers, American civilization would be redefined as a multicultural "convergence" of three civilizations—Amerindian, West African, and European. In Israel, a "post-Zionist" intelligentsia has proposed that Israel consider itself multicultural and deconstruct its identity as a Jewish state. Even Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres sounded the post-Zionist trumpet in his 1993 book , in which he deemphasized "sovereignty" and called for regional "elected central bodies," a type of Middle Eastern EU.
Promotion of the concept of postnational citizenship. In an important academic paper, Rutgers Law Professor Linda Bosniak asks hopefully "Can advocates of postnational citizenship ultimately succeed in decoupling the concept of citizenship from the nation-state in prevailing political thought?"

The idea of transnationalism as a major conceptual tool. Transnationalism is the next stage of multicultural ideology. Like multiculturalism, transnationalism is a concept that provides elites with both an empirical tool (a plausible analysis of what is) and an ideological framework (a vision of what should be). Transnational advocates argue that globalization requires some form of "global governance" because they believe that the nation-state and the idea of national citizenship are ill suited to deal with the global problems of the future.

Smoothing Plane: There is very much more in Fonte's essay. The religious emotion common to the "We Care More" community, and all its splinter subsets of the victims and privleged is Messianic superiority. (At the Minnesota Shares website, their header says, "Charity is good, Change is better".) I've said before, as have others, that the left has made a religion of their politics. It may be more precise to say they have made a theology of it. God help us.

No comments: