Friday, December 31, 2010

Show Trials

From 1929-1937, Stalin conducted a series of show trials in which his enemies were pilloried and then executed for offenses against the communist regime. The first of the trials, like those which followed, was carefully scripted to include angry crowd scenes in which thousands shouted, “Death, death death!”

By the time the later trials were organized, the methods employed to destroy Stalin’s opponents had been refined to the point confessions were first extracted from supposed “wreckers” of the Soviet economy by torture and by threats to family members, including wives and infant children.

The singling out of certain individuals and groups for elimination, however, was only part of Stalin’s script, as the broader purpose behind the trials and executions was the complete purging of opposition as well as the provision of a diversion which would keep attention focused on the alleged criminality of a few while Stalin’s broader agenda proceeded apace and his power was completely consolidated.

Ultimately consolidation of Stalin’s power was achieved by his prolonged war against all Soviet citizens, a war that exterminated whole classes of people; while the show trials, with their very public examples of chastened victims, ensured the instilling of utter fear which kept any emergent opposition silenced.

Stalin’s tactics were straight out of the playbook of the radicals responsible for the Terror of the French Revolution, which playbook has been used in various permutations to isolate and destroy political enemies for over two hundred years.

“Gentler” modifications of Stalin’s (as well as Hitler’s) tactics have found their way into Western politics. The famed Alinsky method is but one example of modified Stalinist show trial and purge tactics.

One Alinskyite rite includes the “politics of personal destruction.” It is a brutal but very highly refined and honed process for destroying one’s political opponents, utilized to break down and annihilate the opposition.

But one doesn’t have to be a follower of Alinsky in order to implement the politics of destruction. The tactics of destruction can be applied without a particular name attached to them.

Tactics include repetition of offenses, sometimes real but mostly perceived and exaggerated, until the public consciousness is permeated with simple but effective negative images. The result is that every time an opponent’s name is mentioned, a negative term such as “witch” or “Nazi” comes to mind, much as the terms “wreckers,” “hooligans” and “enemies of the state” were used in the Stalinist and Maoist eras.

Next, the stupidity of the opponent must be emphasized relentlessly. Every verbal gaffe, every misplaced phrase, any small mistake in facts, any inexact recall of events is elevated to criminal status and repeated endlessly so that the targeted person always looks like an idiot. The tactic is coupled with ignoring any well thought out position papers or speeches.

Usually only a few figures are targeted for the show trials, as the object is to stereotype the victim and then to make the target representative of the entire opposition. Thus Sarah Palin, for example, is made the representative of the conservative movement within the Republican Party; while in the state of Delaware, Christine O’Donnell is anointed by her opposition as the representative darling of the Tea Party movement and conservative Republicans. Even though there are thousands of other informed and thoughtful conservatives, a caricature suits the purposes of the opposition. It makes things much simpler and avoids the chore of thoroughly examining the issues.

Last, the tactics employed by opposing forces are meant to keep everyone focused on the freshest twigs thrown on the burning fire meant to consume the targeted victim. Old scandals are continually renewed and new ones continually concocted, old history is revisited and regurgitated, personal relationships past and present are ruthlessly examined under a microscope. All are continually thrown into the bonfire, while the burning glare ensures the voting public is constantly distracted and continually focused on the targeted person. Meanwhile, the broader landscape of pressing issues and concerns is thrown into the shade.

Conservatives should continually be aware of and to repudiate the show trial tactics employed by the opposition, both from without and from within the Party. They need to refuse to join in and/or continually rebut the crowds howling for blood. They need to stop allowing the experts at “show trial” tactics set the agenda for discussion and action, for such carnival barker types will feed the frenzy for as long as they can.

In sum, conservatives should stop their participation in and mimicking of the three ring circus trials designed for personal destruction.

Instead, they need to relentlessly focus on the issues, to provide solutions and to establish and articulate a vision for the future.

Perhaps most importantly, they need to refuse to imitate or employ the politics of destruction

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wizards of Oz

The theme of many sci-fi scripts is the abandonment of the human dimension for that of the machine.

One aspect of that theme is the elimination of the human factor entirely as giant computers take on a life of their own, become sentient and resolve to exterminate the human race, which is needed no longer.

Welcome to the new reality on Wall Street, which is no longer dominated by human analyses, but which is increasingly dominated by computers which specialize in complicated algorithms which determine the rise and fall of global markets.

Felix Salmon and Jon Stokes, in their article “Algorithms Take Control of Wall Street,” are among the latest authors outlining the promise and perils of unregulated computer control of stock markets.

Computers have the ability to store more data and to transfer it at speeds impossible for humans to replicate, though it is still possible for humans to “control’ the machines and put them to work to their advantage.
The abilities of computers for lightening fast absorption and actionable information has resulted in a new service known as “Lexicon,” which has clients who are algorithms, “lines of code that govern an increasing amount of global training activity.”

How does it work?

Lexicon scans every Dow Jones stock record with the immediacy only computer speed can accomplish, and look for clues that indicate the ups and downs of the investors. “Then it sends the slight variants in “emotive” behavior of investors back to computer subscribers who can break it down in order to make decision about their buying patterns.”

The lengthy evaluative process humans once had to make for themselves—reading the news and making personal evaluations, is not just abbreviated. It’s eliminated. The machines make the decisions.

Welcome to the new Wall Street, where screaming floor traders are no longer “actionable.”

Salmon and Stokes write that the entire financial system has been taken over by algorithmic trading. “From the single desk of a startup hedge fund to the gilded halls of Goldman Sachs, computer code is now responsible for most of the activity on Wall Street…Increasingly, the market’s ups and downs are determined not by traders competing to see who has the best information or sharpest business mind but by algorithms feverishly scanning for faint signals of potential profit.
Algorithms have become so ingrained in our financial system that the markets could not operate without them.”

It’s enough to make a mere human being break out into a cold sweat.

But for Washington, determined to bring Wall Street under its control, the algorithmic finesse of computers means trading, always a volatile and elusive mess, is a regulatory nightmare, as it is no longer humans who are to be regulated.

And, frankly, show me the congressman who understands the new trading systems.

What is understood, no matter how vaguely, is that the algorithmic method produces extreme volatility.

As the authors point out, “individually, these algorithms may be easy to control but when they interact they can create unexpected behaviors—a conversation that can overwhelm the system it was built to navigate. On May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inexplicably experienced a series of drops that came to be known as the flash crash, at one point shedding some 573 points in five minutes. Less than five months later, Progress Energy, a North Carolina utility, watched helplessly as its share price fell 90 percent. Also in late September, Apple shares dropped nearly 4 percent in just 30 seconds, before recovering a few minutes later.
These sudden drops are now routine, and it’s often impossible to determine what caused them. But most observers pin the blame on the legions of powerful, superfast trading algorithms—simple instructions that interact to create a market that is incomprehensible to the human mind and impossible to predict.
For better or worse, the computers are now in control.”

Also, for better or worse, academics—math, science and engineering whiz kids—are now in charge as they have begun applying algorithms to “every aspect of the financial industry. Some built algorithms to perform the familiar function of discovering, buying, and selling individual stocks (a practice known as proprietary, or “prop,” trading). Others devised algorithms to help brokers execute large trades—massive buy or sell orders that take a while to go through and that become vulnerable to price manipulation if other traders sniff them out before they’re completed. These algorithms break up and optimize those orders to conceal them from the rest of the market. (This, confusingly enough, is known as algorithmic trading.) Still others are used to crack those codes, to discover the massive orders that other quants are trying to conceal. (This is called predatory trading.)

“The result is a universe of competing lines of code, each of them trying to outsmart and one-up the other. ‘We often discuss it in terms of The Hunt for Red October, like submarine warfare,” says Dan Mathisson, head of Advanced Execution Services at Credit Suisse. ‘There are predatory traders out there that are constantly probing in the dark, trying to detect the presence of a big submarine coming through. And the job of the algorithmic trader is to make that submarine as stealth as possible.’ ”

So while the smart kids devise the algorithms, the algorithms tend to take on a life of their own, seeing the market from a computer’s point of view, “which can be very different from a human’s. Rather than focus on the behavior of individual stocks, for instance, many prop-trading algorithms look at the market as a vast weather system, with trends and movements that can be predicted and capitalized upon. These patterns may not be visible to humans, but computers, with their ability to analyze massive amounts of data at lightning speed, can sense them.”

So the statistical minutiae computers can separate and sense patterns which then determine within milliseconds the buying and selling of stocks.

Congressional efforts to report on the inevitable mess-ups that occur when a computer glitch sends the market plummeting have been an almost comical, as the reports they gather take months to compile while the computers whir on and on.

“In the wake of the flash crash, Mary Schapiro, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, publicly mused that humans may need to wrest some control back from the machines. ‘Automated trading systems will follow their coded logic regardless of outcome,” she told a congressional subcommittee, ‘while human involvement likely would have prevented these orders from executing at absurd prices.’

“Delaware senator Ted Kaufman sounded an even louder alarm in September, taking to the Senate floor to declare, ‘Whenever there is a lot of money surging into a risky area, where change in the market is dramatic, where there is no transparency and therefore no effective regulation, we have a prescription for disaster.’”


The comical saga continues even though the SEC tried to get a grip on regulating the insane computers which had displayed their mad ability to disrupt the markets; and, (Gasp!) worse, to bypass regulations altogether. Heaven forefend that any computers bypass by sheer speed of intelligence the regulatory powers of congress and the SEC.

But they did.

The efforts of the SEC and the desire of congress to get a grip on the takeover of machines did little nothing to control the algorithmic market. All their attempts at regulation merely slowed them down or stopped the process for a few minutes.
Salmon and Stokes write, surely with a wry twist of humor, “That’s a tacit admission that the system has outgrown the humans that created it.”

They conclude, “For individual investors, trading with algorithms has been a boon: Today, they can buy and sell stocks much faster, cheaper, and easier than ever before. But from a systemic perspective, the stock market risks spinning out of control. Even if each individual algorithm makes perfect sense, collectively they obey an emergent logic—artificial intelligence, but not artificial human intelligence. It is, simply, alien, operating at the natural scale of silicon, not neurons and synapses. We may be able to slow it down, but we can never contain, control, or comprehend it. It’s the machines’ market now; we just trade in it.”

But perhaps there are even more arresting conclusions to be drawn; namely, that congress, which is a slow moving human institution used to (cough!) slow and methodical deliberation, will remain eternally behind and unable to regulate the momentum of computer technology, not only as it pertains to the national and global markets, but as it pertains to much else as well.

After all, who knows how many unelected Wizards of Oz are behind the innards of the computers that now control the markets of the globe?

In fact, who knows who is in control?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Nationally and statewide, conservatives have been like spurned lovers. Like the wife who once proved useful in maintaining a home base for a disinterested spouse whose true passions lay elsewhere, restive conservatives who demanded more love and attention have been turned out of the house and in some case issued a divorce decree.

Michael Filozof documents the repudiation of the conservatives and their agenda in his excellent article (found in the American Thinker) entitled, “Is the Republican Party Finished?”

Filozof points out the lame-duck session proved the Republican Party once again does not represent the interests and passionate concerns of conservatives--even after the conservative tsunami of the 2010 elections. For conservatives, the results of the lame-duck session are stomach turning.

He writes:

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spectacularly failed to hold his caucus together to even delay ratification of the START treaty until the 112th Congress is seated in January. Republican leftists Olympia Snowe and Lisa Murkowski sided with Democrats to end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, forcing the gay agenda from the streets of San Francisco right into the U.S. Marine Corps. Congressional Republicans agreed to cut FICA taxes for Social Security (which is underfunded already) and expand the Democratic Party's welfare state constituency by extending unemployment benefits -- in exchange for maintaining current tax rates for a paltry two years. The deal will add billions to the deficit. Tea Party darling Scott Brown, mocked by Obama for driving a truck in his insurgent 2009 campaign in which he stole "Ted Kennedy's seat" from the Democrats, voted for Obama's agenda on all of these issues.”

Why was there such a debacle in view of the fact all Republicans knew the voters’ feelings demonstrated by the results of the 2010 election?

First, Filozov writes, Democrats are Machiavillian. They know how to exercise power ruthlessly and they did so; whereas Republicans have not ruthlessly pushed their agenda since the time of Henry Cabot Lodge.

Why don’t Republicans hotly pursue their agenda? It’s because they don’t have one, at least not a conservative one that is different from the Democrats.

Part of the reason for a lack of an agenda which incites passion and unity, he continues, is that “conservatives today are essentially in the same position that the radical Left was in back in the Sixties.” The “establishment” was essentially still conservative. “The radicals found themselves with nowhere to go but the streets. Today’s “Establishment” is as uniformly leftist, and conservatives are as unwelcome in the halls of power today as the radical Left was 45 years ago.”

The result of the left Establishment’s control of institutions is that Republicans, at least in many respects, began to ape leftist establishment values, becoming part of and enablers of the establishment’s values.

In brief, Republicans lost their first love and became lukewarm.

So what do conservatives do?

In order to move forward, Filozov continues, conservatives [such as the Tea Partiers, among others] are going to have to “begin in the streets, capture a political party and convert it to their agenda, and follow up in the courts when they lost elections.

“Even more importantly, conservatives are going to have to learn to exploit national crises to advance their agenda.” [Never let a crisis go to waste!]

Not that there aren’t or won’t be plenty of crises. There’s a virtual banquet, including the national debt, the dollar, inflation, nuclear proliferation, illegal immigration, and on and on.

If the Republican establishment doesn’t woo back and engage conservatives by espousing conservative alternatives, they are doomed.

Conservatives will divorce the establishment just as the Left divorced the establishment during the Sixties.

That is because the restlessness of conservatives, who are thus far at least somewhat willing to live under the same roof as moderates within the party in the hopes they will be listened to and enabled to share power, will turn to the establishing of a third party.

In other words, conservatives will divorce the establishment just as the Left divorced the establishment during the Sixties.

Establishment intransigence will not win back conservatives; nor will vague promises that conservatives’ concerns will be addressed in the vague and indeterminate future woo back the disaffected ranks.

The observations above are applicable to the Republican Party in Delaware, for what is true nationally is true locally as well.

The Delaware GOP, if it is to survive, much less present alternatives to the current Democrat agenda, will die if it continues aping and wooing Democrats while repudiating conservatives within its ranks, for disaffected conservatives will not continue to support a party which has promised much, taken much and delivered little to the conservative partners it has relied on for votes and support. Conservatives will not continue to support an organization which has too often and not so subtly displayed a “Conservatives Not Welcome” sign in the Republican house. In brief, conservatives will not continue a marriage of convenience with a party which often displays hostility almost as severe as the Democrat establishment.

So there it is.

The Delaware GOP has to reconcile, learn to love and to share the household with a spouse it fell out of love with a long time ago. And the conservative spouse must learn to start heeding and responding to overtures when and if given.

Is it possible?

I think so. I hope so. I pray so.

Otherwise, a divorce is inevitable.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christ and the Political Divide

The one essential and transformative influence in politics was articulated by Jesus Christ. Before his time, and long after, as his precepts were slowly and gradually introduced into the institutions of the West, there was no concept of limited government, as never before had any state or empire other than that of the Hebrews recognized an overarching, higher authority which limited earthly governance.

But, as Lord Acton pointed out in his great essay, The History of Freedom in Antiquity, "when Christ said,‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,' those words, spoken on His last visit to the Temple, three days before His death, gave to the civil power, under the protection of conscience, a sacredness it had never enjoyed, and bounds it had never acknowledged; and they were the repudiation of absolutism and the inauguration of Freedom. For our Lord not only delivered the precept, but created the force to execute it. To maintain the necessary immunity in one supreme sphere, to reduce all political authority within defined limits, ceased to be an aspiration of patient reasoners [such as the Greeks],and was made the perpetual charge and care of the most energetic institution and the most universal association in the world [the Church]. The new law, the new spirit, the new authority, gave to Liberty a meaning and a value it had not possessed in the philosophy or in the constitution of Greece or Rome, before the knowledge of the Truth that makes us free.”

The limitations and boundaries of the state, previously limitless and onerously exacting, including in the matter of taxation, were articulated in that one phrase: “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

From that time on, the war against the all consuming power of the state to take whatever it wished from its citizens, was commenced and has been fought over centuries.

That war continues to this day, and is currently expressed by the revitalization of the Right—not the Left, which sees the state in antique, pre-Christian terms as limitless; in fact, as a god unto itself who attributes to itself the divine attributes of omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…” William Butler Yeats

“Burn, baby; burn…” Rioters in Watts, CA, 1965

“O Lord, remember what the Edomites did on the day the armies of Babylon captured Jerusalem. ‘Destroy it!’ they yelled. ‘Level it to the ground.’” Psalm 37

There is nothing particularly new about Julius Assange other than his use of internet communication as a means of destruction of the international order and, maybe, the Alexandrian grandiosity of his intent.

Yes, his intent is truly grandiose. By his exhaustive revelations of secret and intimate communications among the world’s national leaders, he has almost single handedly destroyed international diplomacy and upset the intricate and delicate order of the global political enterprise. This is to say nothing of the lives he has jeopardized and the alliances he has either truncated or wholly destroyed.

Why is he doing it?

Because he can. Because he wants to. Just because.

If the above sounds strange, it's good to recall Assange follows in the hallowed footsteps of anarchists throughout the ages, particularly of the last two or more centuries since the French Revolution. The goal is to tear down the existing societal order by any means necessary. The focus of the efforts is resistance to an order considered alien and intrinsically worthy of destruction; the message is action, action, and more action; the attacks are against the entire system of nation states—singly or internationally; and the means of execution are by trans/supranational cells operating subversively and mostly secretly.

He has at his disposal disaffected hackers who are spy worms within the systems, but
Assange also joins countless cadres of anarchists and terrorists who are part of a worldwide effort to bring down the entire global order, but the West is a specially favored target.

Assange has more than empathetic and skilled hackers to assist him. He finds friends and allies among the established far Left, many of whom support or ignore anarchists and terrorists for one chief reason; namely, because the Left has similar goals, but tends to achieve those goals incrementally from within the system. Assange provides both a useful and dramatic diversion at the same time he is a companion in the effort to revolutionize and transform the West according to Leftist doctrines.

That is why you will hear the Left, both in Europe and here in the US, defending Assange. Paul I. Adujie, author of WikiLeaks & Julian Assange, Heroism, Courage, Visionary of Our Time,—the title says it all!--is typical of those on the Left who champion Assange as a hero for revealing the duplicitous nature of the West, which the Left believes richly deserves Lady Godiva public nudity for transgressions real and imagined. Mr. Adujie, along with others who see the West as the Great Satan of the world, now feels vindicated. The West is as rotten to the core as he always believed it to be. Never mind Adujie is feverishly typing away while using the West’s invention of the internet to promote his hero.

For Mr. Adujie, as well as others of Leftist persuasion, Assange serves as a necessary and salutary emetic for the West, which has now been forced to vomit out all its secrets regardless of the consequences to the delicate diplomatic dances which always have to be conducted among nations; regardless of the lives which are now endangered; regardless of the alliances destroyed; regardless of the aid given anarchists and terrorists determined to destroy not only the West, but the entire global community.

Any good the West has ever accomplished or contributed to the world order is of no account, for she can never expiate her sins, as they are unforgiveable and so she must be entirely destroyed.

In the meantime, as noted above, the established Left within academia, the media and Hollywood applauds a fellow revolutionary, as he serves a useful purpose. They know that he, like they, is a true anarchist. Ironically, they may not think he, like them—if he lives long enough—will gradually become part of the system within which they themselves operate.

They may not realize Assange is like a Nikolai Bulganin, brutal and effective in ways they now do not wish to be, but gradually becoming as they now are--comfortably established apparatchiks ensconced within the hallowed halls of their privileged domains.

So they applaud Assange, like other revolutionaries before them and like them—in fact, just like they themselves—not realizing the day will come in which Assange also is seated within the established order, a blind termite who with the likeminded, will continue to gnaw at the foundations in hopes that eventually the whole structure will collapse.

Those Leftists who see present day radicals such as Assange reduced to the level of apparatchiks such as themselves should pause and take account of what may happen if the structure they live in and despise were finally to collapse on their own heads.
But being anarchists serving the god of Destruction, they can never look ahead that far. Like termites, they're too busy chewing on the foundations to take account of the damage to themselves.

It would be the penultimate irony if perhaps one day, like Bill Ayers, Assange were to become a respected professor and counsel to the White House. Perhaps he might even have a song written about him, maybe even a song as glorious as the “Horst Wessel” anthem.

After all, strange things have happened before.

But in the meantime, let's hope and pray that before such happens, others who are dreaming the good dreams, who are repudiating and looking beyond mere anarchy, will act to rebuild the grand but imperiled vision of the West.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Public education: More Than a Fiscal Problem

Nearly everybody agrees, even those within the system: Public education is a fiscal mess of epic proportions and a disastrous failure at doing what it is supposed to do--educate children. Fiscal concerns and cultural concerns about public education are inextricable intertwined.

First, the fiscal mess.

Caesar Rodney Institute’s November 8 letter outlining the state’s fiscal problems—the state is now the largest employer in Delaware—noted Delaware’s public school system has 429 school administrators and employees making more than $100,000 a year—a total of more than $42,000,000 per annum. A search on ( ) reveals that over 282 school employees have, at one time or another, earned over $100,000. ( )

But, as the site states: “Information about Delaware state employees is limited. However, you may find information here about certain teachers who at some point were paid more than $100,000 annually.”

However,the figures on the salaries of teachers are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. They don’t begin to include the growing problem of the unsustainable cost of teachers’ pensions. As Sunshine Review notes, the opacity surrounding information on Delaware’s public employees means complete information is hard to get hold of; but, according to ( states face underfunded liabilities, including Delaware. The total liabilities amount to about 332 billion dollars.

As RiShawn Biddle points out in his article “Teacher Pension Bombs,” years of lavish traditional teacher compensation bolstered by bargains struck by state and district politicians and the NEA plus the AFT have made teaching the best-compensated public sector profession.

He adds that overly inflated investment growth models, risky investment of teachers’ pension funds, coupled with loose standards for accounting for risk and rates of return have meant pensions have overstated the actual value of their portfolios while understating their deficits. Bottom line: The pension funds are underfunded and the taxpayer is on the hook.

The point of listing the above facts is that fiscal conservatives would be right in their assumptions that budget reform for public employees, including teachers, is absolutely necessary. For instance, recommendations for consolidation of administrative districts, a hard look at the number of school employees and the compensation offered, plus an assessment of the fiscal sustainability of teachers’ pensions funding are all legitimate and necessary endeavors.

But budgetary reform and numbers crunching will not solve the overarching cultural problems afflicting failing schools; nor will throwing money at schools to solve problems work, as conservatives with a broader base of reforms readily acknowledge.

Fiscal conservatives might insist the problem of public education expenditures can be solved by mere budgetary means. Conservatives who are looking at broader based cultural issues, however, do not look at education as a mere accounting problem. They look at reforming the entire educational structure, which structure they see as absolutely foundational to the entire cultural structure. Such a look necessarily has a moral component; a “should” element that pure fiscal conservatism lacks; or, rather, simply cannot address separately, as the cultural issues are intimately and inseparably interwoven with fiscal issues (a point I’ve made in Part I).

Conservatives question the establishment of an education monopoly for several reasons, one of which is that state run educational monopolies are often a herald to encroaching state tyranny. When the entity which controls the minds of children is the state, only what the state wants taught is taught. The State becomes the “nurturing” Parent, not the children’s real parents, while children themselves are deliberately weaned away from parental influence.

Conservatives believe the state monopoly on education has as firm a grip as Standard Oil or Ma Bell ever had, respectively, on oil and telephone service. They believe the monopoly should be broken up by means of alternatives such as charter schools, voucher programs which promote private education, and home schooling.

All alternatives, no matter what individual teacher's putative disagreement with their union, have been steadfastly opposed by the Teachers Union, which correctly discerns and wrongfully opposes any competition.

Secondly, conservatives would like to look at the question of just what our kids are being and should be taught, as they consider the John Dewey progressive model of education not only inadequate, but probably the best means for “dumbing down” children in the name of forced egalitarianism, a concept which, along with politically correct extremism, runs rampant throughout the public school system.

How bad is it out there in America school land?

The great Russell Kirk, in his great work Prospects for Conservatives, gives one of the best and most succinct analyses of the American system of education the reader will ever find:

“A system of education in which respect for the wisdom of our ancestors is deliberately discouraged, and an impossible future of universal beneficence taken for granted; a system in which all the wealth of myth and fable; the symbolic study of human nature, is cast aside as so much rubbish; a system in which religion is treated, at least covertly, as nothing better than exploded superstition, or at best a vague collection of moral observations; a system in which all the splendor of history is discarded in favor of amorphous ‘social studies’; a system in which the imaginative literature of twenty-eight centuries is relegated to a tiny corner of the curriculum, in favor of ‘adjustment’; a system in which the physical sciences are huddled incoherently together, as if they formed a single discipline, and then are taught as a means to power over nature and man, not as a means to wisdom; a system in which the very tools to any sort of apprehension of systematic knowledge, spelling and grammar, mathematics and geography, are despised as boring impediments to ‘socialization’—why, is it possible to conceive of a system better calculated to starve the imagination, discourage the better student and weaken reason…

"Is it any wonder that our educational administrators, to escape from the spectacle of their own failure, turn to purposeless aggrandizement, ’plant,’ doubled and tripled and quadrupled enrollments, larger staffs, larger salaries, tougher athletic teams, as a means of concealing from the public the gigantic fraud they have put upon the nation?” (Italics mine.)

Who could put it better? In fact, since Russell made his observations concerning the starvation of children’s minds and hearts, matters have only worsened.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, as an ad for an Afro-American university reminds us. Poor parents are not alone in realizing their kids’ minds (and thus their very souls) are being wasted by progressive thinking, or rather, the lack of thinking, as Russell points out. If parents did not realize, even if merely intuitively, that their children’s minds were being wasted, we would not see the pathetic sight of parents’ anguish as charter school positions were being raffled off by lottery, some kids being allowed an “education” while others are assigned to the equivalent of jail—witness the tragic toll at a school like Martin Luther King in Philadelphia, where youngsters are put through metal detectors and frisked, and where half the students can’t even read.

All of the above points out the indivisibility of cultural considerations from fiscal policy and the need for radical reform of our public schools. As Russell notes, “The conservative task must be one of assault and reconstruction, rather than simply one of defense.”

And, to conclude, fiscal conservatives must realize that the preservation of their single conservative domain (as they define it) is in jeopardy, as progressive economic and social issues, which are intrinsically anti-capitalist and anti-free market, will drown fiscal conservatism along with the rest of conservatism if our educational system is not reformed.

In brief, the US educational system, including the Delaware public system, is hatching out cadres of young progressives inimically opposed to the US capitalist and free market system as well s to traditional conservative mores. Fiscal conservatives need not delude themselves into thinking their small preservation will escape absorption and annihilation.

Conservatives cannot avoid the necessity of systematically addressing social issues along with economic issues, and must, as Russell points out, “endeavor to redeem the modern mind” by affirming the entirety of the divine human enterprise, attacking and reforming the seminal bases from which progressivism assaults the entire culture—namely, public education.