Building ‘Revolutionaries’ to Spec

Let’s review: Starting with Luther in the 1530s, an effort was begun to institute compulsory state-run education, to make sure that everyone in a society learned the right stuff. While Luther’s interest was in having all children trained in the Solas and immunized against the arguments for Catholicism, it wasn’t long before apologists for the State realized what a convenient and efficient thing this mandatory state-run education could be. Luther imagined the state as the servant of the Church, providing another example of his radical disinterest in historical reality.  By what political mechanism does one suppose  the Church controls the State? Instead, the children of this world being wiser about the ways of the world than the children of light, the State ends up co-opting the Church’s authority – Lutheran, Catholic, Roman Pagan, whatever – for it’s own purposes. The idea that the *state* needs to protected from the influence of churches is laughable. It has always been the other way around: even a Cromwell ends up forwarding the goals of the State and damaging the case for the Church.

So, to quote Woody Alan, the lion might lie down with the lamb – but the lamb won’t get much sleep. Thus, we seek the separation of Church and State so that some sphere of operation may be left to the churches, which necessarily requires some sphere to be outside the government’s control. Modern governments reject the premise that anything in the public sphere should be outside their control – thus, the current unpleasantness is about much more fundamental issues than forcing religious institutions to buy birth control. It is nothing less than the requirement that all burn a little incense to Caesar as God.

Back to education. Once the states understood that, if Luther could seek to inculcate the Solas – and note: the Solas were a new thing upon the earth at the time – and make sure that people were schooled against Catholic argument, well, this new concept of schooling could be used for all sorts of wonderful things. Thus, by 1808, we have Fichte  proposing that the Greater German state institute universal compulsory education that removes children completely from their parent’s influence for years at a time, so that they may be properly trained to do what the state wants them to do – all couched in the quasi-religious language that became the norm for the National Socialists. Fichte, in that Prussian way of his, is just particularly clear and frank about what he’s doing – the ideas had been percolating and tentatively tried since right after Luther.

So, a well educated child does what the state wants him to do, and can’t imagine doing otherwise. This last goal is best achieved by training children so that they can’t imagine much of anything at all.

What does the state want us to do? Before all else, support the state! It cannot be allowed to be imagined that there are solutions to anything the state cares to define as a problem that lie outside the state’s competence and authority.  The absolute most that can be allowed is calls for ‘reform’ – but the reform must always assume the state remains fundamentally as it is, and reforms itself from within after having listened to complaints of its children.

Protesters in such a world as this will always fall into one of two species – those who call on the government to fix things, and those that want to fix the government.  The Occupy crowd displays two key the characteristics one would expect in a government-created protest movement:

– Incoherence: Occupy included people who wanted their college loans – loans that they took out to study some field that left them effectively unemployable – to be forgiven.  And people who wanted the government to punish Wall Street and redistribute wealth. And people who wanted the government to create jobs. And people who favored a return to Stone-Age culture through the elimination of all means to produce cheap energy.

And so on. Even those who seemed most anti-government – the various flavors of anarchists – nonetheless displayed the characteristics of the well-schooled: complete incoherence as to what to do or even what anarchy, of whatever flavor, might mean in practice. They were harmless enough, from the government’s perspective.

– Sola Government: all solutions were seen as government solutions. All calls to action were ultimately calls for government action.

And – the press LOVED the Occupy movement. That would be the same press that would get excluded from all the cool press conferences and parties if they said anything the government didn’t want to hear.  See section 5 of the  previous post for a  discussion of Calicles and petty retribution to understand how this works.

Thus, Occupy, which consisted of a bunch of disorganized, incoherent people making a nuisance of themselves and offering no coherent concrete ideas for changing anything, get held up as THE protest movement of the present.

Meanwhile, of course, the Tea Partiers (whether one agrees with them or not) were organized, tidy, law-abiding – and coherent. What they wanted, in simplest terms, was a government reformed *from the outside*. They even proposed some concrete ideas, and – horror of horrors – got people elected via established democratic means.

All of this means that they are the absolute enemy – despite many of their core criticisms being indistinguishable from those of Occupy. Wall Street out of control? Check. Government action ineffective? Check. Yet rarely have I witnessed such unbridled hatred as was directed at a bunch of otherwise harmless people. Communists, with their track record of 100M+ murdered in the name of Progress, march down the street on parade, and draw very little response, at least out here in California. But little old ladies (the Tea Party is largely a women’s movement)  suggest that the government isn’t the answer, and all hell breaks loose.

While I agree with many of the criticisms leveled by the Occupy crowd, I propose that they are ‘revolutionaries’ built to spec. They cannot think, in the words of Fichte, anything their teachers don’t want them to think. Even their protests against government are in favor of more government.  Their incoherence and irrationality and emotionalism make them easily lead sheep.

While the Prussians would no doubt be appalled at the untidiness of it all, they would admit that, if there were a need for protesters, these are exactly the protesters the ruling/governing classes would order up.

CLARIFICATION: when I say that Occupy has the characteristics of a government-created protest, I merely mean that it is the sort of protest one would expect from the products of our schools. Not proposing that Occupy resulted from direct and intentional government action. That would be overkill.

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

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