Propaganda

But propaganda is extremely weak, as is shown by its failure after forty-four years to convert people in the Eastern bloc to communism. Illusion requires incessant repetition in order to mimic the appearance of reality. Propaganda works only through constant reiteration. It is only in quantity that corrupt values, false perceptions, and bogus facts can be sold. Truth, by contrast, though its lot is never easy, makes its way with but a few friends, or even a single utterance. It does not need the apparatus of salesmanship, because reality itself is waiting to confirm it. Hence the power of the beleaguered prophet, or the mothers of the “disappeared” demonstrating daily in Argentina or El Salvador, or the witnesses by the tracks where the White Train carried nuclear explosives to Trident submarine bases: normal people with no economic stake never choose to suffer this much just to lie.

Walter Wink, Future of Freedom Foundation

“Great Spirits” versus “Useful Idiots”By NORA DIMITROVA CLINTON

How was I to resolve the irreconcilable dilemma between my passionate love for scholarship and my gut-wrenching disappointment with those American intellectuals who condoned communist crimes?

Excerpted from the author’s book, Quarantine Reflections across Two Worlds.

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech; which is the right of every man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the right of another: and this is the only check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know.” – Benjamin Franklin, “Silence Dogood, No. 8, 9 July 1722”

I got my Ph.D. and then my first job as a classics research associate. It was a golden time: I got married, my son was born, and I had an attractive job writing scholarly books and articles and teaching classical languages. I was even fortunate to co-establish a charitable foundation with my husband and provide a modicum of help to my beloved country of birth.

After the completion of my research appointment, whose bliss had endured for seven years, I started applying for professorial positions. I sent but a handful of applications, only for opportunities that truly interested me. Although classics departments had been somewhat spared from turning into ideological conveyor belts promoting modernized Marxist dogmas and penalizing dissenters, a growing contingent of classicists taught unproven subjective theories at the expense of good old-fashioned training in facts, documents, and languages. I had no passion for disseminating such theories, having published extensively in the field of ancient documents on stone.

Finally, a dream job opened up at Berkeley for a tenure-track professorship of epigraphy—the study of writing on hard surfaces. I was invited for an interview and then to deliver a lecture—a delightful experience in a breathtaking paradise on Earth, which beckoned, sun-kissed, luscious, and laid-back, even in January. I ended up being a runner-up for the job, which in retrospect was a blessing in disguise.

While my academic hosts wined and dined me as a promising job candidate, for which I felt most obliged, they invariably took me to the Freedom of Speech Café, where I received a powerful dose of anti-American sentiment. I love and admire America, and this made my blood boil. I politely underscored that freedom of speech was a privilege this country had continually enjoyed; if socialist intellectuals wanted to experience its real absence, they should relocate to a communist country.

How was I to resolve the irreconcilable dilemma between my passionate love for scholarship and my gut-wrenching disappointment with those American intellectuals who condoned communist crimes? My parents had been academics, and I had dreamed of becoming one myself since the age of six. At that age, I wrote my first “dissertation,” which consisted of a title page; ten pages with educational illustrations

I meticulously drew and redrew, accompanied by detailed captions; and a judicious conclusion. The impetus had come from my beloved mother’s Ph.D. dissertation, which she defended at that time. Her example inspired me to produce a dissertation of my own, a term I childishly assumed derived from the word for dessert, since it served as the crowning achievement, the cherry on top of someone’s doctorate. I grew up with a profound sense of admiration for all those “great spirits,” who, according to Einstein’s prophetic adage, “always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” I felt incredibly blessed, at all academic institutions I attended, to have learned from such great spirits, who regarded facts as sacrosanct, while encouraging free thought and curiosity. To them I owe eternal thanks.

How different these honorable scholars and scientists were from the cookie-cutter proponents of pro-communist dogma and anti-American platitudes, who had replaced objective knowledge with ignorant propaganda. While constructive criticism of one’s government stimulates democracy, the Marxist intellectuals at Western universities engage in a destructive rewriting of history that defies the principles of scholarship.

Were these the same duty-bound Americans in whom millions of Eastern Europeans placed their hope of deliverance— that they will “tear down this wall” one day, gallop in on white horses, and rescue us from Big Brother? In 1986, Ivailo Petrov published Wolf Hunt, a profound and intrepid portrayal of the communist persecution of Bulgarian peasants, who lost their land, livestock, livelihood, and often lives. One of the novel’s main characters utters the wishful prophesy that the Americans will come: “If they don’t come in our time, then they’ll come in our children’s or our grandchildren’s time. This world wasn’t created yesterday, it has its way of doing things. What was again will be.” [1] Among Bulgarian dissidents, these words assumed a life of their own, repeated from mouth to mouth—whispered at first, then timidly voiced, and at last boldly proclaimed. My disillusionment with mainstream intelligentsia continued to intensify. One professor I knew, who earned a six-figure salary, was an unabashed self-proclaimed communist, who enjoyed a luxurious house with acres of majestic pines and an emerald pond. He incessantly directed invectives at the United States and sang “The Internationale” at his bon-vivant soirees, after distributing gaudy pink brochures with this dreadful anthem’s lyrics to his unfortunate guests.

The French have fittingly labeled this phenomenon “left caviar” or “champagne socialism.” Just think of George Bernard Shaw, who shamelessly propagated eugenics and genocide, offered to assist Hitler and Mussolini, and lauded Stalin’s extermination camps as though they were a quaint holiday arrangement of voluntary duration. Even more eloquent is the term “useful idiots,” allegedly coined by Lenin to describe Western intellectuals and journalists who were sympathetic to the communist regime, yet despised by its leadership for their naiveté, while being ruthlessly used by it to manipulate free-world media and impressionable young minds. I kept arguing with useful idiots, to the point of painful exasperation, and finally relinquished a successful academic career, appalled by their hypocrisy and ingratitude.

My education and the noble minds who sought to impart their wisdom to me will always be a part of my soul. I never regretted my decision to bid farewell to academia, or rather, what has become of it, and set sail on uncharted seas that guided me to a new vocational harbor I now treasure every day—but let this be the subject of another book.

Read Quarantine Reflections across Two Worlds by Nora Clinton.

Indoctrinating An Entire School System in PC Racism

Seattle Public Schools recently held a racially charged teacher-training session that convicted US schools of committing “spirit murder” against black kids and demanded that white teachers “bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgment of [their] thieved inheritance.”

According to whistleblower documents from the session that I’ve ­reviewed, the trainers began by claiming that teachers are colonizers of “the ancestral lands and traditional territories of the Puget Sound Coast Salish People.” Later: “The United States was built off the stolen labor of kidnapped and enslaved black people’s work.” The image of a black-power fist removed any lingering hope that the presentation might ­involve a modicum of nuance.

Organizers identified themselves by gender pronouns and race. For example, one speaker was identified as “He/Him, White.” It has become commonplace in academia and corporate settings to list gender pronouns, but this was perhaps the first example of an institution promoting workplace race-labeling. (The district didn’t reply to my request for comment.)

The main message: White teachers must recognize that they “are assigned considerable power and privilege in our society” because of their “possession of white skin.” To atone, they must self-consciously reject their “whiteness” and become dedicated “anti-racist educator[s].”

Any resistance, no matter how well-argued or factually grounded, was dismissed as a reflex of white teachers’ “lizard-brain,” which makes them “afraid that [they] will have to talk about sensitive issues such as race, racism, classism, sexism or any kind of ‘ism.’ ”

In the most disturbing portion, teachers discussed “spirit murder.” Schools, according to “abolitionist” pedagogue Bettina Love, who invented the concept, “murder the souls of black children every day through systemic, institutionalized, anti-black, state-sanctioned violence.”

What’s the goal here? Simply put, to transform Seattle schools into activist organizations.

At the conclusion of the training, teachers had to explain how they will practice “anti-racist pedagogy,” address the “social-justice movements taking place” and become “anti-racist outside the classroom.” They were told to divide the world into “enemies, allies and ­accomplices” and work toward the “abolition” of whiteness. They must, in other words, abandon the illusion of neutral teaching standards and get in the trenches of race-based activism.

Unfortunately, this kind of training is not an aberration — but a ­reflection of deep ideological currents within Seattle Public Schools and the wider teacher-training ­industrial complex. In recent years, the district has rapidly ­expanded its Department of Racial Equity Advancement and deployed “racial-equity teams” in dozens of neighborhood schools. The stated goal is to “advance educational ­racial equity,” but in practice, these programs often serve to introduce, perpetuate and enforce a specific ideological agenda and a new ­racial hierarchy.

This is a tragedy for students. ­Seattle public schools have been closed to on-campus learning since the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak. In September, the school district reported that fewer than half of students attended any of the school’s remote-learning offerings, with even worse attendance rates for minorities. Rather than address this crisis, which has doubtlessly expanded racial disparities, the district prioritized “white-privilege” training for teachers.

Unless there is a change of course, this new orthodoxy — gradually replacing academics with activism — will yield an educational disaster. School districts will aggregate students on the ­basis of identity and subordinate traditional learning to the latest fads from woke academe. When those inevitably fail, desperate teachers and administrators will be tempted to drop the old “three Rs” (reading, writing, arithmetic) in ­favor of the new: racism, racism and racism.

In this sense, the educational woke regime mirrors the corporate one in function: All this ideological garment-rending and chest-beating serves to disguise the social and material failures of institutions. Teachers can ostentatiously “bankrupt their privilege” in front of their colleagues, but it will do nothing for third-graders who are struggling to read or graduating high-school seniors who can’t solve a single algebra problem or compose a legible sentence.

Sadly, if past is precedent, the ­racial fever gripping Seattle schools will soon spread to the nation.

Christopher Rufo, Discovery Institute


Public School Enrollments Down as Parents Start Noticing Liberal Propaganda

In the age of COVID, parents are taking a stand against public school identity politics and indoctrination by removing their kids.

December 19, 2020 (FRC Action) — With school shutdowns, logistical complexities with online classes, and rampant uncertainty due to the coronavirus, it’s been a monumentally difficult year for students, their parents, and teachers. But there has been a silver lining in all of this: more and more parents are having their eyes opened to the leftist agenda that has embedded itself in many of our nation’s public schools.

Just last week, a school board in Fairfax County in northern Virginia unanimously decided to remove the names of Thomas Jefferson and George Mason from the city’s elementary and high schools, despite the fact that the local community is strongly in favor of keeping the names.

Now, parents are taking a stand against public school identity politics and indoctrination by removing their kids and finding better alternatives like private schools and homeschooling. In fact, over the past year, the Fairfax County school system has seen a 5 percent drop in enrollment, which means that nearly 9,000 students will no longer be exposed to the leftist propaganda and sexualization that has run rampant.

Yesterday, Maria Keffler, Co-founder of the Arlington Parent Coalition and Partner and Media Representative at Partners for Ethical Care joined Tony on “Washington Watch” to discuss the growing dissatisfaction among parents with educational establishments that are failing to educate and striving to indoctrinate.

“I think more parents are starting to wake up to it and see what’s going on,” she said. “Arlington Public Schools is down about 3,000 students from what was expected this year. I think that is one of the silver linings of the coronavirus — that parents are seeing what’s going on and they’re not happy about it and they shouldn’t be.”

The question is, will public schools begin to listen to the concerns of parents when their tax revenue falls due to declining enrollment? The answer appears to be “no.”

“The school boards are simply not concerned,” Keffler observed. “They’re simply not concerned with the student’s needs. They’re not concerned with the parents’ concerns. In Fairfax County, in 2018, they voted to add the LGBTQ curriculum to the Fairfax County Family Life Education Curriculum. They received 941 emails against approving that curriculum, only 192 for. And they just went right ahead and did it. They’re not listening to parents.”

Not only are public schools not listening to the concerns of parents, they are also failing in their primary duty: education. “Students are falling off the radar,” Keffler pointed out. “Students are falling behind … As long ago as 2015, Pew Research said among developed nations, the U.S. ranks 24th on science and reading and 39th in math. But it’s not new that the public schools are failing — [they’ve] been failing for a while.”

And when taxpayer dollars are being ineffectively used, it’s time to redirect the money elsewhere. “I think we do need school choice,” Keffler said. “I think parents need to have the money that the federal government gives to public schools to go with the child. If the parents take the child to a private school, to homeschool, to a military school — that money needs to go with the students.”

Keffler also underscored another enormously concerning trend in public schools: the violation of the First Amendment free speech rights of students and teachers. “I just received from [an] Arlington County teacher the new guidelines for transgender students. And what really disturbed me is a clause in there that says that students or teachers who refuse to comply [with] policies such as enforced pronouns and deceiving parents about their own children’s sexuality and their gender ID will be disciplined.”

But despite all of these disturbing trends and coronavirus shutdowns, parents should take heart. The multitude of educational choices and resources that are available continue to expand and grow. “Homeschooling has had a big boom this year,” Keffler noted. “The HSLDA, the Home School Legal Defense Association, has written and talked about the thousands and thousands of parents who’ve been calling them for assistance.” She went on to describe the success she has had in homeschooling her own three children.

Clearly, it’s time to rethink public education. “[The public school system is] a monopoly,” Keffler said. “Parents don’t have another choice and you don’t negotiate with a monopoly. You have to break a monopoly. And the only way we’re going to break the public school monopoly is by taking away their students.”