AmericanGreatness

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    “We must never,” Bismarck is said to have warned, “look into the origins of laws or sausages.” Sage advice, I’ve always thought (and no pun intended with that “sage”)—but how much at odds it is with the dominant current of modern thought, which is to say Enlightenment thought. 

    Immanuel Kant, a great hero of the Enlightenment, summed up the alternative to Bismarck’s counsel when, in an essay called “What is Enlightenment?,” he offered Sapere Aude, Dare to know!, as a motto for the movement. Enlightened man, Kant thought, was the first real adult: the first to realize his potential as an autonomous being—a being, as the etymology of the word implies, who “gives the law to himself.” As Kant stressed, this was a moral as well as an intellectual achievement, since it involved courage as much as insight: courage to put aside convention, tradition, and superstition (how the three tended to coalesce for Enlightened thinkers!) in order to rely for guidance on the dictates of reason alone. 

    Today, we can hardly go to the toilet without being urged to cultivate “critical thinking.” Which does not mean, I hasten to add, that we are a society of Kantians. Nevertheless, what we are dealing with here is an educational watchword, not to say a cliché, that has roots in some of the Enlightenment values that Kant espoused. It’s a voracious, quick-growing hybrid. A Google search for the phrase “critical thinking” brings up 102 million results in 0.62 seconds. One of the first matches, God help us, is to something called “The Critical Thinking Community,” whose goal is “to promote essential change in education and society through the cultivation of fair-minded critical thinking.” (Why is it, I wonder, that the conjunction of the phrase “critical thinking” with the word “community” is so reliably productive of nausea?) 

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    An annoying number of commentators on the political Right are insisting that Kyle Rittenhouse shouldn’t have been out in the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin on the night of August 25, 2020.

    Take the perennially wrong Quin Hillyer over at the Washington Examiner, for example: “Rittenhouse is at clear moral fault for the two deaths. He went into Kenosha that night expecting trouble, and he grievously exacerbated the trouble he found,” he lamented in a Wednesday opinion column called “Don’t cry for Kenosha Killer Kyle Rittenhouse.”

    To be fair to Hillyer, publishing contrarian opinions for rage clicks is his brand. It’s what keeps him paid, and thus, contriving lame takes will forever be his lot in life. But keep in mind that Hillyer and others like him are also card-carrying members of the “well-regulated militia” club. These are the “constitutional conservative” types (who have managed to conserve nothing, ever) that we’re talking about here.

    It seems to me that Kenosha Kyle was simply exercising his Second Amendment rights without infringement, as strictly dictated by the Bill of Rights. One could argue that he was legally too young to carry a weapon at the time of the shootings, a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin, but I’m having trouble squaring the “constitutional conservatives’” fawning adoration of the phrase “shall not be infringed” with their messaging on Rittenhouse. It doesn’t make any sense. 

    By the way, Kenosha Kyle is not “at clear moral fault for the two deaths,” unless people like Hillyer are prepared to argue that the moral thing to do when faced with imminent death, as Kenosha Kyle clearly was, is to roll over and die. And let it be known for the record that one of the dead Communists was a pedophile. The other was a domestic abuser. While we’re arguing morality, those two details ought to be included in the discussion. 

    Never mind that, though. There’s a more basic point to be argued here.

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    Why is race deemed “critical“ if it is the one aspect of a person he or she cannot control? Holding a person accountable to something beyond one’s control is the opposite of empowering, in fact it’s rather shaming. Moreover, CRT has been around since the 1980s. What happened to make it experience such a resounding comeback in 2019?

    Despite rabid media support, the Occupy movement collapsed under the weight of people realizing the prospect of upward mobility, human aspiration, and the realization that self-determination is far more rewarding than retribution. Occupy didn’t take. So the Left needed another plan. In other words, instead of swimming against the current of the human spirit, the Left needed a way to create an impression of permanent class struggle, so racial strife became the new weapon of choice. 

    Ccritical race theory exploded on the scene because African-American unemployment decreased to an all-time low under President Trump. A self-sufficient, independent minded, and financially successful African-American population is too much for the Left to withstand, so as this prospect inched closer to realization, something had to be done. Self-determination is a major obstacle to the adoption of the socialist movement.

     Something many people forget is that when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, he did so at the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” King saw employment as the road to self-determination and liberty. But now we are supposed to believe that destroying businesses and offering cash incentives not to work are even better than economic freedom. And the Left refers to themselves as progressive without a hint of irony.

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    In present-day America, the federal government has decided that working-class Americans are a danger to the security of the United States. What can you do to protect yourself? 

    The situation traditional America faces is no secret. The persecution of dissent, religious beliefs, and traditional values is now in the open for all to see. The magnitude of the change in American culture is shocking—not from a sense of surprise as much as from the rapidity and deliberateness of it. We are overwhelmed by the radical changes in our present society. Many are having difficulty processing the totality of it.

    When the U.S. government decides you are a threat, they can bring frightening powers against you in order to “disrupt” what they view as your threatening activity. The tactics they employ are designed to circumvent your due process rights while simultaneously intimidating, coercing, and, in some cases, purposely ruining your life—a method colloquially described as “process as punishment.”

    The FBI and Department of Homeland Security use a sort of checklist to build their cases with informants. This checklist is commonly referred to as Indicators of Mobilization to Violence, or IMV. The IMV is composed of a list of both common and less-common human activities. They range from attending church, going camping, owning firearms, to traveling abroad, having relatives associated with “extremist” activity, or writing political manifestos, á la the Unabomber.