I read with interest the recent Telegraph op-ed, “The ‘Enlightenment’ keeps on winning, ” and frankly I was astounded at the mischaracterizations alluded to by author-journalist James A. Haught attempting to force through his thesis. Where do we begin?
In a recent op-ed entitled, “The ‘Enlightenment’ keeps on winning,” James A. Haught, an editor emeritus of a West Virginia newspaper, asserts in his latest column that since the advent of the Enlightenment, for three centuries, liberals have scored a string of historical victories over conservatives, and he “hopes the progressive pattern keeps rolling forever.”
For new readers it might be difficult to tell if Dr. Bill Cummings’ column “Is Christianity dying in America?” was written with glee or with slight regret, like the puzzling smile of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” For those of us who have read some of his previous columns deprecating the Catholic Church, of course, it is not difficult to discern the gloating and streak of satisfaction, especially when he affirms that while it is not dying, “it’s declining for sure.”[2,3]
The essence of all revolutionary systems and their eventual political manifestation depends on gaining, extending, and retaining power. Direct action, as we witnessed in the French Revolution and the revolutions that followed, such as National Socialism in Germany, fascism in Italy, and Soviet, Cuban, Southeast Asian and Chinese communism, brings centralized political power to the fore rapidly and necessitates equally rapid consolidation of power into the hands of the elite designers of the collectivist blueprint.
One of the great books of the 20th century was Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences. I once had a fellow medical student tell me as I was discussing the dangers of communism that it mattered little what a person believes—ideas, she informed me, were personal and benign. Weaver shatters this dangerous idea in his scholarly book. He demonstrates that it matters very much what people think because they behave and design their lives according to the ideas they hold dear.
A small but explosive book was recently published by a Macon, Georgia, author that deserves close perusal not only in Middle Georgia but all of America. The book is Land Grab — How Our Country Can Grab Your Land Without Paying a Fair Price (2014) by Alan H. Preston, who like his brother, uncle, and father, has a degree in Forestry (from the University of Georgia). His parents, Druid and Carol Preston, have been our good friends and neighbors in Macon for nearly 30 years.
It is not often one comes across a book that contains so much useful and enlightening information and wisdom. In Vandals at the Gates of Medicine, Dr. Miguel Faria has captured the essence of our nation’s problem — collectivism. As he so forcefully points out, we have, as a people, abandoned the principles that made this a great nation, a nation of free and virtuous people.
Economically worldwide things are developing as I stated in my article two years ago. Virtually every nation is bankrupt, has resorted to printing money to lower the value of their currency with a resultant currency war.
In its ongoing effort to examine controversial subjects, Surgical Neurology International (SNI) explores a recent paper on limiting life to the age of 75 by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Dr. Miguel Faria, an Associate Editor in Chief of SNI, in his Editorial, "Bioethics and why I hope to live beyond age 75 attaining wisdom!: A rebuttal to Dr.
Reprinted with permission from Imprimis | January 2015 | Volume 44, Number 1
Jason L. Riley
Editorial Board Member, Wall Street Journal
Recently, I purchased a firearm at a gun show and had an experience that once again solidified my distaste for collectivist bureaucracies. I often tell my wife and my sons, Ron and Damien, the three people I most often share ideas with, that you would think Americans have had enough experience dealing with bureaucracies at different levels in society that they would see the folly of the greatest bureaucratic scheme of all — socialism/communism.
Recently we observed — or rather, failed to observe — two important anniversaries. The first was October 12, Columbus Day, which we largely ignore. The second was October 10 or 11, the approximate date of the Battle of Tours, which we ignore entirely.
Charles Martel won the Battle of Tours in 732, which saved Europe from the Muslim expansion beyond Spain. Martel's Frankish army defeated a Muslim army, which until then had crushed all resistance.
After a highly charged two-year campaign, the Scottish people have spoken, and the final vote and tally completed. On September 18, 2014, Scotland voted in a massive referendum on the issue of Scottish independence. The result being that Scotland would stay within the United Kingdom after all — rejecting, by a decisive vote, the call for independence: 2,001,926 citizens cast a No vote; 1,617,989, a Yes vote.
The liberal left has devoted a great deal of energy in its war on “racism,” a rather hazy concept in modern society. Most think of racism as disliking or even hating someone based only on their race. Almost, as a reflex, one, at least in this country, associates racism with the Southern states — particularly Mississippi. While the Deep South involved itself in the so-called Jim Crow laws and other expressions of segregation policies, it was not alone in racial exclusion policies and social behaviors.
A week or so ago we discussed Obama's Mid-term Report Card on foreign policy. It was the opinion of most readers of GOPUSA that the sitting President received a solid "F, " failing grade.
A recent article appearing in the magazine Scientific American Mind caught my attention as a perfect example as to how science (scientism) is being used to demonize those who disagree with a particular issue. The article, “What a Hoax,” appeared in the September/October 2013 issue. In fact, the article goes far beyond just demonizing dissenters of the orthodox opinion; incredibly, it classifies them as mentally ill and a danger to society. This of course reminds one of a similar methodology used in communist countries, such as the Soviet Union, Maoist China and communist Cuba.
In his book, After Fidel — The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader, author Brian Latell, a National Intelligence Officer (1990-1994) and the top analyst for Cuba and Latin America for all the U.S intelligence agencies, describes in persuasive detail the personal relationship between Fidel and Raúl Castro. At the time this book was written, Raúl Castro was the anointed successor to the Maximum Leader.
The term "liberal" originally stemmed from the human quest for free inquiry and the study of the liberal arts. Aristotle explained that the greatest pleasure a free man could possess is to have the economic means to indulge himself in the study of nature, books, science (philosophy) — and the liberals arts, rather than to be forced to labor endlessly with no free time for leisure and the contemplation of life.
The State by Franz Oppenheimer (1864-1943) was recommended to me years ago by friends as a Libertarian classic of political science. However, having just finished this tome, I now suspect that some of them did not actually read the book, but instead only read passages from it.
It has come to my attention some letter writers in The Telegraph and posters at Macon.com, have taken umbrage with the use of the word “socialism” in describing the worsening state of affairs in our nation today — from exorbitant, crippling regulations and taxation to abuse of the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution.
In Part I of this article, I discussed a concept that is always on the mind of the socialist planner and that is "social utility." To fully understand this concept one has to understand the socialist philosophy, if it can indeed be called a philosophy — in general, philosophies are analytical.
One characteristic of the collectivists is that when a particular term becomes unpopular, such as the word socialism, they create a succession of more socially friendly terms. For example, in the 1800s they did not shy away from the term socialism, but as people began to understand that socialism was a form of social control and engineering, they dropped the term for more acceptable terms such as liberalism, progressivism and collectivism. The socialist promoting a government-run health care system did likewise.
The Founding Fathers of this great nation designed a Republican form of government. By this, they meant a government under the rule of law and not the capricious rule of man, under a written constitution whose main function is to clearly demarcate the limits of authority of the federal government.
The "Right" versus "Left" convenient but capricious political arrangement came from the seating position of delegates to the National Assembly during the French Revolution, but it is at times a confusing concept and too often subject to media and academic bias and even misinformation. I have found it easier to have a political spectrum based on degrees of government control.
From 1876 onward, after the North recovered its fortunes and the South was unburdened by the end of Reconstruction, the nation was ruled by laissez-faire capitalism, and freedom flourished for most (not all) of the nations' citizens. The rapid pace of the Industrial Revolution brought about an exemplary standard of living but also new problems for the rapidly developing nation, and socialistic or progressive "reforms" appeared in this country for the first time.
Recently, as if on cue, I have noticed liberal jabs at religion of a peculiar nature. It is as if, from the coldness of his tomb, Karl Marx (photo, below) was inciting these little jabs by his latter day disciples to prop up yet another aspect of his failing communist (socialist) philosophy, a philosophy that refuses to die.
Most of us who have examined the managed care system have spoken about the evils of “corporate medicine.” We have done this because the managed care system is set up, to all intents and purposes, as a corporation. But, a recent article appearing in Transaction Social Science and Modern Society changed my thinking about this most important subject.(1) The article was written by Caroline Poplin, a graduate of the Yale Law School as well as a practicing internist.
Warning! If you have high blood pressure, consult your physician before reading Medical Warrior. Dr. Miguel Faria writes with such fervor and conviction about the looming dangers of a health-care system dominated by big government, big business, and big labor that people with medical problems may wish to read something far less provocative.