Re: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Horowitz as Pat Buchanan

From: doug norberg (
Date: Fri Sep 08 2000 - 02:43:51 CUT

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    Some points to remember re: the world according to Horowitz:

    1. Every Imperialist power in history has not only gathered raw
    materials and impressive profits from the countries they've dominated,
    but they have also drawn huge numbers, often the entirety, of the
    intelligentsia (sometimes referred to as the "brain drain") of those
    countries along with countless laborers, who have virtually no prospect
    for a decent living in their homelands, once imperialism has picked
    things over and otherwise arrested independent development. A look at
    the old colonial powers and their neo-colonial antecedents will confirm
    this. In no case is this evidence of Imperial superiority, whether
    exhibited by Britain, France, Germany, or especially, the United
    States. It simply demonstrates how omniscient the theft and plunder has
    become (and how debilitating to the subject nations), and will be until
    imperialism is eradicated.

    2. The argument that Horowitz champions was first developed by the
    apologists for slavery, who argued that "Enslaved Africans in America
    live better than their free African cousins in Africa." These same
    arguments were repeated ad nauseum by the opponents of the civil rights
    movement, to the point that their views were satirized (in the voice of
    the American pitchman selling The American Dream to Africans) by the
    brilliant Randy Newman in his song "Sail Away":

    "In America you'll get food to eat,
    won't have to run through the jungle
    and scuff up your feet.
    You'll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day,
    It's great to be an American...

    Ain't no lions or tigers--Ain't no mamba snake,
    Just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake.
    Everybody is as happy as a man can be,
    climb aboard little wog, sail away with me..."

    Sing on, Mr. Horowitz.

    Doug Norberg

    David Horowitz wrote:

    >> Well Jeffrey the question you raise in typically rude fashion is
    >> really the crux of what has trapped people yourself in a sixties
    >> fantasy life all these years. It is one thing when you're young to
    >> to compare what you see around you to some utopian ideal that has
    >> never been and will never be a reality as long as human beings are
    >> what they are (and not say genetically transformed into something
    >> entirely different). It's quite another to grow old and never
    >> appreciate what you have (and what you have been given) compared to
    >> what other people all over the world and all throughout history have
    >> been forced to endure.
    >> Everybody in America is free to leave. Few do. If America's borders
    >> were opened tomorrow there would be a flood of brown and black of
    >> immigrants to these shores. There is no exodus of brown and black
    >> people today to any country whether Canada, Jamaica, South Africa,
    >> Mexico, Brazil or some other place. That's because black and brown
    >> people (as well as poor people generally) live far better in
    >> America, have far more justice and freedom in America than they do
    >> anywhere else in the world. What I mean by this (unlike you) is very
    >> specific: The average black person in America is 20 to 50 times
    >> richer than the average black person in Africa. And freer. And more
    >> protected in their individual rights. This is something all
    >> Americans should celebrate while working to make things even better.
    >> The fact that America is a land whose citizens pledge their
    >> allegiance to a country which seeks to provide its citizens with
    >> liberty and justice for all is something to be proud of and to teach
    >> our children to be proud of. That's the only way that the good that
    >> America has done for poor people and minorities can be protected and
    >> expanded.
    >> Your minority students can be forgiven for not understanding how
    >> privileged they are to be in a country that teaches its citizens
    >> from the early grades that discrimination on the basis of ethnicity
    >> or race is wrong; that has an economy generating more wealth for
    >> more people at more levels than any country since the beginning of
    >> time. Young people think they know better than everyone who came
    >> before them and they still have the illusion that people (and
    >> therefore societies) can be remade for the bettter if only they are
    >> given the right ideas .
    >> You, however, cannot be forgiven for having failed to learn the
    >> obvious in the decades you have had to think about all this since
    >> the 60s. To go on attacking this system and working to alienate
    >> young people from it (thus denying them opportunities they would
    >> have if they embraced it), all the while pretending that there is
    >> some other system that can produce the ideal justice of your
    >> fantasies is simply destructive and, in the end, pathetic. It's time
    >> to give it up.
    >> Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:
    >> > A friend forward this piece of jingoism, worthy of Pat Buchanan, to
    >> > me
    >> > today, in which David Horowitz accuses me of having "a subversive
    >> > mission whose agenda is to warn them [my students]against the very
    >> > society their parents had freely chosen. The students are addressed
    >> > not
    >> > as members of a free community freely choosing their futures, but
    >> > as
    >> > though they were dragged to these shores (and kept here) in
    >> > chains."
    >> >
    >> > He based this assumption on my questioning of students who stand
    >> > for the
    >> > pledge of allegiance "if she or he can tell me of any moment in
    >> > history
    >> > where the inhabitants of this land actually enjoyed 'liberty and
    >> > justice
    >> > for all,' and beyond the words
    >> > of the pledge, to show me any proof that such was ever intended."
    >> >
    >> > No student was ever able to do so. Now I am making the same
    >> > challenge
    >> > to Prof. Horowitz to see, with his apparent profound knowledge and
    >> > deep
    >> > respect for American history and its traditions, e.g., slavery and
    >> > Jim
    >> > Crow, genocide of the indigenous population, close to 200
    >> > interventions
    >> > on foreign soil, if he can answer the question.
    >> >
    >> > Perhaps, Horowitz would like to have a public debate on the
    >> > question?
    >> > I'm ready, David. Just name the time and place.
    >> >
    >> > Jeff Blankfort
    >> > | July 10, 2000
    >> > URL:
    >> >
    >> > The Fourth of July Weekend is normally a time for reflection about
    >> > the American Founding and renewed commitment to its enduring
    >> > legacy.
    >> > But in recent
    >> > years the anniversary of American Independence has also become an
    >> > occasion to reflect on the way America's heritage is under
    >> > continuous
    >> > assault by the
    >> > determined legions of the political left. This attack has been
    >> > mounted by an intellectual class based in the media and in
    >> > America's
    >> > politically correct
    >> > educational institutions. Their inspiration is a set of discredited
    >> >
    >> > 19th Century dogmas masquerading as "progressive" nostrums, and not
    >> >
    >> > even the collapse
    >> > of Communism has been able to reconcile their alienated psyches
    >> > with
    >> > the American cause.
    >> >
    >> > These thoughts were brought into focus by three unrelated but
    >> > thematically coherent incidents that occurred during the holiday
    >> > respite. They include an
    >> > Internet post concerning the Pledge of Allegiance as it is taught
    >> > in
    >> > our public schools; a dialogue about "patriotism" arranged by the
    >> > New
    >> > York Times
    >> > between neo-conservative Norman Podhoretz and Nation editor Victor
    >> > Navasky; and the release of Mel Gibson's epic film, "The Patriot,"
    >> > which is about
    >> > this history itself.
    >> >
    >> > The ritual of civic renewal is important to Americans in a way that
    >> >
    >> > it is not to the citizens of other nations. Their patria have been
    >> > created out of common
    >> > bonds of blood, language and soil. Their national identities are
    >> > not
    >> > intrinsic - as America's is -- to a set of abstract principles and
    >> > ideas. The singularity of
    >> > the American identity lies in being forged through a conscious
    >> > commitment to what until recently was still referred to as an
    >> > "American way of life." The
    >> > construct "American" was defined by the Founding, beginning with
    >> > its
    >> > Declaration that announced the creation of a new nation dedicated
    >> > to
    >> > the proposition
    >> > that all human beings are created equal and that they are endowed
    >> > with a natural right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. To be
    >> > anti-American is not only
    >> > to reject the heritage of this past, but a future that is
    >> > "American" as well.
    >> >
    >> > Until recently, the public schools in America functioned as a
    >> > crucible of its citizenship. Immigrants who came to America seeking
    >> >
    >> > refuge and opportunity
    >> > were educated in this social contract by their teachers. At the
    >> > beginning of every school day, students would pledge allegiance to
    >> > the flag of a multi-ethnic
    >> > republic that was united into one indivisible nation by the
    >> > commitment of all its citizens to a common national ideal. For
    >> > these
    >> > immigrants, public education
    >> > was a process of assimilation into an American culture that had
    >> > pledged itself to liberty and justice for all. But now this
    >> > contract
    >> > is under siege by radical
    >> > multi-culturalists who condemn America and its heritage as
    >> > oppressive, and valorize instead the culture of the "Other" - of
    >> > peoples this nation is alleged to
    >> > oppress. In this perverse -- but now academically normal - view,
    >> > the
    >> > world is turned upside down. The nation conceived in liberty is
    >> > reconceived as the
    >> > tyrant to be overthrown.
    >> >
    >> > Hows effective is this campaign? A Zogby poll, taken in January,
    >> > showed that nearly a third of America's college students declined
    >> > to
    >> > say that they are
    >> > proud to be Americans. This can be considered a direct result of
    >> > the
    >> > fact that their left-wing professors, as a matter of course, teach
    >> > them to be ashamed of
    >> > their country's present and its history.
    >> >
    >> > The Internet post I came across was from a Sixties list, and it
    >> > encapsulated the attitude that has caused this to happen. The post
    >> > was written by Jeffrey
    >> > Blankfort, a photographer who supplied the media with romantic
    >> > images
    >> > of the Black Panthers, during their struggles with law and order in
    >> >
    >> > the 1960s.
    >> > Blankfort is now a public school teacher, and an unreconstructed
    >> > missionary from the hate-America school of radical thought, perhaps
    >> >
    >> > the most enduring
    >> > legacy of his radical generation to the national debate. This is
    >> > what
    >> > Blankfort wrote:
    >> >
    >> > "In the schools in which I have subbed and then taught, very few
    >> > students stand for the pledge of allegiance unless coerced to do so
    >> >
    >> > by their teacher. Most
    >> > of the students have either African, Latin American or Asian
    >> > ancestry. When an occasional student does stand, I ask, in a
    >> > friendly
    >> > manner, if she or he can
    >> > tell me of any moment in history where the inhabitants of this land
    >> >
    >> > actually enjoyed 'liberty and justice for all,' and beyond the
    >> > words
    >> > of the pledge, to show
    >> > me any proof that such was ever intended."
    >> >
    >> > In other words, for Jeffrey Blankfort and his comrades, gone is the
    >> >
    >> > role of public education as an assimilator of immigrants and
    >> > minorities into the
    >> > American culture; gone, too, is the task of integrating them into
    >> > the
    >> > opportunities offered under the umbrella of "the American dream."
    >> > It
    >> > has been replaced
    >> > by a subversive mission whose agenda is to warn them against the
    >> > very
    >> > society their parents had freely chosen. The students are addressed
    >> >
    >> > not as members
    >> > of a free community freely choosing their futures, but as though
    >> > they
    >> > were dragged to these shores (and kept here) in chains. Thirty
    >> > years
    >> > ago no teacher
    >> > would have thought to abuse his authority over school children in
    >> > this manner. But now educational institutions all the way from
    >> > university to kindergarten
    >> > have been thoroughly politicized by a "post-modern" left that
    >> > respects no institutions and no standards, and for whom everything
    >> > is
    >> > political, including the
    >> > lives of small children.
    >> >
    >> > This is an authentic movement of sedition, and it is new as well.
    >> > In
    >> > fact, I have a personal way of measuring just how new. My father
    >> > was
    >> > a Communist
    >> > teacher during the Thirties and Forties, unfairly purged in the
    >> > McCarthy era from the New York City school system. But not for an
    >> > act
    >> > like this. For he did
    >> > not, so far as the record shows, violate his classroom trust; nor
    >> > did
    >> > he intrude his personal political agendas into his lessons. Even
    >> > though my father
    >> > belonged to a conspiratorial party that took its orders from a
    >> > foreign power, it would have been absolutely unthinkable for him to
    >> >
    >> > attack America in its
    >> > promise ("show me any proof that such [liberty and justice] was
    >> > ever
    >> > intended") as today's leftists reflexively do.
    >> >
    >> > My father belonged to a party whose slogan was "Communism is 20th
    >> > Century Americanism," and he believed it. The socialism of which he
    >> >
    >> > and his
    >> > comrades dreamed was incompatible, of course, with the American
    >> > founding. But in their minds the future to which they aspired was
    >> > going to be a
    >> > completion - not a rejection - of the American idea. Accordingly,
    >> > they named their organizations after American icons like Lincoln
    >> > and
    >> > Jefferson, men now
    >> > routinely demonized by the left as "racists" and (in Jefferson's
    >> > case) "rapists." Even though what Communists like my father really
    >> > wanted was a "Soviet
    >> > Lincoln

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