Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Rise of the Neo-Aristotelians by Jules Evans

I still get asked what the difference is between communism and communitarianism. In numerous articles I've explained that communitarianism is the balance between communism and capitalism, that it merges the opposites into one more perfect, whole system. But that concept is so foreign to people that I feel like I have to keep explaining it in different, easier ways. But as often as I try to simplify it they find new ways to complicate it.

It's easy for people who identify with the Right to recognize the communist/socialist parts of Communitarianism. It's a lot harder to show them how Capitalist Free Trade Conservatives participate in Rebuilding a Communitarian World. The best current example of how the Conservative Right promotes Communitarianism is England's Big Society, an "impressive attempt to REFRAME the role of government"...

From wikipedia:

It was launched in the 2010 Conservative manifesto and described by The Times as "an impressive attempt to reframe the role of government and unleash entrepreneurial spirit".[3] Nat Wei, one of the founders of the Big Society Network, was appointed by David Cameron to advise the government on the Big Society programme.

The plans include setting up a Big Society Bank and introducing a national citizen service.[4] The stated priorities are:[5]

  1. Give communities more powers
  2. Encourage people to take an active role in their communities
  3. Transfer power from central to local government
  4. Support co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises
  5. Publish government data.
Understanding why we must GIVE communities more powers, TRANSFER power to local government ("not to be confused with municipal governments," A. Etzioni) and to FORCE people to take an active role in the creation of their new community system are the keys to the Communitarian Kingdom of Blood.

Looked in the recent news to see how Cameron's Big Idea (a Hegelian term for global slavery to the state) is progressing. Some critics are calling it "madness." And others think virtue politics are exciting and embrace "a way beyond the ethical relativism of liberal, pluralist capitalism."

The Rise of the Neo-Aristotelians Jules Evans

October 28, 2010 | More on Influence and networks | One comment

I’m excited about going to see Alasdair MacIntyre talk today. I think he’s the most influential living philosopher, and it’s a rare chance to see him speak in London (he moved to the US 40 years ago). The influence of his 1981 book. After Virtue, is still growing. More and more thinkers are following him in embracing Aristotle and a Neo-Aristotelian virtue politics as a way beyond the ethical relativism of liberal, pluralist capitalism.

That includes communitarians on the right, like Phillip Blond, the architect of the Tory party’s Big Society concept, who called for a ‘new communitarian settlement’, and communitarians on the left, like the MP John Cruddas, who writes in the New Statesman today that Labour should embrace a “politics of virtue, rooted in Aristotle, which resists commodification and nurtures community”.

It also includes the literary critic Terry Eagleton, who I see has left behind post-modernism and the relativism of literary theorists like Derrida and Baudrillard to embrace a Neo-Aristotelian / MacIntyrean virtue politics.

MacIntyre, and Aristotle, are obviously back in vogue. But I wonder what he thinks of the contemporary fusion of Aristotle with empiricism and utilitarian happiness measurements? Does he think we can discover a ‘science of flourishing’? Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to ask him this evening.

No wonder I have such a hard time explaining it when it's described by them as a "contemporary fusion of Aristotle with empiricism and utilitarian happiness measurements." How many people know what that means? I don't even know, and I'm supposed to be an "expert." heh


Anonymous said...

I'm sure I'm repeating myself but it bears repeating. Aristotle. I did not attend college so I never read him. I knew little about him. But when our daughter in the fourth grade at her government school in Ohio was put into the "gifted" program one of the text books that was used on her and the others had the title: Harry Stottlemeier's Discovery. Our daughter told us the title was a play on the name Aristotle. The program and books came from the Montclair University in New Jersey. The teacher claimed the program and books would teach the children HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS or HOTS. I, not knowing the real meaning of those words, imagined my child would be learning to reason. The program went on for five years. Four years after she was out of the program I learned the truth. Then I got the books and saw for myself what they were used for. They were for brainwashing. The children were being influenced to think a specific way about specific social/cultural issues. They were being turned into COMMUNITARIANS. DIAPRAX was used on the children. They were being trained to DIALOGUE TO CONSENSUS. If one of them did not go along then the teacher used several others to put pressure on the one to change her mind and come to consensus. Programs or books like these are used in most if not all the schools. This brainwash has been going on for years. When George Bush the Elder was President this program was in force. When Reagan was President this program was in force. Both parties are involved. Charlotte Iserbyt put the proof in her large books. I'm happy to say our child was saved from the brainwashing teacher. Our child now home schools her three children. But I dare say the brainwash worked on the rest of them. The connection between this type of brainwash in the schools and the acceptance of COMMUNITARIANISM is so clear. They are prepared and primed in the schools to accept this. If I had not worked so hard to de-program my child and inform her then she might also have remained brainwashed. In fact, at the time she was in the "gifted" program she came home and announced that there was no right and wrong. That everything was relative. She learned that view in her classroom. And that teacher told me she was a Christian. That teacher is retired, living well, and facilitating a COMMUNITARIAN religion program called WALK TO EMMAUS. I hope anybody who reads this will ask a few questions about what they or their children have been exposed to in the schools. Because this has been going on for over a century and was well-planned. Read the books of John Taylor Gatto to understand the history of education. Read Charlotte Iserbyt's book. It's the only way to know what they've perpetrated.

Anonymous said...

Aristotle: I knew little about him as a young adult. But when our 10-year-old daughter was put in a gifted program at her public school I learned that the book she was using in that class, Harry Stottlemeier's Discovery, was a play on that name. Her lying teacher told me the purpose of the class was to teach HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS/HOTS and I interpreted that to mean she was being taught to think clearly. For five years she was brainwashed. Four years after that I finally learned the truth. Benjamin Bloom, Hilda Taba, David Krathwohl and others were the COMMUNITARIANS on which the class was based. My child was being taught to think like a COMMUNITARIAN. Etzioni, Lippman (author of Harry Stottlemeier), Bloom, Taba, Krathwohl, and so many others: what do they have in common? See if you can guess. The same thing the Frankfurt School guys had: "Critical of both capitalism and Soviet socialism, their writings pointed to the possibility of an alternative path to social development." [wiki] It's The Third Way. It's the melding of East and West. It's COMMUNITARIANISM.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

A reminder. Rick Warren of the Saddle Back Mega Church in California, who wrote Purpose-Driven (drivel) books and is a fake Christian. His purpose is to facilitate COMMUNITARIANISM and convince his lemmings that it's Christianity. We must never forget the religious fakers who are helping bring this about. They come from both sides too. The Charismatics and the Liberal/Left Wingers. The leftie politicians and the so-called righties, like Bush and Reagan. It's a game that works every time. Give the stupid masses a pretend choice and merge the dummies.

the tent lady said...

I will have to write a new research paper that includes all the references in your comments. It's still amazing to see how many pieces I've missed or overlooked.

I wonder how hard it will be to do more digging into Etzioni's German background; I never did follow his roots back beyond his family's immigration to Palestine when he was a child. Given the involvement of his entire family in the plan, I would like to know what his father did in Germany before the war and if he had any association with the Frankfurt School.

Several years ago I got an email from a man at the Frankfurt School who had read our thesis. He assured me only 2 dozen people in the entire world can actually understand Hegel, and that Etzioni isn't one of them. Now why write that and not address our premise?

From the Catholic Insight article referenced above:

"What was the Frankfurt School? Well, in the days following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, it was believed that workers’ revolution would sweep into Europe and, eventually, into the United States. But it did not do so. Towards the end of 1922 the Communist International (Comintern) began to consider what were the reasons. On Lenin’s initiative a meeting was organised at the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow."

Kevin Eggers said...

I've talked with Charlotte Iserbyt numerous times. She has nothing but good things to say about you Niki. She has read most of your articles and is amazed at how you figured things out from the ground up. Have you ever communicated with Charlotte?

the tent lady said...

It's been many years but yes, we sent a few emails back and forth when she was researching community policing where she lives. I've had links to her book and her Reese Commission page almost from the beginning of the ACL website. I have never read the entire text of "deliberate dumbing down of america" but was able to read some of it when she posted it online for free. (The book itself was something like 75 bucks).

It IS amazing how I figured this out from the ground up, but it's also proof that it's not that hard to figure it out once we start reading without the shades pulled down over our eyes. You are another one who is genuinely grass roots Kevin, and we are NOT alone. Last night we counted the real people we've met through the ACL and it exceeded one hand!

Anonymous said...

Another who wrote about the Frankfurt School is Dean Gotcher who wrote DIAPRAX, a book that explains how teaching people to practice, to engage in, the Dialectic is used in schools, in church, in government and in business. In business it's Total Quality Management/TQM or Continuous Quality Improvement. In schools it's Outcome Based Education/Mastery Learning. In church it's Purpose Driven/Warrenism. In government it's the numerous names that you, Niki, have written about.
DIAPRAX is A DIVERSE GROUP, DIALOGUING TO CONSENSUS, WITH THE AID OF A FACILITATOR, OVER A SOCIAL ISSUE, WITH A PRE-DETERMINED OUTCOME. The group MUST be diverse (there must be Thesis vs. Antithesis to have a Synthesis). The Third Way, COMMUNITARIANISM. The hidden rulers and controllers know what the outcome is to be. In the case of the books used in our child's gifted class they are carefully, scientifically written to present the issue, supply just the right manipulative wording to lead the children to the pre-planned conclusion. When I finally saw the books I was enraged. That was twenty years ago. Look at all the time they've had since then to work their evil.

Stop Common Purpose said...

" amazed at how you figured things out from the ground up"

So am I.

I could not have worked out what Common Purpose is up to without reading your stuff, Niki.


Kevin Eggers said...

Niki, “exceeded one hand” Wow. You must have strict criteria for "real people".

By the way, I start giving my speeches at the Toast Masters on Wednesday. There are about twenty people that attend. I figure I will be speaking about communitarianism quite a bit, but my first speech is supposed to be about three things related to my past. I think I'll include:

1. Not being able to see until Fourth Grade—the teachers didn't realize I couldn't see the black board until we played a cue card game where I yelled out it wasn’t fair to those that weren’t closer—It was amazing how all along I thought I could see, only to realize that I was never able to see in the first place--this always reminds me of listening to Rush Limbaugh for fifteen years, thinking I knew what was going on, only to realize I would have been better off banging my head against the wall.

2. How I met my wife at the Junior College--she was top of her class in High School (and the Junior College) and had scholarships to Rochester Medical School (she didn’t want to be a doctor) and other colleges—the only reason she was at the JC is because she was home sick. I was going to school just to be going—she felt guilty if she didn’t get an A and I could care less. I hated the structure of school and the tunnel vision of most teachers. My wife and I were two opposites in how we viewed school, yet a perfect match. We have so many things that we like to do together.

3. Getting pulled over by six police cars for armed robbery after leaving a Taco Bell in Concord, CA--they thought my wife and I were Bonnie and Clyde and had robbed a liquor store--this was the first time in my life I was really scared, seeing all those guns pointed at my wife and me—four of the cops thought we did it. Thankfully there was one thinking cop that said, “These aren’t the people, why are we wasting our time.” After being forced to crawl backwards 10 yards on the pavement on her bare knees and being frisked by one of the policemen, my wife asked for them to get a description, which the one thinking cop finally did. They were looking for a 6’ 2 black man driving a white Ford Bronco. As you know Niki, I’m 5’5’ and white. Of course, we were driving a White GMC Suburban with a personalized license plate with our name on it. This proved to us that cops were like any other bureaucrats, except they have guns.

I only have ten minutes for my speech, but figure I’ll mention researching Agenda 21 and communitarianism at the end of the speech.

the tent lady said...

Diaprax is another one of the areas I admit I glossed over. Thanks for reminding me of its importance and Gotcher's book!

It's a good feeling to know that people appreciate my contribution to their understanding of the new system John, and I know you do. I appreciate your continued support, your published papers, and regular comments and feedback. You're one of the good guys fo' sho'.

Kevin the ACL has always attracted people who turned out to be, well, not exactly people we could trust. But there are a lot more people that we DO trust than we don't, and I really did just realize that. It's been a long time since it was just a few supportive people, but for some reason I've still considered us pretty much alone in this. Truth is we've made many great contacts and some that turned into friendships and yes they're very real to us. I'd love to be at a toastmaster speech you make! I think the eyeopening Rush comment is hilarious... and since I know you and your wife RL now too I can see and hear you telling these stories and you're gonna be great. Wouldn't it be fantastic if the ACL could hire you to go on speaking tours to educate Americans about communitarianism? :) Ah to think of what we could have done with the 100 million dollars our government spent to educate Colombians in accepting and adopting Communitarianism.

Anonymous said...


My wife and I actually have a very limited number of friends. You and your daughter Nordica are among the very few people that we know that actually think outside the Hegelian box. You are real (thinking) people to us, and are also good friends.

Jules Evans said...

Hi Niki

Thanks for the link to my piece. I like your blog.

Communitarianism is enjoying a revival here in the UK - it's become very fashionable to talk about the 'Good Life' and the 'Good Society', and to ask how we as individuals and societies can achieve 'flourishing' - and alot of the thinking on it goes back to Aristotle, whose ethics is very much about how to achieve flourishing as individuals and society.

What I mean by a fusion of Aristotle with empiricism and happiness measurements is, some policy makers are arguing we can build a 'science of happiness / wellbeing' - using happiness measurements to find out what activities and public policies make people happier.

So in some ways, this is a fusion of Aristotle's idea of flourishing with a new 'science of happiness'. I don't think the fusion is very successful, but its popular nonetheless.

I call this fusion 'natural communitarianism' - it argues that communitarianism is a better philosophy than liberal individualism, because it 'fits' better with our human nature, and it tries to prove this with empirical evidence from psychology and the social sciences.

Heres another post about this idea:

All best


Niki Raapana said...

Kevin, the feeling is mutual here and Nordica just said yesterday that she should call you soon. :)

Jules, what a pleasant surprise to have you come by and clarify that article for us. I really appreciate it and am reading the link you provided right now. I've actually smiled a few times at what you've written and believe me that doesn't happen often in my work! Lately I've been a very unhappy person because of the way I feel about the successful communitarian takeover of my country. The way our people have embraced it without thinking makes me both furious and depressed. I wonder if I'd be happier if I was to throw in the towel and hang with happy communitarian drones. :)

I'm only half way through your article and have to stop for RL business today (my daughter is having a baby soon!) but I will read the rest for sure when I am free. You've provided a necessary piece to my understanding the fusion. Thank you.