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OT: naughty / RE: hmmm.....

From: Eric D. Pierce <>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 15:49:19 -0800
Message-Id: <>

re: social change, conservatives vs liberals, ye old election, etc.

I know a liberal irish academic (grad school in both england and USA specializing in educational theory/culture history) who says that many aspects of the US public education system were set up to socialize immigrant populations from eastern europe, and the mediterranean, into a conformist mentality so they would be good factory workers and not question the authority of their WASP employers or demand better social privileges, and so forth. If I recall correctly, this started in the late in the 1800s. Prior to that, there were no "grade levels", hourly periods, or all the other dehumanizing, mechanistic accouterments of the "modern" class room. Weirdly enough (to me anyway), once the leftists took over the public education system (I'm assuming this started during the time of FDR's reforms), they turned around, and created a system that continued to perpetuate the idea of dependent "underclasses" that needed to be overseen by an elite of social engineers. Once affirmative action was in place (put there by Richard Nixon's people remember), it was inevitable that the political solidarity of minority groups would disintegrate as the successful members of those groups abandoned the inner city areas for the suburbs. (This is where William Julius Wilson, Orlando Patterson and the other outstanding black "conservative" intellectuals -many at Harvard- have provided years of painstaking research data showing the weakness and failures of the liberal social engineering programs.)

The problem of course is that this (conformist socialization) was not the most rapid way of getting people from other cultural systems to buy into the dominant culture's northern european/protestant (angloimperialist)  paradigm of "moral individualism" and technocapitalism.

Since entrepenurial culture and technocapitalism are now ascendant, and the upper part (the purely racially based part, not the class based & meritocratic parts) of the system of "white privilege" is eroding as the reality of multicultural/ multiracial/ global society sets in, I'd say the social engineers need to seriously rethink both the tactical and philosopical validity of their political agenda, otherwise it is likely to get largely swept away by ideas popularized by libertarians (eg, the educational voucher movement).

Specifically, Wilson's book "Bridge Over the Racial Divide", (and related work)
advocates a hybrid system that seeks to blend the best of "conservative" moral-individualist entrepenurialism with "liberal" concern about social justice and equality.

Anthony Giddens (London School of Economics, Sociology) is one of the best known advocates of similar ideas ("third wave") as applied to globalism.


   Anthony Giddens is the most widely-read and cited social theorist
   of his generation.  His ideas have profoundly influenced the
   writing and teaching of sociology and social theory around the

   In particular, he developed the theory of structuration, which is
   the understanding of the relationship between individuals and the
   conditions around them.   We should view life in society as a
   series of ongoing activities and practices that people carry on,
   but which at the same time reproduce larger institutions.  

   Most recently he has been at the forefront of developing ideas in
   left of centre politics.  He has helped to popularise the idea of 
   the 'Third Way'.   The Third Way represents the renewal of social
   democracy in a world where the views of the old left have become
   obsolete, while those of the new right are inadequate and
   contradictory.  A new social democratic agenda is emerging that is
   integrated, robust and wide-ranging, which can also rekindle
   political idealism.  Anthony Giddens has travelled to many
   countries around the world talking to political leaders and heads
   of state about the development of third way politics.  

   Anthony Giddens grew up in Edmonton, North London.  He was the
   first person in his family to go to university or college, and
   counts himself lucky to have been accepted by Hull University.  He
   has a younger brother and two daughters.   He is a keen Spurs fan,
   and watches them whenever they are playing at home.  



Underlying the "liberal vs conservative" debate is is a vestige of the
Enlightenment struggle to promote rationalism (and mercantile
democracy) as an alternative to the excesses of traditional authority
(Crown/Church). As such, it (the debate) will likely become
increasingly irrelevant as a set of social dynamics based on
transcending (but not negating) outmoded frames of reference emerge
in human conciousness, develop collective expressions and then take on
political/institutional forms. It seems to me that unless a serious
revisiting of the role of "the sacred" in public life occurs, the
default mode (centering life on a materialistic/consumerist basis)
will get us into very deep doo doo.

To make a vague stab (no pun intended) at being "OT", Larry E's
dabbling in medieval japanese warrior culture is probably not a good

best wishes,

On 31 Oct 2000, at 13:21, Kirsh, Gary wrote:

Date sent:      	Tue, 31 Oct 2000 13:21:04 -0800
To:             	Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L <>
Send reply to:
From:           	"Kirsh, Gary" <>
Subject:        	RE: hmmm.....

> I was thinking of the US Constitution, since I hear vouchers being debated
> at the federal level in the presidential campaigns. You are right, though,
> it should be a state/local issue, as should most things with which the
Received on Tue Oct 31 2000 - 17:49:19 CST

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