Example of Austerity

This is an assignment given in the public schools in my state:

This is precisely what I mean when I say that today’s leftism equals austerity. This smug, Soviet-style garbage is given to children in lieu of normal education. A friend’s kid is in a local public high school. This is what kids are taught in every subject. Business, art, mathematics – it’s all this.

31 thoughts on “Example of Austerity

  1. As someone who’s parents both came from Cuban immigrant families, this shit makes my blood boil. This is saying that my grandparents, by working hard, saving money, being strict about their kids’ education and striding to have a better life acted like white people😤 These are not “white traits”, these are traits of people who want them and their children to be successful.

    This is saying that my grandparents should have sat on their asses and collected welfare and whined about racism instead of working hard, that they were acting like white people. If Dad could have seen this, he would have gone to the school and kicked serious ass along with my uncles who are Vietnam vets. By that standard, my Dad being a self-taught autodidact with a passion for British literature and culture was acting white or a sellout. I need a whiskey before I smack someone 😡

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    1. “not “white traits”… traits of people who want them and their children to be successful”

      No constituency in the US has worse leadership than African Americans – the glorification of lumpenization and lawlessness guarantees that a few hucksters will have a healthy income stream while most languish in poverty and crime…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. These “adaptations” are ridiculous caricatures of 90s multi-culturalist stuff that was never “leftist” but more center-liberal and is now corporate and neoliberal. I really, really would not be using these in school.

    You can give an education at this level that doesn’t replicate and perpetuate racism by modeling good treatment of people, by teaching about important figures of all races, etc., and it’s totally appropriate to be critical of genocide, slavery, etc. but you have to be age appropriate, not traumatize the kids and so on.

    I of course do think those of us who have more have a responsibility to those who have less, and those of us coming from historically privileged groups do have a responsibility to work for equality and justice. I would think that a way to raise children to participate in such projects would NOT be to try to induce shame/guilt in them over a (supposed) identity.

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    1. “those of us coming from historically privileged groups do have a responsibility to work for equality and justice”

      What could you possibly mean by this? The notion of collective historical responsibility is the polar opposite of modern liberal-democratic notions of “equality and justice” (ie equality of opportunity and equal treatment for all individuals under the law.)

      “I of course do think those of us who have more have a responsibility to those who have less” This is a moral claim which in the west has ancient roots in Christian belief. It can mean many things to non-Christians and justify all sorts of wickedly anti-social behaviour especially when it moves from a matter of individual conscience to the ‘authoritative allocation of values’ by the state.

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      1. Well, GSW, one question I always get, because one of my grandparents is from a major Southern family, with huge plantations, etc., had major wealth earned from slaves, is whether or not I feel guilty.

        Of course not, it’s not I who did that. But also, I don’t agree with it so I don’t feel defensive about it. Now I do think we’re all responsible, to those people and their descendants and I’d feel responsible whether I were a blood descendant of slaveowners or now, I’m an American after all.

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        1. “Now I do think we’re all responsible, to those people and their descendants and I’d feel responsible whether I were a blood descendant of slaveowners or now (sic)”

          “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”

          “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

          “intergenerational trauma” – the wicked codswallop of evil race hucksters.

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        2. In my grandfather’s line of the family, there were a couple of slaveowners. Not big plantations, but individual households where somebody’s will in 1800 stipulated that after the fellow’s death the house, the bed, the cow, and the cook would go to the widow, while the money and land would be split between the kids. That cook, and possibly others owned by the same family two centuries ago, has trackable descendants in the US today– mostly in North Carolina. We know because they have the same idiosyncratically-spelled surname as our family, and hail from the same county in NC as our great-great-great-etc. grandparents.

          Our family is in the process of descending into the lower class. My grandparents were successful professional people. My parents struggled, and try hard to maintain the appearance of middle-class, but without the income to back it up. We, their children, have stopped trying to maintain appearances (because that would mean racking up debt) and instead focus on the important things: food, clothing, a roof, etc. We didn’t get college degrees, and it’s unlikely our children will, either.

          The descendants of the people owned by my ancestors now have a successful multi-state contracting business that bears the family name, based out of NC. I think that’s great and I’m really glad they’re successful. I can easily imagine a future where my kids are happy to be employed by them. I of course do not feel guilty about them, because I had nothing to do with the slavery of their ancestors, or the current success of their family– any more than they are responsible for the current downward mobility of my family.

          I can’t imagine, at this point, what we could possibly owe them. History turns over. Fortunes change. As Christians, we are duty-bound to love each other and to help the poor. But the idea that we owe more to some groups than others, because of accidents of history, doesn’t compute for me. We should help the destitute, regardless of who their grandparents were. It doesn’t matter who they’re descended from: it matters that they’re destitute right now– whether they’re descended from slaves or they’re the abandoned byblows of kings. Likewise, I don’t think it’s necessary to feel unusually obligated toward people descended from slaves, or other marginalized groups (some of our ancestors were licensed beggars and indentured servants: who owes us? Nobody. That’s ridiculous.), provided they’re doing OK now. And if they’re not doing OK now, we owe them the same help and compassion that we owe everyone in that situation.

          Why bring history into it at all? Historically, that frame of reference (we owe these people education/support/etc because of what kind of humans they are and their historical circumstances rather than simply because they are human and they are suffering— hasn’t led to stellar outcomes. That’s how we ended up with Indian residential schools and the BIA after all.

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          1. “As Christians, we are duty-bound to love each other and to help the poor. But the idea that we owe more to some groups than others, because of accidents of history, doesn’t compute for me. We should help the destitute, regardless of who their grandparents were. It doesn’t matter who they’re descended from: it matters that they’re destitute right now…”

            Your view has been the predominant one within Christianity as its doctrine teaches the fundamental equality of all living souls. We are all one and must strive to love each other just as much as we love ourselves.

            But as Christianity declined in the west following the enlightenment, new secular doctrines that claimed that irreconcilable differences between humans were preventing human progress took centre stage in interpreting the world. Through eliminating historical ‘injustices’ – by classes or races or nations – humanity can be perfected and we could achieve complete peace and order on earth it was promised. Total war could bring total peace.

            Hundreds and hundreds of millions of deaths followed in the violent wake of these truly evil human improvement schemes. You would have thought that humanity would have learned its lesson and turned away from the political hucksters who sell the poison of collective historical guilt/virtue but, sadly, here we go again.

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            1. And it’s not like any of this is helping the destitute. It makes things worse. Decades of telling black kids that they are losers have not brought any improvement to their lives. And the only explanation we are hearing is that they haven’t heard it enough. Let’s say it more loudly and more often! Maybe that will help!

              Or maybe let’s just stop already.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. “Or maybe let’s just stop already”

                Or… let’s start telling people the truth. More than any other factor, how individuals make out in life involves making good choices to maximize and leverage their abilities, education, motivation and skills. And if they want their children to have a better start then they did, work hard and sacrifice on a daily basis to make it possible.

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              2. Something tells me saying what you propose would have a better effe t than the endless “you’ll never amount to anything because systemic injustices something something.”

                I have personally heard a student explain that the reason he’s failing calculus is that there’s no professor who “looks like” him. And instead of giving him a tutor, we all sigh about this great injustice.

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      1. People who don’t keep getting dispossessed. If you’re in a group that, say, keeps suffering pogroms through the generations, being thrown off their land, not being allowed to study, not being allowed to buy property in certain areas, etc., etc., then you accumulate intergenerational trauma instead of intergenerational wealth, etc.

        Notice the Native Americans. They’re not naturally low achievers or something, they’ve been systematically oppressed, etc.

        Me, on the other hand, consider: 2 parents who had both had the chance to go to college, 1 of them decently employed, us belonging to a race that was allowed to get mortgages, so we could buy a house, and we weren’t just to certain neighborhoods, were only limited by what we could afford; I wasn’t identified by my race as someone who wouldn’t be smart; etc. Of course one still has to work hard, but not so many serious obstacles are put up.

        Another example is by gender. Back when I was an undergraduate it was a lot harder for women in some sciences to graduate because they weren’t wanted. People would do things like sabotage their experiments, as in break into the lab and pour poison into whatever it was they were trying to grow, etc. AND the professors wouldn’t do anything, were tacitly complicit sometimes. And sexual harassers. So, a set of obstacles. Which didn’t mean the men didn’t have to work hard to do well, it was just without these identity based obstacles.

        I’m flashing on this graduate student in the math department when I was an undergraduate, he was Black and very tall. He kept being hassled by security on his way onto and off campus, and by police walking home through the white neighborhoods near campus. I never was on a similar route. So he, and not I, was effectively getting the daily message, we don’t want you here. Etc.

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        1. So… by your definition a historically privileged group is one where poverty and disadvantage can happen, but are not permanent multigenerational states enforced by other groups?

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        2. Speaking of pogroms, look at Jews. Two thousand years of dispossession, pogroms, genocide, not being allowed to study, etc. And we lead in terms of wealth and education in every society by a huge margin.

          Ukrainians – 300 years of colonial domination, serfdom, a recent genocide – and no problems accumulating wealth in the US.

          Indians – a brutal colonial system, a legacy of caste structure – and really no problem accumulating wealth in the US.

          It seems like the only people who have a problem achieving in the US are the ones progressive forces try to compensate for their historic trauma.

          I’m extremely happy that it didn’t occur to any Soviet do-gooder constantly to point out in class which kids come from serfs and which don’t. That would be very unhelpful to the descendants of serfs. But I’m sure it would make the rest feel great.

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          1. —I’m extremely happy that it didn’t occur to any Soviet do-gooder constantly to point out in class which kids come from serfs and which don’t. That would be very unhelpful to the descendants of serfs. But I’m sure it would make the rest feel great.

            Interesting… In the Soviet Union I remember, it was actually important which class someone belonged to. It was not framed in terms of biology/genetics, but still. Proletariat was of course the best, but being the descendant of the serfs (which most of the proletariat was anyway) was a good thing. Solid thing. And belonging to the educated classes was viewed with some suspicion. You must have heard of the “rotten intelligentsia”… I do not know what was the chicken and what was the egg, and if it was out of protest against the system that devalued them, or out of genuine snobbery, or because some exemplary proletarians were actually abhorrent human beings (probably all of the above), but the intelligentsia responded in kind, by teaching their kids that they are better than, just by virtue of being educated or “from a good family”. Which in many cases produced pretty narcissistic children who themselves turned into abhorrent human beings, just in different ways compared with the proletarian ones.

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            1. Social class was extraordinarily important. Snobbery was gigantic. My parents are from different social classes and it was an enormous strain on everybody. It still is.

              In the 1930s there was a narrative about how great it was to be a proletarian. But it didn’t survive the war. When you were growing up, if a doctor’s son wanted to marry a kolkhoznik’s daughter, who would be considered to enter a mesalliance? Whose relatives would be appalled? Or a professor’s daughter marrying a factory worker.

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              1. In the context of the US, though, this constant harping on black misery has clearly not produced great results. I see the reaction of black students in class whenever slavery is mentioned, and it’s clear that they’ve had more than enough of it. Constantly singling out a group of students as pathetic, losers, perennial victims – it’s not producing wonderful results. I think it might not be a bad idea to lay off it for a while. Especially the part about how a black person is doomed to being a loser because everything is stacked up against him.

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              2. —When you were growing up, if a doctor’s son wanted to marry a kolkhoznik’s daughter, who would be considered to enter a mesalliance? Whose relatives would be appalled? Or a professor’s daughter marrying a factory worker.

                Both.

                Look, some classmates thought I am crazy to want to be a scientist. “You will spend five years at the university and after that you will be getting 120 rubles per month, and I will be getting 300 straight out of high school. And you will be lucky if you get that much by age 40.” And that was before “business” became a thing…

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              3. The doctor’s son is my Dad and the kolkhoznik’s daughter is my Mom. The prestige was all on his side even in spite of his being Jewish.

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              4. —The doctor’s son is my Dad and the kolkhoznik’s daughter is my Mom. The prestige was all on his side even in spite of his being Jewish.

                me saying “both” was also based on personal experience. My own, not even my parents.

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  3. Hey, spare me the white guilt.

    The strong and advanced civilizations conquer the weaker and the more primate, and ultimately both sides benefit, as they move together into the future to reap the benefits of the modern world.

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  4. The thing that blows my mind is I don’t know a single person who likes or approves of this stuff, and I know very liberal/progressive people. This is just extremely regressive.

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  5. Personally what I took out of this was yet another confirmation that when I have kids they will be home schooled, and damn the cost. Parents should be pulling their kids out of any institution pushing this abomination and doing their dead level best to see that anyone pushing this is barred from teaching or influencing kids ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. In IL it’s the entire public school system that’s now like this. And people still ask me why I’m not sending my kid to a public school. Because I don’t hate her is the answer.

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