Posted in Free Society, Government Regulations, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Security, Uncategorized

The True Story of the Reichstag Fire and the Nazi Rise to Power | History | Smithsonian Magazine

You may want to read the Smithsonian piece about the Reichstag Fire first, then consider it in light of the political events of the past year 4 years.

Here’s an excerpt:

“In January 1933, Hindenburg reluctantly appointed Hitler as chancellor on the advice of Franz von Papen, a disgruntled former chancellor who believed the conservative bourgeois parties should ally with the Nazis to keep the Communists out of power. March 5 was set as the date for another series of Reichstag elections in hopes that one party might finally achieve the majority.

Meanwhile, the Nazis seized even more power, infiltrating the police and empowering ordinary party members as law enforcement officers. On February 22, Hitler used his powers as chancellor to enroll 50,000 Nazi SA men (also known as stormtroopers) as auxiliary police. Two days later, Hermann Göring, Minister of the Interior and one of Hitler’s closest compatriots, ordered a raid on Communist headquarters. Following the raid, the Nazis announced (falsely) that they’d found evidence of seditious material. They claimed the Communists were planning to attack public buildings.

On the night of February 27, around 9:00, pedestrians near the Reichstag heard the sound of breaking glass. Soon after, flames erupted from the building. It took fire engines hours to quell the fire, which destroyed the debating chamber and the Reichstag’s gilded cupola, ultimately causing over $1 million in damage. Police arrested an unemployed Dutch construction worker named Marinus van der Lubbe on the scene. The young man was found outside the building with firelighters in his possession and was panting and sweaty.

“This is a God-given signal,” Hitler told von Papen when they arrived on the scene. “If this fire, as I believe, is the work of the Communists, then we must crush out this murderous pest with an iron fist.”

A few hours later, on February 28, Hindenburg invoked Article 48 and the cabinet drew up the “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State.” The act abolished freedom of speech, assembly, privacy and the press; legalized phone tapping and interception of correspondence; and suspended the autonomy of federated states, like Bavaria. That night around 4,000 people were arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the SA. Although the Communist party had won 17 percent of the Reichstag elections in November 1932, and the German people elected 81 Communist deputies in the March 5 elections, many were detained indefinitely after the fire. Their empty seats left the Nazis largely free to do as they wished.”

As you read THE SMITHSONIAN article, think about the convenient political alignment of ANTIFA & BLM with previously centrist Democrats. Consider how the FBI, under the Obama administration, spied on the Trump campaign as a predicate to construct a false narrative that Trump solicited Russian election interference (i.e. the Democrat funded, opposition research Steele dossier, etc). Recall the FBI sting of General Flynn where even the facts called for halting the investigation; yet hand written notes from those pushing the investigation spoke of the importance of “getting him to lie”. Or the heavily armed FBI assault team raid on elderly Roger Stone’s home home at 4 AM for allegedly making false statements to Congress and witness interference. Recall the January 2021 incident at the Capital where barricades were abandoned by police allowing easy passage of peaceful and not-so-peaceful protesters and subsequent accusations of seditious activity of Trump and any known sympathizer.  Reflect on the lopsided 17:1 ratio of left-leaning to conservative leaning professors that dominate the humanities departments of our universities. Or that over 90% of political contributions from teacher’s unions historically go to Democrat candidates and progressive legislation.

It seems obvious to me that the threat to our democracy doesn’t come from concerns of seditious activity on the right or unfounded fears of Trump refusing to leave the White House. The political lessons in the aftermath of the Reichstag Fire teach us that the threat comes from the radical left’s crackdown on free speech where any opinions not deemed mainstream are equated with subversion & violence; and a coercive political media-driven assault on our liberties and the protections outlined in the Constitution. Ask yourself if the experiment in representative republic self-governance called the United States of America can survive with one party rule.

The NAZI party rose to power by a carefully orchestrated & choreographed manipulation of public opinion against their political opponents, led by a compliant and often complicit media.  Considering the disastrous consequences to individual liberty, be it from the Statism of the radical left or the Autocratic Fascism of the far right, the left’s political tactics and agenda should set off alarm bells in our collective heads.  

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-reichstag-fire-and-nazis-rise-power-180962240/

Posted in Education, Free Society, Influence peddling, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Rule of Law, Technology, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Security, Uncategorized

How To Respond to the Great Deplatforming of 2021 – Reason.com

There’s a lot that still needs building to create an alternative digital commons, but it can be accomplished. Communicating freely might take more work in the future, and your favorite politician might get banned or your favorite app taken out of the store. But in this cat-and-mouse game, the mice far outnumber the cats.

That said, in the short term, the decision makers at Twitter and Facebook may want to consider that repression tends to have the unfortunate effect of pushing legitimate dissidents and dangerous, unsavory extremists into the same channels.

Sigmund Freud theorized that when thoughts or experiences are repressed, they inevitably resurface in more deranged and damaging forms. When our dominant communication platforms seek to repress widely held beliefs and opinions, those beliefs and opinions aren’t likely to simply disappear but rather reemerge elsewhere in less visible forums where they’ll face less scrutiny.

The next few years may be ugly, but silencing dissenters will ultimately fail. As Stewart Brand famously quipped, “Information wants to be free.”

https://reason.com/video/2021/01/12/how-to-respond-to-the-great-deplatforming-of-2021/

Posted in Education, Free Society, Government Regulations, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Rule of Law, Uncategorized

Why George Orwell’s Quote on ‘Self-Censorship’ Is More Relevant Than Ever – Foundation for Economic Education

Welcome to Friday’s Philosophical Foray beyond Healthcare!

Government bureaus are not needed for mass censorship. You only need people in authority willing to acquiesce to the intimidation tactics of an idea-censoring, anti-free speech mob wielding their social & professional weaponry like pitchforks.

Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.

“The above is a quotation from George Orwell’s preface to Animal Farm, titled “The Freedom of the Press,” where he discussed the chilling effect the Soviet Union’s influence had on global publishing and debate far beyond the reach of its official censorship laws.

Wait, no it isn’t. The quote is actually an excerpt from the resignation letter of New York Times opinion editor and writer Bari Weiss, penned this week, where she blows the whistle on the hostility toward intellectual diversity that now reigns supreme at the country’s most prominent newspaper.”

https://fee.org/articles/why-george-orwells-warning-on-self-censorship-is-more-relevant-than-ever/

Posted in Economic Issues, Education, emotional intelligence, Free Society, Free-Market, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized

Audio Blog Episode 3: James Keena, author of 2084: American Apocalypse

 

Posted in Education, Free Society, Leadership, Liberty, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

The Role of the University: Lux et Veritas VS. Social Change – The Importance of Viewpoint Heterodoxy. Jonathan Haidt on breaking up the Axis of Outrage

“He who knows only his side of the case, knows little of that.”

– John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

The Intellectual Problem: 17:1 Viewpoint Orthodoxy = Motivated Scholarship = Ideological Monoculture

The Solution: Viewpoint Heterodoxy = Institutional Dis-confirmation = Evidence-based Solutions

“The surest sign that a community suffers from a deficit of viewpoint diversity is the presence of orthodoxy, most readily apparent when members fear shame, ostracism, or any other form of social retaliation for questioning or challenging a commonly held idea.

In these contexts, it is likely that the dominant idea is not entirely correct because it is protected from challenge and change. If, however, the response to dissent is civil discussion and evidence-based argument, then the community does not suffer from
orthodoxy.

The question, then, is whether colleges and universities welcome and celebrate viewpoint diversity. While some individual institutions do (see our Guide to Colleges), many American universities are typified by an ideological monoculture.

Do you think students are “walking on eggshells” in the classroom and on-campus? Administer our Campus Expression Survey to find out.”

 

https://heterodoxacademy.org/the-problem/

 

https://heterodoxacademy.org/the-problem/

Posted in Education, emotional intelligence, Free Society, Leadership, Liberty, Rule of Law, Uncategorized

The Long-term Effect of Too Much Information

DecisionMaking1By Robert Nelson

 

Can we have too much information?

If the universe of information is all accurate, and useful, then the the answer is obviously no; we can’t have TOO much.

But in the age of digital media projected via the instantaneous & highly portable connectivity that social networking platforms provide, the sheer amount of information is nearly incalculable; not to mention unfiltered and often unvarifiable. And nevermind the “fun coefficient”, but we’ll leave the entertainment value of the content for another discussion.

It seems that deciphering the accurate from the erroneous and the useful from the superfluous is not a uniquely modern problem; albeit one that is currently more pervasive and swift in its ability to evoke cultural change, both good and bad.

Note Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts on the issue of what we now call “fake news”.

In 1807 statesman Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter complaining about the misinformation in newspapers6

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day

Jefferson provocatively suggested the advantages of not reading the newspaper:”

I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.

Beyond the obvious requirement of source validity & fact checking, it seems that Jefferson is hinting at something a bit more universal: That some ideas can be seen as truth because they transcend time, culture and politics. We can’t be sure if Jefferson was referring to the transcendent or simply that his words reflected an optimism that the truth would eventually surface.

But whether it be Jung’s archetypes of the Collective Consciousness or the apostle Paul’s view that everyone contains an inner knowledge of the “law”, there is a theme that weaves through the history of human thought which maintains that there is objective truth apart from our own experiential being and which is self-evident if we use our senses and pay attention to how the world operates.

But back to the consequences of too much information; or more accurately, the speed at which unverified stories and unvetted ideas permeate society via agenda-driven media outlets.

When asked by a reporter about being the victim of a “fake news” story, Denzel Washington had this to say:

One of the effects [of too much information] is the need to be first; not even to be true anymore. So what a responsibility you all have to tell the truth, not just to be first…

~Denzel Washington