A Reason article from earlier in August reports that police officers in Key West were called to Gerald Adams Elementary School to arrest an eight-year-old boy. The boy was so slight of frame that the handcuffs the police used to detain him fell off of his wrists. Undeterred, the police brought the boy to the station and booked him with felony battery.
In February of this year, Orlando police were called to a charter school where they arrested a six-year-old girl. The same officer had arrested another six-year-old at a different school that very same day.
Being a Catholic in Japan is a profound act of loving counter-culturalism which has deep roots in the suffering of the Japanese martyrs. Many of the bishops here have unfortunately been weakened by the spiritual virus of Vatican II, but the laity who have realized what is at stake, and who are not about to throw away five hundred years of hard-bought heritage, are on fire for the Faith like nowhere else I have seen before. The Catholics here are serious—and, as I have learned to my great surprise over the years, "Catholics in Japan” is a much bigger group that “Japanese Catholics”.
I get a sense of this most forcefully at the annual March for Life in Tokyo. We are joined by some of our brave and good Japanese bishops and priests—Remnant readers will remember the great Fr. Onoda, for example—and also by so many Japanese faithful.
Marching arm in arm are people from South America, the Philippines, Korea, the Pacific islands, India, Europe, North America, Australia, and just about every other place in the world you can think of. A beautiful Pauline harmony of tongues is one of the hallmarks of any Catholic gathering here. People are speaking in Japanese, English, French, Portuguese, Tagalog, Spanish, Latin—and all for the greater glory of God.
When I was five, I was convinced that all girls had cooties. No, not convinced—that would imply that I had internally debated the matter and arrived at a conclusion. I knew all girls had cooties just as sure as I knew my own name. (My Mom repeated the latter, in full, whenever I got in trouble, which was a lot.)
To state the matter as the axiom that I took it to be at the time, G = C, where G is girls and C is cooties. It formulated a truth coterminous with the brute fact of the existence of the universe.
I am proud to say that I no longer subscribe to that view. Where once I would have laughed down anyone who suggested that a given girl was not lousy with cooties, I now would do the same with—or, more likely, would just pity and ignore—anyone who came to me with the G = C theorem I once championed.
Girls are pretty great, actually. I married one. If there was anything axiomatic back when I was a late preschooler it was that I was a bonehead and so, if I remember correctly, were pretty much all the other boys.
I thought I had left behind forever the world of the idiotic assumption until I wandered unwittingly into graduate school. There is a lot of idiocy in grad school, for example the readings and the courses and the professors, but the most idiotic thing I heard in all my years of not shaving and staying up late underlining Bourdieu was the following gem, written on a worksheet I received at a “diversity training session” held for all aspiring TAs one fall: “All white people are racist.”
The return of cootielogic. Seriously? I had thought that ship had, not sailed, but mercifully sunk.
G = C is not correct for the same reason that All X = Y is not correct if the term for Y is an analytic statement, and especially if Y is what the purveyors of cootielogic like to call “a social construct”. Remember “social constructs,” my leftist friends? You told us for years that everything was one of them. Gender, class, race… whoops. Social constructism just came back up to bite you on the keester, Prof. Stanford Nutting. So, to assert that a social construct now has the explanatory power of an a priori statement is pretty surprising. Even for a cootielogician I expected better.
Please let me break this down for folks who read only Gilles Deleuze and Jill Lepore. An a priori statement is a non-analytical utterance about something’s being identical with something else. “All unmarried men are bachelors” is the classic example. An unmarried man is a bachelor. A bachelor is an unmarried man. If I say that All X is Y and it’s an a priori statement of pre-analytical fact, then please do go ahead and assert that All X is Y. Because it’s not only true, but can’t not be true. An a priori statement can’t be otherwise than as stated.
But then there are analytical statements. Those are a posteriori. They require proof. You can say, for example, that you have twelve llamas in your kitchen. If you can prove it, great. (Or maybe not so great, for whoever has to clean up later.) But it’s not axiomatically true that you have twelve llamas anywhere. You could have eleven. You could have not llamas but tuba players. You might not even have a kitchen at all. Who knows. Just because you say something is the case doesn’t necessarily mean that it is, if what you say is a posteriori and not a priori.
With an a posteriori statement, you have to look out into the world, or back into your own experience, to show that it’s true.
To say that All White People Are Racist is an a posteriori statement. How do you know? Even on its own terms it breaks down. First of all, define “white people”. If race is a social construct, then why can’t different societies define the concept differently? (And if you really do think that All White People Are Racist, as in an a priori statement, then nothing you could do could change the fact—it’s definitional, not subject to revision—so why waste time re-educating people and torturing everyone with diversity training? All White People Are Racist—forever. Maybe you could try alchemy or astrology or some more scientific pursuit instead of race hustling.)
Then again, the last I checked we were all defining the concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life, etc. Great! So what if I say, for example, that I’m not white, even though you say that I am? I defined the mystery differently. What are you going to do about it? Or what if you persist and say that I can’t stop being white because it’s a fixed category? Fixed by whom, I churlishly reply. And anyway, see the “social construct” “discourse” above.
When I was five and all girls had cooties, that fact had never once been demonstrated to me by anyone in any way whatsoever. It was asserted with great insistence by a kid named Brian, and we pretty much all just did whatever he said and agreed with whatever he spouted forth. To the best of my knowledge, Brian the rising kindergarten freshman had never run any mass-spectrometry tests on a female to determine whether she did, in fact, have cooties. Brian mainly picked his nose and cheated at kickball. Not really the mass-spectrometry type.
Even if Brian had conducted a thorough investigation he would have come up empty handed. Because—please put down the Anti-Oedipus and listen to this—there is no such thing as cooties. The entire argument is bogus. File under, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
To be sure, however, racism does exist. Ever been to a Planned Parenthood? I’m not here to argue that some people don’t really hate folks sometimes based on whatever characteristic you care to use to determine what is—yes—the social construct known as “race”. Racism is not cooties. Racism is very real. When someone says that “All white people are racist,” that is, axiomatically, a racist statement. That is a priori just rude.
The reality of the terms does not affect the speciousness of the a priori argument when the a priori argument is being used in place of an a posteriori one. All gavagai are iagavag is nonsense.
All peaches are midnight is grammatically, syntactically not nonsense, but all the same it is nonsensical, because, huh?
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And even something apparently closer to home, like All pencils are sharpened, is still way off base. The two things are not the same. A pencil can be unsharpened. A sharpened thing can be something other than a pencil. The terms do not match. Sorry, no gin rummy, go fish.
It would be nice if we would stop using cootielogic to discuss our fellow human beings. All White People Are Racist is not just logically untenable, it’s also a pretty unkind thing to say about someone who might be your neighbor, your friend, even someone in your family. If someone says All White People Are Racist, or All [Variable] People Are [Variable], I think first, not that that person is logically wrong, but that that person has no manners, no tact. If someone has a prejudice, you would think the least they could do before they overcame it would be to hide it away.
Cootielogic is not logic. It’s not just not right—it’s not even wrong.
Another term for cootielogic is Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory—which is the entire reason that colleges and grad schools exist anymore, besides dispensing contraception—is hatred masquerading as high-mindedness. It’s the usual business of the left. Chop society, even people, into tiny pieces, but use big words while doing it.
Critical Race Theory. You’ve got to be kidding me. Not even a kindergartener would buy that idiocy.
--Jason Morgan is associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan
It was one hundred years ago this month that women in the United States obtained, as a matter of constitutional amendment, the guaranteed right to vote in state and national elections. With the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment on August 26, 1920, females joined their male counterparts in being able to cast ballots for the candidate of their choice.
If, like me, you attended public school, you were probably taught that the Nineteenth Amendment was a grand victory for equality and a triumph against the forces of chauvinism and reactionary darkness which have kept this country in chains since the age of Virginia Dare.
Over the past few years it has become fashionable to call overwrought white liberal women “Karens”. You know the type—they pop up in the news from time to time like mushrooms after a rain. Karen is the woman who calls the police when a little black girl and her mother come into a nice liberal white neighborhood to sell Girl Scout Cookies. Karen chastises black women for being in a nice liberal white neighborhood without a chaperone—even though the black woman might legitimately live there. Karen has a gelid conniption fit—frozen smile masking galloping rage—when a Hispanic gentleman chalks his own property in, again, a nice liberal white neighborhood. (Seeing a pattern here?) And Karen most recently dialed 911 when she was walking in Central Park and saw, THE HORROR!, a black man birdwatching on his day off.
The basic premise of globalism—not often stated by globalism’s salespeople, for obvious reasons, but apparent all the same—is that a new kind of elite should rule the world. This is not the elite that once dominated societies, for example the chivalric, manly elite of medieval Christendom or the sensitive, artistic elite of Heian Japan. The globalist elite are more of a technocratic elite, akin to the IBM, Raytheon, and Fairchild Semiconductor technocrats whose magic-like science swayed the world in America’s favor in the 1950s and beyond.
Patrick Hutchinson, a black lives matter protester, carried a suspected far-right protester to safety on June 13. (Photo credit: Washington Post)
We have heard much talk lately about white supremacy and black lives. But the more I think about both of these terms, the less I understand what they mean. What is white supremacy? What are black lives? And, is there no other, no better way of talking about human beings?
To cut straight to the chase—to “plunge the sword straight in,” as the saying goes in Japanese—I cannot help but notice the shabbiness of nearly everyone who preaches a doctrine of white supremacy. David Duke, a felon and failed political hack, is often held up as the leader of the white supremacists, at least in the United States. But if this is the best the white supremacists can do then it begs the question of why anyone would want to sign up.
When news broke in the waning days of December that an Iranian-directed “mob” (many of whom were in fatigues—not exactly masters of disguise) was attacking the U.S. Embassy inside the green zone in Baghdad, President Donald Trump responded initially by retweeting Sen. Lindsay Graham’s statement that “there will be no Benghazis” on Trump’s watch.
Donald Trump doesn’t have a detailed plan. He doesn’t trade blood or money for ideas. And if anyone messes with America—not American property, but American people—he will “terminate” him. For Trump, it’s not ideological, it’s personal. It always has been.
After the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus last year many American schools suspended in-person classes. Even now students across the country are taking part in their school day online. Instead of getting on a bus or rolling out of bed in a college dorm to go to school, kids are propped up at their parents’ kitchen tables, staring at a screen while a teacher or a professor delivers lectures via Zoom.
Parents, now finally able to see what they are getting for their tax or tuition dollars, have not been amused. It is not the online-ness of the classes that is the problem. It’s the classes themselves.
More specifically, it’s the instructors. Public school teachers are tax-guzzling ideologues who can’t diagram a sentence but who do have a very highly-developed ability to watch pornography at their desk and harass Christian kids at lunchtime. Many of them are criminals. University professors are even worse.
Whether your child is enrolled in a “Fat Studies” course or one of the endless varieties of Race, Class, Gender, and Grievance 101, you have probably stood by agog as he, she, ze, xe, or shim has Zoomed with an “intellectual” explaining the finer points of lesbian protest literature or Maoist theater. Fifty thousand dollars for fifteen PowerPoints about Haymarket is pretty steep, eh Dad? How much would those slide presentations, and the expert commentary that goes along with them, be worth in the real world?
As the virus runs its course and we begin to look ahead to next semester, the question in the news has lately been, will schools reconvene in September, or will everything remain online for the rest of the year? This is understandably a big question to ask for those who have made an investment of time and often real estate in their children’s education. But it is the wrong question.
It does not matter if the school bell rings again in the fall. As the current revolution in the streets of a hundred cities is making very clear, the students have already learned everything they needed from public school. School’s out for summer, and that is partly why the streets are now choked with delinquents who would otherwise be in a classroom. But school might as well also be out for ever.
Here’s the real question we should be asking: What else is there to study? What we are witnessing now is the final exam in Socialist Insurgency, really the only subject that almost every “educational” institution has taught since the 1970s. Congratulations, grads—if you have taken the past week to burn down a building or beat up an old lady defending her livelihood, then you get an A-plus. Your diploma is your mail-in ballot for 2020. (We don’t think you need to be told how to use it.)
A few years ago, many of us were surprised to learn that among the leaders of Antifa, the Left’s favorite organization for killing innocent people apart from Planned Parenthood, are a number of public school teachers. That fact is not so surprising today. The truth is that Antifa and our education system are the same thing. This is more than apparent this week.
The country is coming apart, and the “teachers” are not only egging the street punks on, the teachers are the street punks. With a few exceptions—nearly everyone who disagrees with the Left was ousted from the schools and the academy years ago—classrooms in America are simply where the revolutionaries have been drawing the X’s and O’s of the battle plans being put into action today. New York City is burning, but that’s only proximately the work of roid-raging snowflakes on loan from Columbia.
The real brains behind all this is the legion of Antifa coordinators who throng the faculty lounges at just about every place—K-12, college, and especially graduate school—where “social justice” long ago became the only item on the curriculum. Social justice is just Leninism biding its time, the comic book version of Rules for Radicals wedged into a math or science textbook. You thought you were putting your kid on the school bus to go study calculus. They were probably learning how to throw Molotov cocktails instead.
Like ISIS recruits fresh out of the training camps, the kids on the streets today have outlived their need for public schools. And I can’t imagine the teachers will bother with the charade any longer, either. School’s out. Forever.
This may sound like wild rhetoric, but in fact limiting our critique to the public schools does not go nearly far enough. One Molotov cocktail devotee, Urooj Rahman, was bailed out of jail by a former Obama official after she was “charged with intentionally torching a police cruiser” in New York last week. The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, held a press conference a few days later in which he praised his own daughter for her arrest in the riots engulfing the city he was elected to protect.
Keith Ellison, the attorney general of the State of Minnesota, has tweeted out photographs of himself holding up Antifa literature. Ellison’s son, not to be outflanked by his radical old man, has declared his support for Antifa, too. It’s not just the public school teachers who are declaring themselves in lockstep with the terrorists. It’s public officials, too. (Did you think the Democrats were going to give up their coup that easily?)
And this is all to say nothing of the raft of celebrities and politicians mouthing the usual pabulum about supporting other terrorist organizations and hate groups such as By Any Means Necessary (what “means” do you think they mean by that?), Black Lives Matter, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and even the Biden Campaign apparently committed to ensuring that chaos reigns wherever poor black people cannot afford private security. Being able to tweet your support for mayhem from your compound in the Hamptons while black businesses get looted by Bernie Bros. If that’s not white privilege I simply cannot think of what is.
But don’t expect anyone on the left to start calling for reform. The lines are drawn now and there is no going back to the old hypocrisy. An article in a recent issue of Harvard Magazine profiles the work of Elizabeth Bartholet, for example, an anti-Christian bigot and demagogue who alleges that homeschooling is the source of so many of America’s ills that the very practice should be banned. This is what they think of you, America. I have spent many years among this tribe. The Left mocks the very idea of civilization and debate. They simply want to put you in camps and be rid of you.
The real solution to all of this would be to shut down all the universities and public schools and make homeschooling the only option for the next twenty years. One generation untouched by institutionalized Weather Underground-ism would revitalize the entire nation, perhaps even the whole world. To wit, I would be interested in statistics showing how many among the rioters and looters—and, now, murderers—running wild through the streets of our country have slogged through a Great Books program under the tutelage of dear old fascist mom and dad. Probably zero. But according to Elizabeth Bartholet, it’s you who are the problem, not the blood-soaked arsonists.
Not just Elizabeth Bartholet. His Holiness has spent his pontificate mocking you, too. In all this swirling din and bomb-smoke let us not forget the silence of our Catholic leadership. Pope Francis, the fairweather pacifist, has said nothing to attempt to calm the storm. (Maybe he’s against wanton murder only when it’s not the communists who are carrying it out—that was certainly his view in Latin America, at any rate.) One of his cathedrals was desecrated in New York, and an Episcopal temple was burned right next door to the White House.
This is terrorism against Christians right in the financial and political heart of America. Francis is mum. Not a single word. As with the crackdown against Christians in China, and now in Hong Kong, Francis seems offers new life to an old truth: qui tacit consentire videtur. Et tu, Jorge? Why won’t you come to stricken Christian parishes in the US and smell like the American sheep?
Churchmen have not all held their tongue, though. The Archbishop of Washington, Wilton D. Gregory, took time out of his day to condemn President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for visiting, and praying at, the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. No Republicans welcome at the altar of God. (But don’t politicize the Eucharist!)
Archbishop Gregory, in a stunning display of historical amnesia, used the example of Pope John Paul II to chide the Trumps, saying that the late pontiff would not have approved of dispersing armed mobs.
Archbishop Gregory may not be aware that John Paul spent his entire adult life before becoming pope living under the same communist terrorists who now torch churches in the United States. Your Grace, please, do yourself a favor and google “Poland under communism”. No, better yet, google “Mindszenty in Hungary”. But maybe if you try appeasing the Red Guards outside your office window it will all work out for the best. The American Vendée has started, but Archbishop Gregory appears to be throwing in his lot with Canclaux.
Nice try, Wilton. (I simply cannot wait to hear what Dolan is going to have to say about all this. Dolan? Hello?) The archbishop should not be faulted too harshly, though. He spent his childhood in Catholic schools. As we are now learning, those are even worse than the secular institutions.
Whatever happens over the coming “long, hot summer,” the fact is that the mask, ironically, is now off the Left. The nexus of terrorism in this country is the taxpayer-funded educational system. For some fifty years the entire purpose of that system has been to foment socialist revolution, to soften up the two generations required to minimize resistance to communism. That objective now splendidly accomplished, the schools are no longer necessary. School’s out for summer. School’s out forever.
--Jason Morgan is associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan
A Remnant Book Review...
IT HAS OFTEN been remarked that Marxism is a kind of religion. The philosophy itself is shrouded in religious mystique, with adherents asked to begin from a leap of faith—dialectical materialism as the key to human history and the roadmap toward a perfect human society. The suspension of disbelief thus complete, the Marxist is free to make wild and untenable predictions, which inevitably fail to come true. When this happens, Marxists persecute their perceived enemies with a zeal far beyond anything any religion has ever been able to inspire. Marxists are even fond of cheap imitations of the Resurrection—the moldering, waxed-over corpses of Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung, Mao, and other dead communists lie in state here and there as sullen testimony to what eternal life looks like to a socialist bureaucrat. A rather sad religion, this, but a religion all the same.