To Improve Your Mental Tool Kit


***Chapter Twenty-Two--Conservative Debate Handbook***

Perspective & Focus--A Closer Look


Synopsis
Magnets that draw people into Socialist movements--compulsion, confusion, corruption & greed. The Council On Foreign Relations, no great mystery--the mistake in a too simplistic approach to an ideological foe. Apartheid and 20th Century South Africa from a different perspective. The Medicare debate.

In the last Chapter, we cited the ancient Hindu fable of the six blind men and the elephant, to illustrate the importance of perspective in understanding subjective human perceptions, and in adopting the most effective tools for any debate. There we suggested the value of the family approach to explain the Conservative ethos. Here we will explore in greater depth, and with more particularity, how perspective and focus influence a wide range of perceptions, controlling subjective attitudes on quite varied issues.

It is hoped that this may serve as a sort of intellectual tool chest, giving the reader a sharper understanding of how those with recognizable interests, in any diverse audience, may be individually 'wrapped'; as well as in providing useful arguments, implied by the very illustrations offered, to explain the specific attitudes and proclivities discussed.

Compulsion, Conspiracy, Confusion, Confrontation, Corruption
And Coveting Everything That Is Your Neighbor's

In the floating Chapter Last, we briefly treat "Conspirators & Kindred Spirits"; dealing with a claimed grievance of "Fellow Travelers" in the 1950s. Leftists, who had joined the wrong groups, protested that they were victims of a "Witch Hunt," when later linked with the actual Communists in those groups, in Congressional investigations of the infiltration of American institutions. Yet many, so protesting, had shared the Communists' contempt for private property, their stultifying disdain for the right of the individual to rise above the crowd. While that note deals only with a limited aspect of a broader phenomenon, it illustrates the point that different players on the Left--or Right--may be there for different reasons, and have sometimes quite different perspectives on why they are there. Indeed, both the participants and the foes of an ideological movement will perceive both their own cause, and the forces that oppose them, from often quite subjective perspectives, each focused in accordance with the individualized bent of the perceiver.

Consider how the short litany of factors identified in our sub-title, play out in the dynamics of particular mass movements of the 20th Century. They generally start with Compulsion, already explored in the context of the essay on the "Compulsion For Uniformity," linked below as an Appendix. There may be multiple personality types involved, but certainly anyone who is driven to fear human differences or driven to want to force egalitarian or unitarian value systems, is a ready prospect for one of the great totalitarian movements of the Left--Communist, Nazi or whatever--one which promises a major effort towards achieving uniformity of the human condition and circumstances.

While most political activity is to some extent conspiratorial; with most of us on the right, plans are confined by moral strictures. Honor, integrity--a sense of accountability;--these and other values limit our conspiracies, very largely, to ideological battle plans. Yet we do sometimes meet privately, to work together to devise the strategies to better advance a common cause. And while some may blanche at calling such plans, "conspiracy," they serve the same function, and the name is not inappropriate. One does not imply anything really untoward, then, when one deals with conspiracies on the Left. If we find that those conspiracies are in fact the evil machinations, sometimes suggested; such evil arises in their nature and purpose, not in their mere existence.

The appeal of the Left for people who like to hatch plots, lies in the compulsive nature of those drawn to it. People so driven, being less critical in their relevant thinking processes, have obvious appeal to those seeking to manipulate others as a means to power. But the would be manipulators, themselves, approach from a number of different perspectives, and often have quite varied focus. Within the group driven by compulsion, there may be some with organizational abilities--true believers with some more practical perception of a means for effectuating the common purpose. Yet there will generally, also, be opportunists drawn to the "cause"--particularly if it gathers momentum. Since such latter, undriven by the compulsions involved, may be presumed to be more objective; all else being equal--and it seldom is--these may have a decided edge in the power struggles that almost always follow conspiratorial success.

While admitting that there actually were intellectuals, who really believed in Communism or National Socialism, there would almost have to be some compulsion for uniformity in their makeup to justify support for a movement, so completely oriented in the direction of mass conformity. The roots and extent of such compulsions would be varied with the focus and perspective of each individual involved; and so indeed would be the roots and extent of the opportunism of others. In considering some of the more successful movements on the Left, it is tempting, but probably of little real value, to speculate as to who was a driven compulsive and who was more the opportunist. Was the Stalin/Trotsky schism in Bolshevik Russia, a fall-out between the pragmatic ex-train robber from Georgia and a driven fanatic? Stalin's later paranoia would suggest that he was as neurotic as the worst of them; but was he driven by the same blinding compulsion?

Did Hitler's purge of his original partner, the Homosexual street thug Ernst Rohm, reflect a cold, calculating opportunist, disposing of a driven "loose cannon," who wanted to take the Nazi Revolution the full Bolshevik route and destroy the German aristocracy? There is some evidence to suggest this. Yet Hitler seemed driven enough, himself, when the War turned against him. If one takes the view that Stalin and Hitler--who got along famously when it suited their respective purposes in 1939--were opportunists, rather than driven fanatics; the deliberate and methodical slaughter of millions of civilians by their order, would demonstrate a cold-blooded cruelty not seen since the Mongol conquests. (Not that the acts of either would gain greater justification as the driven deeds of a compulsive personality.)

Chairman Mao, on the other hand, demonstrated a more consistent compulsive egalitarianism; engineering the absolutely loony second wave of his egalitarian Revolution against his own new Marxist order, decades after his initial victory over the Chinese Nationalists. The contrast between Mao and his immediate successors, who were clearly pragmatists who had captured a Revolution, could not have been more striking. Later Pol Pot, took the compulsion to a still more extreme level; finally forcing the more pragmatic Communists in Viet Nam to intervene against him.

Yet the players who fuel Left-wing Revolutions--or political movements--are not all either driven fanatics or opportunists grabbing a wave of ferment. There are actually some to whom egalitarianism is seen as a noble ideal. And yet all human experience will demonstrate to the rational mind, that there is no equality among men or women. To make the denial of reality, then, the ideal, is to display obvious confusion as to the social dynamic--confusion bordering on the delusional. This is, however, but one facet of the element of confusion involved in Leftist movements.

Only a small percentage of any population will be really seen to understand all or even a major part of the social, ideological or philosophical issues of their times. Thus to say that there is great confusion, at times of social or political crisis, is an understatement. Again, it comes down to perspective and focus. Most people have a perspective based upon what is important to them--not to Society as a whole. Within that perspective, they tend to focus in relation to their daily activities, their family needs and, if they can afford it, some recreational prospects. In the midst of the turmoil of a Socialist Revolution--either of the violent or electoral variety-- there will be some tendency for those, who are the most confused, to be drawn by the apparent certainty of those, who are compulsion driven, to their cause.

Dickens provides a beautiful illustration of the confusion factor in mob psychology in his novel Barnaby Rudge, where he describes the anti-Catholic riots that swept London in 1775 in great detail. It appears that many, perhaps even a majority of the mob, were poor London Catholics caught up in the momentum of hatred directed against the Roman Catholic Church. Thus mesmerized by this mob dynamic, they went on a rampage looting and destroying Catholic institutions and the homes of wealthy British Catholics. There can be an infectious attraction to a mob in motion; a perception, which appeals to many who have no clue as to what an ideological debate is all about.

The confrontational aspect of a political or revolutionary movement is one which will be perceived quite differently by people with different perspectives. The skill of those managing a confrontation will often determine whether the effort ultimately succeeds or fails; the managers' function, to best focus the favorable attention of those most susceptible to the political or revolutionary message. Modern ideological confrontations frequently come down to the contending skills of stage managers, maneuvering the players on each side so as to seem most sympathetic to a broader audience--or at least to focus the sympathy of those members of that broader audience most likely to respond to that particular side.

The manipulation of "photo-ops" in the modern world of confrontational politics, has become a basic duel between the defenders of the establishment (often an urban police force) and demonstrators, who--depending upon the cause and the immediate objective--hope to appear the victims of "police brutality." In some cases, the managers of the confrontation will seek to skip neatly back and forth between sympathetic images, if the aim is legislation, and frightening images, if the aim is to topple a Government or project a terrifying force; but always with an eye towards focusing the varied perceptions of those not yet committed to their cause.

The "Civil Rights" Movement, in the period from 1955 to 1965, achieved some very successful confrontations from the standpoint of advancing a Leftwing agenda. It may illustrate a number of points. The adoption of the Gandhian tactic of "passive resistance" is an example of a calculated effort to manipulate perceptions. Clearly, when you put a large crowd into a position where they are blocking access to an area or facility to which other people are headed, you are not engaged in anything truly non-violent. The very presence of the large group blocking access, is an attack upon the rights of others. But if you have a sympathetic media, the obvious may go unremarked. And if you can provoke the Police into actually beating up some of your demonstrators on camera, you can reach a lot of susceptible people.

The movement made consistent use of the conditioning that many in the media had received in Colleges and Universities, where the dogma discussed in Chapter 16 was already in vogue, and many had accepted the idea that equality was more important than traditional ideas of liberty; even that there was some sort of ideal in pretending an undifferentiated humanity. Thus the reports on "Civil Rights demonstrations" usually started from a perspective that the demonstrators had a cause that was morally right; an assumption that their foes were trying to preserve an entrenched evil. There were exceptions, of course. The most respected of the mainstream media, U.S. News & World Report, published many articles demonstrating racial differences, and calling in question the practical worth of many of the avowed goals of the movement. But the overwhelming majority of major news sources and media outlets--including the visual entertainment industry, with the social dramas of the era--were solidly in sympathy.

Yet the managers of the movement were not content to merely cater to the perceptions of those already sympathetic. As discussed in Chapter Three, by February, 1959, they had formed a clandestine "Mass Media Committee of the Consultative Conference on Desegregation," comprising 29 member agencies including the ACLU, ADL, NAACP and 26 other Leftwing groups of a sort that frequently employ Fabian tactics to appear as only moderate "Liberals." The function of this Mass Media Committee was to further focus the perspective of that sympathetic media in America; not only to distort press coverage on all issues involved in race relations, but also to either suppress or minimize the impact of any otherwise credible article on the other side. The leaders of the member agencies were assigned specific contacts in this pursuit--none of the chores more important, in this suppression of true debate, than those assigned the ACLU. It will be the cruelest irony, if the West is to die at the hands of compulsive Socialists, that it may be our very trust in others' integrity, honor and fundamental fairness, that undermined our continued existence. Our foes are not so bound.

The corruption that flows from mass movements is as varied as the individual perspectives of those who see personal advantage in involvement. Certainly any movement that appears likely to obtain power over a political society, will draw a veritable pestilence of would be position holders. While these may not all be dishonest, there is a corrupting incentive for those who have failed under the existing system to jump on the "bandwagon" of a perceived new order. (This is not the same dynamic as that of the opportunist, who conspires to take over the movement at the top.) Once in power, a Socialist movement, by its very nature, will create more opportunity for the most parasitic variety of bureaucrat; the aspiring functionaries in the collectivized decision making or avoiding apparatus, to be constructed for the Society being "reformed."

Yet far and away the most obvious appeal of a political or Revolutionary movement on the Left, among those not driven to it originally by compulsion, is that to naked jealousy and greed. Socialism in all its forms, glorifies the basest human emotions. It seeks to justify one in coveting everything that those, more successful than the prospect being recruited, have obtained or inherited from previous achievers. In terms of Western Theology, Socialists freely violate the Ninth Commandment to inspire total contempt for the Tenth, so that they may motivate their followers to trash the Eighth. All too soon--in the case of the Communists and Nazis--this led to a wholesale violation of the Seventh, on a scale that staggers the mind.

While more Revolutionary Socialist movements have employed coveting more aggressively, it is no less a major factor in the success of those more moderate forms, masquerading as "Liberal Reform" and "Social Progress." The terribly corruptive effect of the Twentieth Century Welfare system on American Society, is discussed at length in an essay on Welfare, linked below. This is also touched upon in Chapter One, where we contrast the present system with the Church directed Welfare in Jefferson's day. But so effective has the Left been, in focusing a misguided compassion and sense of guilt in the very families, whose wealth is being coveted and expropriated to fund a deliberate undermining of responsibility, in those being led into political dependency, that few politicians in the Center, or even Center-Right, dare do more than call for mild Reform. And with a mass media still in the throes of Socialist ideation, it is very difficult to focus public attention on the real issues of the subject.

Of course, it is not just aspects of the Welfare State, where Leftist policy spreads corruption of perspective and focus. Every extension of Government brings with it opportunity for some to gain a niche in the expanding bureaucracy, or those businesses that feed off that expansion. This creates a growing class, whose perspective will shift markedly to what seems best for their own job security and advancement. Solving problems, which might lead to an abolition of their jobs, is not likely to have much appeal.

Hydra Headed Movements & Simplistic Analysis

In focusing on perceptions that fuel the Left, we do not suggest that attractions and interaction on the right are any more simplistic. But there is another, slightly less obvious phenomenon, equally governed by individual perspective and focus on every side, that must be considered. That is the tendency to form overly simplistic perceptions of one's ideological foes: In short to completely miss the complexity of the roots of involvement, such as those illustrated and discussed in the section above, because of one's own subjective perspective, and a too narrow immediate focus. This topic is as important as that in the first section. Often an effective response to a coordinated attack on existing values gets lost in a debate among Conservatives; each trying to win allies to a particular view of the "real" nature of the threat, or the "true" motivation for a proposed "reform," or as to some hidden conspiracy behind it; rather than focus on how to demonstrate its inherent fallacy.

It will be readily seen how an individual's perspective must reflect his location and more important personal interests. Thus a rancher near the Mexican border, may see the threat from unrestricted immigration as a greater threat than the rancher in a valley in Northern Idaho. A farmer in the Mississippi Delta will have a less sanguine view of Federally coerced public school integration than a farmer in Vermont. A businessman will see the evil in capital gains taxation far more quickly than a blue collar "Reagan Democrat." Obviously, we need to work together--to listen to one another's concerns--if we are to forge a counter-movement to preserve, protect and defend what is left of the America of the Fathers; tobring her back to her traditional roots. But that is only one obvious application of an understanding that different people, even on the same basic ideological side, have different perspectives and very different focuses.

A more critical, and not so often remarked example, would be the penchant of many to try to attribute most of the political evil in the world to a single source. Because people are drawn to the Left or Right for a great variety of reasons--only the broadest outline of which was touched upon above--it should be obvious that one must proceed with great care before attributing an excessive role to any of the recognizable forces involved, or assuming uniform motives for the participants in any organization, on any side of any issue. Avoiding such error becomes critical when a Conservative, who has studied one or more aspects of a conspiratorial effort on the Left, goes beyond evidence of particular activities--often long known--and assumes that any organization, which in some way assisted that effort, had the same intention or was under the same control as those who launched it; or that all members of that sympathetic organization had uniform motives.

Because both the Left and many prominent in multi-national business seem to agree--though often from very different perspectives--on an international approach to the future; there is a tendency on the part of some to believe that there is a master conspiracy, which controls the smaller more easily recognizable intrigues on the identified Left. Because of the personal economic power of some of those who appear to be promoting "Globalism" and a "New World Order," the tendency is for some to believe that the real force behind World Communism--or behind National Socialism earlier--was just such a master conspiracy of economic power seeking to control the world. This can lead not only to a failure to recognize obvious distinctions, but to a loss of credibility with a differently focused audience. People, generally, do not believe such theories; indeed ought not to believe such theories, because they are hatched out of a failure to understand perspective and focus.

One could take the Bilderburgers, International Bankers (as a generic concept) or a number of other groups that supposedly used Communism or other conspiratorial groups as pawns for a master plot. But let us consider the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States, long a favorite target of those who pursue these theories, as our example. For the past 40 years, mere membership in the Council has been seen by some as destroying all credibility for such member. Is this a valid judgment or itself a reflection of a too narrow focus, from a too limited perspective?

We have no great respect for the Council. Its very purpose is to pursue internationalism. It grows out of the same mindset that saw Wilson's League of Nations as both a noble and a practical concept. That is not debatable. The Council's own website unequivocally describes its founding as a response to a dimming of those great hopes of those sympathetic to Wilson's position at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Our own position is stated, far better than we could ever hope to do ourselves, in Senator James A. Reed's summary of the relevant issues in Chapter Four. It was Reed who, more than any other Senator, had helped arouse a determined opposition; had been responsible for that dimming of Wilsonian hopes. But the Council is not just another discussion group, publishing a Magazine Foreign Affairs, seeking to focus attention and discussion on foreign policy questions. While never monolithic on all issues, its bent towards committing the United States of America to an international organization is graven in its very existence. This puts it in clear opposition to the Washington/Jefferson foreign policy (Chapter 18 with links) to which this site is committed.

Yet the CFR is far from being a conspiratorial core for the American Left. While it has attracted many "distinguished" figures, both in public life and in the media, academia and commerce--including many who have played outrageous roles in promoting parts of a Left-leaning agenda, vigorously opposed at this web site;-- the specific focuses of individual members are probably as varied as their individual perspectives. These appear to run the gamut from the intended promotion of specific international projects, to a generalized desire to pursue "peace" or prosperity, a particular business or personal interest, one or more or all of same, or to simply seeing it as an honor or opportunity to be invited to participate in an organization perceived to have so many of the really influential in its ranks. While some may consider our statement here naive, consider the obvious:

First and foremost, is simple common sense. While the CFR is committed to something that many Conservatives will consider inherently evil; it does not pursue its goals in a monolithic manner. It encourages discussion and debate directed to a general internationalist purpose. Its attraction is of course, in part, a chance to rub elbows with other influential people who share common interests; an effective combination of ideology with "snob appeal." That is quite a different thing than a structured quest for power, such as that pursued by the Bolshevik Communists or National Socialists. Indeed, while individuals and groups of individuals within the CFR have participated in some very ugly practices--many up to their ears in the Rusk/McNamara policy denounced in Chapter 18--others openly challenged them. No less a globalist than Dean Acheson broke ranks with those to whom he was once a hero (having persuaded President Truman to seek UN authorization for intervention in Korea, and for insisting on a "no win" policy that tied MacArthur's hands), when he came out in support of Rhodesia, even as most globalists rallied to the Socialist demand for "Majority Rule"--the euphemism for surrender.

The CFR lacks power to coerce its members. It cannot murder those who break ranks--as did the Communists. It may offer raised eyebrows when someone goes against the general sentiment--other members may refrain from recommending the appointment of this or that member to a Cabinet post, or special commission;--but that is the extent of its ability to enforce a line of conduct. Its capacity to bring economic pressure is similarly limited. There is a lot of old money among the membership, and any effort to coerce a line of conduct would soon bring out angry defectors. (Contrast how many major anti-Communist efforts in the 1930s, '40s, '50s and '60s, depended on the confessions and expose`s of defecting Communists.)

There is a bit of a plot involved in the CFR, to be sure. But it is not to stage manage the Left. The scheme comes to full fruition, by simply bringing together influential like-minded men, making it appear a matter of prestige to share their "vision," and encouraging them to influence everyone they can with that vision, by any means at hand. Conservatives would do well to create counter organizations on the same premises--i.e. that is bringing together intelligent and influential people, who oppose submerging existing Nations in a global order;--then encouraging full discussion and debate on how to frustrate the Internationalists, followed by effective implementation of the best ideas brought forward.

Yet our point is not to commend the CFR for effective tactics. Their whole thrust is against what we believe in. There is no question but that Conservatives should oppose them--and oppose them in effective and imaginative ways. What we must avoid, however, is becoming so narrowly focused on the fact that so many associated with the CFR have been in positions to do us damage at critical times, that we imagine them either more or less than they are.

Apartheid Revisited

The controversy over South African Apartheid (the Afrikaans word for Separate Development) was perhaps the single least understood issue of the 20th Century. In an era when both the international Socialists and many CFR types were bent upon consolidating regions and building a new world order, based upon the myth of an undifferentiated humanity; the South African Government proposed to dismantle the cosmopolitan State, over which South Africa had been granted Dominion status by the British Government in 1910, and divide the distinct peoples living within its borders into new States, based upon tribe, race and culture.

While this would, at first blush, appear to be a purely internal matter--that is, at least until the new States sought international recognition--the proposals immediately drew a great hue and cry of "racism" from the parties on the Left, all over the world. The new Nationalist Government in Pretoria--elected in 1948--was assailed as an international pariah by those who regularly hurled Socialist slogans at every issue; and a forty-two year campaign for that euphemism labeled "Majority Rule," in a unitary State, ensued.

Before the South African situation may be discussed intelligently, a little background, both historical and social, is essential. Up until the British consolidated control over the region, following their victory in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), there were many quite distinct peoples occupying what is now South Africa; peoples who had always developed separately. Some of these were of a Caucasian European background. But even they reflected three separate lines of development: Afrikaners, who had remained settled in their ancestral homes, after the British had acquired control a century earlier; ethnic British, who had always been governed by the British Monarchy; and those Afrikaners, the sons of the Voortrekkers, who had left British control to develop their own rustic Boer Republics. (The Afrikaners, of original Dutch origin, had arrived in South Africa in the 17th Century, then largely an unsettled wilderness with only a few Hottentots actually native to the areas first settled. From the standpoint of historic parallels, Afrikaner history is closer to that of the mainstream American, than to that of any other people on earth.)

The non-Caucasian peoples of South Africa come in a dazzling variety of tribes and races, in quite varied stages of development--at least from a European or American perspective--with considerable political variation. The strongest of the tribal Nations were the Zulus, who have a well established hereditary monarchy. These had earlier defeated most of the other Bantu peoples, and were greatly feared. But there were several other large Bantu tribes, including the Xhosa (about equal in numbers to the Zulu), Tswana, Sotho, Tsonga, Swazi, Ndebele and Venda, each with a different Government, culture, language and architecture; as well as various smaller tribal Nations. There were also Bushmen--racially quite distinct from both the Caucasian and Bantu peoples--Cape Coloureds (a cross between Caucasians and the now largely extinct Hottentots), Asian Caucasians (middle and working class Hindus) and Malays. While the modern cosmopolitan State, which followed Dominion status, saw peoples from many of these backgrounds in manufacturing, mining and agriculture; at no time did significant numbers of such ethnically distinct groups really share a sense of single nationhood or common culture. The Bantu Nations and the Afrikaners each retained specific separate areas, where each had originally settled, which were considered their respective homelands.

The international hue and cry against South Africa's announced plan for the separate development of diverse peoples, reflected a number of perspectives. This was the era of Communist expansion; and the Communist world coveted South Africa, both for her vast natural resources and strategic position at the foot of Africa. Western "Liberals," on the other hand, were caught up in the notion of building a new order based upon tearing down traditional States in the pursuit of some form of world government. And whereas Woodrow Wilson, once the "Liberal" icon on foreign policy, had celebrated fragmentation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire into small nations, reflecting truer ethnicity, as fully compatible with his proposed League; in a new post World War II focus, the proposed fragmentation of South Africa was seen as a threat to everything that was suddenly sacred.

What had changed the focus of that species of affluent idealist, who had adored the Wilsonian "vision" in 1919, by the 1950s, was not any radical change in their perspective on the need for a worldwide association of peoples to secure a lasting peace. The difference came in a new perspective, developed out of the contrived misconception of National Socialism, addressed in depth in Chapter 7, and a major effort by Leftist theorists to develop and focus that new perspective into an attack on ethnic and nationalist sentiments among all European derived sub-groups of the Caucasian Race. (This was the same period when such theorists launched their attack on National Origin as the determinant for American Immigration policy; an attack which led to its termination in 1965, discussed in Chapter 15.)

Was it rational to seek to abolish national or ethnic pride among White Europeans, because one group of European Socialists had abused the concept to pursue a totalitarian mindset? Or was it equivalent to abolishing the study of economics--or the causes for economic success-- because another set of totalitarian Socialists had attempted to interpret all human action in terms of economic class theory; equivalent to abolishing Religion, because of the terrible slaughter in past religious wars?

Rational or not, the new agenda was fervently and compulsively embraced. And as few wished to be accused of Nazi sympathy, very few challenged what was clearly a denial of both common sense and all past experience. Few had the courage to note that ideas are one thing; human history is that of people born into specific families, tribes and nations--sharing experiences in each generation among those whose ancestors had shared experiences and common achievements during many prior generations: People, moreover, whose first concern had always been the well being of their own posterity. That to focus on abstract values--such as international cooperation--to the exclusion of the normal claims of specific peoples, who had developed unique cultures in a rational pursuit of the interests of their own posterity, was pathological.

At the same time, the so-called "Third World," much of it just emerging from European domination during the Colonial era, seized upon South Africa's proposed "Apartheid" as a last vestige of European Colonialism; and took every opportunity to denounce it, as a rallying point for a more assertive world posture. In this proclaimed perspective, they were of course as far afield from actual reality--or any deep understanding of the players in South Africa--as the American parlor "Liberals." In fact, the strongest opposition to proposed Separate Development, within South Africa, came from large Colonial era business interests, which saw in the proposed dismantling of Imperial South Africa, a threat to their ability to obtain cheap labor and a ready market for various goods. The justification for the proposal, on the other hand, was in very large measure a desire to unwind that Colonial legacy, to return each of the constituent parts to their respective pre-Colonial independence; each with its ancient cultural heritage intact.

Beyond the opposition of large businesses and those South African Whites, susceptible to the usual "liberal" arguments; the idea of separate development seemed threatening to many Bantu, who had become de-tribalized in the urban centers and did not wish to be restored to traditional tribal authority. There were concerns as to the possible effect on employment opportunities, as well as a dread of tribal justice, which can be far less tolerant of anti-social behavior than the often very "Liberal" White urban authorities. There were also many questions of cost and practical implementation, which made immediate accomplishment impossible. The Nationalist Government adopted instead a phased approach, intended to deal fairly with reasonable considerations, and proceeded with deliberation rather than haste.

Some of the steps taken--such as tax incentives for business to locate new facilities in areas where the Bantu had traditionally resided, rather than draw labor from those areas into distant cities that had been the traditional homes of Europeans--have been copied recently (with little acknowledgment) in the United States, in various proposals for subsidizing "inner city development." While the South Africans were going forward in this careful manner, their overseas foes focused less and less on the actual specifics; concentrating on the perception, which they had already created, that the procedures were inherently evil.

South Africans were given much the same treatment that the Bolsheviks had given the Bourgeoisie; that the Nazis had given the Jews and Poles. Supposedly bright college students, caught up in this tide of pure hate, ran around denouncing South Africa and "Apartheid," demanding an economic boycott of all her products. But very few could have accurately described daily life in South Africa, if their entire personal futures had depended upon the exercise. Indeed, South Africa's White Settler stock, became for the International Left--and all whom they could intimidate in the last half of the Twentieth Century--precisely what the Bourgeoisie and Jews had been in the first half: The favored scapegoat for those who preferred demonizing a target to rational debate.

For those who did address the South African issue with analysis, rather than fabrication, it is likely that many both in and outside the country would have seen the underlying question as involving a matter of control; the issue over how, and by whom, the country and its various peoples would be governed. While it is certainly not illogical to focus on that question, in discussing the future course of any people or any geographic entity; it is not the most clarifying approach. Control, after all, eventually comes down to a question of responsibility--who and how responsibility will be determined, and the parameters that may be placed upon it. Ultimately all politics and political arrangements come down to the allocation of responsibility.

The focus of every form of Socialism is on collectivizing responsibility; making decisions for others, solving perceived problems by Committee. The objectives for this centralized aggregation of power may vary among different movements, with some more focused on the egalitarian, others on the concept of community "solutions." All are threatened by the idea of a society where the individual is responsible for his own future--where welfare of the whole is seen as dependent upon the individual efforts of a responsible, not centrally controlled, citizenry. In terms of an interaction between peoples, no Socialist mindset can accept with equanimity, the concept that each group will be wholly responsible--without some aggregating force directing their priorities--for their side in such interaction.

Apartheid--Separate Development--was really a proposal to return responsibility to individual peoples caught up and aggregated without their volition in the Colonial era. As such it would naturally appeal to some and seem threatening to others. There are many reasons why people seek to avoid responsibility, as there are many reasons why some try to acquire responsibility and control over others. While there may be a great deal to be said for the Empire builders, once a decision is made to dismantle an Empire, the question naturally arises what should follow. If the ideal is to return to something which we know will work--something that has worked in the historic context as opposed to what never was, and therefore is less than likely ever to be; Apartheid was a far more idealistic approach to post Imperial South Africa than anything proposed by the Left. It is to our shame in the West that so few Conservatives ever bothered to understand what was actually involved there; that we allowed Socialists with an agenda to control the focus of world attention, to successfully besiege our South African cousins.

A Practical American Example

Consider a current example, here at home, in which the Conservative leadership has utterly failed to properly focus perspective. In Chapter 20, we dealt with the potential disaster, both ideological and economic, posed by the Medicare program. Certainly, the Left has been very successful in focusing attention, among those euphemistically lumped together as "Senior Citizens," on the perceived benefits of the program, on concerns for its continuation, and on a perception that it may be properly enlarged to provide a cure for the spiraling cost of prescription drugs. This focus was a major factor in the easy reelection of President Clinton in 1996, and in the Democratic come-back from that stinging defeat in 1994, when for a brief time Republican Conservatives focused attention by the "Contract With America." The focus on Medicare has also been used within the Republican Party to persuade some former Conservatives to shift their personal perspectives sharply to the Left.

And yet, a closer look at the human dynamics involved in determining the perspective of elderly Americans, would suggest a very different response. It is true that the idea of having others subsidize your health care has a great appeal to those over 65. But that is far from being the only concern which influences their thinking. Unchallenged, that smooth promotion, known as the AARP, and those political interests, which it serves, can very easily focus a desire for subsidized health care; indeed, can play on fears of a wide variety, including that of being a burden on those one loves, to motivate political preferences. But the answer to demagoguery on the Left is not to enter into a bidding war as to how much more money can be expended on Medicare--with all of the attendant evils set forth in Chapter 20.

The answer is to address and focus other key facets of that elderly perspective; facets such as their love of heritage and concern over what sort of a world they will leave to their grandchildren. When the Left is talking benefits, the Right should be talking the moral and cultural breakdown, which has attended the Leftist subsidy for illegitimacy and a forced acceptance of Homosexuality and Feminism; its allowance of unrestricted immigration from nations very different than those which provided the ancestors to the American mainstream; its deliberate trashing of many aspects of American history and the American tradition, which those over 65 were taught were important; values, which they have honored all their lives.

Put in that framework of Western values and the American tradition, declining to support an unconstitutional health program is more easily forgiven. Indeed, for many whose only real remaining joy in life is the love they feel for their grandchildren; the idea of trading those grandchildren, for free prescription drugs, to socially sick theorists who think that homosexual activists make perfectly proper male role models for pre-adolescent boys, will have very scant appeal. That is before you even get into the admittedly more complex problem of explaining the economic cost of those "free" drugs to those same grandchildren.

Summary

To understand the ideological confrontations of one's time; to play an effective role in guiding the thoughts of others; it is essential to recognize the widely differing perspectives those others bring to those issues, as well as the almost infinite possibilities for focusing their varied perspectives for advantage or disadvantage. This understanding also leads, immediately, to a clearer perception of the multi-faceted appeal of certain movements, and should suggest better ways to expose and counter them. Such recognition is equally essential in order to avoid the too sweeping generality, which may cost one credibility with those whose focus--or underlying perspective on the same subject--causes them to see a different aspect, which that easy generality can never explain.





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