"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Where Have All The Heroes Gone? How Diversity Devalues Greatness

There used to be no doubt about America's heroes.  Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Adams were the founding fathers of the republic - military heroes, inspirational leaders, and intellectual models - now all discredited, vilified, and swept aside.  They were all slave-owners, white grandees, elitist aristocrats whose 'greatness' was simply historical cover for their moral failings.  These men are not to be admired, but condemned for their anti-social, biased, Europeanism. 

The Enlightenment, Jefferson's inspiration for the Bill of Rights, was nothing more than an intellectual diversion, created by crypto-royalists and aristocratic wannabees.  Jefferson's abusive, manipulative relationship with his slave, Sally Hemmings, demonstrates the hypocrisy of the man's populism.  Popular democracy for whom, historical revisionists ask? The Constitution itself is a thinly-veiled paean to white, privileged rule. 

All men of power, say these revisionists, are ipso facto concerned with their political legacy and ignorant of the people they serve. It took Lincoln years before he rethought his early accommodating position on slavery, and his call for 'union' was little more than a negotiated agreement to let the reconstructed South live and let live.  He 'freed' the slaves only to consign them to de facto servitude as tenant farmers under brutal Southern Jim Crow rule. 

FDR may have engineered a recovery from the Depression, but his actions were clearly designed to restore Wall Street, financial privilege, and aristocratic wealth. 

Academics add another dimension to this disassembly of American 'influentials' (the term 'hero', considered antiquated and symbolic of corrosive individualism, has been retired).  Following European Deconstructionists like Lacan and Derrida who claimed that there is no such thing as inherent value let alone individual greatness.  Since all action is determined by prevailing social, economic, and cultural factors - i.e. a closed circle of valueless cause and effect - individual enterprise, artistic expression, and intellectual ability are meaningless.

The task of a reformist, progressive society, say these critics and their American followers, is to focus on the 'generative masses', and a neo-Communist sense of collective value. 

So, combining the current cancel culture with Deconstructionism the progressive Left wants nothing at all to do with heroes and everything to do about victims whom they transform into heroes.  Placards, photos, viral images, adulatory sermons, political speeches all turn uncredentialed, unnoteworthy, marginally socialized citizens into popular icons. The police are brutal macho lowlifes who enjoy the arrogation of power and obstruct the justice of the ordinary citizen. 

There is no such thing as war heroes since the Vietnam days when American soldiers were dope-smoking, genocidal murderers fighting an immoral, unnecessary war planned and engineered by racist leaders.  Johnson was amazed that these little, slope-eyed cretins in black pajamas could be such pains in the ass, and he and Nixon did their best to wipe them off the map.  The adventurism of the Bushes in Iraq and Afghanistan were anti-Muslim, arrogantly Crusading efforts to neuter Islam and to preserve the white status quo. 

Entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg - men who have revolutionized American society, opening it to the almost unbelievable world of cybernetics, the Internet, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence - are crooks out to make a buck, marginally different from Bankman-Fried, Bernie Madoff, and the Enron Five.  Their untold billions are not a tribute to their savvy, intelligence, or intellectual fearlessness, but the wickedness of the capitalist system. 

Even Jesus Christ is not a hero, responsible as he was for fostering religion - an anti-progressive force stymying the move to a more just, verdant, cooperative society.  'Man cannot live by bread alone' was the first step towards creating the Vatican, an authoritarian, autocratic, hegemonic institution enslaving billions. 

It is perhaps progressives’ insistence on purity which is behind this reactionary, thoughtlessly ignorant posture.  Jefferson's obvious intellectual brilliance should stand alone and apart from anything else, let alone a commonplace dalliance with a beautiful slave. The Captains of Industry, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan and Vanderbilt were indeed hungry capitalists in an age of laissez-faire economics who took advantage of workers; but they laid the foundation for a prosperous nation whose wealth would spread from coast to coast.  

Vietnam produced many heroes who showed bravery, unmitigated courage, will, and patriotism.  So did Iraq and Afghanistan.   There were many Confederate War heroes now forced to lie in unmarked graves, non-persons, without honor or recognition. 


Every policeman who acts courageously in the line of duty, every fireman who enters a burning building, every soldier who takes up arms, everyone who stands up and risks the censure of indoctrinated crowds, every craftsman, artist, and poet who refuses the intellectual prison of political censorship should be cheered, given a ticker-tape parade, feted and championed. 

Individualism is what must be recognized, not belonging, identity, or prescriptive behavior. The current ethos of a crowd differentiated only by race, gender, and ethnicity, must be replaced by one celebrating individual enterprise, individual expression, and individual genius.  

No more cooperative learning in schools.  Let the best and the brightest prosper, be given more attention, more reward, and more recognition than those who can only color within the lines.  Allow only the same best and brightest have access to American's top universities.  Give preference to excellence, not identity.  Encourage individualism, personality, and character. 

The Wild West, Manifest Destiny, free market liberalism, and private enterprise are not faded historical museum pieces. They are the heart and soul of America, the engines of prosperity and opportunity. Winners must be recognized, celebrated - new frontiers explored and settled by the fearless, cities built by unintimidated developers, scientific advances unmitigated and unchecked.  Darwin and Nietzsche should topple Derrida and Lacan.


'Who is your hero?', a well-known public figure was asked.  'My father', he said, dismissing his true hero, Winston Churchill, brilliant soldier, military strategist, strong leader, historian, and statesman, knowing that the naming of a colonialist, royalist aristocrat would get him in hot water.  His father? A pipe fitter from Akron who taught him how to throw a ball?


Progressivism is socially debilitating in many ways, but perhaps the most damaging is its focus on the unwashed - the masses that Hamilton dismissed, raised to political and social prominence - and its dismissal of the individual, the one human unit responsible for every bit of accomplishment since the first human settlements. 

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