On July 4th I watched a clip from Democracy Now, a progressive TV news show hosted by Pacifica’s Amy Goodman. While I didn’t expect to see stirring renditions from our Founding Era, I was taken aback by a segment devoted to the Leftist historian and author Howard Zinn. In A People’s History of the United States (1980), which is required reading in many high schools and universities, students are pummeled with the propaganda that American history is little more than one of exploitation. An adult inculcated with Zinn’s nostrums from an early age is not only not likely to consider fighting to save his nation, he is likely unfit to participate in a society that is, in his opinion, oppressive. Aside from treason, there is perhaps no greater crime in a republic than to indoctrinate this rubbish into school children.
How can adults, those in high positions in education and government, believe and teach ‘diversity is our strength,’ and ‘all things are relative?’ They believe patriotism and love of country are dangerous emotions that must be eradicated from the very start of a child’s education.
The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate ‘just’ sentiments. C.S. Lewis, in The Abolition of Man1 (1944) wrote that until modern times, all teachers and nearly all men believed the universe to be such that certain emotional reactions on our part could be either congruous or incongruous to the universe, and believed, in fact, that objects and ideas did not merely receive, but could justly merit our approval or disapproval, our reverence or our contempt.
Love of self, family, country, and God are prerequisite to a long-lived republic. These ordinate affections aren’t merely ‘just sentiments,’ which can bring men to tears when they stand for the Star Spangled Banner, they come naturally to citizens in a free republic, and comport with the Law of Nature. This Law, this Way, the Law of Reason applies to all men at all times, and is a doctrine of objective value, which holds that certain attitudes and beliefs are really true, and others really false.2
As with any law, one may obey or violate Natural Law. When obeyed, personal and national happiness are likely; misery is assured for gross violations. Natural Law prods us to recognize qualities which demand certain responses from us whether we make them or not. For example, Lewis related that he didn’t enjoy the company of small children. This emotion is out of whack with the natural order, Natural Law. Yet, since he conceptualizes within Natural Law he recognizes this defect in himself – just as a man may have to recognize he is tone deaf or colorblind. Emotional states can be in harmony with reason (when we feel liking what ought to be approved) or out of harmony with reason (when we perceive that liking is due but cannot feel it).3
Since God gave life to Adam and Eve, men and women sought to tame and harness nature. From building a fire, to stacking stones for shelter, to the steam engine and down to today’s necessities, ‘Man’s Conquest of Nature’ encapsulates this (until recent times) beneficial process. The quest to control natural physical objects and phenomena had evolved by the time Lewis wrote Abolition, into the Left’s attempt to conquer man’s nature.
When educators embark on this course, to control, contort, diminish, and reverse love of self, family, country and God, the consequences are enormous. Where the old school initiated, the new merely ‘conditions.’ The old dealt with pupils as grown birds deal with young birds when they teach them to fly; the new deals with them more as the chicken-farmer deals with young birds – raising them for a purpose of which the birds know nothing.4 In modern K-16, the Left prepares janissaries, disposable pawns in the social justice war against civilization. In a word, the old was a kind of propagation – men transmitting manhood to men; the new is merely propaganda.
When the Roman father told his son that it was a sweet and seemly thing to die for his country, he believed what he said. He was communicating an emotion which he himself shared and which he believed to be in accord with the value which his judgement discerned in noble death.5 Suppose boys aren’t exposed to objective values, like love of country, yet they are, in early manhood, taught the necessity of public virtue to the survival of their republic. Well, without the aid of nurtured emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism, and in this case, it is likely that no justification of public virtue at this point in a man’s life will enable him to be virtuous.
Natural Law rules appetites by means of the ‘spirited element’. The head rules the belly through the chest – the seat of magnanimity, of emotions organized by trained habit into stable sentiments. The Chest-Magnanimity-Sentiment are the indispensable liaison officers between cerebral man and visceral man. It may be said that it is by this middle element that man is man; for by his intellect he is mere spirit and by his appetite mere animal.6
Students of the Left are Men Without Chests. They disdain the spirited element. Instead, these children are taught that all things are relative, that no society can be better than any other. Intellectual honor cannot long be maintained without the aid of a sentiment, like Love of Country, which the Left breezily debunks as a war-mongering emotion. Lewis: “It is not excess of thought but a defect in fertile and generous emotion that marks them out. Their heads are no bigger than ordinary; it is the atrophy of the chest beneath them that makes them so. We raise men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”7
Despite two generations of adults brought up to remain pajama boys, Men Without Chests, the embers of public virtue still glow. Candidate Donald Trump fanned these embers and brought forth a counter-revolution to decades of Leftist degradation of all that is wonderful, good, and Natural in the American tradition.
Notwithstanding a GOP congress, Men Without Chests remain in charge. No election and no virtuous President alone can dislodge them. That is up to us, We the Sovereign People; and the vehicle to do so is an Article V COS. We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Government is the playground of politicians, but the Constitution is ours. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States.
1. Lewis, C. (1944). The Abolition of Man. New York: Harper Collins. 14-26.
2. Ibid., 18.
3. Ibid., 19.
4. Ibid., 23.
5. Ibid., 21.
6. Ibid., 25.
7. Ibid., 26.