A Psychological Assault on Freedom
Our nation is in a struggle, a struggle over the very definition of the values upon which we were founded on. To the right, freedom means having the ability to live life and achieve what you can based on the merits of individualism and personal responsibility. To the left, freedom means an entirely different thing. They are creating a world where opposing the most abhorrent behaviors is becoming an act of bigotry. To the left, personal responsibility and the merits of individualism are frowned upon and a collective, groupthink behavior is rewarded. Freedom then becomes freedom from having to take responsibility for your actions. Freedom is being free from morality.
The right believes America to be a nation based on Christian values, and the notion that there is a higher sense of morality. A universal right and wrong, if you will. The left has been seeking to re-define what is morally right by introducing concepts like moral relativism into our education systems. Moral relativism posits the idea that morality is only a social construct and that values are not universal in nature but rather, cultural and based on personal choice. In other words, there is no set of values that are superior to another because there is no universal, absolute morality.
The origins of this thinking can be traced to psychology and Darwinian evolution. The theory of evolution, of course, suggests that mankind has no divine connection and has evolved from apes. Therefore, he is just like any other animal in the sense that his behavior isn’t the result of any free choices, rather a result of evolutionary processes. The study of human behavior is undertaken almost entirely from this perspective.
B.F. Skinner wrote, in Beyond Freedom and Dignity that there are two predominant views concerning human behavior, scientific and pre-scientific. Pre-scientific refers to the belief that man is in control of his behavior and can freely choose based on the notion that we have “free will.” The scientific view, on the other hand, suggests that’s man’s behavior is traceable to the evolutionary history of our species and dependent upon environmental situations. Skinner suggests that the study of human behavior should focus exclusively on the latter as opposed to the former. Below is Skinners quote in its entirety.
“In what we may call the pre-scientific view (and the word is not necessarily pejorative) a person’s behavior is at least to some extent his own achievement. He is free to deliberate, decide, and act, possibly in original ways, and he is to be given credit for his successes and blamed for his failures. In the scientific view (and the word is not necessarily honorific) a person’s behavior is determined by a genetic endowment traceable to the evolutionary history of the species and by the environmental circumstances to which as an individual he has been exposed. Neither view can be proved, but it is in the nature of scientific inquiry that the evidence should shift in favor of the second. As we learn more about the effects of the environment, we have less reason to attribute any part of human behavior to an autonomous controlling agent. And the second view shows a marked advantage when we begin to do something about behavior. Autonomous man is not easily changed: in fact, to the extent that he is autonomous, he is by definition not changeable at all. But the environment can be changed, and we are learning how to change it. The measures we use are those of physical and biological technology, but we use them in special ways to affect behavior.” (Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity)
When it comes to the lefts influence in education, no argument needs to be made. Conservatives are well aware of the fact that our public schools have become public indoctrination centers. What may be lesser known however is the extent in which the fields of psychiatry and psychology have played. For instance, John Dewey has come to be known as the father of modern education. He was not only a psychologist but a Fabian socialist who saw a need to move away from the traditional learning of reading, writing and arithmetic to create a new socialized citizen.
The new school system envisaged by Dewey was to take over the functions and compensate for the losses sustained by the crumbling of the old institutions clustered around the farm economy, the family, the church and the small town. “The school,” he wrote, “must be made into a social center capable of participating in the daily life of the community . . . and make up in part to the child for the decay of dogmatic and fixed methods of social discipline and for the loss of reverence and the influence of authority.” Children were to get from the public school whatever was missing in their lives elsewhere that was essential for their balanced development as members of a democratic country.
He therefore urged that manual training, science, nature-study, art and similar subjects be given precedence over reading, writing and arithmetic (the traditional three R’s) in the primary curriculum. The problems raised by the exercise of the child’s motor powers in constructive work would lead naturally, he said, into learning the more abstract, intellectual branches of knowledge. (Walters, International Socialist Review Vol. 21, 1960)
This is interesting because as of now, a whopping thirty-two million Americans cannot read above a fifth-grade level. Furthermore, nineteen percent of all high school graduates can not read at all. Also, consider this fact. American high school students ranked 24th place out of twenty-nine countries in basic math skills in 2014. The fact that John Dewey was a psychologist isn’t merely a coincidence. Most psychologists/psychiatrists ascribe to Darwin’s theory of evolution and view man as an animal that needs to be trained. Their influence in education is just as far-reaching as John Dewey’s. For instance, the first president of the American Psychological Association, G. Stanley Hall is quoted as saying the following by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
“We must overcome the fetishism of the alphabet, of the multiplication tables, of grammar,” he said. “It would be no serious loss if a child never learned to read.”
These are the same three things that John Dewey seemed to think children no longer needed. As mentioned earlier our illiteracy rates are through the roof and many parents are becoming increasingly frustrated with the common core math that their children are bringing home.
Psychiatrist G. Brock Chisholm, co-founder of the World Federation for Mental Health is quoted as saying the following.
“The training of children is making a thousand neurotics for every one that psychiatry can hope to help with psychotherapy. We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday and day school teachers. … If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.”
The last sentence brings us back to the original idea in this article. The left does not share our view of morality. To them, the notion of a universal right and wrong which restrains our animalistic instincts is slavery. According to many in the field of psychiatry, true freedom means exactly what the underlines statement suggests, and what was mentioned earlier. Freedom from morality. Therefore, there is a struggle of values between the left and right. The right, being mostly Christian and believing in absolute morality believe that people should seek to control their behavior and that freedom, as defined in America, is possible because people are able to do so based on that universal morality. The left believes that morality is authoritarian in nature and represents oppression. To them there is no God, therefore letting loose the animal instincts which enslave us to pre-conditioned behavior, as opposed to free thinking and self-control, is the true definition of freedom.
In conclusion, I think a quote from the book Toward Soviet America will tie all of this together nicely. The connection lies in the fact that Communism is also atheistic in nature and applies science to the study of human behavior from the Darwinian perspective. In fact, according to the film The Bloody History of Communism, Ivan Pavlov was directed by Lenin to apply his techniques of classical conditioning against the Russian population. In all communist societies populations who refused to go along with communist ideals were targeted for re-education or extermination. People who held onto religion and traditional ideas concerning family were considered mentally defective and were treated by none other than psychiatrists to correct their behavior.
A U.S. Department of Education; implementation of a scientific materialist philosophy; studies revolutionized, being cleansed of religious, patriotic and other features of the bourgeois ideology; students taught on the basis of Marxian dialectical materialism, internationalism and general ethics of a new socialist society; present obsolete methods of teaching will be superseded by a scientific pedagogy. The whole basis and organization of capitalist science will be revolutionized. Science will become materialistic, hence truly scientific. God will be banished from the laboratories as well as from the schools. (Foster, Toward Soviet America)
Be sure to check out my latest book to learn more. Psychopolitics in America: A Nation Under Conquest
Article posted with permission from David Risselada