UncategorizedUS & World

Bill Wilson: Ivory Tower Blindness On Baltimore

A FLAWED FOCAL POINT IN UNDERSTANDING AMERICA’S DISPOSSESSION || By BILL WILSON || In the May 1 edition of The Washington Post, an opinion article by overly-credentialed professor of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, Danielle Allen, “Why the dispossessed riot,” calls for “sloughing off” the current understanding of what freedom…

A FLAWED FOCAL POINT IN UNDERSTANDING AMERICA’S DISPOSSESSION

wilson|| By BILL WILSON || In the May 1 edition of The Washington Post, an opinion article by overly-credentialed professor of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, Danielle Allen, “Why the dispossessed riot,” calls for “sloughing off” the current understanding of what freedom means and embracing a new, more enlightened “democratic one.”  Stripped of all the academic jargon and tortured philosophic constructions, Allen comes down solidly in favor of a secular, government-centric, authoritarian understanding of “freedom” that would make Huxley and Orwell knowingly wince.

Allen attempts to explain and justify the riots in Baltimore as the outward expression of an alienation from the political system, a normal reaction to what she refers to as domination – quoting extensively from Princeton University professor Philip Pettit – not just by the police but by a system in which the disenfranchised have no ability to impact any decisions affecting their lives.

“To have freedom from domination requires more than just protection of the basic liberty to choose your religion, political party, associations and employment,” Allen writes, adding “it also requires an equal share of control over the institutions – the laws, policies, procedures…”

This same theory has been echoed by an army of apologists for the looters and rioters, be they in Baltimore or Ferguson or the next city to flare up.  Yet Allen never stops to consider how it is the rioters came to be so dispossessed in the first place.

There are two points to consider, however, before swallowing the Allen explanation.  First, our nation was not founded and does not rest on “government.”  From the beginning, the radical nature of the American Revolution was that each individual was free and “endowed by their Creator” to live their lives as they felt best.  Each person possessed in themselves the absolute right and power to govern themselves.  Allen disagrees totally. In her book, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, she stated, “human equality requires that each of us have access to the single most important tool available for securing our happiness: government.”

Government, for Allen, is the omnipotent presence from which all bounty flows.  Her understanding of the relationship of the individual to government is 100 percent opposite to what the Founders meant and what most Americans believe.  In her view, each person is subservient to government; government is not the servant of the people. She further rejects the warning of the tyranny of the majority.  Under her model, equality in determining the rules, government, gives everyone a “stake” and that is enough to justify the imposition of the will of the majority on everyone.

Second, Allen contends that respect for the rule of law can only really be embraced if her “democratic” view of civic engagement is allowed to take root and flourish.  But having now entered into an era where the constitutional rule of law is treated with open disdain by the White House and the bureaucracy – with a president who proclaims, “Where Congress won’t act, I will” – we already see the dangerous and destructive impact.  How such a view can lead to the very domination warned against from the government.

Allen and her allies and friends should consider another small piece of history in thinking how to proceed.  In the first years of the Jamestown settlement, a quasi-communist system was established.  Everyone was guaranteed a share of the food that was produced, and there was a general agreement of equal sharing of all goods. In those early years, the settlement came close to starving to death.  The entire colony came very near extinction.  The following years, the elders took a different approach.  If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat.  Each person was responsible for themselves and their family.  No communal anything.  The result, of course, was soon a settlement that grew and prospered.

Happiness, spiritual or material, does not come from government.  Government takes; it does not create.  Civil society – what we call social capital – as embodied in volunteer organizations, churches and places of worship, community involvement and self-help associations, these are the building blocks of a successful community.  That is the true civic virtue.  Government has nothing to do with it and cannot stop it if the people commit.

To continue reading this piece, press the “Read More …” icon below).

Bill Wilson is a board member of Americans for Limited Government. This column – which originally appeared on NetRightDaily – is reprinted with permission.

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15 comments

jimlewisowb May 4, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Bullshit versus Common Sense – I’ll go with Wilson on this one

Reply
Rakkasan May 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm

If you would have told me this was coming, I would have worn my waders today. These kind of articles are like faith, the requirement of which is to suspend rational and critical thinking. Life is simple when you ignore the complicated parts

Reply
Elfego May 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

B/S!

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Martin Luther King Jr. May 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots.
It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same
time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in
our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to
feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent
rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the
language of the unheard.

Reply
GrandTango May 4, 2015 at 4:35 pm

FITS, your boss—has be wildly quiet about the radical, racial implosion of the Democrat Party…

FITS – like liberals in general – has a habit of believing if he ignores impending disaster for himself- or his politicians- it does not occur.

But America is watching the Democrats…and it’s hideous, what the Democrat Party is.

Reply
Tango Knows Best (LMAO) May 4, 2015 at 5:07 pm

“But America is watching the Democrats, now…and it’s hideous, what the Democrat Party is. Media cannot cover for this one..”

I’ll save this nugget after the ’16 election and throw back in your face. I would suggest you use word like “I hope, pray, wish, instead of making grand, dogmatic statements.

Reply
GrandTango May 4, 2015 at 5:27 pm

You’re guaranteeing a Hillary win?

Reply
Tango Knows Best (LMAO) May 4, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Let me put it this way: The Republicans look as though they’ll need some serious mojo if they want the WH. It’s my opinion they won’t get it, while you seem 100% sure the Democrats are done. And that’s laughable at this juncture…

Reply
GrandTango May 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm

You’ll get (are getting) BILLIONS in free campaign contributions from the Industrial Media Complex.

But the country is a Disaster area – blaming Bush or the GOP won’t work…and Hillary – and Baltimore and ISIS – are the face of the Democrat Party…

You are a VERY Corrupt and sinister breed, w/ many subversives in high places, aiding you….but if we cannot Eradicate you from Government…this country will end up being one of the 3rd-World Hell-Holes like the ones that worship you…

That said: we went to war versus Democrat Slaveowners, murderous NAZIs…and most recently Jihadists bent on taking over the world, and ruling by religion (not necessarily liberalism, either)….

Cops being shot down in NYC…and Terrorists being met w/ death… in Garland Tx….

The thrill of being an America-hating liberal, as you are, may have run its course…and the Backlash will be vicious, when it manifests….

Be arrogant if you want…but history has not been kind to those like you, once faced, and dealt with…I cannot wait til that retribution comes…LMAO…

Tango Knows Best (LMAO) May 4, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Thanks for the laugh and proving my point on the dogma. Love ya man, don’t ever change (as though it were an option). You know it’s a good night when we get ISIS, America-hating Liberals, cop killing, slave owners, Jihadists, of course, NAZIs in one inane rant. If only you could have mentioned Obama, gays, and Benghazi…

GrandTango May 4, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Why do you deny your allies…after you so blatantly side w/ them when it matters? Do you think no one sees it?

vicupstate May 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm

In her view, each person is subservient to government; government is not the servant of the people. She further rejects the warning of the tyranny of the majority. Under her model, equality in determining the rules, government, gives everyone a “stake” and that is enough to justify the imposition of the will of the majority on everyone.

First of all, this is WILSON’s interpretation of Allen’s thesis, not direct quotes from her.

Second, perhaps her intent, and only she can say if it is or not, is that government IS the servant of the people, but not ALL of the people. The government is after all made of people, not robots. It is always going to serve at SOMEONE’s pleasure, be it a dictator, a powerful governing class, or (ideally) everyone under it’s authority.

Where the government is perceived (whether true or not) to only provide for those with power, at the expense of everyone else, civil unrest is always going to be more likely. The French Revolution is one example. The American Revolution is another.

Reply
Bible Thumper May 4, 2015 at 5:15 pm

The Republican Party’s candidates just got more diverse today. Welcome to Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson.

Reply
FastEddy23 May 5, 2015 at 9:27 am

Latest snooze: G’ment workers make up 20+% of Baltimore total employed. (Drudge today)

Speaking of family responsibilities for the kids joining in on the destructive riots, there are plenty of videos … Maybe those g’ment employed families should be “taxed” to pay for some of the cleanup.

Reply
M2000 May 5, 2015 at 9:47 am

Wait…didn’t the Pauls side with those who demanded government be the answer when it came to Ferguson and Baltimore? But they were so opposed to the “militarization” of the police even while Rand Paul paled around with Al Sharpton who is calling for the nationalization of the police forces across the country…answer that Paulbots…

Reply

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