Character Is the Crucial Issue
One byproduct of the sexual revolution starting in the 1960s is the change in the writing of biography. In earlier eras, it was considered ungentlemanly to reveal the sexual adventures of prominent persons. Friendly biographers sought to protect their subjects from shame or public disillusionment.
Even more important was the widely held notion that a person’s private life is none of the public’s business and that, anyway, one’s private life is unrelated to public actions.
Beginning in the 1980s, biographers began to research and report on the private lives of famous people, and many revelations are shockers. A Question of Character, written by liberal historian Thomas C. Reeves, for example, is a devastating portrait of the cynical and adulterous secret life of President John F. Kennedy.
A similar change took place in political reporting. Since the establishment media made a collective decision in 1987 to ask Gary Hart the “A(dultery)” question, there is no way to put the genie back in the bottle. While the media manifest their liberal bias in their selectivity about which candidates are asked that question, no candidate is really safe any more from those who choose to pry into private lives and relationships and report on what they find.
The historian Paul Johnson’s book Intellectuals told how Jean Jacques Rousseau, who wrote the first modern book on childrearing, actually knew nothing about children — he sent all five of his illegitimate children to a foundling home where, in those days, few survived. Johnson related how Karl Marx, the so-called champion of the proletariat, knew only one proletarian in his life, his maid Lenchen, whom he treated like a domestic and sexual slave. His alleged research about the proletariat was a fabrication.
Johnson’s book goes a long way toward explaining the warped ideology of the feminists, whose theoretician, Simone de Beauvoir, voluntarily lived as a servant-mistress of the lecherous philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. De Beauvoir never married, but her book The Second Sex (a “bible” of Women’s Studies courses) attacked marriage as an “obscene bourgeois institution.”
Additional examples from Paul Johnson’s research of the depraved personal behavior of some of the most influential personages of the 20th century are described in the Phyllis Schlafly Report of December 1989 entitled “Insights into Feminist Ideology.”
Now comes a fascinating new book by E. Michael Jones called Degenerate Moderns (Ignatius Press) that proves the linkage between the private behavior and the public pronouncements of some of the most influential personages of the 20th century. It is must reading to understand the folk heroes of modern cultural trends because it proves that character and behavior do matter, after all.
Using facts uncovered by other biographers, Jones argues persuasively that a causal relationship exists between private behavior and the intellectual product that is presented to the world as “science” or “economics” or “psychology” or “art.”
The thesis of Jones’s book is that the theories expounded by many enormously influential modern intellectuals are simply rationalizations of their own sexual misbehavior. Their so-called intellectual and scientific breakthroughs were an attempt to justify their own sexual desires and avoid facing up to their own guilt.
The Australian anthropologist, Derek Freeman, proved that the book that launched Margaret Mead’s career as the voice of cultural relativism, Coming of Age in Samoa, was completely false in its purported reportage of Samoa as a paradise of free love. Jones takes this one step further and shows that, at the time of her journey to Samoa, Mead was sexually involved with two men and a woman, and her anthropology was a rationalization of her promiscuous lifestyle. No wonder she tried to justify “free love”!
John Maynard Keynes’s doctrine that consumption, rather than saving, is the source of economic growth, had a profound influence on American domestic policy beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. It gave “scientific” verisimilitude to the deliberate New Deal policy of deficit spending because, in Lord Keynes’s most famous quip, “In the long run we are all dead.”
Many biographies have been written about this world famous and tremendously influential economist. It was only in the 1980s that biographers admitted what earlier biographers had carefully concealed: that Keynes was a homosexual, and so were the Oxford-Cambridge elite of which he was a central figure. His encouragement of deficit spending emanated from a childless vision in which present pleasures are valued over building for future generations.
Alfred Charles Kinsey made his name as a collector of sex histories. Their unscientific nature was first exposed by his contemporary, Abraham Maslow, because of Kinsey’s “volunteer error,” i.e., he used volunteers, such as prostitutes and prison inmates, who were eager to describe their sex experiences. More recently, the scholar Judith Reisman has published devastating exposes of Kinsey’s methodology. She demonstrated that, since much of Kinsey’s data was based on observing the sexual abuse of children, it must be either bogus science or a report of criminal activity. Kinsey originated the theory that deviance is the engine of social and biological progress. His personal sex history is still concealed from the public, but Jones marshals evidence that Kinsey’s theories are just a rationalization of his own deviance.
Pablo Picasso’s loathsome and vicious conduct toward women was exposed in the definitive biography by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington entitled Picasso: Creator and Destroyer. Jones goes a big step further by detailing how Picasso’s art closely tracked and reflects his relationship with the many women in his life. His first famous painting, known as the beginning of modern art, was “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” The young women pictured were actually prostitutes from the red-light district in Barcelona, the women who reflected his sexual experiences up to that time.
The pattern of distortion in Picasso’s art reflects his attitude toward his particular mistress or wife of the time. In the few years when he experienced love, he painted with realism; when his affairs turned sour, he reverted to Cubist distortions, which simultaneously convey lust, rage and the desire to mutilate.
Jones argues that Sigmund Freud’s famous Oedipus Complex is just a rationalization of his incest with his sister-in-law, Minna. By developing the theory that such illicit desires are universal, he projected his guilt onto the world at large and escaped blaming himself for his misbehavior.
Jones presents a powerful case that there is a direct connection between what people do and what they think. His book Degenerate Moderns contains many additional examples.
The conclusion is that character is the core issue when it comes to choosing and evaluating leaders, mentors, and intellectuals.
It’s Time to Defund the NEA!.
What passes for “art” is one important manifestation of a nation’s culture. We would hate to think that our nation’s culture, or even our art, is dictated or dominated by the National Endowment for the Arts. A federal agency, it is a prime example of special-interest boondoggles, waste and corruption, and of spending taxpayers’ money on projects that are offensive to the majority of the American people.
NEA Chairman Jane Alexander assured Senators during her confirmation hearings that, under her chairmanship, the NEA would be in tune with the American public. Words are cheap; her latest series of grants include the following pseudo-artists whose resumes should have disqualified them from receiving any taxpayer funds whatsoever.
Tim Miller, who used previous NEA grants to disrobe and sexually stimulate himself on stage (and among the audience) during his so-called “performance art” presentation entitled “My Queer Body.”
Holly Hughes, whose previous awards of taxpayer funds were devoted to her writing and performing in such sewer “performances” as the “Well of Hominess.”
Kitchen Theater, which had previously used taxpayers’ money to pay Annie Sprinkle to invite the audience to examine the inside of her genitalia with a flashlight.
Frameline, which has used taxpayer funds to organize and run the pornographic offerings of the annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in San Francisco.
Marlon Riggs, who used taxpayer funds from both the NEA and Public Broadcasting to produce the pornographic, profanity-filled, and pro-homosexual documentary entitled “Tongues Untied,” which even many PBS stations refused to air because of its content.
Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where Karen Finley first came to national attention, and where Ron Athey sliced designs into the flesh of another man’s back, soaked up the blood with paper towels, and then tossed the blood-soaked towels over the heads of his audience. (News reports speculated that the blood might have been HIV positive.)
Franklin Furnace Archive in New York, where Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, Tim Miller and numerous others have been given yet another taxpayer-subsidized venue to shock the public with their so-called “performance art,” details of which are too disgusting to recite here.
Highways Inc. in Santa Monica, another taxpayer subsidized venue, where Tim Miller develops his homosexual “shock” material and serves on the board of directors.
Centro Cultural de la Raza, which was responsible for using NEA grants to give away tax dollars to illegal aliens on the U.S.-Mexican border last year.
Federal funding of the arts started in the mid-1960s as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Like most other LBJ spending projects, it has done more harm than good. The original do-good purpose of the National Endowment for the Arts was to extend enjoyment of the arts to large numbers of Americans through subsidies to such cultural places and events as museums and concerts.
Then the NEA got into the business of making taxpayer grants to individual would-be “artists” who could not sell their wares in the marketplace and who asserted “artistic freedom” to spend their grant money without accountability. Their art became the “art” of the con artist, as they worked the system of “peer review panels” to play the game of “you approve my grant and I’ll approve yours.”
The only way to stop NEA outrages is for Congress to totally delete NEA funding from the Department of the Interior appropriation. The American voters should hold Members of Congress personally and collectively responsible for everything the NEA does.
Taxes Are the Problem
Prior to the November 1994 landslide election, the media told us repeatedly that all incumbents were an endangered species because Americans were angry at all officeholders. It turned out that only Democratic incumbents were at risk; not a single Republican incumbent in the Senate, House, or Governor’s chair was defeated.
Voter anger was obviously directed at Big Government, wasteful spending, and arrogant over regulation of people and their businesses. That’s a very healthy sign, not something to worry about.
For two years prior to the November election, we were told that Health Care was the biggest issue, that it would prove to be the silver bullet for the Democrats and the death knell for Republican candidates if a bill failed to pass Congress. Wrong again. The three Democratic candidates who made Health Care the centerpiece of their campaigns all bit the dust: Harris Wofford in Pennsylvania (the one who made it a national issue), Jim Cooper in Tennessee (the premier promoter of the fraud called “Managed Competition”), and Sheila McGuire of Iowa (a member of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Health Care Task Force, who was defeated by a pro-life Republican who had never before held public office).
The reason why the American voters rejected the Clinton Health Care bill, and the officeholders who espoused it, is that the American people correctly identified it as Big Government, and they don’t want any part of it.
The reason why the November 1944 election was such a repudiation of Clintonism, liberalism and feminism is that the American people have finally figured out that government is not the solution to our problems — government is the problem. The liberalism of the 1960s is a proven failure, and it’s time to try some new ideas that do not involve giving government more power or money. One such new idea that deserves a hearing is Rep. Dick Armey’s Flat Tax.
When I was a young wife, my husband would bring a big brown envelope of bills, records and receipts when he came home to dinner on the evening of March 15. (In those years, income taxes were due on the Ides of March.) We’d spend a couple of hours making out our federal tax return, and then he would drive down to the post office at 11:30 P.M. where cooperative clerks would postmark it before the midnight deadline.
In the 1980s, Congress gave us a series of what was euphemistically called “tax reform.” The result was that the ordinary person can’t make out his tax return any more; it has become essential to hire accountants or lawyers to do it for us.
If you make more than an average income, chances are that you spend an exorbitant amount of time (or money paid to your accountant) figuring out how to take advantage of every available deduction. It has been estimated that Americans spend nearly 6 million man hours (person hours, if you choose) filling out income tax forms. Congressman Armey’s Flat Tax might change all this.
Flat Tax means that we all pay (not the same tax) but the same rate of tax, and that nobody gets any deductions at all. Converting to this system would reduce the income tax form to about six lines.
Here’s all you would have to do to pay your income taxes. First, add up your income from wages, salaries and pensions. Next, subtract your personal allowance, which is based on how many people are being supported by this income: $13,100 for single workers, $26,200 for married couples, and $5,300 for each child. Then, multiply the remaining figure by 17 percent. That’s all! That’s your tax. Sign the postcard and mail it in!
The first objection to this plan is the elimination of separate deductions for such things as mortgage payments, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, etc. However, because the personal allowance is so high, and the tax rate so low, most Americans will still end up paying less taxes, even if they now use a lot of itemized deductions.
The second objection to this plan is that income from savings such as stock investments or money market accounts will not be included in taxable income. Armey believes that the present system of taxation serves to discourage savings and investment, “which explains the ‘mystery’ of why Americans save less than Germans and Japanese.”
Under Armey’s Flat Tax, savings would be taxed only once. All businesses (whether or not incorporated) would pay a flat 17 percent tax on gross revenue less the cost of goods and services. Armey’s plan would eliminate business deductions for fringe benefits, interest, and payments to owners.
A third objection made to Armey’s Flat Tax is the soak-the-rich, class-envy argument that the rich “ought” to pay a higher tax rate than those with less income. This is the income tax structure that is called “progressive”; it was popularized by Karl Marx and has been part of U.S. law for decades. At the present time, the top rate is more than 40 percent.
Under Armey’s Flat Tax, everybody will pay the same rate, but the rich will, indeed, pay much, much more than those with less income, and millions of low and middle-income families will be taken off the federal income tax rolls altogether. A family of four, for example, will have to earn more than $36,800 before it pays any federal income taxes.
Under Armey’s Flat Tax, the rich would pony up with their 17 percent instead of hiring accountants and lawyers to hide income and high-priced lobbyists to write more deductions into the law. Under Armey’s Flat Tax, a family of four earning $50,000 would pay 4 percent of its income in taxes, while a family of four making $500,000 would actually pay 16 percent of its income in taxes.
The big advantages of the Flat Tax for individual taxpayers are that it would eliminate the many economic inefficiencies that are part and parcel of the present system, it would eliminate tax breaks for politically favored activities, and it would eliminate the evasion and concealment that cannot be avoided in our present immensely complicated system.
Big Corporations Fund the Left!
Over the last generation, nonprofit public-affairs advocacy groups have come to play an important role in American social, cultural and political policies. These groups chum out ideas and information in support of certain public policies, arrange massive media coverage, and send witnesses to testify at Congressional hearings.
The Children’s Defense Fund, the leading promoter of federally funded, federally regulated daycare, is a prime example of this kind of advocacy group. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donna Shalala both served as its chairman of the board, and prominent media personalities regularly attend CDF’s fundraising dinners.
While nonprofit advocacy groups cover a wide spectrum of viewpoints, those (like CDF) that advocate expanding entitlements through higher taxes are the best funded and the most influential. They have become major power brokers in setting public policy.
One of the most curious features of these liberal groups is the money that they receive from big U.S. corporations. One would think that, when corporations are inspired to give away money for allegedly charitable purposes, they would do so to advance the free market system, lower taxes, and less government.
Not so, according to the Capital Research Center, a private research organization that has been tracking corporate giving to nonprofit advocacy groups for the last eight years. Its latest report proves again that corporate philanthropy in 1992 (the most recent year for which records are available), more likely than not, is lavished on groups that attack free market incentives and promote bigger government. The Children’s Defense Fund, for example, received $706,000 in corporate grants in 1992.
Capital Research Center tallied up the score and reports that 129 of the nation’s largest corporations contributed $36 million to more than 300 nonprofit advocacy groups in 1992. And what kind of advocacy raked in the cash? Left-leaning interest groups received $3.42 for every dollar received by right-of-center groups.
Conventional wisdom assumes that big business is conservative. The Capital Research Center report proves that big business is funding the left; the lion’s share of big business’s corporate giving goes to liberals promoting big government and the welfare state.
The health care issue that was so controversial during much of 1994 is a good example of how corporate grants advance the liberal agenda. Many of the advocacy groups financed by corporate philanthropy have been putting out policy papers for years in support of the major features of the now discredited Clinton health care bill, including managed competition, regional alliances, and universal coverage.
Of course, the actual amount of money given by big corporations to nonprofit advocacy groups is a small fraction of their corporate budgets. But that money is a significant part of the budgets of the recipient organizations, and furthermore, the corporate grants confer respectability on the advocacy groups, thereby opening doors to other funding sources.
As Malcolm Forbes Jr. writes in the preface to this report, “In the aftermath of the ignominious collapse of the Soviet Union, it’s hard to believe how statist-minded so many Americans were in the 1960s and 70s.” Thanks to the work of the Capital Research Center and its report called Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy, we now know who put up some of the money to market and sell so many dead-end liberal notions.