French resistance defeats LGBT lobby

Judith Reisman spotlights parents’ boycott that got ‘equality’ program axed
In May 2012, it was reported by Worldcrunch: “Following Barack Obama’s surprise public support for gay marriage, incoming French President François Hollande may be poised to push through legislation to give same-sex couples in France the right for the first time to marry.”

Well, the plans for homosexual marriage met with massive French opposition from the French people, and it looks like gender re-education has taken a major hit as well. I just received this announcement from Farida Belghoul, leader of the French resistance movement to the homosexual agenda:

Despite recent LGBT lobby groups [opposing] the announcement of the possible removal of the “ABCD of Equality” program, the government, through its Minister of National Education, Benoît Hamon, announced its final decision: He abandons the ABCD. Already, the intervention of LGBT activists planned for the autumn in schools are erased from the schedule.

Tribute to the popular areas that have suffered for this victory! Tribute to Mothers of France! JRE Cheers! Cheers to the Islamic-Catholic convergence! Cheers [to] all the forces of the nation fighting to save the modesty and integrity of children.

Tribute to the rare priests – Fathers Blin and Horovitz, Father Pagès, Abbé Tanouarn. Thanks to the Imam Rahhaoui and rare others who have supported us. Tribute to local committees and alternative media. …

Shame on the traitors, cowards and collaborators.

Our determination, our strength, our sufferings and sacrifices were rewarded.

JRE movement won this first battle without ever appealing for donations. It is the victory of men and women of integrity and selflessness. So be it … and God be praised!

In April, we wanted to wish Christians a Happy Easter. The time has come to wish Muslims a good month of Ramadan.

Background to the victory

Deutsche Welle reported earlier this year: “A French government program aimed to combat gender stereotyping among primary school children is facing an unprecedented backlash from parents. Parents in France are pulling their children out of class for one day each month to protest against what they say is an attempt by the government to teach primary school children that ‘they aren’t born boys or girls, but neutral.’”

Farida Belghoul, from Strasbourg, created a calendar in Journées de retrait de l’école (days of withdrawal from school) in which she assigned different days for the school boycott. With little or no support or exposure from the mainstream media, Belghoul relied mainly on text messaging. She called on parents to “resist” the government’s ABCD of Equality program, which was planned for primary schools.

Some 100 schools in Strasbourg and the Paris region reported losing up to a third of their pupils. The claim that the gender program was merely geared to equality between boys and girls was seen as a cover for promoting varied strains of homosexuality.

Belghoul calls the program indoctrination, saying the aim of the government’s project is “to generalize gender ideology at every level of French schooling, from the kindergarten to the baccalaureat (final exam).

“At a moment when pupils are struggling to master basic arithmetic, the government considers it a priority to fight homophobia and stereotypes of all sorts,” she added.

Not coincidentally, Belghoul also supports the “Stop the Kinsey Institute” campaign and its global “gender” training.

Viv le France! Power to the parents. In this case, the American resistance can learn from the French resistance.

6Dr. Judith Reisman is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Study of Social Trends, Human Rights, and Media Forensics.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published on WorldNetDaily on July, 2, 2014. You can buy Dr. Reisman’s book Sexual Sabotage on her website.

Corporativism In Money And Banking Has Led America To Fascism – Part 1

[Address to the Annual Spring Meeting of the Committee for Monetary Research & Education Union League Club, New York City, 17 May 2012]

In his State of the Union Message to Congress of 11 January 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned that[w]e cannot be content, no matter how high th[e] general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of that fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.
The right of every family to a decent home.
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.
The right to a good education.[1]

In Roosevelt’s mind, all of these “rights” were to be secured by positive governmental programs, implemented through a vast New Deal bureaucratic welfare state. Actually, it would have been more accurate to call this apparatus a “permanent dependency state”, necessarily tending towards an economic totalitarian state, because everyone entitled to or desirous of such “rights” would look to public officials to fulfill them, and therefore would support an ever-more-powerful central government capable of performing whatever functions were necessary to that end.

And by promising an ever-increasing cornucopia of benefits, public officials would guarantee themselves a “permanent incumbency state” under the slogan “spend and spend, elect and elect”.

To accomplish that, however, the disposable income of the General Government would have continuously to increase.

Although to some degree this could be effected through taxation—Harry Hopkins’ version of the slogan being “tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect”—the inevitable resistance by taxpayers, or their economic destruction, would impose an upper limit on the ability to “spend and spend, elect and elect”.

In the final analysis, for the scheme to work, the General Government would have to commit to ever-increasing borrowing from the banks, and therefore to ever-increasing inflation, or to the emission of Treasury notes directly—the slogan becoming “tax and tax, borrow and borrow, inflate and inflate, spend and spend, elect and elect”.

The self-evident problem with this scheme, though, is that it is self-destructive. And not only must it destroy itself, but also it will inevitably drag down society as a whole with it.

As dark as this picture is, however, it takes only a little intelligence, insight, and imagination to visualize these “rights” in quite a different light. For every one of them would be recognized in a truly free society, too. Not, however, as “economic rights”, except derivatively. Rather, they would be “political rights”—as the Declaration of Independence described them, the “unalienable Rights” to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”.

They would be “rights” in the sense that no individual and no group either in private station or in public office would be allowed to interfere with anyone else’s otherwise legitimate attempts to secure these benefits for himself, by dint of his own efforts or in voluntary cooperation with others of like mind. The government’s only rôle would be to protect freedom of speech, private property, and freedom of contract, and to suppress every sort of tortious and criminal behavior that interfered with the effectuation and enjoyment of these “rights”, whether perpetrated by private parties or by public officials —especially monetary, banking, and other financial frauds, which interfere with every one of these “rights”. Under such circumstances, every one of these “rights” would be perfectly capable of achievement in a stable, prosperous, and free society.

But, in point of fact, under neither definition have these “rights” been attained in America.

They have not been, and could never be, secured as “economic rights” in Roosevelt’s sense of that term and by the means Roosevelt proposed, because the General Government is incompetent to provide them. And although they could have been guaranteed as “political rights” by the means the Constitution provides—primarily, its limitations on the powers of the General Government—they have not been achieved, because rogue public officials and private special-interest groups have proven sufficiently competent to interfere with the exercise of every one of them. What does the record show? Failure upon failure:

The promise: “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.”

The reality: A large proportion of the most “useful and remunerative job[s]” have been exported to far-away lands; and what is left of the national economy is beset with massive unemployment, underemployment, and downright wasted employment.

  • The promise: “The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.”

The reality: Instead of “earn[ing] enough”, or even “earn[ing anything]”, more and more Americans every day must fall back on welfare, food stamps, and other forms of public assistance, consume their meager life savings, or sink deeper and deeper into debt.

  • The promise: “The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.”

The reality: Families are being systematically driven off the land by oligopolistic corporate agribusinesses.

  • The promise: “The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.”

The reality: Domestic businessmen are confronted with ever-more-destructive unfair competition from foreign manufacturers who do not have to contend with America’s minimum wages, labor laws, environmental laws, health and safety laws, unemployment insurance, and so on.

  • The promise: “The right of every family to a decent home.”
    The reality: The housing market has been Ponzified, riven with fraud, and thrown into chaos.
  • The promise: “The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.”

The reality: The proven unworkability of the General Government’s previous interventions in America’s health-care industry is now being employed by politicians and special-interest groups as an excuse to ram down the people’s throats a full-fledged fascistic system that both presents a clear and present danger to every common American’s physical and mental well being, and promises to be financially unsustainable to boot.

  • The promise: “The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.”

The reality: The jungle drums in the Disgrace of Columbia are beating out the message that Social Security must be gutted—and, with it, what little financial security most retirees have.

  • The promise: “The right to a good education.”

The reality: the biggest and cruelest hoax of all, because it affects the future more than everything else. America’s elementary and secondary schools cannot teach children to read, write, and figure, let alone to think critically—but they can fill their heads with every form of sexual perversion imaginable. Colleges and universities are the last bastions of unadulterated, unreconstructed, unapologetic Marxism, radical feminism (a variety of Marxism in which the gender struggle substitutes for the class struggle), apocalyptic environmentalism, blatant racism, Keynesianism, and every other socially destructive “ism” known to modern man. In any event, even graduates who have mastered some useful discipline cannot find jobs in their areas of specialization, but are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt for student loans.

In his 1944 State of the Union Address, Franklin Roosevelt concluded that: “All of these rights spell security.” If he was correct then, what does the utter absence of these rights today spell?

Americans had better come to grips with that question, and soon—because, some sixty-eight years after Roosevelt made his pronouncement, America has a full-fledged Department of Homeland Security, yet common Americans find themselves in the worst state of economic, political, social, moral, and even physical insecurity this country has ever experienced.

Perhaps, though, we cannot rightfully blame Franklin Roosevelt for this mess, except as an accessory after the fact. The real blame must be laid at the doorstep of Woodrow Wilson’s Administration. And specifically at the doorstep of the Federal Reserve System, because the unworkable monetary and banking systems foisted on this country in 1913 lie at the root of all of these economic and political problems.

To conclude that this disgraceful state of affairs is the result of monetary, banking, and other allied financial fraud, facilitated at every step by legalistic sleights-of-hand and political chicanery, is not to oversimplify the problem, but instead to describe its genesis in the most focused fashion possible. For, in the final analysis, the effectuation of every one of these “rights” in their meaningful sense is tied to the existence of sound money, of a rational price structure, of protection for participants in the free market against financial fraud, and therefore of a monetary and banking system that:

(i) provides the people with a monetary unit the substance and supply of which is not subject to political manipulation;

(ii) absolutely separates bank and state; and therefore

(iii) strictly limits the powers of the General Government, so that it is impossible for public officials to employ the scheme of “tax and tax, borrow and borrow, inflate and inflate, spend and spend, elect and elect”.

Conversely, the frustration of these “rights” is assured by the emission of unsound “political money”, by a nonrational price structure, by immunity in law or simply in fact for the perpetrators of massive financial fraud, by integration of bank and state, and ultimately by a totalitarian central government working hand in glove with private bankers and other speculators. And this is true whether or not the “political money” purports to be redeemable in silver (as it was prior to 1968) or in gold (as it was prior to 1933 domestically and 1971 internationally), or is unabashedly fiat (as it is today).

To be sure, sometimes it is difficult to differentiate the chicken from the egg. Has America suffered economic failure because of political failure, or political failure because of economic failure? The answer is codetermination: Economic and political failure have marched in lockstep, because the same culprits have been responsible for both.

The Federal Reserve System and its clients and henchmen, both economic and political, constitute a classic, indeed a quintessential, “faction”. As defined by James Madison: “a faction” is “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community”.[2]

Economically, the big banks and financial houses are, first and foremost, engines and agents of speculation, peculation, and economic predation. They are not concerned with “the general Welfare”,[3] only with their “bottom lines”.

Politically, they are engines and agents of subversion. They do not seek to aid the General Government in the general interest, but instead to coöpt, coerce, and control that government in order to maximize and protect the profits of their operations, while shifting the losses to whomever else can be made to bear them. The General Government has become a compliant component of their business plans. And, through the operations of that government, the American people have become unwilling servants of those plans, too—and necessarily so, because the government has no resources it does not take from the people.

 

The bankers and their allies have been at this game since the very birth of this country—with the Bank of North America, the first and second Banks of the United States, and the National Banking System of the Civil War. Throughout the Nineteenth Century, however, Americans failed to follow the prudential rule that, when dealing with factions, never listen to what they say about themselves, but always observe what they do for themselves and to everyone else.

This failure become critically important after 1913, because the Federal Reserve System goes far beyond mere factionalism.

The Federal Reserve System is specifically a corporative-state arrangement: basically a governmentally sponsored cartel of private bankers and speculators that exercises authority delegated under color of law supposedly to serve both public and private interests in the area of currency and credit. What has become obvious today, however, and should always have been self-evident from the nature of all such systems—particularly in the field of money and banking where the potential for redistribution of wealth is greatest—is that the private interests of the operators of the cartel and their political allies inevitably take precedence over the public interest in the general welfare of common Americans. For part two click below.

Footnotes:

  1. To be sure, these were not Roosevelt’s own, original ideas, but instead derived from his formative experiences in the Woodrow Wilson Administration. See Thomas Fleming, The New Dealer’s War: F.D.R. and the War within World War II (New York, New York: Basic Books, 2001), at 326 & note 39.
    2. The Federalist No. 10.
    3. U.S. Const. preamble.
    4. Act of 16 June 1933, ch. 90, 48 Stat. 195.
    5. A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 537 (1935).
    6. Actually, this “Bush Doctrine” is nothing new. It is merely the logical expansion of old “Brezhnev Doctrine” now embossed with the Stars and Stripes rather than the Hammer and Sickle. Under “the Brezhnev Doctrine”, the Soviet Union claimed the right to invade any country among its satellites that deviated too far from the Communist Party line as enunciated in Moscow. Under “the Bush Doctrine”, the United States claims the right to impose crippling economic sanctions upon, to ring with military bases, and if those tactics do not work then to launch ersatz “wars of national liberation”, to bomb, and even to invade, any country, without distinction, that refuses to subordinate its economy to the dictates of the Financial Axis that runs from London, through New York City, to the District of Columbia.
    7. Recorded on film by Leni Riefenstahl in “Triumph des Willens”.
    8. 2009—DHS-ICE entered into a contract for 200,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W ammunition over the ensuing five years. 2011—FBI awarded a contract for up to 100,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W ammunition over the ensuing five years. 2012—DHS awarded a contract for 450,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W ammunition over the ensuing five years.
    9. Declaration III (1899).
    10. Part 2, Article 8, § 2(b)(xix).
    11. This prohibition stems from the Declaration of St. Petersburg (1868).
    12. See my demolition of Holder’s contentions in “Where is the Outrage?
    13. Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Peking, China: Foreign Languages Press, 1966), at 72.
    14. Observations on the Act of Parliament, commonly called the Boston Port-Bill; with Thoughts on Civil Society and Standing Armies (London, England: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1774), at 50.

vieiraDr. Edwin Vieira  is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Jurisprudence and Constitutional and Monetary Law.

This article was originally published originally published on July 2, 2012, on NewsWithViews.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

 

How They Are Hypersexualizing Your Kids

Judith Reisman explains history of teachers’ ‘attitude restructuring.’

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.” – Matthew 10:16

Ira Reiss, a sociologist and professor emeritus at Minnesota University, was a charter member of Alfred Kinsey’s Sex Cult. His papers, articles, and audio and video recordings already are housed at the Kinsey Institute, 57 years of his work so far. Reiss, like other Kinsey disciples, advocated the production of pornography and its display for “training” purposes to prepare students entering the new sexuality fields spawned by Kinsey’s supposed revelations on sex. Kinsey gleefully promoted this type of material, which during the late ’60s started to be called Sexuality Attitude Restructuring (later renamed Reassessment), or SAR, sessions.

These training sessions are promoted as sexual desensitization seminars, pornographic extravaganzas of all manner of enthusiastic sexual activities presented to groups of men and women as training to become certified therapists, counselors, educators or researchers. In addition to desensitizing sexologists to the images of heterosexual activities, sado-masochism, group sex, sodomy, the use of sex “toys” and homosexual behavior, the sex leaders also hold small group discussions to explore the participants’ attitudes and biases in order to neutralize any “negative” views.

But the stated purpose of these sessions is not the whole story, or even the real story.

Early on, these sessions were not used to merely desensitize and encourage acceptance of all sex acts but as indoctrination into a “sex positive” mindset. (Such training has been a requirement for certification by the American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists, or AASECT, from the beginning.) SAR leaders also often pressured participants into sexual experimentation with each other.

Reiss revealed this in his book, “An Insider’s View of Sexual Science since Kinsey,” recounting his experience at an eight-day SAR session in San Francisco in 1972. At the time, Reiss already was a professor at the University of Minnesota where its medical school was one the first in the country to offer SAR training to medical students. But it was a new, untested program.

The director of U of M’s SAR program had secured a grant from the Playboy Foundation to send 25 couples from the University, all expenses paid, to San Francisco to receive training from the group that had followed on Kinsey’s practices, the National Sex Forum (aka the National Sex and Drug Forum). The purpose was to improve the programming at Minnesota. Reiss and wife were among the volunteers for the Playboy-sponsored training of future national sex educators. Reiss reports:

“The view presented by many of the staff was supportive of people trying out the full variety of sexual acts that exist (S and M, gay, extramarital, group sex, etc.). The supposed purpose was to allow people to break through their old restrictive sexual attitudes. I had no objection to offering such options. However, as they elaborated, it became clear that this support of broad experimentation was more than just permission giving – it was presented as a demand to experiment.”

When Reiss resisted, the SAR leaders ridiculed him, one of them saying, “Are you hostile to group sex or gay sex, and is that why [you are] so cautious about trying something new? Are you biased?”

Reiss did not object to the activity. Rather, he objected to demanding it. It should be promoted, not required, according to Reiss. Such promoting, demanding and encouraging of freewheeling sexual libertinism SAR trainers have been doing for over 40 years now.

While AASECT requires SAR training as an element in their certification standards, the Kinsey Institute is still involved, and Planned Parenthood has joined in. SAR trainings are regularly available now.

Mentally and emotionally corrupted graduates of the SAR training become the “experts” who design sex-ed courses and teach our children. Thus, they have “determined” that the anus is a “genital” as it is described in the currently used sex education program in Hawaii, that orgies are natural entertainment, that sex addiction is a myth, that addiction to pornography is not possible, that it’s normal for children of any age to have sex and that they have the right to choose whatever sexual activity they may think to try with whomever they want, and that sodomy (legalized by the Supreme Court in 2003) is a healthy sexual practice for all sexual orientations.

The whole purpose of these “sex positive” programs is not to liberate adults from their Victorian moral prisons but to indoctrinate children into an unrestrained, sexually available lifestyle. Even if such “programs” are not being taught in all schools yet, this material has been made available on multiple websites and are widely promoted to all, regardless of age. The Kinsey Institute, SIECUS, Planned Parenthood, AASECT and others all provide, or recommend, sites that extoll the virtues of unrestrained sexual experimentation.

Is it any wonder that youthful STDs, pregnancies, abortions and abuse are pandemic?

Which brings us to one of the big lies spread by these organizations: safe/safer sex.

Typical of schools throughout the country, the Minnesota AIDS Project experts (SAR graduates) tell youngsters they can cut and use plastic wrap as a “barrier” when a child has oral/anal contact.

What?

To make matters worse, many of these groups have for years been spreading the false advertising that condoms and dental dams are FDA approved for such bizarre and damaging use. They are not. (See my recent column, “Condoms never FDA-approved for sodomy.”)

Do “condoms” and homemade barriers give the protection Planned Parenthood and other groups claim? Or do these groups promote their use merely as cover for the real purpose – to hypersexualize younger and younger children, groom them and leave them increasingly vulnerable to disease, death and sexual abuse by peers and adults?

Isn’t it time we start holding these groups legally accountable for knowingly spreading their junk science? Let us hear from you if you are among the millions who have been harmed by their “grooming” lies.

 

6Dr. Judith Reisman is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Study of Social Trends, Human Rights, and Media Forensics.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published on WorldNetDaily on March 28, 2014. You can buy Dr. Reisman’s book Sexual Sabotage on her website.

Why Is Daddy in Jail?

The astounding fact is that, with the exception of convicted criminals, no one today has fewer rights than fathers.

Someday Hollywood make a movie of this, A father is sentenced to prison for wanting to take his son to a ballgame. Up against him are his ex-wife, the legal system, and various women’s groups, all declaring him a deadbeat and a batterer, all of it untrue. But as a result, he’s in a cell while his ex and her new boyfriend take little Johnny to a Mets game.

Improbable? Only in the sense that Hollywood would ever make such a movie. Unfortunately it’s an all too real scenario that is taking place everyday across the country.

The case of a man we’ll call Alan is fairly typical. Without warning Alan came home one day to find his apartment cleaned out. His wife and two-year-old girl were gone. Shortly afterwards Alan was summoned to court and as a “defendant,” was ordered to stay away from his daughter most of the time and to begin making child support payments. His two-hour, thrice-weekly visits with his daughter were supervised and she was not allowed to stay with him overnight, since his wife alleged that he was dangerous and would kidnap her. The accusations eventually proved groundless, and the supervision terminated. After a year Alan was permitted one overnight visit with his daughter per week. His wife, meanwhile, was never charged with making false accusations nor has the fabrication counted against her in the custody proceedings. Various experts testified that Alan is no danger whatever to his daughter and that he is a devoted and loving father. All these findings were ignored by the courts. More than four years after his wife left, the child remains with her. He has spent a $160,000 inheritance on legal fees, not counting about 40 percent of his income for child support, and now lives hand-to-mouth.

Then there’s Bruce, who was a truck driver in Boston and who came home one day to find his things on the street, the locks on his doors changed, and his wife’s new boyfriend already moved in. Angry and bewildered, Bruce kicked in the door and began shouting. (He did not strike anyone.) His wife called the police, who arrived and took Bruce away in handcuffs. She got a restraining order preventing any contact with his three children. When his son was hospitalized with an illness, he was not allowed to visit.

Eventually Bruce was allowed to see his children at a supervised visitation center with his wife and her boyfriend present in the next room. Another man, Tom, tells of how he was living with his wife in California, where they were raising their three children as vegetarians like themselves. He thought she was content until one day, when she told him she wanted to move back to her native Virginia. He agreed to the move. After establishing residency in Virginia, however, she left with the children, and he was hauled into court.

Then, after an injury left him without an adequate income he found himself in jail for failure to pay child support. Eventually he relocated in the Washington area to find work. Tom now drives three hours each way to get his children from his wife’s place in Virginia, twice every other weekend. His ex-wife subsequently gave up her vegetarianism and obtained a court order preventing him from discussing diet with his children. His children are used as informers to monitor his compliance, and their relationship is now strained.

Tom now belongs to a father’s group that meets in Arlington, Virginia. Almost every member has a similarly painful story. Some have not seen their children in years. The children of a few will no longer speak to them.

Others regularly drive hundreds of miles to visit their children in hotels or visitation centers. Several with no previous criminal records have spent time in jail. The group is currently involved with the case of Michael Mahoney, a father in an Arlington jail awaiting sentencing for criminal contempt. Mahoney has already lost his job, his home, his savings, his freedom, and most recently his health (he has developed congestive heart failure, severe stomach ulcers, sleep apnea, and has undergone brain surgery for subdural hematoma). His private life has also been exposed to public view and he himself vilified on “Geraldo” and at least one other nationally televised talk show.

And these fathers are angry. Alan describes the system as a legal “child-kidnapping and extortion racket.” Even more though, they are in shock. Like virtually all men in their position, none realized that such a thing could happen until it did. Worse still, these men-and millions more like them-have suddenly found that the assumptions they had made about wife beaters, child molesters, “deadbeat dads,” and O.J. Simpson are now being made about them. Many see themselves as having been abandoned not only by their wives but by friends and family members, who assume they “must have done something” to deserve losing their children. What their children “must have done” to deserve losing the care of even an imperfect father is seldom asked.

Fathers who attempt to contact their confiscated children or separated spouses can be arrested for “harassment” or “stalking,” an offense that can be defined as “unwelcome conversation.” “Stories of violations for minor infractions are legion,” the Boston Globe reported in May. “In one case, a father was arrested for violating an order when he put a note in his son’s suitcase telling the mother the boy had been sick over a weekend visit.

In another, a father was arrested for sending his son a birthday card.” The practice of arresting fathers for attending public events such as their children’s musical recitals or sports activities–events any stranger may attend–is one many find difficult to believe, but it is common. Last year National Public Radio broadcast a story on restraining order abuse centering on a father who was arrested in church for attending his daughter’s first communion. During the segment, an eight-year-old girl wails and begs to know when her father will be able to see her or call her on the phone. The answer, because of a “lifetime” restraining order, is “never.”

At once the most extensive and well-concealed denial of civil rights in America today, the plight of fathers and children is all-but-ignored by the media and virtually unknown beyond the rapidly increasing circle of its victims. Few people realize how easily and frequently children are now taken from fathers who have committed no actionable offense and for reasons that have nothing to do with the children’s wishes, safety, health, or welfare.

Contrary to common assumption, the prevalence of mother-custody is not a matter of simple sex-bias against fathers in mutually agreed to divorces. As American family courts now operate, a mother can have the father summoned to court and, without producing any evidence of wrongdoing, request that he be stripped of custody of his children and effectively ejected from his family, and in almost every case the judge will duly oblige.

Despite formal legal equality between parents, some 85 to 90 percent of custody awards go to mothers. One study in Arlington found that over a recent eighteen-month period, maternal custody was awarded in a hundred percent of decisions. This includes divorces in which the father has given neither grounds nor agreement. Most people probably accept some bias against fathers in custody cases when divorce is mutual. What is happening in family courts, however, is very different. It is one thing to say that young children need their mother; it is quite another to say a mother should have the arbitrary power to keep their father away.

Yet current judicial practice throughout most of the United States allows her to do just that. In fact, a mother can have had a half-dozen previous divorces, she can have deserted the marital home, she can abscond with the children, she can have committed adultery, she can level false charges, she can have assaulted the father, and none of these can be introduced as evidence against her in a custody decision. For a father, the simple fact of his being a father will be used to keep him away from his children six days out of seven, deprive him of any decision-making role, and dissolve his marriage over his objections.

Part of the problem originates in the advent of no-fault divorce in the early 1970s, which is often blamed by conservatives for leaving wives vulnerable to abandonment,. Yet it has also left fathers with no protection against the confiscation of their children. No-fault divorce laws did not stop at removing the requirement that there be grounds for a divorce, so as to allow for divorce by mutual consent; they also provided for what writer Maggie Gallagher calls “unilateral” divorce and removed any consideration of grounds from custody decisions.

Though changes in the divorce laws were legislative, it is the practitioners of family law who have benefited both in terms of power and profit, and they have not hesitated to exploit the opportunities to the full. Dickens’ observation “the one great principle of the…law is to make business for itself” could hardly be more strikingly (or destructively) validated.

There is nothing in the no-fault laws that require a judge to honor a mother’s initial request to remove the children from the father’s care and protection. A judge could simply decide that, prima facie, neither the father nor the children have committed any infraction that justifies their being forcibly separated, that they have a fundamental human and constitutional right not to be forcibly separated, and that neither the mother nor the court has any grounds to separate them.

Unfortunately, not only is the legal machinery an accomplice; in some ways it is the principal instigator. A mother who consults a divorce attorney will be advised that her best chance of gaining custody is simply to take the children and all their effects and leave without warning. If she has no place to go, she will be told that by accusing the father of sexual or physical abuse, however vaguely (often simply stating that she is “in fear”), she can easily obtain a restraining order immediately forcing him out of the family home. She will also learn that even if her claims are false, there are no legal consequences she will face for making them; her trumped- up accusations cannot even be used against her in a custody decision. In fact, they work so strongly in her favor that failure to advise a female client of these options may constitute legal malpractice.

Far from being punished for child-snatching and false accusations, then, she is almost certain to be rewarded. Mothers who abduct children and keep them from their fathers, with or without abuse charges, are routinely given immediate “temporary” custody. But it is almost never “temporary.” Once a mother has custody, it cannot be changed without a lengthy (and, for the lawyers involved, lucrative) court battle. The sooner and the longer she can establish herself as the sole caretaker, the more difficult and costly it is to dislodge her. Further, the more she cuts the children off and alienates them from the father, slings false charges, delays the proceedings, and obstructs his efforts to see his children, the better her chance for obtaining sole custody. She can then claim child support and perhaps her own legal fees from the father.

In the absence of paternal wrongdoing, the Kafkaesque logic of family courts readily supplies a rationale for summarily stripping the father of custody.

Usually it is said that the parents “can’t agree,” so naturally the parent who is trying to exclude the other should get the children and make the decisions, even if the only thing the left-behind parent can’t agree to is the taking of his children. Or the father is alleged to be planning to “kidnap” his children back–usually with no evidence other than his opposition to the initial abduction by the mother.

As for the father, any restraint he shows throughout all this is certain to cost him dearly, as most discover too late. On the other hand, reciprocal belligerence and aggressive litigation on his part may carry enough hope of reward to keep him interested in the game. But the vast majority (about 90 percent who cannot pay the five-and six-figure sums required to fight a full-scale custody battle are branded as having “abandoned” their children and simply pushed out of the family.

Some fathers’ rights activists are now determined to fight fire with fire, and imitate the techniques of mothers: If you think she is about to snatch, snatch first. Then conceal, obstruct, delay, accuse, and so forth. “If you do not take action,” writes Robert Seidenberg, author of The Father’s Emergency Guide to Divorce-Custody Battle, “your wife will.” Thus we now have the nightmare scenario of a race to the trigger: Whomever snatches first survives.

For the left-behind parent, the loss of his children is only the beginning of his troubles. It may also be the beginning of ours as well, for the legal and political implications of these decisions extend well beyond the family. Other violations of basic civil rights and liberties logically follow when courts successfully asserted the power to invade a family remove children from the care of parents who have done no wrong.

Despite the protection of the First Amendment, family courts may decide what religious worship parents may take their children to: The 1997 ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court preventing a fundamental Christian father from taking his children to services against the opposition of the Orthodox Jewish mother was unusual only in that it made the papers. A judge in Virginia sparked a protest, but little news coverage, last year when he enjoined a father from taking his son to synagogue on Passover.

Parents’ discussions with their children about matters such as religion and politics may also be controlled by family court judges. Tom’s court order preventing him from discussing a vegetarian diet with his children is not unusual. Another father in the group had weekend visits with his children reduced when a judge decided that soccer was a more important Sunday activity than church.

The Fourth Amendment’s protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures” similarly seems to mean little to family court judges. Parents who are accused of no crime and who have given no grounds or agreement for divorce are routinely required to surrender personal diaries, notebooks, correspondence, financial records, and other documents–all ostensibly to determine their fitness as parents, even when it has never been questioned.

They are regularly interrogated behind closed doors about intimate family matters that most parents would not normally discuss with strangers. If the strains of losing their children or undergoing this legal nightmare are too great, they are wise to conceal any contact with therapists, family counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists, since these otherwise privileged consultations and records can be subpoenaed and used to separate them from their children. Parents swept into this litigation are terrified to discuss anything with their children or spouses for fear that what they say will be used against them in court. The use of children as informers is common.

As well, a custody trial will likely be held behind closed doors and without any record of what is said, free of scrutiny by press and public. Delays of months and years are common, as the parent with “temporary” custody tries to stall. Since custody cases are not criminal prosecutions, they do not fall under the protections of the Sixth Amendment, but given other abuses they often amount to the same thing, being the first stage in the criminalization and incarceration of fathers.

Indeed, while the same article stipulates a right to counsel in criminal cases, fathers can be jailed without a lawyer. One of the most notorious and common abuses in family courts is the incarceration of fathers for extended periods without charge and without trial. The guarantee of “due process” does not prevent family courts from jailing parents on civil contempt for weeks, months, or even years without trial.

The notorious Elizabeth Morgan case in which a mother abducted her child and, for refusing to reveal her whereabouts, spent two years in prison for civil contempt, was publicized only because it involved a mother. Much more common instances of fathers languishing in prison for years seldom receive any publicity. Buried as a filler in the Washington Post last January was an Associated Press report that Odell Sheppard, a father in Chicago who also would not or could not reveal the whereabouts of his 2-year-old daughter, was released after serving ten years for civil contempt. Despite what “may have been the longest jail term for civil contempt ever in the United States,” the case seems to have prompted no comment in either the local or national press or among civil libertarians.

Courts routinely order fathers whose children have been taken from them involuntarily and with no grounds to support those children financially. They can and do summon fathers to court so frequently that they lose their jobs and then incarcerate them for failure to pay child support. Courts these days will even order men to support children whom are acknowledged not to be theirs. In 1994 Maryland court of appeals refused to rescind a child support order against a man who, according to DNA tests, could not possibly have been the father of the child he was ordered to support. This was despite the fact that the mother and the true father joined the falsely accused man in requesting the order be changed. An October series in the Los Angeles Times reported that in Los Angeles alone there are 350 new cases each month of men required to support children who are established by DNA testing not to be theirs. Yet the Los Angeles County District Attorney has insisted that he had no intention of seeking to overturn support orders based on false identifications.

The Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment” does not stop family courts from summarily depriving fathers of professional licenses, drivers’ licenses, and passports that bear no connection with their alleged offence. Fathers who are alleged (but again not formally charged and never proven) to be delinquent in child support payments have had their cars booted and confiscated and their names published in the newspapers.

Fathers are also ordered by courts into employment, the wages from which are then confiscated. Last February the California Supreme Court overturned 100 years of precedent when it ruled in the case of Moss v. Superior Court that this is not contrary to the Thirteenth Amendment prohibition on involuntary servitude. In the past the Supreme Court has recognized that “Congress has put it beyond debate that no indebtedness warrants a suspension of the right to be free from compulsory service. This congressional policy means that no state can make the quitting of work any component of a crime, or make criminal sanctions available for holding unwilling persons to labor.” Yet states now routinely do precisely this.

In April 1998, a custodial father in Illinois who stayed at home to care for his three children and who received no child support from the mother was arrested under “a little known state law that makes it a felony for a man to be ‘deliberately unemployed.'” “Men in Illinois have become the target of a witch hunt,” the man’s attorney told Reuters. “Men are hounded if they owe child support and Mom is on welfare. Now Mom is the deadbeat parent, and the man is hounded because he is on welfare.”

As for the children, courts that piously proclaim their commitment to “the best interest of the child” seldom hesitate to employ heavy-handed methods against them as well. To take only a recent, documented example, in April the Los Angeles Times reported that “three children, whose only crime was their reluctance to testify against their father, were jailed for 12 days in Los Angeles County’s overcrowded Central Juvenile Hall and brought to court in handcuffs and leg chains.”

For their part, a few fathers’ groups have countered by filing federal class action suits claiming abrogation of civil rights “under color of law”, including denial of due process and equal protection. Violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Amendments are also alleged, and some go so far as to invoke anti-racketeering statutes. There is a substantial body of federal case law recognizing parenting as a basic constitutional right and requiring its protection under the Fourteenth Amendment: “The liberty interest and the integrity of the family encompass an interest in retaining custody of one’s children, and thus a state may not interfere with a parent’s custodial right absent due process protections,” according to the 1981 decision, Langton v. Maloney. Justice Thurgood Marshall also held for the majority in the 1978 case Quilloin v. Walcott that a divorced father could not be treated differently from a father who is married and still living with his child. Yet such apparently unequivocal constitutional principles are almost never applied by state courts, and the federal courts steadfastly resist becoming involved.

As it is, some twenty-three million American children now live in fatherless households, virtually half a generation. Nearly 2.5 million will join their ranks this year, according to the National Fatherhood Initiative. The crisis of fatherless children has been called “the most destructive trend of our generation” by David Blankenhorn, author of Fatherless America. Even Bill Clinton acknowledges that “the single biggest social problem in our society may be the growing absence of fathers from their children’s homes,” and AlGore has declared in more accusatory terms that “absent fathers are behind most social woes.” This opinion is shared by almost 80 percent of respondents to a 1996 Gallup poll.

Indeed, nothing else accounts for as many major social problems. Recent figures from the Department of Health and Human Services confirm that violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, emotional and behavioral disorders, teen suicide, poor school performance and truancy all correlate more strongly to fatherless homes than to any other single factor, surpassing both poverty and race. The overwhelming majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers, adolescent murderers, and rapists all come from fatherless homes.

The Washington Post, New York Times, and other major media bent over backwards to avoid mentioning that Mitchell Johnson, instigator of the shootings in Jonesboro, Arkansas, had been taken from his father, whom he was said to be close to, and moved to another state. Even as the crisis of fatherhood gains selective recognition by policymakers and the media, however, attention is confined almost entirely to “the prodigal father” who has “abandoned” his children. Fathers now get it from both sides, since the conservative campaign for “responsible fatherhood” may unwittingly reinforce the vilification of fathers in the media and by politicians and feminists.

The resulting message is that until proven otherwise, fathers are presumed to be irresponsible louts whose eagerness to desert their families accounts for all our social failures. Yet Sanford L. Braver, in his recently published book, Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths, shows that far from abandoning their children, most divorced fathers make heroic efforts against enormous obstacles to stay in touch with them.

Scapegoating fathers has predictably done little to alleviate any of the problems associated with father absence. Indeed, it cannot even solve the one problem in terms of which politicians most often proclaim their commitment to father “involvement”: the collection of child support. With a massive army of some 59,000 enforcement agents (the Drug Enforcement Administration has about 7,500), the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement perseveres in its losing battle to squeeze money out of ejected fathers who more often than not are either unemployed, impoverished, imprisoned, disabled, or dead. The General Accounting Office found in 1992 that as many as 14 percent of fathers who owe child support are dead, and 66 percent “cannot afford to pay the amount ordered.” Some 52 percent earn less than $6,200 a year, according to the Poverty Studies Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

Far more useful than trying to shake down fathers with no money would be to reform a legal system that forces so many fathers out of their children’s lives in the first place. But in addition to wives and the judiciary, fathers must also contend with feminist groups, who loom as the most formidable opponents of joint custody laws and are now promoting legislation that would openly legitimate the current epidemic of maternal child snatching. The purported justification is domestic violence. An article posted on the NOW web site asserts that preserving fathers’ rights to the care and protection of their children “is dangerous for women and their children who are trying to leave or have left violent husbands/fathers.”

This of course begs the question of why children can be taken virtually at whim from the vast majority of fathers by whom no violence is ever demonstrated or even alleged, nor why it should be any more dangerous trying to leave truly abusive spouses who can be prosecuted under existing laws and who are precluded from custody under presumptive joint custody statutes. Yet in the present climate such obvious questions are seldom asked.

So successful is anti-father propaganda now that even mainstream feminist organizations regularly use the term “batterer” as essentially synonymous with “father.” In political terms, a NOW resolution asserts that the political activities of fathers’ groups constitute “using the abuse of power in order to control in the same fashion as do batterers.”

Both domestic violence and child abuse are serious problems, but they are by no means sex-specific. Moreover, accusations of child or spousal abuse are a widespread method of winning sole custody. NOW claims that “false accusations by women are in fact rare” (and opposes penalties for making them), but saying this does not make it so. Statistically they are not rare at all. Overall, more than two-thirds of child abuse reports are unsubstantiated, according to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, and the proportion becomes overwhelming when custody is an issue. But more tellingly, NOW itself would seem to be proving just how false they are with its own legislative agenda. By legitimizing child stealing under the guise of protecting victims of domestic violence, NOW is openly practicing on the political level precisely what it claims is not happening in the family courts: the use of “battering” as a red flag to separate children from fathers who are guilty of no such thing.

There is no evidence that fathers commit any more spousal or child abuse than mothers; in fact fathers in intact families are about the least frequent perpetrators of either. The National Family Violence Survey, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and developed by Murray Straus and Richard Gelles, estimates that men are slightly more likely than women to be victims of severe domestic violence. Nor can “the high rate of attacks by wives” be explained “largely as a response to or as a defense against assault by the partner,” according to one of the survey’s authors, Murray Straus, in a contribution to the 1996 book Domestic Violence.

More to the point, mothers–especially single mothers–are much more likely than fathers to abuse children. According to a major 1996 study by the Department of Health and Human Services, women aged twenty to forty-nine areal most twice as likely as men to be perpetrators of child maltreatment. “It is estimated that…almost two-thirds [of child abusers] were females,” the report states. Given that “male” perpetrators are not necessarily fathers but much more likely to be boyfriends and stepfathers, fathers emerge as the least likely child abusers.

In fact, about the most dangerous place for a child then is the home of a single mother. The HHS study reiterates the already well-established fact that children in single-parent homes are at much higher risk for physical and sexual abuse than those living in two-parent homes (up to thirty-three times higher when a live-in boyfriend or stepfather is present). As Maggie Gallagher sums it up in her 1996 book The Abolition of Marriage: “The person most likely to abuse a child physically is a single mother. The person most likely to abuse a child sexually is the mother’s boyfriend or second husband…. Divorce, though usually portrayed as a protection against domestic violence, is far more frequently a contributing cause.”

At one time this may have been considered common sense, since two parents check one another’s excesses and the father was seen as the children’s natural protector. Not only has this role now become politically incorrect; the current system has managed to pervert it into a fault. What “male violence” does occur may well be the result of custody disputes more often than it is the cause, after all, since common sense would again suggest that fathers with no previous proclivity to violence could very well erupt when their children are arbitrarily taken from them. One is tempted to say this is what fathers are for: to become violent when someone interferes with their offspring. A 1997 study by Anne McMurray of the Griffith University School of Nursing in Australia that began with the express purpose to “provide definitive explanations for the violent behaviors of certain males,” concluded that “regardless of the male’s propensity toward violence” the circumstances most conducive to it arose “during the process of marital separation and divorce, particularly in relation to disputes over child custody, support, and access.”

“These men,” McMurray continues, “from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds and age groups, freely discussed episodes in which they had either planned, executed, or fantasized about violence against their spouses in retaliation for real or perceived injustices related to child custody, support, and/or access.”

Interestingly, while violence against wives is well publicized, the huge increase in violent attacks by fathers against judges and lawyers has gone completely unreported in the mainstream press. According to an article in the National Law Journal the year 1992 was “one of the bloodiest in divorce court history–a time when angry and bitter divorce litigants declared an open season on judges, lawyers, and the spouses who brought them to court.”

NOW and others further attempt to defend the power to take children from their fathers by invoking popular but facile cliches about marital harmony, saying that “most studies report that joint custody works best when both parents want it and agree to work together” but that it “is unworkable for uncooperative parents.” This tautological reasoning is of course simply an extension of assumptions that have long been invoked by parents of both sexes as self-justification for their wish to divorce. As such, fathers who have acquiesced in this casuistry have only themselves to blame now that it is being taken to its logical next step to justify rewarding the most belligerent of the “warring parents” and throwing the other out of the family altogether. After all, if an intact family or joint custody requires “agreement” and “cooperation” between parents, the most effective method for the parent who expects sole custody to sabotage either is to be as belligerent and uncooperative as possible.

In fact joint custody has repeatedly been demonstrated to reduce parental conflict for precisely this reason. A study by Judith Seltzer of the University of Wisconsin based on data from the National Survey of Families and Households concluded that joint custody, even when imposed over the objection of one parent, reduces post-divorce conflict. Similarly, a study team headed by Braver found that “both child support compliance and paternal visitation were highest in those cases where joint custody was awarded against the mothers’ wishes but in conformity with the fathers’ wishes.” The author concludes that these results demonstrate “the value of joint legal custody even when the couple does not initially agree to it. Joint custody appears to enhance paternal involvement, child support compliance, and child adjustment.” Perhaps most important, it takes away much of the incentive to snatch the children in the first place. (Giving sole custody to the left-behind parent, as some have proposed, would naturally create a stronger deterrent.) For similar reasons, states with presumptive joint custody laws report significantly fewer divorces.

As for the connected tautology that that parental conflict in itself justifies divorce, this is seldom justified as far as children are concerned, as any child will tell you. Children…can be quite content even when their parents’ marriage is profoundly unhappy for one or both partners,” write Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee in their 1996 book, Second Chances. “Only one in ten children in our study experienced relief when their parents divorced. These were mostly older children in families where there had been open violence and where the children had lived with the fear that the violence would hurt a parent or themselves.”

Specious justifications for a system that spawns massive corruption, violates basic constitutional rights, destroys the homes and lives of innocent children, and leads to serious social ills thus carry the day because of our willingness to buy into cliches that disguise the reality and extent of what is taking place. We have sanitized a breathtaking injustice with buzzwords such as “divorce” and “custody battle” that imply mutual consent, when in most cases no such thing exists. Yet however palatable we try to render this abuse, there is no escaping the central fact that it has very little to do with the needs of children and everything to do with the power of certain groups of adults. But we either maintain a distinction between what is actionable in a court of law and what is not, or we simply haul people into court because we don’t like their methods of child-rearing or, for that matter, because of our wish for a new boyfriend. Frightening as it may seem, using the courts and police to punish spouses for what may be nothing more than ordinary family disagreements now seems to be accepted without question, and the bottom line is that any father may now find himself pursued by federal agents because he protests the way his children have been taken from him.

Stephen BaskervilleStephen Baskerville is IAI’s Senior Fellow in Political Science and Human Rights. He is Associate Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College and Research Fellow at the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society and at the Independent Institute.

This article was originally published at theamericanconservative.com on September 25, 2009.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

Communism, Brazil & Philosophy: an Interview with Olavo de Carvalho

Olavo de Carvalho, President of the Inter-American Institute was interviewed by the editors of the Polish website Wydawnictwo Podziemme on Communism, Philosophy, and Brazil.

Wydawnictwo Podziemme: We would like to start with asking about the development of your political stance.  It appears that as a very young man you flirted with communism (forgive this odd English spelling but we refuse to bestow the honour of capital letters on names as odious as bolshevik, soviet or communist).  Then, disillusioned with politics, you immersed yourself in study of Philosophy and Art; and then again, in the early Nineties you turned to political subjects and thus found yourself threatened by lefties, which resulted in your leaving Brazil.  Could you elaborate on circumstances and reasons for these changes?

Olavo: Even though my experience as a leftist militant was quite brief, the story of my change of position has extended over many decades. At the beginning, what made me withdraw myself from among the communists was not any objection of a political, ideological, or even philosophical order. It was a simple moral reaction against the mean and ugly behavior that I saw disseminated among them as a general rule. Those people seemed to arrogate to themselves the right to commit all villainies, provided that they were not committed against the Communist Party. When I imagined Brazil being governed by those individuals, I realized that my country would be far worse off than it was under the military dictatorship. As far as it was possible to infer a collective political conduct from the individual behavior of leaders and activists, I realized that Brazil under the communists would be up to its neck in ignominy and all sorts of crime committed under “nice” pretexts. Forty years later, all this turned out to be widely confirmed: the Lula administration got to be the most corrupt ever seen in Brazilian history at a time when Brazil was bleeding with 50 thousand murders per year without federal authorities paying any attention to that issue: they are busy sucking up tax-money and siphoning off federal funds for their personal and party interests. As I was saying, at that point in my life, I withdrew myself from among the communists because their conduct made me feel shame for them, but I did not attempt to develop any theoretical explanation either for what they were doing or for what I was feeling. I simply turned my attention to subject-matters that seemed to me to be healthier and more promising, especially Greek philosophy, high literature, and the study of religions.

Many decades later, my old companions of militancy had managed to take over the whole cultural establishment and to conquer political power. The outcome of this had been the thorough destruction of high culture, the reduction of universities to centers for communist propaganda, and the country’s descent to levels of moral degradation which would have seemed unthinkable before. Since among writers and journalists nobody seemed to even take notice of this alarming state of affairs, I began to take notes on the intellectual and moral decay of the country and to read them to my pupils in the courses that I taught and at conferences that I spoke at several institutions. When I put together all these notes in a book published as The Collective Imbecile, the whole thing had a bomb-like effect: for the first time, reputations that had been so far taken as sacrosanct were treated in my book with all the sarcastic contempt that they really deserved. The reactions that followed the publication of my book widely confirmed what I had been saying of the whole situation. I had some oral and written debates with outraged critics, who came out of the discussions even more discredited than they already were. When my book Aristotle in a New Perspective was published, some academic intellectuals decided to make a show of knowledge which they really never had and to make themselves look good by having a public discussion with me about a philosopher whose work they were completely ignorant about. They did pretty bad in the debate, and thanks to this succès de scandale, I ended up being hired as a columnist by a number of major Brazilian newspapers and magazines that  were then looking for a right-wing voice, simply because they wanted to somewhat camouflage the leftist monopoly over their pages. I was not properly a right-winger but, in trying to clarify my points-of-view, I ended up drawing a kind of conservative political philosophy from my general philosophical opinions.

Wydawnictwo Podziemme: You stated in one of your interviews that the communist movement had never been, and never really wanted to be, monolithic.  It is hard to disagree with this view; after all, Lenin spoke about different countries finding their own individual way to revolution.  But let’s focus on the dynamic relationship between our perceptions and the reality of communist operations.  For instance, it could be argued that during the momentous events of 1989-1991, the reverse was true.  Individual com-parties, although acting independently, appeared to act in unison in a highly coordinated manner.  At the same time, communism raised its ugly head in Latin America; whilst in Europe communists resurfaced as “democratic left”.  Does this not imply an almost monolithic unity of purpose?

Olavo: The communist movement has never had much of an ideological unity, at least in the West. The movement’s chief characteristic was precisely that of being able to organize people and groups of the most diverse orientations into well-coordinated strategic actions—the movement has managed to manipulate even the social-democratic left, which is avowedly anti-communist. This is partly explained by the strength of the historical continuity of the Communist Party, the only organization capable of pressing into its service all minor and more fragmented movements. However, this is also explained by a factor that I designate as the formal unity of the revolutionary movement since the eighteenth or even the seventeenth century. Behind all variety of currents that compose it, the world revolutionary movement is unified by a kind of shared logic, a set of formal principles that internally shape the revolutionary speech in all of its versions. In innumerable articles and lectures, I believe I have sufficiently explained this formal unity and the strength of the more or less unconscious automatism through which it imposes itself upon generation after generation of revolutionaries, even when they disagree with one another. I believe I have also made evident that this set of rules makes the revolutionary mentality, as a whole, into a phenomenon of intellectual pathology which is very similar to that which the French psychiatrist Paul Sérieux described in his 1910 book Les Folies Raisonnantes (The Reasoning Madnesses).

Wydawnictwo Podziemme:You often mention the name of Antonio Gramsci, undoubtedly, one of the most important communist theoreticians, who perhaps deserves the name of father of contemporary Bolshevism.  It might be difficult to make a direct link between Gramsci and the perestroika planners (apparently, Raisa Gorbacheva was a keen student of his writing, although it could be an apocryphal tale designed to boost her standing amongst the faithful).  Nevertheless, it seems that his ideals are present in the minds of European commissars as well as amongst American politicians.  Is it not the case though, that Gramsci’s thoughts found the most fertile ground in Latin America?

Olavo: You are right. Latin America was the only place where Antonio Gramsci’s strategy had been put into effect in a comprehensive and systematic manner for several decades until the expected results were achieved. In Brazil, for example, as early as the 1980’s, i.e. during the military dictatorship itself, the communists had already achieved complete cultural hegemony, a phenomenon to which the military did not pay much attention because they were exclusively obsessed with the “violent left.” When the military dictatorship came to an end, practically the whole country was already pro-communist without noticing it. That is to say, at that time, a group of communist and similar parties that gravitated around the Workers’ Party had already dominated the people’s imagination and the established cultural values in such a way that it would be no exaggeration to say that the strategic command of the revolution had already accomplished the Gramscian ideal of transforming itself into “an omnipresent and invisible authority of a categorical imperative, of a divine commandment.” When in the 2002 presidential election there was nothing but a simple contest for offices between four equally leftist candidates, and nobody in the media seemed to find anything odd about such phenomenon, this showed to what extent the hegemonic domination of people’s consciousness had rendered the public opinion docile to the leftist strategy.

Wydawnictwo Podziemme: From afar, Brazil looks like a model achievement of “demo-bolshevism”, the version of bolshevism, which conquers and holds on to power through the use of democratic institutions (Gramscian “march through institutions” springs to mind again).  Strengthened by the stagecraft of democracy, this new bolshevism appears far more dangerous than the classic totalitarian version.  Thanks to some extraordinary spinning and brilliant propaganda techniques, the modern embodiment of bolshevism is hard to recognize even for seasoned political observers.  The world media described the Brazilian election as a runoff between the neoliberals (Dilma Rousseff) and the right wing (José Serra) when to our eyes these two look like dye-in-the-wool red party apparatchiks.  How do you see the current situation in Brazil?

Olavo: Substantive democracy requires much more than the mere existence of parties and free elections. Above all, it requires free circulation of information, which is impossible under Gramscian conditions of cultural hegemony. Just for you to be able to assess the difference between one thing and the other, suffice it to notice that in 2000, when I was hired to write for O Globo newspaper, one of the most prestigious of Brazil, my presence on the pages of that publication was regarded as something of an oddity because I was the only right-wing voice among hundreds of left-wing columnists. When I say “the only,” I am not speaking figuratively: “the only” has a merely arithmetic meaning in this sentence. “The only” really means “the single one”. And not only were my opinions in sharp contrast to those of all the other columnists, but, likewise, they were in contrast to the general tenor of the news, which emphasized facts that were most convenient to the left, and completely concealed everything that was of no interest to the leftist parties. For example, during 16 years, not only O Globo, but the whole of the Brazilian mainstream media, concealed from the public the existence of the São Paulo Forum, the strategic command of the Latin American communist revolution and the largest political organization that has ever existed in the continent. I, of course, spoke about it in my columns, but since no factual confirmation ever appeared on the news pages, it was easy for interested leftist leaders to deny even the mere existence of the Forum, which thus could grow up in silence until it managed to take over twelve countries. Then, sure of itself, the Forum publicly admitted its own existence, confirming everything that I had been saying about it, but doing so in such a tardy manner that it was no longer possible to attempt any reaction against the growing of that monster. The expression that you employ, “demo-bolshevism,” is perfect, for the prevailing communist forces managed to dominate the flux of information so efficiently that they even permitted themselves the luxury of having free elections, since voters were completely ignorant about the real political situation and, for this same reason, became perfectly harmless.

Wydawnictwo Podziemme: In your Weapons of Freedom essay, you discuss two interesting and somehow correlated phenomena.  On the one hand, we constantly have to deal with old-fashioned, often inadequate concepts such as “national state”, “international relations”, “free trade”, “democracy”, “imperialism” or “class struggle”; on the other, we come across scientific methods of control and manipulation of human beings.  However, whilst the remnants of the free world struggle with outdated notions, they fall victim to the latest methods of social sciences; at the same time, the representatives of the new totalitarianism are very astute in dealing with both areas.  They tend to use both the obsolete concepts and most recent psychological discoveries with aplomb – to their own ends.  Is it possible that the traditionalist world of simple human dignity and decency is doomed when confronted by the bolshevik plague?

Olavo: If supporters of democracy and human dignity do not get urgently updated on opinion control and social engineering methods that are being used by totalitarian movements, the whole mankind will be at risk of falling under the dominion of a fierce and broad-grinned tyranny that will easily be taken as democracy. Both the social sciences and psychology have placed in the hands of the most cynical and ambitious men all the instruments they need to impose totalitarian power without the masses having the slightest inkling of what is really going on. Among the most important books for understanding this phenomenon are Pascal Bernardin’s Machiavel Pédagogue (Machiavel The Educator), Alexander Zinoviev’s The Reality of Communism, and Lee Penn’s False Dawn. There are many other equally good books, but the reading of these three is more than enough for you to grasp the range and the efficacy of the instruments to which I refer.

Wydawnictwo Podziemme: One of the commentators under your interview published on The New American site wrote in March this year: “Thank you Olavo for your clear vision and for state it outside our country (Brasil). I have a question though: how to build a new right from scratch? It will need not only knowledge but also an incredible strategic effort… […] I mean, I’m a father and a honest hard working citizen that want to do something at least to give my children some hope for the future. What would be a play for ordinary people like me on this matter?” Let us expand your compatriot’s question: what is to be done?

Olavo: Though many millennia-old, Sun Tzu’s formula is still valid: know your enemy better than he knows himself. Attack him at his blind spots. Bewilder him, intimidate him, and put him to flight. It is important to remember that I am not talking about fighting a battle of ideas, of doctrines, but about fighting a battle against concrete groups and individuals, a battle for power. And power, in the first place, does not mean holding elective offices. It means having dominion over people’s imagination and feelings. By discussing ideas with agents of totalitarianism, we do nothing but give them a dignity that they do not really have, and even if we defeat them in the realm of argumentation, we end up reinforcing the power they enjoy. What we need to do is to render visible all their inner ugliness, their intrinsically criminal mentality. As long as revolutionary mentality is accepted as one respectable opinion among others, we will make crime a normal, acceptable, and even prestigious behavior.

 

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. The original answers for the interview were translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota in November 2010.

Suvorov’s Methodology

Jeffrey Nyquist comments on Suvorov’s book The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II and reflects on the lessons to be learned from history.

Soviet GRU defector Viktor Suvorov has come out with a new book titled The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II. It is Suvorov’s thesis that Stalin tricked Hitler into starting the war. This was easily done because Hitler was impetuous. Stalin, on the other end, had the virtue of patience and was more deceptive. In addition, Stalin had absolute control over the Soviet Union. He enslaved hundreds of millions of people for one purpose: to build a military machine second to none for the conquest of Europe. To assure his grand design, Stalin implemented a strategy of “divide and conquer.” He plotted to set Hitler against France and Britain. At the same time, Stalin set about to build the greatest war machine the world had ever seen.

At the Nuremberg trials in 1946, the defense attorney for deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess argued that Stalin was equally responsible for starting the war. The Soviet leader set the war in motion by signing a secret pact with Hitler. The agreement involved a joint invasion and partitioning of Poland. In the course of this invasion Stalin cheated Hitler by delaying the Soviet invasion of Poland for 17 days. Hitler was shocked at the betrayal. “Where are the promised Russian troops?” Stalin’s coy answer: “Our forces aren’t ready.” As Nikita Khrushchev later explained, “According to this agreement [the Hitler-Stalin pact], it turned out that Hitler started the war. This was beneficial for us from the military and from the moral standpoint. With his actions, he would provoke war with France and England, by going against Poland. We could remain neutral.”

While Germany was at war with England and France, the Soviet Union was free to invade its neighbors without risk. “The Soviet Union entered World War II as an aggressor,” wrote Suvorov. “Poland, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania – all the western neighbors of the Soviet Union – fell victim to the Red Army.” Millions of gulag prisoners were harvested in the newly conquered territories. Stalin got what he wanted, and had no qualms about helping resource-starved Germany by sending oil, grain, cotton, iron ore, magnesium, chrome, zinc, nickel, and tin to Hitler. “Without these things,” wrote Suvorov, “Hitler could not have fought.” But Stalin wanted Hitler to fight, because Hitler was – according to Stalin – the “icebreaker” of the revolution.

After the war Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, was arrested and put on trial at Nuremberg. What war crimes did this diplomat commit? He had direct knowledge of Stalin’s secret treaty with Hitler. During the Nuremberg trials the Russians warned Ribbentrop to keep his mouth shut. But under cross examination the Nazi diplomat was forced to admit that Stalin and Hitler had worked together. A copy of the secret Hitler-Stalin pact was produced during Deputy Fuhrer Hess’s trial. This created a sensation in the court room, until a Soviet judge demanded the suppression of “this anonymous document.” The Allied judges supported their Soviet colleague.

The West is always slow to understand Russian strategic thinking. The Hitler-Stalin pact was about dividing and conquering. It was aimed at the West. And today, the bosses in the Kremlin continue to aim at the West. By giving nuclear and missile technology to Iran, the Russians prepare a new “icebreaker.” But today, there are many strategies on many continents: there is Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, the North Koreans, and the rapidly arming Chinese.

Strategy is not always about fighting. It is about long-range consequences. If you unloose X, then you unleash Y. Therefore, strategy is psychological and sociological. Consider the strategic outcome of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Thousands of Americans were killed and the U.S. president responded by invading two Islamic countries – Afghanistan and Iraq. These invasions exposed the U.S. administration to withering criticisms from the Left. As long wars invariably prove unpopular, the discrediting of Bush and the Republican Party became a foregone conclusion. In this case, the “icebreaker” of the revolution was al Qaeda. The result of Bush’s overreaction spelled defeat for the Republican Party and victory for the American Left. And now the Americans have elected a president who wants to get rid of 80 percent of America’s nuclear arsenal.

The Americans never reckoned with the fact that their real enemy sits in Moscow. And so, America has been played off against the Islamic world. The Republican Party has been defeated. The American people have turned to the Left, and the American economy is being “socialized.” Here is a disastrous outcome, and one that promises worse violence to the future. What will happen when American troops leave Iraq? What will happen to the world economy as the American’s spend trillions they haven’t got? Will there be communist revolutions? Will the United States continue as a great power?

Suvorov asked the question: who really started World War II. Perhaps, before it’s too late, we should ask who started the “war against terror.” Was Osama bin Laden the mastermind, or was it the KGB agent, Ayman al-Zawahri? (Before his death, the assassinated FSB/KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko publicly stated that al-Zawahri was working for Moscow, and that Russia was behind the global terror campaign.)

Suvorov’s methodology is to look at facts that haven’t been properly analyzed. When asked by a journalist why so many historians missed the role that Stalin played in starting World War II, Suvorov responded: “Are you asking why they are all so brilliant?” If someone asks today why the CIA and FBI haven’t grasped Moscow’s role in 9/11, I must give Suvorov’s answer. It is an amazing truth, that most events aren’t properly examined after the fact. Myths are propagated and false interpretations become set in stone. This is because normal people don’t question first impressions. They are superficial in their analysis. That is the way the world works. To question a myth, one has to have a questioning mind. Facts speak truth only to the few. As Suvorov points out, “Poland was divided not in the Imperial Chancellery, but in the Kremlin.” We might also recall that modern terrorism wasn’t invented in Baghdad or Kabul, but in Moscow.

Jeffrey Nyquist is the President of the Strategic Crisis Center and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Political Science at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.

This article was originally published on Financial Sense on Feb 16, 2009. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

The Two Basic Laws of Science, Religion, & Rationality

The fundamental laws of rationality are also the fundamental laws of the Biblical worldview.

 

The two laws of Non-Contradiction & Sufficient Cause (sometimes misleadingly call the law of Sufficient Reason) are the rock bottom foundation of logical and empirical evidence.  It was the unique combination of those two laws during the late middle ages which led to first a freemarket of ideas which then led to the rise of science.

Non-Contradiction:

The Law of Non-Contradiction states that “nothing can both be and not be at the same time, place, and respect.”  A light can be red at one moment and green or yellow at another moment, but it cannot be both red and green at the same time and place.  The color is the “respect” in this case.

This is the fundamental law of the Cosmological Argument for God (see Personality, Empiricism, & God)  God is the differentiator between the possible and the existing.  He who Is absolutely gives existence to that which is contingently.  So the difference between being and non-being, between existence and non-existence, must be clear and precise.  The very nature of God as Creator ex-nihilo itself ensures that.   Only so can the cosmos be rational, thus providing a basis for science.

Sufficient Cause

The law of sufficient cause states that every event must have a sufficient cause, that is, the law of nature, given by God, specifies that the cosmos is rational, not random chance and thus unpredictable.  The “sufficiency” is rationally set by natural law as given by God.  No one would think that a large dump truck being overturned and smashed could be caused by a 3-year old riding carelessly on his tricycle.  The alleged cause would not measure up to the effect.

It was often first called the law of sufficient reason because Western philosophy was dominated by the rationalist oriented Greek philosophical tradition.  Abstractions (such as reason) were treated as though they could cause events.  But the principle of sufficient reason tended to spurn the empirical world and to exalt the logical, intellectual world as the more real than the physical world.  That error was a major hangup in the development of Western philosophy and science (see Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth.  It is the sufficient cause, not sufficient reason, which gives the empirical world its rational character.

The Hebrew focus on the empirical world of time and space, insisting that God Himself quite naturally and easily invested Himself in that world of His own creating, was for centuries in Christian thinking overshadowed by that Hellenic preference for the logical and abstract as the more real — as with Plato’s Ideas.  So, despite the Biblical influence, the empirical world for centuries got short shrift.

But that began to change in the late Middle Ages when there developed the floating free-market of ideas, which then was institutionalized into the great universities of Europe, at Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Rome, etc.  From those universities developed Western science.  The budding scientists threw off the Hellenic/pagan worldview but kept the Greek tools of abstract reasoning, importing those tools into the Biblical worldview of the particular, personal, temporal, spatial, and material.

For the first time in human history, there was a sophisticated intellectual mechanism for studying the world in which human relationships took place, planned by God for the Kingdom.  Those Greek tools of the intellect, it is beginning to be discovered, work far better in the Biblical worldview than in the pagan/secular worldview.

But Christians lost the initiative, early on rejecting reason, and pitting it against revelation.  Other than using force to convert people, that was the worst mistake the Church of God ever made.  The anti-intellectual (and unBiblical) stance aided and abetted the rise of secularism and rejection of Biblical faith.

Christians are beginning to discover the power of science for explaining, not trashing, the Biblical view.  The 21st century thus bids fair (if we do not first self-destruct) to be a powerful renewal of Biblical civilization.  The wedding of reason to revelation creates the Biblical 2-edged Sword of the Spirit, an invincible weapon — reason and revelation welded back to back.

Both fundamental laws of rational thinking are foundational to the Biblical worldview.

Dr. Earle FoxDr. Earle Fox is IAI’s Senior Fellow in Philosophy of Science and the Worldview of Ethical Monotheism.

This article was oiginally published at TheRoadtoEmmaus.org. See also Dr. Fox’s new Book Abortion, the Bible and America.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act

Read below Dr. Herbert Titus’ essay on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, originally published in the William and Mary Journal of Women and Law, Volume 18, Issue 1.

Herbert W. TitusDr. Herbert Titus is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, and Public Policy.

This article was oiginally published in the William and Mary Journal of Women and Law.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.