Keeping Communism Out of First Grade?

A Wall Street Journal piece today on the Texas State Board of Education’s politicization of proposed social studies curriculum standards notes one particularly outrageous change the board’s far-right faction made (which we have already reported about) back in January. Check out the quote from board member Don McLeroy:

Debate about certain provisions has been intense. For instance, one revision would change what first-graders learn about their civic duty.

The previous standards, a decade old, defined good citizenship as “a belief in justice, truth, equality and responsibility for the common good.” The new standards talk about respect for others, personal responsibility, and the importance of voting and of “holding public officials to their word.”

Board member Don McLeroy, who leads the most conservative bloc on the board, said that “responsibility for the common good” does not belong in the standards because it is “a liberal notion” that edges toward communist philosophy.

“Most of the great tragedies in the world have been done in the name of humanitarian, utopian ideals,” he said.

Teaching students that being a good citizen includes the concept of responsibility for the common good is communistic? Really? What great tragedies does McLeroy think could come from that? The revised standard also drops the concept of justice from the definition of good citizenship. Is “justice” communistic, too? McLeroy must be really unhappy with the folks who write Marxist claptrap like “promote the general Welfare.”

25 thoughts on “Keeping Communism Out of First Grade?

  1. The picture of Don is starting to come into focus.
    He had all the nice toys when he was a kid and his mother made him share with the other kids.

    He got the dodgeball in first grade and tried to keep it to himself, the teacher made him play with the other kids.

    Sharing, of course, is communism.

  2. I think most hyperconservatives believe their policies would benefit our society as a whole, hence they think those policies would be for the “common good.” Of course, most mainstreamers would disagree. But the reluctance to use that phrase—“the common good—is just idiotic. Are we supposed to support policies that are against the common good?

  3. Andy Schafly should try to get the McLeroy sect to join him at Conservapedia in his attempts to amend the bible to more accurately reflect their “hyperconservative” values. ( Thanks Ben, that term definitely fits the far-right board members and their partners in crime. )

  4. I like “psuedo-conservative” too.
    They’re really not political thinkers. They just want the world to go back to the way it was on “Ozzie and Harriet”.

    If the Bible is the complete and infallible word of God, why do they need to rewrite it? The absurdity is breathtaking.

    Of course I know the answer to that and it comes from George Orwell.

    Speaking of the meaning of words, responsibility comes from the root, “response”. Response implies change. “Change” of course, is Pres. Obama’s slogan, erego, socialist.
    So to be more conservative, maybe they should change “responsible” to obstinate, and responsiblity to “obstinance”.

  5. I found the foundation of this sneaky liberal concept of common good:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  6. I think it utterly amazing that McLeroy would espouse the philosophy about one’s fellow man that he does. It is decidedly unChristian behavior, and I can show you the verses in the Bible—hundreds of them—that counter his position. This just goes to show how the Religious Right has politicized the gospel and distorted it to a condition where it is barely recognizable. I think a Baptist pastor in 1847 would have been horrified by what they have done to the words of Jesus and the Bible in our time.

  7. Perhaps I was mistaken when I read in the Bible that Jesus recommended that his followers give up their possessions and help their fellow man? Forgive me if I’m wrong, but Jesus was the ultimate socialist.

  8. Politicizing school social studies is not, nor has it ever been, an exclusive perview of any one particular political agenda. The Left has had a monopoly on politization for decades equally as dogmatic as any from the Righteous Right.

    Socialism, for example, as a political, social, and economic set of theories doesn’t claim that name until the Nineteenth Century. Onc could trace some antecedents to the English Civil Wars, but trying to hang that moniker on Jesus is a spurious inference, specious, and fallacious. Common ownership of property was common to a wide variety of institutions and social organizations since and before AD. The term “socialist” in present usage also implies anti-war-ism which belies the point that the Crusader military orders held property in common (Templars, Hospitallers, Teutonic Order, et al..

    The struggle in the SBOE seems to me to be between those who wish to repress religion versus those who wish to establish it. A pox on both their houses.

  9. Gordon, Gordon, Gordon.
    Marxism and sociialism are deader than doornails.
    That’s why the professional anti-communist hucksters and the rabid paranoid Birchers and Neonazis have turned their hate spigots onto such lefties as Bob Bennett and John McCain.

    No one’s trying to repress religion. There’s a whole lot of Christians in a coalition with atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus who are trying to prevent a small minority of “pop” evangelical “left behind” right wing nut jobs from installing their delusional misreading of the Bible as the STATE RELIGION.

  10. Marxism lives on campus and as such produces people who do not have the appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes to make a living in the workforce aka the real world.

  11. Yes, I know, I’ve been a grad student in the last 10 years.
    Marxism exists as a historical oddity within intellectual circles, but as a political force it’s been dead for some time.
    Academia is the real world. It is part and parcel of civilization. Not everyone was meant to be a utlitarian cog in the corporate bureaucracy that exists for the purpose of enriching those “at the top of the food chain”.
    Thank God.
    The way to get better teachers professors, etc, is to value knowledge and pay them a little better.

  12. “Not everyone was meant to be a utlitarian cog in the corporate bureaucracy that exists for the purpose of enriching those “at the top of the food chain”.” Nice summation of the arrogance and ignorance of the parasite class who feed off the sweat of the utilitarian cogs whose purpose in life is a living.

    Corporate bureaucracies differ not in the least from any other kind of bureaucracy, not even in the requirement to take in more than is spent as in “The way to get better teachers professors, etc, is to value knowledge and pay them a little better.”

    Those at the top of the food chain exist in any bureaucracy otherwise there would be no bureaucracy. The prototype of human organization is the family, including nuclear and extended. We generally don’t use the term bureaucrat for fathers and mothers, but their roles are replicated in all organizations, including the business of survival.

  13. Any political viewpoint that is overtly un-Marxist, doesn’t fair well on the grade point fiold except a tiny bit in the School of Business where all good corporate types are trained. Or in the diploma mills of the Righteous Right.

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that peppering one’s writing with the usual stuff about downtrodden masses, imperial (non-Communist) exploitation, or the class struggle between “cogs” and suits, is good for at least a full grade point or two.

    Admittedly there have been a few up-grades in buzzwords that now talk about phantasms like “corporte America” or “Big Oil” which have less subtance than the Rapture as depicted in best selling “Left Behind” series.

  14. Sociology has fundamentally driven a stake through the heart of Marxism. Marx’s theoretical achilles heel, in brief, was that he perceived society as having a basically static trajectory, driven by inertia, and that it required a major outside push (revolution) in order to change. Now society is seen in evolutionary terms, as in a constant state of flux. Capital evolved, in other words.

    Marxism is still visited in Art History and theory. You’ll probably find your most committed Marxists in the art history dept.

    Marxism, if it had ever been attempted, would have failed. Stalin rapidly turned the Soviet State into the same kind of serfdom/feudal bureaucracy it had been under the Czar.
    Ditto China, alhthough it had moments of appearing “Marxist”.
    The exploitation of the powerless still continues, so there is still a search for a vehicle for social justice. That is becoming to be seen as a hybrid vehicle of economic development (capitalism) with the development of social institutions of justice, economic fairness, education, and environmental conservation, etc., (socialism).
    This is in spite of narrow-minded atavistic malcontents who can’t see the forest for the trees and prefer one or the other.

  15. The reason taht Marxism exists on certain campuses and in little pockets here and there is the fundamental appeal to deprived of an effective paternal presence either by absence, being overbearning, or over manipulative. Marx provided a ready made argument that can be hurled at surrogates selected as targets for pent up rage.

    The game calls for the player to play around Karpman’s Drama Triangle which has three basic roles: Victim, Rescuer, and Prosecutor. Any good player (Marxist or not) can play all three roles in a single sentence. Playing rescuer to set up playing prosecutor,, which efforts if fail allows a shift to victim. Saving the Whatles denotes the Villan and the Victim against which the Sea Shepherds attack, and wind up in victim status by susstaining damage to their pirate boats.

    Such game playing delivers a payoff each tme a role switch occures. If the end position is victim hood, one collects depression stamps which can be converted in rage stamps. The fate of either the whales or the whalers is irrelevant, as the end game is a payoff as victim, failed rescuer, or frustreated prosecutor. Google please.

    While my personal rage against the Pro-VC faction during the Vietnam War masquerading aournd as anti-war pacifist is not entirely a personal problem. I de recognize that those who committed treason during that period of time will never be brought to justice, it is more important for those who are currently in school or have kids in school to note the long bloody trail Marxism left within nations and internationally. Or more specifically, it never worked as it’s economic was drivin by Oedipal rage.

  16. More psychotic ramblings from our dear friend, Gordon Fowkes: “Marxism lives on campus and as such produces people who do not have the appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes to make a living in the workforce aka the real world.”

    I nearly choked and spat out my coffee when I read that. On what planet do you live, Gordon? I am a product of a college campus and, excuse me, but I DO have the “appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes to make a living in the workforce aka the real world.”

    I am a cytotechnologist and, as such, I do quite well financially, thank you very much. I wonder how I could have learned my profession without attending college? And as a single homeowner, I manage my household as well.

    My brother is a Ph.D. in psychology which is something attained only by university, Gordie. He has lived VERY successfully in every way. My sister is an R.N. and Ph.D. RN and likewise has lived a very successful life – again, in every way. I wonder how we three sibs could have attained what we have without having set foot on “marxist” campuses.

    The question is: is Gordon living in the real world? I think not or else he would not have posted such a ridiculous, unsupportable message.

    I suspect he’s just pulling our legs.

  17. Gordon, speaking of treason,
    How about Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr.
    Making a deal with the Iranians to supply stinger missiles before the election in order to ensure that they held onto the hostages until the day Reagan took over.

    How about George Jr. and Dick Cheney?
    Do I have to explain?

    And you’re still living in the Vietnam era?

    And your psychology is silly.
    Power corrupts. Stalin turned the bolshevik revolution into standard industrial imperialism. Only the names were changed.

    You’re right about something, the American left has sure had it’s share of hooey.

  18. The Psychology of my rant above is derived from Karpman’s Drama Triangle and is his contribution to the field of Transactional Analysis (TA). I have validated my varient with Dr Stever Karpman, and he asked to write an article for the ITAA (International Transcational Analysis Association). The use of the Drama Triangle in assessing propaganda is not specifically aimred at any one dogma as it was devised by Dr Karpman for individual and small group therapy. I use it in politcal analysis of propaganda in large groups regardless of bent.

    The collection of values, beliefs, behaviors and norms of the Righteous Right are fascinating, and quite dangerous, more so than the Anti-War faction of the Sixties. The fundamental difference between Righteous Right and Loony Left is the place on the modified traingle between Rrosecutor and Rescuer of which there are two sides (equally dysfunctional) of Hero and Villain of which the two parental roles (protection and nurturing) toughly line up wtih Father and Mother. The dark side of the Mother-Father combo is the dysfunctional fathers batters while the dysfunctional mother manipulates and nags.

    The parallel between parental roles is widely recognized in a less virulent form by characterization of the GOP as the Daddy party and the Democrats as the Mother party. The parental roles of protection and nurturing overlap to a large extent. Conseqently the current demands of the dysfunctional daddy GOP/Tea Party/Fundie in dealing with “terrorists” is to deny individual protections against the abuses of government going back to the Magna Carta is scary. As a professional soldier, I caution against bringing in the Military to deal with the prosecution of criminals because the Right believes the Military will give short shrift to Constitutional rights. That is a bad idea, and few serving soldiers want any part of it.

    As the Fundie Right evolves, it’s themes and sysmbols increasingly line up was a resurrection of the politcs of the Civil War. It is clear that any Constitutional Amerndments ratified during Reconstruction are considered invalid. The code words for this is centered around State’s Rights, and emphasis on the provisions of the Cosntitution prior to Lincoln’s election. Some even condemn Lincoln as a Marxist because Marx wrote Lincoln some letters.

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) the laws have changed since Vietnam to allow prosecution and imprisonment of those who might try to repeat the sedition and treason of the Sixties. One of the charges being used today is “seditious conspiracy”, which is being used by the Obama Administration.

    My base line of comparison of the values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms as associated wth Marxism is based on my attendance at the University of Communism at Berkeley (1958-60) with comparison to the Party School in LA aka (UCLA) where I got my BA in Political Science (1962). While my Masters in Education (Master’s Thesis on Propaganda) was received from a small New England State College of no particular renown, the faculty was composed of moonlighting Ivy League professors (1970). I have been continuing my post grad education mostly at the University of Houston, and Rice University..

    I come from a family of academics: my father was the Chairman of the Chemistry Department at Lehigh. On sister is a professor of English at Arizona State University and is on sabbatical from the University of Hawaii.

    As for being stuck in the Vietnam Era, I am not stuck, but I do drag a piece of it around every day, in which I celebrate each additional wake up. I served thirty three years in the Army, including service in Vietnam, Germany and Japan, so my feelings to those on campus waving VC flags and chanting “ho ho ho chi minh” were not and are not received with warm and cozy thoughts.

  19. Anyone care to explain to me how Gordon Fowkes’ Bull-poo above proves that I “do not have the appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes to make a living in the workforce aka the real world.”

    His nonsensical and rambling disjointed drek doesn’t begin to answer the question. Not that I expected it would. Gordon Fowkes is the best bull-shitter I’ve seen post here in quite a while.

  20. I think that was boilerplate about the “egghead intellectuals” who inhabit “the ivory tower” of academia rather than professionals such as yourself.
    Utilitarianism has become such a religion in this country that the lowest of the low are those who have no corporate niche in which to facilitate the economy which is primarily based on the consumption of crap that is designed for obsolescence and the subduction under the next generation of “new crap”.

    Obviously professions such as your own do provide meaningful “wealth” or value to to the society as a whole, but it is increasingly part of this “corporate” system.

    The most despicable human beings according to this anti-intellectual utilitarianism are literature and history professors, artists and art historians, philosophy, etc., “the Humanities”. Music is increasingly a function of the consumer-product marketplace rather than of “culture” and community.
    In other words, if the Wall STreet/ financial/corporate welfare/ military industrial complex/ big ag/big oil/ etc. system that keeps us alive breaks down completely, the survivors will be back to living in trees (if there are any left) and caves in short order.
    Back to sticks,rocks and dirt, (mud if there’s any water to be had).
    By the way, for those of you who missed it, China now has a corner on the market of all the rare earth metals that are necessary to build our tanks and other high tech military hardware, as well as the batteries for the new “clean” energy.
    The lithium comes from the Tibet plateau, which is why they’re brutally repressing the people of Tibet.
    Not only that, but I’m forced to buy my made in China boots from Walmart for $30 (great boots by the way) instead of made in America Timberlands for $130. I can’t afford them.
    Ditto practically everything else in Walmart.
    Hanoi Jane didn’t have ANYTHING to do with that.
    Try George Bush, Dick Cheney, the Walton family. Wall Street.

  21. I have two degress in BS (BA & M.Ed) with my thesis in BS, and have been trained in BS by the US Army where I was awarded one BS fo BS, one MSM for BS, and thwo Army Commendations Medals for BS. As an insurance salesman I sold BS, and as a Public Servant was BS analyser and re-synthecizer.

    As such, my current theses on BS which I call “F4F and the Drama Triangle” both largely based on Transactional Analysis pllus the studied works of:

    C. Northecote Parkinson (Parkinson’s Laws, In-laws and Outlaws): Law of Triviality, Law of Work,

    Scott Adams (Dilbert’s Law of WorK; the Law of inverse competence (why the least competence vault over the competent.

    William Haga: Haga’s Law: Why Nothing Works and No One Can Fix It and the More You Try to Fix It the Worse It Gets

    Anthony Jay “Machiavelli and Management”

    Nicolo Machiavelli: The Prince, the Discourses, and De Re Militari.

    As well as the aformentioned Dr. Stephen Karpman and Dr. Eric Berne who developed Transactional Analysis (TA)

    I should have a doctorate in BS, but the field is too crowded.

    OBTW: Cyto, don’t take things so personal, I don’t.

  22. Cyto, I was deemed “communist” in high school for supporting McGovern.

    Thanks for filling out my reading list Gordon.
    The little I’ve read in TA, I’ve respected for making sense. When I was a child my mother’s illness was considered by some (superstitious people like Don McLeroy), due to possession by Satan or by inadequate faith. I’ve had a front-row seat in the applied history of Psychiatry, from Freudian, jungian, electroshock, insulin shock, orthomolecular, schizophrenia, barbs, thorazine, mellaril, elavil, valium, lithium, prolixin, zyprexa, zoloft, neurontin, etc.
    TA had the best results as far as therapy went. The whole family needed to be in the equation.
    Mom has always said a prayer every night before bed, and Dad has always said grace before every meal.
    I have evangelical relatives who have the nerve to find fault with their faith.
    I have very little tolerance for that crap.

    Try to chill on the Vietnam thing. It’s about time. Even though this is Memorial Day for the dead who served, I appreciate your service too.
    Still don’t like Nixon though.

  23. Hard to not to chill on Vietnam issues, don’t intend to either. I believed in what I was doing there at the time, and despite professional differences on the conduct of that war, it was a lousy war, but it was the only one I had at the time. I have close connections with the local Vietnamese in Houston and got a black belt in Tae Kwon Do from Vietnamese Grand Master Van Binh.

    TA was designed for individual therapy, but I find it exceptionally applicable to group psychology. There are a great number of variables in individual psychology but practical group psychology, TA is a winner.

    See blogs at:

    Read the next four blogs below this one.