Rudyard Kipling, "The Gods of the Copybook Headings"
AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Our president shakes hands with dictators. I wonder what's happening to my nation. Maybe it's all hope and change, and a brave new world begins.
On Frances Bacon, Novum Organum
Idols of the Tribe are deceptive beliefs inherent in the mind of man, and therefore belonging to the whole of the human race. They are abstractions in error arising from common tendencies to exaggeration, distortion, and disproportion. Thus men gazing at the stars perceive the order of the world, but are not content merely to contemplate or record that which is seen. They extend their opinions, investing the starry heavens with innumerable imaginary qualities. In a short time these imaginings gain dignity and are mingled with the facts until the compounds become inseparable. This may explain Bacon's epitaph which is said to be a summary of his whole method. It reads, "Let all compounds be dissolved."
Idols of the Cave are those which arise within the mind of the individual. This mind is symbolically a cavern. The thoughts of the individual roam about in this dark cave and are variously modified by temperament, education, habit, environment, and accident. Thus an individual who dedicates his mind to some particular branch of learning becomes possessed by his own peculiar interest, and interprets all other learning according to the colors of his own devotion. The chemist sees chemistry in all things, and the courtier ever present at the rituals of the court unduly emphasizes the significance of kings and princes.
(The title page of Bacon's New Atlantis (London 1626) is ornamented with a curious design or printer's device. The winged figure of Father Time is shown lifting a female figure from a dark cave. This represents truth resurrected from the cavern of the intellect.)
Idols of the Marketplace are errors arising from the false significance bestowed upon words, and in this classification Bacon anticipated the modern science of semantics. According to him it is the popular belief that men form their thoughts into words in order to communicate their opinions to others, but often words arise as substitutes for thoughts and men think they have won an argument because they have out talked their opponents. The constant impact of words variously used without attention to their true meaning only in turn condition the understanding and breed fallacies. Words often betray their own purpose, obscuring the very thoughts they are designed to express.
Idols of the Theater are those which are due to sophistry and false learning. These idols are built up in the field of theology, philosophy, and science, and because they are defended by learned groups are accepted without question by the masses. When false philosophies have been cultivated and have attained a wide sphere of dominion in the world of the intellect they are no longer questioned. False superstructures are raised on false foundations, and in the end systems barren of merit parade their grandeur on the stage of the world.
Our president waves away the dying. I wonder what's happening to my nation. Maybe it's all hope and change, and a brave new world begins.
James Lewis, "Obama flunks on social pathology," American Thinker. 17 April 2009
Social pathology: crack and heroin epidemics, family violence, out-of-wedlock births, abortion as "just another option," alcoholic mothers having brain-damaged babies, violent and uncontrollable schools, constantly irresponsible and self-destructive behavior, endemic crime. Obama has seen that for twenty years in South Side Chicago, and it is well-established that social pathology is directly responsible for the failure of the "structurally poor" to rise out of their misery.http://www.americanthinker.
Obama seems to be in denial of the obvious. His own life is entirely middle class. Married, career-oriented, successful, steadily rising income, two daughters born in his marriage. Yes, Obama has a lot of dubious ideological friends. J-Wright's Trinity United Church claims to be against "middleclassness" -- which is all the good and healthy habits that keep people out of poverty. But in fact the Obamas are a perfect example of middleclassness.
As the charismatic hero of the Left, Obama could be teaching, teaching all these obvious rules of behavior, which have worked so well over two centuries since the Industrial Revolution, to bring people out of poverty. Just like Jesse Jackson could be teaching healthy lifestyles, instead of blackmailing corporations. They know exactly what's going on. They know, just like white liberals, what works in their own lives. But they will not draw the obvious conclusions: That would be "conservative." Almost a kind of treason to the sacred doctrine of state control.
Every liberal policy stance is infected by that bottomless chasm of hypocrisy. We all know what works to help people grow out of poverty, because most of us have practiced those habits in our own lives. But strengthening the family, keeping fathers and mothers responsible for their kids, much stricter discipline in the schools, postponing immediate payoffs for long term goals, avoiding destructive life choices -- all those standards, habits and customs that helped the whole industrialized world rise from poverty, are simply denied by the Left. It's mighty strange. Today we can see those habits of hard work and "middleclassness" revolutionizing billions of people in China and India, as they visibly rise out of centuries of misery and poverty. It's right in front of our eyes!
But that lesson is never, ever learned by the Left.
The biggest question to ask liberals is: Why don't you support those solutions that have worked so well in your own life?
It is hard to avoid the feeling that the Left is endemically racist and classist: That they have simply decided that what works in their own lives will never work to raise poor blacks, Hispanics and whites out of poverty.
A Brave New World Begins, and it's all Hope and Change. Hope and Change. Hope and Change. A Brave New World begins.