Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The "Let's Agree to Disagree" Mantra

A reader kindly sends me very interesting articles on the subject below -- dialectics and movement of change. I am reposting this as it is imperative that we understand subtle manipulations of our ideals. To quote a line from movie, Broadcast News:

What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing... he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance... Just a tiny bit...
The "Let's Agree to Disagree" Mantra

Don't embrace the current mantra, "let's agree to disagree," in areas where policy is discussed.

Politics creates nothing other than winners and losers, where 50% + 1 of those who vote dictate life for the rest. And in many circumstances, an appointed board or commission holds sway and is not subject to direct voter accountability.

I can "agree to disagree" with my wife over the cola wars -- I favor Pepsi and she favors Coke -- because the free market allows us both to be satisfied.

In the public school environment, the "agree to disagree" agenda plays out along the lines of Hegelian Dialectics. Hegel wrote about the process where the conflict between opposing ideas and ideals formed new ideas and ideals through synthesis. Change "synthesis" to "consensus" and you have the current version of Hegel's vision.

During my board service, Olentangy formed a Wellness Committee in response to federal mandates -- I participated. Since the mandate requires representation from all stakeholders, I was not surprise to find a committee comprised of those from both ends of the political spectrum. Those who believed that food consumption and exercise are a personal or family matter were joined with those who think that Big Government needs to enforce dietary and fitness rules on both student and parent.

To reach consensus, everyone except me sold their viewpoints for the feel-good ideal of consensus -- "let's agree to disagree and meet somewhere in the middle" -- driven by governmental agents of change (county health department employees). But there is no "middle road" since the middle road is simply the somewhat longer road toward socialism.

The point: As we accept the agree-to-disagree mantra as the politically correct path for civilized societies, we will see ourselves moving closer to that which we feared all along.

Hegel believed that synthesis would be adopted whole-heartedly by the vast majority, and they would then recast their internal moorings in a new bed of sand, only to drift once again toward the rocks as the next consensus was built.

A process that would continue on and on. And so it does.

note: The divide between Hegelian and Fichtean dialectics is fuzzy. While my example above was closer to Fichtean, Hegelian is now the commonly accepted term for both.


Al said...

Man!! Where have you been all my life? I read your Mises article and quoted a lot of it on my blog.

My own comments weren't particularly enlightening. I just wanted to highlight what you said.

themorefool said...

As my Daddy used to say, "When the snake wants to come inside your house, you can't compromise and let half of him in."

Anonymous said...

And my mama always told us about THE CAMEL'S NOSE. The camel put his nose in some time ago but now all the camel is inside the tent and we, the taxpayer, are outside in the cold.

Anonymous said...

Enforce rules on both student and parent. And most of the sheep go right along with this instead of calling for the immediate firing of whoever proposed it. Most now truly believe the end justifies the means. But just as The Dialectic moves people and the culture along, little by little, the government schools have, over several generations, caused the majority to go along with every sort of government intrusion into their lives. First parents allowed the government to "teach" the three Rs. Now parents allow the government to "teach" values, beliefs and attitudes. First the government supplied lunchs. Now the government supplies breakfasts. My mother told me that during WWII, she and her classmates were gathered in her school (Columbus) and had group HATE sessions against "the Japs". Just as in 1984 they had their moments of hate. The government school was in charge of that. Now the government schools are in charge of enforcing multi-culturalism and diversity. Toleration of everything BUT intolerance is enforced in government schools.

Anonymous said...

Since this Dialectic is at work in business as well as government schools (and I will add that it is in religion too. Rick Warren is the Pied Piper of Dialectic with his Purpose Driven Life and his P.E.A.C.E. Plan) we are all familiar with the Consensus Building that goes on in places of employment. Outcome Based Education is the same as Total Quality Management and Deming's Model. Large companies (and small) are using psychological manipulation and Diaprax on employees. They use Role Playing. They attempt to coerce workers into service projects and community "walks" for various causes. They coerce contributions for numerous groups. Way back in the 60s employees were pressured to "give their fair share" or else. Now they are coercing workers into "health" programs in which workers allow people to monitor their habits, diets, Blood Pressure, weight and all manner of personal things. And the people are just going along with it. We go to doctor's offices and sign HIPPA papers which claim to protect our privacy and then we go to work and employers get us to give out all sorts of personal and medical information to them. Crazy.

Anonymous said...

I just listened to Obama talk about education.

The tax payers of this district need to get out our check books AND our savings account to fund not only our increase in property tax at the local level, but also to pay for Obama's "funding mandate" of his new Federal Government initaitives.

I'm saving every penny I can between now and January because once 2009 gets here, I'm hosed!!!