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American Political Commentary
Veritas Veneratio Virtus
I. W. Parkins
IN THIS ISSUE– Politics of Federal Spending
¨ Political aspects of Federal Spending Chart including Heritage Foundation Chart on Federal Spending
¨ Has American’s Youth Rebellion Run Its Course? From Culture, Power and Mass Media
¨ All the News? (see the 40th. Anniversary of Watergate)
Links to Articles and Items of Interest
· The 40th. Anniversary of “Watergate-Washington Post”
· Governor Bobby Jindal on “Liberal and Incompetent”
· Michael Barone on “Obama Listens to Rich Liberals, at his peril”
· Amy Payne (Heritage) on “How Taxmeggedon Will Impact You”
· James Taranto (WSJ) on “Obama and the Time Machine”
· Amy Payne on “Auto Bailout Was Really Just a UAW Bailout”
· Daniel Henninger (WSJ) on “Would Harry Truman Blame Paris?”
· Ann Coulter on “Obama’s Public Sector Full Employment Plan”
HAS AMERICA’S YOUTH REBELLION
RUN ITS COURSE?
Original article published March 30, 1981-
By Ivan W. Parkins
Admirers of the American youth movement 1960-1980, described it as everything from a healthy change to a revolutionary transformation of American society. Among the more sanguine was Charles Reich, A professor of law at Yale University. Mr. Reich’s popular “Greening of America” was, as some viewers noted, naïve. It might not be deserving of our attention, except for the facts that the book was a best-seller and Reich’s influence extended far beyond the book.
It is now clear that American youth paid a high price for its rebellion. A recent federal study disclosed that in the 1960’s and 1970’s, American death rates generally declined by 20 percent, but those for persons, 15-24 years old, increased by 11 percent. Since the young age group included many millions of person, the 11 percent death rate increase represents at least 160,000 lives. If we assume that the death rate for youths should have accompanied the national average downward, its failure to do so cost about 500,000 young lives.
Major causes of the increased death rate among youths were illnesses and accidents related to drug and alcohol abuse, plus homicides and suicides. Many promoters and admirers of the youth rebellion, including Charles Reich, said that drug use was a constructive element in the rebellion. Others merely argued that an adult establishment which consumed too much alcohol had no right to limit the choice of drugs among youths.
Returning to Reich’s works, in the middle 1960’s he wrote, in The Yale Law Journal, that such statutory entitlements as unemployment and welfare benefits should be regarded as property rights of the recipients and protected by the full weight of the Constitution. In “GOLDBERG V. KELLY,’ 1970”, Justice Brennan, writing the opinion of the Supreme Court, adopted that view, with a footnote of acknowledgement to Reich. Reich’s own acknowledgements of intellectual debt in “Greening of America” included especially Professor Thomas I. Emerson of Yale University, a leading authority on the First Amendment, and Justices Black and Douglas of the Supreme Court.
Needless to say, “the new property” was one feature of the new America which Reich thought that the youth rebellion would do so much to build. It was one of the more positive features. Consciousness III, as Reich called his projected new value system, was mainly a rejection of nearly every traditional aspect of discipline and order. He would have converted doing “one’s own thing” from a popular aberration into the social norm of behavior.
One, who undertakes to read “Greening of America”, especially if he is aware of the author’s legal background, can scarcely help being struck by Reich’s use of literary sources. It is not that he supplements law with literature. He makes very little use of legal or empirical material. Again and Again, he rests his evaluations of American life and society upon descriptions by writers of fiction, including movies. Among writers of non-fiction, Reich’s preferences seem to run to Marx and Marcuse.
At Yale Law School, a generation before the youth rebellion, Dean Robert M. Hutchins won academic fame by introducing literature and other humane and social studies into the curriculum. Other elite law schools have since been influenced by Hutchins’ innovations. Furthermore, legal education has a pyramided social structure. Harvard Law, alone, supplies about 14 percent of all law professors in the United States; Yale supplies another 7 percent, and a comparative few schools supply a majority of the remainder.
Today, our Supreme Court Justices have four law clerks each, selected from recent honor graduates of the justices’ law schools. In spite of its journalistic short comings, “The Brethren” by Woodward and Armstrong, may have done a public service by disclosing how active such clerks have been in the Court’s decision making processes.
What I am suggesting, specifically in the example of Reich, but also, more generally, is that links between the literary community, the legal profession, and the youth rebellion were concrete and substantial. Most of the leadership and ideology of the youth rebellion came from departments of humanities, social sciences, and law in our institutions of higher learning. The whole movement was facilitated by taxpayer generosity which permitted current expenditures for public higher education to increase more than ten-fold between 1960 and 1980, a total increase of over 100 percent.
Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s the prevailing themes of rebellious youth were that the progress being achieved by America was either slow or entirely illusory, and that traditional values and social order should be overturned. The rising literature of entertainment and our journalistic media rather than serious history, provided them with most of their evidence of “trends.” Perhaps the Youth Rebellion should even be call that; the hundreds of thousands of nouveaux savants, intellectually vain and immature, served as shock troops for more sophisticated and cautious advocates of social revolution.
Statistics regarding the differential changes in death rates by age now provide one measure of what the rebellion has cost America. Unpleasant as those statistics are, the lives lost may be less significant than the moral confusion, intellectual fear, and spiritual depression inflicted upon so many of Americans who have survived.
At least one question remains to be answered. Has the rebellion run its course, or are we now experiencing a lull before renewed conflict?
Richard Beeman, in his PLAIN, HONEST, MEN, page 29, says “In Madison’s conception, governments were designed not to embody virtue and the public good, but, rather to mediate among the various interests in society, and in the process, to allow public good to be served.”
It appears to me that Beeman is correct in his interpretation of Madison, and that Madison was correct in that interpretation of government’s role.
PERSPECTIVE FOR 2012
By Ivan W. Parkins
By the 1960s television was the dominant news medium in America. Meanwhile, many thousands of “scholars” were being minted to teach the growing millions of college students. An information system that had been dominated by owners (including churches) and advertisers was acquiring national influence and an enhanced vision of its own “rights”. It wanted “changes.” With haste, and limited creative vision of its own, it accepted reversals of past values and behavior as “progressive.”
By the advent of the twenty-first century, the costs of such haste were becoming obvious. And new elements in the media, i.e. talk radio and cable television, were helping to make the public aware of costs, in human lives as well as in trillions of dollars, of the earlier decades of “progress.”
This nation’s balance sheet is now public issue number one, and the need for balance extends to much more than economics.
ALL THE NEWS?
By Ivan W. Parkins
Did your know that Jerry Zeifman, Chief Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, when it was planning to impeach President Nixon, later published a book denouncing that procedure, CRIMES OF CAMELOT, 1995? I learned of it only recently while reading a very new book, THE SECRET PLOT TO MAKE TED KENNEDY PRESIDENT, by Geoff Shepard, 2008. Shepard, a Harvard Law graduate, received a fellowship to work in the Nixon White House. He offers an extensively documented report on the same point.
This “old news” hit me hard because it is so similar in nature to SELL OUT, the denunciation by Chief Investigative Counsel David Schippers of what he regards as a virtual House guarantee of Clinton’s acquittal. Like Zeifman, Schippers denounces procedures in which he headed the staff, and both were life-long Democrats.
If you want to look at the closed-door discussions of the House Judiciary in the Nixon case—live longer! The people’s Representatives put a 50-year secrecy “hold” on their discussions of (whose?) business.
This is how our Old Mass Media and Congress disposed of the President who had won by the largest popular vote margin, and saved the President who never won a popular majority. (see disinformation-liberal ideology)
I.W.Parkins revised 061712