About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unread


Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Post 0

Friday, October 6 - 10:01pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

My son had heard the stories. He wasn't ready for what he heard today. He was shocked. He was angry. He should be. His passion is being used as a method for the dissemination of Marxist ideology.

 

He is a senior hunting for a School. He loves music. He is a great French Horn player and very good at composing classical music. He has played in the St Cecelia's Music Academy, the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, and Spartan Youth Wind Symphony. He began arranging music as a freshman and started composing his own works his Junior year. No one has recommend he pursue something else. We traveled to another school today to meet the composition and french horn professors. Both were great and he liked them a lot. He was once again told he had great skills and they would be more than happy to have him attend. He was invited to sit in on a composition class. A guest composer and improve artist was teaching the class today. She was sure he would enjoy it.

 

I felt like I had traveled back in time when I was deeply involved in charismatic faith. I'm sure you have heard of those who bark like dogs when "filled with the spirit" and speak in odd tongues - services of irrational, organized chaos. Imagine a symphony warming up before a concert. In this case it was anything - voice, instruments, people stomping their feet, banging desks, singing, yelling, and sounding possessed. The composer himself was stooped over clucking like a chicken. My son leaned over and said "This is music?" Indeed. You are witnessing the mystic of muscle - the worship of the collective.

 

At first it seemed he was trying to get to the root of listening and what people consider music but as he continued he revealed his ethical and political motives. He voiced his disdain for the likes of Bach and Mozart - white men promoting a time of oppressive masculine order. People who write today do nothing but force their oppressive systems on paper and demand "You must play it my way." They are the proud, the arrogant. They think that because they have spent great amounts of time and energy developing skill they can criticize a piece like Cage's 4'33 because it undermines their achievement and success. Improvisation is composition on the fly and is as valid as those who put pen to paper. But it is not equivalent - it is better. It is composition in the moment, without borders and without rules. The mystic of spirit echoed in my ears - the only real prayers are those offered in the moment whereas those written down were nothing but stale and wooden. Wasn't the written prayer done so in the moment and inspired - can't it be just as meaningful now? Unlike those who arrogantly demand their way his way is liberating because no one steps to the fore. One does not improvise alone - such a thing is grotesque.  True improvising can only be done together.  The collective working together in the moment. Each person acting and reacting to the other being led by some mystical means. Wherever the "spirit" leads there the collective will follow. The old style focuses on the individual, the proud, the arrogant. His way focuses on the collective, the humble, the meek. As he was wrapping up he exhorted everyone - if there was ever a time the country needed music it is now. Carry the message to the masses to which one responded: I am, I use these techniques with my class of young kids.

 

All of this was deeply disturbing to my son. "Don't they realize this is Marxist?! No one seemed to be bothered by it! I have read things but I have never seen it. Now that I have seen it I am shocked to the core. How can this be here?!" The question is can we rid ourselves of it. I want to remain optimistic but it is pretty hard to see how we can since it  has been woven into every facet. The recent politicization of sports means there is no longer anywhere politics isn't. It has consumed all areas and that means sooner or later there will be action. We have the fascists to the right and the Marxists to the left. Do you really think this will end well?

 

On the drive home we listened to Anthem - the first time he had heard it.  "Why can't we read books like this in class?"  Indeed.

 

(Edited by Tim Scobey on 10/06, 10:30pm)



Sanction: 2, No Sanction: 0
Post 1

Saturday, October 7 - 5:24amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

I am sorry for your loss.  It was a guest composer, so it might not reflect the culture of the school.  The first warning should have been "improve" because that was John Cage's by-word. You can ask around in Objectivist circles and see where other musicians and composers recommend going.  Also, realize that Dr. David Kelley's doctoral advisor was Richard Rorty. Game fish swim upstream. It still might be better to not suffer four years of John Cage.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 10/07, 5:24am)



Sanction: 2, No Sanction: 0
Post 2

Sunday, October 8 - 10:55amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Tim, I am so sorry to hear about your son's experience.  You are so right about the Marxist transformation of our culture.

 

There will probably not be a school that arises from the kind of sense of life you and I would applaud, but my guess is that you will be able to find one that would never make someone like that guest professor permanent staff or style their program after his approach. 

 

And, take heart!  It could be worse - like if his desired major was theater, or literature, or history, or poli-sci, etc. 

 

Whether the culture is growing worse and worse, or turning around and getting better, the important focus is still on each individual having a good life regardless.

 

I wish you both good luck in your school search. 



Post 3

Monday, October 9 - 4:38pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

As an aside here, not everything we dislike is "Marxist."  In the first place, if you want to hear actual Marxist music, listen to Prokofiev, Shostakovich, or Khachaturian. Listen to performance by Sviatoslav Richter. Here is a communist, Arturo Toscanini, conducting the Internationale.  Google "Soviet composers," "East German composers," and so on. You will find most of it quite enjoyable. The Marxists had no patience for postmodernism, expressionism, impressionism, and other symptoms of the bourgeois decadence. 

 

Also, to conflate postmodernism with Marxism is similar to the confused way that those on the left speak of Donald Trump and Ayn Rand, calling her a "conservative." 

 

In fact, Marxists in American here and now, such as physicist Alan Sokal, are vociferous opponents of postmodernism.  



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 4

Monday, October 9 - 7:38pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

...not everything we dislike is "Marxist."  

 

Making a statement like that is hardly helpful.  I dislike broccoli, gratuitous sarcasm, bell bottom pants, many other things.... and I know that they are not Marxist.

----------------

 

Tim Scobey talked about his son being told that the likes of Bach and Mozart were "white men promoting a time of oppressive masculine order" - that is political correctness, which is the heart of progressivism, which arises from Marxism. 

 

Progressivism is a direct decendent of Marxism.  Marxism and Progressivism are the 'ideological' heart of the current attacks on individualism, reason, anything in the culture that predates the latest PC mantra - particularly any heroic view of human nature.  Marxists are the source of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory which is parent to today's political correctness. 

 

Marotta is using the term "Marxist" much too narrowly - both in terms of history and in ideological scope.  And he is playing games by saying "Marxist music" as if certain kinds of music are a known, ideological expression of Marxism (the way forced income redistribution is a known economic expression of Marxism).  



Post 5

Tuesday, October 10 - 5:17amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Broccoli is Marxist:  Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are varieties of the same species. Farmers use environmental processes to cultivate them separately. That is Lysenkoism which is the genetic theory of Stalinism which is Marxism. (And that was humor.) 

 

The political correctness insisted upon by actual Marxists is about economic exploitation as the diffeence between the labor value and the market value of goods produced. It has nothing to do with evil white men. Marxism denies race and gender as determinants of political analysis. (And that was serious.)

 

Words have meaning.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 10/10, 5:18am)



Post 6

Tuesday, October 10 - 2:46pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Marotta says that "Broccoli is Marxist"

 

From Wikipedia: "Broccoli is a result of careful breeding of cultivated Brassica crops in the northern Mediterranean starting in about the 6th century BC. Lysenko had nothing to do with the discovery or creation of broccoli.  Neither Lysenko nor Stalin could alter the Darwinian theory of selection or the Mendelian theory of inheritance that govern the broccoli plant and how it arose from its wild mustard ancestor.  

 

-------------------

 

From Wikipedia: "Lysenkoism was a political campaign against genetics and science-based agriculture conducted by Trofim Lysenko, his followers and Soviet authorities. Lysenko served as the director of the Soviet Union's Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. ... The pseudo-scientific ideas of Lysenkoism assumed the heritability of acquired characteristics. Lysenko's theory rejected Mendelian inheritance and the concept of the 'gene'; it departed from Darwinian evolutionary theory by rejecting natural selection. Proponents falsely claimed to have discovered, among many other things, that rye could transform into wheat and wheat into barley, that weeds could spontaneously transmute into food grains, and that 'natural cooperation' was observed in nature as opposed to "natural selection".

 

It was a kind of Marxist adaptation of Lamarkism forced upon a nation at gun point.  Stalin supported Lysenkoism and more than 3,000 mainstream biologists were fired, imprisoned or executed.

-------------------------------

 

The political correctness insisted upon by actual Marxists is about economic exploitation as the diffeence between the labor value and the market value of goods produced. It has nothing to do with evil white men.

Marotta does NOT understand political correctness.  Maybe he has been busy with other things during this last decade while concepts like "White Privilege" have infected our culture.

 

There were self-avowed, professional Communists in Europe, back in the late twenties, who had adopted a form of "Gradualism" as preferable to a violent, sudden revolution: i.e., democratic communism.  And, a group of them,  decided that ALL major aspects of the culture needed to be transformed or it would be impossible to push out Capitalism and install Socialism.  Their idea was that the co-existence of all the other cultural belief sets were a kind of glue that held onto Capitalism in some fashion.

 

These professors and activists acquired significant financial backing and opened the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory at Frankfurt University in Germany.  The idea was to bring a harsh, critical approach to all things that were traditional in order to weaken their influence in the culture.  Said simply, "shake up all the ideas and belief sets enough, and out of the somewhat chaotic results, change will be easier."

 

Things to be shaken up were the ideas on gender roles, ethnicity, religion, ethical percepts, the closeness of one generation to the next, parental authority, etc.  They were having great success in pushing their theories but were interrupted by the ascension of Hitler.  They fled Germany.  First to Switzerland (for a short period), then Canada, and shortly after to Columbia University in New York where they found a permanent home. 

 

They were Marxists and they formulated theories to advance core Marxist goals and the activities that they started, evolved, and continue in the United States today.  They are responsible for political correctness as it exists today, and for using race and gender in identity politics. 

 

Neither Stalin nor Mao referred to political correctness as anything other than a demand for strict adherence to the Communist party line - no matter what that line was.  That is now just a small (but critical) part of political correctness.  It now sets (and continually re-sets) the 'party line' as to wherever political correctness has advanced to this month.

 

Marxists joined the women's sufferage movement, and many of the battles against racial segregation - but they did so to agitate, to divide, to demonize opponents, to win followers and as part of expanding class warfare into identity politics.

 

Yes, Marotta, words have meanings and you can't just make up meanings to suit whatever floating abstraction you are enamored with.  You can choose to side with this or that progressive meme, but not escape its history and its intellectual connections.  You can't be a progressive AND an Objectivist.



Post 7

Tuesday, October 10 - 7:21pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Thanks for the excellent back and forth discussion. 

 

Michael - I agree, there is music written by Marxists that is great.  I understood what the guest composer was attempting to do.  If he had stayed there and moved into more traditional composition and improvisation then there wouldn't have been an issue.  The Trojan horse approach to ethics and politics was offensive.  I thought him to be an interesting person to listen to but had I paid for the class (and every class were like this) I would have been greatly angered and dropped his program.  In addition, if I had to be around the guy on a daily basis I think I'd knock the guy out.  He had great energy, and was entertaining but too much of him would drive me to insanity.  



Post 8

Saturday, October 14 - 6:28amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Thanks for the lesson, Steve. I believe(d) that cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts are not true species, but are cultivars. I believe(d) the same about citrus, and apples (including pears). It is obviously true about domesticated dogs their wolf friends, and probably other canines. See also about the bears of North America: polar bears and grizzlies can produce fertile offspring when they mate. Even though we have the concept of "mule" from equus crosses, it depends on which is the male and which is the female. So, again, thanks. I know now that broccoli comes from broccoli seeds.  

 

I stand by the "logical fallacy fallacy": just because the argument is flawed does not mean that the claim is false. My claim is that not everything we dislike is Marxist and not everything done by every Marxist is evil. They produced good music, good mathematics, and great chess.The math and chess came because entrepreneurship was denied to them. So, their talents and genius found other expressions. And genius it remains.

 

The salient point on that made by Ayn Rand was that anything good came from the virtues of the individual put to subservience to its own destruction. Russian composer Shostakovich suffered two separate Party denunciations of his work. It is more than just a bad review in the Times. You know the scene in Atlas Shrugged when John Galt's waves cancel Mr. Thompson's broadcast and Mr. Thompson threatens to arrest the entire radio engineering profession. That was real. Stalin did that to his aircraft designers. Some were executed. Tupolev. Koroelv, and others were sent to a special gulag for engineers. They continued to do their work in service to the govenrment that arrested them. Of course, Germans, Italians, and others were all working for their destroyers. 

 

It is highly unlikely that the creation of Fairchild Electronics, founded in 1957, was influenced by *Atlas Shrugged.* However, the Silicon Valley spin-off start-ups may well have been. In a sense, it was nothing new: Nicola Tesla and Henry Ford both worked for Thomas Edison. But this was different. It was almost done with a vengeance: "If you will not recognize my ideas, I am taking them with me." As d'Anconia said to Rearden, Ayn Rand did not tell them anything they did not feel already; she just gave them the words they would need when the time came.



Post 9

Saturday, October 14 - 6:42amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Steve, your sorites on the Frankfurt School is too easy to parody as a paranoid rant. I know the narrative that you are calling on: the secret ruling class funded those communist sociologists to take over the universities and subvert learning to collectivism which makes us slaves to that secret ruling class. They were the ones who gave loaded Lenin's sealed train car with gold for his revolution. Call them the Illuminati or the Bilderbergers or the Council on Foreign Relations or the Frankfurt School. Maybe they are all inter-connected. They run the international banks that buy govenrment bonds backed in the taxes our grandchildren will pay. Occupy Wall Street and the anti-GTO anarchists agree with you. Of course, you say that they are the pawns of the ruling class whcih funds their riots so that more police control of our society will result. And they call you a tool of the global capitalists for your slavish endorsement of their right to profit from human misery.  Round and round it goes...

 

Bad ideas are everywhere. What you cannot explain is why they do not crumble in the face of good ideas.  

 

I believe that eventually, they do. Good ideas do take precedence. Bad ideas are relegated the back pages of the newspaper as horoscopes and matronly advice. I have written about the extent of Ayn Rand's influence these past 50-plus years.  See here:  The Influence of Ayn Rand's Objectivism. 



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 10

Saturday, October 14 - 10:23amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Marxist and not everything done by every Marxist is evil. They produced good music, good mathematics, and great chess.

 

So therefore Marxism is not all bad?   They say that Hitler liked dogs - so our judgement of him should be that he isn't all that bad? 

 

It is like you  are on drugs! 

 

Marxism is at issue - you know, an ideology - a set of ideas - and the predominate ideas are evil.  You know... the forceful suppression of liberty, collectivism at the point of a gun, destruction of property rights, theft, lies... that kind of ideology.

 

It is stunning at time, how little logic you bother with.  (Have I mentioned that prolonged acceptance of progressive ideas will result in mental/emotional disorders?)
-----------------

 

Steve, your sorites on the Frankfurt School is too easy to parody as a paranoid rant. I know the narrative that you are calling on: the secret ruling class funded those communist sociologists to take over the universities and subvert learning to collectivism which makes us slaves to that secret ruling class. They were the ones who gave loaded Lenin's sealed train car with gold for his revolution. Call them the Illuminati or the Bilderbergers or the Council on Foreign Relations or the Frankfurt School. Maybe they are all inter-connected. They run the international banks that buy govenrment bonds backed in the taxes our grandchildren will pay.

 

Marotta, feel free to use sarcastic parady in place of a rational argument and to accuse me of going on a paranoid rant.... but that tactic is older than Hillary Clinton's claim that everything said about then President Clinton was just "Right-wing conspiracy".... and it is older than her mentor, Saul Alinsky, whose Rules for Radicals said: "Demonize your opponent" (in place of actual argument), and even older than the early Marxists who launched arguments of that style against the supporters of Capitalism.  Your non-argument stands naked to anyone and everyone who thinks for themselves.

-----------------

 

What you cannot explain is why they do not crumble in the face of good ideas.  

 

Actually, I can explain that.  I have written extensively on political correctness - its historical and intellectual roots.  But I wouldn't waste the time putting that explanation before someone who refers to me as a racist, conservative, paranoid whose posts are rants.  And I certainly wouldn't take the time to explain that to someone whose posts are as devoid of logic as your are proving to be.



Post 11

Sunday, October 15 - 10:08amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Actually, Steve, I did not parody your claims. You took what I wrote as an extreme misstatement of your views, but I was only summarizing what many conservatives accept as common sense. If I were to have parodied your fear of frankfurters, it would been much funnier.

 

Your rants against poltical correctness cannot explain the Frankfurt School or its original acceptance and later spread.  I have pointed out before that your understanding of Objectivism did not grow past 1972.  You are commited. Your heart is in the right place.  But you lack the depth of learning that you deserve in support of that.  

 

No weird cultural aberration produced Nazism. No intellectual lunatic fringe miraculously overwhelmed a civilized country. It is modern philosophy—not some peripheral aspect of it, but the most central of its mainstreams—which turned the Germans into a nation of killers. The land of poets and philosophers was brought down by its poets and philosophers. -- Leonard Peikoff in Ominous Parallels.

Moreover, the Frankfurt School was not some secret cabal with special powers over the minds of men like Lamont Cranston. They were just sociologists. And there were lots of different kinds.  Most of them proposed erroneous ideas that they debated at the fringes without ever questioning their core beliefs about the place of the individual in society.  Indeed,  you and I can agree that "society" does not exist and is at best a convenient construct.  They would never get that far, like Protestants and Catholics and different kinds of Jews and Muslims never getting into the disquieting topics in metaphysics.  In our generation, we do have some individualist sociologists working as economists.  See the OrgTheory blog.  

 

Somewhere in that sociological mainstream was Paul Lazarsfeld. He worked with Robert King Merton. They had a public relations firm based on statistical sampling of markets. Their collectivist premises were the same as the ones accepted by market researchers today.  I point that out just to show that the spread of collectivism and its continued acceptance is not the work of single a conspiracy.

 

Also, the original point of discussion here was whether or not John Cage's improvisational music was "Marxist" as Tim Scobey's son declared in dismay. It is not. Marxists say that such noise is a consequence of decadence in bourgeois culture. It would be just as wrong to call it "Nazi." I am not endorsing Hitler and his dogs, only pointing out that Nazis, too, liked Romanticism. Words have meaning.  And that speaks to a central issue here, as we are discussing music education.  Ayn Rand did not like Wagner. She said that he had the talent of a street corner organ grinder. But she endorsed Fritz Lang's production of Siegfried.  Sometimes, you have to really stop and think hard about this stuff. I like to sleep on it, give it time to integrate.

Maybe you have some insights as to the differences between Wagner's Siegfried and Lang's.  

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 10/15, 10:19am)



Post 12

Sunday, October 15 - 11:07amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Marotta, what's the matter with you? 

 

You say, "Steve, your sorites on the Frankfurt School is too easy to parody..." which you then do.  Then in the next post you claim that you are just 'summarizing' what 'many conservatives' accept as commonsense and not doing a parody.  That's nonsense.  What you 'summarized' was the progressives' comic view of what they think conservatives think.  All a bunch of cartoon strawmen dancing about in the minds of some progressives.  Most conservatives want a smaller government, lower taxes, fewer regulations, a nation of laws, adherence to the constitution..... but progressives want to create strawmen to attack because they don't want to engage in arguing for socialism in an honest, straight-forward way.

 

I've written a book with chapters devoted to the cultural Marxism that arose from the Frankfurt School.  My next book, which I'm well into, is on political correctness and nothing else. 

 

You claim that my understanding of Objectivism hasn't grown past 1972 - but then making bald assertions, devoid of logic or even a cogent argument, is your norm.  You apparently are asking the world to accept you as an oracle of wisdom who needs no rational justification.  Is 1972 a special year for you?  Was it when you discoved anarchism?  Were you a socialist before you became an anarchist?

-------------------------

 

...the Frankfurt School was not some secret cabal with special powers over the minds of men

 

I never said it was.  That is your strawman - created out of thin air.

----------------

 

I point that out just to show that the spread of collectivism and its continued acceptance is not the work of single a conspiracy.

 

I have written, multiple times, and given over an entire chapter in my book, to saying that progressivism is NOT a conspiracy.  But progressives have a knee-jerk like responses to the exposure of their ideas - they say that it is all just conservatives engaging in conspiracy theories.  Like you are doing.  It is a way to attack any connection between some foul ideas and the people pushing them.  It is an attack that completely avoids any logical focus on the ideas while demonizing their opponents.  Like you do.



Post 13

Monday, October 16 - 10:05pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

The better term here may be "philosophical post-modernism". This overall philosophy leads to bad political science, such as Marxism and Progressivism, as well as bad music and novels of various post-modernist artistic schools. 



Post to this thread
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.