The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Monday, May 24, 2010

Herbert Spencer vs. Elena Kagan

Barry the Barbarian at Born Again Redneck, recently did a great post on Herbert Spencer.
I liked it so much I borrowed a couple of things I'm going to use over the next few days.

First, from Wikipedia  Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, prominent classical liberal political theorist, and sociological theorist of the Victorian era. Spencer developed an all-embracing conception of evolution as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, and human culture and societies. As a polymath, he contributed to a wide range of subjects, including ethics, religion, anthropology, economics, political theory, philosophy, biology, sociology, and psychology. During his lifetime he achieved tremendous authority, mainly in English-speaking academia. In 1902 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.[1] Indeed, in the United Kingdom and the United States at "one time Spencer's disciples had not blushed to compare him with Aristotle!" He is best known for coining the concept "survival of the fittest," which he did in Principles of Biology (1864), after reading Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

Today's quotation from Spencer is: "All socialism involves slavery."

Think about the above quotation in light of a post from Right Klik in which he examines Elena Kagan's college thesis, the subject of which is American socialism. Here's a direct quotation from that thesis via Right Klik:

Why, in a society by no means perfect, has a radical party never attained the status of a major political force?...Through its own internal feuding, then, the [Socialist Party] exhausted itself forever and further reduced labor radicalism in New York to the position of marginality and insignificance from which it has never recovered. The story is a sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism's decline, still wish to change America [italics mine]. Radicals have often succumbed to the devastating bane of sectarianism; it is easier, after all, to fight one's fellows than it is to battle an entrenched and powerful foe. Yet if the history of Local New York shows anything, it is that American radicals cannot afford to become their own worst enemies. In unity lies their only hope [italics mine].

RightKlik goes on to brilliantly show what would happen if you took Kagan's quotation and changed the leftist radicals she's talking about to the KKK. The Media would be on such a story 24 hours every day until her name were withdrawn.

Note Kagan's words that I have italicized, especially her last words: "In unity lies their only hope." Also note the s--- eating grin on her face as she stands next to her boss to be in this photo:

Talk about unity. Geez.

Take a look at RK's site to see the rest of his great post on Kagan. And remember what Spencer said nearly a century and a half ago, "all socialism involves slavery."


  1. Dan, to comment on your latest post, we are in firm agreement! No matter what you are "doing," even if needs doing again soon, progress is being made, and value is added.

    The sloth does not understand this. "Aw heck, why clean out the garage, it'll just get dirty again...why clean the toilet, move the pavers, etc...???" Activity is one of man's best friends. Take pictures.

    To comment on this post...I know you probabaly do not realize it, but one line from your post literally sent chills up my spine. ""In unity lies their only hope." Also note the s--- eating grin on her face as she stands next to her boss to be..."

    I am so afraid that you are so dang right that it truly is frightening. I've watched many SCOTUS Justices rise to the court. But, I've always had a sense that said Justices viewed The Constitution as their "boss." Even the ones that I despise. At least I had a feeling that their allegiance was to the Constitution (no matter how twisted their particular interpretation of it).

    But, (whether knowingly, or not) I think you've nailed it about Kagan. I have a sickening, gut-wrenching feeling that she probably really does view ObozO as her "boss." This is not a pretty thing. Of course, it could be worse. She could be replacing Thomas, or Scalia.

    How's that for a "glass half full" way to end this comment?

  2. The most Sisyphean task is washing dishes - actually housecleaning generally - but any work satisfies some deep longing for bringing order from chaos.

    Kagan, like her boss, is a radical Marxist - no doubt about it in my mind.

  3. Andy, I like your "glass half full" ending. So far the "balance" on the court has remained the same. Let's hope it stays that way till 2012.

    Barry, you're definitely right about dishes. And your definition of work as bringing order from chaos is well stated. As a matter of fact, if we do have a purpose on this earth, I think that's it.

  4. ...he examines Elena Kagan's college thesis...

    I think there should be a moratorium on trotting out ALL college theses and shouting "See!?!" Who the Hell is in their right mind at age 21 or 22, most especially after being subjected to prolonged indoctrination by the Academy? I might make an exception for doctoral dissertations, coz one is older by that point and (hopefully) has real-world experience. Other than that? Grain o' salt. BIG grain o' salt.

    Apropos of nuthin'... I always wanted to be a polymath. But I went off on too many tangents.

  5. Buck, You have a point, a strong point about those sometimes embarrassing things we do in our youth. They should be taken with a grain of salt.

    But one of the views I've come to reluctantly (since it applied to me as well) is that the neurosis I call postmodern liberalism infects its hosts with a reluctance to face the responsibilities and reality of maturity, to accept the world as it is and to accept that some things about it and human nature can never be changed.

    As these hosts age, actual maturity is replaced with a constant yearning to stay in or return to that innocent "green" world of youthful promise and hope. People with careers in the Academy (like Kagan), since they are constantly around young people, find it difficult to escape that youthful certainty and optimism.

    I'm going to stop and turn this into a post for a later date. I think your point is well taken. All of us do crazy things in our youth we'd like to forget. But some of us never stop doing those things.

    I do love a good discussion/debate. Thanks for commenting. More later.

  6. People with careers in the Academy (like Kagan), since they are constantly around young people, find it difficult to escape that youthful certainty and optimism.

    Your point is equally well-taken, Dan. I have personal experience in this space, unfortunately. My ex-, after many years of messing around in this field, that one, and the other, returned to the academic life and has a non-tenured position in the English department at a fairly large state university. She also regressed from being a sensible conservative to being a tree-huggin', granola eatin', peace/love (well, love... except for certain classes of human beans) type of the worst sort. Which pains me GREATLY, as she is raising our 13 year old son in this sorta environment. Alas. Alas...

    But. I hear ya. Loud and clear.