The ‘Democratic’ Transformation of America
While Americans sang songs like “Pennies from Heaven” in the 1930s, John Dewey, founder of Progressive Education, was humming a tune he composed many years before: “The political and governmental phase of democracy,” his “song” went, “is a means, the best means so far found, for realizing ends that lie in the wide domain of human relationships and the development of human personality.”[i]
In a convoluted way, Dewey was implying that the democratic process serves the state, not the people. The fact that America is a constitutional republic was irrelevant to this educational innovator. For Dewey and fellow Marxian reformers, America was fair game for major alteration.
John Dewey caricature by Andre Koehne GNU Free Documentation license
Aware of the dangers of political maneuvering that could turn representative government into rule by the wealthy, or “democracy” becoming a “mobocracy,” the founders of America acted to secure the democratic process for its intended purpose, that of serving We the People. Toward that end they left us a Constitution that limits the power of the federal government to do only what the people and their state governments cannot do for themselves. The Constitution explicitly designates the role of those elected to serve the American people, in whom ultimate sovereignty resides. Lincoln’s phrase “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” is the enduring soundbite explaining the role of the United States government.
At the outset of this republic we were warned that what might stand in the way of the successful execution of its Law of the Land is the lack of a moral backbone.
Numbed by the Great War (World War I) and soon to be reeling under a Great Depression, Americans could go along with “progress” with a socialist spin and an aim to change basic attitudes (“widen their personalities”). No? Well, left-leaning leaders thought so. But, seriously, is the Constitution an instrument of social and political reform? Upon what authority? Along what path?
Was the Constitution to be stretched out of shape, rejected in part or altogether, so as to reform America? Was the Constitutional mandate of service to the people to be twisted into service to the state? For those whose idea of progress begins with Marxist dogma the answer was yes. Their case would necessarily require wiles to bring about, since truth was not on their side. But with stealth and the extraordinary power of the press to influence public opinion, the republic could be shifted from its base, bit by bit, without serious challenge.
Early 20th century Marxist progressives were in fact challenged by alert Americans who caught them in actions that would undermine America through “education.” Their findings got no traction from the press. But though suppressed, facts regarding the matter in fact exist. An early major tactic of leftist “reformers” of America was the introduction of Progressive Education into the public schools. This was a sound-good, feel-good method of education intended to wean children off traditional norms of behavior and belief.[ii] Paramount to the effort was the systematic uprooting of Judeo-Christian principles and planting in children’s minds the notion that human progress depends exclusively on science, while making them believe that they (the children) are in control of their own progress. The universal respect for science and its great achievements would help mold attitudes and behaviors according to that “wide domain of human relationships and the development of human personality,” would it not?
Well, the argument that science is the “domain” of human progress, a pet theory of secular humanists, will not fly because under whatever name, under whatever call, when science is made the source of human wellbeing instead of a tool in the service of human wellbeing, the moral order collapses and justice slouches to irrelevance. It should surprise no one that using science to reform society hands political connivers a tool to get their way, up to and including turning government against those governed – all in the name of democracy!
A word about the “science” behind political scheming….
It is easy to fake science and use it to hoodwink the public. See how easy it was to make us all cover our faces, keep away from each other, remain stuck in our quarters, hesitate to hug even our loved ones! What reasonable person with a modicum of good sense actually believes that a virus can do this to us?
Deception of such great magnitude has so far favored the hoodwinking of the public, with the help of a complicity of media and the muscle of financial mercenaries. It’s the same tactic in play for decades to get millions of gullible Americans to accept nonsense regarding “social justice,” “inclusion,” “multiculturalism,” “diversity,” “climate change,” “transgenderism,” and other cons dressed in clever words. Deceptive rhetoric, persistently applied, widens that “domain of human relationships and development of human personality” and turns the will of the people (“consent of the governed”) into the will of the ruling class (the power grabbers of society), making a total mockery of “liberty and justice for all.”
As moguls with no scruples and lots of gall reach for a “great reset button” to the chaos they have created, here and abroad, millions upon millions of lives have been turned upside-down and torn apart.
How we’ve come to this miserable juncture in history has caused a tsunami of books, videos, and commentary since the accelerating awareness of the transformation of America, even among the young. This short essay on how democracy was used to take America off its foundation can only scratch the surface . . .
Springing on the scene after the world wars, Marxists hot with fever for reform[iii] began to infiltrate public education, media, entertainment and church with stealth and determination.[iv] The object was to bend enough minds over ensuing generations to allow an agenda for a socialist future in America to become “acceptable.”
The intended transformation of America, initiated by early 20th century Marxists, was consistent with the Constitution and the democratic process, was it not?
Eggheads and activists of the left would say yes. But Americans alert to the deception (then and now) knew it was a big lie. They knew, as everyone who reads the Constitution knows, that the Law of the Land is based on the sovereignty of the people. The citizens of the United States are the ultimate authority in the American Republic and their representatives in government are oath-bound to follow the will of the people. That clearly means that fidelity to the Constitution is a prerequisite of their job in office.
It should surprise no one that the Constitution has been under attack by leftists over many decades, in order to transform America “democratically.”
Well, after a century of “progressive democracy,” we have a large bloc of voters who accept political “corrections” like: men and women are interchangeable, children are the property of the state, unwanted babies are junk, there is no difference between right and wrong, white skin is evil, dishonesty, cheating, and lying are proper activities of government… the deforming changes to society can fill a book…
…while major cities collapse, places of industry become empty shells, residents are cowed into burying their faces under masks and keeping away from each other, including loved ones . . . while depression, despair, and non-Covid deaths multiply.
The ministers of Marxism have done their job well to make kids believe that their country is an evil place, that it can be saved if they follow the rules for “a better world” pumped into their heads by teachers brainwashed with the mission to dull minds and weaken the ability to think and act intelligently and independently, even reject natural gifts that don’t suit the projected new world order.
When that wide “domain of human relationships and development of human personality” gets completely realized, will there be a bright light at the end of the Progressive Tunnel? Fully awake and alert Americans see future generations living in darkness, slaves of heartless rulers, brain-dead to justice and mindless of the millions who sacrificed, bled and died, so that we may all have the freedom to think, act, and pursue our God-given right to the pursuit of happiness.
Anthony J. DeBlasi is a veteran and lifelong culture warrior.
[i] “The Ethics of Democracy,” 1888.
[ii] A full account of progressive school indoctrination may be found in The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America. by Charlotte Iserbyt.
[iii] “Everyone after World War One was a communist in New York City,” said a coworker of mine in 1964, recalling experiences in the New York City of the 1930s. While this was obviously a facetious remark, it made me aware of the strength of Marxist influence and activism in a major city before midcentury.
[iv] The intrusion of leftist ideology into media, entertainment, education and church is something I witnessed after I returned from Korea in 1955.