Monday, April 25, 2022

#115 / Socialism Rising


Hillsdale College, an extremely reliable bastion of ultra-conservative, religious-based education, has put me on its mailing list. I make no complaints about that. I try to listen to voices with which I am, more often than not, in profound disagreement. For those not familiar with Hillsdale College, and who might want to know more than what the link to the college website will tell you, Wikipedia provides this information
Hillsdale College is a private conservative liberal arts college in Hillsdale, Michigan. Founded in 1844 by abolitionists known as Free Will Baptists, it has a liberal arts curriculum that is based on the Western heritage as a product of both the Greco-Roman culture and the Judeo-Christian tradition. Hillsdale requires every student, regardless of concentration of studies, to complete a core curriculum that includes courses on the Great Books, the U.S. Constitution, biology, chemistry, and physics.
Reproduced below is the beginning text of an email I recently received from Hillsdale, urging me to take a survey on "socialism." The headline on the email rather flamboyantly posed the following question: 
Socialism Rising?
Candidly, the implication of the mailing from Hillsdale was not only that socialism is rising, but that socialism has the dread potential to be like one of those waves that could "drown the whole world." Clearly, the mailing wants me to believe that we are in very deep trouble here in the United States of America, if it turns out that socialism really is "rising," and that's what Hillsdale finds out from its survey.

Hillsdale College is not the only place you will hear the claim that "socialism" is coming for us. Name a Republican elected official; that official has almost certainly warned us about socialism. The Wall Street Journal mentions "socialism" almost every day on its editorial pages and in its opinion columns. Did I mention Fox News?
I think we might best understand the expressed concern about "socialism rising" as the red cape technique employed in Spanish bullfights. That's the rag that focuses the bull's attention on a non-existent danger, so that the real danger, the killing sword, never really comes into view. 
May I suggest that we not be fooled?


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