Skip to comments.Why the Social Engineers of the Sixties Failed to Make a "Great Society"
Posted on 11/20/2018 7:26:25 PM PST by daniel1212
Fifty years separate us today from 1968 and the two momentous legacies of the then failed presidency of Lyndon Johnson: The declaring of war on America's supposed domestic ills in the form of the "Great Society" programs, and the aggressive military intervention in a real war in Vietnam. Both of these "wars" reflected the arrogance and hubris of the social engineer who believes that he has the power and ability to remake and direct society in his own preferred image....
A part of the Vietnam War tragedy was due to the fact that it was managed by "the best and the brightest," as David Halberstam called them in his well-known book of the same title. These were the people within the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who orchestrated and escalated the war as the conflict progressed through the 1960s.
Halberstam referred to these war managers as the "whiz kids." They believed that they had the theoretical and quantitative knowledge and ability to fine-tune a military conflict..
The disaster and destruction that befell both the American and the Vietnamese people resulted from their arrogant pretense of possessing all the necessary and relevant knowledge for them to design and direct a war on the other side of the world, seemingly all according to a central plan constructed in Washington, D.C.
What they learned (or should have learned) were the inescapable limits to man's ability to consciously direct the future course of human events, and the ever-present occurrence of "unintended consequences." It was a costly lesson in the need for humility and caution in believing that it is in our power to socially engineer global affairs to our own liking.
The same was thing happened in the domestic policies of the Lyndon Johnson administration, which became known as the Great Society agenda... What guided the Great Society agenda was an arrogant pretense of knowledge. There was a general attitude among many economists and a large number of self-proclaimed social critics that most of the "evils" of the worldpoverty, illiteracy, lack of decent housing or medical care, and environmental degradationwere all due to a lack of willpower and well-intentioned and implemented policy. The guiding premise was that the private sector had failed in meeting these problems and, indeed, may have contributed to them due to a disregard for "national needs," while pursuing private purposes..
Among the leading Great Society programs were:
Medicare and Medicaid (as amendments to the Social Security Act) Economic Opportunity Act Office of Economic Opportunity Community Action Agencies Elementary and Secondary Education Act Higher Education Act Model Cities Program Housing and Urban Development Act Urban Mass Transit Act Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps) National Endowments for the Arts National Endowments for the Humanities Wilderness, Endangered Species, and Federal Water Pollution Control Acts
Political Paternalism and the Reduction of Freedom
The fundamental premise the Great Society vision for America was based on was the idea of political paternalism. Good men, with enough political power, authority, and financial resources can successfully solve the problems of society. The dilemma, however, is that for government to do anything for us, it must at the same time have the police power do things to us...
And here, too, were a series of unintended consequences. These included the weakening and break-up of groups and families due to intergenerational dependency on government programs; the emergence of an "entitlement mentality" that taxpayer funded transfers from the government were as legitimate a source of income as earning a living from a private-sector job; the entrapment of those on welfare in isolated, poorly-managed, and increasingly crime-infested public housing projects; and the deterioration of educational standards in public schools, especially in inner city areas of the country...
The Hippies and Leftists were absolute control freaks.
Now, they are at the top of this country’s governance.
Excellent and thanks for posting.
Instead, they put in place things that are destroying this once great country. Leftists are horrible.
The answer is quite simple: They didn’t have enough sow’s ears to start with.
The next time we’ll have more; and THEN Utopia will be ushered in!
FDR and LBJ with the New Deal and the Great Society sought to bribe the electorate with the public treasury. They were pretty successful, unfortunately.
LBJ was a serial rapist and liar—and that was before he became President!
Oh, I dunno.
Looking at the state of the nation and Millenials in particular, I think the social engineers were diabolically successful. Beyond their wildest dreams even.
All should be killed.
Yes, a success of instilling the victim-entitlement mentality to justify welfare as not being mercy or grace, but a just right, and thus the demand, not even a request, for having the same benefits that normally are to be earned, but are received now at the expense of those who earned them.
Without any guilt, or feeling of gratitude toward the producers (which true acts of personal sacrificial mercy and grace foster), and thus without feeling an obligation become benefactors themselves, but the obligation they feel is to support those who portray themselves as modern-day Robin hoods (much the myth that it is). However, these "saviors" spend little of their own money, but use that of others to make others dependent on them, which plan ultimately results in them being the only ones in first class, as the elite dictators . All according the the devil's plan who seek worship and allegiance thru proxy servants.
And as someone warned,
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage. .
― Attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, in part or whole, most notably as part of "The Fall of the Athenian Republic; https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Alexander_Fraser_Tytler. Regardless of the source, it is a warning to be heeded.
I know. But had LBJ run again and won the DNC would be the party of the Vietnam War. McGovern might have tried for the nomination but I don’t think radical Republicans would have been as eager to jump ship for the Democrats as a consequence.
PS: it was the generation that in many cases cheered as FDR kicked the Constitution to the curb.
Valor on the battlefield is no cover or excuse for embracing lawlessness at home.
It’s wasn’t that many years ago that “liberal” didn’t also frequently mean Cultural Marxist or even outright Marxist asit does now,
Kennedy was the same, a liberal but not these liberals, not even as his brother became over the years. Yes, progressivism was a cancer in the Republic from its earliest days, and like all cancers grew as a malignancy even though it may have seemed harmless, but as much as I loath men like FDR for their high handed lawlessness or LBJ for corruption I will not compare even those two to the things bobbing at the top of the cesspool today.
What’s UTTERLY HORRIFYING is that 50 years from now two folks will be communicating in whatever means they use by then and one will be saying they will not compare the liberalism of 2020 to the horrifying liberalism of 2070!!!!
God only KNOWS how sick they will have become by then.
However, if they do get that much more progressively demented, there may not be any country left if they are not stopped.
Great Society? Humbug. What you are talking about is a great government. And since government is (at best a necessary) evil, government will never be better than society. But it will always pretend to be.SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil . . . - Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness;
the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices.
The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions.
The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
The fundamental fallacy of democratic socialism is that you can have freedom when government and society are one and the same.
When there is no freedom - when no one is allowed to differ from anyone else - there is no virtue in democracy. In such case, if all vote or if one person votes, the issue will be the same.
It was a terrible time to live through since effectively all control was handed to Johnson and the 'Rats with their supermajorities in Congress. It was like being on board a speeding, out of control train that you know is going to have a disastrous wreck. As the years dragged on it felt like the bubble of contempt for the tyrant Johnson was going to burst, but he bailed out and handed the mess to Humphrey and ultimately Nixon.
Geez, what a string of losers we had there for awhile: Johnson, Nixon, Carter (I omit Ford because of his caretaker status).
But there is still room at the cross for all who will come to God in repentance and faith, and trust in the Divine Son of God sent by the Father, the risen Lord Jesus, to save them on His account, by His sinless shed blood, and thus be baptized and live for Him. Acts 10:36-47
3 steps to human destruction:
1. Willful Self-determination
2. Wicked Self-deception
3 Woeful Self-destruction
Always self-check and re-calibrate to Source.
They didn't do that and, naturally, they took US down the wrong road where we crashed and burned.
Those fires are still burning, too.
In 50 years if so-called “progressivism” continues to rage unabated and the Lord doesn’t return before then those guys will have experienced the updated version of the old saying: “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a SJW screaming incoherently at a human face - forever.”
“Geez, what a string of losers we had there for awhile: Johnson, Nixon, Carter (I omit Ford because of his caretaker status).”
I second that.
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