Into the Abyss: The Fate of Professional AssociationsStephen Paul Foster
“Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.” — Robert Conquest, “Three Laws of Politics” (#2)
There is a surfeit of organizations that confirm the rule of this law as formulated by Robert Conquest. John Derbyshire (Isegoria) cites the Church as an example. The Catholic Church? The current Pope? Way too obvious to waste precious words. How about those starch-collared, teetotaling, Bible-thumping Baptists? Well, sorry. Hell-fire, apparently, is now reserved for “racists.” Even the “conservative” Southern Baptists have joined the self-flagellating throngs of the Wokesters. They decided to fire up the apology-mobile and take it out for a test drive. From the Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolution On Racial Reconciliation On The 150th Anniversary Of The Southern Baptist Convention:
It won’t sound much like, “Give me that old-time religion.”
WHEREAS, Our relationship to African-Americans has been hindered from the beginning by the role that slavery played in the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention . . . Be it . . . resolved that: we lament and repudiate historic acts of evil such as slavery from which we continue to reap a bitter harvest, and we recognize that the racism which yet plagues our culture today is inextricably tied to the past; and we apologize to all African-Americans for condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime; and we genuinely repent of racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously (Psalm 19:13) or unconsciously (Leviticus 4:27).
The above is an excerpt. You can read the entire resolution, but you get the point — “sooner or later,” per Conquest. “Consciously” or “unconsciously”? The Baptists needed to cover all their bases.
So, forget the churches you may have once followed if you’re searching for a counter-example to Conquest’s second law. Where to turn, then? Short answer: Nowhere that I know.
That said, I suggest that we look at two powerful professional membership associations in order to experience Conquest’s second law in a visceral, in-your-face way and to grasp what their transformations mean for our future.
The American Psychological Association and the American Bar Association: shrinks and lawyers. Shrinks are supposed to help you keep peace with yourself; lawyers, peace with others, but fairly arranged. These two associations are the face of their respective professions and are aggressive agents of opinion and attitude formation that relate to questions of great import to us all: mental health and justice. Their leadership is comprised of the elites of those professions that establish the norms and standards which the members embrace and put into practice. Members pay dues to belong, look to the associations for guidance, go to the conferences for collegial support and continuing education, and to absorb the latest “wisdom” from the experts and from popular celebrities, e.g. Dr. Phil. These associations are in fact complex social organisms sustained by self-reinforcing ideological visions that translate into moralistic-motivated action. Broad conformity is the goal of that action; propaganda and coercion the methods. The effects do not serve our self-interest.
These associations also function as gatekeepers to the profession. The members appeal to their knowledge and expertise to establish their authority and dismiss their critics. To paraphrase Karl Marx: The ruling ideas of the professional classes become the ruling ideas.
The American Psychological Association (APA), 130,000 members strong, was founded in 1892 at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts with 31 original members. Its founder was Granville Stanley Hall.
I would wager that if the bulk of APA’s members knew of Dr. Hall’s views on race, his name would be quickly removed from the Second World War Liberty Ship SS Granville S. Hall, and he would be promptly disavowed (canceled) as APA’s founder, since according to Wikipedia, he was a proponent of racial eugenics. However,
his views were less severe in terms of creating and keeping distinct separations between races. Hall believed in giving ‘lower races’ a chance to accept and adapt to “superior civilization.” Hall even commended high ranking African Americans in society as being the “exception to the Negro’s diminished evolutionary inheritance.”
Somehow, I think that Hall’s “lesser severity” would not save him now, but let’s forget about the acute embarrassment that the outing of the APA’s founder might cause and look at how far the association has come in the last 130 years. Click on their home page, scroll down a bit, and under “APA Member Directory,” stop, take a breath, and contemplate the APA’s collective face.
Just photos, no words. None are necessary to convey the message: the face of the future of the psychology profession. There is a pecking order that, for starters, is reflected in the difference of the individual photos’ relative sizes.
The future? Bookended (lower left, upper right) are the two darkest members, who are also among the youngest. They occupy the largest space and are the most prominent — “high ranking,” as Dr. Hall might have put it. Bookended (upper left, lower right) and size-appropriate are members of Far and Middle East origin. So far, so good. Feel free to speculate on why the smiley lady in the yellow hijab and the man of uncertain provenance in the sweater with glasses are “reduced.” There is only so much room. The bigger-sized guy with the beard next to the Asian? Gay?
But onward to the APA’s three, minority white faces — faces of the soon-to-be past. The lone male, from the little that we can see of him, appears to be ten years past retirement age. Next to the young, virile, broad-shouldered, probably Muslim lad to his right, this bald, bespeckled, stoop-shouldered senior citizen looks like a relic from the G. Stanley Hall days of white supremacy who speaks of “superior civilizations.” Likewise, the kindly-looking lady with glasses is perhaps a retired school psychologist. She looks tired; nap time. That leaves the middle-aged woman with that virtue-signaling “look” that says “my whiteness is my eternal shame,” which, perhaps, is why her photo is one of the three largest. Talmudic skills may be required to sort out the pecking order. This woman has the least friendly face of the gang of ten, and for good reason. Her job, if you are white, is to make you feel bad about yourself.
Then you scroll down for the coup de grâce for white folks as psychologists, and well, you can’t help but appreciate the marketing skill with which the “future” is made to appear so right, wholesome, and irresistible — so, so . . . inevitable. In the middle of the page, tugging at your heartstrings and just bursting with spontaneous cuteness, is an adorable, chocolate-colored baby girl wearing a little white t-shirt that says “Future.” Beside the child is a blue t-shirt you can buy from the APA store which says, “This is What a Psychologist Looks Like.” Get it?
Who could possibly wonder: Is there something wrong with this picture?
Well, difficult as it may be to imagine, there might be some stone-hearted white folks insufficiently enthused about the future of the extinction planned for them by their friendly, inclusive psychologists. For APA members to deal with such intransigents, the website offers Equity, Inclusion and Diversity: Inclusive Language Guidelines.
In the Foreword, Maysa Akbar, PhD, ABPP, Chief Diversity Officer announces a “first” — they just keep coming:
For the first time, APA is systematically and institutionally examining, acknowledging, and charting a path forward to address its role in racism and other forms of destructive social hierarchies including, but not limited to, sexism, ableism, ageism, heterosexism, classism, and religious bigotry. The organization is assessing the harms and is committing to true change. This requires avoiding language that perpetuates harm or offense toward members of marginalized communities through our communications.
“Examining,” “acknowledging,” “charting,” “assessing,” “committing,” “addressing” and “avoiding” — being “inclusive” apparently means cramming every exertion-verb imaginable into the bloated sentences that mark the self-congratulatory “diversity” PR.
I’m going to be generous here and overlook the micro-aggression in the title of the diversity officer. “Chief”? What word could more epitomize “destructive social hierarchies,” not to mention perpetuating “harm or offense” to the “marginalized communities” of indigenous peoples? Also, not to mention “cultural appropriation.”
As we strive to further infuse principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) [DIE, per Steve Sailer, seems somehow a more suitable acronym] into the fabric of society, those committed to effecting change must acknowledge language as a powerful tool that can draw us closer together or drive us further apart. Simply put, words matter. The words we use are key to creating psychologically safe, inclusive, respectful, and welcoming environments.
Yes, Big Chief, Akbar, you’ve got my attention, and you are right. Words matter.
“Inclusive Language Guidelines” is an indispensable document for a seriously dedicated thought-policewoman (I’m hoping “police” hasn’t been banished yet and guess that “woman” likely perpetuates “harm”). It covers the multitude of offenses to “inclusiveness,” and I’ll leave it to your further inspection to decide what limits of “safe, respectful, and welcoming” you want to impose on your “environment.” However, I feel obliged to reproduce one of its admonitions that may, or may not, keep you out of trouble: “Consider your audience when using the term ‘queer’; not everyone receives this word positively; many members of the LGBTQIA+ community have now reclaimed it.” Forewarned is forearmed, although the use of “forearmed” would be highly discouraged to express this point: “These expressions needlessly use imagery of hurting someone or something.”
There is more on the website that can help one appreciate how prescient Robert Conquest was about the relentlessness of organizations’ leftward drift. This should be sufficient.
So much for the psychologists and your peace of mind. Are you feeling anxious? Wait until you see what the lawyers are up to. The American Bar Association (ABA) — 400,000 members as of 2016 — was founded by 75 lawyers from 20 states in 1877 in Saratoga Springs, New York. If the profession was ever conservative, the march since at least the 1970s has been heading steadily, inexorably left at warp speed. In 1974, the ABA lobbied for the creation of the Legal Services Corporation, a non-profit corporation (taxpayer funded) that would provide legal services for “low income” citizens and for, with enough exceptions for workarounds, illegal immigrants — vast career opportunities for “activist” Left-wing lawyers, paid for by the folks they are shaking down. The ABA claims to be non-partisan, but its policy positions on race, abortion, criminal justice, and LGBT issues are invincibly Left. In 2017, the ABA submitted an amicus brief to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. It argued that transgender people should be allowed to use their chosen restroom rather than the restroom designated for their biological sex.
Click on the ABA website and scroll around. Like that of the APA, white people have been “disappeared.” ABA’s President-Elect for 2021-22 is Deborah Enix-Ross. Enix-Ross was the Vice President of the World Justice Project. She will replace outgoing ABA President Reginald M. Turner. Turner also served as the chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.
One of the ABA’s groups is the Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice (COREJ). COREJ
partners with both ABA and non-ABA entities to develop policies, programming, and other initiatives to address issues stemming from the intersection of race and ethnicity with the legal system. We consider ourselves the conscience of the ABA when social justice issues disproportionately affect people of color who are too often the most voiceless and vulnerable among us.
I don’t believe that it is an exaggeration to say that typically, those who appoint themselves as “the conscience” of any sort of collective enterprise are at best obnoxious, moral busybodies and at worst dangerous fanatics bent on ridding the world of those they judge to be the wrong sorts of people.
COREJ partnered with the ABA to form a Taskforce on Reversing the School-to-Prison Pipeline. From its “Report and Recommendations”:
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges all federal, state, territorial and local legislative bodies and governmental agencies to: (a) adopt policies, legislation and initiatives designed to eliminate the school to prison pipeline whereby students of color, students with disabilities, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning ,or queer) students and other marginalized youth constituencies are disproportionately impacted by systemic inequities in education and over-discipline resulting in disparate school drop-out or “push-out” rates and juvenile justice system or prison interactions, i.e., school to prison.
This should give you a hint of how “racial and ethnic justice” works. You will recall the “racial justice” accorded Derek Chauvin last year in Minneapolis. This is how the ABA officially responded to his show trial, from ABA President Patricia Lee Refo:
The American Bar Association respects the decision of the Minneapolis jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin while emphasizing that a single verdict is neither an indictment of all law enforcement nor a solution to the systemic inequities in our justice system. Our society relies on the rule of law and the principle that laws must be applied and enforced fairly and without bias. A verdict may bring some justice, but it does not return George Floyd to his family. While we have made great progress, the nation still must address the injustices, violence and racism that exist in our legal system that disproportionately and negatively affect people of color.
The ABA, it is safe to say, has now gone full Leninist: “Politics is war by other means,” to flip Clausewitz. The law is a weapon to use against political enemies, to punish resistance.
Reflecting, then, on what the “faces” of these two powerful professional associations look like and what their agendas are raises the question posed by the Roman poet Juvenal: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? “Who will guard the guardians?” Our “guardians” have become tribal renegades who have come to regard those in their trust as enemies. No one is guarding them.
Robert Conquest’s long life — he died the age of 98 in 2015 — spanned most of the twentieth century. Speaking of punishing resistance: His monumental, pioneering works of history were about the horrors of Stalinism: The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties (1968); The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror-Famine (1986); Stalin: Breaker of Nations (1991), and Reflections on a Ravaged Century (1999).
Conquest was also a novelist, poet, and a composer of superb limericks:
There was an old bastard named Lenin
Who did two or three million men in.
That’s a lot to have done in
But where he did one in
That old bastard Stalin did ten in.
Conquest captured Stalinism in all of its deceitful, punishing manifestations as it unfolded in the twentieth century. If he were alive today, one wonders what he might say to supine Conservative Inc. about its failure to oppose Stalinism’s racially transposed form in twenty-first century America. I suspect he might repeat what he suggested in 2007 as a title for a new edition of The Great Terror: “I Told You So, You Fucking Fools.”
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