Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Social Change is a Cult

I go to a small liberal arts college,and I'm only posting this because I hope people realize that liberalism shouldn't be laughed at and called a 'mental illness,' and instead it should be recognized as to what it truly is; a cult.

For one of my classes, I was required to attend a seminar given by Tony Woodcock, who is a leading pioneer in the field of arts management and music education. He was also the president of the New England Conservatory for a number of years, and he's established outreach programs for big-name orchestras that he's managed. He also apparently writes for Huffpo from time to time, as I just learned.

The thing about Tony Woodcock is that I know deep down in his heart, he is a good person, but he has been manipulated, and it was so obvious to me during his seminar. He gave a lecture about "our duty as artists to help change the world," and I wish I had recorded the lecture due to the outright brainwashing he tried to do to the students in attendance. His core message throughout the lecture was this, "if you have the time to be creative while another person in another part of the world is starving, have you really done your job as an artist?" Another strong theme was the purpose of charity, and he repeatedly made statements such as, "in the so-called 'developed west,' we combat poverty by paying for our avoidance of it through poverty," which of course leads me to believe that this guy doesn't give to charity and has found a way to not only justify his decision to not give to his fellow man but also a way of feeling superior about it.

Although, I can't say that he doesn't give to charity since he has helped develop several arts outreach programs in the US for underprivileged youth, however it's his reasoning behind it that seems incredibly strange. His goal was to get us, a handful of artists at a liberal arts conservatory, to enact what he calls "social change" in our communities, and he went on spiels about how it's our duty to help illegal immigrants and refugees and protect women's rights and promote racial equality and every other liberal talking point. At the end of the lecture, there was a Q&A portion, and I made the mistake of asking a simple question about his lecture. I said, "In regards to social change, what should we be trying to change into?" He asked me to clarify what I meant, and I said "What is the end goal to all of the social change?"

I didn't criticize him, I didn't speak out against his lecture, and I wasn't trying to be an edgy kid trying to attack some guy giving a lecture. All I wanted to know is what his goal for this social change was. After all, he explained to us that if we were not a part of the social change, then we would be bad people. I just wanted to know what social change I should push for if he wanted to consider me a good person. His answer to me was so crazy:

"I've never thought about it like that before. You know I think that young people and some older people get too caught up in this idea that there has to be an end goal, so I would say that it is more important to think about the change than to worry about what we should all be trying to accomplish."

What? You're going to tell me that I'm a bad person if I don't follow this ideology of social change, but you can't tell me why I should do it or what the outcome of it should be? Another lady that I didn't recognize chimed in saying that "It's specific to the community you're looking to work with, but I don't think we should be worried about an overall goal." I think that's an acceptable answer, but she was not the only one to answer a question that she wasn't expected to respond to. The dean of my school happened to be there as well, to which he said,

"I think your question is so important, but the end goal doesn't matter. What matters is how we can change people's lives through social change one step at a time."

Then, since this question was apparently open-ended and directed towards everyone, one of the other students in the audience responded, saying:

"I don't really think it should be about an end goal, but it is obvious that there is social change that needs to be done in the world. You might think that nothing needs to be done, but if you look at what's happening today and think that everything is ok, then you should probably do some serious self-reflection."

At this point my jimmies were properly rustled since I knew this student personally and I knew that he didn't involve himself with any charitable programs, and I'm not trying to brag about what I do but I spend a significant amount of time serving for a program (which I don't want to mention since it might cost me my position) where I go to underprivileged schools and help the teachers of those schools. I've helped illegal immigrants, I've helped refugees, and I've been to schools that were so bad that only 20% of the kids passed their reading and math EOG's. What's really crazy is that the question I asked suddenly took all of this information, and that student who said this to me knew this about me, and threw it out the window, even though my question wasn't critical or promotional. I was only asking for Tony Woodcock's reasoning, and he couldn't give it to me.

So let me get this straight; If I don't believe in this progressive ideology of social change, I am a bad person. If I even question the reasoning behind the social change, I am a bad person and it suddenly becomes ok to publicly ridicule me (I should note that I am paraphrasing, but the quotes are practically verbatim). Is this not a cult? Is this not an ideology of "don't ask why, just do as you're told?" I don't see my volunteer work (which is both a part of a certain program and outside of that program during my spare time) as social change or social entrepreneurship, I see it as me trying to be a contributing member of society. But that's not what they want, they want to see our society change, and you're either with them or against them. This is a cult.

Progressiveness, liberalism, social entrepreneurship; the left is a cult.

Here is an archive link to one of Tony Woodcock's Huffpo articles where he talks about Social Entrepreneurship and how there are corporate benefits to giving the poor a better education.

From the article:

"Their philosophies share commonalities too:
• They all hold up education as the foundation for improvement at the individual, family and societal levels, but they question very deeply the methods, relevance, and value of current systems of education." 
This means nothing. Nobody agrees with the current education system. These are just words.  
"• They value Social Justice and people above profits. For them, the notion that the poor represent the price of doing business is anathema. They understand that poverty is the result of choices and structures society has made." 
The poor don't represent the price of doing business. The poor represent the people that give up their rights to an oppressive government, or the people that have made life decisions in a non-oppressive government that have put them in their position. Tony Woodcock believes that people have no control over their own lives, and that a person's own choices don't affect one's own life. 
"• But most of all they believe that poverty is An Externally Imposed Phenomenon, which produces the misery and inequality that we see in the world today. They believe that the poor are fantastic human beings who represent some of the greatest potential for growth and human development. They are not the “deserving poor”; they are the poor who deserve our serious respect and attention."
Tony Woodcock believes that the poor cannot help themselves, and although he likes to say that the poor are fantastic and incredibly smart, he doesn't allow them the thought that they might be able to create success for themselves. They have to be helped because they cannot help themselves. They are the greatest potential for growth and human development, yet they can't do it on their own because society won't let them. 

It seems like such a thoughtful idea, but if I was on the receiving end of this philosophy, I would consider it incredibly insulting that these rich elite were looking to make a corporate gain off of my education because they believed that I couldn't help myself even if I wanted to. They believe that I have been wronged, and instead of allowing me to make my own choices about it, they will make those choices for me because I wouldn't be able to even if I worked my hardest to change my situation. This philosophy is so domineering and degrading at the same time; they claim that the poor aren't stupid or incapable, yet they don't trust that the poor can help themselves. 

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