Friday, June 8, 2018

Maintaining A Standard

     No matter who you are or what you do, you’ll always face temptations to violate your personal standards, or a standard to which you’ve subscribed as a member of some group. As an engineer, I faced innumerable temptations to cut corners for the sake of saving a little money or meeting an externally imposed deadline. As a supervisor, I often faced temptations to cut one subordinate an amount of slack I’d never allow to another. And as a writer, I’m often tempted to turn out a piece of schlock simply to get onto some currently popular bandwagon, or to hurry through some part of a story that stands between me and the part I really want to write. Character is one’s only defense against those lures.

     But there are temptations, and then there are temptations. Some of the most seductive are baited with money.

     Courtesy of the Web’s favorite Bookworm, we have an interesting potential project in media:

     There’s a dangerous movement at work in America today. The Left is demonizing men and diminishing the vital roles they play in families and communities. From a New York Times headline claiming men are becoming obsolete, to Hillary Clinton proclaiming that the future is female, the Progressive Left has declared a War on Men and Masculinity.

     However, they cannot hide from the facts. 63% of youth suicides, 71% of all high school dropouts, and 85% of youths in prisons grew up in homes without a father. The idea that our families, communities, and country would be better off when men are marginalized and pushed to the side, just doesn’t make sense.

     That’s why we’re launching a new media company called Lincoln & Grant. Our mission is to inspire men to pursue excellence and fight back against the war on masculinity. It’s time to bring hard-working, successful men back to our families and communities.

     Please read it all.

     I mention the Lincoln & Grant project for two reasons: first, because it’s a very worthy – indeed, a necessary – project that deserves to be brought to the attention of as many people as possible; second, because it presents a striking case of a project whose initiators clearly intend to maintain a high, strict standard and are guaranteed to face temptations to depart from it. The lure will almost always be money, whether directly or indirectly available.

     Potential high-dollar backers will suggest an admixture of inappropriate content. Potential advertisers will seek tie-ins that crosscut the magazine’s goals. Potential contributors well known from their labors in other venues will suggest other departures.

     The organizers and operators will need all the strength of character they possess to resist some of the lures that will be tossed their way.

     I intend to back this project at a high level, to gain the maximum degree of visibility into its evolution. The opportunity to watch it take shape, and to study its reactions to the temptations that persons and institutions with other agendas will float toward it, is irresistible. Though I sincerely hope it will succeed mightily, should it fail the process that corrupts it will be massively instructive.

     There are temptations baited with lures other than money. At this time the one of greatest importance is a negative one: the avoidance of confrontation and conflict.

     American society is beset by a sociopolitical disease. The infection is aggressive. The fatality rate is high. No reliable cure is available. The implications for the success of the American experiment are ominous.

     The disease vectors are individuals of leftist political stances whose aim is to impose their politics on every organization and institution in America. They’re not mindless viruses; they do what they do deliberately, with malice aforethought. Indeed, malice is in many cases the fuel that drives them: their hatred for anyone who dares to disagree with them.

     When persons of that stripe manage to gain entry into an organization, they immediately start to work at politicizing it in their preferred direction. It doesn’t matter whether politics has any relevance to the purpose of the organization. The infector’s purpose is politics and nothing but politics, regardless of whatever pretense they used to gain access to it. Often their intentions are opposed to the organization’s goals; they actively seek to degrade it, even if that would mean the loss of their positions, salaries, and status.

     They gain entry because good-hearted persons are seldom able to imagine not-good-hearted persons: i.e., persons whose agenda requires that others suffer loss. For example, an interviewer for a commercial company is unlikely to bother about a potential employee’s political orientation. External recruiters – personnel placement agencies – are wholly unconcerned with such things; they merely want their fees. This unawareness of the threat makes infiltration possible. Once infiltration is an accomplished fact, the good-hearted are often moved more by their desire to avert open conflict -- to maintain tranquility in appearance – than by their sense for what’s best for the company, or their standards of right and wrong.

     When the disease has attained a sufficient degree of penetration into its target, the organization’s nominal standards, whatever they may be, become secondary to the imposition of political conformity on the organization: all its people and all its practices. That aim is why the vectors strive for positions from which they can influence policy.

     I’ve written about this process on several occasions. Here’s the most recent example. Regardless of anyone’s particular politics, the disease itself is deadly to the standards of American organizations. No one can maintain his standards when political issues have a higher priority. He will be compelled to compromise them until nothing remains of them.

     If you have standards of your own, you would resist the idea of working for a company, or participating in some other group activity, that would compel you to set them aside. Yet that is what’s being done to uncounted good-hearted persons and their organizations.

     And so I look at the Lincoln & Grant proposal, and I ask: How will the disease choose to attack this brave new undertaking? You know it will; the Left cannot allow even one bastion of American values to remain uncorrupted – and this effort would oppose everything the Left strives for.

     We shall see.


Amy Bowersox said...

One weakness of the proposal: it's on Kickstarter. Kickstarter have been known to arbitrarily remove overtly "conservative" projects. They should have considered using Freestartr instead.

bryanb said...

The stories I could tell re: my son's journey in Boy Scouts (and yes, I still use that *outdated* moniker)...