America At The Precipice

te: This is an updated, slimmer version of an earlier research report I produced on these matters,  “The Obstacles to Advancing Liberty Today.”

Summary: America is standing at the edge of freedom and statist-collectivist tyranny. 

Unless we recognize this fact, and discover how we got here, there will be no way to prevent America from falling into the abyss, let alone restore it to a state of freedom and civility. 

The purpose of this page is to present research data that will help advance these objectives.

Given America’s completely unique nature, and the accomplishments it has produced in its comparatively short existence as a nation, it should be viewed by rational people within and beyond our borders as a miracle, and even with its flaws, a paradise on Earth. In a rational world, this knowledge would be passed down from generation to generation, and the principles of freedom, enshrined in our Constitution, fervently championed and defended by Americans from across the economic, ethnic and racial spectrum.

Instead, as the documentation on this page demonstrates:

  • Our “educational” system – the most expensive, per-pupil, in the world – confers high school diplomas and college degrees on “graduates” despite their lack of essential civic and historical knowledge, and the egregious misconceptions that they harbor about these issues.
  • For several generations, our children have not only not been infused with the core knowledge that is necessary to “preserve, protect and defend” America, they have been indoctrinated to view freedom in general, and America in particular, as the main problems in the world.
  • The result of this unchecked campaign of subversion, is that nearly 6 in 10 Americans under age 30 claim they would prefer to live under communism, socialism or fascism than under capitalism.

America cannot survive these trends, and time is rapidly running out before we reach a tipping point, at which the restoration of freedom will be impossible without a long, difficult, painful struggle.

The purpose of this page is to provide honest, motivated freedom advocates with a unified reference point of organized, accurate data, with which to clearly understand where we are — and where we are going, if these trends are not reversed, very soon.

I have formatted the data into three main categories, drawing an analogy to the process by which a farmer goes about raising a desired crop — which, I argue, is the only way by which this systematic process of subversion could have occurred, and is still occurring:

(1) Preparing the soil: Separating Americans from vital historical and civic knowledge

(2) Planting the seeds: Injecting our culture with counter-knowledge regarding history and civics

(3) The fruit borne of this campaign of subversion: Widespread, growing support for anti-freedom ideologies and policies

In the graphic at right, “Meet Today’s Typical Millennial,” I summarize the key findings on this page, and the role I aspire to play in reversing our situation.

My hope is that this page, and the way it is formatted, will serve as an anchor point upon which those who are interested in restoring freedom can have a fact-based discussion about where we are, how we got here, and develop peaceful, efficient means by which to extricate us.  The mission of my life is to employ all of my skills and creativity to make measurable progress towards this last objective.

Jon Sutz
Charlottesville, VA
November 2017


Contents

(1) Preparing the soil: Separating Americans from vital historical and civic knowledge

(2) Planting the seeds: Injecting our culture with counter-knowledge regarding history and civics

(3) The fruit borne of this campaign of subversion: Widespread, growing support for anti-freedom ideologies and policies

Updates: While Millennials cannot define socialism, most support it; Majority of Democrats, minority of Republicans view socialism favorably; 1/3 Americans support giving illegal aliens the “right” to vote; more

(4) Added complications: Most American adults — including college students — have limited functional literacy, and shortening attention spans

(5) My view on how to begin fighting to save America

(6) Additional reading: Select writings on how to wage this war


(1) Preparing the soil: Separating Americans from vital historical and civic knowledge

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

― George Orwell

The first step in the process of bringing America to this point was to use Orwell’s admonishment not as a warning, but as a road map.  Over the past several generations, we have produced wave after wave of high school and college graduates who possess little to no knowledge of American history, of the principles that undergird our founding documents, or of how our political-economic system is designed, or why.

History

[1.1] 80% of seniors at America’s most elite colleges and universities cannot pass a high school history test, yet all will be able to graduate without taking a single history class of any kind.

[1.2] 55% of high school seniors are “below basic” in a test of U.S. history — the lowest ranking, meaning they have not even achieved partial mastery of this knowledge; 88% score below “proficient,” the second-highest ranking.  These numbers have not moved significantly since 1994.

[1.3] Less than 30% of American adults can pass a test of basic U.S. history and civics.

U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence

[1.4] Less than 50% of American adults understand the basic purpose of the Constitution, or can identify even one of their rights under it.

[1.5] 71% of American adults are unaware that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land; 85% cannot define “the rule of law.”

[1.6] 40% of American adults cannot identify a single right protected by the First Amendment. 21% said it contains the “right to own a pet”; 17% said it contains the “right to drive a car.”  UPDATE, May 2020: According to a Gallup survey, Only 50 percent of college students can correctly answer one or more questions about the First Amendment; 48% believe it does not protect “hate speech”; “only 23% of self-identified Democrat students know that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, compared with 48 percent of Republican students.”

[1.7] 82% of American adults cannot identify two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence.

[1.8] Nearly half of U.S. college graduates don’t know that the U.S. Constitution establishes a separation of powers within the federal government.

[1.9] Only 26% of Americans can identify all three branches of the government — a sharp decline from 2011, when 38% could do so.

[1.10] Elected officials at all levels in the U.S. are even less literate regarding U.S. history and civics than the general population.

Economics

[1.11] 57% of U.S. high schoolers score below proficiency regarding knowledge of basic economic principles; less than half can correctly define the term “budget deficit”; nearly half cannot identify what the stock market does, or its relationship to our economy.

[1.12] Almost half of U.S. teens and adults believe the statement, “Money holds its value well in times of inflation,” is correct.

[1.13] 83% of U.S. college graduates and 68% of elected officials cannot identify the functional differences between the free market and a command economy.

[1.14] 60% of U.S. high school students, and 36% of adults, do not know that if a city government sets a maximum amount landlords can charge in rent, the most likely result is fewer apartments available than people want to rent.

[1.15] 54% of adults do not know what a subprime mortgage is.

Geography

[1.16] 50% of those age 18-24 cannot locate New York state on a map; 20% cannot locate the Pacific Ocean.


UPDATE, January 1, 2020: Yet another indication of the endemic fraud being perpetrated on the American people, via our government-run “educational” system:

 


(2) Planting the seeds: Injecting our culture with counter-knowledge regarding history and civics

Having prevented our children from gaining knowledge and appreciation of U.S. history, the next step in this process of subversion has been to plant the seeds of counter-knowledge about essential issues in their brains.  The first step, however, as documented in the first item below, has been to infuse the most “educated” among us with an appreciation of Marxist ideology:

Political philosophy & economics

[2.1] “The Communist Manifesto” is the most-assigned economics textbook in U.S. colleges, assigned more than twice as frequently as any other economics book.

U.S. Constitution

[2.2] 69% of American adults believe the phrase, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” is contained in the U.S. Constitution, or don’t know if it is or isn’t.  This number grew from 45% fifteen years earlier.

[2.3] 21% of American adults believe “the right to own a pet” is articulated in the First Amendment; 17% believe it contains “the right to drive a car.”

[2.4] 39% of American college students overall (including 44% of Republican students) believe the U.S. Constitution does not protect “hate speech.”

History

[2.5] 26% of Americans overall, and 32% of Millennials, believe President George W. Bush killed more people than Joseph Stalin.

[2.6] 80% of Millennials, and 88% of Generation Z (those born after 1993), are unaware that at least 100 million people were murdered by the most notable communist regimes of the 20th century.

[2.7] While many Millennials and Generation Xers are unaware of the most murderous communist leaders of the 20th century, a significant minority of those who are aware of them view them favorably:

♦ 58% are familiar with Mao Zedong – and 18% have a favorable impression of him.

♦ 67% are familiar with Vladmir Lenin – and 25% have a favorable impression of him.

♦ 60% are familiar with Che Gueverra – and 37% have a favorable impression of him.


(3) The fruit borne of this campaign of subversion: Widespread, growing support for anti-freedom ideologies and policies

Having obliterated our children’s understanding of U.S. history and the virtues of the American republic, and infusing them with the seeds of counter-knowledge, we’ve now witnessed several generations of graduates of our “educational” institutions harboring support for anti-freedom ideologies, policies and political candidates.

Support for communist, socialist or fascist policies, principles and candidates

UPDATE May 2019, from Gallup: “43% of Americans say ‘socialism would be a good thing for the country’; A majority of Democrats have said they view socialism positively in Gallup polling since 2010, including 57% in the most recent measure in 2018.”

[3.1] 64% of Americans overall (across political parties) now agree with Marx’s core doctrine, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

[3.2] 58% of American Millennials say they would rather live under either communism, socialism or fascism, than under capitalism; UPDATE, January 2019: “61% of Americans aged between 18 and 24 have a positive reaction to the word “socialism.”

[3.3] 45% of 16-20-year-olds say they would vote for a socialist; 21% say they would vote for a communist.

UPDATE, October 2019: 7 in 10 millennials say they would vote for a socialist, and the number of Millennials who say they “approve of communism” jumped from 28% in 2018 to 36% in 2019.

[3.4] 53% of Millennials believe America’s economic system works against them.

[3.5] Overall, 40% of Americans say a “complete change” of our economic system is needed, “to ensure highest earners pay their fair share.” [Presumably, few if any know that the top 1% pay 39.5% of all income taxes, more than the bottom 90% combined.]

Support for anti-free speech policies, and violent suppression of those with different views

[3.6] 19% of American college students overall (including 22% of Republican students) believe it is “acceptable” to initiate violence to prevent a invited guest from speaking on campus, if his/her critics claim s/he makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”

[3.7] 38 percent of American adults think the First Amendment “goes too far” in protecting freedom of expression.

[3.8] 45% of Republicans believe courts should have the power to shut down media outlets for publishing “biased,” or “inaccurate” information, while 20% disagree; 18% of Democrats support courts shutting such outlets down, while 39% disagree; 43% of Republicans believe President Trump “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.”

[3.9] 51% of Democrats, and 37% of Republicans support passing a law that would criminalize “hate speech,” meaning any statement or expression that a racial, religious, sexual or ethnic minority might find offensive; 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 support government censorship of “statements that are offensive to minority groups.” UPDATE: In March 2017, a significant portion of Georgetown University students, as well as its Saudifunded “Bridge Initiative,” opposed and shouted down a former Muslim who was invited to speak, about her criticism of sharia law, claiming she was engaging in “hate speech.”

[3.10] 39% of high school students disagree with the statement, “Newspapers should be allowed to freely publish without government approval of stories.”

Support for anti-free market policies

[3.11] 59% of Americans believe “businesses make too much profit.” [Presumably this is a function of the misinformation campaigns directed at the general public, which has caused them to falsely believe that businesses make 5-12 times as much average profit as they do.]

[3.12] 50% believe government regulation of business “is necessary to protect the public.”

Support for the welfare state

[3.13] 62% of U.S. adults across the political spectrum say the federal government has the responsibility to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage

[3.14] 48% of Americans say they want a bigger government that provides more services, versus 45% who want the opposite.

[3.15] Among Republicans only, 41% say they would support a universal health care plan that was funded by the federal government; 46% support “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American”; 30% believe government has a responsibility “to make sure all Americans have health coverage.”

[3.16] 43% of Americans agree with the statement, “The government should do more to help needy Americans, even if it means going deeper into debt.”

[3.17] 53% of Americans agree with the statement, “Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently.”


Updates

UPDATE 1: A few hopeful signs: Millennials cannot accurately define socialism

UPDATE 2: New survey indicates the depth and breadth of Americans’ misconceptions about basic civic, economic and social issues

UPDATE 3: Favorable view of socialism held by majority of Democrats, strong minorities of Republicans and independents

UPDATE 4: One-third of Americans favor giving illegal aliens the “right” to vote

UPDATE 5: Videos give indication of how easily U.S. college students are willing to sacrifice their First Amendment rights, on the altar of PC madness

UPDATE 6: Video exposes Americans’ geographic illiteracy


UPDATE 1: A few hopeful signs: Millennials cannot accurately define socialism

Granted, the above data is beyond grim. There is, however, a bright spot: the fact that because Millennials’ perceptions are based almost entirely on lies and emotional appeals, empirical and anecdotal evidence shows that most have little to no idea what socialism, fascism and communism actually are — even according to the loose, obscure definitions upon which the following research was based:

[3.18] According to a 2017 survey, only 29% of Millennials could correctly identify even a loose definition of communism; most cannot define fascism or socialism.

[3.19] Even though most Millennials claim to support socialism, as a recent series of random “man-on-the-street” video interviews show, none could accurately describe it.


UPDATE 2: New survey indicates the depth and breadth of Americans’ misconceptions about basic civic, economic and social issues

On November 15, 2017, JustFacts released a comprehensive survey of American adults from across the political spectrum:

National Poll Shows Voters Are Widely Misinformed About Key Issues, by James D. Agresti, JustFacts.com, November 15, 2017.

The results validated, and amplified the data cited elsewhere on this page, regarding the depth of breadth of misconceptions about basic civic, economic and social issues.  Excerpts:

  • (6) 79% of Americans are unaware that the upper 1% of income earners pay a far greater portion of their income in federal taxes (34%) than the middle class (13%).  The least-informed group: only 8% of Democrats got this right.
  • (8) 64% of Americans are unaware that the U.S. spends more on Medicare, education, and food stamps than on national defense. The least-informed group: only 17% of Democrats got this right.
  • (12) 75% of Americans are unaware that the number and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms have not increased since the 1980s. The least-informed group: only 6% of Democrats got this right.

UPDATE 3: Favorable view of socialism held by majority of Democrats, strong minorities of Republicans and independents

According to a July 2018 survey of 1,000 adults nationwide by Rasmussen Reports:

51% of Democrats have a favorable impression of socialism, with 13% who share a Very Favorable one. This compares to favorables of 21% among GOP voters and 26% among unaffiliateds.

According to a September 2019 report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, among U.S. colleges and universities:

  • 82% do not require students to take a foundational course in U.S. government or history.
  • 43% do not require students to take a college-level mathematics course.
  • 68% do not require students to study literature.
  • 88% do not require intermediate-level foreign language courses.
  • 97% do not require a course in economics.

UPDATE 4: One-third of Americans favor giving illegal aliens the “right” to vote

According to a July 2018 survey of 1,000 registered voters nationwide by The Hill:

Ninety-one percent of Republicans polled said they opposed giving the right to vote to noncitizens, as did 54 percent of Democrats.  Seventy percent of independents said they were also in opposition to the decision.

When respondents were asked the same question but with the wording changed to include the term “illegal immigrants” instead of non-U.S. citizens, the results were nearly the same.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they opposed the measure, while only 31 percent said they supported the measure.


UPDATE 5: Videos give indication of how easily U.S. college students are willing to sacrifice their First Amendment rights, on the altar of PC madness

(1) December 16, 2015: A video by Ami Horowitz, who was able to get 50 Yale students to sign a petition supporting the repeal of our First Amendment, in less than sixty minutes.

Yes, really.


(2) July 8, 2020: Campus Reform produces video that documents U.S. college students who’d be willing to sacrifice their First Amendment rights to avoid

See more at: WATCH: Young Americans willing to give up First Amendment rights to avoid offending others, by
Eduardo Neret, Campus Reform, July 7, 2020.


(4) Added complications: Most American adults — including college students — have limited functional literacy, and shortening attention spans

As if all the above weren’t troubling enough, our schools have also been graduating wave after wave of those whom it deems “educated,” but who struggle with basic literacy tasks:

[4.1] 50% of American adults cannot read above an 8th-grade level, and 25% cannot read above a 4th-grade level (functional illiteracy).

[4.2] Half the students at 4-year colleges, and 75% at community colleges, cannot perform complex but common literacy tasks, such as understanding the arguments in a newspaper editorial, or comparing the cost-per-ounce of food.

[4.3] Approximately one-third of freshmen at four-year colleges, and 42% of those at two-year colleges, had to take at least one remedial class in math, English or reading in 2007.

[4.4] As of 2004, annual corporate spending on remedial writing literacy exceeded $3 billion.

[4.5] Only 37% of 12th-graders (and 17% of black students) have achieved reading proficiency; only 25% (and 7% of blacks) are proficient in math. Yet approximately 80% of American adults graduate high school. Analysis by Dr. Walter Williams:

“Fraudulent high school diplomas aren’t the worst part of the fraud. Some of the greatest fraud occurs at the higher education levels—colleges and universities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of white high school graduates in 2016 enrolled in college, and 58 percent of black high school graduates enrolled in college.

“Here are my questions to you: If only 37 percent of white high school graduates test as college-ready, how come colleges are admitting 70 percent of them? And if roughly 17 percent of black high school graduates test as college-ready, how come colleges are admitting 58 percent of them?”


UPDATE 6: Video exposes Americans’ geographic illiteracy

 


(5) My view on how to begin fighting to save America

Our “educational” system’s war on liberty, America, Western civilization, and literacy

The complete disconnect between knowledgeable advocates of liberty, and the average American

How to begin solving this problem – courtesy of Andrew Breitbart

The mission, as I define it

The need for completely fresh thinking and media approaches to overcome these obstacles

My mission


“The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows is nothing is nearer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

– Thomas Jefferson

As the birthplace of liberty, the history and requirements of freedom and human progress should be more well-known, cherished and vigorously defended on American soil than anywhere else on earth.

If Americans were merely unaware of the foundational knowledge necessary to understand, support and defend liberty, we would be far ahead of where we are today. Instead, this knowledge is being whitewashed out of existence, and replaced with ideas and perceptions that persuade the general public into hating the very ideology that has given them most everything they cherish – and whose destruction will lead to everything they claim to wish to avoid.


Our “educational” system’s war on liberty, America, Western civilization, and literacy

The data in this report regarding civic and historic ignorance and misconceptions among American adults, even among our most “educated,” is shocking – as is the fact that 50% of American adults cannot read above the 8th-grade level, and even most college students now struggle with basic literacy. But it becomes far more shocking when one considers the following facts:

  • Approximately 85% of U.S. adults hold high school diplomas – meaning, they were judged as having acquired the core civic, historic and economic literacy necessary to effectively function in, and help uphold our free society.
  • Nearly 30% of U.S. adults are college graduates – a status conferred because they presumably obtained the advanced knowledge necessary to function in leadership capacities.

silhoutte graduateConsider: What would happen to our culture if airline pilots, railroad engineers, software developers, were able to display certificates stating they had mastered the core knowledge necessary to do their jobs – yet harbored similar unawareness of, and misconceptions about the most basic elements of their professions? The very federal and state governments that are now engaged in this “educational” fraud would be on a veritable jihad to vilify, and criminally prosecute the perpetrators.

This has all happened despite the fact that on an inflation-adjusted, per-pupil basis, spending on “education” has skyrocketed over the past several generations. Only when taken in the context of the above facts can the true extent of our “educational” system’s active subversion of America become apparent.

The 1983 report A Nation At Risk described America’s devolving educational system, in part, as follows:

“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves. We have even squandered the gains in student achievement made in the wake of the Sputnik challenge. Moreover, we have dismantled essential support systems which helped make those gains possible. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.”

In the generation that passed since A Nation At Risk was published, it has become clear that America’s disintegration is not due to incompetence in our educational system, or to the general population’s intellectual laziness (although both are significant problems). What we are facing is indeed a war – but an undeclared, subversive one: a war to undermine, and ultimately obliterate our ability to comprehend liberty.

The fraud in, and subversion of our “educational” system has been allowed to continue year in and year out – and will continue to be, until and unless there is a peaceful, popular uprising to put a stop to it.

Here is part one of a three-part series that John Stossel produced that documents what America’s leaders have allowed to happen in, and to our schools (also see parts 2 and 3):


The complete disconnect between knowledgeable advocates of liberty, and the average American

How can Americans be expected to defend liberty if it has never been explained to them in a way that meets them where they are, intellectually and literacy-wise, and builds from there? If it is not presented in a way that is relevant to their and their children’s lives, the world they see around them? And if it isn’t based upon consistent, clearly-articulated principles, whose virtues are self-evident?

The answer is: They cannot. And this fact begs the question:

How long can the last embers of liberty be maintained, in the face of such hostility from our fellow citizens, and future “leaders”?

Given all the data in this report, and that which indicates the unsustainability of our current national trajectory, the answer is, “Not long.”

This reality gives rise to several additional questions:

  • How could so many liberty-oriented think tanks and activist groups have failed so completely, after having untold millions (billions?) of dollars poured into them through the years?
  • Why are advocates of anti-liberty principles so unrelentingly successful on a strategic level (the 2010 and 2014 mid-term elections neither slowed down nor fundamentally altered America’s trajectory to implosion)?

My answer: It is because the vast majority of liberty-oriented think tanks and activist groups continue to be hobbled by one or all of the deficiencies described earlier – most acutely, their failure to recognize where the American people are, intellectually and literacy-wise, and to craft educational and advocacy materials that begin there. And, to do these things while treating the public with respect, in regards to both the content that is presented, and how (esthetics).

It is as if they are so busy shouting into one end of a paper towel tube, they neither know nor care how it is coming out on the other end, to the very people they hope to persuade – who do not have the foundational knowledge to understand it, or find it too complex to even approach. Similarly, from my experience, many neither know nor care about things such as basic design principles, how art is actually constructed, and why our culture’s most popular court jesters (eg Jon Stewart) are able to persuade so many to support the basic tenets of tyranny, so easily. And in terms of political activism, most advocates for liberty (to any degree) are focused on delivering predigested, insufferably boring, red-meat appeals to “the choir,” to “get out the vote,” for momentary political victories.


How to begin solving this problem – courtesy of Andrew Breitbart

Internet Entrepreneur Andrew BreitbartThe late Andrew Breitbart shed important light on this problem, shortly before he passed away in 2012:

“Hollywood is more important than politics. It can’t be overstated how important this message is: pop culture matters. What happens in front of the cameras on a sound stage at the Warner Bros. lot often makes more difference to the fate of America than what happens in the back rooms at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. […] The left does not win its battles in debate. It doesn’t have to. In the twenty-first century, media is everything. The left wins because it controls the narrative. The narrative is controlled by the media. The left is the media. Narrative is everything.”

– Andrew’s book, “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save The World”

“The people who have money, every four years, at the last possible second, are told, ‘You need to give millions of dollars, because these four counties in Ohio are going to determine the election.’ I am saying, ‘Why didn’t we invest 20 years ago in a movie studio in Hollywood, why didn’t we invest in creating television shows, why didn’t we create institutions that would reflect and affirm that which is good about America?’”

– Andrew’s speech to the Council for National Policy, October 2009

I knew Andrew, and we discussed many times the tragic deficits of, and betrayals by those who profess to be standing for America’s core philosophy and values, or as Ayn Rand put it, its “sense of life.” Lest there be any doubt about these deficits, ask yourself: When is the last time you saw any public servant on Capitol Hill, or anywhere else, have a “hair-on-fire” presentation, sounding the alarm about what’s being done to our children, and our nation, but the “educational” system we are forced to financially enable?


The mission, as I define it

flintstonesjetsonsMerely catching up to the proficiency of anti-liberty activists’ media tools, strategies and tactics will not suffice to turn back the statist “tidal wave” that is approaching America, and Western civilization in general. We are now so far behind the other side that it is the equivalent of our being the Flintstones to their Jetsons.

The mission, in my view, must be far greater: it must be to create assets and approaches:

(a) That can leapfrog past the opposition

(b) That freedom advocates can have fun utilizing

I am not talking about “edu-tainment.” I am talking about the joy that can be derived from not just publicly defeating horrific, destructive ideas, but in lampooning and ridiculing their purveyors, and ultimately, making it “cool” to stand up for, and defends liberty.

For those who doubt what can be accomplished when one takes this approach, consider that out of the mind of a 19-year-old girl came a project that, with the help of a 25-year-old filmmaker, and a media strategy developed by Andrew Breitbart, served to take down in weeks a multi-billion-dollar, federally-funded “halo” organization that was dedicated to destroying liberty, through a variety of sinister schemes. An organization that even the most pro-liberty forces had conceded would remain in existence, because it was simply too powerful.

For a reminder, here is PJTV’s Bill Whittle, explaining the timeless warfighting strategy that Andrew Breitbart employed to do what the “experts” said was not possible – and why ACORN was not even his primary target:

Here is another terrific video by Bill, in which he explains why it should be easy to convince Millennials of the corrupt, vicious lies at the root of socialism, and why the vast majority of them actually support freedom and free enterprise — whether they know it or not.


The need for completely fresh thinking and media approaches to overcome these obstacles

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks and for years after, forward-thinking individuals in the Department of Defense recruited professionals from the creative arts, particularly Hollywood writers and directors, to help envision potential terrorist scenarios, as well as the means of countering them. This unconventional approach is credited with yielding solid results for those entrusted to keep America safe, after 9/11. [37]

Similarly, if America is to achieve a renaissance of liberty, a way must be found very soon to peacefully overcome the obstacles described in this document. Traditional media, and traditional thinking, will not suffice. This quest will require the enlistment of creative people who are able to:

  • Black youth tutoringLook at these obstacles from a completely fresh perspective.
  • Generate innovative solutions that can bridge the knowledge gap between top advocates of liberty (of the present and past), and the average American.
  • Be able to truly place oneself into the shoes of average Americans, and begin to view the world through their eyes, ears and literacy limitations; to immerse themselves in this paradigm, and build from there.

Bridging this gulf will not be easy, but it must be done; it is the single most vitally-important obstacle for advocates of liberty to address. And considering that the average American is exposed to between 3,500 and 5,000 marketing messages every day, the need to develop visual and video presentations that are capable of penetrating this clutter has never been greater.


My mission

The primary mission of my life is to use all my creative skills to develop innovative knowledge tools and activism strategies that will help foster a peaceful rebirth of liberty in America, which can then expand outward.

As I frame it in the rotating banner on my website’s front page:

 

What I possess to advance this mission is an array of skills and experience that have proven helpful in courtroom and advocacy applications, especially those related to liberty.

I do not, however, have a wall-full of academic degrees. I do not personally possess all the knowledge I would like to, regarding history, philosophy, economics, social and political science, psychology, etc. I am just an ordinary American who is self-educated in the basic elements of these subjects, and have committed my life to using my skills to advance crystal-clear public understanding of the miracle of liberty, and America, and why those with the least assets and options should be the most fervent supporters of liberty-oriented principles. I know this because I have been there. As I describe in my recent (first) book, an inspirational memoir about, in large part, the struggle to survive after an accident left me with an unusual, partially-disabling medical condition, and took away almost all of my assets.

After my artistic skills, my biggest asset in this realm is the fact that I know what it means to be on the receiving end of political propaganda, while being at the lowest end of the economic totem pole, without the technical knowledge to disseminate fact from fiction. And I know, at least from my perspective, why anti-liberty messages and media are so appealing to such a person, in the absence of a better messaging from those who support liberty.

The storehouses of knowledge necessary to articulate and defend liberty are out there, and there are people who are passionately devoted to getting this information into the public consciousness. But currently, there exists no equally passionate force that is capable of Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_1800translating that knowledge into a format that the average American today can find not only understandable, but so moving and compelling that they find themselves motivated to act, to preserve, as Abraham Lincoln said, “this last, best hope for man on Earth.” Or, as Thomas Jefferson said:

“…to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.”

Between my original projects for liberty (email me for info), and projects that I have helped to develop for others (portfolio), properly utilized I can act as a “translatory conduit” between (a) those possessing the most knowledge of subject matter that is vital to understanding and appreciating liberty, and (b) the general public. It is to these missions that I have committed the remainder of my life, and am prepared to begin this journey immediately.


(6) Additional reading: Select writings on how to wage this war

Can This Generation Be Saved?, by Jennifer Polk, American Greatness, November 26, 2017.

Teenage brains can’t tell what’s important and what isn’t, by Jessica Hamzelou, New Scientist, November 28, 2017.

This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit, by Tobias Rose-Stockwell, Medium, July 14, 2017.


Sources

(1) Tilling the soil: Separating Americans from vital historical and civic knowledge

[1.1] U.S. Department of Education; cited in: “Why History?,” Readers Digest, December 2002, p.88.

[1.2]  NAEP 2010 data; cited in: “Grade 12 National Results.”

[1.3] 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

[1.4] 2012 survey by Xavier University; cited in: “U.S. Naturalization Citizen Test: National Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens.”

[1.5] 2012 survey by Xavier University; cited in: “U.S. Naturalization Citizen Test: National Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens.”

[1.6] 2018 Freedom Forum Institute’s annual “State of the First Amendment” survey; 2006 survey by Synovate for the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, cited in the Washington Post on March 3, 2006; Survey: Most students favor colleges restricting speech, by Mckenna Dallmeyer, Campus Reform, May 7, 2020.

[1.7] 2012 survey by Xavier University; “U.S. Naturalization Citizen Test: National Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens.”

[1.8] 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

[1.9] 2017 Annenberg Public Policy Center survey; cited in “Americans know literally nothing about the Constitution,” by Chris Cillizza, CNN.com, September 13, 2017.

[1.10] 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

[1.11] 2016 survey data from the “National Capability Study” by the FINRA Foundation, cited in “Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Can’t Pass a Basic Test of Financial Literacy,” by Madeline Farber, Fortune, July 12, 2016; National Council on Economic Education survey data, cited in “Survey Finds Many Have Poor Grasp of Basic Economics,” by Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times, April 27, 2005.

[1.12] Report: “What American Teens & Adults Know About Economics,” The National Council on Economic Education, April 26, 2005.

[1.13] 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

[1.14] Report: “What American Teens & Adults Know About Economics,” The National Council on Economic Education, April 26, 2005.

[1.15] National Council on Economic Education data, cited in: “It’s Economics, Stupid!,” by David Azerrad, American Council of Trustees & Alumni InFocus, Summer 2009.

[1.16] National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs research, cited in: “2006 Geographic Literacy Study.”  2015 follow-up data from the National Association of Educational Progress almost mirrored data regarding eighth-graders’ geographic literacy from 1994, cited in: “U.S. Students Are Really Bad at Geography: Your kid has no idea where Saudi Arabia – or maybe even South Carolina – is. Here’s why,” by Lauren Camera, U.S. News & World Report, October 16, 2015.


(2) Planting the seeds: Injecting our culture with counter-knowledge regarding history and civics

[2.1] Open Syllabus Project research, cited in: “Karl Marx is the most assigned economist in U.S. college classes,” by Tom Bemis, MarketWatch.com, January 31, 2016.

[2.2] “Americans Don’t Know Their Constitution: Columbia Law Survey Finds Confusion Over Founding Fathers vs. Karl Marx,” Columbia Law School,  May 29, 2002; “The American Public’s Knowledge of the U.S. Constitution: A Hearst Report” (New York, 1987).

[2.3] McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum national survey, cited in: “Noted With Interest,” by Christopher Lee, Washington Post, March 3, 2006.

[2.4] Brookings Institution research data, cited in: “Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey,” by John Villasenor, Brookings Institution, September 18, 2017.

[2.5] “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016, p. 5-6.

[2.6] “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016, p. 5-6.

[2.7] “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016, p. 3-4.


(3) The fruit borne of this campaign of subversion: Widespread, growing support for anti-freedom ideologies and policies

[3.1] “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016.

[3.2] Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation research data, cited in: “Millennials would rather live in socialist or communist nation than under capitalism: Poll; ‘This troubling turn highlights widespread historical illiteracy in American society’,” by Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, November 4, 2017.

[3.3] “Annual Report on US Attitudes towards Socialism 2017,” by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

[3.4] Ibid.

[3.5] Ibid.

[3.6] Brookings Institution research data, cited in: “Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey,” by John Villasenor, Brookings Institution, September 18, 2017.

[3.7] “The State of the First Amendment 2014,” survey by the First Amendment Center.

[3.8] An Economist-YouGov national survey, cited in: “Nearly half of Republicans approve closing media outlets for inaccuracy, bias: poll,” by Julia Manchester, The Hill, July 26, 2017; Ipsos national survey, cited in “43% of Republicans say Trump should be allowed to shut down media,” by Bob Fredericks, NY Post, August 7, 2018.

[3.9] YouGov national survey, cited in: “Half of Democrats support a ban on hate speech,” by Peter Moore, YouGov.com, May 20, 2015; Pew Research data, cited in “40% of Millennials OK with limiting speech offensive to minorities,” by Jacob Poushter, Pew Research Center, November 20, 2015.

[3.10] James L. Knight Foundation survey of 100,000 U.S. high school students, contained in “The Future of the First Amendment 2014.”

[3.11] Pew Center for People and the Press report, “Government, regulation and the social safety net,” October 5, 2017.

[3.12] Pew Center for People and the Press report, “Government, regulation and the social safety net,” October 5, 2017.

[3.13] Pew Research survey, cited in: “Survey: Majority of Americans back bigger government for first time in 8 years,” by Jessica Estepa, USA TODAY, April 24, 2017.  More data from: (1) Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research data, cited in, “AP-NORC Poll: Shift to political left seen on health care,” by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Laurie Kellman, AP, July 20, 2017; (2) Pew Research, cited in: “More Americans say government should ensure health care coverage,” by Kristen Bialik, Pew Research Center, January 13, 2017.

[3.14] Ibid.

[3.15] “Republicans Learn to Love Single-Payer Health Care; Almost half of the GOP now backs Medicare-for-all,” by Jesse Walker, Reason.com, April 6, 2017.

[3.16] Pew Research data, cited in: “Public is sharply divided in views of Americans in poverty,”
by Jens Manuel Krogstad and Kim Parker, September 16, 2014.

[3.17] Pew Center for People and the Press report, “Government, regulation and the social safety net,” October 5, 2017.

[3.18] “Annual Report on US Attitudes towards Socialism,” by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 2017; p. 15-17.

[3.19] “LOL VIDEO: College Students Super Excited About Socialism. But Then They’re Asked To Define It,” by James Barrett, Daily Wire, July 17, 2017.


(4) Added complications: Most American adults — including college students — have limited functional literacy, and shortening attention spans

[4.1] (1) National Center for Education Statistics; U.S. Department of Education’s 2003 report, “A First Look At The Literacy Of America’s Adults In The 21st Century”; (2) National Institute for Literacy; National Assessment of Adult Literacy; cited in “4th Annual E-Government Survey,” by Brown University (2004).

[4.2] Ibid.; “National Survey of America’s College Students,” Pew Charitable Trusts; cited in “Many College Students Poor On 3 Rs,” Associated Press, January 19, 2006.

[4.3] U.S. Department of Education data; cited in “High Remedial Education Rate Complicates U.S. College Completion Goal Push,” Christine Armario, Associated Press, May 12, 2010.

[4.4] College Board data; cited in “What Corporate America Can’t Build: A Sentence,” Sam Dillon, The New York Times, December 7, 2004.

[4.5] 2017 NAEP data, cited in “How Colleges Are Ripping Off a Generation of Ill-Prepared Students,” by Walter Williams, Intellectual Takeout, April 25, 2018.


Additional research

Summary:

52% of Millennials say they’d rather live in a socialist (46%) or communist (6%) country, vs. 40% why say they prefer to live in a capitalist country.

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – YouGov survey, 2018

Half (49.6 percent) of Millennials and Generation Z said they would prefer living in a socialist country.

Harris survey for Axios

The number of Millennials who say they approve of communism jumped from 28% in 2018 to 36% in 2019.

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – YouGov survey, 2019

55% of women between 18 and 54 would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist country.

Harris survey for Axios

70% of Millennials say that they would vote for a socialist for elective office (50% somewhat likely, 20% “extremely likely”).

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – YouGov survey, 2019

47% of Americans (across age and political spectrum) would vote for a socialist for president.

– Gallup survey 2019

61% of Americans aged between 18 and 24 have a positive reaction to the word “socialism.”

– Axios survey January 2019

39% of Americans overall have a favorable view of socialism; 64% of Democrats and 13% of Republicans have this view.

– Cato Institute 2019 survey

The percentage of Democrats who view socialism favorably grew from 25% in 1942, to 53% in 2010, to 57% in 2018, to 64% in 2019. From 2010-2018, an average of 17% of Republicans view socialism favorably.

– Roper survey 1942; Gallup surveys, 2o18, Cato Institute survey 2019.

The number of Americans ages 18-29 who view capitalism favorably dropped from 68% in 2010, to 57% in 2016, to 45% in 2018.

– Gallup survey, 2018

Only 12% of American high school seniors are proficient in history, which is their worst subject.

– YouGov survey, and NAEP, via Intellectual Takeout analysis

42% of Millennials are unfamiliar with Mao Tsetung; 32% of Millennials and GenExers believe George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin.

– YouGov survey, via Intellectual Takeout analysis

In the 2020 elections, for the first time, Millennials and members of Generation Z will form the largest voting bloc (37.5%).

– Pew Research, via Brookings Institution analysis

Gen Z and millennials are projected to make up 37% of the electorate in 2020, and what they’re looking for in a presidential candidate is shifting.

  • The top three voting issues for Gen Z, according to the Harris poll, are mass shootings, racial equality, and immigration policy and treatment of immigrants.
  • Millennials’ top issues are access to health care, global warming/climate change and mass shootings.

Percent of Millennials and Gen Z agreeing with the following statements (rounded):

  • Government should provide universal health care: 73%
  • Government should provide tuition-free college: 67%

  • Prefer living in a socialist country: 50%

  • Support abolishing ICE: 43%

All above are from Harris 2019 survey, via Axios


Boomer Socialism Led to Bernie Sanders – WSJ By Mene Ukueberuwa,

In 1974, pollster Daniel Yankelovich found that three-quarters of Americans 25 to 34 felt the country had “moved dangerously close to socialism.” […]

Edward Glaeser, a Harvard professor and Manhattan Institute senior fellow, believes the problem lies more in economics than culture or education.

Mr. Glaeser, 52, argues that young people have radicalized politically because “there are a number of ways in which the modern American economy isn’t working all that well for them.” Many public policies make it harder to get a job, save money or find an affordable home, leaving young idealists thinking, “Why not try socialism?” But that cure would merely worsen the disease.

Mr. Glaeser decries policies that constrain the job market and increase the cost of living compared with what the economy would produce if left alone. “In many cases,” he says, “there seems to be a sense in which insiders have managed to stack the deck against outsiders.” People who have secured a foothold in one way or another—homeowners, union laborers, retirees—have advocated policies that make it harder for “newcomers,” including immigrants and young people, to advance.

Consider the housing market. “In the 1960s and earlier,” Mr. Glaeser says, “America basically had a property-rights regime that meant that anyone who had a plot of land could pretty much put up anything reasonable on that plot of land.” Since then, cities and towns have circumscribed the areas where homes can be built, capped numbers of units, and imposed strict requirements on developers—all of which raise prices. “So there’s this intergenerational redistribution that’s occurred by restricting housing supply.”

People who bought homes while the rules were lenient, or who are wealthy enough to have bought lately, have seen their values soar. Meanwhile, “younger people just don’t have housing wealth.” By 2013, a 35- to 44-year-old person at the 75th percentile had less than half as much home equity (adjusted for inflation) as his counterpart did 30 years earlier.

Half of young Americans would rather live in a socialist country, survey finds   | Daily Mail Online

  • Half (49.6 percent) of Millennials and Generation Z said they would prefer living in a socialist country, compared to 37.2 percent of all U.S. adults who feel the same way.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73.2 percent) of people age 38 and younger believe the government should provide universal health care, according to a Harris Poll of 2,035 adults conducted for Axios.
  • By comparison, 66.7 percent of all American adults want universal health care.
  • A majority (67.1 percent) of young people also want the government to provide tuition-free college, while just 56.2 percent of all U.S. adults feel that way.
  • The shift in attitudes is expected to come into play in the 2020 presidential election, with the 18-38 set accounting for 37 percent of the electorate next year.

Exclusive poll: Young Americans are embracing socialism – Axios 

Gen Z and millennials are projected to make up 37% of the electorate in 2020, and what they’re looking for in a presidential candidate is shifting.

  • The top three voting issues for Gen Z, according to the Harris poll, are mass shootings, racial equality, and immigration policy and treatment of immigrants.
  • Millennials’ top issues are access to health care, global warming/climate change and mass shootings.
  • Gen X’s top issues are: access to health care, terrorism/national security and the national debt — the same top issues for boomers and older.

“Axios on HBO” poll: 55% of women prefer socialism – Axios June 9, 2019, citing Harris poll:

  • 55% of women between 18 and 54 would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist country

Between the lines: As the Harris poll results below show, the public has varying levels of agreement on what exactly constitutes a socialist political system.

  • Universal healthcare: 76%
  • Tuition free education: 72%
  • Living wage: 68%
  • State-controlled economy: 66%
  • State control and regulation of private property : 61%
  • High taxes for the rich: 60%
  • State-controlled media and communication: 57%
  • Workers own and control their places of employment: 48%
  • Democratically-elected government: 46%

 

 

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FOOTNOTES
37. te: This is an updated, slimmer version of an earlier research report I produced on these matters,  “The Obstacles to Advancing Liberty Today.”

Summary: America is standing at the edge of freedom and statist-collectivist tyranny. 

Unless we recognize this fact, and discover how we got here, there will be no way to prevent America from falling into the abyss, let alone restore it to a state of freedom and civility. 

The purpose of this page is to present research data that will help advance these objectives.

Given America’s completely unique nature, and the accomplishments it has produced in its comparatively short existence as a nation, it should be viewed by rational people within and beyond our borders as a miracle, and even with its flaws, a paradise on Earth. In a rational world, this knowledge would be passed down from generation to generation, and the principles of freedom, enshrined in our Constitution, fervently championed and defended by Americans from across the economic, ethnic and racial spectrum.

Instead, as the documentation on this page demonstrates:

  • Our “educational” system – the most expensive, per-pupil, in the world – confers high school diplomas and college degrees on “graduates” despite their lack of essential civic and historical knowledge, and the egregious misconceptions that they harbor about these issues.
  • For several generations, our children have not only not been infused with the core knowledge that is necessary to “preserve, protect and defend” America, they have been indoctrinated to view freedom in general, and America in particular, as the main problems in the world.
  • The result of this unchecked campaign of subversion, is that nearly 6 in 10 Americans under age 30 claim they would prefer to live under communism, socialism or fascism than under capitalism.

America cannot survive these trends, and time is rapidly running out before we reach a tipping point, at which the restoration of freedom will be impossible without a long, difficult, painful struggle.

The purpose of this page is to provide honest, motivated freedom advocates with a unified reference point of organized, accurate data, with which to clearly understand where we are — and where we are going, if these trends are not reversed, very soon.

I have formatted the data into three main categories, drawing an analogy to the process by which a farmer goes about raising a desired crop — which, I argue, is the only way by which this systematic process of subversion could have occurred, and is still occurring:

(1) Preparing the soil: Separating Americans from vital historical and civic knowledge

(2) Planting the seeds: Injecting our culture with counter-knowledge regarding history and civics

(3) The fruit borne of this campaign of subversion: Widespread, growing support for anti-freedom ideologies and policies

In the graphic at right, “Meet Today’s Typical Millennial,” I summarize the key findings on this page, and the role I aspire to play in reversing our situation.

My hope is that this page, and the way it is formatted, will serve as an anchor point upon which those who are interested in restoring freedom can have a fact-based discussion about where we are, how we got here, and develop peaceful, efficient means by which to extricate us.  The mission of my life is to employ all of my skills and creativity to make measurable progress towards this last objective.

Jon Sutz
Charlottesville, VA
November 2017


Contents

(1) Preparing the soil: Separating Americans from vital historical and civic knowledge

(2) Planting the seeds: Injecting our culture with counter-knowledge regarding history and civics

(3) The fruit borne of this campaign of subversion: Widespread, growing support for anti-freedom ideologies and policies

Updates: While Millennials cannot define socialism, most support it; Majority of Democrats, minority of Republicans view socialism favorably; 1/3 Americans support giving illegal aliens the “right” to vote; more

(4) Added complications: Most American adults — including college students — have limited functional literacy, and shortening attention spans

(5) My view on how to begin fighting to save America

(6) Additional reading: Select writings on how to wage this war


(1) Preparing the soil: Separating Americans from vital historical and civic knowledge

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

― George Orwell

The first step in the process of bringing America to this point was to use Orwell’s admonishment not as a warning, but as a road map.  Over the past several generations, we have produced wave after wave of high school and college graduates who possess little to no knowledge of American history, of the principles that undergird our founding documents, or of how our political-economic system is designed, or why.

History

[1.1] 80% of seniors at America’s most elite colleges and universities cannot pass a high school history test, yet all will be able to graduate without taking a single history class of any kind.

[1.2] 55% of high school seniors are “below basic” in a test of U.S. history — the lowest ranking, meaning they have not even achieved partial mastery of this knowledge; 88% score below “proficient,” the second-highest ranking.  These numbers have not moved significantly since 1994.

[1.3] Less than 30% of American adults can pass a test of basic U.S. history and civics.

U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence

[1.4] Less than 50% of American adults understand the basic purpose of the Constitution, or can identify even one of their rights under it.

[1.5] 71% of American adults are unaware that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land; 85% cannot define “the rule of law.”

[1.6] 40% of American adults cannot identify a single right protected by the First Amendment. 21% said it contains the “right to own a pet”; 17% said it contains the “right to drive a car.”  UPDATE, May 2020: According to a Gallup survey, Only 50 percent of college students can correctly answer one or more questions about the First Amendment; 48% believe it does not protect “hate speech”; “only 23% of self-identified Democrat students know that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, compared with 48 percent of Republican students.”

[1.7] 82% of American adults cannot identify two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence.

[1.8] Nearly half of U.S. college graduates don’t know that the U.S. Constitution establishes a separation of powers within the federal government.

[1.9] Only 26% of Americans can identify all three branches of the government — a sharp decline from 2011, when 38% could do so.

[1.10] Elected officials at all levels in the U.S. are even less literate regarding U.S. history and civics than the general population.

Economics

[1.11] 57% of U.S. high schoolers score below proficiency regarding knowledge of basic economic principles; less than half can correctly define the term “budget deficit”; nearly half cannot identify what the stock market does, or its relationship to our economy.

[1.12] Almost half of U.S. teens and adults believe the statement, “Money holds its value well in times of inflation,” is correct.

[1.13] 83% of U.S. college graduates and 68% of elected officials cannot identify the functional differences between the free market and a command economy.

[1.14] 60% of U.S. high school students, and 36% of adults, do not know that if a city government sets a maximum amount landlords can charge in rent, the most likely result is fewer apartments available than people want to rent.

[1.15] 54% of adults do not know what a subprime mortgage is.

Geography

[1.16] 50% of those age 18-24 cannot locate New York state on a map; 20% cannot locate the Pacific Ocean.


UPDATE, January 1, 2020: Yet another indication of the endemic fraud being perpetrated on the American people, via our government-run “educational” system:

 


(2) Planting the seeds: Injecting our culture with counter-knowledge regarding history and civics

Having prevented our children from gaining knowledge and appreciation of U.S. history, the next step in this process of subversion has been to plant the seeds of counter-knowledge about essential issues in their brains.  The first step, however, as documented in the first item below, has been to infuse the most “educated” among us with an appreciation of Marxist ideology:

Political philosophy & economics

[2.1] “The Communist Manifesto” is the most-assigned economics textbook in U.S. colleges, assigned more than twice as frequently as any other economics book.

U.S. Constitution

[2.2] 69% of American adults believe the phrase, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” is contained in the U.S. Constitution, or don’t know if it is or isn’t.  This number grew from 45% fifteen years earlier.

[2.3] 21% of American adults believe “the right to own a pet” is articulated in the First Amendment; 17% believe it contains “the right to drive a car.”

[2.4] 39% of American college students overall (including 44% of Republican students) believe the U.S. Constitution does not protect “hate speech.”

History

[2.5] 26% of Americans overall, and 32% of Millennials, believe President George W. Bush killed more people than Joseph Stalin.

[2.6] 80% of Millennials, and 88% of Generation Z (those born after 1993), are unaware that at least 100 million people were murdered by the most notable communist regimes of the 20th century.

[2.7] While many Millennials and Generation Xers are unaware of the most murderous communist leaders of the 20th century, a significant minority of those who are aware of them view them favorably:

♦ 58% are familiar with Mao Zedong – and 18% have a favorable impression of him.

♦ 67% are familiar with Vladmir Lenin – and 25% have a favorable impression of him.

♦ 60% are familiar with Che Gueverra – and 37% have a favorable impression of him.


(3) The fruit borne of this campaign of subversion: Widespread, growing support for anti-freedom ideologies and policies

Having obliterated our children’s understanding of U.S. history and the virtues of the American republic, and infusing them with the seeds of counter-knowledge, we’ve now witnessed several generations of graduates of our “educational” institutions harboring support for anti-freedom ideologies, policies and political candidates.

Support for communist, socialist or fascist policies, principles and candidates

UPDATE May 2019, from Gallup: “43% of Americans say ‘socialism would be a good thing for the country’; A majority of Democrats have said they view socialism positively in Gallup polling since 2010, including 57% in the most recent measure in 2018.”

[3.1] 64% of Americans overall (across political parties) now agree with Marx’s core doctrine, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

[3.2] 58% of American Millennials say they would rather live under either communism, socialism or fascism, than under capitalism; UPDATE, January 2019: “61% of Americans aged between 18 and 24 have a positive reaction to the word “socialism.”

[3.3] 45% of 16-20-year-olds say they would vote for a socialist; 21% say they would vote for a communist.

UPDATE, October 2019: 7 in 10 millennials say they would vote for a socialist, and the number of Millennials who say they “approve of communism” jumped from 28% in 2018 to 36% in 2019.

[3.4] 53% of Millennials believe America’s economic system works against them.

[3.5] Overall, 40% of Americans say a “complete change” of our economic system is needed, “to ensure highest earners pay their fair share.” [Presumably, few if any know that the top 1% pay 39.5% of all income taxes, more than the bottom 90% combined.]

Support for anti-free speech policies, and violent suppression of those with different views

[3.6] 19% of American college students overall (including 22% of Republican students) believe it is “acceptable” to initiate violence to prevent a invited guest from speaking on campus, if his/her critics claim s/he makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”

[3.7] 38 percent of American adults think the First Amendment “goes too far” in protecting freedom of expression.

[3.8] 45% of Republicans believe courts should have the power to shut down media outlets for publishing “biased,” or “inaccurate” information, while 20% disagree; 18% of Democrats support courts shutting such outlets down, while 39% disagree; 43% of Republicans believe President Trump “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.”

[3.9] 51% of Democrats, and 37% of Republicans support passing a law that would criminalize “hate speech,” meaning any statement or expression that a racial, religious, sexual or ethnic minority might find offensive; 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 support government censorship of “statements that are offensive to minority groups.” UPDATE: In March 2017, a significant portion of Georgetown University students, as well as its Saudifunded “Bridge Initiative,” opposed and shouted down a former Muslim who was invited to speak, about her criticism of sharia law, claiming she was engaging in “hate speech.”

[3.10] 39% of high school students disagree with the statement, “Newspapers should be allowed to freely publish without government approval of stories.”

Support for anti-free market policies

[3.11] 59% of Americans believe “businesses make too much profit.” [Presumably this is a function of the misinformation campaigns directed at the general public, which has caused them to falsely believe that businesses make 5-12 times as much average profit as they do.]

[3.12] 50% believe government regulation of business “is necessary to protect the public.”

Support for the welfare state

[3.13] 62% of U.S. adults across the political spectrum say the federal government has the responsibility to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage

[3.14] 48% of Americans say they want a bigger government that provides more services, versus 45% who want the opposite.

[3.15] Among Republicans only, 41% say they would support a universal health care plan that was funded by the federal government; 46% support “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American”; 30% believe government has a responsibility “to make sure all Americans have health coverage.”

[3.16] 43% of Americans agree with the statement, “The government should do more to help needy Americans, even if it means going deeper into debt.”

[3.17] 53% of Americans agree with the statement, “Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently.”


Updates

UPDATE 1: A few hopeful signs: Millennials cannot accurately define socialism

UPDATE 2: New survey indicates the depth and breadth of Americans’ misconceptions about basic civic, economic and social issues

UPDATE 3: Favorable view of socialism held by majority of Democrats, strong minorities of Republicans and independents

UPDATE 4: One-third of Americans favor giving illegal aliens the “right” to vote

UPDATE 5: Videos give indication of how easily U.S. college students are willing to sacrifice their First Amendment rights, on the altar of PC madness

UPDATE 6: Video exposes Americans’ geographic illiteracy


UPDATE 1: A few hopeful signs: Millennials cannot accurately define socialism

Granted, the above data is beyond grim. There is, however, a bright spot: the fact that because Millennials’ perceptions are based almost entirely on lies and emotional appeals, empirical and anecdotal evidence shows that most have little to no idea what socialism, fascism and communism actually are — even according to the loose, obscure definitions upon which the following research was based:

[3.18] According to a 2017 survey, only 29% of Millennials could correctly identify even a loose definition of communism; most cannot define fascism or socialism.

[3.19] Even though most Millennials claim to support socialism, as a recent series of random “man-on-the-street” video interviews show, none could accurately describe it.


UPDATE 2: New survey indicates the depth and breadth of Americans’ misconceptions about basic civic, economic and social issues

On November 15, 2017, JustFacts released a comprehensive survey of American adults from across the political spectrum:

National Poll Shows Voters Are Widely Misinformed About Key Issues, by James D. Agresti, JustFacts.com, November 15, 2017.

The results validated, and amplified the data cited elsewhere on this page, regarding the depth of breadth of misconceptions about basic civic, economic and social issues.  Excerpts:

  • (6) 79% of Americans are unaware that the upper 1% of income earners pay a far greater portion of their income in federal taxes (34%) than the middle class (13%).  The least-informed group: only 8% of Democrats got this right.
  • (8) 64% of Americans are unaware that the U.S. spends more on Medicare, education, and food stamps than on national defense. The least-informed group: only 17% of Democrats got this right.
  • (12) 75% of Americans are unaware that the number and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms have not increased since the 1980s. The least-informed group: only 6% of Democrats got this right.

UPDATE 3: Favorable view of socialism held by majority of Democrats, strong minorities of Republicans and independents

According to a July 2018 survey of 1,000 adults nationwide by Rasmussen Reports:

51% of Democrats have a favorable impression of socialism, with 13% who share a Very Favorable one. This compares to favorables of 21% among GOP voters and 26% among unaffiliateds.

According to a September 2019 report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, among U.S. colleges and universities:

  • 82% do not require students to take a foundational course in U.S. government or history.
  • 43% do not require students to take a college-level mathematics course.
  • 68% do not require students to study literature.
  • 88% do not require intermediate-level foreign language courses.
  • 97% do not require a course in economics.

UPDATE 4: One-third of Americans favor giving illegal aliens the “right” to vote

According to a July 2018 survey of 1,000 registered voters nationwide by The Hill:

Ninety-one percent of Republicans polled said they opposed giving the right to vote to noncitizens, as did 54 percent of Democrats.  Seventy percent of independents said they were also in opposition to the decision.

When respondents were asked the same question but with the wording changed to include the term “illegal immigrants” instead of non-U.S. citizens, the results were nearly the same.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they opposed the measure, while only 31 percent said they supported the measure.


UPDATE 5: Videos give indication of how easily U.S. college students are willing to sacrifice their First Amendment rights, on the altar of PC madness

(1) December 16, 2015: A video by Ami Horowitz, who was able to get 50 Yale students to sign a petition supporting the repeal of our First Amendment, in less than sixty minutes.

Yes, really.


(2) July 8, 2020: Campus Reform produces video that documents U.S. college students who’d be willing to sacrifice their First Amendment rights to avoid

See more at: WATCH: Young Americans willing to give up First Amendment rights to avoid offending others, by
Eduardo Neret, Campus Reform, July 7, 2020.


(4) Added complications: Most American adults — including college students — have limited functional literacy, and shortening attention spans

As if all the above weren’t troubling enough, our schools have also been graduating wave after wave of those whom it deems “educated,” but who struggle with basic literacy tasks:

[4.1] 50% of American adults cannot read above an 8th-grade level, and 25% cannot read above a 4th-grade level (functional illiteracy).

[4.2] Half the students at 4-year colleges, and 75% at community colleges, cannot perform complex but common literacy tasks, such as understanding the arguments in a newspaper editorial, or comparing the cost-per-ounce of food.

[4.3] Approximately one-third of freshmen at four-year colleges, and 42% of those at two-year colleges, had to take at least one remedial class in math, English or reading in 2007.

[4.4] As of 2004, annual corporate spending on remedial writing literacy exceeded $3 billion.

[4.5] Only 37% of 12th-graders (and 17% of black students) have achieved reading proficiency; only 25% (and 7% of blacks) are proficient in math. Yet approximately 80% of American adults graduate high school. Analysis by Dr. Walter Williams:

“Fraudulent high school diplomas aren’t the worst part of the fraud. Some of the greatest fraud occurs at the higher education levels—colleges and universities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of white high school graduates in 2016 enrolled in college, and 58 percent of black high school graduates enrolled in college.

“Here are my questions to you: If only 37 percent of white high school graduates test as college-ready, how come colleges are admitting 70 percent of them? And if roughly 17 percent of black high school graduates test as college-ready, how come colleges are admitting 58 percent of them?”


UPDATE 6: Video exposes Americans’ geographic illiteracy

 


(5) My view on how to begin fighting to save America

Our “educational” system’s war on liberty, America, Western civilization, and literacy

The complete disconnect between knowledgeable advocates of liberty, and the average American

How to begin solving this problem – courtesy of Andrew Breitbart

The mission, as I define it

The need for completely fresh thinking and media approaches to overcome these obstacles

My mission


“The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows is nothing is nearer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

– Thomas Jefferson

As the birthplace of liberty, the history and requirements of freedom and human progress should be more well-known, cherished and vigorously defended on American soil than anywhere else on earth.

If Americans were merely unaware of the foundational knowledge necessary to understand, support and defend liberty, we would be far ahead of where we are today. Instead, this knowledge is being whitewashed out of existence, and replaced with ideas and perceptions that persuade the general public into hating the very ideology that has given them most everything they cherish – and whose destruction will lead to everything they claim to wish to avoid.


Our “educational” system’s war on liberty, America, Western civilization, and literacy

The data in this report regarding civic and historic ignorance and misconceptions among American adults, even among our most “educated,” is shocking – as is the fact that 50% of American adults cannot read above the 8th-grade level, and even most college students now struggle with basic literacy. But it becomes far more shocking when one considers the following facts:

  • Approximately 85% of U.S. adults hold high school diplomas – meaning, they were judged as having acquired the core civic, historic and economic literacy necessary to effectively function in, and help uphold our free society.
  • Nearly 30% of U.S. adults are college graduates – a status conferred because they presumably obtained the advanced knowledge necessary to function in leadership capacities.

silhoutte graduateConsider: What would happen to our culture if airline pilots, railroad engineers, software developers, were able to display certificates stating they had mastered the core knowledge necessary to do their jobs – yet harbored similar unawareness of, and misconceptions about the most basic elements of their professions? The very federal and state governments that are now engaged in this “educational” fraud would be on a veritable jihad to vilify, and criminally prosecute the perpetrators.

This has all happened despite the fact that on an inflation-adjusted, per-pupil basis, spending on “education” has skyrocketed over the past several generations. Only when taken in the context of the above facts can the true extent of our “educational” system’s active subversion of America become apparent.

The 1983 report A Nation At Risk described America’s devolving educational system, in part, as follows:

“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves. We have even squandered the gains in student achievement made in the wake of the Sputnik challenge. Moreover, we have dismantled essential support systems which helped make those gains possible. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.”

In the generation that passed since A Nation At Risk was published, it has become clear that America’s disintegration is not due to incompetence in our educational system, or to the general population’s intellectual laziness (although both are significant problems). What we are facing is indeed a war – but an undeclared, subversive one: a war to undermine, and ultimately obliterate our ability to comprehend liberty.

The fraud in, and subversion of our “educational” system has been allowed to continue year in and year out – and will continue to be, until and unless there is a peaceful, popular uprising to put a stop to it.

Here is part one of a three-part series that John Stossel produced that documents what America’s leaders have allowed to happen in, and to our schools (also see parts 2 and 3):


The complete disconnect between knowledgeable advocates of liberty, and the average American

How can Americans be expected to defend liberty if it has never been explained to them in a way that meets them where they are, intellectually and literacy-wise, and builds from there? If it is not presented in a way that is relevant to their and their children’s lives, the world they see around them? And if it isn’t based upon consistent, clearly-articulated principles, whose virtues are self-evident?

The answer is: They cannot. And this fact begs the question:

How long can the last embers of liberty be maintained, in the face of such hostility from our fellow citizens, and future “leaders”?

Given all the data in this report, and that which indicates the unsustainability of our current national trajectory, the answer is, “Not long.”

This reality gives rise to several additional questions:

  • How could so many liberty-oriented think tanks and activist groups have failed so completely, after having untold millions (billions?) of dollars poured into them through the years?
  • Why are advocates of anti-liberty principles so unrelentingly successful on a strategic level (the 2010 and 2014 mid-term elections neither slowed down nor fundamentally altered America’s trajectory to implosion)?

My answer: It is because the vast majority of liberty-oriented think tanks and activist groups continue to be hobbled by one or all of the deficiencies described earlier – most acutely, their failure to recognize where the American people are, intellectually and literacy-wise, and to craft educational and advocacy materials that begin there. And, to do these things while treating the public with respect, in regards to both the content that is presented, and how (esthetics).

It is as if they are so busy shouting into one end of a paper towel tube, they neither know nor care how it is coming out on the other end, to the very people they hope to persuade – who do not have the foundational knowledge to understand it, or find it too complex to even approach. Similarly, from my experience, many neither know nor care about things such as basic design principles, how art is actually constructed, and why our culture’s most popular court jesters (eg Jon Stewart) are able to persuade so many to support the basic tenets of tyranny, so easily. And in terms of political activism, most advocates for liberty (to any degree) are focused on delivering predigested, insufferably boring, red-meat appeals to “the choir,” to “get out the vote,” for momentary political victories.


How to begin solving this problem – courtesy of Andrew Breitbart

Internet Entrepreneur Andrew BreitbartThe late Andrew Breitbart shed important light on this problem, shortly before he passed away in 2012:

“Hollywood is more important than politics. It can’t be overstated how important this message is: pop culture matters. What happens in front of the cameras on a sound stage at the Warner Bros. lot often makes more difference to the fate of America than what happens in the back rooms at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. […] The left does not win its battles in debate. It doesn’t have to. In the twenty-first century, media is everything. The left wins because it controls the narrative. The narrative is controlled by the media. The left is the media. Narrative is everything.”

– Andrew’s book, “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save The World”

“The people who have money, every four years, at the last possible second, are told, ‘You need to give millions of dollars, because these four counties in Ohio are going to determine the election.’ I am saying, ‘Why didn’t we invest 20 years ago in a movie studio in Hollywood, why didn’t we invest in creating television shows, why didn’t we create institutions that would reflect and affirm that which is good about America?’”

– Andrew’s speech to the Council for National Policy, October 2009

I knew Andrew, and we discussed many times the tragic deficits of, and betrayals by those who profess to be standing for America’s core philosophy and values, or as Ayn Rand put it, its “sense of life.” Lest there be any doubt about these deficits, ask yourself: When is the last time you saw any public servant on Capitol Hill, or anywhere else, have a “hair-on-fire” presentation, sounding the alarm about what’s being done to our children, and our nation, but the “educational” system we are forced to financially enable?


The mission, as I define it

flintstonesjetsonsMerely catching up to the proficiency of anti-liberty activists’ media tools, strategies and tactics will not suffice to turn back the statist “tidal wave” that is approaching America, and Western civilization in general. We are now so far behind the other side that it is the equivalent of our being the Flintstones to their Jetsons.

The mission, in my view, must be far greater: it must be to create assets and approaches:

(a) That can leapfrog past the opposition

(b) That freedom advocates can have fun utilizing

I am not talking about “edu-tainment.” I am talking about the joy that can be derived from not just publicly defeating horrific, destructive ideas, but in lampooning and ridiculing their purveyors, and ultimately, making it “cool” to stand up for, and defends liberty.

For those who doubt what can be accomplished when one takes this approach, consider that out of the mind of a 19-year-old girl came a project that, with the help of a 25-year-old filmmaker, and a media strategy developed by Andrew Breitbart, served to take down in weeks a multi-billion-dollar, federally-funded “halo” organization that was dedicated to destroying liberty, through a variety of sinister schemes. An organization that even the most pro-liberty forces had conceded would remain in existence, because it was simply too powerful.

For a reminder, here is PJTV’s Bill Whittle, explaining the timeless warfighting strategy that Andrew Breitbart employed to do what the “experts” said was not possible – and why ACORN was not even his primary target:

Here is another terrific video by Bill, in which he explains why it should be easy to convince Millennials of the corrupt, vicious lies at the root of socialism, and why the vast majority of them actually support freedom and free enterprise — whether they know it or not.


The need for completely fresh thinking and media approaches to overcome these obstacles

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks and for years after, forward-thinking individuals in the Department of Defense recruited professionals from the creative arts, particularly Hollywood writers and directors, to help envision potential terrorist scenarios, as well as the means of countering them. This unconventional approach is credited with yielding solid results for those entrusted to keep America safe, after 9/11. {{37}}

Similarly, if America is to achieve a renaissance of liberty, a way must be found very soon to peacefully overcome the obstacles described in this document. Traditional media, and traditional thinking, will not suffice. This quest will require the enlistment of creative people who are able to:

  • Black youth tutoringLook at these obstacles from a completely fresh perspective.
  • Generate innovative solutions that can bridge the knowledge gap between top advocates of liberty (of the present and past), and the average American.
  • Be able to truly place oneself into the shoes of average Americans, and begin to view the world through their eyes, ears and literacy limitations; to immerse themselves in this paradigm, and build from there.

Bridging this gulf will not be easy, but it must be done; it is the single most vitally-important obstacle for advocates of liberty to address. And considering that the average American is exposed to between 3,500 and 5,000 marketing messages every day, the need to develop visual and video presentations that are capable of penetrating this clutter has never been greater.


My mission

The primary mission of my life is to use all my creative skills to develop innovative knowledge tools and activism strategies that will help foster a peaceful rebirth of liberty in America, which can then expand outward.

As I frame it in the rotating banner on my website’s front page:

 

What I possess to advance this mission is an array of skills and experience that have proven helpful in courtroom and advocacy applications, especially those related to liberty.

I do not, however, have a wall-full of academic degrees. I do not personally possess all the knowledge I would like to, regarding history, philosophy, economics, social and political science, psychology, etc. I am just an ordinary American who is self-educated in the basic elements of these subjects, and have committed my life to using my skills to advance crystal-clear public understanding of the miracle of liberty, and America, and why those with the least assets and options should be the most fervent supporters of liberty-oriented principles. I know this because I have been there. As I describe in my recent (first) book, an inspirational memoir about, in large part, the struggle to survive after an accident left me with an unusual, partially-disabling medical condition, and took away almost all of my assets.

After my artistic skills, my biggest asset in this realm is the fact that I know what it means to be on the receiving end of political propaganda, while being at the lowest end of the economic totem pole, without the technical knowledge to disseminate fact from fiction. And I know, at least from my perspective, why anti-liberty messages and media are so appealing to such a person, in the absence of a better messaging from those who support liberty.

The storehouses of knowledge necessary to articulate and defend liberty are out there, and there are people who are passionately devoted to getting this information into the public consciousness. But currently, there exists no equally passionate force that is capable of Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_1800translating that knowledge into a format that the average American today can find not only understandable, but so moving and compelling that they find themselves motivated to act, to preserve, as Abraham Lincoln said, “this last, best hope for man on Earth.” Or, as Thomas Jefferson said:

“…to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.”

Between my original projects for liberty (email me for info), and projects that I have helped to develop for others (portfolio), properly utilized I can act as a “translatory conduit” between (a) those possessing the most knowledge of subject matter that is vital to understanding and appreciating liberty, and (b) the general public. It is to these missions that I have committed the remainder of my life, and am prepared to begin this journey immediately.


(6) Additional reading: Select writings on how to wage this war

Can This Generation Be Saved?, by Jennifer Polk, American Greatness, November 26, 2017.

Teenage brains can’t tell what’s important and what isn’t, by Jessica Hamzelou, New Scientist, November 28, 2017.

This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit, by Tobias Rose-Stockwell, Medium, July 14, 2017.


Sources

(1) Tilling the soil: Separating Americans from vital historical and civic knowledge

[1.1] U.S. Department of Education; cited in: “Why History?,” Readers Digest, December 2002, p.88.

[1.2]  NAEP 2010 data; cited in: “Grade 12 National Results.”

[1.3] 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

[1.4] 2012 survey by Xavier University; cited in: “U.S. Naturalization Citizen Test: National Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens.”

[1.5] 2012 survey by Xavier University; cited in: “U.S. Naturalization Citizen Test: National Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens.”

[1.6] 2018 Freedom Forum Institute’s annual “State of the First Amendment” survey; 2006 survey by Synovate for the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, cited in the Washington Post on March 3, 2006; Survey: Most students favor colleges restricting speech, by Mckenna Dallmeyer, Campus Reform, May 7, 2020.

[1.7] 2012 survey by Xavier University; “U.S. Naturalization Citizen Test: National Survey of Native-Born U.S. Citizens.”

[1.8] 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

[1.9] 2017 Annenberg Public Policy Center survey; cited in “Americans know literally nothing about the Constitution,” by Chris Cillizza, CNN.com, September 13, 2017.

[1.10] 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

[1.11] 2016 survey data from the “National Capability Study” by the FINRA Foundation, cited in “Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Can’t Pass a Basic Test of Financial Literacy,” by Madeline Farber, Fortune, July 12, 2016; National Council on Economic Education survey data, cited in “Survey Finds Many Have Poor Grasp of Basic Economics,” by Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times, April 27, 2005.

[1.12] Report: “What American Teens & Adults Know About Economics,” The National Council on Economic Education, April 26, 2005.

[1.13] 2008 Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey data, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage.”

[1.14] Report: “What American Teens & Adults Know About Economics,” The National Council on Economic Education, April 26, 2005.

[1.15] National Council on Economic Education data, cited in: “It’s Economics, Stupid!,” by David Azerrad, American Council of Trustees & Alumni InFocus, Summer 2009.

[1.16] National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs research, cited in: “2006 Geographic Literacy Study.”  2015 follow-up data from the National Association of Educational Progress almost mirrored data regarding eighth-graders’ geographic literacy from 1994, cited in: “U.S. Students Are Really Bad at Geography: Your kid has no idea where Saudi Arabia – or maybe even South Carolina – is. Here’s why,” by Lauren Camera, U.S. News & World Report, October 16, 2015.


(2) Planting the seeds: Injecting our culture with counter-knowledge regarding history and civics

[2.1] Open Syllabus Project research, cited in: “Karl Marx is the most assigned economist in U.S. college classes,” by Tom Bemis, MarketWatch.com, January 31, 2016.

[2.2] “Americans Don’t Know Their Constitution: Columbia Law Survey Finds Confusion Over Founding Fathers vs. Karl Marx,” Columbia Law School,  May 29, 2002; “The American Public’s Knowledge of the U.S. Constitution: A Hearst Report” (New York, 1987).

[2.3] McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum national survey, cited in: “Noted With Interest,” by Christopher Lee, Washington Post, March 3, 2006.

[2.4] Brookings Institution research data, cited in: “Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey,” by John Villasenor, Brookings Institution, September 18, 2017.

[2.5] “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016, p. 5-6.

[2.6] “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016, p. 5-6.

[2.7] “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016, p. 3-4.


(3) The fruit borne of this campaign of subversion: Widespread, growing support for anti-freedom ideologies and policies

[3.1] “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 17, 2016.

[3.2] Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation research data, cited in: “Millennials would rather live in socialist or communist nation than under capitalism: Poll; ‘This troubling turn highlights widespread historical illiteracy in American society’,” by Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, November 4, 2017.

[3.3] “Annual Report on US Attitudes towards Socialism 2017,” by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

[3.4] Ibid.

[3.5] Ibid.

[3.6] Brookings Institution research data, cited in: “Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey,” by John Villasenor, Brookings Institution, September 18, 2017.

[3.7] “The State of the First Amendment 2014,” survey by the First Amendment Center.

[3.8] An Economist-YouGov national survey, cited in: “Nearly half of Republicans approve closing media outlets for inaccuracy, bias: poll,” by Julia Manchester, The Hill, July 26, 2017; Ipsos national survey, cited in “43% of Republicans say Trump should be allowed to shut down media,” by Bob Fredericks, NY Post, August 7, 2018.

[3.9] YouGov national survey, cited in: “Half of Democrats support a ban on hate speech,” by Peter Moore, YouGov.com, May 20, 2015; Pew Research data, cited in “40% of Millennials OK with limiting speech offensive to minorities,” by Jacob Poushter, Pew Research Center, November 20, 2015.

[3.10] James L. Knight Foundation survey of 100,000 U.S. high school students, contained in “The Future of the First Amendment 2014.”

[3.11] Pew Center for People and the Press report, “Government, regulation and the social safety net,” October 5, 2017.

[3.12] Pew Center for People and the Press report, “Government, regulation and the social safety net,” October 5, 2017.

[3.13] Pew Research survey, cited in: “Survey: Majority of Americans back bigger government for first time in 8 years,” by Jessica Estepa, USA TODAY, April 24, 2017.  More data from: (1) Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research data, cited in, “AP-NORC Poll: Shift to political left seen on health care,” by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Laurie Kellman, AP, July 20, 2017; (2) Pew Research, cited in: “More Americans say government should ensure health care coverage,” by Kristen Bialik, Pew Research Center, January 13, 2017.

[3.14] Ibid.

[3.15] “Republicans Learn to Love Single-Payer Health Care; Almost half of the GOP now backs Medicare-for-all,” by Jesse Walker, Reason.com, April 6, 2017.

[3.16] Pew Research data, cited in: “Public is sharply divided in views of Americans in poverty,”
by Jens Manuel Krogstad and Kim Parker, September 16, 2014.

[3.17] Pew Center for People and the Press report, “Government, regulation and the social safety net,” October 5, 2017.

[3.18] “Annual Report on US Attitudes towards Socialism,” by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, October 2017; p. 15-17.

[3.19] “LOL VIDEO: College Students Super Excited About Socialism. But Then They’re Asked To Define It,” by James Barrett, Daily Wire, July 17, 2017.


(4) Added complications: Most American adults — including college students — have limited functional literacy, and shortening attention spans

[4.1] (1) National Center for Education Statistics; U.S. Department of Education’s 2003 report, “A First Look At The Literacy Of America’s Adults In The 21st Century”; (2) National Institute for Literacy; National Assessment of Adult Literacy; cited in “4th Annual E-Government Survey,” by Brown University (2004).

[4.2] Ibid.; “National Survey of America’s College Students,” Pew Charitable Trusts; cited in “Many College Students Poor On 3 Rs,” Associated Press, January 19, 2006.

[4.3] U.S. Department of Education data; cited in “High Remedial Education Rate Complicates U.S. College Completion Goal Push,” Christine Armario, Associated Press, May 12, 2010.

[4.4] College Board data; cited in “What Corporate America Can’t Build: A Sentence,” Sam Dillon, The New York Times, December 7, 2004.

[4.5] 2017 NAEP data, cited in “How Colleges Are Ripping Off a Generation of Ill-Prepared Students,” by Walter Williams, Intellectual Takeout, April 25, 2018.


Additional research

Summary:

52% of Millennials say they’d rather live in a socialist (46%) or communist (6%) country, vs. 40% why say they prefer to live in a capitalist country.

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – YouGov survey, 2018

Half (49.6 percent) of Millennials and Generation Z said they would prefer living in a socialist country.

Harris survey for Axios

The number of Millennials who say they approve of communism jumped from 28% in 2018 to 36% in 2019.

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – YouGov survey, 2019

55% of women between 18 and 54 would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist country.

Harris survey for Axios

70% of Millennials say that they would vote for a socialist for elective office (50% somewhat likely, 20% “extremely likely”).

– Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – YouGov survey, 2019

47% of Americans (across age and political spectrum) would vote for a socialist for president.

– Gallup survey 2019

61% of Americans aged between 18 and 24 have a positive reaction to the word “socialism.”

– Axios survey January 2019

39% of Americans overall have a favorable view of socialism; 64% of Democrats and 13% of Republicans have this view.

– Cato Institute 2019 survey

The percentage of Democrats who view socialism favorably grew from 25% in 1942, to 53% in 2010, to 57% in 2018, to 64% in 2019. From 2010-2018, an average of 17% of Republicans view socialism favorably.

– Roper survey 1942; Gallup surveys, 2o18, Cato Institute survey 2019.

The number of Americans ages 18-29 who view capitalism favorably dropped from 68% in 2010, to 57% in 2016, to 45% in 2018.

– Gallup survey, 2018

Only 12% of American high school seniors are proficient in history, which is their worst subject.

– YouGov survey, and NAEP, via Intellectual Takeout analysis

42% of Millennials are unfamiliar with Mao Tsetung; 32% of Millennials and GenExers believe George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin.

– YouGov survey, via Intellectual Takeout analysis

In the 2020 elections, for the first time, Millennials and members of Generation Z will form the largest voting bloc (37.5%).

– Pew Research, via Brookings Institution analysis

Gen Z and millennials are projected to make up 37% of the electorate in 2020, and what they’re looking for in a presidential candidate is shifting.

  • The top three voting issues for Gen Z, according to the Harris poll, are mass shootings, racial equality, and immigration policy and treatment of immigrants.
  • Millennials’ top issues are access to health care, global warming/climate change and mass shootings.

Percent of Millennials and Gen Z agreeing with the following statements (rounded):

  • Government should provide universal health care: 73%
  • Government should provide tuition-free college: 67%

  • Prefer living in a socialist country: 50%

  • Support abolishing ICE: 43%

All above are from Harris 2019 survey, via Axios


Boomer Socialism Led to Bernie Sanders – WSJ By Mene Ukueberuwa,

In 1974, pollster Daniel Yankelovich found that three-quarters of Americans 25 to 34 felt the country had “moved dangerously close to socialism.” […]

Edward Glaeser, a Harvard professor and Manhattan Institute senior fellow, believes the problem lies more in economics than culture or education.

Mr. Glaeser, 52, argues that young people have radicalized politically because “there are a number of ways in which the modern American economy isn’t working all that well for them.” Many public policies make it harder to get a job, save money or find an affordable home, leaving young idealists thinking, “Why not try socialism?” But that cure would merely worsen the disease.

Mr. Glaeser decries policies that constrain the job market and increase the cost of living compared with what the economy would produce if left alone. “In many cases,” he says, “there seems to be a sense in which insiders have managed to stack the deck against outsiders.” People who have secured a foothold in one way or another—homeowners, union laborers, retirees—have advocated policies that make it harder for “newcomers,” including immigrants and young people, to advance.

Consider the housing market. “In the 1960s and earlier,” Mr. Glaeser says, “America basically had a property-rights regime that meant that anyone who had a plot of land could pretty much put up anything reasonable on that plot of land.” Since then, cities and towns have circumscribed the areas where homes can be built, capped numbers of units, and imposed strict requirements on developers—all of which raise prices. “So there’s this intergenerational redistribution that’s occurred by restricting housing supply.”

People who bought homes while the rules were lenient, or who are wealthy enough to have bought lately, have seen their values soar. Meanwhile, “younger people just don’t have housing wealth.” By 2013, a 35- to 44-year-old person at the 75th percentile had less than half as much home equity (adjusted for inflation) as his counterpart did 30 years earlier.

Half of young Americans would rather live in a socialist country, survey finds   | Daily Mail Online

  • Half (49.6 percent) of Millennials and Generation Z said they would prefer living in a socialist country, compared to 37.2 percent of all U.S. adults who feel the same way.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73.2 percent) of people age 38 and younger believe the government should provide universal health care, according to a Harris Poll of 2,035 adults conducted for Axios.
  • By comparison, 66.7 percent of all American adults want universal health care.
  • A majority (67.1 percent) of young people also want the government to provide tuition-free college, while just 56.2 percent of all U.S. adults feel that way.
  • The shift in attitudes is expected to come into play in the 2020 presidential election, with the 18-38 set accounting for 37 percent of the electorate next year.

Exclusive poll: Young Americans are embracing socialism – Axios 

Gen Z and millennials are projected to make up 37% of the electorate in 2020, and what they’re looking for in a presidential candidate is shifting.

  • The top three voting issues for Gen Z, according to the Harris poll, are mass shootings, racial equality, and immigration policy and treatment of immigrants.
  • Millennials’ top issues are access to health care, global warming/climate change and mass shootings.
  • Gen X’s top issues are: access to health care, terrorism/national security and the national debt — the same top issues for boomers and older.

“Axios on HBO” poll: 55% of women prefer socialism – Axios June 9, 2019, citing Harris poll:

  • 55% of women between 18 and 54 would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist country

Between the lines: As the Harris poll results below show, the public has varying levels of agreement on what exactly constitutes a socialist political system.

  • Universal healthcare: 76%
  • Tuition free education: 72%
  • Living wage: 68%
  • State-controlled economy: 66%
  • State control and regulation of private property : 61%
  • High taxes for the rich: 60%
  • State-controlled media and communication: 57%
  • Workers own and control their places of employment: 48%
  • Democratically-elected government: 46%

 

 

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