Brutalist Humanitarians Vol 3: The Pederast as Pedagogue

I formally apologize – nay, grovel – before STEVE HORWITZ

for his incorrect, hasty, and shoddy perception that I was intentionally attributing a review of Paul Goodman, a libertarian, to him, with the explicit purpose of “insinuating” that he was a pedophile apologist, which he claims is “insane.”

Since his remark was extraordinarily rude for a person in his position, I deleted it.

Since it was accurate as to confusion of identity, I have taken the essence of it and placed it above.

He also said I was a “shoddy researcher.” Weep.

How will I endure?

Well, in this post, there was certainly a mistake, but not anything crucial.

The misattribution of the quote doesn’t in the slightest bit deter from the central argument.

To be honest, though, I’m nonplussed.

There is nothing immoral or wrong about writing about Goodman’s homosexuality or his pederasty, so why should anyone get so upset – incorrectly – to be associated with that writing, especially when it’s critical of Goodman?

If I suggested anyone was a pedophile apologist, it was Goodman….and I didn’t even really do that. I cited people who documented he was a pederast.

Meanwhile, I found Horwitz’s phrasing interesting.

It’s exactly the opposite of the phrasing Bob Wenzel used about me (“Careful researcher”) at EPJ just yesterday, for analyzing Tucker’s piece with the brutalist metaphor. Hmm….

I also note that I wrote this blog post almost five days ago, but that Mr. Horwitz only posted this today, after Bob’s comment.

Apart from Goodman, the only person I could be said to have questioned (in the faintest way) was Charles Burris at Mises, for citing Goodman…but I didn’t even do that.

As for Horowitz, the author, I insinuated nothing about him, except to say that he was a Tuckerian libertarian. Is that hate speech now?

I didn’t even actually identify the author Horowitz with the BLHer Steve Horwitz.

For all anyone knows,  the author of the passage, Horowitz, who is a neo-functionalist, as Goodman was (look that up), might well be a Tuckerian libertarian, even if he doesn’t know it.

That was the point of my piece. Tucker’s term is typically leftist.

I actually wrote the author’s name correctly as STEVE HOROWITZ, when I originally read the piece.  Then I came back to my incomplete draft, in between reading stuff on the BLH site ( trying to figure out if they were Tuckerians or not), and saw the name spelled HORWITZ in one part (accidentally).

That made me wonder, so  I put down Tuckerian libertarian in the draft, thinking I would check back to find out if it was the BLHer of that name.

When I got back to the blog, I forgot that I’d set it aside to research and just published it, without checking, with the note still in brackets, as it was published.

Hasty, true. Over-worked, true. Too many fingers in too many pots, very true.

How to shoot down daily propaganda from all sides, with most people unwilling to get in the direct line of fire, without making a silly mistake?

But shoddy? Not really.

Insane, no more than Mr. Horwitz, and much less than this BLHer friend of his whose sock-puppet internet adventures as a female are described here.

In any case, Tuckerian libertarians (including the BLHers) would never consider homosexuality or pederasty (which is promoted with it) a negative.

So why would anyone be that upset because they were mistaken for an apologist for it, especially when the alleged apologia was NOT an apologia?

So one last time – the only thing I’m insinuating in this piece is that Tucker’s division is one-sided and that brutalism is found on both sides of the political and ideological divide, as Mr. Horwitz just proved.

We’re all human beings here.

So, I apologize for your hurt feelings, Mr. Horwitz, and I give my regards to you and to your friend, Mr. Tucker.

Tell him I’ve been waiting for his apology…..or the correction from his friends, for nearly two years now…

ORIGINAL POST

Charles Burris comments on left-libertarian Paul Goodman and his critique of compulsory education.

Pedagogy being an interest of mine, I began researching Goodman. I’d known only that he was an influential figure in the counter-culture and a prophetic social critic.

Turns out he was also – interestingly for a writer on education cited by a paleo-libertarian site –  a practising pederast:

“Goodman is now mainly remembered as a notable political activist on the pacifist Left in the 1960s and early 70s. Politically he described himself as an anarchist, sexually as pederast (Rossman, 1976, pp.87-92), and professionally as a “man of letters”. Less widely known is his role as a co-founder of Gestalt Therapy.

Born in New York City, he freely roamed the streets and public libraries of the city as a child (and later developed, from this, the radical concept of “the educative city”). He taught at the University of Chicago while he was taking his Ph.D., but fell in love with a student and was dismissed. He fathered a family by two common-law wives, and his early years were characterized by menial and teaching jobs taken to enable him to continue as a writer and to support his children. ……
The freedom with which he revealed, in print and in public, his homosexual life and loves (notably in a late essay, “The Politics of Being Queer” (1969)), proved to be one of the many important cultural springboards for the emerging gay liberation movement of the early 1970s. However, his own views ran counter to the modern construction of homosexuality. It was his opinion that it was pathological not to be able to make love to someone of the opposite sex, but that it was equally pathological “not to be able to experience homosexual pleasure.” Likewise, it was his view that sexual relationships between men and boys were natural, normal and healthy, and that they could lay the foundation for continuing friendship even after the sexuality is outgrown (since “sex play does not last long between males, as a rule”).(ibid, p.88)

In discussing his own sexual relationships with boys, he acknowledged that public opinion would condemn him, but countered that “what is really obscene is the way our society makes us feel shameful and like criminals for doing human things that we really need.” In diagnosing the problems of modern education, which even in his time was accused of killing the spirit of the youngsters and leaving them bereft of curiosity and creativity, he underlined that “a good pupil-teacher relationship inevitably has sexual overtones” and that acknowledgement and proper channeling of these tensions would lead to a better educational environment.”

A substantial portion of Goodman’s literary output was devoted to discussing his sexual proclivity in fictional form, thus, Martin, New York, 1933.

What’s even more interesting is that Goodman’s difficulty with the educational establishment was only partly due to its bureaucratic structure. It was mainly due to his habit of diddling, or trying to diddle,  his young charges. Indeed, that was the subject of an autobiographical novel he wrote three years after one of his three firings. Steve Horowitz reviews Goodman’s book, “Parent’s Day,”

“DESPITE Paul Goodman’s accomplishments as a writer and social critic, he has been best remembered as an educator. Yet Goodman hadano great success as a teacher. He never could get along well with the bureaucracies of large institutions, and though he had many teaching
jobs, they rarely lasted more than a year. Goodman’s positions were not renewed, usually because of his homosexual activities.

Goodman’s theories on education generally concerned children rather than college students. He was angry about the way the  American school system functioned to reduce a child’s individuality. Goodman was especially interested in questions about adolescent sexuality and school structure. The “most pressing issue in most of our homes,” he wrote A.S. Neill of Summerhill fame back in the early 1950s, was “the witnessing or not-witnessing (and participation or censoring) of children in the first years of the sexual intercourse of the adults.” Goodman believed that educators needed to help students with their sexual development. Ideas like this earned Goodman a reputation as a dangerous crank during the 1940s and 1950s. Neill considered Goodman a theorist, rather than a pragmatist, when it came to education. But Goodman had taught at Manumit, a progressive school in upstate New York, back in 1943. Goodman was fired from this job, again because of his homosexual activities. Parents’ Day is the story of Goodman’s experience at Manumit. It is a work of autobiographical fiction, as Goodman exaggerates what happens as he struggles to gain perspective. The homosexual relationship between teacher and student is bluntly stated. Goodman wrote the book three years after the fact as part of his Reichian self-analysis. He tries to understand his behavior, rather than justify it. Parents’ Day could not find a publisher during the 1940s because of its explicit homo-erotic content.

A friend printed up an edition of five hundred in 1951. It received only one review and has been unavail­able for many years. Black Sparrow Press, which has been reissuing much of Goodman’s self-published work, has recently made Parents’ Day available to a wide audience for the first time.

The book is often hilariously funny. The seriousness of the mem­ories and ideas discussed does not dampen the narrator’s enthusiasm.

His predicament (Why am I living/how do I get laid?) is only exacerbated by this constant self-questioning. He never finds any satisfactory answers, but after a while, just asking the questions brings him relief.

It’s like that joke with which Woody Allen begins Annie Hall : two large middle-aged Jewish women are eating dinner at a popular

Catskill resort hotel. One woman says to the other, “The food here is awful.” To which the other responds: “Yes, and such small portions.”

[Lila: Not surprising that Horowitz would bring up Woody Allen, since Goodman made a cameo appearance in Annie Hall and Allen’s resume also includes pederasty and pedophilic abuse, which it would be brutalist, I suppose, to mention.

It might also be brutalist to point out that Goodman endlessly cruised the waterfront for young males, even while going through two common-law wives and had a reputation for being callous to people – not exactly a preferred trait in an educator. Indeed, he was a poster-child for arrested development (he was, after all, effectively fatherless):

“He would, as the composer Ned Rorem tells it in the film, make “passes at literally everybody. I mean everybody—men and women and people’s mothers and the president of the university.”

He once shocked guests by French-kissing his dog.

Nathan Abrams in The Triple Exthnics lists Goodman, along with Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse, as the intellectual vanguard of the sexual revolution that normalized homosexuality and pornography in the US in a matter of a few decades:

“Goodman knows he cannot resolve his mixed feeling about his tenure at Manumit. He acted on his sincere desires, yet he hurt other people.

Still, Goodman isn’t sure if he would act any differently if the situation reoccurred. He is introspective, but non-judgmental.
What Goodman learned from teaching at Manumit, and his reflec­tions while writing this book, form the basis of his thought on young  adult education. In Parents’ Day, one can glimpse the human teacher inside the humanitarian educator with all his faults. As such, the book makes a powerful statement. Follow your impulses, Goodman says, but be prepared to suffer the consequences. That is the only moral choice one can make in this imperfect world.”

Here we see a core principle of  the politically correct libertarians – every choice is equally good and none can be judged. The only wrong is to find anything wrong.

The only brutes, to paraphrase Jeffrey Tucker, are those who condemn brutality.

Yet, what could be more brutal than a grown man, with ample outlet for his sexual proclivities, abusing the trust of parents to violate their children and then indoctrinate them with beliefs in direct opposition to their own?

A man who teaches young children that every impulse must be followed? A man who was incapable of controlling his own impulses, and more importantly, incapable of regretting them.

“His private journals, Rosenberg wrote, were a chronicle of hunger for sex, recognition, community, and transcendence.”

A man who could not ever escape from his hungers and his own self.

A defender of pedophilia:

“My own view, let me say, is that no sexual practices whatever, unless they are malicious or extremely guilt-ridden, do any harm to anybody, including children. Certainly far more harm is done by any attempts to repress, frighten, or denigrate.”

One of the trio (Marcuse and Reich were the other two) who sold the West on the gospel of sex.

A disappointed man, even in lust:

A historian trying to explain the emptiness of modern leftist thinking could do worse than start with Growing Up Absurd.

An arrogant men, obsessed with his own sexual prowess:

“Goodman was a hard guy to like. Acquaintances described him as arrogant, self-absorbed, and sexually unremitting. When he wasn’t coming on—to women and men (mostly men); old and young (mostly young); sailors, waiters, and college presidents—he was talking about it. “He was so goddamn proud of his prick,” Grace Paley notes, visibly unimpressed, in Lee’s film.”

If that is not brutalism, what is?

Goodman was, of course, much more than his sexual identity practices.

But clever theories and high-flown rhetoric aside, the liberty he  practiced – and espoused- conforms to the Jeffrey Tucker vision of “humanitarian” liberty, wherein those with the loudest lobbies determine which exercise of liberty is brutal and which humanitarian.

I guess children aren’t part of the humanity that can pay good money to propagandists to put lipstick on libertarians pigs.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Education Today Provides Conditioning…

This is a brief excerpt from a live interview with legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright (June 18, 1957), when he was ninety. The audio isn’t very clear, so I’ve provided a transcript. The words are pungent and speak succinctly to the task of weaning people from dependence on the state:

“Education has been unrealistic.
Education has not seen the nature of the thing we needed as a people.
Education has not provided enlightenment. It’s provided conditioning
By way of books, by way of what has been, by way of the past,
By the habituation of the human species to date.
And it hasn’t taken the views of the men who are capable of looking beyond
and seeing what the nature of the thing was.
What is the nature of this thing we’re in.
Now that’s the grace(?) of seeing in, not seeing at.
And all education today is a seeing at.”

John Gatto On State-Controlled Consciousness

Toward the end of this video, John Taylor Gatto, the iconoclastic critic of compulsory education and state schools and ardent advocate of “unschooling,” has an especially memorable passage.
He points out that while the state can violently coerce a few people at a time (through arrest and shooting), there’s no way (outside war or genocide, I presume) to coerce large masses of people over time, except through controlling their minds.

Or more accurately, through creating the habits and attitudes that make them obedient to puppet strings in their own minds.

Compulsory schooling by the state, he argues, is a way to colonize the minds of children to make them their own police-force, eager to report other deviants.

[Preparing them to become tax snitches, as I blogged earlier, or political informants, or supporters of  biometric ID legislation].

In “Dumbing Us Down”, Gatto argues that state schooling causes the following in a child’s mind:

1) Confusion, with its jumbled ensemble of tests, memorized and then forgotten

2) Dependence on class position

3) Indifference/apathy

4) Emotional dependency

5) Intellectual dependency

6) Provisional self-esteem that needs the assurance of experts to maintain

7) Habituation to constant surveillance and the denial of privacy