The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Danielle Allen is a liar

Allen is right that the Declaration is at odds with property rights (I'd add: and therefore, with liberty). She is wrong in interposing that comma, which would neuter "pursuit of happiness" into a pursuit of happiness benevolently overseen by God-Emperor Obama. Protein Wisdom has beaten me to it, so, I'll link him first. He notes that the comma doesn't actually do what Allen wants it to do. I have more points to add.

First, I'm not conceding anything to Allen that I haven't already. The Declaration never had a comma between that pair of clauses and this is why: it is a propaganda rant. Such rants have certain rules. Among them is the Rule Of Threes. Take this:

  1. Life
  2. Liberty
  3. Property

Then, take Jefferson:

  1. Life
  2. Liberty
  3. Pursuit of Happiness

The rot is starting to seep in (I repeat: I am not on Jefferson's side, so I am unbiased). Now, here's Allen:

  1. Life
  2. Liberty
  3. Pursuit of Happiness (that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed)

This reads like an insurance-company lawyer wrote it. Who'd fight in that war?

There's more. Jefferson's opener for all of this is we hold these truths to be self-evident. Then, since bullet-points are not practical in a propaganda rant, our orator creates some - they're instantiated with the word "that". So we have: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. After the two clauses which Allen's putative comma conjoins, we have: that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it (etc). Immediately after Allen's comma, note, appears another that. So it's a bullet point too. Not only does "pursuit of happiness" end and the need to secure rights begin, but the need to secure rights jumps in with a bang. In war, the first casualties are stupid commas . . .

My second point is just that Danielle Allen is bought and paid for. Danielle has done pretty well for herself by telling the other white people what they want to hear. She is getting half-million dollar grants and the opportunity to hobnob with Michelle Obama. So: she has motive to invent punctuation and, hell, whole sentences where none existed nor were intended.

Lastly, Danielle Allen has a history of self-justifying her choices on specious moral grounds. She claims she got turned off conservatives because of the racism and sexism at the National Review - you know, those despicable racists and sexists who first hired her. I must concede that William Buckley would, the next year, go on to fire Joseph Sobran - who actually was an antisemite. So it's certain she heard some antisemitism there; possible, some racism and sexism too. But it wasn't from the high-ups; it wasn't from the actual thinkers. Besides, her dad William Barclay Allen, by definition of being her dad, had grown up a generation earlier. I reckon he'd heard much worse than she did. But I'm sure the other National Review guys, after the leg up they gave her, appreciate the view under that bus after she's kicked them all in the face. (Cue the next internal NR purge and apology.)

(Side note here, upon what I personally appreciate: it's being lectured about privilege and equality by the daughter of a Reagan protégé. Oh boo hoo, when they passed in the hallway John Derbyshire gave her mistrustful looks. Try working for a living. Try "awareness", "ethics", and "diversity" seminars which unanimously target whites and men; imagine that it's not just your peers and your boss setting their bigotries against you, but your HR department. I suppose we deserve it. But the nature of wheels is, they turn...)

The Declaration is the barn wall in Animal Farm. Danielle Allen is playing the part of Squealer the Pig.

posted by Zimri on 18:32 | link | 0 comments

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