Whom Is “Entitled” to What? – Defintions, Please!

Dear Readers!

It sure seems to me definition of “entitlement as abuse of public purse” is well represented at some very high levels!

The word “entitlement” is being used intentionally to manipulate and divide us among ourselves – is causing ordinary citizens to accuse one another of mis-use of public purse. It is being used to cause ordinary citizens to judge and dis-respect one another.

(Trigger article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/neel-kashkari-tarp-guru-s_n_659423.html)

The article is on a challenge to ‘ordinary entitlements’.

We need to do some serious critical thinking in response.  Problem – we are not trained in critical thinking!

I heard a very interesting (very long!) interview (in 2 parts) today with John Taylor Gatto, retired educator and author. (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (1992); The Exhausted School (1993); A Different Kind of Teacher (2000); and The Underground History Of American Education (2001), and Weapons of Mass Instruction (2009).

The intention of creating a fully manipulative “mass population” has been known and used for a very long time. Philosophers popular with early industrialists spoke of the “natural order” of elites ruling the masses.

Early wealthy industrialists made direct statements in how to assure this “top down” approach. Official American public educational practices were designed out of Prussian practices, for reasons related to “problems arising when citizens think for themselves”! (See http://www.tragedyandhope.com/video/interview-with-john-taylor-1 and http://www.tragedyandhope.com/video/interview-with-john-taylor.)

At least ‘ordinary citizens’ only claim ‘entitlement’ to programs they actually fund with their tax dollars – taxes paid out of dollars earned for real wages, for real services and products.

I think this move is designed to convince us that it’s fitting we shave off needed “entitlements” in order that our tax dollars can be better spent bailing out “too big to fail” institutions and their extremely well compensated head officers, (and can be used to help fund our war industry).

There is no sincere concern for your and my children’s (or any other ‘ordinary’ children’s) future in this.

I think this move needs to be met with strong skepticism, and with demands that apparent hypocrisy be explained as reasonable (which I doubt can be done).

The age of smooth manipulation of public opinion by playing on our inherent good will, our general willingness to ‘sacrifice’ for a greater cause, surely will soon come to a close?

Willingness to sacrifice for a higher good is a good thing! But this is manipulation of that commitment, of that will. It’s intentional.

IF these spokespeople from “high places” were really interested in our dignity (key word – dignity) and participation, they would be citing economic history extensively, going right back to the dawn of the industrial age.

They would be informing us thoroughly (key word – thoroughly) – not dictating (key word – dictating) to us.”

“Peek-a-boo policy design” (“first you see me here, now you see me here”) – policy shaping connections between high government officials and high corporate interests cannot be over-stated.

My Best! –MaggieAnn

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About maggieannthoeni

A description once given of me was "rooted in the earth while roaming the stars" - and this has felt 'right'. I believe in something akin to this for each of us. I am a passionate supporter of discovering the autonomous self while serving the whole as primary intent. I believe in discovery of innate principles, clearing the overlay of socialization that obscures this from us. I believe it is our responsibility to leave no one behind - most particularly to respond to suffering as best we can whereever we find it, whenever we are made aware. I believe in this for the insect as well as the most magnificent form of humanity. I believe in brother/sisterhood without boundary. I believe in righteous indignation when it is appropriate, but do not believe in an enemy. I believe in consciousness, in intelligence, in logic, in rationality, in emotion, in transcendence - and am convinced until we generally practice explore and honor all this in ourselves, we remain profoundly immature. (I believe real maturity is known and practiced by many young children, and not enough adults!)
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2 Responses to Whom Is “Entitled” to What? – Defintions, Please!

  1. Isadore says:

    You have been clear enough, it is I who did not clearly get your intended point and struck off on a tangent related but not specifically to your blog on ‘entitlement’. In relation to the poor it is called entitlement and to the rich it is called privilege.

    It is written somewhere that all people are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, anything more than that has to granted through legislation or by right of privilege, or simply taken by force or by guile to satisfy a selfish appetite or a perceived sense of justice.

    In the final analysis all entitlement is based in law either man made as in legislation or natural as in the laws of nature and its creator .

    Primitive human societies such as the North American Indian and Inuit survived in part because of a practice of entitlement and responsibility, the inferior members of the clan or tribe were entitled to be supported by the superior members who took on the responsibility of helping where they could, the survival of the group depended on this practice, and it worked, and they prospered as best they could under the circumstances they lived in.

    We live in an “advanced” society that no longer depends on one another for survival or prosperity, we have become disconnected from the greater family of brothers and sisters that we actually are a part of. We sit together in crowded places talking on cell phones or ‘messaging’ with our thumbs instead our tongues, and we are not even there! And who wants to ‘be there’ on the crowded bus or train, restaurant or dentists waiting room? The only person that sees you on the busy street is the panhandler who also becomes invisible as people hurry on by looking right through him. Is he entitled? Do those of us more fortunate have a responsibility to help where we can? How would passers by react if he carried a sign shouting “I am entitled to share in your good fortune!” Chances are the sign would be ripped out of his hands and he would be beaten with it, before the police arrived and carted him off to the pokey.

    There is a lot more to this ‘entitlement ‘ business than meets the eye.

    How true, and how well you seem to have understood and expanded on my ‘theme’!

    I’m especially appreciative of this: “Primitive human societies such as the North American Indian and Inuit survived in part because of a practice of entitlement and responsibility, the inferior members of the clan or tribe were entitled to be supported by the superior members who took on the responsibility of helping where they could, the survival of the group depended on this practice, and it worked, and they prospered as best they could under the circumstances they lived in.”

    So well put! As an ‘idealist’ I find no logical reason we cannot make conscious choice to bring this quality of “interactive, interdependent” relationship into our present day. I understand explanations why we do not do this, but the explanations don’t explain away “possibility” – only “probability”. Shifting low probability to make possibility a reality can be done. To do so, we must pay attention to our beliefs, our practices, and our choices.

    Much is made by what I’ll call “the present day enlightenment movement”, that we achieve our goals in large part by intent, and following through on that intent – also by ‘imagining’ our goal, the ‘end result’ we hope to achieve. So it seems to me, if we wanted supportive community such as you describe, we could have it. We intend, we imagine, we follow through.

    You also rightly point out: “We live in an “advanced” society that no longer depends on one another for survival or prosperity, we have become disconnected from the greater family of brothers and sisters that we actually are a part of.”

    I wonder if your ‘disconnected’ observation is more accurate than ‘no longer depend on one another for survival and prosperity’. No one, so far as I can tell, earns a single dollar (or a large fortune) without a great deal of support and involvement of other people. As you say – we are disconnected from this – it is all around us in our lives, and except in the most obvious ways, we are not prepared to acknowledge others in our “success”.

    Such a wonderful piece you’ve taken time to send – thank you! –MA

  2. Isadore says:

    Entitlement…..”Qualified for by right according to law.” I take it you are referring to education entitlement grants as they are administered by the U.S. dept of education. I had heard of these entitelment grants but was and still am not too sure of how it is decided as to who is entiteled to what. A little research reveals that these grants are divided into three main groups or ‘titles’, the funding is usually ‘needs based’ and targets high poverty schools helping students to meet ‘rigorous’ state standards, improving teacher quality by improving teacher preparedness , recruiting teachers in shortage areas like math ,science, technology and would you believe it…reading!, recruiting and training school principals, and reforming teacher and principal certification programs in collaboration with colleges and universities?? the third group or’title’ deals with improving the language skills of ‘second language’ students and is required by the ‘No child left behind’ act, part of this group is a special ‘title’ , the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Grant. Some funding is ‘discretionary based’ meaning that proof of need is required.
    The efficacy of education entitlement apparently is arguable, some would like to see it diminished, a fertile field for squabbling and dissension, that these grants might be necessary speaks volumes to the low priority education has had in the scheme of things American.

    Hmm – I see I’ve again been unclear! (all too common)! Presently in the US, “an entitlement attitude” is being used to blame, with considerable anger, those ordinary citizens who benefit from ‘economic safety net’ programs – social security and more. Any legal definition of “entitlement” is beside the point in the running arguments “against entitlement attitudes”. That these programs are taxpayer funded is also “beside the point”. The important “point” (accusation) is that anyone who does not want to see the programs stripped down or completely dismantled is in favor of lazy, leech, and economic vampire behavior. I first wanted to note that the practices identifiable as ‘leech and economic vampireism’ are operative at very high levels. I also wanted to establish that the ordinary citizen is ill-prepared (educationally) to think through and appropriately respond when accused, (as is being done – by those at high levels who in fact are practicing what they accuse!) Today am posting more that is ‘along similar lines’. Am sure learning a lot about economics! But as multiple intelligences go – ‘economics’ is not my strong suit; so I hope to get some who ARE strong in understanding economics to begin speaking out! … we’ll see how it goes! Thank you for your post, which gave me a minute to clarify (I hope). I so very much appreciate feedback, as you often offer – with much thought and insight! –MA

    Later – added a couple of sentences that might make my link between entitlement and ‘thinking’ more clear .. wonder why I didn’t do so before! 🙂 –MA

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