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Adventures in Illinois Higher Education: Equality Freedom


By: Shane Radliff
February 12th, 2016
Liberty Under Attack

This past week, I came across an article discussing the fact that the most assigned book in
Michigan higher level institutions is none other than The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx
and Friedrich Engels. I cant say Im surprised, but what I will say, is that the first month at
Illinois State University (ISU) has actually been relatively mild (notwithstanding, the required
alcohol and sexual violence course that I have already written about). Luckily, before this past
week, the Marxist ideology has been seldom mentioned and when it has been brought up, it has
been in passing, without the admiration and advocacy that I have become accustomed to.
There has been an evident shift towards socialism in the United States (and around the world),
and that is surely due to the significant decline in the economy, higher levels of unemployment,
and the unrest that has occurred across the American landscape. Although, what most of these
newly, self-avowed socialists fail to acknowledge is that the differences between socialism and
communism are extremely minute. To put it more simly, socialism is communism with a smile.
For the new readers of this series, its worth reiterating the dangers of communism and its
consequences throughout history. An examination of the democide statistics in the 20th century
reveals much about the evils of this ideology. In that century alone, roughly 260 million civilians
were murdered by their own government, and that is excluding war causalities. With that said,

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lets take a look at the most deadly regimes, and examine the political systems of those various
governments.
1. The Peoples Republic of China (Communist): ~76,702,000 murdered
2. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Marxist/Leninist Communism) ~61,911,000
murdered
3. Nazi Germany (National Socialist): ~20,946,000 murdered
4. Chinas National Peoples Party (Leninist Democratic Centralism): ~10,075,000
murdered
The next question to ask is this: how many of those regimes were strict adherents to the Market?
Not a single one of those four; their ideologies were, without exception, collectivistic, given that
their economic systems were all centrally planned.
With that said, Alexis de Tocqueville more accurately described my experience thus far. In most
of my Communications courses, the discourse has been mostly focused on oppression, the
issues with capitalism as well as the importance of the media, especially when it comes to
social movements. That is, until these past two weeks, when the discussion has shifted to the
various communication theories that originated with Marx.
First off, I will cover a particularly atrocious article that was published in the 1992 edition of the
Western Journal of Communication, and then the various communication theories that originated
with Marx.
Earlier this month, we were studying an approach called critical theory. Critical theory is a
school of thought that stresses the reflective assessments and critique of society and culture by
applying knowledge from the social sciences and the humanities.
That may sound vague, so let me expound upon that. Critical theory is a neo-Marxist philosophy
that originated from the Frankfurt School in Germany, and was based off of the writings of Marx
and Immanuel Kant. To put it more simply, critical theory is the process of observing,
interviewing, absorbing ones self into a specific culture, and drawing conclusions based off of
the experience.
My initial reaction can be explained as such. Theres hardly, if any, science involved with this
procedure. Additionally, its highly subjective and the biases and presuppositions held by those
that partake in this application are sure to be intertwined with any conclusions that may be
arrived at. Its also unfalsifiable, and that is mainly due to its subjectivity. Lets say, for example,
I repeated the same experiment as the gentleman that we will discuss momentarily. My biases
and presuppositions will be intertwined, and I may arrive at a completely different conclusion.
Who is right and who is wrong? No one isand, again, that is due to its subjectivity.
With that said, lets move forward to an application of this theory (more specifically known as a
critical ethnography) that we were required to read for class. It is titled Interpreting (the Work
and the Talk of) Baseball: Perspectives on Ballpark Cultures, written by Nick Trujillo. It is worth
noting that in the original article, emphasis is placed by the use of italics, but in this

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circumstance, bolding will be used. Any added emphasis by the author will be appropriately
identified.
Throughout the first five pages of the article, you can see a number of references to capitalism
and capitalist labor, yet this excerpt speaks volumes:
This section examines how baseball employees are socialized as workers and it reveals
how the ballpark is used to reproduce the ideology of American capitalism. (p. 5)
That being said, keep in mind this was published in 1992, long after the planks of communism
had taken over American society. Therefore, the American capitalism he is referring to, doesnt
exist in any real way that matters, especially considering the onslaught of the administrative
agencies as the fourth branch of government. You would think accuracy would matter to
someone who has his Ph.D, but apparently it doesnt. What he is describing is corporatism
(fascism), which is the complete opposite of a true, free market capitalist economy.
There is also anti-industrialism rhetoric used throughout. For example:
...employees learn organizational principles of mechanization first-hand as they
experience the ballpark as a site of industrial labor. (p. 6)
On page 7, the Marxist references begin to shine through, which is obvious throughout the article
to a market anarchist. For one, the use of the term commodification, which is defined as the
transformation of goods, services, and ideas into commodities or objects of trade. I dont see
any point of contention when it comes to that definition, so lets look at Marxs interpretation:
The Marxist understanding of commodity is distinct from its meaning in business.
Commodity played a key role throughout Karl Marx's work; he considered it a cell-form
of capitalism and a key starting point for an analysis of this politico-economic system.
Marx extensively criticized the social impact of commodification under the name
commodity fetishism and alienation.
(Authors note: its worth mentioning that alienation is another term used throughout this
article.)
With the Marxist influence throughout, its safe to assume that was the interpretation Trujillo
meant. That becomes evident when examining this excerpt:
...much formal (and some informal) communication is focused on how to increase
and/or handle revenue. And it is through such income-oriented interaction that baseball
becomes enculturated as a capitalist enterprise. (p. 7)
At this point, its also safe to assume that Trujillo despises the idea of capitalism or, as Professor
Statist thought, there just has to be a perfect balance between the free market and communism.
Directly after the most recent quote, that assumption is further verified:

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All employees are informed about the policy on complimentary tickets which stresses
that all tickets, complimentary or paid, are treated as money, a lesson signified by the
use of the term vault room to describe the place where tickets are printed. (p. 7)
And no, there was no emphasis added in that previous quote. Any time the word capitalist or
money are brought up they are always italicized, which indicates that the author wanted to put
increased emphasis on those words. To summarize this 22 page article into one sentence:
voluntary transactions are bad, and anything used in that transfer of property is bad.
This next quote is laughably absurd. Trujillo references the disparity between average
employees and the players, and believes this is somehow immoral. Employees are paid according
to how much value they bring to their employers; in turn, employers are paid according to how
much value they bring to their customers. It would be bad business practice (and would put the
company under quickly), if the employers paid their employees whatever they wanted (such as
an increased minimum wage hike), or thought that they were worth (for example, strictly on
the basis of a cost-of-living adjustment), without proving that they were providing actual value to
the customers. Unfortunately, the customers in this scenario of the baseball racket are the
central planners, not those individuals attending games; these customers are what compose
what Frdric Bastiat called that which is not seen.
Trujillo says:
Most franchise employees also know how the game of player salaries is played on the
corporate field, so they understand that there will be a huge disparity between their own
salaries and players salaries. (p. 8)
Directly following that quote, a stadium manager discusses their frustration with the way things
are at their place of employment. They mention that their budget and salary are determined by
the players performance, and if it isnt substantial enough, they wont get what they need (i.e. a
new computer).
How is that wrong? Lets relate that same scenario to something even these socialists and
communists will understand.
For example, a family wants to buy their new 16-year-old son a car. They have a budget and the
money allocated for that purchase, but that money had to be spent on something unexpected;
therefore, those funds are not available anymore.
Is the son justified in being pissed off about not having his new car? Well, obviously, he can be
disappointed, but his parents budgeting through the appropriate allocation of resources is a
phenomenon that is required for a family, much like a business, to exist.
Interestingly enough, Trujillo also recognized the acceptance of the environment based off of a
conversation between two employees:
This episode reveals how the process of hegemony of symbolic domination by one
group over another in the ballpark. As Dennis Mumby, citing [Antonio] Gramsci,
argued, The process of hegemony works most effectively when the world-view

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articulated by the ruling elite is actively taken up and pursued by subordinate groups. In
this way, the ballpark is not just a site of capitalist work; it also is a site of capitalist
struggle. (p. 9) [Emphasis added]
Before even beginning to rebuke that argument, its worth mentioning the absurdness of citing an
author, by way of another author, when Trujillo could have simply quoted Gramsci (who is,
unsurprisingly, a renowned Marxist). Going two or three layers down within a quoted citation is
unnecessarily difficult, when its just much easier to go to the original source you want to
directly quote.
With that said, those folks that Trujillo interviewed could venture out into the free market as
entrepreneurs, if they really hate their jobs that much. Nothing is stopping them, except for
themselves. Granted, there is always risk involved in entrepreneurship, but at least those
individuals are taking responsibility for the voluntary choices they made about their own lives,
instead of expressing their grievances in the infantile attempt to redirect the blame for those
decisions onto others who failed to coerce them.
And again, how can there be capitalist work or capitalist struggle, if that is damn-near
nonexistent in America today? It seems like these socialists and communists are projecting, as
they are being worn-down by the systems that they advocate for, and capitalism is just the
most convenient boogeyman to place that upon. Additionally, how can baseball stadiums be
considered capitalist, while at the same time receiving government subsidies? Theft isnt
something thats permitted in a voluntary society, but it is in a statist one, providing said theft is
legal.
The next few pages or so focus on the drama and the show of baseball, and there isnt
anything of significance there, so Ill leave that for you to read. Essentially, the author is arguing
that baseball is an American pastime and that hyper-commercialization has hurt the image of
the sport.
Although, things get interesting when examining the authors conclusions. The author makes a
distinction between romantics (those who view baseball in an idyllic way) and the
functionalists (those who use baseball to learn about mainstream American culture, and its
impact on it, with the goal of applying it to reality).
The anti-capitalist rhetoric continues when Trujillo says that:
Functionalists endorse the ideology of the baseball business to remind us that
performance in professional sports, like in other businesses in American capitalism, is
judged ultimately by a measurable bottom line, and that the American Dream can be
achieved only by putting up the numbers. (p. 16)
For further affirmation, he states that:
...critics argue that sport is one resource through which dominant groups in America
promote hegemony. Critics argue that the business of sports reaffirms the ideology of
American capitalism; thus, as Hargreaves asserted, sports have come to serve the

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exemplifications of the bourgeois ideal of the individualistic, competitive, meritocratic


society. (p. 16)
To continue beating the same dead horse, what is this American capitalism you speak of Mr.
Trujillo? Additionally, what is this American Dream that you speak of? I think George Carlin
had something to say about that.
Moving onto the second quote, hegemony is brought up once again. Im hard-pressed to figure
out a way to explain the negation of this concept to some of these socialists and communists, but
Ill settle with this: what about NO RULERS? How about you live your own lives however the
hell you want to, as long as you dont violate anyone elses person or property? Were you born a
man, but want to get your dick cut off? Go for it. Do you want to call yourself a gender-binary,
asexual, or aromantic? Go for it; just dont infringe on the natural rights of others, by your
decision to do so. Besides, argumentation ethics suggests that when progressives argue against
property rights, they must first use their self-ownership of their own body and mind in order to
make such anti-propertarian arguments in the first place; this is what philosopher Hans-Herman
Hoppe called a performative contradiction.
Its an extremely simple concept, and is much easier than attempting to understand Bernie
Sanders centrally planned socialist oyster, while having no understanding, whatsoever, of
economics.
Ill move past the reappearing American capitalism, as I dont think you can even tell that its a
horse, dead or alive, anymore (maybe a zombie?). The term bourgeois is brought up, and I feel
thats worth defining first:
In Marxist philosophy the bourgeoisie is the social class that came to own the means of
production during modern industrialization and whose societal concerns are the value of
property and the preservation of capital, to ensure the perpetuation of their economic
supremacy in society.
Ideas have consequences, and words have meaning. That being said, lets look at the application
Trujillo chose to summate his article. The quote he presented shines a negative light on those that
are individualistic and competitive, but that is just what you would expect from a collectivist. In
my personal experience, individuals and affinity groups have made far more success than any
group. Why Trujillo is assuming that society even exists, tangibly, is beyond me.
In summation, Trujillo states:
...the critic in me recognizes that the ballpark does reflect and reinforce many problems
of American capitalist culture. Like society, the ballpark commodifies people as products
and stratifies them along gender, racial, and socioeconomic lines. (p. 17)
Taking a glass half full approach, I suppose its better than my teachers advocating for
communism openly. Although, the majority of those in that lecture hall will not consider all of
those things that I mentioned in this article. They will rely strictly on the discussion in class, and
that is all they will take away from the article. Their college career will continue, and they will

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be force-fed more of this garbage, and will (more than likely) not even question what they are
being told. To conclude this part, critical thinking is encouraged in class insofar that students
dont challenge the beliefs that make up higher level institutions; at least in my case.
If youre sick and tired of hearing about Marx, I understand and feel those same sentiments,
and wish this article conclude here. Although, for purposes of full transparency and emphasis,
there is more that needs to be said.
Ill start by saying that some of these communication theories weve studied are applicable
within normal, everyday life, and I can look back on examples when Ive utilized them, much
like the Trivium method. Understanding the various processes of communication is definitely
interesting (and something that could, and is used in a manipulative way), but its still not costefficient education. Notice also, there is not one word about Hoppes argumentation ethics,
which is a communications theory, but of course that is to be expected since it is an a priori
intellectual defense of private property and the self-ownership ethic.
The first theory we briefly looked into, was something known as standpoint theory, which can
be defined as:
A postmodern method for analyzing inter-subjective discourses. This body of work
concerns the ways that authority is rooted in individuals' knowledge (their perspectives),
and the power that such authority exerts.
I wonder where this theory originated from: thats right, Marx and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich
Hegel (the Hegelian Dialectic).
The standpoint theory can also be applied to feminism as well, as Nancy Harstock did in 1983.
This specific ideology (standpoint feminism) is deeply rooted within Marxism. Lets just say,
Wendy McElroy would not approve. Besides, at the risk of sounding completely annoying, selfownership justifies natural liberty for women all by itself, and argumentation ethics is the logical
explanation for self-ownership, therefore youd think that all types of feminists would use
argumentation ethics to uphold the rights of all women, but they cant afford to do that because
to do so would be for them to simultaneously validate property rights, which is unacceptable to
them because these progressives desire socialism above anything else.
With that said, its already bad: a theory originating from someone who put to paper one of the
most dangerous and detrimental ideologies, tied at the hip with the founder of the Hegelian
Dialectic, and finished with a direct tie to statist feminism. Of course, also notice that these
statist feminists utterly refuse to acknowledge that corporatism (fascism) is deceptive because it
is a fake market totally based upon graft and political pull (corruption), as opposed to the sum
of all voluntary interaction, which is the Market (the agora); the implications of this to womens
liberation is staggering, to say the least!
But dont worry, it gets worse.
The next theory discussed was muted group theory (MGT), which can be defined as such:

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...a critical communication theory that examines asymmetrical power-related issues


between genders, cultures, societies, and groups.
So, where does this theory originate from? MGT is the application of Marxist and feminist
perspectives, specifically in regards to communication. If that sounds vague, heres some
additional context from Richard West and Lynn H. Turner in 2010:
It helps us understand any group that is silenced by the inadequacies of their
language.
With the application of Marxism and feminism, its intellectually dishonest to use the word
silenced. Those two things are louder than they have ever been. The term socialism is
damn-near synonymous to communism and these social justice warriors are altering the
English language. Pay attention, too, that these statist feminists are economically illiterate, hence
their match made in hell with the communists, which is a bed they must now lie in (punsintended!)
My already minimal respect for experts with Ph.Ds is disappearing in a cloud of genderneutral smoke. Their research and rhetoric is fraught with inaccuracies, misapplications, and
misappropriations. Its quite sad, although unsurprising, that these de facto titles of nobility allow
these folks to spout whatever irrational, illogical, and anti-scientific rhetoric they wish, without
any fear for their financial well-being (youve got to love that tenure).
Conclusion
There is no point of contention between myself and these socialists and communists, in
identifying that there is something wrong. I agree with them that the State is overbearing and
oppressive. The point of contention betwixt them and I is their proposed solution.
State socialists and communists claim that a more centralized government with increased and
complete control (respectively) will lead to equality and freedom. Few ideas have been more
incorrect during the history of the human experience.
On the other hand, voluntaryists (like myself) believe that all human interaction should be
voluntary and free from coercion; hell, even the syndicalist trade unions are voluntary! Adherents
to this ideology believe in the non-aggression principle and self-ownership, two things which no
socialist or communist can adhere to consistently, especially when they fail to adhere to
argumentation ethics.
Its quite sad, although, again, unsurprising, to see academia propagating the two former statist
ideologies. Modern-day academia is not in the business of promoting truth or freedom; rather,
they propagate what has now become known as the Tocqueville effect, namely, the collective
preference for equality over that of freedom, and Tocqueville totally called it back in 1835.
Coincidentally, the Texas Revolutionary War for Independence commenced that very same year.
Equality does not equal freedom. Being able to ask Daddy Government for permission to get
married does not equal freedom. Asking Daddy Government to use violence against another for
disagreeing with your subjective beliefs is contrary to the notion of free speech this country was

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founded upon, especially according to Mr. Jeffersons Declaration of Independence (and thats
coming from an anarchist!).
Embrace logic. Embrace rationality. Violence is not the answer.

Reject authoritarianism. Reject the use of coercion. Embrace voluntaryism.