Thursday, December 06, 2007

Don't Cry Baby, It's Only the Apocalypse! (11.15.10}

In my metatheology, I try to take humans as I find them, not as I wish them to be. And I find humanity at large to be a pretty appalling bunch. Half the time, anyway. Half of us rodents, at any rat.

In his book Human Accomplishment, Charles Murray writes that "We human beings are in many ways a sorry lot, prone to every manner of vanity and error. The human march forward has been filled with wrong turns, backsliding, and horrible crimes." Nevertheless, he takes the gnoanced Raccoon position that "in its grand sweep, it has indeed been a march forward. On every dimension, the last half-dozen centuries in particular have brought sensational improvement which, with qualifications, continues to this day."

In the book, Murray attempted to quantify the great things humans have accomplished, but it seems that for every achievement there's an equal and opposite monument to our depravity. He asks, "What can Homo sapiens brag about -- not as individuals, but as a species?"

He notes, for example, that military accomplishment is out of the question, since "putting 'Defeated Hitler' on the human resumé is too much like putting 'Beat My Drug Habit' on a personal one." He also rules out mere governance and commerce, since these "are akin to paying the rent and putting food on the table" as it pertains to our species as a whole. In other words, these are things human beings must do in order to survive. They are not so much accomplishments as prerequisites for them. What took (and continues to take) so long for mankind to simply get out of its own way?

Now, this progressive view of mankind goes directly against the traditionalist view of a degenerating mankind. Again, traditionalists locate perfection in the past, to such an extent that they often seem to think their thesis requires no empirical support. For example, in The Order of the Ages, Bolton writes, "We think today about progress, and about how much society has advanced in the last few decades, but the evidence for this could equally well be used to argue that these are times of extreme decadence, when all natural and human standards have been overturned and we await the inevitable dissolution of all that the modern mind has created. Either we are moving toward new, higher standards of science and civilization or we stand at the very end of an era, on the verge of Apocalypse."

Bolton believes the latter, but on the third hand, both could be true: as we proceed through time, the polarity or tension within the human soul just becomes more and more extreme:

There was a bright light,
A shattering of shop windows
The bomb in the baby carriage
Was wired to the radio


The events yesterday in Omaha -- or most any day -- remind us of this ironic polarity, that "these are the days of miracle and wonder," so "don't cry baby, don't cry" (Paul Simon).

Murray writes that "the human capital for great accomplishment and the underlying human attraction to excellence are always with us, but environments for eliciting great accomplishment are not." I mentioned this the other day in the context of the so-called Palestinians, a culture so depraved that it literally provides the individual no opportunity to even be adequate, let alone excellent. Rather, it demands madness, bloodlust, and depravity, which has probably been true of most human cultures down through the ages. Just as he is free to choose evil over good, man, because he can know, can know many things that aren't so. And most of what he knows falls into that category.

In an article yesterday on NRO, Michael Novak wrote that he recently listened

"to a debate between Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D’Souza on atheism. This is the first debate that I have ever heard Christopher lose. In it, I heard Christopher describe his own view of the world, which may be abbreviated as follows: It was just 100,000 years ago that humans finally appeared on this planet. On average, these poor creatures died by age 25, and suffered (often horribly) from disease, earthquake, flood, famine, and cyclones -- not to mention murder and warfare. Only after some 96,000 years does Jewish history begin, and only after some 98,000 years does Christian 'salvation' come. For all those thousands of years the Creator/Designer left human beings to suffer. Then, even after Judaism and Christianity arrive, the suffering continues almost unabated. In addition, these poor human beings are badly designed. They have developed too much adrenaline, and the frontal lobes of their brains are too small. All these together leave humans in a bleak condition in a bleak world, and with very little hope."

Now, I happen to cooncur with Hitchens, at least as far as he goes. In fact, so does the Pope in his new encyclical. Novak writes that

"Benedict agrees that the condition of humans before the Jewish and Christian news of God’s intentions was as bleak as Hitchens says. The idea of progress was not present in consciousness.... The idea that each human is free in his individual conscience -- not the conscience solely of city, tribe, or even family -- had not been introduced. The idea that the human mind is proportioned to the world as it is, and capable, in the image of the Creator, of creating new inventions, discoveries, and means of progress in history, had not yet been grasped by the mind of humans."

So Pope Benedict is obviously not a strict traditionalist, but a crypto-Coon who recognizes genuine progress and therefore doesn't throw out the baby with the bombwire. He knows that progress has occurred, but at the same time, that it is never enough to satisfy the soul of man. But don't cry. Novak continues:

"Even the human capacity for invention and technological progress, we find, is not a consistent bearer of hope. Humans remain both free and also drawn to self-love, arrogance of power, irrational ambitions, and moral decadence.... Thus, at any time even instruments of great good can be turned into instruments of unparalleled evil. Of this we had much evidence during the 20th century.... [T]he horrific evils that millions experienced in the last hundred years required more than logic, science, and crazy utopian ideas. Hitchens and others are free to accept or to reject the hope that Judaism and Christianity implant in the souls of many. The fact is that this Jewish and Christian hope, once it became the driving force of Mediterranean and European civilization, produced an unrivaled and enduring burst of optimism, inquiry, and stunning progress."

So we come back to what I stated at the outset of this post: "Judaism and Christianity have the advantage of dealing with the world as it is. They take it with all its hurt and folly, stupidity and egotism, natural disasters and disasters by human hands. Both faiths prepare their daughters and sons to face a vale of tears, to meet much suffering equably, to keep their hopes unbroken no matter what, and to show courage worthy of the children of the True God. For both faiths, suffering is an irremovable fact of life."

I would suggest that you're lucky to be alive during an era when you can say It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, because for most of human history, it has mostly been the latter, which leads to something like this sentiment: "It is the worst of times, but we remember the best of times, even if it is only exists in myth and story."

Traditionalists, insofar as I am able to determine, believe in a literal "best of times," a "golden age" that had no simultaneous "worst of times." But those on the left believe in a mirror image of this: that these are the worst of times and that we can perfect mankind and build a utopia which will be the best of times. But to paraphrase something very infallible that the Pope said a few years ago, before he was even Pope, "the loss of transcendence leads to the flight to utopia." The leftist program is a surefire way to create a true worst of times, as they proved time and time again in the 20th century. A Jew in Nazi Germany or a political prisoner in the Soviet Union can be forgiven for having believed "these are the worst of times, full stop."

So a Raccoon believes that the very conditions of our human existence somehow necessitate this outwardly absurd tension of good times, bad times, of which I've certainly had my share. Yes, it's the same story, even in the semi-articulate lyrics of an old Led Zeppelin song. For what is a Led Zeppelin, anyway? It's really a promethean lead balloon, which might get you high, but not for long. "Oh the humanity!"

In the days of my youth
I was told what it means to be a man,
Now I've reached that age
I've tried to do all those things the best I can.
But no matter how I try,
I find my way into the same old jam.

Of course you do, pagan. There's only one way out, and it's not in the past, nor is it in the future.

James Joyce said it in so many kookoonish ways: perpetual fall, redemption, and irreconcilable dualities within a cyclical but spiraling time that mixes darkness and light, AKA, the nightmare of history:

The fall of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. [Those broken financiers who jumped from Wall Street buildings in 1929 only fell back to the earth.]

Hohohoho, Mister Finn, you're going to be Mister Finnagain! Comeday morm, and, O, you're vine! Sendday's eve and, ah, you're vinegar! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you're going to be fined again! [The same vine produces wine and vinegar, fun and fines.]

Gricks may rise and Troysirs may fall (there being two sights for ever a picture) for in the byways of high improvidence that's what makes lifework leaving and the world's a cell for citters to cit in. ["Cit" probably refers to the sanskrit word for consciousness.]

And even if Humpty shell fall frumpty times as awkward again... there'll be iggs for the brekkers come to mournhim, sunny side up with care. [Fall and rise, fall and rise...]

But all they are all there scraping along to sneeze out a likelihood that will solve and salve life's robulous remus... [Evoking Romulus and Remus, like Cain & Abel, the eternal polarity of brotherhood and sibling rivalry.]

But the world, mind, is, was and will be writing its own wrunes for ever, man, on all matters that fall under the ban of our infrarational senses.... [No doubt referring to the permanent irrationalities of the unconscious mind.]

The movibles are scrawling in motions, marching, all of them ago, in pitpat and zingzang for every busy eerie whig's a bit of a torytale to tell. [Every political program's got a bit -- or more than a bit -- of its opposite, like the Kucinich/Paul ticket, so you might say that every screechy and scratchy kluelessitch is ronning to be an appauling borer at our own pollutical fumesforall.]

55 Comments:

Anonymous at in la said...

Bob, with regards to--

Now, I happen to cooncur with Hitchens, at least as far as he goes. In fact, so does the Pope in his new encyclical. Novak writes that

"Benedict agrees that the condition of humans before the Jewish and Christian news of God’s intentions was as bleak as Hitchens says. The idea of progress was not present in consciousness.... The idea that each human is free in his individual conscience -- not the conscience solely of city, tribe, or even family -- had not been introduced. The idea that the human mind is proportioned to the world as it is, and capable, in the image of the Creator, of creating new inventions, discoveries, and means of progress in history, had not yet been grasped by the mind of humans."

I just read the encyclical a few days ago...could you give the reference paragraph number to where he says this in the letter?

Thanks.

12/06/2007 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No. I just took it from the Novak piece I linked to.

12/06/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

from the Pope's address that he delivered Sunday, Dec. 2

The development of modern science has confined faith and hope more and more to the private and individual sphere, so much so that today it appears in an evident way, and sometimes dramatically, that the world needs God -- the true God! -- otherwise it remains deprived of hope. Science contributes much to the good of humanity -- without a doubt -- but it is not able to redeem humanity.

12/06/2007 09:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The leftists caused the holocaust? That really doesn't look good for conservatives or liberals, willing to follow a crazed leader to Genocide based solely on his word that a people were bad and they were being taken care of. The holocaust was not a left or right issue, and I like how you conveniently forget the 21st century, even just out of it's infancy. Conservatives will gladly keep killing themselves to prevent somebody else from doing it. Excellent approach.

12/06/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But on the other end, liberals will let themselves get killed, so that they can't blame anybody for something they didn't do. There's no complete positive in one direction unfortunately, it's a shame some people can't see the good in both.

12/06/2007 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I think the real problem is, people can't see the faults in their ideas and are unwaivering.

12/06/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . . as we proceed through time, the polarity or tension within the human soul just becomes more and more extreme<<

I think that's the distinction of the age we live in, that never before has the polarity between civilization/order and barbarity/chaos been so extreme (and getting more so by the day) Of course, this is reflective of the polarity within the human soul. Well, sheep and goats . . .

Also, not only do traditionalists buy into the "golden age of the past" mirage, but so do certain flamboyant non-traditionalists, eg., the Nation of Islam (the golden age before Whitey and the Jews were invented in an evil black scientist's test tube). Then there's La Raza and their golden age of Toltec gods, before gringos and the Jews laid waste to it all, of course. And there's some branches of feminism that cling to the notion of the Matriarchal golden age of peace and plenty before rapacious white males trashed everything.

Of course, all this feeds into the aforementioned polarization.

12/06/2007 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

"That really doesn't look good for conservatives or liberals,"

Er, you mean, humans?

If so, yeah.

12/06/2007 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous joseph said...

Bob said, "traditionalists locate perfection in the past, to such an extent that they often seem to think their thesis requires no empirical support".

Traditionalist find all the support they need in the scriptural traditions of the many religions, and the countless "mythological" accounts of hundreds of different traditions. For the traditionalist, a myth is not a made up story, but one that proceeds from a metahistorical domain. Indeed, the events of the Golden Age also take place in this sphere.
One could just as easily say, Christians profess their beliefs without offering any "empirical" evidence, as, in spite of every search for the "historical" Christ, he cannot be truly found there.

It seems possible to me that the pessimistic assumptions of earlier times was formed by these scriptures and myths, not the other way round.

I say this without disputing your overall hypothesis, however.

12/06/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Coonified said...

anon said:

"There's no complete positive in one direction unfortunately, it's a shame some people can't see the good in both."

"The leftists caused the holocaust?"

Leftism is a little different than just not being integrated.


Here are some past words from One Cosmos:

"Why then are leftists so incredibly, gleefully judgmental? Because, as Polanyi pointed out, one of the defining characteristics of leftism is the subversion of traditional morality. But since you cannot eliminate the moral impulse, it ends up becoming unhinged, that is, uncontained by any transcendent moral boundaries. Therefore, the moral impulse "fuses," as it were, with what is below instead of what is above, and becomes a dangerous vehicle of the most base passions. This is why leftism is associated with the greatest mass murderers of all time -- Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al."

"In a lengthy essay entitled Hitler Was a Socialist, John J. Ray makes reference to the notoriously "slippery standards" of the left, writing that they "have no fixed principles."

In a passage that encapsulates volumes that could be written about the left, Ray discusses the deep structure of leftism, which is always the same, even while the surface content changes from era to era, year to year, day to day, and even moment to moment"

12/06/2007 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

It seems possible to me that the pessimistic assumptions of earlier times was formed by these scriptures and myths, not the other way round.

Actually, it is probably both. Both the positive and the negative. We often fill in all of the details on our own. This is why I'm not a 'traditionalist' or 'progressive'.

As for:

Christians profess their beliefs without offering any "empirical" evidence, as, in spite of every search for the "historical" Christ, he cannot be truly found there.

Suffice it to say without the historical Christ, there is no Christianity.

12/06/2007 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous joseph said...

River,
I would argue that without the Christ, there is no Christianity.

12/06/2007 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Wormwood
lucid as absinthe
give me a double shot of
amnesia water

12/06/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/06/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Only after some 96,000 years does Jewish history begin, and only after some 98,000 years does Christian 'salvation' come. For all those thousands of years the Creator/Designer left human beings to suffer"

When I first heard Hitchens say that, it made me think of Joan of Argghh!'s friend, Haisal, in response to the Geico guy saying that cavemen like him hadn't contributed to progress "Oh, right, Language, walking upright, the wheel, fire - sorry we could't get those to you sooner'

12/06/2007 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said... "Actually, I think the real problem is, people can't see the faults in their ideas..."

Do tell.

12/06/2007 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"...died by age 25, and suffered (often horribly) from disease, earthquake, flood, famine, and cyclones -- not to mention murder and warfare... " and "...self-love, arrogance of power, irrational ambitions, and moral decadence..."

It might also be worth noting that never before in human history, have a people cared about (in any way other than trying to step out of the way), or thought that the existence of such things, or thought that they were in any way remarkable, or worthy of attempting to do anything about them.

"...since "putting 'Defeated Hitler' on the human resumé is too much like putting 'Beat My Drug Habit' on a personal one..."

May not be a big seller for the resume, but I'm betting there's a merit badge or two in them.

12/06/2007 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(psst! Will! Ya see the 'Nightbird' at the end of yesterday?
'Tis the season to sell stocking stuffers.

Just sayin.
)

12/06/2007 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

River,
I would argue that without the Christ, there is no Christianity.


True, I guess what you meant was a 'purely' historical Christ. Which to me still means the Christ. But maybe 'historical' referencing the history of materialists, in which there can be no actual supernatural events...

If I made an erroneous assumption, then I'm still alive...

12/06/2007 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Anyway, Joseph. My opinion on the whole thing is in my latest post. (not on my haiku/poetry site but on my religious one.)

Suffice it to say my opinion is summarized with the following poem:

That old spinning wheel
When it touched ground (and it did)
It started rolling

12/06/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"'Tis the season to sell stocking stuffers"

Hmmm... doesn't quite look as classy as it thoughted... but still

12/06/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Van, yes -

The Nightbird has flown.

I repeat: the Nightbird has flown.

Thanks!

maintain radio silence

12/06/2007 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

shhHHhhh

12/06/2007 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Might want to get that leak fixed.

12/06/2007 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

:-#

12/06/2007 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Vinomori said...

Hitchens has a bubbly, bright mind and very little imagination. If I can't imagine the electricity in the fan by the bathtub I am more likely to have it fall into the water with me and visit kingdom come even sooner than my Christian friends.

12/06/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob F. said...

"Either we are moving toward new, higher standards of science and civilization or we stand at the very end of an era, on the verge of Apocalypse."

Or both.

12/06/2007 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Vinomori said...

Another person who would DEFEAT Hitchens in a debate is William Buckley whose heartbreakingly eloquent NEARER MY GOD is one of the best affirmations of Christian faith I've ever read.

12/07/2007 06:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is why leftism is associated with the greatest mass murderers of all time -- Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al."

In historical and political science courses it still holds Hitler was associated with rightism. While there have been many attempts by the right to make it seem apparently otherwise(which I see no reason to other than to tie political ideals to bad results) simply looking into his approach is more than enough to place Hitler on the right, especially the emphasis on individual responsibility(in contributing to the state). Which the entire reason Germans allowed the atrocities that occurred was because they had been convinced that Jews had not been active in this ideal, and were actively hindering progress. And this doesn't even come out of a text book, this is what the German's thought, straight from a German who lived through it. (but perhaps my Deutsch was a little rusty in the interview)

I would venture to say that... despite the cultural arguments over what left and right actually are. I see that there still are many disagreements, and it is best put,

"...that "left" and "right" are not absolute terms, but vary between different countries and different periods."

What I see much of, is tying left-right politics to other left-right political issues. Many people base what is right off of previous experiences, but in the instance of what motivated people in Nazi Germany, it was a push of right-wing politics(individual responsibility) to achieve national goals(which even those fit into right-wing ideals, especially the economic factors, even though the government did intervene it did in the interests of employers, much as is practiced today in the what is considered the right).

And this is where I differ from what I've read from you. I suppose all I see is accusations, but no real evidence to back it up. Saying that the leftist are distinctively immoral so Hitler is seen as a leftist, that doesn't make any sense honestly. From what I see, he was on the right, but I base it off of what I know the right is by both old standards and new, and what he did.

But if you came back and explained what the left does, how Hitler displayed actions of being a left-wing leader, without mentioning the soul(because on this subject it really has no relevance, whether Hitler was left/right has nothing to do with his soul, it has to do with his actions) I would gracefully accept the ideas. You've just given me quotes. I'm supposed to believe them because they're there?

Well, if you think "one of the defining characteristics of leftism is the subversion of traditional morality," you've bought his idea but that doesn't make it true, and there is still the issue of what exactly is traditional morality, as everybody exhibits different morals so the statement is merely to vague to be not true, it's easy to agree with if you already feel that way, but factually you can't actually say this is true.

But then again, I always hear a lot of smear from both sides, but when I hear the smear from right to left, I always think, "Clearly they've never visited Norway." Great place.

12/07/2007 07:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I guess, yes, it can be taken for granted, Genocide falls out of that realm of traditional moral values, but it is not as if every right wing idealist has always followed "traditional moral values," even if he/she knew exactly what they were.

12/07/2007 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say in the least, just because Hitler was immoral, does not mean he was not a rightist.

12/07/2007 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Try this on for size, A'mos: What's the difference between personal responsibility and personal responsibility to the state? It's a tough question, I know, but think about it for a while.

12/07/2007 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the difference between libertarianism and big government, which is different from left and right.

We'll call it up/down, in this instance, it's right and down. Which would be polar opposite of individual responsibility for individual results. Which essentially can fall to anarchy, as any libertarian ideals could.

12/07/2007 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa, don't misquote me, I just caught that.

I didn't say "personal responsibility TO the state.."

That's nothing like

"individual responsibility(in contributing to the state)"

12/07/2007 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nazism is by definition National Socialism. It has nothing whatsoever to do with conservatism, but is its ideological opposite in every way: collectivist, racist, pagan, statist, irrational, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, etc. You're probably confusing the European right with American conservatism, with which it has little in common (see the LGF - Gates of Vienna dispute, for example). To an American conservative liberal, both nazism and communism are left wing (not to mention "under wing").

12/07/2007 08:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the first response to Julie, I don't know what personal responsibility to the state would be. If legislation mandated all to participate, then that's just big government, which is to say societal leans towards left or right would be irrelevant, because there would no longer be a society, it would all be government, forced equality both in opportunity and in benefits. Drones essentially.

12/07/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"what motivated people in Nazi Germany, it was a push of right-wing politics(individual responsibility) to achieve national goals"

Hint, if you want to learn something, stay the hell away from 'In historical and political science courses...'.

Hello!
NAZI:National Socialist German Workers' Party.
Socialist seem a particularly Right leaning term to you? 'Workers Party', as in Unions, that seem a particularly Conservative leaning term to you?

"fas·cism: 1often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition"

"so·cial·ism 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods"

Your jackassery knows No's no bounds. They were fascist socialists, meaning that the collective was all, the individual was nothing... Nothing, individual responsibility was anathema to them, there was Duty, in its full Kantian flowering, the Duty to the Volk. Read what Hitler said in his speeches, or read his book.

Especially Today, December 7th, try not to be so offensively stupid.

12/07/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

National Socialism is not
socialism. There is a difference. In fact, I even stated an economic factor in National Socialism that explains one of the biggest differences.

12/07/2007 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"'Workers Party', as in Unions, that seem a particularly Conservative leaning term to you?"


"Your jackassery knows No's no bounds. They were fascist socialists, meaning that the collective was all, the individual was nothing... Nothing,"

good job negating yourself within 3 paragraphs.

12/07/2007 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I know December 7th, and I ask the same favor of you.

12/07/2007 08:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hint, if you want to learn something, go out and learn it. Stop bullshitting yourself on on-line blogs.

12/07/2007 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny because you negated Bob for me, I'm glad you did the harder work. But then again, I did give examples to modern day America, it sounds like you calling America fascist.

12/07/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least in the economic sense.

12/07/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Sorry all. Not a good day for toleration.

12/07/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Asstounding.

(I know Joan, 'I will stop feeding the trols','I will stop feeding the trols','I will stop feeding the trols','I will stop feeding the trols'....)

Woof.

12/07/2007 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do speak German btw so I already knew even the complete German name of the Nazi party, I know what it meant, but Democrats don't participate in a democracy do they? America is a republic, party name has little to do with operation.

12/07/2007 08:35:00 AM  
Anonymous joseph said...

Anon said:
"...it was a push of right-wing politics(individual responsibility) to achieve national goals(which even those fit into right-wing ideals, especially the economic factors, even though the government did intervene it did in the interests of employers, much as is practiced today in the what is considered the right)."
It is true that in America today, the right/conservatives (so-called) involves itself in government intervention in economic matters. A perfect example is Bush's recent promotion of a mortgage rate freeze. Indeed there is rarely a distinction made by those claiming to be classical liberals and republicans while at the same time coming to the defense of the current administration, as though they were conservatives/classical liberals. The reality is that there are almost no American politicians who are conservative/classical liberals, as they all wish to use a gigantic federal government to eradicate problems: war on poverty, war on drugs, war on terror, and so on. None of this is conservative; all of it is leftist. Both major parties identify with these goals, encourage these goals, etc. After that, it is simply a question of which party's "plan" is preferred.

12/07/2007 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which exactly emphasizes the problem with left/right politics. Joseph you have impressed me. Thank you.

12/07/2007 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus, to emphasize another issue

"racist, pagan, statist, irrational, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, etc."

These are issues that are either opinion, or irrelevant to politics, understandably there may be parties that exhibit these traits, but usually it's not because of their political ideals, but rather reasons that my be used to further political ideals, unfortunately. Politics vs society. Sometimes they align. But both ends are guilty of what you accuse only one.

12/07/2007 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Joseph said "The reality is that there are almost no American politicians who are conservative/classical liberals, as they all wish to use a gigantic federal government to eradicate problems: war on poverty, war on drugs, war on terror, and so on."

Yes, the last gasp of Classical Liberalism sputtered out with Coolidge, since then it's been Roosevelts on the left and Roosevelts on the right (FDR or TR) and silly hats and name tags abound.

Still when you've only got Dumb and Dumber to choose from, pick the first while educating the next generation to replace them... and pray for time.

12/07/2007 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

By the way, if you'd like to gain a serviceable understanding of Political Science, especially as it relates to the United States, reading through the excellent presentation of the The Founders Constitution, from the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund.

This is thoroughly hyperlinked to relevant material which the Founders had in mind during the constitutional debates, as well as afterwards with the Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers and into Supreme Court debates (as well as the likes of the famous Jefferson letters 'Danburry" and others, concerning the 'wall of separation between church and state').

You can jump right into the background material with the Fundamental Documents, and/or dive right into the constitution's Preamble, each phrase backed with illuminating links to documents and letters from the Founders, Greeks, Locke, etc.

Or you can go and get a Political Science degree, and pretend to know all you need to No.

12/07/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"racist, pagan, statist, irrational, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, etc."

These are issues that are either opinion, or irrelevant to politics

Too dopey or (hopefully) too young Van - has some sort structure that makes 'sense' in Anono's head & likely got coodos from the Profs, since they likely embedded the chaos. A nice, neat interior package, even tho what's said makes no sense as written.

You're wasting your time. Resist the urge.

Have we heard from Ben yet?

12/07/2007 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze said "Resist the urge"

Working on it, always working on it. Actualy managed to discard a retort to ninny m, and went with my last comment... progress... of a sort.

No, no word from Ben yet... getting worried. I think Walts going to try some sources on the ground.....

12/07/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Re Ben - this is not the first time this has happened, remember last winter? Mizz e wrote that she called the house when she visited Ben.

That man needs a way to contact one of us that's not dependent on a land-line. Making us all worry, repeatedly, is Simply Not Acceptable!

Since he lives in the boonies, perhaps a cell won't work.........?

wv: fvzxdwft - which is exactly what I say about this situation
2nd wv: jlwkbich (now I'm scaring the cats)

12/07/2007 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze said... "2nd wv: jlwkbich (now I'm scaring the cats)"

AHH! ISS!
You owe me half a Starbucks!
;-)

(uh-oh... wv is chatting between calls...)
wv:sxmuuln

Not touching that one.

12/07/2007 12:54:00 PM  

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