Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Obama the Tyrannical Medicine Man

In the book C.G. Jung Speaking -- a compendium of print and radio interviews with the famous psychoanalyst -- several of the interviews go into his take on the phenomenon of fascism, which was all the rage in the 1930s. His impressions are quite casual and off-the-cuff, perhaps the closest we'll ever get to knowing what it would be like if Jung were a blogger, or if he were tweeting the run-up to World War II.

It's another book I haven't looked at in maybe 15 years. I remember the precise moment I purchased it, because it was during a psychology convention in San Diego. As usual, I was bored out of my skull, and was desperate for something to divert my mind. There was a Barnes & Noble next door to the hotel, and this book looked like it would be interesting enough to keep my attention, but not so challenging that it would be impossible to comprehend in a room full of yapping psychologists.

It's amazing how low the profession has fallen since these interviews were conducted. I have a lot of problems with Jung, but at least he was a serious man. Now when the media want an opinion, we have mediocrities, frauds, and sociopaths -- oh my! -- such as Dr. Phil, Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra. Of course, we do have the great Theodore Dalrymple, but how many people know of him?

Bear in mind that back in the 1930s, fascism was not yet a dirty word. It was simply a designation, not an accusation. If you had called goddinpotty (our current house troll in charge of trolling) a fascist back then, he would have said, "uhhh, so what. What's your point?" Conversely, there was a time when democracy was a bad word. Indeed, our founders were well aware of the inevitable pathologies of direct democracy. This is why Allitt (outstanding book, by the way) refers to the Federalist Papers as the first "American conservative classic."

Back to Jung. There is an interview from 1936 entitled The Psychology of Dictatorship. In it, he casually lumps Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Roosevelt together, calling them "tribal rulers" (bear in mind that this was well before Hitler and Stalin were known for their genocide rather than their politics). He points out the truism that the intrinsic chaos and disorder of liberal democracy evokes its own reaction in the form of enforced order. This is why leftism not only requires a crisis to seize control, but manufactures them in order to do so.

Look at Obama. Instead of having some problems in the healthcare system that could be easily addressed by free market solutions, we have a "healthcare crisis" that justifies his revolutionary transformation and state appropriation of the whole system. Likewise, the bogus "climate crisis" justifies the state taking over energy. The economic crisis -- AKA the business cycle -- justifies our children's children going into debt in order to pay off all of the liberal special interests designated in the notorious porkulus bill. And next year, the "immigration crisis" will involve making the crisis go away by turning the immigrants into legal and reliable Democrat voters.

Liberty is a terrible thing. Clearly, it is not natural. This is something that those of us who do cherish liberty sometimes fail to understand. In reality, human beings crave security. This is why conservative classical liberalism is always such a tough sell, because it promises you nothing except to protect your liberty. On the other hand, leftism promises you everything but liberty (except, of course, the liberty to murder your fetus, or sodomize your brother, or be a parasite on another man's productivity, etc.).

Again, Jung is not being the least bit inflammatory when he casually reveals that "I have just come from America, where I saw Roosevelt. Make no mistake, he is a force" with a "perfectly ruthless mind" and "the most amazing power complex, the Mussolini substance, the stuff of a dictator absolutely." Please note that in the 1930s, not only was "fascism" not yet a bad word, but neither was "dictator." Many on the left were calling for a "benign dictatorship" to seize control of the economy and set things right. And anyone who objected to this was redefined as "right wing" -- even people to the left of Roosevelt, such as Father Coughlin!

In fact, this is precisely when our political terms were inverted, so that classical liberalism was now considered "right wing," whereas illiberal authoritarian statism became rebranded as "liberal." Marxists became the "revolutionaries," whereas classical liberals -- the real revolutionaries and liberators -- now became "reactionary." This is how we have the absurdity of a goddinpotty, who brands those who oppose fascism as fascists. President Bush liberates Iraq from fascism. Then he's a fascist! You don't want the state taking over you're healthcare? You're a poorly dressed or well-dressed nazi! Etc.

Jung suggests that there are two types of dictators, the "chieftain type" and the "medicine man type." Hitler clearly falls into the second category, in that he is a "medium" who doesn't so much make policy as reveal it. It is closer to dreaming than discursive logic.

No, for the last time, we are not suggesting that Obama is Hitler. However, I think it is pretty clear that he is the "medicine man" type who simply rules by decree. None of his major positions are well thought-out, to such an extent that even an average (conservative) college student can poke holes in them.

Next comes an interview from 1938 with the breezy title, Diagnosing the Dictators. This raises an interesting point. Yesterday, Rick asked me what I thought would happen to Obama as his popularity dwindled and he was exposed as the empty suit that he is. Not too long ago, Obama was a very full suit. But what was he full of? Yes, himself, that's a given. But that wasn't entirely self-generated.

Rather, it was puffed up from the truly extraordinary projections of his starry-eyed cult. The moonstream media repeatedly refer to his "rock star appeal," and this is indeed the case. I remember exactly what it felt like to elevate rock stars into gods. It can still be something of a shock for me to read about what they were actually like -- how truly pathetic most of them actually were. The god was obviously in me, but merely projected outward.

But I was a kid then. Imagine being an adult -- David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley -- and falling for this? John Lennon once sang, "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." I would agree with him, except to specify that the false god is such a measure. Thus the corollary, "Obama is a concept by which we measure our spiritual emptiness." Today, millions of people are waking up to the emptiness as if from a trance. Except it's not "as if."

Note what Jung says, for I think it's right on target: "the medicine man [is] not strong in himself but [is] strong by reason of the power which the people project into him" (italics in original). He has no intrinsic power, but only that which is funneled through him as a result of projection.

When you experience real power, you can know the difference in an instant. I think of a Schuon, who radiates real vertical power from the center outward. He is like a mountain, whereas Obama is like a mirage. You could put your hand right through him. Likewise, "Hitler as a man scarcely exists." "He is not a man but a collective. He is not an individual; he is a whole nation" (of projections).

He contrasts this with Stalin and Mussolini, who had a real power and presence. Except that it was a primitive and demonic presence: "Stalin is just a brute -- a shrewd peasant, an instinctive powerful beast." Mussolini suggested a kind of physicality that was both sexual and powerful. Perhaps the closest analogy in terms of that kind of energy would be JFK. In fact, had he not died, one could well imagine the left nominating JFK Jr. on the basis of his sexual charisma alone. He certainly had nothing else to recommend him.

But Hitler "belongs in the category of the truly mystic medicine man." His mysticism "makes him do things which to us seem illogical, inexplicable, curious and unreasonable," but which obey his inner voice. Jung talks about the revival of the Teutonic cult of Wotan, which is symbolized by the swastika, a revolving form making a vortex ever toward the left, or toward the unconscious. All of the symbols of National Socialism were intended to sweep up the nation "in a hurricane of unreasoning emotion."

I think this helps the explain the Obama healthcare hurrycon, in which he is trying to con the public into radical change by hurrying us up beyond all reason, before there is even a 1,000 page bill for no one to read or understand. It's just what the Medicine Man ordered, whatever it turns out to be.

More casual political incorrectness: "Hitler's 'religion' is the nearest to Mohammedanism, realistic, earthy, promising the maximum of rewards in this life, but with a Moslem-like Valhalla into which worthy Germans may enter and continue to enjoy themselves. Like Mohammedanism, it teaches the virtue of the sword."

Oh, and how is it possible to treat these fascist patients, Dr. Jung, since they don't even know they're sick? "I dare not tell him to disobey his Voice. He won't do it if I do tell him. He will act even more determinedly than if I did not tell him. All I can do is attempt, by interpreting the Voice, to induce the patient to behave in a way which will be less harmful to himself and to society than if he obeyed his Voice immediately without interpretation."

And how to save the liberal democratic U.S.A.? "It must, of course, be saved, else we all go under. You must keep away from the craze, avoid the infection.... America must keep big armed forces to help keep the world at peace, or to decide the war if it comes. You are the last resort of Western democracy."

60 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

All of the symbols of National Socialism were intended to sweep up the nation "in a hurricane of unreasoning emotion."

You don't say...

8/18/2009 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> America must keep big armed forces to help keep the world at peace, or to decide the war if it comes.

Who knew back in the 80s that Ronald Reagan was actually channeling Carl Jung? ;-)

8/18/2009 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Bob says: "The economic crisis -- AKA the business cycle -- justifies our children's children going into debt in order to pay off all of the liberal special interests designated in the notorious porkulus bill."

The porkulus bill is really just helping to lead us into one of the more awe inspiring of the economic cyles: The soverign bankrupty cycle.

8/18/2009 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Bob.

8/18/2009 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

The best thing about this blog is that it's sometimes quite useful. Yesterday, I was just thinking that Jung seems to have had some good ideas. And, next thing I know, Bob decides to spend some time talking about Jung (and a book of Jung interviews).

Bob also says: "It's amazing how low the profession has fallen since these interviews were conducted. I have a lot of problems with Jung, but at least he was a serious man."

So Bob, what's your biggest problem with Jung?

8/18/2009 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There are many problems, but one of the biggest is what Wilber calls the "pre-trans fallacy," in which the lower vertical and higher vertical are conflated.

It seems that Jung was also an anti-Semite.

8/18/2009 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There are some excellent post-Jungians who ground Jung's insights in modern developmental and attachment theory instead of making it into a pseudo-religion.

8/18/2009 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

This is how we have the absurdity of a goddinpotty (our house troll), who brands those who oppose fascism as fascists.

Liar. Show me where I've labeled anyone as fascist (other than actual fascists). It's you who goes around stamping fascist fascist fascist on anybody you don't like. Such an obvious case of projection indicates one of two things: either some kind of deep-seated mental pathology that prevents you from perceiving your own actions accurately, or you're just a lying sack of shit.

8/18/2009 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I haven't read it, but this book would appear to be an example, Coming Into Mind: The Mind-Brain Relationship: a Jungian Clinical Perspective.

8/18/2009 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rock. Pig. Squeal.

8/18/2009 09:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

I love the smell of steaming troll in the morning.

8/18/2009 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"goddinpotty (our current house troll in charge of trolling) a fascist back then, he would have said, "uhhh, so what. What's your point?" "

Now of course he will say "I support the policies, I just don't support the term"

8/18/2009 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> Rock. Pig. Squeal.

If this were a Zen story, GP would only require a couple more whacks or abusive comments from the Master before attaining Full and Perfect Enlightenment (TM)....

8/18/2009 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

How can I too be an internet toughguy like Gardenparty?
Is there a class I can take?

I'll bet Obama just HATES being drawn back into all those childhood disappointments and twisted realities he just papered over with false bravado and Marxist theory on his way to becoming Captain Utopia.

8/18/2009 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

Doesn't it cause you any shame to be constantly prating about Truth while telling lies?

If you aren't lying, then it ought to be easy to produce a link to a comment where I have "branded those who oppose fascism as fascists". If you can't do it, you are a bearer of false witness, a topic which I believe the Bible has something to say.

I'm not in the habit of tossing around accusations of fascism lightly.

8/18/2009 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Gardenparty = bible-thumper?

8/18/2009 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous laketrout said...

GIP, from yesterday:

> So I ask myself why I'm
> wasting my time.

So what was it that yourself answered?

8/18/2009 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

My fault. I've asked him to stay on until I can find a replacement. It's not all that difficult to find a troll this angry and stupid, just hard to pry them away from dailykos.

8/18/2009 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I love it when a commie leftist pulls the Bible card to try and manipulate someone into behaving as they wish.
They're so cute that way.

8/18/2009 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger katzxy said...

I've heard it said (Prager, for instance) that the left is concerned with equality, while the right with liberty. It seems to me that the fundamental conflict is liberty vs. control, not freedom vs. equality, and that the calls for equality are really just camouflage for the quest for power.

This is not to say that there aren't lots of folks who sincerely believe in equality, at least consciously, but it's the driver, not the hangers on that interest me.

Now, I've seen lots of comment along the lines of freedom vs. equality, less about liberty vs. control. So what am I missing here?

8/18/2009 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Trout, indeed that's the real question. We've already established that argument (in the form of a dialog whereby one party tries to sway the other to their point of view) in this case is fruitless, as neither side has a vested interest in convincing their opponent of anything. But only one party in this case is actively seeking out his ideological opponent, spending a considerable amount of time reading (but not comprehending) the enemy's posts and trying to get the attention of people whose views apparently send him into a rage. I wonder if Rumpelstiltskin wouldn't be a better nickname?

But back to the main question: what's the attraction, and what's the payoff? If you could answer those questions for yourself, GP, you might actually start to find a bit of light at the top of those basement stairs.

Personally, I think you keep coming back because you do see that Bob knows something that you don't. And you want very badly to know that something, too. And you see that there's a community here, people who are in on the jokes and have a good time and care about each other. Watching them play together is like standing in the dark, frigid depths of winter, staring at a family that inexplicably behaves as though they're frolicking in the midst of spring or summer. They're wearing shorts and throwing water balloons and tossing each other into snowdrifts as though there were a swimming pool. They keep throwing snowballs at you, since you insist on standing and staring at them. They look like they're in the same dark depths you are, but there's a weird light surrounding them, too. And so you want in, but they keep telling you that to get in you have to give some things up. Like your heavy coat, and your boots, and that bigass chip on your shoulder. But you don't wanna.

So, instead of doing what you really long to do - join in the fun - you stand and scowl, and tell them it's freezing. You start to hate them, because they refuse to see it your way. "See? Snow!" You shout. And they just laugh, and throw more snowballs. And since you insist on doing this, they keep throwing snowballs, both because it's entertaining to watch you squeal and in the hopes that one of them will finally knock you out and the resulting cooncussion will let a little sonlight into your dense skull. Granted, it's a stretch, but as long as you keep shouting at us, someone will lob another missile in your direction. And this gives you a weird sort of satisfaction - you may not be in the son, but you have their attention. They can see you, at least, even if you can't quite make them out. Maybe you can convince them that really, it's freezing, but you know where there's a nice little fire to cozy up to, and you could explain how the world really is. (As though anything you could possibly offer would be better than where we are, which is simply here and now.)

Or, maybe I'm just full of shit - I've never ruled out the possibility. In fact, it's really more of a certainty. But whatever your deal is, goddinpotty, you have my pity. You come across as a miserable piece of work, and if one of those water balloons does crack your skull, I imagine it'll be painful. And when you wake up, you'll be all wet. But at least maybe then you'd feel a little warmer. I don't hold out much hope that you'll ever see the pool, though. Which is too bad, because the water really is perfect.

8/18/2009 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

katzxy:

I think the leftist elites and masses have different motivations. The masses want security, while the elites want power and control. Thus, it's a marriage made in hell.

8/18/2009 01:03:00 PM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

My guess is that godlesspottery is just to afraid to join in on the fun here because of what he think his friends will say... Maybe they'll start calling him a fascist, and that is not very nice, is it?

Better to earn more credibility among his own ranks by joining in on their name calling.

It truly is sad.

/Johan

wv: messeri
what a mess...

8/18/2009 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

katzxy said..."...the fundamental conflict is liberty vs. control, not freedom vs. equality, and that the calls for equality are really just camouflage for the quest for power."

The surface level desire of the rank and file is for equality, or 'fairness!'.

Of course the only way that can be even approximated, is through forcefully applying controls to, eventually, the entire population - something the rank and file is likely to discover only when it is too late.

8/18/2009 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That's interesting, Bob. Vanderleun linked to a piece that caught my eye, with a passage that seems rather relevant:

God lays a burden on The Woman to desire to be the mistress of her husband to control and dominate him, but always to be in a place of submission to him. Woman’s besetting sin, I believe, is to desire to control their husbands.

***

The two work together in a sinister partnership – the man would rather watch TV and play World of Warcraft than take responsibility in the relationship, would rather give in and not cause trouble. The woman takes over because, after all, he’s such a bum and you can’t expect men to be any better, and someone has to get the job done! Each feeds the other, making their sin easier and the relationship suffers in the process as resentment and frustration grows.

8/18/2009 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> I've asked him to stay on until I can find a replacement.

Ray's not available? Damn, but I miss him....

8/18/2009 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, at least old Ray was unfailingly polite. And clean.

8/18/2009 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> I wonder if Rumpelstiltskin wouldn't be a better nickname?

It even has the right number of syllables.

"God-in-POT-ty-is-my-name...."

8/18/2009 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Actually, GP, don't feel too bad - I'm an outsider here too, just as I am everywhere else (even including my own head).

The only difference is that I don't give a shit. Middle age will do that to you.

8/18/2009 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Rackbabi said...

OK, the amount of strawmen that Bob and his friends are throwing around in here has made this place a fire hazard.

8/18/2009 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger katzxy said...

Bob, Van, thanks. It's indeed a rare pleasure when one is give new insights into long standing puzzles.

Free markets certainly do not give a sense of fairness or security. For example the high school dropout running a business making more than someone with a 4.0 and an advanced degree. Where's the fairness in that? Or someone's work upended just because someone else has come up with a new way to do things. Where's the security?

It explains a lot about how the seemingly smart people I grew up with (Manhattan, upper west side) supported ever increasing control by the government. The evidence of the historical failures was no match for the feelings of unfairness or insecurity or entitlement.

8/18/2009 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous The Stupid Troll said...

Well, if GP were more intelligent, he might say something like this:

As I pointed out to you guys the other day, when I posted a link to the Papal Encyclical "Quanta Cura: Condemning Current Errors", the scholastic philosophy of the Catholic Church has historically been used to oppose, not to support, the American system of liberty and limited government, on the basis that the abstract philosophy of John Locke does not fully account for the organic growth and reality of human community and thence civil society.

This point of view would seem to be bolstered by Bob's revelatory statement that he was shocked to hear Dennis Prager say that the ideals of liberty could just be transplanted to an immature society, such as has been attempted in the Middle East.

Obviously, for those of us not steeped in Christian metaphysics, a less simplistic view of government is needed, for us to come to a right conception of the proper nature and scope of government, without getting confused by our own mind parasites.

Ideally, the free market and the rule of law would always work, but what if their proper function were undermined by surreptitious interference? Oh, for example, how about the rule of law being undermined by the 14th Amendment, which made us all subject to the jurisdiction of the federal government, thus allowing for all sorts of nationalistic statutory law to be imposed upon us from the top down? Or how about the Federal Reserve being implemented to cause a money-famine on purpose to suck away the nation's wealth during the Great Depression, and thereon perpetually to lower interest rates, thus stealing money from every middleclassman with a bank account and granting power unjustly to capitalists and businesspersons who benefit from being able to borrow money for capital investment in heavy machinery, which only reduces the demand for labor even more, so that they who borrow (the rich and the stupid) have power and we hard-working non-borrowing types do not?

I, The Stupid Troll, in the Name of all other Stupid Trolls, demand that you, once and for all, explain first how the Christian metaphysics which are based on the natural law which accounts for everything by defining its own limits, correlate with the simplistic law of nature espoused in the Constitution (which I believe you can), and second how come you do not see that money is a type of Christ, with a veil that at the same time reveals and hides, reconciling the particular with the universal by being a measuring rod for every particular and a universal idea of wealth in everyone's mind?

But, OH! Yes, this "rule of law" you see, is in fact rule of law--rule of law under the 14th Amendment. This mess of socialism that you see--this is the result of conservatives not understanding the highly complex--the incarnational complexity--of money, so that when socialized banking and currency causes poverty, all we can do is stupidly say that fascism and socialism is worse. Don't you see? We need to contemplate the money issue, and then we need to begin with the money issue, or no one will believe us on anything else.

8/18/2009 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous The Stupid Troll said...

Oh, and my threat that I have to back up my demand is that if you do not do these things my brethren and me eternally will haunt you (really, this is out of my control--it's just a fact that we'll keep coming back).

8/18/2009 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Stupid Troll:

Not sure what you're asking for, but you might begin by studying Michael Novak's Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. It may not be what you want, but it's what you need.

8/18/2009 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, great post. But, the more you criticize Obama the more "off the deep end" you appear to be drifting.

There is not a shred of evidence that Obama's policies have harmed Americans. If you had any, you'd have cited it by now. What you do have is plenty of angst over what 'might' happen, but that doesn't cut the mustard. Get real.

You have some kind of a mental septic shock causing a delerium.

A symptom:

You failed to cite the GP quote regarding fascism accurately (I'm supposing if it were factual it would be easy to retrive the comment as evidence) You probably recalled it from memory and it proved to be faulty.

Best move--admit you made a mistake. It won't kill you.

Back away from Obama as source material. It brings out your absolute paranoid worst.

8/18/2009 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Dear stupid troll,

Love the name. Sounds like someone just finished Jekyl Island (mixed). Assuming it isn't a fully accurate description of you, you know that what you ask isn't going to fit into a comment.

If I may be of assistance, I put up a post last yeat that is much larger than a comment, and does cover the whole ball of wax you ask about, including Locke and more, and you're sure to enjoy the title:
Dehumanism: The Mystical World of the New Atheists,
It starts with Science and works it's way up to Free Will, Reason, The intelligence of Reason and the Stupidity of Force, Ethics, Law, Happiness and Religion.

It doesn't cover the FED, that'll come at the end of my series on Justice, but for now I'll say 14th Amendment Good, 16th-18th, bad, bad news.

8/18/2009 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

katzxy,

Yep... The pendulum is freedom/responsibility v. security/control. Some of my friends think somehow that one can have freedom and security but this is a misnomer and a fallacy. It's technically a seduction. I think Bob or someone delineated what the word seduction means by taking it apart. It was very enlightening.

One crazy thought: if a free market involves risk, then what is the quotidian risk of control? That is the question. We're talking about how to deal with reality, not what "sounds good". There is no guarantee, and if there is, then, what is the risk that guarantee would pose, given reality? What happens when a guarantee enters the picture? One thing perhaps is no creativity or innovation. And that is on the positive (missing) side. As far as the negative side (negative side affects present), Van summed it up with the enforcement prospect, or result, rather.

8/18/2009 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

As GB brilliantly observed, "Liberty...is not natural."

What is natural in a fallen world is "survival of the fittest".

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." (I Cor 2:14)

Liberty is only of God. Fallen (natural) man will always ultimately choose survival (security) over liberty. It is his nature.

8/18/2009 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

I guess what I'm saying is that control offers its own risk, a much bigger one, something that people who crave security don't mention.

8/18/2009 04:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Stupid Troll said...

Thanks, Bob and Van. But I honestly believe Bob could do a wonderful blog on how money is a type of Christ.

8/18/2009 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous The Stupid Troll said...

And I need to understand it, and if we all understood it, we trolls would go away.

8/18/2009 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/18/2009 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/18/2009 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

My history teacher in high school (Christian school) put it in terms of a scale - when the freedom side of the bar is high, the security side is low. When the security side is high, the freedom side is low. The levers are responsibility and control - put in responsibility and yield freedom or allow control and gain security. Those are my words; he drew it in the air and narrated it some fashion such as what I wrote.

The complexity of money sounds like a smoke screen. If there is a problem in the financial systems, they need to answer to freedom, not the other way around, yes? I've thought it through before, somewhat, but it always sounds like an excuse and not a reason. I have not heard or read a full outline of the argument, and I would like to, but still have a feeling it would come back to the second sentence in this paragraph.

8/18/2009 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

the stupid troll said... "... if we all understood it, we trolls would go away."

If you don't understand it by now (assuming you are one of the many who've haunted here for some time), it is because there is some part of it you aren't willing to understand... yet you say you need to understand it.

Gotta be willing to understand, to understand it.

Seem to have caught yourselves in a Catch-22... with your cooperation, the truth protects itself.

It's not Gagdad who needs to do more, but you (or them, as the case may be).

8/18/2009 05:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Stupid trolls, apoplectic trolls, trolls with even worse hygiene than usual -- we need a Field Guide To The Common Troll to keep it all straight.

8/18/2009 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Btw, keeping with the blowing my own horn mode, I put out three posts on 'Spiritual Economics' (wow... 3 yrs ago), which included a mostly polite debate with another blogger who was advancing the Catholic Church's accepted economic policy of Distributionism, which I in no way support.
- * Spiritual Economics 1
- * Spiritual Economics 2
- * Spiritual Economics 3

8/18/2009 05:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

BTW, "stupid" is not the same thing as "borderline personality troll". Every time I come across that quasi-lucid writing style the author turns out to be posting from an institution where paper shoes are mandatory.

8/18/2009 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ok, minor embarrassment, sorry to me-link again (it was 3 yrs ago), the first previous link began the debate with Deep Thought, but the Distributionism debate was continued with,
- Redistributing my thoughts on Deep Thought
and
- Return to Deep Thought

8/18/2009 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Stupid Troll,

But I honestly believe Bob could do a wonderful blog on how money is a type of Christ. And I need to understand it, and if we all understood it, we trolls would go away.

You personally might go away, but it would do nothing to resolve gp's problem. Part of which (I'm assuming, completely without serious justification) is not just what I was saying earlier but also that we despise many of the things he holds dear. Including his misconception that we should fit some particular mold he has in his mind of how Christians and/ or spiritual people should act. Every troll has his own reason for being annoying.

But anyway, to your point. To say that money is a type of Christ is really one of the most basic forms of idolatry. What money really is is immaterial. It is a symbol, and it only holds value inasmuch as it is perceived to have value. It's an extremely useful symbol, to be sure, but it can't grant you salvation. It can't grant you absolution, and it can't give you peace. It doesn't care about you. It won't answer your prayers, even though the sudden acquisition of money may be the means by which certain prayers are answered. That's all it is: a means to an end, and both the means and the end exist purely in the eye of the beholder. It's a shorthand method for expression value, recognized by people who use and exchange it as being less cumbersome than barter and trade (and therefore to everyone's benefit). You can worship it, if you like, replacing Truth and the Absolute with an abstract and contingent tool. Lots of people do. But that wouldn't be particularly wise.

"But wait!" you may cry, "Christ is an immaterial symbol, too!"

Sure, you can tell yourself that. And as long as you do, you won't know any different.

But we do.

8/18/2009 06:37:00 PM  
Anonymous laketrout said...

> if we all understood it,
> we trolls would go away.

Uh oh.

So as soon as you get a job, you'll move out of the basement?

8/18/2009 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Indeed. What is it Godinpotty wants.
What does he want from us.

What do you want Godinpotty?

8/18/2009 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Laketrout said "So as soon as you get a job, you'll move out of the basement?"

Heh,

Ask not for whom the potty flushes,
It flushes for thee -

8/18/2009 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Back to the original topic of the day,

I think this helps the explain the Obama healthcare hurrycon, in which he is trying to con the public into radical change by hurrying us up beyond all reason, before there is even a 1,000 page bill for no one to read or understand. It's just what the Medicine Man ordered, whatever it turns out to be.

The other Dr. Bob has some interesting observations about just what the Medicine Man would obliviously order.

8/18/2009 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - so I've finally been reading 1984, in fits and starts. I've never read it before. This line jumped out at me a couple minutes ago:

On a scarlet-draped platform an orator of the inner Party, a small lean man with disproportionately long arms and a large, bald skull over which a few lank locks straggled, was haranguing the crowd. A little Rumpelstiltskin figure, contorted with hatred, he gripped the neck of the microphone with one hand while the other, enormous at the end of a bony arm, clawed the air menacingly above his head. His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, boomed forth an endless catalogue of atrocities...

heh - guess I was channeling Orwell this afternoon ;)

8/18/2009 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Liberty is a terrible thing. Clearly, it is not natural. This is something that those of us who do cherish liberty sometimes fail to understand. In reality, human beings crave security. This is why conservative classical liberalism is always such a tough sell, because it promises you nothing except to protect your liberty."

That's an excellent way to put it, Bob.
Even at the time of the American Revolution where we had a majority of leaders and would be leaders who wanted liberty, there was still quite a few naysayers that preferred the "security" of slavery to the crown.

Perhaps the most well known account of people wanting to give up their liberty is the story of the Exodus.
Moses frees the Jews and it doesn't take long before Edward G. Robinson convinces them they need to go back to Egypt (slavery), because at least there they knew what to expect. And to build a golden calf to worship.
A twisted security to be sure, but it was tangible to them.

The security of God is rooted in liberty and it requires faith because it's not tangible in a material sense.
It can also mean many trials by fire, testing, and molding of character which can be very painful.

Liberty may mean time in the desert or wilderness and the dreaded dark night of the soul, and not just one night.

But without liberty I contend there can be no true and genuine joy or peace of mind.
I reckon if one is a rich slave then it will be easy enough to fool yourself into thinking you're joyful, but even the most powerful slaves are stil, in the end, slaves.

Liberty can be very traumatic indeed but eventually (it is hoped) one realizes the utter futility of slavery which is a strong illusion of security. Or, rather it is security, but security of not having to make our own choices or to take responsiblity or accountability for them.

How nice to be the perpetual child where mommy and daddy tell us everything we must do to get our pudding.
That can be appealing.

Of course, with liberty you have the potential to make your own pudding and eat it whenever you wish, even before your meat, if you want (although one can argue that blood pudding is actually meat n' pudding, and no I have no idea where I'm going with this).

I reckon, in a sense, you hafta be a tough bastard to choose liberty over slavery. A real glutton for punishment. A spiritual masochist, perhaps?!

Because unlike most doctors, God ain't gonna say: "you may feel some discomfort."

No, God's tellin' you: "this is gonna hurt like hell! But...it'll be worth it. Trust me. Oh, and you might wanna bite on this bullet so you don't chew your tongue off (okay, I probably made up that last sentence. Unless you heard it too, that is).

8/19/2009 03:33:00 AM  
Blogger phil g said...

Theodore Dalrymple is a treasure. Unfortunately I think you're right in that a lot of right thinking people have never heard of him.

8/19/2009 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Liberty is a terrible thing. Clearly, it is not natural. This is something that those of us who do cherish liberty sometimes fail to understand. In reality, human beings crave security. This is why conservative classical liberalism is always such a tough sell, because it promises you nothing except to protect your liberty."

A point worth being made again, from a slightly different angle. James V. Schall has an article on Last Things: Prudence ,

"Indeed, I cannot be “good” if I do not have all the virtues, including justice and prudence. Justice is not prudence, nor is prudence justice. Each virtue refers to a different aspect of that same reality that takes place in our souls when we do something that reveals what we are in our chosen actions. In real life, no virtue of any sort—justice, courage, temperance, generosity—can be what it is without prudence and justice being present within it. Every act, in other words, is what it is—a courageous act or a generous act—and at the same time, it is potentially at least related to others."

With "...reality that takes place in our souls when we do something that reveals what we are in our chosen actions...", he nails it for both points. Liberty, and your response to it, and its requirements, reveals whether you're a Man, or a mere homo sapien. I had a fellow argue with me recently that my concern for Individual Rights, Liberty, Freedom was foolish, that I should take a cue from the Europeans "If you think taking the whole month of July off is bad, then your values are pretty damn screwy". In his mind it was a slam dunk to trade: 'nebulous Rights, for being able to do what you want whenever you want at others expense'.

Rights, Virtue, Law... all of it, NONE of it is natural, unless you first choose to become Human, an existence that cannot be sustained without it.

8/19/2009 05:36:00 AM  
Anonymous rackbabi said...

Hey, good on Ricky Raccoon for actually asking goddinpotty what he wants.

Most of you prefer to make up what he believes and then argue against it.

8/19/2009 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Julie said...
"the eye of the beholder..."

On the way to work today was thinking of that phrase and how it applies to the material world. To make an air-tight external crib of everything within grasp would take away the opportunity to bring anything to the table. It's the meaning of the things that matters, not the things.

When I saw that phrase in the comments (upon checking email at the computer at work), I chimed the bell - "yes!" Concur!

8/19/2009 10:08:00 AM  

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