Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Cause and Cure of Mankind

Manliness.... [is] the only remedy for the trouble it causes. --Harvey Mansfield, Manliness

One of the things a classical liberal realizes that a leftist liberal doesn’t is that human beings are the problem. And this is why the classical liberalism embodied in the modern conservative movement will always be a tougher sell than contemporary left-liberalism, because people naturally don’t want to believe that they are the problem. Rather, they prefer to imagine that there is some simplistic political solution that will cure the disease of man.

But if you have even a modicum of personal insight, you know bloody well that no political program could ever cure you, you sick bastard, any more than socialized medicine could make Michael Moore just put down the damn fork, okay? The state cannot cure restless mouth syndrome.

I realize Petey's characterization of human beastlings sounds harsh, but you know he's right, and besides, he was addressing me. But there is a sense in which you can think of human beings as a weird disease of the biosphere. However, you can also think of life as a sort of runaway cancer on the body of matter, and existence itself as a blight on the body of nothingness. Some old wise man or guy -- I can't think of the name -- said something to the effect that existence was the greatest sin of all.

After all, if there were no existence, there would be no problems either. To exist is to have problems, if only because existence implies duality and therefore separation from the Source. And that’s a big problem -- a problem that it is the purpose of religion to address and to heal. Religion is about recovering our prior wholeness -- or, let us say, "discovering" the wholeness that already is. Truly, it is a "memoir of the future."

Being that the principles we are discussing are truly universal, no man can escape them. Your tenure is powerless here, my overeducated friend. Nevertheless, you will have noticed that leftism attempts to address the same problem -- to heal the wound of existence -- only in an upside-down way, e.g., the religion of radical environmentalism that sees man as the pariah of the biosphere.

Do you see the irony? For the left, individual men are not the problem. Rather, mankind is the problem. Since the disease is "collective," they imagine that the cure is too. But their prescription cannot heal a man, to put it mildly. Rather, for the leftist, the "cure" is in the attempt to impose the cure on others. They don't care that the treatment actually makes men worse. The point is that it makes the leftist feel better. It diminishes their existential pain. This is why we truly say: God save us from the do-gooders! Why do liberals not believe me when I say that I can get through life without Barney Frank's help?

The local manifestations of life and mind are relatively recent phenomena in the cosmos. (Again, I believe that involution is prior to evolution, so that life and mind are ultimately nonlocally prior to their local appearance.) The cosmos is at least 13.7 billion years old, meaning that it did just fine, thank you, for about 10 billion years without any creepy living things slithering about and mucking things up.

And after that, the cosmos went another 3.84 billion years or so without any of these animals getting a big head and thinking that they knew better than the cosmos that had bearthed and begaialed them. Although modern human beings have been more or less genetically complete for as long as 200,000 years, we really don’t see any evidence of what we -- or I, anyway -- call proper humanness until its sudden emergence about 40,000 years ago, for example, in the beautiful and fully realized cave paintings at Alta Mira and Lascaux.

As I pointed out in One Cosmos, once you have these new modes of locally concentrated Life and Mind, you also have the entirely new existential category of pathology. In other words, prior to the emergence of life 3.85 billion years ago, there were literally no problems in the universe. Nothing could go wrong because nothing had to go right. (Of course, I'm omitting discussion of the multitude of things that have to go right for a big bang to result in a big brain, but that's the subject for a different post.)

But every biological entity is composed of various functions that must achieve their end in order for the organism to survive. Say it with me: pathology is a function of teleology, or final causes. This is why we say that "judgment day" is just the cosmic final exam, that is, a measure of the distance between you and your final cause. Don't worry -- no one gets a perfect score. Well, one guy supposedly did. But guess what? In this class, you're actually allowed to copy his work!

In a human being, there are thousands -- millions, I suppose -- of large- and small-scale things that have to go right in order for us to be free of pathology. Our lungs must exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the environment; our heart must circulate blood; our pancreas must produce insulin (d’oh!). A multitude of irreducibly complex processes have to go right for life to continue. Anything that interferes with the ability of an organ to accomplish its end is called “pathology.”

But this leads to an interesting question, for what on earth or in heaven is the mind for? What is the proper end of human consciousness? Because if we don’t know what consciousness is for, we can’t very well say that this or that individual is pathological, can we? Nor can we even begin to develop a functional political philosophy. It would be like trying to build a zoo with no proper knowledge of the appropriate habitat of each individual species. No wonder our culture is such a zoo.

Now, if you adopt a strictly Darwinian, materialistic view, then the answer to this question is obvious: a healthy person is simply one who survives, because that is the whole point of natural selection. Thus, Stalin was more healthy than the 20 to 40 million people he murdered, just as Hitler was clearly more healthy than the 6 million Jews he slaughtered. Survival of the fittest is the final arbiter in nature. You may think that I am being a bit polemical, but this was the philosophy of one of the forerunners of postmodernity, Nietzsche, who believed that the whole idea of “God” was a pathological meme that simply protected the weak and infirm from the harsh judgment of nature. Nature loves man ruthlessly, as some wag once tailed it.

No matter who you are, you will have something inside of you that makes a judgment between psychological health and pathology. A non-psychologist generally doesn't make his criteria explicit or overcharge you if you try to pin him down. But clearly, you cannot say what is pathological unless you have some implicit idea of what a human being is for, and what the pathology is preventing it from accomplishing.

Is there a reason for our existence? If you are any kind of materialist or secularist, you must be intellectually honest and affirm that there is no such reason -- no possible reason -- aside from those that we simply make up.

And this is precisely what the secular left does. To use the technical term, they just "make shit up." The doctrines of “diversity,” multiculturalism and moral relativism are all nihilistic to the core, being that they insist that there is no proper way for a human being to “be,” and that any judgment we make about other people and cultures is not only wrong, but probably racist as well. But on why on Darwinian grounds is racism or anything else intrinsically wrong? C'mon, Queeg. We're waiting.

Completely lost on these leftist quacks is the irony that their daffy doctrine of diversity is itself a very strong statement about the ultimate purpose of human beings, which is to not make judgments unless it is to harshly judge those who judge. This is what we call a sophisticated postmodern belief, which is to say that it is a diseased limb on the tree of western civilization that its inhabitants have cut from the trunk, so that they mysteriously hang suspended in thin, irony-poor acadanemic air with no visible means of philosophical support. This is why in the Polanski matter we see the morally insane rush to non-judgment.

It makes no sense at all -- certainly less sense than the religious traditions they deride and dismiss -- but that’s an intellectual for you. They always believe that their abstractions are more real than reality, and that reality itself is a deviation from their beautiful ideas. They don't trust something that works in practice unless it also works in their theory. It’s one of the reasons they detest liberty, because they cannot accept the idea that the spontaneous and robust “bottom up” order produced by chaotic liberty surpasses their own beautiful ideas of how the good society should be imposed by leftist elites from on high.

I do not derive my ideas of human spiritual and psychological health and pathology from nature. Nor do I derive them from culture. Rather, I do so from religious tradition, which I believe speaks to the Universal Man -- not to such and such a man, but to man as such -- to all men at all times and in all cultures, without exception. The man who fails to achieve these ends is more or less sick in the soul, spirit, or brain, while the culture that fails to produce these kinds of men is a sick society. To turn it around, the purpose of civilization is to produce these kinds of men, which is to say, Men.

Man is the image and likeness of the Creator, so he therefore has an uncreated intellect that may know Truth, and know it with certainty. He may distinguish between the Real and the unreal (or less real), between appearance and reality, between the transient and the eternal, between causes and effects, between the objective and subjective, and between principles and their manifestation. No mere animal can do any of these things, nor can any materialist philosophy or tenured ape account for them in a manner that is not logically self-refuting.

Man has an uncreated conscience that may distinguish between objective good and evil, and do so reliably. This is not to say that I do not believe in situational ethics. Rather, it is to say that in each situation there is an objectively good choice, even if we must struggle to discern it.

And man has an aesthetic eye that may distinguish between beauty and ugliness, and therefore pursue degrees of translucent material perfection that are apprehended in light of the Absolute. Aesthetic perfection does exist, and cannot surpass itself. Postmodern art makes a virtue of its failure to even acknowledge these transcendent degrees of perfection, and therefore equates ugliness and beauty. As we have said before, it aims low and reaches its target every time.

In short, man is man because he may know the True, the Good and the Beautiful, and act upon that knowledge with a will that is free. Any man who does not achieve these ends is a sick man, and any culture that does not produce such men is a sick society.

Judged by these criteria, academia is by and large a very sick place, at least as it pertains to the humanities (we are naturally excluding those noble and truly liberal universities such as Hillsdale College whose very mission is to preserve the ideals of which we speak). On what elite campus do the professors speak of timeless truth, or objective morality, or of transcendentally real beauty? To the extent that they do, we have no quarrel with them.

Our enemies in the Muslim world are our enemies precisely because they are sick men from sick societies who wish to spread their disease to the rest of the world. But in our own part of the world, approximately half of the population suffers from a soul pathology that prevents them from making judgments on, or even perceiving, the soul pathology of our external enemies.

Thus, there are no feminist groups that rallied behind George Bush, who liberated more Muslim women than perhaps any other human being in history. Likewise, I know of no leftists who celebrate the achievements of the great liberator Ronald Reagan, who gave millions of victims of a satanic ideology the opportunity to become human again. For if leftists were to acknowledge these achievements, they would no longer be leftists. They would be cured.

129 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Oh, good grief. One would wish it were not see easy to find evidence of leftist pathology. First click away to check my email, I'm presented with this foolishness.

10/01/2009 08:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, actually the point of Darwinism (i.e., TOE) is to reproduce, not survive.

So there are Darwinian reasons to disfavor child brides. Their bodies often can't handle pregnancy and they would more likely die during childbirth (often along with the child). This defeats the purpose of reproduction. Moreover, the idea is to reproduce and allow the young to reproduce also. Having a mother who'd be too incompetent or weak to care for her children would also defeat evolution.

But you're right that Darwinism is not a moral philosophy. It's not meant to be. These are simply pragmatic concerns.

The real reason those who believe in Darwinism don't approve of pedophilia isn't because they're concerned about the future of the human race. It's due to the harm to the child involved. No one uses Darwinism as their sole basis for deciding what's right and wrong morally.

I do have one question, though. You mention if leftists supported Bush's liberation of Muslim women, they would no longer be leftists. You also say leftists just invent their purpose. While I think many leftists would agree on that they invent their purpose, are you saying that all leftists are necessarily non-religious, (in the sense that they do not subscribe to a formal religion, not counting leftism as a religion itself)?

10/01/2009 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rather, for the leftist, the "cure" is in the attempt to impose the cure on others. They don't care that the treatment actually makes men worse. The point is that it makes the leftist feel better. It diminishes their existential pain.

And, example number two. To paraphrase somebody I read yesterday (Roger Simon, maybe?), you could make this stuff up, but who in their right mind would?

10/01/2009 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And to answer your question, anonymous, clearly some leftists are religious, it's just that they don't necessarily believe what they think they believe.

10/01/2009 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The great thing about being a leftist is that you get to make up your own definitions for words, like sacrifice.

We are truly living in Bizarro World.

10/01/2009 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

You see? The demented Deepak agrees that the problem is us. Only in his case, he says that the problem is our failure to accede to the omniscient demands of the "Fix-It President." (BTW, exactly what has he ever fixed? I must have missed it...)

10/01/2009 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"In short, man is man because he may know the True, the Good and the Beautiful, and act upon that knowledge with a will that is free. Any man who does not achieve these ends is a sick man, and any culture that does not produce such men is a sick society."

What fascinates the bejeebers outta me, is how that goes into the leftist head, gets processed, and comes out as "Hate!" sausage.

10/01/2009 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...clearly some leftists are religious, it's just that they don't necessarily believe what they think they believe."

This also describes 99% of all Christian conservatives I've ever known (and I am one).

"The great thing about being a leftist is that you get to make up your own definitions for words, like sacrifice."

The great thing about being a right winger is that you get to make up your own definitions for words, like socialism.

10/01/2009 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

From Julie's link, "The lights atop the building, which is owned by W&H Properties, are often are changed. For example, Italian colors — red, white and green — commemorate Columbus Day, while green, white and orange are displayed for the India Day parade."

And after all, I'm sure they just figured 'Hey, if we can honor the genocidal actions initiated by Columbus, why not those by Mao? Whartareyou... racist?'

10/01/2009 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Abraham said...

"the great thing about being a right winger is that you get to make up your own definitions for words, like socialism."

Excellent point. It was hilarious to see Sean Hannity decry farmer's not getting water from a resevoir that was from a depression era goverment subsidy. This is not to mention the constant corporate welfare that takes place. Why don't they call that socialims. Well, because it is actually fascism, or "corporatism", if you prefer.
America has always been an odd combination of goverement subsidy and free market. That is exactly why we have been so successful. Obviously, it can teeter one way or the other too far.
Early American's, for example, greatly benefitted from free land, as did many people from Lincoln's policies after the Civil War. That's why I would have been for giving every adult American, say $40,000 last fall, rather than AIG and Goldman Sachs.

10/01/2009 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evolutionary theory says nothing about "healthiness". It is about reproductive fitness, which is not the same thing. Your position is false and your examples are off the mark -- Hitler had no children; Genghis Khan would be better. But the more fundamental mistake is trying to look for moral judgements in a scientific theory. Science is strictly amoral; it describes the way the world is, not the way it should be.

It is the Catholic Church, not Darwinians, who believe the sole purpose of sex should be reproduction.

Finally, "the left" has been mostly condemnatory of Polanski, Hollywood excluded (believe it or not, movie celebreties do not define the worldview of the left). Even one of your favorite punching bags, Bill Maher, is on the right side of this one.

10/01/2009 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“Why do liberals not believe me when I say that I can get through life without Barney Frank's help?”

Yes, but can he get through his without ours?

10/01/2009 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Yes. He can always screw himself.

10/01/2009 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Trolls say the darndest things -- as if the government giving away free land is the same as taking it!

10/01/2009 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Lots of squealing this morning. I didn't realize there were so many rocks in today's post.

10/01/2009 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“A multitude of irreducibly complex processes have to go right for life to continue.”

…for you to be born. I remember a biology teacher telling us this. ‘cept he said “it was a miracle anyone is born”. He ran through all the steps and stages and what was being developed and when. All the things that had to go right. Next thing you know, we have 7 billion people on this ship. This is no boating accident.

10/01/2009 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

The great moral philosopher Bill Maher asks,

"Why is so much of hollywood defending Polanski? If u can give a 13 year old a lude and do her in the naughty place, where is the line?"

We eagerly await his answer.

10/01/2009 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Lincoln said...

You miss the point Bob. Would you be in favor of the government giving away land today? I doubt it, since that would be welfare.

10/01/2009 09:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Hedley Lamarr said...

Unfortunately there is one thing standing between me and that property: the rightful owners.

10/01/2009 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Thought cloud:
What luck. I have to stand next to Bill Maher in this thread.

10/01/2009 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

The great thing about being a left winger, is that you can start to destroy a nation such as America, first by calling its core documents such as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, as being 'relics' of a past century, as Wilson and all proregressives who followed after him did – never pointing out its faults, just asserting that you were for New! Scientific! Progress! which was was good all its own, and then just take credit for all those things which still somehow manage to eke out some functionality.

And then when people begin to call you on it, you can say with Hillary that you are proudly doing what you do '... in the great American tradition of proregressivism'... and should someone point out that “Hey… those doctrines of proregressivism are now relics of failed 19th century ideas... can you point to some sound reasoning or examples of success for continuing them?”, a leftist only needs to answer 'Pshaw! Right winger meanie! We are compassionate!' and all is well.

Being a leftie, means never having to define pesky things such as Political Rights, or their importance to be upheld – or opposed - just whine about your needs… or better yet poor children’s needs, and that you need to rob others to pay for their needs because that is the compassionate thing to do… and all is well.

Unless… that is… people begin to mock you

10/01/2009 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Hedley Lamarr said...

Wait a minute... there might be legal precedent. Of course! Land-snatching!
[grabs a law book]
Land, land... "Land: see Snatch."
[flips back several pages]
Ah, Haley vs. United States. Haley: 7, United States: nothing. You see, it can be done!

10/01/2009 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Give a man twenty acres and a mule, and he'll create a farm. But give a man an acre and twenty mules, and he'll create a humanities department.

10/01/2009 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Another relevant item, video of VDH discussing Obama, shortly after the election.

10/01/2009 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“In this class, you're actually allowed to copy his work!”

It’s an open Book test, for cry-eye, and we still can’t get from tare to ear!

Great post, Bob.
Ah well, back to work...
*poof*

10/01/2009 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately there is one thing standing between me and that property: the rightful owners."

I wasn't aware there was such a thing. All land in every country was probably stolen from someone else through war and conflict. And the ones who got it stole from them had forefathers that stole it from someone else in earlier decades or centuries. Social Darwinism finds its greatest end means in war, and I find it odd that so many conservatives (and again, I am one) have very little problem with going to war when war itself is generally about stealing land and one side imposing its will on the other. Unless you're living in the Antarctic you're probably living on stolen land.

10/01/2009 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Ah trolls.

Mtraven's my second most-favorite troll, you know.

Apparently, he's still stuck here in spirit:

"Gagdad Bob continues to spew forth metaphysical mush interspersed with attacks on the left. I still find something fascinating in how coherent his worldview is, although it's both wrong and repellent and supported with transparent lies."

omniorthogonal.blogspot.com

10/01/2009 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

There's one in every cloud.

10/01/2009 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky said "Ah well, back to work..."

Only one more day of that for me, and then I again get to become one with that one and only cash crop of leftism... the one thing that leftist x-spurts always seem surprised at their ability to produce so much of... the unemployed.

Change you can be assured of.

Maybe I'll take another cruise....

10/01/2009 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, as long as mtraven, of all people, thinks I'm a paranoid nut, I call that a clean bill of health. I am reminded of a crack Petey once made when I questioned his wisdom about something or other: "the fool's reproach is a kingly title."

10/01/2009 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Job said...

Anonymous- (after all your posts and arguments;)
Why claim to be (or even know) a "conservative christian"??? Why not just tell us that you are the "Pope"?? better yet, why not god??
It would be just as believable..............

10/01/2009 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Job - I was thinking the same thing. She must not have read my link about sacrifice; that, or she thinks (understandably) that being stuck for hours in a plane with Oprah is an unendurable hardship...

10/01/2009 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Abe. L said...

Hedley,
Of course, I am referring to the millions of acres of currently federally owned land, not privately owned land.
Yes, give a man a mule and 20 acres and he will create a farm, and that is how our forefathers created wealth--by the governement giving them land and a mule, and then incredibly hard work.
Again, government subsidy and free market working together, the American Way.

10/01/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Amazing post today. It contains in a few hundred words more wisdom (by far) than can be obtained spending four years at Harvard in the humanities. Providing you can unpack it. Having read and re-read OCUG and most of the blog, I am reasonably adept at assimilating posts like today's.

Some posts move like jazz...

10/01/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Russell said...

Cousin Dupree : "BTW, exactly what has he ever fixed? I must have missed it..."

Didn't you notice? With Obama, the fix is in!

10/01/2009 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Job said...

Abraham:

Your arguments are specious. First and foremost, corporations don't pay taxes, their customers and shareholders do. (that would be ummmm...economics 101.) So corporate taxes are really just a double taxation on regular taxpayers (the power of heist). Your definition of corporate welfare is a tax break on a double tax????
Second, that reservoir was a part of the Reclamation Acts and the money to pay for the dam, canals, ditches, came from the sale of Reclamation bonds. Those bonds were paid for by the farmers paying a "water fee" charged for the use of the water as it was delivered to irrigate crops over the years. So, I don't really see the corporate welfare or "corporatism"
Lastly, your argument detracts from the real problem. The US is taking that water that has been paid for by those land-owning farmers (that would be theft) and using it for the benefit of some fish that can be grown just fine in a 100,000 gallon aquarium/fish farm. Instead, our richest and most productive farmland is turned into dust bowls and the taxpayer/consumer takes it in the shorts because food prices skyrocket. $5 peach??? you bet!

10/01/2009 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Anon (9:01) said...

"The great thing about being a right winger is that you get to make up your own definitions for words, like socialism."


A lefty friend just said to me that she can "also redefine socialism and communism" for me; she had defined a couple other things in our discussion. But she hasn't yet. So, just curious, what would yours be? I don't mean to open a can of worms but am curious (in a brisk/brief manner) what you mean. I recognize in advance that this question might be clutter.

10/01/2009 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Abe said...

Job,
You are funny! I actually run a corporation, and believe me, we pay taxes!! We only try to pass it on to the customers, unless we can't sell for a high enough price. That's economics 101.1.
You also miss my point, since I'm not complaining about corporate welfare, or government subsidy. I am also not advocating depriving farmer's of water, I am simply pointing out the hipocrasy of Hannity and his ilk--always blaming goverment--unless it is the kind of big government they like--when he detracts from finding a solution to a particular problem. In this case, obviously it is lunatic environmentalists, but not goverment as such, or welfare, or subsidy, or any such thing.
By the way, I don't have the power to detract from the argument, being merely a commenter on a tiny blog.
Again, the best system in the world is not libertarian, nor is it socialist, it is a combination. Wishing it were one way or the other simply denies the facts on either side.

10/01/2009 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Bob says:

"Man has an uncreated conscience that may distinguish between objective good and evil, and do so reliably. This is not to say that I do not believe in situational ethics. Rather, it is to say that in each situation there is an objectively good choice, even if we must struggle to discern it."

Not in every situation. Only in situations in which moral choice is implicated.

And if you don't get this point, then you are quite likely to just do whatever the vital mind suggests, aren't you?

After all, if there aren't objectively good choices, then why not have some good clean vital fun?

10/01/2009 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Aninnymouse said "I wasn't aware there was such a thing. All land in every country was probably stolen from someone else through war and conflict. And the ones who got it stole from them had forefathers that stole it from someone else in earlier decades or centuries."

Nope, couldn't see that one coming.

'Social Darwinism' as with most of Spencer's thinking, or that of Henry George as well, were just early forms of proregressivism - that gelled into the Teddy Roosevelt variety of little 'r' republicans - but it is not Conservative thinking, not in the Classical Liberal meaning.

Prior to a legal understanding of property rights (see Locke for an early, and essential understanding), there is no land, only geography. A savage who roams from coast to coast, steps not a single foot upon Property or Land - only geography and ground.

A savage who merely picks up a shiny stone from the ground or takes it from another because they can, knows no property, and has none.

Geographical ground does not become legal property, until you first define its boundaries, without usurping another’s. Property is created by humans who apply their minds to differentiate some one thing from another, defines a set of boundaries as his property, and works to transform it, to imprint it with the mark of his intellectual efforts - and respects another's claim to that which they have defined and claimed.

Those who take what does not belong to them - such as your proregressive and european brethren, past and present, mere savages decked out in finery, aka tyrannts - they know no Property, only beastly wants and desires.

If you don't understand that Property is only created with some form of intellectual effort, and importantly the respect for the boundaries which separate it from others property - you have no understanding of Property, and can only attain a stylized level of savagery - calling it a Civilization, will not make it so.

Nor can you preserve one when that understanding has been forgotten – see the recent ‘demonstrations’ in Pittsburgh – an excellent picture of the savagery you revere and which is to come if Conservatives are defeated.

Proregressives who claim that a Doctor's services, or ANY of my property, is there's to take because they claim to need it - are infra-human beasts of prey only - and beg to be dealt with as such - hence their aversion to Guns being the property of those who recognize them for what they are.

10/01/2009 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also extrmely handsome, smell good and the chicks dig me. (aint's the internet great?)

10/01/2009 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Btw - the Government did not provide 'the Land' to the settlers, they provided a set of maximum boundaries, and the legal forum within which a person could stake out and define that portion of geography which they were determined to transform into Land, through their efforts.

wv:dabnoses
I like it....

10/01/2009 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Here's something nifty to cleanse the palate a little bit: the fruits of 38 years of capitalistic endeavor.

10/01/2009 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

wv: sinami

WV is getting quirky, in light of the post.

10/01/2009 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous tecumseh said...

Van,
You must also impose immanent domain, and any other "limitation" on private property. Also, "commons" must be vile to you.

10/01/2009 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Tod said...

Honest Abe says:

> I actually run a corporation,
> and believe me, we pay taxes!!
> We only try to pass it on to the
> customers, unless we can't sell
> for a high enough price.

So you make up for it by volume then? I'm going to have to call bullshit 101 on this one.

10/01/2009 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ah trolls."

You really ought to put a comma after "ah".

How to prove to the world you have nothing intelligent to say? Just use the word "troll" as an argument.

"Anonymous- (after all your posts and arguments;) Why claim to be (or even know) a 'conservative christian'???"

"All" the posts I've made have been two. Your writing is grammatically incoherent from beginning to end. If hate displayed in rudeness, arrogance, and childishness is for some reason now considered a Christian trait, as you've just proven it is in your world, then I'm definitely in the wrong club.

"Why not just tell us that you are the "Pope"?? better yet, why not god??"

Because unlike the vast majority of people pretending to be conservatives and Christians, I actually am trying to be one, and part of that testament to virtuous living means not telling lies about myself, not using casuistry as a form of argumentation toward others, and extending the hand of love to everyone at all times whether they're smart enough to agree with me or not.

"Job - I was thinking...."

I disagree.

But, I still love you.

"Yes, give a man a mule and 20 acres and he will create a farm, and that is how our forefathers created wealth--by the government giving them land and a mule, and then incredibly hard work.

"Again, government subsidy and free market working together, the American Way."

Sometimes it works, and obviously there are countless examples of when it does not. What it definitely isn't is either a conservative or liberal issue. It is a root issue with the American mindset and laziness. This is true of both those liberals who think the world owes them a living for doing nothing and of conservatives who believe owning a business where others do the grunt work for you is the natural way of the world. Neither wants to get out of bed and actually do anything.

Yet there are few creatures on earth more socialistic than a Chinaman. There is also no creature more industrious with whatever you give him. However, when we look at the typical Russian worker in his days of socialism, we find laziness. So it would seem obvious that people being prosperous with what you give them has little, or nothing, to do with political ideologies. It has much more to do with what kind of children you raise.

10/01/2009 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

tecumseh, I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.

10/01/2009 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Walter said...

What the fuck are you talking about?! This Chinaman is not the issue! I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line you do not, uh--and also, Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred, uh. . . Asian-American. Please.

10/01/2009 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Job said...

Lincoln,
I think I referred to shareholders as well. Maybe you don't like Hannity, but he pointing out a real problem, one that affects not only the farmers and their communities but everyone here in the US that consumes food. The "big government" things Hannity has backed (that I am aware of) is the war in Iraq, but not too much else. But I don't listen to him much.
But I'm afraid that the current pres isn't the usual Dem good 'ol boy that realized this country was about capitalism. Those boys would have come up with a tax code change to make money flow to the healthcare profession (writing off equipment in one year, writing off hospital construction or clinic costs in inner city areas in one year, etc) He is a hardcore socialist and only thinks everything has been "stolen" so he can be a bigger thief and not have any consequences. He has no idea how this country works. I'm afraid he has no morals or compulsion about the use of force to get it.
Lastly, this may be a tiny blog, but some of us like it......personally, I like the homey touches Gagdad....

10/01/2009 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So, just curious, what would yours [definition of socialism] be?"

(Acts 2) It's rooted in the joint ownership of land and goods--not services. Whether universal health care is a good idea or a bad one, the one thing it is not is socialistic. If services are now to be defined as socialistic then we must do away with the very reason societies and civilizations exists because people gathering together to form these unions do so to share services. All governments everywhere are about shared services. There are things you can accomplish as a group that you simply cannot do as well being an individual. We share the protection of police departments, fire departments etc. because there is both safety and efficiency in numbers. We share a monetary system to facilitate an exchange of goods and services. That monetary system is controlled by us through those we elect to be watchmen over it. The government doesn't own our goods or the services we provide as individuals to earn a living, but the monetary system itself is yet another service a shared government provides. If conservatives are going to argue away universal health care, I would find it far more palatable if they would do it without specious arguments.

10/01/2009 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Job said...

Anonymous,
Then you haven't been around long enough to know that there is a troll that uses "Anonymous" all the time. That said, I frankly don't care about my spelling and grammar. In my travels on the internet, I have found that the only people who care about spelling and grammar are those that have no argument and therefore, are leftists.....as far as the rest of your drivel about being morally superior:
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
you kill me..............

10/01/2009 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Prior to a legal understanding of property rights (see Locke for an early, and essential understanding), there is no land, only geography. A savage who roams from coast to coast, steps not a single foot upon Property or Land - only geography and ground."

I see no truth in that whatsoever. There may be savages who roam the world with no use for a set place to live, but it's far from the norm and has been since the Neanderthals. Even Cro Magnon generally lived in one cave--not several. Most men have always preferred to settle in one place and call it home.

10/01/2009 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Webster said...

Socialism:
Pronunciation: \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1837

1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state


I do not think that word means what you think it means.

10/01/2009 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What the fuck are you talking about?! This Chinaman is not the issue! I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line you do not, uh--and also, Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred, uh. . . Asian-American. Please."

I see Bill O'Reilly has just entered the room.

10/01/2009 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

"...they cannot accept the idea that the spontaneous and robust “bottom up” order produced by chaotic liberty surpasses their own beautiful ideas of how the good society should be imposed by leftist elites from on high."


THIS is exactly what I run into over and over with them. I have tried and tried to talk to some of my friends and THIS is the brick wall at the end of the yellow brick road - almost every time. I'm starting to think I just need some new friends. I have tried to talk to them because I care about them and want to find out the source of our differences in opinion. They say "How can it be?" (regarding the spontaneous); I hear "control." I say "freedom"; they hear "abuse" usually by big business, ie the favored mantra word, corporations.

It usually ends with a whimper on their part, "Well how can you tell? How can you predict?" and I say "You can't, that's the point." The title card at that point would be: why does she have an interest in not being able to predict and guarantee specific outcomes? So far the conversations haven't gone to that extent. But it is potentially a good next question. Gets kinda philo then though.

10/01/2009 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I do not think that word means what you think it means."

I don't think that was directed at me, was it? It seems to agree with everything I said--that socialism is about property and goods--not services. For all I know there may be a dictionary somewhere that may say otherwise, but I don't think any of us who ever had a history or government class were taught that socialism is about shared services.

10/01/2009 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

The anonymi should either get their act together and do a numbering scheme, or get a nic. Otherwise, I'm just going to keep skipping over 'em. Demanding we distinguish one anon from another by tone (esp. when you're all pounding the same tired note over & over) is what makes you a troll. Own up, or take to visiting some other insignificant blog...please, would you very sweetly? (Christian enough?)

10/01/2009 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

I've always thought that a shorthand way to gauge a person't moral sanity is to check their basic position on abortion. "Abortion on demand" equals complete insanity (think Whoopie Goldberg territory).

Similarly, one's position on global warming helps gauge how connected someone is to old-fashioned reality.

Millions of leftists have simply decided to chuck science and make reality up wholesale. Coons knew that ages ago. What is now emerging is how this entire hoax was basically the work of a handful of "scientists". The scientific wheels fell off the bus a long time ago. The screeching, sparking carcass of the bus is propelled along by the sheer madness of the leftist crowd.

Telegaph (UK): How the global warming industry is based on one MASSIVE lie

Any leftist who still clings to this nonsense is simply dangerous.

10/01/2009 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Amen, NB.

10/01/2009 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Also no surprise that Queeg is "pro-choice", anti-climate change "denier", and alters his "philosophy" fast enough to make Andrew Sullivan look like a political tectonic plate.

Queeg really has NO shame.

10/01/2009 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Webster said...

When there is governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, government is providing services.

Medicine and medical services are goods which are produced. If the government controls the production and distribution of medicine, it is engaging in socialist behavior.

10/01/2009 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon,

Why did you pick Hannity to make your point as if all here agree with him? In four years reading this blog, the name Sean Hannity has never been mentioned, except by you. Do you consider Hannity to be the pinnacle of conservative thought?
Is it because you consider yourself to be a great American?

10/01/2009 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

toodumbtosay said "...You must also impose immanent domain, and any other "limitation" on private property. Also, "commons" must be vile to you..."

I wonder... a statist hippie of the left... or a libertarian hippie of the right...? So hard to tell sometimes. They are fun to watch argue with each other btw, because they ultimately come down to being unable to explain their positions any further than "Because I said so!"

Neither understands the function of Government proper, that - (statist hippie of the left) All rights are destroyed when Government violates the property rights of any of its people, or (libertarian hippie of the right) NO Rights and no property can exist without Government upholding and defending them. Interestingly, both show either a flawed, or anti-conceptual, grasp of the nature of Property - mistaking it as 'physical stuff' you grab or cling to, rather than something which only a conceptual understanding can define or defend.

To see the feeble understanding, and disastrous results, of the leftist grasp of 'property' see again Pittsburgh in the recent news... or Venezuela, where in the midst of coffee bean growing heaven they recently had a Coffee bean shortage (!), or to see the feeble, concrete bound, grasp of the nature of property that most libertarians have, see Murray Rothbard as he demonstrate the limits of their understanding in regards to Intellectual Property and Libel.

I'm building up to the answer to your 'points' on my blog in the series on Justice, but I've got a few to go... in the meantime some Due Process and Taking the Fifth reading might help.

10/01/2009 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - the first part of this song sums things up quite tidily, I think.

10/01/2009 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous B.A. Barackus said...

B.A. Barackus

Websta,

I pity tha fool who don’t like ma socialism!

10/01/2009 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Anon,

What did you mean by "(Acts 2)"?

Per the rest, my response would be of course socialism means (most) services. The emphasis is on distribution of wealth (or no?), and you use wealth to buy services and goods. When you get a hair cut you pay for it out of the same wallet that you pay for the extra hair spray on your way out of the salon. Right?

But the division between services and goods helps me understand where some people might be coming from. But it sounds like what you are saying is that group-distribution of services is a given. The question then is how many or what services? Why would you stop at one point and not another? The point is the money trail not whether something is called a good or a service. They are both purchasable. Or am I wrong?

10/01/2009 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "I see no truth in that whatsoever."

Duh.

"Even Cro Magnon generally lived in one cave--not several. Most men have always preferred to settle in one place and call it home."

And still do... they call it france.

For those who don't define themselves by their blood or their mud, a nation was created out of Ideas - we call it America, and if you don't understand it's ideas and principles, you may roam the land, but you don't live here.

10/01/2009 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "If services are now to be defined as socialistic then we must do away with the very reason societies and civilizations exists because people gathering together to form these unions do so to share services."

Obviously following closely along with the 'trolls book of trolling':

"Step 2:If opponent isn't defeated by your calling him names, equivocate. Since the time of leftie daddy-o's, we trolls have found it especially useful to try and confuse free association with forced compulsion - especially useful with Judeo/Christian's who haven't given the matter much thought (it's a perk for us, honest generous people rarely suspect others of being dishonest thugs... like us).

Note - if they figure this out... run. FAST! Or they may ask you to define what you mean... or... gasp... discuss principles! (god help you)
"

10/01/2009 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Julie, speaking of Oprahfication, I ran into a case study today on FB. Innocently mentioned your study (not the topic, but its attempt to separate spiritual "feeling" from intellectual assent) and wow. After a few comments, they were asking me to stop and go away. Must've messed with their groove, apparently. I really didn't say anything all that incendiary either. I was just thinking out loud about how some forms of "spirituality" (pseudo-spirituality) exist to make the practitioner temporarily feel better about himself. "...having an appearance of godliness but denying its power." I suppose I should "avoid such people."

10/01/2009 01:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Grover said...

Julie,
Now you know what it's like to disagree with you.

10/01/2009 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Outstanding post today, with which I wholeheartedly agree except for the word "uncreated" in the following two sentences:

>> "Man is the image and likeness of the Creator, so he therefore has an uncreated intellect that may know Truth, and know it with certainty."

>> "Man has an uncreated conscience that may distinguish between objective good and evil, and do so reliably."

Christianity would argue with this Vedantic (or Neoplatonist) notion, I think, by stating that while Man's intellect and conscience both reflect, or participate in, or are grounded in (choose your term) the Divine Reason, yet they are both created. Don't know the official Coon position on this point, though....

10/01/2009 01:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Orville said...

Of course, that's why Schuon saw the Vedantic doctrine as supreme.

10/01/2009 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> It is the Catholic Church, not Darwinians, who believe the sole purpose of sex should be reproduction.

Since no-one else has done so, I'd like to point out that this "anonymous" statement is flatly untrue, as even a cursory glance at a Catholic Catechism will quickly show. I don't expect our trolls to know anything about Pope JP II's Theology of the Body, but it would be gratifying if they would at least learn to read plain English.

10/01/2009 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> Of course, that's why Schuon saw the Vedantic doctrine as supreme.

Well, a Vedantist would tend to view Vedantic doctrine as supreme, wouldn't he? :-)

I guess I'm more interested in whether it's actually true rather than if it's "supreme" or not.

10/01/2009 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Van @ 11:23 & 11:27

Gold, pure gold. Any links on that to share with my needy (lefty) friends? Even if for the purpose of sharing certain points with them in conversation... not necessarily the links themselves. It seems that that is something they are missing in their rubric.

Ever consider running an online university from a cruise ship?

10/01/2009 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Van,

...Or from anywhere. You had mentioned your cruise coming up. Tuition checks at a fraction of what most univ.'s chargeswould probably support a professor at sea.


wv: nednedne
I dunno... very singsong.

10/01/2009 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What did you mean by '(Acts 2)'?"

I reference it as the first openly socialist society in history. Undoubtedly there were other socialists societies on or before that time, but it's doubtful they realized what they were doing. This early church group, however, made it very plain that everything was to be shared from land to food, and there would be hell to pay (literally for two people as we saw) if you fudged.

"When you get a hair cut you pay for it out of the same wallet that you pay for the extra hair spray on your way out of the salon. Right?"

Sure; that's what I meant when I mentioned people's jobs where they may either make and sell things or offer services. I distinguished between individuals making their living though and other kinds of services.

"But it sounds like what you are saying is that group-distribution of services is a given. The question then is how many or what services?"

I agree. Obviously we'd have a tough row to hoe if we tried to have a government that never once granted services or a government that never had any joint ownership of anything. Those two governments don't, and can't exist. The USA government owns plenty of land, plenty of aircraft, weaponry, space shuttles etc. I don't think that makes us socialistic. Cuba has universal health care services. I don't think that makes them a democratic republic. The truth is that all governments have plenty of property and plenty of services, but the direction the scale tips most in one direction determines whether or not socialism has set in.

10/01/2009 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Anon,

I've gotten this far...

"...I reference it as the first openly socialist society in history."

However, that was a private community of individuals, not political body.

Okay, finishing reading the comment now. Just wanted to say that.

10/01/2009 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For those who don't define themselves by their blood or their mud, a nation was created out of Ideas - we call it America, and if you don't understand it's ideas and principles, you may roam the land, but you don't live here."

The only nation I know of that existed purely out of ideas was Israel at one time. The rest of us prefer land and always have thank you very much. I think that if you ever tried to takeover a caveman's cave, he'd show exactly how much it belonged to him. In other words, humans are no different from the rest of the animal world when it comes to marking its territory. Most critters do not roam very far, and even those that do nearly always come back at some point from butterflies to whales. All creatures like to have a place to call home. If there are exceptions, they will be few in number.

10/01/2009 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, that was a private community of individuals, not political body."

How many people does it take to be a political body?

10/01/2009 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Anon,

There is a difference between raw mud and ideas placed with regards to the mud... civilization... etc. [What Van said...]

And regarding all that about a place to call home, not so sure. Some people are more nomadic than others. It's not a given that people settle.

10/01/2009 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Anon said...

"How many people does it take to be a political body?"


It's not a matter of quantity, it is a matter of category.

10/01/2009 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The truth is that all governments have plenty of property and plenty of services, but the direction the scale tips most in one direction determines whether or not socialism has set in."

I didn't say that correctly at all. Of course no one would say that having a lot of services would make a country a democratic republic. I would rather say that when you have a lot of joint ownership of goods and land along with offering a lot of services, then there is obviously a tipping point where you've become socialistic.

10/01/2009 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's not a matter of quantity, it is a matter of category."

I agree, but who decides what the proper category is? I really don't think the apostles would have objected to being called socialists at that point in time. How were they not? History doesn't tell us exactly what happened to that body of people. We don't know for sure if their grand experiment worked or failed. Maybe it worked until they were persecuted out of existence or maybe it disbanded before any real persecution set in. We just don't know.

Socialism isn't evil and it isn't a bad word. It's just a different way of doing things. With the right people maybe it could work. With the wrong people, no government will work. Socialism isn't my preferred way of running a ship, but I see nothing evil in the thing itself.

10/01/2009 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Anon,

There is a difference between state-mandated socialism and a community of individuals living how they want to, independently.

10/01/2009 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Russell said...

Anna: Also, the early Christians didn't have the power of the state to enforce a dang thing. It was freely entered into, and had no binding powers on Earth.

Plus, there is a huge difference in the way the early Christians were doing socialism vs 20th century socialism.

Services are rooted in property, whether that is in capital material or myself is isn't the point, it's mine as surely as my (someday paid for) house and all my stuff.

10/01/2009 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Russell,

Yes, and not to mention intellectual property. Which is as intangible as it gets.

10/01/2009 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Ace of Spades picks up the "Queeg" meme - from Bob? (Or did Bob pick it up from Ace? Or did both pick it up from someone else?):

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/293080.php

10/01/2009 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Grover, what an odd comment. As a matter of fact, I do know what it's like to disagree with myself, but it looks nothing like anything I've seen here today.

As to today's discussion, anonymous is either more moronic than usual or just being deliberately obtuse to get attention. Either way, the discussion was auto-beclowning at about 9:01 am.

Susannah - yes, most of the spiritual types I've known have a decided loathing for anything that kills their vibe. Like the actual hard work side of spirituality.

10/01/2009 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(Clarification - self-beclowning for anonymous. Anna, this one's been around quit a bit longer than you have. You'll never achieve clarity with him, because all he wants is to argue. He reminds me of this guy. Too bad there's nobody to take him away...)

10/01/2009 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Warren--

I am quite sure that I came up with Queeg. In fact, I can prove it with geometrical logic. For one thing, I was on to CJ's deterioration way before it became generally known by the blogosphere at large. But someone stole my blog password and passed it on to Ace, so that's how he got the idea.

With regard the "uncreated" crack, what I mean by this is the eternal part of us that intersects, so to speak, with the divine mind, maybe like one of those Venn diagrams. Or, in Eckhart's formulation, "the eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me." Admittedly, there is a big potential for misunderstanding there if one hasn't thoroughly understood what Eckhart means....

10/01/2009 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Julie,

Yeah, the last few comments I almost didn't want to reply to. Nothing bothers me more than the use of early Christians as an argument for state socialism. I don't know how anyone can bridge the two. It's such a basic thing that I didn't want to reply but it also is easy to nip in the bud, so I tried to do that.

wv: rablyway

Interesting.

10/01/2009 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Nothing bothers me more than the use of early Christians as an argument for state socialism.

Agreed. When I was younger and dumber, I blandly went along with the idea that Jesus was the ultimate communist/ socialist; it was one of those retarded ideas that helped move me towards atheism. Thankfully, I've managed a partial removal of cranium from fundament since then. I understand it's a lifetime process, though.

In other news, the Anchoress has an interesting little post about the meaning of the vinegar at the Crucifixion. For my part, I wonder if it also has to do with an inversion of the ceremony of the wine at the last supper, but that idea's half-baked and I don't know how well it would be received over there, anyway.

10/01/2009 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anna, per yesterday's discussion about evil, here's another good (and rather chilling) take on it at American Thinker.

If you think of evil as a privation, the example of evil as crystallization was that one was clothing oneself in nothingness, or lack. Rejecting the Absolute for the relative, which is nothing without the Absolute. She doesn't touch on that here, but at the same time she provides some good examples.

10/01/2009 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anna said "THIS is exactly what I run into over and over with them. I have tried and tried to talk to some of my friends and THIS is the brick wall at the end of the yellow brick road - almost every time."

It is the brick wall, and what it is made out of - and what the elitist 'we can plan better than you' don't grasp - is that that bottom up process, is the actual engagement of living minds with immediate reality, making choices and living life. What the top down fools don't grasp, is that their plans are based on, no matter how comprehensive, distant approximations, reports of how things may have been, or are 'thought' may be... they have no real connection to reality, and their imposing their 'virtual decision' down through the bureaucratic layers, removes those 'decisions' even further and further from reality, and inserts itself into the space where a living mind should have made an observation and choice, and instead an action is made based upon something which is not so, by people who weren't there to see it.

It is 'intelligent' stupidity in action, and it always has, and always will, fail - it is artificially animated death.


Anna said "Ever consider running an online university from a cruise ship?"

I like it! Happily, as of the end of day tomorrow, I will be available for just such an endeavor... I like the setting (captive audience), and have prototypes for eMaterials... I seem to be a little light in the funding portion though... Sm... er... NB? If not, I'll just have to start of smaller... and that's ok, I think I can lecture and row at the same time....

;- )

P.S. A bit constrained at this point, but will try to come up with some links later.

10/01/2009 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Julie said...

"For my part, I wonder if it also has to do with an inversion of the ceremony of the wine at the last supper..."

I have heard that, as more than just hearsay/interpretation, or theory, however in at-work mode with nearby chatter, I can't think of the back-up for it off the top of my head. But yes absolutely. It might even be in Psalms, now that it is quiet here and that just occurred. Man, my heart beats faster just thinking about it, in grief and emotion. But not grief with no triumph a few days later, of course.


-Anna/aka commenter previously known as Elephant

...Figured I should do a 'both' moniker, here and there, just in case.

10/01/2009 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "The only nation I know of that existed purely out of ideas was Israel at one time."

True, though in a different manner. I wonder if you understand the other implications of that.

"I think that if you ever tried to takeover a caveman's cave, he'd show exactly how much it belonged to him. In other words, humans are no different from the rest of the animal world when it comes to marking its territory."

Heh, no other words are needed - you just explained perfectly how that caveman shares an equivalent understanding with you and other leftists conception of having, and being able to keep, 'stuff' - might makes mine, and is justified by might makes 'right'. In other words, your conception of Property and Right, is little better (and perhaps worse), than that of beasts and savages.

"I would rather say that when you have a lot of joint ownership of goods and land along with offering a lot of services, then there is obviously a tipping point where you've become socialistic. "

Not true at all. There are many, many people who own stock in Microsoft and other private corporations - that does not make them in any way, socialistic.

What you are working so hard to avoid, is that the people who purchased stock... chose to. People who are forced to have their property and themselves 'nationalized'... are forced, and have no further freedom of choice or it's result, property.

"Obviously we'd have a tough row to hoe if we tried to have a government that never once granted services or a government that never had any joint ownership of anything."

A proper govt engaging in those services necessary for upholding and defending the rights of its citizens, and defending them from all enemies foreign and domestic, is engaging in what is vitally necessary and proper for it to do in the service of freedom and liberty - that is in no way socialistic, and is anathema to everything whatever strain of socialistic notions you can think to present.

"Socialism isn't evil and it isn't a bad word."

Wrong. It is Evil. Pure and simple. It means the elimination of the freedom of choice over your own decisions in your own life, and the property that should be created from that. Socialism, communism, fascism, etc, mean forcing a disconnected, pre-fabricated decision be inserted into your actions, over and in place of your choice to live within your 'own' life.

It. Is. Evil.

10/01/2009 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Awesome: Navajo nation says Respect my Authoritah!

10/01/2009 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Van,

Well, I was thinking of the idea of YOU (and your family) on the cruise ship while you run the university with no overhead online. The tuition checks would support the endeavor. But it is also quite a thought about a college on a ship. I think there is one actually. So yeah, that's another thought!!

10/01/2009 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would appear I'm the only Christian posting here today, but why should it be different from any other day. Just how many ways is your personallity split Julie-Anna-Van-Bob? If you're going to waste time having conversations with yourslef, you might want to pick a subject you understand.

10/01/2009 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Now that's pretty clear, "putting us on", I think.

10/01/2009 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anna said "Well, I was thinking YOU (and your family) on the cruise ship while you run the university with no overhead online. The tuition checks would support the endeavor."

Yep, sounds good... I think we're taking it on the road this time though, looks like Williamsburg, Monticello and Gettysberg (the stars being shot for... will see how it pans out).

Tuition checks? Well... I'll just assume the checks are in the mail.

;- )

10/01/2009 05:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

It would appear I'm the only Christian posting here today

Some trolls really crack me up by saying things that the person they claim to be would never actually say in a million years.

Have you ever met a Christian who would post something like that? Thought not.

Bad troll!

10/01/2009 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Sorry about the job, Van.

10/01/2009 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "...ing to waste time having conversations with yourslef, y..."

Ninny, the 'trolls book of trolling' clearly says stupid insults accusing others of your own lack of knowledge is supposed to be Step 1... at this point, you should be towards the end where you just say 'conservatives are meanies and hate the poor and minorities!'.

Stuck in remedial trolling class, eh?... that's gotta suck.

10/01/2009 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> I am quite sure that I came up with Queeg. In fact, I can prove it with geometrical logic.... someone stole my blog password and passed it on to Ace, so that's how he got the idea.

No doubt they were trying to protect some fellow blogger....

10/01/2009 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> With regard the "uncreated" crack, what I mean by this is the eternal part of us that intersects, so to speak, with the divine mind

But do you use "eternal" here as simply another term for "uncreated", or do you give it a slightly different meaning? (Not trying to provoke an argument, just curious.)

>> Admittedly, there is a big potential for misunderstanding there if one hasn't thoroughly understood what Eckhart means...

Oh, yeah. Has anybody thoroughly understood what Eckhart means? I certainly haven't....

10/01/2009 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Van,

Yes the cruise idea came from your 10:07am comment. ...On the road is great too! Those sound like great locations.



In regards to the recent Anon hiccup...

Um, wv made me type "whduphis". Not kidding. (Hate to include that addendum since I'm not crass, and I don't mind the all the debate. It was just too uncanny not to include, and I do have a sense of humor. I was not on board with the "only Christian here" comment. Whaaa? That just didn't add up. And I think it musta ticked wv off a little.)

10/01/2009 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Warren:

I hadn't until I read McGinn's wonderful book on him, and realized that Eckhart is among the greatest white European males who ever lived. I find him exceptionally congenial to my way of thinking. I don't know if McGinn was reading too much into him in search of coherence, but if not, then Eckhart is still at the cutting edge of the cosmos. Incredibly deep and subtle thinker.

RE eternal: it would have to be synonymous with uncreated, no, since it always is? And if we are the image and likeness, there must be some overlap, no? And if Christ "became man," and I am a man, then... what?

10/01/2009 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anna - I think that's his way of tapping out and demanding a waaaahmbulance.

Another popular version is some variation of "namaste."

10/01/2009 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Warren,

Your question brought to mind Ecc. 3:11. "...He has also set eternity in the hearts of men..." I have always thought of that as a bit of substance of knowledge of the eternal, which is of God which is uncreated, and possibly part of, or a component of, human's soulness. Probably doesn't get at your question enough but it came to mind. Also Romans 1:18 came to mind.

10/01/2009 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Did my comment make sense, at all? I was in a hurry and have to jet. Have a good evening everyone!

10/01/2009 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GB said: But what is the actual purpose of the sex drive? Is it only to reproduce? If that is the case, then any non-reproductive sex would have to be deemed equally pathological, because reproduction is the only concern of natural selection. If we draw our lessons from nature, then the strongest man with the most wives and children would be the healthiest one, even if he had a few child brides thrown into the tent.

I pointed out that there is nothing at all in evolutionary theory that would label non-reproductive sex as pathological. There is no controversy here, Bob is simply wrong. And I further said "It is the Catholic Church, not Darwinians, who believe the sole purpose of sex should be reproduction."

Warren @1:35 says that that is "flatly untrue". Perhaps I was not very precise, but it is certainly the case that Catholicism seems to put a great deal of emphasis on the linkage between sex and reproduction. Here's a passage I found on http://www.theologyofthebody.net/:

"2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act." (emphasis added)

You can parse that as fine as you like, but I interpret it to mean that Catholics, unlike Darwinians, believe that sex has to be tied closely to reproduction.

10/01/2009 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anna - made perfect sense to me.

Bob - re. books, do you know of any decent translations/ versions of Eckhart's work? Or Denys or any of the other Fathers, for that matter? Most of what I've read so far has been about what they said, but contains little of the actual material. I find that frustrating after a while; it would be like reading a dissection of Heart of the World without ever having read it. Useful, but lots of context missing.

Heck, I think that's why I try to read a lot of the things you discuss here; it's much easier to see what you're getting at if I can look it up myself.

10/01/2009 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For a variety of reasons, if you're not an academic, it's difficult to read the early fathers "straight up." The very purpose of writing was very different back then, for reasons I don't have time to get into at the moment.

But one of the best books I've found is Olivier Clement's Roots of Christian Mysticism, which consists of chapters on various topics, with only the words of the fathers. This lends some order to what might otherwise take a lifetime to figure out.

Having said that, this baby is coming out next month. Eckhart, of course, wasn't an early father, but he is the culmination of a certain strand of thought to which I am most attracted, that goes back to Denys in particiular. I would still recommend the McGinn book first, however -- The Man From Whom God Hid Nothing. In fact, I wouldn't even try to approach Eckhart without it.

10/01/2009 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Bob came up with Queeg. I remember the comment thread in which it happened, but my brain is currently under the influence of chardonay and can't recall the specifics enough to put together a credible narrative. Fortunately, it did have the where with all to check with Spotlight and it found this recorded reference from an OC post dated 8/2/08:

"Queeglings"

So it was prolly initially conceived in the vicinity of July of '08. Does this make me a "birther"?

10/01/2009 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks, Bob. I'll read the McGinn first then, just as soon as I get through the pile I already have. Something tells me I'll have plenty of time to read for a while, though. I figure I better make the most of the slack while I can.

10/01/2009 07:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Queeg has two names now: Queeg and Frogger.

Paranoia, bovine materialism, spineless greed and invincible arrogance all in one pony-tailed package.

And what about some of those groupies!?! The female starting with "Sh" is a human echo chamber. She has about 100,000 posts on LGF and perfectly parrots back everything CJ says, despite the fact that he contradicts himself like clockwork. Scary!

10/01/2009 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> Catholics, unlike Darwinians, believe that sex has to be tied closely to reproduction.

More specifically, it cannot intentionally omit the possibility of reproduction. If that's what you mean, you're correct. And it's quite different from what you said at first.

10/01/2009 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Bob,

Thanks, I'll check out the McGinn book when I get the chance.

I think I get where you're coming from, re "eternal". It's a view I have much sympathy with. Technically, of course, it's a heretical view, as I'm sure you know. If you're getting it from Eckhart, then you (or McGinn) might be reading it into him. Eckhart was a great theologian as well as a great mystic, knew the Church's doctrines backwards and forwards, and was utterly convinced that his mystical utterances, no matter how startling to conventionally pious ears, were completely orthodox.

Or I might be all wet. I'm certainly in water that's way over my head already, so I'll call it a night.

10/01/2009 11:02:00 PM  
Anonymous warympr said...

Van says:
"What fascinates the bejeebers outta me, is how that goes into the leftist head, gets processed, and comes out as "Hate!" sausage."

There's a van chasing its own tailpipe if there ever was one. At least you are forever both blameless and bejeberless. And that's gotta count for something somewhere, right?

10/02/2009 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous fimpac said...

NB said, referencing a popular blog site:

"And what about some of those groupies!?! The female starting with "__ " is a human echo chamber. She has about 100,000 posts on LGF and perfectly parrots back everything __ says, despite the fact that he contradicts himself like clockwork. Scary!"

Yes, NB. Thanks for pointing out the scariness of this behavior. Who ever would unknowingly (or also knowingly) indulge in such crazy behavior? Scary!

10/02/2009 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger phil g said...

There must be truth in this blog because it has been targeted by the lefty, materialist trolls for attack. They only attack what threatens their precious shibboleths.

The leftist world view is most definitely showing signs of major cracks as the level of shrillness and desperation has noticeably increased.

10/02/2009 04:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

You know you're over the target if you're taking flak. And you know your under the target if you're waking to slack.

10/02/2009 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

wombpire hissed "...s own tailpipe if there ever was one. At least you are forever both blameless and bejeberless. And that's gotta count for somethin..."

While I do appreciate the laughs... and it is fun poking at you ... it's like watching those video's where some jacka$$ tries a stunt and wrapped around a light pole and run over by a vesper... funny... but... I wouldn't miss not seeing it.

I will give you props, however, for following the 'trolls book of trolling' and this time starting off with Step 1: "Hurl stupid insults and accuse others of your own lack of knowledge"... unless of course you're the same ninny from earlier who got it backwards... in that case it'd be just an embarrassing do-over for you... oh well.

I know this is kinda like pointing out to the jacka$$ that the video is going to be seen by more people if you really make a bloody foolish mess of yoursoph... and while I enjoy providing salt for you to sprinkle on your soph inflicted wounds - it is painfully obvious that you are unable to give intelligent criticism to any of the ideas here, and that you obviously have none of your own - you are nihil - but the cherry on top, is that you demonstrated my point perfectly.

And with your every empty texting, you reveal your lack of self ever more clearly... don't you find that the least bit embarrassing? I know, I know, it's like telling the jacka$$ "Hey, don't you realize you're going to look like a jacka$$ if you do this?'

So anyway, thanks and thanks for the laughs, hee-haw.

10/02/2009 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Thanks Ricky... Que Sera, Sera... and knowing that whatever will be will be because of what I do... it's little more than an opportunity to enjoy some slack.

Hmmm the directions say repeat that over and over as needed. Ok... "Que....

;-)

wv:digho
Someones jiggered wordveri's algorithims

10/02/2009 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, thanks - I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day now. It always makes me think of a bizarre combination of my grandmother and Ned Flanders.

10/02/2009 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger xlbrl said...

"I do not derive my ideas of human spiritual and psychological health and pathology from nature. Nor do I derive them from culture. Rather, I do so from religious tradition, which I believe speaks to the Universal Man".
Culture is not entirely separable from religious tradition, even when religion has left the building as it did centuries ago in England.

Hayek--
'Most knowledge is obtained not from immediate experience or observation, but in the continuous process of sifting a learned tradition. The process of selection that shaped customs and morality could take account of more factual circumstances than individuals could perceive, and in consequence tradition is in some respects superior to, or ‘wiser’ than, human reason.
Evolving moral rules and tradition, rather than intelligence and calculating reason, lifted men above the savages.'

Calculating reason will bring us back to the savage.

10/03/2009 10:16:00 PM  

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