Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Great Inscape: On Using Language to Scale the Walls of Language

A science of the finite has need of a wisdom which goes beyond it and controls it, just as the body needs a soul to animate it, and the reason an intellect to illuminate it. --F. Schuon

We intuitively and routinely use language in such a way as to imply that the mind is a space. But what kind of space is it? Is it a birthquake or merely a crock?

For if it is holographic and multidimensional -- which it is -- then we need a language that parallels that fact, or else it will simply mislead, as the mind will appear to take on reified properties of the language used to describe it. It will be like trying to represent a three-dimensional cube on a two-dimensional piece of paper. Something vital will be lost. One thing lost will be the dimension of "depth."

What does it mean to say that something is "deep" on the human plane? That it partakes of multiple dimensions, even if -- as in primitive mythology -- we are not consciously aware of all of them. Authentic scripture is a kind of language that is deep and resonant. Inexhaustibly so. It can never be fully explicated, since it partakes of the Absolute. Therefore, as Origen knew, it is fine to treat scripture as literal, but never only literal, for to do so is to deny oneself access to a multitude of other humanly critical dimensions.

The problem with much religious language is not so much the literal/symbolic divide as the question of whether or not language is being used in a generative or a static way. If it is static, then it is not really about religion, but simply about language, about saturated words pointing to each other. It is like a glorified case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which amounts to a circular nervous system chasing its own tenure.

The last thing you want is to be tied up in such a tight neural knotwork, because it will not only leave you on this side of the cosmic veil, but transform the veil into a wall. Then, all your theologizing is just a nice painting on the prison wall or a fanciful story about life outside the prison gates. But a human being is not deserving of the name if he isn't always plotting his great inscape from this gloomy cage. Spherical man was not made to live in a cubicle, no matter how much you pound on him.

Properly understood, a religion is very much like a scientific paradigm, in that it is a "frame of reference" that allows us to “see" the religious facts it iluminates. Otherwise this inexhaustible bounty of transnatural facts goes unseen. Astute scientists understand that "percept follows concept," i.e, "Never trust a fact without a good theory to support it." Neither scientific nor spiritual facts "speak for themselves." For example, it took hundreds of years to develop a coherent theology around the "fact" of Jesus.

A fact is a relation between two events. We are one of the events. God is the other. Thus, in order to think about God, we must move from epistemology to mystepistemology, toward the unKnown source of Truth that in-forms our knowledge. For if your ontology is not planted in a fertile field, your epistemology will surely fallow.

When spiritual communication is generative, something quasi-magical is taking place, as it becomes the translating function that renders the translinguistic "religious object" (O) present in the form of subtle energies of various kinds. To a large extent, the "purification" that is always preluminary to the religious quest is a means of eliminating the dross, the contingencies, or "noise" that compete with and drown out the energies.

Religious words are never just words, but words + music. To speak religiously -- to use language in such a way that it actually mirrors and partakes of the the domain of spirit -- there is a certain rhythm and a certain felicity of phrasing that must be achieved (or at least a-spired to): not to merge with the ocean but to use language to gather it in. Language must be unsaturated enough to either "bite" into spirit or "lure" spirit into it. Yes, grace "blows where it will," but it's always better if you don't use language in such a way that you're voiding into the wind.

To speak of Spirit, one must have one foot firmly planted in reality. But not both feet. One foot must be equally planted in trans-reality, in the world that is prior to the material. You have to catch it before it quickens and congeals into the illusion of solidity. As I get older -- especially now with a child -- I am more deeply entangled in the world than ever. But at the same time, I am more deeply rooted in the other realm as well. Put the two together, and you have a man who passes his timelessness in a dialectical space between now and forever.

It reminds me of looking into a placid lake with a tall tree on the other side. On the lake there will be a mirror image of the tree, going in the opposite direction, one up, one down -- or, in the case of the cosmic Tree of Life, one exterior, one interior, meeting at the Crossrood where life must be lived. Similarly, when I look into my son's eyes, it is like gazing into an eternity that extends infinitely in two directions -- into him and into me (and beyond). Growth is growing in both directions, not one or the other; the soul penetrates God just as God penetrates the soul.

Reality is logos, absolute Word and infinite speech. But language is always communication. It is to someone. It is from someOne. Why spend your life decoding the message but never ask who is speaking?

Sufficient language for speaking of God has yet to be perfected. I take that back. The language has been perfected, but few remember how to speak it any longer. We've run out of competent trancelighters who are able to demonstrate it while speaking it. An evolving logos will evolve the consciousness of the person who contemplates it -- it will not only in-form but trans-form, not just push in but draw out.

The logos itself does not evolve, but causes evolution upon contact with mind, so to speak. This is why religious doctrine "has an aspect of system and an aspect of indeterminacy," for if it didn't, it would simply be God, and no communication would be possible between the Absolute and his middling relativities, or between God and man.

How to speak of the Omninameable One? It is not that we can say so little about it, but so much. As Schuon writes, the problem is "not through a lack, but through a superabundance of light." Language does not contain it, but It contains language, absorbing words like a sponge or shedding them like water off a duck's back. It cannot be done without paradox, symbolism, wordplay, myth -- all the linguistic tools available to half-awake language-bearing primates.

To be able to combine the religious symbolism of Heaven with the astronomical fact of the stellar galaxies in a single consciousness, an intelligence is needed which is more than just rational.... The tragic impasse reached by the modern mind results from the fact that most men are incapable of grasping a priori the compatibility between the symbolic expressions of tradition and the material discoveries established by science.... Man, when he trusts his reason alone, only ends by unleashing the dark and dissolving forces of the irrational --F. Schuon, Stations of Wisdom

70 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

How to speak of the Omninameable One? It is not that we can say so little about it, but so much. As Schuon writes, the problem is "not through a lack, but through a superabundance of light."

Or, as a man who was very kind to me once said, "I may have problems, but boredom isn't one of them!"

I tell you, Bob, there are pearls in every paragraph in this post -- at least for me. I realize that everyone has their favorites, but this one belongs in your "Personal Best" file.

I commented here several years ago that most of the problems I encounter with religious ideas were problems of language. This post touches on much that I was referring to.

And your blog is proof that a (Rac)coon templating an evolving Logos will in-form it.

3/06/2010 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I like the voice you use today. It is very matter-of-fact. Or a new-u-form of authority.

Second point is that it seems to be quite a miracle of itself that we may know anything at all of our Creator. It seems a created thing should not be able to do this.

3/06/2010 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

I just finished the chapter "Intellectuals and War" in Thomas Sowell's "Intellectuals and Society". So I am much more interested in learning more about the threat from radical Islam and our response (or lack thereof) to this threat. Anyone have some recommends on a book or two to begin with?

3/06/2010 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For starters, The Looming Tower is a must read.

3/06/2010 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Power, Faith and Fantasy traces our whole history with Islam since the founding. Couldn't put it down.

3/06/2010 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Observer X said...

I was going to level the charge that Bob is a materialist, but this post blunts my intention.

The metaphor of having one foot in materiality and the other in immateriality is pleasing. Straddling the divide...

The reason I was going to call Bob a materialist is that his vigorous arguments against it could be his internal conflict writ large, and made public.

He has stated by writing this blog he is only talking to himself and friends but I can't shake the suspicion he relishes it when a materialist steps forward and makes a strong showing, such instances representing the repressed materialist within him that cries out "We STILL don't buy it!" from the dungeon to where it has been consigned in chains.

Oh well. Bob has called me an ill educated loser. I admit to the charges, but to get rid of me he must disable the part of the comments section that allows anonymous or informal commentators to chime in.

I would like a show of raccoon paws. Should Bob keep this function or efface it?

3/06/2010 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Also, Lee Harris' Civilization and its Enemies is a crisp and bracing blast of martial wisdom on how to think about these Islamo-nazi thugs.

3/06/2010 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Observer X:

Bob informs me that the "ill-educated loser" crack wasn't directed at you, but the other guy. You're more the vacuous blowhard type.

3/06/2010 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Looks like someone is trying to do some fishing. The choice of fly seems to be an attractor pattern. A pattern that doesn't actually represent anything in nature, but merely relies on gaudy colors and sparkly flash to entice the bite. I have often wondered why they didn't call them annoyers rather than attractors? So far it doesn't seem to be working.

Groove on.

3/06/2010 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

GB-

Thanks for the reading suggestions. I need to become better informed on the issue. Living in a college town I am pretty sure what passes for knowledge around here is hardly the case.

3/06/2010 05:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the same Lee Harris who is favor of stupidity as the best basis for conservatism:

In a world that absurdly overrates the advantage of sheer brain power, no one wants to be seen as a member in good standing of the stupid party. Yet stupidity has been and will always remain the best defense mechanism against the ordinary conman and the intellectual dreamer...

He's also one of those self-hating gay conservatives. Very confused guy, no wonder you would latch on to him.

3/06/2010 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

"A fact is a relation between two events. We are one of the events. God is the other. ..."

Neither we, nor God, are merely events ... we're not events at all. We are existents (one mich say that we are "brute facts").

So, say rather, "a fact is a statement of/about a relationship between existents."


WV says: "brauvist" ... so, have I just expressed "brauvism?"

3/06/2010 06:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Jack:

That makes two votes for Harris.

3/06/2010 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

RR: "Second point is that it seems to be quite a miracle of itself that we may know anything at all of our Creator. It seems a created thing should not be able to do this."

I agree ... if the created thing is only a thing. But, if the creatred thing is created with the capacity to partake of the life/nature of its creator, then sould not one expect that it may know at least some things about that creator?

3/06/2010 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I couldn't have asked for a better recommend. Thanks Anon.

3/06/2010 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Leave it to a leftist to have more disdain for a gay conservative than for Islamo-nazis who would murder him -- and all gays -- if given the opportunity.

3/06/2010 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

It seems to me that leftists and "liberals" actually have great disdain for all who suffer homosexuality ... it's just that they see a certain utility, for now, in pushing for "gay rights."

3/06/2010 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever disdain I feel for Harris says nothing at all about the disdain I may feel for "Islamo-nazis" (a term itself so inherently stupid I can barely bring myself to type it). As a leftist, I naturally despise religious fundamentalists of all stripes, Islamists included.

Harris apparently believes that we are so threatened by Islamic fundamentalism that we must embrace Christian fundamentalism or at least reject modernism and reason itself. Like I said, stupid. The idea that Islam poses some kind of existential threat to the West is in itself ridiculous, something only believed by the the pants-shitting right. And the idea that to combat it we must give up what makes us ourselves is doubly ridiculous.

3/06/2010 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a leftist fundamentalist, -- and I'm so terribly peeved that I tremble as I type this -- I especially don't like the idea of these Islamic authoritarian statists tainting the good name of us irreligious authoritarian statists.

3/06/2010 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Anon, wouldn't "totalitarian" be a better term than "authoritarian?"

3/06/2010 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm cool with Islamo-nazi: illiberal, violent, supremacist, genocidal, totalitarian, Jew-hating, anti-capitalist...

3/06/2010 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

NOVALIS on
Language

"Matters concerning speech and writing are genuinely strange; proper conversation is a mere play of words. We can only marvel at the laughable error people make--believing that they speak about things. No one knows precisely what is peculiar to language, that it concerns itself merely with itself. For that reason, it is a wonderful and fertile mystery--that when someone speaks merely in order to speak, one precisely then expresses the most splendid and most original truths. Yet if one wishes to speak of something determinate, then temperamental language has them say the most laughable and perverse things."

3/07/2010 03:43:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

I've been reading a book on exorcism by Spain's foremost demonologist. It was given to me by a student priest while I was visiting he Vatican back in December (I suspect somewhat as a lark -- he has a mischievous sense of humor). Whatever you may think of the Church's stance on spiritual beings such as angels and demons (whether purest myth or pointers to absolute spiritual reality) the characterization of demons in general shares so much in common with many leftists that it's become quite entertaining to find those similarities.

Technically though I think many of the most wanton leftists aren't "possessed". They're just plain evil.

I'd forgotten that Saul Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer (which was Satan's name while he was still an angel -- before he was cast out by God).

Again, even someone who regards all this stuff as mere fairy tales can see that there are some powerful heuristic devices in there to help us understand anonymous leftists.

3/07/2010 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To the various anons:

Whether leftist totalitarians or islamo totalitarians, they both share the same motive force: envy. What is it about the so-called (self proclaimed) "liberals" that they cannot tolerate a situation where one identifiable group has achieved meaningful and sustainable success via the exercise of freedom? Why the instinctual drive to destroy individual or group success (achievement of happiness)? It seems Marx was timely in providing an intellectual veneer to envy so to permit his followers an air of educated supremacy in their debasement of all that is good in man. Why do they hate "good"? Because they have fallen into envy. Enough is never enough for the envious.

To defend the weak without punishing the strong is a hard maxim that requires real insight, patience and intelligence. Punishing the strong to benefit the weak is easy, but it leads nowhere. It merely degrades all humanity. It appeals to those among us that must feed their ego via the attainment of "secular immortality". We are humans not immortals, constrain your ego, greed and envy and allow individuals to succeed and fail. Be God like and recognize an individuals true equality as an agent of choice. Quit trying to get the whole world to goose step in unison. It is such a bore.

Marxists are parasites, they create nothing but require real humans to feed off of. Islamos are merely embarrassed regarding their situation given that they were told they were following the true prophet. Their retarded state is apparent to them as well as everyone else. What to do? Kill jooooze and infidels seems to be their answer. Unfortunately, as in other things, they are not very competent at this.

3/07/2010 05:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Rene said...

"In the first temptation, Christ is challenged
to turn stones into bread. That way, He
could feed the hungry. Dostoevsky had
also prophesied that, in the end, men would
choose bread to the word of God. It seems
so logical. "Isn't the problem of feeding the
world--and more generally, are not social
problems--the primary, true yardstick by
which redemption has to be measured?"
(p. 31) This is the elevation of the second
commandment, to love our neighbor, over
the first commandment, to love God first.
It is probably in our time the primary
temptation of religious people and political
people who have a "morality" that sets
itself against the commandments. It lies
at the root of not a few theories of "social
justice," however noble that name. The
whole attraction of Marxism was in this
line, and still
is."

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.

3/07/2010 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Renee
"This is the elevation of the second
commandment, to love our neighbor, over
the first commandment, to love God first.
It is probably in our time the primary
temptation of religious people and political
people who have a "morality" that sets
itself against the commandments. It lies
at the root of not a few theories of "social
justice," however noble that name. The
whole attraction of Marxism was in this
line, and still is."

Thank you for that passage. I believe your ordered understanding of scripture is correct and does provide a sensitive and true "Divining Stick" to the issue of central planning of "goodness". Thanks again.

3/07/2010 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"Why the instinctual drive to destroy individual or group success (achievement of happiness)? "

For that very reason: it is instinctual. I believe envy was an adaptation to living in small groups, so that it served a functional purpose, i.e., group survival. But in order to develop economically, a culture must overcome the envy barrier, and tolerate the fact that some will have more than others. Cultures which cannot overcome the envy barrier remain primitive, whether leftists or Islamists.

3/07/2010 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Cooncur. A while back, another commenter said something to the effect that if one puts humans above God, the result is hell on earth. The horizontal must be a prolongation of the vertical.

3/07/2010 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad:

"For that very reason: it is instinctual. I believe envy was an adaptation to living in small groups, so that it served a functional purpose, i.e., group survival. But in order to develop economically, a culture must overcome the envy barrier, and tolerate the fact that some will have more than others. Cultures which cannot overcome the envy barrier remain primitive, whether leftists or Islamists."

This would partially explain the success of the show "Survivor". I have often wondered while watching why the contestants never attempt to make their lives comfortable while competing. No one constructs a chair, a table, a suitable sleeping hut, or for that matter, no one constructs a cooking fire that is elevated. Regardless of the vintage of the shows' cast, there is a sameness in each groups self inflicted poverty and discomfort. Some other observed results are "leaders are always punished" and everyone is paranoid. Winners tend to be devious.

3/07/2010 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, or look at the Middle East: Israel, a small nation that taught the world the centrality of overcoming envy (the 10th commandment) is surrounded by primitive (because) envious Muslims. They would literally rather destroy Israel than imitate her and thereby develop. The same goes in America for black activists who would prefer to punish Asian-Americans rather than incorporating their values.

3/07/2010 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Is that why leftists are so partial to the so-called Palestinians ... kinship of spirit? After all, they're all about envy, and living on someone else's labor, too.

3/07/2010 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad in re:

"Yes, or look at the Middle East: Israel, a small nation that taught the world the centrality of overcoming envy (the 10th commandment) is surrounded by primitive (because) envious Muslims. They would literally rather destroy Israel than imitate her and thereby develop. The same goes in America for black activists who would prefer to punish Asian-Americans rather than incorporating their values."

A couple of questions/observations. Why do some from the successful groups/individuals identify and support the envious? Stockholm syndrome, misplaced compassion, death wish, deviousness compounded by greed? Can the envious ever overcome their condition as a group or do they require a "Great Man" to change their decaying decent as Plato recommends? The Jews had Moses, the Christians Moses plus Jesus, who do the secularist have? (Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the Kenya Kid all represent leaders of envy). Are there any secularist leaders that represent an anti-dote to envy, or are all "post Darwin" humans believers by definition?

Sorry to crowd you Sunday with so many questions.

3/07/2010 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I've likely related this before, but as the youngest of eight kids I often heard my mother declare, "What do you care if he has more? Don't you have enough?"

3/07/2010 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

"What do you care if he has more? Don't you have enough?"

What was your siblings response to your Mother?

3/07/2010 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"Why do some from the successful groups/individuals identify and support the envious?"

A very common psychological defense mechanism is projection of envy. For example, a wealthy liberal might feel unconscious guilt about his wealth, but project it into "the poor," who he then experiences as being envious of his wealth. He can then diminish his unconscious guilt by feeding the projected envy.

"Can the envious ever overcome their condition as a group or do they require a "Great Man" to change their decaying decent as Plato recommends? "

Certainly they need wisdom, in whatever form it comes.

"Are there any secularist leaders that represent an antidote to envy, or are all "post Darwin" humans believers by definition?"

Sure. Thomas Sowell, for example, is not religious (or at least never talks about it). More generally, if you just understand economics in a disinterested way, you understand the centrality of overcoming envy, and the great and destructive danger of nurturing and indulging it.

3/07/2010 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

"...The foundation of de Lubicz’ vision comes from the sacredness of number and language. As with the ancient Hebrews, de Lubicz saw language not as a simple means of communication, but as an interface between man and the divine. When the Sepher Yetzirah says that YHVH created man with the fire letters of the Hebrew alphabet and St. John’s Gospel says that the “Word was God”, we have some indication of a deeper understanding of language than our present secular usage. The same applies to number: The greatest secret of the Pythagorean brotherhood was the relationship between number, sound and form..."
he [also] wrote
"The principle of Harmony is cosmic law; it is the Voice of God"

3/07/2010 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Joan,
My mother had a similar saying she said to my brother Jimmy when he was pointing out my shortcomings. She would say, "Jimmy should worry about Jimmy". I'm sure she insert my name at times.

3/07/2010 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

"More generally, if you just understand economics in a disinterested way, you understand the centrality of overcoming envy, and the great and destructive danger of nurturing and indulging it."

The realization that both parties to a trade (transaction) each believe they are receiving the better value. Humans treating each other as equals and both prospering through the pursuit of selfishness. Economics and invisible hands.

Sowell's argument is Smiths, Ricardo's and Rand's, but they are all premised on an open and free society that permits individuals to learn their best interest. How do we insure an open and free society when the greatest "envious" threat to it is the Government and the tender mercies of the ivy league? Currently, we are faced with a loss of Constitutional rights if 51 Senators can be bought. If the envious become 51% then we become the primitive collective. We as a society revert to Darwinian beings.

Welcome to "Survivor".

3/07/2010 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You got it. That's why socialized medicine is so critical for the left, because once that happens, we are all transformed from free citizens to selfish and narrow-minded wards of the state.

3/07/2010 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

You got it. That's why socialized medicine is so critical for the left, because once that happens, we are all transformed from free citizens to selfish and narrow-minded wards of the state.

Well, we could just become smugglers and pirates and remain free men, or do as our ancestors and kick the cart over and start anew.

3/07/2010 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

You mean of course once medicine is FULLY socialized in the US. Currently the US spends the exact same amount per capita as Canada does on socialized medicine. The US then spends another 4 points or so on top of that in private expenditures (which are basically illegal in Canada).

The US already has a massively socialized healthcare system. The key thing is that Americans remain free to obtain healthcare on their own terms as an alternative.

3/07/2010 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Math is fun!

If it was possible to have a plane circle the earth depositing a string of one dollar bills--each attached to the next like toilet paper--that plane would have to circle the earth 39,000 times before it would have unspooled enough dollars to cover the deficit created by Obama for the next decade.

If the goal of the leftists in power in the US was to destroy the US as stealthily as possible it is hard to imagine what they would do otherwise.

3/07/2010 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why socialized medicine is so critical for the left, because once that happens, we are all transformed from free citizens to selfish and narrow-minded wards of the state.

Wow! I had no idea the state had that much power. So I guess that veterans and the elderly, who already receive socialized health care, are demonstrably more selfish and narrow-minded than the rest of us? Or does this magical transformation only happen if the socialization is universal?

Has it already happened in the rest of the industrialized world? I've always thought those Canadians, Brits, Swedes, etc were stupid bastards, but now I know why. Thank you.

I am worried that driving around on all the socialized roads we have may be having a similar effect. Could explain a lot.

3/07/2010 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Anonymous re:

So I guess that veterans and the elderly, who already receive socialized health care, are demonstrably more selfish and narrow-minded than the rest of us?

No, for veterans healthcare was part of their compensation. For the elderly it is merely the corrupting power of a selfish voter block. For the needy (defined as those that can't work) it was because of citizens' compassion. For the rest of us it is because we have become children and vote for a Mommy and Daddy instead of becoming adults. We are too stupid to provide for ourselves - this is the working premise of the left. Too bad a once free and independent people will gladly enter into serfdom to procure something that they easily could procure with a phone call and check book. Nothing like joining the happy fascist parade of wants and wishes dressed up as human rights.

You enjoy your fellow mans decay and fall too much Anonymous. Wouldn't you like to be proud of your countrymen instead of contemptuous of them?

3/07/2010 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Indeed. Even if socialism weren't such a dysfunctional system, I'd oppose it for its corrosive effect on the soul.

3/07/2010 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Though, of course, the reason that socialism is such a dysfunctional system is precisely because it corrodes/corrupts the souls of the actual human being who comprise the society.

3/07/2010 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But every other first-world country has socialized health care, and they all have better health outcomes and lower costs than here. (here's a handy chart) It is hard to reconcile these facts with the idea that socialism is always dysfunctional.

I suppose it could still corrupt the soul. Perhaps you can cite some studies that show that the US soul is purer than those of all those other countries.

3/07/2010 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Okay, we get it. You want the state to force us to pay for your health care. At least you're honest.

3/07/2010 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

"Okay, we get it. You want the state to force us to pay for your health care. At least you're honest."

Unfortunately, The State is as much a legal fiction as any other corporation is. Legal-fictional persons (i.e. corporations) do not possess money ... only actual persons possess money. So, all schemes to have "the government" pay for this or that must *always* translate into some individuals or groups mis-using the power of the state to compel -- under threat of violence and/or violent death -- everyone else to subsidize whatever it is that they want but are not willing to pay for themselves.

3/07/2010 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, but I also want the state to force me to pay for your health care.

3/07/2010 07:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legal-fictional persons (i.e. corporations) do not possess money

This would certainly be news to corporate accountants, or to anyone who had even a passing familiarity with the way the world works.

But you may have half a point. The next step is to realize that money is just as fictional as corporations.

3/07/2010 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Poor, foolish Anonymouse.

Of course we realize that it isn't our money that you "liberal" parasites intend to steal -- for, money merely represents what you wish to steal -- it is our time (and the work we perform in time you wish to steal) ... it is our very lives you "liberals" wish to steal.

3/07/2010 08:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ilion -- you aren't an anarchist, are you? And presumably you don't believe government should fund itself through voluntary donations, right? So you believe the government has the right to tax you and spend the money on at least some things that are for the common good. Congratulations, you're a socialist and support "stealing". Welcome to the club.

3/07/2010 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

What a simplistic -- and boring -- fool is this Anonymouse.

3/07/2010 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You have no idea.

3/07/2010 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Anonymous:

Wouldn't it be cheaper to kill the sick and save everyone lots of time an money? You have already agreed that your life belongs to your neighbor and is cheap, so why should we the collective respect your wishes concerning your body? If your property is merely at the disposal of the state, why then do you suppose your body is somehow special? BTW, killing people is what the collective has demonstrated special competence at in the past. Lets all fully embrace our Lord of the Flies moment as we collectively swirl down the toilet bowl of history. Lets do it for the children - that would be us.

3/08/2010 03:34:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Is is the engine of the capitalistic market and the supremacy of our protection that makes Socialism possible. In more dangerous parts of the world, shiny Socialism is abandoned for the sake of survival.

I think it will not be too long before some of the "socialist model" entities begin to crumple under the depressive economic reality. And I've experienced the tender mercies of socialized medicine in Mexico and in a small island nation ruled by a brutal dictator. I can only speculate on Canadian ministrations.

Obama's "trickle up" idea will soon be realized: the working man isn't working which means eventually there will be no one left to tax.

3/08/2010 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Tigtog: "... BTW, killing people is what the collective has demonstrated special competence at in the past."

Leftism/collectivism: Proudly bring you abundant harvests (*) for 200+ years!

(*) … of corpses …

3/08/2010 04:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tigtog: I wonder how you can have things so exactly backwards. It is the private-enterprise model of medicine that lets people go "down the toilet bowl" if they can't pay for their care. About 45,000 people die in the US each year for lack of insurance. And medical bankruptcy can happen to everyone who isn't wealthy.

In contrast, under a system of universal socialized medicine, everybody gets care. I also have some experince with this -- I got very sick when I was a student travelling through France. The French system took excellent care of me, gratis. If the reverse was the case -- if I was a French student who took sick while in the US -- I would have been up shit creek.

The statistics don't lie -- every first-world country with socialized medicine ends up with better outcomes than the US, as wel as lower costs. Nobody here has addressed this yet, instead you are spouting a lot of hysterical nonsense and personal insults. That's a pretty clear sign that you don't have an actual argument.

3/08/2010 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Before any of you newcomers are tempted to respond, please bear in mind that anonymous is unable to distinguish between reality and leftwing barking points like those in the above comment.

3/08/2010 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have citations for your alternate version of reality? The figure of 45,000 deaths from lack of insurance comes from the a study published in a peer-reviewed journal and based on CDC data. Where do your facts come from?

3/08/2010 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Oh! The assertion is peer reviewed! Well, then, that settles it, doesn't it?

3/08/2010 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

For the leftist, truth doesn't exist, and they have studies to prove it!

3/08/2010 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! The assertion is peer reviewed! Well, then, that settles it, doesn't it?

Of course not. But something that appears in a peer-reviewed journal is more likely to be true than, say, a blog comment left under a pseudonym with no backing data whatsoever.

Unless of course you are some kind of crank who gets their information from other cranks. If you want to live in that kind of alternate reality, be my guest.

3/08/2010 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Anonymous re:

"In contrast, under a system of universal socialized medicine, everybody gets care. I also have some experince with this -- I got very sick when I was a student travelling through France. The French system took excellent care of me, gratis."

Anonymous, do you not know that foreign students and illegals receive first class medical care in this country without paying dime one. Where did you get the idea that emergency medicine is predicated on proof of insurance? It is not. The problem for the left's argument is that in democratic strongholds (i.e., DC, Detroit, Newark, New Orleans, et al) the proletariat citizens of hope and change have decided to never pay for anything, thus causing endless budget black holes and bankrupt hospitals. The dems desire for national healthcare (insurance not health care) is just another shell game designed to spread the wealth around. Too bad they don't want to spread responsibility around. The entire plan is nothing more than forcing young healthy people into forced premiums (taxes) so the left can continue buying votes of their zombie deadbeat followers. Why not ask why freedom does not seem to work for democrats? What is it that prevents them from succeeding? Why are democrats eternally miserable? Why choose to be this unhappy? Why define your happiness as parasitic, rather than individualistic? If you wish to do good works then join the Salvation Army or its leftist counterpart and serve GOD or in your case the people. Why enact a draft of every American in another of the lefts endless "wars on poverty"? Do you not realize that the failures of the leftist vote buying programs just cause more human failures and unhappiness? In your lifetime has anything the left enacted worked? If leftism works wonders, wouldn't democrats be happy?

Heres a hint: if you want to be happy, first be grateful. Do that and happiness will find you. Can you think of one democrat who is grateful? Can you think of one that is truly happy?

3/08/2010 03:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Freedom, like God, is an awesome, terrible thing. It is no wonder that comparatively few humans crave it. Although I don't excuse leftists for rejecting it, I understand the impulse, for we all remember what it was like to be a child. It was ever thus.

3/08/2010 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Petey re:

I understand the impulse, for we all remember what it was like to be a child. It was ever thus.

God did not send Adam and Eve out of the garden when they were children but as adults. We all create a garden for our children so that they may know true love. But we also prepare our children for their eventual departure. I understand your meaning, but we do no human good by keeping them from growing. This is the insidiousness of corrupting compassion. I would much prefer an enemy that wishes my destruction directly then one who wishes my corruption. Total victory is only possible through corruption.

3/08/2010 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, racism. Now I get it. I keep forgetting that that is the universal hidden variable of American politics, the factor that explains what seems inexplicable (like a populist movement against healthcare reform).

Thanks for the reminder.

3/08/2010 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous LaFayette said...

To be called racist by a leftist is like being called dinner by a pig.

3/08/2010 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Oh, racism. Now I get it. keep forgetting that that is the universal hidden variable of American politics, the factor that explains what seems inexplicable (like a populist movement against healthcare reform).

No the universal is envy, the permutation is racial. You select your own reality. I don't believe I owe you any further consideration. Bon Voyage.

3/09/2010 04:16:00 PM  

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