Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Redefinition of Marriage Between Faith and Science

Oops. Gotta throw the cosmic bus into reverse. We inadvertently left the last of the three irreducible philosophical antinomies resolved by Christianity by the curb. Recall that the first two are idealism <---> realism and realism (AKA objective idealism) <---> nominalism. The third is equally important, especially in our present age of stupidity in which these two, faith <---> empirical science, are aggressively segregated by medieval secularists. This enforced division is perhaps understandable, given the implicit desire of materialists to separate their faith in matter from matters of faith. Even so, they need to grow up and face the truth.

As our unKnown Friend writes, "The father of empirical science is doubt and its mother is faith." On the one hand, "doubt is the very root of every question, and questions are the basis of every quest and all research."

And yet, as Michael Polanyi has so extensively described, it is faith that guides us to the potentially fruitful question -- one that can be asked "in good faith," and to which we can anticipate an answer to be forthcoming.

For example, "Newton doubted the traditional theory of 'gravity,' but he believed in the unity of the world.... Doubt set his thought in motion; faith rendered it fruitful." In a sense, one could say that doubt is horizontal, whereas faith is vertical. And the vertical often involves a kind of "wordless anticipation" or, better yet, the realm of the "unThought known" that connects us to the whole world of things human beings Just Know.

Again, to paraphrase Schuon, instinct is to animals as the intellect (nous) is to man. Thus, for example, we "instinctively" turn toward the Creator and seek to actualize the implicit knowledge we have of him.

But there is of necessity faith in doubt and doubt in faith (note that the <---> that links the two implies their underlying unity). The doubt in faith is the "dark night of the soul," the days and years spent wondering in the bewilderness, accompanied by the childlike attitude of expectant waiting.

Conversely, the faith in doubt is the belief that the cosmos is ultimately intelligible and therefore whole and finally good; that it is a creation through which we may apprehend the qualities of its Creator.

The scientist has faith that the endless multiplicity he confronts is a reflection of its prior unity, i.e, that the world is a cosmos and not a chaosmos (or that chaos is parasitic on cosmos, for the converse could never be true). He also has faith that the human subject -- itself an ordered totality, or microcosmos -- is uniquely capable of apprehending this unity (for only one can know the One); as Aldous Huxley remarked, "science is the reduction of multiplicity to unity."

And the scientist believes in evolution, which is to say progress. And progress is absolutely meaningless unless it is situated in the light of the absolute, i.e., truth. A universe of pure change could never be progressive -- which, by the way, is another reason why political "progressivism" is always regressive. In glorifying the lowest level of reality -- matter on the one hand and desire on the other -- it has nowhere to go but down.

Seen in this darklight, progressivism quickly devolves to an excuse to unleash violence against the current order, since reality can never match up to the infantile desires and fantasies of the left. "The perfect is the enemy of the good." The leftist does not believe in the permanence of transcendent things, in the absence of which there can be no dynamic and fruitful interplay of faith and doubt, or creative evolution.

Rather, he believes in a static fantasy of an unattainable utopia, which again serves as the justification for destroying that which is -- including those beautiful values that made this nation possible. It is such a parochial and ethocentric view, since the vast majority of the so-called 99% are actually in the 1% if they would only widen their historical view instead of only consulting their desires.

It is the unrepentant spiritual terrorism of the left that frightens the population. For when you insist that this is a racist country; a sexist country; a homophobic country; a classist country; you do not just criticize the margins, but delegitimize the center. Progressivism is the expression of thanatos the "death instinct." It is perverse, sadistic, and authoritarian. Which is why, of course, they project these things into conservatives.

Eliot wrote that "if the progress of mankind is to continue as long as man survives upon the earth, then... progress becomes merely change; for the values of man will change, and a world of changed values is valueless to us -- just as we, being a part of the past, will be valueless to it.

"Or if the progress of mankind is to continue only until a 'perfect' state of society is reached, then this state of society will be valueless simply because of its perfection. It will be at best a smooth-running machine with no meaning..."

The idea that progressivism renders our lives worthless to generations of the future is a subtle point worth dwelling on. Consider how blindly the left sweeps away not just the average individual (especially if he doesn't share their values), but the truly great men of the past.

The Founding Fathers? Just racist slaveholders promoting their economic interests. Lincoln? He didn't care about the plight of blacks, he just wanted more power for the north. The men who died for our freedom in World War II? Probably just racist redneck Christianists, just as today.

The other day, a leftist-integral-Buddhist suggested to us that the liberation of Iraq was an aggressive war. We told him he was either ignorant, intellectually dishonest, or morally retarded. And we meant it literally, not as an insult.

Talk about irony. What China did to Tibet was aggressive. Removing the most sadistic tyrant on earth and installing a democracy is a gift from heaven, even if it remains to be seen if Islam and liberal democracy are capable of coexisting. At least we'll know.

The point is, the left undermines and delegitimizes the United States, and then wants to elect one of its own to be President of the land they so despise. [This was written over three years ago -- ed.] If Obama fails to bring this howling mob the revolutionary change it is clamoring for, who knows what will happen with their collective death instinct? If one is not a part of their fantasied solution, then one is just a problem, someone standing between them and the fulfillment of their desires.

For a primitive person, idealization is always a defense against aggression, so it will be very interesting to see how Obama manages the aggressive idealization being projected into him. I seriously doubt that he appreciates the hatred beneath the love, being that he is one of them.

In light of the "permanent things," time past and time future become time present. This was one of Eliot's great concerns, expressed so perfectly in Four Quartets. Again, the progressive believes in time as a straight line composed of atomistic and disjointed moments -- which, by the way, is what Eliot was attempting to capture and convey in his earlier, more pessimistic poems, prior to his conversion.

This recalls Bion's concept of "attacks on linking," which can take place in both time and space; in fact, if you think about it, you cannot attack spatial links without attacking temporal links. To attack the one is to attack the other. Deconstruction doesn't just destroy the present, but past and future as well. To destroy history is to destroy the present, and vice versa.

But to dwell in the permanent things -- the essence of conservatism -- is not to live in the discontinuous line, but within a kind of spiritual plenum that connects us to all of mankind, living and dead (indeed, to mankind as such). It is a kind of sin and scandal, not only that the dead cannot vote, but that the left wishes to force a new country upon us that would be unrecognizable to the men who died to create this one.

To say that "we are the ones we've been waiting for" is not just cosmically narcissistic but profoundly ungrateful. But all children come into the world believing they are cosmically special, otherwise they could not psychically survive the indignities of infancy.

Science in the absence of religion -- scientism -- conforms to the pattern laid out in Genesis: your eyes will be open to the horizontal and you shall become like gods! But this overvaluation of the quantitative aspect of the cosmos comes at the price of obscuring its qualitative aspects: "quality is the vertical aspect of the world," and it is ultimately rooted in the permanent things discussed above.

But as UF asks, why is it necessary to choose between the two? Why not just add the one to the other "under the sign of the cross," i.e., the vertical line of religion -- the permanent things -- bisecting the horizontal plane of science at each and every step along the way? Why not just crucify the serpent? Do so, and a metamorphosis follows:

"The scientistic creed then becomes what it is in reality: the mirroring of the creative Word. It will no longer be truth; it will be method. It will no longer say: 'in the beginning was substance or matter,' but will say: 'in order to understand the mechanism of the made world, it is necessary to choose a method which takes account of the origin of matter and of that which set it in motion from above." Likewise, we will see the brain as a function of intelligence, not vice versa.

In short, "The synthesis of science and religion is not a theory, but rather the inner act of consciousness of adding the spiritual vertical to the scientific horizontal."

35 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did he manage to discuss his own ideas and beliefs without putting down others? No, no he did not.

11/16/2011 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Well, Polly Prissypants, nobody's forcing you to read it.

But all children come into the world believing they are cosmically special, otherwise they could not psychically survive the indignities of infancy.

Indeed; judging by the boy, believing he is cosmically special makes the indignities of infancy only barely tolerable, but it's enough for him to get by.

Further, judging by the first comment, some people never manage to grow out of that, and thus the generalized words of a blogger become a cosmically personal insult.

11/16/2011 08:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not insulted. I just think you're truly awful people.

11/16/2011 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Flatterer.

11/16/2011 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Argyl Sweater Vest said...

The post is very negative regarding non-believers and Buddhists.

We all know people who criticize others as a way to make themselves feel better, and I hope this is not a case of that behavior.

There is no suggestion of what should be done regarding the issues raised, a sign that the true purpose of the post is to ventilate, rather than reform.

That being the case, its not wonder there are put downs. The put downs are what its for.

11/16/2011 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

"Conversely, the faith in doubt is the belief that the cosmos is ultimately intelligible and therefore whole and finally good..."

Perhaps because one doubts *according to* something, a coherent element. That is the premise of doubt. Some seem to have a gap though in acknowledging that their act of doubt in the existence of a whole is according to a whole (idea) to which they are reconciling the thing they are doubting. [...A scenic route of saying that truth is self-proving, since to assert that there is no truth is to state a truth.]

11/16/2011 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog strikes me as what you would get if Robert Anton Wilson and Rush Limbaugh had a baby.

11/16/2011 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the country racist when slavery was legal?
If, say, an Emerson or Thoreau had said so, would that have delegitimized the center, or just been accurate at the time?

11/16/2011 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"And the scientist believes in evolution, which is to say progress. And progress is absolutely meaningless unless it is situated in the light of the absolute, i.e., truth. A universe of pure change could never be progressive -- which, by the way, is another reason why political "progressivism" is always regressive. In glorifying the lowest level of reality -- matter on the one hand and desire on the other -- it has nowhere to go but down.
"

Yep... but with the most astounding inclination to see their dark pit as the starry sky.

Horrifying to cllick on some of those cheering on the OWS Molotov Cocktail guy, and see that they're teachers.

Dangerous times.

11/16/2011 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Sometimes I will point out the significance of the existence order to someone, and the person will (arrogantly*) acknowledge local order but no more, as if their minds are routed against the generalizing plane -- because in the world of proofs, if one thing is the case, there are implications, but this plane is shut off to them. Instead, they sit in a place in which there is a discord they must deal with (to them a - or *the* - "sophisticated" problem) between the existence of local order and the non-existence of general order. A broken valve in the implications department.

*Arrogant, because they smirk and think I'm off base for suggesting that if you take away general order, local order disappears, or is in logical jeopardy. The inconvenience to their lives that they perceive makes them smugly dismiss the idea. And what I'm thinking is of the pain of the inconvenience to life and civilization itself by what they are suggesting by removing a general whole of a non-material reality. People such as those at Hillsdale are trying to pull up this weed with a long root in education that threatens to choke the soil.

11/16/2011 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"The point is, the left undermines and delegitimizes the United States, and then wants to elect one of its own to be President of the land they so despise. [This was written over three years ago -- ed.] If Obama fails to bring this howling mob the revolutionary change it is clamoring for, who knows what will happen with their collective death instinct? If one is not a part of their fantasied solution, then one is just a problem, someone standing between them and the fulfillment of their desires. "

Indeed, maybe even shoot at the President's house?

Only ABC mentions that the nut had spent time with Occupy Wallstreet nuts... not the New York Times, not Washington Times, not USA Today, not even Fox.

I'm sure that Gabby Giffords would understand how irrelevant it is to mention a nuts ties to movements, no matter how tenuous.

11/16/2011 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said ""

At least that's about what I got out of it.

11/16/2011 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Speaking of using words to say less than nothing,

"The Founding Fathers? Just racist slaveholders promoting their economic interests. Lincoln? He didn't care about the plight of blacks, he just wanted more power for the north."

Trudging my way through the 'Lincoln-as-evil-tyrant' book by Thomas DiLorenzo. What a slog of selective parsing, offendedness seeking, carful application of anachronistic standards, misnomers and non-sequitors... just an amazing example of darkening counsel with your words.

For those few who care, I’m not in a position at the moment to supply examples, no doubt I will at a later date on my site, but... forget about Lincoln himself, can this views supporters not see the... anti-thought going on here?

Ugh. Maybe not fair of me to attack without backing it up, but... it deserves it.

11/16/2011 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos both archetypes and antinomies, Art of Manliness has posted a decent series on the four archetypes of mature masculinity (the first few results in the link).

11/16/2011 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Lowbrow Tennessee said...

The Left's desires are to ensure the strong don't eat the weak, and the rich don't lord over the poor; if these wishes are infantile, then what desires should be cultivated?

What in the world do you people want? What form of government would make you happy?

As rich and priviledged as you all are, still you are not satisfied apparently. Well then spill it; what is it you think you are entitled too that you haven't already got?

This question goes to the "raccoon sisterhood" that runs rampant here.

Well, raccoons are a game animal where I come from. We eat them.

11/16/2011 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Lowbrow Tenessee,

I don't think that is what the left wants at all. (If the left does, they don't understand how things work. Letting that lack of understanding persist starts to seem like they don't want the result they claim they want after all.)

One thing "we" want is that the Constitution continue to be the law of land because it is the result of much wisdom. Part of the wisdom of the Constitution is not to "ensure" (or claim to ensure) certain things (material guarantees), but to let it come from the citizens themselves rather than the government, including charity and virtue. Is that hard and risky? Yes. Is that risk worth it? Yes.

wv: lilit... Kind of nice.

11/16/2011 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

And all of what I just said is an understatement. Look at closed-circuit guaranteed countries, like the former USSR. Everything was a sham. It's really not a joke.

11/16/2011 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

OT, hey Bob - Salman Rushdie stole one of your words! Chapter two of Luka and the Fire of Life is titled "Nobodaddy."

11/16/2011 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van,
I think what DiLorenzo is attempting to do with Lincoln is similar to what Bob does say, with the Palestinians. He goes overboard with polemic in order to prove his point, since Lincoln is so universally worshipped in this country.

11/16/2011 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I like the part about doubt. I have heard people say we should not question God which is silly. Question God but do it within the boundaries of, as you say, understanding that He is good, all the time. As some other Guy said, without a solid foundation, the house that is built -- no matter how vast or elegant, cannot stand.

If you want to question America, fine. There are things that get screwed up. But if you assume it is fundamentally screwed up then you are an idiot, know nothing of actual history, or are deliberately putting out your intellectual eyes.

As to progressive utopians, I am reminded of Groucho Marx, "I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members."

Kind of like the joke we make about the person looking for the perfect church. If he finds it and joins it, it will no longer be perfect.

The people who want a utopia are the parasites who would destroy it.

11/16/2011 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "I think"

ROFLMAO!!!

11/16/2011 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Good grief, Lowbrow, as Anna points out, look at the Soviet Union. Read Animal Farm. Watch Reds.

OK, don't watch Reds. You've never done anything that bad to me.

We have stated what we want: freedom. Not benefits. Not a safety net. Not a guarantee of anything other than the negative rights framed by the Constitution.

The strong are more than welcome to try and eat me.

Many years ago, one of our neighbors, Roger, back in the hills, went to another neighbor's farm to help put up some hay. When it came time for lunch, Roger sat down at the table and found himself eyeballing a roasted raccoon on a plate which seemed to be eyeballing him as well. The host sliced off some meat and passed it to Roger, who like a true hillbilly, would never complain about the kind of food he was served. At last, though, he had to admit defeat, saying, "The longer I chewed it, the bigger it got."

11/16/2011 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

We prefer using truth.

But, like, possum, it's an acquired taste.

11/16/2011 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van said.....!!!!!

ROFLMAOFYSAH!!!!

11/16/2011 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger David R. Graham said...

"It is perverse, sadistic, and authoritarian."

Suggest emphasis on "sadistic" because the more layers of deceit I peel off this crap sandwich the more that appears the root and core of it.

"... truth is self-proving, since to assert that there is no truth is to state a truth."

Eloquent. Ancient insight, utterly valid/true, obviates/condemns compromise, summons heroism.

"Horrifying to click on some of those cheering on the OWS Molotov Cocktail guy, and see that they're teachers."

No, good they are in the open and now can be extirpated.

"Kind of like the joke we make about the person looking for the perfect church. If he finds it and joins it, it will no longer be perfect."

Bless my soul, if is worthy, that is the absolute truth!!!

11/16/2011 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gabe Ruth said...

Well, I'm a little late to the party, but I need to get the following off my chest. Most of the post was excellent. But some of the political parts...

The Doctrine of the Inherent Goodness of the United States (heretofore DIGUS) is a cancer in the mind of a vast majority of Americans, and there will be no change in the course of this country until it is challenged. Conservatives at least have no illusions that the USG can wipe away every tear domestically, but they have stubbornly refused to confront the reality that neither can it do so globally at the level of nation states. I love Mark Steyn, and I think there is much that he is quite right about, but a small government global hegemon is an oxymoron.

While I remain a cowardly agnostic on the question of whether knocking off Saddam was a good move, that it was an aggressive move is incontestable. I am perfectly comfortable saying that the last half decade spent there was a mistake. That we are unwilling to live with the consequences that will inevitably follow our departure from that place is the kind of nearsightedness that makes me want to tear my teeth out. At least we'll know? Sounds like a kid with a chemistry set, an all too common view of the world outside our borders. Dr. Faust, do you have any comments?

Lincoln's sainthood is also problematic. That black emancipation was not a high priority for him is also not a controversial claim. And the utter destruction of the South, while tragic, was less of a tragedy than the transformation in the relationship between the several states that came of the Civil War.

There are a couple of writers who, if read regularly, can help with the necessary worldview adjustment: Daniel Larison and Conner Friedersdorf. I recommend them because, while they can be bracing at times, they do not loathe this country and its people.

11/17/2011 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gabe said "Lincoln's sainthood is also problematic."

With all due respect to those who rightfully attain to that title, Lincoln was nothing as worthless as a saint, and the use of the term, and the continual positioning of it, so as to knock him, is so straw filled as to make the term 'strawman' trite in comparison.

Lincoln was a man; a man raised in, amongst and with, the increasingly proregressive ideas of his age. What you see in Lincoln, is not someone who flatters and surpasses our ridiculous modern pretenses of moral purity and 'integrity', but a man who gradually confronts the ideas of habit which he had assumed, and practiced, for decades, and gradually sees them for what they are, struggles against, but ultimately acknowledges their shortcomings, and works to right them.

Lincoln was an admirable Man.

I won't bother with the rest at the moment, but will at a later date, for now I'll just gleefully state, that having investigated the ideas, actions and motives - and what lay behind them - for a couple decades now, the idea that the South was in the right... in any way, shape or form, is complete and utter crap.

11/17/2011 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Useless aside, the idea that Lincoln did no wrong, is silly, juvenile, and a useful tool only to people who have no sound basis for their own positions and ideas.

11/17/2011 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gabe said "The Doctrine of the Inherent Goodness of the United States (heretofore DIGUS) is a cancer in the mind of a vast majority of Americans, and there will be no change in the course of this country until it is challenged."

The refusal to recognize the Inherent Goodness of the United States (heretofore the Inherent Goodness of the United States), enthralls people to the idea that goodness must be restrained from prevailing.

The confusing of the Inherent Goodness of the United States, with a presumed infallibility of its leaders, policies and practices, shows not only a shallow grasp of what Goodness is, but like the ploy of Lincoln's saintedness, serves only ulterior purposes - known, and unknown.

Not coincidentally, both positions go hand in glove, with uber-libertarian 'philosophy'.

11/17/2011 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gabe Ruth said...

Van, your first two responses were quite good, but you're losing steam and veering into name calling with the last one.

However, there is a very good point in it: confusing the US with the USG is a huge mistake. But to the degree that the US supports the actions of the USG, it is culpable. When are we going to say, hey, maybe entrusting this kind of global power to a small handful of men isn't such a good idea?

11/17/2011 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gabe said "...but you're losing steam and veering into name calling with the last one."

No... I'm not namecalling, but... I'll admit to not providing the information to support what I know to be behind the names... which... I suppose may be indistinguishable from namecalling if you don't also know it. sigh.

"...hey, maybe entrusting this kind of global power to a small handful of men isn't such a good idea? "

I'm less concerned with the handful of men having the power it is proper for them to have, than with all the additional, blatantly unconstitutional interests which they improperly have been given power to pursue and act upon.

Of course that comes with consequences, and some guilt as well, but it doesn't erase the inherent goodness which is still present within US and our actions.

11/17/2011 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gabe Ruth said...

Van, when you call me an uber-libertarian based on the preceding comments, that is name calling. The political spectrum is not discrete. You seem to think naming my position that way proves something, because you have already refuted all of libertarian thought. Whether or not you have actually done that, if you want to engage an idea, do so honestly.

"I'm less concerned with the handful of men having the power it is proper for them to have, than with all the additional, blatantly unconstitutional interests which they improperly have been given power to pursue and act upon."

That is a fascinating sentence. Why, in your opinion, did the framers go through all the trouble they did to limit the domestic power of the federal government? I know you know the answer, so, explain to me why we should not have similar concerns about international power. I believe that the people of the US are by and large great, and that they have been poorly served by the USG for a long time. But I also believe that they have not translated that experience into nearly enough distrust for the USG and all its works, including its various military adventures. I think conservative minded Americans have been convinced by (political) tribalism that not being hawkish means committing suicide (and being a chickenshit). And I believe that this is a laughable position to hold, especially considering that, even if our military adventures and boondoggles have some benefit, our fiscal situation will curtail any ambitions in the near future.

11/17/2011 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

"If Obama fails to bring this howling mob the revolutionary change it is clamoring for, who knows what will happen with their collective death instinct?"

I've wondered (and might be wrong of course...) if the Occupy Wall Street stuff is exactly that. It is heading into the term II election year and they aren't talking about how they are excited for the next campaign at all.

11/17/2011 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gabe said "Van, when you call me an uber-libertarian based on the preceding comments, that is name calling."

Going into mtg, no time, but saw the first line here - I wasn't calling you an 'uber-libertarian', was referring only to 'uber-libertarians', sorry if seemed otherwise.

Heads up from wv:tedlies

11/17/2011 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gabe said "The political spectrum is not discrete."

I'm really only interested in politics insofar as it reflects the philosophy underlying it, and the uber-libertarians (and by that I mean those of the anarcho-whateverists bent, those who deny Intellectual Property Rights, look at NAMBLA as just another valid choice, etc) generally start their philosophy from a random mid-point in philosophy (non-aggression), which does tend to lump them into a fairly discrete category of nuttiness.

And also the part of politics that puts me or my family at risk. That gets my attention too.

"...because you have already refuted all of libertarian thought... "

Touche. Still haven't finished my series of posts on the subject. That other part of politics has been swiping too much of my time to give it the attention it needs.

"Whether or not you have actually done that, if you want to engage an idea, do so honestly."

That I always do, but, as I mentioned above, "Maybe not fair of me to attack without backing it up, but... it deserves it." Maybe that wasn't fair of me, but it wasn't dishonest.

"explain to me why we should not have similar concerns about international power."

Obviously we should, and it is one of the reasons why the military budget comes under review every two years. What we allow our leaders to do, is ridiculous, their ventures, such as Libya (responding to a situation which has no discernable tie to our interests), are beyond the pale. You can say Iraq & Afghanistan are poorly handled, but they were in response to direct threats against us and our interests.

"...they have been poorly served by the USG for a long time..."

If you're under the impression that I think otherwise, you're mistaken.

"I think conservative minded Americans have been convinced by (political) tribalism that not being hawkish means committing suicide (and being a chickenshit)."

Whether or not some have been convinced by 'tribalism' of anything, I don't know, but since few of them have been convinced by an understanding of the constitution, or the ideas behind it, that seems a far greater concern than the relatively trivial particular of which 'ism' they substitute for that understanding, at any rate, I have not. Nor am I much concerned with anyone thinking that I am either hawkish or chickenshit, I am however very much interested in whether or not we view the world realistically, that we do not delude ourselves with pretentions of moral grandeur in areas we have no actual authority, extend to others rights they have no real conception of and/or explicitly revile, or pretend that our inability to choose another peoples political decisions, prevents us from looking out for our own best interests which may involve our presence in their jurisdiction.

That means realizing that many of our choices will be between bad and worse ones, realizing the need for us to have bases around the world, and that we will on occasion need to make agreements with less than savory characters. It should not, however, translate into our expending the wealth of our people, and the worth of our name, in conducting myriad programs of foreign aid, cultural exchange, feeding the world or propping up people whose real interest is killing us, etc.

11/17/2011 01:11:00 PM  

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