Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Multiculturalism would be Unanimous if it Weren't for Your Damn Tribe of Individuals!

So, we've covered Berdyaev's thoughts on the Eternal Being and its image and likeness down herebelow. But herebelow the image can never be a solitary and isolated monad; rather, it can only exist in society -- which should not be surprising if the Eternal Being is a becoming society of three.

To quote the eternal being themself, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." And "let them..." Let them what? Doesn't really matter in this context. We're more concerned with the them and with the Us-them parallel clueniverses.

Thus we move on to the Social Animal -- who is also the political beast, or the mimetic subject, or the half-awake herdling, or the grumpy outsider, or the unassimilated crank. Unlike, say, ants or chimps or leftists, we have countless ways of expressing our groupishness -- even by denying it.

Bion, who wrote a book on the subject, situated man in the dialectical space between what he called our nariciss-ism and and our social-ism. Pathology lies at either extreme, i.e., elevating the individual at the expense of the group, or prizing the group at the expense of effacing individuality. Historically it has been almost impossible to maintain the ideal balance, as in the pre- or non-leftist United States.

A society is an organism. However, unlike other organisms, the parts retain their autonomy and identity (or at least have much more of each), and aren't completely subordinate to the whole. Indeed, they can even rebel against the whole. Of course, there are times that parts of a body rebel against the whole, as in cancer or any autoimmune disorder.

Is there a sociological analogue of cancer? Yes, of course. There is, for example, the unorganized cancer of criminality, and the organized criminality of leftism, which again destroys everything it touches. Under the best of circumstances leftism is an autoimmune disorder, in that (like Obama) it fails to recognize foreign invaders and instead attacks its own citizens.

But the left's worst crime is against freedom and therefore individuality, i.e., creative being -- which is why "political correctness" is not a glitch but a feature of leftism. It is essential to leftism, in that the latter simply cannot exist in the absence of ThoughtCrime. Individuals must not only be forced to do certain things, but to believe and even be certain things.

This follows the left's inverted metaphysic whereby essence is a function of existence. For example, a black person who has the incorrect beliefs -- say, Clarence Thomas -- revokes his blackness; or a woman who rejects the feminist agenda -- say, Sarah Palin -- becomes something other than a woman, just a dung-eating monster of the leftist imagination.

Dehumanization is at the cardiopathological heart of the left, since humans who do not conform to their image of the group are ostracized. You will no doubt notice that this is precisely what all primitive tribes do.

For the tribal mentality, "humanness" is defined as membership in the tribe, not as a universal essence. Those outside the tribe are barbarians, not quite human. Thus, the same rules of morality do not apply to those outside the group. Over the past five years, we've all seen this double standard play out, as Obama has been permitted to get away with things for which members of our tribe would be impeached. And rightfully so.

Eight years ago (or whatever it was) Obama and Biden claimed that ending the filibuster would be a crime against mankind. Now? Same thing. It depends on what you mean by "mankind," for a crime against non-leftists isn't a crime at all. Compare the media coverage of the false claims against the Duke lacrosse team vs. the true claims against their murderous accuser. It is as if the unreality really happened, whereas the reality didn't happen at all.

Another critical difference between left and right -- and this is something highlighted by Chesterton as well -- is that we include the dead in our tribe.

In fact, we also include the unborn, because our temporal space isn't confined to the moment. We don't assume we are the wisest generation in history -- the ones we've been waiting for! -- and are therefore entitled to fundamentally transform what it took generations of sacrifice to build. Nor do we consider it moral to force the unborn -- those we suffer to live -- to spend their lives paying off the debt for the leftist spending spree that has been going on since they took over congress in 2006.

An organism is distinct from a mere mass or agglomeration; rather, it is a diversified whole, with both horizontal and vertical organization. Just as the body has a head, a heart, and hands, society has its thinkers and doers, its priests and warriors, etc.; but we must be free to discover our particular destiny, our part in the whole. Thus, as Berdyaev observes,

"In the relationship of ethics to the social question, we meet the tragic conflict between the value of freedom and the value of equality." I have yet to meet the leftist who understands that freedom and equality are at antipodes, for absolute equality requires the obliteration of freedom, just as absolute freedom would redound to an absence of equality.

"Absolute equality would have left being in an unrevealed condition, in indifference, i.e. in non-being." Thus "the revolutionary demand for return to equality" results in a plunge into non-being and "the denial of meaning in the whole creative process in the world....

"The demand for a forced leveling, which comes out of the lower levels of chaotic darkness, is an attempt to destroy the hierarchic, cosmic order which was formed by the creative birth of light in darkness, an attempt to destroy human personality itself as a stage in hierarchy, as born of inequality."

Precisely.

Which is why the worst evils result from forced equality under the guise of "goodness." Evil goodness, thy (current) name is ObamaCare.

I believe Berdyaev would say that God is freedom-love-creativity; each of these transcendentals presupposes the others, and personality -- or personhood -- is a function of their dynamic play. Thus, "Personality is very closely linked with love. Personality is realized through love: by means of love solitude is conquered and communion is achieved."

Furtheramor, "Love presupposes personality: it is the relation of person to person: personality goes out of himself into another personality, comes to know this other personality and confirms it for eternity." In short, "The 'I' becomes a personality through love," as every baby knows (or fails to know) more deeply than knowledge.

For "Love is dual: it predicates two persons, and not some impersonal identity. And the secret of love is related to the fact that one personality is never exactly identical with another, that the other person is 'Thou.'"

Although elsewhere Berdyaev expresses some peculiar ideas about sex, here he affirms the Raccoon principle that "male and female are cosmic categories, not merely anthropological categories." There is a "cosmic mysticism of male and female," hence, what we call dilettrantic yoga, since we are all beginners at this -- or must always begin again, since no one else's yoga (union) can be ours.

(All quoted material from Berdyaev.)

154 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

Under the best of circumstances leftism is an autoimmune disorder, in that (like Obama) it fails to recognize foreign invaders and instead attacks its own citizens.

That's just beautiful.

12/03/2013 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I guess just as good can be evil, ugly can be beautiful!

12/03/2013 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

It's the "truth revealed" that is the beautiful part.

12/03/2013 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

That's good, too, about the future generations and how our current choices limit their freedom to act. The left is always complaining about the alleged "vagueness" of the Constitution. To the extent that it is vague, e.g., the Tenth Amendment, that's a feature rather than a bug. The Founders understood that things could change and that the states would the places to work out how to adjust to those changes.

12/03/2013 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Yes, Rick, that's what I meant.

12/03/2013 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Mush, well, it's like what I think I enjoy about Breaking Bad -- to paraphrase Bob: what's happening to the main character is what always happens.

12/03/2013 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Intriguing parallel in this piece on Dante:

"Thus art has an essential bond with love, which shares with art the “need to go outside of oneself.” “All love is prostitution,” writes Baudelaire. In that respect both art and love partake of the self-surpassing generosity through which God gives himself to the world: “The most prostituted being of all, the being par excellence, is God, since he is the supreme friend of every individual, since he is the common, inexhaustible reservoir of love.”

"One reason why The Divine Comedy remains the most generous work in literary history is because it brings together these three phenomena—God, love, and art—in a first-person story where they flow into and out of one another promiscuously, such that it is impossible finally to distinguish between the Comedy’s art and “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.”

12/03/2013 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick - yes, that's what makes it so compelling.

To the post,

indifference: I never thought about it, but of course: in-difference; or in other words utter sameness, which explains why being indifferent is to lack any feeling about something, either in love or in hate.

There is a "cosmic mysticism of male and female,"

And on that note, another unsurprising scientific finding. Unsurprising, but not indifferent...

12/03/2013 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sample the new Dante translation on Amazon -- sounds good to my ears.

12/03/2013 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, I like that! I wonder if she will do the others as well?

12/03/2013 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

As to that unsurprising scientific finding -- yet another beautiful truth today.

It sure does explain a lot. Although I'm not sure that the divided attention of women is all is might appear to be. Watching a movie, for example, my wife sometimes stops talking long enough to ask me what just happened because, apparently, she missed it.

"When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."

12/03/2013 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

lol

As I'm learning from having two small kids, I'm pretty sure it's a defense mechanism for those times when multiple creatures are demanding one's attention all at the same time and with similar degrees of urgency. And grabbiness. One often doesn't handle any of the immediate tasks well, exactly, but it does prevent a complete freeze-up...

12/03/2013 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Mushroom, that is amusing.

I'm a single man, but after spending a week with my mother I know exactly what you mean. I was in a whirlwind of discourse that had no linear trajectory. And still somehow, it works for her :).

12/03/2013 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't think I've seen anyone who can match the verbal scatter of my mother-in-law. Somehow it exceeds 180°.

12/03/2013 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

What I think would be really interesting would be to do studies of the brains of, for instance, single adults as compared to long-time married adults. I theorize that single adults would show a higher degree of cross connectivity, while long-time marrieds would show greater specialization, but in such a way that combining the scans of each partner would demonstrate a very particular sort of wholeness...

12/03/2013 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Supposedly, as a marriage proceeds, women become more male-like -- or actualize their male archetype -- and vice versa. So it's neither male-like, nor is it an androgynous blend, but rather, the development of each side. Mrs. G. has definitely become more masculine and more feminine, meaning she's just like a woman only better!

12/03/2013 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Come to think of it, back when we were both liberals we were much more androgynous. I think it goes with the program.

12/03/2013 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

That's interesting; makes sense.

With long term marriage, that's a good point. As far as specialization goes, I was partly thinking male/ female differences, but also just more generally personality differences inasmuch as whatever it is that each partner does more often than the other will be more developed in each brain. Strengths become stronger, while weaknesses become weaker, until you see instances where, for instance, after a spouse dies the widow/er is at a loss to do the simple things their partner used to do, like household accounting or cleaning.

12/03/2013 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

In other words, single people seem more likely to do a little of everything, where married folks have more division of labor, however it is split up.

12/03/2013 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I can lift a hundred pounds over my head.

12/03/2013 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Rick, IRT Breaking Bad, it's difficult to discuss it w/o spoilers, however I can say this: Walt does reap what he sows in spite of his good intentions and it affects everyone around him in a negative way.
At one point it seems like Walt gets everything he wants but the consequences of his past actions eventually catch up to him.
I particularly like the ending because unlike the Sopranos, the writers don't shy away from showing the full effect of WAlt's good intentions or how bad he has broken, so to speak.
Antyways I can't say much more w/o spoilers, but there's a lot of depth to the show.

12/03/2013 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

But seriously, folks... wife and I have our own language. Includes blank stares, ear lobe pulls, chin positions, variety of giggles, and various hums and throat noises, halves of sentences.

12/03/2013 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Hi Ben!

Yes, there is much depth to it (had a huge firehose download of insight this morning). And you're right. I'm only halfway through the 5th (final season) and it is difficult to discuss without spoilers.

12/03/2013 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent post, Bob!
Explains Obama's behavior even more, He helps Iran like a Chamberlain on steroids and blames US citizens for the failure of Obamacare.
Helps the muslim Brotherhood and disses US Veterans.
Helps our enemies and hurts our allies.

12/03/2013 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Rick, makes sense! Most communication is non-verbal anyways, and I think when you're in an intimate relationship it's ever more extreme (especially when the connection is a good one!).

12/03/2013 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The more comfortable you are with someone, the less need to speak. Often, as somewag said, the purpose of language is to conceal man's thought.

12/03/2013 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

In regards to Breaking Bad, I have to say it is the best television I've ever seen. Yes, the themes are dark, but the writing is superb. I do believe it speaks much to karma and its reach of influence.

12/03/2013 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's certainly the purpose of Obama's language.

12/03/2013 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Very true Bob! Language is replaced with an energetic resonance and attunement.

12/03/2013 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

i can relate, Mushroom. Same thing happens when my wife is watching a show and i'm on the 'net.
"What just happened?"

"I dunno."

"You couldn't hear it?"

"Well, I could but I wasn't paying atten..."

"Shh! I'm missing the show!"

12/03/2013 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, said his favorite show of all time was the Twilight Zone. When the interviewer asked him why, he replied that there was something timeless and eternal about the show. He wanted to do that with BB. I think he succeeded.

12/03/2013 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ted, I liked the Twilight Zone because it got me to thinking and asking questions and coontemplating.
Certainly BB has done the same, so I cooncur, Gilligan did achieve his goal.

12/03/2013 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I think Hemingway and Jung would be fans of the show.

The former because it is "life sped up". The latter because each character is archetypal, which is to say, perfectly essential. Or essentially perfect. Sure, every story should do this (I think)...

Because my wife keeps saying: I love every character. When she's right, she's right.

12/03/2013 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Rick, that's a good point. I liked all the characters in different ways. Once again, your wife is on point! :)

12/03/2013 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

If any others here go a-blogging for music rarities...here's one that is truly jawdropping:
the site has lots of features which bog down some computers [like mine] but it's trusty:
http://www.willardswormholes.com/?p=19741

12/03/2013 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Don't get me started on BB, and not just because i havent watched it----i stopped at the acidic tub mess :) [[said to meself: 'Do I need this?', answered in the negative----ok some of us maybe jumped the ship prematurely]]
But I have read up a lot on it post facto and am an honorary expert because I drive on Upper Canyon Rd almost daily! but the unintended possible meth-glorification & macho posturing and White-Guy-'Wins' wish-scenario rubs me sort of like those radio ads we hear it seems should end: "Do you owe over $50,000 in credit card debt? [Well, you sir are a lucky schmucky because you outwitted the system and we can get your ass off the hook of the law! Good Going"]

12/03/2013 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

ge, those parts which repulsed you: I think they were supposed to. That's my take.
Though I have little doubt than many enjoy that show for the "bad ass" and glorification etc. Hopefully, not as many. I think it may touch some nerves (to ultimately good ends). As "consequences" are played out all the way to their logical ends.

12/03/2013 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

well Ann Coulter got a strong Xtian message from it

Family Guy - Breaking Bad

BB HonesTrailer

12/04/2013 01:58:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Spoiler alert..
Yes, it is a parable.
Ann really just touches on some aspects of this parable. And pride is not the only sin covered. And no one in the story is sinless. One could make a case that Hank is as prideful as Walt. Yet she claims Hank is the hero.
I think the story may have a remarkable way of touching on certain nerves in different people. My wife and I felt the opposite of Ann when Walt watched Jane die. But there were other times when it seemed we were on his side. The writers want you to see that happen to your self, I think. The writers may not have intended the story to be a Christian parable. They may have just gotten there accidentally. The truth being what it is can't contradict Christianity..
But I think they must have attempted some parallel. They say "blood money" more than once, and pride, and temptation. I think Jesse is Judas but in reverse: the similarity in names, he gives up Walt (but he should) and he throws away the blood money.
Walt is tempted by death in "the beginning". Jesse calls him the devil. He has become the "father" of lies.

12/04/2013 04:32:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

...which is one thing. But the other is how it says all that (and plenty more) without saying it. It tells it so compellingly, as Julie says, that it is still great storytelling if it didn't do any of those other things. It constantly turns the world upside down.
Wait. Which world?

12/04/2013 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Ann's column brings up another aspect touched on earlier.
Spoiler alert on that column btw.

The story may be a personal rorschach test.
Example: why does Ann select Hank as the hero. I think he may be as bad as Walt. I'd pick Walt Jr. etc.

Bob talks about how patients come to therapy because there is something wrong with their life "story" all of a sudden. This happens to everyone in BB. First of all is Walt's life interrupted with his diagnosis of lung cancer..
What is depression, after all..

12/04/2013 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

GAGDAD BOB: A society is an organism. However, unlike other organisms, the parts retain their autonomy and identity (or at least have much more of each), and aren't completely subordinate to the whole.

Sure, a reasonable analogy.

GAGDAD BOB: Is there a sociological analogue of cancer? Yes, of course. There is, for example, the unorganized cancer of criminality, and the organized criminality of leftism, which again destroys everything it touches.

The political left is defined as advocacy of increased egalitarianism. There are certainly extremes on the left, but you are overgeneralizing from the extreme elements of a group in order to color the entire group.

12/07/2013 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Freedom or egalitarianism. Pick one.

12/07/2013 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad Bob: Freedom or egalitarianism. Pick one.

False dichotomy. It's possible to have greater equality and still have freedom. Indeed, sometimes they are not opposed, such as in the U.S. Fourteen Amendment, which increased both equality and freedom.

12/07/2013 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The 14th amendment only freed people by reaffirming our first principles. It did not force equality on anyone. It did not treat people unequally in order to achieve some fanciful notion of equality, as does the modern left.

12/07/2013 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad Bob: The 14th amendment only freed people by reaffirming our first principles.

The Fourteenth Amendment increased equality.

Gagdad Bob: It did not force equality on anyone.

It forced people to give up what they thought to be their lawful property.

Gagdad Bob: It did not treat people unequally in order to achieve some fanciful notion of equality, as does the modern left.

Not everyone on the political left has some fanciful notion of equality.

In modern times, the drive for equality has resulted in women's suffrage, voting rights for blacks, the end of racial discrimination in public accommodations, the end of childhood labor, universal literacy, workplace safety rules, environmental protection, and so on.

12/07/2013 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

William?

12/07/2013 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

William or college freshman?

12/07/2013 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Probably freshman - I don't recall William ever apologizing for making an error...

12/07/2013 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I posted that comment before I saw yours. Since William just cuts and pastes without knowing what he's talking about, he does sometimes have to backtrack.

12/07/2013 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sounds like William hasn't yet heard about how badly women, blacks, and children are doing under our most egalitarian president ever.

12/07/2013 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I had forgotten about the copy & pasting; it's been a while.

With Christmas coming up, maybe he just wanted to go where everybody knows his name...

12/07/2013 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or maybe just getting lonely being the last Obama supporter.

12/07/2013 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of leftist women, I bet these ladies are just overflowing with egalitarian sentiment.

12/07/2013 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

getReel said "Zachriel never uses another alias. Did you have a substantive response?"

The most suitably substantive response would be: "You're a bozo."

On the off chance you are unaware of the the nose you've put upon your face, consider this further:

"...defined as advocacy of increased egalitarianism. There are certainly extremes on the left..."

Do some noodling upon the meaning and implications of 'egalitarianism', and see if you can come up with anything resembling a reasonable stopping point prior to reaching 'extreemes'?

Could you support that with facts and logic more substantial than whims and other personal preferences?

If you realize the answer is "No.", maybe we can talk. If not, take your big red nose and move along.

12/07/2013 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: Do some noodling upon the meaning and implications of 'egalitarianism', and see if you can come up with anything resembling a reasonable stopping point prior to reaching 'extreemes'?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html

12/07/2013 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Now that's funny! I could use a good laugh, how about you explain what it is you think that means?

12/07/2013 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: how about you explain what it is you think that means?

The U.S. Declaration of Independence is an argument, based on inherent rights, for greater political equality.

12/07/2013 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Are you knowingly equivocating upon equality, or are you just that sophomoric?

Do you understand the difference between every person having the same rights which are inherent in the nature of being human, and imposing equal conditions upon all?

12/07/2013 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yeah, the idiot founders forgot the part about economic equality.

12/07/2013 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Van: this book could be interesting, although no doubt overly broad. Zach-iam falls into into the Plato-->Rousseau-->French revolutionary-->Hegelian--Marxist-->Hitler-->Stalin-->community organizer genealogy.

12/07/2013 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "Van: this book could be interesting"

Funny you should mention that, that book is actually cued up in my Audible library, and ready for listening to (books that pass the ear test usually wind up in my phone,tablet and/or on my bookshelf quickly), just as soon as I finish with

Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History)John Ferling,

which, although it doesn't climb much above the level of reporting the news of the day, for those all angst ridden over how our modern electoral discourse has fallen to such horrible depths, they'd experience something akin to an inbecilectual enema on reading about even the lead up to the 1800 election.

Ferling falls prey to accepting the circumstantial evidence & DNA of the Sally Hemmings allegations as 'reasonable proof' of Jefferson having fathered her children, rather than 'reasonable proof' that someone of Jefferson's blood line, such as his nephews, fathered her kids, but issues of that sort aside, it's guaranteed to remind people that the Founding Fathers were every bit as human as we are... only more so.

12/07/2013 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: Are you knowingly equivocating upon equality

Not at all. Equality of conscience, political equality, equality of economic opportunity, are different aspects of equality. People have varying views.
http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html

We pointed to many society changes brought on by advocacy on the political left, including women's suffrage, voting rights for blacks, the end of racial discrimination in public accommodations, the end of childhood labor, and universal literacy.

Gagdad Bob: Zach-iam falls into into the Plato-->Rousseau-->French revolutionary-->Hegelian--Marxist-->Hitler-->Stalin-->community organizer genealogy.

Sorry, we reject radicalism on the left (e.g. Stalin) or reactionism on the right (e.g. Hitler).

12/07/2013 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

BTW, on the Plato vs. Aristotle debate, while I used to come down solidly on the side of Aristotle, and though Plato has certainly been used by others to push the totalitarian view, over the last few years I've been thinking that he's been more abused by them, rather than used by them.

Particularly with Socrates, when read more poetically, anagogically (as those closer to the time, such as Plutarch, recommended), than literally, the obvious statements, such as from the Republic, that seem to endorse the all planning and all seeing and all all-father status of the state, have been looking more and more like guffaw-hah irony tipped arrows meant to puncture such foolhardy hubris, than endorsements of them.

But... I could be falling for the 'Oh, not my favorite Uncle! He didn't really mean that!', we'll see.

Along those lines, I just inserted this book into my thumbs, "Musical Structure of Plato's Dialogues" by a mathmatics and philosophy wackademic, who seems to have discovered a 'hidden' musical structure, very pythagorean-ish, in Plato's dialogs, which, as particular harmonic structures (or dissonances) occur at certain points of the dialogs, they give deeper dimensions to various assertions and points being made at those points.

I've read a few of his essays, and the criticism of them, and it promises (just into the first chapter) to be an interesting read.

12/07/2013 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zatReal? said "Sorry, we reject radicalism on the left (e.g. Stalin) or reactionism on the right (e.g. Hitler)"

Sorry, but those who place fascism, particularly Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party, on the right, haven't bothered with thinking through the labels which others have presented them with. 'Liberal (I prefer 'leftist', but what're ya gonna do) Fascism' is far closer to the truth of the matter.

And what's with the 'we'? Feeling all royal, or what?

12/07/2013 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: Sorry, but those who place fascism, particularly Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party, on the right, haven't bothered with thinking through the labels which others have presented them with.

Nearly all political scientists place fascism on the political right. Here’s a few scholarly references:

-

Nazism and the Radical Right in Austria 1918-1934, Lauridsen.

The Routledge companion to fascism and the far right, Paul Davies.

The Culture of Fascism: Visions of the Far Right in Britain, edited by Gottlieb & Linehan.

Fascism Past and Present, West and East: An International Debate on Concepts and Cases in the Comparative Study of the Extreme Right, Griffin et al.

France in The Era of Fascism: Essays on the French Authoritarian Right, edited by Jenkins.

Fascism and Neofascism: Critical Writings on the Radical Right in Europe (Studies in European Culture and History), edited by Weitz & Fenner.

Van Harvey: 'Liberal (I prefer 'leftist', but what're ya gonna do)

While liberals are generally on the political left, not everyone on the political left is a liberal. A liberal, by definition, is someone who balances liberty and equality, so, for instance, a radical leftist would not be a liberal.

12/07/2013 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/07/2013 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zachriel, That definition of Liberalism is the meaning of Classical Liberalism, as our Founding Fathers era understood it, and essentially as I do now. However that is not the view of modern left, which repudiated it long ago. When it uses 'liberal', it means 'progress', as Brittanica points out,

"Liberal Party, a British political party that emerged in the mid-19th century as the successor to the historic Whig Party. It was the major party in opposition to the Conservatives until 1918, after which it was supplanted by the Labour Party. The Liberals continued as a minor party until 1988, when they merged with the Social Democratic Party to form what is now called the Liberal Democratic Party. Through its long history, the Liberal Party included various schools of thought, but all Liberals were united by the conviction that the source of progress lay in the free exercise of individual energy. The purpose of politics, therefore, was to create the conditions within which individual energy could thrive to the betterment of all."

, and by 'free exercise of individual energy', they mean actions unencumbered by annoying issues such as reality, truth, beauty or any standard which takes them into account.

12/07/2013 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: However that is not the view of modern left, which repudiated it long ago.

As we said, liberalism balances liberty and equality. An example is the Civil Rights Movement. Many liberals advocated using the power of government to force an end to discrimination in public accommodations. That doesn't make them Stalinists.

12/07/2013 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zachriel said "Nearly all political scientists place fascism on the political right"

Yes they do. Also, oddly enough, they put defenders of the Free Market (which Marx popularized with the epithet of 'capitalism') onto the right side of the political line as well. And... they put socialistic policies, which mean using govt power to prevent individual 'economic' choices, on the left side of the spectrum.

Ever given that much thought? ♫♪♬... One of these things are not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong ♬♪♫.

A lot of fancy political footwork, betrayal and misrepresentations came to a head around the early 1900's, and the result was that the proRegressives took over the term 'liberal' in America, and those who favored individual rights and free markets, got lumped onto the Right.

But in the end you have to choose where you accept that that line should be drawn, and going with the spectrum given, the Right side of the political line in America today, is the one which most (though with painfully many caveats) supports leaving people free to live their own lives, with govt charged, and bound by law, to uphold Individual Rights, rather than forcibly compelling actions in opposition to them.

12/07/2013 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zachriel said "Many liberals advocated using the power of government to force an end to discrimination in public accommodations."

Oh come on, you're going to have me mocking your name again if you keep that up. Many leftists, MOST leftists, opposed the civil rights movement. George Wallace, Bull Connor, Al Gore's dad, etc., fought long and hard against such things.

Martin Luther King was a Republican, fer gawds sake. Look past the labels, and look at what their policies mean. The leftist, on down the line, in the vast majority of issues, means and favors using govt force, to remove the right of the individual to make their own choices.

For the 'greater good'... as determined by leftist leaders.

Period.

12/07/2013 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: Yes they do.

And as words are defined by usage, especially by those within the field of study, it should be conclusive.

Van Harvey: Also, oddly enough, they put defenders of the Free Market onto the right side of the political line as well.

Many on the left support free markets, too. However, the center has been moving left since the Renaissance. While classical liberalism was to the left (of the monarchy) in its day, it is now usually associated with the right.

Van Harvey: And... they put socialistic policies, which mean using govt power to prevent individual 'economic' choices, on the left side of the spectrum.

That is correct. Socialism is on the political left. It advocates more equality than now exists in society.

Van Harvey: Ever given that much thought?

Indeed. Fascism advocates strict inequality with a strong leader, and out-groups considered racially inferior. They were primarily supported by business and aristocratic interests. They are reasonably placed on the authoritarian right.

You are confusing two orthogonal concepts. The left-right of egalitarianism, and the authoritarian-anarchist dichotomy. There are anarchists on the left, and there are authoritarians on the left. There are anarchists on the right, and there are authoritarians on the right. And most people are in between.

You keep ignoring the examples we provided. The Civil Rights Movement was a liberal advocacy. Did its supporters all advocate the most extreme version of leftism? Were they all Stalinists then?

Van Harvey: George Wallace

Redefining words doesn't make an argument. Wallace was considered a southern conservative, trying to preserve the existing social order. Here's Wallace talking about liberals and the Civil Rights Act:

-

With this assassin’s knife and a blackjack in the hand of the Federal force-cult, the left-wing liberals will try to force us back into bondage…
The liberal left-wingers have passed it. Now let them employ some pinknik social engineers in Washington, D.C., To figure out what to do with it…
Newspapers which are run and operated by left-wing liberals, Communist sympathizers, and members of the Americans for Democratic Action and other Communist front organizations with high sounding names.
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1964WALLACE.html

-

Wallace was not a liberal by any stretch.

12/07/2013 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He doesn't understand that contemporary conservatives are liberals, that contemporary liberals are leftists, and that leftists are illiberal to the core -- not to mention conservative!

12/07/2013 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Who could be more conservative than Obama, clinging to failed economic policies and models of the 1930s that even Europe is abandoning?

12/07/2013 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, we know it's William because who else but William has no clue that his scholarly pretenses (AKA googling) have been reduced to ashes by a bon mot?

12/07/2013 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

ziegHeilsaid "...Redefining words doesn't make an argument. Wallace was considered a southern conservative..."

Obviously suffering from an irony poor diet.

Done.

12/07/2013 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The Civil Rights movement was a liberal enterprise in precisely the conservative classical liberal manner we advocate, i.e., a RETURN to first principles enunciated in the Declaration and the Constitution -- which is why a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats supported it. Democrats always want the state to sort people by race, then as now.

12/07/2013 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or as LBJ famously said, "I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years."

12/07/2013 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

To quote Wallace, "The liberal left-wingers have passed" the Civil Rights Act.

12/07/2013 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Guy needs a whole history of the racism of the progressive movement. I haven' the time, and he hasn't the inclination.

12/07/2013 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

heh - I should have brought popcorn.

12/07/2013 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zeegheil zaid "We've supported our pos..."

Again, what's with the royal wee-wee?

"Van Harvey: The Civil Rights movement was a liberal enterpr..."

And why are you putting those words in my name? I prefer my own, thanks.

"...u are confusing two orthogonal concepts. The left-right of egalitarianism, and the authoritarian-anarchist dichoto..."

omg... Ive no further interest in your eitheroral word dancing, but you're welcome to continue annoying yourself with some of my previous posts, such as this one, "Echoes of History Repeating Itself, "This is Cassandra calling: will you accept the charges?"" from a pamphlet I came across from that turbulent period of the early 1900's, when labels were being taken over and redefined and mystified beyond recognition. One poor fellow tried to warn his time of what was happening in their schools, the result of which, you now drool about in our time in your html.

blech.

I suppose it's conceivable, sort of, that you do cling to some semblance of an actual interest in Rights, Reason and the politics which jeopardize them, so... you can really piss yourself off with reading some of my old posts on this page , under the heading "The Reasoning of Individual Rights", and in particular Liberty - It all hangs together, or we all hang separately" and Comments, Socialists, Schools and the Truest Meaning of Left vs. Right.

Or you could just piss off... either way, you are at liberty to proceed as you choose. Ta.

12/07/2013 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's the Yelverton Principle in action: you can't win an argument with a man who has no idea he's lost it.

12/07/2013 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

12/07/2013 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I sometimes try to figure out what I must have been thinking when I thought such things as Zach-iam. Seems to have been a fusion of despiritualized sanctimony and confident ignorance.

12/07/2013 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad: I sometimes try to figure out what I must have been thinking ...

We would have expected that you posted because you thought your positions were worth discussing.

12/07/2013 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

When I believed as you, I too wanted to proselytize and argue, as you are doing. Now I only share.

12/07/2013 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Who was the ol' comedian in the 60's, who used the biggest words he could think of, but always in the wrong places?

This goes him one better, he grasps at ideas he doesn't comprehend, and in blissful ignorance misapplies them, sure of his supreme and victorious impressiveness.

Comedy gold.

12/07/2013 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad Bob: Now I only share.

We made our points above.

Sorry you don't think your ideas are worth defending, or even explaining. Good luck with that.

12/07/2013 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yeah, if only I could troll the blog of some guy who can't explain or defend himself, then I'd have it made.

12/07/2013 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Suddenly, I am reminded of my art school days. There were many who believed that art not only had to make a statement, it should also require a statement, preferably one full of "persuasive" arguments. The statement generally went best with art that was, in reality, indefensible: offensive, ugly, senseless, or intended to "shock" and thereby promote "awareness" of some issue or other.

A recent example of same was featured over at Ace's the other night, the link about the performance artist who decided to knit using wool that had been stuffed where the sun don't shine. Apparently the space wouldn't be used for anything else anytime soon, I dunno. She had a big long explanation about how it was shocking because people are "afraid" of vaginas or something, a trope a lot of deluded feminists love to bring about as an explanation for their exhibitionism.

Anyway, when art is good and worth someone's time and attention, it doesn't require an argument. Ideally, it should be able to speak for itself, or if it does bring about debate (for instance, Finnegan's Wake), it does so because it is so meaning-full that it inspires further exploration.

Anyway, truth, goodness, beauty: these do not need to be defended. Nor even necessarily explained. Either you get it, or you don't. And in the particular manner that Zach-iam doesn't, there is really neither defense nor explanation that could ever possibly suffice to make it clear.

Only maturity and experience can do that.

12/07/2013 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

George Wallace was a typical Democrat who believed the state is empowered to discriminate on the basis of race.

12/07/2013 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad Bob: George Wallace was a typical Democrat who believed the state is empowered to discriminate on the basis of race.

Better. Thank you.

Yes, Wallace was a Democrat. His views were typical of Southern Democrats, but certainly not all Democrats. But you still didn't address the point. It was claimed that he was a liberal, but that isn't correct. He wasn't considered a liberal then, and he's not considered a liberal in retrospect. Read his speech above. He blamed liberal leftists for passing the Civil Rights Act, and for meddling with States' Rights.

12/07/2013 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

... speaking a blockheads idea of art, few things express the nature of proRegressive govt, than their choice in 'art'.

12/07/2013 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zithell said "... t was claimed that he was a libera..."

sigh. You demonstrate your understanding so very well, there really is no need for any of us to say anything further.

However, as you are attempting to use my words to make your point, please scan back up the page and take note that I referred to leftists, not Liberals.

"... Many leftists, MOST leftists, opposed the civil rights movement. George Wallace..."

Thanks for your time.

Twit.

12/07/2013 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the sculpture, wow.

I find it interesting that the title is "Wall of Light Cubed 2." It is quite fitting, inasmuch as it clearly represents the State as a prison, but assigns itself a title representing illumination, or rather freedom. They couldn't have done better if they had commissioned a literal representation of the MiniTrue building.

12/07/2013 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: Many leftists, MOST leftists, opposed the civil rights movement. George Wallace...

It was claimed that George Wallace was a leftist, but that isn't correct. He wasn't considered a leftist then, and he's not considered a leftist in retrospect. Read his speech again. Wallace blamed liberal leftists for passing the Civil Rights Act, and for meddling with States' Rights.

-

With this assassin’s knife and a blackjack in the hand of the Federal force-cult, the left-wing liberals will try to force us back into bondage…
The liberal left-wingers have passed it. Now let them employ some pinknik social engineers in Washington, D.C., To figure out what to do with it…
Newspapers which are run and operated by left-wing liberals, Communist sympathizers, and members of the Americans for Democratic Action and other Communist front organizations with high sounding names.
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1964WALLACE.html

12/08/2013 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If only Wallace had been more prescient, he'd have understood that his fellow Democrats were about to do to blacks what even slavery couldn't do.

12/08/2013 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I must stop posting about George Wallace.

12/08/2013 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zitaintreal said "He wasn't considered a leftist then, and he's not considered a leftist in retrospect."

The Encyclopedia of Alabama disagrees:

"Because of his appeal to common white people, journalists incorrectly described Wallace as a populist, suggesting he shared characteristics with earlier politicians who had advocated biracial politics to achieve reform. Rather, Wallace used white supremacy to resist reapportionment and defend Alabama's unfair tax structure. Wallace recognized the demise of the cotton economy and championed its replacement with industry, all the while defending the status quo. Yet his support for increased state spending for education, road construction, and public health to win votes assisted average black and white citizens and marked him as a "liberal.""

Using political power to favor one group of people, over another group, rather than treating all individuals equally before the law, taxing based upon group membership, alligning govt with corporations, promoting 'education' as useful skills; these are what made Wallace a proRegressive leftist.

And before you bother, yes that applies to many on the right as well (McCain, etc.), Teddy Roosevelt was a republican after all, but he was a proRegressive first, and no matter the label adopted, what defines a politician best, is whether they are compatible with the Classical Liberal views the nation was created through... or not. Leftists and proRegressives of the left or right, are Not.

12/08/2013 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zachweeeeall, the only mention here of Wallace, was an incidental one, by me, including his and other names who were leftists. The only one here with an interest in Wallace, is you.

Move along.

12/08/2013 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of freedom and (true) liberalism, this book on Inventing Freedom was quite good. Among other virtues, it shows how the left has always been illiberal.

12/08/2013 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Nice, Nook'd it, thanks. Not sure if I've mentioned it before, but Triumph of Liberty by James Powell is another good one along those lines, of tracing the historical development of liberty. Powell does tend to let a libertarianish zeal slip in here and there, but overall he does a very good job of showing how the ideas have developed across time, and been tested and clarified, particularly among the Anglosphere.

12/08/2013 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Like all leftists from the serpent to Obama, Zachriel allows word magic to occlude the perception of reality.

12/08/2013 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Looked at this way, he almost becomes interesting.

12/08/2013 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zitpeal said "You should read the entire article "

You should read the comments you are commenting on, that was me, not Gagdad.

Twit.

12/08/2013 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: the only mention here of Wallace, was an incidental one, by me, including his and other names who were leftists.

It's illustrates the same muddle over the political spectrum found in the original post.

As we pointed out, there are leftists who support more government, leftists who don't. There are those on the political right who support more government, and those on the right who don't. They are orthogonal in terms of political philosophy.

Gagdad Bob: Like all leftists from the serpent to Obama, Zachriel allows word magic to occlude the perception of reality.

Again, it is our position that the original post mangles the meaning of the political left, then overgeneralizes from the most extreme elements of the left in order to color the entire left.

On mangling, Hitler was grouped on the political left, while virtually all political scientists, then and now, place him on the extreme right.

On overgeneralization, just because someone supports, say ending childhood labor, or universal literacy programs, doesn't mean they are Stalinists.

12/08/2013 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

BTW, I read the whole article, and a few others - I tend to do that. Now try reading my comment, the whole comment, not just the part dealing with your fascination with Wallace. So far you're not even up to the level of 2+2=3, you seem to be stuck at 2+_=4.

12/08/2013 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I say we all just stipulate that we are against using the power of the government to discriminate on the basis of race, and are therefore neither historical Democrats nor contemporary liberals.

12/08/2013 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Spot the fallacy.

12/08/2013 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Not to mention plagiary.

12/08/2013 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Jumpin Jiminy Christmas.

12/08/2013 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We need to be careful about "positive" racial discrimination. We might end up with some totally incompetent guy becoming president just because he's black.

12/08/2013 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad Bob: We need to be careful about "positive" racial discrimination.

Sure.

If an organization causes you injury, is it reasonable to expect mitigation of the harm?

12/08/2013 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Sure, why not? Blacks should sue the Democrat party for the untold damage they've done to them over the past 50 years.

12/08/2013 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And I should sue Europe, since my ancestors were serfs.

12/08/2013 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad Bob: Sure, why not?

Then the South owed its black citizens recompense.

12/08/2013 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yeah, trillions of tax dollars down the drain isn't enough.

12/08/2013 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

What is the statute of limitations on historical grievances? Because if it's three hundred years, I have stacks of complaints to make, and I'm gonna be richer than Bill Gates...

12/08/2013 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

julie: What is the statute of limitations on historical grievances?

You, also, seem to be arguing that affirmative action may have been reasonable in the past, but has outlived its usefulness. Is that correct?

12/08/2013 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I say it's outlived its uselessness. Not to mention harmfulness.

12/08/2013 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Zachriel is a self-tautological political philosopher.

12/08/2013 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

12/08/2013 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He is also a major shareholder in the Good Intentions Paving Company.

12/08/2013 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Not to mention "Signs R Us"

12/08/2013 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad Bob: Zachriel is a self-tautological political philosopher.

Words have meanings, and when you conflate meanings, you end up with muddled or fallacious conclusions.

It's not that difficult. Virtually all political scientists place Dr. King on the left, Wallace on the right, Stalin on the far left, Hitler on the far right. Your definition has to be consistent with how people use the terms.

The most common definition, consistent with the origin of the term and its usage over time, is that the political left is advocacy of equality, the political right is advocacy of hierarchies, liberal is the balance between liberty and equality, and conservatism is the preservation of traditional institutions and culture.

Gagdad Bob: But the left's worst crime is against freedom and therefore individuality, i.e., creative being -- which is why "political correctness" is not a glitch but a feature of leftism.

Overgeneralization. There are certainly those on the political left who advocate absolute equality, such as communists. But not everyone on the political left is on the far left.

12/08/2013 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zactlyweeeall said "There are certainly those on the political left who advocate absolute equality, such as communists. But not everyone on the political left is on the far left."

As every mother knows, they were all began as something more than a little bit pregnant.

12/08/2013 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: As every mother knows, they were all began as something more than a little bit pregnant.

False dichotomy. The left-right political spectrum is a continuum. Not everyone on the left is a Stalin, just as not everyone on the right is a Hitler.

12/08/2013 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zitaintreal said "... is obvious that if a man is entering the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up ..."

Quick, someone tell Doc Brown to gas up the DeLorean and go back and tell this guy that he couldn't do that.

"By the way, if you place Dr. King on the political left "

BTW, Dr. King placed himself in the republican party.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

12/08/2013 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zitzitzit said "False dichotomy."

No principles.

12/08/2013 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: Dr. King placed himself in the republican party.

Sigh. There were liberals in the Republican Party in those ancient days. And yes, they were called liberals.

Dr. King didn't identify with a political party, but gave his full support to the Democratic Party when Goldwater came out against civil rights legislation.

Van Harvey: No principles.

Non sequitur.

12/08/2013 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Non sense.

12/08/2013 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Can't talk spheres with someone trapped in a circular argument.

12/08/2013 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Now that's eerie - right as you were typing that, Bob, I was reading about spheres in MotT...

12/08/2013 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Gagdad Bob: Non sense.

Handwaving. We've provided arguments, and supported those arguments. Your position hinges on nothing but the use of heterodox definitions.

The left-right political spectrum is a continuum. Not everyone on the left is a Stalin, just as not everyone on the right is a Hitler. Supporting civil rights, public education, the end of childhood labor, are all positions on the political left. Supporting civil rights, public education, and the end of childhood labor doesn't not make one a Stalin.

Is your complaint that government entails coercion?

12/08/2013 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I was just reading this book about genius, of which Goethe said is "something which manifests itself only in contradictions, therefore, could not be comprehended under one idea, still less under one word" -- which goes to orthoparadox and to the impossibility of lower dimensional circles understanding higher dimensional spheres.

12/08/2013 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Me, heterodox? The word is orthoparadox.

12/08/2013 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, that's pretty much what UF was discussing...

12/08/2013 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hitler is no doubt to the right of Stalinists, just as he is to the extreme left of conservatives, who, unlike fascists, want smaller and less intrusive government.

12/08/2013 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Whatever else they are, both Stalin and Hitler are at antipodes to American style conservatism. I guess it can only be seen in three dimensions, so it makes no sense to flatlanders of the left.

12/08/2013 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Come to think of it, it has long been a truism that from the perspective of the left, anyone who is not on the left is automatically "right," which is how Hitler ended up with that designation.

12/08/2013 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Pretty much; it seems they reserve the right to disavow anyone who puts a plain face on the truth behind the policies they support.

12/08/2013 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Absolutely -- explains the madness of Chris Matthews.

12/08/2013 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zithiyal said "Gagdad Bob: Non sense."

Again with the inability to even pay attention to the comments you're commenting on... no wonder everything else seems so far beyond your grasp.

Let's see... family's all sitting around reading and surfin'... a perfect time to read. But what'll I read, hmmm, there's "Musical Structure of Plato's Dialogues", or Inventing Freedom, or "Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education", or maybe I should waste some more time on the nominalistic zacweeall.

Hmmm... decisions, decisions. I know, let's play a game: "♫♪♬... One of these things are not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong ♬♪♫..."

Uh-oh, bad news zeigheil, you didn't make the cut, but here's a consolation prize that I wrote a few years ago just for you , that might help you with those meaninglost labels you've got stuck all over the place. Pay especial attention around the Bridge & Scott cases. Even you might notice something.

In the meantime, I've still got a decision to make....

12/08/2013 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Limited government constitutional conservatives are at antipodes to both left and right.

12/08/2013 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which is why the European "right" has so little in common with the American "right." As long as you remain in a two-dimensional world, you won't get it.

12/08/2013 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zatzallfolks said "For whatever reason, Gagdad Bob and Van Harvey don't seem able to defe..."

Little boy, listen up. You are arguing for a position we've long ago determined to be of no worth. To back up your beliefs you are offering up 'experts' who believe as you do, however, as we've determined that that position has little or no reference to reality, the fact that many 'respected' people maintain it, is of little or no interest or value.

Gagdad & I have both taken a stab at pointing out what you are missing, you refuse to even consider it. I accept your decision, but I have no interest in playing along as if it has some merit to it. Your faith in your l & r definitions do not relate to the reality it claims to describe. It is valueless, less than worthless, it actually detracts from the sum of possible understanding.

On top of that, it is boring.

You are in the position of a Ptolemaic enthusiast explaining the wondrous new epicycle concocted to explain the latest degree of retrograde motion which the previous epicycles couldn't account for.

We tell you the earth is revolving around the sun, and you counter with lists of experts who explain that it does not and how their epicycles are the absolute latest and greatest in spiffiness.

You are truly Pro-Regressive. You can choose to be if you want to be, but I'm not interested in helping you to do so.

If you'd like to pursue the matter with either Gagdad or myself, luckily for you, we already have.

See the little search box at the top of the blog? Type "Liberal Fascism" into it, and on Gagdad's page you're going to get a gazillion hits of posts explaining in detail the reasons for the position, and in the comments section you'll find all of us debating the matter with the fools who've preceded you over the years here, with the same pointless 'points'.

Type "Liberal Fascism" into the search box on my blog, and you'll get fewer hits, but lengthy historical and philosophical references & links to the information and arguments explaining my position in detail, as well as more than a few debates in the comment sections with others who also raised the same points as you, and were answered in detail.

If you have an interest, go do that, but you and your 'points' are invalid, typical, boring, and of no interest.

Scat.

12/08/2013 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

zatnominalist said "Words are defined by general usage."

So, just for fun, with words being defined by general usage, rather than by what it is they refer to, what is it that makes your interpretation of general usage, more valid than the Encyclopedia of Alabama's general usage?

,and with,

"We also provided a speech by a segregationist politician blaming leftist liberals for their advocacy of integration."

, which general usage is left of which? And how is that general position generally determined to be used?

Webster's linguisti-poll-ictionary?

12/08/2013 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: what is it that makes your interpretation of general usage, more valid than the Encyclopedia of Alabama's general usage?

We discussed this above. Note that they used scare-quotes around the word liberal. That implies they were using the word in a non-orthodox manner.

Wallace was more liberal on many social policies. However, as the website explained, he took the conservative position on the most important issue of the day, segregation, and tacked hard to the right as the civil rights movement heated up. Take a look at the bibliography: Carter, Dan T. The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, The Origins of the New Conservatism.

Your own citation doesn't support your position. According to your source, Wallace received conservative support, and allied with conservatives generally. "The Citizens Council, John Birch Society, and other conservative groups joined blue-collar whites in financing the American Independent Party... The next day, Wallace won 39 percent of the vote in Maryland and 51 percent of the vote in Michigan, as conservative Democrats registered their opposition to busing and concerns over crime."

12/09/2013 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Not interested in Wallace, interested in how you generalize your generalizations that are rooted on 'general ussage' rather than reality.

Are ' conservative Democrats' on the left, or the right?

Are 'conservatives', democrat & republican, who sought to conserve segregation and racism, to be generally referred to as 'conservatives', right along with those conservatives who seek to conserve liberty through the rule of law as formed under the Constitution and its amendments?

Are both those 'conservatives', those seeking to conserve the restriction of liberties for some people (which effectively eliminates Rights and Liberty as such), and those seeking to conserve Liberty through laws which uphold Individual Rights, on the Left, or the Right?

Why?

12/09/2013 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger Zachriel said...

Van Harvey: Not interested in Wallace

You just cited an encyclopedia article on Wallace, and the use of the word "liberal" in scare-quotes.

Van Harvey: Are ' conservative Democrats' on the left, or the right?

Conservatives are on the political right. However, people can have liberal or centrist views on some issues, while conservative views on others.

Van Harvey: Are 'conservatives', democrat & republican, who sought to conserve segregation and racism, to be generally referred to as 'conservatives', right along with those conservatives who seek to conserve liberty through the rule of law as formed under the Constitution and its amendments?

Conservatives who supported segregation, indeed, claimed they were seeking to "conserve liberty through rule of law as formed under the Constitution and its amendments". They called it states's right, and believed the federal government, including the judiciary, was intruding beyond its allocated powers.

12/09/2013 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...


zzzzzzzzzzzzz said "You just cited an encyclopedia article on Wallace,"

You fixated on Wallace, you made a claim about his being something I didn't say he was, but I found a reference which did say what I didn't. You've been spazzing on that ever since.

I also included some other names in that list, including Martin Luther King being a republican, for some reason you've had little to say about that.

Was Dr. King on the left or the right?

'States Rights' was a corruption of rights (States don't have Rights, they have powers, to seriously (as opposed to a casual shorthand comment) claim otherwise undermines all rights, Property Rights in particular), that was advanced by made by southern Democrats.

If you'd read my posts you'd be aware of that. Instead you want to continue avoiding the issue.

Pansy.

12/09/2013 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"When lost in a forest go always down hill. When lost in a philosophy or doctrine go upward.” --Ambrose Bierce

12/09/2013 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

I think he lacks the vertibra to look up.

12/09/2013 06:38:00 AM  

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