Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Might Want To Read

Posted by Foxfier on 2013/05/05

It's That "Content of Their Character" Thingy…Again.

6 Responses to “Might Want To Read”

  1. AOTC said

    thanks for the great link foxfire!


  2. Foxfier said


    Wonder what happened to the rest of it,though….


  3. DNW said

    The trouble is that while the existence of “payback” and bad behavior entitlement attitudes are clear enough from daily news reports, and present real challenges to quality of life, not to mention life itself on occasion, we don’t really know whether the oafish boors behind the author in the theater were motivated by racial animus or were just another example of the modern self-esteeming vocally flatulating troglodyte. Possibly a combination of all the above – hostile, entitled, and stupid.

    But the author does make the broader point when he notes through other examples, that the stupid and morally bereft people running Memphis are not quite so stupid as to be incapable of foreseeing the consequences of being forced to rely on their own devices and skill sets.

    Lacking an ability to charm cooperation out of others voluntarily, they would soon be dead, and that would end their ability to experience whatever tawdry joy it is that floods their particular neural connections with dopamine and makes their lives felt to be worth living.

    They are seriously dependent as a result of their own moral defect, and they know it.

    This existential phenomenon of dependency represents in fact the informing structure which underlies and conditions the political trajectory of modern liberalism itself. Liberalism proceeds from the notion, or the hypothesis, of a mysterious and never thoroughly explicated moral entitlement of the obnoxious, to be obnoxious, and still be affiliated.

    Christianity saw the obnoxious as fallen, probably only more slightly more fallen than average, members of an objectively like kind – a genuine family of man relating to one another through an objective Third Party.

    This in fact was the basis until recently for all claims, like King’s – to racial justice. Held to exist was a real mankind – a natural kind – and a real God to whom all men owed real duties; and through those duties to God, to other men.

    Darwinian evolution, for reasons that are not completely clear to me, is often viewed as invalidating the formal logic of this implication through re-conceptualizing the emergence of the (human) “kind” from a case of special creation, to one of naturalistic evolutionary development.

    The ironist movement then comes along and says that there are not any really existing natural kinds under any interpretation. Kinds, are seen as mere names we socially agree to put to things.

    Now, I suppose that in a purely naturalistic reality, one radically contingent in Rorty’s sense (you are the accidental product of mere chance: having no nature just conditioning), while uncontingent in Dawkin’s sense (the universe is self-existent), one can see how the “God question” would be put aside.

    But the notion of natural kinds is not thereby really done away with. For if you wish to argue that the existence of various human groupings through evolutionary chance demonstrates that there is not one humankind or nature, you have not demonstrated thereby that there are no natural human kinds. You have merely argued that they are not intended as results by a creator, or that they are not coextensive with some common uses of the term “man”

    In hypothetically showing that all the entities we commonly label as men are not of one kind in any philosophically indubitable sense, you have not demonstrated that none of the entities we commonly call men, are not in some philosophically defensible sense, of a kind. Some, might be.

    And this is the big dilemma, for pure “naturalists” – empiricist naturalists exemplified by say Richard Dawkins – which needs sidestepping in ethical discussions.

    It is precisely this logical problem however, which was inconveniently not to say impolitely noted by Noam Chomsky in his comments regarding empiricism and racism. As Chomsky points out, an honest and thoroughly consistent empiricism, might logically lead to racist conclusions. [Whereas Chomsky, (although I take it is an atheist) believes that on the contrary there is good reason to assume on the (even empirical) evidence that humankind is one.]

    Nonetheless, most leftists of the kind we are dealing with, are not Chomskyean essentialists.

    This is where Rorty’s and Obama’s “narrative” strategy, i.e., the myth-establishing strategy and project of the modern left, comes into obvious political play.

    Our values they say, are not to be understood as expressed axioms of our properly functioning intrinsic natures, but rather it is our accidental values which make us, specially us … Or so their appeal goes.

    They cannot consistent with their own nominalistic and world-interpreting principles, argue that all men have the same character potential, or that men share fundamental tastes or natures common to all. Nor, because of the fact/value dichotomy they accept, can they deduce rights, interpersonal imperatives, or duties, nor extrapolate on the basis of such, even if they did posit them. How then, as a practical matter, are modern-liberals to structure their social exhortations to interpersonal forbearance and sacrifice?

    At least until such time as under their control the state achieves enough power over everyone and everything to make what they see as self-interested (non-collectivist) behavior literally impossible, how is the modern-liberal to “argue”?

    Eschewing appeals to objective universals or obligation entailing fact situations, they have only two non-overtly violent methods left to deploy. The first is blatant emotional appeals and social pressure: PC proclamations and marginalization of the dissenting for example. The other is the uninhibited use of whatever political power is available to them now, in order to leverage the most boundless claims system possible in the future.

    As we see these are commonly employed in tandem.

    Thus, the steady encroachment over time of the political upon every aspect of associative life. Puzzled, we witness a mysterious seeming impulsion toward the consolidation of all associative systems and institutions, and the centralization of of every aspect of life. But that is merely the completely NATURAL consequence of the modern liberal’s attempt reach the goal they seek through social management means, while lacking any rationally consistent or intellectually defensible justification for doing so.

    The modern-liberal has simply decided that it will use politics to “evolve” man in the direction which they prefer. End of that discussion. The rest is just about implementation.

    And, since reason itself is for them a mere mental instrument in the service of subjectively self-justified sensations, they lose all interest in trying to justify what they want on the basis of rational and public argument anyway.

    Disappointed types, like Kingjester, the author of the essay Foxfier linked to, are futilely appealing to the illuminating power of – to use one of CS Lewis’ tropes – a now “discarded image”: man the common moral animal.

    Many of the people to whom Kingjester is hopefully appealing, certainly any liberal intellectuals chancing upon it, are no longer interested in playing that particular game.

    The modern-liberal, and politically progressive elites, quit “arguing” on the basis of demonstrable principles long ago.

    That strategy once served their purposes such as they then were: the political recognition of formal fairness. Appealing to one of “their own’s” past rhetorical employment of now abandoned motifs, when even their aims have changed from formal legal parity, to substantive appropriation, refashioning, redistribution, and boundryless inclusion, will get conservative moralists nowhere.

    It just shows how behind the curve the conservatives are.

    [Note 5/11/13. I reread the rambling and dissatisfying comment above this afternoon. Instead of deleting it, I’ve decided to try and correct a few misplaced commas, and in some cases to substitute what I hoped would be more precise language into a framing I have already laid out many times before, both here and elsewhere. I’ll leave what remains up as an object lesson to myself: If you are going launch off on an essay, do it on purpose. It’s likely to be more coherent that way. I pretty much left the comments dealing with what I personally see as the logical, or epistemological if you prefer, problem of leveraging universal negatives (regarding the real existence of classes) out of nominalist presuppositions, unchanged.]


  4. AOTC said

    “The modern-liberal, and politically progressive elites, quit “arguing” on the basis of demonstrable principles long ago.”

    basically, they do what they want. boldly.

    i doubt any reasoning is going to stop them .

    i suspect it will take something like an existential “punch in the throat” to thwart their ends. i suppose that can come by the natural eventual outcome of living their worldview, or…. some brave good people will have do it. whether we like it or not.


  5. DNW said

    AOTC said
    2013/05/09 at 21:21 e

    “The modern-liberal, and politically progressive elites, quit “arguing” on the basis of demonstrable principles long ago.”

    basically, they do what they want. boldly.

    i doubt any reasoning is going to stop them .

    i suspect it will take something like an existential “punch in the throat” to thwart their ends. i suppose that can come by the natural eventual outcome of living their worldview, or…. some brave good people will have do it. whether we like it or not.”

    When I wrote, “It just shows how behind the curve the conservatives are.”, I should probably have said, “It just shows how behind the curve the conservatives have been”

    They increasingly come to your conclusion as more and more (probably younger) conservatives come to grips with what the left really intends, and find the courage to confront the fact that the mental furnishings and assumptions of the left-liberal mind are in fact radically different from, and ultimately socially incompatible with their own (as modern liberals will be and have been the first to say),

    Conservatives have broadly become ideological, not just reactionary, during the last 30 years.

    You can observe this amazing phenomenon yourself in many ordinary news comment boxes having to do with the latest political outrages.

    Rather than just fulminating outrage, the conservative comments often show a sophisticated grasp of “ideas” and the processes driving the liberal dysfunction,

    Conservatives see that they are dealing with people who really do mock the entire idea of objective truth and meaning. And, with the last two Democrat administrations, they have seen in very practical terms what this disaster means for their own lives and futures.


  6. AOTC said

    we were on vacation for 10 days. out in remote canyon lands of the western rockies and high deserts. did not have wireless and email some times and watching news was not exactly on the top of our priority list..

    apparently, while we were gone light was shined on a number of leftist tyrannical plots. wow.

    it truly is time. “throat punching” is certainly appropriate when dealing with vermin like this.


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