Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for April, 2014

What Rush Limbaugh doesn’t quite get.

Posted by DNW on 2014/04/30

[This is a draft which I’ll put up, subject to later revision and correction. Wanted to get something down before I forgot the point that struck me earlier today]

Contrary to what a great many lefties seem to find comfort in believing, most of us who have developed a strong intellectual contempt for leftism and its modern fascistic manifestation, did not develop this attitude from listening to Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh merely gives voice – on occasion quite effectively – to some important principles and perspectives regarding the traditional American regime of individual liberty currently under sustained assault by the morally self-deconstructed organisms of the fascist left.

While I seldom have the time or the inclination to listen to his riffs on politics, occasionally I will catch a fragment of one of his programs. Today was such an occasion. I caught about five minutes or so of what he was saying.

And what he was saying today seemed to be to the effect that the left in this country was trying to divide rather than unite, and attempting to do so through the politics of victimization rather than the politics of inspiration.

That, if I have Limbaugh pegged correctly, is a relatively common theme with him.

The standard Limbaugh “argument” on this point seems to go something like this:

Why do the Democrats and modern liberals seek to divide us through the politics of victim-hood and class conflict, rather than unite behind American ideals and inspiration?

Because, (he seems to answer,) both the Democrat Party’s raison d’etre, and the liberal grievance mill’s funding, are based on the existence of a client class which must remain a dependent and aggrieved client class in order for the Democrat Party bureaucrats and managers to justify their own parasitic existences.

Today for example, I heard him say some part of the following, (which I later looked up on his web site in order to confirm that I had gotten right what he was trying to say).

Limbaugh says:

Practically every virtue and every tradition that went into building this country is under assault right now. And that’s what we find ourselves in the middle of. You can say it’s always been there, and it’s been effervescing and bubbling up and finally now it’s boiled over. But why has it boiled over it if it’s always been there? Why did nobody tamp it down? In order to keep the peace, why have efforts been made to victimize people and punish — well, no. Why has the Democrat Party willfully, eagerly, happily put people in groups, made them victims, put them on the welfare rolls, made their existence barely a subsistence? Why has there not been any effort to tamp down some of this animosity in the country and try to turn it into love?

Why has there not been an overall effort to inspire people to exercise the opportunity this country provides everybody today to be the best they can be? Where has that gone? Why is that missing? Why is now everybody a victim? Why is everybody owed something? Why is everybody a victim of the immoral, unjust founding of this country? It’s been a movement that’s been around since the beginning of the country. And rather than tamp it down, the Democrat Party has inspired it; the Democrat Party has promoted it.

It is the single source of their power: aggrieved, miserable, angry, unhappy people looking for the people they’re mad at to be gotten even with. Looking for the people they are mad at to be dealt with. Looking for the people that they’re mad at to be punished. And when it happens, they’re all happy, whether it improves their lives or not. And in most cases it doesn’t. But they don’t care because they’ve been conditioned to believe that somebody being punished, either taxes being raised or any other form of punishment, that’s justice. And the Democrat Party is the agent of that justice. The Democrat Party’s facilitating all this. That’s where its home is. None of this would be working if there were not a significant political power base propping it up as a foundation.

Now, there is probably a good deal of truth in that take.

But, in my estimation, there is an explanation for the modern liberal grievance attitude and behavior that goes somewhat deeper than the cynically and destructively manipulative calculus of professional left-wing collectivists seeking to ensure their bureaucratic hold on the future and present political control.

And it stems from the radically different worldviews, and the radically different metaphysics, which condition the conceptions of justice and victim-hood held by the two opposing sides.

Limbaugh asked,

“Why has the Democrat Party willfully, eagerly, happily put people in groups, made them victims … Why is everybody a victim of the immoral, unjust founding …”

And his answer was that “It is the single source of their [Democrat] power: aggrieved, miserable, angry, unhappy people looking for the people they’re mad at to be gotten even with.”

Like I said, so far as it goes, so good.

But what Limbaugh is overlooking in this particular instance, is the utter sincerity of some major part of the intellectual left concerning their views on the nature and origin of victim-hood.

And here we are obviously not just referring to victims of social bigotry or political fraud; but to something much deeper. What I believe Limbaugh is overlooking here is the core idea held by the progressive left which implies, or sometimes states outright, that people are in essence victims of life, or in fact of being, itself.

We’ve encountered the concept in various manifestations and formulations before. The so called “tyranny of biology”, denounced by radical feminists is for instance, an example, if a somewhat frivolous one, of that mindset. The psychological horror of “exclusion” felt by so many leftists is a symptom of the same phenomenon. The supposed “unfairness” of natural inequality, is another. Natural inequality is made all the worse in liberal opinion, because it cannot in principle be made better by bringing people up to standard through education or physical therapy; since, according to the liberal the presumed standard is itself intrinsically unjustifiable.

The world then, the leftist acknowledges, is not just. But he will make it “just”, he insists. And how will he do so? By bringing all persons up to par insofar as possible, and allowing all to then seek their own level and fulfillment under an impartial rule of law? No. He will make mankind’s world just, by remaking the universe of man, and “man” himself.

And how will he accomplish this trick? How will he affirm the unaffirmable, and hold together the incoherent? He will do it he assumes, through the magical social formula of embracing entropy politically while paying off the damages through fascistically enforced social solidarity and cost shifting. Which, considered in one way is something quite close to what Limbaugh is saying, given the proviso that the leftist actually believes he can in fact remake reality in this way through the verbal magic of declaring contradictions to be non-contradictory.

This absurd program of re-conceptualizing reality in the face of all evidence, must take place, because, again, in the liberal view, there is no “natural good” to advert to, and there are no natural kinds which in their healthy state objectively tend toward a naturally good end. An end of which it can objectively be said, should [value statement alert] be pursued by the individual; and regarding which, it is merely the duty of others in society to respect and to not unnecessarily impede.

In the liberal reality however, it makes no sense to talk of natural rights or their fulfillment. In the liberal reality there are only loci of pain and pleasure existing in a field of ultimate chaos; and within this context, the power relations between them.

For while the liberal, to paraphrase Nietzsche, may seem to normal people to be a kind of organism with its gain turned up way too high; there is according to liberal doctrine no such setting as “too high”. On the modern liberal understanding there simply exist no natural and objective standards by which one may assess where the normal pain threshold ends, and where liberal neurosis and neurasthenia begin.

As there are, as a matter of liberal dogma and doctrine, no natural kinds with natural ends, there are therefore no natural goods which can be said to follow from these natural kinds and their ends. For a modern liberal, all being, to restate, is merely the subjective experience of a locus of appetite, of power and satisfaction, or of their lack.

In traditional Scholastic metaphysics the analysis of human existence and of the good reaches a point where it is concluded that the terms “being” and “good” are to be taken and understood as “convertible” on some conceptual level

But no modern or postmodern philosopher or ardent liberal would assert that being alive is somehow a good in itself. The postmodern man, posits himself as the inevitable victim of being, and concomitantly, of life. He is a victim of life by virtue of simply being alive. Those sometimes seen more life-competent or stronger appearing persons, are simply the beneficiaries of a natural injustice which must be socially rectified by the liberal in the name of distributed suffering; i.e. liberal justice.

And of this “rectification” process there can be no end, since:

1. There exist as we noted, no natural standards which would result from the existence of natural kinds.

2. Therefore there cannot be any objective method of evaluating the satisfaction of standards.

3. There is therefore no objective way of evaluating a susceptibility to pain and resentment which could indicate a pathological condition. Since, the very term pathology assumes a teleology of health based on a presumed natural kind with a natural end. Liberal neurosis flows from a well, the bottom of which can in principle never be reached.

The strange result of this categorical anarchy then, is that the modern liberal is in essence always at war with existence itself: his only certain mode of being, being the experience of the pain and the frustration of urges which themselves cannot on, nor by virtue of, the liberal’s own terms and definitions, be presumed to be directed toward any objective good in their realization.

As an effect, the modern liberal loses any coherence as a being in-himself. All that remains ontologically (loosely speaking) of the liberal being, is a collection of urges connected to a will to power. This constitutes, according to the modern liberal’s own schema, a will to power by a thing or a phenomenon which has, amazingly, no center, no nature, and no objectively definable good.

This lack of real being, is at the root, I would argue, of the modern-liberal victim sensibility. They are victims of their own existences by definition; and cannot be anything else in their flight from an oppressive natural existence, ultimately, than totalitarians dedicated to reshaping all of reality. In fact we see this explicitly stated by the so-called transhumanist utilitarians, who will ultimately they admit, be driven by their philosophy to dominate and control and reorder all of nature, in order to ensure justice and bliss even among the fishes.

Are they, these postmodern leftists then, as Limbaugh suggests, rank cynics: nihilistically seeking satisfactions for welling urges which on their (assuming we can say that they have a “they”) own account cannot be seriously called objectively good?

Yes. But that is I think, a symptom of a more fundamental emptiness, and the result of the original and very deliberate descent of the modern-liberal man from the realm of man, into the realm of the submoral.

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Posted in Liberal, Philosophy, society | 5 Comments »

Where’s Summertime?

Posted by DNW on 2014/04/29

Our intrepid host recently reported from the wilds of Wyoming (did you look up the old ranch for me while you were there, John?) that there was snow on the ground.

Well, the cold has probably melted away by now, we hope. And with the rivulets flow, will come, we expect, the promise of gentler weather.

Summertime

Where does it come from?

Out of Nowhere …

Posted in Entertainment, music, Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Benjamin Netanyahu Schools Candy Crowley: ‘Sorry, Candy, Whoa!’ (Video)

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/29

Is there any question who the Left really are, at this point? They’re anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, pro-Mohammedan, liars. And they always will be. Remember, they booed Providence and Israel in their most recent National Convention.

Nice Deb

In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Sunday,  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forcefully corrected host Candy Crowley’s misinformation. “Sorry, Candy – Whoa!” He exclaimed.

With the patience of a saint, Netanyahu went on to inform the errant host of the facts.

Enjoy the smackdown via Newsbusters:

CANDY CROWLEY: One of the criticisms, Mr. Prime Minister, has been that, prior to this, when you were dealing with Abbas, you had said, look, I don’t know who I’m supposed to negotiate with. There’s Hamas and then there’s Abbas and Fatah.

So, now there’s a unity government, and you still don’t want to talk to them. So, there’s criticism here that this was an excuse for you to walk away.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Sorry, Candy. Whoa.

CROWLEY: Go ahead.

NETANYAHU: No, Candy. No, no. I’m sorry.

I heard that. I hear people write that up, but, in fact, it’s the very opposite.

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Should I Move From California To Plano, Texas?

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/28

That is a question someone used in a web search to find an article I wrote some time back: Moving From California To Texas? The person doing the search is likely a Toyota employee. The First Street Journal covered this breaking news quite well, and included multiple links to multiple articles written concerning the ongoing fiscal insanity that is everpresent and effervescent in Leftist state governments, contrasting with the growth-minded nature of Texas.

 

Other material that can be found on Truth Before Dishonor include:

Dying California Cannibalizes Itself

Maryland Follows California And Illinois Down The Toilet

Flee California Now!

California’s Green Energy Mandate

California Introduces New Internet Sales Tax Law

California And The Great Egress

 

There is more information to be had on this subject matter on this site, if one looks through all the economics-related articles. But to answer the question the internet searcher asked:

If you’re a Leftist voter, loving yourself some Leftism, stay in that shithole state you helped create. Don’t move to Texas, because you’ll only work to turn a successful state into the shithole state you fled. If you’re a Conservative voter, by all means, move to Texas and flee that shithole state the Leftist parasites created.

 

70,000 a year income will let you live a better life than 100,000 a year in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia. Texas’ Castle Doctrine will keep you safer. Jobs are more plentiful. But be ready for culture shock. Texans don’t like Big Brother/Nanny State.

Posted in Conservative, Culture, economics, Liberal, Over-regulation, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, politics, society, Tax | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Kick Ass 2

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/27

There’s a line in the movie that says “I’m in the NFL Dave, you play PeeWee”. Well, Hube is the NFL in this subject area. I’m a PeeWee bench warmer. I won’t get into the quality or believability or whether the movie sticks to the written matter. I don’t qualify to speak on that. For those who don’t know about Kick Ass, it’s one continuous flow of gratuitous violence, gratuitous vulgarity, etc, etc. And that’s the draw. Even for me, partially, at least. In this movie full of language the stereotypical Christian finds unbelievably offensive (a 15 year old girl using extremely crude sexual violence talk), one of the new “real person-turned-Super Hero” characters is a former mob muscle turned Born-Again Christian.

There they go again, right? The same ol’ lame crap, right?

Wrong.

This “Born-Again Christian” is extremely believable to Born-Again Christians. I’ll say it again. The character is very much in line with Christian type values, other than “taking the Law into your hands” (which is a requirement for the Super Hero theme). I approve.

Posted in Character, Christianity, Culture, Entertainment, media, Movie Reviews, Religion, society | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Kick Ass 2

It’s Snowing Here In Wyoming

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/27

Just thought you’d like to know.
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UPDATE: I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie closed. I’m on the Cheyenne side, trying to get to Utah. Darn that GoreBall Warming!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Hey @piersmorgan, You Convinced Me, I Just Joined @nra

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/25

That Piers Morgan, who read the word “muskets” in our Constitution, just called NRA “assassins”. Former mayor Bloomberg declared he’s going to shove Providence out of the way and walk into heaven by virtue of his 50 million dollars spent to lie and demagogue. (Protip: That’s not how it works.)

Thank you, Piers, you convinced me to get a three year membership to the NRA.

Posted in Character, Christianity, Conservative, Constitution, Liberal, media, politics, truth | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

‘GUNS EVERYWHERE!’ Georgia governor signs bill expanding firearm rights; Piers Morgan leads backlash

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/24

Piers still butthurt he got kicked out of his hot digs in Nawlins.

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‘Brilliant’: Melissa Harris-Perry’s suggested callous Dem response to canceled plans wins bipartisan support

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/21

There you go, MSNBC goes out of its way to prove it is in the tank for Obama and has no concern for We The People. Lost your insurance due to ObamaCare? Bite the big green one. Paying more for your insurance due to ObamaCare? Suck it up, p*ssies! Your plan sucked anyway. Because Obama said so. And what Obama and the Dems say is how you will live your lives, serfs.

Let them eat cake!

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Hey Gun Grabbers

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/19

Can we at least try enforcing the laws already on the books before we go about violating the Second Amendment? Hmmm?

When you catch a violent felon violating gun laws by having one, and then let him go, this happens. He wouldn’t have kidnapped that teen-aged girl, raped her, tortured her, tied her up, imprisoned her, poured gasoline on her, and tried to set her on fire if you Leftists hadn’t released him from prison early.

This one, as usual, is on you!

Posted in Character, Constitution, crime, Culture, Law, Liberal, politically correct, politics, society | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Hey Gun Grabbers

General Mills Says If You Like Them on Facebook Then You Cannot Sue Them

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/19

General Mills Says If You Like Them on Facebook Then You Cannot Sue Them.

If you purchase our product, you cannot sue us for providing a bad product!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on General Mills Says If You Like Them on Facebook Then You Cannot Sue Them

Liberals announce plan to ‘purge’ Christians

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/19

The lying Leftist octogenarian Perry Hood of Lewes Delaware, if he were honest, would be publicly cheerleading this effort.

askmarion

By Matt Barber – WND: They were always deadly serious about criminalizing Christianity and killing free speech, but now the American left has stopped pretending otherwise. In a recent column titled, “Why Are They Called ‘Homofascists’? Here’s Why,” I wrote that “progressive,” “Christian-hating fascists” – but I repeat myself – are “hell-bent on criminalizing Christianity and pushing to the fringes anyone who publicly acknowledges natural human sexuality and the age-old, immutable institution of legitimate marriage as created by God.”

I was referring specifically to the left’s well-organized and highly disturbing character assassination of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for his private support of natural marriage. I was also addressing the larger goal of the American left to completely shut down free speech and freedom of religion, and to severely punish anyone who maintains both biblically and biologically correct views on human sexuality.

I closed with this:

“They smell blood…

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I Contributed To #GosnellMovie

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2014/04/16

I contributed to help make the Gosnell movie happen. You can, too. Go to www.gosnellmovie.com and you can help make an important movie happen. Hot Air has some important news about who is blocking the attempt to crowdfund, and two actors who have made youtube videos in support of the crowdfunding.

____________________________
Edit: For those who have not heard of the heinous mass murderer Kermit Gosnell (and mainstream media and Hollywood like it that way), read what I wrote and Dana wrote back in 2011. Fair warning: have a strong stomach (preferably empty).

Posted in abortion, Character, crime, Culture, Health Care, media, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, politically correct, Politically Incorrect, politics, Pro-Life, society | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Narrative Problems

Posted by DNW on 2014/04/10

I was thinking the other day – not too deeply – about the entire concept of narrative, and how it has so often come to replace reasoning, and how deceptively difficult trying to construct a really accurate narrative can be. Maybe that is why those who seem to do it most, also seem to be the least concerned with literal accuracy.

It’s one thing to engage in the geometric arrangement of premisses and conclusions employing technical language, once you learn the discipline.

It’s quite another to try and manage a truthful recounting of human events (as historians well know) when so many different aspects to the “story” must be dealt with in a manner consistent with the overall tenor of the presentation.

This was personally highlighted for me just the other evening where in what was an exercise in the main, I attempted a descriptive recounting of a commenting foray I made on The Atlantic.

I found that certain passages, no matter how I reworked them just didn’t come out right. I finally realized the next day that I was trying to conflate, I was inappropriately mixing, my post hoc psychological attitudes of overall amusement into what was, and was meant to be an accurate factual description.

This came to me when I reread a particularly jarring passage wherein I had jestingly (after some initial skepticism about its fit) used the term “gambit” in what was intended to be a light way; but which was totally at odds with the more distanced tone of the overall presentation. The experience of rereading what I wrote was like having cold water dumped down my back. I knew what I meant but it could not be read right. Yet, no matter how I tried to rework the reference, it didn’t lend itself to the intended interpretation. Even rewriting the reference entirely didn’t make it any better.

And the reason I finally discovered, was not only found in the in-congruence of seeing a light-facetious use, blended with a desultory overall mood, but also because I was trying to fit my flippant psychological attitude post-event, to a more straightforward and prosaic truth.

This back projection or retrofitting of intentions (or events) in order to match a planned narrative or current feeling, is perhaps most familiar to us from some infamous politically staked, but clearly anachronistic or impossible claims: Hillary Clinton’s assertion that she was named after Edmund Hillary, for example; or her husband Bill’s “burning church” memories. Or John Kerry’s ‘Christmas in Cambodia’ for that matter.

The obvious trouble involved in these instances of handling timelines, seems to be a particular problem for political liberals. Whether the timeline trouble they experience is a matter of demonstrable facts tripping up deliberate fabrications, or the result of a genuine psychological difficulty progressives have in grasping cause and effect, antecedent and consequent, prior and subsequent, in the face of their driving need for constructing a self-justifying narrative with broad social impact, is a question I cannot personally answer.

What I can say from recent experience is, that constructing a readable narrative, one that is anything more than a chronicle, that is to say anything more than a chronological checklist of noticed events, is a rather tricky proposition; and requires care on a number of levels.

Posted in Blogging Matters | 5 Comments »

The Atlantic and Billy Jo Bubba

Posted by DNW on 2014/04/08

[Update: This is a posting which was done primarily as an exercise last night, and which was posted prematurely, almost in real-time or on the fly. I have now made a number of “live” changes which make the references more explicit and precise, and less presumptive and garbled. It should aid in a comparatively better understanding of what I was trying to say: in the unlikely event anyone actually read it all the way through it when it first went up …]

While commenting the other day on our post regarding AOL’s Gay Social Affirmation Hell, commenter AOTC was inspired to provide a link to “The Atlantic” online’s site, wherein an economist by the name of Noah Smith was busying himself in part, with a chirpy celebration of what he the imagines to be the permanent triumph of the so-called “progressive” side of the culture wars.

“The Culture War is over, and the liberals have won. With the legalization and broad acceptance of gay marriage, the last great bastion of government-supported traditionalism in Western society has been swept away. Elsewhere, the armies of traditionalism are collapsing on almost every front. America is becoming less religious with stunning speed. Interracial marriage, once banned, is now the norm. Marijuana is slowly being legalized for recreational use. Women are close to achieving economic equality with men, and female breadwinners are becoming the norm. Casual sex is almost universally tolerated as a permissible recreational activity.”

Now, I’m not even going to bother unpacking the logical confusions and conflations found in that rather typical piece of progressive rhetoric. It is after all rhetoric not reasoning. It’s rhetoric directed at what the polymorphous perverse community envision as the proper temperature and humidity for their planned social hothouse; and not at all what might be more coolly deduced from an objective reality; a reality the objectivity of which they are not only skeptical, but which they – or their philosophical high priests – often go on to assert as ultimately unintelligible and intrinsically pointless, anyway.

So instead, I’ll simply note the next move Noah Smith makes, which is to advise his own side that when it comes to politics, managerial prudence dictates behavioral restraint in unconditional victory. And, that in this case, it is good policy to avoid despoiling the lives and property of those bitter clingers who still retain outmoded attachments to concepts like the supernatural, teleologically premissed morals, binary gender, and quite probably, to the notion of the self itself.

Thus he announces,

“Any time you win a great victory after years or decades of bitter struggle, there is the temptation to pillage the lands of the conquered enemy. This is always a mistake.”

Yeah. They have the freedom and the strength, to actually pillage? Well, I suppose Noah Smith, along with Pajama Boy, and the rest of the kind can be forgiven for imagining that no one would even think of resisting progressive overreach in a way which they might find surprising. After all, the “Taxed Enough Already” movement protests almost caused them a psychic breakdown as it was.

Imagine then what a traditionalist’s pledge of social disengagement, taken in order to allow the progressive kind to live or die in a ditch of their own digging, to reap without underwriting or support what they have themselves sown, might do to the progressives’ mental equilibria.

Anyway, even the mooting of such questions indirectly and in a response to that precious little victory dance, appears, and I repeat here “appears”, to be out of progressive community bounds.

For I tried to do just that: that is to to say to offer up my suggestion that they in effect adopt some critical distance of their own.

However, upon following AOTC’s link to the site, and attempting to leave a WordPress comment there using this Truth Before Dishonor WordPress blogging ID, I ran into some initial difficulty. [Perhaps it was of my own making. I do not know.]

Therefore, I next tried registering to leave a comment using an alternate AOL screen name. That did not work out as I wished, either. So, I finally registered using a Google g-mail address through Disquis, employing an address name which is precisely the same name as my alternate AOL e-mail account. And, ultimately then, after some little while, I was able to post a comment under “North Charlton”. Same, same, AOL and Google. Whoopee.

Which brings us to the following observation. Left-liberals, so-called progressives, seem to be an extraordinarily sensitive lot when it comes to facing the redounding implications of their own worldview; even when so confronted temperately and in relatively sophisticated (or so one would imagine) forums.

We here have witnessed that progressive tendency to bridle in the past on a more local level: on Dana’s old Common Sense Political Thought blog. Repeat the implications of what they, the progressives, have said about reality or mankind back to them, and as specifically applying to them, and they go off the emotional rails. On Common Sense Political Thought however, they could only call for censoring, not effect it.

“Progressives” obviously talk freely of their triumphing over “the enemy”, but they apparently cannot abide “the enemy” granting them in return their assertion of enemy status, and noting that he is in fact prepared to accept that he is their enemy, and as such, an enemy in the very same existential way and sense which they originally intended.

Thus they casually speak of a supposedly justifiable impulse they have to despoil this traditionalist enemy’s life and substance; but in this case while generously refraining from doing so (only so a more efficient and pacific implementation of their vision of human re-engineering might be realized) in the name of the “nation”.

And then, they seem taken aback, or even alarmed, when their peculiar notions regarding the significance of nation or community are scoffed at.

In any event, tempted by AOTC’s pointing toward a potential challenge, I persisted and finally posted a comment.

As a result, one reader graciously remarked that she wished there were more like it.

Another, “Billy Jo Bubba”, asked me to clarify what I had meant by a certain phrase I had used concerning conservatives’ sometimes politically debilitating “moral inhibitions”. I responded to Billy Jo. I checked to see if my response to him posted up successfully, and it did. So I saved the page.

Then, my reply to Billy Jo disappeared.

Billy Jo nonetheless responded to my now missing reply: observing that he had in fact seen it, but that in the meanwhile something had happened to it and it was now gone.

Acknowledging Billy Jo again, I said I would re-post the exact reply to which he was referring for the sake of thread clarity. I did. I checked back. It took. It remained for a while.

Then, it disappeared too.

So, I left a 3rd and textually different response to Billy Jo. This one, stating that my two previous replies to his direct request for terminological clarification had mysteriously vanished, but I knew not why.

I then checked and noted that that reply had also initially posted up successfully; just as did the previous two. There it, however, unlike the preceding two, remained. And there it remains some days later.

What are we to infer from this? Well, as you can see from my remarks above, I have my suspicions based on this and past experiences with progressives. Though, I am not absolutely positive about it in this case. Just, let’s say, reasonably skeptical, that it was a pure coincidence.

I did however as I said, think to save the pages immediately after I successfully placed my original remarks.

I’ll now place the subject chain of exchanges below. I’ve read and reread them, and cannot for the life of me figure out what it was that I said which might cause a progressive, or his proxies, to interrupt a victory lap just to take it down. It was after all no more than a demurrer which was offered up based on the progressive’s own worldview.

But, provisionally, it does seem to be the case that my remarks were repeatedly taken down. I would of course be glad to learn that it was otherwise and that some defect in my browser or use of it caused the problem.

In any event, the last comment in the series is the one that repeatedly “vanished”.

Regarding then, Noah Smith and his Atlantic vaunt …

North Charlton • 2 days ago

Generous of you to forgo the indulgence of revenge.

Though, I am not sure what form of political revenge a progressive could indulge in which would leave the Democrat Party’s own client class of dependants untouched; or which would alternately fail to awaken conservatives to the fact that it has been their own moral inhibitions which have allowed the progressives to flourish as they have in the first place.

Eventually, conservatives may even get wise, and recognize that they’ve been fighting not only the left, but their own moral baggage and scrupulosity: assuming fundamentally like cases when no such fundamental likenesses obtained.

Politically progressive activists, and philosophers like Rorty for example, have long ceased pretending that their ethical claims and social shaping aims and stratagems could in any way be coherently said to follow from their nominalist metaphysical premisses. So, they decided to focus instead on what “we wish to become” rather than what we once were said, or thought, to essentially be.

However, even in a progressive moral universe, one with no notion of actually occurring natural kinds, it’s difficult to initially avoid arguing as if there were real kinds with real natures implying real rights; and maybe rhetorically unwise – even if dishonest – to try and do so.

So, issues have to be gradually re-framed conceptually in terms of emotions and expanding circles of concern for those emotion-things that now stand in place of what we once thought of as humans with intrinsic and shared natures, and objectively deducible ethical boundaries and obligations and entitlements.

It will henceforth become about what we wish to be … whatever it is “we” are made up of, or defined as, by whom or whatever. The progressive reasoning gets a little vague at that point.

Well, the problem of course is that, that “we” word, along with all its allied concepts and terms, is also clearly problematical.

And therefore when it comes to the spectacle of rhetorical flag waving, it is mightily amusing indeed to read someone from the left making concern noises about “the nation”, when the entire concept has become so ridiculously attenuated as to carry little or no emotional weight anyway; not to mention very little if anything in the way of any objectively ascertainable meaning.

Nation is no longer about “ethnicity”, and it’s certainly not about shared values and objectively deduced ideals. Nor obviously, is it about held in common goals and tastes, much less interests. Nor much of anything else as far as I can see.

It – the appeal to nation – is then more or less just the brandishing of a nowadays vaguely fascistical sounding but quickly obsolescing term, held over from the days when American post Civil War political consolidationists figured it carried a bigger emotional wallop, and therefore allowed more constitutional transgressions, than did the term “the republic”.

I guess modern progressives still figure the same.

But they figure wrong.

The question then is why anyone who is not polymorphous perverse themselves, should care to waste their time validating anyone who is, or why it would be in their interest to shore up a system that does …

After all, tolerating absurdity is one thing when it costs you nothing; or, very little apart from annoyance.

But marching in the linked-arm parade of the absurdists, as if you are morally obligated to give a damn about, or even participate in their fate, or can be intimidated to do so without the threat or use of violence, is quite another.

No, it’s probably not over. In fact, things may have just begun to get interesting.

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Ellie K > North Charlton • 2 days ago

Why are you among the tiny minority of people who articulate their opinions online? I wish I could upvote you 50 times. You are correct, in every regard. This crummy post , by crummy Noah, makes me cringe in revulsion and fear. It is oppressive and intolerant of diversity of religion (having belief, of any sort, isn’t allowed now), sexual and reproductive preference (no place for being a woman and wanting to marry a man of the same race and religion, wearing a wedding ring, then having a baby or maybe even two, and being faithful to each other all the days of one’s life) etc. There is no national cohesion, thanks to so-called modern progressives. The newly redesigned Dept of the Interior reflects this. There are no white men. There are no Asian people. There are elderly white women, no young ones with children. There are big murals of crowds of Native Americans and black people and Hispanic people, but no pictures of little families or young people going fishing or hunting. Whose land is it? Not yours and mine. It belongs to modern progressives, apparently.

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Billy Jo Bubba > North Charlton • 14 hours ago

Could you clarify what you mean by ‘moral inhibitions’ of conservatives?

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North Charlton > Billy Jo Bubba • 2 minutes ago

“Could you clarify what you mean by ‘moral inhibitions’ of conservatives?”

You can think of it operating in various ways, and on various levels.

My reference to Rorty’s nominalism as informing his theory – if you want to call it a theory – of ethical behavior, and the “objects” of his attention on the one hand, in contrast to what is generally some form of realism embraced by conservatives (I am speaking very generally here) on the other hand, should give you a picture of two populations having fundamentally different views about reality, and about what a human “really is”, and is entitled by that status to; if to anything.

Let’s put this in extreme terms. A Roman Catholic child, for example, is taught based on a supernaturally directed belief and a mediated and modified Aristotelian realist metaphysics, that he has a soul destined for eternity, and that what he does in relation to or to other human beings has an objective rightness or wrongness to it in the here and now, and a cosmic and eternal significance that continues beyond the present life, afterwards.

On the other hand, whatever inhibitions the progressive left may have in doing unto others, that is not one of the considerations that informs their consciences.

No Marxist Leninist has any absolute compunction about breaking eggs in order to make his social omelet; human beings are not seen as ends in themselves but social elements entitled, or not, to certain “sensual” (in the Marxist sense) satisfactions.

It is generally acknowledged by progressive writers ( and I don’t think that I need to start listing names, do I?) that politics is useful for shaping and molding society, and as a result the reproducing population, as the progressive wishes it to be.

The progressive has fewer compunctions about shaping the people through the agency of the state. Which is not to say anything particularly remarkable, but just something that needs to be borne in mind; i.e., the moral inhibitions of the parties, conservatives and libertarians on the one hand, and left-progressives on the other, are not symmetrical.

The conservative inhibition I refer to here then, is one that comes from their worldview and teleological moral lens; which sees intrinsic value in (or projects it onto) beings who themselves argue that any such framework is an illusion, and any such value a result of that illusion, or worse, a supernaturally oriented superstition.

My personal opinion is that perhaps conservatives, and most certainly libertarians, should make the following intellectual move: they should hypothetically grant the persons, or the organisms if you will, of the left the dignity of taking them seriously when they say that life has no inherent purpose, that values are radically subjective or relative, that natural kinds do not exist, or that the ends justify the means, and so forth.

And then once having granted that – at least and specifically as regards the progressive person making the claim – the person who is not a progressive, should take a careful look at the person who says he is a progressive, through the progressive’s own metaphysical lens.

And then he the non-progressive should be straight with himself, no matter how brutal the view seems, as to just what he sees when focusing on the progressives through that reducing lens of their own creation; and what ethical implications might follow or inferences be validly drawn.

If after having performed that reductio, one cannot still then see the asymmetry I refer to, then … well …

Posted in Culture, Liberal, politically correct, politics, Socialists, society | Comments Off on The Atlantic and Billy Jo Bubba

 
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