Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Reasonable Man and Radical Nothing
It appears that a new phenomena has emerged in the webs of discourse amongst citizens of free nations. I attribute it to years of bogus schooling, charlatan journalism and a flaccid life philosophy dispensed through shoddy entertainment venues.
In pre-baby-boomer times it seemed that most people held convictions; sometimes strong ones, sometimes less fervent. Often issues and events called for a passionate stance but issues that were neither life or death would often elicit the reasonable response – a noncommittal, dispassionate “take no sides” adaptability. It was reasonable to be reasonable.
The role of the reasonable person today has devolved into something neither reasonable or marked by great conviction, a sort of radical nothing. Ironically, this muddy soup of non-conviction is spouted -- fervently -- as something held with...great conviction.
Daily one can find conversation, sound bites, and proclamations that reveal allegiance to no one or nothing, but stated with self-righteous certainty and passion. A pride in one's empathy for dictators and derision of all that has been done to the ends of family, nation and liberty is felt by some to be a sort of middle of the road non alliance. Within all this dogma there is an implied but subtle shield that proclaims the espouser is somehow taking no side.
When I hear one state with passion their lack of allegiance to anything of substance or moral value I typically sense that they feel they've reached some pinnacle of awareness. In short, nothing actually drives their feigned adaptability more than simple arrogance; the desire to be seen as having risen above petty concern for things like moral clarity or choosing good over evil. Of course such dichotomies are viewed to no longer exist anyway (at least since Nietzsche).
Perhaps its a genuinely new thing (at least to our era) to plant one's values so deeply in mere mist, but there's nothing new about stupidity or arrogance. Being “reasonable” and “seeing the other side” of an issue can be just and objective. But the contemporary prevalence of less sincere stances are certainly no way to support a family, nation or sober world view.
What more could authoritarian regimes and ideologies hope for from a civilization in decline and an expanding population of those who now believe so strongly...in nothing.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Regarding attempts to “facilitate” voting (i.e. “postcard registration”):
An individual who is informed and conscientious will typically vote. The type of people who choose not to vote are the types of people who shouldn't be voting anyway (unless the end goals of your society are decay before the passions of a mob or some hollow catch phrase like, “yes we can”).
America's greatest sins are:
Acting in its own self-interest, and success. The first, hardly unique in the world of nations, the second, hardly sinful.
The weak-willed mud of post modern neo-marxist sophistry has so permeated media and education that a renewed confrontation between America and Hitler himself would find much of the world cheering for swastika flags. Feigned intellectual sophistication has never been so misguided, careless or corrupt.
“What if everyone thought like that?” is a stupid statement regardless of what the “thought” is directed toward because the fact of the matter is, everyone doesn't “think like that...”
Liberty vs. the lemmings of state adoration:
The choices are basic and clear; maximum individual liberty or increasing degrees of government “intervention.” The problem is that individual liberty (with obvious constraints against aggression or fraud against others) can only be “maxed-out” so far. Any degree of state “intervention” by its very nature always calls for more authority and control. A lover of government can always come up with reasons why “we need” more government (usually to “fix” problems created by government in the first place).
State authority means coercion. Those who choose freedom simply wish to be free – to be left alone. Those who favor the intrusion of the state into personal life and transactions are ultimately choosing to dictate the lives and actions of others.
The odd obsession:
Does anyone not find it odd that, with all the instance of violence, war, oppression, and cruelty in the world, the left is so fervently obsessed with the tiny democratic state (amongst a sea of authoritarian regimes) of Israel?
Saturday, July 03, 2010
California and Reality
This Reason TV mini-documentary, although about California specifically, explains some basic realities about economics and government.
"Angry Racist" Belief in Limited Constitutional Government
I had recently seen an editorial cartoon in a Japanese / English newspaper which depicted a crazed Republican screaming, "They're coming! More and more people getting health care!". Alongside him, an equally absurd caricature of an anguished "Tea Party" person saying , "Minorities! Women! Children! It's the end of the world!"
Hasn't much of mainstream journalism overplayed this card a bit? Unlike many among the general public, the usual allies of bigger and more centralized state authority appear to genuinely believe that conservative or libertarian values are somehow invalid and unworthy of engagement in legitimate debate.
Rising protests against growing state authority seems to have struck a nerve with many on the left, and their only response seems to be some variation on the repeated mantra that; the right is "full of hate." So just what is it that progressives are so “full of" when addressing conservative or libertarian ideals? I don't remember them being exactly full of tolerance, compromise, or “understanding” during the previous administration (group hug for Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld anyone?).
The coddling of the Obama administration by many media sources has become laughable. Likewise for a common assertion by some talking heads that anyone who opposes an unread 1000 page piece of "health care" legislation could only be taking issue with it because of they are racists or, in the above noted cartoon, fear women and children receiving health care. Meanwhile, “anti-war” and anti-capitalism protests are still often depicted as mere cross sections of society when they are often organized by genuinely violent extremist groups, several which advocate a complete overthrow of our constitutional system so as to replace it with their much loved Marxist gulag state. When was the last time we heard of a Tea Party protest where rocks or Molotov cocktails were thrown at private businesses and police (or anyone for that matter)?
As for the phony attempts to label opposition to Obama's state-enhancing agenda as a product of "racism,” do some people really believe that if a white male tried to ram through a thousand pages of unread bureau-growth legislation that conservatives and libertarians would somehow then find it palatable? Nonsense.
Belief in limited government and sound economic policy as espoused by most in the Tea Parties has no relation to "hate," racism, conjured threats and dangers, or general "mean-spiritedness." That so many pseudo intellectuals try to concoct such a fantasy is more a reflection of their own inability to tolerate popular viewpoints different from their own than any genuine danger from citizens questioning a president and party's grasp for expanded authority.
It's often said that if you repeat a lie often enough it will be believed . But that's not completely true. If you tell a lie too often people wonder why you feel the need to keep repeating something that you claim is obvious and apparent.
Some Republicans and many Tea Party advocates will be laughing all the way to the polls this fall... and perhaps in 2012 as well.