Friday, January 4, 2013


SEEING WHAT’s IN FRONT 
of YOUR NOSE
A Sampling from an Ongoing Colloquy with Two Liberals

Well, dear friends, in the never-ending battle of one set of perceptions and assumptions against another this really does say it all:

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

~  George Orwell

I couldn't agree more, but one deadly serious question hangs in the air:

How could it be that two individuals can gaze intently at ONE particular object for a protracted period of time, and see TWO entirely different things?

I've blithely explained it away many times by referring to the Parallel Universe Phenomenon, but that doesn't begin to explain it.

"For now we see through a glass darkly ..."

Will we EVER be able to comes to grips with the Truth -- whatever it may be?

Four authors have told us well in advance exactly what we are doing to ourselves:

E.M. Forster - The Machine Stops (1909)

Aldous Huxley - A Brave New World

George Orwell - Animal Farm and Nineteen-Eighty-Four

Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

I find it highly ironic that these authors all considered themselves creatures of the left, [I'm not quite sure about Forster, who came from a more decorous age, but given the constrained circumstances of his personal life it seems likely].


At any rate, despite their acknowledged Marxian-Fabian-liberal-progressive-socialist orientation, the dystopian societies they described in brilliant, painfully evocative detail most closely resemble the nightmare worlds created by the Russian, Chinese, North Vietnamese, Cambodian, North Korean, and Cuban Revolutions.

It doesn't matter whether despotism parades under the banner of Communism, Fascism, Islamism, Puritanism or the Roman Catholic Theocratic States that produced The Inquisition, the Star Chamber, and hundreds of other murderous foul deeds.

TYRANNY is TYRANNY no matter what banner it parades under, and what the left advocates, however unwittingly, IS in fact TYRANNY, even if it is falsely crowned with golden haloes, clothed in white robes and outfitted with angels' wings.

I know you on the left can't see it, and so you are likely to say I am either insane or a vicious liar –– or both. The truth, however is that we are looking at precisely the same things, and each of us is seeing something that bears no resemblance whatever to what the other imagines he sees.

It's quite confounding –– or should be. We need to look more deeply into it.

Oh well, HAPPY NEW YEAR and the best of luck to everyone regardless of our differences.

~ FreeThinke


A LIBERAL BLOG HOSTESS ANSWERS:
FT, perhaps you don't see it when tyranny is promoted on the right?

A few examples:

The proposal by a rightwing conservative governor of Virginia to to have vaginal probes forced on girls and women by the state, which have absolutely nothing to do with any medical procedure.

The various laws passed by conservative governors in conservative states that make the legal medical procedure--abortion--more and more difficult for girls and women for whatever reasons they, their families, and their doctors deem necessary. That amounts to state-enforced pregnancies on girls and women.

The efforts by conservatives to use their religious beliefs to deny equal protection under our Constitution for our gay brothers and sisters to marry the person they love.

That too is tyranny of the state--the state imposing the will of the religious few on the many. A distopian idea if there ever was one.

There are many other examples of conservative ideas of state enforced transgressions on people's liberties.


ANOTHER ANSWER from YET-ANOTHER LIBERAL:

FT, You pose an excellent question, kind sir. How could it be that two individuals can gaze intently at ONE particular object for a protracted period of time, and see TWO entirely different things?

Let’s try to answer that, shall we?

First, what “particular object” shall we apply in this case? And then let’s identify the separate observations and frame them as well as possible into an understandable picture, and, then we can see how the two perspectives diverge and how the view from each perspective may shape the observations.

You see, without explanation, you reached quite a shocking and accusatory conclusion with “what the left advocates, however unwittingly, IS in fact TYRANNY”.

Is tyranny the particular object you have chosen in your question? Or is it the political satire of tyranny by the authors you mention?

This reminds me, there’s one sentence that strikes me at the moment.

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Yes we know this satirizes Stalinism and dictatorships but...

Has our secretive and almost unrestricted “money is free speech” factor in our elections taken us to the point where some animals are “more equal” in the right to speech than others?
There are many other examples of conservative ideas of state enforced transgressions on people's liberties.

Amen. The war on drugs is one of the most oppressive and enduring of these transgressions.

A few examples from Bush/Cheney come to mind as well. The 2000 election, overturning democracy, decided by conservative Supreme Court cronies of the Bush Cartel comes to mind. Torture, Warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, voter registration suppression, and poll access restrictions are a few more that pop up instantly. 

THE LIBERAL BLOG HOSTESS INTERJECTS:
Also, FT, there are very many Americans who are hopeful for the health and safety of this beautiful country BECAUSE Mr. Obama is our president.

FT RESPONDS:

"Also, FT, there are very many Americans who are hopeful for the health and safety of this beautiful country BECAUSE Mr. Obama is our president."

Of course, and THAT, dear lady, is PRECISELY the problem that afflicts our nation, and has placed her on The Critical List.

Our common Enemy is TOTALITARIANISM –– in ANY form. I have said that thousands of times over many years long before we met.

The difference between "my side" and "yours," if we must use such terminology, is what-appears-to-be fanatical, unswerving loyalty of the left to crypto-Marxist ideals, while we "on the other side" are fragmented in our loyalty to the one party that purports to represent "our" beliefs and goals, but in truth does no such thing.

We frankly detest the Democratic Party and most of its authoritarian accomplishments cloaked in the guise of benevolent "advances." The fruits of these machinations appear –– to us –– to be largely deleterious to the best interest of Americans who still want to remain free to exercise self-determination.

None of that means, however, that we wholeheartedly embrace the Republican Party. I, myself, believe the GOP has grown unduly complicit with the supposed "Opposition." The GOP appears to me to be weak, spineless, and suffering from hopeless confusion about the nature of its identity.

How many on "your" side would say that about your own party apparatus?

Not many, I suspect.

I don't wish to entangle myself in an endless dispute over whose brand of satire, scurrilous rhetoric, name-calling and outrageous caricatures are more offensive. It's a waste of time.

A key tactic of the left is to exhaust opposition by asking the same questions over and over and over long after they've been more-than-adequately answered. The technique –– and I see it as that, because few of you deserve to be called "stupid" –– is part of the Critical Theory dreamt up by Antonio Gramsci and brilliantly adapted by The Frankfurt School of which every leftist is an ardent disciple -- whether he, she or it REALIZES or ACKNOWLEDGES it or not.

This is why attempts to argue with "Progressives" –– or whatever you're calling yourselves these days –– usually end up in a shouting match. Leftist Utopians have rendered themselves impervious to the logic of anything that runs contrary to their aims.

It really is as simple as that.

Most of you treat every challenge as an "outrage." Which is, of course, an outrage in and of itself.

All the best to you anyway for 2013.

~ FreeThinke

THE LIBERAL BLOG HOSTESS SUMS UP:
FT: "ONCE MORE WITH FEELING:

"A key tactic of the left is to exhaust opposition by asking the same questions over and over and over long after they've been more-than-adequately answered. The technique -- and I see it as that, because few of you deserve to be called "stupid" -- is part of the Critical Theory dreamt up by Antonio Gramsci and brilliantly adapted by The Frankfurt School of which every leftist is an ardent disciple -- whether he, she or it
REALIZES or ACKNOWLEDGES it or not.

This is why attempts to argue with "Progressives" -- or whatever you're calling yourselves these days -- usually end up in a shouting match."

FT:
"TYRANNY is TYRANNY no matter what banner it parades under, and what the left advocates, however unwittingly, IS in fact TYRANNY..."

FT, you are aware, are you not, that using all CAPS is, in cyber talk 


actually "SHOUTING!?"

It appears that it's you, not any of the liberal/progressives here that is 


shouting while making a point.

50 comments:

Jack Camwell said...

I often find myself asking the same questions over and over again, but there's a pretty good reason for that: the questions rarely ever are answered.

Without naming any names, I've found this to be true with certain people on both sides of the fence. I will ask a question, or make some sort of point, and they will outright ignore it.

It's not until I repose the question 3 or 4 times more that I get an answer. Usually, I find myself able to deconstruct the answer and point out its flaws, but I've found that even that is pointless because it will take another 4 requests to get them to respond to that--if they respond at all.

In my estimation, the reason for ignoring the questions that are central to my argument seems likely that they understand that I've thwarted them and they are stalling for time to come up with a proper answer.

Or, they're hoping to throw me off the scent and get me to forget or overlook the fact that they largely ignore the key points of my argument.

As for your question about two people seeing two different things while looking at the same object, I pose this question (which is an answer of sorts):

What if they're BOTH wrong?

Ducky's here said...

The Frankfurt School of which every leftist is an ardent disciple -- whether he, she or it REALIZES or ACKNOWLEDGES it or not.

----
And every right winger is a Nazi. Now where are we?

You don't have the wisdom to see the intellectual dead end you've constructed.

Silverfiddle said...

Your colloquy reveals that federal and state governments are too big, making too many rules better left to families and individuals.

Funny how progressives always run immediately to Margaret Sanger's sacred sacrament, pulling weeds.

Abortion is legal, and gay "marriage" is sweeping the land. Why don't they declare victory and go home?

No, all sides and factions will compete forever for the levers of power of that most awful, clanking, soulless beast known as the feral government.

A commenter at Shaw's blog claimed maybe 25% of us have a will to control other, and I corrected him: It is 100%, and this will to power and control knows no ideology.

jez said...

FreeThinke: your question about seeing the same thing differently hits the nail on the head. This is exactly what's going on: cognitive biases of various sorts, especially confirmation bias, leading to attitude polarization. We see this all the time in discussion. As we start to read an opinion, we decide whether we broadly agree or disagree with it early on and thenceforth we compare each point with our own existing opinion and we tend to exaggerate the extent of points of agreement or points of contention respectively.

So, when FreeThinke offers an opinion that he expects to have some overlap with his liberal host's, he is surprised that the liberals still disagree fully. He offers a moderate compromise, but it is received as if it were a positive review of Mein Kampf, because the liberal expected to disagree and therefore exaggerated every point of contention to the point that he genuinely perceived an opinion in complete opposition to his own.

I'm sure pretty much everyone is sincere in their opposition to tyranny, which you correctly identify as a common enemy. The interesting and worthwhile argument would be to come to an agreement about where the tyranny is and to set about vanquishing it. Endless rounds of "You're a tyrant", "No, *you're a tyrant LOL" are dull and pointless.

Jack: asking questions is difficult. You can never (or very rarely) ask an interesting one which does not contain some ambiguity. It really might be that your correspondent genuinely missed your intended point. On the other hand, there are certainly trolls out there who delight in avoiding the question at hand.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"I'm sure pretty much everyone is sincere in their opposition to tyranny, which you correctly identify as a common enemy..."

Of course everyone [in the free world] is opposed to tyranny. So another question for FT would be: If what jez wrote is a truth--every is sincere in their opposition to tyranny," why did you write, "...what the left advocates, however unwittingly, IS in fact TYRANNY...?"

How can something as clearly destructive and monstrous as "tyranny" be "unwittingly" advocated? That's akin to saying disembowelment can be unwittingly advocated..it's nonsense.

Which statement is true? Yours or jez's?

-FJ said...

Post modernism prefers dialogic to dialectic. It better reflects "reality"... but not does not "force" a synthesis - aka - "unity".

As Zeno once said, "Being is Many", but as Parmenides stated "All is One" and Socrates confirmed, "If One is not, then Nothing is."

-FJ said...

btw - Hegel was an adherent to a dialectical theory, not a dialogical one.

The post-modern era will likely be increasingly dialogical.

For as Isaiah Berlin has stated, "the only truth which I have ever found out for myself... Some of the Great Goods cannot live together.... We are doomed to choose, and every choice may entail an irreparable loss."

Waylon said...

The answer to your excellent question can likely be found in some of the musings from the Head Quack of Bolshevism: V. I. Lenin.

"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"Destroy the family, you destroy the country."
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin



Waylon said...

And every right winger is a Nazi. Now where are we?

Confining this to logical argument, everybody should know the German Nazis were, of course, the National Socialist Party and Stalin and Hitler were actual allies in WWII both invading Poland.

There's really nothing new under the sun: Socialism=Communism=Tyranny.

jez said...

thanks for introducing me to Berlin, he looks fascinating. Do you have a book to recommend?

jez said...

"Signed a treaty" does not equal "were allies".
The "Sozialismus" in "Nationalsozialismus" is not to be confused with Marxism -- Hitler explicitly redefined the term "socialism", so I guess we can add "liar" to his list of crimes.

Fox news must have repeated the Nazi=socialism lie often enough for it to start working now!

-FJ said...

Do you have a book to recommend?

Four Essays on Liberty. I particularly recommend a letter posted in the preface from Berlin to George Kennan, originator of the US Foreign policy known as "Containment" that lead to "Soviet collapse" in the Cold War.

Waylon said...

What escapes my understanding in the so-called liberal thinking is: If the power and influence of the state increases, how does freedom or individual rights not diminish? Taking small steps to increase government intrusion into the life of everybody, and pretending that this is for "your security" or "your welfare" doesn't mean that absolute tyranny will not be the end result.

That much should be obvious to even the casual observer today.

-FJ said...

...and if you are interested in dialogics, then you should probably study Mikhail Bakhtin... a former victim of "Stalinism" and not Berlin. Berlin was the "last" classical liberal of note at All Souls, Oxford.

FreeThinke said...

"A commenter at Shaw's blog claimed maybe 25% of us have a will to control other, and I corrected him: It is 100%, and this will to power and control knows no ideology."

That, essentially, has been the dominant theme of my entire publishing career -- both in print and in the net.

I will never tire of saying that TYRANNY, ITSELF, is the chief enemy of all mankind. The corollary is that it doesn't matter whether it comes from the left, right, center, from religion or ethnicity.

Leftists, however, as you indicate, are never satisfied even then they appear to be "winning." Perennial discontent and the captiousness and ill humor that usually accompany it are part of their identity.

Notice too, that no matter how carefully, clearly, truthfully and politely one tries to respond to their endless probing, questioning demands, they have made it a standard policy NEVER to accept, approve, give thanks or express even the faintest trace of awareness of the soundness or cordial intentions of opposing views.

With leftists YOU are not only WRONG, you are also RUDE, IMMORAL, VICIOUS and possibly INSANE simply because you DARE to DISAGREE with their infuriating ASSUMPTION of MORAL and INTELLECTUAL SUPERIORITY.

As you can see from today's "colloquy" leftists will never accept anything you offer in the spirit in which it's been given. Somehow, with their infinite, inexhaustible capacity for expressing pseudo-outrage they will ALWAYS turn it into an ACCUSATION and a DEMAND for further clarification on your part -- as if they didn't already know perfectly well what you said and why.

This perpetual belligerence is the quintessence of Critical Theory -- as defined in Linda Kimball's excellent article "CULTURAL MARXISM" which neatly summarizes the roots and reasons for today's perplexing, demoralizing political climate.

I can't agree that ONE-HUNDRED-PERCENT of us would love to be BOSS.

I, myself, am much more of a "Hobbit." Like Bilbo Baggins, I WOULD MUCH PREFER TO BE LEFT ALONE to live peacefully in "The Shire" keeping my house tidy, attractive, and comfortable, tending my own garden and minding my own business.

I rather think there are many more like me than there are those like Caesar, Herod, Genghis Khan, Savonarola, Vlad the Impaler, Cromwell, Henry VIII, Lincoln, Marx, Engels, Freud, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Woodrow Wilson, David Rockefeller, Maurice Strong, FDR, LBJ, Molly Yard, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, George W. Bush, George Soros, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama -- and all the other troublemakers that lived and reigned throughout history.

Waylon said...

"Signed a treaty" does not equal "were allies"

If two countries sign a treaty in agreement to not commence hostilities against each other and both countries invade a third country, what would you call them if not allies?

jez said...

Aggressive countries sign treaties for all kinds of reasons. This was tactical. Shortly afterwards, Germany and Russia fought bitterly, suffering the some of the heaviest losses of the war. What do you call them if not enemies?

Always On Watch said...

In a comment above, FJ brought up the matter of the dialogic process's having become the preference now. I hope that all visiting this thread will take a look at the link that FJ left.

Now, via the dialectic process, one can come to a conclusion drenched in either Leftism or in Conservatism (never mind that those -isms may not be exact in the context of my comment). Still, dialectic is reasoned based:

The dialectical method is discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter guided by reasoned arguments. A problem arises, of course, because of cognitive biases and selective choices of "evidence."

But the dialogic process? Well, anything goes in that method! As stated in FJ's link:

In a dialogic process, various approaches coexist and are comparatively existential and relativistic in their interaction. Here, each ideology can hold more salience in particular circumstances. Thus, truth is more relativistic in a dialogic process.

Always On Watch said...

FT stated in the body of the post:

It doesn't matter whether despotism parades under the banner of Communism, Fascism, Islamism, Puritanism or the Roman Catholic Theocratic States that produced The Inquisition, the Star Chamber, and hundreds of other murderous foul deeds.

TYRANNY is TYRANNY no matter what banner it parades under...


Now, THAT is the TRUTH!

-FJ said...

In a dialogic process, various approaches coexist and are comparatively existential and relativistic in their interaction. Here, each ideology can hold more salience in particular circumstances.

Socialism is the "best" system for a nation at war, but WORST for a nation at peace (Individualism is the "flip"). THOSE, IMO, are the circumstances that separate Left/Right ideologies. And no, abolishing "war" is NOT a viable "solution"... and "capitalism" is a transcendent universal of social relations, not something that can be "overcome" and declared "the enemy".

Waylon said...

What do you call them if not enemies?

Since they were not enemies at the time they signed a non-aggression why would anyone call them enemies? Only in hindsight can you call them enemies after after the "shock" of Stalin at the temerity of Hitler to breach the pact and invade the motherland of Stalin.

FreeThinke said...

Thank you, everyone, for a lively discussion. I'm not sure anyone has changed his, her or it's mind, as a result, but somehow the process of seeing how others respond to stimuli never ceases to fascinate.

I posted most of his on yesterday's thread, and will say it again here, because I think it applies very well.


'Wouldn't it be funny if all of were only a matter of how we feel about a given issue?

'Could "my" truth have just as much significance and right to exist as "your" truth, even though we may be opposed?

'I believe whatever it is we earnestly seek may be something very like that.

'What would life be without polarity?

All the DYNAMISM seems to stem from the tension existing between two extremes.

Once again I resort to a favorite adage:


'"Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved."

~ Anonymous

'ALSO:

'"Life is a tragedy to him who feels, but a comedy to him who thinks."'

~ Horace Walpole

Best wishes to all for the [still] New Year!

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Canardo,

Every sensible person must realize that left and right meet back to back on a CIRCLE. They are mirror images of each other -- a RORSCHACH pattern.

I hope some day you and your compatriots will sweep aside the smokescreens, cobwebs, and dusty, musty draperies of obfuscatory rhetoric conjured up by academics to confuse non-intellectuals while hoping to make themselves appear smart, and realize that what I said above -- and what AOW kindly affirmed unequivocally -- is undeniably the TRUTH.

Tyranny is Tyranny no matter what banner it parades under -- or what "label" it wears. PERIOD!

FreeThinke said...

Jack,

I apologize for not always answering your questions directly. I mean no disrespect, but if you will trouble to read -- and digest -- what I and others have written, you will find answers.

I sense in you a lot of honest curiosity and no ill will at all, but I also see in you a nearly complete lack of faith.

By "faith" I do not mean belief in a particular religious dogma, but rather an an inability or unwillingness to realize that the most important aspect of Existence are intangible, immeasurable, and unable to be captured and stored in a container of any description.

We've been through all this before, and doubtless will again.

You -- like many intelligent "young moderns" -- seem to want absolute, incontrovertible physical evidence -- or some sort of mathematical proof that anything good, positive, encouraging, reassuring, charming, enchanting, delightful and affectionate could possibly exist and be powerful enough to govern any situation in a world as challenging and threatening as this.

All I can say after nearly 72 years of slogging along is that "acting, as IF you have faith" brings far more rewarding results than taking the opposite approach.

Genuine faith has nothing to do with smugness, self-righteousness or bigotry. The institutional Church -- in the main -- has functioned as Jesus Christ's worst enemy.

Big subject that, but suffice it to say that by opting for the accrual of Temporal Power, Material Wealth, and Social Control, instead of promoting ever deeper commitment to and understanding of the power of Love, Truth, Principle, Conscience, Loyalty, Courage, Empathy and Beauty to transform lives INWARDLY, The Church -- so far -- has failed in its mission.

I hope I don't sound as though I'm "lecturing" you? I'm not. I only hope that one day you might open yourself up to a whole range of possibilities you may not know exist.

I would advise -- all of us -- to spend more time arguing FOR than AGAINST.

~ FT

FreeThinke said...

A belated apology to Ms. Shaw for not answering her assertions about Conservative Tyranny.

I'll try to do it now as succinctly as possible, because it's getting very close to dinner time, and I'm treating self to a nice big sirloin steak that's been marinating in "secret ingredients" overnight. Eating red meat is a RARE treat for me, and I do intend to eat it RARE. ;-)

1. I know next-to-nothing about any governor -- conservative OR liberal -- ordering "vaginal probes" of women for any reason whatsoever. If true, it ought to be a national scandal, but apparently the policy, though suggested, was never implemented, is that right? You said little about the rationale for such a policy ( use the word "rationale" advisedly, because there could be no good "reason" for such a thing in my worldview.

2. HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE.

There is a self-righteous ASSUMPTiON on the part of leftist-activists that this simply MUST be A Great Good Thing, and that it's a moral OUTRAGE that society persists in denying it to this poor VICTIM class.

I, personally, am neither for, nor against homosexual marriage, but I think it's rather SILLY of both friends and foes alike of the issue to treat it as though it were something of Great Importance in the face of all the GENUINE problems we must confront.

Since I was born and raised in and around New York City and am neither naive, uneducated, nor stupid, I probably know a lot more about the realities of the Urban Gay Subculture even than most Bostonians.

Let me tell you this: It's neither beautiful nor virtuous. HOWEVER, many intelligent, accomplished homosexuals have chosen to live quietly, modestly -- and quite contentedly -- in quasi-married relationships without any "help" or hullaballoo from the obnoxious, in-your-face trouble-making elements, and do in fact resent the loud, aggressive attempts of self-anointed do-gooders to do what THEY think best for a societal element about which the Ostentatiously Indignant faction in all probability knows little or nothing.

3. The issue of ABORTION, which again leftists self-righteously assert as a GOOD, RIGHT and NECESSARY THING, is -- no matter how you slice it -- MURDER. The very second the sperm penetrates the egg a human soul begins its journey towards consciousness and the opportunities life accords.

I believe that, and yet I never have been MILITANT in my distaste for abortion. I've heard the litany hundreds-if-not-thousands of times from BOTH sides, and will not revisit it, but I honestly believe that in RARE instances this MURDER of a nascent, insensate being MIGHT be justifiable.

As a libertarian I passionately believe that GOVERNMENT has NO LEGITIMATE PLACE WHATSOEVER in the BEDROOM, the WOMB, the VAGINA, the SCROTUM -- or any aspect whatsoever of interpersonal relations between consenting adults -- with the exception of the historical proscription against Murder, Mayhem, Rape, Torture, Theft, Vandalism and Extortion.

All sexual activities willingly engaged in should be regarded -- and respected -- as strictly PRIVATE matters in which government has no part.

My parents both went to their graves without ever revealing to me -- or anyone else so far as I know -- whether or not they ever had oral sex, anal sex, sex with "toys," or whether they ever had sex before they were married either singly or together.

And you know what? I don't feel in the least cheated or deprived.

Do you know WHY?

Because it was NONE of MY BUSINESS.

Respectfully submitted,

FreeThinke

PS: I would speak more at your blog, Ms. Shaw, but as a general rule I make it a practice to avoid blogs where "Comment Moderation Has Been Enabled." It constipates the flow of conversation to all-but intolerable levels. Nevertheless, I thank you for posting my remarks whenever I do make them. - FT

jez said...

Waylon: no need for hindsight, or for any insights into the diplomatic secrets of the time. The nazis were signatories to the anti-Comintern pact and their commitment to the domination of ethnic Slavs and the acquisition of territory in the East for Lebensraum were matters of policy. Compared to the Germans' open hostility the Soviets were keeping poker-faced, but they had a treaty with France designed to contain Germany.

IMO, Stalin was not in the least surprised to find himself at war with Germany, rather he considered the treaty merely as a delay of the inevitable conflict.

Jack Camwell said...

I wasn't referring to you in my response, FT. I was referring to others. You do a good job at not dodging my questions.

But you misunderstood me. I had hoped that my question at the end would have aluded to my outlook on things.

Two people can look at one object and see two different things. The psychology of those two persons is the same: they both believe they are seeing the truth. If they see two different things, then one of them has to be wrong.

Put them both into a room, have them sit down and describe to each other what they see, and they will argue. Each one of them will claim to have the right answer, insisting that the other is wrong.

But my question is: what if they're BOTH wrong?

I consider myself to be a post-modern. Sure, I don't have faith, but I also don't need concrete proof, because I know that I'll never have it. I simply accept that there is truth beyond my perception, and I try to come as close as possible to discovering it.

I believe in absolute truth. Something either is, or it is not. But I also subscribe to the notion that we may never discover those absolute truths, at least not in their entirety.

Existence is a big place. It would be silly of me to presume that something exists only when I have concrete proof of it.

"I don't know," is a phrase with which I have become increasingly comfortable.

I don't mean offense by this, but I am really not sure why you seem to misunderstand me and misjudge me so often.

FreeThinke said...

"I am really not sure why you seem to misunderstand me and misjudge me so often."

I don't believe I do, Jack, but it's not my place to make armchair diagnoses at great distance, and risk losing the connection we have, such as it is, by telling you what I think may be lacking in your approach to life.

From what I've seen of "Post-Modernism" it's nothing with which I, personally, would like to be identified. It doesn't seem to help in the development of a sanguine, optimistic, altruistic, good-humored, happily creative way of life. And from the little I know (or discern) it seems to encourage, foster or abet entirely too much self absorption.

But then I long ago rejected the fashions, trends and mores of my own time, and have lived -- quite happily -- outside the mainstream as a quasi-eighteenth, early-nineteenth-century sort of fellow.

I've paid a price for that, of course, but have done so gladly. I couldn't care less what others may think of me for the way I chose.

It's amazing what you can get away with, if you set your mind to it, and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to follow your heart instead of the dictates of Fashion.

I would like you to find inner peace and contentment. I hope you do.

~ FT


Shaw Kenawe said...

FT: "1. I know next-to-nothing about any governor -- conservative OR liberal -- ordering "vaginal probes" of women for any reason whatsoever.

SK: This was all over the news for a very long time. The governor who proposed it was the governor of Virginia, and it was proposed to intimidate girls and women who sought abortions. It had nothing to do with anyone's medical needs.


FT: "2. HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE.

There is a self-righteous ASSUMPTiON on the part of leftist-activists that this simply MUST be A Great Good Thing, and that it's a moral OUTRAGE that society persists in denying it to this poor VICTIM class.

I, personally, am neither for, nor against homosexual marriage, but I think it's rather SILLY of both friends and foes alike of the issue to treat it as though it were something of Great Importance in the face of all the GENUINE problems we must confront."

SK: A rather selfish and narrow view of this issue, which is a constitutional issue--equal protection. Marriage is a right conferred by the state--one must obtain a license in order to be married, and when a couple is married, they enjoy tax and other privileges (insurance policy benefits, etc.) which are given only to married couples. This is a civil rights issue. The constitution forbids withholding rights from a minority. Homosexuality has been part of the human race since we fell out of the trees. It is natural, even if it is a minority of humans. We Americans pride ourselves on being exceptional people. Exceptional people don't oppress minorities.

FT: "Since I was born and raised in and around New York City and am neither naive, uneducated, nor stupid, I probably know a lot more about the realities of the Urban Gay Subculture even than most Bostonians.

Let me tell you this: It's neither beautiful nor virtuous."

SK: Well any subculture has its differences, no? There is a subculture of ordained men of God that molested and raped little children and was protected by a "virtuous" Church. That does not mean all clergy are monsters.

You say that you know something about homosexual subculture? Interesting. I know something about gay and lesbian mainstream life, and it is as mundane and straight as any other in this culture.

FT: "3. The issue of ABORTION, which again leftists self-righteously assert as a GOOD, RIGHT and NECESSARY THING, is -- no matter how you slice it -- MURDER. The very second the sperm penetrates the egg a human soul begins its journey towards consciousness and the opportunities life accords."


SK: "That's a religious concept. I and millions of others do not believe in a "soul."

We won't argue this subject, since you take a severe dogmatic position, and will not be moved.

I say the government should stay out of it and leave these difficult decisions to women and their physicians.

Thersites said...

Advice for homosexuals from Albert Einstein...

"If A is success in life, then A = x + y + z. Work is x, play is y and z is keeping your mouth shut."

Stanley Kowalski said...
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Stanley Kowalski said...
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Anonymous said...

"Liberals are wonderful people. The only thing wrong with them is that they know so many things that aren't true."

Ronald Reagan

Stanley Kowalski said...

I wonder how many liberal women complain about the abortionist's sticking things into their precious vaginas? Their boyfriends?

Sticking things into their vagina's are what got them into the doctor's office to begin with.

jez said...

Is Stanley defending this particular form of tyranny, or does he not consider imposing vaginal probes to be tyrannous, provided the receiver is not a virgin?

Stanley Kowalski said...

A medical procedure is a "Vaginal Probe" is much the same way that applying a hemorrhoid cream on one's finger would be an "Alien Anal Probe." Regardless of what you call it, "medical procedure to confirm life viability" or "Vaginal probe", the actual intent of the legislation was to help affirm the future "health" of the child being contemplated and JUDGED for DEATH.

But then, why should LIBERALS allow the practice of "science" to get in the way of THEIR actual desired agenda, the killing of minorities before they can apply for welfare.

Stanley Kowalski said...

provided the receiver is not a virgin?

ps - Last time I checked, no virgins ever required an abortion.

Stanley Kowalski said...

Of course, there was this one chick, but no modern day "scientific" type EVER believed HER story.

Thersites said...

PS - Do medical authorities prohibit virgins from receiving vaginal probes? Who knew?

jez said...

FreeThinke, we present a real disagreement about what constitutes "tyranny," this time from the right wing. These (this?) people (person?) sees no tyranny in the vaginal probe policy.

IMO it's important that we come to some agreement, or at least understanding, as to what constitutes tyranny and how to recognise it. You tend to ignore this part of the problem, assuming that "we know it when we see it" or something. Well, look here: we clearly don't know it, here's an example and you didn't have to cross over to the exotic left to find it.

Stanley Kowalski said...

"Infanticide w/o restrictions... " the new battle cry of the Left. What next? I think we already know. "Euthanasia w/o restrictions"... autopsy's are unholy violations of the deceased family's delicate sensibilities...

And we wonder WHY the Left HATES science so...

Free Anal probes for homosexuals! Woo-hoo!

Stanley Kowalski said...

Speaking of tyranny, I wonder what the Left thinks of black boxes for ALL automobiles... or laws requiring that 20% of all electric power purchases come from "renewable" sources...

Micro-managing society much?

No smoking, cut back on salt, vaccinate all children (male AND female) for STD's. Mandatory but FREE AIDS tests for everyone over 14... the list goes ON and ON and ON...

...but lets raise a ruckus about "vaginal probes" for abortion seekers...

Stanley Kowalski said...

...and force NUNS to buy contraception insurance coverage.

FreeThinke said...

I believe we get the point, Stanley -- and I am in full agreement, although I certainly wouldn't want "The State" to poke around in MY vagina -- if I had one, that is, which of course I don't.

I don't agree with Ms. Shaw's militant, doctrinaire attitude toward abortion, but I DO agree with her contention that the GOVERNMENT has NO business in ANY of this stuff.

But I still say, the best way for young women to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to keep a book firmly pressed between their knees at all times.

OR perhaps some modern, more hygienic version of The Chastity Belt could be developed?

Temporary tubal ligation, anyone?

I do love to see feminists go into high dudgeon over these largely manufactured issues. Their humorless ravings can be downright comical.

Hope this clears up MY position on this issue?

I just go BERSERK when anyone tries to tell me what i should and should not believe -- from ANY direction.

When I say I am a libertarian, I MEAN it.

Directness can be dull, I know, but there it is.

I dislike equivocation.

Rational Nation USA said...

" Four authors have told us well in advance exactly what we are doing to ourselves:

E.M. Forster - The Machine Stops (1909)

Aldous Huxley - A Brave New World

George Orwell - Animal Farm and Nineteen-Eighty-Four

Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

I find it highly ironic that these authors all considered themselves creatures of the left,..."

To this list of writer that considered themselves from the left you can add the Tea Party favorite,Ayn Ran. Of course I suspect few in the Tea Party oron the right would understand what she meant.

Actually I should clarify, Rand considered herself a radical, not a leftist. A radical for capitalism, a pure true capitalism. She despised the right AND didn't like Ronald Reagan. Why, because she she correctly identified the American right's tendency to be fascist in make up.

She was right and it is why I no longer identify as a conservative. Rather I identify as a Classical Liberal in it's truest meaning. Those that really know history will understand why.

For those who do not... OH WELL.

FreeThinke said...

"She [Rand] despised the right AND didn't like Ronald Reagan. Why, because she she correctly identified the American right's tendency to be fascist in make up."

Et tu, Lester?

Waylon said...

@ Rational Nation

I'm another one who does owe Ayn Rand gratitude for opening my eyes to the corruption of the education that we have been inundated with which leads to recognizing a "problem" with our system and concluding that since it is "capitalist" then we must surely correct it by embracing socialism. My understanding of her views was that the staus quo isn't exactly capitalism per se, but rather being a mixed economy it has more in common with socialism that capitalism. I first read Atlas Shrugged over 40 years ago, and in the meantime, I think my views have been tempered somewhat—I'm not nearly as intolerant of opposing points of view and don't quite embrace her ideas as rigidly as before.

I remember when Alan Greenspan was appointed to the Council of Economic Advisers and Rand attending this "inauguration" at the White House as it was covered by the news magazines back in the day. Now in retrospect, after Greenspan spent decades being an insider, and economic manipulator par excellence, I can see that his pretending to be a representative of "free market capitalism" was a sham. Since I don't believe that you can perform the job of Federal Reserve Chairman, and manipulate interest rates, money, credit and fiscal policy by fiat and call that capitalism, then conclude that his original ideas that the "free market" doesn't work, as he believed and wrote about before, that he was wrong in his earlier thinking.

I don't think he could reach that level of command and power in the government bureaucracy by being principled and honest. As he said the Chairman of the Federal reserve is more powerful than the President of the country. He sure never brought about any capitalist revolution, but meekly served those who put him there, IMO. In the process he became a corrupted soul of the man that began many years before by embracing foundational honest ideas.

Maybe the corruptive slime in Washington is so corrosive that it eats the soul out of even the best intentioned, to be somewhat generous.



Waylon said...

I didn't get the impression that she hated Ronald Reagan because the right wing Republicans were fascists. She hated him because he was somewhat religious and was not in favor of abortion—which she considered to be a woman's right to choose...to kill the unborn baby. Not that she(Rand) was ever a mother...

FreeThinke said...

Hi, Waylon. Always good to have you aboard.

Greenspan -- like Caesar before him -- was ambitious, and this in him -- as it was with Caesar -- was "a grievous fault."

Jefferson too wisely regarded ambition (to attain high office) as inherently corrupt and possibly evil:

"Whenever a man has cast a longing eye upon them [public offices] a rottenness begins in his conduct."

He also said:

"In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will cultivate, and improve. Every government degenerates ..."

~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

I think, however, Greenspan's unseemly marriage to Andrea Mitchell -- one of the most militant, desperately unattractive, openly biased, disgustingly brash, crassly-assertive Feminazis in the enemedia -- proved to be his undoing.

Rand, whom I am old enough to seen "in action" on TV, was just such a person, herself. She, came, of course, from a tribe long noted for being contentious, aggravating, overly assertive, and above all addicted to endless dispute.

When young, I instinctively recoiled from Rand because of her manner, which most Americans found repellent -- if not downright repugnant. And it was patently obvious she took herself much too seriously -- a trait regarded as inappropriate and socially unacceptable at the time.

~ FT





FreeThinke said...

I wanted to make one more point, especially with Les, but others as well:

Forster, Huxley, Orwell, and Atkins were literary artists. They wrote compelling works of fiction that stand as remarkably astute perception of what the future ultimately has brought to us. Bother Forster, and Orwell, particularly were great writers capable of producing compelling narrative and brilliant dialogue that stands well on its own purely as literary entertainment.

Rand was much more of a polemicist. Her writing tends to be stiff, her dialogue stilted, her tone didactic. Rand's work, despite the considerable value of its intellectual content, is too obviously allegorical and noticeably tendentious to qualify as literary art.

~ FreeThinke