Saturday, December 28, 2002

Bill Whittle has an essay about American Empire that is definitely worth the read.

Here's an excerpt:

Accusations of “Imperialism” are flung at us so frequently, and met with so little defense, that it is actually shocking to see how easily such a simplisme charge can be overturned.

To be Imperial is to possess, or hope to possess, an empire, and these slanders have been made for about a century now. The Cambridge International Dictionary of English defines “empire” as “a group of countries ruled by a single person, government or country.” Oxford paperback dictionary calls it “a large group of states under single authority.” Cambridge goes on to define “imperialism” as “a system in which a country rules other countries, sometimes having used force to obtain power over them.”

ANY rational person can see that the United States does not meet these qualifications by any stretch of the imagination. What nations do we rule? Whose legislative bodies can we overturn with a wave of the hand? Where on this planet do people live under an American flag who do not wish to? And as Jonah Goldberg correctly points out, where are our governors and our tax collectors so that we can siphon off the meager wages of our Imperial Slaves? What kind of empire does not have these imperial mechanisms?

The full essay is way better than this excerpt. There's even a very interesting discussion the comments.

IMO, if we we had Imperial pretensions our accusers wouldn't utter a single word. These people love tyrants or at the very least keep their negative opinions to themselves.
Via Porphyrogenitus is this article from John Derbyshire. It's some commentary about the halcyonic reverie for liberty gone by from Fred Reed and G. Gordon Liddy.

Here's an excerpt:

Liberty is a wonderful thing, but like every other good, it has a price, and the price for many people was too high. They traded in their liberty for some security, creating the America and the Britain we have today. Nobody twisted their arms about it. They accepted the trade gladly, willingly — indeed, many of them fought bravely, and some even died, so that the trade could be accomplished. The older, freer way of things was, as Fred puts it so succinctly, "self-eliminating."

The rest of the article is really worth the read. The above caught my attention because I too have thought the same. Whenever I come across someone lamenting the loss of some idyllic yester-year I think the same way. The people of that time willingly left the old way behind. Most likely because it sucked compared to what they thought they could gain from the change. Sure some things were lost but it should be kept in mind that they mostly were traded away.

Also, those who sing the praises of the greatest generation also fail to keep in mind that these were the same who enacted the Great Society.

It is nice to know that someone else besides me knows that liberty is not an absolute to most people.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Over at Samizdata is this post about the the udeniability of Marxist horror. There's even a comment from yours truly (near the bottom.) The post was a comment and a request for the coo day gras to marxism (and its offshoots.) Porphyrogenitus set the tone when he discussed his doubts about the ability of libertarians to confront faith based political philosophies. How do rationally oriented libertarians confront subjective irrational political systems. He asked for specific tactics. There was also a reference to this article which is worth a read. Make sure you scroll down for the anti-communist bibliography.

I posted a comment that I would like to elaborate upon.

First, I don't see Marxism as the root of the problem. Marxism is just the latest variant of man's metaphysical orientation. What I mean is that there is inherent within the psychological properties of man a desire for utopian states of being. All religions have this orientation.

Reason has been the hand-maiden of this orientation since time immemorial. In this stage reason's duty was to make the metaphysical reality consistent, to add versimilitude. With the advent of philosophy, reason begins to come into its own. Metaphysical orientation is still present (ie Plato's Forms, the cult of Pythagorus, Socratic discussion of the gods etc.) but reason takes a more prominent role. With Aristotle we can see the birth of the intellectual conscience and the beginning of a new orientation.

This orientation wants to enable man to live in this world. It is not merely anti-metaphysical it is a desire to have a truly physical orientation. It's immaturity is evident in its reliance on logos. This is clear in Aristotle's Physis. What it is missing is experimentalism, actual confirmation of well reasoned proposals. But, alas, this development is put on hold by the collapse of the Roman Empire. Humanity must return to religion until the intellectual conscience is rediscovered and improved. {As a side note this is what I find so anguishing about the Roman Empire's collapse. Think about where we would be now if the Ancients would not have had to be rediscovered.}

So now reason is resuscitated (by Aquinas et al) and the process restarted. With the Renaissance Mankind has its greatest epiphany-- let's test that argument; science is born. {I have always thought that there should be a global holiday commemorating the birth of experimentalism-- I propose sometime in spring because of the obvious symbolism } The fact that this development is primarily in the physical sciences is accounted for by the Church. Church suppression was weakest there. (Although not absent eg the Copernicus-Galileo debacle). But, any port in a storm. Science develops in the Temporary Autonomous Zones left by the political powers that be. Science becomes more effective and the Renaissance leads to the Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment elevates reason to equal status with the other abilities. There is an attempt to make it master. This leads to a the romantic reaction-- which gives rise to socialism. What is socialism but the dream of heaven unmoored from God. Reason makes it hard to believe in God anymore but does not extinquish the desire for paradise. This desire was older than God any way. The Republic is not a derivative of the Abrahamic faiths.

Marx comes along and rationalizes the Socialist creed. He makes it scientific. Marxism is about as scientific as Scientology. At least Hubbard had some flair and knew he was a fraud. It takes kahonays to create your own navy and set yourself up as commodore.{At a book signing Zelazny once said that Hubbard said that he was going to create a religion. And if any if Scientologists are reading this-- kiss my ass:)} Marxism is for those who have at least some kind of intellectual conscience. Plus those with a christian temperment get to follow their dream-- lofty goal with a little pay back on the way.

Socialism and its ultimate realization, Communism, are nothing more than secularized Christianity. Compassion leavened with revenge. This is why rational discourse is so ineffective. Who comes to a religion because of ratiocination? There might be some ad hoc rationalizations for ones beliefs but the religious impulse is there first.

Now we have rambled to the point where we can begin to answer what is to be done?

My proposed tactics:

1) Continued research into psychology of cult formation/maintenance. Understanding why people find these beliefs so appealing and how they become disillusioned will lead to methods to defeat these beliefs or at least render them harmless. {Keeping them from gaining access to the use of force, the First Ammendment to the US Constitution for example, is a good start}

2)Political Defeat of Socialists by any means necessary (including violence). How much misery and suffering do these people have to cause before the anti-Socialists feel justified in using force to defeat these bastards. Our only concern should be whether what we can do individually is worth the costs involved. Tim McVeigh had the right idea, read his biography, but picked a stupid target. {I believe that the FBI sniper/assasin in the Ruby Ridge debacle is fair game. There is no way in hell he didn't know what his target was and no order could have been given that he could not have disregarded. Only he knew what he saw in that scope. The fact that he hasn't killed himself out of guilt proves that he is a murderer.} How many gulags, concentration camps, killing fields, re-education camps etc. does it take to realize that lethal force is authorized by any moral system that has a concept of self-defense? The Glob-Socs have one goal in mind, to amass the power necessary to impliment the workers paradise. This must be stopped. {BTW those punk-ass anarchists, the anti-global chapter, are open game. Let them see what its like without rule of law. }

3)Frame all debate in terms that the audience can grasp. Show how how the Socialist vision is enemical to their desires. Until the chandala revolt runs its course compassion will remain the penultimate virtue to the majority of mankind.

4)Intellectual Hygeine: realize that when you come up against those with the Socialist vision that you are NOT in a rational give-and-take situation. They are already idealogically immune to discourse. All that you are going to get is a debate with the sole purpose of making you look stupid/evil. Keep the context firmly in your mind. {I once watched Chomsky, C-span, riposte a questioner who was attempting to jsutify capitalism by bringing up the improvement in the quality of life that it brings. Chomsky quipped that slaves in the ante-bellum South had an improving standard of living also but that didn't justify slavery. The context dropping was so masterfully executed that the questioner was left dumb-struck.} Keep in mind that the majority of people still operate under a compassion-centered ethic, even if uncondiously. This ethic will trip you up if you don't realize that it predominates in your system of ethics. Show your audience that Socialism is full of compassionate platitudes but that wherever it has been implimented it has only brought suffering. Realize that you are dealing with human desire which is not always rational. The greater the desire the less reason enters into it.

5) Refine your rhetorical skills, if you can't go the violence route. The Glob-Socs are very good rhetoricians but they are not invulnerable.

6) Stop focusing on altruism as the root cause. Just because Rand declared it to be the scourge of the world doesn't make it so. Anti-altruism only appeals to those with Objectivist leanings. Rand defined altruism in a way that most of its supposed adherents wouldn't recognize. To most people being a good person means being nice to others. Tacking rational onto self-interest doesn't change anything. You can't talk someone out of feeling compassion, so stop wasting your time.

7)Continue to nurture the fledgling institutions that allow liberty and rationalism to develop (ie private property, rule of law, minimalist state intervention, captilism etc.)

8)Most importantly: Keep your head up
What we are trying to change is a metaphysical-oriented psychology that spans eons. The intellectual conscience has really only just arrived. It needs time to develop the strength to dominate over man's previous disposition. The process has only just begun and is proceeding quite nicely if you take the long view.

Keep hope alive!!

{As you can tell I am strongly influenced by Nietzsche, but I also know that even he has to be overcome. He's not my god or anything. Plus you Randites out there should reconsider him. Rand's disapproval of him shows that she didn't really understand him. It's apparent to me that she dismissed him on the basis of some bad translations of his work and the misappropriation he suffered later on.

This post was written while I was hopped up on cold pills so seperate the wheat from the chaff accordingly.}

Thursday, December 19, 2002

While coming into work today I got held up at a train crossing. It struck me that train engines must be pretty damn powerful. Why don't we ditch the Horse Power unit and start using Train Power (tp). Here is link to some specs along the lines of what I'm talking about. I propose 1tp= 5000 hp.
Well, after I successfully completed my shift last night I went home and got some sleep. Of course I played some more when I got up. I've gotten so into this freakin' game that I hear the noises all the time. The sharp percussive crack with deep bass undertones of the 203 haunt me. lol

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

There haven't been any posts because I've been playin' marathon sessions of Army Ops. It's amazing how fast time can pass when you're playing. I just kept telling myself OK one more round and then I'll go to bed.... 12 hrs later I'm poppin' mega doses of caffeine to stay alert enough to go to work.
There haven't been any posts because I've been playin' marathon sessions of Army Ops. I haven't even been surfing that much because of that game. It's amazing how fast time can pass when you're playing. I just kept telling myself OK one more round and then I'll go to bed.... 12 hrs later I'm poppin' mega doses of caffeine to stay alert enough to go to work (and I'm armed... scary lol)

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Here's a more substantive post to get the ball rolling.

I just finished reading Edward Bellamy's Looking Backwards. I will have to check but I see a lot of modern Leftism in it. I even saw the term "living wage" in it (almost at the end of the book.)

My biggest criticism is all the damn melodrama. Jesus, did every author in the 19th century have BPD.

I found the love/hate relationship that the Hysterics have for Reason pretty ironic. I am amazed that Mr. West was so enamored with intelligent coordination (which is heavily dependent on ratiocination) when it is fairly obvious that he has never had a dispassionate thought in his life.

Bellamy's economics is pure Marxist/Socialist with a corporate board twist. This grafting of corporate managing style with civil government was sort of a fad in the early part of the 20th century. Even my hometown of Dayton, Oh adopted a board style of govt. I especially liked Bellamy's carriage metaphor in the beginning. The ressentiment is just...... mwah.. say magnafeek! Of course to update the metaphor-- all that really happened is that the old riders were put in front of the old pullers and the new riders jsut whipped them harder. I could this one some more but I think you get the point. (Although, I liked Solzhenitsyn's "the Chariot ride of Stalin" better.....captures the horror better)

To return to his theory of economics, it can be ignored. The experiments have been run, results analyzed, brutalized peasants freed and the gulags mourned. Command economies only produce one thing, misery for all.

Written when it was you can sympathize with his optimism. Hell, I wouldn't mind living in his fictional world. It's just that after a century of people implimenting the Socialist progrom I realize that his Boston 2k operates on fantasy principles. Just like all utopias. (That includes Galt's Gulch ya freaks)

This book barely qualifies as a novel. It's more of a socialist treatise written in narrative form. So with perfect hindsight I find the philosophy to be unsound, the protagonist a hyper-emotional freak, and boston 2k to be the worst kind of dream because it allows so much misery and torment to be visited upon the human race while promising them their heart's fondest wish.


P.S. I almost forgot to mention that this peice of crap can be downloaded from the Gutenberg Project
I wanted to post more yesterday but I ended up working and then playing Army Ops at my brother's all night long. I got killed early (within 3 min) every game. I also had 0 kills. I need way more practice. But look out when I get the keys reflexed in.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

The Armed Liberal has a post about his frustration about the growing (public) face of Liberalism. Part of the problem is the irrelevant Left/Right dichotomy. That's why I prefer the Cartesian political graph. Political philosophy has always been inadequately served by a one-dimensional spectrum. I first read about it in one of the Imperial Stars series (vol 2 I think) by Jerry Pournelle. If I find a link to the 2d system and it's explanation I'll let you know. BTW I'm in Quad II *(if I'm counting it right counter clockwise).

UPDATE: It's in volume one.
That's it for now. I'll tyr more later.
everything good so far
There they are. I just needed to refresh the page. let me change some spacing.
Damn! I changed the template to add links but it is not showing up. I wonder if I have to wait for something to be updated.
I have to learn some html. Will start posting probably next week.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

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t2 t2
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