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smitty_one_each's Journal: A Dozen Short Points On The Big Picture 231

Journal by smitty_one_each

I'd just like to respond to a variety of my good interlocutors, briefly, on a swath of topics.
Social:

  • Life: begins when the information that defines you is available: conception. You own your own greatness, or not. You don't own the non-greatness of others.
  • Gender: is defined by chromosomes. Become the best male or female you can: body, mind, and soul.
  • Marriage: has its premise in the production of life. Understood, other variations. But what difference, at some point centuries hence, do they make?
  • Freewill: if you're arguing it doesn't exist, then why're you even reading this?
  • Unscalability: people don't scale. The larger the group you consider, the less powerful assertions you can make about them, without stooping to the crudest stereotypes. There is an inverse square law afoot: the family is strongest, followed by the clan, followed by professions, citizenship, etc. This is why if you want to move a large number of people in an organized way, you have to thrash their individuality and put them in a uniform. This is why the one-size-fits-all theories of Progress are dying. To the extent it can be said to work empirically, the one-size-fits-all of Jesus Christ is the best you've got, and even Christians don't agree on what that means.

Political:

  • Conservativism: is based upon the Lockean notion of the individual.
  • Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.
  • Republicans: born to end slavery, the elite of the GOP is fungible with the Democrats, perpetuating debt slavery.
  • Federal Reserve: the power to inflate the currency urinates all over the spirit of the Constitution, granting too much power to un-elected knobs. The lack of will from either branch of the Ruling Class even to audit, much less reform this beast is telling.
  • ObamaCare: is the legislative/economic equivalent of the Doomsday Machine from Star Trek. In true Progressive fashion, it accomplishes the opposite of its title. This is a time, to quote Iron Maiden, to "Die With Your Boots On." Can this bureaucratic D&D Black Pudding be stopped? Hopefully; my metaphorical blender just 'sploded.

Historical:

  • Slavery: sucked. It had a variety of social and economic causes, including false notions of inferiority based upon extrinsic characteristics. However, the guilt for slavery is owned by those who actually held slaves, just as the guilt for Jim Crow is owned by its perpetuators in the modern Racism Idustrial Complex. I forgive those who try to pin such guilt on me, in the hope that, if forgiveness spreads, growth can occur.
  • Foreign Policy: if you think about it, our Constitution is defensive in nature: some powers were delegated by the States to a Federal government for mutual protection. Progress has begotten the Team America World Police concept since Bretton Woods. That it ran for 50 years needs to be seen as about as good as it gets. What follows is totally unclear.

So, there you have it. These are my positions, arrived at slowly, and not given to much adjustment. I'm not accepting blame, nor do I think I've blamed anyone in particular. I don't even blame Obama for ObamaCare. Our situation sucks, and it sucked Cthulhu right out of R'lyeh. If Barack had stayed a stoned Hawaiian, tearing tickets at Jack Johnson concerts or whatever, they'd've polished another tool for his role. So don't over-credit the putz. Our decadent point in American history has plenty of sad little Commies who could've done the job. Our task is to realize the dream of the Founders, with an informed, educated electorate.

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A Dozen Short Points On The Big Picture

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  • I think a few of your bullets missed the mark

    Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.

    You seem to be confusing the progressive acts in this country - which are few, far between, and not particularly progressive - with the progressive ideals of freedom through opportunity. That said, even the progressive ideals are not Marxist in any meaningful way, they are primarily seeking to see that people actually are able to realize their full potential regardless of which vagina they crawled out of.

    Republicans: born to end slavery, the elite of the GOP is fungible with the Democrats, perpetuating debt slavery.

    I'm not sure how you could possibly come up with "born t

    • I'll reply to this to include that there are a few people out there whose conservative politics considerably predates John Locke and his notion of the individual. And to point out that John Locke is considered "the father of classic liberalism", and therefore is not a conservative.

      • Don't believe any of it. He, they actually, are every bit as authoritarian as you say you are. The rights of the individual, such as access to uncontaminated natural resources, which includes land and rights of way, are and always will be subservient to the market collective and religious indoctrination. If he believed in freedom, that is what he would actually advocate. In his ideal world, we wouldn't need the government facade to hide the businessman's iron fist.

        • What matters isn't if it is a paradox, but whether it is a dox.

          There is no problem with authoritarianism if the morality it teaches is connected to reality instead of trying to enrich a minority. The market collective is irrational.

          • Well, until authority can be shown to be above and beyond nature, it's only provable 'moral' imperative is 'might makes right'. It is the denial and defiance of authority that will stop people from killing each other. The market collective may or may not be rational, but it is most logical and natural, as any collective must be. It is just another method of aggregating power and advantage employed by the naked ape.

            • Denial and defiance of authority directly causes people to kill each other.

        • will be subservient to the market collective and religious indoctrination

          "market collective" is an oxymoron, but bonus points for skillfully conflating the chemical solution with the precipitate.
          "religious indoctrination" is true for some cases, e.g. cults.

          In his ideal world, we wouldn't need the government facade to hide the businessman's iron fist.

          So you're accusing me of espousing anarcho-libertarianism, then? Regret I hadn't been clearer, I suppose.

          • Market collective is not an oxymoron. It's all about economies of scale. If it were otherwise we all would be able to afford and buy individually designed cars and appliances, made to taste. And people that have to work would be paid a livable wage. The individual is only considered as part of the aggregate. By himself he is less than useless, a complete liability, unless he works for free. In today's collective we have the top 20% income bracket moving 80% of the market. The rest of us aren't even noticed,

            • I guess you're using "market collective" where everybody else I've ever met in my entire life would say "marketplace".
              On the one hand, I guess you're demonstrating the creativity you seem to think impossible in the marketplace.
              On the other, I almost always suspect you're peeing in the intellectual pool, as here. Your precise purpose, while not clear, probably isn't good, judging from history.
      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        "Classic liberalism" is, by today's standards, conservatism.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          Funny, because by today's standards, your classical conservative is a Kenyan marxist.

          • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

            False. (ProTip: if you're going to lie, you should make your lie plausible.)

            • by PopeRatzo (965947)

              And if you're going to call something a lie, you ought to at least have some shred of refutation.

              But that's just not in you, is it, pudge?

              The 18th century conservatism of Adams and Burke is nowhere to be found in the cheap grifters that call themselves conservatives today. Burke's writings on radicalism and revolution probably have had more influence on today's liberals than on hucksters like Ted Cruz or Mark Levin. At least Burke had a basic dedication to honesty.

              • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                And if you're going to call something a lie, you ought to at least have some shred of refutation.

                False. I ought to refute arguments, not baseless assertions.

                The 18th century conservatism of Adams and Burke is nowhere to be found in the cheap grifters that call themselves conservatives today.

                Yes, you're doing it again. You're providing baseless assertion, and you're lying.

                Burke's writings on radicalism and revolution probably have had more influence on today's liberals than on hucksters like Ted Cruz or Mark Levin.

                Yawn. Provide an argument. Provide something to refute. Say what it is about Burke's writings that differ from modern conservatives, or is similar to modern liberals. Go ahead. Quote from Burke talking about basing society on property and commerce, and show how it is more akin to liberals than conservatives. If you want me to provide a shred of refutation, the

        • So what is a traditional monarchist?

          • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

            So what is a traditional monarchist?

            Someone who prefers a monarchy. Shouldn't you know that?

            • No, I mean, on the scale of liberal to conservative, where does the traditional monarchist fit?

              • by Arker (91948)

                Good question.

                IIRC the left and right dichotomy dates to the french assembly. The merchants and incipient capitalist class on the left, the traditional aristocracy on the right. Both were opponents of royal power, so I guess the monarchist has to be off the scale somewhere.

                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  Monarchists can be either left or right. While Arker is correct about the aristocrats being on the right, so too were many merchants, just like today: those that wanted the government to be the servants of capitalists and grant favors or be generally activist were on the left, while those that wanted a more laissez-faire model were on the right. And yes, they were all opposed to centralized monarchical power. But that said, a monarchist could be in favor of more or less activism in the government, more o

      • Absolutely. "Short Points" can't begin to offer more than a hint at the direction of the thought. And "classical liberalism" is not an insult, applied to modern conservatives.
    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.

      You seem to be confusing the progressive acts in this country - which are few, far between, and not particularly progressive - with the progressive ideals of freedom through opportunity.

      No. He is talking about how the progressivism movement began, which have little to do with "opportunity" and are mostly about fairly extreme socialism.

      Republicans: born to end slavery, the elite of the GOP is fungible with the Democrats, perpetuating debt slavery.

      I'm not sure how you could possibly come up with "born to end slavery".

      Again, that was the explicit point of the beginning of the movement: to end slavery.

      Federal Reserve: the power to inflate the currency urinates all over the spirit of the Constitution, granting too much power to un-elected knobs. The lack of will from either branch of the Ruling Class even to audit, much less reform this beast is telling.

      Do you realize why the Federal Reserve is headed by "un-elected knobs"? It's because they aren't a government agency.

      False. It is. All claims that it isn't are pure fiction. It was created by the government, it is regulated by the government, it's within the Executive Branch, its leadership is appointed by the President, and so on.

      The government has a little bit of influence over the fed by appointing its chair but that is pretty much the extent of the relationship.

      You mean other than the massive regulation over it by the

      • Thanks, boss. You answered the mail about as well or better than I could.
      • Nice of you to join us, pudge. How very unexpected of you to make your first comment after a long dry spell here be a reply to one of mine. I won't say I'm honored or anything.

        Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.

        You seem to be confusing the progressive acts in this country - which are few, far between, and not particularly progressive - with the progressive ideals of freedom through opportunity.

        No. He is talking about how the progressivism movement began

        In part, he is trying to describe (what he sees as) the start of the progressive movement. Granted, placing it as being rooted in Marxism in any real way is dishonest at best, but that isn't the biggest problem with the statement. By his giving that definition and then not making any suggestion at it being irrelevant he is direct

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          your first comment after a long dry spell here

          False.

          placing it as being rooted in Marxism in any real way is dishonest at best

          Nonsense. The movement, begun over 100 years ago, was heavily rooted in a Marxist understanding of the economy and labor. Wilson certainly held those views. Despite your protestations, this continues today. Obama believes -- or claims he does -- in the fundamental conflict between labor and owners, that owners primary gain wealth through exploitation of labor, and that government has all authority and responsibility to regulate owners in any way they see fit, without regard to morality or liberty.

          • your first comment after a long dry spell here

            False

            Your own comment history [slashdot.org] supports my claim. You had last written a comment here in April. Three months is a long dry spell in comparison to the frequency with which you used to post. Furthermore the first comment you posted was in reply to the comment I made.

            Being as you couldn't even be honest with your first word in this most recent reply, I don't see any reason to expect that you actually want to have a conversation with me. I keep hoping that maybe someday you will want to be civil, but you keep

            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              Three months is a long dry spell in comparison to the frequency with which you used to post.

              False.

              Being as you couldn't even be honest with your first word in this most recent reply

              False.

              I don't see any reason to expect that you actually want to have a conversation with me.

              Translation: "I got my ass handed to me. Again. And I have no rebuttal that won't sound stupid, so I'll resort, as usual, to ad hominem."

              • I can't force you to acknowledge reality, pudge. You can choose to be petty and hateful if you see that as being a useful tool for your agenda. I don't expect you to ever answer this question but why do you even bother to write messages to me when you don't want to have a discussion? I have never seen someone who wanted to have an actual honest discussion respond in the way that has been your standard M.O. towards me for years now.
                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  I can't force you to acknowledge reality

                  Yes, but that is not the problem. The problem is you are incapable of actually presenting an argument that backs your view of reality. (ProTip: this is a sign that maybe your view of reality needs adjustment).

                  You can choose to be petty and hateful

                  I am neither. Please stop lying. Thanks!

                  why do you even bother to write messages to me when you don't want to have a discussion? I have never seen someone who wanted to have an actual honest discussion respond in the way that has been your standard M.O. towards me for years now.

                  You do realize -- don't you? -- that I am the one who made serious arguments to you, and you're the one who responded with ad hominem ... right? I mean, anyone looking at this knows that I am the one engaging in honest conversation, and you're the one who is

                  • I am the one who made serious arguments to you

                    No, you did no such thing. You replied with a few half truths, a laundry list of partisan lies, and a collection of insults as well. You have followed this same pattern of condescension, arrogance, and ignorance for years whenever you have found yourself in a conversation with me here on slashdot.

                    I mean, anyone looking at this knows that I am the one engaging in honest conversation, and you're the one who isn't.

                    You can insist on living in your own reality, if that is what you want. I don't know why you would expect thinking people to accept it as theirs as well though.

                    If you were actually capable of honesty, I wo

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      I am the one who made serious arguments to you

                      No, you did no such thing.

                      You're a liar.

                      You replied with a few half truths, a laundry list of partisan lies, and a collection of insults as well.

                      You're a liar. I replied with not a single instance of any of those things.

                      You have followed this same pattern of condescension, arrogance, and ignorance for years whenever you have found yourself in a conversation with me here on slashdot.

                      You're lying.

                      If you were actually capable of honesty, I would recommend you to ask yourself the honest question of what you are trying to accomplish by entering into a discussion where I am present.

                      This is where you are deluding yourself: my replies to you do not take you into account. They have nothing to do with you. You are not the center of my world. You're barely on its periphery, and I do not do or say anything in particular regards to you. I am simply responding to your comments as they are.

                      It seems to anger you when I expose your lies

                      You're a liar on both counts. I rarely if ever get angry on Slashdot, and I don't recall that I've

                    • I am the one who made serious arguments to you

                      No, you did no such thing.

                      You're a liar.

                      This is exactly why you and I cannot have a conversation, and I am puzzled why you even pretend to want to try. You enter into a discussion with the attitude that your opinion is god's own truth and wholly irrefutable.

                      You replied with a few half truths, a laundry list of partisan lies, and a collection of insults as well.

                      You're a liar. I replied with not a single instance of any of those things.

                      That suggests that you did not read my reply to your reply, where I showed those things to be the case with your reply. I can't force you to go back and read it. I won't even suggest you to re-read it as you just gave strong evidence that you likely haven't read it for a first time yet.

                      You have followed this same pattern of condescension, arrogance, and ignorance for years whenever you have found yourself in a conversation with me here on slashdot.

                      You're lying.

                      A

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      You enter into a discussion with the attitude that your opinion is god's own truth and wholly irrefutable.

                      You're lying. I never, ever, do that. I do nothing less than you: I make assertions that I believe are true. Of course, my assertions are more often backed by facts and reason, but that's beside the point.

                      That suggests that you did not read my reply to your reply, where I showed those things to be the case with your reply.

                      False. I read that, and responded to you with more arguments, mostly refuting your claims. Then you replied with no more arguments, but went full frontal ad hominem, and then dishonestly claimed that I was the one who was not wanting to have a discussion.

                      How do you explain your insistence on putting me on your perma-hate list [slashdot.org], then?

                      I have no such list. Please stop lying. I hav

        • placing it as being rooted in MarxismCould you please quote me accurately? I said strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx This is nowhere near "being rooted in". If I had wanted to say I thought Marx was inheriting directly from Rousseau, I would have said that.
          The essential issue I have with collectivist notions is that, in chemical terms, they seem to contend that the molecule precedes the atom.
          The silliness of saying the group precedes the individual wouldn't be as economically devas
      • ..the federal government was deeply involved in all of those decisions you're referring to.

        Heh, puppets on a string, doing what they are told, by the people who "financed" each of them into their position, and can easily have them taken out. So, waddya got? Old money vs. New Money...

  • Gender: is defined by chromosomes. Become the best male or female you can: body, mind, and soul.

    Sex is defined by chromosomes. Gender is defined by a combination of nature and nurture. What does it mean to be the best male or female you can be, without looking to society?

    Marriage: has its premise in the production of life. Understood, other variations. But what difference, at some point centuries hence, do they make?

    True, but freedom says they should be allowed to be married if they wish (whether or not government recognizes that, or any other marriages, is a separate question).

    • What does it mean to be the best male or female you can be, without looking to society?

      Optimization, especially in the spiritual sense, involves rejection of societal confusion.

      True, but freedom says they should be allowed to be married if they wish (whether or not government recognizes that, or any other marriages, is a separate question).

      I don't dispute, particularly at the federal level, that attempts to legislate behavior are a mixed bag, on their best day. Furthermore, outings like the DOMA put conservatives on the path of embracing statism. Gross boo-boo.

      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        Optimization, especially in the spiritual sense, involves rejection of societal confusion.

        But spiritual growth involves embracing and extending societal confusion. It isn't efficient, but it's worthwhile.

    • Marriage: has its premise in the production of life...

      True

      No, that's false. The original premise of marriage is the peaceful transfer of property. The reproduction of life, aside from survival of the species, is to keep it in the family. And the religious angle didn't enter into it until the church became the state a few short thousands of years ago. And yes, all governments should be forced into recognizing "non-traditional" marriage contracts amongst humans (seeing that non-humans can't give consent) as a recognition of inheritance and visitation rights that all

      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        Marriage: has its premise in the production of life...

        True

        No, that's false.

        False.

        The original premise of marriage is the peaceful transfer of property.

        Nope. The premise of the union itself is production of life. The premise of the social institutions around marriage, including the laws and customs, is largely about property. But that comes after.

        And the religious angle didn't enter into it until the church became the state a few short thousands of years ago.

        Nonsense. Religion was an inherent part of the marriage unions and customs long before the church became the state.

        ... all governments should be forced into recognizing "non-traditional" marriage contracts amongst humans ...

        False. The Amish should feel perfectly free to not recognize gay marriages, for example.

  • I actually disagree with a lot of this, to one degree or another, and for whatever it's worth.

    • Life: Began once, a very long time ago.
    • Gender: is linguistic and cultural, not (directly and necessarily) biological. In a lot of ways the reason this entire issue is so hard to deal with (and why both pro and anti have lots of passion on it) is because it is a genuine culture war phenomena. There is a clear cultural and linguistic divide between those that admit only two genders and expect their contents to l
    • Your take on marriage is a bit "modern", to say the least. The real deal behind it is how much land a family can accumulate without having to fight a war. Something that made polygamy very advantageous, until all the bickering made it unworkable. I mean, really, imagine having 20 or 30 sets of in-laws.

      • by Arker (91948)

        It's really not 'modern' at all, again, this pattern that's been pushed as 'traditional' was essentially unheard of in this country before WWI, and only after WWII did it really become the dominant pattern.

        Before that, the typical home was larger, the typical household larger, and children were the beneficiaries. It was not unusual to find three generations together, it was unusual NOT to find that. This means more adults to provide for them, materially and otherwise, and greatly reduces their chances of be

  • You said

    Marriage: has its premise in the production of life. Understood, other variations. But what difference, at some point centuries hence, do they make?

    So then if you place the premise of marriage as being to create children, do you then not have an opposition to polygamy? After all, that can produce a lot of children. And how about incestual relationships? You didn't specify healthy children...

    That said, the topic many people are discussing regarding marriage is what the government should or should not recognize. Please, for the sake of posterity, clarify your stance again on this. You've almost certainly said it before, but just for the

  • I have a little perspective on that to share as well.

    Let me say that my family has been Republican since the 1850s and one of my twice-great grandfathers was a Republican candidate before Lincoln. Same man served in the Confederate Army until being wounded and discharged, and then continued in the Virginia Home Guard until the end of the war.

    I dont think the Republican party, or any other significant group in the USA at the time, wanted to end slavery in the sense we think of it today. Both sides of the mai

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