From “The Ethics Incompleteness Principle” Files: Memphis, Tennessee’s Confederate Statues

A better application of the Ethics Incompleteness Principle would be difficult to find than the decision by Memphis, Tennessee to remove a huge monument to Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, and an even larger heroic equestrian statue (above) of Nathan Bedford Forrest, swashbuckling Confederate general and (allegedly) the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan,  from two public parks.

As we have discussed here in great detail, I am unalterably opposed to the current mania among our Left-leaning friends and neighbors  of tearing down statues, monuments and memorials honoring  past historical figures because their lives, beliefs and character do not comport with current day standards or political norms.  This primitive exercise in historical censorship has been especially focused on famous and notable figures from the Confederacy, although recent efforts have targeted George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and even Theodore Roosevelt. Of the attacks on memorials to Confederate figures, I wrote,

[ Union veterans]  didn’t think of the former Confederates as traitors, or racists, or slavery advocates. They, like the Union veterans, were just men of their times, caught up in a great political and human rights conflict that came too fast and too furiously for any of them to manage. They were caught in the same, violent maelstrom, and knew it even 50 years earlier. Soldiers on both side wrote how they admired the courage of the enemy combatants they were killing, because they knew they were, in all the ways that mattered, just like them. It was the Golden Rule.  After the war, these soldiers who had faced death at the hands of these same generals, officers and troops, did not begrudge them the honor of their statues and memorials, nor their families pride in the bravery of their loved ones.

Yet now,  self-righteous social justice censors who never took up arms for any cause and in many cases never would, employ their pitifully inadequate knowledge of history to proclaim all the Civil War’s combatants on the losing side as racists and traitors, and decree that they should be hidden from future generations in shame. We have honored men and women for the good that they represent, not the mistakes, sins and misconduct that are usually the product of the times and values in which they lived. In doing so, we leave clues, memories, controversies, differing views, and stories for new generations to consider and better understand their own culture and society, and how it came to be what it is.

Those who want to tear down monuments to the imperfect, whether they know it or not, are impeding knowledge, perspective, wisdom, and understanding. They want only one view of history, because they will only tolerate one that advances their ideology and values—just as the Americans of the past believed in their values. Foolishly, I suppose, they trusted future generations to act on their own ethical enlightenment without corrupting the historical record.

I feel strongly about this, as the tone of that post, far from my first on the subject, shows.

But…

For you see, in ethics there is always a but. No matter how valid, well-reasoned or important an ethical principle or system may be, there will always be a situation or three where its strict application creates an unjust, unethical, or absurd result. This is the Ethics Incompleteness Principle at work…

The Ethics Incompleteness Principle: Czech-born mathematician Kurt Gödel’s two Incompleteness Theorems, which relate to mathematical proofs, are  the inspiration for this observation that applies to normative rules, systems, moral codes, laws and other principles. The human language is not sufficiently precise to define a rule that will achieve its desired effects, that is work, in every instance. There are always anomalies around the periphery of every normative system, no matter how sound or well articulated. If one responds to an anomaly by trying to amend the rule or system to accommodate it, the integrity of the rule or system is disturbed, and perhaps ruined. Yet if one stubbornly applies the rule or system without amendment to the anomaly anyway, one may reach an absurd conclusion or an unjust result. The Ethics Incompleteness Principle demands that when a system or rule doesn’t seem to work well when applied to an unexpected or unusual situation, the wise response is to temporarily abandon the system or rule and return to basic principles to find the solution. No system or rule is going to work equally well with every possible scenario, which is why committing to a single system is folly, and why it is important to keep basic ethical values in mind in case a predetermined formula for determining what is right breaks down.

Thus I have to approve of the Memphis decision. While it should not serve as a general justification for historical airbrushing, the city’s action is fair and reasonable because of the unusual, indeed unique circumstances surrounding it:

1 Memphis was where Martin Luther King was assassinated by a white racist. T

2. The city is fast approaching the 50th anniversary of that 1968 tragedy, and is planning events to honor the memory of the civil rights martyr.

3. The city is now 65% African American.

4. Davis and Forrest are not exactly Jefferson and Washington. Davis may have been a statesman with some accomplishments before the Civil War, but he wasn’t even a successful leader of the rebellion he chose to lead. Forrest was a brilliant military strategist, but leading the KKK [NOTE: the original version of the post erroneously said “founding.” EA regrets the error and apologizes to its readers.) should have obliterated any claim he had to a public honor: it’s like saying John Wilkes Booth deserves a statue because we was such a talented actor. The suspicion would linger that the real reason Booth was being immortalized was because of what he did in a theater that April night in 1865, just as it is widely believed that Forrest got his statue because of the KKK, not in spite of it.

Balancing all the factors operating in Memphis, I have to conclude that in this case, removing those Confederate statues is ethical. The immediate harm of allowing them to stay, embarrassing the city as it tries to honor Dr. King, far outweighs the usually valid arguments against historical air-brushing—provided, of course, that proponents of politically correct statue-toppling don’t try to make Memphis a precedent rather than the anomaly it is, and use the Memphis exception to go after Washington, Jefferson, Madison and the rest.

 

 

93 Comments

Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, History

93 responses to “From “The Ethics Incompleteness Principle” Files: Memphis, Tennessee’s Confederate Statues

  1. Paul Compton

    How about the statues go into a museum where they can be placed in a historical perspective and become, assuming a balanced presentation, a teaching tool?

    • valkygrrl

      What historic value do mass produced 100 year old statues that were strategically placed in areas with large black populations have that a museum would want them?

      Auction them off to the highest bidder and those monstrosities can go to where they’re actually wanted.

      • Billy Bearden

        Mass produced?
        Show us all please where at least one other of your “mass produced” statues of Forrest currently reside.

        And since you lack any historical knowledge, Memphis was majority white when it was put there as a headstone on his and his wife’s grave.

        Is it really ethical to be so full of hate and ignorant of historical fact like you are?

      • Paul Compton

        Perhaps you have just demonstrated why, if they are removed, these statues SHOULD go in a museum and be used as a teaching tool valkygrrl!

        • valkygrrl

          They’re just so overflowing with space that they need a larger than life, mounted on a horse bronze plated Nathan Forest?

          I you can find a museum that wants them, by all means. I just don’t think you will.

  2. Andrew Wakeling

    Well said. It might seem somewhat hair splitting but I suggest removing the statues is ‘not unethical’ rather than ‘ethical’. There is no ethical requirement to remove the statues and not removing them would also not be unethical. Sounds like a good thing to do though.

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Not a big fan of either of those men, especially Forrest, who I consider one of the 30 greatest villains of history, but I don’t approve of the underhanded methods used here, because, as you quite rightly point out, this is likely to become the precedent, not the exception. It would be all too easy for Bill DeBlasio to sell the land under monuments he doesn’t like to shame purchasers and boom, Columbus Circle becomes Russell Means Roundabout overnight.

  4. When this subject came up before, I did a little research on Forrest. It turns out he is more than the one dimensional villain he has typically been portrayed as.

    On the one hand there was the apparent massacre when his troops captured Fort Pillow in 1864(?). Fort Pillow was partly garrisoned by black troops, and black Union soldiers were more than once treated very harshly when captured by the Confederates.

    On the other hand, there was apparently some controversy as to exactly what role Forrest actually played in the formation and early days of the KKK. It is evidently true, though, that he did disavow the Klan and I believe helped act against them in the 1870s. He also was invited to speak to a black organization (what, I don’t recall), and IIRC spoke favorably of blacks and rights for them.

    Jeff Davis I know relatively little about, except for him being a rather poor military strategist (especially as contrasted with Lincoln).

    All this basically means little, except to point out that there is generally more to a person than the memes passed down through the popular histories.

    • Greg

      “Treated harshly” is a euphemism. There is no doubt at all that Forrest ordered the black troops captured at Fort Pillow to be murdered after they had surrendered. From the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant:

      Forrest, however, fell back rapidly, and attacked the troops at Fort Pillow, a station for the protection of the navigation of the Mississippi River. The garrison consisted of a regiment of colored troops, infantry, and a detachment of Tennessee cavalry. These troops fought bravely, but were overpowered. I will leave Forrest in his dispatches to tell what he did with them.

      “The river was dyed,” he says, “with the blood of the slaughtered for two hundred yards. The approximate loss was upward of five hundred killed, but few of the officers escaping. My loss was about twenty killed. It is hoped that these facts will demonstrate to the Northern people that negro soldiers cannot cope with Southerners.” Subsequently Forrest made a report in which he left out the part which shocks humanity to read.

      It’s possible to excuse Forrest’s founding of the KKK as leading a movement that committed excesses, as those of other conquered peoples have done. But Forrest should have been hanged long before then for his war crimes.

      • Greg

        I meant to say “resistance movement”

      • Paul Compton

        Greg,“The river was dyed,” he says, “with the blood of the slaughtered ….”
        doesn’t, necessarily,mean they were murdered after surrendering. Equally,
        “…. demonstrate to the Northern people that negro soldiers cannot cope with Southerners.” implies to me that they were killed in action.

        It seems likely to me that Forrest’s trained and highly experienced soldiers came in contact with a poorly trained, inexperienced group of soldiers that were based in a location where the Union wasn’t expecting an extensive attack.

        Grant’s memoirs, as quoted by you, say: “These troops fought bravely..”, which may be nothing more than a heroic phrase, but if the above memoirs and considerations are as I have surmised could well lead to a massively lopsided battle and equally lopsided casualties.

        I don’t have any skin in the game for Forrest or the South; I am merely discussing what we can, or can’t, claim as fact from the information presented here.

  5. Other Bill

    I wonder how much the early days of the KKK were the functional equivalent of a post defeat insurgency, the kind of thing Robert E. Lee militated against as being counter productive.

  6. I find it odd that Elihu Yale (yes, that Yale) has thus far been spared the Lefty sharpshooting.

    Not only was he a Slave owner, he was a scum-of-the-earth “active and successful” Slave Trader affiliated with the notorious East India Company.

    http://digitalhistories.yctl.org/2014/11/01/elihu-yale-was-a-slave-trader/

    Say, the Clintons are Yale alumni, am I right?

    Using what qualifies as logic these days, it’s not that much of a stretch to see that they have ties to the slave trade.

    I request a ruling…Chris?

    • Other Bill

      You mean William JEFFERSON Clinton?

      • Other Bill

        Maybe they should have a “name that university” contest for the students. Kind of like when Stanford dropped “The Indians” as their teams’ name and the students voted overwhelmingly for “The Robber Barons?” Needless to say, the Trustees weren’t going for that. Maybe Yale could just change “Elis” to “Slavers?”

      • ”JEFFERSON” is strike two.

        In a cruel twist of fate, the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act is strike three.

  7. The US is entering a very important crossroads, yet it has not become sufficiently aware of what is going on and why. In the most simple terms the ‘original US’, which is to say the white population has been and is now being strategically replaced by an influx of non-whites. In just a few more years when the demographics shift, the white population will be further displaced and the power-block of the rising demographic will gain more control.

    This race issue is not merely a national issue but is one that is being dealt with in Europe and certainly in all the English colonies and ex-colonies. It is now seen as a thoughtcrime to even mention this issue except, of course, if one is working with the progressive factions to see these processes increase.

    Oddly, and I think as a result of my studies of Black Liberation issues and of the American Civil Rights movement, I have no problem understanding how Blacks in this region would feel about those statues. I can even support their sentiments. But at the same time I have little difficulty understanding and also supporting the sentiment of the white Southerner as the victim, if you will, of a terrible Northern intrusion and occupation. Now, so many years farther on, one sees what the result of all this is. The result will be and is now a different octave of what had been set in motion in those early days, and what was clearly described by some of those Republican radicals at that time: the blending of the two major races into a ‘copper colored’ nation. It was seen then, it was understood then, and slowly and surely it has progressed right up to the present. And now, as is evident, the demos will carry the original process forward.

    In order to turn against any part of this process, and many of the different *processes* which are now being carried out so evidently in our present, one has to become capable of dealing with issues in a cold, intlellectual way. The present is dominated in large degree by sentiments and sentimental actors. This becomes ‘social hysteria’ and a sentimental mass-consciousness that acts in the present according to what seems right and seems fitting. This current is incredibly powerful and one quickly discovers how susceptible one is to it when one attempts to confront it.

    The ‘larger argument’ must become one in which white people as a block succeed in defining their interests, defining who they are, and defining themselves as different from the ‘rising tide of color’ as Lothrop Stoddard wrote in the 1920s. It will become and it is now becomming necessary for white people as a block to go through the very difficult and painful interior process of coming to see Reality and the definite possibility of ‘white extinction’. The number-studies have been done. The demographic studies have been undertaken and the finding presented. It it is not resisted, and if a counter-movement is not initiated, validated, given power and understood as ethical and moral, the destructive trends clearly visible in our present will simply continue.

    So, as I muse on ethical issues, and as I have been deeply thinking about all these things over the time that I have known of this blog and participated in it, I have had to clarify my own view of things. I am 100% committed to white identity politics and there are hundreds and thousands of people just like me who are at the beginning stages of developing a political platform that places emphasis on our concerns.

    It is inevitable that these statues come down. Next it will be inevitable that the suspect-president’s statues come down. What is now being put in motion will continue since there will be no one to oppose it. And once the demographic shift has increased and a newer population finds its voice the very Nation will be redefined in new terms. This has been, of course, a revolution, and this is what revolutions do.

    The only way to oppose it is through the articulation of IDEAS. This is a counter-revolutionary endeavor and has been begun, and will continue!

    • ”a terrible Northern intrusion and occupation.”

      Yankees (interlopers in “The War of Nawth’n Aggression.”) were hated by southerners for any number of reasons.

      Even though it’s nearly 80 years old, W. J. Cash’s “The Mind Of The South” puts a pretty fine point on it.

      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/114560.The_Mind_of_the_South

      Heck, I have a 60 something Texan (transplanted to Papau, NG) e-pal that still thinks DamnYankee is one word…

      • valkygrrl

        Heck, I have a 60 something Texan (transplanted to Papau, NG) e-pal that still thinks DamnYankee is one word…

        No that’s DamnYankees.

        The game, the game, we’ve got to think about the game…

        • If you hail from the Sunshine State, why not Cracker, I mean CrackerS?

          Über Lefty moron Tommy Christopher: “although the term (cracker) is derogatory in much of the country, in Florida, it’s a source of pride.” It symbolizes a “rich cowboy heritage.”

          http://www.mediaite.com/online/cracker-means-something-entirely-different-in-florida-a-source-of-pride/

          • valkygrrl

            Can someone explain this post to me?

          • Other Bill

            That explication of cracker is the biggest pile of BS and misdirection I’ve seen in quite a while. I’m from Florida. Born in 1950. My dad sold farm equipment in Dade County. I used to go on calls with him. I can’t imagine any of his customers reveling in being called a cracker. George Zimmerman is a “White Hispanic.” He is not descended from pre-Civil War Floridians. Travon Martin was a black kid from Dade County. He wouldn’t know the supposed Pre-Civil War meaning of cracker from a hole in the ground.

            • A year and a half before that was the infamous exchange during a 01/2012 between Politico’s Jonathan Martin and MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: “Chuck, a lot of the counties in the Panhandle, in north Florida, the cracker counties, if you will…more resemble Georgia and Alabama than they do Florida.”

              https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/01/31/politicos_jonathan_martin_calls_conservative_florida_voters_cracker_counties.html

              Highfreakin’larious back-peddling/side-stepping ensued. But the ease with which it rolled off Martin’s tongue showed a deep-seated classist, elitist bent all too common in Lefties.

              And Dade County? Whoa Nellie, you can’t get much further south than that without yer hat floatin.’

              What kind of farmers did your Father deal with, vegetable?

              My Great Aunt-n-Uncle lived in Hialeah until they moved back up north…to Interlachen.

              • Other Bill

                Green peppers, radishes, strawberry, black eyed peas, tomatoes, scallions, turnips, green beans, okra, milk cows. What’s the old line, “Scratch a farmer, what do you get? A land speculator.”

                Miamuh was part of the sayouth in the ’50s and early ’60s before the Castros turned it into a South American capital.

                The farmers had such great names: Zeke. Caesar, Klaus.

                My brother played basketball against Hialeah. They wheeled Ted Hendricks out as the center. He looked and moved like a Bond villain but much less menacing.

                • Other Bill

                  From the Venezuelan rental car shuttle bus driver at MIA: “You know why the Cubans like Miami so much?” “Not sure.” “It’s so close to the United States.”

                • Milk…in ”Miamuh?”

                  Heh; that’s exactly the way my Great Aunt pronounced it.

                  She was born to Swedish immigrants in rural Iron Mountain, MI, which boasts one of the shortest growing seasons south of the Arctic Circle.

                  She milked cows with her folks, my Grammy, sister Gerta, & brother Carl.

                  As a serious gardener, I covet the growing season of Miamuh; likewise wherever you are in AZ…with proper irrigating capacity…

                  • Other Bill

                    I forgot to mention crook neck squash. Or, as my Chicago accented mother and aunts would say, “skworsch.” And cabbage. And broccoli. And key limes. And mangos. Most anything. Lots of dairies in Dade and Broward Counties. Dutch mostly. Dressel’s Dairy. White Belt Dairy run by the Graham family of the Florida secretary of state who certified the vote count setting up Gore v. Bush, etc. Katherine Graham? Not sure. McArthur’s Dairy. All those families became power house real estate developers. Just switched from growing pasture to growing houses and office buildings and warehouses. Easy.

    • Isaac

      “The ‘larger argument’ must become one in which white people as a block succeed in defining their interests, defining who they are, and defining themselves as different from the ‘rising tide of color’ as Lothrop Stoddard wrote in the 1920s.”

      No thanks.

      • Chris

        You took the words right out of my mouth. Well, you took out the profanity.

        • Andrew Wakeling

          Me too. Can’t think of any common interests I have with any ‘white people as a block’ other than skin cancer. Fortunately (as I watch our grandchildren play) the next generation has picked up a bit more melanin. Our ‘melting pot’ is turning out ‘coffee coloured people’ by the score, and that is wonderful.

          • Chris

            Alizia’s people would call this “white genocide.”

            • ‘Alizia’s people’, The People of Alizia! have become aware of an issue. Some understand it as a ‘crisis’, some do not. But to understand what is being referred to, and to decide for oneself if the argument has merit, one has to devote responsible study to it: https://thisiseuropa.net/whatiswhitegenocide/

              Once it is understood, then it can be talked about. Then the debate can begin. But not until then.

              However, it is important to note that in our present it often happens that the possibility of understanding a given question or problem is rendered impossible through the tried and tested method of ‘shaming’ or ‘ridicule’. That is more or less your department Chris, is it not? I notice that it is often quite effective since, as it happens, to think and see contrarily to what is allowed in our controlled and controlling present does amount quite literally to thoughtcrime. What this means (for ‘us’) is deplatforming from social media accounts, public shaming and blaming, hack articles and hack exposes, doxing (name and address given out so that antifa-style activists can harrass, and empoyers can fire), and the other side of the equation: investigation and harrassment by state police (Britain, Germany, Sweden, et cetera) and in the US lawsuits brought.

              What is one to say about this? Something, nothing? Just as hard as you will try to suppress a conversation and a discussion, and to shut down intellectual investigation and questioning, in direct proportion we will resist you and thus get our rational and responsible message out.

              • Still Spartan

                “White” people are not endangered. We are not polar bears or cheetahs. We are humans. Humans are the most prolific mammals on the planet, and are certainly the most successful animal generally — if not the most numerous. If we take off our skin, we look identical. Our skin color is no more interesting than it is to notice that a littler of kittens can all look different from each other. Sure, we can have different ideas from each other — but that all has to do with culture, not skin color.

                There is nothing special about the color of my skin. And the people who think there should be are pathetic assholes.

                • In fact that ‘argument’ in pro of white identity is really a package of concerns. It is not, necessarily, ‘white skin’ that is being referred to, but a whole group of different elements. Again, to understand the position one must study it. This takes time. Culture, history, locality, intentionality, will, all these things are part of the equation.

                  The pure ‘racial purity’ argument, in my view, does not work. I think it was Lothrop Stoddard who critiqued very strongly the ‘Teutonic imperialism’ of the Germans, and for good reason. However, ‘white people’ or ‘white civilization’, and certainly ‘white America’ (or Canada, or Australia, or Europe) are relevant and necessary definitional terms. And these ‘identities’ have been and are now under severe attack.

                  However, the entire area of concern is and certainly can be denied. Liberalism of the sort running around these days does that quite well.

                  I fully get that you do not accept any part of the argument that I would put forward. I have no issue with that obviously. I am of the opinion that there are larger issues at play, and much more ideological underpinning to the arguments on each side, and that it is more valuable to understand the contending positions and what informs them. This is a fair approach in my view. Less acrimonious.

                • “ ‘White’ people are not endangered.”

                  That runs counter to many White Lefty Guilt sufferers who wax philosophically about the “Browning” of America, where EVIL>/b> Whites will no longer be the majority and a whole new World Order shall be ushered in to reverse-discriminate and, you know, like, teach ’em a lesson.

                  https://www.npr.org/2016/10/12/497529936/how-the-browning-of-america-is-upending-both-political-parties

                  These White Lefties hilariously believe that after the Revolution they’ll enjoy some sort of special dispensation, likely because they’re somehow down with it.

                  Why? That’s anyone’s guess, but I suspect they believe their “Look At Me” bumper stickers, their “I’m Dialed In” lapel ribbons, or their ”Gosh I’m Nice” wrist bands will single them out as “hip” and separate from those targeted for retribution/reparation.

                  Ohhhh what I’d pay to witness them being hauled off to Diversity/Re-education Gulag while squealing pitiably in protest: “you’re making a BIG mistake, I’m wearing a #BlackLivesMatter T-Shirt!!

                  ”We are not polar bears or cheetahs.”

                  FTR, Cheetahs are classified as “vulnerable.” “(C)ategorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve. Vulnerability is mainly caused by habitat loss or destruction of the species home.”

                  Polar Bears are a different story. They’re currently suffering from a devastating ~ 550 % population increase since the 1950’s. Their problems include overcrowding, affordable housing, good jobs being off-shored to the Antarctic, and Warmalista Alarmacysts shamelessly exploiting them to get people to hit the “Donate Now!” button.

                  • Still Spartan

                    I’m not sure why you are picking at my polar bears/cheetahs comment — whether endangered or vulnerable, human beings do not fall under either classification.

                    • While I agree with your“ ‘White’ people are not endangered” statement, they (Whites) are drawing their fair share of negative publicity; some earned but much brazenly discriminatory.

                      Apologies, I didn’t intend for the fauna comments to be picking. Let’s just say I’m too weak a soul to pass up an opportunity to…um…address Envirnoiac Ecogoguery.

          • Sure, Andrew, I understand your perspective. Because this blog is not designed for and limits extended conversations, it is not appropriate to rebut your opinion, more especially because it is a hot topic, and in any case I understand it and respect it. What I would say though is that on a blog dedicated to current events and ethical analysis that the issue of white identity, and the activism going on for it, and the sea-change from what I assume your to be and what informs it, I say that it is certainly a question that can and should be considered. Jared Taylor’s ‘White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century’ opens up the discussion rationally and carefully, as does ‘Essential Writings on Race’ by Samuel Francis. Intelligent, thoughtful people, concerned for their world.

            The only way for someone in your state and condition to understand what the argument is about would be to research it. Given your stated position it is doubtful that you would. You are essentially in pro of the dissolving of such identity, given what you write. Your position, from what I see of it, is at the core sentimental, perhaps even aesthetic! But the argument in pro of conservation of white identity is intellectual, structured and serious.

            More interesting it is to get the larger questions out on the table than it is to attempt to settle them in a forum debate (where people just end up butting heads and engaging in acrimony). In case there is any question my purpose in relationion to this blog, and my rather constant engagement in thoughtcrime, it is because I understand my concerns and my ideas to be valid —- as valid and important as anyone’s. And *we* as a movement, in the US & Canada, in Europe, in Australia and New Zealand, in South Africa and the Southern Cone of South America: we are here and we are here to stay.

            • Mrs. Q

              Alizia are the sources you mentioned biased or objective/neutral? Do you have such resources you wish to share? I think this is a topic worth studying to really understand what the white preservation movement is about and the differing views within it. I tend to prefer slightly academic sources so if you have anything from that perspective (also I prefer books to websites & YouTube videos) I’d like to take a gander.

              Am I a white supremacist to believe it’s ok to be white and take some comfort in being so? Am I a white supremacist to not want the whole world to be the shade of a latte?

              As a kid I was told numerous times (always by whites) that I was “the future” because of my skin tone and type of hair (not too black to have kinky hair, not to white to be pale). It was as if I was made into some living liberal white fantasy where all one needed for a brighter tomorrow was to mate your way into multiculturalism. Mixed race kids deserve to be more than objects of the laziest form of multicultural utopianism. I think it would be interesting to see why some are against “race mixing” and if there is any merit to consider from a wider view of the issue.

              And you’re right Alizia…we need to study and research areas of thought that may make us uncomfortable. Otherwise how will we ever know why we think what we think?

              • Hello there Mrs Q. You are asking an odd question. Because it implies some center point which you have determined to be a center and a neutral point. I imagine that you will agree that there is no position that is not ideological. Because there is no position that has not come to be through ideological influence.

                But I will attempt to cooperate with your enquiry nontheless. Taylor and Francis I would say are defining reaction-postures. I do not mean ‘reactionary’ necessarily or I’d have wrote that word. Is reaction ‘neutral’? When one reacts against an affront say? Or an invasion of one’s space? The reaction is usually to attempt to retain or regain balance, isn’t it?

                I have from time to time included a video-link or two but it always disturbs me that the video shows up as a clickable object. It clammors too much for attention and seems invading. It does not seem appropriate, on the whole, to use YouTube as a tool of persuasion.

                Still I have included a few from time to time. But I prefer to mention a search categories. For example ‘white identity politics’ or ‘European identity politics’. Any person, sitting in front of their computer instrument, can Google and get immediately to sources of information. As a general reference to the reactive postures that are being defined in Europe, and which are filtering toward America (a far tougher ideological nut to crack) I would suggest Jonathan Bowden’s ‘Western Civilization Bites Back’. The audio of the talk is on YouTube.

                You are like my lifeboat here, in a sea of watery hands that seek to pull me under! I appreciate very much that you can see some part of the point I wish to make, or the difficult area I am working in. Dur, dur d’être Alizia.

                If I include these specific brackets it seems to keep, I hope, the clickable, visible YouTube video from showing. Let’s see if it works. This is an excerpt from the longer version of the talk I mentioned above. I find it interesting that this rhetorical essay has a soundtrack! I have learned a great deal from Jonathan Bowden.

                [https://youtu.be/aR4MvD9IEAE]

                • Mrs. Q

                  Thanks. I’ll take some time this week to check out Mr. Bowden. And I get your point about bias…

                  I value your voice here Alizia and always have.

                • Andrew Wakeling

                  Thank you Alizia for keeping on in your civil way. Bowden disturbs me enormously. My immediate reaction is that this and he are ‘evil’ to the core and I should turn off and/or throw bricks. But I remember my Ulrike Meinhoff ( of the Bader Meinhoff gang). She talked about why it was necessary to provoke. It is to shake wishy washy liberals ( like I try to be) out of our ‘delusional niceness’ – so we will have to acknowledge our brutal core intolerance. Of course Bin Laden did that in spades. So I will keep trying to listen and think. You encourage me because you acknowledge doubt. I haven’t heard you being certain about anything. Certainty and arrogance block listening, and prevent understanding. If we don’t understand why we disagree, then maybe there is much else we don’t yet understand.

                  Yes I am very comfortable ( ecstatic even) that my children are migrating away from my core white Englishness. I live in a wonderful country (Australia) and a community which is trying to make a success out of multiculturalism and ‘care and share’ collectivism. But of course there is much still to do. Hopefully one day soon we will be able to listen peacefully and even respectfully to Bowden, and express our different views without throwing bricks or shouting. Our objective of course should be to persuade him to hear our wishy washy liberal views, and perhaps even be persuaded away from his anger and certainty. “The lion shall lay down with the lamb”: But it would seem very unwise for the lamb to doze off.

                  • OK, I can work within your metaphor! But I would counter-propose to your lion and lamb reference by saying the lamb is fully dozing and needs to wake up. And needs to identify (pushing on another metaphor) not so much who or what is the lion (which is nature quite simply) but who and what is the ‘wolf’, which is deliberate intentionality directed through manipulation … Wolfs in sheep clothing, that sort of thing.

                    I can only tell you something of how it has been for me. The website to which my gravitar links to I first came across 3-4 years ago. I was interested in a strange historical figure named Savitri Devi because I have been researching Julius Evola and other difficult personages on the fringes of culture, philosophy, and religion. I kept following these links that led back to Counter-Currents, but when I examined the material, and the material in relation to my own Jewish background, I had the distinct impression as if I was taking a bath in water vaguely smelling of sulphuric rot. I could not get over that impression.

                    Simultaneously, I was undetaking other sorts of studies, Shakespeare studies. And Harold Bloom was sort of my guide. In his book ‘Shakesepare, The Invention of the Human’ he lists all his sources. And as it turns out many of them were in the library of my sister’s husband. So, I began to read titles like “Elizabethan Psychology and Shakespeare’s Plays, ‘Shakespeare in the Light of Sacred Art’, and numerous others. But the one that really had an effect on my was ‘The Seventeenth Century Background’ by Basil Willey. His basic idea is that to understand the present (his book came out in 1957 so he is super-modern) it requires what he spoke of as a ‘master metaphysician’. The reason is because we exist in a ‘space’ that has come to us as a result of a vast metaphysical shift. We cannot *see* what has happened because we are not ‘master metaphysicians’, that is, enough familiar with the intricate terms of perception that defined one age and metaphysical view, and the one which now holds us and which we understand as given. I hope I can allude, at least generally, to a process of coming to see Our Present as a concoction; a group of ‘agreement’; a set of perceptual predicates. (And I was lucky, and I am lucky still, to be able to consult with my brother-in-law about all these things, his background being philosophy and history overall).

                    People say they do not understand what I am talking about, and they ridicule my not-so-perfect English and my obvious philosophical pretentions. I accept this. I see it as ‘taking my lumps’ as the saying goes.

                    But my basic assertion is that to understand our present, and to understand our very selfand selfs in this present, we need to abstract ourselves from it. We need to become not only aquatic but amphibious. As a metaphor, this means (as I continually and painfully repeat and draw ire by doing so!) that we have to come to understand how our own perception has been engineered by having absorbed, without really thinking about it, a specific and modern metaphysics. The ideological war, if you will accept this as a real and useful term, takes place essentially within metaphysical territory and dimension.

                    How does this ‘metaphysical awareness’ apply to what I certainly recognize as a problematic statement about ‘European Identity’ or ‘white identity’ or activism to protect both ‘Europe’ and Europe’s people? I answer by saying that it has to do with the most fundamental issues of value and meaning that are part-and-parcel of our very selves. In a certain sense I turn back to Bloom’s assertion about ‘the invention of the human’. And I also turn back toward this, and many other definitions and assertions, in what I do describe as a chauvinistic manner. I describe myself as an overt Euro-centric. This is not what you think it is nor what you think it must mean. To begin to describe that would require whole essays. But they have already been written! By people like Christopher Dawson, by those of the English Neo-Platonic school, by so many authors and intellects whose voices now dim in the post-Sixties era of (my assertion) nescience.

                    Now, I am aware of a ‘war’ being conducted against white identity and European identity. This all stems from the Second World War as I understand things. It is actually and more really the entire 20th century. I assert that the counter-battle is therefor the recovery or Identity in all the important categories. Just to name those categories will involve getting out from under powerful doctrinal impositions (as I call them). Therefor, a large part of the process, as I describe it, is 1) awakening to the war being conducted and isolating what it is being conducted against and why, and 2) defining the categories that must be rediscovered and pulled as it were out of oblivion, and 3) arming ourselves ideological and also spiritually against the psychic assault being waged against not just *us* but against the human spirit. Since I do recognize ‘metaphysical battle’ and ‘metaphysical struggle’, though you may not, I do see things in this light.

                    I do not see European Identity as necessarily a racial project nor a racist one. I see it in a much larger context which, I admit, is harder to define and explain. I have written a great deal about this over the years that I have participated on this site. It has been and it still is an uphill battle.

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      Alizia: wouldn’t it be better to throw out all the references to race and colour in your arguments? Why do you need it? I found it very hard to listen to Bowden when he started talking about how all the early communist groups had been dominated by Jews. He might be right but I don’t know why he needed to raise it – other than to provoke people like me and suck up to the evident anti semetics in his audience.

                      I can understand and even sympathise with the idea that ‘progress’, such as female emancipation and increased personal freedoms ( such as same sex marriage), come at some cost to traditional values. But you risk losing me if you seem to link those traditional values to ‘whiteness’ or even ‘Europeanness’. Maybe that is because of my bias and programming – but it is very real. You and certainly Bowden know that people like me are triggered negatively by any hint of racism or antisemitism. So why do you do it?

                    • Chris

                      Because racism and anti-Semitism aren’t tangential to their worldview. They’re crucial to it.

                    • A couple of things: I definitely recognize that many of my ideas are affronting to the ideas of perhaps the majority of those who write here. And certainly to those of the host of the Blog. I notice though that I have been tolorated and I certainly appreciate this. My perspective is definitely unsusual, given my foreign birth and that I am a naturalized US citizen who grew up Jewish and, through fate’s machinations, became a Christian (at significant cost given my family’s reaction). I can mention all manner of different contrast-factors which, certainly, have to do with my psyche and my psychology. But in any case what I wish to say is that I have a Jewish-critical position. It is a factor of my own being, of my own self.

                      Now, my valued yet constant critique Chris has wrritten and does write that I am anti-Semitic. Yet —- and I have told him this —- he does not have any idea, even a remote idea, what a ‘Jew’ is or isn’t nor does he know anything about anti-Semitism, couner-Judaism or what a Jewish-critical position can be. But I do. I know all about it. I have read all the main, known, and important texts. I would say that because of my knowledge and understanding, and my own matrix as it were, that I have resolved to become a Christian. But more: a Catholic. But I do not define anti-Semitism, though I do understand that for some what I name ‘Jewish-criticism’ can only be anti-Semitism. All these terms really have no power at all for me, or in me. They are meaningless to me. I can articulate many different elements of my Jewish-critical position but I would rather not because, as you demonstrate, no part of it is understood by such large segments of people in our present.

                      But here, on this blog and in what I write, I serve another function, too. I know a certain amount about an entire world of ideas of which you-plural have no knowledge. Indeed, *you-plural* are afraid to even consider the possibility of investigating those ideas and the people who are working in those areas. But I am a radical insofar as I read anything and everything. I know the writings of the main hyper-progressives and have devoted literally years of study to them. And I also have a good deal of familiarity with the thinkers on the other side of the scale: the hard-core ‘traditionalists’ like Julius Evola and Savitri Devi. I have broken out of any restraining controls about what I can and cannot think about.

                      I am not going to reveal anything about my Jewish-critical position, not here. I will mention though that these critical ideas are gaining tremendous ground in our present and hundreds and thousands and millions of people are reading the material that I have read and am familiar with. And (as I say) there is a world-scale movement that is developing now that seeks to define counter-propositional positions to the currents of hyper-liberalism that dominate the mind in this present. That ‘mind’ exists in a state of substantial indoctrination though, of course, you likely see yourself as speaking to an indocrinated person and you are, thankfully, in the ‘center’ and happy there. Idea-wars are afoot. Ideological battles are on-going. And it is a battle with consequences.

                      Race and cultural identity are highly relevant. ‘Race is real, race matters’ is how Richard Spenser has put it. If it did not matter it would not be so contended and such an astoundingly hot topic for the liberal and progressive set! They have, at least in numerous senses, made it relevant. And to this, in this madly condemning present which turns, visciously, against ‘whiteness’, we are rising up with a significant and a powerful identitarian counter-argument. I want that to happen. And I want it to happen much much more. I want to get out from underneath this crushing, critical assault, and I have put down my stake with Europe in this sense. If you wish to understand what *we* are thinking and why, the sources are available. I offered a link to Zoltar a few feet down in this thread. Public service! What disturbs you makes me laugh. I have already made it over these ‘humps’, so to speak. I know who and what I am, and what I serve. My core allegiance is, of course, my Catholicism in what I hope is the true metaphysical sense. I hate no one, and cannot hate anyone. Catholcism means service to man. But traditional Catholicism makes very different statements about what ‘service’ is than does perverse modern Catholicism. This I can also talk about (at length!) but I won’t. This is not the place for it.

                      I can tell by what you have written that you are only very peripherally aware of what I would call ‘the full dimension of the issues’. This very much is because of ‘bias and programming’. I think you are of a somewhat older generation? You are the generation that have brought us into this particular present, both in a creative sense, and then, more darkly, through what you have tolerated and encouraged. You did this, I really think, because you meant to ‘do good’ and defined ‘good’ in particular ways. It is your generation, unless I am quite wrong, that has constructed the multi-cultural world and the global multiracial dream. While I will not say that my (our) object is to take it apart, I can say that, ideologically, I am quite opposed to many of its features. Better put, we are constructing idea-platforms that defined a counter-liberalism. Just as *you* have built this model over 50-60 years, we are working to un-make it. But that is not quite right: we are revising it, revisioning it.

                      All I can suggest to you, and if only to have a bter understanding of the Jewish-critical position, is to expose yourself to it more. I don’t agree with him in all areas by any means but E Michael Jones is a pretty powerful voice within ‘our movement’. Many people, and many who are not Catholic as he is, have been influenced by him. I suppose that for you to speak of a ‘Jewish revolutionary spirit’ is to speak in sulphuric terms? To me is is somply one of my basic understandings of Jewish influence, especially in the aftermath of European Jewish emancipation.

                      So, here I have violated no rules, stated or unstated. I have only sought to open a topic for further investigation or, seen another way, to keep it from being shut down. That is half the battle!

                    • Andrew Wakeling

                      (Alizia: this is in response to your ‘last’ as the system limits the extent to which we can migrate rightwards to narrower and narrower columns : maybe that can be another accidental metaphor?)

                      We aren’t alive for very long and we can’t explore everything. We have to filter. A constant frustration is to be teased ( you do it constantly but I’m not complaining) that some ‘truth’ is just around the corner. Our teaser (like you) has of course read well around the corner and stands beckoning us forward. As you write : “*You-plural* are afraid to even consider the possibility of investigating those ideas and the people who are working in those areas”. Well I am not ‘afraid’ and I struggle not to feel patronised and insulted at the suggestion. (In passing your technique to ‘challenge’your target forwards is a classic in face to face salesmanship courses.)

                      So with a new determination to prove you wrong I set out to explore Savitri Devi Mukherji, who has apparently been part of your enlightenment and I head first to Wikipaedia and I find :

                      “Devi authored the animal rights manifesto The Impeachment of Man in 1959[4] and was a proponent of Hinduism[6] and Nazism, synthesizing the two, proclaiming Adolf Hitler to have been sent by Providence, much like an avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu. She believed Hitler was a sacrifice for humanity which would lead to the end of the Kali Yuga induced by those who she felt were the powers of evil, the Jews.[4] “

                      Hell’s teeth! Do I really have to go further? If I stop here is this proof that I am ‘afraid’? This (Sevi) looks like an absolute class one nutter. “Hitler was a sacrifice for humanity which would lead to the end of the Kali Yuga induced by those who she felt were the powers of evil, the Jews.” (And yes, I do know a bit about Yugas.)

                      I wish I could stop here and just dismiss your input as stemming from ‘madness’ or ‘badness’. ( One of our co bloggers has just called me an ‘idiot’ and told me to put my head in a bag.). But neither of these conclusions bring any form of satisfaction.

                    • Chris

                      I’ve never heard “Hell’s teeth!” before, Andrew. What a wonderful proclamation.

                      And clearly you’re just afraid to consider serious ideas, unlike Alizia, who is willing to enter the totally reasonable discourse of whether *adjusts glasses, polishes wine glass* Hitler was a sacrificial lamb to the Hindu gods

                    • But what I said, Andrew, is that I allow myself to read within a spectrum and at the far edges of Spectrum. You seem to ask me to defend Savitri Devi but my purpose in reading her —- and I would have preferred to talk about Julius Evola who is a far broader thinker, Devi being in her way monomaniacal —- was not to become her disciple but to understand how her mind functions in respect to the metaphysics that she came to define and hold.

                      That view took shape within a Vedic mythological structure which recognizes ‘avatars’; descensions of God into the manifest world. In the Vaishnava line (the worshippers of Vishnu) there are said to be 10 incarnations within this phase of history-manifestation, the last one (after Krishna if my understanding is right) being Kalki, The Avenger. Within that mythology, within that pattern of understading life and existence, Kalki will come to ‘restore cosmic order’, and within Vedism the notion of Order is a big one.

                      The reason to study these things, and in any case my reason to study them, was to further my understanding of metaphysics. I mentioned Cosmic Order in relation to Vedic thinking. We have a very definite correspondence to this idea in Shakespeare, and Shakespeare in the sense that he is speaking from a late position within European Scholasticism. You might find this excerpt from Troilus and Cressida interesting, it is rich with so many hidden references that can only be decoded if one understands the previous metaphysics:

                      The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre
                      Observe degree, priority and place,
                      Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
                      Office and custom, in all line of order;
                      And therefore is the glorious planet Sol
                      In noble eminence enthroned and sphered
                      Amidst the other; whose medicinable eye
                      Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
                      And posts, like the commandment of a king,
                      Sans cheque to good and bad: but when the planets
                      In evil mixture to disorder wander,
                      What plagues and what portents! what mutiny!
                      What raging of the sea! shaking of earth!
                      Commotion in the winds! frights, changes, horrors,
                      Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
                      The unity and married calm of states
                      Quite from their fixure! O, when degree is shaked,
                      Which is the ladder to all high designs,
                      Then enterprise is sick! How could communities,
                      Degrees in schools and brotherhoods in cities,
                      Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
                      The primogenitive and due of birth,
                      Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
                      But by degree, stand in authentic place?
                      Take but degree away, untune that string,
                      And, hark, what discord follows! each thing meets
                      In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
                      Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores
                      And make a sop of all this solid globe:
                      Strength should be lord of imbecility,
                      And the rude son should strike his father dead:
                      Force should be right; or rather, right and wrong,
                      Between whose endless jar justice resides,
                      Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
                      Then every thing includes itself in power,
                      Power into will, will into appetite;
                      And appetite, an universal wolf,
                      So doubly seconded with will and power,
                      Must make perforce an universal prey,
                      And last eat up himself. Great Agamemnon,
                      This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
                      Follows the choking.

                      As I mentioned previously, one of the most interesting areas of study is Shakespeare and the former metaphysics through which the European world was constructed. If one wishes to understand’modernism’ and what is going on in our world, now, one has to grasp what came before.

                      Now, in respect to the apocalypticism of the Vedic mythology, and the idea of an Avenging Avatar, I will draw your attention to ‘our’ The Book of Revelation, and suggest that, as it pertains to mythological consciousness it has been, and perhaps it still is, a document that has relevance in the project of interpreting reality. It surely had been a part of European consciousness for a very very long time. The point is not to defend the content and meaning of this Revelation, but only to succeed in pointing it out and indicating that the mythological structure of ideas may still (and I assert that it definitely does) have relevance within our modern context. If one wishes to understand Europe, one must understand Christianity, and to understand Christianity one must understand metaphysical medievalism. You may not wish to of course, and perhaps no one who reads and writes her wishes to, but this is my own area of interest and I certainly can describe why it is relevant to understanding our world and our present.

                      If one is interested in and concerned about ‘radical ideas’ and their effect, one need look no further than to, for example, Karl Marx, whose radicalism set in motion ideas which have significantly affected the world and, if that is one’s ruler, killed hundreds of millions of people. What is the purpose of bringing this up? No purpose except to indicate that ideas have power and, in one way or another, they mold the world we live in. You may be concerned about Savitri Devi as a ‘nutter’. OK. But are you just as concerned, or similarly concerened, when Marxian ideas brought into the body-politic through Frankfurt School activists and activism, have infected an entire generation, and quite likely your own self? Can yo see and understand this form of radicalism —- far more dangerous, far more devastating —- and the way it subsumes the present? I am pretty sure that you cannot. You cannot and a whole world of people like you cannot and will not! Thus: you are ‘captured’ as I often say by ‘destructive ideas’ and you cannot ‘turn round to look at your own self’.

                      I recommend that act: the ‘turning round’.

                      What interests me about Devi —- and I did get through at least half of her book ‘The Lightening in the Sun’ —- is her division of men (powerful and influential historical figures who appear in time) into those who work In Time, those who work Against Time, and those who work Above Time.

                      I think that you are expecting me either to 1) come out with some protracted defense of Savitri Devi and her understanding of Hitler as a historical figure, or 2) demonstrate how I distance myself from such a view, but I will do neither and I merely present a larger picture in which to see how Ideas funcion in the world, even today. It is important in my view to come to understand better how our own modern view has come to be established, and how it has come to see itself and to present itself as ‘normalcy’, if you will, and that we assume that when we describe the world or our place in it, and the nature of our being and our purposes, that we inevitably see ourselves and our understanding as ‘right, proper and good’. And this is why I often try to point out that the ‘liberalism’ of our present, which is the viewstructure that you have and Chris has and everyone who participates on this blog has, including myself in many ways, is part of a determining structure of view.

                      And if it is true that ‘communism rots the body but liberalism rots the soul’, and as Bowden points out that Occidental Liberalism has led/is leading to decadent rot, then you can at the very least understand that there is an idea-movement afoot which seeks a place of perspective, if I can put it like this, above time, and a perspective from which to look down on terraqueous events.

                      What I think that I have done here, what I hope I have done here, is to have kept open ways and means of looking into issues that pertain to us. Notice that Chris, bless his noble heart, does what is in his power to put the worst spin on what he cannot now and may not ever understand as a goal or object: freedom of thought. You see, he provides an example, a very good one, of what happens to a person in an environment where intellect and intellection have been devalued, made to seem evil and dubious. He shows what is happening among those like the kids at Evergreen College (not sure if you paid attention or saw the videos). They storm forth into history, sort of like zombies out of Night of the Living Dead, full of both nescience and will. It is a sight to behold!

                      Since I want to understand how such a victim of history, and one taken in by state propaganda and the collusion between business and intelligence interests, has come to exist and come to operate militantly, I have to stop, turn round, and consider him in the same way that I must consider any historical figure, offering any metaphysical viewpoint, and then certainly of the specifics of praxis and activism. Do you see what I mean?

                    • Ah yes, Humble Talent, (le pompe à chiasse. I read that comment. He is an interesting example of the classic two-dimensional intellect. He has, as far as I can tell, no depth at all. He is similar perhaps to a mild skin rash! Can you believe that he only can grasp 50% of what I write!

                      Poor soul!

                      My point is that what I notice among the ‘intellectual class’ and the ‘executive class’ (many who write here are lawyers, executives educators, etc.) is a tendency to exist within, and to comment only on, phenomena that passes just under their nose. It is seen clearly, but lo! it is never understood in any depth. Oscar Wilde of a cynic as ‘A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’, I suggest that some of these people see all the events that pass before them in Technicolor detail, and understand nothing at all about it!

                    • Now, should you ever wish to understand what J. Bowden found interesting in Savitri Devi —- and he did a series of talks on radical figures, some extreme, some less so, like Robinson Jeffers, Julius Evola, Yukio Mishima and others. I especially appreciated his talk on Martin Heidegger and ‘Death’s Ontology’) —- here is a link to his talk.

                      [https://youtu.be/2rEaw2pU59s]

                    • Speaking of Robinson Jeffers, look at the bottom of this page as I have included an interesting poem of his: Wise Men In Their Bad Hours.

  8. To the attempted first comment by someone who had “OK,smart guy” as his first three words, and the jaw-droppingly stupid sentence, “You are fine with a statue and/or celebration of a man who was a serial womanizer?” in one of his last: Read the comment policies, get a brain transplant, and try again. Or not. I don’t have high hopes.

  9. Chris marschner

    Sounds appropriate to me. Merry Christmas.

  10. Chris

    This seems to be a question of where to draw the line. As I’ve said before, getting rid of statues of former presidents who were also slave owners goes to far; they deserve to be honored despite their faults. I agree drawing the line at men who led a racist terrorist organization like the KKK is fair; but then, one could argue the Confederacy was also a racist terrorist organization.

    • Following a cultural and society practice believed at the time to be civilized and reasonable is not a fault because it would have been unacceptable two hundred years later, in a different culture. Men believing that women existed to have children and raise them and not to run things and vote were not flawed, just as people who believed the world was flat, or that dinosaurs were left of the Ark were flawed. People who believed kings were entitle by heredity to rule them weren’t flawed, and people who believed in class systems, or communism, or witchcraft weren’t flawed either. They were wrong, but it took a lot of time and experimentation and courage and slow dawning of enlightenment to prove they were wrong.

      What is proof of a flaw is arrogantly condemning those who lived long ago as flawed because they didn’t have the benefit of the relatively easy path to wisdom, you did.

      I am comfortably certain that if you, me, Aristotle, Increase Mather, George Washington, James Madison, Andy Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and yes, even Nathan Bedford Forrest were all learning and living at the same time, in the same place, with the benefit of the same education and resources, we would be trailing the pack.

      • Chris

        I don’t disagree with any of that, Jack.

        The question is whether we should honor those whose primary contribution to society was fighting tooth and nail to preserve those institutions which were once though of as civilized and reasonable, but are now thought of as monstrous.

        Leaders of the KKK fall into that category, as do leaders of the Confederacy.

  11. “This seems to be a question of where to draw the line. As I’ve said before, getting rid of statues of former presidents who were also slave owners goes to far; they deserve to be honored despite their faults. I agree drawing the line at men who led a racist terrorist organization like the KKK is fair; but then, one could argue the Confederacy was also a racist terrorist organization.”

    It only ‘goes too far’ because, for one reason or another, it appears reasonable to you, today, to draw the line there. But in a democratic society, and one where a majority of people can succeed in getting their will imposed, one can only guess where they might choose to ‘draw the line’, and guess when they might become susceptible to a mood or a current that will cause them to tear down the Lincoln Memorial or even the White House (given what it ‘represents’). .

    A larger and more difficult set of issues is pointed to through all of this. One has to do with the fact and the reality of a devastating civil war, the effects of which are always said to be on-going, continuing. What really was that war? What really happened there? Myself I only feel I have a dim understanding and so much more requires to be understood. But I think there is one more or less main feature: that it is entirely possible for severe and very disruptive events to intervene in history. History is not *done*. We assume that the history of the US is somehow over or completed, settled. This is (I would suggest) obviously not the case. Trump, whether he knows it or not, or understands it (or himself) or not represents a sort of resurgence of old problems, old issues, old wounds, old conflicts, old intentions. That is why he is so trendously problematic. (But even Trump might not understand ‘Trump’. Trump seems almost an unconscious psychological intrustion onto the ‘screen’ of America. I wonder who is writing about this? Someone should …)

    Two has to do with post-WWll social engineering projects. That is a topic that in and of itself requires a long and careful description. A postwar world was quite literally constructed and planned. And the US population was engineered by military-intelligence operatives. The information is there, anyone can bother to look it up. In my studies of the Sixties Era I can discern the main lines along which culture has been guided, and discern as well ‘coercion’ and also psychological operations. To come to an understanding of the degree that culture has been manipulated in a top-down manner would seem to be a topic of some relevance, yet I do not sense that many people are interested in considering some of these matters.

    The present, the present we live in, is a constructed cultural attainment. I keep trying to accentuate this aspect. It was not achieved *organically* but *artificially*, though engineering, and it seems to me (I suggest it as possible) that it can only continue to be held together through aritificial means, and then of course force. The ‘force’ element should be obvious: it was contructed on the basis of agreements and power-negotiations by hugely vast players. It did not come upon the scene organically and shall I say *honestly*. We live in a constructed present and, it would seem, need to be aware that unless it is forcibly held together it will naturally fall apart. The ‘falling apart’ aspect is visible now. The implication is that *bad people* are there, doing their evil deeds, acting against the ‘will of the people’ and great social harmony. This is simply not true! The lie is there. I would suggest that people are becoming aware of the maniplations and engineering they have undergone.

    The KKK arose, perhaps it can be suggested, in a way similar to an organization like ISIS. There is a connection between the war to destroy the South and to render it impotent militarily, culturally and economically, and the rise of the Northern power-structure, the consolidation of that power. These were empirical choices by powerful men and tremndously powerful economic and industrial forces. There is a sort of symmetry in destroying a given governing system and the rise out of that destroyed system of a clandestine guerrilla army (or club or whatever the KKK was or is). Cause and effect. The North invaded the South, toppled its government, and wounded the South. It forced a cladestine manifestation of power out into the open. The US has carried on the same general plan and model in Cuba, the Phillipines, in the Caribbean and in Central America. Cause and effect. By violating sovereignty a great harm is carried out. True, the invador and the conqueror may only wish to revel and celebrate its victory, and they never have to srt through the ruinds themselves, but the invaded one has to live the consequences. It is lived out in and through the social body.

    There are certain parallels that can be drawn to our present, it seems to me, among people who are sensitive and intelligent. What sort of ‘culture’ is being engineered in our present? Who *owns* the present, as it were? Who controls, who directs? Whose will dominates? Show me the truly sovereign people, a truly sovereign population? A truly sovereign area in the country? No, in this sense the country can be said to be occupied How would one describe that ‘occupational force’? Industry, media, government? How do they carry it out? To what degree will they act if need be to maintain the status quo?

    The occupational government, by violating sovereignty, turns against its own sovereignty, or ends up destroying it. And this *suggests* numerous things about the present state of affairs in America.

    What I find interesting is that you, Chris, can recognize in this instance a ‘racist terrorist organization’ and you can bring all the hatred and contempt that lives in you against it. A thick, virulent, moralizing fluid. But you cannot see, for example, the Southern animus against the Northern section in a similar light. You cannot recognize what the South might have thought, and might still think I guess.

    I am also often sort of amazed that many Americans cannot grasp how other people (Cuba, Phillipines, Caribbean, Central America … Middle East, South Southern Asia et cetera et cetera) view the US as they see their own sovereignty violated. It is such a strange historico-cultural system you have cobbled together for yourselves! You can channel this amazing and profound hatred toward a given *enemy* when you wish to but then always have this “Who, me?’ look on your face when you are brought to task or asked to see with more introspection.

    It is not really about some statue, or all the statues in the land. It is about the dissolution of enforced social agreements and a sort of disintegration taking place. It seems wiser to locate the real issue, and then talk about the superficial and contingent even within a larger context.

  12. Jack wrote: “Following a cultural and society practice believed at the time to be civilized and reasonable is not a fault because it would have been unacceptable two hundred years later, in a different culture. Men believing that women existed to have children and raise them and not to run things and vote were not flawed, just as people who believed the world was flat, or that dinosaurs were left of the Ark were flawed. People who believed kings were entitle by heredity to rule them weren’t flawed, and people who believed in class systems, or communism, or witchcraft weren’t flawed either. They were wrong, but it took a lot of time and experimentation and courage and slow dawning of enlightenment to prove they were wrong.

    “What is proof of a flaw is arrogantly condemning those who lived long ago as flawed because they didn’t have the benefit of the relatively easy path to wisdom, you did.

    “I am comfortably certain that if you, me, Aristotle, Increase Mather, George Washington, James Madison, Andy Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and yes, even Nathan Bedford Forrest were all learning and living at the same time, in the same place, with the benefit of the same education and resources, we would be trailing the pack.”,/i>
    _________________

    Chris wrote: “I don’t disagree with any of that, Jack.

    “The question is whether we should honor those whose primary contribution to society was fighting tooth and nail to preserve those institutions which were once though of as civilized and reasonable, but are now thought of as monstrous.”

    _________________

    In case someone thinks different: I am completely aware that my excessive writing on the issues that excite my mind are unwelcome and ridiculed. So, excuse my presence one and all. But as I say I am trying to gain every drop of understanding from my time here as possible. I am surely not doing anyone any harm. In any case that is not my intention.

    There is a huge issue here, and it is far larger than what it would seem to be. I have been studying Pius X ‘Pascendi Dominici Gregis’ (Encyclical of 1907) which exposes and explains ‘the errors of Modernism’. He writes about, and certainly from his perspective and orientation it is, a ‘destructive modernism’ which is, at its very base, a metaphysical position. The world is in the grip of this modernizing influence far more than it is held by anything traditional.

    I understand it to be an ‘acid’ that eats away at tradition, traditional understanding, traditional structures, and traditional concepts. My theory is that it eats eventually away at the mind itself, at intellect, at intellection. What I cannot completely decide for myself is where I stand in relation to this large problem. I certainly do (oh brother do I) understand how this modernism Pius X speaks of has affected me and the degree to which I am a modernist in the sense he means. We all so very much are that. I also see the trends of modernism, which I describe as ‘hyper-liberalism’, as rampaging through society, perverting and destroying value, traditionally understood and defined, as-against new sets of ‘value’ which are held up as superior. What seems to pop out the other end of these processes is, if I may be so bold to say so, a sort of sub-human.

    It is perhaps true that few who participate in this blog are interested in larger, philosophical questions as pertain to ethics and cultural mores, but this is the area that really inspires me. How to talk about this? How to bring these issues out into the open? It is not at all easy. The issue resides in the opposition between those who are Liberals and ‘progressives’ and those who are ‘Conservatives’ and —- now what word should I employ here? Regressives? That is how you and others who share your views would see it of course.

    But here lies the issue and the core of the problem! The very Question has to do with who controls the definitions of what is ‘progress’ and what is not progress. And how they are arrived at and administered. And then who gets to teach and who gets to be the predominant cultural influencer. And who seizes control and directs power so to influence ‘the mass’. The issue is a tremendously important one and has to do with the largest and most important questions that can be asked. It touches on essential definitions about value and meaning and how these are understood and realized. Every element of this question and problem, and all levels of consideration of it, turn on metaphysical definitions about the nature of reality, the nature of the human being, what existence means, and all the other obvious questions.

    What I notice informing your declaration Jack (and it is just that, a declaration and an opinion) is your perfect certaintly that you know what is, and thus what is not, progress and evolution and goodness. I mean to point this out not to be combatative or argumentative, but simply to put it out there on the table. Your certainty is what defines your position, and may define you as a person as well. I find this interesting. It is interesting because other people, and other people who also are intelligent and thoughtful, do not see and appreciate what you see and appreciate. Their core definitions and basic predicates are different. And they also arrive at, or construct, a certainty and a certain position, one that can be expressed and presented. And it is within this that a battle rages.

    Your conceptual model is constructed on an assertion that man and society is ‘progressing’ and you name the areas in which you understand progress to take place. You have mentioned a core one: the role of woman. And you have clearly expressed your conclusion, as if it is a foregone one, as if it has been decided. Those who might think differently from you are seen by you as flat-earthers and you list other beliefs that, if you have them clearly indicate mental backwardness.

    It is more interesting —- more helpful to my own purposes and my general project —- to simply be able to see how viewpoints and worldpictures are constructed and then to attempt to understand on what platform of ideas they are constructed. All these ideas have precedents.

    Richard Weaver in ‘The Southern Tradition at Bay: A History of Postbellum Thought’, describes in what I think is an important and quite considerable sense the ‘metaphysical battle’ between the northern and the southern worldpicture. My assertion is that we are still dealing with this battle, that the battle is still as real as ever, and that history and culture is anything but settled.

    I am uncertain if the various readers of this blog are even interested in the more profound depths of these questions, and even if they have the time to do much reading, but to get a better sense of some of the larger, philosophical and existential issues that underpin what is going on, today, right now, in our present, I can certainly suggest the collowing:

    ‘The Vision of Richard Weaver, A Forward’ by Donald Davidson.

    https://books.google.com.co/books?id=eHUZ7Mjv4WMC&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=%E2%80%9Cthe+vision+of+richard+weaver%E2%80%9D++donald+davidson&source=bl&ots=B7JOn30u8M&sig=rRz9uP8OY64hR6GD_C80LC2RDV4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi9vMWx-afYAhUHMyYKHWSkCPQQ6AEIDDAB

    • jan chapman

      Does anyone actually read her shit?

      • I try to. I can see her words, know (or learn) their (or her) meanings, follow her “course,” and “check her work” by reading sources that she cites. To quote Alizia, “I find this interesting.”

      • Still Spartan

        Alizia is “that person” in every Philosophy class that ruins it for the rest of us and we end up switching majors because we can’t imagine spending four years taking classes with that asshole.

        • Still Spartan,
          What if Alizia’s way of thinking is considered “normal” in 150 years and those that think it’s fringe thinking would be considered the fringe. Scary, eh?

          What Alizia and people like her don’t realize is that the only real way they can achieve their preferred segregation (based on whatever the hell they deem unworthy) so things can remain more “pure” and societies can progress in relative isolation is to kill all those that they deems unworthy.
          Heck even if we were to strip the planet of all methods of rapid communication/transit, and to VASTLY reduce the population of the planet to what it was well prior to 4000 BC and even then it would still be integrated at some level because of trade routes, human greed, and immoral humans striving for more power to dominate others.

          Their line of thinking is so damned illogical and lacks critical thinking that it’s openly absurd.

          • If you look over this short video you will come to understand much better what some Of us are advocating, and why. I place it in those nifty brackets so that it can be selected for view if desired, or not.

            [https://youtu.be/oemFQLKtvx4]

        • Spartan wrote: “Alizia is “that person” in every Philosophy class that ruins it for the rest of us and we end up switching majors because we can’t imagine spending four years taking classes with that asshole.”

          Well, at the very least I think this can clearly be classified under the heading of ‘ad hominem’!

          What I represent, what I am doing my very best to represent, and embody, is a ‘true Conservative stance’. In contrast to what I see as a false-Conservative stance. The more time I spend here among ye, the more I clearly see that nearly everyone that writes here and who takes the time to fill out their ideas with sound argument in prose (you are exempt from this Spartan because you have no ideas of any sort!), defines liberal, ultra-liberal and hyper-liberal positions. And those, like yourself, who have no intellectual capabilities, emote their positions. Or insult as the case may be…

          When you or anyone attempts to create a solid Conservative argument, or a general Conservative existential position, you will rapidly see that you are opposed at every turn by the liberal ideology. But it is really not ‘classical liberalism’ and requires another term. The best one is ‘hyper-liberalism’. It is a careening, out-of-control liberalism that has no brakes of any sort build in. It used to be that changes (evolution) occurred over, say centuries. Then it became decades. Now a mere year. And I would suggest that week-by-week the motion of hyper-liberalism charges forward in increasing velocity. It overturns value-systems, it plows them under. It does this in sheer confidence in itself, its actions, its intentions. Just as now we can easily see and understand the effect of hyper-liberal unmooring that is merely what we happen to see and notice in our narrow, down-focused vision, one has to ask where it careens to; at what point it will stop (or be stopped).

          If you were to consider, even with a shred of generosity, the validity of the position I seek to define (conservative or perhaps ur-conservative), and if you could come to understand its sound intellectual underpinning, you could move yourself away from such a condemning posture. You are exactly on the same plane of criticism as is Chris: no reasoing or intellectualism of any sort, just emotion.

          Yet you cannot and you will not make any effort, nor will you do any work here. There, right there, is the interesting topic for investigation. It is just what glues you to your sense of certainty, your sense of self-righteous certainty that is the main topic of my interest.

          You cannot see yourself.

        • jan chapman

          Oh yeah, I remember her now.

  13. The problem I’ve been having with removing these statues is that people are judging the “person” depicted in the statue based on today’s over hyped standards that are being pushed to the extremes by an “army” of irrational social justice warriors, they are not judging the person depicted in the statue or the statue itself based the standards by which the statue was created and put on display.

    Anyone at anytime in the future of the United States can find something offensive to justify their tearing down or destroying of historical statues or anything else they choose to deem unworthy; these irrational people are absolutely no different than ISIS trying to destroying history that they don’t agree with or Nazi’s burning books they disagreed with. Yes I am saying that if you condone tearing down or destroying these statues then you’re mindset about such things is no damn better than ISIS or Nazi’s.

    • ”people are judging the ‘person’ depicted in the statue based on today’s over hyped standards ”

      To that point: “Should we judge people of past eras for moral failings?”

      http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23772194

      • Paul W. Schlecht wrote, “Should we judge people of past eras for moral failings?”

        Absolutely yes; however, we must consider the morals of society of their time era when actually rendering a moral judgement. For instance: as terrible as we consider it in today’s standard of morals, for many many years (thousands of years) prior to the American Civil War slavery was a long-term and widely accepted practice in society and not just in the United States, the shifting of society was rapidly changing and the Civil War really was the “final” chapter in that ongoing societal shift; where as, the relative short-term mass murdering of Jews by Nazis, the genocide in Bosnia, the Cambodian genocide, etc, and the ongoing murdering of innocent people by ISIS and other terrorists are considered immoral across the globe regardless of which time period of morals are applied even the morals of their time periods. I don’t justify any of it but I accept that there are different standards of morals in different time eras and I whether I “like” those standards of morals or not, they did in fact exist.

        Our technologically advanced society thinks of itself as pretty high and mighty these days. I have no idea how people are going to judge some of our modern enlightened standards of morals in 150 years, 500 years, 1000 years, 5000 years; heck in comparison, our modern society might look like a bunch of prehistoric, ignorant, rampaging, violent, Neanderthals in 5000 years.

    • Zoltar writes: “Anyone at anytime in the future of the United States can find something offensive to justify their tearing down or destroying of historical statues or anything else they choose to deem unworthy; these irrational people are absolutely no different than ISIS trying to destroying history that they don’t agree with or Nazi’s burning books they disagreed with. Yes I am saying that if you condone tearing down or destroying these statues then you’re mindset about such things is no damn better than ISIS or Nazi’s”.

      This seems to be an erroneous argument taken on the whole. First thing is that those particular statues, if I understand correctly, were established as tools of intimidation. They are in that sense monuments of intimidation designed to send a very definite message about social and cultural power. They serve two functions then. One is to intimidate and the other is to bolster a sense of social power in those who put them up. I cannot see any way around that argument. In a city which is, as has been said, 65% Black, I cannot imagine even one black person who would not understand exactly what those statue-messages meant.

      But it is true that once you have unleashed a revisionist, progressive, liberal and hyper-liberal sector of the populous, and given assent to their justifications for their activism and advocacy, that there really is no point at which you will be able to successfully argue against their efforts. It will go on to open critiques of the Presidents. It will go right to the very heart of the Republic, how it was founded, who lost and won.

      ‘These people’ are caught in both rational and irrational currents of activity. Like all people (as far as I am aware) few do harm intentionally. They always define their actions in terms of ‘doing good’. Those who advocate to remove the statues are attamepting to do good, not do harm. These activities, and the ideology that gives them power and justification, cannot really be compared to ISIS insofar as the activism of these people, and the ideas that inform them, are predicated on liberal philosophy. There is a whole set of ideas that informs their activities and their desires which has a definite coherency. But at the same time there is a sort of social hysteria which is evident here, in this activism, and across the whole nation. Symptoms of social hysteria.

      One could argue that in a ‘polite society’ all good people would agree that these particular statues should be put away.

      That is why I feel that there is far more to be gained by standing back from the entire issue —- the whole mad display of hysteria going on —- and attempt to understand the roots of it.

      One has to rephrase what you have written: “It will happen, as the demographic of the US is shifted and the dominant population no loger dominant, that the newer demographic will demand all sort of different definitional changes that touch on all aspects of US history. That this is happening, and will happen, is tied in with basic issues of Americanism. It all is flowing, in a sense, from this. It is the System itself, through the choices it itself has made, which make this all possible. It will continue.”

      There! I feel better already! 😉

  14. Good Heavens. I think I will have to retract some of what I had written just above to Zoltar. My head is spinning to a certain degree. To get a better understanding of this recent event I listened to a conversation/interview between Richard Spencer and James Edwards titled: ‘The Attack on Southern Heritage’ :

    [https://youtu.be/m2AKc7Dy97s]

    The site of the equestrian statue is actually the grave-site of NB Forrest and his wife. They are buried there. There is a 1959 law, according to James Edwards, which gave equal status to a military personage, including those of the Confederacy. This act, seen in this light, has another and a darker aspect. It is the desecration of a burial site. And the whole operation was carried out by what can only be describes as sheer illegality.

    The park is a couple of acres in size, located in a very up-market part of Memphis and worth millions. The transfer of the ownership of the park to a private organization about through a conspiracy and, though I do not know the legal terms that should be applied, appears to be a form of fraud of a complex sort. Fraud against the people of the city and fraud against the State. There are many levels of illegality and none of this touches the ethical and moral aspects. The first 10-12 minutes of the conversation in the Youtube link above, describes what actually happened and the context of why.

    What I take away from this that we live within a present time and situation where we will be lied to in the most blatant ways, and the media will conspire/is conspiring to support and disseminate these lies. It is extraordinary and it is hard to find the right words to describe it. It appears to be a system of interconnected lies.

    An ideological battle is being waged and the media have a particular role in it. They are the point where business interests, governmental interests, and intelligence interests and operatives are able to present their structure-of-view which, absorbed and integrated into perception, becomes the worldpicture these people spout out when they open their mouths. They are not doing their own thinking but they rely on this media-establishment to organize perceptions and understandings.

    Today, perhaps more than ever (?) people can easily do their own research. We usually start with a web-search. There is now a plethora of sources available and there are information-wars being conducted. This is distressing to a person who, in good faith, imagines that the System will tell them, largely, the truth, and that they do not have to establish a defensive posture against them. Faith and belief and trust are like that: you trust until it is violated and then when it is violated the chances are not high that you will trust again.

    But there is a further dimension. Those who have lost their trust more or less completely (I place myself in this category) will, if they have the time and energy and interest (as I do), undertake a more in-depth analysis of the present System and the forces and powers that direct it. True, there is one aspect of this that is something like what Alex Jones purports to do with InfoWars. Its topical and superficial at least in one sense. But there is another apsect and it is historical analysis and philosophical analysis that supports a more in-depth comprehension of the forces, ideas and powers that have created and established this Hyper-Liberal Machine (what in the heck else to call it?!) that dominates and mediates understanding of the world. I assert that all of this also has a connection to another dimension, harder to refer to and to talk about: the spiritual dimension.

    With that as a backdrop, the study of ethics, in my own view, becomes tremendously hightened. To arrive at ethical decisions therefor in this distorted and distorting present, and especially among people whose views have been distorted and who themselves distort perception and are complicity in these lies —- suddenly it is this that becomes the chief field for ethical investigations. The obvious implication is the insinuation of being, ourself, complicity in lies and beneficiaries of lies.

    Now, this AM in our beloved New York Times there is what I will describe as a very sophisticated propaganda piece on Derek Black, the child-star of the Stormfront white nationalist movement (‘Listen to The Daily: Revisting a Former White Nationalist’). It is an audio-interview and worth listening to. It can be analyzed as psychological propaganda and broken down into pieces. It is a perfect instance of how propaganda works, containing a certain amount of truth mixed up, almost serpent-like, with definite lies. It is so very odd how it implicates the President. It is a set-up of a sophisticated sort. Very skillful really. It requires an expert analysis to puncture it and to see how such means are used to engineer perception. Amazing. And this is coming through the most important and the most reputable Journal of Opinion in the land!

    What I am attempting to describe in what I write is just what I say: we are involved in an ideological war that has not yet been describes as such nor understood as such by average people. I submit that *my side*, for all its greenness (youtfulness essentially, uncertainty about itself, lack of clarity about how to present its views and ideas) is quite aware that what it must battle is this System, this interlocked constellation of powers which has as its object the ‘engineering of perception’. Because we pose a definite threat, perhaps in the same way that any citizen with clear vision poses a threat to a neo-tyranny (as I would describe things), we will be attacked and branded with every evil term and as having every evil intention known to man. And the EMBLEM, the symbol, that will be trotted out as long as it remains useful and potent is that of the Nazi and all associated with this emblem. This is a mode of perception that was concocted during the Second WW and employed as a tool to ‘engineer the present’.

    Therefor, a thinking person who is concerned for the sovereignty of their own self, their own soul, their own capacity to see and act at least somewhat freely in this world, must in my opinion give privelage to the effort to dismantle the lie-system, and this becomes, again IMO, one significant element of the ethical imperative.

  15. Wise Men In Their Bad Hours (by Robinson Jeffers, posted for Andrew):

    Wise men in their bad hours have envied
    The little people making merry like grasshoppers
    In spots of sunlight, hardly thinking
    Backward but never forward, and if they somehow
    Take hold upon the future they do it
    Half asleep, with the tools of generation
    Foolishly reduplicating
    Folly in thirty-year periods; they eat and laugh too,
    Groan against labors, wars and partings,
    Dance, talk, dress and undress; wise men have pretended
    The summer insects enviable;
    One must indulge the wise in moments of mockery.
    Strength and desire possess the future,
    The breed of the grasshopper shrills, “What does the future
    Matter, we shall be dead?” Ah Grasshoppers,
    Death’s a fierce meadowlark: but to die having made
    Something more equal to the centuries
    Than muscle and bone, is mostly to shed weakness.
    Admire or hate their stature, their insolent quietness,
    The mountains are not softened nor troubled
    And a few dead men’s thoughts have the same temper.

    • Put another way, quoting Robert Heinlein:

      “Most people can’t think, most of the remainder won’t think, the small fraction who do think mostly can’t do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion — in the long run these are the only people who count.”

    • Andrew Wakeling

      Thank you Alizia. A ‘clever’ poem, and a good read on a superficial level. I read it as sanctimonious but maybe I misunderstand. I want only to be with ‘the little people’ and be accepted as of them. I may have thought myself a ‘wise man’ once, but I know better now. To appreciate how very little one knows, and to have honest doubt, is the nearest approach I can make to ‘wisdom’. And to ‘make merry like grasshoppers in spots of sunlight’ is, at least for me, not an ignoble aim.

      • Interesting perspective. I thought of Jeffers because J. Bowden gave a talk on him and I had been mentioning Bowden.

        He was much loved, once, but fell out of favor because of his opposition to WW2 and also perhaps his ‘inhumanist’ philosophy. A publisher of some of his poems in 1948 included a letter to the readership saying that Jeffer’s views were his and not those of Random House.

        I have come to beleive, at least to entertain the possibility, that the US intervention in Europe was not because of defense of grand principles but moreover to set the US on a larger neo-imperial project. Thtough the events of the 20th century the US sacrificed ‘the Republic’ for the Imperialism, and to this day functions in the world in that way.

        Bowden selected him for his talk, as he selected other unconventional figures whose ideas went counter-current to the present, simply because he is interested in more radical, aggressive thinkers, and was attempting to locate that sort of thinking within the American scene.

        I look at the question you bring up differently. I feel that no matter if we are large or small, and really most of us are small and insignificant, we ‘owe’ it to idealism to at least value and hold up the greater ones. Therefor, I really feel that hierarchies exist and must be respected. That is why I included that speech from the Shakesepeare play: it expresses a very influential idea about hierachy. Grade and distinction, high and low. In my view we have to give ourselves to the higher hierarchies and serve them.

        In Scholastic thinking we either give ourselves to the ‘higher’ elements or are given over to the lower elements. The ‘little people’ then are those who give themselves over to the immediate, the contingent, the mutable, and they are the class that is manipulated by (perverted) upper echelons who herd them and extract nectar from them like aphid-keeping ants.

        I hope that you can see how these ideas are connected to nearly everything I write. I don’t think many understand and likely do not care to.

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