Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Long and Ponderous Essay on Conservative Thought: Part III

This will conclude my essay on the Conservative persuasion. My goal thus far has not been to criticize or contradict Conservative ideology because I would get sidetracked, and that's the whole problem. Our contradictory habits have destroyed the exchange of ideas. I think I overused the word "vitriol" in Part II so I'm looking for another word...and will use Corrosive because when a habit erodes the actual substance/details of the habit itself then it's corrosive. That's what happens when our tradition of contradiction kicks in and we fail to see that we have 1) invented the point of fact we're gleefully contradiction. 2) misunderstood everything 3) wasted lots of energy in futile philosophic tail-chasing. This corrosive culture must end or the relationship will continue to erode. The leap to contradict is something loathsome pundits develop and pass on like poisoned worms to their blind nestlings. Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, are all guilty of embracing the Spin Factory media ethic. For that reason alone we must censor these repulsive agitators. These news forums are entirely emotional irritants and are without merit. It's very irksome that all this technology has merely allowed us to contradict one another faster. For the love of God we must return to intelligent debate and thoughtful action!

 In Part 1 I outline my disdain for punditry in general and alluded to an alternative that I will discuss in my concluding statements. I also provided evidence that Conservatives do repeatedly and conspicuously highlight race issues and often appear to be aligned entirely with a racist White Supremacist viewpoint, but that would be an incorrect conclusion. Only the failure of the Conservative to express himself causes this unfortunate confusion. These issues are as old as the sun, but it does not follow that each generation gets better at expressing their opinions on them. In fact, the current generation is about as incapable of expressing their opinions as any in history. We have a complete failure in communication, compounded by the tradition of corrosive contradiction that has overtaken the debate arena. Put both of those together and we have statements such as, "You are a total racist." responded to with, "That's absolutely untrue!"

Even dear Oggy has written things like, "You may not be a racist, but a racist would agree with everything you are writing."

How, I ask, is this confusion possible? How have we failed to even agree on such a simple designation as racism? There are lots of factors and I've named but two. Our means of expression has deteriorated, and before the words are even out of our mouths the opponent is rushing to contradict. Socrates always started every debate with, "Define your terms." Well, what I'm witnessing today is an all-out war over undefined terms...that would surprise both parties to learn the definitions of. It's an argument for the sake of argument, which is a whole other realm of discussion I don't want to breach because it involves the darkest demons of human nature that are too broad for brief examination. No, for now I will content myself with an analysis of the Conservative persuasion and a translation of his corrosive and skin deep remarks into something that can be understood, discussed, debated, etc.

And my conclusion on the topic of race is that it is relevant only as it applies to the other topics. Race is a peripheral detail relevant to the condition/stability of society. The condition of society is relevant because it's often a launching off point for ridiculous social reforms on the premise that reform will cure social problems, rather than cause them. Conservatives are not racist, but they are prejudiced toward anything not Conservative. Liberals also are guilty of this fallacy.

On the topic of Guns, my conclusion is that the primary argument is whether one believes an ideal society is feasible, or not. The Conservative takes the practical view that while technology has improved, basic actual human interaction has not ever changed and will not ever change. A radical Conservative might suggest that it would be easier to eradicate the 200,000,000 Liberals to achieve an ideal society. Trusting in the better nature of people is a mistake and there are 270,000,000 privately owned guns in America so a proposal involving their complete eradication is irrational. The Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms lost track of their own firearms so how is there any reliable oversight within the Government to confirm safety? It's like asking a dog not to chase a cat.  If the Government can't control their own firearms then in what fantasy world are they controlling everyone's firearms? Furthermore, evidence from two consecutive Presidents suggests there is no longer an understanding of accountability. Whole police forces are exhibiting behavior that could be construed as rogue, without accountability, in defiance of their elected leaders, arguably homicidal. Domestic Terrorism is a reality. Domestic crime is a reality. Pre-school children are shooting their classmates. Whole schools have been under siege. Toddlers unable to read are shooting their mothers. The Liberal sees these as evidence that reform is required to realize the ideal society. Conservatives see this evidence as proof that an ideal society is not possible. What about the news makes you think it's time to disarm and trust in the essential goodness of Man? Was it the drug abuse epidemic or the complete lawlessness in cities like Detroit? I'm supposed to disarm myself voluntarily so that the Government can then lose track of the guns, they can be recovered by Mexican drug cartels, smuggled back into America by Guatemalan refugees trying to survive, end up on the streets for $30 each, and when I'm about to be robbed I can either defend myself with my Ninjitsu skills or call the police who will show up after the robber is gone and immediately shoot me? Liberals don't offer a glowing plan of prosperity because the facts don't support it. 

Conservatives reach the opposite conclusion: society is in decay, it's time to reload. The disagreement is usually buried within corrosive insults but it's fundamentally not a complicated subject. Is Heaven possible on Earth, or only in Heaven? Liberals feel heaven is possible on Earth but it will take some sacrifices. Conservatives think that those sacrifices will be them and their families so that's not a justifiable means to an end. Human sacrifices in the name of a theoretical ideal society is not justified because 1) the ideal society will never be realized. 2) No one should be left defenseless in a nation of lunatics in the name of a social experiment.

Now I want to talk about least complicated Conservative position: American Freedoms.

This is easy to discuss and I think it's not as misunderstood as Race or Guns, although that doesn't stop Conservatives from calling Noam Chomsky an "Anti-American communist" for suggesting the exact same thing that Conservatives are arguing for: accountability.
Moldy Dust Farter?

It's basic: if you are an American by birth or immigration, no matter where you live, then you must read the Constitution and the Bill or Rights and defend them from all enemies. You may openly and peacefully demonstrate for change, such as if an Amendment legalizes Abortion and you disagree for religious reasons, but going further toward violence in the name of reform is reserved only for the most egregious and irreversible attacks on Freedom. So, in theory, you are permitted, even morally required, to violently rebel against the Government in certain scenarios that you perceive corrupt the sanctity of freedoms as defined by The Bill of Rights. 

This urgency goes back to the fundamental reason to own guns, because History has taught Conservatives that eventually all Governments infringe on the people, not for the people's benefit, but for the Government's benefit. Some might suggest this time has already arrived, but it's arguably a guaranteed stage in all State-ist paradigms. Eventually, The State will commit genocide, or attempt to, against its own people. This isn't a theoretical argument, it's a historical argument. All governments in the past eventually attacked their own people, eventually infringed on the people and their success was directly related to how well the people were able to defend themselves. Conservatives aren't going to defend themselves with a Bill of Rights t-shirt; no, they are going to defend the Bill of Rights with a Glock 19. See the difference? So, while America is faultless as a conceptual idea, the Government, as it exists today, is merely creeping toward a state of complete oppression. It sounds like corrosive conspiracy theorizing, but history is not kind to the reputation of large governments. That's the truth. Large Governments have a reputation of corruption and oppression at some point. Yes, at some point they are also benevolent and wonderful instruments, but eventually they dissolve into a Fascist dictatorship. I'm not saying Conservatives believe America is at that point, though I could reprint many quotes that would suggest they have reached such a conclusion. No, I'm saying that would be the position of the Conservative NO MATTER WHO WAS PRESIDENT. The person who is President, their skin color, their political party, is irrelevant to the subject of history. I say again, eventually The State must turn on its people, by the nature of being a State. History guarantees this and the writers of the Constitution were idealists, but they also looked hard at themselves and decided that though America was Virginal and fresh in 1776, it would eventually corrode, like all nations, and if the rules in the Constitution at least established a precedent of freedom for the Political in the Greek sense, relating to Citizens, then maybe there would be a tradition of empowered citizens and a mandate of self defense. George Washington was a philosopher who carried a gun.

I'm not suggesting this is the current situation and I'm not suggesting this was some kind of new idea. No, it seems the Constitution was purely for the protection of the new American Citizen from the brand new American Government, as it would eventually crumble into a fascist system. It's crazy that the first thought these rebels had was that eventually everything would fall apart, but I really think that was foremost in their minds. They probably determined that there would be a brief honeymoon phase, a civil war or two, followed by a slow decline, with some infrequent spikes of liberty, until at last The State no longer answered to the citizens. They had seen it happen over and over again, all of history points to this conclusion, and since they had most recently seized power back they asked themselves, "What inalienable rights would we have needed to make this Revolution much easier? What rights were the British most insistent on denying us?" And they came up with about a dozen Rights that they were basically putting in a time capsule to be opened on the day The State, America, again oppressed the people. True, they omitted some blatant rights involving Slaves and Women, but they were intellectually limited. They didn't have Oggy's wholesale commitment to leisure and philosophy. Fine. I don't forgive their oversights, but I accept them.

I apologize to any anti-imperialist Noam Chomsky sycophants out there who are offended by my flag-waving. To be clear, I'm theorizing about the viewpoint of the Conservative, not necessarily my own personal view. This is an analysis; I'm translating all these horribly obtuse essays about guns and rights into something that approaches objective language. You can see my other 2000 posts for my personal views.

There are definitely Conservatives who wave flags, who are proud veterans. Hell, there are probably Conservatives alive today who personally assisted the genocidal attacks on totally innocent Mayan Indians in Guatemala. Why? Because they had orders to assist the Guatemalan military in destroying suspected support networks for the Leftist rebels. That's a different topic, but I could argue it all can be traced back to a desire to solidify American security, to eradicate Communist influence at all cost. Unfortunately, the law of the jungle applies to global politics and if one does not dominate, then one is being dominated. Either you are expanding your territory, or you are defending your territory. The choice is yours, but if you don't have a plan then you will live under the thumb of someone who does have a plan. Either you can be the one mounting machine guns on helicopters, or you can be the one who fears the sound of helicopters. I think it's a fairly black or white, historical viewpoint on the subject of international politics, very pragmatic, but I don't want to broach that topic.
Easy rules to follow.

So, Americans are bound to loyalty in theory to all other law-abiding Americans. It's simple! The lines are even drawn on a map so you know where to stop being loyal. Again, this goes back to a reliance on history to predict the future. What has happened in the past will happen in the future. Pragmatism rules Conservative thought. There's no avoiding a Fascism, and there's no avoiding an insurrection. Global wars will follow global wars. They are unavoidable. Technology may change but human nature is consistently divisive. Paradoxically, accepting these fatalistic terms is often responsible for the wars that they predict will happen. That's a common topic for science fiction: do we cause the wars by trying to prevent them? Are they predestined? Who knows? I'm only trying to illuminate the perspectives and motivations that actually exist, not discuss whether they are right or wrong, where they came from, or where they will lead. That's for the big brains to debate. But nothing can happen until we agree on the terms and positions and these are my conclusions thus far.

I think I could expand on my statements on Freedom and America in general, but I'd be repeating myself. Consider the old maxim about digging wells. Either you can dig many shallow wells, or one deep well. And if the oil or water is deep then you'll never find it with the shallow wells no matter how many of them you dig. America, to many Conservatives, is a deep well, and the Liberal approach appears to constantly move the well location and start digging again. An oil man knows you'll never get anything but the most shallow oil deposits, and they will quickly run dry. The deeper you drill, the bigger the deposit you will find. To The Conservative, the oil well metaphor applies to the Constitution. It's basic: If the Constitution does not specifically grant the Federal Government certain powers, then the individual State will have those powers. And if the State Constitution doesn't provide for certain powers then the people have those powers. Personal Freedom is inalienable; the Constitution limits the Government. So when this flipped and the Government suddenly has greater power and people have less then there's been a fundamental paradigm shift. Yes, this paradigm can materialize through the democratic process, but the primary issue is the citizen's sovereignty when the citizen is allowed sovereignty. In specific cases like Obama's health care act it does not matter to the Conservative if Obama "means well." It doesn't matter because it's social reform, it's moving the oil well location, it's expanding specific government powers via the Federal Branch when there is no provision for that expansion. This is why an argument about health care, something obviously about health, immediately becomes an accusation that Obama is a fascist. Because the slippery slope of seizing power and enforcing laws is very short to a strict Constitutional loyalist. I would suggest that introducing Fascism into a discussion about health care is corrosive, but my voice is drowned out by the argument concerning the limits of the Federal Branch. Furthermore, the actions Obama is espousing are not supported by the simple interpretation of The Constitution, so he's trading one ideal for the purity of another ideal. It's galling and unacceptable to a Conservative, but they have not yet turned to violence because, as I've said, revolution is only permitted in the most egregiously fascist atmosphere. Currently, the debate is verbal as neither Liberals nor Conservatives are directly involved in riots. Radicals and criminals, a tiny fraction of the population, is sparking every event that immediately balloons into a crisis as we search for someone to blame. It's crazy. Like every dissatisfied citizen, Conservatives are merely waiting for the next election. What has been done, can be undone. I, however, am dissatisfied with the corrosive climate of debate and this is my pitiful attempt to mitigate that division.

I'm debating a section analyzing views on Climate Change, but I haven't decided how to approach it. I suspect Conservative politicans are totally disguising their true views on Climate Change in order to profit from the debate by accepting dirty energy contributions. But the average Conservative citizen, with nothing to gain from rhetoric basically accepts wholesale the views of their representatives, no matter how shaky the justification. It's a matter of trust: if they voted for someone and that official denies climate change, then there is no climate change. Simple. Furthermore, the loyal Conservative would rather see Earth melt or implode than agree on any topic with a disgusting Libertard. I don't want to accuse anyone of "thought" when their response to the question "Why do you deny Climate Change exists?" is "Because Noam Chomsky is a crooked Communist cunt." No, that's the opposite of thought. 
Conservetards defend the opposite of whatever Libertards defend = Total decay of critical thinking.

In general, Conservatives have waived their right to think about this topic, so, discussing climate change would involve a reiteration of the disdain Conservatives have for any non-Conservative. This applies to most topics I didn't cover. The actual issues/details of X (climate change, immigration, terrorism, Military, etc.) are buried beneath a loathing skin of hate and well-defended ignorance. Note that I'm not suggesting Liberals are objectively rational either as they continuously cling to the notion of eradicating 270,000,000 private guns all without a slaughter of intentionally disarmed people and carried out by a government who can't even keep track of their own weapons. Really? That sounds a lot like the Frog taking the Scorpion's truce word on faith. Nationwide gun control is as fantastical a notion as an atmosphere that isn't affected by 7 Billion post-industrial men. But the first step is listening.

This is a good spot to talk about alternatives because I typed the word "Done." That word implies action, not words or punditry or arguments or picket signs. No. Done means something has been finished or accomplished. What I dislike the most about the current pundit factories is not the rants, the corrosive atmosphere, the hatefulness, the misinterpretations, the trolling, the self-congratulatory back-slapping, the divisiveness; no, what I hate most is how frivolous all of it is. Nothing gets done. There was a time when I thought philosophical debates were things of substance, but now I'm not so sure. I think they trigger emotions and act as synthetic substitutes for accomplishment. All these pundits and zealous apostles don't do anything. Nothing gets done. They don't demonstrate results. They don't brag about accomplishments. They don't highlight action. There is no success. Hundreds and hundreds of websites devoted to the recent past. None of them deal in any tangible way with the future or even the present. Sure, they all espouse an obtuse concern with the future, but objectively, they are not doing anything to affect the future. Think about that: These are all opinions about other opinions and arguments about the difference of opinions. Never mind that the opinions being argued about are often manufactured for the sake of argument, but in the final analysis, these are just kids on a playground arguing about a snowball that melted 5 months ago. IS ANYONE DOING ANYTHING?

Conclusion: The Light in A Dark Room:

And here is where I want to introduce Sir Wilfred Grenfell. Most Americans will frown and ask, "Sir Who?" That's because you're probably caught up in some online argument about some petty detail involving abortion or capital punishment, and you think that's something substantial. Well, it isn't. It's emotional, but it's insubstantial. I know this because Sir Wilfred Grenfell set the standard for substance. If you don't pass the Grenfell Test of tangible accomplishments then you're either in 2nd Grade or you have the mentality of a 2nd Grader. Do you want to argue about who got more popcorn in their paper bag? Or do you want to do something? I feel that this decision makes the difference in social health.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell is the only person who could overtake Gandhi as my top hero. And Gandhi overtook Thoreau, who replaced the Right fielder of the Boston Red Sox. Maybe I've come full circle, from someone who accomplished something tangible, to social theoreticians, and back to someone who accomplished something tangible. Concrete results are my main concern here, not opinions. I'm not even going to summarize what I just wrote because I'd be repeating myself. I'm done discussing Conservative opinions.  They got as much of my time as I'm willing to give. If I ever visit another pundit site it will be a Liberal one so I can write a similar essay about those back-stabbing elitist lunatics. For now, I want to get people thinking like Grenfell. 

Grenfell is like 10 different famous American personalities rolled into one. He's like Jonas Salk, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Cesar Chavez, Seargent Shriver, John Muir, John Wayne, Charles Lindberg, Neil Armstrong, Abraham Lincoln and Chief Seattle. He even had a little Ayn Rand in him. I'm not even kidding. I'll write more about him one day but for the purposes of this essay I only want to introduce him to readers. Grenfell embraced a kind of apolitical humanity in one of the most remote and inhospitable places on earth. I could argue he had Liberal traits because he practiced social reform, but once you learn what kind of conditions he was reforming I could argue that he was demonstrating Conservative traits by replacing a tradition of oppression with one of opportunity and freedom. This was a person so dedicated to action, to results, to accomplishments, that it's rumored his wife wrote his autobiography. She allegedly wrote almost everything he published under his name. Why? Because his personality was not concerned with self-promotion. She was probably a better writer. Because he was on the coast of Labrador and New Foundland, if he didn't promote his work then no one would ever hear of it. So he collaborated with his wife to publish essays and books of his accomplishments and also his beliefs, but never punditry. These generated funds to support his work. His "work" can be described as simply transforming an area on Earth into a place he wanted to live. Punditry never entered the process.

I feel everyone would be different if we met a person like Grenfell. I've met people who are like him in some respects but different in others. I've never met someone exactly like him. All the reports I read about him suggest he was a singular personality but sort of saintly, and also humbly practical. I imagine him hitching up a dog sled for a trip across pack ice during a freezing storm to visit a sick Eskimo, and somehow putting out of his mind all the dangers and leaving instructions for the nurses if he should never return, but smiling the whole time. Most of all he must've had some gift of negotiation because he landed in Labrador when there was a most crude and oppressive economic system that completely exploited the workers and they couldn't figure out how to escape. Along comes Grenfell and he single-handedly modernized the economy. In any history book you read about attempts to usurp economic power from feudal lords there is always a war, bloodshed...except in the case of the coast of Labrador. There were no labor wars, no scabs, no thugs or strike-busters, no organized crime, no picket lines. The conditions went from completely oppressive and unsustainable to modern and acceptable without bloodshed. It's inconceivable but true, Grenfell totally reformed the economy in a place where there was no law. The shipping companies who had been fleecing all the fishermen with a "Truck" system of payment easily could've killed Grenfell in order to maintain their power. The person who told me this information, the former Deputy of Canadian Fisheries, said, "The companies didn't like it, but they went along with it." Only a Non-American could tell me something like that because all Americans know the tradition of violently crushing any kind of pro-employee reform in America. President Reagan preferred to endanger all airplane flights than allow air traffic controllers to control their own destiny. In all the other scenarios around the globe when someone tried to modernize an economy to equalize profit among workers and owners there is always a violent conflict. I'm not exaggerating when I say that if Eisenhower or Reagan had been President when Grenfell arrived in Labrador then Ike or Ronnie would've sent troops or at least abundant arms in order to exterminate Grenfell and all his Communist agitator physicians. Fortunately, McKinley and Roosevelt were concentrating on Hegemonic campaigns further south. Otherwise, the world would've lost one of the greatest people in history. Grenfell had the kind of personality that insisted on a total overhaul of an economy, convinced doctors and nurses to follow him to the middle of freezing nowhere to help people, Eskimos and Natives, who were not even universally considered human, and then to convince exporters to stop exploiting the metis fishermen out of the kindness in their hearts, to implement a system of health care for people who had only recently been the subject of genocide, to establish a network of free hospitals, to imagine and create a collective goods market to benefit the citizens and a farming cooperative....on the frozen coast of the North Atlantic Ocean with no money or support or even adequate transportation, communication, and clothes. And he did it all by the conviction in his voice?? Without bloodshed? While saving lives as a doctor using a dog sled on pack ice? What? And he did all of this with no motive to profit, except from the selfish desire to live in a place where others were not oppressed, to live honestly and establish a culture of respect? And a century later his hospital would save Oggy's eye when it got infected? Look no further than Sir Wilfred Grenfell for an example of what an actualized person looks like. He's the exact opposite of a political pundit like Jon Stewart or Bill O'Reilly. A pilgrimage to his house in Saint Anthony, or the site of his first hospital on Battle Harbour Island, should be required of anyone who engages in a ridiculous debate in defense of, or opposition to, The Affordable Health Care Act. Such a pilgrimage will immediately eradicate any concept of punditry, which is my intended goal.

In summary, I can elucidate the darker corners of Conservative thought, I can incrementally improve the culture of political debate in this foul land. But all of that is academic, mostly for my own amusement. It's not an accomplishment outside of the theoretical realm of philosophical discussion that Oggy feeds on. All of that pales in comparison with results in the Grenfell sense. My loathing of these pundit sites comes from how much time, money and resources is spent babbling about opinions when if a mere fraction of that time and money was spent addressing the problems then we wouldn't need to have these idiotic arguments in the first place! Conditions would improve! Pundits do not make news. They barely even report news. They are certainly never honored on a postage stamp. They merely spin opinions about alleged incidents and events. It's utterly specious and immaterial, but because it activates some kind of primal emotional trigger in our lizard brains I think it serves as a substitute for action. It's grotesque and I must stress that it is not action. I use Grenfell as a role model because he's a devout, Caucasian, hard working, doctor who was serving his country in his practical dedication to Labrador inhabitants, so he's a perfect Conservative. But he was also a progressive, egalitarian visionary who didn't evangelize or seek converts, he usurped a crooked form of Capitalism, took direct action toward cooperative living with sustainability as his goal and idealistic consensus as his method, which makes him the perfect Liberal. And it all worked! Lots of Utopia projects fail, but go to St. Anthony one day and you'll see one that succeeded. Incredibly, the man is beyond criticism from either political persuasion and never sunk to the level of punditry. He's the only human I can think of who can be a role model to everyone and he embodies accomplishment in a way that's dangerously close to becoming extinct. 

I basically don't think there is a Government solution to cultural issues. Any attempt to implement social reform usurps power from and dis-empowers the average citizen. This applies to everything. We can not elect anyone to solve any social ill. It doesn't work that way. Grenfell demonstrated how it works: people cooperating despite cultural differences.

I'm an idealist, so I think that social reform can technically solve social problems. But not social reform in the sense that Big Brother loving Liberals think about social reform. No, social reform in the truest sense...citizens reforming themselves into being more like Sir Wilfred Grenfell, taking physical steps to create the physical society they want to see, not sit on their ass and complain and pontificate in lofty, but immaterial, terms. Social reform does not mean a bigger damn government. You think a committee on Race perception, complete with banners and PSAs will have any effect? Grenfell accomplished everything in an environment without any government oversight, and he didn't presume to start a government. He started associations, and cooperatives. If people had the structure of cooperation then it either would work or it wouldn't. Government was unnecessary. Nor is reform possible if every Conservative perches on a camouflage cushion and refuses to extend a kind hand to anyone. Who knows: The culture you save may be your own.

Grenfell (or his wife) is quoted as saying all this in a simple statement I'll leave you with: 

"The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not 'to have and to hold' but 'to give and serve.' There can be no other meaning."
There is no way a pundit or zealot will age this contentedly. Only tangible accomplishments give someone this kind of glow.

The whole essay:
Part I
Part II
Part III

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.