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While We Wait: (Almost) Anything Goes

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by BSmith1068, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    You're conflating individual decadence and perversion with the system in which those individuals act, which is of course a non sequitur. The excesses of a Borgia as an example speak to the individuals own corruption, not to the systemic merits or detriments of the political system in which they act in and of itself. To say it does, is as fallacious as saying that the republican polity of the united states is irredeemably tainted because of the antics of its president (or president elect for that matter) or because it happens to have corrupt politicians within it (all systems have corrupt members, because humans are inherently corruptible, ditto original sin).

    If you want to argue against my assertion that democracy is the most degenerate ie debased form of human government since it finds its legitimacy on the shifting vagaries of popular opinion rather than on an objective moral standard (and thus fails to restrain the excesses and licentiousness of the masses, which results in the degradation of the polity and harms the common good). Then you'd best do so by making the case as to why democracy is in fact superior (since my assertion is more a negative injunction against "democracy", rather than a positive argument for some other form of government in particular).

    -

    Spoiler :
    Oh and on renaissance popes, I'd like to point to the fact that even the most corrupt renaissance pope didn't make law or proclaim as good (like we have in our current democracies) perversion and moral license. The institution of the Catholic Church has many flaws, but no one can deny that it keeps in check licentiousness and the whims of its actors, and maintains in perpetuity its religious doctrine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  2. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    The fallacy on that Jeho is assuming that tyrants (or oligarchs, or monarchs for that matter) don't make use of the mob to support their rule. Or that democracies don't enshrine guiding principles. The veneration of a constitution, I would argue, is more lasting than the tradeoff between arbitrary monarchs who are just as likely to reverse their precursor's policies (or to be sadistic, mentally addled, etc.) And if you're arguing for checks and balances on the monarch, then you're backtracking back to democracy. Also, have we forgotten that the Papacy is a democracy in which the elected rules for life? :p (Or resignation now, I guess.)

    Lord of Elves, to be honest, I think you're a likeable guy personally. Being left wing is fine, I just don't like the way you demonize conservatives, i.e. me, and I was mad as hell and didn't want to take it anymore. And go ahead, smash capital, it's your prerogative, but at least be ideologically sound in your own positions. If the workers' paradise arrives I'll be the first to eat crow. And don't whine about me red-baiting you when you call me a white supremacist. :p
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  3. Lord of Elves

    Lord of Elves Suede-Denim Secret Police

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    My favorite thing about being an "extremist" is that I find myself agreeing more often with people who are actually, legitimately and wholly opposed to me and my beliefs than I do with the people who think they can tolerate me in their "open society." Jeho knows what's up. Good god, the reactionaries understand that the relationship between people and the institutions and cultures they create goes both ways. It makes sense. The primary contention of centrists - conservatives and liberals - is that there are no systems and cultures, no unspoken rules, that our political lives exist prima facie exactly as they appear on surface level inspection, essentially, that there is no "man behind the curtain" and the present political system is essentially fair and honest. I think we could debate the degree of fairness. Maybe, briefly, there have been times and places where by happy accident capitalism has created sufficient conditions for the flourishing of art, the exchange of cultures, all that good [CENSORED]. That's true of any sociopolitical system. It was true of the Muslim caliphates and the Stalinist and Maoist dictatorships and it's true of the rise of groups like ISIS. Yeah, of course people who benefit from systemic oppression like the system that creates it, they're its inheritors. But this is where nationalism and race theory begin to fall apart in their ability to analyze the complexity of the new political and cultural realities we live in now, which are not honest.

    Like any good Marxist my guiding principle here is that, regardless of how you feel about it, ultimately all people are defined more by their socioeconomic class more than any other aspect of their being. They may feel differently. Many people, especially White people in the English-speaking world, are basically allowed to think that other aspects of their identity - their race, their religion, their family background - are more important than the contents of their bank account and their credit rating, but when quality of life begins to really break down - as it already has in many places in this country - they'll begin to understand that this just isn't true in the grander scheme of history. The Don's - because admittedly, he's a crime boss, not a proper fuhrer - rise to power is absolutely, undeniably tied to the decay of ordinary people's lives in the United States. So is the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. But it be this way that one of the pillars of American nationalism and national identity is the hollowing out of a special place - you might even say a nationwide :eek:"SAFE SPACE":cry: - for White, English-speaking people in the economic space of our lives. Very clearly, for most of Donald Trump's supporters, the price of admission to even the outermost fringes of this special place is cultural assimilation. Membership in the special community of good and acceptable individuals can also be revoked, evincing the fact that people truly do exist in constant relationship to all parts of their identity, cuz who knows when suddenly liking a frog meme will make you a racist. Or when reactionary closet fascists will come for your civil rights, or public education because of your gender identity, sexual orientation, or just cuz you can be priced out without affecting the bottom line :crazyeye:

    Really, so much for your theory that there are people who aren't oppressed by capitalism. This process of "cultural assimilation" that reactionaries in the United States want people to undergo will ultimately have to cave before what people like Jehoshua rightly see as a kind of secular "new world order," the imposition of the global financial class - the "super wealthy," the international "1%" - on everyone, everywhere, forever. It will be the annihilation of culture. It is already becoming the annihilation of community. In the United States, the movement of millions of people in the space of decades was made possible by capitalist, industrial expansion. Today the actual physical movement of people is being made irrelevant by the infamous "Kali-Yuga" of interconnected, increasingly intelligent machines that our conversation is being made possible by. No matter how you come at it, the complete annihilation of cultural, community-based borders is what is getting people so upset.

    What's really frightening about this admission for liberals is that it acknowledges the "legitimate grievances" of American reactionaries, that there is indeed a toll being exacted by the American ruling class on White people, particularly on the "rural poor." These people, as much as anyone else, are losing and have lost control over their own communities. Young people are leaving small towns in the United States just like they are in China, and those who can't succumb in impressive numbers to pretty gnarly substance addictions. People from those communities who find something to like in the American settler-colonial culture of huntin', muddin', drinkin' an' wearing the uniform of our defeated enemy at sports games, rightly see their culture as mocked and derided by a cosmopolitan community they have no access to - that they are priced out of - that preens as more enlightened and morally superior. Many of them also rightly see this culture as more interested in wealth and the fashion, the courtly extravagance, of "toleration," than legitimate acceptance and equality for all people. In leftist communities, this is called "liberal representation," the idea that you can just affirmative action a few members of marginalized communities into important positions in the power structure, rather than legitimately address that community's issues or consult it in the process of governing.

    Maybe there are a few people who truly benefit from international capitalism. Like, legitimately ~1% of the world's population. In the short term, the upswing and downswing of international markets - which yeah, wow, are also negotiated between states as a part of bids for geopolitical power of which control of markets is a part - will benefit some communities and damage others. But in the long term, the global financial class is literally destroying all community and atomizing individuals before financial and social institutions which are increasingly automated, operate independent of human need or want, and exist to serve the good of abstract economic concepts. It is the creation of a global machine that will serve the interests of an incredibly small group of individuals - basically a cabal - and order the lives of all humanity according to them. It will destroy "leftist," "progressive" communities just as it will destroy "traditional" ones. You, @Thlayli and others may in your professional lives see yourselves as important to this process of accumulation as technocrats, people with professional and technical skills like medicine, engineering, or bureaucrats or whatever else that international capitalism needs right now, but ultimately you or your children or your grandchildren will be discarded because they are redundant, just as entire cultures have been made "redundant" and subject to the imperial powers in times past.

    The future's so bright I need a drink :scan:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  4. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    Of course Kings make appeals to the commons to buttress their rule. But they do not derive their legitimacy from popular opinion nor claim that their rule is right and just because the people say it is. That's the essential difference between "Democracy" and a traditional political order. The former claims its legitimacy by popular consent (an assertion that is questionable in itself) and gains its moral currency through popular opinion. The latter claims its legitimacy by divine right (providence) and on the maintenance of the obligations this entails by the ruler to the ruled (The mandate of heaven in chinese parlance), and its moral currency by adherence to objective, divine and natural law. (this goes for the papacy as well, the conclave does not a democracy the papacy make, particularly when in practice it is defined as an absolute elective monarchy). A King who fails to fulfil his obligations rapidly loses legitimacy, since the crowns legitimacy is entirely tied with tradition and the supernatural element to the ordering of society.

    This difference is what I'm getting at when I say democracy is the lowest form of political organising principle, since it does not derive its legitimacy from any source superior to the mob.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  5. Lord of Elves

    Lord of Elves Suede-Denim Secret Police

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    The only thing worse than an ignorant group of people is one very powerful, very ignorant person.
     
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  6. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

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    Makes for interesting reading, that's for sure.

    I have some thoughts, but I'm an idiot who probably can't talk my way into a paper bag, much less argue my way out of one. Still, I'll take my white male capitalist first world privilege, whatever that means, to my grave, since I can't get rid of it anyway.

    EDIT: to be clear, I'm happy to meme it up sometimes but I do believe that when things get serious/interesting I'm most often the oberver the audience the student and I'm happy to play that role, and try to understand things before I dive in. I am biased, but I definitely need to learn more before I join in.

    Naw, it's still PreNES brewing. Feel free to scope out interest and ****.

    ((Your NES was my first NES @-@))
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  7. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    vacuous utterances aside this is a good point. This is another reason why democracy is terrible since it more than any other system facilitates the ascent of very powerful ignorant demagogues into unconstrained power on the wave of popular opinion. ditto Duterte for example, who's program of murdering people in the streets as part of his war against drugs proceeds apace to rapturous applause.
     
  8. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    This is ridiculous, Jehoshua, and totally not borne out by the historical record. If there were, for example, real democratic checks on the power of Henry VIII, he might not have been able to violently destroy over a thousand years of English Catholicism because of his petty personal lusts.

    Absolute power concentrated in the hands of one individual belongs only to God, and desiring it in the hands of mortals is bordering on idolatrous itself. :p
     
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  9. Lord of Elves

    Lord of Elves Suede-Denim Secret Police

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    I mean, honestly, I don't know what to tell you guys. You can argue my interpretation but nothing I have said is un-factual.

    On another note I'm kind of surprised that you have such a low opinion of Duterte (and Trump?). Not the right kind of reactionary?
     
  10. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    vacuous utterance was mostly referring to post #605, I'm not touching that "conversation" you and Thlayli had with a ten foot pole.

    -

    Dutertes extrajudicial excesses are barbaric and immoral so of course I disapprove. I don't have such a bad impression of Trump (certainly he's not perfect).

    Henry VIII did have checks on his power, sadly his efforts found the support of much of the clergy and nobility since they got free ecclesiastical land and treasure out of it amongst other things and so they ended up proceeding (unlike say with King John and the Magna Carta, where the King tried to act by himself and was humbled).

    Anyways Thlayli, your democracy fetish just goes to show how indoctrinate you are in your obeisance to the idols of American civilisation :p (unlike say me, an Australian, who is emancipated from the equalitarian narrative that is peddled through all our institutions). Oh and the good Lord himself did say render under Caesar what belongs to Caesar and render unto god what belongs to God. Caesar being in reference to the roman Emperor. The historical Christian teaching is not really in favour of enlightenment liberalism ;)
     
  11. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Caesar at the time of the Principate wasn't a dynastic king, but was rather an individual raised up by the people to have supreme imperial power over and above the Senate. As a literate man I think we can be pretty sure that Christ knew this, since he chose Caesar and not Herod or some other local monarch. (Latin imperium at the time just meant authority over the army, as I'm sure you know, and the idea of an 'emperor' as you use it (monarch) wasn't yet current in 1st century AD.) While historical metaphors aren't exact, Caesar's role was closer to the modern idea of an American president than anything else from that time.

    (That the Jewish mob shouted "We have no king but Caesar" when calling for Christ's crucifixion was a better reflection of their misunderstanding of Roman law, and on Jewish obsession with monarchy, than on the contemporary Roman, or Christ's, understanding of the position of Caesar.)

    You are, of course, obfuscating that the meaning of that passage is, "Secular and spiritual authority both have obligations which we should satisfy." Or simply, "Pay your taxes." And it's rather duplicitous of you to imply otherwise. There are plenty of interesting Biblical messages on the wickedness of tyranny generally, but the fact of the matter is that New Testament theology doesn't really comment on the ideal form of government. You're speaking your opinions as a secular citizen here, not with any actual modern Catholic theological grounding.

    If you'd like to extrapolate though, from that one line, an endorsement of Roman imperial power, and therefore of earthly dictatorship generally, (ignoring of course the still-current Roman belief that their society was a REPUBLIC) you're working with a very interesting and unorthodox theology that I'm not sure represents the Catholic interpretation of that passage. You're also separating yourself from the Catholic Church in that it doesn't currently endorse or condemn any particular form of government as long as it allows religious freedom, which is far closer to Christ's position than yours.

    Now despite being Catholic I'm speaking as a secular citizen, guided by the weight of modern history, in making the determination that democracy is better than tyranny, but since you're clothing yourself in religious language I need to make very clear to both you and your audience that what you're saying isn't justified by the Bible or the doctrines of the Catholic faith.

    A little surprised I apparently need to take you to Sunday school here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  12. Lord of Elves

    Lord of Elves Suede-Denim Secret Police

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    So the problem with Duterte is not that he has literally said that he wants to enact a genocide against people who put illegal chemicals in their bodies (the horror) but that he hasn't checked with his lawyer first. You're more of a liberal than you think :p
     
  13. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    @loe

    I have no problem with capital punishment, however capital punishment is rightly exercised through the avenues of legitimate authority through which judgement is duly dispensed. Sanctioning an open season on the streets by vigilantes is nothing more than sanctioning murder, and is objectionable to anyone of right reason. (BTW I don't think you could say Duterte is reactionary as the left defies that term, he's just a typical third world strongman)

    @ Thlayli.

    I was making a basic offhand point that the Church has historically (ie right from the start) with regards to monarchical rule not been opposed (and in fact has been favourable to, although it has never proscribed monarchy as the sole "correct" form of government as mentioned in Immortale Dei, not that I said monarchy is the sole "Correct" form of government even as you wrung that conclusion out yourself in extrapolating from my one sentence) to it in the temporal sphere and on the other hand is historically (and consistently, JPII for instance opposed secularism and emphasised Christianity in public life) opposed to enlightenment liberalism (A fact anyone with an iota of historical awareness knows). That you've gone and built a whole straw man argument from that line and accused me of religious ignorance and outright heresy from that argument of yours is just making you look like an idiot , and is a very poor presentation of yourself (you are smarter than that). That kind of thing incidentally is why I don't waste my time in off-topic.

    But that aside. The Catholic Church's historical and consistent position against the fundamental principles of the democratic polity are (As I have said) well known and presented. Even as a good number of "modern theologians" dispense with the established doctrine (And dogma) and traditional teaching of the faith given the nature of our times (even the pope flirts with heresy with his latest encyclical, to the Church's eternal shame) when peddling their own opinions apart from the magisterial teaching and sacred tradition. I should note here as well that modernism (the idea that the Churchs doctrine changes with the times and is compatible with enlightenment philosophy) was rightly called the synthesis of all heresies, and is antithetical to Catholicism. Appealing to "modern teaching" as if the tradition of the Church is irrelevant is anathema to dogmatic catholic teaching.

    Anyways, you should read Libertas Praestantissimum which outlines the Churches clear opposition to the fundamental democratic principle that popular opinion is the source and origin of political legitimacy (and against liberal democracy in general). A key section being below in spoilers (but you should really read the whole thing, its on the Vatican website.)

    Spoiler :


    So where was I wrong again that the Church has been historically opposed to democracy? I note that Pope Leo was not wrong in his prediction of the outcome of democracy and the precepts of the so-called enlightenment. Do you really deny that licentiousness, religious indifference and social trust have not travelled hand in hand with the ascent of the democratic polity?

    -

    Post Script.

    Spoiler :
    Oh and of course the main point of the passage I referenced is that people owe dues to secular authority (ergo in that you are correct). However you should keep in mind that this fits back with what I said before about (A non democratic polity) deriving legitimacy from obligations of the ruler to the ruled, via modo their application of the higher order in the human sphere (divine and natural law) and fulfilling the peoples needs (doing their job as the ruler) as protector and governor (fulfilling the law of love of neighbour, as proceeding from love of God). It has nothing at all to do with popular consent or the democratic polity. Immortale Dei, which I linked to above, explains this with regards to the ruler being charged with the institution of the divine rule of God in the human sphere. The key point I quote below in spoilers, but again you should read the whole thing.

    Finally, I would just like to note that as a good Catholic you should know that sola scriptura is a heresy, and the scripture can only be rightly understood in the context of the sacred tradition (the teachings passed down) and the magisterium (the "official" teachings [as the media likes to call it] of the church dogmatically defined, and the living authority of the ordinary magisterium of the episcopate and the extraordinary magisterium of the pope (papal infallibility when he formally defines dogma, which is an exceedingly rare instance). As the profusion of protestant heresies (and the antics of modern theologians) show, one can take scripture by itself, and wrong almost anything one wants from it if one takes the individual as the interpreter.

    Spoiler :
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  14. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

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    Just a comment from the sidelines...

    If you guys explained your points better then @Thlayli wouldn't be as able to straw-man them. As is, it kinda feels like you write a provocative witty short line without explaining it, and get annoyed when it gets interpreted incorrectly when you could have interpreted it yourself in the first place. And by that, I mean bracketting the memorable parts of your argument with solid foundation of your actual position. (before someone slaps that excellent facade on a bed of straw).

    At least @Jeho addressed the straw-man head on, and I can see where the different interpretations diverged.* I still have no idea where the strawman @loe referred to on the last page was, since he refused to explain himself there. EDIT: Either that means I have to take him at face value that what Thlayli posted was indeed a strawman, or try to figure out how it is a strawman, which as I have mentioned, I wasn't able to do. (there are certainly weaker arguments, but I'm speaking of the overall post)

    *Insert - And what Jeho meant versus how Thlayli interpreted it, as well as solidly expanding his argument/point.

    [Wonder if there's a fallacy or argumentative strategy for straw-man baiting? EDIT: Not to say that you guys are straw-man baiting, or presenting fallacious arguments, but an expression of curiosity on the prior question due to the current discussion. EDITEDIT: See what I did there?]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  15. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Oh Jeho, every time I read your hardcore religious babble it only reinforces how much I believe that what you believe in is a big pile of horse dung. Increasingly, I find the mere idea of the Christian god to be an act of supreme arrogance.

    Not that I ultimately disagree with a primordial creator, but I do with everything else. The only demiurge I could believe in is one which is powerless, not sentient, and lacking will or any specific impact within creation. In other words, if there is a god we cannot know it and it doesnt care.

    Theology is just a farce set up to reconcile the cognitive dissonance between the impossibility of knowing god and the necessity to do so.
     
  16. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    @Terrance888

    I was making my point early in the morning while rushing out to work you know, and it was just a offhand point that Christian tradition is "not opposed" to monarchy ...

    Additionally I tend to presume people here in the NES section aren't that objectionable type of person who tries to scour every word and comma in someone's statements to wheedle out some sort of non-existent falsity in the statement, all while facetiously missing the point and trying to take the argument on a tangent. Ergo I presume people here are honest interlocutors until otherwise proven wrong. In Thlayli's case I'm sure it was just a misinterpretation, which he then expounded on because he is passionate about the topic and democracy (I'd classify him as a right-liberal). People tend to lose sense of themselves when they are really into something, or feel they are being attacked.

    @joan

    Not my problem per se if you willfully dismiss out of hand the philosophical groundings of my argument because it makes you feel bad. (A great deal of modern political philosophy and argument is grounded not on reason but on feels, this we can see from the argument for gay marriage because "love", or the argument for intervention in Libya or other theatres because "Evil tyrant", not to mention how many people vote on the basis of their feelings about the candidate rather than consideration of their policies.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  17. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    "Remember not the events of the past; the things of long ago, consider not."
     
  18. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    hence why Sola Scriptura is a heresy, you can wring any meaning you want by picking and choosing quotations. (full context is Isaiah 43.)

    -
     
  19. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    Isaiah is generally used by protestants for the opposite, anyway, to what I was stating, which is: shut up.
     
  20. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    :lol: fair enough since the discussion has gone way beyond what I intended when I acknowledged LOE referencing me in that other thread...

    Anyways there are better ways to say shut up than to make an obtuse biblical quote. (like actually saying shut up straight out).
     

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