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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For April 12, 2017

April 8

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost on the rejection of objective reality in today’s universities. This appeared in Heidelblog.

I'm sorry but this is just an intellectual form of the parable of the two men praying. The similarities between the above article and that parable is that, again, it is the religious expert who claims to be above all others and thankful that they are not like the poor souls who reject o objective reality. However, like the pharisee from the parable, the religious expert here makes similar mistakes.

First, basically we have 3 time periods that have dealt with reality and the world around us: Pre Modernism, Modernism, and Post Modernism. Of those 3, only Post Modernism rejects the necessary metanarratives that allow for objective reality. That means that modernity, as represented by modernism, did not reject objective reality. It merely said that it isn't found in the faith narratives.

But why did Post Modernism reject the metanarratives that provide a basis for objective reality? It was because of what those from both periods associated with their metanarratives: conquest, imperialism, colonialism, marginalization of others, false claims of superiority, and major wars. And just as those establishment figures who lost to Trump in the election because they failed to be up front with their failures, so too does the religious figure here refuse to see what is apparent to everyone else. That those who adopted his particular metanarrative associated that metanarrative with horrendous acts. It is because of those atrocities that many Post Modernists have embraced an outcome-based truth system because they honestly want to correct past abuses.

Yes, the Post Modernists are wrong, but at least they are concerned about past abuses. The Pre Modernists and Modernists are only more than happy to deny their part in past atrocities, that is if they care to admit to their existence. So we see that the Post Modernists might have virtues that are absent in Pre Modernists and Modernists.

Finally, having taught in different colleges for 19 and 1/2 years, I see no evidence for the claim that our universities are full of people who reject objective reality. Then again, if you hang around engineers, computer scientists, information tech people, and mathematicians, one can't afford to deny objective reality.


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April 10

To Joseph Pearce and his blogpost lamenting the demise of the West through an ever increasing number of immigrants and a decreasing birth rate for Europeans. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

This article kind of mirrors articles and statements that lament the good old days when America was a Christian nation under God. That is because of what we see and don't see when we look back at those days. We see one set of problems and faults being replaced by another. Only those who reminisce seem to have a greater tolerance for the older problems and faults than the newer ones. And thus, they see the current trends and run around yelling that the sky is falling.

We need to remember that it was the associations that were made with Christianity in Europe's past that have caused people to reject much of the past. For when Europe was at its strongest, there were multiple empires and these empires not only waged wars against and even partially exterminated non-Europeans on their own continents, they fought each other often in the name of God. WW I, according to Karl Barth, saw the reshaping of God into a tribal god with each participant demonizing others while canonizing themselves. And though WW II did not see the making of God into a tribal god as was done in WW I, it saw almost unprecedented destruction and cruelty. And now we are to mourn the loss of the West?

We also need to remember that part of what is called the biggest threat to the West, the increased immigration of people from the Middle East, is the result of Western foreign policies. It takes Westerners to adopt a bull in a china shop mentality not to see this.

In addition, Pearce's math does not make sense. For, according to Pearce, the survival of a civilization must be seen in bipolar terms. Either survival is guaranteed with an ever increasing population growth or it is about to cause its own demise by an ever decreasing population. Never has Pearce considered that  there can be an ebb and flow of population increase and decrease from one time period to another.

To mourn the demise of the West and link it to Europe's population, shows a fear that one's race will disappear. But if one's religion is multiracial and one's religion is more important to one than one's race, why is this such a significant fear? And aren't their components of the West, such as its imperialism and lack of self-awareness, that should be allowed to become extinct?

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To Donald Devine and his blogpost citing  Allan C. Carlson as he states that crony capitalism is the enemy of families while a free market capitalism that relies on small businesses are every family’s friend. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

When one sees a title like the one for the above article, one anticipates an either deductive or inductive approach to proving what was said. In this article both approaches are used but not on the same objects. For a somewhat inductive approach is used to show that crony capitalism is not only bad for families, but exploits family dysfunctions. However, there is hope because of the assertion that a family friendly, small is beautiful approach to free markets provides the relative utopia we are all looking for. That such a system works is assumed.



 The next partial paragraph is the result of a lack of adequately editing the comment

http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/04/capitalism-enemy-family-donald-devine.html population that came from centering society on the family, comes the need to for bigger and bigger businesses that have the resources to provide for people's needs. In addition, whether one is talking about 'crony capitalism' or the ever idyllic free markets for small businesses, the fuel that feeds the economy is greed. And so even without the population explosion, comes the drive to build bigger and bigger businesses.

In addition,  the free market approach above favors the mass number of small self-sustaining units because the free markets of people like Hayek join Cain in asking his rhetorical question: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That is the purpose of joining the free market with small businesses as its participants. Such a mindset is really only embraced by those who want their own personal growth to not be infringed on by notions of solidarity or social responsibilities. In addition, this mindset also includes a modern and restricted definition of the term 'stakeholder.' For in the past, stakeholders were all who were impacted by a business. Without government regulations to protect the environment, workers, and consumers, the new definition of stakeholder is reduced to the owner(s) either of a business or in an economic system.


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April 11

To Joe Carter and his blogpost stating that the gender gap in pay is a myth because of the kind of jobs generally taken by men vs those taken by women. This appeared in the Acton blog.

If only Carter would continue to research the gender gap in pay after he found what is to him a satisfactory answer, perhaps this article would be more educational.

A valid point that Carter makes is that one cannot just look at the big picture to see if their is a problem in gender gap pay. And certainly, a partial explanation can be seen in the ones provided by the article he cited. But that doesn't fully explain the gender gap pay we have. Two other factors can be added from documentation provided by the Pew Research Center (see http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/03/gender-pay-gap-facts/ ). Another reason for the gender gap in pay, according to women surveyed in 2013, was taking time off to raise a family affected long-term earnings. In addition, the same 2013 survey saw a majority of both men and women reporting that discrimination also exists against women in the workplace. Finally, the same Pew Research Article states that the gender gap in pay is decreasing. One source of the discrimination is found in the leadership opportunities not given to quallified women in the workplace (see http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/01/14/women-and-leadership/  ).

The reason for just citing one source is rather obvious. There is no need, according free market supporters, to pass and enforce regulations that ensure equal pay. However, this view is more concerned about the place of regulations than gender pay gap.

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To Bruce Walker and his blogpost warning against intellectuals and tyrants. In particular, he attempts to group all together as belonging to the Left. This appeared in the Acton Blog.

In the list of leaders who oversaw mass killings of people, those who were left off that list include American Presidents who saw to it that Native Americans were removed from their land or who oversaw mass killings from American invasions such as those of the Philippines (1899 to 1902) where hundreds of thousands of people were killed and Vietnam, where millions of people were killed. Nor would murderous leaders whom the US either installed or supported included in the list. Here, examples include Pinochet in Chile, The Shah in Iran, and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. And, of course, what was also not included was the violence we supported in Latin America nor the Cuban leader whom we supported who preceded Castro.

In addition, the tendency to label the leaders listed as being non conservatives also seems puzzling and forgets the leading distinction between the Soviet failed experiment and Fascism. In the former, government elites sought control with a pretense of support from the workers even though these elites were seeking their own power over all. In Fascism, the supporting force behind the tyrannical governments came from business elites. To read Marx and assume that a central government is socialism regardless of who is supporting central control is the same as falling asleep during most of a movie and yet pretending to be able to comment on it. In addition, if we take Hitler for example, we should note that part of his party's campaign platform was to make Germany First, to bring back traditional values, and to oppose Marxism.

As for Hugo Chavez, why are we listing him with the likes of people who favored using violence to silence dissidents? And to discredit Chomsky because he and Chavez agreed on a couple of issues is beyond the pale of being overly simplistic. Perhaps, Walker did not see Chomsky's criticisms of Latin America's Leftist governments to build sustainable economies (see https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/5/chomsky_leftist_latin_american_governments_have ). Had Walker listened to or read Chomsky on Latin America's Leftist leaders, he would have found Chomsky criticizing them for basing their economies on commodity prices rather than on manufacturing and agriculture. The former is more volatile in terms of its contribution to a nation's economy. As a result, Venezuela suffered the same problems under Chavez's leftist government as it did under a Capitalist supporting government in the 90s. But we should also note something else about Chavez. He was criticized by the Left for not advancing participation by the workers in decision making positions. Certainly Chavez had to deal with an always present threat of American subversion. However, he chose to run Venezuela under elite-centered rule. We should note that with America being more classified as an oligarchy than a democracy (see  http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746), we now live under elite-centered rule as well.

As for West, I think he took a too simplistic approach to Chavez and criticism of him on his support of Chavez is warranted.

And though we should group Lenin on the Left, a fellow Socialist and contemporary Rosa Luxemburg criticized him for establishing a bourgeoisie dictatorship rather than a Socialist government that relies on the rule of elected members from the proletariat. In fact, the above article gives evidence to this point in citing Lenin as he refers to those to the left of him. We don't have to take the quote from the above article for it, we can read it (see https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/may/09.htm ). So how much of a Socialist was Lenin? You will get a mixed response.

Some of the others whom Walker mentioned merited his criticisms though his criticisms don't tell the whole story.

As Walker rants and rails against intellectuals and tries to scapegoat those on the Left, we should note that he is in infamous company in doing so. That company includes Adolf Hitler. And we should note that the Roman Church signed a Konkordat with the Nazi government because the Church then saw an ally in Hitler because Hitler opposed the Bolshviks. However, if Walker is concerned about elite-centered rule, he needs to be concerned about this kind of rule whether it comes from the left, liberalism, or conservatism. And if he is concerned about all elite-centered rule, then perhaps he would prefer to stand with the Menshoviks, who were  Socialists, as opposed to the Bolsheviks and their descendants or the Bourgeoisie. And that would suite me fine.




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