Content Advisory

Content Advisory: Whereas: this blog occasionally employs "colorful language,"

may also occasionally contain implicit and explicit references to

tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, as well as sexuality,

and favors logic over dogma, any or all of which may offend some,

and whereas I may occasionally give disclaimers,

but I do NOT give "trigger warnings,"

therefore, be it resolved that: this blog is intended for mature readers.

However, this blog is not age-restricted.



Monday, November 28, 2016

Errand of Mercy








Errand of Mercy,
or,
Tomorrow Is "Giving Tuesday,"
by Liviana (Giovanna L.)


Tomorrow is "Giving Tuesday," a global day dedicated to giving back.  For those who can and would like to give to a charity on this Giving Tuesday, many worthy causes exist.  You may of course select one or more of your own ways of being charitable and compassionate on Giving Tuesday, but I would like to recommend the following (to my knowledge, none of these have ever endorsed any political candidate, unlike some in my list last year):


in memory of Leonard Nimoy (if you like, or in memory of someone in your life)















Thanks for giving, you who are willing and able to do so.

If you are not able to give, that's alright, too.  I've been there myself, and I understand.








The title of the post comes from Star Trek (The Original Series), Season 1, episode 26;  episode 26 overall;  production code 27.


Fair use notice
This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which may not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of scientific, environmental, political, human rights, economic, philosophical, psychological, cultural, and social issues, etc. 
I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  No challenge of ownership is intended or implied.
For more information: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 




Thursday, November 17, 2016

This Side of Paradise




Berning Green



This Side of Paradise,
or,
The Way Forward,
by Liviana (Giovanna L.)


"People who are too optimistic seem annoying. This is an unfortunate misinterpretation of what an optimist really is.

"An optimist is neither naive, nor blind to the facts, nor in denial of grim reality. An optimist believes in the optimal usage of all options available, no matter how limited. As such, an optimist always sees the big picture. How else to keep track of all that’s out there? An optimist is simply a proactive realist.

"An idealist focuses only on the best aspects of all things (sometimes in detriment to reality); an optimist strives to find an effective solution. A pessimist sees limited or no choices in dark times; an optimist makes choices.

"When bobbing for apples, an idealist endlessly reaches for the best apple, a pessimist settles for the first one within reach, while an optimist drains the barrel, fishes out all the apples and makes pie.

"Annoying? Yes. But, oh-so tasty!"

~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration (italics in original)




The Past

We could have had President Bernard Sanders, a Progressive Leftist in the White House.  Had Bernie been the nominee of the Democratic Party, he would have inspired people to get out and vote, and the Republicans would not now be dominant in both Houses of Congress.  Some establishment Democrats have mocked this claim, insisting that if Bernie could not even defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primary, he could not possibly have defeated Trump in the general election.  Leaving aside for the moment the reality of the voter suppression and assorted other shenanigans engaged in by the Democratic establishment, the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the main stream media to promote Hillary and undermine Bernie, these establishment Democrats are either stupid or attempting to bamboozle the voters, for Bernie Sanders had immense support among "No Party Preference," independent, and "third" party voters, many of whom could not vote in the primaries, due to partisan "closed primaries."  Their numbers are greater than the number of voters registered as Republican or the number of voters registered as Democrat.  Their votes could, nay, would, have easily put Bernie in the White House.

Instead, we were subjected to the worst Democratic nominee for President in my memory.  On top of her abysmal record and stances, to say nothing of the vast number of scandals associated with her, Hillary's campaign and her supporters attempted to guilt trip Berners into voting for her, tried to scare Berners into voting for her, endeavored to insult Berners into voting for her, sought to intimidate Berners into voting for her, exhibited massive condescension in the hope that Berners would vote for her.  They called us sexists, chauvinists, and misogynists.  They called us naïve.  They called us ridiculous.  They said we did not understand politics.  Hillary's campaign hired online trolls to harass Berners during the primary campaign and third party supporters during the lead-up to the general election.  Why they thought that these would be effective tactics remains a mystery.

Many of us stayed home, didn't vote for any presidential candidate, or voted for Doctor Jill Ellen Stein, the nominee of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).  A few even voted for Donald John Trump, the Republican nominee or Gary Earl Johnson, the "Libertarian" nominee.  I myself voted for Doctor Stein.

Donald Trump won the election.

The blame game started immediately, with establishment Democrats and their partisan followers, and the drones of Hillary, pointing their fingers at Bernie, at Berners, at Jill, at GPUS voters, at Johnson and those who voted for him, at Russia, at Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and even at Director James Comey of the FBI.  Some blamed racism, some blamed sexism.  One moronic spoiled brat blamed white women and said that they were guilty of internalized misogyny.  I have not seen or heard a single one of them express any acceptance of responsibility on their own part.  Most have not seemed to believe any of the information revealed by WikiLeaks, including the collusion of the Democratic National Committee with the Hillary for President campaign and the main stream media to promote Hillary and undermine Bernie.  They have continued to believe their own rhetoric to the point that one cultist even had the hubris to compare Hillary to the Goddess Athena.  I have seen videos of many of Hillary's supporters crying and expressing dismay and fear.  That was, of course, when they were not rioting in the streets, although there has been some suggestion that many of the rioters were bused in by George Soros and/or MoveOn.org, to which Soros is a major contributor, and are therefore examples of "astroturfing."  Whether such suggestion be true or no, I do not know.  I have seen video of many buses parked on both sides of a street, but no verification of when and where the video was made, nor any evidence of connection to the rioters or any individual or organization.

Some have so bought into the Argumentum ad Hominem which the Democratic Party establishment, the DNC, and the Hillary for President campaign used throughout the election cycle that they sincerely believe that Trump is a Fascist.  If he be a Fascist, then so is Hillary, and demonstrably so, but these people have been unwilling to listen to any criticism of Hillary.  Instead, they have simply continued the name-calling which they embraced during the campaign.  They have refused to listen to the historical evidence that Trump is no more of a Fascist than any other Republican President since 1981, and they have refused to consider that their "Saint" Hillary is not a Leftist, not a Progressive, not even a Liberal.  No, they have insisted, Hillary is flawless and has never done anything remotely wrong.  The cult of personality surrounding Hillary has prevented any penetration of their delusion by logic.

Doctor Stein, whom I supported and for whom (as noted above) I voted, who was the only Progressive Leftist candidate for President who was on sufficient state ballots to have a chance to win the general election, received only 1% of the popular vote (as of the time of this writing, according to RealClearPolitics).


The Present

So here we are, a week and two days after the election.  The Liberals and pseudo-Liberals have continued to behave hysterically.  Some partisan Democrats, members of the Democratic establishment, and Hillary supporters have called for the Electoral College to ignore the way their states voted and instead install Hillary as the President.  The level of political immaturity necessary for such a petition is rather stunning.  The hypocrisy is even more stunning, in light of the use of "Super Delegates" by the Democratic Party, whose pledged votes were constantly reported during the primary campaign season (even though those votes would not be cast until the Democratic National Convention), in a bid by the main stream media to promote Hillary and undermine Bernie.

Hillary supporters, the rank and file supporters, are angry, sad, afraid.  They seem to honestly believe that Trump's presidency will be a disaster.  I have no doubt that it will not be remotely like what I would prefer, but I also recognize rhetoric and propaganda for what they are.  We survived eight years of George Walker Bush and Richard "Dick" Bruce (Darth) Cheney.  We will survive four years of Trump and Pence, and so will the democratic federal republic which is the United States of America.

In a little more than a month, the Electoral College will vote to confirm Trump as President-elect.  To do otherwise would be to invite chaos on a level which would far surpass the recent rioting by Hillary supporters.  Trump's supporters have firearms and assorted other ways to make the pro-Hillary/anti-Trump protests look like nothing more than a high school dance.

Some Berners who went Green for the general election have been considering returning to the Democratic Party, while others have expressed their intention to remain affiliated with the GPUS, and a few have spoken of leaving the country.

The Democrats, for their part, have named Charles "Chuck" Ellis Schumer as their Senate Minority Leader, seem to favor Howard Brush Dean III for the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (although both Bernie and Schumer have supported Keith Maurice Ellison, who is widely believed to be Progressive, but supports the "No Fly Zone" over Syria which was favored by Mrs Clinton and opposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and which would inevitably lead to provocation of, and likely war with, Russia, which is something no sane person wants), and have floated the idea of Timothy "Tim" Michael Kaine being their preferred candidate for President in 2020.  Schumer is a Neoliberal, Dean would be a continuation of the same failed policies which characterized the position when Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile held it, and Kaine is a man who loves deregulation and describes himself as "conservative."  If that were not bad enough, Schumer also named Joseph "Joe" Manchin III to be "Vice Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee."  Manchin has been described as "moderate to conservative," and his record is anything but Progressive.  Schumer also named Elizabeth Ann Warren as Co Vice Chair of the Conference.  Warren was widely regarded as a Progressive champion before she endorsed Hillary Clinton for President earlier this year, apparently lured by the notion that Hillary would name her as running mate, which did not happen.  Further research into Warren's history reveals that she voted Republican until 1995, at age 46.  The other Vice Chair of the Conference named by Schumer is Mark Robert Warner, who is said to be a "moderate" Democrat, who voted for the extension of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act in 2011, was a member of the "Gang of Six," has been hesitant regarding minimum wage increase, and whose campaign contributors include JP Morgan Chase.  None of these things support any idea that the Democrats have learned anything from this election cycle.  Schumer did name Bernie Sanders to be "Chair of Outreach," which is, according to The Washington Post, "a junior role in his [Schumer's] expanded leadership team."  As Chair of Outreach, Bernie will be in charge of public relations for the Democrats.  Schumer's choice of Senator Sanders for this position is itself an attempt at public relations, but a junior leadership role is less than Bernie deserves, and I am concerned with what sort of "outreach" the Democrats will expect him to do.

We are still on this side of Paradise, and perhaps further from that ideal than we have been before, although that is a matter of debate.


The Future

Where do we go from here, then?  What is the way forward?  For Progressive Left-libertarians, several options have been being discussed.  Some believe that we should join with or go back into the Democratic Party and attempt to reform it and steer it toward Progressive Left-libertarian ideals.  Others have argued instead that we should start a wholly new political party.  A few have suggested that we should go into one of the smaller Progressive Leftist political parties, and a few others have spoken of a desire to leave the USA and move to Canada or Europe.  Still others have proposed that we establish a coalition of Progressive Leftist political parties to work together.  And yet others have argued that we should remain with the GPUS.

From my perspective as one who recognized, in early 1994, the trend which has come to dominate the Democratic Party since 1993, and based on the just past election cycle and the post-election behavior of the establishment Democrats, I cannot see any value in going into the Democratic Party, nor any hope of it ever being reformed.  Although even the International Monetary Fund has declared that Neoliberalism is a failure, the Democratic Party establishment seems to be intent on continuing to push policies based on that dystopian economic philosophy.  Indeed, the establishment Democrats are now more like the Republicans of the 1980s than the Democrats of that decade.  Some of them have even embraced Neoconservative foreign policy (interventionism/imperialism) and unconditional support of the nation of Israel, which were prominent among Republicans in the 1980s.  They have learned nothing from the failed Clinton-Kaine campaign, and they therefore see no need to reform.  They remain in control of the party and its apparatus, which would make any effort to reform the party a steep uphill battle.




I do not agree with the idea of starting an entirely new political party, either.  That would take, at minimum, 20 years to grow to a point at which it might be able to put forth candidates for US Senate, US House of Representatives, and US President who might have a chance of winning office.  The amount of time, effort, and money necessary to accomplish such a thing would be enormous, and having to wait that long would be a setback which none of us actually wants.




While there are a number of small Progressive Leftist political parties in the USA, none of them has the membership numbers or sufficient organization to be a contender without time, effort, and money comparable to what would be required to build a totally new political party.  Again, such a setback would be extremely undesirable.

Leaving the country would accomplish nothing;  the USA would likely continue down the path to dystopia, and eventually become a menace to any nation to which we might emigrate.

Working to build a coalition of Progressive Left-libertarian political parties sounds good, but partisan politics is as much a quagmire as religious sectarianism.  Each group believes its way is "the" way, or they would have already merged together.  Still, this has promise, if we could successfully overcome the sectarian separatism of the distinct parties.  In order to accomplish this, however, we would need to have a strong presence in at least one such party.




I believe that our best option is to remain with the Green Party of the United States, and work to build it up, to get the message of the GPUS out, to inform the citizens of the actual numbers of the independent/NPP/"third" party voters, to register the unregistered eligible voters, to educate and promote the GPUS platform.  The GPUS presidential candidate in this past election was on the ballot in 44 states and the District of Columbia, and eligible as a write-in in three more states, for a total of 48, which is more than enough electoral votes to have won, had Jill won in enough states to get those electoral votes.  While she only got 1% of the popular vote this time around, that is a significant improvement on the 0.36% which she received in the 2012 election.  If we start NOW, instead of waiting till 2019, we can increase that percentage even more.  The Greens are found in several nations, and so have international recognition.  The GPUS has organization and apparatus which we would not have to build from scratch.  They are the largest Progressive Leftist party in the United States.  They have name recognition.  Many Berners went into the GPUS after the Democratic National Convention this year.  Progressive Left-libertarians thus have a decent presence in the party already.  We can ensure that the GPUS continues to stand for our ideals and selects candidates whom we prefer.




You may say I'm a dreamer of an impossible dream, but I'm not the only one. Someday we'll find the end of the rainbow, the lovers, the dreamers, and me, all of us under its spell.




Even if the Democratic Party were receptive to being reformed and to Progressive Left-libertarian ideals, that would not resolve the challenges which we face.  The entire electoral system must be reformed.  The Democratic Party must dispense with "Super Delegates."  We need to eradicate the "two" party system itself, which has brought us to the point at which two widely disliked and distrusted candidates were put forward as the two major parties' offerings for the office of President of the United States of America, and that will only be possible if we are in a "third" party.  We must get rid of "First Past the Post" elections and replace them with "Ranked Choice Voting" and Proportional Representation.  We need to take control of the debates away from the bipartisan Committee on Presidential Debates, and put it in the hands of an authentically non-partisan body.  We must reform campaign finance and restore the Fairness Doctrine, making it stronger than it was before.  We need to amend the Constitution to declare once and for all that corporations are not people, and to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission.  We cannot accomplish these things from within the Democratic Party, for the establishment of the party would never allow us to do so, and they have no intention of empowering the members of the party, for doing so would remove their power.  They are elitists who believe that they know what is best for us, when they are not merely Machiavellians intent on getting and keeping power and wealth, or pimps for the corporatist oligarchy.  #DemExit must be permanent for all those Berners who left the Democratic Party, for the establishment of that party has no intention of allowing the party to be reformed;  they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.  Those Berners who took part in #DemExit must go Green and stay Green, if they hope to ever see the future which all of us who are Progressive Left-libertarians long for.




We are still on this side of Paradise.  If we wish to draw nearer to that destination, the path toward it is clear, and that path is through the Green Party of the United States.  It's in our hands.















The title of the post comes from Star Trek (The Original Series), Season 1, episode 24;  episode 24 overall;  production code 25.


Fair use notice
This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which may not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of scientific, environmental, political, human rights, economic, philosophical, psychological, cultural, and social issues, etc. 
I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  No challenge of ownership is intended or implied.
For more information: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 





Monday, November 14, 2016

The City on the Edge of Forever




The City on the Edge of Forever,
or,
Post-Election Musings,
by Liviana (Giovanna L.)


"For when the One Great Scorer comes
To mark against your name,
He writes – not that you won or lost –
But HOW you played the Game."
~ Grantland Rice, "Alumnus Football"



The quote above, from a poem by famed sportswriter Grantland Rice, is often paraphrased as "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."  We, who supported Doctor Jill Stein of the Green Party of the United States, did not win the election a few days ago.  Doctor Stein will not take the office of President of the United States of America in January.  This turn of events was not unexpected.  Going into the voting booths, we knew that Jill had very little chance of actually winning the election, but we voted for her anyway.  We could not support the corruption of Hillary Clinton, the bigotry and chauvinism of Donald Trump, or the "Objectivist" nonsense of Gary Johnson.  We voted our consciences.  Some would say that we lost.  I would say that we didn't win the election, but we also didn't lose, because we held fast to our principles, even though the outcome of the election is not what we would have preferred.

There has been a lot of speculation about "What if" since the results came in.  What if Bernie Sanders had accepted Jill Stein's offer to become her running mate?  What if Hillary and her drones had not rigged the primary to favor Hillary and undermine Bernie?  What if this?  What if that?  We cannot know with certainty the answers to those speculative questions.  If Bernie had become Jill's VP running mate, I am certain that the Greens would have gotten far more than 5% of the vote, but as it happened, he did not, and the Greens got less than 5%.  I believe that if Bernie had accepted Jill's offer, the Greens would have had a very good chance of actually winning, but without some means of travel to, or at least viewing of, an alternate timeline in which he did accept her offer, the ultimate outcome of such a situation will never be known, at least to us who have no such means at our disposal.

As usual, and as we expected, Hillary and her drones have attempted to put the blame for Hillary's loss on everyone but themselves.  It is a symptom of psychopathology to be unwilling to admit fault, and Mrs Clinton has evinced this symptom for years.  They have attempted to blame Russia, FBI Director James Comey, disgruntled Berners, and supporters of both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.  The number tally demonstrates quite clearly that third party voters did not cost Hillary the election, but this is a mythology which the Democrats have credulously embraced whole-heartedly ever since 2000 when they claimed (falsely) that Ralph Nader cost Al Gore the election.  Reams of paper have been printed on which this blame of anyone and everyone other than Hillary Clinton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Brazile, John Podesta, and all their cohorts and trolls has been published.  Fortunately, considerably more reams of paper have been printed on which the blame has been appropriately and correctly aimed at those who are actually responsible:  Hillary and her pals in the corrupt DNC and the corporate-owned, establishment, main stream media, and her condescending, insulting, and obnoxious disciples.

Not content with promoting what they referred to as "pied piper" candidates in the Republican primary, not content with anti-democratic collusion to promote Hillary and marginalize Bernie, these fools heaped insult upon injury by castigating, shaming, and mocking the Progressive Leftist base of the Democratic Party, attempting to bully them into supporting Hillary's bid for the presidency.  A certain narrative was repeated from her previous attempt, namely, that anyone who did not support Hillary was a sexist and a chauvinist and a misogynist.  That didn't work too well when many of us were supporting another woman instead of Hillary, and so they decided to attempt to besmirch Doctor Stein's reputation by making all manner of baseless claims about her supposed "anti-scientific" beliefs.  If this had happened in any sphere other than politics, they would rightly have been sued for slander and libel, and they would have lost that suit.  Doctor Jill Stein is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, who studied Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, who even served as an instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  The claims made about her by the pro-Hillary crowd are nothing short of libel and slander (and Harvard should sue for slander and libel, too), but they have been debunked repeatedly.  Still, some of the gullibles continued parroting those claims up to and after the election.

Even after the election, however, Hillary's cultists continue to claim that Hillary lost because of sexism, but at the same time, they claim it was the fault of Jill Stein supporters.  The self-referential incoherence is astounding.

We did not support Mrs Clinton for many, many reasons, but sexism was not one of those, at least not sexism on our part.

While we mocked her and at times insulted her and her supporters, anything we said about them pales in comparison to the vitriol which they directed at us.  Tu Quoque is still a fallacy, I admit.  I will not attempt to justify our insults of them by pointing to their insults of us.  Our insults of them, however, were based on firmer foundation than anything they said about us, and so evade the charge of Argumentum ad Hominem.  Not every insult is fallacious.  On the field of politics, moreover, the game is one of rhetoric and not Logic, and so insults are all too common, and even expected.  It is of course preferable when they are based on some reality, rather than manufactured out of thin air.  No, our insults were true;  the supporters of Hillary really ARE a gaggle of gullibles.  Anyone who believes that Hillary Clinton is or ever was a champion of women, the LGBTI community, Liberalism, Progressive ideals, or Leftism is excruciatingly gullible, for she was and is none of those things.

They tried to scare us into voting for Hillary, too, but after having heard this bullshit over and over again from the Democrats every time they put forth a deeply flawed candidate, we didn't buy it:

"If you don't vote for Hillary, you'll get the big bad wolf!"
:: yawn ::
"But, but, but ... TRUMP!"
Okay?
"He's a fascist!"
So is Hillary.
"How can you say that?  You've been reading Right Wing propaganda!"
No, toots, I've been reading WikiLeaks, but I also lived in Arkansas for all but about a year of the time her husband was Governor of the state, and I do my own research.  I might accidentally know a little more about her than your twenty-something-year-old Yankee ass which only listens to partisan Democrat and condescending pseudo-Liberal propaganda does.

Now after the election, they try to blame us.  Evidently, they are mathematically incompetent, because even if every third party voter had not voted for Jill or Johnson, it doesn't mean we would have voted for Hillary, and she would still have lost.  "You're responsible for this!"  No, you are.  I voted for an ethical candidate.  You voted for a candidate who wouldn't know the truth if it bit her on the ass, a candidate who apparently engaged in pay for play schemes, a candidate whose lust for war contributed to deaths of millions around the world, a candidate who admitted to her wealthy corporate donors that she had both a public and a private position, a candidate who advocated for toppling the Syrian government because Zionism, a candidate whose ambition and lust for wealth and power and position and prestige dominated her psyche to such an extent that she would not do what was right for the Republic and instead clung to her stolen nomination when she should have stepped down in favor of the candidate who could have won, in the midst of not one but two criminal investigations of her activities, a woman who derided and smeared other women who were victims of, or collaborators in, Bill's philandering, because she wouldn't admit the truth that she is not enough for Bill, and not enough for America.

No, we didn't win.  But we didn't lose, either, because Hillary did not win.  And at the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether we won or lost;  it matters that we were true to our principles.  I daresay few Hillary supporters can honestly make the same claim.  Suck it up, buttercup, you lost the election for your Queen (Wanna)Bee.  I'm not happy that Donald Trump won, but I am utterly delighted that Hillary Clinton lost.  I just hope Trump follows through on his declared intention to have a REAL investigation of Hillary, because the pimpette of Wall Street belongs in prison, for so, so many reasons.  Do you need a "safe space"?  Tough shit.  Go to Canada if you have the spine to do so.  We'll still be here, fighting for Progressive Left-libertarian ideals and goals, while you delicate little neurotics run away from an imaginary boogeyman.

And we'll sleep soundly at night, knowing that we were true to our values.  We may not have won, but we played the Game ethically, with honor and integrity, which is far more than I can say for Hillary and her drones.


Ἀστραῖα












The title of the post comes from Star Trek (The Original Series), Season 1, episode 28;  episode 28 overall;  production code 28.


Fair use notice
This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which may not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of scientific, environmental, political, human rights, economic, philosophical, psychological, cultural, and social issues, etc. 
I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  No challenge of ownership is intended or implied.
For more information: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 



Monday, October 31, 2016

The Enemy Within




The Enemy Within,
or,
Another Symptom
of Monopolistic Dualism,
by Liviana (Giovanna L.)


"Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse, Aphorismus 146

"Who with monsters fights, should see that he in the process not become a monster. And when you long into an abyss gaze, then gazes the abyss also into you."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146
(my translation)


Preface

"Monopolistic Dualism" is a term whose origin is rightly attributed to one who used to go by the "tribal name" Crommán mac Nessa, one of the founders and leaders of a movement which has at times been called "an Rian Sinnsearach" or "in Róen Sinserda" (the first is Gaelic and the second is Old Irish, and both mean "the Ancestral Way"), among other names, mac Nessa's own expression of which has sometimes been called "Ivernian Heathen Revivalism."  His work now survives only in privately-held copies and in earlier versions preserved at the Internet Archive.

Writing in the late 1990s and early 2000s, mac Nessa used the term to refer to a "religious tradition" which in its main expressions teaches dualism, both metaphysically and ethically (although its theologians often deny the dualism, realizing that dualism is metaphysically unsatisfactory and ethically depressing;  nevertheless, the "sacred" texts of the religions which derive from this tradition do express rather obvious dualistic ideas, and the laypeople of the religions think in dualistic terms, even if this dualism be "merely" a form of what has sometimes been called "External Dualism" or a form of what might be called "Actual Dualism" [as distinct from "Real Dualism"] or "Temporary Dualism" or "Finite Dualism"), and which insists, in each of the main religions which are its expressions, that that particular religion is "the one true and only way," regarding other religions of the same tradition as wrong, and consequently advocates for what mac Nessa pointed out was "religious imperialism," that is, efforts to convert others, whether by attempted persuasion or by force.  To regard these as somehow unique or original is to overlook the influences upon them, which included Parthian Zoroastrianism and various dualistic perspectives (whether philosophical or mystical, or both) in the territories around the northeast and central east Mediterranean Sea, especially in imperial Roman and imperial Hellenistic societies.

An extended examination of these various religions of the same religious tradition, and the influences upon them, is beyond the scope of this present writing, but the successor of mac Nessa, who goes by the "tribal name" Dianim ingen Nessa or Dianaimh nic Nise (and who has been entrusted with legal custodianship, editorial authority, and continuation of the works of Crommán mac Nessa), may eventually produce some discussion thereof, here or elsewhere.  Suffice it to say for the purposes of this present composition that "Monopolistic Dualism" as used by mac Nessa refers primarily to certain underlying metaphysical and ethical concepts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (the Abrahamic Tradition of Religions), and, more relevantly for this present discussion, ~ the influences of those concepts upon societies in which those religions have been more or less dominant. ~


Introduction

So strong has been the influence of these religions upon certain societies that the majority of persons within those societies have a preconscious assumption of the truth of whichever of these religions is more or less dominant within the society in which they have been raised, even if they themselves have never read the "sacred" texts of that religion, attended any sort of doctrinal presentations of the religion, or done anything worthy of the name "study" of the said religion.  In consequence of this preconscious assumption, such persons when and if they take a greater interest in the religion are required to unlearn a number of erroneous concepts about the religion (and usually to be indoctrinated in a specific sect's interpretation of said religion, which may involve more "unlearning" of "erroneous" concepts and replacement with the sect's particular dogmatic positions).  As this influence is so strong upon the wider society, even of those who are, at most, merely nominal followers of the religion, the culture or cultures associated with the society tend over time to take on more and more influences from the religion.  Examples of such influence may be relatively mild or even innocuous, or they may be rather pervasive.  Such examples may be found in poetry and other literature, music, visual art and architecture, figures of speech, political discourse and rhetoric, and assorted other expressions of culture.

As the concepts involved in this influence are metaphysical dualism and ethical dualism, some explanation of Systematic Philosophy and its branches or stages is probably in order.  Philosophy, the Queen and Mother of the Sciences, from at least the mediaeval era till around the time of the fin de siècle XIX and the dèbut de siècle XX, has been characterized in retrospect (by some Logical Atomists and Logical Postivists) as "speculative," and subsequent Philosophy has been portrayed as "analytic."  Such painting of the discipline is, however, generalization, for analytic philosophy existed long before Gottlob Frege, and so-called "speculative" philosophy has continued well beyond Wittgenstein, Russell, and Quine.  The author sees the alleged distinctions between "analytic" and "speculative" Philosophy as artificial and of little to no benefit,  However, for the purposes of this explanation, when performed as a "systematic" discipline, Philosophy has traditionally begun with Metaphysics (or more accurately, Ontology and Metaphysics), built Epistemology upon that foundation, decorated it with Aesthetics, erected the pillars of Ethics to support the roof, and then constructed the roof of Politics (including usually Law and Economics) atop those pillars.

Without going into too much detail, Ontology is concerned with Being (or "Essence") and Existence, the Real and the Actual, and Metaphysics applies these concerns to questions of "What is the nature of Reality?" and "What is the One or the Many Constituent(s) of Reality?" and consequent elaborations of answers proposed to these questions.  Very briefly, Ethics deals with Justice in an internal sense (as Politics expands upon this and takes the ideal of Justice to external applications).


Dysfunctions Derived from Monopolistic Dualism

If Monopolistic Dualism be the cause, then it results in assorted dysfunctions of a philosophical, psychological, and/or sociological nature.  Having the same cause, these dysfunctions are naturally similar, at times even blurring into one another and interacting in complex ways.  Indeed, sometimes they are virtually indistinguishable.  For the purposes of this present discussion, only three will be addressed:  Bifurcation Fallacy, Double Standard, and Dichotomy, each of which is a type of Polarization.

Bifurcation Fallacy, which has a variety of names, is more commonly known as "False Dilemma" (or more precisely is a type of False Dilemma, in that False Dilemma may involve more than two options, but never all possible options, whereas Bifurcation Fallacy reduces all choices to a mere two and pretends that those are the only choices which exist), and is generally referred to by laypersons as "Black-and-White Thinking" or "Black-or-White Thinking," is a Logical Fallacy, that is, an incorrect inference form, or a type of faulty reasoning.  Bifurcation Fallacy is limited and limiting;  where multiple answers to a given question exist, only two are presented, while all others are either ignored or left unmentioned, or their existence may even be denied explicitly.

Double Standard is defined by Merriam-Webster as:


a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially :  a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men


In unequal or undemocratic societies, a double standard may exist in the application of law to the wealthy and the middle class and poor, with the wealthy receiving privileged or preferential clemency or treatment, while the poor and the middle class are dealt with more strictly and more severely.  In the example given by the dictionary, what is intended is that the notion that a man who is sexually promiscuous is merely "sowing his wild oats" is contrasted with the characterization of a promiscuous woman as "a slut," but likewise the view of a celibate or sexually faithful man as somehow lacking in masculinity contrasted with the celibate or sexually faithful woman as a "virtuous" virgin or wife.  Exceptions to both of these exist:  a celibate woman may also be disparaged as a "spinster" or an "old maid," and a sexually promiscuous man might occasionally be labelled a "scoundrel" or a "roué," but these are exceptions to the general custom.

Dichotomy is defined by Merriam-Webster as:


a difference between two opposite things : a division into two opposite groups : a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities; also :  the process or practice of making such a division 


A dichotomy presupposes the actuality or reality (or both) of "polar opposition," and more often than not misrepresents complementary opposites as "polar opposites," the dichotomy being expressed by persons who conceive of opposition only in terms of Polarization, and furthermore see no shades of grey between the extreme poles of black and white.


Symptoms of Dysfunctions Caused by Monopolistic Dualism

Symptoms of these dysfunctions include:  Puritanism vs Hedonism, Fundamentalism, Racism, Fascism, Reactionary vs Radical, the "Two" Party System, Paranoia, and "the Enemy Within."

The influential American thinker H.L. Mencken once wrote, "Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."  While this was satire, it was not an inaccurate description from some perspectives.  Puritanism was (and is) a form of self-righteous busybodyism.  Puritans assume they know the will of their god, and employ haste in their judgements of others, looking at superficial actions and appearances, rather than essential motivations and attitudes.  Puritanism is an extremist movement devoted to "purifying," initially the Church of England, and later the wider society (especially members of adjacent communities who disagreed with the views of the Puritans).  Puritans have also been characterized as killjoys or dour prudes, in polar opposition to Hedonists;  some scholars (notably, Peter Gay) have contested this view, albeit with somewhat unconvincing counterexamples.  The reputation of the Puritans for religious intolerance, however, is well deserved.

A related phenomenon is Fundamentalism, which exists in most religions (and other forms of worldview).  Fundamentalism is usually, but by no means always, a religious phenomenon, and, like Puritanism, involves an attempt to maintain "purity of doctrine, and is intolerant of dissent or diverse viewpoints.  Fundamentalism also promotes a rigid literalism and socially reactionary perspectives, as well as a sort of exclusivist elitism among its adherents (whence the term "Holier than thou").  Fundamentalism may be "separatist" (withdrawn from the wider society and unconcerned with what the fundamentalist regards as "worldly" concerns) or "open" (engaging in socio-political and economic activism intended to impose the views of the particular manifestation of Fundamentalism on the wider society).  In religious contexts, Fundamentalism is sometimes set in polar opposition to what religious Fundamentalists refer to as "Modernism" or "(religious) Liberalism," by virtue of the religious Fundamentalist rejecting the application of scholarship and critical tools and techniques to learn more about the sources of their dogma (for the acceptance of such might result in the need to amend one's interpretations).  Sometimes "Credalists" are distinguished from "Fundamentalists" on the grounds that the former embrace Creeds and the Traditional Teaching Authority attributed to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, while the latter claim to embrace the Protestant rallying cry "Sola scriptura."  For any practical purposes, however, they are the same in terms of how they approach belief and scholarship, and how they view dissent and dissenters.

Racism is a symptom of the belief in "good and evil," and the wish on the part of a person that he or she is "good," and by extension, that people who are like her or him are also "good," and therefore, anyone who is not like them is "evil."  This is usually born of ignorance and fear, which mutates into hate.  When it is writ more largely, it often results in Fascism.

Fascism is a socio-political and economic viewpoint, which has certain salient characteristics, chief among which are intense nationalism, intense pro-Capitalism, intense anti-Communism, rhetorical appeals to traditional values and patriotism and the middle class, strong "law and order" policies of an authoritarian nature, glorification of war, and scapegoating (often in the form of racist hatred).

"Reactionary vs Radical" refers to two polarized perspectives on society and social questions.  The Reactionary is one who is so resistant to change that he or she would attempt to undo changes and revert society back to a previous condition, and often expresses an intention to use violence in order to effect this reversion (sometimes following through with the violence).  The Radical is one who espouses change without much regard for whether or not such change will be beneficial, and generally advocates for accomplishing such change by means of violence (again, sometimes following through with violent acts).  In between these are various shades ranging from "Conservative" to "Moderate" to "Liberal" or "Progressive" (while "Liberal" and "Progressive" are not synonymous or coterminous, they do share occasional goals and sometimes their ideals even overlap, while at other times, they will be at loggerheads, because even though they both advocate for beneficial change, they come at it from different angles, the Liberal being in favor of top-down imposition and the Progressive being in favor of grass roots activism;  other distinctions between these two perspectives exist as well, but for the moment, this will suffice).

The "Two" Party System should require no explanation to regular readers of this blog.  If, however, someone would like a refresher in the subject, then "For the World Is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky" should serve well enough.

Paranoia refers to an irrational fear that "the other" is not only "evil," but also actively working to do harm to the subject, often by means of some type of conspiracy.

"The Enemy Within" deserves its own separate discussion, for it is to some extent a result of one or more than one of the other symptoms listed.


The Enemy Within

The quote from Nietzsche which opens this present discussion says:  "Who with monsters fights, should see that he in the process not become a monster. And when you long into an abyss gaze, then gazes the abyss also into you."

Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his short story "Young Goodman Brown," provides an illustration of this "aphorism," in that Young Goodman Brown begins the story as one of "the elect," those who in Puritan society viewed themselves as having been predestinated (Sic; haec orthographia recta est.) to salvation in spite of the total depravity which Puritans (and Calvinists in general) believe to be the state of humanity, goes out from the authoritarian order of his society into the untamed wilderness, where he started at every woodland sound and shadow, had some sort of revelation or vision, and returned to his home as depraved as he thereafter believed everyone else to be.

Fundamentalists in their zeal to be "Holier than thou" see "the other" as heretical, deceived, oppressed by demons, and so on, and consequently attempt to outdo one another in external signs of piety, much as the Pharisees who were condemned in the sixth chapter of Matthew, living not due to honest belief or desire to be good, nor from love of the divine and his or her fellow humans and other animals, but out of fear of punishment and a desire to be viewed as "orthodox" by the community.  They become what they claim to not be.

The racist or Fascist projects all of his or her vices upon "the other" who is the subject of scapegoating, and by persecuting this "other," the acting subject, in what Freud would have described as "an unholy marriage of the Id and the Superego," becomes all that he or she hates, while generally not realizing it.  When such a person does realize the truth, his or her hatred is likely to become even more intense, as blame for such "transformation" is also projected onto "the other."  She or he becomes all that he or she hates.

Reactionaries and Radicals will likewise view any variation from their particular perspective among their fellows to be a clue that these fellows are not only not "pure," but may indeed be an agent of the polar opposite perspective who has somehow infiltrated the security of their organization, and will then perform the work of the adherents of the polar opposite perspective by persecuting their own for minor deviation from orthodoxy.  They become their own oppressors.

Party members in a "Two" Party System are notorious for viewing any criticism of their party and its candidates and elected/appointed officials as evidence that the critic is a member of "the other" party (as if there were only two parties, and as if the "two" were not identical in essence).  The author's father was a lifelong partisan Republican, and he would listen to the author criticize Democrats and the Democratic Party with what might be considered to be contentment, but when she went on to criticize Republicans and the Republican Party, her father would become hostile and accuse her of being "a damned Democrat," in spite of her having just spent thirty minutes or more in critique of the Democrats and their party.  An unfortunate consequence of the "Two" Party System is that many of its captives cannot conceive of any criticism of their party coming from anyone other than a member of "the other" party.  They behave in exactly the same manner towards critics as members of "the other" party, and so have become identical to them in all but name.

When coupled with Paranoia, any of these, or some combination thereof, may lead a person thus afflicted to distrust others and to allege that such distrusted others are infiltrators from a polar opposite perspective, and/or agents of a conspiratorial operation devised by representatives of such.  When the acting subject has set himself or herself up as some sort of "crusader" against a given polar opposite perspective, convinced that the said perspective and its adherents are "evil," he or she may over time adopt the tactics attributed to that other perspective, becoming, in Nietzsche's phrase, the monster which she or he fights, having studied those tactics and the ideology of the polar opposite perspective long enough that, again in Nietzsche's expression, the abyss has gazed back into him or her.

In short, she or he becomes "the enemy within."


The Cure

In order for this symptom to be eradicated, one must not merely address the symptom.  Such a "treatment" would be ineffective, since the cause of the dysfunction behind the symptom would remain unaddressed.  Attempting to treat the dysfunction itself would likewise be less than satisfactory, because, again, the cause would still not be addressed.  The cause of these dysfunctions and their attendant symptoms must be cured.  Dualism alone is undesirable, but Monopolistic Dualism is dangerous to society.  It poisons intellects, holds people captive in the Cave of Ignorance, easily manipulated by unscrupulous demagogues and Machiavellian connivers.  Thus, what must be cured is Monopolistic Dualism itself.  To effect this cure, Monopolistic Dualism must be replaced with a more suitable worldview, of which there are several, including both Monism and Triplism, as well as various other options (even Pluralistic Dualism would be preferable to Monopolistic Dualism).  The author herself espouses Triplism, but she is not imperialistic, and leaves the choice of the replacement up to the individual healer.  For her own part, she will attempt to heal by means of Triplism, as it is her own perspective, and she will hope that it will effect the necessary cure.




Supplemental

Some readers have expressed confusion over this piece, and therefore, presented below are some comments by the author, which she hopes will clarify the import and intent of the above writing.  These comments taken together may be seen as a sort of "Abstract" of the piece, although written in a more "conversational" style than an Abstract would be.

1. The post is ultimately about how the assumption of the existence of a flesh vs spirit dualism, and/or a good vs "evil" dualism, when those are coupled with monopolistic views, result in people hurting other people, and becoming all the bad things which they thought those other people were.  It also includes a proposal for subverting the dominant paradigm which leads to this situation of "The Enemy Within."


2. I myself have a tripartite anthropology: We are Body, Soul, and Spirit.

I believe that Ethics is a complicated business, and the ethicality of conduct is found in Motivation/Attitude, Context/Situation, and Consequence.


3. Imagine that Philosophy is like a temple.

The foundation of the temple has to do with Being/Essence and Existence (Ontology), and the pavement on that is an application of it to more specific ideas about Reality/Being/Essence and Actuality/Existence (Metaphysics).

Then you need walls, so you build those out of ideas about Truth and Knowledge (Epistemology).

Then you want some decoration, so you bring in ideas of Art and Beauty (Aesthetics).

You'll need columns to support the roof, and those are made of ideas about Justice in Personal Conduct (Ethics).

And then you put the roof on, which is made of ideas about Justice in Society (Politics, including Law and Economics).


4. Okay, now, along come worldviews which have as part of their underlying Philosophy the belief in a Dualistic Metaphysic which says that Good and Evil are Metaphysical Realities, that they are Essences (no matter Augustine's attempt to spin this into a conception of "Evil" as "privatio boni" or "absence of Good"), Eternal and Forever in Conflict. This Metaphysic moreover asserts that Spirit is "Good" and is somehow imprisoned in Flesh, which is "Evil" (or at least has somehow become "Corrupted"). This may not be officially accepted as "orthodox," but is nevertheless subliminally inculcated by the guardians of "orthodoxy." Nature is consequently seen as likewise "Evil" (or "Corrupted") and so on.

Arising out of this Metaphysic comes an Ethic which affirms that Actions in themselves are "Good" or "Evil." As time goes on, this evolves through the work of Reformers like Y'shua` (Jesus) into a focus on the Motivation/Attitude (and sometimes the Context/Situation), rather than the Act In Itself. However, the old Legalism remains under the surface and generally bubbles up among the laypeople, who are not usually taught that Y'shua` gave a new Ethic to replace the old Legalism. While they are given the texts, the import thereof is not explained to them, and so they still cling to the Literalism and Legalism of the older perspective. Further contributing to this complication is the fact that early teachers of the new reform also perpetuate the Legalism to a greater or lesser extent. Other expressions of this perspective survive as well, or later develop, which perpetuate the old focus on Action In Itself as "Good" or "Evil." The Reform is therefore not very successful, like a revolution which merely replaces "Tsar" with "Chairman," or "Congreditor princeps novus, idem princeps vetus" (Meet the new boss, same as the old boss).

Because these worldviews are religious, and not simply philosophical, they also include additional notions beyond the confines of Philosophy, including the idea of "Original Sin" and a "Sin Nature" somehow deriving from "Original Sin." Rather than teaching the disciple to amend his or her own conduct by intellectual meditation, mystical contemplation, and the cultivation of virtue, these worldviews develop a concept of "salvation" or "deliverance," which requires a "savior" or "deliverer." Such a person must of course be somehow free of the "Sin Nature" and therefore must be somehow divine or specially blessed by the divine, or some such device.

Furthermore, the claim is put forward that ONLY this belief system and its "savior" figure can effect this deliverance.

Taken in combination with the Metaphysical and Ethical Dualism, this Soteriological Exclusivity (see note below) implies, or even explicitly demands, that the disciple should spread this belief system to others, allegedly out of compassion, but more because 1. the disciple fears that infidels will perpetuate "Evil" in the world and possibly visit evil in the sense of pain and suffering upon the disciple, AND 2. because the disciple may be led into doubt when confronted by an infidel who seems virtuous and is willing to rationally discuss such concepts, and doubt challenges the unquestioning credulity upon which the priesthoods of these belief systems depend for wealth and power.

Thus arises "Monopolistic Dualism."

(Soteriology = from Sôtêria, Classical [Attikê] and Hellenistic [Koinê] Greek for "Salvation" + -logia, Attic and Koinê Greek for "study, science, discipline").


5. Monopolistic Dualism leads to a number of intellectual dysfunctions, among which are Bifurcation Fallacy, Double Standards, and Dichotomies.  Symptoms of these dysfunctions as experienced in society are also discussed (including the one which is the main focus of the post, and which I have called "The Enemy Within"), and then a "cure" is proposed.








The title of the post comes from Star Trek (The Original Series), Season 1, episode 5;  episode 5 overall;  production code 05.


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I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  No challenge of ownership is intended or implied.
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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Plato's Stepchildren




Plato's Stepchildren,
or,
The Unexamined (Political) Life
Is Not Worth Living,
by Liviana (Giovanna L.)


In the dialogue which he named Πολιτεία (Politeia, rendered into English as "The Republic"), the Athenian philosopher named Ἀριστοκλῆς (Aristoklês, usually given in English as "Aristocles"), better known by his nickname, Πλάτων (Platôn, rendered into English as "Plato"), wrote what has sometimes been referred to as his "Allegory of the Cave," or his "Cave Metaphor."  Plato was a student of Σωκράτης (Sôkratês, given in English as "Socrates"), to whom is attributed the saying "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Plato's Cave Metaphor tells of people in a cave, chained so that they are facing the wall, and who can only see shadows cast on the wall by figures moving behind them, between themselves and a fire further behind.  A wall directly behind the captives prevents their own shadows from being cast onto the wall.  To these imprisoned cave-dwellers, the shadows cast on the wall seem to be reality, and are indeed the nearest thing to reality which they can ordinarily apprehend, and so they give names to the shadows, believing that the shadows are reality.  In this Allegory of the Cave, Plato also places the philosopher, whom he describes as one of the prisoners who somehow becomes freed from the chains and begins to explore, finding the fire, traveling on out of the cave itself and seeing the still greater light of the sun, and who then returns to his fellows in the cave and attempts to encourage them to cast off their shackles and emerge into the sunlight of truth, but is upon reentering the cave blind in the relative darkness.  This blindness would be taken by the captives as harm done to him by his journey out of the cave and into the sunlight, and they would be likely then to try to kill anyone who attempted to take them out of the cave.

The above brief summary of Plato's Cave Metaphor does not do the actual writing justice, but it does give the basic idea.  Evidence in support of Plato's contention that the deceived prisoners would tend to attempt to kill one who might attempt to liberate and enlighten them can be found in many cultures across vast spans of time, including Socrates himself, who was murdered by the Athenians for "corrupting the youth," and arguably including such figures (whether they be literal or mythical persons) as Y'shua` (Jesus), Krishna, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others.

Yet, as one occasionally lucid thinker once wrote:  "He must teach, though he may make severe the ordeals."  The liberated enlightened have an obligation to their fellow creatures, an ethical imperative, to attempt to likewise liberate and enlighten them.  Indeed, some might contend that the very state of liberation and enlightenment ignites this ethical sense of compassion.  Be that as it may, one who has been freed from the fetters and come to see the shadows for the deceptive diversion which they are is compelled to attempt to do the same for those who remain bound in "the Cave of Ignorance," to liberate them from their bondage and to drag them, kicking and screaming if need be, out of the deception and into reality.

Before proceeding further, an explanation of the term "ignorance" is perhaps in order.  An unfortunate actuality is the fact that "ignorant" is so often used in English-speaking societies as an insult.  The word "ignorance," however, in its etymology and literal meaning, signifies nothing other than a lack of knowledge.  Such a state, while undesirable, is not something to be seen as warranting mockery for those in the state.  Willful ignorance is another matter.  The willfully ignorant deserve derision, but only after earnest attempts to liberate them from their ignorance.

In this blog, the author has attempted frequently to lay bare the deceptions, the distractions, the misdirection and diversion which the establishment has used to keep the people ignorant of the truth, and the chains which have been used to keep the people from considering the fact of the deception and ignorance.  A few recent examples include "Dimensions of Perspective," "Remember What We Fight Against, and What We Fight For," "The Alternative Factor," "Bread and Circuses," "For the World Is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky," "The Enterprise Incident(s)," "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" and "Obsession."  More will follow, if the gods be willing;  some are already in production, but not yet ready for publication.  This present post is another example of such attempts.

The author hopes that she will be spared from assassination attempts by the fearful against those who engage in such gadfly activity.  She is armed, however, and knows a few things about how to defend herself, being a Texas girl and one who has had a small amount of military and martial arts training, nor does she have a naïve perspective of absolute pacifism or a desire for martyrdom.  She is a Heathen who holds to an Heroic Ethic, and is not a follower of any Slave Morality.  In short, she is not a messiah, and will not allow herself to be treated as such by opponents -- or, for that matter, by would-be disciples.  She is but a woman and not a goddess, but she is not a woman who would submit to terror or allow herself to be hindered by fear, of any sort.

Indeed, one of the distractions which have been used to keep the people bound and ignorant is what is known by philosophers as Argumentum ad Metum, which is to say, Appeal to Fear.  The people are presented first with a Bifurcation Fallacy, a faulty argument which attempts to reduce all the myriad choices available to a mere two, and, lest they dare to object to this limitation and consider one of the other options, they are then presented with a tale in which they are told that they must choose "this one," because "the other one" is dangerous, is fanatical, is hateful, is, in short, a big bad wolf, who must at all costs be stopped and that "this one" is the only one who can stop that "other one."

Yet, upon further examination, the alleged "differences" between "this one" and "the other one" melt away like shadows of deception in the light of truth.  This unrelenting light lays bare the reality of the situation, that "this one" and "the other one" are both representatives of the same establishment, and will both serve that establishment if given an office in which to do so.  This bright sunlight shines upon the history which demonstrates this to be verity.  The two major political parties are only different in appearance, but not in substance.  When in office, their candidates do make a bit of noise to perpetuate the illusion that they are opponents, but their actions, for the most part, are too remarkably similar to be taken as indicating any meaningful difference.  One will go to war and the other will complain about it, but when the other holds the office, that other will also go to war (or perpetuate war), with what are, essentially if not literally, the same enemies, and the same excuses and justifications will be used, perhaps with slightly different phrasing.  One will deregulate corporations and the banking industry, and the other will profess opposition, but when the other is in the office, that other will likewise deregulate the same corporate entities.  One will bail out the corporate entities who have brought the nation to the brink of economic disaster after being trusted to self-regulate and the other will howl and moan, but as soon as the same situation arises and the other sits in the office, that other will do exactly the same thing (if perhaps by different means).  Those few mavericks who dare to diverge from the standard operating procedure, who dare to challenge the status quo, who even go so far as to openly oppose the will of their establishment-controlled party, are marginalized, disenfranchised, denied funding or fundraising assistance, and ignored by the party, and by the corporate media which also serves the same establishment.

Smoke and mirrors, or shadows cast on the wall of a cave, it matters not the metaphor which is used.  The reality of the situation is quite simply, as has been shown in other posts here, that all the apparent differences between the two establishment parties are only superficial, and that they are so nearly alike as to be identical in a substantial sense.

More than those two establishment parties exist.  More ways of running elections exist than the sterility and vapidity of "First Past the Post."  The archaic model of the Electoral College, which served some useful purpose in the late 1700s, is now obsolete, and more, it is a hindrance to progress beyond the limitations which the people have accepted as "reality."




A sun does exist.  An entire world outside the cave lies waiting to be explored and understood.  The people who are even now bound, deceived, misdirected and distracted and diverted from the truth can shake off their shackles and walk out of the cave.  The key is here, and a rudimentary map.  They have but to accept the offer and act upon it.  As a certain doctor would advise the people to affirm, "It's in our hands."  It is indeed;  the key to remove the chains, the map out of the cave, both are in the hands of the people, if they will but pay attention and use those tools.




The time is now.  Every vote counts.  The people must go Green in 2016, for the republic, for themselves, for their children, for their children's children, for freedom and truth, honoring the past, respecting the present, and building a worthy legacy for the future.










The title of the post comes from Star Trek (The Original Series), Season 3, episode 10;  episode 65 overall;  production code 67.


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This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which may not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of scientific, environmental, political, human rights, economic, philosophical, psychological, cultural, and social issues, etc. 
I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  No challenge of ownership is intended or implied.
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Obsession




Obsession,
or, Misdirection and Diversion,
by Liviana (Giovanna L.)


On Friday, the 7th of October, in the Common Era year 2016, a video from 2005 was released by NBC and The Washington Post, featuring Donald Trump and Billy Bush with a hot mic recording their conversation.  To say that their chat was "Not Safe For Work" would be an understatement, as the reader will note from the link just provided.  Earlier in the week, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks held a press conference in which he promised that the first batch of leaks in his "October Surprise" would be released that week.  That release also came on the 7th of October.  Included in the leak were excerpts from the long-withheld paid speeches which were given by Hillary Clinton to various big banks and Wall Street firms.  Included in those excerpts were some statements by Mrs Clinton which demonstrated that she is, as progressives have long held, a two-faced person who says one thing in public and another in private, that her public statements cannot be trusted, that her publicly stated positions on issues cannot be viewed as an accurate presentation of her actual views.

Most of the main stream media obsessed over Mr Trump's comments, and said nothing about the revelations from the excerpts of Hillary's paid speeches, for over 24 hours.  One of the few exceptions, surprisingly, was The Wall Street Journal.  Another was CBS, perhaps recalling fondly the days when Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and Dan Rather were among the most trusted people in America.  The author still recalls Mister Rather ending broadcasts with the word "Courage" in September of 1986 and catching flak for it, but the author loved it.  He was right to say it;  the American people needed to hear it at the time.




The recent narrative over which the main stream media obsessed was essentially "Trump is a bad man, he's a misogynist, he said all these deplorable things, Republicans are deserting him."

The author has said it before since these two releases, and she will now say it again.

Men may not want to admit this, but they do talk among themselves in exactly the same way in which Donald Trump and Billy Bush were speaking on the tape.  Such speech is not particularly uncommon among men.  It is also a form of male posturing, and should be taken as such (in other words, it amounts to more hot air, trying to impress one another with how sexually active and "Alpha" they are;  i.e., the same blowhard routine which has already been seen from Trump throughout the primary season and continuing into the lead-up to the general election).  The author has herself heard much worse talk from guys when they did not realize a woman was within earshot.  Why anyone is surprised at the comments of Mr Trump is a bit mysterious;  the public already knows that Trump is a chauvinist, after all.  Yes, the comments which Trump made were lewd, but they pale in comparison to Hillary being a condescending, two-faced, corrupt criminal.  Progressives have been saying all along that Trump's words cannot compare to Hillary's actions.

In addition, every woman with a story about "Slick Willy" misbehaving which came to Mrs Clinton's knowledge was apparently mocked and insulted by Mrs Clinton, who tried to silence them and furthermore attempted to discredit them and besmirch their reputations.  The obvious example is Monica Lewinsky. whom Mrs Clinton referred to at the time the story was breaking as "a narcissistic loony toon."  Paula Jones accused Mr Clinton of exposing himself and sexually harassing her.  In January 1998, as part of Paula Jones' case, Mr Clinton testified under oath that he had sexual relations with Gennifer Flowers.  In 2016, Ms Flowers stated that Hillary is an enabler of Bill Clinton's affairs.  Juanita Broaddrick accused Bill Clinton of rape.  Kathleen Willey has accused Bill Clinton of groping her without consent.  And all of this is still with Mrs Clinton.

But wait, there's more!  Ms Clinton herself, who has more recently parroted the demands of certain so-called "Third Wave Feminists" that a woman who says she has been raped should be believed (perhaps the example of Tawana Brawley has been forgotten, but that said, not every woman who says she was raped is Ms Brawley, and while automatic belief would be an example of inappropriate credulity on the part of investigators, those taking her testimony should absolutely not interact with the woman making the claim in the same way they would deal with a suspect in a crime), has a history of denigrating, mocking, attempting to silence and smear, and defiantly refusing to believe women who made such claims about Mr Clinton.

Trump did at least offer something which some are taking as an apology for the remarks, and some have doubts about it being an actual apology due to the wording.  The author will say that it was more of an apology than any she has heard from Hillary Clinton;  indeed, Ms Clinton never admits fault, but says "I misspoke" or "I made a mistake," or blatantly denies anything was wrong with what she said or did, or denies it ever even happened.

So once again, people are afraid of or upset by some words used by Trump, but willing to overlook the actions of Hillary Clinton, exactly as Trump stated in his apology.  And exactly as progressives have been pointing out for over two months now, they're obsessing over Trump's speech, while giving a pass to Hillary's behavior.  Why, exactly?

The answer is simple:  misdirection and diversion.  Indeed, the very timing of the released tape of what Trump has accurately (as unpleasant as that reality may be for some women to hear) referred to as "locker-room banter" seems to be rather convenient, since the main stream media folk were aware that Assange's first batch of leaks would happen some time in that week, and the main stream media outlets have largely promoted Hillary's candidacy since the two conventions ended.

Meanwhile, the Democrats, for their part, do not explicitly deny the truth of what has been revealed in the leaked emails and speeches.  Some have danced around the question, alluding to "doctored" emails, without ever explicitly claiming that the leaked emails themselves have been altered, but for the most part, they attempt to portray themselves as "victims" and point their fingers at Russia, as if the source of the leaks would somehow absolve them, and Mrs Clinton, of responsibility for the contents of the emails and speeches.  Thanks to WikiLeaks, the public has seen evidence of collusion between the DNC and the main stream media, the public has seen excerpts from Mrs Clinton's paid speeches (which reveal, among other things, what progressives already knew, that she changes her message depending on her audience, or, in other words, that she is two-faced), the public has seen that Mrs Clinton's economic views are (as progressives already knew) Right Wing, the public has seen evidence that the DNC colluded with the Hillary for President campaign during the primary (in violation of the DNC's own charter) and attempted to undermine Senator Sanders' campaign (in defiance of the democratic principle of fair and honest elections) -- and these leaks led to the Chair of the DNC stepping down (how's that for evidence of the authenticity of the leaked emails?), the public now knows that Hillary at least gave some thought to naming a billionaire as her running mate but already planned to name Tim Kaine as her running mate over a year prior to the Democratic National Convention, the public now knows that Hillary colluded illegally with Super Pacs, the people know that the DNC punished Tulsi Gabbard for endorsing Senator Sanders, hints have been revealed that Hillary's campaign was in contact with the Department of Justice while she was under investigation by the FBI, the public has seen confirmation that Hillary as Secretary of State approved the sale of weapons to Daesh (also known as "ISIL" and "ISIS"), the people have seen that Hillary still supports fracking, the public has seen that Hillary will sell out American workers, the people have seen that Hillary believes that the very people who caused the economic recession should be trusted to resolve the situation and suggest regulations on themselves (Cenk of TYT calls her on this, but fails to realize that his previous talk of electing Hillary and then getting money out of politics is the same fallacy, as the author pointed out in a post on Google Plus:  "Hillary isn't going to cooperate with you or us to get the money out of politics for the same reason the bankers aren't going to help the government successfully regulate the banks: she has benefitted from money in politics!"), and the list goes on.  What Julian Assange has done in releasing this information is what journalists are supposed to do, and what they did do once upon a time.

But Trump said bad things, and that, and alleged Russian hacks, became the focus of the main stream media in an effort to bury the revelations of WikiLeaks.


Walter Cronkite


Once upon a time, the news media did journalism.


Edward R. Murrow


But now, they are another of the circuses in the bread and circuses which the establishment uses to distract the voters.

When the people have revelations of actual wrongdoing, of subversion of democracy, of criminal collusion, of the deception perpetrated by Hillary Clinton on the voters, of Hillary's real viewpoints, that should be news.

But no, Trump said bad things, and that has been used to distract from the dystopia which Hillary Clinton has planned.





Here's an idea:  don't vote for either of those two rich assholes who care nothing for America or the American people.  Go Green in 2016 and tell the "two" party system to get stuffed.




The author has shown in this blog already that the Democrats who blame Ralph Nader for Al Gore's defeat in 2000 are in denial of the facts.  More than that, however, anyone who votes for anyone is "spoiling" the election for another candidate.  This horseshit about "spoilers" is so illogical as to merit only disdain.

But but but ... Trump!  Yeah?  Progressives have the numbers to defeat both of the rich assholes and put a progressive in office.  The American people should listen to that progressive and give her platform the consideration it deserves.



















The title of the post comes from Star Trek (The Original Series), Season 2, episode 13;  episode 42 overall;  production code 47.


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