We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The remarkable Belmont Club fills me with humility because of his/her/their intelligence, breadth of knowledge, and breadth of information. But their commentators are equally good. I hope people read them along with Belmont's commentary. Please note the following harvested (stolen?) from Belmont's readers recently:
"Both the Left and Salafist Jihadism are thouroughly modern rejections of modernism. Both are eschatological creeds, promising heaven on Earth and the abolition of injustice. Both see the US as main impediment to their dreams. Both are so fully convinced of the correctness of their creed, of the better future for humanity that they offer, that the ends justify the means. So it is no surprise that the Left would jump into bed with the Jihadis, and that Stewart, the promotor of civil rights, would make common cause with the choppers of heads and stoners of gays."
"In "On Revolution", Hannah Arendt developed Wretchard's same theme, as found in Dostoyevsky’s "The Brothers Karamazov":
"For *compassion*, to be stricken with the suffering of someone else as though it were contagious, and *pity*, to be sorry without being touched in the flesh, are not only not the same, they may not even be related. Compassion, by its very nature, cannot be touched off by the sufferings of a whole class or a people, or, least of all, mankind as a whole. It cannot reach out farther than what is suffered by one person and still remain what it is supposed to be, co-suffering. Its strength hinges on the strength of passion itself, which, in contrast to reason, can comprehend only the particular, but has no notion of the general and no capacity for generalization. The sin of the Grand Inquisitor was that he, like Robespierre, was 'attracted toward les hommes faibles,' not only because such attraction was indistinguishable from lust for power, but also because he had depersonalized the sufferers, lumped them together into an aggregate—the people toujours malheureux, the suffering masses, et cetera. To Dostoevski, the sign of Jesus’s divinity clearly was his ability to have compassion with all men in their singularity, that is, without lumping them together into some such entity as one suffering mankind. The greatness of the story, apart from its theological implications, lies in that we are made to feel how false the idealistic, high-flown phrases of the most exquisite pity sound the moment they are confronted with compassion."
In Arendt's use of the word, pity was the essence of 'The Terror'."