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Thursday, January 31. 2008
From Dr. Sanity's How Smart are Democrats? Personally, I do not think Democrats are stupid. Often in error about the realities of life, and often not viewing liberty as our most precious inheritance -but not stupid in an IQ sense.
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BD, can you define how you're using the word "stupid" in this context? thanks --
...as in, "I do not think Democrats are stupid".
gosh, I hope they are. If they're not, then they have some major head problems.
oops -- i see -- thanks -- I just thought we shouldn't be vague when addressing stoopidness. Some folks come by it naturally & deserve no disrespect; others are Democrats.
Considering the widespread love of Marxism in academia it's obvious native intelligence is no indicator of wisdom. In fact intelligent people may be more susceptable to cleverly crafted propaganda that appeals to their "superior" intellect.
Slightly OT, but I've long thought the AGW hysteria was a ruse to soften Americans up to accept the lower standard of living that the socialists surely know will follow the implementaion of their agenda. Now we have Bill Clinton saying we have to slow down our economy to fight global warming.
well, it's ''not fair'' unless everybody has a ''level playing field''. Dontcha know.
Yeah but I don't think old Bill And Al Gore will suffer financially too much!
Karl Marx claimed he wasn't a Marxists . Most university professor who claim to be Marxists can't explain the philosophy since it lacks clarity.
There are probably as many variations on Marxism as there were ranch brands on cattle in the old west. It's easily done since no one can understand it. Engels had to finish much of Karl's work and he added no clarifying insight either.
So what has happened is that Marxism has become a philosophical gumbo of mumbo jumbo that radicals gravitate to like flies to sh*t, simply because it is anti capitalist, or hints at anti capitalism , or claims capitalism contains the seeds of it own destruction or that the sky is blue on a clear day.
If it has any unifying factor that has developed over the years since it's introduction is that it has become the antithesis of anything Adam Smith and other giants of the Enlightenment wrote.
One of my favorite Marxists nostrums is that wealth causes poverty. Marxist professors will go on ad nauseum about this.
Karl Marx claimed he wasn't a Marxists
It is important to distinguish between "Marxism" and "what Marx believed"; for example, shortly before he died in 1883, Marx wrote a letter to the French workers' leader Jules Guesde, and to his own son-in-law Paul Lafargue, accusing them of "revolutionary phrase-mongering" and of lack of faith in the working class. After the French party split into a reformist and revolutionary party, some accused Guesde (leader of the latter) of taking orders from Marx; Marx remarked to Lafargue, "if that is Marxism, then I am not a Marxist" (in a letter to Engels, Marx later accused Guesde of being a "Bakuninist"). site: David McLellan, 1973, Karl Marx: His Life and Thought p. 443, New York, Harper and Row
As far as I can tell Marxism these days is almost exclusively of the Gramscian variety. I just call it Marxism for simplicity.
Paul, I am in complete agreement. Great observation on the long march leftest have in finding the truth of the Marxist Way.
Conversations among Marxists is a bit like trying to define The Tao. As Taoist say, if you know the Way of the Tao , then you don't.
One thing can be said about Marx which is undeniable. The man had a robust beard.
I seem to recall reading somewhere that he had a painful skin condition that so irritated him that it was an influence on his thinking. Maybe if he was healthy, good looking, and was busy chasin' and catchin' wimmin we might have been spared all of this shit......
We'd've had it by another name anyway, Paul. Look at Robespierre -- a perfect Marxist, before Marx.
That's right. Wasn't Rousseau the father of socialism? Yes there is no end to human folly, which kind of refutes the premise of the left's unconstrained vision of human nature right out of the box doesn't it?
I think of Rousseau as lionizing the notion of the ''noble savage'' -- the uncorrupted natural man -- whose logical end turned out to be the very opposite of the Enlightenment ideal. Think ''willfully ignorant & utterly intolerant hippie''. Fine Marxist fodder (with a twist--more of a useless idiot than a useful idiot).
The French Revolution -- run by much the same sort of folks we have on our current left -- while preaching the highest-sounding platitudes of liberty, equality, and brotherhood, very quickly devolved to cutting off the heads of anyone with enough property to be worth "expropriating for the state".
Some 30,000 murdered -- public guillotining -- by the 'citizen's councils' in Paris alone -- not counting the thousands in the hinterlands. Many thousands of Catholic priests, too, BTW.
Wonder if they went after the Huguenots?
One only has to contrast the French Revolution and it's aftermath with the American Revolution to see the distinction between the leftist utopian vision's handywork and that of the tragic vision that informed the framers ideas.
I played a concert with a gal who is a typical far left loon (you can imagine how out of place I am in the music biz!) in Ashland, OR last year before a crowd of utterly stereotypical ex-hippie types...greyhaired pony tails, wire rimmed glasses, clipped haired mean faced feminists, all pretty much in terrible physical condition, etc..... she opened the show with an anti-Bush rant and the rage and hatred on the faces in the crowd was beyond disturbing. I couldn't help thinking that I was looking at the darkest side of the human soul and that it was a scene that has played out in the grizzliest chapters of history over and over again. I'm convinced people consumed by that level of hatred are capable of any crime and that the final state of it's expression is genocide.
What do you do in the music biz, Paul -- are you a performer? Instrument? Band? What sort of music?
I'm a professional musician. I play guitar and tenor sax. I was a typical left leaning political ignoramus prior to 911. That day I told my wife I was glad the Republicans were in charge, because even I knew the Dems weren't qualified to deal with the situation. She agreed, and we are both far better educated about politics and the way the world works now, though still neophytes compared to y'all.
I live in the Bay Area and am in the thick of the lefty lunacy, and totally in the closet. If my politics were known my phone would stop ringing....
I posted an anecdote about playing with Levon Helm in the Dylan thread above.
Oh yeah, I play jazz, blues, R&B, R&R, and some country. Just a hired gun freelancing from home so's not to have to travel too much. Touring was fun when I was young, single, and foolish , but now that I'm old, married, and foolish I prefer to stay home. Except for vacations in the RV with the wife, cats, and mountain bikes.
sheet, mon -- you are in the catbird seat -- a life on your own terms -- doing what you love for a living -- rare as hell --congrats!!!
Thanks Buddy. I do feel fortunate, but it definitely has it's manic depressive side too! When the music is right and your riding the flow where each idea generates the next it is a blissful and fulfilling state. No pain, no worries, endless energy and well being. When it ain't happening the disappointment and frustration is pretty intense and takes it's toll. Plus there's no such thing as job security....
But maybe the most important thing I learned in my turn to the right was a sense of gratitude. For being alive at this time, in this place...and the gratitude that is the basis for true patriotism. Acknowledging the staggering price that has been paid for the priviledges and prosperity that we take for granted so cavalierly, and which I fear will be our undoing.
If it attacks the Ten Commandments and the Virtues, it links to the body of Marxist Thought.
Love the toonz BTW -- thanks for the pointer to the site -- sorta the R. Crumb style -- loose and plastic.
The one common trait of Marx and any other socialist is a lack of understanding of human nature. That applies to democrats, as well. One reason Marx is difficult to understand is that he didn't understand the people he toyed with with his grand schemes. He didn't like people.
I.Q. aside, if one does not grasp human nature, they are really stupid. Your comment, Buddy, is a perfect example.
gee thnaks, meta! i dint know yuo thuohgt i wer stipud.
sheesh, Buddy......... that did come out wrong. No, I meant that the Commandments are written as the 'rules' for good behavior, and are written to enable freedom and liberty to succeed. So, I reffed you because that's the way of human nature - to succeed in freedom unfettered by someone else's insane plans for control. It is human nature to want freedom from and freedom to.
This time I may have said more'n I needed to. Oh well.... sorry!
oh, i knew whutcha meant -- just joshin' ya. i agree on the Commandments -- they're liberating, not oppressing -- circumscribing behavior that is bad and BTW which one doesn't want done to oneself.
Marxism is nihilism. The human desire for the destruction of what is for someting that never was is, well, human. Marxism is only a pretext. Incoherent and offering nothing real, it does one thing better than any other ideology by allowing it's adherents to encourage through rationalization the worst of human inclinations. Human beings have a capacity for evil as well as good but will always choose evil when it can be rationalized as 'just'. The cartoon says it all.
Resembles the petulent "conservative base" as Limbaugh calls it which threatens to not vote or vote like a cadre of Abbey Hoffmans.
I wouldn't say anything except you use the word 'always' in saying that humans, if they can justifiy the bevahavior, will always choose evil. I think you are very wrong. Most humans not under the sway of the zealotry of madmen, religion, foolish leaders, war, starvation, etc., will almost always choose good over evil. If it were as you state, this planet would be in constant chaos.
Meta- Think about it. A few examples: the welfare state. Cradle to grave socialism. Relativism, in all of it's forms. Widespread pornography, tax funded abortion. State sponsored 'discrimination' (class warfare) through affirmative action or 'progressive' taxation. Various social engineering schemes sponsored by vote buying politicians, backed by nothing but intellectual fashion while more than willing to employ the coercive power of the state to run their experiments. What used to be called 'the levelling instinct'..... One could say that all of the above are based on evil human inclinations backed by 'democracy'. Others will rationalize them as just since 'democratic'. Like the state where it resides, the power of coercion should be limited and directed specifically at objects beyond the power of individuals. The basic assumption of the American idea of constitutionally limited government is that government is made up of men and that man's nature is a contest between both evil and good. Using the law to justify envy and greed, for example, doesn't change the nature of envy and greed. Individuals may not always choose evil, as you say, but evil sure seems the easier choice when rationalized as just or 'democratic'.
There's really no bright line between 'democracy' and mob-rule. Which description best fits, is all up to the people.
You've described those men and institutions who hold sway over others. I have no argument with anything you say there. But those leaders are few compared to the many they 'serve', and it is my contention that the many will opt for good if they are not held in thrall to 'bad' leaders.
You are not in thrall to our leaders. You are one of the majority.
No. I'm not talking about 'men', only human nature. The specific instances of evil becoming politically acceptable within systems even like this one make up a long list. Politics was meant to be a side show in America for no reason other than the assumption that the 'people' have lives to be touched but rarely by the state. It's not a question of 'leaders having sway' but of a system of control that redirects normal, healthy self-interest toward the interests of a real, central 'state' as the locus of the coercive power. 'Universal Health Care' is the latest step in that direction of state created rights and the average joe n' jane is all for it. It's unpatriotic to differ with the majority in a democracy don't ya know?
The entire problem would be quickly fixed if only we didn't keep sending so much of our money to Washington DC, where a few hundred people use it to harm us. Less money, less harm.
I don't think we disagree so much as we are on different planes. I'm speaking philosophically of human nature and you are applying it to politics. Yes, I do agree with you - the few control the many in most political systems. I guess this is kind of trite, but the majority does rule in our system, and we should be thankful for that and exercise our option to vote. Sadly, the majority is not always right, and that is one of the flaws of democracy. Except I think our biggest 'flaw' is the media. Marshall McLuhan said it right: "The medium is the message." Also, our democracy bows low to accept the bell curve, as it must. Another reason why the majority is not always right.
boy... I wandered off on that ........... :)
Meta- First off, 'we' are not a democracy. Secondly, the majority does not rule, the law rules. The constitution is the basis for our law. No need for such in your 'democracy', as it is becoming painfully obvious. A federal republic and a national democracy could not differ more either in philosophy or practice. Philosophically/psychologically speaking, a cognitive dissonance has descended upon the American people regarding this most basic principle. Let's not encourage it.
The Constitution was written when the speed of communication was a horse canter at best, and even then spread poorly (bulletins nailed to a tree in the village square, etc). Now it's instant and comprehensive -- and we really have little defense anymore against Rule by Referendum.
Added to the problem is that RxR appeals to many people as a 'purification' of the system.
Mob rule is the result -- we really have a problem -- look at the low level of debate in our current primaries. Panderfests, at the far end of the spectrum from, say, the Lincoln/Douglas debates.
Buddy- Not sure what the speed of communication has to do with the constitution. The oath taken by federal office holders is still the same. Neither the words of the document nor the history of it's genecis have changed. Idiosyncratic 'interpretations' would be reversed if only the oath of office was adhered to rather than interest groups or some of the truly bizarre intellectual fashions which affect the opinions of some from time to time. It seems to me that the system of government we have, where three branches compete, under the constitution, to protect their constituent interests, will only succeed when the limitations on their power are are strictly adhered to. Absent that, they're all on the same team competeting against the private sphere. The interests of the state will always become superior to the interests of the people absent those limitations.
Tom, I was referring not to the letter of the law but the practice of it. The phenomenon of the "poll-driven politician" is a technology-driven departure from the old practice of the polity sending its wise men to govern as they saw fit.
I'm agreeing with your warning against such departures (the worst of which is the 'penumbra' attributed ex-nihilo to the Constitution).
Majority rules when Congress legislates laws for the Republic.
Majority rules when Supreme court adjudicates law.
Majority rules when States elect the President.
Democracy is foundational to this Democratic Representative Republic.
Notice you make no mention of the constitution, the executive branch or the electoral college. How would you like the legislative and judicial branches to operate if not in a form of majority? How can democratic legislation be overridden by an appointed court? Is a powerful executive democratic? A supreme court? State vs federal jurisdiction?All very un-democratic in both form and function.
BTW, the Senate or one half of the legislature without whose approval no bill can be passed represents only the individual states. California and it's 36 million or so has no more say than Vermont with 620,000. The District of Columbia has nominal representation only. Calling such an arrangement a democracy is plainly absurd.
yes, Pat Leahy--representing those 600K Vermonters--gets to hijack the staffing of 300,000,000 citizens' judicial branch of gov't. Uncool, in the extreme.
Apparently, y'all haven't read the USConstitution which establishes Congress which passes law by majority vote;
establishes Supreme Court which decides cases by majority opinion; establishes Electors to determine by majority vote the US President
However, if I am misguided and the minority vote or decision determins legislated law and adjudicates law and elects the President, you are right.
But two hundred plus years of Constitutional law, extant by majority of several branches of the government of USA, disagrees with you.
democracy is direct rule by a majority of the people. case closed. the structure of all three branches of the federal gov disagrees with you. the US is a federal constitutional republic, NOT a democracy. get over it. how is the senate democratic? the court? the executive? the one bone thrown to the 'people' by the constitution was the house while the number of reps was fixed by law. hardly democratic. your talking semantics, my boy, not political theory.
Sweetheart, your definition of democracy is infantile.
It does not comport with readily available definition which y'all may find in a dictionary.
I proffer one to getcha started;
Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, pp. 388-389.
Good luck with y'all's studies.
Again, semantics. The American republic has democratic features based on consent originating with the people. The mechanics of a republic differ from the workings of a democracy. Your fixation on majority rule is infantile. The senate does nor represent the people directly, only the states. A minority of the people, through the senate, can halt legislation quite easily. You can scream 'majority rules' like a 10 year old all you want but the basic republican idea of protecting the rights of all regardless of the will of a majority is the first constitutional principle. Calling a dog a cat doesn't make it so. There is an obvious interest in maintaining this confusion and that interest is the weakening of the rule of law in the name of fostering the aims of those who desire unchecked power in the name of 'the people'. The story and record of democracy is degradation toward tyranny (see cartoon above). Madison and the founders had a unique view of democracy that differed from classical definitions and that view is reflected in the constitution. Read the federalist papers then go to Black's.
I'll presume, as ya would conjure founding fathers, that some princple's espoused by Thomas Jefferson may get y'all's attention, though they contain same reasonableness upon the neccesity of majority rule for proper functioning of USA's Democratic Representative Republic, me already avered.
"The first principle of republicanism is that the lex majoris partis is the fundamental law of every society of individuals of equal rights; to consider the will of the society enounced by the majority of a single vote as sacred as if unanimous is the first of all lessons in importance, yet the last which is thoroughly learnt. This law once disregarded, no other remains but that of force, which ends necessarily in military despotism." --Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, 1817. ME 15:127 http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff0500.htm
the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people--a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 4 Mar. 1801 http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres16.html
Of course, at the time of TJ's correspondence, there was no thought of direct election of half the legislative branch nor of sacrificing the rights of small states to the majority in the more populous states in selecting the chief executive. His early support of the French revolutionary ideal of Rousseau's 'general will' had led to Napoloean's tyrannical regime after the chaos of Jacobin 'Democracy'. He was wrong and he knew it. TJ was a states rights guy and the more 'direct' democracy belonged there but only if in harmony with the republican ideals annunciated in the constitution which, of course, was a requirement for acceptance into the union. Thankfully, TJ was out of town during the debates on the constitution.
"Lex majoris partis is the fundamental law of every society of individuals of equal rights" President Jefferson would apply at every levelof republicanism, ward state and federal.
That y'all still chaff that fundamental law is noted.
Representatives of house have always been elected by vote of majority since first Congress. Section. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States.
Why y'all want to raise issues outside this Republic?
Try to stay focused.
Jefferson's correspodence is dated 1817, lad, when several Congesses had already been seated by the fundamental principal of republicanism, lex majoris partis.
His address to the nation was, also.
Inaugaral of 1801 and correspondence 16 years aft does not bear y'all's take.
You are out of step with history and loyalty to principle which suggests y'all are one of those libertine individuals who think they are only sovereign.
Good luck with your studies, anyway.
Studies? Who's questioning the method of election to the house of reps? Whatever you're talking about doesn't address the issue. Silly, snide and condescending fits your approach perfectly, son, but only reveals your shallowness. What's your point besides 'majority rules'? If the point is to assert 'democracy', in the American context, is something more than merely practical provided that government fullfills it's first purpose of protecting natural rights which are beyond the power of any majority then you are on exceedingly weak ground. Quoting Blackstone and then Jefferson as supporting your initial position only reveals a basic misunderstanding.
What ya smokin', lad?
I didn't quote Blackstone.
Further, it is y'all who is straying from the subject which is democratic majority rule in this US Republic and contradict yourself avering that y'all understand my original position.
Obviously y'all don't.
Majority ruled when it established the US Constitution and laws and adjudiacations of same are established by democratic majorities since it's inception.
Y'all are no sovereign, lad but your right's are secured for you by democratic instituitons of this free Constitutional Republic.
Get off the pot, since y'all can't get any product, my boy.
Majority Rules! Majority Rules! Say it again. Won't change a thing. Keep quote mining. A federal, constitutional republic is not a democracy. Republics, by necessity, are democratic in nature although democracies need not be 'republican' since the law is dependent solely on the will of a simple majority. If the will of a majority is limited by fundamental law and cannot alter or abuse that basic law it's not a 'democracy'. In a democracy, a majority is the law. Of course, since our consitution is 'alive', it can be described as as a 'democratic' document as you seem to wish. I suppose the populations of New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland and Los Angeles should be determining our national elections. Then, you'd have your democracy and you'd be in full accord with the left wing of the Democratic Party. A simple majority can neither elect the president, the senate nor alter the constitution. So much for y'alls grammar school understanding of the principle of lex majoris partis within the American context.
Democracy in this republic is the method by which the foundational law is expanded and amended and all states and wards operate.
Smoke yoself silly, boy.
Give me some of what your smoking, ace. But keep talkin', it's a real show.
### ### ### ###
Obama: Most Liberal Senator In 2007
By Brian Friel, Richard E. Cohen and Kirk Victor, National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal's 27th annual vote ratings. The insurgent presidential candidate shifted further to the left last year in the run-up to the primaries, after ranking as the 16th- and 10th-most-liberal during his first two years in the Senate.
Tom C asks the definitive question which regards what has become known as judicial review. I know the case. Marbury vs. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803).
Judicial review has been debated ever since.
It is instructive to note that in the Federalist Papers the Judiciary is the last and least addressed because it was felt it could do the least damage to the Republic. It was also last to be placed in the Constitution for the same reason.
But Tom C's question is entirely relevant. How can we have three co-equal branches of government if five people in one branch can invalidate the work of the other two branches?