Socialism and the Hegelian Dialectic [Reader Post]

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A thought has been tumbling around in my head for quite some time and it wasn’t until a posting by one of our resident liberal friends that the picture became clear.

Have you ever wondered why, exactly, there is such depth and magnitude of conflict politically? My first instinct was to attribute it simply to people’s varied opinions on issues and leave it at that. But then, I noticed a trend. That is, that when a conflict seemed to resolve itself, it soon became the flash point for another conflict to develop. And on certain issues, this has continued on for years and even decades.

Examples of such issues are, but not limited to; -Environmental issues -Taxation -Gun control -Certain “rights” -Aspects of the Constitution On those issues, within certain arguments, or debates, two sides argue, an agreement is reached, and eventually the agreement becomes the focal point of furthering the argument and reaching a new agreement. The fact that such agreements seem to be increasingly restrictive upon freedom and liberty should not be overlooked.

So, what can we attribute this to? In a phrase, the Hegelian dialectic (h/t to Liberal1 for the subject). What is the Hegelian dialectic? It is, simply, a series of theses (accepted idea) opposed by antitheses (opposing idea), resulting in a syntheses (new idea). This synthesis then becomes the thesis that is opposed by an antithesis, resulting in a new synthesis, and on and on until a final, ultimate, “perfect” synthesis is realized. Now, to understand where Hegel was coming from, it is important to note that Hegel was a devout socialist. So much so, in fact, that his work, his dialectic, was put into practice by such well-known socialists as Marx and Engels.

”…the State ‘has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State… for the right of the world spirit is above all special privileges. -Georg Hegel

Hegel envisioned the same control over people, by the state, that Marx and Engels were guilty of. So, how does this “dialectic” apply to now, today?

Think about an issue. Any issue that people are concerned about. Then think about the history of that issue, as in, the evolution of the issue into today’s specific arguments. Take gun control, for instance. Over 200 years ago, the Framers of the Constitution drafted the Second Amendment. The idea of gun ownership, namely the freedom to do so, went largely unchallenged in America until the 1900′s when New York passed the Sullivan Act, requiring small firearms to be registered. In the 1930′s, gun control became a national issue with two laws, both signed into law by FDR. While the regulations involved were uncontroversial by today’s standards, involving gun dealer licensing and regulating machine gun ownership, it introduced the concept of national gun control. Fast forward to the 1960′s, and we see gun control becoming a national issue with two prominent sides on the debate, particularly in 1968 with the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and MLK, jr. Continue on to the Reagan attempted assassination and on up to today’s restrictive gun control laws.

At each point, there were a theses, or accepted idea of the limitation on gun control, and an antithesis, proposing ever more restrictive control over firearms. The syntheses from these conflicts are seen in the laws passed at those points. Neither being as liberal as the theses, nor as restrictive as the antitheses, but an accepted position somewhere in the middle. And each new law, or syntheses, became the starting point, or theses, for the next round of debate on the issue. And at every point, those syntheses further eroded the rights of gun ownership in America. Now, I don’t wish to make the debate about gun control, because that is not the point of this post. Rather, it is but an example of the wider idea that conflict is entered into, continuously, that applies ever increasing control by the federal government over our lives. Is it a concerted effort by the groups pushing for that control? Most definitely. Is it a coordinated effort? That is a debatable point, though I think in most cases it isn’t.

What it is, though, is Hegel’s dialectic in action. At each point of conflict, the theses are challenged by the antitheses, to reach a predetermined synthesis. Think about Obamacare, for instance. Obama, and the liberal/progressive left, could not go from no national healthcare law to the ultimate goal of a single-payer system whereby the government was the sole “insurer” and arbiter of our country’s healthcare system. No, instead they needed to enter “mild” controls upon the system itself, furthering the federal government’s control over our lives. The next phase will, most likely, be one of additional controls, and on and on until the single-payer system is realized. Remember, Hegel’s ultimate vision of a society, as evidenced by his quote above, is that the state has the “supreme right” over the individual. His ultimate vision is one of a complete socialistic society, and that is where he saw his dialectic leading to.

Joseph Stalin coined the phrase “useful idiots” in referencing the people who supported their own enslavement. Today, we in America have our own “useful idiots”. The difference is that I see everyone who allows this Hegelian dialectic to continue, meaning the continuing erosion of our rights and liberties by compromised syntheses, or acceptable agreements, as useful idiots. I am a useful idiot. So, too, are you, no matter what your political stripe may be.

The look behind the curtain is frightening, and reminiscent of the world of Orwell’s Animal Farm or 1984. And the willingness of we, the people, to contribute to our own enslavement, some more than others, is bewildering.

74 Responses to “Socialism and the Hegelian Dialectic [Reader Post]”

  1. 2

    Skookum

    Thanks JG, I have been struggling to define this situation for years, but I have failed to describe it as succinctly as you have in this essay. In my theory Conservatism and the Constitution is in a leveraged game, where defeat is inevitable. For if you only desire to have government as described by the Constitution, you have no reason to advance radical agendas i.e. Marxism; therefore, our gutless Republican leaders try to half-heartedly maintain the status-quo, but with every compromise, the Constitution is eroded until there is only an anemic pretense of the great freedom and liberty written into the Constitution by the genius of our Founding Fathes. Our current leaders have thrown away our birthright to get along with the Statists in DC with their massive propaganda bureaus. It is like a card sharp playing poker against a simpleton who only knows how to play the same hand and bet the same amount on each hand. In the mean-time the Marxist Card Sharp is slowly, but relentlessly acquiring all the power and the wealth. The Republicans and Conservatives look up to their leaders with puppy dog looks of blind faith, while their natural birthright is gambled away by morons that are neither statesmen or even competent politicians.

  2. 3

    mos 8541

    the back door is the limitation of ammunition. Smile America..never underestimate the stupidity of its people. Forced birth control, forced gun control, Oh you guys do know about the interment camps that are being built to hold American close to the Nov. election. Expect miliary rule any time. Clinton failed. Do you remember the Oklahoma City bombing government implemented, orchestrated and carried off. Billy miss the martial law window by a few hours. ] There is a good book of Noble Lies..photos to, all about the Oklahoma bombing. Some of the police and 1st responders have died or are now dying do to federal assassinations.

  3. 4

    Theron Trowbridge

    While Hegel’s ideas were very influential on Marx and Engels, and the dialectic effectively served as a prototype for many of the ideas in Communism, Hegel died before Marx and Engels got around to writing the Communist Manifesto, so you can’t really call him a socialist.

  4. 5

    Alpha

    There is an old saying that says if you settle for less than you deserve you end up receiving less than you settled for. It has held true and your thesis articulates it. Glenn Beck was correct months ago when he used the boiling of the frogs as the analogy of how the temperature is slowly raised on us: the frogs.

  5. 6

    John Cooper

    johngalt–

    I’m pleased that you correctly turned to the study of philosophy to explain the emotionalism and irrationalism of the left. It’s obvious in their everyday statements that they don’t believe reality, or knowledge exist separately from their minds. How many times have you heard libs say, “Well that may be true for you, but it’s not true for me”? What they mean is that truth, and therefore reality, doesn’t exist separately from their consciousness.

    Philosophy drives the rise and fall of civilizations, but few people bother to learn philosophy or understand it. Hegel was the last in a long line of philosophers who provided the “intellectual” basis for Naziism. Hegel’s philosophy is also the basis for the suicidal policies of the modern American left, which will end in the same way if we let it. Leonard Peikoff studied the rise of Naziism and wrote of the similarities between the Nazis and the American left in his prescient book, The Ominous Parallels – The End of Freedom in America c1982:

    “It took centuries and a brain-stopping chain of falsehoods to bring a whole people to the state of Hitler-worship [or Obama-worship]. Modern German Culture, including its Nazi climax, is the result of a complex development in the history of philosophy, involving dozens of figures stretching back to the beginnings of Western thought. The same figures helped to shape every Western nation…

    If we view the West’s philosophic development in terms of essentials, three fateful turning points stand out, three major philosophers who, above all others, are responsible for generating the disease of collectivism and transmitting it to the dictators of [the twentieth] century.

    The Three are: Plato—Kant—Hegel…
    [snip]
    Progressively abandoning their Aristotelian heritage, the philosophers of the Enlightenment had reached a state of formal bankruptcy in the skepticism of David Hume. Hume claimed that neither the senses nor reason can yield reliable knowledge. He concluded that man is a helpless creature caught in an unintelligible universe. Meanwhile a variety of lesser figures (such as Rousseau, the admirer of the “noble savage”) were foreshadowing the era to come. They were suggesting that reason had had its chance but had failed, and that something else, something opposite, holds the key to reality and the future.

    The two figures who created the new era and made this viewpoint the norm in the West – the two who welded the mystic stirrings of the late eighteenth century into a powerful, self-conscious, intellectually respectable voice, and who placed that voice at the base of all later philosophy – where Kant and Hegel. Kant is the father of the romanticist movement. It is he who claimed to have proved for het first time that existence is in principle unknowable to man’s mind. Thereafter, Hegel, Kant’s chief heir, most powerfully articulated the new movement’s central ideas, in every branch of philosophy…

    This is why it’s a waste of time to use reason or logic to discuss anything with a liberal – they don’t believe in either of those concepts.

  6. 7

    theBuckWheat

    Gnoticism teaches that human spirit was God, is now trapped in the evil matierial and only through the sufficient knowledge, can we return to be God. The process of being removed from God is called “alienation”, a theme that should be familiar to students of Marx, even as he put a secular interpretation on it. Humanity could return to God when it achieved the perfect socialist condition. The foundational ideas of Gnosticism go back to the time of Plato.

    “To understand [alienation] we have to go back behind Hegel, the immediate source of Marx’s ideas, to Hegel’s own ultimate source: viz. Gnosticism. For alienation is the central theme of Gnosticism, along with the saving knowledge of how we became alienated, and from what, and of
    how we can escape from it. That theme is summarized in the Valentinian formula:

    ‘What liberates is the knowledge of who we were, what we became; where we were, whereinto we came; what birth is and what rebirth.’

    All the Gnostic texts, though they differ in details, declare that we are strangers, aliens, sparks of Light or Spirit trapped in evil matter. They recount the cosmic process whereby the circles of the world have been
    created, by ignorant or evil creators and not by the Light, and whereby we have become entrapped in the midmost or deepest dungeon. Finally they impart the knowledge needed to escape back to the one Light whence we have come and which is our real home.

    This is the pattern of thought that Hegel took over. But, rejecting all other-worldliness, he sought to reconcile men to this world, of nature and society, from which they had become estranged. We are the vehicles of a self-creating Geist which, in order to become and to know itself, has gone out into what is most alien to itself—the merely physical world of Newtonian science—and is progressively coming thence to its full self-realization and self-knowledge in and through human life and
    history. With this knowledge, given by Hegel’s own philosophy, man’s alienation from the world is in principle, overcome although Geist has not yet fully realized itself in the world.

    Marx took from Hegel two basic themes of Gnosticism, which Hegel had secularized, and re-interpreted them in his own way: viz. the cosmic drama of a fall into alienation from nature and one’s fellow men, and the saving knowledge, Marxism, which explains this and the way out of alienation back to an unalienated existence. But in one central
    respect Marx did not fully learn the lesson that Hegel had to teach him about modifying ancient Gnosticism.

    The Gnostic texts state that we are sparks of Light or fragments of Spirit (pneuma), and imply that we are distinct from each other and from the Light or Spirit only because of our fall or seduction into the circles of the world. As we fell through each circle, we were clothed
    with an outer covering. The return to the Light will be a reversal of that process, so that, as we pass back through each circle we shall strip off each coating. Consequently, but this is never stated, as far as I know, at the end of that process each spark or fragment will cease to be distinct and will merge back into the One Light or Spirit. Hence the End will be the same as the Beginning.”

    From Flew, Marx and Gnosticism, by R.T. Allen,
    Philosophy Vol 68, No 263, (Jan, 1993),
    pp. 94-98

    (”Flew” is Antony Flew, 1923-2010, a British philosopher)

    So, yes, socialism is a “religion” that is the modern vestige of Gnosticism. Further, author Alan Knight in his book AntiChrist, shows that Valentinian Gnosticism can be traced back to Hellenism, which can be traced to Platonism, which is traced to Babylon.

  7. 8

    theBuckWheat

    Please allow me to add that this “dialectic” is logically bankrupt and fraudulent. The simple reason for my bold rebuke is this: there are many dimensions to the original “theses”, however guess who gets to choose the supposed “anti-theses”? The person wishing to put forward a particular synthesis. The failure is that no single “anti-theses” can have the mirror opposite dimensions of the “theses”. In short, the “anti-theses” cannot be honest, and neither is any resulting synthesis. It smacks of selection bias at the very least.

  8. 9

    anticsrocks

    Excellent piece, johngalt. My wife purchased Mark Levin’s latest book, Ameritopia and I am sure that I will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed reading your OP. I have just begun reading, but I do know that in it, Levin discusses the origins of Statism, or Utopianism, both of which are forms, of course, of Socialism.

    This OP appears as if it could have been a chapter in Ameritopia!

  9. 12

    Chewbarkah

    I think that Hegelian and Marxist dialectics have a strong appeal, specifically because they produce the illusion of complex analysis, while actually grossly oversimplifying reality. Life does not progress in linear syllogisms, even if we imagine that it does, and these techniques notoriously work best when looking backwards (An old Soviet joke was that “Marxist historians predict the past”). All things are in a constant state of tension, and “how things are” is just the point of balance of all forces at any particular moment. In physical phenomena this involves four dimensions (“String Theorists” might argue for more). In sports, business, politics, and human relations in general — proponents, opponents, by-standers, deal-makers, journalists, et al., constantly push to move the line, which rarely takes a straight or predictable path.

    The message here is to recognize conflict for what it is, and use it to your best rational advantage. If you do not push constantly for what you believe is right, the line on gun control, or whatever, is definitely not going to stay put or shift in your favor. The Constitution and basic rights will be assaulted constantly, and will be eroded bit by bit without vigorous defense.

    On Mr. Throwbridge’s comment about socialism and Hegel: the basic tenets of socialism, in anything like its modern definition, originated in the period of the French Revolution, so socialism antedates both Hegel and Marx. It’s fair to say that Hegel was a hard core Statist.

  10. 13

    johngalt

    @Chewbarkah:

    I had a similar thought as I was reading on Hegel and his theory. One source even stated that the American left was full of socialists who used the dialectic to continually “move the line” in predetermined steps. After reading that my thought was that it had to be nearly impossible to predict those predetermined steps, given the constantly changing political makeup of congress coupled with the political ideology of the President. But then I though, it doesn’t really need to be predetermined steps literally, but rather, the simple movement towards the full socialist control is all that is required.

    The real question is how to stop the dialectic from continuing on course. How do you stop it in it’s tracks? I’ve got some ideas and theories on this, as well as some others that I’ve read about that may come into a future posting.

  11. 14

    johngalt

    @Skookum:

    That is why I stated that we are all “useful idiots”, even if we aren’t exactly pushing the leftist agendas. We have allowed the GOP to move to the “center”, by continuing to vote in pols who compromise with the left over issues, further pushing the line to the left. And then the new round of debate starts over a line already pushed to the left, and the resultant will be a further move of that line to the left, and on and on until we wake up one day and find a government worker telling us when to get up, what to eat for breakfast, what to wear to work, where to work, how much the government will pay us for our work, what to watch on tv, what to read, when we can take our 15 minutes of internet time, when to go to bed, etc., etc., etc.

    You look around at US history and see plenty of points where certain things were done that at the time seemed somewhat innocuous, but after the years and decades have passed, the real effect is realized, and the result is lost freedom and liberty.

  12. 15

    johngalt

    @anticsrocks:

    Thanks for the compliment, antics. I plan to get Levin’s book soon, I just hope my wife doesn’t make me get it on the nook. I want the hard copy since I have his previous books too.

  13. 16

    SW

    @Chewbarkah: Yes, indeed, Hegel was a socialist. The statement that men are assets of the state is the antithesis of basic freedom, and a root justification for all that a state might do to an individual, should it choose. I have found that many modern socialists try very diligently to undermine the emerging truth of what socialism is by using terminology incorrently or creating subsets in argument such that “their” allegiance to “a” certain kind of socialism is not linked to the many social errors of socialism across the centuries. Of course, socialism predates Marx and Engels. This upsets the soft, Western socialists who wish to see themselves a different kind of enslaver of man, soft and subtle rather than hard and violent. But the truth is that socialism puts the state above individualism, in all its forms, which include National Socialism, Soviet Socialism, Sino-Socialism, Italian Fascism, Marxist forms such as hold sway in Zimbabwe, Cuba, and similar nations, as well as the Baath Parties of Hussein’s Iraq and Assad’s Syria, to which we can add the murderous government of the Khmer Rouge and more. Taken as a whole, this murderous regimes illustrate Hegel’s assertiong which you correctly cite: “”…the State ‘has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State… for the right of the world spirit is above all special privileges.” Those who wish to bicker about political tags and adjectives cannot dicker about the simple opposition of freedom and slavery. I choose freedom for us all, within the limits of a small government to adjudicate between disputes. Those who choose government over basic freedom seek to diminish my freedom. It is about as simple as that. This is why our modern illuminati wish to parse terms into a thousand pieces and into distinctions without a difference. Hegel was a philosopher for the state and its fist.

  14. 17

    SW

    @theBuckWheat: Of course, socialism is a religion. It has a belief system in which the state is above men, just as other belief systems assert God is above men. What is become certain is that socialism is struggling because it fails as an economic reality, after having failed as a utopian mechanism many times over. Every avid socialist seems to flee from a debate when asked two simple questions: To which modern state can you point as exemplifying the best of socialism? and… Why are you not there enjoying its benefits?

  15. 18

    Skookum

    A logical question is, what is the personality trait that encourages people to willingly trade liberty for Statism. Do they have so little confidence in themselves or are they overwhelmed with guilt and the need to feel supine to a greater power. What is it that prevents them from having faith in their own abilities. Surely there is a fear of failure and the overwhelming desire to live in comfort regardless of ability or work ethic; however, if we all have the same end result and standard of living, who will work the hard or dangerous jobs, who will be willing to risk everything on a new idea or product?

    Socialism lacks this vitality of economic spirit and the willingness to work at hard or dangerous jobs/businesses to get ahead, thus a complacency settles in and the dynamic energy of an economy begins to slow down.

  16. 19

    johngalt

    @Skookum:

    As I was watching a movie last nite, I caught a glimpse of the reasoning you are asking about. Now, movies are fictional, I realize, however, the character interactions and reasons for such are based on reality due to the screenwriters themselves living and dealing with it.

    In The Matrix, when Cypher(Joe Pantoliano) makes the deal with the agents to betray Morphius and his crew, in order to be plugged back into the matrix and “live” within the matrix, he bases his decision on wanting to experience the finer things in life that the matrix “provides”. Of course, he completely discounts the fact that his decision actually results in enslavement. He would rather live the enslaved life, to be given what he desires, rather than take the hard road to actual freedom.

    I see many of our liberal friends displaying the same rationalization that Cypher used. That is, giving up partial freedom, bit by bit, in order to “achieve” a state of “safety”. They don’t want to work hard for their freedom, but would rather give it up so have what little alms the state will throw their way.

  17. 20

    Skookum

    JG, my son and I discussed this same sequence in the film years ago, and we wondered whether the denunciation of Socialism/Communism was intentional or an accident, since it was derived from the Socialist Propaganda Outhouse of Hollywood.

    My son attended film school, so he is attuned to the various covert messaging in film. He maintains the Matrix is one of the most political movies ever made, and that the messaging technique is one of the most sophisticated efforts by a legitimate member of the film industry to repudiate Marxism. I thought the message had to be a clerical effort on the part of the writer and director; it is possible to be blackballed in Hollywood for expressing anti-Marxist sentiments.

    Thanks for reminding me of the film and the message.

  18. 21

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Tracy Martin
    hi, yes there is many way to force birth control,
    there is many way t o skin a cat too, there is the gentil way with a smile , and
    OBAMA SAW HE CANNOT USE THE OTHER WAY AS HE DID.

    bye

  19. 22

    ilovebeeswarzone

    johngalt
    so true, and our liberal friends are panicking at this time, fighting to save their unemportance,
    in their jobs which demanded of them courage to expose some of their own which have demonstrated to team up with OBAMA to change AMERICA in an mediocre society of only the GOVERNMENT DICTATE THE ACTIONS OF ALL rich or poor or middle class all separated by a ridge getting wider as they advance the divide by way of racist hate words and wealth measure, and false compassion by leaving the borders open to new and previous entry of the world dangerous elements being sent to advance the cause of their masters,
    YOU HAVE GIVEN US another angle of the way big dangerous decisions are applied
    to the tolerant AMERICANS INCLUDING THE IDIOT WHO BELIEVE IN THEIR LIES,
    and for their lies to have the idiots believe in, they resort to ancient well
    meaning ORATORS, speaking about a thesis from another more ancient well meaning ORATOR
    who spoke about a even more ancient well meaning ORATOR, FROM BABYLON ERA having
    been destroyed by fires which burned every thing having been said or encrypted by them or their more ancient ORATORS,
    bye thank you for that POST, A JEWEL

  20. 24

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Tracy Martin
    birth control is being force by OBAMA and his agency to the religious who are against it by way of his power to enforce a rule he decided to do, even if the laws of the land are pushed aside, disobeyed and trash, in a COUNTRY OF GOD ABIDING CITIZEN AS A MAJORITY, YOU ARE THE HYSTERICAL ONE,

  21. 26

    james raider

    @ johngalt,

    A really worthwhile and timely post. While too many of us get immersed in debates and claptrap over the movement of ephemeral lines in the sand purportedly partitioning ‘issues’, there is a patient, ever progressing movement destroying the only significant bastion of freedom left in the world – the U.S.

    Skookum: in #18 suscinctly points to the heart and source of what has caused so much strife through human history and continues today, but now it has marching papers and ‘how-to’ manuals – . . . . “lack of confidence”. NOT Arrogance, but Confidence. When did so much confidence vacate the premises?

    That lack of confidence decays societies. Lack of confidence means the individual doesn’t know who and what he/she is, and allows for intrusion into that person’s life through slow and gradual suffocation of the spirit and of rights.

    The evidence is everywhere. Too much of our society has lost its center; doesn’t know what it stands for; accepts the well packaged garbage from ideologues; and negotiates away power which will lead to its own destruction.

  22. 27

    ilovebeeswarzone

    SW hi
    I agree with the socialist seeking to get all under their claws, and what come to mind is they
    have a bad habit of stereotype every one not following their way by dividing a COUNTRY, WHICH they alone are selling their pretense to be the only one who have the answer to success even as we see them failing miserably, even as we notice their insults proclaiming that if you don’t accept their law, that you are a hysteric person or a devil , or a criminal,, even they will call the right as being wrong, the far right dangerous, and they keep selling it to their favorite uninformed citizens by way of THEIR BOUGHT OF MEDIAS READY TO USE PROPAGANDE to sell their messages to who get
    to enter their cavern of zombies talking head depraved of self thinking minds, where no individuals are admited to speak.

  23. 28

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Tracy Martin
    there is no argument in the use of it for a men to enhance the act of procreate, so far contrary to
    the prevention of creating life by using CONTRACEPTION, and no double standard there, you want so much to win your argument, this is far from an example, and if a man go outside for sex with an enhancing, it doesn’t have nothing to do with the subject that OBAMA has force the implementation of use access of contraception on the religion abiding citizens who don’t agree with the use of it within their followers but keep respecting the freedom of them as the law of the land demand,

  24. 29

    Liberal1 (objectivity)

    I think your statement that Hegel was a socialist requires some documentation from a reputable source. Although to term ‘socialism’ was first coined be Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825), and they were contemporaries, there is little evidence that they ever met; and Hegel had only a cursory knowledge of the Saint-Simon movement, which he gained through some of his students. http://mq.academia.edu/HeikkiIkaheimo/Papers/168964/Review_of_Hegelianismus_und_Saint-Simonismus

    For a thorough treatment of Hegel’s political and social ideas, see: http://www.iep.utm.edu/hegelsoc/

    Now Hegel may have had preferences about teleological basis of his dialectic, but if his basic metaphysics is correct, you have about as much chance stopping it, as you do God’s will. But, you did have he basic idea correct: The conflict between Thesis and Antithesis yields a Synthesis—although these terms were simply used as a third party interpretation and explanation of the process. The process continues by this Synthesis then becoming a new Thesis, which is changed by the introduction of a new Antithesis, resulting in another new Synthesis (etc., etc., etc….)

    In simple terms, this process may be thought to describe the process by which people—whether they be a couple people or nations—come to a mutually acceptable agreement (unless, of course, one member is a strict authoritarian and has absolute power over the other): The process is called Compromise (in which some conservatives don’t believe).

    As the dialectic is applied to the modern world, the author of the article uses the conservative ploy of trying to explain a situation which he finds distasteful—the state of gun control, which apparently isn’t to his liking. But would he hold in the same disdain other results obtained by the dialectical process—for example, the issue of women’s right to vote? But just because we don’t like the compromise that has been reached, doesn’t mean call we to do away with it—only a dictator can do that. Instead, we start a new antithesis, in hopes of affecting a new synthesis—that’s called the democratic process.

  25. 30

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Liberal[objectivity]
    yes that’s what OBAMA DO, do away with every of his advices from the PEOPLE of knowledge,
    who see further than their nose, of the consequences involved in bad decisions from OBAMA,
    and there is so many of them.
    I suppose you call them antithesis not accepting to be challenged,

  26. 31

    SW

    @Liberal1 (objectivity): Danke für die Lektion. Sollen wir über Hegel und Philosophie auf Deutsch reden? The link to the encyclopedia does not further your complaint nor shed light on the original quote which began this set of exchanges.

    It was: “the State has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State….”

    Have you a critique of or agree with Hegel’s statement? Are you content to have the state be the sovereign over you in all things? Or is there a limit in your allegiance to the state? While Hegel may not have used the term socialism in his Encyclopedia, the notion is simple. Either the individual has unalienable rights as the American Declaration of Independence suggests, which means the state cannot rescind them, or an individual does not and the state holds the “supreme right.” There is no philosophic game which can be played with this issue, because thesis:unalienable rights does not happily join with antithesis:state as supreme to create some mixed, in-the-middle synthesis. Thus Hegel’s entire work sheds no light on your critique.

    You have simply to answer: Do you avow that you and I have unalienable rights, or do you reject it in favor of the state. This will define you as free man or socialist. I await with anticipation you stating your preference between unalienable rights versus the supreme state. Mit freundlichen Grüßen.

  27. 32

    SW

    Mr. Liberal has written, “The process is called Compromise (in which some conservatives don’t believe).” I think it fair to say that compromise for the sake of compromise is no life philosophy at all, nor much of a political philsophy. Is there compromise between pedophilia and acceptable sexual behavior? Is there compromise between unsustainable debt and spending no more than revenue allows? To hold that compromise is a liberal goal — “in which some conservatives don’t believe” — is fallacious. Many liberals’ goals are pursued without compromise, as are some conservatives’ goals. Not all synthesis creates acceptable results between thesis and antithesis.

    As I recall from another post, Mr. Liberal was going to respond to my question, “which socialist nation he holds up as an example of a workable socialist government?” Might I again ask you to respond? I am curious, when those who would write apologia for socialism — while ignoring National Socialism, Soviet Socialism, Sino-Socialism, the Khmer Rouge, as well as historical failures like New Harmony and the old Israeli kibbutzim which thrid-generation kids run from — hold that socialism really will work. Where please, Mr. Liberal1? Objectivity in your moniker suggest you have an answer, plain, simple and straight-forward.

  28. 33

    johngalt

    @Liberal1 (objectivity):

    I simply refer you to the quote above from Hegel, taken from a work by William Shirer called The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich . You can take that however you wish to, however, Hegel had further quotes that evidenced a particular thought process regarding the state having authority over the individual.

    But of course, that wasn’t the point of my post, and I could have left that out and it still be an effective discussion. The point of the post itself was to point to a heavy influence on Marx/Engels, two noted socialists, by Hegel’s dialectic, to the extent that the dialectic itself was morphed into strategies by Marx to initiate and carry along the conversion of a state into socialism.

    As the dialectic is applied to the modern world, the author of the article uses the conservative ploy of trying to explain a situation which he finds distasteful—the state of gun control, which apparently isn’t to his liking.

    Not exactly, Lib1. The point of supplying the example is to illustrate change in the accepted idea, over the course of time, from the pure unopposed freedom at the beginning of our country to the heavily regulated and restricted atmosphere surrounding gun ownership in the US today. I could have just as easily picked any number of freedoms and liberties present at the advent of our Constitution and shown the continuous assault upon them up to today’s accepted idea, or syntheses, regarding them. I do find it quite interesting that most of the assault began at the early part of the last century, during a time when progressivism was beginning to take root.

    I suggest you read more on Marx and his co-opting of Hegel’s dialectic into his theories and methods to institute socialism.

  29. 36

    SW

    I rose again this morning here in Europe, hoping to have a response to some questions I posed to Mr. Liberal1. I am sorry not to find an “objective” response to them. It is interesting that those who would carry the mantle of progressivism and socialism do not avidly respond to basic queries, when they so easily hector others with their grasp on truth, logic and fact. When fact comes to call, the responses seem to often be either silence or ad hominem. Silence this morning from Mr. Liberal1 suggests to me he would happily lecture out of an online encyclopedia, but with not discuss with more than copy and paste and reductio ad absurdam. I ask again, as perhaps he has had too much to do since a last post. Which nation exemplifies all that is “good” in socialism?

    The reference to Max Weber amuses me as a student of Marxism, as does the suggestion that Damascus is a city worth visiting in the moment. Might we remember that the Baath Party was formed on socialist principles? Their founding statements are well worth an examination, especially for the avid, comfortable Western socialist.

    I shall check this page again after another day’s passing to see if Mr. Liberal1, the resident philosophy teaching assistant in Socialism 101, will answer my questions succinctly. Viel Spaß!

  30. 37

    ilovebeeswarzone

    SW
    hi,
    I don’t recall Liberal answering any question, except calling me a [ nut unbridle screw] not long ago.you are having your morning milkaff and reaching in AMERICA at sleep in the night, cover with snow, which is ahead or after your morning, good day to you
    bye

  31. 38

    mossomo

    I was making an observation to my family yesterday.

    Seperation of Church and State is found in the Soviet Constitution. Not ours.

    A 1950ish McCarthy era judge “interpreted” our 1st Amendment to say – SYNTHESIS: Seperation of Church and State.

    From: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

    In context: the Church of England; and the fall of the Byzantines and the resulting persecution of Christians in Eastern lands, Iberia and North Africa by Muslim Theocracies/Caliphates.

    Our Constitution/Bill of Rights doesn’t say Seperation of Church and State, but that is the new common denominator when discussing the topic – all talks begin there. And that was exactly my point although I lacked the vocabulary – synthesis.

    thesis | antithesis | synthesis. It’s a logical progression of cause.

    You don’t need 100% marxism/socialism to ascend to Statism. Statism is when the Rule of Man supercedes. That is the danger we face. That’s where ‘synthesis’ leads. The Soviets had a Constitution. When the Rule of Man supercedes – and that was the danger with Caesar; what is a Constitution but a piece of paper.

    Remember – freedom of religion was also guaranteed in the Soviet Union. But God bless if you could find a church to practice.

  32. 39

    anticsrocks

    @mossomo: Excellent points, moss!

    Our Constitution does not have that phrase, “a wall of separation between church and state.” It was in a letter penned by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists Association, emphasis mine:

    Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 to answer a letter from them, asking why he would not proclaim national days of fasting and thanksiving, as had been done by Washington and Adams before him. The letter contains the phrase “wall of separation between church and state,” which lead to the short-hand for the Establishment Clause that we use today: “Separation of church and state.”

    The letter was the subject of intense scrutiny by Jefferson, and he consulted a couple of New England politicians to assure that his words would not offend while still conveying his message: it was not the place of the Congress or the Executive to do anything that might be misconstrued as the establishment of religion.

    Note: The bracketed section in the second paragraph had been blocked off for deletion, though it was not actually deleted in his draft of the letter. It is included here for completeness. Reflecting upon Jefferson’s knowledge that his letter was far from a mere personal correspondence, he deleted the block, he says in the margin, to avoid offending members of his party in the eastern states.

    To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

    Gentlemen

    The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

    I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

    (signed)
    Th Jefferson
    Jan.1.1802.

  33. 40

    SW

    Mossomo writes, “You don’t need 100% marxism/socialism to ascend to Statism. ” A fine observation to read over my morning’s Milchkaffee.

    The clever ploy of various kinds of statists — as you use this term — is to pretend that their version is or will be less toxic, less controlling and less violent than previous versions. Marxism and socialism are terms, as were Italian fascism and communism, which all link together into greater government at the expense of making citizens into subservient subjects. For this, this blog’s quote from Hegel is most apt, because there have been many apologists for the state, all serving with words and theories to make man less by making the state more. Unalienable human rights mean rights which a state cannot take away. The socialists/statists all to eagerly take them away by placing them as government-derived rather than from some version of authority which is not government, but rather from religious traditions to the proponents of natural law. When the state becomes “supreme,” then it becomes the highest authority. We have seen the results played out in violence over a last century and more. This is why statists run from discussion which would illuminate their true position. Every time an advocate of the state as supreme has spoken, the “common good” has been invoked, but the worst consequences then ensue.

    One sees this being played out in Europe’s insolvent countries today, as I think it is being played out in insolvent cities in the United States. Borrowing has been the latest attempt by statists to fund their dreams, and it has become a nightmare of debt. I read one editorial terming this “intergenerational theft.” For this, the assertions of this blog owner are correct. Socialism — statism and all its variants in names and terminologies — comes down to theft. Now the theft is across whole generations who will have had no say in their “debt.”

    The discussion as regards Greece’s bond holders is one of “haircuts.” A soft term to hide the larger truth: theft. Those who invested in government bonds will find their principal reduced if not abrogated entirely. This is the latest incarnation of the supreme “state.” It is ironic that so many public and union funds are invested in such instruments as bonds, that theft will be coming to them as austerity advances. What is certain is that supreme state thinking will either print massively, as happened in the collapse of the Weimar Republik, or steal assets to try to survive. Theft is theft, and when one’s assets are confiscated for that “greater good,” it clarifies well.

    The modern socialists have no answer to their borrowing, except in the case of the Greek socialists to beg other European socialists for more loans. Such a snowball scheme cannot long endure. So each arrival at the statists’ stated goal — the supremacy of the state over individuality and individual responsiblity — is also the arrival of insolvency, theft and ineptitude. Thankfully, the 20th century versions of statism/socialism are failed governments, defeated governments and enslaving, citizen-bruising governments.

    Socialism as a term was trotted out as a debate gambit by Mr. Liberal1 to suggest that somehow a statist who had no exposure to the term could therefore not be termed a socialist. This is laughable. Perhaps your term is more surgical and precise. Statism is a fine word to gather in the family of kin — Marxism, socialism, National Socialism, communism, fascism and more. The statist hides behind a multiplication of terms, but reaching for my wallet or my throat or both is clear demonstration of the truth of their goals. The state over individuals.

    This is so in Zimbabwe which plays the colonial victim for decades. This is true of in North Korea with its cultish adoration of one family over three generations. This is true in Cuba with its non-revolving revolution and fifty years under two dottering brothers. This is true in the Assad family’s Arab socialism called Ba’ath. For such and more examples, the ardent statist must multiply terms and complain about words, because there is no actual example of any form of statism/socialism to which one may point and argue, “see, it is successful and prosperous and peaceful.” A fine good morning to you all, as we watch statism/socialism failing by its own hands all around us.

  34. 41

    Liberal1 (objectivity)

    @SW: You’re mistaken. My link was intended to show documentation of Hegel’s familiarity with socialism and his actual political and social beliefs—-contrary to John Galt’s assertion. My objective was not an exposition of Hegel, but what I felt to be his mischaracterization of the dialectic and its importance in the political process. And, just because you can copy a statement in German, doesn’t mean you’re an authority on the subject.

    Whether a compromise may be acceptable is a matter of judgement. Nevertheless, it still a compromise (a synthesis) at the time. When you’re dealing with so many people, some people are always going to be dissatisfied. Your disdain for compromise is a fairly recent trend. Republicans used to believe in compromise—even Reagan. The matter of pedophilia, perse, versus ‘normal sexual activity’ is not in itself a matter of compromise. Now how society deals with it, that’s a matter of compromise. You have to learn how to frame the question correctly.

    And a far as your question on socialism, first you have to define the term socialism. Since I don’t believe any systems are pure Socialism or pure Capitalism—I would find it difficult to come up with a intelligent answer. But, if pressed, although not pure, I would suggest Germany.

    P.S. I don’t recall ‘promising’ you a previous answer to this question. Now you may have expected a response, but I blog on many right-wing site and do not have the time to get involved in any one singularly. It just so happens that nothing interesting was happening on the blogosphere this morning.

  35. 42

    Liberal1 (objectivity)

    @SW: I already responded to many of these concerns in a previous comment. If you knew anything about socialism, you’d know that their a plenty of free men and women if socialist systems. Political system determine the freedom of an individual—socialism is an economic systems. Ultra-right-wingers conflate the two.

  36. 43

    Liberal1 (objectivity)

    @johngalt: Believing that the state should “have authority over the individual” does not make him a socialist. Since you began you essay with this idea, and since opening statement usually serve as introductions to the topic, of course I thought it was relevant to the text.

    True, Marx and Engels drew on Hegel. But so what? Wars have been fought by drawing on Jesus. Was that his fault?

    And you can just as easily find as many example of situations in which the synthesis is acknowledged as acceptable and freeing—such as women’s sufferage. But I’m sure that there are plenty of people who don’t believe women ought to have the right to vote. It’s simply a matter of judgement.

    Possibly a clearer example is whether the State should have the right to intrude inside a woman’s body, as a method of preventing abortion—like the recent legislation in Virginia. The Legislature and Governor said ‘yes’ (thesis), the citizens said ‘no’ (antithesis), and the legislation was changed (synthesis).

    Now I’m sure many people are disappointed with this compromise—like you are with gun laws—but there is a substantial body of people that aren’t. And majority rules (or at least significant minority [see de Tocquville’s exposition on the Tyranny of the Majority—also John Adams])—that’s democracy–not just the rule of your ideas.

  37. 47

    johngalt

    @Liberal1 (objectivity):

    Again, the point was that Marx and Engels used Hegel’s dialectic as a basis in their methods for instituting socialism. Perhaps it is my fault that it wasn’t more clear in my article. And that point is why I titled my post like I did.

    Also, socialism is NOT solely a description of an economic system. From the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy;

    Political system in which the (major) means of production are not in private or institutional hands, but under social control. Typically this is seen as one aspect of a more general concern for people’s equal rights to various benefits (health, education), and of a concern to limit the inequalities of wealth and power produced by the unrestricted operations of market forces. Socialism avoids the totalitarian implications of communism, and works within liberal democratic constitutions.

    This is the second day posting here that you have discussed ‘compromise’ as if it is a good thing for any and all issues. I am assuming that means that you believe that no matter the result, or “syntheses” of an argument, that since a “compromise” has occurred we should all be happy.

    You are forgetting, though, that some issues should not be compromised upon. We have this little thing called the Constitution, Lib1. Now, I know you like to say that it is “open to interpretation”. However, that is just a mechanism by the leftists to sway people into believing their “version” of the founder’s words. Why not go to the original arguments for the meaning of their words? You can find them quite simply by reading the Federalist Papers. Of course, you won’t be able to find the meanings within that have allowed the left to impose their restrictive will upon the populace.

    Such phrases like “Congress shall make no law” and “shall not be infringed” leave NO room for compromise, Lib1. And the 10th Amendment leaves no possibility for the federal government to take on powers it was never granted by the Constitution, meaning, there is no compromise allowed.
    Unless, of course, the correct procedure, according to the Constitution is followed, and a new amendment is passed and ratified entailing that compromise. But the socialist left hasn’t done that, has it? No, instead it relies upon the courts, for judicial activism, and the people, or, the “useful idiots” to just accept the compromises, even as they violate the original intent of the Constitution.

    And all this is accomplished by the socialist left adhering to a simple formula, derived in the early 1800’s and co-opted by two major socialist figures in the mid 1800’s. Marx and Engels knew their ultimate syntheses. However, they understood that it couldn’t be reached by a “quick change”. Instead, they realized that several smaller steps were necessary to achieve their goals. This involved identifying a current social construct for change(a theses, if you will) and placing an opposing viewpoint(or antitheses) in order to evoke an argument, discussion, or debate on the issue. The resultant, using Hegel’s dialectic, is the “compromise” you speak of, which is nothing more than a step towards the ultimate goal of full socialist control.

    So, you believe “compromise” is a good thing, even as it results in destruction of our Constitution, promoted by the leftist socialists, which includes the current Democratic leadership, and allowed by the “useful idiots”, of which we all are to some degree or another. And there you are, cheering on the sidelines for people that Marx and Engels would be proud of.

  38. 48

    SW

    Mr. Liberal1, if you believe Germany is socialist, you are fully misinformed. By the way, I do not paste translations. I live here in Germany, and am familiar with more than just Duetsch and Englisch having worked in several nations — more than ten. Germany has many political parties, with several socialist parties, and the NPD though termed “right” is a punk-filled wish to see National Socialism return. As to defining socialism, perhaps the better word is statism. There is of course no pure capitalism, because most societies tax to fund public work. But there have been a number of heavily socialist governments — called socialist, communist, fascist and the like. Your jousting with others does not illustrate much more than a youth poking sticks at people to rile them. Certainly your self-esteem glows through your posture, but I think you are probably not worth further exposition and discussion, because you like to send people off to other references rather than engage with them yourself. Your snide remark about a wine I do not enjoy indicates this. The pretense you show towards thesis/antithesis/synthesis is not evidenced in your discussions. You are not serious, and ergo I will not bother myself with your writing in the future.

  39. 49

    johngalt

    @Liberal1 (objectivity):

    And you can just as easily find as many example of situations in which the synthesis is acknowledged as acceptable and freeing—such as women’s sufferage.

    Again, to look at how Marx and Engels applied Hegel’s dialectic, one must needs look at the ultimate goal. That is, the application of socialism, fully integrated, within a society. In your example, you fail to note one important aspect of “women’s suffrage”. It was accomplished by the only permissible process to change the Constitution. That is, by amendment.

    What we are discussing here, simply, is the process by which change is accomplished, Lib1. The Constitution spells out in detail how it is done, but the Marx/Engels application of Hegel’s theory is how the socialist left is affecting change. And what you promote as a method for change is simply Rule by Man, where it depends on who the Man, or men, in charge are as to what the rules will be. Conservatives, true conservatives, wish only to abide by the Rule of Law, which is becoming increasingly more difficult as the “Supreme Law’s” meanings are changed to suit the current men in charge by their method of Rule by Man.

    Rule by Man is how we get “privileges” becoming “rights”. Rule by Man is how we get a central government telling us what to purchase, or else. Rule by Man is how we get new rules, regulations, and directives, handed down to us to follow without having them go through the full process an idea becoming law as permitted by the Constitution. Rule by Man is how we get a central government taking over private enterprise.

  40. 50

    ilovebeeswarzone

    SW
    hi,
    funny you mentionned the word joust, when just yesterday I bump in a chanel TELEVISION to enjoy a JOUST competition from TEXAS which I enjoyed and admire the courage ov the ones each going on a speed chase on a straight path on top of such beautifull horses and when each meet with those long stick
    which many broke by the force of impact, and some throwing the horse man on the ground some unconscious and unable to move in that armour of heavy steel, I said funny before because I thought this game to originate from GERMANY, was I right? it was my first encounter with this game being played still today, but issue from far down time past which I had seen only in books,
    bye
    bye

  41. 51

    ilovebeeswarzone

    johngalt
    your comments and POST should be pass on every university and schools also, because they don’t teach that anymore, which make them forget what is the real AMERICA SHOULD BE FIGHTING FOR,
    TO PROTECT IT IN THESES TIMES OF ATTACKS ON AMRERICA LIBERTY AND FREEDOM FOR ALL THE GOOD WILL CITIZENS, so the students can without a doubt see with clear judgement
    who are his own and his AMERICA’S enemies, and one day when they are old enough to vote, they will find their vote to go where AMERICA WIN first.

    bye

  42. 52

    ilovebeeswarzone

    the rebels helped by ALQAEDA, what is it with those taking sides against a leader trying to protect his COUNTRY by killing the revolutinaries trying to oust his regime which work for many years,
    where is the agenda of the rebels if it’s not to offer the SYRIA in the hands of dangerous faction with intent to bring the COUNTRY IN WORSE SLAVERY , compare to what they had before they decide to start their rebellion

  43. 54

    johngalt

    @ilovebeeswarzone:

    Good of you to apologize to Lib1. I might be wrong, but I cannot recall a time where he hurled personal insults at a particular person. He does tend to categorize people into groups using unflattering names, but then, so do most of us conservatives. I only have a problem with the descriptives he uses, such as “ultra-” and “extreme-“.

    liberalmann, however, loves to hurl the personal insults, and most likely was your name-caller.

  44. 55

    ilovebeeswarzone

    johngalt
    you are so classy with everybody, you are an example of good behavior, and I was thinking
    that if we get to hear the MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR in THE WHITE HOUSE it will be pleasing to AMERICA EARS, BECAUSE THEY ARE HARD TO BEAT IN SIGNING THE SONGS OF AMERICA’S BEAUTY AND BRAVEST ON THE LAND WHICH GOD CHOOSE FOR THE FREE. and I beth they will sing for ROMNEY if he win
    BYE

  45. 56

    SW

    To Mr. “johngalt,” I find the moniker rather interesting. As we are seeing now, the private investment community is slowing down in its willingness to invest in government bonds. Much of the new bond purchase is actually being done by central banks. We had several “offers” from banks with which we do business to “participate” in Greek bonds. Given that the haircut — a word popularized in the press here by Chancellor Merkel — will top seventy percent for many private and institutional investors, one sees many small investors becoming very conservative in their strategy. For this, it becomes more difficult for bond auctions to be fully successful, and I expect this to be more the case. This is the John Galt strategy, is it not? (I don’t have the fiction book here to reference.) But if so, then we as a little family are doing this too.

    As to the notion that Germany is socialist, it is no more socialist than is the United States. There is much private capitalism and Germany works hard to export around the world and innovate. It seems so strange that socialists of today are rushing to forget the many failures which history heaps up for them. It was under the socialists in Greece that the largest share of debt was added, and no this brings them to terrible times. In one way, the collapse of the Soviet Socialists Republiks were a default on debt, as well. This means that socialism has tried conscription and confiscation to fund itself and failed. Then it has tried borrowing from the future, and needed more and more borrowing to prop itself up, and then fails again. The increase in debt in the United States is an example of being unable to pay for everything the socialist mentality wants, without threatening everything. The new ECB head, Mario Draghi, has stated in public that the age of austerity comes to Europe and it is unavoidable. This means that the socialist side of the political spectrum must deal with less funding as time goes by. Germany is leaning towards restraint, as are a number of other EU nations, while the UK’s Osborne has announced that government is running out of cash. The social welfare model is failing, and failing because it was always a snowball or pyramid scheme, borrowing from someone or borrowing from tomorrow. Tomorrow is arrived.

    I summarize this to say your “johngalt” name is apt. Liberality once meant freedom in classical philsophy. The word now means its opposite. But Frederick the Great observed that he as government could do anything he wanted, and there would be men who would find rhetorical-philosophical ways to justify it if only they could be in his company. Times are not changed very much, are they?

  46. 57

    TheProperStranger

    From Wikipiedia-

    The Socialist Phenomenon

    Shafarevich’s book The Socialist Phenomenon,[7] published in the US in 1980, argued that the leftist-nihilist utopian impulse is a revival of gnostic religion, rooted in rebellion.[8] In his view, this is an anti-Christian urge that fights obsessively with the normal state of the world, demanding material equality and the eradication of individual and gender distinctions.[9] Shafarevich wrote that “the death of mankind is not only a conceivable result of the triumph of socialism – it constitutes the goal of socialism.”[10]

    It’s a very interesting read. Idealogical anthropology if you will.

  47. 59

    John Cooper

    @TheProperStranger: posted: “the death of mankind is not only a conceivable result of the triumph of socialism – it constitutes the goal of socialism.”

    Ayn Rand wrote the same:

    “Destruction is the only end that the mystics’ creed has ever achieved, as it is the only end that you see them achieving today, and if the ravages wrought by their acts have not made them question their doctrines, if they profess to be moved by love, yet are not deterred by piles of human corpses, it is because the truth about their souls is worse than the obscene excuse you have allowed them, the excuse that the end justifies the means and that the horrors they practice are means to nobler ends. The truth is that those horrors are their ends.”

    When I was younger, I was reluctant to believe that the left was motivated by death. Now I believe it.

  48. 60

    ilovebeeswarzone

    TheProperStranger
    hi, well I was answering to GOVERNOR ROMNEY’S WIN,
    do you have a problem with that?
    bye
    edit; it was meant to congratulate, not to be resentful

  49. 61

    ilovebeeswarzone

    TheProperStranger
    I think, It’s time to cheer for any who is on a winning streak,
    they need it, and ROMNEY sure work hard on this one,
    as they all do,
    the time for bashing anyone is behind ,
    the odds are too crucial to for it, at this time
    bye

  50. 62

    SW

    Thank you, John Cooper, for the quote mirroring another earlier quote. The thing which seems most to annoy the nihilistic socialist is that their truth leeches out in so many ways, all easily documented. When someone claims National Socialism was not socialism, they squeeze out of one use of the term only to find the next, Soviet Socialism. They reject this, only to find the Chinese Communists also use the term Sino-Socialism. They reject this, only to find Zimbabwe’s brutal yet incompetent thigs use the term, Marxist, in their name and founding documents. The socialist then rejects this, only to find the Baath Party and a number of other Pan-Arab parties are socialist in their founding documents, the term appearing frequently. They reject this use of the term, only to find the next brutal and asset-confiscating thug also is some version of a socialist. It is interesting to me how many socialists rationalize all this while saying “next time it will be different.” Then other socialists demand I define their own term as they use it, all the while confusing a clear conversation with some version of “look over there.” The truth of soft socialism as seen in the insolvency in Greece is that while every socialist says their political philosophy is about economics, every instance of this played out in the past or being played out today on the world stage shows that socialism has no idea what to do economically to create prosperity, except to find a productive individual and demand his money, assets or ingenuity. From the perspective of someone living in Berlin, your sentence says much. “When I was younger, I was reluctant to believe that the left was motivated by death. Now I believe it.” I too believe this, as we see too many socialists now proposing various ways to decrease the population, except when they are seeking votes. This suggests demographically that they diminish their own numbers, and the future is assuredly against them, as well as the simple marektplace which holds assets away from “haircuts” and insolvencies. Thank you for furthering the discussion.

  51. 63

    johngalt

    @SW:

    There is a reason that I chose the moniker “johngalt”. Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is, perhaps, the finest book that I have ever read, and due to the volume of reading I can lay claim to, that is saying something. But it wasn’t the story itself. It was the philosophical points that hooked me, echoing the same resentments and angst at government overreach that I felt.

    Now, I don’t know if the statists in the world today are actually motivated by death, as John Cooper and you propose, and that Rand wrote about. I’m more likely to believe that the statists are simply not aware that their end goal leads to destruction, even as they believe it leads to Utopia. I state this because it seems that the leftists in today’s world cannot see the truth, and in many ways, don’t even bother to seek it. Instead, it seems as if the process to achieve their Utopia is much more important to them than actually seeing the results that process has wrought. And we see it now, today, in the cheering from the sidelines by our liberal friends here every time our freedom and liberty is further eroded, simply because the horse they are backing has “won”.

  52. 65

    John Cooper

    …and one more Ayn Rand quote from The Monument Builders c1962 :

    “When one observes the nightmare of the desperate efforts made by hundreds of thousands of people struggling to escape from the socialized countries of Europe, to escape over barbed-wire fences, under machine-gun fire—one can no longer believe that socialism, in any of its forms, is motivated by benevolence and by the desire to achieve men’s welfare. No man of authentic benevolence could evade or ignore so great a horror on so vast a scale. Socialism is not a movement of the people. It is a movement of the intellectuals, originated, led, and controlled by the intellectuals, carried by them out of their stuffy ivory towers into those bloody fields of practice where they unite with their allies and executors: the thugs.”

    (emphasis mine)

  53. 66

    johngalt

    @Tracy Martin:

    Sorry, but I tire quite quickly of every time Ayn Rand is mentioned, someone brings up her religious views, as somehow a means of discounting everything else she ever said. As if it is somehow impossible to have faith, whether in a Christian God or another religion’s supreme being(s), and yet believe that she had indisputable points on other aspects of life. Is this your point?

  54. 67

    SW

    Mr. Cooper, this quote is remarkably in line with a visit to the DDR museum here in Berlin. There are displays of all the methods freedom-seeking people used to escape over fences, barbed wire, walls and wide barren areas kept graded and free from growing things. The DDR wanted the West to believe its name, German Democratic Republik, but like so many other “democratic” socialists enterprises, you were allowed to vote for only approved candidate of the Party. For those escaping there was machine-gun fire and many deaths. When the DDR collapsed and the wall fell, the flood of well-wishing people was wonderful. When I am lectured by socialists today about democracy, I think how much they want to forget the truth of socialism as your quote tells. The East German government tried to tell the world that it was a democracy from its name, and from its pretenses and Potemkin village strategy. But the shelves were bare, and the reality harsh. That the quotes you offer come from works of fiction does not make the observations less true, for history bears this out for individual men as for nations. Thank you.

  55. 68

    SW

    Mister Galt, Ms. Martin’s question was a construction. I believe she knew the answer to begin with. But because one takes a mathemtics test and makes one error in a hundred while all the other students pass with fifty percent does not indicate that everyone “failed.” I suspect Ms. Martin likes to play with you and your readers, while offering little prose of her own to advocate a position she would espouse. Whether Rand as philosopher was consistent in all her views is no more valid a question than Noam Chomsky fine work in linguistics compared to his political indictment of Democrats and Republicans in the United States.

  56. 69

    johngalt

    @SW:

    That is why my comment is what it is. I do tire of the “gotcha!” moments someone inevitably provides regarding Rand and religion, and, as I said, that it somehow means that her other philosophical points are devalued.

  57. 70

    TheProperStranger

    For my two bits, Ayn Rand was a complex and troubled person if you believe what many of Her biographers wrote. I respect Her nonetheless, and don’t think her basic ideas are dependent on her being absolutly right about everthing, or even consistant, or even totaly honest. Ever see her famous interview with Tom Snyder?
    It may be harder for a famous athiest to be honest about what they really believe than for an overwieght Russian crone to pass through the eye of a needle.

  58. 71

    SW

    Thank you, gentlemen, for the clarifications. And thank you for my doing an internet search to find the video of Snyder and Rand speaking. She sets apart on the one hand reason, capitalism and individualism, and on the other collectivism, mysticism and altruism (in her sense of this), and I find that a most interesting opposition, because there is no “synthesis” between them. While the avid Left attacks, they often express mysticism because theirs is a belief system in which the collective can force altrusim. Such examples of this thinking have been the various European welfare states, now almost all being brought by simple mathematics to the end of their economic pyramid schemes. Some many will be injured economically as the collectivists fail in their economic dreamland. Who will survive this best? Individualists, I suspect. Capitalists, to be sure. And those who will use their reason to cut away the polemic and propaganda from the hard fact and reality. I think, as the Snyder-Rand interview highlights, the Western “attack on success” is as she says an “age of envy” to which there is no economic solution, but rather only chaos. Those who sought political chaos historically throughout the 20th century were the Gramsci Marxists who wanted discord to be their entree into power, as was the Bolshevik revolution and then the Nazi Putsch. I think this still true today, and I fear many will refuse to see this, believing we cannot live through the same events again and again. But, as an optimist, and based on the latest inerviews with Draghi, I see the fundamental limitations of taxation and borrowing becoming so clear, that the limits have been exceeded, and the end result is a natural push back. We are seeing this politically, economically and in terms of individuals staking out their own individualism against the collective.

    As to famous atheists, Britain’s Flew left that flock, and most recently Dawkins said publicly that his was also a belief system, and that he could prove nothing as regards atheist, even preferring the term, agnostic. Most amusing. The absolute secular socialists, I conclude, are actually in a state of shock in the moment, as their totems of the social welfare state and militant atheism are losing a grip on even their own message, much less that attacks on religions and Western civilization. We are in luck, for natural law and natural marketplace phenomena are on our side, as rational individuals.

    Thanks again for the reccomendation to the interview. I shall “amazon.de” to buy a book or two. Best wishes.

  59. 72

    John Cooper

    CO2 is a perfect instance of how the left hates life. We all know the left hates CO2 with a passion and wants to shut down any industry that produces it. But CO2 is the very basis of all life on earth. Here’s the formula for photosynthesis:

    6CO2 + 6H2O + photons => C6H12O6+6O2

    Without CO2, we all die.

  60. 73

    ilovebeeswarzone

    John Cooper
    hi,
    It is incredible to hear them, imagine AN EARTH SURVIVING ATROCITIES OF attacks from the elements around shaping her ridging her in many places, chopping the SOLID MOUNTAINS, BREAKING THE ICE CRUST in many pieces, diverting the waters, exploding the debts of the OCEANS TO RISE INTO NEW LANDS
    in how many IONS OF YEARS HAVING BEEN BURNED BY MANY VOLCANO, AND SHAKEN AND BROKEN FROM MANY EARTHQUAKES, and still here round and beautiful from space and beautiful from down yonder bare luscious lands where animals find their food and create their young,
    this same EARTH NOURISHING THE HUMANS, BEING TOLD OF BEING TO WEAK TO SURVIVE,
    IF NOT HELP WITH IGNORANT ACTIONS, or reactions or prevention to hurt the humans
    she has sustained for so many generations, IS IN IT THE TOP OF arrogance from that group
    using her as any other human, IF THERE WAS EVER A LIE, this one is topping it for sure,
    the POWER OF THE EARTH to heal herself and regenerate is the most of what and who exist,
    we should respect her but let her do what she do best, that is take care of herself and provide our subsistence by her own power given to her in the beginning.
    bye

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