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  #1  
Old 02-23-2011, 06:14 PM
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Default Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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  #2  
Old 02-23-2011, 07:40 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

Just starting this one, but a recommendation: bring back Ramesh more often. I'd rate him as being among the top voices on the right in terms of insight and analysis.
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2011, 04:38 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Just starting this one, but a recommendation: bring back Ramesh more often. I'd rate him as being among the top voices on the right in terms of insight and analysis.
I agree -- he's one of the people who talk a lot about political analysis (as opposed to issues) who I enjoy listening to. I think he's insightful, as you say, and even more important I think his main focus is on analyzing, not spinning.

I like Amy too.
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2011, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/344...4:51&out=35:09

That will one day show up in a bhtv special lookback video. Pets II.
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  #5  
Old 02-23-2011, 08:21 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/344...4:51&out=35:09

That will one day show up in a bhtv special lookback video. Pets II.
I don't suppose anyone wants to take the time to classify bloggingheads into known cat people, known dog people, and known other types of pet people(Hi wonderment!), do they? It might help us reinforce baseless stereotypes...
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  #6  
Old 02-23-2011, 08:26 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
I don't suppose anyone wants to take the time to classify bloggingheads into known cat people, known dog people, and known other types of pet people(Hi wonderment!), do they? It might help us reinforce baseless stereotypes...
We can easily do a voluntary classification of commenters in the Life, the Universe and Everything section.
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2011, 10:03 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

The most important event in the last 20 years is unfolding before our very eyes and bhtv is all focused on whether Israel should get more aid or fox news is fair to the gop race or Mitch Daniels's truce is for real. Pretty sad.
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  #8  
Old 02-23-2011, 10:23 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

I prefer that BHTV has content about things other than whatever is getting 24/7 coverage on CNN this week. The site is much more worthwhile when it provides interesting diavlogs between people that have some knowledge of what they are discussing. I agree that the protests in Wisconsin are important, but I don't need to hear a DV between two generalists about it right this moment. Besides, I'm sure we'll get plenty of Wisconsin discussion over the next few days.
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2011, 10:49 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
I prefer that BHTV has content about things other than whatever is getting 24/7 coverage on CNN this week. The site is much more worthwhile when it provides interesting diavlogs between people that have some knowledge of what they are discussing. I agree that the protests in Wisconsin are important, but I don't need to hear a DV between two generalists about it right this moment. Besides, I'm sure we'll get plenty of Wisconsin discussion over the next few days.
I bet he's not talking about Wisconsin.

Think North Africa and the Middle East
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2011, 11:10 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

On second thought, I probably read ohreally wrong. I could see an ideologue calling either of these events the most important of the past 20 years, and of course they'd be wrong in either case. Although I do agree that, unlike Wisconsin, Libya is being under-covered at the moment.
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  #11  
Old 02-23-2011, 11:11 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
On second thought, I probably read ohreally wrong. I could see an ideologue calling either of these events the most important of the past 20 years, and of course they'd be wrong in either case. Although I do agree that, unlike Wisconsin, Libya is being under-covered at the moment.
It's too bad, really, because Gadhafi is one of the five most interesting world leaders of the last 50 years.
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2011, 12:04 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
It's too bad, really, because Gadhafi is one of the five most interesting world leaders of the last 50 years.


Really?? Who are the other four?
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post


Really?? Who are the other four?
Mao (who also almost takes the cake for awfulness, beat only by...)
Pol Pot (the worst person ever)
Richard Nixon
Fujimori

Two utterly awful people, one very flawed person, and one also flawed (but over-criticized) person.

I say this because these four, along with Gadhafi, are hard to understand (in Gadhafi's case, not just when he speaks, either). It's easy to understand most of the leaders of the Middle East. Take for instance Khamenei. He came from a certain intellectual tradition that is easily traced and understood. Megalomaniac dictators in post-colonial SSA (eg Mobutu) are also a bit easier to understand, and the more colorful and eccentric ones, such as Idi Amin, likely the result of latent illness (it's thought that Amin had syphilis).

Then there's Mao, who took a reactionary early industrial European work (Marx) and transformed it into a quasi-nationalistic doctrine, infused with his own crazy thoughts. And, Pol Pot, who took Rousseau and Marx, threw in some of the history of Cambodia, and came out with the most brutal death machine on record.

I chose Nixon above Carter (who I also think is mentally deranged) because more people recognize Nixon's mental issues. He was probably clinically paranoid. He was very quirky and a barrage of contradictions--a quaker who would dress in a suit even when going to the beach and yet who would be very vulgar and very racist in his paranoid rantings. And, an idealogical chameleon.

Fujimori was kind of like Nixon--a very bright man whose personal eccentricities brought him down. Only Fujimori is smarter than Nixon was, and not clinically paranoid. He is basically singularly responsible for resuscitating the Peruvian economy. He waged a successful campaign against a vicious Communist insurgency. The problem for Fujimori is that along the way, he got a little delusional. He was kind of like Peru's FDR, only he had the right economic ideas
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2011, 09:56 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

Quote:
Originally Posted by operative View Post
Mao (who also almost takes the cake for awfulness, beat only by...)
Pol Pot (the worst person ever)
Richard Nixon
Fujimori

Two utterly awful people, one very flawed person, and one also flawed (but over-criticized) person.
It's interesting that you could separate out only five deeply flawed yet interesting leaders. I guess I would want to point out that Nixon isn't much like Mao, Gadhaffi or PolPot and I'll probably spend some time today trying to add to your list.

It's not clear, however, what the criteria are.

I was thinking the best thing about Gadhaffi is that the US didn't put him or keep him in power.
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2011, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
It's interesting that you could separate out only five deeply flawed yet interesting leaders. I guess I would want to point out that Nixon isn't much like Mao, Gadhaffi or PolPot and I'll probably spend some time today trying to add to your list.
Well I didn't want to make a list that only consisted of 5 interesting genocidal maniacs

Quote:
It's not clear, however, what the criteria are.
The criteria started with "who is difficult to figure out?" As I said, I think that most of the kleptocratic post-colonial sub-saharan African dictators are somewhat easy to understand. Some of our presidents have had interesting lives, but usually they're not all that hard to figure out and don't have the type of quirks as Nixon.

Very few western scholars have really tackled Pol Pot (many more have tackled Mao). His ideology was genuinely bizarre and I'm quite convinced that he had some sort of serious mental disorder, though I'm not sure what it was. There was something very uniquely Cambodian about him and his violent purification narrative, but there's also the whole influence of Rousseau and Marx to tackle. His regime was, imo, ultimately suicidal: left to itself, it would've literally annihilated the entire country.


Quote:
I was thinking the best thing about Gadhaffi is that the US didn't put him or keep him in power.
I'd say the best thing about Gadhafi is that while he became more eccentric with age, he also became less meddlesome in the affairs of other countries. He was instrumental in Idi Amin's regrettable rise to power.
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2011, 10:21 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Mao (who also almost takes the cake for awfulness, beat only by...)
Pol Pot (the worst person ever)
Richard Nixon
Fujimori

Two utterly awful people, one very flawed person, and one also flawed (but over-criticized) person.

Interesting that you should choose three sociopaths and two "flawed" politicians as the five most "interesting" politicians of the past 50 years. It would never have occurred to me to use the word "interesting" in....such an interesting way. But then you go on to call Marx a "reactionary," so I suppose you must have some private vocabulary of your own. Your exquisitely subtle sense of history and the history of ideas, according to which Marx and Rousseau are to be blamed for Pol Pot, is also intriguing.

Last edited by Florian; 02-24-2011 at 10:25 AM..
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  #17  
Old 02-24-2011, 05:03 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Interesting that you should choose three sociopaths and two "flawed" politicians as the five most "interesting" politicians of the past 50 years. It would never have occurred to me to use the word "interesting" in....such an interesting way. But then you go on to call Marx a "reactionary," so I suppose you must have some private vocabulary of your own. Your exquisitely subtle sense of history and the history of ideas, according to which Marx and Rousseau are to be blamed for Pol Pot, is also intriguing.
Why wouldn't Marx be considered a reactionary?

And further, I don't think anyone inferred that Marx and Rousseau are to be blamed for Pol Pot. Operative merely said that he were influenced by their ideas. But I do agree that Operative's statements were intriguing. I hope he replies.
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  #18  
Old 02-24-2011, 06:07 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Interesting that you should choose three sociopaths and two "flawed" politicians as the five most "interesting" politicians of the past 50 years.
I'm more interested in villains than heroes.

One of the most interesting politicians from the preceding 50 years was Woodrow Wilson, and it was his many flaws--his temper, his intransigence, his awful bigotry, his daddy issues--that make him interesting.

Quote:
But then you go on to call Marx a "reactionary," so I suppose you must have some private vocabulary of your own.
Well, like BHH, I don't see how one can escape labeling Marx a reactionary. He wasn't reactionary in the same way that, say, de Maistre was, but nevertheless his writing, much like Ayn Rand's much later, was reactionary.

Quote:
Your exquisitely subtle sense of history and the history of ideas, according to which Marx and Rousseau are to be blamed for Pol Pot, is also intriguing.
You can ascribe blame if you want. I'm just saying that Pol Pot was influenced by their writings.
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  #19  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Well, like BHH, I don't see how one can escape labeling Marx a reactionary. He wasn't reactionary in the same way that, say, de Maistre was, but nevertheless his writing, much like Ayn Rand's much later, was reactionary.
I say you nailed it. Especially since you can replace the word "reactionary" by "biped" and it still works!

Quote:
Well, like BHH, I don't see how one can escape labeling Marx a biped. He wasn't a biped in the same way that, say, de Maistre was, but nevertheless his writing, much like Ayn Rand's much later, was that of a biped.
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:24 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Well, like BHH, I don't see how one can escape labeling Marx a reactionary. He wasn't reactionary in the same way that, say, de Maistre was, but nevertheless his writing, much like Ayn Rand's much later, was reactionary..
No European would ever use the word in that way, either for Marx or Ayn Rand. But I think I see your point: they were both "reacting" against something. So what? Every important thinker "reacts" against something--- not that I would include sucha ludicrous figure as Ayn Rand among the important thinkers (as opposed to the merely popular).

BHH? Do you mean BHL? If you consider him an authority on Marx "I don't see how one can escape labelling" you....a bullshitter perhaps?

Quote:
You can ascribe blame if you want. I'm just saying that Pol Pot was influenced by their writings.
Generally, when people make such unfounded and unprovable assertions about the "influence" of Rousseau on some 20th-century political movement they intend to ascribe blame. There is minor academic industry in such fluff, but no one who has actually made the effort to read Rousseau, and no historian who has actually tried to explain such figures as Pol Pot, will find it easy to establish causal links between the ideas of Rousseau and lunacy of Pol Pot.

The same goes for the "influence" of Marx, although the (often obscure) thought of Marx was simplified, vulgarized and travestied by numerous disciples to such an extent that it is almost impossible to distinguish Marx from Marxism. Marx famously said: "I am not a Marxist."

Last edited by Florian; 02-25-2011 at 02:26 AM..
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  #21  
Old 02-25-2011, 07:59 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
BHH? Do you mean BHL? If you consider him an authority on Marx "I don't see how one can escape labelling" you....a bullshitter perhaps?
I think "BHH" = badhatharry.

Whether BHH is a better or worse authority on Marx than BHL is left as an exercise for the student.
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  #22  
Old 02-25-2011, 10:51 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
No European would ever use the word in that way, either for Marx or Ayn Rand. But I think I see your point: they were both "reacting" against something. So what? Every important thinker "reacts" against something--- not that I would include sucha ludicrous figure as Ayn Rand among the important thinkers (as opposed to the merely popular).

BHH? Do you mean BHL? If you consider him an authority on Marx "I don't see how one can escape labelling" you....a bullshitter perhaps?
No I was just seconding BHH's argument; I wouldn't consider either of us to experts on Marx. I have a bit of a background in political theory from my undergraduate days but nothing beyond that.


Quote:
Generally, when people make such unfounded and unprovable assertions about the "influence" of Rousseau on some 20th-century political movement they intend to ascribe blame. There is minor academic industry in such fluff, but no one who has actually made the effort to read Rousseau, and no historian who has actually tried to explain such figures as Pol Pot, will find it easy to establish causal links between the ideas of Rousseau and lunacy of Pol Pot.

The same goes for the "influence" of Marx, although the (often obscure) thought of Marx was simplified, vulgarized and travestied by numerous disciples to such an extent that it is almost impossible to distinguish Marx from Marxism. Marx famously said: "I am not a Marxist."
My sympathy for "they just got it wrong" arguments doesn't go too far. We can observe that Mao and Pol Pot certainly infused other influences with Marx to the point where aspects of Marx were lost. But then we have all of the other Marxist regimes and movements--Stalin, Castro, The Shining Path, the Afro-Marxists. If your philosophy has so easily been used by individuals committing gross human rights violations, then I think that says something about what you are writing.

One of the reasons that Marx's writing lends itself so easily to violence is because it is deterministic and utopian. That, combined with the inevitable violence of the synthesis from the conflict between proletariat and bourgeoisies.

Compare that to, say, Islam. People have used Islamic writings to support brutal, horrible regimes. But we also have examples of Islamic thought being present in functioning, human rights respecting democracies. Christianity was used to support theocratic regimes for quite a while, but as Stark and others have argued, it also played a huge role in the development of democratic thought, as well as the anti-slavery movement in the west.

As for Pol Pot and Rousseau, one need's only to consider Pol Pot's grand, agrarian based utopianism, with all of modernity as 'corrupting' man's fundamental nature, as an interpretation of Rousseau's Natural Man notion.

Philip Short documents Pol Pot's interest in Rousseau in his Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare. This link should excerpt the individual passages:
http://books.google.com/books?id=XW2...usseau&f=false
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  #23  
Old 02-25-2011, 11:24 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

Operative writes...

There is nothing I can say in reply to you because you have said nothing specific about either Rousseau or Marx, or about the problems they were addressing. As far as I can tell from a previous exchange with you on the Social Contract, you have never even read the work, which is neither utopian nor "agrarian," but an attempt to understand the principles of political right (le droit). Kant thought that Rousseau was the Newton of the moral universe. I agree.

Last edited by Florian; 02-25-2011 at 11:29 AM..
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  #24  
Old 02-25-2011, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Operative writes...

There is nothing I can say in reply to you because you have said nothing specific about either Rousseau or Marx, or about the problems they were addressing. As far as I can tell from a previous exchange with you on the Social Contract, you have never even read the work, which is neither utopian nor "agrarian," but an attempt to understand the principles of political right (le droit). Kant thought that Rousseau was the Newton of the moral universe. I agree.
Somehow it doesn't surprise me that you're such a fan of Rousseau. Unfortunately, it is only the unconstrained view of humanity, which Rousseau best exemplifies, that has led to the worst of atrocities in modern history. Rousseau likened the mass public to 'a stupid, pusillanimous invalid' needing to be led by the nose by a superior ruler. Grave human rights abuses can be justified under this thinking by simply stating that the progress of humanity is far more important than the lives of individual people.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:44 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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Somehow it doesn't surprise me that you're such a fan of Rousseau. Unfortunately, it is only the unconstrained view of humanity, which Rousseau best exemplifies, that has led to the worst of atrocities in modern history. Rousseau likened the mass public to 'a stupid, pusillanimous invalid' needing to be led by the nose by a superior ruler. Grave human rights abuses can be justified under this thinking by simply stating that the progress of humanity is far more important than the lives of individual people.
You liked Jonah Goldberg's book, didn't you?
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  #26  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:09 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

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You liked Jonah Goldberg's book, didn't you?
You don't have to like Jonah Goldberg's book to think Rousseau had a lot of bad ideas.
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  #27  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:17 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: So 2011 (Amy Sullivan & Ramesh Ponnuru)

No, but there are enough of the tropes of Goldberg's political philosophy guilt-by-association game in that post to make the resemblance pretty undeniable.
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  #28  
Old 02-25-2011, 03:30 PM
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No, but there are enough of the tropes of Goldberg's political philosophy guilt-by-association game in that post to make the resemblance pretty undeniable.
I'm actually referencing the constrained vs unconstrained debate as identified most notably by Thomas Sowell.
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  #29  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:36 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Somehow it doesn't surprise me that you're such a fan of Rousseau. Unfortunately, it is only the unconstrained view of humanity, which Rousseau best exemplifies, that has led to the worst of atrocities in modern history. Rousseau likened the mass public to 'a stupid, pusillanimous invalid' needing to be led by the nose by a superior ruler. Grave human rights abuses can be justified under this thinking by simply stating that the progress of humanity is far more important than the lives of individual people.
Rousseau said nothing of the sort. When you can quote the actual words of Rousseau, I will engage in a discussion with you. An average graduate of a French lycée could easily demolish your silly statements.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:34 PM
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Rousseau said nothing of the sort. When you can quote the actual words of Rousseau, I will engage in a discussion with you. An average graduate of a French lycée could easily demolish your silly statements.
"Nations, like men, are teachable only in their youth; with age they become incorrigible. Once customs and prejudices rooted, reform is a dangerous and fruitless enterprise; a people can not bear to see its evils touched, even if only to be eradicated; it is like a stupid, pusillanimous invalid who trembles at the sight of a physician."

From the Social Contract, Book II.

Pol Pot fancied himself the physician.
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  #31  
Old 02-25-2011, 09:37 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Originally Posted by operative View Post
"Nations, like men, are teachable only in their youth; with age they become incorrigible. Once customs and prejudices rooted, reform is a dangerous and fruitless enterprise; a people can not bear to see its evils touched, even if only to be eradicated; it is like a stupid, pusillanimous invalid who trembles at the sight of a physician."

From the Social Contract, Book II.

Pol Pot fancied himself the physician.
Yes, but you said exactly the opposite. Rousseau is saying that reforming a nation, once its customs are rooted, is dangerous and fruitless. And when he says that a people is like a "pusillanimous invalid that trembles at the sight of a physician," he is just stating the obvious, namely that invalids often think the cure is worse than the disease. Look at the contemporary United States.... In any case, it is a comparison, and the emphasis is not on the physician but on the people who are afraid of him.

Neither here nor anywhere else does Rousseau say that "progress" justifies suppressing the rights of individuals, let alone killing them, as you suggested above. Indeed he explicitly argues, like Locke, that the state exists to the safeguard the life (and property) of every single individual. Moreover, Rousseau was well-known in the 18th century for denying the reality of (moral) progress, so your statement above is doubly wrong.

The fact that Rousseau thought that country life was better than city life, or that Geneva had purer morals than Paris, hardly makes him a forerunner of Pol Pot. Many people, before and since, have expressed similar views.

Last edited by Florian; 02-26-2011 at 03:57 AM..
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  #32  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:28 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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No I was just seconding BHH's argument; I wouldn't consider either of us to experts on Marx. I have a bit of a background in political theory from my undergraduate days but nothing beyond that.
Actually, I didn't make any argument, only asked a question.

Quote:
My sympathy for "they just got it wrong" arguments doesn't go too far. We can observe that Mao and Pol Pot certainly infused other influences with Marx to the point where aspects of Marx were lost. But then we have all of the other Marxist regimes and movements--Stalin, Castro, The Shining Path, the Afro-Marxists. If your philosophy has so easily been used by individuals committing gross human rights violations, then I think that says something about what you are writing.
I don't think a writer or thinker can be blamed for the crazy ideas of the people who have read them. I know I'll get dinged for this but I somehow doubt very many people can even understand what Marx was saying in any depth. Also did Marx ever seek to recruit followers?

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Compare that to, say, Islam. People have used Islamic writings to support brutal, horrible regimes. But we also have examples of Islamic thought being present in functioning, human rights respecting democracies. Christianity was used to support theocratic regimes for quite a while, but as Stark and others have argued, it also played a huge role in the development of democratic thought, as well as the anti-slavery movement in the west.
Have there been any Marxist movements which didn't end in calamity?
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:28 PM
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Actually, I didn't make any argument, only asked a question.



I don't think a writer or thinker can be blamed for the crazy ideas of the people who have read them. I know I'll get dinged for this but I somehow doubt very many people can even understand what Marx was saying in any depth. Also did Marx ever seek to recruit followers?



Have there been any Marxist movements which didn't end in calamity?
Marx, like Chomskey, considered himself a thinker and not an organizer. The Manifesto is a pretty clear call to arms, though.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:32 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Have there been any Marxist movements which didn't end in calamity?
How are you defining Marxist movement? It seems like the right usually wants to apply the term pretty broadly, but perhaps we can agree to a more limited definition.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:41 PM
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How are you defining Marxist movement? It seems like the right usually wants to apply the term pretty broadly, but perhaps we can agree to a more limited definition.
Well don't worry, we're not looking to include Barack Obama in the definition

I don't want to speak for BHH, but perhaps we could start with any governing body explicitly espousing Marx's dialectic, and then branch off to include groups who attempted but failed to gain power, espousing Marx's dialectic--this would include The Shining Path, currently the Communinst Party of India, etc.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:55 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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How are you defining Marxist movement? It seems like the right usually wants to apply the term pretty broadly, but perhaps we can agree to a more limited definition.
How about the idea that a Marxist movement has as its goal that workers would own the means of production.To my knowledge that stage has never come to fruition in countries which undertook the process and these countries seem to get stuck at a stage where the state has inordinate power.

I suppose China is an example of a Marxist country which is doing pretty well but certainly capitalism plays a huge role in the economics of China.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:18 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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How about the idea that a Marxist movement has as its goal that workers would own the means of production.
Apart from how it's achieved? I mean, United Airlines used to go on about how they were employee-owned when you called them, and whatever their flaws, I doubt anyone would say United was part of a Marxist movement, which is why I'm trying to be clear.

There's a lot of eagerness to deem social programs as Marxist or socialist, for example, but if that's a fair usage (which I don't think it is) than Western Europe could be called a victory.

I'm not a Marxist and wouldn't use the term so loosely myself, but am just puzzling through what seem to be imprecise definitions.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:45 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Well, like BHH, I don't see how one can escape labeling Marx a reactionary. He wasn't reactionary in the same way that, say, de Maistre was, but nevertheless his writing, much like Ayn Rand's much later, was reactionary.
This is an interesting article on the meaning of the term.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:43 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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I prefer that BHTV has content about things other than whatever is getting 24/7 coverage on CNN this week.
I'm happy someone made this point, so I can agree with it. (Edit: okay, I misread it, because I didn't see it was a response to ohreally. That said, I do think there tends to be a problem with the diavlogs being too reactive to whatever the partisan story of the week is, even if this one isn't really an example.)

Here, I actually do think the WI story is important (more important than the usual "big flap that bhTV must cover because everyone is talking about it"), but I agree that that doesn't mean that I especially want the generalists on for other reasons feeling compelled to go on about it.

That said, I didn't feel like they spend all that much time on it, and they did reference issues about it that fit in with their overall topics and their areas (I thought Ramesh's summary of the problems posed by the debate over public unions for the Dems was pretty accurate, and it does relate to some inherent conflicts in the party, just as the Palin v. Romney scenario he raised later does re the GOP).

However, I do often think that bhTV thinks that if something is being talked about that we want everyone to do so, and that is so not the case, at least for me.

Last edited by stephanie; 02-24-2011 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:07 PM
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The most important event in the last 20 years is unfolding before our very eyes and bhtv is all focused on whether Israel should get more aid or fox news is fair to the gop race or Mitch Daniels's truce is for real. Pretty sad.
Really, the most important event of the last twenty years? Sorry but color me skeptical. In Egypt, one military dictator left and another took over. Libya may finally lose the drunken, mentally unstable megalomaniac it's been saddled with for 40 years. Fun stuff, but most important? Sorry, a lot more has to happen first.
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