Know your dance steps

May 28, 2016 § 414 Comments

The right-liberal dance steps in the Hegelian Mambo are really quite simple. It is a dance anyone can dance!

Step 1: Demonize whatever is just slightly more politically liberal than you are as “leftism“.

Step 2: Do everything in your power to keep the recent innovations of that “leftism” intact.

Step 3: Do everything in your power to keep the secular religion behind “leftism” intact.

(HT Malcolm).

§ 414 Responses to Know your dance steps

  • Jill says:

    America is a church with a belief in rights. Sounds self-defeating to me, or self-referential. Rights are outputs of philosophies, not inputs.

  • […] Source: Zippy Catholic […]

  • I don’t have time at the moment to read the whole discussion, but has JCWright come over to our point of view, or is he really saying all those things unironically.

  • I do think the “America as church of liberalism” explains a it about our immigration policies. Just as you’re allowed to be Catholic and German, Catholic and British, etc. (whereas nations require immigrants to assimilate), so to we allow people to come here and still maintain there own cultural identities, just so long as they accept the official beliefs.

    JCWright (if he’s being unironic) is simply upset that the required professions of faith have been changed.

  • Arkansas,

    Entirely unironically.

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Being a good Catholic Mr. Wright is (presumably) in submission to the Roman Pontiff yes? So Mr. Wright is not only bending the knee to a monarch but a foreign monarch at that. A foreign monarch that can find bind Mr. Wright not just in his physical body like the kings of old but even binds Mr. Wright in conscience. Did Mr. Wright understand what he was getting into when he converted to Catholicism?

    While this is a side point I always thought that Chesterton’s remark that America had the “soul of a church” was not meant to be complementary.

  • Scott W. says:

    I see the “Not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary” smog machine has already started.

  • Mike T says:

    I see the “Not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary” smog machine has already started.

    The eye opening aspect of this race to me has been how for 20 years we’ve been told to “hold our nose and vote,” but now the very same people who damned principle are suddenly “finding it.” Ironically, at a time when the Democrats are running a candidate whose ethics are well below many third world country leaders to put it nicely.

    What is especially rich are all of the Christians who are getting the vapors over Trump, but voted for McCain who is an unrepentant warmonger who can be easily imagined literally wiping his ass with a document covering Just War Theory.

  • CJ says:

    Mike T – It’s just as interesting watching people who condemned the bi-factional ruling party chastising Republicans for not lining up behind the party’s nominee and using “wasted vote” rhetoric. Trump’s candidacy has been a crucible.

  • Mike T says:

    I would take most of the #NeverTrumpers more seriously if there were more than a handful of them who didn’t, for the last several elections, condemn the very stance they are now taking. From my perspective, the Trump supporters are merely hoisting them on their own petard by demanding they get with the program.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Mike T,

    Your argument boils down to “It’s not wrong when we do it.”

  • CJ says:

    Aethelfrith – More than a few people on the alt-right are explicit about that. “The age of ideology is over. It’s all about tribalism.” A go-to example is the British using mustard gas in WWI after the Germans introduced it.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    CJ,

    I’m actually hoping for a Trump presidency. I will derive much pleasure when the Donald inevitably stabs his constituents in the back.

  • Mike T says:

    A go-to example is the British using mustard gas in WWI after the Germans introduced it.

    And the use of mustard gas is no more intrinsically immoral, when limited to enemy troops in a time of war, than sending a bomber wing of B52s loaded with cluster bombs over their position. The restrictions on the use of WMDs in battle is a prudential, not a moral, matter when the authorities using them intentionally restrict their use to combatants.

    In the eyes of the cuckservative, retaliating against the Germans for killing 10k of our men with mustard gas by killing 100k of theirs is somehow morally wrong even though it is:

    1. Restricted to combatants.
    2. Happens in a war zone.
    3. It is being used to drive down the use of an overly deadly weapon by disincentivizing its casual use by the first party to start wielding it.

  • Mike T says:

    “The age of ideology is over. It’s all about tribalism.”

    Tribalism is preferable to ideology because we’ve seen the bloody mess that ideology caused in the 20th century, and I don’t restrict that to just the statist forms of liberalism. In fact, I’m not sure that there even exists a difference between ideology and liberalism because the premise of socio-political ideology is that society, politics and economics can be reduced to a point where a single system of thought can provide a unified theory of what is true and good. That is not how our ancestors approached it; Christianity is a pursuit of what is true, whereas ideology in modern terms is a pre-existing notion of what is true in which reality gets shoved (in a way not entirely unlike daffy duck jumping up and down with a plunger trying to ram something down a hole.)

  • Zippy says:

    “Tribalism vs ideology” looks to me like just another one of those false dichotomies which lead to insanity. Truth has both a universal and a particular character, and attempting to amputate either is self- (and other-) destructive.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    >Tribalism is preferable to ideology because we’ve seen the bloody mess that ideology caused in the 20th century

    Rwanda couldn’t be reached for comment.

    (nor could, for that matter, eleven million victims of the Holocaust)

  • Zippy says:

    The problem isn’t that liberalism makes universal claims. The problem is that liberalism makes incoherent/false universal claims.

  • Zippy says:

    I suppose it should be pointed out that it is no surprise that those who would reject “ideology” in favor of “tribalism” are particularly susceptible to the nominalist error.

  • Mike T says:

    The problem isn’t that liberalism makes universal claims. The problem is that liberalism makes incoherent/false universal claims.

    That’s also not the problem I cited. As I said, all modern ideology starts from a perspective of forming its own notion of what the world is and trying to rationalize it.

    Rwanda couldn’t be reached for comment.

    The fact that you can find violent examples of tribalism does not change the fact that ideology has a significantly more murderous track record.

    “Tribalism vs ideology” looks to me like just another one of those false dichotomies which lead to insanity.

    It is a false dichotomy in some respects, but liberalism as a whole has set itself up as anti-tribalism so there is a less frequent intersection between the two than there once was.

  • CJ says:

    Blaming “ideology” for Communism and Fascism is like blaming “religion” when discussing Islamic terrorism. Inaccurate at best, dishonest at worst.

  • Mike T says:

    CJ,

    Show me an existing ideology that doesn’t repeat the errors I described above, and I’ll concede the point.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy & MikeT

    “Tribalism vs ideology” looks to me like just another one of those false dichotomies which lead to insanity.

    […]

    The problem isn’t that liberalism makes universal claims. The problem is that liberalism makes incoherent/false universal claims.

    Case in point:

    Tribalism is preferable to ideology because we’ve seen the bloody mess that ideology caused in the 20th century, and I don’t restrict that to just the statist forms of liberalism.

    […]

    The fact that you can find violent examples of tribalism does not change the fact that ideology has a significantly more murderous track record.

    When was it decided that National-Socialist Germans weren’t tribal? When was it decided that the Soviet Russians weren’t tribal? When was it decided that Maoism wasn’t tribal? Since when is tribalism not an ideology? Were all those statues and posters and uniforms and other various bits of ideologically-applied nationalist propaganda spontaneous eruptions of organic tribalism?

    The notion that tribalism is less murderous than ideology looks pretty damned incoherent to me.

    @CJ

    Aethelfrith – More than a few people on the alt-right are explicit about that. “The age of ideology is over. It’s all about tribalism.” A go-to example is the British using mustard gas in WWI after the Germans introduced it.

    I read that example in a post at VD’s a few weeks ago.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @MikeT

    It is a false dichotomy in some respects, but liberalism as a whole has set itself up as anti-tribalism so there is a less frequent intersection between the two than there once was.

    It just is a false dichotomy. The liberalism is still here, MikeT. Why should anyone believe that reintroducing tribalism is going to make things better when we have excellent examples of nothing “fixing” or “undoing” liberalism by mixing it into liberalism?

    We’ve done the experiments and the science is in: Liberalism and nationalism can coexist and be just as murderous as liberalism alone.

    I’m not saying nationalism is bad. I’m saying its lack is not really the problem and reintroducing it won’t fix what is.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    We’ve done the experiments and the science is in: Liberalism and nationalism can coexist and be just as murderous as liberalism alone.

    Relevant:
    http://whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2007/11/noble_lies_and_the_superman.html

  • Aethelfrith says:

    The fact that you can find violent examples of tribalism does not change the fact that ideology has a significantly more murderous track record.

    Hitler was better than Stalin because he killed fewer people. #logic

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    If you would be so kind, I mistakenly wrote “Why should anyone believe that reintroducing tribalism is going to make things better when we have excellent examples of anything “fixing” or “undoing” liberalism by mixing it into liberalism?

    “anything” should “nothing”.

    Good post at W4. The Noble Lie has to be generated because otherwise we’re looking down the barrel of something wrong with us; which would mean sin, and therefore in need of a savior, and therefore Christ.

    Can’t have Him trouncing over our freedom like that…

  • Mike T says:

    When was it decided that National-Socialist Germans weren’t tribal?

    The way I see the “tribalism vs ideology” matter is that many of the people thinking along those lines are claiming (with good reason) that the common good has been subverted for the purpose of using the machinery of state to advance ideology. Tribalism is meant in the sense that the good of the tribe, not a worldview based in abstractions built around ideology, is becoming the primary consideration again in politics.

    Indeed, look at the last 16 years and you can’t find any meaningful example of the President putting the US military to use in a way that actually defends genuine US national interests rather than advancing a form of international liberalism.

    We’ve done the experiments and the science is in: Liberalism and nationalism can coexist and be just as murderous as liberalism alone.

    That is true, and liberalism can generally coexist with just about anything. However, much of the opposition to the Alt Right is an argument of “you’re still liberal, therefore you’re no alternative at all” instead of guiding it further from liberalism. Which is ironic since you can probably find overlap with liberalism in 99% of its critics.

  • CJ says:

    Mike T – By your logic since Islam and Christianity both start with belief in God , any point that tells against one is equally applicable against the other.

    And the dichotomy is false because what constitutes the “common good” and the “tribe” are both subject to prior ideological commitments.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Courtesy of dictionary.com:

    ideology:
    1.
    the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.
    2.
    such a body of doctrine, myth, etc., with reference to some political and social plan, as that of fascism, along with the devices for putting it into operation.

    Now, explain to me how the whole “tribalism is better than ideology” is not itself ideological.

  • Hrodgar says:

    It occurs to me that this is not unlike “conservative vs. liberal.” Many people, including both our host and the well-known tribalist Vox Day, have pointed out that conservative and liberal are not even the same kind of thing: conservative is a disposition, liberalism is a political philosophy. “Tribalism vs. ideology” is likewise incoherent, on par with “apples vs. oranges.”

  • Jill says:

    Tribalism is an innate part of (most) humans. It is a trait that can be exploited, for good or bad, through ideology. Ideology is not innate but learned. This should be a fairly obvious distinction. Liberalism is an ideology that acts upon the tribalism of western culture to….destroy the tribalism of western culture. It is very, very difficult to maintain a tribe of “all people are equal.” Funny that it’s just as difficult to maintain an ideology when all ideas are equal. I don’t know where I was going with this.

  • GJ says:

    The ‘tribalism over ideology’ perspective reminds me of Vienna Circle positivism: eschewing messy and less certain metaphysics/ideology for the more tractable science/racial pedigree. Yet ‘rejecting metaphysics’ is a metaphysical stance, and ‘rejecting ideology’ an ideological one.

    In fact, defining ‘nation’ purely in terms of racial heritage is positivism.

  • CJ says:

    Jill- I think you just realized why it’s futile to oppose these two things. Am I in the same tribe as my Muslim uncle? My Ukrainian assistant pastor? The Hispanic car salesman who grew up down the street from my grandmother and shares my regional dialect? This isn’t a call for a positivist definition of tribe. It’s just that ideology drives whichever of these things you prioritize to identify a tribe.

  • Mike T says:

    It’s just that ideology drives whichever of these things you prioritize to identify a tribe.

    That would actually be an argument that your area is in the final stages of total community destruction by multiculturalism and liberalism, not an argument against “tribalism.” In Europe, for instance, it’s not hard for a white Frenchman to figure out who “his tribe is.”

  • Mike T says:

    conservative is a disposition, liberalism is a political philosophy. “Tribalism vs. ideology” is likewise incoherent, on par with “apples vs. oranges.”

    Mainstream ideology and even those moderately outside the mainstream, are all forms of liberalism that forcefully reject tribalism. As someone mentioned above, liberalism and nationalism can coexist, but it is a fact on the ground that almost every surviving school of liberalism rejects tribalism and nationalism. That it can, doesn’t mean it actually does today.

    CJ’s comment about who is his tribe is also a good example of how you can criticize liberalism on these matters while engaging in the same practice. I am a white southerner. Whether I choose to see it, my “tribe” is others of a similar demographic. The whole idea that we can just “pick and choose” who is in our tribe is, well, rather libertarian in its view of society.

  • Mike T says:

    Regarding the Hispanic who speaks your dialect and is seemingly indistinguishable from you except appearance, it’s generally been true that such exceptions have abounded. Being different in that respect is not sufficient to make one legitimately an outsider in the community. There is no simple boolean test here as to membership in the community, but it is a mistake to take such exceptions and apply them a much broader level. For every hispanic like that one, there are 50 who are part of a distinctly different group in the community. Don’t speak the same dialect, may prefer Spanish. Don’t practice the same religion (even their form of “Catholicism” may be radically different than yours, in a negative way influenced by indigenous practices).

  • Hrodgar says:

    Yes, the presently dominant forms of liberalism are mostly globalist or universalist. That doesn’t change the fact that the proper dichotomy is not “tribalism vs. liberalism,” but “tribalism/nationalism vs. globalism/universalism.” Pretty much all the major players, at least in the West, are liberals of one stripe or another.

  • Jill says:

    I don’t know that there is a “proper” dichotomy to tribalism except autonomy or individualism. Tribalism and individualism are behaviors that operate on an instinctive level as competing impulses. When people are stressed and feel threatened, some will withdraw, but the vast majority will draw battle lines and defend their borders. Authorities use ideological rhetoric to incite the tribal instinct.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Ideology vs. tribalism vs. everything else-ism–it’s all just a(n unnecessary) fig leaf over the issue of pure partisanship, plain and simple. I added “unnecessary” because today, one of the leading lights of the AltRight has pretty much dispensed with justification and declared that we should be free to hate who or what we want to hate:

    https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/06/hate-is-human-right.html

    “Hate is an aspect of our free will.” Note how that sentence is a distillation of everything Zippy has said about liberalism, and is a textbook example of the Hegelian Mambo–rage against the newest iteration of liberalism, but leave the superstructure of liberalism intact.

    (Note also that he mentions, but doesn’t list, the seven things God hates. If he did, an astute reader would point out Vox embodies five of those seven things).

  • Mike T says:

    one of the leading lights of the AltRight has pretty much dispensed with justification and declared that we should be free to hate who or what we want to hate

    So it’s safe to say that you support speech policing. Good to know.

    (Note also that he mentions, but doesn’t list, the seven things God hates. If he did, an astute reader would point out Vox embodies five of those seven things).

    Which ones?

  • Mike T says:

    Also, ironic coming from a man who openly boasts of his expectation of reveling in schadenfreude…

    I’m actually hoping for a Trump presidency. I will derive much pleasure when the Donald inevitably stabs his constituents in the back.

    I’m pretty sure that’s on the list of things God hates.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    So it’s safe to say that you support speech policing.

    I haven’t read the linked page, but I don’t see how that follows from objecting to declaring hate to be a human right.

    And in any case, what is wrong with speech policing? Speaking is one of the most dangerous things that human beings do, with profound effects on the common good; right up there with sex.

  • Mike T says:

    I haven’t read the linked page, but I don’t see how that follows from objecting to declaring hate to be a human right.

    Aethelfrith, however, has read it and is aware of the actual context which refers to the right of freedom of conscience in the face of the particular form of aggressive speech policing SJWs are known for. Hence my saying that if he thinks that no one has a right to harbor hate in their heart without being sought out and actively harassed, deplatformed, rendered unemployed for the content of their heart and/or speech rather than concrete actions, then all protests aside, Aethelfrith supports the SJW agenda.

    And in any case, what is wrong with speech policing?

    In some instances, nothing, but that’s not the principle at stake the in the VD/Aethelfrith disagreement. Rather, Aethelfrith has effectively declared himself to be in agreement with SJWs that there exists no right to go unmolested by your neighbors for what you may or may not harbor in your heart and mind.

  • Mike T says:

    And part of the danger of policing speech is shown in this very thread. The same standard that would censure Vox Day would rightly punish Aethelfrith. Schadenfreude is a form of hatred. Boasting of it is corrosive to public morals because it encourages people to violate the 2nd highest commandment.

  • Zippy says:

    That all sounds like a big load of hooey resting on false dudgeon to me, but it also sounds like a complete waste of time to investigate further.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Right, OK. I think I’m old enough and have been the ‘Net long enough to know when a “discussion” is going nowhere and becomes nothing but an exercise in venting one’s spleen. So I’ll quit.

    Actually, I’ll go one further–I’ll concede defeat. Yes Mike, I’m an SJW. I never said nor hinted at anything that you accuse me of but since “SJW’s always lie” it was only a matter of time before before I’d bare my venomous fangs.

    *slithers away to whine on Tumblr*

  • Mike T says:

    I never said nor hinted at anything that you accuse me o

    You boasted of how you intend to revel in schadenfreude, then went on to self-righteously attack Vox Day for being guilty of some of the things that God hates. So yes, I would say you are quite transparently guilty of one of the things I said about you here.

    but it also sounds like a complete waste of time to investigate further

    It is. I think if you read the actual blog post, you’d find it to be far less controversial than it was made out to be here. Especially since as Aethelfrith probably knows, Vox Day has highlighted many cases where the people he is referring to say that we should actively seek out people guilty of Wrong Think and subject them to sanction that is ruinous to them.

  • Mark Citadel says:

    Speech policing, like the necessity of religion to the state, is inevitable. It is silly to oppose Liberalism on the grounds of ‘muhh free speech’. Liberalism is bad because of the kind of speech is quashes, not just because it quashes speech in general. It stifles truth and propagates lies, this is the essence of its evil.

  • Zippy says:

    I admit myself to looking forward with some amusement to the prospect of Trump supporters receiving the consequences of what they have chosen, that is, the actual Trump as president with all that that implies; as opposed to the solipsistic fantasies in which they are enraptured. Rather like the head shaking amusement at the slut who married her bad boy (despite constant warnings against the idea), utterly convinced that she is so special that she will change him. Or the lonely cat lady divorcee who was convinced to Eat Pray Love (that is, divorce her nice guy reliable husband in pursuit of excitement). Stupid and immoral people who have been repeatedly warned and should know better getting stuck with the consequences of their own choices always has a kind of rightness to it — in the words of the Prophet Setzer, the knife feels like justice.

    And whatever else may be said about it, the headline that hate is a human right is at very best a sad little attempt to act the part of the adolescent provocateur: a lame attempt at irony. More likely than that best case interpretation is that it really reflects the underlying metaphysic which gave rise to it with some accuracy.

  • Zippy says:

    I sometimes wonder how many atrocities have resulted from leaders playing ironic provocateur mated to followers and subsequent generations taking them seriously.

  • Jill says:

    VD is appealing to natural rights that spring from natural law, that is, the integral parts of nature that can’t be outlawed like love and hate. There is no irony there, but an appeal to Thomism. Suppressing hate speech will not suppress hate because hate can’t be suppressed. That is quite clearly his argument, and it is hardly provocative. Of course, moral law (which VD appeals to) would say that we should love that which is good and hate that which is evil. Human nature being what it is, moral law is often flip-flopped and runs counter to morality, hating what is good and loving what is evil.

  • Mike T says:

    Of course, moral law (which VD appeals to) would say that we should love that which is good and hate that which is evil. Human nature being what it is, moral law is often flip-flopped and runs counter to morality, hating what is good and loving what is evil.

    And ironically, much of what VD even calls “the right to hate” is meant ironically as an attack on the SJWs who equate insufficient enthusiastic endorsement of diversity as the first step on the slope to genocide.

  • Zippy says:

    So it is ironic but it isn’t ironic. Got it.

  • Anymouse says:

    “I sometimes wonder how many atrocities have resulted from leaders playing ironic provocateur mated to followers and subsequent generations taking them seriously.”

    “Bolshevism is bad, but nationalism is even worse”.
    Radovan Karadžić
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radovan_Karad%C5%BEi%C4%87

  • Anymouse says:

  • PB says:

    I don’t think that dictionary definition of ideology is complete. Before it devolved into a colloquial synonym for a collection of opinions, ideology meant a comprehensive, self-referential, closed account of the world. Marxism is the classic example. I may be mistaken but I believe Marxists, possibly Marx himself coined the term in the first place.

  • Jill says:

    If VD was aiming for ironic, it was lost on me. It did not strike me as sarcastic, incongruous, humorous, or in any way unexpected. It struck me as being a truism. However, I have no idea what we’re talking about any longer–his motivation vs audience perception? Who knows?

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    So it is ironic but it isn’t ironic. Got it.

    It’s a great example of weaponised ambiguity.

  • Mike T says:

    Another interesting aspect of this election is watching the practical implications of the left declaring Trump supporters non-persons for the purpose of the law. Countless examples of violent crimes being committed right in front of police who are told to stand down by their brass and city government. It will be interesting to see what happens when the non-persons who have all of the legal protection of chimpanzee from violent “protesters” eventually do when they get fed up with the “protesters” and the police finally rediscover the rule of law.

  • Mike T says:

    The Peter Thiel vs Gawker thing has been an excellent demonstration of your point about freedom meaning the right people get sent to prison. It literally has come down to a matter of privacy-freedom vs speech-freedom and whose “freedom” is more important: the journalist who wants to be able to publish anything short of child pornography and active troop deployments or the man who doesn’t want his surreptitiously recorded sex tape from being broadcasted by tabloids.

  • […] GJ uses the term “weaponized ambiguity” in the comments below, as a cognate of what I have called weaponized nihilism and of what others have referred to as the […]

  • GJ says:

    Step 4: Denounce actual conservative changes as [link missing]“regressive” or “odd-duck”.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    Think you need to fix GJ’s comment. Seeing broken html in the first link.

  • Zippy says:

    No link in comment source.

  • Mike T says:

    Specific sections of that bill may be wrong and even wicked and unjust, but in principle there is nothing wrong with Russia putting a stop to efforts to further undermine Orthodoxy. It seems more of a nationalism thing than anything else. But one thing that they have proved repeatedly is their inability to actually grasp anything outside of the liberal segments of the Overton Window–or even on its periphery. For example, they are incredulous that white nationalists can on the one hand despise American Jews who demand multiculturalism for whites but nationalism for Jews and the other hand be committed Zionists in their position on Israel.

    And I don’t have references handy, but IIRC some Protestant groups actually are state-recognized in Russia. I think the Baptists are one of them. It’s such an outrage that holy rollers who think God moves us to bray like barnyard animals during worship service can’t get a word in edgewise in Russian society.

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Mike T,

    What a surprise, Lydia has “no patience” with any country that doesn’t want to adopt Anglo-American liberalism.

  • GJ says:

    Whoops, the first link was supposed to be to the post.

    Mike T, Ita Scripta Est:

    Didn’t you know, it’s high time for the Russians to get with the programme, progress, and embrace religious freedom.

  • Mike T says:

    Lydia has “no patience”

    Lydia has “no patience” with a lot of things.

    Hilariously, she accused me of not being man enough to argue with her in her Safe Space about abortion–while acknowledging that she probably wouldn’t have posted any response I gave.

    Didn’t you know, it’s high time for the Russians to get with the programme, progress, and embrace religious freedom.

    In healthy doses, religious freedom is a necessary thing. However, of all our principles it is most easily declared “not a suicide pact” based on the simple fact that there are plenty of religions that are so transparently bad for the common good that tolerating them is not necessary.

  • Zippy says:

    “Religious freedom” is like “tolerance”. This has at least three ‘politically incorrect’ characteristics.

    First, it is not something to which a false religion (or adherents to false religion) can be entitled. Tolerance of X is only tolerance when we have every right not to tolerate X, but choose to tolerate it out of magnanimity or prudence.

    Second, it cannot be plenary, it can only be conditional. False religions are like unruly teenagers: their behaviors may be tolerable to the extent they don’t make a nuisance of themselves, but the extent and particulars of what in particular is tolerable is limited.

    Third, tolerance can only be granted as, to use Pope Francis’ words, a kind of accompaniment. It is necessarily temporary, a concession to the fact that coming to understand the truth of the true religion – Roman Catholicism – is a process, not instantaneous. But permanently leaving people to stew in error and end up in Hell with no effort to proselytize to them (with words if necessary, but otherwise with behaviors and laws) is not tolerance: it is cruelty.

  • Mike T says:

    Looks like another long time commenter is in their cross-hairs and they’re openly bragging about banning people now. I think they won’t be happy until W4 is an echo chamber where the authors spend half of their comments congratulating and thanking each other.

  • Mike T,

    Lydia has openly despised Crude for awhile, for reasons that totally baffle me; I was around when they literally interacted for the *first time ever*, and Lydia reacted to Crude with an unbelievable amount of vitriol because, if I recall, Crude didn’t agree with her. A few posts later she told Crude to go to Hell; Crude hadn’t insulted a single commenter. She just didn’t like him.

    Now she has the absurdity to claim that Crude “Really, really dislikes her” when the entire thing was started by her basically unprovoked.

    Keep in mind, this is coming from somebody who, at the time the original event occurred at least, had sympathies for both Crude and Lydia; I really had no bias there. But I’ve lost a ton of respect for Lydia since then.

    Now she’s bringing up religious liberty as a “long-standing” principle of western civilization despite admitting in the same thread that it wasn’t a part of western civilization until OVER A THOUSAND YEARS – probably over two thousand – after it started! It makes no sense.

  • Mike T says:

    Malcolm,

    One thing I’ve noticed is that Lydia is essentially given a free pass there to behave however she wants. No one really challenges her when she gets angry and goes off on someone.

    The thread where I got banned from W4 is really telling about her views on conflict. Among other things, she thinks I’m “corrupted” because I have no sympathy for a man who is more inquisitorial than any Catholic official sanctioned by the Pope, who acts under his own authority and then unleashes a sh#$storm of trolling on his sorry ass. It is literally lost on them that if you declare war on someone you’d better be prepared for them to take you seriously and possibly fight on terms you didn’t intend on fighting.

  • Mike T says:

    As to the religious liberty thing. I think I speak for everyone when I say that of course English tradition and the particular circumstances of England are applicable to every country on Earth. Only a fool would consider the fact that English religious tolerance was born of wariness over generations of violence and back and forth tyranny by competing religious groups would somehow make England’s example less applicable to a religiously homogeneous state. Because liberty. Because shut up.

  • Mike T says:

    Probably not unrelated to why the Russians don’t want to spend a lot of time sifting through which denomination should be allowed and which shouldn’t:


    “I thought ChristianMingle was a website for Christians to mingle,” wrote one commenter on a forum post about the ruling. “I guess that’s not allowed.”

    “Of course it is,” another person replied. “And now it includes those Christians seeking a same-sex relationship — which many Christian churches approve of.”

    Religious liberty should never be allowed to be a suicide pact.

  • itascriptaest says:

    I think they won’t be happy until W4 is an echo chamber where the authors spend half of their comments congratulating and thanking each other.

    That’s pretty much what it is now. Let it whither, I stopped reading over there years ago when Zippy left.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that Lydia is essentially given a free pass there to behave however she wants. No one really challenges her when she gets angry and goes off on someone.

    Yep. Its not even limited to W4, she hijacked a thread at the Orthosphere a few years back calling people all kinds of names and posting nearly a hundred hysterical comments- and no one did anything to stop her. If I pulled that there I would have been banned.

    Now she has the absurdity to claim that Crude “Really, really dislikes her” when the entire thing was started by her basically unprovoked.

    Instead of just debating a given topic, she always has to interject some line saying how “unimpressed” she is by such an such an argument just to insult the interlocutor. Really? Is everyone commenting here supposed to be trying to “impress” you?

    In reality nothing she says particularly interesting or novel. Its just the typical right-liberal boilerplate characteristic of The Federalist or First Things.

  • Mike T says:

    That’s pretty much what it is now. Let it whither, I stopped reading over there years ago when Zippy left.

    At the end when I got banned, Jeff all but said he didn’t want anyone actually defending the Alt-Right on his post attacking the Alt-Right as teh evilist, mostest Joooo hatin, racissss bad guyz on the right.

    Instead of just debating a given topic, she always has to interject some line saying how “unimpressed” she is by such an such an argument just to insult the interlocutor. Really? Is everyone commenting here supposed to be trying to “impress” you?

    Well you know what they say about people who are highly impressed with their own wisdom and intellect…

  • Mike T says:

    GJ…

    Of trying to prevent the Episcopalians from preaching gay marriage and feminism. Ban them all and let the Patriarch sort them out. He’ll know his own.

  • GJ says:

    malcolmthecynic:

    Now she’s bringing up religious liberty as a “long-standing” principle of western civilization despite admitting in the same thread that it wasn’t a part of western civilization until OVER A THOUSAND YEARS – probably over two thousand – after it started! It makes no sense.

    It makes sense if you substitute ‘American plus maybe a bit of English’ for ‘western’; this fits into the pattern of conservatives proclaiming that their liberal beliefs are ‘conservative’ while ignoring the large majority of Western history.

    I was surprised when someone in that thread asked what the 1st Amendment meant to me. On further thought, I believe I’ve understood: in the novus ordo seclorum freedom of speech and freedom of religion are fundamental, and the proposed Russian legislation stands in conflict with both of them. To be fair to Lydia, I wouldn’t expect the reaction of the average conservative Christian towards the legislation to be different.

  • GJ says:

    On further thought, I believe I’ve understood: in the novus ordo seclorum freedom of speech and freedom of religion are fundamental

    Whoops, I left out the establishment clause as a third fundamental. In my defence American thought is still foreign and strange.

  • Mike T says:

    GJ,

    When criticizing the US Constitution, you need to distinguish between pre-Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction. The Reconstruction amendments effectively destroyed the original vision and structure. Even the US as conceived by the founders was not hostile to established religion, controls on speech and the press. It merely stripped the central government of those powers to prevent one region from imposing its will on another.

    Lydia is correct that the Baptists did not have establishment status. However, the Congregationalists and Anglicans did. Even Protestantism was not, until the 19th century, hostile to establishment on principle.

  • And the Catholics founded Maryland explicitly as a Catholic state.

  • Also, for the record, I’m not yet absolutely convinced the Revolution was unjustified.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m much more skeptical. But I need to learn more.

  • Mike T says:

    It’s also worth considering that if the founding fathers saw the 14th amendment and its application, to say nothing of Roe v. Wade, they would probably take a view of “conservatives” and their unwillingness to consider radical political change that would make the founders unpopular with W4 and the Federalist.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude owned that thread.

  • Crude and I tend to agree about most things – and he did do spectacularly well there.

  • GJ says:

    Mike T:

    When criticizing the US Constitution, you need to distinguish between pre-Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction. The Reconstruction amendments effectively destroyed the original vision and structure. Even the US as conceived by the founders was not hostile to established religion, controls on speech and the press. It merely stripped the central government of those powers to prevent one region from imposing its will on another.

    Interesting, I’d always wondered where “Congress” disappeared from most conservatives’ conception of the 1st amendment. So conservatives only seeks to conserve incorporated rights which are less than a century old? The irony is delicious.

    And Crude is on fire.

  • Mike T says:

    GJ,

    Pre-Reconstruction, the Bill of Rights did not apply at all to the states and there was no constitutional mechanism to apply them. Had the 14th amendment not been ratified, it would be legal for Maryland in 2016 to be a confessional Catholic state and Virginia to have remained an Anglican one.

    The daily regulations mostly come from a blatantly chicken#$%^ reading of the interstate commerce clause that can be euphemistically referred to as them applying the butterfly effect to interstate commerce. So even that could be removed conceivably by a constitutional amendment clarifying that something must have a “substantial, direct impact and pertain to the interstate transaction.”

    When you get down to it, 90% of conservatives today are conserving post-Reconstruction America. They have literally no desire to go back to the vision of our founders as that would, among other things, allow NJ and NY to ban guns and allow TX to authorize the public carrying of machine guns (to say nothing of what it would do in variation on abortion laws).

    I believe it was Dobson who questioned why we would have 50 standards for abortion. Well, that’s because ordinary, local criminal law is simply not the constitutional or philosophical jurisdiction of the United States as opposed to the several states.

  • Mike T says:

    Simply removing the 14th amendment from the books would be like cutting loose a millstone tied to an old man’s neck WRT our system. It would free up our movement on political action that much. It would instantly castrate the federal judiciary’s power on social issues.

  • Mike T says:

    My reaction whenever Lydia uses the word “troll” or accuses someone of threadjacking these days.

  • Mike T says:

    malcolm,

    Your last comment there, combined with Crude’s, was a very good response to her.

    Anyone ever see her actually acknowledge that maybe she mistreated someone like this? I don’t think I have ever seen her even concede the possibility.

  • Step2 says:

    Know your dance steps:
    Step 2: Don’t trip and fall.

    I wish Mike T hadn’t been banned. On the other hand he kept using barely veiled profanity or, in his last thread, linking to a specific portmanteau that we’ve all been told half a dozen times was entirely unacceptable. Their blog, their rules.

  • Mike T says:

    Step2,

    The closest thing to profanity I put in there was the Chris Rock reference and that was dropped down to a perfectly PG (if not G) actual reference. That’s not even what got Jeff willing to ban me, and he laid out his argument pretty clearly at the end.

    I would like to note something that directly backs up something Malcolm threw in their face in his last comment on the Russia post, directly in response to Lydia:

    I wrote a couple of comments about why I didn’t particularly want to argue over the appropriateness of the alt-right

    In other words, Jeff admits he didn’t want to actually defend anything he wrote. In hindsight, I should have just shut up, but part of the problem is that like most people I do actually have other activities and commitments in the day that take priority over remembering every little thing someone like Jeff or Lydia said to me in a blog comment section.

    I’m not going to fisk Jeff’s response because that would just waste space here and be inappropriate. That part, cited above, however, I think is a smoking gun of sorts supporting what most of us here have been saying.

  • Step2 says:

    That’s not even what got Jeff willing to ban me, and he laid out his argument pretty clearly at the end.

    It was your pattern of behavior over weeks if not months; that was what was clear from his response. As for that particular post, from the beginning of W4 they’ve made it plain as day they don’t put up with antisemitism and Jeff gave examples of its pervasiveness among the alt-right. Btw, did you actually confirm that Dalrock characterizes himself as alt-right or was that only your assertion? In any case I’m glad you now show concern about being inappropriate, it is better late than never.

  • I don’t read them enough to appropriately characterize Mike T’s behavior, for what it’s worth. My comments were directly in reference to Crude, who I’ve talked back and forth with for a long time, and who I saw on his first appearance at W4. Plus his comments in the thread itself.

    My point was this: Lydia complains that people don’t man up and come debate her on her own turf. Somebody debates her on her own turf – and pretty politely as well!

    Only this time he questions, not just specific points they’re making, but (le gasp!) their base assumptions.

    And since their base assumptions are clearly infallible, the only logical answer to him sticking to his guns is that he must be a troll, and trolls can be insulted and mocked – and that’s what we saw there.

    It was, in a vulgar word, bullshit.

  • Mike T says:

    Step2,

    I don’t think Dalrock would call himself Alt-Right,and that wasn’t my intent. However, Dalrock does have a lot of support on the Alt-Right.

    Now that said, certainly some of my behavior has been inappropriate there. I freely concede that because I know I’m not perfect. I’ve formally apologized to Zippy and King Richard here, among other things so I think I’ve established a while back that I am at least marginally introspective on these things.

    WRT the anti-semitism thing, it’s important to remember that Lydia would not concede that most of the people targeting Shapiro were just trolls and that Shapiro did in fact openly declare war on them not long before all this stuff went down. I also raised some serious character issues about his treatment of others and she did her usual “squirrel!” response. I also granted that there was anti-semitism in the alt-right, but argued that it was not an essential feature. As I said, you can find anti-semitism or something comparably bad in any movement.

    And since their base assumptions are clearly infallible, the only logical answer to him sticking to his guns is that he must be a troll, and trolls can be insulted and mocked – and that’s what we saw there.

    I don’t recall that I have ever once on W4 demanded that someone be respectful toward me or even apologize. There is a certain level of dissonance in their high falutin language about treating other people and what actually happens when you get labeled a troll.

    This is why when Lydia calls someone like Vox Day despicable I just want to laugh and say “you are as nasty as he is, only he wears it as a badge of pride.” It’s ridiculous. In fact I daresay that having seen some of the prominent Alt-Right figures actually go seriously after people, they’re probably less personally vicious in most cases against trolls.

  • GJ says:

    malcolmthecynic:

    Only this time he questions, not just specific points they’re making, but (le gasp!) their base assumptions.

    And since their base assumptions are clearly infallible, the only logical answer to him sticking to his guns is that he must be a troll, and trolls can be insulted and mocked – and that’s what we saw there.

    The view I’ve held for some time is that it’s not the questioning of the base assumptions that causes the ‘troll’ accusations to fly but the emotionally triggering of the questions, something along the lines of

    1) GJ’s questioning of my base assumptions is infuriating me and making me emotional
    2) Trolls infuriate and seek to provoke emotional reactions
    C) GJ is trolling

    False accusations that I’m a troll seem more of an instinctive defense mechanism rather than deliberate malicious slander, so I try not to take much offense.

  • I think of Lydia a lot like I think of Vox Day, a comparison I’m sure she would despise: I disagree with her as much or more than I agree with her, though I recognize she makes a lot of smart points and does good work (she does a really great job finding and analyzing features of the culture of death that manage to slip past the public radar).

    Vox Day I’ve actually found MORE reasonable to disagree with, surprisingly enough. But I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

    (Sorry to Zippy if we’re threadjacking too much; the tangent kind of went here.)

  • William Luse says:

    Loved the video, Step2.

  • Step2 says:

    Bill,
    It is fun to watch those intricate moves look effortless. Take care.

  • Mike T says:

    Reading comprehension doesn’t seem to be strong there these days:

    The way some so-called reactionary Christians write about this topic, you would think the only ‘solution’ to our racial divisions is mass expulsion of our black population, civil war, de-jure segregation, etc. Madness.

    I know from experience that he is at least partially referencing Vox Day there. Ironic, since VD actually goes to great pains to make it clear that these are not the outcomes he even wants, but rather what all historic patterns would lead an observe to conclude is the likely set of realistic outcomes.

    Fact is there’s no one who hates “diversity” than someone who is a minority in their own community.

  • GJ says:

    In other news many conservatives who support the second amendment for the express purpose of killing agents of oppressive government (if and when necessary) have gotten the vapours over some black people actually using guns for that purpose.

  • Mike T says:

    who support the second amendment for the express purpose of killing agents of oppressive government

    They support the second amendment for the purpose of killing said agents IFF they are engaging in actual acts of tyranny. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in that category who would support even disrespecting an officer peacefully standing guard on the periphery of a protest for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the assembled people and public.

  • Zippy says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • Mike T says:

    Liberalism’s egalitarianism is a race to the bottom for its own alleged principles on “freedom.” As Scott Adams said in a recent post, a saner policy on public violence would involve the authorities shooting a lot more black Democrats and leaving alone a lot more white Republicans. The main argument today for gun control really is purely partisan: the Democrats hate seeing their voting pool thinned out as a consequence of praying on the Republicans’ voting pool.

  • Mike T says:

    Also, the scenario that most 2A partisans imagine shooting a government agent oppressing them bears a lot more similarity to “kicking in their door, automatic weapons in hand, screaming ‘bitch, shut the f#$% up or I’ll kill you and your kids’ over some mainly political crime” whereas the average BLM imagines it to be insufficient respect at a traffic stop.

  • GJ says:

    They support the second amendment for the purpose of killing said agents IFF they are engaging in actual acts of tyranny….

    the scenario that most 2A partisans imagine shooting a government agent oppressing them bears a lot more similarity to “kicking in their door, automatic weapons in hand, screaming ‘bitch, shut the f#$% up or I’ll kill you and your kids’ over some mainly political crime”

    Right, they don’t contemplate armed insurrection or committing some crime to trigger some disproportionate reaction by a government as an excuse to go further.

    actual acts of tyranny….

    Tyranny in whose eyes?

    You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in that category who would support even disrespecting an officer peacefully standing guard on the periphery of a protest for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the assembled people and public.

    Because conservatives have a great track record in thinking through what their beliefs mean and imply.

  • CJ says:

    Clearly, there could never be any negative unintended consequences to a disarmed citizenry giving absolute deference to authority.

  • GJ says:

    (Oh look, another example just a day after I commented).

    Clearly, there could never be any negative unintended consequences to ‘second amendment is necessary to take out agents of oppressive/tyrannical government’, such as conservative police being regarded and treated as such agents.

  • Mike T says:

    Well, considering one comment posted here calling the 2A the right’s “safe, legal and rare” because blacks are wont to abuse it very disproportionately to other races, y’all aren’t exactly doing well on your narrative about it. Take out the black factor and police have about as much to fear from armed people shooting them in them of their rights in most of the US (including the midwest, where most “insurrection” like the Bundy Ranch incident happens) as they do in the UK or Canada.

    No, I don’t think your argument here is based in reality at all. If it were Asians or Hasidic Jews, I’d concede a point on rhetoric. Blacks shooting cops is a “dog bites man” story.

  • Mike T says:

    The real issue is that if and when whites and Asians finally do decide to stand up for their rights if and when the government becomes truly tyrannical, it will leave the blacks muttering “holllllllyyyyy shiiiiiii….”

  • GJ says:

    Blacks shooting cops is a “dog bites man” story.

    The real issue is that if and when whites and Asians finally do decide to stand up for their rights if and when the government becomes truly tyrannical, it will leave the blacks muttering “holllllllyyyyy shiiiiiii….”

    Whites are such special snowflakes.

    You can spare the standard alt-right ‘when we get really, really, REALLY, finally get mad’ recitation, just let me know when you get around to actually fighting for your actual incorporated non-actual rights. The colonists did the “dogs bite man” shtick when the government wasn’t half as oppressive as today, so what’s taking so long?

  • Crude says:

    You can spare the standard alt-right ‘when we get really, really, REALLY, finally get mad’ recitation, just let me know when you get around to actually fighting for your actual incorporated non-actual rights.

    I thought they already were? You just talked about those ‘conservative police’ being oppressive and tyrannical government agents. BLM and company scream bloody murder that ‘stand your ground’ laws basically turn shooting blacks into sport. Between your words and theirs, the ‘alt right’ not only is already fighting for their rights, but they’ve largely succeeded and currently run the show in a lot of ways.

    Or is your argument ‘Well you should be shooting cops then, who I just suggested were themselves alt right people if not alt right sympathetic’?

    By the way…

    Right, they don’t contemplate armed insurrection or committing some crime to trigger some disproportionate reaction by a government as an excuse to go further.

    Typical 2A advocates talk about ‘armed insurrection’ almost entirely in terms of hypothetical situations – you know, situations that do not exist yet. Otherwise they talk about shooting in self-defense, which they do with regularity, much to the fury and rage of the left.

    And who are these alt right figures talking about ‘committing some crime to trigger some disproportionate reaction by a government as an excuse to go further’? You’re suggesting they’re prominent and easy to find and not fringe wingnut examples. Okay – link ’em up and show us. My bet: ‘isolated commenters from a blog’ or ‘fringe figures most alt right people haven’t even heard of and would reject if they did’.

    But maybe I’m wrong and Gavin McInnes called for Black Lives Matter style tactics when I wasn’t looking.

  • GJ says:

    Crude:

    I’m not sure what to make of your post since it seems to be responding to a misreading of mine, e.g. ‘committing some crime to trigger some disproportionate reaction by a government as an excuse to go further’ was directed at conservatives; I only discussed the alt-right in my latest comment.

    To be clear, the only comments in this discussion above I’ve made about the alt-right, directed at Mike T, have been:

    a) The whole ‘when we’re really REALLY finally fired up we whites will curbstomp the blacks/feds/muslim immigrants/hispanic immigrants/’ rhetoric is getting stale,

    b) What’s taking you so long?

  • Mike T says:

    Whites are such special snowflakes.

    Literally the only major group in the US that is gunning for authorities except in weekend fantasies that never get acted on are lower class blacks. The overwhelming majority of government agents that are killed by whites are killed in first person shooters and movies.

    You can spare the standard alt-right ‘when we get really, really, REALLY, finally get mad’ recitation

    I’m making an observation, not beating my chest. If we reach a point where middle class whites view the police with the same ferocious hatred that much of the lower class black population does, it will be very ugly for law enforcement. Middle class whites are far more capable of systematically fighting the police and bringing organized force to bear on them than the rag tag mobs of lower class blacks you see in most black mass violence.

    You’ve probably missed me stating it, so let me just bring it up again: I come from a law enforcement family. I do not want to see tens of thousands of officers and federal agents like my father end up getting sent home in body bags over some bovine excrement handed down by politicians or the judiciary.

    The colonists did the “dogs bite man” shtick when the government wasn’t half as oppressive as today, so what’s taking so long?

    That’s a whole discussion worthy of Zippy opening a new post and declaring “have at it.” Would also be worth asking why if abortion is a Holocaust no one on the right is willing to rebel against that.

    (For the record, I have written comments on W4 advocating for state leaders to completely disregard Roe and pass whatever regulations or criminal sanctions they want and then enforce them in direct defiance of the federal judiciary.)

  • Mike T says:

    GJ,

    I’m not sure what to make of your post since it seems to be responding to a misreading of mine, e.g. ‘committing some crime to trigger some disproportionate reaction by a government as an excuse to go further’ was directed at conservatives; I only discussed the alt-right in my latest comment.

    And as much as I disagree with many of them, to suggest that conservatives support false flags like that is an accusation bordering on slander if not firmly into slander. For all of their faults, that is not one of them. Even when “conservatives” sorta, kinda, maybe flirted with that over the Bundy Ranch, there was at least more than a modicum of actual disregard of the law, procedure and property rights by the authorities. Heck, the takeover of that nature preserve office was about as violent in actual deed as the sit-in that happened in Congress. It was merely the fact that the men could respond to zealous enforcement with force that made it more than a typical narcissistic protest.

    Based on federal behavior in the past, once cannot even entirely blame them. The last time a left-wing President responded to lower class white guys not behaving in the liberal socially approved way resulted in a bunch of roasted and shot women and children.

  • Crude says:

    I’m not sure what to make of your post since it seems to be responding to a misreading of mine, e.g. ‘committing some crime to trigger some disproportionate reaction by a government as an excuse to go further’ was directed at conservatives;

    ‘Alt right’ and ‘conservative’ has one heck of a lot of overlap. But really – I still want to see who these conservatives are that are calling for that. Link me up.

    The whole ‘when we’re really REALLY finally fired up we whites will curbstomp the blacks/feds/muslim immigrants/hispanic immigrants/’ rhetoric is getting stale,

    That’s not alt-right rhetoric just about anywhere. You won’t find it on Breitbart, not on the_donald, and frankly even barely on /pol/ in any serious capacity. Frankly on all three you find people who get super excited whenever they find a black Donald supporter, hispanics who speak english and who want to build a wall, etc. The number of people who dislike ‘blacks’ and love ‘whites’, full stop, is incredibly low.

    Now, you do find people who hate BLM style blacks, who want illegal immigrants deported, who despise SJWs in the government. But the same people who hate those things also hate the whites supporting them (ask them if John Scalzi or Dan Savage are ‘their people’), and absolutely -love- the blacks, hispanics and gays who support them. See how they react to black Donald supporters. See how often they quote Nero.

    As for the rhetoric getting stale… Well. They got the candidate they want and who most appealed to them specifically (Trump). Insofar as the alt right is an international phenomenon, they even got Brexit. They’re exerting influence on the GOP platform. Frankly, they’re having a lot of success.

    The only way they could have any more is if they could get ISIS and BLM to do some horrible self-destructive stuff that would further provoke public ire and make it ever more acceptable to publicly disdain those groups and the goals they claim to represent. But what are the odds they’d be so stupid?

  • GJ says:

    Mike T:

    I’m making an observation, not beating my chest. If we reach a point where middle class whites view the police with the same ferocious hatred that much of the lower class black population does, it will be very ugly for law enforcement. Middle class whites are far more capable of systematically fighting the police and bringing organized force to bear on them than the rag tag mobs of lower class blacks you see in most black mass violence.

    I have doubts whether that point will ever be reached, given

    a) How much conservatives are domesticated compared to their forefathers (which we can discuss somewhere else), and

    b) How conservatives tend to have many family members involved in the police/federal agencies/armed forces, despite a general suspicion of big government. Being agents of the big G* while having a deep distrust of it looks (from where I am) like some really weird codependent relationship that is both fascinating, compelling, and downright screwed up.

    However, I do take the point about your background.

    And as much as I disagree with many of them, to suggest that conservatives support false flags like that is an accusation bordering on slander if not firmly into slander. For all of their faults, that is not one of them.

    Fair enough. I should have said that only some support false flags.

    *I know that not all police/sheriff departments are agents of the big G, but the general point still stands

  • GJ says:

    Crude:

    ‘Alt right’ and ‘conservative’ has one heck of a lot of overlap. But really – I still want to see who these conservatives are that are calling for that. Link me up.

    I had in mind the Bundy incident (which ‘worked’) and the reprise (which didn’t go quite as well).

    As for the rhetoric getting stale… Well. They got the candidate they want and who most appealed to them specifically (Trump). Insofar as the alt right is an international phenomenon, they even got Brexit. They’re exerting influence on the GOP platform. Frankly, they’re having a lot of success.

    I’m watching with interest. As you say, there’s been some success in the very short-term. But whether it’ll continue to have influence, or decline like the Tea Party or Occupy remains to be seen.

  • Mike T says:

    GJ,

    The 2A is important for that stated purpose precisely because it creates a culture of fear in the government circles. The head of the police union in NY told Cuomo point blank that the union simply would not enforce an order to go door to door confiscating weapons when Cuomo flirted with the idea of a confiscation. Why? Because he said that such an order would amount to a death sentence for a large percentage of the cops involved.

    You may not like the rhetoric, but let’s not quibble with the results. The result is less tyranny and less violence between cops and the public. Unlike in the UK or Australia, if the legislature gets a bug up its ass and decides to pass a law that involves going door to door with “comply or else” over something that is not critical to the common good, they have to ask “will people fight back over this.”

    FWIW, my father did a few years of local service during integration and saw a very ugly side of law enforcement there. He’s told me on more than one occasion that he misses the old tradition of the citizenry being safe in shooting crooked cops because it tended to have a chilling effect on the officers who needed it. Not to mention, in practice it made life easier for the ones who behaved themselves because it was an effective mechanism for culling the ones who couldn’t grasp nuances like “what level of force is authorized by the department” or when the legislature authorized an arrest.

  • Mike T says:

    GJ,

    Related to the Bundy incident, this is an example of why the entire right is correct in aggressively distrusting the left’s intentions on anything involving force. The follow ups where Sage tried to explain to him utterly f#$%ing insane his theory was and how it would have lead to the possibility of a real armed insurrection were lost on Al.

  • a) The whole ‘when we’re really REALLY finally fired up we whites will curbstomp the blacks/feds/muslim immigrants/hispanic immigrants/’ rhetoric is getting stale,

    b) What’s taking you so long?

    I’m not sure where you’re going with this. Do you actually want this to happen or not?

  • GJ,

    For what it’s worth, the only people I ever saw supporting Bundy were either really, really fringe or changed their mind when they learned more of the facts.

  • GJ says:

    malcolmthecynic:

    Do you actually want this to happen or not?

    I don’t.

  • Then doesn’t it NOT really help your point that gun rights folks aren’t starting the revolution you don’t want anyway?

  • GJ says:

    Then doesn’t it NOT really help your point that gun rights folks aren’t starting the revolution you don’t want anyway?

    My main point was that many conservatives haven’t thought through their rationale for supporting the second amendment as that same rationale can be and is used to justify many of the recent shootings of police, yet these conservatives condemn the shootings. As to the paucity of serious conservative attempts at revolution, if anything it shows that despite all the rhetoric conservatives just haven’t deeply reflected on what they claim to believe.

  • Zippy says:

    I do think that GJ makes a valid point: right liberalism only “works” because of the carefully habituated ability to stop thinking about our own stated principles when they lead to conclusions we don’t like. Liberalism survives “fat, dumb, and happy” on a constant diet of unprincipled exceptions: once it takes its own principles seriously the mass murder starts.

  • Crude says:

    GJ,

    I had in mind the Bundy incident (which ‘worked’) and the reprise (which didn’t go quite as well).

    But who are these people – much less conservatives – who were cheering it on, predicated on their eagerly anticipating them being slaughtered so as to ‘provoke people to rise up’? I can think of exactly no one who was waiting in hopes of some fierce anti-Bundy crackdown with the expectation of some spiraling armed escalation. At most it was sympathy which largely seemed predicated on ‘Left-wing idiots occupy places and make inane demands as a matter of course, let’s see how they like some vaguely right-wing group doing it for a change’.

    Among conservatives and the alt right, the number of people urging on some kind of trigger incident that will provoke some kind of massive grass-roots armed backlash is close to zero. The only people carrying around signs en masse calling for the evil authorities to be shot or harmed are left-wingers, usually of the BLM mold.

    I’d go so far as to say that, if anything, the alt-right expects that any kind of backlash will be provoked by left-wing idiots engaging in violence.

    Zippy,

    I do think that GJ makes a valid point: right liberalism only “works” because of the carefully habituated ability to stop thinking about our own stated principles when they lead to conclusions we don’t like.

    The problem here is, I don’t think GJ is making such a broad point. I think the idea that ‘the right’ meaningfully contains elements urging on some imminent race war or mass violent rebellion doesn’t stand up to scrutiny; that’s fringe beyond belief, or left-wing fable.

    Re: the 2A, the assumption seems to be ‘2A supporters are in favor of private gun ownership, but did it ever occur to them that crazy black radicals will buy guns too?’ You may as well be talking about how it’s not just law-abiding people but -criminals- who can get guns, and how you bet the 2A defenders never thought of that.

    Except, they did. In fact, their view is that those people will get guns one way or the other, so why keep law-abiding citizens from gun ownership?

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:
    I don’t take GJ to be saying that there exists some widespread right liberal element that takes itself seriously urging armed rebellion. I think (though he can clarify) he is suggesting that the reason why there is no serious push for armed rebellion among FDH right liberals is precisely because they don’t take themselves and their own principles seriously.

    Every now and then some right liberal departs from the script and takes himself and his liberal principles seriously. Heck, Trump accidentally took “abortion is murder” seriously recently, and this is precisely what happened: he was roundly condemned for not “getting it”, for not being “authentic” — which on the right wing of the liberal dragon means that you’ve made the mistake of taking that whole “tree of liberty watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants” thing seriously.

  • Mike T says:

    GJ,

    My main point was that many conservatives haven’t thought through their rationale for supporting the second amendment as that same rationale can be and is used to justify many of the recent shootings of police, yet these conservatives condemn the shootings.

    Let’s suppose you were to say that anyone involved in an intentional abortion should be punished for murder, and someone used that to imprison a 10 year old rape victim who was forced by her parents to have an abortion. Would you condemn your own argument or the person who did not care to understand it and apply it in good faith with the context you and everyone else who understood it knew it was made?

    Contrary to the popular narrative, whites actually got routinely killed by police in raw numbers equal to the black fatalities. Many of them are legally sketchy killings. 2A supporters are actually often well aware of many of these cases and still do not support even hunting down the officer(s) involved, much less randomly targeting random officers.

    So clearly, the problem is one of the heart and mind, not the argument itself because the community that originated that position and tends to support it most is not the one actually committing these acts.

  • Mike T says:

    From a practical perspective, every tradcon should be a 2A absolutist due to what liberalism often becomes when it has no domestic opposition to wiping out the latest designated batch of untermensch. Widespread gun ownership is an almost unqualified good in a liberal society because it creates a sort of MAD doctrine effect between the unruly governed and the corrupt leadership.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    I see that claim, but I don’t think it’s fair. Is armed rebellion supposed to kick in the moment anyone passes a law you don’t like? And is rebellion in general supposed to be armed besides? Regardless, it’s hard to justify armed rebellion when you’re having success through other means. Maybe that’s part of the con? Or maybe this is all a lot murkier than is being treated.

    As for Trump on abortion, I think that speaks to a different kind of problem. I think it’s not that pro-lifers don’t per se take their view seriously. It’s that many pro-life leaders, for complicated (and largely repugnant) reasons, have framed their whole debate in a particular way to make it seem as maximally palatable as possible. It’s a uniquely Christian failing, the desire not to do the most merciful thing, but to be thought of as the most merciful one on the block. And merciful people don’t punish women. Ever. They also think in consequentialist terms, always.

    Insofar as that’s true, I suspect at least some of them really do believe that abortion is murder. But to them, if you call it murder (and call women murderers) you won’t necessarily reduce the net total sum of abortions, which is the biggest crime in the world. Not coincidentally, though they try not to think about this part, if that isn’t the right way to think about it then it may entail them saying things that will make their friends think less of them, and that is a fate worse than death. (I’ve noticed that any Christian who talks about how embarrassed they are by other Christians almost inevitably turns out to be someone with a predictable set of problems, failings and attitudes. I’m a refugee from that kind of thinking.)

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    I don’t take GJ to be saying that there exists some widespread right liberal element that takes itself seriously urging armed rebellion. I think (though he can clarify) he is suggesting that the reason why there is no serious push for armed rebellion among FDH right liberals is precisely because they don’t take themselves and their own principles seriously.

    Yes, my point is that the conservative principles imply revolution, but clearly there is no push for revolution. The lack of any serious push for revolution therefore highlights the lack of reflection on their espoused principles; conservatives just don’t take them seriously. They don’t think through what their principles would mean, and see that (for example) the shooting of cops might just directly follow from their principles (e.g. ‘gun rights are to defend against oppressive government’,) given certain black perspectives.

    Other examples involving lack of reflection include how many conservatives reflexively assume the existence/legitimacy of incorporated rights yet seriously argue that ‘original intent’ and ‘what our Founding Fathers wanted’ should be foundational in legal hermeneutics. Another is how there exists a weird codependency involving conservatives’ distrust of big government but simultaneous widespread service and identification as agents of it.

    Every now and then some right liberal departs from the script and takes himself and his liberal principles seriously…taking that whole “tree of liberty watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants” thing seriously

    But they’re “really, really fringe”!

  • GJ says:

    Mike T:

    Would you condemn your own argument or the person who did not care to understand it and apply it in good faith with the context you and everyone else who understood it knew it was made?

    I’m not sure what’s the problem here. Do many 2A supporters use as one rationale defense (or offense) against oppressive government? Do not some of the cop shooters (and their supporters) use ‘defense (or offense) against oppressive government’ as rationale for their killings?

    What is the context that is being missed out? The ingroup/outgroup thing, where it is okay for ‘us 2A supporters’ to shoot (in a hypothetical situation) some ambiguous bunch of outgroup federal agents with their black helicopters, but not for blacks to shoot cops because cops are ‘part of us’, the ingroup?

    So clearly, the problem is one of the heart and mind, not the argument itself because the community that originated that position and tends to support it most is not the one actually committing these acts.

    I’ve not actually argued here that the rationale for supporting 2A is wrong. Rather, since the beginning I’ve pointed out that they haven’t thought it through properly, or what you might call a problem ‘of the mind’.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    I see that claim, but I don’t think it’s fair. Is armed rebellion supposed to kick in the moment anyone passes a law you don’t like?

    The venerated Founders rebelled based on little more than a modest tax on tea. Today’s Founder-venerating right liberals have failed to rebel despite government sanctioned and protected mass slaughter of more innocents than Hitler and Stalin combined.

    So while GJ’s expressed perspective may not be the only valid way to see things, I don’t think his view can be dismissed as an unfair expectation that an even slightly consistent right-liberal who takes himself and his expressed views even modestly seriously is required to rebel in the face of any law he doesn’t like. There is more than a little distance between government sanctioned mass slaughter of the innocent and ‘a law [we] don’t like’.

    Another reason though that right-liberals don’t rebel in current circumstances is precisely because the mass slaughter attributable to their expressed principles is attributable to their expressed principles. The driving force behind gun-libertinism is a perceived need to kill (actual or perceived) non-liberals, not a perceived need to prevent mass slaughter of the innocent.

    We discussed gun regulation a bit in this thread. (As with many threads here the discussion was wide-ranging and wasn’t really about gun regulation per se; but the OP does provide context).

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    They don’t think through what their principles would mean, and see that (for example) the shooting of cops might just directly follow from their principles (e.g. ‘gun rights are to defend against oppressive government’,) given certain black perspectives.

    I’ve suggested before that (e.g.) the police-murdering violence inspired by Black Lives Matter is the result of a not-especially-bright population of Uncle Toms naively taking the pervasive ideology of white people seriously — more seriously than most FDH white people take it themselves.

  • Crude says:

    GJ,

    It looks like you’re dropping the claim that the alt right or conservatives have even said these things. (No, the alt right/conservatives were not, after all, urging on people to get in shooting matches with the police in the hopes of triggering some big rebellion.) Okay, so much for that thread. Now it seems like the reasoning is, ‘okay they didn’t say that, but logically they -should be- saying that!’

    So we get this:

    What is the context that is being missed out? The ingroup/outgroup thing, where it is okay for ‘us 2A supporters’ to shoot (in a hypothetical situation) some ambiguous bunch of outgroup federal agents with their black helicopters, but not for blacks to shoot cops because cops are ‘part of us’, the ingroup?

    This seems like a variant on, ‘If you believe the second amendment protects the right to own a gun, then you MUST also believe that it protects the right to own a nuclear warhead. And if you don’t believe that, then logically you MUST believe that you don’t even have the right to own a steak knife if the government doesn’t want you to.’

    Going out on a limb here: maybe you’re not thinking about this correctly.

    In this case, it seems to be that if 2A rights are defended on the grounds that the citizens are a check on government power and in hypothetical situations it could be morally justifiable, even obligatory, to rebel, then you can’t be critical at all when someone shoots an authority ever for any reason, as long as they use the word ‘fascist’ at some point.

    As Mike T said, maybe – just maybe – there’s a ‘good faith’ issue here. And if we’re going to continue the conversation in this vein, can you confirm or deny whether you think the government is ever justified in using lethal force against citizens? Because apparently if your answer is ‘yes’ we can spin your concession into the belief that the government is entirely within its rights to purge the untermensch and coincidentally there’s a tasty flavor of soda you’re going to love. Pleading ‘wait, it’s more complicated than that’ will gain reactions of skepticism and scorn as you fail to accept what must be straightforward and inevitable logical consequences.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    The venerated Founders rebelled based on little more than a modest tax on tea. Today’s Founder-venerating right liberals have failed to rebel despite government sanctioned and protected mass slaughter of more innocents than Hitler and Stalin combined.

    The Founders rebelled based on a lot of different things. The existence of taxes, period, wasn’t the problem – their argument was that they weren’t being represented in parliament, and that lack of representation was making a whole lot of other British moves offensive to them as well. We’re not exactly lacking representation, whatever the problems may be with that.

    As for the mass slaughter, that’s barbaric. It’s also the result of a whole lot of individual choices, not direct government act. That doesn’t make it right, but it does make it more complicated to deal with, whatever the government’s role is.

    The driving force behind gun-libertinism is a perceived need to kill (actual or perceived) non-liberals, not a perceived need to prevent mass slaughter of the innocent.

    One driving force, not the driving force. The driving forces range from ‘I have a right to self-defense’ to ‘This is a check against tyranny’ to ‘Shooting targets is fun’.

    As for BLM’s shooters ‘taking white rhetoric seriously’, I suggest if you’re going to frame it in that way, it’s a lot closer to cargo cultism: where you have some not-especially-bright people mimicking what they think those people over there are doing, but missing some key parts, to put it gently.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    The Founders rebelled based on a lot of different things.

    None of which add up to anything belonging in the same universe as the mass slaughter of the innocent by the tens of millions.

    It’s also the result of a whole lot of individual choices, not direct government act.

    That truncated understanding of ‘direct government act’ is part and parcel to the right-liberal capacity to stop thinking about things once continued thought produces uncomfortable conclusions. The wall of state troopers surrounding Terri Schiavo was simply the government refraining from acting.

  • None of which add up to anything belonging in the same universe as the mass slaughter of the innocent by the tens of millions.

    As I’ve said in the past, I’m not necessarily convinced that the American Revolution was justified, but the situation surrounding the colonies and the situation now are intensely different.

    One could easily say that while a revolution is theoretically justifiable – maybe it even is – the bloodshed and low chance of winning, as well as the potential consequences for the anti-abortion cause if we lose, is enough to say that violent rebellion is a very bad idea.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad idea for the colonies. There is nothing necessarily contradictory or tone deaf in saying that the American Revolution was the correct decision to make but a modern revolution would not be.

  • …This all makes it sound as if I do agree with the American Revolution. I don’t, or not necessarily as of now. I’m just pointing out that Crude’s position is perfectly logical, in any case.

    I do agree with him on the gun rhetoric. The claim that believing the citzenry should be allowed to own weapons also means that BLM activists are justified is, I think, ridiculous.

    Perhaps a certain line of 2nd amendment thinking points that way, but honestly I don’t even think that. Even IF your logic to support 2nd amendment rights is to protect against government tyranny – which I think is a poor reason – you’d need to be willfully ignorant to say that this means we’re justified using snipers to take out cops for the ludicrous reasoning given by the BLM supporters.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    None of which add up to anything belonging in the same universe as the mass slaughter of the innocent by the tens of millions.

    Granted, as far as it goes. Without reservation. But the mass slaughter of innocents isn’t by ‘the federal government’. (It is in China, it was in Russia.) It’s by tens of millions of women and men. That doesn’t make it ‘better’. It makes it ‘different’. Different target, different problem, different concerns, different reaction.

    Yes, I know the federal government’s role in that. On the other hand, you can stop what’s legal without targeting the federal government. It may not even be the wisest option.

    That truncated understanding of ‘direct government act’ is part and parcel to the right-liberal capacity to stop thinking about things once continued thought produces uncomfortable conclusions.

    Not uncomfortable to me. But then I gave up on perfection in anything but God a long time ago.

    I guess another way of putting it is this: tell me that by passing or advocating law X, there is a possibility that negative consequence Y will unintentionally (but perhaps inevitably) result. I feel like the expectation is that my reaction should be some kind of Luke Skywalker Cloud City moment. ‘NO! That’s not possible!!!’ and all. But it’s a lot closer to ‘Yeah, so? Fallen world. What’s the alternative? Is there a better one? No? Okay then.’

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:
    “So what?” is one approach.

    Just recognize that it is tantamount to “I’ll just stop thinking about this” — which is a concession to GJ’s central point (at least as I understand it), not a rejection or refutation of it.

    Malcolm:
    Keep in mind that strictly speaking – because it is rationally incoherent – liberalism cannot truly or truthfully justify anything whatsoever. Liberalism is always, by its very nature, rationalization layered over the choices of unconstrained political Will. Principle of Explosion, etc – we’ve been over this many times before — though of course conversation and further thought can be stopped in its tracks by invoking the ‘it is a fallen world, so what’ clause.

    This doesn’t mean that liberals never do objectively good things, of course; because sometimes men do have (and make decisions based upon) a good Will.

    But if and to the extent the American Revolution was justifiable, it is quite literally impossible for it to be truly so based on the explicit – and incoherent – liberal principles in (e.g.) the Declaration.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    IIRC, Sean Hannity — as mainstream a conservative as they come — was pretty cozy with Cliven Bundy at first.

    It was only when it started to become clear that Bundy actually took the violence rhetoric seriously and was headed for prosecution that Hannity invoked the Protection Hex of the Prophet Sting: “Don’t stand so… don’t stand so… don’t stand so close to me!’

  • GJ says:

    Crude:

    From the beginning the point I have made has been regarding what conservatives’ stated principles actually imply; which is that if the government are sufficiently oppressive/tyrannical (for some value of such) then lethal violence using guns against the government of the agents are justified.

    Mike T has suggested that I am not treating the principles with “good faith with the context you and everyone else who understood it knew it was made”. I suggest this is bosh, as it is patently obvious that in contemporary conservative discourse the context is that ‘sufficiently oppressive/tyrannical’ is precisely very ill-defined (i.e. not at all), and this to serve the purpose of termination of uncomfortable thoughts.

    Given the implication of conservatives’ well-known principles, it should at the very least give them pause to reflect when some blacks shoot agents of a government they regard as sufficiently tyrannical. They should actually give serious consideration as to whether it is justified. But they don’t, reflexively condemning the shootings (incidentally causing me no small amount of bemusement).

    And not only should the conservatives take pause, it should be clear (or so I argue) that by their standards of ‘sufficiently tyrannical’, using their espoused foundations of the standards of the venerated Founding Fathers (for what else from the conservative viewpoint should form some actual context for ‘sufficiently tyrranical’ in the current ambiguous mess?), that the current government is ‘sufficiently tyrannical’ such that lethal retaliation is justified. Whether it is a ‘bad idea’ is irrelevant.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    Just recognize that it is tantamount to “I’ll just stop thinking about this”

    If it’s ‘I’ll just stop thinking about this’, it’s not because problems are ignored (they’re recognized) or because there’s a superior alternative offered (there’s not), it’s because there’s nothing more to discuss. If GJ’s point was only that ‘Your chosen solution is not perfect’, then it’s a point that needs no refutation because it’s, well. Pointless. There’s no meat there, nothing to grapple with. ‘It’s a fallen world, you know.’ “Acknowledged.”

    I’ll settle for answering and pointing out the flaws of the 2A criticisms and analogies which were offered, and which I think I’ve been able to do effectively. Maybe I’ve just pruned the leaves of the tree, while the tree itself is still standing. Okay – so I’m a gardener, not a lumberjack. That’ll do – it was the leaves which were the problem. The tree you’ve described is of no concern to me.

  • GJ says:

    As to what conservatives commonly say their beliefs imply, this was a side-discussion initiated by Mike T who suggested that conservative talk about the actions that the 2A justified consisted only of hypothetical, very limited self-defense scenarios. I then offered counter-examples to demonstrate that even this was false. Some conservatives contemplate armed insurrection in certain contexts, for example, and the Bundys and some of their supporters (including the mamy wishy-washy ones) tried another method.

  • GJ says:

    malcolmthecynic:

    That certain people are ‘very very fringe’ cuts no ice, as the discussion is regarding fidelity* to certain beliefs/a worldview. Given that (for example) Zippy would be regarded as ‘very very fringe’ by the majority with regards to Catholicism, being ‘fringe’ has nothing to do with actually observing and adhering to espoused beliefs; in fact given how hard it is to adhere to narrow and hard paths for many belief systems the truly orthodox might be expected to be fringe.

    *

  • GJ says:

    ^
    *insert disclaimer regarding Principle of Explosion

  • Crude says:

    GJ,

    They should actually give serious consideration as to whether it is justified.

    Except… they have. BLM’s arguments are well-known. Conservatives and alt-right journalists analyze them. They find them to be absurd. I’ve looked at them, Malcolm’s looked at them. It’s not like the claims of out-of-control violent black oppression are ignored altogether. It’s just not compelling.

    Of course your fallback is at once that ‘tyranny’ is ill-defined, yet at the same time defined so well that you insist BLM is totally justified by those standards. I’ve asked for examples, and you vaguely gestured in the direction of the Brady showdown, which no conservative or alt right source I’ve encountered (and none of you’ve surprised) gave the justifications you suggested they did.

    From my vantage point, it looks like you’re… well. Making things up. Really, the most uncomfortable thought you seem to be grappling with is that someone may actually analyze BLM’s arguments and find them bunk. Worse, they may have a view of tyranny that is reasonable, yet has not being reached.

    That’s terrifying, but only insofar as being unable to find 2A defenders in a flat out contradiction is terrifying. Sadly, I think some people regard a world where 2A defenders have a reasonable case to be among the most terrifying around. (But that is unpossible, so let’s ‘Just stop thinking about it.’)

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    it’s not because problems are ignored (they’re recognized)

    I’m not at all sure that they are.

    … or because there’s a superior alternative offered (there’s not), …

    The superior alternative on offer is to unequivocally reject Mike T style gun-libertarian second amendment absolutism, and to tone down the scrappy rebels-against-the-tyrants freedom-n-equality you’ll-take-my-gun-when-you-pry-it-from-my-cold-deads-hands rhetoric, whatever that might do to T-shirt sales south of the Mason Dixon (where I actually live, so my perspective could certainly be colored by the local shirts and bumper stickers). To say “no, that isn’t right, it is counterproductive and is exactly what got us into this mess in the first place” when Mike T says, for example:

    (Mike T:) From a practical perspective, every tradcon should be a 2A absolutist due to what liberalism often becomes when it has no domestic opposition to wiping out the latest designated batch of untermensch. Widespread gun ownership is an almost unqualified good in a liberal society because it creates a sort of MAD doctrine effect between the unruly governed and the corrupt leadership.

    The superior alternative on offer is unequivocal rejection of liberalism, including the right-liberal kind which underlies ‘2A absolutism’. The solution is ‘stop throwing gas on the fire’. The solution is ‘when you are in a hole, stop digging’. The solution is to unequivocally repent.

    It is a solution that right liberals never learn, because they cherish their liberalism and ignore its legacy: the tens or hundreds of millions of innocents whom liberalism has slaughtered, as just the largest highlight in a very long list of liberal atrocities next to which tea taxes and lack of ‘representation’ (boo hoo) are too infinitesimal to even pale in comparison.

  • Zippy says:

    BLM agitation for killing cops is as manifestly unjust and despicably wrong as Sons of Liberty tarring and feathering loyalists.

  • Crude says:

    GJ,

    That certain people are ‘very very fringe’ cuts no ice, as the discussion is regarding fidelity* to certain beliefs/a worldview.

    Except ‘very very fringe’ implies that the beliefs/worldview in question are what’s differing. Why, it may even be the case that a given belief or worldview has more than one arguable way to be faithful to it. Chaos!

    You’ve tried to take the pretty tame view that armed rebellion is justified in some hypothetical cases, and parley that into that making BLM’s cop-killing absolutely justified. That didn’t work. Okay, so then the claim became ‘potentially justified, if you let them make their case’. Okay: we have, it still isn’t. If the move is going to be ‘Justified, if you’re faithful to a particular view, which next to no one espouses, but it’s not fair to point that out because I say it’s at least one possible view and here’s what can follow from that’, then all I can do is say it’s a hell of a sight to watch someone not just argue with a figment of their own imagination, but end up on the ropes in the process.

    All because, what? Some people own guns and defend that right? An utter non-sin? Helluva thing.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    Except ‘very very fringe’ implies that the beliefs/worldview in question are what’s differing.

    I don’t think the argument over who is fringe or mainstream is particularly important, but I do think this is wrong. It is precisely people on the fringes, in the crucible of hard experience, who tend to experience and grasp the real implications of ideology. The fat dumb and happy mainstream resists thinking too much about anything that might upset the apple cart.

    But ideas have consequences, and once again – yet again – this is something we’ve already addressed here repeatedly.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    I’m not at all sure that they are.

    Feel free to remind me of what you think has been missed.

    The superior alternative on offer is unequivocal rejection of liberalism, including the right-liberal kind which underlies ‘2A absolutism’. The solution is ‘stop throwing gas on the fire’. The solution is ‘when you are in a hole, stop digging’. The solution is to unequivocally repent.

    Your solution is ‘all these problems would go away if absolutely everyone did as I say’. But… they’d go away if we all did what the 2A absolutists say too.

    An alternative predicated on universal obedience to a directive is no alternative.

    BLM agitation for killing cops is as manifestly unjust and despicably wrong as Sons of Liberty tarring and feathering loyalists.

    Cool story, bro. We lack a time machine, so we can’t protect the loyalists. And our directives will not be met with universal obedience.

    I guess we have to find another way. It’s as if we’re imperfect people living in a fallen world. At this rate, we may need to go to confession.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    Your solution is ‘all these problems would go away if absolutely everyone did as I say’.

    If you actually think that then you either have a reading comprehension problem or you haven’t actually read what I’ve actually said. For what it is worth, I rather suspect the latter.

    And if that is the case it is unlikely that even more words will help.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    I don’t think the argument over who is fringe or mainstream is particularly important, but I do think this is wrong. It is precisely people on the fringes, in the crucible of hard experience, who tend to experience and grasp the real implications of ideology.

    Fringe is more likely to mean ‘crazy, isolated person of questionable intelligence who may well be medicated’ than ‘forged in the fires of experience and hard-living, the ones who see and experience reality as it truly is’.

    But if you want to tell me Dylan Roof’s probably was that he was just -too- experienced, well hey.

    As for mainstream versus fringe, I suggest that many fringe people are plenty dumb and happy too. SJWs are topheavy with fringe thinkers who cheerfully advocate insanity from a vantage point of comfort.

    If you actually think that then you either have a reading comprehension problem or you haven’t actually read what I’ve actually said. For what it is worth, I rather suspect the latter.

    No, I read what you said. Your solution is exactly that: everyone doing exactly as you say. Universal abandonment of bad philosophy. Universal repentance. If you find a way to get universal obedience, I’d say let me know, but you won’t have to because I imagine the Second Coming will be hard to ignore.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    No, I read what you said. Your solution is exactly that: everyone doing exactly as you say.

    No you didn’t, and no it isn’t.

  • Crude says:

    Zippy,

    No you didn’t, and no it isn’t.

    Quote:

    The superior alternative on offer is unequivocal rejection of liberalism, including the right-liberal kind which underlies ‘2A absolutism’. The solution is ‘stop throwing gas on the fire’. The solution is ‘when you are in a hole, stop digging’. The solution is to unequivocally repent.

    ‘Everyone reject this philosophy and repent. And repent all means believing and thinking this instead.’

    Show me where I’ve gone wrong.

  • Crude says:

    Oh, one more thing.

    I didn’t come here to fight! I mean, I felt GJ’s point was very bad. But I’m largely in agreement with Zippy, and generally – broadly – with most people whose names I recognize here. I’d rather not devolve things into another slugfest.

    So, after this message, I’ll go back to silence for a while. I agree that the suppositions of liberal modern philosophy are rotten. I recognize the near universality of errors on the political front, that ‘modernist’ poison. I suppose I am more forgiving at times of certain errors, when I think it’s apt. I can only throw so much ire at people I agree with.

    And I think the hands-on-hips lecturing of ‘you brought this on yourself because you defend gun ownership’ isn’t helpful, and is about as tasteful as telling people upset over the Charleston shooting ‘Well, your political attitudes and entertainment choices didn’t exactly make you seem benevolent, now did it?’ An exceptional willingness to lecture the pale right and an unwillingness to find overt fault with the dark left is a pretty modernist heresy too, come to think of it…

    But, that’s for you all to discuss, I’m out. It was a pleasure for a little!

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    The specific point of contention is obviously not about which “if everyone just did what I say we’d live in utopia” monomania wins. (That the criticism is a specious straw man really ought to be obvious.)

    What is on the table is – again obviously – ‘what ought we, as the insignificant individuals and members of our communities that we are, personally do?’

    You said there was no ‘superior alternative’ on offer to second amendment absolutism. (I gave you the chance to reject Mike T’s 2A absolutism as characterization of one side of the argument, and you at least implicitly passed).

    An alternative option – basically “don’t do that” – was explicitly offered as a superior alternative, since option one just adds fuel to the fire. This isn’t good for you as an individual, nor is it good for communities, and it doesn’t help society.

    In reality, of course, nothing you or I personally do is going to matter much in the grand scheme of things.

    Now, if when you said ‘superior alternative’ you were intending to say that if everyone adopted your ‘superior alternative’ our problems would be solved, then I would just point out that your own contentions then fall to your own criticism. But I was trying to read you more charitably than that.

    I’d just suggest that if you want to actually understand me, you ought to do the same: you ought to do me the courtesy of not presuming that I am an idiot when you read what I say.

  • GJ,

    That certain people are ‘very very fringe’ cuts no ice, as the discussion is regarding fidelity* to certain beliefs/a worldview.

    That’s the thing. I think that “What BLM people do is justified based on the logic used by second amendment advocates” is just wrong. That some people think it’s right is all well and good, but even going by second amendment principles, it’s not right.

  • Zippy says:

    Crude:

    I can only throw so much ire at people I agree with.

    Hah! Likewise.

    And I think the hands-on-hips lecturing of ‘you brought this on yourself because you defend gun ownership’ isn’t helpful ..

    For my part, I may not agree with precisely how GJ worded things but I do think there is a valid substantive point there: the cop-killing black shooters are from their perspective just doing in reality what a lot of fat dumb and happy “I’m the NRA and I Vote!” types merely fantasize about doing.

    But I live in the land of pervasive Gadsen Flag bumper stickers so again that may color my own impressions.

  • Zippy says:

    (NB the FDH gun-libertarians would of course be just as objectively in the wrong as the BLM shooters if they acted in a manner consistent with their bluster).

  • CJ says:

    Typing on my phone, please excuse the brevity and lack of nuance.

    Resistance to tyranny may not only be licit, but mandatory in certain situations. It’s not a uniquely liberal position. The fact that BLM thinks they’re doing something licit is no different than someone using contraception who thinks it’s the same as NFP. A positivist demand for a definition of tyranny doesn’t invalidate the principle.

  • Wood says:

    Zippy,

    Is a major problem in this discussion the idea that weapons may be licitly owned to protect against tyranny? I thought historically weapons were primarily owned for defense?

    In other words, am I thinking correctly that legitimate authority could restrict the manufacturing/ownership of weapons as a matter of prudence. But that such a restriction should only be for serious reasons, given that weapons are a means of self-defense and the defense of one’s family? On the other hand it is difficult for me to see how an authority could justly restrict weapons ownership if a citizen’s ability to protect himself against tyranny is something inherent to living under authority.

  • itascriptaest says:

    I don’t take GJ to be saying that there exists some widespread right liberal element that takes itself seriously urging armed rebellion. I think (though he can clarify) he is suggesting that the reason why there is no serious push for armed rebellion among FDH right liberals is precisely because they don’t take themselves and their own principles seriously.

    On the other hand what does everyone here think of Vox Day’s apparent approval of the attacks on police? A not so strange ideological convergence perhaps?

  • Zippy says:

    Wood:
    My own view is that there really aren’t any non-vague universal moral principles when it comes to weapon ownership. It really just is prudence turtles all the way down. Weapons are just a kind of tool.

    Now many people take “prudence” or “prudential judgment” to mean that more or less anything goes. Nothing could be further from the truth. What it means is that the morality of weapons ownership and regulation is highly dependent upon intentions and circumstances. Sometimes it is just flat out wickedness for the sovereign to do X; sometimes it is flat out wickedness for subjects to do Y. Prudence doesn’t imply license.

    Lack of simple universal rules makes modern people uncomfortable (when those rules support what they want and expect — the opposite is the case when the rules stand in their way). But for the most part I don’t have anything but rather vague generalities to offer when it comes to weapon ownership, use, and regulation.

  • Zippy says:

    itascriptaest:

    I’m not aware of it, but if it is true it is despicable. (It would also demonstrate any number of points I’ve made about the alt-right / nrx).

  • CJ says:

    Vox stops short of approving of things like this. He usually goes the route of chin-tugging dispassionate analysis. Neither approving nor condemning, he will consider the ramifications of the act and assert that it was inevitable based on the actions of those he disagrees with. See his reaction to Breivik’s murders or the deaths of migrants attempting to reach Europe.

  • Mike T says:

    On the other hand what does everyone here think of Vox Day’s apparent approval of the attacks on police? A not so strange ideological convergence perhaps?

    The closest VD has said is that through a combination of militarism and unaccountability for their conduct, the police have brought this situation on themselves and are only going to see it worsen as they double down.

    It is actually a true statement that even my relatives who were in law enforcement take on the state of that profession. My own father admits that he and his friends who are retired law enforcement are often actually afraid when interacting with young cops. He once said talking to a young cop for him is like “walking a pet alligator” in that it seems tame one minute, next thing you know for no apparent reason you’re getting tore up.

  • Mike T says:

    Regarding the “good faith” argument, one thing I wanted to get across was that there is plenty of evidence that the blacks in question don’t actually hold to that 2A position in general. It is simply not enough to find a way to contort a justification via someone’s rhetoric for your actions. A certain amount of “good faith” is necessary.

    As Crude pointed out, you are practically assured that most of these shooters oppose gun laws that effect self defense against criminals in a robust way. For them to claim they were using the 2A for its purpose of fighting tyranny when they did what they did would be about like Hitler claiming to be a Zionist by giving the Jews a homeland in the middle of a desert without food, water or construction materials. Even if strictly true in the most literal sense, it is one of those cases where reason earns its Lutheran rebuke that it is “the devil’s whore.”

  • itascriptaest says:

    Yeah he certainly chooses his words carefully but I construed him saying “U.S. police have had this sort of response coming for a long time” as a little more than just dispassionate observation.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    >On the other hand what does everyone here think of Vox Day’s apparent approval of the attacks on police? A not so strange ideological convergence perhaps?

    No surprise from me. He has had it in for the police for many years.

    Vox, whether or not he admits it, is a huge proponent of the “motte and bailey” method of rhetoric (i.e. mention something outrageous, and then when you get called out on it, pretend that what you actually said wasn’t all that bad). The most egregious example of this is years ago when he mentioned that it is not technically impossible to deal with illegal immigration in the USA since the Germans were able to get rid of their undesirables in the 1940’s.

    Let me grab my popcorn for when someone tells me “VoxisntlikethatgoawayyoustinkingSJW”

  • Zippy says:

    I guess sometimes a “blowback” thesis can have some truth to it, but I think there is a tendency to make the facts fit the narrative. I’m not entirely immune to the tendency myself, and I think Mike T is probably right to suggest that the BLM inspired shootings are probably not arising from some “urban NRA” with strong second amendment commitments. I’m just as skeptical that they involve any sort of “blowback” from increasingly militarized police.

    I think the simple explanation is probably right: the shooters really do believe that BLM rhetoric reflects the truth.

    I don’t claim to understand it or relate to it. I remember being shocked when my middle/upper class black colleagues joyfully applauded the OJ Simpson acquittal. It made no sense at all; but people believe all sorts of things.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    My sense of the situation is that reflexive need to defend every dindu who gets beat up or popped by a cop speaks to a far uglier motivation. About 2/3 of the time, when the facts are out the situation is at least complicated, if not exonerating. Yet that literally causes no reevaluation of the reflexive need to defend the dindu from the police.

  • CJ says:

    “I remember being shocked when my middle/upper class black colleagues joyfully applauded the OJ Simpson acquittal.”

    It felt like payback for Emmet Till, et. al. It was wrong but that’s how I felt at the time. By the time of the civil trial I knew better. Still, I recognize the same spirit in my friends who boast about their selective sympathy regarding the cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

  • Mike T says:

    I wouldn’t consider myself a 2A absolutist, but I think the range prudential matters on which weapons can be restricted is probably not that big. One of the most critical issues with disarming the public is the fact that the authorities know that a) they cannot defend all people from criminality and b) criminals don’t respect prior restraints like gun control. Therefore by definition, gun control is primarily a social control on the majority, not a serious mechanism to greatly reduce criminality as a whole. Looking at the violence stats in the UK and Australia I’ve seen for instance, one cannot conclude that gun control meaningful impacted the willingness of criminals to stop their crime. It is not as though criminals suddenly became squeamish when forced to more often use knives, clubs, fists, etc. to hurt people.

    So if the authorities know that they cannot protect the general public in that comprehensive sense, what they are in effect doing is forcing the public to assume a heightened risk for at best a dubious gain. There is also the matter of their actual motivations; most modern gun control advocates want a disarmed public precisely to greatly reduce the possibility of insurrection against their policies. (And their policies are often at best a mixed bag in terms of being just)

  • Mike T says:

    Vox, whether or not he admits it, is a huge proponent of the “motte and bailey” method of rhetoric (i.e. mention something outrageous, and then when you get called out on it, pretend that what you actually said wasn’t all that bad). The most egregious example of this is years ago when he mentioned that it is not technically impossible to deal with illegal immigration in the USA since the Germans were able to get rid of their undesirables in the 1940’s.

    Modern political debate is more UFC than Marquess of Queensberry. That’s why more college students responded to Milo telling some ranting feminist who shrieked about her emotions “f#$% your feelings” than when conservatives take a nuanced, purely dialectic response.

  • Zippy says:

    One side of it is that left liberals want control of the guns so they can kill any tyrants and intransigent untermenschen. Left liberals recognize that they have the upper hand and control the government, so they want to disarm the population and have the government in control of the guns.

    The other side of it is that right liberals want control of the guns so that they can kill tyrants and intransigent untermenschen. Right liberals view left liberals as tyrants whose commitment to freedom is inauthentic, and they correctly recognize that the population is liberal. So they want the population to control the guns.

    The commonality is that liberals want control of the guns so they can kill inauthentic liberals and tyrants.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Modern political debate is more UFC …

    It is all fun and games until the next generation makes the mistake of taking it seriously.

  • Aethelfrith,

    Vox, whether or not he admits it, is a huge proponent of the “motte and bailey” method of rhetoric (i.e. mention something outrageous, and then when you get called out on it, pretend that what you actually said wasn’t all that bad). The most egregious example of this is years ago when he mentioned that it is not technically impossible to deal with illegal immigration in the USA since the Germans were able to get rid of their undesirables in the 1940’s.

    I remember him saying that. In point of fact, it’s a good point; he was, quite correctly, saying that deporting people we don’t want there is not only possible, but has even been done before. And he gave an example.

  • itascriptest,

    On the other hand what does everyone here think of Vox Day’s apparent approval of the attacks on police?

    I think that people who think he approves of the attacks aren’t remotely interested in giving him anything like a fair hearing, since he said nothing of the sort.

  • I’m in favor of gun rights, but not for the stock first amendment argument that it’s need to protect against government tyranny; that has all sorts of unfortunate implications baked into it.

  • Mike T says:

    It is all fun and games until the next generation makes the mistake of taking it seriously

    The way I see it, we’re moving to that point because of the left anyway. Right-liberalism’s commitment to liberty is actually more authentic in many meaningful ways to how our ancestors over the last few thousand years would think of a man being free**. Left liberalism just has a pure, unadulterated totalitarian streak that actively and shamelessly views itself as right in relentlessly pursuing and holding down dissenters.

    When I watch what happened at DePaul University to Milo Yiannopoulos in plain view of the authorities, I can’t help but think that we’ve reached a point where ugliness is going to be the norm. If and when one side is openly allowed to be violent and disruptive, eventually the other side is going to just stop playing by the rules because that is a sucker’s game. Only a sucker plays by rules that no one else does. At least that is the worldly logic (and often times it’s not even wrong)

    **That is not to say freedom can be a driving goal of politics, but that right-liberalism being an amalgamation of influences has a less liberal notion of what constitutes freedom in the first place.

  • Mike T says:

    malcolm,

    I remember him saying that. In point of fact, it’s a good point; he was, quite correctly, saying that deporting people we don’t want there is not only possible, but has even been done before. And he gave an example.

    There was another issue that really was what hit people, I think. Ashkenazim look and sound native. Or at least they can. A German Jew can strip off anything that is particularly Jewish, keep his head down and flee to the train station to head to the border and the guards will be left wondering “Jew or Gentile?”

    As Vox Day said, if the Germans could overcome that, what is our excuse in an overwhelmingly white and black country to not be able to find our mostly mestizo, Spanish-speaking illegal immigrants? It’s not that hard. There used to be a day laborer site that routinely had 50-100 men congregate there near an old office of mine. It was undoubtedly known to the authorities. That story repeats itself all over the country.

    Zippy,

    The commonality is that liberals want control of the guns so they can kill inauthentic liberals and tyrants.

    In the abstract sense, but in practical implementation their definitions of tyrants are very, very different. Right liberals also tend to support the 2A vigorously as a moral imperative to uphold the right of self-defense whereas left-liberals often want to encourage a state of dependency on something so fundamental.

    One can also look at the behavior of both wings and conclude that right-liberals have a sound basis to fear left-liberals. One has a consistent tyrannical streak so wide you could build a death camp inside, the other is just a mixed bag whose other influences typically restrain liberalism’s excesses pretty successfully.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    I’ve suggested before that (e.g.) the police-murdering violence inspired by Black Lives Matter is the result of a not-especially-bright population of Uncle Toms naively taking the pervasive ideology of white people seriously — more seriously than most FDH white people take it themselves….

    It is all fun and games until the next generation makes the mistake of taking it seriously.

    So I googled and found out that, just incidentally, the latest shooter was a member of a sovereign citizen movement. In fact, recently many blacks have been attracted to the concept of sovereign citizenship.

    Nothing to do with right-liberalism, of course.

  • Mike T says:

    I think two questions are justified as a starting point:

    1. What fate does a true tyrant deserve to suffer?
    2. To what extent can an ordinary, non-authority individual identify and deal with a tyrant who is acting against him or his neighbor in a tyrannical way?

    A true tyrant in my opinion must include a willingness to mete out violence to enforce their unjust will. That is why in principle, I see tyrannicide as always a moral option. To be a true tyrant, you must actually put people at either implied or actualized risk of bodily or property harm via force. Therefore a tyrant is by definition in the same moral universe as a violent felon, not an ordinary authority.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    I basically agree that right liberalism is more muddled and “traditional” than left liberalism. But you seem to see that as something that makes right liberalism “good”, or in some way better than left liberalism and objectively opposed to it.

    But right liberalism is in many ways worse than left liberalism: it is more dishonest, less introspective, and is the codependent part of liberalism that cleans up the messes and insures that liberalism itself is never questioned. It is the part of liberalism that most directly sustains and perpetuates all the lies and murder, and insures that the lies and murder are never attributed to liberalism itself.

    You can’t kill liberalism – either in society or in your own mind – by attacking left liberalism. The beating heart that keeps it alive and perpetuated, sustaining its murders and tyrannies and other atrocities across generations, is right liberalism.

    So in a functional sense right liberalism is much worse than left liberalism. Left liberalism flames out quickly under its own contradictions. Right liberalism insures that individuals and societies never escape from the deception.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    Your point about black nationalism is a good one. Political violence against the police by blacks does tend to have a generally nationalist character (e.g. Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, etc).

  • Zippy says:

    Consider the following trope:

    “Islam is a peaceful religion. Anyone who justifies terrorism based on Islam is not authentically Muslim.”

    Right liberals perpetuate this sort of nonsense when it come to liberalism itself. Right liberals are the Baghdad Bob spokesman for liberalism, defending political freedom and equal rights despite what is happening right in front of their lying eyes. They are the codependent spouse of a serial killer: constantly taking his abuse, covering up his crimes, and insuring that he never gets caught and stopped.

    Are the “Islam is a peaceful religion” morons better than the terrorists? For some values of “better”, I suppose.

    It seems to me that it is more accurate to look at left and right liberalism as integral components of a self perpetuating whole. And if I wanted to kill liberalism, the organ I would target is right liberalism not left liberalism.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    I don’t agree it’s worse because the fruits it bears are nowhere near as poisonous as those of left-liberalism. It may be true that it plays a powerful role in ensuring that the left can become resurgent by keeping the ground fertile for liberal logic, but by itself right-liberalism rarely produces poisonous fruit on par with the left.

    Suppose all leftist branches were suppressed tomorrow by God and right liberals were granted free reign to impose their will unmolested. You’d see most of the states outlaw at least the vast majority of abortion scenarios, limit the role of the state in the lives of parents and churches. You’d see issues like gay and trans ones disappear. It would look like a moderately socially conservative, quasi-libertarian state. It would have its share of moral problems in its conduct, such as allowing abortion on demand in the first trimester in some regions, but on the whole it would be a vast improvement over what we have now. It would also be a society where one could debate ending all abortion with a branch of liberalism whose members would often say “yeah, I can see your point that the mother’s autonomy is inferior to the child’s right to live, so maybe we should outlaw it all.”

    Its fundamental beliefs about authority and the nature of politics might be wrong, but in actual policies it really wouldn’t be that bad.

    Sorta related, I find the arguments from Vox Day, Slumlord and others about left versus right WRT social sexual hierarchy and other related factors (k/r genetics) to be intriguing in terms of telling us that perhaps a lot of left versus right also comes down to personality and genetic predisposition toward certain behaviors.

  • Mike T says:

    But right liberalism is in many ways worse than left liberalism: it is more dishonest, less introspective, and is the codependent part of liberalism that cleans up the messes and insures that liberalism itself is never questioned.

    I would say it is more confused than dishonest. Whatever dishonesty it has tends to be more with itself than the world at large.

    One thing I find interesting about the support around Trump is that it seems less concerned with the old trope “derrrrrp the government is here to protect our rights” than traditional duties of government. Security, working on the economy for the greater good, a bit of blood and soil nationalism versus propositionalism.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I don’t agree [that right liberalism is] worse [than left liberalism] because the fruits it bears are nowhere near as poisonous as those of left-liberalism.

    I don’t think one is worse than the other, because they are both parts of the same integral thing. Saying that right liberalism is better than left liberalism is like saying that the dragon’s anus is better than its head.

    And beyond right liberalism in itself, any failure to see them as one integral thing fuels and perpetuates liberalism. Even unequivocally illiberal folks who refuse to see right and left liberalism as parts of an integral whole contribute to the perpetuation of liberalism.

    So from my point of view, every atrocity committed by “left liberalism” is just as much the “fault of” – is attributable to – right liberalism as it is to left liberalism. There may be some truth to the statement “the dragon’s anus is not what burned down the town”; but it isn’t the sort of truth that the people saying it intend by the statement.

  • GJ says:

    itascriptest:

    On the other hand what does everyone here think of Vox Day’s apparent approval of the attacks on police

    I have previously described Vox’ technique as ‘weaponised ambiguity‘ but I don’t think there’s a really good term for it. Such statements of his are so carefully couched and measured so that one cannot make a clear case that he is dog-whistling, let alone explicitly supporting an immoral position.

    What else is there to say? His technique is highly skilled, not very recent (e.g. ‘N.K. Jemisin is a half-savage’), and rather controversial, boosting his readership.

  • Zippy says:

    The problem with whistling for wild dogs is that at some point a pack of them might arrive. And like Filostrato as the guillotine descends, some folks may discover that they have underestimated the terror.

    In this case though I think the idea that BLM-related shootings have much of anything to do with putatively unaccountable and militarized police – as opposed to being a black thing – is a poor attempt to fit whatever facts happen to be laying around on the floor to a particular narrative. This is black racial anger against white people (ironically seeded and stoked by predominantly white self-hating progressives). The police just happen to be the enforcement arm of civil order, where the metal meets the meat. And of course the progressive hegemony is in fact actual (as opposed to fantasized) white supremacy: the comprehensive triumph of the white European political ideology of liberalism.

    Parts of the alt right simultaneously condemn the killings and unrest and love it, because they think it presents them with an “I told you so” opportunity. From here though that looks rather solipsistic.

  • Mike T says:

    Such statements of his are so carefully couched and measured so that one cannot make a clear case that he is dog-whistling, let alone explicitly supporting an immoral position.

    GJ, there is another possibility which is that he actually does not support the shooting of the police.

    Some of you are taking a position on the police much similar to the incessant need to declare that rape victims should not be blamed for rape. There is a whole middle ground between the Manichean divide as represented by BLM on one side and radical, pro-police authoritarianism on the other. In that middle ground you find uncomfortable truths like BLM’s position is not entirely divorced from reality and the police as a profession have increasing abused their authority and relationship with the public such that even many good officers are now tarred by association irrespective of their public behavior.

    Just one of many cases I could find: there was a shooting in the midwest where they did a raid on a drug dealer. One cop though he was being shot at, so he unloaded a high capacity magazine into a dark room without even trying to identify a shooter. He shot and killed a young mother huddling in the corner with her child.

    Strictly speaking, if you confessed to unloading a high capacity magazine during the defense against a home invasion and told the police you had no idea who you were shooting at, and butchered your wife by accident I can assure you that you’d face a grand jury for at least involuntary manslaughter. That would be as a panicked civilian, not a trained paramilitary officer.

    Standards of actual conduct in many ways have gone down in a number of areas. The legal system is also more reflexively and blindly pro-whatever the cop says than it has ever been in living memory. Cops do stuff today that 50 years ago a man would be justified before any court for using violence to stop.

  • Mike T says:

    One other thing, a lot of conservatives refuse to consider that law enforcement often does in fact “do evil that good may come of it.” Vice enforcement is often very sordid in that respect. In general, cops are allowed to say whatever they want without penalty to a suspect. They are by formal policy across the land allowed to tell even the most heinous lies to coax a suspect into giving them information. One of the examples that is particularly bad is how cops can and do lie about their power to destroy a family if they don’t get what they want from you in the way of information.

    It is a curious thing that in general, intelligence agencies are actually held to a higher standard of conduct than domestic police. Operatives cannot legally blackmail or extort under federal law. Even their use of force is at least as restricted if not more so. This is particularly ironic since intelligence operatives by comparison actually do fight a form of war and one in which they are without legal protection under international law.

  • I’ve come to realize why I tend to agree with Vox more than other folks

    Of the liberty, equality, fraternity tree, nearly everyone still accepts all three. Vox accepts two, or at least one, of the three, but rejects equality.

    That alone will make him correct more often than the majority of modern Americans.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Some of you are taking a position on the police much similar to the incessant need to declare that rape victims should not be blamed for rape.

    Not at all. I render no opinion whatsoever on whether or not the police have in fact become less disciplined, more militarized, etc; let alone on whether this is good, bad, or mixed. I’d have to do a lot more due diligence to form an opinion on that subject.

    But whatever the case on that subject, I find it highly implausible that increased militarization, less discipline, etc of police is a significant causal factor in these BLM-related killings. It is that contention which looks – at least to me – like an awkward attempt to fit facts to a predetermined narrative.

  • Zippy says:

    Malcolm:

    In the land of the blind the man with a cane is king.

  • GJ, there is another possibility which is that he actually does not support the shooting of the police.

    Yes; maybe we should just take the fact that he never said he supported the shooting of the police and has always been disdainful of BLM supporters to mean what it actually seems to mean, which is that he saw the shootings as a consequence of an overly militarized police force combined with an increasingly tense racial situation caused by domestic terrorists.

    I get it, Vox says things in deliberately provocative ways…but frankly I thought he was being clearer than normal here. Look at his comments in the threads too. He outright says that he rejects the idea that it’s an “either/or” dichotomy in favor of a “yes/and” dichotomy. It’s really not hard to puzzle out.

  • itascriptaest says:

    Of the liberty, equality, fraternity tree, nearly everyone still accepts all three. Vox accepts two, or at least one, of the three, but rejects equality.

    That’s nothing to celebrate or admire. In liberal anthropology liberty and fraternity imply equality. He rails against the notion of “magic dirt” but apparently fails to see how that development out of American liberalism starting with the Declaration of Independence.

  • Zippy says:

    Liberalism minus the ‘noble lie’ of Zero Group Differences equals …

  • That’s nothing to celebrate or admire. In liberal anthropology liberty and fraternity imply equality. He rails against the notion of “magic dirt” but apparently fails to see how that development out of American liberalism starting with the Declaration of Independence.

    Sure. He’s wrong about a lot. I just think he tends to be correct more than a lot of folks too, and is worth reading.

  • (Sometimes the answer to “What makes a guy like this so popular?” is as simple as “Because his thoughts and opinions are interesting.”)

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    I didn’t mean to imply you with that comment.

    By the way, if you want two music videos that are almost sublime in their capturing the left-liberal reality, watch KMFDM’s Megalomaniac (HD version) and Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up (uncensored version; it has nudity, but the ending shocked the hell out of the left)

    Warning: both are PG13 to R.

  • Mike T says:

    malcolm,

    One of the reasons why the Alt-Right is gaining ground is the willingness to fight. I’m seeing conservatives in my own family start to read Milo and VD and say “yeah, we need more guys like this” even if they don’t agree with half of their stuff. It’s huge to a lot of conservatives because they’re used to thought leaders stabbing them in the back, not defending them and letting them take fire, not saying “men, after me, let’s go drop a Costco case of whoop ass on them.”

    In college, I did that once against a Marxist. I was a quasi-libertarian agnostic in a sea of moderate conservatives and liberals. Christians are often shocked at how well most people respond when someone stands up and tells a bully he’s going to knock the tar out of him if he doesn’t practice the manners his mother taught him (or should have).

    That’s why the Trump thing totally doesn’t surprise me in the least. For all of his many faults, Trump would sooner blow his brains out than bend the knee before a liberal attack.

  • Wood says:

    Mike T,

    You mentioned the alt-right is fighting. I could guess what they are fighting against, but what exactly are they fighting for? Unless it is explicitly the social reign of Christ the King the alt-right’s philosophy can be tossed in the dumpster fire for all I care. I get it’s easy for me to say as an American with relative safety and financial security; and those facts, my underlying love for the USA, and that Id rather not live in the equivalent of Mogadishu tempt me to your side.

  • Mike T says:

    I would say that the alt-right is a combination of forces from disparate parts of the right that were driven out by Buckley. They seem to be united by at least a few things, and I know this is not a comprehensive by any means:

    1. They are men in a sense that might be recognizable in antiquity, especially when juxtaposed with the average modern conservative male thought leader.

    2. They believe in patriarchy, even if many of them believe in a pagan or secular one.

    3. They forcefully reject feminism.

    4. They reject egalitarianism out of hand.

    5. Many of them even reject freedom as “the reason we constitute government.”

    6. Most are sympathetic to or formally blood and soil nationalists.

    7. Even the gay members, particularly Milo Y, tend to be far more willing to defend historic Christendom than most conservatives.

    8. Most tend to be stridently anti-PC and free speech radicals to the extent that they oppose any censorship of speech by any civil authority except when it is inciting a plausible breach of the peace. They do not believe protecting feelings is important; case in point, Milo responding to a shrieking feminist “f#$% your feelings” (to the applause of the audience).

    There are aspects of liberalism present, definitely. It is certainly not untainted, but it is the first real group in the US political spectrum today to start a serious reexamination of these principles.

  • Mike T says:

    I will add that if you to Breitbart and look up the Milo article on “dropping the T” from LGBT, you will find that its members are frequently willing to drop a truth bomb on the public about a topic like that far more unapologetically than you’d see on the mainstream right. What Milo wrote about transgendered people would cause nosebleeds at Lowry’s NRO.

  • GJ says:

    Mike T:

    In that middle ground you find uncomfortable truths like…

    …like how some blacks are working out conservative ideas in practice: sovereign citizenship, together with ‘the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants’.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    GJ, if any blacks happen to work out alt-right ideals, they can only be at best Useful Idiot Uncle Toms that must be thrown under the bus since, ultimately, they are the enemy.

    https://voxday.blogspot.ca/2016/06/your-skin-is-your-uniform.html

    I think I remember what liberalism — zero group differences equals…

  • Mike T says:

    And I’ll note once again that despite the sovereign citizen movement being overwhelmingly white (far greater percentage than society at large) and being openly targeted for harassment by everyone from local police to DHS, there are no mass killings by white sovereign citizens. That includes the many nutjobs who are preparing for half a dozen apocalyptic scenarios at once.

    So a group that is already prone to shoot cops over traffic stops adopting verbage that justifies shooting cops over traffic stops doesn’t really much impress me as a significant sign of anything other than another data point that man is not a rational animal, but a rationalizing animal.

  • Mike T says:

    To wit, I am not saying you are just wrong in principle about the rhetoric GJ. The issue is that since there have been serious problems with black criminality since Reconstruction at least, they do not support your argument. Changing one’s justification while the behavior remains unmodified is itself not a fundamental change.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I’d have to study the Black Panthers, Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam and the like a bit more to develop a solid opinion on GJ’s basic substantive suggestion. But as with Hitler’s admiration of equality as a fundamental political principle – which in his view needed to be attenuated to applying only to the herrenvolk (the New Man) in order to survive in the face of intransigent untermenschen – I am not ready to flippantly dismiss the suggestion as mere lying or rationalization.

    In my experience you can usually tell how people really think just by listening to what they say, and taking what they say seriously. The conservative tendency to dismiss (those whom they view as) non-conservatives on the basis that they supposedly don’t mean what they say forms the solid metal bars of the modernist mind trap.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    Again, I’m not dismissing the underlying principle out of hand. I am just saying that if someone is already doing something they know or should know (and everyone else knows) is dead damn wrong, and they go from one excuse to the other it is a poor supporting argument simply because they’re just changing the subjective aspect of the conduct from one crappy reason to another. Hence my saying that if Asians suddenly roared on the street, claiming to be sovereign citizens in hail of gun fire against police, that would be an excellent supporting point for GJ because Asians by and large don’t shoot cops in the US. In fact dogs are probably a bigger threat to law enforcement in a given year than Asians.

  • Zippy says:

    I don’t see how “Asians aren’t shooting cops” is anything but a red herring.

  • Zippy says:

    Saying “but Asians aren’t killing cops” is like saying “but Swedes aren’t gassing Jews”. It has no bearing on Hitler’s motives or on the sincerity of his commitment to his explicitly constrained concept of political equality.

  • Mike T says:

    I don’t see how “Asians aren’t shooting cops” is anything but a red herring.

    GJ is attempting to imply that the rhetoric in question is intrinsically dangerous and tends to lead to ordinary murder. That’s at least how I take it given the various follow ups.

    My point is that blacks were hurting and killing cops for all sorts of reasons, very disproportionate to their numbers, long before that. Even if some are now committed to their own flavor of that 2A rhetoric, one still has to note that a) they were already killing cops for no good reason long before that and b) other groups that adopt that rhetoric aren’t running around killing cops in greater numbers.

    They may be totally committed to that interpretation, but since the behavior being justified was already there at similar levels I think it tells us more about their character than the argument itself.

  • Mike T says:

    I don’t really question their commitment to the rhetoric, I just question that since the behavior doesn’t change that the rhetoric is more than how they comfort their consciences. There is an emotional substrata in their collective psyche that is looking for a way to logically justify why they are disproportionately in trouble with the law and have that not come back to “because you’re the ones starting half the #$% that goes down in America.”

  • Zippy says:

    Liberal rhetoric – right and left – is incoherent and inherently dangerous. When and how it leads to murder, and who precisely is murdered, does depend on context.

    None of that is even at issue for me.

    All that is at issue is to what extent these violent outbursts by blacks are the result of their liberal commitments.

  • Mike T says:

    All that is at issue is to what extent these violent outbursts by blacks are the result of their liberal commitments.

    Even if one were to consistently find liberal commitments leading to that, one would not be able to stop there because all other groups are committed to liberalism in the US. That would lead to just more questions of why this one group, committed to liberalism, goes so much more overtly violent than the others. (I say overt to leave room for abortion)

    That is why I harp on the snide remark about gun rights being the “safe, legal and rare” of the right. It is similar to the liberal narrative of poor, oppressed blacks facing the scourge of violence. It reminds me of the label “Chiraq” to describe Chicago used by guys like Spike Lee. They want to make it sound like the standard liberal victim narrative when it’s a case of grown men and women defecating in their own bed and blaming their neighbor for the smell.

  • Zippy says:

    I don’t know what you mean by “stop there”. But it would justify GJ in asserting Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

  • I THINK what Mike T is trying to say – he could clarify – is that blacks were killing cops long before they started spouting liberal rhetoric, or at least the current liberal rhetoric.

    Thus the fact that they’re currently using liberal rhetoric to justify the violence is besides the point, since we know that they’d be violent without it in any case.

  • Mike T says:

    Pretty much. In fact, I think I used similar wording at least once above.

    My point is, suppose Hitler stopped being a Nazi and became a Muslim fanatic halfway through the Holocaust. The fact that Hitler did not change his Jew killing didn’t miss a beat doesn’t tell us that Islam is to blame for that violence unless one can show other good examples of Muslims in authority going on a Jew killing spree.

  • Zippy says:

    Yes, but Malcolm X etc.

  • Mike T says:

    In the Bundy Ranch case, where hundreds of whites on both sides were aiming some serious firepower at each other, not one cop was killed despite the Bundy supporters being willing to shoot. We can’t build testable hypotheses, but we can note that it was a major liberal uprising by whites and yet no one was killed. This is despite the fact that while the black shootings are closer to mere murder, at the Bundy Ranch they were arranged for war.

  • Mike T says:

    Malcolm X actually renounced violent racism when his underlying perspective shifted.

  • Zippy says:

    This is all starting to look like a case of special pleading on behalf of favorite liberalisms.

  • Mike T says:

    Not at all. I’m just scoffing at the notion that liberalism is the problem rather than a contributing factor. I think if you got every societal change you wanted tomorrow you’d still see similar criminal statistics.

  • Zippy says:

    But liberalism is the problem, and scoffing at that just helps perpetuate it.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    If liberalism isn’t the problem, then that means “those people” (substitute your untermensch of choice) are the problem. Of course that underlying view carries liberal assumptions, so we end up with the incoherent statement that–

    “Liberalism isn’t the problem, liberalism is.”

    I have my own bones to pick with the Alt-Right but I wanted to keep things on topic.

  • Mike T says:

    But liberalism is the problem, and scoffing at that just helps perpetuate it.

    I didn’t say it wasn’t a major contributing factor. What I said was that in their case there is a good reason to believe that even if liberalism were to be removed it would only tone things down a lot. Put another way, even if liberalism were memetically annihilated tomorrow, 5 years later blacks would probably still be disproportionately breaking the law, shooting cops, etc.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Some hypotheticals are more connected to reality than others. You might as well be talking about what would happen in the Star Wars universe if it were invaded by Klingons.

  • Zippy says:

    You should write lyrics for John Lennon.

  • Wood says:

    Mike T,

    You mentioned that you “didn’t say it (liberalism) wasn’t a major contributing factor.” But again: factor for what? Are you suggesting that the really important thing here is to tame unruly black folks. And once we have that box checked we can all have good faith disagreements over the remaining details?

  • Zippy says:

    “Imagine there’s no Dindu …”

  • Mike T says:

    But again: factor for what?

    Blacks lashing out violently. What most commenters are calling the fire, I’m calling the gasoline being applied to an existing fire.

  • Mike T says:

    Some hypotheticals are more connected to reality than others.

    One need only look at the fact that broke ass poor and uneducated Appalachia has a substantially lower violent crime rate than any ghetto in the US to conclude that there is something more at work than just liberalism. In fact, the poorest and most destitute counties in the US are overwhelmingly white and still have much lower violent crime rates. Their crime is mainly of the self-destructive sort.

  • GJ says:

    Mike T:

    My point is that blacks were hurting and killing cops for all sorts of reasons, very disproportionate to their numbers, long before that. Even if some are now committed to their own flavor of that 2A rhetoric, one still has to note that a) they were already killing cops for no good reason long before that and b) other groups that adopt that rhetoric aren’t running around killing cops in greater numbers.

    Since “they” have already been killing cops, what reason, at this point, does it make – that some have recently been tapping into a deep and compelling belief system to justify this and other actions? And of course it’s only rhetoric; heaven forfend anyone truly believing in US conservative beliefs.

    In addition, this response hinges on ‘they’ being basically the same, i.e. lower-class, ghetto-dwelling etc etc blacks ‘acting as they do’, or however you’d put it. But things are changing. Not only was the latest killer a member of a sovereign citizen movement, he attended college, self-published a book or two about detox on Amazon, became a sergeant in the Marines, had a tour in Iraq, and was discharged with awards including ‘Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal’. It would seem that something new is happening.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    … there is something more at work than just liberalism…

    I am not aware of anyone saying otherwise. You seem to be having trouble staying focused on precisely what is and is not actually in contention.

    There are two things actually in contention, as best as I can tell.

    1) Whether second amendment absolutism (or motte-and-bailey near absolutism) is or is not reasonable (I contend that it is not, because it is shot through with ideological liberalism); and

    2) Whether the current wave of specifically political black violence is consistent with the saber-rattling “tree of liberty” rhetoric of right liberals applied to the perspective of many American blacks.

    On the second one I remain uncommitted absent more due diligence on these violence-prone black political movements (which have been around for many decades).

    Your response to this has been a wall of obfuscation, as if you have somehow convinced yourself that asians, Appalachian whites, historical figures changing their minds and/or specific tactics, and wild hypotheticals about radically counterfactual worlds have any substantive bearing on what is actually in contention.

    In addition, you seem to be reaching for some conclusion that blacks are more violent than whites. That may or may not be the case, but it certainly seems true that white violence and black violence very generally speaking have different characters, the former being far more clinical and efficient than the latter at least as an historical matter. But even saying that much is to indulge you in a red herring.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    I could be wrong, but I think Mike is just tippy-toeing around saying that problem is that black people are here at all.

  • Aethelfrith,

    Let’s say that’s what it is (you’ll have to ask Mike T for sure). Even if that is what he’s saying, is that in itself actually a problem?

  • Mike T says:

    I could be wrong

    Yes, you really could.

    I am not aware of anyone saying otherwise. You seem to be having trouble staying focused on precisely what is and is not actually in contention.

    There are two things actually in contention, as best as I can tell.

    And much of what I have been saying is actually based around point #2. Namely that aside from one or two black “sovereign citizens” the general thrust of black political violence has a distinctly left-liberal or even just “rage mob angry at the world” motivation.

    If we look back in 6 months to a year and see a lot of this, I already said I’m open to revisiting my position on #2. However, based on several factors previously discussed I see no reason to believe it represents a trend outside of the minority.

    I was raised around 2A near-absolutism. I’ve met plenty of people who adhere to it over the years. I’ve even met a black man or two who has sympathies for sovereign citizen logic. None of them, even the latter, support randomly shooting government agents, let alone ones who are actually engaged in something like providing security to a protest.

    From my observation, even if the 2A logic is unjust because most tyrants don’t deserve to die, the understanding of what constitutes a tyrant is in more fixed than variable. So it seems like even when one holds a genuine view that killing tyrants is no vice, due to the fact that most people understand tyranny a bit independently of their own subjective will, murdering random government workers is still not in their minds at all tyrannicide. It’s just pure murder.

  • Mike T says:

    Another thing, the little I have been exposed to “sovereign citizen” logic, none of it supports shooting government agents who are either minding their own business or actually pursuing night watchmen state activities. There is a point where one is not indulging a different definition, but applying a definition to something that factually does not have any capacity to really apply except in a mind that is utterly divorced from reality.

    I say that because you can make a good case that if a man shoots a cop because he wants to jaywalk and the cop doesn’t, you have a good argument about liberal logic. If you tell most people liberal logic allows a crazy homeless man to justify himself stabbing a cop for sitting in a particular chair he wants at Starbucks, you are never going to get past the observation that he’s a crazy homeless man and by definition his desires are formulated by insanity and should be treated as such irrespective of whatever justification his brain cooks up.

  • Mike T says:

    Near as I can tell, the biggest change in the nature of the violence is the involvement of men trained by US military combat training programs. I’m not aware of any manifesto backing 2A absolutism by either of the big mass police shooters.

    The results are why I say to GJ that if whites come to feel that way toward the police, it will be ugly. It won’t be one man, but half a dozen or more fighting as a squad using the same tactics.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Namely that aside from one or two black “sovereign citizens” the general thrust of black political violence has a distinctly left-liberal or even just “rage mob angry at the world” motivation.

    21st century tarring and feathering by 21st century Sons of Liberty.

  • Mike T says:

    I also see three issues with 2A rhetoric:

    1. The notion that bonafide tyrants should face death.
    2. The notion that the people should be armed in preparation for dealing with tyrants.
    3. The question of who gets to declare a particular individual a real tyrant.

    In general, the first one does not seem to be very controversial in Western history well before modern times. A bonafide tyrant who is terrorizing those under their authority is at least morally a criminal, if not formally a violent criminal depending on their rank in the hierarchy of authority relative to those who set and enforce the law (ex the king).

    On its face, the second one is a political expansion of the notion of self-defense when taken on its own and without #3 being the guiding logic. For example, even a feudal society could conceivably have a general unwritten political constitution that all free men are to be armed and ready to defend the realm against enemies foreign and domestic, including authorities who use their authority to breach the peace.

    The main issue I see is with #3 because it allows everyone from qualified leaders, down to a homeless drug addict to weigh in on whose authority is and isn’t being used tyrannically. I think that, and that alone, is the aspect of 2A rhetoric that is contributing to what we are seeing. So from that perspective, I can certainly concede that 2A rhetoric may be having a bit of an impact here.

    Aside from that, I don’t see what is controversial about the first two points. If a police officer is violently enforcing a non-existent law, then by definition his authority under law is non-existent and his action is a criminal act of force aimed at forcing you to accept his opinion. In such a case, it seems to me that the reason to not fight back against that abuse of authority is either one of prudence or Christian charity, not moral obligation.

  • Zippy says:

    This is how the discussion looks to me:

    Summary of GJ:

    When an ex military black sniper kills police because he feels that his people are oppressed, that the police have effectively become a government sanctioned lynch mob, the pointy end of the tyrant’s spear, this specific violence is a product of liberalism in general and is consistent – from the point of view of its perpetrators – with the “2nd Amendment militia” government-hating wing of right liberalism in particular.

    Summary of Mike T:

    Micah Johnson wuz jes dindu bein dindu. Dem dindu dey always killin whitey. Nuffin difrunt here.

    No connection to liberalism can be drawn, and especially not to the ‘militia’ branch of right-liberalism. Timothy McVeigh’s attack on the FBI has nothing ideologically in common with Micah Johnson’s attack on the Dallas Police. 2nd Amendment FTW.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    An unexplored aspect of the 2nd Amendment due to it being politically correct hatefact–

    https://www.firearmsandliberty.com/cramer.racism.html

  • Mike T says:

    Racism as the primary motivation for gun control is actually well known in 2A circles. In fact it was the primary reason California went from being very open on gun rights to very controlled starting in the 1960s. The whole state started paying the price because of left-wing rebels like the Black Panthers.

    This is how the discussion looks to me

    Well, let’s not actually examine the aspects of 2A rhetoric and dissect them. Just declare it all liberalism. The 2A is bad. Because liberalism.

  • Zippy says:

    “Lets not actually examine the aspects of feminist rhetoric and dissect them. Just declare it all liberalism. Feminism is bad. Because liberalism.”

  • Mike T says:

    You’re still not addressing the issue. I threw out a definition I felt reasonably described the difference between ordinary, fallible authority that sometimes abuses its authority and a tyrant. I think my definition provides a reasonable bright line test for distinguishing the two. The tyrant is the abusive authority who threatens or actually carries out violence against those under their authority to force them to submit to an unjust or evil order.

    At some point, either we have to try to settle on a definition of tyrant that isn’t entirely subjective or declare that a tyrant is anyone and no one at the same time. And if it requires a priestly elite, divining augers while calling out to the saints and God and peering through a decoder ring, it is of no use to anyone. Either a tyrant is a real class of authority distinct and that men of good will can reasonably identify as distinct from ordinary, messy and fallible human authority or it is not.

    I assume such a definition exists and ask why such a man should be secure in his person anymore than a home invader should expect to not worry about being assaulted by the homeowner.

    That is why I raise a simple question. Aside from ugly matter implied in how a tyrant is identified, what is in principle wrong with the notion that tyrants should ordinarily expect those under them to not suffer their evil lying down?

  • Zippy says:

    My own very general prudential view of weapons ownership is actually rather permissive. Personal firearms are a kind of tool, and in general it is the wrong use of tools which ought to be punished in favor of simply banning ownership of that kind of tool entirely. This is however heavily influenced by particular circumstances, including the circumstances created by ideology and civic religion.

    In our present circumstances, in the wildly counterfactual ‘if I made the rules’ scenario I would be in favor of personal firearm ownership only by those who are willing to personally, clearly, unambiguously, and unequivocally forswear all personal allegiance to liberalism, doff their caps willingly and enthusiastically to the king, and agree to surrender themselves peacefully and spend time in prison if they are found to act inconsistently with the Zippy-written ‘oath against liberalism’.

    With that background I will point out that the Second Amendment explicitly justifies itself based on liberal principles:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    You can’t expect people not to notice, and you can’t expect it not to matter. To support the second amendment specifically, as opposed to supporting prudential restraint in gun regulation for those who are unequivocally loyal to the Church and the sovereign, is to add fuel to the liberal fire in your own mind and within the small sphere of your own personal influence.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    At some point, either we have to try to settle on a definition of tyrant …

    No we don’t. Definitions are notoriously limited and subject to abuse.

    One heuristic for me is that any scrappy rebel leader who chooses to violently rebel to put down a tyrant ought to be willing to surrender himself to live in a prison monastery for the rest of his life once the coup succeeds. It ought to be a basic principle of legitimate rebellion that no significant rebel leaders will themselves hold any sort of position of prestige and power in whatever replacement regime is contemplated, or make any personal gains from the rebellion.

  • Mike T says:

    No we don’t. Definitions are notoriously limited and subject to abuse.

    They are, but so what? At some point “I know it when I see it” is no longer a valid statement. If tyranny is not a thing which we can create an entirely true, but admittedly incomplete, definition, then there is no point in even using the word. It is like speaking of love, but saying that since love covers so much, there is no point in trying to define what love is because it would be limited and abused. And certainly, who can truly capture love as a concept? No human being for human beings are literally incapable of true and holy love as God experiences it in this life. Yet who here would say such a thing about love?

    You can’t expect people not to notice, and you can’t expect it not to matter. To support the second amendment specifically, as opposed to supporting prudential restraint in gun regulation for those who are unequivocally loyal to the Church and the sovereign, is to add fuel to the liberal fire in your own mind and within the small sphere of your own personal influence.

    I support the 2A because wording aside, it succinctly expresses a valid restriction on central state power. The federal government is as likely to have a valid reason to regulate local firearm ownership as it is to have a Jack Bauer scenario on torture.

    I will add another matter here which is that the state has no moral right to deprive a man of arms when the state cannot fully provide for his security. It is a fact of life that the state cannot guarantee safety across society in general and to the extent that the state forces people who are not rebelling or acting criminally to be disarmed it is morally responsible for part of whatever harm happens to them at the hands of criminals.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    They are, but so what?

    So I am not going to craft one just for the sake of indulging you in abusing it and making yet another red herring out of it.

    “I support the second amendment because …” is no more moving or valid than “I support feminism because …” or any of hundreds of other possible variations on “I support these incoherent lies because …”

  • Mike T says:

    I believe by your own admission in the past, liberalism has enough truth in it that people do not reject it out of hand as utterly insane. That is why I broke down 2A rhetoric (not 2A itself, but the gun rights culture around fighting tyranny) into at least three broad claims.

    I asked a simple question. Why should a bonafide tyrant expect security in his person from his subjects? I am not begging the question, but speaking of someone hypothetical who as an authority is consistently a moral criminal in their conduct and willing to violently impose their unjust moral obligations on their subjects.

    Why should such an authority not expect to eventually die at the hands of his subjects? At what point does a man violently impose an evil will on his subjects and deserve to be put to the sword and sent to stand before God’s throne?

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I believe by your own admission in the past, liberalism has enough truth in it that people do not reject it out of hand as utterly insane.

    I believe you’d have to quote me on that. Liberalism is rationally incoherent, vile, despicably evil, murderous of both body and soul, a scourge hatched in the pit of Hell. It must be rejected utterly and totally without reservation or equivocation, or it will infect and destroy your mind like the BSE prion. Like the aforesaid prion a single particle of it remaining inside you can propagate, multiply, and destroy your capacity to reason.

    That it is possible to deduce true as well as false statements from incoherent premises — again see the Principle of Explosion — does not make liberalism have any truth in it. It just makes liberalism more resilient as a mind virus. It makes it a more effective lie, more difficult to purge from within yourself, as it takes root by conveniently confirming your a priori expectations and desires.

    I asked a simple question.

    You advanced a red herring against a position nobody has taken. Posing it in the form of a question doesn’t make it pertinent, on topic, or any less a straw man. The general subject of tyranny is independent of the specific subject of the second amendment; but like all minds infected by liberalism you pose it as if one must either support the liberal position you support or support tyranny.

    To support the second amendment specifically (as opposed to having some independent view of the morality and prudence of weapon possession, regulation, etc while rejecting the second amendment specifically) is to support the second amendment’s explicit liberal ‘justification’, right there in its own text.

  • Zippy says:

    Look at it this way.

    If the second amendment read “In order to glorify, praise and worship Satan, the right to keep and bear arms must not be infringed” would you still support it?

  • Mike T says:

    No, I would not. However, I don’t indulge in that sort of game here anymore than I tolerate it when the left plays similar games to question beg about what constitutes a militia, its regulation, etc. The legally pertinent position is its formal restriction.

    I’m also well aware of and agree with the issues surrounding the notion of a “free society” as you have described it. I am hesitant to attack our founders on this point for a variety of reasons based in English history, older concepts of freedom that many of them held and more.

    As much as you and King Richard dump on them, their European noble contemporaries actually thought highly of many of them as men. King George in fact was said to have said that if George Washington intended to go back to being a farmer, rather than seeking power for himself, (which he did) it would make him the greatest man alive.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    No, I would not. However, I don’t indulge in that sort of game here …

    If nothing else, this demonstrates how the right liberal thought antipattern short circuits itself. You get so close to understanding; and then make angry noises about not tolerating/indulging in “games”, because the sacred idol of the second amendment — created by liberals for the express purpose of making sure that non-liberals can be killed whenever they threaten liberalism — must be preserved.

  • Craig N. says:

    “It ought to be a basic principle of legitimate rebellion …”

    Can you name an actual rebellion in history — preferably a successful one — that you consider to have been legitimate? I’m having trouble coming up with any that fits your principles.

  • Zippy says:

    Craig N:
    It is relatively easy to find wars (rebellion or otherwise) which at least theoretically could pass jus ad bellum. But very, very few significant wars pass jus in bello without significant problems.

    And in any case the whole subject is a red herring when discussing the second amendment specifically: it is the typical liberal move of insisting that the only alternatives are liberalism and tyranny.

  • Step2 says:

    For the sake of audience understanding, I’m thinking a little ancestral context may be helpful. Mike T has claimed to be descended from a Confederate general or other high ranking officer if memory serves. In my opinion this helps explain some of his rebellious heart. Zippy has claimed to have a family branch tracing back to Betsy Ross, which in my opinion is a confounding variable for his worldview. Carry on – 2A pun intended.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:
    The majority of the living generations of my family think I’m nuts. So the Betsy Ross connection is just the tip of the iceberg, really.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Someone should tell Mike T that liberty gives one the freedom not to conform to your family’s ancestral hatreds.

  • For what it’s worth, while my “rules” would probably be a bit less strict than Zippy, I agree with him: You can argue in favor of widespread gun ownership if you want to, but you’re losing before you leave the starting gate if you use the 2A as the basis of your argument.

  • Step2 says:

    Zippy,
    I can’t imagine why they would think that if you are giving your “liberalism as prion disease” critique at family gatherings. Yeesh, my eyes rolled so hard they popped out of my skull and ran out the door 🙂

  • Mike T says:

    Suppose it were written,

    “Liberalism being a prion disease, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    You could argue that the founders were motivated by a desire to slaughter the carriers of the prion, but that motivation should be irrelevant to a legislator, judge or executive agent. The part that actually tells them “do not do this” is the part that begins with “the right.”

    You are becoming a strict constructionist.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    Why would I (or anyone) argue that the founders were motivated by a desire to slaughter their own political philosophy? Your latest comment isn’t even coherent.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:
    I’m not really the sort to give speeches. At least not without provocation.

  • Mike T says:

    It is coherent, it just shows the absurdity of you recycling liberal talking points about why the second half of the 2A (the part that actually tells what actions to take and not take) is overshadowed by the preface. Let’s go for the gold:

    “Xenu being a proto-Hitler trying to ensure that intergalactic Thetan-Jew bankers don’t rape us with usury, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    That preface is totally divorced from reality. Guess what? The second half stills tells the average member of Congress to not even think about drafting that federal bill on guns.

  • Zippy says:

    It shows the absurdity of something, I’ll give you that.

  • Mike T says:

    Ok, so back to another question then. Why could a post-liberal society not salvage the 2A by simply lopping off the 2A’s preface and going back to the pre-14th amendment, non-incorporation system?

  • Zippy says:

    Why can’t we unequivocally reject liberalism and simultaneously salvage feminism?

  • Mike T says:

    I know your position seems obvious to you, but you aren’t even trying to defend your position. One is an entire ideology. Another is a specific feature of positive law imposed by the several states to limit the central government from overstepping boundaries of authority. You have not even begun to explain what is problematic with that in principle. What possible need does the federal government have, short of armed insurrection, to get involved with who can own what personal arm except regulating its own personnel?

  • Mike T says:

    I saw that, and think it’s actually a valid POV when discussing the fundamental principle since assuming the 2A is begging the question. What I am asking is why you seem to think that if the 2A were cut in half such that the liberal logic were expunged from the statement and it were left there by state authorities at a new convention as a hard block on federal intervention into their jurisdiction it would be a problem at all. I don’t see any problem there because as I have said several times here, the 2A as written did not incorporate against authorities sufficiently local to have a reasonable case for being competent to regulate such matters.

    This is why I said to GJ that the entire US Constitution as often criticized here is not the constitution the founders wrote, but one radically changed from about 1865 to 1925 into almost completely different government. In almost every respect from jurisdictions, to the nature of rights and more.

    In 1812, the 2A was meaningless against your state. So was the 1st amendment. So was the entire body of the US Constitution. Under the US Constitution prior to all of those amendments, gun rights were a state level matter. And technically, your state could have constitutionally executed you for distributing pornography if they wanted if their constitution didn’t have provisions against that as the 5th, 6th and 8th didn’t incorporate.

  • Mike T says:

    What it comes down to is if the federal government can prevent your neighbor from selling you a 9mm and you from walking down the street with it except in a state of martial law during an armed insurrection, you have almost assuredly taken all subsidiarity/federalism and set it on fire in a dumpster along the way.

  • Mike T says:

    One thing I’m not sure anyone has taken that seriously in mainstream politics is how to structurally scale government over an increasingly large polity such that it does not collapse under the weight of its own hegemonic tendencies. The larger the polity, the more the central government tends to try to assume control of local matters. It’s a repeatable anti-pattern in government throughout human history.

    The only popular culture or media reference I’ve seen even take it on at all is the video game series Mass Effect. It has literally the only long-term viable interplanetary government for humans I’ve ever seen in Sci-Fi. The principle is that the systems alliance is literally like the federal government if it were composed entirely of the Department of Defense, State and Treasury with Treasury existing almost entirely to negotiate trade relations with other societies. It seemed to formally eschew any local authority at all over its members and they in turn surrendered military and diplomatic duties to it.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    If you are going to get rid of all of the toxic philosophy and some of the words, why not have a little more fun?

    Start with the text of the US Constitution.

    Disemvowel it, and then randomly sprinkle the vowels from the Declaration of Independence around in the Constitutional Consonants.

    Pick out any actual words that result, and write an Alt Right Constitution using only those words!

  • Mike T says:

    If you are going to get rid of all of the toxic philosophy and some of the words, why not have a little more fun?

    Because to be honest, while I would derive some lulz from that, I accept that there are only two worthy outcomes. They are either we try to create a better, non-liberal vision for society or we just try to keep taming liberalism.

    Personally, I don’t care. I just don’t have the emotional energy to even care about all of the ways liberalism might be from Hell if no one is going to choose either of those options.

  • Mike T says:

    You used to work as an engineer, so let me show you how **I** see most of this. It’s like a customer who can dump all over the current version, tell you it sucks, it’s worthless, if it were living they’d ritually defenstrate into a prison yard where the cruelest assailant gets a pardon from the governor for all crimes past, present and future.

    Then you say “sooo cool story bro, let’s fix this” and they have absolutely no f#$%ing concrete idea of what an actual good alternative would look like.

  • Mike T says:

    Ok, so that last part was a little off. They have an idea, but it never gets beyond such bland generalities that you can ever even mock up something which anyone can really reason about relative to the actual problems.

  • Zippy says:

    Another one of the ways the right liberal mind short circuits itself and loses its connection to reality and capacity for reason is to appeal to “no better alternative is on offer” or cognates.

    Me: “Liberalism is the most evil and destructive political philosophy the world has ever seen. Just for starters, here is its constantly growing body count of innocents murdered. And that is really just the tip of the iceberg.”

    Right Liberal: “But gosh, you haven’t shown me a better alternative”.

    I mean, denying that liberalism is what I say it is would be one thing. But agree with me and then object that our civilizational engineers haven’t designed a better machine? That’s just insane.

  • Wood says:

    Mike T,

    Your 2A is my Social Reign of Christ. I used to think all this liberalism talk was a smoke screen for people who didn’t have the cahonies to fight for a confessional Catholic state. I’m starting to see that even if, per impossibile, the US retained its commitment to liberalism and yet did indeed become confessionally Catholic it would still fail. And likely just morph into some blasphemous atrocity even worse than its current confessionally secular state. I think you are saying something like: “Guys, I get liberalism is awful, but y’all don’t understand how important this whole 2A gun ownership (or my Catholic state) issue is right here, right now.” And they are saying, “Mike T, it is because owning weapons to protect self and family (or my Catholic state) are so important right here, right now that we have to shuck this whole liberalism bit before we can even begin to talk about where to go from here.” And I agree that realizing liberalism is a scourge but feeling there is little to nothing I can do about it is frustrating. There was a post of Zippy’s where (sorry if this is inaccurate) he said something like describing positivism to moderns is a little like describing water to a fish. And that was very helpful at first – until you accept it as true. Not that the analogy must carry through any further than it was offered, but I’m left thinking well thats pretty dreadful. All one can do is keep swimming or jump out of the fish bowl and die. Mike T, is that a fair estimate of your thoughts?

  • Just for the record, in the preamble of the Constitution:

    “We the people, of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union – ”

    So far so good.

    “Establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and – ”

    All good stuff

    – “<b<Ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”

    I hate to break it to you, but the Constitution – the original Constitution as written by the founders – was ALWAYS liberal. Always.

  • (Those b’s were supposed to bold. Probably should have been “Strong”?

  • Anymouse says:

    I think that does depend on how one interprets “liberty”. I am not sure that necessarily meant liberalism, even Right Liberalism, yet. Several States still retained State religions, for example. If I recall New Hampshire did, as an example.

  • Anymouse,

    But you can have a state religion and be liberal.

  • Zippy says:

    Liberty as a principle which justifies political choices is self contradictory.

  • Anyway, in light of the fact that the preamble just reiterates what was claimed already in the Declaration of Independence, and the the Bill of Rights uses extremely similar language…I’m not really sure how you can argue this with any conviction. America started off liberal. They didn’t hide it. I’m not reading the tarot cards. They said it outright.

  • Anymouse says:

    I do know Kirk made many extensive arguments that the Founding, outside of the Declaration of Independence, was not foundationally liberal. Perhaps he was going too far…

  • I haven’t read him, but if I had to guess – and again, this really is just a guess – I’d say he probably is making the right-liberal mistake of not counting classical liberalism as liberalism.

  • Zippy says:

    I think Kirk, Belloc, Chesterton, and the like can probably be forgiven for certain oversights. Hindsight grows clearer with each passing minute.

  • William Luse says:

    Zippy has claimed to have a family branch tracing back to Betsy Ross

    Does that make him a Daughter of the American Revolution?

  • Mike T says:

    Wood,

    I think the issue for me is even simpler. I am operating from a different understanding, it would appear, of what the US Constitution actually is. When you speak of confessional secularism, I don’t see that. I see a combination of an imperial state operating beyond the purpose of the federal government and the 14th amendment forcing secularism on the nation via not allowing each state and community to decide that issue.

    The federal government as structured by the founders was just a federation of 13 republics. It wasn’t even a true national government in the sense we think of it today. It was mainly just a free trade area between related peoples with a common currency, military, diplomacy and courts to resolve disputes ranging between disparate jurisdictions.

    So when I speak of the 2A, it is from that perspective. My question from a structure perspective is straight forward. Why does DC need to be able to tell a town of 20k people that are obeying their state’s laws and constitution, not at war with the federal government, what weapons they can own? What possible good can come from allowing local decisions to be federalized like that?

    From where I stand, the founders intent was clear. It was to limit the power to regulate guns to the states because that is what they actually wrote and how the Bill of Rights worked until the 14th amendment. That’s the only historically accurate reading of their intent. Until the 14th amendment, the states could do anything from total disarmament to handing out a machine gun (M60, not M16) to everyone 15 and older and the federal government simply had no say. It was formally a prerogative of the state polity, not the federation. Just like Maryland could be confessionally Catholic while Virginia Anglican and no federal judge could declare that unconstitutional.

  • Mike T says:

    malcolm,

    Liberalism was young at that time, but English political traditions were not. Unlike the rest of Europe, the English began moving away from absolute monarchy about 800 years ago when their nobles declared war on the king and forced him to sign Magna Carta. The English progressively moved toward Parliament being a real power in relation to the king and establishing an unwritten constitution based around many of the concepts seen in the Bill of Rights.

    In many respects, the Bill of Rights was the product of a “lessons learned” exercised by the colonists. An unwritten constitution is more difficult to appeal to legally as it is based in custom and appealing to disparate documents.

    So not letting Congress pass laws censoring people on most things is liberal? Then I’m a liberal. Forcing the federal government to honor due process is liberal? I’m proud to not repent of that liberalism. Defer gun matters to the states? I’m happy to be a liberal. An amendment saying “if it ain’t in here, the states and people get to hash out the details, not Congress.” Then I’ll gladly get my liberal card and wave it proudly.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    Yes, it has been clear all along that you have liberal commitments which you are unwilling or unable to relinquish; and that you are stuck in the kind of magical modernist political thinking wherein you think you can leash the big dog without creating a Golem more powerful than the dog to hold the leash.

  • Mike T says:

    I have no illusions that a constitution survive a determined leader with sufficient support to overthrow its boundaries. However, a constitution provides for a framework of authority and a good framework means that the relationship between the governed and the authorities may at times be able to more easily transcend upheaval caused by evil or incompetent authorities as people trust the office even more than the person in it right now.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    This is actually pretty interesting in light of the original discussion about the shooters and police. It’s a guardian article discussing the moral hazards police in India face in some of the provinces that are afflicted with a never-ending state of armed insurrection.

    Most interesting to me was the police basically saying that the rule of law was effectively dead because the law itself could not handle the fluidity in which people went from criminality to waging war.

  • Mike T says:

    It’s also a good example of how a people predisposed to not accepting authority will never enjoy the benefits of positive law because authority will have to work at a more primitive level of authority and use force in order to keep the peace.

  • So not letting Congress pass laws censoring people on most things is liberal? Then I’m a liberal.

    You’re really, really not getting it.

    Let’s go back to the 2nd amendment. This is essentially what you’re saying right now:

    Me: I believe that gun ownership should be widespread, but not for the reasons given in the 2A.

    You: Oh, is believing that people should be allowed to own weapons liberal? Then I’m a liberal.

    No, believing that the government shouldn’t be able to censor most things is not liberal. Framing it as an issue of people’s rights? That’s liberal.

  • To put it another way: A great many of the things enshrined in the Constitution and amendments are perfectly fine *on their own*. But they’re not *on their own*, they’re enshrined as law in a liberal republic that has always been liberal, and their interpretation is subject to liberal, meaning fundamentally insane, logic.

    But maybe you’re right, and you are just a liberal and proud of it. In which case, you’re trying to convince the wrong crowd here.

  • Mike T says:

    malcolm,

    No, believing that the government shouldn’t be able to censor most things is not liberal. Framing it as an issue of people’s rights? That’s liberal.

    Except I didn’t. In fact, the point that Zippy refused to address was my question about why it is problematic to chop off the preface, remove the 14th and go back to the actual founding structure which was enforced subsidiarity. The “people’s rights” in question as the founders drafted it, was the right of the people within their states to settle the matter according to their own standards. The 2A as written, as interpreted by the founders, as enforced until the 14th and Heller, was nothing more than “hands off, our turf” between the states and federal government.

    To all that Zippy kept making snarky comments about how I don’t get it, how I believe in the magic of positive law, etc.

    What I actually asked was why it is problematic in a federation of 50 republics that are forming a political union for the state authorities to put certain things absolutely off limits to the federation for regulation, guns being the particular example.

  • Mike T says:

    To put it another way: A great many of the things enshrined in the Constitution and amendments are perfectly fine *on their own*. But they’re not *on their own*, they’re enshrined as law in a liberal republic that has always been liberal, and their interpretation is subject to liberal, meaning fundamentally insane, logic.

    And you aware that short of a total collapse and complete rebuild of civilization, any move away from liberalism will be evolutionary and over generations, right? That is how we got into this mess. It will not end with a tent revival lead by a law-giver who sets everything right in one big preaching campaign. If it were to start today, your grandchildren will be long dead by the time it’s complete. I mean seriously, malcom, do you think a force that took 400ish years to get this far is going to be overcome and memetically annihilated in a fortnight of examining our values?

  • Mike T says:

    I mean FFS, the Catholic and Orthodox churches are closer than the Democrats and Republicans, have a mandate to seek reconciliation by the very nature of Christianity, and the great schism still hasn’t ended.

  • What I actually asked was why it is problematic in a federation of 50 republics that are forming a political union for the state authorities to put certain things absolutely off limits to the federation for regulation, guns being the particular example.

    You really, really, really don’t get it, Mike. Nobody has a problem with that, at least not in theory.

    They ARE framing it as a rights question. Do you know how they’re doing that? By using the word “rights” each time. That’s the tip off.

    This isn’t reading tea leaves.

  • And you aware that short of a total collapse and complete rebuild of civilization, any move away from liberalism will be evolutionary and over generations, right? That is how we got into this mess. It will not end with a tent revival lead by a law-giver who sets everything right in one big preaching campaign. If it were to start today, your grandchildren will be long dead by the time it’s complete. I mean seriously, malcom, do you think a force that took 400ish years to get this far is going to be overcome and memetically annihilated in a fortnight of examining our values?

    When the Malcolm in your head answers this question, be sure to tell me. I’m interested.

  • “The move away from liberalism will take several generations of hard work and prayer, if it can be accomplished at all. So in the meantime, let’s consider these BETTER liberal proposals…”

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T is just reciting passages from the standard conservative playbook. Gradualism is an excuse for failure to reject liberalism unequivocally. But maybe if conservatives keep playing nice with tame versions of liberalism things will gradually go their way, back to the structure that failed the first time but is sure to work now. Cthulu will become their domesticated pet and start swimming rightward. Really.

    I’ve also got a bridge to sell you.

  • Mike T says:

    They ARE framing it as a rights question. Do you know how they’re doing that? By using the word “rights” each time.

    You know, if you were that hung up on their exact phrasing, you could have just saved a lot of comments back and forth by saying that. It never occurred to me that you and Zippy would be that stuck in wording that there is no sense in which someone could write that and apply it that would not have you crying “liberalism!”

    On a related note (to the original tangent way back), Lydia is taking the oh so brave position of telling the world how she does not approve of Milo Yiannopoulos. She may one day be in the same league as a man like Vaclav Havel in speaking truth to power.

  • Mike T says:

    Gradualism is an excuse for failure to reject liberalism unequivocally. But maybe if conservatives keep playing nice with tame versions of liberalism things will gradually go their way

    Actually, I’m not. I’m pointing out to you that even if the whole society wanted to repent of liberalism, it would still find itself in a liberal republic. Our culture, our laws, our precedents, our social organization, everything would be liberal except our wills (in theory). It is not enough to yell “repent!” people have to actually do two things with repentance:

    1. Stop doing what you’re not supposed to do.
    2. Start doing what you are supposed to do.

    My focus is on #2 more than #1 because once you understand what liberalism is in the abstract, it is easy to form an intent to repent. It is another matter to understand how to behave in a way that is aligned with that will.

  • Mike T says:

    More to that point, Zippy, it would be a lot like the process of going from paganism to Christianity. Most Christian states took centuries to expunge pagan influence. Heck, most gentile Christian nations are still not fully divorced from pagan influence even in some cases as much as almost 1900 years of trial and error.

  • Wood says:

    Mike T,

    I googled FFS. Bummer.

    Is it not possible to evaluate weapons ownership and nuggets of truth spoken by a vulgar impenitent homosexual without full-throated support of the 2A/Constitution and a vulgar impenitent homosexual? From your comments these two issues appear to be closely related. FWIW Im trying to work out myself how the particular statements of a person/document/what-have-you relates to an evaluation of a person/document/what-have-you as a whole.

  • Zippy says:

    Malcolm:

    Notice how this works. (This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this pattern/antipattern — think back to the Game discussions, just as one example).

    You and I object to Mike T’s liberal metaphysical baggage when it comes to the second amendment.

    He accuses you (us) of being picky about the precise wording of things, and then proceeds to hit you with a nonstop wall of his own words, including his own laughable predictions about how the future must unfold — not laughable because his crystal ball notions are logically impossible, but laughable because both their predictive and prescriptive values are zero, nada, zilch.

    The idea is to simultaneously wear you down and get to what he is really after in the discussion substantively, which in this case is – under some wording or other, whatever dancing between motte and bailey may be required in the process – a substantive endorsement of some sort of return to the pre-civil-war republic in general and the second amendment in particular.

    The important thing is endorsement of a return to the immediate pre-civil-war republic and especially the second amendment, whatever wall of words and relentless distractions are required to get to that substantive outcome. Just as in the Game discussions the important thing was to get to an endorsement of Game under some labeling or other.

  • Mike T says:

    I am not making a prediction, but stating the obvious. Whenever someone repents of a behavior rooted in ignorance and error, they must first disavow it then change their belief and behavior.

    So if everyone were to do that tonight with liberalism, everyone would wake up tomorrow with a country still structured on liberalism. That is just a fact. The United States Constitution, federal institutions and laws, courts, precedents, states, corporations, etc. would all be in place, their rules still formally liberal.

    At that point, we have to put everything on the table for revision. We have to decide what is inextricably liberal, what can be rewritten and reinstituted in a non-liberal way and all that fun stuff.

    Now stop for a moment and realize something. I am someone actually genuinely interested in reexamining what he believes and have recanted at least a few liberal positions such as the consent of the governed being the foundation of legitimate authority. You are watching someone who you first met as an ardent libertarian, someone who is known professionally and personally as a decent bit above average in intelligence and ability to think abstractly. If I am having such a struggle figuring out what the next stages look like, do you not see how hard the process would be for society at large.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    The sort of instant mass conversion you suggest will never in fact happen: it is total fantasy. And even if (per impossible) it did happen, there is no way to predict what would proceed from it. Your words are a badly written cartoon, the primary function of which is to distract us from what you want us to substantively endorse: an (equally impossible) return to your own favorite stage of liberal hegemony.

    But right liberalism – of this particular flavor or of any flavor – is not what I recommend. Because all forms of liberalism are a lie, an incoherent deception. I recommend abandoning lies.

  • Zippy says:

    Here is what the next stages look like:

    1) Do the right thing.

    2) Stop kidding yourself that you are in control or can predict how things are going to go.

    3) Trust in Providence.

    Is that simple enough?

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    1. I agree.

    2. I know I am not. I am speaking about our authorities. What do they do to start consciously reconfiguring their office and duties in accordance with their repentance? This is even less simple for the lowest political authorities because they have to navigate the waters of moving away from acting as liberal authorities to non-liberal authorities in a liberal society.

    3. Always.

    The sort of instant mass conversion you suggest will never in fact happen: it is total fantasy.

    You are correct, and in part because it would be the ideal scenario where everyone wakes up with a willing heart and mind saying “let’s solve this problem.” That is, in fact, why I say that liberalism will simply never die all at once. It cannot. It will be a process as long and arduous as going from full paganism to full Christianization.

    One thing that VD said about science that I think applies here is that young scientists have sometimes noted that bad ideas in science aren’t so much defeated as their adherents die off and leave the next generation that rejects them to discard them. I think we are in for a lot of that here.

  • Zippy says:

    The first step toward getting rid of liberalism is getting rid of it in yourself. That includes – indeed is most important when it comes to – the permutations of liberalism you relate to and like, e.g. second amendment gun libertarianism protected by the standard motte and bailey tactics.

  • You know, if you were that hung up on their exact phrasing, you could have just saved a lot of comments back and forth by saying that.

    I know I am taking the somewhat radical position of assuming that the founders said what they meant. You’ll have to bear with me here.

  • Mike T,

    Now stop for a moment and realize something. I am someone actually genuinely interested in reexamining what he believes and have recanted at least a few liberal positions such as the consent of the governed being the foundation of legitimate authority. You are watching someone who you first met as an ardent libertarian, someone who is known professionally and personally as a decent bit above average in intelligence and ability to think abstractly. If I am having such a struggle figuring out what the next stages look like, do you not see how hard the process would be for society at large.

    Here’s the thing: This doesn’t even remotely work as a response to anything I wrote. It’s as if I said “I think the best way to get to China is to take a plane” and you responded “But the price of tea in China is so high!”

    China is a word in that sentence, but that’s basically all it has in common with anything I wrote.

  • (Come to think of it, the error here is very similar to the one made in my monarchy discussion with Mr. Wright. The entire time Mr. Wright repeatedly claimed my position was self-contradictory because, well, the sovereign could tell me to stop talking and I’d have to listen, but since we live in a society with free speech that’s not the case!

    Of course, this doesn’t work because there are plenty of good reasons it would, or at least could, be immoral – an even higher law, mind you – for the sovereign to tell me to stop talking that have absolutely nothing to do with liberal commitments to “free speech”.

    So it is here. There are, at least in theory, perhaps good reasons for the state governments to be the ones with the authority to, say, regulate guns, rather than the federal government. But those reasons are utterly disconnected from liberal principles. They have to be if they make any sense at all.)

  • Mike T says:

    China is a word in that sentence, but that’s basically all it has in common with anything I wrote.

    That tends to happen when someone is not addressing you.

    I know I am taking the somewhat radical position of assuming that the founders said what they meant. You’ll have to bear with me here.

    What you have done is cherry pick a quote out of a legal document and run around shrieking “see, see, see they believe in gun rights libertarianism.” It is not moving me because I never leave the context in which that sentence existed, which is a document that was universally understood until 1860 to apply to the federation, not the main polities responsible for daily government.

    Ironically, when we do this to scripture, you Catholics excoriate us, but you repeat the same thing quite proudly with the Constitution despite having far more supporting information such as actions taken relative to the document to better contextualize their words.

  • Zippy says:

    See how that works, Malcolm? Object to the metaphysical baggage in Mike T’s assertions, and he accuses you of being picky and selective about language.

  • Mike T says:

    There are, at least in theory, perhaps good reasons for the state governments to be the ones with the authority to, say, regulate guns, rather than the federal government.

    The founders’ primary fear was an imperial federal government that would not respect the authority of the states which was intended to be paramount in the ordinary dealings of the public. They feared that the federal government would assume a tyrannical control over them and the people.

    Part of the hint is actually in the preface: a well-regulated militia. That means a well-disciplined and organized militia. Guess who is responsible for that? Local and state authorities. The primary purpose of the 2A was not to grant everyone a right to walk down main street with a M60, but to ensure that the federal government could not regulate ordinary civilian ownership of weapons so the states could muster standing forces to challenge it in the event of a despot taking control.

    Gun libertarianism via the 2A is a creature of the 14th amendment and Reconstruction, not the founding.

  • Mike T says:

    Yes, Malcolm. Ignore the context of their words. Because that hasn’t lead to centuries of problems for low church Protestants trying to interpret scripture.

  • Zippy says:

    All of the problems in the US came from those damn yankees. There wasn’t an ounce of liberalism in the Old South. Return to 1862 and keep Cthulu as a pet.

  • CJ says:

    Being incoherent, liberalism is capable of producing any number of conclusions, including those that superficially resemble sound social doctrine. For example, note the existence of anti-porn feminists, or the way subsidiarity is confused with “limited government.” It’s diabolical mimicry in the political sphere.

  • Zippy says:

    CJ:
    That is what snookers people of good will into becoming committed to liberal principles; e.g. ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘freedom of religion’ as political weapons in (supposed) defense of Christianity against its enemies. They try to take the One Ring out of a desire to do good, without grasping its true nature.

    “In fighting those who serve devils one always has this on one’s side; their Masters hate them as much as they hate us. The moment we disable the human pawns enough to make them useless to Hell, their own Masters finish the work for us. They break their tools.”

    Excerpt From: C. S. Lewis. “That Hideous Strength.”

  • Yes, Malcolm. Ignore the context of their words. Because that hasn’t lead to centuries of problems for low church Protestants trying to interpret scripture.

    Yes, clearly I am the one ignoring context here.

  • What you have done is cherry pick a quote out of a legal document and run around shrieking “see, see, see they believe in gun rights libertarianism.”

    Quote to me where I said that.

  • Your entire argument is that we should ignore that the Constitution and Bill of Rights, which flows directly from the liberal arguments used in the Declaration of Independence, is absolutely not justified by liberal principles despite both its actual language and the context it was written.

    Your response to me pointing this out? “You’re ignoring context”.

    I’m not the one ignoring context here.

    I don’t think they were gun rights libertarians. I think they were liberals. They’d probably agree.

  • Zippy says:

    Malcolm:

    Again it is similar to the Game argument: we can baptize Game by ignoring context and taking a scalpel to things we don’t like, building and re-animating a frankenstein-Game in our own image suitable for Christians.

    The important thing is to endorse some rearticulation of Game. And if you reject that approach it can only be because you are playing word games.

  • Zippy says:

    The Founding just is the Constitution, and the Constitution is just a box of metaphysically neutral tools. We can use the tools we like and reject the ones we don’t like. People who reject the liberalism of the Founding are just playing unreasonable word games. The Founding which just is the Constitution means just what we say it means; nothing more, nothing less.

  • Mike T says:

    All of the problems in the US came from those damn yankees. There wasn’t an ounce of liberalism in the Old South. Return to 1862 and keep Cthulu as a pet.

    You’re on autopilot now. I hope your radar is still working.

    I’m not the one ignoring context here.

    I don’t think they were gun rights libertarians. I think they were liberals. They’d probably agree.

    Malcolm, if the 2A is contaminated by association with liberalism despite all of the context based on how they wrote it, enforced it, spoke about it, how society continued on with it for at least 2 more generations, then you might as well join with the Presbyterians who call Christmas a trojan horse bring Winter Solstice celebration into the church.

  • Mike T says:

    Step2,

    WRT your comment about rebellion, you might find it ironic to know that I don’t think the South had a legitimate casus belli. If I were sent back in time, I’d probably be a neutral union supporter until something like Sheridan’s burning of the Shenandoah.

  • Malcolm, if the 2A is contaminated by association with liberalism despite all of the context based on how they wrote it, enforced it, spoke about it, how society continued on with it for at least 2 more generations, then you might as well join with the Presbyterians who call Christmas a trojan horse bring Winter Solstice celebration into the church.

    No; it is liberal because of all those things.

  • I don’t understand what you’re not getting about this. How people used the 2A early on has nothing to do with whether or not it was liberal. All it meant was that people were making more helpful unprincipled exceptions.

    What made it liberal was the logic used to justify it – logic that absolutely can be twisted to mean whatever you want it to mean, since it is fundamentally illogical.

    The very fact that the 2A has been interpreted today as something completely different than how it was originally intended despite none of the language being changed actually helps MY point, not yours.

  • Step2 says:

    Mike T,
    WRT your comment about rebellion, you might find it ironic to know that I don’t think the South had a legitimate casus belli.

    If by ironic you mean unbelievable, you are correct. As far as I’m aware you’ve never revised or qualified a single thing you previously wrote on W4’s epic Civil War thread.

    On a more positive note, I don’t think your argument on this thread has been nearly as bad as Zippy and Malcolm are claiming. Zippy himself has written numerous posts about the indeterminacy of a text, its “true” meaning is always determined by the interpreter.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:

    Zippy himself has written numerous posts about the indeterminacy of a text, its “true” meaning is always determined by the interpreter.

    That is (or could be interpreted as) a misleading reduction itself.

    The meaning that a text is intended to convey is determined primarily by its author, with the caveat that human authors always operate in the context of reality and are not omniscient: just as actions have consequences that the acting subject may not expect or desire, ideas often also have consequences that the speaker may not expect or desire. Authors are the active agent or agents who make the actual text, acting to turn merely potential text into an actual string of words. The text’s success in conveying meaning depends upon a great many things, just as the success of an intended chair at being an actual chair depends on many things, most of which are external to the text or chair. With words, meaning is the epistemic object: text is a conduit of meaning, with intrinsic limitations.

    This cuts against Mike T’s argument not in favor of it. In order for his argument to work we have to uproot the text of the second amendment from its metaphysical and historical context in favor of making Mike T’s personal spin on it authoritative — a classic positivist/nominalist/protestant move when it come to text and meaning.

    Mike T attempts to spin the intrinsic liberalism of the 2A as ‘contamination by association’ with classical liberals (all of the Founders, as Malcolm points out without any attempt by Mike T to counter). As I argued in the Game discussion, this is similar to attempts by ‘Christian Game’ proponents to spin the inchastity and dishonest manipulativeness intrinsic to Game as merely a ‘contamination by association’ with players and sluts. (That many women like this is not surprising: many men like slutty clothing).

    Nominalists are always accusing essentialists of word games — ironically, because essentialists refuse to play along with nominalist word games. Nominalism makes the pretense that ‘lumping’ and ‘splitting’ (as contemptuous terms for holism and reductionism) are just arbitrary intellectual operations, actions we can take however we like when we think and speak, without in the process disconnecting our words and thoughts from reality.

    But we don’t get to decide what constitutes integral ‘lumps’ and what is ontologically/deontologically separable: reality does. What constitutes an integral whole and what can be cut into pieces without altering it essentially isn’t up to us: it is up to reality.

    In reality Game is not separable from inchastity, and the second amendment to the United States Constitution is not separable from liberalism.

  • Step2,

    But that IS my point exactly. As Zippy pointed out.

  • Step2 says:

    In order for his argument to work we have to uproot the text of the second amendment from its metaphysical and historical context in favor of making Mike T’s personal spin on it authoritative…

    You have been assuming Mike T’s “personal spin” was not its metaphysical and historical context. He is trying to make the case that it was.

    The text’s success in conveying meaning depends upon a great many things, just as the success of an intended chair at being an actual chair depends on many things, most of which are external to the text or chair.

    Right, and of those external dependencies how a person holistically, functionally uses it is the most important There are many, many things that may not have been designed as moveable places to sit, aka chairs. Sometimes these undesigned chairs require modification to function, sometimes not.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:
    I suppose “assuming” is one word you could use to designate rejection of manifest tornado velocity spin.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:

    Also, how something happens to function during a particular interval in time is not as central as you propose. You can use a tiger as a chair for as long as the tiger plays along; but it would be a mistake to on that basis consider the tiger to be essentially a chair.

  • Step2 says:

    I suppose “assuming” is one word you could use to designate rejection of manifest tornado velocity spin.

    Honestly, it doesn’t seem like that to me. Doesn’t mean he’s right, but as far as I can tell he is trying to argue for historical context in the way you say he should be trying to argue. Obviously I wasn’t here for the threads on Christian Game, nor do I have any intention of rehashing those arguments, but maybe that has contributed to your assumptions.

    You can use a tiger as a chair for as long as the tiger plays along; but it would be a mistake to on that basis consider the tiger to be essentially a chair.

    Fair enough, I should narrow the definition to inanimate, moveable places to sit. A stuffed dead tiger could be a chair.

  • Doesn’t mean he’s right, but as far as I can tell he is trying to argue for historical context in the way you say he should be trying to argue.

    He has argued it was interpreted differently in the past, yes. He hasn’t yet made an argument that the fundamental principles weren’t liberal.

    Mostly because you can’t.

  • Mike T says:

    Step2,

    If by ironic you mean unbelievable, you are correct. As far as I’m aware you’ve never revised or qualified a single thing you previously wrote on W4’s epic Civil War thread.

    Well it would be hard for me to do that now, wouldn’t it 😉

    But yeah, a lot has changed since then. In fact, you’ve probably missed them here, but I recall making comments that the South brought most of its misery on itself by firing the first shots. Irrespective of the justice of the secession itself, the South started a war that wasn’t even necessary then and lost. There is a price for starting a war and losing it, unless you’re a provocateur who declares war on trolls at which rate you’ll have bloggers coming to your defense no matter how asinine your cause, but I digress…

    I have begun to “repent of liberalism” and that is an aspect of it. Probably the only thing that would motivate me to join the CSA Army would be the total war waged by the Union. Fun fact: Phil Sheridan, the same war criminal who slaughtered farmers in Virginia advised the Prussians to slaughter French farmers during the Franco-Prussian war.

  • Mike T says:

    He has argued it was interpreted differently in the past, yes. He hasn’t yet made an argument that the fundamental principles weren’t liberal.

    Yes, clearly I am the one ignoring context here.

    You really, really, really don’t get it, Mike. Nobody has a problem with that, at least not in theory.

    They ARE framing it as a rights question. Do you know how they’re doing that? By using the word “rights” each time. That’s the tip off.

    This isn’t reading tea leaves.

    So what it comes down to is the only context that matters to you is their word choice. We can disregard their actions, their legal arguments, etc. because some liberal moron 200 years later can read it another way.

    You do realize at some point you just have to smack such people upside the head and tell them that’s not what it means and everyone knows it, right? There is no recalcitrance here to do that with people who twist tradition and scripture to justify everything from usury to serial monogamy, but on subjects like this it’s “every man is right in his own eyes” because the text is political.

  • Mike T says:

    And on that note gents, we probably just need to find a different topic. It appears we are about as likely to find common ground as the Northern Irish right now.

    I suggest everyone take a break and go get some lulz from reading the latest comments on the post about some guy named “Kilo.” I’d suggest we privately turn it into a drinking game, but we’d all die of alcohol poisoning less than 10% of the way through no matter the rules.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    So what it comes down to is the only context that matters to you is their word choice

    You were addressing Malcolm, but no. He is right that you simply are just not getting it at all, unless you are trolling.

    What it comes down to is that the political philosophy underlying the second amendment specifically and the US Constitution more generally is liberalism. (Malcolm has stated as much explicitly many times, and your comeback is always – apparently without irony – that he is quibbling over word choices).

    What your proposal amounts to (to the extent I can extract anything coherent from it at all) is that we should re-interpret (say) the New Testament as if it were written based on the assumption that Christianity is bunk. In effect we should recast the Constitution as if the Founding Fathers were liars about the political philosophy upon which it is grounded.

    Interestingly enough one of the Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson — did precisely that with the New Testament.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    Given the convergence of influences in our founding and the very different way it turned out from the French Revolution which was pure, unadulterated liberalism, I am hesitant to dive in where you are going with it. You might be right, but I simply cannot shake the feeling that our founders’ recoiling at the French Revolution was not them simply disliking how others took their “shared philosophy” but rather that many of them actually did not share as much common ground with the revolutionary French liberals as you argue.

    One could also point out that Jefferson was, in many respects, more of a pariah than a mainstream member of the founding fathers.

    So in light of that, all I will say is that I will not concede to liberals that all of this is theirs. I will not concede that I have to throw the baby out with the bath water. I do think it is possible to reform the United States into a non-liberal polity without making America completely unrecognizable.

    And this is an example of why. I told a relative that Capitalism did not invent the concept of free enterprise and property rights. In fact what distinguishes Capitalism from most traditional Western political economies is the metaphysics, not the basic principles about property rights being of paramount importance to a stable society and men needing a great deal of freedom to pursue gainful, honest enterprise.

    Funny thing is, I see people flirt with statism there in the name of opposing liberalism. I am simply not going to rush into abandoning what we have, rather than taking a scalpel to it and then deciding if it’s too cancerous to save.

    That is where I am at, and I’m not going to budge from that until I have reason to.

  • Mike T says:

    Another thing, if you take the entire 2A into legal context of our republic and the writings of the founders it is manifestly clear that what they intended could be summarized as follows:

    1. The federal government shall not be allowed to regulate civilian gun ownership.
    2. The states can.
    3. Every able-bodied man is obliged to militia service to his state.
    4. The militia is under the command of the established authorities.
    5. All impediments to men owning weapons to further their civic duties within their state polities were to exist only at the state level.
    6. The founders intended to provide the means for the established authorities to repel with credible force a violent federal usurpation of their constitutional jurisdiction.

    You can say whatever you want, but based on what I have read and studied of their intent for probably 20 years, I cannot find anything resembling gun libertarianism in their intent. Far from it, their intent was something closer to a fusion of republicanism and your own comments about every man being obliged to pledge his arms to the king in exchange for the king holding a light hand on them.

  • Mike T,

    As I have repeatedly said, I don’t think and never did think gun libertarianism was ever their intent.

  • The reason for the second amendment is for the security of a FREE state – freedom should never be an end, but here it is, which is pure liberalism – and it is framed as a RIGHT – which is also a liberal concept:

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/why-insisting-on-more-freedom-brings-about-more-tyranny/

    Furthermore, the Constitution was mostly written by the same people who approved of and signed the extremely liberal Declaration of Independence, and virtually universally by people who believed that the most important thing about this new government was that it be free and equal.

    I have no doubt at all that most of them would be appalled by modern day America. I also have no sympathy; when you justify your policies with utterly illogical and destructive principles, don’t expect everybody to make the same unprincipled exceptions you happened to.

  • Crude says:

    For what it’s worth, I’m far less interested nowadays in the particular second amendment justifications for gun ownership (the SCOTUS cares less and less about such things with each passing day, as do most people, I feel) and more about the moral question.

    No one really cares about the second amendment anymore. They care about owning guns. I think the Catholic, the Thomist, the Aristotilean cases for responsible gun ownership are considerable prima facie. I think the practical case is even moreso.

    That said, I agree that freedom should never be an end itself. But I do wonder if it has to be an end itself in order to fight for a free state. Theoretically I could oversee a thriving Catholic community which is free to pass its own laws and bind its community to its own (community-enforced if otherwise voluntary) conditions. Maybe that was even what was originally envisioned by the Founders. I wonder if that’s a kind of freedom which is ‘Enlightenment-liberal’ in one sense, upheld pragmatically, but not at all liberal in practice.

    I’m sure one of you can straighten me out about that.

  • Step2 says:

    There is a price for starting a war and losing it, unless you’re a provocateur who declares war on trolls at which rate you’ll have bloggers coming to your defense no matter how asinine your cause, but I digress…

    Your sour grapes of wrath needs more work. Disturbing fact: You keep finding ways to sound like a Confederate apologist.

    Furthermore, the Constitution was mostly written by the same people who approved of and signed the extremely liberal Declaration of Independence, and virtually universally by people who believed that the most important thing about this new government was that it be free and equal.

    Sorry, incorrect about the signers. As far as their beliefs about freedom and equality went, there were no voting rights written into the original Constitution, eligibility was left up to the states. Most states restricted voting to white males with property.

    Perhaps you could offer what you think a conservative legal version of gun policy would look like (presumably without using rights-talk).

  • Mike T says:

    Disturbing fact: You keep finding ways to sound like a Confederate apologist.

    I get the part about needing to work on the sour grapes rhetoric, but this?

    The reason for the second amendment is for the security of a FREE state – freedom should never be an end, but here it is, which is pure liberalism – and it is framed as a RIGHT – which is also a liberal concept:

    I am not convinced that most of the founders were liberals in the sense that Zippy accuses them. The “rights of Englishmen” concept predates liberalism. It can be described as a concept of “ordered liberty” wherein freedom is not a general political priority, but rather that authorities are obliged by custom to rule with a light hand, respect the dignity of the commoner in his home and person and accept due process. It is not a general notion of freedom as a priority, but a culture hostile to many of the habits of authority common elsewhere.

    So you take it for granted that they are liberals and they mean precisely this. I don’t. I don’t know any of them and neither do you. I know that the way they interacted with the 2A and wrote about it was not the least bit liberal in action. That suggests strongly to me that their view of it actually was not liberal and their biggest sin would be wording something in a way that future generations could more easily contort.

    If you were to ask the English if they considered England a “free state” several hundred years ago compared to France or Spain, they’d probably say yes and be bewildered by accusations of liberalism on those grounds. For most people, it’s just not that deep. They want to live a good life in the sense of doing good and not evil and to them a society that opens up a very large range of liberty to do good and tolerates evil it cannot punish without equal or worse negative externalities is a “free society.”

    There is probably something non-trivial in that we can and should try to salvage and refine if we want to offer a competing vision that doesn’t sound like a bait and switch for aggressive, statist authoritarianism.

  • Zippy says:

    That’s the thing about right liberals: they all want a nice tame liberalism which will stay domesticated in Pandora’s Locke Box, and like all liberals they persist in believing in their utopian ideal no matter what reality serves them. I’ve explained before in many different ways why right liberalism doesn’t work, and is in fact the wellspring of the left liberalism that right-liberals love to hate.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    I think your categories need some work to have better descriptive power.

    A right-liberal is not just someone who has liberal influences, but is a “right wing liberal” in the full sense that they approach liberalism unapologetically “from the right.” This is your standard libertarian or mostly libertarian with social conservative trappings who otherwise is more devoted to watered down libertarianism (both in policy and philosophy). It can also be a Fascist in the actual sense of Mussolini’s doctrines.

    A left-liberal is a standard American left-liberal, Socialist or Communist.

    Someone who rejects substantial planks of liberalism outright should be called something other than a right-liberal for the sake of clarity because liberalism is an influence, not a committed doctrine.

  • Mike T says:

    And in that context, Zippy, I’ll add a few things so hopefully you’ll understand I’ve not been trolling…

    1. I am not convinced that most of the founders were liberals rather than influenced by liberalism in their understanding of the “rights of Englishmen.”

    2. I am hesitant to dive in and label them authoritatively because every faction does that despite not knowing them, being removed by several centuries and having a distinct motive to claim them for superior cultural ground.

    3. Given that the founders’ views and actions were manifestly different in very extreme ways from modern liberals and even their radical liberal contemporaries in France, I am willing to forgive them their liberal influence out of charity on the grounds that if they came back to Philadelphia today to redraft the US Constitution they very well might openly repudiate that influence.

    I am aware that liberalism is chaotic and changes over time. Not disputing that. I am saying that I am not convinced, given just how different, that our founders intentionally signed onto that program rather than opened the door for it unintentionally. In many respects, I would wager their goal was more conservative toward English legal and political tradition, monarchy aside.

  • Mike T says:

    And yes, written constitutional law lends itself to utopian thinking, but as a positive law framework it can be a marked improvement when done right as it helps to settle some arguments at least logically (if not on the battlefield) between competing authorities.

  • So you take it for granted that they are liberals and they mean precisely this.

    No, I do not. All of the language they used, the basis for the rebellion, the outright stated philosophy of the majority of the founders, the language used in the Constitution, and the state of the world at the time, lead me to that belief.

    You can pretend that it’s tooooooootally unclear if you want, but it really, really isn’t.

  • Step2,

    I don’t think it’s particularly hard, actually (thank you for the correction about the signers of the Declaration v. Constitution).

    “For the purpose of defense of self, home, and country, the people shall be allowed to bear arms.” Or something to that effect.

  • The funny thing is, as long as I made sure to use the word “classical” in front of liberal, the vast majority of people would probably agree with me anyway without an argument!

    Go ahead, have the argument with John C. Wright that the founders were not classical liberals. That’ll be interesting.

  • Mike T says:

    All of the language they used, the basis for the rebellion

    Well if you listen to the arguments used here, the basis for the rebellion was nothing more than a small tax, so YMMV.

  • Well if you listen to the arguments used here, the basis for the rebellion was nothing more than a small tax, so YMMV.

    Maybe you and the strawman can become friends since you hang out a lot.

  • Mike T says:

    I’ll have to ask the wizard for a brain first.

  • Mike T says:

    On a totally different tangent than the 2A, one way to view the reaction to the Snowden leaks is that they shot a cruise missile right into the center of mass of the belief in the magical powers of positive law. People began to suddenly realize that every grey beard hacker who told them “no, really, it’s only because you are a technical cargo cultist that you don’t believe that the NSA has technology to do at least as much as they’re accused of being able to do.”

    As a matter of simple fact, the NSA has the actual means to take the 4th, put it in a dumpster and light it on fire. They’re so ahead of the curve of the private sector in terms of technology, regulation and operational reach that they have the commanding high ground. There is almost precisely zero you can do to stop them from spying on you if they want. They have pwn3d every trunk line going in and out of most continents, every inter-network connection hub, etc. The biggest hurdle for malicious actors in the NSA is simply finding your personal data in a timely manner without raising any internal alarms that someone is going off mission illegally.

    But as a practical matter, the only thing that restrains the NSA from going full on Stasi are federal authorities overseeing the intelligence community and the individual good will and law-abiding habits of their own management. Short of a civil war resulting in a rebel faction burning down their entire main campus and major satellite offices, there is absolutely nothing that most private citizens can do to actually stop the NSA short of trying to elect good leaders.

  • Okay, I definitely laughed at the Wizard joke.

  • CJ says:

    I’m starting to think Trump is the Scourge of God against right liberalism. First there was the “punish women seeking abortions dust-up,” now his comments about 2ND Amendment people doing something about Hillary and/or her SCOTUS picks have them all in a tizzy. It’s almost as if they recoil from taking their beliefs to their logical conclusion.

  • Zippy says:

    The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the bluster of demagogues who don’t even take themselves and their own rhetoric seriously.

  • Mike T says:

    When you consider the preferred tactics of the government and juxtapose them with 2A extremists, it becomes pretty clear that both sides deserve each other. But then I simply cannot for the life of me would possess a civilized person to consider the use of military weapons and tactics to enforce basic civil laws to be anything less than the sovereign openly waging war on his subjects.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    But then I simply cannot for the life of me would possess a civilized person to consider the use of military weapons and tactics to enforce basic civil laws to be anything less than the sovereign openly waging war on his subjects.

    They’re his subjects; that is his prerogative, even all the way to cleansing the most recalcitrant people in his domain.

    Does that mean the sovereign MUST use harsh or violent means to effectively rule his people? No, but is built into his role, and in the case that actual troublemakers threaten the social order, he must deliver a measured response. (See: David and Absalom).

    The fact that automatically reframe authority as abuse just shows us you are a liberal. Don’t worry; you’re in good company as far as most of world, and especially the West (and many so-called rightists) is concerned.

  • A group of citizens forms a terrorist group and launches an attack on Washington D.C.

    What measure of response is allowed until it’s suddenly tyranny?

  • Mike T says:

    Don’t be daft. We use SWAT units to enforce warrants against non-violent offenders all the time. Fairfax County, VA for instance, apparently has unofficial policy of using one for any felony warrant service. That’s how they killed a doctor who was wanted for sports gambling.

    They’re his subjects; that is his prerogative, even all the way to cleansing the most recalcitrant people in his domain.

    Well there you have it. It’s the sovereign’s prerogative to order his troops to smash in your door, rip your wife and kids out of bed, scream stuff like “move you little cunt, or I blow your g-d damn head off” at your 7 year old daughter–over a dime bag of drugs.

  • That doesn’t answer my question.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Well there you have it. It’s the sovereign’s prerogative to order his troops to smash in your door, rip your wife and kids out of bed, scream stuff like “move you little ****, or I blow your ******n head off” at your 7 year old daughter–over a dime bag of drugs.

    You seem to have this habit of thinking that sensationalism is a valid/sound counter argument. Had you said it would be unjust for a sovereign to engage in capricious acts of punishment, I would take you more seriously.

    (inb4 “It’s rehturrick”)

  • Mike T says:

    That doesn’t answer my question.

    I wasn’t responding to you.

    What measure of response is allowed until it’s suddenly tyranny?

    The measures the US security services currently take which is minimal use of force necessary, escalated as appropriate.

    Regarding Trump, the issue I see is simply summarized as follows: left-liberals screaming in fear that their plans to use violence on right-liberals might result in the right-liberals using violence on them.

  • Mike T says:

    You seem to have this habit of thinking that sensationalism is a valid/sound counter argument. Had you said it would be unjust for a sovereign to engage in capricious acts of punishment, I would take you more seriously.

    My comment was rather clear. If you actually paid attention to the actual tactics employed commonly across the US and that would almost certainly go into overdrive under Clinton, you’d have known instantly what I was referring to. You’re too busy shrieking “liberal!!!” and defending hypothetical sovereigns to realize you were talking past what I was saying.

  • Who gets to judge what amount of force is necessary?

  • Zippy says:

    Uh oh, Mike T got triggered again.

    Even indirectly referring to police power triggers him like using the words “husband’s headship” around a feminist Christian. No discussion of wifely submission can be abided without turning it into a rhetorical circus about those nasty abusive husbands.

  • Mike T says:

    Who gets to judge what amount of force is necessary?

    It’s not a matter of what level of force can be brought against murderous terrorists, but what sort of options to exercise that force are morally licit. That is where a commando raid is one thing, but a drone strike that takes out a city block is quite another (and evil).

  • Mike T says:

    Even indirectly referring to police power triggers him like using the words “husband’s headship” around a feminist Christian. No discussion of wifely submission can be abided without turning it into a rhetorical circus about those nasty abusive husbands.

    You must have missed all of the references from Clinton over the years about how, given the chance, she would exercise state power precisely in the way right-liberals fear.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I’m not missing anything. When it comes to any discussion even obliquely involving police or guns you can’t abide it unless that discussion becomes overwhelmingly dominated by a focus on the abuse of authority.

  • Mike T says:

    Uh oh, Mike T got triggered again.

    You really need to try harder. You can’t even make properly snarky responses to what I say on these things anymore. See, the un-PC comparison that makes sense here was me saying that 2A supporters are like a crazy wife who is abused by a drunken bastard of a husband and that ultimately, the authorities should say “you deserve each other” and lock them in jail together away from the general public.

    As to the last part of that comment, left-liberals have a well-documented belief that they can engage in state violence whenever it pleases them and are often shocked–SHOCKED–that the recipients don’t agree. It’s a radical concept. You attack someone, they might fight back. And attacking others is precisely what Clinton has been telling the US she intends to do if she gets the power.

  • Mike T says:

    I’m not missing anything. When it comes to any discussion even obliquely involving police or guns you can’t abide it unless that discussion becomes overwhelmingly dominated by a focus on the abuse of authority.

    The actual sequence of comments here doesn’t support that.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    … the un-PC comparison that makes sense here …

    Yes, yes, motte and bailey.

    The important thing is that whenever police and guns are mentioned, or even implicitly referred to without explicit mention, the conversation must turn to abuse, abuse, abuse, abuse, abuse by authority.

    When it comes to the subject of police and guns you are rhetorically incontinent.

  • CJ says:

    Well, that escalated quickly.

    My point wasn’t about Trump’s effect on the left, but on the right. Republicans rushed to denounce his “2nd Amendment people” line just like “punish women who have abortions.” Trump is a novice with right-liberalism, so he doesn’t yet know all of the unprincipled exceptions and obfuscations you’re supposed to employ to avoid those uncomfortable conclusions. If abortion is murder why wouldn’t you punish the person that solicits the act? If the 2A safeguards our right to overthrow tyrants, and Hillary is a tyrant who will appoint tyrannical judges, why wouldn’t you resort to 2A remedies?

    Regarding the use of force, FWIW the feds showed appropriate restraint in their two encounters with the Bundy family. They outright retreated rather than engage in an all-out assault over some cows, and the siege went on much longer than it needed to and only resulted in one fatality. There’s lessons for everybody in that example.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    Hopefully this isn’t too much of a tangent, but is anyone on the Right sure that Trump *is not* a Clinton family plant sent to destroy the Republicans?

  • Zippy says:

    The appearance is that Trump is discrediting right liberalism by taking it’s supposed principles too seriously.

    I suppose nefarious conspirators (especially those who run their own email servers) might be able to pull something like that off on purpose, in theory. But the more likely explanation is CJ’s, it seems to me: as a lifelong sexually libertine man of the middle-left like most businessmen he is new to this right liberalism stuff, so he keeps accidentally stepping into steaming piles of unprincipled exceptions.

  • Mike T says:

    The important thing is that whenever police and guns are mentioned, or even implicitly referred to without explicit mention, the conversation must turn to abuse, abuse, abuse, abuse, abuse by authority.

    Except it didn’t. The original comment of mine on this tangent was simply two points:

    1. The 2A radicals and Clinton deserve each other.
    2. A reference to the mostly left-liberal tendency to be shocked that their public statements of how they fully intend to unleash persecution and/or state violence on their enemies might not go unchallenged. That is a deeper issue than abuse of authority. It goes down to the basic idea that you can start a fight of any sort and expect the other party to not respond to you. It scales from Ben Shapiro whining that a troll army has descended on him on Twitter up to the Clinton campaign getting the vapors over Trump’s comment.

    The rest is the result of Aethelfrith and I sparring over something he said in response to that which was a misunderstanding of #2. That is something that got me into trouble at W4. I’d address the topic, Lydia would address part of what I said, and before long I would be “threadjacking.”

  • Mike T says:

    Hopefully this isn’t too much of a tangent, but is anyone on the Right sure that Trump *is not* a Clinton family plant sent to destroy the Republicans?

    It’s a well known open secret that Bill and Hillary hate each other in private. Occams’ Razor would suggest that if he’s involved with the Clintons, it’s almost assuredly him as Bill’s friend to sabotage Hillary’s campaign.

    Think about it for a moment. Can you imagine anything worse than being First Gentleman to Hillary? Do you think he’ll even be able to get oral sex in a broom closet with an intern with all of the minders she’ll put on him? He’ll be the first member of the elite to live in the panopticon. It will be like a little taste of North Korea in North America for him.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    You can keep spinning like a ballerina, but it doesn’t change the fact that every time someone talks about right liberals and guns you can’t resist the impulse to chime in “but left liberals and SJWs” — just like feminists who can’t abide criticism of misbehaving women that does not also include criticism of misbehaving men. “They deserve each other” is a transparent attempt to make sure that whenever misbehaving women are mentioned we also have to talk endlessly about misbehaving men.

  • GJ says:

    Aethelfrith:

    Hopefully this isn’t too much of a tangent, but is anyone on the Right sure that Trump *is not* a Clinton family plant sent to destroy the Republicans?

    Doesn’t seem likely to me. If anything it looks like Trump (together with Sanders) has destabilised the Democrat party much more than he did the GOP.

  • Nah. Trump is still going to win.

  • Step2 says:

    Trump is making America grate again. I’m a bit worried his “extreme vetting” process to reveal the values of refugees and migrants might cause too much cognitive dissonance. If they are good refugees does that mean they should be opposed to 2nd Amendment solutions against political foes and judicial nominees? Would it mean migrants should honor American prisoners of war and avoid disrespecting Gold Star families? Could they be worthy citizens yet publicly call for hostile foreign governments to illegally intervene in our elections? Do they deserve to live here if they repeatedly claim “sarcastically” that the President is the founder of a notoriously barbaric terrorist group?

  • GJ says:

    Step2:

    I’m a bit worried his “extreme vetting” process to reveal the values of refugees and migrants might cause too much cognitive dissonance.

    It’s certainly caused many liberals (such as yourself, perhaps) to blow their minds – that it might be a good idea to safeguard liberal ideals and practices from nonliberals!

  • GJ says:

    CJ:

    If Trump wins he’s bound to issue a lot of executive orders, which should be more than slightly disturbing for his conservative supporters.

  • donnie says:

    It’s certainly caused many liberals (such as yourself, perhaps) to blow their minds – that it might be a good idea to safeguard liberal ideals and practices from nonliberals!

    But liberalism is not a fragile beast, liberalism is Cthulhu. There is absolutely no reason to think that liberal practices need to be safeguarded against nonliberal ones the same way that Islamic practices are safeguarded in Islamic cultures.

    The truth is that liberalism is taking over the globe. In virtually any fair fight, liberalism steadily triumphs. And the reason why isn’t a mystery, every nonliberal civilization from Lhasa to Tehran knows the answer. Liberalism grants men the freedom to choose whatever they happen to want.

    This is why left liberals, liberalism’s true believers, aren’t concerned about high levels of immigration threatening their beloved ideals. Every Western nation could import ten million nonliberal immigrants tomorrow and liberalism would still be fine. Everyone would simply be allowed to do their own thing in their own home. Over time, the children of the nonliberal immigrants would choose liberal consumerism, liberal gender norms, liberal entertainment… you get the idea.

    But it doesn’t stop there, because liberalism is so well adapted to handle multicultural communities, the more immigrants there are, the more likely everyone will just default to liberal culture in public places. And over time the public space will creep further and further…

    What Trump seems to understand correctly is that the only thing that can scale back liberalism is censorship and social regulation. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that the vision of America he is fighting so hard to protect from Cthulhu is simply yesterday’s iteration of that same beast.

  • GJ says:

    donnie:

    But liberalism is not a fragile beast, liberalism is Cthulhu. There is absolutely no reason to think that liberal practices need to be safeguarded against nonliberal ones the same way that Islamic practices are safeguarded in Islamic cultures.

    I see that my statement was a bit ambiguous. To restate:

    It might behoove any group of liberals to consider defending its own favoured form of liberalism from illiberal immigrants with the same vigor used to fight other forms of liberalism in the never-ending intramural conflict.

  • donnie says:

    It might behoove any group of liberals to consider defending its own favoured form of liberalism from illiberal immigrants with the same vigor used to fight other forms of liberalism in the never-ending intramural conflict.

    Why? In a liberal democracy, the more multicultural our communities are, the more liberal the culture becomes.

    It’s a bit like this:
    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/category/liberalism/voting-and-elections/

  • GJ says:

    Why do groups of liberals struggle with other groups of liberals within the same society?

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    When an ex military black sniper kills police because he feels that his people are oppressed, that the police have effectively become a government sanctioned lynch mob, the pointy end of the tyrant’s spear, this specific violence is a product of liberalism in general and is consistent – from the point of view of its perpetrators – with the “2nd Amendment militia” government-hating wing of right liberalism in particular.

    I just became aware of another case involving a black sovereign citizen:

    Korryn Gaines had a ‘license plate’ reading “free traveler” and another sign in the car reading “any government official who compromises this pursuit of happiness and right to travel, will be held criminally responsible and fined, as this is a natural right and freedom.” When pulled over and her driving license demanded, she responded, “Okay, so let me inform you of who I am..I do not participate in any of you guys’ side laws and things like that. I don’t participate in that. You are not authorized”. These and other signs point to her possessing a ‘sovereign citizen’ philosophy, with concomitant hostility to the cops.

    And less than three weeks ago, when she was served with a warrant for not turning up in court for charges including that of not having an actual license plate, matters escalated into an armed confrontation with the police; shooting occurred and she died.

  • […] the motte (inner fortress of established territory), provides another way of understanding the Hegelian Mambo, that is, why Cthulu always swims […]

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