Monday, February 13, 2012

Ideas and ideologies. Oh, and Jews

Dan Blatt, of GayPatriot, is a huge fan of Ronald Reagan. And Reagan once wrote that "the heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." Without falling into the philosophical byways, libertarianism is a political ideology. It is based on non-interference, leaving individuals free to pursue their lives as they see fit, with the government's role restricted to constraining the use of force and protecting against fraud. To my knowledge, no purely libertarian society has ever existed. Ron Paul is pretty much a libertarian.

Anyway, Dan has accused Rick Santorum of repudiating libertarianism and therefore of repudiating Reagan Republicanism.

Well, jeesh, what ever Ron R wrote, he did not govern as a libertarian. I honestly don't think anyone can. That's my problem with ideology, which John Kekes articulated so well for me. The use of a Simple Idea to govern the incredibly complex phenomena of a nation. Or a state or township or stamp club, for that matter.

Jonah Goldberg, a pretty pragmatic conservative with a good sense of humor, recently said that even though conservatives like to believe that they are non-ideological, a la Russell Kirk, they are. And should be. But his ideology consisted of "a checklist of principles".

For someone like Kekes, there are a dozen items on that list...and not in order of importance. It is his stance that the "framework of political goods" is the treasure, the complex interrelations of all these values; in any given situation, some are more important than others, as long as the framework is respected.


Reason as prudence
Plurality of goods
Necessary limits
Limited liberty
Toleration within reason
Justice as having what one deserves
Right to private property
Equality as exclusion of arbitrariness
Political democracy
Legitimate authority
Civility as a social condition

A good idea, but hard to sell. You can't make a slogan out of it.


Speaking of Russell Kirk, he was an anti-ideological Burkean conservative and no friend of neo-conservatism (or the "chirping sectaries" of libertarianism). His fundamental problem with the New Right, "often clever, never wise", was that it was so ideological...but also rather too Jewish.
"Not seldom has it seemed," Kirk declared, "as if some eminent Neoconservatives mistook Tel Aviv for the capital of the United States."
Wherever they go, the Chosen People rarely pass unnoticed. On the left, where most Jews reside politically, we have the oddity of their support for parties which cover their discomfort with Jews by naming Israel as the problem. "We're not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist."  And as part of the price of being admitted to the leftliberal club, a lot of Jews join them in this. On the right, you mostly have support for Israel but a current of discomfort with Jews-as-a-group because of their predominance among leftliberals. For every Levin, Prager and Krauthammer, you have ten Chomskys and Zinns...and Streisands.
Midge Decter, director of the Committee for the Free World, called Kirk's line "a bloody outrage, a piece of anti-Semitism by Kirk that impugns the loyalty of neoconservatives." She told The New Republic, "It's this notion of a Christian civilization. You have to be part of it or you're not really fit to conserve anything. That's an old line and it's very ignorant."
There it is, I think. "It's this notion of a Christian civilization." When it comes to Jews --and no news to them, I suspect-- there is always the lurking Gentile/Christian question: Whose side are you really on? A suspicion that many of them, of course, heartily reciprocate.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

»Justice as having what one deserves«? Really? Americans should recklessly ask for what they deserve?

Muslims are incomparably more cautious and ask for mere mercy. ... Buddhists, more cautious still, strive via upadana[giving beside] to escape justice or karma altogether. ... Christians have been more courageous and pray for forgiveness of their sins. ...

USMaleSF said...

You've slipped on a psychological banana peel, Anon.

Mr Kekes is merely stating the traditional view of justice as desert rather than Rawlsian fairness, etc. It is an ethical and legal principle for conducting affairs between men, not a theological attitude. Mr Kekes, being an atheist, has none.

Anonymous said...

Recklessness in Jews: condemning "Christian civilization." What protected Jews from Judenhass has always only been Christianity's need for re-probation (dixit Hegel, phenomenology of spirit; also Gospel of Matthew, "Let His Blood be upon us and our children.")

When there's no more Christian civilization but only private or anonymous Christianity within "secular" Enlightenment, no more necessity for Jews. Lessing in Nathan the Wise: the only good Jew is a Gentile sage. Goethe, who hated the revelation of the Cross (cf Barth's essay on Nietzsche in Church Dogmatics), also saw the necessity of Jews abolish'd: Jews must be excluded from Kultur because they reprobate the author (sc the Gentile Ancestor) in the son.

Who detested Judaism more than Marx? He demanded the abolition of Jews as Jews. Preferably by assimilation or cultural genocide or cultural liqudation into an anonymous-Christian Gentile population, but if not —

Jews have lost all phronêsis if they can't distinguish between sermons on the Jewish role in the crucifixion drama and pogroms driven by dirtball "Christ-killer!" accusations plus whatever else one can find in the conspiracy meme bank.

Admittedly, since nonymous or legitimate or public Christians are also outmoded according to Goethe, Gentiles are also moronic when they condemn revelation. We too have been declared deserving of no future.

The personnel of anonymous Christianity have only such real rights as are ascribed to them by the commissars of the liberation-theology gulag.

What morons we are! The Declaration states that we have unalienable rights vs the powers and principalities as endow'd by our Creator -- and secularists propose to obliterate the Creator from legal and constitutional protections! Voilà! No more unalienable rights, but only a UN checklist of stuff that idealists should feel concern'd about.

Ideas have consequences, and abolishing ideas has consequences.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen any distinction between "fairness" à la Rawls and "justice." One could translate dikaios as "just" or as "fair."

The difference between Plato and Rawls seems to me to turn on what things each reveals or keeps hidden behind a veil of ignorance, etc.

Supposing that "wealth" is "distributed" and supposing that each Self is equal ("before God," as Zarathustra said; or before the veil of ignorance, as Rawls says), then surely each Self ought to receive the same in the distribution. Provided that 'distribution' of wealth to Selfs is just to begin with. if the state originally owns all wealth because the state made all wealth, then surely the state is not under any obligation to give wealth to Selfs.

Perhaps the state has reason to lend out wealth units to Selfs, or even to give wealth units to Selfs in order to induce slavish praise and slavish gratitude from the Selfs.

On the other hand, if Selfs produce wealth units, then the (karma shifting) scenario of "distribution" is falsification.

What seems unlikely to function is the karmic arrangement demanded by John Galt: the producers deserve all the wealth units since they make all the wealth units, but the state personnel (the jury to which Galt whines his grand speech before stamping off in a disgraceful snit) are there to slavishly accept all opprobrium -- because Galt is so masterful in his whimpering peevedness.

Anonymous said...

A libertarian or anarchist "state" does »cohen-strain(er)ing forks« (strainer, sc firmament, framework, Gestell)

and protects male and female against »frau'd« sc legitimate hetero-normative marriage of the Geschwisterpaar?

Just guessin'.

Engels: under the dictatorship of its communist owners, the state turns into mere power administration and does only "withering away."

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